Sunday, December 25, 2005

Let's Have A Frankenstein Christmas

1972 was a great year for Christmas. Not only did I get a Jesse James cowboy hat and cap guns, but I also got a Frankenstein model. I'm not sure why I got this, or even who bought it for me, but I was enthralled by it.

I was even more excited when I found that it glowed in the dark! Actually only his head and hands glowed, but that still made it cooler than a regular model. Boy was I happy. What kid wouldn't want a glowing Frankenstein looking down on them as they sleep?

Well, that would be me. Do you know how creepy it is to see a glowing monster head and hands on the other side of your bedroom? The damn thing scared me to death every night. My heart would pound and I'd be afraid to close my eyes in fear that if I did it would come to life and kill me. Yet I didn't want to look at it either...because then I might actually see it come to life and lumber over to kill me.

I solved the glowing killer monster model problem by putting it in my closet every night. Well, it solved part of the problem. I didn't have to see it, but I did fear the closet door bursting open and a glowing freak jumping over to my bed to kill me. Ahhhh good times.... I no longer have the model, which is sad except for the fact that I would still fear it - which may actually be sadder.

Monday, December 12, 2005

I'm Even Wearing Tartan Underwear

The Bay City Rollers were pretty cool. Well, not really, but I liked them. I never did understand all the girls wearing tartan though. Some of them had entire outfits made of tartan. I know it was what the Rollers wore. But it seemed like wearing high water bellbottom pants with tartan trim all over it was a good way to get beaten up and humiliated at school.

I never read this paperback. It was just too poorly written and incredibly trite. Yet I still have the book and don't plan on getting rid of it. I guess I still have a soft spot in my heart for Les, Woody, Alan, Eric, and Derek....even though they did wear all that tartan.

From Teen Idol to Old Balding Guy

My dad's aunt bought me this book when I was a teenager. I never did read it. It looked very light weight - like a really long article written for a teen magazine. But it did have some nice pictures of Leif in it. He was a really cute kid.

It must be hard for teen idols once they pass that cute phase and start blending in with everyone else on the street. You used to have a hundred thousand teenagers screaming just to touch your hair, and now you're going to have trouble picking up a drunken college girl at your local bar. How the heck do you cope with that?

Those Bears are Nothing But Bad News

I have never seen a Bad News Bears movie in it's entirity....and yet I still have this.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

The Danger of Rock Concerts in1979 and Why It’s Billy Joel’s Fault

My first concert was in 1979 seeing Billy Joel play a sold out show at the local Civic Center. Granted now I’d rather hit Joel in the head with a brick than see one of his shows, but as it was my first concert and I was a fan, I sang along and used my little 110 Instamatic camera to take photos.

Throughout the show, fans would run to the front of the stage, scream, dance, or lose themselves in a Pianoman style frenzy. Every time this happened, security would make them return to their seats. I was in the second section back on the floor and wanted some closer photos. So late in the show I asked security if I could go down front to take a few pictures and the nice security man said “sure, go ahead.”

As I sauntered down the aisle secure in the knowledge that I wasn’t an idiot who was going to be asked to leave, I felt pity for the poor fools who didn’t know enough to talk to security before blindly running towards the stage. I was standing in front of the stage taking a photo when all of a sudden I was hit from behind with a force so hard that my flashcube was knocked off the top of my cameraAs it bounced across the stage under Joel’s running feet, I was in a panic. Not only did I need that big square flashcube, but I was afraid he’d twist an ankle if his foot hit it. More importantly, I was in complete fear over who or what had hit me, and if I about to be attacked again. Had security gone insane? Had someone who’d been told to sit down taken their revenge out on a happy little kid taking photos? Was this what happened at a concert?

As I looked around, I discovered that the aisles were now clogged with people pressing against the stage. My stroll up to the front and lack of reaction by security had let the entire venue know that it was now okay for everyone to run to the foot of the stage. A wall of people had descended toward Billy Joel at warp speed, and for whatever unknown reason, they felt compelled to plowed into me. I was completely shell shocked and after taking another photo or two, went back to my seat.
For a couple of months, whenever I heard the song “Bigshot” (which was the song being performed when I was pummeled by the crowd), I would break into a cold sweat, my heart would hammer to get outside my ribcage, and I’d have an anxiety attack. Thanks ever so much, Mr. Only the Good Die Young…thanks for trying to kill me and giving an innocent young teen a heaping helping of transitory emotional scarring.

