Thursday, December 4, 2008

Signs of the times: Photographic evidence of my advancing age



An ongoing theme here at Metal Inquisition is that of getting older, and coming to terms with what that means. I've talked about my need to wear orthotics in the past, as well as my general confusion about the tastes of metal's younger generations. Today I bring you photographic proof of my advancing age.



Exhibit A: The King Diamond Hand-Painted Shirt



Right before halloween, I found myself at a local thrift store shopping around for items to complete my costume. It was during that trip that I found one of the greatest pieces of clothing ever to be seen at a thrift store. As you can see from the picture above, I'm talking about a hand-painted King Diamond shirt. I was so excited about the shirt, that I quickly bought it without even thinking about it. I was extremely happy with my purchase, and even emailed a photo of the shirt to fellow M.I. staffers. Why bring up this shirt you ask? Because I now own it, but will never really wear it. Back in the day, I would have rocked the shit out of this thing. Today, I find myself staring it at the lonely shirt in my drawer...King Diamond's eyes look back at me and he says "Hey man, back in the day...you would have worn this shirt everyday! Don't be a poser!" I look back at King and say "Dude, those were different times, I have a job now. I'm older. I can't wear a shirt like this to work! Maybe during the summer I'll wear it when I cut the grass in the backyard." Notice that I tell King "when I cut the grass in the backyard", because I'd be afraid to be seen by the neighbors cutting the grass in the front lawn wearing this shirt. I know what you're saying, I'm a huge poser, and I shouldn't care. But this, my friends, is the moment in life in which I find myself. I guess I care. I guess I've finally realized that wearing a shirt with a handpainted King Diamond face is not exactly the coolest thing to wear around town. If a 12 year old version of me saw how I'm living he would laugh and then yell at me for not rocking this shirt 24/7. That 12 year old version of me would then ask me when I'm going on tour with my thrash band. I would have to hang my head low and tell the truth. I'm not in a thrash metal band.




Exhibit B: My Homemade Traper Keeper


Back in the 80s, Trapper Keepers were the hottest article to have during school hours. This was even true in the slightly backwards country where I grew up. The Mead corporation had us all by the balls. Sadly, my parents were never able to buy me one of these highly covetted three-ring binders. Instead, from an early age, I learned to make my own custom three-ring binders. Above is a picture of one such binder I made. This one is actually from 1992/1993, a time when the Trapper Keeper madness had already worn down, but my need for such a binder apparently hadn't. Though you may think that the bands featured on this binder were my absolute favorite at the time, you'd be partially wrong. If a band was my favorite, I would normally keep such clippings in a scrapbook type binder that my brother and I kept. As such, almost any band could have made it into one of my designer binder covers, but there were certainly bands I was rather into at the time. As you can see, this one features an all-star line-up. Cannibal Cropse, Gwar, Entombed, Benediction (!), and Nuclear Assault. Upon finding this binder in an old box of crap I keep around, I asked myself whether I'd willing to make such a folder for myself today. Before I asked the question, I knew the answer. No way in hell. Not only do I not know where to buy Contact paper anymore, I also don't want to be seen carrying such a thing around. Again, a sign of the times. Back in the day, this thing was my most prized possession. Today, it's merely a digital picture for me to scoff at. Contrary to how this may all sound to you, I'm rather comfortable with my age and how life has turned out. Very comfortable actually. Having said that, it's still odd to look back into the rearview mirror from time to time...and see a young kid with a mullet, a King Diamond shirt and a homemade three-ring binder waving back at me.

28 comments:

  1. I'm guessing I am about 6 years older than you because my Trapper Keeper had Metallica on it. I'm 38

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  2. I had some with Metallica, earlier on. I made one of these about every two years starting in the sixth grade i think.

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  3. I never had one of those. I just used to remove one layer of the folders that I took to school and paint the logos of different bands I liked (that are actually the bands that I still like, almost 15-20 years later). Also, I never liked the t-shirts that were too loud or with pictures of the members on it (maybe I'm also a poser). I was the kind of guy that preferred the simple t-shirts with the logo of the band. I still wear some band t-shirts, not very often, but sometimes I do.ballyz

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  4. BTW, ballyz is not my name or nick, it's just the word verification I had to type. I didn't realize I was typing it there. Now is chous.

