Monday, July 18, 2011

DOSSIER : WKRP - SUBJECT #2 - Earl Tardjlic

The Face That Launched A Thousand Ships

I really am sorry about the title, it being this dudes name-but that’s what he’s called…it’s a funny name. He is South-African, Afrikaans, Dutch actually. That’s why he has a funny name and is always saying idiomatic Afrikaner shit like “Rumpo-stumpo, bal-lag,ya! pouffe! & Challakki dum pouffe! Marawayr fej n shit like that. You know him. You love him. You ask for him by name…The WKRP show would not be the same without him, yes! It’s Mr. Earl Tardjlik his own self, un-arguably the funniest and most lastingly endearing characters created in the Cincinnati Universe Involving radio station WKRP 105.3 AM.

Earl stole every episode he appeared in, most of the time the whole idea of the show focused on his perspective of the other soap-operatic proceedings at radio-station WKRP. Earl was this central POV, and it is wholly embodied in the comic sty lings of consummate method-player FrankBonner. Such suavetiere and flawless timing take it’s toll on even the few Olympic players who dare to pretend the throne and, sadly, as in Actor FrankBonner’s case, sudden death was surely the result!



No better way to die would ever surmise one’s bland expectations, especially in after-school time-slot syndications and rerun episodes. Earl was, and remains today the only truly redeeming feature of, comparatively, and conversely, the only endearment in an otherwise culturally un informed, intellectually bereft, and insignificant historical artifact vis-a-vis video tape. Years ahead of his time, he originated the single most important concept in contemporary culture: Corporate Rock. No other guy came near to what he did, he literally forged the template for what modern generations of A&R guy’s would begin to set their bar to the likes of your “Nirvana’s” and Rascle Flatts! I still remember it today, the first time I laid eyes on him, I knew it, I said to myself…this is the guy for me, I have stepped into my metier and need seek no further. Truly, a charmed life, as lived by one typifying grace under pressure.

How could anyone who has even heard mention of those eponymous call-letters “WKRP” or even seen an add in TVGuide or The Penny Pincher not entirely endorse every aspect associated with the character Earl Tardjlik of WKRP played by FrankBonner on NBC TV station in 1980s N America. If you Roger That Delta Niner than God Bless America! Bombs bursting forth lights, &c. Falcon 1-2-3

And if you rascals are on interfering Taliban frequencies, and listening in on good hearted god fearing American citizens, or any other variation of profiled personages and you think you can hold a mickey-mouse birthday candle to honest freedom loving citizen’s God-given rights and freedoms, especially manifest destiny, well than, you just read on Habib… Were into some heavy technology now! Can-Do-itive-nous & extreme adherence to good old American Know-How

Code seven blue!

Operation Yankee Rose in full effect..

All Systems GO!

Before the “other voice” kicks off…I am not at liberty to fully disclose on Character: Earl TaRDjlik. Even at this juncture, but please try back later or leave a comments in the posts. Thank you for reading this message.

Goodnight Mr & Mrs Internet & all the ships at sea

Over & Out

Sunday, July 17, 2011

DOSSIER : WKRP - SUBJECT #1 - The Big Guy

The Many Faces of Gordon Jump, Renaissance Man.

This is the first installment of a new series I am adding to the WKRP-LOG.

it is a breakdown of each character, in depth. It is meant as an aid to the newly initiated “krp fan as well as a general checklist for the seasoned Buff. I call it DOSSIER : WKRP and each week I will address one character, studying their role and the artist(s) behind the Hollywood magic that brings to us again and again thanks to Internet technology, the diamond versatility of serial comic/drama which is WKRP in Cincinnati

SUBJECT #1 - THE BIG GUY -

“Wish not so much to live long as to live well” Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)

