February 27, 2013

007 AT SPY MUSEUM


The International Spy Museum is currently running an exhibit called Exquisitely Evil: 50 Years of James Bond Villains. Spy Vibers in the area can attend a special talk on March 13th about the "psychology of villainy." From the museum: "The Spy Museum’s new exhibition, Exquisitely Evil: 50 Years of Bond Villains, features some of the most memorable fictional evildoers of the last half century. Many were inspired by real world figures or by the actions of real people who were really evil. What makes people move down a dark path?  These experts can tell you exactly how Bond villains demonstrate classic criminal or otherwise aberrant psychological behavior based on their experiences with real offenders: Dr. David L. Charney, who was the psychiatrist for notorious spy Robert Hanssen and interviewed him extensively in prison; and Dr. Stanton Samenow, a noted forensic scientist and author of The Criminal Personality and Inside the Criminal Mind. Dr. Samenow was the prosecution's mental health witness regarding the younger DC sniper, Lee Boyd Malvo. Why would someone betray their country like Robert Hanssen or GoldenEye’s Alec Trevelyan? How realistic is the Stockholm syndrome suffered by Elektra King in The World Is Not Enough? What makes people consider crime as a way of life? In this extraordinary conversation, you’ll learn exactly how maudlin sentimentality—Blofeld’s love for his cat—can coexist with chilling brutality. " More info here. Photo below from You Only Live Twice from the museum's press release.  


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Check Spy Vibe for recent posts about our discovery of a rare Ian Fleming serialization, my review of SKYFALL, Johnny Sokko & His Flying Robot, new Bond and Fleming books, David Bowie retrospectives, tributes to Donald Richie and Tony Sheridan, the Les Vampires serial on Blu-ray, Lucy Fleming, The Beatles first record session, Ian Fleming's desert island interview, new Ian Fleming book designs, FantomasSpy SmasherBarbarella tv show, British spy comics, Piper Gates retro designs, Cinema Retro, and more. 


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February 26, 2013

JOHNNY SOKKO & HIS FLYING ROBOT

Fans of Japanese tokusatsu and kaiju will be excited to hear that the 1960s classic, Johnny Sokko and His Flying Robot, will finally see a DVD release. Shout! Factory has put together the complete series on four discs, which will hit the streets as a box set on March 26th. From Shout!: "'Robot, attack! Robot, destroy!' These commands launched a thousand sci-fi fantasies for budding fans of the genre, just as they brought Johnny Sokko’s Giant Robot into imminent battle action! Under the voice control of young Johnny Sokko, the massive, flying metal behemoth would bring his fiery breath, laser eyes, finger-launched missiles and, above all, his physical strength into battle with countless menacing monsters bent on destroying the Earth! This epic fantasy series from Toei Studios aired from 1967 – 1968 and garnered even more fans in after-school reruns throughout the 70s. Collected here for the first time on DVD are all 26 episodes of explosive kaiju battles, nefarious alien takeover plots and mind-blowing heroics from jet-packed Johnny Sokko and his equally airborne friend and protector: Giant Robot!"


SPY VIBE FLASHBACK 2009: SPIES, ROBOTS, and MONSTERS!

I led a fun week-long class last week that explored monsters and robots in Japanese culture and in contemporary design. They saw the original Godzilla film, the Japanese version that was censored by the US and remained unreleased here for 50 years due to its anti-nuclear sentiment and references to WWII. We looked at many films, cartoons, Tokusatsu (live-action/special effects shows), and had a special visit with manga scholar/translator, Frederik Schodt (Astro Boy). Two programs we watched had special interest for spy fans, and today I want to highlight the first episode of Giant Robot, known in the US as Johnny Sokko and His Flying Robot (
1967-1968 Toei Production).

The Earth is invaded by a terrorist group called Big Fire (Gargoyle in the US), led by Emperor Guillotine, who commands his minions of henchman and captured scientists (who make monsters- naturally) from his ship beneath the ocean. Enter Johnny Sokko (Daisuke Kusama in Japan), who meets up with a dashing young man, Jerry Mano (Juro Minami in Japan), on a cruise ship. Johnny discovers that Jerry is, in fact, Agent U3 for a top-secret peacekeeping organization called Unicorn. Jerry’s cover is blown when his pen starts ringing! Jerry extends an antenna and contacts his boss at HQ- a rather colorful version of U.N.C.L.E. headquarters.


