Only Women Bleed

Just what was Alice Cooper talking about?

Every time I heard Alice Cooper’s 1975 song “Only Women Bleed” on the radio, I would get pissed off. I loved Cooper growing up in the 80s—my aunt had all of his records—but this song made me confused. As a young child, I knew that both boys and girls could bleed; as a teen, I wondered if this was some weird tribute to the menstrual cycle. After all, Cooper’s shock tactics were pretty much the core of his performance.

When I could finally listen to all of the lyrics, I began to understand that the song was about an abusive relationship. It mentions how a man slaps a woman once in a while as she feeds him, needs him, and begs him. I still don’t think I could actually call it a feminist song, or even a sympathetic one.I do believe that Cooper is trying to say that only women bleed in a certain way—perhaps by the heart—which is, of course, false, since many men are abused in relationships (both gay and straight ones; I’ve known both) and many men are raped as well, if that’s what he’s alluding to. I also don’t like many of the things the song seems to suggest.

Sure, men make our hair turn gray sometimes, and they certainly have the power in this patriarchy—but so many of the lyrics bother me. For example, the fact that the woman cries too often at night when her husband comes home—what wouldn’t be too often? And why is he her life’s mistake—as if his actions are her fault, somehow?

The line that he slaps you around once in a while sounds way too flippant to be an empathetic one to me (especially when, in a moment, the black eyes are not only once in a while but all of the time), and the line about being on your knees begging, “Please come/Watch me bleed…” What the hell is that supposed to mean? Using sex as a coping device, begging to stop, what? I just don’t fully understand it, and I don’t get a kindred feeling from it at all.

In my attempting to understand the song, I’ve run across many hostile comments from men about how feminist “misinterpret” the song “like they do everything else,” but I think they don’t understand why women don’t enjoy the song. As a ballad used to raise awareness about domestic violence, it just doesn’t feel that compassionate; it doesn’t resonate with women. Instead, there are parts that feel almost like victim-blaming—and definitely other parts that seem contradictory—and what woman, abused or not, enjoys that?


70s TV Stars reunite for March of Dimes

Years ago they were on our TV sets each week, playing a young, straight laced CHP officer and his often exasperated sergeant. This week they were together again to raise money for the 

March of Dimes. “CHiPs” star Larry Wilcox and his co-star Robert Pine were members of a team headed by local philanthropist Tom Schibusch who participated in the March of Dimes’ March for Babies in Victorville, CA.

Wilcox, 64, and Pine,70, were joined by the CHP and North South Machinery at the event. The March for Babies raises money and awareness to help premature and sick babies and help women have healthy pregnancies.

“North South believes that trust and integrity begin with establishing longevity in the community by walking the talk!” said Wilcox, who played Jon Baker opposite Erik Estrada’s Frank Poncherello in the long running hit show, which ran on NBC from 1977 to 1983.

Over seven million people will participate in March for Babies events across the country. Over 900 communities host these events, which have been held every year for the past 42 years and have raised over $2 billion to help the March of Dimes to work toward it’s goal of making every pregnancy and baby a healthy one.

Wilcox and Pine will reunite again along with most of their fellow cast members in Los Angeles this September. They’ll gather to celebrate the 35th anniversary of “CHiPs”s premiere on NBC.  For more information, visit To find a March for Babies event near you, visit

70s TV Flashback


I recently came across a collection of 70s commercials on YouTube. It was a fun trip down memory lane. Anyone who was 

around in the 70s probably remembers classics like “Be a Pepper! Drink Dr. Pepper!” and the iconic Coke commercial “I’d like to buy the world a Coke…” Then of course there were the commercials we grew up watching on Saturday mornings, like Kool-Aid, Count Chocula and Tang. I was just a child in the 70s, but I remember them well and I quite enjoyed all the memories and feelings they brought back.

I bet there are some jingles from commercials back then that you can still sing every word to. It’s funny how we find today’s commercials annoying, but can look back at commercials from the past and enjoy them. I particularly enjoy old TV promos. Remember the days when each network had its own slogan (such as NB See Us Now! for NBC) and little presentations to promote each season’s TV shows.

TV was so much more fun back then! Watching the commercials for the shows I watched and loved back then really made me feel nostalgic and a bit wistful. It also left me appreciating the variety and creativity of 70s TV. These days it’s all reality shows or gory crime shows. Not much else to chose from on primetime TV anymore!

Head on over to YouTube and take your own walk down memory lane. What were your favorite commercials and shows? Come back and leave a comment to share your favorite memories with us! 


