Pong!

One of my favorite websites is Classic Rock Revisited. The other day I got a notice from them that they now have a game arcade featuring some of the classic video games.  When I “ran” to their gamesite , memories flooded my brain. There they were!  Pong, Pacman, Asteroids, Space Invaders, Q-Bert, Frogger, and of course, Donkey Kong.

Right above the control room in the studio was a sort of recreation room with a full sized pool table and a “cocktail” PONG game.  A cocktail pong game is one that had the TV screen mounted in the middle of a table.  Pong Game That way, people could sit around the table with their drinks and play Pong.  In fact, that’s how the game was introduced to the public when it was first invented. (Here’s a great website with it’s entire history: PONG Story .)

I wasn’t much of a pool player, so I only played once in a while, but I watched a lot of fun games between musicians. One of my favorite players to watch, however, wasn’t a musician. He was an actor – Robert Blake. That’s right, Our Gang, In Cold Blood, Baretta, and murder trial.  He and Jimmy were good friends because he had starred in Jimmy’s movie Electra Glide In Blue.  He came around every so often to see Jimmy, and he would always play pool. He was good! So, I loved to watch him play if I got the chance.

Al and I also talked Jimmy into getting one of the first Solid State electronic pinball machines – Fireball. Since I loved pinball machines, it became my favorite way to pass time during recording breaks. That is, except when Chicago was there. Then we had to play Mille Borne. Boy, did we have a lot of loud and hilarious races! 

By the way, the Fireball game was the same as Bally’s 1977 “Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy” machine, but with different artwork. 

FireballCaptain Fantastic

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