Great Homes You Wish You’d Visited Part One: 1 Courtfield Road, South Kensington


This large studio apartment located just off the Gloucester Road in SW7, was the home of Rolling Stones guitarist Brian Jones and his girlfriend, actress / model Anita Pallenberg who took up residence in September 1966. With its rooms decorated by sixties interior designer de jour Christopher Gibbs – who would later do similar work for Mick Jagger’s townhouse and the set of the movie Performance – 1 Courtfield Road exuded a distinctly middle eastern vibe. Walls were hung with Moroccan tapestries, cushions lay all over the floors and a large water pipe dominated the centre of the living room.


Brian Jamming Amongst The TapestriesPhoto stolen from web.

Above the living area was a loft / minstrel gallery. Accessible via a rope ladder which led to a trap door inside, the gallery was constructed from carved wood and it was filled with instruments belonging to its new occupant.

brian-striped-pants brian-infront-of-self-painted-mural

Brian Holding Court In CourtfieldPhotos stolen from web.

According to a 1972 biography on Mick Jagger written by Tony Scaduto, it was here that Brian Jones first took LSD shortly after he and Anita Pallenberg had begun living together and a “…weird court like scene…” developed around them at this apartment. Visiting American artists such as Bob Dylan and The Byrds would come by, as would members of the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, as well as young local dignitaries such as Guinness heir Tara Browne (immortalised as the man who ‘blew his mind out in a car’ in A Day In The Life) and baroness in waiting Alice Ormsby Gore.

jaggeratcourtfield4  courtfield



Mick and Keith Kicking It At Courtfield Circa Early 1967Photos stolen from web.

Marianne Faithful who was still living with her husband at the time, and who had become friendly with Anita, visited them often and described the atmosphere:

“They’re like a king and queen with a whole court, all those upper class people who are going to be lords and dukes someday, and they’re acting like Brian’s groupies. They should know better.”


Mirror, Mirror On The Wall, Who’s The Fairest Of Them All?Photo stolen from web.

Marianne was there one day when Brian’s former partner Linda Lawrence came by with their baby and some members or her family in order to shame Brian into paying child support. Brian’s heartless response was to stand on the balcony with Anita and his friends and laugh at her until she went away in despair. Following his arrest for drug possession in May 1967, Brian utilised the balcony a second time to give an ill conceived speech to gathered reporters about police harassment while simultaneously looking completely wrecked from drugs.

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Brian Giving Balcony Press Conference June 1967Photos stolen from web.

Tony Sanchez, who was essentially Keith Richard’s heroin dealer during the late 1960s and early 1970s, noted that Brian and Anita would be merciless to those that incurred their displeasure. “Anyone who displeased them would be banished from the flat and shunned immediately by any friends who wished to avoid offence to their highnesses”.


Brian and Anita At Courtfield RoadPhoto stolen from web.

When Keith Richards broke up with his girlfriend Linda Keith (due to her dallying with Jimi Hendrix), he started spending more and more time hanging out with Brian and Anita at Courtfield Road. Together they dropped a lot of acid and made demos. One of which evolved into the 1967 song Ruby Tuesday. At the same time Richards began to absorb more and more of Jones’ sartorial tastes until by the beginning of 1967, he too looked like a complete hippie dandy.

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Keith Richards Before & After Courtfield RoadPhotos stolen from web.

As Richards’ states in his semi-ghost written autobiography, “I just hung out as a guest and got a ring side seat on the world that Anita attracted around her. I used to walk back through Hyde Park to St. John’s Wood at six in the morning, at first, to pick up a clean shirt, and then I just stopped going home… It was all building up in Courtfield Gardens. Brian would crash out some times, and Anita and I would look at each other… I would stay around there three or four days and one a week I’d walk to St. Johns Wood. Better give some space here; it’s too transparent what my feelings are. But there were many other people around; it was a continuous party.


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An Artistic Interpretation of a Romantic BattlePhotos stolen from web.

After Keith later stole Anita from him during an angst filled trip to Morocco, Jones installed new girl friend Suki Potier at Courtfield Road and allowed both his home and life to go downhill. Terry Rawlings book Who Killed Christopher Robin describes the scene as, “Plates of half eaten takeaway meals were stacked precariously on the tables and in the sink. Wardrobe doors were smashed and splintered mirrors gaped open, hanging off their hinges as clothes, magazines and books lay strewn across the floors. There was a huge Nazi flag draped fully over an arm chair while more than 100 albums lay in a pathetic pile, sleeveless and stacked in a corner”.

Christopher Gibbs who had originally furnished the apartment stated that at this point “He [Brian] was living in complete chaos”. The flat was littered with ruined clothes and “… thousands and thousands of pounds worth of smashed instruments”.


