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The crazy night Iggy Pop, Blue Öyster Cult, & KISS shared the same stage on New Year’s Eve in 1973


Iggy Pop making sure the stage doesn’t go anywhere at the Academy of Music on New Year’s Eve, 1973.
 
Before we delve too deep into what went down on Monday, December 31st, 1973 at the Academy of Music in New York City, there are a few essential things you should know about the show which almost didn’t include KISS. If you’re now shaking your head because the idea the audience in attendance that night would have been better off without seeing KISS, well, you’re entitled to that opinion. However, the fact of the matter is the show at the Academy of Music would mark KISS’s official “industry debut” and the first time they had played for a big crowd. It would also be the first of many times Gene Simmons would accidentally light his hair on fire while spitting fire on stage.

Until the day of the show, none of the other bands knew KISS would be playing with them that night. Initially, when ads for the show started popping up in the Village Voice, Iggy Pop & The Stooges were billed as the “special guest stars” of Blue Öyster Cult. This would change a few weeks later when New York all-girl band Isis was added to the roster, only to be dropped shortly after and replaced with another New York band, Teenage Lust. Still, there was no mention of KISS being a part of the fast-selling show, though their management team was busy creating the early image of KISS which would open the gig that night. In the book, KISS: Behind the Mask—Official Authorized Biography, KISS co-manager at the time Joyce Bogart and her then-husband, Neil Bogart (Bogart had just signed the band to his new label, Casablanca Records) were out raiding stores in the West Village such as sex shop the Pleasure Chest to find spiked dog collars for the band to wear onstage. They also hired a fashion designer to help create the leather clothing KISS would wear as conceived by the band, the Bogarts and KISS’s manager Bill Aucoin.

Now, let’s get to how things went down the night of the gig, starting with Iggy and The Stooges.

The Stooges had been touring non-stop in support of Raw Power since the end of March, almost always kicking off their set with the defiant song named for the album. As it was New Year’s Eve, people were dressed to impress—and for Iggy, this meant a pair of colorful hot pants and black knee-high boots.

Guitarist Ron Asheton hit the stage decked out in a questionable looking uniform. He opened the show by greeting the crowd in German—wishing them a Happy New Year. (Asheton, a fan of WWII collectibles, wore a Nazi Luftwaffe fighter pilot’s jacket (as the best man) to Iggy’s wedding to Wendy Weissberg, daughter of The Stooges’ Jewish manager). In their review of the show, Variety magazine had this to say:

“Iggy entered clad only in pink tie-dyed trunks and black boots. He gyrated, insinuated and sang up a storm.”

Other reports from the show note Iggy seemed to be especially slurry, and Melody Maker’s review of the night shaded Iggy calling his vocals “unintelligible.” At one point during the show, while introducing the band, Iggy rambled about having spent a week in San Francisco with a Transylvanian masseuse. Perhaps this is why, about half-way through the gig, Iggy ended up roaming around the crowd in front, thrusting his microphone in fans faces so they could sing the lyrics for him. According to one fan who was there that night, Iggy ended up getting thrown back onstage because he couldn’t figure out any other way to get back on it. If this wasn’t bad enough, rumors were circulating before the show that Iggy was going to off himself on stage at Madison Square Garden for a million dollars which had been offered to him by a local NY promoter. The notion of Iggy’s upcoming suicide-on-stage was disputed by Andy Warhol, but only because Andy was sure Iggy was going to do it at the Academy show on New Year’s Eve (noted in the 2009 book Your Pretty Face Is Going to Hell: The Dangerous Glitter of David Bowie, Iggy Pop, and Lou Reed). We all know Iggy didn’t off himself at the Academy of Music in 1973, but as far as the band’s record label Columbia was concerned, Iggy’s “performance” did kill their relationship with the band because the recording of the show was so off the rails they were not able to release it as a live album.

Very little footage of The Stooges antics from that night exists except for footage shot by Pop’s pal and future member of Patti Smith’s band (among many other things), Ivan Kral who was there with his Super 8 camera. Unfortunately, according to Kral, when the band kicked into “Raw Power” the crowd rushed the stage, and he and his camera ended up on the floor (which was covered in broken glass), trampled by unphased Stooges fans. After all this madness, it was finally time for BÖC, the headliners for this nutty night of New Year’s Eve rock and roll revelry, to take over.
 

