Great Clubs You Wish You’d Been To Part One: Xenon NYC

Douglas Trumbull designed the space ship that featured in the main area, Studio 54 acolytes derogatorily referred to it as ‘Xerox’ and it was constructed in what was an old porn theatre, but when Xenon opened on a Wednesday in June 1978, it was filled by the consegnetti of the era including Peter Frampton, Tony Curtis, Paul Simon, Mariel Hemingway, Bob Evans, Liv Ullman, Polly Bergen, Tony Roberts, Ahmet Ertegun and Bob McAdoo.  It likely would have featured more celebrities at its opening if the owners hadn’t tipped off the press and had photographers waiting outside the door for their arrival.

Mariel Hemmingway on Opening Night June 1978 – Photo Stolen From Web

Located at 123rd West 43rd Street in Midtown, it was named for the word ‘Stranger’ in Greek, and was opened by Swiss / Italian restaurateur Peppo Vanini and concert promoter Howard Stein who had met at Studio 54 and realised that disco would be lucrative hustle for a further year or two at least.

Howard Stein Circa Late 1970sPhoto Stolen From Web

With silver walls, it’s mothership and a giant ‘X’ floating above the dance floor, the club also featured a mezzanine with “… seven ‘playpen’ areas, featuring electronic games and huge couches for lounging and watching the dancers and the various visual effects that descend from the ceiling, including a neon shooting gallery, three gigantic pinball machines and several Maypoles” as noted in a contemporary New York Times article.

Inside The ClubPhotos Stolen From Web

While its patrons popped ‘ludes or sniffed poppers and coke, tunes like Dancing in Outer Space by Atmosfear, Free Man by South Shore or I Don’t Want To Lose It by Bambu inflamed their senses. Future 1980s club hero Jellybean Benitez (who went on to be the main DJ for famed 1980s venue The Funhouse, was Madonna’s boyfriend and produced her break-out single Holiday), did his DJ apprenticeship here under the tutelage of Tony Smith.

Madonna & JellybeanPhoto Stolen From Web

Tony SmithPhoto Stolen From Web

According to famed night club photographer Bill Berstein, “They had these moving sets, backdrops that would [change] during the night,” he says. “Every half an hour, 45 minutes, you would look up and see a different room.” The club generally catered for a more upwardly mobile, straighter and whiter crowd than Studio 54, without being as white and working class as Bay Ridge’s 2001 Disco, made famous by 1977’s Saturday Night Fever.

BouncersPhotos Stolen From Web

Satisfied PatronPhotos Stolen From Web

Elton John, Andy Warhol, Jerry Hall, Unknown & Ahmet Ertgun Circa 1978 – Photo Stolen From Web

Divine and Grace JonesPhotos Stolen From Web

Various Good TimesPhotos Stolen From Web

Current Day Façade Circa 2015 – Screenshot By Author

During its time as a night club, it was featured in the surprisingly good 1981 Sylvester Stallone movie Nighthawks…

And in much the same way that Italian movies of the late 1970s and early 1980s tried to rip off all films emanating from Hollywood, they also tried to rip off New York nightclubs, creating their own version of Xenon in the early 1980s with demonstrably poor results.

 

When disco finally died an ignoble death in 1984, sadly so did Xenon. Howard Stein passed away in October 2007 at the age of 62, while Vanini died in 2012 after complications of Parkinsons disease. John F. Kennedy Jr., who wa a frequent visitor to Xenon in the early 1980s was noted in Jerry Oppenhemer’s book RFK Jr, as being “…truly saddened when he heard [Vanini], his ‘disco daddy’ had passed…

As undoubtedly many others were too. Were you there? Any recollections would be most welcome.

Written and posted by Horatio Cornblower. Copyright 2017. All rights reserved.

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and The Eastern Terraces with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stone Island – KT721

SI_Logo

Whilst wandering around the men’s department of Shinjuku Isetan, I came across a Stone Island counter. This would have been surprising if I had not already encountered one in the Mitsukoshi Department Store in Ginza a few days earlier, and now having the time I decided to peruse some items.

