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58 Vintage Photos

Written by Brian Gilmore

The unkempt grace of a classic photo, be it a candid shot or a still production image, gives an insight into the life of a star that can’t be gleaned from an interview or behind the scenes footage. Photos have a way of making a moment feel intimate, even if it’s being used to promote a hot new single. 

The following photos are from different eras, and they’re made up of different styles and stock, but each one of them gives you a look inside the lives of someone that you’ve only seen from the other side of a screen. Regardless of which decade you prefer, the 60s, 70s or 80s, there's something on here that'll take you back to a simpler time, if only for a moment. 

Janis Joplin with her bottle of Southern Comfort and a cigarette while a paper airplane flies across the room from John Simon in 1968, photo by Elliot Landy. 

Source: Reddit

1968 was a major year for Janis Joplin. After performing with Big Brother and the Holding Company for two years, Joplin finally broke out as a star and started garnering major attention from the media, with Time calling her the “most powerful singer to emerge from the white rock movement.” If you’ve heard Big Brother and the Holding Company’s breakthrough album “Cheap Thrills,” then you’ve heard her work with John Simon, a producer who excelled at getting raw performances out of his artists, on blazing tracks like “Piece of My Heart” and “Summertime.”

While she was alive, Joplin was never far away from a bottle of Southern Comfort, and she supposedly even got a free lynx coat and matching hat from the whiskey liqueur company for all the free publicity she provided with all of that day (and night) drinking. No one knows (or was keeping track of) how much Soco Joplin was drinking while she recorded “Cheap Thrills” with John Simms at the boards, but you can hear her whiskey-soaked vocals on every track of the album.

This photo must have been taken on a break from recording “Cheap Thrills,” a below-the-radar album that managed to sit at the top of the charts for eight weeks in 1968, based exclusively on Joplin’s whiskey soaked voice. The album must have been a blast to record, if for no other reason than the fact that Joplin was a groovy gal who knew how to party. It’s a wonder that the band was able to get seven songs pressed to wax while having such a good time. 

It’s safe to say that you can’t find a singer today who’s willing to slam a bottle of anything, let alone spiced whiskey liqueur before every vocal take, but the 60s were a different era, and they may as well have been on another planet. Judging from this photo, Joplin’s paper airplane and whiskey party was a pretty laid back affair, after all, this is the woman who smashed a bottle of Soco over Jim Morrison’s head and partied so hard that she joined the 27 club, but prior to her explosion of stardom she was just a singer who liked to kick back with her rock n roll friends until she dropped. 

Sally Field in the late 1960s.

Source: Pinterest

If you aren’t secretly in love with Sally Field then please check your pulse. Throughout the 60s Field starred in shows like ABC's Gidget, where she played a beach bunny who was desperate to smooch a surfer boy, and The Flying Nun, a series about a nun who was so skinny that she could fly when the wind was right. Yes, that was a show. And yes, it ran for 82 episodes.

 Somehow Sally Field made it out of the 60s and went on to star in classic films like Smokey and the Bandit, Steel Magnolias, and Forrest Gump. 

Leonard Nimoy rocking a plaid robe in the late 1960s. 

Source: Pinterest

You know someone’s cool when they look like pure sex lounging in a flannel robe on a two story floral couch. It’s not easy to be a babe when you’re wrapped up in a lumberjack’s dream, but Leonard Nimoy can pull it off. Thanks to the success of Star Trek, Leonard Nimoy was everywhere in the late 60s – He had a music career, he was into photography, and he was an author, all on top of beaming into the audience’s home on a weekly basis. 

If you were alive in the 60s you couldn’t get away from Leonard Nimoy, and why would you want to? 

Lynda Carter looking groovy with her flared jeans just relaxing in the '70s.

Source: Reddit

A Wonder Woman indeed, Lynda Carter spent the late 70s plastered across televisions as the greatest DC hero, but prior to that she popped up on shows ranging from “Starsky and Hutch” to “A Matter of Wife… and Death” - which is the craziest title for a TV show ever. Unlike a lot of 70s bombshells, Carter never went away. But back to the 70s, let’s take a minute to appreciate those glorious curls and those killer bell bottoms. Can we bring that back ASAP? 

Rob Lowe, Tom Cruise and Emilio Estevez in 1982. 

Source: Pinterest

They weren’t officially dubbed “the brat pack” until 1985, but by 1982 Rob Lowe, Tom Cruise, and Emilio Estevez were already on top of the world. While playing greasers in The Outsiders, these three goofs formed a bond that would last for decades, seeing the three of them turn up in each other’s films at the oddest of times. For the weirdest crossover take a look at Brian De Palma’s Mission Impossible. Also, how does Rob Lowe look the same? Do you think he bathes in whole milk? 