Whilst the main meat and potatoes of the action and certainly the high point of all the comic moments in the TV show WKRP always center on the characters Earl Tarlick and Loni Anderson, “The Big Guy” played by Gordon Jump, is a significant character, an anchor for the core action to take place around and quite often the pivotal dramatic foil at the crux of the writing in this program. In the show he owns the radio station WKRP. He is the sort of character who creates his own negative reality spreading his shitty attitude around so much that everything about him is cursed. His business is going bankrupt. He is always angry and frustrated. he alienates everyone he meets and frightens his employees. It is a subterfuge, he just wants people to leave him alone, so he uses the failing numbers his station pulls in to disabuse his staff and they are afraid to disturb his gloomy sanctum. Really, deep down he is a sad guy. he sits alone in his office and looks at an oil painting portrait of his dead mother. Sometimes the painting even speaks to him (voiced by Alice Ghostly) Hes so miserable, and every attempt of those around him to reach out is thwarted by his bitterness and temper. He throws shit at them and tells them to “Get the fuck outta my fuckin office you bitch!” and he spat at Earl once. Basically he is insane, but he is so rich, and such an asshole, no-one would ever suggest he was unwell, or in any way disadvantaged. He paces around in his office with the heat turned up (its summer) and he’s cursing, in a rage. All he really wants is to go fishing. He’s supposed to love fishing, and he does dream about fishing, often we see the same set piece, Big Guy is in a dinghy boat, in water with a (fake) mountain valley backdrop. Its his daydream fantasy and they always show the same shot when they depict him taking a breather from being his browned off usual mean old self. The insistence of the writers on including this not-exactly-funny comic trope and repeating it several times an episode even though it had tested as “stupid” in focus groups pre-airing and even for the fact that the live studio audience refused to laugh despite the “laugh” signs they use to prompt them. this is the story behind the introduction of “canned” laughter into the series in season one, even though I personally feel WKRP should appear unadulterated and therefore have transcribed several shows by hand and simply read along with the broadcast with the sound lowered.

that anecdote aside, it is within this recurring fantasy of Big Guy fishing that the payoff comes. you see, Big Guy doesn’t really want to fish, it is simply the location that he must see himself in so that the Big Guy in the fantasy, the fisherman in the fake boat Guy, he can dream his own dream, the daydream within the daydream. see, Big Guy goes fishing and then dreams of fame! He wishes he was a Huge Celebrity, a Star. In his little boat, in his imagination we see him accepting awards, promenading upon red carpets, he is blinded by flashbulbs always smiling, with his hand on his heart he serves the President and heads of state with his glorious art. he glows with specialness. these reveries, which are actually funny, are always broken by the same thing, Loni Anderson barging into his office with some sort of low-comic gag-dilemma, like she’s got chocolate fudge on her ass, or Earl tried to give her a makeover, or some other slapstick goof-off. Anyways Big Guy throws her out and calls her a whore, and thats that. Back to dreaming.

The actor Gordon Jump, who had another starring role as Radar O’Rieley’s  “roommate”  on the sadly-missed and lamentably short-lived “After M*A*S*H*” went on to a forge a lucrative career for himself as a motivational speaker in the 90s with his message of Personal Triumph through NLP and CERAGEM. In 2001 he was killed tragically in the events of 9-11. Yet another American hero fallen in the name of freedom and Democracy, he will live on in WKRP (and After M*A*S*H*) and always be remembered fondly. Let’s Roll Brotha.
 

Saturday, July 16, 2011

NAILED IT!!!

As you know I took a little mini sabbatical from my piano studies last week. But look here what happened when I returned to my song! BOOM-RIGHT UPSIDE YO HEAD! I FINALLY GOT IT! check this out….(in your face streetboners!)



sometimes all you really have to do is just take a step back and breath…it is all it took for me to get WKRP right, I didn’t bother practicing or nothing all week, I didn’t even watch any of my ‘KRP boxset DVDs, I just fucked the dog and look what happens…Even though I basically knew I had the song down “pat” all along, I will admit it sounds “proper good” now. Indeed, I must say, it’s a very satisfying feeling.

So… While it is true that I have gone as far as I can with “WKRP” and I now know all there is to know about the piano, negating the need for me to study it any further, I realize that there are my legions of supporters following this plog, and I will, despite my lack of need to do so, carry on! If only for your, you the reader’s own benefit. So stay tuned, my babies, as the good doctor would say, for I have more exciting piano music to regail you with in the weeks to come. Yes it is true, I have found even more piano books at the library and, even though I am saving it for a surprise (hint, hint), I will return here in days to come with a new and even more exciting favorite from that golden era of popular music piano books…the 1980s. I promise to amaze you with my piano skills with a brand new, totally retro, top-secret surprise addition to my repertoire. (slaver, drool)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A CALL TO ARMS


I just got off a rousing round at the forums over at <WKRPinCincinnatiBlog.com> and I must say the support you all have for me is warmly and deeply felt. The Internet is the greatest advancement for the human species, and its good to know all my buddies in Cyber Land got my back when the flak comes beaucoup. Just because some peck o’ wood sees fit to use the world wide web for slander and hate-mongering, it does not and will not deter upright tax paying citizens and Decorated Veterans our Constitutional Right to enjoy our enthusiasm for that fine program WKRP In Cincinnati. Across the Internet fans of WKRP are uniting, banding together and rising up the banner as a people’s cyber-militia. One conversation in particular I had with my good buddy and fellow vet fire4fever over at WKRP in Cincinnati blog stood out for me. We served together and were reminiscing about the ‘Nam, and through all the names, Sarge., Goodall, Corp. Whitelaw, and Stodges, he broke off into a long pause and out of the middle distance, unexpectedly reels into the strangest idea.

