The Greg Brady Project

Welcome to the official Barry Williams' blog

My friends call me Barry. From time to time I also hear the name Greg. Yeah, as in Greg Brady. The Brady Bunch represents a fun time in my life. But it’s only part of the story. There’s more to say and that’s what The Greg Brady Project is all about – a place to say it. So, I’ve invited some friends to join me and share their perspectives on the Brady’s, the 70′s and just about everything else. Now, I’m inviting you…

21 Feb
Eric Greenberg

Registry of Pop Culture Landmarks

written by Eric Greenberg in Blog | 2 comments

Save Woodland Park. Save Harper’s Woods. Save the Peach Pit. They’re always trying to save places on TV. Unfortunately, in real life, it doesn’t always work. Sure, we’ll throw a sign up in front of Paul Revere’s House and section off Plymouth rock so you can’t take a chunk home with you. But what about pop culture history? What about the places that might not qualify for landmark status, but ought to be saved? 

Here in New York, we’ve lost a few pop culture gems in the last few years and it’s starting to bug me. CBGB was the national headquarters of punk rock and home to bands like The Ramones and Talking Heads. But while the building is still standing, the club is now gone because of a rent dispute. A few years earlier it was another 70s music hot-spot, The Bottom Line, that was forced to close it’s Greenwich Village doors. Out in Brooklyn, you could have still broken out your moves on the original “Saturday Night Fever” dance floor until the club was demolished just three years ago. Nearby in Coney Island, they’re making plans to replace most of the classic rides with a new old time amusement park. And if that’s not enough, I just read that ”The Sopranos” Pork Store was torn down right under my nose a few months ago.  

Now here’s one that really gets me. Asbury Park, NJ has been trying for a renaissance for years. Yet the home of the 70s Jersey Shore music scene is sitting on a gold mine that developers seemed to reject. Sadly, despite an outpouring by fans, the long deserted Palace Amusements (as mentioned in the Springsteen classic ”Born to Run”) came crashing down a few years back. I say, why not use its musical history as the foundation for the city’s rebirth? Aside from sentimental value, it makes economic sense. Just blend the old with the new. If it worked for Rome, it can work for New Jersey. It seems like they might be starting to get it.

Out in Ohio, a guy named Brian Jones has the right idea. A huge fan of the holiday classic “A Christmas Story,” he bought Ralphie’s house on eBay, returned it to its original glory, and opened it up as a museum. He’s even gotten cast members to come back every year for a pre-holiday convention. I wish I had the cash to do something like that. I’d lay it down right now to buy Mickey’s gym from “Rocky” and turn it into a Philadelphia neighborhood bar before something happens to it. Think about the possibilities for ”Animal House’s” Delta House. Would that have made a great bed and breakfast or what? Someone could have even bought it and just rented it out for parties. But like so many other pop culture casualties, it’s no more.

The reality is that you can’t save everything. Some of it comes down to money. Some of it comes down to age and deterioration. Some of it simply comes down to progress. Just because there’s not a little plaque in front that says you can’t tear something down though, doesn’t mean you should. So think twice before you bring in the wrecking ball. And to those of you who own the Brady house, the “Seinfeld” diner and Cheers: If you ever get tired of the fans, the trespassers or business is just too slow, please call me first! Maybe I’ll come up with something.

So save Inspiration Point. Save the Clock Tower. Save Ferris. But try to save at least some of the real stuff too.

 

2 Comments

    Bob Hunt
    on Feb. 21st, 2008

    Speaking of Ohio, and Columbus in particular, the original Wendy’s was shut down for good last year. It was a fun place full of memorabilia, the closest thing to a Wendy’s museum. One acrylic case contained an empty Frosty container and spoon that was actually used by entertainer Danny Thomas (not to be confused with franchise founder Dave Thomas). We went there during its last weekend, and in honor of the occasion, I consumed my very first (and likely my very last) Triple. Alas, it’s all gone now.
    And so is the Wendy’s.

    Ralph F
    on Mar. 28th, 2008

    In the not too distant past, when my wife was asking if there was anyplace in England I’d like to visit, my first thought was of Fawlty Towers — and, alas, it is no more: http://www.fawltysite.net/wooburngrange.htm

    I love the appeal of the “real places” as mentioned or seen in TV shows. For instance, it’s my understanding that Tony Packo’s (as mentioned by Klinger in MASH several times) is a big tourist draw in Toledo.

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