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Legendary letterhead: P.T. Barnum, Adam Ant, Terry Gilliam, Richard Simmons, Marilyn Monroe & more
10.02.2014
08:10 am

Topics:
Pop Culture

Tags:
letterhead


 
As if any further proof were needed that the World Wide Web has a home for every obsession, I offer you Letterheady, an online compendium of celebrity stationery. It’s a project of Shaun Usher, a curator of “online homages to offline correspondence” who is also the collector behind the web sites and books Lists of Note and Letters of Note both of which are exactly as described on the box.

I am utterly enrapt by this collection. (And for space reasons, I kind of wish I’d hit upon this idea before I became a record collector.) Even the very plain examples—John Steinbeck, J.D. Salinger, Rita Hayworth, Kate Bush—are compelling to me in their way, for reasons I am powerless to articulate, but some of the graphically designed pieces are just fantastic. (Also, I love that two of the most crucial graphic artists of the 20th Century had such sparse letterhead—I want to show those to every editor from my years as a magazine designer who ever handwaved my insistence that pages needed white space.) It was difficult to narrow them down to what I could show you here, so I have to recommend that you consider spending some time at the site itself.
 

Adam Ant
 

Martin and Lewis
 

Terry Gilliam
 

Anais Nin
 
More letterhead of the famous after the jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Discussion
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We Are Gumbo! Pop culture soup can art featuring Devo, The Cramps, Divine & more
10.02.2014
07:14 am

Topics:
Art
Pop Culture

Tags:
Andy Warhol
The Cramps

The Cramps pop art soup cans by Zteven
The Cramps, Lux Interior and Poison Ivy
 
I’ve been an admirer of Atlanta-based pop artist Zteven for a while now and own many pieces from his pop culture-inspired soup can series (Lemmy Kilmister-flavored Bouillabaisse anyone?). In an interview earlier this year, Zteven cited the very moment his artistic inspiration was born after he saw Andy Warhol’s appearance on The Love Boat (which incidentally aired on October 12th of 1985 during season nine/episode three). The young Zteven was instantly mesmerized by Warhol’s “awkward coolness.” He developed an insatiable appetite for comic books, music and TV magazine, as well as the occasional tabloid while accompanying his grandmother to the beauty parlor.

Zteven is an 80’s kid to the core, and his artwork celebrates the many highlights of this glorious decade that often gets a worse rap than it deserves. Sail on over to Zteven’s Popmania! Etsy shop to see more.
 
Devo pop art soup can art by Zteven
Devo
 
Marc Bolan pop art soup cans by Zteven
Marc Bolan
 

‘Strangers with Candy’
 
Polyester pop art soup can by Zteven
Divine and Edith Massey
 

‘Pink Flamingos’ triptych
 

Tura Satana
 

Little Edie and Big Edie from ‘Grey Gardens’
 

David Bowie

Posted by Cherrybomb | Discussion
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John Lennon’s nearly-forgotten 1974 Broadway flop
09.30.2014
05:13 pm

Topics:
History
Music
Pop Culture

Tags:
John Lennon
Broadway


 
Although it is usually referred to as an “Off-Broadway” production—when it is referred to at all—the 1974 musical Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band on the Road, in fact, ran for 66 performances at the Beacon Theatre, which as any Westsider can tell you, is smack-dab on Broadway itself, even if it’s a cab ride away from “the Great White Way” theater district.

Likewise, I suppose it’s a bit disingenuous to say that this show was “John Lennon’s flop,” but Lennon was involved and aside from co-writing the music (duh) he attended several rehearsals and performances and helped promote the play. Paul McCartney on the other hand, may have never even seen it.
 

 
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band on the Road was conceived by Tom O’Horgan, the “Busby Berkeley of the acid set” as the New York Times described him in his 2009 obituary. O’Horgan was a proponent of experimental “total theater” and had directed Jean Genet’s The Maids at La MaMa in the East Village before moving uptown to the Broadway successes of Hair, Jesus Christ Superstar and Lenny.
 

