Twilight Zone – A Penny for Your Thoughts

★★★★1/2  February 3, 1961 Season 2 Episode 16

If you want to see where we are…HERE is a list of the episodes.

This one is a comedic episode where everything goes right. It’s well written and acted. The 2000 movie What Women Want is related to this episode. Dick York is fantastic in this episode. One of two consecutive Twilight Zone episodes to star a future Bewitched regular, the previous episode The Invaders starred Agnes Moorehead.

This was the first of George Clayton Johnsons four Twilight Zone scripts and was his lightest story, but the easy tone doesn’t detract from it. The episode is charming and funny, and it does have a point…that people do things without thinking about them and think things without having the slightest intention of doing them.

The title comes from the old English expression “A penny of your thoughts” which dates back to John Heywood’s compilation of proverbs “A Dialogue Containing the Number in Effect of all the Proverbs in the English Tongue.”

George Clayton Johnson: Rod came through with a couple of people, visitors that he had brought on, and he saw me and Lola (wife) and he stopped to introduce us to these people. And his attitude toward me was one of great respect. It wasn’t like, Tm Rod Serling and this is one of the flunkies on the set, it was more like, Look, here’s the man who wrote this absolutely wizard thing that were making right now. It really built my ego and made me feel worthwhile.

This show was written by Rod Serling and George Clayton Johnson

Rod Serling’s Opening Narration: 

Mr. Hector B. Poole, resident of the Twilight Zone. Flip a coin and keep flipping it. What are the odds? Half the time it will come up heads, half the time tails. But in one freakish chance in a million, it’ll land on its edge. Mr. Hector B. Poole, a bright human coin – on his way to the bank.

Summary

Bank clerk Hector Poole develops telepathic powers after tossing a coin to a newspaper vendor that miraculously stands on its edge. He discovers the positive and negative effects of listening in on other peoples thoughts, plans and fantasies

Rod Serling’s Closing Narration:

One time in a million, a coin will land on its edge, but all it takes to knock it over is a vagrant breeze, a vibration, or a slight blow. Hector B. Poole, a human coin, on edge for a brief time – in the Twilight Zone.

CAST

Rod Serling … Narrator / Self – Host (uncredited)
Dick York … Hector B. Poole
June Dayton … Helen Turner
Dan Tobin … E.M. Bagby
Cyril Delevanti … L.J. Smithers
Hayden Rorke … Sykes
James Nolan … Jim
Frank London … Driver
Anthony Ray … Newsboy
Patrick Waltz … Brand
Aileen Arnold … Pedestrian (uncredited)
Sig Frohlich … Pedestrian (uncredited)

Primal Scream – Gentle Tuesday

I have heard mostly the 90s music from this band…I recently found this album from 1987 and love it. They formed in 1982 in Glasgow Scotland and are still together today. The only original member left is lead singer Bobby Gillespie. They have shifted in sound through the years. This song was during their power pop period.

This song was on the Sonic Flower Groove album released in 1987. It was met with mixed to bad reviews at the time.  The bad reviews caused internal strife within the band. Two members Jim Beattie and Gavin Skinner subsequently resigned. The band then changed directions and shifted to a more rock sound. In the mid-eighties a Byrds sound was not exactly the height of popularity but it would start taking off with bands like REM soon after.

I love the jangling guitar and the overall sound of the song and album. This song, Imperial, Treasure Trip, and many more make this a very good album to me.

Most reviewers now look back on the album with praise. It charted at #62 in the UK charts in 1987. Gentle Tuesday peaked at #87 in the UK charts in 1987.

Gentle Tuesday

Shadow masking matters
Can’t conceal the way you really feel
It doesn’t fit our souls exist
That of they asked me how it is

New morning dew for you
Sweet honey hips your lips
Hold spells when cast they dwell
Like magic in your kiss

Confusion colours cruel designs
Unhappy girl, you’re out of time

Gentle Tuesday
Sad and lonely eyes
Gentle tuesday
See yourself tonight

Memories as fat as bees
Presents a mess of poison tears
A word unkind that tricks our minds
We really warned before your time

Happiness, nothing less
A universal way
Bad seeds but fruit are sweet
You choke on empty days
Confusion colours cruel designs
Unhappy girl you’re out of time

Twilight Zone – The Invaders

★★★★★  January 27, 1961 Season 2 Episode 15

If you want to see where we are…HERE is a list of the episodes.

It’s so strange because of my age I remember Agnes Moorehead primarily as the Bewitched mother in law Endora. She was a great actress and was in Orson Welle’s stock company long before she was a sitcom star. She stars in this Twilight Zone and does a one woman show with a little help from special effects. I can’t say enough about her acting in this. She plays an old lonely woman and creates all of the suspense and drama to this episode. It’s worth it just to see her work at her craft.

This one is a Twilight Zone classic. The only complaint I’ve heard about this episode is that the special effects could have been a little better. The effects get the point across with no problem…so I see no problem and the episode is great.

