On The Jazz
On The Jazz Newsletter: Volume 2 Issue N°3

Date: November 2, 1995
Author: Nicole Pellegrini
Download: otjv02i03.zip

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The A-Team Homepage(s):
DATE: November 2, 1995
Greetings everyone!!

Well, now that I've recovered (mostly) from my 10-hour delayed cross-country flight, one midterm, grading 4 sets of homework sets, and a 24-hour flu attack, I think I can finally pull together my
I will try to remember all important details that us A-Team fans would care about but of course I'm sure I will forget some stuff. Liz, who was there with me, can I'm sure correct any mistakes I've made or fill in any missing information. This is going to be a long one, folks...

First off, a few remarks on the con in general. On the plus side, I had a great time meeting people there, including several A-Team fans. All 50 flyers I printed out for On the Jazz and my Plans Scams & Vans zine were gone by the third day of the con, so interest in our guys is still definitely strong. And of course, it was great seeing Dwight in person again!

On the minus side, Dirk was a no-show, along with about 70% of the other supposedly "confirmed" con guests. At least Dirk had a fair excuse in that he was in Alaska reshooting scenes for his upcoming movie. The rest of the no-shows and the disappointing way most of the con was run was the fault of none other than the con organizers and in some cases the guests' agents, who seemed to be hassling some of the photograph dealers and getting into ego-fights with the con people. In all honesty I can say I most likely wouldn't go to another con put on by Rainy Daze Productions or held at the Universal City Hilton (especially after hearing all the stories about how they f---ed up the Galactica con held there two years ago...you'd think they would have learned by now!)

But that said, I'll move on to the more interesting & important matters. The con started with a bang Friday afternoon, as we arrived just in time (literally, with about 20 minutes to spare) for Dwight's Question & Answer panel, which he was doing with Robert O'Reilly from Star Trek (Gowran on TNG and DS9). They made quite a pair for the panel, I'll certainly say that much. Getting off to an amusing start, Dwight started heading up to the stage before the panel "host" finished his introduction. When the host started scolding Dwight, he went and, out of embarassment, hid (as best as he could) behind a skinny potted tree that happened to be right next to the stage in the ballroom. After much cajoling from the audience he finally went back on stage, dragging the poor tree with him to hide behind until he finally sat down.

After taking a seat next to Robert, they immediately jumped into what sounded like a rather heated conversation in Klingon (at least I think it was Klingon, I'm not an expert on these matters). Finally calming down a bit they both said hello and introduced themselves in barely audible, nerdy-voices, proclaiming "This is really our normal speaking voices, we have people come in and dub our voices on the show for us." The silliness continued for several more minutes with Robert doing a Frank Sinatra impersonation, among other things, before the Q&A session actually began. Some of the highlights from questions asked of Dwight were:

With all the joking about voices and impersonations, someone mentioned seeing TAT and ST dubbed in German, and what did he (and Robert) think of it. Dwight said he had seen himself dubbed into Japanese(!), which launched another great routine with Dwight "speaking" while Robert provided the Japanese translation. He commmented as well on how it was interesting to see how someone else would interpret the lines he was speaking.

There was a question about a topic that has been discussed here in the past about the possibility of an A-Team reunion movie being made. He said there had been some discussion of a TAT movie but most likely involving a new set of actors (God, I *hope* not!), but that producers generally like to wait 10 years for such movies so they can recast it. He did reveal that early on in the show's run, during the second season, there had been talk (I don't remember if it was the actors pushing for this or Cannell or all of them) of filming a "finale" episode right then & there, secretly, while the show was at its peak. It would have to be a movie, Dwight explained, done in true over-the-top-A-Team style, "With each one of us going down one by one, the last one still standing being Hannibal." Who always, Dwight pointed out, had to have the biggest gun of all of them on the show :-). When commenting on the difficulty now of doing a reunion movie without George, the questioner brought up the same possibility that had been mentioned right here, of the movie revolving around the rest of the guys avenging the Colonel's death. Dwight considered this and agreed it was a possibility, and didn't seem too adverse to doing such a movie one of these days. So who knows...

About George, someone asked about whether he had remained in contact with the other team members since the end of the show. He said he had stayed in touch with George up until George first went into the hospital, after which he became very reclusive. I don't remember exactly but I think he said he had not seen Dirk much, and T not at all. Although, he said, occaisionally one of T's "associates" will approach him and tell him that T sends his regards. (All the more reason, I say, that one of these days we *have* to get these guys together again for a real A-Team convention!)

He repeated the story he told at ShoreLeave 17 about how he initially got the part of Barclay on ST:TNG, and then was asked, in reference to Barclay's recent appearance on Voyager, "Who slapped who harder?" referring to the one scene between himself and Robert Picardo. Dwight admitted the slaps had been completely improvised, and it was only under the rather firm insistance of Robert that the producers left the scene in. However, perhaps as punishment, they used the very first shot with Dwight slapping Robert but had them re-shoot Robert slapping Dwight about 10 times. And, definitely, Robert slapped harder.

Dwight was asked several times about his interest and opinions on UFOs and how he got involved in it in the first place. He said it started when he was just 11 years old, watching a television interview with one Air Force Major Donald Keyhoe about UFOs and secret government documents that, when the interviewer veered away from the pre-approved list of questions, the interview was immediately stopped short. (If you go back to the interview with Dwight that I transcribed this summer from UFO magazine I think there's some more information on this incident in there). He said it just left him wondering why someone would be so concerned about keeping such information from the general public. All the talk about UFOs and UFO theory-debunkers gave him an excuse to launch into his Carl Sagan impersonation, which was very funny.

