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‘Messin’ With the Boys’: The brief (& very blonde) musical career of Cherie Currie & her twin Marie


Cherie Currie and her twin sister (born two minutes before Cherie) Marie.
 
Shortly after The Runaways combusted two-or-so short years into their existence, vocalist Cherie Currie put out her first solo record, 1978’s Beauty’s Only Skin Deep. The album included a duet with Currie’s twin sister Marie, “Love at First Sight.” The record, supposedly produced in part by Kim Fowley (Currie has said Fowley had no involvement in the album’s production), tanked. However, the misstep didn’t stop Currie and her twin from teaming up and putting out two more albums together, Messin’ With the Boys (1980) and Young and Wild (1998). During the early 80s the Currie twins were all over the place appearing on The Mike Douglas Show (season nineteen, episode 174) and also landing featured appearances in the 1984 film The Rosebud Beach Hotel with Christopher Lee (!), and Tom Hanks’ one-time bosom buddy, Peter Scolari.

Thanks to some of the history of The Runaways’ finally being laid out in the 2010 film The Runaways (based on Cherie Currie’s 2010 book, Neon Angel: A Memoir of a Runaway) more fans have been exposed to the band and their impact on the male-dominated world of rock and roll. According to Cherie, when the demise of The Runaways was drawing near, Fowley started spreading rumors in Japan—where The Runaways were superstars—that Currie didn’t have a twin. Then, to help stir the PR pot, he released more statements saying Currie did have a twin and the pair would soon be back to play a few live gigs in Japan. People went nuts of course and by the time Beauty’s Only Skin Deep was out, the blonde sisters were playing to crowds filled with fanatical fans. Cherie would beat out actress Kristy McNichol for the role of Annie in the 1980 film Foxes
 

Wonder twin powers, ACTIVATE! Cherie (left) and Marie (right).
 
These days, Cherie Currie keeps busy as a chainsaw artist in California running her own gallery in Chatsworth. After meeting during the recording of Messin’ with the Boys, Marie would marry Toto guitarist and vocalist Steve Lukather. Interesting side note; Cherie was once married to actor Robert Hays (Airplane‘s Ted Striker—NEVER FORGET!), and their only child Jake occasionally plays with Currie while she tours.

So if you didn’t already think Cherie Currie and her twin Marie were about as cool as they come, now you should. I’ve posted some nostalgic images of Cherie and Marie, as well great footage of the girls performing some tunes from Messin’ with the Boys and their appearance in The Rosebud Beach Hotel rocking out to “Steel,” one of the songs written by Cherie and Marie for the film’s score.
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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09.18.2018
08:09 am
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Hang ‘em high: The story of John Edward Allen, Ozzy Osbourne’s “personal dwarf”


The gatefold image from ‘Speak of the Devil’ featuring Ozzy and John Edward Allen as Ronnie the Dwarf (also sometimes called Ronnie the Midget). For what it’s worth, this photograph was unapologetically taken of the author’s original U.S. pressing of the album from 1982.
 
While on tour in support of both Diary of a Madman (1981-1982), and his follow-up live album, Speak of the Devil (1982-1983), Ozzy Osbourne‘s live show included actor and dwarf John Edward Allen. You may recall Allen not only participated in the live shows but also appeared on the inside of the infamous gatefold (pictured above) of the Speak of the Devil album, made up to look like a bloody, undead disciple of Ozzy clad in a hooded black robe. My young mind could barely handle the image when I cracked my copy open on Christmas of 1982 (proof my parents are the coolest ever). I even got to see Ozzy “execute” Allen on stage by hanging him as he did nightly, typically when it came time to perform “Goodbye To Romance” from Osbourne’s first solo record, Blizzard of Ozz. During the band’s set, Allen would periodically come out on stage during the banter breaks, bringing his employer drinks and towels while Ozz regaled the crowd with his never-ending demand to let him see their “fucking hands.”

