March 31, 2013

MID-CENTURY MODERN MYSTERY

Mystery Sunday: a Mid-Century Modern Murder? This fantastic illustration appeared on the cover of Agatha Christie's The Moving Finger in 1957. The story was first published in paperback by Avon in the US in 1948. A Miss Marple mystery never looked so stylish! Avon cover browser here. Rare Agatha Christie editions at Adrian Harrington here


Did you know that Spy Vibe has a Pinterest page? You can see Spy Vibe graphics, dynamic vintage action, cliffhanger serials, Japanese designs from the 1920s, vintage mystery novels, and more! Visit our Ian Fleming Image Archive here. Also in Spy Vibe news, have a spy novella coming out soon! Stay tuned for more info. 

Check Spy Vibe for recent posts about 60th Anniversary of Casino Royale events, Cold War Photography, Operation Kid Brother (MST3K), the discovery of one of Ian Fleming's WWII Commandos, PG Tips Brooke Bond, Ian Fleming's Playboy interview for Kindle, 1960s espionage writers, Spy Vibe's discovery of a rare Ian Fleming serialization, my review of SKYFALL, 007 at the Intnl Spy Museum, Johnny Sokko and His Flying Robot and more. Here are the links from my recent series about Ian Fleming's musicNoel Coward,Whispering Jack SmithHawaiian GuitarJoe Fingers Carr

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!

March 30, 2013

COMIC: ROCK KENT

Comic Strip Saturday: Rock Kent. The Third Man (1949) is not the only gem that sprang from director Carol Reed and writer Graham Greene. The two talents also united in 1958, when Reed brought Greene's whimsical espionage film, Our Man in Havana, to the big screen. Alec Guinness plays a vacuum cleaner salesman, who is recruited by Noel Coward to spy for England. Guinness decides to simply invent his network of spies and to regularly send fictitious intelligence back to London to earn his paycheck. All goes smoothly until London sends people to question the make-believe pilot about a recent 'mission.' Guinness panics. What to do? A daily comic strip called Rock Kent inspires a scheme. The comic strip in the film shows hero Rock Kent going down in his plane. Although it is just a one-off comic, I like to imagine it as a cliffhanger that could have continued with new installments. The comic is credited to Art Director, Syd Cain, who famously went on to design many James Bond films. Cain passed away in 2011. You can learn more about Syd Cain in the obituaries posted by Lee Pfeiffer of Cinema RetroGraham Rye of 007 Magazine, and by Kim Newman of The Guardian.


Did you know that Spy Vibe has a Pinterest page? You can see Spy Vibe graphics, dynamic vintage action, cliffhanger serials, Japanese designs from the 1920s, vintage mystery novels, and more! Visit our Ian Fleming Image Archive here. Also in Spy Vibe news, have a spy novella coming out soon! Stay tuned for more info. 

Check Spy Vibe for recent posts about 60th Anniversary of Casino Royale events, Cold War Photography, Operation Kid Brother (MST3K), the discovery of one of Ian Fleming's WWII Commandos, PG Tips Brooke Bond, Ian Fleming's Playboy interview for Kindle, 1960s espionage writers, Spy Vibe's discovery of a rare Ian Fleming serialization, my review of SKYFALL, 007 at the Intnl Spy Museum, Johnny Sokko and His Flying Robot and more. Here are the links from my recent series about Ian Fleming's musicNoel Coward,Whispering Jack SmithHawaiian GuitarJoe Fingers Carr

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!

March 29, 2013

DOCUMENTARY: COLD WAR SPIES

Spy Vibe recommends: Spying Game. Spy Vibers have a great curiosity about the tools and tricks of the trade. Have you ever wished you could sit down with elderly spies from around the world and ask them about the technology and techniques they used? How did they deal with things like covers, concealed gadgets, surveillance, secret documents, dead drops, and assassinations? Although I prefer my spies wrapped in fiction and fantasy, it can be fascinating to hear the sneaky truth about life as a spy. If you are interested in real-life espionage, have I found the documentary for you! Actor Alan Bates narrated Spying Game for Channel 4 in 1999. In the program, former spies reveal trade secrets and talk openly about their missions and adventures. Chapters in the mini-series include Creating a Cover, The Surveillance Revolution, Assassins and Saboteurs, Weapons of Choice, Homemade Radios, Aerial Photography, Berlin, and Double Agents. A dirty business indeed, but intriguing research. 