Cheryl Ladd and Jaclyn Smith of Charlie's Angels (1978)

Source: Pinterest

Jaclyn Smith and Cheryl Ladd were the two longest running Angels to help Charlie in his never ending fight against crime. Smith played Kelly Garrett and she appeared in all 110 episodes of the series, while Ladd played Kris Monroe, a graduate of the San Francisco Police Department.

Even though there was a never ending cycle of actresses that went in and out of Charlie’s Angels, Ladd and Smith held it down, giving audiences something that they could count on week after week while tuning into ABC throughout the late 70s. 

Who remembers watching The Gong Show with host Chuck Barris, 1970s? 

Source: Pinterest

The Gong Show was the premier series for civilians with stars in their eyes to show off their freakish talents to the world at large. Unlike a lot of shows on the air at the time, Barris’ Gong Show was a chaotic whirlwind of goofiness that felt like it could fall apart at any moment. Barris was notoriously nervous on camera, which made him the ideal host for a series that was held together with glue and popsicle sticks.

As strange as the show was, some true talent passed through its hallowed halls. 12-year-old Andrea McArdie appeared on the show before making her way to Broadway where she played Annie, and even an early incarnation of Oingo Boingo appeared on the series. 

The teen years/ "David in his room, 1981." (photo by Linda Brooks)

Source: Reddit

This photo, by Linda Brooks, appeared at the Joseph Bellows Gallery in San Diego in a collection of photos that explored identity and the awkwardness of youth, regardless of era. Everything about this photo screams 1981 – the Farah Fawcett posters, cut outs, and articles, the Springsteen vinyl, and the Beatles collage that serves as a foggy hangover from a decade previous. It must have been a sad day when David finally took down his posters and moved out of his parent’s house. Hopefully Farah went along to keep him company. 

Cher and Sam Elliot, from the movie, "Mask," 1985.

Source: Pinterest

1985’s Mask is a biographical film that follows a brief period of time in the life of “Rocky” Dennis, a young man with craniodiaphyseal dysplasia who was played by Eric Stoltz. In the film, Dennis’ bad ass biker mom is played by Cher in a role that would earn her a Golden Globe nomination. Her boyfriend, “Gar,” is played by Sam Elliot who’s in full on dirtbag with a heart of gold mode.

The film may sound like an exercise in cheese, but director Peter Bogdanovich brings a serious cinematic quality a story that could have very easily been fodder for the made for TV audience. 

Jimi Hendrix at the "Love & Peace Festival" in Germany, 1970. 

Source: Pinterest

Jimi Hendrix’s final show was at the Love & Peace Festival, what was meant to be the European version of Woodstock. The festival took place on an island named Fehmarn in the middle of the Baltic Sea. Hendrix played on the final night of the festival with a two piece backing band and rocked the German crowd. 

Directly after finishing his set, Hendrix took a helicopter to London where he would spend his final days before dying on September 18, 1970. 

Joan Jett had some interesting wall decor in her home, 1977

Pinterest

The world is torn on every topic you can imagine, except for one: The fact that Joan Jett slays. In 1977 Jett was still in the throes of shredding with The Runaways. They’d just released their sophomore album, “Queens of Noise” (which rips by the way), but the band was in their waning days and she was looking to get something going outside of the band. Jett’s love of leather was most famously recorded in the track “Black Leather,” although she’s never recorded anything about handcuffs that were hung up on a wall.

Serena and Venus Williams pose for a photo with President Reagan and Nancy at tennis camp

Source: Reddit

Before Serena and Venus Williams were gracing the covers of Vanity Fair and Sports Illustrated they were two young girls who were just getting into the world’s oldest racquet-based game. They trained at the Riviera Tennis Club, a posh spot in the Pacific Palisades that played host to dignitaries from time to time, and that includes former president Ronald Reagan and his wife Nancy.

For a moment forget about the intense culture clash on display in this photo and focus on the amazing shirts that Serena and Venus are wearing. Where are those? What is that design? Did 1989 just explode onto a shirt? They’re truly magnificent. 

Susan Surrandon 

Source: Pinterest

Don’t worry, it’s not just your brain that’s broken at the sight of Susan Sarandon, this sultry actress has that effect on everyone. Sarandon got her start in 1970 with the legitimately crazy hippie revenge film “Joe,” and she never looked back. Five years later she starred in The Rocky Horror Picture Show, a cult classic that cemented her status as an icon. But that wasn’t enough for Sarandon, she went on to appear in a series of classic films across genres and generations.

