Tuesday, November 10, 2015



This is Part 7 in the new and improved 'The Soundtrack Of My Life' (or, 'TSOML').

When I put together my original 'Soundtrack Of My Life' for my old 'STUFFS' blog in 2010, it never even occurred to me to use today's song. But then again, that "soundtrack" was tossed together quickly and all in one post. This time I've had the ability to contemplate which songs to include over a much longer period of time.

Today's song is really kind of a no-brainer (and no-brainer me finally figured that out).

As most of you probably know, the television show M*A*S*H played a pretty big part in my life from 1978 until its final episode in 1983 (Season 7 through Season 11). Although I do not think it so, I suppose many people would think it the most noteworthy part of my life. However, I didn't really appreciate the situation I was in until years after it had concluded. I had bigger dreams, and I was sure at the time that M*A*S*H would ultimately be nuttin' more than a footnote in my life. 

The best-laid plans o' dogGs and men..., eh?

At any rate, I worked on the show continuously during its last five seasons, and I could probably spot myself in almost every episode during those years. If you were a huge MASH fan, then I have been in your home. Ha!

In a few episodes I was impossible not to see (I would say something, and/or there was a big close-up of my face), in other episodes you'd miss me if you didn't know where to look (I'm just tossing a football in the background in front of "The Swamp").  

How could I have neglected to use this in my first 'Soundtrack' blog bit? In a way, this instrumental actually WAS my life for 5 years:


Did you know that the MASH theme music was derived from a song with lyrics written by Johnny Mandel? Listen to this and you may never think of the MASH theme music the same way again:



I thought this was a cool video that the gentleman put together after visiting and filming at Malibu Creek State Park, where we shot most of the exterior scenes for MASH. This video will show you what the exterior set looks like today.

I never really liked it when we shot in Malibu. Why not? Because that was about a 40-minute drive from my house. When we shot interiors on Stage 9 at 20th Century Fox Studio, it was just a 10-12 minute drive from home for me.

Two vivid memories I have of being at the outdoor set in Malibu: 1) One morning I was getting into costume inside the Post-Op (Hospital tent) where the Wardrobe Dept. was also located, when I picked up a newspaper and saw that John Lennon had been shot and killed. 2) It was also in the Post-Op tent where I was drawing in my sketchbook between shots one day that Gary Burghoff noticed my art and he struck up a conversation with me. He was a very, very cool guy and I got to know him and like him better'n any of the other primary actors on the show.


This is an interesting video from "behind the curtain" when we were filming the very final MASH scene ever. When the director yelled "Cut!", it was the end of the popular TV show MASH. 

Look closely and quickly and you will see me. At 3:37, there are three women on the right side - a blonde woman at the forefront - the tallest person there in that line is a dude-guy, and that dude-guy is me. Also, at 7:06, when Father Mulcahy is yakking, you can see a sliver o' me in the background, between his back and the camera lens.

A full blog bit 'bout my M*A*S*H  S*T*U*F*F*S 
can be found here:

My previous blog bits pertaining to 'The Soundtrack Of My Life' (TSOML) can be found by clicking the links below:

TSOML #1 - Prelude To An Introduction
TSOML #2- Introduction
TSOML #3 - 1959
TSOML #4 - 1967
TSOML #5 - 1974
TSOML #6 - 1978


For more TSOML participants, visit the blog of GIRL WONDER ('Your Daily Dose') by clicking HERE.

~ Stephen T. McCarthy


  1. I still think it's funny how much I loved MASH all through high school (and earlier). It was one show that my dad and I both loved and would watch at any given time. So, when I think of MASH, I think of him. It was a show I couldn't watch when I went off to college. Even though I was very happy there (and happy to be there), it evoked a feeling of homesickness for me.

    I've heard the song with the lyrics before. In fact, I think I'm pretty odd because I like it. There is something really dark in me that likes sad and depressing songs. (Yikes!)

    I tried to watch the tour, but I'm on vacation right now and my mom keeps talking to me. No way to get through that four minutes. I'll try to remember to come back and watch it later.

    Lastly, I did read your MASH bit on your other blog, so (thankfully) I've already watched the last video.