The ship is attacked by a giant sea monster, and our two heroes find themselves castaways on a beach and quickly captured by the alien terrorists. The baddies in Johnny Sokko are designed with a wonderful mix of evil elements- black berets, sunglasses, Nazi salutes, and sci-fi makeup. Jerry and Johnny break free and an intense gunfight ensues that would never been seen in a US-produced kid’s show. Jerry uses a guard as a shield. The poor henchman doesn’t stand a chance and his pals riddle him with bullets. Even Johnny is armed with a pistol and looks super heroic despite his mini-shorts.

The action and camera work are fast-paced and fun. Jerry and Johnny race through corridors and down an elevator where they discover the Giant Robot and a scientist who has been held prisoner to do Guillotine’s bidding. The man gives Johnny the robot’s control-watch. In James Bond fashion, the heroes blow up the secret lair and shoot it out on the beach. When things get tough, Jerry reminds Johnny that he now possesses the watch that controls the robot. The boy flips open the top, makes his first commands, and a franchise is born! Johnny is brought into Unicorn as Agent U7, and joins the secret fight against the alien terrorists.



It was interesting to talk with Fred Schodt about the violence that we see in Japanese pop culture. There is an edge to the storytelling, seen even in live-action and animated shows from the early 1960s, which remains compelling for American viewers. Johnny Quest was pretty cool and dangerous for its time. But imagine if Johnny Quest, like Sokko, had been allowed to carry a pistol and command a giant robot! In Japan there is generally a greater distinction between fantasy and reality, which is one reason that creators in Japan have explained the graphic tone of their content. They didn’t have a Dr. Wertham, for example, leading a Congressional charge that comics were inciting youth to violence. Fred Schodt agreed, and added that Japan’s low crime rate, gun control, and overall group-sensitivity in the culture would help maintain a boundary between fantasy and what can be expected to happen in real life. But as Japan experiences more of the kind of violence that happens in the US, he added, maybe those lines will blur and the graphic tone will become an issue.

Now, back to that giant robot! While the secret agents are talking into their pen communicators and shooting it out with baddies, Johnny’s robot has quite an arsenal at his disposal: Finger Missiles, Back Missile, Bazooka Cannon (which fires out of the top of the robot's head), Eye Ray/Beams, Flamethrower (from his mouth) and Electrocution Wires. If you are a fan of Japanese monsters, heroes, and toys (and love spies!), Johnny Sokko and His Flying Robot (Giant Robot) is a campy and fun adventure!


I have a spy novella coming out. Stay tuned and follow Spy Vibe by clicking the Follow link at top right of this page. 

Check Spy Vibe for recent posts about our discovery of a rare Ian Fleming serialization, 007 Proof Editions, my review of SKYFALL, tributes to Donald Richie and Tony Sheridan, the Les Vampires serial on Blu-ray, Lucy Fleming, The Beatles first record session, Ian Fleming's desert island interview, new Ian Fleming book designs, FantomasSpy SmasherBarbarella tv show, British spy comics, Piper Gates retro designs, Cinema Retro, and more. 


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February 25, 2013

FOR YOUR EYES ONLY PROOF EDITION

Spy Vibe reported last week that a rare Uncorrected Proof edition of Ian Fleming's The Man With the Golden Gun was listed on eBay. The book sold yesterday for $778. Within the hour of the sale, another James Bond Uncorrected Proof was put up for auction. Ian Fleming collectors now have a chance to bid on an extremely rare copy of For Your Eyes Only. This edition was issued in January, 1960, and only 125 were made. Known copies went to Ian Fleming, his editorial staff at Pan, Jonathan Cape, the Daily Express, and to his solicitor. The seller on eBay has stated that, although the starting bid is quite high, they welcome best offers. More details on eBay here. Information about the publishing history of For Your Eyes Only from Jon Gilbert's Ian Fleming: The Bibliography

I have a spy novella coming out. Stay tuned and follow Spy Vibe by clicking the Follow link at top right of this page. 

