Foxy Ladies #21: Beauty Queens, Pageant Ladies

I don't care about Miss America.  I could give a damn about Miss Universe.  What I wanna see is Miss Magnolia State, or even better: Miss Pierce County or Miss Wilcox Agricultural Fair.  In this post, we're looking at snapshots of beauty queen contestants and winners from pageants off the beaten path.

The pageantry has been soiled in recent years via scandals, overbearing mothers, reality shows, and twisted toddler exhibitions.  So, we're taking a step back to a time before things got tainted, to places such as Grand Openings and Ground Breaking Ceremonies where there was always a "Miss Something-or-other" in attendance. And I know there's whole sites devoted to these vintage queens - a single post with a handful of photos hardly does the subject justice.  So, let's just say this is the first of many to come. Enjoy.

Teen Magazines #3: Teen Talk (March 1985)

His name is Ralph Macchio, not Maccio.  But I'll overlook the misspelling when the pop culture nostalgia is this good.  This mag really hits me in my wheelhouse, delivering the year of 1985 as I knew it perfectly condensed into one magazine.  I saw Purple Rain in the theaters and listened to the record endlessly; I played Huey Lewis on my new boombox, and Duran Duran were freaking everywhere.


Trivia Newton-John #21: Win a Canvas Movie Poster!

Well, it's been over a year since our last Trivia Newton-John contest.  I attribute its hiatus to my own laziness as these contests take a lot more time than your average post.  But, it's been a while and we've got a lot more readers than before, so I must admit I'm curious how things'll go with tens of thousands of readers.

The folks at iCanvasArt.com have decided to provide the prize for the winner.  Their place is literally bursting at the seams with cool stuff for retrophiles like myself.  I encourage you to pay them a visit - by doing so you are not only increasing the chances for there to be future contests, you also might just fall in love with some vintage art!

Visit their Facebook page as well.

Go there now.  God's speed.

Okay, so what do you get if you win? You get a 27" x 19" Reform Girl movie poster valued at $191.98 with free shipping. It's no ordinary poster: it's stretched canvas, stapled on a wood frame and ready to be displayed right out of the box. Tell me this won't look damn good on a wall.  Daddy like.

Below are 16 movie posters - all of them have been cropped and the movie's titles have been changed. Your job, if you accept this challenge, is to determine the correct movie titles.

1. The titles must be in English
2. The winner will be the first to get them all correct; if no one can get them all correct by the end of the week, I will award the first person who got the most correct.
3.  Send your answers to me at 123rerun@gmail.com. You can provide all the help and answers you like in a comment, but the winner will be chosen from an email submission.
5. Number your answers 1 - 16.

On your mark, get set,.... GO!


Tech #16: Telephone Talk

Growing up, we had two telephones: one Harvest Yellow, the other Olive Green. They were rotary and you were tied to a short cord. No call waiting, no caller ID, no cordless, no free long distance,… nada.

I say all this not to inspire pity, but to put things in perspective compared to today. Now we are intimately linked to our phones…. er, excuse me – mobile devices. These things have become a necessity for most jobs, and most people wouldn’t dream of even a trip to the grocery store without one. Whether we have become shackled to them or that our lives are enhanced by them is up for debate. I would wager that most adults would say we are shackled.

Anyway, no matter how jaded you are towards “smart phones” (hate that term for some reason), you have to admit the cell phone has brought a lot of positive changes…


Comic Books #45: Hostess Heroes

The greatest pairing of paper media and advertiser has to be the comic book and Hostess junk food. Superheroes selling Twinkies?.... Are you kidding me? It doesn't get any better than that.  Not since the Marlborough Man was united with the cancer stick has there been a better pair-up.  The only possible explanation is that Don Draper really existed and he came up with this.

True, superheroes have been shilling junk food since the Tootsie Roll, but there was something magical about the 1-2-punch of the Hostess ads.  Perhaps I'm biased because I was in its prime target demographic, so I was completely brainwashed.  Like Pavlov's dogs, I salivated on command for the sweet, sweet ambrosia within each fruit pie, Twinkie and cupcake.

