Although I was always an Aquanet gal back in the day when I would let hairspray anywhere near my hair, THE ubiquitous brand of follicle gluiness was Breck. Breck ads were on the back covers of the biggest women’s magazines like Seventeen, Vogue, Glamour and Ladies Home Journal so you couldn’t miss them if you tried. Down to sponsoring America’s Junior Miss contests, Breck Girls were the epitome of femininity in an age of hairdos that looked like Jiffy Pop on steroids and bundt cakes stacked on top of otherwise normal shaped heads.


This is a can of special formula “Super Hold”. That means this spray could hold hair in place that defied gravity once a nights-full of pin curls, spoolies, sponge rollers and the scotch tape and toilet paper holding it all in place was removed. When I was 12, my hair was on “Super Hold” for my sister’s wedding.


When I was 14, I achieved a rather lumpy and narrow version of my favorite Breck do:


I never needed directions to spray my flips but Breck provided them in case anyone was new to the art of setting hair in cement:


Please refer to this Breck can if you want your hair to look like the parting of the Red Seas with a nice mountain view in back and two gulleys down below.



This “For A Great Guy” cup is large enough to hold enough steaming brew for Dad to sip and ponder the wonderfulness of fatherhood as exhibited on these astounding LP covers featuring families all fluffed and coiffed for their musical debuts.  I thank the following families for looking and dressing so good as to commemorate Dad’s magnificent power to pop out the little ones who support their fathers no matter how misguided their appearance decisions may be.

On this LP cover Dad can feel like it’s Christmas all year round when he wears his new robins egg blue polyester jacket and whatever’s in that box. My only wish is that he had more hair so he could have the same flat-as-a-landing-strip haircut his son does.

moms and dads

I’m happy to see the lavender-tinged Gill family celebrating Dad by wearing matching napkins around their neck. Dad’s haircut seems to have inspired all the male Gills except Junior down on the right.  I give him til he’s 12.

gill fam

Wow, Dad’s growth hormones definitely worked on the vertical plane.  And mom spent all her afternoons studying the Kennedy women in Life Magazine.

god calledme to sing

The entire Einert family has excellent head shapes for the follicular style that atops them.  Mommy’s hair looks like Jiffy Pop and Bill and Jim’s ties look like they’re made from a tablecloth. I’m serious. Where’s the knot? And why are the Einerts so happy if, in fact, God is slipping away?

bill mary ji,

Not at all sure what happened to Daddy here other than he had the good sense to be photographed in front of a fake brick wall.

soemting happened to dad

Happy Father’s Day to all the sharp dressed men with matching families out there and may you all be sipping something special out of a ginormous Great Guy cup.

great-guy-cup_2246 great-guy-cup_2247


If one were to pick up doing crafts as a hobby one of the easiest things to make would surely be this happy little gal toilet paper cozy. A ratty piece of fake fur stitched together with a plastic doll head and adorned, if you’re lucky, with a little satin bow and some kind of cheap necklace, usually with the glue the ‘jewels’ are nesting in sloppily poking out of the sides.

I first saw this particular style in the 1970s when fake fur surged in popularity. Through the years the hairstyles became more ornate and streak filled. I’ve received so many of these as gifts I can’t tell you as it’s surely an item that no one can mistake for anything other than kitsch. I like them because all the toilet girls look so happy.


I’m not sure why toilet paper cozies became so popular as it’s easy enough to leave a roll of toilet paper in its plastic cover until ready for use. I understand that one aspires to make such a product look more attractive in the bathroom for guests but I still think most guests would pull their host aside to tell them they’re running out of toilet paper before they would disrupt the decorations in the bathroom to see if perhaps a roll of the white stuff was hiding under the head.

Just as popular as the doll’s head toilet paper cozy is the full doll cozy. 1950’s crafts books were filled with instructions for how to make these:


A good friend of mine has quite a collection of the gals in his bathroom:


But toilet paper cozies come in all shapes and forms. Here are some I found from a just few seconds of surfing the web:

toilet-paper-cozy-sushi toilet-paper-cozy-3 TP Cozy-6 TP Cozy-3 TP-Cozy-5

I’m rarely the type to think anyone has gone too far but in this case I think the toilet paper cozy fabricator may have done just that:


Should you not have time to take up crafting on your own, this site even sells gorgeous toilet paper and matching tissue box wardrobe:


Whatever the case, toilet paper cozies seem to be something that almost anyone can make that are sure to bring a sparkle to the bathroom even if you haven’t been down on your hands and knees all day scrubbing it clean.



One sure shot sign of Kitsch is when someone’s idea stops at the first thought and doesn’t spin off into a more creative zone that produces deeper, more interesting and creative spinoff ideas. This holds true with any creative vision, from telling a story to writing a song to thinking of a name for your business.

I’ve long been enamored with the mind that’s capable of stopping at the simple, most obvious thought. Like when looking for a name that implies your hair skills are performed with artistry you settle upon Artistry With Hair and a simple clip art logo of an 80’s couple that must have graced signs, business cards and matchbooks in thousands of salons, many of which were probably also named Artistry With Hair or something perilously close, during that decade when this sign was undoubtedly made. And if it was made later than the 80s, double kitsch points for sticking with so dated a look.

What is just as simple and at the same time not anywhere near as simple – the kind of organic incongruity that’s become a comfortable pattern in my life – is the matter of my own hair which is having its roots touched up as I write this.


Maintaining my hair style is the simple part. I’ve been cutting it myself every morning for 27 years – long on one side, short on the other, shaved part way up the back or not depending on my mood.

aw w statue37

Acquiring the hairdo was the not-so-simple part. After having long, curly even locks for 10+ years, a disastrous trip to the hairdressers in 1984 resulted in a wispy Farrah-Fawcett-flippy-bangs-and-whispy-strands-of-hair-around-the-face cut.  This was 7 years after The Farrah hit which caused me, always style conscious and never wanting to embrace a trend unless I was one of the first ones there, to go into a 31 day lockdown cutting more and a little bit more off one side every day in attempts to find an ideal length.  Finally, I was forced to go out lopsided as months before I had invited a bunch of frends to see the opening screening of Rhinestone, a really bad, kitsch filled film starring Dolly Parton and Sylvester Stallone. When no one even reacted that something very wrong was going on on one side of my head I figured it just looked natural and stayed with it, uncommitted to a perfect length to this day. It led to a fantastic conversation with Farrah about my hair. And here we are 27 years later with me still lopsided. Such is the nature of “Artistry With Hair”.


real silk_6239

Anyone who knows me knows I love Reality TV.  Of all the contestants on all the nutty dating shows I went especially nuts over Chance and Real, aka Ahmad and Kamal Givens aka The Stallionaires, real-life brothers and finalists 2 and 3 on season one of VH-1’s I Love New York. I liked them so much that I co-wrote and co- produced the theme song,  “Does She Love Me”, to their spin-off VH-1 show, Real Chance of Love, with them and younger brother, Micah.

real-silk_3019 real-silk_3073

As trillions of young girls will tell you, Real is known for his long silky locks.


So much so that last week he launched his Real Silk line of hair care products at the salon that bears his name in Long Beach.


After an hour of tooling up and down Lakewood Blvd. trying to make sense of the googlemap directions I finally made it to the salon minutes before the opening was over where I was meeting my fabulous friend and Borat hooker, Luenell.


Normally I would have been pissed arriving this late anywhere but I was very happy to find this giant bunny building while I was busy being lost.


These are four of the funniest people I know. And we all have great hair.

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You can too if you pop down the coin for a bottle of this:

real silk


Mr. Wah Wah,  the prized work of Bubbles the artist, has become the symbol of the Sound Of Soul fundraiser I throw every year in conjunction with Pacifica Radio Archives. This year it’s tomorrow and I’m going nuts trying to get ready for 300 people storming my house to eat outrageous soul food from Mom’s Barbecue House, peruse my collection of Pop Soul artifacts that the Godfather himself, James Brown, encouraged me to  turn into a museum when he first saw it in the 1980s, and to celebrate the end  of the first national tour of The Color Purple.  (Second national tour begins in two weeks  with a brand-new production and cast.)

As anyone  knows who’s ever been to a party over here, I treat the whole place like it’s a big set and hand make signs, displays,  games, prizes, the works.   As if that’s not enough work, with all the rain that’s been dousing LA I need a Plan A party, the real deal, and a Plan B party,  the striped down version that happens if it rains and I’m forced to squeeze everyone inside, a physical impossibility that demands extraordinary hive-inducing, Valium-popping-if-I-were-the-type measures.  So I’m a  paint covered, music making busy little beaver today, half in a good mood and half having spilkes because I know powers greater than I are at work to collaborate on the evening.   But with all the hostess concerns that I have Mr. Wah Wah  is still looking good and ready to party!