Most of the former spies interviewed are British and Russian, and the program focuses mainly on the experiences of Cold War espionage and counter-espionage. It's fascinating to hear from spies from both sides of the Iron Curtain, including one woman who talks about posing as a local mom for years in Britain while clandestinely tapping out  secrets on a makeshift radio constructed from common household items. Some viewers may find the series dated in terms of pacing, but I really enjoyed it. More info at the Alan Bates website here. Spying Game is available on Netflix and parts can be found on YouTube. Copies of the DVD can be found cheaply on-line. Amazon page here.

From the Alan Bates website: "It was equally important that the spies themselves remained inconspicuous. As author and historian PHILIIP KNIGHTLEY points out, your average spy is not a flamboyant James Bond-type character, but someone who must blend in to society unnoticed - "The more ordinary they are the more successful they are as spies." The Krogers, an unassuming middle-aged couple from Ruislip, were just such spies. For years they were able to send top secret naval information back to the USSR undetected. One of their neighbours, MRS SPOONER, was friends with the Krogers for years without any idea of their real identity as master-spies. "Mrs Kroger was one of the first neighbours to talk to me. There was absolutely nothing to make you wonder about them. I was really very shocked when it all came out that they were spies. Nobody had an inkling at all."


"Technology became an integral part of the Krogers' lives and an essential part of the information gathering process. Together with other spies of the day they had a range of specialist cameras to choose from. The ultimate spy camera of the time was the Latvian-made Minox, which was beautifully engineered, compact, and perfect for photographing documents onto micro-film. Other clever devices available included a German camera disguised as a matchbox and a pocket sized photocopier from Russia."

"However it was a specially designed microdot making kit supplied by the KGB which was mainly used by the Krogers. Microdots, which are pieces of film the size of a full stop containing pictures of documents, are essential to any spy wishing to move secret information between countries. Peter Kroger's cover was as an antiquarian bookseller, so he was able to smuggle a lot of top secret information using microdots hidden in the text of books. The couple also hid them in talcum powder tins, lighters and matchboxes." Lipstick pistol below from the collection of the International Spy Museum.


Did you know that Spy Vibe has a Pinterest page? You can see Spy Vibe graphics, dynamic vintage action, cliffhanger serials, Japanese designs from the 1920s, vintage mystery novels, and more! Visit our Ian Fleming Image Archive here. Also in Spy Vibe news, have a spy novella coming out soon! Stay tuned for more info. 

Check Spy Vibe for recent posts about 60th Anniversary of Casino Royale events, Cold War Photography, Operation Kid Brother (MST3K), the discovery of one of Ian Fleming's WWII Commandos, PG Tips Brooke Bond, Ian Fleming's Playboy interview for Kindle, 1960s espionage writers, Spy Vibe's discovery of a rare Ian Fleming serialization, my review of SKYFALL, 007 at the Intnl Spy Museum, Johnny Sokko and His Flying Robot and more. Here are the links from my recent series about Ian Fleming's musicNoel Coward,Whispering Jack SmithHawaiian GuitarJoe Fingers Carr.


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!

March 27, 2013

THE MAN NOBODY KNEW: WILLIAM COLBY

Spy Vibe recommends: The Man Nobody Knew: In Search of My Father Spymaster William Colby. Filmmaker Carl Colby, son of the former director of the CIA, has made an interesting documentary about his relationship with a father who was ultimately married to the world of deception and national security. Carl Colby approached the film in a style reminiscent of director Errol Morris (Fog of War) by placing the viewer in intimate one-on-one converstions with his dad's colleagues (and his mother), and intercutting these with historic footage. The voices are caring and candid, and one gets the sense that all of the participants are committed to helping Colby, and the audience, understand his father better. It's made clear that William Colby was a complicated man, hugely patriotic and committed to protecting the interests of America and the CIA. At home, he was respected as a man of high moral values, but he was not remembered as a warm father. The tightrope that William Colby walked between job and family became more tenuous in the Ford era, when he came under fire as a representative of the agency in a Congressional investigation into illegal CIA activities. The film does a good job providing a window into the Cold War, walking us through Colby's operations from the 1940s onward. And the film itself becomes a wonderful journey for Carl Colby, who must reconcile his father's character. The film is now streaming on Netflix. Official site here. You can order it on Amazon here.


