Mini Skirt Monday #58: A Mini Almanac

Take a minute to enjoy a series of quotes and other stuff relating to the magical miniskirt.  I've peppered the post with vintage mini eye-candy to keep the interest of those (including myself) who don't read anything without pictures. Enjoy!

"If miniskirts had come in when I was in High School, I 'd have worn the shortest one." - Sharon Tate

“A good discussion is like a miniskirt. Short enough to pertain intrest and long enough to cover the subject.”

"Statistics are like miniskirts, they reveal more than what they hide." - Navjot Singh Sidhu

Happy Halloween!

Well, it's been fun this Halloween season here at Retrospace.  Thanks for dropping by - and for those who are not such fans of the horror thing, have no fear. We shall return to normal tomorrow.  Happy Halloween!


Vintage Scares #24: Aurora Monster Scenes

A lot has been said about the infamous Aurora Monster Scenes advertisement that appeared in comic books in 1971.  The notorious ads were pulled, and so was the product after much public appeal.  Perhaps rightly so, given the violent nature of it all..... I mean, I can understand a Frankenstein or Vampirella model,but a "girl victim" model?.... Really:?

As if this controversy wasn't enough, Vampirella sports a pronounced camel-toe both in the ad and on the model itself (Aurora claims it was due to the shrinking plastic).

Evidently, there were a whole lot of burgeoning sadists back in the early seventies, because, before the public outcry got too loud, Aurora added to the product line with such accessories as: The Pain Parlor, The Hanging Cage, Gruesome Goodies, and The Pendulum.

Today, these model kits are extremely valuable, especially considering the original molds were destroyed in 1974 for their beryllium steel.  Also valuable is the small comic illustrated by Neal Adams that came with the kits.  I must admit, I hadn't seen one of these until recently. Check it out! (click to enlarge)

Vintage Scares #23: Vampirella


Vampirella was a natural by-product of the seventies, a decade inundated with the occult and sexploitation. It was meant to be.  First, Hammer films kept hitting us with vampire cleavage (Twins of Evil, Lust for a Vampire, Countess Dracula) and then black and white horror magazines which pushed the envelope of good taste became extremely popular - it was a match made in heaven..... I mean, hell.

It was like the Reeses commercials: "You got your sexploitation in my horror!.... No, you got your horror in my sexploitation!..... Mmmmmm. it's two great tastes that go great together!"

The magazine's popularity was no doubt due in part to the cover art.  It was hard not to shell out thirty-five cents for a magazine with this blood-sucking sex bomb on the cover.  And buyers weren't disappointed - Vampirella mags always delivered the goods with plenty of racy content and horrific imagery.  They didn't play around back then.  Indeed, comics today may be more glossy, but B&W horror comics were solid gold blood, guts and sex. Giddyup.

The first few issues featured her as a sort of Cryptkeeper (a la Tales from the Crypt), narrating an anthology of horror tales.  Then, she got stories of her own, and the rest is history.... that is, until Warren Publishing went belly up.  Hollywood got their hands on the Vampirella rights a couple times; alas, it was better they had never tried.  The two Vampirella movies are worse than you could ever imagine. The formula would seem simple - put a hot mama in a Vampirella costume, and roll film! You would think it would be impossible to screw up..... never say "impossible to screw up" when you're talking about Hollywood.

Anyway, here's about 120 Vampirella covers for you to download.  You can thank me later.  Until then, enjoy a selection of covers below. I'd also recommend you read a short article on the chick from Draculon here; an interesting, humorous article which I used when writing this post.


Vintage Scares #22: Gerry Anderson

An evening at home

We all know ventriloquist dummies are scary as hell, you don't need me to tell you that.  But I've got to come clean, Gerry Anderson's  "supermarionation" creeped me out a kid..... still does.

