These outfits are horrible! This is what happens when you mix marijuana and yarn. Don't smoke and knit, this is what'll happen...... and yet, I love it! Admit it, wouldn't it be awesome if everyone just said "to hell with it" and dressed with such flair and boldness today? Everything is so boring now - no risks in color or style, just the same ol' shit year after year. I'd welcome the day when red, orange, and purple hot pants made of yarn comes back in style.
What was so abnormal about the needlecraft craze of the 70's? Why do we stare in amazement at the unholy hand weaved creations from this decade? Let me condense it all down for you in one sentence:
In the 1970's, they knitted things that weren't meant to be knitted.
It's as simple as that. If you want to make your own sweater, scarf, or baby booties - go right ahead. But in the 70's it didn't stop there. They made dresses, vests, toilet seat covers, and bathing suits (!) out of freaking yarn! For more direction on where to draw the line, see the What Not to Crochet blog.
In 1924 Bernarr Macfadden launched True Detective Mysteries. It flourished, attracted hosts of imitators, and established a new genre that for many years was one of the mostly widely read categories of American magazines. But as television grew into our main source of crime news, detective magazines went into decline and today are virtually extinct. In their 75-year wake, they left a vast—largely untapped—body of literature.[source]
What good are these old magazines? Considering that they dealt with true criminal cases, they can be of great relevance to scholars who study our criminal heritage and the friends and relatives of crime victims, and to the descendants of criminals themselves.
Detective magazines were a great source for the public to get information about crimes that newspapers couldn't give them: namely lurid pictures and grisly details.
Scooby Doo was repetitive, but this was extreme.... and yet, 70's kids didn't really need much variety sitting in front of the TV in their PJ's, sporting a bad case of bed head, and munching on Frankenberry. It was repetitive, and we liked it that way.
If there's one thing I've learned from looking at automotive advertising from the 1970's, it's that the general rule of thumb was "If you're gonna use sexual innuendo to sell the product, you may as well go all out. Don't bother insinuating anything."
Reading the literature of today, you get the distinct impression that these sort of ads are demeaning, degrading and just overall unacceptable. Here's a line from an article on sex used in automotive advertising:
"I had to ask myself if this form of advertising actually helps to sell cars. As a woman, I find it offensive for two reasons: obviously women are being portrayed as sex objects that may be seen but not heard, but men should also see that their intelligence is insulted. Do they really buy into the notion that they will attract a certain type of woman if they drive a car based on the ads?"
I guess it makes sense that companies which produce mufflers, tires and manifolds would target a heterosexual male audience. Let's face it, that's probably 99 percent of the people buying these products. So, it doesn't surprise me that automotive equipment suppliers would utilize the tried and true "sex sells" principle. What DOES surprise me is the extent to which they utilized the principle in the 1970's.
I made this point many times before on Retrospace: when you look at the culture of the 70's, really look at it, the cultural difference that stands out most is the extremely uninhibited attitude towards sex by the general population in the 1970's. I don't doubt that it still exists today in some form, but take a look through some of my posts on the subject and you'll see fairly quickly that things were just plain different.
Thai Fashion Magazine, 1968 via Paula
I admit, Retrospace is pretty USA-centric (not a word, but you know what I mean); I've lived a couple years in Spain, but otherwise my life has been entirely within the States. Since it's impossible to wax nostalgic about life in Thailand or India during the seventies, I end up leaving the majority of the world out of the picture. I'd actually be very interested in reading a retro blog from those countries.
Miniskirts trancended cultural boundaries in the late sixties and early seventies. You could arguably say it was just as omnipresent in parts of Asia and Indonesia as Swingin' London. Here's a few images I've rounded up to illustrate my point. Enjoy!
I'm not suggesting you go out and buy a quarter bag and start dropping acid to listen to this collection. However, I am suggesting you give it a try - give it the benefit of the doubt before shrugging it off as "drug music". You never know, you may find something you like!
If I were to pick one item to demonstrate 70's interior decor, I think it'd be a motorhome brochure. They looked similar to home decoration, but the enclosed space makes it all the more shocking. It's almost too much to take in at once. It's an all out assault on the eyes; it's everything bad about 1970's decor condensed.