Check Spy Vibe for recent posts about our discovery of a rare Ian Fleming serialization, my review of SKYFALL, David Bowie retrospectives, tributes to Donald Richie and Tony Sheridan, the Les Vampires serial on Blu-ray, Lucy Fleming, The Beatles first record session, Ian Fleming's desert island interview, new Ian Fleming book designs, FantomasSpy SmasherBarbarella tv show, British spy comics, Piper Gates retro designs, Cinema Retro, and more. 


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February 23, 2013

DAVID BOWIE RETROSPECTIVE

A major retrospective of David Bowie begins next month at the Victoria and Albert Museum. If your impressions of him are limited to "chameleon" or Let's Dance pop star, the exhibit will remind folks that Bowie's fame is built on an extraordinary voice, gifted songwriting, and lifelong passion for art, music, theater, fashion, and the avant-garde. He started as Davy Jones, a young Mod in the early 1960s, who covered American blues with his bands The Konrads, The King Bees, The Riot Squad, and The Lower Third.


With the success of The Monkees' Davy Jones, he changed his stage name to Bowie, and became fascinated with the cut-up writing technique of William Burroughs and with the art/music world of Andy Warhol and the Velvet Underground. As he developed as an artist, Bowie's interests and talents established him as a true renaissance man in the pop world. He is forever breaking ground with cutting-edge fashion and stage design, producing legitimate work as a visual artist, bringing theatrical elements to stage and screen, involving himself with art publications and galleries, and recording innovative records. The V&A exhibit will celebrate all of these aspects of Bowie's output. A recent image of the artist (below) sitting under his portrait with William S. Burroughs.


A beautiful book called David Bowie Is has been published by Abrams to accompany the show (below). A limited-edition signed by Bowie is available through the museum. Hardcover and softcover editions are available at the V&A, as well as through booksellers everywhere. Amazon currently has them at a discount pre-order price. About the book from Abrams: David Bowie Is is the first book that grants access to the internationally acclaimed artist and performer’s personal archive of costumes, ephemera, original design artwork, and more, bringing it together to present a completely new perspective on his creative work and collaborations. It traces Bowie’s career from its beginnings in London, through the breakthroughs of Space Oddity and The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, and on to his enormous impact on 20th-century avant-garde music and art. Essays by V&A curators Victoria Broackes and Geoffrey Marsh on Bowie’s London, image, and influence on the fashion world are complemented by Christopher Frayling, Mark Kermode, and Philip Hoare on film; Howard Goodall on musicology; Camille Paglia on gender and decadence; and Jon Savage on Bowie’s relationship with William Burroughs and Bowie’s fans. The more than 300 color illustrations include personal and performance photographs, album covers, performance costumes, original lyric sheets, and much more.


If you are interested in other cool Bowie items, the V&A gift shop is offering things like limited-edition prints, exhibit poster, cards, shirts, accessories, and more. The V&A exhibit runs from March 23rd to August 11th. In addition, Snap Galleries will be holding an exhibit of Bowie photographs by Masayoshi Sukita from March 23rd to April 30th. The show will capture their long collaboration with images from 1972 to 2002. More info here.


David Bowie recently announced that he has been secretly recording a new album called The Next Day, which will also be released next month. In addition to vinyl, cd and download formats, there is a limited-edition single coming out for Record Store day. The first song released, Where Are We Now, is a contemporary reflection on Berlin. Bowie recorded in the city during the 1970s with Brian Eno and Iggy pop. More info at Bowie's website here. Spy Vibers might also be interested in checking out this article in The Guardian and the limited-edition Speed of Life by Photographer Sukita for Genesis Publications. 


I have a spy novella coming out. Stay tuned and follow Spy Vibe by clicking the Follow link at top right of this page. 

