follow us in feedly
Famous Rock ‘N’ Rollers in the style of old Mani-Yack monster transfers

These are off-the-charts cool.

Illustrator Tommy Bishop, the madman behind the weirdo children’s book Incredibly Strange ABCs recently introduced a killer set of die-cut vinyl stickers depicting legends from the early years of rock and roll in the style of the old Mani-Yack horror movie transfers.

Mani-Yack transfers were the first widely available commercial t-shirt iron-ons. Their monster designs were some of their most popular in the 1960s.

A sample of the classic 1960s Mani-Yack monster transfer style.
Bishop has two sticker sets available, each containing three images, of iconic rockers in the Mani-Yack monster illustration style. Set one contains Bo Diddley, Chuck Berry, and Little Richard. Set two contains Esquerita, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Screamin’ Jay Hawkins.

I asked Bishop if he plans to do future sets and he indicated that an instrumental rocker set is in the works, likely to feature Link Wray and Dick Dale. He is also considering a James Brown set featuring three phases of Brown’s career:

[I thought about] pulling from time periods and nicknames like the Famous Flames era, Mr. Dynamite, Godfather of Soul or Hardest Working Man in Show Biz, or Soul Brother #1… something like that.

Bishop has also expressed interest in doing a classic country set as well.

The sticker sets are available for $5.00 each from his web store.




Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
The Killer & Friends: Keith Richards, Gary Busey & Ruth Buzzi jamming with Jerry Lee Lewis

Gary Busey, Keith Richards, Ruth Buzzi and Jerry Lee Lewis
Top L to bottom R: Gary Busey, Keith Richards, Ruth Buzzi and Jerry Lee Lewis
Hosted by Dick Clark, Salute! was a short-lived syndicated TV variety show centered around Jerry Lee Lewis that ran for a year from 1983-1984. Each week the show featured different musical guests like Marvin Gaye, Johnny Cash, Ella Fitzgerald and Glen Campbell, all who performed with Lewis during the show. Since that sounded pretty great, I decided to see if I could dig up any video footage from Salute!.

Thankfully the all-giving Internet didn’t let me down and produced a video of Lewis performing “High School Confidential” (originally recorded by Lewis in 1958) with Keith Richards (!) and what appears to be a cocaine-powered Gary Busey. And Busey (former vocalist and drummer for his own band from the 70s called Carp), who always remembers to bring the crazy to the party, does not disappoint here.
Keith Richards, Mick Fleetwood and Jerry Lee Lewis on Salute! 1983
Keith Richards, Mick Fleetwood and Jerry Lee Lewis on Salute!,1983
There are also a few other clips from Salute! out there that pair the likes of Lewis with Mick Fleetwood and Keef (performing of cover of Chuck Berry’s “Little Queenie”) and the woman who gave us the gift of purse-wielding spinster Gladys Ormphby, the great Ruth Buzzi (who looks super-hot BTW) performing and amusing version of Lewis’ song, “Breathless.” All three videos are posted after the jump. A word of caution, watching the 1983 version of Gary Busey (or any version of Gary Busey for that matter) might give you a contact high.

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Watch all four Johnny Cash Christmas specials

The Christmas Spirit by Johnny Cash
From 1976 to 1979, CBS ran a Johnny Cash Christmas special every year—it must have been a significant Christmas tradition in many homes (alas, not my own). For those who remember Cash as the ultimate rebel par excellence, these specials make for some interesting viewing. During the 1970s Cash experienced a slump in record sales, and during this period he was a familiar face on TV, appearing as a guest star on Columbo and Little House on the Prairie and doing commercials for Amoco.

In these specials, the sentimentality of the occasion can’t be ignored, so Cash gamely refashioned himself as a family-friendly country music TV host. We’re far from the middle-finger Johnny Cash or Folsom Prison Blues; there’s a decent amount of corny levity to be seen here. You might say that this is the closest that Cash came to a figure on Hee Haw (of course, he appeared on Hee Haw as well).
Johnny Cash as Santa Claus
Of course, June Carter Cash is every bit as present as Johnny—the emphasis here is charmingly on family, and many of June and Johnny’s wide-ranging clan of relatives are featured, especially in the 1976 and 1979 specials, which were taped in Tennessee.

