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That time 100,000 Iranian women protested against mandatory wearing of the hijab, 1979.
10.17.2017
09:40 am
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There was once a strong belief among many Iranians that if they wanted something, then they just had to go out onto the street and demand it. This idea was fostered by the role many Iranians had in deposing Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and bringing back the radical Muslim cleric Ayatollah Khomeini from exile in France in 1979. This ended 2,500 years of Persian monarchy, replacing it with an Islamic Republic.

The Shah was seen as an autocratic, brutal, and oppressive dictator, who was attempting to westernize the country against the will of the people. The opposition to the Shah and his alleged evil western ways brought together an odd mix of Marxists, socialists, Islamic fundamentalists, and even the misguided media outlet the BBC. Together this unlikely coalition succeeded by demonstrations, strikes, marches, and news propaganda in forcing the Shah (and his supporters) to flee Iran and to bring in the Ayatollah and his Islamic revolution.

Many Iranians thought they were taking back control of their country for themselves. It wasn’t quite so simple. Political coalitions, no matter how well-meaning, only ever work in favor of those who appear to have the most power. The Ayatollah Khomeini was a figurehead around whom the country could unite. Therefore, Khomeini appeared to have the most power. Rather than working together to curtail the Khomeini’s influence, the socialists and the Marxists and the liberals all tried to win his support. This only confirmed to the Ayatollah Khomeini (and the Muslims who supported him) that he was in control.

An estimated one million people greeted the Ayatollah Khomeini’s arrival in Iran by Air France jet, in February 1979. By the end of March, the people had voted by an overwhelming margin of 99% to make Iran an Islamic Republic.

Though women were credited by the Ayatollah Khomeini for their essential role in bringing about the Iranian revolution, in early March 1979, he paid back their actions by implementing an edict that made it compulsory for all women to wear the hijab (veil) in public. Suddenly, any promise the Ayatollah offered of a new, better, fairer Iran was revealed as nothing more than a chimera. Khomeini was a hardline fundamentalist and he had no time for individual freedom—not when he knew what his invisible friend wanted. And Allah apparently wanted women covered up.

On March 8th, 1979, 100,000 women marched on the streets of Tehran against the mandatory wearing for all women of the hijab. Photographer Hengameh Golestan was present that day and believed it was her responsibility to document the demonstration as she was witnessing “something historic.”

It was a huge demonstration with women – and men – from all professions there, students, doctors, lawyers. We were fighting for freedom: political and religious, but also individual.

~Snip~

“They were demanding the freedom of choice. It wasn’t a protest against religion or beliefs, in fact many religious women joined the protest, this was strictly about women’s rights, it was all about having the option.”

~Snip~

I was walking beside this group of women, who were talking and joking. Everyone was happy for me to take their picture. You can see in their faces they felt joyful and powerful. The Iranian revolution had taught us that if we wanted something, we should go out into the street and demand it. People were so happy – I remember a group of nurses stopping some men in a car and telling them: “We want equality, so put on some scarves, too!” Everyone laughed.

I wanted to join in all the protests during the revolution, but I knew I had to go as a photographer. My first thought was: “It’s my responsibility to document this.” I’m rather small, so I was ducking in and out of the crowd, constantly taking photos. I took about 20 rolls of film. When the day was over, I ran home to develop them in my darkroom. I knew I had witnessed something historic. I was so proud of all the women. I wanted to show the best of us.

This turned out to be the last day women walked the streets of Tehran uncovered. It was our first disappointment with the new post-revolution rulers of Iran. We didn’t get the effect we had wanted. But when I look at this photo, I don’t just see the hijab looming over it. I see the women, the solidarity, the joy – and the strength we felt.

The women lost. The demonstration ended with the women being attacked and some even stabbed on the streets of Tehran. The men and their sexist, superstitious beliefs won. It’s a way of having power over women that continues to this day in many different forms.

Pioneering photographer Hengameh Golestan has been documenting life in Iran for 28 years, see more of her work here.
 
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See more photos, after the jump…
 

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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10.17.2017
09:40 am
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Brain Salad Surgery: The H. R. Giger artwork that inspired ‘Alien’
10.17.2017
08:53 am
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One of the images from H.R. Giger’s ‘Necronomicon.’

