Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Centrefold Venus of the Month 30: Suzanne (Linda Lusardi), November 1977

For a very long time Miss Lusardi has been the most popular search on Venus Observations.  We first posted her February 1977 pictorial from Mayfair in February of last year and, since then, she has regularly topped the list of most viewed post.  Last month, for example, she accounted for no less than 20% of all the search results for this blog but then when we Googled her today our Venus Observations entry was the third one on the list.

 Fiesta November 1977

What better way of celebrating our thirtieth Centrefold of the Month than revisiting her and presenting her notorious Fiesta set from November 1977.

Fiesta, October 1977

Oddly, Linda didn't appear on the cover of the November issue but had, in a picture taken in the session that would feature in November, on the October cover.

Not unusually, Linda appeared under another name, Suzanne, which, perhaps was what led her to try and deny she had ever posed for such an explicit set in the future. 

There are quite a few pictures from this set on the web but most of them are of poor quality.  We have  done our own scans, as usual, to ensure we have nice crisp pictures (given the limits of the far from quality printing in the magazine itself).

The pictures were shot by Allan Johns which is obviously a pseudonym for the photographer who discovered her, John Allum.

Eschewing the clothed shots that were still being used in Penthouse, for example, at the time Johns really only uses Lusardi's red dress to add a flash of colour to what is, in fact, a pictorial with a very limited colour palette.

What she does keep on, in every shot, are her stockings, which have an enticing lace top.

The pictorial only utilises one setting which features a large round chair which is dressed up in several ways.

A little more colour is introduced through the use of a green feather boa and some apricot covered, rather slimy-looking, seventies sheets.

The overall colour of the pictorial is predominantly black and tan, however, the overall lack of fussiness focussing us very clearly on Miss Lusardi's teenage form.

It was only really in 1976 that UK mens' magazines stopped retouching their pictures to avoid the models' labia showing.   By 1977, when this pictorial was shot, not only were genitals not hidden but had become the focus of the pictorials and this is certainly the case with Linda's pictorial here.

There is no Penthouse style soft-focus or dreamily romantic portraits or clothed shots here, just Linda displaying her (rather splendid) pussy.  This is the last of the pictures from the November 1977 pictorial and she never did such explicit shots again.

This picture is very similar (but flipped) to her Fiesta October 1977 cover.

Other pictures from this shoot popped up in a number of places afterwards.  We did not scan these pictures so the quality is variable but we are nothing if not a completist so include them here, starting with a set featuring the red dress and the white chair.

The rest feature the dreaded apricot sheet, starting with these ones of Linda from the rear.

Since we posted the original Mayfair set of her back in February last year we actually met her briefly at an event in London; she seemed rather charming, we thought, and still looked very good.

Someone left a comnent to the effect, on our earlier post, that they felt she had rather demeaned herself with these pictures, given that they appeared after she had made her first appearance as a Page 3 girl. That is a much larger debate, outside the remit of this post, to do with questions of taste and the artistic aesthetic. Triple P tends to be of the opinion, as someone once wrote in Men Only at about this time, that "why can't a pretty girl have a pretty cunt?"  Something Miss Lusardi certainly displays rather well.

Our only negative thought on this pictorial is that Linda has a particularly dazzling smile (which we are sure is the main reason - after the obvious two - for her overwhelming popularity as a Page 3 girl) so it is a pity to see her looking so glum in this set.   

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Showgirl Venuses 1: Folies Bergere by Alain Aslan

Agent Triple P appreciates a good showgirl, those be-sequinned, feather-plumed examples of statuesque loveliness that decorate the stages of Paris, Las Vegas and elsewhere, bringing glamour and style (as well as the ability to support often very big headresses) to brighten our lives.

What better way to start this series than with two examples by French artist Alain Aslan for the Folies Bergère.  This famous Parisian music hall was founded in 1869 with a design based on the Alhambra in London.  Unlike the Alhambra, which was demolished in 1936 to make way for the famous Odeon Leicester Square cinema, the Folies Bergère still exists and still puts on shows.

Its future, however, was not looking so bright back in 1974 when former Folies showgirl Hélène Martini took over the direction of the place and ensured its continuation to the present day.  The fact that these posters have Martini's name on them helps us to date them.  We believe that at least one, if not both, are from 1977.

Alain Aslan (b 1930) is probably France's greatest pin-up artist famous not only for his paintings for Lui and Oui magazines but also his sculptures of French national icons.  Currently living and working in Quebec, Canada, we will look at his work more extensively in the future.

One interesting conceit of these pictures is that whilst the feathers immediately say "Showgirl" they are, in fact, just an abstracted background design and not part of her costume.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Calendar Venus: Eve from 1938

Quite often we are struck by an image for its immediate impact despite not knowing anything of its origins and this is the case with "Eve" here.  We know it dates from 1938 and a little research has shown that it originated from the Joseph C Hoover and Sons print publishers company of Philadelphia (a fine city where Triple P spent an enjoyable week a couple of years ago).  The name on the piece, VP Wright, under the copyright notice, would not be the artist but the employee of the company who registered the image for copyright purposes.

