Discussion in 'TV & Media' started by The Old Mixer, Jan 11, 2016.
I'll just watch the whole movie. "Springtime for Hitler" is just over the top craziness.
When I was a kid, I would find a car chase like this exciting. Now all I can think about is how much it would cost to fix the suspension and replace the tires.
Aside from Steve McQueen, I think it was mostly that it was unlike what had come before, and the novelty was mistaken for actual quality.
Twenty if you count laps.
I think my Hit Points are in negative numbers these days.
But it sounds like the 50s!
Speaking of Ozzie's Girls, I checked to see if it's on DVD, and it's not-- but there are several episodes on YouTube. The picture quality is awful, but the Hippie chicks are as cute as I remember. Hold my calls!
He was pretty good, but I have to make fun of him because my Mother has the hots for him. I especially like to mock him in Wanted Dead Or Alive because the character is such a simpleton.
50 Years Ago This Week
Selections from Billboard's Hot 100 for the week:
Leaving the chart:
"Promises, Promises," Dionne Warwick (9 weeks)
"Those Were the Days," Mary Hopkin (14 weeks)
"Till," The Vogues (6 weeks)
New on the chart:
"Baby, Baby Don't Cry," Smokey Robinson & The Miracles
(#8 US; #3 R&B)
"You Showed Me," The Turtles
"Build Me Up Buttercup," The Foundations
(#3 US; #2 UK)
And new on the boob tube:
The Ed Sullivan Show, Season 21, episode 11, featuring Lainie Kazan and the Jovers
The Avengers, "Killer"
Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In, Season 2, episode 13
The Mod Squad, "The Guru"
That Girl, "The Homewrecker and the Window Washer"
Ironside, "In Search of an Artist"
Star Trek, "Whom Gods Destroy"
Adam-12, "Log 81: The Long Walk"
Get Smart, "Hurray for Hollywood"
Hogan's Heroes, "The Missing Klink"
To the film's credit, it's after the chase sequence that Bullitt has to bum a ride to a crime scene off his girlfriend, presumably because his car was in the shop after all of that.
That has a ring of truth to it.
That would explain your interest in zombies....
Why, because he wasn't hanging out at the opera house like Paladin?
That costume makes a strong argument for indulging in salty snacks.
So have there been any indications in the Me newsletter of New Year's lineup changes? I don't see anything on their site, but Cozi is starting to advertise some. One thing they're bringing back after a couple of years is Dragnet 1967. I was eager for the opportunity to include that in my viewing lineup in 2017 when the show was hitting its 50th anniversary. Now, starting at the beginning at a rate of two episodes per week, I'm wondering if it would be worth the bother for all the time it would take it to catch up with 50th anniversary business. Its immersive retro sign-o-the-timesiness is somewhat diminished when we're up to covering '69.
Sounds like Smokey, but not really a memorable song.
Same. Sounds like The Turtles, but not as memorable as some of their others.
A fun sing-along song (except for those listening to me sing along).
Yeah, that never happened on Starsky & Hutch. Almost never.
I do shamble a lot.
More or less. He was The Man With No Vocabulary. I always wished that there could have been a movie, or at least an episode, where Josh and Paladin teamed up, because they are such polar opposites. I wished the same thing about Columbo and Monk.
Just the usual quizzes and fun facts lately, but I usually get something on Saturday, so maybe there will be an update today.
50th Anniversary Cinematic Special
Starring Peter Tork, David Jones, Micky Dolenz, Michael Nesmith, and Victor Mature
Directed by Bob Rafelson
Premiered November 6, 1968; General release: November 20, 1968
I'd seen part of this once on TV back in the '80s, but given all the '60s culture picked up in the years since, was willing to give it another try. I knew what I was in for with that interminable intro of a mayor adjusting his mike at a bridge-opening ceremony before the Monkees burst on the scene and start the psychedelic underwater sequence for "Porpoise Song" (3:13). I won't bother attempting a beat-by-beat description of the film...even the Wiki article gives up after a point and generalizes. The film is a largely incoherent series of mostly unconnected, surreal vignettes punctuated by music sequences, including some attempts at anti-war and anti-commercial commentary. It doesn't even have as much of a central plot as Magical Mystery Tour, and that's saying something!
The "Ditty Diego - War Chant" intro song (8:30) parodies the TV theme while describing the approach of the film.
The Mike song "Circle Sky" (13:41), sung in a brief concert sequence, isn't that distinctive or pleasant to my ear.
"Can You Dig It" (22:48) is a passably catchy pop song featured in a sequence of belly dancers doing their thing.
Ringo gets a name-drop in the diner scene. A bit later they break the fourth wall, showing the Monkees on set between takes, which is where Nicholson appears on camera.
"As We Go Along" (37:36) is a not-bad mellow, Micky-sung song with a long instrumental intro.
"Daddy's Song" (46:11), an old-time sounding number written by Harry Nilsson and sung by Davy, reminds me a bit of "D.W. Washburn". It's no "Honey Pie," but the film sequence includes Tony Basil dancing with Davy.
