2/28/11

Whatever Happened To? #10: TV Personalities


Joyce Bulifant from "The Match Game"
Involved in Child Abuse Prevention organizations; but, more importantly, became the mother-in-law of Jenny McCarthy.

Jon Walmsley (Jason Walton on "The Waltons")
Currently plays a pirate at Disneyland

Peter Bonerz (The orthodontist on "The Bob Newhart Show")
Periodically directed a bunch of sitcoms; also directed Police Academy 6: City Under Siege

Fred Berry (Rerun from "What's Happening?")
Lost 100 pounds, married six times, and became a Baptist preacher.  Died of a stroke.

Lara Jill Miller (Tomboy Samantha on "Gimme a Break!")
Earned a law degree; practiced law in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.  Returned to Hollywood and does voice acting for kids shows (Higgleytown Heroes, Curious George, etc.)

Whitman Mayo (Grady from "Sanford and Son")
M.I.A. for a long time, promting Conan O'Brien to launch the "Where's Grady?" search.  Ultimately, Whitman  spent his later years in retirement and passing away at, get this, GRADY Memorial Hospital!

Adam Rich (Nicholas from "Eight Is Enough")
You may have heard of the legal troubles Rich has gotten into via his substance abuse.  On one occasion, he busted into a pharmacy, and had to be bailed out by Dick Van Patten.  Fairly recently, he crashed into a police car while driving drunk.  A freaking shame - I loved Nicholas when I was a kid.

Jack Wild (Jimmy from "H.R. Puffinstuf")
Jack became a big time alcoholic.  It ruined his marriage, career and health.  He ended up living with his retired father, then made a brief comeback before his death at the age of 53.

Jameson Parker (the straight laced Simon from "Simon and Simon")
Wrote a couple books, one autobiographical.  In 1992, Jameson was shot by his next door neighboor.  Jameson survived and the neighbor got nine years in prison (yes, he's out now - hopefully not planning on gunning down the other Simon).

Roz Kelly (Pinky Tuscadero from "Happy Days")
In 1998, she pled guilty to firing a 12 gauge shotgun into a neighbor's living room (the car alarm was bothering her).  In 2001, she went to jail for assaulting someone with her cane.

Mini Skirt Monday #66: Found Photos

unknown woman

Dust off the ol' photo album, flip to the pages with photos taken around 1969, and you're going to see miniskirts.... lots of miniskirts.  Sure, the photos will be a bit blurry, the flash will obscure a huge spot on the photograph, and the framing/composition of the picture will be poor..... but that's what gives them character.  These are the real deal.  Before Photoshop could make everything look so nice and "perfect".

If you can look beyond the miniskirt, it's also fun to take notice of some of the surroundings and fashions.  For instance, check the faux stone wall covering in the photo above. Nice.

2/25/11

Retrospace Podcast #13



It's time once again to travel through narrow streets of cobblestone to read the words of the prophets written on subway walls: "The Retrospace Podcast Is Here".   It's time to take a bus on a psychedelic trip, read some murder books trying to stay hip..... and say your prayers. Yes, this is a journey into sound.  Are you down for another trip?

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Tracklist:

Sex Pistols radio spot
"Citizen Freak" by The 49th Parallel
Mr. Drysdale and Ms. Hathaway (The Beverly Hillbillies Album)
Theme song for "Fish"
Uncle Buck's 5 Year Plan
"Viva Knievel" title song
Clip from the movie Airplane
"Psychic Vampire" by Space Opera (1971)
Pigs in Space (The Muppet Show)
Hardy Boys Nancy Drew Mysteries TV theme
Clip from Black Dynamite theme
Comment from Statler and Waldorf (The Muppet Show)
"Unpack Your Adjectives" Schoolhouse Rock

2/24/11

Cinema #17: Lost but not Forgotten Celluloid Trash


It's hard to know what's going to be of value in the future, so we often discard things that we deem worthless, but live to regret later.  For instance, thousands of Egyptian mummies were used for fuel and kindling in the 1800s, and of a much lesser cultural value, my grandmother threw out all of my dad's baseball cards - which included Micky Mantle's rookie card.  I can still recall placing all my comic books, hundreds of old and valuable comics, in a big cardboard box and slapping a $5.00 price tag on it at a yard sale.  In hindsight, it was an idiotic move; but, I literally had no idea that these would be valuable one day.

