Friday, December 25, 2009


Q: "Hey Green Giant, what's new besides 'Ho-Ho-Ho!'?"
A: "Would you believe 'He-He-He?'"

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Happy Halloween!

Here's something interesting: shown are Beatles Ringo Starr, John Lennon, and Paul McCartney, as well as the late Mrs. Maureen Starkey and The Masque Of The Red Death heroine actress and former McCartney main squeeze Jane Asher at a costume party, but amazingly not for Halloween-- December 21, 1967 --for the upcoming telefilm, the ill-fated "Magical Mystery Tour".

By this time after all the successes and benchmarks set by Messrs. Lennon, McCartney, Harrison, & Starr, the Beatles apparently could do no wrong-- until "Magical Mystery Tour" that is...

Even though the music was as usual up to the high, ahem, standards set by "Revolver" and "Sgt. Pepper's", the critics mercilessly lambasted the movie because they just didn't get it.

Essentially McCartney's version of the San Francisco adventures of Ken Kesey and The Merry Pranksters, albeit translated into the Queen's English, it really had no plot or subplot, which as you know was/is a cardinal sin insofar as conventional movie critics are concerned.

Plus you either had to be a Beatles devotee or acidhead, or maybe some good hash would do.

But careerwise, "Magical Mystery Tour" unlike "Sgt. Pepper's" was a Major Bummer.

In any case this was also the infamous event where Beatle Lennon was allegedly flirting and dancing with Beatle Harrison wife the beauteous Patti, object of many a Rock Star's wet dream.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Monday, November 30, 2009

So Now It's "Cyber-Week", Eh?

It's "Cyber-Monday"

Cyber-Monday: The Day When 'The Doctor' Versus The Cybermen, or Cyphermen* or...

Superboy No. 150 September 1968 Cover: Superboy, Mr. Cipher, Jonathan Kent, Martha Kent //Neal Adams Story: “The Stranger Who Stalks Smallville” (23 pages) Editor: Murray Boltinoff Writer: Frank Robbins Penciller: Bob Brown Inker: Jack Abel Feature Character: Superboy (last appearance in ADVENTURE COMICS #372) Supporting Characters: Jonathan Kent, Martha Kent, Lana Lang (all last seen in ADVENTURE COMICS #370) Villains: An alien invader (first appearance; dies in this story), the Mr. Cyphers (robots; first appearance for all; all destroyed in this story) Synopsis: An invader from space infiltrates Smallville with a corps of look-alike robots, each called “Mr. Cypher”, who force their way into every home in Smallville--and who are each powerful enough to take on Superboy.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Monday, November 9, 2009

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Liberace's Greatest Hits

When I was a lil' baby watched Liberace play his grand piano on the old round cathode ray tube television and pretended to play along with him.
I loved this stuff so much so that my parents bought me a toy piano and violin, which of course couldn't really play but I tried to.
This was when I was 2 or so, and liked all sorts of shows that were musical and beautiful, or 'busical' and 'mutiful' as my pal Andy, an old black guy who was a peddler in the '80s would say when selling Valentine or Mother's Day cards, slurring his words as he nodded off to sleep.
Busical cards! Mutiful cards! Busical ca...Zzz...zzZz...Zzzz...zZz...
Would see Liberace on all the variety shows, wearing not his sequined signature outfit, but a rather conservative tux with tails.
He didn't develop that gimmick 'til much later.
Then when I was 8, saw him as Guest Villain on of all things, "BatMan", in a dual role as the Liberace by anything but the name Chantal, esteemed concert pianist, and his evil twin brutha Louie.
Believe It Or Not- this episode of BatMan was the highest rated episode of all time.
Probably a lot of baffled blue-haired old ladies tuned in for the first time and didn't quite get it.
What I couldn't get was whenever someone like Rich Little, Frank Gorshin, or Bugs Bunny even did an impression of Liberace, they'd always use the line, "You dirty rat", oops, "I wish my brother George was here."

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Zombies On Broadway

You'd think that after like a month or so of ghosks and ghouls and things that go bumpity-bump in the night I'd be sick and tired of such like stuff, but there was so much area to cover and I had interruptions due to my moving last month that I'm still trying to play ketchup- which isn't easy, and certainly very messy.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Day Of The All Dead Saints Day

Well survived the festivities of All Hallow's Eve, only to face (Saint's preserve us!) The Day Of The Dead, and for that we should all be grateful.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

P. O. E. Toasties

Peter Sellers as Mandrake:

"Now look, Colonel... Bat Guano, if that really is your name, may I tell you that I have a very, very good idea, I think, I hope, I pray, what the recall code is. It's some sort of recurrent theme he kept repeating. It's a variation on Peace On Earth or Purity Of Essence. E. O. P.
O. P. E.
It's one of those!"

To anyone familiar with Stanley Kubrick's classic "Dr. Strangelove, Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb", the solution to the cryptic recall code to send to the squadron of 34 B-52's to stop them from dropping their payload (some fourteen hundred megatons worth) on Russia, is a variation on the initials P. O. E., which only General Jack D. Ripper, played by the excellent Sterling Hayden, has.

General Ripper is a completely paranoidal, psycho-sexual, psychotic lunatic, and the nutty, obsessed General who has found a scapegoat for his own sexual inadequacies in the Russkies, Commies are unaffected by the plot to pollute the water of the world because they drink vodka:

Ripper: Mandrake?

Mandrake: Yes, Jack?

Ripper: Have you ever seen a Commie drink a glass of water?

Mandrake: Well, I can't say I have.Ripper: Vodka, that's what they drink, isn't it? Never water?

Mandrake: Well, I-I believe that's what they drink, Jack, yes.

Ripper: On no account will a Commie ever drink water, and not without good reason.

Mandrake: Oh, eh, yes. I, uhm, can't quite see what you're getting at, Jack.

Ripper: Water, that's what I'm getting at, water. Mandrake, water is the source of all life. Seven-tenths of this earth's surface is water. Why, do you realize that seventy percent of you is water?

Mandrake: Uh, uh, Good Lord!

Ripper: And as human beings, you and I need fresh, pure water to replenish our precious bodily fluids.

Mandrake: Yes. (he begins to chuckle nervously)

Ripper: Are you beginning to understand?

Mandrake: Yes. (more laughter)

Ripper: Mandrake. Mandrake, have you never wondered why I drink only distilled water, or rain water, and only pure-grain alcohol?

Mandrake: Well, it did occur to me, Jack, yes.

Ripper: Have you ever heard of a thing called fluoridation. Fluoridation of water?

Mandrake: Uh? Yes, I-I have heard of that, Jack, yes. Yes.

Ripper: Well, do you know what it is?

Mandrake: No, no I don't know what it is, no.

Ripper: Do you realize that fluoridation is the most monstrously conceived and dangerous Communist plot we have ever had to face?

Whether fluoridation is a sinister plot or just another, ahem, "cost effective" way to dispose of deadly toxic materials, well the jury's still out, and the reason I started this entry with the Dr. Strangelove stuff- "strange love stuff", sounds posi+ively pornographic -was because of the reference to Poe, as in Edgar Allen, not fluoridation.

I had the opportunity in 1992 to go day tripping and journey down South to Baltimore's "Inner Harbor" to see what prospects (if any) were for me to obtain a General Vendor permit to become an "Araber" an itinerant street vendor of produce, or goods, typically using a decorated wagon drawn by a pony. The term derives from the 19th-century term "street arab" and has no connection with Arabs. The remaining arabbers in Baltimore are all African-American.

Except of course for me, that's if I could get the license.

Now you may ask, why and what the Hell am I doing in Baltimore, Maryland, trying to get a license, why not N.Y.C., Newark, etc.?

Well N.Y.C. at the time had a moratorium with no new licenses issued until further notice, and I did already have ones for Hartford, Connecticut, Newark, NJ, and Philadelphia, PA.

I would take advantage of travelling to places most people would only go on perhaps a vacation while I would routinely go weekly or bi-weekly and make some money to pay for the trips as well as briefly enjoying the local sights and scenes, cuisine and ambience- on a budget.

X-Mas 1992 was fast approaching and the window for sales as every merchandiser knows is only from November to December, as musc as 50% of the years sales are crammed into the Holiday Season, and in many small businesses it's do or die, feast or famile, depending on the outcome.

So looking for new ground selling women's accessories, mainly costume jewelry, it was imperative for me as all the styles were finite and my regular clientele in Newark and Philadelphia already had most of them.

Every day all over the world working women wear earrings when going to their jobs as part of their outfit, and during the all too brief holiday season these same ladies purchase extra pairs to replace the inevitabe lost or damaged ones, not just for themselves, but as gifts for their daughters, mothers, aunts, grandmothers, lovers (if lesbian), etc.

Men also buy these as well since these are affordable "stoffing stuckers" at only $5.00 a pair.
(as transvestites and transsexuals love 'em too as nippple and cock rings)

Why only $5.00 a pair?

Because experience has shown that most costumers- customers who wear costumes -will pay that amount as it is perceived to be the fair market value of this item, and falls within the consumer product price threshold, whatever that means.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Friday, October 23, 2009

What's WRONG With This Here Picture?