When Agnes Moorehead learned she had no dialogue in this episode, she initially refused to do it. Rod Serling and director Douglas Heyes convinced her. Moorhead’s solo performance drew on the mime skills she had developed when, as a young actress, she studied with legendary pantomime artist Marcel Marceau in Paris.

As in other episodes, this one uses the United Planets Cruiser C57D spacecraft from Forbidden Planet , both of which were produced by MGM.

This show was written by Richard Matheson and Rod Serling

Rod Serling’s Opening Narration: 

This is one of the out-of-the-way places, the unvisited places, bleak, wasted, dying. This is a farmhouse, handmade, crude, a house without electricity or gas, a house untouched by progress. This is the woman who lives in the house, a woman who’s been alone for many years, a strong, simple woman whose only problem up until this moment has been that of acquiring enough food to eat, a woman about to face terror, which is even now coming at her from – the Twilight Zone.

Summary

An old woman who lives alone in a ramshackle farm house comes face to face with alien invaders. She hears something on her roof and then finds a flying saucer, perhaps six or seven feet across from which emerges two small robots. She fights them as best she can and eventually succeeds in destroying their ship. The nature of the invaders however is not immediately obvious however.

Rod Serling’s Closing Narration:

These are the invaders, the tiny beings from the tiny place called Earth, who would take the giant step across the sky to the question marks that sparkle and beckon from the vastness of the universe only to be imagined. The invaders…who found out that a one-way ticket to the stars beyond has the ultimate price tag…and we have just seen it entered in a ledger that covers all the transactions in the universe…a bill stamped “Paid in Full” and to be found unfiled in the Twilight Zone.

CAST

Rod Serling … Narrator / Self – Host (uncredited)
Agnes Moorehead … Woman

Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band – Too Cool To Dance

I have to thank Christian (Christian’s Music Musings) for introducing me to this band and to this song in particular. They resemble some of the roots revival bands I’ve been listening to from the 80s. This small band is a lot of fun.

The band is from  Brown County, Indiana. The band consists of The Reverend Peyton, “Washboard” Breezy Peyton, and Max Senteney the drummer. Peyton’s guitar playing is spot on. He uses finger picks to play and also holds the bottom end since they don’t have a bass player. When I saw this video on Christian’s site I went to youtube and got lost in their many songs. They are worth a trip down the youtube rabbit hole. The band can hold a groove and he is an excellent guitar player.

Josh “The Reverend” Peyton first influences were his dad’s records such as Neil Young, Jimi Hendrix, and Bob Dylan. He eventually tried to learn the finger-picking style of artists like Charlie Patton. At the time Peyton was unable to master it, instead playing more pick-oriented blues.

Him and “Washboard” Breezy Peyton were married in 2003 and have been touring ever since. The band has had success…per Wiki: The band released The Front Porch Sessions on March 10, 2017 on the Thirty Tigers label, debuting at #1 on the iTunes Blues chart, and #2 on the Billboard Blues chart

Rev. Peyton's Big Damn Band

They recorded this album on analog tape which I give a thumbs up to. Dance Songs For Hard Times, was released on April 9, 2021. This is their 10th album.

Dance Songs for Hard Times (CD) – Big Damn Band

Reverend Peyton: “I was thinking about all the times where I’ve been somewhere and felt too cool to dance,” “I didn’t want to be that way. Not being able to do anything last year, I had this feeling of, ‘Man, I’m not going to waste any moment like this in my life – ever.’ ”

Too Cool To Dance

I been dreaming about a night like this
I been dreaming about your sweet kiss
But it won’t happen if we ain’t on the floor
And it don’t matter what them folks say
They gonna talk some anyway
The time is right now
What are we waiting for?

We may not get another chance
Please don’t tell me
You’re too cool to dance
Our gift tonight is the circumstance
Please don’t tell me
You’re too cool to dance

The stars are high above so bright
And the song is hitting us just right
It may never be this good again
It’s rough outside but not in here
They’re all fake but we’re sincere
And pretty soon this old song will end

We may not get another chance
Please don’t tell me
You’re too cool to dance
Our gift tonight is the circumstance
Please don’t tell me
You’re too cool to dance

We may not get another chance
Please don’t tell me
You’re too cool to dance
Our gift tonight is the circumstance
Please don’t tell me
You’re too cool to dance

We may not get another chance
Oh, please don’t tell me
You’re too cool to dance
Our gift tonight is the circumstance
Please don’t tell me
You’re too cool to dance

Oh please don’t tell me
You’re too cool to dance
Please don’t tell me
You’re too cool to dance

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Reverend_Peyton%27s_Big_Damn_Band

 

Twilight Zone – The Whole Truth

★★★  January 20, 1961 Season 2 Episode 14

If you want to see where we are…HERE is a list of the episodes.

This is one of the comedy episodes. Imagine if you will…a car salesman that has to tell the truth. What a great world that would be. The movie Liar, Liar was probably influenced or based on this episode. It was shot on videotape and it unfortunately is very obvious. The outside doesn’t look like outside and it resembles the look of a soap opera. This is the one videotape episode that showed all of the limitations of that format. The only thing it does do is accent the terrible cars that he has to sell.

