December 31, 2019

HAPPY NEW YEAR

As the Cold War seemed to slip even further back into our lives in 2019 (it's been steadily escalating, in fact), I thought it would be interesting to share these Soviets-in-Space cards. Happy New Year! с Новым годом to you secret agents and astronauts! Celebrate the new year with Spy Vibe and Soviet-era New Year card illustrations. May you ride the rocket of progress and efficiency in 2020. The first image is from David Portree's collection and commemorates Voskhod ("sunrise"), the first multi-person mission launched in 1964. You can read about the history behind the image at Wired here, and about the first Soviet spacewalk from Voskhod in 1965 here. There is a nice collection of cards and posters at Retronaut here. 2019 was tough in many ways. The Cold War aspect reached dizzying new heights and societies seemed to be forever scrambling to discern information from disinformation. Claudine Auger (Thunderball) passed -the first of the classic Bond girls to leave us. And Neil Innes (Bonzo Dog Band, Monty Python, The Rutles) left us only days ago. We've had a fun decade of 50th anniversaries to celebrate the swinging 1960s, but time continues to march ahead. Many Spy Vibers were glad to see announcements finally come this year re: the next Bond film. And our friend Ian Dickerson published a new book about Leslie Charteris, creator of The Saint; I meant to post an interview with Ian during the release, so still hoping to find time to do that. I spent the whole summer in the UK with friends and I'm looking forward to sharing more photographs from our adventures. Another highlight for me was spending time with my tribe of antique phonograph enthusiasts (and meeting Dr. Demento). Lots of cool music (and humor) in that world! And a recent highlight was that I finally watched the 1978 Spider-Man TV series from Japan. What's so cool about that, you ask? If you don't know this show, I can only say it's a wonderful mash-up that features acrobatic web-crawling superhero action, rubber-suited kaiju ala Ultraman or Super Sentai/Power Rangers, and a baddie with cybernetic implants called Professor Monster. Oh, and in this version, Spider-Man got his powers from an alien! But that's not all; Spidey really lucked out, because the alien also left him a cool gadget-filled futuristic car called The Spider Machine GP-7 (that flies!) and a spaceship called Marveller! Oh, and the ship can transform into a giant robot called Leopardon! Kids must have loved this! What glorious wish fulfillment. Yes, Supaidaman is really one of the most amazing concoctions I've ever seen and I really can't get enough of it. You can currently see episodes on Youtube. In other news, I'm slowly still making progress on a Spy Vibe book; I'll share more about that when I can. In the meantime, Happy New Year, Spy Vibers! Can you believe we're going into the Twenties?