October 23

Whew! Was that a long intermission/snack bar/bathroom break or what?
Now that I took care of both Number One and Number Two needs- soda and popcorn -ready to continue the snow, er ah, show.
Submitted for your approval, the great auteur Brian DePalma's arguably (hey, why is everything "arguably", I argue) 1974 masterpiece, "The Phantom Of The Paradise".
What? Surely you jest, you've heard of it much less seen it? Where have you been?
Okay here's the scoop- when I was in high school, freshman year, used to go to the Harrison Public Library to not just do research for book reports but check out the pretty girls and also fool around, and we used to bring comic books and monster magazines to read besides the required scholastic stuff.
One mag, don't know whether it was "Famous Monsters Of Finland"(sic?)- yeah that Reptilicus puppet was also on The Monkees; Go Reptilicus, go! -or "Castle Of Frankenstein" by that inspiration Calvin T. Beck, whose life with his Mom and geeky lifestyle- "Monsters" -were noted by noted writer Robert Bloch and later incorporated as part of "Norman Bates" in his story for Hitchcock, "Psycho".
Yeah, it's true. Cal Beck (rhymes with "Cal Tech") was a nerdy guy who lived with his dominating, overbearing Mom on Palisade Avenue in North Bergen, NJ, and was of of the original "fanboys" who used to circulate, converse, and otherwise hobknob with all the other similar like-minded individuals who attended the seminal SF, never "SCi-Fi" conventions- only outsiders and "off-worlds" ever referred to it as such, although "Such Conventions" didn't quite have that ring to it you know?
All kiddin' aside, "SCi-Fi" was an invention of one Forrest J. Ackerman, who coined it it the 1950s as a shorthand name for Science Fiction, no doubt influenced by the new term "Hi-Fi" aka High Fidelity; interesting to note that within a year after "Uncle Forry's" departure the "SCi-Fi Channel" further confused everybody by relaunching itself as the text-friendly, some would say gay, "SyFy", which looks like an high tech venereal disease.
Getting back: so I have this B&W mag and it has like a upcoming, or up & coming section where they leak press releases for future forthcoming features, and my 15 year old eyes see this tiny sentence about the "Phantom Of The Fillmore", a modern retelling of the old "Phantom Of The Opera" tale.
This was 1971-72 and the cinematic trend- both movies and TV -was to con temporise the old themes for MODern, "happening", "NOW" audiences; Hammer Films which made excellent versions of the classic monsters in the late 1950s and mid '60s, with lots of (for that time) "blood and gore"- blood a bright almost fluorescent orange -and "sex", mostly busty female vampires with ample cleavage and filmy, flimsy garb- all in Technicolor -which made the earlier '30s & '40s Universal Monsters look pale, weak, anemic-flaccid -and camp by comparison.
But Hammer was running out of momentum and the initial inertia that the rave successes of its two main monsters, "Dracula", and the "Frankenstein" franchise were soon losing steam.
In fact the Hammer "Frankenstein"'s were about Frankenstein, Victor Frankenstein, played by Peter Cushing, and dealt with his mis-adventures of trying to perfect his methods of resuscitating the dead, not about the "monster".
Well, Hammer tried to breathe new life into an old series when they replaced the entire cast of stock players and Cushing too in 1970's "Horror Of Frankenstein", a remake/reimagining of the 1957 "Curse Of Frankenstein", but with Ralph Bates as the good(?) Dr. , Jon Finch as the Inspector, and David Prowse as the "creature"; played more for gallows-humor than outright horror, and with a sprinkling of nudity it died at the box-office.
The filmmakers decided that a "hip" cast for a "hip" audience wasn't enough, as "Horror Of Frankenstein" was still a costume period piece set in the 18th or 19th Century, so the next project would also involve some sort of plot development or device to set the action and characters in a contemporary setting.
This of course was nothing new, as TV's "Dark Shadows" was doing this since 1966, but really didn't get its groove on until Barnabas Collins appeared on the scene a year or so later.
The ratings for the Gothic daytime soap were stratospheric, a fact that wasn't lost on ABC-TV execs, so they agreed to fund an upcoming Dan Curtis made-for-TV movie: "The Night Stalker".

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Friday, October 16, 2009

Thursday, October 15, 2009


"Brainiac on banjo."
For your entertainment enjoyment some vintage
which the title seems to indicate an "OUTER LIMITS"
influence, particularly in the fact that the "Control Voice" and
Narrator, Vic Perrin, used a similar suggestion each week
to the viewer and also it was originally supposed to be called
which the '90s Canadian remake series used for their
station breaks.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Wolf Gang

Yes, 'tis true:
1. The Wolf~Man
2. Frankenstein Meets The Wolf~Man
3. House Of Frankenstein
4. House Of Dracula
Bud Abbott - Lou Costello Meet Frankenstein (1949) doesn't really count "Dracula", as it's a spooky spoofy send-up, likewise the 1960 South-Of-The-Border Mexican La Casa del Terror (House 0f Terror) another monster horror/comedy film, nor does the "Lizard's Leg and Owlet's Wing" October 26, 1962 (Episode 68) of Route 66(6) qualify where Chaney is reunited with his genre buddies Boris Karloff and Peter Lorre; last and certainly least of all is the the Jerry Warren regurgitation, Face Of The Screaming Werewolf (1964).

Sorry, but Chaney notwithstanding, none of these is "Wolf~Man" canon, Jack.
For semi-realistic blood in a jiffy, you need not go any further than Heinz Ketchup, available at all fine grocers and eating establishments everywhere.

Friday, October 9, 2009

I'm A Moonage Daydream Believer

Oh what can it mean?

Thursday, October 8, 2009

'Star Treck (sic) In A Leather Jacket'

David Bowie again- why?
Well other than Alice Cooper, KISS, or even Screamin' Jay Hawkins, there's no other Rock performer who epitomises Halloween 'dress-up', and in his case literally as well as figuratively.
Ever c-c-changing, ever mercurial- after all, oh by jingo, he was on Mercury Records before his RCA adventures in sound -and he went from different guises and personnas as fast or as often you could change a, well, Halloween costume.
And a lot of his outfits were in retrospectacle (and a tip of the noggin to T. Dolby for that one) Halloween costumes let's see:
he went through being a R & B rocker, influenced in no doubt by the early 'Stones, a Music Hall/Caberet faux Anthony Newley, a 'Flour Power' Folkie, a Major 'Lost In Space', and this incarnation, a cross-dressing singer/songwriter that Ed Wood would have an affinity with-and all this is before his magnum opus 'Ziggy Stardust' which kept morphing and mutating itself into the the Lon Chaney, Junior-like transition of Diamond Dogs' one-eyed 'Halloween Jack' into the hokey cokey 'Thin White Duke'.
 =The 'Face' Of MARS=
"...sake and strange Divine (real name Glenn Milstead- or is it Glenda Milstead?), wait for a lad insane..."
Grainy photo like grains of Martian sand. 
HUNKY DORY was his fourth release sallying forth further where no one has gone before, recorded April 1971 at Trident Studios, London,  just a year or so after The Beatles 'official' breakup, and released December 17, 1971
Changes - This album is full of my changes and those of some of my friends.
Pretty - The reaction of me to my wife being pregnant was archetypal daddy -
Oh he's gonna be another Elvis.
This song is all that plus a dash of sci-fi.

Eight - The city is a kind of high-life wart on the backside of the prairie.
Life On Mars - This is a sensitive young girls reaction to the media.
Kooks - The baby was born and it looked like me and it looked like Angie
and the song came out like - if you're gonna stay with us you're gonna grow up

Quicksand - The chain reaction of moving around through out the bliss and
then the calamity of America produced this epic of confusion - Anyway, with
my esoteric problems I could have written it in Plainview - or Dulwich.
There is a time and space level just before you go to sleep when all about you
are losing theirs and whoosh void gets you with its cacophony of thought - that's
when I like to write my songs.

Fill - Biff Rose song.
Andy - A man of media and anti-message, with a kind of cute style.
Bob - This is how some see B.D.
Queen - A song on a Velvet Underground-Lou Reed framework s'about London sometimes.
Bewlay - Another in the series of David Bowie confessions - Star-Treck in a leather jacket
Bowie's next phase was probably his "Sgt. Pepper's" in that it shares some commonalities with the iconic Beatles LP from five years earlier, as the personas and identities presented are elaborate masquerades for the artists to hide behind making commentary as their 'altar-egos' ("...the church of man, love, is such a holy place to be.") make pronouncements equivalent to benedictions for the faithful flock almost religious in their fervor and zeal.
And just as theatrical, because "Sgt. Pepper's" Beatles and "Ziggy Stardust" Bowie are almost Pentecostal in their presentation(s), mixed with the roar of the greasepaint (Bowie wanted to be Newley once), the smell of the crowd (as the opening number and the reprise of same on The Beatles album demonstrates), music-hall tunes mixed with Rock, fantasy and larger-than-life reality.
Notable too is that David Bowie's first album, the eponymous DAVID BOWIE had the unfortunate distinction of being released in the UK the very same day as SGT. PEPPER'S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND which certainly didn't help sales much, even though it as a debut effort it was as good as it can get from a 20 year old wunderkind, and his "Rubber Band" 45 r.p.m. single predated the much better known famous song and 'concept' album by about a little more than half a year, December 2, 1966.

