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Frank Zappa, serial killers and the all-girl dance troupe L.A. Knockers


Members of the dance troupe/cabaret L.A. Knockers getting ready to take the stage at the Playboy Club in Los Angeles in the late 1970s.
 
I’ve learned many things here writing for Dangerous Minds—one that there is always more to a picture than meets the eye. Which is why I took it upon myself to find out more about mid-70s all-girl dance troupe/cabaret act, L.A. Knockers. Their act was a fan favorite in the Los Angeles club scene where you could find the girls performing at The Starwood, The Troubadour, The Comedy Store, The Matrix Theater, and the Playboy Club. The shows curated exclusively for the Playboy Club included a strange sounding sexed-up comedic version of a 1978 medley by The Village People, “The Women” featuring members of the Knockers dressed as John Travolta (in Saturday Night Fever mode), Dracula, Superman, King Kong and Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz. And that was just for starters.

The members of L.A. Knockers would grow through the dozen or so years they were together and they performed all over the country to packed houses, but most often in Las Vegas and Reno. Knockers’ principal choreographer Jennifer Stace would bring the dance-magic to the group as did choreographer, Marilyn Corwin. Corwin worked her disco moves with The Village People, for the movie, Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo (1984) and with Frank Zappa during some of his live performances. The Knockers caught the eye of Zappa, who, according to an article published in 1981 in Italian magazine L’Espresso, wanted to take the Knockers on tour with him, a claim that perhaps at first sounded like it had no legs, but it much like the Knockers, actually did. On New Year’s Eve in 1976, Zappa played a show at the Forum in Los Angeles which included members of the L.A. Knockers dressed like babies in diapers and white afro wigs. Hey, even Frank Zappa thought they were cool as fuck, which, without question, they were.

Any story worth reading must include a twist, and this is where the part about the Hillside Stranglers, the horrific serial killers and cousins Kenneth Bianchi and Angelo Buono, comes in. Twenty-one-year-old Lissa Kastin, an original member of L.A. Knockers would become Bianchi and Buono’s third victim. In 1985’s The Hillside Stranglers by Darcy O’Brien, the author notes that Kastin was not “an attractive enough victim” for the degenerate cousins who were put off by her “health nut looks” and “unshaved legs.” In some true crime circles, Kastin would be referred to as “the ugly girl” among the Hillside Stranglers’ female body count thanks to a photo used by the newspapers—an image that looked almost nothing like the young, rising star.

Below are some incredible photos taken by Elisa Leonelli which lovingly chronicle the L.A. Knockers’ decade-plus career in showbiz as well as a compilation video of the troupe performing live which you simply must see. Some of the images which follow are slightly NSFW.
 

Original members of L.A. Knockers, Jennifer Stace (left), Lissa Kastin (RIP, center) and Yana Nirvana (right).
 

1978.
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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05.01.2018
09:37 am
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Faux Bardot! Breathtaking life-sized sculpture/mannequin mashup of Brigitte Bardot
04.26.2018
04:18 pm
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Artist Terry Minella’s sculpture of Brigitte Bardot (pictured on the left) and a photo of the real Bardot in a very similar bikini. I’m as confused as you are.
 
I know very little about the artist responsible for the sculpture featured in this post of one of the most famous blondes in history, Brigitte Bardot, but here’s what I do know. Terry Minella is a self-educated artist living and working in France specializing in photography and sculpture. Minella also notes he has a deep affection for cinema—especially vintage decades such as the 1950s, which Bardot ruled along with blonde peers Marilyn Monroe, Jayne Mansfield, and Grace Kelly. In photos at least, Minella’s Bardot is nearly impossible to differentiate from the real actress/model/and singer during her heyday.

From what I can ascertain, Minella created various life-sized busts of Bardot then matched them up with a mannequin’s body. Minella also uses highly-specialized fake eyes created by Tech-Optics Eyes made of resin, glass, acrylics, and polymers giving them an ultra-realistic look. Minella’s faux Bardot is spot-on perfection, much like the actress herself. You can see more of Minella’s sculpture/mannequin mashups over on his Flickr page. I’ve posted photos of Minella’s Bardot sculpture below—some are slightly NSFW.
 