The casting again is good. Jack Carson plays Harvey Hunnicut the prototypical cheap used car salesman. He buys an old car and the car is haunted…who ever owns it must tell the truth. The acting like always is good but the presentation and some of the plot seems forced.

John F. Kennedy was sworn in as the 35th President of the United States at the Inaugural ceremonies held in Washington the afternoon of the very day this episode originally aired.

This show was written by Rod Serling

Rod Serling’s Opening Narration: 

This, as the banner already has proclaimed, is Mr. Harvey Hunnicut, an expert on commerce and con jobs, a brash, bright, and larceny-loaded wheeler and dealer who, when the good Lord passed out a conscience, must have gone for a beer and missed out. And these are a couple of other characters in our story: a little old man and a Model A car – but not just any old man and not just any Model A. There’s something very special about the both of them. As a matter of fact, in just a few moments, they’ll give Harvey Hunnicut something that he’s never experienced before. Through the good offices of a little magic, they will unload on Mr. Hunnicut the absolute necessity to tell the truth. Exactly where they come from is conjecture, but as to where they’re heading for, this we know, because all of them – and you – are on the threshold of the Twilight Zone.

Summary

Harvey Hunnicut is the stereotypical used car salesman: a fast talker who, to put it politely, is prone to stretching the truth about the cars he sells. He buys a used car from an old gentleman paying him far less that it’s worth. After the deal, the old man tells him the car is haunted. Soon, Harvey finds that he can only tell the truth. Not only to customers but even to his wife as well. When he tries to sell the man’s car he finds the perfect customer.

Rod Serling’s Closing Narration:

Couldn’t happen, you say? Far-fetched? Way-out? Tilt-off-center? Possible. But the next time you buy an automobile, if it happens to look as if it had just gone through the Battle of the Marne, and the seller is ready to throw into the bargain one of his arms, be particularly careful in explaining to the boss about your grandmother’s funeral, when you are actually at Chavez Ravine watching the Dodgers. It’ll be a fact that you are the proud possessor of an instrument of truth – manufactured and distributed by an exclusive dealer – in The Twilight Zone.

CAST

Rod Serling … Narrator / Self – Host (uncredited)
Jack Carson … Harvey Hunnicut
Loring Smith … Honest Luther Grimbley
George Chandler … Old Man
Jack Ging … Young Man
Arte Johnson … Irv
Patrick Westwood … The Premier’s Aide
Lee Sabinson … Nikita Khrushchev
Nan Peterson … Young Woman

ZZ Top – Beer Drinkers and Hell Raisers

The thing about ZZ Top is they never seem to take themselves too seriously. No concept albums or big love ballads… just good old fashion boogie blues rock.

I saw them in 1983 in Nashville. I remember the light show was incredible. I’ve never seen anything like it since. Near the end they made it look as if the stage was shaking and someone fell out of the lighting rig to the stage. Everyone at first thought it was a real person but it was a stuffed dummy.

They sounded great that night and it’s a concert I’ll never forget. The Little Ol’ Band from Texas didn’t disappoint. Who knew at that time they would be be together over 50 years with the same members they started out with.

The death of Dusty Hill had me to pull out Tres Hombres and give it another listen. Compared to other trios like Cream or the Jimi Hendrix Experience…ZZ Top played more in a groove. Dusty wasn’t all over the place on bass but he kept that bottom end grounded for Gibbons guitar to dance around in while Beard was locked with Dusty.

Tres Hombres was released in 1973. The album had four of their best known early songs such as La Grange, Waitin’ For The Bus, Jesus Just Left Chicago, and this one.

The album peaked at #8 in the Billboard 100 in 1973 and #13 in Canada…thanks to Vic (The Hinoeuma Cosmic Observation) for the Canada info.

Billy Gibbons: “On to a gig in Phoenix, we were driving through a West Texas windstorm. We, the band, were waiting to discover a place with some safe ground cover when the late-night lights of a roadside joint appeared. It was just across the line outside El Paso into New Mexico.

We ducked in quick and came face to face with our kind of folks… those soulful souls seeking solace, not only out of the dust and sand, but out of mind. What chance does one get better than that! We joined the gathering and started scribbling.”

From Songfacts

Group composition “Beer Drinkers And Hell Raisers” (with or without the ampersand) is a fun track with the band playing up to their Southern redneck image. Unusually, bass player Dusty Hill supplies the lead vocal, backed up by axeman Gibbons.

It has been suggested that the line, “Baby, don’t you wanna come with me?” means something a little more explicit than, “Would you like to accompany me to the honky-tonk, miss?” If that is indeed the case, then the censor missed it; although it was not released as a single it received considerable airplay, including in the UK, where in 1973 this sort of innuendo would not have been tolerated by the BBC.

