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Mondo Bondage: Why Fee Waybill of The Tubes is one of the three most important people in the world
10.21.2018
10:25 am
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Fee Waybill on stage with The Tubes as his stage alter-ego Quay Lewd in 1975. His platform boots are eighteen inches high.
 
If the title of this post and affirmation of the importance of vocalist Fee Waybill (born John Waldo Waybill in 1950) of The Tubes sounds at all familiar, it is because this is precisely how Fee Waybill was addressed in the 1989 film, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure. Since I know you’re curious, the other two people included in this very important trio were Martha Davis of The Motels (because of course, she was) and the big man himself, saxophone player and long-running member of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band, Clarence Clemons. Bill and Ted might not have been the brightest bulbs, but they were right to call Fee Waybill important. Because god dammit he was and still is and I’ve got pictures and live footage to prove it. Excellent.

Anyone growing up on MTV remembers The Tubes. “Talk to you Later” was in such heavy rotation it would have been impossible not to absorb the lyrics without even wanting to. Their early, proto-punk records were popular in the UK but didn’t really break through in the U.S., so as far as most MTV kids were concerned, The Tubes they saw on television didn’t exist before “Talk to You Later.” They had likely never heard of the band’s 1975 debut, White Punks on Dope. During their time in the 70s, they became known for their elaborate stage productions which stepped far beyond merely going to see a band, and more like live, interactive, improvisational theater with sick jams.

Then, you have Fee Waybill, taking it a leap beyond the beyond appearing in characters he created for the stage such as a BDSM fan, and a glam rocker called Quay Lewd. Waybill also dressed up like a crazed astronaut from time to time and a masked bad-dude. Others would follow, and Waybill’s revolving cast of characters would make regular appearances during Tubes’ shows for years and years. According to Waybill, Quay Lewd was an “amalgam” of “Rod Stewart, David Bowie, David Johansen, Robert Plant and all the quasi-homosexual glam-rock gay lead singers with platform shoes in the 1970s.”

In 1977 The Tubes played two highly praised totally gonzo sold-out shows at the Hammersmith Odeon with Wire. Both performances were recorded and released in 1978 as What Do You Want from Live. In addition to wanton appearances by Waybill dressed in bondage gear, Quay Lewd also came out to taunt the crowd. Journalist Paul Rambali reviewed the gigs for NME, including the following assessment which I think sums up what the fuck happened at the Odeon: 

“They (The Tubes) are not strictly a rock band, neither are they a show, a satire, nor a marriage of rock and theatre, (although they do admit early inspiration from the original Rocky Horror Picture Show). The Tubes are a spectacle like no other. They present a relentless two-hour onslaught of humor, outrage, parody, idiocy, music, and costume—a feast for the senses.”

 

Paul Rambali’s review of The Tubes gigs at the Odeon in 1977.
 
After the release of What Do You Want from Live, The Tubes returned to California to play a series of shows in San Fran and Los Angeles. After their crazed shows in London, Waybill decided to get even nastier on stage and added a large dildo to his Quay Lewd costume, which has always kind of reminded me of a cross between Wayne Country and Hedwig. Apparently, Cher was in the crowd and would later ask the band to play her Cher…Special (1978), which they did in the most bonkers way possible. The Tubes performed a medley of songs including 1975’s “Mondo Bondage” with Waybill and in bondage gear trying to get Cher to embrace her dark side. During the skit/musical number, another guest on the one-off special, Dolly Parton and her gang of gospel singers roll on in to save Cher’s soul, presumably from rock and roll. Also, since Rambali was kind enough to mention the link between The Tubes and Rocky Horror Picture Show, it seems like a good time to note Waybill took on the role of the deranged Dr. Frank N. Furter for a stage production of RHPS at the Barn Theater in Augusta, Michigan in 1999. Pictures or it didn’t happen? I got you covered, pals.

Classic images of Fee Waybill doing what he does best—you know, being one of the three most important people in the world, follow. Some are NSFW (which does not mean Not Safe for Fee Waybill). Lastly, if you happen to be in Irwin, Pennsylvania or Akron, Ohio, you can see the band live later this month.
 

