3/31/09

100 Followers, Cheers!

Thanks so much to all those who keep checking in. Retrospace is a lot more fun with company. Here's hoping for a hundred more!

3/30/09

Music Lists #3: The Top 100 Songs of the 1970s

Here it is, the definitive list of the best songs from the 1970s - the era between the Beatles and Duran Duran. My only guideline is that an artist can only land on this list one time. These are in no particular order and, like all pop culture lists, totally a matter of taste and therefore worthless.

1. Carry On - Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
2. Guitar Man - Bread
3. Thunder Island - Jay Ferguson
4. Help Me - Joni Mitchell
5. I'd Have You Anytime - George Harrison
6. Levon - Elton John
7. Family of Man - Three Dog Night
8. Love Alive - Heart
9. For the Love of Money - The O'Jays
10. Lovely Day - Bill Withers
11. Love is Alive - Gary Wright
12. Josie - Steely Dan
13. Living for the City - Stevie Wonder
14. Isn't It Time - The Babys
15. Rise - Herb Alpert
16. Seven Island Suite - Gordon Lightfoot
17. Summer Breeze - Seals & Crofts
18. Sail On - The Commodores
19. Chevy Van - Sammy Johns
20. Hair of the Dog- Nazareth
21. Ride Captain Ride - Blues Image
22. Night Fever - Bee Gees
23. Highway to Hell - AC/DC
24. Rich Girl - Daryl Hall & John Oates
25. Peaceful - Helen Reddy
26. Maybe I'm Amazed - Paul McCartney
27. What You Won't Do for Love - Bobby Caldwell
28. Hotter than Hell - KISS
29. Searching (For So Long) - Chicago
30. Lowrider - War
31. Boogie Man - KC & the Sunshine Man
32. Ventura Highway - America
33. The Things We Do for Love - 10cc
34. Hotel California - The Eagles
35. Vehicle - Ides of March
36. Knowing Me, Knowing You - ABBA
37. Theme from Shaft - Isaac Hayes
38. Family Tradition - Hank Williams, Jr.
39. Nights Are Forever - England Dan & John Ford Coley
40. Love Will Keep Us Together - Captain & Tennille
41. Rocky Mountain High - John Denver
42. Fire and Rain - James Taylor
43. I Am I Said - Neil Diamond
44. You're So Vain - Carly Simon
45. Open the Door - Pentangle
46. Ain't Talkin' 'bout Love - Van Halen
47. Midnight Rider- The Allman Brothers
48. Saturday Night Special - Lynrd Skynrd
49. Morning Will Come - Spirit
50. Stranglehold - Amboy Dukes
51. Jet Airliner - The Steve Miller Band
52. Do Ya - The Move
53. Danny's Song- Loggins and Messina
54. Superstar - The Carpenters
55. Son of a Son of a Sailor - Jimmy Buffett
56. Hey, Hey, What Can I Do - Led Zeppelin
57. Baba O'Riley - The Who
58. Promises - Eric Clapton
59. Dreaming - Blondie
60. Smiling Faces Sometimes - The Undisputed Truth
61. Hold Your Head Up - Argent
62. All Right Now- Free
63. We're All Alone- Rita Coolidge
64. Piano Man - Billy Joel
65. Sweet Emotion - Aerosmith
66. Brown Sugar - Rolling Stones
67. Got to Give It Up (Pt. 1)- Marvin Gaye
68. Have You Never Been Mellow - Olivia Newton-John
69. Candida - Tony Orlando & Dawn
70. Let Your Love Flow - The Bellamy Brothers
71. Hitch a Ride - Boston
72. Reminiscing - Little River Band
73. Bridge Over Troubled Water - Simon & Garfunkle
74. Get Up (I Feel Like Being a) Sex Machine - James Brown
75. Paranoid - Black Sabbath
76. Slow Ride - Foghat
77. Black Water - The Doobie Brothers
78. September - Earth, Wind and Fire
79. Moondance - Van Morrison
80. Let's Stay Together - Al Green
81. Comfortably Numb - Pink Floyd
82. Do You Feel Like We Do? - Peter Frampton
83. Free Ride - The Edgar Winter Group
84. Life on Mars - David Bowie
85. Behind Closed Doors - Charlie Rich
86. Can't Get Enough of Your Love - Barry White
87. Roundabout - Yes
88. Superfly - Curtis Mayfield
89. Paradise by the Dashboard Light - Meatloaf
90. Don't Fear the Reaper - Blue Oyster Cult
91. Come Sail Away - Styx
92. Don't Leave Me this Way - Thelma Houston
93. One - Harry Nilsson
94. Hello, Hurray - Alice Cooper
95. Everything's Alright - Yvonne Elliman
96. Werewolves of London - Warren Zevon
97. We Are Family - Sister Sledge
98. It's Too Late - Carol King
99. Running on Empty - Jackson Browne
100. I Got a Name - Jim Croce

