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Victrola model G: the outtakes Sept. 30, 2016

Published October 1, 2016 by AntiqueMystique1

In all of my nine plus years of amassing a huge 78 collection that vary in condition from playable to excellent, there are a certain few that fly under my radar that are in extremely poor to terrible condition. There’s surface noise and that’s to be expected for a 78 that was released eighty-eight years ago. There’s no buyer’s remorse on my part. I buy 78’s if I feel they are in ‘playable’ condition at the very least. Condition-wise, I’m not too terribly picky if the 78 is near mint, very good, excellent condition, etc. And I do realize I could be doing my Victrola more harm than good opting for the undesirable 78s. So long as there’s no needle drops, huge scratches or gouges that would render the 78 unplayable, then I will buy it if the price doesn’t exceed $5 per record and even at that I find that’s a tad steep for the more common 78s.  Oh, yeah, if they’re cracked, don’t waste your money just some helpful first-hand experience. 😉

I don’t know what possessed me to stop in a used furniture store on a day I had to be somewhere. Normally, I don’t like to browse when I know I really can’t make the time. But it was the same place I acquired my Victrola model G. I was very excited that I finally got it fully repaired from the mainsprings to the sound box that required an overhaul and new rear flange gasket. That much about it was well worth it and I knew it would require some extensive work that was beyond my capabilities since I haven’t serviced any of my antique phonographs in over nine years. Yet again, none of them require any work since I had them restored professionally eons ago.

I glance at my wrist watch, counting off the minutes. I appear to be in a hurry, but I still have time to look around before I head off and start my day. I always try to make it a point to take in the beauty of various antiques at least once a day. I always use antiques in my daily life. Its what brings me happiness. Some people can’t start their mornings off right without their favorite cup of coffee or a latte, maybe even a cappuccino. And other folks probably don’t get off on the right foot without their nicotine fix before their lunch break.

 

I don’t smoke. I don’t consume caffeine. I will, however, pack some toothpicks on me and some steeped hot tea for when its cold outside. Otherwise, I keep my creature comforts to a minimal when I have to be at work. I reward myself when I do arrive home after work. And here I found myself in the small second hand store on the corner. I browse through the books and a dusty, massively thick Webster’s dictionary catches my eye. The binding has come completely loose from the spine. The pages are all there and in tact. I gingerly remove the antique dictionary. It was an “Original Webster’s Unabridged” dictionary published in 1874. The price scared me. $39.99, holy mackerel! Are they serious? :O

I scrutinize the antique dictionary for a long moment, then glance at the time. I needed to be on my way. Another day, another dollar so the saying goes. I return the dictionary to the bookshelf and get ready to leave when something small catches my eye. I’m gazing at two 5 ½” Little Wonder one-sided disc records from 1909. These were actually tiny shellac records made for a child-sized upright antique phonograph. However, I couldn’t say for certain whether or not they’d play on Victrola since I didn’t have any Little Wonder discs in my collection to say for certain. I know from past experience I had difficulties with similar 7” Parakeet shellac records manufactured sometime during the early 1900 to mid-Teens, so naturally, I wrongly assumed the same would hold true for these Little Wonder records. And there was a Cameo 78 that called out to me.

I ask the man at the counter how much for the 78’s and was told $2.99 per record. Uhm… I feel that is asking a bit much. I politely thanked him, placed the records back and waited until I could do some research. Depending on the rarity of the Little Wonder records and who the artist was that recorded the song(s), I surfed onto eBay and did some price-comparison. $2.99 was looking okay for what these tiny records are. And so I bide my time. I return to the store when another person is working. I’m quoted a steeper price for the records. Again, I kindly thanked the person and went on my way.

Yeah, they’re one of a kind. Okay, they’re “special records”, but Cameo 78s are common to run across although inferior in sound quality and material-wise. Little Wonder shellac records don’t turn up all that often, so I’ll give credit where its due on that for being extra special. But the prices for the Little Wonders online vary in price and their condition were no less than what I discovered in this store. I think about it for a long while. If they’re still there come some other time then I’ll know it was meant to be.

And they were there when I returned, so I bought them and the Cameo 78. Another Fox Trot song and who is the artist this time? Sam Lanin and His Orchestra “You’re the Cream in My Coffee” and the flipside “He Ain’t Never Been to College” by the Varsity Eight. Both songs were released in 1928. And last night I finally made the time to do more recordings, something I haven’t done in quite a while. But the recording process doesn’t always run smoothly, thus the outtakes and bloopers happen.

Oh, the Little Wonders played excellent and I thoroughly enjoyed the songs, “I Want to Go Back to Michigan” duet disc No. 60. It sounded a lot like Ernest Hare and Billy Jones from the Edison Diamond Discs I have of them. And the other song, “Beets and Turnips” – [Little Wonder] Band disc No. 30. Both songs were released sometime in 1914. The Michigan song dates somewhere between 1914-15. The flipside of the one-sided Little Wonders have patent dates of Nov. 1909. These are some incredibly old tiny disc records pushing 107 years old (if going by the patent dates, that is). The sound quality of the Little Wonders exceeded my expectations. I was satisfied and my little one-bedroom was full of cheerful music for a little bit. I tried the Cameo 78 next. The song He Ain’t Never Been to College recorded nice in one take, no problems there.

 

Then the unexpected happened and it worried me when I played the flipside of the Cameo 78. It sounds very worn out due to the surface wear and tear that’s common for a record that’s likely been played many times over. But until last night I never encountered a 78 that would make the sound box lag and the turntable slow down and eventually stop all together. Worried doesn’t cut it. I was almost heart sick thinking of all the problems that can happen to a Victrola. The mainsprings might have hardened grease, but this would have been eliminated since the machine was completely overhauled by a professional in July. Another troubleshooting idea popped into my head; maybe the mainsprings slipped out of alignment in their barrels. Yikes! That’s an invasive and costly repair. Then I decided to try playing the same 78 on a different baby upright Victrola of mine that’s been my secondary recording machine. Surely, two machines are not alike.

Well, same problem occurred on the baby Victrola. And I couldn’t figure it out.

How can two machines encounter the same exact problem? Was this particular song cursed? Is the past deceased owner of said 78 trying to send me a message from the great beyond? What about the… oh, heck. Just try a lighter weight reproducer and so that’s what I did. Now the final recording didn’t come from the Victrola G as I had planned. I had to record the 78 playing it on my Edison C-19 with the proper 78 Ken-Tone attachment and it played okay. Not good, but its late. I’m tired. I want to get this last song uploaded to my MP3 player so I can call it a night. Edison has always been my ‘go-to’ phonograph when making recordings. In the beginning I didn’t always have a Victrola to fall back on. Therefore, my Edison C-19 picked up all the slack of my recording processes. I was relieved to know that my expensive Victrola G didn’t fall to crap after all and neither had my baby Victrola. Do I care to try Cream in My Coffee Fox Trot on my other upright?… Nope. So, hopefully I haven’t bought a cursed 78 and if I did, then eh, oh well. I suppose if the darned Fox Trot is cursed it wouldn’t be the first song to go down infamy for that. Thanks for reading, commenting, blogging, sharing, tweeting. I truly appreciate it a lot! 🙂

 

 

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! 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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. 🙂