From First Run Features: "A son's riveting look at a father whose life seemed straight out of a spy thriller, THE MAN NOBODY KNEW: IN SEARCH OF MY FATHER, CIA SPYMASTER WILLIAM COLBY uncovers the secret world of a legendary CIA spymaster. Told by William Colby’s son Carl, the story is at once a probing history of the CIA, a personal memoir of a family living in clandestine shadows, and an inquiry into the hard costs of a nation's most cloaked actions.


From the beginning of his career as an OSS officer parachuting into Nazi-occupied Europe, William Colby rose through the ranks of "The Company," and soon was involved in covert operations in hot spots around the globe. He swayed elections against the Communists in Italy, oversaw the coup against President Diem in Saigon, and ran the controversial Phoenix Program in Vietnam, which sparked today's legacy of counter-insurgency. But after decades of obediently taking on the White House's toughest and dirtiest assignments, and rising to become Director of CIA, Colby defied the President. Braving intense controversy, he opened up to Congress some of the agency's darkest, most tightly held secrets and extra-legal operations.


Now, his son asks a series of powerful and relevant questions about the father who was a ghost-like presence in the family home – and the intelligence officer who became a major force in American history, paving the way for today’s provocative questions about security and secrecy vs. liberty and morality. The film forges a fascinating mix of rare archival footage, never-before-seen photos, and interviews with the "who's who" of American intelligence, including former National Security Advisers Brent Scowcroft and Zbigniew Brzezinski, former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, former Secretary of Defense and Director of CIA James Schlesinger, as well Pulitzer Prize journalists Bob Woodward, Seymour Hersh and Tim Weiner. Through it all, Carl Colby searches for an authentic portrait of the man who remained masked even to those who loved him most." Cover image below from Time Magazine



have a spy novella coming out soon! Stay tuned for more info. Did you know that Spy Vibe has a Pinterest page? You can see Spy Vibe graphics, dynamic vintage action, cliffhanger serials, Japanese designs from the 1920s, vintage mystery novels, and more! Visit our Ian Fleming Image Archive here.

Check Spy Vibe for the Ian Fleming Music 
Series links: Noel Coward,Whispering Jack SmithHawaiian GuitarJoe Fingers Carr, and recent posts about 60th Anniversary of Casino Royale events, Cold War Photography, Operation Kid Brother (MST3K), the discovery of one of Ian Fleming's WWII Commandos, PG Tips Brooke Bond, Ian Fleming's Playboy interview for Kindle, 1960s espionage writers, Spy Vibe's discovery of a rare Ian Fleming serialization, my review of SKYFALL, 007 at the Intnl Spy Museum, Johnny Sokko and His Flying Robot 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!

March 25, 2013

IAN FLEMING: 60TH ANNIVERSARY EVENTS

Celebrate the 60th anniversary of Ian Fleming's first James Bond novel, Casino Royale, with a host of amazing events planned at the University of Illinois. In addition to an exhibit of rare manuscripts and materials, visitors can also look forward to film screenings, concerts, and special  presentations by Bond scholars, John Cork, Michael VanBlaricum, and Raymond Benson. It all starts on April 12th! Full schedule on the event website here.


From the University News Bureau: "Titled 'The Birth of Bond: Ian Fleming’s ‘Casino Royale’ at 60,' the event will feature a collection of first editions, manuscripts and Fleming ephemera at the Rare Book and Manuscript Library; a film festival and display of Bond movie costumes and props at the Spurlock Museum; a collection of audio recordings, photographs and sheet music (including the original 2006 “Casino Royale” score) at the Sousa Archives; and a performance of music from the Bond movies and books by the U. of I. Concert Jazz Band.


Much of the material featured in “The Birth of Bond” comes from the collection of Michael L. VanBlaricum [below], the president of the Ian Fleming Foundation and a U. of I. alumnus who is loaning pieces of his personal collection of Fleming first editions, manuscripts, letters, recordings, sheet music and movie props to the three campus sites.



