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Spy-Fidelity: Dean Martin and the sexy ladies of the ‘Matt Helm’ films
04:09 pm


Dean Martin
Lalo Schifrin
Matt Helm

When I was a little boy, I used to love the Matt Helm films. Of all the sub-Bond spy movie imitators of the Sixties, I liked the Matt Helm series the most. They were flashy, colorful, cartoony and quite frankly, they were simple enough for a bright five-year old to more or less understand them. That’s how old I would have been when I discovered them. I thought Dean Martin was an actor who played Matt Helm, agent of I.C.E. (Intelligence and Counter Espionage), first, and a singer second. “He sings, too?” was kinda where my kid’s brain took it, it was even more confusing for me when “Matt” would listen to Dino’s records in the films.

The Matt Helm movies were fairly frequent “Movie of the Week” fare on network television in the early Seventies. I’d watch them each time they aired. I even read some of Donald Hamilton’s Matt Helm novels which you could always find at garage sales for a dime. They were much more serious than the Matt Helm films’ decidedly light-hearted approach. There were a LOT of them, here are some of the titles:

The Removers
The Shadowers
The Ravagers
The Devastators
The Betrayers
The Menacers
The Interlopers
The Poisoners
The Intriguers
The Intimidators
The Terminators
The Retaliators
The Terrorizers
The Revengers
The Annihilators
The Infiltrators
The Detonators
The Vanishers
The Demolishers
The Frighteners
The Threateners
The Damagers

There’s been a rumor for some time that Steven Spielberg wants to revive the series. I kinda hope that doesn’t happen. What’s the point after Austin Powers?

Dean Martin, as he pretty much did in nearly all of his movies, played a fictionalized version of himself—see Billy Wilder’s jaw-dropping Kiss Me, Stupid for the best (and most lurid) example— but in this case he was a jovial charming rogue of an alcoholic playboy super spy and not a jovial, charming rogue of an alcoholic playboy cowboy or a nightclub singer or airplane pilot, etc, etc. He was Dean Martin in James Bond drag, basically. And it worked. The Matt Helm films were some of the top grossing motion pictures of the Sixties. Even if they do seem dated, politically incorrect and sexist, they were really popular in their day.

The ladies of the Matt Helm films were truly impressive, let’s not forget about them. Some of the finest grade-A Sixties pulchritude to be found on the planet—Ann-Margret, Stella Stevens, the ultimate MILF Cyd Charisse (who was a very va va va voomish 45-year old when she made The Silencers), Sharon Tate, Tina Louise, Elke Sommer (how I adored her!) and Nancy Kwan (ditto!)—were all on the, uh, Dean’s list. You could certainly make the case that the Helm films rivaled the Bond films as eye candy for the male members of the audience. The ladies had Dino…

These pages are scanned in from Matt Helm promotional calendars from 1968 and 1969.


Tina Louise

Sharon Tate

Elke Sommer

Jann Watson

Alena Johaston

Penny Brahms

Marilyn Tindall

It’s interesting to note that although the Matt Helm series obviously grew out of a desire to copy the success of the Bond films with a home-grown Hollywood version (producer Irving Allen had fumbled the ball on Bond, having insulted Ian Fleming about his books potential as television projects), the James Bond franchise took on a decidedly Matt Helm-esque flavor during the Roger Moore years.

To get Dean Martin to star as Matt Helm, Allen was obliged to make him a partner in the film franchise. Martin ended up making more on The Silencers than Sean Connery made for playing James Bond in Thunderball. Soon after hearing of this, Connery renegotiated his deal.

Japanese Murderer’s Row poster

Below, Murderer’s Row with Ann-Margret and Karl Malden. Dig the FAB opening credits with a typically great score by spy-fi maestro, Lalo Schifrin.

Here’s a trailer for the film that is typical of the whimsical attitude of the Matt Helm films. Clearly the man don’t give a fuck!

Previously on Dangerous Minds:
‘The time I met Dean Martin…’: A True Story

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Guy proposes to his girlfriend while on a paddle boat… but there’s a slight problem
02:57 pm



I don’t know what I was expecting when I clicked “play,” but I certainly wasn’t expecting what happened. The looks on everyone’s faces on the boat are priceless (especially the guy doing the proposing). In all honestly, though, I could see myself doing exactly the same thing (what the girlfriend did).

I wonder WHAT happened next!?!

