Vintage Style #2: Winston Cigarette Pants

from LIFE magazine, Ocotober 13, 1972
Click here to enlarge

Does it get any more 70s than big flared Winston cigarette pants? This is one of those cases where if I saw someone wearing them I don't know if I would either (A) be impressed or (B) double over laughing.

I simply can't think of anything more out of vogue than bell bottom cigarette pants. It just doesn't get any worse... okay, maybe I'm wrong - it does get worse... a lot worse.

Anyway, I guess I should be specific: I can't think of a worse example of consumer product apparel than Winston cigarette pants. Maybe if there were such a thing as Crisco pants, or Summer's Eve pants, or ShamWow pants, but there's not... so these are the worst.

Along similar lines, see a previous post on Budweiser fashions for children (pic) and a post on the Diet Rite trucker shirt (pic).

A Moment in Time

Click here to view full size
LIFE magazine; November 5, 1971

I love old snapshots of everyday life. Perhaps no one did this better than Robert Doisneau, one of France's most popular and prolific photographers.

He is known for his modest, playful, and ironic images of amusing
juxtapositions, mingling social classes, and eccentrics in contemporary Paris streets and cafes. Doisneau has presented a charming vision of human frailty and life as a series of quiet, incongruous moments. He has written: "The marvels of daily life are exciting; no movie director can arrange the unexpected that you find in the street."

Text from The Encyclopedia of Photography (1984) - Robert Doisneau

I particularly love this photograph. Doisneau captured a perfect moment. A lovely young performer has nonchalauntly placed her arm on an older gentleman's leg. The man seems quite happy with the turn of events, but his wife looks none too pleased. Thank you Doisneau for not allowing this moment to pass away.

Eye Magazine (1968-1969)

Eye Magazine was published by the Hearst Corporation (Harper's Bazaar, Cosmopolitan, Good Housekeeping) to cover the emerging youth explosion of the 1960's. It was marketed to college students covering fashion, music, and politics. Most issues came with a bonus item inserted for the reader (posters, record, comic book). There were only 15 issues published between March 1968 and May 1969. (source)

Sounds like a fascinating read! Apparently, the mag was big (LIFE Magazine sized) and glossy.

Articles included:

Mother Jealous of Your Freer Sex Life?

The Rolling Stones... and Young Girls

Boys and the Pill: Do They Want Girls to Take It?

Miss America Is a Bummer

Religion Report 1969: Yes, God is Alive and Well, and Everywhere...

"Who's Eating What?": Jim Morrison, Mick Jagger, Sharon Tate, Janis Ian, Ravi Shankar, Peggy Lipton, Felix Cavaliere of The Rascals, Peter Fonda, Sly Stone and others

Private Wardrobes: Peak Into the Closets of Peter Fonda, Buffy Ste. Marie, Liza Minelli, and Jimi Hendrix

Grace Slick, Peter Fonda, Julie Nixon and Frank Zappa Tell What Turns Them On

Why Cops Hate Students

This next magazine has the ultimate article title I think I've ever read:

Sorcerer of Rock: Jim Morrison Raps


Album Covers #6: Bold Pinky Move On Old Album Cover Exposed

Ever been so bored at work that you found a picture of an old record and started making up stories about all the individuals on the cover?... Yeah, I didn't think so.

I've always been the type of person to watch people in restaurants and try to give them a backstory. Determine their occupation, their personality, whether they're a psychopath or a family man... or both. I thought I'd do the same with this album cover by the Christian group, The New Creation. You can just tell there's a lot of behind the scenes Bible camp mayhem going on here.

A. This fellow is obviously in hot pursuit of the girl in light blue (B). Her pinky is on his knee, and I'm thinkin' this is absolutely making his day. This whole Christian music thing is really beginning to work for him - he could have never bagged a babe like this without it. Wait till he tells all his friends about the pinky on the knee thing, they will freak.

B. She is probably bubbly and fun to be around - the Marcia Brady of the New Creation, so to speak. Which makes the pinky incident all the more curious. Why would an attractive effervescent girl, the one every guy in the band would like to get their hands on, make this bold pinky move with this nerd (A)? Aha! Nerd's dad is the preacher... that's the only way it makes sense.