At one point the boys get hassled by a cop (Logan Ramsey from "Bread and Circuses") when they're just trying to escape from a box or something, man....
"Long Title: Do I Have to Do This All Over Again?" (1:00:43), which sounds like it's being sung by its writer, Peter, is decent but unremarkable, and featured in a psychedelic-flavored birthday sequence with go-go dancing.
In one scene of a girl in a bikini threatening to jump from a roof outside a studio building, a female onlooker is wearing what appears to be one of Barbara Eden's Jeannie costumes.
The Wiki article is definitely onto something in that there is recurring symbolism of the Monkees seeking freedom and finding themselves trapped in boxes, but even that doesn't seem to be portrayed consistently throughout the film, but rather features more strongly in the later parts.
According to the Wiki article, the opinions of the Monkees themselves have differed as to whether this piece of career suicide, which alienated their old fans and failed to attract new ones, was seen as an inevitability at the time or foisted upon them, but there it is. Having come this far, I'm planning to see this through to the bitter end and cover the TV special 33⅓ Revolutions per Monkee in the Spring.
Now this, OTOH, is a stone-cold oldies radio classic and has a nice, ethereal quality to it. Me likey. It will also be the Turtles' last Top 40 hit, alas.
A good, classic bit of pop fluff.
I've gone ahead and set Dragnet to record, with the intent of including it as Spring/Summer hiatus catch-up viewing. I'll figure out how to sequence it with Season 4 of The Wild Wild West later. A hodgepodge of catch-up viewing has become a Summer tradition for me!
The overwhelming criticism was dead centered on the war not on unrest in the streets (which to any rational mind, knew LBJ could not do anything about--effectively--to address beyond what he already put forward with legislation), since the critics--that anti-war culture--was obsessed with that to the exclusion of anything else. Its no wonder that Nixon--who campaigned on a promise to end the war--was invited to make that September 16, 1968 cameo on Laugh-In, as he--despite being one of the most hardline of Cold War Republicans (the polar opposite of the Hollywood Left) was seen in any favorable light because of that one and only thing the Hollywood left was most concerned with. Further, Laugh-In producer George Schlatter has said he thought the L-I appearance won the presidency for Nixon (suggesting the show's support also won over voters from other parties who may not have supported the Republican.
Whether that was true or not cannot be verified, but one cannot underestimate the fact Nixon's "end the war" promise was the reason he was invited to the show when under any other circumstances, Nixon was seen as everything from being a loser to a toxic figure in 1960s politics.
Long before Millennials deceived themselves, Baby Boomers had conned themselves about their own importance to every corner of life, and when it came to LBJ, there's no doubt their assessment of him centers on Vietnam, their response to it, and how LBJ was the worst thing since the Black Plague. I've seen and heard enough of that generation to know they push LBJ's historic domestic achievements aside all to harp on the war. Of course, for such a peace-loving faction of a generation, the conveniently forget how they treated returning vets, like my recently retired local postal driver, who once told me that he was soiled by dog feces hurled at him at the hands of "peaceful" anti-war individuals when he returned home in 1971.
More than establishing it, Bullitt brought a level of adult realism to so many aspects of a police drama and the politics that was manipulating the streets of that time. In Vaughn's Chalmers, we not only see the prototype "young-ish" politician playing both police department, his own office and the media for his own ends (and not caring about the danger of making San Francisco a magnet for organized criminals hunting his fake witness), but we see how he still dangled career advancement to Bullitt--even after the murders of the Remicks--which he was partially responsible for, not to mention his apparently racist demand that African American Dr, Willard be replaced for being "too--(any number of lies)" despite the nurse identifying him as one of the top physicians. That layered character building made Chalmers as vital a character to the story as Bullitt, and the perfect, phony contrast to a man who as real with everyone as one can imagine, and reflective of the era's increasing distrust of politicians, the latter being a model for that kind of commentary in nearly every police TV series and movie since, right up to current productions.
This was no law enforcement officer--or politicians cut from the Jack Webb mold to be found here. In other words, you could not find a greater opposite to all things Bullitt than Dragnet or then-recently premiered Adam-12.
Eh?? Bissett's character (Cathy) was there to represent the normal, human side of the world and Bullitt's life, specifically the man, not the badge, but most importantly, her questioning his apparent acceptance of / lack of revulsion at the horror of death or murder (notably Dorothy Renick in a stark, realistic crime scene moment), which comes back--as a bold end to film--to stop Bullitt cold in the wake of his necessary killing of Johnny Ross, as he sees Cathy sleeping, then he almost shamefully accepts her assessment as he looks in the mirror.
That was a unique, powerful characterization of one in law enforcement on film. Until this film, it was rare for any TV or movie cop to seriously doubt himself and whether of nor not he had been too consumed by the blood and brutality of the job, and what kind of human he would be. This was touched on in episodes of Naked City (ABC, 1958-1963) and the original N.Y.P.D. (ABC, 1967-1969), but that's the point--it was touched on, not used as a larger commentary on the soul or identity of the main character, and certainly not ending on a note of clear uncertainty. As mentioned above, that was bold end to a film. No triumphant no idiotic puns or parting smart-ass-ery (like too many cop, action and superhero films of the 80s - to the present).