Most interesting is that both Bowie LPs include references to Mars, and have Bowie posing in pictures that immediately (at least to me) evoke the (in)famous "Face on Mars" photograph taken in the Cydonia region by the Viking 1 orbiter (orbital insertion June 19, 1976) released by NASA/JPL on July 25, 1976.

'Coincidence' or...?
As most know the name 'David Bowie' was about as real as 'Ringo Starr'- Richard Starkey became the stellar cowboy, possibly outlaw, 'Ringo', whereas David Jones became 'Bowie', so as to avoid confusion and mis-identification with/as in the musical show 'Oliver'- 'The Artful Dodger' -the lil' chap who was also on 'The Ed Sullivan Show' that fateful historic night the Beatles first appeared, February 9, 1964, and later of the 'Faux Four'- Monkee Davy Jones.

The other David sans leather jacket'David (Jones) Bowie' in a leather jacket w/ Star Trek: The Next Generation holodeck detective 'Dixon Hill' who for some reason or another resembles esteemed Beat author & junkie
William S. Burroughs.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Bar Sinister

"Belly-up to the Bar Boys!"

(sounds like an old all-male revue show at the Ninth Circle)

Monday, October 5, 2009

Lil' "Nell" GODdard

Robert Goddard was born today.
He's the guy you've always read about in elementary school science books- at least I did at 8 or 9 years old -who fooled around with solid rocket fuel and lauched his little "Nell" rockets in New England, being scoffed at and ridiculed by the local hambones, if hambones is the correct term for Northeast rustics.
Goddard resembled a cross between Lionel Jeffries as 'Prof. Cavor' in the 1964 "First Men In The Moon" and another Robert- Robert Heinlein -and was the archetype of the dedicated scientist, square, on the straight & narrow, unlike his persona non grata (for the most part)counterpoint/counterpart Jack Parsons' unrepentant reprobate.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Penguin, The Walrus & The Joker

In keeping with the upcoming Halloween Holiday spirit, this time it's the adventures of the Penguin, the Walrus, and the Joker- but with a twist -bup suppa buppa buppa buppa suppa...

In 1963 interestingly enough Total Television, an unofficial 'subsidiary' of General Mills- GM, you know makers of 'Total' breakfast cereal -already known for their "King Leonardo" (Da Vinci reference) and 'toon "Superpup" clone "Underdog" cartoons starring 'Jor-El's' lover Wally Cox as humble and lovable 'Shoe-Shine Boy', and known to earlier viewers even as 'Mr. Peepers' in the Golden Age Of TV and more recently (we're talkin' '63 here) better known as Proctor & Gamble's salesman for "Salvo - The Fortified Detergent!" -also came up with the more cerebral and consequently 'educational' "Tennessee Tuxedo and His Tales" about the misadventures of the "small penguin, who tries but can't succeed-o," Tennessee, voiced by Don Adams, soon to be known worldwide as Agent 86 in the Man From U.N.C.L.E./James Bond spy spoof Get Smart, and his friend Chumly Walrus voiced by Bradley Bolke.


An elementary penguin not singing Hare Krishna.

In and among the promos for other cartoon frolics, puppet shows- remember Fireball XL5 was on NBC that season -and the endless adverts for toys- "Hey kids, tell Mom and Dad!" -and of course the never-ending cereal ads brought to you by the grain futures sector of the economy, Tennessee & Chumly actually left an impression on me and it wasn't just mindless entertainment for the kiddies- I was a 6 year old then -as it was partially a response to FCC honcho Newton Minnow's comment that TV was/is a "vast wasteland", and it was one of the first successful integrations of information and entertainment for young minds that excelled where similar fare as 'The Funny Company' didn't.

"The Funny Company" bankrolled by Mattel, "...and TOYS!", was very educational but not very funny, a guaranteed 5 minute video sleeping pill for all but the most nerdiest of kids -and seemed more akin to the brief segments of "The Big World Of Little Adam" NASA training films fest that were run by Sandy Becker on his show after January 1, 1964 WNEW NYC show as well as WNET right and up to when they still had the old Owl logo, shortly just before Apollo 8.

Psssst...saw almost every episode of "Little Adam", shhhh- just don't tell anybody!

The makers of the "Funny Company" redeemed themselves shortly thereafter with "The Adventures Of Roger Ramjet"- seldom seen but great fun in the tradition of "Rocky and Bullwinkle", whereas "Little Adam" is largely forgotten and much less ever seen today.

The blend of both entertaining and informative is equally balanced- with the writing and the voice characterization -and important in Tennessee Tuxedo and is one of the many reasons it is so fondly remembered.

Without recounting or rehashing the episodes as I'm certain that there are much more precise and concise sources on the 'net from which to find out further about this wonderful series, I'll just go into one particular episode- #27 " The Treasure Of Jack The Joker".

Originally aired on Saturday, October 10, 1964, 9:30 am EST.
Now please remember Dear Reader that I haven't actually seen this since maybe 1966, and several zillion brain cells ago- R.I.P. -so recollection of this is particularly hazy or shadowy, but I remember that 'punch line' ending, "Ha, Ha, Ha-- Jack The Joker!" when the walrus and the carpenter- oops -penguin, find instead of a treasure inside the chest this taunting note.

Taunting note? Taunting...note...hmmm...the George Reeves, I think I've got it!
Detective Comics #27 was the first appearance of The Batman- and this was Episode #27 of "Tennessee Tuxedo and His Tales"- Holy Bat-Clues old chums, Chumlys, & 'chumettes'!

So what you say, big deal, I'm not impressed, etc., etc.,

Okay then, consider this:

Lawrence Samuel "Larry" Storch (born January 8, 1923) is a US actor best known for his comic television roles, including voice-over work for top cartoon shows, including Mr. Goldberg, er, uh- Whoopee -on Tennessee Tuxedo and his Tales, and of course Corporal Agarn on F Troop.

Waaay before Mark Hamill, he was also the first actor to voice Batman's arch-enemy, "Doctor Scholl" ("The Joker" in one of his many disguises...)

Yes it's true- It was in the Batman with Robin The Boy Wonder segments produced by Filmation animation in the late 1960s.

Larry continued his association with Filmation as a voice-over actor in other series the company produced- and more importantly was one of the original GHOSTBUSTERS in his zoot-suit, along with pal Forrest Tucker and Bob Burns in one of the few live-action shows for Filmation a decade before Bill Murray, Dan Aycroyd, and Harold Ramis.
(an old comic store just off of Canal Street)

Saturday, October 3, 2009


I first read about this in 1973 in connection with a proposed David Bowie project, you know, "...the Halloween Jack is a real cool cat, and he lives on top of Manhattan Chase...", era Bowie, that Bowie.
There were all sorts of rumours circulating then such as Bowie was going to make his film debut in "Stranger In A Strange Land" as 'Michael Valentine Smith', with all the sexual and weird stuff intact from Heinlein's allegory, then Angie Bowie his then wife as 'Jipp Jones' was going to play the new Wonder Woman, and that a film be made with Amanda Lear called...
In her autobio, Angie Bowie mentions a character 'concocted' by her then husband, who she described as "a sci-fi priestess of high Bowie camp and magic [and] a pretty cool customer." This character's name was "Octobriana". Further research (ie, trawling through the early-1970s music press) shows that Bowie was working on a feature film about Octobriana, and had also apparently written songs for the alleged motion picture soundtrack.
But of course these events never happened- and who is Octobriana?

Friday, October 2, 2009

The Magick Of Marvel Is...

Today October 2, is another Marvel milestone day, as it was on October 2, 1914 that the true Marvel Age was actually born, more specifically, Marvel Whiteside Parsons, later known as John, and finally 'Jack'.

What- you don't know 'Jack'? heard of Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen and- oops -Robert Hutchings GODdard (October 5, 1882 - August 10, 1945), U.S. professor of physics and scientist, was a pioneer of controlled, liquid-fueled rocketry. He launched the world's first liquid-fueled 10-ft. rocket on March 16, 1926, and launching the 'Space Age' in a New England cabbage-patch field.

In 1929, an 11-ft. missile caused such a stir the cops were summoned- the next day the local rag ran the hee-haw headline: MOON ROCKET MISSES TARGET BY 238,799 1/2 MILES.
In 1930, with the promise of a $100,000 grant from financier Harry Guggenheim, Goddard and his wife Esther headed west to Roswell, New Mexico, where the land was vast and the launch weather good, and where the locals, they were told, minded their business.
Roswell, New Mexico, hmmm....

Hey wait, isn't this about 'Jack' Parsons?

Yeah, yeah, we're getting there.

Most people who are interested in the subject of Rocketry & Aerospace probably heard about or read about Robert Goddard in the primary grades- I first read about him when I was 9 in 1966 -or at least in High School.

