Tuesday, April 20, 2010

CIA Agent I: Kermit Roosevelt Jr.

Probably best remembered for his key role in formenting the coup that overthrew Iranian Prime Minister Mohammed Mosaddegh and restored the Shah to the throne.

Edd Byrnes

Edd Byrnes who played the hip car hop "Kookie" in 77 Sunset Strip shows the timeless cool of the slim, natural shoulder suit with a soft collar. Below "Kookie" shares his jive lingo with Efraim Zimbalist Jr.

Making of the Sand Pebbles

Speaking of good 1960's footage of Hong Kong. Here's a weirdly soundtracked short film on the making of the 1966 Robert Wise film "The Sand Pebbles".

My apartment overlooks the harbor where the scene in which Steve McQueen and fellow crewmembers storm a string of junks blockading the "Yangtze" river was shot, so it is especially neat for me to see these pictures.


Originally Posted May 2008

Originally Posted March 25, 2008

Monday, April 19, 2010

I Spy

Posted March 2008
Bill Cosby and Bob Culp on location (probably in Hong Kong) and in character as Alexander Scott and Kelly Robinson in I. Spy. The least silly of the string of secret agent movie and TV shoes that followed in the wake of James Bond in the early sixties, featured the two men as hip, CIA trouble shooters traveling the world to basically crack heads. Initially, their cool style was contrasted with Ivy League style suits, repp ties and buttondown shirts. Their dress quickly became more modern. See this 1966 quote from Cosby (found at this nostalgic article by journalist John Stanley):
"Now, you take `I Spy.' In Hong Kong, for example, you've got different kinds of hotel rooms, different people, different customs, different sights. Mexico changes it all again. So does Tokyo. Now, you take the clothes. At first we went around in these suits and ties rescuing people. But when we were in Acapulco we watched these Secret Service guys protecting Lynda Bird [Johnson]. Talk about being inconspicuous. Eyeglasses and the whole bit. Couldn't even see if they were packing rods. So Bob [Culp] and I decided to go native. Besides, it was hot in Acapulco and we wanted shorter sleeves.

"So now, instead of two handsome heroes in subtle tweed suits, we became like two handsome tourists who rescued people."

You can still watch these shows today for the snappy rapport between Culp and Cosby and the international backdrops (the show was shot on location around the world). In fact, you can watch them without standing up, as many are available in entirety on Youtube. The kickoff episode "So Long, Patrick Henry" is a favorite because of the early 1960's footage of Hong Kong.

A bonus pic of Cosby


The Beach Boys recorded their first song, "Surfin" under the name Pendletones, only to have the record label change their name to something more obviously linked to surfing. Originally, the Boys wore the wool Pendleton shirts popular with Redondo Beach surfers at the time. Probably for the best, Pendleton shirts aren't really built for keeping you cool onstage.

In fact, they're built for one thing and that is keeping you warm when it is 55 degrees and damp. That comes in handy when its that temperature 4 months of the year and you don't have central heating. I've practically lived in my Pendleton shirts this winter. Pendleton has moved assembly offshore (to Mexico and China), though they still make the wool material in Oregon (at least for the Mexico made ones). Plenty of new USA made ones still with their tags on, available at Ebay though if you want to go with the classic. Probably one of the most gifted but never worn clothing items. Just the thing to give to Uncle Joe but for Uncle Joe never to put on. Its hard to avoid looking like Grandpa in a wool shirt. Maybe thats the reason. Or just to scratchy for Joe. I don't know.
Favorite Pendleton's

Saturday, April 17, 2010


This is a picture of the Sunrays, a minor surf band hooked into the Wilson family (with Dennis). They were touring England probably around 1967. This is probably pretty much the end of the line for an early 1960's surf band.
Originally posted in DoctorDamage's American Trad/Men thread on AAAT in April 2008

Also, the Rays Eddie Medora with Dennis Wilson.

Their "big" song

Friday, April 16, 2010

Beach Boys

Continuing the dump of my Photobucket account (just to put all the old photos in one place), here are some pics of the Beach Boys. This must be the best single/b-side combination ever. (Thought: Does Itunes sell b-sides? Buy 1 song for .99 and get an album deep cut for free. Probably they should, if they don't).
Originally posted March 2008.

This one's a little better from the same shoot.

This one is slightly later. Probably Pet Sounds/Good Vibrations era.
Probably their best music and best look. Brian and Carl Wilson just weren't built for the candy stripe shirts with tight continental hip huggers seen below at the TAMI show.

This one is a little too apprentice car salesman. It would work a lot better with a Brooks Brothers style repp stripe.

John Glenn

Originally posted February 2008

George Plimpton for Intellivision

Originally posted February 2008

Nixon on the Beach

Originally uploaded 2007