On The Jazz
On The Jazz Newsletter: Volume 4 Issue N°8

Date: February 23, 1998
Author: Nicole Pellegrini
Download: otjv04i08.zip

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DATE:  February 23, 1998
"Strange Days" coming soon...
Dirk in upcoming movie?
Plans Scams and Vans #5 Release Announcement!
FROM THE ARCHIVES: Dirk Benedict interview from Playgirl, 1984.

STRANGE DAYS COMING SOON...: Fans of UFOs Tonite! may have reason to celebrate, as Don Ecker recently announced plans to bring a new syndicated radio program to the airwaves, co-hosted once again by Dwight Schultz, to be called "Strange Days". Further info as we hear about it!
DIRK IN UPCOMING MOVIE? Thanks to Mary Sauers for catching this news blip and passing it along earlier this week:

>Title: African Art New Craze for the Stars
>Date: November 1997
>LOS ANGELES (November 29, 1997 11:23 a.m. EST http://www.nando.net) - There's
>a new craze among celebrities to buy some very simplistic and spiritual art
>from the Shona tribe in Zimbabwe.
> Although the Smithsonian Institute doesn't yet recognize it as true art, since
>the sculpting has been in museums only since 1981, collectors include Sir
>Richard Attenborough, and Prince Charles.
>"Zimbabwe is an incredible part of Africa filled with mysticism and that's why
>their sculptures are so intriguing," said Dirk Benedict -- formerly of the "A-
>Team" -- who was in the middle-African country filming a Roger Corman horror
> Art dealer Anthony Ponter said the tribal art, which goes from $30 to $50,000,
>is created from serpentine boulders and no plans or sketches are made before
>the carving starts.
> "They take primitive tools like railroad ties and just start carving because
>they say they feel the soul of the art inside," Ponter said. Each piece takes
>between six months and two years to create.

I haven't found any further info on this film, but if I do you can be sure I'll post the details here.
FANZINE NEWS: I'm happy to announce the release of

PLANS SCAMS AND VANS #5 - the newest all-ages, all A-Team fanzine from Sockii Press!

It's here (almost--there's still collating and binding to do), and on time (almost)! PSV is back with 116 pages of brand new A-Team adventures. This issue's contents include...

PLANES TRAINS AND BOATS: A trilogy of connected stories by D. Ferrara

Everything had gone like clockwork, until the sedative administered to B.A. Baracus, the Team's mechanic, wore off. Enraged, roaring like a maddened bull, B.A. wouldn't stand still enough for them to get either a hypodermic or a two-by-four into play. Instead, howling dire threats at each of them (but especially Murdock), he headed for the nearest train station, determined to take a train to the coast, and hop a freighter there. Hannibal and Face knew they had to keep an eye on him, leaving Murdock to refuel and mind the plane. They had barely enough time to grab a knapsack each...
DOUBLE DEALING by Amanda Bogardus: A nurse with attitude at the V.A. leads to trouble for the Faceman...

"I'm looking for a member of the A-Team." The general's distinctive voice caused Face to freeze. "My men spotted him in the parking lot only a short time ago. We think he might be here for Captain Murdock."

Murdock observed helpfully, "Looks like you�re the one who needs someone to break you out now."
A TENDENCY TO START FIRES by Amanda Bogardus: The Team is testing Stockwell's limits while trying to pick up B.A.'s spirits.

Able 13 (or was it 14?) returned to the living room from his mission, having searched the large house for the third time for any trace of the missing team. Needless to say, he found none, making his report to his employer a difficult one. "I'm sorry, sir.� He stood stiffly next to the couch, staring straight ahead rather than making eye contact with either of the two figures that remained seated. "Smith and the others appear to have made a clean escape."

"Very well." General Stockwell shifted in the plush sofa, the action as much of an indication of his irritation as he was willing to show. So, the A-Team had backed out of their deal after all. It appeared they were not as trustworthy as he had believed.

"Things went a little sour?" Amy cupped one hand around the phone's receiver and struggled to keep her voice down as the other reporters at the Courier glanced her way. "Hannibal, Face and Murdock are being held by a maniac who's ready to hold an auction and invite the A-Team hate club! I mean, that wasn�t exactly in the game plan!"

"I know, kid," Hannibal replied with that infuriating good humor he always seemed to feel whenever one of his schemes came crashing down around his ears. "But that's why sometimes in life we�ve got to be�"

"Flexible," Amy completed the sentence more calmly as her brief panic subsided into more useful pragmatism. "Yeah, I know, you keep telling me that. So what are we going to do?"
THIS LITTLE TEAM WENT TO MARKET by Mary Sauers. Not even the local supermarket is safe when the Team goes shopping!