No doubt, Gerry was a genius.  UFO, Thunderbirds, Captain Scarlet, Supercar, Firball, Stingray.... all freaking brilliant.  Unfortunately for me, they were also freaking scary.  There's something about the way they looked and moved, and those vacant stares...

Vintage Scares #21: Horror Movie Newspaper Ads

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It's Saturday morning 1976.  You're eating a bowl of Frankenberry in your Spiderman footie pajamas at the breakfast table.  Mom's cleaning up the kitchen while dad peruses the morning paper, hitting the sports section first.  Then he decides to check what's playing at the local cineplex, so he turns to the movie section, and this is what he sees...

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Vintage Scares #20: Horror Video Games

Before Resident Evil and Silent Hill, back when video game graphics barely a step above Pong, there were horror games.  The best of them all is easily Castlevania, but there were a slew of others... many of which I don't, for the life of me, remember. Anyone out there play Cauldron, "one of THE games of 1985"?

Vinyl Dynamite #28: Count Morbida's Chamber of Horrors

Dynamite Magazine

I've talked about Dynamite magazine on more than one occasion, so I'll refrain from tripping down memory lane this time.  I will mention once again, to emphasize my point, that it was all about the monsters for kids back in the 70s.  Anything with a wolfman or vampire on it was very likely going to have a kid begging for it.  Hence, Frankenberry cereal, Cracked Magazine monster issues, and the tons of other toys out there to satisify the 70s child's insatiable appetite for monsters.

Dynamite Magazine

Dynamite was amazingly adept at tapping in the psyche of the 70s kid, so they naturally threw in a few monsters.  In one issue, the magazine offered one of those flimsy albums inside - the kind that would sometimes come in cereal boxes.  Someone out there (God bless you, whoever you are) managed to save his and slap it on the internets.  Here it is, in all its glory, "Count Morbida's Chamber of Horrors"

Vintage Scares #19: Creepy and Eerie Magazine

Eerie Magazine

Is there anything on this earth that can compare to the Creepy and Eerie magazine covers? In terms of sheer creativity and artistic finesse, there's nothing even close.  Recruiting the talents of Frazetta and Corben, Warren put together a triad of magazines (Vampirella, Eerie and Creepy) that brought back the full vigor and punch of those early twentieth century pulps.

Click here to download 151 Creepy covers
Click here to download 142 Eerie covers

The resolution on the scans is okay; I didn't scan them myself.  They're certainly worth a look, though.  If you don't feel like downloading, take a look at a selection of examples of the greatness that was Warren publications. 


Occult #7: Wicked Reads

Yes, the sixties and seventies definitely had a dark side. Amid the free love, drugs and draft, the counter culture was also experimenting with the occult. It may have had its origins in previous decades, but there can be no denying that there was an occult explosion overtaking America and Western Europe.

From an excellent article at The Den of Geek:

The 1970s was verily the decade of the occult, to a level of national fascination (at least in the UK) that is hard to understand if you weren't there. Tarot cards fell out of Christmas crackers; young children were turned onto drugs early by the latex fumes from werewolf masks; we were all building those Mattel Draculas and Frankensteins (more glue-sniffing opportunities) with The Carpenters on in the background; Hammer films seemed to run on a loop at weekends...

Naturally, the cultural trend was reflected on the bookshelves.  Not since the Victorian ghost story craze had occult related fiction experienced such a mass appeal. Rosemary's Baby and The Exorcist were bestsellers in the States and Dennis Wheatley's occult fiction became hugely popular in the UK.  In addition, hundreds of other authors flooded the market with their versions of the occult drama. 

Below are couple mosaics I made from paperbacks from this period.  By no means does this come close to scratching the surface of the occult phenomenon that occurred. (click to enlarge)


Vintage Scares #18: Horror Movie Radio Ads

Halloween will soon be here. So, take a few moments to listen to a few old school radio adverts for classic horror films. 

