John Joseph Houghtaling 1916 – 2009

Posted by Whitmore, June 22, 2009 11:39am | Post a Comment
Put in a quarter
Turn out the light
Magic Fingers
Makes you feel alright.
- Steve Goodman from “This Hotel Room”

Maybe it wasn’t quite up there with jet packs and flying cars as what the future might hold but in the 1960’s the vibrating Magic Fingers bed was a sign that the future was here. And it felt kind of weirdly good.
John Houghtaling, inventor of the vibrating Magic Fingers bed, died this past week in Fort Pierce, Fla., of a brain hemorrhage after a fall. He was 92.
Probably the first significant hotel room amenity after the TV was the Magic Fingers bed, and in its time it was a veritable goldmine. The vibration system offered fifteen minutes of mild massage to the weary traveler for only a quarter. At the height of their popularity 250,000 machines were in service across the United States. With the average revenue of just $2 a week per machine, they generated approximately $2 million a month.
In 1958 Houghtaling had been hired to design a combination mattress and box spring with a pre-installed vibrating mechanism. Neither the beds, nor the concept, sold well. But later as he worked in his New Jersey basement he devised a small motor that attached directly to the existing box springs.Magic Fingers relaxation service! The brilliance of the idea was not in the motor itself, but the idea to install this simple mechanism in hotel beds across the country for a newly mobile culture.
Magic Fingers have become a popular reference point in American culture, frequently appearing in movies and television like National Lampoons Vacation, Planes, Trains and Automobiles -- which features a can of beer exploding on a vibrating bed, and an episode of The X-Files where Agent Dana Scully is seen dropping quarters into a Magic Fingers in her hotel.

Six String Sisters

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, June 21, 2009 11:35pm | Post a Comment
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ellen mcilwaine everybody needs it lp coverjanis ian restless eyes lp coverbe-bop deluxe sunburst finish lp cover
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New 12" Electronic Releases at Amoeba Hollywood - 06/26/09

Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, June 21, 2009 08:10pm | Post a Comment

New Electro/Techno 12"s Coming this Weekend:

Miss Kitten & The Hacker 

Fresh out of the traps and hot on the heels of MISS KITTIN & THE HACKER's "1000 DREAMS" springs "PARTY IN MY HEAD" -- one of their best. Also contains remixes from MR PAULI (CLONE/VIEWLEXX), THIEVES LIKE US, and KIKO. Hi-NRG, 80s indie electro party stompers on one 12".


New limited ORNAMENTS from PEAK! Three cuts of quality, dub-influenced deep house & techno, including a remix from SOULTOURIST (DRUMPOET COMMUNITY) and YOUANDME. Vinyl release ONLY, and even though we don't know for sure, it's probably pressed on marble wax. You know how ORNAMENTS does it.

Fort Knox Five FOUNDATIONS EP 12" FKXP000

Fort Knox Five RADIO FREE DC RMX #4 12" FKX017 

Medusa Edits REFLECTION SERIES #3 12" ME003



Sly Players ARTIST SERIES 8 12" GG16 

Assembly Line FALLING BACK EP 12" CCR007

Beatstalkers MODERN STALKING EP 12" FFM002

Bonaparte VS Markus Lange ANTI ANTI 12" FMO0905 


Dimlite QUIZ TEARS 7" AC7X7X0 

Heavy FeeSASQUATCH EP 12" PASA050 


Modernaire FAITES VOS JEUX 12" ROXOUR005   

Sally Shapiro MIRACLE 12" PERMVAC037 

Various ALL NIGHT LONG EP 3 12" AUS0921  

Hello It's Me

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, June 21, 2009 01:49am | Post a Comment
Todd Rundgren - "Hello It's Me"

Nazz - "Hello It's Me"

The Isley Brothers - "Hello It's Me"

Mark King Of Level 42 With Toots Thieleman - "Hello It's Me"

John Legend - "Hello It's Me"

Groove Theory - "Hello It's Me"

The Cast From That 70's Show - "Hello It's Me"


Posted by Billyjam, June 20, 2009 10:48pm | Post a Comment

Sarod maestro Ustad Ali Akbar Khan, who was instrumental in popularizing Indian classical music in the West as both an artist and a teacher, passed away Thursday night/Friday morning after a prolonged kidney ailment, it has been reported.

The Indian born Khan, who lived in San Anselmo in the Bay Area, was 88 years of age. To read the news report on his passing, click here. Look for releases from his rich catalog at Amoeba Music, and enjoy his beautiful music in the videos above/below. Rest in peace Ali Akbar Khan. Your soulful music will keep you alive forever!

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