Wednesday, October 31, 2007

TV Hosts Choose Retro Halloween Costumes

They're creepy and they're kooky, mysterious and spooky...

Oops! Wrong TV series. I've never been a fan of The Munsters, but Meredith Vieira and Matt Lauer dressed up as Lily and Herman Munster on the Today Show this morning, while Al Roker was a surprisingly good likeness of Grandpa Munster. I heard that over on The View, the ladies staged an even more retro Halloween: the set was transformed into The Cotton Club, with Whoopi Goldberg singing Minnie the Moocher as Cab Calloway! Joy Behar provided the "hi-de hi-de ho's." Sherri Shepherd was a flapper and Barbara Walters was supposed to be one of the showgirls from her father's club, The Latin Quarter. I don't have a picture yet, but somehow I think it would have been funnier if they sang Reefer Man. Have a happy and safe Halloween everyone!

Robert Goulet 1933 - 2007

Image courtesy CardCow.com.

Performer Robert Goulet has passed away at the age of 73 from pulmonary fibrosis. He had been waiting for a lung transplant. Goulet was known for his portrayal of Lancelot during an early 1960s Broadway production of Camelot. He made several theater and television appearances throughout his career and won a Grammy in 1962 for best new recording artist. He also earned a Tony Award as best actor in 1968 for his role in Broadway's "The Happy Time." Goulet was married three times and had a daughter with his first wife and two sons with his second, singer Carol Lawrence.

Believe it or not, I have an uncle who is Goulet's cousin. He said cousin Robert borrowed money from him many, many moons ago and never paid him back, even after he got famous. Looks like he certainly won't get it now...

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Jake Tapper's Nostalgic Man-Do

Image copyright ABC site.


Every time I watch Jake Tapper on ABC World News Tonight, he's got this cute retro wavey thing going on with his hair. He reminds me of another era. All he needs is a white dinner jacket and a clarinet in his mouth. Nicely done, Jakie!

Monday, October 29, 2007

They Don't Call Him Mellow Yellow For Nothing!

Picture courtesy About.com classic rock.

60s pop/folk singer Donovan, famous for hits such as Sunshine Superman, Hurdy Gurdy Man, and Mellow Yellow is going to be opening up his own transcendental meditation school according to today's news reports. He's going to call it the Invincible Donovan University. I swear I'm not making this up. Here's a bit of what he told the media:

"I know it sounds like an airy-fairy hippie dream to go on about '60s peace and love," said the 61-year-old singer, who was born Donovan Leitch in the Maryhill area of Glasgow. "But the world is ready for this now, it is clear this is the time."

He said the university will be located in either Glasgow or Edinburgh.

Donovan discovered transcendental meditation while visiting India and guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in 1968.

"The Maharishi told me during that 1968 visit that I should build a university in Edinburgh. I went to my room and drew a beautiful dome-shaped place of learning," he said Friday.


Donovan has also gotten chummy with "he's quite unique" (that was my former guitar teacher's polite way of calling someone a weirdo) movie director David Lynch, who opened up his own TM organization in the U.S., The David Lynch Foundation, whose purpose is to bring TM to schools to enhance learning. Says Donovan, "I didn't know what to do because I couldn't do this on my own. But then I met David Lynch, who told me about the positive effects of TM in education. Although it's taken me 35 years, I will do what the Maharishi told me to do." The duo plans to contact Scottish authorities to have the institution accredited.

Donovan and Lynch are also going to collaborate on a new movie called "The Hurdy Gurdy Elephant Man."

I just threw in that last bit to make sure you were paying attention.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Wig Out For a Retro Halloween



Photos by Joel Benjamin for the Boston Globe. Copyright 2007 Globe Newspaper Company.

My local paper featured a great idea for a last-minute vintage Halloween costume and since I've been so negligent with retro Halloween ideas, here it is for you: pair together a great hat and wig. You can be Miss C herself, Cleopatra, the Chiquita Banana icon, or a Victorian tart. Whatever - the point is, I thought this was a nice idea to pull together a costume with a retro touch.

These featured wigs and hats come from the Great Eastern Trading Company in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The shop is an established vintage store now featuring costume inventory. The store stocks masks and 20s flapper dresses, and wigs start at only $10. Check them out at 49 River Street, Cambridge (617-354-5279) or look for similar stores in your area to spark Halloween ideas.