Horror of Dracula


The She Creature - It Conquered the World


I Was a Teenage Werewolf


Magazines #16: Horror Dynamite

Dynamite Magazine

Given that the Goosebumps creator, R.L. Stine, was the mastermind behind Dynamite, it should come as no surprise that the magazine released several horror themed issues.  I've uploaded the full 1979 issue shown above for your reading pleasure.



Vintage Scares #17: Scariest Horror Movie Soundtracks

Let me say this right off the bat, this is not a list of the best horror movie soundtracks.... that honor would go to the funky beats of Phantasm, Deep Red and Vampyros Lesbos.  We're talkin' scares here

10. Psycho
The chilling, screeching repetition fit perfectly with Hitchcock's classic; however, like the Jaws theme, it's been so overused that it's lost a lot of its original impact.  Intrinsically, it should be ranked nearer the top of his list, but, in reality, it's lost a lot of its punch over the years as a by-product of its greatness.

9. A Nightmare on Elm Street
Synthesizers don't usually creep me out (unless its John Tesh); however, this one managed to deliver the goods.

8. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
This one is almost too sparse and minimalist to qualify; however, the haunting twangs turns my stomach into knots.

7. Cannibal Holocaust
You'll notice I didn't include any Goblin or other Italian scores on this list.  IMHO they're just a little too jazzy, funky, and often cheesy.  That being said, ths similarly cheesy sdtrk manages to press a button in my psyche that sends chills up and down my spine.  This sample is from the opening theme... things take a dark turn from there.

6. The Exorcist
Sets a chilling mood, to be sure.  However, "Tubular Bells" may be just a little too prog to top the list.

5. The Fog
Everyone always points to Carpenter's Halloween score as one of the greatest. While this may be true, his other works often get overlooked.  The Fog soundtrack is effing brilliant and deserves similar respect.

4. The Wicker Man
Ancient, pagan, haunting.... would've even made the Nicholas Cage remake scary.

3. Friday the 13th
I'm a sucker for eerie whispers.  Whenever I'm in the woods and it's dark, I can't help but think of this score.

2. Halloween
Carpenter tapped into our primal fears with this one; it's like he made contact with our primitive brain, and ancient terrors came alive once more. 

1. The Omen
Dear God, this soundtrack scares the living shit out of me.  Maybe it's a predictable choice, but nothing tops it in my book.

Bad Songs #10: The Face from Outer Space

Jeff Barry is one of the greatest songwriters and producers in pop music history.  Barry and his wife Greenwhich wrote dozens of hits for other artists including "Chapel of Love" and "Leader of the Pack" as well as "Then He Kissed Me", "Da Doo Ron Ron" and "Baby, I Love You".  He introduced the world to Neil Diamond and wrote the theme songs to "The Jeffersons", "One Day at a Time" and "Family Ties".

Given all that, how in the wide world of sports did he manage to record the painfully awful novelty song "The Face from Outer Space"? I understand horror themed novelty songs were big back in the day (i.e. Monster Mash, Purple People Eater, etc.), but, Good Lord, this is terrible. 

Click here to download


Retro Film Report #15: The Mighty Peking Man

The Mighty Peking Man (1976)

What sort of mad genius created The Mighty Peking Man? It is all over the place – combining Sheena with King Kong in a twisted psychotic fusion that follows no rules of logic, space or time whatsoever.

First, a little background: King Kong was remade in 1976, and Hong Kong’s biggest film studio, The Shaw Brothers Studio, decided to capitalize on the hype. They’d been around since the thirties (with a forced hiatus during WWII) and came back with a vengeance with post-war kung-fu movies. They were no lightweights in the Asian film business to be sure, so they knew there was money to be made by hitching a ride on the Dino DeLaurentis Kong remake.