Cast of "CHiPs" To Reunite

The cast of the iconic 70’s TV series “CHiPs”, the show that introduced the world to Erik Estrada and a young actor named 

Michael Dorn who went on to stardom as Worf in “Star Trek: The Next Generation” and “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine”, will reunite this fall in Los Angeles to celebrate the show’s 35th anniversary. So far Larry Wilcox (Jon Baker), Robert Pine (Joe Getraer), Brodie Greer (Barry Baricza) Lew Saunders (Gene Fritz), Lou Wagner (Harlan Arliss), Paul Linke (Artie Grossman) and Bruce Penhall (Bruce Nelson) are scheduled to attend along with a special appearance by Randi Oakes (Bonnie Clark). They’ll gather at the Hilton Los Angeles Airport on September 15th.

Anyone over the age of 30 probably grew up with this show, either first run or through the many years it ran in syndication. Its popularity remained so high after its cancelation in 1983 that a reunion movie was produced by TNT in 1998. It brought most of the cast back together and garnered high ratings. Since then the first two seasons have been released on DVD and Warner Brothers claims to be working on a big screen version to star Wilmer Valderrama as Ponch. The studio has been rather tightlipped about it and as of yet no release date has been scheduled.

Fans are welcome to attend the celebration. Tickets are $60 for adults and $25 for children and a special hotel rate is also available. You can find more info at the event’s official website,

What other 70's shows would you like to see reunions for? I personally would love to see the surviving cast of "Barney Miller" reunite as well as the casts of "M*A*S*H" and "Emergency!".  Leave comment and tell me your favorites! 

The Love Boat's Last Hurrah....

The Love Boat is no longer “exciting and new”,  in fact it’s sailed on its last cruise. According to an Italian newspaper, the

 iconic “Pacific Princess” which sailed week after week for 10 seasons on the hit TV series “The Love Boat”,  is headed for the scrapyard. It was commissioned in 1971 and was actively used by Princess Cruises until 2002 when it was sold to another cruise line.

“The Love Boat” rejuvenated what was at the time an ailing cruise industry with it’s portrayals of fun and romantic cruises filled with beautiful scenery and a friendly and mischievous crew played by Gavin MacLeod (also well known as Murray from “The Mary Tyler Moore Show”) , Fred Grandy (who went on to become a popular congressman), Lauren Tewes, Ted Lange and Bernie Kopell (also well known for his roles on “That Girl” and “Get Smart”.  In fact the cast became so endearing that stories surfaced of tourists who arrived for their cruise and were unhappy to find the real crew of their real cruise ships actually spent their time working rather than frolicking with guests!

“The Love Boat” was one of many iconic Aaron Spelling shows of the 70’s and 80’s. Go on, I know you had a crush on Gopher, admit it! People tuned in each week to see who would be among the many guest stars, which were a wonderful mix of old Hollywood, current heartthrobs, and pop favorites like Donny Osmond. It was a TV junkie’s heaven!

So long Pacific Princess, and thanks for the memories! 

RIP Davy Jones

Yes, the Monkees had their heyday in the 60’s, but millions of us who were children of the 70’s have fond memories of 

watching the show in reruns, and still more fell in love with their crazy, yet enduring antics when MTV began showing reruns in the 80’s. Let’s not forget his appearance on The Brady Bunch either! Marcia was the president of the Davy Jones fan club and he paid her a special visit. Remember that?

Davy left us last week at the age of 66-far too soon. He leaves behind a legacy of great music, humor and pop culture iconism. A young, unknown singer had to change his name because Jones shared it. The new name he picked? David Bowie. It’s said that Guns and Roses’ lead singer Axel Rose stole Jones’ trademark side to side shuffle dance, and the song “Daydream Believer” will always be associated with him. He was a teen heartthrob to many, something he frequently acknowledged in concert with the once witty and now eerie quip, “I used to be a heartthrob, now I’m a coronary!” Jones died of a massive heart attack near his home in Florida. His death has left bandmates and friends Micky Dolenz, Peter Tork and Michael Nesmith in shock. All three took to their Facebook pages to post beautiful, elequoent eulogies to their friend.

Davy will be missed by the generations that grew up with him and the Monkees, and pop music will never quite be the same. Godspeed, Davy. 

Popular 70's TV Show Celebrates 35 Years

In 1977, a new TV series premiered on NBC.  It showcased the adventures of two young, handsome California Highway Patrol 

motorcycle officers. Created by Rick Rosner, it was intended to be a different kind of cop show.  Jon Baker and Frank “Ponch” Poncherello never pulled their guns and violence, aside from spectacular car crashes, was rare. Even when a car crash was featured, injuries weren’t often serious and when deaths occurred, they were kept off screen. Instead the show featured sunny California beaches, pretty girls, nice cars, a healthy dose of humor, and of course, the Kawasaki police bikes they rode. After slow start, the show became a hit and gained a loyal following of young viewers.

