Saturday, February 27, 2010

On Streets and Hot Rods

CLIQUERS!! HAVE YOU SEEN Lloyd's candy-apple red Hot Rod??

Let me quote the Chief from his April 15, 2006 post:

"Now this wasn’t just any old HOT ROD. This was a hot rod built and designed by famed custom car designer and builder George Barris. Barris designed the 'Batmobile' for the Batman TV series, 'The Munster’s Koach,' and hundreds of other fantastic custom cars for movies. He is 'The King of Kustom.'

The George Barris designed Lloyd Thaxton Hot Rod was a 1930 Model A, using a big Buick engine with MT manifold and carbs. The Body was channeled 10" over the frame for lower effect. It was painted with a kandy apple red paint job with black leather interior. It was really 'boss.'"

During one of his early shows ('62 or '63, pre-LTS. It was a 90-minute show he did for KCOP in L.A.), he awarded the car to some lucky winner (LL didn't know who it was, but, man, was he [or she] luck-EEEEE!!)

So, Cliquers, if you know or can find out who won the Lloyd Thaxton Hot Rod, let me know. He'd been searching for that HOT (forgive me, Paris Hilton, but I hadta use that word!), Kandy-Apple Red number for years. As he said, "I just hope the guy who won it is still driving it or, at the least, has it mounted on his bedroom wall (I wanted to do that with my bike but I didn’t have the nerve)."


When Lloyd sent me a couple of 'toons by Jerry Van Amerongen (Ballard Street was his favorite), I couldn't help laughing. Not just because they were funny (which they were) or that the dude actually had me pegged (except for the wisp of hair, the weight and the age), but because, at the time he sent them, I was actually living on Ballard Street in Ashland, Kentucky!!

Someday, I hope to live up to the character shown in the pic on the right ...

Friday, February 26, 2010

Sync ... Sync A Song ...

Long before there was Ashlee Simpson or Milli Vanilli, there was Action Thaxton, King of the Lip Sync.

There was no hit record that was immune to Uncle LL's "special" treatment. From Roger William's Summer Wind to Dylan's lonnnng, commercial-interrupted Desolation Row, he could take the most serious song, unravel its melodic threads and re-weave it into a hilarious musical quilt (I was gonna say "Afghan," but that's too controversial these days. So I plead quilty).

One of his most popular was a fully-costumed sync of Jay and The American's hit, Cara Mia. Outfitted in complete operatic regalia (helmet with long horns and tunic, two items borrowed from the Warner Bros. lot after Elmer Fudd's Looney Tunes™ opera scene with Bugs Bunny), he mouthed Jay Black's vocals perfectly -- even the lonnnnnng, high note that Jay hit in the last full verse.

After that "performance", you can say what you will: Whether it's with Raynor, Black or the new "Jay (Reneike), Uncle LL will still be the soul behind "Cara Mia".

NOW ... FOR THOSE WHO ASKED ALREADY (and we've been on just a coupla days now):

We've got a few new Mouskiteers from Rock-Talk and Facebook, and they wanted to see a vid of the Head Cheese in action. Therefore, from a 1966 episode, I present to you:

'Nuff said?

Notes From The Chief

Y'know, when my own readers found out that I knew Lloyd Thaxton, their first response (after the obligatory "Soooo WHAT?" They weren't brushing me off ... they just remembered his famous teaser) was "He's still ALIVE?!?" (and, brother, he'll always be alive in our hearts. Can I get an AMEN?!?)
But, then, I told 'em about Uncle LL's blog, and told 'em that, for the mere price of an imaginary car, they could come on over and join in the fun and memories.

And many of 'em did! And, thus, they did enjoy the verbiosity that emanated from the inner being of one Lloyd E. Thaxton, Esq.

But, how did the original Mr. T. actually start blogging?
Here ... let 'im tell ya in his own words:

"I’m constantly asked why I spend time writing a blog. Who’s going to read it? By last count, there are over 23 million blogs on the web. 23 MILLION! Insurmountable odds? I’m optimistic. I Look at it this way: There are about 300 million people in the United States alone. Do the math. Divided equally, that computes to over 10 million readers for each blog. And, I’m just out to get my share.

Actually, I think my chances are pretty darn good. According to LA Times writer Patrick Goldstein, we are now a nation of niches. “Today’s action is with the country watching cable shows … that play to a specific audience.”
Specific audience? That’s my fans. The Lloyd Thaxton Show was always kind of a “niche.” It certainly played to a specific audience. And that makes me a real “son of a niche.”