Part of the appeal, of course, was that the ads were formatted to look like a real comic book page. This was done with marvelous perfection for tobacco products (see previous post), but those didn't involve superheroes.  If they'd used Captain Marvel to sell Doral cigarettes, they would've made a killing.

Anyway, here's a few ads featuring superheroes hawking Hostess junk food.  Enjoy.


Fads #21: There Is No Fashion

"Today, there is no fashion, really. There are just . . . choices. Women dress today to reveal their personalities. They used to reveal the designer's personality. Until the 70s, women listened to designers. Now women want to do it their own way. There are no boundaries. And without boundaries, there is no fashion." 
- by Oscar de la Renta in 2002
I've said this same thing on Retrospace for years - each decade has a very distinctive, recognizable fashion identity.  However, as the 90s wore on, it started to become apparent that hallmark styles were becoming extinct.  Sure, you had an easily identifiable "grunge" look for a few years - but, overall, fashion as we knew was going extinct.


Mini Skirt Monday #121: Minis 'n' Stairs

Yes, it is entirely possible that in an attempt to maintain the Miniskirt Monday theme, we may one day have Minis 'n" Pudding or Minis 'n' Double Decker Buses.  God forbid I just throw at you a random assortment of miniskirts without a cohesive theme!

Well, miniskirts and stairs (or just steps) seemed as good a theme as any.  Of course, stairs were once the young man's best friend.  Combine short dresses with a view from below and it was almost too much for a hormonally charged adolescent to handle.

Sadly, I can't provide a post full of miniskirted gals going up stairs from a "pervert's eye view"; these will have to suffice.  Enjoy.


Album Covers #21: Vinyl Español (Part Three)

I must admit, the sugary sweet "I'm Into Something Good" doesn't seem a good fit for the serious looking Therapy.  They should be covering songs from Godspell and Jonathan Livingston Seagull not Herman's Hermits.

Here's another round of great Spanish album  and single covers for your viewing pleasure.  Enjoy.  I look forward to your comments.


Album Covers #20: Vinyl Español (Part Two)

(Note: Vinyl Español Part One post located here)

It boggles the mind how social media and the blogosphere (still hate that word, but there's been no better substitute) has changed the nostalgia landscape in just a few years.  I clearly remember in 2007 being blown away by a book on bad album art (see ad at the end of this post - the book is now out of print).  Sure, I was aware of some odd covers, even in my own collection.  However, this was a revelation.... there was a whole world of INSANE covers out there that I hadn't even begun to scratch the surface of!

Fast forward nearly six years, and many of those bad covers have become downright iconic.  The Joyce LP has probably been seen by more eyes than a Radiohead album cover. In other words, an interesting cover is no longer hidden in a little book or still covered in dust in an attic.  It's been scanned and shared with the world through Facebook, Tumblr, and blogs.

So what's the point of me saying this? Well, now when I find a cool album at a flea market or yard sale, it's inevitably one that I've seen a hundred times on the interwebs.  Finding an LP that is new to my eyes has become something of a difficult task.  Thus, I've spent some time recently concentrating on foreign records via flea market finds and deep within the rarely explored recesses of the web.

So, here's some of what I've come up with.  Some interesting, some not so much. All of the ones in this post are from Spain. I hope you enjoy looking at these album and singles covers as much as I did finding them.


Vintage Style #31: Fashion Spreads

Fashion magazines aren't my favorite source of imagery since they rarely show anything people actually wore.  I'd rather look at a yearbook or Sears catalog and stroll down memory lane than look through an old Cosmo for outfits that were never worn off the catwalk.

That being said, it still can be fun to check out some of the wonderfully over-the-top attire in these fashion spreads.  And sometimes it's not so much the styles as it is the creative photography that makes it interesting....

Vintage Reads #37:Old-School Paperback Covers

Finger Man.  I know it has an outdated connotation, but it still sounds dirty.... or like the worst superhero ever.  And why does the guy in the visor look like he's mid-climax?... could it be (dramatic music) the Finger Man?

"She was blond enough to make a bishop kick a hole through a stained-glass window."
- Raymond Chandler

Also, the text at the top of the cover clearly says a "redhead"; she's blonde.  Did no one catch this? This bothers me. Perhaps, I've just spent way too much time looking at book covers and I'm cranky.  