Okay, I know many of you rock snobs and music geeks are wondering where are all the rare B-sides and other commercially remote songs? Well, maybe another day I'll do a list of sinfully underplayed songs from the 70s. For now just be happy I didn't put anything by Shaun Cassidy on here.

Now take a moment of silence to stare in awe at the greatness of the music from the 1970s.

3/29/09

Food & Drink #3: The Official Retrospace Diet Plan


Here's what people used to think about before eating:

1. Will it taste good?

Here's what people think about nowadays before eating:

1. Is it high in carbohydrates?
2. Is it high in saturated or unsaturated fats?
3. Is it high in trans fats?
4. Is it genetically engineered?
5. Is it organic?
6. Is it contaminated with Salmonella or Mad Cow Disease?
7. Is it high in fiber?
8. Is this serving size too big?
9. Are there cancer causing compounds like sodium nitrite in this dish?
10. Will this cause tooth decay?
11. Does this contain acrylamide or other neurotoxins?
12. Does this contain refined sugar?
13. What kinds of preservatives are in this food?
14. How many milligrams of salt are in this food?
15. Is it high in cholesterol?
16. Does this food lack essential vitamins and minerals?
17. Does this food contain harmful coloring agents?
18. Is it high in starch (we all know starch is a glucose bomb for the body)
19. Does it contain anti-oxidants to combat free radicals?
20. How many calories are in this food?
21. Is it whole grain? ...etc., etc.,..

It's kind of ironic that with all this worrying and fretting over every thing we put in our mouth, the nation has never been more overweight! Our serving sizes have tripled and the obesity rate has skyrocketed. Meanwhile, we point our fingers and laugh at this dish from the 1970s...

I freely admit there are harmful things in food. I'm a bit disturbed that titanium dioxide (a chemical used in paint) is in my canned tuna. In spite of all our cries against dubious chemicals additives and preservatives, our foods have never been more synthetic. It bothers me that synthesized fat substitutes include warnings that they may cause explosive diarrhea! And despite our complaints against factory farming, our meat, poultry and dairy has never been more mass produced with less humane conditions. Where is all this complaining getting us?

When I'm at the grocery store, I see people reading the ingredients on the packages like they're engrossed in a mystery novel. (Don't ask me why there's a baby deer in this picture. Just bear with me.)

So, I am now going to unveil the official Retrospace diet. This will save you countless dollars in worthless diet books, and silly diet plan fees. All I ask in return for saving you big bucks, making you trim, and adding years to your life is that you never doubt a single word I say again.

Here it is, three simple rules:

1. Dig in!
Worrying is taking years off your life. Eat anything you want.

2. Don't eat so damn much!
For the love of God, slow down. Maybe you won't eat like a cow if you stop to talk, maybe drink some wine, or smoke a cigarette.

3. Get off your ass!
That bratwurst is going to go straight to your gut or thighs unless you get a little active. How about you take a freakin' walk tonight instead of watching total crap on TV?

Not surprisingly, the Retrospace diet looks remarkably like the diet from the 1970s and earlier. That's because it is.

