Posts from the ‘Party’ Category

Let’s Tango with Harry Horlick and His Orchestra! [1959]

Translated literally as “The Touch,” Tango is a dance that is performed exactly as it is described.

With its roots in Europe and Africa, Argentina today stands as the popular source of Tango. The music and the dance are distinctive, flowing and beautiful.

Harry Horlick wasn’t from Argentina.

Harry Horlick

That didn’t stop this Russian immigrant from putting out at least two Tango albums. The one seen here is a thrift-store find, worn to the point of being grey in the grooves. But the beauty of Tango makes its way through anyway. I digitized a couple of the tracks into a video for your home dancing pleasure ūüôā

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Twisting with Carl Stevens and His Orchestra [1962]

99-cents isn’t a lot anymore.

Despite that, it can still get a few good things.¬† For example, I picked up this album today at Goodwill because I didn’t have any Twist music in my collection.¬† Besides, the cover is kinda cute ūüôā

What I found was so upbeat that I can’t stop listening to it.

I don’t know much about Carl Stevens, but I can say this album is mid-paced, happy, and makes fun of itself.¬† Most of it is without words, but when they do sing it’s in goofy voices.¬† There are twangy guitars, fast versions of old standards, and plenty of percussion.

In short, this 99-cent album is fun!

SAMSUNG

SAMSUNG

Green Bean Supreme [1970]

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After seeing this in the Pillsbury Entertainment Idea Handbook, I decided to add it to the blog post I was writing about all the pictures. But the more I looked at the photo above, the more I wanted to eat it. Something about it looked good.  Helps that I love green beans, and also that the stunning Mrs. BelRedRoad loves to cook.  She decided to make them for Easter 2012.

First thing she noticed was that mushrooms weren’t part of the recipe.

The ingredients were pretty simple: green beans, celery, and almonds. ¬†The two latter items are sauteed before they’re mixed with the beans. ¬†While our results looked different from the 1970 picture, they tasted great!

From: Party Like It’s 1970

Party Like It’s 1970

Nothing says “Living It Up Seventy-Style” like earthy tones, sideburns, wine made from things other than grapes, and wood paneling under harsh florescent kitchen lights.

For those of us who grew up in the 1970s, the sight of people gathered around dark wood and formica is burned into our brains.  These were our parents, frolicking on any weekend evening in their native habitat: the kitchen and the living room.  Of course, we kids were sequestered to our rooms or to the basement to watch Brady Bunch while they talked about politics upstairs with friends.  The low rumble of laughing in another part of the house Рtied to the smell of percolated coffee Рis still fresh in my head.

Pillsbury published the Entertainment Idea Handbook in 1970, which outlined tips on everything from conducting a wine tasting to decor. ¬†It’s actually quite handy, with great recipes and party suggestions. ¬†Its color pictures are also very unforgettable. ¬†They highlight a social life well placed between the freestyle Sixties and the Malaise Seventies, where people in their twenties savor the spoils of their world in naive happiness and bold prints.

For this post I have created a fictitious 1970 party, by using the pictures from the Pillsbury guide.  Enjoy!

Glen and Linda Arrive
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The young couple brought their own rack. ¬†The rest of the wine is out in the trunk of the Road Runner. ¬†Glen has a taste for Tiger Beer, which he consumed in sizable quantities while stationed in Saigon. ¬†But stateside he’s had to change the pace and switch to the grape – wife’s orders. ¬†He still resists, steering towards hard liq instead.

Linda is 64 now, and still looks like Raquel Welch.  But then, so does Raquel Welch.

Meat Tree
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Appetizers await; this one’s a masterpiece of meat, fruit, and olives – skewered through a head of cabbage. ¬†Think of it as an artist’s rendition of a ¬†Soviet Satellite done in food. ¬†If anything, it tasted better than this:

It’s Arti-Choking Me!
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An enthusiastic partier dips an artichoke leaf in french dressing. ¬†Second custard cup from the right looks like it’s filled with mayonnaise. ¬†Yeah, there’s a combo…artichoke and mayo. ¬†Very possible it’s mayo’s tangy cousin Miracle Whip. ¬†I’d be more inclined to christen that artichoke leaf with spray cheese before¬†ladling it through that goo.

Let’s be honest: The artichoke looks like an miniature alien will be popping out of the top at any moment.

Social Hour `70
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They’re the Young Generation, and they’ve got something to say…to each other!

These are the men and women who tamed the Seventies,  Fresh and excited about the future, they celebrate their upcoming triumphs in laughter on a Friday night Рlubricated by communal charm, posturing, and tumblers filled with alcohol.  In five years time, the good laughs would be replaced by PTA meetings on Thursdays and episodes of Six-Million Dollar Man on Fridays. No doubt that at least one person in this crowd owned a yellow Porsche 914.