What’s your favorite Susan Sarandon film? Are you even reading this right now or are you just staring at that sexy pic?

Candy Clark and David Bowie on the set of the sci-fi film, "The Man Who Fell to Earth" 1976. 

Source: Reddit

Is there anything more iconic than David Bowie’s super weird, milk drinking alien in this cocaine fever dream of a movie? The Thin White Duke was brought onto the film because he embodied the very alien life form that he played, all disaffected cool and distant mannerisms. Legend has it that Bowie fell into the part a little too well and quickly lost sight of whether he was playing a part, or if the part was playing him. However, this photo shows Bowie hanging out in between takes with Candy Clark and rocking some serious western duds. Obviously, Bowie makes it look cool. 

How many people remember "Daisy Duke"?

Source: Pinterest

It’s a rhetorical question, really, because who can forget Daisy Duke, the cut off short wearing cousin of them Duke boys. Throughout the series Duke was played by Catherine Bach, an actress that’s gone onto steady work that has little to do with wearing jean shorts. 

Even though the character was initially written in as eye candy, Daisy became an integral part of the series and even started getting into trouble with Bo and Luke when she wasn’t working for Boss Hog at the Boar’s Nest. The biggest question surrounding Daisy Duke isn't whether or not you remember her, but which of her cars do you prefer - her Plymouth Satellite or her Jeep CJ-7?

"Power Mower of the Future" 1957.

Source: Reddit

Folks, we have to talk about the “Power Mower of the Future.” Why is it so big? Why is there a giant bubble? And why is a woman using it to mow (in heels no less), while her beau hangs out in a lawn chair whittling? Why was the 50s so bad at imagining what the future looked like and how can we get back to that kind of optimism? Side note: How much would you like to bet that the “Power Mower of the Future” is the size of a Toyota Prius? Or even bigger? If you own the prototype for the “Power Mower of the Future” please reach out and let us know what the horsepower is on that baby. 

Robin Williams and his first wife Valerie Velardi all smiles on their wedding day in 1978. Look at her beautiful lace dress!

Source: Pinterest

Robin Williams spent the first half of the 70s cutting his teeth in the San Francisco comedy scene before making his way to LA to workshop his unique brand of stand up. However, his major break didn’t occur until 1978 when he appeared on Mork and Mindy. When he finally had that TV money, the comedian married Valerie Velardi, a waitress that he met while performing in San Francisco. The two were together for nine years, and even after their separation the two remained close until Williams’ death in 2014. 

Oprah in the early 1970s.

Source: Pinterest

The 1970s were a roller coaster ride for the woman who would be Queen. She bounced television stations from Baltimore to Nashville where she did just about everything one can do on local TV. She was a news anchor, she hosted a local talk show, viewers could even dial her for dollars – the woman seriously did everything.It’s a testament to her talent and charisma that she managed to do anchor so many different types of shows.

Each program that she worked on sharpened her skills to a point that as soon as she moved to WLS-TV in Chicago she was strapped to a rocket and shot to the moon (figuratively). 

Princess Diana with two lifeguards who won medals at the Terrigal Beach surf carnival. 

Source: Pinterest

In 1988 Princess Diana paid a visit to Australia during the Terrigal Beach surf carnival where she met a series of lifeguards, otherwise known as “lifesavers” down under. The Princess was paying respect to the Speedo wearing hotties and getting in some primo photo time with the Aussie’s who were more than happy to give Diana an eyeful on her trip.

Her visit to the continent was done to celebrate Australia's bicentennial, and even though her marriage to Prince Charles was dissolving during the trip, witnesses claim that they never saw any hint of a problem between the two. This trip to Australia would be the last time she visited until 1996. 

19 year-old Jim Carrey in 1981.

Source: Reddit

Jim Carrey in 1981 was just a funny Canadian rubber face with a dream. He’d only appeared in a handful of movies at the time, and he was still bouncing around Los Angeles with a ten million dollar check in his pocket just waiting to be cashed. In the early 80s you were more likely to see Carrey opening for Rodney Dangerfield than you were on the silver screen (or the small screen for that matter). He opened for Dangerfield in Vegas for a while before moving to Hollywood to set up shop at the Comedy Store, an old school club where Carrey worked out his chops for most of the 80s. 