I'll also note that I can't throw a stone without hitting a food vendor in any city in this country. Exactly when did it become protocol to eat with every activity? Do you have to eat something in the car, at the mall, at the movies, at the ballgame, at the airport, at the bookstore, at the bar, etc.? Is your hunger so overwhelming that you can't wait till you get home? When I was a kid, we had a Steak n' Ale and a Burger Chef nearby - other than that, you had a lengthy drive ahead of you, and it probably wasn't worth it. In that same city, there's now food thrust in your face on seemingly every corner. Who needs it? TGI Fridays freakin' sucks anyway.

Every once and a while it's okay to dine out. Life is short. So, go ahead, eat up, stop worrying, have a good time, and DIG IN!


3/27/09

Six Degrees of Boom Boom Washington

Continuing with my idiotic quest to find bizarre connections surrounding the cast of Welcome Back, Kotter, I give you part IV: Six Degrees of Freddie "Boom Boom" Washington (actor Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs).

So far, I've done Mrs. Kotter, Arnold Horshack, and Juan Epstein. I've been told I do these back asswards and that the connections are paper thin. Screw it. It's fun, so here comes Boom Boom.

1. Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs produced and sang backup vocals for the disco single "Let Me Do It" by Halo. A clip of the song is below. According to Wikipedia it is "considered among many soul collectors as a modern soul masterpiece". It's a good little disco tune, but a "masterpiece" is a stretch to say the least.



2. The drummer for the song is none other than James Gadson (source), considered to be the most recorded drummer in R&B history. He's on drums for Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive" and "Dancing Machine" by the Jackson 5, and his resume extends back to Sinatra and Ray Charles.

3. Recently Gadson performed on a Beck album and is featured prominently in his music video "Think I'm in Love". Watch it here.

I got very annoyed reading the comments for the YouTube video: "Who is that creepy guy in the background?" and "Is that B.B. King?" Idiots, all of them.

(Beck is one of the ever diminishing group of contemporary artists that I actually like. You should like him if for no other reason than he wrote a song called "MTV Makes Me Want to Smoke Crack". Mellow Gold has been a personal favorite since its release.)

4. In 2004, Beck married Marissa Ribisi, who played the intellectual Cynthia Dunn in my favorite film of all time, Dazed and Confused.

5. Strangely enough, Marissa (and her twin brother, Giovanni) were delivered by Beck's mother, Bibbe Hansen!

6. Bibbe Hansen, was a prominent member of the Andy Warhol crew. Her father was a part of Warhol's factory, and Bibbe herself starred in several Warhol movies including Prison with Edie Sedgwick.

And so there you have it: From Boom Boom to Warhol. It was a strange trip, but I enjoyed it.

6 Random Things Meme

I was just tagged by Wings over at Caffeinated Joe with this meme. Seems like a quick n' easy one, so here goes...

The Rules
1) Link to the person who tagged you.
2) Post the rules on your blog.
3) Write six random things about yourself.
4) Tag six people at the end of your post and link to them.
5) Let each person know they’ve been tagged and leave a comment on their blog.
6) Let the tagger know when your entry is up.

My Randomness

1) My favorite Match Game player is not Richard Dawson, but rather Charles Nelson Reilly
2) I took the GRE drunk on Jägermeister (and still did well enough to get into grad school)
3) I still have not seen The Godfather or Godfather II (but oddly enough, have seen part III)
4) I believe in ghosts
5) I have testified in court nearly every month for the past ten years
6) I have never sent a text message

The 6 I'm tagging:

3/26/09

A Look at Who's Dropping By

Ever looked in Google Analytics or your FEEDJIT to see what people are Google searching which brings them to your blog? If you haven't, maybe it's best you keep it that way - ignorance is bliss.

Here's what I learned: Retrospace Has Devastated Legions of Pervs Worldwide

Look what key words brought traffic to Retrospace this past month:

"Doris Day topless"
"Susan George topless"
"Elizabeth Montgomery topless"etc.
... I think you'll detect a pattern here. Needless to say, there were a lot of disappointed searchers out there because I don't have any topless pictures on Retrospace. Sorry.

There are quite a few disturbing ones involving horses like "horsesexy" and "sexy horse", which led them to my post on a sexy horse manure ad. I can only assume they left disappointed.

