I think this translates from the French to something like "Your Knitting Store". Whatever the English meaning, Votre Magazine Tricot is an awesome little fashion artifact from the 1970s. I've got scans from the 1971 and 1972 issues for your viewing enjoyment. There literally is no end to the print materials produced during the 60s and 70s on needlework.... but Retrospace aims to cover them all, one pamphlet at a time.
All the images below are relatively small, so as to not overheat your CPU; just click on each one to enlarge.
This is sort of a rehash of an earlier post on the subject, but I couldn't leave well enough alone. As I continue to peruse through old print media, I'm struck again and again by the repeated image of the A-Frame.
The A-Frame is an image where you see a man or woman from the torso down from behind, with legs wide, and often a scene displayed through the open legs. You might call it the For Your Eyes Only theme since that's probably its most recognizable use. I'm not sure why it's used so repeatedly, but it does bring up some sociological thoughts...
1. Below, I have a mosaic of both female A-Frames and a male A-Frames. Is there a significant difference between the two? In other words does it imply something different when there's a female with legs in the A-Frame versus when a man is doing it?
2. Some would claim the A-Frame is nothing more than ogling a woman's legs- but if that was the case, why an almost equal measure of male A-Frames through the years?
3. It would seem the A-Frame position denotes power - the individual appears larger and above the secondary figures. You'll notice that when it's a man in the A-Frame position, the power is from violence - i.e. a showdown between two cowboys, or a violent attacker. When it's a woman in the A-Frame position, it's almost always sexual - long slender legs, almost always with heels. James Bond in the For Your Eyes Only movie poster may have the gun; however, there's no denying the anonymous, faceless woman has all the power.... the xexual power.
4. And finally, why always from the back? Why is it always a faceless, mysterious individual, rather than the A-Frame positioned toward the viewer with face visible? Something about this form is subconsciously compelling.
Male A Frame (click to enlarge)
Female A Frame (click to enlarge)
There's a ton of postcard collections out there - do a search on Flickr, and you'll come up with tens of thousands. Your best bet among this embarassment of riches is Bad Postcards, a Tumblr blog. It had me absolutely gobsmacked.
First of all, they're not all kitchy tourist traps - many are quite impressive. "Bad" isn't necessarily the word I'd use to describe a lot of these.... however, for some, "bad" isn't nearly harsh enough. Take a look for yourself. The blog has only been up since April 2010, so I'm hoping to see it continue for many months to come.
Labels: vintage preservation collection
I'll refrain from relaying the history of 60s bubblegum pop, but, suffice it to say, the producers Kasenetz and Katz had a lineup of radio-friendly bubblegum acts which they brought together for this album. The Kasenetz Katz Singing Orchestral Circus was like Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band in that it was purely fictitious. In this case, it was a mixture of Ohio Express, Music Explosion, The 1910 Fruitgum Company, and several others. It was a gimmick meant to capitalize on Sgt. Peppers that didn't quite work.
But don't take my word for it. Listen to what Neil Bogart (general manager of Kama Sutra and Buddha Records) says about it on the gatefold sleeve:
Some things go together - like peaches and cream, love and mariage, salt and pepper.Damn. Judging by this review, you'd think it was describing Woodstock or The Beatles on Ed Sullivan. Nope. Not even close.
When frighteningly talented producers Jerrry Kasenetz and Jeff Katz conjured up their confection of 46 rock and roll musicians playing together as one massive orchestra, peaches, cream, love, marriage, salt and pepper all merged into the fantastically exciting idea.
The excitement reached fever pitch on June 7 when the Kasenetz Katz Singing Orchestral Circus, 46 strong, stepped on stage at Carnegie Hall to the wild applause of over 3,000. Some were screaming kids in dungarees and torn shirts; some were dignified oldsters dressed in tuxedos, their expressions quizzical but contained; and some were musical directors and DJ's from all over the country.
The Messrs. Kasenetz and Katz lifted their batons; then lowered the boom. And it happened! Eight of the nation's most exciting groups... colossal! Stupendous! mind-blowing!...exploded into an unreal, riotous extravaganza of sight and sound.
History was made. And history repeats itself in this sound-bursting album. But Kasenetz and Katz aren't surprised. Making history is old hat to them. History and togetherness - like coffee and cake, black and white... like Kasenetz Katz Singing Orchestral Circus and you.
