What if our beloved modern devices had been invented in the past? Say around 1977? Introducing the Pocket Hi-Fi, The Laptron 64, MobileVoxx, and the Microcode 3000!
Too Much Horror Fiction: "Covering horror literature and its resplendent paperback cover art, mostly from the 1960s through the early 1990s. Mostly."
¡Feliz Cinco de Mayo! In honor of the hottest, wildest and trippiest section of América del Norte, how about some classic los ACIDA ROCKA? Starting with clips from the 1971 movie "Bikinis y Rock!" El Ritual! Peace And Love!! Bandido!!! ... Now how about some live footage from the Mexican Woodstock: Festival Rock y Ruedas de Avándaro-- Part 1 Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6 [more inside]
After the gum is gone, you still have the bubble gum cards. Browse a collection of scanned cards from the 1960s (Ugly Stickers and Ugly Names), 70s (Monster Initials, Marvel Super Heroes) and the 80s (Pee Wee Herman). The initials series have word generators (IE only!): Love Initials, Mod Initials, Monster Initials (similar, previously). [via] [more inside]
What a pretty little outfit, good girl! Look at you, wow, you're not just a pretty face! Now come over here, stand close to me.
"Maybe that's the purpose of television. You just turn it on and watch it whether you want to or not." - David Letterman
After getting his start as a DJ on Ball State's WAGO-FM, David Letterman spent most of the 1970s appearing in a lot of cheesy television, exhaustively chronicled here. Whether kayaking on the Battle of the Network Stars, appearing on an ill-fated variety show with Mary Tyler Moore, working as a panelist on The Love Experts, or hosting a game-show pilot for The Riddlers (part 1, 2, and 3), Letterman more than paid his dues. [more inside]
In August 1990, when Spin magazine was still an edgier cousin to Rolling Stone, it published a list of the 35 Greatest Moments in Rock 'n' Roll Television. [more inside]
Jo Guldi writes a fascinating entry about social engineering and geography in the 1970's. "The geographers located answers in American zones of isolation and hopelessness. Bill Bunge organized his fellow professors into the Detroit Geographical Expedition, leading frequent trips to document the slums of Detroit and later Toronto. Their findings were equally provocative. In 1968, the Society published a map entitled “Where Commuters Run Over Black Children on the Pointes-Downtown Track.” Life and death, they argued, were not merely the commodities available to any hard-working American, but hung upon the thread of a special kind of privilege, the privilege of safe territory." Guldi is a historian at the Harvard Society of Fellows. [more inside]
Kitten Kong pt. 1, pt. 2, pt. 3 - The Goodies, Montreux 1972 Edition. Previously on Mefi: Goodie goodie yum yum! (via coisas do arco da velha - some images nsfw)
Funkytown: The Montreal Disco Era. Studio 54? Qu’est-ce que c’est? By the late 1970s, “Montreal had platinum-status admission to the VIP lounge of coolest-of-the-cool disco cities.” An oral history of the city where no one bats an eye at going out to dance at 1:30 AM in –20°C weather. (Contains links to MP3 of CBC Radio documentary.) [more inside]
Times were tough. Hair was long, complex and strange, and so were the songs. Where were you 35 years ago, and why weren’t you surrounded by stack of keyboards wearing a sequined gown? [more inside]
Rom: Spaceknight was an improbable comics success: Based on a toy series that consisted of one figure (Rom), the comics series debuted in 1979 and lasted an unlikely 75 issues, featuring art from such luminaries as P. Craig Russell and Steve Ditko (previously, previously and previously). The series was written by Marvel Comics mainstay Bill Mantlo, who retired from comics and became a public defender (the legal kind), only to suffer a tragic accident in the mid-1990s that left him in need of constant medical attention. A 2007 benefit for the writer -- Spacenight: A Tribute to Bill Mantlo -- will be followed by Spacenight 2, an auction of original Rom-related artwork that can be viewed here.
