Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Do you shampo your hair like James Bond?

A few days back I wrote a blog post about the scent of Ian Fleming / James Bond. That blog post was well received with over 1 000 page views so I felt the need to do something similar, especially when I came across a very special listening on Ebay.

It is in the second chapter of Ian Flemings James Bond novel ON HER MAJESTY'S SECRET SERVICE that we get to read more about the shampoo of choice for James Bond.

The second chapter is called Gran Turismo and it is on page 26-27 the below text can be found.
"His two battered suitcases came and he unpacked leisurely and then ordered from Room Service a bottle of the Taittinger Blanc de Blancs that he had made his traditional drink at Royale. When the bottle, in its frosted silver bucket, came, he drank a quarter of it rather fast and then went into the bathroom and had an ice-cold shower and washed his hair with Pinaud Elixir, that prince among shampoos, to get the dust of the roads out of it."
I recently checked Ebay for Ian Fleming books that my collection is missing when I found an listening for a bottle of Pinaud Clubman Elixir Shampoo. The cool thing here is that the bottle is vintage and do look like something that can have been sold in time of the books release.

I find it very strange that is says "For professional use only" on the bottle. Was this product not sold directly to customers?
I cant recommend the above shampoo being used today. I would much rather recommend something that is biodegradable and do not harm our streams and water life.

Now who among you readers will be the first to place a bid on this listning. The Bottle have a "Buy it now" price of $39,99.Note that I am not the seller.

You can read some more about the shampoo over at James Bond Lifestyle.

Thursday, 1 December 2016

The maskuline scent of James Bond

Ian Fleming was born in Mayfair London. and just a few streets from his home was Jermyn Street and at number 89 on that street was the high class Floris perfume shop.
According to the owner of the shop Ian Fleming spend some time there from time to time and their products became common in Ians life.

In 1951 Floris released the smell titled No 89 (just as their street number) and it instantly became Ian Flemings favourite. Back then the bottle was apparently green and has changed to transparent nowadays.
The formula of the perfume has changed some since 1951 so it is hard to know the exact smell back in 1951 if you do not have an original bottle. The owners of Floris says that the change is very little so I hope that's true. Some time ago the Floris owners almost decided not to continue producing the fragrance but luckely the younger generation of owners talk some sense into the older owners. 

In the James Bond books Fleming mentions Floris three times. The first time is in MOONRAKER, The second time is in DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER and the third and final time is in DR. NO.

In all fairness the company is only mentioned in passing but if you have not read the books I do not wish to spoil where you can find it being mentioned. It actually never says that Bond favourites No 89. It was always Fleming who did that and on Floris website one can read "Introduced in 1951, No 89 takes its name from the number of the Floris shop in Jermyn Street. Devoted followers include Ian Fleming" It is clear that James Bond in the books do enjoy Floris dough. 

So what about the scent? I do own a bottle that I intend to use. I do like the smell. It smells masculine and mature and expensive. To be honest, it smells like someone would smell, who have never even seen the suburbs own the town he lives in. I believe you all know what I mean whatever country you live in.

According to Floris themself the scent is as follows:
Orange and bergamot blended with lavender and neroli give No.89 its classical cologne aspect. Warmed with a touch of spicy nutmeg, the floral heart is underscored by the dominant woody accord of sandalwood, cedarwood and vetiver in this quintessentially English gentleman's fragrance.

If you wish to get this fragrance for yourself or your loved one. You can order it here!. But bare in mind. Your friends might just think you have become a snob.


Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Come join me in London on December 10

In a few days I will fly from Stockholm to London to celebrate my fortieth birthday.  Plans are being made to meet some other Fleming / Bond fans but also to enjoy a few days without the kids with my wife. I will also be allowed to join a friend on a trip in his two different Tesla motor cars which has been a dream for a few years now. A concert at the O2 arena in London is also scheduled.

The trip has in other words every possibility of being great and I look forward to it a lot.

Therefore I wish to announce that I would love for you, the reader of this blog, to come join me on Saturday, December 10 when I together with Maxus Ltd arrange a Ian Fleming post war London walk. 

I hope this event can be some sort of replica of the great event arranged by and Maxus Ltd that was arranged earlier this year on May 28, Ian Fleming's birthday.

So if you are an Ian Fleming fan or maybe just an James Bond fan wishing to learn more about the creator of the worlds most famous spy or if you just wish to meet other James Bond fans and hang out in London then join me. The more the merrier. The locations that we will visit are those connected to Ian Flemings life after the second world war when Fleming begun writing the James Bond novels.

