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Climb aboard ‘Hare-Force One,’ Hugh Hefner’s $5 million DC-9 jet with its own discothèque


‘Hare-Force One’ aka the ‘Big Bunny’ Hugh Hefner’s DC-9 jet.
 
Well, would you expect anything less from what was basically the Playboy Mansion with wings? Hugh Hefner’s custom DC-9 jet “Hare-Force One” (also widely known as the “Big Bunny”) pretty much had that and a lot more as you might imagine. In fact the jet was so ostentatious that when Hefner has it painted black so it would “stand out” while in flight he added spotlights to the tail of the plane so that the Playboy Bunny logo could still be seen at night. Nice.
 

Hef’s fabulous ‘Jet Bunnies’ standing outside of ‘Hare-Force One’ aka the ‘Big Bunny.’
 
Hef had his “Jet Bunnies” (who were cherry-picked from Playboy clubs in LA and Chicago) attend formal stewardess training at a school run by Continental Airlines and their outfits were as slick as the jet itself, consisting of leatherette mini-dresses, leatherette pants and black go-go boots. According to Hefner he wanted his stewardesses to look like “Bond Girls” and again since this is Hugh Hefner we’re talking about how they did. Of the many features that the plane had to offer were a discothèque, a bar, a shower and a movie theater of sorts featuring a Cinemascope projector. There was also a round water bed covered in fur that was accessed through Hef’s private entrance. Essentially the jet included all the comforts of “home” as long as your actual home was the Playboy Mansion.

During the time that Hef owned the plane it made numerous trips around the world and at the end of the Vietnam War became a giant stork of sorts used to bring orphans to their new adoptive homes in the U.S. Hefner would routinely lend out the use of the jet to celebrities like Yul Brynner, Elvis and Sonny and Cher and also entertained a litany of famous guests like Twilight Zone host Rod Serling, director Roman Polanski and poet and author Shel Silverstein. Hefner sold the jet in 1975 to Venezuela Airlines and in a 2010 interview for the Wall Street Journal when asked if he missed his sweet, sweet mile-high club ride his response was “only when I fly.” Awww. Images of Hef’s beloved Big Bunny, Hare-Force One follow.
 

 

 
More livin’ large with Hugh Hefner after the jump…

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‘Raw Power’: The vintage ‘zine run by teens who took on rock & punk (and won) back in the mid-70s


The cover of Raw Power magazine featuring Iggy Pop, 1977.
 

“I’m gonna die anyway and I’d prefer it to be at my leisure.”

—Iggy Pop on his admission that he only planned to live “two more years” back in 1977 in an interview with Raw Power magazine

Founded by the sixteen-year-old duo of Scott Stephens (who wrote under the name “Quick Draw”) and Robert Olshever (aka “Bobalouie”) the LA-based ‘zine Raw Power got started in 1976 and almost immediately got the attention of major record labels who would give Stephens and Olshever an all access pass to rock and punk stars like Iggy Pop, Debbie Harry, DEVO, Black Sabbath, AC/DC, Van Halen, the Ramones and other musical luminaries that the average sixteen-year-old only got close to by way of their poster-covered bedroom walls.
 

The teenage masterminds behind Raw Power Magazine (L to R): Robert Olshever (Bobalouie), Scott Stephens (Quick Draw) and Murray Schwartz.
 
Joined later by Murray Schwartz (who would take photographs for the magazine) Raw Power would publish for about three years and routinely featured all the stuff you’d expect to find in a magazine that fused the worlds of rock and punk together like interviews, album reviews and that—according to an archive of the magazine run by Stephens—LOVED to publish unedited “letter to the editor” many of which were laced with obscenity. And here’s a rather mind-blowing revelation from Stephens which took place during an interview with Ozzy in 1979 right after Osbourne (who repeatedly “teared up” during the interview) had been given his walking papers by Black Sabbath. According to Stephens it was the boys of Raw Power who recommended pint-sized guitar virtuoso Randy Rhoads to Osbourne for his new band which at the time Ozz was considering calling “Son of Sabbath.”

