Happy new year faithful Lee Marvin Point Blank blog readers, and for yours truly, there’s no better way to start the new year than with a a new gig interviewing TV and movie legend Clint Walker! It proved to be another example of my Lee Marvin research turning into something more fortuitous.
The background story is rather interesting. I had interviewed the big fella back in the early days of my work on the book as he costarred with Marvin in The Dirty Dozen. Unfortunately, not all that great stories he related made the book, but hey, that’s where blogs come in handy.  I had then gotten back in touch with him fairly recently in hopes of getting his thoughts on working with Charles Bronson in The Dirty Dozen and then later in Bronson’s strange western/fantasy film, White Buffalo. As for the Bronson project, as Johnny Carson used to say, more to come.
Anyway, having done those two interviews with him, it occurred to me that the good folks who run Filmfax Magazine might be interested in a career-spanning interview with Walker. I contacted publisher Mike Stein about it and it was a go. I then contacted 90-year-old Clint Walker about it and he was slightly less enthusiastic. He was retired in Northern California with his wife and really didn’t want to have anything to do with the business any more, aside from the occasional memorabilia show. On top of that, he had recently suffered a fall and health-wise, he just wasn’t up to it. Well, it took no small amount of convincing by yours truly (as well as several schedule rearrangements!) and more than a little help from Facebook friend Deb Elsie, but eventually……

Filmfax cover for issue #150.

My interview with Clint Walker even made the cover. Seriously.
What’s that?
Don’t see it?
Well, look a little a closer in the top left corner there. Here, let me help…..

Top banner of FIlmfax, Dec.-Feb. 2018.

There, that’s better. Anyway, the interview indeed went well as Walker eventually opened up to talk about his many decades in the industry. I got him to tell great tales on such luminaries as Jack Warner, Cecil B. DeMille, Doris Day, The Bowery Boys, Kim Novak, Frank Sinatra, Arnold Schwarzenegger, even The Beatles! It’s the reason I love what I do.
I’m not going to post the article here, as it’s available in bookstores and newsstands everywhere. However, I can tease you a little to go out and buy a copy with this first page of the 8-page article….

Page 1 of my Filmfax interview with Clint Walker.

If  this teaser does want to make you go out and buy a copy of the magazine that publisher Mike Stein calls, “A five-ounce ton of intelligent fun,” then I humbly thank you.
By the way, if you like what you read, feel free to comment as the magazine really does print any and all letters to the editor. Honest! The contact info is:
Re: Edits 1320 Oakton St.
Evanston, IL 60202
Of course, if you didn’t care for the article, let’s just keep that to ourselves, shall we? I thank you and here’s to a happy and prosperous 2018!!
-Dwayne Epstein

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On what would have been his 74th birthday, has found a perfectly useable connection to Lee Marvin and birthday boy, John Lennon. You may or may not know a more prominent connection. John Lennon was a big fan of The Wild One, and as stated in Lee Marvin: Point Blank, Marvin’s gang in the film, The Beetles, proved to be quite inspirational.
Stranger still, but nontheless applicable, is yet another Beatle connection. When Lee Marvin’s recording of “Wanderin Star” from Paint Your Wagon was released as a single, no one was more surprised by its success than Marvin himself. The record company that released the single in England crowed no little bit about the success and paid for the following ad to be placed in the industry’s BillBoard magazine…..

Billboard Magazine ad touting Marvin's successful release of his singel of Wandern' Star.

Billboard Magazine ad touting Marvin’s successful release of his singel of Wandern’ Star.


The ad’s copy, barely visible in the bottom right corner, boastfully states:
We said LEE MARVIN had a record! But “Wanderin’ Star” is a song as timely as today from a story that is ageless.
Lee Marvin’s record of “Wanderin’ Star “from the movie “Paint Your Wagon.” PD’s [Program Directors] throughout the country loved the record.
“It’s the most different thing I’ve heard,” was what we heard most. “But when can I play it” is the thing we heard second most.
For anyone who missed the flash, this record was #1 — in England. It kept the Beatles out of the top of the chart.
We have just sent you a shining brand new copy of “Wanderin’ Star.” Listen to it again.
Get with the picture playing in every neighborhood in America.
Just play it. It takes care of itself.

That’s right. He kept the Beatles from having one last number 1 hit in the UK. The Beatles’ single came close but topped out at number 2. This fact, of course was NOT lost on Marvin who chided his Beatle-loving son Christopher about it constantly.
What was the Beatle song that Marvin kept out of the top spot? Well, let’s just say…..

The Beatles - Let It Be

The Beatles – Let It Be

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