Saturday, February 21, 2009

Sunday, February 15, 2009

'Rock Threads': 1970 magazine photo-spread

This article from the March, 1970 issue of Show magazine focused on a few L.A. and NYC fashion designers known for outfitting some of the more flamboyant pop stars of the day.

The images were shot by Raeanne Rubenstein, a noted celebrity photographer and more recently the editor of Dish Magazine.

The text was written by New York fashionista and Village Voice journalist Blair Sabol.
- You can learn more about Sabol by following the link to 'Profile In CourrÈges', a New York Times article from 2002.

(Click on images to ENLARGE in a new window.)

'Pamela Roselilly' was a ▶ professional name for
Pamela Courson, partner to The Doors'
Jim Morrison.

Her boutique Themis was a 'project' bankrolled by Morrison.

Patricia Butler's book, 'Angels Dance and Angels Die: The Tragic Romance of Pamela and Jim Morrison' (which can be previewed at Google Books) includes info about the Themis boutique, beginning on page 107.

- Raeanne Rubinstein talks about the Themis photoshoot for this article, beginning on page 111, in a section that includes more of her photos.

- Some of her Themis photos can also be seen at Child of the Moon.

- and here's a question: In the gathering above ▲, do you suppose that 'hanger-outer' Michael Bedard became poster artist / Animation Producer / children's book author Michael Bedard?
Looks like maybe, and the timing is about right...

◀ Mirandi Babitz (pictured with Steppenwolf's John Kay) had once been a friend of Pamela's and had also designed clothes for
Jim Morrison,
Eric Clapton and others.

Mirandi (sister of scenester / footnote
Eve Babitz) also figures into the 'Angels Dance and Angels Die' book, beginning on page 64.

Her own long and twisting path from the world of Rock 'n' Roll to becoming a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Torrance, California is summarized at her practice's website and in a 2008 article from the Wall Street Journal.

◀ ...And then there's Nudie Cohn (1902 - 1984), man among men, an institution, and the American Dream personified.

His Hollywood Western Wear 'Nudie Suits' are instantly recognizable, whether worn by the top Country Music stars back in the day, or 'up & coming' rock & rollers like Elvis,
Gram Parsons (pictured), or ZZ Top.

- Go check out Nudie's Official Website for more info and a gander at the galleries.

(Click on images to
ENLARGE in a new window.)

◀ Designers
Colette Mimram and
Stella Douglas (shown here with Johnny Winter) are perhaps most widely remembered for their friendship with
Jimi Hendrix during the final year or two of his life.

Hendrix frequented their New York boutique (Stella was also married to record producer Alan Douglas) and struck up a friendship, forming a small circle of friends that included Jimi's friend Deering Howe and culminated in a trip to Morocco in the Summer of 1969.

Some of those events are highlighted in a 2005 article that ran in Harp Magazine; Experience Unlimited: An Excerpt from 'Room Full of Mirrors: A Biography of
Jimi Hendrix'

◀ Okay, so a mention of promoter
Bill Graham's 'lost & found' fashion sense seems pretty apt; he was busy with other things.

My only personal memories of Graham's look are from the mid-1980s, when he'd occasionally jog from his hilltop estate to the record store where I worked in downtown Mill Valley.
He'd show up in his sweaty & smelly grey sweatpants and tee-shirt, pick up the new cassette by somebody he'd heard about, and then jog home.
Back to work...

Miles Davis
◀ and others knew where to find clothier Hernando Reinoso, but looking online these days there seems to be only a very few memories of his leather shop located on Christopher Street in New York City's West Village.

Poet e.e. cummings had once lived in the same building back in 1918, just a block away from the historic site where 1969's Stonewall riots originated.

(Click on images to ENLARGE in a new window.)

Some kinda podcast or 'nother...

... or maybe something like a mixtape, 'cept it's here online.

Check out some musical selections that struck my fancy.

It's parked over near to the top of the lovely brown sidebar, and maybe you'll have your fancy struck as well.


(Update: 'Nother podcast expired, but you might try looking for it at the Audio Annex...)

Gee, shucks, and thanks: It's The Dardos Award

The innerweb never seems to tire of spraying its referential pointers everywhere, but I hope you'll please allow me just a moment to send profuse thanks to Gilligan at Retrospace, for having recently presented 'I'm Learning To Share' with
The Dardos Award

The Dardos Award is described as: "An award given for recognition of cultural, ethical, literary, and personal values transmitted in the form of creative and original writing. These stamps were created with the intention of promoting fraternization between bloggers, a way of showing affection and gratitude for work that adds value to the Web."

I'm appreciative and a bit humbled, as I know that my blog has really been running on fumes lately.

With this honor comes the responsibility of selecting five of my favorite bloggers to whom I may pass the award along, in accordance with the Dardos Award Rules:

1) Accept the award by posting it on your blog along with the name of the person that has granted the award and a link to his/her blog.

2) Pass the Dardos Award to another five blogs that are worthy of this acknowledgement, remembering to contact each of them to let them know they have been selected for this award.

An honorary mention should of course go to Retrospace, not just as a 'thank you', but for its continued excellence in presenting fun and engaging nuggets of '60s and '70s pop culture that make for exactly the sort of thing I love to pore over online.

Choices, choices, choices.
My candidates represent a particular cross-section of an incomplete list of sites I visit fairly regularly.

Though I loves me a good blog that's chock full o' pretty pictures and not a lotta chatter, I'll choose to place emphasis on the writing aspect stated as a component of this award, and so choose a few favorites who regularly provide a pleasing balance of words and image in their blogs...

