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‘Movin’ with Nancy’: Go-go boots, miniskirts, eyeliner and Nancy Sinatra

Although it certainly can’t hurt when your father owns the record company, Nancy Sinatra wouldn’t have sold millions of records in the 1960s if she wasn’t putting out great pop music. In fact, had Sinatra not met songwriter/producer Lee Hazlewood, she might’ve been dropped, even by Reprise. Nepotism only goes so far (just ask her brother) and Sinatra’s early attempts at the pop charts went nowhere. Hazlewood had her sing in a lower key and tailored her material for a straight-talkin’ sassy “hip” image that was closely associated with go-go boots, eyeliner and miniskirts. Together they had a long string of chart-topping hit records, most sung by Nancy, but still some were duets they recorded together.

1967’s NBC TV special Movin’ With Nancy was produced at the height of Sinatra’s career and featured guest appearances from her father, his pals Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr., as well as an onscreen appearance by Hazlewood. Written by Tom Mankiewicz (who’d go on to the James Bond films and the Superman franchise of the 70s) and directed by Jack Haley Jr. (son of the “Tin Man” actor, one-time husband to Liza Minnelli and future producer of That’s Entertainment!), as far as variety specials went, Movin’ With Nancy was considered quite “different” for its time. For one thing, it’s not shot in a studio, but mostly outdoors, on various locations like a travelogue. The set pieces simply drift from one to the next and each is like a music video. Haley won an Emmy for his directing.

The show was sponsored in its entirety by the Royal Crown Cola company (“It’s the mad, mad, mad, mad cola!” as you will be reminded over and over and over again) and their commercials are in the video below, so we get to see Movin’ With Nancy exactly the way it aired on December 11, 1967. Of special note is the premiere of that classic oddball psych number “Some Velvet Morning,” which made about as much sense then as it does today. If that doesn’t send a special thrill up your leg, I don’t know what would. Also, at the very end of her bit with Sammy? That innocent peck on the cheek was apparently the very first (non-scripted) interracial kiss on network television. This proved to be controversial, but was done spontaneously as Davis was actually saying goodbye to Sinatra in that shot and leaving the set for another job. There wasn’t a second take.

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Christina in Red: Gorgeous photos of a young woman in vivid reds from 1913
12:58 pm


Christina O'Gorman
Mervyn O'Gorman

I found these photos taken by Mervyn O’Gorman of his daughter Christina O’Gorman to be absolutely breathtaking. The images look modern. They look now. It’s hard to believe these were shot back in 1913.

The photographs were taken at Lulworth Cove, in the English county of Dorset. And as you can tell by the images, Christina’s color of choice was red.  The autochrome process used during that time period captured red particularly well. It’s vivid. It’s vibrant. She looks like an ethereal goddess.

Here’s a brief description of autochrome:

Autochrome is an additive color[3] “mosaic screen plate” process. The medium consists of a glass plate coated on one side with a random mosaic of microscopic grains of potato starch[4] dyed red-orange, green, and blue-violet (an unusual but functional variant of the standard red, green, and blue additive colors) which act as color filters. Lampblack fills the spaces between grains, and a black-and-white panchromatic silver halide emulsion is coated on top of the filter layer.

Mervyn was an electrical engineer and wrote the book O’Gorman’s Motoring Pocket Book in 1904. Photography was just a hobby for him. Mervyn died in 1958. Sadly, I can find no information about Christina’s life.






via Mashable and Coilhouse on Facebook

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Crazy Hungarian posters for the original ‘Star Wars’ trilogy

Csillagok háborúja: A Birodalom visszavág—Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back
One of the differences between the first, “good” Star Wars trilogy and the second, “bad” trilogy is that the Cold War was happening when the first three movies came out. OK, it would be a stretch to argue that the Cold War with its more limited international audiences had an influence on how these movies turned out, but the fact remains that in the mid-1970s George Lucas was primarily addressing American audiences first and foremost; given the massive cult that has arisen around the franchise, when Lucas returned to telling the story of the ragtag band of space rebels in the 1990s, it was reasonable enough for him to suppose that he would be addressing all of humankind.