Another side-by-side shot of Bardot and the faux-Bardot in the same outfit.
 

 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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04.26.2018
04:18 pm
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Amazing ‘naughty’ French card game about sex from the 1960s
04.19.2018
09:42 am
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Est-ce que celà vous regarde? // Does this concern you?
 
Here’s a ribald glimpse of the swinging Sixties from the land of yé-yé, la France! The title of this card game is La Grivoise, which translates as “The bawdy wench” or something like that. The women initiate the action by taking a red card and reading aloud the question to the men, who answer with the blue cards. I think. The notion of mixing and matching answers has some vague resemblance to Cards Against Humanity but let’s not get ahead of ourselves here.
 

 
On the package, pictured above, the text reads, “Un jeu marrant! pour rire et s’amuser,” which means, “A funny game! To laugh and have a good time.” My French is OK, but I must confess I didn’t understand everything. I used Google Translate where I wasn’t sure, so don’t blame me if the English renditions of the phrases suck. The pictures and the general vibe are really all you’re gonna need, though.

You can actually buy an English “deadstock” version of this game on Etsy that appears to be identical. It costs only $8.99, which is kind of a steal if you’re in need of a sexy card game ASAP.
 

 
There are more cards, and you can see the entire set in the Flickr photostream of “patricia m,” who for years ran the indispensable Agence Eureka blog.
 

Un homme ferait-il votre affaire? // Would a man do your thing?
 
More after the jump…...

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Posted by Martin Schneider
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04.19.2018
09:42 am
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The ‘Racy Stripper’: ‘Naughty’ adult novelty toy from 1998 (dollar bills & G-string included!)
04.18.2018
10:06 am
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An ad and order form for the Racy Stripper doll, 1998.
 
Though it seems like a toy better suited for the 1980s, you know when strippers were as synonymous with heavy metal as a sweet Gibson Flying V, the Racy Stripper doll became a thing in 1998 thanks to a company called Racy Enterprises (or R.C. Inc.)

Billed as Racy Stripper (or Racy: The Naughty Doll), Racy had similar unrealistic proportions as Barbie, and, as I understand it, a carved out hoohah and pink nipples, something her kiddie-toy counterpart was without. As you might expect the 11.5-inch doll came with a few useful accessories, such as thigh-high stockings with a back seam, long black satin gloves, a stripper pole with a heart-shaped platform, a package of mini-100-dollar bills (because I guess this is one classy joint Racy works at), and a cassette labeled “Racy Strip Party” which I presume contains a rendition of Def Leppard’s 1987 stripper anthem, “Pour Some Sugar on Me.” Racy Enterprises produced two different stripper dolls—one with long platinum blonde hair and the other with long brunette hair which can be pretty easily procured out there on various Internet auction sites such as eBay for less than 20 bucks, depending on its condition.

I’ve posted images of the Racy doll below which are NSFW-ish.
 

 

The platinum blonde and brunette version of the Racy Stripper doll.
 

 
Continues after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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04.18.2018
10:06 am
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Locked-up in chastity: Men’s anti-masturbation devices from a century ago

08antimas.jpg
 
John Harvey Kellogg invented Corn Flakes as a means to stop masturbation. Kellogg believed a bowl of crispy morning goodness would stop youngsters from the evils of self-pollution, disease, and possible madness. Kellogg was a doctor, nutritionist, inventor, health freak, activist, and shrewd businessman. He wrote the treatise Plain Facts for Old and Young: Embracing the Natural History and Hygiene of Organic Life in which he cataloged a startling array of side-effects caused by the “doubly abominable” “crime” of onanism. His list included poor posture, stiffness of the joints, infirmity, bashfulness, and even an unhealthy predilection for spicy foods.

Kellogg believed diet played an enormous part in why so many youngsters wasted their lives in self-abuse. He, therefore, insisted on a diet of bland food, a cleansing of the bowels through regular use of enemas, and a daily bowl of his tasty Corn Flakes.

Masturbation was considered a very serious threat to the good health and clean-living of every young man and woman up as far up as the 1950s and even the 1960s. Some may recall Monty Python’s spoof advert in their Brand New Bok which displayed a naked Graham Chapman under the headline “Masturbation The Difficult One”:

Some people find it difficult to talk about. Others find it difficult to do.

