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Fuse: Rick Nielsen’s awesome pre-Cheap Trick psychedelic rock band
02.09.2017
10:50 am

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Heroes
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An early shot of Cheap Trick guitarist Rick Nielsen.
 
Long before he helped Cheap Trick take over the world by way of Budokan, guitarist Rick Nielsen recorded a record with another Rockford, Illinois band called Fuse. Originally going by the name The Grim Reapers, Nielson was instrumental in convincing another Rockford band Toast and Jam to join forces and Fuse were born from that rock and roll union sometime in 1968.

According to Nielson, he had already secured a record contract at the time Fuse was coming together and they recorded a couple of singles on Smack Records in 1969, “Hound Dog” and “Cruisin for Burgers.” Fuse drummer Chip Greenman recalls that their manager at the time, Ken Adamany, had been pitching the band to different labels hoping to land them a record deal. Later that year—and again according to Greenman—Fuse scored the opening slot for a Fleetwood Mac gig in Chicago. Luckily Mort Hoffman, who was doing A&R for Epic Records was in the audience and told the band that he had to sign them. As all of the members of Fuse had yet to turn 21, their first record contract was signed by their fathers in July of 1969. Awww. Here’s more from Nielson on the early days of Fuse—whose name came about at the insistence of Epic as a requirement in order to finalize their record deal:

The guys we were with were all superior musicians—they’re probably in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame now. Tom and I had the stick-to-it-iveness and positive thinking to know what we wanted to do, so we split the band and went off to hang out in England. That Fuse stuff was my finest work. We stand by it and wished Cheap Trick played that well!

Fuse would record their only self-titled album in 1970 and it is full of loud, raucous psychedelically tinged rock with Nielson’s ever present guitar squalls raining down throughout its eight tracks. With influences from The Yardbirds and Cream, there isn’t a single jam on the record that isn’t rock solid.

More after the jump…

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African gods and goddesses drawn as ass-kicking Jack Kirby-style superheroes
02.08.2017
01:19 pm

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Art
Belief
Heroes

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Oxóssi, a spirit associated with the hunt, forests, animals, and wealth
 
You don’t have to be anthropologist Clifford Geertz to make the connection that the superheroes developed in comic books in the middle of the last century function something like a new American mythology. The Greeks had Zeus, Athena, Poseidon, and Aphrodite; the Romans had Mars, Minerva, Janus, and Juno; and the Norse had Thor, Odin, Loki, and Frigg. In America we have Iron Man, Spider-Man, Flash Gordon, and the Silver Surfer (oh, and Thor too, right). Unlike Zeus and Minerva, our mythological heroes are currently drawing millions of people to multiplexes the world over, for whatever that’s worth. Mythology is breaking box office records!

A artist named Hugo Canuto has recently looked to his own African-influenced culture in Brazil to make a similar connection for figures from African mythology, depicting them as ass-kicking superheroes drawn in the style of the legendary Jack Kirby. Many deities of modern-day Afro-Brazilian religions find their roots in the mythologies of Nigeria and Benin, and these covers reflect that, using specifically local, that is to say Portuguese, spellings of the names.

For instance, the water deity Yemo̩ja is rendered here as Yemanjá, as she is known in Brazilian culture. Oshunmare, god of the rainbow, here pops up as Oxumaré. And Oya, a major Orisha governing death and rebirth, can be found here as Iansã, for that is what she is called on the western side of the Atlantic Ocean.
 

Avengers No. 4 (1963)
 
Last year Canuto reworked an iconic early cover of The Avengers to showcase the major Orishas, called Orixas in Portuguese, which are key elemental spirits of the Yoruba religion. So “The Orixas” is the umbrella category, like “The Avengers,” that houses all of the mythological figures that followed.

Interestingly, in the early 1990s, DC Comics had a line based on Yoruba mythology, called Orishas—it was also known as “Gods of Africa” and featured characters such as Eshu, Ogun, Erinle, and Oshunmare. Anybody out there a fan of that series? I don’t remember it.