Ozzy was quite depressed during this time but had recently met Sharon Arden and was in the process of putting together a new group that would eventually record “Blizzard of Ozz”. It was during this interview that members of Raw Power suggested to Ozzy that he consider auditioning a guitarist by the name of Randy Rhoads. Randy was the guitarist of Quiet Riot and Raw Power had interviewed them for a cover story for the 2nd issue in 1977. Shortly thereafter Ozzy auditioned Randy and hired him on the spot. The rest is history.

When the 2000 film by Cameron Crowe Almost Famous came out many of folks in the trio’s circle immediately thought that the flick was about them—which should help put some perspective on how much of an impact Raw Power made in its short run despite its humble design and young founders. As I mentioned Stephens runs an archive for Raw Power where you can read through three issues in full, which I did and I can’t lie—it was a blast. I’ve posted a few images from the magazine as well as some fantastic vintage photos of Stephens and his cohorts cavorting with the likes of Ronnie James Dio, Iggy Pop, Geezer Butler and Ozzy among others. Raw Power was also one of the only publications to have the opportunity to get some great live shots of Van Halen (taken by Murray Schwartz) while they were still performing in the LA club scene back in 1977. These had never been seen outside of the magazine until they were posted over at the Van Halen News Desk in 2014.
 

Scott Stephens of Raw Power Magazine with Iggy Pop, 1977.
 

Stephens with Geezer Butler of Black Sabbath.
 
More ‘Raw Power’ after the jump…

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Van Halen wanted to crush a Volkswagen Beetle with a tank in 1979… just to piss off Aerosmith
08.22.2016
08:59 am

Topics:
Amusing
Heroes
Music

Tags:
1970s
Van Halen
Aerosmith


Van Halen on top of a Sherman tank at the CaliFFornia World Music Festival in LA, 1979.
 
Today’s rock and roll history lesson comes courtesy of David Lee Roth’s highly entertaining 2000 autobiography Crazy From the Heat in which DLR recalls the details about the time VH rented a Sherman tank so they could destroy a vintage VW Bug—all to spite Aerosmith. According to Roth the occasion would mark the last time that he would ever speak to Steven Tyler, Joe Perry and the rest of the boys in Aerosmith. Say what you want about Aerosmith but if you’ve got Boston blood flowing through your veins then you also know how to hold a wicked long-term grudge, pal.
 

Van Halen at the CaliFFornia World Music Festival, 1979.
 
The story goes that back in 1979 were a part of the CaliFFornia World Music Festival held at the LA Coliseum and on the second night of the two-day festival Van Halen was co-headlining the gig with Aerosmith—who would to on to temporarly implode six-months later after the release of their sixth record Night in the Ruts (or as we called it back in the day in Boston “Right in the Nuts”). In an effort to one-up Aerosmith, the troublemakers in Van Halen cooked up a plan that involved renting a Sherman tank from a local Hollywood prop shop and the purchase of a couple of yellow VW Beetles. The idea was that announcements made over the Coliseum’s PA system would lay the groundwork for folks to think that one of the members of Aerosmith parked the Bug illegally and were asking for it to be moved. The “punchline” in all this excessive craziness was that the tank would roll out just as Van Halen took the stage, crushing the Bug to bits. Sadly someone in VH’s camp must have been a Boston native because Aerosmith caught wind of Van Halen’s shenanigans and had already come up with a plan of their own to one-up the tank gag and VH aborted their awesome caper.

Since Van Halen does not fuck around when it comes to fucking around they actually tested out the prank by having a hired driver roll the tank down some stairs over one of the yellow Beetles which sent debris hurtling in all directions including one of the doors that Roth still has in his massive collection of Van Halen related artifacts. Luckily a few images of the mighty VH riding on top of the tank and Roth taking a swipe at the pile of rubble that was formerly a VW bug like the charming ringmaster of mayhem that he is exist which I’ve posted below. In my mind if VH had actually pulled this one off the already dangerously drug-addled Aerosmith might have called it a day right then and there and we never would have had to endure the shambolic record that is Night in the Ruts (full disclosure—I love that record and I welcome your hate mail). I’ve included some other photos taken at the festival like the little people security detail “employed” by Van Halen and a few other gems that will make you wish you were there yourself (though I’m sure that at least a few of our DM readers probably were).
 

