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.)


Anonymous said...

What an amazing find. My friend Tim Broun turned me onto this. Thanks so much for putting this out there. It hooks into the area I investigated in my book The Look and the companion blog:

Be interested in seeing what you think.

All in all a fab post, well presented and researched.

Well done!

Mondo said...

Perfect post and great timing - I've just posted a 70 minute mix scrapbooking the sound of the underground from this era and references UK scene shops liek Granny Takes A Trip, Mr Freedom, I Was Lord Kitchener's Valet

Its here '33 and 3rd eye'

With some outtakes here...

Michael LaVella said...

This is amazing! Great find, thanks for posting.... I'm seeing John Kay in a whole new light.

Anonymous said...

What a terrific blog this is - and I haven't seen Johnny Winter in 30 years (a picture I mean, I didn't know him or anything!) - I also blog about retro ads and retro stuff-



Anonymous said...

I love your blog!!!.
Greetings from Córdoba, Argentina.


Mike Flugennock said...

Pretty awesome stuff, fersure -- I especially dug Hendrix's stage outfits, especially that funky marching-band jacket he wore at Monterey -- but for my money, my all-time favorite "rock threads" were Jerry Garcia's classic black t-shirt and blue jeans in which he appeared onstage pretty much throughout his career with the Dead. Plain, simple, elegant, no-bullshit clothes, always in style, seen on every no-nonsense rocker from Garcia to Noddy Holder (in Slade's later days) to Joey Ramone.

Black t-shirt. Blue jeans. I wear 'em, I love 'em.

mwynn13 said...

Wow- I was just looking at the enlargement of the Themis photo, and realized that the woman in the sheer black dress vamping it up next to Morrison is Tere Tereba, a fashion designer I was friends with in the 1980s. Very cool- I knew she was friends with Courson & Morrison, but didn't realize she'd been in business with them.

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