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Music in the Pre-Internet era; How fans kept updated on their favorite bands.

Published August 2, 2016 by AntiqueMystique1

In this blog I have scoured the annals of time to present some fascinating back issues of the music magazines my 80s generation just loved! Some of us had subscriptions to these music magazines, other times, we didn’t and/ or couldn’t afford it. Therefore, we would wait anxiously (in a good way) for the next issue to hit newsstands.

The time is 1989. Twitter doesn’t exist. Cell phones aren’t even discussed as a technological possibility. We have no computer in my household. The internet is non-existent to a large majority of the population. Computers were a rich kid’s plaything and the newest computer is still the Apple II used in a few public schools and not every school had them. Everything is researched in books checked out from the public library and a card catalog system consisted of a span of pull out drawers chalked full of index cards with the author’s name, circulation number, and title. Information is jotted down on pen and paper, or if you were me, then pen and index cards. That’s how I complied information back in these old days.

Metal Edge 1989 Music news traveled by word of mouth, in print (in the music magazines), MTV and the radio. Who’s opening up for who again? Was it Guns n’ Roses or some upstart band calling themselves ‘Slaughter’? I just used this as an example even though Slaughter did open for KISS on their HITS tour in 1989.

And Sebastian Bach, lead singer of Skid Row blurted out on the American Music Awards program, “Well… shhh-iver me timbers!” since swearing wasn’t allowed on national television. It made me laugh so hard when he said it after receiving an award because I hung onto every word. Am I fan of Skid Row? Around this time, no. However, my older sister simply adored this new rock band that was quick to grace the covers of all the music magazines: Metal Edge (pictured), RIP, Circus, etc.

I was a Kiss fan at the time, and despite what my parents told me about this particular band and how infamous they were, it made me love them even more. Shock rock at its finest. The only other rock star that achieved such a reputation was Alice Cooper. My mom saw Alice Cooper in concert back in the 1970s, and she took my uncle to his first Kiss concert around the same time, too. They lived it and are original fans from an era not too different from that of my own.

But the sound was magical. There was special meaning to those chart-toppers and power ballads—every new and veteran band had to crank out at least one of those in the late 80s. Kiss had theirs with ‘Forever’. Alice Cooper had his with ‘Poison’. I remember hearing Alice Cooper’s new song on the radio and my mom would crank up the car stereo whenever the song came on the air. And maybe somewhere we related on some level. I realize that a parent isn’t supposed to be their child’s best friend, far from it. And I also realized at the young, impressionable age of Twelve that parents are meant to be respected and feared. I grew up in the era where we respected our elders. We’d have hell to pay if we sassed back to adults and those in authority. Discipline was dished out as a parent saw fit.

I didn’t like Alice Cooper when I was Twelve and really couldn’t wrap my head around his shocking theatrics. The guillotine act was a show stopper.

I kept my nose in those rock magazines constantly. ‘Dear Mama Ford’ (Lita Ford’s mother) had an advice column in Metal Edge. She fielded a lot of problems my teenage generation were experiencing in their lives, no matter how serious or minor. A lot of it went over my head when I was thirteen, but I thought Mama Ford had sound advice and she was a lot like a “Dear Abby” to readers of Metal Edge magazine. At this time Lita Ford was my biggest fashion inspiration. Her two hit songs Kiss Me Deadly and If I Close My Eyes Forever were still popular on the radio even though they were previously released in 1988. (I had to do some quick research on when they were released). My opinion of Axl Rose and how I thought he was so mean to his fans didn’t change. I wouldn’t say I was a fan of Guns n’ Roses simply due to his onstage antics, but in another sense I wasn’t really giving this band a chance. Yes, they had some hit songs I really liked. I remember my older sister and I would make fun of the song, ‘Paradise City’ and sing, “Take me down to Paradise City where the girls are green and the grass is pretty,”

The real lyrics go: “Take me down to Paradise City where the grass is green and the girls are pretty,” We needed to do something to alleviate typical teenage boredom we seemed to collectively experience. We just changed the lyrics around for the fun of it.

And those magazines we bought didn’t survive into adulthood. Some pages were removed (by us) because we loved to tack those color band pinups to our walls which our parents hated because they felt it made our bedrooms look tacky. Yet we kept tidy rooms and it didn’t look like a tornado dropped a bunch of dirty clothes, empty dishes and a haphazard array of LP’s and cassette tapes tossed on the floor. And those rock magazines were neatly stacked either on our nightstands or kept on a bookshelf. I had all three copies of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark and a mismatched set of Child Craft encyclopedias.

Out of anything that ties in with 1989 that I saved was a book mark that depicted a shark and the words, “I Said Hands off!” I bought that bookmark from a book fair hosted at our local school. I used to hate these book fairs because we had to look through a circular and check mark the books we wanted to buy. Well, I didn’t want to read whatever this Weekly Reader cranked out and I didn’t want to spend my allowance money on them either. I also walked my neighbor’s dog for extra money too. I certainly didn’t want to pester my parents to ‘please give me money for books I’ll never read’. I observed these circulars as being ‘forced’ to read some boring cheesy preteen books that wouldn’t keep me interested in turning the page.

I guess there was a problem with my generation experiencing an increase in the  illiteracy rate and there seemed to be this huge emphasis for the book fair to get kids excited about reading, when instead, it did the exact opposite. And we had to promise the promoters of this book fair and the school librarian that we’d read the books we ordered. Well, I skimmed the circular. I can’t find any books on my favorite new rock band Kiss that’s because I missed the boat on scaring up some Schoolastic books that featured Kiss from the seventies. I can’t find any subscriptions for RIP or Metal Edge magazines in this book circular either. This bites! :/

I wasn’t a fan of Circus magazine, but that was my older sister’s favorite. All I saw were the average Highlight magazines for children (grades K-3rd). I was in the fifth grade and a twelve year old. I considered Highlight children’s magazine to be pre-school reading material. All preschoolers read, right? Maybe I was an exceptionally rare breed when younger. I was onto bigger things and wasn’t a fan of those Babysitter Club books, either. I liked those Choose Your Own Adventure books but this book circular didn’t list any. Hmmm, alrighty then!

I wanted to read about Ace Frehley. He was my favorite guitarist in the entire Kiss lineup. I wanted to read more about Peter Criss who was the original drummer. It was around this same time frame I had a fascination for drummers, in general regardless of their style of music because my dad played drums and was in the drum and bugle corps for his high school. And my mother played in a few bands here and there and there’d always be a drummer. From a very early age I was drawn to drum kits no matter if the drums were a famous brand or a cheap, crappy kind.

I’ll never forget the time I accidentally put my foot through my brother’s snare drum on his three piece drum kit (cymbal, snare and kick drum, if my memory serves me correctly). I was about knee high to a grasshopper when I had done that and my brother was infuriated with me. I never learned to play drums, but naturally seemed to gravitate to percussion and cymbals. And when I was still a little child, I was fascinated by drummers that played in bands. I would go up and bug them during band practice whenever my mom would cart me along because she couldn’t always find a babysitter at the last minute.

I never sat down and asked my dad who his influences were and why he decided to pick up the sticks and learn how to play the drums other than his favorite band was Black Sabbath. I can’t put words in my dad’s mouth and say Bill Ward was his musical influence. I will have to ask him because it garners my curiosity.

I’m sitting at my desk in the fifth grade skimming through the Weekly Reader, page open to a check list of books for the upcoming book fair. It brought back negative memories of when I had to complete those stupid book reports for the Book It! Program during the 80’s. I hated Book It! because I couldn’t read fast enough to finish a certain number of books in a single month, then go into a mind boggling, soap opera strung-out dramatic, slapdash outline of what the book was about and how special the protagonist(s) were to me and what lessons I took away from what I read. I was a very slow reader and one of those kids you didn’t want to call on in class to read a paragraph aloud. I loathed reading unless it was on my terms and given free reign to read what I wanted. I seem to recall the Book It program had very strict criteria what type of books students were allowed to read and it was very boring! :/

Also, the page count gradually increased with each new book selected. I didn’t like the very narrow reading selection we had to chose from. It didn’t leave any room to broaden my literary horizons at all.

Nope… can’t make me do it! was my new defiant attitude at ten years old. I viewed the Book It! program as this mandatory course that no student could get out of no matter how hard they tried. As a reward Pizza Hut would give a student a free personal pan pizza (very itty bitty pizza) only if they could produce their Book It! button and a free coupon signed by the teacher. I thought this was so wrong because not many students could get a personal pan pizza.

I scored only one personal pan pizza by happenstance because my teacher made a mistake. I had already taken the coupon down and got my free pizza the same evening and naturally couldn’t give it back.