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  5. i too liked simpler shirts...but a handpainted masterpiece like that comes once in a lifetime!

    i actually remember when the all-over print shirts came out. i remember a metallica one that had artwork from all the albums (including metal up your ass)...i was so disgusted by those shirts. a kid i was friends with in school bought one, and i was bummed.

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  6. I was reading your post and thinking "I had a trapper keeper but never decorated it I don't think" and wondering why that whole thing missed me. Then I remembered the Dead Kennedys logo I drew on one of my notebooks in high school... and... My god... the Suicidal Tendencies shirt I wore all the time... I think I blocked a lot of this stuff out.

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  7. my skool dayz saw the binders with nylon shells, which were bad for picture cut-outs, but ideal for white out and/or paint markered band logos.

    i think i'd be fairly embarrassed now to see what logos my gear sported in 6th grade but, in my defense, central florida is the tepid rotting crotch of america -- culturally and otherwise.

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  8. also, the issue of metal shirt sizes needs to be addressed here at some point. is the average size metal fan really XL as blue grape circa '96 would have you believe?
    i remember most of my favorite metal shirts growing up were heinously oversized for me. they looked more like smocks than t-shirts on my emaciated teenage frame. seasons in the abyss mumu, anyone?

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  9. blue grape was notorious for this! as a slight man myself, i can honestly tell you that about the only shirt that fit me well as an Asphyx shirt i bought from the guys in Demolition Hammer by their tour bus circa 1992. aside from they were not just big....they were wide as all hell! i will start a post about this right away!

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  10. Nice post, that King Diamond shirt rocks, what a find. Maybe you could wear it under your work shirt for fun... I remember being given a second-hand biker jacket when I was about 10 which I thought was the coolest thing ever. But to make it just that little bit cooler and add a personal touch, I spent hours paining the "Killer Dwarf" logo on the back. Needless to say it looked terrible. I think I wore it once. I was a bit obssessed with Killer Dwarf (in my pre-slayer hair metal years) I even knew they were shocking when I bought "Big Deal" on tape, but I just liked their name...

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  11. Once I used to paint logos on my schoolbag and denim jacket, rehearsed and played live with a death metal band, went to all concerts in my area.

    Now, I just record songs for my one-man death metal, and stay at home with my cat.

    That's a sign-O-times, too.

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  12. Herman BallcrusherDecember 4, 2008 at 1:22 PM

    Frank, I too have a one man death metal band (but no cat).. I have so far made one song ... "Mutilated Masterpieces" and it fucking rocks in a one-man-bedroom-death-metal band kind of way..

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  13. The printed t-shirts! That was a good way to make your simple t-shirt in a normal size (because I'm not XL). I remember the first ones that I printed were one with the Kill'Em All front cover, one with the Misfits logo from the Plan 9 album, and one with the Technocracy album cover of Corrosion of Conformity. Good times! I think I still have them somewhere, though they are transparent.

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  14. That was so me in HS around 91-92 I had a trapper keepr I put a big picture of Sepultura and their logo on it

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  15. Ballcrusher...I also own a one man MySpace label, which releases all my one man musical productions... ;-)

    "...as I said before, symbolic play starts in the second year of life, and lasts for a lifetime. It's a way to adapt to adults world..."
    I'm still trying to adapt!

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  16. This statement

    >Lucho Metales said...

    "the only shirt that fit me well as an Asphyx shirt i bought from the guys in Demolition Hammer by their tour bus circa 1992..."

    Fills me with the sort of jealously and rage that is best left described by Illinois death metal bands.

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  17. in germany we didn´t have trapper keepers, but files that served the same purpose. i had a full page add for entombed´s "left hand path" (with the catchphrase "dead heavy, dead evil, death metal!!!"...) on one side and one for death¨s "spiritual" healing on the other of mine. it was heavy as hell and very awkward to carry around all the time. it had to be carried in hand, though, so that everybody could see the pictures.

