Much of my ’70’s is kinda hazy. We drank and doped without moderation. For whatever reasons, I felt compelled to run that gauntlet. Some of the people I did this with aren’t around anymore. And although I don’t advocate or recommend such an experience, I have no regrets. And I know that some of the survivors are still practicing that lifestyle. Sometimes a deathstyle.
In Canada, Booze, in the ’70s, was legal, very available, and cheap. I could go into any local bar with just $5 in my pocket and drink all night – and still often have enough money left to take a taxi home. Draft beer was only 10 cents a glass. 10 glasses of beer for a dollar! Insane.
I eventually got over all this and stopped drinking (and doping). Along with the substances most of my so-called friends also disappeared. Our whole relationship revolved around drinking and substance abuse. So when I stopped it all, I didn’t fit there anymore.
I walked away. Without regret.
Glass of Canadian Draft Beer 1970 / 1980
Glass of Canadian Draft Beer 1970 / 1980
One minute later.
“I never trust a man that doesn’t drink.”
– John Wayne
John Wayne and Booze
John Wayne’s general movie image is that of a man who liked a drink and it’s generally believed that in his real life he was a fairly heavy drinker – part of the the Manly Arts – along with guns, fighting and smoking. Yet it appears he was a man who could hold his booze and who was not a drunk or an alcoholic. His sons, Patrick and Ethan say that his hard drinking image was exaggerated and not a problem – and that he didn’t drink every day and could do without it. Yet in another article son Michael says “He liked to drink. I once saw him drink a bottle of tequila before a meal, and a bottle of brandy after a meal. ???
I figure John was a guy who liked and appreciated a good drink, but could handle it.
And there is at least one telltale movie scene that attests to this – in his last Western The Shootist. It’s the final shootout scene – which takes place in a saloon no less – John strides up the bar and announces: “This is my birthday. Give me the best in the house.” In the movie, it was also his death day. ‘One for the road’.
Produced and starred in a 1940s radio show about an alcoholic detective titled “Three Sheets to the Wind“.
His favorite drink was Sauza Commemorativo Tequila, and he often served it with ice that he had chipped from an iceberg during one of his voyages on his yacht, “The Wild Goose“.
He once made a cameo appearance on The Beverly Hillbillies (1962). In episode, The Beverly Hillbillies: The Indians Are Coming(1967). And when asked how he wanted to be paid, his answer, in return, was “Give me a fifth of bourbon – that’ll square it.”.
His image appeared on a wide variety of products including: 1950 popcorn trading cards given at theaters, 1951 Camel cigarettes, 1956 playing cards, Whitman’s Chocolates and – posthumously – Coors beer. The money collected on the Coors beer cans with his image went to the John Wayne Cancer Institute.
The Selling of John Wayne, Part 3 … “Leave the bottle”
Grey’s novels and short stories have been adapted into 112 films, two television episodes, and a television series, Dick Powell’s Zane Grey Theater.
“Pearl“? There are a few guesses at how Grey was originally named Pearl – but nothing seems conclusive. He later dropped it.
Had a violent upbringing – often beaten by his father – and acted likewise – often brawling as a child.
Grey was an avid reader of adventure stories such as Robinson Crusoe as well as dime novels featuring Buffalo Bill and “Deadwood Dick“. He also loved the the great illustrators Howard Pyle and Frederic Remington.
Zane wrote his first story, Jim of the Cave, when he was fifteen. His father tore it to shreds and beat him.
Grey attended the University of Pennsylvania on a baseball scholarship, where he studied dentistry.
He proved to be a poor scholar, but an excellent baseball player. He had to choose between Writing, Baseball or Dentistry, but unhappily concluded that dentistry was the practical choice.
Still tried his hand at baseball, but only earned a single major league game in 1903 with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Moved to New York: dentist by day, writer by night.
Married, but was an habitual and open womanizer with many mistresses.
Despite many rejections and false starts, he kept on writing.
Finally it clicked: In 1912 published Riders of the Purple Sagehis all-time best-seller, and one of the most successful Western novels of all. Six movies have been made from this book.
Grey became one of the first millionaire authors. Was in the top ten best-seller list nine times.
Zane Grey was a major force in shaping the myths of the Old West; his books and stories were adapted into other media, such as film and TV productions. He was the author of more than 90 books, some published posthumously and/or based on serials originally published in magazines. His total book sales exceed 40 million.
