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Esquire’s record guide for 1971’s incoming college freshmen is brutal, hilarious
09:04 am



Esquire, September 1971
A few years ago I bought a “vintage” copy of Esquire (September 1971) and much to my delight, tucked inside was a small insert of a dozen or so pages intended to guide the incoming collegiate freshperson on cultural matters such as books, movies, and music. I’ve taken the trouble to transcribe the contents of that insert into this here post, for your enjoyment.
Esquire College Preview Fall '71
The cover of the insert
It’s fascinating to see opinion on the ground, before posterity has a chance to congeal it. You’ll see names you don’t recognize treated with respect, and names you do recognize treated with great disrespect. The Esquire writers divided the list up into hits and misses, basically. On the “good” list are the Stones, Aretha Franklin, Chicago, New Riders of the Purple Sage, Kate Taylor, and Captain Beefheart, On the “bad” list are The Stooges, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, Alice Cooper, The Steve Miller Band, and something called P-Nut Gallery.

The text is transcribed verbatim, down to every comma, colon, and ampersand. It’s reproduced exactly, as far as I can discern.
Records to watch for
Barely legible scan of one of the pages
Where possible, I’ve tried to link to the albums that are being discussed—as I learned when I checked the albums, this is a highly imprecise endeavor, and in many cases I’m sure it’s not correct. Basically, consider it a guide at best, not an actual resource. The lesson here is that the journalists of the early 1970s were working in a veritable wasteland of information compared to what they have today, and also that Amazon and are highly imperfect resources (CD information tends to trump original LP info, and so on). In many cases the artist in question didn’t release anything at all in 1971 or 1972! (At least according to popular online resources.) Please don’t write in pointing out that one of the links isn’t so super awesome; I already know that. Beyond that, your certainty is misplaced, or at least, your certainty as to what the Esquire people “must” have meant; all too often, it’s a puzzle. (Clarifications and explanations about puzzling entries are, of course, welcome.)

Having said that, do enjoy this: I’ve wanted for a while for this peculiar resource to live on the Internet, and now that’s happened.

Watch for [this means “good”]

Charlie Mingus: Better Git It In Your Soul (Columbia—fall). Any Mingus record deserves a listen, but beware a growing cultishness.

The Firesign Theatre: I Think We’re All Bozos on This Bus (Columbia—Aug.). Rapid-fire satire.

Big Brother & The Holding Company: How Hard It Is (Columbia—Aug.). True underground music. And they can play.

Chicago: Chicago Carnegie Hall Concert (Columbia—fall). If you don’t listen to jazz but would like to, here’s a way to start.

Billie Holiday (Columbia—Sept.). Reissue, sings jazz, rhythm and blues. Buy this record.

Boz Scaggs (Columbia). Blues and country rock. Two years ago, his Atlantic album died from lack of hype. Columbia is smarter and will recognize Boz’s great worth.

New Riders of the Purple Sage (Columbia). Country rock. The Grateful Dead’s spin-off group is now more vital than the parent band.

Vintage Apollo Theatre Performances (Columbia). The Apollo was the birthplace of Aretha, Bessie Smith, Pearl Bailey, Ida Cox and The Mills Bros., and the audiences are as tough as those in a Milan opera house. Therefore, what is recorded there should be good.

Move (Capitol—Aug./Sept.). Good English hard rock.

The Band (Capitol—Aug./Sept.). Their first two albums were classics; they created country rock. Their last album was a disaster. This may be better.

John Lee Hooker (ABC/Dunhill—fall). Still the most compelling blues singer around.

John Coltrane (ABC/Dunhill—fall). The late Mr. Coltrane was one of the master innovators of free-form jazz.

Ray Charles (ABC/Dunhill—fall). 25th anniversary album. Five-record set, containing the best of Ray’s stuff from Atlantic and ABC. If you don’t like the raw material, you’ll like his middle period best. We like raw material.

