Thursday, June 28, 2012

"Tell me Hilda, does all this frighten you? Does it make you feel insecure?"

When Smokey Robinson hooked up with Trinity Broadcasting Network, he suggested an Evangelical movie project set in Motown Studios.  "The Last Christ of the Temptations" never went past first draft.

Syd Barrett as Jerry Lewis in "The Delicate LSDelinquent."  Likewise.

Everyone remembers Fats Domino and Chubby Checker.  But what ever happened to Porky Parcheesi and Hefty Scrabble?

I love the B Movie factories of the '30s and the '40s.  Does anyone remember MONOGAM Studios?  Their motto: "We only have ONE LEG to stand on."

The studio, too cheap to afford the East Side Kids or the Bowery Boys, introduced the ill-fated Skid Row Juveniles.  Also, unable to pay for Chinatown second unit work, the Mr. Wang of Alameda series was doomed to obscurity.

Citizen Kane to be remade with new product placement: RoseBudweiser.  Peter Gabriel will contribute title song: Sledhammer.

Del Monte sponsoring revival of musical "Hair."  "This is the dawning of the Age of Asparagus."

An intoxicated Tom Jones exposed himself during a concert after changing the lyrics to "It's Not Hung Usual."

Hollywood Hidden Secrets: When long time partner Bob's Big Boy ran off with new lover Pillsbury Dough Boy, jilted lover Alky of Alka Seltzer, commited suicide by throwing himself in a glass of water.

Snow White originally had 10 Dwarfs.  Did Walt fire Nosey because he was too Jewish?  Humpy for his Vice Record?  And Limpy?  There would have only been 5 Dwarfs if Dopey hadn't been a supplier and Doc hadn't performed certain operations.  The first explains Happy and Sneezy's conditions.  Grumpy had piles, but Doc wouldn't perform the operation.  Records were destroyed.

They keep sending me mail about cremation services.  I burn them in the fireplace.

Shouldn't Abbe Lane have recorded Abbey Road?

Michael Caine was once approached to join Emerson, Lake and Harry Palmer.

Max Factor and the X Factor have nothing in common.  There is no foundation to this story.

Likewise, Bette Davis has never been romantically linked with Miles Davis, Sammy Davis, Jr., the Spencer Davis Group or the Davis Cup.  Where DO these stories come from?

Joan Crawford's alter ego was Broderick Crawford.  They were never photographed in the same room together.

Hermes was the Messenger of the Gods, not a fashion designer.  It was never his bag.

Monday, June 11, 2012

"When I get to the bottom I go back to the top of the slide."

Okay, Jo.  Here are some more rib ticklers.

Bob Fosse once considered doing the choreography of the works of Ayn Rand.  "Atlas Frugged" was the first concept.

Nipplelodian (the network for under-nourished, non-breast fed children) had proposed a series about a female child star jazz-funk group: The Jon Benet Ramsey Lewis Trio was quietly shelved.

In the sixties, Johnson & Johnson suggested a line of bath products inspired by The Man from U.N.C.L.E.  David McTallcum Powder only made it to the testing stage.

Likewise, in later years musician Peter Hammill asked Napoleon Solo to join his band, but sadly, Robert Vaughn der Graaf Generator never performed at the Roundhouse.

The planned collaboration of Jethro Tull and Yes never brought forth Thick as a Brick Relayer.

I would love to start a new town called Moderation.  Alcoholics could live there with respect.  They would never feel guilty saying, "I only drink in Moderation."

Likewise, in this town, I would name one street Not in Service.  This would make waiting for your correct bus more fun.

Robert Plant originally sang "Hey, hey, Mama.  When you move your groins.  It makes me glad you're from Des Moines."  Later, sober, this version of "Whole Lotta Lunch" was discarded.

Jimmy Page was asked to join a disbanded Bachman-Turner Overdrive.  Page-Turner is still a mystery.  But then, a good mystery should always be a Page-Turner.

Not many people know that Bob Dylan loved the mystery comedies of Nick and Nora Charles so much, he created "Ballad of a Thin Man."  An obsession with the lead actress inspired the song, "Loy, Lady, Loy."