Check Spy Vibe for recent posts about our discovery of a rare Ian Fleming serialization, my review of SKYFALL, tributes to Donald Richie and Tony Sheridan, the Les Vampires serial on Blu-ray, Lucy Fleming, The Beatles first record session, Ian Fleming's desert island interview, new Ian Fleming book designs, FantomasSpy SmasherBarbarella tv show, British spy comics, Piper Gates retro designs, Cinema Retro, and more. 


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February 22, 2013

JET AGE COOKING

Agent James Kraus has created a new book for your swinging kitchens. If you enjoy an occasional foray into the kitchen and happen to own an iPad, you may be interested in checking out Jet Age Cooking for the Bachelor Gourmet, a cookbook ideal for Spy Vibers with a taste for dining in the style of 1960s jet-setters.

This book is targeted to the sophisticated Man About Town who cooks for pleasure rather than necessity. All recipes are specifically scaled for a solo serving, easily doubled for preparing that special dinner à deux. It is focused on a selection of international favorites that were staples of upscale restaurants in the 1960s. Enjoy your favorite apéritif while you create vintage international Jet Age entrées like Steak Diane, Spaghetti Maria Grazia, Veal Milanese Four Seasons, or the Filet of Beef à la TWA from the 1968 menu of Trans World Airlines’ first-class Foreign Accent Service.


Included in the book are carefully selected music recommendations for the complete experience of dining with suave ’60s flair. These include classic standards by Miles Davis, Frank Sinatra, Matt Monro, Dave Brubeck, Sérgio Mendez, and others. Spy Vibers can download Jet Age Cooking from the Apple iBooks store. A Kindle edition is due this Spring.



James Kraus enjoyed the 1960s growing up near Chicago, where his parents were active in their local gourmet club. While guests gathered around the bar, James learned his way around the kitchen prepping sauces and often assembling one of the signature desserts of the period, flaming Cherries Jubilee. He recently retired after three decades toiling in the entertainment industry, and currently publishes the 1960s automotive blog Auto Universum. Paintings appearing in this Spy Vibe post are by Shag



I have a spy novella coming out. Stay tuned and follow Spy Vibe by clicking the Follow link at top right of this page. 


Check Spy Vibe for recent posts about our discovery of a rare Ian Fleming serialization, my review of SKYFALL, tributes to Donald Richie and Tony Sheridan, the Les Vampires serial on Blu-ray, Lucy Fleming, The Beatles first record session, Ian Fleming's desert island interview, new Ian Fleming book designs, FantomasSpy SmasherBarbarella tv show, British spy comics, Piper Gates retro designs, Cinema Retro, and more. 


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February 21, 2013

NEW 007 SEMIOTICS BOOK

Spy Vibers who enjoy curling up with books by Roland Barthes and Ferdinand de Saussure can now look forward to a new semiotic examination of Ian Fleming and James Bond. Author Daniel Ferreras Savoye released print and Kindle editions of The Signs of James Bond on February 13th. From Amazon: 'This book is an analysis of the most significant elements that compose the "Bond formula," such as names, binary oppositions and narrative patterns. It tackles Ian Fleming's novels as well as the 22 films of the Eon Productions series and follows the evolution of certain determining features (paradigms) from the text to the screen, to determine their function within the narration. This study reveals how the James Bond universe goes well beyond mere spy adventures to become a genre in itself as well as, now, a standard cultural reference. The book also shows that the underlying ideology of the James Bond narration is not as conservative as it might appear, for it promotes ideals of the Enlightenment period such as secularity, pragmatism and the common good.' Introduction by James Chapman (License to Thrill). 


I have a spy novella coming out. Stay tuned and follow Spy Vibe by clicking the Follow link at top right of this page. 

Check Spy Vibe for recent posts about our discovery of a rare Ian Fleming serialization, my review of SKYFALL, tributes to Donald Richie and Tony Sheridan, the Les Vampires serial on Blu-ray, Lucy Fleming, The Beatles first record session, Ian Fleming's desert island interview, new Ian Fleming book designs, FantomasSpy SmasherBarbarella tv show, British spy comics, Piper Gates retro designs, Cinema Retro, and more. 