H.R. Giger’s 1977 book Necronomicon showcased his chilling, futuristic images of a world beyond our own would become the basis and inspiration for director Ridley Scott’s 1979 film Alien.

Giger’s profile was raised in 1973 when his sci-fi art was showcased by prog-rockers Emerson Lake & Palmer on the elaborate cover of their 1973 album Brain Salad Surgery. Swiss publishing house Sphinx-Verlag would publish a German-language portfolio full of Giger’s work about the mythical “Necronomicon” in 1977, as well as a French edition that same year. As you may be aware, Giger’s Necronomicon was inspired by the make-believe textbook of magic nightmared up by H.P. Lovecraft which the author first referenced in his 1924 short story, The Hound. When it comes to Giger’s dangerous, dark, and often somewhat R-rated take on the evil grimoire, the author and artist put his own unique spin on the book, undeniably his most vital and influential piece of work. In 1985 Giger would put out another edition of the material, Necronomicon 2 expanded to include 184 more images of his terrifying biomechanical creations and grim futuristic visions. 

Tracking down a copy of Giger’s Necronomicon isn’t difficult as long as you’re not coveting an original which can run you a few thousand bucks, while reprints usually sell for $200-$250. I’ve posted some of Giger’s work from the Necronomicon below—most which are emphatically NSFW.
 

 

 
More Giger after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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10.17.2017
08:53 am
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‘Halloween’ history: A female ‘Michael Myers’ slasher mask exists & it’s as terrifying as it sounds
10.17.2017
07:48 am
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Behold the “She Mask” a female version of the “Michael Myers” slasher mask created by Don Post Studios.
 
My enthusiasm for all things horror knows no bounds. I honestly can’t get enough of the genre and still look forward to Halloween with the zeal of a kid armed with a grinning, giant plastic pumpkin overloaded with enough candy to bring on diabetes overnight. One of my annual Halloween traditions is to watch the first three Halloween films during October—and it never gets old. For me at least. So, here’s the thing—even though I’d say I know my horror, I had no idea that the famous mask donned by “Michael Myers” in the film was made from a life cast of actor William Shatner’s face during the filming of 1975’s The Devil’s Rain.

But before we get to that, let me give you a quick history lesson on Don Post Studios who made the original William Shatner mask that would later become the face of evil incarnate thanks to Carpenter’s vision of a killer with a “pale face” and “human features.” 

Known as the “Godfather of Halloween” Don Post founded Don Post Studios in 1938, the first company to create the rubber masks we all know and love today, including a line of masks based on the classic movie monsters of Universal Pictures such as Frankenstein’s monster and the Wolfman. In the 1970s DPS put out masks based on the characters from the television series Star Trek including one in the image of Captain Kirk and another of “Mr. Spock” as played by Leonard Nimoy. Though kids were digging dressing up like both actors, the sale of these rubber masks was dismal. This didn’t surprise the folks at Don Post Studios as they had originally wanted to put out a collection of masks based on the aliens and far-out monsters featured on Star Trek but were told by Paramount to stick with Kirk and Spock.

Both masks were sculpted by William Malone, a long time artist, sculptor, and mask maker who worked extensively with Don Post Studios. According to Malone (noted in the book Voices in the Dark: Interviews with Horror Writers, Directors and Actors), director John Carpenter once visited him while he was at work and made the suggestion that the Shatner/Kirk mask would be cooler if it was painted white—though Malone couldn’t understand why anyone, much less Carpenter, would be even remotely interested in such a mask. Of course, the release of Carpenter’s first Halloween film showcasing actor Tony Moran wearing the Shatner mask painted white in 1978 changed all that once the film gained popularity. Sadly for DPS, their licensing with Paramount for the Captain Kirk mask had expired and their backlog of masks were gone—making it impossible for them to cash in on the Michael Myers mask craze. They would later engage the services of sculptor Neil Surges to create a generic “Everyman” mask in 1986 which would become a huge seller for the company until they closed up shop in 2012.

So what about the “She Mask” version of Michael Myers? Well, that’s where this story takes a bit of a weird, left turn.

