If John Waters ever dreamt up a scandal mag full of sex, celebrity and murder, then it might look something like The Exploiter.
Not known for its subtly, The Exploiter was a no-rent tabloid sold in supermarkets that guaranteed interest with such sensational headlines as:
SON CHOPS, CLUBS, STRANGLES AND STABS HIS FAMILY!
(Well, you can never be too careful…)
Story of Papillon “I ESCAPED FROM DEVIL’S ISLAND!”
Raquel Welch Sells Sex Thrills!
But of course.
Actually, the story on Ms. Welch was a late report on her appearance in the 1967 French comedy Les plus vieux métier du monde, aka The Oldest Profession. But you get the idea…
Also in The Exploiter for 31 January, 1971, was this intriguing job opportunity:
HELP WANTED: ORGY INSPECTOR APPLY INSIDE…
This turned out to be a behind-the-scenes report on various hi-jinks taking place on the set of Ken Russell‘s latest work-of-genius, The Devils.
Interestingly, this story had come across the wires, and was originally posted in The Free-Lance-Star 30 November, 1970. It then appeared amongst the entertainment section of the St. Petersburg Times, for December 2, 1970, next to an advert for “The Sensational, Fascinating T-A-N-T-A-L-I-Z-N-G BUNDLE OF SEX MELINA” at the Twilight Lounge, 2235 Central Ave., and “Stay Young—Go Dancing” with Bob Burklew’s Dixians, at St. Pet Coliseum.
Help Wanted: Orgy Inspector
LONDON (AP) - Equity, the British actors’ union, is appointing an orgy inspector to keep watch on mass sex scenes in movies. His job will be to insure that the male actors stick to the script.
Five actresses complained during the shooting of a scene from “The Devils,” they were sexually assaulted in a crowd of 50 naked male extras, all amateurs. The movie, about sex-mad nuns in the 17th century, stars Vanessa Redgrave and Oliver Reed, who were not involved.
In John Baxter’s long-interview-cum-biography, An Appalling Talent Ken Russell (1973), the great director gave some background to the story, as Mr. Russell explained:
The extras on The Devils were a particularly bad bunch. They weren’t all the same but you only need one bad apple for the rot to set in and we had a whole barrel-load. Casual work like this attracts bad characters and when they learn a bit about how films are made they can hold you to ransom by demanding more money…
...On The Devils they were even worse. They not only tried to get ‘money for breathing’; they were very bad at exterior shots and in some of the cathedral scenes they manhandled the naked nuns more than was called for and one poor girl was even sexually assaulted. I think the union knows what some of its members are like. and after the fuss on The Devils they made an effort to correct things…
So, now we know, there was a serious incident, but there was no job for an orgy inspector.
Still, who knows, maybe one day John Waters will consider editing a scandal mag?
We lost one of THE heavy hitters of the disco/soul era on Saturday, a man who helped birth some of the greatest anthems of the 70s and 80s, but whose name will mean very little to the average Joe on the street.
Vincent Montana Jr was vibraphone player and band leader for both Philadelphia International’s MFSB and New York’s Salsoul Orchestra, outfits that, just between them, could rack up a near-definitive “Hits Of Disco” compilation. But that’s not even taking into account the hits he played on or produced for others…
“La La Means I Love You”, “TSOP (aka Theme from Soul Train)”, “Love Train”, “Me & Mrs Jones”, “Disco Inferno”, “Runaway”, “Be Thankful For What You’ve Got”, “Love Is The Message”, “Armed and Extremely Dangerous”, “Backstabbers”, “People Make The World Go Round”, “I Am The Black Gold Of The Sun” (with Nuyorican Soul), the list goes on and on.
He also had some success with his own acts Montana Sextet and the Goody Goody Orchestra, including “It Looks Like Love”, which remains one of the keystone records in the vast cannon of disco. Like Loose Joints “Is It All Over My Face” or “For The Love Of Money” by the Disco Dub Band, “It Looks Like Love” has been responsible for turning subsequent generations onto the underground/dancefloor disco sound, and rehabilitating the genre from the sea of plastic crap that almost engulfed it.
In fact, it could be argued that “It Looks Like Love” is THE definitive “disco” record, as its stylish, graceful, sexy vibe is everything disco patrons aspired to be, and the perfect soundtrack to the time machine ride back to those clubs of the late 70s and early 80s. Others may disagree, but this is the track that does it for me. I can close my eyes and I am THERE.
For that, if nothing else (though there was of course LOTS more) we salute you Vincent Montana Jr! Play those vibes, once more time…
There was not a lot of stuff that my father and I could agree on when I was growing up, but on the matter of Jonathan Winters (and Diana Rigg) we were in firm agreement. We both thought he was hysterical. To this day I have Winters’ zany flights of verbal fancy etched in my memory from listening to his comedy albums over and over again.
Today most people will remember Jonathan Winters from films like It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, The Loved One (which he is amazing in) and The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming. Or his TV roles as “Mearth,” the alien son of Mork & Mindy and for his memorable appearances on The Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts and Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show.
The thing that virtually all of Winters’ TV and film appearances have in common is how OUT THERE and free-form his comedy was. Jonathan Winters, even into old age, was been known for his manic energy and indefatigable improvisational genius. You never, ever saw him in a quiet, contemplative mood, but for 30 minutes here, in this 1973 program from public television called Day at Night, you get to see a very different side of the comic genius. The host is public television pioneer James Day.
You could say it all started with Adolf Hitler. That was who John Cleese could impersonate when he was at school. Highly wrought, apoplectic impressions of the deranged Nazi leader. It brought Cleese laughs and popularity, which all made the shy young schoolboy feel less awkward and less self-conscious about himself, and particularly his height.
