A few things from the 70s

If I could have been a teenager in any decade it would have been the 1970s. I barely remember the 70s  I grew up mostly in the 80s. I was always envious of people who grew up in the decade before I did…. Great music, split level houses, earth tones, funky clothes, cool cars, great tv shows and bad variety shows…so bad they were great…. Everyone and everything had their own personality. It was a decade where all generations intersected with each other. You had a Paul Lynde Halloween special with Tim Conway, Kiss, Florence Henderson (singing That Old Black Magic no less) Donny and Marie!, Margaret Hamilton and the eternal Betty White. What other decade would have that? The birth of Saturday Night Live….with Laraine Newman, John Belushi, Jane Curtin, Gilda Radner, Dan Aykroyd, Garrett Morris, and Chevy Chase…

I’m not saying anything bad didn’t happen…they did… Jonestown, Kent State, Watergate, Iran hostages, inflation and gas shortages and more. But every decade has its tragedies and bad things.

Really good things were no cellphones, no AIDs, we had vinyl records and we would study the front cover art or picture and the fold out for hours, real honest to goodness rock stars who had talent, no auto-tune, pictures that were not doctored so much you weren’t sure they were real, Intellivision, Atari games, libraries were still relevant, hanging out with friends after school, not nearly as much commercialism (fewer choices to make), more freedom, individualism, you could tell a Ford from a Chevy, Now everyone wants the same things because we are hit with ads 24/7 to be like everyone else.

The 1980s is when commercialism really started in full earnest.

In the 70s people and companies were not afraid to take chances to do something different and new…like movies, houses and cars….even if you didn’t like them (AMC Pacer!) at least you weren’t seeing the same thing in different colors. Yes disco was there but I still like it better than boy groups now. Real musicians played on them. I will admit the lit dance floors were pretty cool…that’s all I will give disco. You could go and see The Who, Led Zeppelin, Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones, Stevie Wonder for 12 bucks and under…sometimes cheaper.

Many people would disagree with the 70s but I still like the chaise lounge chairs with the groovy fuzzy feeling (I have one), green shag carpet the dark restaurants and Star Wars! Before the awful….for the most part Star War prequels.

I can think of many more things both good and bad. I just wish I could have seen more of the seventies at an older age than I was then. But I enjoyed what I had of them…I just wished we had more individualism now.

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Can’t forget the Pacer (rolling fish aquarium on wheels)

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The best Peanut Butter ever…KOOGLE… it came in 4 flavors and Banana was my favorite. I so wish Kraft would bring this back…I really miss this…

 

 

 

 

The Wonderful World of Sid and Marty Krofft

Growing up in the seventies watching shows on Saturday morning was a wonderful experience and Sid and Marty Krofft could really be on the strange side….but a great strange.

It has been rumored that the brothers were inspired by hallucination drugs such as LSD and or pot. The brothers have always denied this claim. Shows with titles H.R Pufnstuf and Lidsville (Puff and a Lid) and the lyrics led to accusations.

H.R. Pufnstuf, who’s your friend when things get rough?
H.R. Pufnstuf, can’t do a little, ’cause you can’t do enough!

A quote from them…”We screwed with every kid’s mind,” says Marty Krofft of the loopy shows — such as H.R. Pufnstuf, Lidsville and Land of the Lost — that he created with brother Sid in the early 1970s. “There’s an edge. Disney doesn’t have an edge.”…from Hollywoodreporter.

H.R. Pufnstuf – A boy with a talking flute got in a boat and then the skies turned gray and there in the sky was Witchiepoo… He ended up at a place with H.R. Pufnstuf (who has to be seen) his friends and talking trees…terrorized by Witchiepoo…. with a hint of psychedelic thrown in…as was most of the shows they created. It’s awesome to know that kids watched this strange show… Give me this over Barney….