For me, the oft-referred to car chase was merely an accent about the forces surrounding Bullitt--from Chalmers trying to undermine and politically break him, to the killers' actions essentially leading to the same fate for him. Its no more the most important element of the film than Popeye's car pursuit was in The French Connection (which, by the way, featured stunt driving/co-ordination by the late, great Bill Hickman).
What made the film was its naturalistic, bleak depiction of police and politics with McQueen perfectly bringing the "caught in the middle fighter" to life. While movies already had lone or unconventional cop/detective films, such as Harper with Paul Newman (Warner Brothers, 1966), Bullitt was one of film's major genre breakthroughs with an almost incalculable effect on TV and movie law enforcement productions. Put it this way, the detective/cop genre had been around since the dawn of film, with some classic films peppered among the lot, but then there was everything after Bullitt, which was a different animal ushering in the desire for realism, instead of the spit-and-polish still sold on TV and some of the movies predating it.
Even though McQueen would end the decade with the Oscar-nominated The Reviers (Solar / National General Pictures, 1969), Bullitt could be seen as the true cap of an indisputably historic decade of landmark films for the actor.
Ah. Often considered the nadir of The Monkees as an entertainment force, but I've always felt that was a knee-jerk overreaction.
I disagree. Magical Mystery Tour had no plot at all (as everyone except Paul freely admitted anytime the question was put to them), but at least Head was clearly about breaking the conventions of the group's origins and the greater artificiality of Hollywood as a business. Anyone not getting that in 1968 must have been watching another movie, being needlessly churlish, or were, shall we say, "on something" and were too far in another zone to get it.
One of their better songs, and it was great to see the group actually in concert again (from a May, 1968 performance in Salt Lake City)--beyond the tour episode of the TV series.
The sessions which produced the Head tracks marked yet another natural transition for the group, with songs that not only reflected their individual musical influences, but took on the less pop-oriented sounds typical of music at the end of that decade. It was this transition that--in my view--made the group's overall discography stronger / evidence of growth as the decades passed, instead of their output only sounding like the early Boyce/Hart material.
In the 1997 30th anniversary TV special, Hey. Hey, We're The Monkees, (yes, it was released a few months past the actual 1996 30th anniversary date, but was produced to acknowledge it) Davy was of the opinion that a film like Ghostbusters was the kind of movie the group needed to make, but I thought he was incorrect, as a Ghostbusters-type of film would have been a more expensive version of the "Monkees vs. Monsters" episodes already well known to the public, and would have only served to keep the group locked into that TV image. Then again, it always seemed Davy wanted the "good 'ol days" of early Kirshner-era Monkee success to continue, but he should have realized that one, they had much success after Kirshner, were a markedly superior group as time moved forward, and two, its doubtful the public would have spent a couple of generations (by the time of the documentary) wanting to see the return of the group (and rediscover their catalog) if it had been one long Kirshner / Davy-gets-the-girl production from start to finish.
Head is certainly not flawless, but the combined talents of the group made for a better experimental production (and window into a group changing beyond that which initially made them famous) than The Beatles' ill-fated Magical Mystery Tour or equally ill-fated Rolling Stones' Rock 'n' Roll Circus.
50th Anniversary Viewing
Originally aired December 22, 1968
According to the tape, they only had two days to come up with and enact this plan...that definitely stretches suspension of disbelief a bit far. I was always under the impression that they were taking a little offscreen time to set up these elaborate schemes. This episode blows that idea out of the water.
Portfolio? I smell a guest agent! Two guest agents! We also see Jim sketching the design of the Fake Cryo-Chamber. Our first guest agent, Dr. Bowman (John Zaremba), is a doctor at the prison, conveniently enough. The other isn't at the briefing because he's a prisoner named Davis (Vince Howard) whose sentence has been reduced! I get the distinct impression that they're recruiting such mission-specific operatives as agents of opportunity, rather than using regular rotating members. And getting contacts like these two lined up is all the more reason why these things should be taking a little more than 48 hours from conception to completion!
Raymond Barret (Rhodes) is getting an exam when Cryo-Quack Jim comes in to have a discussion with Bowman about a prisoner who'd agreed to be frozen but has backed out. Bowman subsequently tells Barret that he has a terminal illness with no cure...that's gotta violate all sorts of rules of medical ethics! Barret is released to see Dr. Rollin (You're a new and better man / He helps you to understand / He does everything he can) and catches a magazine article in the waiting room about Cryo-Quack Jim. (Seriously, how long would it have taken to make a fake issue of a major magazine in 1968?) Dr. Rollin tells Barret that he's expecting a breakthrough in a few years, but won't attempt a cure now--richly citing malpractice! So is Dr. Rollin's nurse yet another operative, or just a hired actress? And does she sell poppies from a tray?