Harry Nilsson: When the Cat’s Away (RCA—Sept.). This is the guy who did the good version of the theme from Midnight Cowboy.

The Guess Who: So Long, Bannatyne (RCA—Sept.). Excellent commercial group.

Julian Bream: Villa Lobos Concertos (RCA—Aug.). Superb classical guitar.

Judy Collins (Elektra—fall). This will be a live album, recorded during a spring-summer tour. Judy has enormous taste and has matured into the country’s finest female folk singer.

Incredible String Band: Relics of the Incredible String Band (Elektra—fall). A very strange folk group. Somehow their gentle appeal was at its peak during the era of hard rock. Now, when softer sounds are back in, they seem to have waned. Some mysteries are inexplicable.

Carly Simon (Elektra—fall). A fresh new singer and Esquire movie critic Jacob Brackman writes some of her lyrics. What could be bad?

The Rolling Stones (Atlantic—Sept.). Always buy any Rolling Stones album immediately.

Aretha Franklin (Atlantic—Sept.). Little Sister is frequently uneven but there are usually a couple of memorable cuts per album.

Kate Taylor (Atlantic—Sept.). Kate is okay, particularly if you like what her brothers James, Livingston and Alex have been doing.

J. Geils Band (Atlantic-fall). Possibly the best white blues band around.

Jerry Lee Lewis (Mercury—Oct.). Country music; always great.

The Statler Bros. (Mercury—Nov.). Honest-to-God foot-stomping country music.

Rod Stewart (Mercury-Dec.). Very hard rock. A hoarse, grating voice that tries so hard you have to listen.

The Kinks (Warner Bros.—fall). One of the few groups left from the first English invasion. Dependable.

Tom Paxton (Warner Bros.—Aug.). Tom was always one of the best singers among early Sixties folkies, but his tendency to preach is irritating. Lately, he’s been trying to overcome that.

The Beach Boys (Warner Bros.—Aug.). Good, solid Los Angeles plastic has its charm.

Neil Young (Warner Bros.—Sept.). A good songwriter with a strange voice. Interesting.

Captain Beefheart (Warner Bros.—Sept.). This man may be a genius. He is trying to invent new sound patterns and a new language.

The Jackson Five (Motown—Sept.). The hottest soul act, at the moment.

Jr. Walker & The All-Stars (Motown—Sept.). Tough, gritty, bluesy.

Stevie Wonder (Motown—Sept.). Great singer and harmonica player.

Watch out for [this means “bad”]

Ian & Sylvia (Columbia). Commercial folk music. Mediocre.

Santana (Columbia—Sept.). Two-record set. Music to speed by.

Barbra Streisand (Columbia). Your folks and older siblings will like her vocals.

Ten Years After (Columbia). British rave-ups have had it.

Johnny Cash: Greatest Hits (Columbia). At least it wasn’t recorded live in a prison.

The Steve Miller Band (Capitol—Aug./Sept.). Without Boz Scaggs, the group has floundered.

Quicksilver Messenger Service (Capitol—Aug./Sept.). Was one of the finest San Francisco bands, but with the addition of loud, banal Dino Valente, it has plummeted.

B.B. King (ABC/Dunhill). B.B.’s success was long overdue, but now that it’s come, he’s begun to get sloppy.

Mamas and Papas (ABC/Dunhill). This group’s huge reputation was built on only two songs, Monday, Monday and California Dreamin’. Then they broke up. Their reunion is no cause for rejoicing.

Steppenwolf (ABC/Dunhill). Harmless schlock.

3 Dog Night (ABC/Dunhill). See above.

Pharoah Sanders (ABC/Dunhill). Pharoah performed with the Coltranes and put out some good sides with his own band a few years ago, but has become redundant.

Elvis Presley (RCA). El has been enjoying an undeserved revival of late. The Presley from which the myth derived ceased to exist as soon as he left Sun Records in Memphis, immediately before fame struck. What we got was a homogenized version. Why revive that?

