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…

Archive for Category 'Blog'

29 Mar
Bob Hunt

Blast From the Past

written by Bob Hunt in Blog | 12 comments

Dynamite Magazine
The magazine that was bold enough to put Variety Hour Bradys on its cover.

Years before personal computers gave everyone the tools to become amateur graphic artists, my adolescent bedroom was adorned with an eye-catching movie poster.  A man and two children were painted in the foreground, running  toward the viewer while glancing behind them, as if being pursued.  Towering over them on the horizon stood massive stone letters spelling out the title of the film: BLOCKBUSTER.  Breathless testimonies (…the movie of the year! …the star of the century!) were accompanied by explosions in the sky and a jet soaring overhead.  Above the legend Together Again As You’ve Never Seen Them Before!  screamed red marquee lettering that proclaimed the stars of this cinematic event: ROBERT REDFORD and…well, and BOB HUNT!  Or whatever your name happened to be, if you were a fan of Dynamite magazine and took a few minutes to ferret out the correct letters, lick the gummed backing, and carefully affix them to that month’s bonus poster.

Yes, Dynamite, the short-on-pages (36, including the card stock covers) long-on-content (no ads!) periodical that once competed with other Scholastic titles in those colorful Arrow Book Club fliers you might have brought home from school.  So faithfully did I check its little box each month that my mother eventually decided that a subscription made more sense, and soon Dynamite was making its regular appearance among the scant mail I received.  I looked forward to every issue, and what kid wouldn’t?  With its bonus posters and punch-outs, magic tricks and tips for transforming your dull room into a cool place, Dynamite understood juvenile interests and unfailingly delivered.

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18 Mar
Barry Williams

Let’s Meet In Vegas

written by Barry Williams in Blog, barry | 4 comments


‘Only valid for my blog and facebook friends’

Vegas is one of my favorite places. I love the energy and the mix of fun, interesting people. I’m here for the next few weeks performing in Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding. It’s a great show if I say so myself. We’re having a great time. I worked with the management here to offer a special rate for my friends online. If you can make it simply print this page and head to Vegas.

Hope to see you here!

Barry

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03 Mar
Barry Williams

Solo And Climbing

written by Barry Williams in Blog, barry | 10 comments


‘Look closely, that’s me making my first landing!’

Along the way to reaching a goal there are milestones that must be achieved. I recently took on the goal of becoming a private pilot and I am happy to say I just hit one of those milestones. At some point if you want to swim you have to jump in the water, or if you want to snow ski at some point you must head down the mountain.  If you want to fly there comes a time when you need to do it unassisted, without a flight instructor to tell you what to do, and sometimes more importantly, what not to do. That point happened for me this past month.

The first thing I told Joe Justice, my instructor, when we started this process was that I was not in a hurry to hot-rod around the skies.  I wanted to take whatever time necessary to reach a level of proficiency that made my first foray above the earth a safe one.  That day happened on February 18th. Keeping in mind the aviator’s motto that flying is the second most satisfying experience in the world and LANDING is first. The only inkling I had that the day’s lesson might be different is that Joe made sure I had my log book and picture ID onboard the plane.

Off we went for a couple of loops around the airport, landing and taking off again without stopping.  After our second landing he asked me to come to a complete stop because… he wanted to get out of the plane.  The moment was here.  The moment I had long anticipated. After 42.9 hours of supervised flight time he at least felt I was prepared to fly alone.  It was time to solo.  Even with butterflies, I felt ready as well.

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01 Mar
Bob Hunt

 

Who will win the first-ever GBP Brady Awards?

Did you catch the Academy Awards recently?  Greg Brady Project friend David H. did, and the sight of all those Oscars being handed out inspired him to propose “the first annual ‘Brady’ awards, honoring outstanding achievements in an episode of The Brady Bunch.”  David suggested six award categories, with all us of collaborating to produce five worthy nominees for each category.  After the nominations are finalized, winners will be decided by popular vote.  We love the idea, David, and so it is that we now officially open the call for nominations for the award categories listed below.  I’m really tempted to serve up a full slate of contenders, but I’m going to limit myself to the honor of choosing the first nominee for each award.  The rest is up to all of you, loyal Brady fans.

BEST ACTOR (any male cast member can be nominated for a specific episode):  I nominate Mike Lookinland for “Bobby’s Hero.”  Not only does he create a credible change of heart for the Jesse James-obsessed Bobby, he conveys real terror (as coached by Lloyd Schwartz) during the fantasy train robbery.

BEST ACTRESS (same for female cast member):  I nominate  Eve Plumb for “The Not-So-Rose-Colored Glasses.”  Eve has a lot of great moments in this one, from her glib dismissal of Marcia’s concern for her eyesight to the tearjerker scene in which Mike learns that Jan has sold her bike to pay for a second family portrait.

