I Took My Own Advice: 1970s Tan Bass Weejuns

1970s Deadstock Tan Bass Weejuns

Shopping Your Own Closet Really Works!

Last week I wrote about ‘shopping your own closet’. Well, I thought I’d take my own advice today and start digging around in some of those carefully preserved items way back at the bottom of stacks of shoe boxes in what’s supposed to be my office.

As everyone knows, these days Bass Weejuns (with the exception of the odd Made in Maine by Rancourt models) are no longer lovingly crafted out of top quality materials, but appear instead to be almost injection moulded out of licorice and tar paper.

1970s Tan Weejuns for Summer

I recently bought a pair of the tan Logan model which uniquely amongst the regular stock of unlined versions of the classic shape, are made from a very flexible tan leather. It’s by no means full grain, but it doesn’t have that nasty baked on teriyaki glaze the others have. It’s great for knocking around, soft enough to wear without socks for what our American cousins call ‘yard work’ and now they’re breaking in, I can just about live with the fact that the sole and heel edging IS coated in terayaki sauce of the darkest hue.

Whoever spec’d that model in tan but didn’t think to leave the edges unglazed or at least give them a sympathetic light transparent one was a stylistic illiterate.

The original version of the tan Weejun in soft chromexcel type leather first appeared in the late 1960s and was often worn with off white jeans or a wash’n’wear poplin suit. Bass offered the model for some time and although I don’t remember John Simons stocking them at the beginning of the 80s (I could be wrong about that) the Natural Shoe Store in Neal St was the importer and had a few extra models. My friends and I bought ours there and wore them till they fell apart at the seams.

The Ivy Style in 1980s London

Finding these shoes brings up a lot of memories of when I was a teenager first finding my way into classic American style.

It may be nearly impossible to imagine, but our view and understanding of American clothing tradition at that time came only through three distinct prisms.

1. Jazz and The Look

Firstly, the much mentioned jazz album covers. At the turn of the 1980s there was maybe one book on modern jazz in print in the UK (by German critic Joachim Berendt) and even the best record store had no more than a random handful of jazz reissues. This informed us of the cool history of the look as far as we could tell. But as far as buying these clothes was concerned? Well, good luck on that score. Maybe at Flip, if the rag bale sorters didn’t have the items wrongly pegged as ‘rockabilly’ or that horrible oversized and ripped 501 and satin MA1 jacket ‘Bros look’ that passed for ‘cool’ in the 80s – a look that was typified by actor Jesse Birdsall and ‘style guru’ Robert Elms – and had ramped up the price.

2. Out Of The Past and Into the 80s

Secondly, movies. These didn’t even have to be old. The American classic look was so uniform still (and it was a uniform) in those days that even current movies featured hard to find here items; like Brooks Brothers shirts and flat front chinos. Almost all trousers sold in the UK at that time bar terrace wear Farah slacks which were a total no-no for us were pleated.  Of course weejuns or a version thereof where part of that look, too.

Movie actors like Robert Redford, Clint Eastwood, Jeff Bridges or William Hurt – the few who understood the traditional of American style and were never fashion conscious – would wear Lacoste polos, chinos, early era Nike trainers, LL Bean field coats, A2 jackets, heather grey Ts, plaid shirts and the like. We saw this as a direct line that came down from Cary Grant and Gary Cooper era, via William Holden and Rock Hudson, through the button down years of Lemmon, Randall and Peppard and the mavericks like McQueen, Newman and Perkins to those present day actors. In the 1984 movie Against All Odds (itself a remake of the Robert Mitchum classic Out of the Past), compare James Woods dated euro trash style with Bridges’ understated classic look. Bridges was definitely aware of American style as a continuum.

This was what classic dressing looked like in 1984. Barring a few details the look had not and has not changed for 60 years. Similarly, it wasn’t the cliched rocker look of Mickey Rourke in 1982’s Body Heat but William Hurt’s seersucker wearing small town lawyer that was the real style interest.