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  18. I'm back in school, and during my Anatomy and Physiology II class, I decided to draw the Metallica logo, and the DRI moshing/running guy on the last page for old times sake. A few weeks later I flipped to that page and felt like a total asshole.

    I had a black binder in 8th grade that I recreated into the cover of the black album. Not long after I realized that I hated that record. Oh well.

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  19. I often feel my age when I go to shows nowadays and I'm the old one standing in the back with earplugs, so as not to further damage my hearing. I feel so lame.

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  20. If it didn't have Dead Kennedy's DK, Circle Jerks or Black Flag 'bars' scrawled on it back then, it wasn't mine.

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  21. Being from Canada, we not only drew on our binders and duotangs (http://www.simplyorganized.ca/images/duotangs_sm.jpg) we also would draw our favorite band logos on our garbage mitts (http://www.outfitters.ca/Outfitters.ca/48-0989.T.jpg) during the winter. My left mitt had the Iron Maiden logo across the entire outer surface, while the right had Slayer with various bands on the palm portion of the mitt. Also, if you folded about an inch of the top of the mitt backwards and then rounded the mitt, it took on the shape of a penis. Good times...

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  22. I used to think my Slayer "Live Undead" T shirt was the shit. It wasn't. I still have a Black Sabbath "Born Again" concert jersey which I do wear while cutting the lawn.

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  23. That trapper keeper is insanely righteous, as is the hand painted King Diamond shirt. Holy shit! That's like randomly finding a van with black leather interior and a wyzzyrd spray painted on the side in a used car lot. Dude!

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  24. i actually made a Corrosion of Conformity shirt in 8th grade with a Sharpie because i couldn't afford to buy one from the back of Thrasher or whatever.

    the other day, i was walking down the street near my house and saw a dusty window. i stopped for a second and wrote "PANTERA COWBOYS FROM HELL" in the dust and giggled a little.

    next time i will write something about Prong.

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  25. We didn't have TKs either, but I used to wrap my notebooks in band posters. Even if I was completely in the dark about the band. That's how I wrapped one in a Stryper poster.

    What about drawing logos on your backpack with Sharpies and correction pens?

    I've recently found my high school pack when I was helping clean out my parents' basement. I was so beset by flashbacks I felt a bit dizzy. It was a red Adidas with letters in correction and outlines in Sharpies. The list of bands was a total mess: from Crowbar to Uglystick. I don't remember ever hearing Uglystick, I guess I just liked the logo (just like a lot of other bands I've drawn logos of). I remember thinking I was mysterious shit when people on the bus tried to deduce what the fuck was that all about and other kids in school asked me about some of those bands with jealous curiosity.

    As for the changing of times, I'm so driven to acts of subversiveness at work right now, that I'd probably remake one and rock it like nobody's business. I've shown up in flip-flops this summer. The security sent me home, though.

    Lucho, you should wear that bitch underneath your job clothes. It'll give you a great edge during meetings.

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  26. @ pat wilding: no reason to feel ashamed, some of my notebooks from university days look like they belonged to 15-year olds. i am amazed how many band logos i remembered in particularly boring lectures. plus, in these lectures, i finally mastered these venom-style pentagram things (complete with retarded goat/devil thing)...about ten years to late!!

    @ sargeant d: yeah, i still do the same, whenever i see a dusty windshield it gets the slayer or napalm death treatment.

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  27. I always thought posers were people who dressed and acted like they liked metal (or punk) but didn't really like it. What would you call someone who really likes metal (or punk) but doesn't dress and act like it? Besides employed, I mean.

    I can remember how proud of myself I was when I finally successfully reproduced the Venom logo - that V was a bitch to get right.

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  28. god I'm 30 and still wear band shirts. Wearing a Meatjack shirt from 1998 while typing this. Will probably wear my Suicidal Tendencies jersey tomorrow night when i see them live. I feel self conscious after reading this :(

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