John Edward Allen was born on March 27th, 1950, in Southampton, Hampshire, England. He found work as a tailor in Southhampton but always had his sights set on acting. He would fulfill his dream performing live theater in London first, then heading to New York’s off-Broadway scene—even performing for President Jimmy Carter at the White House in the late 70s. Allen landed parts in several Hollywood films starting in 1978 with his minor role in the super-creepy John Carpenter-penned film The Eyes of Laura Mars. Other roles would follow, including his memorable portrayal of Kaiser in 1982’s Blade Runner. While all this sounds like a pretty charming existence for Allen, he was a pretty troubled guy. Allen, as it turns out, loved to drink, about as much as Ozzy himself liked to drink—which in itself is an alarming claim to make about anyone considering Osbourne’s track record with booze.

Initially, Ozzy was hell-bent on adding a dwarf to his live show and gave Allen the gig giving him the name of Ronnie the Dwarf—a direct swipe at Black Sabbath’s new vocalist Ronnie James Dio. Between Ozzy’s epic use of party favors and Allen’s love of drink, things often ended badly for Allen after the show was over.
 

A lovely portrait of Allen in his dressing room in 1985. Photo by author and photographer Mary Motley Kalergis.
 
On one particular occasion, Ozzy was chatting with a journalist outside the band’s tour bus when a seriously blotto Allen came stumbling by. This pissed off the Prince of Darkness and once Allen was within arms reach, he grabbed him and threw him inside the luggage compartment of the bus, leaning on the door so Allen couldn’t get out. The journo recoiled in shock (which I find hilarious, because OZZY), then stammered at Osbourne telling him his treatment of Allen was uncalled for.  Ozzy allegedly responded by telling the journalist he could do “what he liked with him” because he was “my dwarf.” Following this bizarre proclamation, Allen’s voice arose from the luggage compartment saying:

“He’s right, you know. I’m his dwarf, and he can do what he likes with me…”

During the North American leg of the Diary of a Madman Tour, tragedy struck when guitarist Randy Rhoads (and four other people including the pilot) was killed in a plane crash on March 19th, 1982. This devastating event sent Ozzy into an even more downward spiral. He upped his consumption of liquor and drugs, shaved his head, and constantly threatened to quit the music game forever. Of course, as we all know, the threats never came to fruition and Ozzy would keep going. Allen would continue to be ceremoniously hanged for the duration of the Speak of the Devil Tour. Following the tour, Allen was dismissed by either Osbourne, a member of his crew, or perhaps just moved on—it’s a little murky. Allen would appear in a few more films before his OD suicide in 1999 at the young age of 49. I’ve posted some behind-the-scenes images of Allen on tour with Ozzy, as well as a video of Allen on stage with Ozzy in 1982.

And now, you know...
 

A photo of Allen preparing to be hung on stage during his time touring with Ozzy.
 

 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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09.12.2018
11:20 am
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Bring It: Meet the Gorgeous Ladies of Japanese Wrestling
07.16.2018
08:53 am
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A photo of the female professional wrestling team The Beauty Pair. This image was used to help promote a film based on their exploits in the ring.
 
Professional wrestling has a long, storied history in Japan. Active cultivation of the sport was started following WWII as the country was collectively mourning and recovering after the horrendous bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, killing approximately 200,000 people and other wide-spread, war-related devastation. The sport became hugely popular, and sometime in the mid-1950s wrestlers from the U.S. would make the trip to Japan to grapple with the country’s newest star athletes including an all-female “Puroresu” (professional wrestling) league, All Japan Women’s Pro-Wrestling Association, formed in 1955. Just over a decade later, the league would become All Japan Women’s Pro-Wrestling (AJW), and instead of going at it exclusively with American or other foreign wrestlers, the sport started to pit female Japanese wrestlers against each other which is just as fantastic as it sounds.

All-female wrestling in Japan in the 1970s was a glorious wonderland full of tough, athletic women happily defying cultural and gender norms. Matches were broadcast on television and a duo going by the name The Beauty Pair (Jackie Sato and Maki Ueda) were huge stars. Teenagers themselves, Sato and Ueda, were inspirational to their young female fans leading to the pair (and Sato as a solo artist), to be signed by RCA, producing several hit singles. They starred in a film based on their wrestling personas and sales of magazines featuring The Beauty Pair and other girl wrestlers were swift. The masterminds of the AJW—Takashi Matsunaga and his brothers—knew their ladies-only league was now unstoppable.
 