By far, my top Google search perv keyword is "spanking": "spanking women", "spanking old women", "spanking women that deserve it", "spanking comics", etc. etc. It leads them to this post which I'm sure has disappointed thousands of spank-loving pervs around the world. Again, sorry.

Nothing against the pervs out there - there's a welcome mat here at Retrospace for pervs and non-pervs (if there is such a thing!) alike. However, it's nice to live in my fairy tale world where thousands of people are typing in things like "interesting and lively discussion on the state of contemporary music" to get here instead of things like "custom van sex".

My favorite Retrospace keyword searches from this past month:
"Paul Lynde took ectasy" and
"does Helen Reddy have mental telepathy"

BTW: On the subject of kink, I just recently learned that Joe Shuster, the co-creator of Superman, was a big time perv! Turns out, there's a ton of Shuster artwork that's come out depicting some pretty hardcore fetish stuff. (posts on it here and here)

What the hell? These are some seriously sadistic scenes - penned by the same hand that created the Man of Steel! The disturbing thing is that a lot the characters in his kinky artwork look remarkably like his Superman characters - Jimmy Olsen, Lex Luthor, Lois Lane, etc. The picture below is just about the tamest one I could find.

I'm no expert on Shuster or even comics in general; however, if I had to guess - Shuster went off the deep end when he sold the rights to Superman for a mere $130 only to see it turn into a huge success. Pent up frustrations are understandable - better to put them on paper than act them out I guess.

3/25/09

Trivia Newton-John #6

This time round, you need to get both answers correct...

1. From this ten second clip, name the song. The Wikipedia description: "The song begins with a man commiserating his loneliness, when a woman suddenly appears in his bed, and encourages him to make love to her."



2. What 1970s horror movie is the following theme song from?



Leave your answer in the comments section. Be the first to guess correctly both answers and win a nice Trivia Newton-John Award to place proudly in your blog's sidebar. When the correct answer is given, I will post the award for the winner. Good luck!

**Update**
We have a winner! Congrats to Wings, author of the wonderful Caffeinated Joe. Collect your trophy!

3/24/09

Food & Drink #2: Eggs Edition

I can actually feel my arteries congeal just looking at this breakfast. But it's not the grease I'm nauseated by so much as the "salad cream" they're slathering the bacon with. I recommend you serve this dish with a scoop of Crisco and garnish with a cigarette butt.

I'm just going to tell you in advance that if I am ever a dinner guest in your home and you set this dish before me on the table, I will scream like a schoolgirl and black out. Just so you know.(from the Flickr set Misguided Efforts in Cookery)

Another nice little place to find some classic gastroabominations is the Flickr set Gee, That Food Looks Terrible!
How is it that this cheese sauce is flesh hued? I can't explain my feelings toward this dish except to say that never have I seen a breakfast look more dead.

Back in the day, they smoke, drank and ate food like this all the time. Maybe their life expectancy was less, but they died with a smile on their face. Is that an ashtray I see on the table? If not, I'm sure it will soon be used as one. Finisci di magiare!

Also see a previous post: Gastroabominations #1

3/23/09

Mini Skirt Monday #5

I'm Italian, but regretfully have never bothered to learn the language. Looks like this LP cover says something like "The Initials of J7 - The short week". I have no idea what the hell that means, but I can say that J7 (if that is indeed his name) puts Jay-Z to shame.

No wonder Larry Hagman drank so much. They should have hired a gay guy like Dick Sargent on Bewitched to play Major Nelson. I'm sure the poor guy must have splashed himself with cold water between every take. Maybe he made himself think of something ugly, or repeated to himself "I have self control, I have self control". After a while, he just turned to drink.

The Triumphant Return of the 1970s on the Radio

They're Back!!

Yesterday I heard "September" by Earth, Wind and Fire on the radio and it dawned on me that 70s music finally has gotten its due. For years it received no respect, but I think radio has finally come around.