A print ad for the New Year’s Eve show at the Academy of Music in 1973. The addition of a second 11:30 p.m. late show was short-lived and never happened.
 
Like The Stooges, Blue Öyster Cult had released a new album in February—their second, the rather mysterious Tyranny and Mutation, with a little lyrical help from Patti Smith who was in a romantic relationship with BÖC co-founder Allen Lanier. Guitarist Buck Dharma was excited to play the venue saying that when you got to play the Academy, you realized you had a “certain draw of power there.” As you might imagine, by the time BÖC was ready to play, the crowd had seen a lot of crazy shit go down. Show supporters Teenage Lust didn’t even want to go on after KISS after seeing their set open with pyrotechnics and a massive Las Vegas-style sign displaying their name. According to Harold C. Black of Teenage Lust, the first words out of his mouth were, “OH FUCK,” after coming to terms with what he had just seen. But, BÖC had some wild plans of their own for their set and weren’t about to give the night up to KISS.

Presumably, after dining at Lüchow’s, a popular German restaurant near the Academy, BÖC asked the oom-pah band at the joint to join them onstage that night, which they did. Next, vocalist Eric Bloom rode a motorcycle out on stage and proceeded to make good on a promise to shave his beard in front of the audience. Lastly, a guy named Karl Burke, who happened to be working the backstage for the Academy that night, ended up standing by Buck Dharma when KISS came off the stage. As they passed by, Burke “chuckled” to which Dharma responded that he shouldn’t laugh because BÖC would probably be “opening for them soon.” Two years later to the date, Dharma’s vision of the future would turn out to be correct as BÖC opened for KISS at the Nassau County Veteran’s Coliseum in New York during the Alive! Tour. So what about the crowd’s reception to KISS, a band nobody in the venue had necessarily come to see that night?

KISS was added to the bill at the urging of Bill Aucoin and management types at Warner Brothers. However, for the show, the WB suits asked Aucoin to have KISS “take off their makeup” because they “didn’t believe in it.” Aucoin and the band told Warner Brothers to suck it and the makeup stayed on. After seeing KISS’s candle-lit set, Stooge James Williamson said he “didn’t really care” about them. His bandmate Scott Asheton disagreed, calling the band “pure entertainers who took no prisoners.” Melody Maker would refer to KISS as a “local glitter band” in their review, which appeared to be “cashing in” on the popularity of glam rock. The review in Melody Maker also reveals more details of Simmons’ accidental hair fire, sending a member of the audience to the hospital with burns on his head and face. To be fair to Simmons, he hadn’t really wanted to be the one to learn how to breathe/spit fire on stage and had volunteered by mistake. To help Simmons, Bill Aucoin, along with Neil and Joyce Bogart, brought in a local magician named Presto to teach Gene how to breathe fire (also noted in the KISS: Behind the Mask bio). His first attempt took place in Joyce’s office during which Simmons’ enthusiastic fire-spitting/breathing scorched her newly painted walls. 

In their review of the show, Variety called KISS “ghoulish” giving them a rating of four out of ten. Though Variety wasn’t impressed by KISS, pretty much everyone one else at the show was, many of whom had no fucking idea who KISS was before that night. KISS brought something very different to the Academy during their historic 30-minute set, and it wouldn’t be long, as Buck Dharma predicted, before KISS would take over the world.

Below are loads of photos taken at the show, as well as some footage of The Stooges set shot by Ivan Kral, who, along with his camera, survived the night with only a few cuts and bloody footprints on his jacket.
 

An image of the all-girl New York band, Isis from the back of their 1974 debut album, nude, covered in metallic body paint on the front and back cover. Isis were originally on the bill, but suddenly taken off for unknown reasons.
 

New York band Teenage Lust which had the misfortune of following KISS.
 

The Academy of Music’s marquee advertising the show, before the last-minute addition of KISS the day of the show.
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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12.31.2018
01:25 pm
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‘Don’t break my balls, priest’: Telly Savalas in Mario Bava’s trippy classic ‘Lisa and the Devil’


An image of actor Telly Savalas taken from a movie poster for the 1973 film, ‘Lisa and the Devil.’
 