The original version runs to 3 minutes 23 seconds, and the song has been covered by both Van Halen and Motörhead, the latter of whom produced a blistering track with some fine and innovative soloing by Fast Eddie Clarke, but as is often the case, the original has not been bettered. 

Here is a live version from 1980. I don’t like posting live versions unless they were done around the time of the release…this is as close as I could find as far as a video of them.

Beer Drinkers and Hell Raisers

If you see me walkin’ down the line
with my fav’rite honky tonk in mind,
well, I’ll be here around suppertime
with my can of dinner and a bunch of fine.

Beer drinkers and hell raisers, yeah.
Uh-huh-huh, baby, don’t you wanna come with me?

The crowd gets loud when the band gets right,
steel guitar cryin’ through the night.
Yeah, try’n to cover up the corner fight
but ev’rything’s cool ’cause they’s just tight.

Beer drinkers and hell raisers, yeah.
Huh, baby, don’t you wanna come with me?
Ah, play it boy.

The joint was jumpin’ like a cat on hot tin.
Lord, I thought the floor was gonna give in.
Soundin’ a lot like a House Congressional
’cause we’re experimental and professional.

Beer drinkers, hell raisers, yeah.
Well, baby, don’t you wanna come with me?

Fountains of Wayne – Stacy’s Mom …. Power Pop Friday

It’s hard not to like this song. it’s fun and the video should not to be missed. When I was growing up…I don’t remember any friend’s moms looking like Rachel Hunter though.

The song was credited to  Chris Collingwood and Adam Schlesinger…but Schlesinger wrote it. Stacy’s Mom was released in 2003 on the Welcome Interstate Managers album.

The intro resembles the Cars Just What I Needed and they even asked Ric Ocasek to be in the video for the song. He never responded but they had some tributes to him in the video.  A license plate reads “I ♥ RIC” and a young kid dressed similar to Ocasek with dark hair and sunglasses. They also re-created the scene from the movie Fast Times at Ridgemont High, which featured the Cars’ “Moving in Stereo.”

Adam Schlesinger said that he had Simon & Garfunkel’s “Mrs. Robinson” in the back of his mind when he wrote Stacy’s Mom… “It was a contrast of that story against a track that sounded like ’80s new wave, like The Cars or something.”

Adam also said that one of his friends when he was 11 or 12 was attracted…not to his mom but to his grandmother. He told Schlesinger that she was “really hot.” That incident helped him write the song.

It peaked at #21 in the Billboard 100, #11 in the UK, and #13 in Canada in 2003

The band Bowling For Soup has been misidentified as the band that did Stacy’s Mom. Youtube and even some of their fans even thought they were the band that did the song…so…they covered it! They do sound somewhat like Fountains Of Wayne.

Jaret Reddick (Bowling for Soup leader) said that by finally releasing their own version of the song, “I’ve basically just taken care of a large part of the population that’s been wrong for years, and I’ve made them right.” The cover art for their version of the  song release reads: “Finally you can say this is your favorite song by BFS and not look like an idiot!”

Unfortunately Adam Schlesinger passed away on April 1, 2020 from complications of Covid-19…he was only 52 years old.

Songfacts

The Cars’ influence is obvious – just compare the intro of their track, “Just What I Needed,” to the intro of “Stacy’s Mom” to hear for yourself.

This song was a commercial success and reached #1 on iTunes’ Most Downloaded Songs chart. In 2004, it was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Vocal Pop Performance. Adam Schlesinger told us “Stacy’s Mom” “is definitely the biggest of my own band stuff.” Schlesinger added to Bullz-Eye.com that he does not think Fountains of Wayne will achieve the same level of success they did with “Stacy’s Mom” ever again: “I think ‘Stacy’s Mom’ was a fluke thing where it was the right song and the right video, and you kind of had the novelty factor, and all that stuff. And you can’t really make that happen again.”

Actress and model, Rachel Hunter, portrayed Stacy’s mom in the song’s official video – directed by Chris Applebaum. Parts of the video bear a striking resemblance to the movie Fast Times at Ridgemont High. At one point in the movie, a character named Brad is in a bathroom fantasizing about his sister’s friend and the friend walks in on him. His sister’s name, coincidentally, is Stacy. .

The song featured in a commercial for the Cadillac SRX, which shows a woman picking up her daughter from school. As she does so, men gaze longingly at her “beautifully practical and practically beautiful” …car.