 
More after the jump…

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Elf: Early recordings of Dio covering Led Zeppelin, Chuck Berry & Black Sabbath in 1972


Elf.
 
Like many of our DM readers I’m a huge fan of everything that the late Ronnie James Dio did during his time walking among us mere mortals. Dio’s love of music started early and by the late 50’s at the age of fifteen he was already gigging regularly with a band. When it came time for Dio to graduate high school he apparently turned down a scholarship (which he earned for playing the trumpet, a discipline that Dio credited his powerful vocal range to) at the plush and prestigious Juilliard School to pursue a career in rock and roll. The band that Dio started out with, The Vegas Kings went through several name/lineup changes until they ended up settling on the proggy sounding The Electric Elves that in turn evolved into the more metal-edged sounding moniker Elf sometime in the early part of 1970s.

Once the 70s rolled around Dio (and most of the rest of Elf) ended up hooking up with one of the guitar gods Dio would perform with during his career Ritchie Blackmore, and that relationship produced three Rainbow albums including one of my favorite records of all time 1978’s Long Live Rock ‘n’ Roll. The reason I’m giving you my take on what the heavy metal history books refer to as Ronnie James Dio 101 is because when I mentioned in the title of this post that Dio was “covering” Black Sabbath I thought it might cause a few of our readers to throw a massive lump of “duh” in my general direction. But this is RJD circa 1972—a full seven years before he would front the sludgy outfit after Sabbath fired Ozzy who had become so “undependable” in 1979 that he stopped showing up to most of the band’s rehearsals. So to hear Elf along with Dio slaying one of Sabbath’s most epic jams, 1970’s “War Pigs” for a full nine-minutes in 1972 is rather surreal to say the least.
 

Ronnie James Dio, Ritchie Blackmore and Mr. Blackmore’s very metal Pilgrim hat.
 
The other notable covers that Elf performed live and recorded as demos back in 1972 (that became the bootleg known as Elf: War Pigs ‘72) are a mish-mash of hits from bands like The Who, Jethro Tull, Led Zeppelin and even the odd Rod Stewart song. As a forever fan of all things Black Sabbath it’s nothing short of thrilling to listen to Dio take on Chuck Berry’s 1959 classic “Little Queenie” and win. I’m not going to go so far as to tell you that the all of the recordings are good, because they aren’t. But I did post a few of my favorite tracks from War Pigs ‘72 and feel like it’s an interesting snapshot into where Dio was headed and something that any hardcore fan of RJD would brag about owning just for its high (and slightly odd) nostalgia factor. I also included an original Elf track called “Driftin” which is a dreamy track reminiscent of Queen that really showcases Dio’s remarkable vocal range. Devil horns OUT!
 
Listen to early Ronnie James Dio after the jump…

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Revolting Teens Lose Their MINDS! The awesome illustrated covers of ‘Punk Magazine’
08.16.2016
01:03 pm

Topics:
Amusing
Art
Punk

Tags:
1970s
Punk Magazine
John Holmstrom


The cover of the first issue of ‘Punk Magazine’ featuring an illustration of Lou Reed by John Holmstrom, January, 1976.
 
Many of the excellent illustrated covers of Punk Magazine in this post were done by the zine’s cofounder John Holmstrom—the man behind the cover of the Ramones album Road to Ruin and Rocket to Russia as well as other illustrated oddities since embarking on his long career as an artist.
 

Members of the Sex Pistols and Malcolm Mclaren perusing issue #12 of ‘Punk’ featuring an illustration of Robert Gordon on the cover
 
A dear friend of mine recently gifted me with a copy of Holmstrom’s 2012 book The Very Best of Punk Magazine and I haven’t put the massive thing down in a month. Though Punk only published for a few short years the book itself is a literal goldmine of punk rock artifacts from beautiful reprints of hard-to-find early issues of Punk, photos, essays and even handwritten anecdotes from Lou Reed, journalist Lester Bangs, Debbie Harry, cartoons drawn by R. Crumb and other visual time-capsules too numerous to mention.