Japanese wrestling duo The Crush Gals, Chigusa Nagayo, and Lioness Asuka.
 
Female wrestling in the 80’s and 90’s in Japan was reminiscent of American producer and promoter David B. McLane’s magical GLOW (Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling), and introduced more theatrics into the sport by way of heavy metal makeup, wild hairdos, and eccentric individual personas. In the 80s, televised matches would glue an estimated ten million viewers to the tube much in part to the insane popularity of The Beauty Pair’s successors, The Crush Gals. Both women had signature closing maneuvers; Chigusa Nagayo was known for her Super Freak and Super Freak II, and her partner, Lioness Asuka often finished off her opponents using one of her go-to moves like the LSD II, LSD III and the K Driller (a reverse piledriver). Like their predecessors, The Crush Gals were also musicians and put out a few singles during the 80s, often regaling viewers with songs during matches. Other ladies of the AJW such as Bull Nakano, Dump Matsumoto, Jumbo Hori and others had their own personal theme music. And since lady-wrassling was such a sensation (as it should be), the theme music created for various stars of the scene was compiled on a neat picture disc called Japanese Super Angels in 1985. Video games based on the goings on in the AJW started making the rounds in the early 1990s with titles from Sega and Super Famicom.

So, in the event all this talk about Japanese female wrestling has you wondering if it is still a thing in Japan, I’m happy to report it looks to be alive and well. I’ve posted loads of images taken from Japanese wrestling magazines, posters, and publicity photos from the 70s, 80s, and 90s featuring some of the ballsy women which took on the game of wrestling in Japan and won. Deal with it.
 

Bull Nakano and Dump Matsumoto.
 

Dump Matsumoto and her partner Crane Yu pictured with referee Shiro Abe after winning the WWWA Tag Titles in February of 1985.
 

 
Much more after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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07.16.2018
08:53 am
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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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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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Big in Japan: Cheesy vintage ads for arcade and video games from the 1980s
03.20.2018
10:49 am
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01japvid.jpg
 
That moment in Field of Dreams when Kevin Costner hears a voice saying “If you build it, he will come” was really bad financial advice. You gotta advertise that sucker first before people will show up to hand over their hard-earned greenbacks. No matter how shitty the ad might be, the punters still gotta see what they’re getting first.

These cheesy vintage gaming ads from 1980’s Japan offered consumers a sense they were hot, sexy, in control, and (apparently) tough as fuck. Video games were a globalist wet dream. Here was a product like sport, movies, television, and pop music that created a global culture that offered the same experience to thumb-bandits in Tokyo as it did to those, in say, Moosefart, Montana. Here was the next evolutionary step from pinball machines.

History, traditional culture, and social standing were no longer the dominant forces in shaping young people’s lives. It was now about who could afford to buy a games consul and spend their money in gaming arcades. It was a revolutionary moment, unlike these ads for the likes of Nihon Bussan, Sega, and Capcom, which relied mainly on text, hot young women, muscled-up beefcake guys and dayglo bright colors to sell their shit.

 
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More vintage ads, after the jump…

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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03.20.2018
10:49 am
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When Keith Haring painted the heavenly body of Grace Jones


Artist Keith Haring painting Grace Jones in 1986 on the set of ‘Vamp.’
 
Grace Jones was 36 in 1984 when she, Andy Warhol, Robert Mapplethorpe, and pop artist Keith Haring all converged in Mapplethorpe’s studio in New York City. The reason for the epic get-together was to shoot photos of Jones covered in body paint done by Haring in his distinctive style. The session lasted a marathon eighteen hours during which Jones was photographed by Mapplethorpe adorned by Haring’s body paint, a towering headdress and an ornate “skirt.” Orchestrated by Warhol—who had introduced Haring to Jones a few years prior—Andy had been wanting to feature Jones on the cover of Interview magazine and believed that an artistic collaboration between Haring and Jones would be awesome. And he wasn’t wrong. However, Mapplethorpe and Warhol didn’t exactly click despite Mapplethorpe’s desire to be among Warhol’s ever-growing gang of muses, friends, and hanger-ons. In fact, during the photo shoot, it has been alleged that Mapplethorpe attempted to sabotage Warhol while he was taking photos of Jones by requesting Andy not use his flash in his studio. Meow.