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FOLIO SPIES

The Folio Society was founded in 1947 by Charles Ede and has continued to follow their mission to enhance the reading experience by paying close attention to the book itself. As they state on their website, typography, paper, illustration, slipcase, printing and binding are all chosen carefully to create a harmonious whole. The Folio books are sold individually, as well through subscriptions. There is a marketing aspect to their company that reminds me a bit of all of those variant editions that publishers hook us with, although Folio does not produce multiple versions of titles. They are editions made for book lovers and collectors, and I admit that I really enjoyed looking at their designs and choice of titles. As you might imagine, Folio has their hands in great classics from Greene, Conrad, Bradbury, Ambler, le Carre, and anthologies featuring The Strand, Conan Doyle, Ian Fleming, H.G Wells. They also printed a number of espionage memoirs and historic studies. I recently searched their listings and back-catalog and found some attractive editions that may appeal to fellow Spy Vibers. Best designs? I'm partial to Fahrenheit 451 and Enigma. What do you think?

Many of these titles are out of print, but you can still find copies easily. Books to check out: The Human Factor by Graham Greene, Memoirs of a British Agent by Bruce Lockhart, Mission to Tashkent by F.M Bailey, Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, The Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad, Adventure Stories From The Strand (featuring Conan Doyle, Kipling, H.G Wells, Somerset Maugham, Graham Greene, Sapper, others), The Spy's Bedside Book (featuring Ian Fleming, Graham Greene, John Buchan, others, and intro by former MI5 head), The Mask of Dimitrios by Eric Ambler, Crime Stories From the Strand, The Double Cross System by J.C Masterman, Enigma by Hugh Sebag-Montefiore, Smiley's People, The Honourable Schoolboy (not pictured), Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy by John le Carre, SOE by M.R.D Foot, and No Cloak No Dagger by Benjamin Cowburn. Photos below are from The Folio Society and Juniper Books
















I have a spy novella coming out. Stay tuned and follow Spy Vibe by clicking the Follow link at top right of this page. 

Check Spy Vibe for recent posts about our discovery of a rare Ian Fleming serialization, my review of SKYFALL, tributes to Donald Richie and Tony Sheridan, the Les Vampires serial on Blu-ray, Lucy Fleming, The Beatles first record session, Ian Fleming's desert island interview, new Ian Fleming book designs, FantomasSpy SmasherBarbarella tv show, British spy comics, Piper Gates retro designs, Cinema Retro, and more. 

Want to support Spy Vibe? Please make a small donation with our secure Paypal tip-jar link at the top left of the main page. Nothing is too small to help cover the increasing bills for the domain, web-forwarding and other costs to maintain the site. Thank you!

February 20, 2013

NEW IAN FLEMING EDITIONS

There are a few new editions of Ian Fleming books on the horizon. In addition to the upcoming UK and US printings of Fleming's non-fiction works Thrilling Cities and The Diamond Smugglers, we'll also see an illustrated Kindle and print release Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Fleming wrote this classic children's adventure for his son Caspar in 1961. The author passed away on his son's birthday in 1964, shortly before the book was published. In the 007 world, Amazon lists a new edition of an omnibus James Bond Collection. I believe it was scheduled as a spring release, but the date was recently removed from the website. And for Spy Vibers interested in learning more about Ian Fleming, Andrew Lycett's Ian Fleming: A Biography will have a new hardcover release by St. Martin's Press on October 1, 2013. The cover design has not been revealed yet. More details as they arrive.


I have a spy novella coming out. Stay tuned and follow Spy Vibe by clicking the Follow link at top right of this page. 

Check Spy Vibe for recent posts about our discovery of a rare Ian Fleming serialization, my review of SKYFALL, tributes to Donald Richie and Tony Sheridan, the Les Vampires serial on Blu-ray, Lucy Fleming, The Beatles first record session, Ian Fleming's desert island interview, new Ian Fleming book designs, FantomasSpy SmasherBarbarella tv show, British spy comics, Piper Gates retro designs, Cinema Retro, and more. 


Want to support Spy Vibe? Please make a small donation with our secure Paypal tip-jar link at the top left of the main page. Nothing is too small to help cover the increasing bills for the domain, web-forwarding and other costs to maintain the site. Thank you!