1. Isn't Life Terrible.
Don Brockway sums up his site perfectly: "Life can be terrible; life can be wonderful. The heights and depths of popular culture, with lots of listening - music, interviews, and stories... spiced with books, quizzes, video, pictures... even a little commentary."

2. ephemera.
'Exploring The World of Old Paper' - - Beautifully crafted, I always enjoy a visit to the rarified atmosphere of Marty Weil's world. Amazing.

3. Funky16Corners.
Music bloggery at its best. Larry Grogan writes from the heart about old-school soul music, shares the good shit and knows his stuff.
As if that weren't enough, also check out his Iron Leg and Paperback Rider.

4. Again With the Comics.
"Brian Hughes goes on and on about comics. If he loves comics so much, maybe he should just marry one."
Great choices with perfect commentary for those who are voracious and omnivorous when it comes to funny books.

5. Kindertrauma.
"Your Happy Childhood Ends Here."
More retro pop culturosity, but not in a good way.
From their manifesto, it's "...about the movies, books, and toys that scared you when you were a kid. It’s also about kids in scary movies, both as heroes and villains. And everything else that’s traumatic to a tyke! Through reviews, stories, artwork, and testimonials, we mean to remind you of all the things you once tried so hard to forget…"
Fascinating and chilling, and a truly important public resource!

Monday, February 2, 2009

The first appearance of Fruitman! (1967)

As mentioned in the accompanying 'Bunny' comics post, I recently found a copy of issue #3.

In addition to assorted adventures of teen-queen Bunny and
her pals is the first story to feature Percival Pineapple, a.k.a. the heroic Fruitman!

Unlike most super-hero 'origin' stories, the folks at Harvey Comics chose not to tell us 'how our hero came to be', but rather to just jump in and let us enjoy the silliness - - umm, I mean the action.

Enjoy this thrilling introductory story, and for more background and more stories (including
'Fruitman in Israel') click over to a previous post; 'Sooper Hippie, Fruitman, and Bunny's Back Pages'.

Read 'Fruitman' ▶
from 'Bunny' issue #3 (1967)

(click on links or images below to open pages in a new window)

(page 1) ▼▼
(page 2) ▼▼
(page 3) ▼▼
(page 4) ▼▼
(page 5) ▼▼
(page 6) ▼▼
(page 7) ▼▼

(click on links or images to open pages in a new window)

Bunny, 'Queen of the In-Crowd' in 'Watermelon Sellin'' (1967)

I was very pleased recently to find another issue of 'Bunny', as published by Harvey Comics back in the swingin' '60s, full of more hip & zoovy super-fab teenage kicks!

Follow links to some previous 'Bunny' posts, if you missed them:

- '"She's Bunny, 'The Queen of The In Crowd!'" - 1960's 'Teen' comics from Harvey'

- 'Sooper Hippie, Fruitman, and Bunny's Back Pages'

- A Flickr gallery: ''Bunny' comics: Covers, Fashion Pages, and more'

In this issue's stand-out story, Bunny and her rival Esmeralda encounter the kooky world of advertising...

⬅ Read 'Watermelon Sellin'',
from issue #3 (1967)

(click on links to open pages in a new window)

(page 1)
(page 2)
(page 3)
(page 4)
(page 5)
(page 6)
(page 7)
(bonus epilogue:
'A Groovy TV Limerick')

See accompanying post for an exciting back-up feature from this same issue;
'The first appearance of Fruitman!'

Sunday, February 1, 2009

'San Francisco Guys & Girls' b/w 'Mommy, Daddy Jog With Me' (1980)

Curious and kitschy old 45's like this one are pretty much the epitome of the Thrift Store Find - - the sort of 'vanity project' record originally intended to be given as a gift or maybe a give-away 'premium'.

You might find it further down the road at a garage sale, but when it was new you probably never saw it at your local music emporium or heard it on your radio.

This 1980 single celebrates the city of
San Francisco in two similar songs that capitalized on that era's surge in the popularity of jogging, in the wake of efforts by running guru/author Jim Fixx and other fitness advocates of the time.

It sounds like it was recorded just for fun by non-professional musicians.

A bit of googling regarding the principal artists supports this theory, revealing very little to suggest that they stuck with the performing end of the music industry.

It appears that the Passantino family has a rich San Franciscan background, and that Regina's daughter Angelica has worked a bit in art history and acting in more recent years.
Since his performance on one side of this record, Konrad Dryden has distinguished himself as a classical music historian and author.

Listen to:
Konrad Dryden - San Francisco Guys & Girls
(Golden gate Records 45, 1980)
(click for audio)

Listen to:
Angelica Passantino -
Mommy, Daddy Jog With Me

(Golden gate Records 45, 1980)
(click for audio)

See also:
- Though you'll still see plenty of joggers in the vicinity of San Francisco's Marina Green, Crissy Field and its Presidio district, this record brings to mind the days when it was still a 'craze', and also the beginnings of the 'Parcourse' fitness trails, some of which appeared first in San Francisco and nearby cities.

- That 'newness' of jogging might for a few in turn conjure up a scene from Albert Brooks' cynical 1981 comedy 'Modern Romance'.
Click over to YouTube to watch the running store scene, in which Bob Einstein (a.k.a.
'Super Dave Osborne' and Brooks' real-life older brother) outfits Brooks with all the 'serious' equipment he'll need to 'start a new life'.

Freshly-stirred links