What You Didn't Know About the Wicked Witch of the West

Photo courtesy of the Bucks County Playhouse website.

Oh, that nose, that green skin, that voice, that cackle. No matter how many times I’ve seen The Wizard of Oz, I still get a chuckle and a chill over one of the most famous screen villainesses of all time – The Wicked Witch of the West, as played by Margaret Hamilton. But as someone who champions underrated actors, I couldn’t help but wonder – particularly as Halloween approaches – what Ms. Hamilton was like in real life. My guess was that off screen she was anything but a witch. And so I offer up a tribute full of unknown tidbits about one of Hollywood’s most recognized but perhaps underappreciated character actors.

Hamilton was born in 1902 in Cleveland, Ohio. She was drawn to acting as a child and made her theater debut in 1923. Her personal life, remarkably, had much in common with many women today: in 1931 she married only to divorce her husband seven years later – a time when ending a marriage was not encouraged or very common – and raise their only child, a son, as a single mother. Hamilton was soon offered the role of the Witch when the original actress (a rather vain Gale Sondergaard) refused to wear makeup that would make her ugly. Hamilton commanded $1,000 a week for the part - big moolah for pre-WWII Hollywood standards. Her most celebrated film role couldn’t have been more ironic. She was a kindergarten teacher before she got into acting, and loved children her whole life, often donating to charitable causes on their behalf. While filming The Wizard of Oz, she became very concerned about the effect the role would have on children, and even appeared on Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood as herself in 1968 to explain to young viewers that she was simply playing a part in makeup and not herself. The movie also proved to be her most dangerous role when Hamilton was badly burned during one of the “special effects” sequences when the witch disappears in Munchkinland. Hamilton had to take six weeks off to recover and refused to have anything to do with fire when she returned to the set.

In creating one of movie history’s most memorable villains, she was stereotyped by playing spinsters and nosy neighbors in later TV roles with unsavory character names such as Mrs. Klopplebobber, Miss Pownthleroy, and Hester Frump. During the 70s, she appeared in several commercials for Folger’s Coffee as the feisty storekeeper Cora who declares, "It's the only brand I sell!"

And your little dog, too? She also adored animals and, according to the Internet Movie Database, appeared in public announcement commercials with her cat, educating viewers on the importance of spaying and neutering her pets.

She passed away in 1985 from a heart attack and up until her dying day, children recognized her. She also welcomed visiting fans into her New York City apartment.

All of which adds up to rather un-witch-like behavior in my book. So here's to you, Margaret Hamilton. To quote Frank Sinatra, there's no nicer witch than you.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

GoRetro's Retro Video of the Day: Petula Clark

Freaking far out, man! Petula Clark rocks and so do the dancers and the clothing in this video. (although I feel sorry for the guy stuck under the car at the beginning.) The sixties were so easy to make fun out of, but I'd watch this 100 times before I'd watch Britney Tears once.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Dead Wrong

Do you think that you and Elvis would have been good together in bed? Or that you have some connection to Marilyn Monroe because you share the same birthday? Now you can indulge your fantasies with the Biography Channel’s Dead Celebrity Soulmate search.

But be forewarned: the thing is either broken, or whoever programmed it has a sick sense of humor. I entered my choices (you can select from interests that include poisons and public disturbances) and the celebrity soul mates of my dreams are…Edgar Allen Poe, Henry VIII (what? He doesn’t have the “tall and lanky” body type that I specified) and Vincent Van Gogh. By far three of what I consider to be the most repulsive men in human history. Vincent promises not to "cut anything off" on a first date (but apparently makes no pacts beyond that.) Edgar is clearly still hung up on his dead wife (and cousin) Virginia (he mentions her non-stop throughout his profile...ugh; what a turnoff!) and Henry thinks the perfect first date is a wedding. What, no Caligula?

No daddy-os here. What a huge letdown; turns out dead celebrity matching and the men involved are no better than what you find on Match.com. I ran screaming from the site but if you're brave enough to "make the first move" with one of your choices, let me know how it goes.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

If You Think Your Parents Never Had Sex

(Ads copyrighted by MediaPost Communications, Inc. http://www.mediapost.com)

Think again, because you just might spot them in these newly launched print ads by Canadian Club Whisky. They were compiled using employees' personal family photos from the 60s and 70s. Energy BBDO designed the ads and created the campaign.





