April 17, 2015

U.N.C.L.E. ROCKSTEADY

We've been having a dance party here at the Spy Vibe lair for a couple of weeks. I just keep discovering fun ska, rocksteady, and calypso tunes that either hail from the Cold War or pay tribute to popular secret agents. We have two peculiar tracks today that name-checked The Man From U.N.C.L.E.. Ike Bennet and the Crystalites released "Illya Kuryakin" in 1968 on Crystal Records as well as on Chris Blackwell's Island Records (WI-3134). The tune was produced by Derrick Harrlott. If Spy Vibers recognize the chorus it's because it's actually a lift from Percy Faith's famous "A Summer Place". Lynn Taitt and the Jets put out their U.N.C.L.E. track "Napoleon Solo" backed with "Pressure and Slide" during the same year (Island #WI-3139). Apparently it was common to put out tunes that, at least in name, made reference to hot properties. I'll share more Bond tunes from the islands soon. Strange but fascinating artifacts from the later Spy Boom. Label images and videos below. Enjoy!




Selected Spy Vibe posts: Pussy Galore Calypso, Cynthia Lennon R.I.P.Edward Mann FashionLeonard Nimoy TributeShatner at 84Bob Morane seriesNew Saint PublicationsThe Saint Complete box setGerry Anderson Box SetsMusic For SpiesThai Bond DesignBrian Clemens RIPBond vs ModernismImitation GameNew Avengers BooksRingo Does GoldfingerSixties Beat WearPopular SkulltureArt of ModestyAvengers Blu-ray updateTokyo Beat 1964Polaroid SpyFeraud Mod FashionFlint Scores!Bond DanishNew Richard Sala BookNew 007 ComicsDesigning Bond BooksGreen Hornet MangaMargaret Nolan ArtNo 6 FestivalBarbarella ReturnsDesigner: Gene WinfieldAvengers Interview: Michael RichardsonIan Fleming: Wicked GrinJane Bond Hong Kong RecordsRyan Heshka Interview, Comics Week: Man From R.I.V.E.R.D.A.L.E.Comics Week: ArchieComics Week: Robots, Comics Week: Cold War Atomic, Comics Week: SPYMANComics Week: Jimmy OlsenRare Avengers ScriptsMan From Uncle UK ComicsThunderbirds ComicsShakespeare Spies: Diana RiggShakespeare Spies I, Rodney Marshall Avengers InterviewAvengers Book: Bowler Hats & Kinky BootsGeorge Lois Design & Mad MenRichard Sala: Super-Enigmatix, Cold War Archie, Playboy Bunny InterviewThe 10th Victim Japanese and KindleU.N.C.L.E. Japanese Books, The Saint books returnTrina Robbins InterviewCatsuits, Batman '66 Green Hornet Interview: Ralph Garman Ty Templeton.

April 14, 2015

007 GILBERT TOYS

I must admit this Sears advertisement from 1965 still excites the little kid in me. Gilbert's James Bond and the World of 007 was a "complete set packed with action and intrigue" and featured ten major figures (Bond in dinner suit, Dr. No, Oddjob, Goldfinger, Domino, Bond in scuba suit, Bond with rifle, Largo, M, and Miss Moneypenny), Goldfinger's laser table and revolving pool table, Dr. No's dragon-tank, M's bulletproof desk, Largo's yacht, and Bond's Aston Martin. The car is now quite rare, as is the original four-scene stage (Thunderball, Dr. No's lab, M's office, and Goldfinger's lodge). I love how the illustrations suggest a close appearance to the actors. The actual figures were super cool, but not so detailed. Do Spy Vibers remember looking at Sears toy catalogs when you were growing up? According to this ad, the set included "everything to recreate Bond's most thrilling adventures" -all for only $9.99! I had most of the set (mint on card) in college, but sold them off to help finance my first trip to Japan. I'm working on a new secret project and may have to re-collect some of these to photograph. My birthday is coming up by the way... Enjoy!


