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The fierce funk rock of Mother’s Finest, ‘the most dangerous opening band in rock’
05.18.2018
09:12 am
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Atlanta, Georgia funk legends, Mother’s Finest.
 
So imagine this; you are one of, let’s say, nine-thousand or so fans who came to see Black Sabbath at the International Amphitheater on November 25th, 1976 in Chicago. Perhaps like some die-hard Sabbath fans, you weren’t super-jazzed with the band’s seventh album Technical Ecstasy, but like any devout headbanger, you go to the show because Black Sabbath still fucking rules. What you are not expecting is a mind-blowing performance by Sabbath’s opening act, funk ‘n’ roll outfit, Mother’s Finest. In fact, they gave the boys from Birmingham a run for their money and then some, by way of platform boots, raging guitar riffs and soul-soaked rhythms on par with Sly & the Family Stone. Hot damn.

Mother’s Finest had just released a self-titled album on Epic containing the single “Niggizz Can’t Sang Rock & Roll,” which the band had reworked from a single they recorded in 1972, “It’s What You Do With What You Got.” The album did well enough to get them the same bill as huge international acts like Sabbath, AC/DC and The Who, with performances so powerful they rivaled the headliners—earning them the title of “most dangerous opening band in rock.” The band’s second album, Another Mother Further featured a more amped-up rock sound which included lifted licks from none other than the king of riffs himself, Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page. Page’s guitar work on 1975’s “Custard Pie” was distinctly replicated by Mother’s Finest guitarist Gary Moore (not to be confused with Irish guitar god Gary Moore), on the band’s cover of The Miracles’ 1963 song, “Mickey’s Monkey.” Rock historians have often pondered why Zeppelin never sued the band for siphoning Page’s unmistakeable jams, though this also reminds one of Zeppelin’s long track record when it comes to ripping-off their musical predecessors.

At this point, I’d like to jaw a bit about Mother’s Finest’s vocalist, Joyce Kennedy—the funky fireball still fronting the act to this day. While she was in elementary school, Kennedy and her mother moved to the musical hotbed of Chicago in 1955. Chicago record label Chess was a huge champion of musicians like Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf and Willie Dixon. Chess’ success during the 50s and 60s would help pave the way for future superstars from the city like Curtis Mayfield, Chicago, and Rufus and Chaka Khan (who Kennedy would be compared to during her own career). So it should be no surprise that the young Kennedy started singing shortly after her arrival and even had a couple of minor local hits in her teens. After meeting another local vocalist, Glenn Murdock, the pair would start performing as a duo on stage and in real life after getting married. In 1975, Mother’s Finest was born and their timing could not have been better as they were surrounded by other stereotype-smashing diverse groups like War, and Brooklyn funk-rockers Mandrill.

Much more Mother’s Finest, after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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05.18.2018
09:12 am
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Ghouls, H.P. Lovecraft & beyond the beyond: The deeply creepy creations of artist John Holmes
05.17.2018
10:49 am
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A painting by British artist John Holmes.
 
From the time he held his first solo art exhibition in 1961, the art of British painter and illustrator John Holmes has expanded the minds of his fans with his imaginative take on monsters and other makers of mayhem. After hustling his craft hard in the early 60s, a few years later Holmes found himself busy working almost non-stop creating artwork for all kinds of publications including Playboy and UK women’s magazine, Nova. Later, Holmes would hook up with the art director for British publishing company Granada Books, and his ghoulish illustrations would be used widely on titles from authors such as H.P. Lovecraft, Samuel Beckett, Thomas Pynchon and perhaps most famously on the cover of the 1970 edition of Germaine Greer’s book, The Female Eunuch. Holmes’ floating female torso for Greer’s book was preceded by his disquieting work featured on the album cover, gatefold and back of Ceremony: An Electronic Mass—the collaboration of prog rock band Spooky Tooth and French electro-producer Pierre Henry .

Initially, Holmes’ work was much more abstract—a stark contrast to his strangely realistic work which would make him famous. His art was also widely used for the popular series The Fontana Book of Great Horror Stories—and if you were a child of the late 60s, 70s or even the early 80s, I’m sure you will recognize at least one of Holmes’ eerie, minimalistic paintings in this post. Much of what follows is NSFW.
 

Holmes’ artwork which appeared on the cover of an edition of H.P. Lovecraft’s ‘The Tomb (and other stories).’
 