You can purchase prints of Canuto’s covers on Facebook.
 

The Orixas
 

Yemanjá, major water deity, mother of all 14 Yoruba gods and goddesses
 
Much more after the jump…...

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Unsung surf rock girl group The Trashwomen RULE
02.08.2017
11:54 am

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Heroes
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San Francisco area surf queens, The Trashwomen.

The great Dave Crider of Estrus Records knew what he was doing when he signed San Francisco area girl group The Trashwomen to the label back in the early 90s. The group was originally conceived as a kind of one-off thing when they were asked to perform a live set of covers by 60s Minneapolis teen rockers The Trashmen. The glue for the concept was the talent of long-time smoking hot guitarist Elka “Kitten Kaboodle” Zolot who joined forces with Tina “Boom Boom” Lucchesi on drums and Dannielle “Lead Pedal” Pimm on bass—neither of which could play their assigned instruments at the time. Four weeks later the day of the gig arrived and according to those who were there to see it, their fledgling show was a success. 

The Trashwomen quickly released a couple of singles before getting picked up by Estrus that was already home to bands such as The Mummies; New York fuzz-freaks The Mooney Suzuki; Southern Culture on the Skids; and one best bands to ever come out of Bellingham, Washington (led by Crider himself), Mono Men. Sometime during their existence, the girls crowned themselves the “Queens of Tease Rock” and Zolot’s powerful riffs added an extra layer of cool to The Trashwomen’s smutty lyrics, like their nod to the usefulness of sex toys, “Batteries.” Playing up their tough vibe, the band was all about cultivating an image of a pin-up girl gang gone bad. Who instead of running away with the band, stole their fucking instruments and started their own groovy group.

Much more after the jump…

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All the excellent faces that Winona Ryder made at the SAG Awards are now equally excellent buttons!
02.03.2017
08:41 am

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Television

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The many faces of actress Winona Ryder at the SAG Awards last week.
 
I love that the award-winning performance given by Winona Ryder’s face at the SAG Awards—or the faces that “launched a million memes”—have been quickly made into nifty buttons each featuring one of the many different reactions the actress had during David Harbour’s powerful acceptance speech at SAG as he accepted the award for Best Ensemble in a Drama Series.

Each button retails for the low low price of $2 and 13 bucks will get you all eight over at one of my favorite places on the Internet, the Globlinko Megamall. I’d hurry up though as I’m pretty sure that they are going to be as popular as the memes that continue to invade your social media news feeds. Photos of all the buttons follow as well as footage from the speech if you haven’t already seen that yet. Winona FOREVER! 
 

 

 

The many faces of Winona Ryder: THE VIDEO!

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Go back in time to when Led Zeppelin & Alice Cooper shared the stage at the Whisky a Go Go, 1969
02.02.2017
12:20 pm

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A show poster for a series of live gigs at the Whisky A Go Go featuring Led Zeppelin and Alice Cooper, January 1969.
 
Beginning on January 2nd, 1969, Led Zeppelin played a series of live gigs with Alice Cooper at the Whisky a Go Go on Sunset Strip in Los Angeles. According to Alice, both bands were still so under the radar that they took turns opening the bill by flipping a coin to see who would start the show each night. To support Alice’s point, a scan of an old print ad for the show makes a point to promote Zeppelin by noting that the band featured the talents of former Yardbirds guitarist Jimmy Page. Zeppelin’s set on January 5th, which you can listen to below, would allegedly mark the first time “Babe I’m Gonna Leave You” (originally writen by American songwriter Anne Bredon in the 50s and popularized by Joan Baez back in the early 60s), was captured in a live recording. Cooper was only 21, and Jimmy Page the oldest member of Led Zeppelin, was just 24.

The January 5th show was part of Zeppelin’s first tour of America and once again to illustrate the point of how unknown the band was, they had yet to release their first self-titled record, which was panned by some after it came out on January 12th. The first stop for Led Zeppelin in the U.S. would be Denver and a last-minute opening slot for a sold-out Vanilla Fudge gig (along with LA band Spirit) for which they were paid $750. Promoter Barry Fey, who almost didn’t book the band for the show, recalls how blown away he was by the band that was about to take over the world:

You didn’t have to be a genius to know that Zeppelin was going to be a smash. Oh, my God. People were going crazy!

