Vintage Wheels #14: Chick Magnets

As far as inanimate mechanical objects go, the car has got to be in the top ten when it comes to being associated with coolness (i.e. verility, youth, sexiness, etc.). Perhaps, only the electric guitar and motorcycle can top it.  Sure, you've got your "chick repellents" like the Brady Bunch station wagons and AMC Pacers; however, these are easily countered by a 1966 Pontiac GTO or James Bond's Alpha Romeo GTV6, which literally do not need gas to run, but rather are powered by their own raw sexual energy.

This is especially true for the muscle car. Harken back to your high school days: even the goofiest guy could get the grooviest chicks if he drove a badass Plymouth Barracuda. Indeed, the sexual power inherent in these vehicles is so intense that some say that if a hybrid minivan comes into contact with a 70s muscle car, it will have a matter-antimatter reaction, creating a tear in the universe.  Don't try this experiment at home, kids.


Catalogs #17: Montgomery Ward 1978

I'm actually glad they don't sell couches like this anymore.  If they did, I'd probably lose my job - I would never leave the couch EVER.  I would miss holiday gatherings, I'd miss my children's sporting events, I'd miss out on everything... and the worst of it is, I wouldn't even freaking care. I'd be too busy rolling around in comfy splendor.

You want to end all wars? Put one of these in every home on the planet. Who wants to fight when you've got one of these bad boys in your living room? Even the 72 virgins thing can't compete with this slice of couch potato Paradise.

Yeah, that's right. I said it. Upholstered modular furniture is the solution to World Peace.  Now, let's see what else is in this 1978 Montgomery Ward Winter Sale Catalog.


Bad Songs #12: Euro-Awfulness

One reason for having post subjects numbered (i.e. bad songs #12) is so that I don't have to re-explain myself every time.  Sadly, I end up re-explaining myself every time anyway. (sigh)

Anyway, let me restate what I am considering a "bad song".  It is a song that is fun to listen to for its inherent horribleness.  In contrast, a song by Nickleback, Jay-Z, or an American Idol winner is going to be horrible but NOT fun to listen to .  Does this make any sense?

To use movies as an analogy: Plan 9 from Outer Space (to use a tired example) is bad.... but painfully wicked fun to watch.  Whereas, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (2010) is also bad, but essentially impossible to watch.

Got it? Good. Let's move on...


Mini Skirt Monday #97: Group Photos

The omnipresence of the mini during the early seventies is perhaps best illustrated by group photos. Maybe, after this post, you will begin to fathom the ubiquity of the early-70s miniskirt.  Questions will be raised: "Did guys back then appreciate what they had, or was this a case of too much of a good thing?" In other words, chocolate is nice as a dessert once and a while; but, if I'm eating chocolate morning, noon and night, does the chocolate lose its mojo? Can there be such a thing as a miniskirt overload?

It is the official opinion of Retrospace that there can never be too many minis; all arguments to the contrary are invalid. There are only a three things in the universe that cannot reach a limit of overload, which will always remain good and pure no matter the quantity: (1) Love, (2) Miniskirts, and (3) the elvish bread Lembas.  It's true - look it up. Now enjoy the minis.


Found Photos #9: Merry Christmas!

I'd love to make a snarky comment about this picture - about their clothes and hair. But guess what, folks? We all looked like this back then. All 200 million of us.  So, rather than condescendingly smirk, let's embrace the beautiful "seventies-ness" of it all as we take a tour down Christmas Past and have a little fun with some old photographs.


Catalogs #16: Frederick's of Hollywood Xmas Catalogs

Santa loves crotchless panties! Nothing says the holidays like a low cut sheer polyester nightie. It's the gift that keeps on giving.

As an early Christmas present to you, here's some pages from two old Frederick's of Hollywood Christmas catalogs - one from 1967, the other from 1971. Consider dropping a ha'penny or two in the Christmas stocking (i.e. click the donation banner in the sidebar) for your old pal Gilligan. Merry Christmas!


Magazines #30: The Top 40 Science Fiction Magazine Covers of All Time

The fact that people from across the globe still are fascinated by the artwork that adorned pulp magazines more than sixty years ago is all the evidence you need that this art form possesses an inherent quality rivaling the so-called "fine art" of the day. Indeed, these wonderfully evocative pulp covers are perhaps more enduring and beloved than anything hanging in a museum.

But I'm not here to convince you this is "real" art - that debate, I think, has been settled by the test of time.  I'm here to show you 40 examples of what I consider to be the best ever printed. Considering pulp magazines encompassed fantasy, horror, mystery, western, crime, and science fiction, I thought it best to narrow the focus.  This time around we'll look at the cream of the crop in the science fiction genre.