C. This is the wild child - the one making things happen in the church basement. The go-go boots, the short skirt, the fiery red hair... not a doubt in my mind.

D. This dork thinks he's impressing you with his arm perched atop his lady's shoulder. I just want to reach out to him and say- look elsewhere my brother, she's trouble!

E. No way this guy attends church. They hired him because they couldn't find anyone at at church who could play bass. He makes underground comics on the side and deals drugs.

F. His name is probably Heinz. He's extremely creepy, speaks only broken English, plays the Hammond organ, and is an associate of (E). Anything else about him is best left a mystery.

G. He is probably the drummer, but the real question is not what instrument he plays, but why is he here? He seems normal. This sort of thing doesn't seem up his alley. I can't quite peg this guy.

H. No one else is holding their instrument except this schmuck. We get it. You're the guitar player. Somebody please tell him that no one is impressed.

Well, that was fun. I'll bet girl (B) never would have thought her pinky assertion would end up immortalized on the Internet thirty years later. This is what happens when you give me free time at work. Let me know if you think I pegged one of them wrong and have a better backstory. Or better yet, you were in The New Creation and can enlighten us with a sort of "Behind the Music" exposé. I can hardly wait.

Vintage Scan #2: Author Extraordinaire- Charles Nelson Reilly

Click here to view full size.
This 1975 ad confuses me. Nevermind the fact that CNR is dressed as a minuteman, if you read the small print at the bottom you'll see that Charles Nelson Reilly has evidently written a book on his stays at Rodeway Inns! WTF?

"Get My Latest Book! Free! Here's the inside story of Rodeway Inns as revealed for the first time by me! It will be a big help to you when you're planning to rediscover America. So mail this coupon right now! You'll get it free!"
This must be quite a book - almost every sentence is an exclamation! I would love to read CNR's travel tales, but alas cannot find evidence of this book anywhere. I'm sure it never won a Pulitzer and is just basically an advertisement in book form, but you know it would be a fun read anyway. Let me know if you've ever heard of this book.


Opinions and Rants #12: Communication Breakdown

Think back to the 1970's or even later. There was no email, no cell phones, no video conferencing, no cordless phones, no Twitter, no text messaging, no pagers,... and yet, we managed just fine, right? I'm not trying to be a Luddite here (after all, I'm posting this rant on a blog), but I think Twitter may be my final straw.

Twitterers take note: I don't care what you're doing right now. Whether you're trying a new pasta recipe or fixing a toilet, I could give a shit. Statement of fact: Anybody that says they care about your Twitter messages is either lying or has no life.

As for cell phones, unless you are in a hostage situation or trapped underneath rubble after an earthquake, turn the damn things off. Whatever you're saying can wait. I'm tired of hearing men in grocery stores discuss with their wives for thirty minutes about which brand of bacon to buy. For the love of God, just buy the effing Tyson brand and move on! It's all hot greasy salty meat that kills you -it doesn't really freaking matter! And don't get me started about cell phones in movie theaters...

99.99999% of my emails are garbage, and the remaining 0.00001% would have been better via the telephone. I've never read a text message that was worth repeating, and the video conferences at work usually are generally awkward and stilted and would have worked much better over the phone or in person.

Everyone says it's so great and wonderful how we are so globally interconnected now - but no one ever seems to stop and think that more is not always better. Look at the 24 hour news networks for an example of how more actually is less. Instead of 30 minutes of genuine news, we get swine flu sensationalism and celeb gossip for 24 hours straight! Now, instead of a meaningful phone call from someone, we get a constant barrage of tweets and texts about NOTHING.


Kid Stuff #8: Trading Card Hell

Once upon a time, nearly every movie or TV show, no matter how stupid or inappropriate, had its own set of trading cards. Kids collected cards from Mork & Mindy, Star Wars, The Incredible Hulk, and Battlestar Galactica like their life depended on it. There were even Bo Derek cards and cards about that awful Bee-Gees' train wreck of a movie, Sgt. Pepper - the sort of things that don't instantly pop into your mind when you think of children's products.