I’m talking to you, Blue Velvet Suit Coat Guy…

Speaking Their Minds

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Lita’s black and white print dress catches the eye of Stan, who has been working with her husband at the plant now for three years.

Brad compliments Lynn on her burgundy sash and explains in animated detail how beautiful it is against her white dress. ¬†He’s hoping for that date she promised in college. ¬†She’s hoping he notices her wedding ring.

Shelley and Maya are content to sit and discuss General Hospital over Cabernet.

Glen shares a Highball and a little floor time with his boss, Mr. Pennington.

“Yes, Mr. Pennington – that pipe tobacco smells great. ¬†”

“No Mr. Pennington – I actually think that bald is beautiful.”

“Well Mr. Pennington – I agree that me working next Saturday is good for the company’s bottom line; I sure hope you have fun golfing then.”

King of The Cheese Tray
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Under the watchful wrought-iron sentry of chained gothic candle art, guests devour appetizers.  Cliff has no resistance whatsoever, to the piles of crackers and bowls laden with liquidy cheese product that adorn the living room table.  And why should he have any?  Since the bypass last year, these tasty snacks no longer giving him heartburn!

Marge knows to stay out of his way when it comes to cheese, preferring to nibble a single cracker by his side while nursing the Cosmopolitan in her left hand. ¬†Denise and Laura agree that the crackers are wonderful, and each grab a symbolic single cracker in order to pretend eating. ¬†They’re saving space for the Fondue.


Wine and Woodgrain
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In the kitchen, all the elements of party success are assembled on the counters, under the dark wood cabinets and curtains patterned after dish towels. ¬†Linda’s wine rack is filled and at the ready. ¬†Candles are lit, blending the aromas of vanilla, berries, and a random Kool menthol to create an ambiance of smoky comfort. Laura has set up a wine tasting center – complete with:


The Big Cheese!
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If liquidy appetizer cheese isn’t your thing – and don’t feel bad if you just spit up a little by reading that – you can always switch to big gord-sized waxy globes of hard cheese. Preferred by those who drink from jug-shaped wine bottles which are wrapped in rope.


Booze Candles!!
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What day in 1970 would be complete without dripping multi-colored stalagmites of wax?  Ten bucks says the bottle on the left once held fermented loganberries.

Metal Fruit!!
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Eat one and you can hear the news through your teeth.


Wicker Anything!!
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Is the vine plastic? ¬†Only the host knows, because it’s placed high above an avocado-green rotary wall phone in the kitchen.


Wooing The Ladies
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Rock Hudson’s brother Bolt raps it out with Denise and Laura. ¬†Ted listens longingly to Bolt’s stories of travel and adventure.

The fireplace tools are now sitting in the Home Decor aisle at Goodwill.


Savoring Life’s Fermented Fruit
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Ron – in all his argyle finery – tries a newfangled “California Wine” that recently arrived on the market. He smells something that raises alarm, which brings a concerned scowl to his face. ¬†Linda was almost successful in convincing Glen to have a taste; but after spending a half hour placating Mr. Pennington, her husband instead chose to conquer another Highball and the giant cheese globe with Cliff.

Time For Fondue!

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Gently placing the food around the table, Laura prepares for her guests’ enjoyment by providing tomatoes, mushrooms, and all other sorts of rounded food – ready for dipping in scalding goo. ¬†The print in her dress is from the Summer Of Love Collection at J.C. Penney.

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Ron is concerned that he will lose the skewer in the dinner lava, as evidenced by his serious look; clearly from his eternal scowl, he is fearful of this meal becoming a “Fon-Don’t.” ¬†Linda is taking that bowl of ¬†mushrooms for herself; ever since Glen had a bad one in `Nam, he won’t go near them – meaning Linda no longer gets mushrooms at home. ¬†Brian brings in some more greens from the kitchen, while his wife Mandy gleefully cuts a piece of sausage for dipping.


Space-Age Hot Tub for Meat
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Main Course
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Real parties have bowls of raw meat, dinner lava, and endless glasses of brandy.  So says Pillsbury.


Bring on the Veggies!
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Since Green Beans Supreme were cooked in 1970, it’s very likely that butter and salt were involved. ¬†Lots. of butter and salt. ¬†At least they didn’t add this to Jell-O.

Minus the mushrooms, we are making this for a family gathering soon.

Melted Chocolate Makes Everything Fonduier

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Hope they waited until the fruit and marshmallows were gone before dipping the raw meat in there.


Dessert Contemplation

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Scowling Ron considers the shape of Laura’s dessert offering, staring sternly for several awkward minutes. ¬†Linda, Glen and Lynn shroud their mental health concerns in silence – with good-natured smiles. ¬†They all know about Ron’s problem…

The Man says, “You’re done in this town.”