But rather than make just a boring imitation by relying entirely on its Kong association, The Mighty Peking Man basically says "aww screw it" and goes to the absolute extreme in every manner possible. This film really tries to do it all (except have a cohesive story, good acting, and good special effects… minor details).  There's tons of T&A sleaze, monsters action, elephant stampedes, and leopard-cobra battles to go around. There’s nary a dull moment, the action sequences are batshit crazy, and the director uses Evelyn Kraft’s “assets” to their fullest extent.


Magazines #15: More Horror Magazines

Monsters Unlimited Magazine

Here's a few more magazines for you to download and enjoy. The first one, Monsters Unlimited (1965), utilized a form of humor which was (oddly) very popular back in those days: "black and white monster movie still" plus "cheezy speech bubble" equals solid gold entertainment.  In other words, take an old picture of Godzilla and make him say something "funny", and you've got yourself a magazine!  Cracked magazine was perhaps the best at it.


Occult #6: Spirit World Magazine

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Here's an odd little magazine from the seventies, appropriate for the Halloween season - Spirit World (1971).  Undoubtedly, it was capitalizing on the occult phenomenon that had swept the US and Western Europe.  Occult oriented literature fit nicely n a world where The Exorcist and Rosemary's Baby topped the box office,

This particular magazine was illustrated and edited by none other than Jack Kirby.  And it's chock full of superstitious hocus pocus: premonition, black magic, bizarre rituals, UFOs, etc. There's an illustrated rundown of Nostradamus' predictions which specifically (according to this magazine) says France will be destroyed in 1983! How embarassing.

This mag has been lovingly scanned so you can download the whole shebang here.  If you don't already have a CBR reader get one here.  Enjoy!


Artful Conception #14: Images of Horror

click on all images to view full size

Theme: A door being opened (on the left hand side) with a horrific creature waiting on the inside - the viewer is from the perspective facing the oblivious people about to have the shock of their lives.  It's an extremely effective arrangement, and it's been recycled to death.

Let's have a look at some more horrifying themes that have been swiped from one artist to another.  Keep in mind, this is not a criticism - reusing a theme is nothing to be ashamed of.  Indeed, all art borrows from other artworks.  Plus, a paperback or magazine cover is a very limiting canvas -you can only do so much with this format.  It's not the Sistine Chapel - it's small, and it's also got to be simple and attention grabbing.


Vintage Scares #16: Even More Public Service Announcements from Hell

Back in 2008, I discussed some rather creepy public service announcements; the greatest of all time is easily  Dark and Lonely Water featuring the eerie narration of Donald Pleasence - a must watch. Part II to this post can be found here.  And now here's a few more PSAs to chill your blood.

This first one warns against talking to strangers - harmless enough.... but it's done in a darkened puppet theater! If that wasn't creepy enough, there's a myserious pervert lurking among the young audience.

Retrospace Mix Tape #3: The Ultimate Halloween Mega Mix

I'm pretty proud of this Halloween compilation, folks  Yeah, I know, the last time I tried a mix tape Rapidshare shut me down.  Well, I made mix tapes for my girlfriends in high school, and I'll continue to keep the flame alive and make mix tapes for my loyal readers!  You just can't keep a mix taper down.

Anyway, I actually took some time with this one.  I think it would sound good at a party, but it might also be cool to just listen to in the car.  Whatever the case, I hope you enjoy this selection of horror themed tracks.  I think you'll find they're diverse enough to keep your attention.  Happy Halloween!


Cinema #13: Hollywood Horror Movies: Originality Goes Bye-Bye

Recycling is good when it’s saving the environment, bad when it’s an excuse for laziness. Hollywood seems to be incapable of coming up with an original idea for a horror movie – they are constantly either “re-imagining” classics from the 70s and 80s, or ripping off a foreign film. I can’t for the life of me figure out why.

A common excuse is that, since it costs so much to make a film, investors are more likely put their money in a “sure thing” versus something novel. In other words, the brilliant foreign horror movie [REC} (2007) cost just over a million to make; whereas, the shitty Hollywood remake called Quarantine (2009) cost 15 million. It’s a lot more expensive here – so we can’t take chances.