In 2001 Don Post Studios decided that a female version of their best-selling Michael Myers/“Everyman” mask should be a real thing. So they came up with the “She Mask” (which was also sometimes called the “Michelle Myers mask”) that came with long hair, pink lipstick, blue eyeshadow and a fierce eyebrow game. According to folklore about the mask, DPS only produced a small number of the deeply creepy monster mashup making it quite the covetable collector’s item. The mask did end up in a film in 2009 called The Poughkeepsie Tapes, but that’s all I’m going to say about that. I’ve posted a few pictures of the “Michelle Myers” mask below. If you need me, I most definitely won’t be hiding under the bed or in a closet.
 

The ultra-rare “She Mask” (also known as the “Michelle Myers mask” by Don Post Studios.
 

A still of the “She Mask” in action from the 2007 film ‘The Poughkeepsie Tapes.’
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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10.17.2017
07:48 am
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Nick Cave’s life & work come alive in a stunning new 328-page graphic novel ‘Nick Cave: Mercy on Me’
10.17.2017
07:48 am
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An illustration by Reinhard Kleist from his new graphic novel, ‘Nick Cave: Mercy on Me.’
 

“Floods, fire, and frogs leapt out of my throat,” he explained. “Though I had no notion of that then, God was talking not just to me but through me, and His breath stank. I was a conduit for a God that spoke in a language written in bile and puke. And for a while, that suited me fine.”

—Nick Cave ruminates on God during a broadcast by BBC Radio 3 Religious Services in 1996. Read/listen to it here.

From his origins growing up in Australia glued to The Johnny Cash Show, to his days with The Birthday Party and later The Bad Seeds—author and illustrator Reinhard Kleist has left no stone unturned when it comes to his exploration of Nick Cave’s life in his new graphic novel, Nick Cave: Mercy on Me.

Kleist uses his dark and striking illustrations to help bring out emotions such as dread, desperation, persistence, and revelation as they witness Cave’s life and long career, from his huge-hair and heroin days with The Birthday Party to his more polished yet still antagonistic times with The Bad Seeds. The book even incorporates things from 2014’s documentary, 20,000 Days On Earth. Like life in general, the book is often a grim ride—especially when it concerns Cave’s early days in and out of addiction clinics and his time in Berlin—which, according to Cave, was a moment in his life where he felt “quite lost.” There he met Christoph Dreher, founder of the post-rock band Die Haut whom Cave credits with “basically keeping him alive” for a few years (you can see a blistering performance by Cave with Die Haut back in 1992, which is depicted in Kleist’s book, here). If you’re wondering how the legendarily cantankerous Mr. Cave feels about Kleist’s book, here’s more on that directly from the man himself:

“Reinhard Kleist, master graphic novelist, and myth-maker has - yet again - blown apart the conventions of the graphic novel by concocting a terrifying conflation of Cave songs, biographical half-truths and complete fabulations and creating a complex, chilling and completely bizarre journey into Cave World. Closer to the truth than any biography, that’s for sure! But for the record, I never killed Elisa Day.”

Stop me if I’m wrong, but I do believe that Cave just gave Kleist two goth-thumbs up for his efforts. I agree with Cave’s assessment of Kleist’s work, and if you are at all of a fan of Nick Cave, I recommend picking this book up right away. An English version of the graphic novel (which was initially published in German), can be found here. In case there is still any doubt that you need this book, I’ve posted a large collection of Kleist’s starkly beautiful illustrations from Nick Cave: Mercy on Me, below.
 

An illustration from ‘Nick Cave: Mercy on Me,’ Reinhard Kleist.
 

 

 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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10.17.2017
07:48 am
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Aurora: Time-traveling Nazis & extradimensional cryptids in shocking tale of the weird wild west…
10.17.2017
06:33 am
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Poster by Dave McKean
 
When you say “the first UFO crash in American history” most people think of Roswell, but the honor actually goes to Aurora, Texas. In 1897.  I was excited to hear that my art dealer/book publisher friend Thomas Negovan entered the world of movie-making—he’s a man of extraordinarily great taste and an expert in Symbolist art (among many other things)—took the 19th century newspaper reports and wrapped them in a mind-bending tale of time-traveling Nazis and extradimensional cryptids in the weird wild west. It was even shot in an actual ghost town.

