Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Detective Comics Wall Hanging-1970s

I had forgotten that I had this pasteboard backed wall-hanging. There's no date but I recall getting it at Kidd's Bookstore in Cincinnati and they went out of business around the mid-seventies.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

R.I.P. Chris Squire

I've never been able to afford to attend a lot of concerts but I was lucky enough to see YES in concert in the mid-1980s after having been a fan since the very early '70s. Master bassist Chris Squire basically WAS the group. Through the years, every single member has come and gone and returned and left abut Squire was always the rock. Without him, the name YES simply wasn't used. 

Rest In Peace

Friday, June 26, 2015

Booksteve Reviews: The Essential Elizabeth Montgomery

It’s entirely possible that anyone who ever watched an episode of BEWITCHED fell in love with Elizabeth Montgomery. I know I did. So did my friend Kathy Coleman from TV’s LAND OF THE LOST. And so did Herbie J. Pilato, who has long since become the go-to person for information on Lizzie’s life and career.

There was just something about her. It wasn’t just her beauty or sexiness. Many of us were only kids, after all. We didn’t know or care about stuff like that. It was, I guess, her way with a line, a look, a smile or a twitch. It was...well...There’s no other way to say it: It was her own personal magic.

After detailed books on Elizabeth Montgomery’s life and her enduring classic sitcom, now comes Herbie with a book that is, in a way, the most intriguing yet. THE ESSENTIAL ELIZABETH MONTGOMERY-A GUIDE TO HER MAGICAL PERFORMANCES, takes a close look at the actress’s performances one project at a time, in essence retelling her life story from the perspective of her career!

As the obvious career highlight, BEWITCHED tends to overshadow everything else she appeared in before or since. Having already covered BEWITCHED in depth elsewhere, here the author revisits its seasons at the proper place in her timeline but rightly chooses to concentrate more on her film appearances such as JOHNNY COOL, her TV guest appearances such as on TWILIGHT ZONE and BURKE’S LAW, game shows, talk shows and her mid-‘70s run of important TV movies such as A CASE OF RAPE and THE LEGEND OF LIZZIE BORDEN.

Montgomery’s magic was never tied to BEWITCHED. One can see it in everything from her earliest TV appearances to her final ones. As always with this type of book, there are a couple of sections of photos, both color and black and white, all chosen apparently for being scarcely seen before now. Some wonderful stills and photos that help round out the story of Elizabeth Montgomery when she wasn’t being America’s favorite witch.

If you’re the type of person who prefers old TV to what passes for entertainment today, THE ESSENTIAL ELIZABETH MONTGOMERY is a handy reference to keep near your television when watching retro stations, DVDs or even YouTube online or through your TV. A lot of the shows discussed herein are fairly easily accessible and if you, too, love Liz, it’ll increase your enjoyment even more to read about and eventually see ALL of her impressive and enjoyable performances.

Thanks to Herbie for filling in the gaps and adding yet again to a fuller picture of this magical woman who left us far too soon.

Booksteve Recommends!    

Thursday, June 25, 2015

R.I.P. Patrick Macnee

Enjoyed THE AVENGERS in the sixties and THE NEW AVENGERS in the seventies and enjoyed Mr. Macnee in a hundred other things. 

Monday, June 22, 2015

My Latest Mac Art

Inspired by Mark Rothko, I call this one 46 Million. 

Plumbing issues, car repairs, health problems and a loss of two of our sources of income have made postings sparse again here whilst I try to both recover and make us some money to keep the wolves from our door. With the 10th Anniversary of BOOKSTEVE'S LIBRARY coming up in August, we don't plan on going anywhere but now would be a good time to buy some DVDs to help us out if you see any you like:

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Booksteve Reviews: The Comedians by Kliph Nesteroff

Those of us who know where to find such things online have for years enjoyed, via various sites, Kliph Nesteroff’s obsessive and perceptive interviews with show biz folks that no one else ever thought to speak with before. In fact, before I read Kliph’s first book, THE COMEDIANS: DRUNKS, THIEVES, SCOUNDRELS AND THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN COMEDY, I think I was expecting it to simply be a collection of these unique interviews. But that's not what it is at all. Instead, Kliph has managed to distill a pretty full and more or less chronological history of American humor and stand-up comedy by taking bits and pieces from his interviews and articles, mixing and matching and rearranging them into a timeline to give considerable insight into the overall bigger picture. In spite of the fact that I was already familiar with much of this history, I was delighted to find myself surprised with something new and interesting literally every couple of pages...even if it wasn’t always pretty. Kliph’s warts and all approach spares no one but likewise judges no one. As an author, he is, as they used to say, just tellin' it like it is.