Wait - my mom wasn't my dad's first? Mommy? Daddy? Sniff! Please - my father was in World War II, so I've heard all of the stories (from my mother, no less!) I'm always expecting a 65 year-old British woman to ring my doorbell one day and tell me she's my long lost half sister.

And damn right about the chicks in these photos! What a life. I gotta find my own retro daddy to curl up on when I get home from work. I'm kind of not looking for a 60s man at the moment, though. I want a classy 1940s model. I hope he doesn't mind listening to "Moonglow" for getting in the mood music.

You can see larger images of the ads at http://video.mediapost.com/index.cfm?clientfile=otlCanadian.jpg and http://video.mediapost.com/index.cfm?clientfile=otlcanadian2.jpg

GetGoRetro, Not to Be Confused With GoRetro, Launches Online Clothing Site

A new e-commerce retro clothing site was launched this week: GetGoRetro.com. Here's the skinny from the "about us" page:

Get Go Retro is a new "Retro Inspired Clothing Site" and was creating with paying for college in mind. With two daughters who love the 50's look, dresses and hair, it seemed to be a natural fit to sell retro clothing. Having been born in the late 50's; heard about the 50's from parents and grandparents, we have a good idea of the "times."

We are an e-boutique for rockabilly, 50's styled retro and swing clothes. If we don't sell an item and we like it, we offer links to other vendors where you can find other cool retro products. And, if you are looking for something on our site and don't see it; just write us, we will try to find it for you. "Our hope is to encompass a wide array of resources to help you create your style and "look."


They have some really cute dresses and skirts. It's nice to know that there are younger people out there who are being introduced to retro fashions from their parents. I wish the site the best of luck!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

I Dream of People Who Can Get Retro TV Characters Right


Billionaire Mark Cuban doesn't seem to be a favorite on Dancing With the Stars, but I thought his I Dream of Jeannie inspired samba set to the show's theme music last night was actually quite cute, despite the fact that Larry Hagman's character Major Nelson didn't wear glasses, least of all ones with a big honking piece of nerd tape in the middle. Geez! Do rich people not watch old TV reruns? I actually thought the glasses improved Mark's look, though. It kinda transformed him into a retro daddy.

And be sure to watch the results show tonight because host Tom Bergeron has promised a "1950s-inspired performance that will blow the roof off." They must know that I watch!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Swing Out Sisters


The Puppini Sisters have a new album out! C'mon, you should be as excited as I am because this is the closest thing my generation will ever have to The Andrews Sisters. How they managed to sneak out a CD right under my nose is beyond me, but this one is called The Rise & Fall of Ruby Woo and like the sisters' first release, it features renditions of retro classics as well as more modern tunes. Tracks on The Rise & Fall of Ruby Woo include Spooky, Walk Like an Egyptian, Crazy in Love (yes, Beyonce's song), and Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree (of which I am proud to announce I know all of the words to.) Check out their official site for previews of some of these songs. I want to know where the ladies buy or who makes their retro clothing. They've got the whole 1940s pin-up look down pat.

I think I like the track selection on the first album better, especially as it contains a sung version of In the Mood. Also for some reason, the CD is an import and therefore expensive ($38.99) on Amazon.com. The "sisters" are currently on tour; check out their site to see if they're coming to a locale near you.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

It’s Not Easy Going Retro Moment #1

“Whatcha got coming out of your earphones?”

That was my thirty-something male coworker the other day, when he stopped by my desk the other day to ask me a question. I don’t own an iPod (they make people socially detached and catch on fire!) but I do subscribe to a website that allows me to download up to three songs from any artist for free into a revolving playlist and listen to it through the URL. Mine's currently a very eccentric mix – Bob Dylan, Benny Goodman, Etta James, Sam Cooke, Glenn Miller, my favorite disco song (More More More) by the Andrea True Connection, The Supremes, Johnny Rivers, Artie Shaw, Culture Club, The Coasters, and Bill Haley and the Comets to name about half of them – but oddly enough, they all seem to congeal into great working music to bliss out to when I’m working in Adobe InDesign.