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After he eats this artfully-crafted orange, Lindall “Wes” Galvin will decide your future from behind an important-looking dark wood desk – heavier than a VW Beetle and covered with rotary telephones and a gold pens. ¬†The presence of Ros√© near his plate may be your only chance at keeping a job.

Designer Dessert

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Awesome swirly rough-crafted coffee mug – likely filled with Folgers – is presented along with a slice of coconut coffee cake.

After 2750 calories of fondue, 1000 calories of wine, and a 850 calories of cheese off the waxy wheel, each 1970 party goer is nearly full after this tasty dessert Рand ready to sit back with a Marlboro.  It has been a great gathering, a place to recharge and catch up.  Forty years from this night, they will be immortalized in a computerized media form no one had ever thought of!

Tony’s Birthday [1980]

Courtesy of Tony J. Case

Tony is a friend from Flickr.

Like me, he loves to do photography on the side and still shoots film. ¬†His eye for the unusual, and penchant for documenting life’s details, makes his photostream one of my first visits each morning.

Recently he posted this gem of history from his own birthday party in 1980.

“I’m second from the right,” he states. “the one with the Santa Geoduck.”

No picture from the late 1970s or early 80s would be complete without at least one rugby shirt, and Tony delivers!  The punch bowl here is classic; not only is it purple but it has some sort of gold covering as well.  The purple lapels behind it also have some shiny trim, sure to attract plenty of 14-year old disco queens back in the day.

This is the kind of archive shot that was merely meant to capture an event for friends and family, but in the end became a time capsule for style and decor.  This exemplifies my love for retro perfectly, in one square photo from 32 years ago.

Party on Tony!

The ROCK Album from K-Tel

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Almost nothing will bring you visions of the late 1970s faster than a vinyl compilation of Rock hits from K-Tel.

In fact I’ll go one step further and share what I see when I listen to the likes of Eddie Money, Blue Oyster Cult, Styx and Journey: Silk Kimonos, platforms, Flying Vs, a stash of Acapulco Gold, and countless throngs of blond groupies wearing Candies and Farrah flips.¬† Ah yes…those were the days.

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This was the quintessential soundtrack of my high school before New Wave got a foothold in 1981. These songs blanketed our lives with cowbell, fuzzy distortion, and fleeting dreams of being at the forefront of Rock Domination. Some of us made it (I’m talking to you Queensryche). Most of us didn’t, choosing instead to listen, dream, and party.

Yep…those were the days indeed.

Vegetable Jell-O – It’s Salad-Tastic!!

Scan courtesy of X-Ray Delta One

This is your brain on Jell-O; any questions?

To my wife, there are few things in the world more repulsive than vegetable Jell-O. And she may be onto something; this picture is like Brain On A Plate!

The comments on Flickr about this advert were even more awesome than the picture they were commenting on:

BarryFackler Perfect! Pre-made barf.

cathemoel Looks like it would sting like hell if you encountered it on the shore.

Badger 23 Floating leftovers, now with olives!

rickb460 The Jello mold that stares back!

Mary (David’s wife)¬†But Mommmmmmmmmmmm, it’s looking at me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dr. Monster olives..celery..cheese?! in what, lime??

EmBee’s Web¬†Its hard for me to believe I’m saying this, X, but I’d actually rather be served from that wierd buffet in the next pic.

Howard Dickins¬†¬†The slice of tomato at the bottom even looks like a rudimentary mouth.¬†Ew! I’ve gone right off eating my lunch now…

Retro Mama69¬†¬†When my mom discovered this recipe, she did not stop doing it, her secret ingredient was meat!….. We really hate this salad jell-o! She forced us to eat it!! …. But we still survived…

Roger Rua Now I know what I’ll be serving at the next holiday gathering, but I’ll make it better, I’ll add diced SPAM.

StevenM_61 Spam, spam, spam, spam, spam, spam. Wonderful spam, lovely spam.

HELLO CHICAGO Spammed Jello? Surely you jest. That would be inhuman.

mgabrys¬†From the age of angry food. Food that existed only to make you wonder what people who weren’t white were eating, and why they weren’t pissed-off all the time.

Strangelovecraft¬†What was this 50s-60s obsession with suspending damn near EVERYTHING in gelatin? I remember an old cookbook I used to have that had a recipe for “Weenies in Aspic”. The finished product lived up to its name…

mgabrys¬†Oh that’s nothing – you’re talking about the years where casseroles were a food group. I mean forget cookbooks – there were a multitude of casserole volumes you had to wade through just to get to jello – which then stretched on another 3500-pages.

Lara In Clover¬†We were subjected to shredded cabage, shredded carrot, green olives, and celery slices in lemon jello quite often. And it would be in a mold like a bundt cake pan, with mayonnaise in the middle, so you could put a big ‘ol dollop on top of your cabbage jello. My mom would have loved the jello above back in the day!

bona browser Looks like a Klingon delicacy.

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