    On a more general note, I think most us don't appreciate the moments we're in while we're in them. It's only after we have distance on them, and life has changed, that we think to ourselves, "Dang, that was pretty great. I sure wish I'd just allowed myself to enjoy this time instead of wishing it were behind me so I could get to the better stuff ahead." Like you, my anticipated better stuff didn't turn out to be better.

    Maybe the secret of life is always just being happy and grateful for what you have and where you are. Right now.

    1. GIRL WONDER ~
      I've protly told you this before but... I really like your Pa! Of course I never met him, but when I saw him in that photo you sent of you two together in a Vegas casino, I immediately knew I liked him. Can't say why, but he just looked so down-to-earth and a regular man's man type like you'd see in a Sports & Race Book (where you'd also find my own Pa studying The Daily Racing Form). I really wish I could have met your Pa. I'm sure he was my kinda "guy".

      Ha!-Ha! No way to get through 4 minutes, eh? Well, enjoy the time you have with her now, while you have it. The video (or at least the set in Malibu) will always be there.

      Yep. "Be in the moment." That was a famous maxim we heard all the time in acting schools. It applies just as much (if not more so) to life in general. Oftentimes easier said than done. We're always thinking about the next thing we're planning to do, or kicking ourselves over the last thing we did.

      ~ D-FensDogG
      'Loyal American Underground'

      I also like the song by Johnny Mandel, with it's dark lyrics. There's a real dark, melancholy aspect to me (protly the most organic, natural part of my personality), and a song like 'SUICIDE IS PAINLESS' is right in my wheelhouse. (Although suicide is never really painless. Even if someone does it painlessly, there's a lot of pain for those they leave behind. I know x 2.)

      ~ D-FensDogG

  2. Glad I found time to stop in today and visit some blogs or I'd not have seen this. I've never known anyone who worked as an actor and this is seriously cool.

    I went back and read your post in "Stuff's" and loved that cast pic with you in your street clothes. It did turn out to be a good thing you didn't wear your fatigues as I could easily identify you. I can't imagine something like this being my job for five years! You got to know some famous actors, hear them tell their stories, engage in casual talk and be one of the gang. To you it was every day work, but for those of us on the outside it's the stuff dreams are made of. I guess we don't really appreciate the big things we did when we were young until we are old enough to look back at them. The saying "Youth is wasted on the young" is certainly true.

    I know I've been away for a while, but the renovations are taking longer than expected. Also we have unseasonably warm weather and I'm making the most of it before it is gone for the next four to five months.

    1. ANNE O' ~
      I'm glad you found time to stop in today, too!

      Yeah, "yout is wasted on the young" is one of the truest sayings that was ever said.

      My MASH years were, as you said, just "my day-job" and I never realized what a unique situation I was in at the time. I was so sure that big things were in store for me, and I was ALL ABOUT ACTING (AAA) in those years. I took it very, Very, VERY seriously and spent a lot of time and money studying. I saw it as a true art (not some celebrity thang).

      As you know, in my recent blog bit about my TOP TEN FAVORITE MOVIES, I mentioned that James Dean in 'East Of Eden' really ignited the acting bug in me. That was no casual statement.

      Glad to see you here again, Anne O'. But dig that weather while you can!

      ~ D-FensDogG

    2. I would be shocked if James Dean didn't inspire you. I meant to say that in your original post. I picture you as a rebel with a cause:)

    3. Yep, that's me: Rebel With A Cause.
      Or, Revel With A Beer.

      ~ D-FensDogG

    4. Ya, I'm with Birgit, you do seem to have the same spirit as Dean did. It's too bad he died so young as I would have loved to see him develop.

      Your attitude towards acting was the healthy one. It seems to me that the actors who get caught up in celebrity wind up believing in their own myth, lose touch with their true selves and with humanity.

      I'm certain God had some reason for not having "the next big thing" come along. We like to think the road not taken is the one we should have gone down, that somehow it would have led to a place better than the one we're in now. If what I hear is true, Hollywood is full of Satanism and as one of His children, that's not a world He would want you to inhabit.

      As it is you've got better stories to tell than most of us and some great memories as well.

    5. ANNE O' ~
      Thanks for coming back here.

      Yes, I did (and still do) have the James Dean spirit. What he was expressing was a universal Truth and, by definition, that doesn't change.

      For a number of years, I genuinely suspected that I might be James Dean reincarnated. (If I listed the facts to support that belief, it would probably blow yer mind! By weird circumstances, I've been in Dean's bedroom, played his bongo drums and viewed his childhood artwork hanging on his childhood bedroom wall.)

      But I eventually realized that my soul and James Dean's soul were not the same. However, I knew our message was the same.

      In the years I was trying to break into Hollyweird, the closest thing to me was probably Matt Dillon, and Matt would have pissed his pants if he found himself acting in a scene with me. He was a punk, but I was a PROFESSIONAL.

      Life is always, Always, ALWAYS fair, even when it doesn't seem so. It's always fair because God dictates it, and God is ALWAYS good.

      Matt's major success, and my minor success has nuttin' to do with ability or talent. It's all about God's idea of sorting things out. And what maroon would argue with God?

      ~ D-FensdogG

    6. You've been in Jame's Dean's bedroom? How cool! Oh man, I would love that. You've definitely got his vibe and attitude.

      I really hope there is no such thing as reincarnation. Truly I want this to be the only time I get on this merry go round. I just want to go home to God and stay there with Him for eternity.

      I never did like that Matt Dillon creature. A half-arsed "pretty boy" with no acting chops. He was around when that silly group of eejits, the Brat Pack were popular. Horrible, horrible actors the lot of them.

    7. Yeah, I even saw Dean's black leather motorcycle jacket hanging in his closet. It was surreal.

      I just happened to meet some people who were "insiders" when I went to Dean's hometown celebration of him (the 1980, 25th Anniversary of his death) and by weird luck I found myself on the inside too, then. It was very strange. I mean, it's not like Dean's boyhood home was open to the public.

      I am certain that reincarnation is a fact. I believe it's been scientifically indicated already (see '20 Cases Suggestive Of Reincarnation' by Ian Stevenson, M.D.)

      Also, I find it in The Bible. (I've blogged about that in the past.) But that doesn't mean we all must return. And I'm with you. I don't ever wanna come back here again. I know this wasn't my first trip here, but I sure hope it's my last!

      The Brat Pack... yeah, that was really about looks and celebrity. Not one of them was even remotely close to being in Dean's league. (But then neither was I.)

      Dean was a "serious" actor, and I could go on for days pointing out things he did that weren't in the screenplays and his unmatched ability to "be in the moment", "reacting-and-reacting" second-by-second in each scene.

      There have been a lot of great actors, but I still think Dean stands alone. Unfortunately, most people - not professionally trained - are not able to spot all the things he brought to a role and his naturalism which couldn't be taught. He's still mostly thought of as a teen idol, but that dude was a highly skilled and naturally gifted artist.

      See ya at tomorrow's BOTB, maybe?

      ~ D-FensDogG

  3. I had no idea you were in my house. We were very poor. We watched MASH on a tiny black-and-white TV. It was one of the highlights of our week. I remember a kerfuffle over a high school band that played the theme song. Some people were upset about the reference to suicide. I imagine a lot of people have forgotten the suicide story line in the movie.



    1. Howdy, JANIE ~
      Yep, I sneaked into your house when you fell asleep on the sofa with the little black & white TV still blaring. And, BTW, you really ought to dust the place once in awhile.

      (If you only knew how funny it is to find me telling someone else to dust. Sometimes I take my finger and write "Wash Me!" in the dust atop my cleaning supplies.)

      "Kerfuffle"... Oh, I LOVE that word! I'm gonna start using it more often. (And if I use it just once, it will be "more often".) What a wonderful word.



  4. Very very interesting. . . I liked MASH since it showed not only the patriotic but the actual parts of war no one talks about: the injuries, the depression, living under the threat of attack, in error. What memories you must have. (One of my daughters has done extra work and will always remember who she worked with (Robt. Redford, The Wayans Bros, Isabella Rossilini, The Fantastic Four, Jeff Bridges, etc) It's a fabulous experience and you're lucky to have had it!

    1. Hi, D.G.!
      I must say that I never appreciated what was going on in my life at that time. My mind was always on the great things to come (which never came).

      It's funny that even as young as I was, I never had any sort of "star-struck" outlook. I was working around and with famous people every single week (not just on MASH) but it never fazed me in the least.