While I’m sure that many of our DM readers already own a copy of this heirloom, if you are not one of them I highly recommend picking one up as it is a much a joy to read as it is just to look at. One of my favorite parts of the book were the images of the illustrated covers of Punk the epitome Holmstrom’s cartoony DIY style which some liken to a giant punk rock coloring book. It’s almost criminal that you can find hardcover copies of the book for about $20 bucks out there but you can and it’s well worth the small investment especially if your memories of the 70s are fuzzy thanks to all that bad acid you dropped and whatnot.

Holmstrom recently announced that he is selling some items from his personal collection such as the first issue of Punk
(pictured at the top of this post). More comic-styled images from the covers of Punk follow.
 

The cover of issue #10 of ‘Punk Magazine’ featuring a big-headed version of Blondie.
 
More after the jump…

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Thundertrain: The band that was ‘Hot for Teacher’ before Van Halen
08.15.2016
04:46 pm

Topics:
Amusing
Music

Tags:
1970s
1980s
Van Halen
Boston
Thundertrain


The cover of the 1976 single ‘Hot for Teacher’ by Boston rockers, Thundertrain.
 
Bands like Thundertrain aren’t made—they are born and the group entered the Boston rock scene back in the mid-70s with a sonic boom. Thundertrain’s heavy-blended jams are full of fuzzy glam grooves and a hard rock mean streak like the kind of riffy juice that runs through the veins of Chuck Berry. To this day they are still revered back east and it’s not hard to understand why as Thundertrain did a great job of “making it up” as they went along back in the 70s. But the topic at hand is the band’s “connection” to Van Halen—specifically when it comes to a song you could probably recite the lyrics to in your sleep, “Hot for Teacher.”
 

The cover of Thundertrain’s ‘Teenage Suicide’ album released in 1977.
 
According to an 2003 interview with vocalist Mach Bell (aka Mark Bell), back when Thundertrain was out on the road sometime in the mid-to-late 70s Van Halen apparently requested that the band open for them at a gig at the famed Agora Ballroom in Cleveland. So imagine what Bell thought when 1984 rolled around and he heard a song that instantly became synonymous with Van Halen—the adrenalin-charged “Hot for Teacher.” A song with the exact same title as what most fans consider to be Thundertrain’s biggest hit in their too short career. Despite the fact that Boston was a veritable hot bed when it came to its mid-70s musical exports (bands like Aerosmith, The Modern Lovers and Boston), and even though “Hot for Teacher hit #3 in the UK alternative charts in 1977, Thundertrain never got the break they deserved and the band called it a night in 1980.

More after the jump…

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Sex, Satan and the single girl: Bewitching vintage occult-themed ‘men’s interest’ magazines


Black Magic magazine, Volume three, Number two.
 
The rise of interest in New Age and occult practices in the 60s and 70s (with a heavy nod of thanks to satanic merchant Kenneth Anger for picking up where Aleister Crowley left off) helped pave the way for a new crop of niche “men’s interest” magazines that focused on hot girls getting down with the devil as well as witches and other kinds of sexy pagan-flavored pursuits. Nice.
 

Bitchcraft magazine, Volume three, Number one.
 
Inside the covers of such magazines as the wickedly titled BDSM-themed magazine Bitchcraft (which was actually pretty nuts by all accounts) you might find erotic fictional depictions of satanic rituals (such the faux fiends on the cover of Bitchcraft) and others, such as Satan magazine were more like devilish Playboy doppelgangers purporting to be flirting with the dark side when in fact it was just another way to sell pictures of pretty girls and perhaps celebrities (such as gorgeous fireball, actress Tina Louise who played Ginger on Gilligan’s Island who appeared the publication in 1957) in various stages of undress with devil horns on their heads. During the course of researching this very sexy post, I came across this composed yet completely depraved letter that was written by a reader of girl-loving magazine Nymphet back in the March 1976 issue in response to an illustrated image of Anton LaVey and a nude woman. Although it’s a fairly terrifying read it does help support the fact that there was indeed a market for publications to help satiate the sexually deprived Satan worshipers of the world:

I’ve been a fan of skin mags for a long time, now and one of the things that bugs me in particular, is the absence of the occult from sexually oriented material. For a brief spurt about three or four years ago, voodoo, Satanism and the occult were getting a fair amount of play in magazines similar to your own. Now, however, there’s little––if anything, appearing on this shadier side of human sexuality. I find extremely arousing, the rituals and ceremonies involving the symbols of witchcraft and devil worship––especially the idea of sacrificing a virgin and the actual deflowering of the virgin by the Evil One himself. One of the most exciting aspects of that brief period was the popularity of Anton La Vea [sic], occult leader of the 5000-member Satanic Church in San Francisco, California. I thought he was very colorful and the sensual practice of nudity among his worshippers, stimulating indeed! Other than this, I really have no complaints about your magazine. But I would like to see more kinky types of sex handled visually, as well as in the articles––subjects like necrophilia and bestiality.”
J. L. Jackson, Atlanta, Georgia.

Well said, J.L. Jackson of Atlanta—you sir or madam clearly know how to party. Images from the covers and pages of magazines such as Pagan, Satan’s Scrapbook, Black Magic and of course Satan (because, Satan) follow. Some are NSFW.
 

The cover of a vintage Satan magazine.
 

Actress Tina Louise in the February, 1957 issue of Satan magazine.
 

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The Nightmare Before Halloween: Insane early Van Halen set from 1977
07.14.2016
10:29 am

Topics:
Heroes
Music

Tags:
1970s
Van Halen
Pasadena


The original lineup of the mighty Van Halen standing on the steps of David Lee Roth’s Pasadena mansion.
 

We try to look like the music sounds.

—David Lee Roth, 1977.

After leaving their disco pimping days as the house band for LA rock club Gazzarri’s back in the late 70s Van Halen would go on to play the Pasadena Civic Auditorium on nearly a monthly basis to thousands of enthusiastic air guitarists and other awestruck fans before exploding into mega-stardom. The audio from this performance recorded on October 15th, 1977—VH’s last at the PCA—will send chills down your spine as the quality is nearly beyond compare. As are the ear-piercing vocals of David Lee Roth that team up seamlessly with the on-point brightness of backing vocals from bassist Michael Anthony (a sound I sorely miss since Anthony departed VH).

Here’s Van Halen’s manager Marshall Berle (nephew of comedian Milton Berle) echoing my feelings about one of the band’s performances at the PCA in a quote from the 2011 book by photographer Neil Zlozwer’s on guitar mangler and musical virtuoso, Eddie Van Halen:

The lights went down and the announcer introduced Van Halen and the kids went nuts and started screaming. They started playing and the hair on the back of my neck stood up. I got a chill right through my bones. I had never seen anything like this in my life. These guys were so good I almost crapped my pants. I thought “what the fuck is this?”

 
More after the jump…

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Nostalgic images of drive-in movie theaters


The giant stone ‘marquee’ on the first drive-in movie theater in Camden, New Jersey that opened on June 6th, 1933.
 
83-years ago this week (June 6th, 1933 specifically) the very first drive-in movie theater opened for business in Camden, New Jersey. Originally conceptualized and patented in 1933 by entrepreneur Richard Hollingshead who astutely recognized that despite the failing economy (the Great Depression was in full swing) people were still going to the movies and would cut back on basic necessities such as food for the opportunity to escape their bleak day-to-day existences in a dark theater for a few hours. Hollingshead’s outdoor theater cost only a quarter a car (plus 25 cents for each occupant) and the sound from the speakers broadcasting the films to the 400 car capacity lot were so loud that they could be heard miles down the road.
 

A print advertisement for Richard Hollingshead’s new drive-in theater in Camden, New Jersey.
 
According to a historical reference noted by the University of Michigan not everyone was happy about Hollingshead’s invention of the drive-in—and aparently a group of teenage girls actually took to protesting its creation as it put a big dent in the booming tween babysitting business since families were now bringing their infants, toddlers and young children along in the car to see the latest celluloid offerings from the comfort of their car. Drive-in theaters started to proliferate all over the country from Massachusetts to New Mexico and by 1942 there were 95 drive-ins with locations in 27 states. Ten years later there were approximately 5000 drive-in movie theaters in operation across the U.S. When the decade of spandex and neon otherwise known as the 80s rolled around drive-in theaters began their decline thanks to urban sprawl and technological advancements such as cable TV and the cheaper price of that in-home movie machine, the VCR.

