December 9, 2019

ITALIAN JOB 50TH OST

New release: Quartet Records celebrates the 50th anniversary of The Italian Job with an expanded soundtrack. From the press release: "Quartet Records, Universal Music Group, Geffen Records and Paramount Pictures celebrate the 50th anniversary of the iconic 1969 British comedy caper movie THE ITALIAN JOB with an expanded edition of the killer score by Quincy Jones (IN COLD BLOOD, IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT, THE HOT ROCK). Written by Troy Kennedy Martin, produced by Michael Deeley for Paramount Pictures, and directed by Peter Collinson, the film stars Michael Caine in one of the most famous roles of his career, joined by Noël Coward, Benny Hill, Raf Vallone, Rossano Brazzi and Margaret Blye. It tells the story of Charlie Croker (Michael Caine), the leader of a cockney criminal gang released from prison with the intention of doing a big job in Italy to steal gold bullion from an armored security truck. Although it was a weird decision to hire an African-American jazz musician and composer for such an intrinsically British film, the choice of    Quincy Jones proved a triumph. He provided a catchy, intrepid score, including the hit song “On Days Like These” (lyrics by Don Black) performed by Matt Monro (whose album version of the song was produced by George Martin). Also popular was the song that appears during the climatic Mini Cooper car chase, “Getta Bloomin’ Move On!” (usually referred to as “The Self-Preservation Society”), also with lyrics by Don Black. For this anniversary edition, we present the original album completely remastered from original tapes, courtesy of UMG, with crisp, clean sound mastered, for the first time, in its correct stereo format (in all previous editions, the channels were reversed). Besides the original album, we have added the original score as heard in the film, including cues not featured on the LP as well as others that present different recordings or edits, all from mono elements courtesy of Paramount Pictures (comprising mono session tapes, stems and electrovox sources). Finally, alternate versions of the song performed by Matt Monro, and the single versions of Monro and Lou Reizner (arranged by Jones himself) are included as bonus tracks. This collection has been restored and mastered by Chris Malone. The 24-page full-color booklet contains liner notes by film music writer Jeff Bond." Releasing mid-December, 2019. More info here.


Selected Spy Vibe Posts: Charles 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.

November 26, 2019

CHARLES SCHULZ MODERN

Cartoonist Charles Schulz was born on this day in 1922. Mr. Schulz got his start doing spot illustrations and found he had a special knack for drawing kids. His early series of gags, under the title Li'l Folks, later evolved into Charlie Brown and the gang as he worked to develop a serialized project for syndication. Peanuts made its debut in 1950, the same year as Beetle Bailey, and Charles Schulz was soon brought into the National Cartoonists Society by his colleague, Mort Walker (see my 700+ page book about Walker here). The rest is, well, history and a whole lot of creative genius and ink! Mr. Schulz's strip offered an unusually candid look into the depths of human emotions, and his insights were coupled with universal, down-to-earth observations and groundbreaking inventiveness. As a kid I loved Snoopy's Walter Mitty-like adventures, and I could identify with the child characters as they navigated the complex world. Even as an adult I sometimes understand my own emotional landscape and ways of dealing with life's challenges through the truths he explored on paper. Charles Schulz was -and is still- my hero. More below. 


One of the great benefits of living on the west coast is being near the Charles Schulz Museum. There was an exhibit a few years back that really offered me a new perspective into Mr. Schulz's life that I hadn't seen before. My own background was growing up in New England and knowing cartoonists Dik Browne (Hagar, Hi and Lois) and Mort Walker (Beetle Bailey). I was used to seeing artists working in those cozy, colonial-style settings that are common on the east coast. So when I looked at the simplicity of Peanuts interiors, for example, I saw it more as a minimalist choice in the drawings. But here was a museum show entitled "Mid-Century Modern" that focussed on design and Mr. Schulz's life. I attended a special preview for members -and boy, was it a thrill! The central rotating gallery had been transformed into a stylish tour through the post-war lifestyle that Mr. Schulz and so many others embodied. In partnership with the Eames family, Herman Miller, and local designers, the museum was able to display many vintage pieces. Staged rooms and artifacts from the Schulz family circa 1955 came together to illustrate elements of the growth of leisure culture in America during that period. The exhibit featured evidence of Mr. Schulz's pastimes, such as bowling, billiards, abstract art, listening to records, riding bicycles with the kids, and spending time by the pool. His first wife, Joyce, was famously enthusiastic about architecture and design. From the early 1950s through the later building of their Sebastopol home, Joyce had a keen eye for modern drapery, furniture, and what the Saturday Review called "simplicity amid sophistication." Here are two snapshots below to give readers a taste of the rooms in the exhibit. One really had to be there, taking in the many displays and small collection of comics -all set to the sounds of Dave Brubeck (see my last post!), Stan Getz, and Miles Davis- to truly appreciate what the museum had achieved.



