‘I’ve got what you want!’: Vintage ads for mail order smut
10:49 am



This is how it was back in the sixties and seventies. No Pornhub. No XVideo. No HD stuff. No downloadable porn just a keystroke away. If you wanted to watch a porno flick in Moosefart, Montana, or keep a stash of uncensored 8x10s in your bedroom closet, well you had to check the small ad pages in adult magazines like Follies, Frolic, Nugget, Dude, Rogue, Gent, Knight, Bachelor and Adam. This is how horny young Americans—like your dear old dad and granddad—entertained themselves before the tsunami of free digital pornography starting getting piped into the home like a utility.

Being born, raised and still living in Scotland, my knowledge of yon Americana is informed by what I’ve read in books, histories and what have you. Of course, over here there is obviously a similarity of experience. One man who built his porn empire on mail order adult entertainment is David Sullivan.

Sullivan is an economics graduate who started his adult entertainment empire by selling glossy pix thru the mail. He then moved on to mail order home movies and “marital aids.” Sullivan was so successful that he ended up running 80% of the UK’s adult mail order market. He also owned several sex shops, a line of hardcore magazines (up to 50% of the UK market), successfully produced several pornos and soft core movies—the latter best known for starring the legendary Mary Millington and a host of British comedy talent.  He diversified into newspapers (Sunday Sport) before becoming the largest shareholder in two soccer clubs—first Birmingham, now West Ham.

When working in the adult entertainment business, Sullivan thought of himself as a “freedom fighter.” He was once tried and sentenced to 71 days imprisonment for living off immoral earnings—which is a kind of catchall charge to punish pornographers. He has no “embarrassment” over his time in jail telling the London Evening Standard in 2010:

“I’ve made a lot of people happy,” he says. “If I was an arms manufacturer or a cigarette manufacturer, and my products killed millions of my clients, I’d have a bit of doubt about the whole thing. I was a freedom fighter. I believe in the right of adults to make their own decisions.”

The 1970s were a boom time for adult mail order entertainment. When I was a student at the University of Glasgow back in the 1980s, the campus was split between the men’s union—the Glasgow University Union—and the women’s union—the Queen Margaret Union. While the QMU opened its doors to both male and female students, the men’s union remained until the early eighties, a bastion of male chauvinism. At the time, the “men’s union” was best known for its world champion debaters and for screening something called the “Freds.”

The “Freds” were the Tom and Jerry cartoons produced by Fred Quimby. A couple of these classic animations provided the intermission entertainment between two mail order blue movies screened for the edification and enjoyment of a select band of GUU students. The “Freds” supposedly stopped after the union opened its doors to women, but it was always rumored the “Freds” were still be screening by a group of recalcitrant students somewhere within the walls of this famous baronial building. Fans of the “Freds” went onto become politicians, lawyers, bankers, successful CEOs and apparently even a priest. But with the arrival of video home systems (VHS) the end was nigh for the boom in mail order adult entertainment. And today with the Internet, even magazines like Playboy have stopped bother to publish nude pictures in its pages. So for those too young to remember, and for those who do remember and perhaps did partake, is a small selection of classic adult entertainment ads from the sixties and seventies.
“Privately” printed mags? Oh my, this is not the kinda smut grandpa wanted you to find in that locked box in his basement after he died.
Bernard of Hollywood must have been the place to go for “Authentic, unretouched stags of well known gals before they reached the top. Rare thrillers all.” Sounds like something out of a James Ellroy novel…and the WTF ad with sweaty, wide-eyed hepped-up pervo freak? Looks kinda rapey.
More vintage adult ads, after the jump….

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Moor, Moor, Moor: Shakespeare’s ‘Othello’ goes 70s rock musical in cult classic ‘Catch My Soul’
09:40 am


Richie Havens

Poster Art for Catch My Soul
When seeds of malice and deceit are planted, only the worst kind of garden, watered by blood and tears, will bloom. The Ancient Greeks knew this, as did the Bard himself when he wrote his early 1600’s play, Othello. (Which in turn was based on “The Moorish Captain,” a 1565 short story written by Cinthio, an Italian writer and poet. Art, much like an onion and that one book in the Bible that is a series of “begetting,” is a never ending string of inspiration, revisions and occasional outright thievery.) When it comes to this story being adapted for the Silver Screen, most are at least familiar with the 1952 adaptation directed by and starring Orson Welles or the 1995 film starring Laurence Fishburne and Kenneth Branagh. There is one film out of the number of various versions that tends to get left out of the fold, unjustifiably. A film that, while it could have only been born out of the late 60’s /early 70’s, has retained the timelessness of Cinthio and Shakespeare’s tragedy. The film in question? 1974’s Catch My Soul.
The devlish Iago
Patrick McGoohan, who is better known for his acting work on the classic 60’s TV show The Prisoner (as well as Howard Hughes’ favorite film ever, Ice Station Zebra), directed Catch My Soul, a modern-day musical reworking of the famous tale. Starring legendary folk singer/Woodstock juggernaut Richie Havens as Othello, whom instead of being a general for the Venetian army, is now a man of God baptizing a ragtag group of boho-commune types. There’s the apple of his eye, the meekly boyish Desdemona (a very young Season Hubley) and his righthand man, Cassio (musician Tony Joe White), a former boozer who has found redemption through Christ and Othello himself. But there’s a snake in the land of pure love and spirituality in the form of Iago (Lance Legault), who, along with some help from his wife Amelia (the eternally inimitable Susan Tyrell), plots and plants assorted seeds for Othello’s hellish downfall.
Othello confronts Desdemona
Catch My Soul manages to nail all the things that were right about some of its cinematic peers (ie. Norman Jewison’s Jesus Christ Superstar or David Greene’s Godspell, both of which came out the year before) and mercifully escapes a number of their flaws. Thanks to McGoohan’s able direction, writer Jack Good’s script and the impeccable camerawork by Conrad L. Hall, the film never slips into any dated hippie-dippy cliches and retains the gravitas of the original source material. Even better, the religious angle is heavy but without claw-hammering the audience. Catch My Soul is interesting for many reasons and this is one of the strongest ones. It is a tale of sadness, loss of faith, love punctured and spirituality without becoming a full blown “religious” film. Which is one of the things that undoubtedly hurt the film’s chances of success during its initial theatrical release. Not religious enough for the hardcore fundamentalist crowd and too strange for the rest. A modern-day musical re-telling of Shakespeare’s Othello with a spiritual tint starring Richie Havens and Susan Tyrell is a film that in a just world should sound immediately appealing to most, but this existence’s version of justice is about as moth-eaten and flimsy as ¾ of Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber’s work.
Iago plants further seeds of destruction
In further injustice, Catch My Soul never even warranted a home video release via VHS, Beta, Laserdisc or DVD. That is, until very recently, via Etiquette Pictures and their beautifully remastered Blu-ray release. (See? Some things do right themselves out… you just may have to wait a few decades for the scales to balance.)