The same can be said about early films, especially those low budget exploitation reels.  They were meant to be played a certain length of time at a drive-in or a seedy movie theater... and then destroyed.  It was inconceivable that these would be of commercial value one day.  They were a fire hazard and would likely deteriorate on their own anyway.  Thus, hundreds of shitty movies are gone forever.

It's fair to say none of these films are any good - they were hastily made, low budget and amateurish. Nonetheless, these are cultural artifacts, and can be enjoyed with the right frame of mind.  So, while these aren't lost Citizen Kanes, it is a shame that these reels of celluloid are gone forever.

Let's take a moment to look at a few missing pieces of cinematic sleaze.

2/23/11

Found Photos #3: Wedding Day Snapshots

1969

As a fan of old photographs, especially the amateur variety, it was interesting to find that there's a whole movement out there that appreciates the same thing.  There's a good deal of the so-called "vernacular photography" popping up in art shows and galleries across the world.  You could almost say the "found photos" aesthetic haa become an accepted artistic genre.

I personally prefer the candid variety as opposed to the whole family lined up awkwardly for a Polaroid shot.  However, you can't deny the enjoyment of some of these old wedding photographs - especially those around 1968-1972.  That's when the wedding attire became very untraditional and there were mini skirts galore.  You have the added bonus of massive heads of hair that nearly touch the church ceiling, plus plenty of color choices that would be out of the question today.

Vintage Men's Mags #10: Weasels Ripped My Flesh!


A lot has been said about the psychology of the post-war male in relation to the men's magazines from that period. So, I won't bore you with trying to analyze why your average Joe in 1958 enjoyed light reading about Nazi doctors experimenting on naked virgins... they just did.

I've also talked a lot on Retrospace about the amazing artwork that graced these magazines, on the cover and in the interior pages as well.  So, I'll refrain from launching into a long winded praise for these under appreciated artists.

Instead, let's just have some fun and take a peak at some wonderfully outrageous pages from vintage pulp magazines.  The headlines alone are worth a look.

2/22/11

Needlework A-Go Go #15



I'm well aware there's many of you going: "Damn. Another stupid yarn post!"  Just know that these posts get pretty good traffic, and there's probably just as many of you out their disappointed when there's a non-fashion related post (i.e. movie, TV, music).

So, for those of you that can appreciate a good needlework post, here's some vintage scans from the 60s and 70s,  I hope you enjoy them.  The next two are actually my all-time favorite needlework leaflet covers.  Absolutely fantastic in terms of fashion and kitsch.

2/21/11

Obscure Grooves #16: More Disco Dynamite


Well, they supposedly killed disco on July 12, 1979, but at Retrospace, the beat lives on.  I love pretentious prog rock and have been to my share of metal concerts, but there will always be a place in my soul reserved for disco.  Attribute it to being raised on ABBA and KC & the Sunshine Band if you like; the fact remains, I'm still here spreading the Good Word: Disco Lives!

"Yes Sir, I Can Boogie" by Baccara



Fads #15: The Mysterious Fall of Hosiery

vintage hosiery package

Evidently, I’m not the most observant guy in the world. A couple years ago, I went clothes shopping with my wife and decided to hang out in the undergarments section (what? it was nearby). I asked her if she needed any, and she replied that no one wears them anymore.

ZOINKS! She was right. I guess I hadn’t really stopped to think about it until then, but she was absolutely right. I started looking around my office, around the mall, the grocery store, everywhere. I discovered rather quickly that the only people wearing them are old ladies! Here and there, you might catch a black pair with a long dress, but that’s it. What the hell happened?