Waybill on stage in BDSM leather. Fuck YES.
 

 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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10.21.2018
10:25 am
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Fantastic Louvin Brothers ‘Satan Is Real’ cowboy boots
10.08.2018
08:33 am
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The Louvin Brothers are everyone’s favorite Appalachian close-harmony brother duet (there are plenty of them). Born with the surname Loudermilk, the two brothers, Charlie and Ira, used to perform on a local radio station in Chattanooga as teenagers; in the 1950s they drew the attention of Acuff-Rose Music and eventually signed with MGM. In short order the Louvin Brothers released records such as Tragic Songs of Life (1956), Nearer My God to Thee (1957), and The Family Who Prays (1958). In 1960 the brothers released a gospel album called Satan Is Real, which has long since become a favorite of collectors because it’s an excellent album but also because the cover is just so interesting and odd. In 2012 Charlie Louvin published an entertaining memoir with the same title and cover motifs.
 

 
Last year two country-music-playing brothers named Malpass reached out to a talented bootmaker named Lisa Sorrell for some extra-special custom-made cowboy boots. Christopher Malpass chose to get a pair of nice light-brown boots with his name on them, but Taylor Malpass decided to recreate the cover of one of his favorite albums—you guessed it, Satan Is Real.
 

Sorrell’s initial sketch for the boot tops
 
As she neared completion, Sorrell made the interesting comment that “often with a non-traditional design such as this one, I feel it’s most attractive when it’s flat and putting it on a cowboy boot makes me like it less. I’m liking this design more and more though.”
 

As Sorrell put it, “Satan has tiny hands and protruding front teeth.”
 
If you’d like custom cowboy boots of your very own with the cover of My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless or Slint’s Spiderland on them, you can reach out to Sorrell and maybe you can figure something out. According to her website, prices start at $5,000.
 
Here’s a video of Sorrell working on the Louvin Brothers boots:

 

Posted by Martin Schneider
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10.08.2018
08:33 am
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Biddi-Biddi-Biddi: The beautiful outer-space babes from ‘Buck Rogers in the 25th Century’


Actress Markie Post and Gil Gerard getting their leather and spandex look on in a still from ‘Buck Rogers in the 25th Century.’
 
If my homage to adorable robot Twiki—one of the stars of the sci-fi television show Buck Rogers in the 25th Century (1979-1981), went above your head, I’m sorry. But I’m only sorry because this means that you maybe never watched the show which ran for two seasons on NBC. At the time, I was just a kid and never missed an episode as it was a continuation of its predecessor, Battlestar Galactica (1978-1979). I was such a big fan of BG and was obsessed with actor Dirk Benedict and his character Lieutenant Starbuck. The show was full of nutty plotlines and came complete with a disco soundtrack from the masterful Giorgio Moroder, which I am sure I was not able to appreciate at the time. There was even a fictional alien girl group featured on the show called the Space Angels who had the voices of singers Carolyn Willis, Marti McCall, and Myrna Matthews, a long-time collaborator with Steely Dan. Now that you can see I’m in full-on sci-fi nerd mode let’s move on to the actual point of this post, the far-out females of Buck Rogers in the 25th Century.

Buck Rogers cast of female characters in the first season alone included Jamie Lee Curtis, Catwoman Julie Newmar, Pamela Hensley, and Playboy playmate Dorothy Stratten. The show was a departure from Battlestar Galactica when it came to many things including the appearance of their female cast being more akin to the women William Shatner encountered on Star Trek. In fact, Gil Gerard’s character on Buck Rogers mirrors Captain Kirk’s when it pertains to his ability to become lip-locked with pretty much every female woman or alien he comes into contact with. Even Buck Rogers co-star the beautiful Erin Gray wasn’t immune to Rogers’ outer-space swagger. Like Battlestar, the plotlines were pushed to the edge of reason including battles with space vampires and an episode where the gang spends time on an intergalactic cruise ship filled with chicks in bikinis.

