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Category Archives: Nostalgia

Hepcats Evolution

When we started our blog about 6 years ago, our focus was on sharing our mid century decor collection and restoration techniques. Over the years, we’ve evolved and became more diverse in our collection and what we are involved with. Because of this, Hepcat Restorations no longer represents who we are. We are now rebranding ourselves as Hepcats Haven. Hepcats Haven will showcase a broader time period of collecting and restoration of items from the 1940’s-1980’s.  We’ve expanded to photoshoot location booking and prop rentals.  However, we are no longer offering restoration services.

Thanks to all of you who have followed us through our many adventures and shared your thoughts. We hope you continue to join us in this new journey.

Mod Bar Cart Complete!!!

Finally got the mod bar cart complete!!! The cart was NOS still in the box. The glasses are Georges Briard and the decanters were the thing that took the longest to find. We had to hunt down 10 matching Old Kentucky Tavern decanters. I painted each top yellow and the caps white. I ordered yellow script decals of Vodka, Gin, Rum, Cherry, Cognac, Brandy, Tequila, Bourbon, Whiskey & Scotch. This makes for a pretty complete bar with the two ice buckets! Now gotta go buy all the alcohol.    

Vintage Chromcraft Upholstery Almost Done!!!


Though the upholstery does not look too bad here, it had numerous wear spots and stains.

We blogged about a really stellar Chromcraft set on our other blog Hepcat Restorations a while back. Our upholsterer Bill from B&T Upholstery sent us a few text photos of how the Chromcraft set is turning out, so I thought we would pass them along…


Mel and I spent a lot of time looking for what we felt was the right fabric and this is what we found.


Here you can see John recovering the cushion base for the couch. Both John and Bill are perfectionists.


John seen here verifying it turned out all right.


One of the concerns Bill had was that our upholstery fabric did not have enough stretch for the corners of the back rest. He ended up having to sew in inserts to make the bend, but with the busyness of the fabric pattern it blends well.


Here is the last photo showing the cushions that still need to be recovered. We hope to have the set soon and will post a follow up as soon as we do.









1960’s Tango Chairs Produced By Overman AB


Mel and I had the good fortune to come across these at one of our favorite haunts. We knew what they were right when we saw them. We are so excited to get a matching set of four.


I love the simplicity and functionality these offer.


The Overman Company began production in Sweden, before reloctating (under the same name) to Lüneburg, Germany.  In the early 1960’s, the company produced some very cool  pieces, which are very collectable and rare.


These chairs have a lot going for them: they are light, when stacked can offer a small footprint and they have a unique design.


Mel and I are debating if they will be added to our collection or if they will end up in our shop, we will let you know!

Here are some other fantastic pieces Overman AB produced…


This is the only vintage ad I could find of some really cool looking chairs they offered.


Nice! Red velvet lounger.


Love, love love this chair! This looks like the chair Gold Member sat in during the movie Austin Powers…



The loungers they produced look so comfortable.


Here is a nice egg chair.


What a sleak looking couch. Love the upholstery.

1974 Virgil Thrasher Lithographs


While I was searching the internet for cool pieces to adorn our walls, I came across a piece done by Virgil Thrasher. Virgil produced lithograph pieces that have a floating effect. I was drawn to his work, so we decided to purchase a few pieces. Here is what we picked up:


Piece: 1361 “Five Trees”

I really dig the shape of the art. The port hole with the image is very striking.


Here you can see Thrasher’s signature. You can also get a better idea of how the painted glass floats above the back image.


Piece: 1253 “Three Trees”

Thrasher released lots of different lithographs, but I seem to be drawn to the sunset ones with trees.


Piece: 1255 “Slope”

We have lots of rosewood pieces, so the colors in this art will really compliment those pieces.


Piece: 1359 “Double Image”

This is a cool one. I love the way he made this look like trees reflecting on water.


Piece: 1360 “Ten Trees”

Here is another fantastic round piece like the one above.


On the back of all the pieces we picked up, they had the information about the artist and other pieces he produced.


On the ones we picked up it, looks like they were all produced in 1974. I look forward to getting these all hung and in place.