Well, I don’t buy it. Once upon a time, Hollywood made some damn good horror – ORIGINAL horror – and the same risks were involved. It’s a gamble, but every once and a while, if you’re willing to take the chance on something fresh and new, huge profits can be made. Movies like Halloween and The Sixth Sense far exceeded expectations, but wouldn’t exist if producers weren’t willing to take a chance on new ideas and new talent.

So, I’ll stop stating the obvious now, and proceed to the Retrospace rundown of recycled Hollywood horror. Read it and weep.


Obscure Grooves #11: Songs for Halloween

Here's a few songs for the Halloween season I hope you'll enjoy.  I tried to include a diverse selection.  Thus, there's one from Lurch, another from Elvira, and piece from Halloween (okay, I know that one's not exactly "obscure", but I love it).  Let me know if you like this, and I'll try to do another.

Note: Click on the song title to download the track, and use the mp3 player to just listen to it.  Enjoy!


Magazines #14: PIZZAZ! (part two)

PIZZAZZ magazine 1978

I know I just did a post on PIZZAZZ,  but I needed to explore one of the greatest things about the magazine - the covers! Check out the one above. It's like it was designed by a team of 1970s pre-teens - Spock, Vader and the Close Encounters fetus thing, with stories on baseball, KISS, UFOs, comics and Peter Frampton.... does it get any better than this?!?

Read on, to take a quick tour of some more wonderful covers of PIZZAZZ.

Magazines #13: PIZZAZZ!

PIZZAZZ Magazine 1977

What kid growing up in the seventies didn't enjoy PIZZAZZ magazine? It was more a less a knock off of the popular Scholastic magazines Dynamite and, more closely, Bananas.  However, this had the Marvel Comics badge, and so it was extra cool - Spidey and The Hulk were popping up everywhere on the pages of PIZZAZZ.

In the very first issue, Stan Lee himself gives a brief introduction to the magazine and its creation:

Here it is - the question all America is asking - the most urgent query of our time; namely, "Hey, guys, why are you publishing another new magazine?"

And here, in our fearlessly courageous style, is the gutsy, unvarnished answer: "Why not?"

But, if that reason's not erudite enough, we'll lay another one on you.  After years of creating the world's best-selling comic books, we thougt it would be a blast to also produce a handsome, full-color, top quality magazine, printed on the very finest paper, with exciting features, puzzles, news and stories, as well as comics and cartoons.  In other words, the kind of magazine we ourselves would eagerly look forward to each month.  So we created - PIZZAZZ!  And now, let's share the excitement of discovering PIZZAZZ! Today, you've found a brand new magazine.  Tomorrow, we want you to call it an old and trusted frined. Go to it, O lucky one. The best lies just ahead!


Stan Lee


Vintage Style #16 The Ladies' Man

Let's take a look at a few images of that 70's guy in all his fashion glory.  Tight pants, big collar flapping in the breeze, polyester from head to toe - the man of the seventies was something to behold. 

A close-up look at this fella's suit reveales it to be black velvet - yes, folks, this man is a living black velvet painting.  The woman's satin pants aren't too shabby either.  Wonder if this fashion will ever make a comeback.... kinda doubt it.


Magazines #12: A Couple Monster Mags

What child of the 70s doesn't love horror magazines? Here's a few scanned magazines for you to download.  I don't ask for anything in return, except your undying appreciation and/or a large cash sum.

I jest. First up is Monster Land from 1986. It's fairly cheap with very little in full color, but some nice articles on Halloween, VHS releases and Stephen King.  There's also instructions on how to make your own cheezy Star Fleet uniform.  Of course, there's Brinke Stevens pictures throughout as an Elvira knockoff called Evila.


This 1974 issue of Monster Times is a fun little read. There's articles on old B-movies like Schlock and Horror at Party Beach, and a wonderful section on The World's Worst Comics. Perfect cubicle reading.


