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Gentle Giant: Rosey Grier’s ‘Needlepoint for Men,’ 1973
04.08.2016
09:49 am

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Books
Heroes
History
Sports

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Rosey Grier


 
I never realized what an awesome role model Rosey Grier was to kids—and to full grown men who enjoy needlepoint—in the 1970s. Really Rosey? (See what I did there? No?) I mean, how many former NFL players can you name who wrote books on needlepoint and sang songs like “It’s Alright To Cry”? None probably.

More than anything, Grier was showing that it was okay for young males to be in touch with their softer side and that there was nothin’ shameful about expressing emotions like crying. What a stellar message to get across, especially in the early 1970s when I’d imagine it was a lot tougher for even a former NFL tackle to get that message out without laughter and ridicule.

Rosey Grier is 83 years old now, and an ordained minister who keeps up a brisk pace of public service. He is the last surviving member of the Fearsome Foursome. As a bodyguard for Ethyl Kennedy during the 1968 presidential primaries, when RFK was assassinated, it was Rosey Grier who took control of the gun and subdued, Sirhan Sirhan.

Let’s also not forget his guest star turns on Dora Hall specials or his co-starring role in 1972’s The Thing With Two Heads (Ray Milland plays a rich white racist who has his head transplanted onto the body of a death-row inmate played by Grier.)
 

 

 
More Rosey after the jump…
 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Super-saturated images of cars, corporate logos and mullets at the Daytona 500
03.04.2016
09:13 am

Topics:
Art
Sports

Tags:
photography
Daytona 500


 
On his website, photographer Chip Litherland recently posted a stunning gallery of photographs taken at an iconic American sporting venue under the title “Expired at the Daytona 500.”

A striking feature of the day’s shooting is that Litherland used no digital gear for the shoot and used the event as an occasion to see what happens when he limited his film stock to a bunch of “super-expired” rolls of 35mm film that he had amassed over the years: “This is film expired with dates like: March 1996. November 1975. April 2004. January 1992. October 2006. Expiration dates that are probably older than some of you reading this.”

His work product from that day represent a triumph for good old-fashioned analog methods.

Litherland describes his guerrilla mindset that day:
 

I’m used to rolling up to a huge sports event with a 400mm on my shoulder a suitcase full of Canon pro bodies, an arsenal of lenses, compact flash cards, and strobes. I didn’t have any of that shit. It was just me, a couple bodies clanking together around my neck and kind of a newbie attitude I hadn’t felt in a while.

 
Even if you hate NASCAR, hate auto racing, hate sports, you should really check out these shots. The ultra-vivid colors seems an utterly perfect visual referent for the ultra-American subject matter of sunshine, fast cars, corporate logos, denim, mullets, palm trees, and so on.

I also like Litherland’s final words on the day’s shoot: “All that being said film is a pain in the ass. We have it so easy now.”
 

 

 
Much, much more after the jump…...

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Peter Tosh rides a unicycle
03.04.2016
08:42 am

Topics:
Music
Reggae
Sports

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Peter Tosh


 
This year is the 40th anniversary of Peter Tosh’s solo debut Legalize It—now available on CD in the superior, uncluttered “original Jamaican mix”—and his shoes remain vacant. Tosh’s rebelliousness was bound up with his eccentricity: he spoke in his own riddling, punning language, blew pot smoke in the faces of the most powerful men in Jamaica, and, time and again, perversely bit hands that fed him. In his way, he was full of good cheer, too. Whose day wouldn’t be brightened by the sight of this sharp-tongued, militant, six-foot-five Rasta passing by on unicycle?
 

Tosh practices smoking and cycling in a hotel hallway
 
John Masouri’s biography Steppin’ Razor reports that Tosh acquired his first unicycle at a bike shop in New York on June 19, 1978, hours before opening for the Stones at the Palladium. Masouri, who says Tosh learned to ride the unicycle by practicing in hotel hallways on the road, quotes manager Herbie Miller on the singer’s fondness for novelty items and pets:

He was young at heart and as funny as any stand-up comedian, and also spent quite some time purchasing toys and gadgets associated with youth culture and activities for his own use. So, skateboards, roller skates, slingshots, electric motorcars, unicycles and layback cycles were most precious and guarded. He also loved pets and kept fishes, a variety of rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters and birds. I once had to talk Peter out of returning from a European tour with a pet chimpanzee; for me, it was a monumental achievement since it was virtually impossible to talk him out of some things, including ‘beating the gate’ with hamsters from a previous tour.