February 19, 2013

RICHARD SALA: ROGUE'S GALLERIES

Richard Sala, the maestro of macabre mystery, recently completed two tasty collections of his usual rogue's gallery of ghouls and detectives. Autumn and Evil is an alphabetical series that came together beautifully in glorious ink and watercolor. This first image reminds me of Diabolik and of the ID badges from The Man From U.N.C.L.E. You can see his Autumn and Evil gallery here


Richard's second series of 40 portraits is called Richard Sala's Skeleton Key. In this batch we find characters deeply embedded in fun mystery conventions. You'll see red-hooded baddies, cat burgler ladies, and a host of others that spring from his pulp-like imagination. Sala came in at #5 in our 2012 top-ten post, where we reprinted our interview about his love of vintage characters, like Mrs Peel of The Avengers, Fantomas, Dick Tracy, Judex, 007, and more!



I have a spy novella coming out. Stay tuned and follow Spy Vibe by clicking the Follow link at top right of this page. 

Check Spy Vibe for recent posts about our discovery of a rare Ian Fleming serialization, tributes to Donald Richie and Tony Sheridan, my review of SKYFALL, the Les Vampires serial on Blu-ray, Lucy Fleming, The Beatles first record session, Ian Fleming's desert island interview, new Ian Fleming book designs, FantomasSpy SmasherBarbarella tv show, British spy comics, Piper Gates retro designs, Cinema Retro, and more. 

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DONALD RICHIE R.I.P.

For many fans of Japanese cinema, Donald Richie was the leading voice of Japanese film journalism for fifty years. His book, The Films of Akira Kurosawa, adorned coffee tables everywhere, and Richie tirelessly worked to bring a deeper awareness and understanding of Japanese movies to the rest of the world. Richie first traveled to Japan during the occupation in 1947, where he worked for Pacific Stars and Stripes. He attended Cornell University when he returned stateside, but his love of Japanese culture and film drew him back to Tokyo after graduation. Richie landed a job as a film reviewer for The Japan Times, and his growing relationships with directors Yasujiro Ozu, Akira Kurosawa, and others afforded him a unique perspective. He published his first book in 1959 and many books, articles, essay anthologies, and film projects followed throughout the years. Fans of the Criterion Collection will also be familiar with Richie's film commentaries and introductions to the great Japanese films and directors. Criterion remembers Donald Richie here.


Donald Richie lived in Japan for most of his life, speaking the language fluently. Like me, he focused on verbal studies, rather than committing to memorizing thousands of kanji characters. When I became interested in Japanese culture as a kid, Richie became a kind of distant mentor. The images in his books fueled my fascination and his work as a journalist inspired me to major in Japanese Studies/Sociology in college and to move there after graduation. I taught in the far north and published some pieces in The Japan Times. Although our circles mingled in Japan, I never did get a chance to meet him in person. Donald Richie died in Tokyo today at the age of 88. Amazon author page here. Essential books: Films of Akira Kurosawa, Image Factory: Fads and Fashions in Japan, The Donald Richie Reader, Japan Journals 1947-2004, Ozu: His Life and Films, Inland Sea.


I have a spy novella coming out! Stay tuned and follow Spy Vibe by clicking the Follow link at top right of this page. Check Spy Vibe for recent posts about our discovery of a rare Ian Fleming serialization, my review of SKYFALL, the Les Vampires serial on Blu-ray, Lucy Fleming, The Beatles first record session, Ian Fleming's desert island interview, new Ian Fleming book designs, FantomasSpy SmasherBarbarella tv show, British spy comics, Piper Gates retro designs, Cinema Retro, and more. 

Want to support Spy Vibe? Please make a small donation with our secure Paypal tip-jar link at the top left of the main page. Nothing is too small to help cover the increasing bills for the domain, web-forwarding and other costs to maintain the site. Thank you!