Haring’s handiwork on Jones’ magnificent bodyscape was not the first time he used a live human as a canvas. In 1983 Haring painted Bill T. Jones, the legendary Tony Award-winning dancer, choreographer and cofounder of the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company. This session was photographed by Tseng Kwong Chi, a prominent figure in the downtown NYC art scene.

Getting back to Haring’s work with Grace Jones, he would get to paint the Jamaican goddess more than once, including when Grace performed live at the Paradise Garage before the much-loved gay-club closed its doors. Perhaps most memorably Haring would use Jones’ body as his canvas when she landed the role of Katrina the Queen of The Vampires in the 1986 film Vamp. The look Jones cultivated for Katrina is said to be based on the character played by actress Daryl Hannah in the 1982 film Blade Runner—at least when it comes to Jones’ startling red wig and face makeup. For Jones’ 1986 video for the song “I’m Not Perfect (But I’m Perfect for You),” Haring was enlisted to paint the massive 60-foot white skirt Jones wears in the video. The video also includes time-lapse footage of Haring painting the giant skirt and a brief appearance by Andy Warhol—one of his very last before he passed away three months later on February 22, 1987.

I’ve posted images of Jones “wearing” her famous body paint done by Keith Haring as well as photos of Bill T. Jones looking like her muscular male doppelgänger. You can also watch footage of Grace Jones stripping down to her Haring body paint in a clip from Vamp and the video for “I’m Not Perfect (But I’m Perfect for You).” Much of what follows is NSFW.
 

Jones in body paint and adornments by Haring, photographed by Robert Mapplethorpe in his NYC studio in 1984.
 

Another shot of Jones by Mapplethorpe.
 

A cheeky shot of Haring and Jones.
 
Much more after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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01.30.2018
01:29 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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That time when Ozzy Osbourne licked peanut butter off of Annette Funicello’s finger, 1989


One of the most famous Mouseketeers ever, Annette Funicello offering Ozzy Osbourne some Skippy peanut butter.
 
As documented in the 1992 book by super-groovy groupie Pamela Des Barres Take Another Little Piece of My Heart: A Groupie Grows Up, Des Barres brought the unlikely coupling of Ozzy Osbourne and Annette Funicello together for an interview and photoshoot in 1989. The wild concept for the bizarre meeting was the idea of publisher and entrepreneur Quay Hayes—a friend of Des Barres who was getting ready to launch Twist Magazine. Sadly, the magazine never saw the light of day, though the images from the photo session did as well as a few juicy tidbits from the interview between Ozz and Annette.

According to Des Barres, the two traded questions during which Funicello drilled Ozzy on his drug use and issues with addiction—something most rock journalists steered clear of back in the day. In what was perhaps a way to throw Funicello off of her game, Ozzy countered by asking the then 47-year-old former Mouseketeer if her beloved Walt Disney had really been frozen which made Funicello cry. Interestingly, a year later Funicello would defend Ozzy’s misunderstood 1980 classic “Suicide Solution” in an interview with her beach-blanket buddy, Frankie Avalon saying that the song didn’t advocate suicide but was instead trying to convey situations or “conditions” under which a teenager might take their own lives.

The other weird thing I dug up about Ozzy and Annette’s get-together are the claims of a man who says he’s Funicello’s son. J.P. Moss (also known as Jason Paul Moss) wrote the 2105 book Beyond Magic Gates: An Unauthorized Biography of Annette Funicello which details his allegation that he was abducted in 1970 from the hospital after Funicello gave birth to him, and it’s a typo-riddled read, I’ll just say that much. As it relates to this post, Moss uploaded a video on YouTube where he tries to debunk Funicello and Ozzy’s meeting calling it a “conspiracy.” The “conspiracy” in question involved the Mafia and Sharon Osbourne’s father, the infamous Don Arden. Moss says that Funicello deliberately lied about the timeframe about meeting Ozzy in her own 1995 autobiography, A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes: My Story because Don Arden told her to. I’ve posted Moss’ video below as well as a few photos that support the fact that Ozzy and Annette were in the same room together at the same time and that Annette’s favorite peanut butter, Skippy, was involved.
 

