LETTERS  PCR #202      (February 2--8, 2004)

•  Phil Frank on The Readers Poll
•  A member of Four-In-Legion makes contact! (Including email exchange)
•  And check out this wild exchange with the comics world!! (Including email exchange)
•  A Reader remembers Sal Mineo
•  A Question about a '70s Thriller Suspense Show (Including email exchange)




Letters to the EditorWe welcome your feedback.

PHIL FRANK ON THE READER'S POLL

Nolan, et., al.,
Here's what I'd like to see in the PCR: The same. You see, this web site exists because you exist, not because the fans exist. If you look to pull in people, you become a fan-based sell out, not the original you. What you find interesting is interesting to those who read the PCR and seek it because you are interesting in your chosen view. When you seek to entertain, you are not the "chosen you" any more.

Phil [Frank]

Thank you, Phil, that's possibly the nicest thing you've ever said to me. I started the PCR because I felt everyone was entitled to my opinion---as well as those in my orbit---and never much cared about anything else, like polls, for that reason. HOWEVER...I have seen much growth and am in a possibly transitional period where I am seeking revenue, I may actually secure some this year, as well as always being on the lookout for talented new writers. ("New" doesn't necessarily mean "kids", it usually just means "new to this 'zine", regardless of age.) Does this mean I have to sell out? I don't see why it should, but let me hasten to add, the request for a poll was not aimed at making us sell-outs, it was aimed getting newer writers some direction besides me just saying "write whatever", which sometimes comes across as too vague. Especially if they can write about a great many things. I'm amused, yet proud, to say the latitude I give my writers is apparently not very common, and that freedom takes some getting used to.

That said, I appreciate advise from those close to me and there is a valid point to be made about focus, especially if one is selling something (as a burgeoning filmmaker, you're accutely aware of this). The ongoing struggle is balance, but in the end it's a judgement call by me, for better or for worse. It is The World of Nolan, after all.


FORMER MEMBER OF TAMPA BAND FOUR-IN-LEGION MAKES CONTACT!
The following email exchange is intended to be read from the top down, starting with this first letter:

Nolan,
I just found your website and it really took me back! I have some good and not-so-good memories of playing guitar in Four-In-Legion.

I took a couple of years off and started another band out of Auburn, Alabama named Zig & The Zigtones. We have become quite popular up here and in North Florida. I would love to hear from any old friends and fans of Four-In-Legion, if it's possible can you add my new website to The Four-In-Legion Listing?

There was a band Called "Slider" from Miami. I first saw them at the Junkyard Lounge in Tampa and they are my favorite band in Florida even though they were nothing like our band (Four In Legion) see if you can get some info on them. I know Dave the drummer went on to play for the Romantics and I saw Billy one of the guitarist play with Clarence Clemens on TV one day.

All My Best
Ziggy Luis
www.zigtones.com

P.S. Like most bands, F.I.L. ended pretty ugly, but I try to remember the good times!


Ziggy,
Yes I surely do remember you, but it's been a while! I remember when Four-In-Legion was signed, they changed their name to something else (can't remember now, aging brain cells---or was Four-In-Legion the latter name?), but it was a red-letter day in Tampa! Seems it was about the same time as Savatage and The Outlaws made it big (or bigger). Then they really weren't heard from again.

I visited the website link you enclosed, congratulations on keeping the faith, brother!

All this shall appear in the next PCR Lettercol, along with your link. Now at least I know what became of at least ONE member of Four-In-Legion! Ha ha.

Ziggy, I myself don't have any information on "Slider", but have forwarded your inquiry to my expert, William Moriaty, whose original article on local bands is no doubt where you found the reference to Four-In-Legion on my website.

Any replies that I get I will forward to you, but he may reply to you directly also, so watch for that. All this will also likely be shared with readers of my website.

BTW. It seems like you have quite a story to tell about your history. Ever thought about writng a tell-all book or something? Or maybe post an exposé on the web?

Thanks for writing!
Sincerely yours,
Nolan B. Canova
http://www.crazedfanboy.com
Nolan's Pop Culture Review


FROM WILL:

Good evening Ziggy!
It was an honor to hear from you!

I am inquiring with a close acquaintance of mine "Miami Mike" Hiscano, to see if he can give us any additional info on "Slider". I certainly remember them, but do not know what eventually became of them.

