Magazines #38: Cosmopolitan Magazine

I remember when I was in junior high and a friend of mine in the neighborhood showed me his dad's stash of skin magazines.  It was a basement full of Playboys and other softcore treasures that we proceeded to skim through for hours.  Needless to say, when his parents were away we would often return to that reservoir of smut.

But nothing NOTHING could have prepared me for my first encounter with Cosmo.  While Playboy showed boobs and other parts of the female anatomy, Cosmo talked about sex in a way that quite literally rocked my junior-high brain.  It was explicit, detailed, graphic..... insert any adjective you like, this stuff was the real deal.  Playboy was for ogling, Cosmo was for learning.

Typical article title: "Your Love Muscle - The Hidden Trigger to Unimagined Sexual Pleasures"

Of course, when you got into the hardcore stuff like Hustler or Penthouse, that was a whole different ballgame.  But that's neither here nor there. On with the Cosmo covers - 40 of them (and a special bonus cover at the end)!


Retro Film Report #23: A Few Netflix Instant Flicks

Truthfully, once you've seen one biker movie you've seen them all.  Like the trucker movies of the seventies, the biker movies of the late sixties early seventies romanticized the man on wheels.  He was a rebel, an outcast, and the cowboy.  The films chronicling these reluctant heroes certainly lacked in the originality department, but still are interesting to watch.

Netflix actually has a healthy supply of biker movies available for instant view. Take for instance, The Cycle Savages (1969) starring Bruce Dern, reprising his role once again as psychotic biker nutjob.


Album Covers #35: More Vinyl Awfulness

Feelings That We Feel - the debut album from the The Galileans.  Be sure to catch their follow up LP Thoughts That We Thought. And let us not forget their platinum selling greatest hits record Memories that We Remember.

Mini Skirt Monday #140: Minis On Stage (Part 3)

Last week we looked at miniskirts on stage in regards to dance routines and musical numbers.  This round we're looking at more dramatic performances.  In fact, these may provide an added dimension of interest - can you determine what plays these are from?

I don't have the answer to a lot of these, but I'd love to hear your theories on them.  Some are no-brainers; while others leave me scratching my head.


Catalogs #29: 1980's Silver Rose

Not much to say about the ole Silver Rose catalog except that its chock full of scantily clad eighties chicks.  That's got to count for something.  Sir Paul McCartney's ladyfriend (Heather Mills) got her start posing in them; so, the Beatles connection ought to count for something as well.

Anyway, I've got a PDF for you to download that's loaded with 180 pages of 80's sexy goodness.  There's naughty bits of anatomy to be found, but nothing too tasteless.  No, the only thing tasteless here is the fashion itself.


Note: As many of you know I'm having trouble with Rapidshare.  It's blocked a lot of my sharity, so I can only cross my fingers this link will work for you.  I'm letting my account expire, so if this link isn't dead now, it will be shortly.

For those interested, I've included a bunch of images from from the catalog for your viewing pleasure.   Enjoy!


Teen Magazine #5

I'm old enough to remember Duran Duran before they became teen heartthrobs.  I recall the risque "Girls on Film" video and their songs being a bit avant-garde, not exactly stuff for middle-school girls to lap up.  If you listen to "The Chauffer" from even the Rio album, you get an idea.

Next thing you know, they're sharing a teen magazine cover with Menudo.


Deep Thoughts #6


If you're among the super rich it's okay to drink a toast to yourself and have moments of self-congratulation.  Everyone deserves a little guilt-free pride time now and again.  But before you revel in your own awesomeness too long, just know that you're not in that position because you're "better".  We like to think we're all in the same race, on the same track, with the same obstacles.  Sorry.  That is a fantasy world of the simple minded.  Life is more complex than that, with an infinite number of variables and "butterfly effects".

On the one hand we're not completely at the mercy of Fortune's Wheel; but on the other hand, we cannot will ourselves into wealth - the idea of the  √úbermensch died with Hitler and Nietzsche.  In other words, rich people need to get over themselves and stop referring to themselves as "creators" and us as "takers".   It's a dangerous mindset.


Vintage Musicians #10

Ready for another round of bad hair, bad fashion, and (probably if we could hear them) bad music? You've got to hand it to every one of these bands for trying.  Getting on stage, whether it be the Ohio State Fair or the martini lounge at the local Howard Johnson's, took guts.  Especially when you do with the pizzazz of a band like "Virginia" (above).  I'll bet they blew the bank buying those outfits.  Did they feel silly, or more likely did they feel like they were on the cusp of "making it"? We'll never know.