Definitely one of the most hilarious moments during the session involved a question about the differences that he has noticed between American and European fans that he has met at conventions. He described the European fans as being much "friendlier," and gave a demonstration of what he meant by that using Robert's assistance. Standing up, he had Robert face the wall, and explained that when an American fan comes up to get a picture taken with him, generally they just get "friendly" enough to perhaps put an arm across him back, resting a hand lightly on his shoulder. European fans (women in particular, I assume), are a little more direct...tending to let their hand rest quite a bit lower. Well, anyway, there ought to be some interesting pictures floating about after this con of Dwight giving Robert O'Reilly's butt a good squeeze and cracking the whole audience up.

I think that covers most of what went on during the hour-long session, besides several questions to Robert about Trek. Because the two of them were interacting so well on stage, someone asked if they knew each other well before, and they didn't, except perhaps for a few meetings on plane trips and alike. When asked in parting what Dwight was going to be doing that evening, he said he was going to be busy making his daughter's Halloween costume.

After that session and the following Galactica panel was over, it was time to hit the autograph line (which, all weekend, was a disaster all onto itself which I won't even begin to go into unless someone really wants to hear it...) Anyway, it was a chance to say hello to Dwight, with best wishes from the Golfball Liberation Front, dressed in my mostly-but-not-quite-complete Murdock outfit (the rest was in my suitcase in hotel storage at the moment) and get some stuff autographed. Liz had brought her copy of PS&V with her to show Dwight, in particular the article on "101 Ways to Break out of the V.A. Hospital," and he genuinely seemed impressed with it. I asked if, by any chance, he would like a copy (as I had conveniently brought along several hoping to sell them), and he said yes, so in the following morning's autograph session I gave him one, which he was quite happy to receive, which certainly made this editor quite happy as well!

As far as other con related business...the dealer's room was not overwhelmingly impressive but it did have a number of A-Team items for sale. (Of course, Liz and I were completely helpfull and courteous in deciding who got what, ahem... :-) Liz managed to snag a lovely A-Team poster and a complete set of TAT books, 1-6, from the U.S. printing (no other copies there, sad to say...). I managed to find an A-Team British Annual book from 1986, which I've seen in catalogs for up to $60 here for only $8, far too many lovely photos which I will scan in for the web page, and even several out-of-print A-Team fanzines I have been looking for, including Closed For Remodeling issues #1 & #2.

The real treat for this A-Team fan came Sunday, when I managed to hook up with a *serious* A-Team fan & collector who had seen my flyer the day before. I spent several hours sitting in a little corner of the hotel lobby digging through her binders of incredible photos and newsclippings related to the team, and in particular George Peppard, who she actually knew personally (along with Dirk Benedict, who she had some beautiful photos of that she'd taken herself while he was playing in a basketball game.) I'll hopefully be getting copies of lots of these photos and articles in the future. I also bought some great A-Team merchandise off her, including an A-Team "M-16 replica" toy complete with firing noises. She had much more merchandise for sale than she brought with her, and promised to send me a complete "for sale" list in the future that I could pass along to the group here as she does not have internet access.

I also got a copy of an A-Team novella 'zine she published a few years back called "Nightmare." What I've read of it so far is amazingly good, if you want to read a very serious A-Team story, set during the 5th season, wherein Hannibal is captured by an old nemesis during a suicide mission for Stockwell in Vietnam. When I finish it I will post a more complete review and information on how you can order a copy from her.

All in all, it was definitely a rewarding trip. While digging through all this A-Team stuff in the hallway as the con was running down, several people came up to us and started talking A-Team, how they had seen the flyer and wanted to get on the mailing list or get the 'zine from me. I sold every copy of the 'zine I had brought with me, and repeatedly heard how great it was to see that A-Team fandom was still going strong, and, if you ask me, headed for a real comeback one of these days.

Lastly, there was the mandatory trip up to Universal Studios to take the backlot Tram Tour and see the A-Team van for real! And, just to settle an old argument, this model, at least, has a red-not orange-stripe, and the top half was grey. What was also cool was seeing parts of the tour that had not changed since it was shown in various episodes of TAT. For instance, we actually drove through the "Parting of the Red Sea" where Hannibal faced off against Lynch in the very first episode, "Mexican Slayride." We drove past the "Jaws" lake and the Avalanche mountain, seen in "Steel," and some of the Western town set seen in "The Say Uncle Affair." It was really fun picking out these various "sets" from the show, although nothing would have been cooler than seeing the Aquamaniac or even just a Cylon or two walking by...

Well, I've been typing for over an hour so I'm sure it's time to stop. As a final word in parting, I would just like to send out a reminder about the A-Team Party I'm throwing in less than two weeks now, on Saturday, November 11th. Quite a few people had expressed interest initially in coming, and I would now just like to get a final headcount as to who's definitely planning on showing up and if you are bringing anyone with you, so I can plan on appropriate refreshment arrangements and the like. Final information on the event will be emailed out sometime this weekend from me.

Until the next issue, best wishes to everyone!

Quote of the week:

Bad Guy: "Where's the assault vehicle?"
Murdock: "You're lookin' at him!!"
                       (from "Waiting for Insane Wayne")
"I'm not somebody that you can put in a box and describe in five words. And I don't think anybody else is, as much as they try... to identify themselves and place themselves in what they believe is their station in life. I do not and refuse to have a station in life. I go from station to station." (David Bowie, 1995)

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