The Classic/Retro Pop Culture Thread

Discussion in 'TV & Media' started by The Old Mixer, Jan 11, 2016.

  1. DarrenTR1970

    DarrenTR1970 Commodore Commodore

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    More than likely, since he wore the same outfit in 'Return of the Seven' as well as some spaghetti Westerns he would later star in.
     
  2. DarrenTR1970

    DarrenTR1970 Commodore Commodore

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    I found this from a PDF of the script. It conforms to my memory of what Alan Oppenheimer said in the movie.

    INT. CONTROL ROOM
    Scientist
    Since we opened the resort we had a failure and breakdown rate conforming to computer predictions. That is 0.3 malfunctions for each 24-hour activation period concurrent or not. Now, this was an anticipated operations aspect of the resort and we were fully able to handle it. The majority of the breakdowns were minor or peripheral until about 6 weeks ago. Then Roman World had a rise in breakdown rate which doubled in a week. In addition, we saw a disproportionate rise in central as opposed to peripheral breakdowns. Now, we identified some problems with humidity control. And regained homeostasis. Despite our corrections, the breakdown rate continued to climb. Then Medieval World began to have trouble. Now we're seeing more Western World breakdowns. And there's a clear pattern here which suggests an analogy to an infectious disease process spreading from one resort area to the next. Perhaps there are superficial similarities to disease.
    Scientist
    It's only a theoretical concept. There are many ways to order that data.
    Scientist
    I must confess, I find it difficult to believe in a disease of machinery.
    Scientist
    We aren't dealing with ordinary machines here. These are highly complicated pieces of equipment almost as complicated as living organisms. In some cases, they've been designed by other computers. We don't know exactly how they work.

    To me, that suggests that a bad line of code/programming came from one of the machines, and, as the machines repaired other machines, it introduced that fault to them and it propagated across the park.
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2024
  3. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Mih ssim, mih ssim, nam, daed si Xim. Moderator

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    _______

    70 Years Ago This Month

    _______

    April
    • Fender Stratocaster electric guitar first produced in California.

    _______

    April 1
    • The U.S. Congress and President Dwight D. Eisenhower authorized the founding of the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado.

    April 2
    • Walt Disney signed a contract with ABC television for the Disneyland series, and plans were announced for the building of the Disneyland theme park (provisionally called "Disneylandia") in California, along with a prospectus for the company's potential investors.

    April 3
    • Diplomat Vladimir Petrov defected from the Soviet Union and asked for political asylum in Australia, beginning a major political incident.

    April 6
    • United States Senator Joseph McCarthy appeared on See It Now to confront journalist Edward R. Murrow: he described Murrow as "a symbol, a leader, and the cleverest of the jackal pack which is always found at the throat of anyone who dares to expose individual Communists and traitors".

    April 7
    • US President Dwight D. Eisenhower gave his "domino theory" speech during a news conference.
    • Born: Jackie Chan, actor and film director, in Beijing, China

    April 9
    • Joseph Laniel, Prime Minister of France, warned the People's Republic of China to stop sending aid to the Viet Minh revolutionaries.

    _______

    On April 10:

    "Wanted" by Perry Como with Hugo Winterhalter's Orchestra and Chorus Artist tops the Billboard Best Sellers in Stores chart.

    "Gee" by the Crows--released in the spring of 1953--belatedly charts.

    (#14 US; #2 R&B; included in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll)

    _______

    April 11
    • April 11, 1954, is considered by search engine True Knowledge as the least eventful day in the 20th century. No significant newsworthy events, births, or deaths are known to have happened on this day.

    April 12
    • Bill Haley & His Comets record the ground-breaking single "Rock Around the Clock" for Decca Records at the Pythian Temple studios in New York City.

    April 16
    • U.S. Vice President Richard Nixon tells the press that the United States may be "putting our own boys in Indochina regardless of Allied support".
    • Steam trains operated for the last time on the Clinchfield Railroad, between Kingsport and Erwin, Tennessee, United States.

    April 19
    • Two KGB couriers from the USSR arrived at Sydney Airport to escort Evdokia Petrova, a Soviet intelligence officer and the wife of Vladimir Petrov, who had recently defected to the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, back to the USSR. The couriers were met by anti-Communist demonstrators, and the incident made world headlines. The photograph of Petrova being manhandled by the two couriers became an iconic Australian image of the 1950s, and she was removed from the plane at Darwin.
    • German-American psychiatrist Fredric Wertham publishes his treatise Seduction of the Innocent. The book warns that comic books are a negative form of popular literature and a serious cause of juvenile delinquency. A minor bestseller, it alarms parents, teachers and moral guardians and galvanized them to campaign for comics censorship.

