Mini Skirt Monday #127: Minis on Campus (Part 5)

We've talked before about the prevalence of the miniskirt in our Nation's schools during the early seventies - and how distracting it must have been around the "poor" male students (note the quotation marks).  We've also discussed how the male teachers must have had to douse themselves with cold water after each class.  Times were tough back then.

Well, the last post on the subject was back in August 2011; so we're due for another.  All I ask is that, as you look at these photographs, you say a silent prayer for those male students and teachers who had to live through this very testing time.  I was but a young lad and immune to their struggle.  Posting images of the hardships they had to endure is the least I can do.


Vintage Style #33: Big, Big Hair

The Annual Fooshba Award
It wasn't that long ago (April '11) that we talked about big hair. Yet, I feel a hankering for another round.  There's just nothing better than those big domes of hair, oftentimes appearing to defy gravity with vast curls spiraling into the upper reaches of the atmosphere.  The decades of the sixties and seventies were home to mighty swaths of hair curled and folded upon itself beyond reason and wigs that needed shanks of rebar to maintain their girth.

So what happened to the big hair? Well, it certainly has never completely gone by the wayside.  Indeed, the eighties had its fair share of hairsprayed cranial monuments.  But it gradually became looked upon as tacky non professional. “Today’s Woman” simply doesn’t presume the feminine vanity of gargantuan hair styles.  She’s got better things to do, dammit.


Catalogs #24: Victoria's Secret 1982

Just over a year ago, I posted pages from the 1979 Victoria's Secret Catalog.  Next thing you know, the UK Daily Mail and various other big time news sites were linking to it.  It was kind of troubling to see some rather well known sites simply re-post the pictures without so much as a backlink to Retrospace.  But that's neither here nor there.  I don't own the rights to the pictures.  It's just an issue of etiquette.

Here's what some of these sites had to say....

Something called Retro Space unearthed a 32-year-old Victoria’s Secret catalog which is NOTHING like the current incarnation, most notably because it features un-airbrushed women without overinflated lips and breast implants and twenty-five pounds of hair extensions. The Daily Mail says:

"Unlike the marketing imagery we see today, the ’79 cast of models have uneven skin tones, slight love handles and even sagging breasts.Muscle lines – which would normally be softened – are prominent, waists are not carved away, and tan lines, nipples and even pubic hair are visible."

It’s so nice to see a real woman. Today’s Angels look more like the cloners on Kamino than anything that could actually bear children. And that’s what it’s ultimately all about, isn’t it? It just never sounds as sexy when you frame it along the lines of the biological imperative.

So, here's the 1982 Victoria's Secret Catalog. Enjoy.


Vintage Men's Mags #28: More Sharity

Again, just 'cause I love ya, here's another round of free magazines for your reading pleasure.  I like to include a page or two from the rag just so you can kinda see what you're getting beforehand.  Enjoy!


Comic Books #48: Lone Eagle

If you are a fan of low-brow vintage art, you can't do much better than old school Spanish language comics.  Much like the American pulps, these things were often beautifully rendered depictions of sexually infused violence.  Like the grindhouse posters of the seventies and the drive-in movie posters of the fifties and sixties, they served one purpose: do whatever it takes to get your audience to shell out some cash, whether it be titillate or inspire morbid curiosity.  Appeal to the primal regions of the male brain before his left hemisphere takes over with its pesky logic.

Anyway, let's start with Aguila Solitaria as our first Mexican comic.  In future posts we'll be looking at a wide variety of other titles.  I think this is as good a place to begin as any...


Vintage Reads #40: Trashy Paperbacks

God knows I've posted my share of trashy paperbacks.  To be fare, though, there are dozens of blogs solely dedicated to the subject.  So, you might say I'm actually pretty sparse with the dirty books.  Plus, these paperbacks aren't just literary detritus unworthy of our time; they're cultural artifacts.  Take for instance the cover above - the counterculture was the subject of many a lurid novel. Just as Paris had been the fantasyland for the male minds of the fifties, the hippie movement also provided lustful appeal to older gents of the sixties.  Both Paris and Haight-Ashbury provided male readers an exotic place without inhibition.  Who wouldn't want to go there?


Mini Skirt Monday #126: Dining

Well, kids, today's theme is "dining" - whether at home or at a restaurant.  It's a smorgasbord of vintage miniskirts to satisfy even the most discerning of palettes. Come for the minis, stay for the snarky comments. Enjoy.


Album Covers #27: Just Add Chicks

I feel sorry for today's musicians. Without vinyl, there's no big canvass to cover your album.... and without this big canvas, there's no room for cheesecake.  At least artists during the cassette and CD days could employ the "sex sells" technique via music videos.  Now artists have no venue for cheesecake. Such a pity.