So many goddamned questions…

via reddit

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
5th grade girl discovers Dead Kennedys CD at school library; writes diary entry about it
12:23 pm


Dead Kennedys

Dead Kennedys photo by ©Laura Levine
Okay, so this adorable letter supposedly written by a 5th grade girl has been making the rounds on the Internet the past few days. I hesitated posting it because there was no real information about its provenance. Is it too good to be true? I don’t know.

Click here to read larger image.
Here’s what Vanyaland has to say about it:

A 20-year-old from Indianapolis named Taylor-Ruth has a much cooler story — discovering Dead Kennedys at the library when she was in 5th grade, and on September 26 of that year she sat down to write pretty much the best grade-school letter anyone has ever written. Though the note was posted to her tumblr last year, it was recently retweeted by Jason Isbell, and the other day Devin Faraci of Badass Digest did some sleuthing to piece it all together.

Now some folks are calling shenanigans on the letter because they say there’s no way a librarian is going believe a 5th grader is a 15-year-old teen. I’m not too sure about that, I got a tattoo when I was 12 years old. The tattooist asked me if I was 18 years old, I said “Yep!” and she then said, “Hop in the chair then, and let’s do this.” When I got home, let’s just say… my parents were not pleased. But what were they going to do about it at that point. Besides that, my father had gotten one when he was just ten…

Below, “The Beatles” perform “California Über Alles”:

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
’What Every Child Needs To Know About Punk Rock’ is a real children’s book that actually exists

The Ramones’ 40th anniversary celebration just happened at Bowery Electric last weekend, and the last living original member of the band died, aged 65, just a couple of months short of being able to attend. Punk rock is OLD, and yet, through generations, it persists. As ways for a kid to rebel go, punk has been extraordinarily durable and flexible. Its most basic and superficial tropes were long ago rendered cartoonish or outright mainstreamed, but the defiant outlook they express is eternal.

Eh, why not? It’d beat them turning Juggalo.

The very idea of punk as a staid cultural institution, let alone toddler-book fodder, might be met with wounded howls of opposition from some circles—as it should be—but again, 40 years. There are OG punks who are grandparents now. I have an 11-year-old Godson who spent his infancy decked out in Ramones and DK’s onesies. So as weird and implausible as a children’s book frankly explaining punk may sound at first blush, one could make a case that by now, it’s pretty well overdue. What Every Child Needs To Know About Punk Rock was released about a week before the Ramones’ 40th anniversary show, and it’s actually kind of awesome. I’ll let these spreads speak for themselves.

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The book is credited on the cover to “Brad and Marc.” Sounds pretty casual, but both of them are highly credentialed.  Marc is researcher and healthcare analyst Marc Engelsgjerd, and Brad is child behavior expert R. Bradley Snyder. The two have co-authored several books in this series, penning What Every Child Needs To Know About board books on a topics as trivial as pizza and coffee, and as serious as cancer and the economy. I can think of a few adults in pretty dire need of that last one.

Click to enlarge

Spreads reproduced with permission from Need to Know Publishing

Previously on Dangerous Minds
Napalm Death on children’s TV, 1989
Before Harry Potter there was ‘How to Make Magic’: A childrens guide to practicing the occult
Right-winger accuses ‘Sesame Street’ of corrupting America’s youth with self-esteem
Barbarian metal is for the children: Manowar on Nickelodeon

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
Strunk and White supremacy: Racist secessionist eggheads obsessed with spelling and usage

Take note, Tea Party: No spelling mistakes here
The League of the South is not your ordinary band of Southern racists. In describing the group, the Southern Poverty Law Center emphasizes its intellectual credentials—“Originally founded by a group that included many Southern university professors, the group lost its Ph.D.s as it became more explicitly racist.” Hmmm. It seems that the professorial roots of the group have never really gone away, no matter how small the group is today. The group’s mission is, per the SPLC, is as follows: “The league believes the “godly” nation it wants to form should be run by an “Anglo-Celtic” (read: white) elite that would establish a Christian theocratic state and politically dominate blacks and other minorities.” It turns out that the League of the South takes that “Anglo-Celtic” thing pretty seriously.

Buried on the group’s website is a series of pages on the theme of “Verbal Independence.”  They were written by Dr. James Everett Kibler Jr., and just by using periods to cap off the “Dr.” and the “Jr.” there, I’m annoying the good doctor mightily, for as he writes, seeking an unimpeachable Southern authority to justify his preference: “Mr Mrs Ms Dr Sr Jr Rev Esq—We do not use a period with these abbreviations. Interestingly, the great Southern writer William Faulkner always deleted the period in Mr and Mrs. ... We Southerners certainly thus have powerful precedent in adopting these forms used by the 20th century writer most celebrated worldwide. So, indeed, thank you Mr (no period) Faulkner.” Kibler is identified as the League’s “Cultural Committee Chairman.”