What is known about the artist…

Regrettably, little information can be found today about Virgil Thrasher as he was producing work prior to the internet and has no internet presence. Other than numerous photographs of his prints, very little can be found about him or his work. At present, this is all that is known:


Virgil Thrasher was born in Sacramento, California in 1943.  A self-taught artist, he exhibited for the first time in 1963 in Monterey, California, and he has shown in numerous California galleries since that time.  A listing on Craigslist once noted: “Mr. Thrasher is a California artist that combines art painted on glass scenic background to give a neat dimensional effect.” This may have been a very early, starving artist “boardwalk” piece. Photos of this type of work can be found online.


Virgil Thrasher Printmaker, Ltd. filed numerous copyrights from 1982 – 1984 when he produced numerous limited run lithographs. No records are shown after that date.



A Thrasher print has more decorative than collector value.  Values would be higher in California and along coastal areas, the subject matter appealing to those decorating homes in these regions.

thrasher silkscreen


Peace, Love And The Psychedelic Sixties Concert Posters


1967 original concert poster for the Jim Kweskin Jug Band, Peanut Butter Conspiracy and Sparrow at the Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco. Artwork by Bonnie MacLean; concert presented by Bill Graham; printing by Neal, Stratford and Kerr. Catalog no. BG-66. Great psychedelic art poster!

 Concert posters are new to us. I am a big music lover, but have never had the opportunity to get into collecting these sort of psychedelic posters from the 60’s. We were shopping at Midway Antique Mall and we bumped into Greg, a fellow dealer. Greg has a great spot at Midway where he sells records and memorabilia like these posters.


1968 original poster of the concert at the Regency Ballroom featuring Sparrow (pre-Steppenwolf), Wildflower, Living Children & The Immediate Family. Attractive, colorful Mouse Studios design.

Greg was kind enough to tell us some things to pay attention to when buying these posters. He said that there were some pretty great artists who created these and the imagery is very important. He said it isn’t that common to see a picture of the bands on the posters, it’s usually some psychedelic image. This was our first intro into the vintage concert poster arena, but when we collect, we go all out. Thanks a lot Greg!


1967 Original print of Electric Flag, Moby Grape, and The Steve Miller Blues Band at The Fillmore. Artist: Bonnie MacLean. Photo of The Electric Flag American Music Band by Jim Marshall.

The story behind a lot of these posters is kind of cool. There was a house in the bay that a woman was cleaning out. The home belonged to her grandmother who lived there during the time period these concerts were occurring. I guess they used to plaster the neighborhood with these posters to advertise for up and coming concerts. This grandmother would go out in the mornings and grab a couple of the posters when she could. Over time, she amassed a large collection. This grandmother put all the posters together, rolled them up and stored them away for many years. The granddaughter said they had so many cool things they threw away and they were not sure anyone would want these. The granddaughter’s girlfriend said she was sure they were worth something. We were told they brought in a pretty good amount of posters and that they were snatched up by dealers for resale.


1967 original poster with Quicksilver Messenger Service with The Miller Blues Band, Live at the Avalon Ballroom, March 10-11, 1967. “Peacock Ball” – Early original 1960s S.F. Family Dog concert poster. Artist is Victor Moscoso.


Original 1966 Jefferson Airplane Psychedelic Rock Concert Poster. This concert featured Grace Slick and Jefferson Airplane, James Cotton, Chicago Blues Band along with Moby Grape. Held at The Fillmore. Printed by West Coast Lithograph Co. and this was another creation of Wes Wilson.


Original 1967 poster at Fillmore in San Francisco with Frank Zappa in the Mothers of Invention. Also performing Canned Heat and Blues Project. Artist was Wes Wilson and printed by West Coast Lithograph.


Original 1967 poster including Jefferson Airplane, Jimmy Reed and the Stu Gardner Trio weigh in with mixed images of beauty, the primitive and creation in this aptly named Truth Search. This 1st printing poster and was created by artist Wes Wilson and printed by the West Coast Lithograph Co.


1967 Family Dog Poster (orig. first run) highly sought after THE DOORS poster advertising their concert at the Avalon Ballroom in San Francisco CA on April 14th & 15th 1967. Also performing were The Steve Miller Blues Band and Haji Baba. This Family Dog poster is by famed artist Victor Moscoso who was the leader in developing photo collage with neon colors characteristic of the psychedelic posters of the time.

