Category Archives: Uncategorized

Carnival Strippers by Susan Meiselas

“From 1972 to 1975, I spent my summers photographing and interviewing women who performed striptease for small town carnivals in New England, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina. As I followed the girl shows from town to town, I photographed the dancers’ public performances as well as their private lives. I also taped interviews with the dancers, their boyfriends, the show managers, and paying customers.

The women I met ranged in age from seventeen to thirty-five. Most had left small towns, seeking mobility, money and something different from what was prescribed or proscribed by their lives that the carnival allowed them to leave. They were runaways, girlfriends of carnies, club dancers, both transient and professional.

They worked out of a traveling box, a truck that unfolded to form two stages, one opening to the public carnival grounds, another concealed under a tent for a private audience. A dressing room stands between them. Again and again, throughout the day and night, the woman performers moved from the front stage, with its bally call—the talker’s spiel that entices the crowd—to the stage, where they each perform for the duration of a 45 pop record”.

From Susan Meislas’ book “Carnival Strippers” 1976

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USA. Essex Junction, Vermont. 1974. The managers. (CARNIVAL STRIPPERS, page 15) ©Susan Meiselas/Magnum Photos

USA. Tunbridge, Vermont. 1975. Competing for clients. Contact email: New York : photography@magnumphotos.com Paris : magnum@magnumphotos.fr London : magnum@magnumphotos.co.uk Tokyo : tokyo@magnumphotos.co.jp Contact phones: New York : +1 212 929 6000 Paris: + 33 1 53 42 50 00 London: + 44 20 7490 1771 Tokyo: + 81 3 3219 0771 Image URL: http://www.magnumphotos.com/Archive/C.aspx?VP3=ViewBox_VPage&IID=2K7O3RWU3E8&CT=Image&IT=ZoomImage01_VForm

USA. Tunbridge, Vermont. 1974. Lulu and Debbie. (CARNIVAL STRIPPERS, page 84-85) ©Susan Meiselas/Magnum Photos

USA. Essex Junction, Vermont. 1973. Lena on the Bally Box. Contact email: New York : photography@magnumphotos.com Paris : magnum@magnumphotos.fr London : magnum@magnumphotos.co.uk Tokyo : tokyo@magnumphotos.co.jp Contact phones: New York : +1 212 929 6000 Paris: + 33 1 53 42 50 00 London: + 44 20 7490 1771 Tokyo: + 81 3 3219 0771 Image URL: http://www.magnumphotos.com/Archive/C.aspx?VP3=ViewBox_VPage&IID=2K7O3RWSE2Q&CT=Image&IT=ZoomImage01_VForm

USA. Essex Junction, Vermont. 1973. Curtain call. Contact email: New York : photography@magnumphotos.com Paris : magnum@magnumphotos.fr London : magnum@magnumphotos.co.uk Tokyo : tokyo@magnumphotos.co.jp Contact phones: New York : +1 212 929 6000 Paris: + 33 1 53 42 50 00 London: + 44 20 7490 1771 Tokyo: + 81 3 3219 0771 Image URL: http://www.magnumphotos.com/Archive/C.aspx?VP3=ViewBox_VPage&IID=2K7O3RWMZIP&CT=Image&IT=ZoomImage01_VForm

USA. Showhegan, Maine. 1973. Shortie and Larry getting ready. (CARNIVAL STRIPPERS, page 24) ©Susan Meiselas/Magnum Photos

USA. Barton, Vermont. 1974. Lena. (CARNIVAL STRIPPERS, page 26-27) ©Susan Meiselas/Magnum Photos

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Shocktober #2 – Halloween Pinups

Ah, the fifties, where a sexy pinup was appropriate for every holiday. This was a time when depictions of nudity was still resigned to the under-the-counter porn mags, but bathing suits and lingerie were completely acceptable and all the rage. A lot of these were promotions for young actresses and even established stars – that’s a young Yvonne DeCarlo (Lily Munster) in a cat suit on a huge pumpkin.