The cover of Thomas Pynchon’s ‘Gravity’s Rainbow.’
 

Holmes’ cover for the 1973 book by Poul Anderson, ‘Beyond the Beyond.’
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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05.17.2018
10:49 am
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‘Love Buzz’: The psychedelic sounds of Dutch rock superstars Shocking Blue
05.10.2018
04:51 pm
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Dutch band Shocking Blue.
 
On February 7th, 1970 the number one song on the Billboard Chart was “Venus” by Dutch band Shocking Blue, which the band released as a single in late 1969. Tom Jones quickly followed with his own cover of “Venus” on a self-titled compilation album put out by Decca in 1970. Sixteen years later, Bananarama got the top spot on the Billboard Charts with their energetic version of “Venus.” The weird kids loved Shocking Blue, too: Krist Novoselic of Nirvana was once quoted referring to Shocking Blue’s Klaasje van der Wal as “a bass god.” Compliments don’t get much better than that, do they? In fact, Nirvana’s very first single on Sub Pop was a cover of Shocking Blue’s “Love Buzz.” The Prodigy also covered the song with samples from the original song.

Shocking Blue experienced a lot of success thanks to “Venus,” “Mighty Joe,” and many of their other psychedelically-tinged singles, though “Love Buzz” really didn’t get through to their fans—but vocalist Mariska Veres did. Veres’ voice had both the deep, sensual tones of Cher, and a strong similarity to Jefferson Airplane powerhouse, Grace Slick. Veres’ good looks didn’t exactly hurt the band’s popularity either. Known for her long black hair (which was in truth an incredible wig), huge green eyes enhanced by massive lashes and black eyeliner, and her groovy outfits, Veres was impossible to ignore. After replacing original Shocking Blue singer, Fred de Wilde, Veres would help the band score their first gold record with the success of “Venus.” Veres wasn’t new to rock and roll when she joined Shocking Blue at the age of 21; she had been performing with bands in and around The Hague since she was sixteen. Shocking Blue hung around until 1974 when the band called it a day. Veres dove directly into a solo career but wasn’t able to recapture the same hit-making magic as her collaboration with Shocking Blue produced.

Mariska Veres was sadly lost at the way-too-young age of 59 in 2006.
 

Veres posing with a gold record in Amsterdam.
 
Much more after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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05.10.2018
04:51 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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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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The savage heterosexuality of macho Australian glam rock band Rabbit
04.24.2018
11:31 am
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Australian glam band Rabbit. Former AC/DC vocalist Dave Evans is pictured in the center.
 

“If I was a parent and read this, I wouldn’t let my kids anywhere near this mob, numbnuts described them as frenetic, violently hedonistic and Dave himself was described as savagely heterosexual.”

—a rock critic describing Aussie glam band Rabbit and their vocalist, Dave Evans.

If you decide to dedicate your life to being up all night falling in love with rock & roll (like yours truly) you have to be all in. The good, the bad, and the glam. So let’s get right to it, shall we? Glam rockers unite as I bring you a brief history of the flashy rise and quick freefall of Newcastle, Australia’s unhearalded glam band Rabbit.

After relieving Rabbit’s second vocalist Greg Douglas of his short-lived duties, former AC/DC frontman Dave Evans assumed the responsibilities of leading the band. This venture did not go unnoticed as Evans’ brief stint with AC/DC was enough to entice CBS to sign the band thanks to his glammy stagecraft which he had cultivated during his time with the Young brothers. In 1975 Rabbit released their self-titled debut record. The album did alright, and a couple of singles even made it to the charts. This gave Rabbit some real teeth when it came to going toe-to-toe with other Aussie glam rock acts like Supernaut, John Stanley Cave (aka the glitter-bomb that was Sydney glam rocker William Shakespeare), and local heroes Hush and their flamboyant vocalist Keith Lamb. (To attest to the power of Lamb’s persona, he was rumored to have been a contender to fill Bon Scott’s place at the head of AC/DC following Scott’s passing. So there’s that.)

