Stories and insight in the world of showbiz and beyond.

Monday, February 19, 2007


In case you are wondering what happened to “THE CONFESSIONS OF A HAS-BEEN” that I‘ve been promising for about a week, I decided I just wasn’t ready to confess yet. Actually, I’ve been working on some other projects and haven’t had time to really bare my sole.

I’ll do it! I’ll do it! But, in the meantime, I decided to do a Steve McQueen redux. When I started my blog over 14 months ago, one of my first stories was about my friend Steve McQueen. I figured that because so many cliquers have joined the Mouse Clique (Rat Pack for BlogSpotters) since this original mouse roared, they might have missed it.

It was the new Pixar movie “CARS” that really tipped my hand to repeat the story. The lead character in “CARS” is a sporty race car named Lightning McQueen. Like a lot of people, I thought they were talking about Steve McQueen. That is, until I did a little research.

According to Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, “The car named McQueen was a reference to Glenn McQueen, a Pixar animator who died in 2002.

However, when I see Lightning McQueen speeding down the road in “Cars.” I can’t help seeing Steve McQueen speeding around those hair-pen turns in the movie “Bullitt.”

And that’s why I want to repeat my favorite Steve McQueen story.

As the “THE BLOB” was Steve’s first starring role in a movie, I decided to call my story,

“THE BLOG” starring Steve McQueen.”

I took the above picture of Steve McQueen and Don Gordon just before we started out on one of our motorcycle rides. This was not too long after the movie Bullitt came out. Don Gordon, shown on the left, played Steve McQueen’s police partner in Bullitt.

One way to pick up a few minutes of fame in Hollywood back in the 60s, was to get yourself a big motorcycle with lots of shiny chrome. Then, park it out front of the famous Whiskey A-Go-Go and just sit on it. It was even better if you could get one of the Whiskey Go Go girls to sit behind you, high up on the back. This was the personification of “hip” and the big kick-start for the popularity of ordinary (instead of ornery) folks riding “bikes.” Back in the 50s, the perception of the people who rode motorcycles was created right out of Marlon Brando’s “The Wild One.” Scruffy, mostly imbecilic gangs, that rode into town on their “hogs” to rape all the women and destroy the town square (pun intended); a seedy bunch that no self-respecting citizen would ever want to emulate.

1963’s “The Great Escape,” starring Steve McQueen, was a turning point. One mighty leap over that prison wall and the Hollywood crowd jumped right along. Everyone wanted to be Steve McQueen.

I’m not ashamed to admit that I was a member of the “Hollywood Angels.” We were a rather close-knit group. I bought my beautiful blue-tanked chrome-trimmed 1965 Triumph Bonneville from celebrity bike dealer and movie stunt coordinator Bud Ekins. Bud was the stunt person who actually made the “The Great Escape” jump and was a close friend of McQueen. Not too many people were aware of this, but Steve was actually a championship motorcycle off-road racer himself. Because of studio insurance concerns, he raced with Bud Ekins’s 6-man All-American team and competed in the International Six Days Trial in Germany under the pseudonym of Harvey Mushman.

My good friend and neighbor, actor Don Gordon, introduced me to Steve. Besides playing Steve’s cop partner in Bullitt Don also had a starring role next to Steve in Papillon. Don invited me to visit the Bullitt set in San Francisco and that’s where I met Steve McQueen.

At the time, I was living on Mulholland drive, high up in the Hollywood Hills. Mulholland’s sweeping deadman curves went for miles above Los Angeles and presented a great challenge for a motorcyclist like Steve.

One Evening, Steve and Don Gordon showed up at my door. They wanted to know if I could come out and play. It was as if I was 10 years old again and my pals were asking me to come out and play ball or catch lightning bugs or something. There would be no ball game tonight though. They had their bikes parked at my front curb and I was out the door in a shot.

What a night to remember. We rode high above the sparkling lights of Hollywood all the way to Latigo Canyon, which led us down to the Pacific Coast highway and soon we were cruising along accompanied by the beautiful sound of muted mufflers and pounding surf bouncing off the sandy Santa Monica beaches. No one said a word. It was a warm breezy moon-bright night; filled with the wind-in-your-face joy only a lover of motorcycles could possibly understand.

In Malibu, hunger started to kick in, and we turned in to the first restaurant we saw.

