About Ron

Surf guitarist, writer, library technician, Ron fills the daylight hours with dreams of reading, well-behaved pets and the perfect dark beer. Reading interests range from humor to mystery, steampunk to travel writing, historical fiction to surrealism.

Blondie, Hold the Dagwood

Please allow me to air my shame and make a confession: I saw the movie Little Darlings in a theatre! Yes, hard-earned money exited my sweaty pocket so that I could watch that 1980 blockbuster you’ve never heard of starring Tatum O’Neal, Kristy McNichol and Matt Dillon. Fortunately, the only memory I retain of this experience is that Blondie’s One Way or Another appeared in the soundtrack. Which surprised me at the time. Blondie was originally considered punk and punk rock did not often grace soundtracks in 1980. However, I now realize that they were not actually punk! Oh sure, the band exhibited new wave fashion flare, but the music itself was much more in a pop vein. Or a disco vein. Or a reggae vein. Depends on what song you’re talking about.

My present-day self became curious as to how often Blondie songs have been used in movie and TV soundtracks. Dredging through my overstuffed memory I concluded that the band didn’t have a huge legacy of popular tunes, so I presumed their songs did not often grace the silver or flat screens. But guess what sports fans? They appear frequently! Like not just here and there, but everywhere. And, Blondie has sold over 40 million albums! That’s nearly 6 million in dog albums! So I’ve had to reassess my idea of the group’s popularity. And now I know: Blondie is hot socks!

In 1978, Parallel Lines introduced me and most Americans to the music that was already well-known in the UK. Tune after tune of driving new wave, catchy pop and danceable disco filled its grooves. Hanging on the Telephone, One Way or Another, Heart of Glass, I’m Gonna Love You Too, Just Go Away and other gems pushed this listener to repeatedly spin said disc.

The list of movies that have used songs from Parallel Lines is quite amazing: Little Darlings, Mean Girls, Coyote Ugly, Cruella and Ready Player One are just the tip of the iceberg. Subsequent albums provided songs for Zack and Miri Make a Porno, Deuce Bigalow Male Gigolo, Muriel’s Wedding, Bridesmaids, The Heartbreak Kid, Donnie Brasco, The Last American Virgin and Bend it Like Beckham. Pretty impressive. And the movies and TV soundtracks that I’ve not mentioned are much more plentiful than those that I have listed. In fact, IMDB credits the band with 265 soundtrack appearances!

Music for soundtracks is chosen largely for its appeal to a potential audience, so Blondie’s numerous appearances in soundtracks is a nod to their remarkable popularity. In my mind they’re still just the quasi-punk band that appealed to me and a small group of friends 40 years ago. But in reality, Blondie is beloved by the world. Not bad for a bunch of punks from New York city.

Seattle has Both Kinds Of Music

“You can take a lad out of Seattle but you can’t take a fish out of the country.”
Ron Averill

As I read posts in the various PNW music groups I belong to, I get the creeping feeling that Seattle = grunge in the minds of many. End of story. But the truth is that Seattle music is a hot mix of many styles. One can find a thriving surf rock community, unlimited punk bands, and enough dream pop to fill your nightmares. But today we look towards the past and see just what the heck is up in the country music scene.

One of the earlier NW practitioners of both kinds of music, country & western, Bonnie Guitar is somewhat forgotten these days. Her biggest hit, Dark Moon, was released in 1957, which is a while back. But here in 2021 Dark Moon will soon be hitting the airwaves in the soundtrack of Loki! The song is a haunting pop/country crossover and is sure to please a new generation of listeners. If you like old-fashioned country music, give Bonnie a listen.

Christy McWilson is a country performer who is ubiquitous in the Puget Sound area. Over the years she’s been in a variety of local bands including the Dynette Set and The Picketts. Additionally, she has sung with national recording acts, including Dave Alvin and Mudhoney. McWilson’s voice is that of a classic country crooner, strong and expressive, ready to raise a barn or stop a stampede at the flick of a whip. We are fortunate to have this talent in the PNW, so check her out via Hoopla.

And once you’ve fallen in love with Christy McWilson’s music, you can move on to The Picketts. This wonderful band, which included two members of The Young Fresh Fellows, strayed from the standard country music formula by interspersing elements of Americana, rockabilly and pop music into the mix. The result is accessible, charming songs that are sure to inspire repeated listenings.

