A retrospective look at pop, fashion, trends, TV, film, toys, fads, wars, people and all manner of curiosities from the vintage vaults.
ON This Day: October 30: Jerzy Popieluszko was found. He’d been murdered.
Photo above: Solidarity union leader Lech Walesa appears on the stage of a Warsaw theater in 1980 under a large solidarity banner. Date: 01/01/1980.
HEY, kids, ready to be scared? Sesame Street thought so. On February 10, 1976 , the Children’s Television Workshop aired episode #847. The special guest star was Margaret Hamilton, who reprised her role as The Wizard of Oz’s Wicked Witch of the West.
She’s been on the magic box earlier, telling the kids tuned into Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood to show the viewers that she was not a real witch just a normal woman.
FOOTBALLERS Forever Associated With Certain Items Of Food
“Mark Bosnich was a terrible professional,” claims Sir Alex Ferguson in his autobiography, which was launched in a small room above a Salford pub last week, to mass indifference.
“We played down at Wimbledon and Bosnich was tucking into everything: sandwiches, soups, steaks. He was going through the menu. I told him, ‘For Christ’s sake, Mark, we’ve got the weight off you. Why are you tucking into all that stuff?’ We arrived back in Manchester, and Mark was on mobile phone to a Chinese restaurant to order a takeaway.”
And with these words, Mark ‘Sniffer’ Bosnich achieves membership of the exclusive Footballers Forever Associated With Certain Items Of Food Club.
There could even have been another, had Fergie revealed the identity of the culprit to blame for ‘Pizzagate’, when a row between himself and Arsene Wenger in 2004 culminated in carb carnage. “The next thing I knew, I had pizza all over me,” recalls the red-faced recently-retired ruler of Old Trafford. He says he did not see who threw it, but that Cesc Fabregas has been suggested to him. And that’s good enough for us, so Cesc is hereby inducted, along with his missile of choice.
Arsene Wenger remained typically inscrutable this week: “I don’t know about food throwing. I did not see if something was thrown – you’ll have to ask someone else, because I don’t know.”
When Cesc arrives, he will find another Arsenal old boy awaiting him…
In 1986, ‘Champagne’ Charlie was arrested outside the Confusion Bar in Ibiza, for an unusual twist on the usual footballers’ fracas. Scottish holidaymaker Lori McElroy alleged that Nicholas stole a chip from her, and then broke her jaw in the ensuing argument. Nicholas was found guilty but continued to deny any wrongdoing.
Chips would haunt Charlie years later, when working as a pundit for Sky. Anchorman Jim White, presumably assuming his mic was switched off, referred to the Celtic fans’ chorus of The Fields of Athenrye with a reference to the Irish potato famine.
“Oh here we go again, the tottie famine,” said Jim.
“Aye, and they’re all eating chips while singing this,” replied Nicholas, to the displeasure of the Bhoys’ worldwide army of millions.
Roast dinner with all the trimmings
Terry Venables remembers breaking into the Chelsea team as a youngster and playing alongside the legendary Jimmy Greaves. Greavsie was only three years older than Terry, yet he was already a superstar, and would soon move to AC Milan. He lived near Venables, and would give him a lift to matches. The first time this happened, Jim explained that he usually stopped for lunch at a café, so they went in and Venables – already at the vanguard of modern practices – ordered steamed chicken. He was shocked to see Greaves polish off a massive plate of roast beef with Yorkshire pudding, veg, and roast AND mashed potatoes. This he followed up with a large bowl of stodge and custard. “I always have this,” he said. Venables says Greaves proceeded to score a hatful of goals that afternoon. But then, he usually did.
Speaking of dinners, an honoury mention must also go to erstwhile Orient manager John ‘bring yer fu*king dinner’ Sitton, for his legendary televised half-time rant…
Martin Jol’s Tottenham side of 2005-06 will be remembered for their valiant but ultimately unsuccessful assault on the final Champions League spot. To make it worse, it was arch-rivals West Ham who ruined their party by beating them 2-1 on the final day. And to put the tin lid on it, it was Arsenal who pipped them to fourth.
The defeat was blamed squarely upon a lasagna which had been served to the players at the London Marriott in West India Quay, where the players aere staying before the game. Ten players went down with a mystery illness, assumed to be food poisoning, although the hotel was cleared of any wrongdoing.
David Beckham, as reported here recently, is a lifelong pie and mash fan, and even went to the lengths of taking the Spurs players and backroom staff to lunch at a local emporium during his brief stint training at the north London club.
But when it comes to meat-filled be-crusted comestibles, one man is synonymous: chunky Mick Quinn, whose candid autobiography is rhetorically entitled Who Ate All The Pies?
