January 20, 2018

PETER WYNGARDE CELEBRATION

Beloved actor Peter Wyngarde passed away this week. Wyngarde began his career with a number of stage performances between the late 1940s and mid-1950s, most notably appearing in productions with Alec Guinness and Vivien Leigh. He had an uncredited role in the 1949 Hammer film about a special agent, Dick Barton Strikes Back, and appeared with Deborah Kerr in the 1961 gothic horror film, The Innocents. 1962 offered a memorable role in Burn Witch Burn (Night of the Eagle), and genre fans may remember his role as Klytus in Flash Gordon (1980). But it was on the small screen Wyngarde truly made his mark on the culture. He appeared in a number of early ITC and BBC productions, notably A Tale of Two Cities (1957), The Adventures of Ben Gunn (1958), BBC Sunday Night Theatre, and Armchair Theatre. As the spy boom picked up momentum, Wyngarde brought his sharp mind and flair to many of the popular series of the day, including The Baron, The Saint, I Spy, and The Champions. In 1966 he portrayed John Cartney, the ruthless leader of a modern-day Hellfire Club, in The Avengers ("A Touch of Brimstone")- infamous for his scenes of club debauchery and a climax where he whipped Mrs. Peel (dressed as "Queen of Sin"). He followed up in the 1967 episode "Epic", where he played a number of roles in a string of wonderful (and witty) scenes based on classic cliffhangers and movie tropes. In 1967 he was chosen by Patrick McGoohan to play Number 2 in The Prisoner episode "Checkmate". When I interviewed Wyngarde in 2016 in preparations for my upcoming Spy Vibe book, he said "I genuinely believe that The Prisoner is the greatest television show ever made. Patrick had a great vision - like Mozart could see all the notes in his head, Patrick was the same with every individual character and scene. He was a visionary." Despite Wyngarde's brilliant mind and electric energy, stardom seemed to pass him by. But all that changed when he was cast as Jason King in the ITC series Department S in 1969. Wyngarde's character, part of a trio charged with investigating baffling crimes and intrigue, was written as an adventure novelist-turned-sleuth who used his vast powers of imagination, discerning tastes, and creativity to help lead his team to success. The series ran for two seasons, and then Wyngarde carried on as the star of his own show, Jason King, from 1971-1972. The flamboyance of the character's design was truly a product of the era and it has been said that Mike Myers had him in mind as one of the inspirations for Austin Powers. Wyngarde brought a wonderful sense of style and humor to the role of Jason King. And the importance of style was highlighted in one of my favorite scenes, where the baddies pressured King into divulging information by brutally torturing- his clothes! I asked him about Jason King in our 2016 interview: "With Jason King, I had more of an opportunity to stamp my own personality on to him quite a lot. I got to name the character and I wore a lot of my own clothes. The actual J.K. “look” came about accidently. I was appearing in a play called ‘The Duel’ in London’s West End at the time I was signed to play Jason, in which I was cast in the role of a character called Nickolay von Koren. I’d grown my hair and a 19th century-style moustache, which has since been mistakenly referred to as ‘Viva Zapata’ or Mexican, which is completely wrong. The turn-back cuffs came about when we were filming in Venice, and I lost a cufflink in a canal. Not knowing what to do, I just turned them back and it started a fashion in the UK. Of course, Jason King reflected the attitudes of the time. He was very chauvinistic and women, in general, were treated like sex objects. It simply wouldn’t happen now." His four years as Jason King would prove to be the height of his superstardom, and fans from around the world have loved him ever since. He made many appearances at conventions and gatherings, and was thankfully able to speak at the 50th celebration of The Prisoner in Portmeirion on September 29th, 2017. He died peacefully in London on January 15th. He was 90 years old. Spy Vibe sends deepest condolences to his friends and colleagues.


Selected Spy Vibe Posts: Batman 66 ExhibitPrisoner Fifty EventIan Fleming Publications 2017-2018Interview: Ed Hulse PulpAvengers Audio DramaInterview: Callan At 50Interview: Playboys, Spies, Private EyesTWA ReturnsSpy Vibe Radio 8Interview: Ryan HeshkaMid-Century Modern SchulzAgent WerewolfMata Hair ExhibitJohnny Sokko 50thInterview: Trina RobbinsEddie IzzardThe Prisoner Capt Scarlet 50thHugh Hefner R.I.P.Jack Good R.I.P.Interview: Shaken Not StirredCallan 50thSpy Vibe Radio 7The Prisoner 50th EventSpy-Fi EventKaho Aso 007Two 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 ComicsThe Phantom at 80007 MangaAvengerworld BookDiana Rigg Auto ShowThe Prisoner Audio Drama Review.

