|Johnny Weismuller, Jr. & Rick portrayed car thiefs who enjoyed pushing around The Toad|
KIP: How did your involvement in American Graffiti begin?
RICK: I became involved in American Graffiti by accident [laughs]. The local police department was doing security for the movie and I happened to be friends with several of the police officers. At the time, I was working as security at one of the local bars in Petaluma and as I was driving home one night I noticed all these big vans and trucks parked downtown near Mayflower Van and Storage. I later learned that the van and storage building is where the cars and filming equipment were stored. It was also where the cast, crew and car owners ate their meals. I wondered what was going on. I spotted some of the police officers I was friendly with so I got out of my car and we started talking. Then this little hippy looking kid came up from behind me and asked me if I wanted to be in a movie. I said, “Ah, nah, you’re not sucking me in.”
KIP: So you thought he was joking around or bullshitting you?
RICK: I wasn’t sure. As it turns out the kid was Jim Bloom the Production Associate for the movie and he wanted to include my white 1960 Chevy, Impala in the film. I learned later that white is one of the preferred colors because it stands out and they can put any other color against it.
KIP: So you were hired first because your car fit the time period and atmosphere and not because of your acting potential?
RICK: The acting part came up later. Jimmy Bloom was just kind of concerned with the cars. So, that’s when I halfway blew him off. Then once my cop friends told me he was serious, I had to go back and suck up. I said, ‘Okay, I’ll do it.’ So, he told me where to be the following night and what we were going to be doing. So naturally, I had to get my car washed the next day and wax it.
KIP: What basic power features did your Impala have?
RICK: My car had a stock 8 cylinder 283, a Powerglide automatic transmission, chrome rims and mags in the back.
|Boom's 1960 Impala cruising the parking lot at Mels Drive-in|
RICK: Well, it started out we were getting $20 a night plus meals. At the time I knew one of the other local drivers, Jim Bergstrom who owns the Red '41 Ford Pickup. I got to know the other drivers and actors as the filming progressed.
|"Excuse me sir, uh do you know how long you'll be driving Rick Boom's car?|
KIP: Any other scenes?
|Filming in downtown San Rafael, CA|
KIP: I imagine most drivers had jobs and had to be at work in the morning so they couldn’t come out every night and stay until dawn.
|"We weren’t always sure how many cars would show up. It was unpredictable."|
KIP: What were your impressions of lead cars such as the ’32 yellow coupe?
KIP: Tell me about it.
|"Every time Paul LeMat would rev up the engine the sucker would shut off."|
|"Each time they filmed the scene the black ’55 Chevy would leave that little coupe in the dust."|
|Rick Boom as the car thief/thug appears to enjoy picking on The Toad|
|Weissmuller, Jr as Badass #1|
KIP: Is he still around?
RICK: They were always changing businesses.
KIP: Did you get paid more than $30 for acting in that scene?
RICK: Yea, I got $180, over and above my $30 a night.
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