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Of hippies, ducks and capitalist pigs: Jefferson Airplane’s acid-drenched Levi’s commercials
06.07.2017
03:51 pm
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In 1967, Levi’s had a new line of white jeans it wanted young folks to know about, so they sought out three groovy acts from the West Coast and had them record free-form radio spots about the new white jeans as well as the revolutionary (har) stretchy qualities that made the jeans such an impeccable fit. The bands were the Sopwith Camel, Jefferson Airplane, and a Seattle group called the West Coast Natural Gas Co.

The Airplane had been together for less than two years by this point, and their breakthrough album Surrealistic Pillow had just come out. “White Rabbit” hadn’t been released yet, but “Somebody to Love” had been. They were basically in the act of cresting, and now they were appearing on the radio selling Levi’s jeans. 
 

 
The bands were given creative control over the spots, of which there were nine in all. They’re pretty amusing—you can almost imagine the Smittys in Mad Men pridefully taking credit for the idea. Four of the tracks are by the Sopwith Camel, and four were by Jefferson Airplane.

More after the jump…

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Posted by Martin Schneider
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06.07.2017
03:51 pm
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Horrible political figures star in tacky prostitution advertisements
06.05.2017
12:26 pm
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If you have any trouble remembering, 2016 was the worst year of our lifetimes, as it featured the deaths of Prince, David Bowie, Merle Haggard, Leonard Cohen, and George Michael but much more pertinently, a victory for the “Yes” vote in the U.K. Brexit referendum in June as well as the election of the worst human being we could possibly find to be U.S. President in November. It was a tumultuous year to be sure, introducing U.S. observers not only to the concept of Donald Trump as an undeniably important political figure but an entire panoply of abhorrent political figures in Great Britain, including anti-Europe demagogue/liar Nigel Farage and current PM Theresa May.

When the debate is dominated by scuzzy vulgarians like Rupert Murdoch and Boris Johnson, their opponents will be obliged to resort to satirical measures that are less than…. dignified. Not that satire is usually very august or lofty, but these nitwits and assholes call for special tactics.

This will probably work better if you’re in Britain, but if you want to put up a fake prostitution advertisement in your town square, only featuring the comely/disgusting image of David Cameron, Donald Trump, or Theresa May on it, I urge you to visit the Wankers of the World website, where you can get any of these six posters for fifty pounds each. That’s a little pricy, sure, but for just 10 pounds you can get the “Political Whores Flyer Pack,” a full set of all six flyers that even comes with “a ball of Blu Tack so you can stick them up in your local phonebox or work toilet.” 
 

 

 

 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Martin Schneider
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06.05.2017
12:26 pm
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Zoë Mozert: The pinup model and artist who painted actress Jane Russell’s most iconic image
05.31.2017
10:44 am
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Artist Zoë Mozert painting actress Jane Russell for the iconic image used for the 1941 film ‘The Outlaw.’
 
Zoë Mozert was not only one of the most well-known pinup model painters of her day, she was also a pinup herself and her work and image have appeared in hundreds of magazines and on film posters. Though there was no shortage of female models willing to pose for her, Mozert often used herself as a subject and why not? Mozert was gorgeous—the perfect embodiment of the quintessential blonde bombshell—and her successful modeling career helped to fund her art school education at the Philadelphia School of Industrial Design. Mozert would later head to New York City to start her long career as an artist.

Mozert’s work was unquestionably on par with her male peers. She would go on to become part of an exclusive all-girl artist “club” that included two other prominent female artists—the creator of the “Coppertone girl” Joyce Ballantyne and Pearl Frush whose photo-realist paintings broke sales records due to their popularity. In the early 30s, Mozert’s work was everywhere including ads for popular products like Kool Cigarettes and Dr. Pepper. She scored a lucrative long-term contract with Brown & Bigelow, who in the 1940s were the largest publisher of calendars in the world.

