Archive for August, 2018

August 27 – September 3



RANDOM PIC OF THE WEEK

This shot was posted earlier this week on somebody’s Twitter page. I find it fascinating. It was taken in 1987 and was chock full of Paramount stars of the day. I can identify about 47 of them, but there are about a dozen I’m missing.

 I have NO idea what put this song in my head. But when I was a kid I had a 45rpm record of ‘The Scarecrow of Oz.” I loved ANYTHING to with Wizard of Oz; particularly the Scarecrow. After “WoO” hit the TV airwaves in the 60’s it found a whole new life. And the actors from the film had found themselves propelled back into stardom. Ray Bolger recorded a whole album for Disney about the further adventures of the Scarecrow, but as a kid I only had the single called “Happy Glow.” But on the flipside (as we used to say in the radio biz) there was a most unusual song. It was called “That Crazy Place from Outer Space.” As a child this song disturbed me, but also greatly intrigued me. It was a big scary lyrically, but fun melodically. The happy, Disney voices sang all about space aliens who watched us from space, saw everything we do, and talk backwards. Disturbing, right? But somehow, I never forgot it. Here it is for your enjoyment.

Monday the 27th – 74 AT 78! – Since it was a gorgeous 78 degree day, I got my ’74 Gran Torino out and tooled around town. I got my mail at my mailbox, dropped off a package at the post office, met with my accountant regarding several pending issues, picked up lunch to go at Taco Bell, then went home to do some work cleaning my garage. My goal is to have it tidied up before my folks come for a visit on the 11th. When my water heater sprung a leak two years ago, the water ruined a lot of the boxes that contained my collectibles and other stored goods. So in my haste to rescue them, I quickly removed the items from the soaking boxes (thankfully many of the items were not damaged!) and threw them to the side. I discarded the sopping-wet boxes but never got around to storing the “orphaned” items in new, plastic bins. First I developed my sinus issues, then surgery, then a few pulled back muscles, then my teeth problems, then the hot weather, etc. etc. etc. But now is the time I MUST do something about my cluttered garage. It’s now so bad that I can’t even fit my Torino in the garage anymore! I filled about four plastic bins with stuff and stashed it in my underground storage area. It was a lot of work sorting through each item that was lying around the garage. I had bins for each category…personal stuff, collectibles, and eBay stuff. After about four hours of this I was sweating something fierce. I went inside to shower and then do some auditions. My pal Valerie Perez was in my area attending a meeting, so she asked if I could meet her for Dole Whip afterwards. Luckily the fro-yo shop down the street had Dole Whip this week, so we met there and enjoyed our Dole Whip on their patio. I went back home to nap, and got up later to feed and walk Roxy. I made some hot dogs on the grill and started in on the final season of “Pee-wee’s Playhouse” on Blu Ray.

Tuesday the 28th – TERRIFIC TUESDAY! – When I woke up at 2 I walked Roxy quickly, and then got on a conference call with my literary partners Joe and Michael. We discussed some agenda items for a half hour or so, and then I did some auditions. I wrote Wally’s Week until my pal Brittney Powell came over to go to dinner. After we ate a delicious meal at Lancer’s, I came home and grabbed a nap. I got up later to feed and walk Roxy, and recorded another audition. I did a little work around the house, ate some Quisp cereal and hit the hay. Wednesday was going to be a VERY exciting day!

Wednesday the 29th – YES! YES! YES! – Shortly after 2 my pal Edi came over so we could grab lunch at Paty’s. Then I sped home to get ready for the Yes concert that night at the Greek Theater. My pal Gary has known Yes’ lead singer Jon Anderson for years, so he got tickets for he, my friend Chris, and me. Plus, he was able to get backstage passes as well so we could say hi to Jon afterwards. Gary arrived at my house at 5:30, and Chris arrived around 5:45. The plan was that we would all Uber from my house. It was much easier than having to find parking and goof around with all the trappings of getting out of the parking lot. We got to the Greek and I bought us all dinner, which we ate in our seats. Since Chris paid for the Uber, and Gary got the tickets, dinner was on me! Yes went on right at 7:30 and even though I didn’t know most of their music, it was a great show. The musicianship was top notch! Chris has been a fan of them most of his life, so he and Gary were comparing notes on how differently the songs were performed versus the recorded versions. After the show, when we approached the backstage area, there was a mob of people; ALSO with backstage passes. I had never been to a concert before where so many people were expecting to go backstage! Jon’s wife noticed Gary and took him back, and Gary said he’d return for us soon. But after about 20 minutes the security announced that we’d have to leave, even if we had backstage passes. So I texted Gary to let him know we’d wait outside the theater to grab our Uber. Luckily, just then, Gary popped his head out and said, “Wally and Chris!” Saved by the bell! We went upstairs to Jon’s dressing room and said hello. I had met Jon briefly when I was doing some mobile recording back in 1993, and I’ve always been a big fan of his work with Vangelis. We grabbed the Uber back to Planet Wallywood and we all sat around and chatted for a bit. After the guys left I napped for a little while, got up to do some work around the house, made myself a pot pie, watched a few more episode of “Pee-wee’s Playhouse” and hit the hay.

Thursday the 30th – MUSICIAN-MANIA! – After sleeping most of the day, I did manage to get up and do a little work around the house. I recorded a few auditions, and then headed over to the Jerry’s Famous Deli in Encino (not my usual Jerry’s) for a meeting with my pals Elliot and Edi, and Carmen Grillo and his wife Denise. I wanted those two guys to meet, since I knew they’d probably have a lot of the same acquaintances in common! What a fun dinner it was, filled with great stories and lots of laughs! Carmen used to play lead guitar with Tower of Power, so between he and Elliot, they had lot sof great tales of touring. On my way home I stopped at Staples and picked up more plastic bins for my garage project. Over the three-day weekend I was planning on getting a lot done! Once I got home I did some work and then took a little nap. When I got u I did some video editing, and finished up some other work around the house. Then I turned in.

