High School Yearbook Photo

"More than a place, the Shady Dell was and will forever remain a state of mind." - Shady Del Knight

"More than a place, the Shady Dell was and will forever remain a state of mind." - Shady Del Knight

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Kevin McCarthyism aka I'd Walk a Camel for Miles (Part 2)

Previously on Snooze U Lose.....Dr. Miles Bennell and
his true love Becky Driscoll were holed up in Miles' office

in beautiful downtown Santa Mira..... a tranquil California community where everything's just peachy keen all the time - kinda like Amity Island!

Only everything isn't peachy keen...not by a long shot!

Slowly but surely, invaders from another planet (I'm thinking Pluto) are replacing townies with robotic, look-alike imposters. The insidious transformation takes place while the humans sleep.

Pinned down in a closet, Miles and Becky
devised an ingenious plan to avoid capture.

They must convince the aliens that they have already undergone "the change." To do this, they must walk, talk, and act like zombies, exhibiting no emotion whatsoever.

Miles: When we hit the street keep a blank expression on your face. Show no interest or excitement.

Becky: I'll just think back to our last romantic interlude.
Well, here goes nothing. Are you sure you can pull this off?
Becky: Believe me, Miles, I know how to fake it.

Miles: Hi……..Sam……..How’s……. the…… wife…..and…… kids? How 'bout dem Rams? Sorry Becky and I were such a pain in the butt a while ago. We were both a little cranky from lack of sleep. That little nap we took sure helped. Yessir, I slept like a log…Becky, too. (yawns) Oh my...still a little drowsy.
I feel like a bear fresh outta hibernation. Where am I going with all this? Becky and I want you to know that we’re "with" you now, Sam. We’re "with" you all the way. You were right. Life is so simple now that we've shed the cumbersome shackles of our humanity. Who needs all that icky human stuff? Not us! There's no need for love. No need for desire. No need for ambition. No need for faith. No need for happiness. No need for sadness. No need for pleasure.
No need for pain. No need for joy. No need for sorrow.
No need for Glee...

Becky: ALRIGHT, Miles - ENOUGH already! Let's AMSCRAY!

Dammit, Becky, what the hell was that!
Becky: I’m sorry. I couldn’t help screaming when I saw that little doggie run in front of that truck.

Yeah, well you just threw US under the bus, gf!

Becky: I can't do it, I can't, can't, can't go on.
Miles: Yes you CAN CAN! If we can just make it to that cave up ahead we can hide from the pod peeps.

Becky: I can’t take another step. I’m too tired.
Miles: Just a little farther, Becky. That galactic goon squad will be here in a few seconds. We need to find a place to hide until nightfall. We can use the cover of darkness to escape over the mountain and reach the highway leading out of town.

Here they come! Let’s hide down here under these floor boards in this wet, filthy, smelly, yucky, gross, disgusting, rat infested sink hole. Yeah, that’s the ticket!
Becky: GHEEZ, great idea, Miles! If my skirt gets wrinkled, you're gonna hear about it, mister!

The alien lynch mob searches the cave, finds nothing,
and vacates the premises. Darkness falls across the land.
The midnight hour is close at hand.

When Miles and Becky hear heavenly music off in the distance, Miles leaves his sweetheart behind for a few minutes to investigate. Surely, Miles reasons, music so beautiful, so gentle,
so comforting must be emanating from an oasis
of human life.

BUT NOOOOOOOOOOOO! Instead, the music is coming from
a radio on a truck loaded with alien seed pods!

Miles: Curses! Turns out I was listening to a pod cast!
POD cast, get it? Hee hee hee hee hee!

Miles rushes back to the cave where he finds Becky lying on the floor with her eyes closed. Praying that it's not too late, Miles scoops Becky into his arms and carries her outside the cave where he hopes the invigorating night air will revive her.

Put on a few pounds since high school, did we?