Artful Conception #17: Women Running from Houses

The Gothic horror tradition can be traced back to any number of sources.  I've heard Mathew Lewis' Monk as the progenitor of them all, and it is indeed a horrifying treat to say the least.  It's got every convention you can imagine: darkened tombs, black misty forests, haunted hallways, satanic clergy.  It would make one helluva movie, but it's so nonlinear that I honestly don't see how you could translate it to a screenplay.

I've tried to trudge my way through other Gothic horror literature; more often than not, I have a difficult time making it through them.  Melmoth the Wanderer and Uncle Silas are classics of the genre, but I've never made it past the first few chapters of each.  The Turn of the Screw and The Fall of the House of Usher are much more pleasant reads.

It was Ann Radcliff's The Mysteries of Udolpho that really began the "women running from houses" motif.  The brand has extended across the decades, hitting a crescendo in the 1960s and 70s, where there was a seemingly infinite array of "women running from houses" paperbacks hitting the shelves.  Part Gothic horror, part romance - the ladies back then just couldn't get enough.  And every book, without exception, bore the same composition so there could be no doubt what genre we're dealing with.

The Gothic romance wasn't quite the sensation in other media.  I suppose you could include Dark Shadows as a television translation of the genre; and perhaps Mario Bava's work captured the feel of these books better than any other director.  But, by and large, the phenomenon was confined to paperback novels.  And here is a few shining examples.  Enjoy.


Comic Books #55: Horror Comic Sharity

It would seem there is no end to my kindness.  What can I say? I love to share.  Some of these came to me already scanned, and for those original scanners, I give you my thanks.  I'm just doing my part to keep the flame alive.

Unfortunately, Rapidshare is a pain in my ass, and as I mentioned in the previous post, I'm letting those Rapidshare links go dead in thirty days.  In other words, get your sharity now, 'cause it'll be gone soon.  Thanks Rapidshare.  Thanks for nothing.

All the comics in this post are the magazine variety that were so popular in the seventies.  The covers were amazing, however the comics inside were black and white.  Still, they were a damn fine read.  If you enjoyed Creepy and Eerie, these may be right up your alley.

Retrospace Mix Tape #25: Hot Rods

My favorite 'car song" is "Highway Star" by Deep Purple.  Nothing makes me want to put to the pedal to the metal on the ol' minivan more than that track.  This mix, however, is a bit more "old school", but there's still plenty here to love.


The Top 10 Funniest People Who Ever Lived

I try to shy away from lists as best I can - there's a temptation to do them almost weekly.  They're easy and  a reliable grab for readers.  My problem with lists are as follows:

1. They're highly subjective; just an opinion that can change from day to day
2. They're also highly........ hey, wait a minute.  I'm creating a list of why I hate lists.  Screw it.  Enjoy The Official Retrospace Top Ten Funniest People Who Ever Lived!


Mini Skirt Monday #139: Minis On Stage (Part 2)

It's been about a year since the last "on stage' post, so we're due another.  After all, what's the point of the mini, if it's not on display? It's like keeping the Mona Lisa locked in a closet.  Bring the minis out where they can be appreciated! And what better way than up on stage for audiences to behold.

I've divided this one up into two categories: musical numbers and plays.  Today we'll look at the dancing and the singing; next week it's a thespian edition of Miniskirt Monday.


Album Covers #34: Three Chick Discs

Admittedly, this idea for a post is not my own -  I got it from a Flickr group by one of my favorite record collectors, Epiclectic. Bottom Line: There's a surprising amount of album covers that operate using a single principle: put three females on the cover and be done with it.  The rational, I guess, is that hot babes belong on record covers, and three hot babes is better than one or two.  Four hot babes and things start to look cramped.

Thus, three is the magic number - the perfect fen shui to decorate that cardboard canvass surrounding your vinyl.  Time and time again it rears its lovely head.  So much so, I couldn't possibly deliver all of them in a single post.


Vintage Reads #44: Weekly Reader Early 1980s Book Orders

What books would you order?  Several of these sound promising....

101 Shark Jokes - Hells to the Yes.  "Why are sharks stupid? They refuse to stay in schools."

Judy Blume books always provided inappropriate reading material - whether it be sex or feminine hygiene, Blume always delivered the goods. In this book there's Lisa "who undresses every night without pulling the shades down."