Rabbit would go on to put out a second popular record with CBS in 1976 called Too Much Rock ‘n’ Roll which they recorded at the “House of Hits,” or Albert Studios in Sydney, Australia. Its sister company, Albert Productions, was among the first few independent record labels in Australia and played an instrumental role in the rise of AC/DC. The studio was a joint venture of Harry Vanda and George Young (both of notable Australian band the Easybeats, and Young the elder brother of Malcolm and Angus) along with engineer Bruce Brown and they opened Albert Studio in 1973. Brown recorded numerous hits with the Bon Scott era of AC/DC, like “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap,” “Jailbreak,” and what some refer to as AC/DC’s calling card, “It’s A Long Way To The Top (If You Wanna Rock ‘n’ Roll).  Rabbit’s commercial success would put the band on the map, leading to appearances on music-oriented television shows like Countdown, and a twelve-week Australian promotional tour. Too Much Rock ‘n’ Roll would also be Rabbit’s gateway to markets like Japan and European locations such as Denmark and Belgium where their album sales were swift. Fans have mused nostalgically that Rabbit’s jams drew from bands like The Sweet, T.Rex, KISS, and of course AC/DC—which sounds about right.

As is often the case, the sudden rush of spandex and shirtless adrenalin would ultimately lead to the band’s implosion. Rabbit would disband during their brief tour in 1977
 

The album cover for ‘Too Much Rock ‘n’ Roll.’
 

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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04.24.2018
11:31 am
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Heavy Metal Parking Lot: Photos of AC/DC hanging with a bunch of teenage super-fans in 1979
04.03.2018
04:48 pm
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AC/DC rhythm guitarist Malcolm Young (RIP) taken outside the Bel-Air Motel in Springfield, Illinois in 1979. Though he kind of looks like a teenager, Young was 26 at the time.
 
Aussie rock leviathans AC/DC have been a band (in one form or another) since their formation in 1973 by the recently departed Malcolm Young and his younger brother Angus in Sydney. The band were pretty popular in Australia, even in their earliest days and would make their way to the U.S. for the first time in the summer of 1977 to play a series of gigs at the famous Armadillo World Headquarters in Austin, Texas at the behest of promoter Jack Orbin. Orbin was instrumental in bringing hard rock and metal acts like Judas Priest and the Scorpions to Texas early on and famously bailed Ozzy Osbourne out of jail after he was locked up for pissing on the Alamo Cenotaph—a gigantic statue which memorializes the Battle of the Alamo and the lives of the 189 Texans who died there. History lessons aside, their debut deep in the heart of Texas in 1977 would mark the beginning of AC/DC’s riffy rise to the top of rock ‘n’ roll mountain.

Just like other major rock acts, AC/DC has toured relentlessly for decades, continuing on after the death of vocalist Bon Scott in February of 1980 and the departure/dismissal of vocalist Brian Johnson in 2016. Perhaps you’ve even heard the rumor that the band might be mulling over the idea of bringing in Axl Rose of Guns N’ Roses to replace Johnson on an upcoming album and subsequent tour, something that Australian author and noted authority on AC/DC Murray Engleheart was very sure about after Rose stepped in for Johnson in 2016. I don’t know how all these shake-ups are going to shake out but I am sure of this—it’s never a bad idea to take a look back at the history of a band that quite literally changed rock and roll for the better with their enduring battle cries about sex, booze, the devil and spot-on reflections of the occupational hazards of the perpetually shirtless rock-god lifestyle.

Calling to mind Jeff Krulik‘s Heavy Metal Parking Lot, most of the images below are of the band intimately fraternizing with their fans in spring of 1979 in the parking lot of the Bel-Air Motel in Springfield, Illinois during the If You Want Blood tour. I also included a few staggering live shots of the band and their rabid fans which help to further perpetuate the notion that AC/DC has always had some of the most dedicated fans in the world—something that hasn’t changed to this day and probably never will. Lastly, many of the images of Bon Scott in this post were taken during the final year of his life making them a rather poignant glimpse into the end of an era of AC/DC which all legitimate fans of the band revere. Devil horns out!
 

A photo of Bon Scott flanked by Angus Young performing their first ever gig in the U.S. at the Armadillo World Headquarters in Austin, Texas on July 27, 1977.
 

Fans losing their minds at an AC/DC show in mid-to-late 1970s.
 

Scott and Malcolm Young signing records and other items for their fans in the parking lot of the Bel-Air Motel in Springfield, Illinois 1979.
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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04.03.2018
04:48 pm
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The vampy and voluptuous vintage pinups of ‘good girl’ illustrator Bill Kresse
12.06.2017
11:36 am
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A cheeky illustration by New York native, Bill Kresse.
 

“Don’t ever be afraid to try something new. You will learn from it, use it, and, hopefully, profit from it.”