The next day the program director for local Dever station KLZ contacted Fey telling him the station’s phone lines had been inundated by calls from people who had born witness to the first coming of Led Zeppelin, demanding that the station play their music. Fey headed over to KLZ with his copy of Zep’s eponymous (and still unreleased) album which the station would play over and over again for the entire day.

When it comes to shock-and-roll history associated with Alice Cooper’s reception by critics at the time, it’s not that much different than Zeppelin’s. Pretties for You, the 1969 debut from the group was also being beaten up by music reviewers including legendary meanie Lester Bangs who had this to say about the record in his review published by Rolling Stone on July 12, 1969:

But neither is there any hint of life, spontaneity, joy, rage, or any kind of authentic passion or conviction. As such, Alice Cooper’s music is, for this reviewer at any rate, totally dispensable.

Oof. After playing three shows, Page and other members of the group came down with the flu and so Alice Cooper would soldier on with the Buddy Miles Express filling in Zeppelin’s slot.

More after the jump…

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Girls on Motorcycles: Retro photos of pioneering biker chicks
01.31.2017
11:03 am

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Feminism
Heroes
History

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It really all began with the bicycle in the 1890s when wheelmen clubs across America started promoting the bicycle as a new sport—an enjoyable way to travel, exercise and spend free time. Similar clubs opened up in various parts of Europe, but while these were mainly the preserve of the wealthy and leisured class, Americans had the greater opportunity through the cheap mass production of bicycles, the space, the inclination, the time and the desire to get about on two wheels.

There were literally millions of bikes in the US by end of the 19th century. Very soon women were taking to the road and cycling their way across town and city and into history. The women’s rights activist Susan B. Anthony said something to the effect that the bicycle did “more for the emancipation of women than anything else in the world.” Women she said were “riding into suffrage on the bicycle.”

Not everyone agreed or was even happy with this. One crotchety dinosaur at the Washington Sunday Herald newspaper in 1891 described “a woman on a bicycle” as “the most vicious thing” he had ever seen. But like the dinosaur such attitudes soon extinct as once women were off on their bikes, there was no just stopping ‘em.

In parallel with the rise of the bicycle was the development of the motorcycle which was originally just a bike with an engine—though some had four wheels for balance instead of two. By 1903, Harley-Davidson sold their first motorcycles. The demand was soon fierce and companies popped up across the States producing motorbikes with thrilling names like the Marvel, the Indian and the Excelsior.

When the Indian motorcycle company added front and back shock absorbers to their motorbikes in 1915, the once far-fetched notion of long distance travel on two wheels quickly became a reality. That same year mother and daughter Avis and Effie Hotchkiss completed a 9,000 mile roundtrip by motorcycle from New York to San Francisco. In 1916, Adeline and Augusta Van Buren traveled across country on their motorbikes.

Now let’s just stop and think about these two long grueling incredible journeys. At the time there were no proper freeways. Most roads were dirt and dust. And women traveling on their own a century ago would have had to fend off unwanted advances and the unwarranted censure of every hick town they visited. Also, these women had to know how to fix their bikes when things went wrong.

By the 1920s a new generation of pioneering women bikers were taking to the road and traveling across continent. One such woman was Vivian Bales who became the first female biker to appear on the cover of Harley-Davidson’s Enthusiast magazine. Vivian was a little over five feet tall and and lacked the physical strength to kickstart her own bike but she still made a 5,000 mile trip across country on her flathead engine D-series Harley-Davidson in 1929.

Vivian wasn’t the only pioneering woman who rode into history on her motorbike during the 1920s. These photos of women bikers in America and Europe—mainly from around this decade—document the two-wheeled revolution that brought a new kind of freedom for women.
 
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Avis and Effie Hotchkiss, 1915.
 
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The Van Buren sisters.
 
