Henry/Edward Does It Again

It was the Bond hat trick last night on My Own Worst Enemy. First, Slater is taken out with inhaled powder (TSWLM), then phony ambulance drivers cart him away to cover up the snatch (TLD), he wakes up to be offered an anti-poisoning defibrillator application, on a time limit (CR).

All Bond and more good stuff. This NBC thriller has my attention Mondays!

Glorious Gloria Hendry

Gloria Hendry’s new autobio is now available and features her work on Live and Let Die and throughout her music, film and advocacy career. I just received my copy and so far, I have not been disappointed.

I’ve been priviliged to know Gloria as a friend for some years now, and it seems many of her best stories and pals move through her book very winsomely. I’ll post some exclusive excerpts in upcoming days!

Bond Bound In Manhattan Now

Bonham’s New York is featuring BOND BOUND, fabulous 007 collectibles and book history through November 3. From what I have seen of the show, they have many, many Bond book covers and artwork on display I do not have in my archives… photo documents would be great to have as neither Deb nor I can get away to NYC to see the show.

The show runs through November 3 at Bonhams Auctions House at 57th and Madison Avenue and is free during all opening hours. Thank you!

Mon-Sat 10am – 5pm
Sunday Noon – 5pm

Bonhams
580 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10022
(212) 644 9001

Bond Bazaar

Got together with some pals to place about 20 Bond lots on eBay for my 3rd annual Bond Bay Blast. Besides putting movie quotes and some gags with each item, we posted some good stuff…

..Items starting at $0.99 US.

..TOMORROW NEVER DIES Cell Phone Prop

..Sellers’ banned edition with Ian Fleming correspondence

..All 11 variant British Book Clubs, all 6 Sniper Cover Gardner Novels

..Piracy novels, 24 different Bond movie chips, Avakum Zakhov, ultra-rare martini bottles and shaker, DeVoe’s Into The Volcano, etc., etc.

Visit http://shop.ebay.com/merchant/spyevents to see all the listings on one page. And do please buy some stuff soon so we can afford some brand new Quantum of Solace collectibles!

Signed Rare Collectible For Charity

I send a regular eZine out that goes to Bond actors, production team members, spy authors and many fans who are memorabilia collectors.

I frequently post items on eBay or direct through the eZine for pals. Sometimes the item hails right from the famous actor.

A kind man has a VERY valuable Bond item online this week and the first $1,000 benefiting charity. Please review his eBay listing. The hook is the book is currently sold up to almost $8,000 US at this popular site but is selling for under $500 now as of this writing. Go for it!

Making Love: Gloria Hendry

Enjoy this exclusive excerpt from Gloria, Bond And All, in the section, “Bond Gallery”, entitled Making Love:

“Not long after the completion of my first co-star role as Helen in Black Caesar, I received a phone call from my manager, Lloyd Kolmar, who said, “I need you back in New York to audition for Live and Let Die, the Bond movie.”

I said, “I don’t have a chance in the world. They want large breasted women, not me, and besides that, I’m not tall and I’m not white.” Lloyd said, “They want to see you. Don’t you understand? You have to fly back.” I asked, “Who’s paying?” I had to think about it. This was an expensive audition. After a couple of days of numbers crunching, I called back and gave an exasperated, “Okay! Where’s the audition?”

Lloyd gave me executive producer Harry Saltzman’s New York office address with the time and date. I caught the next flight out, visited my New York apartment and changed clothes. You see, I kept my New York apartment and I gave myself three months for attempting acting work in California. The weather was “Indian Summer” and it was November…

Gloria tells Ultimate James Bond Fan Blog, “I’m excited! My book was recently published after 2 years in preparation with the publisher and a number of prior years to write and find a publisher… thanks for reading!”

QOS Press Tickets Available

Sony Pictures sent me tickets for a press premiere of Quantum of Solace in Jacksonville, Florida. Some Bond pals are attending and I am blessed with some extra tickets. I have attended several early Bond screenings and at times, there are memorabilia giveaways besides a very enthusiastic early movie crowd.

Please respond with your e-mail or call me by 4 PM Thursday, Nov. 13 at 352-372-5094 for more details or to attend.

Bond, Deconstructed

Another Way To Die, the Quantum of Solace theme track, is rather fascinating in its construction. Or is it quite the opposite, actually, a deconstruction, to quote The World Is Not Enough?

The song basically fuses classic elements of all the Bond trax from Goldfinger on up, changing the drawn out “Goooooooooold” or “Thunder-baaaaaaaawl” to a more peppy staccato “oh-oh-oh-oh” and refining all Bond sound down to a bit of drummin’ here, a bit of guitar thrum there. The lyrics are likewise minimal. Pretty intriguing.