His film debut pays homage to science fiction and horror films of the 1950s and harnesses a lot of artistic talent: the release poster was designed by graphic novel legend Dave McKean (The Sandman, Arkham Asylum), the Nazi space suit designs are by fantasy painter Brom, with the creature concepts done by famed painter Gail Potocki. The soundtrack featuring thereminist Armen Ra and ex-Dresden Dolls and Nine Inch Nails drummer Brian Viglione will be released on glow-in-the-dark vinyl). The creature was appropriately voiced by none other than the very extradimensional Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, creating an alien language utilizing the William Burroughs/Brion Gysin cut-up technique. 
 

Creature designed by Gail Potocki.
 
The project features great art direction and a unique vision. It comes off as if Jodorowsky had directed an episode of The Twilight Zone.
 

Nazi space suit designs by Brom
 
Head to aurorafilm.info to watch the movie trailer and sign up for updates.
 

 

Posted by Richard Metzger
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10.17.2017
06:33 am
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John Peel asks original punks the Mekons, the Slits & others about ‘punk, publicity and profit’
10.16.2017
11:42 am
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The Mekons
 
On October 6, 1978, on BBC Radio One, John Peel touted a TV program on which he appeared, to air the next week, on October 12—exactly 39 years ago last Thursday, as it happens. Here’s what Peel said: “The UK Subs are on Omnibus on next Thursday evening on BBC-1 television, along with the Mekons, the Slits, Jim Pursey, Alternative TV, the Desperate Bicycles, and the playlist committee among other things, and my good self, seen heading a football with more skill than I bet you imagined I had.”

Omnibus was a popular arts program that was in existence from 1967 through 2003. Peel’s documentary was titled “The Record Machine.” Recently the BBC Archive Twitter feed dropped a fascinating supercut from the doc featuring prominent punk bands discussing, often with great subtlety and insight, some of the issues bands were facing as to the ethical status of promotion, publicity, and product.

As the punk movement moved past its initial impact, bands had to confront some basic questions about the meaning of touring and releasing albums—in short, adopting punk as a career—when the underpinnings of the movement included a rejection of established modes and a commitment to the community of downtrodden and frustrated youth. As astute in the interviewer’s seat as he is as a DJ, Peel consistently presses the bands to explain where their heads are at in terms of signing contracts, releasing “product,” touring, and generally balancing the conflicting aims of gratifying fans, preserving artistic integrity, and making some goddamned money!
 

The Slits
 
In Leeds, Mekons manager Mick Wixey snarks that “we’re not on the verge of retirement yet” and registers the injustice of having to make an impact in London in order to get signed to a label. Jimmy Pursey of Sham 69 ruminates on the necessity of allying oneself with an established label in order to finance the process of touring before asserting that Sham 69 saved punk. Ari Up of the Slits whips a soccer ball at Peel’s head just when he’s trying to ask whether the Slits feel any political commitment to working with smaller labels (Viv Albertine says “nah”).

Mark Perry of Alternative TV—who earlier had put out one of the first punk zines, Sniffin’ Glue—relates how bummed out he was when the Clash signed with CBS and registers his disgust at the “two pound fifty” the Buzzcocks were charging for tickets at the time. The most epigrammatic of the bunch might be the UK Subs’ Charlie Harper, who reports that “we done a gig for fourteen pound—and we lost two quid.” Ouch.
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Martin Schneider
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10.16.2017
11:42 am
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They Were There: Composite photos of Queen, Jagger, Beatles and Floyd on London streets then and now
10.16.2017
11:34 am
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I’m reliably told that photographs are polysemous—that is they have multiple meanings which can change depending on mood or understanding of what the image represents. Seems legit.

So let’s take, for example, the picture posted above of three long-haired guys hanging around some city street in the 1970s. It kinda looks like a regular snap of buddies hanging together. But, as soon as we realize its a pic of John Deacon, Roger Taylor, and a rather cool-looking Freddie Mercury of Queen, this picture takes on a whole new meaning.

Now that we know who it is, we probably want to know where this picture of Freddie and co. was taken. The trio was photographed standing outside 143 Wardour Street, Soho, London, in 1974. Next, I suppose we might ask, What were they doing here? Well, from what I can gather, it was taken during a break in the recording of the band’s second album, Queen II at Trident Studios directly opposite. Then we might inspect the image to glean what feelings these young nascent superstars are showing.