      I always like to say that in 7 or 8 years of working in Hollyweird, I only ever asked for two autographs: 1) Joe Namath, for my Ma (she thought he was hot, Hot, HOT! and 2) Chuck Berry for me. I mean, c'mon, the guy IS Rock 'N' Roll, and anybody who could get his autograph but failed to do so is a knucklehead of the first order (aka K1O).

      Now, if I could just find where I stored my Chuck Berry autograph! I've literally been looking for it for years! ...damn, Damn, DAMN!, I say.

      ~ D-FensDogG

  5. You are still in my livingroom:) I watched it then and I watch it now on the History channel. I would love to see your art work. Do you still do any? How funny that I am connected to someone who actually worked on a show that I love

    1. BIRGIT ~
      Mostly all I did was drawings in sketchbooks. I haven't drawn anything in ages though.

      Somewhere on one of my old blogs I posted a number of my old drawings. If I can find where I put that, I'll come back and link you to it.

      ~ D-FensDogG

      POSTSCRIPT: In exchange for a case of Scotch I'll send you an autographed 8x10. [;o)

    2. BIRGIT ~
      Tonight I read my old blog bit "MASH STUFFS" (which I linked to at the bottom of this here blog bit).

      It turns out that I had linked THAT blog bit to other blog bits where I posted some of my old drawings.

      So, if you wanna see some of my old artwork, click the link at the end of THIS blog bit for "MASH STUFFS", and then when you get there, scroll down and click the links for "NO DRUGS EXCEPT FOR PINK FLOYD - Parts 1 and 2". That'll get you to my weird, weird drawings, my friend.

      ~ D-FensDogG

  6. I remember long ago commenting that you should blog about your MASH days and you waved me off...but ended up caving.

    I don't worry about what are high or low points in my life-it's all my life-and that was a big part of yours that you enjoyed.

    Glad to see you embrace it.

    Having never been a big MASH fan, I guess you were never in the house I grew up in...but your picked up your fair share of cat hair in my current house.

    I think we all have had our "bigger" dreams that we had to let go of...for most people, life's biggest moments are really the small ones...and instead of changing the world they change the lives of a few people close to them.

    And that's ok.

    That's life.


    1. LC ~
      Yep, agreed all the way around.

      And I guess I needed to hear enough requests before I could muster the inspiration to yak 'bout MASH.

      Funny thing is... I was never really a MASH fan either. There are lots of episodes I've never seen. 'The Andy Griffith Show', however, now that's a different story.

      ~ D-FensDogG

    2. For me, it's Seinfeld.

      I still aspire to be able to enter a room like Kramer does.

      Then my life will be complete!

    3. Ha! I was really, really late getting to 'SEINFELD'. Everyone had been yakking about it for 2 or 3 years before I ever saw my first episode.

      I like it, but there are still many, many episodes I've never seen.

      At first, I thought Kramer was just a poor man's "Reverend Jim", but he grew on me. A photo of him should appear in every dictionary next to the word "manic". And, yeah, nobody entered a room like Kramer did.

      For me though, George is really the "star" of that show.

      ~ D-FensDogG

  7. MASH was a favorite of mine from day one. So, yes - you HAVE been in my living room and the booming voice that yelled, "oh, for crying out loud, move" was my dear old Dad. I loved MASH and so did he.

    My Dad never used a television remote (we didn't have one back then). He just said the name of the show he wanted us to turn on immediately (if not sooner): MASH! Mannix! Bunker! Hawaii 5-0! I'm pretty sure I know exactly which shows he loved.

    When we watched Ed Sullivan he would balk at the musical acts geared towards young people with a heartfelt, "Oh, geez. Someone wanna make me a grilled cheese? What else is on?"

    But let's talk about Chuck Berry....FIND THAT AUTOGRAPH! He is a legend. Swearing won't find it...get to sorting, cowboy.

    I loved to get autographs as proof you saw the celebrity. It''s a lot harder to do when you're in the mid-west.

    1. DOC CHERDO ~
      For me it's 'The Andy Griffith Show', 'Frasier', 'Bunker', and 'Moonlighting'. Others too, but those are protly my Big Four. (Nope, don't really know my 'Seinfeld'. But EVERYONE knows that particular line.)