But most never heard of 'Jack' Parsons, and with no surprise: he was an acolyte since 1938- the year of the comics debut of 'Superman' and 'The War of the Worlds' radio panic -of Aleister Crowley, the self-styled "Great Beast 666" , an employee of Howard Hughes- lecherous but brilliant aviator and industrialist who degenerated into eventual insanity -a victim of L. Ron Hubbard- Golden Age pulp science-fiction writer and crator of lucrative PoP Culture religion, who ripped-off Parson's woman & money. Whatta pal! -and an enthusiastic phone buddy to Wernher Von Braun- who was also incidentally a 33° Freemason.

Parsons had NO successful formal education beyond high school.

Can you imagine the uncomfortable teachers or principal or PTA that would have to explain >EGAD!< all this to young questing minds, mentioning that the illustrious Mr. Parsons besides all of the above info, also regularly used- some would say abused -alcohol, marijuana, peyote, and heroin, opiates, had sex orgies, etc., etc., This definitely would have guaranteed an A on a surprise quiz for most of the kids.

But instead...

In 1972 American scientists named a crater of the moon after Jack Parsons. The crater at 37 degrees north and 171 degrees west can't be seen from Earth- it's on the dark side of the Moon.

And get this, his birth and death dates- October 2 & June 17 -almost bookend the birthdays of Lennon & McCartney- October 9 and June 18, respectively -of the Beatles.

I'm waiting for the Disney bio-pic.

June 17 on the Julian Calendar is also the day when the Tunguska Whatchamacallit fell from the skies over Siberia in 1908 - June 30, 1908 to you.

BTW on Oct. 2, 1959, CBS broadcast the first “Twilight Zone” episode, written by the series creator Rod Serling, called “Where Is Everybody?”, about a man wandering through a town in which he appears to be its only living inhabitant.

Cue spooky music.

Oh yeah, and did I mention that it's Gandhi's B-day too.

The Marvel Age Of Bologna

In the late '80s/early '90s when I used to commute bi-weekly to Philadelphia, PA to work as a mobile street vendor in and around 'Center City', the nickname probably influencing the writer of the DC's Silver-Age Barry Allen "The Flash" for the name though I really can't say for sure, other than the (fictional) fact that it is located in Missouri (originally Ohio in Showcase # 4, September-October 1956), right near 'Keystone City'- just as the real 'Center City' happens to be coincidentally- not -near a fantasy 'Keystone City' but rather in the actual 'Keystone State', Pennsylvania.
Anyway...I noticed in the course of my working day then that one of those small boxy refrigerated provision 'truckettes' would be going around town making deliveries with the logo or legend 'STANLEY MARVEL' emblazoned on the side, and I'd always laugh and point this out to my girlfriend and workmates whenever it would pass us while we were in congested Center City traffic, or while working on the street, and once actually outside Fat Jack's Comic Crypt on Sansom Street where I customarily went after work to get my new comic fix and also look for lower priced, better quality, Silver Age books- waaaay better than anything ever found in the NY-NJ Metro area rip-off shops.
Then around '92 Philly started to get this attitude that the vendors have to be more controlled, as a lot of NY peddlers, vendors, hucksters, and outright con men were influxing into the area since the early to mid '80s and the word was out that it was 'easy pickin's', so it was inevitable.
Found unexplored territory shortly afterwards and fortuitously for me it was still not far from Center City: as soon as disembarking from the R7 SEPTA at 30th Street Station all I had to do was walk towards 'University Hill'- all the cities I used to work in on the NE Corridor had a 'University Hill', or it's equivalent, Newark with Rutgers and UMD, Baltimore with University of Maryland and Johns Hopkins, Philly with Drexel, University of Pennsylvania, etc., I'm certain that there are better examples; alternated with the old Center City spots, and Newark, NJ, whenever possible, bi-weekly, and also went to new spots in weekly established outdoor rural 'flea markets' such as Columbus NJ, on Rt. 206, Cherry Hill, right across the Delaware River in NJ near the racetrack, and Philly Racetrack in BenSALEM, PA.
So after I started to taper off my visits to Philly due to a change in work plans, seldom went there after '96, and so that was that...or was it?
In late '96 discovered Bucks County
It was run by the same folks who ran the Columbus Rt. 206, and the locale I liked better than Cherry Hill even- they had a much larger selection of both old and new stuff for sale, and better yet was accessible after a fashion via mass transit when I didn't go there with a friend and their vehicle- 'a ride'.
Getting there was reletively sinple- you took the Newark to Trenton NJ Transit train from Penn Station (either NYC or Newark) and switch over at Trenton to the R7 to Philadelphia, except instead of taking it to that destination going to Eddington Station and taking a $15.-$20. cab ride, or get off at the Croydon Station where you can go up the crumbling sandstone steps past warehouses and walk at your own risk up Street Road/Route 132 on the overpass bridge above Interstate 95 until walking at a confortable pace you get to Philly Racetrack parking lot and the Philly Market.
But not before seeing a whole lot of STANLEY MARVEL trucks as you see, and as I found out soon afterwards, that Stanley Marvel is right near Adams Street, on Ford Road just behind (or in front of) 'Meating' Road off of Bensalem Road and not at all far from the King David Memorial Park, the largest Jewish cemetery in that region.

Q: Was the corporate cold-cut entity known as 'Stanley Marvel' actually founded in 1915, if so was Stanley Lieber aware of this and rename himself professionally 'Stan Lee' so if introduced he would be , "Stan Lee, Marvel...", or completely unawares and therefore a coincidence, or was the original Stanley Marvel and his descendants Stanley Marvel II and Stanley Marvel III even aware of the likewise monikered comic book writer and publisher, and would he offer him a real good deal on catering events and so forth; and was it really founded in 1915, or the two confusing entries indicating 1975 and 1986- what's up?

Cold cuts and cemeteries- good Halloween eatin' to me...and sounds more like EC Comics than Marvel to boot- size 11 1/2.

Thursday, October 1, 2009


Well I'm baaack, sort of- haven't been doing any entries for a while as am in the laborious process of relocating, so hopefully you'll please excuse me if I'm still spotty at times.
'Octoberfest' is not just a reference to the annual Germanic Autumnal beer festival held in European countries such as Germany, Austria, and parts of Italy and Switzerland, but also worldwide wherever Germanic communities are predominant- and to paraphrase the old classic 1960s Levy's Jewish Rye ad, "You don't have to be German (in this case)..." to be a BIG-TIME 'beer nut'- was going to say aficionado but 'beer nut' sounds just about right in this case; a good corned-beef or pastrami on rye w/mustard & a beer is paradise... and BTW what the hell are Beer Nuts anyway(?)- there's NO beer in 'em at all- they're like 'Apple Jacks' cereal: NO apples and NO jacks either;
'Octoberfest' (on this here blog at least) also refers to the next 31 days that I'll try to provide more pertaining to PoP Cultural stuff & events related to Comic Books, Science-Fiction, and Rock n' Rock, though not necessarily in that order.
Wish me luck!
More later...

Today is Chumley's B-Day

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

COLOSSUS: The Forbin Project

Today is the 40th anniversary of the first packet switched computer network which was established between two Interface Message Processors (IMP) located at Leonard Kleinrock’s lab at UCLA and Douglas Engelbart’s lab at SRI, creating what is now known as the Internet.
Mario Armstrong and Xeni Jardin talk about the birth of the Internet on the NPR show “Tell Me More” and Xeni has posted a video on Boing Boing of Kleinrock explaining how it happened.

Who'd have thunk it -- well for starters the makers of this movie:

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Galileo Figaro - Magnifico!

Exactly 400 years ago today, on 25 August 1609, the Italian astronomer and philosopher Galilei Galileo showed Venetian merchants- that's merchants from Venus -his new creation, a telescope – the instrument that was to bring him both scientific immortality and, more immediately, a whole lot of trouble.

Like hair-pulling, nose tweaking, stomach bumping, eye-gouging...

Monday, August 24, 2009

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


Saturday, August 15, 2009

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Betty Boop's B-Day & The Beatles ...

