A tribute to the late, great, Aaron Spelling from both myself (M) and my co-blogger (T).
A good man has shuffled off his mortal coil this week. So today is officially Aaron Spelling Tribute Day!
Next time you make a reference to Tattoo yelling at some plane, think of this man. For he was the one who put that reference in your mind. Hats off to Aaron Spelling today and flags at half mast. Our leader of campy TV and cleavage has died. No more car chases. No more gun toting chicks with their tits hanging out. No more midget asking if he was doing "okay" to his boss.
The car has broken down. The chicks have buttoned up their shirts and put their guns away. The midget has gone home.
April 22, 1923 – June 23, 2006
What to say about this man? A truly nice man who grew up telling stories so as not to get his ass beat walking home from school everyday. Sure, it's nothing that I would have done, but since he was a multi-millionare and I am just a scarred-up punk rocker. I am gonna say maybe talking instead of fighting was a better way to do this thing called life.
I don't know.
All I know is this man's motto in life was that if someone came up to talk to him he would stop and listen. 'Cause they were the ones who made him who he was. And they deserve his attention.
But anyways. Today I am gonna pay tribute to my favorite show of his.
Beverly Hills 90120
Or was it 90210….
Always got that mixed up. I loved this show. I was in college when this show started. And yes, community college is still college, thank you very much. Actually, that might not be true. But anyways, I started watching this when I was in college. Oh yeah. Party on turtle. But really. It was on at like 8 on Tuesdays. We would sit around each night and wait for the sun to come up 'til that one day of the week it came on. That damn intro song made everyone run to the fridge to grab two more beers 'cause this might be the one Donna gets some. C'mon, Donna give it up this time. C'mon. Donna. This virginity thing was overrated. C'mon, Donna. Spread those legs for David. I'm running out of beer and it looks like he is about to blow a gasket if he doesn't get some sweet lovin' soon.
Dylan. Rebel-hard and smooth. Alcoholic who had stolen the heart of Brenda. A man who lived what he spoke. When he said a man doesn't talk about his sexual conquests, I kinda had to look at myself and ask myself if I was a man. His sex might have been dull if he didn't want to talk about it. For me it was like "Hey dude! She can put her ankles behind her back!" Yeah, I'm a pig, I know. But Dylan stuck to his word. He had stopped drinking before 15. He was cool as ice. I never really understood how you could become a problem drinker before 25. I mean, I drank since 12, but I never had any realization that I had a problem til 29 or 30. He caught it right away. He had a problem. Vodka in little bottles, Brenda, and his attitude. That was what would do him in.
Brandon. Always looking on. Giving his advice of what to do right and how you did it wrong. This guy always had the answers. Like a sad parent, he would always just look on, thinking "I told you this would happen." Not the most exciting character on the show, but he was the rock. Brandon held this group together. Catfights happen and blood would be spilled, but someone has to keep their cool when the shit comes down. Where do you go and who do you look to? Brandon. The only time he would raise his voice was when he was pulling you out of your car after you were so drunk you flipped it and the gas was about to ignite the car.
All of the characters on that show had so many issues and flaws. The show was magic. Pure magic.
It was like telling you a life story. Inviting you in on their exciting lives while you couldn't be bothered to get off the sofa to get another beer. This show also had one of the greatest characters of all time in it. Joe E. Tata as Nat Bussichio! I defy any of you to tell me you didn't laugh when that name hit the screen. His last name was Tata! Oh, that was funny. Tata. He was Brandon's mentor. The man who swooped in when everything was down and offered a sentence or two while serving you apple pie. That was Nat. Did I tell you his last name was Tata?
Plus the parents in their were pretty cool, too.
All they needed was a character named Michele with a thick Long Island accent and this show would be annointed by god himself as not "Cool", but "God-Like Cool." God does that. He commands the Emmys.
An entire show about teenage sex, guns, alcohol, rebels, motorcycles, breaking and entiring, rap music, and cool haircuts.
So thank you, Aaron. That was a great show that I will always remember.
