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  • Jazzercise takes on Sid Vicious. Nobody wins
    08:45 am



    The biggest-selling single the Sex Pistols ever put out wasn’t “Anarchy in the U.K.” or “God Save the Queen” or “Pretty Vacant” or “Holidays in the Sun”—it was “Something Else,” a cover of an Eddie Cochran hit from 1959 with Sid Vicious on lead vocals that was released more than a year after the breakup of the band—and three weeks after Vicious’ death on February 2, 1979.

    Americans probably aren’t very familiar with Legs & Co., an all-female dance troupe that used to brighten up the proceedings on Top of the Pops in the late 1970s. The U.S. equivalent would be the Solid Gold Dancers.

    Sometime during its run in the Top 10 of the U.K. charts, Top of the Pops managed to convince Legs & Co. to do a sort of Jane Fonda/jazzercise routine to the song. The over-abundance of spandex, the nice shiny colors in the leotards and wigs—not to mention the strange approximation of a stock market chart in the set design—it all makes this clip seem a kind of harbinger for the shiny and materialistic 1980s that were just around the corner, even if nobody knew it.

    At the outset you can hear the closing strains of Elvis Costello’s “Oliver’s Army.”

    Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
    Foul-mouthed bird spits on family dog and tells it off
    08:40 am



    Photo of Eric via Facebook
    We normally don’t blog about animals here on DM, but when something this special like Eric the foul-mouthed bird comes along… it’s necessary. Eric lives in Australia and is owned by a woman named Sharon Curle. Eric has a vendetta against the family dog.

    As you’ll see in the short video below, Eric doesn’t mince his words.

    Can we please get Eric the foul-mouthed bird to debate Donald Trump?


    Sharon Curle on Facebook

    Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
    They didn’t write that?: Hits you (probably) didn’t realize were cover songs (Part Two)
    05:59 am

    One-hit wonders


    This is the second part of a continuing series. Part One can be found HERE.

    Recently a friend hipped me to a song that I had NO IDEA existed, having thought for decades that the COVER of it by an ‘80s one-hit-wonder band was the original and only version that was ever recorded. This led to a conversation about hit songs that we didn’t at first realize were covers—sometimes not discovering the original versions until many years after the fact. A few friends joined in and at the end of the conversation I had a list of nearly 50 songs that were “surprise” cover versions.

    As a public service to Dangerous Minds readers, I’m sharing this list so that you can wow your friends at parties with your vast musical knowledge. Granted, our readership is a smart and savvy bunch, so undoubtedly you’ll come across songs on this list and say “I already knew about that.” Of course you did, but indulge the rest of us. Hopefully, though, something here will surprise you.

    We’ll be rolling this list out in parts over the next few weeks. In no particular order, this is Part Two of Dangerous Minds’ list of hits you (probably) didn’t realize were cover songs.

    The song: “Cum On Feel The Noize”

    You know it from: Quiet Riot

    But it was done first by: Slade

    Quiet Riot’s massive 1983 hit was a cover of a 1973 number one UK single by Slade. Quiet Riot’s cover took their Metal Health LP to the top of Billboard album chart, making it the first American heavy metal debut album to ever reach number one in the United States. It also helped to belatedly “break” Slade in the U.S. where they had some minor success with their single “Run Runaway.” Quiet Riot’s good fortune with “Cum on Feel the Noize” led to them doing a second Slade cover, “Mama Weer All Crazee Now,” on their follow-up album. The second dip into the Slade song-pool did not prove as successful.



    The song: “Bette Davis Eyes”

    You know it from: Kim Carnes

    But it was done first by: Jackie DeShannon

    Kim Carnes’ 1981 recording of “Bette Davis Eyes” spent nine weeks at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and was Billboard‍ ’​s biggest hit of that year. It was originally recorded in 1974 on Jackie DeShannon’s album New Arrangement. The original version is drastically different from Carnes’ new-wavey cover. DeShannon’s recording is straight up honky-tonk.

    Many more after the jump…

    Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
    A housewife drops acid (legally), 1963
    12:21 pm



    Before it became a Schedule I controlled substance in October of 1968, there was a not-all-that-brief period in which lysergic acid diethylamide, otherwise known as LSD, enjoyed some respectability among the chattering classes, even benefited from the same type of breathless hype that the technology associated with the moon landing enjoyed.