Stacy’s Mom

Stacy’s mom has got it goin’ on
Stacy’s mom has got it goin’ on
Stacy’s mom has got it goin’ on
Stacy’s mom has got it goin’ on

Stacy, can I come over after school? (after school)
We can hang around by the pool (hang by the pool)
Did your mom get back from her business trip? (business trip)
Is she there, or is she trying to give me the slip? (give me the slip)

You know, I’m not the little boy that I used to be
I’m all grown up now, baby can’t you see

Stacy’s mom has got it goin’ on
She’s all I want and I’ve waited for so long
Stacy, can’t you see you’re just not the girl for me
I know it might be wrong but I’m in love with Stacy’s mom

Stacy’s mom has got it goin’ on
Stacy’s mom has got it goin’ on

Stacy, do you remember when I mowed your lawn? (mowed your lawn)
Your mom came out with just a towel on (towel on)
I could tell she liked me from the way she stared (way she stared)
And the way she said, “you missed a spot over there” (a spot over there)

And I know that you think it’s just a fantasy
But since your dad walked out, your mom could use a guy like me

Stacy’s mom has got it goin’ on
She’s all I want, and I’ve waited so long
Stacy, can’t you see you’re just not the girl for me
I know it might be wrong
But I’m in love with Stacy’s mom

Stacy’s mom has got it goin’ on
She’s all I want and I’ve waited for so long
Stacy can’t you see you’re just not the girl for me
I know it might be wrong
I’m in love with (Stacy’s mom oh oh)
I’m in love with (Stacy’s mom oh oh)
Stacy can’t you see you’re just not the girl for me
I know it might be wrong, but
I’m in love with (Stacy’s mom oh oh)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stacy%27s_Mom

Bo Diddley – Bo Diddley

You know you have confidence when you name a song after yourself. Bo Diddley was born Ellas Bates. He had his name changed to Ellas McDaniels when he was adopted. He took his stage name from a one-stringed Deep South instrument, the Diddley Bow.

Diddley was trained on the violin as a child, but switched to guitar (to emulate John Lee Hooker) when his sister gave him one for a Christmas present.

Originally titled “Uncle John,” the song was rejected by the owners of Chess Records because the original lyrics were “too dirty” for the white American record-buying public. In response, Diddley re-wrote the lyrics and named the song after himself. From this point forward, Diddley often put his name in his songs.

 Its lyrics are based on the traditional lullaby titled “Hush Little Baby”, and it prominently features the Bo Diddley beat that the singer made famous.

The single was a double A side if there ever was one. Bo Diddley on one side and I’m A Man on the other. It peaked at #1 on the R&B Charts in 1955. 

From Songfacts

Diddley took his longtime partner Jerome Green to play the maracas on the recording. Green’s efforts were fed through an echo chamber to get the desired effect.

The Bo Diddley riff was incorporated into many rock’n’roll songs. Examples include “Not Fade Away” (Buddy Holly), “Willie and the Hand Jive” (Johnny Otis Show), “Cannonball” (Duane Eddy), “Hey Little Girl” (Dee Clark), “I Want Candy” (Strangeloves), “Bad Blood” (Neil Sedaka), and “Faith” (George Michael).

Contrary to popular belief, this did not make the Billboard Top Singles chart, but it did hit #1 on the Rhythm and Blues chart.

Diddley’s sole Top 40 his was recorded four years later – “Say Man” – a tape of Diddley and Green swapping insults in a bar. Instruments were added in the studio, and a #20 hit was born.

Bo Diddley performed this on his Ed Sullivan Show appearance November 20, 1955. Sullivan wanted Diddley to sing “Sixteen Tons,” but Diddley played this song anyway, which didn’t go over well with the host. Diddley was never asked back.

Bo Diddley

Bo diddley bought his babe a diamond ring
If that diamond ring don’t shine
He gonna take it to a private eye
If that private eye can’t see
He’d better not take the ring from me

Bo diddley caught a nanny goat
To make his pretty baby a Sunday coat
Bo diddley caught a bear cat
To make his pretty baby a Sunday hat

Mojo come to my house, ya black cat bone
Take my baby away from home
Ugly ole mojo, where ya bin
Up your house, and gone again

Bo diddley, bo diddley have you heard?
My pretty baby said she wasn’t for it

Twilight Zone – Back There

★★★★  January 13, 1961 Season 2 Episode 13

If you want to see where we are…HERE is a list of the episodes.

In this episode Russell Johnson makes his second appearance on The Twilight Zone. If you went back in time could you changed fixed events? We will find out in this episode. I like the time travel episodes and this one is no exception. I like the idea they built it around. This episode takes place on April 14, 1961 and April 14, 1865.

It’s not a perfect episode but a fun time travel adventure. This episode is a hard one to rate.  It just doesn’t gel like some of the others do.

The character Pete Corrigan mentions HG Wells in relation to his story The Time Machine, which had also just been made into a movie the year before this episode.

This show was written by Rod Serling

Rod Serling’s Opening Narration: 

Witness a theoretical argument, Washington, D.C., the present. Four intelligent men talking about an improbable thing like going back in time. A friendly debate revolving around a simple issue: could a human being change what has happened before? Interesting and theoretical, because who ever heard of a man going back in time? Before tonight, that is, because this is—The Twilight Zone.

Summary

After debating with a member of his Washington club whether you could go back in time and change major events, Pete Corrigan seems to go back to April 15, 1865 the night Abraham Lincoln was assassinated. He tries his best to warn the authorities of what will happen in a few hours time but it all falls on deaf ears. One person seems interested in what he has to say, but that person may have his own reasons for his behavior.