This doesn’t mean we then wanted to imitate the 2 button side vents or the too tight on the bum chinos these guys often wore (not to mention the blow dried hair), but the overall impression was one of reinforcement of the American classic style, in the just the same way as Mitchum in the 1940s was way baggy and billowy, but still wore Weejuns and knit shirts and hunting jackets.

3. American Tourists Were Cool

Third, and by no means least, were real Americans themselves. It must sound incredible to anyone born after the internet but the world was a very big place back then.

Few of us saw more than a small part of it in person. Instead we’d check out the American tourists in London, compare their contemporary clothing with stuff from we liked from the movies or record covers and then this would inform our purchase at Flip or John Simons. Flip of course had the vintage pieces and John sold the stuff as it was then, as it was still being made and worn by the majority of American males.

I don’t think we really distinguished that much between old and new – we just loved American style and mixed it together. These contemporary Americans still wore seersucker, tartan trousers, boat shoes, Burberry’s raincoats with collar protectors, roll neck jumpers under a button down shirt and of course Weejuns by the box load.

Exotic stuff that British people never wore. Even the labels of the clothing were different and there was already then a distinct traditional feel with the push back to all cotton shirts and natural fibres.

And Then There Was Ralph Lauren…

Under this umbrella must also fall Ralph Lauren.

Again seen from today’s ubiquity it is probably too hard to imagine the caché that the Ralph Lauren Polo brand once held on these shores.

Ralph was the only carrier of the ivy look torch available to us outside of Flip and John Simons. Gant was still a US brand and unknown to most Europeans, but Ralph sold tartan flat front trousers and white buck shoes and button down chambray shirts.

The only place in Britain you could even buy the stuff was in one single store in Bond St (now the kids store). There was no diffusion range. No dodgy small town fashion retailers or pony knock offs then. You’d see the international set wearing the polo shirt in Hampstead, but on locals they were rare.

Most items were way out of our financial grasp but the polo shirt, Made in USA of course, was just about manageable at £24.50 (roughly the equivalent then of £150.00 of today’s spending money). We’d dress up just to walk up the few steps into the store, and never, ever window shop. If you went in there, it was to buy, not to waste the time of the ‘beautiful people’ who served there.

American Tradition

The Tan Weejun was definitely a part of that mixture. Not really a boom era look, but at the same time a contemporary classic. More Redford in Downhill Racer than Peppard in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Because of that, I’ve always had a sneaking fondness for this softer, even more casual, underdog in the Weejun canon.

Five or so years ago, I found a deadstock pair on eBay from a guy in Oregon – it wasn’t so hard to find this stuff back then.

In fact, if you think about it Oregon makes a lot of sense as a place for the tan Weejun to end up. This is almost East Coast style gone as far West as it can go and then North some to team up with Pendleton shirts and dark Levis with perhaps a hint of workwear and a Filson jacket when Filson was unhip utility wear.

Recent resurgent US-made loafer styles have often harked back to this un-stained edge and softer leather look for their loafers but, without exception, these have been beefroll versions.

So today I found this pair again in their original box.

They’re from the plastic heel plug, swept waist sole era which sadly means they are about one whole size bigger than the lasts Bass were using after around 1986 or so when the shape of the shoe and sole changed towards a more stubby cut.

I’ve padded the tongues with foam, placed leather insoles inside – all in an attempt to make them not fall off with every step. I bought off white WigWams Husky socks in New York a couple of years back to wear with them, but still they remained neglected in their box. The only wear they’ve had has been on wooden floors at home and I’ve been paranoid about them stretching even more, soft and pliable as they are.

Now, however, I’m finally getting them out and going to go for it. All this deadstock stuff just ends up as more crap if you don’t wear it or sell it.

Back to the Future

It’s funny how something as simple as finding an unworn pair of shoes get take you off on another track, remembering how you got here. These days everyone mixes everything once again and it’s normal and probably a lot more fun than the old days of strict tribes. But the end result is still an admixture of tradition and classic style. The tiny details may change, but the reasons for the clothing and the fabrics and comfort don’t.