Jefferson Airplane (RCA). The Airplane still has its hordes of loyal fanatics, but has been screaming for revolution for so long it has gone hoarse. Besides, there’s a paradox in screaming for revolution from the confines of a Bentley. This can no longer be ignored.

Sha Na Na (Buddah/Kama Sutra—Sept.). Specialize in Fifties rock. Never very good, but now that many of the original Fifties groups are actually playing again, worthless.

P-Nut Gallery (Buddah/Kama Sutra—Sept.). The second coming of Howdy Doody; the roots of the Acid Generation.

Brewer & Shipley (Buddah/Kama Sutra—Sept.). Mildly appealing soft sound, especially if you like mild appeal.

Curtis Mayfield: Roots (Buddah/Kama Sutra—Sept.). Curtis was okay when he sang with groups, but his recent Rod McKuen act has been silly.

Edwin Hawkins: Oh Children (Buddah/Kama Sutra—Sept.). Contrary to popular belief, the Edwin Hawkins Singers did not invent gospel rock.

Melanie (Buddah/Kama Sutra—Sept.). Undigested St. Joan, Edith Piaf, Ethel Merman and Buffy Ste.-Marie.

Buzzy Linhart (Buddah/Kama Sutra—Sept.). Buzzy has been around the Village folk scene for a long time without doing anything remarkable, and there’s no reason to expect him to do anything now.

The Stooges (Elektra). Lead singer Iggy Pop leaps into audiences, smears his half-naked body with peanut butter, tears his lips open by hitting his mouth with the microphone, and stabs himself viciously with shattered drumsticks.

Joan Baez: Blessed Are . . . (Vanguard—summer). It doesn’t matter that Joanie does songs by Little Stevie Wonder and Jagger/Richard on this LP because she still makes them sound like Silver Dagger. Damn all dying swans.

Buffy Ste.-Marie (Vanguard—Sept.). Buffy is a professional Indian. She also sings badly.

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young (Atlantic—Sept.). The group has fragmented frequently, with each member doing his own solo albums.

Bee Gees (Atlantic—Sept.). Slick Beatles? Yes, slick Beatles.

Led Zeppelin (Atlantic—Sept.). The death of rock and roll.

Jerry Butler (Mercury—Nov.). Rhythm and blues. Good voice, but he’s been suffering from bad material and overproduction.

Jimi Hendrix (Warner Bros.—Aug.). Since his previous album, Cry of Love, was posthumous, this must be odds and ends from his last sessions or rejects from earlier albums. Unpromising.

The Grateful Dead (Warner Bros.—Aug.). The Dead have been making a conscious effort to come up with a salable product. Since their only appeal is extra-musical, this has proved disastrous.

Mothers of Invention (Warner Bros.—Aug.). Frank Zappa was always too smart for his audiences. His contempt is no longer entertaining.

Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazlewood (Warner Bros.—Aug.). Phoney sexiness & phoney country.

Jerry Garcia (Warner Bros.—Sept.). The Dead’s leader has degenerated into a kind of acid Rod McKuen.

Tony Joe White (Warner Bros.—Sept.). Tony Joe does heavy, bluesy rock, but he only knows a couple of chords and runs.

Alice Cooper (Warner Bros.—Sept.). Posthumous rock by four guys in drag.

The Supremes (Motown—Sept.). Without Diana Ross, the vocals are merely pleasant.

The Temptations (Motown—Sept.). Waning.


Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Impotent middle-aged Christian guy doles out sexual advice… for free!
01:43 pm



This is one of those books that I reckon you can judge by the cover…

This curious little volume is by a fellow named Ed Hurst. It’s a free ebook you can acquire—should you want a copy—via the author. Hurst is a prolific self-published writer. His other titles include The Mind of Christ, The Chronicles of Misty, The Laptop Oracles,  A Course in Biblical Mysticism and Mystical Tales of Romance. He’s written 22—that’s right, 22—books in the past couple of years. On his website, Hurst declares “I am called to prophesy against Western Civilization as a whole, because it is fundamentally hostile to God’s revelation.”

