Quote and Credit

Quote and Credit


Rolling Stones Tongue Logo and the Sweet Taste of Joy Coincidence or Conspiracy?

Now that I am reading Keef's autobiography, linked at right and recommended highly, I've been thinking more about the Rolling Stones than in years. In particular, I have been thinking about that tongue. You certainly know it, it ranks among the world's most familiar logos and the original drawing attributed to John Pasche, a British designer, was sold in 2008 for $92,500 to the V & A Museum. In the story on the sale, reported by "LogoDesignLove" HERE "The inspiration for the eventual logo, which took Pasche around two weeks of work, has never been in doubt" Pasche says "I wanted something anti-authority, but I suppose the mouth idea came from when I met Jagger for the first time...Face to face with him, the first thing you were aware of was the size of his lips and mouth." But is the origin of the logo really all that clear and simple?

For years stones fans have known the first use of the logo was in the 1971 Sticky Fingers Lp release, it was used on the inner sleeve. (That's the Warhol album with the zipper, and far more speculation went to whose crotch was depicted than who did the tongue inside. (It wasn't Jagger's...it was Warhol hanger-on (no, make that just "hanger") Joe Dellesandro, It was, and remains, one of the greatest rock albums ever recorded.

The Stones next release was the now reissued double LP Exile on Main Street which I wrote about earlier. It is outstanding, of course, but my attention was drawn to a similar tongue and mouth logo, one shown both in the photographs in the album and in presumably 1971 or 1972 Robert Frank shot footage of the Stones in LA. During the brief film, shown here, Jagger stops near a porno grind showing the film "Sweet Taste of Joy" with a remarkably similar design. The film is a zero-rated piece of soft-core corn.

But it got me thinking...just what was the date Jagger passed by that poster? Did he stop to look at it because it resembled their own logo so much? OR was the actual film shot BEFORE the stones had come up with their own version of the lip-smacking image? Since we are talking about a period of a year or so, determining which was first could get dicey. Certainly, even if the stones had already registered their use, seeing such a similar product must have puzzled Mick. Did the sleazy film producers rip-off HIS commissioned logo? Or did somehow the stones designer see the LA footage and use the background poster as an inspiration for HIS version?

As you can see in the great footage here, at the three minute (3:00) mark Mick is convinced to pose near the poster.

All these matters do converge in the Exile Album, which reproduces several strips of film showing the poster in the gatefold packaging. Was it a slap in the face? A bold challenge to see who had come up with the design first? Did the porno flick designers rip-off the stones? Vice- Versa? Neither? Did Mick sick his lawyers on the poster-maker? Did the poster-maker sick his lawyer on the Stones?

As I wade through Keith's very entertaining bio, should I find anything to add here, I certainly will. Coincidence? or CONSPIRACY?????




New and Notable Photography History Books Available from Michigan MIPHS Members Bill Rauhauser and Janice G. Schimmelman

(click to enlarge)

THREE new books are available from members of the Michigan Photographic Historical Society (one of the more active history of photography regional organizations, information on memberships follows.)

Two books by scholar Janice G. Schimmelman, who previously published the remarkable book "The Tintype In America 1860-1880" has now made available the following wonderful titles:

"The Iron Plate in American Photography: The Tintype as Art 1860-1880"


"Warren Avenue & West Side Industries: A Detroit to Dearborn Photographic Album 1920"

The links here will take you directly to a preview of the titles which you may also purchase.

Bill Rauhauser has published 20th Century Photography in Detroit. St. Paul Press, which also includes a DVD and an essay by Mary Desjarlais, by St. Paul's Press. More information on his book is available from the author at rauhauser@sbcglobal.com

The Michigan Photographic HIstorical Society Publishes a highly regarded newsletter (Now in volume 38!) each with a research article in depth and lots of news and tidbits for camera, photographica and photography collectors. Membership is MORE than reasonable, and you will be joining a group of serious scholars getting things done here in the Mitten State.

The Michigan Photographic Historical Society Website contains Membership Info.

Agfa Screen Test! Snapshot Contest from the Great Depression

Agfa used to be a film, now it is an "imaging corporation" I think. Same old story...spin-offs into divisions, eventual bankruptcy, frustrated consumers and hopefully a bright new future as a lean, mean company shorn of employees and now producing pictures which exist only in digital form. Progress!

