Monday, December 17, 2012

Little Joe and Django

When I first saw some images from Django Unchained, I thought, 'That's Little Joe's jacket!'.

Sure enough. I just read that Tarantino was inspired by the 'Bonanza' character's 'all purpose' corduroy jacket. In fact, the whole costume, even the gun belt and black groves that Landon wore in the later seasons, looks the same. Nice tribute.


Sunday, December 16, 2012

Yvonne Craig: Mainy

With all of the crazy and upsetting stuff happening this weekend, I decided it was time for another of my 'baby-boomer mainy' posts.

A 'mainy', as you may recall is term from my childhood, when my buddies and I would refer to movie or TV actresses we especially liked as 'a mainy'. For example, 'What do you think of Yvonne Craig?'

'She's a mainy!'

Here's a cool pic of her on Merv complete with Batgirl costume. I always dug her. Especially as Batrgirl but also when she was painted green in the 'Star Trek' episodes, 'Whom Gods Destroy'

And like a lot of my mainys, she was in couple of Elvis movies.  

Rock on, Yvonne. Hard to believe you are 75 now. But you'll always be that perky Batgirl to me.

Saturday, December 08, 2012

December 8, 1980

A terrible day in Beatles history. I was 23 at the time and at a Portland bar, Peter's Inn, that night. I was playing the video game 'Galaxian' when a buddy came in and said John Lennon had been shot. He didn't know any details.

We went to my car and turned on the radio and 'Mind Games' was playing. I knew at that moment that he was dead.

In the days that followed I got phone calls from friends, some of whom I hadn't spoken to in a while. But they knew I was a huge Beatles fan and that Lennon was my favorite.

Some famous person, I can't remember who, said something that I'll always remember. 'John Lennon's death was the final nail in the 1960's coffin'. So true.

Friday, December 07, 2012

'Magical Mystery Tour' on PBS this month

PBS' 'Great Performances' will be showing 'Magical Mystery Tour' at various times on their various channels in December. Check local listings because it's different depending on where you live.

When 'Magical Mystery Tour' premiered on Boxing Day in England, it was bashed by critics. NBC had a deal to show it, but because of the negative response, they canceled the broadcast.

Hard to believe because, no matter how 'bad' it was, a one-hour show of The Beatles just drinking tea would've gotten better ratings than other 1967 fare like 'Judd, For The Defense'.

I was ten years old in 1967 and a serious Beatles' fan. So when a local movie theater got hold of a copy and scheduled a very short run, I pretty much demanded my Mom take me. I'm guessing it was probably the Summer of 1968, about six months after it was shown on the BBC.

Mom dropped me and a friend off with arrangements to pick us up in an hour or so (MMT is only about 50-minutes long). My memories are a bit dim, but I do recall it was shown at a theater on 'the other side' of Portland (probably Southeast, we lived in Southwest).

There was not a lot of people in the audience and they were mostly older than us (teen-agers). I think were the only 'kids' in the whole place.

My main memory is of a bit The Beatles weren't even in. It was the 'strip show' sequence with the Bonzo Dog Band performing the song, 'Death Cab For Cutie'. It was the first time I'd even seen a stripper, and being only ten, I got pretty excited (with feelings of embarrassment and guilt thrown into the mix).

I remember telling my friend to not mention the strip show to my Mom.

As the years went by, I would see MMT at various 'midnight' shows where they would play 'rock and roll' films. Sometimes Beatles' movies or Gimme Shelter. And when it was released on VHS sometime in the 80's, I would have my own Boxing Day showing. I would even watch it at the same time the BBC televised it, around 7:30PM.

When I'd see the 'stipper' bit, I never experienced the same feelings I had that first time, but I always remembered it. Thanks, Beatles, for introducing me to strippers.

And as I look back, I'm still kind of surprised that they included such an 'adult' sequence on a show that was being broadcast all over the UK and presented by such a family-friendly act like The Beatles. Yes, The Beatles did dance around adult subjects in their songs, but this was different. I wonder what ten year olds will think of it when they see it on PBS? Probably the same thing I did.

So that's my 'Magical Mystery Tour' story. Told ya

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Bob Costas - One of the Best

The recent flap over Bob Costas' comments about gun control explains the question I've asked for years: 'Why didn't he ever become a huge star?' The guy is so likable and smart.

The problem is that he's just too smart. The average viewer isn't clever enough to 'get' him. That's why his old show, 'Later', was canceled. It was one of the best talk-shows ever. But I imagine the typical viewer was thinking, 'This makes my brain hurt. Me want simple. More jokes and mindless cheering.'