But – I couldn’t tell my colleague that. I was too embarrassed to mention some of the older, unknown people for fear that I’d be viewed as square or just plain weird. This guy isn't much younger than I am and while he has a girlfriend, I'm still cool in his eyes as far as I know. So instead I replied with, “Uh…a lot of older stuff. Some 60s, a lot of 80s, you know, like Blondie.”

“Oh, Blondie! Did you know that she takes credit for performing the first rap song?”

And so he launched into a little history lesson about Blondie. I did have Blondie on my playlist, by the way. But why I am so uncomfortable about disclosing who else I’m REALLY listening to? This guy is about 30 or so. He probably wouldn’t have a clue who anyone from pre-1970 on my playlist is and would probably think I’m odd for being able to jam out (internally, of course, since our office is an open, non-cubicle environment) on some of this stuff.

At my last company, I was openly snickered at for loving the 60s and taking my mother to see Tom Jones - from my boss, no less. So I’m afraid to reopen up the wounds. I keep my musical tastes on my playlist private, at the risk of doing a disservice to the memory of so many wonderfully talented singers and/or musicians.

I want to be more like my brother. He openly plays what he likes and doesn’t give a rat’s behind about what other people think of it or not. At our family’s Fourth of July gathering this year, he spilled out a ton of his favorite CDs (many sans their corresponding cover) – Jimi Hendrix, Sam Cooke, some VERY old Benny Goodman from the 1930s, Buckwheat Zydeco, Clearance Clearwater Revival, and Jerry Lee Lewis to name a few – and proceeded to play them all, swapping one for another when the tracks started to get boring. My sister giggled at some of his choices, but she respected them. And I became a Sam Cooke fan thanks to my brother’s inability to get embarrassed.

I'm striving to become the type of person who can proclaim my retro musical choices proudly, because I fear that eventually they’ll be no one left who loves Glenn Miller, Bobby Darin, or anyone before the 1980s with the exception of The Beatles. Perhaps by mentioning some of these names, the tables will get turned and I’ll be the one giving the lesson down musical history lane. I’m going to work on that. "I'm listening to Dean Martin! And I don't care what anyone thinks!"

And for the record, Blondie did NOT invent rap.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

The Cos' Cause (It's a Retro Notion, so Please Read!)

Bill Cosby’s mad as hell, and he’s not going to take it anymore! The Cos (looking more like Stevie Wonder because of an eye problem) recently appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show to talk about his new co-authored book, "Come On People: On the Path from Victims to Victors" and the detrimental values of modern society, particularly in the African American communities. Cosby spoke about violence, school dropouts, and the lack of parenting going on today. Clips were shown from a blunt but truthful speech that he gave in 2004 at the 50th Anniversary commemoration of the Brown vs Topeka Board of Education Supreme Court Decision, which later became dubbed the Ghettoesburg Address. Here’s an excerpt from that speech:

"Ladies and gentlemen, these people set, they opened the doors, they gave us the right, and today, ladies and gentlemen, in our cities and public schools we have fifty percent drop out. In our own neighborhood, we have men in prison. No longer is a person embarrassed because they’re pregnant without a husband. (clapping) No longer is a boy considered an embarrassment if he tries to run away from being the father of the unmarried child (clapping)

50 percent drop out rate, I’m telling you, and people in jail, and women having children by five, six different men. Under what excuse, I want somebody to love me, and as soon as you have it, you forget to parent. Grandmother, mother, and great grandmother in the same room, raising children, and the child knows nothing about love or respect of any one of the three of them (clapping). All this child knows is “gimme, gimme, gimme.” These people want to buy the friendship of a child….and the child couldn’t care less. Those of us sitting out here who have gone on to some college or whatever we’ve done, we still fear our parents (clapping and laughter). And these people are not parenting. They’re buying things for the kid. $500 sneakers, for what? They won’t buy or spend $250 on Hooked on Phonics. (clapping)

Are you not paying attention, people with their hat on backwards, pants down around the crack? Isn’t that a sign of something, or are you waiting for Jesus to pull his pants up (laughter and clapping ). Isn’t it a sign of something when she’s got her dress all the way up to the crack…and got all kinds of needles and things going through her body. What part of Africa did this come from? (laughter). We are not Africans. Those people are not Africans, they don’t know a damned thing about Africa. With names like Shaniqua, Shaligua, Mohammed and all that crap and all of them are in jail. (When we give these kinds names to our children, we give them the strength and inspiration in the meaning of those names. What’s the point of giving them strong names if there is not parenting and values backing it up)."