Hannibal tried not to gape at the sight staggering down the long aisle. B.A. was balancing five boxes, trying to avoid running down little old ladies and small children. Upon reaching the shopping cart, the sergeant tenderly set the boxes inside on top of Hannibal's bread. Smith's brow furrowed. "Ah, you sure you got enough donuts there, B.A.?"

Baracus examined the contents of the shopping cart. "Yeah, Hannibal, think so."

The colonel tried to suppress his grin. "Um, you don�t have to take a week's supply today.We can stop by tomorrow and pick up some fresh ones."

The big black man blinked, not comprehending Hannibal's concern. "We gonna have to stop back here for more tomorrow anyway."
AMY'S BOOK by Robin Ryder. A hilarious sequel to "Special Assignment" in which Face has a crisis, B.A.'s bad attitude acts up, Frankie hasn�t got a clue and Hannibal smokes a cigar.

"...Uh, Frankie, I think we're in agreement about this one. Set up a meeting with the client for tomorrow afternoon. We'll meet you at Murdock�s place first thing in the morning as soon as I check B.A. out of here...No, no, everything is not under control, but it will be. I have a plan...No, don't bother to come over. B.A.'s asleep and Face will be too as soon as I can find a nurse to give him a Valium...What's that? Oh, long story...you haven't finished Amy�s book yet, have you? Well, you probably wouldn't understand anyway, you really had to be there back then to understand what all the fuss is about now. Okay, tomorrow, 0700 at Murdock's. Bye."
WHO KILLED COCK ROBIN? by maxi. An A-Team/Highlander crossover. An immortal decides to set the record straight about what really happened to Colonel Morrison...

"Damn it, Colonel, listen to me," Morgan snapped. "You may be senior in rank, but we both know I'm slowing you down. Take this tag to Sister Louise in the American compound in Saigon. Tell them it's from Brother Thomas." Morgan untied his boot while he talked, sliding a dog-tag off the laces and dropping it into Hannibal�s hand.

"I don�t leave men behind to be captured."

"You don�t have a choice. Give me a pistol to hold them off, then get clear. I was unarmed the last time they caught up with me, but this time I have the advantage. They won't take me again, Colonel," Morgan said calmly.
WHAT'S IN A NAME? by Irene Schwarting. Stockwell traces back through Face's early years, in the search to determine if A.J. Bancroft really is Face's father.

Hunt Stockwell sifted through the piles of documents on his desk with considerably more interest than he had expected to have. What had begun as a fairly routine personnel investigation had turned into an intriguing puzzle, and now that the pieces were coming together he was finding that they told a fascinating story.

Templeton Peck�s military file ended with his arrest, conviction and execution for murder of his commanding officer. Stockwell put those documents aside; he knew that story by heart. The gaps in the rest of the file were much more interesting.
Jenny-Beth by Kristin Munson. A young woman is in trouble, but when she crosses paths with the A-Team it's the bad guys that'll be on the run.

Suddenly small bits of what appeared to be glass rained down upon them. "Funny," Face said, "it's not supposed to hail today." They took a few steps backwards and looked up; Jen waved frantically at them.

"This isn't part of the plan," Murdock objected.

"We're talking Hannibal here�his plans never work out the way they're supposed to," Face commented dryly.

"'Tis true, 'tis true," H.M. agreed.

"Jump," Face urged her. "We'll catch you."

"Are you insane?!" she shrieked.

"Hello!" Murdock waved cheerily.
The Best Laid Plans... by N.N. Pellegrini & Liz Meinert. Two A-Team fans and a dimension hopper spell big trouble for our guys!

"Where am I? What�s going on? You sure don�t look like bounty hunters...or M.P.s..." he trailed off, looking around in confusion.

Nicole exchanged a glance with Liz. "Um . . . you�re in my apartment."

Murdock straightened his cap and decided to leave the matter of how he had gotten there for the moment. "Well, kindly let me out.� He started for the door.

Liz sprang in front of him and attempted to block the door. "Help me!" she shouted to Nicole. "We can't let him leave, not here!"
Final price for this 'zine is $9 plus postage ($3 US Priority Mail; ask for foreign delivery costs.) Payments accepted in US Funds only to Nicole Pellegrini, 2429 Locust Street #315, Philadelphia PA 19103. 'Zines should be ready to ship by the end of this week.

