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Follies on Ice: Showgirls, men in drag, an ice-skating chimpanzee, a robot, and Elvis
03.16.2017
12:51 pm

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Pop Culture
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A vintage photo of skater Hans Leiter in drag performing in the Ice Capades in 1960.
 
Over the last few weeks for reasons I can’t quite attribute to any one event or reason whatsoever, I’ve been obsessively seeking out photos from vintage ice skating shows such as Holiday on Ice, the Ice Follies, and the Ice Capades. And like pretty much all of the Internet rabbit holes I dig for myself, it produced some pretty great results when it came to the old-school images I found of ice show stars in all kinds of crazy situations over the last sixty or so years.

Despite the fact that I’m from Boston, a true hockey town and lived only a couple of blocks from an ice skating rink, Cherrybomb can’t skate. And I’ve always been envious of people who can. Ice shows were very popular when I was growing up and I attended my fair share as a youth, but they were always of the kiddie variety and while there were ice skating clowns, I do not recall seeing full-on showgirls with feather headdresses or ice-skating jugglers tossing lit torches around on the rink. Perhaps if I had I would have run away with the cool kids in the Ice Capades because both of the previous scenarios still seem way more appealing than an office job.

Ice skating shows date all the way back to the 1930s and the Ice Follies’ performances began in 1936. The Ice Capades made its debut in 1940, and Holiday on Ice got its start a few years later in 1943. The Holiday on Ice show would travel around the world and after getting its start in Ohio, they took the show to Mexico City, South America, Asia, Africa and even Moscow while the Cold War was still in play making the show the very first U.S. entertainment/attraction to perform in the Soviet Union while Nikita Khrushchev looked on.

There was almost nothing these ice shows didn’t do including showcasing male comedians dressed in drag performing skits, and the inclusion of ice skating chimpanzees that performed with the Ice Capades—specifically a little chimp named “Jonny” who was a particular crowd favorite known for not only his ability to skate but for his ice skating stunts like doing cartwheels and jumping over obstacles like Evel Knievel. And if that’s not weird enough for you, at one time the Ice Follies featured a seven-foot, four-inch aluminum and plexiglass ice skating robot named “Commander Robot” in the 1969 version of the show.

Below you’ll find some shots of all three shows, as well as a short video of “Jonny” the chimp and Las Vegas-worthy footage of Holiday on Ice from 1977. Who needs drugs when you have these wild, contact-high inducing photos to look at?
 

Holiday on Ice 1974.
 

Paul Castle the “Mighty Mite” performing in the Ice Capades in 1959.
 

“Jonny” the ice skating monkey and a Holiday on Ice performer taken on the show’s 25th anniversary, 1968.
 
More mirth and mayhem on the ice after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
The gorgeous lesbian erotica of Gerda Wegener
03.16.2017
11:18 am

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Art
Heroes
Queer
Sex

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Gerda and Einer Wegener posing in front of one of Gerda’s paintings, 1925.
 
After moving to Paris from Copenhagen in the early 1900s, the work of then 26-year-old Gerda Wegener garnered the attention of the liberal and experimental art scene thriving in the adventurous city. Though she was already a successful artist in her former hometown well known for her lush illustrations for fashion magazines, a nearly unprecedented event involving her husband Einer would send the pair off to Paris with the hope that their unconventional partnership would be better accepted in the more permissive city.

If Wegener’s name is familiar to you, it is most likely because the extraordinary lives of the groundbreaking artist and her husband were the subjects of the 2015 film, The Danish Girl which was based on a fictional novel from 2000 of the same name by David Ebershoff. If you’ve not read the book or seen the film, the Wegeners’ story is an incredibly compelling tale of love, acceptance, bravery and of course sex. As I don’t want to provide every detail of their extraordinary tale as not to spoil it for anyone, I’ll share a few points of interest as they pertain to Gerda’s spellbinding erotica.

According to historians, Einer’s interest in exploring his true sexuality began after a model failed to show for a sitting with his wife. After she jovially mused that Einer should put on a pair of thigh-highs and heels so she could still paint, he agreed. Unbeknownst to fans of her work, the image of a mysterious dark-haired beauty who would be a reccurring subject in her paintings was actually Einer who had become the primary focus and muse for his wife.

In 1930 after living much of his life as “Lili,” at the age of 47 Einer would travel to Germany to forever transition to a woman and would be one of the first men to go through gender-reassignment surgery. Wegener’s erotic, lesbian-themed paintings caused quite a stir—including the occasional public riot due to their graphic nature. Her less controversial works would grace the pages of Vogue for years as well as other fashion publications.

