September 17, 2017

KAHO ASO 007

One of my all-time favorite records is Kabuki and Other Traditional Music by Ensemble Nipponia (Nihon Ongaku Sh┼źdan). A teacher made me a tape of it back when I was a senior in boarding school. I lived in a log cabin in the woods at the time, and I still have vivid memories of playing the tape in my battery-operated tape deck and hearing those sounds for the first time. My first impressions of Kabuki and Noh music, which can include some haunting vocalizations, was that it was pretty weird and a bit comical. I even carried the humorous interpretation into college when my roommate and I created a comedy routine/satirical Noh performance using dialog from our Japanese textbook. But over time my understanding and appreciation of traditional Japanese music and theater deepened. I think I started to hear the humanity and tragedy in many of the pieces. I then became an avid collector of Kabuki, Noh, Gagaku, and the more accessible forms of shakuhachi, koto, shamisen, and taiko music. So you can understand my glee when this video crossed my radar today. The video features an interesting ensemble that includes wadaiko (Keita Kanazashi), kotsuzumi drum/vocal (by the amazing Kaho Aso), accordion (Hirofumi Nakamura), and clarinet (Hidehito Naka). So why share it with Spy Vibers? The group plays a really cool cover of the James Bond theme, drawing on traditional Japanese and European/Jazz elements. You can hear it on the Fusion: East Meets West omnibus album (Amazon, AmazonUK, and iTunes). The project features various groups who blend traditions to cover classic tunes (the 007 theme is my fave of the bunch). NHK's video below starts with a nice intro to Kaho Aso and her drum. Enjoy! So... Spy Vibe just passed Two Million visitors yesterday. That was an exciting milestone! In other news, check out my episodes of the Cocktail Nation radio show, where I introduce classic spy films/TV series and play soundtracks and rare cuts: Episode #1 (Danger Man) and Episode #2 (The 10th Victim), Epsiode #3 (On Her Majesty's Secret Service), Episode #4 (Roger Moore/The Saint), and Episode #5 (The Avengers). Episode #6 (The Prisoner). Be seeing you! 


Selected Spy Vibe Posts: Two MillionBo DiddleyCarnaby PopLe Carre EventsBilly Bragg SkiffleElvis 68Jack Kirby The PrisonerCasino Royale ConcertReview: The Prisoner Vol 2Interview: The Prisoner Essential GuideMaud Russell MottisfontSpy Vibe Radio 4Batman GallantsAdam West R.I.P.Village TriangleRoger Moore R.I.P.Spy Vibe Radio 3Sgt Pepper 50thSatanik Kriminal OST60s OverdriveMake Love in LondonSpy Vibe Radio 2Spy Vibe Radio 1James Bond StripsPropaganda MabuseInterview: Police SurgeonXTC Avengers1966 Pep SpiesBatman Book InterviewExclusive Fleming InterviewAvengers Comic StripsRobert Vaughn RIPUNCLE FashionsThunderbirds Are Pop!, Interview:Spy Film GuideLost Avengers FoundThe Callan FileMission Impossible 50thGreen Hornet 50thStar Trek 50thPortmeirion Photography 1Filming the PrisonerGaiman McGinnins ProjectIan Fleming GraveRevolver at 50Karen Romanko InterviewMod Tales 2Umbrella Man: Patrick MacneeNew Beatles FilmThe Curious CameraEsterel Fashion 1966Exclusive Ian Ogilvy Interview007 Tribute CoversThe Phantom Avon novels returnIan Fleming FestivalArgoman DesignSylvia Anderson R.I.P.Ken Adam R.I.P.George Martin R.I.P.The New Avengers ComicsTrina Robbins InterviewThe Phantom at 80007 MangaAvengerworld BookDiana Rigg Auto ShowThe Prisoner Audio Drama Review.