Here we have a vast sea of browns accented by more browns. The only primary colors to be found are a bowl of fruit and this boy's Troube game. Not sure why everyone is laughing at him or why he is having to play this alone. Kind of disturbing, really.
Labels: vintage wheels
In the previous "Spreading the Love" post, we followed the story of Wonder Woman up against The Bermuda Triangle. If you thought that one was
I think the best way to spread the love for Wonder Woman is to simply guide you through a typical episode. The episode I have chosen is one of my personal favorites: "The Bermuda Triangle". In the 1970's, there was a huge interest in the paranormal and unexplained. Leonard Nimoy led the pack with "In Search of...", and there was a nationwide fascination with Bigfoot, UFO's and The Loch Ness Monster. Not least of all, was interest in The Bermuda Triangle, also called The Devil's Triangle. This episode of Wonder Woman capitalizes on this craze.
A lot has been made over the cover art of vintage pulp magazines - and rightly so. For decades, pulp cover art was considered tra-..... (ahem), correction: it wasn't considered at all. Thankfully, due in no small part to the Internet, there's been a renewed appreciation of pulp and paperback artwork.
Recently, while perusing through a brilliant Flickr set of vintage men's mag interior illustrations, I was stricken with how amazing the INTERIOR art was. It's unfair to compare it to the cover art: the high cost of color printing on glossy paper meant the interior artwork was limited to black & white, and maybe one extra color - usually brown, red or yellow. Plus, it's on low quality paper, so there's very few surviving copies that aren't faded like an old newspaper.
Okay, before I get to the questions, I want to point out that this ad is may be the biggest lie perpetrated by the advertising industry ever.
Now that that's out the way. Here's the questions.... but take note that I haven't played D&D since 1983, so I'm a tad behind the times in the role playing world, and so are these questions.
1. What monster is pictured on the cover of the 1st Edition Advanced Dungeons and Dragons’ Dungeon Master’s Guide?
2. Which of the following monsters would have the most hit dice? (1) a Kobold, (2) a Bugbear, (3) a Beholder, or (4) a Gnoll?
3. In 1981, what was the color of the box of the Expert D&D set?
4. Which module read "The little fishing town of Saltmarsh is threatened! Why are lizard men gathering in force nearby and why have they been buying large quantities of weapons?" on the cover?
(A) Castle Amber, (B) Danger at Dunwater, (C) The Village of Hommlet, (D) Queen of the Demonweb Pits, or (E) The Ghost Tower of Inverness?
As usual, the first person to leave the correct answers in a comment will be awarded the prestigous Trivia Newton-John award to proudly display in the sidebar. Good luck!
We have a winner! And how about this, it's Erick from Wonderful Wonderblog, one of the first blogs I ever started following! Cool.
Collect your prize, Erick. Well played.
Labels: Trivia Newton-John
In 2006, Maxim magazine put out this list of the top ten living sex lengends. (yawn)
10. Bill Wyman (Rolling Stones bassist) - 1,000
9. Earvin (Magic) Johnson (basketball star) - 1,000
8. Lemmy Kilmister (Motorhead frontman) - 1,200
7. Jack Nicholson (actor) - 2,000
6. Ilie Nastase (tennis star) - 2,500
5. Engelbert Humperdinck (singer) - 3,000
4. Julio Iglesias (singer) - 3,000
3. Gene Simmons (Kiss frontman) - 4,600
2. Charlie Sheen (actor) - 5,000
1. Umberto Billo (a Venetian hotel porter) - 8,000
I'm not particularly impressed.... what percentage of their "numbers" were skank? What percentage were prostitutes and crack heads? I don't know anything about this Venetian hotel porter, but I can guarantee that no one comes close to a man by the name of Elvis Aaron Presley.
You see, his track record may not have 3 zeros by it, but the ladies he's alleged to have been with are the creme of the crop. Gene Simmons and Charlie Sheen could only dream of the opportunity to get with any one of these gals. He was, after all, The King.
The only person I could compare to Presley would maybe be Frank Sinatra. Perhaps, we'll tackle his "little black book" in another post. For now, take a good long look at Elvis' women. Enjoy.