Like deconstructed brownie where chocolate, burnt flour and syrup are laid out as separate elements on a diner’s plate as offerings from revisionist (and probably lazy) chefs, AWTD is a deconstructed and yet magically appealing Bond tune. Never thought Keys and White could pull it off…

Note that some of the guitar riffs are right from the Bond theme but with doubled notes–just as Monty Norman doubled his tune from “A House For Mr. Biswas” for his James Bond theme!

Also, the Bond theme is definitely heard long before the end credits and throughout the QOS David Arnold soundtrack, just again riffs here and there–deconstructed.

Your thoughts on the QOS music extravaganza? It’s just, it’s just… another way to die-ie!

Free Falling…

…Without too many spoilers, the famous scene in Quantum of Solace, besides being lifted from early GoldenEye storyboards, is actually highly realistic, as opposed to the CGI-misbegotten stuff of Die Another Day.

A recent American Cinematagrapher issue reveals how a wind tunnel, capable of replicating human terminal velocity and 150 m.p.h. winds was employed, as was extensive physics research. The scene closely resembles what actual humans would do in Bond and Camille’s desperate situation.

Authentic action, expansive, Ken Adam-ish sets and an eye for cinematography help keep QOS from being muddled by Forster’s jagged action close-ups. Over time, Quantum should prove to be a top Bond film. I think it has left that mark already.

Gotta Love That Crazy Mathis

People are still questioning CR’s “Your friend Mathis… is really my friend Mathis.”

Since Mathis is vetted true (via MI-6 torture and interrogation), Le Chiffre said this to Bond, who trusted Vesper wrongly (that’s why watching CR is fun when you know Vesper is Vesper, you can see why doesn’t want to give the money for the buy-in to Bond, she does not want him to win the poker game because she is growing to care for him, etc.) to confirm Bond’s incorrect suspicion that Mathis, not Vesper, mentioned the poker tell.

In the torture room, Le Chiffre’s henchmen fake-abuse Vesper, who screams fake screams of agony, to put further pressure on Bond to give up the account with White’s/Quantum’s owed money.

In point of fact, no one may have told Le Chiffre about the tell, he may have noticed his own tell in his stellar poker career, and set Bond up for the poker loss personally. What Le Chiffre certainly knew is that Vesper had a call from Mathis (or lied to Bond to say she had a call from Mathis–“meet me outside the lobby”).

It is a matter of humor that under stress, Le Chiffre later slips into his old tell and folds a hand.

Mathis is good, but definitely dead, and that’s how it goes. “From what I understand, Section Heads have a short lifespan, at least for Montenegro and Prague…”

Bourne-Again Bond?

Fan Michael Hunt weighs in on QOS from the UK:

Casino Royale succeeded – despite the cheerless Daniel Craig – because it was a first-rate story from the pen of that master storyteller, Ian Fleming. Wisely, the screenwriters chose to adhere to the main thrust of Fleming’s original and thus kept the plot building inexorably towards its climax.

One of the biggest problems with Quantum of Solace, and to a much lesser extent Casino Royale, is entirely of EON’s own making. More than an entire generation of audiences has grown up with the cinematic Bond, as distinct from the Bond of Fleming’s books, and their expectation is precisely what Messrs Broccoli and Saltzman very successfully created – a witty, tough, but above all entertaining, super-spy.

That is precisely what Daniel Craig and screenwriters Haggis, Wade and Purvis fail to create in Quantum of Solace.

If audiences want to experience the gritty, humourless, no frills hard-action of a Jason Bourne film, then they can watch a Jason Bourne film. To their shame, the producers, director and writers of Quantum of Solace have manifestly sought to emulate the Bourne filmic style. To their credit, they have produced an imitation of a Bourne film – but it isn’t a Bond film. Barbara Broccoli and Michael Wilson have singularly failed to learn the lesson that Bourne isn’t Bond and Bond isn’t Bourne.

And with Quantum of Solace they fail to deliver what Bond aficionados want.

The gratuitous rape scene is wholly out of place in a film series that regularly attracts family audiences, in spite of its UK 12A rating (children may on watch if accompanied by an adult).

To be fair, Quantum of Solace promises much in its pre-title sequence – assuming, that is, you don’t (as some people) suffer nausea from the frenzied camera movements. Sadly, given the fact that the film lasts 106 minutes, the pre-title sequence is unequivocally the high-octane highlight of the entire film. What follows is a confused story, lacking any coherent direction and end goal, peopled by a host of characters who fail dismally to create feelings of empathy or enmity with the audience.

And, ultimately, Quantum of Solace fails.