The music is solid, which is a no-brainer given that, in addition to Havens and White (who had a big hit in ‘68 with “Polk Salad Annie”), the film also features such noted musicians as Delaney and Bonnie Bramlett, as well as Billy Joe Royal (of “Down in the Boondocks” fame). Interestingly enough, it is Legault who does the lion’s share of the singing and he not only brings it vocally, but makes for one of the most manic and intense Iagos in recent memory. He plays Iago as if the man himself is literally the Devil. Charismatic even when covered in sweat and dirt and soot and frightening as the awareness that the only demon living in Iago’s fevered, poxed soul is the one in his mind, Legault is stellar. For a man who got his start as a stunt double for Elvis, later on starred in The A-Team and worked as a lounge singer, where is his documentary? Someone needs to plant that seed and soon.
Continues after the jump…

Posted by Heather Drain | Leave a comment
UFO contactee Howard Menger plays ‘Authentic Music from Another Planet’
09:14 am



At the age of ten, Howard Menger was playing in the woods near his home in Hunterdon County, New Jersey, when he claims that he encountered a beautiful blonde from Venus wearing a “ski-type outfit.” It was the first in a series of alleged contacts with extraterrestrials that culminated in the alleged landing of an interplanetary spacecraft at Menger’s house in High Bridge, New Jersey in 1956, and included a musical transmission from Saturn that Menger was allegedly instructed to deliver to the human race.

From the sleeve notes of Menger’s only LP, Authentic Music from Another Planet:

Howard Menger met a man from Saturn who played for him on a Saturnian instrument very much like our piano. He instructed Howard Menger that he was to bring this music to the attention of the people here on Earth by playing it for them on a piano. Howard Menger never played a piano before and had no knowledge of music whatsoever. Yet he was assured that, when he sat down at the piano, his hands would be guided and he would be able to play. From that time on, Howard Menger has been able to play the piano. He plays best after midnight. On several occasions he played for hours without rest, while his spellbound friends listened in appreciative silence and awe. This music as played by Howard Menger is never duplicated in his interpretation. When he is playing, it has an exhilarating effect on many people hearing this music.


Released by Newark’s Slate Enterprises, Inc., Authentic Music from Another Planet is a recording of Menger talking about his encounters with aliens and playing three pieces of music. The two selections on side one, “Marla” (for his wife, Connie, a/k/a Marla Baxter, the author of My Saturnian Lover) and “Theme from the Song from Saturn,” are merely “interpretations taken from the actual music that came from another Planet,” which is good, because they sound like all-too-human accordion music from Buca di Beppo. Side two is devoted to “The Song from Saturn,” the music the Space Brothers told Howard to bring back to Earth for our spiritual benefit. I think they gave their best tunes to Sun Ra, but I will say that it sounds like the music of the spheres compared to side one.

You can read Menger’s “incredible” story in his book From Outer Space To You, edited and published by Gray Barker, the notorious ufologist and hoaxer who probably came closest to revealing what he knew of our space masters’ secret agenda in his poem “UFO IS A BUCKET OF SHIT.”

All of Authentic Music from Another Planet is up at Internet Archive in the “Saucerology” section of Faded Discs Archive, Wendy Connors’ enormous hoard of UFO audio. Below, hear “The Song from Saturn.”

Posted by Oliver Hall | Leave a comment
Deep Red: Brutally beautiful art created with blood
08:50 am



URTSBC4 by Jordan Eagles
“URTSBC3,” 2012 by Jordan Eagles

New York-based artist Jordan Eagles has been working with blood as his medium for over a decade. His large scale works,  which are not for the squeamish or hemophobic, have been exhibited in galleries all across the country.
FKTS 19, 2012
“FKTS 19,” 2012
Life Force 2, 2012
“Life Force 2,” 2012
Eagles uses blood he has obtained from slaughterhouses as well as human blood that was donated to him willingly from people who will live on long after they have gone, as a part of Eagles’ ambitious creations. And while most people find the sight of blood unappealing, Eagles says the process of working with blood can be both “meditative and exhilarating,” and that even after working with the unconventional medium for so long he still “gets a thrill out of the energy that comes from the material.” In order to preserve the blood he encases it in plexiglass and UV resin which allows the blood to hold on to its natural colors, structure and patterns, which according to Eagle “embodies transformation, regeneration and an allegory of death to life.”
Blood Mirror, 2014
“Blood Mirror,” 2014
More after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment