Tag Archives: Magnum PI

I Never Thought About 2017

25 Nov

Today is my birthday. I was born in 1968, one of those pivotal years in United States history. When I was a kid, I would calculate how old I would be at the turn of the century. The year 2000 looked to be far off in the future, and, well, it was the future. The 1900s would be gone forever.

I never wondered about the years after 2000, but here I am seventeen years later. It is funny that I do not remember much about the year that I thought about as a child. I know that I was not yet teaching. That would begin in 2001. I know that life is better now than it was then. That may be why I do not remember much about it. My mind has blocked out the details.

When I was a kid, I thought a lot about the year 2000. Now, it is fading from memory as the years pass. It is strange how our minds work. It could be that the anticipation sometimes leaves a deeper imprint than the actuality.

Anyway, that is the kind of stuff I think about on my birthday. It is a day in which I go deep inside my mind. There was a time when I tried to do the Magnum, P.I. birthday thing. That show had several episodes about Magnum’s birthday. He always went somewhere to be by himself. However it always turned into a deadly disaster from which he had to be rescued. When I say that I tried to do the Magnum, P.I. birthday thing, I mean that I tried to be by myself all day. It was never deadly, but it never worked.

I guess that is what Magnum, P.I. was trying to show the audience. Birthdays are meant to be shared with people who care. When I was a kid, I thought about where I would be in the year 2000. I never thought about other people being around. I never thought about 2017, but it is great because there are people everywhere.

My iPod Has Issues – Stuck in the House

21 Jul

Because of a medical procedure, I am sort of stuck in the house. I went out this morning but found that being inside feels a lot better. Of course, that gives me time to watch television, and some big things have happened.

O.J. was paroled.

Red West, a member of Elvis’s Memphis Mafia, passed away. He was also in one of my favorite Magnum, P.I. episodes.

Hugh Freeze was fired as head football coach at Ole Miss, which makes this post more relevant.

Oh yeah, two of my favorite events are finishing up. The Tour de France is in its last stages, and the World Series of Poker Main Event is down to the last table.

However, one can only watch so much television. That is why I am cranking up the iPod to see what is going on in there.

“Hard Times” by Ray Charles

“That’s the Way I Wanna Rock n’ Roll” by AC/DC

“Walk on By” by Isaac Hayes

“Mississippi” by Bob Dylan

“Cover of the Rolling Stone” by Dr. Hook

“Session Blues” by Big Mama Thornton

“Mumblin’ Guitar” by Bo Diddley

“Boom Boom” by The Animals

“Cry Me a River” by Diana Krall

“Crying in the Chapel” by Elvis Presley

“Long Hard Times to Come” by Gangstagrass

“Stereotomy” by The Alan Parsons Project

“Mother” by Danzig

“That’s What They Always Say” by Chris Rea

“I Want to Hold Your Hand” by The Beatles

“Kern River” by Merle Haggard

“The Chicken and the Hawk” by Big Joe Turner

“Crying in the Rain” by Whitesnake

“The Legend of Shenandoah” by James Stewart

“Tin Man” by America






Sampling a Few Television Theme Songs

27 Apr

The other day, my stepdaughter and I were listening to the radio when a new song came on the air. In the beginning, I thought I heard a few notes that sounded familiar. Then, the entire thing kicked in, and it was definitely familiar. “Uma Thurman” by Fall Out Boy samples the theme from The Munsters, one of the great television themes of all time.Munsters

The song provided a chance for me to explain to my stepdaughter all of the wonderful things about The Munsters. However, it also made me wonder what other television themes could be turned into cool songs. That is when I decided to make a list. Before this begins, we need to address a few things.

First, I have no idea how they combined The Munsters with Uma Thurman. That is a pop cultural mashup is there ever was one.

Second, the theme songs must be instrumental to make for better sampling by current or future artists.

Third, the songs must come from shows that I actually like. If I did not hear a theme song on a regular basis, then I see no reason for it to be used.

These days, I do not watch much episodic television. In fact, Game of Thrones is the only current show that I watch. Luckily, it has an awesome theme song that makes you think the next hour is going to be a huge event.

In the old days, there was a Texas version of Game of Thrones. Dallas was a prime time soap opera that followed the shenanigans of the Ewing clan. However, I thought the theme gone was the best part. When the camera flew over Texas Stadium, the home of the Cowboys, I had seen the highlight of the show.

Of course, soap operas have been the staple of daytime television for decades. If someone wanted to put together a slower song, then the piano dominated theme for The Young and the Restless would do nicely. During the summers, I always made sure to listen to that song before I started doing something else.

Another great piano theme belonged to The Incredible Hulk, starring Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno. However, this was not the opening theme. Rather, it was the closing theme. I can still see Bixby hitchhiking on a lonely road and trying the escape the anger within. Apparently, he did not like himself when he was angry.