I’ve included an array of images from Wegener’s vast catalog of erotic works below which, as you might have guessed, are beguilingly NSFW.
 

1926.
 

1925.
 
More after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
McDonald’s Twitter account attacks Donald Trump in one hilarious tweet
03.16.2017
10:32 am

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Amusing
Food

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I’m almost 99.9% certain someone at McDonald’s is getting fired today. At exactly 9:15 a.m. this morning, an unnamed hero at McDonald’s headquarters tweeted via their official Twitter account to Donald Trump, “You are actually a disgusting excuse of a President and we would love to have @BarackObama back, also you have tiny hands.”

The glorious tweet was pinned to the top of their Twitter page for over 20 minutes until it was deleted.

Was their account hacked? Who knows?


 
UPDATE:

 
via Gizmodo

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Killer clowns: Kooky pulp novels & magazines featuring gun-toting, knife-wielding circus clowns
03.16.2017
10:26 am

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Amusing
Literature

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The cover of ‘Uncensored Detective’ 1946.
 
Oddball vintage publications are one of my favorite things to write about here on Dangerous Minds—and like many of you just when I think I’ve seen it ALL (whether I wanted to or not), some “new” vintage weirdness comes across my radar. People often ask me how we find all the high octane, low brow goodness that we feature here on the blog every day. Unfortunately, the answer to that question is also the same as the answer to the first and second rules of Fight Club. Besides, you should consider yourself lucky as these eyes have seen some really, really weird things. (Things no one should see!) Which is a perfect introduction to the subject of this post—bizarre vintage pulp novels and magazines that feature circus clowns gone bad on their covers. And when I say bizarre I mean gorilla-shooting, sneaky, knife-throwing, clowns.

Though most of the fictional clowns on the covers of the various pulp novels and magazines posted below are up to no good, there is at least one that preferred to behave like a Robin Hood of sorts known as “The Crimson Clown.” Created by playwright, novelist and screenwriter Johnston McCulley—the man behind masked swashbuckler Zorro—the Crimson Clown stories were really popular with the detective lit-lovers set since his first appearance in Detective Story Magazine back in 1926. The Crimson Clown would steal from people he deemed “too rich” giving half of his booty to charity and keeping the rest for himself. He was also known to carry a syringe full of some sort of drug that would render his victims unconscious. But just because he was vigilante who liked to help out the needy doesn’t necessarily make the idea of a clown with a syringe full of cuckoo-juice running amok any less terrifying. Nope. Nothing creepy about that at all. I’ve posted the covers of all the clown-oriented vintage pulp I could dig up and man, there was a lot. Of course, if you are at all coulrophobic, you might want to look at the images below in your “safe place.” See you under the bed!
 

‘Detective Magazine’ 1948.
 

‘Detective Novels Magazine’ February 1944.
 
More killer clowns after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
‘Eat the Rich’: Cult rock and roll comedy with Lemmy, Shane MacGowan, Paul McCartney, Angela Bowie
03.16.2017
09:45 am

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Class War
Movies
Music

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Imagine, if you can, a country starkly divided by wealth inequality, where a small number of rich people lead lives of extravagant luxury and everyone else fights over the crumbs.

Now imagine that the most vulgar of celebrities, having ascended to high office by appealing to racist and sexist tendencies in the electorate, has announced a plan to slash health care in order to build up the military. Far from bringing him down, sex scandals only make him appear more powerful and exciting to his base. And what, exactly, is the nature of his relationship with the Russians?
 

 
Of course, I could only be talking about Nosher Powell, the real-life English boxer and actor who portrays “Cockney fascist” Home Secretary Nosher Powell in the dystopian 1987 comedy Eat the Rich. The dialogue is as quotable as that of Tapeheads or Repo Man. Early on, a diner at the posh eatery Bastards addresses a label head played by Miles Copeland:

Look, Derek, forget funk rap. It’s dead. The kids are getting hooked on socialism.

“OK, we’ll sack the blacks and sign the reds,” Copeland replies. It’s a cruel, cynical, racist—did I mention racist?—society.
 

 
The great Lanah Pillay stars as Alex, a hero for our time. Alex becomes a revolutionary after she’s fired from her waitressing job at Bastards, where she served koala and panda meat to one too many horrible jerks. And joining Lanah and Nosher from the world of UK showbiz in this movie right here is everyone and her fucking uncle: Lemmy, Shane MacGowan, Jennifer Saunders and Dawn French, Hugh Cornwell of the Stranglers, Sandie Shaw, Beatle Paul, Bill Wyman of the Stones, Koo Stark, Angela Bowie, and The Young Ones’ Rik Mayall all make appearances. Most of the soundtrack (and the soundtrack album) is by Motörhead, and at one point in the movie, Lemmy climbs onstage to play “Dr. Rock.”

