Showing posts with label playboy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label playboy. Show all posts

April 20, 2014

BUNNY INTERVIEW

Spy Vibe presents an Easter interview with a very special Bunny. Soon after donning her cotton tail at the London Playboy Club in 1969, Bunny Deana was crowned Bunny of the Year by 007 actor George Lazenby (On Her Majesty's Secret Service). We sat down for a virtual chat a couple of years ago to talk about Swinging London, her training as a Bunny, and life at the Playboy Club.


Excerpt: "We were not allowed to sit with guests or pour drinks for them, and most definitely not accept drinks from them. On my website you will see a number of photographs of me sitting with guests. However, these were always taken by our official Photographer Bunny, (a really beautiful girl named Rema) whose job it was to encourage guests to pay for a souvenir Polaroid. I’m so pleased that many of the guests handed me the photographs to keep. They are a unique and irreplaceable record of a little piece of history. Actually, some of the photos have names and phone numbers written on the back, but remember the rule about over-familiarity!" Read our full interview here. If you have been away on missions this week, Spy Vibers may want to catch up with recent news: Cumberbatch as Ian Fleming, new Fleming Jamaica book, Japanese editions of Bond and UNCLEJapanese, German, and Kindle editions of The 10th Victim.   


Recent Ian Fleming posts on Spy Vibe: Cumberbatch as Ian FlemingFleming Jamaica BookBond Japanese EditionsFleming Chinese EditionChitty Chitty Bang Bang 50thIan Fleming: Mt. Demon Hell JapanCollecting FlemingLive and Let Die 60thnew poster announced007 Audio Books UpdateAppropriating Bond Exhibit, Fleming Letters MysteryThe Goldfinger VariationsDouble 007 Book Designs,  Double 007 designs IIrare Ian Fleming editionBook Design DopplegangersTurkish Bond designIan Fleming LettersErno GoldfingerNoel CowardWhispering Jack SmithHawaiian GuitarJoe Fingers Carr, new Ian Fleming CatalogJon Gilbert interview, Double 007 Designs, Bond audio book reissues, discovery of one of Ian Fleming's WWII Commandos, James Bond book covers, Ian Fleming's Playboy interview for Kindle, Spy Vibe's discovery of a rare Ian Fleming serialization, rare View to a Kill, Fleming's Royal gold typewriter, Ian Fleming's memorial address, Spy Vibe's Ian Fleming image archive.

Recent Spy Vibe posts: The 10th Victim Japanese and KindleU.N.C.L.E. Japanese BooksThe 10th Victim German EditionUNCLE GunThe Saint books returnSpy exhibit at the Pacific Science Center, Trina Robbins InterviewCatsuits, Batman '66 Green Hornet Interview: Ralph Garman Ty TempletonDC Fontana Prisoner VideoEdward Gorey's 1960sIpcress File cinematography007 SOLO cover designs, Gloria Steinem and Denny O'Neil on MOD Wonder WomanWin Scott Eckert interview, Siegel and Shuster's SPYDavid McCallum: Son of BatmanWonderwall comes to Blu-rayKevin Dart talks Ringo & Powerpuff GirlsFu Manchu history panelMod Tales InterviewAtomic ArtShane Glines Batman.

December 9, 2013

PETE SEEGER GRAMMY

Musician and activist Peter Seeger has been nominated for a Grammy Award for his new spoken-word album The Storm King. A collection of stories and poems from his life set to multi-genre music with percussionist Jeff Haynes, the album is great follow-up to two CDs he released last year-  not bad for a 94-year-old! Seeger grew up in a family of musicians who fostered a dedication to activism and traditional music. Seeger had a profound impact on the culture of the 20th Century through his gift for bringing people together through song. His long career stretches back to collaborations with Woody Guthrie, the Weavers, and decades of touring and playing on radio and television. As a website dedicated to 1960s style, Spy Vibe would be remiss if I didn't acknowledge the major influence Seeger had on the Folk Boom and on the political and spiritual climate of the decade. Even if you are not a fan of his style of music, Seeger represents a dedication to community and to nature that I hope will prevail for years to come. This Grammy nomination is his fifth (he has won four times!), in addition to winning the National Medal of Arts, a Kennedy Center Honor, the Harvard Arts Medal, a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction, the Felix Varela Medal, the Peace Abbey Courage of Conscience Award, and the George Peabody Medal. Good luck, Pete, in this year's Grammy Awards! Seeger sadly lost his wife Toshi this year after a 70-year marriage. His brother Mike Seeger (New Lost City Ramblers) passed away in 2009. His sister Peggy Seeger lives in the UK and continues to perform, record and speak out as an activist for LGBT rights and other issues. Below is a rare photo of Pete Seeger with Woody Guthrie. See more at NPR here. Story continues below. 


