Make horrid scars and gashes.

10.31.2007

Christmas 1978, Halloween 1980

Well I usually don't post stuff like this, but my audio server is tragically out of bandwidth for the month (I'd allotted myself a bit more than $200 for Oct & was crossing my fingers that it would hold out, but I got over 7,000 uniques yesterday alone with lotsa repeat traffic so it looks like I'll really have to up the ante next year). Anyway given the situation it seems like it might be a good time for me to dip into some personal nostalgia in visual form, and to that end here's a quick trip down some of my own spooky memory lane:

The first pic you see is me & my brother Craig on Christmas of 1978. As you can tell I'm proudly modeling my (Sears Wishbook bought!) Famous Monsters sweatshirt here (and while you can't see it, he's actually sporting a Dawn of The Dead shirt himself). I later rebelliously wore this sweatshirt for my 3rd grade yearbook picture; partially because it was my favorite, but mostly because my teacher forbade it & claimed she'd yank me out of line if I dared to come dressed for such an important day with the visage of a decomposing ghoul on my person. She didn't do a thing, and in the finished shot you can clearly see the corpse reaching up out of the bottom of the image. I thought that was pretty cool.


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UPDATE: Three pages of ads for the Warren shirt line (Famous Monsters #129, Oct 1976)
01
02
03


Next up it's me flexing my "artistic talent" in public for the first time. In Lawrence KS where I grew up, the downtown merchants allow kids from local grade schools to paint tempra recreations of pictures (that they cook up themselves) on the windows of their businesses for Halloween. It's a really cool program and makes shopping downtown during the Fall extra creepy & special. Somewhat amazingly, this still goes on there today, and you can even see a short video clip about it here.

So back in 1980 I entered a drawing into the competition for the first (& only) time, and here you can see me proudly standing next to my finished piece "Rotting Corpse (with one "Tales from the Crypt" inspired eyeball) Hanging from a Noose in a Graveyard Above a Bloody Axe While a Bat Flies Toward the Full Moon". Extra cool was that as I was painting it, a newspaper photographer came by & took some snaps of me at work (though these aren't those), and I ended up getting a big picture in the paper for my efforts (I think he picked me partially because he thought my painting was good, and partially because he thought it was funny that it was painted over half of an Air Force recruiting office window. Well and maybe because I looked like such a hippy). Oh, and you probably can't tell, but I'm wearing an iron-on t-shirt design that I ordered from the Johnson Smith Novelty Company showing an undertaker excavating a corpse above the words "I Want Your Body". This was by far my favorite shirt in 1980; I guess I had a thing about the rotting (sentient) dead.


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Here's a detail of just my painting:


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...and to cap it all off here's the (Yeah! That's right!) FIRST PLACE PRICE that I won for my efforts. Naturally, to inspire my current visual output, to this day I have this rather prestigious award proudly displayed on the walls of my home office:


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You know, it seems that sometimes my lifelong desire to hold on to weird junk from my past (either physically or as memories) can pay off in unexpectedly cool ways, and the reaction I've gotten from far & wide to this blog is easily the most amazing example of that I've encountered in my life to date. Thanks so much to everyone for making this stuff more fun for me than ever before, and a heartfelt wish to you all for a really, really Happy Halloween (oh and don't worry, I should still be here throughout the rest of the year sharing some of my other audio obsessions.)

Thanks again everyone! Happy Haunting!

30 Comments:

Blogger Head Chef said...

Hi Scar Stuff

Don't know if that 7000 hits was a huge leap in numbers but your site was mentioned here in the UK, in "The Guide" A TV/media supplement that comes with a Saturday newspaper called "The Guardian".

Thought you might like to know.

Marcus
www.electricsoupkitchen.com

10/31/2007 4:06 AM

 
Blogger maney7 said...

Thanks for that trip down "a similar" memory lane.Straight up.We were stationed in W.germany [AF] during that time and alot of these soundtracks I had back then,that shirt you had on...in my 3rd or 4th grade class one kid had that same shirt and one other kid had the one with the dark knight w/axe from the Creepy selections of those shirts shirts,I had always want one but I didnt have the means to get one then.I think I was the only kid in my class that had issues of creepy ,eerie,and fam.monsters.While eveyone else had KISS lunchboxes,I had painted over a scooby doo lunchbox with images from several creepy&eerie covers,I used model paints,lol my mother was pissed but let me keep using it anyways.:)
I remember getting some "turning nine" birthday money in '79 and my mom letting me purchase my own record of my choice,from the "non-kids" record section,my 1st "music" purchase of my life.....I kept going between KISS dynasty to Disney's chilling thrilling sounds from a haunted house(1979),and I finally decided with the one that was in my heart-the sound effects one.I've never looked back with regret.