Looking for contemporary country? Look no further than Seattle’s own Western Centuries. A touch of nasal twang, a dash of pop/rock sensibilities and a wide-brimmed cowboy hat combine to give the PNW country music that can hang with the best of current popular C&W. Get out your snakeskin boots and prepare to boogie. Or at least line dance.

But if it’s the old timey country that floats your wagon wheels, Seattle has that covered too with Ranch Romance. This band of ladies and a fella had no end of chops, harmonies, pickin’ and grinnin’. Why, they could even yodel (except in Georgia where it’s illegal). With bows and fingers a-flying, Ranch Romance provided virtuosic music for a passel of dudes and dudettes.

As we end our rapid tour, obscurity is the watchword. The Western Front, led by Fred Cole of Dead Moon, left us with only six recorded songs. Their brand of alt-country is gritty, desolate, filled with gravelly vocals and lonesome trails. If you appreciate the croonings of Wilco or Lydia Loveless then you should definitely check these fellows out.

Mama mia, that’s a lot of country music! And you thought the Northwest started and ended with Nirvana. Well, get out your musical amplification unit and think again, Buster. And while you’re up, please turn off that lamp in the hallway.

XTC: It’s Not Just for Raves!

It was a freezing winter day, something like 5 a.m., and I was spinning the hits as I know them on KWCW, the pride of Whitman College. But this was to be a day like no other! As it became abundantly clear that the stylus on one of the turntables was broken, a fine sheen of panic seized my brain. You see, CDs had not been invented yet and you needed two, two, two turntables in one to run a radio show. Sadly, I was down to my last turntable. In an attempt to salvage the situation and save humankind for another day I threw on an entire side of Black Sea by XTC until the damaged stylus was replaced. And thus began a love affair that will continue until the gates of time come crashing down on baby New Year.

It’s hard to recall exactly which XTC album I encountered first. Perhaps it was Drums and Wires, a quirky pop gem that came out in 1979 and featured unforgettable songs like Making Plans for Nigel and When You’re Near Me I Have Difficulty. Or it might just as easily have been Black Sea on that fateful winter morning. But by the release of English Settlement and the tight rotation of the single Senses Working Overtime on KZAM in the summer of 1982, I was eating XTC for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The band. Not the illicit drug.

The group is a bit steeped in mystery. Andy Partridge, their brilliant songwriter/guitarist/ singer has been plagued by a variety of health issues that led to the band’s cessation of touring. In fact, I was set to see them in 1982 when they cancelled due to jaundice. But the scope of their songs is far beyond the live performance capabilities of three or four lads, so I’ve always thought of them as a band that makes fabulous records but doesn’t perform live. And that’s okay.

Their songs are psychedelic, Beatlesque, poppy, sometimes huge, quirky, and incredibly perfect. From the punkish spasms of White Music and Go 2 to the pop perfection of Drums and Wires, the hugely orchestral rock of Black Sea, English Settlement, Mummer, The Big Express and Skylarking, these fellas have created some of the best music I’ve encountered. And now, through the magic of Hoopla, you too can experience XTC.

Starting with Drums and Wires, and I’m not at all certain this was done intentionally, most XTC albums contain one long, huge-in-scope song that generally grows from nothing, climaxes in a frothy release of decibels, and returns to nothing. These became my favorites. Complicated Game features Partridge rabidly shouting the song title. Travels in Nihilon creates an unending drone of tom toms and synthetic-sounding buzzsaw notes under chanted vocals. Jason and the Argonauts, Deliver us from the Elements, Train Running Low on Soul Coal, Dear God… all are songs of epic proportion.

So the moral of this story is: Listen to XTC! You can find most of their albums on Hoopla and, wait for it, it’s free and legal to hear them! And it’s filled with your daily requirement of niacin! In the immortal words of 17th century mathematician Robert Hooke as he reviewed Drums and Wires, “Hey, that’s acute angle.”

A Cure For The Boogie Woogie Blues

Sure, swing is fun, but why listen to the slow-paced stodginess of String of Pearls when you can lindy to that hot mess of jump blues known as Jump, Jive, an’ Wail? Granted, a little of the Ludwig Van is fine and dandy, but when all is said and done the hep cats just want to know Is You Is Or Is You Ain’t My Baby?