Labels: foxy ladies
I was lucky enough to stumble upon a 1976 Grand Ole Opry picture book to commemorate their 50th anniversary. As soon as I opened it, I knew this book must be mine - no price was too high. There in full color were page after page of some of the most hideous 70's fashions I've ever seen.
Before you get irritated with me for once again poking fun at 70's fashions, remember that (1) I love the 1970's and (2) I love 70's country music. This is done with tongue planted firmly in cheek - pictures of me and my family during this time period were equally hideous.
So, check a few of the highlights from this glorious tome of fashion crimes. If you want to see all the photos from the book and full sized (and without my commentary or attempts at humor), just jump to my Flickr music set.
Labels: vintage style
The mini-skirt officially began on Carnaby Street in Britain in 1965. Prior to that, women wore them only for athletics such as tennis. The time was ripe for the mini in "Swingin' London" and it caught on like wildfire. In the States you didn't see them (except for in Hollywood) until late into 1967, and they hung on for about five years.
Is there any better declaration of youth than the mini skirt? The Baby Boomers were in their teens and twenties, and their "hope I die before I get old" credo meshed perfectly with the fashion. It wasn't until the feminist movement began to be felt, that the hemline began to creep downward.
Feminist icon, Germaine Greer, once wrote: "The women kept on dancing while their long skirts crept up, and their girdles dissolved, and their nipples burst through like hyacinth tips and their clothes withered away to the mere wisps and ghosts of draperies to adorn and glorify ..."
Alas, those days are long gone. The women in these photos are menopausal by now; the heyday of the mini skirt is a distant memory. Well, its memory is kept alive here on Retrospace - consider it an act of historical preservation. Sure, it brings in plenty of traffic to my little retro blog, but my motivation is purely to edify the populace.....
....(ahem) let's cut the charade here folks - mini-skirts are smoking hot. Check out another set of gorgeous gals and gams on campuses across this great land from 1968-1972. Enjoy!
Thanks, once again, to everyone who takes time out of their day to drop by Retrospace. There's a lot of important events going on in the world today - many of them horrible. It's nice, I think, to take a break from everything and go back to a different time. It's escapism, but I don't think that's necessarily bad.
Plus, I think you can learn things. Sure, Retrospace is 99% pop culture oriented, with most of it gravitating towards the fringes. However, if you want to really learn what it was like in a certain time period, any time period from the Victorian era to Byzantium, a great way to do that is to look at what was popular - the clothes they wore, the music they listened to, the books they read, etc. Too often, history is just a collection of battles and the names of various heads of state.
So, I'll quit tooting my own horn now, and just thank everybody for checking in at Retrospace. 500 doesn't nearly encompass the traffic that arrives here every day, but it is a benchmark that deserves notice. Thanks.
What's wrong with the Skipper? And where is this woman's left hand? I think, somehow, the answers to both of these questions are intimately linked. Gilligan is, as usual, oblivious, but something seems to have grabbed the Skipper's attention... a pinch on the butt?... or maybe a full grab?
....then again, it appears the likely explanation is that Gilligan has whacked the Skipper upside the head with his club. Once again, my first impression is always the most twisted.... and most interesting.
Labels: twisted impressions
Songs are composed of various different structures: the chorus, verse, bridge, etc. They're put together, and if it's done right, it sounds like one cohesive unit, each part is inter-linked. For this post, I'm looking at one section in particular - that last piece, the coda.
A coda is basically a separate section which brings an end to a song; In popular music, it's sometimes referred to as an "outro"; the opposite of an intro. It's not necessarily long- "cold outros" as in "What I Like About You" by the Romantics end abruptly (and are a DJ's worst nightmare). I'm speaking more of the "fade-out coda" -the undeniably greatest example in popular music being the "Na Na Na" part of "Hey Jude".
The "Hey Jude" fade-out coda is so brilliant, I could probably listen to the same repetetive lyrics all day and not get tired of it - close your eyes and listen and it's about as close as a song can get to pure hypnotic euphoria. It got me thinking about other songs that made good use of an outro, and this list is the result.