Brian Jones Serene Amongst The ChaosPhoto stolen from web.

After repeated police harassment and a series of prank phone calls that requested ambulances and others to his address, Jones finally called it a day at Courtfield Road. He moved temporarily to the Royal Gardens Hotel in Kensington and finally to Cotchford Farm in Essex where he died an early death in shady circumstances.

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.

Less Than Zero (1987) : Movie Review

Less Than Zero Poster

I love the first three novels Brett Easton Ellis wrote. I even like parts of fourth. Sadly, both his remaining books and almost all the films that have been made from his books, kind of suck the proverbial big one.

Less than Zero (1987) was the first film made from his debut novel and came out only two years after the original publication. Rick Rubin was the music supervisor and Thomas Numan did an amazing original score, which sadly fail to improve the film itself which unremittingly terrible.

Less Than Zero First Edition

Front Cover Of First Edition Photo Stolen From Web.

Andy McCarthy is ten shades of shite. He’s absolutely awful. Miscast and unable to act,  he really eviscerates the part of Clay. His character is always shrill and moralistically patronising. The whole point of the protaganist in the novel was that he wasn’t better or more virtuous than those surrounding him. He was just less antagonistic and more observant. He didn’t wish any one well. He just could be slightly less bothered than the person next to him to do someone else some harm.

Andrew McCarthy Can't Act

Andrew McCarthy Attempting To Emote… Or Take A Shit. It’s Hard To Tell ReallyScreenshot by author.

The characters as designed are meant to be mono syllabic and apathetic. Not verbose do gooders who moralise on drug use and try to do right by people. I am not sure whether the MPAA, the studio or the director chose to go down this path and whether it was for ratings, box office or sensibility it ultimately fails on all levels.

The only actor in this mess who seems to have read the book and actually comprehends it is James Spader. He is fantastic. He really understands the part and is by far the best thing in the film.

James Spader Can Act_1 James Spader Can Act_2 James Spader Can Act_3 James Spader Can Act_4

James SpaderScreenshots by author.

Robert Downey Jr – essentially being himself at the time – does capture what it is like to be fucked up and not give a shit.  Whether pulling a quick hit of crack in the shadows of a club, or rolling onto a cliff top at dawn with a Sol in his hand realising he may as well sleep here, ‘cause life is fucked and what’s the point, he captures an element of his character. Physically at least.

Robert Downey Jr On Tha Pipe_1

Robert Downey Jr On Tha Pipe_2 Robert Downey Jr On Tha Pipe_0 Robert Downey Jr On Tha Pipe_3 Robert Downey Jr On Tha Pipe_4

Mr “I’ve Got a Shotgun In My Mouth & I Like The Taste of Gunmetal”Screenshots by author

In the film Clay drives around L.A. looking for Julian – who has previously fucked his girlfriend no less – because he concerned about him.

Fuck My Friend

I Care Because You Don’tScreenshot By Author.

Whilst in the book Clay is vaguely aware Julian has problems, he isn’t either sober enough, or caring enough, to give enough of a shit to ever really look for him. However, the film desperately wants to have a moral core, a character that their predicted audience could supposedly identify with. It just makes the whole exercise seem trite. Clay in the film is a sanctimonious, pious Reagan era anti drugs speech in an ill fitting suit endlessly looking pained and delivering equally ill conceived moralistic speeches at those around him.

Finer Points Of Morality

Fuck YeahScreenshot By Author.

There’s a scene in the film, where both Clay and Blair spend an evening coaxing Julian out of an OD. Thomas Newman’s admittedly good music flares up at appropriate moments and the whole thing is rendered as one big ‘just say no’ commercial. In the book neither Clay nor Blair could give two shits whether he OD’s or not, and that’s the point.

Andrew McCarthy Oscar Performance

Andrew McCarthy Going For the 1988 Oscar. He Didn’t Get It  – Screenshot by author

All the characters in the book are just coasting. Apathetic, misanthropic and anaesthetised via huge volumes of blow and inherited money. They just don’t give a shit. These same characters go to university (Rules of Attraction), and then wind up in the workplace (Amercian Psycho) and their whole numb to life, rich as fuck, better than the next man philosophy essentially turns them into uncompassionate killers.

Palm Springs is used as some kind of grand denouement to climax the film, whilst in the book it was the place where Clay and Blair’s relationship slowly dies over the course of a two week holiday. In the script writer’s desperation to make a three act piece, they must’ve noticed the locations importance and decided that the place, not the gravitas, should be put in the last act.