Of course, this was a time when TV/movies were being merchandised like ever before. Thus, you had ridiculous products like Taxi lunch boxes and Welcome Back, Kotter Halloween costumes. I distinctly remember a Three's Company children's puzzle of Suzanne Somers in a revealing bathing suit. Even then, I knew this merchandising thing was getting out of hand... but I liked it.

For fun, I thought I'd take this 1970s trading card phenom to its bizarre extreme.

I don't think there was ever a Kojak trading card, but if there can be a Mod Squad trading card set, why not? Although not marketed for kids, Telly did record an album (see a previous post). BTW: I also discuss in grotesque detal particularly bad examples of shirtless celebs in a previous post.

As I've mentioned before, James Evans scared the hell out of me as a kid. I was ready for him at any minute to just take down his family one by one. Anyway, Plaid Stallions and its spin-off Sitcom Diablo are good places to go to check out great TV and movie merch from the 1970's.

Many of you may remember my post on Camper Tramps - that unbelievably sexed up RV brochure from the 1970s (found at Retrocrush). If there was a Bo Derek and Charlie's Angel's trading card set, why not this one?

Ads #13: The Rainbow Hilton

This Hilton ad is rocking my world right now. The Hilton hotel chain actually had their staff wear insanely flamboyant rainbow attire? If you remember staying at the Hilton when they were Skittles colored, please let me know - I'm curious how surreal this experience must have been. Was it like entering Willie Wonka's chocolate factory? Who got to wear the top hat, cape and rainbow cumberbund? So many questions need answers.

I can't quite put my finger on what they look like... maybe a gay version of The Love Boat crew? I'm kind of digging the women's costumes, but the men must surely have felt publicly humiliated. Imagine graduating from culinary school, getting excited to get a job at the Hilton, and then they hand you your technicolor rainbow uniform. Only in the 70's...

Source: The Saturday Evening Post; May-June 1973
Click here to view full sized or click the image to visit the Flickr page.


Vintage Scan #1: It's a Wifesaver!

This one is from The Saturday Evening Post (May-June 1973). Click here to view full sized image. I get a kick out of these ads which would be considered sexist nowadays - the way they used to take for granted the fact that all kitchen and homemaking products were directed to women.

Is it sexist? This is an issue that for some reason keeps coming up on Retrospace. I think it's because men and women had such glaringly different roles compared to today, - any analysis of yesteryear can't help but be stricken by the contrast.

R.I.P. Bea Arthur

(May 13, 1922 – April 25, 2009)


Another Trucker Post

It's time we paid another visit to the trucker craze of the 1970's. I still am not completely over my trucker infatuation from over thirty years ago, and feel the need to spread more trucker love. Let's start it off with a Diet Rite trucker t-shirt advertisement (click to enlarge). I simply cannot say enough about this ad, but I'll try to limit it to 5 observations...

1. The chick in the shades is obviously a lesbian. Look at how she's eyeing her friend.

2. It's somehow fitting that this is a lesbian ad because Diet Rite contained cyclamate which causes testicular atrophy.

3. The ad reads: "France started it with the butcher's apron. In Denmark it was the plumber's satchel... " What the hell are they talking about? I think the advertisers are really stretching things to make a lame Diet Rite shirt somehow in league with European fashions.

4. To get your trucker Diet Rite T-shirts you have to send money plus 6 bottle cap liners. Does anyone remember bottle cap liners? I do.

5. Diet Rite is obviously capitalizing on the trucker craze that swept the country during the 1970's. Man, everyone wanted to be a trucker back then. I still do. I've posted before on how truckers were to the 70's what cowboys were in the 50's. Rock stars and professional athletes could only dream of living the life of a trucker.

Don't believe me? I present to the ladies and gentlemen of the jury "Exhibit A" from 1976...