Well, get set for some old school paperback covers with corresponding snarkiness.  Proceed with caution. 


Catalogs #21: Parker Brothers Games 1972

Before video games, before the Internet, before cable..... there were board games.  And I must admit, I fashioned myself quite the gamer back in the day.  I could go three rounds of Battleship, a full hour of Rock'em Sock'em Robots, and finish up with back to back games of Stratego and Perfection and not break a sweat.  Yeah - that's just the kinda hardcore playa I was.

But even I don't recognize some of the games contained in this 1972 Parker Games catalog.  Perhaps some of you can refresh my memory.  Let's have a look...

Comic Books #44: TV Comic Sharity

Here's another round of free stuff for your reading pleasure.  Some of you have said that you don't like the CBR or CBZ file format; however, I'm still using it.  Unless you plan on printing them out, there's no better way to view comics on your computer or smartphone and the software is free (I recommend)

The CBR or CBZ extensions are nothing more than an a comic lover's RAR file.  You can actually rename the files with the RAR extension and it doesn't screw anything up.... then you can just unzip it.  It sounds complicated, but it's not. I'm assuming any of you that would be interested in downloading old comics are well familiar with these file formats........ and you're probably really bored reading this.  So, on with the TV show comics!


Mini Skirt Monday #120: 1980s Fashion Mags

Without question the high water mark for the miniskirt was the early 1970s in the US, and a bit earlier in Europe and college campuses. However, that's not to say the mini never experienced popularity in the subsequent years. The mid-80s had its fair share of short skirts.

So, while I prefer the 70s mini, here's a bunch of mid-to-late-80s minis. And while I prefer amateur photography, these are all professional photographs from magazines and catalogs. Preferences aside, these are still minis. And "miniskirt" = "good" any way you slice it. Enjoy. 


Vinyl Dynamite #42: Yugoslav-a-go go (Part 2)

Well, you begged for more, so here it is: another round of Yugoslavian music! Enjoy!

Okay, truth is no one begged for more.  In fact, some begged for it to stop.   Well, most people don't like beer or coffee the first time they taste it; so, I'm here to give you one more glass. Trust me, dear readers.  I know what's good for you.  Clinical tests have shown 70s Yugoslavian music will make you live longer and improve your sex life.

Okay, that last sentence was a total lie.  Just listen to the records, please.


Vinyl Dynamite #41: Yugoslav-a-go go (Part 1)

If the thought ever crosses your mind that I'll run out of topics on Retrospace, just remember this post on vintage Yugoslavian music. As long as it's pop culture and from the 60s-80s, it's fair game.  I am glad that there are so many of you out there that appreciate your vintage posts a bit off the beaten track.  I mean I could sit here and talk about Led Zep or Pink Floyd all day long, but that stuff gets old.  Let's unearth some pop culture artifacts instead.

Well, you can't veer much more off the mainstream than a two part post on Yugoslavian music of the seventies. It wasn't exactly a musical mecca like Liverpool, Motown or Seattle - not to mention the country no longer even exists. So, let's dive right in and try some obscure tracks that are just begging for you take a listen. You might be surprised as some of these are not half bad. Enjoy!


Pancakes #4: Come Right In!

In pancake posts of the past we've dwelt on the action taking place literally seconds before pancake making.  Today, we're looking at the first step in the process - the grand entry.  What's beautiful about these photos (besides the killer styles and decor) is that you can literally tell that pancakes are on the menu - and the people have just entered the room!  I mean, these people have barely introduced themselves and it's already painfully obvious that pancakes will be made.  Dirty, sweaty, filthy pancakes.


Needlework A-Go Go #28: Shawlapalooza

If you ever catch yourself wondering if Retrospace will ever run out of ideas for posts, just remember that I'm doing a post on shawls.  That's right - shawls - from the Greek word meaning "easier to knit than sweaters".

Yes, shawls had the benefit of being considered both stylish and not too terribly difficult to create.  Indeed, a shawl is more-or-less a big scarf, and everybody knows you start with the scarf when you learn to crochet, macrame and knit.

