Wednesday, November 30, 2011

More Still Film: Through the looking glass.

These are some extra stills I captured from the scene where Dorothy saves the young imprisoned princess of Oz, who steps through the mirror and grants her the magic to go back to Kansas.  I love how this final, joyous scene where Oz honors Dorothy for saving the kingdom, the palace is all chintzy and gold, resembling some strange cross between a frilly vintage Xmas celebration, a Thai food restaurant, and Cinco de Mayo.

From the film "Return to Oz" (1985)

  See loads more stills from the movie at my Return to Oz series of posts:

Monday, November 28, 2011

Dreaming in technicolor.

Marianne Faithful singing "Dreaming my Dreams", 1975.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Psychedelic Disney.

Do you remember seeing your parents' old mid-60s era film negatives that were all faded violet red?  I still have old Viewmaster slides from my childhood, hand-me-downs from the sixties, that also faded to that warm purple-y color.   Supposedly it was a very specific era of film that looked more true to color at the time, but which people did not realize would faded to reddish purple within a few years.  These photos remind me of my old Viewmaster slides.  I love Disney's old psychedelic kaleidoscopic style.  The strange violet tint makes it all seem even more mad.  

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Sweater in Wonderland.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


This music is by Mimi and Richard Fariña, inspired by Fariña's good friend and fellow writer Thomas Pynchon's book V, an advance copy of which Pynchon sent to Fariña to peruse and critique.  The Fariña's then composed this piece.    Fariña was a spooky character, still haunting 60s folk music and literature.  

From Video Description:

"Edited by Videodrumz 2011. Song inspired by Thomas Pynchon's novel "V" (1963). Mimi and Richard Fariña with tambourine accompaniment by Bruce Langhorne.

The droning dulcimer has a Near Eastern flavour which seems to have been inspired by the Alexandria of V.'s Chapter 3. In his liner notes for Celebrations for a Grey Day, Richard Fariña describes his composition thusly: 
"Call it an East-West dreamsong in the Underground Mode for Tom Pynchon and Benny Profane. The literary listener will no doubt find clues to the geographical co-ordinates of Vheissu, the maternal antecedents of the younger Stencil, and a three-dimensional counter-part of Botticelli's Venus on the half-shell. May they hang again on a western wall." 

Excerpt from review of Positively 4th Street: The Lives and Times of Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Mimi Baez Fariña and Richard Fariña by David Hajdu: 

"A stoned Fariña advising Dylan to cynically hitch his wagon to Joan's rising star and "start a whole new genre. Poetry set to music, but not chamber music or beatnik jazz, man... poetry you can dance to."  Hajdu compellingly asserts that Fariña, not Dylan, invented folk rock and provided fodder for Dylan's trademark sensibilities. Fariña invented the worldly-wise bohemian persona that Dylan adopted -- some say stole -- and made his own."

"Fariña's only claim to fame, Been Down so Long It Looks Like Up to Me was in many ways the 60's complement to the rollicking, wide open classic On the Road. If On the Road was a careening, pedal-to-the-metal sort of hopped-up, amphetamine driven travelogue through a burned out Freudian landscape, Been Down So Long was a stroll through a Jungian meadow where Fariña's archetypes asked deep, pot-inspired philosophical questions of life and love and raged against the machine. 
He never quite emerged, after his sudden death, into the sunlight of renown. With the sort of life irony befitting an aspiring, almost famous author, Fariña died on a beautiful stretch of highway named Carmel Valley Road on April 30th, 1966 while celebrating the publication of Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up To Me. It was his wife Mimi's birthday when the road called to him one last time for one last ride. So he hitched a ride on the back of a friend's motorcycle. Less than a mile down the road, the driver took a mountainous curve at ninety miles an hour. The motorcycle was destroyed, the driver lived ... and Fariña died."

Monday, November 21, 2011

Sleeping beauty.

Disney after dark.

From "Walt Disney's Disneyland After Dark" Special, 1962

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Wonderful World of Color.

The opening for Walt Disney's "Wonderful World of Color" circa 1960s

I can't tell you how influential the 50-60s era Disney aesthetic was on me.  Everything from the jewel toned designs to the songs filled with swelling choruses.   In its syndicated run in the 80s, I used to watch this special with my mom every week, hypnotized by the kaleidoscope effects in the opening.   Although studying up on Walt himself later in life, I came to find him and Disney an evil threat on a real sense of grassroots communities and a homogenizing, sanitizing force on American culture....   But, I digress.  Aren't those colored lights magical?

Friday, November 18, 2011

The Peacock.

60s-era Laramie style NBC Peacock
It could be seen before every NBC television show presented in color from 1962 until 1970.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Album Covers of Marsha Hunt.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Colors of the night.

"Colors of the night - C-O-L-O-R-S", 1967

I can't really tell if the band name is C-o-l-o-r-s or if the band name is "Colors of the night", but one is the song title, and one is the band's name.  

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Season of the Witch

Julie Driscoll "Season of the Witch", 1968 cover (originally by Donovan).

Some amazing stage sets!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Road to Cairo.

Julie Driscoll - Road to Cairo (1968)

Amazing Middle Eastern-influenced 60s styling, and an amazing song. 

