The picture doesn't do it justice but this string art mandala that I recently scored is really gorgeous. Plus, it has some cool history. When I saw it at the thrift store, it was just sitting on the floor. I immediately picked it up and flipped it over. That's when I saw this letter:
(Notice that it's addressed to "Rus," and that my name is Rusty!)
And this handwritten note by the artist:
I didn't recognize the artist's name and don't know much about string art but I liked the piece (and that terrific logo!), so I took it home. I soon discovered that the artist, John Eichinger, is the person who kicked off the string art fad in the late sixties with his String Mandalas. I also learned that he later designed patterns for mass-produced string art hobby kits.
String of the Art:
A popular hobby kit distributor at the time, Open Door Enterprises, first marketed his string art kits in the late 1960s. This is noted as one of the first times everyday people took interest in string art. It became widely popular in the 1970s with an uncountable amount of U.S. homes boasting home-made string art on their walls.
This was a real thrift score for me. I got this original Eichinger mandala for just $6.99.
Here's a closer look at the piece's details:
Read the rest
The Hollywood studio that crushed Lance Bass' dream of buying the Brady Bunch house has been revealed. It's HGTV. But the amount they paid has not yet been disclosed.
'N Sync singer Lance Bass ... was “heartbroken” when his deal fell through after the bidding deadline. In an Instagram post, he wrote that an undisclosed corporate buyer wanted the house "at any cost."
Bass doesn't seem to have any hard feelings, though. In a tweet published Tuesday, the singer explained, "How can you be mad at HGTV? My television is stuck on that channel." He added, "Kudos, HGTV. I know you will do the right thing with the house. That was always my biggest worry. I can smile again."
Discovery CEO David Zaslav announced the sale Tuesday morning:
“One of our projects for HGTV will speak to those Brady Bunch fans on the call... You may have heard that the house from the iconic series was recently on the market in California. I’m excited to share that HGTV is the winning bidder and will restore the Brady Bunch home to its 1970s glory as only HGTV can. More detail to come over the next few months but we’ll bring all the resources to bear to tell safe, fun stories about this beloved piece of American TV history.”
Buy, buy, buy.
Here's the story of how 'N Sync's Lance Bass won and then lost the Brady Bunch house
For Sale: The real-life Brady Bunch house
(The Wrap) Read the rest
"101 degrees in the shade..."
It's been hot in the Bay Area and I was joking with a friend that we should take the "Nestea Plunge." They had no idea what I was talking about which surprised me, given the iconic ad campaign ran from the 1970s through the 1990s (and came back in 2014).
I grew up on Cape Cod, so we didn't have a pool, we just went to the beach when it was hot. For hours, my friends and I would put our arms out and fall backwards into the Atlantic, trying to reenact the Plunge we saw on TV. It was like an in-water trust fall with only the waves to catch you.
Cripes, you all remember it, don't you? Surely it's just an anomaly that my friend didn't know about it.
"Temperature was up around 103..."
"The temperature was up around 111..."
"Come on, taste the taste of wetness..."
Even legendary groupie Pamela Des Barres took the Nestea Plunge
They're *still* taking the Plunge in the Philippines Read the rest
Someone watched reruns of WKRP in Cincinnati, tracked all the songs played on the show, and then put them in this spreadsheet.
Dr. Johnny Fever played the first song played on the show, Ted Nugent's "Queen of the Forest," which marked the end to the previous radio station's format (Muzak/Swing) and the beginning of the new WKRP format (Rock, Punk and Top 40).
All right, Cincinnati, it is time for this town to get down! You've got Johnny... Doctor Johnny Fever, and I am burnin' up in here! Whoa! Whoo! We all in critical condition, babies, but you can tell me where it hurts, because I got the healing prescription here from the big 'KRP musical medicine cabinet. Now I am talking about your 50,000 watt intensive care unit, babies! So just sit right down, relax, open your ears real wide and say, "Give it to me straight, Doctor. I can take it!"