—Bill Kresse.

Bill Kresse is a hero in the world of illustration and comics with many accolades to his credit, including a gig he scored after graduating from high school for legendary New York studio Terrytoons as an inker in the animation department. Terrytoons produced a few cartoons you might have heard of like Mighty Mouse, a series of toons featuring the wisecracking magpies Heckle and Jeckle, and The Mighty Heroes (Diaper Man! Never forget!).

Following that dreamy-sounding job, Kresse joined the Associated Press as a member of their prestigious art department. If you were a reader of the New York Daily News in the late 60s and early 70s you probably looked forward to Kresse’s cheeky comic strip “Super” Duper which ran in the paper exclusively for several years every Sunday. Kresse and his layout artist friend Rolf Ahlsen collaborated on the storylines and comic panels for “Super” Duper which centered around the antics of tubby, girl-crazy apartment superintendent, Mr. Duper. Kresse and Ahlsen’s fictional Mr. Duper had the good fortune to work in a building inhabited by bodacious females dressed in hotpants and mini skirts. While I’m on the topic of scantily-clad, impossibly proportioned illustrated women, let’s dive into Kresse’s foray into what is commonly referred to as “vintage sleaze” in comics and his pin up art which was routinely showcased in various men’s interest digests put out by Humorama—a wickedly popular division of Martin Goodman’s massive pulp publishing firm.

In the 1950s Kresse earned the reputation of being a “good-girl” illustrator. His lighthearted pinup-style illustrations would appear in various Humorama digests for decades along with other well-known artists versed in sleaze funnies such as Bill Ward (not to be confused with Black Sabbath drummer, Bill Ward), and Superman creator Joe Shuster. So yeah, just like Clark Kent, Shuster had his own secret identity of sorts as an illustrator of fiery-hot, hardcore fetish. Go figure. Fans of Kresse and his contributions to vintage sleaze refer to him as “unappreciated” during his lifetime.

Peers of Kresse I’ve already mentioned in this post who drew classic/sleazy pinup art have already been immortalized in beautifully curated gallery shows as well as hardcover retrospectives. When it comes to Kresse, anything tangible beyond his individual vintage illustrations or comics, is a book he authored in 1984 Introduction to Cartooning. After Kresse passed away in 2014, I was hopeful that someone might finally get around to publishing a collection of his exuberant adult-oriented comics, though sadly that hasn’t happened yet. As a huge fan of all things sleazy, I can say without hesitation that Kresse deserves such an homage and more. Kresse’s work might look rather tame when compared to his contemporary Eric Stanton and one of the genre’s most prolific stars, Gene Bilbrew, but it’s still NSFW. Just like hotpants.
 

 

 

 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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12.06.2017
11:36 am
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‘Twins of Evil’: Meet real-life sexy sisters the Collinson Twins


A shot of Mary (pictured on the left) and Madeleine Collinson on the set of Hammer’s 1971 film ‘Twins of Evil.’
 
Before twin sisters Madeleine and Mary Collinson appeared in Hammer’s 1971 film Twins of Evil, they would become the very first twins to pose for Playboy magazine as the “Misses October” for the October 1970 issue. According to Madeleine, the occurrence of twin births was incredibly common for their family noting that nearly every woman in the Collinson clan had given birth to twins “one time or another.” In fact, Madeleine and Mary’s mother, a former model, would later give birth to a second set of twins.

Madeleine Collinson was apparently a big fan of horror films which made her a natural fit to play Frieda Gellhorn, the “evil” twin in Hammer’s 1971 film Twins of Evil. Her sister Mary would play opposite her twin as the demure, virginal Mary Gellhorn. The sisters had just arrived in London two years earlier from Malta, where they did some modeling in their early teens as well as a few television commercials. Mary would be the first to leave Malta and head to London followed by Madeleine when they were just seventeen. They were instantly hounded by photographers and filmmakers hoping to capitalize on the twins’ unique good looks. Success came quickly to the twins and after being invited to attend a party in London to hang out with other European movers and shakers they met Victor Lownes—Hugh Hefner’s right-hand man and Playboy’s managing director. According to London high-society mythology, Lownes convinced the girls to move into his mansion in London and then sent them off to the original Playboy Mansion in Chicago to meet Hef and pose for the magazine. As I mentioned previously, the twins would earn the distinction of being the very first set of twins to ever appear in Playboy. Over 800 photos of the girls were taken for their Playboy spread, a new record when it came to photoshoots for the magazine.