Funicello and a shirtless Ozzy Osbourne.
 

 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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10.09.2017
09:54 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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Spiritwalkers: Incredible early footage of The Cult when they were known as ‘Southern Death Cult’
08.02.2017
10:10 am
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An early photo of Southern Death Cult. Vocalist Ian Astbury is pictured to the far left.
 

“I was a devotee of Crass, and it had a huge, huge influence on me. I saw those guys 36 times. I used to follow them.”

—Vocalist Ian Astbury of The Cult reflecting on his youth.

While the statement above from a young Ian Asbury of The Cult sounds like the ideal formative punk rock experience, it left the then eighteen-year-old Astbury homeless and dependant on dole checks which amounted to around 40 U.S. dollars each week. While he was obsessively following Crass around on tour, he met up with a group of punks from Bradford, a town in the north of England, who offered him a room to stay in anytime he found himself there. With little going for himself and tired of sleeping in bus stations, Astbury headed off to Bradford. When he arrived, he found their squat was inhabited by all kinds of counter-culture types—writers, painters, and of course, musicians. At the time, Astbury had cultivated quite a striking look for himself which was reminiscent of Adam Ant’s Native American war paint persona only tougher (and a bit lower rent.) Astbury’s mohawk and unique style impressed the band that was rehearsing in the basement of the Bradford squat. In need of a vocalist, they asked Astbury to join them and Southern Death Cult was born.

The band started making music immediately, and their first live gig would take place less than a year after Astbury’s arrival in Bradford, at the Queen’s Hall in 1981. In 1982 the band would finally release their first studio recordings—a three song seven-inch that hit number one on the UK Independent Singles Chart. Following this success, Southern Death Cult took to the road touring with several bands including Bauhaus. The group seemed to have everyone’s attention including the legendary BBC disc jockey John Peel. Peel would record a live session with Southern Death Cult that was broadcast on the BBC on June 10th,1982. Sadly, the band would call it quits when Astbury pulled the plug on SDC in February of 1983.

After they disbanded, the groups only record, The Southern Death Cult, was released by Beggars Banquet which included everything from the 1982 seven inch and the Peel sessions from 1982. Following their breakup, Astbury joined forces with Theatre of Hate guitarist Billy Duffy, who was once in a band called the Nosebleeds with Morrissey. Duffy was also longtime pals with future Smiths’ guitarist Johnny Marr. The two spent their younger days as kids listening to punk rock and learning how to play the guitar together. In fact, we have Duffy to thank for introducing Marr to Mozzer at a Patti Smith gig in 1978. You can probably figure out how that all played out without too much effort.

Once Duffy and Astbury got together, they would change the band’s name to Death Cult hoping for some residual notoriety left over from Astbury’s previous band. They would put out some well-received singles, and their loyal fans would pack any room the band played. Then, in 1984, Death Cult officially became The Cult announcing their new name when they appeared on The Tube in January. And the rest, as they say, is history. I’ve posted some cool ephemera from The Cult’s early days below including video footage of the band before Astbury fully transitioned his look to be more in line with a goth version of El Topo.
 

A photo of a twenty-year-old Ian Astbury on the cover of NME magazine, October 2nd, 1982.
 

Southern Death Cult.
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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08.02.2017
10:10 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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Covetable action figures based on classic and obscure 80’s horror films up for grabs!


A custom action figure based on the 1982 slasher film, ‘Pieces’ by Dan Polydoris of Death By Toys. $40 (two available).
 
Dan Polydoris, the founder of Death By Toys, has been creating small numbers of action figures based on films from the 80s since 2010, showing a particular affinity for the horror genre. Polydoris’ plastic characters quickly became super popular with collectors, especially those who, like Polydoris, dig on the “strange, offbeat, and absurd.” For his latest batch of action figures, Polydoris focused on eight different films from the decade including things like 1980’s Maniac, the 1981 Canuck cult classic, Happy Birthday to Me, and 1982’s Pieces starring the great Christopher George. If you just said “YES” to all of that, then listen up because I’m going to tell you how you *might* be able to make one of Polydoris’ newest rare figures yours.