Before I begin, let me quickly lay out what criteria I'm using to judge them. Given the fact that these "best of" lists are, by their very nature, completely subjective, my criteria is basically irrelevant. But, just so you know, I'm going by artistry and interest. In other words, I'm looking at how well the cover is illustrated (technique and composition) and, more importantly, how much the work "stirs me".  If it was 1943 and I saw this on a newsstand, how much would this cover beckon me to lay down a couple dimes and take it home? Let's have a look at forty covers that I feel best exemplify this criteria.


Mini Skirt Monday #96: Santa Loves Minis

I had a hunch Kris Kringle was a leg man by the way he dressed his lady helpers at the mall. His assistants in their little elf outfits are clear indicators that Mr. Claus fancies him some miniskirts. And upon further research, Santa's penchant for a miniskirt becomes undeniable - as evidence, I ask you to check out some of the old photographs where Claus is caught red handed enjoying some holiday miniskirt action.

As you look at the evidence, I ask you to withhold judgement. It gets mighty cold and lonely at The North Pole - can we really blame ol' St. Nick for taking a break from shoveling reindeer crap and appreciating a few short dresses?  After all, he gives us so much, is it so "naughty" to enjoy the view of a nice set of gams in a festive mini once and a while? Indeed, miniskirts are the only known example of something being both Naughty and Nice. So, I raise my glass of alcohol-drenched eggnog to dear Santa. We are kindred spirits in this miniskirt biz. Feliz Navidad, baby!


Food and Drink #16: Dinner Is Served

It's 6:30 PM, Friday 1973.  Two income homes were a rarity, so chances are mom spent the afternoon cooking and cleaning at home.  The tables were cleared of ashtrays and set for dinner. A muffled TV set playing "The Wonderful World of Disney" emanating from the kid's room, glasses and silverware clinking, sporadic laughter, and unabated overlapping conversations, free of awkward silences.  Those were the sounds of my seventies.

I don't think social meals, even as a family, are nearly as common these days. It's a sad loss - the dinner table has been the meeting place for literally thousands of years.  What a shame that it's being replaced by fast food in a greasy bag. Let's take a look at what was on the table both at home and dining-out during the seventies (and late sixties), long before it disintegrated into the hustle and bustle of the 2000s.


Ads #45: Health & Hygiene

click all images to enlarge
When I first read this ad, I thought it was designed for "special needs children".  Of course, this was well before that PC term was coined (and I missed that crucial "of"), but you get my drift.  Plus, that mother's "okay" sign is just a little bit troubling.  Perhaps, she's Italian and she's giving us the sign to f**k off.


Deep Thoughts #5: Women's Lib

I don’t think people these days understand the magnitude of equal rights for women. Men have pretty much been top dog since pre-history – since we were hunting on the African savannah hundreds of thousands of years ago.  Women being considered coequal with men literally hasn’t occurred since humans have been human. Whether you think this is a good thing or a bad thing, or whether you think that women still have a ways to go before becoming completely coequal, you have to admit that this is a turning point of epic proportions.

Now before you get upset, I’m not saying women have never had an important role to play – I’m just saying that the guys were numero uno in the communal units, the households and in society (with few anomalies). It wasn’t until the latter half of the 1960s that things started to change… and my question is WHY.

In all of human history, why now? We humans have been around for a long time…. What was so special about the late sixties that triggered this change?

Vintage Reads #31: A Few Books from the 70s

Here's a few books from the Retrospace private library.  I've scanned the covers and transcribed some text from the books.  And remember - "Reading Is Fundamental"!

Outside in the main factory room Durgas removed the mask and returned to the office. Only Kalik was there, seated on one of the wooden boxes. Durgas held out his palm to show the scarfaced Kalik the teeth marks on it.

"Who did that?" Kalik asked.

"A friend of Helene's named Sabrina Duncan. The same woman who stymied me from getting into the
apartment yesterday."

"How'd it happen?"

"She came back tonight, and caught me in the apartment. This happened when I was dragging her over to
'.tuff her in the closet."

"She saw your face?" Kalik asked sharply.

"Of course not. I put on my mask when heard her come in."

The mustached man seated himself on one of the boxes and examined his hand again. Presently he. asked,
'When do I go in?"

''Soon," Kalik said.

"I need two days to fix the guns, and there are only two left."

"You will have time," Kalik said. "Fix them right. There is much killing to do, and very little time to do it."

View back cover


Bad Songs #12: Unforgivably Terrible Christmas Songs

WARNING: These Christmas songs may cause otherwise happy and healthy individuals to experience pervasive hopelessness and suicidal thoughts.  In some cases, listeners may develop a lasting condition, or recurring night terrors. If overwhelming suffering and despair persists, seek medical attention. Those with a family history of clinical depression or bipolar disorder are encouraged to refrain from downloading this playlist - others do so with extreme caution with the understanding that Retrospace is not liable for any side effects (or fatalities) incurred while listening to these songs.