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Painting by Gil Elvgren

Painting by Gil Elvgren

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Veronica Lake

Veronica Lake

Shocktober #1 – Tod Browning’s FREAKS

Freaks is a 1932 American Pre-code film (pre Hayes code censorship) in which the title characters were actually played by by sideshow performers with real deformities. Directed and produced by Tod Browning, whose career never recovered really from it. Freaks has been described as standing alone in a subgenre of one.

Because of Browning’s success as the director of Dracula, he was given a considerable leeway for a major studio’s first horror film. In the film, the physically deformed “freaks” are inherently trusting and honorable people, while the real monsters are two of the “normal” members of the circus who conspire to murder one of the performers to obtain his large inheritance.

Among the characters featured as “freaks” were “The Human Skeleton”, “The Bearded Lady”; Frances O’Conner and Martha Morris – The armless wonders”; and conjoined twins Daisy and Violet Hilton. Among the microcephalics who appear in the film (and are referred to as “pinheads”) were Zip and Pip (Elvira and Jenny Lee Snow) and Schlitzie, a male named Simon Metz who wore a dress mainly due to incontinence. Also featured was Johnny Eck, the legless man; the completely limbless Prince Randian and Koo-Koo – The Bird girl, who had Virchow-Seckel syndrome or bird-headed dwarfism (?!).

Following disastrous test screening in January 1932 (one woman threatened to sue MGM, claiming the film had caused her to suffer a miscarriage), the studio cut the picture down from its original 90-minute running time to just over an hour. Much of the sequence of the freaks attacking Cleopatra (the villain), as she lays under a tree, was removed, as well as a gruesome sequence showing Hercules (The Strong-Man, & Cleopatras lover) being castrated. It’s current running time is just 64 minutes. No matter how much was cut it still managed to negatively effect people and lose money. The Kansas City Star said “There is no excuse for this picture. It took a weak mind to produce it and it takes a strong stomach to look at it.” Harrison Reports – “Any one who considers this entertainment should be placed in the pathological ward in some hospital.” With these kinds of reviews Tod Brownings career was doomed and he would never recover the fame he had pre-Freaks. It is indeed creepy and disturbing and absolutely great. If you’ve seen American Horror Story Freak Show recently you’ll see the impact this film has made (and sort of know how it ends).

Cast pointing out the evil villain, Cleopatra

Cast pointing out the evil villain, Cleopatra

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Harry & Daisy Earles

Harry & Daisy Earles – The Young Lovers

Harry Earles

Harry Earles

Prince Randian - The Living Torso & Johnny Eck - The Half Boy

Prince Randian – The Living Torso & Johnny Eck – The Half Boy

Prince Randian and Wallace Ford

Prince Randian and Wallace Ford

Johnny Eck

Johnny Eck

Johnny Eck & Angelo Rossitto - as Angeleno

Johnny Eck & Angelo Rossitto – as Angeleno

Daisy and Violet Hilton as the Siamese twins & Wallace Ford as Phroso

Daisy and Violet Hilton as the Siamese twins & Wallace Ford as Phroso

Schlitzie as himself

Schlitzie as himself

Koo Koo as herself & Schilzie

Koo Koo as herself & Schilzie

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Koko

The Dinner

The Dinner

Koko's Dance - Gabba Gabba We Accept You ...

Koko’s Dance – Gabba Gabba We Accept You …

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Wallace Ford w/ Koko and Johnny Eck

THE FINAL REVENGE – CRAWLING IN THE RAIN

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German Poster

French Poster

US Half-Sheet

US Half-Sheet – “Can a full grown woman truly love a midget?”

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Tod Browning

Really Bad Heavy Metal Cover Art

Man oh man are these awful. I’ve only heard of a couple of these bands and a couple titles I have no idea what they even say. Not a lot needs to be said about these – enjoy.