Radio has always been pretty good at playing so-called "classic rock" music from the 70s. How many times have you heard "More Than a Feeling" by Boston or "Stairway to Heaven" on the radio? - probably in the millions. So, bands like Skynrd, Floyd, Kansas, Zeppelin, Supertramp, Bad Company, and The Eagles have gotten more than their fair share of radio play over the past few decades.

Unfortunately, most of the musicians popular in the 70s that couldn't be categorized as classic rock became M.I.A. as early as the 1980s. Sure, the oldies or easy/soft format stations might graze the surface with "Summer Breeze" by Seals & Crofts, an Elton John hit, or "Cat's in the Cradle"; but, for the most part, mainstream 70s music went bye-bye.

For instance, how many times in the 80s and 90s did you hear hits from Tony Orlando & Dawn, Bread, The O-Jays, Pablo Cruise, or Captain & Tennille? Anything that even resembled disco was verboten - thus, KC & the Sunshine Band, ABBA, and the Bee Gees were a distant memory. Decades passed without "Brandy (You're I Fine Girl)", "Shadow Dancing", "Escape (The Pina Colada Song)", or "Play That Funky Music" ever getting airplay. Okay, certain metropolitan areas could afford to specialize in the 70s - but, as a general rule, radio in most U.S. cities just didn't go there.

In the latter half of the 1990s, GenX started to rediscover music from their youth, and there was a shortlived 70s revival (ex. Dazed and Confused and That 70s Show), but it didn't amount to much. GenX has never been a big source of revenue, it's always been the Boomers and now a younger generation with tons of their parent's money that draws the big bucks.

So, what gives? Why all the sudden can I turn on the radio from coast to coast (I travel a good bit) and find England Dan & John Ford Coley? How is that guys like The Bellamy Brothers and Andy Gibb are starting to reappear? I don't really know the answer, except to say that maybe the 70s stigma has finally been overcome and, perhaps, this younger generation enjoys 70s oldies every bit as much as the Boomer-beloved 60s music.

Does this mean that Rupert Holmes has triumphed over The Beatles? Can we finally say that Pablo Cruise has emerged victorious and the 70s have finally arrived? Well, I think it's a bit early to tell. Besides, I think there's a lot of the 70s that I think is best left behind...

3/22/09

Ads #12: Give a Hoot, Don't Pollute

In the 70s, kids had it beaten into their heads night and day that dropping a soda can on the sidewalk = the total and complete destruction of the planet earth. It was a good message I guess, but if you were a kid in the 1970s, you know what I mean - the anti pollution message got to be a bit overbearing. If you dropped so much as a Dentyne wrapper in the grass, you would not only make a Native American cry, but Smokey the Bear would come find you.

via Boin Boing
This Woodsy Owl comic is from Boing Boing. Again, it's a great message, but Woodsy is such an ass about it, it almost makes me want to pollute.

I do remember it being pretty polluted in the 70s. Look no further than the intro to Welcome Back, Kotter to observe the urban decay in its fullness. Jimmy Buffet's complaint bout stepping on a pop top in Margaritaville was a valid point - I remember pop tops and cigarette butts lying around everywhere!

And I have to admit, watching that famous Iron Eyes Cody anti-pollution ad today still affects me. I'm not sure what it is about this PSA, but it makes me want to go down to the municipal park and start picking up empty malt liquor bottles, crack pipes and used condoms.



Perhaps no song drilled the environmental message more forcefully than the guy who sang "Convoy", C.W. McCall. This trucker makes Smokey and Woodsy look like a couple of creampuffs in "There Won't Be No Country Music".


There Won`t Be No Country Music

Well, it's only gonna be about an hour, friend
'Til they dam your favorite river
So you can water-ski just one more reservior
And them supersonic ships are gonna take you
'Cross a sea of pavement
To one more faceless brickyard on the shore

Yeah, it's only gonna be about an hour or so
'Til they rip off all your mountains, boy
And that one last tired old eagle bites the sand
And all of that high-and-mighty scenery's
Gonna be leveled to the ground, boy
By a bunch a' them mindless strip mines on the land

[Chorus]
So listen well, my brothers
When you hear the night wind sigh
And you see the wild goose flying
Through the gray, polluted sky
There won't be no country music
There won't be no rock 'n' roll
'Cause when they take away our country
They'll take away our soul