Maybe Americans got so stuck on tradition because they felt they had none in the 20th century. So they cultivated their own traditions (whilst blasting through those of everyone else) and preserved them against the onslaughts of our fickle euro fashion. Even today, it still fights back and can be felt in the roots of High St chains like Gap and J Crew.

You Know Where You Are With Tradition

When you watch an American movie from 1960 you can be sure of the clothing the actors will wear along with pretty much every person in the movie. Ditto when you watch an American movie from the 40s or the 80s.

Compare that with any British movie from those eras in which you could never in a million years describe the general hodge podge of mongrel clothing styles of everyone in a film, down to the minutest details, before watching it.

The tan Weejun of 70s vintage is a niche taste to be sure, but if you’ve ever put your foot into a regular plastic coated Weejun then you’ve no idea just how soft and like thick slippers for the outdoors the tan Weejun once was.

I think that this tradition is a great thing to be part of even if it is not by birthright.

J Keydge – Here to Stay? Could Be After All.

Two years ago, almost to the month, I wrote a piece about how the J Keydge jacket was a triumph of existence in spite of itself.  That it seemed – from the outside at least – that it might be a miracle if the company survived into another season.

In early 2012, with virtually no web presence and a seemingly random liason with even their most long time customers, coupled with some very peculiar Sgt Pepper-meets-Boden style jackets in some not so choice colours, it really seemed worth grabbing any jackets out there before the inevitable happened. Rumours of past financial issues didn’t help and panic buying was the order of the day chez Weejun. At least that was how it seemed just a short couple of years ago.

Phoenix Risen from the Sack Cloth Ashes

Since then I’ve seen that original post crop up time and again on Google searches for other ivy stuff. To be honest I’ve felt a bit guilty at having written them off as not being up to the necessary challenges to sell in the modern world and that my piece was always cropping up when the word Keydge was searched.

These days with a new (and for the most part functioning) website, regular news updates from owner Fats and a continuing evolution of the item of most interest to us – the Ivy Slack Jacket  – one could be forgiven for thinking the owners took it as a personal challenge to show this idiot they were here to stay.

New products were launched, which culminated in the summer of 2013 with John Simons stocking Ivy Slack Suits in peached chino fabric. Fevered emails and PMs flew around the Ivy grapevine – Keydge suits with tapered trousers! Damn!

I bought all three colours. (There was also a great British Tan version but only in a couple of larger sizes – JS still had some last week).

Those summer suits were no flash in the ‘pain’ (very bad pun) either. A great seersucker version followed in mid 2013. When I bought that, Mrs Weejun pronounced it to be nothing more than food for the moths and determined that I was never going to wear it.

Oddly, it’s the one I’ve worn most – to summer business meetings and even to a wedding in seersucker’s spiritual home of India (where it attracted attention from a London based classic car and bike fan to whom I introduced the Keydge and JS in person last week).

Needlecord Suits in 2013

Then in Autumn/Fall of 2013 came the needlecord suits. I like the chunkier cord jackets but prefer needlecord and these were great – French navy, and dark Granny Smith green and an indescribable but perfectly ivy canon colour that looks dark gray or dark brown depending on how cloudy it is outside.

Meanwhile the stranger Keydge releases continued, modelled by an increasingly odd bunch of fellows on their website, including this curate’s egg called the Tiger – modelled here by Vladimir Putin’s French nephew.

This spring we again had three colours of the peached chino suit – a lighter natural, a darker olive and a true navy (see the top photo). I really can’t think of anyone else producing jackets and suits that are so wearable in modern life. Sure, we all crave those holy grail 1960s sack jackets and Brooks Brothers / J Press suits, but personally, having owned more than a few of them, I like the fact that I can mix with Joe and Jane Public without looking like I stepped out of  some kind of 1960s Mad Men aspic spiked time machine.

