Catching up on my correspondence, I was delighted to get some video updates from a few friends old and new. The first was from my longtime pal & internal combustion guru Gale Banks, whose wonderful contraptions have set world records on salt, asphalt and sea. The latest mountain he has his eye set on is a literal one: namely, Pike's Peak. Gale has teamed up with Dallenbach Racing to goose 1300+ Banks-turbocharged Chevy horsepower out of their entry in the Unlimited Class at the annual Pike's Peak International Hill Climb. Here's Gale and driver Paul Dallenbach narrating their recent test run:
Out west of Pike's Peak in Provo, UT, my new pal (and Utah Tea Party troublemaker) David Kirkham makes the most amazing Cobras on the planet. How amazing? Dude, the guy can whittle his own 427 FE engines out of billet aluminum. All-aluminum bodies too, into which a rambunctious owner sometimes inflicts a boo-boo. In his latest video, David shows how to swear off Bondo and smooth a nasty dent using only flame, hammers, and patience:
Trust me, that ain't how it's done at Maaco.
Lastly, I made acquaintance this weekend with Jeff Winner, who (along with Irwin Chusid of WFMU NY/NJ) is the musical archivist of Raymond Scott. Raymond who? Shame on you for not recognizing the greatest musical genius of the 20th Century. Actually you've heard his work, if you've ever watched Warner Brothers cartoons. Scott was a dynamic bandleader whose quirky compositions like 'Powerhouse' and 'Dinner Music for a Pack of Hungry Cannibals' were later licensed and arranged for Loony Toons. In the 1950's Scott became band leader for TV's 'Your Hit Parade,' and less famously became one of the true pioneers of electronic music - composing decades-before-their-time songs on synthesizers of his own invention.
Happily, Scott is finally getting a bit of long-overdue recognition, thanks in part to "Deconstructing Dad," a documentary by his son Stan Warnow. Here's a trailer to wet your whistle. A must for lovers of music, gadgets, and personalities.