Sunday, September 13, 2020

The Freakin' Weekend (1974)

It's all happening. Rockford Files debuts at 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 13, 1974, on Channel 6 ...

 

Lawrence Welk is on The Tonight Show at 10:30 that night ...

 

It's the big Evel Knievel episode of Wide World of Sports at 4 p.m. Saturday on Channel 3 ...

 

NFL74 starts at noon Sunday on Channel 6 with Browns at Bengals (instead of Dolphins at Patriots, though that's probably for the best) ...

 

Finally, Monday Night Football on Sept. 15 kicks off its new season on Channel 3 with Raiders at Bills ...

 

Just a huge, huge, huge weekend.

16 comments:

  1. And we have a new President! No more Watergate.

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  2. Somebody in the comments said he wondered if subjecting people to watching this Rockford Files episode on YouTube was some kind of military experiment, and I'll give that person that the audio and video are curious. But 40 seconds in, you can see a giant Holiday Inn behind the Route 9/Pacific Palisades city bus dropping people off on a local-access street below the freeway, so this makes me very happy.

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  3. I wonder if Jim Rockford is the first cool guy to use that "Call me 'Jim;' my father is 'Mr. Rockford'" type of line to establish casualness. It seems like every cool guy older than 60 says that now, and I'll bet they all learned it from Jim Rockford.

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  4. One of the valuable roles that Rockford Files plays for me is Los Angeles travelogue.

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    1. I always liked the little clips about Los Angeles at the beginning of "Dragnet."

      It seems like Los Angeles was a lot more important in the 1970's than it is now.

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  5. For example, this episode gives all of us back here in the flyover a look at a Wikipedia-worthy night club on the Hollywood Strip, Gazzari's. Even as I type that while I'm looking a still shot of its sign, I feel a little like I'm trying to sound too familiar and insy. (Similarly, I call the Nashville university, "Vanderbilt," not "Vandy," even though I sign checks to its divinity school a couple of times a year.)

    I learned today that Gazzarri's is the venue for what is believed to be the oldest recording of Van Halen. It was recorded in 1974, probably about the time LL Cool Jim Rockford was getting his stakeout on, and includes three Deep Purples among a collection of eight covers.

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  6. David Brenner and Steve Landesburg were friends. I didn't know that, but it makes sense.

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  7. Also from this Tonight Show episode, I felt like Johnny Carson and Lawrence Welk seemed to be sharing a bit of shorthand. They have different sensibilities, but they both knew what it meant to have a lot of people depending on them. When Welk talks about his show's cancelation by ABC (before its success in syndication), Carson seems to be totally in sympatico with him.

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  8. By the time Evel Knievel's Snake River Canyon jump aired on Wide World of Sports, it was six days after it took place on the afternoon of Sunday, Sept. 8. The result had been in all of the newspapers. So, I remember, at the time, as a 6-year-old having no sense of drama or trepidation around the broadcast because we all knew he had survived. But to watch the ABC telecast again, 46 years later, for the first time since that Saturday in 1974 was jarring. This was the craziest darned thing you'll ever see. Seems like his parachute could've burned up and he could've been killed on impact with the rocks. Seems like he could've drowned given that his safety harness malfunctioned. Seems like the whole deal could've just exploded at takeoff. No wonder everybody was so emotional about this thing. As a 6-year-old, I just thought it was all very cool, but it never occurred to me that he actually might've been killed.

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    1. Every once in a while, I like to explain to my kids that a lot of stuff happened when I was a kid that would never, ever happen today. The Snake River Canyon Jump is one of those things.

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    2. Would've been interesting to see how Roone Arledge would've produced the Hamilton-Burr duel.

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    3. Oh, I think that's a Howard Cosell special -- two guys from New York who really hate each other and lots of trash talking. That would have been one of those events that Howard did by himself. "AND NOW HAMILTON IS HIT! DOWN GOES HAMILTON! DOWN GOES HAMILTON!"

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  9. I once covered Evel Knievel playing golf at a benefit event in Bowling Green in 1992 or '93. A colleague of mine had his glasses broken when he was struck between the eyes on an errant Knievel drive. Vince Gill and Arnold Palmer also played in this event.

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  10. And now here's Evel Knievel, back in the comfort of the burgundy-carpeted Wide World of Sports studios, with an earnest exhortation to young viewers like me to not try stunts like his lightly, to try hard and be resilient to adversity and to keep the wheels of our lives in proper working order. The ABC reporter who was on the scene adds his closing remarks that the event was "not a ripoff," that Evel Knievel is very brave and that the mechanical failure was legitimate. And then Jim McKay ties a philosophical bow on the whole affair: "Like so many things in life, it was neither a total triumph, nor total failure--it was somewhere in between."

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    1. That's such a Jim McKay line. That's exactly why he was on top for so long.

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