There's a Dragonslayer book with a cool-ass cover, and a Fantasy Island book with four "scary" stories.  It's a veritable cornucopia of good reads in this November 1981 issue of the Weekly Reader.  But wait, there's more...


Foxy Ladies #22:Cuddly Animals

Cute mascots are okay for cereal boxes, but you have to admit it's a little odd that they became popular as mascots for skin magazines. Add to that, during the sixties it was pretty par for the course to feature scantily clad women alongside cute animals - usually stuffed.  I'm sure there's something extremely Freudian going on here.

So, let's have a look at pictures from skin magazines featuring adorable mascots and cute animals. I'll leave it to you armchair psychologists to ponder them..


Needlework a-Go Go #31:

Here's a heavenly hash of odd and interesting needlework photographs.  You wouldn't think there'd be so much to say about crochet, but then this is Retrospace where I've been going on about the same basic things every day for nearly five years straight.... which is kind of troubling when you think about it.

Best not to think about it. (brushes away the pain) On with the needlework!

Retrospace Radio #39: Superman





Pancakes #7: At the Bar

You were much more likely to get a round of pancakes at a bar in 1978 than you would at an IHOP.  Indeed, the local watering hole was nothing more than the place to grab refreshment between pancakes.

Sure, bars are still ground zero for pancake making; however, the Great Pancake Depression of 1984 killed disco, coke, porn and pancakes-without-consequence in a matter months, and it's never been the same since.  (I think there's going to be a Ken Burns documentary on it soon).

Ronald Reagan, Ed Meese and the Moral Majority may have given the pancake factories a grievous wound, it was not mortal. Yes, it lives on here at Retrospace, and here it is...

Mini Skirt Monday #138: Diana Rigg

Diana Rigg is best known for her role as Emma Peel on The Avengers.  The name was actually a play on "M Appeal" where the "M" stood for "Man"..... and Diana Rigg certainly had a lot of man appeal.  (insert sexist wolf whistle)

On the show, Emma was known for her one-piece uniform - a shapely unitard of sorts.  But, more often than not, she'd also grace the screen with a miniskirt.  It was, after all, England in the Swingin' Sixties.

Diana was also a Bond girl in On Her Majesty's Secret Service - which is actually my favorite Bond film. If only Lazenby had taken the role more seriously, it could have taken him places.


Now on Facebook

Many of you may remember my failed attempt at Facebook back in May 2011.  Bottom line: Retrospace just doesn't translate well to the Facebook platform... after a few weeks I abandoned it and never looked back.  Facebook sucks.

But unlike Myspace and Geocities, it looks like Facebook is here to stay, so I may as well take another stab at it.  This time, however, I'm not setting it up as an anonymous store front for Retrospace, but instead have it set up as....... (dramatic drum roll) the real me.

Most of you will have no interest in "friending" me (ugh, I'm going to have to get used to the lingo).  You come for the miniskirts and tattered catalog pages - who gives a good god damn about the man behind the posts.  But others may want to converse and, quite frankly, I'd like to hear what's going on with my readers as well.

So, let's give it another go.  If you want to "friend me", go for it.  If not, stay tuned for a Mini Skirt Monday post coming right up.



Catalogs #28: 1971 Color TV

If you're as old as me, you remember when television sets were built as sturdy as the mighty oak.  They were wood enshrined monuments that seemed to weigh a metric ton.  They'd be a good place to hide behind in the event of a tornado.  Unlike today where electronics sail in and out of homes every Christmas, these suckers were built to last until the next Ice Age, and cost an ungodly amount of cash.

I have a gigantic flat screen, and I love it.  Don't get me wrong.  It just doesn't have the charm of these wooden relics which resembled more a piece of furniture than an electronic.  My wimpy flat screen has to be handled with kid gloves - the slightest tap or shake could be its demise.  These old hosses from 1971 were constantly being beat to rattle the picture into shape.

Vintage Men's Mags #35

Jazz records on the shelf, a turntable in motion, and even a bigass boat on the mantle.  If only we could soak in the rest of this vintage man cave. And by the way, this is required attire for any females who enter this Bachelor Pad Royale.


Vintage Wheels #18: Invasion of the 70s Motor Homes (Part 4)

My family never owned an RV.  We took trips crammed in our powder blue VW bug.  When we'd go on vacations with my cousins we'd climb in the back of the station wagon and chillax facing the rear.  Safety belts be damned - we'd sprawl out on hippie sleeping bags with "Don't Tread on Me" written on them and give the bird to passing motorists.  Good times.  Good times.