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23 Feb
Barry Williams

Slam Dunk

written by Barry Williams in Blog, barry | 7 comments

Trotters…
‘Dad, Brandon and a Trotter – Al’s right behind us’

One of the enjoyable yet surprising parts of being Dad to a six year old son is reliving my own childhood.  It is completely enjoyable to watch his face delight in the discovery of new activities, skills, sports, food, plays and movies.  Brandon was first introduced to The Harlem Globetrotters via a Scooby Doo DVD called appropriately enough, “Scooby Doo Meets The Harlem Globetrotters”.  He was aware they  is also a group of very talented real life players who play professional basketball games but he had not seen them live.  I hadn’t seen them live since, well, I was about Brandon’s age.

Last week The Harlem Globetrotters came to town and played the Staples Center in Los Angeles.  Brandon and I and some friends went to see the game and what a treat we were in for.  We got there in plenty of time to get pizza and drinks and snacks.  Armed with programs and mini Globetrotter basketballs we settled in to watch the first half.  I remember really having a good time in my youth watching the game but this current team of Globetrotters and the show they present is pretty amazing.  Brandon was set from the beginning to keep track of the score and began cheering with all his might whenever the “good guys” scored, loudly pronouncing for the arena to hear with arms up over his head…..SCORE!!!

At half time we were privileged to go behind the scenes and meet the team, get autographs and take pictures.  As we started down the meet and greet line it was clear that I was not the only one recapturing a bit of my early youth.  We rubbed elbows with Billy Crystal, Adam Carolla, and Al Pacino among others who had their young kids in tow and there was a distinct air of excitement.  The players could not have been more friendly or more accommodating as we asked questions, learned to spin basketballs on one finger and in our case got our Scooby Doo DVD autographed.

Fortunately, even though the opposing Washington Generals cheated on the score a couple of times during the second half, the Globetrotters ultimately won the game much to the relief of Brandon.  That made Dad pretty happy too.

Now Search & Win for Great Brady Prizes!

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22 Feb
Bob Hunt


’1,774 friends and counting…’

Ask anybody – Barry Williams is a friendly guy.  Seasoned entertainer, keeper of the Brady flame, ever patient with perpetual repetitions of “Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!”, the Real Greg Brady is as affable as can be.  And now, like a new and improved box of Safe Soap, Barry is friendlier than ever before, thanks to Facebook.  That’s right, if you’ve ever dreamed of counting Barry among your circle of friends, just head on over to his Facebook page and offer your friendship.  He’ll be happy to accept.

I must confess that Barry is a whole lot friendlier than I am.  Though we started our Facebook accounts at roughly the same time, his list of friends is currently more than 25 times greater than mine.  I say currently because Barry’s list keeps growing like an unstoppable kudzu vine.  Take note of when his name pops up on your “Live Feed” and you’ll see him add a dozen or more amigos in a single go.  Me?  I might have one or two adds, and that’s only once in awhile, not every time I sign on.

Of course, I sense that our friendiocity standards are likely different.  I try to keep my account manageable by limiting my adds to people with whom I have actually had a conversation.  This is comparatively easy for me to do because I do not have a legion of fans who wish to befriend me.  Barry, however, has more people who’d like to chat with him than I can imagine.  It’s time consuming just perusing his friend list.  It’s also fascinating, considering that mixed in among hundreds of unfamiliar names are the well-known monikers of quite a few celebrities.

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16 Feb
Barry Williams

Ribbit Ribbit

written by Barry Williams in Blog, barry | 13 comments


‘Pepperoni Frog Pizza!’

I went to check out my girlfriend’s show this past Friday night. Well, actually not my current girlfriend, but Greg’s reoccurring girlfriend Rachel on The Brady Bunch, played by Hope Schwartz Juber. Hope is the daughter of our creator Sherwood Schwartz and married to world renowned guitarist and former band member of Wings, Laurence Juber. In the eighties Hope performed in a quasi rock, all female band called The Housewives, which coincidentally also featured Barbara Chase who is Florence Henderson’s daughter.

It was one of Hope’s dreams to turn the experiences she had with the band into a musical. So she collaborated with Laurence to write the music and she partnered with a writing friend to write the book and the result was a really fun, enjoyable Friday night at the theatre for a performance of Housewives 2 in the San Fernando Valley. The fictional story follows the lives of the three girls who make up the Housewives. Their ups and downs their egos, the mess ups and the comebacks and it is done in a very clever way. So clever that sometimes I found myself laughing right through the next joke which may warrant going back to see the show for a second time. In an odd way, because I didn’t have anything to do with creating the show, yet somehow I am proud of Hope. I hope Hope will forgive me (Greg) for taking her out on a date to the drive in all those years ago when that ginormous frog landed on her head and in the middle of our pizza.

Now Search & Win for Great Brady Prizes!