Originally released in 1973, Mario Bava’s Lisa and the Devil was one of the director’s purest, least compromised visions of horror. Alfredo Leone—who collaborated with Bava and a team of writers on the screenplay and produced the movie—gave Bava complete control over every creative aspect of the film allowing the masterful Italian director to craft this gothic, psychotropic and often wildly profane piece of cinema.

In addition to Telly Savalas (and his trusty lollipop), Lisa and the Devil also stars Elke Sommer, Yugoslavian actress Sylva Koscina, and Alida Valli, who would later portray Miss Tanner in Dario Argento’s Suspiria. In an interesting side note, Savalas had just quit smoking which meant that his character in Lisa and the Devil, the devious slick-as-fuck butler Leandro wouldn’t be either (though there is a scene where Leandro bums a smoke which he inhales from deeply, inducing a coughing fit). Instead of cigarettes, Savalas stuck lollipops in his mouth and the gimmick would become synonymous with Savalas’ most famous character Detective Lieutenant Theo Kojak in the crime drama Kojak which first aired approximately five months after Lisa and the Devil hit the big screen.
 

Nothing to see here, just Telly Savalas’ mannequin collection from ‘Lisa and the Devil.’
 
Bava establishes his undercurrent of unease quickly and reveals a rich storyline full of sex, murder, the abuse of corpses (including necrophilia), Savalas’ creepy as FUCK mannequin collection (pictured above) as well as other fever-dream induced scenarios. Lisa and the Devil was fairly well received on the festival circuit although this success didn’t translate to the film getting picked up for distribution. In an attempt to help get the film into theaters—and hoping to draw audiences that flocked to The Exorcist in December of 1973—Leone told Bava that he should spice up the plot of Lisa and the Devil to include some exorcism scenes. Bava initially refused but would later allow the addition of new scenes some of which were directed by Leone, such as more risque scenes featuring a mostly nude Elke Sommer—as well as one with Sommer going full-on Regan MacNeil and puking green chunks as a priest tries to get her demons to take a hike. When all was said and done, Lisa and the Devil was repackaged and released once again as The House of Exorcism in 1975. Here are a few words from Leone recalling his early days with Mario Bava:

“I first met Mario Bava in 1969 while in pre-production for Four Times That Night, the film that opened the gateway to justifiable nudity in cinema. Mario’s genius and ability in using his Mitchell camera to create special effects and set construction made of paper mache, plastic, and plywood, enabled me to save hundreds of thousands of dollars in production costs.”

Mario Bava is a director with so many mind-expanding gems to his credit that it is emphatically impossible to name his best film. That said, and as a massive fan of Mario Bava and Italian horror cinema, Lisa and the Devil in its original form is without a doubt one of Bava’s best movies for more reasons than I could state in this post. Though I will lay this on you—Telly Savalas’ portrayal of Leandro is beyond entertaining and is reason enough alone for you to see Lisa and the Devil if you’ve never seen it. Even if it’s been a while since you last saw it, restored versions of the film have been released by several companies including Anchor Bay and Arrow and are well worth adding to your collection. To help further convince you that Lisa and the Devil is a must-see for any true fan of horror I’ve posted some enticing, NSFW images from Lisa and the Devil and The House of Exorcism below.
 

A scene from ‘Lisa and the Devil’ featuring Savalas and one of his mannequins.
 

A still from ‘Lisa and the Devil.’
 

A Swedish movie poster for ‘The House of Exorcism.’
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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12.28.2017
11:49 am
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Led Zeppelin watch a couple have sex on top of their gold records at a Stockholm sex club in 1973
09.21.2017
06:32 am
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Led Zeppelin vocalist Robert Plant back in the day, perhaps recalling some good times at Chat Noir in 1973.
 
I haven’t really thought about Led Zeppelin in a while, so the other day I started poking around looking at photos of the band taken back in the early 70s (don’t judge). It was one hell of a rabbit hole where I came across an infamous shot of Zeppelin taken by photographer Bengt H. Malmqvist in Stockholm in 1973. The photo in question featured the members of Zeppelin watching a couple have sex on top of a table displaying their gold records. The bizarre image was part of a larger series attributed to Malmqvist containing 56 black and white negatives, one set of photos and two contact maps which were up for auction in 2010—though it’s unclear if they ever sold. The photos of Zep taken by Mr. Malmqvist were shot inside Chat Noir—one of Stockholm’s premiere sex clubs, and according to the auction site Bonhams, Malmqvist was the only photographer allowed to shoot the event.