The mock ad went on to explain how masturbation:

...does not make you blind
It does not make your hair fall out
It does not make you vote Conservative
It does not stunt your growth

 
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Mr. Chapman and that difficult one.
 
The writer, lawyer, and “champagne socialist” John Mortimer, probably best known for his fictional character Rumpole of the Bailey, recounted in his autobiography Clinging to the Wreckage a tale of one of his classmates, a boy called Tainton, caught masturbating by the school chaplain, the suitably-named Mr. Percy.

Mr. Percy was deeply shocked to discover Tainton playing with himself and admonished him by saying:

“Really my boy, you should save that up till you are married.”
“Oh, I’m doing that, sir,” Tainton answered with his rare smile, “I’ve already got several jam jars full.”

In a bid to stop such heinous behavior, various contraptions were invented to stop self-pollution. For young women, there was the chastity belt, and for men, well, a variety of painful devices including this one which was intended to lock the penis and testicles into a metal retainer to avoid any self-abuse.

This male chastity belt, or “surgical appliance,” was in use from the 1830s until the 1930s. The device may look like a novel fashion accessory or a variation on one of those “cock locks” favored by those into fetishism, cross-dressing, and a little S&M, but it was originally intended to put a stop to young men spilling their seed on stony ground, or rather in their hands or handkerchieves.
 
01antimas.jpg
A male antimasturbation apparatus ca 1871-1930. According to the Science Museum:

This metal device is one of a number of similar devices which were invented in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries to prevent masturbation. A leather strap which would have kept it in place is now missing. Until the early 1900s, many people regarded masturbation as harmful to a person’s health, and it was blamed for a variety of ailments, including insanity.

 
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More male anti-masturbation devices, after the jump…
 

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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04.12.2018
08:49 am
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‘Toy Porno,’ the video the Frogs made for Kurt Cobain
04.06.2018
08:55 am
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Dennis Flemion, Mark Arm, Kurt Cobain, and Jimmy Flemion (via Matador)

When Everett True recalls watching “videos of puppet sex created by insane Midwest band The Frogs” on Nirvana’s tour bus, he means Toy Porno, this two-hour video the Flemion brothers made for Kurt Cobain in 1993. It depicts the erotic adventures of a group of polysexual knickknacks, which are intercut with live performances by the Frogs. There is no mistaking the brothers’ sensibility: both the toy porn and the rock numbers delight in jokes that are in questionable taste, especially if you happen to be Rich Little, or the estate of Joseph Cotten.

The Frogs, of course, are famous for their homophile Homestead LP It’s Only Right and Natural, an enduring statement of gay supremacy.

I don’t believe this movie has ever been officially released, though the Frogs once sold the soundtrack on a C100 tape.

Toy Porno is NSFW in every single way. RIP Dennis Flemion.
 

Posted by Oliver Hall
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04.06.2018
08:55 am
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Yep. ‘Naked Pendulum Dance’ just about sums this one up. Must-see.
03.21.2018
11:23 am
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Some guy in Japan has uploaded two videos that offered up a clever way to combine nudity and pendulums to create something utterly delightful.

I don’t know about you, but as soon as I saw the description “Naked pendulum dance,” I knew I had to see what it was all about. I was not disappointed. Extra points for the big yellow bowtie.

The earlier video, from December, employs one of those annoying “Newton’s cradle” things that soulless and rapacious executives always have on their desk in the movies. The second video, which dates from this week, refines the concept to a single pendulum, which is more difficult because the orb is always in motion. You’ll see what I mean when you click.

Nothing will ever surpass Tom Rubnitz’s sublime “Pickle Surprise” video from the 1980s, but the playfully transgressive vibe in this reminds me a little of that.
 
Watch the videos after the jump…......
 

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Posted by Martin Schneider
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03.21.2018
11:23 am
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Artist commissions the creation of a life-sized doll of his ex then beheads it, 1918
03.13.2018
11:22 am
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Artist Oskar Kokoschka and his muse Alma Mahler.
 