I’ve posted some great stills from the show to help illustrate my point about what a treat to the eyes this show was. And though we are technically not discussing Battlestar Galactica, I’ve posted a video of shirtless Dirk Benedict showing you how to get a “steel stomach” in an old-school workout video because it’s too awesome to keep to myself.
 

The super cool, completely hot Erin Gray as Colonel Wilma Deering.
 

Erin Gray all dolled up in the episode “Cruise Ship to the Stars” (season one, episode eleven).
 

 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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09.24.2018
11:27 am
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Glimpses of the extravagant Surrealist Ball of 1972

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If you’re ever invited to a “surrealist ball,” my advice is definitely to go. This advice is a hundred times as pertinent if the hosts are among the wealthiest people on the planet.

On December 12, 1972, Baroness Marie-Hélène de Rothschild and her husband Guy threw a lush “Diner de Têtes Surrealistes” at the enormous Château de Ferrières, the house in which Marie-Hélène and her sisters had been raised, located outside of Paris. The Château de Ferrières had been seized by the Nazis during World War II and reminded empty for several years until Marie-Hélène and her new husband decided to reopen the property in 1959. During the 1960s the palace became one of the regular hotspots for extravagant parties in France for movie stars, fashion designers, and socialites.

The invitation, inspired by René Magritte, instructed guests to wear black tie and long gowns—the only other directive was to arrive bearing “Surrealist heads.” Adding to the perversity, the invitation was printed in reverse, such that a mirror was required to decipher it. Here it is:
 

 
The Château de Ferrières was bathed in orange by moving floodlights—the intended impression being that the palace was on fire:
 

 
Upon entering, guests encountered on the main staircase a series of footmen dressed as cats who had “fallen asleep” in a variety of staged poses. As described in the New York Times, Marie-Hélène was dressed as “a stag at the kill, with a mask of towering antlers and pear-shaped diamond ‘tears’ on her face.”

Salvador Dalí himself was there, as well as Brigitte Bardot, Audrey Hepburn, and Marisa Berenson. Baron Alexis de Redé wore a complex hat with multiple faces designed by Dalí.

There’s little doubt that Stanley Kubrick was aware of the Surrealist Ball and drew on it as a resource for the extended party scene in Eyes Wide Shut, which was based on Arthur Schnitzler’s 1926 work Traumnovelle. During the inquisitor sequence, when Tom Cruise’s character Bill Harford is being asked to produce a password to verify his identity, the proceedings are interrupted by a naked lady wearing a mask who seeks to “redeem” Harford. There’s a lovely shot of the gathered masked guests gazing up at her that looks for all the world like the still photos taken at the Surrealist Ball.
 

The hosts, Guy de Rothschild and Marie-Hélène de Rothschild
 
So much more after the jump….....
 

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Posted by Martin Schneider
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07.23.2018
04:33 am
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Scary monsters and crocheted creeps: The knitted brutality of Tracy Widdess
06.20.2018
08:20 am
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A knitted mask by artist Tracy Widdess.
 
In an interview included in the 2014 book Strange Material: Storytelling through Textiles, British Columbia-based artist Tracy Widdess says she began knitting nearly twenty years ago. Somewhere along the way, Widdess recalled that she found herself working with a group for a charity project charged with re-creating knitted masks from the 1970’s. After conducting some research for inspiration, Widdess came across a 1992 issue of Threads magazine and an article called “Snow Fooling” by Meg Swansen. Swansen was a protege of her mother Elizabeth Zimmermann, the founder of old-school crafting and knitting company, Schoolhouse Press. The images in the article struck a nerve with Widdess and her contribution the project would land her on the front page of the great, now sadly defunct website Regretsy. The exposure would inspire Widdess to create her own brand of sewing calling it “Brutal Knitting.”

Widdess would pursue various creative arts in school including sculpture, teaching herself to knit along the way. Soon her monsters and other strange knitted characters came to be by way of commissions—each taking 50-100 hours to complete. She is currently accepting commissions, so, if you have always thought how much better your life would be if people would just stop talking to you in public, then something wicked from Widdess is just what you need for your next walk around the block. Examples of Widdess’ wild work follow.
 

