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…
As a self-professed “Bradyholic,” my obsession has been with the space that surrounded the Brady cast during production. In addition, the mystique that surrounds the North Hollywood house used only for exterior shots is incredible by anyone’s standards. Really, can you think of any other TV house on this planet that has received such fame and pop culture status?
My curiosity about the Brady Bunch house led me to do some research about ranch-style homes, design trends, and the post-WW2 culture that bred them. These homes came out of a culture of optimism (among other things), a virtue which The Brady’s wholeheartedly stood for.
For me, the iconic Brady Bunch house, both in true form as well as fictional form, represents the American ideal, and I’ve always wondered what they looked like from an insider’s perspective. Curious about both forms (real and fictional) of the house, I began making sketches of all the Brady spaces a number of years ago. Eventually, I acquired a CAD program for my computer which would allow me to bring my sketches to life. Having spent dozens of hours watching reruns of the show, I’ve gradually developed a “virtual tour” of sorts, which are on both Flickr and You Tube. In the virtual tour, Brady fans are given a perspective of what the set of The Brady Bunch may have looked like from an actor’s perspective. Additionally, this virtual tour also takes viewers through the famous Brady Bunch house in North Hollywood.
The whole project was just a chance for me to have fun, explore, and interact with other Brady fans. Now check out the Brady house like you’ve never seen it before…
IT’S ALL IN THE SONG
No other industry in recent memory has undergone as many changes as this business of Music. Despite its flaws, though, – its ups and downs – those of us who’ve managed to survive its fickle nature; very few would trade it for any other profession.
For most of my decades-long career I’ve mainly been regarded as a Record Company’s pigeonhole-enigma. That predilection does have its positive side, though, garnering for me, a diverse and international following.
Unlike many others, I’ve had very few world-renown records, but the ones I have had are well remembered: The “In” Crowd, Loving Arms and the unforgettable, Drift Away, which many people think I wrote. But that credit belongs to Mentor Williams – brother of the composer, Paul Williams. Now, thanks to the Internet, much of the music that
To you, Barry, I offer my very best wishes for the success of your new Blog, and here’s hoping that the Brady Bunch’s popularity from all those years of airing follow you in all your future endeavors.
Dobie Gray reached number 5 on the Billboard charts with “Drift Away” in March of 1973. Thirty years later, the song returned to the top ten when Dobie re-recorded it with Uncle Kracker. Barry recorded his own cover of “Drift Away” for the album “The Return of Johnny Bravo”, and also performed the song in his recent off Broadway show “Growing Up 70s.”
Lou Schumacher Animal Rentals was the animal supplier for the show. I worked for Lou in the early seventies as did a few trainers. Tiger belonged to Lou and was trained mainly by Karl Lewis, a renowned animal trainer (“Babe,” “Call of the Wild,” “White Dog” and more too numerous to mention). Myself and another trainer Bill Vergis got the call to do the goat show. We found a goat through contacts, and brought her home to my house and started the training. I do remember they called her Raquel in the episode we did.
Training was easier than we thought as she learned quickly and worked to rewards and a “Buzzer.” We train animals to the sound of the buzzer and when they respond to it, they are rewarded with food. When we got to set we noticed that the goat had a lot of inside work. This did not create a problem. But never seeing the set, she was reluctant to “pay attention” to what she was supposed to do. Robert Reed was the director and gave us plenty of time to rehearse with “Raquel”. Sometimes you will have problems with animals as they have never been in a movie or on TV. We did several rehearsals and everything started to go just fine until we started the closet scenes. She did not want to be in that closet. Barry was very patient and so was the crew. In a scene where Florence Henderson is showing a group the house, Greg has to hide the mascot. Hence this is the closet scene. Raquel also wore a mascot blanket type prop with the other school’s name on it.
When I first heard about “A Very Brady Musical,” I couldn’t wait to audition. Now admittedly, my father, Lloyd J. Schwartz, did co-write and is directing the show. And my grandfather, Sherwood Schwartz, did create the original series. But just like millions of people across the world, I happen to love the show. And trust me, I did not get the normal treatment of nepotism. In fact, seeing some of my own family among the faces of the audition panel was incredibly nerve-wracking. In my five-minute audition I had to convince a room full of people that I was the best one for the part, regardless of my association. Within days the cast was set. I could not have been more excited to land the role of Peter Brady.
In theatre, abnormalities and the unexpected are normal and expected. The actor cast as Greg had to drop out, and I was chosen as the replacement. I took off my Peter wig and put on my identical Greg wig. I was ready. I realized some very important aspects of the character. Greg is old and wise through the eyes of Bobby, Cindy, and the rest of the gang. Yet, he is still naïve and confused when it comes down to surviving in the real world. He has a lot to learn but is completely willing to learn it.