Well, it's only gonna take about a minute or so
'Til the junkyards fell the prairies, boy
And them smokin' yellow grass fires start to burn
And the warnings on them beer cans
Gonna be buried in them landfills
No deposit, no sad songs, and no returns

Yeah, it's only gonna take about a minute or so
'Til the factories blot the sun out
You gonna have to turn your lights on just to see
And them lights are gonna be neon, sayin'
"Fly Our Jets To Paradise"
And the whole damn world is gonna be made of styrene

[Chorus]
So listen well, my brothers
When you hear the night wind sigh
And you see the wild goose flying
Through the gray, polluted sky
There won't be no country music
There won't be no rock 'n' roll
'Cause when they take away our country
They'll take away our soul

Yeah, it's only gonna be about a second, boy
'Til they take away all'a this country
And they'll tell you not to listen to this here song
And that far-off sound of freedom's
Gonna be an echo from the past
And the final tune is gonna be sad and long

And it's only gonna be about an eye-blink, boy
'Til they pull out the wool to blind us
So we just can't read all the messages on the wall
But the only words that matter
Oughta be scribbled all over them billboards
In big old black and bloody letters, ten feet tall

[Chorus]

3/20/09

The Boob Tube #10: The Johnny Cash Show

So I was watching some old Johnny Cash Show episodes and was rendered stricken and mute by the caliber of talent on this show. How is it that freakishly awful American Idol contestants pass for talented musicians today, while in 1969-70 we took Johnny Cash guests like Bob Dylan, Neil Young, George Jones, Louis Armstrong, Stevie Wonder, James Taylor, and Joni Mitchell for granted? Has the bar been lowered that far, or am I just becoming more and more of a grumpy old geezer?

(in old man voice)"Back in my day we had talent, I tell you. Real talent! Not like you young hooligans of today with yer emo and yer rap music. No good sonofabitches, every last one of ye!"

But back to the show... Waylon Jennings was a guest on one episode. Way before he was singing The Dukes of Hazzard theme, Waylon was an established musician whose career actually began as a bass player for Buddy Holly and the Crickets. He nearly wound up on that tragic flight on the "Day the Music Died", but through a chance of fate wound up driving instead of flying.

One day I'll do a post on old time country music. I love that outlaw country (Willie Nelson, Hank Jr., David Allen Coe, etc.) with its heavy drinkin' and "take this job and shove it" attitude. Waylon was the king of this breed of country singer, and it was great to see him jamming on the Johnny Cash show. However, I noticed the camera stayed on the lovely organ player for most of the performance rather than on Waylon's ugly mug (see picture above).

Of particular interest to me was Cash's guest, Linda Ronstadt. According to the DVD commentary, Linda wanted to perform on the show with a mini skirt and no panties, but June Carter (Johnny Cash's wife) said "hell no" to that and ordered her to put on some undergarments. I live for odd little anecdotes like this!

3/19/09

Vintage Scares #4: Things That Scare the Hell Out of Me (part 2)

As a sort of follow up to my previous post on 10 things that scare the hell out of me, I thought I'd throw a few more creepy things out there. (Click on images to enlarge)

1. Disney's Wonderful World of Pure Evil

No question this pale faced scarecrow is frightening, but the fact that it's right below Tinkerbell gives me a weird feeling. This was actually a Disney product? The two images seem so incongruous - like having a Care Bear and Leatherface together.

I understand this movie has recently been released on DVD, so I plan on watching it out of sheer curiosity.




2. The Easy Bake Oven Dad

Check out this father lurking around in the shadows watching his daughter bake. He looks like a demonic peeping tom. Is he watching her from a crawlspace?

I picture this dad watching his son's baseball games from under the bleachers, laughing maniacally from the darkness.






3. The Infamous Aurora Monster Scenes Kit

I've posted on this one before, but I can't quite get over it - it's so unbelievable demented. This is an ad for a children's product and it involves a scantily clad Vampirella and Frankenstein's monster abducting a female victim. "Don't worry this is New York. No one will help her." Are you actually supposed to build the girl victim? Was this toy designed by Ted Bundy?