Broccoli and Wilson would do well to abide by the old adage: “Cobbler, stick to your last!”

And listen to the public.

Bond Fan Says, “You Must Be Joking”

Richard Epcar never jokes about his work, which includes a recent voiceover for The Joker and helping cast the new Quantum of Solace videogame–which is awesome! Epcar’s pan of QOS follows:

I saw the latest James Bond film last night; ‘Quantum of Solace’ and I have to say I am disappointed. There was action galore and exotic locations but where was Bond? The James Bond I knew was cunning, using his gadgets and his wit to get out of situations. He would charm, beautiful and often dangerous women into his bed. They have taken away Bond’s charm, sense of humor, gadgets, Q and Moneypenny and left us with kind of a British Dirty Harry heartless assassin. But even Dirty Harry is likable, Bond in this film, not so much. Bond has a line in Casino Royale, when he’s talking to Vesper about his ‘armor’, ‘what ever I am, you’ve stripped it from me.’ I have to say that when I saw Casino Royale, I did enjoy it and thought it was a very Bond film. Well it seems the producers have ‘stripped’ Bond of all the things that made him Bond—even though most of those elements were also missing from Casino Royale. I appreciated the fact that they made Bond more dangerous.

I also liked Casino Royale because it’s one of my favorite Bond books and I’m glad they finally made a serious film version of it. Much of that film followed the book: the card game (although it was Baccarat or Chemin-de-fer in the book-not Texas Hold ‘Em) the car chase, the torture scene and the Vesper cocktail – all of this came out of Ian Fleming’s book. But this new film, Quantum of Solace is entirely new and feels like a made up appendage. The plot, if you can find one in this super fast paced, overly edited, blur of a film, revolves around Bond seeking revenge for the death of Vesper, (who killed herself in Casino Royale to save Bond from the criminal organization Quantum, much like Spectre or Smersh in the early films and books). Quantum of Solace stands alone without any of the flair or panache of characters like Blofeld, Dr. No., Goldfinger or any of the previous mega-criminals that Bond’s had to fight in the past.

The film opens with a fast paced (too fast paced I think) car chase – most of it’s a blur and it’s hard to discern the action throughout this sequence. It feels as though they are trying to copy The Bourne Identity, which is disheartening. In the old days, everyone would try to copy Bond. The entire film feels like a MTV video for people with ADD.

There was nothing spectacular about this film, like the torture scene in Casino Royale or that great fight scene in the stair well. No good relationships, though the acting was solid, when there was time for dialogue. I think Daniel Craig makes a good Bond, but we need to see more of Bond’s colors. This Bond is very one dimensional and uninteresting. There was this new thing about Bond being rogue for much of the film where his own organization didn’t know if he was on their side or not. A bit of throw back to License to Kill, but even in that film, that portion of it didn’t last long thankfully.

Marc Forster directed this film. However, if you didn’t see Casino Royale, you won’t understand what was going on in this film. I feel that the world he created was austere and devoid of the fun one derives from previous Bond films. I know the producers love him and want him to make more Bond films. Which I personally feel would be a mistake for the franchise. I understand he passed on this opportunity because he wants to create his own character.

I think he kind of created his own character in this one, but this one bore little resemblance to the James Bond I know and love. I have to say I think Martin Campbell did a much better job with Golden Eye and Casino Royale. And while the writers of Casino Royale, Paul Haggis, Neal Pervis and Robert Wade did a great job on that Casino Royale, they failed miserably with this one.

I think the one thing I missed the most was Bond’s character; that all men want to be him, and all women want to be with him. Where was that Bond?

I understand they are trying to re-boot the series, in much the same way they’ve re-booted the Batman series with Batman Begins and Dark Knight. But Batman is still Batman in those movies, where as Bond here is no longer Bond.

Oh, THAT’s Why It Goes That Way

This is the best way I figure to make QOS make sense to more fans…

An hour after CR ends, Bond is flying in his replacement Aston Martin. It is presumed he nabbed Mr. White before White’s guards left the villa to pursue Bond.

White’s Quantum (or whoever runs Quantum, it could be Greene if Greene’s death was faked as was Kabira’s death, but it could be White or none of the above) is extensive in its scope. Even a trusted guard of M’s is a Quantum plant but is killed before he can talk.

White has fled the scene, but MI-6 accountants have found many Le Chiffre money notes tied to a geologist now in Haiti. Bond wings down but the geologist has gone missing and an assassin is searching his space. Bond kills the assassin, fetches the briefcase sent to the geologist’s rooms by deceit and steps outside…

…Camille is digging dirt on Greene for Bolivia and has gone without reporting to the Bolivian Secret Service for some time. She has been offered incriminating water-not-oil documents by one of the geologists in Quantum’s pay, the very geologist already being paid in Le Chiffre/White bills for Quantum’s Tierra Project, hijacking South American water supplies beginning in Bolivia.