In Palm Springs, Clay finds Julian tricking men for cash and is horrified and tries to convince him to go back to school. What the fuck? In the novel Clay is bisexual and would not have given two shits. At the end (SPOILER ALERT) Julian dies in a car almost exactly as Jeff Bridges did at the end of 1974’s Thunderbolt and Lightfoot. Cop out much?

Less Than Thunderbolt & Lightfoot

Significantly Less Than Thunderbolt & LightfootScreenshot by author.

This film is neutered and not worth any one’s time. I wish I had more hands, so I could give it four thumbs down. Fucking Booooo! Piece of shit! Do yourself a favour and watch Rules of Attraction (2002). That is a great film and the only movie that ever captured the essence of good era Brett Easton Ellis.

Corn 1 out of 5

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.


Dr Dre – The Day The Niggaz Took Over

Splash Logo

“There wasn’t no formula to doing that album. We just went in the studio, and whatever came out that day if it was the bomb, it went on the album”.

  • Dre talking about The Chronic on Yo MTV Raps Circa 1993


By far my favourite Dr Dre track, The Day The Niggaz Took Over, is indeed one of my favourite tunes of all time. I have conservatively listened to it well over two thousand times since its release in 1992, and like a dark version of Roy Ayers’ Everyone Loves The Sunshine, it just gets better and better with every spin.

Released in the wake of the 1992 LA Riots, overt venom and antagonism come to the fore. Kicking off with dialogue taken from Matthew McDaniel’s Birth of a Nation 4*29*1992, which documented the aftermath of the Rodney King verdict, it segues into what sounds like a high pitch pad synth sample from Assault on Precinct 13, an ascending bass loop and exhortations to “break ‘em off some”.

Love The Police

Love the Police. Photo Stolen From Web.

The main beat is sampled from Clarence Reid’s Living Together Is Keeping Us Apart (perhaps even as a joke by Dre), and the entire track employs a call and response motif. Whether it be Snoop’s hook of “I got my finger on the trigger, some niggaz wonder why, but livin’ in the city, it’s do or die”, or lines from Daz such as “Niggas start to loot and police start to shoot” or “And break the white man off something lovely, I don’t love them, so they can’t love me”. It has a beautiful symmetry about it where every line is balanced out by another and every note is equalised by a corresponding beat or two note scratch. Other samples are similarly used as symmetrical punctuation, like the one taken from Boogie Down Productions Love’s Gonna Get Cha (Material Love) which states “Got myself an Uzi and my brother a .9” to end the latter half of a hook.

Clarence Reid Album Cover BDP Material Love

Clarence Reid and BDP Source Material. Photos Stolen From Web.

There is a notable Rasta element to some of the track which seems to have been a vibe that Dre liked in the late 80s and very early 90s. It’s prominently featured on sections of 1991’s Efil4Zaggin, such as the proto G-Funk Alwayz Into Something and also on parts of D.O.C’s 1989 album No one Can Do It Better. In particular the latter’s opening track Ain’t Funky Enough where Dre apparently encouraged D.O.C to rap in a faux Rastafarian style… Something D.O.C. was against at the time, but reportedly did ‘cause he was drunk and wished to appease Dre.

D.O.C. Promo Shot

The D.O.C. Circa 1989. Photo Stolen From Web

On The Day The Niggaz Took Over, the doctor has evidently instructed Daz to fill this role and he adds a faux patois delivery to lines like, “They wonder where me bailing and don’t really understand. The reason why they take me life and me on hand. Me not out for peace and me not Rodney King. Me gun goes click, me gun goes bang…”

L.A Riot Graffitti Circa 1992. Photo Stolen From Web

The track was recorded at the now defunct Sound of Los Angles Studio (SOLAR) located at 1635 Cahuenga Blvd in Hollywood which was located just off Hollywood Boulevard and only a few blocks from where the Academy Awards are held. Still operating as a studio, Solar Records never really got over the loss of Dre to Interscope prior to the release of The Chronic and it has been operated as a non-label affiliated studio since the early 1990s.

Solar Studios Exterior

SOLAR Studios. Screenshot by author.

Most material documenting Dre’s production techniques site the fact that he punches his lyrics. Never rapping verses, he would always get one line at a time right and go from there until the entire track was completed. Accordingly his diction is perfect and his delivery forceful yet deliberate which suits the subject material to a tee.

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Dre Recording The Chronic. Photos Stolen From Web

Never released as a single, it was subsequently used to soundtrack a prison riot in Oliver Stone’s 1994 love letter to tabloid media culture, Natural Born Killers and whilst many may – quite reasonably – argue with me, this is in my opinion, the best thing Dre ever made.