Can you believe the title of this album? You've never been fuc - (ahem) - trucked like this before. I'm guessing subtlety was not one of John Laws' strong points. The track listing for this album is pure 1970's trucker heaven: "I've Trucked All Over This Land", "Down That Easy Goin' Road", and my favorite ""Big Wheel Cannonball".

Oddly enough, John Laws turned out to be an Australian disc jockey posing as a truck driver. We should have known better - no self respecting truck driver would ever wear a suit!

Important Things to Know #2

I knew History: America's Greatest Hits (1975) was a big success in the United States. What I did not know was that Phil Hartman illustrated the cover!

And, yes, it is the same Phil Hartman that we all knew and loved from Saturday Night Live. Hartman actually illustrated over 40 album covers and came up with the logo for Crosby, Stills & Nash.

Retro-Quote #4: Logan's Run TV

"They have to be careful with the camera with this costume... When I bend over they're in trouble" - Heather Menzies (Logan's Run TV series from a 1977 article shown below - click to enlarge)

Add ImageI highly recommend you read this article. The description of how the show's creators kept making her wardrobe skimpier and skimpier is pretty hilarious. This was the era of so-called "jiggle TV", a time when shows like Charlie's Angels and Three's Company reigned supreme.

Somebody explain to me why this series is not available on DVD? It only lasted 14 episodes, but I loved it! I know that a good digital copy of the series exists, but as of this writing it is only available from iTunes for $1.99 per episode. Sign a petition for the DVD release here.

BTW: Many of you may remember Heather Menzies as Louisa von Trapp from The Sound of Music. Although my personal favorite is her role in Piranha (1978).


David Cronenberg's The Brood (1979)

The trailer for David Cronenberg's The Brood (1979) begins with this warning:

"Now comes a major motion picture event that will take you far beyond anything filmed before. You are about to journey beyond fear, beyond terror, beyond the boundaries of your mind, in a film so terrifying it will devastate you totally."

Believe it or not, this is not an overstatement. I should have taken this warning seriously - I sat down to watch a simple 70's horror flick and had my world rocked. I feel like Cronenberg bitch slapped me for 92 minutes straight. The homicidal humanoid children scared the crap out of me. And beyond the frights was a storyline that will have me thinking back on it for days to come.

I contemplated going through this film step by step as I normally do in movie reviews here on Retrospace, but I don't want spoil a single scene for you. However, I can't help but point out one moment in the film...

...yeah, that right - a Happy Days lunchbox is basically the centerpiece for a few moments. Sort of took me out of the moment temporarily - similar to when Ted Danson appeared out of nowhere in Saving Private Ryan and all I could think about was Cheers for the next 20 minutes.
But don't let The Fonz dissuade you from checking this movie out. This is the most chilling mind bending horror movie that I have seen in a long, long time. So, if you'll excuse me, I need to go watch Sanford & Son to counteract the bad vibes and chase the heebee jeebees away.


10 Favorite Film Characters Meme

Both Wings at Caffeinated Joe and Chick at Trash Aesthetics have done the "10 Favorite Film Characters" meme that's been floating around from blog to blog lately. Neither tagged anyone, but I thought I'd jump on board with this one anyway.

The beauty of this meme is that it is basically wide open. You're not thinking of the best actors, the most influential, etc. - it's essentially 10 faves off the top of your head. Almost a train of consciousness experiment. The 10 I name now will not be the same that I would name tomorrow - as Chick says in his post, "The trick was to just go with first thoughts, if I started to refine and cultivate a list, oh boy, that would be another story altogether!' So, without further ado, here goes.

Riff Randell (P.J. Soles in Rock 'n' Roll High School)
Teenage rebellion has never been more fun. Soles was the perfect delinquent teen in both Halloween and Carrie, and here she is no less brilliant. If all movies had The Ramones and P.J. Soles in them, I'd be perfectly happy.

Reggie (Reggie Bannister in Phantasm)
Everyone's favorite guitar playing ice cream man. Something about this pony-tailed dude was endearing and intriguing. In my imaginary world he won the Oscar for best supporting actor for this role.