Joseph Hoover was actually a native American and started out as a picture framer in Philadelphia in 1856. Soon he was producing prints, initially for other publishers. In 1885 he set up a complete printing plant and by the end of the century was producing nearly three quarters of a million prints a year.  By the thirties they were producing calendars including ones featuring pin ups such as this.

Eve is an elegant composition with the pose, chair, abstracted background and colouring typical of late Art Deco.  The use of chiaroscuro is unusual in pin-up pictures of the time but here is used beautifully to define the woman's form. 

An altogether splendid image!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Centrefold Venus of the Month: Review

Genesis, November 1973

We still get comments on previous Centrefolds of the Month and have had a lot of comments on old posts this month, so we thought it would be interesting (to us at least) to look at the source of the 29 Centrefolds of the month we have had so far; perhaps to inform the decisions we will take on what to have for the next half dozen or so.  We offer a selection of November centrefold girls we haven't shown before as decoration.

Playboy, November 1958

Actually, we have already decided on this month's entry (time is running out, though!) and some for the next few months but still have some leeway for other months into 2012.

Penthouse, November 1969

We confess to having three types of Centrefold of the Month posts.  Firstly, there is a major post on a young lady who we particularly appreciate.  Into this category we can put Carol Augustine, for example.

Knave, November 1983


Secondly, we have those ladies who have gone on to be rather more than just centrefold models and have a more interesting story attached to them.  A good example of this is Britt (Christina) Lindberg.

Mayfair, November 1990

Finally, we have those ladies who are chosen precisely because they may have had limited, or even only one, appearances in mens' magazines (such as Tamara Santerra) and so it is possible to just feature their centrefold pictorial without having to do lots of research on them and find other pictures.  If you see one of these it means that Triple P has had a particularly busy month! 

Fiesta, November 1985

Of course there will be all sorts of overlap where we get a centrefold we appreciate who also has an interesting story (such as Henriette Allais).  We have avoided the production of a Venn diagram!

Chic, November 1981

We have had a quick look at two factors, however: which magazine the girl's centrefold comes from and from which decade it appeared in.

Looking at the magazine source first, we can see that Penthouse has provided the majority of our featured centrefolds to date so, perhaps, we need to widen our selection a little bit in the coming months.  Twenty out of twenty-nine centrefolds come from Penthouse and Playboy.

As regards date well over half of our centrefolds have come from the nineteen seventies with around 25% from the sixties.  None from the nineties or tens yet.  We tend to be influenced, of course, by those we remember from the magazines at the time and also the fact that, in many ways, the seventies were the high point of mens magazines in many ways. 

Men Only, November 1984

Nevertheless, we should feature more from the eighties, which were nearly as good and where we also had a large number of magazines from that decade.  These were partly our own purchases but also were gifts from what would now be termed a bi-curious girlfriend whose choice in lingerie seemed very influenced by the boudoir look of the eighties. 

Hustler, November 1979

When we did our first Centrefold of the Month posts we did not, as we did later, include every picture from their original pictorial or add pictures we discovered from other sources, so we are going back and remedying this gradually.

Club, November 1977

Once this is done they will all be nicely indexed down the right hand side of the page.  Those entries that are now "complete" will have an identifying number next to them.

Playboy, November 2005
Although they are usually the most time-consuming posts we now do (the recent one on the Collinson twins took five weeks to assemble) they also continue to be, along with our Pubic Wars posts, the most popular on the blog so it is only right that the old ones are brought up to the same quality level as the new ones.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Venus Passing: Anneka Di Lorenzo

Triple P was sad to hear of the death of one of his favourite Penthouse Pets from the seventies Anneka Di Lorenzo.  Although she died in January this year the Naval Criminal Investigative Service has only recently (late last month) launched an appeal for information about her death.

Anneka Vasta

The fifty-eight year old, now known as Anneka Vasta, was found drowned on a beach with a broken neck and back close to Camp Pendleton in San Diego.  Investigators had trouble identifying her as her body was so youthful they initially thought that she was a teenager.  Her car was found on top of some sixty foot cliffs a mile away, parked after she had driven down from Los Angeles where she lived. The authorities do not have enough evidence to tell whether it was suicide (there were cuts on her wrists consistent with a half-hearted suicide attempt) or foul play.

She had been mentally fragile for some years, according to her sister, but her family do not believe she would actually have committed suicide and are worried that someone preyed on the friendly and trusting woman.

Anneka doing publicity work for Caligula in 1980


Anneka was born Marjorie Lee Thoreson in St Paul, Minnesota on August 25th 1952. She left school at the age of 14 and moved to California. She changed her name to Anneka Di Lorenzo and did a number of odd jobs becoming a nude dancer at a club. She saw Bob Guccione on TV and sent him some pictures of herself. He signed her up to be Penthouse Pet of the Month for September 1973 in a shoot photographed by Guccione himself in London. She became Pet of the Year for 1975 and was very visible in his film, Caligula (1979). She had small parts in other films too. Later she sued Guccione for $4 million for sexual harrasment and was awarded $4,060,000 damages but she only recived the $60,000 as Guccione appealed and won. She moved to Florida and married Philip Vasta.  They divorced and she moved back to California. She leaves a daughter in her twenties.

We will do a proper appreciation of her in the future, probably as Centrefold of the Month, which won't be until next September.

The NCIS case on Anneka Vasta remains open.  A sad end for such a beauty.