September 16, 2017

2 MILLION

We've just just passed two million visitors! Thanks to everyone for joining me in the Spy Vibe lair over the years. It's been so fun to explore "1960s Style in Action" with you. I was first inspired to make this site when actor Patrick McGoohan (Danger Man, The Prisoner) died and I felt a blog would be a good way to celebrate my passion for Cold War-era pop culture and design. Little did I know spyvibe.com would connect many of us to a larger community of fans and writers. Over the years I've had a chance to share some of my own publishing and film projects (I still have a spy novel and a non-fiction book in the works!), and I've enjoyed talking to many of you collectors, authors, and artists to help get your projects out there on the radar. And most recently I have teamed up with the Cocktail Nation radio show from Australia to help introduce some great spy classics and rare recordings. But now, two million? You know, I had a pretty neat small-world experience this summer when I was touring filming locations from The Avengers in England. I handed my card to a fellow fan on the bus and he looked at it for a moment. And then he paused with a quizzical look on his face. Finally he said, "Oh, we know each other! I once won a Spy Vibe contest and you sent a Blu-ray edition of The 10th Victim to me in Australia!" That contest was back in 2011, after I helped Blue Underground with content for their Hi-def release. Sometimes we all probably feel like our own pad is far from the action, but this experience taught me that we are indeed a tribe. Again, thank you to all the Spy Vibers out there for being a part of this cultural celebration. Stay tuned to Spy Vibe for more interviews, articles, news, contests, events, and project announcements. To the next two million!


Selected Spy Vibe Posts: Bo Diddley, Carnaby Pop, Le Carre EventsBilly Bragg SkiffleElvis 68Jack Kirby The PrisonerCasino Royale ConcertReview: The Prisoner Vol 2Interview: The Prisoner Essential GuideMaud Russell MottisfontSpy Vibe Radio 4Batman GallantsAdam West R.I.P.Village TriangleRoger Moore R.I.P.Spy Vibe Radio 3Sgt Pepper 50thSatanik Kriminal OST60s OverdriveMake Love in LondonSpy Vibe Radio 2Spy Vibe Radio 1James Bond StripsPropaganda MabuseInterview: Police SurgeonXTC Avengers1966 Pep SpiesBatman Book InterviewExclusive Fleming InterviewAvengers Comic StripsRobert Vaughn RIPUNCLE FashionsThunderbirds Are Pop!, Interview:Spy Film GuideLost Avengers FoundThe Callan FileMission Impossible 50thGreen Hornet 50thStar Trek 50thPortmeirion Photography 1Filming the PrisonerGaiman McGinnins ProjectIan Fleming GraveRevolver at 50Karen Romanko InterviewMod Tales 2Umbrella Man: Patrick MacneeNew Beatles FilmThe Curious CameraEsterel Fashion 1966Exclusive Ian Ogilvy Interview007 Tribute CoversThe Phantom Avon novels returnIan Fleming FestivalArgoman DesignSylvia Anderson R.I.P.Ken Adam R.I.P.George Martin R.I.P.The New Avengers ComicsTrina Robbins InterviewThe Phantom at 80007 MangaAvengerworld BookDiana Rigg Auto ShowThe Prisoner Audio Drama Review.

September 14, 2017

BO DIDDLEY

Its always interesting to look at cross-pollination in pop culture, and the music scene in the early-mid 1960s was no exception. British kids inspired by African-American artists dedicated themselves to a mission: to honor their heroes by playing American roots music with reverence, and by citing their sources during concerts and television appearances. Kids like The Beatles, Clapton, and the Stones helped to spread the gospel, as it were, and they turned on a wider audience to their heroes, who had been, up to that point, limited to black labels and small venues. The Brits essentially reintroduced North America to its own largely forgotten and ignored culture and made it mainstream. And where artists like Howlin Wolf and Jimmy Reed found new success during the era, there were a few musicians who had already broken through the barriers in the States by crossing over to Rock and Roll in the early days of the form. I'd like to return today to one such hero -an old Spy Vibe favorite- Bo Diddley! Where would the 1960s have been without his trademark beat? And just to set the record straight, these are but a few of the UK acts who covered Bo: The Yardbirds, The Who, The Animals, The Shadows, The Rolling Stones, The Pretty Things, The Kinks, The Merseybeats, Manfred Mann, The Birds, and the Liverbirds. 


Elias McDaniel (1928-2008) moved from Mississippi up to Chicago as a young boy, where childhood pals gave him the nickname "Bo Diddley." The name stuck as a moniker through some early years as a fighter and onto the stage as a musician. Bo dreamed about pounding out traditional drum patterns and, inspired by John Lee Hooker, soon took to the guitar as a percussive instrument. This was the era in Chicago when Chess and VeeJay were pumping the airwaves with the sounds of John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters, Howlin Wolf, Jimmy Reed, and newcomer Chuck Berry. Bo knew that he couldn't do what they did on the guitar, so he went back into his corner (as he puts it in interviews) and figured out his own trade-mark approach to playing. That drummer instinct came through strong and we have what is now commonly called "The Bo Diddley Beat" - a Rumba-style rhythm that added the Hambone playfulness of banging out beats and rhymes. Bo didn't invent it, per se, but he certainly popularized it. Spy Vibers can hear some really raw iterations of the beat in the fife and drum music of northern Mississippi, for example.


