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Sixties psychedelic sexploitation: ‘The Touchables’

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1968 film The Touchables is an explosion of mod and pop art imagery. It was the only film directed by Robert Freeman, whose iconic photos of The Beatles adorn the covers of “Rubber Soul,” “Help” and “A Hard Day’s Night.”

The Touchables was written by Donald Cammell, the director of the mindbending classic “Performance” and the underrated and rarely seen ‘Wild Side,” and stars the stunning Judy Huxtable, who later married comedian Peter Cook.

Four independently wealthy dolly birds kidnap pop star Christian (David Anthony) from a wrestling match, chloroforming him and smuggling him out of the arena dressed as a nun. They spirit him back to their communal home, an inflatable plastic dome, tie him to a circular bed and take turns having their way with him. Meanwhile, Christian’s manager and besotted gay wrestler try desperately to find the pop idol, who, truth be told, isn’t especially eager to be rescued. One of the most sought-after of psychedelic obscurities, this little-seen naughty comedy is a non-stop riot of Swinging London fashions and pop art accessories. The soundtrack features a score by Ken Thorne (“Help,”), short-lived flower-pop Brit band Nirvana and Wynder K. Frog.”

The Touchables captures a moment in time when London was swinging and LSD was melting on pop culture’s tongue. Grab a DVD of this hard to find gem here.

The music on the trailer soundtrack is Brit psych band Nirvana.
 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Discussion
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When Duggie Fields, Divine and ‘J.R.’ Spent Christmas Together

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The brilliant artist Duggie Fields supplied Dangerous Minds with this fabulous Holiday snap of a Christmas party with Divine and Larry ‘J.R.’ Hagman in the 1980s. As Duggie explains:

The photo was Christmas day at Zandra Rhodes’ in London Maybe a year or two after ‘J.R.’ was shot in Dallas - Andrew Logan was also there, Joan and Jack Quinn and Janet Street-Porter too….Lunch and afternoon rather than evening…..Larry is giving out his Christmas gifts to everyone of mini portable fans with his photo on - his Patented Anti-Smoking Device...!

 
Previously on Dangerous Minds

Tea With Duggie Fields


 
Bonus snaps and clip, after the jump…
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
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Sean Lennon does Serge Gainsbourg tonight in Paris

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Sean Lennon and Charlotte Kemp (The Ghost Of A Saber Tooth Tiger) cover Serge Gainsbourg’s “Comic Strip” in this video shot by a fan earlier this evening in Paris.

Sean and Charlotte seem to be channeling more of Serge and Jane than John and Yoko. Though Sean has certainly inherited his Dad’s guitar playing chops.
 

 
Via

Posted by Marc Campbell | Discussion
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Bobbie Gentry, the Mississippi hippie, performing with Donovan and The Hollies

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Back in the sixties, TV Guide referred to Bobbie Gentry as “the Mississippi hippie.”  At the time, I don’t think hippies thought of Bobbie as one of their own, maybe it was the country thing. In retrospect, it’s pretty obvious that Bobbie had a very bohemian vibe going on, as manifest in these ultra-cool videos.

In the first clip, Bobbie and Donovan perform a version of Donovan’s “There Is A Mountain” that, in my opinion, improves upon the original, adding a Crescent City feel to the mambo beat. In the second, she sings “Louisiana Man” with Graham Nash, Allan Clarke and Tony Hicks of The Hollies. Both clips are from Bobbie’s BBC TV show which aired in 1968.

In video 3, Bobbie does a sultry go-go while singing P.J. Proby’s hit “Niki Hoeky” on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour.
 

 
The Hollies and ‘Niki Hoeky’ after the jump…

Posted by Marc Campbell | Discussion
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Elektra Records: A Sixtieth Birthday Celebration with Jac Holzman and Lenny Kaye

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Like Lenny Kaye, I grew up a devotee of Elektra Records. Jac Holzman’s amazing label was always a reliable source for exciting new rock and folk. From The Doors and Love to The Stooges and Tim Buckley, Elektra was a mother lode of fresh sounds for any kid growing up in the sixties who was looking to expand their musical horizons.

Elektra’s influence on me, as well as thousands of other nascent punk rockers, continued with the release in 1972 of Lenny Kaye’s seminal compilation ‘Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era, 1965–1968’. For many of us, Kaye’s anthology of garage rock was an introduction or re-introduction to the first wave of American punk and arrived at a time when rock and roll needed to be reminded of the days when the music was loud, fast, and shot thru with a spirit of fun and rebellion.  

This discussion between Jac and Lenny was held on October 14 at the 92nd street Y in NYC and it’s really quite wonderful. I think you’ll enjoy it.
 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Discussion
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Henry Rollins and Glenn Danzig Christmas Special

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Looking for a last minute Christmas stocking stuffer for the middle-aged headbanger in your life. Well here it is, ‘Henry And Glenn Forever: The Boxset.’

