Share a Cuppa Tea with…

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Jul 2018 Share a Cuppa Tea with…

BILL MUMY
as he talks Zorro, cornfields,
and Nikola Tesla

Boy star to master multi-musician

Do you remember a vintage television series called The Twilight Zone? If you said “yes” you will no doubt remember the episode about a six-year-old red- haired, freckle-faced little boy who had the very bizarre power to read minds.

Even more bizarre was his power to “wish you into the cornfield” (from whence no-one ever returned) if he decided that you were thinking bad thoughts about him. Disturbing. Very, very disturbing; especially to a nine-year-old girl like me who, at the time, was growing up in the middle of an honest-to-goodness American cornfield.

Today, I am a Sixties girl in her sixties and I am still disturbed by this story. Check it out on YouTube so you, too, can lose a night’s sleep – or two.
So what a bizarre (key word of the day) reality to find myself sharing a great big cuppa tea with Bill Mumy all these years later.
I am happy to say he is surprisingly – well – normal; nice even, and very talented in many fields.

Mr Mumy is an accomplished musician who plays the banjo, bass, guitar, harmonica, keyboards, mandolin, and percussion. When I asked him to name “just a few” of the musicians he has worked with he rattles off “in no particular order” Ringo, Brian Wilson, James Taylor, Lindsey Buckingham, Stephen Stills,Weird Al, Tiny Tim, Devo, Wild Man Fisher, Rick Springfield, Davy Jones, Peter Tork, Micky Dolenz, John Stewart, David Cassidy, Dave Gregory (XTC), Dave Alvin, Carla Olsen, the We Five, Timothy B Schmidt, Jimmy Greenspoon, Jennifer Warnes, Steve Perry, Rosemary Clooney, Peter Allen, Steve Lukather, Todd Rundgren, Colin Hay, Al Jardine, Mick Taylor, Cherie Curry, Jon Brion, Andrew Gold, Russ Kunkel, Leland Sklar, Jeff Porcaro, Steve Ferrone, Susanna Hoffs, Dobie Gray.

Then he adds that he has worked with Gerry and Dewey in the band America for almost 40 years as a co-writer, player, co-producer, etc…That is where he stops himself, saying that he feels quite “silly” now. I say ‘not silly at all but endearing’ – maybe a bit humble even.
Of course, Bill Mumy remains an amazing actor with nonstop credits from age five to age 65. He was Will Robinson in Lost in Space and was a regular in Babylon 5, and on and on and on. But we must rein in now, as the tea is getting cold.

Q: Actor, musician, pitchman, instrumentalist, songwriter, voice actor, author, or….?
A: Husband, father, friend and vintage nerd.
Q: Zorro or Robin Hood?
A: Zorro!
Q: What is your favourite word?
A: Peace
Q: How did the British invasion of the 1960s affect you?
A: Made me plug in. I was already an acoustic guitar playing young folkie.
Q: Who would you put into the cornfield?
A: Many politicians and anyone who mistreats animals. Trophy hunters.
Q: What is your favourite comic book ever?

A: That’s a hard question! Maybe Avengers#4, or Flash#123 (two books that I bought new as a kid that re-introduced major Golden Age characters to current continuity) and the entire Captain America “Winter Soldier” run when Ed Brubaker brought Bucky back!
Q: Many people seem to have trouble pronouncing your surname properly? Why is that? Please give us a brief tutorial.
A: People are strange. It’s pronounced Moo Me. At least that’s how my father said it was pronounced.
Q: The word on the street is that you own at least 50 guitars. Which is your favourite?
A: I think it’s about 80 these days. Whichever one I’m writing a new song on at the time. I have many favourites, but if I had to boil it down to one acoustic and one electric? You can’t beat a great Gibson J45 and a Fender Telecaster.

Q: Where do you keep your moral compass?
A: Deep in my moral pocket.
Q: Did starting a high profile career so young, especially in scary shows like The Twilight Show, have any psychological repercussions? Why or why not?
A: Working on all those early shows taught me the professional craft of acting and the collaborative skills involved in making television and films. I learned from the Masters. Some characters do resonate within forever in a way. “Anthony Fremont” and “Will Robinson” are still with me.
Q: What is the meaning of life?
A: Do the best you can and can the best you do.
Q: If you could have invited anyone, living or not, to our small tea party, who would it have been?
A: Another tough question! Hmmm… My father, Jim Morrison, Nikola Tesla or Bob Dylan if he was in a chatty mood.

Q: Did your dreams come true?
A: Yes. Nightmares too.
Q: What’s new?
A: Everything old.

Check out Bill’s newest album, Angels Hear, with his band Action Skulls which consists of Bill Mumy, Vicki Peterson of The Bangles, and John Cowsill of The Cowsills. See more at billmumy.com
You will be pleased to know Bill is living happily ever after in California at Mumy Manor with his wife Eileen, their two dogs, Bucky Obaldo Mumy, who is 17 and a half, and Josie B who is almost nine, and their two human children, Seth and Liliana. As for me, I think I need another cuppa tea.

 

© 2018 JANE QUINN
Mighty Quinn Management
www.mightyquinnmanagement.comBill