Here’s a cool concept. Top breakthrough bands of the day playing LIVE on TV late every Friday night. Such was The Midnight Special - from 1972 - 1981 (though the glory days were the early to mid 70s, that lost decade somewhere between the meltdown of the hippie dream and the coincident eruptions of PUNK + DISCO upon planet rock). [more inside]
The Woodstock Festival ended forty years ago today, on August 18, 1969* -- and roughly, um, two years later, Marvel Comics was there! Writer Gary Friedrich and (wildly overqualified) artist Gray Morrow bring you an improbably cleanly tale of romance that first appeared in issue #14 of Marvel's My Love (November 1971): "It Happened at Woodstock!" (Guest-starring Janis Joplin, among others.) [more inside]
Thirty years ago today was the infamous "Disco Demolition Night" at Chicago's Comiskey Park. It didn't go exactly as planned: "In the warm air that night, baseball’s routine and soothing sounds mixed with the tribal cadence of off-color chanting, the drifting scent of marijuana and the sight of vinyl records descending through the summer dusk like Frisbees." It wasn't the first time a 70s baseball promotion went astray. Considered by some "the worst idea ever," "Ten Cent Beer Night" at Cleveland Municipal Stadium five years earlier ended when "a large number of intoxicated fans – some armed with knives, chains, and portions of stadium seats that they had torn apart – surged onto the field, and others hurled bottles from the stands." (Previously on MeFi)
Michael Jackson penned and recorded lots of songs, many of which remain unreleased. Perhaps the most infamous, and rarest recording, is his version of Behind the Mask. Legend has it that upon hearing Yellow Magic Orchestra's original track, somewhen around 1979, Quincy Jones fell in love with the track, and he and Michael worked together on their own version. Jackson wrote new lyrics for it - adding to those of Ryuichi Sakamoto and Chris Mosdell - and eventually recorded it during his Off The Wall sessions. For unknown reasons the track never made the final cut of, arguably, Jones' and Jackson's greatest work. Not long afterwards Greg Phillinganes, Jackson's keyboard player, released his own version of the song, which was later taken up and re-recorded by Eric Clapton for his 1986, Phil Collins produced album, August. The track has since been recorded/remixed by Human League, Senor Coconut, Orbital and others. Does an original Jones/Jackson recording of the song even exist? Perhaps, as the world continues to mourn the star's sad death, someone will finally allow us a listen.
Isaac Asimov on how to be a dirty old man.
Over a thousand photos from Fallsburg High School, 1974-1978. Bonus: non-annoying interface. (via)
"Oh, lord love you, Stephen. How I admire your arrogance and rage and misery. How pure and righteous they are and how passionately storm-drenched was your adolescence."
Long before becoming a national treasure and celebrity Twitter addict the 16 year old Stephen Fry sent a letter to his future self, to which he has now responded, in a letter first published in the 25th birthday edition of Gay Times.
Brad Elterman's gallery of (mostly) celebrity photos from the 1970s, including Robert Plant, Matt Dillon, and the tale of Jackie O and the tape. Some shots may be NSFW. [via]
In honor of the 40th anniversary of Sesame Street, let's take a few moments to honor those Sesame Street humans overshadowed by their Muppet counterparts. Check out Bob (Bob McGrath) singing Danny Boy in Japanese on a 1966 broadcast of To Tell The Truth or singing a Japanese ballad. Watch Gordon (Roscoe Orman) as the big pimpin' title character in this original trailer for the film Willie Dynamite. See Maria (Sonia Manzano) as a lady trucker on B.J. & the Bear or getting menaced by Jeff Goldblum in the movie Death Wish. And Mr. Hooper (Will Lee) plays Pac-Man in an Atari commercial. Meanwhile, the Muppet stars of Sesame Street have gone some interesting evolutions as well in their career. [more inside]
Not all groups with synthesizers in the 1970s and 1980s were lame Top 40 acts with keytars. Some groups of the era used synths for spastic keyboard bleeps, herky-jerky tempos, and angst-ridden aggression in a style now classified by record collector geeks as synthpunk, minimal synth, or minimal wave. Several famous New Wave acts dabbled in the style before providing soundtracks for Molly Ringwald movies (OMD, Electricty) or singing about waitresses in cocktail bars (the Human League, Being Boiled), but vintage videos from synth punk acts all over the world can be found all over YouTube. [more inside]
The Letter People started as a collection of vaguely trippy drawings by illustrator Elizabeth Callen in the early 70s, but viewers of Midwestern PBS in the 70s and 80s might have learned to read from the Letter People puppet show produced by PBS station KETC in St. Louis. Set in the black void of "Letter People Land", the show allowed each character to introduce him or herself with a song, from the laid back, Carole King vibe in Miss A's song, to the bizarre sound collage of Mr. X (audio with fan-made video). And of course cashing in on the nostalgia craze, the new and improved letter people without references to junk food or the pesky marital status of the vowels. [more inside]
Web of Horror #1 (December 1969): Re-presenting the short-lived and impossibly obscure horror comics magazine that featured early work from such luminaries as Ralph Reese, Jeff Jones and Bernie Wrightson. Link via Journalista (may be NSFW). [more inside]
It’s been a long, weird and expensive week all over. Why not stay in tonight and watch guys (mostly) with long hair playing strange and difficult music from a long lost decade? [more inside]
This is the Wartime Broadcasting Service. This country has been attacked with nuclear weapons. Communications have been severely disrupted, and the number of casualties and the extent of the damage are not yet known. We shall bring you further information as soon as possible. - The BBC releases its script for use in the event of nuclear war.