Gruesome - Savage Land

Gruesome – Savage Land

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Destruction – Release From Agony

Mortal Sin

Mortal Sin – Mayhemic Destuction

Angel

Iron Angel – Hellish Crossfire

Vanlade - Iron Age

Vanlade – Iron Age

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? – Incurso

Manowar

Manowar – ? (Gods of War)

Angel Witch - Screamin & Bleedin

Angel Witch – Screamin’ & Bleedin’

Battle Axe

Battleaxe

Brainfever

Brainfever

Disgraseed (?) - Flesh Market

Disgraseed (?) – Flesh Market

Pantera - Metal Magic

Pantera – Metal Magic

Revenge -

Revenge – Harder Than Steel

Movie and TV Novelizations – A Lost Art

This is not the source material for these movies and TV shows, oh no, these are all written after the fact to squeeze one last tiny bit of cash out of the public. Nothing wrong with that. Who doesn’t want to read the novelization of, say, Childs Play 3 to get just a bit more exposition about Chuckie’s motives and thought process. I doubt that these are still being written today (though Star Trek and Star Wars both have tons of ‘inspired by’ novels) but from the 60’s through the nineties they were everywhere, most notably the used book bins of Goodwill and Salvation Army.

Taxi Driver by Richard Elman

Taxi Driver by Richard Elman

Star Wars

Star Wars

Halloween

Halloween

Batman - TV Show

Batman – TV Show by Winston Lyon

Childs Play 3 by Mathew

Childs Play 3 by Matthew J. Costello

Invasion USA by Jason Frost

Invasion USA by Jason Frost

Star Trek

Star Trek by James Blish

Robocop

Robocop by Ed Naha

Squirm

Squirm by Richard Curtis

Return of the Living Dead by John Russo

Return of the Living Dead by John Russo

Nightmare on Elm St 1-3

Nightmare on Elm St 1-3 by Jeffery Cooper

Friday the 13th Part 3D

Friday the 13th Part 3D by Michael Avallone

Kung Fu

Kung Fu by Howard Lee

Escape from New York

Escape from New York by Mike McQuay

Raw Deal

Raw Deal by Walt Wager

Rambo - First Blood 2

Rambo – First Blood 2 by David Morell

Brian Duffy – The Man who Shot the Sixties

Brian Duffy (15 June 1933 – 31 May 2010) was an English photographer and film producer, best remembered for his fashion and portrait photography of the 1960s and 1970s. With fellow photographers; David Bailey and Terence Donovan, Duffy was a key player in Britain’s “Swinging Sixties” – a culture of high fashion and celebrity chic.

Socialising with actors, pop stars, royalty and the notorious gangsters, the Kray twins, they represented a new breed of photographer and found themselves elevated to celebrity status. Duffy commented on the culture shock the three were to the industry: ″Before 1960, a fashion photographer was tall, thin and camp. But we three are different: short, fat and heterosexual!″

Duffy’s relationship w/ David Bowie yielded one of the most iconic photos in pop history – the Alladin Sane lightning bolt cover. He’d go on to shoot 2 other Bowie covers – Lodger and Scary Monsters and Super Creeps.

In 1979 Duffy abruptly gave up photography attempting to burn many of his negatives in his studio yard but fortunately neighbours objected to the acrid smoke, the council were called and much of his work was saved. Although a large number of his images were lost. Duffy moved onto television commercials and in 1983 Duffy directed the music videos for Spandau Ballet, ABC and The Human League. By 1990 Duffy retired from all image making and followed his lifelong passion for furniture restoration and became an accredited BAFRA (British Antique Furniture Restoration Association) restorer. Duffy died on 31 May 2010, after suffering from degenerative lung disease.

David Bowie - Alladin Sane album cover test sheet

David Bowie – Alladin Sane album cover test sheet

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Michael Caine

Michael Caine

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Vogue shoot

Vogue shoot

Jeanne Shrimpton & Terrance Stamp

Jeanne Shrimpton & Terrance Stamp

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Sammy Davis Jr. and wife May Britt

Sammy Davis Jr. and wife May Britt

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Twiggy

Twiggy

The Shadows

The Shadows

Ronnie Kray and his uncle

Ronnie Kray and his uncle

Jane Birkin

Jane Birkin

Bowie - Scary Monsters

Bowie – Scary Monsters

Michael Caine

Michael Caine

Angie Bowie

Angie Bowie

Brian Duffy

Brian Duffy