Greene knows of Camille’s treachery and tells her (presumed) “Go to the geologist’s apartment, pick up the new fellow working for me–he’s carrying a briefcase–and bring him to me on the docks.”

Bond assumes the geologist’s role, Camille begins talking price, and Bond opens the briefcase to find a gun and photo nestled beneath blanked documents. Greene was setting Camille to be killed Jackal-style, with a weapon plus photo for reference. The assassin’s spotter (after all, Quantum does things right) trails on a motorcycle to confirm the kill.

Bond dodges Camille’s shot (she thinks 007 is Greene’s chosen assassin) and figuring the spotter, steals his cycle.

The audience sees Camille return to Greene despite the attempt in a brave bluff, and learns she has hated Bolivian General Medrano since he terrorized her family and left her burned and scarred, for dead.

All Bond sees is that Camille, his next natural link in discovering “who White works for”, is taken hostage by rough-looking characters. In the interim, he hands a Universal Export card (in the name of R. Sterling, Bond’s cover name given to Stromberg in TSWLM!) to a flunkie; when the call is connected, Bond sets a trace with his phone on Greene’s cousin Elvis’s phone. The Quantum spotter’s motorbike goes unrecognized, after all, the Camille kill was partially brokered from Europe with Le Chiffre bills.

Bond rescues Camille and leaves her, so as not to be burdened with unconscious baggage, to pursue Greene, who seems a more critical pursuit to M (and Bond).

Bond’s charter is following a CIA plane to Europe. Inside, Greene deals with Felix Leiter’s superior, Gregg Beam (Gregg with two g’s is how Michael G. Wilson and his son spell their names!) o keep the CIA away from the Greene/Medrano coup. They think Greene found diamonds and not oil in the desert.

Following Greene to the famous Bregenz floating opera house, during a performance of Tosca Bond realizes the opera is a cover for a Quantum meeting—hiding in plain sight in tux has replaced the old standby of satellite-detected hideouts in volcanoes or dirigibles, featuring white cats and trick guest seating. Bond outs the Quantum members and photographs them, but White is too savvy to be trapped.

Bond pursues a Special Branch officer and drops him (ala TSWLM) atop Greene himself, who having been “out-ed” has the man promptly shot.

Bond’s still an unknown number (pun intended) to M; she revokes his traveling abilities and Bond pursues the one section head he is 100% certain is not a Quantum double—Rene Mathis, who was “vetted” at Bond’s keen insistence. Perhaps it was a double blind in CR and both Vesper and Mathis were dirty. Perhaps Bond even knows of Mathis’ South American work and merely asks if he knows the area to pique his interest on the trip. Mathis has the pull and the know how to get Bond inserted in Bolivia, and also flown there in style filled with six vespers and wearing new Tom Ford again.

In Bolivia, Mathis has a Colonel in his pocket, who tells Bond Bolivia’s resources have been placed at his disposal. Bond rescues Camille from another Greene attempt on her life just before Strawberry Fields gives Elvis a neck brace to wear later in the film. Unfortunately for our heroes, the Colonel is actually a General Medrano ally, and police are dispatched to bury Bond and not to praise him.

M is wavering in her trust of 007, and the CIA have a green light from the PM himself to kill or capture Bond. But by gum, not only can the man disable 4 MI-6 agents while bound, but he insists that M cite Fields posthumously for bravery. She wasn’t a mere clerk; she was a trained professional who took out Elvis, darn it! Surely M cannot overlook such stiff upper lip service for her trusted Service personnel.

Bond and Camille have discovered the Tierra Project’s most valuable resource is water, and when Bond presses Felix Leiter, who dislikes Beem and the coup both, good old Felix tips Bond off to a meet at an abandoned desert hotel.

Bond kills the Colonel (“You and I have a mutual friend!”–meaning Rene Mathis who really was Bond’s friend and not Le Chiffre’s), Camille kills Medrano, and Bond pumps Greene for information before abandoning him in the desert. With irony, Bond gives Greene oil to drink, the oil Greene drowned Fields in to falsely indicate mere oil was Greene Planet’s agenda. No one would ever know Quantum has extorted for water resources save for Bond and Camille’s brave work.

Resolving the betrayal of Vesper in camera angles and a situation chosen to mirror the opening of Casino Royale, Bond informs a Canadian agent that she (and Vesper) are just potential pawns of the Quantum chessboard via Yusef Kabira, a surprising “Honey Pot” agent in male form, who seduces women of intelligence (pun intended) and gives them his signature Algerian love knots so as to leave a trail and plot resolution.

