On The Jazz
On The Jazz Newsletter: Volume 3 Issue N°4

Date: November 16, 1996
Author: Nicole Pellegrini
Download: otjv03i04.zip

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The totally unofficial A-Team electronic mail newsletter
***** Now in it's THIRD year of publication !! *****

Reflector submission address: [email protected]

Administrivia: Nicole Pellegrini
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Also use that address if you wish to change your subscription status to receive the newsletters only (or go from newsletter to news + reflector).

The A-Team Homepage: http://www.seas.upenn.edu/~pellegri/ateam.html
*The A-Team On the Web: http://www.xs4all.nl/~jmm/a-team/
*The A-Team Hawaii Page: http://www2.hawaii.edu/~kaonohi

*Home of the On the Jazz Newsletter Archives**
DATE:   November 16, 1996
Greetings again, everybody!

A good deal of information and goodies for you all this issue, so let's start with the most curious item in our
GREETINGS FROM MARLA HEASLEY: This past week I received the following wonderful greeting via email (for Marla's privacy I have blocked out her email address):
>Posted-Date: Fri, 15 Nov 1996 03:06:55 -0500 (EST)
>Date: Fri, 15 Nov 1996 03:06:25 -0500
>To: [email protected]
>Subject: A-Team
>I did not realize that there was so much elaborate effort in keeping the
>A-Team alive. I am glad to see it. I just happened to be browsing the web and
>found you.
>It was a fun show to work on. The cast and crew were wonderful to work with.
>I have many lasting fond memories.
>Keep up the good work.
>Marla Heasley (Tawnia Baker)
In a second message, Marla stated:

>Thank you for your e-mail. Please say hello to your friends and my best
>wishes to them as well.
>I would be happy to recollect some of my experiences for your newsletter. (Is
>it an A-Team newsletter)? If you would like to send me some questions, I
>would be happy to answer them or I could just give you some anecdotes. As you
>know I was only on for one season, but it was an interesting one.

If, as a Team fan, you have some greetings or comments (nice ones, please!) you would like to send Marla's way, please send them to me and I will forward them on to her, perhaps in one large email "greeting card" from us. Also, let me know if you have any questions you'd like me to ask Marla for the newsletter; I'm going to try to send a short "questionaire" her way this week.

DIRK BENEDICT SPOTTING: On Monday, November 11, Dirk hosted the Battlestar "Galactathon" on the Sci-fi channel, introducing the different episodes that were shown during the 10-hour marathon. Also related to Dirk, fX apparently aired a special edition of "Backchat" on Dirk. I did not get to see this - if anyone would be willing to lend out a tape, do a video trade for a copy, please let me know.

Also related to fX...

Thanks to everyone who voted in the "Election Day" poll on fX! We beat out the competition for favorite show with 40% of the vote. The A-Team is now airing TWICE daily on fX, although I am not sure if that is directly as a result of the voting or just good common sense on fX's part. :-)

MELINDA CULEA APPEARANCE: As mentioned last issue, Melinda appeared in the TV movie "Buried Secrets" on NBC, Monday November 4, 9 PM EST. She played the mother of the girl "possessed" by another girl's ghost, and while not the starring role she was featured prominently and did a fine job.

There is now less than a week to wait for the release of "Star Trek: First Contact" in theaters, which we know will feature Dwight as Reg Barclay in at least a small (a few minutes perhaps) appearance. No matter how small the part, I'm sure I won't be the only die-hard Dwight fan waiting in line on opening night! (Anyone else in the Philly area interested in going as well?)

Also related to Dwight, a slightly early but nevertheless heartfelt


greeting for November 24 (yes, the 24th, I've double checked this after some debate on the mailing list, and also the birthyear is 1947, so he'll be 49.)

Two great transcripts to present this week. First, thanks to Gill (and Danny) Dunn for getting the much sought-after transcript together of the recent article in "Hello" magainze on Dirk Benedict:
Dirk Benedict, a fishing rod in one hand and his six-year old son Roland at his side, saunters down the narrow forest trail to the clearing behind his log cabin above Flathead lake in Montana.

A dozen paces off in the undergrowth, a tawny buck, its antlers held high ambles through the speckled sunlight filtering through the leaves. Trout splash invitingly from the mirror-like water shimmering ahead.