Living in the Modern World…

What I love about Ivy clothing – what I’ve always loved about it – is that it’s so completely flexible within the realm of whatever the macro fashion of the deacade is. Each era has its own interpretation of the ivy canon.

It’s 2014. I want to dress stylishly in a classic manner, but I don’t want to be the only guy on the Tube with trousers up to my armpits just because that was normal in 1961. I will confess that there have been times when I’ve slipped in that direction but your inner voice knows enough to chide you when that happens.

I remember working at a large commercial broadcaster in a senior position in the late 90s and turning up for a meeting with execs in my Bahama Yellow 69 911 with a near matching 60s yellow corduroy Abercrombie & Fitch hunting sack lined with green beize cloth and with 12 guage shotgun cartridge head buttons with a dark red LL Bean Chamois Cloth shirt underneath and not being taken very seriously at all. Looking back I can’t say my fellow execs were wrong, even clad as they were in Suits You Sir tat or flashy Armani.


Original Keydge Man Sports a Needlecord Slack Jacket

Wash’N’Wear Utility

These days the gap has narrowed enormously between executive dressing and retro casual and what’s acceptable within the workplace**. Thankfully the Keydge Slack jackets and suits fit right in there for me. The suits especially work for modern life – being all natural fibres but still wash’n’wear with the jackets casual enough to wear on their own with ‘odd trousers’ without looking odd. Not restrictive but still ‘smarter than your average bear’.

Meanwhile there’s a good thread over on FNB showing how others incorporate this now cult classic into their real lives. Forumite Zarjazz sports a few models here.

A friend recently mentioned he thought that this summer would bring a red seersucker suit to JSA. Not so! laughed John and Paul last week. Oh well, plenty of options to be getting on with.

All I can say is long may they continue.

**Unless of course you’re like one UK based ivyist whose day job is rumoured to be as a Beefeater in the Tower of London and only gets to ‘dress up’ in ivy at the weekends, poor chap.

Buy them at John Simons or J Keydge

Bedford Incident Grenfell Jacket

The other day I was re watching the Bedford Incident with Richard Widmark and Sidney Poitier. It’s a fine movie in its own right but always fun to watch movies with some clothes spotting potential.

Poitier plays a photo journalist in the Life Magazine mould who’s airlifted onto Widmark’s warship. He’s wearing a great Grenfell golf jacket – a kind of Baracuta G4 with patch pockets and single button throat latch and no umbrella back.

Bastard G4

It made me think about picking up some more of the old Baracuta G4s whilst there are still some around. Looking online I found the truly bastardised WP version everywhere. I read somewhere recently someone describing those hideous buttons a tiddlywinks counters. What the hell were WP thinking?

Modernise the business, introduce fashion versions for the mindless, trade on the revisionist mod hipster for sure, but why mess with a jacket that has seen little need for change for nigh on 80 years?

Anyway I’m glad I have a couple in my classic Baracuta collection.
Time to look elsewhere like the JSA soon to be launched version of the Grenfell in a great crushable fabric to get that Poitier effect.

PostScript. I popped into John Simons this afternoon and Paul confirmed their own Grenfell style jacket will be in navy as well as natural tan. Definitely going to add the navy to my collection. ETA approximately one month.

It’s also worth noting that Richard Widmark is sporting a particularly good cotton zipped crew neck bomber in this movie. Simple and effective.

The Ivy Is Always Greener Online – Beware of Coveting Thine Own Stuff

Loafer Envy Out East

I was out East having coffee with my pal Herb Lester last week and noticed he was wearing what I thought was a pair of vintage double-soled Weejuns – those with the heft and solidity of the loafers worn by William Holden in that much republished image of him in NY. But no, this was a pair of the John Simons Rancourt loafers in burgundy.

Burgundy vs Tan Grain

Now, I have them in the grain and they’re really comfortable and well made, but when I saw Herb’s burgundy pair I kicked myself for not getting them. I’d tried the burgundy on the day they first arrived in the store and Ivy cousin from LA, Fred, was wearing a pair on his last London visit so why did I not buy them at the time?