The tantalizing aroma of burgers cooking and onions frying filled the air; a scene typical of any hamburger joint you might encounter anywhere in the USA. Packed tightly with young people having a good time, no one bothered to look up as we chose a booth in the back of the room. However, after we sat down and ordered, I could faintly recognize what sounded like my name coming through the drone of the many conversations in the room. You know how you can make out certain words in other people’s conversations? Kind of like, “YadayadaLloydyadayadaThaxtonyada?” I followed the sound to a group of five teen-age boys sitting in a booth across the room.

Sure enough, a few minutes later, one of the boys got up and shyly approached our table. He carefully put down five torn-off pieces of paper on the table and asked, “Lloyd, could you sign these for me and my buddies?”

He never once looked over or acknowledged that Steve McQueen was sitting directly across from me. I signed my name to each paper. He thanked me and went back to his friends.

A few minutes later, I once again started to recognize familiar words. And, again I traced them coming from the same teen-ager’s booth. This time it was, “YadayadayadaSteve yadaMcQueenyada.” It wasn’t long until the same volunteer came back to our table and stood facing me while he laid down four new pieces of paper. He then politely asked, “Lloyd, could you please ask Mr. McQueen if he would give us his autograph?”

Why didn’t the teen-ager just ask Steve for his autograph like he had asked me? And, why did he call me “Lloyd,” while referring to Steve as, “Mr. McQueen?”

What we had here was one layer of celebrity being peeled off to expose the bigger layer. Steve McQueen, you see, was bigger than life. The Teen-ager saw Steve up there, 20 feet tall, on that huge movie screen. I, on the other hand, came right into his living room each day on his family’s small, more intimate, television screen. I was more like a good friend. I was his good buddy “Lloyd.” Steve was, well, “Mister McQueen.”

When the young man left and went back to his excited friends, neither Steve nor myself ever discussed what just took place. It was as if it was a most natural occurrence; something that might happen to anybody just sitting around having a burger and fries. Our previously interrupted conversation just picked up without missing a beat. We finished our burgers, got back on our bikes and rode off into the sunset. Sunset Boulevard.

Steve McQueen was one of the nicest guys I had ever met in Hollywood. He treated everyone with great respect. However, he always knew who and what he was. A few years after this ride-for-burgers outing, I was invited to an afternoon pool party at Steve’s beautiful home nestled in a rustic canyon off Sunset Blvd. His co-star in the film “The Sand Pebbles,” Sir Richard Attenborough, was in town and Steve was hosting a party to introduce him to his friends. At one point in the afternoon Steve asked if I would like to see a new bike he had just purchased (by this time his collection included over a hundred and fifty new and antique motorcycles).

As we were looking at his fantastic new toy, I asked, “Are you still a member of the International off-road racing team?” He answered, with genuine sincerity, “No, that’s all behind me. From now on I’m going to concentrate on being a movie star.” Notice he didn’t say, movie “actor.” Though he was a remarkable actor, he knew he was more than that. He knew he was a star. He knew he was … Mister McQueen.

Stay tuned.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007


All the above thirteen heinous killers have been brought to justice by Inspector Thomlason on Mansion of Mystery. It is now time to close another case ("Statue of Death") and award our winners. If you have just tuned in, scroll down to the next blog and read part one. Then scroll back up for part two ...

The commercial is over. The "ONE THE AIR" sign just went on

Quiet in the studio please.


And now back to our mystery.


Well, Beanary, you say you saw Rosewell throw the statue down the ravine and later found it the dark because of the sparks it made on the way down?




That’s a lie Beanary. You couldn’t possibly see that bronze statue falling in the dark.


I said I saw the sparks as the statue hit the rocks. I just followed the sparks and found the statue.


What Sparks Beanary. Bronze doesn’t give off sparks as it strikes hard objects.


Oh Oh!


Beanary. You killed your wife.


You’ll never take me alive …



No Beanary! Come back!



He fell down the ravine.


Poor chap.


Well, Rosewell, there’s no use you hanging around any longer.


Thank you Inspector.


By the way, Rosewell. Did you notice?


Notice what, Inspector?


Beanary didn’t spark either.


Lights up please.

We have two winners. A lot of cliquers actually got it. But, as I had announced, only the first one and one other, picked at random, are the winners. Here are their Posts:


arthur said…

Hi Lloyd,

Mr. Beanary did the Murder. Anyone knows bronze does NOT SPARK so Mr. Beanary COULD NOT have seen the satuette go down the hill in the dark, so Mr. Beanary MUST have thrown the statuette HIMSELF!!