These days (and according to an article published in 2014) there are still 338 drive-in theaters in operation including one of my favorite haunts in my younger days, the 67-year-old Weir’s Beach drive-in in New Hampshire. Tons of images of drive-ins from the past follow.
 

West Virginia, 1956.
 

A ‘carhop’ at the Rancho drive-in, San Francisco, 1948.
 
Many more after the jump…

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Vintage flashback-inducing psychedelic ads from the 60s and 70s that will give you a contact high


Who knew that wearing Wrangler Jeans could be this much fun? Vintage ad from the 1970s.
 
Every product under the the sun in the 60s and 70s seemed to be coated with LSD. Even mundane items like Wrangler Jeans, acne medication and Plymouths caught the psychedelic buzz. If you weren’t taking drugs at the time, all you really had to do was pick up a magazine and check out some of the colorful (and confusing) ads and get experienced.
 

Vintage psychedelic ad for the Yellow Pages.
 
I was very lucky to have a wonderful art teacher in the sixth-grade who at the end of the year gifted me with a Peter Max poster book as we both shared a love for that type of counter culture artistic expression which I still have to this day (thanks, Mrs. B!). Max’s widespread notoriety began in the 60s and continues to this day (The 78-year-old artist was commissioned in 2012 to paint the hull of a Norwegian Cruise Line ship). It wasn’t surprising to see his recognizable artwork show up in a 1971 ad for the Chelsea National Bank which I have of course included in this post. I’ve also got a soft spot for the kaleidoscopic ads for the vintage cosmetics line sold at Woolworth’s (the land of neverending bins and shelves full of everything including from 45’s to underpants) called Baby Doll. Grab some sunglasses and enjoy!
 

Peter Max’s illustration for the Chelsea National Bank, 1971.
 

An ad for Baby Doll cosmetics sold at Woolworth’s during the 60s and early 70s.
 

Trippy vintage ad for the ‘New-Hope Soap’ Clearasil.
 
More after the jump…

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Freaky French comic from the 70s that tells the far-out story of Frank Zappa’s ‘Stink-Foot’


Frank Zappa ‘Stink-Foot’ illustration.
 
The strange French comic featured in this post based on Frank Zappa’s song “Stink-Foot” from his 1974 album, Apostrophe (’) was done by French illustrator Jean Solé back in 1975 when appeared in the French satire magazine Fluide Glacial in a special comic layout called Pop & Rock & Colegram.
 

An illustration from ‘Pop & Rock & Colegram’ riffing on the RCA Victor (among others) canine spokesperson ‘Nipper’ featuring Jean Solé, Gotlieb, and Alain Dister.
 
In the comics (that were published in Fluide Glacial from 1975-1978) by French illustrators Marcel Gotlieb (known as “Gotlib”) and Jean Solé the task was to create parody-style illustrations based on popular songs from bands like the Beatles, Roxy Music, Pink Floyd and in this case Solé‘s fantastic four-page take on Zappa’s “Stink-Foot.” Translated by renowned French music journalist Alain Dister, Solé‘s illustrations of Zappa’s jazzy six-minute jam about stinky feet is pretty spot on right down to an illustration of Zappa struggling to get his smelly python boots off. Here’s a samplings of the funky lyrics from “Stink-Foot:

You know
My python boot is too tight
I couldn’t get it off last night
A week went by
And now it’s July
I finally got it off
And my girlfriend cried, YOU GOT STINK-FOOT!
Stink-foot, darlin’

Your Stink-foot
Puts a hurt on my nose
Stink-foot, stink-foot, I ain’t lyin’
Can you rinse it off, do you suppose?

Though it’s rather difficult to find, the magazine has been reprinted since 1975 and if you dig what you are about to see, it’s well worth trying to track down.
 