3/17/09

Retro Film Report #3: Count Yorga, Vampire (1970)


Count Yorga came on TV when I was little and it literally scared the bejesus out of me (I'm not quite sure where my parental guidance was during this period - perhaps I had a babysitter). Upon rewatching the film some thirty odd years later, I was actually pleasantly surprised at how enjoyable the movie is. It serves as a great postcard of the very end of the 1960s. So, here's the play-by-play on the 1970 horror classic, Count Yorga, Vampire. (Beware of spoilers!)

3/15/09

Sweet Carolyn

I can't resist but to show you a perfect example of the heavy wages of rock. Carolyn Hester was a folk artist and arch rival of Joan Baez (I actually prefer her voice to Joan's). Here she is with Dylan in 1961.

Here she is in 1969. What a difference a few years can make!


Wow! Don't forget to vote for your favorite Caroline song- the poll is located in the sidebar.

3/13/09

Vintage Scares #3: 10 Things That Scare the Hell Out of Me

Wings has put up an amazing list of 13 things that creep him out in honor of today's date - Friday the 13th. To follow up, I thought I'd throw out ten things that scare the hell out of me (many pulled from previous posts - due to shear unadulterated laziness).

1. Sleestak

2. Antique Photos

Nothing's more creepy than some old photo that has something strange or mysterious going on. For that matter, really any antique photo can give me the jitters under the right conditions.

The fact that these vehicles are literally driving on a vertical surface is bizarre enough, but why is there an actual adult male lion in the sidecar?

3. The "Dark and Lonely Water" public service announcement (found here).

4. Slim Goodbody

5. This album cover:

I picture Ricky speaking in a raspy whisper much like Danny in The Shining talking with his finger. If I woke up in the middle of the night to the sight of Ricky hovering over me chanting "REDRUM", I would probably soil myself before spontaneously combusting from fear.

(more creepy album covers here)

6. Possessed old people crawling on ceilings (Exorcist III)

7. The Creepiest Magazine Cover Ever - The Juice & Ms. Montgomery; evil captured on the cover of Jet.

8. John Amos on Good Times

This man used to scare the hell out of me. He always looked like he was a hair's breadth away from straight up murdering their asses. I was always ready for him to just start taking his entire family out.


9. Creepy Kids like those twins on The Shining

10. The freakish face under the bed at the beginning of the conjoined twins comedy, Stuck on You. (Kindertrauma has a nice little post which mentions it.)

3/12/09

My Retro TV Home

upstairs found here

Not too long ago, Joe over at 70's child posted the Brady Bunch home floor plan. I have spent basically my entire life envisioning my days in the Brady abode, so this was quite a find.

Well, it got me trying to determine which TV home I'd most want to live in - not just for the layout, but also location and other amenities. I could easily just choose the mansions from Silver Spoons and The Beverly Hillbillies, but they don't appeal to me that much. Also, the large suburban home like on Bewitched and The Partridge Family is not a whole lot different than my own house, and thus not very exciting. So, with much deliberation here's my top five.

1. The Jetsons (floor plans found here)
The future was definitely fab. A circular home in a space-age sky rise with all the modern conveniences you could dream up. I'd have to remove Rosie the robot's battery, she drives me nuts. But, otherwise, this is the ultimate dream home.

2. Family Affair
Posh bachelor pad condo overlooking NYC complete with gentleman's manservant. Do I need to go on?

3. The Bob Newhart Show
Can't really explain it - but Bob's Chicago home calls my name. It certainly appeals to me more than his later Vermont Bed & Breakfast. I'm a sucker for the retro condo. The rustic side of me would go for the Little House on the Prairie home for a while, but would come crawling back to the urban sprawl in a matter of days.

4. The Brady Bunch
Who cares about the Jack & Jill bathroom (sans commode) shared between six kids. The maid quarters, step down study/den, cozy TV room with access to private backyard, nice CA neighborhood... it's no wonder the kids made the house look haunted to ward off buyers!