Metal Edge November 1989 mag

RIP magazine November 1989 Price: $2.75 (in 1989)

My penchant for those rock magazines was my quiet way of rebelling, I suppose. I’d never come right out and say what was on my mind. I would draw out my frustration and began keeping a diary (still have it to this day) and that was my creative outlet to vent all my emotions, worries, fears, hopes, etc. I took a semi-serious interest in writing and fact-checking at twelve. I wasn’t keen on citing my sources when I first started out and was told that plagiarism is a major no-no when I hit the fifth grade. Plagiarism is also a serious offense that’s not taken lightly, and what plagiarism is is where a person copies a paragraph, article, or a whole book word for word and claim it as their own and don’t (or in some cases) won’t give credit where its due.

I would sit there at my desk, happily jotting down quotes by various musicians and doing my best to cite my sources. I loved writing when I was twelve even though I never had any writing credits to my name yet. I was a nobody and made an easy target to pick on. I probably fell somewhere in-between the geek and nerd category by the time I hit Jr. high.

1990-91: Censorship abound, ‘The Metal Wire’ never comes to fruition.

The concept was great because I thought up the name and had a design in mind. There was something edgy and new when it came to conceiving my first ‘music’ newsletter back in 1989. I loved the idea of being my own executive editor, journalist, layout designer even though I had no access to any kind of design program since computers weren’t available. At twelve could I have sat for long hours trying to make Adobe Photoshop to work? Likely not. I didn’t warm up to technology in the least and wouldn’t for a good decade or so.

I decided to find something else and took up a hobby at twelve. I discovered 8 track tapes and the 8 track machine when I was in the fifth grade like they were these long lost ancient artifacts often overlooked in thrift stores. I would fix the cartridge tapes using whatever I had at my disposal and cleaned the 8 track players with cassette tape cleaning solution. And in a pinch I would use record (LP) cleaner for 33 1/3’s and long q-tips designed for cleaning electronics, and when those became scarce, I would tape a regular q-tip to the tip of a pencil and clean the tape heads and capstan that way. I loved to hang out in my attic bedroom working for hours on a solution how to piece together an 8 track tape that got eaten by my Lloyd’s 8 track player that was discarded in the trash at my grandparents house. I took the little 8 track unit home and cleaned it up, let it air dry for a few days and tested it out with those damaging pillow cushion over-the-head earphones. My mom promptly made me throw those headphones in the trash because she was very worried I’d damage my hearing and they could produce a much louder sound than ear buds do today. The old pillow headphones were heavy I might add and caused me many a headache from long periods of wearing.

I received my first hand-me down Walkman that ran on four AA batteries in 1989. The newest features this used Walkman had were fast forward, rewind, pause and stop. At the very least, the inexpensive less impressive cassette tape Walkmans only had play and stop. Depending how much money a person was willing to spend, the more expensive models had rewind, record, and fast-forward and maybe bass boost and both FM/ AM included.

Growing up me and my siblings had the basic Walkmans that lacked a radio. To conserve battery power I believed that using the fast-forward and rewind buttons would drain the batteries completely and so would turning up the volume. Walkmans were a new novelty to me when I was a kid, but how I love them still to this day and miss being able to hear one. I did find two at my local thrift store recently but didn’t buy them and now I’m kicking myself for not doing it. They were off-brand cassette Walkmans, but still that’s old school technology that’s collectable nowadays.

And the rock magazines filled the gap between catching concerts (if a person was made of money and had the chance to get tickets). Backstage passes I heard cost somewhere in the thousand-dollar range and that was unfathomable to me at twelve years old. I dreamed of attending a rock concert as a kid, but there was some intimidation holding me back. I worried about getting hurt at the concert and this is what turned me off from wanting to go to one. I heard horror stories and didn’t know that a nose bleed section was down front. Stage diving existed, but the barricades looked like the Grand Canyon in the live concert pictures in the magazines. But my height (or lack of it) went against me. Unless I could sit on a person’s shoulders I wouldn’t have been able to see the show.

The concert-going excitement was infectious, no doubt. There’s nothing like it in the world that can compare to it. When I listened to Kiss Alive II on 8 track and played the Alive! LP into the ground pretty much, I could be transported to that specific time. I could close my eyes and imagine being there in person to see the action, hear the amped up drums, screaming loud guitar solos, and vocal harmonies and the ‘sing-along’ audience participation that is typical of any band pretty much. And for that brief moment, I could see myself there among the throng of fans that were a wild emphasis of the 70s.

I returned to my rock magazines and thumbed through the articles. I may not have understood a lot of what I read at twelve since a lot of it went over my head, but I loved to read about the popular songs and bands climbing the charts. Metallica. Uhn, that’s a new band. Actually, they began their career in night clubs and bars. Fans used to call them ‘Alcohol-ica’ because the band members liked to drink. Okay, whatever. I didn’t get what ‘drinking’ was all about at twelve and didn’t care. To each their own, I thought. I had formed a crush on Lars Ulrich, the drummer for Metallica. He had long hair, almost a ‘Lost Boys’ look about him even though he wasn’t a vampire. The Lost Boys had long-haired young male teenage vampires that were typical ‘bad boys’ of the silver screen. At twelve my parents still forbid me to rent that movie. I do remember vividly when it hit theaters in 1987. I wanted so much to go see it and glad I had waited until I was an adult. It wasn’t the R-rating this particular film received. It was due to one particular scene where the vampires attack a group of people partying on the beach that’s gory and very graphic. Now I see why my parents forbid me to see the film. Still, for its time the teenage vampires were handsome and the special effects makeup was impressive. I read on a message board that the film also used some CGI (computer graphic imaging) for some of the scenes and other die-hard Lost Boys fans dispute this and think it was contact lenses, fang caps, and a well-rounded cast of new young actors that really gave this horror movie its shock factor.

Either way The Lost Boys is an excellent 80’s cult horror movie that’s worth owning. I was happy to purchase an original vhs copy of this movie for 10 cents at my local thrift store a month back. I have the dvd to this movie along with the film’s series. Like always though I wanted an original vhs copy too. But yeah, the ‘Lost Boys’ look as I summed it up back in these days, all the rock musicians seemed to have a similar look about them. Long hair, tight jeans, ageless beauty, fame, fortune and so on. Oh, yeah and scores of girls, but that comes with the territory when you’re a rock star.

Had I been the intrepid reporter I strived to be with my newsletter I would have included critiques of albums, chart toppers, pictures, news, more credit where credit’s due, first-hand experiences by those who lived it, especially my [then] P.E. teacher related a story to me at recess one day of his concert-going experience seeing Kiss and that it was, “Loud like crazy.” He took his daughter to one of their shows and that was sometime when the band was already famous, so I guessed it was around 76’-77’ which happened to be the bicentennial year for our country (1776-1976).

I didn’t add that last part to my diary. I just quoted my gym teacher’s concert-going experience. And he added that on the way home from the venue he saw a lot of white-painted faces and he was shaking his head as though he didn’t understand it. That’s where I filled him in that the early generation of Kiss fans always painted their faces up like their favorite member of the band. By the time Kiss was touring in the 80s they had long since removed their signature makeup. He was quite impressed by my knowledge and the conversation ended when I had to return to class. And then another teacher waved me over and told me about the time she and a friend of hers shared an elevator with Kiss and her friend began to hyperventilate. It was only when the band stepped off and the doors closed, her friend said, “That was Kiss!” and that was before the band removed their makeup. I need to interject here that a photo of Kiss without their makeup was leaked in Creem magazine in the 1970s. I know this sounds like general knowledge to most nowadays, but back in 1989 this ‘famous non-makeup picture’ was still floating around as just a rumor. It was oral history like this that I penned in my diary so many years ago and reflect back on it like a kid that I was with insatiable curiosity.

 

Bulldogs, Not-Man and Doris Lady Justice- Mascots galore!

 

The bulldog depiction was my grade school’s mascot. In 1989 I received a gym shirt with the school’s name and the depiction of a fierce-looking bulldog. Instead of groaning, “Do I have to wear this?” I thought the t-shirt was so awesome, yet sadly, it never survived. I also had a school folder with the same depiction. The folders were glossy white with the name and bulldog in green outline. When the folder was opened there was a printed ruler and times table along with some typical useless public school highlights that wouldn’t benefit me once I got out into the adult world.

 

Not Man was Anthrax’s mascot, and I believe one of the members of Anthrax would don a head covering that resembled Not Man and go out in the audience to excite the crowd. Not Man is a cartoon depiction on their albums and t-shirts.

 

Doris Lady Justice is Metallica’s mascot. In 1991 one of the rock magazines printed a flyer for the band’s Justice For All album and Doris Lady Justice is photo-shopped out with the phrase, “…find out in twenty years.” For long-time Metallica fans out there I will need some clarification if my memory serves me correctly about this. But I remember seeing something to this effect either in RIP or Metal Edge.