Barret proceeds to see CQ Jim, who won't freeze him after he's technically dead because there'd be too much organ damage to deal with, so Barret insists on being frozen immediately. Jim doesn't want to do that either, but Barret learns that the Cryo-Quack is making payments to Blackmail Willy, gets ahold of Willy's fake evidence about Jim having frozen his wife alive, and uses it to blackmail Jim himself.
So Jim fake-reluctantly puts Barret in a tube custom-built by Barney Cryogenics. Barret comes to in Fake Future Room, complete with Fake Future Cars out the window and Fake Future Push-Button TV that shows tapes of guys flying with Thunderball jetpacks as a competition sport. Well, they got flat-screen TVs right, at least. In come Future Doc Rollin and Nurse Cin, from whom Barret learns that it's now...wait for it...1980! And Holy Roddenberry, he also learns that they don't use money anymore in the future--at least not cash. So Barret uses the Fake Future Push-Button TV version of Google Maps to look up where he stashed his loot, tipping off the IMF as to its location.
But the plan hits an Intended MalFunction™ when Barret breaks the Fake Fourth Wall, learning that he's on a set, and sneaks out to find that it's still 1968...in fact, it's still August 1968, but the exact date is a Wee L'il Fake Future...one day in the story's future, just past the statute of limitations.
Meanwhile, Davis has been feeding info to Barret's outside accomplices about Barret's whereabouts and activities. They, too, make an intended discovery of the IMF's scam and force the team to take them to Barret. One of Barret's accomplices catches Barret retrieving his loot from a tombstone, there's a struggle, and the accomplice is slot. The police fly in to arrest Barret with 10 minutes left until the statute expires!
This one was kind of fun up to a point, but it really stretched credibility left, right, and center. I'm not even sure what the point was supposed to be of setting up such an elaborate Fake Future only to let everyone find out that it was fake as part of the scheme.
"Should All Our Old Acquaintance Be Forgot"
Originally aired December 26, 1968
This year That Girl skips Christmas and does a New Year's episode. The setup for the title shot is a particularly cute bit of Ann introducing herself without actually saying the words.
Donald: I'm going to spend this New Year's alone with the most beautiful, the most talented, delightful, desirable woman in the world!
Ann: The heck you are! You're gonna spend this New Year's Eve with...[see screecap]
In the teaser, Donald's trying to get last-minute reservations by pretending not to know it's New Year's Eve. Donald's Dining Budget Update: He considers a price of $70 per couple (around $500 in today's money) to be unthinkably expensive...which, looking back, is consistent with his upper limit as established in "The Face in the Shower Room Door".
Anyway, Ann's alternate plan is to spend New Year's Eve with a minimal cast on the existing regular set, which is not only romantic but frugal both for them and for the show. But this being a sitcom, things don't go according to plan. First the Maries drop by after 10:30 to check in on things, Mr. Marie having found out about Ann and Donald's plans in an earlier scene. Then a random neighbor invites Ann down to her party and, when she finds out Ann's already got something going on, invites up everyone at her party! Then more neighbors get wind of the party at Ann's place and start coming over with their own entourages.
Meanwhile Ruth and Jerry, who were originally supposed to go out with Ann and Donald, are trying to have their own private night together next door with relative success, but Ann has to keep imposing on them in her effort to improvise appetizers for all the unexpected guests at her place. At one point Jerry gets so upset that Bernie Kopell nearly switches over to doing Siegfried. Minutes before midnight, the Baumans relent and come over to join the party.
Amidst all the chaos, Donald confronts a guy who's dancing on a table with a lampshade over his head and it turns out to be a glowering Mr. Marie!
As the revelers at Ann's place noisily ring in the New Year, we find that Ann and Donald have taken advantage of the opportunity to slip next door to the Baumans' now-vacated apartment and enjoy a little of that privacy that they were looking forward to.
In the coda, there's a joke about how Ann "blew it" because she didn't say something about 1968 having been a Leap Year. I had to Google it to clarify that they were referring to a tradition in which it was OK for women to propose to men on Leap Years. Anyway, Ann and Donald washing dishes after the party while Jerry comes over looking for an orange juice glass suggests that it's the next morning, which suggests that Donald was with Ann overnight...though I suppose he could have crashed on the Baumans' couch.
"Oh, Donald" count: 1
"Oh, Daddy" count: 1
"Oh, Ruthie" count: 1
"Oh, Jerry" count: 1
"One Nation Invisible"
Originally aired December 28, 1968
I love when the person who writes the Wiki descriptions feels the need to explain such an obvious title reference. At least they didn't claim that the entire episode was a spoof of the Pledge!
Cross-Reference Alert: Dr. Canyon's invisibility spray is described as having the ability to "cloud men's minds". The bar where Max meets Canyon has some pretty groovy-sounding distorted guitar music. Max only learns that Canyon's a woman (Lyn Peters) when he wants the two of them to escape some KAOS agents via the men's room. Alas, this is a TV-friendly, externally applied invisibility gimmick that affects the user's clothes.
Having used the last of the spray on himself, it falls to Max to sneak into a KAOS facility to get some documents. Confident in his invisibility, Max taunts the KAOS agents there only to find that the formula has worn off.