Shoes Too New Won’t Do

Herb has a particularly good way of managing to make his various pairs of classic loafers look just the right side of beaten up – in a good way. I confess to have so many pairs of shoes (around 70 odd at last count) that it’s very hard for me to ever wear some of them in. The consequence is that my shoes often look too new, and therefore don’t get worn. A vicious circle.

When I got back to Weejun HQ Herb’s shoes were still bugging me so did a google image search for the JSA Rancourt loafers – as you do. My eye was then caught by pair after pair of classic deadstock Weejuns, Dexters and other assorted pairs of loafing excellence. Where could I get my hands on these rare beauties, no doubt long sold on auction sites or fora?

Wait a Minute – Those Are My Shoes!

Then I realised that at least five of these images were of different pairs of shoes that I actually own and are sitting right now in boxes as I type this. Images in fact from The Weejun.

Deadstock Weejuns Tassel Loafers 1970s

Rare Wide Fitting Plastic Plug Era Tassel Weejuns. I have worn these a couple of times at least.

The Ivy is Always Greener Online…

What’s that all about? Shoes hidden away in boxes (especially seasonal ones like loafers) are never as attractive as that deadstock pair of Weejuns on Etsy or those Kenwoods in a rare colour or finish on eBay.

Time To Dust Off The Deadstocks

So, time to open some of those boxes, dust off the deadstocks and get wearing.

Oh damn, it’s raining again. Well, another day then. Meanwhile, those burgundy JSA Rancourts are calling again.

Ivy Humour

Gant Yale Eats Itself.

Every season for the past few years the Gant Yale brand has produced the odd nice shirt in a good fabric and with the lamentable logo on the locker loop at least self coloured or obscure.

Today I popped into the Regent St store to see in person what some of the fabrics are like in this season’s range.

I’d seen on the US site that they’d introduced something called the “fitted” fit. Whatever that means. Well it means that Gant UK have stopped selling the regular fit Yale shirts and replaced the entire range with its bastard offspring. These shirts feature a locker loop but no box pleat. Two little knife pleats instead.

We all know that knife pleats were the precursors to the box pleat on the OCBD but that was decades before the Yale Co-op shirts the sub brand is supposed to be emulating. So the neck tags still read ‘Archive’ but it’s yet another iteration of made up history by a brand that should know better.

The Catalina Varsity Jacket

Catalina Varsity vs Derby of San Francisco (vs a Newcomer)

ABSENCE OF MALICE, Paul Newman, 1981, newspaper

In the past I’ve written about both the Catalina La Paz and the Derby of San Francisco bomber jackets. This time I’m focusing on the Catalina Varsity, a jacket closer in style and substance to the Derby version, along with a new copy from Oi Polloi.

My first encounter with this style of jacket came from my secondary school PE lost and found box. In the late 70s I I would regularly revisit the box where there were dozens of discarded sportswear items. Some of the stuff had probably been there for years. One day I discovered what I now know to be a Catalina knock off  – one of probably hundreds of copies* of the ‘rain cape shoulder’ windcheater. A light tan colour with no lining but with tan and navy striped elastic. I wore it until it fell apart and nobody ever claimed the thing.

*Rumour has it that the Ivy Shop in Richmond sold their own copies back in the day.

What are the differences?

The Catalina La Paz was a later lightweight version with a swing ‘action’ back that included nylon mesh vents to stop the wearer from overheating. It also had Baracuta style reverse pocket flaps, albeit without buttons. The La Paz also features the ‘rain cape shoulder’ the overall feature that makes these jackets instantly recognisable and much copied.

The Derby of San Francisco

The Derby of San Francisco version shares the rain cape shoulder but adds a beefiness by having the famous gold paisley lining in padded form. This gives a certain chunkiness to the wearer and the feeling of bulk that was no doubt part of its wider appeal to the disaffected youth.  Most versions featured a straight slash pockets with zipper fastening.