Dr. James Everett Kibler Jr.
So what kind of “style guide” does a committed racist write? Turns out, one that would not garner any attention whatsoever in the United Kingdom. That is to say, the bulk of Kibler’s guide is dedicated to such exciting prescriptions as spelling “color” with an extra “u,” replacing the “z” in “organize” with an “s,” and so on. Kibler even takes pains to insist upon single quotation marks in preference to double quotation marks and vice versa, just like they do in England. Kibler also includes a “special section” of words not covered by any rule, such as cheque, meagre, enquiry, and so on.

Once you get past the British-American style recommendations, the style guide degenerates into a series of ad hoc rules designed to retrofit a system of grammar around preexisting Southern phraseology, as in the paragraph that states that “mash” is too a perfectly acceptable synonym for “press,” as in telling someone to “mash three, please” in an elevator. (It took me a few moments to glean his meaning, actually, but I’m a nasty Northern type.) Amusingly, his irritation over this word apparently stems from incidents “in a Northern city (like Atlanta or Charlotte).” Burn! Take that, Atlanta!

One of KIbler’s longest entries is about the distinction between the words raise and rear. Now, I have to confess .... I’m an editor by trade, I’ve edited at least 150 books in my time as well as countless other pieces of printed matter. I’ve read style guides very much like that produced by Dr. Kibler (only with less racism). I’m a devotee of the Chicago Manual of Style. So all this stuff is very, very familiar to me. I do this for a living, I think about the differences between titular and eponymous, between further and farther, and much else.

All of that is preamble to this: confession: I have never seriously considered the words raise and rear as being of especial interest. Not so Dr. Kibler—he is very upset about raise and rear. Let’s give him the floor (note that the removal of apostrophes from single-syllable words accords with one of his rules):

A celebrated Pulitzer prize winning, South-hating author of my acquaintance once chastised me in an emotional outburst for my saying a certain black lady was raised near my home. ‘Like turnips!’ he blazed with righteousness, saying I had used a racially demeaning figure of speech like the ‘n-word’ or boy. Even after I got over my initial shock, I did not attempt to explain what most Southerners know—that we in the South are (if we are fortunate enough) all raised, both black and white, and not reared. And it is, indeed, no doubt, like turnips with us—yes, and also like cotton, okra, and beans—and with no shame in that! Any agrarian people well knows the image is a good one, for crops need the careful long process of planting, daily tendance, and then the grace of God over all—to yield up a successful crop. Raising requires great loving care and more than just biological growth. So out of our noble Southern agrarian heritage, let us keep our expression to raise, and foreswear to rear. And that will make certain we also keep the good old countryman’s phrase, ‘Boy, aint you had no raising?’ And we’ll know precisely what we mean. Because inherent in raising is good, courteous behaviour—good manners which must be taught in social situations by the family.

Call me crazy, but if touchy incidents involving race yielding a ringing sense of ressentiment constitute the core of your orthographical and grammatical agenda, it may be that you’re not really all that interested in spelling and grammar to begin with.

A League of the South billboard—again, no typos
Thanks to Mark Davis!

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Lucifer, Wozards & Music for Plants: The Electronic World of Mort Garson
09:44 am


Mort Garson

Cover for Mort Garson's
When people talk about pioneers of electronic music, several key names are invoked. Musique concrète founder Pierre Schaeffer, Karlheinz Stockhausen, John Cage and Moog-goddess Wendy Carlos, just to mention a few. But one name that does not get invoked nearly enough is Mort Garson. This Canadian-born composer was not only a mere innovator but went on to make some of the most deliriously strange and wondrous electronic compositions (and cover versions) of the 20th century. Just the fact that the phrase, “occult-pop” has been used as a descriptor of his work should give you just a tiny hint of this man’s wholly unique genius.

Originally finding work as a session musician and lyricist, working with artists like Julie London, Rod McKuen, Doris Day and The Lettermen, it was when he started to work with the still new instrument known as the Moog Synthesizer, that things become very, very interesting. Albums like Zodiac: Cosmic Sounds and The Wozard of Iz, a psychedelic retelling of The Wizard of Oz, managed to create something that was on one hand very much of its time and yet, transcended the calculatedness of an industry cashing in on “The Love Generation” and become something on its own. The Wozard of Iz in particular, with such strong tracks like “Big Sur” and “Killing of the Witch,” is symptomatic of the high quality of Garson’s work. Some parts are kitschy-in-a-groovy-way, while others are as lush as they are alien.