    According to a 2010 Vanity Fair article by Judy Balaban and Cari Beauchamp, at some point in the 1950s, the publisher of Time, Henry Luce, tried LSD and developed a favorable attitude towards it, and that was all LSD needed to receive several years of positive coverage in all the major magazines:

    Another early experimenter was Clare Boothe Luce, the playwright and former American ambassador to Italy, who in turn encouraged her husband, Time publisher Henry Luce, to try LSD. He was impressed and several very positive articles about the drug’s potential ran in his magazine in the late 50s and early 60s, praising Sandoz’s “spotless” laboratories, “meticulous” scientists, and LSD itself as “an invaluable weapon to psychiatrists.”

    In addition, it was well known that Hollywood luminaries like Cary Grant and Esther Williams were using LSD as a therapeutic tool:

    “The Curious Story Behind the New Cary Grant” headlined the September 1, 1959, issue of Look magazine, and inside was a glowing account of how, because of LSD therapy, “at last, I am close to happiness.” He later explained that “I wanted to rid myself of all my hypocrisies. I wanted to work through the events of my childhood, my relationship with my parents and my former wives. I did not want to spend years in analysis.” More articles followed, and LSD even received a variation of the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval when that magazine declared in its September 1960 issue that it was one of the secrets of Grant’s “second youth.” The magazine went on to praise him for “courageously permitting himself to be one of the subjects of a psychiatric experiment with a drug that eventually may become an important tool in psychotherapy.”

    Over the weekend a Retronaut page by Alex Q. Arbuckle has been making the rounds with the title “April 16, 1963: Housewife on LSD.” The page, which is light on text, features several photographs taken in 1963 by LIFE photographer John Loengard of a session in which some test subjects—i.e., regular people—were given LSD. The centerpiece of the series is a woman named Barbara Dunlap, identified as a housewife from Cambridge, Massachusetts, as she contemplates a statue of Buddha and a sliced lemon in tripping wonderment. The photos, all black and white, can’t begin to suggest the blazing psychedelic visions Dunlap was experiencing, but anyone who has ever taken LSD can fill in the blanks perfectly well.

    One weird note: The Retronaut title contains the date April 16, 1963, but it’s not clear to me that that date refers to anything, actually. Arbuckle’s text mentions April 16, 1943—twenty years earlier—as the date on which Albert Hofmann first synthesized lysergic acid diethylamide. Loengard’s photographs were not taken on April 16, 1963, which is abundantly clear primarily because some of the photographs appeared in the March 15, 1963 issue of LIFE, to ameliorate a lengthy article by Robert Coughlan called “The Chemical Mind-Changers.” That article was actually the second of a two-part article—the first part, which appeared a week earlier, was more technical in nature and didn’t focus at all on the test subjects.



    More after the jump…

    Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
    Photos of Victorian women and their long-ass hair
    10:24 am



    “Yo, Rapunzel!”

    A lot of Victorian and Edwardian era women simply never cut their hair. Now I know this was considered very fashionable in those days, but I can’t imagine how much suffering went along with maintaining such manes. Your head, neck and shoulders would have to be in constant pain trying to hold the weight of all that hair! And think about this, what did they do to cool off during the extremely hot months of summer? I guess one could keep their hair wet all the time, but it would be a royal pain in the ass to have to comb it out and dry it. They didn’t even have blow dryers back then. No way!

    This is exactly why the bob cut had to happen in the 1920s. Women couldn’t put up that shit anymore.




    More after the jump…

    Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
    Young Adam Ant looking like a pretty punk rock Adonis
    09:17 am



    Adam and the Ants at Eric's Club in Liverpool, 1977
    Adam and the Ants at Eric’s Club in Liverpool, 1977 

    Before the flamboyant gyrating, Native American-obsessed pirate we all know and love as Adam Ant there was another fellow (born Stuart Leslie Goddard), who looked more like the proto-goths of the 70s such as Siouxsie Sioux (who Adam and The Ants often supported live back in the day) or Dave Vanian of The Damned.
    Adam Ant and Sioux Siesioux backstage
    Adam Ant and Siouxsie Sioux hanging out backstage, 1977
    After joining his first band in 1975, Bazooka Joe, Goddard bore witness to what was likely the very first performance ever given by the Sex Pistols, who were the opening act for a Bazooka Joe gig. Goddard quickly quit the group and went on to form another band that never really got off the ground called, B-Sides. Following a battle with anorexia and a suicide that landed him in a psychiatric hospital, Goddard was released, changed his name to Adam Ant and eventually formed Adam and the Ants around 1977.
    Adam Ant and Jordan live at The Vortex, 1977
    Adam Ant (with Jordan) at the Vortex, (London, 1977)
    In addition to some pretty amazing photos of Ant, his band and collaborator/punk fashion icon Jordan (aka Pamela Rooke who worked at the King’s Row boutique, SEX run by Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood), I dug up this very punk recollection from UK music and culture historian, Tom Vague on the first time he laid eyes on Adam Ant in 1977:

    The first time I saw Adam Ant he had just had ‘Fuck’ carved into his back by Jordan with a razor blade and World’s End was stained with his blood

    Who knew everyone’s favorite post-punk jaunty pirate was so dangerous? Well, I’m sure some of you did, but that shouldn’t stop you from enjoying the following photos that pre-date Ant’s 80s fashion and antics.
    Adam and the Ants (with Jordan) at The Marquee, 1977
    Adam and the Ants (with Jordan) at The Marquee, 1977
    Adam Ant, super goth, 1977
    Adam Ant, 1977/1978
    More, plus early film footage of Adam and the Ants, after the jump…

    Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
    There’s a life-size David Bowie pillow doll
    08:05 am

    Pop Culture


    If you ever wanted to eat an ice cream cone sitting on David Bowie’s lap… now is your chance! Proxy Shop on Etsy makes these life-size David Bowie pillow dolls for $400 + shipping.

    The Lifesize David Bowie Pillow stands 66” tall and is the ultimate gift for a David Bowie fan’s home decor.

    Sit this Bowie doll onto a daybed or sofa, against a wall as a soft sculpture artwork or on the floor as a makeshift chair.

    Handcrafted from high quality printed fabric that is silky soft to the touch and backed with sturdy broadcloth, this tribute to David Bowie’s famous Ziggy Stardust costume design is an utterly unique addition to any Bowie fan’s home.

    These life-size decorative pillows are all handcrafted and made to order.

    Now can we have a Nick Cave pillow, please?



    Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
    The sexy, porny nose art of WWII combat planes
    07:49 am



    It’s easy to imagine a… lonely soldier doodling a smutty little pin-up on the side of a military plane from sheer boredom, but the elaborate “nose art” of World War II also served a very functional purpose. A memorable girl on the side of a plane let you know who made it home before they even landed, so a “Memphis Belle” or a “Marine’s Dream” was an early indicator of a serviceman’s safe return. Surprisingly, nose art wasn’t an American innovation (I guess I just assumed we were pioneers of all things porn and explosions?). Italians and Germans were decorating their military vehicles in non-standard ways as early as 1913.

    The nose art I’ve curated below is not featured for its cheeky sexuality, but rather the explicitness of some of the work; note the placement of the hand on the “in the mood” pin-up two images down? Obviously the majority of aviation pin-ups were a little more coy, but there’s something really comical about the artists who dispensed entirely with subtlety, sometimes without much actual artistic talent.



    More after the jump…

    Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
    NAMASTE, JARHEAD! Little green army men toys in yoga poses
    06:59 am



    Dan Abramson is the purveyor of “Brogamats,” yoga mat carry cases for men, amusingly camouflaged with masculine signifiers like lumberjack plaid, hewn logs, quivers full of arrows, giant burritos… they’re pretty funny. He’s lately put a yogic twist on perhaps the ultimate masculine archetype, the warrior. After a Kickstarter campaign last year, Abramson has begun making Yoga Joes—“here to keep the inner peace”—send-ups of those classic little green molded plastic army guy toys, all in yoga poses. There are nine of them in a set, Headstand, Meditation Pose, Cobra Pose, Warrior One, Warrior Two, Child’s Pose, Tree Pose, Crow Pose, and Downward-facing Dog. Sets are $25 at the Yoga Joes web site, or $50 for the limited edition pink ones, and the site also features a gallery of marvelous tableaux of the toys that unavoidably recall the work of photographer David Levinthal, though with less sardonic intent.


    More after the jump…

    Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
    Limbo, NYC’s ‘Tuned-in Generation’ 60s fashion emporium (and their amazing artist-in-residence)
    06:24 am

    Pop Culture


    It all started a few weeks ago with a nice lady dropping by the record store with two cardboard moving boxes full of old newspapers. “I thought I’d see if anyone here wanted these before I threw them out.”

