Saturday, December 15, 2007
Friday, December 14, 2007
This is an original painting by Sheldon Moldoff one of the greats of the golden and silver age of comics. It is for sale on e-bay and I am the seller so click here to bid on it. I met Mr. Moldoff in the 1990's when he was at the Mid-Ohio convention. He is a very nice man and loved talking about his grandson. Make a comic book fans Christmas and get them this original watercolor painting by one of the greats in the business.
I remember this story as happening in 1975 but every where I look on the publishing date of the book, Bring on the Bad Guys by Stan Lee, I see the year 1976. Perhaps I am off by a year or maybe it came out in late 1975 but is date 1976. Either way this story did happen to me in November and December of one of those two years.
I have liked reading comic books for most of my life. At this year I was at the height of my comic book interest. I was in my early teens and not of driving age yet. That I do remember quite well. It was November 26th. The day after Thanksgiving that year. My Dad had to go to work and I had the day off from school. It was also garbage day. We lived on the top of a hill and the night before I dragged down a heavy metal garbage can full of the holiday leftovers and other various items that we threw away earlier that week to the bottom of the hill for the garbage man to get. My Dad left instructions for me to get the empty garbage can and bring it back up before he got home that day. Having every intention of following my Dad's orders I assured him I would.
That whole day I spent most of it playing and reading in my room. No friends were playing across the street in the park and I got no calls from anyone to meet them anywhere. It was cold outside and I wanted to stay warm so there was no reason to venture out of the house. Well I did have to get the garbage can. But that wouldn't take long and I could get it anytime that day. The old saying says that time flies when you are having fun and this day it proved true. As I was enjoying myself time got away from me. I heard my Dad's car coming up the drive way. At first I just thought something like "Oh good Dad's home." That quickly changed to "OH NO! DAD'S HOME! I HAVEN'T BROUGHT IN THE GARBAGE CAN YET!" Before I could hardly move Dad came in the house and down to my room. He looked right at me and said "I brought the garbage can in myself. No comic books for a month." (Back then if Dad saw the garbage can still not taken in he would grab one of the handles and hold it outside the driver side window of the car as he drove up the hill. The can banged on the side of the car all the way up. The memory of that makes me smile to this day.) What didn't make me smile was no comic books for a month. A week I could have taken but a month seemed like torture. But Dad was right and he was just in giving me my punishment. I had been a bad boy for not following through on what he told me to do.
The month went by quicker then I had thought. It wasn't easy seeing my favorite books for sale and I couldn't buy them. Still I obeyed my Dad and I survived the month.
Then came December 25th. Christmas Day. The next to last day of the month long punishment that my Dad gave me. Now I was no longer a child. I was a teen and I knew the true story of Santa Claus but I did my best to keep the magic alive for years. I would wake up every Christmas morning and see my gifts under the tree. I was up before my parents this year and I saw one thing that I had asked for Christmas that tested me more then any comic book that month. It was the brand new book by Stan Lee Bring On The Bad Guys. I wanted this more then anything that year and here it was staring me right in the face and I could not read it till tomorrow.
Now I could have told my parents it wasn't really a comic book as it was a paperback book. But to my Mom and Dad if comics were inside it then it was a comic book and I understand that and I actually agree with that. I was torn between reading the book and being a good son and obeying my punishment. Of course if I had obeyed Dad a month earlier I wouldn't be in this dilemma. I suddenly thought in those early morning hours that I'm sure it wouldn't hurt to read just one story in the book. One of the reasons I wanted the book was it had a reprint of the Dr. Doom origin story and I loved this story when it was on the old Fantastic Four Saturday morning cartoon series. I had never read it in the comic books before so all alone in the dimly lit room I opened the book and read the Dr. Doom story. Later, I was feeling a little ashamed after my Mom and Dad got up and we opened more gifts. Mom saw me holding the book and she came over and whispered to me "Since it's Christmas your Dad and I agreed to take you off of your punishment so you can read that book today and not wait till tomorrow." I looked at her and told her the truth. "Good cause I already started reading it." Mom laughed and went back to celebrating Christmas. I still feel a little guilty about it but at least Mom and Dad were forgiving about it.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
I saw this post on News From ME and it got me to thinking. If they did ever do a remake who would they get to be in it. First I thought they would have to hire most comedic actors from TV who want to make a name for themselves in the movies. So here is my cast if they ever do a remake of it in the USA. Some I am not sure which part they would play but others I know exactly the part they should play.