...and Woodstock too!
This week was/is a bzZzZy as a bee week for commemorating key cultural
events than largely affected the American PoP scene, and still continues
to this day, this century, and probably for ages to come.
Betty Boop, Beatles, Helter Skelter and Woodstock- tried to (but failed) to somehow sustain the 'B' motif in this entry in a vain attempt as it turns out well not quite alliterative but certainly alphabetical -2 out of 4 isn't at all bad.
Okay, okay, nix Helter Skelter, definite bad vibes and bummer for sure, and even though tomorrow commemorates the 40th Anniversary of the infamous events, I'm not gonna cover it or mention it as you'll probably read/hear plenty about the Tate/LaBianca murders and Charlie 'X' and the unfortunate dumb bitches who fell for his small-time picayune mind-control techniques, some would say he himself was a Frankensteinian creation of various societal forces - essentially a 'guinea pig' -that made him believe he was in charge while recruiting other lesser gullable brain-dead accolytes- more 'guinea pigs', more fun - to do irreparable damage to the experimental 'counter-culture'.
Hippies no damn good, see I toldya so...or so went the refrain at the time spearheaded by that fine upstanding solid citizen, well none other than (gasp), can it be- Richard Nixon -Yow!
2 out of 3 ain't bad.
Instead, I'll give you satirist Jonathan Swift's original tome from which McCartney took the title from (as well as a playground ride), which should help at least a lil' bit to undue some of the unfortunate negative connotations and associations with 'helter skelter':

Now the active young attorneys
Briskly travel on their journeys,
Looking big as any giants,
On the horses of their clients;
Like so many little Marses
With their tilters at their arses,
Brazen-hilted, lately burnish'd,
And with harness-buckles furnish'd,
And with whips and spurs so neat,
And with jockey-coats complete,
And with boots so very greasy,
And with saddles eke so easy,
And with bridles fine and gay,
Bridles borrow'd for a day,
Bridles destined far to roam,
Ah! never, never to come home.
And with hats so very big, sir,
And with powder'd caps and wigs, sir,
And with ruffles to be shown,
Cambric ruffles not their own;
And with Holland shirts so white,
Shirts becoming to the sight,
Shirts bewrought with different letters,
As belonging to their betters.
With their pretty tinsel'd boxes,
Gotten from their dainty doxies,
And with rings so very trim,
Lately taken out of lim--[1]
And with very little pence,
And as very little sense;
With some law, but little justice,
Having stolen from my hostess,
From the barber and the cutler,
Like the soldier from the sutler;
From the vintner and the tailor,
Like the felon from the jailor;
Into this and t'other county,
Living on the public bounty;
Thorough town and thorough village,
All to plunder, all to pillage:
Thorough mountains, thorough valleys,
Thorough stinking lanes and alleys,
Some to--kiss with farmers' spouses,
And make merry in their houses;
Some to tumble country wenches
On their rushy beds and benches;
And if they begin a fray,
Draw their swords, and----run away;
All to murder equity,
And to take a double fee;
Till the people are all quiet,
And forget to broil and riot,
Low in pocket, cow'd in courage,
Safely glad to sup their porridge,
And vacation's over--then,
Hey, for London town again.
[Footnote 1: Limbo, any place of misery and restraint.
"For he no sooner was at large,
But Trulla straight brought on the charge,
And in the selfsame Limbo put
The knight and squire where he was shut."--Hudibras, Part i, canto iii, 1,000.
Here abbreviated by Swift as a cant term for a pawn shop.--W. E. B.]

Monday, July 27, 2009

Friday, July 24, 2009

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Monday, July 20, 2009

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Georges Méliès, Filmmaker & Magician (1861 -1938)

H.erbert G.eorge Wells had his gripping account of an alien invasion from Mars first published in the waning days of 1897 AD, an amazing 112 years ago:

The book in serialised form appeared in the publication Pearson's Journal and in proper book form shortly in 1898.

It was so popular that unofficial sequels and unauthorised versions were written by others other than Wells.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Blast Off!

Here's the Cavorite Sphere papercraft from the motion picture, "First Men in the Moon." Scale is approximately 1/24. You need to print seventeen pages of parts.
Makes a cool X-Mas ornament too!
Cavorite Sphere Paper Model

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Monday, July 13, 2009

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Friday, July 10, 2009

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Monday, July 6, 2009

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Saturday, July 4, 2009

The Wild One & The 4th Of July: Based on a 'True Story'

Today is Saturday, the 4th of July, and it reminded me
of several things-
1. My mate's Father's birthday, he would've been 86 had
he not have died of intestinal perforation last year due to
being constipated for a week before seeking medical help
despite urging from his daughter and one of her brothers.
Talk about anal retentive...

2. The 1953 Marlon Brando movie 'The Wild One' about a
bikers club, 'invading' a small town in the mid-West, with
lots of tension resulting between yokels and the B.M.O.C.,
well as it turns out was based on an actual occurrence in
1947 when the newly formed 'Hells Angels', composed mostly
of ex-military guys from the Air Force, all fighter pilots and
bombardiers who served in WW II, and afterwards formed the
motorcycle club to stay in touch with their brothers-in-arms
going on cross-country treks on their choppers.
Europe did not become home to the Hells Angels until 1969,
when two London chapters were formed after the Beatles'
George Harrison invited some members of the HAMC San Fran-
cisco to London. Two people from London visited California,
"prospected", and ultimately joined. Two charters were issued
on July 30, 1969 , ten days after the historic Walk On The Moon.
The group's official website clarifies that the name was suggested
to the founders of the club by a friend of theirs, Arvid "Oley" Olsen,
(Hmmm- any relation to Jimmy?) who was a member of the Flying
Tigers. No actual members of that squadron became members of the
There's a whole lot more @
to whet your appetite for starters- Vrrooom, vrrooom...

3. Last and by all means not the least is the the time in 1975 when
on a hot Summer day me and my younger brother decided to take in
a whole day's worth of various movies at the 42nd Street 'grindhouses'
which stretched from Broadway to 8th Avenue, showing all manner of
cheezy SCi-Fi, 'Blaxploitation', Horror, 'ChopSocky', and 'Soft-Core',
Admission was only, get this: $2.00- and no questions asked as my 14
year old bro could easily get into the 'R' rated schlock movie fare with
On this particular day in July 1975, we decided to go to see 2 double-
features: the heavily advertised 'Deathrace 2000' starring the just off his
successful 3-year gig on 'Kung-Fu', David Carradine, also starring in an
early pre-Rocky appearance Sylvester Stallone as 'wacky racer' 'Machine
Gun Joe', as well as Mary Woronov and her then co-conspirator Paul Bar-
tel, among others;
A Brit import 'The Final Programme' which for American movie consumers
was re-titled here as, 'The Last Days of Man on Earth'. A truly oddball SCi-Fi
film it was based on Michael Moorcock's book, 'The Final Programme', which
is part of his 'Cornelius Chronicles' featuring his all-purpose (for our purposes here)
super-hero Jerry Cornelius, and directed by Robert Fuest who earlier directed the
'Abominable Dr. Phibes' series and several of 'The Avengers', episodes of which
this movie has more than a passing resemblance to.
Then crossing 42nd Street amidst dealers hawking 'Thai-sticks', 'loose joints',
'mescaline'- all probably fake -we went into the next double-feature and
'Flesh Gordon'- the soft-core pornostar festooned spoof of the 1936 Buster
Crabbe 15 Chapter serial by Universal, which was fairly accurate as a spoof
especially some of the characters- 'Dr. Flexi Jerkoff' which was their version
of 'Dr. Zarkoff', for one who was pitch perfect -as well as miniatures by Greg
Jein and SFX by Jim Danforth.
'The Groove Tube', forerunner of both 'Saturday Night Live' and 'The Kentucky
Fried Movie', and countless other comedy TV shows and movies.
Ken Shapiro who was the genius behind all this, writer, director, producer, and
actor (!) was joined by a very young pre-SNL Chevy Chase and Richard Belzer
in this movie which purports to show a day in the life of Channel One programming.
So in the 'Spirit of '76' here's 'Kramp's EZ-Lube Vegetable Shortening 4th of July
Heritage Loaf' as seen in 'The Groove Tube':

Bon apetit!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Living Way Out

When I was 10 went to the TWO GUYS (from Harrison) Department Store on Route 10 in East Hanover, NJ, just a hop, skip, and a jump up the road from the Sandoz Corporation's US manufacturing plant.

Now at the time I had absolutely no idea what Sandoz manufactured, as doubt most 10 year olds in '67 had any clue that their laboratories in 1938 Switzerland first synthesized LSD-25 thanks to an unforeseen fortuitous event facilitated by Albert Hoffman- not to be concused with the similarly named LSD researcher Albert Hoffer, or the ex-acidhead Youth International Party- 'the Yippies' -founder Abbie Hoffman.

No, no, all that stuff I either read about, heard about, or experienced years later in my late-teens/early-twenties.

In 1967 the only 'mind-altering' or 'consciousness-expanding' stuff I could readily access was MAD Magazine (and its imitators SiCK and CRACKED), Playboy, comic books, and the newfangled (to me anyway) Color TV.

But life just wasn't centered around these- I actually was reading real books, books that the Bookmobile would bring to the Helen Morgan School parking lot and the kids were encouraged for a modest fee- 50 cents! -to buy paperback books covering all manner or subjects and interests.

The juvenile section had the new for that time Peanuts reprints in digest book form, Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn, Nancy Drew, etc., etc., all fine books written by authors who specialized in children's fiction, although I don't believe that Samuel Clemens were writing exclusively to kids.