We are allowed to be up to 30 people and after the walk, Jon at Maxus Ltd will take us to a bar close by were we can buy drinks and chat as long as we wish.

The price to take part in this walk is £10 each if you pay in advance or £15 if you wish to join us in the last minute.

If you wish to participate (and I hope you do) then contact me Stephan Backman on Facebook and I will give you the payment details. Also contact me if you may have questions about this event and I will be glad to assist. 

Let's Bond in London on December 10th.

Stephan Bäckman
James Bond - The Secret Agent Blog

Sunday, 27 November 2016

How much is actually the Domino letter worth?

If you are reading this the chance is quite big that, even if you are a James Bond fan, you have never heard about the rare Domino letter. So let me break down quickly for you what the Domino letter is.

Back in 1965 when the forth James Bond film staring Sean Connery was released, Pan Books re-released the novel THUNDERBALL for the fourteenth time in a movie tie-in version (cover below).

In that edition (and only that edition) there was a printed promotional notepaper added. It was made to look like a handwritten letter from Domino to James Bond. In the letter she is asking Bond to read pages 152-155 within the book the letter came with. On these pages in THUNDERBALL the Players Cigarettes are mentioned and they were also the company that used the THUNDERBALL novel for advertising. A lot like modern day product placement.

I am sure that Ian Fleming himself never got paid for this while writing his book and therefore the idea came up after his passing in 1964.

Most readers certainly threw this peace of paper away but some owners kept it. Some books might never have gotten read and therefore the letter is still there.

People who own this advertisement claim it to be worth quite a bit. A seller on Ebay says he wants $350 for it but excepts offer. There are also fake versions of the letter on the market and these sell for as little as £2. 

I myself do not have this letter in my collection but I was bidding on one today. The funny thing is that I was one of only two people who placed bids during the last hour. When I decided to bid it was at £62 and I bided up to £99 and stopped and lost the bidding to someone else who paid £101.

It is funny how we value our collections. One would think that such a rare piece of early marketing material would be as valuable as the sellers says but it is not often a bidding war on stuff like this happen. Most of the James Bond collectors would rather have other James Bond collectables in their collection. We are not many who wish to pay a lot of money for these kind of things and the market tell us what the current value is. I would say that the value for a Domino letter on the market is currently £101. Do you think I am right or wrong? Would you have paid £101 for the below peace of paper? Happy to read your comments below.   

If you wish to learn more about the Domino letter I suggest you head over to this site.

The Domino letter

The 14th printing of Thunderball from Pan Books UK

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

The problems with FOR YOUR EYES ONLY

In 1962, Ian Flemings first short stories titled FOR YOUR EYES ONLY was released in Sweden.

The release, by publisher Bonniers, led to some problems when the last Roger Moore film was released in 1985. Let me explain why.

When FOR YOUR EYES ONLY was released the different short stories where not titled. They were only chapters.
Also the story QUANTUM OF SOLACE was missing in the Swedish version.

But the biggest difference was that the book was not called FOR YOUR EYES ONLY. It was called FROM A VIEW TO A KILL. The same title as the first short story within the book.

So in 1981 when the Swedish distributor United International Pictures (UIP) where to release Roger Moore's fifth film FOR YOUR EYES ONLY the Swedish film title was FROM A VIEW TO A KILL.

No big problem so far but I guess you can figure out where this is going.

In 1985 the final Roger Moore film were to be released and it was at first called FROM A VIEW TO A KILL and sometime before the release they removed the FROM and only called it A VIEW TO A KILL. Since that title had already been used in Sweden two Bond films earlier UIP was now having a problem.

So they decided to change the title completely in Sweden and came up with the title LIVING TARGET for A VIEW TO A KILL.

Since I have started re-reading the Fleming novels I must confess that since QUANTUM OF SOLACE has never been released in Swedish, I have actually never read that story. It is nice to know that I still have some unread Fleming material to look forward to.

Has any other country had the same problem with titles already used or being changed for some reason. It is one thing to make up an entire new title for a film. That happens a lot even today. But to have used a title for a franchise four years to early must be quite rare.

Below you can see the first edition for the Swedish version of FOR YOUR EYES ONLY. If you truly know your books you will notice that the eye on the Swedish version is not the same eye as on the UK first edition. I prefer the Swedish eye much more. It has a far better paintjob.


Monday, 21 November 2016

The paperback that was NOT to be released

When Ian Fleming released his tenth book about his secret agent James Bond back in 1962 he was not prepared for the reviews that followed.