Cosby said further on Oprah: "It's not what they're doing to us. It's what we're not doing...Brown vs. the Board of Education—these people who marched and were hit in the face with rocks and punched in the face to get an education, and we've got these knuckleheads walking around who don't want to learn English. I know you all know it, but I just want to get you as angry as you ought to be," he said.

The reason I’m mentioning this on a retro blog is because, to me, the Cos’ idea of parenting IS retro. There just doesn’t seem to be enough of it going on in the year 2007, and it’s not restricted to just African Americans, either. What would the people who were parents during the 1950s and 1960s have thought if they got to look into the television of the future and saw Supernanny? I’m sure they would’ve thought the fact that in the 21st century people don’t know how to discipline their kids and teach them to be decent human beings ludicrous. Yet that’s exactly what’s going on today, and it is pathetic with a capital P. And no one seems to care.

Except for Cosby. So I say way to go, Bill! And his entire 2004 speech is well worth checking out on this site: http://www.eightcitiesmap.com/transcript_bc.htm

Friday, October 19, 2007

For Those Fans Who Really Love Lucy

Remember when annoying has-been twat Jerry Lewis said a few years back that women couldn't be funny? Didn't he ever watch Lucille Ball, the first and still one of the funniest comediennes? If you can't get enough of the redhead, all hilarious nine seasons of I Love Lucy are going to be available on DVD in one complete set on Tuesday, October 23. Amazon is offering it for around $189. And I'd like to clear up for Jerry what isn't funny: running around like a monkey screaming "hey lady!", hanging onto Dean Martin like a leech, and making remarks about gays on your telethon that nobody even watches anymore.

Rat Pack Reunited Again


Everybody's dying this week! Joey Bishop (last one on the right in the photo), the last surviving member of the Rat Pack, passed away yesterday at the age of 89. Somewhere in heaven, these dudes are having a swinging great time again, but can someone kindly inform the short Italian guy that he can't sing?

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Teresa Brewer's Music, Music, Music WIll Live On

Singer Teresa Brewer passed away yesterday at the age of 76. Brewer was a popular pop singer of the 1950s, with hits that included Into Each Life Some Rain Must Fall, A Sweet Old-Fashioned Girl, and Music Music Music.

She sang with Tony Bennett and pursued film career before scaling back her work to raise a family, then re-emerged during the 1970s to perform with jazz legends Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie and Wynton Marsalis.

I must admit I wasn't that familiar with her name or hits so I looked them up for a listen. I like the ragtime sound of Music, Music, Music and LOVE the song Sweet Old Fashioned Girl because it describes ME:

"Wouldn't anybody care to meet a sweet old-fashioned girl?
scoobley-dah-doo-bee-dum
Wouldn't anybody care about a sweet old-fashioned pearl?
scoobley-doo-bee-dum

Who's a frantic little bopper in some sloppy socks
Just a crazy rock'n'roller, little Goldilocks
Wouldn't anybody care to meet a sweet old-fashioned girl?"

Nope, most of them today want poop for brains in streetwalker garb, but I'll keep on a'trying.

Brewer died of a neuromuscular disease and is survived by four daughters, four grandsons and five great-grandchildren. I'm definitely going to put her greatest hits CD down on my list for future a purchase.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Because TV Guide's Editors Have No Life and Neither Do I...

My favorite radio station reported this morning that TV Guide went through every single Cheers episode to calculate Norm's beer tab after eleven years on the air. Normie owns Sam Malone somewhere in the vincinity of $64,000. Mmmmmmm.....beer! I think Dancing With the Stars should've passed on John Ratzenberger last season and invited George Wendt to participate instead. He needs to dance off some of that enormous beer gut!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Jimmy Mack, When Are You Coming Back?