Mozert would also work as an artist for Warner Brothers where her art was used not only for movie posters but for props that appeared in the films themselves. Her artwork associated with two films that would add more noteworthy credits to Mozert’s expansive resume: the poster artwork for Carole Lombard’s 1937 film True Confessions and the notorious image of Jane Russell for the 1941 film The Outlaw. The sessions with Russell were thankfully photographed for prosperity (pictured at the top of this post).

I’ve included a mix of Mozert’s stunning work as well as a few photographs of the artist in action below. Some are NSFW. Just like Jane Russell and a gun.
 

Mozert’s portrait of Jane Russell that was used for the movie poster for ‘The Outlaw.’
 

 

The gorgeous and talented Mozert modeling for fellow pinup artist Ed Moran.
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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05.31.2017
10:44 am
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Unhappy meal: McDonald’s ‘Free Razor with Breakfast’ 1978 promotional campaign
05.26.2017
09:40 am
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In the mid-1970’s disposable razors hit the market and were all the rage which led to a very bizarre tie-in with USA’s largest fast food chain restaurant. In 1978 (and then again in 1986) McDonald’s launched a nationwide “Free Razor with Breakfast Entree” promotional campaign. Apparently back then it never occurred to anybody that eating and shaving are two things that should never be combined.
 

 
With the launch of their very first breakfast menu in 1985, Wendy’s jumped on the razor bladewagon as well. They offered the exact same “Free Razors with Your Breakfast” promotion, although they exercised a bit more caution: while McDonald’s gave the razors to any kid who was accompanied by an adult, Wendy’s required all customers to be over eighteen. Naturally, lawsuits followed, many customers attempted to sue the fast food chains, and over the years dozens of customers alleged to have found razors inside of their Egg McMuffins.
 

 

Posted by Doug Jones
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05.26.2017
09:40 am
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50 ultra stylish lobby cards from the hip world of 1960s American cinema
05.25.2017
08:37 am
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Drugs, counterculture, spies, and a hundred other elements that help define the word “cool.” Here’s a collection of lobby cards from American films that were used to promote their release in West Germany from 1965-1969. Included in this collection: What’s New Pussycat? (1965) starring Peter Sellers and Peter O’Toole, spy spoof Our Man Flint (1966) starring James Coburn, outer-space sex comedy Way…Way Out (1966) starring Jerry Lewis and Connie Stevens, Francis Ford Coppola’s coming of age film You’re a Big Boy Now (1966) starring Elizabeth Hartman, romantic slapstick comedy Luv (1967) starring Jack Lemmon, Peter Falk, and Elaine May, comedy crime film The Happening (1967) starring Faye Dunaway & Anthony Quinn, satire The President’s Analyst (1967) starring James Coburn, drama–thriller Bullitt (1968) starring Steve McQueen, psychedelic sex farce Candy (1968) starring Ewa Aulin, comedy Don’t Just Stand There! (1968) starring Robert Wagner and Mary Tyler Moore, musical Finian’s Rainbow (1968) starring Fred Astaire and Petula Clark, drug comedy I Love You, Alice B. Toklas (1968) starring Peter Sellers, comedy cult classic The Party (1968) starring Peter Sellers, counter-culture drama The Sweet Ride (1968) starring Michael Sarrazin and Jacqueline Bisset, The Swimmer (1968) starring Burt Lancaster, sexual revolution Three in the Attic (1968), Jacques Demy’s The Model Shop (1969) starring Gary Lockwood and Anouk Aimée, romantic comedy The April Fools (1969) starring Jack Lemmon and Catherine Deneuve, drug thriller The Big Cube (1969) starring Lana Turner, and depression-era drama They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? (1969) starring Jane Fonda and Michael Sarrazin.
 

What’s New Pussycat? (1965)
 

What’s New Pussycat? (1965)
 

Our Man Flint (1966)
 
Tons more after the jump…

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Posted by Doug Jones
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05.25.2017
08:37 am
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Honda scooter ads featuring DEVO, Lou Reed, Miles Davis, Grace Jones, and Adam Ant
05.22.2017
10:46 am
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In the mid-1980s Honda had a series of quite dauntingly cool musicians hawking their scooters. They had particularly playful, sexy commercial in which Adam Ant and Grace Jones flirt with each other and then presumably fuck because they are so preposterously vital and attractive. Others featured DEVO, Berlin, Lou Reed, and Miles fucking Davis.

The Adam Ant/Grace Jones ad was “racy” enough that there was an edited version. In the full version Jones bites Ant’s ear, an act that doesn’t seem especially interesting. In any case, there was second version that trimmed the ear bite. The video below features both versions.

Were the commercials successful? I don’t know, Honda is still in business so probably, yeah. Do you know anyone who owns a Honda scooter? Hmmmmmm.
 

 
References to Reed‘s Honda commercial are inevitably rather amusing. Mick Wall in his book Lou Reed: The Life writes:
 

New Sensations was so listenable that ... it attracted the attention of an advertising agency executive, Jim Riswold, then chief copywriter for the Madison Avenue [actually Portland] giants Wieden & Kennedy. ... So he approached Lou Reed to help make an ad for Honda scooters.

At the time, Riswold recalled, “advertisers didn’t put people in commercials who had a long history of drug addiction, and of course [Lou Reed] was a man who at one time in his life was married to a man, and that man was a transvestite, so I guess you could say he wasn’t your typical spokesman. But if you looked at who we were trying to sell scooters to, it was natural. Actually, when you look back at that commercial it seems pretty damn tame today.”

Actually, at the time it just seemed plain hilarious. Lou Reed in a TV commercial? Selling scooters?

 
As Wall points out later, it was doubly weird because in the title track of New Sensations, Reed rhapsodized about a competing vehicle, the Kawasaki GPx750 Turbo motorcycle, singing that “the engine felt good between my thighs.”

Similarly, here’s Nick Kent, in the anthology Miles on Miles: Interviews and Encounters with Miles Davis:
 

America’s TV heartland has already witnessed this curious image of a man, a skinny figure with gleaming skin and what remains of his hair curling all over his shoulders: his hands grip (what else?) a trumpet, his lithe form is slouched against a small Japanese scooter, his eyes stare out at the viewer with imperious disdain. Then the voice, emanating from that shredded, node-less killing-floor of a larynx, mutters, “I ain’t here to talk about this thing, I’m here to ride it.”

 
Watch the Honda scooter commercials after the jump….....

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Posted by Martin Schneider
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05.22.2017
10:46 am
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Meet Rita, the blow-up party doll that took 1970s Germany by storm
04.20.2017
08:13 am
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In 1969, Swiss advertising agency Gerstner, Gredinger + Kutter (GGK) launched an innovative campaign for Germany’s most popular soft drink: Sinalco Kola (distinct for its “sherbet powder” taste). It starred a brightly colored, life-sized blow-up party doll named Rita. With striking red hair, curly lashes, lush shapes, and a Sinalco Kola in hand, the campaign slogan boasted “Rita ist lieb,” which in English translates to “Rita is sweet.” “She will follow you everywhere: to parties, seaside holidays, or even into the bathtub. She does not smoke, does not drink, does not scold. Rita is all yours and she is not an expensive girl: she comes to you through the mail for 6,60 Deutsche Marks.” Yes, besides this colossal beauty’s presence in magazine advertisements, insert posters, TV ads, and in-store displays all over Germany, you could also have an inflatable Rita sent directly to your home for about $4 US.

