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Skateboarding part 4: protective gear- 1980s- present day. A Day at the Skate Park- my critiques.

Published August 15, 2019 by AntiqueMystique1

I did it at the skate park. I was told to leave by some teenage d-bags that, “This is a boys only park, so get outta here.” This teenage boy’s brass balls snide remark irked me, for one. Secondly, it further goes without saying that skateboarding is still a “male” dominated past time and this will never change.

And third, it solidifies my previous feelings about this upcoming rude punk a$$ generation: they are raised by the internet, not their lousy parents. They have no respect, no morals, either.

Well, that’s just tough. I stayed and made my videos much to the irritation of those morons aiming a hand-held megaphone that was equipped with police siren effects and other annoying 💩 .

I cursed under my breath as I did a few laps on an empty basketball court. The NOS Rector pads felt okay, flexibility in them was amazing for being decades old. I didn’t put too much faith in my new mass-produced Chinese elbow pads since they do shift on my elbows.

I watched those never-will-be posers take their spills while attempting to grind rails, do verts on the metal half pipe portion. Ah, yes, the days of old– their skateboards went flying over the edge of the half pipes, but they never attempted to make a half-a-rat’s assets to practice, practice, practice their tricks. They just did it once, gave up and sauntered back to their picnic table.

Most of the time they were glued to their phones, seldom looking (nor doing) anything else. Their skateboards scattered on the ground like spilled Legos. Never in arm’s reach, never sat upright, either.

No audible conversation at all amongst them. I found it odd that they were so pre-consumed by their cell phones and didn’t bother to provoke me anymore. One of the boys very lazily strode to the highest half pipe; put the megaphone on police siren aimed in my general direction and returned to his lazy pack. And this is supposed to irritate me that I give up and leave? Ha! Such ineptness.

There was just too much immaturity running amuck that it made me wonder why I got out of bed on my day off? Oh, yeah, right. I wanted to test out my NOS gear, plus skateboard around (cruise) on my new deck to break it in more and see how it preforms on different concrete. Maybe pull a few front nose fakies. I never said I was ever going to attempt these with a devil-may-care attitude. I take my time, I take it slow since I know my limitations and don’t go beyond those unless I feel confident doing so.

My outing on this beautiful, albeit humid, sticky, gross heat of midday wasn’t all for naught. I brought my other “go-to” board “weeble wobble”. Yes, I will adjust those king pins to remedy this issue all skaters encounter. I’m still in my ‘shake down’ period right at the moment and figuring out what works and what doesn’t.

The best gear I know and love will always be Rector. It fits very true to size and won’t shift. The size smalls run very small, mind you. This is fine by me, but may not work for the next person. My helmet probably pre-dates 1985, and it’s light weight.  My gloves are all new old stock. I ditched my long board gloves since the size small/medium were WAY too big on my hands. I never wanted anything new again.

I made myself have fun on this hot day.  I slid down the metal half pipe; remembering my old practice runs from back in the day. The metal was screaming hot and on bare skin… Ouchy! Woo-hoo!!! Alrighty then…

Keep in mind that the city planners were idiots when this skate park was built. The metal half pipes can be ridden, however, its sheet metal meeting a not-so-level slab of concrete.  The metal has a lot of  questionable “give” and does produce a creepy, unsettling loud ‘ping’ sound as the wheels make contact with its surface. So skateboarders beware. I say take caution when attempting to ride this to all skateboarders, not just newbies. I caution the seasoned, the intermediates, etc. There are no plywood half pipes. When I first took up skateboard 30 some odd years ago, I learned on plywood, even helped my oldest brother in the final construction phase of his first half pipe. It was a real learning experience, very grueling hard work, and once completed– very scary, yet exciting and exhilarating to be the first to test it out.

Nowadays, I take my skateboarding slow. I’m not about to risk a bone fracture by skateboarding at break neck speed. My attempt at front nose Fakies are taken with  cautious approaches. I’m there to get the feel of both board, wheels, and terrain underneath my feet. What do I need to correct on the hardware, if any adjustments need to be made? That kind of assessment. And its all about having fun within one’s own ability.

I stood atop a massive slab of steep concrete that jutted out of the pavement like a pyramid with the point left unfinished. I’m not here to be grammatically correct with any skateboard terminology, by the way. I’m trying to describe the skate park layout. There are tiny rails anchored into the pavement. I view it as another accident that could mangle beginner or even intermediate since they were placed too damn close to the proximity of each half pipe. I’m observing as a spectator and an old-school skater.