 
More Peter Tosh on a unicycle, after the jump…

Posted by Oliver Hall | Leave a comment
Meet the legendary ‘glam rock’ wrestler of the 1970s, Adrian Street
02.10.2016
11:59 am

Topics:
Sports

Tags:
wrestling
glam
Adrian Street
Jeremy Deller

0ardstreet1.jpg
 
In Britain during the 1970s live wrestling matches were broadcast every Saturday afternoon on the ITV channel. Millions of fans tuned in to watch such legendary British wrestlers as Mick McManus, Jackie Pallo, Giant Haystacks and Big Daddy. These men were working class heroes—no nonsense traditional wrestlers in trunks and boots. Though they looked like your Dad—a bit a chubby, with a liking for beer—in the ring they were ruthless. Each was a master of a particular wrestling technique with which they showed off their athletic prowess.

Then one Saturday there arrived Adrian Street—a peroxide blonde, in lipstick and mascara, nail polish and pantyhose. He was the most glamorous wrestler on the planet. Street was camp, outrageous, a glam rock wrestling superstar who dispatched his opponents without chipping a fingernail. He was the “merchant of menace,” the “sweet transvestite with a broken nose.” A herald of the social and sexual changes happening at full tilt across the country. He was loved and loathed in equal measure—an older generation feared what he represented; a younger generation embraced it.
 
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Each week Adrian turned up in more elaborate costumes, more glittering makeup and a selection of moves that brought the crowds to their feet. His trademark was to kiss his opponent. While they reeled from the shock of being kissed by another man, Adrian flattened them with a forearm smash, a drop kick, or his favorite the sleeper hold.

Adrian Street was born into a mining family in Brynmawr, Wales in 1940.  As a child he fantasized about running away with a tribe of Native American Indians. He wandered neighboring fields dreaming he was Tarzan and picking bluebells to give to his mother. In his teens he started body-building and briefly worked with his father down the mines. He then moved to London where he began his wrestling career in 1957. He was trained by Chic Osmond and fought under the name Kid Tarzan. During his time in London Adrian had his first taste of bohemia life hanging out with artists and writers most notably Francis Bacon. By the late sixties, Adrian reinvented himself as the androgynous wrestler “The Exotic One.” He went on to fight an estimated 15,000 bouts over a seven decade career.
 
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In 2010 the artist Jeremy Deller made a documentary on Adrian Street called So Many Ways To Hurt You. Deller had been inspired to make his film by a photograph of the wrestler.

I first became aware of [Adrian] through a photograph showing him with his father in 1973, which seemed to me possibly the most important photograph taken post-war. It encapsulates the whole history of Britain in that period – of our uneasy transition from being a centre of heavy industry to a producer of entertainment and services. It’s a rather bizarre and disturbing photograph, taken when Adrian went back to Wales, to the mine that he had worked in as a young man, to meet his father. Adrian’s still very much alive and still wrestling in Florida, where he has settled. He’s an incredible person, who has tremendous willpower and a great sense of his own worth. His story has an epic quality to it, he has basically reinvented himself for the late twentieth century.

As much of an influence as all the pop artists who liberated teenage minds during the 1970s, Adrian Street opened up a world of rich diversity to an older generation who had been shaped by the austerity and hardship of post-War Britain.

Keep reading after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
‘Dragon Power,’ the disco tribute to Bruce Lee
01.08.2016
09:11 am

Topics:
Music
Sports

Tags:
disco
Bruce Lee


 
Given that people like to make money, I suppose it was inevitable that Bruce Lee mania and disco fever would intersect—but when, and where? In 1978, history chose as its instrument England’s JKD (as in Jeet Kune Do) Band. On the Dragon Power (A Tribute to Bruce Lee) 12-inch, JKD Band provided an inoffensive party-record backing to screeches and bits of dialogue lifted from Enter the Dragon, and the result is delightful. Disco would sound a lot better if all the songs were ginned up with war cries, bones cracking, and other combat sounds, don’t you think? Enterprising young people: let’s make 2016 the year of war disco.
 