Now someone just needs to make this into a Spotify playlist. Who wants to volunteer?
Previously: WKRP in Cincinnati redacted to save on license fees
Thanks, Christopher Bickel! Read the rest
If you're a child of the seventies, you'll probably remember that while the sitcom Happy Days aired from 1974 to 1984, it was set in Milwaukee in the late fifties.
Ok, so in 1980, an animated spin-off series called The Fonz and the Happy Days Gang hit the Saturday morning cartoon circuit, lasting just two years. In those two seasons, they meet a "future chick" named Cupcake and are accidentally hurled through time and space in a janky spaceship with Mr. Cool, a talking dog. This quasi-educational show (which has Wolfman Jack as its narrator) chronicles their journey trying to get back to 1957, but first they jump to significant historical time and places, like the Salem Witch Trials.
So, it's a cartoon, made for early-eighties kids, of fifties youth bouncing around in time trying to get back to 1957. Sure... why not?.
If you have the time (heh), watch all of Season 1 and Season 2.
If you're wondering, this cartoon happened two years after Robin Williams landed a small role as Mork on the live-action Happy Days (which eventually turned into the spin-off, Mork & Mindy) and just three years after the Fonz jumped the shark.
Ayyy... Can you dig it?
(Weird Universe) Read the rest
When Patti Smith, the queen of cool, tells you to "just be cool," you'd better stop and check yourself. Watch her do just that in this Live at Rockpalast German TV footage from 1979. At around the 3:45 mark, she pauses her performance of "Dancing Barefoot" to break up a ruckus in the crowd.
"Now, c'mon. Just be cool, man. Hey everybody, just be cool. Get cool... Stop acting like assholes and settle the fuck down!"
(RED) Read the rest
Not sure what Yankee Stadium food vendors wear now but, apparently, sometime in the late sixties or early seventies they donned this far out, font-heavy number. Baseball photo historian Baseball by Bsmile shared this recently on Twitter and points out that the shirt was designed with ketchup/catsup and mustard colors.
A 2008 Uni-Watch (a site that follows sports teams aesthetics) article shares:
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...Reader Paul Wiederecht has provided a wealth of interesting background info...
I saw that vendor’s shirt used from 1968-72 at games I attended. Sorry, no pics, but I think I may be able to shed some light on the shirt’s design history.
Much of the Yankees’ look during the team’s CBS ownership era can be attributed to Lou Dorfsman, who was CBS’s creative director for more than 25 years. Except for the eye logo, which was the inspiration of his predecessor, William Golden, Dorfsman was responsible for CBS’s corporate and on-air look. His contribution to graphic/interior and set/broadcast/advertising design is legendary, he set the high standard that artists like me have trying to measure up to our whole careers.
Anyway, back to the shirt: If you look here, you’ll see an example of the three-dimensional wall treatment in the CBS employee cafeteria, which was executed by Herb Lubalin (a typographer of note in his own right). You will see many design similarities [between the wall treatment and the vendor’s uniform], and similar design treatments can been seen in many Yankees publications from that era. I would not be surprised if Dorfsman used Lubalin’s design studio for many Yankees projects, possibly even this shirt.
Here's some behind-the-scenes footage of Elton John in 1970 working out the harmony for what he describes as "the song about Bernie's girlfriend."
"Bernie" is Bernie Taupin, the song's lyricist and the song is Tiny Dancer. Taupin's girlfriend at that time was the band's seamstress Maxine Feibelmann, a dancer who later became Bernie's first wife. In a 1973 Rolling Stone interview, Taupin acknowledged that the song is about her. When asked directly, he stated, "That's true, yes." The song is even dedicated to her on the album, Madman Across the Water.
However, Taupin later stated that the song was about all the women he encountered in California in those days:
“We came to California in the fall of 1970, and sunshine radiated from the populace,” he said. “I was trying to capture the spirit of that time, encapsulated by the women we met–especially at the clothes stores up and down the Strip in L.A. They were free spirits, sexy in hip-huggers and lacy blouses, and very ethereal, the way they moved. So different from what I’d been used to in England. And they all wanted to sew patches on your jeans. They’d mother you and sleep with you–it was the perfect Oedipal complex.” Why “tiny,” then? “Well, that’s poetic license, although they were all petite and lithe. And ‘Tiny Dancer’ sounds better than ‘Small Dancer,’ or ‘Little Dancer.'”
In any event, it's a damn good song. Here is John in 1971 performing it:
(TwistedSifter) Read the rest
Bob Marley and the Wailers, 1973. The full live set is below, recorded in-studio for the BBC. Read the rest
A seventies country cock-rocker soft-bluesy ballad that you may know best from the soundtrack for the movies “Boogie Nights,” or “Guardians of the Galaxy.”
[Boing Boing Video Link.]
"The Source Family" a documentary by Boing Boing pal Jodi Wille and Maria Demopoulos, tells the story of Father Yod and his Source Family, a radical, utopian social experiment that emerged from the Los Angeles freak scene in the 1970s. You can download it on Amazon or iTunes, and it's a terrific film.
Isis Aquarian, one of the Source Family members featured in that documentary, sat down with Boing Boing at her home on the island of Oahu to share a special artifact from the Source Family treasure chest. It is the "Birth Rope," a handmade rope on to which were tied the names of each child born into the flower child cult—including Isis' own daughter Saturna.
In our video above, Isis references a mugshot of her. It was taken by Hawaii police when she was arrested for not turning over a fellow Source Family member's body to authorities when he died. The group believed in natural ceremonies for both births and deaths. That police photograph is below. Read the rest
"Be the first on your block to know about nude psychotherapy." A 1970s-era magazine ad, scanned and shared in the Boing Boing Flickr Pool by Boing Boing reader v.valenti. Read the rest
"The Meditator," a personal isolation tank fashioned from 12 pentagons decorated with photo collages. "You may find the sensation akin to that mystical communion with nature that you experience when alone in a forest," according to Popular Science writer Ken Isaacs in November 1970. At popsci.com, they've republished a photo gallery with enough detail that serenity-seeking DIYers in 2012 can once again roll their own. Read the rest
View larger size here. Lovingly scanned and shared in the Boing Boing Flickr Pool by reader v. valenti. Art by Japanese illustrator Shusei Nagaoka, whose sci-fi illustrations were popular during the 1970s and '80s, and graced album covers by ELO, Earth, Wind & Fire, and Deep Purple. There's an awesome little archive of his work here. Read the rest
In the 1970s, someone thought this was a good idea. [Video Link]
(Thanks, Tara McGinley) Read the rest
[Video Link: "A Long, Drawn Out Trip"]
Last night I watched (and greatly enjoyed) the Pink Floyd "The Story of Wish You Were Here" documentary Richard Metzger turned me on to last week (buy it here, and my earlier post about that documentary is here).
I ended up going down one of those internet-rabbit holes where you search and watch a bunch of related stuff online. Among the rabbit-holes I fell down: the story of how the band hooked up with the now-legendary illustrator and caricaturist Gerald Scarfe. He and the band later teamed up on "The Wall," and Scarfe's visual style is now a kind of icon of that era of Big Rock and Roll. I am not a big fan of the later, big budget, grand spectacle school of rock music visuals for which they became known, but I am fascinated by the earlier material.
UK native Scarfe created "A Long, Drawn Out Trip" in 1971 after traveling to the US. As the story goes, Roger Waters and David Gilmour saw the 18-minute short when it was aired on the BBC in 1973 (only once in its entirety! remember, this is before YouTube!), and said, "That's the stuff!" The stream-of-consciousness short pokes fun at symbols of American culture. In one sequence, Mickey Mouse gets high and morphs from the Disney character we all know, to a stoned-out hippie. Read the rest