Hawaiian Mania

An abundance of disposable income combined with Hawaii’s entrance into the Union in 1959 manifested itself in the US as a mania for all things Hawaiian . . . Polynesian restaurants and bars like Don The Beachcomber’s and Trader Vic’s had been serving mai-tai’s since before World War II, but now “Tiki” bars – usually(…)

Heroin Chic

Heroin Chic was a look popularised in mid-1990s fashion and characterised by pale skin, dark circles underneath the eyes and angular bone structure. The look, emaciated and androgynous, was a reaction against the “healthy” and vibrant look typified by 1980s supermodels such as Cindy Crawford and Claudia Schiffer.

Hip-Pocket Records

The Hip-Pocket Record was introduced by Philco, the electronics division of the Ford Motor Company in the US in 1967. 41 Hip-Pocket Records were issued from 1967 to 1968, the first two being Tommy James & The Shondells releases licensed from Roulette. Sold for 68 cents and available through FW Woolworth or direct from Ford(…)


Like no other time before, the 60’s exploded into personal freedom and self-expression, seen through bands of teenagers with unique — and remarkably different — styles. Perhaps the most memorable subculture of the decade was that of the flower children hippies. The hippies rejected convention, had contempt for money and work, and refused to succumb(…)

Hitler Diaries, The

Hitler Diaries, The

Charles Hamilton Jr, a Manhattan dealer of autograph manuscripts was asked to comment on the so-called Hitler diaries supposedly found in an East German hayloft and purchased by the magazine Stern for $3.3 million. Mr. Hamilton, a white-haired, elf-like man called the diaries “a misbegotten prevarication.” A spokesman for the Federal Archives in Koblenz confirmed that they(…)

Hostess Trolley

Hula Hoop

The Hula Hoop is the standard by which all fads are measured. Somewhere inside that plastic ring lay the key to the hearts of a generation, and the Hula Hoop won those hearts like no toy before or since. Fads had certainly existed before – not three years earlier, Davy Crockett coonskin caps covered the(…)

HyperColor T-shirts

T-Shirts that would – in theory – change colour if you touched them. In reality, you had to pull the shirt to your mouth and breathe on it really hard to inspire any kind of change. Sweating would do it too!. Unfortunately, since the colour change was brought about by temperature change, the first time(…)

I’m Backing Britain (1968)

During the early 1960s the most prevalent image in London was of the Union Jack, which found its way onto every kind of accessory, from mugs to badges to shopping bags. In 1968, a few weeks after devaluation, Harold Wilson launched the “I’m Backing Britain” campaign. A group of Surbiton secretaries began it all when(…)

Iron-On T-Shirt Transfers

There once was a time, believe it or not, when all t-shirts were not blank white garments. But as soon as someone realised that a t-shirt was just a mobile billboard, the space across someone’s chest was rarely vacant. Emblazoned with glitter and sometimes bedazzled with faux jewels, these shirts were a fashion statement all(…)

Jive Bunny

On 16 December 1989, Jive Bunny equalled the record of three consecutive UK #1 hits with their first three singles – a record formerly held jointly by Gerry and The Pacemakers and Frankie Goes To Hollywood. Jive Bunny was the studio-based creation of a father and son team from Rotherham in South Yorkshire. John and(…)


Running and sprinting had been around since time immemorial and were associated with competitive running. “Jogging”, on the other hand, achieved currency when individuals took up the deliberately paced trotting as part of fitness regimes in the 1970s. James (Jim) Fixx was an important figure on the cusp of the jogging boom. In 1977, Fixx(…)

Joy of Sex, The

In 1972, a strange book with strange drawings began to appear in bedrooms – The Joy of Sex by Alex Comfort. Subtitled A Gourmet Guide, the book was strictly for adults – or at least so our parents thought. But we knew where they hid it!. Despite the fact that the strange bearded man in the line drawings(…)


K-Tel were famous for their TV commercials pitching their mass-market compilation LPs and tapes and their household ‘gadgets’. Everything they sold was labelled “As advertised on TV” as if that were a big selling point. K-Tel compilation albums had groovy titles like Dynamite, Soul Motion and Super Bad. . . all with “20 Original Hits(…)

Key Parties

‘Swingers’ would throw their car keys into a pot in the middle of a swirly-pattern carpeted room, have a few Campari and sodas and then pick out a set of car keys at random from the pot. Men with helmet-hair would inevitably end up with their mate’s wife who they’d always hated, fail to get(…)

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