- Paperback: 204 pages
- Publisher: Cedco Publishing Company (Sept. 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0768322324
- ISBN-13: 978-0768322323
- Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 23.3 x 1.4 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (1 customer review)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 881,410 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Swingin' Chicks of the '60s Paperback – Sep 2000
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Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The packaging and design of this book, a little over 200 pages, is perfect (hey, it's got Ann-Margret on the cover, so to me at least, it's perfect)- colorful, with those groovy 60's flowers all inside and out. It's also a great price for a paperback of coffee-table book quality. I may sound like a pimp saying that, but take a look at what other books of the same quality and size cost and you'll appreciate it.
Each chick has such a nice section devoted to them that if you're only really into, say, Barbara Eden and Julie Newmar, it's worth picking up just for that... and you'll probably find yourself reading the rest of the book anyway, discovering chicks you never knew about, or chicks you had only seen before but never found out their name. You liked that chick in the Elvis Movie Spinout , the tomboy drummer who fell for him? Here's everything you ever wanted to know about Deborah Walley (filed under "the beach girls" section of the book).
Nearly all of them get a two page spread.
Each swingin' chick's section includes photos (some of the chicks actually loaned the author personal photos from their collection) most in color, Her Swingin' 60's Credentials (briefly explaining why they've been included in the book), Workin' It, (describing their career) behind the scenes (their personal life) and important dates in the 60's for each chick. It also includes my favorite to read, Her 60's Look, describing their personal style. Most of them have bonus swingability sections including their real name (they get extra points for changing their name) and little known facts (Raquel Welch supposedly almost became a Bond Girl and signed for Thunderball, but bowed out). If you're really a fan of the chick, you might know most of them, but I consider myself pretty well informed about Sophia Loren, and never knew until I read the book that she was originally going to play the love interest in North by Northwest instead of Eva Marie Saint. If the chick has a web site, the URL is included-- you'd be surprised how many of them have official web sites and not just fan or tribute sites.
The 60's chicks are diced up into categories, by the way, so the book has sections for The Beach Girls, The Bond Beauties, The Elvis Girls! Girls! Girls!, The Look, The Movie Stars (a section for the all-americans such as Stella Stevens and another section for the British invasion)The TV Stars, and way more than I have the energy to type out. It's obvious that a lot of care went into this book; not only does the author genuinely care about each chick, and discuss them with the respect they deserve that is sorely lacking from many similar books, but it's incredibly well researched and documented. In most articles or features about Ann-Margret, I usually find a mistake. Here, I discover Ann-Margret and longtime husband Roger Smith's first date was to see Ike and Tina Turner show (talk about a date you wish you had double dated on). Though I thought I'd read most of the biographies and books about the area, there's a selected bibliography that included books I never knew existed that I'm gonna be running to the library with a list of.
Into Angie Dickinson? There's a great foreword where she answers 20 questions, and thank God, the author asked all the right ones (what was the best party she attended in the 60's, for instance) The interview, and the book itself, just make me feel everything I do when I immerse myself in that time: how incredibly cool everyone looked, how great the music was, how fun and entertaining the movies were, and the little bit of sadness I get knowing that the decade is over, and there'll never be another one like it, including the wake-up jolt that these women don't look like this anymore (though some of them, like Julie Newmar and Barbara Eden, come pretty damn close) and are in their late 50's or older. Angie Dickinson says she has a favorite 60's pink crocheted mini dress, which doesn't fit anymore but she loves to look at it.
The only omissions I can think of are Yvonne DiCarlo (Lily Munster) though it wouldn't surprise me if she's in there and I just spaced out and missed it, and Candy Johnson (main go-go girl from most of the beach party movies-- if you've seen her, you won't forget her), which I can't fault the author for because trust me, I've dug and dug and spent hours on the net trying to find info for and coming up with absolutely zip other than her filmography. I got all excited when the IMDB had some brief info on her, only to find out they had her mixed up with another actress of the same name.
Maybe one of the best compliments I can give this books is that, if someone asked me, 'so why are you so into the 60's?' I could hand them this book and all they'd have to do is flip through it briefly before saying, 'Oh. Okay." If you're at all into 60's pop culture, even mildly interested, this book is worth picking up. If you're really into 60's pop culture, you probably already have it. If you don't (shame!) go to your favorite online bookstore right now, and pick up a copy fast. You'll be blown away.
This book is not politically correct - and all the better for it. My only complaint is that it's not bigger. But the hundred chicks who grace its pages are treated with the worshipful respect they so richly deserve: colour illustrations, biographical notes, anecdotes - just about all you would want to know about such icons as Raquel Welch, Julie Christie, Natalie Wood, Twiggy, Britt Ekland, Ann-Margret, to name but a few.
The book is divided into categories and tends to rather heavily favour American girls, which is slightly unfortunate as the Sixties was the first truly international decade when it came to things like entertainment and glamour. And a couple of descriptions seem to be stretching a point - Jacqueline Bisset as a Bond Girl, for example, or Elizabeth Taylor as a British Babe. And everyone will have a few favourites who are not included - Charlotte Rampling, Susannah York, Gina Lollobrigida. Perhaps Chris Strodder is saving them for Volume Two. I hope so because this is a wonderful book - both for those of us who remember the Sixties and others who wish they had been there. And possibly also for those who were there but can't remember it.
A great chick book that even some chicks will enjoy - if only to marvel over the fashions.
Gee, I seem to meet all the criteria that would entitle me to being immortalized by Chris Stodder. But, maybe that's because I'm so old I actually remember the 60's. Wait a minute, that might only be a flashback. You see: proof positive that I really was there!
However, I am willing to forgive Mr. Stodder, toast his fine accomplishment with bong water, and add his truly Groovy book to my collection.
It's a happenin' thing. Love you, babe.
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