Dirk, who eight years ago overcame cancer, says "I bought this cabin as a vacation escape some 20 years ago." The 51-year-old former A-Team star adds: "I knew one day I'd make this my permanent home, a place to raise my children. I feel blessed, I've managed to make my dream come true."

Well, almost. For Benedict's great adventure, he confides, has turned bittersweet. Six months after he and his wife of nine years, actress Toni Hudson, 34, and their two sons Roland and George, now eight, had sold their mansion in Los Angeles' Santa Monica and moved here, Toni said she'd had quite enough.

"Toni is a city Gal," says Dirk, a wry grin masking the sadness in his eyes. "We started out with such high hopes; the idea was to live here for ten years then head back to the city when the boys were grown."

"Toni often went back to Los Angeles after we moved here. Her visits became more frequent and she would stay longer. One day she called me at my office [a second, smaller log cabin closer to his nearest town, Big Fork], and said she was leaving. At first I thought it was just another trip. Then she said, "You don't understand. I'm leaving for good!" Dirk quips: " That kind of changed the dream a bit."

Raised in Montana - the son of an accountant - he always knew he would return one day. He left in his 20s to seek fame and fortune, and found both. First on Broadway, where he landed as an unknown actor and was teamed, incredibly, with Gloria Swanson, playing the famous actress' son in Butterflies Are Free.

Hollywood beckoned, and Dirk scored very quickly in two popular television hits - as the ace pilot and space heart-throb Lt Starbuck on Battlestar Galactica and then as Faceman on the weekly demolition derby known as The A-Team, with the late George Peppard and muscular, gold-chained Mr. T.

He met Toni during The A-Team's early years, though they waited until 1986 to marry. Once George and Roland were born, Dirk's longing to return to his native countryside grew, and two years ago, he and Toni sold up and headed north.

The actor continued to accept limited assignments from Hollywood (he co-starred, for example, with Charlton Heston in the successful, newly released adventure film Alaska directed by Heston's son Fraser.). But Toni felt cut off in the remote spot on the Canadian border where her husband had brought her.

Dirk notes that even while his wife was pregnant she had still managed to land small film roles, appearing in Sally Field's 'Places In The Heart' and a slew of horror movies including The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Says Dirk: "Her ambition was simply too strong."

His voice matter-of-fact, the actor reveals: "I didn't want to stand in her way. Nine months after Toni left we were divorced and she had remarried. I didn't know you could do it all that fast." He got through that hard time with help from best friend Dwight Schultz, his A-Team co-star.

Today, Dirk's two boys live with him and occasionally travel to LA to see their mother. Toni's new husband, Dirk discloses, is a young musician currently working as an LA waiter. "I guess you could call him a hunk," he says, his grin back.

Though he does seem to have taken the traumatic events of the past 18 months in his stride, the actor reflects: "I do miss the companionship, we enjoyed a lot of beautiful sunsets here together..."

He gestures at the postcard-like vista stretching beyond his private jetty. "It's the perfect place to raise children away from big-city violence and drugs. Heck, we only get one TV channel here, and then not very well."

"All in all, a paradise," he concludes, wondering aloud why anyone would want to live anywhere else. "We are all vegetarians here, and except for a mountain lion that's been hanging around and killed our dog, we don't have a care in the world."

Their home lies down a steep slope that needs a four-wheel-drive vehicle in winter. During the summer, however, Dirk hammers his gleaming blue Porsche 911 roadster on the paved mountain highways, noting happily, "You can't leave civilisation behind entirely."

He drops the boys off at school in Big Fork each morning and spends his own days writing at his office-cabin. He has two books to his name, the bio-graphical Confessions Of A Kamikaze Cowboy and the 1994 novel And Then We Went Fishing. He currently has a Broadway play being cast, a tongue in cheek comedy about the last starlet in Hollywood to have breast implants.

"A man can't help but be creative here, surrounded by all this beauty," he says, radiant and at peace with his lot. "They're telling me to move to New York if the play does well. Those guys obviously haven't been here!"
Our second transcript comes courtesy of Jasper, and is an older text describing the Team's infamous tour of Holland in 1984. As Jasper pointed out, "Remember that this text was of course in Dutch and that the quotes in this article were also in Dutch and translated back to English, so these are not exact."

I have also attempted to correct some of the translations to read more smoothly and accurately; in any event, it's very interesting...
--- Algemeen Dagblad, April 24 1984, page 9 -----------
Producer: they are all equally crazy

by: Henk Langerak

Hoevelaken - The A-team is hardly five minutes in the Netherlands before the heavily perspiring Lawrence Tureaud - B.A. in the series - gets very angry. "What are you saying, how dare you call me that? Lawrence Tureaud. No man, I am Mister T. and nobody is allowed calling me otherwise. I don't wanna talk to you anymore."

Tureaud arranges the fifteen kilos of chains around his neck, fumbles a bit with his colossal rings set with dozens of diamonds, and walks away,
towards his girlfriend who is standing aside, dressed in a shabby ski-jack and a pair of jeans.

The former bodyguard of boxers like Cassius Clay and Leon Spinks, pop-star Michael Jackson and actor La Var Burton (Kunta Kinte in Roots) feels deeply hurt. He is a star now, and absolutely wants to be treated like one.
Shouting like Cassius Clay in his best years, he tries to make his way through the obtrusive audience during the arrival at Schiphol (our national airport - Jasper), saying "I love you, I love you, I love you all."

Dirk Benedict, the hansome guy in the series who is called Face because of that, waves with a big cigar to the 15,000 shouting people. Dwight Schultz, the crazy Murdock, mourns about his lost cap, which was snatched from his head by the crowd. "That was my lucky cap. I was wearing it since the seriesstarted. No matter how dirty or sweaty is was." [Nicole refrains form making a comment here...]

The visit is costing the TROS (the television company broadcasting The A-team - Jasper) 100,000 guilders on plane tickets alone, because everybody has taken thier wives and kids. Hannibal (George Peppard) hasn't come, because he has other obligations in America.
Dwight Schultz is, without a doubt, the nicest of the whole bunch (12 in total), that spent the Easter weekend with wives and kids in the Netherlands. He also says that the words of his black colleague are to be taken with grain of salt. "He always has a big mouth. He says everything that comes to his mind. He cannot keep anything to himself."

Anybody else would [be fed up with it?], always having to play the fool in a TV-series. But Dwight says he really loves it. "I have been working now for 13 years without much success, and this is my big chance. I have played in a number of shows, but before you could blink I was gone. Now I finally have a leading part, I finally have some money now. I never owned a car, now I have two. I finally have an apartment with more than one room, and recently I got married. I have never been so happy."

The A-team leaves the champagne for what it is, but the wooden shoes are accepted eagerly. Then they go by limousine - in one of these, Vanessa (she can be compared a little bit with Marilyn Monroe - Jasper) is behind the wheel - towards Noordwijkerhout, for the television show.

On the way, the A-team get a little example of what chaotic scenes are awaiting them for the next few days. On every road around Schiphol cars are stopping on the hard shoulder to catch a glimpse of the Americans. A long row of cars is driving on the highway, alongside and with the same speed as the limos. People are hanging out the windows to take pictures and are suddenly hitting the brakes, almost causing a big chain collision.

FLOWERS By taking an exit at the very last moment, some of the pursuers are shaken off. The remaining persuers see how the A-team is driving past the bulb-fields, where only daffodils are still flowering. They also see how the A-team stops in Lisse at a street-organ and that for each car a flower chain is bought at a flower stand in Sassenheim.

In Noordwijkerhout it becomes clear that behind the big mouth of Mr. T. a small heart hides, because he has a big package with construction sets of A-team cars being delivered at a creche.

Somebody asks him if it is true he is supporting president Reagan for his reelection. "I support no one else but God" he replies as grumpy as before, and besides that he still doesn't talk. Also not about the contradiction between the violence in this children's series and him now acting as a childs' friend.

Producer Stephen J. Cannell, who created the idea and the characters for the series, does want to say something about that. "Everything isn't that realistic. There is gunfire and you will see stunts, but you will never see anybody get shot, and no one ever get's hurt." (not entirely true - Jasper) "It is pure fantasy and adventure. It is like a cartoon. A cartoon for real." And says Cannell, he is sure that the children can see the distinction between other violent stories. "If I wasn't sure about that, I would never have created this show. It is funny, bizarre, and one big fantasy at the same time. The main characters are equally crazy, yet very different from character and appearance. There is something for everybody. That's the fun of it."