Madeleine and Mary would appear in a handful of other films though it would be their joint appearance on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson followed by their roles in Twins of Evil that would make them a hot commodity. Most if not all opportunities that were presented to the girls involved them appearing together, not as individuals. This scenario was less than appealing to the twins, and in 1972 both Madeleine and Mary moved to Milan and removed themselves from the limelight ending their brief but spectacular brush with fame. I’ve posted photos of the gorgeous twin sisters in character from Twins of Evil (though only Madeleine played a vampire chick in the flick), and a few shots from their appearance in Playboy, making it safe to assume much of what follows contains nudity and is NSFW.
 

 

 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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10.25.2017
12:48 pm
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Bunny Hop: Peep inside the Playboy Clubs of the 60s, 70s & 80s


A photo taken at the opening of the very first Playboy Club in Chicago in 1960.
 
The first Playboy magazine hit the shelves in 1953 and in 1960, the late Hugh Hefner opened what would be the very first Playboy Club in Chicago. Other clubs would quickly emerge in more than twenty locations including Boston, Wisconsin, and Los Angeles, as well as more elaborate Playboy Club Resorts which you could visit in Jamaica and Manila. Entrance into the various clubs would run a member $25 a year for which they would receive a special key that when presented to a designated “Door Bunny” would get them inside. The clubs were designed to emulate the “Playboy lifestyle” projected by Hefner, though that’s not what initially ignited the vast existence of Playboy Clubs. The actual inspiration for the clubs began with an article in Playboy published in 1959 that detailed the goings-on at the historic Gaslight Club in Chicago’s River North area. The club was the brainchild of Burton Browne who modeled the club around the “Gay 90s” (aka the “Naughty Nineties” or the decade beginning in 1890) a debaucherous period where creativity and libidos ran wild.

Like Hefner’s future Playboy Clubs, entrance to the Gaslight required a key. Naturally, Hef was already a member of the Gaslight Club as it featured his favorite thing—half-naked women with large breasts everywhere you looked. According to Victor Lownes III, the executive of HMH Publishing Company (which would later become Playboy Enterprises in 1955) he recalled that the article received over 3,000 letters from readers of Playboy inquiring as to how they too could join this exclusive club. This set the wheels in motion for Hefner who knew how to recognize an opportunity, though at the time his vision for his Playboy-themed clubs didn’t include expansion beyond Chicago. When the doors to the fledgling club opened, it employed approximately 30 girls between the ages of 18-23 who were said to be “single, beautiful, charming, and refined.” It also somehow qualifies the old saying that people really did read Playboy articles. At least they read one in 1957. And that’s a fact. 

As you may have already assumed, and much like Hefner’s storied, celebrity-studded events at the Playboy Mansion, Playboy Clubs were frequented by Hollywood’s elite, such as Frank Sinatra. The Playboy Resorts featured entertainment from acts like Sonny & Cher, Melba Moore, and Sinatra’s pal and Playboy Club regular, Sammy Davis Jr. The first Detroit club which was located right across from a church attracted prominent members of that city’s vibrant jazz scene. Even Detroit’s mayor at the time Coleman Young (who held the position for twenty years starting in 1974), was an honorary member of the Playboy Club.

The St. Louis location regularly hosted comedy acts like George Carlin, Flip Wilson, Joan Rivers and Steve Martin. One of the more creative locations was opened on Lake Geneva in Wisconson that featured a ski slope, chairlift and according to former Bunny Pam Ellis, a DJ booth known as the “Bunny Hutch” where Bunnies would spin records while a bubble machine and disco ball set the mood. Most if not all of the girls at Lake Geneva lived in the “Bunny Dorm” which Ellis says was surrounded by a chain-link fence topped with barbed wire. If a girl didn’t live in the dorms, a car would be sent for them to their home to bring them to work where they could also eat for free. Ellis looks back on her time at Lake Geneva’s Playboy Club with fondness—especially the fact that she met her husband while she was DJ’ing in the Bunny Hutch.
 

Frank Sinatra hanging out at the Playboy Club in Las Vegas back in the day.
 
