MY BEDROOM WALLS TACOMA 1982
I don’t know why but I remember that at the moment this photo was snapped I was play-menacing our house cat, a cat whose name escapes me now.
I mention this because that same cat would later take a voluminous piss in the middle of a huge stack of my Punk flyers when I was in the process of rearranging my walls one weekend in 1982. This incident ruined half of them, sending them to the trash heap of history. I am glad I have this photo so that the image of some of those dead flyers can live on. After I discovered the pool in the middle of my precious paper I wanted to drop kick that cat but it was probably curled up on my lap the next day. What are ya gonna do, ya know?
As this photo suggests, I was a voracious collector of flyers in my Punk Rock youth. After moving to San Diego in 83 I also gained something of a reputation as a flyer artist myself. You can search the archives of this blog for evidence of my artistic contributions to the So Cal Punk aesthetic of the 80’s if you’d like to take a look.
When I was a kid I combed the streets and studied every telephone pole of Seattle for any Punk or Punk-like flyer I could find. I was also very forward about ingratiating myself with the jaded record store employees of University Ave. in an effort to get a hold of any posters like the ones I’d see hanging on the walls of the shops I visited every weekend. I still have that Dead Kennedys In God We Trust, Inc. poster you see behind me rolled up in a tube somewhere.
The other major source for amassing wall art was my compulsive pen pal and mailorder activities in that era. Half the time I received a letter from a kid in Detroit, LA, Texas or wherever there were flyers stuffed in the envelope too. The backs of show flyers were often themselves used as stationary. The people who ran my favorite record labels like Touch and Go, Dischord, and many, many more were also really just a little older than kids themselves and they were almost always responsive when I asked if they could throw in some local flyers with my record order.
I remember being particularly jazzed when Jeff Nelson from Minor Threat sent me that beautiful three color mini poster from the band’s Wilson Center show with Government Issue. That’s another one I still have around somewhere. It’s down in the left hand corner of the photo.
One other thing I want to mention is my Motorhead shirt. I loved that shirt. It’s funny to think back now from the vantage point of our hyper merchandised, consumer minded era but back in the early 80’s most Hardcore and Punk bands didn’t even sell t-shirts or anything at shows as far as I remember. Bands like Black Flag just set up, played, packed up and left. It wasn’t until around 84 that bands really got into the apparel business. Back in 81/82 you kinda had to look to the metal side of things to hit screen print gold.
How times change.
(Photo of me in my room in Tacoma, WA. 1982 from my personal archives)