“When The Doctor was on the air, he seemed to always come alive, you know what I mean? Its as though he were becoming complete for the first time. It was a look that came over him and I’ve seen it before. In Paan Nang back in ‘67 when we were nearly ambushed doing recon in the foothills. You remeber…The look on Stodges’ face, you were there… back then… “

And I knew exactly what he was talking about. We had both traveled immediately to that moment in the past that neither of us had spoken about since, nor could we, if we could even find words, but we had both blacked it out, simply as a survival instinct.

“We ALL knew full well what was going on with Stodges,” he continued, “he’d been in it deep for weeks now, it was starting to just seem normal” He was speaking of the mental state that Stodges had been slipping into, and we all had seen it before, like many a young recruit serving in the ‘Nam for the first time and living under inhuman circumstances on a daily basis he was suffering the initial stages of PTS and was gripped under a psychosis we all witnessed the onslaught of but were powerless in our own struggles for survival, to intervene with or help. He was able, as if by remote control, to fulfill all his duties and remain at the ready as we were constatly under fire, yet he had adopted, casually, a strikingly disturbing trait. Sometime in the chaos of battle, and in the wreakage of his deepest mind something had already snapped. He had become a cannibal. At first it was like a joke, he did it so casually.We were surrounded by death 24 hours a day, so the humour turned sort of dark, another cruel survival instinct the mind comes up with under duress.One day Stodges comes up to us all around the fire and he’s holding a tiny arm, a baby’s arm charred from where it was blown off, and jokingly he’s holding it like bugs bunny with a carrot and he’s chewing the end, tearing off peices and eating them and making the same “nyahhh, nyeahhh” noises, grinning a cold blooded macabre grin like skin peeling off a skull roasting in the sun Its not something a civilian can comprehend. Stodges was still the most A1 Front Line Honor Roll blood and guts soldier any of us had ever seen and I have yet to see a more steadfastedly efficient combatant nor more fearless warrior since. We trusted him with our lives no matter how low he sank And he had that same look, the look on his face like Johnny Fever would get years later on WKRP. No matter how bat-shit crazy and whatever regrettable actions he may had taken in the past, he was a soldier, first and foremost, bound by duty, to Search and Destroy in the name of Rock And Roll.”

And you know what? He always did, no matter what. That’s why WKRP has always had a large and loyal following amongst our armed forces personnel, especially for me, a vet and DOUBLE AMPUTEE, it is for its accurate and sympathetic portrayal in the character Johnny Fever, of vets living at home and the challenges we face on a daily basis. With that in mind it would be preposterous to challenge the faith and passion of the many thousands of Americans loyal to Land, Liberty, and WKRP

Friday, July 1, 2011

On A Brief Note...


I had to take my “Greatest Hits of the Eighties” piano book back to the library because I had already renewed it twice and I didn’t feel like waiting around for them to put it back on the shelves because the library makes me have to go to the bathroom, so I don’t have it anymore and can’t play the WKRP song for you this week, but I will get it back next week and we can again go together down the wonderful pathway that is my journey into piano lessons (self-taught)

Meanwhile, it has come to my attention that certain internet websites, namely ones that are run by foreign interests and primarily concern themselves with making fun of pictures from ratemyvomit.com and comparing teenage girls to ice cream cones thinks there’s something funny about my P-log.I don’t know who they think they are, or even who they are for that matter, but I will not take this lying down. I am going to launch a one man campaign and go running to a larger more public organ crying my fucking eyes out. those assholes-they really hurt my feelings, I’m gonna fucking destroy them. They don’t know who they’re fucking with. I’ll tell everybody I know not to look at crappy websites on the internet run by miserable losers! If I’m so fuckin funny why don’t they come down here and say it to my face. I’m not afraid, but I wont tell them where I am because I don’t want to impose on my neighbors as they will all have to run out of their houses to see the mister-I’m-so-funny-on-the-internet not be, so much, anymore! You Fuckin’ Goof!


Friday, June 10, 2011

Television In Revolt


This was a really good episode. It was the one where Johnny Fever tries to blow up the radio station. You can see here in the picture that Earl has talked Big Guy into doing a ventriloquist act where the Big Guy is the dummy and has to sit on Earl’s knee! The act, despite Earl’s best intentions and total professionalism, is a disaster. The Big Guy has no talent and keeps wrecking the act. Seen here they have just performed it for the rest of the wkrp gang and bombed out miserably. Their own friends and employees are disgusted and enraged by the thinly veiled insults that Earl is dispensing through big guy’s mouth, and the wkrp gang are not amused. He’s getting a little too personal and it’s not funny anymore. You can see in the picture that they are throwing lettuce and tomatoes and wadded up balls of paper at them.
Meanwhile Dr Johnny fever has been suffering a flashback and has accidentally locked himself in the janitor’s closet, and in his delusional state has decided to rig up a homemade bomb to free himself from what he thinks is a Viet Kong Prisoner of War camp. He’s got some binder twine and a pack of hotdogs that he has connected to his chest and he is going to blow everybody up including himself! It is the desperate action of a desperate man and you can see this by the close-up photography of sweat on his forehead and his eyes darting back and forth. There’s intense, heat-of-the moment incidental music that sounds like seconds ticking away. Then the most amazing thing happens. Instead of ending the program with the expected climax and denouement, the writers get all Beckett on the TV viewing audience and put the absurdist “To be continued…” on the screen, leaving it open, never to reveal what actually happens to Dr Fever or Earl & Big guy’s showbiz careers. It’s a double whammy that really made me think all those years ago, a real “what if?” moment. It was a unique and thought provoking way to design television and considered to be quite revolutionary for its time, changing the way we look at television, and in turn, ourselves.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Some Reflections

Cincinnati Comes Alive

For today’s lesson I want to cover some Theory, mainly dealing with the history and cultural significance of the song that I have been working on learning to play on the piano. This song, “WKRP in Cincinnati”, was a chart-busting mega-phenomenon super hit when it came out and it spawned a multi-million-dollar entertainment and luxury Product Empire for not only its writers and publishers, but also its singer, legendary starlet Loni Anderson. Her rendition of this standout hit from the television theme music / adult-contemporary genre became an instant classic then and has reached iconic status as of today. But few remember the TV show that started it all. Come with me as I take you down the hall to a special room with a magical TV set that sees into the past and shows forgotten television programming from days gone by. It’s coming in clearer now. Here it is, it is about this radio station where Loni Anderson works and all of the action revolves around her. The station is run by this mean old bald headed dude known as “The Big Guy” He is always furious because his radio station is in the toilet and he is losing his shirt. The Big Guy has two lackeys that that are always by his side. The one was Fred or Earl or Something, he sold used cars and was a really good singer, the ladies couldn’t get enough of him. He was the most hilarious character in the program and most of the time he was having wild adventures trying to get Loni into show business with little success. He would always show up, late, and clueless as to what all the fuss was about; he’s so laid-back, always with the lit cigar in his bejeweled manicured hand. The patchwork on his suit was not sewn-on denim bits, but actually a pattern printed onto polyester. The other stooge is this guy called Les Nesman. He is basically the brains of the operation, running the operation from behind the scenes. He is so diabolically clever as to run the entire station at a loss so as to provide the perfect cover for his more sinister machinations. He’s a mad genius with a shady past and whisperings of Nazi lineage. The on-air talent at this radio station is made up of two guys only: both of them doctors (!). The one guy was “rock and roll all day” acid casualty and Viet nam vet Dr. Johnny Fever, who is out of his mind and always doing things like playing records backwards and going up on the roof naked. He is on the air during the daytime; at night it’s dr. Venus. He’s a total Mack daddy, all pimped out and he plays the “sweet soul music to carry you into the night” He has an Afro and a dashiki and always give the black power salute. But mainly the show was about Loni Anderson. The rest of the characters were all so stupid that they thought she was beautiful. This was meant to play out as a running comic gag because; she was played by Loni Anderson who is fucking harsh looking. There is also Bailey, who was Playboy Pet of the Month in real life but the producers of the show felt it best to put glasses on her to convey that she was a dog. Except for occasional cameo walk-ons by sleazy record industry types and crazed fans of the DJs the only other actor was the ghost of Big Guy’s Mom. From time to time The Big Guy’s mother speaks to him from beyond the grave. She was only on once in a while, and was represented by a voice emanating from a haunted oil painting in BG’s office. I forget the actress who did the voice; she used to be in bewitched. Apart from those people, the station itself is like a character. It throbs with the energy of true rock & roll, and every time Johnny Fever puts on a wicked Bob Seager track or some smokin’ Kenny Loggins lightning hits the transmission tower (see illustration) and all hell breaks loose. The place literally explodes and everyone, even Bailey, is doing air guitar, jumping around on one leg. “Long Live Rock!” Shouts doctor Fever, and the live studio audience bursts into applause signaling the end of the episode.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Another "Run-Through"