    April 21–22
    • United States Senate Subcommittee on Juvenile Delinquency hearings on the comic book industry.

    April 22
    • France's Foreign Minister Georges Bidault told US Secretary of State John Foster Dulles that only U.S. air strikes could save Điện Biên Phủ; France dropped its objections to a multinational effort. British PM Winston Churchill refused to give any undertakings about United Kingdom military action in Indochina.
    • Senator Joseph McCarthy began hearings investigating the United States Army for being "soft" on Communism. The hearings were broadcast live on US television.

    April 23
    • Born: Michael Moore, US documentary filmmaker, in Flint, Michigan

    April 25
    • Bell Labs announced the invention of the first practical silicon solar cell. These cells had about 6% efficiency.

    April 26
    • The 1954 Geneva Conference, an international conference on Korea and Indo-China, opened in Switzerland.
    • Akira Kurosawa's film Seven Samurai [starring Toshiro Mifune, Takashi Shimura, and Keiko Tsushima] was released in Japan.

    _______

    Also on April 26, Them!, starring James Whitmore, Edmund Gwenn, Joan Weldon, and James Arness, is given a limited release.


    _______

    April 28
    • U.S. Secretary of State John Foster Dulles accused Communist China of sending combat troops to Indo-China to train Viet Minh guerrillas.

    April 29
    • Born: Jerry Seinfeld, US comedian and actor, in Brooklyn, New York

    _______

    Available in record stores in April:

    "Work with Me Annie," The Midnighters

    (#1 R&B; included in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll)

    "Shake, Rattle and Roll," Big Joe Turner & His Blues Kings

    (#1 R&B; #126 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time [2004])

    _______

    Ian McDiarmid will make it legal!

    On the run from the L.A. DA's office after their diabetes belt scam fell through.

    Sounds nice but completely unmemorable. She's about gotten to the point where her hits are going to become very sporadic.

    This one's been on my list for a while with a couple other singles from the album. Peak-era Stevie.

    Wasn't as goofy as I thought it'd be.

    Now that, OTOH...

    True. It looked like he didn't have his gun at that point for whatever reason, though.

    It's easy to imagine that he was killed in the chaos, but we didn't see it.

    We can review it. We have the technology.
    SMDM01.jpg
     
  4. DarrenTR1970

    DarrenTR1970 Commodore Commodore

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    The next song covered (March 29) was Jimmy Cliff's "Many Rivers To Cross".



    And it is the first sign of the damage done to Harry's vocal cords during the late night jam session the previous evening. That being said, the song and vocal was recorded in one take (after much rehearsal). Lennon would overdub the strings/orchestra back in New York and reuse the arrangement for his upcoming song "#9 Dream".

    There was a weekend break before sessions resumed on April 1 with "The Flying Saucer Song" (previously posted). Over the weekend, Harry's voice degraded rapidly, and Harry and John struggled to capture a suitable take, not helped by Harry's drunken condition and the song would be left off the album.

    April 2nd would see another surprise visitor to the sessions. Mick Jagger, in town working on the forthcoming Rolling Stones album "It's Only Rock 'n Roll" stopped by for a visit. After some pleasantries were exchanged, it was decided that Mick should record a song and they eventually settled on a cover of Willie Dixon's "Too Many Cooks (Spoil The Soup)".

    The band included the "Pussy Cats" performers along with keyboardist Al Kooper and bassist Jack Bruce, who was in a nearby studio working on his own solo album, "Out Of The Storm".

    Vocals: Mick Jagger
    Background Vocalist: Harry Nilsson
    Bass Guitar: Jack Bruce
    Guitar: Jesse Ed Davis
    Guitar: Danny Kortchmar
    Drums: Jim Keltner
    Keyboards: Al Kooper
    Saxophone: Bobby Keys
    Saxophone: Trevor Lawrence
    Producer: John Lennon



    There was some talk of including it on the upcoming "It's Only Rock 'n Roll" album, but contractual obligations and legal wrangling let the song be left in the vault until 2007 when it appeared on "The Very Best of Mick Jagger."
     