      I only vaguely remember when Ed Sullivan used to put on "a really big shoe". We didn't really watch him at our house. We didn't watch MASH either. Ha! But you can bet my parents started watching it when I started appearing on it.

      Yeah, that Chuck Berry autograph... I've looked everywhere I can think of that it might reasonably be. Someday it'll just shoe up in a ridiculous place and then I'll remember having put it there for safe keeping... 20 years ago.

      ~ D-FensDogG

    2. The TV list was DAD'S, not mine. For me, it was (starting in the 60s) The Monkees, any show with a Beatle on it, Dark Shadows, Batman, The Partridge Family, MASH, Moonlighting (definitely!), Remington Steele...and then MTV happened...

    3. Oh, yes, I knew that was your Pa's list.

      Yes, yep, yeah... MONKEES fo' sho. I was crazy about them as a kid. And BATMAN, too. The Dynamic Duo gave my Ma a lot of leverage: "If you're going to want to watch Batman tonight, you're going to need to have this bedroom cleaned up before it comes on." Guess who cleaned the bedroom with a "Bam!", "Pow!", and a "Biff!" Holy broom in a room, Batman!

      Yeah, I liked THE PARTRIDGE FAMILY, too. I had the hots for Susan Dey... and I didn't even know what "the hots" were.

      Of course, ROCKY & BULLWINKLE goes without sayin'. I'm just sayin'.

      ~ D-FensDogG

  8. I can understand how this would be a pretty cool memory in retrospect, but maybe not such a big thing to you at the time. But it was a paying job and that's in the minority for most aspiring actors so that was a pretty big deal.

    I've heard that song plenty from hearing the M.A.S.H. theme so often on TV. I almost always turned the channel because I didn't much care for the show, but I did watch a few episodes on occasion when it was in syndication and usually came on after the late night news.

    In 1981 I had a guy working on the show I was managing who came from Toledo like one of the MASH characters and he and his wife were nuts about the show, watching it most nights. Once we even stopped in Toledo to visit a bar or something that was apparently talked about a lot in the show. I don't remember much about that--I was just driving the van with all of us in it. My friend was pretty stoked about it though.

    Working on a show like that is part of history and that's very cool.

    By the way I didn't realize this post was up as it wasn't showing on my side bar. Same for Guilie's guest post today. Not only is it not showing on sidebars as I leave this comment, it posted late beyond what I had it scheduled for. I had to manually post it after I got up this morning. Google can be so annoying at times.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

    1. Knock on wood, I haven't had much problem with Google / Blogger for awhile now. I remember, however, when I was having issues on a regular basis, because every time they added some new feature, it fouled up something else that had been working perfectly well.

      Yeah, LEE, it was a paying gig that is STILL paying me money in residual checks (not much, but sumpin') and it was truly a part of television history. In fact, until recently, the final 2.5 hour episode of MASH was the single most watched program in the history of TV. (I think some Super Bowl finally surpassed it a few years back.)

      MASH was far too leftist for me, but it sure was good to me and I met some really nice people there. Also, the production company used to give us gifts every Christmas, and I still have some MASH themed collectors items that were never available to the public. Only cast and crew members have these things, and I can only imagine how much a MASH fanatic would love to own them.

      ~ D-FensDogG

  9. I think each of us would love to know that we had been a part of something iconic and important, and to have those memories to treasure. Very few people have that privilege.

    I'm not one. I have not done anything more important than sort my sock drawer.

    I'd say my grandfather was a part of several icons of America in the entertainment field ... but he's the only other person I can think of in my sphere who could have said any thing close to that.

      Yeah, I was very fortunate to be doing what I was, but sadly I was too young and too full of dreams to fully appreciate it at the time. That's just part of growing up, I s'pose.

      Of course only in "this world" is MASH thought of as something "important". It's the Spiritual life that really matters, and I'm about to re-focus my attention on that. Things of "this world" never seem to work for me anymore.

      You may have told me previously what your grandfather was involved in, but apparently it's slipped my mind (like so much else). Was he the newspaper man?

      Bro, I know I owe you an A-list E. Coming soon as possible. Right now I'm in training for this new job - going to bed early, getting up early - and I have no time for anything. Looks like it's going to turn out to be yet another bad employment decision on my part, too.