So today, if you hear about his death and think he really didn't matter? Think again. He did matter. Donna finally had sex, Tattoo pointed at the plane, and Starsky and Hutch had a really cool car, and you had a smile on his face.
Thank Aaron Spelling.
Thank you Aaron.
Geez. Aaron Spelling. Look at the list of everything he’s ever done and you can really forgive the guy for forcing Tori “Mother, May I Sleep With Danger” Spelling on all of us. I mean, this guy was responsible for the bulk of my television viewing for most of my life.
Yea, I’m into cheesy TV. Hey, we all have our guilty pleasures. At least mine doesn’t involve a girl going blind on a prairie.
I’m going over the list of everything Aaron Spelling was involved in and man, if I didn’t feel sad and humbled to begin with, this sure put me over the edge. Did you know he produced the classic tv movie Boy in the Plastic Bubble? Yeah, dude. John Travolta in a bubble. A story of survival and love in which Travolta and his girl next door ride off on a horse at the end. Sap. Cheese. Campiness. The Aaron Spelling hallmarks.
Jesus. This guy was responsible for more than half my daydreams, fantasies, and ridiculous life goals. I wanted to be a crime fighter with hair like Jill Monroe. I wanted to be as cool as Julie Barnes and as smooth as Linc Hayes. I wanted to sail on the Love Boat and find romance and exchange witty banter with the clever, hip bartender. I wanted to hang out with Huggy Bear and hmm…..no, we're gonna stop there. You really don't need to know what my version of Fantasy Island was like. Just remember that was the late '70s. I was doing a lot of drugs and I can't be held responsible for what may have transpired in my head between the time Tattoo yelled "da plane" and the time I had become a morphed version of Farrah Fawcett and Peggy Lipton, all sultry hair and big tits, yet incredibly cool and smart, and Jim Morrison was sent to my room, gift wrapped.
Spelling was a master of overdramatic cheese. His TV movies had titles like Little Ladies of the Night and One of My Wives is Missing. You could bet your last dollar that if there was a movie of the week coming on with a title like Satan's School for Girls I was canceling my evening plans to sit in front of the TV and enjoy some Aaron Spelling schlock.
S.W.A.T. Let's talk about S.W.A.T. I saw this show and thought, this is what I want to do. I want to dress in black and carry an arsenal of weapons around. We all did. So that's why we started playing S.W.A.T. at night instead of sitting in front of 7-11 making fun of hippies. We would all just scatter through backyards, chasing after each other, pretend weapons in hand. The fun wasn't really in catching anyone. It was in that one moment when you put your back up against the side of a house and held out your arm as if you were really packing and peeked stealthily around the corner, looking for a "bad guy." Yeah! Jackpot! Some kid from down the block was standing right there and you shoved the fake gun in his face and said…what? We were like 13 and 14. We weren't about to make fake gun sounds. So we did the next best thing. We just clocked each other upside the head with our hand as if it were the butt of a gun. Hell, we had no idea what S.W.A.T. people really did. We just knew that it looked really cool on tv. And we liked hitting each other in the head. Hey, it was more fun than ridiculing hippies. Because the hippies never even tried to come back at us. But the kids we played S.W.A.T. with? They would clock you right back in the head. Man, that was fun. Thank you, Aaron Spelling. Without you, I probably wouldn't have that permanent bump right at the base of my head.
Thank you, Mr. Spelling for all the campy, sexy, cheesy, sappy TV shows and movies you gave us. Without you, my teenage-years would be devoid of concussions and bizarre fantasies about what Starsky and Hutch did when the cameras weren't rolling and I wouldn't have ever wondered about simulated sex between a guy in a plastic bubble and his next door neighbor. For all you contributed to American culture, for all your hard work at ramping up the cheese factor on my tv screen, for your giving Shannon Doherty a place to show off her bitchiness and Heather Locklear a place to show off her legs, for all the lingo I picked up watching the Mod Squad and the Love Boat scenarios that played out inside my head during various acid trips, I salute you and thank you. RIP, Aaron Spelling. -M