Monthly Archives: December 2011

LPs: Do they know it’s Christmas time? Christmas Vinyl

Justin Bieber’s got 1, Jessica Simpson has 2. Jesus man, even the Beatles, they have 7. Elvis has 2,  The Stones, oddly enough have none. Sure everyone knows the classics – Nat King Coles – The Christmas Songs, Bing Crosby’s – White Christmas. Everybody and their dog have recorded a Christmas LP at some point. There’s a good chance though that most of these won’t be in your collection. My favorites are the LPs from Asia – a country I don’t really associate with Christmas. All of these though are great. I’d love to here X’mas A Go Go or Christmas with Rico. Special thanks to

Xmas A Go Go

Christmas with Melis

Les Chaussettes Noir

Space Age Santa Claus by Ross Christman (?!)

Merry Christmas

Santa, watch you claws - x-rated comedy by Jimmy Pelham

Thore Skomans - Klappa pa!

The Cousins Celebrate Christmas

Santa Claus A Go Go - Olgay Tony

Christmas with Heavenly Melody

La Trifulca - What are they throwing at each other?

The Rumbles Ltd. - The Wildest Christmas

Eartha Kitt - Santa Baby (Not that Madonna shit)

White Christmas

Hurra por Santa Claus

Victor Santos

Christmas with Rico


Design: Pinball Machine Backglass

Some real design and illustration talent have gone into pinball machine backglass – especially the older pieces. Multicolor silk screens on heavy glass – none of that photo on plastic crap of the new ones – these are beautifully realized pieces of art all on their own. Most early machines had some sort of theme, mostly exotic, as if playing pinball in your local bar or restaurant would magically whisk you away to a circus, or Hollywood or a swamp filled with alligators (?) -the TV and band tie-ins would come later (Kiss, 6 Million $ Man, Evil Knievel, etc). These are the coolest though.

Jumpin' Jack's by Williams

Flying Circus by Gottlieb

Strikes and Spares by Bally

Alligator - German machine by Bally

Hollywood by Chicago Coin

Showtime by Chicago Coin

Strike Zone by Williams

Sweet Sioux by Gottlieb

Tropicana by United

Everybody Loves: Christmas Pin-Ups

What better way to spend Christmas…. That’s it – that’s all I got – What better way to spend Christmas.

Marilyn Monroe - Merry Xmas

Waiting for Santa - Gil Elvgren

December Calendar Page - Vargas

Bettie Page - Playboy Centerfold 1955

Paramount Studios Starlets - 1935

Big Chill - Gil Elvgren

Dolores Dorn - 1953

Painting by Earl Moran

More Starlets

Painting by George Petty

Bettie Page waiting to be unwrapped

Playboy 1972

Bewitched Christmas - Elizabeth Montgomery

The Art of Packaging: Japanese Booze and Cig Posters

The Japanese love thier smokes and booze. These poster don’t strike me as overly traditional and are stylistically different as the years progress becoming almost American looking in the 30’s.  I’m sure there are vast studies outlining the changes in japanese pre-war society and how they reflect the commercial arts but I can’t be bothered right now – I just like ’em. Good color, nice type work, cool imagery. Have a drink, light up a cig and appreciate these fine posters.

Tokio Beer - 1896

Peacock Cigarettes - 1902

Sakura Beer - 1924

Umegatani sake - 1926

Cascade Beer - 1929

Minori Cigarettes - 1930

Yebisu Beer - 1930

Urara Cigarettes - 1932

Tobacco is good for society campaign - 1937

Sakura Beer - 1938

War Time - Don't Buy Cigs on the Black Market - 1948

Music: Best Christmas Song Ever – Fairytale of New York

Fairytale of New York – Written bt Jem Finer and Shane MacGowan. Performed by The Pogues.  Vocals by Shane MacGowan and Kirsty MacColl.   Released on the 1987 LP “If I Should Fall From Grace with God” it was voted the No. 1 all time best Christmas song by UK fans and press. It is the saddest, most bitter-sweet song ever written – telling the tale of a down-on-his-luck bum waking up in a New York drunk tank and reminiscing about when life was better with his wife/girlfriend/lover. If you don’t have this on your Xmas playlist, add it right now.

It was Christmas Eve babe In the drunk tank       An old man said to me, won’t  see another one      And then he sang a song The rare old mountain Dew     I  turned my face away And dreamed about you    Got on a lucky one Came  in eighteen to one      I’ve got a feeling This year’s for me and you         So happy Christmas I love you baby I can see a better time      When all our dreams come true

They’ve got cars big as bars. They’ve got rivers of gold. But the wind goes right through you It’s no place for the old.  When you first took my  hand On a cold Christmas Eve You promised me Broadway was waiting for  me.

Shane, Kirsty and The Pogues

(Shane) You were handsome You were pretty Queen of New York City When the band  finished playing They howled out for more.                                                                                                                                                                                            (Kirsty) Sinatra was swinging, All the  drunks they were singing We kissed on a corner Then danced through the  night

Kirsty MacColl, Shane MacGowan, Phillip Chevron

(Shane) You’re a bum You’re a punk You’re an old slut on junk Lying there almost dead on a drip in that bed                                                                                                                                                                                                                  (Kirsty) You scumbag, you maggot You cheap lousy  faggot Happy Christmas your arse I pray God it’s our last

The Pogues

The boys of the NYPD choir Still singing “Galway Bay” And the bells were  ringing out For Christmas day.
(Kirsty) I could have been someone Well so  could anyone You took my dreams from me When I first found you                                                                                                                                                                                                          (Shane) I kept  them with me babe I put them with my own Can’t make it all alone I’ve built my dreams around you.                                                                                                                                                                                                              The boys of the NYPD choir Still singing “Galway Bay” And the bells were  ringing out For Christmas day

Beauty and the Beast

Kirsty MacColl


The Pogues

Christmas Eve New York City

Style: Peter O’Toole – One cool son-of-a-bitch

Peter Seamus Lorcan O’Toole (born 2 August 1932) The hard drinking Irish actor made his name with his first film, 1962’s Lawerence of Arabia for which he was nominated for his first Academy Award. The part made O’Toole an international superstar. He received Academy Award nominations (but no Oscar) for 8 films – holding the record. However, medical problems (originally thought to have been brought on by his drinking but which turned out to be stomach cancer) threatened to destroy his career and life in the 1970s. He survived by giving up alcohol and, after serious medical treatment, returned to films with performances in The Stunt Man (1980) and My Favorite Year (1982). Peter’s last Oscar nomination was for 2002’s Venus (losing to Forrest Whittaker). He continues to act today and has 2 films coming out this year.

Lawerence of Arabia - Peter and Omar Sherif

Lawerence of Arabia

What's New Pussycat

What's New Pussycat - Romy Schneider, Ursala Andress, Peter, Capucine, Paula Prentiss

What's New Pussycat with Peter Sellers

How to Steal a Million - with Audrey Hepburn

Peter and Audrey