I wanted to buy and read the science-fictional stuff, the TV show tie-ins, the novelizations of my favorite programs of which the work-for-hire authors were no slouches either: Murray Leinster 'The Time Tunnel'- his second book with that name 'Time Tunnel' but instead of it being a sequel or Part Two of the first novel 'Time Tunnel' written in 1964, about a naturally occuring time warp that sent the book's characters to 1804 Napoleonic France, Irwin Allen had Pyramid Book commission him to write it based on his concept of 'The' 'Time Tunnel' which was a GIANT

Op Art tube that the main characters would be transported backwards and forwards in time with a lot of special effects and explosions; Star Trek by James Blish which had the cooler than cool James Bama artwork depicting Captain Kirk and Mister Spoch circa 'Where No Man Has Gone Before', and which gave you some details and backstory not seen on the screen, as did 'The Time Tunnel' and 'The Addams Family' written very wittily by another veteran Jack Sharkey;

These were all great choices and before I could plunk down my $1.50 in quarters the Bookmobile lady asked me if I could read and understand any of this stuff as thses books were not designated for a 4th Grader but insteead for a bright 8th Grader (and up) as they didn't come from the designated Children's but the Young Adult section, which was a nice way of saying teenager.

I said, 'Yeah, sure, but if there's anything I don't understand I'll look it up in a dictionary or encyclopedia."

Luckily the school's Reading Teacher chimed in and said that she gave me books in the school library that were for older grades so I shouldn't have trouble with these either, and if all else fails there is the dictionary and encyclopedia.

So I finally had 3 books, real books, albeit paperbacks, with no pictures but plenty of text.

And what stories they were!

Fast forward.

Now I'm in TWO GUYS 6 months later and while my Mother is on the checkout, I check out the POP- point of purchase display -of all their science fiction and fantasy books, and came across two that I wanted to get= the Isaac Asimov novelization of 'Fantastic Voyage' and this book:
The cover was to me very much in the Addams Family/Munsters mode and I'm certain that the late artist Ron Walotsky who painted the illustration was aware of that but hey, he probably had an artistic license.
The stories by Wyman Guin were even better and even though I don't recall the titles, some of the stories were memorable, such as the society of multiple personalities, are a girl who had magic powers ala Samantha Stevens.
Do yourself a solid treat and get this book.
Write me and let me know how you liked it.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Friday, June 26, 2009

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The World Is A Carousel Of Colours

"...wonderful FABULOUS colours..."

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Sunday, June 21, 2009


Father Knows Best

Jiggs from "Bringing Up Father"
1913 - 2000

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Friday, June 19, 2009

Abbott & Costello


Thursday, June 18, 2009

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Monday, June 15, 2009

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Friday, June 12, 2009

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Why A Duck?

Donald's full name is Donald Fauntleroy Duck. He debuted in the cartoon "The Wise Little Hen" on June 9, 1934, so... today is his birthday.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Saturday, June 6, 2009

The Future's So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades

A SUPER-Metropolis!!
Underground ROCKET Trains!!!
I don't know about you, but I can hardly wait!
(Sotto voce) Uh-oh...

Friday, June 5, 2009

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Just In Time

Charles Fort-- who was the chronicler of strange anomalies and out-of-place (and time) persons & things in the late 19th & early 20th centuries, and author of The Book of the Damned, Lo!, & Wild Talents, long before his modern successors Frank Edwards, 'Long John' Nebel, right up to our present day sleuths Art Bell and George Noory --would've been really amused.
So too would Ivan T. Sanderson, who coined the term OOPart: Out-Of-Place artifact.
In a earlier posting, "It's Electric..." it was demonstrated that the ancient Egyptians apparently had the knowledge to produce electricity as the pyramids had elaborate stonework and ornamentation which would not be possible to execute otherwise.

No fire or torches were used to light the interior of these monolithic structures-- there are no telltale black soot or scorchmarks present anywhere other than what later explorers, and plunderers, left. But the ancient Egyptians were neatniks, and why not since they used electricity 3,000 years before Edison and Tesla.
So then here's another one to ponder:
So what, big deal right?

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Captain Clean & Kid Clean-Up

This one was aired on Saturday Morning cartoon blocs and combined my love of the graphic arts medium, i.e., "Comic Books"M with pseudo-psychedelia and must've also impressed the folks of WBAI-FM NYC at the time that they incorporated the dialogue into a sound collage that they'd play as 'filler' in between dead airtime while the next show was being cued.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Friday, May 29, 2009

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Monday, May 25, 2009

Sunday, May 24, 2009

The LIFE of Riley

William BENDIX
on the air for MEAT

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Friday, May 22, 2009

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Monday, May 18, 2009

monorail, Monorail, MONORAIL!

This one's a certain classic from '93-- lyrics below if you want to sing along:

Lyle Lanley: Well, sir, there's nothing on earth Like a genuine, Bona fide, Electrified, Six-car Monorail! What'd I say?

Ned Flanders: Monorail!

Lyle Lanley: What's it called?

Patty+Selma: Monorail!

Lyle Lanley: That's right! Monorail! [crowd chants `Monorail' softly and rhythmically]

Miss Hoover: I hear those things are awfully loud...

Lyle Lanley: It glides as softly as a cloud.

Apu: Is there a chance the track could bend?

Lyle Lanley: Not on your life, my Hindu friend.

Barney: What about us brain-dead slobs?

Lyle Lanley: You'll be given cushy jobs.

Abe: Were you sent here by the devil?

Lyle Lanley: No, good sir, I'm on the level.

Wiggum: The ring came off my pudding can.

Lyle Lanley: Take my pen knife, my good man.

I swear it's Springfield's only choice... Throw up your hands and raise your voice!

All: Monorail! Lyle Lanley: What's it called? All: Monorail!

Lyle Lanley: Once again... All: Monorail!

Marge: But Main Street's still all cracked and broken...

Bart: Sorry, Mom, the mob has spoken!

All: Monorail! Monorail! Monorail! [big finish] Monorail!

Homer: Mono... D'oh!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Got Tu Go Disco

I couldn't stand 'Dees-ko' in the '70s when all you could hear between circa 1974-79
was this new marketing scheme abomination foisted on us by the record industry.
We had just emerged from the socially conscious '60s (and to a lesser extent the early activist '70s), and the 'powers that be' really didn't want a growing mass movement that would possibly affect their corporate 'bottom line'.

Just picture perhaps for a few minutes in the recesses of your mind, the alternate path society would have, should have, could have taken had Richard M. Nixon lost the '72 election to George McGovern, or if the manned Moon missions continued up to the
originally scheduled Apollo 20, with eventually a permanent moonbase with a Mars
landing between 1980-84, or anything that you could have envisioned which was
probably better instead of what we actually got- a revival of the early pre-Roosevelt
(Teddy not even Franklin Delano) 20th Century America.

Well the record industry had their share of problems too: no matter how much money they made they always cried the blues by saying that they were always seemingly 'in the red'.

These are the overpaid, overcompensated CEOs and shareholders I'm talking about, not the artistes- in fact unless they were a Beatles, Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Elton John, Alice Cooper, David Bowie, etc., they were more than likely to be ripped-off by the shrewdies and sharpies at the record labels, RIAA and ASCAP accountants and lawyers.

Alright now, let's cry mucho tears for them, the pitiful CEOs & the poor shareholders of the record companies-
Boo hoo.

Countless 'Golden Age Oldies' Rock n' Roll acts were still trying to survive in the late '60s/early '70s and wound up performing in dives, or doing odd jobs- Harold Sakata need not apply -instead of living comfortably in their middle (soon to be old) age, while the record company execs bought themselves mansions, private jets, yachts, etc., countless prostitutes- both female & male -politicians, drugs- mostly cocaine -you name it.

Every day was a white Christmas!

You just know it that these guys were fucked up when Nixon signed a bill exclusively
on their behalf, he being a good bedfellow for corporate Amerika.

Hey, come to think of it...
even the biggest performers were ripped off by either their
(mis)management or their (dis)respective labels, or worst case by both.
Not so easily though, as these artists fought back with costly law$uit$.
That is of course until 'Dees-ko'. Let's go back to the beginning-
Well first there was a collision between two particles...
(okay, well not that far back)

Around 1941 or so a new French portmanteau word was coined from the
combination of 'disc' and bibliothèque (library) = Discothèque = record library.
No Dewey Decimal System though.

Previously, most bars and nightclubs used live bands as entertainment- until that is the occupation of France by the Nazis, as the 'jazz babies' and 'swing kids' lifestyle didn't exactly conform to Hitler's 'vision', as myopic as it was.

So these platter-spinning guys called 'Discaires' (Disc jockeys) would play these records
on makeshift PA systems, and so in the face of oppression a new lifestyle was born.
(How Col. Klink & Sgt. Schultz couldn't differenciate between LOUD live jazz music,
and LOUD recorded jazz music is beyond me- guess I'm dumb that way)
Dick's Caveat: the oppressed more often than not always becomes the oppressor-
(it's human nature)
as we'll soon see...
Now it's the 'Swingin' '60s: Stateside versions of discothèques start to catch on,
and with these trendy clubs, the demand for new dance steps such as
the Frug, the Merengue, and the Mule skyrocketed.
Record labels feverishly pushed out whole albums of music like sausages to
or limbo by, or else mimicked the discotheque effect by assembling compilations of everything from the foxtrot to the boogaloo.
Dance instructors got in on the act, releasing LPs such as
'Killer Joe Piro's International Discotheque.'
In the 1966 ABC Batman TV series, the pilot (and episode #1) Hi Diddle Riddle first broadcast on January 12, 1966 (repeated on August 24, 1966 and April 5, 1967) a discothèque features prominently in the story plotine after two of The Riddler's riddles lead Batman & Robin to the new "What A Way To Go-Go" disco in Gotham City. Batman dances the Batusi with The Riddler's assistant, Molly- Jill St. John

- while Robin being a minor stays in the Batmobile.
(which was later redone- sort of -by Quentin Tarantino in Pulp Fiction with Uma Thurman and would you believe, >gulp< John Travolta!)

