Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Why...?

Why do In & Out burgers taste better off the truck than at their permanent locations?

Why are there rain delays in baseball when it’s not raining? Anticipating rain is not actual rain.

Why do people go to football games in the East and Midwest during December when they’re on television?

Why aren’t the great songwriters of the ‘60s and ‘70s still writing hit songs?

Why are there so few multi-camera shows on television when the ones that are get better ratings than single-camera sitcoms?

Why does Jacksonville, Florida have an NFL team but not Los Angeles?

Why doesn’t Broadway strive to turn out more shows like HAMILTON and FUN HOME and fewer adaptations of franchises, safe revivals, or jukebox musicals?

Why does Donald Trump think a giant fence will keep anybody out?

Why is Adam Sandler still starring in movies?

Why are ice cream sandwiches suddenly the rage?

Why was “Jack” from Jack in the Box dumped?

Why is Batman sleeping with his nanny?

Why did the Red Sox let Don Orsillo go?

Why have stores put up Halloween displays already?

Why do most shows we loved as kids not hold up?

Why the hate for Anna Gunn? She played a thankless role beautifully.

Why am I looking forward to SUPERGIRL?

Why does Hollywood keep remaking old TV shows? And a follow-up question, why haven’t they remade ALMOST PERFECT?

66 comments:

Peter said...

Why am I looking forward to SUPERGIRL?

Probably for the same reason I'm looking forward to it.

Melissa Benoist is smokin' hot!

And even better, one of my childhood celebrity crushes, the lovely Helen Slater, the first Supergirl, will be guest starring. She's still a knockout.

Mike Barer said...

Coincidently, the three NFL, times in contention for moving to LA, the Raiders, Rams and Chargers, are all former LA teams. You would think that the failed move of the Raiders back to Oakland would show that it just doesn't work. If the Raiders move back to LA and don't draw, will they move to Oakland for a 3rd time?

Bill Avena said...

Why haven't they remade "Roll Out", the zany 1972 Larry Gelbart wartime sitcom? (you've probably addressed this in earlier posts)

sanford said...

I think some old shows still hold up. I watched the first episode of Have Gun Will Travel on You Tube last week. I had not seen it before. I thought it was very good. Dick Van Dyke still holds up. I have also watched a few of the first Fugitive episodes. That is still good. I am watching a two parter that Robert Duvall was in. He had been in a lot of stuff previous including to Kill a Mockingbird but was really not a big star yet.

Covarr said...

Adam Sandler makes me very sad. He's proven he's got serious acting chops, with films like Spanglish, and I even thought he was pretty good in some of the more serious parts of 50 First Dates, Big Daddy, and Click. I just wish he'd ditch comedy; he's much better at drama and frankly his taste in comedy always walks the line between stupid and offensive. Whichever way it falls, it fails.

Matt said...

"Why are ice cream sandwiches suddenly the rage?" Because they are awesome.

"Why is Batman sleeping with his nanny?" Is this his nanny growing up or the nanny to his child? However, either way the answer is the same. Because he can.

Splenda said...

Lets say that a network greenlit a remake of Almost Perfect, under the condition that you use all new actors (can't bring back Nancy Travis, etc.). Who do you cast (assuming they are available and interested)?

Pat Reeder said...

Some of the great songwriters of the '60s and '70s are still writing great songs (Ray Davies of the Kinks is a good example), but they're just not hits because that requires them getting played on the radio, and pop radio these days is mostly crap. I used to worry that I was getting old for thinking that, but then I talked to quite a few young people, and they said most of today's current music is crap, too. One of my nieces, oddly enough, hates current popular music and loves Bing Crosby.



Glenn said...

Why do we drive on a parkway but park on a driveway?

Matt said...

"Why do In & Out burgers taste better off the truck than at their permanent locations?" They don't clean the grill as often so you get all that great flavor?

Joseph Scarbrough said...

Why would my bunny eat a specific brand of food that came from the dispenser at the pet store, but not eat the exact same brand of food if it came pre-packaged in a bag off the shelf?

Why is it in the 90s in September when it's not supposed to be this hot in September?

Why do people wear coats, parkas, and hoodies in summer and t-shirts and shorts in winter?

Why is it that when one of the Krapdashian girls adopts a bunny, or Rob shares a selfie on the internet it's a big media blitz, but when I did either of those things, it wasn't newsworthy?

Why are people still watching THE VIEW and even THE TALK?

Why did the chicken cross the road?

Why do birds? Why do they?

VP81955 said...

"Jack" from Jack-in-the-Box is still around, as the spots that air during Dodgers games still attest. Since moving west last year, it's become my favorite fast-food chain because of the wide variety of its menu (only now is McDonald's following suit with all-day breakfast).

