Friday, August 14, 2015
Oh, those Summer Mood Swings. The heat and humidity plays with my antenna reception. Just like last year. The temperature brings visions of palm leaves and a hypnotism of relief. My classic satirical mood recedes back as the weather changes. So my comic obsession evolved into a Bill Griffith phase, with the reading of Lost and Found and the Zippy collection The Dingburg Diaries. But as the Trade Winds gathered, watching the 1937 pirate classic Doctor Syn or low trash like the Zombies of Mora Tau popped into the program.
And when the palm trees wave, Hawaiian Eye slips back into harbour. Is that a copy of the one and only comic book from the television series? With Troy Donahue on the cover, it can only mean it was from the fourth and final season of the show. And perhaps somewhere out of frame is the one and only Dell paperback from the program (original price 40 cents), not with Troy, but original stars Anthony Eisley, Robert Conrad, Connie Stevens, Poncie Ponce and second season addition Grant Williams (the original Incredible Shrinking Man).
I remember just prior to the original run of the series (late 1959), my older sister and her chums were following the fad of wearing little carved wooden tikis as necklaces. It was essential that I be like the cooler 'older' kids (by four years), so I got one too. Tiki necklaces appear online regularly, but I have not seen one of the dark brown wooden variety with thin leather strap from the vintage late '50s. Perhaps an at that time 'beatnik' accessory, if I found one, it would an essential to the viewing experience.
So, yes, I admit I am enjoying dubious prints of Hawaiian Eye Season One. And I tried to bring up my collection of Les Baxter's complete tropical albums of the mid to late '50s while composing this piece, but my media player only gives me one task or the other. Fearful of losing the text, the audio soundtrack is abandoned. A bit of appropriate mood is sacrificed.
Les Baxter is essential for these sessions. His Caribbean Moonlight album (1956) was a major soundtrack to my imaginative childhood, an example of my mother's sometimes offbeat, esoteric taste. SPACE PIRATE RADIO listeners will know the themes as backgrounds for the Golden Morning Movie and hosts Oscar B. Chow or Tony Anthony-Tony. One song on the LP, entitled Out Of This World, was the theme (though a different version) of the old KHJ-TV channel 9 Saturday movie showcase, Strange Tales of Science Fiction.
And of course, this Pacific Navigation leads me East to further Celestial Obsessions. I finished Santa Barbara author Yunte Huang's book on Charlie Chan and the original Hawaiian Police Detective who was his inspiration. Now I head further East and turn the pages of Yellow Peril! Will this pursuit lead to more additions in the Fu Manchu collection? We shall see.
I have two different CD collections of the Hawaiian Eye soundtrack, but not the LP. I did have it once. There was a forgotten copy in the old KTMS radio collection. Not a fan of the show at the time (1985 or so), it got packed up with discarded discs when hit radio Y-97 took over and was added to a stack heading for trade value at Moby Disc on Ventura Blvd. Along with countless versions of Moon River and The Windmills Of Your Mind, it was traded in for an import copy of Tangerine Dream's latest.
I understand there was an Hawaiian Eye board game. If anyone sees a decent copy, drop me a line. :)X.