Photographer Watal Asanuma beautifully captured the personalities of these three very different individuals (and to an extent their hopes and ambitions) in a seemingly unguarded moment. Queen was on the cusp of their chart success with the “Seven Seas of Rhye” and the imminent release of “Killer Queen.” This photo now has a historical importance because of what we know this trio (and Brian May) went on to achieve.

I guess some of us might even want to go and visit the location to see where exactly Freddie or Roger or John stood and maybe even recreate the photo for the LOLs. It’s a way of paying homage and drawing history into our lives.

For those who can’t make it all the way to London, Music History, the Twitter presence of Rock Walk London, has been compiling selections of such pictures and making composites of the original image with a photo of what the location looks like today. Okay, so it saves the airfare but more importantly It’s a fun and simple way of bringing to life London’s rich history of pop culture in a single image.

If you like this kinda thing and want to see more, then follow Music History here.
 
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More then and now pix of Jagger, Clash, Floyd, and more, after the jump…
 

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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10.16.2017
11:34 am
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Kids dressed up for Halloween like Prince, Adam Ant, KISS, & even a baby Björk
10.16.2017
11:32 am
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A kid version of Adam Ant in his “Prince Charming” getup. Awww.
 
Halloween is nearly upon us, and that means that it is also the only time of year that you get a pass for letting your toddler hold a bottle of Jack Daniels because it happens to be part of their “costume.” If your kid is still a baby, they, of course, have no real say in the Halloween costume decision-making process, mostly because they can’t yet express themselves verbally, which leaves you to dress your said baby like Björk when she made her famous red-carpet appearance at the 2001 Academy Awards in a dress made to look like a swan (created by designer Marjan Pejoski). You wouldn’t be the first parent to do so—and I’ve got photographic proof of that.

This post was inspired by my discovery of one of Glasgow’s coolest inhabitants, photographer, and lecturer Simon Murphy who delights in helping dress up his two daughters as various musical icons such as Janis Joplin, or the alcohol-swilling vocalist for The Pogues, Shane MacGowan. To achieve an authentic look based on MacGowan’s notorious dental problems, Murphy used cake icing that had been colored black to mimic his infamous mouth-full-of-decaying-teeth “smile.”  As a child of the 80s, I spent a lot of time dressing up like Ace Frehley from KISS along with every other kid that liked to rock and roll all night—so I had to include some choice, vintage images of the youngest members of the KISS Army all dressed up to trick or treat. Now, in honor of our Lord and savior The Great Pumpkin, check out the photos of kids looking cooler than we ever did dressed up as rock stars ranging from Angus Young, to our dearly departed Ziggy Stardust, David Bowie, that I’ve posted below.
 

Baby Björk FTW!
 

A mini-version of Prince.
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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10.16.2017
11:32 am
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Alastair Riddell & Space Waltz: New Zealand’s answer to David Bowie were a teen sensation in 1974
10.16.2017
10:02 am
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Space Waltz
 
Haling from Auckland, Space Waltz were a New Zealand glam band, fronted by singer/guitarist/songwriter Alastair Riddell. After a major TV appearance that shocked the country, Riddell and Space Waltz were overnight sensations, but their success was short-lived.

Riddell formed Space Waltz in 1973, though they were originally called Stewart and the Belmonts. After deciding to focus on Riddell’s songs rather than the cover material they were playing, they changed their name to Space Waltz in 1974. Once the group solidified, Riddell’s bandmates were Greg Clark (guitar), Peter Cuddihy (bass), Brent Eccles (drums), and Tony Raynor (keyboards)
 
Early lineup of Space Waltz
An early version of Space Waltz.

Looking to get the most eyes and ears on their new group, Space Waltz determined they should try out for the Studio One—New Faces TV talent contest. Their subsequent audition was a success and soon the group would be seen by a national audience. With a panel of judges and a variety show format—largely consisting of schlocky middle-of-the-road performers—the program was American Idol meets The Ed Sullivan Show. On the August 21, 1974 episode of Studio One—New Faces, Space Waltz were the final act of the evening. Performing Riddell’s “Out on the Street,” the unit—especially their singer—made quite an impression. As Riddell later put it, adults across the country were “shocked and appalled” by his band.
 