Selected Spy Vibe Posts: Neil Innes R.I.P.Claudine Auger R.I.P.OHMSS at 50Italian Job 50th OSTCharles Schulz ModernPaul DesmondPython 50thRandall Hopkirk 50thThunderbirds DayLazenby Returns to MI6Dr. John R.I.P.Spy Vibe Radio: Lupin IIILupin SkaSpy Vibe PrimeZigomar TranslationThe Village: Part 1Monkey Punch R.I.P., Bubble Girl 63ITC SoundtracksSpy Vibe Radio: Public EyeUFO PrimeSpaceship to MarsModesty Blaise CompanionSpy Vibe Radio: FantomasGeorge DayFantomas BluDark Shadows DocBedazzled Blu-rayMary Quant ExhibitLaika CalypsoLost in Space JapanSpy Dust CalypsoAtomic CafeJohn Barry MonoInterview: John Barry BookLand of the Giants ScoreSkyfall ConcertDearest EmmaSpy Vibe Radio: UppersevenOgilvy at ElstreeMabuse PropagandaBond Beatles DaySpy Vibe Radio: LiquidatorDiabolik LPFab DressesEurospy Music CollectionBeetle Bailey in West BerlinWhy Mort Walker?Spy Vibe radio: The Beatles Help!Avengers Critical GuideThe SpotnicksBenny SpiesJames Pond 0017'Satire StonesAnnette Andre BookCat DaySpy Vibe Radio: Get SmartCaine: My GenerationInterview: Ian OgilvyHorror of Party BeachSylvie Vartan RenownRingo At 78Dark Shadows StripsSpy Vibe Radio: FlintArchie Batman 66Paul at 76Beatles Pac-ManSpy Vibe Radio: Jerry CottonThe Invaders007 Horowitz Book TourMcGoohan/Prisoner Event at ElstreeThe Prisoner Interviews Vol 1British Underground PressInterview: Fab4 ManiaBond Cocktail BookBond at BletchleySpy SmasherSpy Vibe Radio: Peter GunnAgent Zero MNew Prisoner ComicDr. No Villains Edition,  Spy Vibe Radio: Danger DiabolikDr. No 60thOy-Oy-SevenSpy Vibe Radio (UFO)Cold War Comic StripsThunderball EventMission to IndiaMort Walker Celebration,  Peter Wyngarde CelebrationBatman 66 ExhibitPrisoner Fifty EventIan Fleming Publications 2017-2018Interview: Ed Hulse PulpAvengers Audio DramaInterview: Callan At 50Interview: Playboys, Spies, Private EyesTWA ReturnsSpy Vibe Radio 8Interview: Ryan HeshkaMid-Century Modern SchulzAgent WerewolfJohnny Sokko 50thInterview: Trina RobbinsEddie IzzardThe Prisoner Capt Scarlet 50thHugh Hefner R.I.P.Jack Good R.I.P.Interview: Shaken Not StirredCallan 50thSpy Vibe Radio 7The Prisoner 50th EventSpy-Fi EventKaho Aso 007Two MillionBo DiddleyCarnaby PopLe Carre EventsBilly Bragg SkiffleElvis 68Jack Kirby The PrisonerCasino Royale ConcertReview: The Prisoner Vol 2Interview: The Prisoner Essential GuideMaud Russell MottisfontSpy Vibe Radio 4Batman GallantsAdam West R.I.P.Village TriangleRoger Moore R.I.P.Spy Vibe Radio 3Sgt Pepper 50thSatanik Kriminal OST60s OverdriveMake Love in LondonSpy Vibe Radio 2Spy Vibe Radio 1James Bond StripsPropaganda MabuseInterview: Police SurgeonXTC Avengers1966 Pep SpiesBatman Book InterviewExclusive Fleming InterviewAvengers Comic StripsRobert Vaughn RIPUNCLE FashionsThunderbirds Are Pop!, Interview: Spy Film GuideLost Avengers FoundThe Callan FileMission Impossible 50thGreen Hornet 50thStar Trek 50thPortmeirion Photography 1Filming the PrisonerGaiman McGinnins ProjectIan Fleming GraveRevolver at 50Karen Romanko InterviewMod Tales 2Umbrella Man: Patrick MacneeNew Beatles FilmThe Curious CameraEsterel Fashion 1966Exclusive Ian Ogilvy Interview007 Tribute CoversThe Phantom Avon novels returnIan Fleming FestivalArgoman DesignSylvia Anderson R.I.P.Ken Adam R.I.P.George Martin R.I.P.The New Avengers ComicsThe Phantom at 80007 MangaAvengerworld BookDiana Rigg Auto ShowThe Prisoner Audio Drama Review.

December 30, 2019

NEIL INNES R.I.P.

Songwriter extraordinaire, Neil Innes, has passed away. Innes was best known for his musical contributions to Monty Python (remember Bravely Bold Sir Robin Ran Away?), the Bonzo Dog Band, and the brilliant Beatles mockumentary band, The Rutles. Innes began his career with fellow art school pals in the mid-1960s with the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, which became a feature act on Do Not Adjust Your Set (1967-1969). The show's cast included future Pythons, Terry Jones, Michael Palin, and Eric Idle. The Bonzos also made an appearance singing Innes' tune "Deathcab For Cutie" in The Beatles film, Magical Mystery Tour (1967) and recorded their hit, Urban Space Man (produced by Paul McCartney) in 1968. Their work was collected in a CD compilation called Dog's Life: 1967-1972. Innes continued to work closely with the Pythons in the 1970s, writing songs and appearing in Monty Python and the Holy Grail and The Life of Brian, and collaborating on the troupe's extensive live shows. In a brief period when Cleese left the group, Innes became one of the only non-Pythons credited as a Python writer (an honor he shared with Hitchhiker's Guide author Douglas Adams). Innes also joined the Pythons on stage in the 2002 tribute to George Harrison, who famously financed The Life of Brian and was a great supporter of The Rutles projects. More below.