(You know how the rest goes.)
"Man in a Box"
Originally aired December 28, 1968
LeBeau is initially smuggled out in a garbage can to take pictures while undercover with a contact named Luise, and is believed by Klink to have simply escaped.
Klink: What interests me is the method of escape.
Schultz: Herr Kommandant, maybe a tunnel?
Klink: IM-possible! Why do you think I have you patrolling all over the compound? If there were a tunnel, the ground would collapse.
Hogan convinces Klink to let him go into town to look for LeBeau. Klink assigns Schultz to tail Hogan in civilian clothes, and then follows Schultz himself. Schultz looks anything but inconspicuous decked out in an off-white trenchcoat and hat.
Hogan: There he is, Sam Spade, the giant economy size. That's my shadow.
Luise: Is he following you?
Hogan: Yeah, he keeps losing me. I just stop and wait for him to catch up.
They smuggle LeBeau back into the research facility via the titular situation to follow up by cracking a safe, while Klink is still trying to find him. Hogan manipulates Klink into effectively covering LeBeau's escape from the research facility under the guise of negotiating with LeBeau to surrender and return to the camp.
I caught a Night Gallery in the background the other day with Werner Klemperer in it. He was sporting a beard, which actually distracted me from focusing on his lack of monocle.
Change of M.O. Advisory: Upon considering my options for including Dragnet as Spring/Summer catch-up viewing, I've decided to discontinue watching/reviewing Season 3 of The Wild Wild West in 51st anniversary sync, to save what's left of the season for grouping together with Season 2 Dragnet episodes in a few months. In the meantime, I'm planning to cover Dragnet at the rate that Cozi's airing it (two episodes a week), to gain ground in that series and to sooner get it caught up with where we're leaving WWW. Of course, all of this is subject to change if I get a better idea and/or yet another show comes along in the meantime.
I'm thinking of also saving The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly to roughly sync up with contemporaneous Dragnet and WWW, though I'm still planning to cover Guess Who's Coming to Dinner as soon as I get to it.
Ah...so there's a larger issue with Laugh-In at play here. I don't think there was any conspiracy on the part of the show to take down LBJ and get Nixon elected. LBJ, as the incumbent President, was a legitimate subject of parody; while Nixon, as a presidential candidate, was--regardless of party--both a legitimate guest and a casting coup.
I don't think we can assume that at all.
I found this insightful to appreciation for the film. What Bullitt was bringing to the table was so commonplace by the time I started watching films and shows that would have been influenced by it that it had all become pretty cliche. And I still think that what Bullitt was offering in these areas was more style than substance, and that some elements, such as Bisset's character, were underbaked.
While the optics were bad, I wasn't under the impression that Chalmers wanting Willard removed was because of his race, but because Willard wouldn't tell him what he wanted to hear regarding Fake Ross's recovery.
From what I've seen, I'd call it a fair assessment.
Nope, it had a plot, however thin: "The Beatles and an assortment of colorful characters take a bus tour and strange things happen." Describe the story of Head in one sentence.
That's a theme, not a plot. It would have made nice subtext for an actual story.
I haven't seen Rock and Roll Circus (and maybe should look into changing that), but from what I've read and heard (on the CD), it was basically an all-rock variety show with a circus motif/setting, which is very straightforward and conventional compared to Magical Mystery Tour or Head...and thus lumping in Rock and Roll Circus with either of the others is a case of apples to oranges.
So, you're saying they were on some sort of tour involving magic and mystery?
A Splendid Time Was Guaranteed for All! (Demand your money back.)
I did like most of the musical numbers.
I can only echo that well-said post. If you follow the detective story up from film noir, it's mostly a vehicle for private eyes, with police detectives usually serving as foils and not too interesting in their own right. There had been some good and realistic police stories, but the detective was usually a basic square civil servant. McQueen made the cop the cool one, with a sense of style, a distinctive muscle car, a pretty, upscale artist girlfriend, and most of all a basic mistrust of the authority figures over him, and the corruption above that. The cop even the counter-culture could get behind. This was a radical new look for the police procedural.
I felt like the scenes with Bisset were not just an obligatory love interest, but to remind the audience that Bullitt was a real person, what he was doing was not normal, and it could have real negative consequences for him. If that seems obvious today, try to imagine 1968 era Jack Lord doing similar scenes on Hawaii Five-O. That said, the dialogue they wrote for her was not great.
The car chase gets all the attention and understandably so. But it was a riveting peak that built on the realistic world that the movie had built to that point. A lot of the lighting is documentary-like, as are the way locations are shot. Harper was mentioned above, and it's a fine film, but they are still "driving" with rear-projection behind them. No way were Yates and McQueen going to do stuff like that.
Most of all I think it's a case of an almost-perfect match of time, movie and star. Personally I still think that the role McQueen was born to play was Jake in The Sand Pebbles, but Bullitt hits pretty much all the right notes for me.
The Saturday MeTV email came yesterday, but there's no mention of any schedule changes or new shows coming to the lineup.