A language very few know 💔 Brigitte Bardot and Jane Birkin in Don Juan, or If Don Juan Were a Woman by #RogerVadim (1973)

Source: Pinterest

Upon her entry into the public eye Brigitte Bardot instantly became an obsession among audiences, critics, and intellectuals alike. She became a lightning rod for liberated women in post war France, and acted in at least one film from 1952 to 1973. Her penultimate film, Don Juan, of If Don Juan Were a Woman, starred Bardot as a villainous Don Juan character who goes out of her way to break men down after they fall in love with her.

Bardot not only makes men fall in love with her, but she puts Jane Birkin’s Clara under her magnetic spells. The film didn’t exactly wow the critics, but Bardot’s performance was singled out as at least being interesting. Her ex-husband  and the film's director, Roger Vadim, received less favorable words from critics and the film was largely referred to as uninteresting. 

Clint Eastwood taking a break on the set of "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly" 1966. 

Source: Pinterest

Clint Eastwood was the king of the 60s spaghetti western. At the time films like The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly were derided for being cheaply made western films that reused sets and told the same stories over and over. Even though that’s true, many of the westerns in which Eastwood starred transcended the genre. 

Specifically in The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, Eastwood’s mere presence sets the screen on fire. The film, which follows three gunslingers searching for Confederate gol wraps up the loose trilogy of films started by A Fistful of Dollars which jumpstarted Eastwood’s cinematic career. 

'Supergirl' (Helen Slater) in a scene from the 1984 film "Supergirl"

Source: Reddit

No, 1984 wasn’t a dream. There really was a Supergirl movie starring the girl from the Legend of Billie Jean and City Slickers. The movie follows Supergirl (whose real name is Kara Zor-El, but let’s not dwell on that) as she fights a witch named Selena who’s trying to use a space thing to make her more powerful, or something like that. And maybe she eats at Popeyes’s Chicken. It’s hard to remember what happens in this movie because it feels like a fever dream. And like all fever dreams it has something do with fast food level fried chicken. "Love that chicken."

Who remembers the Wicked Witch of the West, played by Margaret Hamilton, from the Wizard of Oz, 1939?

Source: Pinterest

The Wicked Witch of West is easily one of the most terrifying witches in film history. Everyone reading this remembers the exact moment they experienced pure fright at the Witch’s jumpscare in her crystal ball. Some readers might have even hid behind their parent’s couch during one Easter viewing of The Wizard of Oz.

Margaret Hamilton almost didn’t appear in the career defining role, as the studio wanted to cast a more traditionally attractive actress. However, they came around to their senses and brought the theatrical actress into the film and history was made. 

Crikey! A young Steve Irwin smiling for the camera in his school photo.

Source: Reddit

Steve Irwin, the Crocodile Hunter, grew up in Victoria, Australia, the son of a herpetologist and a wildlife rehabilitator. At a young age Irwin began working for his parents at the Queensland Reptile and Fauna Park, which is where he became enamored with reptiles. 

By the time this photo was taken Irwin was already comfortable with slithery animals of all sorts, so it’s no surprise that he went on to wrestle alligators and host his own series. 

Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt in 1978, photo by Ed Thrasher.

Source: Pinterest

After getting together in the ‘70s with the intent of recording an album together, Parton, Harris, and Rondstant took nearly a decade to work out their scheduling conflicts and hop in the studio. The three singers recorded a few songs in the 70s that made it to their first group release, “Trio,” in 1987. 

Aside from scheduling conflicts, each artist was on a different record label and they couldn’t negotiate their way around their tricky 70s contracts (the worst kind of contract TBH). Even though the album took forever to come together, the ladies continued their collaboration into the 90s and 2000s. 

Lindaaaaaaa 🍒

Source: Pinterest

Oddly enough, Linda Rondstadt is ground zero for a ton of country and pop artists from the 60s and 70s. After moving to Los Angeles at the age of 18 in 1964, Ronstadt started jamming with everyone from The Stone Poneys to Jackson Browne and Tom Waits. In 1971 her backing band was made up of none other than Glenn Frey, Randy Meisner, and Don Henley from The Eagles.

 She toured with rocksteady group Toots and the Maytals before opening for Neil Young on the tour where she met none other than Emmylou Harris. The two singers would go on to record the album “Trio” with Dolly Parton. 

"Who's the Boss?" teen star Alyssa Milano in 1988.