More pioneering biker chicks, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Bettie Page, even more eye-popping in 3-D
01.30.2017
07:05 am

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Amusing
Books
Heroes
Sex

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The cover of 1989’s ‘The Betty Page 3-D Picture Book.’

Though I’m sure the first thing you will notice about this book of photos and illustrations by Hugh Fleming (and others) of Bettie Page is that her name is not-so-curiously misspelled as “Betty” and not “Bettie.” The alternative spelling of Page’s name as “Betty” is actually fairly common, and its use can likely be traced back to photographer Bunny Yeager who worked with Page in the mid-50s. We also see the alternate spelling of Page’s name credited to Dave Stevens, the illustrator behind early 80s comic The Rocketeer and a Bettie Page superfan. In the comic “Betty,” the girlfriend of “Cliff Secord” (the Rocketeer’s alter-ego) was modeled after Page. Then in 1987 a fanzine detailing the bombshell’s real-life exploits called The Betty Pages became hugely popular thanks to its founder Greg Theakston. There are also other, more modern publications that also refer to Page as “Betty” including this naughty fetish book by Dirk Vermin that we’ve previously featured here on Dangerous Minds.

According to the introduction written by Dave Stevens, the photos that were used in the book came to him through a man named Walter Sigg who had a stash of color photos of Page in what Stevens refers to as “3-D,” many of which had never been seen before. Stevens’ mention of “Walter Sigg” is also curious as the only Walter Sigg of note that I able to conclusively identify was a Swiss graphic designer from Zurich. While I was frustrated by the fact that is seems Walter Sigg might not even exist, as Stevens’ notes in the book’s introduction color 3-D stereo slides of Page do exist and sometimes pop up on auction sites on sale for as much as $500 bucks. When it comes to the book itself, you can find copies of it for anywhere from $10 to $100 depending on its condition on eBay. I’ve included a few photos from the book which is an absolute must-have piece of memorabilia for any Bettie Page fanatic, below. And since this is Bettie Page we’re talking about, they are NSFW.
 

 

 
More Betty/Bettie in 3-D after the jump…

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The many hairstyles of Donald Sutherland
01.27.2017
10:05 am

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Amusing
Fashion
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Movies

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01donhair.jpg
 
Donald Sutherland is a damn fine actor—one of the greatest. He’s also got a damn fine head of hair.

Sutherland and his hair are truly exceptional—above Gielgud, Olivier, Bruce Willis and all those more or less “good” but follicly challenged actors.

You know, it’s hard to think of any other actor who makes his hair work as hard as Sutherland does in every single performance.

Just think back to his neat blonde-haired vampire-killer in Dr. Terror’s House of Horrors or hippie Sgt. Oddball in Kelly’s Heroes and his scary perm in Invasion of the Body Snatchers or that bad Santa look he sported in Hunger Games—Donald Sutherland is a man and a hairstyle with no equal. 

Now I’ve been a big fan of Mr. Sutherland since way, way back whenever. But I truly became an admirer of Sutherland and his hair after I watched him at an awards ceremony on TV when I was but a short, back and sides sometime in the 1970s. Sutherland was announcing an award for something or other and when he made his way up to the stage he revealed he was favoring one of the weirdest hairstyles ever. From the back it looked like Sutherland had one of his usual long-haired hippie coiffures. But from the front, his head was shaved back to the bone and almost halfway up his scalp thus creating a bizarre and utterly huge forehead. Sutherland responded to the audience’s shocked gasps by explaining he was about to appear in Fellini’s Casanova and added:

When Fellini says get a haircut, you get a haircut.

Over the years Sutherland has certainly had quite a few weird and wonderful haircuts—each in its own way helping the great and talented actor deliver an unforgettable star performances and many a film-stealing turn in supporting roles. Now in his eighties, I can think of no other actors (save for maybe Eraserhead‘s Jack Nance) whose hair has given as powerful or as iconic a contribution to movie history. If you don’t believe me, well, just take a look at some of these….

