Vintage Musicians #9

Recognize these performers? Probably not.  They're the group "Square Root" and like most of the performers you'll see in this post, they weren't exactly headlining at Shea Stadium..... in fact, they were lucky to headline at the Holiday Inn.  But then, that's not necessarily an insult - all bands have to start this way.  The Beatles payed their dues at the Cavern Club, and Square Root probably played their asses off at plenty of local dives.

I can't help but wonder what ever became of Square Root and these other acts that, for whatever reason, never made it big..... if you happen to know information on them, please drop it in a comment.


Understanding Human Behavior #4

Jesus Harold Christ! Try to find this in your local school library..... and yet Understanding Human Behavior was a widely circulated series of textbooks. I don't know how often they were used in the classroom - if they were ever a required text for some sociology/psychology elective - however, I am still shocked that these things ended up on the shelves of school and public libraries.  Granted, the text within these books are rather tame, but the pictures within are amazingly provocative.

As the orgiastic nudes and goat-headed Beelzebub on the cover would indicate, this volume contains a few chapters on satanism...


Fads #20: Urban Cowboys

I bought this book last week (The Official Guide to Country Dance Steps - 1980) and it brought back a wave of memories from that year when everything went Urban Cowboy.

Certain fads stick in our collective memory because they were so outrageous, widespread or of historical significance..... the Urban Cowboy fad is no such memory.  Many of you may not know that the United States spent the better part of a couple years totally immersed in the faux cowboy shtick. Suddenly everything was about Gilley Beer and mechanical bulls.  The radio airwaves were ablaze with Ronnie Milsap and Kenny Rogers, and Hollywood's biggest name, fresh from Grease and Saturday Night Fever, was placing his stamp of approval on the Next Big Thing.

Of course, the very nature of a fad is that it is transitive. We were barely into 1983 when "blue collar" was  officially pronounced "out".  Goodbye Every Which Way But Loose, goodbye Billy Carter, goodbye Take this Job and Shove It, and goodbye Urban Cowboy. It was nice knowing you.

But before we move on, have a look at a few pages from this wonderful tome highlighting some of the fashions from the period.  Enjoy.

Vintage Scan #23: Pause for Living Booklets

Pause for Living Winter 1961-62_0001

Vintage Scan - Booklets put out by Coca-Cola from the 1950s and 60s called Pause for Living. Sort of an odd title - Pause for living. Really? Not very Carpe Diem sounding. Was Nap for Spirit taken?

These little booklets were put out as Coke propaganda advertising for 50s and 60s housewives. There were no recipes inside (the readers actually voted against having them in one of these issues); they contain only Martha Stewart type ideas for place settings and decoration.

Despite my complete disinterest in decorating ideas, I couldn't help but be entertained by the full color pages of odd looking decor and smiling Stepford Wives.

Pause for Living Summer 1961

Vintage Style #28: Beauty Salon & Barber Shop

Ah, yes.  A class full of eager beauty school graduates ready to make their mark upon the world. In the 1960's, the salon was the headquarters for the suburban mom; it was the gossip hub and bored housewife central.  Women had to be well manicured and those sixties hairdos required a lot of tender loving care.

By the 1980's, most women had gone to work, and the once bustling beauty salon had become deserted.  Women still needed their hair worked on, but the community aspect of it was no longer there. Many gave way to big name chains (a la Supercuts) or become high-end salons for the well-to-do.  Either way, the beauty parlor wasn't what it used to be.

But what about the period in-between? The 1970's. This was the Golden Age of the hair salon....


Vintage Men's Mags #25: Men Only Ads

Half the fun of reading these old men's magazines are the amazing ads.  In the back of every one of these rags, from Rogue to Cavalier, were tons of little adult oriented advertisements.  It's just like in comic books, but instead of Sea Monkeys and X-Ray Specs, you've got stag films and dirty records.

You might wonder while looking at these, "Who in their right mind would pay money for this junk?"  But you need to remember that this is decades before the internet, VHS, Cinemax, DVDs, or Pay Per View. In fact, most towns would never dream of showing a movie with even a hint of skin, and strip clubs were mostly for the big cities.  So, what was a guy to do if he got a hankering for something not-so-family-friendly?  That's right.  He bought a magazine.... and, if the mood struck him, he'd drop an envelope in the mailbox and order up a stag film for his viewing pleasure.

So, for your viewing pleasure, I've ordered up a bunch of ads from old men's mags. Enjoy.