Dr. Frankenstein (Gene Wilder in Young Frankenstein)
"My grandfather's work was doodoo! I am not interested in death! The only thing that concerns me is the preservation of life!" (jabs scalpel into leg)... classic.

Tony Rivers (Michael Landon in I Was a Teenage Werewolf)
Landon always played his characters with such heart. What a refreshing quality brought to the genre of B movie horror!

Angel (Kristy McNichol in Little Darlings)
"Angel Vs. Farris. Who ever loses there virginity first wins!" - a typical teenage romp was brought to another level by the talents of Tatum O'Neal and Kristy McNichol. Could've been forgettable and trite - instead, it's thirty years later and I'm still talking about it.

Tony Manero (John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever)
It's so iconic that I don't feel the need to explain. Suffice it to say, this is not watered down disco garbage like so many films of the era that were cashing in on the craze. This film had teeth and Travolta blew our collective minds.

Richie Tenenbaum (Luke Wilson in The Royal Tenenbaums)
Similar to his role in Bottle Rocket - a sad likeable figure and a perfect balance to brother Owen's extremes.

R.P. McMurphy (Jack Nicholson in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest)
Has there ever been a role that fit an actor more perfectly? Okay maybe James Spader as asshole Steff in Pretty in Pink.

Solange Beauregard (Camille Keaton in Cosa avete fatto a Solange?)
Hardly any dialogue, almost no screen time - truly a case of quality over quantity. Camille looked darkly tortured, troubled, disturbed, yet not over the top... is that even possible? Perhaps she was going through troubles of her own during this period and the reality showed through. Whatever the case, Keaton left her mark, albeit brief, in this giallo classic.

Matt Helm (Dean Martin in The Silencers)
Never, in the entire history of planet earth has there ever existed a mortal being who exhibited this degree of cool. This is bionic cool. Take notes and stand in awe.

Since I wasn't actually tagged, I won't tag anyone. However, if you choose to try this meme, let me know - I'd be interested to see what yours looks like.

Happy Earth Day from The Bradys

"Time to Change" by The Brady Bunch

Autumn turns to winter,
And winter turns to spring.
It doesn't go just for seasons you know,
It goes for everything.

The same is true for voices,
When boys begin to grow.
You gotta take a lesson from Mother Nature,
And if you do you'll know...


Retro-Quote #3: Match Game PM

"Let's see if we can get Rock Hudson out of Fanny"- Gene Rayburn

The question on Match Game PM was "Telly Savalas said, 'I hate to tell you, but I put on a wig and now I look like BLANK'".
The contestant's answer was "Rock Hudson", but none of the celebrity panel's answers were matching. Brett wrote "Paul Newman", Charles Nelson Reilly scribbled "hell", and Richard Dawson's answer was "Cher". Now it was all up to the last celebrity, Fanny Flagg. And thus came the infamous words from Gene Rayburn. Truly one of the great moments in TV history.

No one gave an indication they caught Gene's accidental double entendre. Although, I'd bet money Charles Nelson Reilly, dressed in a snazzy silk scarf, knew of Hudson's secret life and was holding back a sly chuckle.


Retro Film Report #4: Harper Valley PTA

I saw Harper Valley P.T.A. in the theater as a kid and don't remember being particularly impressed. Re-watching it as an adult, I discovered this movie could be surprisingly disturbing. At certain points, I was reminded of far darker films like Deliverance and I Spit On Your Grave. Think I'm crazy? Read on.

Keep in mind that Retrospace movie reviews are from a different perspective than most reviews. This is a site that views Smokey & the Bandit as the pinnacle of human achievement. The bottom line is this movie kept me highly entertained - it starts as a fairly tame enactment of the well known Jeannie C. Riley song, but once it extends beyond the song's storyline at the 16 minute mark, it begins a rapid descent into the maelstrom. Let me walk you through it...


Mini Skirt Monday #8: Computers 'n Miniskirts

More as an excuse to try out the Picassa slideshow feature than anything, here's some vintage pictures of when computers were sexy.

