Jerry Goldsmith

Visions In Sound – 1000th show!

Congratulations to Rob Daniels on his imminent 1000th Visions In Sound show!  Tune in this Saturday at midnight for an epic in soundtrack adventures.  Rob will be doing an unprecedented six hour show, with special guests and surprises.  I plan on dropping by the studio around 5:00 am (10 am UK time).  I’ll be up anyway.

Tune in on your dial to 98.5 or internet to CKWR.

The list of music and composers to be featured is too long for this, but you can expect:

  • Jerry Goldsmith
  • Graeme Revell
  • Alan Silvestri
  • Vangelis
  • Bear McCreary
  • Hans Zimmer
  • Howard Shore
  • James Horner

…and many more.

Please join me in congratulating Rob on this impressive accomplishment.  He will be interacting with fans live via Twitter and Facebook.  Join the fun and hear some pretty incredible music!


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And tonight (December 19) at 6:40 pm I’ll be in my seat devouring The Rise of Skywalker, the final episode of the Skywalker Saga.  May the Force be with us all!

 

#788: Formerly Storemerly

GETTING MORE TALE #788: Formerly Storemerly

I visited an old store recently.  It was the first one I managed.  Well, not exactly.  I visited the location that replaced my old store, a few feet away from its original location in a strip plaza.  I hadn’t been in the moved and refurbished store before.  My first impression was that it felt smaller and cramped, but that could be just an optical illusion.  It could be physically smaller; or it could just have a lot more stock.

The store today includes a lot more DVD and Blu-ray content than before, which was always the goal.  I don’t really buy movies anymore so I skipped ahead.  When I go music shopping, I’m looking for music.  There was a small bargain bin, not as large as the old, but with the same old stock.  Need any Our Lady Peace?

There was a decent bin of used vinyl and this is where I spent most of my money.  Unfortunately, I cannot detail for you what I purchased as it’s all intended for Christmas gifts.  I can tell you that I bought some 12” singles and an interview picture disc.  The interview disc was way overpriced but the singles were cheap.  I also picked up Fleet Street by Fist on vinyl, a surprising find.  I always wanted the album with “Thunder In Rock”.  I paid $9.99 which is a bit on the high side for a copy in this condition.

The CD selection was a lot of same-old-same-old but there were a couple things I always meant to pick up.  One was Alice Cooper’s Classicks for $5.99.  24 years and I never bothered to pick up this compilation.  It’s good to have for the live tracks from the Trashes the World video.  A full Trashes the World soundtrack would be preferable, but I’ve waited long enough.  I knew they always have a copy or two in stock, and they did.

I was disappointed that the soundtracks section had been severely downsized.  Now, historically, soundtracks were one of our worst-selling sections.  It was always too large for the store, bursting at the seams with titles we had in stock for years and years, often in duplicate.  The solution shouldn’t have been to downsize it so severely, but to just get more selective about what to buy.  I did find one score, which was Jerry Goldsmith’s Star Trek: Insurrection for $6.99.  (I wish I didn’t sell my Goldsmith Planet of the Apes score back to the store for nothin’, back in the day. I’m trying to expand my own soundtracks section.)  They could have a great soundtracks section, they just need someone who knows their soundtracks to recalibrate the CD master list.

The store was clean, but I spotted a couple problems that only an ex-manager would see.  These things would have gone down as red X’s if it was the old bosses inspecting me.

  1. Ace Frehley filed under Kiss. That’s fine for most stores, but not the way we did things.  We specifically gave most solo artists their own section so we could be more organised than the competition.  We could only file an artist under their main band if their solo career was minor, or if only one album was in stock.  Otherwise that artist needed their own header card.  Otherwise you’re going to run into filing problems — I know from experience!  Staff are going to file Frehley under both “Misc F” and “Kiss” unless they make a Frehley header card…which we had before…I know because I made it.  Perhaps the rules have changed since the changing of the guard.
  2. Big Brother and the Holding Company filed under Cheap Trick. The album is called Cheap Thrills, hence the mistake.  We used to put this one under the Janis Joplin header card; she was their lead singer.  It’s the one with “Piece of My Heart” on it, Janis’ biggest hit.  It’s always been a problem getting this album filed correctly.  It used to end up lost and forgotten under “Misc C”.  But if you file it under Janis, it sells right away.

Hard to imagine the store getting so lax on filing.  Remember Record Store Tales part 127?

I enjoyed my visit, with some good buys and a couple overpriced records.  It was good to see they were so busy, just like the old days.   Filing is still a problem, just like the old days!  I wonder how that manager does on their surprise store inspections?  Better than I did, I assume!