I had been working on this post for a while and had just started to get some words committed to “paper” when Hefner passed away on September 27th at the age of 91. Given that somewhat unexpected event, I held off on finishing it until today as I wasn’t crazy about having DM readers think that capitalizing on the death of someone as well-known and controversial as Hugh Hefner is something we aspire to. However, I do, like so many people, look back with fondness to a time where girls in bunny tails and ears were as glamorous as the movie stars that cavorted around the same clubs with them. Below I’ve posted a huge collection of photos taken inside and on the grounds of various Playboy Clubs including some rarely seen images from the Lake Geneva location that were kindly provided to me by Adam Levin with the help of Christina Ward of Feral House.
 

Bunnies on top of a locally made tractor at the Lake Geneva Playboy Club in Wisconsin. Photo courtesy of Adam Levin.
 

Bunnies having fun at Dunn River Falls in Ochos Rios, Jamaica in 1972.
 

New York 1960s.
 
Much more after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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10.18.2017
09:37 am
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The electro-alien intergalactic disco of Rockets
09.29.2017
08:19 am
Topics:
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Rockets.
 
Okay, all you adventurous Dangerous Minds readers—come take a ride with me to early 1970s Paris to witness the birth of “space rock” band Rockets. As this post does not include any herbal cerebral enhancement other than the words I’ve written about Rockets and the out-of-sight images of the band dressed up like disco versions of KISS’ Ace Frehley, you might want to take a moment to enhance your perception before continuing with a lil’ “entertainment insurance.” Of course, this is merely a recommendation and should not be taken seriously (yes it should) as I don’t advocate the use of drugs, alcohol or other party favors (yes I do) to help one fully appreciate a visual/auditory experience such as this. Half-assed disclaimers out of the way, let’s learn more about France’s electro-extraterrestrials, Rockets.

In the early 70s, the band was playing bars sans space gear and calling themselves “Crystal” until sometime later in the mid-70s when they decided to change it to “Rocket Men,” known also as “Rocketters” (and then Rockets). Not to be confused with long-time Detroit rock band the Rockets, Rockets went all in with their kooky outer-space look with all five members painting their skin silver and decked out in futuristic-looking spacesuits. Their live shows were as spectacular as you might imagine a gig by a bunch of French disco-loving aliens would be. And more. There were of course lasers, vocoders (a type of “talking synthesizer” that modulates speech) and Rockets vocalist Christian Le Bartz would often regale the audience by spraying them with sparks and smoke that spewed from a sort of cannon gun while he robotically marched around on stage.

So what about the music of Rockets? Well, it’s pretty groovy if you dig Krautrock, DEVO and disco (because, who doesn’t), and for a short time the band was very commercially successful. After releasing their first self-titled album in 1976, Rockets would start making a name for themselves thanks to their live shows and their notorious television appearances. Their second album, On the Road Again,  sent Rockets touring across the world including stops in the U.S. for the first time. In 1979 they released Plasteroid, which sold over 200,000 copies in Italy alone. The follow-up to Plasteriod, 1980’s Galaxy would eclipse this achievement by selling over a million copies worldwide. Despite this success, by 1983 the group began to dissolve starting with the departure of Le Bartz and drummer Alain Groetzinger. Bassist Gerard L’Her would say farewell a year later in 1984.

Far-out footage of Rockets performing numbers from Galaxy and On the Road Again is posted below as well as some surreal photos of the band in their intergalactic getups from back in the day.
 

 

 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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09.29.2017
08:19 am
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Of overalls and platform boots: Brian Johnson’s ass kicking pre-AC/DC band, Geordie
09.11.2017
11:21 am
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The perpetually jolly Brian Johnson during his days with the band Geordie.
 
A few weeks ago I wrote about former AC/DC vocalist Brian Johnson and his “acclaimed” jingle for the Hoover Vacuum company in 1980. Since that time, I’ve been digging around Johnnson’s pre-AC/DC rawk days—and I’ve loved every minute of it. If I were stranded on a desert island and had to live with the music of one band, it would be AC/DC. Give me Sabbath or give me death, I’d still be okay departing this world if Angus, Malcolm, Cliff, Bon, and later Brian Johnson, played me out. A girl can dream, can’t she? For now, let’s get back to the focus of this post—AC/DC vocalist Brian Johnson and his band, Geordie.

