Rare Moments In Time Never To Be Forgotten
By Jack Ripley | June 14, 2023
Claudia Cardinale, 1967.
The way that time makes our memory hazy can't be fought, it's the natural progression of life, but thanks to these rare photos from the groovy era there are at least a few moments that will remain crystal clear. Each story and image collected here will stay with us forever.
Some of the most important moments in history happened during the groovy era, and thanks to the following snapshots we'll never forget them. However, many of these photos aren't exactly what they seem.
Look closer... each of these photos contains a story within a story. Sometimes the stories are just waiting to be told, and other times they were nearly lost to history. These images are the key to going back... to finding those lost moments that we can keep with us forever.
Who is she? She can't just be some woman on the street, she's clearly a star. Claudia Cardinale may not have been the cat's pajamas of the American film industry, but she definitely made waves in Fellini's 8 1/2 as well as Girl with a Suitcase. If you've looked into Italian cinema you know exactly who this gorgeous gal is.
Cardinale actually cracked the U.S. in the '60s thanks to her role in The Pink Panther (a British production that put her on the map for the English speaking parts of the west), and she went on to star in genre pictures like Once Upon a Time in the West, a film that's become a staple of Sunday afternoon viewings since its release in 1968.
Andre The Giant And Minnie Mouse At Disney Land - 1975. Where's Mickey?
Andre the Giant has always been impressive. From his debut in the wrestling rings of Canada to his final years working in films like The Princess Bride, his tireless work ethic and amazing comedic timing made him a fan favorite whether you knew his work with the squared circle or not.
This picture is classic Andre. Not only did he love to have fun, but he was the kind of gentle giant who was more like a kid than a massive piece of muscle. Don't you get the feeling that he was right at home at Disneyland? His jovial nature and impressive size make him exactly the kind of character you'd expect to see palling around with Mickey and his crew.
3 children viewing the solar eclipse, February 26th, 1979. Anyone else do this?
On February 26th, 1979, a total solar eclipse occurred in North America, with the moon fully obscuring the sun for people across the country. The only way to watch this kind of show was with special glasses that protected the wearer from damaging their eyes. However, there was one catch to this eclipse: it was only visible in the Pacific Northwest.
The eclipse occurred around 8:14 in the morning in Portland, Oregon, and for about two minutes the entire city was thrust into an expanse of darkness as if it was night time all over again. Another eclipse like this one didn't occur again until August 21, 2017, 38 years later.
Jesse Ventura on the Predator set - 1987
What is it about Predator that makes it an almost perfect movie? Is it the '80s machismo running through the film like a code of DNA? Is it the way Arnold Schwarzenegger is like a constantly flexed muscle? Or is it Jesse Ventura's line readings of classic phrases like, "I ain't got time to bleed?" Maybe it's all of those things.
We all know that Ventura went on to become the governor of Minnesota, but at the time he was hoping to stick around the film industry and work with Bobby DeNiro of all people. The scuttlebutt on Predator was that Ventura spent most of his time pranking Arnold Schwarzenegger, either by making the Austrian machine think that he was losing muscle mass or just goofing on him. The whole atmosphere sounds like it was great time.
A group of schoolboys hanging out between classes in Havana, Cuba in 1937. The young man with the lollipop is Fidel Castro.
It's hard to imagine that the young boy enjoying a piece of candy in this photo is none other than the guerrilla leader Fidel Castro. The young Castro spent his early days studying at the Jesuit-run El Colegio de Belén in Havana where he found a great interest in history, geography, and debate even though he wasn't much of an academic.
Like a lot of boys his age, Castro took to sports like a duck to water. Ever the rabble rouser, Castro is said to have been a handful when he was at school, which makes sense, but at the time he wasn't leading a revolution in the lunchroom, he was more likely just talking back to his teachers.
Castro didn't become motivated towards revolution until years later when he studied law and the University of Havana.
Golden girl Susan Anton in the 70's.
Susan Anton can be seen in everything from Cannonball Run II to The Larry Sanders Show, and even Baywatch, but to people who came up in the '70s she's always going to be the Muriel Cigar Girl. Through her ads with Muriel she became a cultural icon, something that's absolutely mind boggling today.
Anton wasn't set on being a cigar model for her entire life, and parlayed her success into acting, and her first love, singing. Although, she admits that when she first started her modeling career she thought that she should keep her singing in the shower. She told Las Vegas Magazine:
When the Miss Redlands pageant came along there was a talent portion. I had this secret feeling. I thought 'I’m going to enter that and sing. I could sing.' I had never sung in front of anybody, but I just had a feeling I could do it. I decided to enter that pageant and I won, and that then sent me to Miss California, which sent me to Miss America. I finished second runner-up to Miss America, and so singing onstage and being in front of an orchestra and performing for an audience, I realized that this is what I really wanted to do.