Minimize it if you like, but hundreds upon of hundreds of artists relied on it to get those damn records sold.  They weren't stupid, nor were their record companies.  If it helped sell records, what was the harm?

Viti Ruiz, for instance (above), is a talented vocalist and brother of the famous salsa extraordinaire Frankie Ruiz.  Viti made the sound business decision to have a chick blow into a trumpet for his LP cover.  Wise man, that Viti.  Of course, Viti Ruiz took the "sex sells" principle to the extreme with his 1993 album Me Tienes Sufriendo.... for images of that, you'll have to look elsewhere, I'm afraid.

Anyway, today we're looking at male artists who appear proudly alongside their smoking hot cheesecake.


Comic Books #47: Spanked!

I'm sure you've heard me complain by now that my most popular post in four straight years of blogging is the one on "spanking". I can still remember throwing it together in the 15 minutes before my lunch break at work. Little did I know, it would exceed by leaps and bounds all my other posts - many of which I've spent hours putting together.

But that's neither here nor there. I'm back with another spank post - and this one I kind of found interesting. Call it a shameless attempt to attract the mojo of the first spank post - but the fact is, spanking in comics is actually a rather fascinating phenomena. Why? Because, once upon a time, it was all over the freaking place!  The number of times you find a good spank in a comic book is something approaching infinity.  There are whole blogs, forums and pages completely devoted to the comic spank. Wow!

So, in my daily effort to bring you the odd and interesting from our collective pop culture past, I couldn't very well leave this topic alone.  It had to be explored.  And explore it we shall...


Retrospace Radio #32: Music for the Maypole

I'll be the first to admit this music isn't for everyone.  So, if you try it and don't like it, no offense taken.  But I will recommend you enter with the right frame of mind.  This ain't Barry Manilow - these are songs that hearken back to Britain's rustic past. But don't think of Irish jigs and the Chieftains.

Let's just say the hippie movement brought about a sort of pastoral appreciation.  Even the Kinks longed for the simple life of ages past.  Pink Floyd sang about Hobbits, The Incredible String band sang about a witch's hat, and a bunch of bands recorded a song about a werefox (Reynardine). If this doesn't clue you in to what kind of music I'm talking about, maybe this podcast will clear it up.

Perhaps if the Beatles had latched onto the trend it would have gained more traction.  The Fab Four were perhaps too entrenched in the smokestacks of Liverpool and Hamburg to really jump on the rustic bandwagon.  Plus, their attempt to escape the urban world via the Maharishi had ended in spectacular failure.

Whatever the case, it was a very interesting moment in pop music history.  And it is interesting to see the various angles it took.  For instance, Kaleidoscope came with a psychedelic twist and Zeppelin brought a hard rock vibe.  Some of this is not easy to swallow, even critics of the day couldn't tolerate Bert Jansch's voice "akin to dirty water finding its way down a partially clogged drain."  Different strokes for different folks.




Tech #19: More Video Game Ads

"So Real It Hurts"

Does it not amaze you that, not too long ago, you could make that claim for a game like this?  I did doodles on my Trapper Keeper that were more realistic than this.  How in the name of all that is holy, could we have thought this was realistic?  That is one thing you can always count on technology to do - it will always make you look like a naive idiot decades later.

You kids who haven't lived long enough to experience the effect, just wait.  You'll look back on how excited you were to get that new Assassin's Creed or HALO game and smack yourself in the forehead for being so easily duped. Games today will look like this crummy football game within the next decade or so.

So, let's get some perspective and look at some vintage video game ads.  I look forward to reading your comments...

Vintage Men's Mags #27: Girly Mag Covers

In case you haven't noticed, I'm big into covers. Whether it be magazine, record or book, I'm all about the cover.  Perhaps it stems from my background as an arteest (I was an art major till I wrongly or rightly changed majors to molecular biology). I can appreciate a good composition - even the title font for the mag above gets me all excited.

Or perhaps my cover appreciation simply comes from my severe ADD; my wife can attest to the fact that I've literally started thousands of books and finished none.  And let's face it, the cover is often the best thing about these old magazines.  Those pulp rags tend to get redundant, but the lurid covers never fail to excite.

Plus, I'm a sucker for some cheesecake.  Call me a prude, but a little cheesecake goes a long way with me. I don't have much interest in the excessively graphic porn magazine covers.  The Fine Art of Cheesecake is lost in the porn magazines and there's no sensationalist headlines to enjoy (see "Sweet Science of Spanking" above).

Anyway, I've got about a thousand old girly magazine cover scans I'm about to upload to my Flickr account.  But before we explore the next batch, I thought I'd put up one more post highlighting the old scans.  Some of these will be repeats, but I'll think you'll agree these deserve a second look.  Enjoy.


