Monday, January 30, 2012

Captain's Theatre: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN "From Beyond the Grave"

Art by John Romita Sr
LP records adapting comic strip and comic book characters into audio adventures date back to the 1940s.
The heyday was during the 1960s when both brand-new adventures (often in stereo) and re-presentations of classic radio dramas competed for shelf space in record stores.
Art by John Romita Sr
But this album, from 1972, was a whole new approach to the genre...a superhero musical, loaded with genre-related talent!
Ron Dante, the voice and composer behind The Archies (remember "Sugar, Sugar"?), and his band performed the album's music as "The WebSpinners".
Peter Parker/Spider-Man was voiced by a young up-and-comer named Rene Auberjonois who's appeared as several different characters in the Star Trek universe, most notably as Odo on Deep Space Nine and voiced Dessad on both the Super Friends and Justice League animated series!
Kingpin was played by Thayer David, known to genre fans as the villainous Arne Saknussemm in Journey to the Center of the Earth (1959), multiple evil roles on the gothic soap Dark Shadows. and the blackmailing villain in the pilot for the live-action Amazing Spider-Man tv series!
The script and music were penned by Stephen Lemberg, who not only did this album, but the Fantastic Four dramatic radio show and the infamous A MARVEL-ous Evening with Stan Lee at Carnegie Hall! (Nobody's perfect.)

Here's the album's gatefold interior, featuring the art used in the videos above...
Is that kool, or what?

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  1. Wow, there's a relic from the past! One nitpicky comment: Thayer David actually played Count Saknussemm, not Arne. Arne was the person who went down before and was being followed by James Mason et al. :)

    1. You sure Count Saknussemm's first name wasn't "Arne"?
      I don't think it was "Count"... ;-)