Source: Reddit

When you look back at the 80s, it’s obvious that Alyssa Milano was the low key Queen of the 80s. In 1985 she had a standout performance as Jenny Matrix in Commando, a part that she really sank her teeth into. In ’88 she appeared in “Dance ’til Dawn,” a made-for-TV movie that stars a who’s who of 80s talent: we’re talkin’ Christina Applegate, Matthew Perry, Alan Thick, and tossed salad and scrambled eggs himself, Kelsey Grammer. This film should have eaten her alive, but Milano stuck around and turned into a major TV star in the 90s with appearances on Melrose Place, and duh, Charmed, but she never had that flowing waterfall of hair again.

Wonder Woman in real life....

Source: Pinterest

Has Lynda Carter ever had a bad hair day? Or a bad anything day? This photo shows just how majestic she looked outside of the red, gold, and blue trappings of her Wonder Woman costume (not that she didn’t look great in that, because she looked incredible, or even wonderful). 

This look is a remarkable change from what audiences are used to, but the actress has been somewhat of a chameleon over the course of her career that’s seen her go from TV superhero to Muppet Show guest, to voice of the Elder Scrolls franchise. Life is wild. 

B.B. King performing with the Bill Harvey Band at the Hippodrome in Memphis, 1950. 

Source: Reddit

Who’s that kid in short pants shredding in front of a flock of adoring fans? Yeah, it’s B.B. effing King. Try and forget that he looks like a member of Vampire Weekend and think about this, at the young age of 25 King was already performing in juke joints around the south as well as major blues towns like Chicago, Dallas, and Detroit. King’s early shows were legitimately crazy, with attendees showing up to dance just as much as they were coming out to get rowdy. The first half of the 50s saw King working his mojo across the United States while wracking up hits with songs like “Whole Lotta Love,” and Every Day I Have The Blues.” 

The sexy Ann-Margret with the handsome Elvis Presley on the set of Viva Las Vegas, 1964.

Source: Reddit

If you don’t include Elvis Presley’s Viva Las Vegas in the conversation of greatest films of the 20th century then you’re a fool. The film found a way to coalesce Presley’s mythological swagger, Ann-Margaret’s effortless cool, and some of the greatest tunes that the 60s had to offer. This wild and wooly roll through “Fun-Town USA,” has it all – oddly choreographed water skiing scenes, Elvis playing a singing Grand Prix driver, and a killer dance number from Ann-Margaret. It’s almost as fun as losing all your money at the black jack table. 

Barbara Eden and Don Knotts on "The Andy Griffith Show," 1962.

Source: Reddit

The town of Mayberry was a simpler place, a quiet little hamlet where a boy could walk through town after a trip to the fishin’ hole, and the town deputy could be a complete clod and no one would care. The town served as the setting for The Andy Griffith Show, where Don Knotts played Deputy Barney Fife, a goof who was doing his best despite his limitations.

Barbara Eden starred in the greatest genie-centric series of all time, “I Dream of Jeannie,” but prior to her breakout hit she appeared on the Andy Griffith Show in 1962 as Ellen Brown. 

Bob Denver as the beatnik 'Maynard G. Krebs' from "The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis" (1959-63) 

Source: Reddit

Although it’s largely been forgotten in popular culture, The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis was a groundbreaking series for not only focusing on young people (something that just didn’t happen in the mid 20th century), but it also referenced counter-culture movements like the Beat Generation. Bob Denver played Maynard G. Krebs, a disassociated beatnik who hated to work and who was essentially Shaggy from Scooby Doo before Shaggy was a thing.

After Dobie Gillis ended, Denver would go onto play Gilligan in the long-running series Gilligan’s Island, and while he would ditch the goatee he held firmly to his derision of all things physical and non-chill. 

British beauties Diana Rigg and Helen Mirren, 1968.

Source: Reddit

Is there anyone more groovy than Helen Mirren and Diana Rigg? This photo comes from the filming of Peter Hall’s A Midnight SUmmer’s Dream where these two swinging English beauties played fairies along with, wait for it, Dame Judi Dench. The film itself wasn’t well reviewed, but what other film has the pedigree of featuring cast members from Skyfall, Game of Thrones, and Caligula? Shoot us an email when you figure it out. 

Bruce Lee looking cool in high school, 1958

Source: Reddit

Even when he wasn’t one-inch punching his way into our hearts, Bruce Lee was always so cool. Lee was born in San Francisco in 1940 before being whisked away to Hong Kong a few years later. While growing up in Kowloon, Hong Kong Lee was constantly finding his way into fist fights with local boys and Triad members alike, something that didn’t sit well with his parents. 

Lee was sent to Seattle when he was 18 so he could get a new lease on life, and while finishing school in the Pacific-Northwest he worked as a waiter and began teaching Wing Chun to his friends. By the mid-60s he’d already developed his own style of martial arts, and was preparing to make a jump into film and television. 