Now, many of you are thinking in your own unique vernacular, “What the heck is jump blues?” This redheaded stepchild of a genre is not so abundantly discussed as boogie woogie or R&B or swing, yet it’s related to all three styles and served as an important bridge leading to rock and roll. In most basic terms, jump blues is fast, jazz-oriented little-big-band chaos with intense vocals, call and response, humorous lyrics, honking saxophones and a pronounced swagger to its walk. The style first became popular in the 1940s and more recently has found a small but happy audience in today’s youth and elders.

Thanks to Hoopla, many jump blues artists are available for your listening pleasure, including Louis Jordan, one of the originators and standouts of this genre. Rooted in jazz, Jordan had a penchant for comedy which came out both in his music and the music videos he created in pre-MTV days. As one of the most successful and influential African-American artists of his time, Jordan scored hits with Caldonia, Choo Choo Ch’boogie and Five Guys Named Moe, as well as many more.

Another jump blues Louis, one who was the voice of King Louie in The Jungle Book, was Louis Prima.  He also began in jazz and moved toward jump blues at about the same time as Louis Jordan. When swing enjoyed a short-lived surge of popularity with the younger crowd in the 1990s, Prima’s Jump, Jive, an’ Wail was practically the theme song of the movement. With wild antics on trumpet and an equally fierce voice, Prima was a jump blues standout.

In the modern world which we currently inhabit, Squirrel Nut Zippers are perhaps the most successful and well-known practitioners of jump blues. This frenetic small big band pumps out crazy jitterbugging classics such as Hell, Fat Cats Keep Getting Fatter and Ghost of Stephen Foster that keep the kids’ toes tapping manically.

Amongst contemporary jump blues standouts are such diverse artists as Four Charms, Atomic Fireballs and Mike Sanchez. Each captures the excitement that jump blues incited at its inception while still sounding as fresh as a frosty morning in Denmark. With all the heat of hot jazz packed into gilded shrink wrap (metaphorically speaking), these folk help keep jump blues alive and kicking in the 21st century.

Music is always hard to describe with words, so check out these recording artists to find out the shocking truth about jump blues! And take a gander at Hoopla while you’re at it. The diversity of artists available for streaming is downright spectacular. As always, be sure to tuck in your safety flaps.

T. Rex (Not The Dinosaur)

Tribute albums are often, simply put, horrible. While I get excited to hear new and exciting versions of songs I already love, the bands covering these tunes frequently play them exactly the same as the originals, except worse. So, I approached Angelheaded Hipster: The Songs of Marc Bolan & T. Rex with some trepidation.

Now, you may not know who Marc Bolan and T. Rex were, but that would be your bad, as the kids say. Granted, the reign of T. Rex really occurred 50 years ago, but as the pioneers of glam rock these lads were HUGE in the UK, at one point as popular as the Beatles. The U.S. did not embrace them quite as warmly, but Bang a Gong (Get it On) still enjoyed heavy rotation AM radio airplay in 1971.

The group started out as Tyrannosaurs Rex in 1967, playing psychedelic folk music sporting titles such as Frowning Atahuallpa (My Inca Love). But in 1970 their sound began to change to something new. Songs were simple, repetitive and catchy. Vocals still had a bit of a sweet folk ambiance. And the mood in general was happy, happy, happy. I think of T. Rex as providing the perfect soundtrack for the flower children. After 1973 the band’s popularity began to fade, and in 1977 singer and songwriter Marc Bolan died in an automobile accident. And though people may not have known it at the time, the group’s influence was just beginning to be felt on the shoulders and elbows of the music world. Flash forward to 2021, Angelheaded Hipster showcases an impressive catalog of hits with 2 discs of T. Rex songs, generally interpreted with great respect and more than a modicum of originality.

While comparing the original songs to the covers, I realized that T. Rex frequently employed orchestral strings in their music, often using them more than guitar. One example of this is found in Cosmic Dancer, which is covered here by Nick Cave. Anyone familiar with Mr. Cave is aware that he can interpret a tune, and interpret he does with piano and voice dominating this poignant rendering. The original assaults all that is holy with monstrously rocking drums, but Cave’s version remains sedate. Well worth checking out.

Metal Guru is covered by Nena on this compilation. Where T. Rex had a happy tune with heavy and huge instrumentation, Nena takes the same feel but makes it into a sixties Motown event. A most excellent example of an artist taking someone else’s song and making it their own.