Let's be clear, the list is not arranged by the quality of the entire song - I'm only looking at the coda. Please drop a comment for suggestions to add to this rather short list, I know there must be a good deal more great ones I'm forgetting.
- Hey Jude - The Beatles
- (I've Been) Searchin' So Long - Chicago
- Head Over Heals - Tears for Fears
"... and this is my foooour leaf cloooover..."
- Layla - Derek & the Dominoes
Allman's closer is sublime
- Lucky Man - Emerson, Lake & Palmer
- Atlantis - Donovan
"Way down below the ocean. Where I wanna be."
- Aquarius - The 5th Dimension
"Let the sunshine in"
- I Am the Walrus - The Beatles
King Lear and "Joob, joob, joob!"
- When the Levee Breaks - Led Zeppelin
- Free Bird - Lynyrd Skynyrd
A guitar solo coda that makes the one in "Hotel California" look bad
- Come Sail Away - Styx
They're not angels, they're aliens!
- Baba O'Riley - The Who
- November Rain - Guns N' Roses
Gives me goosebumps
- Ashes to Ashes - David Bowie
"My mother said, to get things done, you'd better not mess with Major Tom"
- Beautiful Girls - Van Halen
"I love 'em. I need 'em. Can't do without 'em.
- Alec Eiffel - Pixies
- Love Removal Machine - The Cult
- Golden Brown - The Stranglers
Short, but chilling - especially when you know the song's topic
- Lovin' Touchin' Squeezin' - Journey
The coda is where the song goes from average to anthem
- Sunrise - Pulp
A sonic explosion if there ever was one
- Karma Police
"For a minute there, I lost myself"
- I'm Your Captain (Closer to Home) - Grand Funk Railroad
So long and repititious, it used to drive me insane. Now I love it.
- All You Need Is Love - The Beatles
"She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah"
- Sweet Child O' Mine - Guns N' Roses
"Where do we go now?"
- Guitar Man - Bread
I'm a sucker for when the orchestra kicks in
Labels: Music Lists
Frank has mastered the radical art of "The Knee of Listening", and will pass this forbidden and arcane art on to you for $7.95. What a pitiful name for an occult practice. The title is actually so bad that I'm curious as to what the hell the "Knee of Listening" actually is. Anyone know?
How disappointing. Become a certified witch and all it does is get you jobs, relieve stress, and bring more money? What happened to the murderous curses and evil enchantments? I want my money back.
Okay, we've established pretty solidly the fact that sex sells in advertising, but the principle extends beyond that. If you're a opening a new business in the 1950's or 60's, you probably want to have some hot mama in the photo opportunity. Let's face it, no one's going to give two shits about you new mobile home dealership (see image above) unless you've got a leggy bombshell somewhere in the picture.
These days, this might be considered objectifying women and a crass and low-brow way to open a new business.... but not back in the day this was par for the course. Take a look through archival photographs from you city, and you'll be hard pressed to find a ribbon cutting ceremony, ground breaking ceremony or building dedication which DID NOT feature a smoking hot babe.
Labels: Sex Sells
I'm proud to announce the first ever Retrospace Mix Tape. I've compiled some of my favorite examples of groovy bachelor-pad music for your listening pleasure. So, grab your hi-balls and get ready for some high fidelity magic courtesty of 17 lounge legend extraordinairs. Cheers!
On An Evening in Roma - Dean Martin
Harlem Nocturn - Esquivel
Lady is a Tramp - Frank Sinatra
Angel Eyes - Jack Jones
Barbarella - Ferrante & Teicher
Hey Bellboy! - Gloria Wood
I Wanna Be Like You - Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
It Had Better Be Tonight - Lena Horne
Little Girl - Vic Damone
Moon River - Henry Jerome
Seance on a Wet Afternoon - John Barry
The Girl from Ipanema - Richard Hayman
The Lively Ones - Mel Henke
The Topless Dancers of Corfu - Dick Hyman
Thirteen Men - Miss Ann-Margret
Underwater Chase - Al Caiola
What is this Thing Called Love? - Keely Smith
Download mixtape here via Rapidshare
To learn about some of these tracks and listen to some samples, read on!