January 17, 2018

REMEMBERING COURREGES

A few days before David Bowie passed away (January, 2016), we lost another great artist with a knack for futuristic thinking, Andre Courreges (1923-2016). It was odd that, while I contemplated the French designer of the famous Moon Girl look from the 1960s, we should then also lose the great interpreter of the future in Bowie. We also lost Beatles producer George Martin. It was a tough year for Spy Vibers. Designer Andre Courreges rose up as a young talent in Balenciaga in the 1950s and opened his own salon at the dawn of the decade in 1961. He shared credit with Mary Quant for creating the mini skirt, and by 1964, established his space-inspired collections of white plastic boots, stiff helmets, joke glasses (some inspired by traditional Inuit designs), and playful slim outfits sporting cut-outs and Op Art elements. He even designed a prototype Bubble car, which later spawned a new electric model. His vision of combining synthetic materials, metals, white, and silver- and working with young models of the era- helped to define the androgynous Space Age look of the 1960s. Where would be without the mini and his white go-go boots? About her husband, Couqueline Courreges said, "He saw with eyes of his generation- it was a time of missiles to the moon." Artist Andy Warhol said, "His clothes are so beautiful, everyone should look the same, dressed in silver." Courreges was 92. Some gems below: Dali in Courreges glasses, fashion show reversals, and the designer at home in his futuristic apartment (image source: Getty). Learn more at The Guardian. Shop for vintage outfits here. Additional note: Spy Vibers may also remember designer John Bates helped champion the mini skirt before it became mainstream by dressing Diana Rigg's character Emma Peel in a mini in The Avengers. Enjoy!

























Selected Spy Vibe Posts: Batman 66 ExhibitPrisoner Fifty EventIan Fleming Publications 2017-2018Interview: Ed Hulse PulpAvengers Audio DramaInterview: Callan At 50Interview: Playboys, Spies, Private EyesTWA ReturnsSpy Vibe Radio 8Interview: Ryan HeshkaMid-Century Modern SchulzAgent WerewolfMata Hair ExhibitJohnny Sokko 50thInterview: Trina RobbinsEddie IzzardThe Prisoner Capt Scarlet 50thHugh Hefner R.I.P.Jack Good R.I.P.Interview: Shaken Not StirredCallan 50thSpy Vibe Radio 7The Prisoner 50th EventSpy-Fi EventKaho Aso 007Two 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 ComicsThe Phantom at 80007 MangaAvengerworld BookDiana Rigg Auto ShowThe Prisoner Audio Drama Review.

January 11, 2018

U.N.C.L.E. SCREENING

Event Alert: The Bal Theatre in San Leandro, CA is hosting a special night this Saturday to celebrate the classic 1960s spy vibe! "The Spy Show: Movie, Martinis and Music" kicks off with a rare big-screen showing of one of the original 1960s Man From U.N.C.L.E. films, To Trap A Spy! The movie was created in 1964 primarily for foreign markets by editing additional scenes with Luciana Paluzzi (Thunderball) into the pilot episode, Solo (The Vulcan Affair). Will Kuluva appears as Mr. Allison (pre-Waverly), and the baddie organization in the film is known as WASP (rather than Thrush). This feature-length U.N.C.L.E. adventure toured theaters in Asia and Europe between 1964-1965, making a later stop in the US in 1966. Seldom seen since then, so I urge Spy Vibers to try to get there if you are nearby. The special event at the Bal Theatre also includes cocktails and a live spy-tune performance by The Reverbivores and Agency EL84, starting at 8:00. Doors open at 5:00. More info here. Thanks to Cinema Retro for the heads up! Related links: Spy SchoolSpy Vibe Radio 8Robert Vaughn R.I.P.1966 Pep SpiesUNCLE FashionsUNCLE Island MusicGerman UNCLEMcCallum HullabalooNew McCallum NovelNotes From UNCLE EventUNCLE SchoolAgente Secreto ComicsDer Mann Von UNCLEJapanese UNCLE editionsUNCLE GunUNCLE Turns 50UK ComicsUNCLE Manga

Selected Spy Vibe Posts: Batman 66 ExhibitPrisoner Fifty EventIan Fleming Publications 2017-2018Interview: Ed Hulse PulpAvengers Audio DramaInterview: Callan At 50Interview: Playboys, Spies, Private EyesTWA ReturnsSpy Vibe Radio 8Interview: Ryan HeshkaMid-Century Modern SchulzAgent WerewolfMata Hair ExhibitJohnny Sokko 50thInterview: Trina RobbinsEddie IzzardThe Prisoner Capt Scarlet 50thHugh Hefner R.I.P.Jack Good R.I.P.Interview: Shaken Not StirredCallan 50thSpy Vibe Radio 7The Prisoner 50th EventSpy-Fi EventKaho Aso 007Two 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 ComicsThe Phantom at 80007 MangaAvengerworld BookDiana Rigg Auto ShowThe Prisoner Audio Drama Review.
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