If it takes a long time to load the pictures on the slideshow or it looks like crap on your browser let me know and I'll scrap it. Just doing some experimenting. It seems like a slideshow might be a nice alternative to displaying a bunch of images slowing down a page load.

Anyway, it was pretty fun hunting through old ads and seeing how computers experienced a honeymoon phase where they were considered sexy and cool. Now they're either as mundane as a desk lamp or just plain nerdy. Check out the "Two Bytes Are Better Than One" ad where the ladies are literally clawing to get the affections of the computer nerd. How many poor saps went into the computer field thinking the ladies would be throwing themselves at their feet? My how times have changed.


Music Lists #5: The Top 55 Depressing Songs of the 1970's

The 1970's were real good at producing songs of depression. Here's a list in no particular order of some  gut wrenching tunes that will have you reaching for your Prozac.
1. Alone Again (Naturally) - Gilbert O'Sullivan
2. Diary - Bread
3. Shannon - Henry Gross
4. Needle and the Damage Done - Neil Young
5. Cat's in the Cradle - Harry Chapin
6. Seasons in the Sun - Terry Jacks
7. Rainy Days and Mondays - The Carpenters
8. All By Myself - Eric Carmen
9. Reflections of My Life - Marmalade
10. Wishing You Were Here - Pink Floyd
11. Dust in the Wind - Kansas
12. At Seventeen - Janis Ian
13. He Ain't Heavy (He's My Brother) - The Hollies
14. It Never Rains in Southern California - Albert Hammond

"... Out of work/ I'm out of my head/Out of self respect/ I'm out of bread
I'm under loved/ I'm under fed/I wanna go home..."

15. I Think I'm Gonna Kill Myself - Elton John
16. Fly Away - John Denver
17. Goodbye to Love - The Carpenters
18. Deacon Blue - Steely Dan
19. Love Hurts - Nazareth
20. That's the Way I've Always Heard It Should Be - Carly Simon
21. Fire and Rain - James Taylor
22. Aubrey - Bread
23. One - Three Dog Night/Harry Nilsson
24. Superstar- The Carpenters
25. Billy Don't Be a Hero - Paper Lace
26. I've Gotta Get a Message to You - The Bee Gees

"I've just got to get a message to you/One more hour and my life will be through..."
27. Send in the Clowns - Judy Collins
28. You Don't Bring Me Flowers - Barbara Streisand & Neil Diamond
29. Comfortably Numb - Pink Floyd
30. Ruby, Don't Take Your Love to Town - Kenny Rogers
31. Lucky Man - Emerson, Lake and Palmer
32. He Stopped Loving Her Today - George Jones
33. Just Another Day - Paul McCartney & Wings

"... As she posts another letter to the sound of five/People gather round her/And she finds it hard to stay alive..."

34. So Far Away - Carol King
35. By the Time I Get to Phoenix - Isaac Hayes (12 minute ver.)
36. Love Will Tear Us Apart - Joy Division
37. It's Not Easy Being Green - Kermit the Frog

"...People tend to pass you over, cause you’re not standing out / Like flashy sparkles in the water, or stars in the sky..."

38. Down from Dover - Dolly Parton
39. Suicide is Painless - M*A*S*H* Theme Song
40. Cotton's Dream - Bless the Beasts and Children theme (Later used as the theme for The Young and the Restless and AKA "Nadia's Theme".41. Everything I Own - Bread
42. Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word - Elton John
43. Abraham, Martin and John - Dion
44. Vincent - Don McLean
45. Mandy - Barry Manilow
46. Mr. Bojangles - Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
47. I Am... I Said - Neil Diamond
48. Please Daddy (Don't Get Drunk This Christmas) - John Denver

"... And now I'm almost eight as you can see/You came home at a quarter past eleven/Fell down underneath our Christmas tree/Please Daddy, don't get drunk this Christmas/I don't wanna see my Mumma cry..."