In a time before the Prius, the custom conversion van ruled the roadways. Pushing the boundaries of the airbrush form, testing the limits of mobile interior design, featuring the latest in automatic pink leather bed, compact toaster, 8-track, and love machine technology, the 70s van was celebrated in song and cinema. You started with a factory model, new or used, and ended at a place limited onlyby your creativity, your budget, and your old lady's patience (NSFW). Ford could make you a man.If push came to shove, you could even live in your van. It was fantasy on wheels: van-tastic, man. [more inside]
Shaft was so cool that he had his own theme song. Shaft walked across the street whenever he wanted to. Shaft was a complicated man. But not all Blaxploitation heros were Private Dicks. They could be a Pimp, a Power-Hungry Criminal, a Coke Dealer, or a Male Prostitute. One was a Former Green Beret, one was a Bounty Hunter, and one was a Prize Fighter. Some were Foxy Ladies, such as Vigilante Nurses, US Special Agents, or Escaped Convicts. They might even be a Karate Master or a Vampire. [more inside]
The Doll Games emerged in Berkeley, California, at a time when race, gender, politics, and sexuality were fiercely and publicly debated... The Doll Games held up a funhouse mirror to their times, and what survives of them are historical documents of a wobbly, comical sort. But the Doll Games transcend their epoch. Intricate, obsessional, moral, violent and sexual, funny and tragic... Obedient to no rules except those its practitioners invented for themselves, completely collaborative, the Doll Games defined a truly interactive art form. In this theater of two, every audience member was a co-creator. [some text and pics NSFW]
Gram Parsons fans take note - there's a recent new biography and a release of 90 minutes of vintage Flying Burrito Brothers. Some rare footage has also recently surfaced online: performing with FBB and duets with Emmylou Harris 1, 2, 3. Other items of note: Emmylou talks about Gram in 2000; British biographical sketch; Keith Richards on Gram in Rolling Stone; an interview with Manuel, the designer of the famous Nudie suit. [more inside]
Early Kraftwerk @ YouTube, from when they still had long hair—Ruckzuck live on WDR TV in 1970; Truckstop Gondolero (aka Rückstossgondoliere), a 1971 performance where the line-up is Florian with Klaus Dinger and Michael Rother, later of NEU!; Heavy Metal Kids (audio only), also from 1971; and a lovely version of Tanzmusik (1973). [more inside]
New York artist Ashley Hope's Ripeness is All exhibit at the Tilton Gallery recreates crime scene photographs of murdered women from the 1910s through the 1990s as oil paintings on huge 4' x 6' canvasses. [some nsfw art] [more inside]
"New York City 1968-1972" Some very compelling black and white street photography by Paul McDonough. via
Playboy. Cowboy. Mandom. The late Charles Bronson and his perfect chest, in one of his finest early pre-Death-Wish roles. And look out for Percy Helton. Here's a shorter version with more horse. Via here. [more inside]
From hair styles and hotpants to bellbottoms and boots, this site has amassed a massive fashion photo collection of groovy celebrities and swingin' stars from the '60s and '70s.
From the Golden Age of TV commercial jingles, variations on a lyric theme: Wonderbra ads from 1968 (#1), 1968 (#2), 1969, 1974, 1975, and 1979, all served up in the groovy pop aesthetic of those fabulous decades! It's a wonderful thing. [lyrics inside]
Hold on to your talking magic flute, 70s kids... a new, animated H.R. Pufnstuf is on the island. Beatbox reworking of the original theme song included (Before/After). I'm dying to hear what they'll do with Mechanical Boy...
Oh, Wicked Wanda. So very, very NSFW. But the artwork is nice. Full-color comics from Penthouse, circa 1970s. Background
Jazz '71-'89 Dave Douglas posed the challenge: “Is there a writer who can take on the project of an unbiased overview of music since the end of the Vietnam War?” The Bad Plus answered (though not unbiased). The Guardian and NY Times weighed in. Suck it, haters. And ultimately, Behearer used a wiki to answer the call.
Since April of this year, the blogger over at PlaidStallions has been dutifully scanning the most interesting/unique pages from 1970's department store catalogs (among other things) and posting the images online with commentary.
1970s toy commercials. From an era when things were more fun, cool, and fresh. Whether you were a hipster or a genius type, there was some creative and smart toy to be had. Many toys were educational and prepared you for the vicissitudes of adulthood. (YouTube alert!)
That's Punksploitation!! Can punk rock episodes of old TV shows kill? Check out punk episodes from Quincy, CHiPs (Part 1 and Part 2), 21 Jump Street (Part 1 and Part 2), as well as the appearance of the Dickies on the Don Rickles sitcom, CPO Sharkey. Other prime vintage examples of media cluelessness on punk rock include a fashion show and a scaremongering Time magazine article, although a recent cookie commercial may revive the punksploitation genre.