The reborn Derby can be found here

The Catalina Varsity

The Catalina Varsity version also features the padded lining and extra bulk, the lining this time with the wonderful Catalina sunbird logo. This model also mostly had slash zipper pockets rather than Baracuta styled reverse flaps.

You probably know by now the long and tortured story of the return of the Derby of San Francisco brand. It’s a shame that the reissues have remained so localised and really aimed at West Coast greaser/tattoo culture. In a similar way to the adoption of playboys by funky dudes in NY in the 1970s, the Derby/Catalina style jackets had their fans amongst varied  fashion tribes – often without seeming to come into contact one with another. Of course, we are primarily concerned with the ubiquitous wearing of these jackets in the 1960s to 1980s within the larger lvy Look sphere.

Which came first? That’s something I’d be interested to learn. Despite the propaganda from the Derby of San Francisco camp, my gut feeling is that the Catalina Varsity was the first version of this style. I suggest that because the Catalina brand can be found way back into the early 1930s as a maker of swim and beach wear, whereas I’ve not seen anything Derby branded earlier than mid 1960s. Both versions were of course originally Made in the USA and both companies continued the models long after their offshore move to places like Korea and Taiwan.

Cottonopolis from Oi Polloi

There’s also a new kid on the block on this side of the Atlantic – the Cottonopolis Catalina (sic) from the Oi Polloi house brand. As readers of this blog the powers at Oi Polloi may have been reinspired to produce a copy of the inconic rain cape shouldered bomber. Who knows? (Witness their description of the Paraboot history being somewhat close to what I wrote in this post)

One of the problems with the vintage Catalinas and the modern Derby versions are finding a fit that looks like the 1960s wearer would have sported. Most of the Catalina versions are incredibly short for modern man, at an average of 24 inches back length on a size 40! The Derby jackets were a tad longer in similar sizes but still relatively short and wide, whereas the modern ones seem to fit like 1990s hip hop wear – in XXXXL.

So how does the Oi Polloi version shape up?

Well it’s really good in most ways and somewhat disappointing in some others. The jacket is all cotton which is nice as it will get that cotton patina when it ages.

The dark navy (which I bought as soon as I saw their email newsletter) has a really nice classic plaid lining. Not padded, but enough for the British spring chill. The pockets are the reverse flap types with added buttons and the overall shape, fabric and quality is really well done. Until we get to the zip.

Now, no one is expecting deadstock Talon zippers or anything but the zipper on these jackets is truly appalling quality. It’s a two way zipper of a type that you would reject on a £5 anorak from your local version of Mr Buyrite.

From the off the jacket is near impossible to close without some real dexterity to manipulate the zipper parts and it looks and feels like its made from the same brittle alloy as 1970s die cast Matchbox cars. For those readers who believe that Made in England is somehow a magic panacea to all the alleged evils of offshore making… That someone put this zipper on such an otherwise well made jacket is just…well.

And then there’s the sizing. Oi Polloi are generally very good when it comes to giving correct measurements on garments so they give a heads up that the sizes are large, but I’m 6’2″ and the Small (the smallest size they sell) is larger than any other bomber I own. It’s at least a Medium to Large by normal standards. It actually fits like the vintage ones as worn by shorter guys in the 60s, but interested friends of a smaller stature would be swamped. God knows how big the L is. Still I’ve grown used to the slightly oversized look and it will look in the autumn sporting a Hardy Kruger style navy roll neck underneath (see below).

There are three colours – navy, natural and sky blue. I was tempted to buy the natural as well but really I think they missed a trick with this colour as the lining plaid is of a tediously brown 1970s grandad sponge nylon slippers check – where it could have been a glorious madras inspired fabric. Maybe that’s some northern terrace wear nod to some reference of which I’m blissfully unaware? The two blue colours have far more interesting contrasting plaid linings.