Lidsville – A boy falls down a large top hat at a amusement park and ends up in a land of Hats…No kidding…there was also a genie named Weenie…who played Witchiepoo in HR Pufnstuf. The bad guy was Charles Nelson Reilly the magician and he would go around zapping people. The show is just plain bizarre…for me it is the strangest show of the group….and that made it my favorite.

Sigmund and the Sea Monsters – A couple of boys find a friendly sea monster hiding from his mean family of sea monsters. the boys hide Sigmund from everyone else. This is probably the most normal one of them all…It was a popular Saturday morning show.

The Bugaloos – Singing insects…Watch it…Most boys had a crush on the Butterfly Caroline Ellis.

The Banana Splits – An animal rock group with a catchy theme song…which all of the earlier shows had a catchy theme. This show was made by Hanna-Barbera but the costumes were made by the Krofft brothers.

The Land of the Lost – The best written show of them all. See the Land Of The Lost post.

There were other shows like Electra Woman and Dyna Girl, The Space Nuts, The Lost Saucer and Wonder Bug but they were not in the same league as the top group. The Krofft brothers moved away from the puppets…which they were known for… and the wild themes.

Sid and Marty Krofft also had an inside theme park in Atlanta

In 1976, a developer asked the Kroffts to develop a very cool amusement park for the new Omni International complex in downtown Atlanta. The World of Sid and Marty Krofft was the world’s first indoor amusement park, but due to poor attendance it was closed after just six months. The Omni International building that contained the amusement park was renamed the CNN Center when the site was converted to the present CNN headquarters.[4]

The brothers sued McDonalds and won for ripping off H.R. Pufnstuf and Living Island. Here is what happened. 

The Bugaloos

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Lidsville

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Sigmund and the Sea Monsters

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The Banana Splits

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1980’s Music

To be truthful I never was enamored of the 1980s very much. I spent my teenage years stuck in that MTV decade. As far as music…I didn’t give up my loves…Beatles, Who and Stones although that was not the most popular choice then. Personally, I didn’t like the 80’s music much at all…Michael Jackson, Madonna and a long string of synth and big hair bands were terrible to me. I hated the sound of fake drums and the tinny guitars from the so-called heavy bands. Raw was out in the 80’s in popular music and it showed.

The Heavy Metal guitar players would learn classical riffs and then continue to put them in every solo. It was more about technique than feel. Feel and looseness was gone. It was about who could play the fastest and it didn’t matter if it fit the song or not… It seemed no one played for the song anymore.

Not saying I hated everything…I really liked… Bruce, Tom Petty, Prince, John Mellencamp, The Bangles, The Wilburys, U2, REM, Dire Strait and some great one hit wonders. AC/DC I didn’t appreciate as much at the time but they at least had a rawness to them.

I remember the radio stations playing Phil Collins over, over, over and over some more. If they weren’t playing him…they played Genesis. I had my fill of Phil…I believe everyone did then…

It was the era of big-selling albums…. Born In The USA, Purple Rain, Thriller, Pyromania, Back In Black, Brothers In Arms, 1984, Synchronicity and The Joshua Tree.

The performers I held high…The Stones (Dirty Work), The Who (It’s Hard) and Paul McCartney (Pipes of Peace) made the worst albums…in my opinion of their careers…all in the 1980’s. You can hear the 80’s sound infiltrated all of them.

ZZ Top made Eliminator and Aerosmith made Permanent Vacation and then continued to make the same album over and over again…

I am not the biggest fan of Guns and Roses and Nirvana but I do credit them for helping to wipe the 80’s of big hair bands…like squashing an irritating bug.

There are songs that take me back to good times in that decade. Salt In My Tears, Going for a Soda, Come on Eileen, Darlington County, Raspberry Beret, All The Good Ones are Taken, Walking on Sunshine, Starting Over, Old Man Down the Road, Video Killed the Radio Star etc….

It wasn’t enough to listen to the radio but we just had to see the video. Videos took over as the most important thing. Videos had been an important tool since the 60’s but in the 1980’s they were the driving force…. A bad video could kill a career…. ask Billy Squire.