THE COMEDIANS is not quite what one would term an oral history but it does have a lot in common with that format in that the author allows the participants to speak for themselves whenever possible. The voices of those long gone appear, too, often from forgotten, candid interviews that Kliph has unearthed.

The story itself is fascinating, with its cast of all-too familiar faces and types. The nice guys, the egotists, the legends, the mobsters, the millionaires and the mugs, all have a light shown on them long enough for the reader to fully grasp their place in the overall landscape portrait of American live comedy.

For every Jonathan Winters, Richard Pryor and Jerry Lewis, you’ll meet a B.S. Pully, a Bobby Ramsen and a Dick Curtis, all just as deeply entrenched in the comedy story on their own level. You learn the truth about Lenny Bruce that time’s perspective can now let us see. You learn about the blacklisting in the 1950s with its life and death consequences. You learn just how all-pervasive was the mob involvement in the business...and how that wasn’t always a BAD thing!

Behind the scenes stories of Vaudeville and Burlesque lead to coverage of the evolution of comedy on Broadway, in radio, movies, records, and television, and then back to the stage in Vegas and beyond. About the only form of American comedy not presented here is print. And that’s what you have another recent book for: HARVEY KURTZMAN—THE MAN WHO CREATED MAD AND REVOLUTIONIZED HUMOR IN AMERICA by Bill Schelly. Taken together, they give as complete an image of “FUNNY” in America as one is likely to ever get until the British influence is tossed in.

Kliph Nesteroff’s THE COMEDIANS is that rare book that treats comedy seriously, without being stuffy, in an attempt to give humor its due as an important aspect of US history and culture. For anyone the least bit interested in comedians of either today or yesterday I’m happy to say this book is indispensible reading that will likely remain unchallenged for a long time.

And I for one can’t wait to see where Nesteroff’s dogged determination to define pop culture from the inside out takes him next time!

THE COMEDIANS: DRUNKS, THIEVES, SCOUNDRELS AND THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN COMEDY is due out in November, just in time for Christmas, but you can pre-order it now at this link:


Thanx to NetGalley, Grove-Atlantic and Kliph Nesteroff for the opportunity to be an early reader of this soon to be classic. Now it's YOUR turn. 

Monday, June 15, 2015

Lost Girl--One Day Only Sale!

For Father's Day, Barnes and Noble is offering a 20% discount on any one item ordered online TODAY ONLY, Monday, June 15th. Both Amazon and B&N have recently raised the price of my book with Kathy Coleman, LOST GIRL, up to its list price of $39.99. Here's a chance to get it for $31.99! But remember, it's today only!

Here's the info on the discount:


And here's where to find the book


Saturday, June 13, 2015

Underground Articles from the Chicago Tribune-1973


At a time when other cities were banning or citing underground publishers, distributors and retailers, The Windy City seemed to embrace the concept of Crumb and Lynch and their fellow iconoclasts, as evidenced by these two long 1973 articles. 

Thursday, June 11, 2015

R.I.P. Sir Christopher Lee

A favorite of mine since childhood, I'll write more later but for now here's a tribute photo album:

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Archie Cast Joins Archie Club-1963

An interesting letter from the actor playing Reggie in the early '60s ARCHIE TV pilot. The show didn't sell although it wasn't that bad. Just similar, I think, to too many other series of the period. Tried to look him up on IMDB to see if Wayne Adams ever did anything else in show business but I believe they have two folks with that name mixed up as, according to them he would have been 34 years old when he played Reggie.

Friday, June 05, 2015

David's Graduation

The big day has finally arrived, Graduating Summa Cum Laude this evening as Class of 2015 Salutatorian with a work ethic diploma, 5 scholarships, 4 grants, 2 certificates, 2 outstanding student plaques, a letter, a medal, 24 college credits (or possibly 36), and a cup trophy nearly one third his height--David Edward Paul Thompson! Let's hear it for him, ladies and gentlemen!

Monday, June 01, 2015

The Classic TV Preservation Society Review of Lost Girl

Woke up today to a nice LOST GIRL review from author (and BEWITCHED scholar) Herbie Pilato on his CLASSIC TV PRESERVATION SOCIETY page.

You can read Herbie's review here (and check out the rest of his great site!):

and you can order your own copy of LOST GIRL from the Amazon link in the sidebar at right.