Friday the 31st – LABOR DAY WEEKEND! – It’s really hard to believe that the summer is already over! It flew by! Since it was the first day of the three-day weekend I had planned on being lazy all day. But while walking Roxy I saw my neighbor Caroline and we started talking about an upcoming “Halloween” convention celebrating 40 years since the classic film’s release. Caroline’s dad Irwin produced the movie, and he’d be doing a signing at a convention in October. So we went out to grab a bite to talk about the convention. On the way home I grabbed some groceries, went home and put them away, and then promptly collapsed on the couch and slept through the night! Talk about lazy!

Saturday the 1st – FAB FABRIC & FUNNY FURRIES! – The morning light beaming in through my living room window jarred me awake at 8am! I really crashed hard on The Most Comfortable Couch in the Universe! I checked my e-mail and discovered that some Elvis fabric I ordered had arrived at my mailbox. I knew they’d be closing early because of the holiday weekend, so I cleaned up and headed out to pick it up. Then I jetted over to JoAnn’s to find some suitable fabric so work could commence on my new Elvis bowling shirt. I found a fantastic purple to compliment it, as well as some snazzy buttons. I picked up a few supplements at the Rite Aid next door, and then went over to El Pollo Loco to get a burrito for lunch. Then I headed home to clean up the house, grab a quick hour nap before my guests arrived, and then we had a fun movie night. The original “Benji” movie from 1974 had just been released on Blu Ray, so we watched that. Not only did Benji’s girlfriend Tiffany roughly resemble my friend Edi’s Maltese Bunny, but there was a white cat in the film that looked a lot like my cat Spooky! The movie had a lot of TV actors in it, so it was fun seeing them in different roles. Benji got his start in TV on a show called “Petticoat Junction.” He was a funny little dog that would run around freely around a motel called The Shady Rest in Hooterville, which was a hub for a train line. At the end of the show, as the credits rolled, Benji would race down the tracks chasing the train like mad. As kid watching the show, I would ALWAYS burst out in tears because I felt like they were leaving the dog behind. My mom explained that he was just out having fun chasing the train, like dogs like to do. But in my childlike understanding it looked a lot like he was trying to catch up to the train because everyone left him behind. Even though I know my mom was right, to this day I still get a bit misty-eyed when I think of that poor little pooch running after the train in what was perceived by my childlike mind as panicked, doggie desperation. I always did have a twisted way of looking at things. Normally my dog Roxy sleeps during the movie, but halfway through the movie I noticed she wasn’t passed out on the living room floor, as usual. From my seat on the sofa I looked around to see if I could see her. I peeked around the corner and there she was, perched at the top of the stairs WATCHING THE MOVIE IN RAPT ATTENTION! I couldn’t believe my eyes! She was watching “Benji!” I guess she liked watching all of the doggie action. It was really funny! After my guests left I grabbed a quick nap, and then got up to do stuff around the house. I made my traditional Saturday Night Super Salad and watched another second season episode of “SNL” with Sissy Spacek as the host. By the time I got to sleep it was noon on Sunday!

Sunday the 2nd – BEST LAID PLANS… – I had intended to spend the weekend working in my garage, but too many other things happened to prevent that. Plus, when I got in my car to get to evening church, I got a call from my pal Mark Evanier. I don’t get to talk to him that often, so I didn’t want to cut our conversation short. So I sat in the church parking lot talking to him for about 50 minutes. By the time we said goodbye evening church was just getting over. I needed to go inside and grab my “adopted grandma” Shirley for dinner. I asked her what she was hungry for and she said “lasagna” without any hesitation. So off to Miceli’s we went for some great food, some wonderful music, and superb company. Jeff the piano player always rips into a “Jesus Christ Superstar” medley when he sees me in the restaurant, and I always drop a tip in his jar. I downed all of my lasagna, but Shirley could only eat half. She took the other half home so she could heat it up the next day for lunch. After I dropped Shirley at home I went back to start cleaning my garage. But my tummy was so full of yummy food I decided to lie down for just a bit. Big mistake! I woke up in the middle of the night, and not wanting to break the serenity of a beautiful summer-into-fall night, I decided to sleep some more. I got up later to feed and walk Roxy, and when I came back inside I was fully ready to make some food and watch a few more “Pee-wee’s Playhouse” epsiodes. But I laid down on my bed to enjoy the “blue morning” sunrise (the dawning of the morning but with the filter of bluish-gray overcast skies) and fell asleep for almost 3 hours! So much for getting any work done in the garage! I was totally disgusted with myself for being so lazy, but I turned in anyway; promising myself that I would DEFINITELY get to my garage on Monday!

Monday the 3rd – LABORING DAY! – Just after 2 I bounced from bed and got ready to attack the garage! I worked for four solid hours and got a lot done. Then I went inside to feed the kids around 6pm. I made myself a sandwich, and then went back into the garage and worked another three hours! NOW we’re getting somewhere! Though I got a lot done, there was STILL a ton to do before my folks arrive! Once my trash bins filled up, there wasn’t much else for me to do. I had about four bags of stuff to take to Goodwill for a donation. I went inside and did some work around the house, then showered, and grabbed a quick nap. I got up to do some work around the house and then turned in for good.

And how was YOUR week??!

PIX FROM THE WEEK

Amazing music at the Yes (Anderson, Rabin, Wakeman) show!

And here is some video from the show.

Though we couldn’t take pictures inside Jon’s dressing room, here’s a shot of the sign outside his dressing room. It’s the best I could do.