Vintage Scan #22: Ten Things to Never Tell a Boy

(taken from a 1971 Girls' Romances comic book)

Each male on this earth is different - that's what makes life so much fun, right? But there are a few things all men have in common from ages five to ninety·five... like masculine pride, a need to feel important and special, a desire to be independent. If you send  out negative vibes about these things, men will pick them up quicker than anyone else... and put you down! You don't want that to happen..Yon want his image of you to be one of kindness, loveliness. charm. This super image is going to come as·much from what you don't say as what you do say. So get hip to when to keep your pretty lips sealed...

1. Never tell a man he's weak, This doesn't mean you have to rave all the time about how strong he is besides not even Superman is at his best 100% of the time! Just cut out the belittling remarks.

2. Never tell a man he's dumb, or that you always know more than he does. He just won't be impressed, and he'll probably be scared, There are probably areas you are·more of an expert in than be is, and vice versa so why put him down? But keep in mind that not many boys dig the dumb-broad act these days.


Needlework-a-Go Go #27: Strange Yarn Indeed

Unlike Rosie Greer, Sergio Aragones, Artie Johnson and other self-proclaimed male knitters, I have yet to attempt the fine art of needlecraft.  Thus, my knowledge is a bit lacking, especially when it comes to the terminology of some of the crazy clothing to come out of the seventies.  So, bear with me.

One thing is for certain, there arose a fashion trend which defied category. Sometimes it looked less like an article of clothing than it did a pot holder.  I've seen it referred to as "shrink tops" and "body huggers".  Basically, they were yarn creations that the terms "shirt" or "sweater" did not do justice. Often composed of granny squares, and sometimes they  looked like a child's pair of overalls - but meant to be worn by adults.

"WTF" you say? Well, carry on, dear reader, and perhaps all will be clear.... or perhaps even more confused.  Retrospace is in dire need of an expert on this subject.


Comic Books #42: Wha-?

What else are you going to say when someone presents you with The Giant Zombie of Zaku?  I can think of a few choice words that wouldn't have been appropriate for a 1950s comic book. Let's face it, when you're censored, "Wha-?" sounds a helluva lot better than 'G-Good Greef!" C'mon man, a freaking humongous zombie is about to straight up murder your ass, and you're sounding like Charlie Brown!

Not so long ago, I published a post on the repeated use of "AIEEE!" in comic books.  Well, this another trope that just can't be overlooked - and one that has largely gone by the wayside, but nevertheless deserves a mention.

You can catch Hubert J. Farnsworth on Futurama utter this once ubiquitous vocalization of confusion and surprise.  Perhaps it could be considered the great-granddaddy of "WTF?" My personal favorite is the blubbering idiot version that you'd sometimes find in movies and TV: "Wh-wh-wh-wh-what?" - but rarely found in the pages of a comic book.

So, let's check a few examples of "Wha- from some old school comics. Enjoy!


Ads #49

Hey, look, ladies! Chicks from all walks of life are using Playtex tampons. Stewardesses, housewives, college babes, smoking hot models, sexy nurses, gorgeous secretaries, and even that sexy number next door are using Playtex - so, shouldn't you be?

In all seriousness, this advertisement is remarkable in that it attempts to illustrate a cross section of all women, and yet it seems, by today's standards, comically chaevenistic in its narrow view.  I love it.  I guess they didn't have room to include waitresses or go-go dancers.

Mini Skirt Monday #114: Kelly Bundy

Quite frankly, I wouldn't be doing my job as custodian of Miniskirt Monday if I didn't have a post honoring one of the greatest miniskirt wearers in TV history - Kelly Bundy (Christina Applegate).  For years, Kelly strutted her minis with consistency and an exultation of spirit the miniskirt deserves.

Married.... with Children was the perfect answer to shows like Growing Pains and The Cosby Show where everyone was happy, wealthy and wearing nice new sweaters. Rosanne was the only voice in the wilderness during the eighties with a hint of reality. But Married.... with Children wasn't necessarily striving for realism,  - it was a sucker punch to Cosby and his ilk.

Even so, Married.... with Children was a lot more close to reality than The Hogan Family or Full House could ever hope to be.  The dad was unhappy in his low wage job (imagine that!) and the marital bliss had long since faded (unlike Heathcliff and Claire Huxtable who couldn't keep their horny paws off each other). And even better, the son was a sexual deviant and the daughter was a slut - and they were proud of it.

But I digress.  This is a post about miniskirts, of which Married... with Children fulfilled their quota each and every episode year after year.  Kelly Bundy rocked the mini like nobody's business, and more than earned her place in the Miniskirt Hall of Fame.  So, here's a truck load of Kelly for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy.