Rod Serling’s Closing Narration:

Mr. Peter Corrigan, lately returned from a place ‘back there’, a journey into time with highly questionable results, proving on one hand that the threads of history are woven tightly, and the skein of events cannot be undone, but on the other hand, there are small fragments of tapestry that can be altered. Tonight’s thesis to be taken, as you will—in The Twilight Zone.

CAST

Rod Serling … Narrator / Self – Host (uncredited)
Russell Johnson … Pete Corrigan
Paul Hartman … Police Sergeant
Bartlett Robinson … William
John Lasell … Jonathan Wellington
Jimmy Lydon … Patrolman (as James Lydon)
Raymond Bailey … Millard
Raymond Greenleaf … Jackson
John Eldredge … Whittaker
James Gavin … Policeman
Jean Inness … Mrs. Landers
Lew Brown … Lieutenant
Carol Eve Rossen … Lieutenant’s Girl (as Carol Rossen)
Nora Marlowe … Chambermaid
Pat O’Malley … Attendant
Fred Kruger … 1865 Attendant (uncredited)

Cynics – Baby What’s Wrong

There was quite a big garage band scene in the 80s from all over the world. These bands stuck close to their ancestors  so to speak but with a little more punch in the modern recording. They avoided the dated sound unlike some of their more popular peers.

The Cynics were from Pittsburgh and along with the Chesterfield Kings, the Milkshakes, and the Fuzztones were early founders of the 1980s garage rock revival movement. The picked up from where the garage bands from the 60’s garage bands.

This band is not limited to garage rock. I’ve heard everything from power pop to folk from them in songs.

Gregg Kostelich started the Cynics in 1983. The other members were drummer Bill Von Hagen, vocalist Michael Kastelic who joined in 1985, bass player Steve Magee, and keyboardist Becky Smith who debuted with their first album, Blue Train Station in 1986.

Baby What’s Wrong was on their Rock and Roll album released in 1990.

Their first two 45s were released by the Californian Dionysus label, but soon after Gregg had established his own Pittsburgh-based Get Hip Recordings who would release all of  The Cynics albums and singles. The label also releases records by fellow garage bands, power pop, and punk bands around the world.

The band is still togehter with members Gregg Kostelich, Michael Kastelic, Pablo González “Pibli”, and Angel Kaplan.

The band released 8 albums between 1986 to 2011 with the Spinning Wheel Motel album.

Gregg Kostelich: “I was maybe 4 or 5 when I started collecting Garage records, and I’ve been listening to that type of music ever since. And I was lucky enough to see a couple of shows I was a little kid…my parents would bring to see bands like THE SONICS and THE BLUE MAGOOS and THE WHO, when I was about 7 or 8! I didn’t know what was going on really, but it was really exciting. I was kinda embarrassed in a way because I was with my parents.” “Yeah, maybe I got brain damage from all the noise!”

I got a lot of info off of their record company’s website…check them out and their music.

THE CYNICS

Baby What’s Wrong

You didn’t hear me when I tried to tell you
You didn’t see me when I looked so lonely
You didn’t answer when I said, “Where you going?”

You didn’t see the way you drive me crazy

Baby what’s wrong with me
I can’t seem to turn your head
Baby what’s wrong with me
I’m always going home to an empty bed

You got my number, you never use it
You got my choice, but you never choose it
You got those brown eyes, they’re hiding something
If I could open up, I’d let you in

Baby what’s wrong with me
I can’t seem to turn your head
Baby what’s wrong with me
I’m always going home to an empty bed

Maybe some day, there will be a full moon
We’ll be together, in the same room
Open our eyes, see what we’re missing
My hard time is maybe they’re dissing

Baby what’s wrong with me
I can’t seem to turn your head
Baby what’s wrong with me
I’m always going home

Baby what’s wrong with me
I can’t seem to turn your head
Baby what’s wrong with me
I’m always going home

Baby what’s wrong

Miracle Legion – The Backyard ….80’s Underground Mondays

I took an instant liking to this song…a song about reminiscing about childhood. I started to explore their other music and found out that this 80’s alternative band was really good.

The lead singer Mark Mulcahy reminds me of Dan Stuart of Green on Red with a little Lou Reed thrown in…not a bad combination. They were on college radio in the 80s but were more popular in the north east and in the UK where  NME and Melody Maker wrote about them. 

Miracle Legion were formed in 1983 in New Haven, Connecticut. Their lineup consisted of singer/guitarist Mark Mulcahy, lead guitarist Ray Neal, drummer Jeff Wiederschall, and bassist Joel Potocsky.

This song was on The Backyard that was the second release (6 song EP) by the band in 1984 on Rough Trade Records. After two more releases, their debut album, Surprise Surprise Surprise, from 1987 and 1988’s seven song EP, Glad, Mulcahy and Neal found themselves as the only two members remaining in the band.