By the time the third movie, Return of the Jedi, came out, it was 1983, and the Cold War officially had six more years to go. The term “Soviet bloc” perhaps disguises the extent to which the various East European countries had differing levels of autonomy vis-à-vis relations with the West. After the failed Hungarian Revolution of 1956, the country came under the control of the Soviet loyalist János Kádár, but even so, willful Hungary developed its own distinctive brand of “goulash communism” and always remained considerably less repressive than the USSR or East Germany overall.

The release dates of the three movies are an indication of how different things were then. All three movies came out in May in the United States—the first and third movies actually came out on my own 7th birthday (May 25, 1977) and 13th birthday (1983), respectively—Empire was released on May 17, 1980. Star Wars: A New Hope came out in Hungary in August of 1979, fully two years and a few months after its U.S. release. The Empire Strikes Back came out in Hungary in January 1982 and Return of the Jedi in September of 1984—so by the third movie the gap had narrowed to a mere sixteen months, still far longer than it would take today, of course.

The Rembrandt, the Michelangelo—well, let’s say the Hieronymus Bosch of Hungarian Star Wars posters is clearly one Tibor Helényi, who was also a respected painter in Hungary.

My favorite aspect of Helényi’s posters are his inclination to insert big scary lizard creatures who find no correlative in the movies—plus pretty much none of the famous characters are represented, with the obvious exception of Darth Vader, who gets the most play by far (you would think that this might be true of the U.S. posters too, but it’s really not).

Also, I don’t know if Helényi borrowed or invented that nifty notched font, but I really like it. Typographers, can we get that one into regular rotation?

Csillagok háborúja: Új remény—Star Wars: A New Hope

Csillagok háborúja: A jedi visszatér—Star Wars: Return of the Jedi
Oh yeah, here’s another Hungarian poster for Star Wars: A New Hope by an András Felvidéki, which is completely strange in a very different way.

via io9

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Own a piece of music history: Siouxsie and the Banshees’ Steven Severin is selling his amp

For sale one amp, slightly used. Previous owner Steven Severin.

If you fancy owning a piece equipment once used by Siouxsie and the Banshees, then you may be interested in bidding for Steven Severin’s Fender Super Six Reverb Amplifier, which is currently up for grabs on eBay.

This is a vintage amplifier from 1974. It has a small tear on the upper left grill and a bigger one at the base. It has been repaired and buyers can be “assured that it works and sounds great, having been recently tested and repaired.”

The repairs carried out include:

Replace 13A plug
Replace speaker leads
Replace 5x resistors in output stage
Repair reverb tray lead connector
Test and bias output valves
Replace 3 speakers
Clean inside amp and all controls
Test amp
Labour: 3 hours
Parts: 5 x resistors, 1 x RA jack for reverb tray. 3 x eminence 10” speakers
Test Amp

This amp is loud and has 6 x 10” speakers, sounding like the fender twin silver face but with and additional 4 speakers.

It has the serial number: A77617, which dates it to 1974

Mr. Severin adds:


I’m finally parting ways with my trusty guitar amp. She’s been in my possession since late 1979 and made her first appearance on the track TENANT from 1980’s KALEIDOSCOPE album. She has spent most of her life in my home studio but on the odd occasion when I’ve felt the desire to thrash 6 strings as opposed to four - she’s been my weapon of choice. She got an outing on THROW THEM TO THE LIONS & I PROMISE, for example. I’m now in Edinburgh surrounded by banks of computers so it’s time to relieve the caretaker, my friend Demian of a few items that have outgrown my use and give him back some valuable space. It’s a real beauty. Happy bidding!

p.s. It’s a bit of a beast so collection only I’m afraid.


Asking price is £1,000 (around $1500) and you have a week in which to make your bid.

See photos of Severin’s amp, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Insanely detailed ‘Big Trouble in Little China’ tattoo sleeve
08:56 am


Big Trouble in Little China

Holy Crap! I would never do this, but I do get why someone would have their entire arm festooned with scenes and characters from John Carpenter’s 1986 film Big Trouble in Little China. I love that film. I don’t know exactly how many times I’ve seen it. More than ten. And apparently I’m not the only fan, as this arm sleeve tattoo is a flesh-etched testament to.

