Park Avenue Pirates

Racketeers take over a record company.

Play Or Payola

McCloud’s colleagues are mysteriously absent. He tracks them to a secret meeting with Treasury Agent Lund, where they are planning a raid on a record piracy operation.

A record producer who is backed by mob associate Mr. Gregory runs the operation to finance payola for disk jockeys. The advantage here is in having a source of capital that’s off the books. Much footage shows the pirate presses running off LP’s for shipment across the country (a ball of wax, or rather vinyl, is placed on a sort of waffle iron, squeezed flat and trimmed).

The producer also needs the services of up-and-coming talent like Shannon Forbes, whose manager still objects to crooked operations like J & T Records. He’s dispatched with a psychotomimetic drug overdose, Agent Lund is murdered, and so is a DJ junkie who’s an informer.

McCloud goes undercover to Nashville as Shannon’s new manager, Arnie Hooten. Sgt. Broadhurst is badly beaten for snooping around the J & T plant.

Back in New York, the psychotomimetic is slipped to McCloud at a rooftop café. He hallucinates the fauna of New Mexico (rattlesnake, roadrunner, prairie dog, buzzards), draws his revolver to fend off a stampede of traffic, and attacks Chief Clifford, whom he mistakes for a wolf.

Back on his feet after receiving a dangerous antidote, McCloud corrals Mr. Gregory in the engine of a freight train where the engineer is being held hostage.

Shaw has composed this like a Western of the Thirties, and Swackhamer films it that way, right down to the fight atop the Santa Fe boxcars.


Barbi Benton Shannon Forbes
Jessica Walter
Jessica Wright
Raymond St. Jacques
Mr. Gregory
Lorna Luft
Marlene Morgan
Dick Whittington
Mike Parker
Fred Holliday
Hoke Howell
Jeremy Darnel
Anne Schedeen
Paul Hampton
Al Ruscio
Robert Gibbons
Joanne Corcoran
John A. Zee
Larry Carroll
Helicopter Pilot (unbilled)

Written by Lou Shaw

Directed by E.W. Swackhamer

43303, 9.21.75

Jeremy Darnel is given in the credits as Jack Darnel.


McCLOUD: I tell ya, manpower around here’s just gettin’ thinner’n a bear in wintertime.

JEREMY: Well, I guess life’s just a little too short to keep looking over your shoulder and not in the mirror.

McCLOUD: Them pirates ain’t no closer to here than Taos is to Albuquerque.
LUND: Wait a minute, what’s New Mexico got to do with this?

MIKE: (On radio.) “Supermouth” Mike Parker likes helping new talent, you dig?

JEREMY: There are some things in this world more important than counting money.
JESSICA: Like what?

CHIEF CLIFFORD: Tell me, generally speaking, what are managers like?
SHANNON: Well, most of them are sort of funky.
SHANNON: You know.
CLIFFORD: Oh, you mean the opposite of me. Suit, tie, short hair, language you can understand.

McCLOUD: (To Chief Clifford.) You said yourself that I’m funky!

There ya go making me want you,
There ya go making me care,
There I go weaving daydreams
Out of moments that we share...
There ya go looking like country
While your eyes are touching mine...

—Song, “There Ya Go” (Glen A. Larson, Bruce Belland)

CHIEF CLIFFORD: The City of New York has cut back on every single item in its budget except McCloud.

SHANNON: How long do you think it will take?
McCLOUD: Till she gets hungry enough not to notice the hook.

(Title of album in J & T Records plant.)

MR. GREGORY: (To Sgt. Broadhurst.) You’re being a bad, bad boy! Now, my men like tough guys. They can use the exercise.

(Sgt. Broadhurst won’t talk.)
A man can’t go against his nature.
THUG: That’s good. Real good. I wish I could talk like that. All I can do is— (He hits Sgt. Broadhurst.)

McCLOUD: Man’s a hyena, he’s just got to stink.

McCLOUD: I never seen two hawks with different feathers.

McCLOUD: You remember that hook I was talkin’ about? I think she just swallowed it. Right up to the pole.

MR. GREGORY: Don’t get caught up in that “woman scorned” thing. Emotions are bad for business.
JESSICA: (Quietly determined.) I’m past that.

DET. SIMMS: How much is 25 times 14?
SGT. BROADHURST: (Thinks.) 350.
DET. SIMMS: Yeah? How about 350 x 15?
SGT. BROADHURST: (Thinks.) 5250.
DET. SIMMS: No kidding. How about 5250 x 187?
SGT. BROADHURST: (Thinks.) I only made sergeant, not Einstein. What are you trying for?
DET. SIMMS: I’m trying to figure out how many records that trailer holds, then I’d like to know the value of the shipment. I love puzzles like that.
SGT. BROADHURST: No wonder you’re so popular on stakeouts.
DET. SIMMS: (Accepting this.) Thanks!