VanBlaricum will give a one-hour talk on Fleming and Bond at 3 p.m. on April 12 (Friday), in the library auditorium (Room 66), followed by a reception in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library (Room 346). The jazz concert, on April 13 (Saturday), will begin at 7 p.m. in the Knight Auditorium at Spurlock Museum, and will include a piano medley of Bond themes performed by Raymond Benson, one of the continuation authors hired by the Fleming family to carry on the James Bond novels after Ian Fleming’s death, as well as themes from the Bond movies and music mentioned in Fleming’s books." More details at the event website here.

Ian Fleming on Spy Vibe: recent posts include Ian Fleming Music Series links: Noel Coward,Whispering Jack SmithHawaiian GuitarJoe Fingers Carrdiscovery of one of Ian Fleming's WWII CommandosIan Fleming's Playboy interview for Kindle, Spy Vibe's discovery of a rare Ian Fleming serialization, Royal gold typewriter, Ian Fleming's memorial address, and our Ian Fleming image archive link here.


have a spy novella coming out soon! Stay tuned for more info. Did you know that Spy Vibe has a Pinterest page? Check out our images boards featuring Ian Fleming, dynamic vintage action, cliffhanger serials, Japanese designs from the 1920s, vintage mystery novels, and more! 

Check Spy Vibe for 
recent posts about Operation Kid Brother (MST3K), PG Tips Brooke Bond, 1960s espionage writers, my review of SKYFALL, 007 at the Intnl Spy Museum, Johnny Sokko and His Flying Robot, new Beatles bio from Mark Lewisohn, Les Vampires, Lucy Fleming, 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!

COLD WAR PHOTOGRAPHY

Looking through various historical materials recently, I came across an interesting book from 2011 that Spy Vibers might enjoy. A Cold War Tourist and His Camera features a collection of color slides by Warren Langford. The book was created by his children, Martha Langford (Concordia University Research Chair in Art History) and John Langford (professor at the University of Victoria). From McGill-Quenn's University Press: "Cold War-era imagery is defined by the striking contrast between the ideal of the nuclear family and the nightmare of nuclear annihilation. In 1963, Warren Langford, a Second World War air force veteran and career public servant, travelled through Europe, North America, and Africa as part of the National Defence College's curriculum of Cold War training. Langford, never before much interested in photography, bought a camera and produced some 200 slides of his travels. In A Cold War Tourist and His Camera, his art historian daughter and political scientist son bring his photographs - an unexpected combination of iconic images of Cold War dangers and touristic snapshots - back into view."


"Martha Langford and John Langford examine their father's apparently innocuous photographic experience, revealing the complexity of both the images and their creator. An intelligent and personal look at the ways that the historical and the private are represented and remembered, A Cold War Tourist and His Camera stages the family slide show as you've never seen it before." Here is a sample of the book from Youtube:


"A book full of observations and pointed comments about Canada's role in NATO and in world politics of the time. Indeed, the text can serve as a brief introduction to Cold War politics." -The Montreal Gazette. Read the review at 49th Parallel here. More info at Amazon


have a spy novella coming out soon! Stay tuned for more info. Did you know that Spy Vibe has a Pinterest page? You can see our Ian Fleming Image Archive, dynamic vintage action, cliffhanger serials, Japanese designs from the 20s, vintage mystery novels, and more! Ian Fleming Archive link here.

Check Spy Vibe for the Ian Fleming Music 
Series links: Noel Coward,Whispering Jack SmithHawaiian GuitarJoe Fingers Carr, and recent posts about Operation Kid Brother (MST3K), the discovery of one of Ian Fleming's WWII Commandos, PG Tips Brooke Bond, Ian Fleming's Playboy interview for Kindle, 1960s espionage writers, Spy Vibe's discovery of a rare Ian Fleming serialization, my review of SKYFALL, 007 at the Intnl Spy Museum, Johnny Sokko and His Flying Robot, new Beatles bio from Mark Lewisohn, 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!