In recent years the Bonzos spent some precious energy reclaiming their name from a legal entanglement. And Neil Innes kept busy, producing new CDs and playing limited tours and engagements. Collaborators and fans have reached out to social media this morning. Michael Palin wrote: "Neil was one of the best. A terrifically accomplished musician, writer and performer who could make people laugh, cry and dance, all at the same time. He had an eye and ear for the surreal and a gentleness at the heart of all his work which made him the most delightful of companions." John Cleese shared this on Twitter: "Utterly dismayed to hear about Neil Innes. Right out of the blue... A very sweet man, much too nice for his own good. Lovely writer and performer. When he worked with Python on our stage show, I listened every night to "How sweet to be an Idiot" on the tannoy." Mark Gatiss (Sherlock, Doctor Who): "Neil Innes has gone. As a Python-obsessed teen I saw him at Darlington Arts Centre & missed my bus home to catch his brilliance. I used to record ‘The Innes Book of Records’ on C-60s & marvel at his talent. I still hum ‘I like Cezanne, says Anne’. Sweet dreams, sweet idiot." Close collaborator throughout Do Not Adjust Your Set, Python and The Rutles, Eric Idle, seemed to allude to his distance from Innes in more recent years with this statement on Twitter: "Writer, reader, husband, father, Dogfather, dog owner, guitarist, humorist, humanist, satirist, cricket fan. Have finger will block." I think Spy Vibers will enjoy Neil's musical cocktail of humor and heart. Some of my favorite moments include: The Bonzos performing "Look Out, There's A Monster Coming" (Do Not Adjust You're Set), "Brave Sir Robin Ran Away" (Holy Grail), "A Short Blues" (Python Live at the Civic Center), and every second of The Rutles: All You Need is Cash (1978). Innes had a great ability to blend humor and surrealism with moments of great emotional comment and poignancy. Two Rutles songs come to mind: "Cheese and Onions" (a Yellow Submarine-style sequence ala John Lennon) and "Questionnaire" (a Lennon-style number that sneaks in a sombre statement about gun violence). Spend some time today with Neil Innes on Youtube and you'll see what I mean. Bonzo. Python. Rutle. Gone Sunday at 75. Below: Neil Innes with the Bonzos, The Rutles, The Pythons (Giliam, Idle, Jones), with Eric Idle in 2008, and "Questionnaire". Sending my condolences to his family and friends.









Selected Spy Vibe Posts: Claudine Auger R.I.P.OHMSS at 50Italian Job 50th OSTCharles Schulz ModernPaul DesmondPython 50thRandall Hopkirk 50thThunderbirds DayLazenby Returns to MI6Dr. John R.I.P.Spy Vibe Radio: Lupin IIILupin SkaSpy Vibe PrimeZigomar TranslationThe Village: Part 1Monkey Punch R.I.P., Bubble Girl 63ITC SoundtracksSpy Vibe Radio: Public EyeUFO PrimeSpaceship to MarsModesty Blaise CompanionSpy Vibe Radio: FantomasGeorge DayFantomas BluDark Shadows DocBedazzled Blu-rayMary Quant ExhibitLaika CalypsoLost in Space JapanSpy Dust CalypsoAtomic CafeJohn Barry MonoInterview: John Barry BookLand of the Giants ScoreSkyfall ConcertDearest EmmaSpy Vibe Radio: UppersevenOgilvy at ElstreeMabuse PropagandaBond Beatles DaySpy Vibe Radio: LiquidatorDiabolik LPFab DressesEurospy Music CollectionBeetle Bailey in West BerlinWhy Mort Walker?Spy Vibe radio: The Beatles Help!Avengers Critical GuideThe SpotnicksBenny SpiesJames Pond 0017'Satire StonesAnnette Andre BookCat DaySpy Vibe Radio: Get SmartCaine: My GenerationInterview: Ian OgilvyHorror of Party BeachSylvie Vartan RenownRingo At 78Dark Shadows StripsSpy Vibe Radio: FlintArchie Batman 66Paul at 76Beatles Pac-ManSpy Vibe Radio: Jerry CottonThe Invaders007 Horowitz Book TourMcGoohan/Prisoner Event at ElstreeThe Prisoner Interviews Vol 1British Underground PressInterview: Fab4 ManiaBond Cocktail BookBond at BletchleySpy SmasherSpy Vibe Radio: Peter GunnAgent Zero MNew Prisoner ComicDr. No Villains Edition,  Spy Vibe Radio: Danger DiabolikDr. No 60thOy-Oy-SevenSpy Vibe Radio (UFO)Cold War Comic StripsThunderball EventMission to IndiaMort Walker Celebration,  Peter Wyngarde CelebrationBatman 66 ExhibitPrisoner Fifty EventIan Fleming Publications 2017-2018Interview: Ed Hulse PulpAvengers Audio DramaInterview: Callan At 50Interview: Playboys, Spies, Private EyesTWA ReturnsSpy Vibe Radio 8Interview: Ryan HeshkaMid-Century Modern SchulzAgent WerewolfJohnny Sokko 50thInterview: Trina RobbinsEddie IzzardThe Prisoner Capt Scarlet 50thHugh Hefner R.I.P.Jack Good R.I.P.Interview: Shaken Not StirredCallan 50thSpy Vibe Radio 7The Prisoner 50th EventSpy-Fi EventKaho Aso 007Two MillionBo DiddleyCarnaby PopLe Carre EventsBilly Bragg SkiffleElvis 68Jack Kirby The PrisonerCasino Royale ConcertReview: The Prisoner Vol 2Interview: The Prisoner Essential GuideMaud Russell MottisfontSpy Vibe Radio 4Batman GallantsAdam West R.I.P.Village TriangleRoger Moore R.I.P.Spy Vibe Radio 3Sgt Pepper 50thSatanik Kriminal OST60s OverdriveMake Love in LondonSpy Vibe Radio 2Spy Vibe Radio 1James Bond StripsPropaganda MabuseInterview: Police SurgeonXTC Avengers1966 Pep SpiesBatman Book InterviewExclusive Fleming InterviewAvengers Comic StripsRobert Vaughn RIPUNCLE FashionsThunderbirds Are Pop!, Interview: Spy Film GuideLost Avengers FoundThe Callan FileMission Impossible 50thGreen Hornet 50thStar Trek 50thPortmeirion Photography 1Filming the PrisonerGaiman McGinnins ProjectIan Fleming GraveRevolver at 50Karen Romanko InterviewMod Tales 2Umbrella Man: Patrick MacneeNew Beatles FilmThe Curious CameraEsterel Fashion 1966Exclusive Ian Ogilvy Interview007 Tribute CoversThe Phantom Avon novels returnIan Fleming FestivalArgoman DesignSylvia Anderson R.I.P.Ken Adam R.I.P.George Martin R.I.P.The New Avengers ComicsThe Phantom at 80007 MangaAvengerworld BookDiana Rigg Auto ShowThe Prisoner Audio Drama Review.

December 20, 2019

CLAUDINE AUGER R.I.P.

"Bond Girl" Claudine Auger, who co-starred with Sean Connery in Thuderball, passed away this week. Auger began her screen career in the early the Sixties with roles in Jean Cocteau's Testament of Orpheus (1960), Marcel Carne's Terrain vague (1960), the anthology film The Seven Deadly Sins (1962), and many other productions. But her star to fame really took off when she was spotted in Nassau by Thunderball collaborator (it's a long story), Kevin McClory, who suggested Auger for the lead in the new Bond film. The character was changed to fit Auger's French background and "Domino" was born. Thunderball made its debut in December, 1965 and the rest is history. Some of her projects that followed included crime drama That Man George (1966), Zig Zag spy drama, Triple Cross (1966), with Bond director Terence Young, Anyone Can Play (1968) with fellow Bond girl Ursula Andress, Twitch of the Death Nerve (1971) by Mario Bava, and many others. One of her last projects was the Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes in 1994 with Jeremy Brett. Auger passed away after a long illness at the age of 78. As this year draws to a close, so does our era of 50th anniversaries of Sixties projects. So it is especially poignant to mark this first passing of one of the original Bond Girls. Spy Vibe sends condolences to Claudine's family, friends, and many fans. Below: some of the many images of Claudine Auger from 1960s modeling gigs and film promotion. 