      I just can't win anymore. In fact, I haven't won since MASH, and that ended in 1983.

      ~ D-FensDogG

  10. I had a lot of newspapermen in my background, but no... I wasn't counting any of them. They did some things (as did my Pop) that were considered locally important, but nuthin' "iconic."

    The grandfather I was thinking of won two Academy Awards as a film editor, and he edited over 90 films. Many of those are pictures that really touched people's lives, and some are still remembered fondly. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0626308/bio?ref_=nm_ov_bio_sm

    Man, I am in stunned disbelief that YET AGAIN you are getting the shaft with a new job. How many is this, the 5th or 6th in a row of crappy jobs??? "If you didn't have bad luck..."

    1. VI ~
      Very interesting! I have seen 'KING SOLOMON'S MINES', and I think I may have seen 'THE BAD AND THE BEAUTIFUL', too.

      I am intrigued by the additional information about his connection to the CYCLOPS, as I've always been interested in The Bermuda Triangle mystery and read about the disappearance of the CYCLOPS when I was very young.

      Yeah, this is not going to turn out to be a good job that I will want to keep any longer than necessary. I have lost all confidence now in my ability to make good decisions and I have officially given up on the idea that I will ever again have a job I like (or at least don't dislike).

      I'm pretty depressed.

      ~ D-FensDogG

  11. Hi ~ D-FensDogG!

    Sounds like this time period was 'easy peasy' for you; nothing pulled your attention, really. You walked a comfortable path. I think we all have those times. Later ponderings bring reflections and some things jump to life while others stay the same. Are we motivated when conflict and doubt occur? Do we need to jump into the well to recognize that another place in time embraced us in peace? Or, do we have foresight to know that peace was there all along? I wonder.

    For example I don't think I understood suicide until I attempted it ~ many years ago. A very unusual but long story. The unexplained outcome became a source of great love and peace ~ through sharing myself with others.
    M*A*S*H* was a home staple, much like baked potatoes on a Sunday! I refused to see the movie - fell in love with the series... whereas my Dad liked the movie more. I really wanted a jeep, too.

    You've got some heart and soul here... whether it phased you then or not(smile).

    Also ~ thank you for the prayers and concern!!! I'm trying to post a 11-15 battle.

    dixie polka

    1. dp ~
      Great to hear from you again. It's wonderful that you're feeling better!

      Yeah, that was an easy time in my life. Wish I could get back to that, because for the last 6 years NOTHING has gone well.

      Suicide... ahh, yes. The thought of it, my constant companion.

      Thanks! Glad you liked the blog bit. I think I tried to watch the movie MASH at one time but didn't get through the whole thing. Unless I'm confusing it with THE DIRTY DOZEN and NASHVILLE. Ha! I know Donald Sutherland was in '...DIRTY DOZEN', but wasn't he in MASH also? ('The Dozen' were great, but 'Nashville' I tried twice to watch and failed both times.

      See ya at the Battles tomorrow, hey?

      ~ D-FensDogG

    2. DFDG ~ my battle is up and rolling. It has little to do with Thanksgiving but a good deal on supply sourcing. Of course my favorite male singer is a contestant!

      Dirty Dozen? Gosh, I think I've seen it a dozen or more times by myself. Great on a Saturday afternoon ~ fireplace popping and cracking. Never saw Nashville. Bridge over river Kwai was a good one. I love to whistle that theme song... The Glenn Miller Story was fun... not so much for battlefield action... but I've watched it a few times too.

      Donald Sutherland and Elliot Gould in the MASH movie ~ what a couple of ugly dudes! Sorry. Ha!

      The polka princess has returned! (*smile*)

    3. Yeah, those aren't great looking dudes, are they?

      I've seen 'The Glenn Miller Story' once or twice. It was enjoyable but rather fictionalized. 'Bridge...Kwai' was pretty good. Saw it once.

      'The Dirty Dozen', 'The Deer Hunter', and 'Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison' are my favorite War movies. (Not really a fan of that genre, generally.)

      ~ D-FensDogG


All submitted comments that do not transgress "Ye Olde Comment Policy" will be posted and responded to as soon as possible. Thanks for taking the time to comment.