Speaking of making something one’s own, Todd Rundgren takes the simple and straightforward Planet Queen and creates a swingful lounge feel that I found amusing and superb. A kinetic surge of psychedelic big band assaults the ears and caresses this listener’s pleasure centers.

Finally, the band’s biggest American hit, Bang a Gong (Get It On) is tackled by David Johansen, a former glamster with the New York Dolls. This cover plays almost like a comedy routine with crowd sounds from a fictitious night club accompanying the lounge lizard delivery of Johansen. While the original is essentially a rock and roll anthem, this new version is strictly the cat’s pajamas.

Conclusion? Angelheaded Hipster is a well-done tribute album to a group that we could all benefit from hearing. Check it out, check out other T. Rex releases. But most of all, have a glamorous experience.

Them Bones

One of my favorite types of TV programs is the solving-a-mystery-while-being-funny genre, shows like Castle and Psych. Recently, I discovered a not-so-new entry in this genre which is perhaps the best one I’ve run across, Bones.

The premise of Bones is that the world’s foremost forensic anthropologist, Dr. Temperance Brennan, helps the FBI solve murders through the examination of victims’ bones. Brilliant but sadly lacking in social skills and tact, Dr. Brennan, or Bones as she’s called by her FBI agent partner Seeley Booth, finds clues in the most unlikely places. Small scrapes on a rib or an indentation on a femur can indicate murder weapon, time of death or even a murderer’s identity. The other members of her team specialize in flesh, bugs and facial reconstruction among other things, each specialist hovering loftily at the top of their field.

A sad fact of television mysteries is that the “rules” of mystery telling and constraints in time often make it obvious who perpetrated a murder. I generally can identify a TV murderer by how they’re introduced or whether suspicion is cast on them. There’s no need to pay attention to the investigation to solve the case. One of the beauties of Bones is that it’s not so strongly bound by these conventions. Sometimes the killer is a newer character who we don’t meet until late in the episode. Other times storylines take abrupt turns that could not be anticipated. The writing is a cut or four above most procedurals.

Now perhaps you don’t care about murder solutions or quality of writing, but you are a fan of gore. Wellsir, Bones is the show for you! Because Dr. Brennan specializes in bones rather than the meat portion of bodies, she’s only called in on cases where the victim’s body has deteriorated significantly. This leads to liquification, intense maggot activity, limb detachment, exploding abdomens and so on. In other words, the bodies are waaaaaay gross. I can only imagine that the visual effects people had a field day working on this show.

Over the 12-year run of the show, characters become more than just coworkers. Of course there’s the usual everyone-dates-everyone-else nonsense, but these people have intense loyalty and affection for one other. At the core of it all is the deeply profound partnership between Booth and Bones. Booth is a man of intuition, a specialist in reading people and a devout Catholic. Bones relies on evidence, does not make assumptions, disdains psychology and is a card-carrying atheist. Other members of the team bring a wide variety of philosophies, personality traits and socio-economic backgrounds. But above all, each team member respects and cares for the other members of their team/family.

If you’re looking for humorous, unpredictable and gory mysteries, look no further. And with 12 seasons to choose from you’re guaranteed over 200 hours of viewing bliss! So lean back in the recliner, pop the tab on a fresh kombucha and prepare to be entertained.

Sea Hunt

In 2020 people struggled with rapid and often unpleasant changes. Many tuned in to television shows from the past as a means of self-comfort. Indeed, lately I find myself watching more and more programs from the 60s and 70s, some that I watched during their original run and others that provide familiar scenery from childhood. There’s something wonderful about immersing oneself in the miasma of carefree days that preceded entry into the 9-5 world.

And I’ve been thinking of shows that sit in the crepuscule of my memories, fleeting images of safari from Daktari, of airboats gliding through the Everglades from Gentle Ben and of Lloyd Bridges scuba diving from Sea Hunt. Assuming that I’d never really watched it before, I checked out Sea Hunt from Everett Public Library with some trepidation, fairly certain that it would bore me into a coma. Well sir or ma’am, I could not have been more wrong! While the show is exceedingly dry in delivery (yet wet with water), it manages to create tension and excitement while teaching a thing or two along the way.

If you’re of a certain age, you remember watching films in elementary school that could be collectively called Help Me I’m Bored, Please Put an Icepick Through My Eye. No attempt to engage viewers, dry-like-the-driest-sherry narration and visuals that would not stimulate a sea cucumber. To some extent, Dragnet grew out of this tradition with its no-nonsense just-the-facts-ma’am narration. Sea Hunt feels like the undersea equivalent of Dragnet. It’s not a perfect analogy (the beautiful rapid-fire delivery of Joe Friday is nowhere to be found), but it’s a good starting point for understanding the show.