As for "Supergirl," I hope it lives up to the hype and it's not savaged by the "NO GURLZ ALLOWED" fanboys club. They tend to be intimidated by powerful female characters.

Mike Barer said...

Why does Jacksonville have an NFL team? Because Pro Sports tend to be very successful in "one horse towns" Example would be San Antonio.

Shem said...

Why does sour cream have an expiration date?

Carl said...

I don't like multi-camera shows, so I don't care about that 'why' at all.

RyderDA said...

"Why have stores put up Halloween displays already?" Costco where I live has Christmas displays up already.

Chris said...

Joseph Scarbrough: in addition to the coats and parkas thing, what's with all the wool hats in the summer? My head gets HOT, and the last thing I need is to feel even worse. Just wondering. Plus, everyone, and I mean everyone who does this just looks stupid.

Roger Owen Green said...

Why do In & Out burgers taste better off the truck than at their permanent locations?
Because they're fresher.

Why are there rain delays in baseball when it’s not raining? Anticipating rain is not actual rain.
That mus be a SoCal thing.

Why do people go to football games in the East and Midwest during December when they’re on television?
Because it's there.

Why aren’t the great songwriters of the ‘60s and ‘70s still writing hit songs?
Is anyone writing hit songs? he market is so fragmented. James Taylor and Paul McCartney are still writing songs. Heck, weird Al has had a hit in each of the last four decades!

Why are there so few multi-camera shows on television when the ones that are get better ratings than single-camera sitcoms?
People ate strange.

Why does Jacksonville, Florida have an NFL team but not Los Angeles?
An excellent question.

Why doesn’t Broadway strive to turn out more shows like HAMILTON and FUN HOME and fewer adaptations of franchises, safe revivals, or jukebox musicals?
Because the latter are "safer."

Why does Donald Trump think a giant fence will keep anybody out?
Does he believe anything he says?

Why is Adam Sandler still starring in movies?
Inertia.

Why are ice cream sandwiches suddenly the rage?
I never knew they weren't.

Why was “Jack” from Jack in the Box dumped?
Because he's scary as hell.

Why is Batman sleeping with his nanny?
So you'd be disturbed.

Why did the Red Sox let Don Orsillo go?
Professional jealousy. Or stupidity.

Why have stores put up Halloween displays already?
Inertia. Or stupidity.

Why do most shows we loved as kids not hold up?
The ones I loved, Dick van Dyke, Twilight Zone, Andy Griffith, actually do. To the degree they don't, it's because newer shows have taken the old shows' groundbreaking aspect and expanded them. The old shows seem dated. Or sometimes they make "current" cultural references and they ARE dated.

Why am I looking forward to SUPERGIRL?
Why does my wife keep confusing Melissa Benoist, who was on Glee, with Ellie Kemper, from the US version of The Ofice, although Ellie is a decade older?

Why does Hollywood keep remaking old TV shows? And a follow-up question, why haven’t they remade ALMOST PERFECT?
Seeming safety, though they almost never work as movies, And because you haven't paid the right piper.

Joseph Scarbrough said...

@Chris I can't speak for anyone else, but I wear mine all the time because I'm that big a M*A*S*H fan, and Radar was my favorite character, so it's become something like part of my identity. Like Zooey Deschanel and her leggings. :P

H Johnson said...

Why does Jacksonville, Florida have an NFL team but not Los Angeles?
- Because as soon as there is a team in L.A., the NFL won't be able to use that hammer when blackmailing the smaller market cities to build a new stadium. It's worked for years.

Why aren’t the great songwriters of the ‘60s and ‘70s still writing hit songs?
- PAT REEDER is right. There is still alot of great songs being written. It's just that you have to hunt for them. People (sales,jukebox plays, etc...) used to decide hits. Now mostly it's programmers that choose what we hear and what rises to the top of the mp3 charts.

Why do most shows we loved as kids not hold up?
- I guess you get older and smarter. I still like most of my old favorites so what's that say about me?

Great post. Aloha

joanneinjax said...

As a resident of Jacksonville, many of us have been asking that same question. We do have a quirky, flamboyant owner who seems genuinely interested in the community. However, I am concerned about the huge amount of money the city is giving up to subsidize the franchise, stadium, etc. In spite of Mark Barer's comment, Jax is hardly a 'one-horse town'. We have the big, beautiful St. Johns River running through the center of the city (many fans commute to the stadium by boat for home games) out to the Atlantic with miles of great beaches. There was plenty to do before the Jaguars, and they'll still be plenty to do once Shahid Kahn packs up his properly inflated balls and moves to La La Land. (I think Mark was a little hard on San Antonio, too. It's a lovely town, and I was unaware they had an NFL franchise, there are so many other attractions.)

