Sunday, May 28, 2006

Mills Watson, Character Actor of Distinction

I don't think I saw even one episode of the Misadventures of Sheriff Lobo. I know one of my brothers friends watched it, but then again he fell off a deck onto his head as a small child. Odd that the idea of dumb law enforcement didn't appeal to me, yet I was completelyl enthralled by Dukes of Hazzard. The best part of Sheriff Lobo must have been the guy pictures on the left, Mills Watson. I remember seeing him all the time in movies and tv in the 70s. He usually played a bad guy, and sometimes the character wasn't that bright.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

The Hall of Teen Records

Damn, due to some internet problems, I haven't been able to post this week. So I give you Teen Records of the 70s. In 1976 the Sylvers hit the charts with "Boogie Fever." Cute little Foster had a sweet voice. However I remember being highly disturbed by the Sylver's outfits, especially the girls. I wasn't sure why they had crinkly silver gift wrap for shirts. It doesn't look comfortable and the girl in front has hers tied in a knot, which I thought would probably let go due to the slick silver texture.

But by far the most distressing bit of the cover is that the hairstyle on the girl standing on the right makes it appear that she has been scalped. I stared at the top of her head every time I played the record. I'm still emotionally scarred by it.
Rosetta Stone were in the teen mags because Ian Mitchell (in the center) was briefly in the Bay City Rollers. Hmmm five Scottish lads playing rocknroll aimed at teens? Why does that sound familiar? I bought this album at Zayres and remember being surprised to find it because I doubt it sold to anyone in the US other than BCR fans that remembered Ian. Anyone who liked BCR would probably like Rosetta Stone.

The Bugaloos were so cool. They got to drive around in this weird car, talk to flowers, fly, and they had their own band! I didn't like evil Benita Bizarre, but I thought Funky Rat was fascinating - except his eyes which were kind of creepy.
"When it's time to change, then it's time to change." That Greg Brady was a genius. I also liked young Greg's ballad that began with the Shakespearean couplet, 'Clowns never laughed before, beanstalks never grew, ponies never ran before, til there was you." Sheer poetry. I was so disappointed when "Time to Change" was a straight version of the song without Peter's cracking puberty vocals.

Gotta love Shaun Cassidy. Well I suppose you don't, but he was cute, had nice teeth, solved mysteries every week, and even got to perform his music while playing the younger Hardy. I had a huge crush on Shaun, and put his pin ups on my wall. If you look closely, there seem to be traces of a unibrow, which is not a good selling point for a teen idol.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Disco Dancing, Motorcycle Riding, Lady Charming Ponch..and some blond guy

Hey remember when we used to watch CHiPs every Thursday night? And how we used to fight over who was cooler, Ponch or Jon? And how Ponch was always disco dancing while Jon stood over in the corner shaking his head at his good buddys disco antics?
Or how when the guys reported to Sergeant Getraer we could never understand what his last name was so we called him Contrare, Cotrare, Getrare or Savoir Faire? And how Grossie was always the butt of the guys lame jokes? And we thought the nickname was because he was a slob but it was really because his last name was Grossman? And how Ponch would try to pick up girls while they were out on a call, while Jon stood over by their bikes shaking his head at his good buddys overtly flirty antics?

And do you remember when the show started, that Ponch was the outgoing handsome Lothario and Jon was the quiet sweet boy next door type of guy? But after a few seasons, Ponch was the arrogant primadonna and Jon was the bitter jealous one?

And when Ponch would do his disco rollerskating, Jon would stand at the edge of the rink shaking his head at his buddys girl-impressing, disco skating antics? But we could tell by the look in his eyes that what he was really thinking was, "Why does Ponch always get the girl? Why does everyone want to hang out with Ponch? Why don't the women every pay attention to me? Damn you, Ponch. Damn you all to hell!!! I hope you fall right on your ass, you no good son of a bitch!"

Good times......