I watched the lazy punks take many spills. There popsicle decks went skiddering, the wanna-be skaters tripped head over heels every time. They skated poorly like something out of Skater 3, a video game. I wouldn’t have even put them in a poser category nor even beginner. Perhaps a weekend warrior at best.  There was no true form nor unique style all their own that I could see. They sported tattoos and smoked cigarettes. They rode the half pipes with no zeal. There wasn’t even any ounce of passion. It was like bland nothing-ness. Almost giving off a ticked off message to the world that they didn’t want to skateboard, but did so anyway just out of boredom, perhaps.

It was like watching a dull skateboard follies without a laugh track nor any blooper sound effects. They just went up the half pipes without any real sense of feeling. There was none of this: “I’m awesome!” or “Look at me!” And there was zero sense of “practice makes perfect” attitudes nor even any positive energy, either. To me, that was very odd. In my day teenagers couldn’t wait to out-best their friends or try to impress them, either. Teenagers of my generation took a tumble, jumped up, and kept trying it over and over again until they felt they got their tricks partially correct to their liking. But I see none of this in today’s youth, nothing but this massive laziness boredom. And god-forbid if their Ipads or cellphones just quit working due to some cosmic solar interference, they’d have a snowflake meltdown and need to find their “safe” place.

Teenagers in my day would have thrown their non-working cell phone or Ipad in the street and went on their way regardless of what caused it to quit working. They might have retrieved said device later if their parents made them, other than that, an 80’s teenager was vastly different to this generation. And I’m sure the generations of teenagers before my time might have taken similar approaches to modern technology, perhaps.

I didn’t detect angst, per se from the lazy teenage boys at the skate park. I mainly sensed it was for them just killing time between texting their friends, like something to do to pass the time before they had to head home before another school day rolled around.

I wish I could have “shredded it” as one older male with long hair cheered me on as I strode over to the skate park looking like a throwback of a typical early 80’s skateboarder. I gave the long-haired older dude a warm smile in return, nodding in approval, and gave him a ‘thumbs up’. My old Rector gloves linger with the new leather scent, “fresh out of the bag” newness/ Saddle soap treatment. All is awesome applesauce on this day and I don’t let the snide remarks deter my determination to stay at the skate park. 🙂

My old stock Rector pads lovingly shed their black lining like an affectionate cat. I remedied the sticky rub-off with non-GMO cornstarch and aluminum-free baking powder before I left the house. I figured it would also combat chaffing and sweat build-up.

I ignored the teenage village idiots seated at the picnic table. I practiced my falls, sliding on my knees, just having fun again that I hadn’t got the chance to have in many, many years.

I didn’t try any dismounts since I was putting the old pads through their first ever durability test runs. I felt no unpleasant jarring aftershocks striking concrete and metal. In fact, my knees were cushioned the whole time and comfortable.

Concrete though isn’t a good sliding surface, by the way with pads. The metal will scorch skin and that’s the only thing that burned. Otherwise, Rector pads get two thumbs up 👍. And that’s my initial critique on the new old stock gear. I never tried out the Clawz gloves yet since these were probably first generation designed for the second generation of skateboarding in 1989-90. They were for street skating, but do not have any full wrist support at all. The only minimal support (if one can call it protection) is a Velcro wrist wrap design. I used one Clawz glove back in the day without a thought that there was really no wrist protection at all. These were made of suede leather, minimal pads sewn on the palms, top leather with Clawz logo sewn into the glove. The Clawz logo is prone to cracking as with anything vintage and being thirty years old is to be expected.

Also, eBay is an excellent source to find a lot of vintage skateboard stuff at reasonable prices. Depending on the seller(s), they may even offer best offers and free shipping within the United States. Hope this helps. I’d also include Amazon as another online buying source for skateboard related stuff, but I find that eBay is vast and has more to chose from.

Just a word of advice buying on eBay: always try to review seller’s feedback rating. If they have a ton of negatives, I’d recommend shopping with another seller since you may (or might not) get the item(s) you purchased on there. And its a let down, believe me when the item you work hard for never shows up in the mail. It happened to me recently with a couple of rock n’ roll trading cards, although the seller was very quick to issue a refund, I was searching for the cards for last couple of years. So, it just a matter of buyer beware on eBay. It’s still a good place to find anything you a person could ever possibly want/need/ add to an existing collection, etc. The selling aspect would be saved for another blog entirely.