1970 eclipse over Washington DC, in multi-exposure photograph.
This shot isn't just one shot, it's ten different exposures placed on a single frame to show the phases of a partial solar eclipse over Washington D.C. in 1970. Whether you know how this kind of thing is done or not it's still incredibly impressive.
To get an arresting image like this you have to know how to work the exposure on your camera and make sure that you have the right filter on your lens or the whole thing is going to wind up bunk. But if you manage to get all of that taken care of you can just sit back, relax, and as long as you remember to snap a shot at the right time you'll be good to go.
American soldier in Vietnam, 1965.
Taken in 1965, this shot shows a young soldier waiting on the beach of Da Nang, and while we don't know exactly who he is there are some things that we can surmise about this young man from the photo.
His clean white shirt and fatigues tell us that he has't been in Vietnam for long. He looks incredibly young, he may just be old enough to vote. Even so, he had to work to save the Vietnamese with the intellectual power of someone with many more years than his.
During the Vietnam War, soldiers had to face horrific weather and an unpredictable enemy that used the rough terrain to their advantage.
Catherine Bach (1980) The Dukes of Hazzard.
When we think of the Dukes of Hazzard we think of a few things: the General Lee, "them Duke Boys," and Daisy Duke, specifically the shorts that were named after the character. But here's the thing, Daisy Duke almost popped up on this long running series wearing a poodle skirt.
Thanks to Catherine Bach, Daisy Duke sauntered onto television in a pair of cut off jean shorts, but she really had to get the point across to the show's producers. She explained:
I had go-go boots, a white turtleneck and a blonde wig because the creator loved Dolly Parton. I thought, ‘We need a costume change.’ So I got my jean shorts that I could never get even, with cowboy boots and a little top … They loved it.
10-4, good buddy. Burt Reynolds and Sally Field starred in "Smokey and the Bandit" in 1977.
There have been car movies, but Smokey and the Bandit is the ultimate heist movie, but not just because it has an iconic ride. Burt Reynolds and Sally Fields inject humanity into this film that make it so watchable.
While speaking about the film, Reynolds says that it's not just the car that makes the movie so popular, but it's the interplay between the actors. While speaking with Hemmings, Reynolds explained that he fought for the cast because he felt that everyone in the movie would make it better. When asked why he pushed for the movie to be as good as it is he explained:
I wish I had better answer--a more complex one. It just seemed like it would be fun--there's the 'fun factor' again. I knew if we got Gleason, it would really be something. They couldn't get him without me, so I said okay. Then I wanted Sally, but nobody wanted her--they all said, 'Gidget? For this picture? Are you kidding?' and I said, 'She's sexy--talent is sexy!' She proved them all wrong with the Emmys and Oscars she received later on.
A Starr is born...Ringo and Barbara Bach getting married on April 27, 1981. She told reporters "I love the man, and that’s it."
Ringo Starr was no longer a member of the Fab Four when he tied the knot with Catherine Bach in 1981. But still, once a Beatle always a Beatle. The wild thing about this union is that the couple married in a small civil ceremony rather than in some enormous ceremony befitting rock royalty.
On August 27, 1981, the couple were wed at the Marylebone Register Office in London, and over the course of the '80s Starr - inspired by his marriage - got his life together, got sober, and put together the All-Starr Band, whom you can still see on tour today. While speaking recently about Bach, Starr said, "I think I love Barbara as much [today] as I did [when we met], and I'm beyond blessed that she loves me and we're still together.
A very serious looking Julie Andrews, 1959.
Julie Andrews has been in the entertainment industry for most of her life. She made her first appearance on stage at the London Hippodrome in 1947 when she was 12 years old. One year later and she was performing for King George VI, something that either gave her immense butterflies or ensured her that she was on the right career track.
By 1954, Andrews was on Broadway in The Boyfriend, a production that got her so much notice that she was invited to audition for My Fair Lady. By the end of the decade Andrews was performing less and less on stage as her commitments to the big screen were calling.
David Bowie in the mid 70's.
There has never been anyone who's as cool as David Bowie. He was almost cosmically detached from stardom even though he was one of the brightest stars of the 20th century's pop scene. After turning rock n roll on its head with Ziggy Stardust, Bowie dropped that act and moved on to something new, uncaring as to whether or not anyone caught up.
More than just being "a star," Bowie was interested in fame, and what the power of record sales plus magnetism could do for a person. He saw rock stardom as something that dangerously rubbed elbows with political leaders. Bowie took those fears and used them as his persona changed throughout the '70s.
After redefining rock n roll, he took the electronic pulses of krautrock and the dance power of disco and soul and made something truly unique out of the last years of the '70s. Whether he was your Star Man, your Hero, or your Man Who Sold The World, he was always David Bowie.
An early photo of a 17-year-old Norma Jean aka Marilyn Monroe, as she came to be known, in 1943.