The Chat Noir itself was the epitome of what one might imagine a high-end sex club to be like. The establishment prided itself on being “classy” by offering what they described as a “luxury” sex experience which would routinely feature female stars from Stockholm and other locations around the world, and even some sort of sexy “wizard” which according to folklore about Chat Noir was especially popular with Japanese businessmen. The club, considered at the time to be one of Stockholm’s most glamorous, was also a popular site used by the Swedish sex film industry and several movies were shot on there including Anita: Swedish Nymphet. That film came out the same year Led Zeppelin was welcomed by the club to receive four gold records from Metronome Records in honor of their record sales. True to form, the whole salacious event was orchestrated by the band’s manager, the notorious Peter Grant. 

Below, a few of the images from Zeppelin’s infamous visit to the Chat Noir, plus a full page account of what went down that night that was published in a Swedish magazine in 1973.
 

Robert Plant and a friend at the Chat Noir, 1973. Photo by Bengt H. Malmqvist.
 

Jimmy Page, (allegedly) Pamela Des Barres, and John Bonham hanging out at Chat Noir in 1973. Photo by Bengt H. Malmqvist.
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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09.21.2017
06:32 am
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‘Cannibal Girls’: The naked ladies of this gory, sleazy 1973 horror spoof like to eat men
06.28.2017
11:05 am
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A Spanish lobby card featuring an image of actress Mira Pawluk who played the ax-wielding Leona in Ivan Reitman’s 1973 film ‘Cannibal Girls.’
 
Shot on a shoestring budget of $12,000, Cannibal Girls was one of the first films made by producer/director Ivan Reitman (Stripes, Ghostbusters, Animal House, Meatballs). It has also been heralded as one of the sleaziest B-movies ever to come out of Canada, an honor that was only enhanced by the film’s use of a “warning bell” that was sounded to alert moviegoers that something gross was about to happen so they could avert their eyes. But since the name of this film is Cannibal Girls, it really should have been a safe bet to assume that your eyes would probably be treated to some good old-fashioned gore and hot, flesh-eating chicks. Also, since this is Ivan Reitman we’re talking about, the flick features moments of comic relief, many thanks to the film’s stars, Eugene Levy—the brilliantly funny Canadian actor, SCTV alumni, and long-time collaborator of Christopher Guest—and SCTV’s Andrea Martin. What could go wrong? Well, just like any other movie, a lot of things. But that doesn’t necessarily translate to Cannibal Girls being a bad film in the conventional sense of the word. In fact, it is a much-loved example of classic “Canuxploitation” films that started making their way to the big screen in the early 1970s. The word was used to help classify Canadian films that fell into the category, such as a couple of classic slashers from 1981, My Bloody Valentine, and Happy Birthday To Me.

In the spirit of the future films of Christopher Guest, much of the dialog in Cannibal Girls was improvised. There are also numerous blood-soaked scenes, many of which feature topless flesh-eating females performing weird rituals or gorging on some unfortunate ice cream salesman who one of the girls shacked up with the night before. Then there’s the nutty, Svengoolie-looking character of “Rev. Alex St. John” played by actor Ronald Ulrich who would not-so-unbelievably go on to do little else when it came to acting after Cannibal Girls. Another plus for the film is that it possesses the distinct feel of a Hammer-style horror film at times—though the mood is hard to maintain due to its lack of plot continuity and the occasional random scene juxtaposition. According to others that are well acquainted with Cannibal Girls that kind of makes sense, as Reitman’s screenplay (which he wrote with Daniel Goldberg and Robert Sandler) was ambiguous at best, to begin with. A major factor to the success of any horror flick is the ability of the film to instill a sense of isolation or desolation—and Cannibal Girls does that well. Reitman chose remote areas surrounding snowy Toronto like Richmond Hill (which was called “Farnhamville” in the film) where activities in 1973 included a “beard growing” contest. At times when Levy (who looks exactly like “Phineas Freak” from The Fabulous Fury Freak Brothers comics come to life) and his “broad” Martin are traipsing through the snow-covered streets, you wonder if the town is inhabited at all. And the feeling that all has already been lost helps keep you engaged, even when you want to laugh during some of the hilariously cringey improvised scenes between the actors.