Just so you know where he stands, K?

After telling the reader how he’s been faithfully married to his wife since 1978, Hurst gets… personal:

“I can claim a history of total fidelity, but you’ll have to decide for yourself how true that might be. Further, I am at the age and level of exposure to environmental pharmaceuticals that my libido is about gone. It still works somewhat with my wife only because of the vast ocean of trust she has earned. Otherwise, the wiring between my testosterone and my sense of taste in flesh is largely burned out. Not much of anything or anyone turns me on, so to speak.”

Why does Hurst inflict this information upon us? He explains:

“This helps to establish me as an objective observer. All I hope to gain is an opportunity for people to peel away the layers of social mythology and find peace.”

Ah ha! So when it comes to dispensing sexual advice, impotence = objectivity? Apparently in the parallel universe that Mr. Hurst resides in this is the case. He’s clearly not interested in bringing sexy back…

Hurst blames church leaders and feminism for the decline in Christian marriages. Specifically he blames the church leaders for feminism.

“What most preachers assume is good moral values still leaves the door wide open for feminine domination in the home and all the attendant problems that come with it. What part of “be submissive” in God’s Word do we not understand?”

According to Hurst, this feminism shit, why, it’s anti-Christian…

“Men tend to be a little lazy, particularly about enforcing moral boundaries. It requires a bit of indirect prompting, but direct nagging is a guarantee of failure. He is wired to bristle and resist. Rather, she has to devote herself to strengthening him according to his nature. A conspicuous devotion that others can see will provoke him to genuine heroism as much as anything can. Treat him like a hero until he feels the vibes and acts accordingly; a woman has no power to remake her man’s nature. He naturally gets angry if his woman embarrasses him in front of others.”

You hear that ladies, make your man feel like a hero.

Here’s Hurst’s (free) advice for the menfolk:

“Guys: Know your mission first. You simply have no business messing with women until you know who you are and what you must do with your life. That means delaying your start when gals your age are raring to go. Don’t be ashamed to come back when you’re ready and “rob the cradle,” but realize it is highly risky most of all because ten years is forever when it comes to cultural trends in the West. She’ll be quite foreign to you unless she’s partly retro. The biggest mistake you’ll make is allowing your hormones to run you off a cliff. Is she hot? Close your eyes and get a hold of yourself. Her beauty doesn’t mean a thing, except that she’ll probably be very hard to get, in one sense or another. The last thing you want to do is advertise your willingness to be a slave by staring like every other drooling loser.”

So says the guy who introduced himself to his readers by telling them that his dick is dead…

Via Matthew Paul Turner’s blog

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
‘Last Year at Marienbad’: Vintage 1960s cigarette ad pays homage to avant garde art house classic
10:00 am



In the early 1960s,  advertising probably really didn’t get any more avant garde than this homage of Alain Resnais’ “mysterious” (some might say “confusing,” others “pompous”) Last Year at Marienbad, perhaps the ultimate incomprehensible “foreign film.”

Around the time of its 1961 release, Marienbad was much parodied. This seems more sincere than a lampooning, though.

Thank you kindly, Steven Otero!

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Glenn Beck is selling his own line of very nationalistic blue jeans

Glenn Beck's jeans
These are the jeans. The Glenn Beck Jeans.
Glenn Beck has launched his own brand of jeans, 1791 Denim. They only went on the market 2 days ago, but they’ve already sold out despite the $130 price tag. I’d go into more detail about the ideology of Glenn Beck’s blue jeans, but the commercial really speaks for itself.

If you’re perceptive to the subtlest of thematic symbolism, you’ll notice it has it all: nationalist imagery, nostalgia for some mythic time period when people and things were apparently better because of work ethic or some bullshit, a noble, industrious white dude, and the romanticization of really arduous labor! The spot even demonstrates the classic hypocritical boner for “American-made” products, while Beck himself still promotes a free market that favors outsourcing on his radio show. 

