Monday, March 28, 2016

Bat-Music #13 - Tom Hazleton And Gene Ciszek - Mr. Bach Meets Batman

Bat-Music #13 - Tom Hazleton And Gene Ciszek  - Mr. Bach Meets Batman
"Explorer - A Totally New Electronic Instrument in Musical Recording" was a demonstration record designed to show off "The Explorer" a musical instrument from Rocky Mount Instruments that seemed to be a hybrid between a traditional electric organ and a Mellotron.  This record first came to my attention thanks to WFMU's 365 Days Project.  The record is filled with a none-too-exciting collection of instrumental standards and melodies, with one exception; "Mr. Bach Meets Batman," which mashes up Neil Hefti's "Batman Theme" with Johann Sebastian Bach's "Toccata and Fugue in D minor" to spectacular effect.

Tom Hazleton And Gene Ciszek  - Mr. Bach Meets Batman

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Batman, Episodes 17 and 18 - "True or False Face" and "Holy Rat Race" (1966)

Batman, Episodes 17 and 18 - "True or False Face" and "Holy Rat Race" (1966)

"True or False Face" and "Holy Rat Race" were the 17th and 18th episodes of the Batman TV show, airing on ABC March 9th and 10th, 1966.  The episodes featured the only appearance of the villain "False Face."  False Face was a master of disguise, whose true face was always disguised by an opaque plastic mask.  The opening credits listed "Special Guest Villain ? as False Face."  A man named "?" may seem strange to modern audiences, but in 1966, it could only mean one thing...  False Face was being played by ?, aka Question Mark, of the garage rock band Question Mark & the Mysterians, whose hit single "96 Tears" was the 5th most popular song on the Billboard Charts for 1966!  Rock on!!!

"Special Guest Villain ? as False Face"



Question Mark

Question Mark & the Mysterians - 96 Tears

 The Riddler's Favorite Band?


Alas, the end credits of the second episode revealed that the actor was actually Malachi Throne, aka "That Guy."  As in you know his face from a hundred different TV guest spots, but you never really know who he is.  You know, "that guy."

False Face First Appeared in Batman #113, Drawn by Sheldon Moldoff
Robin's "holy" exclamations in this episode include, "Holy Houdini," "Holy bouncing boilerplated fists," "Holy transistors," and "holy wigs."

I should really label my TV with a sign that reads "Television."  Less confusion that way.

More screencaps after he break.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Batman, Episodes 15 and 16 - "The Joker Goes to School," and "He Meets His Match, the Grisly Ghoul" (1966)

Batman, Episodes 15 and 16 - "The Joker Goes to School," and "He Meets His Match, the Grisly Ghoul" (1966)
50 years ago...
The 15th and 16th episode of the Batman TV series aired on ABC TV. Episode 15, "The Joker Goes to School," aired on March 2, 1966.  Episode 16, "He Meets His Match, the Grisly Ghoul," aired on March 3, 1966.

Money in the Milk Machine
These were the second pair of episodes to feature Cesar Romero as The Joker.

Dick Grayson: Juvenile Delinquent

In these episodes The Joker is released from prison, and buys a coin-operated machine company that makes things like pinball games, jukeboxes, and beverage and snack dispensers.  He rigs the machines at Dick Grayson's high school to dispense money, stocks and bonds instead of milk and candy bars.  For instance, insert a dime in the milk machine, and instead of a bottle of milk, you'll get $20 worth of silver dollars.  By doing this, The Joker hopes to dissuade the students form studying and working hard, and instead enjoy "easy living" which will eventually lead them to a life of crime.  It's up to Batman to convince the students that "nothing in life is free."  Meanwhile, Dick Grayson goes undercover as a juvenile delinquent in order to infiltrate The Joker's gang.

Batman and the Head Cheerleader

Robin's exclamations in these episodes included "holy magician," holy Las Vegas," "holy fruit salad," "holy alphabet," "holy ball and chain," "holy Benedict Arnold," "holy hailstorm," "holy murder," and "holy New Years Eve."  Additionally, the narrator chimes in with "holy cow-juice."


Gotham Noir


More screencaps after the break...

Monday, March 21, 2016

Bat-Music #12 - The Musical Stylings of Frank Gorshin

Bat-Music #12 - The Musical Stylings of Frank Gorshin

Frank Gorshin had a great career on the stage and screen before and after the Batman TV series.  He was most well known as a stand-up comedian and impressionist, but was also an actor who appeared in over 100 different roles on film and television. He also appeared on stage on and off Broadway, and even released a few singles as a singer.  He was an all-around performer.  So, when everyone else was releasing singles to cash-in on Batman's popularity, there was no reason for Gorshin to be left out.  His song, "The Riddler," is one of the catchiest and most fun of all the Batman novelty singles.  Below is a clip from his appearance on the Dean Martin Show, where he does some of his famous impressions of actors such as Kirk Douglas and Marlon Brando (this time with a Batman twist) before launching into a singing and dancing performance of his song.  Watch the whole thing, it's a lot of fun!