Miracle Legion carried on as a duo, and they released their second full length album, Me And Mr. Ray in 1989. The band didn’t remain a duo for long, as drummer Scott Boutier and bassist Dave McCaffrey joined. With Boutier and McCaffrey on board, the band released their third album, 1992’s Drenched, but legal problems with their record company caused Neal to throw in the towel and leave the band. Miracle Legion, at least temporarily was broken up.

In 1996 their legal issues were resolved, the band released their album Portrait Of A Damaged Family until they regrouped in 2017 and released Annulment. 

The Backyard was praised when it was released…from Melody Maker to the Trouser Press.

From Wiki: Drawing comparison to R.E.M., the record received much acclaim. Music critic Robert Christgau writing positively on Mulcahy’s lyrics says that they are of “dazzled childhood and yearning adolescence,” and likens the vocals to Loudon Wainwright III. The album has been called a “landmark” by Trouser Press, and calls the title track “sheer brilliance.”

My Backyard

Think it was the hottest day of the year
Even still we started fires with the embers
Sweetest man held on at the top of the hill
Sweetest lady held on to her memories

The world was so big and I was so small
And your voice was always the loudest of all

Yesterday we cut down the apple tree
Cracking wood made my little heart tremble
I wish I didn’t have to try so hard
But little boys got a lot to remember

The world was so big and I was so small
And your voice was always the loudest of all

I loved the days I spent with you
And I still have all you could offer
The backyard looks so empty now
Then I think of her, I think of her

The world was so big and I was so small
And your voice was always the loudest

The world was so big and I was so small
Your voice was always

The world was so big and I was so small
Your voice was always the loudest of all

Twilight Zone – Dust

★★★★  January 6, 1961 Season 2 Episode 12

If you want to see where we are…HERE is a list of the episodes.

The characters do a good job of showing the listlessness of the town. It’s set in a miserable ghost town that doesn’t know it’s one. The townspeople have no future and they know it. Sun and dust are the only two things these people have and will ever know.

This is a powerful episode all about context. To break it down…a drunk young man (Gallegos) driving a horse and wagon accidently kills a child. Normally under Rod Serling he would be an automatic villain but in this episode the context is different. There is a gray area in this forsaken town. The twist comes suddenly and the episode is over and leaves you thinking.

The acting was superb in this… Thomas Gomez plays Peter Sykes…a despicable man. The worse kind of opportunist you can imagine.  John Larch plays the sheriff who sees things for what they are and is one of the few sympathetic characters in this episode.  He is depressed by the thought of Gallegos being hanged and believes that he does not deserve to be hanged but knows he has to do his job.

This show was written by Rod Serling

Rod Serling’s Opening Narration: 

There was a village. Built of crumbling clay and rotting wood. And it squatted ugly under a broiling sun like a sick and mangy animal wanting to die. This village had a virus, shared by its people. It was the germ of squalor, of hopelessness, of a loss of faith. With the faithless, the hopeless, the misery-laden, there is time, ample time, to engage in one of the other pursuits of men. They began to destroy themselves.

Summary

In a dusty old-western town, a man’s scheduled to be hanged, after having been found guilty of accidentally killing a child while drunk. His father begs for mercy, but the marshal, has no choice but to proceed with the sentence. Sykes, an odious salesman takes advantage of the situation by selling the desperate father ‘magic dust’, which he says will make the townsfolk take pity upon his son. Soon, the events provide for an unexpected conclusion.

Rod Serling’s Closing Narration:

It was a very small, misery-laden village. On the day of a hanging. And of little historical consequence. And if there’s any moral to it at all, let’s say that in any quest for magic, and any search for sorcery, witchery, legerdemain, first check the human heart. For inside this deep place is a wizardry that costs far more than a few pieces of gold. Tonight’s case in point – in the Twilight Zone.

CAST

Rod Serling … Narrator / Self – Host (uncredited)
Thomas Gomez … Peter Sykes
John Larch … Sheriff Koch
Vladimir Sokoloff … Gallegos
John A. Alonzo … Luís Gallegos (as John Alonso)
Paul Genge … John Canfield
Dorothy Adams … Mrs. Canfield
Duane Grey … Rogers
Jon Lormer … Man (as John Lormer)
Andrea Darvi … Estrelita Gallegos (as Andrea Margolis)
Doug Heyes Jr. … Farmer Boy (as Douglas Heyes)
Nick Borgani … Townsman (uncredited)
Alphonso DuBois … Townsman (uncredited)
Richard LaMarr … Townsman (uncredited)
Frances Lara … Townswoman (uncredited)
Robert McCord … Lawman (uncredited)
Daniel Nunez … Townsman (uncredited)
Paul Ravel … Townsman (uncredited)
Armando Rodriguez … Townsman (uncredited)
Theresa Testa … Townswoman (uncredited)
Dan White … Man #2 (uncredited)

Freedy Johnston – Seventies Girl

This song has everything I like in a good pop song. Good melody, lyrics, and a voice that carries it perfectly. I also like the steel guitar in the background that sets the tone for the song.