  5. DarrenTR1970

    DarrenTR1970 Commodore Commodore

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    Unfortunately, the comic book industry in the United States never really recovered from these hearings.

    Classic - and the inspiration for "The Magnification Seven"; and it just so happens @The Old Mixer just posted about the movie "Westworld", where Yul Brynner plays a version of Chris from "The Magnificent Seven."

    Another classic. Edmund Gwenn played Santa Claus in the movie "Miracle on 34th Street." It also stars a young Leonard Nimoy in an uncredited role and Fess Parker, who would later go on to star in Disney's "Davy Crockett".

    I wonder how the audience reacted to James Whitmore's death in the movie, seeing he had been the nominal lead up until the final confrontation in the L.A. sewer's
     
  6. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Mih ssim, mih ssim, nam, daed si Xim. Moderator

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    YUL BRYNNER

    SUBJECTED TO THE AWESOME POWER OF THE ATOM

    THIRTY STORIES TALL!
     
  7. DarrenTR1970

    DarrenTR1970 Commodore Commodore

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    Gotta love auto correct. :lol:
     
  8. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    Some real Science Fiction among the robot action. We've actually gotten to the point where this is true.

    Also very Science Fictional-- more like a computer cancer than a computer virus.

    I love the word Stratocaster. It sounds like something Flash Gordon would use to fly to Mongo. :rommie:

    This is amazing. Just seven years before I was born. Given the development time and assuming a four-year curriculum, the first class probably graduated around the time I was born.

    Also pretty amazing. They must have built that place in record time.

    Ah, the McCarthy Era. This is going to be fun. It's kind of amazing to think how easily he was toppled in the end-- and now everybody is using his tactics to the nth degree, pretty much with impunity.

    Swipe left.

    This is more like it.

    "It's quiet. Too quiet."

    Okay, what the heck happened here? They gave the guy asylum, but let the Soviets take his wife, then changed their minds and rescued her?

    In the early 80s, Eclipse Comics published a series of reprints of 50s Horror comics and used the title Seduction of the Innocent, which I found hilarious.

    Another A-List B-Movie.

    I know this one. It's a goodie.

    All-time Classic.

    Okay, I think I Cap this. He was the Emperor or Palpatine or something.

    :rommie:

    Bad choice of material, which is a shame, because her voice is absolutely beautiful.

    If life were a 50s EC comic, Jim would have risen from the grave and wrought vengeance upon ol' Blue Eyes. :rommie:

    I wonder if I can find it on YouTube....

    Plot hole or deleted scene, I suppose. They failed to show us Chekov's van Patten. :rommie:

    Coincidentally, we watched our last recorded episode Saturday before last, and it's no longer on any of our available channels.

    I can hear it because you told me about it, but I doubt if I would have noticed otherwise.

    These guys are like the Marvel Universe, always dropping by each other's books. :rommie:

    That was pretty cool. It's too bad they had to wait so long to release it.

    Well, it was certainly transformed quite a bit. But the 60s turned out to be quite a Renaissance for them.

    An inspiration for Star Wars, too, I think-- unless that's apocryphal.

    Now there's a movie I'd love to see. :rommie:
     
  9. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Mih ssim, mih ssim, nam, daed si Xim. Moderator

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    I'd planned to increase the frequency of the 70 Years Ago posts neatly at the beginning of '55, but as I was trying to get ahead of the next seasonal post, I found that it was too jam-packed with stuff, so here we are. Anyway, it should help me to stay on top of these.

    A year and a day from when construction started, it seems.

    I was trying to find a good, concise clip related to this, but it seems the whole McCarthy/Murrow back-and-forth was pretty complicated.

    Alas, true.

    Our first monthly post seems like a turning point in the emergence of rock 'n' roll.

    Apparently he hadn't planned to involve her in his defection, so she wasn't in the know.

    Kind of surprising. It's certainly catchy.

    With more suggestive lyrics than when later covered by Bill Haley.

    Yep. It's an oft-quoted line from the Prequel Trilogy.

    :D

    Ah, so it's no longer on Cozi? The bionic shows were a staple there for years. That may have something to do with TSMDM now being on Peacock.

    I've seen the establishment of the Comics Code Authority credited with having motivated the resurgence of superhero comics, and therefore the Silver Age.

    That was The Hidden Fortress. I was dumbstruck by the blatant similarities.
     