Miles tries to awaken the love of his life with a kiss. In an instant, Becky’s cold, cadaverous lips let Miles know the terrible truth...that indeed he is too late!

Stunned and sickened, Miles pulls away from what was once Becky...a reincarnated podette whose lifeless gaze is every bit as icy as her kiss.

Miles: Oh, Becky, I should never have left you alone. My bad.

Becky: Ya think?

Becky, now one of “them,” calls out to the pod squad, imploring them to hurry to the mouth of the cave and apprehend Miles before he can escape.

Miles: I’d been afraid a lot of times in my life…but I didn’t know the real meaning of fear until…until I kissed Becky!
A moment’s sleep and the girl I loved was an inhuman enemy bent on my destruction! And her BREATH..........
Don't get me started!

And so I ran. I ran, I ran, I ran! I ran as little Jimmy Grimaldi ran the other day…

A nearly hysterical Miles Bennell finally reaches the highway where he frantically tries to flag down motorists and warn them of the impending alien invasion.


There’s seed pods, thousands of them...

Driver: Ahh, you're drunk! Get outta here!
Miles: Okay I'll go, but can I at least bum a smoke?


The consensus among film historians is that Invasion of the Body Snatchers was a Cold War era metaphor for the spread of Communism. I have my own interpretation.

I like to think of Body Snatchers as a metaphor for old age.
I am not talking about how old the calendar says you are.
I'm talking about how old you think you are.

Don't go to sleep, folks. Don't let old age take you over. Don't allow yourself to develop that dreaded condition known as hardening of the attitudes. Stay current.
Think young.....
act young.....
and you will
stay young.

Have a Shady day and a Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Invasion of the Boomer Snatchers aka Snooze U Lose! (Part 1)

By 1956, I had been a horror and science fiction enthusiast for three years and had watched dozens of scary movies. That year my big brother took me to see Invasion of the Body Snatchers, one of the greatest sci-fi films ever made. It starred Kevin McCarthy, a wonderful actor who passed away last month at the ripe old age of 96.

I haven't seen the movie in years and my memory of it is a bit sketchy, but I'm pretty sure it went something like this:

Submitted for your approval: one Becky Driscoll and one
Dr. Miles Bennell…two lovers in the sleepy California town
of Santa Mira.

Becky:: Is this an example of your bedside manner, doctor?
Miles:: No, ma'am. That comes later...right after I beat the pants off of you at Parcheesi.

Little do they know that while they bill and coo, a horrifying chain of events is unfolding in their serene hamlet - one that will change their lives forever!

One by one, the residents of Santa Mira are being taken over by an alien life form. While townspeople innocently sleep, seed pods are developing into human clones!

Physically, the clones are identical to the originals in every respect, but there is one monumental difference. The pod people are devoid of any human emotion.

There have already been reports of family members and friends acting strangely. The mystery deepens when Teddy, a friend of Miles and Becky, makes a startling discovery -
a pod man who is a dead ringer for her husband!

Teddy: Yep, just like Jack...passed out on the pool table same as every other Saturday night!

Jack: It's an exact replica of me, right down to the smallest detail!
Teddy: Not quite, dear. Looks like one of you, I'm not saying WHICH one, listened to me for a change, swallowed his stubborn male pride, and filled that damn Viagra prescription!

Acting on a hunch, a premonition, a funny feeling, a gut instinct, (insert your own trite expression here), Miles drives to Becky's house, sneaks down to her cellar, and makes a horrifying discovery.

A body in a box in Becky’s basement! A body in a box in Becky’s basement! A body in a box in Becky’s basement! Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers! She sells sea shells down by the sea shore! There once was a man from Nantucket...

But it wasn't an ordinary body. It was a fully matured seed pod bearing an uncanny resemblence to Becky...butterfly tat and all!

Becky waxes philosophical when she learns that a body double is waiting to take her place.

