Monday, June 17, 2024

Monkees-Changes 1970/2024

Seen above is the last LP from the original run of The Monkees. Released in 1970 and featuring only Davy and Micky with a mix of new and previously unreleased songs dating back as far as 1967, the colorful cover has always seemed a bit sad. With neither of them even looking at the camera, it seemed to be missing something...or someone.

Turns out what it was missing was the recently departed Mike Nesmith, who had also been there on that colorful set with them. They didn't even bother to do a new photo session with the remaining duo of Monkees. 

Now, though, I've learned that the image itself has been manipulated, with all the color and shadows added  (and very well in those pre-Photoshop days!). The actual photos of Mike, Davy, and Micky were lifted from this exact still taken from a 1969 Monkees appearance on THE JOEY BISHOP SHOW!

The question, of course, remains as to why this odd image of Micky and Davy was chosen when the Monkees after Peter left had numerous actual publicity photos as a trio where Mike could've been edited out! Here are a couple now. 

This morning, I spent 8 minutes making this NEW 2024 LP cover for 1970's CHANGES. 



Saturday, June 15, 2024

Song of the South-1946

Interesting to see this early marketing for Walt Disney's SONG OF THE SOUTH, which would go on to become one of the great hot-button issues among Disney fans. Back in the '90s, I got a bootleg copy on VHS. I asked every black person who came into my store for a few days their opinion of it. Most who knew it liked it! Many stared humming or even singing the songs! Two women paid me to burn them copies of it!

For the record there are zero slaves in the film as it's set during the Reconstruction era. The movie itself is a fairly dull drama but the animation sequences are gold, the music is memorable, and James Baskett as Uncle Remus remains visually iconic. A shame people can't actually see his great performance anymore. He actually died soon afterwards. 


Tuesday, June 04, 2024

Comics Artists in Cheri in the 1970s


I was just a few months away from turning 18 when CHERI magazine debuted in the summer of the Bicentennial year 1976. I had never seen a copy of PLAYBOY but I had been buying HUSTLER and HIGH SOCIETY magazines for a while at that point. I had premature grey hair and was never once carded. When CHERI came along, it became my new favorite. Not only was it just as explicit as those other two (probably a bit more so, actually) but it also had work in nearly every issue by some very familiar comics artists!


CHERI was essentially a news magazine, only all the news was about sex. There were photo essays of adult industry events and sex worker protests, reviews of XXX films and live sex shows, coverage of various censorship issues, etc. but there were also fictional pieces in each issue, columns by names in the industry (such as the now legendary Annie Sprinkle and my wonderful Facebook pal of the past decade or so, Jeanne Silver), and, naturally, the life blood of this type of mag, photo layouts. 


I was still living at home at the time I was buying these so I couldn’t keep them long for fear that my parents (or my aunt who came down to help clean the house sometimes) might find them. I was, however, reminded of all this today when I ran into the first two years of issues on the Internet Archive. 


The comics artists who pop up in these early issues are Marshall Rogers, Russ Heath, Gary Hallgren, Rand Holmes (an article about him as well as a new color strip by him), Wallace Wood, (a small piece on SALLY FORTH and a full reprint of MY WORD from BIG APPLE COMIX), Larry Hama and Ralph Reese along with Neal Adams (a part color reprint of their BIG APPLE collaboration, published originally only in black and white), Clay Geerdes, Robert Crumb (color reprints of black and white underground strips), Bruce Patterson, Frank Cirocco, Mary Wilshire, Bill Plympton, Mary Sativa, Trina Robbins, Paul Kirchner (as Kurt Schnurr”). Bill Wenzel, Lee Marrs, and Billy Graham. Some illustrate articles, some offer gag cartoons, some new comics stories, some reprinted ones, some spot illustrations and a couple are just reprints in small pieces written about them. 


By the last two issues of 1977, the familiar artists seem to have largely disappeared, perhaps due to editorial changes. It should go without saying that while these are not fully hardcore magazines, they are 100% NSFW and are at times, more explicit than even stuff on the market today! If you are easily offended, stay away. Heck, if you get offended by things at all, I’d recommend keeping your distance. If you’re intrigued, however, they’re all online. 


Saturday, May 25, 2024

Roddy McDowall in 1963

I've called Roddy McDowall one of my favorite actors since the early '70s. Unlike many child actors, he actually took acting lessons as he grew and conquered the stage, then worked his way back to television and movies. This look back from 1963 was five years before PLANET OF THE APES.


Monday, May 13, 2024

Doctor Who Does Yellow Submarine

SPOILER ALERT: My son just told me he read this online and it makes SO much sense to me. The Beatles episode of DOCTOR WHO, "The Devil's Chord," is an updated adaptation of YELLOW SUBMARINE!

You have the androgynous, over-the-top villain in blue who wants to take all music away. 

We're shown the dark, gray results of this. The heroes arrive in a most unusual mode of transportation and have to save Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and bring back LOVE.

When they learn that newer meanies are on the horizon, they even do what the Beatles did--they go out singing! With a bunch of other people! All Together Now!

There's even a Butterfly Stomper (although it's in the previous episode)! Foreshadowing!

Thursday, May 09, 2024

Saturday, May 04, 2024

Stan Lee's Film International, 1975

Here's something one rarely hears about. In 1975, Magazine Management--formerly Martin Goodman's publishing empire--put out at least 4 issues of an odd hybrid magazine called FILM INTERNATIONAL. The covers of issues 1-4 could pass for adult mags, and about half of the content could as well. An article about Kirk Douglas, for instance, is followed by a nostalgic piece about Greta Garbo, and then a feature on XXX film star Jamie Gillis, complete with lots of naked pics! Every issue mixes porn articles and reviews with typical mainstream movie star articles of the day.

The kicker here is that Stan Lee is the publisher, and even writes some of his notoriously unfunny captioned photos! His old Marvel cohort Sol Brodsky is VP, his wife Joan is listed as Art Assistant, and some of the other names I recognize from Marvel mags as well.

PLAYBOY film critics Hollis Albert and Arthur Knight are the only names I recognize among the writers. Leonard Maltin reviews books and gossip columnist Army Archerd shares gossip. I wouldn't be surprised if their pieces were reprinted from elsewhere. Maybe not. Alan LeMond, who also edited MM's NOSTALGIA ILLUSTRATED at the same time, is the editor.