Look at Mr. Smugpants sitting on top of his piano. You know he was scoffing at me!! Oh the pain! The pain!! Damn him in all his rock star glory as he tramples young girls dreams and flashcubes, while he lives out his soft souled shoe rock star fantasies in the mansion and crashed car of his choice. Damn him all to hell!!....also that's the worst James Cagney imitation I've ever seen.

The Lack of Danger at Concerts in 1979 When Billy Joel is Not Present

In contrast to the psychological scarring from Mr. Billy “I’m the Entertainer, Damn It!” Joel, the Kinks concert was a joy. No trampling hordes of people, no flashcubes bouncing under rock stars feet, no post traumatic stress every time I hear one of their songs - what joy!
This was the first general admission concert I attended. Little did I realize that people who come late will muscle their way into the front row. I got pushed around a little, but managed to hold my own. My only complaint was a girl two people over from me who clapped with her big lobster hands two feet in front of her face, which meant they ended up in many of my photos.

Also as opposed to Billy “Taste My Trampling Horde” Joel, the only thing Ray Davies did was pour champagne over the audience down front. This only served to annoy me because when it dried, my camera, glasses, and clothes were sticky and I smelled like alcohol, which is bad for a fifteen year old who is being picked up after the show by her parents.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Kiss My Painted Hinder

I didn't like Kiss when I was younger. I thought they were stupid. So, you justifiably ask, why did I buy some Kiss bubblegum cards? I have no freakin' idea. The only thing I can think of is that I liked trading cards, and I liked the taste and smell of the stick bubblegum that came with them. In defense of my theory, I did only buy one pack.

Huh Huh, He's Funny

In late 1979, Steve Martin was the man for comedy. King Tut was on the radio constantly, all the kids had his album, and he'd hosted Saturday Night Live. My Dad picked up tickets for my brother and I, and two of our friends. We had seats down on the floor, 10 rows back in the second section. We were all really excited about seeing our favorite comedian and he didn't disappoint us. We all loved the show and talked about it for weeks.
I took my little 110 camera to take pictures. His suit is pink, but it's hard to tell in the bright stage light. He's also got an arrow through his head and a banjo. Here's what I learned from this show. If you use a flash when you aren't anywhere near the stage, all you do is light up the back of the peoples heads in front of you.

The other thing I learned is that our friend Mike could not clap on the beat. If you've ever been stuck sitting with a person who can't clap on the beat, you know how annoying that is. It's also kind of embarrassing because it's so noticable. Good god man, you're the only one clapping on the off beat! What is wrong with you?!

Knock Knock. Who's There? Ghost Ship. Ghost Ship Who?

Another spooky book from the grade school book fair. I was always intrigued by ghosts and the creepy cover art told me this was a book to buy. I'm not sure if I ever read it, but I definitely enjoyed staring at the cover. It captures all the major scary stuff - skeletons, haunted houses, ghost ships and graveyards. What more could a kid ask for?

Monday, November 21, 2005

That Freaky King and His Freaky Head

In a more innocent age, Burger King gave out stickers to youngsters like me. I'm sure they figured we'd stick them all over the place, thus providing free advertising. But I didn't want their ugly stickers on my bike. Plus I didn't like the Burger King. So I defaced their stickers and proposed random foot against hinder violence against the King.

That damn Burger King has always annoyed me. I'm not sure why. I guess I just don't understand why someone would want to be king of meat. Oh plus, he has an enormous head. What is up with that? There's just something wrong with a person who has a head that big.

Keith Who?

When I was a kid, I had a crush on Danny Partridge. I didn't care about teen idol Keith Partridge with his stupid shag hairdo, sensitive puppy dog eyes, or his groovy clothes. Nope, the one who I wanted to marry was that little conman, Danny. So I felt very fortunate to have gotten so many pictures of Danny in one pack of bubblegum cards.

As to the eternal Danny or Keith question? Well lets just consider where they are now. Hmmmm, bitter arrogant pseudo-rockstar or wacky out of control addict in perpetual emotional turmoil?....Umm, I change my favorite to Chris (either of them).

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Homemade Halloween Costumes of the 1970s - They Rule!