Episodes begin with diver Mike Nelson (which, c’mon, is the perfect name for a dashing male figure from the late 50s) narrating while he carries out his typical diving duties. Next, we learn the extraordinary circumstances he must deal with in today’s adventure. For example, a mine collapses and is filled with water. 30 miners are killed. Mike is hired to dive in the flooded tunnels (a dangerous undertaking) to see what the situation looks like.

Let me digress for a moment. I like to imagine the pitch meeting for Sea Hunt where creator Ivan Tors must have said roughly, “Half the show takes place underwater. It’s dark, murky and very hard to see. Divers can only move slowly and they don’t talk while diving. Another quarter of the show is Mike Nelson adjusting his diving gear.” In fact, networks turned the show down and it ended up being produced in syndication. And Sea Hunt is indeed visually unengaging, with long periods of narration explicating underwater escapades. Yet it still manages to generate gut-clenching thrills as we wait to see if Mike can save the world once again.

We now return to our regularly scheduled program.

As he dives through those flooded mine caverns, Nelson begins to hear a pounding that’s too regular to ignore. Emerging in a small air pocket he discovers two miners barely alive, soon to be dead if he doesn’t act immediately. Mike realizes that he can only take one of them back to safety! He decides to return as quickly as possible to help the other, but it will likely be too late…

Exciting stuff.

The show ran from 1958-1961, before my time, but I remember watching it as a young child and especially recall each episode’s ending, variations on the theme, “Hi, I’m Lloyd Bridges. I’ll see you next week for another underwater adventure.” Surprisingly, it’s become a show I greatly enjoy. Grab some popcorn, Maynard, and check this one out for yourself.

The White Album

Round about 1978 I began a complicated relationship with the Beatles’ White Album. As the owner of a car with a cassette deck (!) I was able to take the Beatles with me wherever I might go… practically here, there and everywhere! Two of their albums became my constant companions, Abbey Road and the White Album. These lp’s colored my late teens perhaps like no others.

In my dotage I tend to alternate between hot and cold feelings for those Beatles, but a recent listen reminded me of the brilliance that is the White Album. I don’t think anyone could sit down and write thirty impressive songs in varied styles any better than this. Most rock albums stick to a narrow range of musical language. But the White Album is all over the map: rock and roll, folk, experimental tape music, dance hall. And the really infuriating part is the songs are mostly brilliant. As a listener, it feels like the composers did whatever they felt like and did it outstandingly well.

The Beatles did a whole lot of tape manipulation in their music, back in those wild pre-digital days. I remember hearing once that bits of Strawberry Fields were created by cutting up some tape, randomly reattaching the bits, and playing it backwards. Revolution 9 takes this practice to new heights. There is nothing warm and cozy about this song, no melody, no easily-discernible form. If you wanna reach a new level of creepy, try listening to this one late at night at the end of a deserted road in your car. Number nine.

Perhaps you’d like to hear a little hard rock or proto punk. Iggy Pop and the Stooges were exploring this style as early as the late 60s and on the White Album we find the Beatles up to their hip boots on Helter Skelter. It’s a brilliant foray into driving distorted guitar, wall o’ drums and a highly saturated sound spectrum.

Or if you’re looking for 6 degrees of separation from all that’s creepy and loud, you could always lindy to the dance hall crooning of Honey Pie. If Chico Marx had sung with Paul Whiteman on a spring day in Central Park, well, who knows what that would have been like. But there is a distinct vaudevillian feel to several of the album’s tunes. It’s as if the Beatles wrote a few for the kids and a few for mum and dad.

We could dissect each song, but the takeaway is variety and high quality. It would be inaccurate to call the White Album a rock album, although it includes plenty of rock. Nor is it solely folk or experimental or early jazz. But, it has a bit of each of these genres. Quite an accomplishment. And because it’s a double album, when you check it out from Everett Public Library you get 2 for the price of 1!

The Christmas Zone

Christmas is a time of cheer, family, sharing, snow and small-town comradery. At least it is in most movies. But today we cross the line into that dimension of time and space known simply as… The Christmas Zone!