49. She's Gone - Hall & Oates
50. I'm Not in Love - 10cc
51. Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain - Willie Nelson
52. Piano Man - Billy Joel
53. Lyin' Eyes - The Eagles
54. How Can You Mend a Broken Heart - The Bee Gees
55. Sylvia's Mother - Dr. Hook & the Medicine Show

Too bad George Jones' "If Drinkin' Don't Kill Me (Her Memory Will)" didn't get released till 1981, because that would've fit perfectly on this list.
I almost titled this post as "Songs from the 1970's that make me want to kill myself", but I thought that might leave this list open to songs like "You Light Up My Life" which are not at all sad, but are so awful that I contemplate offing myself just to end the pain.

Let me know if there's a particularly depressing 70's tune that I missed, or if one off this list jumps out at you as the absolute low point of all the depressing sounds of the seventies.

[See a related retrospace post: Depressing Songs of the Seventies where several of these songs were pulled.]

Comic Books #9: Unfortunate Comic Book Sound Effects

This example from Archie may be the worst case of comic book onomatopoeia ever. Also take special note of the "wrinkle" right below the waistline of the horny teenagers. Not exactly subtle.

Of course, regular readers of Retrospace may remember this next one from an earlier post which is pretty bad as well.

SPLOOGE! WANK! JIZZZ! Comic sound effects can be fun!.... Hey, I never claimed this was an intellectual blog.


Trivia Newton-John #7

Name the 1974 television program that featured these two songs:

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

We have a winner! Congratulations to Krista, the "riveting hostess" of the wonderful blog Sunny Side Up! Collect your prize Krista!

Vintage Scares #6: Things That Scare the Hell Out of Me (part 3)

What scares the hell out of me more than anything? I think it's strange things on deserted roads at night. Allow me to explain...

1) First there was that scene in Halloween where Dr. Loomis and a nurse are driving on a rainy night to the mental institution where Michael Myers is supposed to be residing. Suddenly, Loomis notices figures wandering around in the dark - mental patients in their gowns illuminated only by their headlights. It was a scene that stuck with me as a kid.

2) Then there's the scene in Friday the 13th (I can't remember if it was part I or II) where the sheriff is traveling along a road through the woods. For a split second you see Jason Voorhees emerge from the darkness and cross the road in front of him. It's brief but it's chilling. I've talked to a number of people about the movie, and I am not alone in finding this scene particularly horrifying.

3) And finally, there was my Driver's Ed film back in school. For the purpose of demonstrating why you should never drive overly tired, the grainy crackling film showed a driver weaving half-asleep down a lonely country road in the middle of the night. Suddenly, a clown appears and does a cartwheel across the road in front of him! Of course, it's supposed to be a hallucination brought on by lack of sleep, but it creeped me out big time. Twenty or so years later and here I am writing about it!

[Related Posts: Things that scare the hell out of me Part 1 and Part 2]


Vintage Scares #5: Hidden Scares

Many of you may remember from an earlier post an album called Join in with Joe which had a strange orange creature hidden on the cover which had no real purpose or explanation. Most people who look at the cover don't really notice it, but once you see it, it'll have you scratching your head. [Click here to see the album cover and here for a close up.]

Anyway, I ran across another odd one, and this one kinda gave me the creeps...

Who is that scary looking dude tucked away in the darkness between the gentleman in the black suit and the lady in the flared jeans? Charles Manson? Are the Rowdies a cult led by this demented madman lurking in the background?

He's not raising a glass like the rest of them, yet he seems to be in on this production somehow. Perhaps like Mr. Rochester's wife in Jane Eyre or Zelda in Pet Sematary he's their insane sibling kept under lock and key.

Sure, he's probably just a normal customer, but it's fun to speculate... and who knows?


Opinions and Rants #11: When Did Pop Culture Jump the Shark?

Okay, the question of the day is not "How do we solve the crisis in the Middle East?" or "How do we fix the global economy?", but rather "When did popular culture jump the shark for Gilligan?". It's actually a pretty interesting thought - let me map it out for you.

The 1970's
I literally lapped up everything pop culture had to offer.