So, enjoy a heaping helping of shawls posted for your viewing pleasure, but, please, if a particular image doesn't quite meet the requirements of a "shawl" and leans more toward "cape", "poncho" or "afghan", refrain from pointing this out.  Let's just say these are all shawls or "shawl-like" creations. Now, commence commenting.


The Boob Tube #31: Streaming Rerun Deficiency

I want to watch every episode of SCTV right now streaming to my television set! And while you're at it, I want to watch Fridays as well!
Streaming Rerun Deficiency (SRD): it's a serious condition, folks. And we all have it.

But let me back up a bit and present you with a moderately interesting fact about Retrospace: the very first post I wrote was a short bitch session about how I can’t watch reruns of the shows I love. You could almost say it was the impetus for forming this blog – I simply had to have an avenue to whine about this. And since I don’t have my own talk radio show and everyone I know personally could give two shits about reruns, I decided to learn how to blog.

Side Note: To be completely accurate, my very first blog post was on Geocities (remember that?) in early 2008, but quickly abandoned. In that post I was bemoaning the sad state of popular music. I think two people read it.

What’s troubling is that, four years later, I still have plenty to bitch about when it comes to watching reruns. In the Information Age, four years is a long time when you’re talking about digital media. But, alas, I’m still stuck with slim offerings. I’m sorry but George Lopez reruns on Nick at Nite do not count.


Vinyl Dynamite #40: Homemade Album Art

"Bustin' Out for Rosie" by Tommy Bolin (1976)

Like the album art above? Well, it's completely of my own design.  Tommy Bolin didn't even release this song as a single from his album Private Eyes  Sometimes I just like to kill time screwing around with Photoshop and making my own album art.

Don't judge me.

Anyway, I thought that I'd share a few of them with you rather than keep this rich bounty all to myself. I tried to stick to a theme: songs with girls' names in the title. From my end, I can tell exactly how many of you folks download and play these things, so if it's at least semi-popular (meaning just a few thousand downloads), I'll post more. I just never know with you people.


Retro Film Report #19: Love at Stake (1987)

Love at Stake (1987)

A surprisingly ribald comedy set during the Salem witch trials. Many may remember this from its heavy rotation on USA's Up All Night with Rhonda Shear. It tries valiantly to be like Monty Python but doesn't quite get there. That being said, there are worse ways to kill time than watching an hour an a half of Barbara Carrera's cleavage.

While it isn't bound to become anyone's undiscovered comedy masterpiece, it still fits nicely within the Hot Shots, Top Secret, Naked Gun, Mel Brooks genre, reveling in its own glorious stupidity. Even the most ridiculously self-important movie-snobs will find themselves laughing in spite of themselves.

Mini Skirt Monday #119: Miniskirts Are Bad!

I find it fascinating how the miniskirt has continued to collide with the establishment over the decades. For some reason the mini is terrifying and threatening to large groups of our global population. It would seem that the simple act of hiking up a hemline a few inches throws the world into an absolute tizzy. The negative press varies from patronizing judgement to rabid condemnation. Let's look at a few, shall we?

The Free Lance Star - Aug. 8, 1967

Johannesburg, South Africa - Thousands of Natal Province miniskirted girls face jail because an 1880 law has never been repealed.

"I never know whether a policeman is looking at my knee or deciding whether I should be thrown in jail," wailed one teenager wearing a dress about four inches above the knee.


Ads #52: Hair Products

I actually remember this product - probably due to its insane name: "Psssssst" (give or take an "s").  Off the cuff, I can't think of any other onomatopoeia brand names (although, isn't there a cleaning product called "Kablam"?) - so that earns it some sort of historic cred.

However, I think the main interest here isn't the name, but the fact that it's an "instant shampoo".  I hope users of this product realized they weren't actually cleaning their hair, just spraying a Febreze type scent to mask the dirty hair odor. Yecch.  A realistic ad would have had the girls hair getting flatter and greasier as the week wore on.