Therefore, I was surprised there was no video for it and I have assembled a shitty one of my own to compensate. In keeping with the raw, early 90s riot vibe, it’s terribly low quality footage and you can literally see almost every pixel in each frame. I have used material documenting the riots and footage of the rappers created at a time as close as possible to when the album was made. As always, this is done out of love and not profit, so please enjoy as the free fan-made material it is intended as.

At the time of writing there have recently been organised shootings of police officers committed by African Americans with an anti police agenda. Whether they were carried out in retaliation of too many ‘accidential’ black deaths at the hands of police, or as part of some as yet undefined pan-African revolution is not currently known, however should Charles Manson’s prophecies of Helter Skelter actually occur, this tune may again soundtrack an uprising of sorts.

Posted by Horatio Cornblower

P.S. We allowed YouTube to ‘stablize’ this video. Ironically, it has made it roll around like a ship lost at sea. Apologies for this and it’ll be amended as soon as is possible.

P.P.S Above is now a moot point as the video was blocked within about 10 minutes of uploading it. YouTube just ain’t what it used to be. $$$ grabbin’ bastards.

Culture Snappin’ USA – Part 4 – Dirty Harry (1971): Filming Locations

Northern California is known for many things… Hippies, Zinfandel wines, as the birthplace of both the Beats and the Black Panthers, tremendous scenic beauty, devastating earthquakes and the Symbionese Liberation Army. For me however, it’s Clint Eastwood’s domain, and synonymous with both the man and his fictional characters.

Dirty Harry Logo

The character that is traditionally most associated with Eastwood is of course, Dirty Harry. Starting life as a script entitled Dead Right. It was initially to feature Frank Sinatra and be directed by Sidney Pollack, however the script was eventually acquired by Warner Brothers, filtered to Eastwood and his Malpaso production group, who in turn hired Don Siegel to direct it. The film came in on a relatively low budget and under schedule and benefitted from Eastwood’s desire to do most of his own stunts, most notably the jump from a railway trestle bridge onto a speeding school bus.

Eastwood Bus Jump...

Eastwood Doing His Own Stunts – Photo Stolen From Web

Detailing the desperate attempt to bring to justice a maniacal sniper (played Andy Robinson), who is black mailing city authorities by killing successive victims unless a huge ransom is paid, in a similar manner to Death Wish (1974) (see, the film shows that a responsible lone individual is a more effective instrument of law and order than the apparatus of the state, and the toll that maintaining such a thin blue line rests upon those weary and foolish enough to maintain its imprint.

DH City Hall

City Hall – Lower Photo & Diptych By Author

By modern standards, Dirty Harry may seem somewhat tame, however at the time of its release it garnered significant notoriety due to the fact that the cop played by Eastwood, fought violence with violence and played by his own rules. In the eyes of a wider public who were fed up with increasing crime, this made him a hero. In the eyes of certain critics – notably New York Times’ Pauline Kael – this made him a fascist, and at the 1971 Academy Awards there were protests outside the auditorium by left wing elements holding signs proclaiming ’Dirty Harry Is A Rotten Pig’.

Eastwood, not one to hold back on his opinions, responded to Kael’s criticism in a contemporary interview by commenting, “I’d say she’s crazy.”

Don Siegel when asked about the level of violence in the film said, “I dimly remember that at the end of Hamlet there are five bodies lying around, so that’s balderdash. This constantly plainted ditty against violence – if people didn’t want it, they wouldn’t go to the movies.”

Dirty Harry was a major success. It quickly out grossed all of Eastwood’s previous films and ushered in an era of Vigilante flicks such as Walking Tall (1972) and Death Wish (1974). If critics were divided, audiences weren’t. They stood in line in huge numbers to see Eastwood kick some ass.

Washinton Square Logo

Washington Square Park – Lower Photo & Diptych By Author

It was the fourth collaboration between Don Siegel and Clint Eastwood. In their first project Coogan’s Bluff (1968), the two skilfully relocated Eastwood’s man with no name to an urban setting. Dirty Harry is an elaboration of that idea and character. He now has a back story of a dead wife who was lost in an accident and years of police work have hardened him and made him reckless to both himself and his partners. Callahan is not the superhero that he became in the subsequent sequels, and the ambivalence of the character often comes to the fore. Therefore early on, he approaches a robbery with his gun drawn and not taking cover, whilst later he climbs aboard a cherry picker without thinking to grab a jumper from a roof.