The scouse goal-machine once picked up a pie that was thrown at him from the crowd and ate it, to the amusement of all. He has been known to repeat the story from time to time in the course of his broadcasting duties.
Paul Gascoigne’s love of the ‘iconic’ chocolate brick was well known, and when he turned out for Spurs against his former club Newcastle United the Toon fans bombarded him with said confectionary. Whereupon Gazza ‘did a Quinny’ and chomped enthusiastically.
Mention ‘testicles and football’ and the connection is obvious: Wimbledon FC – although this is nothing to do with Gazza’s bollocks…
…and everything to do with the defunct club’s owner Sam Hammam, who introduced the novel forfeit of eating sheep’s gonads as part of the ‘Crazy Gang’ disciplinary code.
It would be easy to just post a picture of Roy Keane, who indirectly coined the phrase “prawn sandwich brigade” during a mini-rant about Manchester United’s gentrified supporters.
Yet Keano’s comments are trumped by events at Grimsby, where Town’s Ivano Bonetti was supposedly injured when manager Brian Laws threw chicken wings at him. The sandwich-based truth is slightly different.
Laws says that Bonetti hurled sandwiches – and a punch – at him, and that he merely retaliated in kind: “I’ve no idea where the chicken leg or wing part of the story came from! It almost put a bit of humour to it, but we felt it was best to leave things be and put things right later on. That incident gets brought up quite a lot and people laugh at it now – and I do as well – but at the time it wasn’t very funny or nice to be involved in. It was an incident which unfortunately spilled out into the press and all hell broke loose at the time.”
The restaurant of choice for footballers seeking a pre-brawl snack, as patronised by Lee Bowyer (pictured here fighting with team-mate Kieran Dyer). Bowyer was convicted of affray at the Isle of Dogs branch…
And Joey Barton, back home in Liverpool…
Charlton Athletic keeper Charlie Wright is fondly remembered for his tendency to wander behind his goal and chat with supporters. Legend has it that once, while accepting an orange from a fan, the opponents scored.
Step up, Dave Beasant. If you can, that is.
Beasant missed two months of the 1993-94 season after knocking over a jar of salad cream which fell onto his foot, causing serious injury. Some say it was mayonnaise, but unfashionable salad cream took the rap.
Eternal spring chicken Gordon Strachan (pictured here with the world’s largest banana split) famously lives on a diet of the curvy peely fruit. “Gordon couldn’t spell banana when he was 20,” says former team-mate Alex McLeish “He ate pork pies then. But we had a teetotal right-back called Stuart Kennedy who brought in books about the diets of Ivan Lendl and Martina Navratilova. That’s when we started good eating habits.”
Unfortunately, the enduring image of footballers and bananas is less savoury. John Barnes was famously snapped back-heeling a banana thrown at him by the Goodison faithful in 1988.
“I don’t remember doing that,” he said later. “I mean the picture is there but bananas back then were common. The reason it all came to the fore is because I was playing for a high-profile club like Liverpool. For six years before, that happened every week, but because it was a small club it wasn’t highlighted. In terms of me being angry and wanting to fight people in the stands though, it never happened, I consider those people to be ignorant, so how could they affect any part of life or any part of my demeanour.”
IN December 1905, the first issue of Variety magazine featured an article by Skigie. Who he? He was the magazine publisher Sime Silverman’s 7-year-old son. The boy genius reviewed a vaudeville show. The best bit about it? The moving pictures. The boy was prescient. Moving pictures became big; vaudeville shrivelled.
Silverman’s son Sidne (1901–1950), succeeded him as publisher.
The first issue was sixteen pages long. It sold for a nickel.
ANORAK loves Mod Cinema, a home for hard-to-find 60s, 70s and 80s films you never knew you were looking for. The Mods put these movies on DVD. They are blasts of my youth, when everything at the cinema sounded echoey and on American TV shows the camera focused on a person’s face when they weren’t talking. And everyone looked a bit sweaty.
SHE makes terrible coffee. Sure, she has nice hair, pretty ankles and takes her prescription medication without any fuss, but that darn coffee is terrible. There is just no getting away from it.
Shaun Clayton made a study of male reactions to female coffee making in this video below. He took adverts from the 1950s and 1960s and “edited them down to just the moments when the guys were the biggest jerks to their wives about coffee”.
ON April 19, 1912, Gertrude STrine received this letter from Arthur C Fifield, Publisher.
TERRIBLE Taglines: The Day Of The Dolphins (1973):
“Unwittingly He Trained A Dolphin To Kill The President Of The United States”
IN Fiorucci Made Me Hardcore, British artist Mark Leckey produced what one critic called “the finest portrayal of British nightlife ever captured”.