The work of Austrian artist Oskar Kokoschka was hugely influential in the world of Expressionism. Fiercely opposed to the Nazis, Kokoschka also produced work for the visual art collective Wiener Werkstätte as well as other designs and stage productions for the Art Nouveau-themed Cabaret Fledermaus. His ability to infuse a sense of dread and trepidation into his paintings and other creations would end up earning him the moniker of “Chief Savage.” Nearly entirely self-taught, Kokoschka did attend the Kunstgewerbeschule (School of Applied Arts), though he almost didn’t graduate. Luckily architect Adolf Loos became aware of Kokoschka’s work and helped to further develop the artist’s proficiency for painting. In 1909 at the age of 23, Kokoschka would paint Loos and the finished product has been noted as one of his greatest works of portraiture. As important as Kokoschka’s contributions to Expressionism are, it would be his torrid love affair with Alma Mahler which led to the production of some of his most contentious work, as well as an emotional meltdown of epic proportions.

Kokoschka began his relationship with Mahler (the widow of composer Gustav Mahler) in 1912. Kokoschka was completely enamored with Mahler, and he spent every moment with her. He drew and painted her image to the point of obsession for the three short years they spent together becoming his primary, if not solitary, muse. As you might imagine, things got a bit too heavy for Mahler and she left the possessive artist. The breakup sent Kokoschka into a dire downward spiral during which he enlisted as an Austrian cavalryman in WWI in 1915. During his time in the military, he was critically injured after taking a bullet to the head and suffering the effects of shell shock—sending him off to recover in a hospital in Dresden on at least two occasions. During his second stay in Dresden, his doctors found Kokoschka to be exhibiting signs of “mental instability” and would keep him around for a few years until they were sure he had fully recovered.
 

“The bride of the wind” a self-portrait by Oskar Kokoschka with his love and muse Alma Mahler in 1913. 
 
Once he received a clean bill of health, Kokoschka returned to Austria in 1918 and commissioned the services of Hermine Moos, a German dollmaker and artist, requesting she make a life-sized doll in the image of his ex-girlfriend, Alma Mahler. During their working relationship, Kokoschka would deluge Moos with excruciatingly detailed letters regarding his various “requirements” for the doll. Here’s one Kokoschka sent to Moos dated August 20th, 1918 which will help further illuminate the artist’s fixation with Mahler. You might want to take a seat for this one:

Yesterday I sent a life-size drawing of my beloved, and I ask you to copy this most carefully and to transform it into reality. Pay special attention to the dimensions of the head and neck, to the ribcage, the rump, and the limbs. And take to heart the contours of the body, e.g., the line of the neck to the back, the curve of the belly. Please permit my sense of touch to take pleasure in those places where layers of fat or muscle suddenly give way to a sinewy covering of skin. For the first layer (inside), please use fine, curly horsehair; you must buy an old sofa or something similar; have the horsehair disinfected. Then, over that, a layer of pouches stuffed with down, cottonwool for the seat and breasts. The point of all this for me is an experience which I must be able to embrace!”

In another disturbing letter to Moos dated December 20, 1918, Kokoschka feverishly inquired if the doll’s mouth would be able to be “opened” and if so, would there be “teeth and a tongue inside.” Once the doll finally arrived, things got decidedly more bizarre. Kokoschka enlisted the help of his servants to spread rumors that the doll version of Mahler was a real woman. He would ride around with her in his carriage and brought her to the opera. And like the real Mahler, he painted her picture over and over again—perhaps 80 times. While the doll did a good job at being a compliant subject and companion, it was no substitute for the real thing. Eventually, Kokoschka realized he was finally over Mahler and threw a party to celebrate the occasion. One of Kokoschka’s servants dressed the doll up in her best party clothes and perched her on a chair in the midst of the revelers. According to Kokoschka, he was pretty loaded, and as he and his fellow drunks watched the sunrise he decided to drag the doll out into his garden, pour a bottle of red wine over it, and chop off its head with an axe. No big deal.