When I was growing up our costumes were always homemade. Sometimes it was annoying when friends had cool store bought Evil Knievel masks/costumes, but at least we never ran into another kid with the same exact costume.
1973 - a good year for pirates. Check out the wide lapels, the patches on my jeans, and the six gun tucked into my waistband.
1974 - my mom made these costumes for my brother and I. I'm sure you can tell who he is, but do you know who I am? I'm Captain Marvel Jr, god damn it!! In case you're not familiar with the Shazam comics, here is the Marvel family.
I think my mom did a great job on the costume. Where the hell else would I ever get a Captain Marvel Jr outfit? They certainly aren't going to sell them in stores. I am often asked why I, a young girl, would choose to dress up as a boy rather than go as Mary Marvel. The answer should be clear - only a wimp would dress up as Mary Marvel. Look at her. Granted I didn't have manly muscles, a package, or short hair, but Captain Marvel Jr was so much cooler. He was a crippled newspaper boy, who idolized the Big Red Cheese aka Captain Marvel, and wasn't even related to the rest of them. Yet he still managed to transform into a superhero.
1975 - my brother recycles my pirate scarf and shirt, yet adds a manly wooden sword. His friend Colin dresses as the standard hobo, and my friend Jennifer dresses as a hunchback, although I never did understand the bandage on her head or the blue eyeshadow. I couldn't decide whether to go as a sailor or a ghost. So I went as the ghost of a sailor. That is supposed to be a bullet hole on my bandage and blood running down my cheek. Looks like the ghostly white makeup has rubbed off, which begs the question what the hell was I rubbing my face on?
1976- I was too old to dress up, but my brother and his friend Mike were happy to go trick or treating. I don't think Mike's prison costume was homemade, but it's still cool. My brother's vampire costume is nice too. But those store bought teeth were impossible to speak with making shouts of trick or treat sound more like "rick or reat."

Monday, November 07, 2005

Vintage Defacement Art Lives Again

Once again I'm up to my old trick of defacing someone who annoys me. I was a big fan of Zoom and watched it every week night. My favorite person on the show was Jay. But when I wrote a fan letter to him, the response I got was a picture of David. What the?!?!?!? How annoying is that? Pretty damn annoying, I must say. But on the plus side, the other half of this item was how to make water walkers, which were definately one of the coolest projects they had.

David should consider himself lucky that all I did was make a mustache on him. I could have completely destroyed him like I did to Jan or those idiots in Spec.

Look Deep Into My Tv....Sleep!

Woah, imagine that? You're an innocent tv repairman working on someone's tv, when all of a sudden BAM - you accidentally discover the secret to hypnotism! How lucky is that? Plus, you're such a great guy that you're willing to share the secret with anyone for a small fee, because you have to support your growing family since you've hypnotized your wife to be attracted to you again.

Also I'm glad the ad states that no prior hypnotic training is necessary because I didn't think I'd be able to effectively use the top secret accidental discovery. I have confidence that we'll soon be a nation of hypnotists. So I'd better start hypnotizing people now before they learn how to hypnotize me....damn you tv repairman!!

Hobos Don't Wear These Patches

These are patches that I proudly wore on my pink denim jacket as a kid. I am not sure why I had a pink denim jacket. I guess my only defense is that it wasn't as girly as it sounds and it was the 70s. Six Gun City was a cool place where you could shoot a bow and arrow, watch an olde tyme gun fight, and... um well I actually don't remember what else you could do there, but I'm sure it was some sort of western amusement spectacular thing and tons of fun.

This is the only picture I could find of me in my pink denim jacket. Oddly enough, I am driving an antique car at Storyland, which was very near Six Gun City. Even the most incompetent child driver couldn't maim fellow park goers due to the metal rail in the ground that the wheels would hit if you got too far off course.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Hey Kid, How Much Money You Got?

I wrote a fan letter to Shaun Cassidy when he was on the Hardy Boys. In response, I got this invitation to join the Hardy Boys Fan Club. Ooooo, so let me get this straight. I love you and you're such a great singer and actor (squeal of teenage glee), and you want me to pay you money to get a mass produced printed autograph photo? Damn! I know it is impossible to answer every fan letter, but at the very least they could have sent a mass produced printed autographed photo of Shaun with their request for my money.

You know, I'm looking at this photo and it's starting to creep me out. Is it just me, or does Shaun look like he's about to take a big bite of my brain?

Congratulations, You're in Hell

In 1971 I went to summer camp at Camp Ketcha, which was a girl scouts camp. Being a shy child, there were a few girls that I struck up friendships with, but other than that I stayed out of the spotlight and kept to myself. In fact I was so quiet, that at the end of the summer, I won the Quietest Camper Award. I was completely mortified.