Bond is back—in Quantum of Solace—and really, he never left. We can walk away from Quantum now or see them in Bond 23, and discover if Quantum is masterminded by White, Greene, Black, or Quentin Tarentino?

And that’s what I call a simple Bond plot.

Friends And Two

Am I the only one who noticed how good it is for 007 to have real friends?

I’m half-playing here, but only by half, because a subtext of QOS is friendships and teammates. Witness the dialogue, including (and I’m quoting for memory so bear with me):

M to Bond: Knowing who your friends are is everything…
Camille and Bond: Friend of yours? I don’t have any friends…
Bond to Colonel of Police: You and I have a mutual friend!
Bond to Corinne Venneau: I have one that is similar, it belonged to a friend.

There are several other friend comments, another half-dozen or near so including Mathis also, and everyone works onscreen in two-man friendly teams: Bond and (surprise in the boot) Mr. White flee baddies; M and Tanner, Bond and Felix, Bond and Fields, Bond and Camille, Felix and Beem, Bond and M, Greene and Medrano, etc. Bond is alone onscreen quite rarely, in fact, although he is welcomed as the moving center of the film, whereas in GoldenEye we abandon our hero to spend many minutes in Severnaya.

Still not convinced to “see double” in the 2nd CR half film? Note how the ending camera angles, scenario and body positions at the end of QOS mirror the opening of CR!

Need I mention the pairings of CIA and MI-6, the PM and Foreign Minister, Foreign Minister and M, oil and water (not mixing), oil and diamonds, White and Greene, Greene and Elvis, Quantum and Le Chiffre, two conversations (both subtitled to draw attention) in the taxi, two hotels “booked” by two teachers on sabbatical, etc.? Next a look at the two films partnering each other…

Although the timings like the geologist’s assassin seem coincidental, the implied backstory and intricate plotting provides a real perspective on a Bond investigation.

The film’s sudden action highlights the danger Bond moves through always, and the reveals on plot are supposed to make us feel we are tracking with Bond as he unearths the bad guy’s doings.

Greene admittedly is not the usual father figure who tells “my dear boy” how brilliant his plan is before torturing him; but the way in which Bond extracts the Tierra Project is both heroic (he is rescuing the Bolivian people) and significant (he is seeking vengeance plus fulfilling his job role ala License To Kill).

One of the many attractive subplots or contexts of QOS is in Bond’s work–M accuses Bond of not being dispassionate but he is exactly that-calculating, hard and very deadly to his enemies. Mathis dies in a good, emotional scene; Bond discards his lifeless body as a tool yet Bond remembers poignantly to take a moment to tell the Colonel of Police “We have a mutual friend!” [Mathis] before coldly blowing him away. Excellent!

What is missing on the UJBDB is a positive discussion of the many similarities between QOS and CR despite the change of director, cinematography, costumer, clothier, etc. Certainly QOS ranks with the best movie sequels in continuity and plot, something impossible about any earlier Bond film.

For example, in both films we are not as usual “introduced” to henchman and minor characters, they are simply appearing as threats or tactical obstacles on Bond’s horizon. Although metal teeth from a Russian dentist or a Russian’s limp awarded by 007 is always a nice addition, the henchman are a bit closer to the Fleming dudes in the two Craig movies in that they are simply stone killers and sociopaths/psychopaths.

Valenka’s peril is ignored by Le Chiffre; she tries to poison Bond anyway and stays faithful to Le Chiffre/Quantum. Similarly, Elvis is stood up to protect Greene and Greene coldly ignores his cousin’s death when the kitchen explodes in the Perla de la Dunas hotel. Lovely.

A View To A Lazenby

On Tuesday, December 23, the first half of a two-part interview with former Bond George Lazenby will air on the online radio show, “Dave White Presents” over KSAV radio. Wes Britton’s lengthy pre-recorded conversation with George will first be broadcast at 7:30 p.m. Pacific Time, 10:30 EST and can be heard at—

WWW.KSAV.org

The day after, Wed. Dec. 24, the show will be archived at:

WWW.AudioEntertainment.org

Which can be downloaded anytime thereafter as a MP3 file. On this broadcast, the spy theme will also include Dave White’s interview with “Spy-Fi” author and collector extraordinaire, Danny Biederman.

Part Two of the Lazenby interview will air on the first show in January—news about that in the New Year! Expect stories, insights, and anecdotes from George about his youth in Australia, becoming Bond, his work on the set of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, and his time with Bruce Lee!

Happy Holidays to UJBFB from “Dave White Presents”!