As for ALMOST PERFECT: I just loved that show, mainly because I just love Nancy Travis, I didn't know, until I started reading your blog, that the dialog she so cleverly delivered was written by you. (Your continued devotion to NT is one of the reasons I keep reading here.) I just can't see anyone else in that role, can you?

LouOCNY said...

Why a duck? Why no-a chicken???


Needed to be said....I think....and hope there are still people out there who get that....

Jason said...

" Is this his nanny growing up or the nanny to his child? "

This is Ben Affleck.

Matt said...

@Joseph Scarborough

"Why did the chicken cross the road"

To get from the left to the right
he stepped out of rank
got hit hit by a tank
he ain't a chicken no more.
Hooahh

Aaron Hazouri said...

Lifelong born-and-raised Jax resident here... LA can have the football team! Actually, I'll follow it out there. Spend any amount of time here and you'll REALLY wonder how we managed to swing a football team - I mean, aside from the sheer tonnage of money the city agreed to dump into a stadium.....

Anonymous said...

"Why does Donald Trump think a giant fence will keep anybody out?"

Probably because the Israeli's told him how great their fence is doing keeping non-jews from swarming their country.

It really does work well. Just ask an African or Palestinian aspiring immigrant. It's probably the best modern border fence in the world. They couldn't have Israel as you know it without it.

Hope this helps!

- Django

Jeremy said...

Why do most shows we loved as kids not hold up?

That's normal, though, isn't it? I used to work with a guy who, it's like his tastes in television and movies -- hell, entertainment in general -- all froze when he was about ten years old or so. He watched the same old ancient sitcoms, over and over again, that he watched back then. His DVD collection was full of all these old cartoons he grew up watching. "Scooby Doo" and crap like that. No movies there that you wouldn't see playing at an early '70s kiddie matinee. He collected all the comic books he'd been collecting since back then. Stocked his music library with kiddie records. I respected it, but lord knows I didn't get. Television, music and movies all have so much to offer beyond what appealed to you when you were ten.

jcs said...

FRIDAY QUESTION

You have mentioned many times that being a TV writer requires putting in long hours, sometimes until dawn. Is it possible to have some kind of semi-normal family life when working in such a profession?

Anonymous said...

"Why aren’t the great songwriters of the ‘60s and ‘70s still writing hit songs?"

They aren't doing hard drugs anymore. Cocaine, acid, and heroin were responsible for a hell of a lot of hit songs. Those drugs worked great for many artists, until they didn't. But while they did, nothing else could match it for inspired output.

Kids today generally drink booze, smoke their crappy pot, and take molly. Those drugs don't have near the creative punch like coke, acid, and heroin. Kids today tend to think of those drugs as lowbrow.

BTW, people seem to be puzzled as to why television dramas are better any other time in it's history... Thank ritalin, adderall, and a few other "brain enhancing" drugs. With adderall, you can stay up for a few days, and work at peak creative performance. Moderate with Jack Daniels, and you can right a better script, faster, than without it. The drug is a god send for many a newbie show runner. Of course, there's a law of diminishing returns. If you keep it up without a break, you turn into a pile of crap, which is why you see them getting fired a lot lately. It's great if you use it judiciously.

– Mr Hanky

VP81955 said...

My younger brother moved to J'ville last year, regularly goes to Jaguars games, and loves the town.

As for multi-cam vs. single-cam sitcoms, I don't get it either. Snobbery from the young'uns, I guess.

(I think Mark was a little hard on San Antonio, too. It's a lovely town, and I was unaware they had an NFL franchise, there are so many other attractions.)

No, San Antonio has an NBA team, the Spurs (and a WNBA team, too, for what it's worth). There's been conjecture if the Raiders don't wind up in LA -- and why doesn't someone ask Carmen Policy how the Raiders and Chargers are going to share a market when the both play in the AFC, much less the same division? -- that Mark Davis will use San Antonio as a fallback in case he can't get a stadium in the East Bay.

BTW, my expected NFL-to-LA scenario is that the Rams and Chargers will share an Inglewood facility, contingent on the Rams allowing the Chargers to share stadium revenue while also contributing some of the cost.

Richter said...

Jax has an NFL team cuz it is by-far the largest populated city in FL. The better question might be how has LA (and Anaheim) managed to drive the Rams and Raiders out? They also drove the Chargers out in their early years so really, they've lost 3 teams.

Mike Barer said...