Thanks for liking, blogging, following and sharing. And please, stay tuned for more future posts from me when I can find the time to do so. Have a great day everybody and happy skateboarding! 🙂

By the way, have any skateboard related questions? Please, feel free to send me a comment on here and I will be happy to respond to the best of my knowledge.  Mind you that I don’t know a whole lot about how to do skateboard tricks and I’m still learning myself even after all these years. I have very minimal skateboard mechanics under my belt (self-taught), but I do try. I am a very old-school fashioned skateboarder though.  🙂

 

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Skateboarding-part 2: late 1980’s reputations, feelings, experiences.

Published August 12, 2019 by AntiqueMystique1

From 1989 through most of 1991 I was never made aware that the whole skateboarding scene was being twisted and morphed into something largely misunderstood. Skateboarding in my teens was no longer wholesome. Long gone were the original “Bones Brigade”.

bones-brigade-bros-2010.jpg_600x455

Original Bones Brigade 2010. These guys went pro in the early 1980s and mid-1980s. They rode for Powell Peralta, another skateboard manufacturer. 

From the time I was 12 onwards, I never heard of Natas (the actual skateboarder), I never read nor seen Steve Caballero . I had heard of Mark Gonzalez, but never seen any VHS tapes of him nor any other [then] professional skateboarders. In my teens I never read many back issues of Thrasher skateboard magazine.

Transworld, another skateboard magazine, was non-exstintant to me. We had a spin-off of Thrasher called, “Skateboarding” from 1991 to my recollection and it was quite bland. It was geared more towards a “pre-processed”, all junk, no newsworthy nobodies off the streets that tried their first generic Veriflex and/ or K-Mart blue light special “Nash” skateboard for the first time. The skateboard clothing was in my eyes very “no frills”. I’d say “preppy”-looking, almost borderline on Grunge even though the Grunge scene was still years off into the future.

The clean cut image that I know from the late 80’s skateboarding generation was still there. The clothing that my older brother did hand down to me was Vision Streetwear. I always wanted that t-shirt depicting a 1950’s lady in tears, a comic strip design with her thinking 💭 “Oh, God, why can’t my boyfriend skate?!” And the boyfriend, (a Clark Kent-looking dude), is depicted on the shirt as stepping into the room. This t-shirt debuted around 1989 in Thrasher magazine. Finding the same t-shirt nowadays from this era will set a person back a little bit. There are reproductions of said image, but it doesn’t appeal to me: the new re-issues, that is.

I still find the original design hilarious 😂 and it happily takes me back to my younger days when I laughed seeing it for the first time via mail order in Thrasher magazine. The t-shirt came in white. The comic strip depiction, black and white.

Another iconic hand-me-down from my dear brother was two large/ x-large t-shirts; Rat Bones (Powell Peralta) rat with crossbones in a washed out, faded red color, and another skateboard t-shirt that stated; “What part of…(reverse of t-shirt stated); “NO don’t you understand?” The shirt was sending a wrong message, but I cherished every article of skateboard clothing that my brother wore out and gave to me. I remember safety pinning a pair of flimsy material Vision Streetwear shorts that were very baggy on me. They were beige in color, and had a crackle pattern design. The fabric was very thin, so I often had to wear a long t-shirt untucked to cover my assets. 😂 I couldn’t believe the low quality that Vision Streetwear produced in the late 80’s/ early 90’s. Maybe it was a supply and demand thing. Vision Streetwear was extremely expensive back then. But even high-priced clothing doesn’t always mean “better” nor even long lasting, either.

Skateboarding and anarchy; what I didn’t know…

Well, in retrospect I can see how skateboarders got ridiculed a lot by society as a whole. In fact, skateboarding in the late 80’s/early 1990’s was breaking away from a once wholesome image of “do your own thing” and protective gear was being less depicted in the magazines if it was street skating/ public building, parking lot areas and downtown skateboarding.