 
From the surviving evidence of the show, it looked like it was totally insane. TIME magazine hated it, their review was titled “Contagious Vulgarity” and it went out of its way to excoriate O’Horgan’s style of musical theater. Other reviewers were much kinder and even enthusiastic, but the show which opened on November 17, 1974 was still closed by late January.

Ted Neeley, the actor long synonymous with the title role in Jesus Christ Superstar here played the Candide-like “Billy Shears.” The sexy siren “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” was played by Alaina Reed (“Olivia” from Sesame Street), while the role of “Sgt. Pepper” went to David Patrick Kelly an actor best known for uttering the immortal line “Warriors…come out to play-ee-ay!!”
 

 
And then there were the dancers whose hair don’ts and dresses are a direct rip-off of Divine’s look in Female Trouble!

Apparently there’s very little documentation of the production. Opening night attendees included Andy Warhol, Bianca Jagger, Lennon who went with May Pang, “Papa” John Phillips (whose own flop Broadway musical, Man on the Moon, produced by Andy Warhol would open two months later) and Yoko Ono who gamely supported her estranged husband.

While researching this post, I discovered that John Lennon at one point was offered the, er… Ted Neeley role in Jesus Christ Superstar but when he insisted that Yoko play Mary Magdalene, the offer was withdrawn. The jokes about her breaking up the twelve disciples would have written themselves…

One of the associate producers, Howard Dando, put together a slideshow plus some footage of opening night taken from John Lennon’s “Whatever Gets You Thru The Night” promo film. Although the producer was Bee Gees manager Robert Stigwood, who also produced the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band film, there was apparently not much of the O’Horgan’s musical play that made its way into the derided movie.
 

 
Thank you kindly Chris Campion of Palm Springs, CA! Mr. Campion is presently engaged writing the authorized biography of “Papa” John Phillips.

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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Stevie Nicks’ selfies from the 1970s
09.30.2014
09:05 am

Topics:
Art
Music
Pop Culture

Tags:
Stevie Nicks
Fleetwood Mac


 
Never-before-seen—until now, naturally—Stevie Nicks self-portraits from the mid-1970s. There are a lot wickedly cool Nicks selfies in this collection—all of which were shot with a Polaroid camera.

(Eat your heart out Kardashian clan! Your selfies got nothin’ on Stevie!)

Some people don’t sleep at night - I am one of those people. These pictures were taken long after everyone had gone to bed - I would begin after midnight and go until 4 or 5 in the morning. I stopped at sunrise - like a vampire… I never really thought anyone would ever see these pictures, they went into shoeboxes, where they remained. I did everything - I was the stylist, the makeup artist, the furniture mover, the lighting director. It was my joy - I was the model…

Leaving aside the matter of what was keeping Ms. Nicks awake in the 70s, the Morrison Hotel Gallery is doing an exhibition of her photos in Los Angeles and New York City. You can buy prints online if any image strikes your fancy.
 

 

 

 
A few more images after the jump…
 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
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Every Day is like Monday: ‘Morrissey Gets a Job’
09.29.2014
05:39 am

Topics:
Music
Pop Culture

Tags:
Morrissey


 
Waaaaaaay back in 1999, Oakland, CA based artist and author Brian Brooks, who played a role in the creation of Emily The Strange, made a series of photocopied Rock ’n’ Roll coloring books, including the utterly classic Morrissey Gets a Job, an amusing speculative look at a possible post-Smiths life that could-have-been. Actually, the singer’s famously dreary disposition could make for a decent fit with the corporate office milieu. Think about it, Moz, there’s room to move in middle-management.

Even if you’ve never seen these, they might look somewhat familiar if you spent any time at all on the internet during the ‘oughts—the panels are detourned from Ready-to-Use Office and Business Illustrations, the same book of Tom Tierney clip-art that David Rees would famously pillage a couple of years later for Get Your War On.
 