Recent related releases include Pete Seeger Remembers Woody and A More Perfect Union (with Emmylou Harris, Dar Wiliams, Steve Earle, and Bruce Springsteen), and a new documentary film called Greenwich Village: Music That Defined a Generation. Below is a rare poster for a benefit concert held in my backyard in Mill Valley, California in the late 1960s. Note the quote by John F. Kennedy. Other musicians supported Democratic candidate Phil Drath during the era, including the Grateful Dead and Joan Baez.



My eye on the early-mid 1960s has been particularly fascinated lately with the folk and blues boom. Not only is it interesting to see how youth culture embraced players like Pete Seeger, the music itself was powered by deep storytelling, humor, history, and topical concerns of the era. Pete Seeger was blacklisted during the McCarthy era, so maybe to that paranoid establishment, this was REAL "spy music." Spy Vibers might enjoy the video clips below of Pete Seeger. The Power of Song illustrates Seeger's commitment to bettering the world through music and captures some of the larger issues of the early 1960s. His song, Waist Deep in the Big Muddy, was performed on the Smothers Brothers show in 1967, but cut from broadcast by the censors. A campaign by the brothers pressured the network to finally air the footage, and Seeger was able to share a tune that showed his patriotism, empathy for those facing combat, and a larger questioning of war at the height of Vietnam. Written on his banjo were the words. "This machine surrounds hate and forces it to surrender." 

Another way to appreciate this area of music is to remember how important it was to the development of other styles. To stretch a quote by the great blues composer Willie Dixon, folks like Dylan, Seeger, Guthrie, Muddy Waters, Skip James, Lightnin' Hopkins, Sonny Terry, Lonnie Donegan, New Lost City Ramblers, etc were "the roots", and The Beatles, The Who, The Rolling Stones, Kinks, Led Zeppelin, and Miles Davis were "the fruits". Traditional folk and blues performers might not have made a big splash with rebellious fashion and attitude (though Muddy Waters and Lightnin' Hopkins were certainly sharp dressers), but they sure had something to say. Sometimes the deepest messages come in plain wrappings. One of the most memorable moments I've ever seen on TV was Pete Seeger on Hugh Hefner's Playboy's Penthouse (1959). Pete had a great talent for getting a crowd singing, and it was sweet to see a room of sophisticates huddled around him singing along. Hefner, a huge music fan himself, sat close to Pete and joined in. The guests were movers and shakers of the new cultural revolution, but unified in curiosity and humanity by that banjo.


Spy Vibers interested in seeing another side of the early-mid 1960s should check out the great documentary, The Power of Song (about Pete Seeger).Although I played in a bluegrass band in high school, and have played mainly blues guitar all my life, my listening curiosity never really pulled in this direction until now. It's great to discover 'new" areas of culture when a fresh context or perspective open us up to the experience. Groovy organ soundtracks transcend time for me because they bring a sense of adventure and playfulness to the day. The spirit of Seeger and the poetry of Bob Dylan's songs transcend time because they embody universal, human emotion and experience. I was playing banjo recently in the Spy Vibe lair! It was quite fun to pick out blues and folk tunes. I've also discovered that the instrument can double as a shamisen for traditional Japanese melodies. I encourage all Spy Vibers to spend some time with characters like Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan, Alan Lomax. Dive into the Smithsonian Folkways site. Listen to traditional music from around the world and discover your inner folkie. Pete Seeger Appreciation page here. Below is a rare photo of 2-year-old Pete with his musical family. Thanks to archivist and pal Rich Remsberg for inspiring this post today!