I cherish the memory of seeing your band cover Nightranger's "Don't Tell Me You Love Me". I was with best friends Denis Lebrun (artist of the comic strip "Blondie"), John Blechschmidt (a one time roadie for the Stranger band) and John Dance back in August 1985 at Mr. T's Club 19. Lord have Mercy there is just not great music like that in this area any more.

Y'all were incredible (too bad Nolan wasn't there) and your guitar playing was muy excellante mi amigo (I especially enjoyed how you sandwhiched your cigarettes between the strings)!

Interesting bio. In my case I was conceived in Cuba (Isle of Pines) and born in Tampa, tho.

Let us know if you're down our way so we might could give you some PR in our zine. I read somewhere that Greg Billings, formerly of Stranger, has his own band now, so a few of the 70's and 80's rockers are still soldiering on.

Keep crankin' out that great music and take care!

William Moriaty
La Floridiana


FROM JOHN BLECHSCHMIDT:

Howdy! On the comment "that Greg Billings, formerly of Stranger, has his own band now" - that is true.

It is called the Greg Billings Band (wow - hard one huh!). See the link below to the Band.

Tom Cardenas - A.K.A. "Tom King" - the former base player for Stranger - also recently joined up with Greg.

http://www.gregbillingsband.com/

Greg's band will be playing at Johnny G's here in Tampa on March 6th.

http://johnnygsonline.com/bands.htm

JAN. 22: BLIND WILLIE & ALLEN MOFFAT
JAN. 23 & 24: SMOKE & RUN
JAN. 30 & 31: JOHNNY G. LYON & JGLB
FEB. 5 (THURS): BLUES PUNKS...IT'S DOC'S BIRTHDAY
FEB 6 & 7: BOBBY FRISS BAND
FEB. 12 (THURS) KENNY MCGEE & LEFTY
FEB. 13 & 14: DIAMOND GRAY
FEB. 20 & 21: STORMBRINGER
MARCH 5 (FRI): MOJO GURUS
MARCH 6 (SAT): GREG BILLINGS BAND
MARCH 12 & 13: JOHNNY G. LYON & JGLB
MARCH 20 (SAT): SOUL CIRCUS
MARCH 26 & 27: TANTRUM

You might find it interesting that there are a number of the old rock band still plugging away on the circuit. Some of my favorites - KENNY MCGEE & LEFTY, STORMBRINGER, and one of my all time favorites - the BOBBY FRISS BAND!

DIAMOND GRAY also deserves a look if you have not gotten a chance to see them!

Take care all!
John L. Blechschmidt


AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT...
Someone special found my reference to comic legend Russ Heath from last year's MegaCon article. Same drill as above, read this from top to bottom, starting with the letter below.

Nolan
Do you have an e-mail address or other contact info for Russ Heath? Thanks.

Phyllis [no last name]


Dear Phyllis,
No, I'm afraid I have no e-mail address or other contact info for Russ Heath. As you no doubt saw from my website, we met at the 2003 MegaCon in Orlando, where we spoke briefly and I took his picture (a grand moment, let me tell you). I was and am a big fan of his and let him know it. He had many examples of his art present, some I recognized from early comic mags, others I'd never seen before.

Sorry I can't be of more help. But thanks for writing!

Sincerely yours,
Nolan B. Canova
http://www.crazedfanboy.com
Nolan's Pop Culture Review


Nolan,
Thanks anyway. He was my first boyfriend in New York! He was drawing Little Annie Fanny at the time.

Phyllis


Phyllis!
NO WAY! Really? Oh my God, I am very pleased to meet you---so to speak. I am doubly sorry now I don't have any contact info on him, I'm sure he'd love to hear from you. (I have old Playboys with Little Annie Fanny in them!) I hope this finds you well, and I'll bet you have some interesting stories to tell.

I am planning on attending MegaCon this year, I'm not sure he's attending. But if I see him again, I'll tell him "Phyllis says Hi!"

See what he says. Ha ha.
Keep in touch,
Nolan


Nolan,
That would be terrific. He got Shel Silverstein to autograph "The Giving Tree" for me. Shel wrote, "Watch out for Russ. He has a sharp axe!" My nickname was Candy then. I'm not sure whether he called me Candy or Phyllis. I think he called me Candy. I was a flight attendant.