Of those shirts,I remember the one with the black demon/bat creature with a whip faceing a blue sphere being "scary"

10/31/2007 5:31 AM

 
Blogger orion said...

I loved Halloween in Lawrence... I moved back to Texas 8 years ago after having lived in Lawrence for 20 years and your post reminded me of all those times being downtown admiring the art.

10/31/2007 9:12 AM

 
Blogger Kirk D. said...

All of that is pure, authentic vintage awesomeness!
I knew better than to even ask for those monster/creepy shirts. There was something so extreme about them- all that colorful gore just unashamedly huge. It was as if those images refused to be contained by a mere iron-on, so they unleashed themselves to the entire shirt!

Also great to see a Johnson Smith design out in the real world.

And I didn't know your brother is Matthew Broderick. :)

10/31/2007 3:01 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Best Scar Stuff post ever. (The most revealing ones are always the best, it seems.)

Jason, thanks for this glimpse of your past. It's interesting to contemplate what makes us gents the odd men out. I mean, who really knows what molds us into the people we've become? Whatever it is, in the most brilliantly profound cases, it's usually already apparent in our childhoods, and trust that I intend it as the highest of compliments when I say that this is especially true in your case.

And thank you for my favorite part of the whole entry. That is, the USAF had it's luckiest day when they were graced with your piece with the best title ever: "Rotting Corpse Hanging from a Noose in a Graveyard Above a Bloody Axe While a Bat Flies Toward the Full Moon". Fuck it, that's the title of my next record. (Can I get your OK on that? :) )

And Maney7, your story is wonderful, as well. Like Jason's, it reminds me of my own childhood, which really wasn't all that long ago. (I mean, not in the whole scheme of things, you know?) You made the best possible choice when you opted for "The Chilling, Thrilling Sounds..." over whatever Kiss record(s) you happened to be listening to at the time. (After all, there are far better bands in the same general vein as Simmons & Co., anyway: Zeppelin, Floyd, Kinks, Who, etc.)

So, here's to us all, and here's to a Halloween to remember...

An Chéadaoin, Oíche Shamhna 2007!

Sláinte!

Aaron / Medusa

10/31/2007 3:16 PM

 
Blogger Mr.Target said...

Hello Jason,

a happy howl from Berlin-Germany !!!
Thanks for all the cool shares. Wow, all those insights in your post today ! That reminded me of the nice "Incredible Melting Man" Iron-On, wich I ordered around the same time from the captain company ... yeah ! Still have that shirt :)
Ahhh and your Samhain post!!! Perfect !
Once again many thanks, keep on that tremendous work and a bloody good Halloween !

Kai

10/31/2007 5:40 PM

 
Blogger VictoryCabal said...

Wow, cool shirt. I'm a little jealous. Good update, it was fun. Thanks for sharing that with us.

And congratulations that the ScarServer got crushed. I guess. I'm sure it's a hassle for you, but I think it is kind of cool that so many people are interested in this material.

11/01/2007 8:08 AM

 
Blogger Jason said...

Thanks everyone! And yeah "VictoryCabal", I thought it was kinda cool too actually. I got a lot of personal emails (even some cards in the mail!) that really made my day yesterday too -- a very good Halloween all the way around.

11/01/2007 8:33 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jason, thank you so much for not keeping your extraordinary passions to yourself.

With your expertly evolved taste in music and brilliant writing, you are truly an inspiration, in the highest sense of the word.

And I hope you had a suitably wonderful and haunting Hallowe'en.

Always a friend,
Aaron / Medusa

P.S. Dave, if you happen to be reading, much appreciation and admiration to you, too, and I hope all is going very well. Here's to many, many more great years for both you and Jason.

11/01/2007 10:10 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Aaack. Sorry for that dead link above, Dave. Everyone, if you didn't already know, this is Dave's amazing site. (But please no hotlinking to the content or any automated downloads of the rare, wonderful recordings he makes available again.)

Aaron / Medusa

11/01/2007 10:20 AM

 
Blogger repsac3 said...

As one of the 7000, I just want to give you (& Dave, & Reggaexx, & WFMU, & Mashuptown, & a few others, I suspect) a big thankie for the awesome Halloween soundtrack this year...