The Big Trouble in Little China tattoos were done by Paul Acker who owns Deep Six Tattoo in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It’s still a work in progress, as more tattoos and the finishing touches are being added.


More images after the jump…

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Welcome to the Witch House: Occult rock pioneers Black Widow live on Germany’s ‘Beat-Club,’ 1970

Black Widow, formed in Leicester, England, in 1969, were both more prog and more authentically occult than Black Sabbath (who formed a year earlier) but lacked that ineffably heavy quality (as well as the righteous hooks of Tony Iommi) that would make their Birmingham rivals a rock band for the ages.

Black Widow was probably best known for their collaborations with Alex Sanders, who was known as “King of the Witches,” and his wife Maxine Sanders, who was sort of the poster girl for black magic back in the early 1970s. It is said that Alex warned them that they were in danger of evoking a “she devil” with their rock.

I thought that perhaps it was a skyclad Maxine Sanders who joins them around the start of “Seduction,” about halfway through the set, but it was, in fact, a local Leicester lass named “Katie,” according to an article from the time.

In this 55-minute video that appeared on the terrific rock show Beat-Club in 1970 on the German TV channel ARD, Black Widow plays their latest album Sacrifice in full. As befits any proper black magic prog performance, it ends with a 15-minute sacrifice.

Singer Kip Trevor engaging in the show-stopping “Sacrifice” at the end of the program
In an interview a while back, Clive Jones, the band’s resident woodwind guy (he plays sax, clarinet, and flute on the Beat-Club show) who unfortunately passed away in 2014, spoke with some bitterness about Black Sabbath (“I just wish they would stop blocking us in books”) and also dropped an interesting tidbit:

Q: How black was Black Widow?

A: Black Widow was the real thing we learnt about the occult and all the words and rituals are correct. Alex Sanders always warned us we could invoke the Devil, and I have met the devil twice, once when i was alone in the daytime and once when I was with another band at night and most of us saw him (a long story).

Wouldn’t mind hearing more about that!

One of the Satanic high points of the show surely comes around the 21st minute, during “Come to the Sabbat,” when the chorus intones, “Come, come, come to the Sabbat / Come to the Sabbat, Satan’s there” over and over again—it’s actually quite catchy.

Got to hand it to ARD, they gave zero fucks, presenting without the slightest tinge of irony or judgment the most Satanic musical performance I have ever seen on television.

via {feuilleton}

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Open Up and Bleed: WILD footage of Iggy & The Stooges performing ‘1970’ IN 1970!
08:00 am


Iggy Pop

Iggy and The Stooges at their most primal proto-punk prime, filmed at the Goose Lake music festival in Michigan in 1970.

If the Stooges sound a bit “thin” here, this performance was done without original bassist Dave Alexander, who arrived at the gig too fucked up to stand, let alone play.

Alexander was promptly fired. A heavy drinker, he died at the young age of 27 in 1975. He was name-checked a few years later in Iggy’s spoken-word intro to The Idiot’s “Dum Dum Boys”:

“How ‘bout Dave? OD’d on alcohol.”


Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Because love never dies: Put your loved one’s ashes in a glass dildo
06:45 am


sex toys

In 1901 Dr. Duncan “Om” MacDougall began a series of experiments wherein he placed elderly, terminal tuberculosis patients on massive industrial scales, hospital bed and all. MacDougall weighed six subjects before and after death, and concluded from the postmortem weight loss that the human soul weighs 21 grams—hence the name of designer Mark Sturkenboom‘s “memory-box.”