Isetan Map

Isetan Shinjuku Map. Screenshot by author.

As Californian rapper Rasco once said, ‘Time waits for no man’, and indeed in my advancing years I find myself drawn to items I would never have considered in my early twenties. Noticeably knitwear, which although once considered only the province of my grandpa, I now know to be considerably cooler by virtue of the fact that Steve McQueen preferred to get around in shawl necks in his prime 1960s years.

McQueen-Cardigan

Steve McQueen Repping Wool. Photo stolen from web.

So, looking for a new item that bore no resemblance to anything else I owned, I chanced upon a funnel neck cardigan that I believe is rather generically named ‘KT721’.

Knitwear_1

Knitwear_2

Unwrapping. Photos by author.

They come in a variety of colours, and without doubt white is – by far – the best looking one. I bought grey nonetheless, as having previously owned white clothes before, I know better than to ever, ever buy some again.  Unless of course, I wind up joining a cult… however presumably at that point, I am unlikely to be making my own choices regarding anything.

White VersionGray Version

White Versus Grey. Photos stolen from web.

It has a traditional button up front with a sneaky zip underneath, a very warm neck that can button up on itself and the standard Stone Island compass patch on the left arm.

Knitwear_3Knitwear_5

Knitwear_6

Zip and Buttons. Photos by author.

Inside the garment, you get a few spares buttons as well.

Knitwear_7

Spare Buttons. Photo by author.

The inside tag features some kind of clothing equivalent of microdot technology that enables the owner to identify whether it is legit or not and where it came from. Called Certilogo, interested customers can use the 12 digit code from the label  to check the authenticity of the item. Having bought this from a Japanese department store though I don’t feel the need, but appreciate the idea having seen how many fakes there are online.

Whilst hardly a bargain at close to $600 (AUD), this is nonetheless a comfortable, warm and in my opinion stylish piece of old man’s clothing.

Written and posted by Horatio Cornblower. Copyright 2015. All rights reserved.

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and The Eastern Terraces with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

LINKS:

Isetan Department Store: http://isetan.mistore.jp/store/shinjuku/index.html

[FYI, The Stone Island counter was located in what could only be described as the casuals section of the men’s department. Immediately adjacent were Montcler, Lacoste, Victorinox and Burberry/Aquascutum].

Stone Island: http://www.stoneisland.com/au

MONO Magazine

Mono Logo

Written and published in Japan, Mono is a pop culture document par excellence. Evidently aimed at men, it focuses on a variety of subjects, although predominantly features food, vehicles, fashion and technology with a slight emphasis – least in the issues I have seen – towards military history and its accoutrements.

Watch CoverUSA Cover

Articles have included the history of Japanese technology between the 1970s and 1990s, World War II bomber jacket designs, hand luggage and camping gear reviews and history of smugglers cars, whilst recurring features include convenience store food reviews and watch and shoe release updates.

Hand Luggage

Luggage Reviews.  Photo by author.

Combini Comparisons_4 Combini Comparisons_3 Combini Comparisons_2 Combini Comparisons_1

Convenience Store Food Reviews.  Photo by author.

Bikes

Motorcycle Reviews.  Photo by author.

Smugglers Cars

Analysis of bootlegger smuggling.  Photo by author.

Their authors tend to analyse the less covered segments of these common areas too. For example, in their USA Issue, they travel to the Mexico / USA border and speak with border patrol guards and check out dive bars in Juarez. When they look at shoes, it’s what’s on the feet of tech nerds or the best 1980s jogging shoe. If it’s watches, they ignore the Swiss and instead turn their attention 1970s Tokyo time pieces or Timex and low grade military watches.

USA Article USA Border2

USA Issue.  Photo by author.

Nerd Sneakers

Tech Company CEO Footwear Analysis.  Photo by author.

80s Sneakers

1980s – 1990s Jogging Shoe Analysis.  Photo by author.

