Mad Mag’s Multi-Groove Flexi-disc

Remember the Las Vegas Roulette record* with the “multi-groove” in which the tonearm stylus randomly selects (at least, in theory) one of 38 separate grooves – one for each slot on the roulette wheel – so as to allow partygoers the ability to play roulette from the comfort of home?   That’s right, you, too, can be the croupier.  Spoiler alert:  House always wins.  [*Link to original piece]

Fabulous Las Vegas Roulette LP-jrIn 1980, Mad Magazine pulled off an even more ambitious vinyl feat:  a “multiple-grooveflexi-disc!

45Cat’s 23skidoo rightly emphasizes:

“A random groove record.  A different ending (usually) is heard each time the record is played.  Very rare for a flexi-disc to have this feature.”

“It’s a Super Spectacular Day” [all 8 endings]    Frank Jacobs & Norm Blagman    1980

45Cat lists Mad Magazine flexi-discs from 19611981

I am grateful to have had a neighbor growing up who allowed me to borrow freely from his 1960s collection of Mad Magazines — the best educational supplement a kid could ask for.

Mad Mag-sing along-a+Mad Mag-sing along-b+

Check out the hyper-minimalist animation video that Casey Killingsworth created for the 1980 disco update of Mad’s 1961 belch-rock hit, “It’s a Gas!”

The “Rock Revolution” as seen through the lens of Mad Magazine:  1965-1968

Mad Mag-guitar-a+Mad Mag-beatles 68-a

In 2011, someone forked over $100 for a vintage copy of Mad’s debut (and only) LP.

     Beatles                            vs.                         Stones, man

Mad Mag-ringo+Mad Mag-jagger+mag

Beatles vs. Stones:  1-0

On February 7, 2014 Mad Magazine posted the following announcement:

“Today marks the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ arrival in America!  And in order to thoroughly commemorate, celebrate, salute and pay tribute to this historic event, we present the only time that all four Beatles appeared on our cover [September, 1968 cover above with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi] — which is still one more MAD cover than the Rolling Stones ever had!”

Mad Magazine’s DON MARTIN gets in on the act

Mad Mag-beatles 65+

Management requires I insert a plug for Zero to 180‘s Facebook page – like it or else!

First Women’s Prison Album?

As C. Eric Banister writes in Johnny Cash FAQ:  All That’s Left to Know About the Man in Black:

Johnny Cash made history by being the first major artist to record an album in a prison.  Other country and blues artists followed:  Mack Vickery with Live at the Alabama Women’s Prison (1970), B.B. King with Live at Cook County Jail (1971), John Lee Hooker with Live at Soledad Prison (1972), Freddy Fender with Recorded Inside Louisiana State Prison [*note:  “phony” prison album – click on link to related Zero to 180 piece] (1975), Big Mama Thorton with Jail (1975), Leona Williams with San Quentin’s First Lady (1976), and Sonny James with In Prison, In Person (1977), to name but a few.”

Mack Vickery LP

Deke Dickerson speaks for all of humanity when he states “I hereby nominate Mack Vickery Live at the Alabama Women’s Prison the greatest album cover in the history of album covers” (check out the competition to even better appreciate this impressive feat).

Okay, so the underappreciated Mack Vickery produced one of the world’s most memorable album covers – is it possible he also created the first women’s prison album?

“Alabama Women’s Prison Blues”     Mack Vickery     1970

Mega would issue a promo 7-inch in 1972 with “Alabama Women’s Prison Blues” as the A-side and “Life Turned Her That Way,” naturally enough, on the flip side.

Mack Vickery at one time likely had the world’s only women’s prison album – but no longer:  Four years later, vocal trio The Moments would steal Vickery’s thunder when they released their Live at the New York State Women’s Prison album.

Moments LPTwenty years later, Marshall Chapman would upstage everyone by recording her live album, It’s About Time, at the Tennessee State Prison for Women.

Fast forward to the present:  up-and-coming musical artist, Naima Shalhoub, according to the website Upworthy, visits the San Francisco County Women’s Jail weekly to hold “music sessions” — her debut live album that was recorded in this setting is expected to be released this summer.

Humor & Satire Alert!
Mad Magazine – September, 1971