Robbery Shootout

Harry Callahan With a Chip On His Shoulder – Screenshot Stolen From Web

Andy Robinson is perfect as the antagonist. Originally rejected by Siegel due to the fact he looked angelic and attractive, it was later realised that the killer would be far more frightening if indeed he was the antithesis of a screen villain and he was cast accordingly. The choice was a wise one and Robinson essayed one of the most memorable screen villains of all time.  From doing a huge flip on the football field, ad-libbing the line “my that’s a big one” in response to Callahan’s 44., showing a neon Jesus sign who’s boss or letting out a scream that would put Fay Wray to shame, he is the incontestably the best screen crazy ever committed to celluloid. So much so, he apparently put himself out of work for about a decade or so, as people could not imagine him as anything else or were too frightened to work with him. He didn’t re-appear on the silver screen much again (1973’s Charley Varrick not withstanding) until the 1980s when he was cast as a police chief in Sylvester Stallone’s Cobra (1986) – coincidentally featuring  Dirty Harry’s Rene Santoni  – or against type as the most normal person in Clive Barker’s Hell Raiser (1987).

Scorpio Scream

Scorpio Screaming For America – Photo stolen from web

Huge props must also be given to the composer Lalo Schifrin who was on a streak in the late 1960s to early 1970s. A classically trained conductor from South America with a passion for jazz, Schifrin provided a number of seminal scores for Hollywood golden era movies such as Enter The Dragon (1973), Bullit (1968) and Cool Hand Luke (1967), whilst also finding time to provide the distinctive theme music for the Mission Impossible television series (1966). In Dirty Harry, Lalo showed the world the power of a hi-hat breakdown and conducted some of the best kick drum sounds ever recorded to wax.

Lalo Schifirin

Lalo Schifrin – Photo stolen from web

Dirty Harry was filmed on location in San Francisco, with the only studio based scene being the opening bank robbery sequence which was shot on the Universal back lot. Siegel reportedly complained that the location shooting put enormous strain on him. One problem being that night sequence filming was usually limited to a few hours due to resident complaints that all the filming activity was keeping them awake.

Don Siegal & Eastwood

Don Siegel & Clint Eastwood On Set – Photo Stolen From Web

I visited these locations in early 2015, and as much possible, attempted to view them at a similar time of day to when they were filmed. Due to time constraints and my own fears however I visited Mt Davidson around 4pm in the afternoon rather than at night-time, as I had no wish to be solicited by Alice or his modern day contemporaries.

The Cross Logo

The Cross – Photo By Author

Surprisingly, in our current CNN terrorist contrived environment, no one seemed to give a shit about what I was doing. I stood at the Marina around 12.30am filming the boats near a construction crew and no one asked me what I was up to.

Marina Logo

The Marina – Photo By Author

Similarly, I filmed the entrance to the Fort Mason Tunnel (which is now blocked off) in front of a Safeway – itself briefly featured in 1968’s Bullit – around 1am and no one seemed to care.

Tunnel 1 LogoTunnel 2 Logo

The Tunnel – Photo By Author

At the other side of said tunnel, near the now defunct hamburger stand, my only competition for the space was a drop bear squirrel (which frankly scared the shit out of me when it fell from the top of the tunnel exit to my feet) and what I can now only assume was a drug dealer who sat in black Lexus with all his lights off, but engine quietly running at about 1:30am.

Tunnel 3 Logo Hamburger Stand_Logo

Tunnel Exit & Hamburger Stand – Photos by Author

Interestingly, the marina and the tunnel are super close. It is demonstrative of Scorpio’s meanness that he asked Harry to go from the Marina, to Forest Hills Station and then back to Aquatic Park. The Marina, tunnel and hamburger stand are within extremely close proximity, and whilst Forest Hills Station and Mt Davidson are very close, they are nowhere near these locations

Speaking of which, special thanks must be given to the kind ticket master at Forest Hills Station. I walked in and said I was there only for Dirty Harry nostalgia and not a BART ticket, and he was awesome enough to let me though the gates, film what I needed and then let me out again. He even looked slightly perturbed when a homeless guy started accosting people (including me) near the turnstiles.


Forest Hill Station – Photos By Author

The Alley that was the location for Hot Mary and her boyfriend, was only occupied by a Chinese Chef at 11pm when I filmed it.

Hot Mary 1 LogoHot Mary 2 Logo

Hot Mary Alley – Photos by Author

Conversely the location at the corner of Turk and Polk Street where Harry convinces a jumper to come down, was absolutely loaded with crazy homeless people around 2am. I literally had to wait for the all clear before leaping out of my rented Mustang and taking the footage as quickly as possible while a basehead looking guy (reminiscent of Flava Flav’s lean years) repeatedly circled the block screaming ‘What time is it’ at the top of his lungs.

Jumper Lobby Card

Jumper Logo

Jumper Building – Photo By Author

Columbus Avenue is cool whatever time of day and North Beach in general was my favourite part of San Francisco. City Hall was no problem and the China Town / Downtown area where you can locate both the Hilton Hotel (where the opening death was filmed) and the building on 555 California Street (the vantage point from where Scorpio shoots this first victim) are easy enough to find.