Again, in Batman episode #16, "He Meets His Match, The Grisly Ghoul", the school playing against Robin's school in the basketball game is named "Disko Tech".
(What, no "Sexolettes"?) the first King Tut two-parter episode #27: 'The Curse of Tut' & #28: The Pharaoh's in a Rut'- starring the hilarious Victor Buono -Batman is under Tut's control and forcibly dances the Batusi:

Stay Tuned...The Worst Is Yet To Come!

Okay so now it's the 1970's and the record industry looking for the latest marketing fad
hits upon selling the idea of 'Disco' music and its 'plastic' lifestyle- and plastic isn't just a descriptive term either as the disco outfits are undoubtedly made out of double-knit polyester.

Polyester, a plastic fabric- just perfect for Disco: commercial crap with it's snotty uptight exclusive asshole scene.
As a musician friend of mine once observed long ago, soon after the '60s and early '70s the
music industry was in a quandry: how to keep making obscene amounts of money off of the gullable public, keep the cash flowing -when people were developing a social consciousness and becoming wiser by the day, greed and conspicious consumption were less and less in vogue, so logically if this trend were to continue the abomination that was to be the 1980's would be vastly different in scope than the one that the societal planners had in mind.
Something had to be done.
Something was done.

After the Beatles demise as a functional group- a year or so after Richard Milhouse Nixon became President -various Rock 'clown acts' such as "Alice Cooper", "Gary Glitter", "Slade", etc., as 'Glam rock' (also known as 'glitter rock') was introduced- a sub-genre of rock music that developed in the UK in the post-hippie early 1970s that was "performed by singers and musicians wearing outrageous clothes, makeup, hairstyles, and platform-soled boots.'

The flamboyant lyrics, costumes, and visual styles of glam performers were a campy, theatrical blend of nostalgic references to science fiction and old movies, all over a guitar-driven hard rock sound.

Frivolousness was definitely cultivated to be 'IN'.

Mea culpa-- admittedly at that time I fell for it too.

Another of the trial balloons to be floated was '50s 'nostalgia- 'Sha Na Na' 'The Lords of Flatbush', 'Where were you in '62?', 'Grease' on Broadway, 'Happy Days' on TV. 'Remember when you greased your hair- and Nixon greased his too?'

So let's run it up the flagpole J.R. and see who salutes it, eh?

The emphasis on 'SCi-Fi' and 'Futurism' ala early 'David Bowie'- admitedly I liked his earlier incarnations immensely, as a cautionary -or Horror and S(c)h(l)ock via Alice Cooper, and then with retro '50s & early '60s, the direction the music business was steering the public in was clear- any era was OK as long as it wasn't about 'the present'.
What about relevancy? Relevancy schmelevancy.

So now that it was well demonstrated that the public could be steered- like cattle -towards frivolity and nostalgia.

Nostalgia for a decade largely silent- shhhhhhhhhhh -about societal conditions.

So the stage was set for the next big experiment...

The first Disco songs were released in 1973, though some claim Manu Dibango's 1972
Soul Makossa to be the first Disco record.
The first article about Disco was written in September 1973

In 1974 New York City's WPIX-FM premiered the first disco radio show.

And with all this came the inevitable 'Disco lifestyle'- popularised by a 1975 New York magazine article, 'Tribal Rites of the New Saturday Night', by Brit writer Nik Cohn.
A work that purported to be 'a day in the life of an Italo-American
'woiking-class slob', and his friends in the Brooklyn, NY Disco scene'.
A fiction- a fraud.

Originally, the article was published as a piece of factual reporting. However, around the time of the twentieth anniversary of the article, Cohn revealed that the article was actually fabricated, a work of fiction. Assigned to write an article about the early 1970s 'Disco' scene in the United States, Cohn a newcomer to the US was totally unfamiliar with the American working-class subculture he was trying to cover.To overcome this problem, Mr. Cohn based his piece on a young man he knew in England. "My story was a fraud," he wrote. "I'd only recently arrived in New York. Far from being steeped in Brooklyn street life, I hardly knew the place. As for Vincent, my story's hero, he was largely inspired by a 'Shepherd's Bush' mod whom I'd known in the '60s, a one-time king of Goldhawk Road.'

The fraud was hugely successful because both '60s UK 'Mod' and '70s US 'Disco' subcultures were primarily working class and shared certain similarities emphasising fashion and music.
The article in fact was so successful that it was used as an effective indoctrination tool
in the form of a 1977 movie- no not Star Wars -Saturday Night Fever.

A HUGE commercial success, the movie significantly helped to popularize disco music around the world, and made the actor- John Travolta -who portrayed the lumpenprole hero renamed 'Tony Manero', a household name.

The Saturday Night Fever soundtrack, featuring those 'wanna-Beatles'- the Aussie Bee Gees -is among the best selling soundtracks of all time, and why would it not be?
It was all engineered that way.

The words 'Saturday Night' were used over and over by the various PoP culture purveyors,
reinforcing it in the public consciousness looong before the existence of the movie:

'Saturday Night's Alright (For Fighting)'- Elton John released July 16, 1973
'Saturday Night'- the Bay City Rollers recorded an early version of their later to be hit song in the UK in 1973, but did not hit the charts.

On the first version Gordon 'Nobby' Clark was the lead singer of the band.

Better luck next time.

The Rocky Horror Show made its debut in 1973 as a West End theatrical musical combining SCi-Fi, Horror Movies- both particularly influenced by Ed Wood-and '50s style Rock n' Roll'.
Wait- Rocky Horror?

One number in particular in Act 1, 'Hot Patootie-- Bless My Soul' sung by the lobotomized
character 'Eddie' begins with the line, 'Whatever happened to Saturday night...'
So what, big deal right?

Ok then, when Rocky Horror was brought to the US a year later- 1974 -and played very successfully at the Roxy and the Original Roxy Cast Soundtrack was released,
'Hot Patootie-- Bless My Soul' was inexplicably retitled,
'Whatever Happened To Saturday Night?'
Say what?

The line 'whatever happened to Saturday night?' is only uttered once at the
beginning of the song, and the words 'Saturday' and 'night' are never again used in the song;
'Hot patootie, bless my soul, I really love that rock n' roll', however is repeated over and over and over again as the chorus/refrain.
So why the name change?

It was a case of being premature, letting the cat out of the bag, jumping the gun...

So it's even more interesting that when the filmed version, now known as The Rocky Horror Picture Show was released in 1975, the song's title was reinstated back to 'Hot Patootie...' again.

Guess Lou Adler- a prominent mover & shaker in the record industry, let's see- he was former manager of Jan & Dean, and was the producer of Sam Cooke, The Mamas and the Papas, Johnny Rivers, Barry McGuire, Scott McKenzie, Spirit, Carole King, etc. -didn't want to show the record industry's hand yet prematurely.
(to make a clumsy poker analogy)

In June 1967 Adler helped to produce the Monterey International Pop Festival, as well as the film version, Monterey Pop.

In 1974, he helped to produce the American stage version of The Rocky Horror Show as well as the film version, The Rocky Horror Picture Show -anyway, he owned the US rights to Rocky Horror, as well as The Roxy.

So if there was anyone on this planet who knew musical trends and the way which things were going in the music biz, Lou was THE MAN.

Let me clarify one thing here for just one minute-- I have always enjoyed Lou Adler's taste and choice in representing or producing talent, and have nothing whatsoever bad to say about him, so if you think this is some sort of 'anti-Lou Adler diatribe', well frankly you're wrong.
Meanwhile...what about the Bee Gees?
They haven't had a successful record since 1971.
'How Can You Mend A Broken Heart?'

On May 31, 1975- an amazing 34 years ago -the Bee Gees released 'Jive Talkin',
their 1st hit record in 4 years, and a new direction for them for sure.

Instead of trying to sound Beatlesque, as they did since the beginning of their career,
they went for an pseudo-urban, quasi-Ebonic sound- in fact the song's original title,
'Drive Talkin', which was geared towards a 'teen market', the sound of the car's tires were making a 'Chicka, Chicka, Chicka,' sound, which was used vocally before the group sings the title of the song, which was then changed at the suggestion of the record producer to the phrase 'jive talkin', slang for 'telling lies', which was a popular colloquialism at the time.

Barry Gibb wrote the song and then had to fix the lyrics upon completion because he had assumed 'jive talkin' referred to 'speaking in jive', a then-popular term for
African-American Vernacular English.
All actual 'talking jive' references were fixed so they meant 'lying'.