And that about does it for this blog post. As always thanks for liking, re-blogging, sharing, commenting, tweeting, etc. I truly appreciate it. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Thrash and Speed Metal (a wild, exciting time 1989-1991):

Published July 31, 2016 by AntiqueMystique1

“…a face obscured by hair leaving just a dog like snarl while playing devastating music, how very thrash…”- Harry Callahan, Youtuber

And that sums it up in a very sweet, poetic way when describing Megadeth. I didn’t hear about this speed/ thrash metal band until I was around the age of 12 during which time I was still going through my classic/hard rock/ heavy metal faze of the late 80s. Yes, I was one of the many in my youth that would ‘head bang’ to this very fast-paced, almost break-neck speed music and play air guitar. Oh, and can’t forget about that huge, long spiral, wavy hair that would obscure and twirl about Dave Mustaine’s face.

And it was the tale end of an exciting era for many in my upcoming generation as the late 80s ushered in the very early 90’s. It took me awhile to warm up to seeing the likes of Vic “Rattlehead” for the first time and I believe I saw the album Peace Sells But Whose Buying and So Far, So Good, So What and the reader might be thinking, “Who?”

Vic Rattlehead is Megadeth’s ‘see no evil, hear no evil, do no evil’ skeletal mascot very much like ‘Eddie’ is Iron Maiden’s recognizable mascot. And the sound that graced my [then] young ears wasn’t mumbling, guttural or shouting that to me remain undecipherable and unattractive, personally.

I don’t want to put down any newer music that would trample the thrash/speed metal time period, it’s just me expressing my opinion. The mainstream thrash/ speed metal music I was introduced to at the time for me had to have that certain ‘edge’ or magical appeal rather, and the lyrics must be at least 50 percent understandable for me to either like a song or few or not at all.

Could I relate to the aggression, angst and mediocre music industry standard supply with demand? I didn’t view any of the thrash/speed metal as angst-ridden or even depressing. Sure there is mention of death, dying, wars, destruction, etc. but the meaning had an opposite effect on me growing up. I was neither made sad or depressed listening to it. It was the perfect music to skateboard to or just hang out in my bedroom drawing and sketching and maybe hum along to the song. To me it was exciting and passed the time between studying and homework. The lyrics might sound ‘dated’ nowadays, but the newness never left.

‘Symphony of Destruction’ was the first song I heard on the radio by Megadeth and it was popular right around the same time frame that we were in the Persian Gulf war. So no, our country was not going through ‘peace time’. I was fourteen at the time and didn’t take an interest in politics and I certainly didn’t like seeing all the violence that the war coverage brought onto the small TV screen on the evening news. In those days we didn’t have flat screens because they weren’t thought of yet.

On the eve of the Persian Gulf war though, a few acquaintances I had made during this time spoke of the ‘what-if’ scenario of what we would do if we had been caught up in a draft. Simply put: we’d become draft-dodgers like that of the 1960’s/1974 generation. I can’t speak for my entire 80’s generation but we certainly didn’t believe in taking up arms or be shipped off to some foreign country we likely couldn’t point to on a map only to then return home in box. And none of us were even old enough to vote, be turned loose with our first driver’s permit, or even apply for our first stepping stone job.

We saw plenty of war depiction music videos to show us that war never solves anything. I remember I wept when I first saw Metallica’s 1989 video “One” when I was twelve. I was so shocked by the brutality and felt this hopeless sadness for the fictional soldier who can’t speak and is missing his limbs. I had to ask my older brother if what Metallica showed in that video really happened to soldiers when they go off to fight for our country. My brother glanced up from repairing a stereo speaker, grim expression and told me, “Yes, that’s a real possibility when a soldier leaves for war.”

I never learned about the behind-the-scenes of warring nations because public school will gloss over this and how wars get started. I remember there was a major push to tie a yellow ribbon on everything that wasn’t nailed down to show patriotism and if a student was indifferent or didn’t take any interest being patriotic, then they were bullied relentlessly in school by their peers.

I don’t miss those school days from my youth because I was indifferent when it came to wars and never liked to be a neutral party to anything ‘war’-related once the aftermath of two custody battles in my family was still on-going. A year before I had to play mediator between two arguing sides that just made false accusations. Finally, at thirteen it drove me nuts and I was a nervous wreck because of it. When I turned fourteen I had decided I didn’t want no more of that adult responsibility of fielding the phone calls. It was very difficult on me to hear my grandparents putting my parents down constantly, too. Parents don’t come with a handy ‘rule book’ just like teenagers won’t quit their dramatic, turbulent times when puberty hits.

All I wanted was to get happily lost in this new thrash/ speed metal music that I found fascinating. I wanted to forget about trying to act all ‘adult’-like at fourteen and just skateboard until my heart was content. I wanted Eddie Van Halen to amaze me on 8 track tape since I bought two of Van Halen’s albums in 1991 from a thrift store: Van Halen (self-titled) and Van Halen II. I played those 8 tracks until I wore them out. And David Lee Roth could sing! And he had long hair and was cute too I thought. My mom had a very different viewpoint (from a well-meaning concerned ‘parent’ perspective) and made me throw out the black and white poster depicting David Lee Roth chained to a chain link fence, bearing his chest looking at the camera with a sultry stare. Yep, too much sex appeal was my guess as to why my mother made me throw away that poster. It was very mature to be tacked to a teenage girl’s bedroom wall.

Oh, yeah, and Peter Criss still had to put a shirt on and quit showing off those leather studded bandoleers across his chest even though my parents had trashed my first Kiss collection the year prior. My mom thought the Peter Criss picture was too suggestive, and I believe I tore that out of a Peter Criss 1978 songbook that was given to me by my friend’s uncle who was a die-hard Kiss fan and grew up during the time the band was in their heyday of the 1970’s. But he expressed to me as he placed that song book in my hands that I could have it under two conditions: I keep it safe because in thirty years from the time he gave it to me in 1990/91 it would become a valuable collector’s item if kept in good condition, and secondly, that I never, ever do street drugs of any kind. Those were the two promises he made make to him. I didn’t follow through on the first promise to keep the song book in good condition, but I kept it safe as possible when it was in my brief possession and should it ever surface in my lifetime by remote chance unknown to the universe, I’ll know it when I see it because I colored in the KISS logo on the first inner page and put my contact information on the back inner cover and it’s missing one of the three color pages too. I did uphold my second promise to my friend’s uncle and never touched street drugs, by the way.

And there’s too much ‘male’ manliness going on an average typical healthy teenage girl’s bedroom, I suppose. 🙂  Although at the time the word ‘healthy’ and ‘normal’ don’t enter into my teenage vocabulary at all. In fact, I’m very much uninformed at fourteen because I don’t ask twenty questions and the word ‘hormones’ doesn’t exist yet since everything seemed to me at the time to be strictly taboo in my household. The word and definition of hormones finally enters my vocabulary when I’m in my early 30’s. And no, this doesn’t make me inept. I simply have to locate the word and look up its definition, then do a palm smack to my head, say “Doh!”  and laugh it off. 😀

Due in large part of the heavy censorship in my household growing up I never got to see the new video by Megadeth for Symphony of Destruction since MTV was scrambled on the cable box. However, many years later I did see the video, or at the very least, a very well put together fan’s tribute to the aforementioned song perhaps. There were two different videos for Symphony of Destruction. One video depicts a mock (fake) presidential campaign where a fictional presidential candidate or senator gets assassinated. And there’s the other version where a group of WWII soldiers parachute behind enemy lines from their cargo plane that gets struck by enemy fire, and before the fiery plane explodes and later crashes, one lone soldier bails out in the neck of time and lands safely behind occupied enemy lines. The rest I won’t spoil for those who may not have had a chance to see either Megadeth video. But the latter version appealed to me, not for its gory, horrific and traumatic depiction of war, but I felt the lyrics matched up better for the visual story-telling of the song.

And Megadeth’s song Hanger 18 was about the Roswell incident from what I heard about and the song became very popular on the radio in the winter of 1991. Again, I never got to see this music video either, but enjoyed seeing Vic Rattlehead depicted as a main character in the Hanger 18 video many years later instead of seeing this mascot as a one-dimensional depiction on Megadeth’s album covers and in magazine album announcements.

Vic Rattlehead

Megadeth ‘Rust in Peace’ 1991. No copyright infringement intended. Used for entertainment purposes only.

I never bought the cassette tape of their newest album “Rust in Peace”, but did have the magazine album announcement taped to my bedroom wall for the longest time. I elected not to buy the album because I knew my parents would have thrown it in the trash since they still ruled the house with a ‘zero’ tolerance policy in regards to the music we were allowed to have. I always heard from being a [then] young ‘metal head’, if you couldn’t name at least a band’s first three albums or even know one popular song, then you weren’t considered a ‘fan’ by any stretch of the imagination. Nowadays, I’m happy to see this is a thing of the past. I’m also very pleased to see the older music being embraced and loved by a whole new generation as well, although the special meanings might get a little confusing since my generation got to experience it and live it first hand and the new generation is discovering it like staking their claim to a new land mass.

