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Hey there. We went to the same high school sort of...I was hardly there and I'm a few years older. Mitchell Nagao is my brother in law (I married Ally). I know your brother too, although I haven't seen him in over 15 years. Mitch gave me your url...this stuff is hilarious and fantastic.
You'll get a kick out of this. I met Bob Wilkins once. Bob was buddies with my next door neighbor's dad and he came over to hang out at their pool. I have a picture with him. And yes he had the cigar. I was about 8 years old. You probably remember "POW" too from Cap'n Mitch before and after school...or Tom LaBrie's Waterbed Wherehouse. Jesus that dude was weird. But somehow I ended up falling in love with Japanese writers over the last couple of decades. Kobo Abe, Michima, Soseki, Kawabata (yeah, pretty eclectic) and of course I own a shit load of Mifune movies and all of Kurosawa's films...mostly on VHS because they didn't have DVDs when I started collecting them. I even paid some clown for the Drunken Angel and Quiet Duel on VHS tapes, clearly poorly copied. Jesus, that was ten years ago. I have lots of Anime also. And I've seen most of Miike's movies. And I think all of it started with Godzilla from channel 2...on a really good day (always Saturday) we used to get it on the antenna...as you know, nobody in Greenhaven had cable yet. My grandparents lived in Fort Bragg and whenever I visited, I got my fill of the good stuff. Ultraman, Johnny Sokko and His Flying Robot (other than Speed Racer that was actually my favorite and the theme song still goes through my head a lot) and even Goldar. I never really liked Goldar though...it was just cool because it was so retarded. And my buddies liked it.
Anyway, I think it's so cool what you are doing. I do science for a living (molecular biology) and it's fun but I'm way envious of "your skills" as Napoleon would say. I will be buying your books first thing tomorrow...or the ones I can find.
Take care,

Joe Dutra

Hey Joe,

There were a lot of Dutras in Sac, if I remember correctly. I think a "Mrs. Dutra" used to prowl the halls at Caroline Wenzel. Also, was there a Robin out there somewhere?

Nagao the machine, huh? I used to covet all of Mitch's toys and prayed to god one day he'd give them all to me. Maybe marrying into the family would have helped.

I only remember catching Creature Features on Channel 3 with Bob once, but the memory is vivid and I sent away for a Godzilla iron-on from the show. All true NoCal monster kids grew up in his shadow. Cap'n Mitch was with me everyday, of course. Still is in spirit. Tom LaBrie was pretty much my model for a kind of adulthood that I still hope to obtain: staying up all night on a custom designed waterbed watching crazy movies until they play the battered dupey sign off film. Enter Capt'n Mitch yet again for another Sacramento sunshine day. It went on like that for years...

Someone who grew up in the Bay Area proper once told me that he thought all the kids in Sac were weird because we tended to stay inside a lot watching TV and fetishizing stations from across the way. I guess we were pretty strange in retrospect, but it all seemed perfectly natural at the time...like a bowl of Crunch Berries that would trash your intestinal lining if you ate it now.

I can't tell you how many times I shredded my gut with a giant bowl of Cap'n Crunch while watching Star Blazers.

Yep, Robin is my younger sister. That Mrs. Dutra at Wenzel was unrelated...thank God. Robin works for the FBI if you can believe that!

Do you know Eric Gorfain? He lived on Northlite right between us and the park. He is my age and speaks Japanese. He lived there for three years and is a violin player among other things. He is big in the music scene producing a few bands over there but mostly U.S. gigs. He has a recording studio in L.A. and writes arrangements for his quartet and a crap load of people (Robert Plant, Dr. Dre, Clapton, Christina Aguillera...he did the strings for that song Beautiful). He works with Jon Brion a lot. Anyway, he's super cool and knows a lot of people. I sent him your blog site to check out. He said he could learn a lot from your Japanese pop culture knowledge. Here is his site...



Hey Joe,

Did Eric have a skate board ramp in the mid-80s and did his house face Wenzel? I lived at the end of Coachlite, in the cul-de-sac.

How 'bout that kooky Mr. Neill?

Does anyone know the name of the Theme song for Night Comfort Theatre? Or who wrote it. I used to stay up late to watch Tom's movies, but I really wanted to hea the Theme song more tha anything esle.

The theme song to Night Comfort Theatre was "It Doesn't Matter" by Spyro Gyra.

I remember Tom LaBrie at nite.
My friend Van Vanlaningham told me Tom was always drunk and coked up so bad Van had to stop him from coming into the store. It was embarassing to have Tom around the customers.
Van was the El Camino store manager.

Okay, does any know the theme songs used 40 channel 40 during the mid 70's? I don't remember much except they always played it while there were waves crashing on the beach. It was played around the time of night comfort theater. It was not Spyro Gyra (although thank you for that response).

I have some old VHS tapes lying around here somewhere with the full on Night Comfort effect. I don't think they'll ever be the same after Harriet's comments. Are there any clips on YouTube? Too wasted myself now to check.

There's now a bunch of Night Comfort clips on YouTube, almost all from the 70s. They used a different theme then, the original opening theme was some stereotypical movie fanfare music. Tom seemed less weird in these clips then I remembered him, but I didn't see him until about 1982, so that may account for that.

Oh man. Thanks for the tip. I hadn't seen Tom in years. After watching this link below, I think we're all caught up on lost time.


WOW!!! Spyro Gyra. I have been playing that Night Comfort music in my head for years...when I was a kid, I thought it was George Benson.
There were two pieces of music used on LaBrie's show. During his monologue, they used a Johnny Mathes song behind him. Can't remember the name, but Dick Leeson (longtime Ch. 40 executive) told me it was from a movie soundtrack...how many Johnny Mathes songs were ever used in movies from the early 70's...shouldn't be too hard to track that down. This is great! I was born and raised in South Sac (up the street from Channel 40 and Dairy Queen). Brings back very good memories.

I trip how this otnesetsya Harry ...

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