Note: I'm sure you already have a CBR reader; but just in case, you can download free ones here.

Vinyl Dynamite #27: Sounds of Terror (1974)

Monster Mash, Sounds of Terror 1974

I'm not sure exactly who Wade Denning was, but he did several great Halloween records back in the 1970s.  He had an excellent range of voices, and he really appealed to children in those days.  According to IMDb he was also a jingle maker (he created the Maxwell House jingle) and some compositions for long forgotten TV shows.

Interestingly, he turns up again on Rob Zombie's Halloween (2007) soundtrack.  Perhaps, Rob, like a lot of us 70s kids got one of Wade's horror LPs from JC Penny and was glued to the miniature turntable for weeks on end, memorizing its every word.

Monster Mash Sounds of Terror! (1974) has some awesome sounding titles: "Curse of the Zombies", "Buried Alive", "Frankenstein Returns" and "Death Struggle of the Prehistoric Monsters."  What child could resist? The Exorcism track is a bit extreme for young'uns I think - it sounds too much like the real deal. Disturbing.

You can download the entire album, or just listen to this track, "The Nightmare of Lost Souls".


Comic Books #21: Magnum P.I.: Violence, Hatred and Death

Magnum PI Annual 1982

I'm not sure who was the mastermind behind the Magnum P.I. 1982 Annual, but I got a lot more than I expected when I recently picked this one up.  I expected something along the lines of your typical, boring and benign TV comic adaptation - harmless and child friendly.  What I got was something not that far off from those old pulp magazines. Sure, it was no fumetti (i.e. explicit comics from Europe), but I definitely got more than I bargained for.

Magnum PI Annual 1982

The first is a story called "Funky Freddie's Payoff" that could've been pulles straight from a True Detective mag from the fifties or sixties.  And just like those old pulps, the illustrations were surprisingly well done. 


Artful Conception #13: Hands from the Grave

What image is more synonymous with the horror genre than hands emerging from the grave? Exactly how many times Tales from the Crypt and its ilk used this theme is anybody's guess.  My favorite use in movies is probably the last few seconds of Carrie.  I'd be interested to hear any of your favorite examples.
Bellow are two mosaics of the Hand from the Grave theme pulled from comics, paperbacks, mags and movie posters. Click to enlarge. Enjoy!


Sex Sells #20: Alive with Pleasure!

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Sexual innuendo in advertising doesn't get any more textbook perfect than the "Alive with Pleasure!" ads that were in magazines everywhere in the 70s and 80s.  Sure, they were awful to look at: a gaudy green with a seemingly amateurish photograph; however, they are subconscious imagery is taken to new heights in these advertisements.  I've paged through a lot of old magazines, and I think I can say with good authority that the Newport ads are the ultimate in sexual innuendo marketing.  It simply doesn't get any better than this.  Let's take a look at why.


The Vintage Home #8

Time for another look at those homes of the seventies.  So easy to make fun of, yet secretly admire.  I don't know about you, but I'm getting a little tired of the current trends in home design and decor.  Watch the Home and Garden channel for a couple minutes and you'll quickly see the gold standard in 2010 homes: an open floor plan, no wallpaper, a garden tub, a double sink in the bathroom, a walk-in closet, granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, blah, blah, blah, blah.... I'd go on, but I'm falling asleep just talking about it.  Say what you want about the 70s sense of taste - it was at least interesting!

One thing that has gone completely out of vogue is wallpaper.  In the 70s, not only was it popular, it was  loud and obnoxious. Check out the wallpaper in this classy pad!   The fireworks exploding outside can't compete with this wallpaper - you hardly notice them amid the floor to ceiling flora.