I grew up on hosiery. All the foxy babes on TV wore them: Charlie’s Angels, Daisy Duke, Chrissy Snow, Tara King (The Avengers), Isis, Wonder Woman, Julie Barnes (The Mod Squad), Marcia Brady,… the list goes on! And now, suddenly stockings and pantyhose have gone bye-bye. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not a perv with a stocking fetish. I just grew up with them, and like most guys my age, am sorry to see them leave.

The question I always ask on Retrospace is “why?” - or to be more precise “WTF?” I’ve asked a few ladies and come up with a few theories of my own.

2/19/11

Catalogs #9 : A 1970s Kesman Catalog

1970s Kesman Catalog

I came across another vintage catalog with some jaw dropping apparel from the seventies. I'm not familiar with Kesman - they seem to be something like a UK version of Frederick's of Hollywood.  All I know is they seem to be pretty proud of their "Seal of Quality" "Guarantee of Satisfaction" that's plastered on every page.

While doing a little research on Kesman's, I came across scans from this exact catalog over at Plaid Stallions (big surprise).  I decided to post my scans anyway - never can have too many godawful seventies catalogs.  Plaid Stallion made the acute observation that these clothes look like hookers on Buck Rogers.  I couldn't have said it better my self.

Catalogs #8: Mego Catalog

1982 Mego catalog

If you were a boy growing up in the seventies, chances are you owned at least one Mego action figure.  I don't think I even knew my Batman was made by Mego, but I sure do recognize the many action figures and sets pictured in this catalog.  If you're interested in some serious childhood deja vu, I recommend you download this catalog: Mego World's Greatest Heroes 1972-1982.  You're welcome!

2/18/11

Cinema #16: Killer Lobby Cards (Part 3)

lobby card (18)

Ready for another round of killer lobby cards? It's not only an opportunity to admire vintage movie art, but also a chance to be reminded of the many failures and successes, fond memories and disappointments of yesteryear.  Let's go!

2/17/11

Album Covers #15: Vinyl Español

Only for those over 18

Don't think that because you are an American, you have exclusive rights to horrifically awful album covers. Indeed, bad record covers know no borders; from Argentina to Zimbabwe, terrible cover art spans our entire globe - no country is immune.

Today, I'd like to focus on Hispanic perpetrators of bad cover art, specifically the Peruvians.  I think you'll agree, they're on par with other nations in degrees of badness.  Take for example, Vinko, shown above.  Why is he sporting big permed hair and grinning sheepishly behind that disturbing mask? Why is he one minute wearing a top hat, and the next leopard print lamé?  Perhaps, I don't want to know.

2/16/11

Magazines #17: True Crime Rags (Part 1)

crime magazine (98)

Some people call them true crime magazines, some call them light reading for serial killers. Is there anything more politically incorrect and offensive than these rags? There is literally nothing redeeming about them.  At least in the 1930s and 40s, these magazines had brilliant illustrations and cover art.... the trashy detective magazines of the following decades didn't even have these going for them.  Glorification of violence, objectification of women, masochism, perversion, misogyny, paranoia.... if it's a societal evil, it's in these magazines.

But I love them! Let's face it - sometimes you're in the mood for an expensive wine and cheese, and sometimes you just want a can of Schlitz and some Velveeta.  I'd love to tell you I derive no enjoyment from such deplorable pieces of filth, but the fact is: the cover headlines are hilarious and the articles are often fascinating - for those that like CSI and its ilk, will find plenty to interest them.  Indeed, many bestselling true crime authors got their start writing for these magazines, namely Anne Rule.

Granted, the covers definitely are targeting man's baser instincts; but this was the seventies: a time of intense horrific violence from Vietnam broadcast in living color every night. This was a culture still shaken by The Manson Family.  This was a decade when an unprecedented number of serial killers unfolded their body counts: Son of Sam, Ted Bundy, John Wayne Gacey, Henry Lee Lucas, and the most prolific of all, Gary Ridgeway in '82 and '83.