This is not how we're used to seeing Marilyn Monroe. This pretty, brunette gal is a far cry from the blonde bombshell of the late '50s and 1960s. Her face is similar, but she looks nothing like the world weary star of Some Like It Hot and The Seven Year Itch.
Monroe's adult life was tumultuous to say the least, but her early years were somewhat stable. She lived with an adoptive, religious family, who made sure that the young Norma Jean slayed closed to home, but by the early 1940s she was modeling and starting to get noticed at a very young age.
By the time World War II broke out, Jean was married and working in a factory when she was discovered by a photographer. It's likely that the day she was discovered was her last normal day on Earth.
Coca Cola ad, 1960's.
Coca Cola has always been the leading force in advertising, not just among other soda companies. Their "buy the world a coke" and "hey kid you keep it" campaigns are some of the most recognizable ads on the planet, but even before they were spending money on television advertising they were juggernauts in the game.
This ad plays with the idea of what the reader is looking at. You can obviously see that it's selling Coca Cola, but there's a beautiful woman in the picture so there's already a double meaning on display. The text asks you to take more than one, but what "one" you're taking more of is completely up to you.
Andre the Giant holding Carol Vadnais and Bobby Orr of the Boston Bruins up in the air. (1972)
Carle Vadnais and Bobby Orr weren't small people. Vadnais stood over six feet tall and Orr was 5'11", so the fact that they're practically being dwarfed by the 7'4" Andre the Giant is absolutely wild. According to Orr, this shot wasn't a one time thing. Vadnais and Andre were friends who hung out often, and Andre liked to watch hockey (he was a proud Canadian after all), but this was news to Orr, he explained:
Carol Vadnais was acquired in a trade with the California Golden Seasls late in the 1971-72 season. We were skating around the Boston Garden during the warm-up before a game, and in the stands behind the net was this huge man with a gigantic head and an afro haircut. I had never seen anyone like him in my life. I said, 'Who is that? Look at that guy!' Vad said, 'That's my buddy, Andre the Giant.'
Orr continues, saying that after the game Andre came into the dressing room and hung out for a while. It must have been wild times in Boston.
Billie Holiday and her dog, Mister, at the Downbeat in New York, 1947.
We think of Billie Holiday as the raspy voiced woman who combined jazz, pop, and the blues into an other worldly sound, but Lady Day was more than just a vocal delivery machine like no other, she was a dog lover through and through.
Holiday loved her dogs, specifically a boxer named Mister, but she had many other canine companions throughout her life from a tiny poodle that she carried in her coat pocket, to a Great Dane named Gypsy. But it was Mister who received the most special treatment. When Holiday ate out in Harmlem she made sure the restaurants prepared a nice thick steak for the boxer. That's no a bad life.
Bob Dylan and George Harrison hanging out in Woodstock, NY (1968).
There have always been friends throughout rock history. Sure, you're mates with the guys in your band, but sometimes you just get on more with an artist that you're not hanging out with every day for years, that's what happened with George Harrison and Bob Dylan.
Harrison and Dylan started the Traveling Wilburys in the late '80s, but their friendship was forged long before that. They're both '60s icons, and Harrison spent his life talking about how great Dylan is, even after the two met in 1964. Harrison told Melody Maker:
Every single thing he does represents something that’s him. He may write better songs tomorrow, sing high on this album and low on another, go electric or acoustic, go weird or whatever, but the basic thing that causes all this change is an incredible character named Bob Dylan... He's the looniest person I know.
Very few people know that Carrie Fisher had an affair with Harrison Ford during Star Wars...
For fans who hoped that Han and Leia would get together throughout the original Star Wars trilogy, it turned out that they got their wish, just not how they thought they would. In 2016, Carrie Fisher revealed that she and Ford carried on a romance throughout the filming of the series, saying:
It was so intense. It was Han and Leia during the week, and Carrie and Harrison during the weekend.
However, after revealing the truth about what happened to them, Fisher said that she regretted putting Ford in that precarious situation. For his part, Ford was pretty cool about the whole thing. After Fisher passed on he said that the affair was not something he was willing to discuss.
Clint Eastwood, 1969.
Clint Eastwood is an institution; a writer, director, and actor who's been in everything from historical dramas to action films, to buddy comedies with orangoutangs. He's a force of nature. However, that isn't the case when he was just getting his start in the last '50s.
At the time, Eastwood was digging pools throughout the greater Los Angeles area and auditioning whenever he had a break. The actor said that no matter how hard he tried he couldn't get cast in anything interesting, but that all changed when he accidentally bumped into a producer on the CBS lot. He told the Hollywood Reporter:
I always tell people it takes just a little bit of skill and a heck of a lot of luck. So if you can get at the right place, I went in the 50s, all through the late 50s up till 1959 and ’60 I was just digging the swimming pools out in Encino and just working for a United Pool Company up in L.A and running down didn’t have cell phones so we ran down and slapped a nickel or a dime into the thing and call your agent and the agent would tell you get lost, kid... finally I accidentally ran into somebody out at CBS on Beverly Boulevard and they were doing a western called Rawhide. And they cast me as one of the leads.
Doing the Bunny hop...Hugh and his bevy of beauties at the Playboy Mansion in 1979.
Hugh Hefner is one of the most complex people of the 20th century. He was a bastion of free speech and the feminist movement, all while running a magazine that ran pictorials of beautiful models. He surrounded himself with gorgeous women and claimed that he was looking for real, long term, love even though he never never nailed that down.
As Hefner's empire got off the ground in the 1970s he faced immense backlash from the FBI. According to Hefner they were constantly trying to find something on him, and the stress was so bad that he lost a ton of people who worked for him. Hefner was never caught with anything other than too many women, something that you can't fault him for.
Eleanor Donahue, Ron Howard, and Andy Griffith - The Andy Griffith Show (1960's).
It's rare to have a ten year career in Hollywood, so the fact that Ron Howard has had a multi-decade, multi-hyphenate run in the entertainment industry is absolutely wild. The young Howard got his start on The Andy Griffith Show, and he says that his time there shaped his life in more ways than one.
Howard, who appeared in more than 200 episodes of the series, says that Griffith on set demeanor helped him figure out how to run his sets when he was directing. He told PopEater:
He treated me really well, but he made it a learning experience, not in a stern, taskmaster kind of a way, but I was really allowed a real insight into creativity and how things work and why some scenes were funny and others weren't. That insight has served me really well over the years. Andy was really kind to me, always playful and fun, but, by the same token, he wanted to get the work done.
Elvis Presley outside of the Warwick Hotel in New York. (March 1956)
Elvis Presley transcended the idea of a rock star, a pop star, or a film star. He was an entity unto himself. It's strange to think that fame found him so young. Before he turned 20 years old he was a country star, and a few years after that he was world wide phenomenon.
By the time Elvis was starring in films his life was never going to be the same, there was no going back to "normal," but Presley says that nothing changed for him even as his paychecks grew and grew. He said:
I guess everyone wonders what he'd do if he got lucky and got in front of the public and got real well-known. I remember I used to think about that when I was driving a pickup truck in Memphis I used to dream about being a success and wondered how my life would change if it should ever happen. Well, I can tell you how I feel about it now. I don't feel a bit different now than I did before all this happened. I'm just like I always was. Of course, I guess everybody says this. And even though they say it, a lot of people change anyway, without knowing it. But actually, I'm sure I haven't. I've never felt a change. I feel the same now as I did five, ten years ago. The only difference I've felt since then is happiness, and that things have gotten better for me
Gene Wilder (1950)
Gene Wilder, that subtlety daffy actor who played an excellent straight man through comedies like Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein had a love of acting from a young age. After graduating from the University of Iowa in 1955, he went to Bristol, England for a while to study fencing before returning to New York to study the Stanislavski system of acting.
Before he could become fully embroiled in the actor life, Wilder was draped into the military in 1956. He ended up training in Fort Sam Houston before returning to the Northeast to act as a paramedic in the Department of Psychiatry and Neurology at Valley Forge Army Hospital, in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania.
Wilder didn't return to the stage until 1958, when he was honorably discharged from the military.
Jerry Lewis as Buddy Love in the "Nutty Professor" in 1963.
Jerry Lewis is a one man comedy chaos machine. He can be over the top, he can be glib, he can hold things in, but no matter what he's doing he's doing it out of the need to entertain.
Martin Scorsese, who worked with Lewis in The King of Comedy, says that he's always loved watching Lewis no matter what movie he's in because it's always going to be satisfying, even if it's Lewis is doing something entirely insane. He told The Guardian:
When you watch The Nutty Professor or The Bellboy or my favorite, The Ladies Man, you’re watching the work of someone who is using every single aesthetic element of the cinema, sometimes to the point of making film‑making itself into a gag.
Jerry Lewis, 1970 R.I.P.
We often think of Jerry Lewis as a funny man, an over the top comedy giant who will do anything for a laugh. That's true, of course, but he was also an intellectual, and someone who raised more than a billion dollar for children with M.S.
Aside form just being a comedic actor, Lewis was a director who penned books on how to shoot film and he even thought a class at USC on directing. It's wild to think of Jerry Lewis as an educator, but he's a man with many contradictions.
In 1977, Lewis was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize and he won an Academy Award for his work with "Jerry's Kids." When asked if he would have rather won for his films he said:
No difference. If I got the Oscar because I was setting up an orphanage for puppies, I don't care.
John Travolta (1975).
It's hard to think that we've been watching John Travolta on screen for more than three decades. As he put it while speaking with Variety, he's been receiving career awards since the '90s, but he doesn't think his career is actually long enough.
While speaking with the Hollywood news site, he noted that there are actors with much longer careers than he's had, namely Clint Eastwood. In 2013, he said:
Your average career runs about 30 years, so I’m about five years past that. Clark Gable and Cary Grant were all still doing movies at my age and older, but they generally used to stop a lot younger. Now, you’ve got Eastwood, who’s 83 and still doing movies. Things are a little different now.
Johnny be good! John Lennon and his idol Chuck Berry on the Mike Douglass show in 1972.
John Lennon was always a huge fan of Chuck Berry, the rock n roll icon who essentially created a genre out of thin air by doing nothing more than playing the blues, but playing it as fast as he could. Berry's playing influenced Lennon to write his own songs and start The Beatles.
When Lennon finally had a chance to speak with and about Barry on the Mike Douglas Show he was extremely effusive about his idol, essentially telling Berry how much the guitarist meant to him. He said:
He was writing good lyrics and intelligent lyrics in the 1950s when people were singing ‘Oh baby I love you so.' It was people like him that influenced our generation to try and make sense out of the songs rather than just sing ‘do wah diddy.'
Lindsey Buckingham performing live, 70's.
This shot of Lindsey Buckingham shows the concentration and strength needed to get through life in Fleetwood Mac. Every band has their ups and downs, but even Fleetwood Mac's ups and downs had their own ups and downs.
When Buckingham and his ten girlfriend Stevie Nicks were hired to be in the band they were at an emotional breaking point, and it wasn't until after they finished their first tour and were going into the studio that they told the band that they'd broken up.
Singer and keyboard player Christine McVie said of attempting to record an album after Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham broke up:
Everybody was pretty weirded out. But somehow Mick was there, the figurehead – ‘We must carry on, let’s be mature about this, sort it out.
And sort it out they did. The band recorded Rumours, easily their most successful album and one of the most successful rock records ever.
Lisa and Louise Burns in "The Shining" (1979).
The twins in The Shining are easily two of the scariest characters in horror. They're so so freaky, and yet they're actually played by two little kids. For the twins, Lisa and Louise Burns, the experience was a lot of fun because they were treated like members of the cast, not kids.
They noted that even though they were working with Stnaley Kubrick, a famous task master, they had a ton of fun on set - mostly because Kubrick wanted then to have a good time. They explained:
Oh my God, we loved it. Everyday felt like we’d been invited to a very exclusive party and we were the youngest, luckiest people to be there. Stanley wanted us on set every single day, so between scenes we would play with Danny [Lloyd] and Jack [Nicholson].
Marilyn Monroe looking into a funhouse mirror, c. 1950's.
Marilyn Monroe is the great enigma of the 20th century. A blonde bombshell who was nervous about appearing on screen, and an amazing comedic actor who never felt good about her work even after she studied. Don Murray, a fellow actor in the 1956 film Bus Stop explained:
She was a very experienced film actress, but she could forget so many of the mechanical techniques. She would constantly miss her marks so she would be out of focus or out of the light or in a shadow. I think it was a lack of confidence. For somebody who the camera loved, she was still terrified of going before the camera and broke out in a rash all over her body.
Michael Jackson and Quincy Jones at the 1984 Grammy Awards, after winning 8 awards for their Thriller album.
There's no doubt that Thriller is one of the greatest albums of the 20th century. It's nothing but hit after hit after hit, and while much of that comes from Michael Jackson's voice, it also comes from the production of Quincy Jones, a producer who's behind some of the most beloved albums of the '60s, '70s, and '80s.
Jones said one of the greatest moments of his life was when he met a family, and each of them loved a record from a different point in his career. He told Vulture:
It was the first time they celebrated Dr. King’s birthday in Washington, D.C., and Stevie Wonder was in charge and asked me to be musical director. After the performance, we went to a reception, and three ladies came over: The older lady had Sinatra at the Sands, I arranged that; her daughter had my album The Dude; and then that lady’s daughter had Thriller. Three generations of women said those were their favorite records. That touched me so much.
Morrissey and a very lucky Smiths fan, circa 1983.
When it comes to fandom, there's really nothing like the fans of The Smiths, and Morrissey in particular. His deeply intense and emotional lyrics, his romantic worldview, and his sardonic humor all feed into the nascent worldview of a young person reaching for answers and looking for help from someone who understands them.
It must have been amazing for a young fan to meet Moz and the band (we see Johnny Marr back there!) outside a show. And not only that but to see that Morrissey is a bit of a goof as well. It makes a cold heart warm to see a photo as sweet as this.
Nancy Kwan and Lionel Blair, The World of Suzie Wong, 1960.
The World of Suzie Wong was romantic drama of much to do in 1960, but star Nancy Kwan wasn't always set for the role. Initially, Broadway star France Nuyen (who played the part on the stage) was going to reprise the role in the film, and she actually did film for about five weeks.
