Thursday, 8 July 2010

American Independence spread......

My tribute to America.... might be a longish blog full of pictures and movie clips, but I think it is well worth reading (even if I do say so) - enjoy!

To open this tribute, it should be noted that I am not an American, so my take on this nation is on the things that have had a positive effect on me. With that in mind, and in no particular order lets begin!-

Classic American Cars, love 'em! You know the ones like the dark blue 1966 Mustang which was featured in the film Bullitt...

...... Superheros. Yep, The Tick (fantastic series wish it was still on but I have the DVD!), Wonder Woman, Flash, Captain America, The Fantastic Four, The Incredible Hulk and of course Gotham's Finest Batman - loved that 60's series when I think back. The wonder of being a superhero is just fantastic so thank you DC Comics & Marvel for the dreams, adventures and endless possibilities of stretching the mind!

Then of course there was lots of the male eye candy!

I used to watch Elvis Presley films every Saturday on TV - he was dreamy a real life American Ken to Barbie as a child (or Sindy (which was the really successful UK version until Hasbro bought the manufacturer in the late 70's, remodelled her and as a result her popularity dwindled and Barbie reigned again supreme across both sides of the big blue pond)! That said I loved Sindy a little more but she didn't have an Elvis!). I loved watching the Elvis films with Ann Margaret and I even learnt how to curl my top lip as a tribute to him!

So on with America and of course the silver screen which as you can tell has had a huge impact on me so lets continue with this tribute by moving into:

Space, that final frontier, Cape Kennedy, spacemen, the moon landing and of course Planet of the Apes! I was glued to the TV series, it was just so fantastic and the first film with that final scene with the Statue of Liberty - jaw dropping! I wanted the toys, never got them but trust my lovely Anders to have had them - he had everything (not that I am jealous, well I am and he knows it)!

Then there was Charlie's Angels. How I wanted to be Farrah Fawcett or Cheryl Ladd when she took over from Farrah and.....

Farrah epitomised the California Girl and all that is sunny and romantic as does......

.....Bottled Coke - that is how Coke should be sold (full stop, period).
Yes, the tins are a lovely red, but, it is that beautiful curvy bottle, with it's delicious treacle coloured liquid served ice cold that I am talking about! It makes you think of beaches and summer and fun (clearly good advertising eh!)
And whilst America couldn't claim the Beatles - they did produce The Monkeys -- hey hey, I couldn't stop monkeying around, I was too busy ......

singing, laughing and dancing to that TV show along with The Munsters, The Adams Family, The Partridge Family, The Marie & Donny Show and then as I grew into my teens (occasionally) Saturday Night Live which launched some of my favourite comedians and tv shows. What I did watch however, every week in my teens was the compulsory viewing in the UK of the much talked about series :

This soap kept people all over the world glued to the TV wondering if JR had been killed! It brought in 80's shoulder pads (now that was not cool looking back, but at the time Dallas reigned supreme (like Barbie)). The opposite end in style was Madonna. Still a sort of glamour but in a trendier sort of way.....

..... and like Madonna and Debbie Harry (Blondie), I too was obsessed with Marilyn Monroe and the glamour of Hollywood. I envied the fact that my sister when she was younger looked like her - can you blame me! I was told I looked like a young Bette Davis which I don't think I did and anyway, even if I did (which I didn't), I wanted to look like Marilyn and have her kick ass KAPOW - she had that super woman effect and she wasn't even invented by Marvel or DC Comics!

Of course America brought out the famous Hugh Heffner & Playboy bunnies including the likes of Lauren Hutton and Debbie Harry (Blondie)......

.....and brought PeeWee Herman (see he is standing behind the playboy bunny and on top of the stars & stripes poofy I found in a NY flea market) - he was fantastic and how I loved going to Florida just to see it where my Mum used to spend her winters to get away from the Scottish cold!

Ah,yes Florida, the state which brought my Mum so much happiness and America a country she so dearly loved.

Talking of Florida, America brought us

Walt Disney and Disney Land a fantastic place which Michael Jackson loved so much, and as I have come back to musicians again, America brought us Motown, Country & Western - I mean come on, the legendary Dolly Parton she is fab!

Cowboys, Indians, John Wayne, Sheriff Woody, Doris Day in Calamity Jane........

Then there are the other greats like Dizzy Gillespie (who Anders & I were lucky enough to see in NY's The Blue Note before he died) and of course Mohammed Ali ....

This list could go on, and on and on and on, really it could but I won't!! I will however finish on three things, Abbott & Costello who along with Laurel (actually English) & Hardy (American) made me laugh on Saturday mornings....

.....U (laughed at) Abbott & Costello (both American and this is a great clip)

..... had handSome......James Dean another male eye candy like Clark Gable, etc, etc......

And West Side Story..... set in my favourite city in the USA (that I have seen so many times and always come back to), New York, New York - yep, so good they named it twice and I can see why!

So perhaps this might just have to be tribute No. 1 - America, I salute you and want to visit more of you!

Goodness maybe I will make a feature of this space, a tribute page, what do you think - you decide!



  1. This was a GREAT tribute! There are so many different "things" that seem "American" to me (I should be the one to talk, though.) What I'm trying to say is that it is such a huge country made up of so many different cultures within the overall, typical American culture. I know and loved some of these things and, then, some of them, I only knew about. I assume that we've made a huge impact around the world because of Hollywood but I'm never sure what other's have seen and haven't. There's so much to say that I'm winding up saying nothing. =]

    The thing is, Americans are enamoured of other places around the world, too. Last year, for example, my family was glued to DVDs of "Monarch of the Glen". Many of us don't get tv, here in these Vermont mountains; so, I'd only just discovered it on a DVD set from the library. We were glued to the goings on in Scotland, for months. Thing is, in America, you have to pick your culture and style. There's so much to choose from....

    I think that we must be about the same age - Dallas was when I was in high school, too. Oh, the Farrah Fawcett hairdo was all the rage! I didn't know that "Planet of the Apes" was a movie. I have a friend who LOVES them - a real groupie. For their high school reunion, they made a planet of the apes float for the Alumni Day Parade. In trying to figure out the makeup, she became friends with the guy who was in charge of makeup (for the movie or TV series?). Cool, huh? =]

    BTW, "Fantasy Island" - you know the opening sequence with the Queen Anne house and the lagoon and 'da plane, da plane..."? That was filmed in the Arcadia Arboretum (California), about 10 minutes from where I grew up. We used to go there 2 or 3 times a year - every year. It was a lovely place. The house is actually like a shadow box museum. All of the original furniture, etc. you can walk around and look inside. It's quite a magical place!

    Anyway, this post was fun and doeable (i.e. not too long because it was enjoyable.) Thanks for taking all of the time to create it. And, walks down memory lane are soooo fun!

    Most sincerely, Katy Noelle

  2. Thank you Katy for reading this and leaving a comment.

    Monarch of the Glen, I have not seen it, but then I don't tend to watch these types of "Scottish" shows, although they are clearly popular.

    We are about the same age you are right, and yes Planet of the Apes had not only one film but 5 (from memory of my boxed set of DVD's)! Gosh your friends float would have been worth seeing.

  3. oh this was such an awesome (memory) post!!

  4. What a wonderful tribute. It's fun to see what American things have influenced others.