But this thrash/ speed metal wasn’t all about to annoy the parents or crank it up so loud that they’d gladly throw out their teenager’s stereo setup. And that’s how some 80s ultra conservative more strictly religious parents dealt with noise pollution in their households from what I later heard throughout the years. I thanked my lucky stars that my stereo speakers just had too many miles put on them when I bought them second hand, and my parents never went that overboard. Sure, there was some questionable lyrics dripping with sexual innuendos that flew over my head when I was a teenager. I didn’t ponder or even analyze the meaning of the lyrics growing up. If the visual appeal of the album covers caught my eye, I wanted to hear a sample the music. And how was this possible? You can’t hold an LP or a cassette tape up to your ear like a sea shell and hear the music.

And what I’m about to describe is what I seriously miss about music shopping nowadays since everything is instant with a few clicks of a mouse button. Have you ever seen those price check scanners throughout stores they have nowadays? Well, back in my day this ‘listen before you buy’ of hearing a song was made possible by scanning the barcode of those old single-song cassette tapes and it was phenomenal!

I remember my older sister showed me how to scan the barcode of the albums and we listened to a snippet of several songs by different bands one at a time and smiled. I remember I was a little worried about the red laser that scanned the barcodes since in my [then] young mind I still considered these laser scanners as being potentially harmful which didn’t turn out to be the case. I was twelve years old at this time and you couldn’t expect me to know everything about laser technology advancements. I was both awed and intimidated of the laser barcode scanner because I viewed it as part of the mark of the beast we heard so much about growing up. This isn’t to say we were living in the dark ages, far from it. And my older sister and I certainly weren’t living under a rock. The information about what exactly this ‘number of the beast’ was all about became muddled from one religion to the next.

Now scanning the barcode and hearing a one-minute of music was something very brand new and revolutionary that was launched sometime during 1989 when I took new keen interest in music. And like some new technological advancements, this barcode music sampling vanished very soon after for reasons then unknown to me. The department stores I patronized growing up had all fazed out this way of hearing a snippet of a new album and I didn’t see anything similar take its place until a good eighteen years later when a song from a CD could be sampled in similar fashion.

Most of the time Wally World’s music sampling scanner was out of service and I didn’t like to listen to it through a pair of headphones. To me I found putting on a pair of publicly shared headphones was gross and very unhygienic, for one. Secondly, the excitement and thrill was lost when the music could no longer be heard blaring throughout the electronic department. And if you were still using the model T of computer connections, mine was the incredibly slow ‘dial up’ since it was cheap, then often I’d have to wait about three hours for one new song to download without it re-buffering or the connection being lost. But that was the downside of sampling music nowadays. The album can either be worth the money or a waste of it if it doesn’t have any good songs.

I didn’t buy any new albums for a few years once the five dollar or less cassette tape bin became non-existent. I still loathed compact disc and the compressed, flat sound it produces. There’s no bass boost. The lead singer sounds like their crooning out of a Mason jar. Did they find the guitarist in a garage band? And was the drummer pounding on pots and pans or trash can lids? And did the bassist just decide to go back to their day job?

What’s become of music nowadays… I shook my head in dismay and often didn’t bother to give the album or band a second glance in most cases. I will forever be an LP, 8-track tape and cassette tape-collecting aficionado because those are my creature comforts that I’m familiar with and know well. 🙂

Megadeth never released an album on 8 track tape to my knowledge. Please dub one of their albums on a recordable 8 track cartridge tape for me and I would be a happy camper. Anything is possible with an 8 track player recorder and the proper stereo setup. I’ve done it before as a test in the past so I know its possible to dub from cassette onto 8 track tape and vice-versa because I wouldn’t settle for hearing these early formats of music being re-vamped, polished, digitized, compressed, and to my ears, ‘lost’ on a compact disc. Now Iron Maiden I know released some of their early albums on 8 track tape, but boy howdy, those are extremely rare and are way out of price nowadays when they do surface.

Am I regretting the time I downsized and threw out almost all of my cassette tapes? No, because they were so worn out there was a lot of bleed through and the music had begun to oxidize. That’s where the music becomes ‘whisper quiet’ sounding and this can be due to touching the tape thus ruining the magnetic pickup that reads and plays back the music and of course as the years pass by this can speed up the oxidization process.

Stay tuned for more and as always, thanks for liking, sharing, re-blogging, commenting, tweeting, etc. I truly appreciate it! 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mall series part 3: Back to the 80s… sort of.

Published July 24, 2016 by AntiqueMystique1

Although I can’t build a time machine I did the next best thing and snapped a picture of what clothing used to resemble during the late 80s/early 90s up until 1992 at the dawn of the grunge movement which was after my time.

I just had to return the size small black crop top because it was one of those annoying garments that kept creeping up whenever I breathed and I’d have to re-adjust it. I don’t mind my shirts to be a little bit on the snug side, but when buying new clothes from rue21 it pays to go one size up. I laughed when I glanced at the reason for my returned item: ‘changed mind’ on the sale’s receipt. I thought I said it was too small. Eh, either way it’s all good. 🙂

I had to get the freakin’ ray of sunshine tank top instead. They had one Def Leppard tank top in size large, but it was okay. If the store is out of them next time I can always go online.

The acid-washed Freedom Flex Jeggings I tried on were a size 0. The next size up was a 3/4 and they were too big. I like to try on Jeggings for proper fit long before I ever buy them. I don’t trust online size charts because they have been wrong. So, yours truly snapped a good ensemble and this would have been very typical, I’d say, almost a ‘must have’ teenage apparel when it was brand new back in the 80s and early 90s.

GnR tee and Jeggings 7-23-2016 rue21

Guns n’ Roses T-shirt and acid-washed Jeggings 7-23-2016

I don’t recall our rock t-shirts having a cracked distressed look about them fresh off the store racks. But these days this distressed look is in vogue as well. I don’t complain and here I stated I wasn’t a fan of Guns n’ Roses, yet I wind up coming across a Men’s size small tee of a GnR t-shirt with the Appetite for Destruction album cover depicted on the front. The image is intentionally made to look cracked and old. Now back in the day if you had a brand new rock t-shirt, then a teenager wanted it to look new for as long as possible. And the way to achieve this is to wash those rock t-shirts inside out and use something gentle like Wool-Lite laundry soap and in some cases, hand wash the rock shirt. Do not ever use bleach. I can’t stress this enough. I had ruined so many good articles throughout the years even when using bleach as instructed on the bottle. And nowadays what do our original rock t-shirts from back then look like now? Some are faded, others have snags, holes, stains, rips, etc. And there’s the dead stock vintage rock shirts which are astronomically over-priced even though they’re brand new, never worn.

Back in the old days a rock t-shirt from Hastings books, music and video would set a person back $20.00 pre-tax. Nowadays similar rock tees have gone down in price: $12.99, unless there’s a sale going on this may even cost less. The acid-washed Jeggings from rue21 will run about $19.99 per pair.

I mall-walked and heard a whistle of approval twice. However, when I looked, I didn’t see whoever it was and naturally assumed the person was whistling at someone else. I didn’t think there was anything special about what I pulled on today: jeans and a tank top and sneakers. I didn’t wear the heels nor open-toed sandals, but regretted not taking a light weight jacket. The mall is kept cold and it feels great coming in out of the summer heat. But after about thirty minutes, the chill will seep into one’s bones. And I waltzed by a pretzel place in the food court. Don’t tempt me. I am off of anything containing yeast and ‘enriched’ flour products since I’m highly allergic to both. But there was an advertisement for hot dog pretzel bites. Has anybody seen/ tried these? They look delicious, however, I don’t consume hot dogs anymore and haven’t for close to five years now. I didn’t pack my veggie or fruit snacks today so I waited to have supper when I got home.

If you ever happen to go to rue21 they have some awesome perfumes. I might like the scent of Rue Rocks and Candy Girl, but doubt I will ever spend $10 or even $13 for a small bottle and the chemicals—oh, man! If there’s ever a formula for these two scents I may have to create my own using essential oils and rubbing alcohol so I can steer clear of the harmful chemicals and that dreaded, “fragrance” ingredient that can translate to mean ‘anything potentially harmful’.

Rue21’s new perfume About a Girl I wasn’t a fan of, although it’s been their hottest seller by far and it just debuted a day or so ago. I’m more of an Exclamation (!) type of gal myself. It’s a classic perfume that debuted in 1987 and that’s the only chemically-questionable perfume I’ll use sparingly from time to time.