  10. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    Sadly, I could not find the nutty religious re-imagining of "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown." It might help if I could remember who the religious nut was. I did find a cover from The Lawrence Welk Show, with lyrics intact. That was surreal.

    It's like they waved a magic wand or something.

    And my thirteen-year-old Mother is in the thick of it. :rommie:

    Of all people, he should have known that the Soviets would involve everyone he knew and loved.

    Yeah, some of those old songs are cool like that. Stuff from the 20s and 30s is pretty nuts. :rommie:

    Hah! Good for me. :rommie:

    No more bionic shows. In fact, there's kind of a dearth of adventures shows in general.

    Fortunately, good things can sometimes come from bad things, sometimes.

    Ah, okay. I knew there was something like that.
     
  11. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Mih ssim, mih ssim, nam, daed si Xim. Moderator

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    _______

    Post-55th Anniversary Viewing

    _______

    Gilligan's Island
    "Lovey's Secret Admirer"
    Originally aired January 23, 1967
    Lovey wakes up from a dream of somebody having kissed her on the cheek and Thurston draws her attention to a note tucked under her pillow, which is from the titular mystery figure. Mr. Howell brings her along as he indignantly confronts each of the other men on the island in turn. A series of notes ensues, and Lovey enlists the help of the girls to put on a show of fighting over the Skipper in an attempt to draw the truth out of him. Finally, the Professor invents a bamboo-tech lie detector, but he, the Skipper, and Gilligan all pass the test. The Professor suggests that there might be another man on the island, though after the Howells have left, he shares that he thinks he knows who it is. When the mystery figure strikes again, all of the others are staking out the Howells' hut to reveal him as...Mr. Howell.

    Thurston tries to explain to Lovey what motivated him to write the notes, but he only upsets her and she kicks him out. That night she falls asleep listening to a radio play of Cinderella, and dreams of herself in the titular role, with the Skipper as her stepmother, uglified versions of Ginger and Mary Ann as her stepsisters, Gilligan as a bumbling fairy godfather, and Thurston as Prince Charming. At the ball, Gilligan uses his magic to run interference with the stepsisters while Lovey and Thurston dance, but she has to run off as the clock strikes twelve, leaving him holding a combat boot...which Gilligan belatedly turns into a glass slipper. When Lovey awakes from her dream, she reconciles with her husband.

    In the coda, Gilligan plays with the lie detector, enabling Mary Ann to catch him in a pie-theft lie.

    _______

    Gilligan's Island
    "Our Vines Have Tender Apes"
    Originally aired January 30, 1967
    Gilligan does a Three Bears routine as he discovers that the jungle lord is sleeping in his hammock, sending him running to tell the Skipper and the Professor. Their usual skepticism is cut short when Tongo bowls them all over while swinging from a vine. When the male castaways form a search party to find their new visitor, we find that we still haven't plumbed the depths in the extravagant variety of junk that the Howells in particular brought on a three-hour tour, as Thurston arms himself with an umbrella that features the Steedly option of having a rapier that pulls out with the handle! The ape man drives them off with coconuts, and other encounters ensue, culminating in Tongo carrying a fainted Ginger to the cave set; where, engaging in some "Me Tarzan, you Jane" schtick, she learns what he calls himself. When the men come looking for her, she conks him with a coconut and gets away. When Ginger won't consent to acting as bait, the men recruit Mary Ann, who lures Tongo into a bamboo cage camouflaged as a hut. After the other castaways leave him unattended so he'll calm down, he pulls a tape recorder out of his loincloth and dictates a journal entry.

    We learn Tongo's true motives; following which Gilligan's attempts to communicate encourage the castaways to free him from the cage. When questioned by the Professor, he indicates that he has a boat on a nearby island...but then an ape (Janos Prohaska, natch, and credited for once) appears, the frightened Tongo talks normally, and the gorilla drags him off to the cave set. The castaways find the tape recorder, learning Tongo's true nature; but figuring that he can still get them off the island, send Gilligan in a makeshift gorilla costume (What, somebody didn't bring one on the cruise?) to lure the ape out. Tongo panics again when he sees Gilligan in costume; and when the ape reappears to cause a distraction, Tongo forlornly walks into the jungle alone. When the castaways later see Tongo flying a helicopter over the island, they assume that he's going to rescue them, but he drops them a note apologizing that he can't afford to let word of his un-ape man-ish behavior get out.