Here's their cover of The Beatles' "We Can Work It Out". It's kind of a bizarre rendition, but it wouldn't be half bad without the awful "Awwwww" chant overlapping the vocals. You'll have to wade through the intro, which sounds a lot like Paul introducing us to Billy Shears. Take a listen.
Click here to play
inside gatefold: click to enlarge
Labels: Beatles covers
Was there a house without one of these things in the 1970s? I wonder if anyone actually rode them. My parents had a stationary bike in their bedroom my whole childhood, but I'm not sure if anyone got on it once. It was a useful place to hang laundry, but not a very inspiring piece of exercise equipment.
The stationary bike actually was invented in the mid 1700s, but it was the successive waves of fitness mania that swept this country during the 60s, 70s and 80s that landed millions of these things into our homes.
You're asking yourself, "A whole post on stationary bikes? Really?". Hey, we cover the whole enchilada at Retrospace. In fact, there's nothing I'd like more than a gallery of exercycles from yesteryear. Bring it.
I remember hating the news when I was a kid - it was so boring. But at least you only had to suffer through it for thirty minutes each night. Thank God, there wasn't 24 hour news networks back then. Ted Turner really unleashed a gargantuan piece of crap when he brought about CNN. It's been downhill ever since. Here's a few observations about the change:
There was nothing flashy about it.
There were no obnoxious computer graphics or annoying ticker scrolling along the bottom. It seems like every show on FOX News is heralded by a fanfare greater than the 1812 Overture before and after every commercial break!
It wasn't retarded.
I recently turned on CNN and caught Larry King riding in a convertable with Snoop Dogg. Somewhere between the Lindsay Lohan stories and speculations about who will be the next American Idol judge, they manage to slip in a poorly researched bit of news.
There were no talking douche bags
It basically started with the OJ Simpson case in 1994 and the talking heads are still with us! Here's your two options as a news network: (A) real journalism, which requires lots of time and research or (B) get a 3 or 4 attention whores to bitch for an hour. Sadly, the cable news networks have unanimously chosen B.
Feel free to chime in with your own rants. I'm sure there's plenty more to complain about, or (gasp!) contradict.
Here's some scans from the January 1968 issue of Co-Ed Magazine. It was basically geared toward female college students with articles on fashion, dorm decorating, cooking and relationship advice. Nothing ever gets too risqué - no sexually explicit columns like you get in Cosmo these days. Very little is mentioned about academics either, which is a bit surprising considering the magazine is called Co-Ed and published by Scholastic Magazines........ but then, when you see pieces like the one below, it becomes more understandable.
Look at the amazing career opportunities for women - you can be a secretary or a stewardess!
click to enlarge
For years, I've been trying to track down someone from The Flintstones to give a comment about the mysterious and controversial Gazoo, with no result. It was always the same thing: Barney or Betty will speak with you about their new projects, but any discussion about The Great Gazoo was off limits. This just wouldn't suffice - I needed to get to the bottom of this elusive character, and wouldn't accept "no" for an answer.
Then it happened. In the middle of the night my phone rang. It was Fred. "We're ready to talk", he said. "Meet me at The Loyal Order of Water Buffaloes Lodge No. 26 at 9:00 tomorrow night." Then he hung up. My persistence had finally paid off.
To my surprise, it wasn't just Fred meeting me in a back room at the Lodge, but the whole gang. It seems they had a lot to get off their chest about the so-called Great Gazoo. What follows is our conversation in its entirety.
Gil: Tell me about your working relationship with Gazoo, both on and off camera.
Fred: Let's cut to the chase. Gazoo was a bastard.
Gil: I'd heard he had peculiarities, but then he was from another planet.
Fred: "Peculiarities"? If you call taking 10 hits of LSD then watching women undress outside their windows "peculiar", then go ahead. I call that being a bastard. I can't believe I was gullible enough to go along with him at first.
To admit you like Benny Hill is like saying "I'm a sexist dinosaur". Sadly, his naughty humor came to be frowned on by the 1980s. Oddly enough, once his show was rerun in syndication it became fairly popular in the US, but still was basically blackballed from the UK. A lot of actors and actresses who've appeared on the show have disowned it, and several have demanded that their episodes not be played ever again. WTF?