Reitman would end up selling the rights to Cannibal Girls to B-movie impresario Roger Corman and the movie actually did pretty well when it was released in the U.S. where it hugely popular with the heavy neckers who frequented the drive-in. Corman was also responsible for the goofy “warning bell” idea. The soundtrack for the film, which appears to involve a synthesizer mostly (because this is a horror movie after all) was composed by Canadian musician Doug Riley aka “Dr. Music” who had previously played with Ray Charles, even turning down Charles’ offer to join his band back in the day.

The film is a degenerate’s dream—strangely appealing in all the right ways and an utterly epic mess of awkwardness, all while being a compelling historical document from a man who would go on to make some of Hollywood’s most memorable and endearing films. Cannibal Girls even makes a cameo appearance in Reitman’s Ghostbusters II in a montage scene of New York being overrun by ghosts. The film can be seen at a cinema where movie-goers are chased out by a winged ghost.

I’ve posted some awesome ephemera from Cannibal Girls below such as the grindhouse-looking lobby cards (one of which featuring Levy in all his freaky-haired hippie glory) and a few movie posters to hopefully get you into the mood for seeking this bizarro gem I’ve also included a beautiful looking trailer for Cannibal Girls that reads like a horror film you need to see. On that note, Cannibal Girls got a proper Blu-Ray release a few years back which includes an option to watch the movie with the “warning bell” effect turned on. Nice.
 

 

 
Much more after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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06.28.2017
11:05 am
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Salvador Dali’s bizarre but sexy photoshoot for Playboy, 1973
04.25.2017
10:19 am
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Salvador Dali providing direction to Playboy photographer Pompeo Posar and a Playboy Bunny in Cadaqués, Spain in 1973.
 

“The meaning of my work is the motivation that is of the purest – money. What I did for Playboy is very good and your payment is equal to the task.”

—Salvador Dali on his collaboration with Playboy in 1973

For his photo shoot for Playboy magazine, Salvador Dali, long-time Playboy photographer Pompeo Posar, a gaggle of Playboy Bunnies and a giant egg headed to Cadaqués, a seaside town in Spain near where Dali lived in Port Lligat, a small village on a bay next to the town. The event would turn the sleepy village upside down during the shoot and local Dali-devotees would wait outside his home so that they could pay homage to the Surrealist by chanting “Master! Master!” whenever he left the residence to go to work under the blistering hot Spanish sun.

Working closely with Posar, Dali created a few sketches of his vision for the shoot which ultimately ended up including a giant egg, an equally fake large snake, various collage images that ran the gamut from a Coca-Cola bottle to Renaissance-style architecture, and of course, Playboy Bunnies cavorting around wearing little to nothing because this is Playboy magazine we’re talking about. Dali—who was 69 at the time—ran the shoot like the master that he was and residents of Cadaqués would watch the artist’s every move from the hills surrounding the location.

The final photos live up to Dali’s provocative, boundary-pushing style, and are gorgeously bizarre to behold. I’ve included a few of Dali’s preliminary sketches that detail part of his artistic vision for the shoot and many others including the master at work, as well as the finished product that appeared in the December 1974 issue of Playboy.

Pretty much all of them are NSFW. But you hate your stupid desk job anyway, don’t you?
 

 

 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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04.25.2017
10:19 am
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Ryan Richardson Presents Scandalous Teen Groupie Magazine ‘Star’
01.06.2011
10:18 pm
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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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01.06.2011
10:18 pm
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Huey Newton compels William F. Buckley to side with George Washington, 1973

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Huey Percey Newton, founder of the Black Panther Party for Self Defense, would be 68 years old if he hadn’t been shot in Oakland on this day in 1989 by Tyrone “Double R” Robinson, an alleged member of George Jackson’s Marxist prison gang The Black Guerilla Family.

Here he is engaging William F. Buckley on his show Firing Line in a preliminary thought-game before getting deep into the kind of civil dialogue on political theory that’s absolutely impossible to find on television today.
 

Posted by Ron Nachmann
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08.23.2010
02:01 am
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