    In the coda, Gilligan reprises his Three Bears schtick, this time finding the ape in his hammock.

    The ape is billed as such, but is repeatedly described in-story as a gorilla, though it looks like an orangutan.

    _______

    Gilligan's Island
    "Gilligan's Personal Magnetism"
    Originally aired February 6, 1967
    Gilligan's bamboo-bowling when the weather starts getting rough and he's struck unconscious by lightning. When he comes to, he finds that the stone ball has become magnetized to his hand...and that being touched produces an electric shock. While the Professor works on a solution, the girls try to make Gilligan feel better, but get a jolt when they try to kiss his cheeks; while the Howells try unsuccessfully to get the ball off through psychology. Gilligan finds that the ball complicates getting into his hammock, and Skipper below him finds it perilous when Gilligan tosses and turns in his sleep. The Professor devises a pedal-powered contraption meant to produce a counter-shock to remove the ball, which he tries using on Gilligan when the weather starts getting rough again and lightning strikes for the second time...removing the ball but turning Gilligan invisible.

    The Professor, who enlists Ginger's aide in attempting to examine Gilligan, is stumped. (Who brought a nurse's outfit on the cruise?) After some invisibility gags, the Professor wraps Gilligan up like a mummy in lead strip-impregnated cloth that he theorizes will absorb the electrical impulses causing Gilligan's condition. When Gilligan tries walking around in the getup, he frightens Ginger, who accidentally unwraps him when she tries to flee. The castaways then find a note from Gilligan saying that he's moved to the other side of the island. As they're sitting at the table saying nice things about him, they find that he's been with them the whole time. The Skipper tries going after Gilligan, and Gilligan reappears while in the middle of taunting him. The Professor deduces that the bandages were on long enough to work, and the Skipper chases Gilligan into the jungle.

    In the coda, Skipper pulls a faux-invisibility prank on Gilligan.

    _______

    I just have to wonder what all they did with the lyrics.

    Interesting. She's not much older than my parents, who would have been 10 and turning 9 in this month's post.

    Maybe he didn't love her that much. :p Defecting from Soviet oppression and ditching the ol' ball and chain--win/win.

    "I'm like a one-eyed cat peepin' in a seafood store" is incredibly bawdy.

    It looks like they've got a fair number of detective shows, plus the Brackett. Anyway, SMDM, like Super Friends, was formatively early (de facto) super-hero business for me. I'm not sure exactly when I started watching the show, and like other things that I watched that early on, my memory isn't very detailed; but I'm sure that I never saw the pilot movie, or probably the earliest episodes. I remember it being on Sunday nights, which it moved to mid-Season 2 in 1975.

    There are probably a few sayings about the effects of adversity that could be quoted here. Wertham was the unintentional catalyst for comics as we know and love them.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2024
  12. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    Funny how she assumes it's the Skipper.

    I'm surprised the Professor isn't an expert in handwriting analysis.

    If the past is an indicator, there must be hundreds. :rommie:

    I like the idea of people other than Gilligan having dreams. It would have been cool to see dreams from everybody if the show had continued.

    Because he's really just a big sweetie who loves his Lovey.

    And we never see that lie detector again, because Gilligan throws it in the lagoon. :rommie:

    Good title. :rommie:

    "Mrs Howell, we're needed!"

    It's the quiet ones you gotta watch out for. :rommie:

    No room. They had to fit in that nurse's uniform.

    One approach to the reunion movie would have been to have the Castaways hunt down and kill all the people who left them stranded. :rommie:

    Evolution takes strange turns on these isolated islands.

    Must have a high iron content.

    He could probably work with that.

    Not bribery? :rommie:

    Gilligan must be related to Jimmy Olsen. :rommie:

    Maybe she was on her way to audition for a part on Marcus Welby or something.

    Gilligan goes through a lot in this one. :rommie:

    Maybe there's a psychological component, after all. :rommie:

    All I remember is the "Nice, Nice, Leroy Brown" part. My Grandmother, my Uncle Joe, and I were all watching and Uncle Joe and I both burst out laughing at the same time-- which was rare. :rommie:

    She was 19 when she got married and 20 when I was born. These Irish, y'know.

    That's true. I should have thought of that. :rommie:

    The sun shining through her dress paints a pretty picture.