An on-line, Adobe Acrobat version of the 'zine will also be made available for a $2 shareware fee, as usual, though it will be several days before this is ready.

This week, part 2 of...

"DIRK BENEDICT: TV's Reluctant Sex Symbol" by Sue Russell (Playgirl, August 1984)

...Actually, Benedict did start out on the same footing as Richard Gere. They were both lowly apprentices at the Seattle Repertory Theater and shared stage-sweeping duties.

"We used to say, 'My God, we deserve better than this!' Now he's a great movie star, and here I am in TV. But the truth is that if he and I were to walk down the streets of Boise, Idaho, probably more people would say, 'There goes the Face Man.' Twenty-five million people see me every week on The A-Team, although those who recognized him would most likely say, 'There goes Richard Gere.'"

Benedict really doesn't mind the nickname, though. "I always thought it was silly for Henry Winkler to complain about The Fonz. Mr. T understands it, thank God. Call him Mr. T, Bad Attitude, it's all the same. Who cares? It's all insecurity.

Obviously, being the A-Team's "dumb blond" or "quasi-sauve, poor imitation of Burt Reynolds", as he has cheerfully referred to himself, cannot be exactly what he envisioned when he was studying his craft. Is there a tinge of resentment? A reservation or two?

"I did wrestle with it a bit," he admits, "because it's antithetical in many ways to what I see for myself. But I didn't solicit it. This show came to me from the hand of God."

True, the part was written for him originally, but NBC rejected him point blank. Benedict heard the news while pheasant hunting in Montana, and he distinctly remembers NOT being disappointed. Later, though, NBC had a sudden change of heart.

"All I can say, and it's true, is that the only casting director to ever want me is the one in the sky. Everything I've ever done has been over the dead bodies of the casting people. I'm always being crammed down somebody's throat for some reason," he says.

Despite his initial reservations, Benedict insists: "I'm having one hell of a good time. Even the 14-hour days appeal to my samurai nature. It can be a form of meditation; it's a bit like climbing Mount Everest. I love to spend all those hours on my feet."

The A-Team is Benedict's third series, following Chopper One and Battlestar Galactica, and definitely a novel experience. "The A-Team s the first TV show I've worked on that has a community atmosphere," he says. "It's the first time I've worked with actors who know who the hell they are. So, there's no insecurity, no egomania, no paranoia, no neurosis, no bullshit.

"And a lot of that is probably because we have four individuals who have led interesting lives. T is tremendously philosophical. Dwight is very intelligent--and George has been through it all, and now he's just having the time of his life!"

With a couple more years of "Face Man" under his belt, Benedict could probably retire. He will also probably be able to get a lucrative publishing deal for his "macrobiological autobiography," titled Kamikaze Cowboy. "It's about my prostate, my orgasms---talk about sharing something private!" Clearly, then, success does offer Benedict some opportunities for growth that would otherwise be closed to him.

But there is a price to pay. The trouble with success, says Benedict, is that it can breed insularity, isolation and a sense of exclusivity. And, naturally, this price tag skyrockets for someone with Benedict's love of anonymity. When he's not working, he hides behind a hat and glasses. And he doesn't enjoy signing autographs.

He does love women, however ("I'm an incurable romantic") and claims he had a great time meeting them when he was an unknown. "Once I started to get a little bit of recognition it went to hell. It adulterated it. It put an unnatural element into it."

Benedict says he'd either find himself the target of pushy women he didn't favor, or turning off the women he did like--thanks largely to his glib, somewhat arrogant TV image.

Why doesn't success impress Benedict? Why doesn't he dine daily at Ma Maison and rub shoulders with glittery, smile-for-the-camera stars? Probably it has to do with a profound experience that began almost 10 years ago.

In 1975, Benedict got the news that he had a tumor of the prostate. Without waiting to see if it was benign (unlikely at his age, doctors said), he took unorthodox, unwise and--he now admits--slightly insane action. He packed a duffel bag and a rice bowl and hitchhiked across the country, camping along the roadside at night and following a macrobiotic diet, which included whole grains (oats, barley, buckwheat, rice, rye), cooked vegetables, beans and some seaweeds. No raw foods, salads, fish, fruit or animal foods. In truck stops he made do with oatmeal. "I had a little metal pot I cooked in. I used to pull things out of the fields or steal corn because I ate no flour products of any kind," he says.

"I didn't want to spend all my time defending why I wasn't going to a doctor, and for all I knew some of my family might have tied me up in the middle of the night and hauled me off to a hospital for my own good. As far as my loved ones were concerned, I'd just gone bonkers over this weird diet and was trying to kill myself. I was a write-off in their eyes."

