Saturday, June 09, 2007

'Blues & Soul Solid Gold' A mix tape by Chip Kinney

I have 2 queues for my Netflix habit. One is strictly for movies while the other is only for television shows. And here as of late, I’ve been more interested in the television shows.

I’ve recently started watching The Wild, Wild West series from the 1960’s. NOT that crappy motion picture with Will Smith!

I will NEVER watch such heresy! Don’t even get me started on all the wrong reasons about that film.

The series was excellent! James West (Robert Conrad) is a Secret Service agent that takes on all threats to our young country. He’s kinda like an Old West version of James Bond. There’s gadgetry and science fiction elements all through the series. It’s not the Ponderosa, baby.

Artemus Gordon is his sidekick and master of disguises. Although, we can spot Mr. Gordon a mile away because of his distinguished facial features.

They travel by train that has many secret compartments and is set up like Maxwell Smart’s apartment to protect against infiltrators.

West’s greatest foe, and the one the movie really F-ed up, was Dr. Miguelito Loveless. Dr. Loveless was a dwarf with big plans to take over the world. He was my favorite of all villains of James West. Loveless’ size drove him to megalomania, to prove to the world that he was the smartest, most brilliant man on the face of the planet. But deep down, he was crazier than Don King’s hair.

I grew up watching The Wild, Wild West. I don’t remember it running on prime time, but I sure as hell caught as many episodes that I could when it went to syndication. I wanted to be James West with my trusty cap gun sitting on my hip. I wanted to get a pair of leather chaps like Jim’s so bad, that I asked for them constantly… Birthdays, Christmas, and Arbor Day. Being a youngling and not really knowing better, I called them “hot pants”. I came to that conclusion when I first saw Jim West using them to slide through fire unharmed.

I never got those leather chaps.

I even asked my dad to take off the heels from my cowboy boots and hollow them out so I could stash goodies in there. I could pack a small cap pistol in them or even some stuff that looked like explosives. If Jim West had those types of boots, by golly, I wanted them too!

I also tried to sew on little pockets to the insides of my jackets for knives and other “secret” Jim West devices. I would wear my jackets in the months when jackets wouldn't normally be worn. My sewing skills weren't so good and my mother didn’t like me fouling up her sewing basket.

Whenever I played out my Jim West childhood fantasies, I would always work in the musical soundtrack of the TV series. I would be scaling up a wall to infiltrate Loveless’ lair while humming the incidental music of the series. I loved the music on The Wild, Wild West.

To me, the bass guitar music in that show was one of the biggest reasons I chose to pick up a bass guitar for myself. The other was Gene Simmons of KISS. And the odd thing… Gene Simmons uses a guitar pick on the bass and the bass on The Wild, Wild West was made by utilizing a guitar pick.

I don’t know, but it always sounded crisper to me and more defined over the use of one’s fingers to pluck the strings on a bass guitar. Merely coincidence? I think not.

So far I’ve gotten through disc one of season one of The Wild, Wild West. And that particular season was filmed in black and white. It didn’t matter to me when I was a kid, so I figured that I’d pass the DVD onto Tina and Richard. Perhaps they would show the series to my nephews Preston and Colton. I thought they would enjoy it very much, but I was sadly disappointed. It seems that kids today don’t respond to anything in black and white or anything other than cartoons.

Oh well… Perhaps some day they will appreciate what Robert Conrad and Ross Martin did for television westerns… They made them interesting and exciting.

If you wanna be one of my Netflix buddies… By all means, contact me…

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