The final line asserts that in America, you may not get the chance to succeed, but by gum, you have the chance to try, dammit! And in the end, the guy builds a giant phallic symbol that beats the Russians to the moon! USA! USA! USA!

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
Charles Bronson’s sexy world of body odor
03:20 pm



It’s likely some of you have already seen this. But even after being on YouTube for six years, I managed to miss it. I saw the 1970s Mandom commercial featuring Charles Bronson for the first time the other night at the Alamo Drafthouse in Austin. It was part of a reel of short subjects the theater screens in lieu of the kind of gag-inducing “real” ads shown in most movie theaters. Watching a vintage Japanese commercial in which Bronson slathers himself with deodorant while making sexy talk is lighyears better than one of those shitty Fandango ads.

The doorman is played by the wonderful character actor Percy Helton.

Enjoy the Mandom theme song (“Lovers Of The World”) by Jerry Wallace after the jump…

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Vintage commercial that rocks: Garage band The Shags shilling for Peoria department store
04:30 am



Peoria, Illinois’ The Shags perform a jingle extolling all the wonderful shopping options at local department store Bergners.

Damn, I would have definitely met you dudes at Bergners for some of those groovy Sixties fashions and hip Peoria chicks.

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Men’s cologne that smells like New York City
08:25 pm



I remember the New York City garbage strike of 1981. It lasted 17 miserable days and gave the sweltering summer air of Manhattan the bilious aroma of the steam room at Plato’s Retreat. You’d step into the street and your stomach would clench as tightly as an altar boy’s bunghole at the sound of a Priest’s footsteps.

When I returned to New York a couple of years ago, the place certainly smelled better than it used to, but there was still a hint of piss in the air, with some notes of decayed rat and subway fumes. Not exactly what you’d call appealingly aromatic - more like something concocted in the perfumeries of Hell.

Men’s Direct, purveyors of “luxury grooming products,” has their own take on what NYC smells like and I salute them for having highly discriminating snouts. Their olfactory nerves interpret Manhattan’s scent as…

[...] a lovely sunny day in the Big Apple City. The air is filled with the scents of lilac and rose from the vast and majestic Central Park. You are walking along Times Square under the mild and fresh breeze from New York harbor. Enjoy this modern, crisp and invigorating fragrance with sparkling and sourish notes of apple.

Top: Green and crispy apple
Heart: Juicy apple, Lotus flower, Jasmine, Lilac, Rose petal
Base: Caramelized apple, White musk, Vanilla, Caramel”

Is the product called “The Scent Of Departure” because people around you will get up and leave once they get a whiff of it?

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Strangely trippy 1970s animated commercial for Levi’s Jeans
02:55 am



In the 1960s and 70s, Levi’s promoted their products with a series of offbeat commercials, many of which had a lysergic spin.

In this ad, psychedelia meets film noir when a stranger in a pair of trippy polyester jeans comes to town.

Ken Nordine narrates.


Previously on DM: Trippy TV commercials

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Yodeling cat in a stocking cap will freak your ass out
04:26 pm



A commercial to haunt your dreams.

As if Walmart wasn’t scary enough.

This will be debuting on TV soon. Warn the children.

Via Copyranter

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Teenybopper goes down on a ‘Superstar’
04:48 pm



Peters on wheels. Phallic-shaped trucks deliver creamy treats to the eager masses.
This Australian commercial for an ice cream bar foregos subtext and heads right for the center of the peach-fuzzed meatpit of mortal delight, leaving this viewer with a slightly queasy feeling. The thrust of the thing is given an added bit of explicit creepiness when you consider that the Superstar bar is made by a company named “Peters.”

“You got to bite off the big strawberry points to get to the creamy vanilla center.”

Grab yourself a Superstar.

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
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