The museum's gift shop featured some cool new products inspired by the exhibit, including Mid-Century Modern Peanuts handkerchiefs, shirts, and coasters (see below).

As a cartoon art teacher I always include a brief history of comic strips and comic books in my classes. Students are often amazed to see original Sunday pages from the early days because newspapers printed the strips so large! Even if kids don't know the comics, it's impressive to see an entire newspaper page devoted to the likes of Dick TracyFlash Gordon, and Buck Rogers. To the students, the art seems more akin to comic books than the strips they saw growing up. I ask them why, and with a little prodding they start to notice the details in the backgrounds, the figures, and the shading. What lovely cross-hatching! Around the mid-century, editors wanted to increase readership by printing more strips -but without devoting any more pages to the funnies. The solution, of course, was to shrink down the size of the art and crowd more titles onto each page. Deprived of the full space, all that cross-hatching and careful detail blocked up and became obsolete. The design approach had to change to express not only the size limitations of printing, but ultimately to catch up with the sensibilities of the post-war. After all, this was not the era of Deco parlors weighted down by heavy, ornate furniture. It was a new generation ushering in aesthetics based on clean, minimal forms and reflecting what Hefner called the "personal utopia." Along with innovators in architecture and design, comic creators also needed to join this shift to survive (and fit!) on the page. The two groundbreaking strips that began in 1950 were perfectly tailored for modern demands: Beetle Bailey by Mort Walker and Peanuts by Charles Schulz. 

As mentioned above, The Mid-Century exhibit brought viewers into Mr. Schulz's living room via period furniture and decor; it also featured strips from the era that, within this context, helped me to recognize that the world of Peanuts was not simply "minimal" as an aesthetic choice. In fact, Mr. Schulz designed and decorated the strip's environment to echo his own California modernism. His work was autobiographical, once again! Well, Mr. Schulz did once say that if we really wanted to know him, all we had to do was to look at his strip. Below: March 1953 Sunday strip and detail.



In the museum's brochure, Trope Group owner Christina Pratt pointed out that Mr. Schulz's panels offer us a window into the cartoonist's home itself. In one comic printed for the show, she pointed out that we can see Bonet's BKF Chair (1938) and the famous Molded Plywood/Low Side Chair by Eames (1946). Pratt wrote that the exhibit featured other Herman Miller licensed designs by Charles and Ray Eames, Isamu Noguchi, George Nelson, and others. I think visitors saw not only a time-capsule of Mid-Century Modern design, but also how Mr. Schulz (and Mort Walker) created comics during that same wave of simple and playful lines. Time capsules in both form and content. And with that, Happy Birthday to Charles Schulz. I hope he knows somehow that we are still curious, still looking, still learning about him -and through his work, also learning about ourselves. 

I was the artist-in-residence at the Charles Schulz Museum a while back. You can see a photo of my boyhood dream coming true- to sit at Mr. Schulz's drawing table- here (thanks to Brian Fies!). Trivia: check out the art school my family started back in 1916: the New York School of Interior DesignRelated post: Cold War Comic StripsMort Walker CelebrationBeetle Bailey in BerlinMort Walker's James BombComics Week: ArchieCold War ArchieArchie: Man From RiverdaleCold War MaterialsAtomic ArtSpymanJimmy Olson: Agent Double 51966 PEP Spies. Enjoy! Below: March 1952 Sunday panel detail. 


Selected Spy Vibe Posts: Paul 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.

November 25, 2019

PAUL DESMOND

Jazz legend Paul Desmond was born on this day in 1924. Desmond grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and met his musical partner Dave Brubeck in the mid-1940s. The two started playing professionally together, had a brief falling out, and then rejoined forces by the early 1950s to create what would become one of the most successful bands in Jazz history, The Dave Brubeck Quartet. Their seminal album, Time Out (1959) went on to sell more than two million copies. His sound established a new standard of "cool" in the late 50s and early 60s. The Brubecks featured in my family history in CT, so I always felt a special affinity to the music. There have been many great Jazz musicians, but Paul Desmond has always been a personal favorite of mine. He had a special way of crafting his solos like a sensual, fluid journey. His saxophone sang in beautiful, lyrical grooves, and I still love to ride his waves of sonic inspiration. Paul Desmond also recorded a number of classic albums with artists Gerry Mulligan and Jim Hall- all highly recommended. He also loved the pleasures of the world and his smoking habit finally caught up with him. He passed away in 1977 at the early age of 52. For more info, check out the fabulous coffee table book, Take Five: The Public and Private Lives of Paul Desmond. Below: capturing the ultra cool Desmond on film. Enjoy!











Selected Spy Vibe Posts: Python 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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