 

 

 

 

 
More Moz in the workplace after the jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Discussion
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Goofy commercial hawking KISS makeup kit, 1978
09.26.2014
09:51 am

Topics:
Amusing
Pop Culture

Tags:
1970s
KISS

Kiss kids
 
By the late 1970s, KISS mania was in full swing, and many products bearing the band’s logo were available. Some of this stuff—trading cards, action figures, even a pinball machine—had little to do with rock-n-roll, but were a perfect fit for a band now seen by many kids as superheroes.
 
KISS comic book
 
Those same kids were amongst those attending KISS concerts made-up to look their favorite member of the group, so one piece of merchandise that made total sense was the KISS Your Face Makeup Kit.
 
KISS fans
 
KISS fans
 
Check out this 1978 commercial for the makeup kit, which partially succeeds in attempts at self-conscious humor, but is also just plain goofy.

Halloween will be here before you know it, KISS fans—get yours NOW!
 

 

Posted by Bart Bealmear | Discussion
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Sacrilicious! Our Barbie of Guadalupe meets Crucified Ken


 
The only two English words on the Facebook About page for Argentine art duo Pool & Marianela are “Lowbrow art.” Their portfolio is loaded with exquisitely detourned children’s toys, mostly Barbie and Ken dolls refashioned into Catholic icons. If you just rolled your eyes, I totally get why, but take a look at this stuff—this is no mad-at-daddy art student hack job. All the details in the garments and packaging are thoroughly considered and painstakingly well executed.
 

 

 
Unsurprisingly, the duo has sparked controversy in heavily Catholic Latin America. The works will be exhibited in Buenos Aires, starting on October 11, in a show called “Barbie, The Plastic Religion.” The pair are clearly quite keen to agitate—they’re also known for making inflatable punching bags of Argentine public figures.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Lastly, check out their St. George slaying a My Little Pony. I actually laughed aloud a little bit.
 

 
Via Latino Rebels

Previously on Dangerous Minds
Barbie doll created with average US woman’s measurements is repulsive hag
Skinhead Darby and Mohawk Ben:’ Hilariously ‘insider’ punk Barbie doll Parody from 1982

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Discussion
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Senior citizen Wonder Woman cosplay
09.23.2014
10:01 am

Topics:
Fashion
Pop Culture

Tags:
Cosplay
Wonder Woman


 
Here’s a priceless bit of cosplay from the Rose City Comic Con last weekend in Oregon, a “Golden Girl” version of Wonder Woman! From the looks of it, Wonder Woman has probably traded in the invisible plane for something more practical like an invisible motorized scooter.

And oh how her once-mighty boobs have now fallen! Even Wonder Woman’s source of power, her magic golden belt is accessorized with a fanny pack where she presumably keeps her pills. She’s even replaced her bulletproof bracelets with yellow rubber dish gloves, and she’s taken up smoking (because why not?). And what of Wonder Woman’s Golden Lasso of Truth? It’s now a catheter tube attached to her hip.

It’s like Mick says, what a drag it is getting old.
 
Via reddit

Posted by Cherrybomb | Discussion
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‘My Rules’: Glen E. Friedman book documents hardcore punk, hip hop, skaters and YOU NEED IT
09.18.2014
07:18 am

Topics:
Art
Books
Hip-hop
Music
Pop Culture
Punk

Tags:
Glen E. Friedman


 
I don’t normally write posts and say “you must own this!” but… you’ve gotta get this! Glen E. Friedman’s new My Rules (Rizzoli) is simply stunning. A real masterpiece! I was happier than a pig in shit when I got it in the mail a few weeks ago. It was a very pleasant—and unexpected—surprise indeed. I couldn’t wait to unwrap it out of its packaging and tear through it! The book is a glorious MONSTER, with huge color photographs and amazing B&W images. Hugeness is a major factor in its favor, and the hardcover is sort of “quilted” and textured in a manner unlike any book I’ve ever owned. As an object/publication, it’s… a simply stunning presentation of a photographer’s life’s work, one of the best you’ll ever see. An event! Who is there… what ONE photographer was around as many important scenes as Friedman? Hip hop, hardcore, skaters, he was there, he was in the midst of it and with this book you really get a sense of that. It’s not just a bunch of amazing photographs, the selection becomes a sort of autobiography of the person who documented all of these moments: He was there.