Mini Skirt Monday #125: And the Award Goes to...

In my mind, any gal that sports a mini deserves an award.  Alas, only a select few are chosen and even fewer captured on film.  Straight from the Retrospace Archives, I bring to you a collection of miniskirted girls giving and receiving awards. Enjoy.


Vintage Reads #39

The Man with Three Chins: first in a series by Delano Ames followed by The Man with Three Testicles.  Aside from the horrible title, it's actually kind of a cool cover - I dig the different perspectives through the lenses.  Also, have you ever read a book review that put it so plainly? "You'll enjoy the story."


Music Lists #17: Boogie Songs

Putting together the recent episode of Retrospace Radio got me thinking about how many damn songs have boogie in the title. It has its origins in the blues then swing bands. The style and term was used now and again in rock and blues for those repetitive "shuffle rhythm" songs.  However, the disco era really took the word "boogie" and wore it out.... and I mean wore it out.  The number of disco 'boogie songs' is legion.  Only a fool would try to count them all.  Well, I am just such a fool.

Yes, I'm going to attempt to list every boogie song of the modern era.  So, I'm not going to include all those old blues and swing songs.... that'll be a job for another blog.  Here, we're lookin' primarily at the 1970s and a smattering from adjacent decades.

I'll need your help dear readers.  If you know of any oversights, list them in a comment.  When all is said and done, we may just have created the definitive boogie song database.  Eat your heart out Wikipedia!

Retrospace Radio #31: Boogie Wonderland

Harp Boogie II - Captain Beefheart
Spirit of the Boogie - Kool & the Gang
The Roller Boogie - Bob Esty
Baby Sittin Boogie - Buzz Clifford
Bertha Butt Boogie - Jimmy Castor Bunch
Shotgun Boogie - Tennessee Ernie Ford
Rock and Roll Boogie - The Easybeats
Gonna Burn My Boogie Shoes - The Raes
Blame it on the Boogie - Mick Jackson
I Can't Turn the Boogie Loose - The Controllers
I'm Your Boogie Man - KC & the Sunshine Band
Move Your Boogie Body - Bar Kays
Boogie Oogie Oogie - A Taste of Honey



Opinions and Rants #41: America's Economic Crisis: Solved

Is it possible that some lowly nostalgia blog that regularly posts on pancakes and miniskirts would have the answer to America's economic crisis? Not just possible, folks. Reality.

Attribute it to my 'total body immersion' in decades past, if you like. Perhaps it gives me a unique perspective... and mad skills in historical analysis.  Or (more likely) I'm just stating the obvious, but the obvious is often beaten into exile by the media and the political machine.

The problem is simply this: America (and the EU as well) are not playing on a level playing field. But we ourselves have put us in a position to fail - of extreme disadvantage.... of short term gains for global companies and profound losses for the bottom 99 percent.


Album Covers #26: Cheesecake in lieu of Artist

Newsflash: That's not Carl Dobkins, Jr. on the cover.  In fact, I'll wager Mr. Dobkins has never even met the girl. Bottom line: the record company had to choose between Dobkins and cleavage for his cover.... and, well, they went with cleavage. You see, unless you were a pop sensation like Elvis or The Beatles you might want to consider sticking some cheesecake on your LP cover rather than your own unrecognizable mug.

Don't get me wrong, Carl Dobkins, Jr. was a dapper looking gentleman, and he did appear on some covers. However, artists who didn't have face recognition (generally the EZ Listening variety) more often than not went with cheesecake in lieu of a personal portrait.  For instance, Ray Connif put out a motherload of LPs, and I swear all of them had an anonymous chick on the cover.... I have no idea what Ray looks like and I own ten of his records.


Ads #54: Hosiery

A while back I published an epic post on the downfall of women's hosiery.  And, yes, I said "epic" - the most overused and misapplied word in the English language.  But, in this case, I feel it is appropriate, even by the strictest Homeric definition possible.

Well, it so happens that I've just got about fifteen more hosiery ads I'd like to share.  I'll refrain from pleading to the gods for hosiery to come back in style, and just post the ads instead.  Enjoy.


Tech #18: Video Game Ads

Looking at old sci-fi movies from the 1950s, I wonder how people could have taken those cheesy special effects seriously.  Yet they did.  You brain runs on autopilot and use its imagination to compensate for any lack of realism.  Once your brain has become acclimated to more realistic technologies, it can't go back in time and automatically compensate for antiquated effects.  Does this make sense?

