|“Space Age. I knew what it was but I hadn’t been able to find
the words to describe it. All those tiki apartments I kept
seeing, the outlandishly opulent 70’s shopping malls I used to
hang out in, that LAX theme building that looked like it landed
in the middle of the airport like that spaceship from ELO’s ‘Out
Of The Blue’ album and what about all that elusive semi-
As it will be scribed in aching detail in this book, it wasn’t until
the 90’s when I discovered the terminology that pretty much
served as an umbrella that covered this whole scheme:
Space Age. Those times between the end of WW2 and
around 1981, where the relief from the war and the resulting
social suppression spawned an optimism that tried to surpass
it and the wide spread fantasy of the future was in the air.
|All of this unchecked unabashed optimism and cultural fun would obviously be seen as a cover-up to all the
realities of the era like assassinations, the “industrial war complex” Eisenhower warned about and social upheaval
that forced a realization of America’s underbelly. However, as George Carlin demonstrated in the title of one of his
books, the reach of human nature can create the wonderful (Silly Putty) and the dreadful (Napalm) with everything
else falling in between in its valley like a bottomless pit. Pop culture serves as a wallpaper to take the edge off the
reality and, if done well, help you understand it, too.
From the early 50’s to the late 60’s, the future, or at least, the one we were told about was just, as one of the rides
from that Space Age epicenter, the 1964 New York World’s Fair, sang endlessly “only a dream away!” It wasn’t
until the 70’s and Watergate that everybody slowly began to realize that the New Frontier jig was, more or less,
over and the last gasp of the Space Age, disco, was greeted with jeers as we were rolling into the self-conscious
80’s and Ronald Reagan.
|Little pockets of this old age still came up with bands like B52’s and
Pee Wee Herman in the form of camp but it wasn’t until the 90’s
that the 80’s fog of war lifted and people realized that those
decades we were told to ignore weren’t so bad after all.
Soon zines, CD reissues, shows on independent radio stations, the
growth of the internet and nightclubs and social gatherings began
to unearth, reevaluate and praise the Space Age.”
This was a part of the introduction of the book version of SPACE
AGE ASH TRAY that was published twice eons ago. Now that the
ashes of this project was been blown off the earth, it has, more or
less, returned as a zine series about a period that I grew up in but
too young to remember. So much for nostalgia!
Each issue will grapple and chase down fragments of this now
illusive era and will be sandwiched into its 20 pages.
Things get “interesting” as I tackle one subject for one
issue: the 1980 movie musical, Xanadu! How it has
survived and thrived to this very day, mainly thanks to
the fans, like me. We travel to the unofficial 25th
anniversary screening of the film and then to New York
City to visit the films latest incarnation, a Broadway
play, along with a side trip to what’s left of the 1964/65
New York World’s Fair and more.
|Each issue is digest size of 5 ½ by 8 1/2 , 20 b&w pages and come with a $3 price tag.
If you’re interested in a copy send $3 for each to:
266 Ramona Ave.
Grover Beach, CA 93433
I do accept reasonable trades but not prisoner trades. If you’re Etsy inclined, swing on over to my Etsy
© 2015 Don Fields