Agfa had a brilliant idea back in 1934. Their films were used in making motion pictures, including Agfa "Plenachrome," so the "Test for Hollywood" was born! We were in the midst of the Great Depression, and at the time the glamour of Hollywood was about the only thing taking folks minds off their lost land and foreclosed houses, so Agfa decided to hang movie-star fame over the heads of picture takers. Snap a picture of yourself (or more likely, your brat) and mail it in! Afga promised to select five winners who would receive screen tests, and the winner would be guaranteed a movie contract. I have no idea how many cans of film this gambit sold, but the instructions allow one to "enter as many snapshots as you like, up to sixteen."

Ads ran in local newspapers and elsewhere. The Milwaukee Journal, The Pittsburgh Press, the Chicago Tribune. Oddly, each ad had a potential winner wearing a mask.

Now I cannot find the name of the winner, nor can I locate a film star who credits Agfa with giving them their start. But it would make a good movie, wouldn't it?

Agfa Film Win a Movie Contract brochure 1934 Collection Jim Linderman

Bump and Grind WAY too Early (At the Circus in Black and White #22)

Child labor laws seem not to have applied to carnival sideshow grinds during the 1930s as this photograph attests. The young dancer can not be much more than 16, but I guess it is hard to tell. She certainly doesn't quite match up to the painted silhouette on the barker's stand...for one thing her hands are hardly thrown up in joy. It is quite rare to see a photo of a dancing girl (literally) taken during the daytime at even the sleaziest carnival...but one "H. H." has done just that. Girl shows of this nature are as old as the carnival itself, but they frequently took place at night after most patrons (and the law, who was frequently paid off) went home. Hence the name "Midnight Ramble. In this case, they should have been checking ID around lunchtime. A young hoofer to be sure, but to me, a bit too young. Show business of any kind is hard despite the facade of glamour...this photo shows an underside not often (or easy) to see.

(Also posted on Vintage Sleaze the Blog)

Original Untitled Snapshot circa 1930 Collection Jim Linderman

Kekuku's Coo Coo Blues The Invention of the Slide Guitar and the Blues in Hawaii

In 1903 W. C. Handy was waiting for a train in Mississippi when saw and heard "A lean loose-jointed Negro...plunking a guitar beside me while I slept... As he played, he pressed a knife on the strings of the guitar in a manner popularized by Hawaiian guitarists who used steel bars....The singer repeated the line three times, accompanying himself on the guitar with the weirdest music I had ever heard." So he wrote in his autobiography "William Christian Handy, Father of the Blues"

What Handy heard was the blues. But even in 1903, with the popular format of the 78 rpm record decades away, Handy knew enough to call the slide guitar sound "Hawaiian." It was the distinctive notes which don't exist on the European scale he heard...the sound of notes in between frets created by the slide. The sound Tom Dowd couldn't believe when he paired Duane Allman with Eric Clapton to create Layla. The sound Mick Taylor added to the best Rolling Stones recordings. The sound lap steel preachers in Florida use to scream.

Go figure. The unearthly sound of Charlie Patton, generally credited with being the first "Delta Bluesman" and a great influence on all who followed (including Robert Johnson) didn't make his first recordings until 1929, over 25 years later, though he was offered a job playing in Handy's band in 1916. Patton played slide so well he often finished his phrases with strings instead of enunciating them verbally. But Charley had never been to Hawaii. So did the blues originate on a Pineapple plantation rather than in a Cotton field?

For that matter, when did Bob Dunn, astounding lap steel slide guitarist for Milton Brown's Western Swing Band visit Hawaii? Dunn played the first electric lap slide guitar with Brown in 1935 and the same sound became prominent in Country as well as blues. Ever hear old Hank without weeping steel frills and fills?

The answer probably lies with Joseph Kekuku. He created the slide guitar sound in 1885 while walking along a road in Hawaii. He hadn't been to the Mississippi Delta. It was some 40 years after that the National Guitar became prized among blues musicians like Tampa Red. Those resonator guitars became popular because they could produce that slide sound and could be heard over the noise of rent parties, speakeasies and bar fights.