Jonathan Jones added that “(Leckey) haunts the secret parts of modern culture, where memory and emotion linger”.
What he did was to capture the feeling of dancing in a night club in the 70s, 80s and 90s.
Says Leckey of his 1999 film:
“It took two years to create, but it was made of 30 years of repressed desire.”
POTO and Cabengo were Grace and Virginia Kennedy. In 1976, these San Diego twins were eight years old. Jean-Pierre Gorin created a study of the girls who spoke in their own secret language. Time magazine produced an extract of their dialogue:
Pinit, putahtraletungay”(Finish, potato salad hungry)
“Nis, Poto?” (This, Poto?)
“Liba Cabingoat, it”(Dear Cabengo, eat)
“la moa, Poto?” (Here more, Poto?)
But was it a secret language? Their father thought the girls’ gibbering fools, mentally negligible and not worthy of educating. He was wrong. Advised to place them in speech therapy, their teacher realised they were speaking a language only they understood.
In July 22, 1979, the LA Times Reported:
Gorin explained his film to Bomb magazine:
A low-budget independent film, shot in San Diego in 1979, in 16mm color negative. It’s an investigation, a film “around” an event—the case of the Kennedy twins. They were front page news at the time, as it was believed they had invented a “private language,” a private mode of communication, with a syntax and a vocabulary of its own. But this kind of an answer seems to frame Poto and Cabengo as a classical documentary…
I got hold of the event through the press. It was the middle of the summer and news was sparse. The Loch Ness monster had been nowhere in sight that year, and I suspect the journalists felt the twins would be a good substitute. They built up a case which reeked of Wild Child mystique. The very day I saw the first article on the twins, Eckardt Stein from ZDF was passing through town and I sold him the idea of a film. I lied through my teeth, told him that I had seen the twins, seen the therapists who took care of them at Children’s Hospital, secured the rights to the story. I assured Stein that they spoke a “private language.” He agreed to do the film. But when I saw the twins for the first time I immediately realized that the story as the press—and by then, myself—had cast it was not there. There was no private language and never had been. All along the twins had spoken a Creolized language, some densely unintelligible American/English, a patchwork of southern lingo spoken by their father and of the deformations imposed on the English language by their German-born mother.
The story had become bigger than the girls.
I got excited by the idea of inquiring about something which had never been there in the first place, which had been so completely misconstrued. It seemed like an eminently dramatic premise: two kids who moved and sounded like hummingbirds, who for years had been privately deciphering the world for each other, who did not know why they had suddenly become the object of so much attention, and who by now were for the therapists and linguists just two rather “ordinary” kids with banal problems of auditory information processing, while the press was still “Ripleying” their case to death. At the same time their parents were desperately hoping to convert their 15 minutes of Warholian celebrity into some hard cash. It seemed pretty interesting to try to unravel all these conflicting interests at work below the surface of this event. And don’t forget to add me, the filmmaker, to the stew: me, with my own agenda, trying to get a film out of this whole situation.
What happened to the girls?
The only clue is from a show about twins that aired on TLC around 2000, which reported that Virginia and Grace were still developmentally disabled. We are told this:
Now approaching 30, the twins continue to experience speech problems and mental delays. Grace, who has achieved a higher level of functioning than her sister, works at a McDonald’s cleaning tables and mopping. Virginia works at a job-training center and performs assembly-line work.
FLASHBACK to 1981, and Heather O’Rourke is enjoying her first ever Barbie doll. Thanks to this doll, Heather was able to channel the full demonic experience in the guise of Carol Ann in Poltegeist. She also featured in 12 episodes of Happy Days.
“Act out every fantasy you can dream up” with Barbie, such as killing your loved ones, possessing your cat; eating the sofa…
It’s all in thsoe eeys:
ERICH Priebke lived to be 100. In 1998 the former SS office was given a life term for his part in the 1944 slaughter of 335 Italians at Rome’s Ardeatine Caves. But Erich was old when the law finally caught up with him. So. He got to see out his days under house arrest in the Rome. Even then he was allowed out to shop and stroll in the city’s parks. A magistrate let Priebke holiday in a friend’s house near Lake Maggiore.
Before that he’d been working as German language school teacher in Argentina. In 1994, an American journalist caught up with him. Priebke was extradited.
Priebke said he was only obeying orders.
Now the killer is dead. And he’s a problem. The Vatican has placed a ban on holding the funeral in any Catholic church in Rome. Argentina doesn’t want his remains. But the Society of St Pius X, a breakaway group of traditionalist Catholics, offered to bury him. The Society of St. Pius X’s members have included the Holocaust denier Richard Williamson.