Scorpio 555 Opening Shot

Scorpio’s View From 555 Building – Screenshot Stolen From Web

555 Building Logo

Building Where Scorpio First Shoots From – Photo By Author

The thing is though, unlike the other locations, if it weren’t for the film, you wouldn’t want to go there. 555 and The Hilton are either downtown business city until 5pm, or absolute fucking freak show central after 8pm. Either way, I had to give them a pass.  I did visit the Hall of Justice featured briefly in the film, however as this was at approximately 4:45pm, I found myself unable to stop and was soon bundled onto a freeway that lead me out to Oakland. If you choose to visit, I suggest you do it between 11am and 3pm.

The results of my explorations my be seen in another shakily filmed clip below:


San Francisco, is a beautiful city for the most part, and two of my best times within its boundaries were sitting at the apex of the hill at Kearny Street (one street over from Romolo Place where Scorpio limps up after being busted by Harry at Roaring 20s). The view from here is fantastic, no one ever bothers you even late at night, and you have a great view of San Francisco, the Trans America Pyramid and its surrounds.

Favourite View Logo

My Favourite Place in San Francisco – Photo By Author

I’ll close this post in the same way I closed my Death Wish one… With some selected panels from the Mad Magazine satire of this movie published around 1971 or 1972. Again, I have to note that the writers and publishers of Mad Magazine were on totally on point in the 1960s, 1970s and up to the mid 1980s. One of the greatest streaks of modern publishing in this author’s opinion. To think that they were churning out stuff like this before video, DVD and digital downloads and just using studio stills or their memory to turn out hilarious parodies like this month after month. My proverbial hat is forever tipped in their direction.

Mad 1

Dirty Larry – Copyright E.C. Publications 1971

Mad 2

Dirty Larry – Copyright E.C. Publications 1971

Mad 3

Dirty Larry – Copyright E.C. Publications 1971

Mad 4

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.

JAPAN 1970: The Future Was Then

Expo Splash

Japan was flying high in 1970. With the swift modernisation that came in the face of crushing world war defeat and the ever increasing GDP accrued from their manufacturing and patenting successes of the 1960s, the future must have seemed bright.

The Tokyo Olympics of 1964 placed an international seal of approval upon their direction / capital city in the classic tradition of the IOC anointing up and coming countries with money.  Osaka – no doubt with a significant chip on its shoulder (which still survives today) – sought their own recognition and solicited the Bureau of International Expositions to allow Osaka to host a world exposition, finally succeeding in 1965.

Organisers show Logo in 1966

Let The Kickbacks Begin. Photo stolen from web.

World expositions sadly no longer have the cache they once did. In a globalised world, connected by the internet, the opportunity to find out anything about another country is limited by only one’s imagination and typing capabilities. However in the mid 1960s they were still big business and showcased new ideas, technologies and ideologies in equal measure to a populace that may not otherwise have seen them.

For example, the preceding world fair held in Montreal in 1967 gave the first wide exposure to split screen film technology which would shortly be utilised and celebrated in 1968’s Thomas Crown Affair with Steve McQueen. Similarly Buckminster Fullers geodesic dome of the same fair gave hippies and forward looking architects everywhere the opportunity to imagine and create badly built commune styled buildings for future lifestyle choices.  Whilst in 1970, the Fuji pavilion demonstrated the first ever use of IMAX and early mobile phone and MAGLEV train technology was showcased elsewhere within the same Expo.

Thus, it’s of little surprise given the technological advances between 1960 and 1970, that most people of that time imagined that moon colonies and hover cars would be a reality by 2005. That obviously (and sadly) failed to happen. Countries got lazy, funding dried up and technology in the succeeding years seems to have only been measured by the ability to make something smaller and perhaps add a clock to it.

Despite the fact that such progress was temporary at best, opposition to the Expo from left wing students and environmentalists at the time was rife. Demonstrations were staged in Shinjuku and Kyoto by a group known as Expo70 Destruction Joint-Struggle Group. Unlike Japanese student demonstrations of 1968 however, the protests – whilst theatrical – were nonetheless also relatively peaceful and were limited to participants collectively holding hands and running towards buildings or standing in the streets shouting slogans at passersby.

Furthermore, the majority of antipathy was directed towards the destruction of natural land in order to create the expo site itself, and as such, may be seen as primarily ecological in nature and anti-governmental only as a secondary objective.

