Friday, March 27, 2009
Metal Archeology: What my bedroom looked like in 1991
For most of my life growing up, my brother and I shared a room. This was great for many reasons, but the most important was our ability to share resources, thus allowing us to have a killer poster collection. Rummaging through old pictures the other day I found the shot you see above. This picture was taken in the room that my brother and I shared back in 1991, and is a fair representation of where we were musically at the time. While the picture does not show the poster collection at its peak (barely its infancy really) it still shows what I was into then, mor or less. Before you judge me though, please give me a chance to explain some of the items you see on the wall. To give you an idea of where things stood back then, allow me to tell you the following about when this picture was taken, 1991:
- Beverly Hills 90210 was just starting its second season
- Slayer's Decade Of Aggression had not come out yet
- Metallica's Black Album was only about a month old
- Entombed had just released Clandestine
- Anthrax had just stopped wearing shorts
- The Soviet Union had just broken up
- Napalm Death had just released Harmony Corruption
- Pantera was still touring for Cowboys From Hell
- Morbid Angel had just released Blessed Are The Sick
- More than three people in the United States still knew who Arsenio Hall was
- Death's Human had just come out
Now that you have a better picture of where things stood back then, feel free to read on.
1. If you were as awesome as I was growing up, you probably had sweet posters of cars in your room. Although not as cool as the Lamborghini or Ferrari posters I had, this Porsche 911 one was still pretty rad.
2. By 1991, I knew Metallica was dying. The black album had just come out, stunk up the place, and yet I had trouble letting go. I thought Sad But True was an okay song...but disliked the whole thing right away. I hated Kirk's mustache, Lars rolling up the sleeves on his tshirts, and James' mullet. I also hated kids who I hated in school suddenly wearing Metallica shirts. It was around this time that I knowingly had a severe kneejerk reaction against popular metal bands in big labels. I took great pride in listening to faster, heavier music on smaller lables. I was young, and thus got a great kick out of naming bands no one had ever heard of. "Oh, you don't know about Dorsal Atlantica? Let me fill you in" I would say to random kids who could not have cared less. I believe that the reason for this huge poster hanging on the wall is that it was so rare that I could get my hands on a proper poster, rather than simple pages torn out of magazines. With Metallica's rise in stardom, came their rise in availability...suddenly kids like me were left to hang Metallica posters that they could get for free in record stores like Miami's then famed Y&T Records. That store was a godsend. You could go there, and easily walk out with crazy black metal 7"s, Morbid Angel demo tapes..it was great. I guess I was still trying to remember the Metallica I knew from years prior.
3. Slayer Live Undead poster, purchased from a street vendor in South America. All the small posters that my brother and I bought from this guy were laminated, as though you'd want to use them as placemats while you ate your breakfast.
4. Print ad for the Michigan Death Fest in 1990. The line-up for the fest was pretty rad and included Morbid Angel AND Morbid Saint, Sacrifice and Nuclear Death I think. If I remember correctly, two members of Morbid Saint can be seen wearing shirts for this fest on one of their records.
5. Ugh, another Metallica picture. Again, I remember listening to much more Entombed and Obituary back then...but I guess the Metallica pictures lingered on for a bit.
6. My cool Misfits shirt, which I made in Mr Delpino's art class. I also made the Morbid Angel shirt which I posted about before, and a D.R.I. shirt. Mr Delpino was a drunk. For some reason he would not allow us to screen with white ink of black shirts, so all the shirts had to be white.
7. Sepultura picture, probably from Metal Maniacs. How amazing did Beneath The Remains seem back then? Who knew that the Cavalera brothers would loose their damn mind, start wearing camo and have their brains taken over by nu-metal? Had you told me back then that Andreas would end up playing on tour with Scorpions, I would have challenged you to a fight...right then and there.
8. Another Slayer poster from the street vendor. This one is a stupid illustration of a skull which I have only seen in other semi-official Slayer items.
9. Jason Newsted, I really don't know why this was hanging on the wall. I don't mean to be apologetic, but my brother and I were seriously getting out of Metallica at that time...I don't get it. I guess we still wanted to hang on to the good memories...or perhaps my mom had warned us about damaging the drywall by ripping stuff off and on repeatedly. This, by the way, is possible. We were renting that apartment.
10. Nuclear Assault, not much to say here. How I slept in a room that had a picture of Dan Lilker's down syndrome face I'll never know.
11. Barney from Napalm Death. I remember this picture perfectly, because he was wearing a white t-shirt tucked into blue gym shorts. How metal. I remember Metal Maniacs making fun of him for his bleached hair back then.
12. Cliff Burton. Again, not much to say. Like so many other kids, I first checked out The Misfits because Cliff Burton always wore their shirts. I figured they had to be the most obscure, heaviest, fastest metal band. Imagine my surprise when I bought a Misfits tape and heard something that resembled Elvis over melodic-ish punk. I was outraged! It took me a little while to listen to it again, and start actually enjoying them.