Selected Spy Vibe Posts: OHMSS at 50Italian Job 50th OSTCharles Schulz ModernPaul DesmondPython 50thRandall Hopkirk 50thThunderbirds DayLazenby Returns to MI6Dr. John R.I.P.Spy Vibe Radio: Lupin IIILupin SkaSpy Vibe PrimeZigomar TranslationThe Village: Part 1Monkey Punch R.I.P., Bubble Girl 63ITC SoundtracksSpy Vibe Radio: Public EyeUFO PrimeSpaceship to MarsModesty Blaise CompanionSpy Vibe Radio: FantomasGeorge DayFantomas BluDark Shadows DocBedazzled Blu-rayMary Quant ExhibitLaika CalypsoLost in Space JapanSpy Dust CalypsoAtomic CafeJohn Barry MonoInterview: John Barry BookLand of the Giants ScoreSkyfall ConcertDearest EmmaSpy Vibe Radio: UppersevenOgilvy at ElstreeMabuse PropagandaBond Beatles DaySpy Vibe Radio: LiquidatorDiabolik LPFab DressesEurospy Music CollectionBeetle Bailey in West BerlinWhy Mort Walker?Spy Vibe radio: The Beatles Help!Avengers Critical GuideThe SpotnicksBenny SpiesJames Pond 0017'Satire StonesAnnette Andre BookCat DaySpy Vibe Radio: Get SmartCaine: My GenerationInterview: Ian OgilvyHorror of Party BeachSylvie Vartan RenownRingo At 78Dark Shadows StripsSpy Vibe Radio: FlintArchie Batman 66Paul at 76Beatles Pac-ManSpy Vibe Radio: Jerry CottonThe Invaders007 Horowitz Book TourMcGoohan/Prisoner Event at ElstreeThe Prisoner Interviews Vol 1British Underground PressInterview: Fab4 ManiaBond Cocktail BookBond at BletchleySpy SmasherSpy Vibe Radio: Peter GunnAgent Zero MNew Prisoner ComicDr. No Villains Edition,  Spy Vibe Radio: Danger DiabolikDr. No 60thOy-Oy-SevenSpy Vibe Radio (UFO)Cold War Comic StripsThunderball EventMission to IndiaMort Walker Celebration,  Peter Wyngarde CelebrationBatman 66 ExhibitPrisoner Fifty EventIan Fleming Publications 2017-2018Interview: Ed Hulse PulpAvengers Audio DramaInterview: Callan At 50Interview: Playboys, Spies, Private EyesTWA ReturnsSpy Vibe Radio 8Interview: Ryan HeshkaMid-Century Modern SchulzAgent WerewolfJohnny Sokko 50thInterview: Trina RobbinsEddie IzzardThe Prisoner Capt Scarlet 50thHugh Hefner R.I.P.Jack Good R.I.P.Interview: Shaken Not StirredCallan 50thSpy Vibe Radio 7The Prisoner 50th EventSpy-Fi EventKaho Aso 007Two MillionBo DiddleyCarnaby PopLe Carre EventsBilly Bragg SkiffleElvis 68Jack Kirby The PrisonerCasino Royale ConcertReview: The Prisoner Vol 2Interview: The Prisoner Essential GuideMaud Russell MottisfontSpy Vibe Radio 4Batman GallantsAdam West R.I.P.Village TriangleRoger Moore R.I.P.Spy Vibe Radio 3Sgt Pepper 50thSatanik Kriminal OST60s OverdriveMake Love in LondonSpy Vibe Radio 2Spy Vibe Radio 1James Bond StripsPropaganda MabuseInterview: Police SurgeonXTC Avengers1966 Pep SpiesBatman Book InterviewExclusive Fleming InterviewAvengers Comic StripsRobert Vaughn RIPUNCLE FashionsThunderbirds Are Pop!, Interview: Spy Film GuideLost Avengers FoundThe Callan FileMission Impossible 50thGreen Hornet 50thStar Trek 50thPortmeirion Photography 1Filming the PrisonerGaiman McGinnins ProjectIan Fleming GraveRevolver at 50Karen Romanko InterviewMod Tales 2Umbrella Man: Patrick MacneeNew Beatles FilmThe Curious CameraEsterel Fashion 1966Exclusive Ian Ogilvy Interview007 Tribute CoversThe Phantom Avon novels returnIan Fleming FestivalArgoman DesignSylvia Anderson R.I.P.Ken Adam R.I.P.George Martin R.I.P.The New Avengers ComicsThe Phantom at 80007 MangaAvengerworld BookDiana Rigg Auto ShowThe Prisoner Audio Drama Review.
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