Nine Things a Woman Couldn’t Do in 1971

As we barrel toward the centennial celebration of women's suffrage in the United States, it’s not enough to bone up on the platforms of female primary candidates (though that’s an excellent start).

A Twitter user and self-described Old Crone named Robyn recently urged her fellow Americans to take a good long gander at a list of nine freedoms women in the United States were not universally granted in 1971, the year Helen Reddy released the soon-to-be anthem, "I Am Woman," above.




Even those of us who remember singing along as children may experience some shock that these facts check out on Snopes.

  1. CREDIT CARDS: Prior to the Equal Credit Opportunity Act of 1974, married women couldn’t get credit cards without their husbands' signatures. Single women, divorcees, and widows were often required to have a man cosign. The double standard also meant female applicants were frequently issued card limits up to 50% lower than that of males who earned identical wages.
  2. PREGNANT WORKERS: The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 protected pregnant women from being fired because of their impending maternity. But it came with a major loophole that’s still in need of closing. The language of the 41-year-old law stipulates that the employers must accommodate pregnant workers only if concessions are being made for other employees who are “similar in their ability or inability to work.”
  3. JURY DUTY: In 1975, the Supreme Court declared it constitutionally unacceptable for states to deny women the opportunity to serve on juries. This is an arena where we've all come a long way, baby. It’s now completely normal for men to be excused from jury duty as the primary caregivers of their young children.
  4. MILITARY COMBAT: In 2013, former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey announced that the Pentagon was rescinding the direct combat exclusion rule that barred women from serving in artillery, armor, infantry and other such battle roles. At the time of the announcement, the military had already seen more than 130 female soldiers killed, and 800 wounded on the frontlines in Iraq and Afghanistan.
  5. IVY LEAGUE ADMISSIONS: Those who conceive of elite colleges as breeding grounds for sexual assault protests and Title IX activism would do well to remember that Columbia College didn’t admit women until 1983, following in the marginally deeper footsteps of others in the Ivy League—Harvard (1977), Dartmouth (1972), Brown (1971), Yale (1969), and Princeton (1969). These days, single sex higher education options for women far outnumber those for men, but the networking power and increased earning potential an Ivy League degree confers remains the same.
  6. WORKPLACE HARASSMENT: In 1977, women who'd been sexually harassed in the workplace received confirmation in three separate trials that they could sue their employers under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. In 1998, the Supreme Court ruled that same-sex harassment was also unlawful. In between was the television event of 1991, Anita Hill’s shocking testimony against her former boss, U.S. Supreme Court justice (then nominee) Clarence Thomas.
  7. SPOUSAL CONSENT: In 1993, spousal rape was officially outlawed in all 50 states. Not tonight honey, or you'll have a headache in the form of your wife's legal back up.
  8. HEALTH INSURANCE: In 2010, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act decreed that any health insurance plan established after March of that year could not charge women higher premiums than men for identical benefits. This was bad news for women who got their health insurance through their jobs, and whose employers were grandfathered into discriminatory plans established prior to 2010. Of course, that's all ancient history now.
  9. CONTRACEPTIVES: In 1972, the Supreme Court made it legal for all citizens to possess birth control, irrespective of marital status, stating "if the right of privacy means anything, it is the right of the individual, married or single, to be free from unwarranted governmental intrusion into matters so fundamentally affecting a person as the decision whether to bear or beget a child." (It’s worth noting, however, that in 1972, states could still constitutionally prohibit and punish sex outside of marriage.)

Feminism is NOT just for other women.

- Old Crone

Via Kottke

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Ayun Halliday is an author, illustrator, theater maker and Chief Primatologist of the East Village Inkyzine.  Join her in NYC on Monday, October 7 when her monthly book-based variety show, Necromancers of the Public Domaincelebrates the art of Aubrey Beardsley. Follow her @AyunHalliday.

Why Time Seems to Fly By As You Get Older, and How to Slow It Down: A Scientific Explanation by Neuroscientist David Eagleman

The Buddha, it’s said, struggled mightily with three specters of adulthood—aging, sickness, and death—when reflections on mortality harshed his hedonistic life as a prince. His “intoxication with life entirely dropped away,” the stories say, when he reflected on life's passing. Nothing cured his fatal unease until a memory from childhood arose unbidden: of stopping time by quietly sitting under a rose-apple tree.

In another version of this story, Marcel Proust discovered timelessness baked in a cookie. His potent memories of madeleines also came from childhood. As he recalled “the taste of tea and cake,” he writes, “at once the vicissitudes of life had become indifferent to me, its disasters innocuous, its brevity illusory …. I had ceased now to feel mediocre, accidental, mortal.”




Neuroscientist David Eagleman also invokes a childhood memory in his discussion of time and aging, in the BBC video above. It is also a memory resonant with a remarkable physical detail: red brick pavement hurtling toward him as he falls from the roof of a house, experiencing what must have been a terrifying descent in slow motion. Quite a different experience from communing with trees and eating tea cakes, but maybe the content of a childhood memory is irrelevant to its temporal dimensions.

What we can all remember is that along with impatience and distractibility, childhood seems rich with carefree, absorptive languor (or moments of slow-motion panic). Psychologists have indeed shown in several studies that adults, especially those over the age of 40, perceive time as moving faster than it did when they were children. Why?

Because time is a “psychological construct,” says Eagleman, and can vary not just between ages and cultures, but also between individual consciousnesses. “It can be different in your head and my head,” he says. “Your brain is locked in silence and darkness inside the vault of your skull.” In order to “figure out what’s going on outside,” it’s got to do “a lot of editing tricks.” One trick is to convince us that we’re living in the moment, when the moment happened half a second in the past.

But we can notice that gap when we’re faced with novelty, because the brain has to work harder to process new information, and it creates thicker descriptions in the memory. All of this additional processing, Eagleman says, seems to take more time, so we perceive new experiences as happening in a kind of slow motion (or remember them that way). That includes so many experiences in our childhood as well as emergency situations in which we have to navigate a challenging new reality very quickly.

As writer Charles Bukowski once said, “as you live many years, things take on a repeat…. You keep seeing the same thing over and over again.” The brain can coast on familiarity and expend little energy generating perception. We retain fewer detailed memories of recent events, and they seem to have flown by us. The remedy, says Eagleman, is to seek novelty. (You thought he was going to say “mindfulness”?) Wear your watch on a different wrist, change the way you brush your teeth….

Mundane examples, but the point remains: we need new and varied experiences to slow our sense of time. Routine lack of novelty in adulthood may be the primary reason that “our early years,” write psychologists James Broadway and Brittaney Sandoval write at Scientific American,“tend to be relatively overrepresented in our autobiographical memory and, on reflection, seem to have lasted longer.”

They can also, for that reason, seem all the sweeter. But nostalgia, however tempting, can’t take the place of going new places, meeting new people, reading new books, hearing new music, seeing new films, and so on and so forth—and thereby effectively slowing down time.

via Aeon

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Josh Jones is a writer and musician based in Durham, NC. Follow him at @jdmagness

Relive 16 Hours of Historic Live Aid Performances with These Big YouTube Playlists: Queen, Led Zeppelin, Neil Young & Much More

12 pm - 2 pm | Wembley Stadium, London

As Live Aid geared up for its momentous series of concerts of both sides of the Atlantic, famous concert promoter Bill Graham compared it to Woodstock: “What we’re doing now is entirely different. The reason for the event is more important than the event itself.”

Three decades later, the memory of the event has eclipsed its reason (and one Queen performance has eclipsed most of the concert). It was a gathering of the best of mainstream ‘80s rock--still trying to justify itself alongside acts from the 60s and the ‘70s--and the zenith of the fundraising telethon: broadcast live in 140 countries to raise $50 million for victims of a relentless African famine. (Fun fact: the concerts raised about $560 million in 2019 money, about two days’ worth of Jeff Bezos’ current earnings!)




If you have a day to spare, you can recreate that amazing July 13th in 1985 with this series of YouTube playlists.

The day started at London's Wembley Stadium (up top), with the Regimental Band of the Coldstream Guards performing the Royal Salute for Queen and Country and all that, and then things really started with Status Quo, those grizzled ol’ blokes playing “Rockin’ All Over the World.” Yanks might have said “who?” but it was the Brits who either bopped along or said, “Not this bloody Dad rock!” (Okay, not true, the phrase hadn’t been invented, but something similar was uttered.)

2 pm - 4 pm | Wembley Stadium, London

The British side was indeed a mixed bag, reflecting the idiosyncrasies of its own singles chart compared to the more steadfast American charts. Elvis Costello sang “All You Need Is Love”; the Style Council sang their hits; Nik Kershaw played his chart-topper. Phil Collins performed “Against All Odds,” then jumped on a Concorde for New York, arriving to sing it again for a different audience.

4 pm - 6 pm | Wembley Stadium, London

There’s so much more to explore in these playlists: the Led Zeppelin reunion, The Cars at the height of their powers (RIP Ric Ocasek), Neil Young (and his reunion with Crosby, Stills, and Nash), Bob Dylan, The Four Tops, Run D.M.C., the list really goes on and on.

6 pm - 8 pm | Wembley Stadium, London

8 pm - 10 pm | Wembley Stadium, London

2 pm - 5 pm | John F. Kennedy Stadium, Philadelphia

5 pm - 8 pm | John F. Kennedy Stadium, Philadelphia

8 pm - 11 pm | John F. Kennedy Stadium, Philadelphia

Live Aid | 11 pm- 2 am | John F. Kennedy Stadium, Philadelphia

Live Aid | 2 am - 4 am | John F. Kennedy Stadium, Philadelphia

Find a complete list of Live Aid performances here.

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Ted Mills is a freelance writer on the arts who currently hosts the artist interview-based FunkZone Podcast and is the producer of KCRW's Curious Coast. You can also follow him on Twitter at @tedmills, read his other arts writing at tedmills.com and/or watch his films here.

Musicians Around the World Play The Band’s Classic Song, “The Weight,” with Help from Robbie Robertson and Ringo Starr

Playing For Change, a "movement created to inspire and connect the world through music," has released its latest video--this one featuring musicians from five continents playing "The Weight," a classic song from The Band's 1968 album, Music from Big Pink. Amongst the musicians you'll find The Band's own Robbie Robertson and The Beatle's Ringo Starr. In our archive, find other Playing for Change takes on The Grateful Dead's "Ripple," The Rolling Stones' "Gimme Shelter," Bob Marley's "Redemption Song," and Ben King's "Stand by Me." For more, visit Playing for Change's YouTube channel.

Would you like to support the mission of Open Culture? Please consider making a donation to our site. It's hard to rely 100% on ads, and your contributions will help us continue providing the best free cultural and educational materials to learners everywhere.

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Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour Teaches a Course on Creativity & Leadership

Imagine a famous magazine editor, and smart money says the image that comes to mind has a bob haircut and sunglasses. No one has defined the role of magazine-editor-as-cultural-force, and so consistently lived it, more than Anna Wintour, and the online education company Masterclass has somehow convinced her to take her hand off the wheel of Vogue — and put aside those oversized shades — just long enough to star in a course about how she steers that behemoth of a publication through the waters of fashion. "I know many people are curious about who I am and how I approach my work," Wintour says in the trailer above. "This is a class for those who want to understand my leadership style, and then understand the experiences that have helped me become an effective leader."

You may well have already heard a thing or two about Wintour's leadership style, the famously exacting nature of which has provoked different reactions from different people (and possibly even inspired a bestselling novel and its feature-film adaptation).




But as Wintour herself explains it, "you need someone who can push you, that isn't pulling you back" — sensible advice even for leaders of companies, teams, and classrooms who don't mind projecting a somewhat more laid-back image. But even for those who want to project as much individual strength and resolve as possible, "it's really, really important to surround yourself with a team whose opinions that you trust, who are not in any way frightened of disagreeing with you, and you have to listen."

In her Masterclass, Wintour teaches, in other words, "how to be a boss." That phrase appears at the top of its syllabus, whose twelve lessons include "Anna's Management Tips" and "Editorial Decision-Making" as well as "Photographers and Models," "A Look Back at Iconic Covers," and "Transforming the Met Gala." Though geared toward viewers with an interest in the business of fashion (case studies include the careers of Miuccia Prada and Michael Kors), "Anna Wintour Teaches Creativity and Leadership" also offers principles for any human endeavor that requires invention, group work, and meeting hard deadlines over and over again. You can take the course individually for $90 USD, or as part of a $180 yearly all-access pass to every course on Masterclass, including another one on creativity by a similarly productive cultural figure, similarly recognizable by personal style alone: David Lynch.

FYI: If you sign up for a MasterClass course by clicking on the affiliate links in this post, Open Culture will receive a small fee that helps support our operation.

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Based in Seoul, Colin Marshall writes and broadcasts on cities, language, and culture. His projects include the book The Stateless City: a Walk through 21st-Century Los Angeles and the video series The City in Cinema. Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall or on Facebook.

Martin Scorsese Makes a List of 85 Films Every Aspiring Filmmaker Needs to See

Martin_Scorsese_Berlinale_2010

Image by "Siebbi," Wikimedia Commons

Before the rise of institutional film schools—ensconced in university walls with all the formality that entails—those seeking to learn the craft did so by apprenticing themselves to studios and master directors, and by watching lots and lots of movies. If we take the example of some of the most interesting filmmakers working today, this still may be the best way to become a filmmaker. Werner Herzog’s Rogue Film School, for example, forgoes the trappings of classrooms for a much more rough-and-tumble approach—and a direct confrontation with the medium. Kevin Smith dropped out of film school, as did Paul Thomas Anderson, spurred on partly by a love of Terminator 2. “My filmmaking education,” revealed Anderson, “consisted of finding out what filmmakers I liked were watching, then seeing those films.” It’s more or less how Quentin Tarantino learned to make movies too.

You could hardly do better—if you’ve decided to take this independent route toward a cinematic education—than apprentice yourself under Martin Scorsese. Or at least find out what films he loves, and watch them all yourself.

Last year, we featured a list of 39 foreign films the estimable director of Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, Hugo, Goodfellas (etc., etc., etc.) recommended to a young filmmaker. Today, we bring you a list of 85 films Scorsese referenced in the course of a four-hour interview he gave to Fast Company. “Some of the movies he discussed,” writes FastCo, “Others he just mentioned. But the cumulative total reflects a life lived entirely within the confines of movie making.” Shoot on over to Fast Company to read Scorsese’s commentary on each of the films below, and see an aesthetically pleasing version of his list over at MUBI as well.

Like I said, you could hardly do better.

  • Ace in the Hole
  • All that Heaven Allows
  • America, America
  • An American in Paris
  • Apocalypse Now
  • Arsenic and Old Lace
  • The Bad and the Beautiful
  • The Band Wagon
  • Born on the Fourth of July
  • Cape Fear
  • Cat People
  • Caught
  • Citizen Kane
  • The Conversation
  • Dial M for Murder
  • Do the Right Thing
  • Duel in the Sun
  • The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse
  • Europa ’51
  • Faces
  • The Fall of the Roman Empire
  • The Flowers of St. Francis
  • Force of Evil
  • Forty Guns
  • Germany Year Zero
  • Gilda
  • The Godfather
  • Gun Crazy
  • Health
  • Heaven’s Gate
  • House of Wax
  • How Green Was My Valley
  • The Hustler
  • I Walk Alone
  • The Infernal Cakewalk
  • It Happened One Nght
  • Jason and the Argonauts
  • Journey to Italy
  • Julius Caesar
  • Kansas City
  • Kiss Me Deadly
  • Klute
  • La Terra Trema
  • The Lady From Shanghai
  • The Leopard
  • Macbeth
  • The Magic Box
  • M*A*S*H
  • A Matter of Life and Death
  • McCabe & Mrs. Miller
  • The Messiah
  • Midnight Cowboy
  • Mishima
  • Deeds Goes to Town
  • Smith Goes to Washington
  • Nashville
  • Night and the City
  • One, Two, Three
  • Othello
  • Paisa
  • Peeping Tom
  • Pickup on South Street
  • The Player
  • The Power and the Glory
  • Stagecoach
  • Raw Deal
  • The Red Shoes
  • The Rise of Louis XIV
  • The Roaring Twenties
  • Rocco and his Brothers
  • Rome, Open City
  • Secrets of the Soul
  • Senso
  • Shadows
  • Shock Corridor
  • Some Came Running
  • Stromboli
  • Sullivan’s Travels
  • Sweet Smell of Success
  • Tales of Hoffman
  • The Third Man
  • T-Men
  • Touch of Evil
  • The Trial
  • Two Weeks in Another Town

Note: An earlier version of this post appeared on our site in 2015.

Would you like to support the mission of Open Culture? Please consider making a donation to our site. It's hard to rely 100% on ads, and your contributions will help us continue providing the best free cultural and educational materials to learners everywhere.

Also consider following Open Culture on Facebook and Twitter and sharing intelligent media with your friends. Or sign up for our daily email and get a daily dose of Open Culture in your inbox. 

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Josh Jones is a writer and musician based in Durham, NC. Follow him at @jdmagness

The Creepy 13th-Century Melody That Shows Up in Movies Again & Again: An Introduction to “Dies Irae”

The number of iconic scenes in cinema history can and do fill textbooks hundreds of pages long. Doubtless most of us have seen enough of these scenes to know the basic grammar of feature film, and to recognize the hundreds of references in movies and TV to classic cuts and compositions from Hitchcock, Kubrick, or Kurosawa.

Visual and narrative allusions might leap out at us, but music tends to work in subtler ways, prompting emotional responses without engaging the parts of our brain that make comparisons. Case in point, the videos here from Vox and Berklee College of Music professor Alex Ludwig demonstrate the widespread use of a musical motif of four notes from the “Dies Irae,” or “day of wrath,” a 13th century Gregorian requiem, or Catholic mass traditionally sung at funerals.




Of course, we know these notes from the iconic, oft-parodied Amadeus scene of Mozart composing the “Dies Irae” movement of his Requiem in his sickbed, as ultimate frenemy Salieri furiously transcribes. Once you hear the magisterially ominous sequence of notes, you might immediately think of Wendy Carlos’ themes for The Shining and A Clockwork Orange. But did you notice these four notes in Disney’s The Lion King, Star Wars: Episode IV—A New Hope, or It’s a Wonderful Life?

What about Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, or Home Alone? Both Vox and Ludwig show how the “dies irae” theme appears over and over, cueing us to peril or tragedy ahead, orienting us to the terror and unease we see onscreen. For almost 800 years, these four notes have signified all of the above for Catholic Europe, as well as, Vox notes, soundtracking the supposed future day when “God will judge the living and the dead and send them to heaven or hell.”

The “dies irae” has permeated narrative cinema for almost as long as film has existed. The oldest example in Ludwig’s compilation comes from a 1927 score written by Gottfried Huppertz for Fritz Lang’s silent Metropolis. Ludwig also brings his musicological expertise to bear in Vox’s exploration of “dies irae” references. He sums up the net effect as creating a “sense of dread,” bestowed upon modernity by hundreds of years of Christian theology as expressed in music.

Film composers were only the latest to pick up the cultural thread of fear and threat in "Dies Irae." Their work stands on the shoulders of Mozart and later composers like Hector Berlioz, who lifted the melody in his 1830 Symphonie fantastique to tell a story of obsessive love and murder, and a nightmare of a witch’s sabbath. Later came Franz Liszt’s 1849 Totentanz (Dance of the Dead) and Giuseppe Verdi’s 1874 Messa da Requiem, a very recognizable piece of music that has made its appearance in no small number of movies, TV shows, commercials, and temp scores.

Vox and Ludwig show the “dies irae” phenomenon in film to be a slow cultural evolution from the ornate, sacred pomp of medieval Catholic rites to the ornate, secular pomp of Hollywood film production, by way of classical composers who seized on the theme’s “sense of dread” but remained at least ambivalent about happy endings on the day of wrath.

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Josh Jones is a writer and musician based in Durham, NC. Follow him at @jdmagness

What Did People Eat in Medieval Times? A Video Series and New Cookbook Explain

A couple days ago, Open Culture’s Ayun Halliday brought us the delightfully amusing medieval comics of artist Tyler Gunther. With references to Game of Thrones and a piece of women’s headgear called “Planetary Realness,” the single-panel gags use seemingly-period-correct imagery to play with our presentist biases. The “Medieval Peasant Food Pyramid,” for example, shows a diet based on copious amounts of ale, bread, and cheese, with goose pie once a year and nary a fruit or vegetable in sight.

Stereotypes of medieval European nutrition seem comparatively benign, derived as much from fantasy entertainment as from misunderstandings of history. But while it’s true people in Europe hundreds of years ago died young and in huge numbers from plague, famine, war, and, yes, bad food, they also survived long enough to pass on genes and build cities and towns that still exist today. They didn’t do so strictly on a diet of beer and bread.

If we want to know what people really ate in, say, 12th century England, we’ll find that their diets varied widely from region to region, depending on what cooks could grow, forage, or purchase from other locals. Everyone, in other words, was a localvore. Each region had its recipes for breads and cheeses, and each its own dishes made with its own animals, herbs, spices, and roughage. And we’ll find that major historical events could radically alter diets, as foods—and arable land—became scarcer or more plentiful.

Such were the findings of non-profit volunteer history group Iron Shepherds, who used primary texts, images, and cooking methods to reconstruct ten 12th-century recipes from their native “home county of Cumbria, in the North of England,” reports Atlas Obscura. “[W]hile the country became embroiled in a bloody civil war” over succession during a time known as The Anarchy, Cumbria became a part of Scotland, and lived in relative stability, "home to cultures ranging from the invading Flemish and Frenchman to Celts and even Norse Vikings.”

Needless to say, this diversity of cultures contributed to a diversity of tastes, and a colorful range of dishes with names like frumenty, plumentum, and tardpolene. “Cumbria’s peasants, it turns out, ate much as we strive to today—though for vastly different reasons….." The peasants’ "diets consisted of plant-based, low-sugar meals of locally-sourced, if not home-grown ingredients.” Involuntary fasting might have been a feature for many peasants, but so too was “voluntary, intermittent fasting…. In the name of religious self-discipline.”

What about the upper classes? How might, say, a landed knight eat, once he finished roaming his demesne and rested safe at home with his staff and entourage? In the video at the top, Modern History TV’s Jason Kingsley and food historian Chris Carr discuss the dietary practices of the privileged in medieval times. Again, here we find more surprisingly forward-thinking preventative nutrition, though limited by the medicine of the time. Cooks would consult with the knight’s personal physician, who himself would monitor his patient’s vitals—going so far as to taste the knight’s urine, a way of detecting what we now know as diabetes. Too sweet? Cut out the sugar.

Iron Shepherd’s Medieval Meals cookbook has proven so popular that it’s currently sold out, but you can see many more episodes of Modern History TV’s medieval series devoted to food at their channel on YouTube, including the videos above on the diets of peasants, nobles, and knight’s vassals. There are also vlogs on “Hearty Food vs. Posh Food,” “Good Eating,” and—in answer to that age-old question—“What did medieval peasants use instead of plastic wrap” to store their leftovers? Come for the food, stay for the lively videos on weaponry, hoods, and hay making.

via Atlas Obscura

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Josh Jones is a writer and musician based in Durham, NC. Follow him at @jdmagness

Jimi Hendrix Wreaks Havoc on the Lulu Show, Gets Banned From the BBC (1969)

Can you imagine Jimi Hendrix singing a duet with Lulu? Well, neither could Hendrix. So when the iconoclastic guitar player showed up with his band at the BBC studios in London on January 4, 1969 to appear on Happening for Lulu, he was horrified to learn that the show's producer wanted him to sing with the winsome star of To Sir, With Love. The plan called for The Jimi Hendrix Experience to open their set with "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)" and then play their early hit "Hey Joe," with Lulu joining Hendrix onstage at the end to sing the final bars with him before segueing into her regular show-closing number. "We cringed," writes bassist Noel Redding in his memoir, Are You Experienced? The Inside Story of The Jimi Hendrix Experience.

Redding describes the scene that he, Hendrix, and drummer Mitch Mitchell walked into that day as being "so straight it was only natural that we would try to combat that atmosphere by having a smoke in our dressing room." He continues:

In our haste, the lump of hash got away and slipped down the sink drainpipe. Panic! We just couldn't do this show straight--Lulu didn't approve of smoking! She was then married to Maurice Gibb of the Bee Gees, whom I'd visited and shared a smoke with. I could always tell Lulu was due home when Maurice started throwing open all the windows. Anyway, I found a maintenance man and begged tools from him with the story of a lost ring. He was too helpful, offering to dismantle the drain for us. It took ages to dissuade him, but we succeeded in our task and had a great smoke.

When it was time for The Jimi Hendrix Experience to go on camera, they were feeling fairly loose. They tore through "Voodoo Child" and then the program cut to Lulu, who was squeezed awkwardly into a chair next to an audience member in the front row. "That was really hot," she said. "Yeah. Well ladies and gentlemen, in case you didn't know, Jimi and the boys won in a big American magazine called Billboard the group of the year." As Lulu spoke a loud shriek of feedback threw her off balance. Was it an accident? Hendrix, of course, was a pioneer in the intentional use of feedback. A bit flustered, she continued: "And they're gonna sing for you now the song that absolutely made them in this country, and I'd love to hear them sing it: 'Hey Joe.'"




The band launched into the song, but midway through--before Lulu had a chance to join them onstage--Hendrix signaled to the others to quit playing. "We'd like to stop playing this rubbish," he said, "and dedicate a song to the Cream, regardless of what kind of group they may be in. We dedicate this to Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker and Jack Bruce." With that the band veered off into an instrumental version of "Sunshine of Your Love" by the recently disbanded Cream. Noel Redding continues the story:

This was fun for us, but producer Stanley Dorfman didn't take it at all well as the minutes ticked by on his live show. Short of running onto the set to stop us or pulling the plug, there was nothing he could do. We played past the point where Lulu might have joined us, played through the time for talking at the end, played through Stanley tearing his hair, pointing to his watch and silently screaming at us. We played out the show. Afterwards, Dorfman refused to speak to us but the result is one of the most widely used bits of film we ever did. Certainly, it's the most relaxed.

The stunt reportedly got Hendrix banned from the BBC--but it made rock and roll history. Years later, Elvis Costello paid homage to Hendrix's antics when he performed on Saturday Night Live. You can watch The Stunt That Got Elvis Costello Banned From SNL here.

Note: An earlier version of this post appeared on our site in 2012.

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Related content:

The Stunt That Got Elvis Costello Banned From Saturday Night Live (1977)

The Night John Belushi Booked the Punk Band Fear on Saturday Night Live, And They Got Banned from the Show

Jimi Hendrix Unplugged: Two Great Recordings of Hendrix Playing Acoustic Guitar

Visit the Homes That Great Architects Designed for Themselves: Frank Lloyd Wright, Le Corbusier, Walter Gropius & Frank Gehry

However impressive the buildings they design in the eminence of middle- and old age, most architects start their careers with private houses. Some architects, if they come into money early in life or simply can't sell themselves to any other clients, start with their own private house. But most have to put in a few years' or even decades' work before they possess the wealth, the stability, or the aesthetic assurance needed to quite literally make a home for themselves. No such hesitance, however, for Frank Lloyd Wright, who when still in his early twenties built a home for his young family in Oak Park, Illinois, which became his studio and later an American National Historic Landmark.

You can get a wintertime tour of Wright's Oak Park home and studio — complete with snow falling outside and a tall Christmas tree inside — in the video above. A veritable catalog of all the nineteenth-century movements that influenced the young architect, from the Transcendentalism of Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau to the English Arts and Crafts movement to philosophies that held interior decoration to be a tool of moral improvement, the house still stands in bold contrast to all those around it. Wright lived and worked in the Oak Park house for twenty years, designed more than 150 projects in the studio, giving it a fair claim to be the birthplace of his still-influential early conception of a truly American architecture.

Just a few decades into the twentieth century, it started to seem that the most inspiring American architecture would come drawn up by European hands. The Austrian architect Richard Neutra moved to the United States in 1923, and after briefly working for Wright headed out to Los Angeles at the invitation of his compatriot Rudolf Schindler. There he worked on projects whose combination of rigorous geometry and openness to their surroundings would define what we still think of as mid-century modern residential architecture. A few years after designing the famous Lovell Health House, completed in 1929, he took a loan from architecture-loving Dutch industrialist Cees H. Van der Leeuw and got to work on his own home, dubbed the VDL Research House.

Even without a wealthy client like the eccentric health guru Philip Lovell, Neutra built a house that would nevertheless keep its residents — he and his family — in contact with air, light, and nature. The result, as explained in the Dwell video on the VDL Research House above, is a version of European-style international Modernism "adapted to the California climate, adapted to the California lifestyle," whose twelve exterior doors ensure that "no matter where you are, you can walk outside," and none of whose aesthetic features try to compete with its natural surroundings. Neutra, who lived in the house until his death in 1932 (with a period away after its destruction by fire in 1963 and subsequent reconstruction) wrote that he "wanted to demonstrate that human beings, brought together in close proximity, can be accommodated in very satisfying circumstances, taking in that precious amenity called privacy."

While Neutra was enjoying his realized vision of a new domestic life in California, Le Corbusier was hard at work realizing his own back in Europe. Designing an apartment block for a private developer in Paris' 16th arrondissement, the Swiss-French architect negotiated the seventh and eighth floors for himself. His home in the building, named Immeuble Molitorat when completed in 1934, includes an art studio, a rooftop garden, plenty of skylights and glass bricks to let in light, and a bedroom modeled after an ocean liner cabin with a bed raised high enough to take in the view of Boulogne over the balcony. Named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2016, Immeuble Molitorat also underwent a thorough restoration project beginning that year, chronicled in the documentary Chez Le Corbusier above.

Le Courbusier didn't get quite as much traction in the New World as he did in the Old, unlike some European architects of his generation whose work attained full bloom only after crossing the ocean. Bauhaus school founder Walter Gropius surely falls into the latter group, and it didn't take him long to establish himself in America, where he'd arrived with his wife Ise in 1937, with a house of his own that looked like nothing most Americans had ever seen before. Nor, as Gropius later wrote, had Europeans:  "I made it a point to absorb into my own conception those features of the New England architectural tradition that I found still alive and adequate. This fusion of the regional spirit with a contemporary approach to design produced a house that I would never have built in Europe."

"My husband was always charmed by the natural curiosity of Americans," says Ise in her narration of Walter Gropius: His New World Home, the short film above made the year after the architect's death. Located in Lincoln, Massachusetts, which Ise describes as "very near Walden Pond" in the "heart of the Puritan New England countryside," both the house and the landscape around it were planned with a Bauhaus interest in maximum efficiency and simplicity. Filled with furniture made in Bauhaus workshops in the 1920s, the house also became a party space twice a year for Gropius graduate students at Harvard, "to give them a chance to see a modern house in operation, because they couldn't see it any place else except in the Middle West, where houses by Frank Lloyd Wright had been built, or in California, where houses by Mr. Neutra had been built."

After the Second World War, industrial designers Charles and Ray Eames brought into the world a new kind of Californian indoor-outdoor Modernism with their 1949 Eames House, a kind of Mondrian painting made into a livable box filled with an idiosyncratic arrangements of artifacts from all over the world. In 1955 the Eamses made the film above, House: After Five Years of Living, a wordless collection set to music of views of and from the house. By then the Eames House had already become the most famous of the "Case Study Houses," all commissioned by Arts & Architecture magazine in a challenge to well-known architects (Neutra was another participant) to "create ‘good’ living conditions" for postwar American families, all of which"must be capable of duplication and in no sense be an individual ‘performance.'”

But unless you count recreations in reverential museum exhibits, none of the 25 Case Study Houses were ever replicated, and the Eames House strikes modern observers as an individual performance as much as does Philip Johnson's also-boxlike Glass House, built the same year in New Canaan, Connecticut. With its every wall, window, and door made out of the material in its name, the house provided the architect a living experience, until his death in 2005, that he described as "a permanent camping trip." Built with industrial materials and German ideas — ideas a bit too similar, some say, to those of German architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe's Farnsworth House in Illinois — the Glass House's fame, as New York Times architecture critic Nicolai Ouroussoff puts it, "may have done more to make Modernism palatable to the country's social elites than any other structure of the 20th century."

The 90-year-old Frank Gehry, in collaboration with his architect son Sam, recently finished a new house in Santa Monica for himself and his family. But the old house he'd designed for himself and his family in Santa Monica must have served him well, since he'd occupied it for more than 40 years. It began as an existing, unremarkable Dutch Colonial structure, yet when Gehry realized he needed more space, he simply designed another house to build not over but around it. He drew inspiration from the industrial materials he saw around him, deliberately incorporating great quantities of glass, plywood, corrugated metal, and chain-link fencing. "I had just been through a study of chain-link fencing," Gehry recalls in the video above, produced for the Gehry Residence's reception of an award from the American Institute of Architects.

Because chain-link fencing was so ubiquitous, he says, "and because it was so universally hated, the denial thing interested me." Though his mixture of "fragment and whole, raw and refined, new and old" angered his neighbors at first, it has come to stand as a statement not just of Gehry's aesthetic sensibility — the one that has shaped the likes of the Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Guggenheim Bilbao — but of another strong possibility for what American architecture can be. "I was responding to time and place and budget, and character of the neighborhood and context and what was going on in the world at that time," Gehry says. "That's the best thing to do when you're a student, is not to try to be somebody else. Don't try to be Frank Gehry. Don't try to be Frank Lloyd Wright."

Related Content:

Watch 50+ Documentaries on Famous Architects & Buildings: Bauhaus, Le Corbusier, Hadid & Many More

Take 360° Virtual Tours of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Architectural Masterpieces, Taliesin & Taliesin West

1,300 Photos of Famous Modern American Homes Now Online, Courtesy of USC

A Quick Animated Tour of Iconic Modernist Houses

Watch Bauhaus World, a Free Documentary That Celebrates the 100th Anniversary of Germany’s Legendary Art, Architecture & Design School

On the Importance of the Creative Brief: Frank Gehry, Maira Kalman & Others Explain its Essential Role

The Modernist Gas Stations of Frank Lloyd Wright and Mies van der Rohe

Based in Seoul, Colin Marshall writes and broadcasts on cities, language, and culture. His projects include the book The Stateless City: a Walk through 21st-Century Los Angeles and the video series The City in Cinema. Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall or on Facebook.





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