Richter, LA may have driven them out, but it sounds like all three want back in. A smart ass answer would be that LA has two pro football teams, USC and UCLA!

Anonymous said...

"They aren't doing hard drugs anymore. Cocaine, acid, and heroin were responsible for a hell of a lot of hit songs. Those drugs worked great for many artists, until they didn't. But while they did, nothing else could match it for inspired output."
Complete myth.
In fact if you ask most of the people who were around then and wrote songs, they will tell you that while they had a brief uptick when they started taking drugs (which may or may not be cause and effect), drugs did nothing but ruin their output. Brian Wilson was never the same after he started taking LSD. A genius before 1966, not so much after. Same with John Lennon. After he started taking heroin, not so much of a genius.
And Paul McCartney did his worst stuff when he was using pot heavily.
There was far more good music written before drugs than after - in fact drugs are one good answer to the question.

Wendy M. Grossman said...

Jeremy: I know someone like that, whose tastes in TV shows froze around 1960. It is almost impossible to find anything to talk to him about; I finally paired him up with a friend of mine who's in his 80s because at least he remembers those shows!

Why don't those old shows hold up? Some do: THE DICK VAN DYKE SHOW (except for Laura Petrie); the comedy parts of THE CAROL BURNETT SHOW; GET SMART, THE AVENGERS (Diana Rigg's seasons). Some don't: THE DONNA REED SHOW (my god). Some become the equivalent of ogling your parents' home movies to laugh at how silly they looked: GREEN ACRES, THE BEVERLY HILLBILLIES. People will be laughing at SEINFELD and (the first few seasons of) FRIENDS a long time from now, but wondering why they ever watched 2 BROKE GIRLS. Some things date because of social change: the generation gap that was visible in ALL IN THE FAMILY is largely no longer relevant. THE HONEYMOONERS will live forever, so will FAWLTY TOWERS and YES, MINISTER.

But also: if you're my sort of age (61), the shows we loved as kids were first-generation. They were made by veterans of other media experimenting in a new medium. Sure, some were going to fail.

For comparison: how many people you liked as a kid are still people you want as friends?

wg

Yah Shure said...

"Why does Jacksonville, Florida have an NFL team but not Los Angeles?"

For the same reason no other NFL city has Los Angeles. Green Bay might be enticed, if only to watch Angelenos deal with winter. But once spring arrives, into the bay it goes.

Will trade: one mediocre Vikings team for the return of Baskin-Robbins to Minnesota. Stadium included. Shipping available at taxpayer expense.

MikeK.Pa. said...

Why do In & Out burgers taste better off the truck than at their permanent locations?
The same reason hot dogs taste better at the ballpark than in the kitchen.

Why do people go to football games in the East and Midwest during December when they’re on television?
Baseball fans prefer shorts and a cold drink on a hot day. Football fans seem to like bundled coats, hot chocolate on a freezing day. Who am I kidding? They're drinking cold beer and can't feel the cold.


Why aren’t the great songwriters of the ‘60s and ‘70s still writing hit songs?
They have more grey hair than grey matter.

Why are there so few multi-camera shows on television when the ones that are get better ratings than single-camera sitcoms?
The execs making the decisions are in the 30s and think single-cam is the rage.

Why does Jacksonville, Florida have an NFL team but not Los Angeles?
Never figured that out. LA had two teams and lost them both. Too many distractions out there.


Why does Donald Trump think a giant fence will keep anybody out?
Because it's worked on his Palm Beach estate.

Why is Adam Sandler still starring in movies?
Because he had pictures of somebody at Sony - until recently anyway.

Why are ice cream sandwiches suddenly the rage?
They can't top Snickers ice cream bars.


Why was “Jack” from Jack in the Box dumped?
Somebody caught him with Jill.

Why is Batman sleeping with his nanny?
Robin left the nest.

Why did the Red Sox let Don Orsillo go?
Never heard him, but probably got somebody younger and cheaper.

Why have stores put up Halloween displays already?
To make sure there's room for the Christmas stuff before Halloween comes.

Why do most shows we loved as kids not hold up?
We and TV became more sophisticated and less innocent.

Why the hate for Anna Gunn? She played a thankless role beautifully.
Because she played it too well.

Why am I looking forward to SUPERGIRL?
You're hoping for a cameo by Helen Slater.

gottacook said...

The various Norman Lear shows, because they were shot on videotape, are getting difficult to watch simply because of how they look on modern TVs as opposed to CRTs. Even if their content hadn't dated at all, they'd be hard to watch today.

