Charles Phoenix’s Slide of the Week: Fondue Party, 1968

fondue party
Fondue Party, 1968

Ordinarily, beer can-curled coifs, clanking cocktails and cackling conversation around a stainless steel fondue pot, sitting on a rich, blue felt-covered board atop a pool table, would be enough to inspire my imagination and make my spirit soar. But this slide offers much more!

Psychedelic beaded curtains (WOW they photograph well!) and lava lamps are rarely captured on film. And here they are side by side! I weep!

I have no idea where those breathtaking beaded curtains come from or who the genius was that first strung them, but I do know that Lava Lamps were originally called Astro Lites. They were invented in England by a man notorious for making eye-popping nudie films. According to the legend he claimed “if you have and Astro Lite you won’t need drugs” and “if you don’t like Astro Lites then you’re afraid of sex.”

In 1965, after fifteen years of perfecting the “recipe” two Americans spotted his hypnotizing creations for sale at a trade show in Germany. They bought the rights to manufacture and market them in the USA and changed the name to Lava Lamps.

Being mesmerized by Lava Lamps is among my earliest childhood memories. There was an old hardware/gift store in downtown Ontario, California that displayed them prominently. Every time we went shopping there I would just stand there and stare at them. I begged my mother to buy one. But even as a four year old I knew it was never going to happen. Guess she just didn’t think one would fit in with our early American living room décor.

All these years later Lava Lamps are still being made. I have one on all the time. It never wears out! If you don’t have one you need one! Trust me it will improve the quality of your life. And don’t forget to turn it on every night -not just every time you have a smart fondue party!

Here’s to fondue parties, beaded curtains, Lava Lamps and YOU!

Charles Phoenix

Visit Charles’ site or join his Slide of the Week Mailing List.

I’ll be having a AMERICANA THE BEAUTIFUL book signing/talk THIS SUNDAY AFTERNOON July 30, 3 to 5pm AT 8 BALL – a wonderful store full of fun stuff – 3606 W. Magnolia, Burbank, CA

Hope to see you there!