I loved everything in the theaters: Grease, Star Wars, Smokey and the Bandit, Superman, Escape to Witch Mountain... I loved it all. I was similarly satisfied with TV- I watched everything from In Search of... to Sanford & Son and was begging for more. And don't get me started on the music. Whether it was my dad's Steely Dan in the car, or The Bee Gees on the radio, I was perfectly happy and would have never dreamed of complaining about the state of popular music.

The 1980's
I continue to mindlessly gorge at the pop culture trough without even taking a breath.

For the duration of this decade, I still had no real complaints in terms of what theaters had to offer. I happily went to see Ghostbusters, Gremlins, Friday the 13th Part V, and The Breakfast Club. I adopted the styles without question - I unashamedly wore Swatches, parachute pants, and a big puffy acid washed jeans jacket. I had no beef with the boob tube: Family Ties, Night Court, MTV, and Silver Spoons were A-O-K with me. The music was great too- I went through various phases (heavy metal and new wave) but there was plenty of good stuff in each niche to keep me happy.

The early 1990's
Yes, I'm still devouring pop culture without the slightest hint of dissatisfaction. I loved The X-Files, Twin Peaks, Seinfeld, MST3K, 3rd Rock from the Sun, and Friends. Grunge music and even hip-hop was cool with me.

The mid to late 1990'sKA-BLAM!!

Once Kurt Cobain died, I basically stopped listening to contemporary music. I'm not sure why, it might've happened around this time anyway, but the radio was turned off in April 1994. I hung on to a few musicians, but the thrill was gone. I started rediscovering the 1970's in 1995 and that was all she wrote.

Cheers was cancelled in 1993 and once the X-Files movie came out, it killed my love for the show entirely. Friends started getting lame, and I never got on board with the whole reality show craze. Seinfeld literally became the last show I still could enjoy, and once that was cancelled, the TV went off.

I'm not sure if cinema ever really jumped the shark for me. I certainly much prefer movies from the 1970's to today's selection, but there's still seems to be plenty of good stuff out there.

I think my story is probably similar to a lot of people my age. I certainly wasn't the only kid who gobbled up movies, TV and music in the 70's and 80's like no tomorrow. How many kids do you know who have discerning tastes? None. And I think it's only natural to become a bit more discerning and critical in adulthood. One thing that's not natural, however, is my deep and abiding passion for the 1970s, but that's another story...

One last thing, lest you get the impression I'm just a cranky curmudgeon always bitching about new shows and music. Not in the least - I prefer stuff from the 1970's, but that's not to say I'm not open to new things. For instance, The IT Crowd (2006 -) is one of the most hilarious shows I've ever seen - a perfect example of why it's important to keep yourself open, while at the same time maintaining a love for our pop culture past. Amen.

Mini Skirt Monday #7

WTF? Is Heloise recommending prostitution and recycling as ways to earn money in this book?

What's really funny is that this whole series of books from the well known "Hints from Heloise"column all feature a scantily clad female on the cover. Not exactly reflective of the content of the books which were family friendly Good Housekeeping material. How very odd.


The 1970s: A Great Time to Be Named Barry

The 70s were a great time for Barrys indeed. Gibb, Manilow, Williams and White -there may be others that I'm leaving out, but these were the titans of Barry.

...just thought this needed to be said.


Motel Retrospace

Announcing the grand opening of the Motel Retrospace in scenic downtown San Bernardino where the delightful atmosphere and excellent service make every visit a pleasure. Enjoy your stay in our four star Sand Dollar Suites © - each with color TV and tub/shower combo. Bathrooms now equipped with Sani-Kleen® !

For lovebirds we recommend accommodations in our ultra-swank Tru-D-Lux Suites ©. It's your own private getaway surrounded by colorful enchantment and the newest designs. Betamax recorders available for rent.

Visit our Lamplighter Lounge® where you'll eat like an elephant for peanuts! In the evenings enjoy the vocal stylings of The Links - a group that has it all: talent, good looks, and a personal charm which covers their audience like a golden cloak. Come to look, you'll stay to eat!

And be sure to say hello to our groundskeepers. Night or Day, make it a Retro-Stay at Motel Retrospace!