Ever wonder how to wear perfume? I guess there’s no right or wrong way. I always heard to dab some on your pulse points: underside of wrists, behind the earlobes, etc. And then I was later told you could also spray some in the air and then walk through it this way the scent clings to your clothes rather. It made sense and tried it like that. After a while though the scent dies off, at least for me, I don’t detect the perfume as strong. Makeup I don’t bother with it even though I did create my own face powder using corn starch and unsweetened cocoa powder. Go easy on the cocoa powder when mixing. I would have sifted this, but was too lazy to go the extra step, and for some awesome brown eye shadow I would likely use a little bit of cocoa powder and to set it, a smudge of coconut oil. I haven’t gotten around to making my own all natural lipstick shades yet. The farthest I’ve gotten was a soft pink lip gloss from crushed raspberries and strawberries mixed in with coconut oil.

As always thanks for liking, re-blogging, tweeting, commenting, sharing, etc. I always appreciate it a lot! 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

No point looking at life in the rearview mirror: part 1 of my dead mall series.

Published July 20, 2016 by AntiqueMystique1
Bling current fashion lep print komono and skinny jeans 7-19-2016

Editorial correction: kimono. Bling! store in mall.

“I finally look human,” was my thrilled reply while examining the sale’s associate’s finished results.

I was nearly moved to tears. The friendly Dillard’s sales associate at the makeup counter said I had a very nice, fair complexion after I told her I thought my tattoos looked terrible and how embarrassed I am by them. And for the first time in twenty-three years I felt like I was fifteen all over again before I made the lifetime mistake of inking my skin.

I gazed in amazement at my arm. I was so blown away by how the estee lauder double wear foundation makeup is very good, if not terrific. I had ventured into Dillard’s to find some Derma-Blend makeup, but was told to try Sephora in another city. Traveling long distance is out of the question. I have seen Derma-Blend sold on Amazon and I might have to order some. And another helpful Dillard’s employee recommended I try applying some red makeup over my tattoos first to hide the blue tone, then finish off with the skin-tone makeup.

I left Dillard’s feeling a boost of hope for the inexpensive route of hiding my hideous tattoos. Those that don’t me would likely think, “What’s the big deal? Everybody pretty much sports tattoos nowadays. It’s fashionable.” I will have to disagree. I view my tattoos as being one of those lifetime regrets.

I wouldn’t say I was a trend-setter back in my 80’s generation, per se, and I’m sure I wasn’t the first to have inked her skin at sixteen. I did it much to my parent’s dismay and worry. I didn’t have very many good role models aside from my straight-laced typical 80s parents throughout my teens to look up to. My older sister was the first to get a tattoo on her arm when she was a teenager and it made a bold statement. Perhaps a part of me was highly impressionable although she strongly advised me not to get a tattoo because I’d later regret it. She turned out to be right about that. I do regret mine.

And the therapy sessions I had at sixteen (per my request), turned out to be a nightmare and it was through my [then] new therapist they told me how to get a tattoo as a way to “Rebel against your parents,” Up until this point at sixteen I never dreamed to do that and now regret putting my parents through a lot of unnecessary grief.

Should-have, would-haves and could-haves… like my college instructor told me three years ago, life is too short and we shouldn’t live in the past since we can’t change it. And they’re right about that. All we can do is move on and live life to its fullest.

Was I rebellious at sixteen? Well, if you constitute spoofing my parent’s rules in a comic book as a form of being out of hand, then no. I did push the envelope growing up, but did so through my unique, mismatched fashion. I was a trend-setter in that regard. I liked to make outdated fashion statements, but was quiet most of the time. I wasn’t very out-spoken at sixteen. I took out my emotions through drawing or I’d wear the heavy metal bracelets and pair those with the most gaudy 70’s bell bottoms I could find in thrift stores. I wore something very similar to platform boots (the originals straight out of the 70s) that zipped up mid-calf and I bought a second-hand 60’s fringe hippie vest that I just loved. So I clashed with my fashion statements. If that’s the only terrible thing [pre-tattoos] I could have ever done to rebel against my parents, then it’s laughable by today’s standards and hardly worth a mention.

But for that moment standing there in Dillard’s I got a little teary-eyed seeing my skin clear for the first time, and this was a real self-esteem booster for me. I felt alive again like I was no longer tied to that dark chapter of my long gone teenage years.  I was impressed how well the sale’s associate did trying to match the colors with my fair skin tone using only dark makeup they had on hand in the store. I was very pleased seeing no hideous tattoos covering my arm. I did all my tattoos at sixteen under the wrong advice of one very misguided adult therapist, by the way.

At sixteen I had erroneously believed that all therapists were well-trained in their chosen field and knew how to reach teenagers and help them find healthier alternatives, like say, for example, temporary tattoos that wash off with soap and water. Needless to say that wasn’t even an option nor did it ever come up in any of my one-on-one therapy sessions. And I was proven very wrong about my [then] teenage assumptions about therapists and it only further solidified my distrust of adults around me growing up.

And for a brief time I had my nose pierced as a teenager. This is, until my dad’s grandmother saw it and asked me to promptly remove it. It simply shocked her and my intentions weren’t to do that since body piercings were relatively a new trend that was taking a slow hold by around…oh, I’d say, 1993 or thereabouts. I see it didn’t catch on until around 20o8 or so.

My nose piercing didn’t last long, thankfully. But what I would like to address is the possibility of having a deviated septum (nasal cavity damage) as a result of nose piercings and the inability to fight off colds. Speaking for myself I tended to come down with colds often when I had my nose piercing. Oh, yeah, and there’s a good chance it could become infected no matter how well the piercing is kept clean, which is another good reason why I took it out and let my nose heal.

I was amazed I made it into adulthood. And nowadays I would love to re-capture the good parts of my teen years since not all of them started off bad. (And wouldn’t we all want to re-live our good moments?) 🙂

If you made it to adulthood without doing drugs consider yourself among the lucky ones that made the right decision to just say no. Other than having been a transfer student most of my teen years, and moving around a lot back in the day, the adjustments were always rough on me. New town, new clique of school kids. Oh and did I mention, a massively large student body population at each new school? Yep, and then come in the bullies though they made up the average annoyances I had to put up with at school, minus the private and religious schools where I had thrived.

Now bullies of my generation were more of the “I pick on everybody!” type. They didn’t exclude the popular kids. And the popular kids were these very stuck up, aloof teenagers that would move to another table in the cafeteria just to ignore the unpopular kids (yours truly included). I had never seen this strange new social pecking order in any of the private and religious schools I had attended. It happened quite a bit in the public school systems. And I found making friends and maintaining friendships nearly impossible for me since my family moved around quite a bit which means I’d lose contact eventually.

I didn’t come from a military family. But wherever there was better pay, nicer neighborhoods and a chance at a better education, that’s where my family would re-locate, and believe me, being a transfer student comes with large amounts of stress that I was unprepared to deal with at sixteen. I was in all sense of the word, ‘lost’. I came from a very nice, one classroom religious school where the older students tutored the younger students when the teacher was busy only to be thrust back into public school for the umpteenth time. Arrg!

Public schools never worked for me. I wasn’t delinquent as a juvenile. I wasn’t a trouble maker. I didn’t sass back to the teachers. I didn’t skip school. I didn’t cheat on my homework. I had mountains of homework that took me from five in the evening until five that next morning to finish. I ran on maybe one hour of sleep on any given weekday. My hair and makeup were slapped together and most mornings I’d leave the house on an empty stomach and take my vitamins without breakfast just so I could make it to the bus stop on time. I looked strung out because I was exhausted. There’s such a thing as overworking oneself and that’s what I did to in order to make the grade. I guzzled soda like coffee back then. I still ate lunch and dinner and I skateboarded for entertainment, too.

I was held back here and there a few grades. And as I became older and the school kids were younger than me and this created a lot of friction. I had a studious attitude that was often misinterpreted as having a small chip on my small shoulders, when in fact, I wasn’t. I had very little patients for my younger peers immaturity and sarcasm and I take life very seriously.

Yet when I was in the religious schools, my grades improved by leaps and bounds, and I’d like to hope, my nature was relaxed and laid back. I got along great with the religious kids, no problems there. I was in familiar surroundings in those religious schools, I’d say much like the mall with their outdated floors, interiors, stores—maybe not so much the merchandise and music stores are a thing of the past just about.

And my biggest addiction growing up as a teenager has always been music. It was whatever the music industry cranked out: heavy metal, thrash and speed metal like Metallica and Anthrax I simply loved. Surprisingly, I was never a fan of Guns n’ Roses (or ‘GnR’ for short back in my day) because I felt Axl Rose was mean to make his fans wait two hours before the concert began, and he threw adult temper tantrums and would storm off the stage mid-set. Although, I did find that two of their songs grew on me, “Civil War” which was popular on the radio in 1990. I especially related well to actress Anne Ramsey’s intro: “What we’ve got here is failure to communicate, and some men you just can’t reach.  So you get what we had here last week. Which is the way he wants it, well, he gets it. I don’t like this anymore than you do,”

And I liked the song “Used to love Her,” which my mother hated due to its questionable lyrics. It was actually about Axl’s dog. And neither me nor my older sister were allowed to have the Guns n’ Roses 1988 album Lies, Lies, Lies.I also liked two of [Glenn] Danzig’s songs: Twist of Cane and Mother. Those grew on me.

