Selected Spy Vibe Posts: Spy Vibe Radio: Unknown Man of Shandigor, Danger Man Podcast, Spy Vibe Radio: Dr. Mabuse, Bowie Day, Interview: Girls Guns Gadgets, Shandigor Blu, Shag Palm Springs, New Bond Novel, Hi-Fi Book, Judex Serial Blu, UFO Comics, Interview: John Buss, ITC Magazine, Interview: Kaiser Marionettes, Belmondo R.I.P., 007 Corgi Event, Space 1999: The Vault, Shag Eames Lounge, Firecracker Exotica, Spy Vibe Radio: Lola Albright, Tikyaki 5-0, Godzilla Scores, Mid-Century Village, Spy Vibe radio: Nicola Conte, Men's Adventure Quarterly, Billy May Frenesi, Gary Numan, Spy Vader Spy, Chris Barber Legacy, Phantom Retrospective, Astro-Man, Spy Vibe Radio: Batman, James Bond Lexicon, Ray Cathode, Spy Vibe Radio: Johnny Staccato, Matt Helm Blu, Cold War Auction, Avengers Francavilla Prints, Avengers 60th Event, Irma Vep Blu, Avengers Keel Design, Ronnie Scott's Doc, The Avengers 60th Design, Art of Pan Books, John Le Carre R.I.P., Sean Connery R.I.P., New 007 Vinyl, Burke's Law Ska, Dieter Rams Complete, 2-Tone Doc, Spy Vibe Radio: Vendetta Part 2, Diana Rigg R.I.P., Moog Micky Dolenz, Beetle Bailey 70th, RSD Spies Vinyl, Ian Fleming Tribute, Fellini Box Set, Spy Vibe Radio: Vendetta, The Saint Podcast Bonus, The Saint Podcast, Barber Lotus, Trad Roots, Morricone R.I.P., Fleetway Spy Designs, John Steel Casebooks, Paul at 78, ITC Podcast: The Persuaders, Dazzle Ships, Spy Vibe Radio: Raumpatrouille, Remembering Richard Sala, Crime & Spy Jazz books, Numan is FAB, Bruce Lee Blu, RSD Vinyl Spies, James Bond's DB5, UFO CD Set, Spy Vibe radio: Phantom Agents, Steranko is Revolutionary!, Interview: The Saint I Ain't, Diabolik Interview, New 007 Song, Diabolik Figures, Diabolik Sounds, Diabolik Set Design, Diabolik Park Ride, Danger Diabolik Blu, Count Arthur Strong, Honey West Title Cards, Bowie Day, Neil Innes R.I.P., Claudine Auger R.I.P., OHMSS at 50, Italian Job 50th OST, Charles Schulz Modern, Paul Desmond, Python 50th, Randall Hopkirk 50th, Thunderbirds Day, Lazenby Returns to MI6, Dr. John R.I.P., Spy Vibe Radio: Lupin III, Lupin Ska, Spy Vibe Prime, Zigomar Translation, The Village: Part 1, Monkey Punch R.I.P., Bubble Girl 63, ITC Soundtracks, Spy Vibe Radio: Public Eye, UFO Prime, Spaceship to Mars, Modesty Blaise Companion, Spy Vibe Radio: Fantomas, George Day, Fantomas Blu, Dark Shadows Doc, Bedazzled Blu-ray, Mary Quant Exhibit, Laika Calypso, Lost in Space Japan, Spy Dust Calypso, Atomic Cafe, John Barry Mono, Interview: John Barry Book, Land of the Giants Score, Spy Vibe Radio: Upperseven, Mabuse Propaganda, Bond Beatles Day, Spy Vibe Radio: Liquidator, Diabolik LP, Fab Dresses, Eurospy Music Collection, Beetle Bailey in West Berlin, Why Mort Walker?, Spy Vibe radio: The Beatles Help!, Avengers Critical Guide, The Spotnicks, Benny Spies, James Pond 0017', Satire Stones, Annette Andre Book, Spy Vibe Radio: Get Smart, Caine: My Generation, Interview: Ian Ogilvy, Horror of Party Beach, Sylvie Vartan Renown, Ringo At 78, Dark Shadows Strips, Spy Vibe Radio: Flint, Archie Batman 66, Beatles Pac-Man, Spy Vibe Radio: Jerry Cotton, The Invaders, 007 Horowitz Book Tour, The Prisoner Interviews Vol 1, British Underground Press, Interview: Fab4 Mania, Bond Cocktail Book, Spy Smasher, Spy Vibe Radio: Peter Gunn, Agent Zero M, New Prisoner Comic, Dr. No Villains Edition, Spy Vibe Radio: Danger Diabolik, Dr. No 60th, Oy-Oy-Seven, Spy Vibe Radio (UFO), Cold War Comic Strips, Mission to India, Mort Walker Celebration, Peter Wyngarde Celebration, Ian Fleming Publications 2017-2018, Interview: Ed Hulse Pulp, Avengers Audio Drama, Interview: Callan At 50, Interview: Playboys, Spies, Private Eyes, TWA Returns, Spy Vibe Radio 8, Interview: Ryan Heshka, Mid-Century Modern Schulz, Agent Werewolf, Johnny Sokko 50th, Interview: Trina Robbins, Eddie Izzard, The Prisoner Capt Scarlet 50th, Hugh Hefner R.I.P., Jack Good R.I.P., Interview: Shaken Not Stirred, Callan 50th, Spy Vibe Radio 7, Bo Diddley, Carnaby Pop, Billy Bragg Skiffle, Elvis 68, Jack Kirby The Prisoner, Review: The Prisoner Vol 2, Interview: The Prisoner Essential Guide, Maud Russell Mottisfont, Spy Vibe Radio 4, Batman Gallants, Adam West R.I.P., Village Triangle, Roger Moore R.I.P., Spy Vibe Radio 3, Sgt Pepper 50th, Satanik Kriminal OST, 60s Overdrive, Spy Vibe Radio 2, Spy Vibe Radio 1, James Bond Strips, Interview: Police Surgeon, XTC Avengers, 1966 Pep Spies, Batman Book Interview, Exclusive Fleming Interview, Avengers Comic Strips, Robert Vaughn RIP, UNCLE Fashions, Thunderbirds Are Pop!, Interview: Spy Film Guide, Lost Avengers Found, The Callan File, Mission Impossible 50th, Green Hornet 50th, Star Trek 50th, Portmeirion Photography 1, Filming the Prisoner, Ian Fleming Grave, Revolver at 50, Karen Romanko Interview, Mod Tales 2, Umbrella Man: Patrick Macnee, New Beatles Film, The Curious Camera, Esterel Fashion 1966, Exclusive Ian Ogilvy Interview, 007 Tribute Covers, Argoman Design, Sylvia Anderson R.I.P., Ken Adam R.I.P., George Martin R.I.P., The New Avengers Comics, 007 Manga, Avengerworld Book, Diana Rigg Auto Show, The Prisoner Audio Drama Review.
April 22, 2022
CLASSICAL COLD WAR
Greetings, Spy Vibers! One of the little corners of history that has interested me as I work on my upcoming book is how music intersected with the Cold War. My book will spotlight how styles and themes within art/design played key roles in many aspects of genre pop culture, from those archetypal evil villain lairs to the use of abstract painting. It was all secret codes from the culture! Music also entered into the mix, perhaps most famously with the state department's use of jazz as an instrument to promote American ideology abroad. American music was beamed via radio to listeners behind the Iron Curtain, while fictional heroes darted about in sleek sports cars and tight suits to the thrilling pulse of genre soundtracks -jazz/rock hybrids by composers like Henry Mancini, John Barry, and Jerry Goldsmith- that set the tone for adventure. Classical music, too, had an interesting relationship with politics during the era. Conductors and musicians in Germany, for example, experienced a complex fracturing in the Sixties when the Berlin Wall separated West German artists from their posts within a now-divided city. Those who were located in the East quickly found their jobs strictly controlled by a state commission that demanded an ideological formalism. Works by the old masters which had church affiliations were tolerated as canon -and as an effort to show some leniency to western eyes- but material was limited. That was one of the reasons Glenn Gould's 1957 tour of Russia was such a phenomenon, as the young genius ripped through Bach at mind-boggling speeds. For East German artists, opportunities to tour became increasingly regulated or impossible. Musicians were even called upon by the Stasi to watch their fellow colleagues for any signs they might intend to defect. Some did! Well, amidst this whole story is American pianist Van Cliburn. Like Canada's Glenn Gould, Cliburn was a young prodigy who raced onto the international scene after winning major competitions. In Cliburn's case, one of those key prizes was winning the Tchaikovsky Competition in Russia in 1958 -a prize he won with loud support from Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev. Van Cliburn really wowed them all! He became a huge idol there, so much so that you can still find pinups and publications that were traded among his loyal Russian fans (see below). The whole phenomenon landed him on the cover of Time that year. As these stories played out among world-class musicians, fans of suave detectives and international spies in the west were seeing the themes echoed in genre fiction and TV entertainment. Ian Fleming even included a female orchestra musician in his cocktail of Bond, assassins, and Berlin escapes in "The Living Daylights" (first appearing in the Sunday Times in 1962). One of the most touching stories of defection appeared in Johnny Staccato with John Cassavetes, but more on that when my book finally comes together! If Spy Vibers are interested in learning more about Van Cliburn specifically, you might check out Moscow Nights: The Van Cliburn Story--How One Man and His Piano Transformed the Cold War by Nigel Cliff. You can find lots of Cliburn in Moscow DVDs (and more) at VAI Music. If you are interested in the Berlin scene, check out the DVD Classical Music and Cold War: Musicians in the GDR. More about Gould's Russian Journey. Enjoy! Below: Van Cliburn, books from USSR (50s-60s), Nigel Cliff book cover. Related posts: Notes Behind the Curtain 1, Notes Behind the Curtain 2, Notes Behind the Curtain 3, Notes Behind the Curtain 4, and one post revised as the Goldfinger Variations.