I found myself being ostracized all the time in the Podunks I lived in. There was no skate parks yet. I skateboarded wherever I felt like and wasn’t aware back then that skateboarding on a downtown sidewalk is illegal. Oh, well, live and learn. I was never busted and I doubt the cops would have cared much in the Podunks so long as you showed respect, shared the sidewalk, obeyed traffic laws, and weren’t going all Willy nilly wrecklessly on a sidewalk. Street skating took guts. In 1990-91 there was less traffic. Driving distractions with modern technology wasn’t around yet. Motorists would honk, shake their fists, maybe even shout a profanity if you deliberately ignored them, but for the most part, I’d skate on the margin, near the shoulder of the street with traffic, seldom against it unless going home and I couldn’t find a route to get me there. Skateboarding for me was about transportation as a teen and less about seeing how many stupid ways could I think of to potentially hurt myself.

When I street-skated, I wasn’t relaxed. I rode my board fast and stiff-legged. I struck those dumb pebbles, rocks, twigs with a jarring skid. I went air born a few times, never skinned myself badly, ironically.  I would just “pretend” to make my skateboard come to a screeching halt, and I would two-step (or three) off it with my feet. Sometimes, I’d for no apparent reason, just dismount instantly (jump off) if anything grabbed my attention.

I never learned to grind the tail to a stop simply because I wanted to preserve the life of my first Vision skateboard. And tail (tail bones) guards were unpopular and would slow down your speed. Tail bones were by 1990-91 standards highly unattractive. You were a poser and made fun of if your 80’s deck sported a jaw bone (nose guard) and a tail bone. Those accessories were like a soccer mom van in the mid-1990’s, no teenager wanted to be caught dead with that additional “protective” physical baggage being an eyesore.

My Vision Gonzales had both jaw bone and tail bone which made me cry 😭 when I picked up my brand new deck from the skating rink. My brother worked his magic once we managed to buy the deck. The major hold up was the skateboard kiosk couldn’t sell the deck to us with that hardware pre-removed since it would be a potential liability/ lawsuit waiting to happen had I ever gotten severely injured. Hearing that the protective “baggage” had to remain on or else no sale just made me weep at 12. Hey, I was a kid. I didn’t like having something so close to me,especially a new expensive gift being taken from me right before my very eyes.  And secondly, I thought my skateboard was my decision and I’d get exactly what was shown in the advertisement I seen in Thrasher. But all these rules… bah! I was irritated by “stupid rules” at 12. I was entering my “I want it this way,” not “you can’t have it because I say so even though I’m not your parent,” phase.

My brother worked tirelessly to make “fat lady” right with me and to my specifications we had already planned on. He involved me in on our massive undertaking: skateboard overhaul.

Once home, deck in shrink, I recall I had tore through the shrink wrap with my small hands. I was giddy! I was the first to get my small fingerprints all over that beautiful deep red stain. Fat lady’s neon yellow face and neon blue hair weren’t spared my touch. I christened her; “Big Bertha” after a babysitter my brother and I adored when we were just toddlers. I doubt Erma is even around anymore, but she made a positive impact in our young lives whenever mom had to head off to her second job to keep us above poverty. I never knew as a child the greatest sacrifice my mother had made for us; Providing us with a better life. I appreciate all that mom did for us and continues to do for us.

Now, Mom and I were going rounds with my first skateboard, the top image was questionable for the times, mind you. The late 1980’s were still about censorship galore. And religion played a huge role dictating what we can/ can’t hear in way of music. The “Tipper sticker” was an ever-common eyesore to my generation. Lyrics were questioned a lot. Bands were subject to controversy, our music as we knew it, was being blamed for the cause of our upcoming generation’s problems. When instead, the Washington wives failed to take into account the bigger picture and look at the shape of the current state of the nation, rather.

Skateboarding was seen as rebellious. It was falsely categorized as having ties to druggies, satanism, anarchy, drop outs, and societal degenerates, basically nowadays it falls under the “rock n’ roll listening weirdo, hell bent on never losing touch with that ‘young kid at heart'” category.

And skateboarding in the 21st century might be reverting back to its once wholesome “do what comes natural” roots, or something seen as a way of life for some. My era was an age of innocence that somewhere along the way collided with a bad erroneous reputation that damn near ruined skateboarding for many years to follow.

I dropped off the skateboard map in 1993 when I was 16. I didn’t like the ushering in of the Grunge scene. At 16, I rode a bicycle 🚴 and swore to myself I’d never pick up another skateboard. To be continued…

Oh, and Thanks to all my followers out there. Thank you for sharing and comments always welcome. 🤓  🙃🤙

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. 🙂