5. I Dream of Jeannie
Major Nelson was one lucky SOB: an astronaut living in a killer 1960's Coco Beach home with a sexy genie. It doesn't get much better than that.


3/11/09

Vintage Business #1

I always suspected it was a lot better to work back in the sixties and early seventies than today. Don't give me that "times were tough" garbage - I was there (I was still wearing footie pajamas, but I was there). Back then, a man could work at Walgreen's selling aquarium gravel all day and still earn a living wage - now it takes three jobs and a Capital One credit card to do that.

While most of us GenXers work in a cubicle wasteland where the employees are more disposable than the printer cartridges, the Boomers were enjoying makin' some righteous bread in their new groovy job.

3/10/09

Opinions and Rants #10: VH1's "I Contemptuously Mock the 70s" Specials


So I finally got around to watching the VH1 special The 40 Most Softsational Soft Rock Songs which has aired possibly 10,000 times in the past year or so. The show should have been called The 40 Most Softsational Soft Rock Songs Ruined by A-Holes because for each 20 seconds of sweet soft rock ambrosia we are required to endure 3 minutes of contemptuous mockery.

If any of you have seen these VH1 specials like I Love the 70s, you know what I'm talking about: Step (1) show a bit of pleasant nostalgia like a Slinky or an ABBA song, then step (2) have a bunch of hack comedians ridicule it. During the soft rock special, one of these bastards actually called Andrew Gold a pussy. Ha, ha, ha, ha. Well played, Michael Ian Black.

Here's another example of the great Michael Ian Black wit: "Young Frankenstein is the funniest black-and-white movie ever, even funnier than Schindler's List." Ha, ha, ha, ha... you're an ass.

I know what you're thinking: Gilligan has his heart all a flutter because he has an unnatural obsession with the 70s - the rest of us normal people are free to enjoy any and all VH1 programming.

Fine. Go ahead. I too laugh at 70s fashion, bad album covers, advertising and so forth here at Retrospace all the time. I have NO PROBLEM with poking fun at the 70s whatsoever. Let's face it, the 70s deserve a lot of teasing. I could just live without the belittling quote and sarcastic smirk between every nostalgic clip. Give me at least a few seconds to enjoy the nostalgia before you ridicule and beat it like a playground nerd.

And I could really live without Hal Sparks saying things like: "My pet rock attacked my little brother, and we had it euthanized." Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha.... you're an idiot.

3/9/09

The Groovy Age of Travel #2: The Persuaders

So, I watched what may possibly be the coolest show ever made - The Persuaders, starring Roger Moore and Tony Curtis. It may not be particularly well-written or especially entertaining but there is a breathtaking amount of mojo. Both characters are rich playboys who literally do not utter a single line that cannot be identified as ultra-cool. Exotic locales, expensive European cars, lots of brandy, and a plethora of smoking hot sixties babes.

What's got Moore all dishevelled? Why, he's in a fight over whether to put one olive or two in a Creole Scream cocktail. Now, that's cool.

So anyway, there's a scene where Curtis departs a plane surrounded by a bevy of gorgeous stewardesses. Naturally, this got me thinking about the golden age of flight when planes were filled with beautiful stewardesses and not modestly dressed "flight attendants" of either gender.

I've whined about this issue before. Apparently, I haven't got it all out of my system. I think the reason times have changed so drastically is that the airplane is no longer a gentleman's club in the sky. Rather, airports are filled with about an equal measure of males and females along with lots of families.

Another reason may be that no one gives a flying monkey fart about their appearance anymore (particularly in the States). Back in the day, hair was fixed, shoes shined, hats worn, hands gloved, scent applied... now everyone looks like they just rolled out of bed and grabbed a pair of dirty jeans and t-shirt from the bottom of their closet. Quite frankly, fashion conscious flight attendants would look out of place among a bunch of skank customers.


Nonetheless, it's still nice to reminisce on the groovy age of travel. There's an amazing gallery to be found here. Be forewarned that it has enough pictures on a single page to freeze up a Cray XT5 supercomputer. But it's worth it.