Video killed the radio star… truer words were never spoken.

 

 

The Traveling Wilburys

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Gilligan’s Island

The questions:

Mary Ann or Ginger? (Poll)  Why did the professor bring that many books? Why did the Howells bring that much cash on a 3-hour cruise? How many dresses did Ginger pack? How many red/blue/white shirts did Gilligan, Skipper and the Professor own respectively? Why did they let Gilligan participate in getting rescued ploys? The Professor was a Macgyver times 20…. He could make anything out of coconut shells, vines and a spare part off of the SS Minnow…but he couldn’t build a raft or boat?

You tend to over look that and just have fun. The network and critics hated the show. The public liked it and it has never stopped being broadcast because of syndication. Every day after school this was always on and I was always hoping as a kid for them to get off that island. I had no clue it was filmed years before I was watching it. They finally were rescued in some TV movies in the 70s long after the show had gone off the air. When I was a kid I went to a muscular dystrophy telethon and there she was…Dawn Wells standing there and I was 10 years old. She gave me an autographed picture and shook my hand…I didn’t wash that hand for at least a week…until mom made me. Sadly I lost the picture but I will never forget meeting her. She was down to earth and really kind.

Gilligan’s Island was a fun slapstick comedy show. My favorite episode is the one with The Mosquitos rock band. The Mosquitos were really a group called the Wellingtons… they are the group that sang the theme song.

My son’s 14th birthday party happened a few years ago and we had a projector for the television…what did 14-year-old kids want to see in 2014? Gilligan’s Island. One thing I notice about the season 1 and 2 color shows…they are very vivid….the color jumps out at you.

 

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Mary Ann of course…

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The Mosquitoes…Bingo, Bango, Bongo and Irving.. love the glasses that Irving is wearing.

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The Mosquitoes “live”

 

For the Love of the Dodgers

What if my dad would have been a Yankees fan like his brothers? I would have grown up rooting for a team that won more than any other. My life could have been different….nah….I’m happy that he passed down his love of the Dodgers. His brothers grew up in the 50’s fans of the Yankees…My dad always went for the underdogs which would have been Brooklyn then….the only championship they won was in 1955 before moving to LA. I remember when I was a small kid, my dad, watching a World Series with the Dodgers against a team in yellow and green uniforms…That would have been the 1974 world series against the Oakland A’s.

I started to watch baseball in 1977 and started to follow the Dodgers. Once in a while I would be lucky and catch them on Saturdays and Monday nights on the 3 channels we had then. I also would be able to listen on the radio when they played the Reds, Cardinals or Braves…. I never lived anywhere near California but that doesn’t matter. Ron Cey, Davey Lopes, Steve Garvey and Bill Russell were in that great infield. My favorite player was Ron Cey….I played 3rd base in little league just because of him. They made it to the World Series that year….I thought that happened every year…. They lost that year to the Yankees and Reggie Jackson hit 3 home runs…I still don’t like that man. I liked the Dodger’s Reggie (Reggie Smith) much better…The next year they made it again….again they were beaten by the Yankees…helped by a terrible call when Reggie Jackson…see a pattern here?…intentionally stepped in front of the ball to deflect it…but it wasn’t called. I knew how my Dad felt in the fifties. They made it to the World Series again in 1981 and finally,…finally they won…not only did they win that year….they beat the Yankees…It was my happiest time being a Dodger fan. It even beat 1988 when Kirk Gibson hit his home run and they won.

After 88 they changed owners to Fox….which sucked because they didn’t know how to run a baseball team and was only interested in broadcasting rights. Then a carpet bagger named Frank McCourt bought the team in 2004. That was probably the worst day in Dodger history. The guy was/is a crook and would not spend on the team. He used the team as his personal piggy bank. I wanted to use him as a piñata and beat him until he sold the Dodgers to a real owner. MLB finally took the team away from the jerk…

Now in 2017 they finally made it back to the World Series. My son who really started to watch seriously for the first time this year saw them one game away from winning it all….He was disappointed but I’ve been here before…They will win it with the ownership and the front office they have…..