I’m Not Bloody Hearing Things

This is from memory, having seen QOS in the theater again this evening without benefit of a script to consult, but…

1. Greene says at the dock, “I hate when my friends…”
2. In the car, Camille asks, “A friend of yours?”
3. Bond replies in the car, “…I don’t have any friends.”
4. Ticketing agent in Austria asks Bond, “You want to follow your friends to La Paz?”
5. Fields mentions Mathis with her, “My orders don’t include your friend.”
6. Mathis says to Bond, “I want to talk to my friend the Colonel [Carlos, Colonel of Police]”.
7. Greene says, “My friends call me Dominic…”
8. Bond says, “What do you want to bet Greene has friends in the police…”
9. Camille despises Bond’s dumping of Mathis’s body, saying, “Is that how you treat your friends?”
10. In the plane, Bond tells Camille that “[Quantum]… tried to kill a friend of mine.”
11. M tells Bond, “When you can’t tell your friends from your enemies…”
12. Bond to Colonel Carlos before shooting him, “We had a mutual friend!”
13. Bond tells Corinne about Kabira, “He gave one like that to a friend, someone very close to me.”

Thirteen friend(s) references in a 106-minute movie averages a reference about once each 8 minutes!

As mentioned in Friends And Two, this is part of the QOS subtext of “Duality, Friends (and) Enemies”.

That’s My Little Octopussy

Recently, while visiting the tony Ritz-Carlton Palm Beach, I cruised the coast and saw nearby this little boat–142 feet long.

The Octopussy, built in The Netherlands by Heesen, was built to be the fastest yacht over 100 feet in the world. OwnerFrank Staluppi of New York, keeps her anchored (you may lease her for a cruise or buy her for a mere $8 Million U.S. or so) in Manalapan. He also owns the Dillinger, Moonraker and The World Is Not Enough yachts. The interior decor most closely matches her sister yacht, For Your Eyes Only!

See her 007 bar and what makes her so yar at this Octopussy page.

Two-Way 007 Quiz

— Folks are celebrating 2 holidays, Christmas and Chanukah, this week. So here’s my gift–a celebratory Double Bond Quiz. For example, which 2 movie Bonds have Bonded twice now? Answer–Dalton and Craig, though many of us would like to see BOTH do a third Bond film soon.

Q. In which 2 Bond movies does Bond wear a pair of (2-legged) denim jeans? NSNA doesn’t count, by the way, those were overalls and not jeans Bond wore while fishing.

Q. In which 2 Bond films is Bond’s–shall we say–rear exit–made use of in humorous fashion? And in which Bond film did Sir Roger Moore merit 2 extra exits, per his personal report from on set? (Hey, I didn’t say this was an easy quiz!)

Q. In which 2 Bond movies do we see onscreen a heroin needle? And in which 2 films (and these are 2 different movies, not the first 2) is heroin smuggling integral to the Bond plot?

Bonus Q.: Name a Bond film with a body in a trunk 2 times, and 2 bodies in the back of a plane, once. It is implied a body was in a trunk a third time, too! That’s just weird.

Acoustic James Bond

I’ve revamped my Bond music collection, and as a passionate Bond music listener, I’ll share thrilling tidbits over coming days–mostly songs to download legally and free of cost! (UJBFB is, of course, the best James Bond fansite and provides this sort of service.)

Acoustic James Bond — it’s Bond unplugged, it’s piano trills, and sax and violin riffs–some of the more interesting (and beautiful, compelling and astonishing) Bond music available.

Ever hear Bond as stringed instruments only (The Hampton String Quartet’s Live And Let Die)? 4 trombonists only (Slokar Trombone Quartet’s James Bond Medley)? …Would you believe one acoustic and one electric guitar playing intentional disharmonies together (Paul Rock’s TMWTGG theme)?

Here are great tunes to search and download (or purchase) and most of these tracks are at SpiralFrog.com freely and legally for your listening pleasure now!

Full Acoustic Bond Albums:

Paul Rock – Bond Themes
Secret Agents Of Acoustic Guitar – Double Oh Heaven

Select Tracks Online:
Bettina & Eddy Marcos – Bossa Project – 10 Nobody Does It Better
Chris Minh Doky – Cinematique The James Bond Theme and Goldfinger
Edgar Cruz – 01 The James Bond Theme
Frank Kimbrough – Lullabluebye – 05 You Only Live Twice
Graham Turner – The Romantic Collection – 16 Licence To Kill
Kenny Clayton – The Early Years – 03 Goldfinger
Kerri – 05 You Only Live Twice, Nobody Does It Better & All Time High
Marc Hunter – 05 You Only Live Twice
Marck Bracken – Down Memory Lane – Underneath The Mango Tree & Goldfinger
Michael Lington – A Song For You – 10 Nobody Does It Better
Pat Dinizio – 05 You Only Live Twice
Proteus 7 – For Your Ears Only 03 – Goldfinger, For Your Eyes Only, You Only Live Twice and Assorted Casino Royale ’67 tracks
Quattromboni – 01 The James Bond Theme, FRWL, GOLD, YOLT and LALD
Richard Clayderman – Cocktail Hour Classics – 03 Goldfinger
Sam Levine – Cinema Sax – 10 Nobody Does It Better
Sax N’ Drawbars – Partymusic For Skyscrapers – 01 The James Bond Theme & FRWL
Simply The Best Sax – 17 GoldenEye
Slokar Trombone Quartet – 01 James Bond Medley
Starr Parodi – Common Places – 01 The James Bond Theme (Piano Version)
Starsound Orchestra – Best Movie Broadway Themes – 10 Nobody Does It Better
The Hampton String Quartet – The Off White Album – 08 Live And Let Die
Winston Benet Project – Passionate Pianos Caress – 10 Nobody Does It Better

Enjoy!

Lazenby, Part Deux

This Tuesday, Jan. 6, online radio show “Dave White Presents” will include Part 2 of Wes Britton’s 45 minute interview with former James Bond—Mr. George Lazenby. In Part 1, George talked about his years in Australia, his coming to England, and his becoming 007. Part 2 will feature more stories about his time on the set of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, his reasons for why he left the Bond universe, and his meeting Bruce Lee in Hong Kong. Expect stories and perspectives he hasn’t shared before, especially in this very lengthy personal conversation!

The show will debut Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. Pacific time (10:30 EST) over—

WWW.KSAV.org

The following day, the 90 minute show will be available for 24/7 access at

WWW.audioentertainment.org

Where you can also listen to the first part of this talk from our Dec. 23 show.

Happy New Year, 007!

Wesley Britton, WWW.Spywise.net

Richard Kiel Interview

Richard Kiel as Jaws in The Spy Who Loved Me
A Richard “Jaws” Kiel interview from some years back is charming and insightful.

He discusses his ongoing spokesperson’s role for Swatch watches, which kicked off in 2002 at our Bond Collectors’ Weekend in San Francisco where Swatch officially recognized Kiel, Lois Chiles (Moonraker) and Barbara Bouchet (Casino Royale ’67) with Swatches for their participation. Kiel’s had to be a giant, oversized watch to specially fit his wrist!

Kiel’s Biography is also a great read with lots of juicy Bond tidbits. Mr. Kiel was a renaissance man and one of the most highly intelligent people I knew.

Museum Daze

Our family and fellow 007 collectors enjoyed the recent Collectors’ Day at the Florida Museum of Natural History. For the 30th Anniversary bash, nearly 100 collectors presented everything from exquisite Star Wars, Simpsons and Bond memorabilia to Titanic memories, The Beatles, World War victories and more.

As Bondiana and Flemingiana collectors, our group shared screen-used props, standees, rare books and toys with the public. The items catching the greatest attention included some of Lana Wood’s items from the Diamonds Are Forever set and the two James Bond Bible Study books on display!

Collectors’ Day is a great way to spend a day if you do not mind telling hundreds of visitors your favorite Bond(s) and why, pointing out the differences between the DB5 and the Volante, and just generally inciting excitement among Bond enthusiasts. We also distributed free of charge posters, premiere tickets from Casino Royale, pamphlets about Bond and more.

Hosting an event in Florida also means you are constantly encountering folks from Miami and other locations who worked on the sets of Thunderball, License To Kill and other Bond flicks. Through the years, I’ve had a lot of tidbits and this recent event was no exception. We were able to chat with a fellow from University of Miami whose teaching staff provided most of the scuba diving team from the climatic battle of Thunderball.

Join us for the January 2018 event!

Alternative Bonding

Alternative James Bond music — Bond upbeat and bashed up — is certainly worth a listening appreciation.

Check on these truly funked-up albums (entire Bond albums are at SpiralFrog.com and elsewhere, free and legal for your listening pleasure!):

*Bond, Beat & Bass: The Elektronika James Bond Themes
*David Arnold Project: Shaken And Stirred
*Forever Bond
*Future Legend Records’ The Themes Bond… James Bond
*Sex Mob Does Bond
*The James Bond Themes Go Under Cover

Maybe I Am Hearing Things

I happened to see Quantum Of Solace again yesterday and heard these (!):

Bond and Camille’s first meeting: “You’re late.” “I had to meet with a friend of Mr. White.”