Unfortunately, Nuyen was dating Marlon Brando at the time, and he stressed her out so much that she began to overeat as a way to cope with the stress. She couldn't fit into her costumes and production had to stop while she got her weight under control.
Rather than wait for Nuyen to get back in shape, the producers fired her and hired Kwan, which means that they had to reshoot the entire five weeks of finished film that was in the can.
Noel Redding, Jimi Hendrix and Mitch Mitchell of the Jimi Hendrix Experience - London, UK - August 21, 1967
For a brief, few years the Jimi Hendrix Experience was the premiere rock n roll band of the west. Fronted by the greatest guitar player to ever walk the Earth, the band was unstoppable. Well, until they weren't.
Bassist Noel Redding says that the band was constantly cooking on stage, but that Hendrix didn't know a good thing when he had it. Redding said of the chaos that surrounded Hendrix at all times:
Jimi is a very good guitarist, but he was very hard to work with. I think he suffers from a split personality. He’s a genius guitarist and his writing is very good, but he whips himself. He gets everybody around him very uptight because he worries about everything. God knows why. I could never understand why he worried so much. I mean, we were earning a fortune on the road. On three occasions, we earned over $100,000 for a single performance. In the last 12 months, I don’t think we ever copped less than $25,00 for a night’s work.
People dancing at Studio 54, 1978.
If you wanted to see or be seen in the 1970s there was nowhere better to go than Studio 54. The premiere dance club of New York City invited revelers to stop by dressed to the nines and to drop all their inhibitions while they danced the night away.
Once you got past the doorman (famously, some people never made it into the club) you were free to do as you pleased as long as you didn't harsh anyone's good time. Stars, normies, and riff riff alike danced until dawn for a few glorious years at this urban dream land.
Robert Plant and Jimmy Page checking their horoscopes, 1969.
Long fascinated by mythology and magic, Jimmy Page was a rock n roll wizard who structured his life through the astrological signs. Page didn't let his horoscope dictate his life, but he did feel that a person's birth chart was important, especially when it came to the members of Led Zeppelin.
While speaking about the band he explained the important astrological alchemy that occurred within the group:
Oh, it was quite interesting astrologically. Because you had Robert, a Leo, as a front man, which is perfect... And you had two Capricorns – John Paul Jones and I – and then you had John Bonham, which is the twins, Gemini. Astrologically, I could see there was a sort of power, if you like, there. If you think about it, it’s interesting.
Robert Shaw, Roy Scheider, Steven Spielberg and Richard Dreyfuss minus the shark during the filming of Jaws. (1974-75).
Steven Spielberg is open about the fact that he had no idea what he was doing when he made Jaws. He was a green director who thought that it would be easy to go out on the ocean and make a movie with a giant mechanical shark. He learned quickly that things weren't so easy.
Really, Spielberg should have figured that out before his first day because he couldn't cast anyone in the picture. While speaking about the film to Entertainment Weekly, Spielberg admitted that he couldn't get anyone to star in Jaws, so much so that he started to panic. He explained:
Casting sometimes is fate and destiny more than skill and talent, from a director’s point of view. First, I went to see Lee Marvin and he said no. Then I went to Sterling Hayden and he said no. Then finally David Brown, who had just worked with Robert Shaw on The Sting, and said, ‘What about Robert Shaw?’ I said, ‘David, you’re a genius!’ And Robert said yes. That was a simple story, although it took six months to cast Quint, and I went to several actors before Roy Scheider... Roy actually said to me, ‘You have such a glum look on your face. What’s the matter?’ I said, ‘Aw, I’m having trouble casting my picture.’ He actually said, ‘Who have you gone out to?’ I named a few names and he looked at me and said, ‘What about me?’ He actually said, What about ME?!? … I looked at him and said, ‘You’re right! What about you? Will you make my movie?’ Without even asking for a script he said, ‘Of course! If you want me, I’ll do it!’… And Richard Dreyfuss was my first choice.
Robin Williams and his wife having a good time at Studio 54 in the 70's.
The heyday of Studio 54 was in the 1970s, and after it was shut down my the federal government (long story) it was reopened by Mark Fleischman after he promised not to carry on with their hedonistic ways. Did that happen? Sort of? Kind of.
Fleischman says that he did his best to turn the club into something much nicer, even if he still continued to et the libidinous excess of the original Studio 54 survive in the shadows. He said that even though the club was under new ownership that the stars were still coming out, especially Robin Williams, whom he said was the life of the party on and off the dance floor.
Shady lady - Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller looking stylish while going for a drive. (1950's)
Referred to as "the Hourglass and the Egghead," Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller were the original odd couple. She was considered one of the most beautiful women in the world and he was, well he was a playwright. That's not a profession that's considered all that sexy.
