Somebody get me that time machine, because this is the version of adulthood in which I want to live.
Just two career gals...Sally and Janet, we'll call them...two bachelor gals living together in their own fifth-floor walk-up apartment, in The Big City, and all that that implies.
They don't plan on being in the secretarial pool at Dewey, Cheatem, and Thensome forever, of course. In fact, they both have great hopes for the two young go-getters from the accounting department at the office...Stan and Hal, we'll call them...who are coming around for chips and dip and maybe a lively game of Scrabble, perhaps a bit of dancing to the records Sally and Janet so carefully set out on the Hi-Fi. Everyone likes Stan Getz, right? Sure they do. And that "Corcovado" song is just right for slow dancing, should things go well.
Carefully coiffed, nine thousand gallons of hairspray used between the two of them to lacquer their looks into place, Sally and Janet are no floozies. Sure, they're modern girls, and both like a good time. They'll invite a suitor or two into their apartment for some laughs. But try some Funny Business, and you'll be shown the door. A girl has to have morals, after all, even if it is the Space Age. Men don't buy the cow when they can drink the milk for free!
Or, apparently, drink mind-boggling amounts of Schlitz. I don't think neither Stan nor Hal are very marriage-minded at all, bringing that much beer to the party like Sally and Janet are a couple of good-time floozies! A girl always prefers pretty flowers to a couple of six-packs, fellas!
"Can you believe that Stan? He tried to cop a feel while we were dancing!" Sally huffed, as she took off her pearls. "And he seemed like such a doll at the Christmas party," said Janet. Then she sighed, unhooked her left stocking, and daintily yanked it from her leg.
It was the one saving grace from that horrid spring of 1993, when my entire worldview was shattered by Dylan McKay choosing slutty Kelly over soulful Brenda.
And no, I am still not over it.
For those of you who do not remember (perhaps because you are too young...yeesh!), Beverly Hills, 90210 had popular tunes and videos playing over the ending credits most of the time. This song was one of them, and had a little Donna Martin cameo at the very beginning, standing at a jukebox at the Peach Pit. She looks up and says, "Jeremy Jordan...all right!"
I'll never forget watching The Young Ones on MTV in early 1988, after 120 Minutes. No other show before or since knocked me on my ass more. It changed my comedic sensibilities forever, and for the better, and Rik Mayall was a HUGE part of that.
Hopeful pastel-colored tissue-paper blooms, the lovely smile of a young lady wearing what I suspect is the product of many hours of labor by her mother at a sewing machine and a Simplicity pattern (or perhaps she made it All By Herself in her Home Ec class), the proud yet slightly sheepish smile of a tall young man who is thrilled to be the young lady's escort (so you can forgive his predilection for plaid)...it's photos like these that keep me blogging here.
I've always said that 1965 was the best year for music.
Certainly it brought to listeners one of the most iconic records of the decade, if not ever. Not just for the music, mind you (but oh, that music was fabulous!)...but that sexy, salacious, audacious album cover.
You know the one, because chances are, your parents had this record in their collection, too.
Let's have a cocktail party.
Put the kids to bed early, put this record on the hi-fi, and put the nibbles on the coffee table. I hope I made enough rumaki for everyone...
I'll have a vodka gimlet, please, darling. Will you zip up my new dress?
Now, sweetheart, remember...you promised not to get too tight and argue politics with Stan Facemeyer like you did the other night at the Howards'. Linda Facemeyer is one of my very best friends, and we hate it when you boys argue.
*DING DONG* Get the door, will you, sweetie? I can't go out there without my lipstick!
At the tender age of eight, Susan Cowsill appeared with "family band" The Cowsills on The Ed Sullivan Show. You read that right: she was eight years old.
She may have been a kid, but she works that tambourine and sings like she was born to be in the band with her brothers and mother. You can't take your eyes off of her. Whatever "it factor" was or is, little Susan had it, and in spades. She was a groovy little chick, a real voodoo child. And when that young lady started dancing? Forget it. The girl had moves.
CBS flubbed the audio on the first verse and chorus in this clip. Stick with it; when the mikes get switched on properly, you get to hear the band's remarkable vocals.
All of the Cowsill children were the victims of their militant, domineering father, Bud. The Cowsills were so liked by Ed Sullivan, he wanted them for an unheard-of TEN guest appearances for the show. However, because of the audio flub by CBS at the beginning of the song, Bud had a huge argument with the Sullivan people.
The Cowsills would only appear once more on the show. UPDATE from October 2014: I found this clip, a medley of tunes showcasing each individual member. Little Susan belts out "Sweet-talkin' Guy."
"Joanie, you look so pretty in that Nehru jacket! Go pose with Mr. Whiskers by the tree."
I am a big fan of "found photos."
You've heard of this, right? People go to flea markets and garage sales and buy up old unwanted photographs for their own use and enjoyment.
At first, I thought this was the saddest pursuit I had ever come across. Then I changed my mind. Photos don't have to lose their purpose when they become orphaned; no, instead photos and their subjects find new lives, new appreciation, and no one is forgotten.
After all, what is a photograph? I am a person. I walked on this planet. I had a life, and someone thought to document a moment of that life, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant. I was here.