70s Japanese Watches

Japanese Watches of the 1970s.  Photo by author.

Sadly, as my Japanese is poor, the virtue or lack thereof of the writing is impossible to analyse, but it is incredibly photo heavy and its attention to detail is on par with a variety of Japanese periodicals which seem to focus on the minutiae of their topics with an autism like focus.

Jeep Timex  WWII Bomber Jackets

Various Articles.  Photos by author.

Through their own shop, advertised in the back pages, they also sell many items such as authentic Vietnam issued Zippos, C-rations, military styled patches, pens, watches and various other items.

Vietnam Zippos Military Patches

Example Items Available Through Their Mail Order Shop.  Photo by author.

Freely available in many bookstores and libraries in Japan, it’s worth picking up and always entertaining.

 

Written and posted by Horatio Cornblower. Copyright 2016. All rights reserved.

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and The Eastern Terraces with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

LINKS: http://www.monomagazine.com/

FTC N-3B Jacket

 FTC 3B Front

Haight Street in San Francisco has few good shops. There is the superlative Amoeba Music which is a great place to find rare tunes and tee-shirts, but unless you want to buy weed and numerous accoutrements with which to smoke it, seemingly little else.

FTC Store Front

So it was with a smile on my face, I stepped into FTC. Located at 1632 Haight Street, FTC is a skateboard shop that has existed for over 20 years and has contributed significantly to both the local and world skateboard scene. Having championed street skating and street style in the early 1990s, FTC sponsored riders were a main stay in the photo spreads of Thrasher and Transworld when I was growing up, and finding the store by accident was a bit of a thrill.

Small, clean and well laid out in a split level style, the store didn’t feel like the skate shops I grew up frequenting at all. More like an upscale boutique. The staff were helpful but laid back, and didn’t bother me while I tried on a number of jackets or make me feel like I needed to buy something or get out.

I was in the market for a warm winter coat, as I was due to fly to New York within a few hours, and pulled out an N-3B jacket from the racks. These come in both black and khaki and contain heaps of pockets (about 10), a quilted lining and alterable cuffs. The fluffy part of the hood is attached with studs and easily removable.

FTC 3B Open

FTC 3B Hood

N3B Blk Vs Green

The staff claimed that they are made in Japan, but despite the label appearing to be written in Japanese, I believe they are actually manufactured in China.

FTC 3B Label

After toying with the idea of buying the black one, I eventually plumbed for the green as I have too many black jackets and felt it was reminiscent of NAS’ in the ‘Ain’t Hard To Tell’ video.

nas (2) nas2

They had a number of other cool jackets as well such as this hardcore spin on the MA1 flight jacket.

ftc_alpha_ma1

(FTC x Alpha Industries MA-1 – Picture obviously stolen from the web)

And this slick looking law enforcement inspired number below…

FTC Hood

(FTC Hooded Team Jacket– Picture obviously stolen from the web)

Combined with a black beanie I bought in the same store, I stayed toasty throughout my time in New York in February, so the jacket definitely keeps you warm and the array of pockets proved really useful. Check out the store if in the area or the websites if you ain’t.

FTC N-3B Jacket2

FTC N-3B Jacket5

 (Above two pictures obviously stolen from web)

Store / Company website: http://ftcsf.com/

Jacket for Sale: http://global.rakuten.com/en/store/ones-gp/item/ftc_n3b_jkt/

Written and posted by Horatio Cornblower. Copyright 2015. All rights reserved.

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and The Eastern Terraces with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

We Are FUCT

StickerI first came across FUCT in the pages of Thrasher around 1993. Their advertisements stood out amongst all the others by being far more subversive and dare I say, cooler than all the other wanna be radical labels that paid for space within the magazine. They were bold, post modern and announced their presence without really saying who they were or indeed, giving many clues as to what they did. Hooked on their anti-advertising, I discovered one of the first and without doubt the best ‘street wear’ clothing label ever devised. FUCT.

