Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Ambush Spray Cologne

More than anything, the one thing that accompanied me every single day of my four college years at the University of Wisconsin in the late 1960′s was a spritz of Ambush Spray Cologne. I should have bought stock in Dana,  the company that made it, for as many bottles of  it as I went through. The male equivalent was called Canoe. Sometimes girls wore that too but I was so attached to the scent and the shade of pink and hard rubbery shape and feel of the bottle I never made it past Ambush.

Here’s what I looked like when I first started wearing it at the tail end of high school:

For as laquered as my hair was it might appear that I may have coated that with Ambush too, but that was all about Aquanet. My Aquanet hairspray kept my hair helmet so firm I never had to worry about it getting crushed when the amount of Ambush I sprayed on myself put me in many situations like this back in college:

Thank you, Ambush, for making me smell good then and for that astounding pink bottle still lighting up my eyes today.

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Categories: Bathroom, Hair, Health & Beauty, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Photograph, Romance

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Cher Perfume and Burlesque, A Very Bland Thanksgiving Turkey!

Unfortunately, my bottle of Cher perfume, given to me as a birthday present one year by Elvira, is long empty. Just like Burlesque, the film that opened this week that Cher and her once great face that no longer moves stars in. But in the case of Burlesque, I wasn’t expecting emptiness so much as a big fat Thanksgiving turkey gloriously stuffed with kitsch. I’d been whetting my lips for a year and a half since the insanely done-to-death-27,000-times-over storyline was revealed to me when I, along with God knows how many other songwriters, was asked to submit a song for the film. My co-writer dropped the ball and never handed in any of the three we did  - I’ve yet to even hear a mix…..Earth to Steve…..but often when my songs haven’t made it into a film it saved me from being stuffed into too many cinematic turkeys. Unless, of course, you count Howard The Duck, which I co-wrote five songs for with Thomas Dolby. But that was just about writing with Dolby and George Clinton as, despite being excited about being in a George Lucas produced film, I knew it was headed for the turkey farm my first time on the set when Howard, a little person stuffed into a costume that looked like a pillowcase with feathers glued on, ran in.

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Categories: Awards, bad art, Celebrity, Consumer Alert!, Film, Health & Beauty, Hollywood, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Music

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Fashionable Turkey Hat

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours! May you have much turkey, tofurkey or whatever else you choose to stuff yourself with today!

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Categories: Fashion, Food, Forgot to Categorize, Hats, Holidays, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Turkey Gravy Boat and Salt & Pepper Shakers

One of the main reasons I love Thanksgiving is that I get to pull out all my holiday themed dinnerware. Not that I cook or that my house is the one everyone comes over to but the turkey accessories in plain view still keep me psychologically tweaked for the season.

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Categories: Food, Furniture and Housewares, Holidays, Kitchen, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Dr. Ben Casey Pencils

I loved me some Ben Casey when I was a kid. I had Ben Casey diaries, wallets, cufflinks, bobble head dolls, anything and everything that had that kind-of-smile-but-not-really brooding look that Vincent Edwards, who played the handsome doctor, knew how to give with amazing regularity. Here he is as a cufflink with the same intent look:

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Categories: Celebrity, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Medical, Memorabilia, TV/Radio

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – The Fifth Dimension 7-Eleven Slurpee Cup

I absolutely loved The Fifth Dimension. I loved Jimmy Webb and I loved Laura Nyro, the songwriters who wrote some of their biggest hits, both of whom were major influences on my songwriting career and the latter of whom was one of the first artists I worked with when I got a job at Columbia and Epic Records fresh outta college. Nyro wrote songs like “Wedding Bell Blues”, “Stone Soul Picnic” and “Save The Country” while Webb wrote The Fifth’s first major hit, “Up Up and Away”, as well as “Carpet Man”and my favorite though slightly more obscure Fifth song, “Paper Cup”.

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Categories: Advertising/ Promotion, Afro, Brands, Celebrity, Drink, Forgot to Categorize, Music, Songwriting

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Mahalia Jackson Cooks Soul Cookbook

As Thanksgiving week is upon us I will never forget the trauma of being invited to Luther Vandross’s Thanksgiving Day dinner and having to leave before the smothered turkey was ready, only to arrive at my next destination and having a plate of salmon plopped in front of me. NEVER  put a fish in front of a Thanksgiving guest unless you warn them first if you ever want to see them again! In that particular case, I developed a sudden headache and left just as quinoa and tofu were about to hit my plate and headed back across town where the table was flooded with the best holiday soul food fixins my stomach ever had the pleasure of ingesting. I bring up this story not just because I’ve learned to make sure the menu is Thanksgiving appropriate before I accept an invitation but because Luther and I often discussed the fact that Mahalia Jackson had a cookbook and how great it would be to make a total Mahalia Jackson meal.

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Categories: Book, Celebrity, Fashion, Food, Hair, Kitchen, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Recipes

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Stupid 1960′s ‘Once A King/Once A Knight’ Wood Plaque

This is a very sloppy version of the kind of ‘sexy’ joke signs that became popular around the early 1960s and hung in many a wood paneled rec room somewhere in the vicinity of a ping-pong table and beer keg. I especially love this one because the Knight looks more like a Harlequin getting ready to play hockey.

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Categories: Furniture and Housewares, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Romance, Sign

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Vintage “Little John” Toilet Ashtray

I’m not sure how toilet ashtrays became so ubiquitous in the novelty ashtray department but they did. I guess because they’re a natural place to set butts and the basic design offers so many opportunities for storage – the bowl for ashes and the tank for smokables, though I stick everything in there from Post-its notes to paperclips. The back of the tank has a hole to hang it on the wall. I always like my toilets at eye level.

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Categories: Accessories, Animals, Bathroom, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – 1960′s Music Ring, Famous Songwriters and The Beaver!

I’m so NOT the type to wear a ring with a G-clef on it or have one of those cheesy license plates like GR8T BEAT. My gold records don’t hang in the living room so they’re the first things you see when you walk in and my clothes aren’t Bedazzled with musical notes. But this ring is so stone cold handtooled 1960s my finger had to have it.

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Categories: Celebrity, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Music, Party, People, Songwriting, TV/Radio

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