Within two years of the campaign’s launch, Rita had quickly achieved cult status and helped Sinalco garner tons of attention, but more importantly, a unique personification and lasting impression that would help separate their brand from ubiquitous competitors such as Coca-Cola. In March of 1971, several inflated Rita’s were thrown from the roof of the Rhein-Main-Halle building during a trade fair as part of a spontaneous marketing stunt. Dozens of excited Wiesbaden residents ran through the streets with their Rita dolls, continuing their celebration in local pubs and train stations. By the mid-‘70s, every hippie in Germany owned this eye-catching piece of plastic pop art, and Rita’s became very common at public gatherings: from crowd surfing at outdoor music festivals to political protests. A male counterpart to Rita was created: a macho, muscular, spandex wearing man pathetically nicknamed “The Guy,” but Rita proved that her popularity could never be matched.

Rita blow-up party dolls can still be found floating around Germany, occasionally someone will sell one on eBay. She typically goes for about 70 euros, who can score me one?
 

 

 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Doug Jones
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04.20.2017
08:13 am
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The 1970s, when we all expressed our individuality via mass-produced t-shirts and novelty patches
04.11.2017
11:06 am
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American Motorcyclist Association.
 
I’ll ‘fess up to owning a Laurel and Hardy t-shirt when I was a child. I also had one with Humphrey Bogart saying something memorable from Casablanca. Damned if I can remember what it was now. This was as far as I would go with my counter-culture wardrobe. Most of my school friends were of similar mind. They opted for plus fours, smoking jackets and a fine selection of Arran-knit cardigans. Life was so different in Scotland then.

Of course, there were some who sported denim jackets decked out in assorted patches imported from America. These mass-produced novelties of old men saying things like “Keep on truckin’” or cartoon dogs offering advice about not eating yellow snow always struck me as frightfully quaint yet rather dumb. I suppose I was just confused as to what these badges were supposed to mean. But what did I know? I was merely an innocent child out of step with the current fashion trends.

Soon nearly every youngster across our fabled tartan nation was dressed-up like Joseph in his amazing Technicolored Dreamcoat or at least a brazen tatterdemalion. These patches all signified the same thing. I am unique. I am an individual. These are my likes and dislikes. And look, haven’t I got a wacky sense of humor?

Sad to say, all of this fun passed me by far too quickly and I missed out in the pleasures of actually becoming an individual. My taste in t-shirts was understandably laughed at by those far more in tune with the heady zeitgeist of the day. Laurel and Hardy could never compete with some twee tee saying Pepsi was the “real thing.”

Most of the fashionable peeps wore the American patches and t-shirts. Soon, these were rivaled by our very own homegrown patches declaring a love for the Bay City Rollers or tops saying “My girlfriend went to Arbroath and all she got me was this lousy t-shirt.” That kind of thing.

Those crazy delights of that faraway decade can be enjoyed with this fine selection of adverts selling counter-culture t-shirts and some ads and fine examples of the quirkier patches which were then available. If this whets the appetite then I suggest a visit to Mitch O’Connell’s blog which will leave you positively sated.
 
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Hustler 1975.
 
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Gilda Radner in CREEM magazine t-shirt ad.
 
More crazy delights from the heady 1970s, after the jump…

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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04.11.2017
11:06 am
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Everything on the Internet is a LIE (except for this)
04.01.2017
10:19 am
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I reckon my pal Cris Shapan is a bonafide comedy genius. If he weren’t so dagblasted funny, then I honestly doubt I would laugh so much at his gags. But laugh I do, my painfully cramped stomach testament to the obtuse brilliance of his singular comedic vision. But he’s a funnyman with a difference, as you’ll see. He’s an entire comedy genre of one.

Cris Shapan’s comedy is all about the little details. He might have the most exactingly detailed comic mind on the planet. His work is complex, multi-layered and maniacal. It also brutally takes advantage—in the nicest way possible, mind you—of how gullible people can be on the Internet. You see, prior to when he started working on various cult television programs—you’ve seen his stuff on Tom Goes to the Mayor, Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!, Kroll Show and Baskets—Cris was a corporate art director working for evil entities like American Express. Taking what he learned employed on the darkside, his idiosyncratic output—clearly inspired by a misspent youth obsessively reading National Lampoon—creates counterfeit realities that are bust-a-gut funny, but often sail right over the heads of the very people sharing them on Facebook (who quite often unwittingly announce this fact as they post them. Which then makes his gags TWICE as funny, of course).