If there's one thing that's hell for a shy kid, it's having to stand up in front of all the campers, walk to the front of the building, and pick up your Quietest Camper Award. They were all watching me - with their beady little eyes! Their beady little eyes!!!!!!

First Aid....of the Future!!

When I mentioned how I got a Star Fleet Medical Manual for Christmas in 1977, a couple of people were curious as to what was inside this incredible futuristic medical book. So here are a few pages for your viewing pleasure. Disclaimer: I am in no way responsible for any adverse physical reactions or psychological episodes that occur due to the viewing of these pages. All parties agree to turn back now or view these medical miracles of their own free will.

Hey everybody, it's a Klingonoid Biped! Until I got this manual, I was unaware that Klingons had smooth genital areas, just like GI Joe and Ken.

If you attach the airplane glue to the bicycle pump, and shove the hose down your throat, you can get a really intense high. Stupid Gorn.....

I'm not sure why they included these sexual positions in the medical manual, but I would have preferred not to know what happens when a desperate lonely spaceman takes advantage of a drunken alien.

How many people are really going to be injured while sitting in a chair? Isn't this procedure a complete waste of time? Plus now it's far more likely that you'll need to figure out how to carry the many injured crewmen who have mistakenly sat on the stick.
I am far more disburbed by the patients enormous nipples than by his horrific burns.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Drink This Potion, I Swear It's Harmless

Here is another of the books I got at the book fair when I was in grade school. The cover would have sucked me in, even if it weren't a classic horror story. They just don't make covers like this anymore.

We Don't Need No Stinkin' Pirates!

Here is my brother, his friend Mike, and me pretending to be pirates. The hats we are wearing are McDonalds pirate hats with a skull and crossbones drawing taped over the McDonalds logo. Seriously, who wants to pretend to be a pirate with a big M on your hat? No one thats who!!

I'm not sure why McDonalds was giving out pirate hats. They used to have a pirate character, maybe that's why. The thing I find the most disturbing is our make up. It's like we were attacked by a blind greasepaint artist. Our scars are drawn with the same black as our beards, thus making us look pretty damn insane...then again, maybe that makes us great pirates.

This Was My Life??

Someone gave me a diary when I was a kid. I hung onto it for a number of years, not knowing what to do with it. Then in 1978 I decided to give it a try. This was unfortunate because that was the year I had a crush on my science teacher and mostly wrote stupid things like, "he looked so cute in that white shirt" or "I made sure I was standing in the hallway when he walked by."

A few years ago, I came across the diary and in a fit of embarrassment, threw it away. It really was a waste of paper. The only pages I kept were from a camping trip that my brother and I took with my grandparents. This is kind of odd as the only memorable parts of this trip were that I was a teenager who was embarrassed to be with my grandparents, and the now legendary Cheetos Incident, which is brought up at least once a year at a family dinner - but never when my grandmother is there.

Oh boy... wasn't that swell, kids? I think you can read the scan okay. The only thing you may question is where it says "I was Moe, Bri was Curly." Yeah, that's right, we were pretending to be the Three Stooges. I remember my brother singing a song about the rock, saying it was Curly's shoe. Or maybe that was another day, and he tripped again but this time on a shoe? I seriously doubt we'd be hanging out in the amphitheater more than one day pretending to be the Three Stooges. I wonder if my brother remembers this?

The strange thing is I avoided reading that diary for years, but now that I've thrown it away, I think it would be hysterical to read about the crush I had on my teacher and the really stupid things I wrote. "Saw him three times in the hall today. He's so cute." Good lord.....

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Let's Just Call It Bosley's Chicks

Okay, I'm sorry, but this just will not do. You can not call it Charlie's Angels when the only real Angel is Jacklyn Smith and your premiere is aboard the Love Boat. And to make matters even worse, two of your biggest guest stars are Bert Convy and Bo Hopkins. God damn it!! Beads of desperation are forming on Bosley's five o'clock shadowed upper lip because he knows soon he'll be out of a job. This is not a pretty sight.