I was watching a clip from a Jimmy Stewart movie on YouTube when I was suddenly reminded of a dumbo piece of advice that Cosmopolitan magazine gave to me about 15 years ago which I never forgot. It was part of their "Why Don't You...?" list: "Date a man who reminds you of Jimmy Stewart (when he was young.)"

Gee, thanks a lot, Helen Gurley Brown. Really? And can any of you at Cosmo tell me where I can find such a man, when you take a break from planning your photo shoots that instruct women how to dress like whores? I've been looking for a guy like Jimmy Stewart. The problem is, outside of film, he doesn't exist! I fear that gentlemen like Jimmy Stewart, as a species, are nearly extinct.

But I won't give up. And it doesn't mean I can't post this nice picture of Jimmy (if LIFE never finds out) and dream. He sure looks cute in his military uniform.

Friday, October 12, 2007

The Devil Made Me Do It

And boy oooo boy, what a handsome devil he is! There's something about that red suit and diabolical laugh that's driving me krah-ay-zeee. Some funny stuff courtesy of Flip Wilson and Bobby Darin, way back when television actually used to be funny. Featuring some 70s special effects.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Good Grief! You're a Miserable Bastard, Charles Schulz!


I remember when British comedian Benny Hill passed away in 1992 that many were stunned to learn that the man who made millions of people laugh the world over was anything but an extrovert in real life. He had few friends and pretty much lived his personal life like the Unibomber. No one seemed more surprised than my father, who was a huge fan. That was right around the time when Dad started saying that everyone, especially anyone famous, has a public side and a personal side.

I was reminded of Dad’s saying again when I read this sort-of-explosive Newsweek interview with the author of an upcoming biography of Peanuts comic strip creator Charles Schultz. Due to be released next week, the book, titled Schulz and Peanuts: A Biography (of which I have a signed sneak preview copy) paints the man who was known to his family and friends as Sparky as an unhappy, insecure individual who sounds like he could have benefited from some visits to Lucy Van Pelt’s makeshift psychiatric office. Author David Michaelis was given access to personal papers by Schulz' widow, Jean, and children and spent seven years getting to know the man. Some of the revelations that Michaelis uncovered include:

* Schulz was unaffectionate towards his wife and children and left the child rearing up to Jean

* Schulz had an affair with a much younger woman and proposed to her while he was still married

* Upon hearing that his art teacher was not going to pursue a career in cartooning, Schulz’ reaction was “Good! That’s one less cartoonist I’ll have to compete with.”

* Schulz worked with a “little person” (aka midget) early in his career. Her body type was the inspiration for how Schulz drew the Peanuts characters.

And then there was this exchange between Schulz and Lynn Johnston, creator of "For Better or For Worse", when Johnson confided to Sparky that the time had come for her to send Farley, the star canine of her strip, off to the giant fire hydrant in the sky. According to the Newsweek interview, my verbatim reenactment is not that far off.

Lynn Johnston: "I’m going to kill off Farley."

Charles Schulz: (Flings colored drawing implements onto the floor and his sketch board) "Beyotch! If you do that then I’m going to throw Snoopy under a truck! Everybody will worry about Snoopy, and nobody’s going to read your stupid story, and I’ll get more publicity than you will! So there!"

To be honest, I’m not all that surprised to learn that Schulz was a bit of a miserable guy. Call it the achilles heal of genius (or just call it being kooky) but it seems that very few individuals that achieve such greatness in a specific artistic area can say that they were perfectly happy with their life, despite the fortune that accompanies it. But you gotta feel sad for Schulz, too. I'm still a Peanuts fan and their merchandise and TV specials were such a huge part of my childhood. It sounds like he was just plain depressed. Who knows what demons drove him, but it seems he never believed or lived his "happiness is a warm puppy" saying.

By the way, the Schulz children are upset at the way their father is portrayed in the book and documentary, yet only one of them (one of Schulz' daughters) has spoken publicly about the book to the media. She appeared on the CBS Morning Show earlier this week and I could tell Harry Smith didn't really believe her arguments. To be honest I don't get what the Schulz children and widow are getting their panties in a bunch about anyway. Did they not talk to Michaelis and hand over personal documents? I've read many a time in previous articles about and interviews with Schulz that he was not an easy man to get close to. Schulz himself said in a 60 Minutes interview a few years before he passed away that he always had "a feeling of impending doom" hanging over him. I think the world has figured out by now that a man who would make his career from drawing comic characters beating up on another comic character had some issues, so the book's claims are hardly surprising.