Ian Fleming was somewhat sick and tired of writing the Bond novels and had previously changed his formula by writing short stories in his FOR YOUR EYES ONLY collection released in 1961.
This time he did something completely different. He did not write the book from James Bond perspective but instead from the female mind and he decided to only let James Bond apear in the second part of the book half way into the story.

When the novel was released on April 16 in 1961 the reviewers were not happy about the drastic change Fleming had done to the formula.

Sadly I do not own any of the reviews in print in my collection but the below review quotes can be found on Wikipedia.

The Daily Telegraph, wrote "Oh Dear Oh Dear Oh Dear! And to think of the books Mr Fleming once wrote!" while The Glasgow Herald thought Fleming finished: "His ability to invent a plot has deserted him almost entirely and he has had to substitute for a fast-moving story the sorry misadventures of an upper-class tramp, told in dreary detail." Writing in The Observer, Maurice Richardson described the tale as "a new and regrettable if not altogether unreadable variation",[going on to hope that "this doesn't spell the total eclipse of Bond in a blaze of cornography".Richardson ended his piece by berating Fleming, asking: "why can't this cunning author write up a bit instead of down?" The critic for The Times was not dismissive of Bond, who they describe as "less a person than a cult" who is "ruthlessly, fashionably efficient in both love and war". Rather the critic dismisses the experiment, writing that "the novel lacks Mr. Fleming's usual careful construction and must be written off as a disappointment." John Fletcher thought that it was "as if Mickey Spillane had tried to gatecrash his way into the Romantic Novelists' Association".
Philip Stead, writing in The Times Literary Supplement considered the novel to be "a morbid version of that of Beauty and the Beast".The review noted that once Bond arrives on the scene to find Michel threatened by the two thugs, he "solves [the problem] in his usual way. A great quantity of ammunition is expended, the zip-fastener is kept busy and the customary sexual consummation is associated with the kill." Stead also considered that with the words of the police captain "Mr. Fleming seems to have summarized in this character's remarks some of the recent strictures on James Bond's activities." Vernon Scannell, as critic for The Listener, considered The Spy Who Loved Me to be "as silly as it is unpleasant". What aggrieved him most, however, was that "the worst thing about it is that it really is so unremittingly, so grindingly boring."
The critic for Time lamented the fact that "unaccountably lacking in The Spy Who Loved Me are the High-Stake Gambling Scene, the Meal-Ordering Scene, the Torture Scene, the battleship-grey Bentley, and Blades Club." The critic also bemoaned the fact that "among the shocks and disappointments 1962 still has in store ... is the discovery that the cruel, handsome, scarred face of James Bond does not turn up until more than halfway through Ian Fleming's latest book. Anthony Boucher meanwhile wrote that the "author has reached an unprecedented low".

So As you can see above Fleming took a hammering when reading the reviews for his latest novel.

Ian took this hard. Actually so hard that he tried to stop the book from being published again. He forbid the book to be published as a paperback, there were to be no comic strip adaptation and when he sold the rights to make films of his books to Albert R Broccoli and Harry Saltzman he only sold them the title for the book and not the story itself. He did not wish to ever have it released again.

So how come there is a Pan Books release of the book and why has the book been sold in many different versions after 1962?
Well Fleming passed away as we all know on August 14 in 1964 and the rights to his books went to his relatives. They waited three years until the books was released in paperback. In 1967-68 the book was also the last original Ian Fleming story to be converted into a comic strip.

In 1977 the film with the title THE SPY WHO LOVED ME was released by Eon Productions. The title as as we all know the only connection that film has to Fleming. The story was all new.

 Below is the 1967 paperback released by Pan Books.

Thursday, 17 November 2016

The complete set of EIDOLON covers are here!

The last episode of the James Bond series EIDOLON will go on sale on December 21 but here and now we can reveal the arwork for the final episode and also show you the complete set of artworks for this six episode series.

It all started with the first series VARGR penned by Warren Ellis and drawn by Jason Masters (who have also done the header for this blog). That series was really good and even if I have not read comics for a very long time I enjoyed it a lot. You can read more amount that series here and see all the different covers.

Just as with VARGR I decided to wait to read EIDOLON until the complete set was in my hands. And it soon will be.

I wonder if anybody else feel it to be a bit strange that the publishers Dynamite Entertainment decided to make EIDOLON as part 7-12 instead part 1-6 since it was a hole new mission. 

Below you can see all the different covers for the EIDOLON series and they are all made by the same artist named Don Reardom.