Selected Spy Vibe posts: Pussy Galore Calypso, Cynthia Lennon R.I.P.Edward Mann FashionLeonard Nimoy TributeShatner at 84Bob Morane seriesNew Saint PublicationsThe Saint Complete box setGerry Anderson Box SetsMusic For SpiesThai Bond DesignBrian Clemens RIPBond vs ModernismImitation GameNew Avengers BooksRingo Does GoldfingerSixties Beat WearPopular SkulltureArt of ModestyAvengers Blu-ray updateTokyo Beat 1964Polaroid SpyFeraud Mod FashionFlint Scores!Bond DanishNew Richard Sala BookNew 007 ComicsDesigning Bond BooksGreen Hornet MangaMargaret Nolan ArtNo 6 FestivalBarbarella ReturnsDesigner: Gene WinfieldAvengers Interview: Michael RichardsonIan Fleming: Wicked GrinJane Bond Hong Kong RecordsRyan Heshka Interview, Comics Week: Man From R.I.V.E.R.D.A.L.E.Comics Week: ArchieComics Week: Robots, Comics Week: Cold War Atomic, Comics Week: SPYMANComics Week: Jimmy OlsenRare Avengers ScriptsMan From Uncle UK ComicsThunderbirds ComicsShakespeare Spies: Diana RiggShakespeare Spies I, Rodney Marshall Avengers InterviewAvengers Book: Bowler Hats & Kinky BootsGeorge Lois Design & Mad MenRichard Sala: Super-Enigmatix, Cold War Archie, Playboy Bunny InterviewThe 10th Victim Japanese and KindleU.N.C.L.E. Japanese Books, The Saint books returnTrina Robbins InterviewCatsuits, Batman '66 Green Hornet Interview: Ralph Garman Ty Templeton.

April 12, 2015

TRANSISTOR RADIOS

Warehouse find: Made in Japan: Transistor Radios of the 1950s and 1960s. It's fascinating to see how design often reflects a time period or trends in popular culture. That was the premise of this cool coffee table book published by Chronicle back in 1993. Transistor radios were not only cutting-edge gadgetry for young moderns, their aesthetics, like table-top radios in the 1930s and 1940s, were modeled to appeal to kids during the atomic, jet, and space ages. The book was designed by award-winning firm Erbe Design and has been long out-of-print and collectible. Bud's Art Books just found thirteen original copies in their warehouse and they can be picked up for only $11.95 each (copies may have slight damage to corners and covers). From their site: "Before the boom-box, the Walkman, or the compact disc player, there was the transistor radio. For many in the fifties and sixties, the transistor radio was an indispensable part of daily life--for catching a ball game, grooving to Top-40 tunes, or listening to late night radio under the covers after "lights-out." In order to attract the American consumer, Japanese designers borrowed motifs from automobiles, coffee shops, graphics, fine art, and other elements of American culture. Here is that story, plus a wonderful illustrated look at all the coolest designs. Here they trace m the history of the transistor radio from its American invention to its Japanese mass production and its subsequent stylistic developments. Made in Japan celebrates the pocket-sized radio as a popular cultural icon and as an art form in its own right; the "hipster" radio, for example mimicked the fashion style of the day, while radios with names like the Comet, Satellite, Skymaster, and Mercury reflected the burgeoning American obsession with space travel." 108 pages. Images below from Erbe Design. Enjoy! Don't miss Spy Vibe's recent post: Pussy Galore Calypso





Selected Spy Vibe posts: Pussy Galore Calypso, Cynthia Lennon R.I.P.Edward Mann FashionLeonard Nimoy TributeShatner at 84Bob Morane seriesNew Saint PublicationsThe Saint Complete box setGerry Anderson Box SetsMusic For SpiesThai Bond DesignBrian Clemens RIPBond vs ModernismImitation GameNew Avengers BooksRingo Does GoldfingerSixties Beat WearPopular SkulltureArt of ModestyAvengers Blu-ray updateTokyo Beat 1964Polaroid SpyFeraud Mod FashionFlint Scores!Bond DanishNew Richard Sala BookNew 007 ComicsDesigning Bond BooksGreen Hornet MangaMargaret Nolan ArtNo 6 FestivalBarbarella ReturnsDesigner: Gene WinfieldAvengers Interview: Michael RichardsonIan Fleming: Wicked GrinJane Bond Hong Kong RecordsRyan Heshka Interview, Comics Week: Man From R.I.V.E.R.D.A.L.E.Comics Week: ArchieComics Week: Robots, Comics Week: Cold War Atomic, Comics Week: SPYMANComics Week: Jimmy OlsenRare Avengers ScriptsMan From Uncle UK ComicsThunderbirds ComicsShakespeare Spies: Diana RiggShakespeare Spies I, Rodney Marshall Avengers InterviewAvengers Book: Bowler Hats & Kinky BootsGeorge Lois Design & Mad MenRichard Sala: Super-Enigmatix, Cold War Archie, Playboy Bunny InterviewThe 10th Victim Japanese and KindleU.N.C.L.E. Japanese Books, The Saint books returnTrina Robbins InterviewCatsuits, Batman '66 Green Hornet Interview: Ralph Garman Ty Templeton.