In September 1975, 'Saturday Night Live with Howard Cosell' along the lines of the old Ed Sullivan Show debuted on ABC-TV, as did NBC's Saturday Night, which after the Cosell show was cancelled assumed the name its been known by ever since-- Saturday Night Live.

Meanwhile, The Gay Shitty Rollers er, ah, Bay City Rollers, touted by none other than that music expert Howard Cosell as 'the next British phenomenon' re-recording was issued as a US single in late 1975- dovetailing not so coincidentally with their appearance on, you guessed it- 'Saturday Night' on 'Saturday Night' -and became a smash hit in early 1976, becoming the first Billboard #1 hit of the US Bicentennial year:
{Intro} S-a-t-u-r-d-a-y night S-a-t-u-r-d-a-y night S-a-t-u-r-d-a-y night S-a-t-u-r-d-a-y night  Gonna keep on dancing to the rock and roll On Saturday night, Saturday night Dancing to the rhythm in our heart and soul On Saturday night, Saturday night I-I-I-I just can't wait I-I-I-I got a date  {Refrain} At the good old rock and roll road show, I gotta go Saturday night, Saturday night Gonna rock it up, roll it up, do it all, have a ball Saturday night, Saturday night S-S-S-Saturday night S-S-S-Saturday night S-S-S-Saturday night  {Intro}  Gonna dance with my baby till the night is through On Saturday night, Saturday night Tell her all the little things I'm gonna do On Saturday night, Saturday night I-I-I-I love her so I-I-I, I'm gonna let her know  {Refrain, Intro}
Colgems - EMI
So is it any wonder or surprise that the movie version of the fictional New Yorker story was slated to be anything less than a massive commercial success, especially after all the subliminal advertising leading up to its release, and cross-media marketing, i.e.,
with the tie-in soundtrack's single being used to further help promote the film well before it's release and the film popularising the entire soundtrack after its release, the constant 'Disco-thump-thump-thump-propaganda' that would make Goebbels positively drool.

The character 'Tony Manero' and his friends as earlier stated were based on the early '60s Mods, a pre-Beatles English youth movement- as opposed to a bowel movement -that also placed GREAT IMPORTANCE on music, clothes, and dancing,
and the artificial subculture of the Disco era:
the symphony-orchestrated melodies, the haute-couture styles of clothing, the sexual promiscuity, the graceful choreography, etc., etc., blah, blah, blah...
All based on bullshit.

Ironically enough, the 'Jive Talkin' song was included on the Saturday Night Fever Soundtrack, and it never ceases to amaze me.

A 'Dees-ko' movie based on a bold-faced lie, a falsehood, is made and an old proto-Discoid song 'Jive Talkin'- about lying lies and the lying liars who lie them
-is included on the soundtrack.
The delicious irony.
You just can't make this stuff up!
Get down and boogie!
The artificial construct of Disco was also an added boon to those baboons who ran the record companies- the upstart Rock n' Roll headliner performers, now many of them millionaire$ despite efforts to rip them off kept making more and more demands in their contracts regarding compensation, perks, food, whatever- these guys knew that the record industry leeches were always ripping-off their talent, so when it came time to negotiate they really socked it to 'em making demands contractually on these parasites, or else no ca$h cow to milk as their services would be offered elsewhere.


Not so with Disco- these dance-floor masterpieces were usually performed by nameless, faceless, session musicians, much like the earlier Buddah Records 'bubblegum music' experiment in the late '60s, and through the wizardry of studio technology were made to sound like the equivalent of a 64 piece 'disco orchestra'.

What had the Beatles and their engineers inadvertentely wrought?

So if anyone was disatisfied with their situation or terms in their contract well it was either the record company exec's way- or the highway.
'Get yer kicks on Route 66...'
(BTW, anyone have a link to that buzz???)

Dispensible, easily replaced- like the soon to be labor force of the United States
(Uh, oh, getting ahead of the story- wait until the 1990's with the NAFTA & GATT treaties)
Don't think it can or has happened?

Well guess again- I'm certain you've heard of Howard The Duck, Captain America,
and the Man of Steel, Superman- who hasn't.

Jerry Siegal & Joe Shuster were Cleveland teens who created the first 'superhero' archetype, but after they wanted a percentage of the profits of their creation they were unceremoniously fired by National Periodicals (DC).

Joe Simon & Jack Kirby likewise created
Captain America- 'Living Legend of World War II',
and when they asked Timely (Marvel) their due they too were disposable.

Musn't affect corporate profits by paying the goose that lays the golden eggs.

In the 1970's Steve Gerber created his socio-satirical gem 'Howard The Duck'
which was mainstream comics attempt to co-opt underground 'comix' that existed since the late '60s being sold in every 'head shop' and on most college campuses.

Marvel tried once before with 'The Comix Book' but it wasn't until 'Howard' 'til all the ingredients for a good recipe were combined:
superficially a talking funny-animal 'trapped in a world he never made' that made observations about society and to whom nothing was sacred since he was an outsider from the get-go, and also interacting with other real-life as well as previously established characters in the Marvel Universe, both superheroes & supervillians, plus liberal dosages of vintage MAD magazine type satire.

It was a BIG hit and outsold all the 'superheroes' of both companies, Marvel & DC, of that time period- to the puzzlement and dismay of the four-color nerd-boys.

Howard had no superpowers or abilities far beyond those of normal men- or ducks.
Howard in reality wasn't a duck either- since he was a male he should be called
'Howard the Drake'.

But the 'Howard' stuff will have to wait for a future posting.

The point I'm trying to make is that Marvel tried to give Steve Gerber the ol' 'heave-ho' when he wanted to be financially recompensed and also have control over his creation, rather than be treated as a 'per diem' contingency writer, dispensible and disposable upon the employer's whim.

Steve fought back though, and his fight helped the elderly Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegal secure a long-due but woefully inadequate $50,000.00 a year stipend and formal creators credits shortly before their inevitable deaths from old age.

Steve's battle scared most of the major comic book and magazine publishers who always found sneaky ways to pay poorly- in some cases not at all -for writers and artists.

Jim Warren, publisher of CREEPY, EERIE, and VAMPIRELLA, was heard to comment after Gerber filed his suit against Marvel Comics:

'That'll be the day when a bunch of artists and writers are gonna tell me my business!'

Well the same mindset prevails, even more so, in the music biz.

Instead of PoP & Rock Stars that had to be nurtured, developed, and cultivated for stardom, with real or imagined bios and personnas, photo-ops, media soundbites, TV & Movies, tabloids, handlers, entourages, 'the hype machine', and all the rest with all that it entailed:
demands of payment, possible scandal, anti-war, political activism, anti-corporate stance,
etc, etc., and their followers and devotees with a similar mindset.

It was waaay easier to anonymously 'get up and boogie'- stand for nothing -and mindlessly dance, dance, dance, because while you're dancin' you've got no time or energy to effect any change.

Status quo remains the same, and the cash registers keep a ringing a 'purty' tune.

Population pacification accomplished.

So between the corporatization and co-opting of basically a fun concept- don't get me wrong, I'm certain that the original concept of discotechques were FUN, as witness the '60s -before it turning it into a empty kulture devoid of any ideas or conscience, other than the 'disco-lifestyle' of stimulant drugs and clubs, ever pervasive and oppressive as most of the 'progressive rock' FM stations succumbed, and TV too had the non-stop 'Dees-ko' beat ad nauseaum.
Yeah, I've read & heard the charges that the 'Disco Sucks' movement was basically motivated by a bunch of 'racist homophobes', and granted all types do indeed at times have ulterior motives and hidden agendas.
That being said though, the plain fact is that good old Rock n' Roll, and later Rock music, was and is all-inclusive.
There is no orthodoxy or litmus test, or loyalty oath, or some artificial barrier barring you whatever your race, color, or creed, or sexual orientation, from enjoying or participating in Rock, either as a consumer or creator.
Rock was always about different strokes for different folks.
So the 'racism' and 'homophobia' statements are kind of like the pot calling the kettle (ahem) black.
'Disco Sucks' was the long overdue backlash against nearly half a decade of snotty, uptight, elitist assholes monopolizing the pop-kulture and media with only their music, their culture, their p.o.v.-
at the exclusion of everyone else's.

Discothèques as earlier stated were around in Europe since WW II, and arrived here Stateside in the '60s, and there was no problem- you either liked to go dancing with all the lights and sound or didn't and would rather groove to your own private lightshow, but in either case participation or non-participation didn't make you any less hip, happening, or 'with it'.

Different strokes and all that.

So after about 1/2 a decade of this the public was just about fed up.
It seemed that any retard could just slap the 'disco' label unto anything and everything and as long as it was mindless it would sell: dubious DJ Rick Dees unashamedly and superficially ripped off the entire concept of Howard the Duck- the most happening PoP culture event in 1976 -without the permission of Steve Gerber (or Marvel), or even an acknowledgement for his 'Disco Duck' early on in the 'Dees-ko' craze:

Chicago even had a 'Disco Demolition Night'-

but why even bother since MAD did it all for YOU anyway?

They should've saved their energy...

So what are you waiting for? Get up and boogie!