Written by Jack Nicholson. Interesting. "Ever dance with a Monkee in the pale moonlight?"
Not Micky? What a pity.
Maybe they should have quit while they were ahead.
Oh, it's nice enough, just not their best.
No, I disagree with that completely.
That's just a matter of history at this point.
I'm pretty sure that distinction goes to the Trickster.
The latter is a valid criticism, which I mentioned earlier (and one of the early reasons why I've gone to great lengths to point out that I'm a Liberal and not a Left Winger), but nobody ever brushed aside LBJ's civic accomplishments. His image is definitely tarnished by his failures, but that's pretty much a universal phenomenon, especially for public figures-- just ask Bill Cosby-- but his contributions to American idealism are hardly forgotten. Tricky Dick himself could make a better claim to having his achievements buried by Watergate and Vietnam-- he did make a couple of positive contributions, after all.
It could be that this mission was an outlier in that regard.
No JCAHO accreditation for him!
I hope they introduced themselves as Dr Huer and Wilma.
They should have called it "New Acquaintance Should Be Forgot."
Now there's something Wiki should have explained.
Didn't that actually happen at some point?
Ohh...please..no references to that horrible movie with the short, wrinkled guy in the foam rubber suit...
Why? The group's 1968 began still riding the wave of one of their biggest hits in Daydream Believer (released October, 1967), and had another major hit in February '68 with "Valleri". Even after the TV show was cancelled, the album The Birds, the Bees and the Monkees reached #3, giving every indicator that they had more to offer. One misunderstood film was not the sounding of an alarm, when the film was largely missed--meaning something few even knew was in theaters (as pointed out by the band) had no bearing on their lives as a band.
We can agree to disagree, but the standing judgement of LBJ usually begins with that ceremony on Air Force One (understandably so), and then becomes a lengthy tirade about the war, with his domestic achievements pushed into the background, almost as if that happened independently of LBJ, or was "destined" to happen no matter who was the president, when there were no guarantees or inevitability regarding any rights were black people were concerned.
Well, it IS the Wiki-verse, the black hole of sense, accuracy and presentation....
Recall the climate of the time: if Nixon had announced his run on a pro-war platform, Schlatter--considering his political views--would not have invited Nixon to the show. Nixon's biggest "chip" on that table was the fact he offered the one thing the Hollywood Left was most interested in, so even if he was one of the most known/vocal Cold Warriors of that age, the promise of saying bye-bye to Vietnam was all they needed to hear, which was the opposite of what Humphrey offered--meaning staying on track with the hated LBJ's Vietnam policies.
Race was suggested, as Chalmers--given his position--could have asserted himself and "pulled rank" (essentially what he eventually resorted to) with any of the staff to get information, but he--almost immediately--starts laying on "reasons" why Willard was anything but the right physician for the job. I think there's strong evidence to say director Yates, and writers Kleiner & Trustman meant Chalmers to go in that direction, particularly because the film--produced and seen as playing it so true in so many ways at that critical point in U.S. history, so a politician like Chalmers harboring race issues would not be surprising, but in line with character type.
I did in yesterday's post with:
"Head was clearly about breaking the conventions of the group's origins and the greater artificiality of Hollywood as a business."
Clear as day. On the other hand, a bus tour with allegedly colorful characters is not a plot but a one-line post card from anyone taking the Greyhound in the 60s. The 70-bus pile-up that was Magical Mystery Tour should have been predicted, as its lack of structure and wanna-be "cutesy/whimsical" trappings (and other issues) were not within a country mile of coherence as a film.
Again, clear as day. To anyone knowing the kind of humor used by the group, breaking narrative conventions was something they excelled at, the story did not need much more to get its point across. That said, the problem with the reception to the film was not the story or presentation at all, but was hiring some would-be Avant Garde marketing man (John Brockman) who used his mug to promote the film, rather than sell it as the very thing I was--a Monkees film. I cannot think of a more disastrous example of mismanaged / mischaracterized promotional campaign for a film than the one for Head.
Here's the thing about The Rock 'n' Roll Circus' failings: contrary to Stones-issued myths--was not the performance by The Who (by the way, they were the runaway superior act of the production, but not the derailing of the production), it was not the ostracized Brian Jones, or anything other than Jagger--once again--trying to get in on the aforementioned "cutesy / whimsical" vibe/image in the Beatle tradition, which was clear for a band not known for entertaining that kind of identity in so public a fashion (far beyond the experimentation during Their Satanic Majesties Request recording).
This suggests that Jagger's claim that he was the driving force behind the "back to roots" direction of that year's Beggars' Banquet, was more self-promotion than fact, since of all the Stones, he was nowhere near the true blues/bluegrass enthusiast he tried to make himself out to be.
50th Anniversary Album Spotlight
The Rolling Stones
Released December 6, 1968 (UK); December 7, 1968 (US)
Chart debut: December 14, 1968
Chart peak: #5, January 11, 1969
#57 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time
Side 1 opens with the best-known track from the album, the uber-classic tour de force "Sympathy for the Devil":
(#32 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time)
For the occasion, I read the lyrics of the song, which I must never have done before, because there were some lines that I'd never understood. The Stones at their finest, needless to say this makes for a very strong start; but contrary to the title of the next track, it also sets high expectations for the rest of the album.