But this isn't about me.  This is another RV post overflowing with beauteous imagery. As usual, we're not so much interested in the vehicle as we are the folks and funky decor within.  Enjoy.


Vintage Style #36

This fashion spread from a 1971 Mayfair magazine was just too good not to share.  The concept is simple enough: macho male astride naughty nymph.  It's the fashions and the "70s feel" that make this one a solid winner.

Each photograph features a girl in a ridiculously revealing dress cavorting around the very image of seventies manliness.  I've added my own ad copy to each just for the fun of it.  Add your own as well - you'll be surprised how fun it is to write in the Spirit of '71..


Ads #61: Tobacco

I haven't smoked in over ten years, and I'm so glad I quit the habit.  Not only is it bad for your health, but it is expensive as hell.  No thanks.

That being said, there was nothing better than that first inhale of a long awaited cigarette break. No hardship was too unbearable as long as you knew a beautiful cigarette awaited you at the end - it was the omnipresent light-at-the-end-of-the-rainbow.  The pot of gold that awaited at the end of drudgery.  It was almost worth the ensuing cancer.

And non-smokers just can't understand how those cancer-sticks added something wonderfully intangible to a night out drinking. Who can say why a coffin nail in your hand at a bar or party made the experience so much better.  The combo of cigarettes and alcohol is something I will forever miss.


Album Covers #33: Easy Listening

I've said this many times before, but it bears repeating: the more grandfatherly the music, the more sexually explicit the album cover.  Thus, easy listening records often featured orgasmic females straddling French horns; meanwhile, rock albums tended toward more 'artistic' compositions.  At first blush, it's the inverse of what you'd expect.

The iconic example is, of course, Herb Alpert's Whipped Cream and Other Delights; however, its predecessors and imitators are legion.  Not to keep rehashing a tired point, but the answer lies both in the 'sex sells' approach and also by the fact that rock and pop music relied on the imagery of their musicians to move records off the shelves.  In other words, buyers wanted to see the Stones and The Beatles on the covers.... no one gave a fraction of shit about having Herb Alpert's mug being on the cover.  In fact, it would probably scare people away from buying it.  Best to go with a scantily clad female instead (or better yet, one covered in whipped cream).


Food & Drink #18: Patsy's Reflections

"Bloater Savories" is just one of the many unappetizing recipes you'll find in this incredible cookbook from 1946.  Patsy's Reflections: Learn to Cook by Pictures is nearly 200 pages of cooking instructions done in comic book form.  It's like a graphic novel about making sausages rolls and bacon pie.

Don't get me wrong, despite the fact that lard or grease is the key ingredient in nearly all these recipes, they are undoubtedly healthier than our modern day synthetic Frankenfoods. That being said, these are a still hilarious and amazingly dissimilar to what winds up on plates nowadays.  Take a look...


Vintage Men's Mags #34

"You look great, Gwen.  But we really need something to fill up this empty space in the foreground.  I know. How about a golden demonic satyr!"

Ads #60: Early 70s Music Ads

I had a lot of fun last time dishing up old music advertisements with the corresponding mp3.  I don't know about you, but I'd forgotten (or perhaps never knew) how Heads, Hands and Feet sounded.  So, having a "play button" under each ad makes them a lot more meaningful. 

It sounds cliche, but I really mean it: I hope you have as much fun reading/listening to this post as I did making it.  I had a blast.


Viva VHS #13: WIP films

Ah, yes.  It was only a matter of time before Retrospace touched one of the most reviled and rejected genres of cinema - the Women In Prison (WIP) films.  Why was there no love for WIP? Well, let's just say that masochism became politically incorrect.  But, once upon a time, the WIP flick was quite popular in grindhouses and in the early days of VHS - so much so, that there is no accounting for how many were actually released.  Suffice it to say, there are plenty to keep you occupied.


School Daze #9: Yearbook '78

I don't know about you, but I love digging through old yearbooks - especially those that allow the seniors to make comments.  You can always count on them to deliver up some hilarious words in their short bios, whether it be encrypted tomfoolery to avoid censorship or just straight-ahead nonsense.  Either way, the awkward photos aren't the only thing good for a laugh.

As always, the last names have been obscured.  Plus, I should mention that, if my own personal yearbook photo were included here, it would be dumber and more embarrassing than any of these.  In other words, I have no room to talk, but will talk nonetheless. So, enjoy.