Fuct 1993 Thrasher AdFUCT 1995 Ad

Thrasher Ad 1996FUCT Ad

Advertisements from early 1990s Thrasher (Pictures stolen from the Web)

Founded in Los Angeles by Erik Brunetti in 1991, the label co-opted pop culture icons like the poster for Jaws, the gangsters from Goodfellas and faces of Kiss and used them Jamie Reid style on their tee-shirts, hoodies and caps. The well worn Ford styled ‘FUCK’ from many a 1960s counter cultural tee-shirt was recycled into their logo whilst the apes from 1968’s ‘Planet of the Apes’, found themselves holding crack pipes and peering out from the underside of decks.

Fuct 1994 Ape AdFuct Ford Logo

Growing up in pre-internet Australia, their oeuvre was both exceedingly hard to get and ridiculously expensive if ever found. No one would recognise it if worn, except for other skaters and wearing it while skating, it would usually get messed up. It did have a nice shock value though and sporting it and watching people smirk or snarl when they read the logo or saw the pictures was part of the fun, and eventually I managed to afford and get my hands on a few items, including this well-loved hooded top as seen below. [In case you wonder why I still have it, I am planning on giving it to my grand children].

1993 Era Hooded Top SMALLFuct 1994 DetailSMALL

It was painful to see Bathing Ape later co-opt and essentially steal Brunetti’s ideas and found an entire label based around one set of designs, but I digress…

Fuct 1994 Ape AdFUCT ApeThrasher Ad

Fuct 1994 Top SMALLBathing Ape 2002 SMALL

As the reason I am writing this is to show some love for the recently released Fuct hardcover book. Truthfully it was released a while back, but time is a cruel mistress… Nonetheless, it is a cornucopia of great pictures and wild ideas laid bare, and it sketches the story of FUCT while supplying plenty of pictures of ideas, sketches and design processes.

Cover SMALLBook Cover Stamped SMALL

Cover sleeve and embossed hard cover…

Graffitti Book SMALLGives way to Brunetti’s beginnings as a writer…

Book FUCT Logo SMALLCreating prototype logos…Book FUCT 1993 Ad SMALLIncludes the original acetate copy of the advertisement shown above whch was one of the first FUCT ads I ever saw…

Book Goodfellas SMALLBook Ape Sketch SMALL

Shows iterations of the aforementioned Goodfellas and Ape designs…

Book Ape Deck SMALLBook Lemmy SMALLAs well as this bad-ass Lemmy promotional poster…

Book Bad Brains SMALLApparently HR from Bad Brains lived in Fuct’s warehouse for a while…

Book Larry Clark SMALLAnd Larry Clark was a fan and collected their tee-shirts…

 

Over time Brunetti’s tastes evolved towards a sympathy with the late 1960s and early 1970s counterculture and the designs take on unique elements of those times, including the use of Sharon Tate’s and Anita Pallenberg’s faces in advertising material, a series of designs based around Vietnam (such as grunt’s helmets a’la the cover of Michael Herr’s Dispatches and patches worn by special forces), Easy Rider magazine style artwork, Playboy and Gilbert Shelton cartoons. Of particular note, is the fact that Brunetti managed to successfully trademark the Symbionese Liberation Army’s seven headed serpent logo. Presumably no wished to claim credit for it, or if they did, they were dead or in jail.

Patty Hearst with Machine GunFuct SLA Tee

However, it is this kind of idea that makes FUCT who they are, and in a world filled with sell-outs that cash-out at every available opportunity, I am grateful that they still exist and are still seditious over 20 years on from the label’s inception. Check it out if time and inclination permits…

Written and posted by Horatio Cornblower. Copyright 2014. All rights reserved.

You can find the book at http://www.amazon.com/FUCT-Erik-Brunetti/dp/0847839664

Fuct’s website is http://www.fuct.com

 

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and The Eastern Terraces with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Sergio Tacchini Colorado Windrunner

I like me some Tacchini.