Friday, November 11, 2011

Norwegian Wood.

The Great Northern.

Via Julia

Nothing gives that eerie, gorgeous, warm fall feeling like Twin Peaks.  The roaring fire places, the woodland cabin lodge, the bold reds, and all those mysterious pines...

Up up and away.

The Beatles circa 1966 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Art on 70s album covers.

There was a lot of great art work on 70s album covers.  For the first time en masse, Rock and R&B/Soul musicians started utilizing artists to interpret their music on the cover.   The trend started in the mid-late sixties with psychedelic rock bands and continued to other genres of music as well.  Though, unfortunately, its often very hard to track down the name of the artists as they were often not credited.

"Innervisions", a landmark album, has amazing artwork tucked into the album and on the back cover.  It took me a while to find out that the artist was Efram Wolff, who there isn't a lot of information about online.  The O Jay's also had beautiful album cover art with "Ships Ahoy" which was done by James Barkley, portraying the shared struggle of black folks on the deck of a boat gazing at the stars and huddled in the belly of a ship, evoking symbolism of Africa and the slave trade.   Marvin Gaye's "I want you" is not only famous for the sexy soul on the album but also for using a classic 1971 painting by Ernie Barnes called "The Sugar Shack" which depicts the early Southern juke joint hangouts where R&B and the Blues were born.  The painting, labeled 'neo-mannerist' for its distortion and elongation of body proportion and space,  caught Gaye's eye and he became a collector of Barnes' work.  He then asked Barnes to do an adaptation for Marvin's album to show banners hanging down that represented Gaye's music.  The painting was also adapted for the opening of the show "Good Times", cementing it as an iconic painting.  I couldn't find any info on the cover art for Grant Green's 1970 album "Green is Beautiful" but its a lovely contour style line drawing background with unexpected shadowing of Grant's figure.  

Foxy lady.

I'm not sure if this video clip is the original music video for Jimi Hendrix's "Foxy Lady" or if someone just paired this footage with the song, but its a great look at late 60s clothes, filming styles, and locations.  

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Another tea break with Ringo.... and Paul.

"Every time I went for a cup of tea, he was on the drums!"
-Ringo Starr

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Let it be Sessions.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Fashions of 1969 by Mary Quant.

From Video Description:
"MARY QUANT fashion report from London Aktuell 1969.
Pearls by Piero Piccioni Original Motion Picture Soundtrack from Camille 2000 (1969)."

Sunday, November 6, 2011

John and Yoko in Autumn.

John and Yoko always had insane style.  I love how you can accurately estimate the exact year in which a photo of them was taken, just by the style phase they were in.  Possibly my favorite John and Yoko style period is the late sixties when they went through two phases.  First, John in his Let it Be look-- clean shaven with long hair and granny glasses-- hung out with Yoko in massive fur coats and easy relaxed fit trousers of bold colors.  In the cold months they were also seen sporting massive black matching capes, and there are a few films of them strolling Tittenhurst (John's English estate) in their brilliant Halloween-like gothic get-ups.  By the end of the sixties John and Yoko were in their most iconic style phase with the two wearing almost exclusively black or white ensembles, John with a hefty beard to match his Jesus hair, and Yoko, still with her long witchy hairdo also sheathed in black and white.   They hosted the bed-ins in this phase and were doing the most publicity of their careers during this 'campaign' for peace' period.  As the 70s wore on, they got more into fashion fads dictated by other more influential bands of the decade:  denim get-ups, badge-laden vests, cut-offs, hotpants for Yoko, and slogan tees.  But those pre-New York John and Yoko styles were all their own...when they were inventing new looks from thin air, when the Beatles were on top, Yoko was fresh on the scene, and the British Invasion hadn't quite ended.  

Saturday, November 5, 2011

The Beatles' "Help!" (1965) Autumn style.

I really love the Beatles' look throughout 1965's Help! but my favorite is definitely when they are performing the concert in the field.   In this scene, their clothes are very military influenced (the plot called for the Beatles to be under attack, protected by the army from their attackers).  The Beatles definitely continued takes on the military theme through their Shea Stadium performance (complete with Sheriff-like badges), Sgt Pepper, and even later into Lennon's solo career and radical politics phase  where he sported Vietnam war gear.  

Both the war Help! scene and the palace scenes remind me of the cover of Rubber Soul-- lots of thick autumn/winter fabrics like tanned leathers, soft suedes, thick knits, and corduroy everything.  I am a real sucker for corduroy myself, so I can't wait to the fall season when my brightly colored cord pants just perfectly fit into place.  I just love those muddy colors, always anchored by a crisp turtleneck or--- like Ringo-- a boldly colored button down flaunting white buttons.  Chelsea boots are also a weakness of mine.  To this day if I see a guy or girl in Chelsea boots I've got an instant crush... must be all those Beatles movies I consumed as a child.  

Watch the military-esque Fall styling (khaki, khaki, khaki, olive, berets, turtlenecks, khaki) in all its glory in this Help! scene when George sings "I Need You"near Stonehenge, with tanks positioned, awaiting an onslaught by the mystic enemies.  

See stills of the scene via Yahoo Music Blog

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