 
According to Discogs, the arranger of this disc, John Altman, played sax on Van Morrison and Graham Parker records, and he’s collaborated with Neil Innes of Rutles, Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band and Monty Python fame on several occasions.

If this rings your bell, Amazon has the JKD Band’s full Dragon Power album, though I should warn you that I didn’t hear any shrieking, pulverizing or Eastern philosophizing on “Hooked on the Boogie” or “Let Your Body Do the Talking.”

Posted by Oliver Hall | Leave a comment
The forgotten heroes of ‘Midget Wrestling’: Vintage photos from the 60s and 70s

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These are the men who became heroes of the ring as Midget Wrestlers during the 1960s and 1970s. Out of traveling carnivals, circus acts and sheer ambition, these wrestlers started a sport that was followed by hundreds of thousands across America, Canada and England.

The best wrestlers (Sky Low Low, Little Beaver, Lord Littlebrook, Little Tokyo) mixed great physical prowess with acrobatic skills to give their fans edge-of-the-seat thrills and entertainment, with just a hint of comedy. Wrestlers fell in two categories—the goodies and the baddies, who would either seek the cheers or loud disapprobation of the audience by skill or pantomime cheating.

Sadly, many of the biographies and details of these wrestling heroes (and villains) have either been lost or passively excised due to political correctness—which is a shame, for these men (and and a few women) were athletes and acrobats who excelled at the sport.

Thankfully, during a golden age of wrestling, photographer David Maciejewski documented the legends of the ring from 1966 to 1974—from which some these pictures have been culled. More of Maciejewski’s superb photography can be seen (and purchased) here.
 
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Little Bruiser ready for a bout in Chicago, September 1 1972. Born Murray Downs in Wallaceburg, Ontario, Little Bruiser was the only son among four sisters. His father was an alcoholic and his abusive and violent behavior towards his son led the teenage Murray to run away from home. He joined the carnival and started wrestling. His powerhouse antics made him popular and he quickly became a star. He fought as part of a tag team and was often picked to fight 6ft 10in 350lbs wrestler Blackjack Mulligan who would wallop Bruiser onto the canvas. Little Bruiser was a demon in the ring, but a gentleman outside. He later quit because of back pain and died in a auto accident in 1995.
 
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Tag team: Little Bruiser and Billy the Kid, September 23 1972.
 
More mini wrestling heroes, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Andy Warhol, Grace Jones, Bettie Page & more roller skating (because roller skating rules!)

Andy Warhol roller skating
Andy Warhol roller skating
 
If you keep up with my posts here at DM, you know I often put together cool photo-sets featuring famous people doing things that we all like to do like hitting the beach or lying in bed. This time around I’ve pulled together something fun for you to kill time with this Friday - images of people way cooler than us on roller skates.
 
Bettie Page and Gus the Gorilla roller skating, mid-1950s
Bettie Page and Gus the Gorilla roller skating, mid-1950s
 
Some of the images are from the wide variety of films with either roller skating themes or scenes in them such as Raquel Welch tearing it up on the derby track in the 1972 film, Kansas City Bomber. Others are from the late 70s and 80s when Roller Disco was all the rage. There’s even a few that go way back in time that I slipped in because they were just too cool not to share.

I’ve also included a video that features Dutch girl band, the Dolly Dots roller skating around in leotards lipsynching to their 1979 track, “(They Are) Rollerskating.” Because, like I said, roller skating RULES!
 
Grace Jones roller skating at Compo Beach, 1973
Grace Jones roller skating at Compo Beach, 1973
 
Judas Priest roller skating in 1981
Judas Priest, 1981
 
Many more famous rollerskaters, after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Surprising photos of a young, good-looking André the Giant from the late 60s and early 70s
10.06.2015
09:25 am

Topics:
Heroes
Sports

Tags:
André the Giant

A young André the Giant lifing the front end of a car
A young André the Giant lifting up the front of a car
 
Before André René Roussimoff (aka, André the Giant) became best known for his wild, out of control hair and mean mug in the world of professional wrassling, he was really quite dapper and dare I say, hot in his pre-WWF days.
 