Now, I know, I know some of you will say but what about this movie or what about that film…but the truth is Donald Sutherland has given so many great performances, made so many superb films, that there are too many to choose from. So, this is not by any means a complete list but more a tribute to the man and his hair.
 
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It begins likes this: Sutherland in ‘Dr. Terror’s House of Horrors’ (1965) looking like the kind of headshot you might find a stylish barber’s window.
 
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More hairstyles of Donald Sutherland, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
‘No Nirvana’: Jane’s Addiction, Sonic Youth, Screaming Trees & more live on UK TV in the early 90s
01.25.2017
10:22 am

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Heroes
Music
Television

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An early shot of Jane’s Addiction.
 
The Late Show was a multi-topic program broadcast on BBC2 which featured issues of cultural importance such as art, books, films and segments dedicated to more socially conscience topics such as military conflicts and religion. Not to diminish such things, they also featured live musical performances by musicians and groups such as XTC, the ethereal Jeff Buckley and The Stone Roses who appeared on the show in during its first year in 1989. In 1993 The Late Show broadcast a special called “No Nirvana” that featured a collection of what is referred to as the all encompassing sounding “contemporary American rock bands” that had previously appeared on the show. 

The title of the show was allegedly intended to be a joke directed at The Late Show itself because for some reason the band had never appeared on it. Most likely because they had suddenly become the biggest band in the world after the release of their 1991 album Nevermind. The grouping for The Late Show’s late-night Contemporary American Rock lovefest delivered was to say the least, a pretty solid knockout punch when it came to the lineup. Though they were part of the original broadcast, performances by Pearl Jam (doing “Alive”) and Rage Against the Machine (performing “Bullet in the Head”) are not included in the footage below. What you will see are Jane’s Addiction pulling off a great version of “Been Caught Stealing,” Sonic Youth’s killer version of “Drunken Butterfly,” Seattle grunge heroes Screaming Trees led by a long-haired Mark Lanegan doing “Dollar Bill,” and more from the likes of Belly, Dinosaur Jr. (with a nearly unrecognizable J Mascis), Smashing Pumpkins, Minneapolis band Sugar, and R.E.M.

Watch after the jump…

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Massive heavy metal murals of Lemmy, Dio, Alice Cooper and more on buildings in Bulgaria
01.24.2017
02:43 pm

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Art
Heroes
Music

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A huge mural of Motörhead vocalist, Lemmy Kilmister on the side of an apartment building in Kavarna, Bulgaria. Photo by Bob Ramsak.
 
Fittingly adjacent to the very metal-sounding Black Sea several apartment buildings in the town of Kavarna, Bulgaria have been adorned with the images of heavy metal heroes like Alice Cooper, Ronnie James Dio, Lemmy Kilmister and Joey DeMaio—the bassist for the only band metal enough to pull off full-body waxing, loincloths and manly jams all at the same time, Manowar.

According to Bob Ramsak, the proprietor of the blog Prian Café the idea of dressing up the sides of apartment buildings in Kavarna was spearheaded by the town’s mayor, Tsonko Tsonev. A major heavy metal fan, during his time as mayor of Kavarna from 2003 to 2015 Tsonev was instrumental in helping Kavarna become the “rock capitol of Bulgaria” by luring bands to play gigs in his hometown. In 2006 Tsonev started the Kaliakra Rock Fest which attracted the likes of Motörhead, Manowar, The Scorpions, UFO and Heaven and Hell. When it comes to the murals themselves, I wasn’t kidding when I said they were massive as many of them are at least two and a half stories tall. If that’s not metal enough for you, Kavarna is also home to Ronnie James Dio’s memorial statue. Like many of his headbanging peers, Dio himself was no stranger to Kavarna and he performed there on several occasions including while he was the front man for Heaven and Hell back in 2007. However, Dio was also a favorite son of Bulgaria for other reasons—specifically by playing an instrumental role in helping bring about the release of a group of Bulgarian nurses in 2006 who were imprisoned by the Libyan government for nearly a decade.

You can check out the murals below.
 

 

 
More metal murals after the jump…

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