 

 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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06.20.2018
08:20 am
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‘The Shining,’ ‘To Kill a Mockingbird,’ and ‘Frankenstein’: Bags for Book Lovers
06.06.2018
11:00 am
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“If you go home with somebody,” John Waters once said, “and they don’t have books, don’t fuck ‘em!”

To save the bother of waiting until you get back to someone’s home before realizing they have no booklined shelves here are some neat bags that let any suitable mate, friend, or potential one-night-stand know you’ve got the literary smarts.

Since 2011, Moscow-based designers Max and Lyuba have produced a series of 129 book bags featuring covers from some well-thumbed classics like Alice in Wonderland, The Catcher in the Rye, and even J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter novels. Each bag is handmade and sold via Max and Lyuba’s KrukuStudio boutique on Etsy.
 
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More bags for book lovers, after the jump…
 

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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06.06.2018
11:00 am
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Kate Moss models David Bowie’s outfits
05.22.2018
01:15 pm
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Style homages to David Bowie tend to be a dicey affair, if only because Bowie himself was such a master at adopting new visual looks for himself. Bowie always seemed to follow his own radar on such matters, and his particular genius lay in concealing the effort to such a considerable extent. Attempts to mimic the same vibe necessarily come off looking labored. Having said that, when you’ve got a top model and a man who photographed one of Bowie’s own album covers involved, your chances of success are better, but even then, not assured.

Obviously, 1973 was a huge year for Bowie as an authentic groundbreaker in fashion. He spent the first half of the year touring the Ziggy Stardust material, he released Aladdin Sane—in the same stroke introducing his lightning bolt face to the world, probably his most enduring stylistic element—as well as Pinups. It was also the year he reached out to Kansai Yamamoto, who crafted some of Bowie’s most bizarre and memorable outfits, most notably the “‘Tokyo Pop’ vinyl bodysuit” and the “Asymmetric knitted bodysuit.”
 

David Bowie and Kansai Yamamoto, 1973
 
In 2003 the fashion magazine Vogue got ahold of some of Bowie’s most iconic outfits and—with Bowie’s blessing—enlisted photographer Nick Knight, the man responsible for the cover shot on Bowie’s 1993 album Black Tie White Noise, and noted supermodel Kate Moss for the assignment.

In 2016 Knight reminisced about the gig:
 

I was delighted to do it. [Moss] was the exact same size as he was, she fitted his clothes really well—more than just in terms of size. Some models would just not look right in them, you can’t imagine putting some of the clothes on Linda Evangelista or Nadja Auermann or whoever would have been on the scene at the time. So Kate had both the attitude and the physical side of it which made her perfect for it and she loved it, she was incredibly good. Her talent is bringing out the narrative that’s in the piece of clothing—that’s why she’s such a good model. She can put on that pale blue suit and suddenly bring out the same narrative that Bowie would have brought out when he wore it.

 
After the jump, Moss-as-Bowie….......
 

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Posted by Martin Schneider
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05.22.2018
01:15 pm
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Vintage sketches of Stevie Wonder, The Jackson 5, Aretha Franklin & more by designer Boyd Clopton


A sketch of The Jackson 5 in clothes envisioned and made for the band by designer Boyd Clopton.
 
In addition to creating unique stagewear and costumes for acts like The Jackson 5, Stevie Wonder, the Supremes and Aretha Franklin (among many, many others), Boyd Clopton was also a talented painter whose personal works have been known to fetch as much as twenty grand when they become available.

A resident of Venice Beach during the glorious time it was still very much a mecca for bohemian beat poets, musicians, and creatives, Clopton lived there for three decades starting sometime in 1960 when he was in his late 20s. In the early 70s, Clopton’s wildly groovy designs were being worn almost exclusively by The Jackson 5 during their live shows, television appearances, and photo shoots. Aretha Franklin was also a fan of Clopton’s duds and would make it a point to seek him out whenever she was in Los Angeles (as mentioned in a 1974 interview published in Ebony magazine). Like other designers, Clopton would sketch out his concept clothing on paper for his clients. Unfortunately, Clopton’s career was cut short by his untimely death in 1989 at the age of 55. Single articles of clothing designed by Clopton have sold for hundreds and even thousands of dollars in auctions as have his sketches—many which reside in an archive maintained by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Below, some examples of Clopton’s fantastic sketches featuring his famous muses, as well as a few shots of The Jackson 5 wearing his outrageous outfits in real life. Keep it funky, now.
 