I did like two songs by Megadeth, “Symphony of Destruction” and “Hanger 18” which were popular on the radio in 1991. I didn’t discover Iron Maiden until I was fifteen and then stumbled upon their eary stuff which lead me to discover W.A.S.P. (another 80s heavy metal/ shock rock category band). I still have all of my original Iron Maiden and W.A.S.P. LP’s from the 1980s. And I was a huge Def Leppard fan, especially of their earlier stuff. Back in 1993 I never did find a copy of their 1982 song, “Me and my Wine”. I loved the video of this song so much and later was told it could be on their High and Dry album. Hey, that’s like, totally awesome, but which release? :/ The U.K. version or was it ever on the U.S. release? I have said LP and can’t find it. I managed to find it on youtube years later so that sufficed.

If it’s heavy metal, rock, hard rock, classic rock, 80s power ballads, then I enjoy it all pretty much and managed to find it on LP as well. And I also loved all those Ronco and K-Tel produced disco albums as a teenager. I have a few of them still. I didn’t buy into the “it’s the devil’s music,” that was strongly coming from the religious community back in the day and a lot of 80s parents were decrying the same thing, “It’s the devil’s music.” Yet, we’d have this tug-o-war power struggle going on: parents give a little, and their kids will take it a mile. And when we’ve reached this new millennium, our musicians are now veterans in their own right.

And growing up we weren’t joined at the hip with cell phones, texting devices, nor Facebook. I think that would have annoyed me as a teenager because I like actual in person chatting. As teenagers we hung out at the mall and made fun of the mall walkers. That’s something that’s a lost pastime; teenagers hanging out at the mall thanks in large part to those darn thug mobs that ruined it for this upcoming generation. Growing up cell phones (at least from what I remember them resembling) were likened to those satellite car phones that you might glimpse in a 70’s action movie and they looked like old-fashioned landline phones.

Any good deals on the sale racks? A few, but I mostly came for the purpose to price the makeup to cover my tattoos with. Old Navy has a large clearance section, but looks are deceiving. Their price differences aren’t much of a huge savings, but they do have some awesome wardrobe ideas. Now the skinny jeans and/ or jeggings I stumbled upon in Maurice’s and Bling! are way out of my league. I can’t justify these store’s prices. I believe from Maurice’s their jeggings were $34.99-42.00 for one pair. From Bling! a similar pair of distressed skinny jeans will cost around $42.00.

And they had a rayon leopard print kimono for $32.99. That’s an outrageous price I thought. It’s totally awesome on the mannequin in the store window, but looks like someone had just cut out a large bolt of fabric from Jo-Ann’s and draped it over the shoulders and didn’t bother to stitch it together correctly. Not complaining about the lack of shape or form of said kimono (shown in picture) because I realize they’re supposed to have a loose drape with that style, but it resembled an over-sized poncho in my eyes, and on me when I tried it on, I practically swam in it and it was a size small. It appeared to be one of those ‘one size fits all’ garments. I don’t believe I wasted the cell phone battery to snap a picture. I’m not much of a selfie person. What else did I see? I didn’t go to any other stores, but might pop into Books-a-Million and price their comic books. I still buy on occasion comic books. Superman was my favorite and so was Tales from the Crypt, which let’s face it, those were some creepy comics that were a throw back to the 1950s E.C.’s creepy comics that were re-issued in 1990. I had a whole stack of them and my parents threw them away because they felt like they were too graphic. Thanks for liking, re-blogging, sharing, tweeting, reading and commenting. I always appreciate it. Stay tuned for more dead mall series. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Edison C-19 story and how it all began.

Published June 10, 2016 by AntiqueMystique1

It’s a long fascinating journey, and it’s very atypical of a young woman taking up as a serious hobby, but somehow things just ‘fell into place’ and took off from there.

 

It was right before my great grandmother passed away in 2003, I believe and I had been writing back home to her like clockwork about all the new antiques I was slowly, but surely, accumulating, so-to-speak. She was thrilled and wrote back one letter in particular that stated she wanted me to have some coal oil lamps for my antique dresser (at this time it wasn’t Eastlake, but it was from probably the early 1900’s). She went onto say that she wanted me to have her celluloid dresser set with hair brush and comb and corset cover. I have since acquired all those items, plus some cigar boxes that belonged to my great grandfather (her first husband) and his folding metal ruler with worn leather case. Oh, and dad got the Victrola, and in our family that was a big ‘to-do’. Rather it was more of a matter to see that it arrived safely to its new home and it did. In our family you had to help out with chores in order to earn the right to listen to the Victrola. And in 1990 during that one blazing hot summer, I received that same right to listen to the Victrola for the first time after I helped great grandmother wash dishes. At the time I was thirteen and likely had seen the Victrola  before at my great grandparent’s, but never took any fascination to it.

 

In fact, the fascination that surrounded that particular Victrola machine wouldn’t come back to haunt me (pun intended), until I was in my late Twenties. By this time my great grandmother’s health was failing and just how serious it really was was alarming since she’d always had the mind sharp as a tack and at the last we’d became very close pen-pals since I was living in the state over. Most of all she became my biggest ally during a time in my young teenage years when I had none, especially when it came to the topic of old music. She sided with me which I found astonishing when I was thirteen and she naturally shared a lot of my views as well. I later find out that the Flapper era (she was a part of at fifteen and married to her first husband, by the way) centered around pushing the envelope much like every coming up generation did or tried to do after hers. However, a flapper would smoke and drink (when prohibition was enforced and the country was dry), and powder her nose in public which was once considered taboo in my great grandmother’s time. And nowadays we just whip out the powder compacts like its nothing. She told me to wear my makeup because we earned the right and to treat it like gold. And she was right. Makeup is still expensive to this very day, but I found myself weeding out a lot of my old makeup like used mascaras and old eye shadows that wound up in the trash due to potential bacteria concerns. That, and I hardly wear makeup anymore because it irritates my skin.

 

Shortly before she passed away I wrote letters to her constantly not ever receiving a reply. My suspicion that something wasn’t right didn’t go unfounded for very long. At first I was kept in the dark about how she was being terribly abused by her caregiver. I often wondered after the fact if that’s why she never wrote me back. Perhaps her caregiver tossed my letters in the trash. And I also heard that my great grandmother would have her good days, and bad. Her mind was going and she wouldn’t be able to recognize family members at the very last. I had told my dad’s mother about not getting any replies and how odd I found it, and then told my dad’s mother that she must have been mad at me for buying an Edison phonograph instead of a Victrola (like we have in the family). Shocked over hearing my wrong assumption, my dad’s mother flew out of the house and told me that wasn’t the case at all, and then proceeded to explain to me that great grandmother’s mental health had been in decline since the death of her husband a year or so before and then she eventually suffered heart failure at the very last. And there was a lot of elder abuse by her caregiver as well which was frankly, horrible, shocking and inexcusable.

But for many years after great grandmother’s death I began to have nightmares about that Victrola. And in all these nightmares I see myself glancing at the turntable and not seeing a 78 on it. I must add to that at this point in time I hadn’t received a record list of music in great grandmother’s collection. There were two records I distinctly remember hearing when I was thirteen, “It Ain’t Gonna Rain No Mo” and it was on a black bat wing Victor 78, however, the artist escaped my mind. But Carl Fenton’s Orchestra had did a rendition of that song on a Brunswick 78 that matches the artist I heard that day so long ago.

And that same day in the summer of 1990 we also listened to rural comic, Cal Stewart “Uncle Josh in a Chinese Laundry” and “Uncle Josh on a bicycle”. I remember it fondly because great grandmother asked me what I liked to do for a past time, flashing me a wise all-too-knowing smirk, then happily flipped through those old leather bound record books before selecting a 78. I rattled off, “Skateboarding,” since at this time it was still very much a male-dominated sport and there weren’t too many girl skateboarders that were die-hard serious about skateboarding. When I say die-hard, they had the expensive top-of-the-line skateboards and high end ball-bearing wheels like I had on my beloved Mark Gonzales Vision ‘mini’-skateboard. Due to my pint size I couldn’t ride a regular adult skateboard so for a brief while they made mini-versions of the original sizes. Very cute and highly collectable and I’m kicking myself now for not hanging onto said skateboard and keeping it put up. 😮

 

Well, Uncle Josh lived long before the invention of skateboards and he passed away in 1919. I had to try another and I said, “Bicycle”. And great grandmother placed a 78 on the turn table, cranked up the machine and released the brake. The record spun around faster than anything I’d seen and she placed the steel needle on the 78. The sound just filled the room. The comic laughed with a now familiar laugh that will forever resonate in my ears and draw me close to a Victrola and/ or Edison. I have some of this same comic’s rural sketches on the Edison Diamond Disc too. And it will always take me back to that first moment I laid eyes and ears on that particular machine. And in my nightmares about that Victrola, no 78 existed. In my waking hours I couldn’t make sense of it. I mean, why now so many years later and after her death was I beginning to have nightmares about the family-owned Victrola?