Retrospace Mix Tape #23: Sounds of Sci-Fi


Artist Title         Year
Meco Star Wars Theme-Cantina Band 1977
Utopia Cosmic Convoy 1976
Fabulous Poodles Bionic Man 1979
Max Webster Moon Voices 1979
The Temptations 1990 1973
Jefferson Starship Hyperdrive 1974
Frank Zappa Cosmik Debris 1974
Mick Softley Time Machine 1970
Frankie Avalon Venus (Disco Version) 1976
The Space Walkers Apollo 9 1969
Barry Manilow Star Children 1973
Deodato Theme From Star Trek 1976
Good Rats Victory In Space 1978
Juicy Lucy Future Days 1971
Neil Young Computer Age 1983
Stackridge Purple Spaceships over Yatton 1972


The Space Walkers - Apollo 9

Deodato - Theme from Star Trek

Neil Young - Computer Age


Retrospace Needs Help

I really hate asking for donations - the beauty of the blog is that it is free.  If I want to pay to read something, I'll buy a book or a magazine.  I repeat: blog = free.

That being said, it's unfortunately not free on my end.  I have to pay for the file sharing space, the image hosting, the equipment to scan material, and the vintage material itself. I don't expect you to feel sorry for me - there's no gun to my head to do this.  I do it because I love it.  This is a hobby and I could quit at any time.

The advertising in the sidebar does help with costs.  However, I never wanted Retrospace to turn into a legitimate business, so I don't actively pursue advertisers (and Google Ads are pitiful to say the least).  I'd rather spend my time creating new material than marketing this thing. Subsequently, I've been having to come out of pocket a good bit lately.  It's a price I'm willing to pay to do something I love...... however, there comes a point where you ask yourself if it's worth it.

I started doing this in the summer of 2008, and I've been consistently posting ever since.  A lot of effort goes into this stuff - I don't even want to think how much time I've invested in this blog. It's been a labor of love in every sense of the word - and the thousands of comments and emails I receive has made it that much more rewarding. The fact that literally millions of people have taken the time to rea

So, I'm going to leave this post up for a couple days and give you folks an opportunity to put a few bucks in the tip jar.  Perhaps, with your help, we can put some more gas back in this hot rod and cruise for a couple more years.  Thanks in advance.


Music Lists #16: 160 Sinfully Underplayed Songs

As usual, before I launch into my playlist of sinfully underplayed songs, let me set forward an explanation and a few notes.

A) The purpose for sharing this playlist is to present to you some titles that you may not have heard of.  A list which contained nothing but songs like "Stairway to Heaven" and "Hotel California" would be a total waste of our time. I don't know about you, but I'm always looking for good music I've not heard before, or perhaps forgotten about.  Not to say every track here will be unheard of - judging by the comments Retrospace gets, many of you are professional musicologists.  I wouldn't presume that these are new to you at all - suffice it to say, most of these songs aren't in heavy rotation on your average oldies or classic rock radio stations.

B) You'll note that I've ventured outside my usual domain and included a few songs released after the 1980s. Why? Just for the hell of it.

C) This is by no means a comprehensive list of every underplayed song - that would take months to write.  But it should get you started. You can finally delete that tired old Styx's Greatest Hits and fill your iPod up with nice new stuff.

D) I'd love to provide a mp3 of each of these songs, but (1) most of these are still for sale and (2) I don't feel like having Lars Ulrich murder my whole family (or whatever they do to copyright violators these days). BTW Lars' net worth is $175 million.

E) One final note: Every music magazine has at one time or another made a list of "greatest songs".  Unlike those lists, however, this one isn't crap.

Let the list begin!


Miniskirt Monday #113: Pancakes

Okay, I've done three Pancake Posts, each of which has done extremely well (disturbingly so, in fact).  And, in case you didn't know, "pancake" is code for "sex" or any dirty iteration of it.  To illustrate Pancake Posts, I use vintage pictures that depict individuals dangerously close to shagging.  Yes, these pictures are often culled from illicit reading material.... and yes, these are a whole lot of fun.

It was only a matter of time before the Pancake Posts and the Miniskirt Monday Posts were married into the perfect union of miniskirts 'n' pancakes. Enjoy!


Food & Drink #17

Sweet, sweet Lord.  This cannot be what I think it is (rubbing eyes) - a piece of bread with an inch thick layer of yellow-orange "cheese" spread.  There's only a two scenarios where eating this is acceptable: (1) You are on Fear Factor and may win lots of money by eating it, or (2) You are in the midst of a zombie holocaust.... because, at that point, f**k it.


Comic Books #41: Campus Loves 1950

I'm  a sucker for those old romance comics. It's not because I'm an old softy, it's because I'm jaded, sardonic, and cynical.  These things crack me up for all the wrong reasons.  The moral lessons laid out in these comic books seem almost like they're from another planet.  But, believe it or not, they were gobbled up by young girls and easily stacked up against the superhero, horror and action comics of the day.