Hey, Anonymous: What are your sources with respect to the alleged drugs-related drop in quality of the musical output of Lennon and McCartney? Couldn't you just as well argue that their solo-career songs weren't as good because they didn't have each other to bounce songs off of, get each other's opinion? Or maybe their output was worse because of the (musically) nefarious influences of their wives, who often performed and/or got writing credit.

Albert Giesbrecht said...

@Joseph Scarborough Why are people still watching THE VIEW and even THE TALK?

Not to mention The Chew, and The Spew?

Tom Wolper said...

Why do people go to football games in the East and Midwest during December when they’re on television?

1. If the players can play in that weather, we certainly can sit there and watch.

2. Our choice of what to watch in the game is not dependent on what the director wants to show us. If Detroit comes to town and I want to watch Calvin Johnson run his routes each play when they are on offense, nobody can stop me. Same as if Houston comes to town and I only want to watch JJ Watt.

3. On TV the line of scrimmage is in the middle of the screen at the start of each play. In the stadium we see the teams march up and down the field. And we don't need a yellow line to see if the ball crossed for a first down because we can shoot a glance at the sideline and see where the marker is.

4. We don't have to deal with the inanities of the announcing team.

Chris said...

Re: Supergirl
Because it looks fun after far too many grim&gritty superhero movies like Dark Knight and Man of Steel?

I've seen the pilot (it *cough* fell off a truck on the information superhighway *cough*) and it's just plain fun to watch. It has a lot of the weaknesses of any pilot (the attention span of a hamster on speed) and it's not especially revolutionary, but the character is having fun, the situations are interesting, the takes on the the tropes of the Super-universe are being reshuffled (love the new James Olsen) and, oh yeah, it's FUN!

Embrace it, Ken. Embrace it.

Joseph Scarbrough said...

Hey guys, not to be a nuisance or anything, but just a reminder, my name doesn't have the extra 'O' in it. ;) That would be that conservative TV windbag.

Wallis Lane said...

@Joseph Scarbrough (with no "O"):

In LA, September is every bit as hot as July or August. They are far and away our hottest months. In fact the hottest day ever in LA was on September 27, 2010. It hit 113 degrees downtown !! I stepped out of the office just to see what it felt like, and almost singed my eyebrows off.

Rashad Khan said...

Sophia Petrillo: "Why do we let things like this happen? Why can't we take care of our elderly like they do in Japan? WHY ARE THERE SEVENTEEN SETS OF HOOTERS ON THE COFFEE TABLE?"

Joseph Scarbrough said...

@Wallis Lane, Yes, our hottest day was 115 in August 2011, but then again, the entire summer of 2011 was one of our worst: there were days so hot that the local news outlets begged people not to go outside, otherwise they would literally start to burn within ten minutes. But our absolute worst summer was 2007: for three months we had little to no precipitation whatsoever, our temperatures were above average, and we were in a terrible drought that, to this day, we still have never quite recovered from (one of the rivers that runs through town keeps receding year after year to the point where you can wade out into the middle of it and the water's barely waist-deep now).

Still, the summer heat's supposed to be long gone by September (at least for us anyway), and I hate summer anyway, so the fact that the heat is still lingering around (and September's my favorite month anyway), I'm pissed right now.

Anonymous said...

What are your sources with respect to the alleged drugs-related drop in quality of the musical output of Lennon and McCartney? Couldn't you just as well argue that their solo-career songs weren't as good because they didn't have each other to bounce songs off of, get each other's opinion? Or maybe their output was worse because of the (musically) nefarious influences of their wives, who often performed and/or got writing credit.

Don't have no sources.
And you are probably right about those reasons as well. But their songwriting sure didn't get better with heavy drug use. Nor did Wilson's. Nor did Dylan's (couple year hiatus there in late 1960's) nor did John Phillips. You'd be hard pressed to pick out the guys whose songwriting got better when their drug use got heavy, especially heroin.

D. McEwan said...

"Why do people go to football games in the East and Midwest during December when they’re on television?"

Too many words. Why do people go to football games?

"Why does Donald Trump think a giant fence will keep anybody out?"

This erroneously presupposes that Trump thinks.

"Why is Batman sleeping with his nanny?"

Well who is going to sleep with? Alfred the Butler?

"Why am I looking forward to SUPERGIRL?"

Because it's gonna be good. I have seen the pilot. It is very good.

"why haven’t they remade ALMOST PERFECT?"

Because they're idiots. And after The Lone Ranger and The Man from U.N.C.L.E., consider yourself lucky.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous Said:

"What are your sources with respect to the alleged drugs-related drop in quality of the musical output of Lennon and McCartney? Couldn't you just as well argue that their solo-career songs weren't as good because they didn't have each other to bounce songs off of, get each other's opinion? Or maybe their output was worse because of the (musically) nefarious influences of their wives, who often performed and/or got writing credit."