Why was Monroe drawn to Miller? After all, she loved baseball great Joe DiMaggio and classic hunk Tony Curtis, not guys who sit at their typewriters all day. What did Miller say to her to make the blondest of blonde bombshells interested in him? Let's let him tell you:
I said, ‘You’re the saddest girl I’ve ever met.’ A smile touched her lips as she discovered the compliment I had intended. ‘You’re the only one who ever said that to me.’
A stylish group of Londoners watching a partial solar eclipse back in 1954.
There's something very quaint about seeing a group of well dressed Londoners looking at an eclipse through simple card projectors, otherwise known as two pieces of white cardboard or paper plates. Or if you want to get really DIY with it you can use two pieces of white paper.
Apparently you can use these cards to look directly at an eclipse, but just in case we're wrong don't follow the directions of these nice English people. The coolest thing about this is how well dressed these people are. It's honestly nice to see a group of people get into their Sunday's finest to check out an eclipse.
The beautiful songstress with the long tresses, Crystal Gayle (and younger sister of Loretta Lynn), 1977.
Her sister may be the forever indie Loretta Lynn, but that hasn't stopped Crystal Gayle from chasing after her dreams of combining country and pop to become one of the biggest stars of her day. Gayle has said that a lot of Nashville wasn't hip to her scoring hit after hit after hit.
Gayle scored one of her biggest hits with "Don't It Make Your Brown Eyes Blue," a pop tinged country song that took the country by storm. Nashville may have not liked that she was crossover success, but they had to respect her ability to do what no other artist could.
The New York Dolls, 1975.
When The New York Dolls hit the New York scene in the 1970s, there was nothing like them. With their exciting, proto-punk and post garage rock tunes they blew minds and made believers out of everyone who saw them. And they did it all while dressed in women's clothes.
Their style was copied a million times over, but initially the band had to figure out exactly how they wanted to get dressed. New York Dolls guitarist Sylvain Sylvain explained the process to Vogue:
We never had that roundtable meeting—‘you’re gonna wear this and you’re gonna wear that.’ Johnny, man, forget it. He was a natural. In school, forget it. He had his ways of making money and getting his clothes. Of course we were crazy about T. Rex and Marc Bolan. One day we saw [Bolan] wearing these gray suede Mary Janes, and the next day I see Johnny and he’s got a pair almost like them! These guys had natural stuff, and New York and the times and the lack of funds but no lack of creativity—just putting that all together.
Jamie Lee Curtis, 1970's.
Jamie Lee Curtis should have been a star from a young age. Both of her parents are incredibly famous, and she grew up in Los Angeles, but in spite of being the spawn of Janet Leigh and Tony Curtis, Jamie Lee just couldn't find a job.
When she was hired to star in a sequel to Petticoat Junction she was quickly fired from her gig and she thought it was the end of her career - but she did't give up. Thanks to losing her gig on TV she was able to take part in a cheap little horror movie directed by some guy named John Carpenter.
The film, Halloween, destroyed box office records and made Curtis into a scream queen for the next decade before she broke out into mainstream films.
The opening day of Star Wars Episode IV... (1977).
George Lucas didn't think that anyone would see Star Wars when it was released in theaters on May 25, 1977. That Memorial Day, he expected, would be quiet. He was wrong. The film brought in $461 million in ticket sales (this is the initial release, it's a billion dollar film now), and people flipped out for the chance to see such a lovingly made space opera. Carrie Fisher later told Time Magazine:
It wasn’t like a movie opening. It was like an earthquake [with] a new order of geeks, enthusiastic young people with sleeping bags.
The kind of response that you see in this photo is exactly how every other Star Wars premiere went afterwards. This photo shows the beginning of a revolution.
This photo gives new meaning to giving someone a lift! Here's Andre the Giant lifting an Aston Martin DB5.
Dubbed the "Eighth Wonder of the World" because of his large frame. He was 7'4" and weighed more than 500 pounds, it's an understatement to say that he was a big guy. He wasn't just large, he was powerful. According to the people who knew him he never worked out, he was just a massively powerful person.
This super strength wasn't because he was some superhero, he actually had a hormonal disorder called acromegaly, a disease where your pituitary gland produces too much growth hormone and causes your organs to grow to extreme size.
So how strong was Andre? There's footage of him carrying around men who weigh hundreds of pounds, picking up 2,000 pound weights, and carrying out different feats of strengths, but it's likely that he didn't even know how much he could lift.
Throwback of when Patrick Stewart had hair! (1975)
It's weird to see Patrick Stewart with a full head of hair, right? We're so used to him ordering people around on the Enterprise with his beautiful bald head that it's honestly a shock to see him like this.
