Vintage Reads #43: Swedish Mystery/Espionage Paperbacks

I know what you're thinking.  You're thinking Retrospace is nice and all, but it just doesn't have enough Swedish paperback posts.  Well, worry no longer.  Quicker than you can say "ABBA" or "IKEA", I'm dishing up a smorgasbord of mystery/action/espionage covers to satisfy even the biggest Swedophiles among you. Njuta!


Vintage Gams #2: Old-School Gams

"She was the kind of broad who could turn you on with just a wink. And she winked a lot. She had on a tight cocktail dress that plunged deeper than an Acapulco cliff diver, but with less responsibility, and gams that started some way above her head and finished three stories below."
Ah, yes. once upon a time it was the stems that stoked the fire of the American Male.  Back before things got all hardcore and X-rated, gams ruled the day.  By the 1970s, Deep Throat was playing in every major city and skin magazines left nothing to the imagination.  The Sexual Revolution ushered in the miniskirt which was a boon for the gams parade.... but the films and print media of the time left gams in the dust in favor of more (ahem) intimate regions of the female anatomy.

Well, the male brain hasn't significantly changed in the last 100,000 plus years, so I'm confident the "leg men" are still around.  With a Miniskirt Monday gracing the front page of Retrospace each week, you may be inclined to think this site is becoming some bastion for the female leg.  Well, there are certainly worse things to be called.


Tech #23: On Computing

Back before having a computer in the home was a given... before it became an inalienable right, computer and software companies had to sell the idea.

It's a luxury modern day companies don't have to worry about. Sure, they have to lure families into buying newer and better models and updated software - but the hard sell of having to get families to cough up big bucks on something that was still largely a 'question mark' is over.


Vintage Men's Mags #31: Mayfair

'It is the Playboy of the British magazine world. It is not a "girlie" magazine"
- Robert Maxwell, chairman of British Printing and Communications Corporation in The Financial Times
Mayfair was a British magazine started up in August 1966.  Despite what Mr. Maxwell said, as with most men's magazines, it gradually phased out all of the men's interests content (i.e. sports cars, fashion and cool short stories by the likes of William Burroughs) except one - skin.  This change was most pronounced in Playboy which had to compete with Penthouse and Hustler, but it was also evident in less iconic adult rags like Cavalier.

Graham Masterton, an editor of Mayfair in the early days, went on to write a ton of horror novels including The Manitou.  He also became editor of Penthouse and wrote a bestselling how-to sex book: How to Drive Your Man Wild in Bed (1981). An interesting note: Masterton's father invented DayGlo.

Catalogs #26: Brooks Brothers

If this sort of thing floats your boat, I've got 141 pages of Brooks Brothers catalogs available for your downloading pleasure.  Personally, I prefer real models versus illustrations - but that's just me.  Either way, it's an interesting trip down preppy lane.


Contains the Following Brooks Brothers Catalogs:

1979 Christmas
1980 Spring-Summer
1981 Fall-Winter
1982 Christmas
1982 Spring
1983 Spring
1984 Spring


Comic Books #53: Girl's Love Stories 1961

What's not to love about those old teen romance comic books.  They're full of pathos and long forgotten social mores inherent in a girl's life during the sixties.  The life of female was predicated on bagging her a good man; to lose him rendered life meaningless.

So, here's a story from Girls Love Stories from the March 1961 issue.  If you'd like to read the story in its entirety, it's available at the end of the post.  Enjoy.

Mini Skirt Monday #133: Minis 'n' Bikes

This week's theme is pretty self-explanatory.  Miniskirts and bikes: the kind with pedals and the kind with motors.

If you have a recommendation for a Miniskirt Monday theme, please drop it in a comment.  We're on number 133, and I'm running short on ideas.  Let me know - no matter how odd or curious your suggestion is, I'm sure I have plenty of pics to fill the category.


Ads #57: Audio Equipment

I remember when I fully embraced the cassette tape.  I transferred all my records and reel-to-reel albums to cassettes (carefully labeling each one in microscopic print).  Then began the novel concept of being able to actually record stuff off the radio, which I performed obsessively.  I recall being pissed when the DJs talked over the tracks, contaminating my recordings. I think the first time I dropped the F bomb was when Rick Dees blabbed over the first 30 seconds of Tommy Shaw's "Girls with Guns", a song I'd waited to record for an excruciatingly long time.

Now I can get any song I want with the click of a button.  It almost takes the fun out of it. It's an embarrassment of riches.

Anyway, it's always fun to reminisce and look back on the prehistoric days of audio equipment.  Many of you who have known only the iPod will not recall having to buy phonograph cartridges and cassette tape head cleaners.  Those who do remember, will perhaps enjoy this quick walk down memory lane.