    We're thinking about Adam-12, Emergency!, or Peter Gunn.

    I know I didn't see the original movie until much later, because I was surprised at how bad it was compared to the series. But I remember watching those early, James Bond-like episodes, when it was part of one of those rotating series things.

    Actually, from what I've heard of him, he probably would have been happy with that.
     
  13. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Mih ssim, mih ssim, nam, daed si Xim. Moderator

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    At that point...they were fishing around.

    :lol:

    Or prosecute them. Could've been a Perry Mason movie crossover.

    It did.

    I recall when they were going for a little bit of verisimilitude with touches like having Ginger make a dress out of a Minnow duffle bag.

    Only one of those shows has the Brackett.

    While getting a little bit ahead of where we're at, I should mention (as I probably did when Major Matt Mason came up on Dark Shadows) that the Six Million Dollar Man was also my first gotta-have-everything toy line. As I recall (having just jogged some memories by looking it up), I had the original Steve, Maskatron, Bigfoot, some accessories like the gadget arms, the inflatable control center, the space capsule that opened into an operating table, and even Oscar Goldman with his goddamn desk! :lol: Also playing with those figures, though an inch or so shorter, were a couple of super-heroish figures in the G.I. Joe line, Bulletman and the Atomic Man--the latter of whom was a blatant SMDM ripoff, though I was probably obvlivious to that at the time.

    Alas, I completely abandoned those when I got into the Star Wars toy line. They sat sadly in a bag on a closet shelf for probably a couple of years before my Mom gave them away to a neighbor kid.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2024
  14. DarrenTR1970

    DarrenTR1970 Commodore Commodore

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    The same. I had Steve Austin, Maskatron and Bigfoot growing up. I used to have Bigfoot face off against the Shogun Warriors version of Godzilla and Rodan.

    [​IMG]

    The problem was that Bigfoot's arms were spring loaded and once those broke, his arms just flopped about and you couldn't do anything with them without physically trying to take apart the figure.
     
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  15. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    Oh, that would have been hilarious. It's a better idea, too, because it could have followed the usual PM format of him taking on a client for one reason and then having to defend them when a murder occurs.

    True, I liked stuff like that. Too bad they didn't come up with some reason for all that stuff being there-- like a cargo ship sank in the same storm and it all washed ashore.

    True. One did have the Malloy, though.

    I remember ads for Steve and Bigfoot, but I don't remember Oscar and his desk. That's fantastic. :rommie: The name Maskatron rang no bells for me, either, but I see that it's a Robot Maker kind of robot. I don't think they ever used that name on the show.
     
  16. DarrenTR1970

    DarrenTR1970 Commodore Commodore

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    I'm going to go ahead and wrap this up.

    As the "Pussy Cats" sessions continued, it became clear that Harry's voice was deteriorating, but, afraid that John would cancel the sessions, Harry soldiered on singing, coughing and bleeding into a hankerchief until April 10th when the songs "Rock Around The Clock" and "Loop De Loop" were recorded, and the final damage was done.



    The next day, April 11th, would be the final day of recording; by which point Harry's voice had gone completely and he was forced to throw in the towel.



    Harry, along with John, Klaus Voormann, Jesse Ed Davis and Van Dyke Parks, went to see a doctor, who advised Harry that he was not to talk or sing for two weeks. The doctor's advice lasted for two days before Harry was back out on the town, partying. It was then that Lennon's instinct for self-preservation kicked in and he and May Pang moved out of the house they were renting with Harry and the others, and back to New York, taking the tapes with him, where he could work attempting to salvage something from the sessions in relative peace and quiet, while Harry recuperated under Una's watchful eye; Una having flown in from Ireland at the end of the spring semester.

    Once Harry joined Lennon in New York towards the end of April, it was discovered that Harry's contract with RCA had expired three months earlier and he had been recording without one, and the current head of RCA Kenneth Glancy had been reluctant to renew it following the lack of commercial success with "Son of Schmilsson" and "A Little Touch Of Schmilsson In The Night", and that Harry, along with several other artists were in serious trouble of being dropped from the label.

    After a night out, which neither Harry or Lennon had been to sleep, they arrived at RCA headquarters at 10am, wearing hats and shades and demanding to see Glancy. Once ushered in to his office, Lennon used his considerable powers of persuasion to say that RCA had only two major recording artists of any stature, Elvis and Harry. If the label was willing to re-sign Harry, then Lennon would be prepared to sign with RCA once his contract with EMI/Capitol expired. Glancy immediately asked for Harry's contract to be brought in, and it was signed then and there. It was a deal worth $5 million dollars for delivery of eight albums over the next eight years. Roughly $625,000 to be paid per delivery of each album.