Anyway, that is enough for the slow songs. It is time to get back to something fast paced and rocking. Nothing epitomizes that better than the theme from Magnum, P.I. When I get a red Ferrari, I am going to ride around with that song playing all the time. Hopefully, some creative band will sample it in a song, and I will be able to change things up.

Detective shows like Magnum, P.I. are always good fodder for cool theme songs. Barnaby Jones did some geriatric rocking as Buddy Ebsen ran as fast as he could after a criminal. When that tune is turned into a real song, I expect a clip of Barnaby running after someone or hanging out with Frank Cannon.

The Rockford Files also had great theme music, and the video is ready to roll. All you need is a trailer with an answering machine and an early model Pontiac Firebird. Honestly, the original theme sound a little tinny, but some real instruments would make it awesome.

Before I leave this list, I must include something from the Science Fiction genre. It will not be Star Trek or Star Trek: The Next Generation. Instead, we need to see a song built around the theme of Lost in Space. However, this is where we face a conundrum. Lost in Space had two theme songs. One was for the more serious version of the show’s early days, and the second came in with the campy era. I will go with the first one.

Obviously, there are a ton of other theme songs that would be great for sampling. If you guys have any ideas, then let me know.


Movie Wisdom – Geoffrey Lewis Edition

9 Apr

Today, word came through my Twitter feed that Geoffrey Lewis passed away. He was one of those character actors who appeared in movies and a ton of television shows. I have seen him many times but never knew his name. I also did not know that he was the father of Juliette Lewis.

With his passing, I thought it would be appropriate to search for wisdom in his movies. For those who have not read one of the Movie Wisdom posts, there are a few rules. First, it must be a movie in which Geoffrey Lewis appeared. Second, it must be a movie that I have seen. Third, the wisdom can be spoken by any character in the film.

With that being said, I must admit that my favorite role of his was not in a movie. It was in a Magnum, P.I. episode called I Never Wanted to Go to France, Anyway.

Now, he is some of the wisdom of Geoffrey Lewis.Geoffrey

From High Plains Drifter

It’s what people know about themselves inside that makes ’em afraid.

From My Name Is Nobody

Folks that throw dirt on you aren’t always trying to hurt you, and folks that pull you out of a jam aren’t always trying to help you. But the main point is when you’re up to your nose in shit, keep your mouth shut.

If a man is a man, he needs someone to believe in.

The secret of a long life is you try not to shorten it.

Dying is not the worst thing that can happen to a man.

Two things go straight to a man’s heart, bullets and gold.

There was never any “good old days”.

From The Great Waldo Pepper

The biplane’s gone the way of the Dodo.

From Every Which Way But Loose

I’m not afraid of any man, but when it comes to sharing my feelings with a woman, my stomach turns to royal gelatin.

From Tom Horn

If you really knew how dirty and raggedy-assed the Old West was, you wouldn’t want any part of it.

From Bronco Billy

I think every kid in America ought to go to school… at least up to the eighth grade.

From Any Which Way You Can

A hand out is what you get from the government, a hand up is what you get from a friend.

From Fletch Lives

It takes a big man to admit when he’s wrong.

From Tango and Cash

Too much television can hurt your eyes.

Crazy people aren’t afraid of anybody.

From The Man Without a Face

People spend too much time thinking of the past. Whatever else it is, it’s gone.

From Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

If you’re thirsty, a drink will cure it, if you’re not, a drink will prevent it. Prevention is better than a cure.

To understand the living, you got to commune with the dead.

It’s better to be on the edge of a party.

Winding Down at the King Kamehameha Club

10 Sep

People have different ways of winding down after a long day at work. Some people take naps. Other people have an adult beverage or two. There are also people who spend time at the gym. Through time, I have had several winding down habits. The treadmill is always waiting for me, but there are times when I cannot get on it until later in the evening. Blogging has also proven useful as a relaxation tool.

Lately, I have found another way of getting my mind off the events of the day. It takes me to the days of my childhood when I would come home from school and watch afternoon reruns. Each afternoon, Magnum, P.I. comes on, and it is awesome. I kick back on the couch and watch one of my all time favorite shows. Daisy Dog sits beside me and watches, too. I think she is a fan of Zeus and Apollo, otherwise known as the Lads.Lads

I already know what is going to happen in each episode, but that is not the point. For 45 minutes without commercial interruption, I can disappear into the world of Magnum, Higgins, T.C. and Rick and let my mind go free. Of course, most television shows are means of escape, but how can you go wrong with a private investigator who gets to live in a mansion and drive and Ferrari for free. On top of that, he gets to do it in Hawaii.

Magnum, P.I. is one of the classic shows from the 1980s and, with a run from 1980 to 1988, took up most of the decade. This decade was filled with characters trying to solve crimes, but none did it better than Thomas Magnum. He did it with a laid back style and with a lot of help from his friends.