Stewart says that he started losing his hair when he was 19 years old, something that freaked him out beyond all recognition. At the time he said that he wore hats all the time and put his hair in a combover to try and hide his baldness while he was in acting school. However, during a fateful lunch with a couple of friends who hated the combover he came to accept his hair. He said:
There was a man who had been at drama school with me ... he was a good, loyal friend to me. He was also a judo black belt... He and his wife invited me for lunch one day. It was very nice, bottle of wine. And the two of them got up after lunch, I thought they were going to make coffee or something, and all of a sudden, I was grabbed from behind ... and then his wife appeared in front of me with a pair of scissors.
The combover didn't last much longer.
Tippi Hedren on a promotional tour for The Birds, feeding the pigeons in Trafalgar Square in 1963.
Tippi Hedren famously had an awful time filming The Birds, the last of Hitchcock's masterpieces. Not only was Hitchcock a jerk to Hedren throughout the filming, but she had to deal with actual live birds who were trained to peck at her in order to make the film more realistic.
While speaking about the process, Hedren noted that the scariest moment for her came with a combination of an angry seagull and a phone booth. She said:
One of the birds crashed in with such force that it broke the glass and it shattered. They spent the afternoon with tweezers, picking shards of glass out of the left side of my face.
We will Rock you! Pro Wrestler Rocky Johnson with his son, Dwayne The Rock Johnson. (1981)
Dwayne Johnson comes from a long line of proud, Samoan wrestlers, but his father was prouder than most and wanted to make sure that his son gave everything he had, whether he was working out or hitting the wrestling mat.
Johnson says that his father instilled within him a work ethic that he'll never kick, and he's proud of it. He wrote in part on Instagram:
Back when I was a punk kid, my dad would take me to the gym on weekends and [destroy] me in the weight room and on the wrestling mats. He’d say, ’You didn’t get up early to come here and give [half an] effort. Leave it all in the gym... Leaving it all … means you give every ounce of effort you can; to give the best performance you can give.
Xerox office meeting on bean bags, smoking was allowed (1970's).
Taken at the Xerox office in the 1970s, this shot shows what it was like to be in the "office" of a new company that didn't have anything but dreams in their heads. It's weird to think that there was a time when people weren't just allowed to smoke in an office, but that it was encouraged.
Weirder than the smoking indoors is thinking that Xerox was once made up of young people who hung out on beanbag chairs like they didn't have anything to do all day. It looks similar to the open office space of the modern era, which is absolutely fascinating. Do you think they have cold brew on tap? What about white board tables? Maybe those are on the way.
Young Ralph Fiennes in the 1980's.
Before he was Voldemort, Ralph Fiennes spent the 1980s treading the boards with the Royal Shakespeare Company, something that he still does to this day. Fiennes has said that the film industry stresses him out to no end, but when he's onstage reciting Shakespeare he's at home. Not only because he's done it for so long, but because he can just be himself. He explained:
The thing about playing Shakespeare is if you say the lines, you are the character. I was talking to Ian McKellen the other night and he said Shakespeare wouldn’t have had a concept of playing characters. If you say Hamlet’s lines as yourself, you are Hamlet. Essentially it is quite simple. You just have to be in the moment of what you are saying because the language carries so much. You are saying those thoughts as I am speaking to you now, in the present moment, trying to be as clear as I am.
Dean Martin, Marilyn Monroe, and Jerry Lewis @ the Redbook Awards .
Dean Martin always had Marilyn Monroe's back. When she was being weird with Frank Sinatra in front of the press, and especially when she was fired from Something's Gotta Give. Martin made sure to take care of the actress, so much so that he forced the producer's hand and made sure that she was rehired on the project. Monroe made sure that Martin was hired on as her leading man, so he just paid her back when her chips were down.
Unfortunately, after Martin put his neck out of Monroe to make sure she got her job back the actress passed away in her home in Los Angeles. Martin, who had just seen her, was quoted as saying, "I don't believe it - I don't believe it."
Daring to go bareback or barefoot Skateboarding with bare feet during the 70's in California.
In southern California in the 1970s either you were skateboarding, or you weren't cool. The extreme sport took hold of the landscape during the drought that hit in the '70s, drying up drainage ditches and leaving nothing but concrete for the kids to carve up all day in the heat.
During this era of skateboarding, anything you wanted to do on board, you did it. Street skating, ripping up the pool, it was all good to go in the early, anarchic days of the mid '70s.
Today's boards are methodically designed to be perfect for skating, but in the '70s kids were basically riding wood planks with wheels. It was amazing and beautiful, don't you wish we could go back?
Chilling out on Piccadilly rooftop, London, 1953.
You've got to get a tan somewhere in London, right? And it's not like you can just hit the highway and go out to the surf and sun like you live in Los Angeles. And it's not even like the the weather is always right for getting nice and crisp.
These gals are just doing what every young person across the world have done since buildings had roofs - climbing on top of a building and hanging out. There's really nothing better than getting on a roof on a warm day, opening up a couple of cold beverages and building your own world until the building super comes upstairs and kicks you back to the ground level.