 
More “Stink-Foot” after the jump…

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‘ARE YOU READY TO ROCK?’ Blistering footage of Cheap Trick live in 1979
06.03.2016
09:15 am

Topics:
Heroes
Music
Television

Tags:
1970s
Rockpalast
Cheap Trick


Artist Kii Arens’ gorgeous poster commemorating Cheap Trick’s introduction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

When it comes to Cheap Trick, I was a late-bloomer. I was a huge metal head and for some reason, I just didn’t “get” Cheap Trick when I was in high school. I even dated a guy who was a Cheap Trick super-fan who never stopped trying to help me understand how great the band was. It wasn’t until I got into college that I finally realized that there was clearly something wrong with my ears, and finally embraced the band after hearing “Stop this Game” from their 1980 album All Shook Up. The first time I saw the band live I was (gulp) already in my 30’s and I actually fucking cried when they broke into one of the greatest rock anthems ever written, “Surrender.”

This footage of Cheap Trick on Rockpalast in 1979 captures the band at the very top of their game after the face-smashing success of their live album, Cheap Trick at Budokan that finally saw a US release after a frenzy of demand for the record (which was only available in Japan at the time). That album catapulted the band into the stratosphere of rock and roll superstardom. Here they rip through eleven songs with switchblade precision and I don’t know if I’ve ever heard vocalist Robin Zander sound better than he does here.

I recently caught Cheap Trick’s acceptance speeches at the 2016 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony, and I was really moved by drummer Bun E. Carlos’ (who no longer performs with Cheap Trick) reminiscing about how the first time he heard guitarist Rick Nielsen’s name was in the fourth grade. Still going strong, Cheap Trick kicks off a massive tour in support of their seventeenth studio album, Bang, Zoom, Crazy… Hello on June 4th in Syracuse, New York.

Watch Cheap Trick live on German television after the jump…

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The curious case of Black Sabbath guitar god Tony Iommi and his very 70s sweater collection
06.01.2016
09:50 am

Topics:
Amusing
Music

Tags:
Black Sabbath
1970s
Tony Iommi
sweaters


The only person in the world who could rock a sweater vest with a print of a man with a top hat and monocle and still look as cool as fuck, Mr. Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath.
 
Now before anyone out there thinks for one second that I’m in any way slagging the heavy metal messiah of Black Sabbath, Tony Iommi, you’d be wrong. Only a fool would have anything but praise for a man who, after losing the tips of his middle and ring fingers on his right hand in an accident when he was seventeen, pressed on to become one of the most influential guitarists in the history. Couple that indisputable fact with the ass-kicking Iommi gave to The Big C—cancer—when it came calling, and you have Tony motherfucking Iommi—metal guitar god.
 

 
If you read Dangerous Minds on a regular basis, you probably already know that I’m a Black Sabbath super fan. Thanks to my folks, I played Sabbath’s second album, 1970’s Paranoid forwards and backwards (for those backmasked Satanic subliminal messages) until it would play no more. I look to that record as the reason for my delightful, nearly lifelong obsession with the band. As I’ve said in the past, any day that I get to write about Black Sabbath and get paid for it, is the best day ever. And today is another one of those great days!

Tony Iommi has always been about as metal as they come, and that’s especially true when you consider the look Iommi cultivated over the decades with Black Sabbath. You know, the leather biker jackets with fringe, the satin shirts, the gigantic cross necklaces and the ever present manly display of chest hair. And let’s not forget Iommi’s sweet patchwork jacket (which Iommi wore a lot during the Sabbath’s early days and which is currently on display at the Hard Rock Cafe in Berlin). That one garment could very well be responsible for the birth of the heavy metal fashion staple, the battle jacket.

As I often feel the need to scratch my nostalgic itches, I decided to flip through the Internet looking at photos from the band’s early days when I noticed that there seemed to be quite a few pictures of Iommi wearing of all things, sweaters. It didn’t take long for me to find quite a few images of Iommi rocking everything from a sweater vest to large-collared zip-up knitwear and even a turtleneck, which I found totally amusing given the fact that the look somewhat transforms Iommi into a mustachioed male model as featured in the pages of a vintage 70s Sears catalog. As you’re looking at the photos that follow, you’ll probably notice that Sabbath’s bassist, Geezer Butler was also a fan of quality 70s knitwear.

I’ve also included few images that postdate the fantastic 70s that I had to include because, well, sweaters.
 