Recent Spy Vibe posts: The Goldfinger VariationsMod Tales InterviewKraftwerk returns to US, Beatles BBC on Fresh Air, Steranko S.H.I.E.L.D. Artist Editions, David Tennant's Ian Fleming audio books, Atomic ArtModern Architecture LPJulius ShulmanThe Prisoner and Captain ScarletHMV returns to Oxford st w Beatles promo, Diego Fortunato and Verner Panton,  Saturday Morning CartoonsAssassination Bureau on DVD, new Young Bond series, new Beatles BBC album, new Hercule Poirot novel, Early Beatles image archive, Julie NewmarErno GoldfingerHitchcock tribute.

Recent Ian Fleming posts on Spy Vibe: Erno Goldfinger, Ian Fleming Music Series links: Noel CowardWhispering Jack SmithHawaiian GuitarJoe Fingers Carr, new Ian Fleming CatalogJon Gilbert interview, Double 007 Designs, Bond audio book reissues, discovery of one of Ian Fleming's WWII Commandos, James Bond book covers, Ian Fleming's Playboy interview for Kindle, Spy Vibe's discovery of a rare Ian Fleming serialization, rare View to a Kill, Fleming's Royal gold typewriter, Ian Fleming's memorial address, Spy Vibe's Ian Fleming image archive

November 19, 2013

JULIUS SHULMAN

Photographer Julius Shulman (1910-2009) brought his unique vision to architectural photography and helped to place Mid-Century Modern in the public consciousness. His images created a kind of aesthetic mythology around designers like Richard Neutra, John Lautner, Raphael Soriano, Pierre Koenig, Phillip Johnson, and Charles Eames. Shulman was a master of light and composition. "There were architects working in the fifties and sixties, as evidenced by the offshoots of the direction taken during the case study house program of Arts and Architecture Magazine, men such as Smith and Williams--who, at that time, were actually among my favorites, because they were moving away, evolving into a more relaxed expanse of architectural spirit to their houses" (Archives of American Art interview). His most famous image of the Stahl House below (Case Study House #22/1960) illustrated an ability to show the new aesthetic as livable space. To my eyes, the smart minimalist scenes he crafted echoed a change in post-war values toward the intellectual, personal utopia celebrated in the culture of individualism, Hi-Fi, lounge, technology, and the bachelor-pad ideal celebrated in early Playboy


Shulman's career was the subject of an excellent 2008 documentary called Visual Acoustics narrated by Dustin Hoffman. Trailer below. Stahl House info and tours here. Shulman on NPR here. Spy Vibe Posts: Modern Architecture LPMid-Century Modern at SchulzDieter Rams Braun DesignTati's PlaytimeBosko interviewPhillip Johnson Glass HouseSet For Adventure. Other links of interest: Mies van der Rohe Society,Phillip Johnson Glass HouseEliot NoyesEero Saarinen, and the school my family started, the New York School of Interior Design


Recent Spy Vibe posts: Steranko S.H.I.E.L.D. Artist Editions, David Tennant's Ian Fleming audio books, Atomic ArtModern Architecture LPThe Prisoner & Captain ScarletHMV returns to Oxford st w Beatles promo, Diego Fortunato & Verner Panton,  Saturday Morning CartoonsAssassination Bureau on DVD, new Young Bond series,  Peter AsherGerry Marsden tour, Elio Petri on Blu-ray, Sophia Loren, new Beatles BBC album, new Hercule Poirot novel, Beatles fall 2013 releasesA Hard Days Night cinematographer diesMagic Christian on Blu-ray, Early Beatles image archive, Julie NewmarErno GoldfingerHitchcock tribute.