“Big Sur”
In 1971, Garson made Black Mass under the appropriate moniker, “Lucifer.” While it’s not as ooky-spooky as it may sound, Black Mass is the kind of album you can listen to in a pitch black room and be transported to some charismatically unsettling landscape with nary a drug in your system. You don’t need drugs for this kind of beautiful high-weirdness. Mort Garson is the drug.

Mort would dip into the occult realm yet again with 1975’s The Unexplained: Electronic Musical Impressions of the Occult under the nom de plume Ataraxia, which is the Greek definition of “lucid state of robust tranquility.” Change “robust” to “robot” and that definition is apt for The Unexplained.

More Mort after the jump…

Posted by Heather Drain | Leave a comment
‘Cycle Slut’ Barbra Streisand gets naughty in BDSM photoshoot, 1970

Holy hell! I had no idea Babs had it in her! Barbra Streisand looks absolutely crazy-hot here in a series of photos from a photoshoot she did for the 1970 film The Owl and the Pussycat. I mean, just look at her!

In the film, Streisand plays the role of “a somewhat uneducated actress, model and part-time prostitute.” Her character’s name is Doris. There’s a scene in the The Owl and the Pussycat where Doris’ love interest, Felix—played by George Segal—walks past an adult movie theater and is shocked to see that Doris is starring in a “porn” called Cycle Sluts. (I added the YouTube video at the very bottom of the post so you can see what I’m talking about. It’s very short.) In the brief scene you see Felix’s mortified face staring at the posters for Cycle Sluts which features Doris and a few pals in somewhat “naughty” BDSM-type poses.

Annnnnd, that’s where these photos came from. They were basically shot for a prop in a brief scene. It was driving me nuts. My husband suggested that they might’ve been from a Playboy magazine spread promoting the film, but no, in actual fact, they were props.

In other news, La Streisand is about to become the only person to score a number one album for six consecutive decades with the release of her upcoming album, Partners which is expected to top the Billboard 200.

PS - It took me forever to find these images on the Internet. They weren’t that easy to locate. I actually found a few on a fetish thread for dudes who like dominatrixes with big noses. That’s a specific fetish. A new one on me!




More after the jump…

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Dear God. Some rich guy is trying to produce a suit/onesie hybrid called ‘The Suitsy’
08:22 am



In case you needed clarification, he created a diagram.
Ever wonder what San Francisco venture capitalists do in their free time? I refer you to Jesse Herzog, Vice President of Development for AGI Capital, and inventor of the Suitsy, a one-piece suit. “But Amber!” I can hear you protest, “the very aesthetic of a suit is predicated upon multiple garments!” No longer, dear friend, because Jesse Herzog has found a way to combine comfort, utility and style! From his Betabrand page (a competitive crowd-funding fashion fashion venture—enough votes for Jesse will get his prototype in production and for sale online!):

Welcome to a revolution in apparel for the modern gentleman. Imagine looking professional but feeling like you are in pajamas. Consider wearing a suit and a onesie at the same time. Welcome to the Suitsy.

The Suitsy is a jacket connected to a shirt connected to pants. A zipper is hidden behind the shirt button placard (with false buttons) and pants zipper. Fake shirt cuff material extends from the end of the jacket sleeves to give the impression of an actual complete dress shirt worn underneath. It’s like if a jumpsuit and a business suit had a lovechild.

Your love child should have been aborted.

My first thought was that Mr. Herzog was yanking our chain, but since his biography says he also once ran a hotdog stand… then sent a hotdog into space, it appears burning cash on “eccentricities” is kind of his modus operandi. (There’s no better indictment of capitalism than what capitalists’ spend their money on—at least kings and queens gave us Beethoven and Versailles!) I’m not going to address the sheer corniness of an an adult man trying to sell office jammies to other adult men, but I would like to point out that anyone who’s ever worn a romper, or even noticed the low inseam on an actual jumpsuit, knows what happens to one the first time you raise your arms—the crotch raises with them.

Check out a demonstration of the Suitsy below. You’ll notice that even the dog looks concerned.