 
Global Glam and Popular Music: Style and Spectacle from the 1970s to the 2000s is a 2016 collection of scholarly essays concerning the glam genre. In the piece “Spotting the Rare Sequined Kiwi: Three Approaches to Glam Rock in 1970s New Zealand,” author Ian Chapman writes about Space Waltz’s TV debut and how it impacted New Zealand’s youth:

The younger members of both studio and television audiences reacted to “Out on the Street” with unbridled enthusiasm, while Riddell’s energetic stage presence and unique appearance found similar favor. Performing in make-up and lipstick and wearing a flamboyant costuming, Riddell’s vocals were highly affected while his strutting, posing, and general air of commanding confidence engendered a wide range of reactions, again largely depending upon the age of the viewer.

Space Waltz were instantly famous in New Zealand, with EMI signing the band before the TV competition even ended. At the time, David Bowie was one of the most popular glam artists in New Zealand and Riddell was viewed as the country’s version of Ziggy Stardust.
 
Out on the Street poster
 
“Out on the Street” was rush-released as a single, in order to coincide with Space Waltz’s second television appearance, which would be the Studio One—New Faces finale. The group did another Riddell original, “Beautiful Boy,” with Mike Chunn from Split Enz on bass. Ultimately, they don’t end up with enough votes to win the New Faces contest, though it hardly mattered. Before the vote tally, one judge on the panel exclaims, “My mother hates them!” But he also praises the unit, predicting “Out on the Street” will be a hit.
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Bart Bealmear
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10.16.2017
10:02 am
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Every crate digger’s nightmare: Record store has ‘Whipped Cream and Other Delights’ and nothing else
10.16.2017
01:32 am
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If there’s one thing all record collectors have in common, it’s the experience of running into Whipped Cream & Other Delights by Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass innumerable times…. like literally, every time you go into a record store you haven’t been to already. If you’re flipping through the A rack or the H rack (different stores do it different ways), then at some point you’re quite likely to flip past the familiar green image of a comely lass (Dolores Erickson is her name) wearing nothing but an impossible quantity of a cream-like substance (it was actually shaving cream, and she was pregnant at the time).

Released in 1965, Whipped Cream & Other Delights was the fourth album Alpert put out, and it was one of the most massive successes of pop music history—which explains its ubiquity in today’s used wax market—everybody’s parents had the fucking thing. (Knowledgeable music fans will know that it appeared on A&M Records, primarily because the “A” in A&M Records stands for “Alpert.”)

According to Wikipedia, more than 6 million copies of the album were sold, and unlike later eras there was no question about what format it appeared in—for many years it was vinyl or nothing…. It’s the National Geographic of albums, every record store owner comes across it all the time. Hell, even Maude in The Big Lebowski owns a copy.
 

 
Last week Dave Taylor, who runs Weirdsville Records in Mt. Clemens, Michigan, on the northern edge of Detroit, pulled a funny kind of prank when he decided to switch up the visual look of his store for an hour or two. You can see the results above and below—a full wall of Whipped Cream & Other Delights and Whipped Cream & Other Delights fronting every bin! (Yes, in case you were wondering, the unseen albums in the bins are not all Alpert’s masterpiece, they’re just regular albums.)

Anyone who would name his store Weirdsville and would transform it into a shrine to Herb Alpert is OK by me. I reached out to Taylor and got him to discuss the stunt. His amusing opening salvo went like this: “Every day we get records in. There will be AT LEAST 2 of these in every stack! 9 out of 10 households had this record! It’s a great record and who can’t love this cover?”

One of the most interesting aspects of the display is that Taylor went out of his way to make sure customers understood that the copies are not for sale. Taylor says that he has about 75 copies of the album, and sheepishly admitted that he is “stockpiling the Herb.” A couple years ago DM introduced readers to Rutherford Chang, who is quixotically trying to corner the market in the Beatles’ White Album, and Taylor has seemingly cemented his status as one of the world’s leading Whipped Cream & Other Delights collector—although in this case many used record store proprietors might have a head start in terms of catching up to him!
 

 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Martin Schneider
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10.16.2017
01:32 am
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