Recent Ian Fleming posts on Spy Vibe: Erno Goldfinger, Ian Fleming Music Series links: Noel CowardWhispering Jack SmithHawaiian GuitarJoe Fingers Carr, new Ian Fleming CatalogJon Gilbert interview, Double 007 Designs, Bond audio book reissues, discovery of one of Ian Fleming's WWII Commandos, James Bond book covers, Ian Fleming's Playboy interview for Kindle, Spy Vibe's discovery of a rare Ian Fleming serialization, rare View to a Kill, Fleming's Royal gold typewriter, Ian Fleming's memorial address, Spy Vibe's Ian Fleming image archive

May 25, 2013

BETTIE PAGE

Spicy Saturday: Spy Vibe has paid tribute in the past to Hugh Hefner, the boy cartoonist who grew up to be a celebrated champion of sex and sophisticated leisure in the 1950s. There were many people in that era who bucked against the post-war suburban ideal and today we spotlight Bettie Page, Queen of the Pin-Ups. Page became a cult hero by modeling for cheesecake, pin-up, and bondage photographs in the 1950s. She appeared in images for under-the-counter portfolio projects as well as high-profile gigs for Playboy and others. She became the center of a Senate Committee investigation that attacked publishers and artists for challenging the strict sexual climate of the times. Page later became a cultural icon of the sexual revolution and appeared as a character in comics, pop art, films, and on merchandise. She passed away at the age of 85 in 2008. 

"I don't know what they mean by an icon. I never thought of myself as being that. It seems strange to me. I was just modeling, thinking of as many different poses as possible. I made more money modeling than being a secretary. I had a lot of free time. You could go back to work after an absence of a few months. I couldn't do that as a secretary." More info at her site here. Spy Vibe also recommends the 2005 bio-pic, The Notorious Bettie Page


Check Spy Vibe for recent posts about our fiendish villains archive, WWII spy Krystyna Skarbek, recycled James Bond covers, interview with Fu Manchu author William Maynard,  Man From UNCLE manga. new James Bond omnibusOrson Welles the Shadow, rare Piero Umiliani Kriminal soundtrack, new Beatles Yellow Submarine game, James Bond audio book re-issues, Mid-Century Modern in PeanutsRalph Byrd Dick Tracy, my review of SKYFALL and more. Spy Vibe is now on Pinterest! Check out our image archives and follow us here.


Ian Fleming on Spy Vibe: recent posts include Ian Fleming Music Series links: Noel CowardWhispering Jack SmithHawaiian GuitarJoe Fingers Carr, new Ian Fleming Catalogdiscovery of one of Ian Fleming's WWII Commandos, James Bond book coversIan Fleming's Playboy interview for Kindle, Spy Vibe's discovery of a rare Ian Fleming serialization, Fleming's Royal gold typewriter, Ian Fleming's memorial address, and our Ian Fleming image archive link here.


Can you help 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 8, 2013

SOL WEINSTEIN: LICENSE TO KVELL


Spy Vibe is paying tribute to a number of espionage writers this week through rare obituaries and memorial addresses. In earlier posts we've highlighted Ted Gottfried (Ted Mark) and Ian Fleming. Today we look at Sol Weinstein. Weinstein got his break writing comedy and music for some big stars in the 1950s, but he is best remembered among Spy Vibers as the author of the Israel Bond: Agent Oy-Oy-Seven books. Weinstein did some new revisions to the novels and the whole series (plus an omnibus collection) was re-published a few years ago. You can now read the adventures of Oy-Oy-Seven in print and eBook formats- and even download an audiobook for the first novel in the series, Loxfinger. Sol Weinstein interview here. Israel Bond series here


Sol Weinstein passed away last November. Here is his obituary by Kathleen Tinney for the Philadelphia Inquirer:  "Money doesn't make you happy. But it sure buys you a better class of misery." That joke, and thousands more, came from the mouths of top-drawer comics. But they were hatched in the overactive, irrepressibly silly, charmingly warped, and unfailingly funny mind of Sol Weinstein. A once-destitute Jersey boy who honed his gift for gags while banging out obituaries at the Trentonian, he rode a wave of laughs all the way to Hollywood.

From the late 1950s into the '80s, he spun shtick for such legendary comedians as Joe E. Lewis and Bob Hope; wrote for The Love Boat, The Jeffersons, Three's Company, and Maude; composed a signature song for Bobby Darin; and fathered James Bonds' Yiddish alter ego, Israel Bond, filling four popular books with the exploits of Agent Oy-Oy-7.