I like Benny Hill, and I find nothing offensive about it. Call me an ass, but I think folks should lighten up. Spend a little less time being offended, and a little more time enjoying life. Life is too short to be so damn sensitive.
Anyway, rather than just thrust a set of sexy Benny Hill images at you, I thought it might be interesting to give you a few facts on his ladies - what became of them, interesting trivia, etc. And then thrust a set of sexy Benny Hill babe images at you. Enjoy!
Labels: foxy ladies
The Purpose: To determine the greatest situation comedy ever as scientifically as possible.
Remember a few years back when Rolling Stone magazine issued its greatest songs of all time list? It was horrible. It contained songs by ‘N Sync and The Backstreet Boys… looks pretty sad and embarrassing now, and it’s a good demonstration of how subjective these lists are. When you get down to it – these lists are just the opinion of a couple folks who happen to have access to a highly circulated print media.
That being said, I don’t think it’s necessary to discount all lists as worthless. There are ways to eliminate some of the subjectivity. In other words, my daughter thinks iCarly should be the greatest American sitcom of all time…. Her opinion is as valid as anyone else’s, right? Well, no. Not if you hold it up to scrutiny and various standards.
I’m in the scientific field and have a couple of degrees in genetics. I say this to highlight the fact that I’m a very logical person (Spockish, you could say), and like to analyze everything… to an almost compulsively absurd extent, as you’ve no doubt learned if you’ve been reading Retrospace for any length of time.
I tried to apply a somewhat scientific method to the selection, and maybe get an answer that’s at least more objective than just picking something out of the air and calling it “the best”.
Ah, yes. Any of you out there remember when every city and town, no matter how big or small, had a thriving downtown? Today, we have the urban sprawl that began with malls and huge discount stores (i.e. Wal Mart) and has devolved into the outdoor shopping center/strip mall. Everything's a chain, none of the salespeople give two shits about you, and.... well, I'll save that rant for another post. Suffice it to say: Downtown mom and pop shops, may you rest in piece.
I happened to come by a few ads for wonderful downtown stores from the late 60s and early 70s, each featuring miniskirted models. I hope you enjoy them. And remember: "Be Fashionable. Shop Murray's House of Fashion."
|Note: These posts used to be called "Vintage Themes", but it confused and bothered people so I changed it mid-2012; people are probably even more bothered now.|
The current woman and tentacle phenomenon in Japan is a tad disturbing, but they are hardly the only ones with a strange fascination for the chick-tentacle combo. Vintage comics and movie posters are littered with this theme, and it doesn't take a degree in cognitive psychology to see the sexual subtext. And it's not just in the print media - anyone who's seen Galaxy of Terror can attest to that.
What's striking is the sheer number of times this imagery has been used. I've put together a couple of mosaics with about 50 or so examples. If you recall any movies or other examples, please share. Don't forget to click on the images to enlarge. Enjoy!
So, on with the gallery of couples from the 70s and 80s. Prepare to mock!
Labels: vintage style
I'd like to introduce to you the mascot of The Decade of Decadence.
Yeah, that's him in the middle. There were a million guys like him in the 70s. Shirts unbottoned, gold chains a-dangling, generous amount of chest hair, tight pants, perfect hair helmet, and the obligatory facial hair. The quintessential 70s stud has become a bit of a fool today, the type of guy you'd dress up as for a joke at a Halloween or 70s party. But back then, he was the real deal.
This guy was into two things: recreational drug use and one night stands. He's sort of an X rated version of Larry on Three's Company. Put him on the show and he'll have Janet, Chrissy, Lonna, AND Terri making sweet love in the bedroom... all at the same time..... then head to the Regal Beagle for some more action, and maybe a few lines of cocaine. The 70s stud don't play.
What happened to these guys? They were everywhere you looked, once upon a time. Perhaps, they're like the Elves in the Lord of the Rings - they couldn't handle the modern world so they sailed away. The 70s stud could never adapt to the politically correct times we live in.... he'd last five minutes in the modern workplace before he'd flunk the drug test and be fired for sexual harrassment.
Yes, the 70s studs have all sailed from the Grey Havens to the Undying Lands, and we are all worse off without them.