André the Giant as
André the Giant as “Jean Ferre,” age 18 (billed at a height of 6’10)
 
Born in Grenoble, France (and neighbor of the great Samuel Beckett) André wrestled under a few other names during his early years. Such as Jean Ferre (or Géant Ferré”) after moving to Paris at the age of seventeen, and later as the “Monster Roussimoff” in the early 70s while tearing up Japan for the IWE (International Wrestling Enterprise). Mr. Roussimoff was quite the looker, no?
 
André the Giant in the French Riveria, 1967 (age 21)
André the Giant in the French Riviera, 1967 (age 21)
 
I suppose his legendary drinking (Modern Drunkard author Richard English claims André‘s bar tab for a month’s stay at the Hyatt in London while filming The Princess Bride came to just over $40,000) and his love of gourmet food was in part to blame for his slide into his better known, much loved self. André was even the proprietor of a short-lived French restaurant in Montreal, although it appears that the main motivation for going into the restaurant trade was so he could sit at the bar and drink all the booze he wanted. Well played, André, Well played.
 
André the Giant as
André the Giant during one of his many trips to Japan as “Jean Ferre”
 
Like many of you who read DM, I’m a HUGE fan of wrestling and its many heroes. And André the Giant is perhaps the greatest of them all. I hope that you enjoy looking at these images of the super suave Mr. Roussimoff as much as I enjoyed digging them up for you.

I also included footage from one of André‘s film roles in Casse-tête chinois pour le judoka, or Chinese Headache For Judoka from 1967 which features a 21-year-old, incredibly agile André (sporting a “Moe Howard special” bowl cut hairdo) sparring with a room full of unfortunate opponents. 
 
André the Giant at a Paris fashion show, 1966 (age 20)
André the Giant at a Paris fashion show, 1966 (age 20)
 
More “little” André after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
50 Shades of Purple: Stunning paintings of roller derby butts and their bruises!
09.29.2015
10:46 am

Topics:
Art
Sports

Tags:
paintings
roller derby
bruises


“I Got a Really Beautiful Bruise on My Bum, Do You Want To See a Pic? It Has 12 Colours And Is the Size of My Head!,” 2015
 
Despite the kitschy following and the cutesy outfits, roller derby is a pretty violent sport, replete with all kinds of incredibly visible injuries the women can later show off. Massive bruises are so common they’re nicknamed “kisses,” badges of honor that artist Riikka Hyvönen showcases in her painting series of the same name. Hyvönen finds her bruised butts posted online, and titles them with the captions the photographers provide. She sees her work as feminist, but isn’t unaware of the weirdness of a bunch of butt photography.

I believe these images are charged with (mental) strength. They show that the player’s bodies can take the hits yet overcome the pain and still continue to play.

Obviously, I am objectifying these women totally. But I am doing it exactly the way they objectify themselves: their big and strong bums are assets and to be carried with pride

.

The mixed media pieces are erotic and striking, but the humor of the subject matter is never lost.
 

“Fresh Meat in Fishnets!,” 2015
 

“Oh Lord. Is That the One That Looks Suspiciously Like My Wheel?! God, I’m Sorry to Have Marked You So :( … Um, Think of It as a Love Bite? xx,” 2015
 
More after the jump…

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
Jock Rock: Hockey player plays Tom Petty’s ‘Free Fallin’ on ice… it is not good
09.15.2015
10:07 am

Topics:
Amusing
Music
Sports

Tags:
Tom Petty
hockey
Free Fallin'


 
I do not know what possessed American (and I mean very American) hockey player Ryan Hollweg to do a rendition of Tom Petty’s heartland rock classic “Free Fallin’” on ice, but I’m glad he did, even if it is totally unbearable to watch. Hollweg now plays for Czech Extraliga, the biggest hockey league in the Czech Republic, so perhaps he was feeling a little homesick and nostalgic? It appears Hollweg doesn’t entirely know the chords or the lyrics to the song, but he’s really giving it his all, and isn’t that what hockey is about, or something?

The performance actually concluded a game, and while I don’t know if Hollweg’s team won or lost, there is no doubt in my mind that Hollweg is a winner at life. His goofy serenade on skates starts at 7:01, below:
 

 
Via Deadspin

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
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