The Red Baron In TV, Music, Film & Booze

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, April 9, 2018 02:56pm | Post a Comment

The Red Baron

By Kai Wada Roath
Ambassador of Confusion Hill and host of the Super Shangri-La Show
Red Baron pinball
"I never was good at learning things. I did just enough work to pass. In my opinion it would have been wrong to do more than was just sufficient, so I worked as little as possible."
~ Manfred von Richthofen
(Also me after four years of city college.)

Pre-flight check before take off...

Frozen Red Baron pepperoni pizza in the oven? - Check

Seagram's Red Baron cocktail from 1974 on crushed ice? - Check

Rewound VHS of the 1973 Japanese Tokusatsu series, Super Robot Red Baron? - Check

Well alright then, let's take off this airfield and shoot down some flying dog houses!

It was in my early 20s when I first became intrigued by Baron Manfred Von Richthofen and his colorful Flying Circus air squadron. With over 80 air-combat victories, the Red Baron was like the Miyamoto Musashi of WW1. The thought of knights jousting in the clouds with machine guns was how I wished I lived one of my past lives. Why is it a fantasy to want to face danger by yourself in the sky in a three-winged propeller plane?

I would soon play in a band named The Red Barons with my super-pals Mike "Tail Gunner" Cancilla, the Gas House Gorilla, and Sammy "Belly Gunner" (aka "The East Bay Snake," aka "Steak" Gutierrez of current Midnite Snaxxx fame and glory). Around that same time, I will never forget a night of smoking Cuban cigars and watching Los Rockin' Devils play at El Baron Rojo bar in Mexico City, one of my many adventures with Mike Lucas.

Anything Red Baron-related, especially vintage tchotchkes under ten bucks, were purchased and tossedRed Baron Model Car Kit into my hoarding collection of rad junk. What was it that brought the Red Baron into pop-culture in the 1960s-70s? Was it all thanks to everyone's favorite flying ace Beagle? Do you remember when Scooby-Doo and his van buddies defeated the ghost of the Red Baron with the help of The Three Stooges?

When I was 30, it was a very good year....I wouldn’t ride in limousines, but I would spend three weeks on Easter Island drinking $3 bottles of Chilean hangover rum, eating guava fruit plucked from the trees, and reading two old paperbacks about the Red Baron. It was then that I made it a goal to someday visit the Baron's crash site. Now I'm 43 and I'm aboutThe Royal Guardsmen to reach the "Bolero's climax" for on this April 21st, I will be journeying to that famous potato field in Northern France where the Red Baron made his final landing on the 100th anniversary of his death.

In the small village near Vaux-sur-Somme, they will be hosting a celebration on the 21st with Red Baron lectures, documentaries, a replica of his famed Fokker tri-plane on display in the square, and in the the village hall they will be showing Roger Corman's 1971 film, Von Richthofen and Brown! For the day's schedule, looky HERE.

I hope they will have a '45 of The Royal Guardsmen's 1966 hit single "Snoopy vs. the Red Baron" or "The Return of The Red Baron" in the jukebox of the local tavern where I plan on quenching my thirst. These records, I may also add, often appear in the Oldies section at Amoeba.

The best Red Baron without wings is the Super Robot Red Baron, still available on DVD. If you have a tender spot in your heart for Johnny Sokko and his Flying Robot or Iron King, I suggest you trade in your Uncle's Moondog albums you inherited ('cause I wanna buy them) so you can have a romantic date night with your sweetie watching Ken of the SSI (Secret Science Investigation) and his giant red robot pal battle it out against the Iron Masked Party, led by the diabolical Dr. Devilar.

Want to see the Red Baron and the best cinematic WW1 dogfights on the big screen? If you live in the Barbary Coast, the Super Shangri-La Show is presenting The Blue Max (1966) on Wednesday, April 11th at 7:30 at the historic Balboa Theater in San Francisco. It stars George Peppard, James Mason, and Ursula Andress, and is truly spectacular. More info HERE! I'll be there hosting the Trivia Adventure Quiz before the movie. Win some of my glorious hoarding treasures!

Hope to see you there, and to quote the Red Baron's last words, "Kaput!"

The Blue Max

Relevant Tags

Midnite Snaxxx (3), Film (186), Balboa Theater (6), Ursula Andress (2), James Mason (1), George Peppard (2), Baron Manfred Von Richthofen (1), France (24), Super Robot Red Baron (1), Vaux-sur-somme (1), Ww1 (1), Kai Wada Roath (38), The Red Baron (1), Los Rockin' Devils (1), Michael Lucas (1), Scooby-doo (1), The Three Stooges (1), The Royal Guardsmen (1)