Cool rider, 1971. 

Source: Reddit

Thanks to the overwhelming success of 1969’s Easy Rider, America fell in love in motorcycles. While most riders kept things classic with their two wheelers, some of the more hardcore guys rode trikes, or three-wheeled motorcycles. Not only do trikes look cool, but they make a real power statement –  and they provide a relaxed ride that a lot of two-seaters just don’t give. It’s rare to catch a look at one of these babies in the 21st century, but in the 70s the were the ride-dejour of restless bikers across the country.

Gimme a sign!! Jamie Lee Curtis in the 1980s.

Source: Pinterest

After the release of Trading Places Jamie Lee Curtis began a career that transcended her scream queen past. In 1983 Curtis put her final girl locks to bed and debuted a new short haired look that would follow her throughout the 80s and become her signature look. Curtis’ career was start and stop in the 80s, but she still managed to appear in cult classics like A Fish Called Wanda and The Adventures of Buckaroo Bonzai, films which have only grown in stature since their release. How was Curtis after the 80s? Oh, she did just fine for herself. 

Here's the Ramones on their first video shoot in 1976.

Source: Pinterest

“We’re the Ramones and you’re a loudmouth baby…” and so the world was introduced to the greatest rock and roll quartet of the 20th century. The group who brought the phrase “hey ho, let’s go” to the mainstream came together in 1974 when four guys from the Forest Hills borough of New York City needed something to do. The band played their first show in 1974, and only two years later the band released their eponymous debut and blew everything off the radio. This shot comes from a promo video where the band performed “Loudmouth” in front a dingy curtain, a visual that perfectly encapsulates their aesthetic. 

JFK campaigning on top of a step stool in West Virginia. (1960)

Source: Pinterest

After serving as the Senator or Massachusetts from 1952 to 1960, John F. Kennedy set his sights on the presidency. Kennedy announced his candidacy on January 2 of that year, and from then on he was in the middle of a full court press towards the White House. Kennedy’s biggest struggle to make it to the election was the West Virginia primary against Hubert Humphrey. 

This primary was the first in which he couldn’t rely on a bump from Catholic supporters, and his win proved that he could carry an election without help from a specific religious group. During his speech Kennedy discussed improving the diet of the entire state. 

Las Vegas in the 1970s. 

Source: Pinterest

Vegas in the 70s was the most swinging place that ever existed. There was no better place to drop a few thousand dollars while catching a show from Wayne Newton, Lola Fanana, or Liberace. It was truly an era of glitz and glamour, before the city was cleaned up and sanitized, and when it was still run by a small group of locals who were committed to giving tourists a good time while taking them for everything they have. 

Learning the finer points of ironing back in home economics class, 1951.

Source: Pinterest

Ah yes, home economics in the 50s. Was there a better place for a young woman to learn how to iron a shirt than in a stuffy classroom with ten other girls? This was the class where students learned how to make peanut brittle and how to use candle wax to protect the recipes that they wrote on index cards. The most startling thing about this photo is the amount of study that goes into using an iron. Isn’t that more of a learn on the job kind of tool?

Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell take a break on the set of "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" in 1953. 

Source: Pinterest

It took Howard Hawkes to bring together mid-century bombshells Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, the film that inspired Madonna’s “Material Girl.” The film follows a pair of showgirls as they take a trip across the Atlantic while getting their flirt on. Monroe and Russell are magnetic in the film, and seeing them relax in their costumes in between filming numbers is a fascinating insight into how much time the two actresses spent together while on set. 

Men in black- Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash, 1969. 

Source: Pinterest

1969’s Nashville Skyline was a sea change for Bob Dylan. Throughout the 60s he’d been a straight up folkie, the titular “freewheelin’ Bob Dylan,” but by the end of the decade he changed up his style and went country. Who better to go country with than the man in black himself, Johhny Cash

The two singer-songwriters collaborated on a collection of songs, but the only track from their session together to see the light of day on an official release was “Girl from the North Country,” a song that’s been covered by the likes of both Rod Stewart and the Black Crows. 

Roger Daltrey with his dogs at home, 1970s

Source: Reddit

A man and his dogs, what’s not to love? Roger Daltrey has always been the face of The Who, the legendary mods who smashed guitars across the world. While not on stage, Daltrey relaxed at home in the English countryside with his dogs who may or may not have thought that Datlrey was wearing a third dog on top of his head. 

Daltrey and The Who continued to perform throughout the 70s, but they called it a day in 1982 after drummer Keith Moon’s death. The band got back together seven years later and Daltrey continued to hang out with his duo of dogs. 