Being Hitler was also a release for his anger, his frustrations, and it allowed him to develop his natural comic skills. Most importantly, it offered Cleese an alternative career to the one his family expected.
‘When I was 16, everyone told me, “John, the thing to do is to get a good qualification. You go in an accountant’s office now and by the time you’re thirty-seven, you’ll have several letters after your name, you know you’ll be able to get married…” It was that kind of feeling. Fine. It’s one type of life, but it was laid down to me as a sort of golden pathway leading up to the A.C.A.’
A sense of duty saw Cleese study Law at Cambridge University. He soon found it frighteningly dull, and after 3 years, was more proud of a 12-minute sketch he had written and performed for the Cambridge Footlights than his knowledge of libel laws or past trials.
The sketch was the start of his long and successful career as a writer and performer, firstly in Cambridge Circus, then The Frost Report, At Last the 1948 Show, to Monty Python’s Flying Circus and the brilliant Fawlty Towers. Each of these shows, in their own way, allowed Cleese to vent the anger he could never express in his public life.
‘I know something’s manic in me,’ thirty-six-year-old Cleese explained in this BBC profile. ‘Yes, there is something manic somewhere in me, and I think it’s something to do with being trapped in a shell of lower middle class reasonableness, politeness.
‘Sometimes I get very angry and I find it frightfully difficult to be angry, and I think anger in particular—people talk to me at parties, and they really do talk, talk at me. And I have fantasies of picking things up, cheese dips and…[mimes rubbing the dip in someone’s face].
‘But I’ve never had the courage to do it.’
Broadcast in February 1976, after the highly successful first season of Fawlty Towers, this profile of John Cleese includes interviews with the great man himself, his then wife and co-writer, Connie Booth, as well as performers, writers and friends such as Tim Brooke-Taylor, Antony Jay, Alan Coren and David Frost, who said of Cleese:
‘I think it was the element of benevolent-sadism in his work really, in the sense that his humor can be immensely cruel—and the nice thing is that he means it.’
Country music’s outlaw icon and great American artist Willie Nelson, was asked about his take on marriage equality for Texas Monthly magazine:
Texas Monthly: For better or worse, you’ve also grown into a reputation as something of an authority on marriage itself.
Willie Nelson: I’ve been there and back a few times. It’s not perfect, so why should we expect it to be perfect for everybody?
Texas Monthly: But to be clear, you think everybody should be able to get married?
Willie Nelson: Absolutely. I never thought of marriage as something only for men and women. But I’d never marry a guy I didn’t like.
Texas Monthly: A lot of people think this battle echoes the fight for civil rights in the sixties.
Willie Nelson: It does. It’s about human rights. As humanity, we’ve come through so many problems from the beginning to here. I guess it finally had to come around to this. This is just another situation, another problem. We’ll work it out and move on.
Texas Monthly: And what do you think they’ll say when they look back on this?
Willie Nelson: We’ll look back and say it was crazy that we ever even argued about this.
BOOM! Score one for the red-headed stranger!
Texas Monthly invites readers to use Willie’s boss weed-equality avatar themselves. The design was created by the Austin-based design agency Helms Workshop.
Vincent Price started collecting Art at the age of 12.
‘It was just one of those things. I’d read so many books on Art that one day I walked into a little art store, downtown St. Louis—mainly a framing place—they were having an exhibition of Rembrandt etchings, and there was one that really took my fancy.
‘I said, “How much is it?” And the man said, “It’s thirty-seven dollars, and fifty-cents.”
‘Well, I had $5 in my pocket, so I said could I put that down on it? And he said, “Yes.” I think he knew my father was good for the other thirty-two dollars and fifty-cents.
‘I paid for it myself, and from it, I learned a tremendous amount about the importance of the ownership of Art. The importance of buying a recording, of owning a work of Art, so you could study it, and live with it, and make it really your own, rather than just a thing you pick-up at a cursory glance in a museum. And [Art collecting] lasted all my life.’
Alas, Mr. Price had to sell his Rembrandt when he was broke, but his love of Art and Art History never left him.
It was in London, while working as an Art Historian at the Courtauld Institute, that Mr. Price’s love of theater began. As the theater was cheap in London, he saw as many productions as he could, before taking the plunge. He quickly moved form bit part to lead, and was on Broadway by 23.
A fascinating, and thoroughly enjoyable interview, in which Vincent Price relishes discussing those things closest to his heart—Art and Acting. From the public access TV series Day at Night, April 1974.
A brief interview with the legendary film-maker Kenneth Anger, in which he discusses Magick, the O.T.O., Bobby Beausoleil, and Henri Langlois, with interviewer Jean-Emmanuel Deluxe. Recorded at the Galerie du Jour Agnès B., in Paris, November 2012, for Standard magazine.
Dangerous Minds is a compendium of oddities, pop culture treasures, high weirdness, punk rock and politics drawn from the outer reaches of pop culture. Our editorial policy, such that it is, reflects the interests, whimsies and peculiarities of the individual writers. And sometimes it doesn't. Very often the idea is just "Here's what so and so said, take a look and see what you think."
I'll repeat that: We're not necessarily endorsing everything you'll find here, we're merely saying "Here it is." We think human beings are very strange and often totally hilarious. We enjoy weird and inexplicable things very much. We believe things have to change and change swiftly. It's got to be about the common good or it's no good at all. We like to get suggestions of fun/serious things from our good-looking, high IQ readers. We are your favorite distraction.