    After the contract was signed, John and Harry went about finishing the album, finalizing arrangements, overdubbing strings, and mixing.

    One final song was worked on and completed, "Black Sails", built around Harry's now considerably reduced vocal range.

    While John focused on the mix, Harry prepared the album cover.

    One day in a pharmacy close to the recording studio, Harry found a postcard of two cats dressed up, fixing one another's hair and immediately realized this would solve the search for cover art, once Harry and Lennon's faces were superimposed over the feline ones. RCA rejected the original album title "Strange Pussies", but went along with "Pussy Cats", although they failed to notice the coded addition to the cover, the letter blocks "D" and "S" placed on either side of the rug, thereby spelling out "D-rug-S" under the table. (As an aside - when I first saw the album cover with the "D" and "S" between the rug, I thought it was code for "Dog Sh*t", based on the poodle in the picture. It wasn't until I read Nilsson's biography that I discovered what it really stood for.)

    The album would be released on August 19 and climb to number 60 on Billboard top 100. After finishing the album, Harry would stay in New York for the summer with Una, working with Lennon on "Walls and Bridges", and writing and contributing backing vocals for Ringo's album "Goodnight Vienna".
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2024
  17. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Mih ssim, mih ssim, nam, daed si Xim. Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2002
    Location:
    The Old Mixer, Somewhere in Connecticut
    He was created strictly for the toy line, but no doubt informed by whatever androids had appeared on the show at that point and Westworld. I just read last night that the likeness of his default face (one of three that could be switched, the others being Steve and Oscar) was based on John Saxon. I had a feeling he was based on somebody, as the face was idiosyncratic.
     
  18. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2003
    Location:
    RJDiogenes of Boston
    Good grief.

    Dude needs a keeper.

    And there she is. He was a lucky guy.

    That happened to my driver's license once. :rommie:

    He gets by with a little help from his friends. Even when he sings out of tune.

    I'm pessimistic that this actually happened.

    That makes sense. John Saxon provided one of his more epic battles.
     
  19. DarrenTR1970

    DarrenTR1970 Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2015
    Location:
    Bothell, WA
    Including "Pussy Cats", Nilsson would deliver five of the eight contracted albums for RCA. The final album "Knnillssonn" was released in late July 1977. It was the only album comprised entirely of original material and Harry had finally found a way to sing around his vocal limitations. RCA agreed it was his best album since "Nilsson Schmilsson" and were prepared to put their full marketing weight behind it; unfotunately, shortly after it was released, Elvis Presley died on August 16, and RCA's priorities shifted and marketing for "Knnillssonn" dried up. The album only reached 108 on the Billboard chart, failing to best his previous four albums. Then, unbeknownst to Harry, RCA released a "Greatest Hits" album without consulting him on the track listing or album cover, as a way to recoup the loses generated by the lack of success of the previous albums. In a sad bit of irony, the album charted even lower than "Knnillssonn". Harry asked for, and was released from his contract; receiving a lump sum payment of $1,500,000. After eleven years, Harry Nilsson, the second longest recording artist on the RCA label was done. The sixth RCA album under contract had been started prior to Harry's release from the label, would be worked on sporadically over the next few years, finally being released in 1980 as "Flash Harry" on the Mercury label, but only in Europe, as there was no American label willing to distribute it. Harry would go on to oversee the soundtrack to the Robert Altman movie "Popeye" and astage adaptation of his album "The Point", staring Micky Dolenz and Davy Jones of The Monkees. Harry would largely retire from the music business following the death of John Lennon. He would spend the remaining years of his life being a devoted husband to his wife Una and their six children, passing away in 1994 at the age of 52 of a heart attack. Shortly before his death, Harry contributed his vocals to Terry Gilliam's soundtrack of the movie "The Fisher King". He was also in the midst of curating a three CD collection of demos, outtakes and alternate mixes of songs spanning his entire RCA recording career. The three CDs would finally be included in The RCA Albums collection, released in 2013, which gathered all fourteen of his albums released by RCA as well as the aforementioned three CDs of outtakes. Harry was also an early proponent of music licensing, and with the help of his lawyer, negotiated several contracts to have his music licensed for television, movies and advertising, ensuring a steady stream of royalty income for his family after his passing.