Moshing through the snow with America’s most beloved washed-up punk rockers.
 

 
Via Nerdcore

 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Discussion
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‘Downtown 81’ starring Jean Michel Basquiat: Watch it now

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Downtown 81 is more dream than reality, softening the edges and rounding off the corners of a much rougher reality than the film depicts. I was there and I know most of the people involved with the making of the film. We were young, broke and fearless. We flourished below 14th st. in an atmosphere filled with a kind of beautiful dread. You never knew where the city was heading. It was a giant, stinking, drunken beast that clattered, stumbled and lurched but never came to a stop. It’s different now, domesticated and safe. The wildness is gone - the beast shot in the heart with a tranquilizer dart.

The pleasure of Downtown 81 is in watching 19 year old Jean Michel Basquiat gliding past beautifully photographed downtown landmarks to a soundtrack of seminal New York music of the era.  

Downtown 81’ was shot in 1980-81. Originally titled New York Beat’ it was written and co-produced by the well known writer Glenn O’Brien, produced by Maripol, the art director and stylist, and directed by photographer Edo Bertoglio, all of whom were deeply involved in the art, music and fashion scenes of the time. The Director of photography was John McNulty, one of New York’s top lighting men, shooting his first feature.

The film is not a documentary, but presents a slightly exaggerated, romantic and magical version of the reality of the time. The entire cast is composed of the movers and shakers on the downtown scene. In 1981, business problems interrupted the completion of post-production, and parts of the film were lost in Europe. Finally after much searching, the missing materials were located in 1998. Post production was begun in 1999 and finished in 2000, supervised by Maripol and Glenn O’Brien and edited by director/editor Pamela French. Executive producer of the film is Michael Zilkha, whose Ze Records released recordings by severals of the bands in the film.

The cast includes Deborah Harry, and leading bands of the era including Kid Creole and the Coconuts, James White and the Blacks, DNA, Tuxedomoon, The Plastics, and Walter Steding and the Dragon People. Also heard on the soundtrack are rap legend Melle Mel, John Lurie, Lydia Lunch, Suicide, Vincent Gallo, Kenny Burrell and Basquiat’s own band, Gray.”

Downtown 81 also features my mentor the legendary Giorgio Gomelsky.
 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Discussion
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Cheapskate followers nearly keep celebrities off Twitter

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Striking a blow straight to the heart of celebrity vanity, the newest edition of the Popbitch newsletter contained the following item:

Neatly proving just how ineffective social media actually is, 18 celebrities (and Jay Sean) sacrificed their “digital lives” for charity last week, vowing to stop updating their Twitter and Facebook feeds. Social network silence from Lady Gaga, Alicia Keys, Justin Timberlake and others until their fans donated a million dollars to [Keys’] Keep A Child Alive campaign to help fight AIDS.

With six days gone, donations were still under $300k. The celebs got restive - Usher just plain gave up and started tweeting - so a billionaire patsy, and longtime AIDS funder Stewart Bahr, was drafted in to pay it off.

It would have cost the celebs’ 35 million combined followers less than 3 cents each to buy back their lives and get them tweeting again, so it appears their fans are staunchly pro-AIDS, or no-one really cared very much about what they had to say in the first place.

Laying down that kind of bread, couldn’t Bahr have pushed his weight around even a little bit and negotiated a way to still keep Kim Kardashian off Twitter?

Subscribe to Popbitch.

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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When Facebook becomes a book

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Siavosh Zabeti, and Alexander Kalchev create a FaceBOOK, a social network in hard copy form. De-evolution.

Bouygues Telecom asked us to come up with an idea to launch their facebook platform. They wanted us to create something that would go beyond using your profile picture in a funny way, or pranking your friends with a small joke.

We decided to look at the way we use facebook and found that even though we use the social networking site everyday, we forget our favorite moments we share online. So we created an app that could change that, and keep your facebook, in a book.

 

Via Abduzeedo

 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Discussion
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Did Brian Epstein’s Ghost Predict John Lennon’s Assassination in Rare BBC Documentary?

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John Lennon 24 Hours is a “rarely seen” BBC documentary following John and Yoko over five days in early December 1969. It’s an intimate and interesting film with some very fine moments - a few you may have seen before, but even so it’s well worth watching.

There’s a spooky moment for Lennon-philes at around 1 minute 20 seconds in part 3 (below), when Lennon reads out a letter from a concerned fan who wrote:

Dear Mr Lennon, From information I received whilst using ouija board I believe there will be an attempt to assassinate you. The spirit who gave me this information was Brian Epstein.

Enjoy!
 
John Lennon 24 Hours - Part 1
 

 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
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