Tiny Tim - Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer
Little Cindy - Happy Birthday Jesus
Homer & Jethro - Santa Claus, The Original Hippie
Meco - What Can You Get A Wookiee For Christmas (When He Already Owns A Comb?)
John Denver - Please, Daddy (Don't Get Drunk This Christmas)
Roger Christian - Little Mary Christmas
Meco The Meaning Of Christmas
Rita Faye Wilson - Sleigh Bells, Reindeer & Snow
Bobby Sherman - Christmas Is (Make It Sweet)
Akim & The Teddy Vann Production Company - Santa Claus Is A Black Man
Stan & Doug - Christmas Goose (Snowbird)
Shamus M'Cool - Santa's Little Helper, Dingo
Commander Cody & His Lost Planet Airmen - Daddy's Drinking Up Our Christmas
Melanie - Merry Christmas


Vintage Style #25: She Wears Short Shorts

Here's the progression of events: Mini skirts startled the older generation with their high hemlines in the late sixties.  But with each successive year, the hemlines got higher and higher until they literally were a hair's width from not covering certain private spots of the female anatomy.

Once the miniskirt hit its absolute height, the show was over, and long flowing prairie skirts and slacks were the new rage.  However, before going extinct, the mini passed the torch to the short shorts (i.e. hot pants). After all, it was still the seventies, prime time of the sexual revolution - and prairie skirts and polyester slacks just weren't going to turn heads.


Vintage Style #24: DIY Style

Lap robes are fine, but they've got nothing on the Snuggie.  One of the rare occassions on Retrospace where the modern era trumps the vintage.


Retrospace Mix Tape #20: Christmas Mix 2011

Dean Martin - A Marshmallow World
Disco Belles - Auld Lang Syne
Canned Heat - Christmas Blues
T Rex - Christmas Bop
Valerie Masters - Christmas Calling
Meco - Christmas In The Stars
Glenn Camplell - Christmas Is For Children
Buck Owens - Christmas Shopping
Gilbert O'Sullivan - Christmas Song
Coctails - First Snowfall
Carla Thomas - Gee Whiz It's Christmas
ABBA - Happy New Year
Milton Delugg - Hooray For Santa Claus
Roy Wood & Wizzard - I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday
Big Dee Irwin And Little Eva - I Wish You A Merry Christmas
Bill Cosby - Merry Christmas Mama
Charles Brown - Merry Christmas, Baby
Homer & Jethro - Nuttin' Fer Christmas
Bill Anderson - Po Folks Christmas
Meco - R2D2 We Wish You A Merry Christmas
Disco Belles - Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree
Cheech & Chong - Santa Claus & His Old Lady
James Brown - Santa Claus Is Definitely Here To Stay
Jimmy Donley - Santa! Don't Pass Me By
Billy Beau - Santa's Coffee
Kay Martin & Her Body Guards - Santa's Doing The Horizontal Twist
The Hollyridge Strings - Santa's Got A Brand New Bag
Jackson 5 - Season's Greetings From Jackie Jackson
Royal Guardsmen - Snoopy's Christmas
Hugo Winterhaller - The Christmas Cha Cha Song
Isaac Hayes - The Mistletoe & Me
Donny Hathaway - This Christmas
Disco Belles - We Wish You A Merry Christmas
Disco Belles - Winter Wonderland



Vintage Men's Mags #20: 100+ Pages of Pulp

As much as I'd like to sit and read with you the story of Prophet Briggs and his Share-the-Wife Cult, we really don't have the time. There's tons more to check out  - each one every bit as lurid and juicy as this one. Indeed, these old men's mags were choc full of articles emblazoned with tantalizing titles and eye-popping illustrations.

So, buckle up. Here's a truck load of pulp pages for your viewing pleasure.

Retrospace Mix Tape #19: 1982

Regular readers will know this is not a nostalgia site.  At no point will I start listing off the most popular songs and shows, etc. from 1982. "Hey, remember Dallas? and remember 'Vacation' by the Go-Go's? and remember E.T. and Tootsie?" Bleeccch. We'll leave that sort of nonsense to those crummy VH1 specials.

That being said, I can't help but, on occasion, focus on a single year and wax nostalgic.

Do you remember the music of 1982? It was a strange time - the seventies were officially over, and the disco backlash was in effect. Rock Gods like Zeppelin and KISS had seen their day, and New Wave was starting to gain ground thanks to MTV.