1. Michael J. Fox (he would be perfect in the Micky Rooney role if he was in good health)
2. Tim Allen (Hey! You need one who already made his name in movies.)
3. Kelsey Grammer
4. Robin Williams (Again Hey! you will need at least one who already made his name in the movies.)
5. Harry Anderson (Of course what part should he play? The Phil Silvers role of course.)
6. Larry the cable Guy (the role played by Jonathan Winters)
7. Kevin James
8. Drew Carey
9. Julia Louis Dreyfus
10. Harrison Ford (You need a serious actor who can handle comedy to play the Spenser Tracy part.)
11. Patricia Heaton
12. Patricia Richardson
13. Rowan Atkinson (the Terry Thomas role
14. Estelle Harris (in the Ethel Merman part)
So it wouldn't be too hard to do a remake in my mind. You would just have to beef up some of the roles more. Mostly the womens parts. The only part that would be hard these days would be the cost as the cast would send the price sky high.
Sunday, December 09, 2007
I can't believe that this anniversary slipped past me. It was actually #1 on the Billboard charts starting December 2, 1967. I thought it started its run around a week later. Since "Daydream Believer" was #1 on the charts for 4 weeks I can safely say that it was still #1 on this day in music history. So this month is the 40th anniversary of the last #1 hit that the Monkees had. They did have another top 10 hit a few months later with "Valleri" but this was their last time at the top of the charts.
Also, a few months later it would see the end of their situation comedy show. They had slowly tried to morph the show into a variety series as that type of series was popular then. It would allow them to play a wider variety of music and guest stars if this had come to be. However, NBC wanted only another year of their sit-com. So the series ended with59 episodes.
Everyone is aware that the Monkees fought for creative control of their music and they won that battle. However, after their album Headquaters they found it difficult to maintain that control and still act on their TV show. Therefore, things reverted back to them only going into the studio to record while the producers set up the musicians. This was at least were their presence was still felt as their musical producer was their hand picked choice of Chip Douglas. "Daydream Believer" was produced by him and Davy Jones is the only Monkee on the record.
The Monkees were still popular but that popularity was starting to wind down. The did the movie Head and later the TV special 33 1/3 Revolutions Per Monkee. They had hoped that either one of them would have been successful enough to continue their work in movies and television. However, both failed to capture the attention of the public. Peter Tork quit the group after they did the TV special. The others continued as a trio for another year. Then Mike Nesmith also bought out his contract with the Monkees. He had already written a hit song with "Different Drum" for Linda Ronstadt and the Stone Poneys. Dot Records released his big band album of songs that he previously had written and recorded with the Monkees. It was called The Wichita Train Whistle Sings.
Micky and Davy were still under contract and with their show going into syndication were told they were still being held to the contract for one more album. This enabled the shows production company to put the new songs on the syndicated episodes. The record company I am sure had hopes it would boost sales so they could still sell albums. This was not to be as the writing was on the wall that it was the end of the Monkees. There was even a joke making the rounds that one of the remaining two would quit and the other would try to milk the Monkee machine even more by calling himself The Monkee.
The move for the show into syndication was smart as it kept them in the eye of their key audience. As a result there were attempts at reunions over the years. The most successful was in 1986 when Peter, Micky and Davy reunited for a world tour. Destiny also played into how successful the reunion was as MTV, unknown to the Monkees, had started playing their TV show and Arista was about to release a new Monkees Greatest Hits album. The TV show gave them an even younger audience and the tour became a family event. Arista asked them to record new songs for the album. Micky and Peter got together for three new songs on the album. One was released as a single and "That Was Then, This is Now" became the last top 20 hit for the Monkees when it peaked at #20 on the Billboard charts in August of 1986.
Click on the player below to hear Davy, Micky and Peter preform the song live in 1986.