If you find yourself inundated with cheesy Christmas songs in every retail establishment you dare to enter, you can surely improve your life by dialing up The Johnny Cash Christmas Special, with its mix of Christmas classics and country-western fare, in their stead.

Taped in Nashville, the special that kicked it off is the most homespun of the bunch. The entire second half of the show is framed as an expansive musical visit around the Cash family hearth. Earlier, Johnny and June join Tony Orlando for “Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree,” and (back at the hearth) Barbara Mandrell, several years before she and her sisters got a show of their own on NBC, engages in some ass-kicking steel guitar wizardry before singing “A Beautiful Morning with You.” Billy Graham ends with a downbeat sermon.

The 1977 edition may be the strongest from a musical perspective, or maybe it’s just my own bias in favor of rock over country. There’s scarcely any humor sketches, which would predominate in the next two years, and the core of the show is dedicated to three of rock and roll’s most venerable heroes, all associated with Sun Studios, just as Cash himself was. In rapid succession we get Carl Perkins singing “Blue Suede Shoes,” Roy Orbison singing “Pretty Woman,” and Jerry Lee Lewis singing “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On” before Lewis essays a reverent rendition of “White Christmas.” Then the three of them and Cash come together to sing “This Train Is Bound For Glory” in a tribute to Elvis, who had died just a few months earlier. Also, Johnny spends a good chunk of the show wearing Army fatigues (!).

The 1978 Johnny Cash Christmas Special, like the 1977 edition, was taped in Los Angeles, and it shows a little. The guests include Kris Kristofferson, Rita Coolidge, and Steve Martin, who as a budding superstar is given a fair amount of time for his hijinks. The high point is probably Cash and Kristofferson singing the latter’s “Sunday Morning Coming Down” together.

It’s not news that DM is very Andy Kaufman-friendly, so it was something of a shock to hit play on the 1979 special and see none other than Kaufman himself in the opening bit. For this version of the special, Cash returned to Nashville, and the presence of an appreciative Opryland audience is a blessing. Kaufman scarcely strays from his Latka character, except when he does a completely straight version of Elvis Presley’s “That’s When Your Heartaches Begin.” It’s well known that Elvis loved Andy’s impersonation; here’s a fine chance to see it.

Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Johnny Cash Sings Austrian Jams
Shit-hot: The PERFECT Johnny Cash set from German TV, 1972

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Killer interview: Henry Rollins shoots the shit with Jerry Lee Lewis, 1995
12:29 pm


Henry Rollins
Jerry Lee Lewis

Rollins and Lewis
It’s always a treat to see Henry Rollins interviewing anyone, even more so when it’s one of the early architects of rock ‘n’ roll. Hank’s hosting skills are exceptional. Clearly a fan, he’s very proficient in the relevant rock history, and he knows how to keep an interview interesting. But Jerry Lee Lewis? I mean, hey I love Jerry Lee Lewis’ music, but Jerry Lee Lewis is just as well-known for being a dirtbag as he is for his amazing music.

I don’t expect Rollins to give a damn about petty ethics, of course, but he’s a man with a reputation for being just a teensy bit self-righteous and rigidly moral. It’s weird to watch him interview an artist who very publicly married his 13-year-old cousin, as if there’s not a giant pervy elephant in the room. (And before you go all cultural relativist on me, cousin-marrying was not more common in the south than anywhere else in the US, and while marriages average younger in poorer communities, I can assure you, an adult marrying a 13-year-old would still be considered fucking creepy by every old redneck I know.)

Still, Lewis has great stories about Sun studios, and intergenerational rock ‘n’ roll kibitzing is always a fascinating thing to watch.


Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
Fantastic Little Richard concert with Bill Haley, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Chuck Berry, 1972

One has to admire the boldness required to photo-bomb Little Richard
It’s always fun to find stuff from Little Richard in the 70s, (between his Christian phases). Every bit of the footage from this mini-documentary is mad and druggy; it’s almost as fun to watch the fanatical counter-culture audience as it is the performers, well past the height of their popularity, but clearly evolving artistically with the rawness of the times.

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
Rare French video of Serge Gainsbourg and Jerry Lee Lewis talking about music and f*cking.

Serge Gainsbourg and Jerry Lee Lewis rhapsodizing about women and fucking in Bourges, France, 1987. Raw video footage shot for French TV but never broadcast for obvious reasons. This is epic.

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment