"Terror Monster" Trading Cards (Rosan, 1963)

Well, crap, I was going to bring in some extra stuff to scan for the blog; I'll have to do it next week.  For now, here are two treasures that came in the mail this week.  These are from a rare series of trading cards that used stills from vintage monster movies.  What I like about these cards is, they are respectful to the subject matter, and don't try to put a "funny" caption on them...I'm sure that being a child in the early 60's was very innocent and great and all that, and, while I'd buy any Godzilla-related "comedy" card in a heartbeat, they still sort of make me irate.
Like this.
Anywho, let's get to the subject at hand.  Here's the first one:
By the time these cards came out, KING KONG VS GODZILLA had already happened, and Godzilla was "Godzilla" again...but this card still acknowledges that, at least in America, there was a "fire monster." 
Oh, by the way, these cards aren't without lame humor, either...they just save it for the BACK of the card:

 Next is another from the same series:

 Aww, Baby Rodan, hatching from his egg! They grow up so fast! (Oh hell's bells, I just realized I just made my own stupid caption for this card! A thousand apologies! I take it all back.)
Anyone willing to translate this into real, actual humor that makes sense, write me.

Unfortunately, that's all for now...there are more of these, even more from different series, and they are quite in the "not cheap" category, so I'll have to keep digging for affordable ones!
I do actually own one of the "funny" ones that I've had since I was a kid...it's hard to tell, but my assumption was that it was from "The Land Unknown," but who knows:


Photo Miscellany Continued: Lego, Microscopic Photos, James Mason reads Browning LP

Here is another random sampling of things that piled up during the week:
Lego Minifigures Series 9, AT LAST! 60 packets of potential.
And here, also at last, are the newest 16 minifigs. That makes 144 in the series so far!
I don't know what my favorite is, but it's hard not to love "Chicken Suit Guy"!!
I also stumbled onto the new Batman set, but it seems there's a typo in the title! Poor Danes; don't worry, we will give you a break.  I can't spell ANY of your words...
Thusly, Aquaman arrives! Instead of reminding you of how useless Aquaman is, I will say this: Ironically, Lego has now completed the line-up for the first season of Super Friends!
I was looking at this version of the Godzilla handheld game on Ebay, and noticed something weird...
...um, okay, I think I see how that could...well, "medallions" are popular with kids these days of course...wait, they aren't at all...playground beatings are up, though...so the purpose of this is....wait, um, what, and why?
And, you know how I love Godzilla movie-poster-hyperbole.  Just read this text from the American half-sheet for "King of the Monsters" out loud, in your best John Carradine impression.  Go on.
As promised, 60x Iphone Microscope photos.  This is bathtub crank.  Not really; it's table salt.
And this is ground black pepper, which looks disgusting, like something you would clean out of a comb.
Sugar, which looks pretty much exactly like salt...
The Planet Jupiter.  Actually, it's the next closest thing: a barbecue potato chip.
Do you ever find a dead wolf spider on the carpet and take microscopic photos of him and...oh, you don't? Nevermind then.
I discovered this week I am beginning a library of photo responses to text messages, which is more convenient than typing.  This is for when I don't particularly like something...
And this is more fun than typing "dodged a bullet"...
This LP rather sucks.  It's not so much that, but it's going to be a let-down after hearing him read Jules Verne and H.G. Wells; this is more like the U.S. Tax Code.  You see, I used to be an English major in one of my educational careers, and I had to put up with things like this all the time.  Now I only read books with pictures, and lots of comics, so there you go.



Freshly arrived in the mail, and scanned to include here! The end of the original run, the "Golden Age" of Godzilla films, and the last Godzilla movie for a decade.  We will come back to this film in the near future; I want to do a series of posts on "hidden" or subtle details in Godzilla poster artwork that are quite entertaining!


Boris Karloff Reads....Poetry?

This is another post to file under "This Is Not Here." 
Since this isn't here, instead, let's talk about voles.  Wikipedia says:
"A vole is a small rodent resembling a mouse but with a stouter body, a shorter, hairy tail, a slightly rounder head, smaller ears and eyes, and differently formed molars (high-crowned and with angular cusps instead of low-crowned and with rounded cusps). There are approximately 155 species of voles. They are sometimes known as meadow mice or field mice in North America. Vole species form the subfamily Arvicolinae with the lemmings and the muskrats."


London Philharmonic Orchestra - "Music From Star Wars" (Stereo Gold Award, 1977)

As you can see, the actual title for this album, on the cover, is "Music From the Sci-Fi Film Composed By John Williams For Star Wars," but I went with the shorter version that is on the label! This is yet another in a long line of Star Wars LP's that were cranked out in 1977.  That year was jam-packed with Star Wars LP's...I suspect no other film has resulted in so many records, spanning the spectrum from "cover versions" to what can only be called rip-offs.
The good news here, though, is that you get a "real" orchestra.  One side of this album is devoted to a condensed A NEW HOPE soundtrack (which is what you get here, though strangely out of order), and the other side has the obligatory "2001 Theme" of "Also Sprach Zarathustra" and some other items that are either original, or interpolations of Holst's "Planets" tracks....anyway, if you have a personal collection of Star Wars theme covers, here's an addition for you.