Originally the B-side of "Street Fighting Man" earlier in the year, "No Expectations" is a slow ballad, which isn't my favorite flavor of Stones, though this one isn't bad:
It's said to be blues in style, though the acoustic slide guitar, said to have been one of Brian Jones's last major contributions to a Stones song, gives it a distinctly country-ish flavor to my ear.
"Dear Doctor" continues the country blues sound so prominent on the album, this one falling more distinctly on the country side of the spectrum, but with tongue in cheek. It's the first-person account of a man who's apprehensive of his impending marriage, only to learn that his bride has run out on him, much to his relief.
"Parachute Woman" falls more squarely in the blues category, its minimal lyrics filled to the brim with sexual innuendo.
Wiki classifies "Jigsaw Puzzle" as blues rock, but its lyrical style is very much channeling Dylan:
The end of the first side and the second-longest track on the album, its cast of characters include the Stones themselves, described individually if briefly in the third verse. This is another number distinctive for Jones's slide guitar, this time electric.
Side 2 opens with the album's lead single, "Street Fighting Man":
(Charted Sept. 7, 1968; #48 US; #295 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time)
Definitely a strong, well-known classic despite its underperformance at the time, reportedly from being selectively banned by radio stations.
"Prodigal Son" is a cover of a country blues number by Robert Wilkins, though it's sometimes miscredited as being a Jagger/Richards original.
Musically, "Stray Cat Blues" is a good blues rocker, but oy, the lyrics...the unambiguous meaning of the song probably flew a lot better in 1968 than it does today.
Its Wiki page classifies "Factory Girl" as folk rock, though the same page quotes Jagger describing it as country. I'd classify this as a throwaway, though it reminds me a bit of somebody I used to know.
Classified as "soul blues" on its Wiki page, the album's finale, "Salt of the Earth," offers some social commentary but in a distanced and condescending manner:
As the page points out, it bears more than a little musical similarity to "You Can't Always Get What You Want," which wouldn't be released until the following year but had already been recorded, and performed in the then-unreleased Rock and Roll Circus.
This album gets a lot of credit for establishing the Stones' post-psychedelic style, but that's only true if you're just listening to the albums. In actuality, they'd done that with the preceding two singles. As a collection, it's a decent listen, but nothing to get terribly enthusiastic about. It's an all-too-typical album in that there are a couple of very strong standout songs that the rest don't touch. To bring in comparisons to the White Album that were already started in the opposite direction...this album has nothing to compete with the sheer number of well-known, classic non-singles that sprang from that work; and this album's whole, in contrast, does not feel greater than the sum of its parts.
Next up: Led Zeppelin
I don't understand.
Interesting bit of business I just found out about this...it was an early, until-then unreleased song written by Jim McGuinn and Gene Clark of the Byrds.
One can rationalize that, but if they're expected to pull off such an elaborate scheme in such a ludicrously short timeframe and succeed, that opens the can of worms that they can do it and may be doing it in a lot of other cases. If the intent was to set a ticking clock, they could have instead given the date that the statute expired without specifying what the current date was supposed to be (which would have doubled as helpful exposition for the Wee L'il Fake Future bit) and had Tape Guy include a vague comment along the lines of "so that doesn't leave you much time".
You got me. I never watched the show much before.
Jim and Artie will be back, buddied up chronologically with Friday and Gannon. Had I known sooner, I would have saved WWW in the first place. The catch-up business is always a moving target, and there's only so much time to cover it in the off-season, even though the off-season was longer in those days. I made a little project yesterday of figuring out the best way to organize it with three back-seasons of Dragnet thrown in the mix.
I really want Me to bring back M:I and/or Hawaii 5-O, but god knows how I'd squeeze in any back-viewing of them. For the former, at least, I'd only need to cover seven episodes of Season 1.
This only highlights how, in the space of a year, their commercial fortunes plummeted from outperforming the Beatles to not being able to get a single in the Top 40. Anecdotal evidence tells me that when the Beatles started getting "weird" and experimental, it alienated the teeny-bop constituency of their fandom. The Monkees came along at just the right time to fill the void for them. When the Monkees got "weird" too, they didn't have as broad a fanbase as the Beatles did to keep them commercially relevant. One can admire the Monkees' desire to expand their horizons, but when they started doing stuff like Head, they were alienating old fans without attracting new ones.
We're just going in circles now, but as I responded, and you quoted, that's a theme, not a plot. It's subtext without a comprehensible story to convey it. There's no through-line story framework, however thin, in which that theme is presented. It's just a random series of vignettes. My point in contrasting it with MMT was that MMT's story framework was extremely thin, but it did have one to speak of. So it's "a bunch of random shit happens to the Beatles while they're on a bus tour" versus "a bunch of random shit happens to the Monkees, period".