First off, Geordie’s oddball name was taken from a word that is used to describe the citizens and unique dialect associated with residents of Johnson’s place of birth, Newcastle upon Tyne in England, a place where everyone speaks in Johnson’s nearly impossible-to-understand endearing verbal sway, and the origin site of black metal pioneers Venom. Before joining Geordie, Johnson had some minor success playing various working men’s clubs in the North East of Newcastle with the Jasper Hart Band. Johnson recorded a few singles in the early 1970s with the group before leaving to join forces with his first serious band, USA which would later become Geordie. At the time, glam rock was everything and Geordie was born right smack in the middle of the exploding glitter bomb and musical liberation that was led by the likes of T.Rex and the New York Dolls. Every great story about rock and roll ever written contains at least one piece of WTF mythology, and this one is no exception. The tale associated with Geordie is especially surreal as it concerns the first time that Johnson met Bon Scott while he was fronting one of his pre-AC/DC bands, Fraternity (later known as “Fang”).

According to Johnson, Fraternity/Fang opened a few shows for Geordie in the group’s early days. During one of Geordie’s performances, Johnson was gravely ill battling a dire case of appendicitis—which I can tell you from experience is horrible and will take you down quick and hard. Despite this, Johnson borrowed a tip from the “How to Rock and Roll and Not Be a Giant Pussy” handbook and played the fucking gig in what I can assure you was horrific pain. Johnson was suffering so badly that he laid down on his side on stage and was kicking and screaming in agony—but still, he persisted, and somehow finished the show. Bon bore witness to the spectacle, thinking it was part of the show just like pretty much everyone else at the gig. Later on, after joining AC/DC, he would tell his new bandmates about the gig noting how impressed he was by Johnson’s “performance” and admiring the fact that his future replacement was on the floor kicking and screaming on stage exclaiming “what an act” it was to behold. What an “act” indeed.
 

The awesome cover of Geordie’s 1974 album ‘Don’t Be Fooled by the Name.’
 
Geordie did pretty well for themselves until the later part of the 70s when the increasing popularity of new wave and punk bands like the Blondie and the Sex Pistols killed their appeal. Before their demise in 1976, Geordie would put out four respectable as well as mostly commercially successful records that produced a bunch of hits including “All Because Of You” from their 1973 debut album Hope You Like It that plowed its way into the UK top ten. Though they would technically call it quits in 1976, Johnson would revive Geordie as “Geordie II, ” and his Geordie bandmates would plod onward with a new vocalist Dave Ditchburn. That version of Geordie would produce an album that contained songs featuring Johnson’s vocals as well as Ditchburn’s called No Good Woman before disappearing for good sometime in the early 80s.

More Geordie, after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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09.11.2017
11:21 am
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Mysterious photos of Ozzy Osbourne in the nude performing with a naked hippie band back in 1969
08.15.2017
10:17 am
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Ozzy reacting the same way I did to the news that photos from his brief stint in an all-nude hippie band have surfaced.
 
Okay, here’s the deal—I’m posting two images of what looks like a very young, and completely nude Ozzy Osbourne for a couple of reasons. Reason one is that I am a lifelong disciple of OZZ and look for any legitimate reason to write about Ozzy, Tony Iommi, and his bandmates in Black Sabbath and beyond. However, today, I’m hoping that one of our DM readers, or perhaps Ozzy himself might be able to shed some much-needed light on these mysterious images. Here’s what I know about them so far. Help us, Ozzy, you’re our only hope

According to a site once run by a Germany-based Black Sabbath fan, Black-Sabbath.de, someone sent them two photos of Ozzy from a source in Scandinavia. The first photo allegedly shows a very young Ozzy holding a what appears to be a Fender Precision bass on stage completely nude while sharing a microphone stand with a naked brunette. As much as I’d like to be, I’m no expert when it comes to band gear, and the grainy photos below make it nearly impossible—for me at least—to tell what Ozzy actually has slung over his shoulder. The rest of the all-nude-review includes a drummer—a guy with lambchop sideburns who looks a bit like Monkee Michael Nesmith hitting a bongo, and a beardie nude dude playing a stand-up bass.

The second photo features Ozzy hanging out backstage at the gig with the stand-up bass player and the buck-naked brunette. What makes this strange scenario plausible is the fact that Sabbath played a a TON of gigs in 1969 including multiple stops in Copenhagen. Since I had gone this far, I decided to research the bands Sabbath played gigs with in 1969 in the hope that one of them would reveal themselves to be the nude quartet jamming with Ozzy. Sadly, the closest I got was that perhaps Ozzy’s hippie band might have been comprised of members of English band Bakerloo who at one time were photographed as the “The Bakerloo Blues Line” along with a cute, unidentified brunette who was perhaps a member of the band. Bakerloo previously toured with Sabbath while they were still known as Earth in London and likely elsewhere. However, as there is a naked bongo player in this scenario, it’s possible that Ozzy is hanging out with members of local Birmingham band, Rare Breed.

