Ah, Spring. Green shoots emerging on the south side of the house, pushing up through the mulch. Purple blooms. Hints of new green on the lawn. And, of course, the seasonal emergence of the window-wood.

The building is now encased. Are the property owners are living a month in the future? No, it’s just caution. The glass is expensive. The wood is cheap. The effect on everything is irrelevant and transitory. But it drags on the heart.


On the good side: the gas station burned by the mob last summer is under construction.

A hopeful sign for the neighborhood. People who do not live in the neighborhood and snipe from the distance will say it’ll just be burned again. But no matter what the outcome, the National Guard will be around from day one.

This is cold comfort. Whew, we have an armed occupying force to keep order! That’s a relief.

It makes me wonder if there will be FESTIVAL! no matter what happens.

High quality work, in any case. Nice seams. It’s all freshly painted white. There was a guy painting the last few panes by the side door when I entered, and I said sweet job on the panels. Absoloutely professional fit.

“That’s not me,” he said, “That’s the carpenters.”

“Okay, well, nice paint job.”

“Don’t say that or I’ll have to do all the buildings.”

“Okay, lousy paint job.”

“Thank you.”











Some nights I don’t want to commit to anything. No movie, no TV show. I want to graze upon the opening sequences of 1960s spy parodies. As someone has probably noted, there were more parodies than the real thing, for a while. Pity the people who did the themes and the credits; the standard was set by Barry and Binder, so what do you do?

You get another B. A double B: Burt Bacharach. I have written here before about my fascination with the theme for “After the Fox,” not exactly a spy spoof but in the genre of International Crime. It has all the hallmarks of the mid-60s: funny animation, Bacharach score with abrasive harpsichord, pop-band warbling. (In this case, the Hollies.) It’s such a peculiar chromatic thing.

That writing credit always surprises me.

As you’ll note, it’s credited to Binder, but the animator was Dick Horne.

ANYWAY, I didn’t intend to do that one again. The main spy spoofs were Flint and Helm. The former were frequently delightful, and if you were my age when you first encountered them, you no more thought they were parody than you thought Batman on TV was camp.

Why wouldn’t you? The credits are serious Bond homage.

It’s a great theme. But ANYWAY, that’s not why I’m here.  It’s this.

The opening scene from “The Silencers” has this guy, and is it just me, and what I watched when I was ten, and the fact that I watched too much, but I knew who he was, right away?

You're thinking . . . uh, Victor Buono?

No, he's the Chinese bad guy.

Here’s the opening. I’ve disliked this song since forever. They certainly saved a lot on animation and fancy graphics, and set up expectations the film would not meet.

Cyd Charisse there at the end. Martin is lazy through most of it.

ANYWAY, here’s the final point. You either hear the culture pivot here, or you don’t. This is the theme for “The Ambushers.”

Everything has changed.



It’s 1978, and this is Rolling Stone. All in all, 1978 was better than 1977. The graphics in this issue were pointing ahead to the 80s, and everyone else would catch up eventually. It was a pivotal year for me, and I remember it well - a testament to the mind’s ability to rewrite and rewire, and forget.

Yes, I would, and did. It was an audacious name, when you think about it. The absolute anti-Elvis, really.

It’s a brilliant album. The first one was quirky and raw; this one just exploded.


“Look tough but act sensitive,” because chicks dug sensitive men, and men wanted to be tough.

Guys who didn’t have bitchin’ ace speaker systems envied the guys who did, but not too much. They were often the guys who listened to the speakers more than the music, and they usually had horrible taste in music.

“We need to reach the young, stoned crowd. But how?”

I’m hard-pressed to see a demographic cross-over here, but it’s not like a magazine will turn down a full page ad.

That’s one way to get your two-tier product across: with identical products.

Did the silver car have less finesse than the gold Corvette?

Rico worked so hard to be Your Rum, and I don’t know if they ever knocked Bacardi out of the top spot in the young drinker’s mind. It just didn’t have class. Bacari had a bat on the label. End of story.

An evocative photo, yes. But not exactly rock and roll, was it?

Didn’t matter; everyone was welcome to take out an ad, and hey, a girl! With girl parts and everything!


The photo featured on the front cover of the album was expertly airbrushed to paint a Danskin top on what was a topless photo of Simon. The album won a Grammy for Best Album Package, the Grammy went to Johnny Lee and Tony Lane.

But not the photographer?

Deborah Lou Turbeville (July 6, 1932 – October 24, 2013)[1] was an American fashion photographer. Although she started out as a fashion editor at Harper's Bazaar, she became a photographer in the 1970s.

She is widely credited with adding a darker, more brooding element to fashion photography, beginning in the early 1970s – she, Guy Bourdin and Helmut Newton changed it from traditional, well-lit images into something much more "edgy" looking. However, unlike the "urban erotic underworld" portrayed by her contemporaries, Turbeville's aesthetic tended towards "dreamy and mysterious," a delicate female gaze She was the only woman and only American among this trio.[1] In 2009, Women's Wear Daily wrote that Turbeville transformed "fashion photography into avant-garde art."

That’s not really the selling point they might have imagined . . .

. . . except for the Rolling Stone audience, the smart hip set that knew art, man, Europe was like, ahead of us on this stuff, so, yeah.

Underwhelming car, if I recall.



Gawd, the Barrel Stave Hot Tub.

California hedonism with all its back-to-nature authenticity. You’ll love it at first! Then you’ll rue the day you bought it, because it just sits there.


Okay, I won’t, Mr. Plastic Flesh Human:

Actually, what you expect, and demand, is nicotine. But I suppose that’s a given.

All in all, 1978 was better than 1977. The graphics in this issue were pointing ahead to the 80s, and everyone else would catch up eventually. It was a pivotal year for me, and I remember it well - a testament to the mind’s ability to rewrite and rewire, and forget.

That'll do; our weekly visit with Mr. Williams awaits.




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