Bo's side-guitar player left for the service in 1956 and was replaced by a female musician named Peggy Jones ("Lady Bo"). She established a swinging stage vibe with Bo Diddley and is known as one of the first female lead guitarists. The uncommon site of their male/female act, accentuated by the two rectangular guitars, was quite sizzling (and even erotic). Lady Bo was replaced in 1962 by Norma-Jean Wofford ("The Duchess"/above), who continued to boogie with Diddley as a rocking lady strummer. Together they made quite a few television appearances between 1962-1966 that captured their contagious, throbbing beat and cool moves- not to mention the stage-side Go Go dancers and teen audience! Check out some throbbing Bo Diddley beat below. In other news, check out my episodes of the Cocktail Nation radio show, where I introduce classic spy films/TV series and play soundtracks and rare cuts: Episode #1 (Danger Man) and Episode #2 (The 10th Victim), Epsiode #3 (On Her Majesty's Secret Service), Episode #4 (Roger Moore/The Saint), and Episode #5 (The Avengers). Episode #6 (The Prisoner). Enjoy!


Selected Spy Vibe Posts: Billy Bragg SkiffleElvis 68Jack Kirby The PrisonerCasino Royale ConcertReview: The Prisoner Vol 2Interview: The Prisoner Essential GuideMaud Russell MottisfontSpy Vibe Radio 4Batman GallantsAdam West R.I.P.Village TriangleRoger Moore R.I.P.Spy Vibe Radio 3Sgt Pepper 50thSatanik Kriminal OST60s OverdriveMake Love in LondonSpy Vibe Radio 2Spy Vibe Radio 1James Bond StripsPropaganda MabuseInterview: Police SurgeonXTC Avengers1966 Pep SpiesBatman Book InterviewExclusive Fleming InterviewAvengers Comic StripsRobert Vaughn RIPUNCLE FashionsThunderbirds Are Pop!, Interview:Spy Film GuideLost Avengers FoundThe Callan FileMission Impossible 50thGreen Hornet 50thStar Trek 50thPortmeirion Photography 1Filming the PrisonerGaiman McGinnins ProjectIan Fleming GraveRevolver at 50Karen Romanko InterviewMod Tales 2Umbrella Man: Patrick MacneeNew Beatles FilmThe Curious CameraEsterel Fashion 1966Exclusive Ian Ogilvy Interview007 Tribute CoversThe Phantom Avon novels returnIan Fleming FestivalArgoman DesignSylvia Anderson R.I.P.Ken Adam R.I.P.George Martin R.I.P.The New Avengers ComicsTrina Robbins InterviewThe Phantom at 80007 MangaAvengerworld BookDiana Rigg Auto ShowThe Prisoner Audio Drama Review.

September 10, 2017

ELECTRIC JAG

Jaguar announced this week they are moving toward the production of electric versions of their auto line. The plan is to have full electrification by 2020. In press releases this week, Jaguar also unveiled an especially exciting concept prototype: the E-Type Zero! Based on the classic design from the 1960s, which Enzo Ferrari called "the most beautiful car in the world", the E-Type Zero can go from 0-100 km in 5.5 seconds and has a driving range on 170 miles per charge (6-7 hours to re-charge). The car is currently a one-off, constructed as a conversion project. Jaguar is studying the market and likely hoping to appeal to younger drivers (and Spy Vibers). If total conversion remains the means of production, buyers could be looking at a very high price tag (over $400,000), but hopefully Jag can move toward mass assembly in the future if demand is high. The E-Type Zero is being featured at the JLR Tech Fest in London this weekend. Review at DrivingIn other news, check out my episodes of the Cocktail Nation radio show, where I introduce classic spy films/TV series and play soundtracks and rare cuts: Episode #1 (Danger Man) and Episode #2 (The 10th Victim), Epsiode #3 (On Her Majesty's Secret Service), Episode #4 (Roger Moore/The Saint), and Episode #5 (The Avengers). Episode #6 (The Prisoner). Enjoy!






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