There was, however, method in his madness. A fundamental belief of the macrobiotic lifestyle is that you can cure yourself of anything. So rather than face the surgeon's knife, Benedict declared his own war on the big C.

Two important sources of support for Benedict were Gloria Swanson and her husband, author William Duffy (Sugar Blues), who is now helping Benedict edit Kamikaze Cowboy. Sometime earlier, they had introduced him to macrobiotic expert Michio Kushi, who changed his diet and--Benedict claims--gave him the tools for recovery.

His weight dropped from 180 pounds to 135, his skin turned yellow and there were periods of intense loneliness before Benedict started to get better. Six months passed before the scales crept up to 142 pounds. "My skin changed, my fingernails changed, my body aroma changed, and the sexual experience was different--better, oh yes," he says.

Benedict recalls becoming impatient with other people's complaints of colds and back pains "when all of a sudden, here I was pissing blood."

But there was more. "If you don't cure yourself of acne, so what? If you don't cure yourself of cancer, you die. It's so spiritual really, your faith is always being tested. It was time for me to put up or shut up," he says.

Alone on the road, Benedict began to realize that he could survive with no money, no career and few friends. "I lived through it by my own hand and my own wits, being my own doctor, my own best friend, my own guru. That was really scary, and probably one of the most dangerous experiences anyone can have," he claims. "Forget rafting down rivers, jumping out of airplanes--those are just things people do to make their lives risky."

The cancer experience profoundly affected his spiritual outlook. Says Benedict: "I felt I'd been through the eye of the needle. This realization hit me that an attachment to life is as silly as the fear of death. So it didn't matter if my life ended in a bathtub in New Hampshire in June of 1975. I realized that death, dying, is going to be the most fantastic, ultimate, incredible experience we have. I believe it will be the greatest chuckle when we look back and say, 'Jeez, what I put myself though for nothing.' I think it will be grand, just grand."

To be continued...

Sorry but the web site I usually use to get episode listings for A-Team has been down all weekend, so I couldn't get them for this newsletter.

THE A-TEAM -- Monday-Friday 5:00 PM - FX

Wednesday, February 25, 1998 - 8:25 AM - SHOW
Wednesday, February 25, 1998 - 6:00 PM - SHOW
MOVIE: Drama (110 Minutes)
(1996) Children find an orphaned polar-bear cub while seeking their father, whose plane crashed in the wilderness. {Stereo}. Thora Birch, Vincent Kartheiser, Dirk Benedict, Charlton Heston, Gordon Tootoosis. Directed by Fraser C. Heston. Rated "PG". Adult Language, Adult Situations.

Body Slam
Thursday, February 26, 1998 - 8:30 AM - STARZ
MOVIE: Comedy (105 Minutes)
(1987) A music promoter who manages a wrestler puts a rock group with a mat card and starts a fad. Dirk Benedict, Tanya Roberts, Roddy Piper, Captain Lou Albano, Barry Gordon, Charles Nelson Reilly. Directed by Hal Needham. Rated "PG". Adult Language.

Breakfast at Tiffany's
Sunday, March 1, 1998 - 3:30 PM - TMC
Wednesday, March 4, 1998 - 5:15 PM - TMC
MOVIE: Romance-Comedy (115 Minutes)
(1961) (Premiere) New York playgirl Holly Golightly puzzles a writer who lives below. >From the Truman Capote novella. Audrey Hepburn, George Peppard, Patricia Neal, Buddy Ebsen, Martin Balsam, Mickey Rooney. Directed by Blake Edwards. Rated "NR". Adult Situations.

Rocky III
Tuesday, March 3, 1998 - 10:05 PM - TBS
MOVIE: Action (125 Minutes)
(1982) Old foe Apollo Creed trains ex-boxing champ Rocky Balboa for a rematch with brutish Clubber Lang. Sylvester Stallone, Mr. T, Talia Shire, Carl Weathers, Burt Young, Burgess Meredith. Directed by Sylvester Stallone.

Friday, March 6, 1998 - 10:15 PM - TNT
MOVIE: Drama (120 Minutes)
(1986) A woman is brutally attacked in her own home by a man who lives to regret it. Farrah Fawcett, James Russo, Alfre Woodard, Diana Scarwid, Sandy Martin, Eddie Velez. Directed by Robert M. Young.

sockii ()
"The avalance has already begun. It is too late for the pebbles to vote."

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