By the mid-eighties things had settled down a bit, and it was reflected on the covers of the true crime magazines. No longer did they regularly feature horrific acts of violence; instead, covers depicted some benign cheesecake - a slutty chick fresh from a hair band music video.  The gritty trash that made you feel bad about yourself for even looking at it was long gone.

Gone but not forgotten, that is.  Retrospace proudly resurrects a tawdry array of sick, vile, and morally reprehensible true crime magazine covers.  As usual, I can't tease you with a measly two or three morsels of illicit garbage.   No, I've got to hit you with hot steaming piles of it - too much to fit in a single socially irresponsible post. So, stay tuned for more seedy posts sure to pollute the blogsphere with their unconscionable filth.  Enjoy!

2/15/11

Retrospace Mix Tape #12: Telephone Songs



Over the years, there's been a lot of songs referencing the telephone.  Some that come to mind are Jim Croce's "Operator" and the beginning and end of Pink Floyd's "Dirty Woman".  My favorite is probably England Dan and John Ford Coley's "I'd Really Love to See You Tonight" which is done entirely in the style of a one sided phone conversation.

40 B.C. (Before Cordless)

Well, here's a bunch of songs which actually feature the word "telephone" in the title.  Each song is lovingly crafted with its own album art. You can sample a few tracks and/or download the full mix tape. I promise: no Lady Gaga allowed.

2/14/11

Retrospace Trading Cards #4: The Lounge Act Set



Once upon a time, there were droves of performers who traveled the Ramada circuit, the Holiday Inn circuit, the Howard Johnson circuit, etc. Part of the hotel experience was the lounge act; sure they were cheesy, but a perfect backdrop to a glass of brandy and a cigarette.

Somewhere along the way, these entertainers became un-hip and the brunt of jokes.  The lounges were converted to conference rooms and hotels suddenly got a whole lot blander.

Well, those lounge lizards will always have a place here at Retrospace.  Today, we're dishing out the Lounge Act Set brought to you by the Biltmore Motor Hotel located in Union City, Tennessee at the Intersection of U.S. 51 and 45 W. Enjoy!

Help Needed



As you can see, Retrospace Headquarters is in dire need of a face lift.  The avocado shag is worn and stained with bong water coffee.  The ceilings leak, the fondue pots are cracked, and the break room smells like pot.  We desperately need your help.

In all seriousness, there's a good deal of money going into keeping Retrospace kicking.  There's the overpriced Rapidshare, a Flickr account, a newsgroup fee, yada yada yada.  Truth be told, I'm happy to pay it, it's a small price to pay for such an enjoyable hobby - it's just that it would be nice if we broke even sometimes.  So, help Retrospace get out of the red by putting something in the tip jar located in the sidebar.  Any amount is welcome.

Mini Skirt Monday #65: Miniskirts and Guys Just Happy to Be There



This one is my favorite of the lot:: two very attractive females in miniskirts and one rather nerdy looking gentleman.  They don't look particularly happy to be pictured with him, and he looks painfully awkward and out of place. Other than his mother, this is probably the closest he's gotten to a young woman in his entire life; I'm sure he's sweating profusely.

Take a minute to check a few black and white pictures from the past featuring pretty girls in mini skirts alongside dudes who are just glad to be there.  None may be quite as mismatched as the one above, but they're fun nonetheless.

2/13/11

Retrospace Podcast #12


Yes, there's reason to be excited, folks. The new Retrospace Podcast is out like sauerkraut. You can almost feel the groovitational pull of Podcast XII as it drops some heavy duty retro vibes on your tympanic membranes.  Kick back in your waterbed or egg chair and lose yourself in the groovulous  15 minute trippopotamus that is The Retrospace Podcast.