Viva VHS #7: Post-Apocalyptic Cover Art

This 1983 VHS cover would fit nicely in with the "Star Wars pose" as detailed in Artful Conceptions #10.  A totally awesome piece of art that fulfills all its obligations as cover art: it makes me want to watch this movie even though I know it's probably going to be horrible.

Movie posters, album covers, and book cover illustrations get a lot of attention in the retroverse, as well they should.  However, I think it's time that VHS box art is paid its due respect. So, consider this the first of many posts paying homage to the underrated artistry of the video cassette box cover.

The VHS era was big into dystopian post-apocalyptic movies (i.e. Mad Max, Escape from New York), and the low budget studios were only too quick to follow suite.... on the cheap.  So, we'll focus on those this time around.  By no means is this a comprehensive catalog of the genre, but it's a start.


Vintage Men's Mags #26: Awesome Girly Magazine Headlines

If "Nicky the Skin Eater", "Sex Slaves for Sale" or "Wet Magic of Joyce" are headlines that grab your interest, then this may be your kind of post.  It became a laughable cliche to claim you read girly magazines "for the articles".... yet, some of these headlines almost make me want to skip the pictures!

Basically, I consider a headline interesting if it has any of these three qualities:
1. It is ridiculously excessive in its attempt to be lurid or shocking
2. It is so peculiar that it arouses curiosity
3. It attempts to be scandalous, but is hilariously outmoded

Let me know which of these are your favorites, or recall one not on the list.  As usual, click on the images to enlarge.  Enjoy!


Send Me Your Stuff!

Do you have an old magazine or faded photograph that you'd love to share with twenty thousand people a day? This is your chance.

Sure, I've essentially got a museum full of junk treasures that still haven't been put up on Retrospace, but I still want your stuff.  I know some of you have a goldmine of old crap that is just dying to see the light of day.  If you have an old magazine or just an image that you think would fit well on Retrospace, I'd love to include it on this site!

Send your stuff to 123rerun@gmail.com

Please take note of the following:
  1. I may not be able to post your stuff for a couple months; so, no worries if you don't see your material posted on Retrospace the very next day.
  2. I will give you credit with a back link
  3. If you would like to mail it to me, contact me and I will send you my mailing address.  Even if it's a giant crate of decaying TV Guides, I'll take it.
  4. Please make sure the image is of decent size - no thumbnail images, please.  I like 'em big.
  5. Please don't be offended if your stuff is not used.  There's no way I can post everything.
  6. Please bear in mind the general nature of Retrospace to ensure that it will fit on this blog
  7. All Retrospace content is taken from material no later than 1989. >Some content can be earlier than 1960, but most material is from the 60s, 70s, and 80s, with an emphasis on the Glorious Seventies.

Some examples of what to send...

  • A humorous ad you found in a comic book.
  • A particularly cheesy album cover and a track you ripped from it
  • Some interesting screen caps from an obscure film
  • A bunch of magazine covers 
  • A hilarious or risque found photo

You get the idea.  On your mark, get set, SEND ME YOUR STUFF!!


Cinema #24: Marquees & More (Part 2)

Ahhhh. It does my heart good to look at these old marquees.  There wasn't THX sound and stadium seating, and the projectors didn't provide the greatest resolution in the world.... but then, we weren't obsessed about how high tech our movies were..... and if it sucked, you were only out a few quarters.  Nowadays, for the amount of money I shell out, you're goddamn right it better be crystal clear and nobody better talk and ruin my "experience".

I love this picture of the Possession of Joel Delaney marquee, nestled comfortably next to a Woolworth.   If I'm not mistaken, the Tape City (?) was a "record and pre-recorded tape store".  It was too early for VHS - The Possession of Joel Delaney came out in 1972.  Somebody help me here.


Vintage Style #30: 1980 Cosmo

This is a scan from a July 1980 Cosmopolitan magazine. [click here to see extra large detail scan]  Leave it to Cosmo to have the girls in wide open shirts for a piece about hair.... not that I'm complaining.

Say what you will about the eighties - they definitely were creative with the hair.  So much of the seventies was spent with the straight-sleek look predominating - really not much in the way of style.  Sure, you had your wedge and shag, but it wasn't till the end of the decade that things really took off (thank you Farrah).