Images from "5 Minute Hawaiian Guitar or Steel Guitar Illustrated (no date, circa 1925) Collection Jim Linderman

Captain Nemo meets Tonto and the School Bully (Halloween 1956)

Thanks to Anne, who graciously mailed this photograph in time for help with your costume selections. (But not before the local Mega-Mart started stocking candy) Particularly timely, as I am SURE the fat kid in the middle stick-poking a much slighter pirate is the school bully. Let's call him Nelson.

Vernacular Snapshot Dated on reverse 1956.

The Stunt Dive Terminal Velocity Surface Tension Carnival Sideshow Photograph and the World Record Dive (and Lofty Rockett)

Terminal Velocity. Our object is falling so fast here that when I negotiated a price with the vendor we both lamented the stuntman wasn't in the picture. Well, he is, but neither of us saw him. Another example of the beauty one finds enlarging photographs. The diver is indeed there, but he has been rendered to emulsion fuzz...a speedy plummet to a swimming pool apparently built just for the show. A wonderfully diverse group watches rapt, with virtually every face turned upward, be they top hatted or bareheaded. Children abound. Nearby porches are have onlookers as well, and one porch contains a couple on comfortable chairs. It appears a ball-toss cage is constructed right next to the pool, balls for pitching are seen. The carnival was constructed in such tight quarters, the ball net could have slowed the daredevil's fall should his aim have faltered.

The photograph, which is signed in pencil in front "Wm. S. Millikin" is dated in pencil on the reverse along with the date May 7, 1915 and for some reason the name "Lofty Rockett" which could be a name or an expression.

Terminal Velocity is a factor in any stunt involving a fall, be the target stone or water. A belly flop is far more dangerous than a clean surface slice due to surface tension, which at a good speed is as hard as a rock. In fact, trick divers have been known to drop small rocks before their jump in order to create ripples which have the effect of breaking the surface tension. As the surface of the pool appears smooth, there was no cheating. However, terminal velocity would not be reached here as the ladder appears to be maybe 50 to 100 feet. Now I am not a scientist, but I do not believe terminal velocity is achieved at this height.

Some accounts say the world's record for the highest dive into water is 172 feet. Here it is...

Original Photograph Untitled (Stunt Diver) by "Wm S. Millikin" 1915 collection Jim Linderman

The Photo Booth an Instant History Before Warhol and After

The first photo booth was installed on Broadway in 1925 or so, then after 30 years of waning popularity they were lugged to the dump, then Andy Warhol took some cool pictures with one in 1963, then they became the darling of hipster doofus types and now they are back bigger than ever. These predate the first photo booth. All that was missing was the bench, the curtain and the coin slot.

More information at the Photo Booth site HERE. A way to turn your webcam into a vintage photo booth HERE. Nakki Goranin's Book HERE

Collection of horizontal and vertical portrait photographs circa 1915 collection Jim Linderman

I Bid You DO MY WILL Hypnosis Pulp Graphics

Whoa! Someone messed up the hypnosis entry on wikipedia! A bunch of gibberish the likes which wore me out before I got to the meat. I'll let you decide for yourself if hypnosis is effective or even possible, I'm just interested in the goofy graphics. Even as a kid in high-school, when some hack was hired to come entertain an assembly, I wondered why he wasn't getting someone to rob a bank or boff him instead of making the student president bark like a dog. On the other hand, there were many times a women whispering in my ear made me do some stupid things over the years.
I took these from rags where getting someone to "do your bidding" probably mattered much, so the ads were likely a successful come-on. Yet you don't see many of the hypno-coins, books or pamphlets they were selling. Which means they worked so well the owners have kept them to give their children awesome power...or they sucked and were tossed in the trash.

License Plate Collection of Harvey Wilson (Cosmo Kramer the Assman)

License Plates used to be made by the same folks who "turned big rocks into little rocks" and lived in the "Graybar Hotel"....prisoners. They still do in Michigan! The prisoners also make little fake toy ones, I would link to the site but it has an address a mile long.

Despite Detroit's woes, it is still car country out here, and antique auto shows happen all the time...fellas in their second childhood bring them out, put on Gatsby caps, take the top down and clog side streets at 30 miles per hour. On a given weekend you can follow an oldie but goodie to the nearest show. I guess they all need a plate to go with their cars. I can't really think of any other reason to collect license plates, except as roofing shingles.

Except maybe for the money. A 1921 Alaska plate sold ten years ago for $60,000 in a Wendy's parking lot. Many of the most valuable seem to be Southern license plates from around 1912 and 1913...20 to 30 grand is not uncommon. In general, I think the lower the number, the better.

Mr. Harvey Wilson was Champion Michigan License Plate collector, at least in St. Charles. There is no date, but as the last two 1940 plates look fairly clean, so that's how I'm going to date the photo.

There is an Automobile License Plate Collectors Association but since I am not a member, I can't look up "The Plate of the Year."

My favorite license plate of all time was Kramer's vanity plate on Seinfeld. "ASSMAN" I can't link to it, but the 5 minute version on you tube is precious. It might just be the funniest half hour ever created for television. "Wait a minute, i'm not the Assman" "Sir, according to the state of New York you are." I wish Harvey had lived long enough to see it.

Vernacular Photograph Harvey Wilson License Plate Collector, circa 1940 Collection Jim Linderman

Hand-painted FLO-PAQUE salesman sample card

If I am not mistaken, Flo-paque used to be a brand of Floquil, which if I am not mistaken again, was purchased by Testor's...the folks who help your kid paint his models. This salesman sample card not only shows "the actual colors" it was hand-painted! I assume the card was passed along a line and dabbed by each "color specialist" who specialized in...oh, let's say "maroon" before it went on to another expert. Pretty cool. Of course, after "copper" it would be set aside, likely overnight, before the reverse "lime" artist would start the back.

Paint salesman sample trade card, circa 1950? Collection Jim Linderman

Homemade Handmade Folk Art Amateur Stereograph Stereoviews of E. C. Allen and Andy Warhol 3-D

Let's face it. 3-D motion pictures are just an excuse to ignore a plot and they always have been. Not only are documentaries filmed under the sea the only ones worth seeing, the technology really isn't much more effective than the primitive ones with Moe repeatedly sticking his fingers towards the camera followed by a quick cut to Larry reacting. (OWW!) As I've said before, the best one ever made is the trashy Frankenstein movie Andy Warhol foisted, and that is only because it was so bad. (But the TRAILER is great! See below)

It is really nothing new. Here are a handful of somewhat unusual Handmade and hand-tinted amateur stereographs taken and assembled by one E. C. Allen in 1914. Allen apparently roamed the American South, shown are four from St. Augustine, Florida and one of a steamboat taken in Memphis.

Allen wasn't very good actually, but he was ambitious and in the right place. Primitive but interesting, and if you cross your eyes are you are almost there!

Handmade Stereograph Photographs by E. C Allen 1914 Collection Jim Linderman

The Early Gigantic Upskirt Silver Foam Soap and the Clean Billboard

Silver Foam Granulated Soap seems to have "left the (grocery) building" and joined the league of dead brands, but it certainly wasn't for a lack of taste. As you can see, their logo featured a hard working scrub woman with giant cheeks. She is working up a lather to match Lawrence Welk's bubble machine!

So falling under the category of "World's Earliest "Upskirt" photo (if you don't know what that is, check your son's phone camera) I have posted this on the Vintage Sleaze blog as well. But how many upskirt photos do you know with a robot featured in the middle of the desert with her gigantic glutes facing the traffic?

In case you think me demented for describing this logo as a stealthy and secretive photo technique, I am certainly not the only one. Note the "fine print" on the billboard. "Danger Electric Fence" and a "Reward $25.00" sign. Obviously, it was something to leave your car and peer up at...but for some fellas it got out of hand and they spoiled it for all by climbing up to grab a closer look. That there was electricity leads me to believe our washerwoman was an automotan, but I can't tell for sure. Make that "automowasherwomanotan."

Like when little Theodore Cleaver climbed up to see what was in the giant coffee cup, I don't think there was anything up there...but it would be worth a peek to make sure.

Original snapshot, circa 1945 Collection Jim Linderman