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What Would Joe Don Baker Do?
Issue 02: Travis McGee, John Steinbeck, Two Guns and a Werewolf
Rod Taylor, Joe Don Baker and John Saxon Walk into a Bar…
What’s the most 1970s thing ever? Disco? No, too easy. Nixon? Nope. Bellbottoms? Okay stop, you’re not even close. It’s a bubble cockpit helicopter with pontoon landing gear, hands down.
My wife was out with the ladies last night so I grabbed some chips and a few Silver Bullets and watched a Dude Double Feature on YouTube. First up was Rod Taylor as Travis McGee in Darker Than Amber. (Directed by Robert Clouse, director of Enter The Dragon.)
It was a glitched and grainy recording of a recording from 1970. A shitty movie and complete bastardization of the John D MacDonald novel, and I LOVED IT anyway. Especially the famous fight scene with the legendary William Smith.
Next up was Joe Don Baker as Mitchell. Brute force with a badge! I know this classic from 1975 is one of the most popular movies that MST3K ever goofed on but I don’t care– it’s terrible and awesome. John Saxon as the bad guy in a dune buggy duel to the death? Merlin Olsen before the FTD commercials as the body guard? Yes and hell yes!
And since I’m on the subject of JDB, what about Framed, Walking Tall, Mongo, Speedtrap and so many other cool films…
He’s also in the movie with maybe the best trailer of all time, Golden Needles. (1974) Seriously, if you see this trailer and don’t immediately want to watch the movie, check your validity.
There have been so many times throughout my life that I’ve been in a situation and not known what to do– frozen and unable to make a decision. But then I look down at the band around my wrist and I am comforted by those 6 little letters: WWJDBD?
– Journal Entry 11/11/18
2. John Steinbeck wrote a werewolf novel, but don’t expect to read it. A scholar of American literature at Stanford says it’s worth publishing. The agents representing the Steinbeck estate strongly disagree.
3. A Gun for George (2013) is a fantastic gem of a short film about a wannabe men’s action series pulp novel writer in love with his car and having trouble separating fiction from real life. Written and Directed by Matthew Holness.
I first saw this film 3 or 4 years ago and immediately fell in love. It’s 17 and a half minutes of pure awesomeness. Beware The Reprisalizer!
4. A one minute video from Cartoonist / Artist, Paul Pope, on why drawing in your sketchbook every day is important and how undoing the top two buttons on your shirt really drives the ladies wild.
5. I had to make a mock-up layout for a daily newsletter at work this week, so I included this amazing story that I “found” on the internet.
6. Bummed out about work this week, so I watched a great pump-up vid from one of my favorite designers / entrepreneurs, Aaron Draplin. It’s sure to get you amped and ready to make some cool shit! ( I watch this vid at least once a year. ) He has tons of great talks and interviews on Youtube including this short travelogue documentary called Designer In A Van.
7. Currently reading: Everybody Had A Gun by Richard Prather. (1951) It’s the third novel of 36 in the Shell Scott private detective series. The first was published in 1950 and the final novel, The Death Gods was published in 2011, four years after Prather’s death.
Fun Fact: Prather had a dispute with his publisher, Pocket Books, in 1975 and gave up writing for several years to be an avocado farmer.
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