More after the jump…

Posted by Oliver Hall | Leave a comment
Love’s iconic ‘Forever Changes’ album art as a duvet cover
03.15.2017
02:43 pm

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Amusing
Music

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This is one of those things I found by accident looking for something else. I don’t exactly know how or why it came into my view. But here it is.

If you’re a superfan of Love’s iconic Forever Changes album, might I tempt you with this awesome duvet cover? I know it’s kind of strange to see it as a duvet cover, but I totally dig it.

The duvet is available through Rebubble. It comes in three different sizes ranging from twin to king. Depending on what size you choose, the price does change.

The material is a brushed polyester printed topside with a soft cotton/polyester off-white underside. Instead of buttons on the duvet cover, it has a concealed zipper. It’s also machine washable.

It’s definitely a conversation piece and as The Dude would say, “That duvet really tied the room together, did it not?”


 

Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Jimi Hendrix’s mescaline-fueled session with Arthur Lee and Love
Love songs: Arthur Lee and Love in electrifying, seldom-seen 1970 live footage

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Sheet music to play Kraftwerk’s ‘Pocket Calculator’ on a pocket calculator
03.15.2017
02:04 pm

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Music
Science/Tech

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In the early 1980s people were very excited about pocket calculators—they were even, famously, available on wristwatches—and the savvy fellows in Kraftwerk spotted an opportunity for their well-nigh parodically impersonal form of music. It could be argued that 1981’s Computer World was Kraftwerk at their very Kraftwerkiest—every single track was about interacting with (or being?) a computer or a calculator, and every last vestige of a pulsating heartbeat and sex and real life you might encounter on the “Autobahn” had been shorn away.

“Pocket Calculator,” the first single off of the album, did fairly well for a Kraftwerk single. It was only Kraftwerk’s third single ever to crack Germany’s Top 100, and for some reason it managed to reach #2 in Italy. (It might have been that Kraftwerk had gone to the trouble to record “Mini Calculatore,” an Italian version of the song.)

The song “Pocket Calculator” actually contains a reference to the fact of calculators being able to play music—the line runs “By pressing down a special key, it plays a little melody.” Kraftwerk had a special version of the Casio VL-80 manufactured as a promotional item. You won’t be surprised to learn that “Taschenrechner” is the German word for “pocket calculator”:
 

 
As you can see, the machine itself features a representation of musical notes on the front. The song was actually recorded using a Casio FX-501P, which appears to have been a slightly more robust device.

Kraftwerk was eager for fans to play Kraftwerk hits on their own calculators, so they issued these special instructions—OK, let’s call it “sheet music”—to play not just the new material but also classics like “Trans Europa Express” and “Schaufensterpuppen” on the pictured VL-80.
 

 
The notation for “Pocket Calculator” reads:
 

4599 845887 4599 845887 6
4599 845887 4599 845887 6
44284 44284 44284 44284

 
In a March 1982 issue of The Face, we find the following:
 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
The disturbing and creepy portrait collages of Phillip Kremer
03.15.2017
01:19 pm

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Amusing
Art

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014pk14.jpg
 
Your worst fears have a face. And it looks like this.

Texas-based artist Phillip Kremer creates weird, funny, and seriously grotesque collages of celebrities, politicians, musicians and movie stars. Kremer’s headshots are created with an app on his i-Phone. He finds images online and then manipulates them into obscene portraits. He pulls their skin, enlarges their mouths to gargantuan proportions and inserts eyeballs, food or bulging muscles where he thinks they will work best. Though the results can often be shocking, Kremer’s finished collages are funny and still recognizably human—often capturing some intrinsic characteristic of the featured celebrity subject.

Kremer’s collages have garnered him a big following on Instagram and Tumblr where you can find more of his work
 
07pk7.jpg
 
011pk11.jpg
 
More of Kremer’s surreal collages, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Sexy sci-fi lobby cards for ‘Heavy Metal’
03.15.2017
01:15 pm

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Advertising
Animation
Movies

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In the early 1980s, cable TV was an important and marvelous new development for Young America. For one thing, MTV was on it. But there was also soft-core porn and other adult programming, and parents often weren’t conversant enough with the technology (or the TV schedule) to prevent their offspring from watching things they probably shouldn’t. For a male preteen such as myself around 1982, there wasn’t much on the premium cable schedule I was interested in watching more than Heavy Metal. A sci-fi cartoon for adults that was both scary and sexy? With music by Blue Öyster Cult, Journey, and Cheap Trick?? You have got to be fucking kidding me. I was 12 years old and had no way of seeing an R-rated movie. But I could dial up Cinemax when my parents weren’t around…...... 