Bond and Mathis in Talamone: “Do you know Bolivia?” “I have a few friends there, I was stationed in South America for 7 years…”

Mathis in the Bolivian taxi: “I want to speak with a friend… Carlos?”

That makes a total of sixteen (16) uses of “friend” or “friends” in the film!

See my related story.

Max Vesterhalt from FYEO

Wes Britton has interviewed my friend Max Vesterhalt, a lovely lady who appeared in For Your Eyes Only. Deb Lipp met Max at our NYC fan event held in 2005.

The show will first air over WWW.KSAV.org at 7:30 P.m. Pacific time, 10:30 EST. Then, on Wednesday, the show will be archived at WWW.audioentertainment.org.

When you think of Bond girls, the name Max Versterhalt might not jump to mind. However, she not only appeared in Roger Moore’s 1981 classic, she was originally intended to be one of its stars.
On the next edition of the online radio show, “Dave White Presents,” Max tells her story, of how a poster of her promoting Greek tourism brought her to the attention of Cubby Broccoli, what went on during the filming of the casino scene, and what she thought of Roger Moore and director John Glen. She discusses a new website currently being constructed about “Bond Girls of Color.” In addition, “Dave White Presents” will debut some of Max’s newly recorded jazz tunes not yet heard anywhere else!

Thank Goodness, 007

Thank goodness, 007.

In his Ian Fleming’s Seven Deadlier Sins & 007’s Moral Compass, author Benjamin Pratt highlights James Bond’s function as an essential archetype, the (sometimes) last good guy fighting the ultimate baddies, St. George against the Dragon.

While declamations such as “Watch the birdie, you bastard!” or “Welcome to Hell, Blofeld!” are less saintly than would receive canonization in a typical church, Bond is, deep down, one of the good dudes.

The British anti-hero who quips than grips the nearest deus ex machina to pound a villain into pudding has inspired a hundred John McClanes, Terminators and Dirty Harrys, and has hailed from the ranks of Bugs Bunny and Batman, but there is simply never a shade of doubt about him. James Bond is good.

Several times at the google group alt.fan.james-bond, there have been epic discussions over whether Bond can be a civil service murdered yet a moral agent, a flaming fornicator yet a man men want their kids to be like, a dude who demolishes more real estate than five crane operators yet a friend to those who have no friends. In fact, the threads such as “Bond Should Not Sleep With Many Women” have been far and away the most popular threads in the history of the group.

So how about it, fans? What makes Bond, who is really, really bad, so good?

**
Wow…what a topic. I just have time for a few quick thoughts, but I think that a lot of it has to do with a post WWII British sense of right versus wrong that Fleming imbued in his novels. When you get right down to to, Bond is essentially a government hit man more than anything, which can be good, or bad, depending on your side of the fight. I’ll have to check out that Google group.

**
Fascinating.

Bond is an immoral agent for a moral cause, and he knows it. Hence he lives in the moment. He is fundamentally existential; life is fleeting and without meaning, so only the temporal pleasures matter.

Bond may not believe in existentialism for everyone, just for himself. England, he believes, is a force of moral good in the universe. But the work his country needs him to do compromises his own morality, hence he is without moral standing in the world and indulges in pleasurable sins to sustain himself.

**
Flapflop said, in May 7th, 2009 at 3:05 am
In fact, Bond gets an assignment to investigate something or someone and if on the job he thinks its necessary to kill a person to save the world, England, country he is in, his partners on the job or himself he may kill. So yes he is a bad guy himself if youre not on his side. The old saying a terrorist is another mans freedom fighter really applies to the bond universe.

When he gets the assignement for a direct kill Englands thinks necessary he normally isn’t allowed to make his own opinion about that person good or badness and maybe not kill him. He has to follow orders.

But in the movies we often see the opposite. Het gets the order, goes there, finds out its the wrong one and kills another. Or he is dilluded in thinking its wrong but in the end he could have saved much sorrow if he immedeately killed the person he had to kill without questions answered.

In this last trap most Bond baddies fall. If the had shot Bond at first sight there plans would not fail and the would have lived to take over the world.

From Holland with love

Flapflop

**
Interesting read. I dare say though, that while Bond is a “killer” most of his kills are actually in self-defense (whether they were an initial target for a kill or not). I am not saying this justifies the killing, but how many cold-blooded, unprovoked kills does Bond have (at least in the films)?

Dr. No
— Dr. No tried to kill him first.
— Professor Dent tried to kill him first

FRWL
— Red Grant tried to kill him first

GF
— Odd Job tried to kill him first
— GF died his own death

TB
— Vargas tried to kill him first

etc, etc.