In 1961, the Texas Tech University yearbook, La Ventana, began the tradition of having a Playboy Magazine feature complete with female students as Playmates and even a full color centerfold!... (although, there was never any nudity)
This practice continued for 20 years, with the last faux Playboy cover appearing in the 1982 edition of La Ventana.
Several thoughts come to mind…
1. How did parents feel about paying for their daughter to go to college, and find her on the cover of a mock Playboy cover in the yearbook? Perhaps, parents weren’t as uptight as they are now.
2. Why did the practice end? Was there an outcry from the alumni that it was sexist? Or did the yearbook faculty just retire after twenty years of service?
3. What would the public say today of a Playboy insert in a college yearbook? Would there be condemnation or ambivalence?
4. I wonder if the Playboy yearbook segment died because Playboy itself had ceased to be respectable. In other words, Playboy’s image in 1961 was akin to Esquire and GQ. By 1982, however, it became associated more with Hustler and Penthouse. (A faux Huster spread in the Texas Tech yearbook would’ve been interesting.)
Labels: Sex Sells
Paging through The Golden Hands Complete Book of Dressmaking (1972), I couldn't help but be impressed with some of the fashion photos. They're so....(what's the word)..... seventies. Not hideously awful, just really, really seventies. That picture above should be in a frame hanging over my fireplace it's so damn awesome.
Check out the flamboyantly gay designer in the image below. My God, could they have been more stereotypical? I'm not sure I've seen an overtly homosexual image in a needlework book before. Of course, he's more of a Paul Lynde kind of gay.... I thank that was okay back then.
The movie begins with a long somewhat yawn inducing introduction to the brother and sister prancing around a zoo in schoolboy and schoolgirl uniforms acting ridiculously childlike/retarded. Other than Girly's intensely short miniskirt, your humble blogger was unimpressed.
The technicolor mystery tour that was the psychedelic era ended with the Beatles' White Album.... everyone had had enough electrical bananas, incense and peppermints, and were ready for something mellow. In other words, LSD was out, and marijuana was in.... way in. Time to mellow out.
The Byrds released a country & western album, James Taylor was on the cover of TIME, and the Lonely Hearts Club Band had broken up. It was time to make way for mellow, Laurel Canyon soft rock. And since this is an "obscure grooves" post, I won't hit you with songs by America, Neil Young, or Joni Mitchell - you've heard them all before. But have you heard of Howdy Moon?
I f***ing love this album. It's a crying shame they broke up shortly after its release, because there is some real talent here. Band member, Jon Lind (the dude in the center on the album cover), went on to write songs for Vanessa Williams ("Save the Best for Last"), Earth, Wind and Fire ("Boogie Wonderland"), Madonna ("Crazy for You") and even (gasp!) the Jonas Brothers ("Before the Storm"). Here's a couple tracks from the album.
"Cook With Honey" [download] BTW this song would become a minor hit for Judy Collins
I don't really know a whole lot about Rig, other than that their drummer, Kenny Buttrey, was "one of the most influential session musicians in Nashville history" according to CMT. My understanding is that they broke up early on - in fact, they didn't even make it long enough to see the album released.
The standout track is undoubtedly "Have a Cigar" (not the well known song by Pink Floyd). Download or listen to the track.
Labels: obscure grooves
Courtesy of LetsPolka and WMFU comes this disturbance in The Force - disco polka. If ever two words did not belong together it is "disco" and "polka". Yet, it occurred in 1977, and ever since then, mankind has been on the path to Armageddon. The universe simply could not tolerate the unification of two such opposing forces - like the collision of matter and anti-matter.... the chain reaction will have dire consquences, the likes of which humanity has never seen.
Okay, maybe I'm exaggerating, but disco polka is still pretty awful. It was created by Lawrence Welk's accordion player, Myron Floren. Blame him, not me, for what you are about to hear.
For more on this (if you dare), check out jbfunky's Welk blog. Don't say I didn't warn you.
I like to read and listen to a variety of viewpoints. One day I’ll listen to Rush Limbaugh and the next progressives like Tom Hartman. I’ll also check out the Huffington Post from time to time, and the other day I happened upon an article by porn mogul Larry Flynt that struck a nerve. It struck a nerve because I found myself in complete agreement with, of all people, the king of pornography. Indeed, Hugh Hefner’s net worth is only around 40 million; whereas, Flynt’s is over 400 million. Interesting.
