Please, McGarrett, don’t shoot us

Tony Loconsole
Tony Loconsole

Who knows what this means?

But it’s going to preempt what had already been written to post here today, along with a backup idea that had been percolating. They can wait a few more days.

Last night, I had a dream that Detective Lt. Steve McGarrett was shooting at me and Tony Loconsole, a friend in Muscatine and the morning on-air personality at Vintage Sound 93.1 FM. Luckily, I awoke before he actually shot us or got around to telling Detective Daniel “Danno” Williams to “Book ’em, Danno!”

Jack Lord as Detective Lt. Steve McGarrett
Jack Lord as Detective Lt. Steve McGarrett

I’m still wondering why Tony would have been in the dream? And just what did we do anyway? And for that matter: Hawaii Five-O? Really?

Hawaii Five-O was broadcast by CBS from 1968-1980. It was shot on location in Honolulu. It had to have had one of the most distinctive theme songs in the history of television.

Since 2010, CBS has aired a remake of the show. It stars Alex O’Loughlin as McGarrett, a former Navy SEAL who heads up an elite state police unit/task force in Hawaii.

I haven’t watched a single episode of the new Hawaii 5-0. As a kid, though, I did watch the old show. I was 14, when the last episode aired. The series often scared the heck out of me — especially the character of Wo Fat, the Chinese intelligence agent and criminal mastermind (played by actor Khigh Dhiegh) who appeared sporadically throughout the show’s 12 seasons. He always seemed to be one step ahead of McGarrett, who finally put his nemesis in jail in the show’s last episode.

In doing some quick research in order to write this, I learned:

  • Wo Fat was named after a downtown Honolulu restaurant.
  • Until Law & Order came along, Hawaii 5-O was the longest-running crime drama on American television.
  • Jack Lord died in 1998 at the age of 77.
  • That distinctive theme song was recorded by the Ventures, whose version reached #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 pop chart. It is now the unofficial fight song of the University of Hawaii.

And just to see who might read this to the end, I’ll always remember the theme song for another reason. Chris Rants and Cory Roberts, two friends from my days at Morningside College, used it as the theme song for their show on KMSC radio back in the day. If I remember correctly, they even called themselves Book ‘Em and Danno.


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