Monthly Archives: June 2011
Professor Longhair (Henry Roeland Byrd) Dececember 19, 1918 – Jan 30, 1980
Pianist, composer, singer, all-around smart dresser, Professor Longhair, is one of the most important musical figures in New Orleans’ musical legacy. Born Henry Roeland Byrd in Bogalusa, Louisiana on December 19, 1918, he was the embodiment of New Orleans rhythm and blues at his peak in the late ’70s. Fess influenced countless musicians, such as Fats Domino, Dr. John, Allen Toussaint, Henry Butler, Huey “Piano” Smith, Marcia Ball, Champion Jack Dupree, the Meters, and the Neville Brothers. His unique style fused diverse elements including blues, barrelhouse boogie-woogie, rock, and gospel, which he combined with calypso, rhumba, and second-line street parade rhythms. His hybrid “rhumba-boogie” piano style, with a heavy, percussive left hand, forever changed the sound of rhythm and blues piano.
Sexist? Sure Silly? You Bet. Whatever you think about about Playboy and Hugh Hefner, they sure had their branding squared away. Designed by Art Paul, the magazine’s first art director, the rabbit head has appeared on the cover of every issue of the magazine since the second. Hugh Hefner explained, ‘I selected a rabbit as the symbol for the magazine because of the humorous sexual connotation, and because he offered an image that was frisky and playful. I put him in a tuxedo to add the idea of sophistication. there was another editorial consideration, too. Since both ‘The New Yorker’ and ‘Esquire’ use men as their symbols, I felt the rabbit would be distinctive; and the notion of a rabbit dressed up in formal evening attire struck me as charming, amusing and right’. Added Art Paul, ‘If I had any idea how important that little rabbit was going to be, I probably would have redrawn him a dozen times to make certain I was doing him justice, and I suppose none of those versions would have turned out as well as the original. as it was, I did one drawing and that was it. I probably spent all of half an hour on it.’ The Bunny Head logo is considered one of the top 5 most recognizable brand icons.
Living in Washington State where liquor stores are boring package affairs and seem to always be next door to a Safeway we don’t see this kind of signage much. Growing up in Flint, Michigan however was a different story. Liquor and Party stores on almost every corner to attract the Buick workers, all fighting for attention and sales. My favorite being the drive thru. Didn’t even have to leave your car to get a bag of chips and a pint of bourbon. The fancy signs (except for the awful Circus Liquor sign) are nice but something about the shop in Brooklyn (5th photo down) gives a certain sense of danger and excitement – something important when buying liquor.
Anne Lloyd Francis (September 16, 1930 – January 2, 2011)
Well they’re all here now – the big 3. As a red-blooded boy growing up on ’60’s TV who could be finer then Dianna Rigg’s Emma Peal, Julie Newmar’s Catwoman and last but not least Anne Francis from the detective show Honey West. Honey West only ran 1 season, 1965-66 but left quite an impression. Honey was tough and sexy, wore leopard print clothes and had a pet ocelot named Bruce. Plus she had that sexy mole by her lower lip. Some might remember her from Forbidden Planet (she was great) or Bad Day at Black Rock but she’s always Honey West to me.
Not a lot to be said about these, other then they’re a series of mugshots taken in New Castle, PA in the 1940’s. Mostly petty crime or drunk driving there are a few that are harder to explain – Edward Weavers- “Complaint of Wife”, Frank Sodas – “Bastardy” (?) The photos themselves are wonderful – bad lighting, oddly posed – people in distress – you could never recapture these . It’s also a nice glimpse in styles of the 40’s. Check out Joe Relo’s hair, Ed Weavers sport coat and Louis DeLuria’s specs.
- Faris Badwan – formerly known as Faris Rotter.
- Joshua Hayward – also known as Joshua Third, formerly Joshua Von Grimm.
- Tom Cowan – formerly known as Tomethy Furse.
- Rhys Webb – formerly known as Spider Webb.
- Joseph Spurgeon – formerly known as Coffin Joe.
These boys certainly are in control of their image. The Horrors, from Southend on the Sea, England started life in 2005 as garage rockers with a fashionable gothic edge. They released their first LP Strange House in 2007 to good reviews. It’s a noisey blend of early garage – The Count 5, ? and the Mysterians, and fast loud guitar riffs and shouted vocals. Their 2nd LP Primary Colors was released in 2009 and is a radical shift – more synth driven, sounding like Joy Division with a touch of My Bloody Valentine. No longer dressed in all black and eye shadowand losing the silly names The Horrors became very fashionable (they even make the Hawaiian shirt looks good – 5th photo). In 2011 lead singer Faris Badwan recorded an LP w/ singer Rachel Zeffira under the name Cats Eyes. They performed their first single at the Vatican for the College of Cardinals. All 3 LPs are great – though completely different from each other – highly recommended.