A happy St. Patty's day to everyone, especially all you Irish and Platic Paddies out there. I'm Italian, but that doesn't mean I can't enjoy a Guinness on tap when I can get it. The best Irish pub I've ever been to in the States would have to be O'Flaherty's down in the French Quarter. Sadly, Hurricane Katrina wiped it out, and it is no more.
For most Americans with no authentic Irish watering hole nearby, it's off to TGI Fridays or Chotchkie's to get shit faced on green beer. A worthy continuation of that great Celtic tradition in the States.
And on that note, enjoya few groovy St. Patty's images. Cheers!
I've just started tackling this novel after reading a Shirley Jackson recommendation at the Too Much Horror Fiction blog. Haven't heard of this blog? Well, it happens to be the only blog dedicated to horror paperbacks that I can find out there. Will started it up just a week or so ago after reading my post where I bitch about the shameful horror paperback vacuum in the blogosphere.
Nothing against movie blogs, music blogs or comic blogs. It's just that there's a surplus of those kind of blogs and a complete absence of blogs devoted to vintage fiction. It kind of surprises me, in a way, because the retro/vintage blogs seem very literate (as for this blog, it sometimes creeps past the sixth grade reading level) - and really, to be truthful, most of the blogs on vintage movies, music and comics are well written and intelligent. (I can't speak on blogs about contemporary topics, because I don't generally visit them.) Thus, you'd think there would be a good number of vintage fiction blogs to meet the demands of such a well-read crowd. Alas, this is not the case.
And I'm not necessarily talking about Steinbeck and Hemingway. Pulp fiction is always a treat. The trashier the better....
Can your brain even comprehend a time when this sort of ad was commonplace? I guess the since the 1990's, the "Kate Moss heroine addict look" has been the something for women to strive to achieve. Personally, the anorexic look just doesn't do it for me. A lot of the women we consider sex symbol icons of yesteryear (Marilyn Monroe, Jane Mansfield, Betty Paige, etc.) would be considered straight up FAT today.
In this day of skeletal beauty, it is interesting to look at the many advertisements from the 1960's and 70's which beckon their readers to put on some pounds to achieve that ideal beauty!
BTW forlks, this is one of those images that's already been swiped (from my Flickr set) by 50 blogs before I even had a chance to publish this post. (sigh).
Once again, let's take a trip back when fashion models weren't anorexic and photoshopped. Back when the mini skirt was king and fashions were outrageous. Nowadays, fashion photographs make the women look computer generated - no blemishes, no body fat, not a hair out of place, and their skin computer enhanced to the point where they look to be made of polished plastic. No thanks.
I remember when photographs first started being altered en masse, when "airbrushes" were employed to hide unseamly imperfections. This was nothing compared to the digitized bulemic fashion spreads of today. So, let's take a short journey back in time when "what you saw was what you got". Enjoy.
I don't mind at all when images from Retrospace are used elsewhere. In fact, it brings me a sense of satisfaction seeing a Retrospace pic on another blog - imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Plus, these images aren't really my property - as I've elaborated in another post, they are scanned from magazines, comics, etc. and are really the property of the creator of the material. A 7-Up advertisement from 1972 is the property of 7-Up, so I have no right to be outraged when my scan of the advertisement turns up on someone else's blog - it wasn't really mine to begin with!
That being said, it is infuriating to see a picture from Retrospace slapped on someone else's blog with no credit given. Sure, I didn't create the ad, but I did go through the effort of buying the old magazine, scanning it in, and uploading it for public viewing. It's common courtesy to at least reference the source of the image.
How do I even know these images are mine? Maybe the blogger owned the same magazine or comic as me, scanned it and coincidentally posted it shortly after me..... not a chance. When you scan something, the way the image is cropped, the exposure, and details such as fading and rips can identify an image as yours, and not someone else's independent creation.
I think that some folks can be forgiven for being noobs. I did the same thing myself many times before - clueless to the fact that I was screwing somebody else who spent a good deal of time and effort to provide the image. However, most of the time, it's from bloggers who just don't give a shit, and everything's fair game for them.