Track List

Intro (taken from an Elvis radio spot)
"Home Is Where the Hatred Is" by Esther Williams
Star Wars radio commercial
Ban deodorant radio commercial (performed by H.P. Lovecraft)
Schlitz commercial with John Wayne Gacey trial news clip
"Afternoon Delight" by The Starland Vocal Band
Orson Wells radio commercial for the Alan Parsons Project
Closing theme for "The Zoo Gang" by Paul McCartney
Quote from Robbie the Robot (Lost in Space)
The Dukes of Hazzard Theme by Waylon Jennings
Burn-O-Matic In Car Heater commercial for drive in theaters
"Hippy Dippy Funky Monkey Double Bubble Sitar Man" by The Hubbels (1969)

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2/11/11

The Vintage Home #10

1974 Woman's Day interior 4

Wow. My brain can barely handle this; it's hard to say which startles me the most. Is it the mirrored Rubik's Cube end table? Or maybe its the overbearing level of blue in the room.... or perhaps the odd way tiny flower pots are hung on a lattice fence?  Who knows - but it's interesting to look at.  You've got to hand it to designers in the seventies - they weren't shy about experimenting.  Perhaps all that recreational drug use gave them the courage.

Anyway, take a few minutes and have a look at a few other bold interiors from this 1974 issue of Woman's Day magazine.

2/10/11

Catalogs #7: Catalog for Solid Gold Dancers

Catalog from the 1980s

I came across some catalogs from the 1980s that featured some pretty outrageous clothes - I simply had to share them with you.  I was instantly reminded of those Solid Gold Dancers (for you Brits: they were sort of an imitation of Pan's People) - a group of ladies (and unambiguously gay men) who dressed in gold lamé and danced very suggestively.

I must tell you, it was extreeeemly awkward watching these dancers thrust and heave their glittering bodies at the camera with my parents.

Of course, to say the fashions in this catalog remind me of Solid Gold Dancers is really just a nice way of saying they look like 80s hookers.  I promise there's no nudity here, but these New Wave disco dollies are definitely dressed to kill, so cover your child's impressionable eyes.

2/9/11

Vintage Wheels #10: The Top 40 Greatest TV Cars

1-24-2011 9-30-54 PM

It's time to forget that Prius parked in your driveway and drift back to the good ol' days of muscle cars and shaggin' wagons.  Here's a definitive list of the greatest vehicles (as in cars, trucks and vans) in television history as determined by the research staff at Retrospace Headquarters.  And for those of you that need eye candy with your reading material, we've inserted a bunch of dynamite chicks for your viewing pleasure.

Please note that these aren't "cars I'd most like to own". These are favorites - iconic vehicles that were awesome each in their own way.  Thus, the Trans Am from Knight Rider and Fred Sanford's pickup both make the list. Also, don't get hung up on the order - the numerical placement is haphazard at best. But please contribute your own favorites in a comment. I'd love to hear of any glaring omissions. Enjoy!

1. The General Lee from The Dukes of Hazzard
2. Dan Tana's 1957 Thunderbird from Vega$
3. The Coyote X from Hardcastle & McCormick
4. The Pontiac Trans Am from Knight Rider
5. The Ferrari 308 GTB/GTS on Magnum PI



2/8/11

Found Photos #2: Mystery Party

Found Photo

I have no idea of the who, when and where of these photos. but that makes these photographs all the more intriguing I guess.  It looks like a great party, undoubtedly sometime in the early seventies.  A lot of booze on the table,  a plethora of pretty babes, and "interesting" dress abound.  Let's theorize what's going on here, shall we?

2/7/11

Needlework A-Go Go #14



 As I've said before, needlework/craft leaflets are my favorite sources for vintage fashion.  Why? Because your standard fashion magazines (i.e. Vogue, Cosmo, Glamour, etc.) were so polished and oh-so-fashionable.  They weren't the sort of clothes your average person wore; whereas, these old leaflets showed real people, not airbrushed models photographed by famous avant garde photographers.  Only old catalogs (i.e. Sears, JC Penny) and old family photographs offer a comparable vision of fashions past.