This Doors poster above is our favorite! It is hard to see, but in that spiral design you can see an image of a woman. It’s kind of difficult to tell in the picture, but in person you can see her really well.  These will go somewhere in our home where they can be enjoyed daily!

I Want My MTV!!!!


MTV is a part of my earliest memories. We moved to San Jose in the very early 80’s because my father was transferred with the Union Pacific Rail Road. I was fortunate that my folks decide to get cable TV and one of the shows that captivated me was MTV.

I don’t really remember watching another show as exclusively as I did MTV. I remember the first video I ever saw was Kim Carnes 1982 hit “Betty Davis Eyes”

I have pretty broad taste in music and I attribute it largely to MTV. Another of my very early memories of MTV was the song “Freeze Frame” by the J.Geiles Band.

I also remember my sister Shanna being able to imitate the dance moves of David Byrne of Talking Heads in the song “Once In A Lifetime”.

As I think back to that time, a sense of longing overcomes me. I remember sitting on the floor and watching video after video upstairs in our finished attic. MTV stayed with me for many years and was instrumental in building my knowledge of music and bands. Here is another video I am sure you will all remember, it blew my mind when I first saw it…

That’s right! That is the 1985 hit by a-ha, “Take On Me”!


After watching MTV for so many years, I remember when a show called “The Real World”, released in 1992, was going to be a new show. Besides the show COPS, this was one of the earliest reality TV shows. It was also the start of where I think MTV went wrong.

In its original form, MTV’s selling point was that it was the 24 hour music channel. When reality TV started it became less about the music and more about the reality shows and the many spin offs. It was a shame because I feel their original form was so much better than where they are now. Like the famous catch phrase says….”I want my MTV”.

As with anything, you don’t usually appreciate it ’til it’s gone. Who knows, maybe MTV will get smart and revert back to its original programing.

1974 Supergraphic System


As with any approach we take to decorating, we always want to create layers of interest. When I saw this vintage painting system on eBay I knew it would help make our place look like it was right out of that era.


This kit was produced in 1974. The idea is a DIY process to create wall designs that were so popular during the 70’s.


I dig the shirt!


I plan to apply this process to a couple of walls in our home. I will blog about the process and hopefully inspire folks to do it themselves.



Our kit appears to be complete and never used!


Here is all the support literature to help you produce these fantastic images.


The instruction booklet had photos of numerous applications, here are some of those photos…




The next couple of images are used as a reference for color options.



I hope the process is as easy as it looks. If it is, I don’t know if any wall will be safe!


The Pop Art of Patrick Nagel


I have always been drawn to the art of Patrick Nagal. In some ways his pieces were like pin up art for the 80’s. The images of women he produced were seductive and powerful. His style was minimalist, but even with little on the paper the images were strong.


Patrick Nagel (November 25, 1945 – February 4, 1984)

The Pop Art of Patrick Nagel needs little introduction. During his prolific but brief career, Patrick Nagel created over 400 paintings and illustrations. His minimalist style defined an era with cool, seductive women that became the most iconic of any single generation. His elegant graphic work and his portrayal of the contemporary woman made figurative design before him look instantly old. Today his unique sensibility and style continue to resonate with generations of young designers, illustrators and artists who have found inspiration from his trend-setting style.


Nagel was in the forefront of a new wave of illustration in Los Angeles in the late 1970’s 
and early 80’s, re-imagining the graphic arts and in the process defining Los Angeles as the epicenter of award-winning visual arts. It was a reciprocal relationship; Los Angeles influenced his evolving style and in return he left his indelible mark on the city and far beyond. Through cultural cross-pollination, his work absorbed the moment – from the fashion photography of Guy Bourdin and Helmut Newton to influencing the look of music videos by David Bowie, Robert Palmer and George Michael, to creating the album cover art of  Duran Duran’s Rio album.


It was’t just the images that captured the mood of the 80’s, but the colors and the style.


I really do love the boldness of the colors he used.


These also have a slight art deco feel, probably because of the resurgence of deco style in the 80’s.


Nagel also painted pieces of men, but the women by far were more popular.