With 21 Grams Sturkenboom has managed to create an opportunity for a truly libidinal mourning experience. The “kit” comes in a sleek, Jobsian case, openable only with a key that doubles as a lovely pendant necklace. Inside you find an atomizer bulb (to spritz your beloved’s perfume), a set of internal speakers to amplify music from the iPhone dock in the back, and a blown-glass dildo containing a tiny urn of ashes—21 grams of ashes, to be precise. Sturkenboom describes the project thusly:

21 Grams is a memory-box that allows a widow to go back to the intimate memories of a lost beloved one. After a passing, the missing of intimacy with that person is only one aspect of the pain and grieve. This forms the base for 21 Grams. The urn offers the possibility to conserve 21 grams of ashes of the diseased and displays an immortal desire. By bringing different nostalgic moments together like the scent of his perfume, ‘their’ music and reviving the moment he gave her her first ring, it opens a window to go back to moments of love and intimacy.She is able to have an intimate night with her sweetheart again.

Before you go all Social Justice Warrior on Sturkenboom for the heteronormativity of “widow,” (for who wouldn’t want to be penetrated by a loved one’s earthly remains, regardless of gender or marital status?!?), the inspiration for 21 Grams ” is actually an elderly widow—he sometimes helps her carry her groceries. Sturkenboom noticed the urn containing her husband’s ashes, remarking, “she always speaks with so much love about him but the jar he was in didn’t reflect that at all.”

Sturkenboom has not said whether or not his muse is flattered by his tribute.


Continues after the jump…

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
John Hinckley Jr. is starting a band! These are the top 5 Hinckley-inspired songs!
08:18 am


punk rock
John Hinckley Jr.

NBC Washington reported on Friday that failed Reagan-assassin, John Hinkley Jr., is interested in starting a band:

A psychiatrist treating the man who shot President Ronald Reagan in 1981 says he wants to start a band and should be allowed to publish his music anonymously.

Dr. Giorgi-Guarnieri testified Friday during court hearings that will ultimately determine whether and under which conditions John Hinckley Jr. will be allowed to live full time outside a mental hospital.

Giorgi-Guarnieri says Hinckley should be allowed to start the band, but not perform publicly.

Hinckley’s lawyer and treatment team say he’s ready to live full time at his 89-year-old mother’s home in Virginia under certain conditions.

Hinckley has been allowed freedom in stages. He spends 17 days a month at his mother’s Williamsburg home. One of his interests is music, and he sings and plays the guitar. He also participates in music therapy.

John Hinckley, Jr., best known as the man who tried to kill President Ronald Reagan in 1981, in a J.D. Salinger and Travis Bickle-inspired attempt to win the affections of a teen-aged Jodie Foster, was found “not guilty by reason of insanity” and has since remained under the care of psychiatrists at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital.

Hinckley, who never got that big hit he was looking for, now has a chance to put a band together and give it another shot.
The attempt on Reagan’s life was a boon for punk bands looking for song topics in the ‘80s. If Hinckley’s band plans on doing any covers, he might consider looking for some inspiration from those he, himself, inspired.

After the jump, the top five John Hinckley-inspired punk songs…

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
‘The Thorn’: Intense orchestral Siouxsie and the Banshees rarity
02:13 pm


Siouxsie and the Banshees

The Thorn is one of Siouxsie and the Banshees more obscure releases. A four song EP that was recorded after Hyæna—the 1984 Banshees album featuring The Cure’s Robert Smith moonlighting from his own group on guitar—and before Tinderbox, The Thorn took a handful of previously recorded Banshees numbers—two album tracks and two B-sides—and gave them orchestral makeovers with stunning results. Always a “deep cut” fan favorite, today the EP is only available as part of 2004’s Downside Up rarities box set which is itself difficult to find and usually pretty pricey when you do find it.

The Wikipedia page for Tinderbox indicates that it was the group’s first outing with new guitarist John Carruthers, but that’s not true, that would be The Thorn. Apparently the impetus behind the EP was to initiate Carruthers into working with the group in the studio, as well as getting a chance to revisit some older songs that had taken on new life on tour and experiment with working with a string section.

You can listen to the entirety of The Thorn EP (“Overground,” “Voices (On the Air),” “Placebo Effect,” “Red Over White”), below:

An intense live version of “Overground” with string section and Robert Smith on guitar, after the jump…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
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