I’m going to go give this WKRP song another try and see if I can’t hammer it out. Wait for around 0:28 . The hook is there, and I’ve almost got the knack of it for about a second. I might not be playing it right…there are a lot of sharps and flat notes that I’m ignoring altogether. I’ll fix that after I get the over all feeling of the piece. It is a small masterpiece of MOR Adult contemporary television theme music, and in the simplicity of the tune, it is a deceivingly complicated piano-thing to deliver.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

A Little Known Fact...



INTERESTING STORY… Apparently WKRP was not just made up for the show but it was and is a real actual place. According to my freind Donny, Cincinnati is an actual existing midwestern American city. It’s in Ohio.

“I did not know that…” Johnny Carson (deceased)

Monday, June 6, 2011

Deeper Meanings




I’m thinking about this song and how depressing it is. The lyrical content is what I am talking about here. I mean, the song itself is great. A treasure and a gem, the one standout tune in the 20th Century Songbook for sure. Miraculous even, for it has given me the gift of knowledge with regards to playing piano music, no, I mean what the song is about - this is what’s sad, very sad, you see it is about a loser. A sad and lonely loser at love who has lost out so bad he had to leave town in shame. I guess someone was fucking around or something. Whatever the case he’s suckered. The guy in the song is relegated to this freeze-dried Middle America that only exists for fucked-out truckers and spent meth heads. Vacant air conditioned highways and the sort. The lyrics rely heavily on the classic top 40 poetic device of using a radio dial to describe the endless wanderings of this broken hearted loser. Deep down he knows that it was “never meant to be” but he is still doomed to an existence haunting cheap hotel rooms where he endlessly packs, then unpacks his luggage, manically subverting his anxieties into an obsessive-compulsive disorder. If that weren’t harrowing enough of an emotional roller-coaster ride for the listener, the ending passage creates this ominous foreshadowing of false hopes and impotent yearnings as he asks ”maybe, just maybe…once in a while…” knowing full well that she has already forgotten him, never really cared to begin with, and will never ever think of him again, not even occasionally, but still he clings to his delusional state of denial, which makes him doubly cursed. It’s so dark and nihilistic; almost anti-human. It is one of the best depictions of the breakdown of sanity in the first person view of an afflicted mind. The song tears the emotional equilibrium to pieces. To hear it, puts one right into the same miserable state of existential angst as the protagonist. You wonder if the lyricist did not have sadistic intent, it is that effective in cursing the listener’s psyche, destroying their mental and emotional well-being. It’s like a kick in the stomach, truly gut-wrenching. This is possibly the greatest song that has ever appeared at the library in the piano books section. Even though it is not containing happy or joyful themes, one can redeem some positivism from it by learning from the hard and cruel lessons of its beleaguered singer…this being; never go to that Dark Cincinnati of The Soul for you may never return and live to see tomorrow. This can ultimately produce joy in the listener because thankfully you yourself are not so romantically doomed to total rejection and dejection and you can feel relief for this. Ultimately I take this song as a warning. It is a warning to me personally to not be taken up by the Passions and to stay diligent to my piano lessons and my piano lessons only. In this respect it is a masterpiece of meta-didactics for the piano because by learning it I learn to learn the piano even more so, and the more I learn the more I am compelled to learn further. If I keep mastering this one song, eventually I will master all of the piano, all learning, and ultimately the entirety of the universe itself.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Great Expectations


HERE I AM MAKING ANOTHER BRAVE ATTEMPT AT WKRP IN CINCINNATI.
IT DOESNT SOUND ANYTHING LIKE THE ORIGINAL. ITS EITHER that I’M DOING SOMETHING WRONG OR that THE GUY WHO TRANSCRIBED IT doesnt know what he’s doing! Its starting to sound worse.I MAY GIVE UP TRYING IF IT DOESNT SOUND BETTER SOON. there are some kenny logins songs in this book I am anxious to get to.