Mr. Weinstein died at 84 of pancreatic cancer on Sunday, Nov. 25, in the New Zealand town of Plimmerton, where he spent his last years with his son. But he left 'em laughing. One eulogist, noting Mr. Weinstein's notorious flirtations, polled the 70 mourners: How many had gotten a marriage proposal from him? Reportedly, 20 hands shot up.

He grew up on Union Street in Trenton, where his Russian-immigrant parents eked out a living by junking. Unable to afford birthday cakes, his mother bought pumpernickel loaves and dispensed small bits, with a schmear, to his friends - forever branding him with the nickname "Pumpy."


After taking the class-clown route through Trenton High School, he enrolled at New York University as an English major but didn't finish. The Trentonian hired him to write obits, later christening him "Duffy," the Irish sportswriter. On the side, Mr. Weinstein cranked out jokes and sent them, unsolicited, to comics. Eventually, checks came in, from the likes of Lewis and Jerry Lester, star of TV's first late-night hit variety show. Mr. Weinstein then had the wherewithal to move his wife, Eleanor, and two children to Levittown - and to cast his lot with comedy. "His brain was fluid and fast," said his daughter, Judee. "He had a million jokes in him."

In the '60s, Mr. Weinstein's humor became almost nationally inescapable. Along with a prodigious output of comedy act bits, he fueled David Frost's That Was the Week That Was. And he challenged Ian Fleming in Playboy with satiric tales of Agent Oy-Oy-7. Israel Bond became his protagonist in four books: Loxfinger, Matzohball, On the Secret Service of His Majesty the Queen, and You Only Live Until You Die.


He still found time, from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m., to frolick on WCAU 1210 talk radio, merrily summoning aberrants across the Philadelphia region to call in. In the early '70s, he resettled his family on the West Coast for the TV sitcom gold rush. He wrote for myriad shows that also included Chico and the Man, Small Wonder, and Barney Miller, and he helped churn out the caustic wit that kept the Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts hot for 10 years. "But comedy changes with time," his daughter said. "Dad wound up retiring."

Mr. Weinstein was long a jazzhead. Though he couldn't read or write music or play anything, he composed a song for Lester, "The Curtain Falls." The comic murdered it, but a pop star named Bobby Darin heard it and immortalized it as his act closer. In the 2004 Darin biopic Beyond the Sea, Kevin Spacey reprised the song.

Widowed, Mr. Weinstein moved in 2002 to New Zealand, where he was the quirky American in the Trenton sweatshirts. He kept writing, mostly essays, and composing songs, which were played in the clubs he frequented. "I'm a be-bopper," he told an interviewer. "Old be-boppers never die, they just shooby-doo away." On second thought, he added, "I don't know what that means."In addition to his daughter, Mr. Weinstein is survived by a son, David, and a granddaughter, Eleanor.


Here is another obituary by Kenny Ellis for Jewish Journal, December 12, 2012: Weinstein was born and raised in Trenton, N.J. In the 1950s, he wrote for his local newspaper, The Trentonian, before turning his sharp wit to comedy sketches and songs for variety show performers. He married Eleanor Eisner in 1955, and they had two children, David and Judee.

He started writing gags for Joe E. Lewis, Alan King and, years later, for Bob Hope’s and Dean Martin’s shows. His show-biz pals were Sammy Davis Jr., Gene Kelly and Dom DeLuise. In 1962, Weinstein wrote the ballad “The Curtain Falls” for Bobby Darin’s act, which the singer used as his finale for years. The song was also recorded by Hope, and Steve and Eydie, and was featured in the Darin biopic “Beyond the Sea.”

Weinstein conceived his Israel Bond capers, starting with “Loxfinger,” in 1965. The series of four books — including “Matzohball,” “On the Secret Service of His Majesty, the Queen” and “You Only Live Until You Die” — sold more than 400,000 copies and gained him national exposure.


