Vintage Pin Up: Anchors Away



Bell Bottomed Blues

” Bell bottom blues
You made me cry
I don’t want to
lose this feeling
If I could choose
a place to die
It would be in your arms “

Here’s an interesting story
from the world of the
golden age
of rock and roll….
and another involving
Eric Clapton and Pattie Boyd –

It concerns the song
Bell Bottom Blues “.

Now, you might remember
from a previous episode of
the Muscleheaded Blog 

( as well as from Rolling
Stone, Creem, and some
other 1960’s publications )

that Eric Clapton has a very
strong yen for Pattie,
who was, at the time,
(1969-1970) his friend
George Harrison’s first wife.

( He had written
Layla ” for her..
among other songs. )

Pattie knew that Clapton
was due to go on an
American tour, and asked
Eric to bring her back a
couple pair of American
bell-bottomed jeans.

According to Eric:
“Pattie asked me to get her
some pairs of these jeans
we used to call Landlubbers“.

And of course,
he did.

Ok, so it’s a short story.
Sue me.


Bell bottom jeans were
all the rage in the rock
and roll scene back then —
and American bells were
the most popular.

Hell, I remember a pair
of elephant bells that I
wore to a Junior High
dance that made me as
temporarily popular as
the Beatles.

Ahem again.

Interestingly enough,
as so many cultural cools
are, bell bottom pants
began with the Navy –

they’d been around
since the 1850’s —
popular with Sailors
because they were
easily rolled up –
and they soon became
synonymous with the Navy

(The British Navy version
were much more like
bell-bottoms than the U.S.
– ours are more like
what you might call ‘flairs’. )

This identification
with the Navy
became especially evident
during World War II :

Kay Kyser had a minor hit
with the ‘Sailor in the bell
bottoms’ theme in 1945 –

So did Louis Prima with
Bell Bottom Trousers ”

And bug-eyed comedian
Jerry Colonna did a
novelty piece on
the Bob Hope tour about

As for the fashion fad,
well, that seems to
have started around
1965 as the evolution
of the beatniks
into the hippie movement
was in full swing —

Cher wore a pair of bell
bottoms in a very wide
circulated photo of her
and Sonny on their

And that year, the
Coasters released a song
called ” Bell Bottom Slacks
and A Chinese Kimono “.

In 1966, Sonny Warner
had a minor hit with :
Bell Bottom Blue Jeans ” .

Considering how big the
whole cultural phenom
was – it’s a bit surprising
that more contemporary
songs weren’t performed
about them –

most of the good ones
about bell bottoms
pre-dated the hippie days,

Teresa Brewer’s
Bell Bottom Blues
from around 1954 —

or post-dated it,

Helen Cornelius’s 1974
Bell Bottom Trousers“…

or The Beautiful South’s
Bell Bottomed Tear
(about a relationship
with a Sailor )

— but Clapton’s
love tribute song
about Pattie would
have been hard to beat
, anyway.

!! HOY !!!



Image result for postcard Navy vintageYou know,
if there’s one
topic that a Sailor
can always speak
about in a
knowledgeable way,
it’s knots.

Tying knots are ,
along with:
swabbing decks,
chipping paint,
manual of arms,
and standing a
lonely fire watch
at oh-dark-thirty
in the morning,
are about the first
things you learnImage result for lonely postcard Navy
about when
you’re adjusting to
Navy life in boot camp.

Add shining boots,
dropping quarters
on bunks,
scrubbing the head, Related image
doing push-ups
till you die,
cleaning rifles,
and just generally
looking busy are also
very important lessons –

– oh, and
of knots……..

– who could forget
the most important one-

–the maintenance of
those all essential
emotional knots via
the art of writing letters.

You might be totally
illiterate the day you
arrive at boot camp,
but by graduation,
you’ll have written so
many letters to your
sweetie and back home,Related image
you’ll be a pocket

One of the advantages
of military service
( at least when I was in )
was that you could write
a letter home on a piece
of box from a C-Ration,
put an address on it,
and it would get delivered –
– no postage required.

I’m not sure how that was
handled by the Navy  –

– all I know is I scribbled
many a line on many aRelated image
scrap of paper and the
letter always got there.

Even the steamier ones.

And boy, can a Sailor
write a steamy letter.

Naturally, it would
be a lot easier
to just go to the
Navy Store and buy a
postcard that already
cut right to the point
for you…..

but in whatever
spare time one
finds himself with
in boot camp, the
loneliness and
boredom makes
one naturally
take to pen and paper.

And that especially
applies when it
comes to that ‘special’
person —

— such things can’t be
left up to random
chance and generic
postcards, ya know.

You’d be surprised
how easily even the
toughest character
finds it to
use terms like:
and ‘devotion’
and epithets like: 
‘my dearest’,
‘darling’, and
in a letter
when he’s far
from home.

When it’s time for
mail-call —

a desire to read a
reciprocal expression
of the feelings expressed
in ones’ own letters
becomes oh, so
very important — 

— when you don’t
hear back right away
sometimes it seems like
you’re totally cut off from
your loved ones.

It can drive ya crazy.

And of course,
you always want to feel
connected to the ole

Why does that
sense of being so far
from home make for 
better letter writing ?

Perhaps because
it’s really the only way
to express certain ideas
and feelings at a particular
moment in time —

one is inspired
to make his message
run deep, and clear,
like the blue ocean —

and to tighten the
knots of sentiment,
and intimacy.

Even today, with all the
different technologies

I’m sure that
a heartfelt letter
goes further
to express the
emotions, and
the sense of
for those
far from you
in distance
but close to you
in spirit.


!!! HOY !!!