If Bea Arthur had married William Holden, she would be Bea Holden.  If she had then made a film with The Thin Man's Myrna Loy, they would have been Loy and Bea Holden.  Or was that an Irish Vaudeville team?

Alka Salsa was briefly produced by the Miles Davis Laboratory.

Travel author Rick Steve's marriage ended when he accidentally sent a misspelled postcard from Amsterdam saying; "Wish you were her."

Gene Barry did not appear in the pilot episode of the sixties Saudi Arabian detective show, Burqa's Law.

The first concert merchandise ever sold was after a performance of Trois Gymnopedies, Paris.  The item was an Erik Satie shirt.

Where are the great porno performers of the '70s?  We know what happened to Johnny Trousersnake Disease.  But does anyone fondly recall Veronica Nose, Amber Grope, Bambi Steam, Desiree Humper and Vanessa del Groppo?  And the virile efforts of Jamie Odors and Herschel Sewage?  I miss those all night shows at the Screaming Beaver theatre. Downtown Los Angeles, at 5th and Hell.

Stop me if you've heard this one before: Armin Mueller-Stahl, with his new wife Lesley and their adopted son Nick, are heading to a horse farm in Chatsworth to film a scene about Josef Stalin in a barn, when on the Ventura Freeway...guess what happens to the car's engine?

Monday, June 4, 2012

"Nothing less. The number 10 raised almost literally to the power of infinity."

If I hadn't seen the film Forbidden Planet in 1956 at the age of 7, possibly EIGHT, I doubt Space Pirate Radio would have ever come to exist.  Aside from the Existential discussion of the change of time, placement, divergence, effect and outcome, the simple fact was...this film BLEW THE CHILDLIKE MIND!  Hallucinogens in the chocolate milk and frosted flake(s).  It changed my world, like that Mad Magazine cover did 2 years later.

My mother took me to see it in a Southern California theatre after we had moved from Michigan.  She HATED it.  Space movies and science fiction scared her.  My dad LOVED sci-fi, so we buddied up for all of the later interstellar fare.  In my childhood, HE drove me to the first Count Dracula Society meetings.  WE went to Forrest J Ackerman's house to see his sci-fi collection.  I can still remember my father talking to Forry about the classic science fiction film, Things to Come.  Cool.

But back to Forbidden Planet.  This otherworldly interpretation of Shakespeare's The Tempest was a ground breaking sci-fi film.  I'll try to avoid an in-depth thesis.  The film had many levels to excite a young boy's mind, especially Anne Francis and her Sin-emascope legs and her pre-mini (or post-mini, since this is the future) mini-skirt/dress.  Hoo-Hah!

It was the sound of the thing.  The first all electronic soundtrack major motion picture.  Completely alien.  Not a recognizable human instrument in the whole mix.  We had the theremin in Day the Earth Stood Still. An alien amidst the human orchestra.  Very cool.  But this was complete.  Like when I first heard Tangerine Dream's Atem.  Pure space.  The film's composers were Louis and Bebe Barron.

So it would appear that film soundtrack music shaped my imagination.  Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake from Dracula, Max Steiner's complete score from 1933's King Kong, Bernard Herrmann's music from Journey to the Center of the Earth and especially Jason and the Argonauts and Mysterious Island.  Jazz from my Mother...Henry Mancini with Mr. Lucky, the crazy early sounds of Lenny Dee, Errol Garner.  My Sister with classical, ballet and the soundtrack to Spartacus.  I owned Percy Faith's theme from A Summer Place and Spike Jones' stuff as well as classical.  Plug that in with surf guitar, Lou Christie, Burt Bacharach, the British Invasion and lots of keyboards.  Mix with Monster Movie Marathons, Mad Magazine, lounge music and Eurotrash films and fashion.  The nucleus of Space Pirate Radio muzak is in the lab.

These things take time.  For some, a little slower than others.  38 plus years ago, I introduced Tangerine Dream on commercial radio, 8 floors above the Granada Theatre.  A month from now, what is now Tangerine Dream, will make its "Santa Barbara Debut" in the very same theatre below.

Oh, the irony.

It takes time for some of these fads to catch on.

(Will Gaston or the Phantom himself be in the balcony?)

Herbert Lom Chaney? More or less, B.S. Morbius, or less. :)