Schulz and Peanuts: A Biography will be published on October 16. A companion American Masters documentary is supposed to air on PBS next month, although I couldn't locate any information about it.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Danke Schoen But No Danke Schoen

That's what viewers were saying last night as they kicked off this season's obligatory older dude, Wayne Newton, from Dancing With the Stars.

Don't feel too badly for 65 year-old Mr. Las Vegas, though. Now he can go back to coloring his hair with black shoe polish and collaborating with KD Lang on a biopic of his life. Word on the street is she sucks on helium before saying her lines to achieve that high pitched Newton voice.

Just kidding, of course! Newton seemed like a really nice guy but simply incapable of doing anything more than shuffling about the dance floor. Even other older contestants such as George Hamilton and Jerry Springer had more pinache.

But is it just me, or has Wayne never been seen in the same room as KD? I'm nearly convinced that she's his secret love child.

Just a Thought...

I know that he's going to be playing Maxwell Smart in the new Get Smart movie due to hit theaters next year, but if they ever make an updated M*A*S*H* movie, don't you think Steve Carell would make an excellent Corporate Maxwell Klinger? A better looking version to be sure, but he better get the heels and dresses ready!



For the Members of iPod Nation Who Think Their Wee Piece of Modern Technology Is Oh So Cool

This story is for you. Your iPod isn’t so much cool as it is hot, like your hoo-ha is about to get after carrying it around in your pants’ pocket. Who needs an iPod skin with flames on it when you can have the real thing?

iPod Nano Catches Fire in Pants

An Atlanta man has claimed that his Apple iPod Nano, which he was carrying in his pant pocket, suddenly caught fire while he was at the airport. The man, Danny Williams, who works at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, said his two-year old iPod suddenly caught fire that lasted for about 15 seconds with the flames reaching well up to his chest.

Luckily for Williams, he escaped burns, which he attributes entirely to the protection offered by the glossy paper lying in his pant pocket along with his iPod. 

Apple has not commented on this unfortunate incident as yet; however, the company has asked Williams to send them the affected iPod for examination purposes. Even Apple iPods contain Lithium-ion batteries -- the same kinds that have recently been in the news off-and-on for catching fire unawares. Since December of 2005, millions of such batteries have been recalled by various PC manufacturers including Dell and Lenovo for incidents of overheating and catching fire.

Serves you young ‘uns right for shoving headphones into your ear canals so that you can avoid all forms of social contact with other people in public places. My generation had Sony Walkmans, and you didn’t see us gluing them to our heads while grocery shopping or using the bathroom. Maybe Apple wired the iPods to spontaneously combust whenever they are forced to play Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, or any of that other pap that you call “music” these days.

I think this is an appropriate moment to insert a new twist on an old Whoopi Goldberg joke.

Young clueless punk #1: “I smell hair burning.”

Young clueless punk #2: “Dude, maybe your iPod is on fire!”

By the way, did anyone ever hear of a good ol' Sony Walkman spontaneously combusting? NOPE. 'Nuff said.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

It's Johnny's Birthday!

For the first time the other night, while I was drowning in the depths of rapid eye movement, John Lennon appeared to me in a dream. We were sitting at a bar, and I thanked him for his contriubtions to music, particularly with the Beatles. He said "thank you" and then I awoke to the cold, harsh reality of another working day.

I prefer that he would've propositioned me into meeting him in the rest room (hey, a girl can dream, can't she? Oh, wait a minute - I already was!) but I guess Yoko must still have a ball and chain on him even from here on earth. (Yoko, did you forget about your arrangement with May Pang?) Nonetheless, today is Johnny Winston Lennon's birthday so I would like you to dance...and take a ch-ch-ch-chance! Remember peace and love.

Monday, October 08, 2007

GoRetro's Retro Hottie of the Month: Peter Fonda!


I'm fonda those shades and burns.