And let's be clear: the music being played on the radio was not exactly innovative stuff. You had your seventies soft rock throwbacks like The Little River Band, some disco hold-outs like Donna Summer, and some catchy country via Kenny and Juice Newton.  Loverboy and Journey-esque rock on Friday nights and Kool & the Gang for the skating rink..... nothing ground breaking whatsoever. But that's not necessarily a bad thing.


The 'Stache #2: Seventies Super Studs

Quick. Draw me a generic picture of a person you would call a "stud".  Chances are, after we're all done drawing, every one of our illustrations will feature The Stache.   It's become synonymous with machismo - you just can't picture a badass without that hairy upper lip. It's not possible.

Sadly, it was porn that gave a trashy connotation to the mustache (i.e. the trash stache, the molestache). The mustache = stud equation was dealt a heavy blow.  However, studly bastards like Chuck Norris, Burt Reynolds and Tom Selleck had left such a psychic imprint on humanity, that the moustache-stud connection will never be permanently broken.

Behold the righteous power of the mustache in this small gallery of vintage studliness.


Tech #14: The Cult of Progress

I know a lot of you will brush me off as being a Luddite; however, I think if you sit and ponder what I'm saying - give me the benefit of the doubt - you'll see I'm speaking the truth. The mantra "where's my effing jet pack?" has become almost cliche; but, I'm not just saying that the level of technology hasn't landed anywhere near my expectations. I'm saying that our conception of progress is really a big fat lie.

Ever since the start of the Industrial Age, civilization has been enamored by Scientific Progress.  Somehow, it was supposed to make us all happier. Goodbye 'living to the ripe old age of 35 and dying of rickets', hello  to the ridiculously clean and tidy life of the future. To a pro-technology person, the Super Wal-Mart produce section is a testament to how far we've come - no more scurvy for us!

Well, I'm not going to argue that things are no better now than in the 19th century. But, I will point out that Progress with a capital P should no longer be the holy and immaculate concept it has been, and maybe, just maybe, it hasn't come anywhere near living up to our collective expectations.

Mini Skirt Monday #95: Minis and Boots

As perfectly as the miniskirt and the boot went together, it was a fleeting fashion that only lasted a few years - roughly, from the late sixties until '71. Granted, girls still wore them on occasion, but it was largely a trend of the 'shagadelic' era.

I am happy to report that college campuses in the US are currently flooded with minis & cowboy boots (and, oddly enough, winter boots). Without question, nothing will compare to the iconic go-go boot, but beggars can't be choosers.


Vintage Men's Mags #19: Rugged Action Manliness

It's time once again for another round of blood, sweat and breasts. These are men's action magazines at their finest, so be prepared for near fatal levels of testosterone.  Many blogs give you a handful of action mag covers and leave you thirsting for more. Not Retrospace - we've got loads of action mags at the ready, just for you. Warning: This is a lot of guts, girls and guns to behold in a single dose. So, if you plan on viewing this post in one sitting, you may want to take certain precautions to balance out the dangerous levels of manly hormones. 

I recommend having a Celine Dion CD at the ready.  If you feel a sudden testosterone surge (generally originating in your temples and/or ball sack), quickly press play. I would also recommend you take a break midway through the post to cook muffins; and if you have the time, take in an episode of Glee.

Take these warnings seriously, and view them responsibly (unless you are Chuck Norris, in which case no precautions will be necessary). 


Found Photos #8

By now, you know how these "found photos" work: I find them, scan them, post them... and then you do the hard work of figuring out what the hell is going on in them.  I found these on a dusty shelf of an antique store way out in the middle of nowhere. It's a set of 9 B&W photos depicting some long ago party - the nice old lady who ran the place gave them to me for five bucks.

Looking at them closely, it appears to be a ZTA sorority function of some kind.... but there's a lot of unanswered questions - such as, where are all the boys? There's only girls in these photos... and, mind you, these girls are either dead or in their seventies by now (which gives me the creeps for some reason).


Magazines #31: El Papus '74

Just when you thought I couldn't veer any further off the beaten path, I've gone and posted a cover gallery of an obscure Spanish language magazine.  The best I can gather on El Papus is that it was a weekly satirical humor magazine not unlike National Lampoon.  Evidently, its satire cut a bit too close to the bone and they received a letter bomb in 1977 which killed one of their employees.

The covers aren't anything particularly legendary - mainly just pretty Spanish ladies (having little to nothing to do with the content between the covers). Nonetheless, I ran across a dozen or so issues from 1974, and thought they were interesting and odd enough to preserve on Retrospace.

Comic Books #34: Josie & the Pussycats in A Clockwork Orange

If you haven't seen the movie (or read the book, heaven forbid), this will make no sense whatsoever. My only wish is that I had more time to waste spend and see the story to completion. Que sera, sera. Enjoy what little I had time for.