Case in point: the Firpo brothers.

Trapped in Paradise spins the tale of three, um, less-than-genius brothers who decide to rob a small-town bank at Christmas time. The robbery goes without a hitch, but the trio finds themselves trapped in the town of Paradise courtesy of a snowstorm. Hilarity ensues. While I recognize the borderline quality of this film, and I typically do not enjoy Nicolas Cage or Dana Carvey, somehow I am tremendously amused by this offbeat Christmas story.

Office Christmas Party features an excellent cast that should fill me with delight. But Jason Bateman, Jennifer Aniston, Kate McKinnon and T.J. Miller cannot save this vehicle from itself. Once again it’s Christmas time, and the Chicago Zenotek branch is facing massive layoffs. Most of the movie is devoted to a, wait for it, office Christmas party which reaches new levels of decadence every few moments. Then, just as the mayhem hits dizzying heights and comes crashing down, a happy ending descends upon Chicago and there is peace and decked halls for all. Not a great movie, but it is filled with charming performances. If you’re looking for something outside of the typical Christmas fare, this just might be the ticket.

Yes Virginia, there are Christmas horror movies. Gremlins combines the cuteness of furry little critters with the unquenchable bloodlust of monsters. What could possibly go wrong? Without giving the story away too much, the town of Kingston Falls is attacked by gremlins on Christmas Eve. Chaos ensues, people die, and an effort is made to stop the gremlin threat in its tracks. The movie also sports an element of black comedy to take a bit of the people-dying-in-the-streets edge off. Will there be a Christmas miracle? Tune in to find out.

Perhaps you long for a Christmas zombie musical? Anna and the Apocalypse is a difficult movie to describe without giving it all away. Picture a typical zombie movie, but with fun little pop songs and happy teens who are somewhat oblivious to what’s going on around them. Add a touch of carnage, a soupcon of choreography and a dash of holiday celebration to the mix and you have one of the stranger Christmas movies to hit the bricks in some time. As always, don’t forget your towel.

So if you find yourself unable to view Santa Claus Conquers the Martians this holiday season, take a look at what’s available at Everett Public Library. You just might start a new and awkward tradition.

Classic TV

Even as a person who was raised on sixties television, I can be put off by the thought of watching shows produced during that time. Acting styles, writing, pacing and sets were often different from today’s standards. And, hold on to your girdles, programs were sometimes shot in black and white! My brain often decides, on its own, that these shows are inferior, and thus I hesitate to watch them.

But every now and then I’ll talk myself into taking a chance. My latest find is Ironside starring Raymond Burr. Now, I’m a long-time Perry Mason fan, but for some reason Ironside never appealed to my finer senses. Well, let me tell you: It’s fabulous!

Burr plays the San Francisco chief of detectives who, in the show’s first episode, is shot in the spine and rendered unable to walk. Robert T. Ironside is a firecracker of a person, not one to accept physical limitations, and he’s soon working as a special consultant to the SFPD. Along with officers Ed Brown and Eve Whitfield and personal assistant Mark Sanger, Ironside looks to crack a case each episode.

Plots are well-crafted and fascinating, often delving into issues of race and discrimination. At a time when freedoms of Americans are potentially eroding, it’s pretty eye-opening to see a 50-year-old tv show embracing diversity. It’s also educational to see how much the world has changed in those 50 years. One episode features a criminal who steals a machine that issues payroll checks. He uses it to forge checks and then takes them to about 20 grocery stores each day. In San Francisco 2020, I’m guessing you’d be hard pressed to find a grocery store that would cash a payroll check from a stranger.

But perhaps the most intriguing aspect of Ironside is the man himself. If you’ve ever watched Nero Wolfe, you’ve seen a character who is set in his ways, unwilling to bend, brilliant, unpleasant and prone to tirades. There is nothing particularly likable or sympathetic about him. Ironside, on the other hand, has many of the same qualities, but his bluster is tempered with a side of compassion and sarcastic humor. The result is a character who you like and admire, perhaps fear a bit, but definitely respect. I’ve not seen another TV character of this same ilk.

Over the years, I’ve not heard too much buzz about Ironside. But let me tell you uncles and aunties, it’s a cut above most of the crime shows that have been produced for television. Intelligent, often riveting, not too predictable, a breath of fresh air in my TV viewing world. As Bob Ironside himself might say, “What’s your flaming excuse for not watching it?!?”