I posted assuming whomever was reading either read most of the beatles biographies and interviews, so they would know what I was talking about, or would look it up themselves. I'm not here to teach you anything, however...

"Don't have no sources."

Interviews with individual Beatles are all over the internets. You might start with the Playboy interview, in which Lennon stated that he took "literally thousands of acid trips in the '60's." I believe in the Rolling Stone interview he said he'd taken so much acid, he'd lost himself. Other interviews with other beatles indicated they were worried about his dedication to acid during the sixties. The influence of acid on Beatles albums, and the time they began taking it isn't hard to figure out.

"And you are probably right about those reasons as well. But their songwriting sure didn't get better with heavy drug use. Nor did Wilson's. Nor did Dylan's (couple year hiatus there in late 1960's) nor did John Phillips. You'd be hard pressed to pick out the guys whose songwriting got better when their drug use got heavy, especially heroin."

Your wrong about every one of them. John Philps did his best work with Mama Cass shoveling coke up his nose, and acid drops on his tongue. He wrote one hit after another, until he fried his brain. Dylan smoked a lot of pot, and plenty of Jack Daniels while writing his best work. Wilson's best work was Acid inspired. He first dropped Acid in 1965, and it shows. He also happened to be schizophrenic anyway, so his demise was just a matter of time.

Again, I stated, as with any hard drug, there's a law of diminishing returns. Sure it chewed up their brains, but when they were at their best, their creative output was unmatched. There were plenty of people on the coke and acid train. The entire Laurel Canyon crowd, including Janis Joplin dominated music, and they were all on assorted harder drugs at the time. Look up some of Joplin's performances coked and jack danieled up, and she did just fine. Heroin seemed to agree with her creatively also. Her last and perhaps best album she did addicted to heroin.

Her creativity took a bad turn after that, but I never said hard drugs was the way to an amazing creative life. It makes for unmatched, but relatively short term output for some creative people.

btw, Richard Pryor,'s George Carlin's work didn't change to the style we identify them with today until they dropped acid. Bill Hicks was a devoted acid head. It's a powerful drug. Cocaine worked for them too. We all know about Robin Williams and his coke issues. But it worked.

For a while. But "a while" is all it took to put them to legendary status in their fields. It doesn't mean they won't be dead or brain fried by middle-age or earlier. As we've seen, there's a price to pay. Some people are willing make that deal with the devil. Our current generation, not so much. And that's why our music isn't very good today.

–Mr. Hanky

gottacook said...

The actual Lennon quote from the Playboy 1980 interviews is "I've never had a flashback in my life and I took millions of trips in the Sixties." Millions? Probably neither this nor "thousands" is the actual fact.

In response to "Our current generation, not so much. And that's why our music isn't very good today": I think it also has to be said that a lot of good music in the 1960s through '80s - records that are still enjoyable - came from writers and performing artists who didn't self-medicate to excess.

ODJennings said...

Why do people go to football games in the East and Midwest during December when they’re on television?

The shopping.

Seriously, I grew up in Nebraska, so football was huge.One person in 12 in the entire State would be sitting in the stadium at kick off (it was all we had). People would drive for hours to get to Lincoln from the farms and small towns. What no one mentioned was that at halftime the women all left to spend the afternoon shopping.

The husbands watched the game, the women shopped, and everyone went home happy.

Anonymous said...

@gottacook
Sorry but if you look at the timelines, it's not me who is wrong.
Of course they took drugs while they were writing the songs- it's fairly obvious as time went on, and they took more drugs their best work was behind them, the point of the whole post.
Again confusing taking drugs with when their creativity was at its height.
The Mamas and Papas essentially lasted three years. Their best work was years one and two. Mama Cass was not shoving coke up John Phillips nose every minute in 1964 and 1965.John Phillips got heavier in to drugs in the later periods and that was one of the reasons his career tanked. No, his best work, his earlier stuff, was not while he was doing a lot of drugs. It killed the group. I suspect if he was around today he would tell you that.
No one can credibly argue drugs augmented Brian Wilson's writing career - no drugs before 1965, some drugs 1965-66, lots of drugs afterward. We got five years of genius - yes mental illness but you can't say, believably, drugs didn't play a huge part.
Yes, pull out a two or three year interval and The Beatles were writing some good stuff while taking drugs, but that's basically how long that lasted. Even Keith Richard basically said they weren't nearly as good musically after 1967. They never took drugs before 1965.
Dylan had to take almost three years off, and it probaby wasn't for a motorcycle accident, it probably was for heroin.