--Candy/Phyllis



A READER COMMENTS ON SAL MINEO

Nolan,
I was just watching the Biography on Sal Mineo on A&E, and it did say that yes his assailant was caught, it did not say that he was sentenced to life in prison, like this one person told you. It said that he was sentenced to fifty something years, and has since been released, so please you might want to check into that, because it did say he was released, and I am sickened by that thought. It didn't say (or I didn't catch it) when he was released, so I hope this information is helpful, and I hope that I have it right. Thank you for putting Sal Mineo's name up on your website. I have been a fan of his since I was around 5 or 6, and I'm now 22, and I know he continues to get more and more fans each and every day. He was such a talented actor.

Thank you once again,
David Brown



AN EXCHANGE ABOUT A '70s THRILLER SUSPENSE SHOW
You know the drill....

Hello Nolan,
I wonder if you would remember a sci-fi horror type show that used to be on in the early part of the 70's. It was a serial that had a thriller theme, but the actors would change from one show to the next. I don't think it had a narrator like Rod Serling of the Twilight Zone. It was not Tales from the Dark Side, and I don't think it was Night Gallery either. I watched it up in Vancouver, B.C., but I'm pretty sure it was an American Show. It also used to be on around the same time as Wolfman Jack's show and Don Kirschner, around midnight, and it was scary for a little kid.

Thank you for your help.
Venita. (No last name.)


Venita,
Thanks so much for writing! I talked this over with fellow TV historian ED Tucker and the only thing we came up with off the top of our heads was "Ghost Story" circa 1973--1975, later called "Circle of Fear". "Ghost Story" was hosted by Sebastian Cabot, but when he left the show (or died) they continued as "Circle of Fear" without a host. (ED convinced me they were one and the same; I could've sworn "Ghost Story" was made for TV after the 1980 John Houseman movie of the same name!)

Alternately, "Night Staker" was on in the mid-'70s, but of course, that was a series and not an anthology show. Will Moriaty suggested "Sixth Sense", but that was more like a regular series also.

Hope this helps! And thanks again for writing.
Nolan B. Canova
http://www.crazedfanboy.com
Nolan's Pop Culture Review


Hi Nolan,
Thanks so much for clearing that up for me! I was on the TVLand website (programming suggestions) and someone else had suggested "Circle of Fear", but I didn't think it sounded right.

So, I checked out the Ghost Story/Circle of Fear website. This is how my story goes:

I could always remember this one episode of a girl with dark hair, fair skin, and light blue eyes. She sits bolt upright in bed, in a hospital. She can see with her eyes, but they are new to her. I just remember her face. I don't think I watched many episodes after that, because it scared me as a kid.

So when I went on the website, I scanned and read all the synopsises of the episodes, until I came to one which sounded familiar, called Spare Parts.

[20] Circle of Fear: SPARE PARTS
23Feb73 NBC Fri
Written by ?
Directed by ?
guest stars Susan Oliver .................. Ellen Pritchard
Rick Lenz .................... Dr. Steven Crosley
Christopher Connelly ......... Chuck
Meg Foster .................... Penny Wiseman
Don Knight ................... Dr. Pritchard
Alex Rocco .................... Joseph Moretti
Lee Kroeger ................... Nurse Mary Storman
Barbara Stuart ............... Nurse Georgia Grant
Larry J. Blake ................ Mr. Mobley
Synopsis:
A dead doctor gets revenge on his wife for her murder of him by shutting him in a garage with a Corvette running. He does this through vocal cords, hands, and eyes he has donated to three innocent people.

I didn't know which actress I was looking for, but went to Meg Foster's photos on the net, and sure enough, it was her! Same face, same eyes.

I remember when Kirstie Alley came on Cheers, and when I saw her in other movies, I just decided that it had to have been her, that she must have changed a bit since that was back in the 70's. I was studying alot back then too, so I left it alone.

I have attached a photo of Meg. Do you see the same resemblance? (Remember, Kirstie used to be a brunette.) For me, they could be sisters, even twins.
(Meg Foster is on left, below, Kirstie Alley on the right ---Nolan)
Meg FosterKirstie Alley

Thanks again,
Venita.


Venita,
Yes I definitely see the resemblance! I remember Meg Foster now that I see her picture again, she was a very popular guest on '70s TV. (Wonder whatever happened to her? Guess I need to do a search like you did!)

Glad to help in clearing up the identity of "Circle of Fear" and the episode in question.

Thanks for writing and let me know if we can be of any further help.

Sincerely yours,
Nolan B. Canova



To send an email to Letters to the Editor write to: Crazedfanboy1@aol.com.  Any emails sent to this address will be assumed intended for publication unless you specifically instruct me not to. I can and do respond privately, if that is your preference. Frequently, it's both ways.---Nolan

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