Basically, Flynt was stating that the feminist movement was a wonderful thing, but it was hijacked by Steinem and other radical feminists of her ilk. In the 1960s, Women needed to be liberated, and their liberation was a good thing. Women should have the choice of staying home or entering the workforce. They deserve equal pay for equal work.
Unfortunately, this message was hijacked and steered off course. Suddenly, women were denied the choice of motherhood or work – they had to work, or they would be labeled as backwards thinking baby makers. In other words, women needed liberation because they were not allowed the choice – they had to stay home. Steinem ensured that women still would not be allowed to make that choice, except now it was the reverse. Staying home would get you the Suzie Homemaker stigma.
Labels: opinions and rants
Other than Freaks and Geeks, I can't think of television show (or movie, for that matter) that more accurately captures the look and feel of the time better than Look Around You. The BBC program ran from 2002 to 2005, and it's basically a homage to educational films and programs from this time period. What makes it so fantastic? If fulfills the two requirements you need to have when doing a "period piece" centering on decades of the mid to late 20th century:
1. Do not beat the audience over the head with the time period. If it's the 70s, don't have every actor in gigantic platform shoes and bell bottoms. If it's set in the 60s, don't have everyone dressed like hippies, etc. It's a matter of being subtle, but at the same time, all encompassing (if that makes sense). It's not an easy thing to achieve.
It's undeniable that there was an explosion of mass interest in occultism during the 60s and 70s. But why it occurred still is up for debate. An anonymous commont left on an earlier post offered another explanation - one I didn't know about:
U.S. interest in the occult bubbled to life in the hands of rocket scientist/occultist Jack Parsons in the late 1940's and early 1950's.
While Parsons was single handedly discovering the powers of jet propulsion and creating the concept of space travel, Parsons was a full blown Pasadena sex sorcerer, teaming up with the notorious L.Ron Hubbard in his reckless magickal activities.
This was a heavy sci-fi beat era enterprise, creating a fascinating cross section of U.S. military heavy hitters and not-kidding-around occult artists (such as 'scarlet woman' Marjorie Cameron).
The results of their bizarre interests bubbled back to life in the hedonistic, sinister late 60's, with the heavy bad chi producing antics of Anton LaVey, Sammy Davis, Jr, Michael Aquino, Jay Sebring and others. Definitely a creepy, fascinating time period - the jet black Jungian shadow of the pastel colored sixties dream....
An epic comment. I didn't know any of this stuff! I did a tiny bit of reading on this guy, and he sounds like quite a character - he developed rocket fuel, has a moon crater named after him, and was an avid Crowley disciple. Who is this "scarlet woman" mentioned in the comment? I'd like to know more about these mysterious individuals supposedly responsible for the occult craze of the seventies. Anyone have some info?
Most workspaces today are so sterile that I doubt there will much to make fun of in the future. How do you find humor in cubicle mazes and sparse minimalist interiors? Thankfully, the vintage world had plenty of character, and loads to point a finger at.
Take for instance the photograph above. The dame in the miniskirt certainly is nice, but even a short skirt can't compensate for that mess on the wall. It looks like John James Audubon vomited all over the wall. The palm fronds and wicker-lamp thingy are lost in this fowl haze - that lamp is like Tippi Hedren in The Birds.
Labels: vintage business
What image could be more ubiquitous than the "Star Wars pose"? I call it that because the poster art for Star Wars featured perhaps the most recognizable example of the mighty He-Man with helpless damsel at his feet. Granted, Leia is hardly helpless, and this theme may be better called the "Conan pose". Yet, Princess Leia is at his feet, and there can be no denying who's the knight and who's the maiden.
Of course, Conan wins the prize for using the pose the most - I swear half the Conan paintings, whether for paperbacks, comics or magazines, featured this pose.
My favorite example is probably the poster art for National Lampoon's Vacation because it takes the well-worn imagery and turns it on its head by using it to represent an average middle class suburban family. Brilliant. Second place would have to go to the poster art for Army of Darkness, just because it takes the theme and exaggerates it more than other example out there. Indeed, Sam Raimi takes the "Star Wars pose" to the limit, and it's beautiful.