Now I myself am an avid collector. And the Internet, Pinterest especially, is a fountain of such photos. My favorites involve people posing with their pets. Since I am a much-abused human belonging to a cat, I like photos with kitties the best...so much so, "Random Kitties" is a new category here on this blog.
Nothing warms the jaded cockles of my heart like a fresh big ole' mess of commercials from 1979. It's like God heard my prayer, (no, not the one where The Almighty starts bestowing upon me an unlimited supply of Xanax-infused Magnum ice cream bars, the other prayer) and He had me find His bountiful, um, bounty on YouTube just now.
These commercials aired on ABC on November 23rd, 1979.
1. Contac 2. Mystique Books 3. Maybelline Eye Color Styling Pencils 4. Tostitos 5. Promo for "The Ropers", "Detective School", "The Love Boat" and "Fantasy Island" 6. ABC Station ID 7. TV Spot for "10" 8. Chimere 9. Promo for "When She Was Bad" 10.
"Playboy's Roller Disco & Pajama Party" Commercial Bumper 11. Promo for "Mork & Mindy" 12. Eyewitness News Update 13. Amoco 14. Promo for "Ski Scene" 15. KSTP Station ID 16. One A Day Plus Iron 17. Signal 18. Promo for "Eight Is Enough", "Charlie's Angels" and "Vega$" 19. Hefty 20. Ruffles 21. Pepsi 22. Mazda RX-7 23. "Playboy's Roller Disco & Pajama Party" End Credits
I must have done something to please Our Lord. Oh, I know what it must have been: I didn't steal 23 packets of chopsticks at the conveyor belt sushi joint yesterday like I usually do. Thanks, Santa Jesus!
"When She Was Bad" = "When Television Movies Had Cheryl Ladd and Robert Urich In Them, And Life Was Great"
Dorothy Stratten was featured heavily in the Playboy show, both roller-skating in a bikini and dancing in modest lingerie with The Village People (ironically, to a song called, "Are You Ready For The Eighties?"). You don't see her in this clip, but it's easy to find on YouTube.
All kidding aside...I know Dorothy was a gift from God. It hurts to look at her, knowing that her happiness on earth would be so brief.
Don't get me wrong. I enjoy Convenient Meats as much as the next gal, especially in a party setting, as I am usually too shy to speak to anyone and wind up drowning my sorrows in several party-size platters of assorted cold cuts.
And I am willing to overlook the fact that Our Lovely Hostess has apparently chosen to go with a quasi-Polynesian theme for her Whores Devores (hors d'oeuvres). You just know those cherries came straight from a glorious syrupy jar, and the pineapple is courtesy of Dole!
I can't, however, overlook the hair. It fascinates me. The amount of engineering...not to mention hairspray...involved in this coiffure belongs in The Hairdo Hall Of Fame. If one exists. And if one doesn't, should I start one?
I haven't been around much lately. I've been really busy with actual writing work, and while I always mean to update this blog, it always seems to fall by the proverbial wayside.
Do you ever read Peter Frampton's Facebook page? If you don't, you should, as in, yesterday. He is a very funny, very droll individual. He writes about his music as well as other little tidbits from his life, such as going to the mall so he can browse at the Apple store.
Here's my favorite of his, a 1975 recording of "Doobie Wah."
I remember it like it was yesterday...listening to WFBQ, Indianapolis' own Q95, for hours on end, laying out in Suzanne's back yard, drenched in Coppertone tanning lotion, drinking Tab (Diet Coke was still a very new product that summer).
I was twelve...going on twenty-seven. Boy crazy and made up like a cocktail waitress most of the time. Was there a better purple eyeshadow than Aziza, in those days? I don't think so. But yeah, most of the time, I was all dolled up like I belonged in Vegas, not in our humble home in Lafayette, Indiana.
Here's to thirty years ago, here's to great music, and here's to Casey Kasem: a voice every bit as cherished to our generation as the records we spun during that long, hot, distant summer.
In the summer of 1979, my next-door neighbor and best childhood friend, Suzanne, went to London with her family for several weeks.
This was no small feat for 1970s suburban Indiana. Their trip even made the local newspaper.
When Suzanne returned, she had a treasure trove of records she bought in the Picadilly Circus shops. Such an education for fascinated me. I was all of eight years old, but I listened to those records constantly with Suzanne. "Angeleyes/Voulez Vous," by ABBA. "Gangsters," by The Specials. "Born To Be Alive," by Patrick Hernandez. All of the singles had those peculiar small holes in the middle; no need for the ubiquitous spindle adapters that usually littered the console on Suzanne's stereo.
My favorite record was the triumphant smash hit, "I Don't Like Mondays," by The Boomtown Rats. Featuring soaring piano and clever, biting lyrics, lead singer Bob Geldof wrote the song in response to the Brenda Ann Spencer massacre in January 1979."The silicone chip inside her head gets switched to overload," remains, in my opinion, one of the most brilliant opening lines of a song to date.
Everyone knows and loves that song, right? It deserves the adulation. But have you ever heard the B-side? It deserves adulation, too, as a rip-roaring punk rocker right out of Dingwalls, featuring a double-tracked vocal by Geldof and relentless guitar work by Garry Cott. The infectious ending is particularly effective.