March 24, 2013

DEAL ALERT: OPERATION KID BROTHER

Amazon is currently running a sale on a number of Mystery Science Theater 3000 box sets. Spy Vibers may be interested in picking up volume XXV, which includes the 1967 Eurospy classic, Operation Kid Brother (a.k.a. OK Connery, Operation Double 007). The film stars many actors from the James Bond series, as well as Sean Connery's own brother, Neil. Familiar faces include Bernard Lee (M), Lois Maxwell (Moneypenny), Daniella Bianchi (From Russia With Love), Adolfo Celi (Thunderball, Danger Diabolik), and Anthony Dawson (Dr. No). It also features a celebrated score by Ennio Morricone and Bruno Nicolai. Plot synopsis from IMDBThe evil crime syndicate Thanatos is bent on taking over the world, using a magnetic wave generator that will cause all metal-based machinery to grind to a halt. However, the well-known British secret agent normally assigned to such tasks isn't available, so they engage his civilian brother, Neil, to help. Neil, played by Neil Connery, is a world-class plastic surgeon, hypnotist, and lip-reader, which turn out to be precisely the skills required for thwarting Thanatos." Although the original film appears to be now available as streaming content on Amazon, the MST3K version still remains the only official DVD release. 


MST3K Vol XXV also includes Kitten With a Whip, Robot Holocaust, Commando Cody serial, and Revenge of the Creature. The sale price is $24.49 (down from $59.97). Sale ends March 30th. Order on Amazon here. Other titles included in the sale: The Corpse Vanishes, Warrior of the Lost World, Santa Clause, Night of the Blood Beast, Code Name: Diamond Head, Castle of Fu Manchu (with Christopher Lee), King Dinosaur, Last of the Wild Horses, Samson vs. the Vampire Women, Fugitive Alien, The Sword and the Dragon, Star Force: Fugitive Alien II. Color still from Movie Goods. Screenshots from Lucid Nightmare blog.  


have a spy novella coming out soon! Stay tuned for more info. Did you know that Spy Vibe has a Pinterest page? You can see collections of images of Ian Fleming's life, dynamic vintage action, cliffhanger serials, Japanese designs from the 20s, vintage mystery novels, and more! Ian Fleming board here.

Check Spy Vibe for the Ian Fleming Music 
Series links: Noel Coward,Whispering Jack SmithHawaiian GuitarJoe Fingers Carr, and recent posts about PG Tips Brooke Bond, 1960s espionage writers, Spy Vibe's discovery of a rare Ian Fleming serialization, my review of SKYFALL, 007 at the Intnl Spy Museum, Johnny Sokko and His Flying Robot, new Beatles bio from Mark Lewisohn, 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!

March 22, 2013

IAN FLEMING COMMANDO DISCOVERED

Journalist Justin Rowlatt has published an interesting story in BBC News Magazine about his grandfather's connection with Ian Fleming's commandos during WWII. Fleming organized the secret 30 Assault Unit to gather intelligence and to work with forward troops. "The family only discovered his involvement a couple of years ago, thanks to a coincidence. My cousin Alexander is an eye doctor at Moorfields Eye Hospital in London and the only one of the family to carry my mother's maiden name, Ionides. One day a patient asked him a startling question.

"Ionides is an unusual name," he said. "Was your grandfather called Theo?"
"Yes," replied Alexander.
"Did he fight in World War II?"
"Yes," he answered again.
Then came the real eye-opener.
"Did you know he was handpicked to be part of a top secret commando unit set up by Ian Fleming?"


Rowlatt was hurtled into a fascinating mission of research to learn more about Fleming's AU30, his grandfather's role in secret missions and in historic battles, and the reflections of surviving veterans who served with his grandfather. Read the full story here. AU30 photo above and secret memo below from Ian Fleming from BBC News Magazine. More about the 30AU here


have a spy novella coming out soon! Stay tuned for more info. Did you know that Spy Vibe has a Pinterest page? You can see collections of images of Ian Fleming's life, dynamic vintage action, cliffhanger serials, Japanese designs from the 20s, vintage mystery novels, and more! Ian Fleming board here.

Check Spy Vibe for the Ian Fleming Music 
Series links: Noel Coward,Whispering Jack SmithHawaiian GuitarJoe Fingers Carr, and recent posts about PG Tips Brooke Bond, 1960s espionage writers, Spy Vibe's discovery of a rare Ian Fleming serialization, my review of SKYFALL, 007 at the Intnl Spy Museum, Johnny Sokko and His Flying Robot, new Beatles bio from Mark Lewisohn, 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!