    Tragically, Zak, his eldest son from his second marriage, would pass away in 2022 at the same age as his father, from cancer.
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2024
  20. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Mih ssim, mih ssim, nam, daed si Xim. Moderator

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    The Old Mixer, Somewhere in Connecticut
    50 Years Ago This Week


    April 7
    • Bobby Buntrock, 21, American child actor known for portraying Harold Baxter on the TV sitcom Hazel starting in 1961 as a 9-year-old, was found dead inside his overturned car which had fallen into Battle Creek in the city limits of Keystone, South Dakota, the victim of a drowning.

    April 8
    • Hank Aaron of the Atlanta Braves hit his 715th career home run in a 7 to 4 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers, breaking the record held by Babe Ruth since Ruth's retirement in 1935. Earlier in the game, Aaron had broken another mark set by another Hall of Fame player, Willie Mays's National League record of 2,062 runs scored in a career. Aaron would retire in 1976 with a career record of 755 home runs.
    • U.S. President Richard Nixon signed legislation raising the federal minimum wage, effective May 1, 1974, from $1.60/hour to $2.00/hour, to reach $2.10/hour in 1975 and $2.30 in 1976.
    • The U.S. Senate voted, 55 to 21, to make the Tuesday after the first Monday in November—election day in the United States—a paid federal holiday in even-numbered years, starting in 1976. The measure came as a bipartisan amendment offered by Republican Barry Goldwater and Democrat Hubert H. Humphrey, both of whom had lost presidential elections, in 1964 and 1968, respectively. Despite passing the Senate, however, the bill did not make it to a vote in the U.S. House of Representatives.

    April 10
    • Israel's Prime Minister, Golda Meir, announced her resignation as Premier and as leader of the Israeli Labor Party, nine days after the release of the Agranat Commission report.

    April 11
    • A terrorist attack killed 18 people, including eight children, as three members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) crossed from Lebanon into the town of Kiryat Shmona in Israel. The PFLP guerrillas had originally invaded the town's elementary school, but the school was closed for the Passover holiday.
    • The bipartisan Judiciary Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives voted, 33 to 3, to subpoena U.S. President Nixon to submit the actual tape recordings of 42 specific conversations in the Oval Office, after the repeated refusal by the White House to comply with previous requests.
    • Police in The Hague arrested Jacobus P. Phillipps, a Netherlands native who had served as an officer for the Nazi German SS during World War II, after Phillips had spent more than 29 years hiding in his parents' home. Since 1945, Phillips had stayed inside the home and had been given a death sentence after being convicted of war crimes in absentia in 1950. Phillipps was taken to Scheveninger Prison and then transferred to Assen, where his conviction had taken place.

    April 12
    • After a siege of more than a year by North Vietnam's People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN), the 92nd Ranger Battalion of South Vietnam's Army of the Republic of Viet Nam (ARVN) surrendered the Tonle Cham Camp, only 60 miles (97 km) from the South Vietnamese capital, Saigon.

    April 13
    • Westar 1, the first commercial geostationary satellite, was launched from Cape Canaveral in the United States by NASA on behalf of the Western Union communications company.


    Selections from Billboard's Hot 100 for the week:

    Leaving the chart:
    • "Last Time I Saw Him," Diana Ross (14 weeks)
    • "Love Song," Anne Murray (17 weeks)
    • "Put Your Hands Together," The O'Jays (16 weeks)
    • "Sexy Mama," The Moments (13 weeks)

    New on the chart:

    "I Won't Last a Day Without You," Carpenters

    (#11 US; #1 AC; #32 UK)

    "For the Love of Money," The O'Jays

    (#9 US; #3 R&B; #53 UK)

    "If You Love Me (Let Me Know)," Olivia Newton-John

    (#5 US; #2 AC; #2 Country)

    "The Streak," Ray Stevens

    (#1 US the weeks of May 18 through June 1, 1974; #12 AC; #3 Country; #1 UK)

    "Sundown," Gordon Lightfoot

    (#1 US the week of June 29, 1974; #1 AC; #13 Country; #33 UK)

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    Timeline entries are quoted from the Wiki page for the month, with minor editing as needed.

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    Last edited: Apr 6, 2024