    I looked into the first box and on top was an issue of The Village Voice from April of 1969. Without even hesitating I said “Yep, I’ll be happy to take these in.” Digging further, I saw that I was looking at two boxes full of old Voice issues from the late ‘60s—mega score. All I had in my pocket was ten dollars, but I offered it to the nice lady. “These are cool, please take my ten bucks. And THANK YOU!”

    I started plowing through the contents of the two boxes when I got home that evening. All tolled, there were forty-five issues of the Voice dating between 1967 and 1969—one of the most interesting periods in U.S. history for art and radical politics. The Voice, at that time, was one of the major mediums carrying the anti-war message, not to mention reporting on the explosion of art, psychedelic thought, and counterculture. Every issue in those two boxes was a treasure trove of Vietnam era cool: Andy Warhol shot. Abbie Hoffman arrested. Eldridge Cleaver lecturing. Burroughs and Ginsberg hit up Timothy Leary’s LSD Center. Jimi Hendrix is playing this weekend. Janis Joplin is playing another. Hair is on Broadway. I Am Curious (Yellow) is at the cinema. EVERYONE is protesting. Cops are busting heads. I’m completely enthralled and lost in these stacks.

    As I’m meticulously poring over the issues, I begin to notice the ads for one particular shop: Limbo. To say there was something special about these mystifying “anti-ads” is an understatement. My eye was drawn magnetically to the Limbo graphics. There was at least one in every issue. The designs were sort of a Dada/Pop Art hybrid, but actually quite unlike anything else—definitely unlike anything else in the Voice at that time. Sure, there were lots of era-typical psychedelic graphics advertising everything from fur coats to futons… but the Limbo ads weren’t exactly psychedelic… and they weren’t exactly advertising anything other than their own unique form. They seemed completely and beautifully out of place and time, something a step beyond the pop iconography of Warhol’s work from a few years prior. Familiar, yet obscure. Every image stopped me in my tracks and had me guessing at its mysteries.

    Ads for Limbo as they appeared in the Village Voice.
    I became obsessed. I went through every issue, specifically hunting each Limbo ad. They were all different. They didn’t repeat. All arresting and confounding.

    Mesmerized, curious, needing to know more, I went to the Internet for information and with very little effort found that this long-defunct shop had both a handy Wikipedia entry and Facebook presence.

    From what I discovered, I was surprised I hadn’t already known about Limbo. It was apparently the IT shop in the East Village. Writing in eye Magazine, Norman Steinberg described Limbo as “much more than just a clothing store. It is a social, intellectual, and entertainment experience that appeals to people of all ages, races, creeds, colors and political persuasions.”

    Beyond being simply a retail shop, Limbo was a countercultural HUB for disaffected New Yorkers. The store, through a wholesale sales agreement with Fillmore East, dressed rock stars from Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix and Jim Morrison, to the New York Dolls and Velvet Underground. John Lennon, Yoko Ono,  Andy Warhol and his “superstars” Baby Jane Holzer, Nico, Viva and Edie Sedgwick were all frequenters.

    “Dress as decoration. Dress as defiance. Dress as decorum, or its opposite. That was at the heart of Limbo.”
    Limbo sold not only typical “peacenik” clothes like Indian cottons and silks, but also military surplus for the Yippie warriors of the day. Limbo was one of the first sellers to make “vintage” clothing “hip,” calling the inventory on their flyers: “Dead Man’s Clothing.” Limbo is also often credited with starting the trend of “distressing” blue jeans before sale. As a retail shop, it served as a cultural focal point in the East Village—much in the same way that its successor served the early punk scene. Many of our readers may be familiar with the store which Limbo became after being sold in 1975: Trash & Vaudeville.

    “Carefully Selected Dead Men’s Clothing For The Heads of All Nations”
    As I thought about the notion of a shop like Limbo being a community axis, I was reminded of my own recent experience with the nice lady dropping off the two boxes of Village Voices at the record shop and felt connected to that tradition of storefronts being places that can exist beyond their capitalist function of exchanging goods and services for money—places that offer a space for like-minded individuals to meet and share ideas or pass things along simply because that’s a “cool thing to do.”

    Scouring the photo galleries on Limbo’s Facebook page, I found many of the same striking ads I had seen in those Village Voice issues. Scanning through those, I located the name of the artist who had designed them: Ira Kennedy.
    Much more after the jump…

    Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
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