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Watching the “Rockford Files” on Friday nights was always an event for my family during the halcyon days in San Diego from 1974 to 1981. Jim’s Paradise Cove trailer was the perfect spot to get ambushed by muscle from the Valley with bad hair and clunky cars. Angel always seemed to be pulling the perfect scam and bringing Jim down with him. Rocky was the precursor to the NASCAR dad: cowboy hat, big truck and a dream of a double-wide in the desert after retiring from hauling big rigs across the USA. And Beth, well, Beth was the perfect attorney.
Great in the courtroom, always ready with bail money and a hottie in a bikini.
The plot always involved a mystery woman, a scammer extorting money, Jim printing fake business cards in his ’75 Firebird to talk his way into the lair of the bad guy, and a land developer ripping off Rocky or one of Rocky’s teamster pals.
God, that show rocked.
So here’s the deal. Let’s pitch a remake of “The Rockford Files” and move it to San Diego. I see Mike Aguirre playing Jim “Rockguirre” Rockford. We’ll put his trailer down at Tourmaline and since he apparently has a new environmental crimes unit coming online, he can clean up the bad water there. Have him surf sort of a Keanu-Reeves-in-Point-Break-style montage of learning to surf for the pilot (and getting punched out by an angry hodad, say Scott Peters with a wig). Instead of driving a Firebird, we’ll give Rockguirre a classic PB-style VW van. He can hang out at Moondoggies (as a replacement for the Paradise Beach Café). “Entourage” it out with his brodudes while wearing a Volcom trucker cap.
Let’s get Jerry Sanders cast as the hapless Sgt. Dennis Becker. Always confused. Getting in trouble, A little over his head, but with a good heart.
Getting bailed by out by Jimmy with a little help, and a straight talk monologue from Beth. Beth, of course, is played by Bonnie Dumanis. Making the right decisions, cool, calm and collected. At home, on the beach and kicking butt at City Hall.
The tough one is Angel Martin, the Kramer of the 1970s. But we all know that Brian Bilbray is the reincarnation of Angel. Creating chaos. Making a mess of everything. Arcane and intricate dealings everywhere and getting Rockguirre and Sgt. Dennis Sanders into big trouble.
Wouldn’t “Rockford Goes to San Diego” be cool? Pump up Mike Post’s killer “Rockford” theme music with the wailing lead guitar on the 8-track player, leave a confusing message on Rockguirre’s answering machine and paddle out for a late morning session at PB Point on a Skip Frye fish.
San Diego would be way back, baby. So way back.