I don't want to live in a world without love or grief or beauty. I'd rather die.
Miles: That's crazy talk! Don't worry, I'm sure there will always be plenty of grief to go around.

Miles, Becky, Jack and Teddy hear strange gurgling sounds coming from outside in the greenhouse. Acting on a hunch, a premonition, a funny feeling, a gut instinct, they investigate.

Jack: What the devil? More pods! Miles, where do they come from? You're a doctor. Please tell us. What are we dealing with? What are we up against?
Miles: See the one over there that looks just like me? I’m sure you’ve heard of iPod, Jack. Well, that’s MY-Pod! MY-Pod, get it? Hee hee hee hee hee! Sorry about that, chief!

Stick a fork in it, Mini-Me, you’re done!

Miles and Becky race across town hoping to get help at nurse Sally's. Acting on a hunch, a premonition, a funny feeling, a gut instinct, Miles decides to play it safe by peeking in the window before ringing the doorbell. To his astonishment and dismay, Miles finds….

Stanley Driscoll: Is the baby asleep yet, Sally?
Nurse Sally Withers: No, but she will be soon. And there'll be no more tears.
Stanley Driscoll: Shall I put this in her room?
Nurse Sally Withers: Yes, in her playpen.
Miles: Oh, no! Just as I suspected. They've turned this place into Poddy Central! PODDY Central, get it? Hee hee hee!

Acting on a hunch, a premonition, a funny feeling, a gut instinct, Miles pops the trunk of his car and discovers that
a seed pod has been planted inside.

C’mon light! Cheech & Chong never have this much trouble.

Miles takes Becky downtown to his office, where they hide out, hoping to find signs that pockets of human life still exist in Santa Mira.

The whole town’s gathering in the square.

Trucks are coming in from every direction.
Sarah Palin should be arriving any minute now.

When they hear voices in the hall and footsteps aproaching, Miles and Becky dash into in a closet.

Miles: As soon as they leave we’re getting out of here. If we can make the aliens believe that we already crossed over and joined them, we might be able to get out of town and call in help from the outside.

When we go down to the street, remember to walk like a robot, keep your eyes straight ahead, speak in a monotone, and whatever you do, don’t show any emotion.
Becky: That's a perfect description of your acting performance through the first two reels.
Miles: Good one! So funny I forgot to laugh!

Will Miles and Becky manage to elude the evil alien horde?

Will Jack take Teddy's advice and consult Doc Johnson?

Will I ever get back on topic and talk about the Shady Dell?

Stay tuned for Part 2 and have a Shady day!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Shady Dell The Metal Years: Part 2 - Sinful Songs and Evil Emanations that the Church Lady Doesn't Want You to Hear!

Well I'll just bet these naughty records made
by these naughty boys will make aaaaaaaaaall your naughty little
mouse parts
warm and tingly!

Isn't that speeeeeeeeeecial?

In March of 1984, nearly twenty years after I first set foot inside the Shady Dell, I returned to my alma mater. I wanted to say goodbye to John and Helen Ettline and tell them that
I was moving to another state. A friendly yet subdued John greeted me, remembered my name, and shook my hand. To my shock and dismay John then informed me that Helen had passed away three weeks earlier. I was living in Lancaster
at the time and somehow never got the news! After a few minutes of commiserating with John over the loss of our beloved Helen and reminiscing with him about the Dell's glory days, I excused myself and headed down the sidewalk to take one last look inside the barn.

When I crossed the threshold and entered the old dance hall that night in 1984 it was like stepping into an Orwellian novel, a bizarro world, or a post-apocalyptic dreamscape. The barn that was once a jumpin' juke joint was dark and almost empty. A small pack of long haired rats clad in army jackets, Levi's and combat boots stood next to a silent jukebox.

As I went back to the future and intruded on their private Dell domain the young rats looked deer caught in headlights.
In that moment it seemed as if I was gazing upon the sole survivors, the diehards, the revolutionary rat underground, the last bastion of nonconformity, the one remaining pocket of resistance to the established order, the Dell rats' last stand in the decades old fight to escape the watchful eye and authoritarian rule of Big Brother.