I'd like to look at one in particular today, but I can assure there'll be many more to come.  This one is a story called "They Said I Was Fast" in Campus Loves #2 (1950).  You can tell immediately where the story is headed from the initial panel, but I'll bet you can't guess where it winds up.


Miniskirt Monday #112: Couples

Perhaps it's just a testament to the transcendental power of the miniskirt, but it would appear that the females in these photos have a leg up (pardon the pun) on their male partners.  Certainly not in every case, but it sure seems like there's a mismatch in a lot of these photographs, where the goofy guy should be thanking his lucky stars to be standing where he's standing.

Don't get me wrong.  This isn't a case where every girl is a stone cold fox and every guy is an unworthy nerd.  I'm just saying that, taken as a whole, there's a pattern here.  Tell me what you think.


Magazines #34: Screen and TV Album (March 1978)

Ready to take a trip back in time decades before Paris Hilton and Lindsey Lohan grabbed all the headlines of the entertainment tabloids? The names have changed, but the subject matter is the same: celebrity gossip based on here-say and half-truths with a pinch of straight out lies. The content seems a little less sleazy, but, as you'll see, the ads are a lot filthier than anything you'd find in a grocery store checkout line today. So, enjoy a selection of articles and ads from Screen and TV Album from March 1978.

Saturday Morning TV #6: Comic Book Ads

There's a certain feeling you get when you are abruptly confronted with a memory that you haven't thought about for a long, long time.   Certain things get lost to the deep recesses of the brain - they were either too brief or benign to warrant keeping a handle on.  These thoughts, smells, or images aren't necessarily eradicated, just buried under an ever growing sediment of new memories...... and then, out of nowhere, a trigger comes along and plucks it free.

Such is the case with the cartoon advertisement above. I can honestly say I haven't had a second thought about Pandemonium and Meatballs & Spaghetti since they went off the air.... and yet here they are in my face once again. They were pretty horrible cartoons, so I'm not sure I'm grateful for the recollection.


Vinyl Dynamite #38: In the Moog

My favorite moog moments would have to be "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" by The Beatles, "Daily Nightly" by The Monkees, and the Beethoven stuff from A Clockwork Orange.  These standouts aside, there was a lot of good mooging going on in the sixties and seventies.  In this post, I've got some wicked moogs for your listening pleasure that you may have not heard before.

I don't know about you, but I love the moog.  There's something about it - it can sound lonely and somewhat creepy, but then it can also be fun. There's a cheesy Commodore 64 vibe, but at the same time it doesn't sound out of place in a dead serious acid house track. But who really knows why we like the sounds we do - even the great George Martin struggled to answer this question.  The fact is, the moog can be damn pleasing to the ear, and here's some of my favorite off-the-beaten-path samples.

Martin Denny - Midnight Cowboy

The Midnight Cowboy theme is haunting enough; but, when done by the soulless moog, it's even more despairing.

Claude Dejean - Sugar, Sugar

This 1970 ditty is pretty sub-standard; however, it does have its moments - especially in the "when I kiss your lips" segments.  Plus, it tries out a variety of moog sounds through the course of the song - so, points for effort.

Fred Wesley and the JBs - Blow Your Head

Wesley could drop some serious funk back in the seventies (heading up James Brown's band).  When he got a hold of a moog in the early seventies, he made it his bitch and put out some dirty booger nose funk the likes of which the world had never seen.

Perrey & Kingsley - Computers in Love

In the sixties, you had a lot of stuff like this meant exclusively for that swingin' bachelor pad royale. Hi-Fidelity space-age coolness, baby.  Groovy.

Rudy Ray Moore - Moog Interlude (The Human Tornado Soundtrack)

The song actually sucks, but earns a spot because its a moog song in a blaxsploitation movie - and that's gotta count for something.

Ken & the New Establishment - Soul Moog

This 1973 track has an uber-cool reggae vibe.  This is exactly what a VIC-20 would sound like if it smoked weed.


Understanding Human Behavior #3

It's to delve into another volume of the greatest series of textbooks ever created by mankind.  You can tell by the cover we're not dealing with your average dry schoolbook here..... no, every page is a wild and twisted adventure.  This time we're looking at volume 3, which covers everything from exorcisms to impotency.  Buckle up.

The first chapter is titled "The Secretary":
We all know the "perfect secretary." She is, after all, easily recognized - a pleasant efficient and attractive woman.  But do we know what makes her what she is? Why, for instance, is she almost invariably single? Why is she content to remain in the background? And why does she find it impossible to establish a meaningful sexual relationship?
Naturally, this book doesn't come close to answering these questions adequately.  Not to mention the fact that the questions are ridiculous to begin with.  It doesn't matter, though - this book isn't worried about pesky facts or analyses.... it's just tryin' to be a groovy read.