World expositions are traditionally known for their outlandish architecture and design, and as the first exposition to be held in Asia, the host country and its participants were seemingly determined to be as bizarre and forward looking as technology and time would allow. As Gunhild Borggreen states in the essay, ‘Ruins of the Future: Yanobe Kenji Revisits Expo ‘70’, “…Designed and built as a unified entity from the beginning, the site of Expo ’70 came to signify a large scale model of the city of the future…”

Structures 1970

Overview of Festival Plaza and Official Time Clock. Scan by author.

Australian Pavillion

Australian Pavilion. Photo stolen from web.

Bulgaria Pavillion

Bulgarian Pavilion. Photo stolen from web.

Iasma Nogushi Fountain

Fountain designed by Isamu Noguchi. Photo stolen from web.

Gas pavillion

Gas Pavilion. Photo stolen from web.

Swiss Pavillion

Swiss Pavilion. Photo stolen from web.

Toshiba Pavillion

Toshiba Pavilion. Photo stolen from web.

Ricoh & Kodak

Ricoh & Kodak Pavilions. Photo stolen from web.

Expo Pavillions

Other Pavillions. Photo stolen from web.

Insides 1970

Insides II 1970

Inside Pavilions. Scans by author.

At the time, local design was running wild too. Kenji Ekuan (who designed the ubiquitous Kikkoman soy sauce bottle and Japan’s Nerita Express train), was throwing down future metropolis designs like the prototypical Dwelling City 1964.

Kenji Ekuan, Dwelling City, 1964

Dwelling City 1964. Photo stolen from the web.

Which in this author’s mind was later plundered by the designers of Neon Genesis Evangelion.

Kenji Ekuan, Evanelion Ramiel Angel

Kenji Ekuan, Evanelion Ramiel Angel2

Neon Genesis Evangelion. Screenshots stolen from the web.

Similarly forward thinking architects Kenzo Tange and Uzo Nishiyama were appointed to produce the master plan for the 1970 Expo site and a number of other architects were drafted to make individual contributions to certain buildings, features or pavilions, including Kenzo Tange’s protégé Kisho Kurokawa who designed the Takara Beautillion which was a capsule based residential design.

Takara Beautillion2

Takura Beutillion

Takara Beautillion. Photos stolen from the web.

For Kenzo Tange and his acolytes had recently created one of the twentieth century’s newest architectural styles which would feature heavily in this master plan. Based around the idea of living cities and flexible design, they had launched ‘Metabolism’ is 1960. The name ends with an ‘..ism’ in order to be congruous with other major 20th century architecture forms (such as ‘modernism, ‘internationalism’ etc.) and the base word correlates with the idea that modern buildings were to be dynamic and interchangeable. Each building was to contain a central core of services (access, water, electricity and sewage) and the remainder of the structure detached, re-attached and altered as per specific (or individual) needs.

Metabolism Poster

Metabolism Poster. Photo stolen from web.

Held between March and September 1970, the Expo attracted over 60 million people and over 70 countries participated in the event. In case people required further entertainment, a full amusement park was built adjacent to the site and christened as Expoland.

Expo & ExpoLand Panorama 1970

Expo (LHS) & Expoland (RHS) Before the Opening 1970. Scan by author.

Not much of the Expo ’70 site remains. Within a year the majority of these crazy pavilions had either been demolished or fallen into a precarious state of semi-ruination that prohibited their re-use. Nowadays, all that is left is the Japanese steel pavilion which currently houses the Expo ’70 museum. I visited in late 2012 and you can get the feeling of the minimalist (indeed brutalist) architecture and pay homage to the remaining colourful costumes of the participants and the eerie splendour of remaining empty space which 40 years hence had previously housed so many people and their futuristic dreams.

Expo Remaining Pavillion_ET

Expo Pavillion Inside_ET

Expo ’70 Site Circa 2012. Photos by author.

Statue Front Then & Now_ET

Tower of the Sun designed by Taro Okamoto. Lower Photo and Diptych by author.

Fountains Then & Now_ET

Fountain Area. Lower Photo and Diptych by author

[Also imagine building an entire monorail line to only be used for 6 months and then scrapped].

FrameworkThen & Now_ET

Festival Plaza Tubular Framework. Lower Photo and Diptych by author

Statue Back Then & Now_ET

Back of the Tower of the Sun. Lower Photo and Diptych by author


Expoland Circa late 2012. Photo by author.


Expoland Ticket Booths Circa Late 2012. Photo by author.

After the Expo, a real estate company president who had admired Kurokawa’s Takara Beautillion, commissioned him to build an apartment tower for single salary men (business men) in central Tokyo based upon the capsule idea he had exhibited.

Constructed on the border of Ginza near both shopping areas and a railway station in 1972, the Nakagin Capsule Tower has been an icon of the area for more than 40 years. It contains 140 capsules serviced by two cores of varying heights. Each capsule measures approximately 10 square metres in floor area and originally featured a bed, desk, calculator, tape deck, television and plastic moulded bathroom typical of any Japanese business hotel.