You've Got to Be Mickey... We Already Called Davy, Peter, and Mike

My friends and I loved the Monkees. We'd watch their tv show in afternoon reruns, and we'd even play that we were the band. My brother would play Mike which may have been due to the hat. My friend Jennifer would be Davy because she thought he was cute. I would be Peter because I thought he was cute and funny. And we would force Bri's friend Mike to be Mickey. You ever notice in every group of kids there's that always one that gets pushed around? It's some sort of strange natural selection thing, but if the four of us were together, that would be Mike. So Mike never got a choice of who he was going to be. Nope kid, tough luck - you're Mickey again. No matter how the poor guy tried to call someone else, we always mentally beat him into submission and made him Mickey.

Evel Be Thy Name

George Hamilton as the king of the daredevils? Never!!!! Somehow I just don't think old George and his florescent tan are going to cut it. Why do I question whether he's really up to portraying that baseball bat wielding, sky jumping maniac? Well basically because I don't think George Hamilton is ever going to do this -

Friday, October 14, 2005

Apparently I'm Not The Only One Who Hated Her

Here's another Brady Bunch paperback, but I want you to notice something. There are only five kids shown on the front cover. Who do you think is missing? Who is the odd man out? Who could it be?

Oh we all know who's missing. That's right, it's Jan. Big-wig-wearing, bad-eyesight-bicycle-crashing, pretend-boyfriend-dating, every-club-at-school-joining, ugly-aunt-resembling, lame-practical-joke-playing, silver-braces-wearing, goofy-glasses-hiding, older-sister-envying, sad sad little Jan.

Cheap Trick Rocked!

Here's an ad for a concert I saw in 1979. I went with a couple of friends who got stoned, fell asleep, and slept through the band. Then a guy behind them dropped burning embers from a joint on one girls shoulder. It burned a small hole in her shirt before he flicked it off. She barely roused before drifting off again. What my shirt is burning, snoooooore.

I just want to know how can you sleep through a rock band?! Yay I get to see my favorite band. I pass out now. What a couple of idiots!

Swoon, he's got a Columbia!

Remember when ten speeds first became popular? Wow! Although I guess I missed the boat because I did'nt "focus on Columbia" when I was a kid. Maybe that's why I didn't have pride of ownership. If only I'd had that Columbia bike, I would have been popular with the fellows and I wouldn't have had to loathe my own ten speed.... actually since when did a ten speed make you popular? The cool kids had the massive sissy bars on back and the extra long fork on their front wheel - great for popping wheelies or for loaning your bike to someone and watching them lose control.

Goodie Goodie Yum Yum

Does anyone remember the Goodies? It was a British comedy that was shown on PBS probably around 1977. Tim, Graham, and Bill were always running around getting into trouble. I don't remember much about the episodes. But here are some foggy memories about a few episodes:
  1. Eckythumpf - the martial art that I think involved hitting someone over the head with a blood sausage
  2. Tie Me Kangeroo Down Sport kept playing repeatedly and I think people were turning into Rolf Harris
  3. Getting stuck in the middle of the ocean taking care of a lighthouse because Bill thought the ad read a little light housekeeping.

I just remember it as a really funny show, and I'd like to see it again. Of course, this photo is from when I wrote to PBS to ask for more info and how I could write to the stars.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Dr. Syn, Highwayman....Scarecrow

I saw this film on the Wonderful World of Disney. I don't remember much about it, except that freakin' scarecrow creeped me out.

Terrible Fashion of the late 70s

In 1979 I started going to concerts. This was probably my third concert. Journey and Sweet - and Sweet was the opener! How they must have loathed opening for Journey. It was at the Civic Center, but was only a half house show.
At that time I liked actually getting to the show early and picking out a spot right down in front next to the barricade. I always brought my crappy little 110 camera to take photos. I took this picture of Steve Perry, which is the best photo of the night. Yet I still can't help be disturbed that his purple shirt is unbuttoned and tied in a knot at his midriff. Oh the humanity!

Bobby Freakin' Sherman

Bobby Sherman always seemed really old to me and I could never figure out why he was all over the teen magazines. He seemed ancient. It was like having someone my dad's age in those mags. But I'll give him credit for having his own comic book. What I really like about this, besides Bobby in cartoon form, is that even though it is issue #1, it proudly proclaims to have all new stories and all new art.

Oscar, Oscar, Oscar...

I really liked the Odd Couple. In fact, I liked them so much that I wrote them a fan letter. I have no idea what it said, but I did get a response which included promo photos and a postcard. The autographs aren't real. They're printed on the postcard, but it was still exciting to see them. It seems kind of odd to me now that as a ten year old I would be that into a show about a neatnick and a gambling cigar smoking sports writer.