And, sadly, it was probably the best of all the Batman movies.
Actually, I was just punning on the title.
I suppose it depends on the focus of the documentary and the depth of the reporting.
Definitely epic stuff there.
I know it and I like it, but I've never paid much attention to it. I didn't even recognize it by the title.
There's certainly plenty here I've never heard or have forgotten.
Toni Basil had a wondrous one hit in the early 80s with "Oh, Mickey." "Oh, Mickey, what a pity you don't understand-- you take me by the heart when you take me by the hand." You've heard, and can't unhear it, but you've forgotten it was her.
Interesting. I'll have to remember that the next time I listen to it.
I've seen it a lot, because Channel 38 used to run it endlessly when I was a kid, but I never paid a lot of attention to it. I'm pretty sure I remember somebody falling through to the tunnels, though.
55 Years Ago Spotlight
Happy Old Year, yeah, yeah, yeah!
Happy Old Year, yeah, yeah, yeah!
Happy Old Year, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeeeaaaaaaaahhhhh!!!
(Retrospective intro ends at 0:48.)
Selections from Billboard's Hot 100 for the week:
Leaving the chart:
"It's All Right," The Impressions (14 weeks)
"Little Red Rooster," Sam Cooke (10 weeks)
"Sugar Shack," Jimmy Gilmer & The Fireballs (15 weeks)
Recent and new on the chart:
"That Lucky Old Sun," Ray Charles
(Dec. 7; #20 US; #10 AC; #5 R&B)
"Somewhere," The Tymes
(Dec. 7; #19 US; #8 AC; #35 R&B; another "gimme" for RJ)
"Um, Um, Um, Um, Um, Um," Major Lance
(#5 US; #1 R&B; #40 UK)
"Java," Al (He's the King) Hirt
(#4 US; #1 AC)
Too subtle, I guess....
Wha...? Acoustic slide guitar was blues before it was country.
I wouldn't recommend listening any other way. Beggars Banquet to Exile on Main Street is often regarded as one of the strongest album runs in rock and roll history, and I'm hard pressed to come up with a wasted track in any of it.
"Jumpin' Jack Flash" I can see, but "She's A Rainbow"?
Finally having taken a break from touring, Jagger and especially Richards began to look back to early blues, which had had something of a rediscovery as part of the '60s folk scene. This proved to be a lasting source of inspiration, and combined with Jones dropping out of the band, led into what many think of as the Stones' most fertile period. Some of the Stones trademarks really come to the fore on this album, like the background bed of acoustic guitars, Richards beginning to experiment with alternate tunings, and Jagger's distinctive "blues accent" ("stone" and "gone" almost rhyming).
I don't think too much about the dark/Satanic Stones vibe, though it was certainly great marketing. Nor do I care about Beatles comparisons, but personally I've listened to "Beggar's" probably 50-to-1 over "The White Album."
And before 2018 is behind us, I'll bring up a 50 year old favorite that doesn't seem to have been mentioned yet. The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society is almost the opposite of experimental rock, but a wonderfully coherent and focused piece of work. Ray Davies's almost obsessive nostalgia for a simpler time is singularly British, and yet somehow universal for anyone disillusioned with the complexities and pressures of adult life. In addition to being a metaphor for his obvious conflicting feelings on the "rewards" of music stardom, he also seems to look back fondly at the post-war era in Britain, when times were tough but everyone pulled together. One gets the impression that he knew those days were gone for good, and wants to document them before the memories fade away. There are not one but two songs about photographs, capturing moments in time "to prove that they really existed." Character studies of old school chums, local tarts and eccentrics are as deft as any Davies ever drew. The metaphysical "Big Sky" is strangely powerful and uplifting in its condemnation of indifference. "Starstruck" is a deceptively jaunty look at the pitfalls of fame. Despite the lack of a familiar single, the strength of the album has made it one of the strongest of the Kinks' catalog, and appears on many critics' best albums list. A great favorite of mine and one I never tire of listening to, with a great many lines that I find come to mind in life's situations.
Didn't know that, but this particular use still sounds country-flavored to my ear.
My immersive listening experience has involved weekly playlists of charting singles, so in my in-the-moment listening experience, I was hearing the Stones' new sound for the better part of a year before Beggars came along, thanks to "Jumpin' Jack Flash" (originally a non-album single) and "Street Fighting Man" (which was released a few months before Beggars).
Interesting. If I were covering that album, it would be still to come, as online sources indicated that it was released in January '69 in the US. It is on the Rolling Stone albums list (#255), but in my paring down what I was choosing to buy from that list, I placed it in a "sidelist" (not planning to buy as it comes up, but maybe later) based on a couple of factors: that the album didn't chart at all in the US, and that I hadn't been able to get into Something Else by the Kinks, which had come up earlier in the year (while I was still "catching up" to the 50th anniversary point in my album purchases, and thus hadn't started doing write-ups for the albums yet). But this is why it's constructive to share my immersive retro experience...it gives people a chance to provide some insight and influence my choices.
Oh I see. Point taken!
Ah, I did not know that.
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