April 11, 2015

PUSSY GALORE CALYPSO

We had a great Ska party here at the Spy Vibe lair last weekend. To tell you the truth, the music never stopped! Once the floodgates of my curiosity opened, I just kept digging and discovering more treasures. One of my favorite tracks comes from Calypso artist Young Growler. Calypso has been called "the poor man's newspaper". The form functions as a narrative medium to spread the news and catch communities up on important goings-on. The tradition is filled with great songs about politics and historical people. One of the big events in 1964 was the James Bond film, Goldfinger, which launched the spy boom around the world. For songsmith Evral Davey (aka E. Davis, Young Growler), the movie inspired a kind of musical review and a tale of his experience going to see the film. And who made the biggest impression on him? Pussy Galore! There have actually been a few songs devoted to Honor Blackman's character, but today we feature Young Growler. Pussy Galore was released by Young Growler on Island Records as part of the Jump Up series printed in England in 1965 (cat#JU529). It's kind of amusing his previous single included the song Topless Dress (JU528). Jump Up was a subsidiary between 1963-1967 of Island Records, founded by none other than Chris Blackwell. Blackwell is the son of Blanche Blackwell, often called the love of Ian Fleming's life! Chris Blackwell began Island Records in 1962, around the same time he was hired to work on production of Dr. No in Jamaica. He sold Island Records to PolyGram in 1989 and now runs Island Outpost, a resort group that includes Ian Fleming's Jamaican home, GoldenEye. I'd love to talk with Chris about these early Ska and Calypso songs- especially if it meant I could fulfill my dream of staying at the Fleming villa (anyone have a genie in a lamp we can call on for a favor?). Pussy Galore was also released on Wirl Records (West Indies Records founded in 1958 by Edward Seaga). Vintage labels and video below. Note: the song does not appear on the Rough Guide to Calypso Gold CD as pictured in the video. It was included, however, on the compilation Calypso: Musical Poetry in the Caribbean 1955-69 (Soul Jazz Records). Enjoy!



Selected Spy Vibe posts: Cynthia Lennon R.I.P.Edward Mann FashionLeonard Nimoy TributeShatner at 84Bob Morane seriesNew Saint PublicationsThe Saint Complete box setGerry Anderson Box SetsMusic For SpiesThai Bond DesignBrian Clemens RIPBond vs ModernismImitation GameNew Avengers BooksRingo Does GoldfingerSixties Beat WearPopular SkulltureArt of ModestyAvengers Blu-ray updateTokyo Beat 1964Polaroid SpyFeraud Mod FashionFlint Scores!Bond DanishNew Richard Sala BookNew 007 ComicsDesigning Bond BooksGreen Hornet MangaMargaret Nolan ArtNo 6 FestivalBarbarella ReturnsDesigner: Gene WinfieldAvengers Interview: Michael RichardsonIan Fleming: Wicked GrinJane Bond Hong Kong RecordsRyan Heshka Interview, Comics Week: Man From R.I.V.E.R.D.A.L.E.Comics Week: ArchieComics Week: Robots, Comics Week: Cold War Atomic, Comics Week: SPYMANComics Week: Jimmy OlsenRare Avengers ScriptsMan From Uncle UK ComicsThunderbirds ComicsShakespeare Spies: Diana RiggShakespeare Spies I, Rodney Marshall Avengers InterviewAvengers Book: Bowler Hats & Kinky BootsGeorge Lois Design & Mad MenRichard Sala: Super-Enigmatix, Cold War Archie, Playboy Bunny InterviewThe 10th Victim Japanese and KindleU.N.C.L.E. Japanese Books, The Saint books returnTrina Robbins InterviewCatsuits, Batman '66 Green Hornet Interview: Ralph Garman Ty Templeton.