Teen Magazine #4: Teen Idols (November 1985)

How quickly Leif's androgynous good-looks had gone to pot by 1985 - a mere eight years after the infamous C.H.i.P.s roller disco episode. "Welcome to the Jungle" could have very well been Leif's autobiography - of Hollywood providing you every vice your brain-stem could want, and then spitting you out like yesterday's news when they overwhelm you.   Imagine being 15 with all the money in the world, girls throwing themselves at you, and bales of cocaine thrown in your lap.... who among us would have taken the high road as a teenager?  And back then child stars didn't come equipped with the legal protection they do today.  Hence, Drew Barrymore doing lines at Studio 54 with nary a finger waved.


Vinyl Dynamite #46: Instrumental Grooves

Martial Solal Joue Michel Magne - "Electrode" (1968)

Ready for another magic carpet ride through vinyl paradise? Well, I'm sorry I can't provide that for you.  How about an absent-minded stroll through vinyl mediocrity? Great - let's go!


Sex Sells #29: Men's Fashion Advertising

Tinted shades and a purple blazer - this fella is no joke.  The ax is to let you know he's all man, and the tennis sketch is to let you know he plays for keeps.  The girl clutches her pearls in a state of orgasm just being near him.  But to the man with salt and pepper hair, it ain't nothin' but a thang.


Mini Skirt Monday #132: Homecoming Queens

One of these days I'll do a post on Homecoming/Prom Kings and Queens without the miniskirt connection.  I think you'll get a kick out of the fashions these popularity contest winners wore in the seventies and eighties.  But this is Monday and that means Miniskirts.  And if you happened to be a lucky gal crowned queen during the early seventies, chances are you wore a miniskirt... as did your entire court. Let's have a look, shall we?


The Boob Tube #33: After School Specials

Television of the seventies and eighties was littered with drunk dads, pregnant teens, alcoholic stepmothers, mentally handicapped brothers, anorexic sisters, and pedophile neighbors...... and all just in time for kids to watch after school.

The mantra of the seventies was to be open about our problems, and no problem was ever too unsettling for the kiddies.  It was for their benefit to hear about drug abuse, rape, child molestation, and shitty parenting.  In fact, it was so important, it was on every Wednesday afternoon.

And guess what? If you hadn't had your fill of troubling messed up lives - prime time had you covered.  On Family Ties, Malory gets molested by her teacher and on Diff'rent Strokes, Arnold and his friend get molested by Gordon Jump, the friendly neighborhood bicycle repairman.  And let us not ever forget the mother of them all - the infamous Too Close for Comfort rape.


Vintage Men's Mags #30: Naughty Nylons and Shocking Stockings

The 50s and 60s were big into the nylon thing.  Call it a fetish if you like, but it was an innocent male interest compared to the hardcore boom of the 70s.  Once boundaries were removed and skin rags started leaving absolutely nothing to the imagination, the "stocking and nylon thing" seemed...... well, just a little quaint.

This is not to say men stopped buying these magazines entirely; but, amid the so-called "Bush Wars" going on between Hustler, Penthouse, and Playboy, stockings ceased to be shocking.

Well, I'm not big on the hardcore stuff, and Retrospace isn't the place for all that, anyway.  So, here's a post bursting at the seams with nylon/stocking oriented girly magazine covers. Enjoy!


Retrospace Radio #35

UFO -   Geoff Love and His Orchestra
Girl - Tuca
Peaceful - Helen Reddy
Reggatta de Blanc - The Police
Space Age Whiz Kids - Joe Walsh
Unpack Your Adjectives - Schoolhouse Rock
Mary Skeffington - Gerry Rafferty
Anachronisme - Kameleon
Who's the Boss theme
Love Alive - Heart
Right On - Sons of Slum
Dream - Earth and Fire
Let's Go to San Francisco - The Flowerpot Men
Fireball XL-5 theme


Pancakes #5

Well, it's been a while since our last Pancakes post; so, I figured it was time to break out another round of these filthy dirty breakfast staples.

In the past, I've given you a single frame to make your conclusions.  This time we're looking at two shots to make our determination as to whether pancakes are in their future. (Here's a hint: Every single one of these leads to pancakes).

Take for instance the scene above.  It's got pancakes written all over it.  But let's have another look a few seconds later just to be sure...

Vinyl Dynamite #45: More Foreign Gold

Paandinwippayok OST

God knows I'm a sucker for a particularly intriguing (or downright awful) album cover.  I'm also fascinated by music from other lands - I'm a typical monolingual American, but I still get pleasure from listening to these old records from from far away.  Do I plan on putting them in heavy rotation like The Beatles White Album? Not even close.  But there's certainly worth a listen for curiosity's sake, if nothing else.


Mini Skirt Monday #131: Sports

The World Series is over, but college football and the NFL are in full swing and basketball is starting back up.  I'm in a sporting kinda mood, so I thought it was a good time for a sports Miniskirt Monday theme.  I've hit you with a goodly dose of cheerleader miniskirts in the past; however, today we're looking at the sports themselves.  Please - no one write in a comment that pool or putt-putt are not sports.... I'm using the term loosely.  Call it "Sports and Leisure" if it makes you feel better.  Enjoy.


