On a Summer Weekend in 1963 in 1990 – A Tribute to Shag

By Brandon Adamson

Shag 1989

The 1989 movie “Shag” was one of those likely forgettable films that always seemed to be on HBO when I was a kid in middle school sitting around waiting for my mom to drive me to basketball practice. Despite being a bit of a throwaway “chick flick”(a phrase I find to be kind of cringeworthy after seeing it used on so many girls’ dating profiles,) I always had a weird appreciation for it. It’s kind of an obscure gem illustrating the beauty and innocence of 1960s Southern teen culture. In many ways my nostalgia for nostalgic films of this era is a longing to recapture my own innocence from this time period(late 80’s-early 90s.)

I haven’t seen Shag in a long time, perhaps over 20 years. A couple of years ago I saw it and Half Priced Books in the used dvd section for 5 dollars but ended up not buying it. Apparently I really missed an opportunity. The “Shag” dvd seems to be quite rare now. Copies of it range from 40 to 80 dollars, quite a lot to cough up for a movie that I recall as being fairly mediocre. Still, the chance to see Phoebe Cates and Bridget Fonda in their prime within the context of an early 1960’s, southern belle/Jackie Onassis aesthetic might be worth the trip down memory lane.

Shag had a decent soundtrack as well, which was available on vinyl.


Brandon Adamson is the author of “Beatnik Fascism

Because It’s Boss

By Brandon Adamson

Mondo Freudo(1966) is another great “fake” documentary from the Mondo series of the mid to late 60’s. Mondo Mod is of course my favorite, followed by Mondo Bizarro. I’ve been trying to get my hands on a copy of Mondo Teeno for years. Unfortunately I’ve only found one guy on the entire internet that claims to be selling a copy…and he doesn’t respond to emails and hasn’t updated his site for years.

Anyway, though Mondo Freudo and the others aren’t authentic documentaries, they do a fair job of portraying the 1960s Southern California youth culture in their own way, ┬ájust through the footage and the entertaining narration which accompanies it.

Here’s a great sequence of a portion of the Sunset Strip as it was in 1966. Take me there.

Whose Got the Cuckoo?

By Brandon Adamson

There’s seemingly a never end of obscure and cleverly themed 60’s bands. Add another to the list with “The Monks.” They were a band formed by two American servicemen who were originally stationed and then remained in West Germany in the mid 60’s. They sported monk haircuts and typically wore nooses as neckties. One of the most experimental and creative bands of the era, The Monks continue to influence avante garde musicians 50 years later.

Having a Bontempi Sound

By Brandon Adamson

bontempiadvert

I picked purchased a couple of vintage Italian Bontempi organs/synths recently, mainly because I liked the design and aesthetic of them(as a brand, Bontempi was not known for having a great sound.) Their advertising was beautiful though and captures a sort of innocence which resonates with the childhood I experienced. I obtained the Bontempi Memoplay(pictured above) which is a pretty limited but unique “programmable” synth from the late 70s early 80s. It only has one sound, but it’s a decent one in my opinion.

The other Bontempi organ I got my hands on is the Mod 109. This was basically a really hip and modern looking organ,(mine is orange in color) but in reality it’s just a standard reed organ which produces a sound similar to an accordion.

mod109_bontempi

For an example of one the better organs Bontempi produced,(which I was not fortunate enough to be able to find) check out the awesome 1979 Bontempi commercial below. It exemplifies a childhood ambiance and European cultural era that my mind/alter ego fights to recapture every day.


Brandon Adamson is the author of “Beatnik Fascism