It is said that the reason “American Idol” is such a big hit is because there is a huge niche out there that wants to be a member of a group, encouraged by their peers. What the “Idol” audiences love to see are others like them up there competing for fame and fortune. They see how they dance, sing, how they dress, and how they are treated with great respect. They even accept the occasional put-down from judge Simon Cowell as meaningful. “That could be me” is most likely the “Idol” fan’s mantra.

That, if you think about it, is what The Lloyd Thaxton Show was all about. We had our lip-sync contests, dance contests and each show was a showcase for the latest dances and “what-to-wear” on a date. Young people watched because they saw themselves up there joining in the fun. And, everyone was treated with great respect.

Still doing the math, I’ve figured that in the years the show was on the air, we had over 45 thousand dancing and performing teens on the show. And that was just the ones who were actually there, in person, live. Add to that the millions who were watching each show and we had a pretty substantial niche going for us.

According to Princeton University’s WordNet, niche is “a position particularly well suited to the person who occupies it.” In other words, a “clique.”
There is no doubt that the 60s represented a very unique period in history. Think about it. Civil Rights demonstrations and legislation, the Vietnam War, the draft, Woman’s Lib, the assassinations of John F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Flower Children, Students for a Democratic Society, and Sex Drugs and Rock & Roll. The country has never been the same since.

Throughout this tumultuous time, The Lloyd Thaxton Show was there pumping out The Twist, The Beatles, James Brown, Surf music, Motown music, Top Forty and Rock and roll. And millions of kids were dancing to the music. It was the oasis in the midst of chaos; The calm during the storm. And according to the many letters I’ve received from the show’s fans, it gave a lot of people the confidence that everything would turn out OK. I, myself, am completely awed and humbled by it all.

So, back to the original question: why am I writing a blog? The answer is quite simple. I have a niche I just have to scratch. And so far I feel I have only scratched the surface. Judging by the hundreds of emails I have received, there is a substantial niche out there that wants to hash over a lot of cool memories."

So there you have it, Mouskiteers ... and it couldn't've been said any better than that ...

Hey, listen! Do you have any vids, .mp3s or memories you'd like to share about the boss? Just send 'em in to and we'll get 'em on here! Heck ... we'll even pay the postage for ya ...

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A Quick Intro (Maestro, If You Please ...)

He was the original Pied Piper of Rock -- the dude who brought Ben E., Brummels and Byrds to our afternoon TV time. He made Sonny Cher, showed us his Knickerbockers and got Eddie to Flo with the Turtles. The week-daily teen show that took his name was a standard fix for every young person in the mid-Sixties.

He was Lloyd Thaxton ... a man whom we were honored to call "friend", "Uncle", or collect if necessary, until his passing in 2008. Though he was a DJ, emcee, producer, writer and five-time Emmy winner, he always had time for his fans.

In fact, he started this little "clique" so all he could mix with 'em all. And The Mouse Clique was his baby; the offspring of his blog.
Now, in his absence, the little guy has been adopted by Gary "NEXT!" Belich and The Rock Relic, who promised their Aunt Barbara they'd raise it right.

Now, what we're lookin' for is any-and-everybody who has memories of Uncle Lloyd and/or his show to give us a shout-out. Heck ... I'll even sweeten the pot a little: If you'd like to write a guest post dealing with him or the show, just let me or Cousin Gary know and we'll turn the reins over to you for a mile or so! Fair enough?? Then 'nuff said!!


Back in March of the 07, I had the opportunity to interview LL -- about his background, his start in showbiz and more nosiness -- and you'll find it right here . Believe me, it's well worth the read ...

Uncle Lloyd was also the man who popularized not just one finger (which many of us are apt to show sometimes) but all five digits as his "finger people". He'd dress 'em up, have them move as he directed and say what he told 'em to say (sorta like marriage, isn't it?).
One of his most popular routines was when he used them as part of his lip-syncing to Linda Laurie's Jose, He Say.

And then there was ... The DAWK!!

The package says "It Stands for Silent Protest" ... and that's really about as openly political as Lloyd was. But the dude really become popular amongst the viewers ...

By the way, it came in dawk ... er, dark hair as well as lovely, lush blonde (see the banner at the top of the page). We'll have more on this character as the blog progresses..

Now, since this is the Big Return, we've got this baby all dressed up, shoes shined, hair combed and ready to go (well, mostly. We still need to work on the blogroll ...)! So here comes the fun part: Getting all the meeces and mouses to come over and visit the blog (cheese optional, though we do get a mite hungry!). Leave yer name and message (and camembert cheese; now, if you cant membert, just substitute cheddarThanx ...) in our comments section, okay??

'Nuff said??