Photo Miscellany

If you want to see more random (and sometimes interesting) photos, follow The Sphinx Pinterest Page, where there is lots of stuff I will never have room for here...

Got the new Lego Daily Bugle set yet? Did you notice something missing from ol' JJJ? Well, I'm sure we can't EXPECT Lego to include a cigar, after all, but here's a simple fix. This is one of those brown (lightsaber blade/cane) rods, cut down, taped off, and painted. Viola! (Yes, I know I said "viola" there.) Cello!
I was looking at my framed 1956 KOTM handbill thingy, which hangs in my main bathroom, and the hype was really cracking me up. I suppose in 1956 it made perfect sense to refer to Godzilla as "IT"...the "death-defying underwater photography" was also very amusing.
The robot family that lives on my fireplace mantel...I swear I can't get my brain around the spelling of "mantel." It just doesn't LOOK right. But of course "mantle" is something else entirely. You wouldn't have a robot family living on your MANTLE.
I had some Apple store credit, and I used it toward a set of lenses that fit the Iphone.  One of them is a "macro" lens that's 10x, and you can take some fun photos with it. They are like these (but not red) and work very well.  I have noticed some reviewers on Amazon who received the wrong product when they ordered these, but I can vouch that the real Olloclip ones work very well.
I liked these so much, I recently ordered a 60x MICROSCOPE attachment for the IPhone, which is currently on the way. Expect photos of dust mites and pictures of the micro-dimension where the Fantastic Four first finds Psycho Man to be posted soon...


A Musical Mystery! (Can You Solve It?)

Many of the albums I've been discussing here recently came from the contents of a storage building belonging to my late uncle.  Among the 1,000 or so albums I went through was  this one oddity:  a ten-inch, one-sided "acetate" of sorts that was in a torn paper sleeve (from a 12" album).  It was sitting on the lowest shelf, against the floor, and had accumulated years of dirt and dust.  
Upon initially examining it, I decided it must be a vanity record, made by a vacationer in one of those types of studios that used to exist in decades past (some were booths, where you would pay money, go into the booth, record a track, and leave with a one-of-a-kind record to take home or give as a gift).  It was only days later that I got a really good look at it.  One side is completely smooth; the other, where the grooves are, has a typed paper label.  The disc itself is apparently made out of shellac, over a metal plate.  The metal plate is bent slightly, and (especially on the underside) the shellac is cracked pretty seriously.
The amazing thing is, none of this affects the playing of the record at all! After I washed it, I realized that the damage ended before the grooves began, and that it may not destroy my stylus after all to play it!
But before we get to that, a word about the label itself, and what I was able to find out.

As you can see, the only information that is given are two lines.  First, the title of "This Is The Place," and second, "Samous Island Music." That's it.  No artist name, no writer, no running time, no year.  It doesn't even tell you whether the recording is 33 1/3 or 45 rpm (I believe it was 45). I learned quickly that even though the name "Music City Recorders" sounds a little generic, it was actually a recording studio in Nashville that was founded by Elvis' guitarist, Scotty Moore, in 1964.  Several big names have recorded there, including Ringo Starr, who did his whole "Beaucoups of Blues" album there in 1970.  In 1975, the studio changed hands, and later, it became "Studio 19," as it exists today. In fact, I emailed Larry Rogers, a nice fellow who runs the studio, and sent him the photo and mp3.  Unfortunately, he wasn't able to supply any further information, so the mystery continues.  Also, he agreed with my assumption that "Samous  Island Music" must be a typo.  I've searched everywhere I can think of:  ASCAP, Discogs, even commercial sites like Amazon, YouTube, and that sort of thing, and I can't find any further information on either line of type.  (By the way, there is a Greek island called SAMOS ISLAND that Internet searches keep defaulting to, which is quite frustrating!) There were several songs entitled "This Is The Place" that simply didn't fit, either because of the date or some other such reason.
So, to recap...we have a mystery record that is most certainly not a home-made recording, but a professional demo of some sort, done in a professional studio, sung and played professionally, and probably between 1964 and 1975.  The publisher is probably "Famous Island Music," and besides the song title, that's all we know.  
The record did indeed play.  I was able to clean it up to an extent, but any further filtering took away from the sound, and there's quite a bit of surface noise present, but what should we expect, for a record stored in this manner for so long?!
So how did it end up in my uncle's storage building? I know that he frequented record conventions, and from all the albums I went through, I doubt he really knew exactly what he had, so who knows.
With all of that said, I leave any further revelations up to Sphinx patrons.  If you are holding any secrets about this disc, the song, the writer, or the singer, please contact me, and they will be shared here. Thanks! In the meantime, simply enjoy the mystery...