The solution to this is to watermark the photo with a Retrospace logo; however, I will never do that because I feel like it takes away from the eye candy. There's also a way to make the picture look different if it's embedded on another site - but this doesn't prevent someone from just saving the picture themselves and posting it without giving credit. After all, I WANT MY IMAGES SHARED - I just want credit where credit is due.
In the end, the Internet is like the wild, wild west, and there's really nothing we can do about it..... that is, except bitch and moan in posts like this. What's your opinion on the matter?
This is for you youngsters out there - just so you know, here are some differences between grocery shopping today and from around thirty years ago. Things have changed quite a bit at the old Publix and Kroger. Let's take a look at few glaring changes (for better or worse).
1. They were rarely open on Sunday. Believe it or not, Sunday is now the supermarket's biggest shopping day of the week!
2. The bag boys used to help you get your bags to your car. This still happens on occasion today, but don't rely on it.... in fact, I often end up even bagging my own groceries.
3. You would rarely if ever catch a male customer in a grocery store.
I know I've been posting a lot on Cracked magazine lately, so I promise this'll be the last for a while. But I would not be doing my job as custodian of Retrospace if I didn't give a big shout out to Cracked for their brilliant monster issues.
As someone who grew up in the 1970's, I can testify to the fact that monsters were huge during this decade. Everybody loved Bigfoot (he was on the Six Million Dollar Man, Leonard Nimoy's In Search of...and who can forget Bigfoot and Wildboy?) and the Loch Ness Monster. Monsters were used as cereal mascots (i.e. Count Chocula), cartoon characters (Groovie Ghoulies, Frankenstein Jr.), Godzilla was in full effect, and they were remaking King Kong. I could go on and on.
I was a little too old, I guess, to be a fan of Corey Haim back in the 1980's; however, I think he deserves mention on Retrospace. It's sad, really, to recall a young star who's "got the world on a string" and then suddenly everthing goes to shit. One day he's filthy stinking rich, banging Alyssa Milano and on the cover of every teen magazine on the shelf... the next, he can't pay someone to put him in a movie.
Isn't it that way with all teen stars? Think of all those boys from the 70's that had their faces plastered on Tiger Beat: Leif Garret, Lance Kerwin, Shaun Cassidy, Jack Wild, Bobby Sherman, Andy DeFranco, Vincent Van Patten, Willie Aames.... their careers just sort of fizzled once they stopped being so "cute". It's an extremely rare occurrence for them to end up on the A-list like John Travolta, and even he had his bleak years.
Note to teeny bopper stars: get your college degree, you're going to need it. Ilan Mitchell-Smith (Weird Science) and Mayim Bialik (Blossom) did, and their much better off.
The back cover to The Cruel Cocks (1957) reads:
"Here is a powerful, passionate, often bloody novel of life in the Louisiana bayous, where the hungers and violence of man and the raw savagery of nature often come together.
Here is the story of David Boutte, who enters the world of men in an orgy of bloodthirsty violence that threatens to destroy him."
How can you go wrong with a description like that? But the best thing about this book has to be the title. I did a double-take when I first saw this one. I haven't had a chance to read it yet, but I'm looking forward to seeing if it lives up to its title. For more wonderfully awful book titles, see a previous post.
Labels: vintage reads
Next time you hear about a struggling band in the 1970's unable to get that elusive record deal, understand one thing: they must really, really have sucked - everybody had a record in the 70's, even the freaking organ guy at a pizza restaurant! It must have been really disenchanting for bands unable to get a record deal to find records like this one. To make matters worse.... there's two records...
Labels: vinyl dynamite
I remember when Sarah Palin wore a mini skirt to the Memorial Day commemoration organized by the Alaska Joint Armed Services Committee, and there was such a public outcry that you would've thought she was spitting on the fallen soldiers' graves. I am by no means a right wing conservative, but give me a break. As far as I'm concerned, if you've got the figure, there's no bad time for the mini.
Well, in the late 60's and most of the 70's, politics when hand in hand with high hemlines. It wasn't at all uncommon to find a candidate flanked by a bevy of beauties in short skirts. Of course, if the candidate had been a woman, I'm not so sure the press would have been so approving.
(ahem) I'm thinking the girl on his right must be his daughter..... I'm searching for an explanation.