Starting today, Thursday, July 20th at 12:30 CST, a small number of the figures will be available for purchase at the Death By Toys online store, and when I say small numbers I mean really small numbers. For example, Polydoris only made two of the hilarious killer “Kebab Playsets” from Happy Birthday to Me which will run you 40 bucks each. The packaging is also pretty fantastic as it uses images from the original back-in-the-day VHS tape cover art. Nice. All eight figures along with their various prices posted below. Happy hunting!
 

The hysterical ‘Happy Birthday to Me’ “Kebab Playset.” $40 (two available).
 

My absolute favorite of the bunch based on the 1980 film ‘Maniac,’ the “Bloody Scalp.” 30 bucks each (five available).
 
Many more after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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07.20.2017
09:17 am
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Super cheesy photos of male Chippendales dancers from the 1980s
07.17.2017
12:14 pm
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A vintage shot of Chippendales dancers from the 1980s.
 
I’ve always found the phenomena of the Chippendales all-male striptease ensemble one of the weirdest 1980s things. And that’s saying a lot when you consider all that decade bestowed upon us—whether we wanted it or not. I mean, the music scene was pretty amazing—and if you want to arm-wrestle me over that fact, you will lose because it’s a fact. Prince put out Controversy and 1999 and Purple Rain. MTV played music videos and Larry Bird was named the MVP of the NBA Finals in 1986 after the Boston Celtics took town the Houston Rockets in Game Six. Okay, that last one is one of my favorite moments from the 80s, but it just proves my point that a lot of great things happened back then. And love them, hate them, or just plain don’t fucking get them, the dancers of Chippendales were everywhere. Just like shoulder pads and spandex.

Much like Gene Simmons and his devotion to slapping the word KISS on anything and everything, the Chippendales’ empire did the very same thing. From calendars to a board game and even a mini hand-held movie viewer so you could watch the beefy dancers in the privacy of your own home, there was something “Chippendales” for everybody. The calendars were incredibly popular items, and are nearly impossible to find now. I’ve included a few choice color photos from the calendars as well as some black and white print ads (which you can buy here) featuring individual dancers. Lastly, I included footage from a workout tape put out by Chippendales called Muscle Motion that is about as cornball as anything I’ve ever laid my eyes on. And trust me, these eyes have seen some cornball shit that you can never unsee. I hope you enjoy this gyrating trip down memory lane!
 

 

 

 

 
More totally 80s himbo action after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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07.17.2017
12:14 pm
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BOY on Boy action: Iconic 80s photos of Boy George modeling fashions from BOY London
07.12.2017
09:57 am
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Boy George modeling BOY London, around 1987.
 
Iconic fashion brand BOY London got its start back in 1976 shortly after the opening of Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood’s infamous SEX boutique on Kings Road in London. Known at first as Acme Attractions, founder and designer Stephane Raynor attracted a respectable clientele that included the likes of Bob Marley, Patti Smith, Billy Idol and Chrissie Hynde to his small street booth on Kings Road. Although BOY London catered strictly to punks (and tourists) at first, as the dawn of the 1980s approached, Raynor and his partner John Krivine opened a proper brick and mortar operation called BOY London which became a fashion haven for the incoming stars of London’s nightlife, the New Romantics.

Raynor was pretty tight with many of the elite members of the New Romantics scene including Boy George who would end up modeling quite extensively for the brand, helping propel it to international notoriety. As a matter of fact, according to Raynor, the first-day BOY was open for business it was raided by the cops. The windows to the boutique were smashed and people got arrested. Even Sid Vicious paid the shop a visit wearing a pair of high heels amidst the chaos of the shop’s early days. BOY was joined at the hip with the small, but influential Blitz nightclub in Covent Garden that was frequented by the “Blitz Kids” who, among others icluded Steve Strange, Rusty Egan, and of course George O’Dowd. Raynor approached his pal George about representing BOY which he did with incredible enthusiasm, often stepping out in head-to-toe ensembles by BOY anywhere he went. Many of the images below of Boy George modeling BOY London’s fashions were taken by photographer Paul Gobel for the cover and marketing materials of O’Dowd’s first post Culture Club solo album, 1987’s Sold.
 

Photo by Paul Gobel.
 

 
More BOY on Boy action, after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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07.12.2017
09:57 am
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