 

 
More of Tony’s fab sweaters, turtlenecks and zip-up jumpers, after the jump…

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Peep Shows, Pimps and Prostitutes: A Walk on the Wild Side of New York in the 1970s

01_lelbob09.jpg
 
Leland Bobbé started his career as a photographer in the mid-1970s shooting street scenes around Times Square and the Bowery in New York City. Bobbé was living downtown near the Brooklyn Bridge. He played drums with a band on the CBGBs/Max’s Kansas City scene.

Because I didn’t write music, I eventually realized through taking pictures I was able to make more of a personal statement than playing rock n’ roll written by others.

At night Bobbé drove a taxi. He scouted the streets in different neighborhoods. During the day, he returned to these neighborhoods to take photographs of the people who hung around the sidewalks, peep shows, bars, and flop houses.

Hard as it is to remember now, at that moment New York was kind of on its ass. Crime was at a high. Destitution and poverty were spreading like plague. Drugs and vice seemed to be the only booming enterprises. The Son of Sam slayings terrorized New Yorkers. The city was virtually bankrupt—President Gerald Ford told New York to “drop dead,” as the New York Daily News famously had it. He eventually relented and stumped up a loan to save the Big Apple. Bobbé‘s photos captured the city long before its gentrification as a rich hipster’s playground.

Bobbé often shot from the hip using a 28mm to avoid detection. Others were shot with a telephoto lens. The resulting photographs are stunning, gritty and powerful—filled with character and atmosphere that captured the city at an unforgettable point in its history.
 
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More of Leland Bobbé‘s gritty photographs of New York in the 1970s, after the jump…..
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Goodnight, Sweetheart, Goodnight: Watch Sha Na Na totally kill it live on German TV in 1973
05.27.2016
10:17 am

Topics:
Heroes
Music
Television

Tags:
1970s
Musikladen
Sha Na Na


The Kings of New York, Sha Na Na
 
Those of you that are of (ahem) a certain age will certainly remember faux-50’s band Sha Na Na not only for their music but also for their syndicated television show that ran from 1977 to 1981. I was absolutely obsessed with that show, and adored the band’s goofy antics and faithful fashion homages to the 1950s from the top of their greased back hair, to the seams on the famous gold lamé pants worn by Frederick “Dennis” Greene, Johnny “Kid” Contardo, and Scott “Tony Santini” on the show—one of the most popular in TV syndication at the time.

In addition to appearances in the film 1978 Grease (where the band was depicted as a fictional 1950s band called Johnny Casino and the Gamblers), Sha Na Na was also featured on the films wildly popular soundtrack, and the tearjerker “Sandy” (sung by John Travolta) was co-written by Sha Na Na’s Screamin’ Scott Simon, who got his start with the band playing piano back in 1970, and still performs with them to this day. In this footage (which I’m pretty sure is gonna blow your mind), the band performs nineteen songs for the enthusiastic studio audience in attendance for a taping of German music television show Musikladen in 1973.
 

 
From the minute they hit the stage, it’s clear that we are all in for some high-octane doo-wop, class-act choreography, and the visual treat that is the gangly, rock-and-roll Frankenstein known as “Bowzer” (Jon Bauman)—he’s probably the most recognizable member of the group, too. Since departing Sha Na Na, Bauman continues to tour as his alter-ego “Bowzer” with his group The Stingrays and was also instrumental in helping the passage of the Truth in Music Act—a law that protects musicians and bands from identity theft. Now that’s fucking rock and roll.
 

The gold lamé suits worn by Sha Na Na that drove my young libido into overdrive back in the late 70s
 
And what about those skin-tight gold lamé suits (pictured above)? While conducting my very important “research” for this post, I discovered that all three of them are currently up for sale (along with the matching gold lamé boots and belts, thank you very much) for the tidy sum of $2,500. A small price to pay for a piece of rock and roll history that I’d do almost anything to squeeze myself into (those boys were tight back in the day, to say the least). I’ve probably watched this footage at least five times since stumbling on it and every time I do, it gets better. As one commenter on the Youtube page said, “this deserves a million likes.” To which I say AMEN, brother. If you dig it as much as I do, you can get your very own DVD of the show, here. Enjoy!
 

Sha Na Na on German music television show, Musikladen in 1973.
 

Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Sha Na Na feud with the Ramones

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
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