Sunday, June 24, 2018
Cassette Tapes and Vincent Price
The England flags are flying all over the place nowadays. Apparently there's some big football game happening? (Yes, yes, I know -- the World Cup.)
I'm oblivious to pro sports in general, so this is probably all you're going to hear about it on my blog.
Let me tell you instead about my dog, because I haven't talked about her since, oh, yesterday!
Seriously, she is sound asleep down by my feet as I lie in bed typing. You know how she wakes me up at 4:30 a.m. every day, raring to go? Well, today she did not. We took a long, long walk on the Heath yesterday -- about three hours, I think. She ran and swam in the mud pond and in general had a ball, and she's been sleeping ever since, with brief breaks for scratches and food. The good news: no limping!
As we walked, we found a couple of boxes of discarded cassette tapes, which made me sad. I used to have tons of cassettes and it made me nostalgic to see these all piled together. There was some Al Green, some jazz, some Jamaican and reggae stuff. Kind of a shame, but the world moves forward, right? I didn't take any of them. I couldn't play them if I wanted to.
Last night I rented "Theatre of Blood," a 1973 movie starring Vincent Price and Diana Rigg. It's about a hammy actor who seeks revenge on the London theater critics that he believes have not given him his due, and it's not nearly as gory as it sounds, at least not by modern standards. Part of the movie was filmed at the school where I work, though it looks different these days, and there are lots of other interesting shots of old London -- like the Putney Hippodrome, which was used in the filming and then demolished. It's been gone for more than 40 years.
Coincidentally, a much younger Price was also in "Laura," the film noir I rented a few nights ago.
I actually met Price once, when I was a cub reporter in 1989. He came to the Florida town where I worked to shoot a promotional video for a new 3-D camera, having starred decades before in some famous old 3-D movies. Here's my article, which you can click to enlarge and read, if you are so inclined:
Price was 77 years old then, and to me -- a callow 22-year-old -- he seemed a million. I remember him moving about and delivering his lines a bit slowly and stiffly. My friends at the time joked, with the cavalier cruelty of the young, that this was the day Vincent Price drooled on me -- but to be fair, I don't think there was any actual drool. I only got one quote out of him, about the weather. No Pulitzer for me!
(And whatever happened to that camera, I wonder? Seems like 3-D photography never quite took off. There are some on eBay, for fans of obscure camera technology.)