 
Nope, the members of Spooky Tooth never did a print ad for Birds Eye frozen vegetables, but try telling that to their Wikipedia page! And poor Brian Eno having to deny that he did an advertisement for Purina in the mid-70s with his blasé cat Eric. Stevie Wonder never did an Atari ad, either, sorry to break it to ya pal. It never happened.

And that guy on Facebook posting one of Cris’s album cover parodies and announcing that “My dad had this record when I was a kid!” (and all of the Facebook “Me, too-ers” as well)? He’s either a bold-faced liar… or else he truly does “remember” his father owning a record that has never existed. And maybe he ate some Potato Fudge while he listened to it… Why assume the worst in people, right?

For this special April Fool’s Day post, I asked some questions over email of the man, the myth Cris Shapan

Richard Metzger: I know who you are, but for the sake of all the young, impressionable minds out there reading this, how would you describe yourself?

Cris Shapan: I’m a hack. I started decades ago in movie advertising, did a bunch of years in corporate art departments, and then 13 years ago I answered an ad on Craigslist and wound up working on Tom Goes to the Mayor at Tim and Eric.  Since then I’ve been bouncing around on the fringe of edgy comedy, on shows like Awesome Show and Kroll Show and Baskets, doing silly art & deliberately awful effects.  It’s a high-pressure gig for an artist, but it can also be a whole lot of fun.
 

 
With your Photoshop skills you can “edit” the past—in a very Orwellian sense—and it’s frightening to see how fucking gullible people can be. I recall we posted one of your Alan Hale parody album covers and idiots on Facebook were commenting “I used to have this record!” “Me too!” and “I still have mine!” Ummm… no you don’t.

Cris Shapan: Yeah, it’s scary to see something I did purely to entertain friends become someone else’s reality.  Some claim to remember or even own something that never existed.  Others will repost a parody ad as real, especially if it reinforces some agenda they’re touting (sexism in advertising, the past was a horrible place, frankenfood, etc.).  People read the fake ad copy and leap to the wildest interpretations, often expressing outrage at something that never actually happened.  It’s just bizarre.  Some people are so convinced these parody pieces are genuine that they’ve gone in and modified Wikipedia pages to reflect their existence, which of course compounds the stupidity.
 

 
At what point did Snopes.com find it necessary to “debunk” some of your gags?

Both Dangerous Minds and The American Bystander (the only humor magazine in existence, I think) had run my ad for a product called “Johnson’s Winking Glue.”  The premise alone should have established this as a parody; it was for a product that ostensibly glued your eye shut so you could wink properly.  A few months later, some dickhead blogger reposted the ad as factual without citing the source, and it went viral on its own to the point where Snopes got involved.
 

 
Did they get it right? They’ve got a real reputation for accuracy.

Cris Shapan: Yes, thank goodness for the fine folks at Snopes - I mean that, they’re like the Sheriff of Internet Misinformation.  Not only did they track me down, but the author tracked the ad back to a photo gallery on my Facebook page.  Of course, I’ve never tried to pretend these are real or hide my tracks, so they didn’t have to Sherlock themselves too hard.  I’m glad they understood these were parodies…It pisses me off so much when people debunk my humor as a ‘hoax’ - it’s like debunking MAD magazine or Waiting for Guffman.
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Richard Metzger
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04.01.2017
10:19 am
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Sexy sci-fi lobby cards for ‘Heavy Metal’
03.15.2017
01:15 pm
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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…

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Posted by Martin Schneider
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03.15.2017
01:15 pm
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