Anyway, enough jibba jabba. On with the vintage needlework!

Decade of Decadence #7: Hot Tubs



In 1968, Jacuzzi unleashed the tub with jets, and in 1970 "family size" tubs hit the market.  And I don't need to tell you what you get when you add 70 million Baby Boomers  hitting their sexual prime with the  simultaneous invention of big-ass Jacuzzis.

Yes, it was the Perfect Storm.  The family size hot tub hit the market at just the right time.  No longer were tubs small (they generally only fit one person) and highly breakable - they often had a pump contraption that you had to hook up which was inconvenient and prone to problems.  The new hot tubs had the patented 1968 water jets, plus, they were made of durable fiberglass.  Now, it was easy and convenient.... and just in time for The Sexual Revolution.

70's Hot Tub

2/4/11

Opinions and Rants #30: Music Is Stagnant and I Can't Take It Anymore!


I'd like to take a brief moment to bitch, once again, about the state of music.  I won't argue with you about whether the music of today is any better than it was back in the sixties, seventies or eighties.... that's a matter of opinion.  But there can be no denying music has not changed one iota in at least fifteen years.... that's an objective truth.... and it makes me sad.

You play some hip-hop from the early nineties and compare it to today.... it's not changed significantly.  The same goes for that Brittney Spears brand of girl pop.  She hit it big in 1998.... how different is "Baby One More Time" than anything being released by today's chick singers? That was 12 years ago!

You could go down the list of genres, and the principle holds true without exception.  Rock music may in fact be the most stagnant and the biggest disappointment.  Thank you Nickelback.  Nothing significantly new has come from rock and roll since the "slow-hard-slow-hard-- repeat" template of The Pixies and Nirvana.  What the hell has happened?

Do the record companies have such a stranglehold on creativity that they won't permit novelty and change? Or, as both George Martin and Billy Joel have posited, we have simply run out of chord variations.  It's not like classical music where there is an almost infinite variation possible..... rock music is much more finite in its scope of possibilities.  We've simply drained the well dry.

Whatever the reason, it's a damn shame.  I only hope that twenty years from now things sound at least a little bit different. Dare to dream.

2/2/11

Foxy Ladies #17: Easyriders Biker Babes

Easyriders magazine
(c) Paisano Publications, LLC, 28210 Dorothy Drive, Agoura Hills, CA 91301

Technically, the gals of Easyriders magazine were called "Ol' Ladies", but I figured most people would think this was a post about elderly biker women, so I opted for "Biker Babes".

Anyway, Easyriders is a motorcycle magazine that's devoted as much to the machines as it is the biker lifestyle.... and in the seventies that meant heavy drug use, deviant sex, and killing people.  I've paged through current issues, and, frankly, it's just not the same.  There's plenty of tan silicone enhanced skank, but that "Born to be Wild" mojo of Easyriders is long gone.

The women who graced the pages of the magazine are the exact opposite of the airbrushed ladies of Maxim.... these girls were the definition of "rode hard and put up wet".

Easyriders magazine
(c) Paisano Publications, LLC, 28210 Dorothy Drive, Agoura Hills, CA 91301


2/1/11

Retrospace Podcast #11


Time for another psychedelic trip through the vast recesses of Retrospace.  Warning: The Surgeon General says this podcast may cause flashbacks, déjà vu, and pink eye.

Music from the 1970s Italian sex comedy Sesso Matto
the Dark Crystal trailer
Theme song to "Taxi"
Quote from Murder by Death
Burger Chef Star Wars poster advertisement
"Menage a Trois" by The Bob Crewe Generation (1976)
Foxy Brown trailer
Authentic seventies elevetor music
Schoolhouse Rock - "I'm Just a Bill"
"Don't play with yourself" clip from Smokey and the Bandit
"Eastbound and Down" by Jerry Reed from Smokey and the Bandit
Clip from "All in the Family"

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