My ex-boyfriend summed it up: it could actually be a sign that these 78’s no longer existed in her collection since I kept having the nightmare repeatedly for a year and half after her death. When the day came that my dad’s mother mailed me the record list, I held out a glimmer of hope, but wasn’t too disappointed to discover that neither copy of “Uncle Josh on Bicycle” or that of the song “It Ain’t Gonna Rain No Mo’” didn’t make the list. I mean, unless we had a Mandela effect happen back in 1990 that summer, those were the 78s we listened to. I also found out before my dad’s mother passed away that it wasn’t uncommon for great grandmother to throw away broken 78s simply because the sentimental attachment to them wasn’t there. Sure, they may be hard to find 78’s nowadays and eventually I found descent copies from eBay years later and it was well worth the wait. A very eerie twist to this Edison phonograph story is that I have almost duplicated all the copies of all of my great grandmother’s 78s long before I received the record list in hand, minus my collection doesn’t contain any of the Decca 78’s though.

As they say great minds think alike and perhaps there was this certain compulsion that drove me to spend hours in the freezing cold out in a shed of one antique store in particular during the winter of 2004 and in the heat of summer searching and sorting for foxtrots and early jazz with some instrumental and sentimental ballad 78s thrown in as well. I never did get around to itemizing a full list of my own 78s but really should do it sometime soon and then back them up to a jump drive or as like to call a ‘Tom thumb’ drive.

It wasn’t until 2008 amidst another family crisis when I finally did find a sense of closure and the nightmares about the Victrola ended when I visited my great grandmother’s grave for the first time. And on her grave I placed a personally inscribed Edison Diamond Disc that was too worn out to be played, plus I had said song on backup copy.

I didn’t go to great grandma’s funeral which shocked many in my family because we had been close in the beginning and also in the end, and she had been the only grandma with no fear that stepped in and helped my parents care for me when I was a sickly premature baby. I only found out years later I was her favorite out of the fifteen great grandchildren.

After the Edison C-19 came a few more upright antique phonographs and table tops too, but that’s the one that started all and still remains. The Edison C-19 took a major hit when I thought I wanted to ship it off and have it completely and thoroughly cleaned, then had a sudden change of heart. Something just didn’t feel right and I quick as I could made the place where I shipped it to send it back after much back and forth email exchanges where they tried convincing me they’d be more than happy to keep it for as long as needed. Mind you, at this point, there had been no work done on this machine, but boy howdy, did I learn a valuable lesson to never, ever ship off an entire mainboard assembly with the horn attached in a box several states away. Not only did the horn arrive broke from it’s lift rod, but the turntable platter appeared to have been met with a cheese grater and it the green felt was in almost near mint condition before I shipped it off. I did insure the machine for what I paid for it, but never filed a claim with an insurance adjuster because it would have been my word against the place I shipped it to, and it would have been difficult to pin point if it was a simple case of human shipping error on my behalf, or if the damage had been deliberately caused. Either way, I’m sure the place I shipped it too is laughing their butts off, figuring there wouldn’t be a snowball chance in heck that I’d be capable of repairing the whole phonograph to working order, and as luck would have, I did with my ex-boyfriend’s help. We worked hours soldering the horn back onto the lift rod, then spray-painted over the repaired spots with black paint, let it dry and still the biggest test was yet to come…

We’re our efforts all in vain? Or did we just fix the impossible? It wound up okay, and the horn lift knob had a burr in it. The wooden lever was broke and I had to buy a replacement for that plus another screw and believe me, you can’t find either at Ace Hardware. So those had to be special-ordered from an entirely different outfit with much better prices. And the horn still ‘hangs-up’ and won’t set down on the record which is due to the damage the phonograph incurred, that and I never did get around to fixing the lift knob yet.

It wound up alright and by 1: 45 am we heard it play again. At this time I was emailing another repairman who offered to sell me an entire mainboard assembly since trying to solder those old horns back in place were impossible to do. We did it using lead solder and fluxing compound (the old kind that plumber’s used to use) that my ex-boyfriend had lying around. And we also used a hand-held blow torch. So that Edison C-19 oak cabinet had been put through heck and back and I’m now more the wiser since my early days. It still plays and it still gives off that slight haunted vibe from time to time, although it’s faded through the years since I’ve owned it. But in the beginning owning this Edison C-19 was brand new to me. I didn’t always understand the mechanics behind them other than they don’t use electricity to operate. They use a hand crank that winds up the mainsprings, that in turn, play an Edison Diamond Disc.

Some other machines were sold here and there because I either needed the money for some other project or simply ran out of space. Mind you, all nine of these machines stayed in one bedroom along with the cylinder phonographs and table tops. And when I moved, I traded off a few to upgrade to a slightly higher end model of an Edison Amberola 75 and gave away one table top model and one suitcase model Victrola to my friend.

It’s the collecting part that’s half the fun, but its when these antiques are restored to their fullest potential that makes all those searches, all that time and money spent, all that hard, extensive hands-on work truly pay off. And I have the habit of preserving these 78’s on cd and upload them to my MP3 player as well.

And just some slice of wisdom; should you ever turn around and sell these antique phonographs you probably won’t get out of them what you put into getting them fully restored. People will try to price-gouge you as well. So be leery of the ‘want something for nothing’ types that will try to beat you up and walk all over you if the day should ever come you need to part with one of those beautiful wind-ups. I know as a seller of these antique phonographs it’s very much like working in retail. You deal with all sorts of online customers sight unseen, and if they want museum “mint” antique phonographs, why do they buy mine knowing well in advance nothing will be showroom perfect? I clearly state if the phonographs has had any repair work done to it and not to expect factory new results. These machines are very simple and they are what they are. There is no bass boost on a Victrola. If you use a Tungs-tone stylus or a Loud tone needle then you might break the sound barrier when you play John Phillip Sousa. And once the cabinets are refinished, they’ll lose whatever value they had to begin with.

 

So, my best advice to you: leave the cabinet alone, please and don’t attempt to varnish them. You will get more money out of it if it’s left un-restored.  Now rarity and price, I would be more than happy to share at The Victor Victrola page. Note: I don’t own nor operate this website. It is a database reference for makes and models of Victrola only. They do not cover Edison phonographs. There are books (in print) that are collector’s guides, but I’ve noticed nearly all of those are very expensive and don’t contain enough information (specs) about the machines other than showcasing some expensive (out of my attainable reach) museum quality phonographs. Now the best book for restoring these antique phonographs is The Compleat Talking Machine.

 

Thanks for reading, liking, re-blogging, sharing, commenting, tweeting. I truly appreciate it. There’s more to come but it’ll take me time to add to this blog and will as I can find the time to do so. 🙂

1980s makeup influences/MTV (original)/ Last days of print rock music magazines 1989-1993):

Published January 12, 2016 by AntiqueMystique1

ozzy and lita ford circa 1989 My top pick for another makeup influence has to be Lita Ford (shown in photo with Ozzy Osbourne, circa 1989). Makeup by this point wasn’t all heavy on the glam like it began with Cindy Lauper back in 1983. Everything by the late 80s beginning around 1989 was starting to spell the end to a fascinating era. The likes of Marilyn Manson weren’t gracing the covers of Metal Edge yet. In fact, nobody had heard of him unless you dig further back and watch an episode of The Wonder Years. He played “Paul” on the show.

Metal Edge was one of the last print rock/heavy metal magazines that struggled to hang on before everything moved into the paperless internet age. I believe RIP magazine was the first to fade away and Guitar Pix (?), circa 1989 was one of those flash-in-the-pan  rock magazines that I never seen surface anywhere, not even on the internet. The Grunge movement would kill off the rock world as I knew it. Heavy metal had already bitten the dust as far back as 1987-88.

By 1993 everything got “weird” in way of popular music is how I described it back then. Music was making the transition into the digitally re-mastered and compressed age. The likes of Columbia House offered gimmicks like pick out so many xxx amount of CD’s for a penny. Often times my CDs never arrived, and when they did (the shipping took about two months), then the sound quality was very poor. I just couldn’t see where the fascination was with CD’s. In my eyes they’re great for music preservation and little else. The compact disc never flew with me anyways. I was strictly an LP, cassette tape, and 8 track cartridge tape gal myself.

My makeup and hairstyle didn’t change for the remainder of the 90’s. I wasn’t dying my hair so it wasn’t chemically compromised (nor thin because of it). I did tease my hair big and called it ‘ratting’ my hair. But even that didn’t last long since I cut out more tangles than I could count back then.