Your points about Joplin and the comedians are irrelevant and actually work against you since we are talking about songwriters. Lots of great performers can exist and thrive while doing heavy drug use. I wouldn't argue against Billie Holliday or Miles Davis for a minute. But they weren't writing songs which demands a special type of creativity (well Miles Davis was, but I think his work deteriorated also). Performing is not songwriting.
Comedians are a special breed also. They can perform on drugs. I'm not sure I would want to argue that the comedy of Robin Williams, George Carlin or Richard Pryor was better when they were heavily into drug use. U happen to think not on both counts but that is a more subjective matter. Again I suspect if any of them was still around they might tell you that.
Even the Laurel Canyon group, if you actually look at when they turn out their best stuff and when they got heavily into drugs, you'll find they don't coincide for the most part. The pattern is actually consistent: mild drugs- you can still retain your creativity. Heavy drugs - you will lose it, often fairly quick. Hardly an argument for "their best stuff was because of drugs".
And alcohol is a special animal, for writers or any performer. The romantic image of Hemingway or Fitzgerald knocking out their best stuff while drunk is comforting and alcohol probably did help them in moderation but once they got into it heavily, their careers went under. I suspect if they were around they would tell you that.
Look at the timelines and the work. They tell you more than the Playboy interviews.

H Johnson said...

Mr. Hanky,

Your opinions are just that, and I don't agree that the group you mentioned did their best writing on drugs. Brian Wilson was well into his Pet Sounds production before he dropped acid. Did it expand his thoughts, maybe. But at what fucking cost. Your assumption that he was on his way to crazy anyway is absurd.

Lennon wrote several albums worth of great music with McCartney before they dropped acid. Did their music change after the drugs? Can't be denied, but better? I don't think so.

And giving weed credit for Dylan's poetic genius? I won't call you an idiot because that would be wrong, but I will say that you are full of your namesake.

All experiences change an artist's direction, but implying that you have to be high to write good music is ridiculous. Look what it did for Hendrix, Joplin, Morrison and countless others. The evidence is to the contrary.

Here's hoping you don't practice what you preach,

Aloha

Barry Traylor said...

Why does Donald Trump think a giant fence will keep anybody out?

Why is Adam Sandler still starring in movies?

Two questions that I would love to hear the answers for.

gottacook said...

Even though Anonymous refutes a few points I didn't make, I wanted to add the following: (i) Certainly the Beatles took drugs before 1965, frequently consuming "prellies" (phenmetrazine, an amphetamine-like stimulant) during their early years playing in Germany, as mentioned in various sources. (ii) Dylan did indeed have a motorcycle accident; in summer 1977 I was a college housemate of someone who was 9 when Dylan moved into her home for months (her father was his doctor), recovering and then simply hanging out, and having witnessed plenty of self-aggrandizing exaggeration and outright lying before and since, I'm quite sure she had no need or desire to make up such a story.

Igor said...

If anticipation of precipitation is not the same as precipitation, then please explain that to the local governments of the East Coast who cancel schools and close government offices in anticipation of a huge, next-day snow storm that… then never comes.

John Hammes said...

Judge Harry Stone (to the gallery): ... are there any questions?

Gallery Member: Why is the sky blue... ?

(Pause)

Harry Stone: Because if it were green, we would not know when to stop mowing...


-- Night Court, 1986

Dark Avenger said...

As to the question of what holds up, Barney Miller, which ended before they started repeating themselves. which was serious police drama set in San Francisco, which perhaps paved the way for The Streets of San Francisco later on. And, of course, Banacek, with George Peppard as a self-confident free-lance insurance investigator. The TV series that Universal Studios put out were well-made, like The Name of the Game, or Columbo, for that matter.


From the Wiki:

Banacek's success as an investigator allowed him to live well. He had a mansion at 85 Mt. Vernon Street, (the same house used in The Thomas Crown Affair starring Steve McQueen)[citation needed] on Beacon Hill in Boston. He had a limousine and driver. He owned and drove an antique 1941 Packard convertible. He had a mobile radio telephone in each of his cars at a time when these devices were uncommon and expensive. Banacek was intelligent, well-educated, cultured and suave. He was an unapologetic ladies man who enjoyed the company of beautiful women, but he was street-smart and could engage in violent hand-to-hand fighting if the moment called for it.

Albert Giesbrecht said...

I was an extra in a Adam Sandler film, Happy Gilmore, I wasn't paid, but you can clearly see me behind the guy who has one line.

Jabroniville said...

Most "original" Broadway shows make no money- even IF/THEN, which had a major Broadway star fresh off her FROZEN hype, barely made a dime largely thanks to the fact that it was an original show and not based off of anything "safe" or important. That's why they go with safe stuff.