“CHiPs” wasn’t without its share of controversy though. In 1979 star Erik Estrada was seriously injured in an on-set crash, and he and co-star Larry Wilcox were not the best of friends. Then, in 1981 at the start of the show’s 5th season, in the midst of a feud with the studio over syndication royalties, Estrada walked off the set. He was replaced by Olympic gold medalist and future Kardashian stepfather Bruce Jenner. While he fit in well with the cast and his character, Officer Steve MacLeish, was fairly popular with fans, ratings took a mild dip and the studio gave into Estrada’s demands. He returned midway through the season and Jenner’s character simply disappeared.

Season 6 brought major changes to the show as Larry Wilcox, tired of studio politics and the tension with Estrada, quit. Series regulars Randi Oakes, Brodie Greer and Michael Dorn (who went on to fame as Star Trek: The Next Generation’s Lt. Worf) also did not return and the show’s entire writing staff was replaced. The changes were largely due to cost-cutting demands from the studio, and the result was a series that seemed completely alien to many fans. Wilcox’s replacement, unknown actor Tom Reilly, wasn’t widely accepted by fans and his arrest midway through the season lead to tension between him and Estrada. Reilly was quickly delegated to the background and paired up with Tina Gayle, a former Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader who was cast as Officer Kathy Linahan, the station’s new female motor officer. Clarence Gilyard Jr. (who is best known for his starring roles on “Matlock” and “Walker: Texas Ranger”) also joined the cast. Reilly was replaced by motorcycle racing champion Bruce Penhall.

The changes proved to be too much and the show was canceled. Despite that, it remained popular in syndication and stayed there, largely in part due to Turner Entertainment, for nearly 20 years and can still be seen in syndication in other countries.

In 1998 the cast reunited for “CHiPs 99” a reunion movie that brought Jon and Ponch back together. This time there was no tension between Wilcox and Estrada and the cast enjoyed filming. Despite some uninspired casting, poor writing and glaring continuity errors, including one that pretty much erased the 6th season, the TV movie was popular with fans.  Several more were planned but later those plans were dropped.

Today, thanks to the wonders of the internet,”CHiPs” continues to enjoy a loyal following, and in September the cast will reunite in Los Angeles with fans to celebrate the 35th Anniversary of the series’ premiere. For more information, visit the event’s official website

A Talk With Robert Pine

This September, the popular 70's crime drama will celebrate its 35th anniversary. 35 years ago, on September 15th, 1977, the

 show premiered. To commemorate, let's take a look back to an interview I did with Robert Pine (yes, as a matter of fact he is Chris Pine's dad!) for the show's 30th Anniversary in 2007:


On September 15, 1977, NBC premiered a new show called “CHiPs”. It’s premise was simple enough: two handsome young California Highway Patrol officers patrol the freeways of 1970’s Los Angeles, catching the bad guys and getting the girls. Throw in some spectacular car crashes and you have a hit! CHiPs ran for 6 seasons and made Erik Estrada THE heartthrob of the 70’s. I recently had the chance to talk to one of the show’s stars, Robert Pine (Sgt Joe Getraer). 

September will mark 30 years since CHiPs premiered. How do you feel about that? Does it seem that long? Have you seen any of the episodes since the show ended?

The fact that it has been 30 years since we started CHiPs (1977) seems impossible. Unfortunately, the calendar doesn’t lie and I am just that much older. That is what is most difficult to accept. Fortunately, I am enjoying great health and seem to be as busy as I was then.

The first season was just released on DVD, introducing a whole new generation to the show. Erik Estrada contributed commentary to several episodes. Have you been asked to do the same for the second season? If not would you if asked?

I have not been asked to contribute commentary for the second year DVD but would love to do it. The problem is always compensation. Warner Bros., who owns the rights to the show and is releasing the DVDs, does not want to pay us to do this. I know this is sometimes hard for the fans to understand but this is how actors make a living and to the studios, whether it’s Warners or any of the others who release their videos to DVD, that is found money and it is only fair that they share some of the profits if we are going to create new material for release. They don’t even send a complementary copy to the actors. As you might be concluding here I have very strong feelings about this because I would like very much to add my presence to these DVDs. I would hope that they would include the entire core cast to comment on the show. I know the fans would really like that. But this is a huge conglomerate that is only looking to the bottom line and figures that you are going to buy it whether we are on it or not. They also figure that Erik is the only one that the audience wants really to hear from and they might very well be correct. He was our biggest draw. Having said all that, who knows. Things change. They may have a change of heart. I hope so.

There is currently a CHiPs motion picture in production. Would you appear in it if asked? How do you feel about another actor portraying your character?

I certainly would consider a role in the new motion picture of CHiPs. However, I have a feeling that will not happen. Again, they may ask Erik and/or Larry but they don’t want to overload the story with us. They want to tell a new story and give the new actors a chance to establish their characters and if we are there the temptation to compare is too great. I am sure if the movie does well at the box office they might consider reviving the series with the new cast. And as far as someone playing my part, I will be very curious to see their interpretation and will be in the front row cheering them on, cheering all of them on. I think we all feel that it was a good show that we are proud of and grateful to be associated with and would love to see someone carry on the franchise and enjoy the ride like we had.

You played tough but fair Sergeant Getraer. How did you feel about your character? Did you enjoy playing him? How much input did you have into the character’s development?

I loved playing Joe Getraer. I think he was the moral center of the show. My character always brought the boys back to the straight and narrow. I was the parental figure on the show. I was a good foil for Ponch & Jon. If they messed up they had to answer to Getraer. As for my input on the character, the producers and writers were always open to ideas. Mostly they threw some things into the early scripts and saw what was effective and wrote to those qualities. We had wonderful staff writers who were very sensitive to all our characters idiosyncrasies and, I thought, served all of us very well.

Your wife played your character’s wife in several episodes. How did that come to be and did you enjoy working together?

Gwynne Gilford, my real wife of almost 38 years, did play Betty Getraer for about 6 shows. I loved working with her. I’m just sorry that they couldn’t work her character in more. But one had to always remember that this was a show about Ponch & Jon not about the rest of us. Oh, it was about the rest of us but as we weaved in and out of their lives. And that is the way it should have been. I represented an older, more stodgy demographic and our show was aimed at the youth culture which I think was very successful.

The 6th season brought many dramatic changes to show, namely the loss of a great deal of the cast including Larry Wilcox. How did you and the remaining cast feel about those changes?

In the sixth season, Larry left, as did Randi and Michael Dorn and maybe some others. I have forgotten. The new cast members were all nice people but some of us could see the writing on the wall that our show was losing steam fast but not for lack of trying. MGM and NBC brought in a new producer, new writers with instructions to have more “fun” with the scripts. The result was some pretty silly shows that I was never very fond of and I think our core audience agreed evidenced by our numbers (Neilson) falling off precipitously. And that is always a recipe for disaster. Everyone gave it their all but it was a lost cause.

Do you keep in touch with any of your fellow castmates?

I don’t see Larry or Erik very much at all. I saw Larry last fall and I can’t remember the last time I saw Erik. The one I see the most is Paul Linke (Grossie). He and I have remained close friends ever since the show ended. He is a terrific guy and a very talented stage director especially in the one-man show format. I also manage to see Lou Wagner (Harlin) at least once a year at a New Year’s Day party he hosts at his house. Also a wonderful guy. I used to play tennis about twice a week with Michael Dorn (Turner) a few years back but I hurt my shoulder and had to scale back but we manage to have lunch every so often. Brodie Greer (Baricsa) has sort of dropped off my radar screen but because you have reminded me, I am going to track him down for an update. Those four guys were my pals on the show and remain so.

Your son Chris is a terrific actor and a rising star. Did you encourage him to get into acting?

You never encourage your children to attempt this business. It can be just too painful and heart breaking. But if they show a will and will not be denied, you do a 180 and give them all the support and encouragement you can. And I am delighted with the success Chris is having. He deserves it. He is a fierce worker and is always prepared for whatever comes his way. He’s also incredibly talented which doesn’t hurt. He’s off to a flying start and I think he will do very well. His Mom and I couldn’t be more proud of him. Did I also say he’s great guy? Well, he is!

What was it like reuniting with the cast for CHiPs 99?

We had a terrific time when we did CHiPs 99. Just sorry more of the cast couldn’t be with us. The movie did very well and we thought we would be doing more but TNT which owned the rights to CHiPs at the time wanted to go in a different direction with their in house productions. It would have been fun to do some more of them. As they say, that’s show business!

Finally, you’ve continued to act all these years. What are you working on now?

I have been rather busy of late, I am happy to say. This past spring I was in Connecticut doing a play for six weeks entitled, Viagara Falls. It was great fun and I will probably go out with it again this fall. We haven’t worked out the details yet. I finish a movie, Small Town Saturday Night, tomorrow where I play Chris’ Dad. How’s that for type casting and nepotism! I have a day on a Samuel Jackson film next week, Lakeview Terrace, and later in August start a film, No Man’s Land. So I am very grateful to be working. I seem to be avoiding the ageism in Hollywood they talk about.

Thanks so much Robert!


Barney Miller: The Complete Series DVD Set

If you’re old enough to remember the joys of 70’s and 80’s TV, I bet you spent some time at the 12th Precinct.

 It was home to Wojo, Fish, Harris, Chano, Yemana, Deitrich, Levitt, Barney, and a host of quirky, funny, and at times heart tugging characters from around the neighborhood.  I’m speaking of course, of the critically acclaimed and brilliant “Barney Miller”, the ABC sitcom that ran from 1975 until 1982.  Set in a NYPD police station, there was nothing quite like it and there will probably never be. Although it was billed as a sitcom and was one of the funniest television shows in the history of TV, it had the feel of a live program from the 1950’s. Not unlike “The Honeymooners”, “Barney Miller” took place in one room, which in this case was the Squad Room. Barney’s office was attached, but only rarely did we see the world outside. In its 8 year run less than a dozen episodes featured locations outside the precinct. Yet it still worked, and worked in a way that was nothing short of legendary. As funny as the show was, it also had its share of dramatic, thought provoking moments and scenes that will bring a tear to your eye. More on that in a future post!

The writing was as close to perfection as TV writing will ever get, and the actors had a chemistry that I don’t think any other series has ever matched. The series creator, Danny Arnold worked magic. The fact it had some of the most talented actors on TV, including the iconic Abe Vigoda (who by the way is still going strong at age 90), Firefly’s Ron Glass, the wonderful James Gregory, the late great Jack Soo, and Steve Landesberg, and more. This set is a must have!

Not old enough to remember it? Get it anyway. The show stands the test of time and is as funny and relevant as ever. If you want to experience true must see TV, check out Barney Miller.

For the show’s loyal fans, this box set was a long time coming. Sony,who owns the series, managed to anger them by releasing Season 1, waiting 5 years to release Season 2 and 3, and then turning its back on the series. However this set was well worth the wait and frustration. You get all 8 seasons, plus the first season of the spin-off series “Fish”. Extras include commentary from the writers, the rarely seen pilot “The Life and Times of Barney Miller”, two hour long documentaries featuring interviews with Hal Linden, Max Gail, Abe Vigoda, and the late Steve Landesberg, a 40 page commemorative booklet, and a sneak peek of the upcoming Jack Soo documentary, “You Don’t Know Jack”.

This set is a joy for fans and lovers of 70s TV. It’s available on Amazon for $87.99 and worth every penny!

70s Hits Offer a Wider Range Than Today’s Chart Toppers

When you look at a list of Billboard’s Top 100 these days, it usually features a bunch of pop hits that sound very much alike. The same names, the same beats, the same everything; it’s like an ice cream shop with a few smatterings of toppings and one flavor. That’s not an ice cream shop that I would frequent, unless it was my favorite flavor!

Sure, you’ll have an occasional variation like Adele, but for the most part, it’s same old same old—and if you work in retail where these songs are played on a loop, you are probably violently sick of them all (except when November rolls around and all you hear are Christmas carols, of course).

If you visit the top songs of the 70s, however, you’ll notice a staggering variety of music. You will find super hard songs that you can bang your head to, like The Who’s “Won’t Get Fooled Again” or Black Sabbath’s “Paranoid.” Then again, there’s easy listening choices, from Rod Stewart’s toe-tapping “Maggie May” to Carole King’s “It’s Too Late.” There are soulful songs that tear at your heart, like “Lean on Me” by Bill Withers, or spiritual hits like “My Sweet Lord,” by George Harrison. You’ve got disco hits (“Dancing Queen”), you’ve got philosophical ballads made even more esoteric when high (“Comfortably Numb”), songs we use at funerals (“Goodbye Yellow Brick Road”) to weddings (“Sweet Home Alabama” is played at every Midwestern wedding I have ever attended).

Forget a repeating loop of Gaga, Beyonce, and Maroon 5 (all fine artists, for sure—just not with a lot of variation)—if you put a seventies hit station on for the day, you are going to hear so many real distinct genres (rather than bands claiming they are breaking genre boundaries) and vocal talents that you’ll never get bored. Seventies stations on Pandora and Music Choice are always my favorites, because they are the ones that are least likely to feature songs that royally suck. They are also the stations most likely to avoid repeat songs and artists.

So if you are looking for something with a wide range of songs and singers to liven up your party (or just your daily routine), a seventies playlist is definitely a good choice. No matter how random it is, or from which year or years throughout the decade, it’s bound to be fun—not to mention the opposite of annoying, which so many stations are these days.