Slowhand Tells All

I have a love-hate fanship towards Eric Clapton. Great guitarist/songwriter, rotten jackass husband/boyfriend. Just weeks after Pattie Boyd released her autobiography Wonderful Tonight, her ex-husband's memoirs are set to hit the book shelves tomorrow. It's simply called Eric Clapton: The Biography (you think he would have come up with something more creative and poignant such as I Shot Up With the Sheriff, My Cavities: The Man Who Loved Sugar, or Wife Swap: the Book.) For those who aren't in the retro know, Clapton fell in love with friend George Harrison's wife Pattie Boyd in the late 60s and wrote the song "Layla" about her and the situation. In the early 70s, Boyd eventually divorced Harrison and married Clapton, but that marriage ended badly, too, when Clapton had a child with another woman and expected Boyd to help raise the rugrat.

He can play the guitar, but can he write? That seems to be up for debate. This excerpt from the book is just insane. I don't know if this portion was compiled from several sections of the book, but if not, Clapton's thoughts seem to ramble all over the place like a four-year old learning to ride a wobbly bike for the first time without training wheels. And would you check out how he describes why he was so attracted to Pattie:

"I had first set eyes on her after a Cream concert, and had thought then that she was unusually beautiful. It wasn’t just the way she looked, although she was definitely the most beautiful woman I had ever seen. It was deeper. It came from within her too. It was her entire being, and the way she carried herself, that captivated me. I had never met a woman who was so complete, and I was overwhelmed. I realised I would have to stop seeing her and George or give in to my emotions and tell her how I felt."

Puh-lease. What this really means is "My johnson was ready to bust out of my pants and telling me that I just had to boink her, now!"

The most surprising fact I learned in the excerpt is that one of my favorites British actors, John Hurt, hung out with this motley menage a trois. Oh, and that "the best heroin looks like brown sugar and has the consistency of rock candy." Good to know. It's surprising to me that Clapton had any time to enjoy the 60s era, when he spent a good portion of it gassed up in the dentist's chair getting his teeth drilled out for shoveling spoonfuls of sugar down his throat. Then again, this is a guy who's lucky to be alive, whether he knows it or not.

Retro (?) Couch Wins Regis and Kelly Contest

My friend Kim clued me in on this one, so I just had to see it for myself. She said that a retro style couch won the Live with Regis and Kelly Show's Ugly Couch Contest. The winning sofa was submitted by Sylvia Stern, which bagged her $5K in cash...enough, I suppose, to buy a new couch.

My friend must be sorely mistaken, though, because I wouldn't exactly call the pattern on this couch retro. I was expecting something more along the lines of a Pucci pattern. This just looks like a giant python to me. But, hey, that's why *I'm* the one writing a retro blog!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Good Grief! It's Snoopy's Birthday, Charlie Brown!

Yeah, yeah, today is the 50th anniversary of Sputnik's launch into space. Whoop-de-doo. While the Russians are kicking up a goose-stomping storm and everyone else is reveling the fact that we've wasted billions of dollars on space exploration for the past half decade, I'm observing a far more exciting birthday: Snoopy's! In 1950, Snoopy made his debut in Charles Schwarz's Peanuts comic strip. As his best friend Woodstock would say, "Meeee meee mee mee eeep peep peep!"

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Martin Scorsese Planning George Harrison Documentary


Guitar George will be the star of a documentary! Martin Scorsese is continuing his current trend of directing documentaries of famous musicians. After covering Bob Dylan and wrapping up his filming of a Rolling Stones biography, Scorsese now has his sites set on former Beatle George Harrison. According to news reports, he plans on extensively interviewing Harrison's widow Olivia, Paul McCartney, and Ringo Starr and believes that the documentary will take several years to complete. The film will focus heavily on Harrison's heavy Eastern religious beliefs, which inspired much of his work, especially his albums after the Beatles.

I'm really looking forward to this. George is actually my favorite Beatle and the one we don't hear too much about. I've always wanted to write a thesis on the spiritual themes of his music. I can't think of any other rock and roll artist who brought songs about God into the mainstream and as acccepted as George did.

BTW, this isn't exactly retro (well, except for the purposely cheesy special effects and costumes) but check out this cool video by George's musician son Dhani Harrison. Is it me, or does that spaceship look suspiciously like a submarine?

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