Where are those goddamned meddling kids and their snack-happy dog when you need them?

Despite my heroic heavy metal efforts to resolve this mystery, this is where my investigation into Ozzy’s nude (maybe) Scandinavian escapade ends. You can see the intriguing NSFW black and white photos for yourself and draw your own conclusions, after the jump.

Wait are you waiting for?

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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08.15.2017
10:17 am
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Strangely amusing (& slightly confusing) Japanese subway signs
07.26.2017
09:41 am
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“Do not rush onto the train!” A PSA-style poster that appeared on Japanese subway cars in April of 1979.
 
I love writing about Japanese pop culture, everything from obscure garage rock to game shows to that weirdo Japanese erotica stuff. While I’m not claiming to be some Japanese culture/sub-culture idiot savant, I am rather dedicated to continuing my exploration of a place I’ve sadly never visited. Yet. Today I’ve got something I know our readers are going to dig via of my favorite Internet spots Pink Tentacle—a collection of perplexing PSA posters that were displayed on subway cars during the mid-70s and early 80s. The word puzzling and Japanese pop culture often walk hand in hand, and these public service announcements are quirky, to say the least, when it comes to reminding train patrons to behave appropriately. And yeah, “manspreading” on the train was apparently quite the problem back in the day. How rude! Even aliens did it. Who knew?

Getting back to the posters, as you look through the images you’ll see that many of them use stuff borrowed from American pop culture—you know, like Jesus and Superman—to help convey their messages. There are also a few that are preoccupied with reminding folks riding the train to not leave their umbrellas behind or the perils of leaving your chewing gum on the subway platform for someone, like Superman (don’t laugh, it could happen) to step in it. Oh, the HORROR.
 

“Space Invader” March 1979.
 

“Three Annoying Train Monsters” October 1982.
 

“Don’t Forget your Umbrella” October 1981. I guess we finally now know what Jesus would actually do.
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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07.26.2017
09:41 am
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Big Balls: Rarely seen, intimate photos of AC/DC taken back in the 70s
07.10.2017
01:17 pm
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Angus Young (top left), Phil Rudd (top right), Bon Scott (bottom left), and Malcolm Young (bottom right).
 
Spoiler alert! This post does, in fact, contain an image of AC/DC guitar hero Angus Young’s balls, a sight you may have witnessed yourself if you’ve ever seen the band in concert. And that’s because Angus is known for flashing his ass and low-hanging fruit in the wild, much to the delight of AC/DC’s loyal fans during their live performances.

I got to thinking rather nostalgically about AC/DC on Sunday as it would have marked the 71st birthday of long departed vocalist Bon Scott, who passed away at the way too young age of 34 in February of 1980. Many of the images in this post were previously uploaded to various AC/DC fan forum sites, and others were published in rock magazines in the 1970s. I also came upon more that were taken backstage by fans of the band as well as some behind-the-scenes images that were captured of the boys while they were recording their face-smashing 1978 album Powerage in 1977. Some days, the Internet is very generous, and today was one of those days.

Of all the groups who reside at the top of the mountain that built rock and roll, AC/DC is probably the band with the most universal appeal. I mean, do you know anyone who doesn’t like AC/DC? I sure as fuck don’t.  And if I did, I’d get right to not knowing them as quickly as possible. Even after the death of Bon, which nearly caused the band to call it quits right then and there, they not only carried on but would put out one of the most influential albums of their career—1980’s critically acclaimed Back in Black with vocalist Brian Johnson. With Johnson at the helm, AC/DC would put out a slew of studio albums that collectively sold more than 93,000,000 copies worldwide as of 2014. While it’s possible you may have seen some of the images in this post before, I’m betting that you haven’t seen most of them. Either way, this stuff is a treat for the eyes that deserves two devil horns up! Some of the pictures are NSFW which should make sense since this is AC/DC we’re talking about. Also, balls.
 

In the studio during the recording of ‘Powerage’ in 1977.
 

An early shot of AC/DC and drummer Phil Rudd’s awesome sweater.
 
More mayhem with AC/DC after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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07.10.2017
01:17 pm
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