I'm actually glad they don't sell couches like this anymore. If they did, I'd probably lose my job - I would never leave the couch EVER. I would miss holiday gatherings, I'd miss my children's sporting events, I'd miss out on everything... and the worst of it is, I wouldn't even freaking care. I'd be too busy rolling around in comfy splendor.
You want to end all wars? Put one of these in every home on the planet. Who wants to fight when you've got one of these bad boys in your living room? Even the 72 virgins thing can't compete with this slice of couch potato Paradise.
Yeah, that's right. I said it. Upholstered modular furniture is the solution to World Peace. Now, let's see what else is in this 1978 Montgomery Ward Winter Sale Catalog.
One reason for having post subjects numbered (i.e. bad songs #12) is so that I don't have to re-explain myself every time. Sadly, I end up re-explaining myself every time anyway. (sigh)
Anyway, let me restate what I am considering a "bad song". It is a song that is fun to listen to for its inherent horribleness. In contrast, a song by Nickleback, Jay-Z, or an American Idol winner is going to be horrible but NOT fun to listen to . Does this make any sense?
To use movies as an analogy: Plan 9 from Outer Space (to use a tired example) is bad.... but painfully wicked fun to watch. Whereas, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (2010) is also bad, but essentially impossible to watch.
Got it? Good. Let's move on...
Labels: bad songs
The omnipresence of the mini during the early seventies is perhaps best illustrated by group photos. Maybe, after this post, you will begin to fathom the ubiquity of the early-70s miniskirt. Questions will be raised: "Did guys back then appreciate what they had, or was this a case of too much of a good thing?" In other words, chocolate is nice as a dessert once and a while; but, if I'm eating chocolate morning, noon and night, does the chocolate lose its mojo? Can there be such a thing as a miniskirt overload?
It is the official opinion of Retrospace that there can never be too many minis; all arguments to the contrary are invalid. There are only a three things in the universe that cannot reach a limit of overload, which will always remain good and pure no matter the quantity: (1) Love, (2) Miniskirts, and (3) the elvish bread Lembas. It's true - look it up. Now enjoy the minis.
Labels: mini skirt monday
I'd love to make a snarky comment about this picture - about their clothes and hair. But guess what, folks? We all looked like this back then. All 200 million of us. So, rather than condescendingly smirk, let's embrace the beautiful "seventies-ness" of it all as we take a tour down Christmas Past and have a little fun with some old photographs.
Santa loves crotchless panties! Nothing says the holidays like a low cut sheer polyester nightie. It's the gift that keeps on giving.
As an early Christmas present to you, here's some pages from two old Frederick's of Hollywood Christmas catalogs - one from 1967, the other from 1971. Consider dropping a ha'penny or two in the Christmas stocking (i.e. click the donation banner in the sidebar) for your old pal Gilligan. Merry Christmas!
The fact that people from across the globe still are fascinated by the artwork that adorned pulp magazines more than sixty years ago is all the evidence you need that this art form possesses an inherent quality rivaling the so-called "fine art" of the day. Indeed, these wonderfully evocative pulp covers are perhaps more enduring and beloved than anything hanging in a museum.
But I'm not here to convince you this is "real" art - that debate, I think, has been settled by the test of time. I'm here to show you 40 examples of what I consider to be the best ever printed. Considering pulp magazines encompassed fantasy, horror, mystery, western, crime, and science fiction, I thought it best to narrow the focus. This time around we'll look at the cream of the crop in the science fiction genre.
Before I begin, let me quickly lay out what criteria I'm using to judge them. Given the fact that these "best of" lists are, by their very nature, completely subjective, my criteria is basically irrelevant. But, just so you know, I'm going by artistry and interest. In other words, I'm looking at how well the cover is illustrated (technique and composition) and, more importantly, how much the work "stirs me". If it was 1943 and I saw this on a newsstand, how much would this cover beckon me to lay down a couple dimes and take it home? Let's have a look at forty covers that I feel best exemplify this criteria.