Most of my earliest memories as a kid took place in the 80’s. Seeing these images today and blogging about them makes me reflect on my life during that decade. I remember my sister being in high school during that time and she was into all the 80’s fashion. She really got to experience the 80’s at the perfect age. I think blogging about things like this will bring the nostalgia back from that time period for me, and I hope it does for you too. Here is a collection of clips someone put together to showcase a lot of the works Nagel painted.


Jim Reeves


James Travis “Jim” Reeves (August 20, 1923 – July 31, 1964)

I have been a fan of Jim Reeves since the first time I had the pleasure of hearing him sing. He is considered the practitioner of the Nashville sound. To me, he will always be known as THE cowboy crooner. He was easily able to write songs that bridged the gap between older country style music and popular music of his time. Jim’s singing voice was that of a rich light baritone. Songs such as “Adios Amigo”, “Welcome to My World”, and “Am I Losing You?” demonstrated this.

Jim Reeves Getty Michael Ochs Archives_1377195784365

Reeves’ first successful country music songs included “I Love You” (a duet with Ginny Wright), “Mexican Joe”, and “Bimbo” which reached Number 1 in 1954 on the U.S. Country Charts, and other songs with both Fabor Records and Abbott Records. Abbott released his first album in November 1955, Jim Reeves Sings (Abbott 5001), which was the label’s only album release. Earlier in 1955, he was signed to a 10-year recording contract with RCA Victor by Steve Sholes, who produced some of Reeves’ first recordings at RCA and signed Elvis Presley for the company that same year. Also in 1955, he joined the Grand Ole Opry[2] and made his first appearance on ABC-TV’s Ozark Jubilee, where he was a fill-in host from May–July 1958.

By the 60’s, Jim had international fame. He toured in Africa, Norway, Ireland and Britain. Reeves had many fans all over the world including both India and Sri Lanka, and is probably the all-time most popular English language singer in Sri Lanka. His Christmas carols are especially popular, and music stores continue to carry his music. Two of his songs, “There’s a Heartache Following Me” and “Welcome to My World,” were favorites of the Indian spiritual teacher Meher Baba. A follower of Meher Baba, Pete Townshend of the Who, recorded his own version of “Heartache” on his first major solo album Who Came First during 1972. During Christmas season his versions of “Jingle Bells”, Silent Night” or “Mary’s Boy Child” are the most sought after songs/albums in Sri Lanka.


Robert Svoboda, in his trilogy on Aghora and the Aghori Vimalananda, mentions that Vimalananda considered Reeves a gandharva, i.e. in Indian tradition, a heavenly musician, who had been born on Earth. He had Svoboda play Reeves’ “Take My Hand, Precious Lord” at his cremation.


There are many songs that he sang, here are a few of his most popular:

He’ll Have To Go

Four Walls


Here he is in 1956 on Country Music Classics with Ray Price and Jim Reeves:

Here is a 3 parts of a four part documentary on Gentleman Jim. Unfortunately part 2 in not on file:

Part 1

Part 3

Part 4


On July 31, 1964, Reeves and his business partner and manager Dean Manuel left Batesville, Arkansas, en route to Nashville in a single-engine Beechcraft Debonair aircraft, with Reeves at the controls. The plane never arrived. It was later discovered that maybe Jim had not had enough training to fly in the bad weather they encountered. Coincidentally, both Reeves and Randy Hughes, the pilot of Patsy Cline’s ill-fated airplane, were trained by the same instructor.

Jim in plane

Reeves was elected posthumously to the Country Music Hall of Fame during 1967, which honored him by saying, “The velvet style of ‘Gentleman Jim Reeves’ was an international influence. His rich voice brought millions of new fans to country music from every corner of the world. Although the crash of his private airplane took his life, posterity will keep his name alive because they will remember him as one of country music’s most important performers.”

color Jim main1

During 1998, he was inducted into the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame in Carthage, Texas, where the Jim Reeves Memorial is located. The inscription on the memorial reads, “If I, a lowly singer, dry one tear, or soothe one humble human heart in pain, then my homely verse to God is dear, and not one stanza has been sung in vain.”

Jim Reeves on the Grand Ole Opry, September 3, 1960 . Classic photo: Reeves is smiling, resting weight on left leg, and extends other foot so it looks as though he's walking. Gray-haired man in window-pane shirt is Opry stage manager and WSM libraria


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