Magazines #23: Spice of Life Magazine 1972

Don't ask me what Spice of Life magazine is.  I picked it up at a used bookstore, and it appears to be an adult oriented rag circulated around Topeka, Kansas.  There's a little bit of nudity in the magazine, but then this was the 1970s, and even McCall's was prone to showing some skin - so, I don't think it necessarily qualifies as a girlie mag.

Anyway, I decided to scan it because it has some nice things between its covers that I thought I'd share.... namely, this incredible piece of 70s advertising...

I dare you to click on this picture and stare into this man's eyes.  He is all business.  No woman is immune to his gaze.  He has what it takes, but can you take what he has?
Notice the gargantuan helmet of hair on the chick.  Also notice how the text is completely illegible when it blends with her pants. This is how Starbuck's ads should look.

Notice anything odd about this ad? That's right.  The same picture of the dude's head has obviously been pasted on to the two bodies.

This ad informs us that this lady's haircut is called the "geometric shag". Leave it to the seventies to have a hairstyle that sounds like a sexual position.

WTF is this? I guess it's what happens when you mix retail advertising with experimental drug use.  Let me see if I follow this: on the way to summer (spring?), a bird morphed into a studly male? It makes sense for a store that sells pants don't you think?

This is exactly why I love the 70s.  Even Stanley's Flower Shop has a naked chick in their ads.

Is it me, or does it look like the dude is not really wearing glasses? Look at an ultra close-up and see if I'm right and these "glasses" are drawn on... and maybe her's too.

This is a photo from the Bitter End Club in Topeka where The New Christy Minstrels are playing.  Looks like a lot of fun.  I can't comprehend a day when folk was cool. It was a different world.


  1. Topeka? You know the rock group Kansas is from there.

    Luckily, my dad gags at folk music, so I didn't have to listen to it growing up.

  2. At first I thought the Starbucks guy was Mike Stivic. On closer inspection it looks like he's trying to *will* the viewer to give him money.

    Those glasses don't look drawn on to me. You can see the magnification they produce in the girl's right lens (her face is wider in the lens). Maybe the white area around each lens is throwing you off.

  3. The first picture for Starbucks is amazing in its awfulness. Not only the couple who are scary enough, but the cheap way the ad was made. I'm familiar with printing techniques and I can assure you that event in the early 70's, you did NOT have to use a magic marker to put a border on an ad. It looks like it was made by a 6 year old! Also the two figures are awkwardly amputated at the waist and the hand of the woman is cut off. The rest of the ads show some effort and creativity like the "Flowers" one.

  4. AnonymousJune 29, 2011

    I love this post! What's cool about it is that it shows that "local color" touch to being "mod" in the early '70's. It is easy to find a mass-market magazine to revisit professional advert lay-out, but these local efforts have a naive charm about them, and it's harder to find surviving examples. I wish I had saved stuff like this, what a nostalgia trip.

    More local stuff like this please!

  5. AnonymousJune 29, 2011

    Decoding the ads is tough. The one guy *does* look like "meathead", hee hee.

    The "Funky Thing Happened" ad: obviously a play on "A Funny Thing Happened...", and I thought the bird legs made the "funky" part a reference to the "funky chicken". But they didn't use a graphic of a chicken! WTF? Some bizarre bird to human transmogrification is implied.

    "Say it with flowers" really boils it down, doesn't it? But what about the thorns?

    The "hairbenders" is a classic...reasoning with the customer that there is real skill, if not maybe even science, to this hair-cutting business. Better not trust this operation to just anyone.

  6. Is that the same girl in the Hair Benders and Stanly adds?

  7. Man, I love your blog, it is too funny

    The "Funky Thing Happened" thing is too funny, I laughed for minutes. What I see is a chicken had turned to a human-chicken and then turned to a full human, in spring. What is this related to "Pantsunlimited"? Too much acid in the 70s.