Overall though, it’s a really good alternative to the tombola that it is buying vintage on eBay – not least because the condition of used jackets is often far worse than eBay seller images show. It’s also neat enough to wear in a slightly smarter way a la James Coburn.

Back to the Source – Catalina Varsity in Mint Condition

Buying the Oi Polloi version has given me renewed interest in trying to find an original in natural. I’ve been through at least half a dozen over the years in the search. So many of the Catalina and Derby jackets on eBay have been worked to death – the first tell tale sign being a broken leather hanger tab in the neck. This time out I’m hoping I found one that that appears very little used.

I’m going mainly on the image of the washtag that the seller posted. It looks mint which means it won’t have been mullered by some hot rod kid’s Mom in the 60s twin tub. It’s also a Long so the body should be at least 26″ in length and more in line with modern body shapes.

We’ll see when it arrives from LA via my old Ivy pal, reader Fred.

 More Wearers of The Iconic Rain Cape Shoulder Jacket

Some Vintage Catalina Labels

(Source Vintage Fashion Guild)

I Spy The Ivy Years

I Spy 1965 – 1968

Among the raft of classic US TV series to feature the kind of clothes that we all love, I Spy is up there with the best.

In the first series Kelly Robinson and Alexander Scott are wearing some staple boom years ivy with the usual Hollywood modifications. A double vent sack here, a two button cuff OCBD there, but all in all it’s a great place to see some classic items being worn in anger and featured in a way that was unusual for the time.

Ivy Icons

Desert boots, Rolex Pepsi, White Levis even early trainers made their mark.

Personally I prefer the series where the guys are in the US west or in Mexico where the other incidental characters are also more likely to be wearing ivy staples.

By the end of the run Robert Culp was virtually in flares and v-necked / turtle necked sweater combos and his late 1950s hangover hair style was entering early bouffant stage, whilst Cosby was showing the influences of black power style on some his choices. In between there are some iconic style moments and worth sitting through some of the script by numbers episodes to catch the odd pair of loafers, a mid sixties popover shirt or a white tennis monkey jacket.

I Spy on Hulu

After all, it’s the only reason we watch this stuff on Hulu right? And the music of course.

Here’s a link to Film Score Monthly’s notes on their CD release

STOP PRESS – More I Spy Stuff…

Reader George sent this link to Jake’s Rolex Blog on the I Spy watch fetish here

Sidney Poitier Head to Toe in Lee Westerners

An unusual and interesting movie from director Ralph Nelson and featuring Sidney wearing the all out Lee Westerners 101 sateen suit with rough out boots. A look that’s hard to pull off. I’ve yet to wear my Japanese reissue 101J with the matching pants. You need a perfect day and a Leith Surfer T in blue and white stripes to pull it off.

(Still image from The Woolster on FNB – thanks to George).

Here We Go Again,Weejun…

As anyone who’s ever attempted to maintain a blog will testify, it’s tough. Time is the biggest enemy. Next comes ease of use – from the almost book length posts of traditional blogs many of us moved to the easy sound[word]bites of Tumblr an Facebook. Whilst they both have their virtues, it’s hard to maintain a focus on media that scrolls into obscurity every ten seconds.

Trad Blogging

So here I am back on the trad platform, but I’m going to try and incorporate some of the elements of ‘fast’ social media so that a) I can add content on the fly, whether on the train, or even watching TV – photos, YouTube movie clips etc and b) keep the content a bit fresher by poaching elements of other people’s content when it’s relevant and of course linking back to the source. After all, that’s all we all do on Facebook.

New Look/Old Style

The last post I was working on for The Weejun ended up being a bitter diatribe against the wholesale trashing of the Baracuta brand by WP the new owners. I got so fed up with the negative side of it all that I never got around to posting anything else on here. Finally, the site – which enjoys huge traffic by the way – got hacked by evil pharma spammers. I had to put it right, and in doing so, it occurred to me to go one step beyond and get this baby running again.

So, thanks for stopping by,

The Weejun.