Because of his association with Monty Python most people don’t take Neil Innes seriously. That’s a mistake because Innes was one of the most talented, brilliant and innovative songwriters.
Most people only know him from Monty Python and the Holy Grail where he played the leader of Sir Robin’s minstrels, but Innes had a long career as a songwriter, a performer and lead singer of The Bonzo Dog (Doo-dah) Band.
His music found expression mostly in British comedy shows but his lyrics were always clever plays on words. On the surface they would induce a giggle but if you really thought about them you would marvel at their brilliance.
And his tunes were catchy, like the lyrics to Cezanne Says Anne which reveals a comfortable familiarity with Post-Impressionist painters and keen insights into human nature. Innes never clubbed listeners over the head with his messages, so you could be forgiven for thinking they were just simple wordplay. Really listen, though, and the the man’s depth is surprising.
Sadly, Innes died of a heart attack in December of last year at his home in Toulouse.
It’s the first of August and it’s a Saturday so I spent most of the day running errands, some of which involved driving my daughter around with a cake that she had made for a friend’s birthday. Everyone and every cake arrived at their destination safely.
Plus it was stinking hot today and I’m feeling a bit damp.
So it’s only now that I’ve had a chance to change my calendars over. I have two in my office, one to the left of me, a Boris and Julie calendar and one to the right, a Frank Frazetta calendar.
To the left I have dragons being fed by a young woman and to the right I have a couple of cannibals doing what cannibals do.
I may have a problem. Everyone knows I love old pulp magazines, especially the cover art, but I REALLY love the old spicy pulps!
What were the spicy pulps? While most pulp magazines could be read by younger readers despite the lurid cover art and the promise of salacious titillation within, most of the general pulps were pretty harmless in that regard.
But not the Spicy Pulps. Those delivered stories of two fisted heroes faced with deadly decisions and surrounded by beautiful, scantily clad women hanging in the balance for the victor. Although tame by today’s standards, this sub genre of the pulp era was considered to be most risque. Pulp magazines like Spicy Detective, Spicy Mystery and Spicy Adventure provided some of the most eye-catching covers, many of which contributed to the pulps’ bad reputation in many circles
Though the contents of the magazines may be tame by today’s standards the covers were lurid, risque and, above all tasteless! These were the NSFW images from back in the day. And a perusal of any selection of these spicy covers are bound to turn up something to offend from the casual racism of the soft, alabaster skinned heroine being menaced by various POC’s to depictions of violence that verge on the worst kind of torture porn.
Well, there’s your trigger warning, folks. What follows is a slightly curated selection of some of the best (and by that I mean, some of the worst) of the spicy pulp covers. Avert your eyes, you faint of heart! For these images are only for those with the strongest of constitutions!
“Spicy” Pulp covers from back in the day are sexist, misogynistic, lurid and violent, and yet at the same time, kind of goofy. This handful of examples is pretty tame in comparison to a lot of others, but it does give you the general idea.