Pull the String!

The second part of High Octane Growler’s two-part homage to the seasonal releases of Stone Double Bastard Ale.

Double Bastard Ale Be Thy Name

We pick up this week’s edition of High Octane Growler with the Stone Brewing Co.’s Ken Wright, returning champion Garett Michaels and founder and host Tommy Hough still enjoying copious amounts of Stone Double Bastard Ale, straight from Ken’s private beer cellar, where the beer had been quietly aging (and perhaps deserved a better fate than this show).

Ken often menaces strangers and colleagues with full kegs of beer.

The gang was rapidly plowing through a 2007 vintage Stone Double Bastard Ale, and in this edition the cap will be popped on a 2008 bomber, so Ken, thank you for your generous and heartfelt donation of fine Stone Double Bastard Ale to the cause.

You have the gratitude of our hangovers and Tommy’s blown voice.

Virtues of Chuck

This edition of High Octane Growler features a curiously lengthy riff on one of the great movie scene-chewers of all time, Charlton Heston.

Now, before you bring up the NRA and Chuck’s ill-advised, and frankly, incredibly offensive appearance at a rally for said organization, let’s just get out of the way not all of us are particularly keen on where Chuck’s dementia took him in his later years.

Let’s face it, he and Reagan started losing their minds right around the same time, although Heston did have the good taste to show up in Oliver Stone’s 1999 film Any Given Sunday, probably at the advice of his agent.

But before Chuck lost his mind, he was a madman. The guy started off as a male model and was no doubt burning through 1950s Hollywood womandom, and before he’d even gotten a career under his belt he played Moses for Cripe’s sake. Yeah, Moses. What have you done lately?

Afterwards, in short order, Heston starred in Orson Welles’ awesome Touch of Evil and then in Ben-Hur. Formula paychecks like Earthquake and Two-Minute Warning were still years away.

Garett always arrives with a desk stand and a microphone up his sleeve. What a pro.

In 1963 he participated in the March On Washington with Martin Luther King Jr., and the only other actor of Chuck’s stature who had guts enough to join him was Brando.

So get off the guy’s back; no one could pose like Heston, his chin alone ate up as much scenery as the rest of his frame, and in the 1960s he was also in Planet of the Apes and Sam Peckinpah’s (!) awesome Major Dundee with Richard freaking Harris!

In fact, according to the great L.Q. Jones, during the filming of Major Dundee in Mexico when Peckinpah skidded into the usual cost overruns to cover his and the crew’s midday tequila and drug blowouts, Heston offered to donate his paycheck to cover cost overruns to keep the studio from firing Peckinpah. To Heston’s surprise, the studio took him up on it!

So maybe the guy couldn’t bluff, but you do not mess with Chuck. By 1965 he was president of the Screen Actor’s Guild, the unrepentant commie.

He held off on going bananas until at least 1980, after which it was all about Accuracy In Media and The Heritage Foundation and The Bible for Children (on tape and eight-track) and Wayne’s World II. Ugh. But Airport 1975? It lives long past it’s shelf life, and has George Kennedy and Larry Storch to boot. Mow the lawn later.

“Now listen here baby, I mow down fleshy-headed mutants, play a Mexican cop and hold off on kicking Richard Harris’ ass until the Apache is taken or destroyed. So believe me, I can land a pipsqueak 747 on a tarmac the size of a mall parking space.”


For those who notice Tommy’s reed gets a little shorn after about 30 minutes of drinking and yelling, we kick off the program with a healthy dose of Tom Waits, whose soothing sound has been missing so far from High Octane Growler, but was a regular feature during Ken’s appearances on the Friday Night Rock and Roll Happy Hour.

Tommy likes to point at cameras. We prefer this to him stuffing microphones down his trousers.

And because you’ve been so loyal and so good, listen for a Motörhead interlude. Consider it Mandatory Motörhead, to borrow a term from our album rock friends.

And in a little bit of National League vs. American League compare and contrast, Motörhead is the superior “M” band in the mandatory category.

To be clear, it’s not because they play on grass or eschew the Designated Hitter: it’s because they use speed instead of whiskey to get their sound. For that, we tip our hats, raise our pints and offer one get out of jail blood transfusion.

After this episode of High Octane Growler, you yourself may be need it. Additional appearances by AC/DC and The Scotty McKay Quintet.

Lastly, Garett reveals a secret heretofore unrevealed about Sarah McLachlan and Vancouver-area phone numbers.

Beers Enjoyed

Stone Double Bastard Ale
(2007, 2008 and 2010)

The 2010 edition of Stone Double Bastard Ale features a dark, golden-brown caramel color with good clarity and a dense, light-tan head. Ken tells us Double Bastard Ale ages best in dark, cool environments like a basement, with a fresh pour offering a strong, toasty sweet malt aroma accompanied by a raisiny sweetness. No strong hop aromas, but don’t be fooled. Medium body with moderate carbonation.

Thanks again to Ken Wright for offering up these valuable, delicious beers out of his collection. Tommy apologizes for being completely unable to focus on beer-talk in this edition.

Movies Discussed

The Ten Commandments (1956)
Ben Hur (1959)
The Good the Bad and the Ugly (1966)
Where Eagles Dare (1968)
Planet of the Apes (1968)
The Omega Man (1971)
Soylent Green (1973)
Scarface (1983)
Ed Wood (1994)
Children of Men (2007)

Thanks to broadcast brother Mike Hansen for the killer High Octane Growler imaging.

Thanks also to Jesse Quisenberry for invaluable middle-of-the-night production assistance.

“You must be double-jointed. And you must be Hungarian.”

Eastwood needed to do a big war movie. Burton’s agent answered the phone. Next stop? An impregnable Austrian castle loaded with Nazis, guns and babes.

We’ll discuss the virtues of Scarface in a later episode and in greater detail. And with Cuban accents and live ammunition.

Even with the blood transfusions and crank, Lemmy will outlast us all.

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