Via Betabrand

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
Pricasso: The artist who uses his penis as a paintbrush (NSFW)
07:07 am


penis art

Meet Pricasso—the artist who uses his penis as a paintbrush.

Australian artist Pricasso (real name Tim Patch) started using his dick as a brush after watching a performance of Puppetry of the Penis in 2005. Inspired by those genital gymnasts, Tim decided to see if he could draw a smiley face with his wang on the back of a public urinal. He did, and this first success encouraged Patch to paint with his wee man.

After telling friends of his newly discovered penile skills, Patch was dared to paint portraits at a New Year’s party. In 2006, Tim became Pricasso, (allegedly) the only artist who paints with his penis.
Over the past eight years Pricasso has entertained audiences across the world painting portraits and landscapes with his dick, balls and ass. Sometimes he paints at parties—but these “can get a bit out of hand,” and he’s even “painted directly onto naked women’s bodies.”

Pricasso’s portraits look like the kind of caricatures painted by artists around tourist hot spots in London, Paris, or Rome—happy, smiling faces in bright primary colors. Speed is of the essence and Pricasso can paint a recognizable portrait in twenty minutes. As regular paints erode the skin, Pricasso has created his own water based colors. He further protects his skin by covering his genitals and buttocks with vaseline before applying the paints with his manhood. Looking a bit like Frank N. Furter’s Rocky, the buffed and toned sixty-something Pricasso paints in the nude, and a commissioned portrait will cost between $299 and $1,000.
But slapping his genitals all over a canvas is not Pricasso’s only talent, he enjoys writing poetry about the thing that is closest to his art:

I’ll always remember the words my mother said
the day I was born- as she lay in her bed
as they handed me too her- here is your son
those words they still haunt me
He’s bloody well hung.

At school I exposed it to all of the kids
the big ones all loved it- and I loved what they did
my schoolwork shrank- and I got lots of spankings
but it rapidly grew- from constantly wanking.

Pricasso has traveled all over the world, and will be visiting Miami in November. Check here for more details.

More from the undisputed master of penis painting after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
The Rolling Stones’ studio receipt for recording ‘Wild Horses’ and ‘Brown Sugar’
05:53 am


Rolling Stones
Muscle Shoals

Bill Wyman, Jimmy Johnson, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts, Marshall Chess (president of Rolling Stones Records), Ahmet Ertegun (president of Atlantic Records) and Terry Woodford
Is Sticky Fingers the Stones’ best album? What do you think? There’s a lot of competition, Let It Bleed, Exile on Main Street, Beggars Banquet...... Sticky Fingers is up there, though.

Sticky Fingers was one of the first albums recorded at Muscle Shoals Sound Studio, in Sheffield, Alabama, having been founded by the Swampers just a couple years earlier. Over the course of the 1970s a lot of great music was recorded there, from Paul Simon and Rod Stewart to Bob Dylan, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and beyond. Cher’s album 3614 Jackson Highway takes its title from the studio’s address. In 2009 Akron’s the Black Keys came down to Muscle Shoals to cut Brothers, which ended up winning a Grammy.

As it happens, only three songs off of Sticky Fingers were recorded at Muscle Shoals, but two of them were the album’s only two singles and are without question the most immortal tracks off the album: “Wild Horses” and “Brown Sugar.” (The third song recorded at Muscle Shoals was “You Gotta Move.”)

(Click on the image for a larger version.)
Here’s the receipt that Muscle Shoals remitted to the Stones, or more precisely ABKCO, being the company founded by one Allen B. Klein, the shark tasked with managing both the Beatles and the Stones for a time. The Sticky Fingers sessions ran from December 2 to 4, 1969, with the rest of the album being recorded during much of 1970. This session was one of the last times Klein would be their manager, as the Stones would jettison him (as much as was possible) as soon as they could. As you can see, the receipt helpfully says “The Rolling Stones / Wild Horses” right on it. 

So that’s that: In 1969 recorded two of rock music’s greatest songs and paid a cool grand for the privilege. That amount of money translates into about $6,500 today.

Here are some wonderful pics of the Stones (found here) recording parts of Sticky Fingers at Muscle Shoals:

Mick Taylor, Keith Richards, and Ian Stewart (standing)

Charlie Watts

Bill Wyman, Jimmy Johnson, Mick Jagger, Charlie Watts, and Ian Stewart

Mick Jagger recording the percussion on “Brown Sugar”

Mick Taylor working out on the congas

Muscle Shoals Sound Studio in Sheffield, Alabama
via Blue Arrow Records

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
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