Totally Recalling the Zombies

August 7th, 2012 by Max Allan Collins

I am preparing to start the new Nathan Heller book, ASK NOT, which is a sequel to the forthcoming TARGET LANCER. In the weeks between novels (as you may recall I completed COMPLEX 90 shortly before leaving for San Diego Con), I tend to take care of smaller projects that have piled up. This week I’m dealing with a Dick Tracy intro, a serial novel chapter, and a radio script, among other things. Also, I’ve cleaned my office, reorganized the basement “book room” (the repository of my authors’ copies), and removed ten boxes of books from my basement library, culling and thinning, seeking room for new purchases. I also took a trip with Matt Clemens to Chicago on the Mike North project (which has stalled) and welcomed my friend Brad Schwartz and his parents into the Collins manse for a fun Sunday afternoon.

Additionally, Barb and I went into Chicago last week and saw the great British invasion band The Zombies (with key original members, singer Colin Blunstone and keyboardist Rod Argent) at the same fun nightclub, Viper’s Alley, in suburban Chicago where we saw the Vanilla Fudge a while back. The band was great, although a much more laidback act than the Fudge. Blunstone is a brilliant singer who conveys a sense of joy, even bliss, wrapped up in the songs he sings; his constant smile and his manner are sweet in the best sense. Argent as a keyboard player is clearly the best rock has to offer, and he both inspired and intimidated me. The only downside – and this happened to some degree at the Fudge concert – is the behavior of some of the Baby Boomer crowd. They get drunk and behave as if they are at a Poison concert, trying to insert themselves into the performance, whooping and standing up and making devil horns with their arthritic fingers. God save me from the inebriated, particularly the Baby Boomer inebriated.

The Zombies
Photo by Daniel Veintimilla of Creative Loafing

Barb and I have also gone to a number of movies, and of course last week I commented on the Batman movie, which the critics love and I don’t. We saw the TOTAL RECALL remake, from the director of the entertaining UNDERWORLD series, and the critics mostly hate it. Yet it’s an extremely entertaining, well-made, twisty yet largely coherent action film with some BLADE RUNNER trappings, befitting the Phillip K. Dick source material. Not a great film, TOTAL RECALL nonetheless does everything the BATMAN film tries to but actually accomplishes it. Naturally, the nerds and the critics hate TOTAL RECALL even while extolling THE DARK KNIGHT RISES as one of the greatest films of all time.

My lapse into film reviewing (a habit I have tried to kick) got Ed Gorman’s attention in this nice write-up at his great blog.

Finally, “Skin” got another good review, interestingly from a reader who had never encountered Mike Hammer before (and found the experience something of a shock!).


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4 Responses to “Totally Recalling the Zombies”

  1. The Zombies were a favorite back in my teenage days(yes I’m that old) and would love to see them. The last concert for babyboomers I saw was McCartney some years back and the crowd was actually well behaved.

    Not seen the Dark Knight. Friends seem to like it though. I don’t get out much these days because of my health, so I usually wait until these films hit DVD or On Demand on the cable system.

  2. I saw McCartney a couple of years ago into Des Moines and he was great. The crowd was well-behaved, although they stood up through most of the concert. Barb and I sat much of the time and just watched the giant TV screens. But that’s frustrating, because you don’t pay that kind of dough to watch TV. On the other hand, Viper’s Alley has excellent big screens with somebody cutting and dissolving and really doing well by the performers, so I got to watch Rod Argent’s hands in close-up as he played his fantastic organ leads. About all I have in common with those hands is that I also have fingers.

  3. Another thought:

    The last few years I attended concerts I found myself in odd circumstances. To explain, back in 1979, I was attending a Stones concert and there was a couple beside me I thought seemed a bit old to be doing that sort of thing. I should have known better as I was nearly thirty myself(probably not as mature as I thought). Those last few years of concert going I was probably ten years older than that couple.

  4. I think I wrote here once about going with Nate to a Weezer show at a ballroom in Chicago and finding myself in the midst of a mosh pit. I never knew having beautiful college girls hurl themselves at you could be unpleasant.