February 18, 2013

IAN FLEMING PROOF EDITION

Spy Vibe shared some excitement recently when we uncovered a rare newspaper serialization of Ian Fleming's On Her Majesty's Secret Service that appeared on eBay. Catch your breath, Spy Vibers, because only days later, another rare Ian Fleming item has gone up for auction. For Fleming collectors, there are many treasures to seek out: UK and US First Editions, softcover variants, periodical appearances, and Fleming's work as a journalist. Diving deeper into the publishing process, there are also Proof copies of his manuscripts. There were 596 Uncorrected Proof copies of The Man With the Golden Gun produced in 1964, and now one of them can be yours! This Uncorrected Proof edition does not include a dust jacket (only 578 jackets were printed). Although it has  signs of wear, such an unusual piece of Ian Fleming/James Bond history will surely command a premium selling price. Auction details, which mislabel the book as '1 of 100' printed, can be found here. Publishing details from Jon Gilbert's Ian Fleming: The Bibliography.



I have a spy novella coming out. Stay tuned and follow Spy Vibe by clicking the Follow link at top right of this page. Check Spy Vibe for recent posts about our discovery of a rare Ian Fleming serialization, my review of SKYFALL, the Les Vampires serial on Blu-ray, Lucy Fleming, The Beatles first record session, Ian Fleming's desert island interview, new Ian Fleming book designs, FantomasSpy SmasherBarbarella tv show, British spy comics, Piper Gates retro designs, Cinema Retro, and more

Want to support Spy Vibe? Please make a small donation with our secure Paypal tip-jar link at the top left of the main page. Nothing is too small to help cover the increasing bills for the domain, web-forwarding and other costs to maintain the site. Thank you!

February 16, 2013

TONY SHERIDAN R.I.P

Breaking news: Sound engineer Steve Hoffman has just announced that the English vocalist and guitarist, Tony Sheridan, has passed away. Sheridan was a popular entertainer in Hamburg and was teamed with The Beatles as his backing band for a 1961 recording session. He had a terrific voice, in the Elvis-style, and musicians from the scene always spoke highly of Tony's guitar playing. Sheridan played in the later 1960s to support troops in Vietnam. One of his crew was killed when they came under fire in the military zone. Tony stayed on in Asia for two years and was made an honorary captain in the U.S. Army. He eventually settled near Hamburg and created a beautiful limited-edition book for Genesis Publications called The Beatles in Germany, with Astrid Kirchherr, Ulf Kruger, and others. He also released an album, Vagabond, in 2002. 


In recent news, it was reported that Tony was struggling with his health. Fans from around the world were able to send their thanks and affections through friend and fellow expat/musician, Ted Kingsize Taylor. Sheridan succumbed to his illness today. He would have been 73 years old this May. His son, Tony Sheridan Jr, carries on the family tradition as a rockabilly musician. Spy Vibe celebrates Tony Sheridan for his importance in the development of an English band scene in Hamburg and for his role in bringing The Beatles to their first professional recordings. In addition to their work as Tony's backing band, the sessions also yielded a solo vocal performance of Ain't She Sweet by John Lennon and a guitar instrumental by George Harrison and John Lennon called Cry For a Shadow. The full sessions were released in 2001 by Bear Family in Germany and in 2011 in the United States as The Beatles With Tony Sheridan: First Recordings 50th Anniversary Edition. You can hear Tony in a 30-min interview here. Below is a rare color photograph taken by Astrid Kirchherr of Tony (left) and original Beatles bassist Stuart Sutcliffe (right).


I have a spy novella coming out. Stay tuned and follow Spy Vibe by clicking the Follow link at top right of this page. Check Spy Vibe for recent posts about our discovery of a rare Ian Fleming serialization, my review of SKYFALL, the Les Vampires serial on Blu-ray, Lucy Fleming, The Beatles first record session, Ian Fleming's desert island interview, new Ian Fleming book designs, FantomasSpy SmasherBarbarella tv show, British spy comics, Piper Gates retro designs, Cinema Retro, and more

Want to support Spy Vibe? Please make a small donation with our secure Paypal tip-jar link at the top left of the main page. Nothing is too small to help cover the increasing bills for the domain, web-forwarding and other costs to maintain the site. Thank you!
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