Roller skaters at Venice Beach, 1979

Source: Reddit

At some point in the 70s roller skating exploded into the mainstream. If you weren’t at the roller disco with your friends then you were no one. One of the best places to roller skate was Venice Beach, a long stretch of sand where pedestrians can skate until they run out of road. 

Was it a rule that skaters had to wear short shorts and tail socks? The fashion police weren’t handing out tickets or anything, but if you want to fit in on the beach you had to hike those shorts up, put on your stripiest pair of socks, and crop that top. For an even better time, crank up the disco and start grooving to your favorite tunes. 

Singer/actress Chris Noel hosted her own radio show for the GIs in Vietnam. She did (4) tours of Vietnam and her helicopter was shot down twice. (Photo from 1966) 

Source: Reddit

Chris Noel is an actress who was most well known for beach party movies from the 60s like Beach Ball and Wild Wild Winter, but the work that she’s most well remembered for is her four tours of Vietnam to entertain the GIs, during which her helicopter was shot down twice. 

Even though she faced derision from Hollywood, Noel continued to join Bob Hope on his tours of Vietnam and even took part in Hope’s 25th anniversary show on December 25, 1966. 

The cool kids bike back in 1972!

Source: Reddit

If you weren’t riding a Raleigh Chopper in 1972 then you were a real nobody. The Choppers were designed to look like a mixture between a beach buggy and a chariot, it had three speeds and featured a rad pair of ape hangers that essentially made the bike more of a relaxed ride than something you’d want to take up a mountain. The Choppers were legitimately cool, and even if they went out of fashion by the 80s, they came back in a big way in the early 90s and they remain cool to this day. 

The first Taco Bell opened in 1961

Source: Reddit

The greatest fast food chain on the planet got its start in Downey, California in the early 60s with only a few items on the menu. The restaurant’s items vaguely resembled what you can find today, with the exception of the chili burger, which makes little logical sense, but that’s the 60s for you

Aside from the much derided chili burger, the OG Taco Bell served tacos (natch), burritos, and just a simple bowl of beans. If you were eating at the original Bell in the 60s one thing’s for sure, you were getting plenty of protein. 

What a 3rd grade class looked like in 1956.

Source: Reddit

Aesthetically speaking, elementary classrooms in the 1950s are a far cry from what kids are experiencing today. For instance, desks from the ‘50s were essentially torture devices designed to destroy lumbar support, that and children were regularly dressed like extras from Our Town. Is this classic classroom giving you flashbacks to back to back math and reading lessons? Are you breaking out in hives? Try to relax and remember that you never have to go back to school again. 

Grandpa (Al Lewis) in his 'DRAG-U-LA' car from "The Munsters" TV show. (1964)

Source: Pinterest

Was there anything cooler than The Munsters? The short lived tv show about a family of Universal Monsters who lived in Mockingbird Heights, California. Grandma Munster was a kindly vampire who conducted experiments in the family’s basement while tearing around town in his car, Dragula. The car, if you’ll excuse the pun, was Frankensteined together from an actual coffin, a Ford Mustang V-8 engine, and custom 10 inch steel wheels.

To drive the car Grandpa had to physically sit behind the engine, but it wasn’t the safest option. Dragula was restored in 2011 and you can see it in person at the Volo Auto Museum. 

The Mothers of Invention playing at the Whisky A Go Go in LA, 1966.

Source: Reddit

In the late 60s there was nowhere better place to break as an artist than the Whiskey a Go Go on the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles, California. Bands like The Doors, The Birds, and Buffalo Springfield jammed at the venue for multiple week long residencies, but the one of the most far out acts to play at the venue was Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention.

 Zappa’s band, which mixed free jazz with rock and pop, isn’t what you would think of as a classic major label band, but the group was so impressive during their residency that they were signed to Verve Records on the spot. 

Lee Remick in "A Face in the Crowd", 1957. An American drama film starring Andy Griffith (in his film debut). 

Source: Reddit

Andy Griffith’s debut, “A Face in the Crowd,” was meant to be a takedown of celebrity, but instead many of its stars were sent to the stratosphere because of its success. Particularly, Patricia Neal would later go on to win an Academy Award for 1963’s Hud, and she appeared in Breakfast at Tiffany’s in a pivotal role. That’s not bad for someone who started out as a pageant queen. 

Marilyn Monroe at Romanoff's to celebrate the completion of "The Seven Year Itch", 1954.