Labels: science fiction
I had a hunch Kris Kringle was a leg man by the way he dressed his lady helpers at the mall. His assistants in their little elf outfits are clear indicators that Mr. Claus fancies him some miniskirts. And upon further research, Santa's penchant for a miniskirt becomes undeniable - as evidence, I ask you to check out some of the old photographs where Claus is caught red handed enjoying some holiday miniskirt action.
It's 6:30 PM, Friday 1973. Two income homes were a rarity, so chances are mom spent the afternoon cooking and cleaning at home. The tables were cleared of ashtrays and set for dinner. A muffled TV set playing "The Wonderful World of Disney" emanating from the kid's room, glasses and silverware clinking, sporadic laughter, and unabated overlapping conversations, free of awkward silences. Those were the sounds of my seventies.
I don't think social meals, even as a family, are nearly as common these days. It's a sad loss - the dinner table has been the meeting place for literally thousands of years. What a shame that it's being replaced by fast food in a greasy bag. Let's take a look at what was on the table both at home and dining-out during the seventies (and late sixties), long before it disintegrated into the hustle and bustle of the 2000s.
|click all images to enlarge|
I don’t think people these days understand the magnitude of equal rights for women. Men have pretty much been top dog since pre-history – since we were hunting on the African savannah hundreds of thousands of years ago. Women being considered coequal with men literally hasn’t occurred since humans have been human. Whether you think this is a good thing or a bad thing, or whether you think that women still have a ways to go before becoming completely coequal, you have to admit that this is a turning point of epic proportions.
Here's a few books from the Retrospace private library. I've scanned the covers and transcribed some text from the books. And remember - "Reading Is Fundamental"!
Outside in the main factory room Durgas removed the mask and returned to the office. Only Kalik was there, seated on one of the wooden boxes. Durgas held out his palm to show the scarfaced Kalik the teeth marks on it.
"Who did that?" Kalik asked.
"A friend of Helene's named Sabrina Duncan. The same woman who stymied me from getting into the
"How'd it happen?"
"She came back tonight, and caught me in the apartment. This happened when I was dragging her over to
'.tuff her in the closet."
"She saw your face?" Kalik asked sharply.
"Of course not. I put on my mask when heard her come in."
The mustached man seated himself on one of the boxes and examined his hand again. Presently he. asked,
'When do I go in?"
''Soon," Kalik said.
"I need two days to fix the guns, and there are only two left."
"You will have time," Kalik said. "Fix them right. There is much killing to do, and very little time to do it."
View back cover
Labels: vintage reads
WARNING: These Christmas songs may cause otherwise happy and healthy individuals to experience pervasive hopelessness and suicidal thoughts. In some cases, listeners may develop a lasting condition, or recurring night terrors. If overwhelming suffering and despair persists, seek medical attention. Those with a family history of clinical depression or bipolar disorder are encouraged to refrain from downloading this playlist - others do so with extreme caution with the understanding that Retrospace is not liable for any side effects (or fatalities) incurred while listening to these songs.
Tiny Tim - Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer
Little Cindy - Happy Birthday Jesus
Homer & Jethro - Santa Claus, The Original Hippie
Meco - What Can You Get A Wookiee For Christmas (When He Already Owns A Comb?)
John Denver - Please, Daddy (Don't Get Drunk This Christmas)
Roger Christian - Little Mary Christmas
Meco The Meaning Of Christmas
Rita Faye Wilson - Sleigh Bells, Reindeer & Snow
Bobby Sherman - Christmas Is (Make It Sweet)
Akim & The Teddy Vann Production Company - Santa Claus Is A Black Man
Stan & Doug - Christmas Goose (Snowbird)
Shamus M'Cool - Santa's Little Helper, Dingo
Commander Cody & His Lost Planet Airmen - Daddy's Drinking Up Our Christmas
Melanie - Merry Christmas
Here's the progression of events: Mini skirts startled the older generation with their high hemlines in the late sixties. But with each successive year, the hemlines got higher and higher until they literally were a hair's width from not covering certain private spots of the female anatomy.