That's why Dirk Benedict never gets tired of always having to play the hansome guy, who is always in luck with the ladies. "Are you kidding? This is a fantastic job. You can play the fantasy of someone else, every week you have a nice girl in your arms, and you even get paid for it." he says cheerfully.

On the second day, everybody is again present at the NOS television studio in Hilversum. There, Mister T. refuses to fight a small judo player, because he claims to be a peace lover. Fighting is something he only does on screen. He also refuses to lift a small boy, or to eat a salted herring (a Dutch speciality - Jasper). And only after he is urged to do so by everybody, he agrees to operate the organ, as his colleagues did.
Children want to know how come Face's hair is always dressed so neatly. "That's because my contract says, I have to be followed by someone with a comb."
A ten year old girl asks for a kiss, "But only on my cheek". And Murdock does one of his famous animal impersonations.

For the cameras Mister T. says he never felt so much friendship and warmth as here in the Netherlands, but a few minutes later he again refuses to
explain his performance. B.A. the abbreviation stands for Bad Attitude (slecht gemanierd) (I see no point in translating slecht gemanierd to bad attitude again - Jasper) is still angry.

The next day, Mister T. doesn't have time to behave bad. There's a helicopter round trip above the Netherlands scheduled, with visits to Harderwijk, Sneek, Texel, Arnemuiden, Zandvoort and Valkenswaard. Everywhere the A-team is greeted by thousands of people. People climb in trees, lampposts, and on rooftops. Nowhere was such a crowd expected. Only in Texel was it possible to get through the full welcoming program. Over there Mr. T. gets a lamb, and a car is crushed by a bulldozer. In the other places the A-team visit, it turns out in complete chaos. Police cordons are torn down as soon as the helicopter lands. The A-team gets stuck in the crowd and the visits are prematurely ended and welcoming comities were left with gifts. In one or two places it is possible do do a small round tip by car, but soon the A-team flees inside the helicopter.

In Harderwijk the milking of a cow is canceled, and in Sneek the sailing trip with a skutsje (a traditional type of sailing boat from the provence Friesland - Jasper) and in Arnemuiden the A-team doesn't make it outside the airport, causing the round trip to be canceled. In Zandvoort fences are demolished, and in Valkenswaard a giant cigar, that had to be taken for Hannibal, stays behind.

The A-team sees nothing of the old workman's crafts, and the competitions 'Who is the Mr.T look-a-like', 'Who is as crazy as Murdock', and 'Who can pick up girls as Face can' are canceled.

In Harderwijk and Sneek the on-TV-so-fearless A-team doesn't dare to stay outside the helicopter for more than five minutes. The trio withdraws with fear.

"I have played rugby, but there was never so much pushing and kicking, as today" says Dwight Schultz [Note: I know Dwight played American Football in college, I wonder if that's what that quote refers to -Nicole]. Dirk Benedict sticks with "Fantastic, overwhelming. I have never seen anything like this before." And Lawrence Tureaud, Mister T. according to his passport, still doesn't say much. He only says "Wow, too much".
TAPES WANTED: Lorrie Roussin is looking for tapes of the A-Team from anyone who might be willing to help her out. Please contact her privately if you can supply copies.
Last issue's questoin was:
>In "Where is the Monster When You Need Him?" what was the stage
>name Face took for his starring role in the movie?

This one was much too easy! Everyone was sending in correct responses, but the first 2 came from Nicole ([email protected]) and Rhonda ([email protected])
who knew the answer was "Lake Charles".

This time, hopefully a tougher one:
>What was the name of Tawnia's fiance in "Bend in the River"?
That's all for this time, as an advance warning, the next newsletter will either be a week early or a week late, depending on how ambitious I am. I will be away from November 27 through December 6, perhaps checking my mail once during that time.

Until next issue, stay on the jazz!

Quote of the week:

"When the going gets tough, the tough get aeronautical."
                                     (Murdock in "Skins")

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