Kokoschka left the decapitated doll in his yard and went to bed to sleep things off. Early the next morning a police officer happened to catch a glance of what he believed to be the headless, bloody body of a nude woman in Kokoschka’s yard. He called for backup and the cops busted through his front door fully expecting to find a crime scene. At this point, you might be thinking this is how Kokoschka ended up with a one-way ticket to the loony bin—but nothing could be further from the truth. In addition to marrying a real girl, he would continue to paint and exhibit his work in museums all over the world, such as the MFA in Boston in 1948, and MoMA in New York in 1949. After a long, prosperous career, Kokoschka passed away at the age of 94 in the Swiss municipality of Montreux. Lastly, if you’re wondering if this might be the first recorded instance of someone acquiring a made-to-order sex doll, it isn’t. If my research is correct, the first dolls used for sex were apparently made by Dutch sailors during the 1700s. The dolls—which were made from leather—were called “dama de viaje” or “travel lady.” And now you know!

The images that follow are NSFW.
 

 

 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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03.13.2018
11:22 am
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This set of erotic Japanese vintage matchbox covers is charming af
03.09.2018
09:12 am
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Information on the charming set of matchbox covers featured in this post is hard to come by. I know they’re Japanese, any idiot can see that. And I know that their date of origin is almost certainly from before 1950. They stem from a collection of matchbox “labels” that is on Flickr and that has recently become one of my favorite places on the Internet. Vintage Japanese matchbox covers are incredible.

The person who runs that set of images, who uses the Flickr username maraid, explains that the collection had been the passion of the grandfather of a friend, and also that the images date from “1920s-1940s.”

All of the covers feature an image of an unaccompanied woman in a state of undress. There is more than one woman in the series. The images have a very consistent palette of a blue, red, green, and a cream color used mainly for the skin. Sometimes the model is outdoors, but mostly she is indoors. She is never shown doing anything particularly erotic, just hanging out or fooling around with her kitties, that’s was evidently erotic enough back in the day. Some of the images derive from an artist’s studio, as can be seen in the instances in which cans of paint brushes are included.

Before public health drives to reduce smoking, before the advent of vaping, before the advent of widely available lighters (not to mention those fancy windproof lighters), matchboxes were a widely familiar medium. I quit smoking five years ago, and I’ve scarcely lit a match since then, and I don’t carry matches with me anymore (even then I preferred lighters). You’d think that marijuana legalization would do wonders for the matchbox industry, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.

These images are signed, which is unusual for matchbox covers from that era—surely an indication that the artist and maybe even the manufacturer recognized these as something special. Most matchbox labels are seen as “just advertising” so there’s seldom information about who did them. Even with the signed initials, I still have no idea who did these. Hats off, in any case.
 

 

 

 
Lots more after the jump…....

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Posted by Martin Schneider
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03.09.2018
09:12 am
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SatoMasochism: The sci-fi erotica of Pater Sato
02.27.2018
09:26 am
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A stunning piece from Japanese artist Pater Sato’s 1980 series, “SatoMasochism.”
 
Artist Pater Sato—born Yoshinori Sato in 1945 in Yokosuka, Japan—switched out his first name after portraying Pater in a high school play based on the book, The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank. When his family relocated to Tokyo, Sato enrolled in a graphic design school where he excelled at illustration. He would go on to attend Setsu Mode Seminar, a prestigious fashion design school in Tokyo named for one of Japan’s greatest illustrators of fashion, Setsu Nagasawa. When he was done with school, Sato landed a job with a large advertising studio, as well as hooking up with Japanese rock and roll-oriented performance group Tokyo Kid Brothers. The group would find their way to New York bringing more art opportunities to Sato, including working under New York-based Abstract Expressionist Paul Jenkins.

Upon returning to Tokyo in the early 1970s, Sato began his career as a freelance artist and his work has appeared in magazines around the world, in books, and on album covers. In 1986 a museum and gallery in Harajuku dedicated to all things Pater Sato opened its doors and is still in business today. The artist died entirely too soon at the young age of 49 in 1994, though he has thankfully left behind an extensive portfolio of work, including a fantastic series from 1980 cleverly entitled “SatoMasochism.” Most recently, Sato’s images were used by designer Stella McCartney in her 2017/2018 Fall/Winter line for men. You can see images from the sexually-charged “SatoMasochims” series as well as other examples of Sato’s work below. NSFW.
 

 

 

Sato’s work in a magazine ad from 1978.
 

 
More ‘SatoMasochism’ after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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02.27.2018
09:26 am
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