In the ’70s, Weinstein moved to Los Angeles and wrote for such television shows as “The Love Boat,” “The Jeffersons” and “Three’s Company” with writing partner Howard Albrecht. Weinstein moved to New Zealand in 2002 to be near his son. He was a real mensch, fun to be with, funny, he loved jazz, loved being Jewish and speaking Yiddish, and he loved life itself. Of his writing partner, Albrecht said, “Sol was the most interesting, knowledgeable, talented- but, more important, the most gentle- man I have ever known.” 

Weinstein, writer, composer, jazz fanatic and sweetheart, died of pancreatic cancer on Nov. 25 in his home in Plimmerton, New Zealand, surrounded by his loving family. He was 84. Predeceased by wife, Eleanor, Weinstein is survived by his daughter, Judee; son, David; and granddaughter, Eleanor. [Kenny Ellis is cantor of Temple Beth Ami, a Reform synagogue in Santa Clarita].


The Israel Bond re-launch sparked some great press for Sol shortly before he passed away. By the way, I love the bullet hole homage above to the Ray Hawkey designs for Thunderball. The Oy-Oy-Seven adventures were serialized in PlayboyLoxfinger appeared in this issue from October 1965. 



Here is a piece about Sol and the Israel Bond series from Kapi-Mana News by Matthew Dallas: 

"The lovemaking was profane to say the least. Totally indulgent. He was the kind of agent to be turned on by a navel orange." Sol Weinstein is describing Israel Bond, the master spy and semitic seducer at the centre of his satirical adventure novels which are back in print for the first time in 40 years. The titles betray both the satirical tone of Weinstein's writing and his inspiration; Loxfinger, Matzohball, On the Secret Service of His Majesty, The Queen, and You Only Live Until You Die.

"Ian Fleming and I were writing in different alternative realities at the same time. That's the line I've always stuck to - and I'm not changing it for you," says Sol, who has called Plimmerton home since he left the United States in 2002.
Kapi-Mana News was introduced to the New Jerseyan in 2006 when we learned he had composed, some 40 years earlier, the sentimental 1961 show tune The Curtain Falls. It was a stage favourite of both Bobby Darin and Bob Hope, and returned to prominence in the Darin bio-pic Beyond the Sea.

A newspaper reporter turned comic writer, the Israel Bond adventures allowed Sol to move away from writing for night club entertainers in the mid-1960s.
When Playboy magazine serialised Fleming's James Bond adventures, they interspersed them with Sol's "Oy Oy 7" series. A big James Bond fan, he added "peculiarities" from his own life and an absurdist streak to the Fleming formula.
Licensed to both kill and pray over the corpses, Israel Bond travelled the globe, protecting the holy land from criminal masterminds such as The Man With the Golden Gums and Auntie Sem-Heidt. The spy often relied more on quick puns and his prowess in the sack than actual espionage skills. But then, who could resist the temptations of Sister Sweetcakes the swinging nun, Kopy Katz - the mistress of reproduction- and, wait for it, Poontang Plenty? "Poontang Plenty was my Pussy Galore... I really kept [Bond] busy," Sol says.


Four volumes of Israel Bond adventures were published as $1 paperbacks by Simon and Schuster, selling between 400,000 and 500,000 copies, but later fell out of print. Sol was approached by American publisher About Comics last year to include the novels as part of its prose imprint. At 83, Sol's wit is still sharp, fast and indulgent. He cracks wise constantly, his enthusiasm unhampered by the mild case of Tourette's Syndrome he's had since childhood.

Though no-one ever took Israel Bond to the big screen like 007, Sol soon found success in television, writing for variety shows and prime-time series The Jeffersons, The Love Boat and Three's Company. Folders of his scripts still stack his bookshelves, and photos from another age, of Sol with showbiz pals like Sammy Davis Jr and Dom Deluise, jostle for wall space with jazz posters and paintings by local artists. He enjoys life in New Zealand, a quiet and charming place. "I wonder what Oy Oy 7 could do now to take Iran out of the ballgame. Because that's getting scary. The world is in the hands of crazy people unfortunately. You have to be thankful for New Zealand's positioning.
"I try to make people laugh, but on the inside I'm just as scared as anyone else. What's more, Monk [his cat] wants me to turn over the house to him and put me in an old folks' home." Check out the new editions of Sol's 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, 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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