The same principle holds for video games.  I loved these old games from the early 1980s, and could become fully immersed in them.  However, the graphics by today's standards are woefully poor, and I find I just can't go back.  I can appreciate them for nostalgic reasons, but full-on immersion simply ain't gonna happen.

And before you get too cocky, remember that as technology continues to improve, our current movies and video games will seem just as ridiculous and cheesy in the coming decades.

Let's look at a bunch of video game ads from old magazines, shall we? Let me know if you remember any of these...


Vinyl Dynamite #43

I was pleasantly surprised by the number of you folks who decided to download from the last Homemade Album Art Post.  I've already explained my sad little love affair with Photoshop which has ensured that all my music has customized (aka totally faked) album art.  I decided to share a few with you readers, and many thousands decided to grab some free music complete with Retrospace-made album art. 

It's only a true music geek that gets annoyed by songs on your mobile device that don't have album artwork - and you get that generic "musical note" icon in its place.  Of course there's the function which has iTunes or Windows Media Player grab it for you; however, this often doesn't work out too good.  You get some cruddy Greatest Hits cover or (if they're as obscure as mine and ripped from old vinyl), you end up SOL.  Truly a First World Problem.

Anyway, take a listen, download, enjoy.

Fotonovelas #3: The Joker

I've been trying to learn Spanish for a while, but I'm a slow learner.  It helps if I'm reading something that's interesting - and these fotonovelas are perfect in that regard.  So, forgive my poor translations.

In this issue we are introduced to a smoking hot mamacita and her douchebag spouse. The story is called "El Bromista" (The Prankster or The Joker), referring to the guy who is beyond horrible when it comes to practical jokes.  How he ever managed to get this far in life without being punched to death is beyond me.

At first he tricks his coworker into thinking he's bludgeoned himself via some fake blood and a rubber hand.  Not surprisingly his fellow mechanic beats the hell out of him.


School Daze #8: Yearbook Graffiti

A couple years ago, I did a post on textbook defacing, which ended up being pretty fun.  I think we're due for another spotlight on an anonymous book defacer slash (/) budding comedian.  The humor is about as juvenile as it comes, but I think that's what gives it such charm.

This one comes from a 1982 yearbook.  Whoever the mysterious graffiti firebrand is, I'd love to give him a high-five for his wonderfully hilarious douchebaggery littering nearly every page.

I've obliterated any last names to preserve the innocent, and the name of the school I'll leave anonymous as well. So, let's check out some high school yearbook shenanigans.  I will warn you, however; don't expect an underground Oscar Wilde.  "Slut School" (pictured above) may be his finest work.


Needlework-a-Go Go #29

This booklet issued by Chadwick's Red Heart Yarns had me at 'hello'.  Such phenomenal artwork shouldn't be sequestered to needlework pamphlets - it needs to be put on a pedestal where it can be seen and  appreciated.by everyone.

I did a little research (and by 'little' I mean 2 minutes) and found that Mary Mayo was an accomplished main stream illustrator, but there's precious little information about her.  Here's a few pages from this 1952 booklet titled "Everyone Wears Sweaters".  Enjoy.


Mini Skirt Monday #124: Uniforms

The mini was once a common dress code for all kinds of organizations and professions (waitresses, choir, nurses, FHA, and even and military uniforms).  Private schools didn't require the skirts to minis; however, it wasn't forbidden, so naturally it became part of the dress code.  Sadly, besides cheerleaders, I'd say that minskirt has largely become extinct as a uniform; I guess they figure it takes away from the seriousness and professionalism of the person wearing it.

But I'm proud to say we're keepin' the flame alive on Retrospace.  Note that we are going to bypass stewardesses and cheerleaders as theirs have warranted multiple posts each.  Plus, we'll skip the French Maid as that has already been covered.  I have a plethora of choir girls and other school related uniforms (most of these images come from old yearbooks).  I'm a bit lacking in the nurse and waitress department.  Any vintage photos in those domains would be much appreciated.  Enjoy.


1500th Post!

Retrospace is now four years old, and we've reached our 1500th post! I just want to say thank you to all my readers - I would've quit long ago had I not received such a positive reaction from you guys.  I've said this many times: Retrospace is a labor of love.  I don't get paid a nickle for this - all money from ads goes into the blog itself.  And I don't regret a single minute I've spent doing it.

I'm proud that we've reached 1500 because I like to think that Retrospace has very few 'throwaway posts'.  And with each month, the number of visitors grows and grows.  But my proudest achievement isn't the number of visitors, it's how long the average visitor stays on Retrospace.  Once they land here, they seem to linger.

So, thank you again to my loyal readers.  I'm celebrating right now with a glass of Belgian white ale, and hoping that in 2016 we can all commemorate post 3000 together.  Cheers!