When you can use “chartreuse green” in a lyric you are doing alright.

Clothes from a case you’d thrown at me
Orange, yellow, red and chartreuse green

Freedy Johnston was an artist that I found in the late 90s. I first heard him on an alternative radio station I would listen to. They would play cuts off of his Never Home album. When I heard this song I bought the album.

Johnston has never burned up the charts but he did have a minor his in 1994 with the song Bad Reputation which peaked at #54 in the Billboard 100.

Later on I would like his version of Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes) off of his Right Between the Promises album.

Seventies Girl

Down from the attic in your old things
My new girlfriend has a curious streak
Half lit, in the hall
She’s like you
Twenty years ago

Clothes from a case you’d thrown at me
Orange, yellow, red and chartreuse green
Way back in the day
I lost you
Don’t tell me here we go again

Seventies girl
Don’t come any closer
There’s gonna be trouble tonight
You’re not staying over

Hey there seventies girl
Never should have showed her
You want to be older
Than you were

She was transcendental then
Her beautiful eyes through your rose specs
Way back, in the day
I loved you
Or something like it anyway

Seventies girl
You’ve been taken over
You never had a cradle to rock
Now you want to go there

Hey there seventies girl
Never should have told her
You want to be older
Than you were

We fell apart
Just like that dress
Then taught ourselves unhappiness
I don’t recall much, I confess
But wonder where she’s gone

Seventies girl
Don’t come any closer
There’s gonna be trouble tonight
You’re not staying over

Hey there, seventies girl
Never should’ve showed her
You want to be older
Than you were

Raspberries – Overnight Sensation (Hit Record)

This is my second song pick for Hanspostcard’s song draft. The Raspberries  Overnight Sensation (Hit Record).

 Bruce Springsteen: “Overnight Sensation (Hit Record) should go down as one of the great mini-rock-opera masterpieces of all time”

In the nineties I bought the Raspberries greatest hits. I listened with headphones to each song until I heard this one. I stopped and listened to it repeatedly. It’s one of those songs that goes beyond other songs…It is truly a pop-rock symphony. I was amazed that I never heard this before.

Overnight Sensation (Hit Record) is an epic, ambitious, grand, lofty, extravagant, and brilliant song from the Raspberries. They were swinging for the fences when they made this song and they hit it out of the park. It’s on the album Starting Over released in 1974.

Put some headphones on and listen to this completely to the very end… When I hear it, I think this is what it would sound like if The Who, Beach Boys, and Beatles made a song together…this would be it. Musically you have a little of everything. Sliding bass lines, tasteful guitar licks, great vocals, a sax solo that gives way to more lyrics as the song morphs into an AM radio sound… and then comes a solo piano.

Stay until the very end because they dupe you into a fake ending and the drums will come in as if the world is going to end. Then… a Beach Boys final huge crescendo wave will wash over you like a warm summer moonlit night. It’s a wall of sound of ecstasy that you wish would go on forever.

The song is about trying to make it in the music business. It’s Eric Carmen singing with desperation wanting a hit record on the radio. After this album, the Raspberries were no more. This was Eric Carmen at his absolute best before he went solo and became an ordinary pop singer. He would never try anything this ambitious again.

Certain songs we all know are timeless. In a perfect world this one deserves to be on that list. I don’t use the word masterpiece a lot but I would consider this song one. The musical arrangement is second to none in terms of arrangement, production, and harmonies.

Although “Go All The Way” was their big hit of their career…this one is in a different league and they never equaled it. Most people don’t know this song and it’s a musical injustice. I only hope more people discover it.

The three best power pop bands of the early to mid-seventies were Big Star, Badfinger, and The Raspberries. Badfinger were the most successful (and they paid dearly for it), Big Star wasn’t even known, and The Raspberries had one top ten hit with few very good minor ones. All three of these bands were too rock for pop radio and too pop for rock radio…in varying degrees they fell into the cracks of history… none of them had long careers.

John Lennon was said to be a fan of the group. He was producing Nilsson’s Pussycats at the same time The Raspberries were making this album at the Record Plant. John supposedly was blown away by Overnight Sensation.

The song peaked at #18 in the Billboard 100 and #22 in Canada in 1974.

Overnight Sensation (Hit Record)
Well I know it sounds funny
But I’m not in it for the money, no
I don’t need no reputation
And I’m not in it for the show

I just want a hit record, yeah
Wanna hear it on the radio
Want a big hit record, yeah
One that everybody’s got to know

Well if the program director don’t pull it
It’s time to get back the bullet
So bring the group down to the station
You’re gonna be an overnight sensation

I’ve been tryin’ to write the lyric
Non-offensive but satiric too
And if you put it in the A-slot
It’s just got to make a mint for you

I fit those words to a good melody
Amazing how success has been ignoring me
So long
I use my bread making demos all day
Writing in the night while in my head I hear
The record play
Hear it play

Hit record, yeah
Wanna hit record, yeah
Wanna hit record, yeah (number one)