So, what's the sociological significance of this theme? Perhaps it's just another example of male dominance - the age-old chivalric hero saving the world for the beautiful princess. Perhaps, it's a subconscious symbol for oral sex (as I'm sure Freud would contend). Who knows? It's interesting to think about nonetheless. Here's some examples... (click to enlarge)
Labels: artful conception
I am quite obviously running out of Miniskirt Monday titles; however, I felt it pretty accurate summation of the theme to this week's edition.
I've learned to not expect many comments on my Miniskirt Monday posts, but I'm a statistics whore and monitor my blog's stats like an obsessed stalker - and I know these posts actually get the most traffic (big shocker), just not a lot of feedback. What exactly is there to say, anyway - "hey, nice gams!"
So, feel free to lay a comment on me or just loiter quietly and enjoy the gallery. The choice is yours. Enjoy.
Labels: mini skirt monday
Look what I found while checking out the September 1985 issue of ZZAP 64 magazine. They actually released a Frankie Goes to Hollywood video game! I nearly had a heart attack when I saw it.
What must this game have involved? For the soundtrack, did it play a midi version of "Relax"? Did they seem as flamboyantly gay in CGA? So many questions...
Fortunately, there was additional advertisements to fill in the gaps.
Labels: vintage technology
Geriatric Bypass: The act of denying your actual age in order to give others the impression that you are younger.
Back in day, there were only a handful of slang terms you had to master to get by. Sayings like "do me a solid" and "don't be such a spaz" only made sense once you got hip to the relatively few buzz words of the day. Of course there was the incredibly complex CB language and the so-called "jive" lingo; but your average joe didn't need to worry about mastering these dialects to function.
With the advent of the internet and social networking as well as texting, the slang index has grown exponentially. To help us old fogies keep up with the times (even if its marginal at best), I've decided to post some new words of the day with corresponding vintage images. Why the pictures? Well, as the world renown program, The Rosetta Stone, has shown - an unfamiliar term is a lot easier to remember when it's associated with a familiar image. So here goes.
Tanorexia: A disease like anorexia, no matter how tan a person is they never think they are tan enough.
So, Barnes & Noble is closing its 60,000-square-foot Lincoln Triangle Store after fifteen years of business. They claim it has nothing to do with sales, but we all know better. They're not moving because they just want a change of scenery. We all know the score: print media is in deep shit.
For me, nothing can replace holding the actual pages in my hands - reading it on a computer screen (even if it's a Kindle) just doesn't do it for me. But then, I'm in my forties. The same feeling isn't necessarily shared by the younger generations. In fact, although it pains me to say it, I find myself reading a lot more digital media than I used to. I can easily foresee the inevitable demise of the printed word altogether.
Everyone knows about the horrible state newspapers are in across the country. It's not a matter of "if they're going to die" but "when".
Books still make money - but the dynamics have changed. Glenn Beck and Stephen King will make 30 million off their newest bestsellers, but 99% of the inventory collects dust.
Labels: vintage reads
To you youngsters out there reading this - here's a history lesson. The retail experience was very, very different than it is today. Not necessarily better, just different. Let's compare and contrast, shall we? We'll use buying a stereo as an example.
You walk into your electronics super center, and without much thought, pick out a stereo. The super center employees are no help whatsoever - they're minimum wage workers, with no training and non-commission, so their incentive to learn the products is absolute zero. The stereo is made in China, will last a couple years then inexplicably stop working. Meanwhile, you're still paying for it on your high interest credit card.
A grim description, I know. But it's fairly accurate nonetheless.
In the early 1970s
The stereo store was generally a locally owned small business, and the guys working there were pretty knowledgable in their products. They were commision salesmen, so they were akin to used car salesmen in trapping you into the most expensive items.
There's just something wrong about a sex shop/snack bar. I guess folks gotta eat.... even customers at the Sex Show Center.
I love the 70s fonts and colors of this place - nothing says the seventies like orange and brown. Anybody want to hazard a guess as to what the hell Sex Kino is? I've played the game Pokeno - perhaps this is some dirty version of that?
There's also an international aspect to the Sex Show Center with flags of many nations proudly displayed. Aw, yes.... porn is indeed the great bridge builder of nations.