Once the miniskirt hit its absolute height, the show was over, and long flowing prairie skirts and slacks were the new rage. However, before going extinct, the mini passed the torch to the short shorts (i.e. hot pants). After all, it was still the seventies, prime time of the sexual revolution - and prairie skirts and polyester slacks just weren't going to turn heads.
Dean Martin - A Marshmallow World
Disco Belles - Auld Lang Syne
Canned Heat - Christmas Blues
T Rex - Christmas Bop
Valerie Masters - Christmas Calling
Meco - Christmas In The Stars
Glenn Camplell - Christmas Is For Children
Buck Owens - Christmas Shopping
Gilbert O'Sullivan - Christmas Song
Coctails - First Snowfall
Carla Thomas - Gee Whiz It's Christmas
ABBA - Happy New Year
Milton Delugg - Hooray For Santa Claus
Roy Wood & Wizzard - I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday
Big Dee Irwin And Little Eva - I Wish You A Merry Christmas
Bill Cosby - Merry Christmas Mama
Charles Brown - Merry Christmas, Baby
Homer & Jethro - Nuttin' Fer Christmas
Bill Anderson - Po Folks Christmas
Meco - R2D2 We Wish You A Merry Christmas
Disco Belles - Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree
Cheech & Chong - Santa Claus & His Old Lady
James Brown - Santa Claus Is Definitely Here To Stay
Jimmy Donley - Santa! Don't Pass Me By
Billy Beau - Santa's Coffee
Kay Martin & Her Body Guards - Santa's Doing The Horizontal Twist
The Hollyridge Strings - Santa's Got A Brand New Bag
Jackson 5 - Season's Greetings From Jackie Jackson
Royal Guardsmen - Snoopy's Christmas
Hugo Winterhaller - The Christmas Cha Cha Song
Isaac Hayes - The Mistletoe & Me
Donny Hathaway - This Christmas
Disco Belles - We Wish You A Merry Christmas
Disco Belles - Winter Wonderland
As much as I'd like to sit and read with you the story of Prophet Briggs and his Share-the-Wife Cult, we really don't have the time. There's tons more to check out - each one every bit as lurid and juicy as this one. Indeed, these old men's mags were choc full of articles emblazoned with tantalizing titles and eye-popping illustrations.
So, buckle up. Here's a truck load of pulp pages for your viewing pleasure.
Regular readers will know this is not a nostalgia site. At no point will I start listing off the most popular songs and shows, etc. from 1982. "Hey, remember Dallas? and remember 'Vacation' by the Go-Go's? and remember E.T. and Tootsie?" Bleeccch. We'll leave that sort of nonsense to those crummy VH1 specials.
That being said, I can't help but, on occasion, focus on a single year and wax nostalgic.
Do you remember the music of 1982? It was a strange time - the seventies were officially over, and the disco backlash was in effect. Rock Gods like Zeppelin and KISS had seen their day, and New Wave was starting to gain ground thanks to MTV.
And let's be clear: the music being played on the radio was not exactly innovative stuff. You had your seventies soft rock throwbacks like The Little River Band, some disco hold-outs like Donna Summer, and some catchy country via Kenny and Juice Newton. Loverboy and Journey-esque rock on Friday nights and Kool & the Gang for the skating rink..... nothing ground breaking whatsoever. But that's not necessarily a bad thing.
Quick. Draw me a generic picture of a person you would call a "stud". Chances are, after we're all done drawing, every one of our illustrations will feature The Stache. It's become synonymous with machismo - you just can't picture a badass without that hairy upper lip. It's not possible.
Sadly, it was porn that gave a trashy connotation to the mustache (i.e. the trash stache, the molestache). The mustache = stud equation was dealt a heavy blow. However, studly bastards like Chuck Norris, Burt Reynolds and Tom Selleck had left such a psychic imprint on humanity, that the moustache-stud connection will never be permanently broken.