Elevations_Domus Magazine March 1973

Nakagin Elevations. Drawing taken from Domus Magazine March 1973.

Nakagin Interior Circa 1972Nakagin Interior 2

Interior Views. Photos stolen from web.


Nakagin Bathroom. Photo stolen from web.

Predominantly built off site and then assembled on location, the tower was completed within a short time and every capsule was independent from another and able to be attached / detached as required.

Nakagin Construction

Nakagin Construction2

Construction of the Tower Circa 1972. Photos stolen from web.

The exterior is reminiscent of a pile of washing machines and actually draws comparison with another famous World Expo item, Habitat 67 designed by Israeli / Canadian architect Moshe Safdie for the 1967 Montreal Expo.

Habitat 67

Habitat 67. Photo stolen from web.

The capsules (like virtually all Japanese architecture) were made to be replaced every 25 years and detached and renovated as necessary. Alternatively, the capsules could be detached and moved to other Metabolist building structures, which although envisioned, sadly failed to ever materialise I shape or form anywhere else in Japan.

Nagasin Capsule 2Nakagin Bathroom

Nakagin Interior Views. Photos stolen from web.

Consequently,  a building that was meant to be refreshed every 30 years or so, has lasted for more than 40, and while too young to qualify for architectural preservation (being less than 50 years old), has nonetheless outworn is usefulness and lifespan. At the time of my last visit in late 2015, the building was encased in netting ‘lest it drop debris on passersby, 60% of the circular windows were piled high with garbage and the front doors wore a vehement ‘if you don’t live here – fuck off’ notice.

Nakagin Exterior_ET

Nakagin Exterior Circa Late 2015. Photo by author.

Nakasin Enterance 2

Nakagin Entrance_ET

Nakagin Entrance Circa Late 2015. Photos by author.

The windows originally contained a paper window screen that rotated in a clockwise manner to provide shade and privacy which fell apart within a few years. This has thus left the few current residents to find make shift methods of providing similar facilities including curtains and blinds. The insulation that lay between the inner and outer layers of each capsule was made of asbestos which has deteriorated and now the capsules are both too hot in summer and too cold in winter. Furthermore, they are a potential health hazard too as the asbestos fibres may get in the air conditioning ducts and travel throughout the building.

Nakagin Exterior Closeup_ET

Various Window Shade Solutions. Photo by author.

Interior Ruined

Ruined Capsule Interior. Photo stolen from web.

Partially for this reason, the central air conditioning is now permanently turned off, as is the hot water, which was disconnected in 2010. Current residents now only have the choice of a common area shower on the ground floor, utilising whatever public sentos [baths] remain in the area or cold water bathing in their own cubicle bathrooms.

Nakagin Exterior 6_ET Nakagin Exterior 4_ET Nakagin Exterior 2_ETNakagin Exterior_3 ET

Exterior Views Circa Late 2015. Photos by author.

Other than this fairly amazing piece of Metabolism, few others were created. Kiyonori Kikutake later designed the Aquapolis for the 1975 Okinawa Expo which is essentially a James Bond villain lair tethered to a coastline. It was allowed to stay there until 1993 and then was unceremoniously towed towards Shanghai and scrapped.

Aquapolis Okinawa 1975_2Aquapolis Okinawa 1975_3

Aquapolis. Photos stolen from web.

Another Metabolist named Kisho Kurokawa would go on to design further capsule orientated design including the Sony Tower in Osaka as well as the Kuwatii Embassy in Japan.

Kurokawa, 1976 (demolished in 2006)

Sony Tower Osaka 1976. Photo stolen from web.

Kuwait Embassy (stolen from Flickr)

Kuwaiti Embassy 1979. Photo stolen from web.

After the seventies though, the concept essentially died – arguably much like the imagination and hope of the post 1960s dreamers that designed and implemented both it and the 1970 Expo. The Sony Tower was torn down in 2006 and in 2016 fewer people take chances, the world is smaller and money is less likely to be spent on physical testimonies to utopian philosophies. Indeed, if money can’t be made by appealing to the widest array of people for the cheapest possible cost, it won’t get constructed.

You know you are living in a shitty time when hope can only be found in the past.

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.



Scans were taken from the book EXPO’70 驚愕! 大阪万国博覧会のすべて and elevation drawings from Domus Magazine March 1973.

Ruins of the Future: Yanobe Kenji Revisits Expo ‘70 can be found at:


Stone Island – KT721


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.


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’.



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.



Zip and Buttons. Photos by author.

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


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.



Isetan Department Store:

[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:

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.


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.