Nice materials and generally tasteful styles which along with Fila epitomise a certain era of the 1980s. Created by Italian tennis player Sergio Tacchini in the mid 1960s in order to add a splash of colour to an otherwise staid looking game, the brand later expanded to various types of casual wear over the next few decades.

Notable wearees include John McEnroe at the height of his career as well as Aryton Senna and a variety of casuals who discovered them whilst abroad on away games.

The Colorado Windrunner Hooded Jacket is a classic looking match day top. Not dissimilar to the Sergio Tacchini – Masters McEnroe Tracksuit Top, it is a simple two colour piece made from light material with a zip right down the middle. It is a considerably less well known (or obvious) design than the Dallas (which featured so prominently in Nick Love’s film ‘The Business’), but more contemporary and stylish in my opinion.

There is a logo stamped on the zipper as well as one on the chest and an inner piece features on the inside of the collar to keep the wearer warm. The top itself is very light and comfortable with good sized pockets on the sides.

I got mine in navy blue…

But they are of course available in a variety of colours…

Not too pricey and worth checking out.

Written and posted by Horatio Cornblower.

 

 

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and The Eastern Terraces with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Gillette Slim Adjustable Safety Razor

Continuing the Bond theme from the last post, I came across one of these being used by Sean Connery in ‘Goldfinger’ (1964) and wound up sourcing and buying a mint 1964 one.

James Bond in Goldfinger

Similar to my recent purchase

Another fine example

They are a truly great razor. Well made, adjustable (from super close to immediate 5 ‘o clock shadow) and ultimately cheaper than modern cartridge razors due to the use of double edged razor blades. A pack of which retails for around $10 – $13 for ten, whereas a set of 6 Schick/Gillette cartridges would be about $16. When you consider the razor blades also last longer than the cartridges do, it’s a great deal.

Various Kinds of Blades

1966 Gillette Slim Adjustable

But it ain’t all about the money. These razors are stylish, feel heavy and encourage you to take more time, care and dare I say enjoyment in your shaving routine. Further, the Slim Adjustable is regarded as one of – if not THE – premier razor(s) ever made available.

I say “ever” as they are no longer made. Gillette produced the Slim between 1961 and 1968 before discontinuing the model in favour of the ‘Super Speed’ and ‘Super Adjustable’. The Slim itself followed in the footsteps of the ‘Fatboy’ which as its name suggests, was thicker and shorter than the Slim. The Fatboy is also a highly regarded razor and discussions about which model reigns supreme have taken up innumerable pages of shaving forums. Indeed, there is a mild cult around these razors as evidenced in the proliferation of websites such as Badger and Blade, the Executive Shaving Company, Art of Manliness and their cohorts which cater for both the discussion and sale of wet shaving supplies.

The Fatboy (1958 – 1961)

Prices for these razors vary, with re-plated mint versions selling for 200 pounds, while knackered E-bay bargains can still be had for $20 US and less. Good, clean examples with paperwork and boxes are obviously more expensive, but can be sourced for around the $60-$90 mark.

When buying keep an eye open to ensure the mechanism works smoothly, the adjustable numbers still have their black paint in them, the dial clicks correctly at each stop and more obviously, how weathered/rusted it appears.

To use them, you simply unscrew the bottom of the handle and the butterfly/silo head opens up, allowing you to drop a single double edged blade on top.  Adjust the dial to choose the aggressiveness of the shave and then re-screw the bottom of the handle to close the silo mechanism again. Having a blade on both sides of the head is also a definite plus, as you don’t have to rinse or shake out the razor as much whilst shaving.

Highly recommended.

LINKS TO FUTHER EXPLORE/PURCHASE

The Executive Shaving Company

http://www.executive-shaving.co.uk/vintage-safety-razors.php

Badger and Blade

http://wiki.badgerandblade.com/

E Bay

http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_trksid=p2050601.m570.l1313.TR0.TRC0&_nkw=gillette+safety+razors&_sacat=0&_from=R40

Video

Written and posted by Horatio Cornblower

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and The Eastern Terraces with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.