Fotonovelas #5: More Glorious Covers

How is it that my life has led up to this point, where I'm spending this evening uploading trashy Spanish magazines for tens of thousands to see? Most of you will take one look at the subject matter and click away.... even less of you will take the time to look at them all, and even less to comment.  But that's okay.

You see, it's still a victory.  Over time, this post will get over a million views, and thus gradually these godforsaken rags will matriculate into the public consciousness ever so slightly. It's a long way from total enslavement of the public's mind to lowbrow pop artifacts, but it's a start.

In all seriousness, I do actually like these covers.  They're interesting in their awfulness, if that makes any sense.  If you can appreciate these as I do, then we are indeed kindred spirits.  Love 'em or hate 'em, there certainly will be more fotonovela posts to come. Enjoy.


Comic Books #52: JLA 1984 - A Godawful Mess

I read comic books all through the seventies and eighties, but if it was released in the past twenty plus years, I haven't even opened one up. I am hopelessly out of the loop and cannot claim any sort of "comic book cred".  I jumped ship about the same time as Rob Liefeld made that infamous Levis 501 Jeans commercial, and I haven't been back since.

This is not to say comics have gotten worse; indeed, you might argue they've gotten better (I wouldn't know).  However, I can say there were some godawful messes back in the eighties that make me cringe looking at them today.  Let's take a look at the 1984 Justice League of America Annual.  It's literally so crappy, it deserves a post unto itself.


Tech #22: Blip Magazine

The eighties Marvel publication Blip contained a short comic within each issue.  I've got scans from 22 pages of Blip comics for you.  There's a Donkey Kong, Spider-Man and Hulk comic. Fans of vintage gaming will probably get a few laughs.  I especially love the 1-2 punch of having 80s Marvel combined with 80s video games.... it's a match made in heaven.

Download 22 page PDF of Blip comics

Catalogs #25: Tawdry Catalog Sharity

It so happens that I've got a couple tawdry catalogs to share - both from the eighties. It wouldn't be totally accurate to call them simply lingerie catalogs.  One catalog describes their apparell as clothing to wear in those "intimate hours" - and I think that's pretty well stated.

There are some naughty bits here and there, but I don't feel it's enough to get anyone's panties in a wad (that was a pun, by the way). Enjoy.


Magazines #37: True Crime Rags (Part 4)

Don't ask me why I feel this need to create a vast online repository of detective magazine covers.  Perhaps it's because I feel sorry for these rags.  While other pulps covers get enshrined on countless blogs, the lowly true crime periodical is relegated to the dustbin of history.  Perhaps, it deserves it.

After all, there's no art here - only cover after cover of misogyny.  If at least they were illustrated we could value them for their artistic merit as we do the pulps which could be even more tasteless in their subject matter.  But, no; they're just poorly staged photographs emblazoned with ridiculous headlines.  They're a step below even the tabloids.

And so, just for the sake of restoring to the foreground a long derided underdog, I give you yet another detective magazine gallery.  Future generations will thank me.


Vintage Style #34: Men's Fashion Ads

How cool is this? Dammit, I want an eye-patch!  Get ready for a heaping helping of awesome men's fashion advertisements.  With all the crazy awful stuff going on the world, you deserve a few minutes to sit back and enjoy some amazing styles from yesteryear.  Enjoy.


Mini Skirt Monday #130: Minis Among the Foliage (Part II)

Why another round of Miniskirts +  Nature? Because, dear reader, this is mankind's greatest creation  placed alongside God's creation - a most holy combination.

The world is indeed full of peril and in it there are many dark places. But still there is much that is fair. And though in all lands, love is now mingled with grief, the miniskirt still stands.  For where there is the miniskirt, there is hope.

Behold the Miniskirt - the light in the glade, the shimmering among the linden leaves, the moonbeam in the woven wood.  Behold and give thanks.



Vintage Reads #42: Espionage and Action Paperbacks (Part 3)

I've done several posts on the espionage/action paperback genre (here, for example); and yet the well is nowhere near dry.  The volume of kickass covers is seemingly endless.

Espionage/Action paperbacks are perhaps my favorite variety when it comes to being terrifically tacky.  Often, an ill conceived photograph is used in lieu of illustration. And you can always count on this genre of book to deliver in terms of beautiful babes and studly tough-guys.  Throw in an explosion and/or a variety of weaponry, and you've got yourself a cover.


Viva VHS #12: Catalog Sharity

Thought you might enjoy this Scandinavian VHS catalog. It's only eight pages. You can click the images to enlarge or simply download the PDF version.  Enjoy.


Vintage Men's Mags #29: More Great Girly Mag Headlines

It goes without saying that the actual textual content is way down the list on reasons to read a girly magazine. But that doesn't mean we can't have a little fun reading some amazing cover blurbs from vintage skin mags.  Let's just say the accompanying eye candy is a bonus.  Enjoy.