MOVIE REVIEW: Runaway (1984 – The KISS Re-Review Series)

The KISS RE-REVIEW SERIES Part 27:  Bonus movie review!

RUNAWAY (1984 Tristar)

Directed by Michael Crichton and featuring Gene Simmons

Being in  was never enough for Gene Simmons.  Dating Cher and Diana Ross gave him a taste of Hollywood stardom.  He saw movies as his next mountain to climb.  Gene secured an audition with novelist and sometimes director Michael Crichton.  Crichton asked Gene to communicate, without saying any words, his desire to kill him.  Whatever Gene did worked, and he scored the role without even having to read for it.

Crichton’s next film Runaway was a Tom Selleck sci-fi vehicle and Gene played the villain Dr. Charles Luther.  Turning his back on Kiss and leaving Paul Stanley to do all the heavy lifting, Simmons cut his hair and got filming.

Set in the “near future”, Runaway depicts an America in which robots are commonplace.  Every household has some, and they have failsafes built in to protect humans.  Selleck played Jack Ramsay, a veteran cop now on the “runaway squad”, a quiet department dedicated to capturing errant robots.  His latest case is a shocker.  A robot has committed the first ‘bot-human homicide in history.  What caused it to malfunction and deliberately kill its owners?  Ramsay discovers a strange chip inside designed not only to override its safety protocols, but also to order the robot to kill.  But who would do such a thing?

Who else?  The evil Dr. Charles Luther played by the God of Thunder himself.

Dr. Luther developed new templates that allow robots to identify and assassinate specific humans.  They are worth a fortune on the black market, and so Luther killed his partners and went rogue.  However his ladyfriend Jackie (Kirstie Alley) doublecrossed him and stole the chips.  When Ramsay and his cop partner Karen find Jackie, they narrowly escape Luther who was tracking her.  Not only does he have killer robots, but also a huge-ass handgun that has homing bullets that can even turn corners.  They try to set up him by having Jackie return the stolen chips, but in one of his best scenes, Gene Simmons stabs her in the back in the middle of a kiss.

Jackie didn’t turn over all the chips.  Ramsay still has some.  Being the evil genius that he is, Luther hacks the police computers and finds out where Ramsay lives.  This leads to a very typical final confrontation, in which Luther kidnaps Ramsay’s son and brings him to an under-construction skyscraper.  Of course he would.  It’s a standard movie cliche involving elevators and heights.  Conveniently, the movie establishes early that Ramsay has a fear of heights.  Of course he does!

Luther does have one neat gadget for this long and fairly boring ending.  He has robotic spiders that spit acid, programmed to kill anything that comes down from the building.  Tom Selleck eventually bests Gene Simmons as you knew he would, but Gene also gets one of the cheesiest movie after-deaths you will ever see.  You know those scenes when you think the villain is dead, but he’s not?  Gene gets to make a funny face and go “RAAAAHHHHH!” before dropping down dead for real this time.

Michael Crichton was certainly a fine science fiction writer, with titles like Jurassic Park and The Andromeda Strain to his credits.  As a movie director, he was less successful.  The Great Train Robbery (1979) starring Sean Connery and Donald Sutherland, and based on his own novel, was his best work.  Others point to Westworld (1973) as his best work as a director.   The main point is, nobody looks to Runaway for movie gold.  It’s sluggish, clunky and at times pretty goofy.  As a science fiction film, it utilized intelligent concepts and envisioned a future that was very different for the cinema in 1984.  Runaway had a story idea.  Jack Ramsay was a complicated character, with a cliche but workable back story.  It was just poorly executed.  One redeeming value is its Jerry Goldsmith score, which was his first all-electronic soundtrack.

While Runaway isn’t considered Michael Crichton’s best film, it might be Gene’s.  His next roles were less flattering.  He played a transvestite villain in Never Too Young to Die with John Stamos.  There was a cameo in the horror cult classic Trick Or Treat.  Opposite Rutger Hauer, he played a stereotypical terrorist in Wanted: Dead or Alive.  His last film before returning to Kiss full-time was an early George Clooney film called Red Surf.  Gene was a friendly weapons dealer.

Meanwhile in Kiss, Paul Stanley had clearly taken over leadership.  All the singles were his.  Since Gene had short hair, he wore a pretty silly wig on stage with Kiss.  None of this helped his image in the eyes of fans.  He did earn a good review for Runaway from Roger Ebert, but otherwise the movie was a dud.

2/5 stars

To be continued…