There Are Manly Men in the Big Valley

My parents didn't let me watch lots of tv, which was one of the reasons I enjoyed playing at my best friends house. His family had the tv on 24 hours a day. There was even a huge tv in the basement, which didn't make much sense since the family would watch a smaller set upstairs. We used to watch reruns of Star Trek, Gilligans Island, Wild Wild West, or Batman. I'm not sure whether Big Valley was in syndication at that time, or if James West and Master of Disguise Artemus Gordon were so cool and action oreinted that they totally kicked the Big Valley's ass.

Big Valley was the story of the Barkley family. The rich, ranch owning, pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps-and-act-like-a-man, tough old matriach dominated Barkley family. Daughter Audra seemed a bit vacant. Illegitimate son Heath was played by a young pre-Six Million Dollar Man Lee Majors. Oldest brother Jarrod was a level headed lawyer. Youngest son, Eugene, was mostly away at college and didn't seem to be involved in the storyline even when he was home.
And then there was Nick, the hot headed Barkley. There alwaysa hothead if there is a levelheaded guy. After viewing Big Valley episodes as an adult, I believe that Nick's screaming, fighting, and hotheaded impulsive challenges were the result of his being the manliest of men in a land of big, burly, stinky, drinking, manly men.

Either that or he was legally insane, which you could make a really good case for judging from the scene where ol' hotheaded Nick went ballistic and beat up a middleaged, hamfisted, immigrant gypsy squatter.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Phone Booth Stuffing with the Mod Squad

I don't think I ever saw the Mod Squad as a kid, but for some reason I knew Linc, Julie, and Pete. Perhaps my best friends family watched it, since their tv was on 24 hours a day. Now that I've seen their squad of mod, I'm wondering how I could have ever lived without these groovy cats. Pete is even wearing a cravat, for gods sake! Nothing says success with the ladies like a colored scarf worn jauntily around the neck. They're going to need more people than that to win the phone booth stuffing contest.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Roy DeSoto and John Gage are...The Firemen

In the 70s, Emergency was one of my favorite shows. My brother and I watched it every week. If I had known there was a board game, I would have wanted it. The cool thing about this game it was made in Canda and has French translations. I don't know why that fascinates me, but what could be better than a tv show board game from a different country?

Every aspect of this game promotes the belief that bright colors will attract a young childs eye, thus keeping him semi-hypnotized. Either that or they went with a red-orange-yellow motif because it would remind children of fire, which would encourage them to bug their parents to buy more product based on Emergency.

The board is... well, I just have to be honest here. The board is ugly. When I first saw it I was very disappointed as this is where they could go crazy with photos from the tv show. Instead we get a pretty lame layout with a few pictures and some badly drawn scenery. The translations almost make up for it though. Did you know G.Q. Rouge was French for Red H.Q? If a fireman showed up wearing rouge, he'd be soundly walloped upside the head, stuffed into a locker, and forced to clean the firepole with his tongue. So stay away from the headquarters with the rouge.

Between the spinner and the cards, this game is a wealth of excitement. You never know what you're going to get with the cards of ...Emergency. Will it be a woman locked in a bank vault with only one hour of oxygen? Or a large explosion at the mannequin factory located in the seedy part of town? Who knows? But there's adventure in every card.

The trucks are bright plastic joy. Watch them move along the boring board in their primary colors like an bad LSD trip. You just know yellow is the most unpopular truck and it's the slow kid in the group who will get stuck with it. There's always one kid that never remembers to call a color. He's the same kid that gets stuck being the thimble in Monopoly.

I have to ask what sort of kids board game includes a picture of a guys bloody head of a guy after he's crushed in a car accident? Somehow it seems more disturbing to see it here then on the show. Why not pick a photo that's a little less bloody? What about a kid who fell off a minibike while he was trying to jump over a pit of fire? Now that's something I'd want to see.

Thanks go out to my super cool sister-in-law for getting this game for me.