Greatest Vampires of Retrospace

dracula mosaic

Bram Stoker's Dracula has to be the most immitated work of fiction ever written.  Of course, the vampire legend predates Stoker by centuries.  It varied from zombie-like "revenants" in Eastern Europe to royal bloodsuckers like Lady Bathory... indeed, the vampire has been around a long time and isn't going anywhere anytime soon.  There's something about this creature that strikes a chord with humanity - the immortality thing and the sexual mojo definitely add to the attraction.

Once the vampire found its way into pop culture of the twentieth century via Nosferatu and Bela Lugosi, there was no going back.  In the late fifties, Christopher Lee took the character to its absolute maximum, proving the Dracula legend could still appear fresh after all these years.  One could argue that Twilight has invigorated the myth once again.... I'm inclined to say "no", but that's neither here nor there.

Anyway, a pop culture icon of this magnitude deserves a post on Retrospace.  So, without further jibba jabba, here's my top Vampires of Retrospace:


Fact or Fiction? #15:The Infamous Heidi Saha Magazine

Basically, the story goes like this:

Heidi Saha's dad was in the publishing business - specifically genre stuff like science fiction.  Subsequently, young Heidi was taken to all the conventions and got to meet all the big names like Arthur C. Clarke at a very young age.

At the age of 14, she came to a convention dressed in a skimpy Vampirella costume.  In the costume contest, she came in third and was booed by the crowd because everyone knew she was up there because of daddy's connections and to promote Forrest J. Ackerman's Vampirella character.

To those who don't know who Forrest J. Ackerman is, he is the King of all Fanboys.  Famous Monsters of Filmland and a host of other genre mags owe their existence to the one and only FJA.  What made him such a success was that no one was more of a fan of monsters and sci-fi than Forrest himself.

Anyway, at some point prior to this convention, FJA was smitten by the young (and I do mean young) Heidi.  Suddenly, there were ads in all of his magazines declaring the arrival of Heidi Saha, and she was to have her very own Ackerman magazine devoted entirely to her. Very odd.

The magazine was released, but was quickly pulled off the shelves for some unknown reason.  Rumor spread that FJA had put nude pictures of this minor in the magazine, but no one could get a hold of a copy to verify the claims.  The magazine quickly became a thing of legend among young nerds and old pervs. As all urban legends go, the story became embellished over the years.  Pretend you're a 13 year old boy with hormones raging - you can imagine the avenue the urban legend took: it was rumored to contain porn, pictures of FJA and her in the act, etc. 

Then, we entered the digital age.  The magazine was finally scanned and posted on the internets.  The infamous magazine turned out to be just a bunch of boring, harmless black and white photos of Heidi.  More like a family photo album - a far cry from decadent smut. Indeed, the only thing disturbing about the mag is Forry's constant gushing over this girl. 

The question remains as to why FJA ever put this magazine out to begin with.  The theories I've heard are (1) FJA was working with the parents to get Heidi prepped for a movie career; in return, FJA would get publishing assistance from Heidi's publisher dad, (2) FJA felt sorry for Heidi after she was booed at the costume contest, blaming himself for putting her in that position, or (3) FJA really was digging this young chick.

Which is true? I don't know - but I'm sure someone out there has an answer.

"Hobbit forming".... get it? She's reading The Hobbit. HA HA HA (mean spirited sarcastic laugh fades out as the post comes to a close...)


Shafted! #2: Hair Bands

I'm not the biggest fan of hair bands - never was.  When Whitesnake, White Lion and Great White were all topping the charts, I was listening to Danzig and Metallica.  These hairsprayed poseurs looked like chicks and were affront to metal itself.  They were spitting on the legacy of Sabbath and Priest.  Bon Scott was spinning in his grave every time "Cherry Pie" was played.... or so I thought.

With the perspective of time, I see that it wasn't metal blasphemy at all - just another brand.  Perhaps hair bands shouldn't be considered "metal"; but that's just semantics.  The real question is whether they deserve the derision they've garnered since their heyday.  I think they do not.