A sketch of Marlon Jackson of The Jackson 5 in one of Clopton’s designs.
 

The Jackson 5.
 

Dusty Springfield 1972.
 
Much more after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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05.03.2018
12:06 pm
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The ‘Facekini’: What the fashionable Chinese wear on the beach
03.05.2018
08:27 am
Topics:
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In his series of award-winning photographs documenting swimmers on the beach just outside the city Qingdao, China, photographer and movie producer Philipp Engelhorn captured an unusual (but sensible) trend for the fashionable young Chinese wear on the beach—a protective mask or facekini (脸基尼).

The facekini looks like the kind of beachwear Leigh Bowery might have designed. It is a full-head covering that protects the wearer from the damaging effects of the sun and from being stung by those giant jellyfish that lurk in the sea. The mask also stops other irritants like insects and wind-blown sand. The facekini is made of lycra or rubber and has holes for the wearer’s eyes, nose, and mouth.

German-born Engelhorn, who is the founder of independent movie company Cinereach, described the facekini as “sorta like Mexican wrestling” in the sense it’s reminiscent of those masks worn by lucha libre wrestlers. The Chinese take sun-protection very seriously and prefer not to tan when visiting the beach. These masks cost a couple of dollars though many young beach bums prefer to make their own headgear and matching bodysuit. As Engelhorn describes it:

Posing proudly in the early morning light, the swimmers at Qingdao Beach show off their protective gear. The outfits consist of bright hoods that cover their entire faces like balaclavas, while the rest of their bodies are also clad in colorful swim gear. From a full bodysuit of scarlet polka dots, à la Yayoi Kusama, to smart swim-dresses that wouldn’t look out of place at a dinner party, each swimmer displays a unique expression of their personality and fashion sense.

Zhang Shifan, a former accountant who owns a swimwear store in Qingdao, invented the “face-kini” in 2004. Since then, the facekini’s popularity with beachgoers has grown year-on-year even getting the seal of approval from glossy fashion mags and the Skin Cancer Foundation. You can buy your own funky facekini here and see more of Philipp Engelhorn’s work here.
 
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More facekinis, after the jump…

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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03.05.2018
08:27 am
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A whole bunch of flamboyant clothing worn over the years by Russell Mael of Sparks
02.20.2018
09:04 am
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Of all the acts that are featured regularly on Dangerous Minds, Sparks might be the one for whom the term “wags” is the most appropriate. For the brothers Russell and Ron Mael are nothing if not clever. For their project with Franz Ferdinand, the name they chose, “FFS,” is already clever, in that the letters usually mean “for fuck’s sake.” One of the tracks on that album is called “Collaborations Don’t Work.” Sparks’ idea of a Christmas song is called “Thank God It’s Not Christmas.”

Also quite clever is the title of their 2013 career-spanning box set, which is New Music for Amnesiacs. (Told you.) Sparks released two flavors of that title in 2013, a generous 2-CD compilation with 40 tracks called the “The Essential Collection,” but that worthy product is hardly anything next to “The Ultimate Collection,” a brain-melting box set with many extras, including 4 CDs, a hardbound 64-page “coffee table book,” “never-before-seen proof-sheet photo outtakes of the Big Beat photo session shot by renowned photographer Richard Avedon,” a laminated AAA pass, a lanyard, a sticker. a “badge,” and who knows what all.
 

 
The box set cost £99 from the Sparks website, but it’s sold out. You can get it for more than $300 on Amazon today, however.

Page 29 of features a whole bunch of crazy shit Russell used to wear on stage in the 1980s. It looks like this:
 

 
We figured the Sparks fans in the audience deserved a closer look. There are a couple doozies in there.
 

 
Get a much closer look after the jump…...
 

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Posted by Martin Schneider
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02.20.2018
09:04 am
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