I know a lot of you will brush me off as being a Luddite; however, I think if you sit and ponder what I'm saying - give me the benefit of the doubt - you'll see I'm speaking the truth. The mantra "where's my effing jet pack?" has become almost cliche; but, I'm not just saying that the level of technology hasn't landed anywhere near my expectations. I'm saying that our conception of progress is really a big fat lie.
Ever since the start of the Industrial Age, civilization has been enamored by Scientific Progress. Somehow, it was supposed to make us all happier. Goodbye 'living to the ripe old age of 35 and dying of rickets', hello to the ridiculously clean and tidy life of the future. To a pro-technology person, the Super Wal-Mart produce section is a testament to how far we've come - no more scurvy for us!
Well, I'm not going to argue that things are no better now than in the 19th century. But, I will point out that Progress with a capital P should no longer be the holy and immaculate concept it has been, and maybe, just maybe, it hasn't come anywhere near living up to our collective expectations.
Labels: vintage technology
As perfectly as the miniskirt and the boot went together, it was a fleeting fashion that only lasted a few years - roughly, from the late sixties until '71. Granted, girls still wore them on occasion, but it was largely a trend of the 'shagadelic' era.
I am happy to report that college campuses in the US are currently flooded with minis & cowboy boots (and, oddly enough, winter boots). Without question, nothing will compare to the iconic go-go boot, but beggars can't be choosers.
It's time once again for another round of blood, sweat and breasts. These are men's action magazines at their finest, so be prepared for near fatal levels of testosterone. Many blogs give you a handful of action mag covers and leave you thirsting for more. Not Retrospace - we've got loads of action mags at the ready, just for you. Warning: This is a lot of guts, girls and guns to behold in a single dose. So, if you plan on viewing this post in one sitting, you may want to take certain precautions to balance out the dangerous levels of manly hormones.
I recommend having a Celine Dion CD at the ready. If you feel a sudden testosterone surge (generally originating in your temples and/or ball sack), quickly press play. I would also recommend you take a break midway through the post to cook muffins; and if you have the time, take in an episode of Glee.
Take these warnings seriously, and view them responsibly (unless you are Chuck Norris, in which case no precautions will be necessary).
By now, you know how these "found photos" work: I find them, scan them, post them... and then you do the hard work of figuring out what the hell is going on in them. I found these on a dusty shelf of an antique store way out in the middle of nowhere. It's a set of 9 B&W photos depicting some long ago party - the nice old lady who ran the place gave them to me for five bucks.
Looking at them closely, it appears to be a ZTA sorority function of some kind.... but there's a lot of unanswered questions - such as, where are all the boys? There's only girls in these photos... and, mind you, these girls are either dead or in their seventies by now (which gives me the creeps for some reason).
Labels: found photos
Just when you thought I couldn't veer any further off the beaten path, I've gone and posted a cover gallery of an obscure Spanish language magazine. The best I can gather on El Papus is that it was a weekly satirical humor magazine not unlike National Lampoon. Evidently, its satire cut a bit too close to the bone and they received a letter bomb in 1977 which killed one of their employees.
The covers aren't anything particularly legendary - mainly just pretty Spanish ladies (having little to nothing to do with the content between the covers). Nonetheless, I ran across a dozen or so issues from 1974, and thought they were interesting and odd enough to preserve on Retrospace.
If you haven't seen the movie (or read the book, heaven forbid), this will make no sense whatsoever. My only wish is that I had more time to
Labels: comic books
Even Mr. T's 1982 custom AMC shrinks with embarrassment when The Super Van rolls up. This baby is a shaggin' wagon powered by the sun!
Unlike your typical '70s van, this isn't just your average bed on wheels. This baby has a TV, tape deck, and "lighting effects" (I wonder what 8-track is in that tape deck.... my money's on Foghat). I'd give anything for just five minutes in that Captain's Chair, wheel in one hand, CB in the other. It would really make me sad if this fine specimen is rusting away in some scrapyard.
I'll bet it still smells like pot.
|click to view full size|
I want bands to start looking ugly again. Not ugly as in "pretentiously weird ugly"; I mean ugly as in "they obviously have not showered in months, and their pockets are probably full of mystery pills and dried vomit". Those kind've guys always made the best music (I'm talkin' to you AC/DC!).
So, I just wanted to give a quick fist bump to one of the scariest looking groups, The Climax Blues Band. Like so many other gritty smelly looking bands of the seventies, they cleaned up in the early eighties, had a final hit or two... then were gone. Well, I wanted to bring them back for a moment.
Here's a couple incredible songs that epitomize the change from dirty-n-fugly '70s to squeaky clean '80s.
Sav'ry Gravy is some badass funky shit. This is cannabis fueled blues at its best.
I Love You is early eighties radio-friendly gold. Is there a better crafted pop song out there? McCartney surely wondered for a moment if he'd written it.
Labels: vinyl dynamite
For me, finding a 60s-80s movie on Instant is often a frustrating experience. There's a whole array of long-forgotten classics buried in their vast storehouse of instantly viewable material; the trouble is finding them.... and it simply should not be so hard.
Here follows my quick and dirty reviews of a few titles I've found on Netflix:
C.C. & Company (1970)
For Those Who Think Young (1964)
Switchblade Sisters (1975)
The Astral Factor (1976)
The Young Girls of Rochefort (1967)
Billy Jack (1971)
Labels: Retro Film Report
The history of pop music is riddled with songs defining the man. Some of the best known are:
Sharp Dressed Man (ZZ Top), Nowhere Man (The Beatles), Iron Man (Black Sabbath), Spoon Man (Soundgarden), Magic Man (Heart), Street Fightin' Man (Rolling Stones), Guitar Man (Bread), Piano Man (Billy Joel), Boogie Man (KC & the Sunshine Band), Macho Man (Village People), Rocket Man (Elton John), Soul Man (Sam and Dave), Mr. Tambourine Man (Bob Dylan), Simple Man (Lynyrd Skynyrd), Old Man (Neil Young), Ramblin' Man (Allman Brothers), Traveling Man (Ricky Nelson), Solitary Man (Neil Diamond), Tin Man (America) and Hurdy Gurdy Man (Donovan).However, this is Retrospace, and we like to explore the less traveled nooks and crannies of the retro-landscape. Thus, I bring to you a heaping helping of Something Man songs gathered far, far from your weekly Top 40. They come complete with my erudite commentary on a handful of tracks, and the full mix tape can be found at the very end of this post. Enjoy!
Any child of the seventies will tell you that the Kiss comics were a high water mark of their childhood. It was the perfect recipe: Kiss + Comic Book = Total Freaking Awesomeness.
Kiss' label, Casablanca, and Marvel tried to recreate the magic with another music-comic hybrid - Dazzler. While Kiss fell into the glam rock genre, Dazzler was to be a disco singer/ super-heroine... and it was going to be BIG!
Well, disagreements between Marvel and Casablanca ensued, and the tie-in never came to pass. However, Stan Lee still pushed for the comic's release. And, while not the global phenomenon they envisioned, Dazzler still sold at respectable levels.
Due to her perpetual link to pop music, Dazzler became the perfect icon for the eighties: a disco queen at first, then when disco fell out of fashion, she moved on to "rock". If you want to learn all about her, there's always Wikipedia... if you want to take a little and look at some Dazzler eye candy, there's always Retrospace.
I've got a question for you: Do you know anyone, young or old, who has pictures of half-naked women hanging on the walls of their bedroom? I'm betting that, unless they happen to be in prison, none of your friends or children or children's friends have a single one.
Not so in the 1970s. I remember those poster racks being a popular attraction in every store I went to, from K-mart to Elder Beerman (my peeps in Ohio know the name). Of course, there were plenty of non-pin-up posters that were plenty popular. I, for one, adorned my bedroom walls with a King Kong poster (the 70s Dino DeLaurentis remake) and a Battlestar Galactica poster. My wife tells me she had Shaun Cassidy and David Soul posters.
I think posters of any kind in the 1970s could safely be called a "fad".
|The Von Hiatt Trio|
|Von Hiatt and Thom York of Radiohead|
Labels: fact or fiction
Google "best job in the world" and your liable to be directed to careers like "professional wine taster" and "island resort blogger". Or, perhaps, you have personal interests that dictate what you'd call the greatest job ever - maybe baseball writer or puppeteer?
Well, hardcore Miniskirt Monday fans will beg to differ. The greatest job in the world is... (drum roll please).... a shoe salesman between the years of 1969 and 1974. (ta-daaaa) Any arguments to the contrary are invalid.
Sadly, as the date parameters indicate, this field is no longer the fertile ground it once was. Life was good for young Al Bundys, but sucked hard once the miniskirt fell out of fashion.
Is it a bit sad and pervy to make this claim? Maybe, maybe not. But take a look at some vintage shoe salesmen in action, and then make up your mind.
Yogi's Gang Intro 1973
"The 5th" by Ekseption 
(overdub) Clip from Superfly
(overdub) All in the Family
clip Gilligan's Island Honeybees intro
"She Was Naked" by Supersister (1970)
Blazing Saddles clip
"Miami" by Martin Mull
Radioactive makeup commercial
Riptide TV theme
Batman TV clip
"Son of my Father" by Chicory Tip 1972
Total run time ~ 17 minutes
Leo Sayer is the perfect example, for me, of an artist whose music would suck were it not for the intimate tie-in with my childhood. Even the most ardent Sayer fan would have to agree that "When I Need Love" and "You Make Me Feel Like Dancin'" are both pretty cheesy. But when I hear those songs I am psychically transported back to my childhood days in Massachusetts.
I think I've mentioned that my school bus actually had an eight track player. We'd all request the Grease soundtrack so we could shout out the expletives in Greased Lighning. I also have fond memories of the whole bus shouting "You make me feel like dancin', WHOOO! Dancin' WHOOO! Dance the night away."
In summary: Are Leo's greatest hits cheesy? Yes. Will I continue to love everyone of them till the day I die? Fuck, yeah.
Wrigley's Spearmint needs to stick to what they know: GUM. Branching out was a huge mistake.
Take for instance, the dish presented above. Only a gum company could make so many mistakes in a single dish. Are these cookies? They've got nuts and raisins.... but they're covered in ketchup, so they can't be cookies. It looks like raw meat molded into patties.... yet, the text says they are meatless. What the f**k is this? It's going to take a lot of gum to wash away the taste of this meal.
Okay, I know - the last thing you want to read right now is another dude's opinions on why weed should be legalized. However, my retro-infused perspective may offer a few arguments that you might not have thought of before. Give it a read, and if by Reason #6 you still are nonplussed, move on to one of my comic book or miniskirt posts and forget you ever saw this. So, here goes...
1) We live in a world that's falling apart at the seams - the amount of rapes, murders, and home invasions in this country is mind boggling..... yet, we spend a huge percentage of our law enforcement budget tracking down potheads and throwing them in jail. I hope you are never the victim of violent crime, but just know that a lot of money was diverted away from a law enforcement presence in your neighborhoods toward arresting dope smokers.
|Think you can handle this moustache? I don't think so.|
The seventies were the decade of manliness and machismo. Baby Boomers were in their prime, and now it was time to start broadcasting their virility via tight pants and mighty womb brooms. These were beacons of manliness the way a stag's rack and a lion's mane are signals of their raw manhood.
Mind you, the homosexual community took it up a notch, so I can't lay all the credit to hetero seventies swingers. But none - I repeat, NONE will ever top the feather duster that adorned the upper lip of the great Neil Peart.
|Don't let the Adidas and Geddy's grandma pants distract you from that goddamn amazing mustache|