13. Morgoth. Due to living in Florida, death metal was everywhere. Morgoth, Unleashed, Entombed, Dismember and all the local bands were all the rage. I remember loving Morgoth back then. Today, I don't think I could name a single Morgoth song, or that I could easily identify their music. Maybe I should brush up.
14. Danzig. Sweet picture of Glenn on a throne with the band surrounding him. How on earth did Chuck Biscuits stomach posing for these solemn pictures when he played for Descendents, Black Flag, and DOA?
15. Anthrax "Indians" postcard.
16. Anthrax poster, probably hanging there as a result of being a huge, legit poster that we got for free, more than likely from Y&T Records near the University of Miami campus. That store was nuts back then. Some dude named Mike ordered all the metal stuff for the store, and he also did a zine which they sold there. The selection of records was crazy, and they even had a demo tape section. Imagine going into a store, and having about thirty demos to choose from...all from tiny bands from the Ukraine, all for under four bucks. Today, it's meaningless to me..but back then, I was in heaven.
17. Picture of the dude from Believer. We liked Believer, but probably not enough to have their picture up. I don't fully get why it was up. Maybe we just liked the picture? Their second album that sounds just like Earth Crisis (or the other way around) had not come out yet. Just so everyone knows, yes...I know why the album sounds like Earth Crisis. I'm not an idiot.
17. Sorry, I screwed up the numbering and don't want to go back and fix it. This one is a picture of Phil from Sacred Reich. For my brother's birthday only months after this picture was taken, I bought him a Sacred Reich t-shirt. He wore it to school that day, and on his way back home was in a bad car accident. He got blood all over the new shirt.
19. Gary from Exodus, wearing awful Harley Davidson suspenders. How could we NOT have something up from the band that wrote Toxic Waltz? Come on now.
20. Again, I don't remember being too into Pantera by the time this picture was taken...but perhaps we just thought the picture of Phil getting the stupid sides of his head shaved was rad? I really loved Cowboys From Hell when it first came out, played it all the time. By the time this picture was taken though, I was jamming to lots of death metal and Pantera seemed weak to me. But back to that time in their history, the rise in popularity that Pantera had after Cowboys From Hell came out was really amazing. I never paid much attention to subsequent albums...but those two years were nuts. They went from putting out what was their first album, at least to most people, to playing arenas in no time. Impressive.
21. Perfect example of something hanging up just because it looked kinda cool, was better than a page out of a magazine, and was big. While we like the Gammacide LP (one of Wild Rags' finest) I'm pretty sure we just put up the poster because it was big and free, since it came with the record. It was around this time that we started to get more and more into smaller bands, and ordering demos through the mail. Perhaps Wild Rags was pushing us in that direction?
22. Flier for a band's demo, the name of the band was Sarcophagus. Based on the logo, I think they are this early black/death metal band. Not sure where the flier came from.
23. A picture I cut out of some magazine that featured two old people checking out some punk dude in a mowhawk. Your guess as to why we put this is up is as good as mine. I had records and tapes by Agnostic Front, Cro-Mags and The Exploited then, but I wouldn't really get into punk until later.
24. D.R.I. spread that actually came from RIP Magazine. The title of the article was "Mayhem In Mexico City" and was about a huge show they played there at some wrestling arena. The fact that I still remember this is weird. The pictures in that article were awesome, and I looked at them for hours upon hours.
25. This is perhaps the only thing I'm unsure about. I believe it's Unleashed. Pretty sure it is. I liked them back then, but my brother was the one that was way, way into them.
26. Chuck Schuldiner. "Human" had just come out and it was one of my favorite albums. I didn't know this at the time, but Chuck lived in a storage space not far from where this picture was taken.
27. Metallica postcard featuring Pushead artwork for And Justice For All, and a picture from Garage Days.
28. Obituary. Weird picture because Trevor was playing a BC Rich Warlock.
29. Diamond Darrell. Sorry, I refuse to call him "Dimebag", that all started after I stopped liking them. I know I sound like a douche for saying that, but it's true. It's like if your friend Steve goes off to college, graduates and then you visit him at his new job. You walk in, and the receptionist says "Oh are you Stephen The Third's friend?" You'd be like "Who, do you mean Steve?"
30. Another damn Metallica poster?
31. The most recent Megadeth album was Rust In Piece. One part of me hated them because of their commercial appeal, but something in me also had to acknowledge the riff mania that was that album.
Your feedback is appreciated
So, what about our readers? What hung on your walls back in 1991? Are you older, and perhaps way more metal than I was? Were you not into metal then? Perhaps the most depressing possibility is that you were only like two years old then. Either way, let me know.