My makeup remained consistent: black eyeliner, blue eye shadow, light shade of foundation/ powder compact, light shade of pink lipstick throughout the early 90s. And Wet n’ Wild metallic blue fingernail polish. Somewhere there’s a picture of Lita Ford sporting metallic blue nail polish in one of my heavy metal magazines. Then by the last half of the 90s my fashion completely changed. I went through a Goth faze and dyed my beautiful hair black, and for a while, dyed my bangs Manic Panic Vampire Red. I never gave it one thought about all the damage I was doing to my hair. My Goth makeup was very poser-ish, at best. I say poser because I was. Since I never adopted the ‘depressed’/ morbid mindset that the previous Goth subculture might have had, I clearly didn’t fit in with the Goth subculture of the mid/ late 90s, that’s for sure.

At first I used sunscreen as my liquid foundation since I wasn’t aware that Manic Panic also made Goth makeup as well. I used “No-AD” sunblock since it was fairly inexpensive at the time. Then I would dust my face, ears, neck and any exposed skin with baby powder (to achieve the pale complexion). For the black lipstick I easily found some in a nail polish combo pack around Halloween and stocked up on that. The lipstick/ nail polish combos were very low quality, but they’d do in a pinch, especially on a budget. And my eyes weren’t made up to be spooky. I didn’t go all intricate with my eye makeup. I used a very dark maroon-colored eye shadow, and colored my lids with a black eye brow pencil. For a while I did experiment using other colors, but they didn’t look right. So, that was my Goth makeup until I could save up the money to invest in some Manic Panic makeup. And before I knew it I had quite a collection of Manic Panic lipsticks, nail polishes, foundation (some even a light purple almost lilac shade), and white face setting powder that comes in a compact with a sponge and mirror. For a while I also bought some LuLu Goth makeup– I wish I could remember the internet company I ordered it from, but its been many years and don’t know if they’re still in business or not. But they had some good quality makeup and their eye shadows were intense and long-lasting. A little bit went a long way and the colors were very intense.

When I was going through my Goth faze I listened to The Cure and heard about a very unusual group the Astrovamps completely by happenstance. I seen the group in some random magazine offering a mail offer freebie CD sampler in 2002/2003. Well, the cd came busted in pieces and therefore, seldom ever sent off for Cd offers.

I didn’t like any of the new music coming out around the late 90s nor did I keep up on any of the music news beyond 1991 which was my cut off point. When I first heard Grunge I was like, “What’s this ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit?’ Isn’t Teen Spirit a name of a deodorant?”

I tried to force myself to listen to Nirvana, but what I didn’t like about it was all this inner rage, depressing, mumbling undertones, oh and grumbling and sometimes shouting lyrics from other newer bands got on my nerves as well. I happy returned to my roots which has been classic rock/hard rock/ heavy metal with a little bit of speed/thrash metal thrown in the mix.

What’s so jaw-dropping about open flannel shirts, baggy pants and disheveled appearances? I thought to myself when the Grunge trend began taking off. And where’s the glam makeup bands? They all disappeared overnight it seemed like. There would be mentions, a few editorials about the veterans of heavy metal and rock in the music magazines, but not much by 1993-95.

I believe I only bought one issue of Metal Edge in the late 90s, but even that went downhill when Gerri Miller (exclusive editor) left and some unknown guy took over and ran the magazine into the ground. Gerri Miller kept Metal Edge clean and it was a very popular music magazine with kids and teenagers alike.

Fast forward to 1994. The hair band police cave in. Well, okay, not entirely. Compromises were made regarding what bands we could have (without the albums first being confiscated and automatically trashed. As a unanimous decision, we instituted ‘family meetings’. If there was ever an album that contained questionable lyrics/album cover artwork, instead of the hair band police automatically tossing said album in the trash, we’d listen it and decide. I’d come home with some controversial bands my parents loathed. And most of the albums I found for $1 at a hole-in-the-wall second hand store, thrift stores that sold cassette tapes for 25 cents in 1993 and a majority of my LP’s I spent $5 each on.

Some of the bands I did bring home had surprisingly made Tipper Gore’s “filthy fifteen list” years earlier. Did I intentionally set out to find these groups? You bet, once I found Tipper’s filthy fifteen list and it wasn’t easy to find in the pre-internet era. I had to do three years of research to find it and spoke with people who knew more about it than I did and kindly pointed me in the right direction.

For those who don’t know who Tipper Gore is other than former senator Al Gore’s wife, she started the Washington Wives who instituted the Parental Advisory– Explicit lyrics ‘Tipper Stickers’ tacked on every album of nearly every rap, rock, heavy metal, folk artist. They also liked to dictate to 80’s parents what the youth won’t listen to. This started around 1985. It also served to help and harm record sales. Help because all the controversy surrounding Tipper’s filthy fifteen list made some of us kids want to see these groups in concert. We lived in some exciting and serious times. The country was still largely conservative and very strict. The ‘Tipper Sticker’ did some harm because a lot of the record buying public were under eighteen and if our parents told us ‘NO!’ we had to listen.

I wanted to hear Ozzy Osbourne again and the wait to do so was well worth it by 1993. I was like a kid turned loose in a candy store. I bought nearly all of Ozzy’s solo albums on used LP and half-priced $5 cassette tapes. By 1993 standards MTV was branching out into liquid television, Beavis and Butthead, some MTV news, new Grunge videos, but all the glitz and glamour of MTV’s heyday went by the wayside beginning around 1986. It was too bad too because I liked seeing J.J. Jackson and Martha Quinn. Those were my favorites out of all the five video jocks. There was also Nina Blackwood, Mark Goodman, and Alan Hunter. Therefore, hearing and seeing rock stars wasn’t easy as watching Youtube.

The early 80s brought us music videos to go with the hit songs we were hearing on the radio. The internet wasn’t thought of yet. A computer as we knew it still took up massive wall space and crunched numbers. The newest classroom computer to be introduced was an Apple II. It crunched numbers on a black screen with green font and floppy copy paper disks were a nightmare to load correctly without ruining them.

When MTV first debuted on cable Aug. 1, 1981 it created a firestorm and not in the good way from religious leaders. They felt MTV was a new tool by the devil to brainwash the 80s youth. Similar echos from the past were said when Jazz was first pressed onto cylinder records and 78s. And I’m sure same went for Elvis Presley when he appeared on the Ed Sullivan show for the first time shaking his hips back in the fifties. And each generation to come afterwards had their upheavals and revolutions.

I wanted to know why my dad once listened to Black Sabbath and why did they appeal to him when he was a teenager. I wouldn’t settle for just a cassette tape. I’d be tickled pink to find an 8 track tape or on LP (old school ‘vinyl’ for you 180 gram 33” hipsters). But back in these days we didn’t have to run out and purchase expensive turntables just to play all these new re-issued LP’s that are heavier than their lighter weight inferior plastic 33 1/3″ cousins. We had cheaply produced records to keep up with demand back the 80s and despite what a young twenty-something will smugly say about the older LP’s being very poor in way of sound, aren’t listening to an old LP correctly. Yes, old LP’s will have scratches, warping, popping, cracking, skipping. That was the allure to my ears. It wasn’t how they sound to me twenty years down the road. I listen to them and tell myself, “Wow, my LPs stood the test of time! Woohoo!” 🙂

I do remember reading about the LA Glam/Sleaze music scene from the L.A. Sunset strip in 1989 and it was a literal overnight thing. A few of the new upstart bands being cranked out by 1989-90 were LA Guns, XYZ, Trixter, Faster Pussycat, etc. Their images were very cookie cutter, almost carbon copies of each other. Their music was nearly identical in some cases, but it wasn’t violent as to what I hear pouring out of the radio nowadays whenever I enter a store.

Years pass and I was working extremely late one night on my autobiography and hit a portion I wasn’t ready to face emotionally so, I quit and searched eBay for authentic 80’s black jelly bracelets, necklaces, earrings and happened upon some vintage 80s music magazines (most I remembered my older sister and I bought brand new when they hit newsstands) and decided to put together the perfect gift since I couldn’t build a time machine. I bought two of each vintage magazine same back issues. (One for myself and the other for my sister).

Lita Ford’s mother I believe was “Ask Mama Ford” and she was an advice columnist for Metal Edge. Dear Mama Ford was like ‘Dear Abby’, and someone that teenagers could write to anonymously and Mama Ford would respond with her advice. I did not know how many teenagers in my generation had serious troubles and stress going on until I read a few shocking letters printed in the likes of Metal Edge magazine, and looking back it pales in comparison to all the shocking news I read about nowadays online that makes the headlines on a daily basis. That’s when I shut off the computer and go do something else.

Please stay tuned. I will also being doing a blog feature on the vintage music magazines I had while growing up and a follow up nail polish review blog. Thanks for liking, sharing, re-blogging, and commenting. I truly appreciate it. 🙂