As I have been watching the episodes, I have wondered what happened to the gang in the years after the show went off the air. Tom Selleck has gone on to other series and a bunch of made-for-television movies. However, he never made it as a huge star on the silver screen. There were a few decent movies scattered through the years, but most of his work has been on television. This tends to happen to a lot of television stars. They never reach the glory of that one great series, and they never gain a foothold in the theaters. Despite that, I am sure Tom Selleck has made a nice living. He is now 69 years old.

John Hillerman, the Texan who could do a great British accent, was a character actor in a few great movies before Hawaii came calling. They Call Me Mister Tibbs. The Last Picture Show. High Plains Drifter. Blazing Saddles. Chinatown. However, he is best known as Higgins. After the show’s run, he was in a couple of television shows and a few made-for-television movies, but that was about it. He is now in his early 80s and, I assume, retired.

Roger E. Mosley was the helicopter pilot. Everyone needs a friend who can fly a helicopter. Heck, I even bought a “Island Hoppers” t-shirt. It is very fashion forward. If you do not believe me, then ask my wife. Anyway, he has also been in a few series since Magnum, P.I. went of the air. In the last one, he played a character called Grandpa Faison. Mosley is 75 years old.

Larry Manetti played Rick, the friend with underworld connections. Everyone needs a friend with underworld connections. He recently showed up on Hawaii 5-0 but has also been in some movies where the plot is built around several sex scenes. Oh yeah, there is also a book about his days on Magnum, P.I. The youngest of the group, he is 67 years old.

Watching the reruns, it is hard to realize that the show went of the air 26 years ago and that the actors are older now. When Magnum revs up the Ferrari in the opening credits, it is as if that scene was filmed yesterday. I guess the same can be said for all of the old movies that I watch.

Anyway, I watch a show that aired over a quarter of a century ago to wind down after a day of work. While I watch, I wonder what happened to the people on the screen. Now, I have a few questions for you. Why do you think actors in popular shows have a difficult time regaining that fame? What do you do to wind down at the end of the day?



They Aren’t John Shaft, But They Are Still Cool

18 Feb

Today, I was driving down the interstate when a red blur went by me. It was a red Ferrari. A couple of thoughts went through my mind.

“Damn, that’s a cool car.”

“Hey, I should blog about cool private investigators on television.”

One thought – obvious. The other one – not so much.

Anyway, here goes with the post. Private investigator shows were a big deal in the 1970s and 1980s, and my parents watched most of them. As a result, I watched them, too. It’s funny how television copies itself. Let one program hit it big, and a bunch more will follow. I guess some detective show must have hit it big because those shows were everywhere.

Obviously, private investigators were cool, but there were several factors that made up the coolness. Most important was a cool opening credits theme song. In fact, it’s impossible to be a cool television investigator without a cool theme song. Other factors can vary. There may be a cool car. There may be a cool assistant or sidekick. There are also bonus points if the show was a Quinn Martin Production with each episode made up of chapters and an epilogue.

With all of that being said, here are some cool television private eyes.

Barnaby Jones – Old? Sure. I never could figure out how he ran down suspects. However, there is a lot of coolness here. Barnaby had a great theme song. He was a Quinn Martin Production. More than that, his secretary was a former Miss America.Barnaby Jones

Jim Rockford The Rockford Files was one of the coolest shows ever. Rockford lived in a trailer and drove a Firebird. Admittedly, it wasn’t a Trans Am, but everyone has faults. He was also used the latest technology, an answering machine. Oh, he also had a great theme song.Jim Rockford

Thomas Magnum – Magnum was the epitome of cool. Cool theme song. Cool car. Cool friends. Cool house in a cool locale. However, underneath all of that cool was a professional moocher who didn’t really want to do much.Thomas Magnum

Thomas Banacek – I have written a little about Banacek before. He was a “man about town” from Boston who investigated insurance claims along side his street wise chauffeur and a friend who owned a bookstore. Full of old Polish proverbs, he solved the craziest of crimes. His theme song left a lot of be desired. I wonder if there is an old Polish proverb that explains why a cool investigator would operate to lame music.Banacek

Frank Cannon – I have to give Cannon props for being another Quinn Martin Production, but I have to admit that it was rare to see him running down any bad guys. This guy liked to eat and liked to get paid so he could eat more. Cannon had a cool Lincoln Continental, and he lived in New Mexico. Now, that is what I call cool. His theme song was decent.Cannon

It’s because of these guys that I grew up wanting to be a private eye. Heck, it’s a job that can be done no matter who you are.

A former oil baron from the Ozarks.

A gambler from the Old West.

A guy who turned down the role of Indiana Jones.

A movie-making, airplane-building tycoon.

A voice actor who played the Lone Ranger.

These are just a few of the great television private detectives. Do you guys have some favorites?