Yes, that is Spock in the headphones. The year was 1979. These are some of my LPs, themed compilations, and the like.


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Monday, June 2, 2014

Spy Memories

"Long have I traveled in the thrift shops dark,
In quest of who knows what to thrill my brain --
Some music that might bring a mem'ried spark,
Some tune to make my childhood sing again ...."

These are the first lines of a never-to-be completed rewriting of John Keats' "On First Looking into Chapman's Homer."

It sums up the thrift-store wanderings of my early twenties.  I came across many interesting LPs, and many more that were crappy either in production or performance.

But when I came across the works of Roland Shaw around 1983, I struck gold!

The arrangements, in some cases, aren't that close to what you consider "the originals" -- for instance, "The Man from U.N.C.L.E." is bold and brassy, in 4/4 time, and sounds as if modeled after the fine arrangement of "Thunderball" heard elsewhere on this record.

But the "I Spy" and "The Avengers" themes are magnifique.

In the mid 1980s, I worked the overnight shift in a convenience store that went from a small cinder-block building to a full-size 7-11 type.  Part of this process involved the amputation of one half of the small building (about 20 x 40 feet to begin with) to make room for the new construction.  But we stayed in business, the missing north end of the building covered with plywood.

Man, it got cold in there, in December in Oklahoma!  The owners at least provided a propane heater -- those ones that look like an old-fashioned Electrolux vacuum cleaner.  With this thing, you either had melting heat and a jet-plane roar, or silence and quickly dropping temperatures.

Such was the milieu during which I came to love this album.  You see, I had a cassette boombox that I took to work each night, along with a supply of cassettes.  I had this record dubbed onto cassette and it was one of the many I listened to during this winter of my discomfort.

I have a crystalline memory of Track 3 playing in the background as I looked through the half-building's service window into the night.  This record was a fine companion to the chill nights.

1)    The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
2)    Mr. Kiss-Kiss Bang-Bang
3)    The Spy Who Came in from the Cold
4)    Goldfinger
5)    The Ipcress File
6)    The Saint
7)    Thunderball
8)    The Avengers
9)    From Russia with Love
10)    I Spy
11)    Our Man Flint
12)    The James Bond Theme

Etch your own memories!

See ya!



  1. Hey Mark, nice to 'see' ya, glad to know your blog is still up and around!

    Spies? We LOVE Spies!

    Thanks for this :)

    1. Up and around and a new post every Monday and every Thursday.