Grey wrote not only Westerns, but two hunting books, six children’s books, three baseball books, and eight fishing books (his real passion).
Many famous actors got their start in films based on Zane Grey books. They included Gary Cooper, Randolph Scott, William Powell, Wallace Beery, Richard Arlen, BusterCrabbe, Shirley Temple, and Fay Wray. Victor Fleming, later director of Gone with the Wind, and Henry Hathaway, who later directed True Grit, both learned their craft on Grey films.
Honors and awards
The National Park Service maintains his former home in Lackawaxen, Pennsylvania as the Zane Grey Museum, a part of the Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River area.
His home in Altadena is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
Zanesville, Ohio has a museum named in his honor, the National Road-Zane Grey Museum.
Zane Grey Terrace, a small residential street in the hillsides of Altadena, is named in his honor.
The Zane Grey Tourist Park Bermagui, Australia.
“Zane Greys’” a headland at the western end of Matapaua Bay, New Zealand.
The Zane Grey Continuation School is located adjacent to Reseda High School in Reseda, Los Angeles, California.
Zane Grey room is located at the Sigma Nu – Beta Rho house in honor of where Zane Grey lived for part of his time at the University of Pennsylvania.
Wilder Ranch State Park near Santa Cruz, California named the Zane Grey Trail after the author.
I hadn’t intended to do a post on The Shootistuntil I reached it via my series on John Wayne’s Filmography. But Hugh O’Brian’spassing and his role in the important Western Classicmoved it up the ladder. I won’t do a full posting on it here, but there’s some interesting things about this movie and O’Brian’sinvolvement.
I have to confess I’m puzzled why all these posters are different in coloration?
“There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.” – origin unknown – Often attributed to Mark Twain
Internet Movie Data Base (IMDB) says this:
“Contrary to popular belief, John Wayne did not have cancer when he made this film. His entire left lung and several ribs had been removed in surgery on 17 September 1964, and in 1969 he was declared cancer-free. It was not until 12 January 1979, almost three years after this movie had been filmed, that the disease was found to have returned. According to a 2014 biography “John Wayne: the Life and Legend” by Scott Eyman, Wayne had been found to have stomach cancer in 1975 but it had gone into remission before filming began on this movie.”
MFW: The contention here, of course, is that John didn’t know this was his last film/Western. I’m no detective, but I do know that almost the entire cast of The Shootist– including Director Don Siegel– were handpicked and invited by Wayne to be in this movie. Does that sound like somebody that doesn’t know this is the end of line?
Hugh O’Brian’s role in The Shootistis interesting. He seems to get a bit of preferential treatment. His role basically reprizes his previous portrayal of Wyatt Earp from his popular TV series “The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp” (1955–1961). Also, in The Shootist, Hugh’s character is a Faro dealer in the saloon. This was Earp’s real life side occupation when he was a Marshall in Tombstone.
Hugh also wears the gentleman’s garb of vest and tie vest – almost identical to O’Brian’sportrayal of Earp in his popular TV series.
Next, when John goes to the bar at the start of the final shootout scene, he pours himself a drink – and salutes only one of the three patrons in the bar: Hugh O’Brian. Ignoring Richard Booneand Bill McKinney. I’d say that’s a hell of a compliment – from the Dean of Western Heroes.
Hugh salutes back. ‘See ya John’.
When the final shootout takes place, Hugh – a true gentleman – doesn’t enter the fray until Boone and McKinney are dispatched.
In 1937 John appeared in a real head scratcher: Idol of the Crowds– a hockey movie!
Yes, John made an occasional non-Western,
but I never knew he ranged this far afield!?
I couldn’t access any video, but it looks like John
really knows what he’s doing out there!
In the synopsis you can see that John plays a guy called JohnnyHanson. This is rather interesting coincidence, because one of my favorite (guilty pleasure) movies is Slapshot (1977) – a hockey sendup Starring Paul Newman!(believe it or not) and these amazing characters: The Hanson Brothers, who have become big Canadian celebrities.
The Hanson Brothers – signing their real names
John Wayne as Johnny Hanson
The Hanson Brothers deserve a Post to themselves
so I’ll get back to them later.
Meanwhile … John Wayne plays a chicken farmer who plays hockey. With all due respect to chicken farming, how does one go from
being a Western Hero to a chicken farmer hockey player?