I think I dimly understood that there was a “magazine” out there called Heavy Metal that was for adults. I definitely did not know that so many of my favorite Canadian entertainers (think SCTV) were involved, including John Candy, Eugene Levy, Ivan Reitman, and Harold Ramis, although I’m certain I would have recognized the name “John Candy” in the credits.

As I say, I never saw the movie in the theater, but if I had I might have spotted some of these handsome lobby cards while entering. I suspect that Heavy Metal has not dated all that well, but I’m impressed at how effortlessly these striking images, after more than 30 years, communicate Danger - Sex - Adventure - FUN.
 

 

 
More ‘Metal’ after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
The gorgeously disaffected arty glam rock of David Sylvian and Japan
03.15.2017
01:14 pm

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Music

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Glam rock’s history is clustered into two distinct eras: its initial early 70s glitter-pop boom (T.Rex, Sweet, Slade, Suzi, Bowie, New York Dolls) and its macho, chest-thumping 80s hair metal resurgence (Mötley Crüe, Poison, Ratt). If you’re looking for the connective tissue between the two, it’s very clearly KISS and Hanoi Rocks. But there was also a hazy and overlooked “art-glam” moment in the mid to late 1970s when bands like Roxy Music and Sparks stretched glam’s platform boot stomp into weird new musical life-forms. Art-glam’s pinnacle achievement, I think, was the first two albums by reluctant Brit glitter-kings Japan. Adolescent Sex and Obscure Alternatives were both released in 1978. By the time most people discovered them, the band had already abandoned their sound and vision, barreling straight-ahead into synth-driven pop, eventually becoming vanguards of the “New Romantic” movement. They were much happier being proto Duran Durans, and Japan frontman David Sylvian decided to just pretend 1978 never even happened.

But it did, man. And it was glorious.
 

Dandies in the underworld: Japan in 1978
 
Japan was formed in South London in 1974 by Sylvian and his brother, Steve Jansen. Sylvian’s tragic beauty was the band’s initial calling card and when early publicity photos wound their way to the band’s namesake country, they became instant sensations there. While virtually ignored back home, they were huge in Japan, even before releasing a lick of music. Their manager told the Japanese press that Sylvian was voted “most beautiful man in the world” (he wasn’t), and that was really all they needed. Initially, Japan’s sound was essentially blue-eyed funk, but by the time they hit the studio in 1977, an affection for the chunky hooks of the Dolls and T.Rex had kicked in. Their first two albums are low-budget wonders of post-punky jangle, alienated disco-funk, and slithery glitter rock. None of it should work, but it does. Perfectly. And looks-wise, the band was impeccable, like Hanoi Rocks in custom-fitted shark skin suits.
 

Racy sleeve for Japan’s debut 1978 single. Remind you of anything else?
 
But none of it mattered, really. 1978 had other things on its mind. Marc Bolan died in ‘77 and took glam rock with him. It was all about punk and disco and new-wave, and Japan’s funky glitter-rock seemed anachronistic to most, including the band themselves. In 1979 they met Euro disco king Giorgio Moroder who turned them on to dancier alternatives. He produced their hit single “Life in Tokyo” later that year and paved the way for their arty synth-pop makeover. They spent the next three years pioneering the new romantic movement before unceremoniously breaking up mid-stride. Sylvian has gotten the band back together here and there over the intervening decades, sometimes under the moniker Rain Tree Crow. But one thing he has never wavered on is how much he hates those first two albums.
 

Japan’s 1980 new-wave makeover.
 

“It doesn’t mean anything. That whole era of Japan was ....misguided,” Sylvian told NME in 1991. “If people want to somehow keep that period alive for themselves it’s really up to them but they’re fooling themselves. Maybe it’s a fantastic form of escapism for those people who build their existence around the fact that there was once a group called Japan. I think they’re missing so much in life. I feel totally detached from it. I don’t relate to it at all. If I felt complimented or flattered by that then I’d say so. I don’t. In fact most of the time I find it irritating, in that they’re highlighting an area of my work that I was involved in, in which I place no value myself.”

 

 
Well, sez you, dude. The fact of the matter is this: Japan’s 1978 albums are gorgeously disaffected glam rock gems well worth rediscovering.

And as these clips after the jump show, they looked as fantastic as they sounded.

Posted by Ken McIntyre | Leave a comment
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