Source: Pinterest

The Seven Year Itch, otherwise known as the film where Marilyn Monroe stands over a subway grate, was a huge movie that pulled Monroe out of brief obscurity after she refused to appear in a film with Frank Sinatra. The film’s director, Billy Wilder, supposedly hated the film, but that didn’t stop it from being a wildly successful picture.

Monroe turned the film’s premiere into a figurative carnival when she brought her then beau Joe DiMaggio along with her. It’s not clear if DiMaggio enjoyed the film. 

Sophia Loren posing for a photo in front of Cleopatra’s Needle Sphinx in London, 1957.

Source: Pinterest

In 1953 Sophia Loren starred in Two Nights with Cleopatra as both Cleopatra and her double, a woman named Nisca who watches over Cleo’s palace while she’s passing through Egypt and sleeping with Mark Anthony’s guards – it’s pretty groovy.

Three years after the film's release the Italian beauty struck a royal pose in front of one of the famous Sphinxes that guard Needle Park in London. The two statues were erected in the 19th century, and they’ve survived everything from the German’s bombing London in World War II to Loren’s photo blitz in ’57.  The most iconic thing about this shot is that it zero to do with press around her film, it's just a thing she did. So cool. 

Stevie Nicks hanging out backstage during the ‘Cal Jam II’ music festival at the Ontario Motor Speedway in 1978.

Source: Pinterest

On March 18, 1978 the Ontario Motor Speedway played host to 350,000 people and a wild assortment of artists including Heart, Jean-Michelle Jarre, and Aerosmith. However, the woman that reigned above them all was Stevie Nicks

Fresh off the success of Fleetwood Mac’s masterpiece Rumours, Nicks showed up with Mick Fleetwood to sing “Ebony Eyes” with Bob Welch, a former member of the Mac that struck out on his own. Maybe that wasn’t the best decision, but hey, he got to play at the Ontario Motor Speedway. 

Grace Slick and Janis Joplin, 1967.

Source: Pinterest

It’s unclear where this photo was taken but it was 100% a full on party where ever it was. Slick and Joplin were on the forefront of the San Francisco jam rock scene, with both women leading the charge for the counter-culture with their booze soaked sultry voices. At the time, Slick fronted Jefferson Airplane and Joplin was singing for Big Brother and the Holding Company before striking out on her own.

These two women together were nothing but trouble, and as much as they were exploding with artistic talent, they were also out of their minds. It’s a shocker that even one of them made it out of the 60s alive

Aerial view of some of the 400,000 people who were at Woodstock, 1969.

Source: Pinterest

Holy moly that’s a lot of people. From August 15 - 18 in 1969, a 600 acre dairy farm in upstate New York was overrun with hippies looking for three days of peace and music. The festival’s promoters couldn’t have expected that nearly half a million people would show up, but that’s the count that was given at the peak of the festival, shortly afterwards the Governor declared a state of emergency in Sullivan County.

The festival went off with a series of hitches, but nothing stopped it from becoming an immense part of the 60s zeitgeist. 

Queen posing for their first photo shoot in 1974.

Source: Pinterest

Who are those handsome gents all lined up with fancy mullets? Oh, it’s Queen, the super famous English rock band behind “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “We Will Rock You.” These titans of power pop meets prog rock were playing together as far back as 1971, but they spent three years slogging through crumby gigs until they released their eponymous debut album. 

While their first LP didn’t set the world on fire, it did introduce audiences to the bombastic chemistry of Freddie Mercury and the full bodied shredding power of Brian May. When this photo was taken each member of the band was just in their mid-20s, if that, and even after a decade of hard rock decadence the classic Queen lineup always looked pretty good. 

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Brian Gilmore

Writer

Brian Gilmore has been writing about and studying everything the Internet loves since 2006 and you've probably accidentally read something he's written before, and if you haven't, you're already reading this bio, so that's a good start. He's a culture junkie ranging from Internet culture, to world history, to listening to way more podcasts than the average human being ever should. He's obsessed with the social catalysts that have caused some of the biggest movements of the last few hundred years, including everything from their effect on the pop culture of the time, to where they end up ideologically. The idea that generations have a beginning and an end is fascinating to him, and the fact that their lasting effects at any given point of their evolution can steer the direction of the entire world lead to some interesting questions, and answers, about our current culture at any given time. He also loves retrofuturism, phobias, and the fact that every pop culture icon has at least a few photos of them that make you feel like you might know them. History isn't a collection of stories as much as it is humanity trying its hardest to maintain a grasp on lessons we've learned before as a species, and that is just way too interesting to not look into a few hours a week. Oh and he used to collect Pez dispensers.