Farnk Gorshin Performs on The Dean Martin Show

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Batman, Episodes 13 and 14 - "The Thirteenth Hat," and "The (1966)

Batman, Episodes 13 and 14 - "The Thirteenth Hat," and "Batman Stands Pat" (1966)
50 years ago...
The 13th and 14th episode of the Batman TV series aired on ABC TV.   Episode 13, "The Thirteenth Hat," aired on February 23, 1966.  Episode 14, "Batman Stands Pat," aired on February 24, 1966. 

These were the first episodes to feature David Wayne as Jervis Tetch, aka The Mad Hatter.

Robin Strapped on a Horse
The Mad Hatter is a villain obsessed with hats and headgear.  He begins a campaign to get revenge against Gotham City and Batman for testifying against him in court and sending him to prison.  So he kidnaps 12 citizens of Gotham (all who wear unique and distinctive hats), each one representing one of the 12 members of the jury that convicted him.  All of this leads to a scheme to steal the most famous headgear in Gotham: Batman's cowl, thus revealing Batman's secret identity and ruining his crime fighting career.

Bat Mirror Mishap
Robin's catchphrases in these episodes included "holy switcheroo," hot diggety," and "holy ricochet."

Super Instant Mesmerizer
These episodes adapted portions of various comic book stories featuring the Mad Hatter, including:
  • "The Scoop of the Century" from Batman #49 (October-November 1948), written by Bill Finger and drawn by Bob Kane and Lew Schwartz.
  • "The Mad Hatter of Gotham City" from Detective Comics #230 (April 1956), written by Bill Finger and drawn by Shedlon Moldoff.
  • "The New Crimes of the Mad Hatter" from Batman #161 (February 1964), written by Dave Wood and drawn by Shedlon Moldoff.

Detective Comics #230
More screencaps after the break...


Monday, March 14, 2016

Bat-Music #11 - The Shapes - I Saw Batman in the Launderette

Bat-Music #11 - The Shapes - I Saw Batman in the Launderette
The Shapes were an 1970s English punk band that eschewed the anger of the Sex Pistols and the politics of the Clash for something more fun and with a sense of humor.  Evidenced by songs such as "Wot's For Lunch Mum? (Not Beans Again!)" and today's Bat-Music track, "I Saw Batman in the Launderette."

The Shapes - I Saw Batman in the Launderette


Monday, March 7, 2016

Bat-Music #10 - The Scaffold - Goodbat Nightman


Bat-Music #10 - The Scaffold - Goodbat Nightman
The Scaffold were a comedic rock band from Liverpool who are mostly remembered these days because one of their members was Mike McGear (aka Peter Michael McCartney aka Paul McCartney's brother).  They wear pretty successful in England during the '60s and '70s, though, and had several hit singles and released a handful of albums.  Their second single, released during the height of Batmania in 1966, was "Goodbat Nightman," a wonderfully weird tribute to the Dynamic Duo.

The Scaffold - Goodbat Nightman

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Batman, Episode 12 - When the Rat's Away the Mice Will Play (1966)

Batman, Episode 12 - When the Rat's Away the Mice Will Play (1966)
50 years ago...
The 12th episode of the Batman TV series, "When the Rat's Away the Mice Will Play," aired  February 17th on ABC TV. It continued on from the cliffhanger ending of the previous episode, "A Riddle a Day Keeps the Riddler Away."


Bruce Wayne Meets "Batman."
After escaping from the Riddler's death trap, Batman and Robin decide to let the Riddler continue to believe they are dead, so they can catch him unawares in his latest crime.

Bat Facts for When the Rat's Away the Mice Will Play

Special Guest Villain: Frank Gorshin as The Riddler

Onomatopoeia: "Pow!!  Whack!  Zlopp!  Boff!  Zap!!!  Krunch!"

Portrait of Batman And Robin Hangs in the Museum
More screencaps after the break...

"Rasputin: The Mad Monk" and "The Reptile" Released 50 Years Ago Today


50 years ago today...
Hammer Films released the horror double feature Rasputin: The Mad Monk and The Reptile.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

The Monks - Black Monk Time (1966)

The Monks - Black Monk Time (1966)
Released 50 years ago this month...
The Monks - Black Monk Time

The Monks were aggressive, grade-A weirdos.  Dressed in all black, with short monk tonsure haircuts and nooses for neckties, they went completely against the grain of the flower child looks and attitude of the time.

The Monks: Roger, Gary, Larry, Eddie, and Dave
Their album "Black Monk Time" follows suit. It has pounding drums, repettive rhythms, chanted or shouted vocals, and dadaesque lyrics that are anti-war, anti-establishment, and just plain antisocial, it sounded like nothing else in 1966, and is still unique to this day.  This music was completely uncommercial, and left audiences in the 1960s confused and upset, prompting one audience member to attempt to strangle guitarist/vocalist Gary Burger at a show in Hamburg, Germany.

The Monks
Over the years the band has gained a dedicated cult following, and they are now one of the most influential and respected bands of the 1960s garage rock genre.







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