April 10, 2015

NEW CALLAN BOOK

New release: UK distributor Network announced an exciting book today that will appeal to Spy Vibers. Callan: Under the Red File is an in-depth look at the Cold War series starring Edward Woodward (The Equalizer). Andrew Pixley has completed a 371-page history that will be a must-read for spy fans. From the press release: "Nearly ten years in the writing, Callan: Under the Red File has been a labour of love for both Network and the book's author, Andrew Pixley. Anyone familiar with Network's releases will know our history with Andrew is a long one and he has done some excellent work for us over the years- with his books on The Prisoner, Danger Man, Public Eye and The Professionals all raising the bar for this type of archive research. Ahead of our upcoming Callan documentary, you can now buy Andrew's new book exclusively from networkonair.com. Initially a cult success before becoming one of British television's most watched programmes, Callan brought the gritty, downbeat angle of Cold War espionage to 1960s British television. In stark contrast to the glamour of James Bond and the stylized capers of The Avengers, the man known as David Callan was a highly skilled killer, tasked by the Government to eliminate threats to national security. This reluctant, conscience-wracked assassin was brought to life in a remarkable performance by Edward Woodward, cementing his popularity as an actor many years before he achieved major international success in both Breaker Morant and The Equalizer. This exhaustive book is the definitive look at the creation, production, broadcast and reception of all four series. From its conception as a one-off BBC play, through its development by ABC Television, its success as one of Thames Television's highest-rated programmes, its subsequent ATV revival and its expansion into novels, short stories and movies- this single volume covers every aspect of James Mitchell's most successful creation." Callan (1967-1972) stood out for its serious tone in a sea of stylish (and sometimes comedic) spies in the 1960s. I'm curious to learn more about the show through Pixley's research. And I very much look forward to Network's own Callan documentary in the future! Callan: Under the Red File is priced at $17.58 (12 pounds) and is only available through Network hereEnjoy!



Selected Spy Vibe posts: Cynthia Lennon R.I.P.Edward Mann FashionLeonard Nimoy TributeShatner at 84Bob Morane seriesNew Saint PublicationsThe Saint Complete box setGerry Anderson Box SetsMusic For SpiesThai Bond DesignBrian Clemens RIPBond vs ModernismImitation GameNew Avengers BooksRingo Does GoldfingerSixties Beat WearPopular SkulltureArt of ModestyAvengers Blu-ray updateTokyo Beat 1964Polaroid SpyFeraud Mod FashionFlint Scores!Bond DanishNew Richard Sala BookNew 007 ComicsDesigning Bond BooksGreen Hornet MangaMargaret Nolan ArtNo 6 FestivalBarbarella ReturnsDesigner: Gene WinfieldAvengers Interview: Michael RichardsonIan Fleming: Wicked GrinJane Bond Hong Kong RecordsRyan Heshka Interview, Comics Week: Man From R.I.V.E.R.D.A.L.E.Comics Week: ArchieComics Week: Robots, Comics Week: Cold War Atomic, Comics Week: SPYMANComics Week: Jimmy OlsenRare Avengers ScriptsMan From Uncle UK ComicsThunderbirds ComicsShakespeare Spies: Diana RiggShakespeare Spies I, Rodney Marshall Avengers InterviewAvengers Book: Bowler Hats & Kinky BootsGeorge Lois Design & Mad MenRichard Sala: Super-Enigmatix, Cold War Archie, Playboy Bunny InterviewThe 10th Victim Japanese and KindleU.N.C.L.E. Japanese Books, The Saint books returnTrina Robbins InterviewCatsuits, Batman '66 Green Hornet Interview: Ralph Garman Ty Templeton.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...