I love the new team Kershaw, Turner, Jansen, Bellinger, Seager etc… I do believe they will win it all…..

But…you never really forget your childhood heroes…

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The Roster of the 1977 Dodgers

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Helter Skelter

Bono from U2 once said before playing the song  “This is a song Charles Manson stole from The Beatles, well we’re stealin’ it back.” Charles Manson did in fact hijack the song from the Beatles. The song is about an amusement park attraction (not a coded message to Charlie). Paul McCartney read an interview with Pete Townshend saying that the Who just recorded the loudest, rawest and dirtiest song ever…well it was “I Can See For Miles.” A great song…don’t get me wrong but not what Townshend built it up as…

Paul then started to write a song that fit that description and went above it. Helter Skelter was recorded with all four Beatles in a small room with their amps on 11. It’s a great brutal hard rock song. It may be the rawest song ever put out by a well known band. If I hear someone call the Beatles only a pop band….I just point them to this song. Covers of this song range from Motley Crue who despite their image their version sounds like a light pop song, Pat Benatar version is just bland…U2’s version tries but no version gets close to the Beatles version in rawness and being just so loud. Some credit this song as one of the inspirations of Heavy Metal…(something not to be proud of)…

This song fits great on the White Album. The album is the most diverse the Beatles ever made. It could be one of the most diverse albums ever made. On the same album you have Helter Skelter, Rocky Racoon, Sexy Sadie, Honey Pie, Back In The USSR, Blackbird, While My Guitar Gently Weeps and many more.

Helter Skelter

When I get to the bottom I go back to the top of the slide
Where I stop and I turn and I go for a ride
Till I get to the bottom and I see you again

Yeah, yeah, yeah, heh, heh, heh, heh
But do you, don’t you want me to love you?
I’m (Ahhh) coming down fast but I’m miles above you
(Ahhh) Tell me, tell me, tell me, come on tell me the answer

Well, you may be a lover but you ain’t no dancer
Now
Helter skelter

Helter skelter
Helter skelter
Yeah!
Woo!, hoo!

A Will you, won’t you want me to make you?
(Ahhh)
I’m coming down fast but don’t let me break you
(Ahhh)

Tell me, tell me, tell me the answer
You may be a lover but you ain’t no dancer

Look out!
Helter skelter
Helter skelter

 

Great B Movies

The Car (1977) – One of my personal favorites…I actually talked my mom into taking me to this in 1977. I loved every minute of it. My son and I have watched it over and over.

It’s Alive (1974) – The trailer use to scare me to death as a kid. I would hear that scream in my sleep… Someone took me to see it and I loved it but was scared… Pure seventies joy.

 

The Spirit of 76 (1990) – A time machine with David Cassidy at the helm going back mistakenly to 1976 instead of 1776 from a grey future… Who could ask for more? It’s complete with Devo and they got the seventies down well. Fun movie to watch.

Dirty Mary and Crazy Larry (1974) – Another movie that I got to see in the theater that I will never forget. It does have a powerful ending…Peter Fonda was great in this and I loved the car they drove.

Gone In Sixty Seconds (1974) – This one is special to me because parked in the lobby of the Theater was Eleanor the car that was actually in the movie. I got to touch it and it was like touching gold to a 8 year old. I remember watching the trailer and my aunt taking me to see it.

A Boy and His Dog (1975) – I wont even try to explain…look at wiki…

Plan 9 From Outer Space (1958) – So bad that is it good. Watching the cardboard tombstones move as people walk near.

Superfly (1972) – Great movie…. A lot of the cops are real cops, hookers….real hookers…low budget with a great ending. Curtis Mayfield recorded the soundtrack…you can’t get better than that…As with another post…where is that car now?