Albert Giesbrecht said...

Who put the bomp in the bomp bah bomp bah bomp?
Who put the ram n the rama lama ding dong?
Who put the bop in the bop shoo bop shoo bop?
Who put the dipIn the dip da dip da dip?

LouOCNY said...

gottacook: I have lived in the town where Dylan 'recuperated' back in 66, and it is sort of a local legend, as hardly anyone really knew who the guy that was hanging out in local bars, diners and whatnot really was. So everything your college friend said is true. (my sister went to high school with her!)

gottacook said...

Lou: I'd always thought Carrie was honest about it, but thanks for the verification.

Anonymous said...

gottacook said...
"The actual Lennon quote from the Playboy 1980 interviews is "I've never had a flashback in my life and I took millions of trips in the Sixties." Millions? Probably neither this nor "thousands" is the actual fact. "

My bad. He stated it in a Rolling Stone interview:

"It went on for years, I must have had a thousand trips. Literally a thousand, or a couple of hundred? A thousand - I used to just eat it all the time."

So let's cut it down to the conservative side and say he did around 200 trips, though according to other beatles, he was dropping it "all the time" and they were worried about it. There's 52 weeks in a year. Do the math. That's a lot of acid. If you're an artist, it will, de facto, have a strong influence on your work, and likely those around you. George also enjoyed acid. Paul reportedly did not. Same with Ringo. But since John and Paul were competitive, acid influenced their creative work just the same. And again, Paul loved pot for many decades. I don't think he'd be using it if it didn't help him creatively.

"In response to "Our current generation, not so much. And that's why our music isn't very good today": I think it also has to be said that a lot of good music in the 1960s through '80s - records that are still enjoyable - came from writers and performing artists who didn't self-medicate to excess."

I'm not talking so much about "good music." I'm talking about great music. I never stated taking drugs didn't eventually lead to back consequences, but for the relative short time it was in vogue, it had a strong influence, and changed rock music forever. I'm also not advocating that you need drugs to create great music, but you can't ignore that quite a few performing artists, songwriters or otherwise, did well with LSD and heroin.

I've never taken heroin, but those who have said have told me it's one of the best drug on the planet for creativity, until it isn't.

Everyone else criticizing what I'm claiming all have good intentions, but the fact remains, drugs, for some people, help the creative process tremendously.

Until it doesn't.

Making that deal with the devil is up to the individual, but the potential business partner should always remember the devil writes a very mean contract.

One more thing... just because you take Adderall or coke or whatever, doesn't mean you're necessarily going to be a supercharged creative force. Some people, while creative, don't do well on drugs. I'm not talking about them. I'm talking about creative people who do great, at first, with whatever drug. It puts them at another level, and we get greatness.

It may be over the course of a year, a couple of years, before they crash, but when the stars and drugs are aligned just right, we get "I am the Walrus." That song will be great 100 years from now. Without acid, it wouldn't have been written.

Great music, and good music can be written without drugs. It just doesn't happen that often.

Mr. Hankey

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ken Levine said...

Mr. Hankey,

You appear to be new to the blog. Welcome. I appreciate all points of view. But not personal attacks on other commenters. They get deleted. Play nice.

Anonymous said...

Dear Ken,

That doesn't appear to be the case with your friend H Johnson, but I appreciate the sentiment. Besides, consistency is not a human trait, as you might say.

-Mr Hanky

Anonymous said...

Anonymous Said:

"The Mamas and Papas essentially lasted three years. Their best work was years one and two. Mama Cass was not shoving coke up John Phillips nose every minute in 1964 and 1965.John Phillips got heavier in to drugs in the later periods and that was one of the reasons his career tanked. No, his best work, his earlier stuff, was not while he was doing a lot of drugs."

Wrong, but what I don't get is how you can be such a poor study on a subject, yet be so resolute with your comments. It's like you're saying "I know so little about the subject, I'm going to teach it!" I don't understand that.

There's something that's gone wrong with America. I don't know exactly how or why, but something is definitely askew, and I'm grateful that I'm not a millennial. Their lives are going to be a righteous hell come mid century. I'm not calling you a millennial, because Ken would delete my post for posting inflammatory pejoratives, but you kind of remind me a little of them. I know you aren't, though.

Oh, btw, here's a video of the Mama's and the Papa's discussing their heavy duty acid trips in the Virgin Islands just prior to going to Los Angeles and releasing a lot of hit songs, which contradicts your assertions in every way:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j20Dy1hqLw0

See you at the Clifton's!

Mr Hankey