A great kitsch Kristmas or Chanukah gift for your folliclely challenged male friends, this Burt Reynolds-like hair rug would look great protruding from a polyester disco shirt or anything that unbuttons to reveal the beauteous cheese beneath. The chest rug attaches to skin or sparse hair with three pieces of double stick tape and looks pretty until you pull it off, in which case the rash it most likely leaves behind still gives the chest a very distinctive look.

Made by Accoutrements.  Fresh patch available at Archie McPhee.

How-To--Dominican-BlowoutDoobieAs most of you know by now, I’m one of the few songwriters who loves when their songs are used or performed inappropriately as it turns the songs into masterpieces of Kitsch. I never set out to write Kitsch as I love music too much but if I leave it in the hands of all the people who love to see themselves on YouTube I’m rarely disappointed.

As opposed to a performance, this is someone who’s chosen to verrrry sloooowwwwly show us how to achieve a Dominican hairdo using two Earth Wind & Fire songs as background music, “After The Love Is Gone” and “Boogie Wonderland”, the latter of which I co-wrote and the significance of neither in regards to the the subject matter make any sense.

With pixelated effects that happen in the first few seconds of the video and never occur again in the 9 minutes and 13 torturous seconds it takes to get the damn rollers out and hair wrapped, this is a directorial masterpiece in the filmic language of Kitsch. Among other highlights is that absolutely nothing happens in rhythm to the music, the “wind machine” only functions in one “scene” and the label on a jar of product appears backwards so you can’t possibly see what it is even if you wanted to achieve this look. Also excellent is the fact that ‘doobie’ doesn’t mean what we think it does and is apparently some kind of barrette or bobby pin.

I got excited when it was apparent that the final hairdo was going to look like a Fez. At this point, over 7 minutes in, “Boogie Wonderland” is in full throttle instrumental. That hair should have been whipping around to the strings and horns, combs and doobies flying. But alas, the Fez just gets pulled tighter and tighter, smoother and smoother, totally defying the intention of the music. And why would something be called ‘blowout’ that’s actually deflated and increases in value the flatter it gets?

Even I had trouble making it through to the final strand but from a Kitsch perspective this is a Top 10 hit!


I can’t imagine that many people working at Bayshore Industries, the company responsible for this follilicular fun for the face, knew many actual artists to pattern their work after. Not only is it a mix of stereotypical arty types – 1950’s bearded beatnik above the neck and 1960’s flower power below – it appears the designers had little regard for what artists have to say as they forgot to leave a hole for the mouth.

Artist-beard-mustache_9732 Artist-beard-mustache_9729


With the hairdo on the left looking like the perfect bundt cake, a bulldog in the middle and a bouffanted Jay Leno on the right, what Jesus used was The Faith Tones’ heads to perform some of the most astounding hair artistry in the history of Christian album covers, the Kentucky Derby of cheese championships in the 1960’s and 70’s.

I love that The Faith Tones invested in matching baby blue polyester tops that would go up in flames if a match were within twenty feet of them but stopped short of buying matching blouses or scarves or whatever they’re wearing underneath. I suppose the theory was “no one will notice” and with the indisputably best hairdos of the 20th Century they were almost right.

Although this LP has made the Internet rounds, something so astounding always bears repeating. The Faith Tones and their heavenly follicles have indeed ascended to the throne of Kitsch Klassics!

Witone hairdo looking like the perfect bundt cake and a bouffanted Jay Leno on the right, what Jesus used was The Faith Tones’ heads to perform some of the most astounding hair artistry in the history of Christian album covers, the Kentucky Derby of cheese championships in the 1960’s and 70’s. I love that the Faith Tones invested in matching baby blue polyester tops that would go up in flames if a match were within twenty feet of them but stopped short of buying matching blouses or scarves or whatever they’re wearing underneath. I suppose the theory was “no one will notice” and with the undisputable best hairdos of the 20th Century they almost got it right.

Although this LP has made the Internet rounds something so astounding always bears repeating. The Faith Tones have indeed ascended to the throne of Kitsch Klassicism