Top Shelf Chic!

Top Shelf Chic: The wonderful world and style of vintage glamour magazines…

Anyone who has ever delved into the vintage glamour scene of the 1960s and 70s will not need telling that they are a million miles away from their modern tacky and mind-numbingly boring counterparts! It may come as a shock and something of a pleasant surprise to some to discover that the 60s reader got a lot more for their 2/6 than the usual array of half-dressed models in soft focus. Playboy, Penthouse and our very own Mayfair magazines all reflected the times and pop culture in ways that were sadly lacking from the late-80s onwards.

Expect to find an abundance of articles written about the counterculture, politics, underground cinema, fashion and pop music within these earlier magazines. For example, in the late 60s Mayfair magazine ran at least twenty issues containing thought-provoking pieces by William Burroughs; Penthouse interviewed Germaine Greer and John & Yoko; and Playboy sought out real-life hippie chicks and groovy couples to get the lowdown on the era’s alternative lifestyles- albeit with the gradual removing of clothing. This was also the heyday of pop art: there are many examples of fantastic illustrations for articles on the hot topics of the day.

Alongside this, there were many fashion shoots involving both likely and unlikely pop and rock stars of the era. Check out symphonic pop geniuses Paul and Barry (Eloise) Ryan sporting the late 60s Mod look in one issue! In another, we found the doyen of British blues, Alexis Korner, looking suitably smug in his dandified threads alongside his female companion. There are some absolute classic adverts to be found as well, such as Peter Wyngarde’s Tabac ad!

It all adds up to a feast for fans of retro style. Rather handily, we do have a selection on offer at this very boutique, should this have piqued anyone’s interest…

A Trivia-Fest For All Dylan-Heads!

Impress your friends in the pub with these fascinating Dylan facts, brought to you by our own unrivalled Dylan fan… Alice was truly in her wonderland with this one!

We take a closer look at the cover of Bob Dylan’s ‘Bringing It All Back Home’, which features Daniel Kramer’s iconic photograph. Lots of fascinating details to be uncovered here!

  1. GNAOUA

GNAOUA, the single-issue literary magazine produced by poet Ira Cohen in the spring of 1964, sits on the mantlepiece. Created while Cohen was living in Tangier, Morocco, alongside William S. Burroughs, Brion Gysin and others in the artistic expat community, this magazine included contributions from Burroughs, Gysin, Allen Ginsberg and Jack Smith, among others. An intriguing collection of Beat poetry and Beat-influenced work! GNAOUA

2. Album: Lord Buckley, ‘The Best of Lord Buckley’

In Dylan’s own words, Buckley was the ‘hipster bebop preacher who defied all labels’.

3. Like a Rolling Stone...

Bob Dylan’s cat, Rolling Stone, sits on his lap. Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe that’s a Persian Blue…

Of all the photographs taken, this was the only one that Rolling Stone looked directly into the camera for! See another snap from the photoshoot below:

(image: Daniel Kramer)

4. Cufflinks

Dylan wears cufflinks given to him by folk singer Joan Baez. She later refers to them in her song, ‘Diamonds and Rust’:

‘Ten years ago I bought you some cufflinks
You brought me something
We both know what memories can bring
They bring diamonds and rust’

5. Dylan is reading an article about the original platinum blonde bombshell, Jean Harlow. A well known 1930s femme fatale!

6. More Records!

In a pile next to Dylan, we can see a small selection of records that greatly inspired him, including:

Ravi Shankar, ‘India’s Master Musician’

The Impressions, ‘Keep on Pushing’

Robert Johnson, ‘King of the Delta Blues Singers’

Lotte Lenya, ‘Lotte Lenya Sings Berlin Theatre Songs By Kurt Weill’

Eric Von Schmidt, ‘The Folk Blues of Eric Von Schmidt’

7. This particular cover of Time magazine from January 1965 shows President Lyndon B. Johnson, who succeeded JFK and sucked America deeper into the Vietnam War.

8. Sally Grossman, Albert Grossman’s wife, poses behind Dylan. Albert Grossman was Dylan’s manager at the time, also managing Odetta, Peter, Paul and Mary, John Lee Hooker, and Janis Joplin!

9. Dylan’s fourth album, Another Side of Bob Dylan, is just visible behind Sally Grossman.

We have a great selection of Dylan albums and even more Dylan-related records for all you Dylan-heads out there. We’ll leave you with this number from the man himself, filmed just behind the Savoy hotel in London!

“The Ones That Got Away”

Jessie Baylin, ‘Strawberry Wind’

New West Records, 2018.

Image result for baylin strawberry wind

I’m as guilty as anyone of letting Strawberry Wind slip under the radar! It should have been in my albums of the year, without a doubt. I was playing it through the other day and it’s an absolute gem of a record. Full of hooks and great melodies. Tracks like ‘In The Summertime’ and ‘Dream Catcher. invoke a woozy classic Sixties pop mixed with easy/bacharach style. The general vibe is of childlike wonderment at the world and if you appreciate Carole King, The Carpenters, sunshine pop you’ll absolutely love this!

 

“I Can’t Believe We’ve Still Got These!”

Here we celebrate some cult underground gems and some plain old classics, which for some inexplicable reason are still around…

The Sallyangie, ‘Children Of The Sun’

A must have for any fans of British acid folk from the halycon days of the late Sixties. Recorded by brother and sister Sally and Mike Oldfield, this LP has some stunning melodies and guitar playing. Sally Oldfield’s vocals are beautifully sung in a ‘she could only be from England’ style and the guitar playing from brother Mike, indespersed with some lovey flute garnishes, are as exceptonal as you’d expect!

Not available on CD at the moment, so even more reason to snap this one up on glorious gatefold vinyl.

We have a UK original gatefold laminted sleeve on the Transatlantic label, 1969 issue. The sleeve is in excellent condition with just some light creases and foxing. The record plays great and only has a very minor bit of background noise on the quieter moments. Dreamy!

Here’s a taster of the record!

Steve Tilston, ‘An Acoustic Confusion’

Some lovely period artwork draws you into this album straight away. Looks great and itdoesn’tdissapoint. The songs are acoustic and melodic in a wistful folky style. Steve’s vocals are not a million miles away from Nick Drake and Al Stewart, particularly the latter. Any fans of those two should be keen as mustard to pick this one up.

We have a UK original pressing from 1971 on the Village Thing label. The sleeve and record are in near mint condition. A fab copy!

Here we have “I Really Wanted You”, one of the tracks from the LP:

 

Giles Farnaby’s Dream Band, ‘Giles Farnaby’s Dream Band’

You can’t fail to be intriged by the stunning artwork and by the cult Argo label- anything on Argo is at worst incredibly interesting! This is very much in the Trad/medieval folk rock genre. A really unusual sound. It was put together by a combination of music ensembles: St George’s Canzona (a Derby-based folk band), The Druids and Trevor Crozier’s Broken Consort. Add some seasoned Jazz players to the mix and what could go wrong!

I’ve never seen it for sale or sold this album in my thirty-odd years of buying and selling, so it’s a real rarity.

We have a UK original from 1973 on the Argo label. Sleeve in excellent condition as is the vinyl. Dreamy!

 

Here’s “Past Time With Good Company”, for a taste of Giles Farnaby’s Dream Band!