Every phase of rock music is identified by a type of rebellion - without a rebellion of some kind, it simply isn't rock.  The onset of rock and roll via Elvis and The Beatles was obviously a cultural rebellion - Baby Boomers breaking free of social restraints imposed by the older generation.

Psychedelia was a transcendental rebellion - seeing beyond the ordinary, reaching a transcendent state of mind. In contrast, the rock of the seventies was largely a rebellion of debauchery.  There was no philosophy behind it - just lots of drinking, sex and drugs.

Once it grew too big (i.e. Styx, Boston, Journey) and lost its rebelliousness, punk entered the scene and staged a rebellion of destruction.  By its very nature, the rebellion of destruction couldn't last long, and morphed into radio friendly new wave.  And it's here that hair bands come on the scene to earn their rightful place in the legacy of rock and roll.  This time it was a rebellion of hedonism.

By the mid eighties, things had gotten rather clean.  Huey Lewis & the News was all over the airwaves, Randy Rhodes had died, KISS had lost the makeup, David Lee Roth had gone solo, and Richard Marx was about as loud as it got on the radio. Rock needed another good rebellion - and what better to rebel against than the squeaky clean 80s.  Yes, a rebellion of hedonism was definitely the way to go.

And it didn't get much more hedonistic than the glam rock coming off Sunset Boulevard.  Androgenous costumes, lyrics about nothing but sex and partying, spandex that left nothing to the imagination, and a lifestyle that would've made Caligula blush.... this is what rock and roll needed!

But what about Maiden, Motorhead, AC/DC, Scorpions, and Def Leppard?  They were great, but let's face it - their time had long since past.  We needed something to cut through "Let's Hear It for the Boy" and "Breakin' My Stride" on the ol' radio.  Plus, it came by its style honestly - its roots were firmly planted in the glam rock of Bowie, T. Rex, New York Dolls and KISS.  It wasn't always gritty and smelly like AC/DC was (although, Slash could get a little gamey), but that was never it's intention - it was all about flair.

And then came Nirvana. Once the hair bands lost their rebellion and got too commercial, it was time for another rebellion.... but this time it was different.  This time it was nihilism.  It was as if Generation X got up on the peak of a giant hill and stared back at the history of rock music and found it lacking.  It was like punk but it had no agenda. It wasn't rebelling against anything; it was just a sort of death knell.

Nowadays, what is there to rebel against? You can't use any sort of rebellion of decadence or debauchery - the popular culture is too immune - we've seen it all.  You can't give us anything we can't find on cable.  The obvious rebellion would be against materialism and commercialism.... but to do that you'd need to be NON commercial (i.e. indie) and thereby not on the radio or any of Viacom's subsidiaries.  And so, the only thing left to rebel against in essence ensures that it will not occur.  So, enjoy your Justin Bieber with a cameo by the oh-so rebellious Ludacris, that's as good as it's going to get.

So, I've taken a long way to say it, but, the fact is, the much derided hair metal was actually rock and roll's last stand.  May it rest in peace.


Vintage Scares #15: Horror Themed Music Videos

Without question, Michael Jackson's "Thriller" is the ultimate horror themed music video.  Say what you want about the late Jack-O, the video was right on the money for horror fans. Zombies, werewolves, Vincent Price, John Landis... it was perfect.  I guess I could've lived without the zombie dance number, buy, hey, it's a music video, not a horror movie.

So, we all know "Thriller", but what about other horror themed music videos (back when the "M" in MTV stood for "Music")? There were actually quite a few - some predating MTV. There's the obvious early alternative bands like Bauhaus, The Cure and Siouxsie and the Banshees that put out some pretty Gothic looking videos. And of course there's a million heavy metal videos with horror themes (i.e. Dio's "Last in Line"). But it would be too easy to put together a post with obvious choices like Ozzy's "Bark at the Moon" or something from Alice Cooper, Danzig or The Cramps.  Let's dig a little deeper.