It wasn't the Dell that I remembered, but even though the place looked and sounded like a morgue (probably because grampa Del had unexpectedly burst in on the proceedings)
I knew that these brave hearts would heed the call, step up to the plate and assume the mantle of keeping rock 'n roll and the Dell itself alive.

I have noticed that quite
a few members of Denver Rinehart's Shady Dell Facebook group represent
a younger generation of Dell rats...those who made the Dell their home away from home during the 70's and 80's rather than the 50's and 60's. I suspect that there are also a good number of younger Dell rats who follow Shady Dell Music & Memories. Over the past 27 months I have blogged extensively about the doo-wop 50's, the soulful 60's, and the disco 70's. It's time for me to acknowledge the youngest members of our Dell rat family. That's why I am playing some of the music that formed the soundtrack of their youth...the songs of the hard rockin' heavy metal 80's!

Although I only set foot inside the Dell that one time during the entire 80's decade, it doesn't mean that I stopped rockin' and checked myself into an old folks home. Nobody had to twist my arm to get me to accept the music of the 80's.
I love New Wave and I love Metal - the rock category that
I chose for this salute to 80's Dell rats. In this post and the two previous I am sharing with you some of my favorite hard rock, heavy metal and glam rock anthems, and while I can't be sure how many of these songs were actually played at the Dell, I believe they capture the essence of Dell rats of
all ages. There's no way any of us are ready to roll over and play dead. We're gonna go down swingin'...we're gonna keep on rockin' coz you only rock once! These songs and videos speak to the indomitable Dell rat spirit in all of us!

"Balls to the Wall" - Accept (1984)

"Back for More" - Ratt (1984)

"Home Sweet Home" - Motley Crue (1985)

"Rock 'N' Roll Children" - Ronnie James Dio (1985)

"Tears Are Falling" - Kiss (late 1985/early 1986)

"(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (to Party)" - Beastie Boys (1986)

"Nobody's Fool" - Cinderella (1986)

"Uh! All Night" - Kiss (1986)

"You Give Love a Bad Name" - Bon Jovi (1986)

"Shot in the Dark" - Ozzy Osbourne (1986)

"Who Wants to be Lonely" - Kiss (1986)

"He's Back" (The Man Behind the Mask)" - Alice Cooper (1986)

"Don't Change That Song" - Faster Pussycat (1987)

"Girlschool" - Britny Fox (1988)

"(You Make Me) Rock Hard" - Kiss (1988)

"Wait for You" - Bonham (1989)

"Poison" - Alice Cooper (1989)

"Cradle of Love" - Billy Idol (1990)

Finally, here's an oldie but goodie for old timer Dell rats.....
one that the church lady should appreciate because it features one of her own.

"Wild Thing" (1988) - Sam Kinison with Slash (Guns N' Roses), Steven Tyler and Joe Perry (Aerosmith), Richie Sambora (Bon Jovi), Tommy Lee (Motley Crue), Billy Idol, Steve Vai (Frank Zappa Band), Dweezil Zappa and Jessica Hahn (former PTL Club church secretary)


It's safe to say that many Dell rats of the doo-wop 50's and early 60's wondered WTF? when the music of the Five Satins and Little Anthony gave way to the Doors and Jefferson Airplane. The Dell rats of late 60's steeped in classic rock pulled their hair out when disco swept the nation in the 70's. The dance oriented Dell rats of the 70's must have shuddered when Ozzy, Vince Neil, Axl Rose, Bret Michaels, Gene Simmons and Bon Jovi brought their bands to the barn. The point is that the other guy's music might seem alien and off-putting at first; but if you close your eyes and open your heart like a good Dell rat should you might find a lot to like not only in the other guy's music but in other aspects of his life as well. Give people a chance and their stuff just might become your stuff, too!

The Shady Dellegation consists of:

Dell rats of the 1940's
Dell rats of the 1950's
Dell rats of the 1960's
Dell rats of the 1970's
Dell rats of the 1980's

The Dell Rat Party is a party of inclusion...of unity, not polarization. We welcome members of all ages. We respect them and their music.

We're all in this together!
We stand united!
We're a pack and we are back!

Oh my my! You listen to the Wolfman and rock and roll yourself to death, bay-bay!

Have a Shady day!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Shady Dell The Metal Years: Part 1 - All Hell's Breakin' Loose!

Who is man enough to enter this place?
Who is bad enough?

Who is bold enough to come face to face
with the terrors inside the Dellhouse?

the ghoulies...the ghosties...the creepy crawlies...

and the Beastie Boys?

You, sir? You, madam?...

Halloween in the 1980's

"Die Young" - Black Sabbath (1980) R.I.P. Ronnie James!

By the 1980's Casper the Friendly Ghost wasn't cutting it.

The amiable apparition was superseded on movie screens by psychotic slashers and hideous mutants run amok in search of blood.

"Dream Warriors" - Dokken (scenes from the 1987 motion picture A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors starring Patricia Arquette of CBS series Medium)

Horror flicks had evolved (or perhaps devolved is more accurate) into body count gorefests.

Teenagers were at the top of the endangered species list.

"Don't Talk to Strangers" - Dio (1983)

Over-the-top fantasy violence, the life blood of horror movies, was more graphic than ever before.

There were rotting corpses, gut spills, mutilations, impalings...and that was just the cartoon!

After that feeble attempt at humor on my part you're probably ready to bolt out the door and run run run run away. Humbly
I beseech you to linger a while longer!

By the end of the 1970's, excesses and extremes that
had shocked us a decade earlier were fast becoming the accepted norm in mainstream movies and music.

When disco faded in popularity, music with a harder edge which had spent years in the shadows cultivating a strong cult following, rose up to take its place and proved that it was more than ready for prime time.

"Rebel Yell" - Billy Idol (1983)

As the 1980's unfolded...

arena rock, hard rock, new wave...

glam rock and heavy metal came on strong.

"Rainbow in the Dark" - Dio (song 1983, video 1986)

Heavy metal thunder was booming by the early 80's and the sounds and images created by genre bands were the perfect companions to hardcore horror.

"All Hell's Breakin' Loose" - Kiss (late 1983)

I wasn't there, but from what I've gathered, the Shady Dell was not immune.

At the very same spot where delicate harmonies and tender doo-wop ballads once filled the air, jukebox records were now telling tales of dirty deeds done dirt cheap on the highway to hell.

"You Shook Me All Night Long" - AC/DC (song: 1980,
video: 1986)

Tongue wagging, blood spitting, fire breathing Gene Simmons wanted to be president and the Shady Dellegation joined the Kiss Army and formed a rock solid voting block in support of the God of Thunder's candidacy!

"I Love it Loud" - Kiss (late 1982/early 1983)

"Shout" by the Isleys was long gone.

"Shout at the Devil" was the revised rat refrain.

"Looks That Kill" - Motley Crue (1983)

The Metal Age was upon us and it made sweet soul songs of the 60's seem like relics of the Stone Age.

"Photograph" - Def Leppard (1983)

This was not your great great grandfather's Shady Dell, pumpkin. Deal with it!

"Foolin'" - Def Leppard (1983)

So join me next time as senior Dell rats put their nerves to the ultimate test!

Brace yourself - there's a new breed of Ratt at the Dell!

"Round and Round" - Ratt (1984)

You're about to discover that one man's meat is another man's Poison.

Will you bang your head in ecstasy or revulsion?

Find out when we FF to 1984 and experience more of
Shady Dell: The Metal Years!

Have a Shady day!