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08 Feb
Barry Williams

Up, Up and Away

written by Barry Williams in Blog, barry | 5 comments


She’s a beauty’

Many of you know I have taken up a long time desire to learn to fly.  It seems I have always had a reason or an excuse to keep myself on the ground and I finally have pushed them all out of the way and have been diligently studying and flying with Joe Justice out of Santa Monica Airport here in CA since October ’08.  Joe is the perfect choice for a flight instructor for me.  He is extremely experienced, safe, patient, plus he owns Justice Aviation

It is an interesting process taking up a new skill at this point in life.  I am used to doing what I know how to do well and, well…. flying is a brand new skill set and  a new way of thinking.  I am learning in a Cessna 172 and during my first few lessons I thought this would be a piece of cake.  I mean push the pedals turn the wheel and push or pull the yolk forward and back… what’s the big deal?  Around the third or fourth lesson however Joe stopped “assisting ” me quite so much and I quickly learned that there was a great deal more to successfully flying (and more importantly landing) an airplane than I had originally thought.  But here’s the deal, it’s FUN.  It’s challenging and rewarding and fun and I am hooked.

I am flying two to three times a week when in LA and I look forward to every flight.  It is an entirely new dimension to explore.  I am learning the local landmarks, the air spaces, aerodynamics, rules of the skyways and of course the all important controls and instruments.  Learning how to talk with ATC is also a challenge.  Everything in aviation is an acronym and for the uninitiated ATC is Air Traffic Control.  These men and women who work in the Control Towers are the pilot’s best friend while in flight, helping to keep all of the aircraft separated from one another.

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11 Jan
Bob Hunt


No fair choosing all six Oliver episodes.

A while back we asked you to name your Brady Six, the sextet of classic episodes that you consider to be the best of the Bunch.  Now it’s time to visit the other end of the spectrum with the Brady Basement.  These are the half-dozen lesser shows that you recognize with a slight sigh of disappointment whenever they air, not because they are inherently bad but simply because they are not great.  Though I truly enjoy all 117 episodes (call me the Father Flanagan of Bradyphiles, but I believe there are no bad Brady Bunch episodes), I am less likely to spend precious Brady Bunch-watching time with the following six installments, presented in the order in which they aired.


The angst of being the youngest one in curls.

EENIE-MEENIE-MOMMY-DADDY

First season episodes of The Brady Bunch stand conspicuously apart from the rest of the series for many reasons:  the kids are so young, the Peppermint Trolley Company warble the opening theme, and storylines focus on whether or not this whole blended-family experiment will succeed.  A more playful tone would eventually emerge, but some of the initial shows get stuck in syrupy drama or lethally sweet cuteness.  This episode has both, with director John Rich pushing Cindy to her most adorable limits and then casting her into the pit of melodramatic despair.  Should she give Mommy the single ticket to her school play?  Should she give it to her new Daddy?  Modern Brady watchers with the benefit of multiple rerun hindsight can only watch helplessly, unable to reach through the TV screen and shake little Cindy out of the dumps.

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06 Jan
Bob Hunt

Spirit of ’76

written by Bob Hunt in Blog | 6 comments


Uncle Sam wants YOU…to drink enough 7UP to build this pyramid!

I was in the beverage aisle of my local megamart this morning when a sparkle of green light caught my eye.  There on the end shelf among a host of trendy boutique soft drinks stood several single bottles of 7UP.  They were real glass, with a bona fide bottle cap affixed to the top and 12 ounces of soda inside.  I was instantly smitten by these miniature replicas of the 16-ounce returnable bottles that were ubiquitous in the 70′s.  Then I saw the price:  $1.19.  Each.  And just down the aisle I could pick up a full 2 liters of 7UP for only pennies more.  Still, I hesitated before the retro bottles.  Why?  Should I care in the least how the goods I buy are packaged?  No.  And yet, despite myself, I do.

Somewhere out there is a beverage marketer who knows what memories are triggered when I see that glass 7UP bottle.  As I gazed upon its fragile contours, I saw a corner of my boyhood kitchen stocked with soda for a family gathering, the bottles standing upright in those cardboard carriers with handles that would cut into your fingers as you lugged them through the store.  I felt the coolness of frosted glass upon my forehead on a blistering summer day.  I heard the rattling of the conveyor belt that carried the empty bottles back to the bowels of the store after we had collected our deposit.  Good thing I didn’t pick it up and feel the heft of a bygone packaging era, or I would have found it much too easy to place it in my cart instead of back on the shelf.

The funny thing is this:  I wanted to buy that bottle of 7UP even though I had almost no desire to drink the product inside.  It was all about the packaging, which I reflexively associated with fond memories of my childhood.  Perhaps the strange psychological lure of clever product design, that dastardly method by which we are coaxed into buying things we don’t even want in the first place, was stronger than I thought.  For as I wheeled my empty cart down the aisle, I recalled a copious amount of 7UP being consumed on my street in the summer of 1976.

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