Darren “Buffy” Robinson - Fat Boys - 1985 - Venice Beach, ©Glen E. Friedman
 
Glen’s work splendidly captures historic moments in time. Moments of 70s skate culture, punk, post punk, hardcore, 80s hip hop and early-90s indie rock. Underground cultures that will never happen again (or at least not as cool as they were then!). I have to admit though, I got really nostalgic and almost a bit weepy while looking at these photographs. They reminded me of being young again. My youth. Something I ain’t ever going to get back. They drummed up memories of me hanging out with my childhood friends (some sadly deceased now) just kicking it in my parents’ basement playing records or driving around in my first boyfriend’s pick-up truck blasting Minor Threat. Fun times. Good times.

I love this book for so many reasons.


The Make-Up - 1995 - New York City, ©Glen E. Friedman
 

Think of any iconic image of Run DMC, Black Flag, Minor Threat, Public Enemy, and Beastie Boys, or the gravity defying revolutionary skateboarding legends Tony Alva, Jay Adams, or Stacy Peralta. It is almost certain that Glen E. Friedman was the man behind the camera. Since the mid-1970s as a young teenager, Friedman has been chronicling quintessential moments of underground and counterculture movements.

Glen E. Friedman’s My Rules serves as a history book for the three powerhouse countercultures—skateboarding, punk, and hip-hop. From the earliest days Friedman was present to capture the pivotal and defining moments in music and street movements that were largely unknown or ignored. The energy and rebellion comes through in these famous and some never-before-seen iconic images.


Moses Padilla - 1978 - West LA, ©Glen E. Friedman

As a side note: It was extremely difficult for me to pick the images for this post. I mean, they’re all so damned wonderful! ALL of them! Here are a few choice selections from My Rules below:


Jello Biafra - 1981 - Hollywood, ©Glen E. Friedman
 

Flavor Flav and Chuck D. - 1987, ©Glen E. Friedman
 

Junk Yard Band - 1986 - Washington D.C., ©Glen E. Friedman

More after the jump…
 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
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Own Peter Fonda’s chopper from ‘Easy Rider’


What the hell is wrong with FREEDOM, man, that’s what it’s all about!

The US flag-festooned motorcycle Peter Fonda rode as “Captain America” in the landmark 1969 film Easy Rider is going up for auction next month. Via seattlepi.com:

The customized Captain America chopper Peter Fonda rode in “Easy Rider” has come to symbolize the counterculture of the 1960s. Now it’s for sale.

The auction house Profiles in History told The Associated Press that it estimates the Harley-Davidson will bring $1 million to $1.2 million at its Oct. 18 sale being held online and at its galleries in Calabasas, California.

The seller is Michael Eisenberg, a California businessman who once co-owned a Los Angeles motorcycle-themed restaurant with Fonda and “Easy Rider” co-star Dennis Hopper. Eisenberg bought it last year from Dan Haggerty, perhaps best known for his roles in the “Grizzly Adams” TV show and movies, who was in charge of keeping the custom-designed bike humming during the 1969 movie’s filming.

Four motorcycles were created for the movie, but only one is known to have survived. It was used in the climactic crash scene in which Fonda is thrown off the bike.

After the film was finished, Hopper told Haggerty to keep it. Haggerty rode it often, an experience he likened to “going out with Marilyn Monroe.” Parting with it was like having a “child finally getting married and moving away and starting a new life on their own.”

 

 
The film, of course, remains a must-see even today, as its themes of seeking fulfillment outside the system, the death of idealism, and the paradoxes of freedom resonate well beyond the social context of the late ‘60s, and its soundtrack is packed with classic songs.

Now its central symbol can be a trinket for some extravagantly overpaid fund manager dickweed with seven figures to burn on an adolescent fantasy. AMERICA FUCK YEAH!
 

 
Previously on Dangerous Minds
The Electric Cinema Acid Test: the trippiest movies ever made
A slightly bombed Dennis Hopper bemoans the fate of his feature ‘The Last Movie’

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Discussion
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