March 21, 2013

IAN FLEMING: PLAYBOY KINDLE

Ian Fleming established a strong symbiotic relationship with Playboy magazine, where each benefitted from the other's allure, excitement, and modern world-view. Playboy also gained a great reputation as a magazine for its in-depth interviews over the years. They recently released 50 of the most famous interviews as new Kindle books. Included in the new collection of ebooks is an interview conducted with Ian Fleming shortly before his death and published in the December, 1964 issue of PlayboyThe Kindle book is 17 pages and is priced at .99. More info here.


From the Playboy press release: "In mid-1962, Playboy founder Hugh Hefner was given a partial transcript of an interview with Miles Davis. It covered jazz, of course, but it also included Davis’s ruminations on race, politics and culture. Fascinated, Hef sent the writer—future Pulitzer-Prize-winning author Alex Haley, an unknown at the time—back to glean even more opinion and insight from Davis. The resulting exchange, published in the September 1962 issue, became the first official Playboy Interview and kicked off a remarkable run of public inquisition that continues today—and that has featured just about every cultural titan of the last half century. To celebrate the Interview’s 50th anniversary, the editors of Playboy have culled 50 of its most (in)famous Interviews and will publish them via Amazon’s Kindle Direct platform. Here is the interview with the James Bond author Ian Fleming from the December 1964 issue." 


have a spy novella coming out soon! Stay tuned for more info. Did you know that Spy Vibe has a Pinterest page? You can see collections of images of Ian Fleming's life, dynamic vintage action, cliffhanger serials, Japanese designs from the 20s, vintage mystery novels, and more! Ian Fleming board here.

Check Spy Vibe for the Ian Fleming Music 
Series links: Noel Coward,Whispering Jack SmithHawaiian GuitarJoe Fingers Carr, and recent posts about PG Tips Brooke Bond, 1960s espionage writers, Spy Vibe's discovery of a rare Ian Fleming serialization, my review of SKYFALL, 007 at the Intnl Spy Museum, Johnny Sokko and His Flying Robot, new Beatles bio from Mark Lewisohn, 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!

March 20, 2013

AGENT BOND, BROOKE BOND

Agent Craig Arthur has alerted me to a fabulous series of advertisements that need to be on the radar screens of every Spy Viber. Brooke Bond PG Tips tea made many commercials with chimpanzees over the years. The themes have covered cool Jazz cats, movie spoofs, slice-of-life comedy, and in the 1980s- James Bond parodies! In these shorts, agent Bond, Brooke Bond, received his assignments from Tee (head of intelligence/British Secret Tea Service) and went on James Bond-like missions. Arthur thinks that Michael Jayston might have been the voice of agent Brooke Bond in the ads. Jayston has had a long illustrious career that has included James Bond (You Only Live Twice/BBC radio), Doctor Who (as Valeyard- an evil incarnation of The Doctor), Quiller (TV), Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (BBC), UFO, and Margery Booth: The Spy in the Eagle's Nest (2014). Jayston was also up for the role of James Bond when the producers were looking to replace Sean Connery for Live and Let Die


I'm such a fan of creative filmmaking like this. I love looking at models and puppets from Gerry Anderson's shows, for example. And despite the possible discomfort that the chimpanzees might have felt working in costume, I can't help but love things like Lancelot Link and these tea ads. My guilty pleasure! The filmmakers did a great job distilling some fun conventions from the 007 films and from classic mystery/adventure entertainment. Spy Vibers might want to track down an old compilation video of all of the Brooke Bond tea commercials, called Monkey Business. The Brooke Bond site above also features video links and a history of the company's ads and collectible cards. Enjoy! 


By the way, the chimp who played Lance Link on TV retired to Wildlife WayStation in California. The organization has been fund-raising to make needed renovations and they could use your help. You can find out more at the Lancelot Link website. 


have a spy novella coming out soon! Stay tuned for more info. Did you know that Spy Vibe has a Pinterest page? You can see collections of images of Ian Fleming's life, dynamic vintage action, cliffhanger serials, Japanese designs from the 20s, vintage mystery novels, and more! Ian Fleming board here.

Check Spy Vibe for the Ian Fleming Music 
Series links: Noel Coward,Whispering Jack SmithHawaiian GuitarJoe Fingers Carr, and recent posts about 1960s espionage writers, Spy Vibe's discovery of a rare Ian Fleming serialization, my review of SKYFALL, 007 at the Intnl Spy Museum, Johnny Sokko and His Flying Robot, new Beatles bio from Mark Lewisohn, 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!
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