Thanks for the blog, Art


willowtree said…

My guess is that the husband did it because he’s lying about the statue. Bronze, being a softer alloy would not have given off sparks.


Arthur and Willowtree win personally signed copies of "STUFF HAPpENS and then you fix it."

In order to deliver your prize, Art and Willowtree, I need your mailing address. Send it to me in an email to and I will get your book out to you ... pronto.

Thanks to all who entered the contest. Though I have 128 more episodes that didn't make the blog cut, I am saving them for broadcast. They are SOOOOOOOOOO much better when you can listen to them.

Are we having fun yet?

Stay tuned.

Monday, February 12, 2007



One more day for Mansion of Mystery. One more day to get the clue, solve the crime and possibly win the prize. Tomorrow, I will run the second part of the Statue of Death episode and announce the winners. HOORAY!!!!!!

This will be the last time the series will be on my blog. Running the three episodes has created an interest from a New York production company that wants to possibly put the series back on the air. It works much better as a radio show anyway. However, if all 131 episodes do get back on the air (after almost 40 years off), I will have this blog and your loyalty to it to thank. Ain't life interesting?

OK, one last attempt at Statue of Death." May the best sleuth win!

Wednesday, February 07, 2007


Here's a little contest to see if all you CSI-bred TV sleuths are as good at solving crimes as you think you are. If you just tuned in to the blog, I created a radio show back in the 70s titled Mansion of Mystery. Two minutes of the mystery, a break, and then, solving of the crime. I've posted two of these mysteries already. However, I also posted the solution. This time you are only going to run the first part; the crime itself with a hidden clue.

The first person to post a comment with the correct clue leading to the solution of the crime will win a personally signed copy of my book "Stuff Happens."

I will also award a signed copy of the book to another clue solver. Who that will be is a mystery in itself. I will be a random selection from the list of posts. So if you think that someone else got the clue, you could still win.

May the best sleuth win.

c BLT Productions 1975-2007
All Rights Reserved


It’s time for Mansion of Mystery


Time for another hideous crime that you the listeners are invited to solve. The clues, though not always apparent, are there. To find them you must listen very carefully. Today we present, “The Statue of Death.”


The scene is the stately mansion of the industrial giant Horley Beanary. Mr. Beanary’s wife is lying dead on the richly appointed bedroom floor. Standing around the body are three people. Horley Beanary, Teddy Rosewell, Horley’s business partner, and Inspector Thomlason of the homicide division of the Newporter Police Department. Inspector Thomlason speaks.


All right Mr. Beanary. I know this is a difficult moment for you, but would you tell me what you know about this dreadful crime.


Well, all the lights were out in the house last night when I heard a scuffling. I jumped out of bed to investigate and saw someone dash from my wife’s room and race down stairs.


What did you do, Beanary?


Well, I gave chase. This vicious intruder ran onto the back porch where we keep a light burning and in the light, I recognized Teddy Rosewell here. He was the one running.


That’s a lie!


Quiet Mr. Rosewell. Continue Beanary.


Rosewell ran and he threw something away. It struck several times on the rocky slopes in the ravine, marking its path in the darkness with a series of little sparks.


Well, Mr. Rosewell. It looks like you’re in a lot of trouble. Mr. Beanary was able to lead us right to the spot of the dropped object and we found this bronze statuette. The blood and the hair found on the base match Mrs. Beanary’s and we found one good print of your forefinger near the top.


Wait a minute. I wasn’t even near the house last night. I stayed in my apartment all night. As for the fingerprints, well, I’ve touched that statuette many times while visiting the Beanary’s. I’m innocent I tell you. I’m innocent. I’m innocent …I'M INNOCENT!


Calm down Rosewell. Be a man. Actually you’re both suspects. My problem is to find out whose story holds up. Who’s telling the truth; because the one who is lying killed Mrs. Beanary.



Well sleuths. Did Beanary really see Rosewell throw the statue down the ravine? Is Rosewell’s fingerprint on the statue just an innocent coincidence? Which one is lying? We’ll help you with the solution in our next posting.


Go to work sleuths

Remember your answer must be posted in the comment section. Do not email me directly. Not fair.

Turn over your papers and begin.

Stay tuned