Truth be told, I had no idea there were sites like this for rediscovering my scratchy aual history... Amazing what a search of "Chilling, Thrilling sounds" will net you!!! (I still have my album (1964 edition), but no way of playing it... ...& I couldn't take another "ween without that boost to my ego

I am a bold & courageous person. Afraid of nothing....

11/01/2007 3:01 PM

 
Blogger The Oddio Overplay Team said...

We all knew you ruled, but now we know that you ALWAYS ruled! Thanks for everything, J. Hey, here's to this weekend's All Souls/Day of the Dead festivities!

11/01/2007 6:36 PM

 
Blogger Dave said...

Thanks medusa & repsac3. I hope everyone had a safe and awesme Halloween. And I would like to add my 2 cents that Jason deserves any and all accolades showered upon him. If it wasn't for his website and this blog I would probably never have known of the existance of about 3/4 of the LPs he's shared here. Here's looking forward to an awesome November.
Dave

11/01/2007 8:46 PM

 
Anonymous Isaac K. said...

Holy crap! I had that same Famous Monsters shirt! I used to wear it to kindergarten and first grade all of the time. It was my favorite! Needless to say my teachers didn't quite approve. You're the first person I've come across ever to own one. And btw, as a little bit of trivia, that T-Shirt image is actually taken from a Creepy Magazine cover, not from FM.

11/02/2007 9:31 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

See also the album "Jack the Ripper" by "Screaming Lord Sutch". He had a horror spoof rock band in the 1960s. I have the album and, as with most cover albums, is much worse than the original songs. The cover art is decently spooky.

11/02/2007 9:47 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's like looking back at my past...

My favorite t-shirt had a cartoony image of Dracula with blood-dripping fangs. Underneath were the words "DRACULA SUCKS." My dad bought it for me around 1977. And in a couple months, my mom "lost" it while doing laundry.

11/03/2007 12:49 PM

 
Anonymous pete said...

What a cool window painting you did! I wonder what the military guys thought of it....

And I'm glad that you came back this year Jason-I'm still wading through all the wonderful stuff you posted last year. Cheers and thanks for such a great blog.

Pete-NYC

11/03/2007 11:01 PM

 
Anonymous rich said...

It's amazing how cool those Warren mag shirts look today!
I still can't believe that my otherwise conservative mom let me have one.
I had either the Eerie or Creepy one, that featured a Frankenstein-like robot with his brain exposed.
Needless to say, I was kind of considered weird after that.
That had to be about 1974, though.
Wish I could remember what shirt that was.

11/04/2007 12:07 PM

 
Blogger Jason said...

Rich --> While 1978 was a little late in the game (I think I actually had gotten the shirt the year earlier, in '77) I actually don't think they existed as early as 1974. To help jog your memory on the design, here are three pages of ads for the Warren shirt line (these ads were the earliest mention I've found) taken from Famous Monsters #129, Oct 1976:

01
02
03

(Since these looked so badical, I've updated the main post to include the scans too.)

11/04/2007 12:57 PM

 
Blogger TheMadBlonde said...

Thanks for helping keep the Halloween spirit all year long. It was great to go through the whole season with you for my first time & hope there are many many more.

11/06/2007 9:55 AM

 
Blogger Doc Bullfrog said...

Your sweatshirt story reminds me of a Leave it to Beaver episode called "Sweatshirt Monsters" in which "The Beev" and his friends all buy monster sweatshirts and vow to wear them to school on the same day. He gets bagged out because it was against his school's dress code. Plus he's a little ticked off 'cause his friends all chicken out on him and he's the one left taking all the heat for it. Good stuff, Jason. Love your blog!

11/14/2007 4:46 PM

 
Anonymous Rot said...

man, where have you BEEN my whole life? thanks SO much for this site.
i've been eating up the vintage halloween albums. vincent price is reading me some tales of witches thanks to you.


j
www.pumpkinrot.com

11/16/2007 8:00 AM

 
Anonymous Morrissey said...

Dude, I am so happy your site is back up and running. I REALLY missed it all those months!

11/18/2007 5:37 PM

 
Blogger Zer0_II said...

I love your blog. Too bad you only update it around Halloween. I've added you to the specialty category of my blogroll @ http://music-bloggers.blogspot.com Check it out if you get a chance.

12/04/2007 1:23 PM

 
Blogger Coop said...

Checkout my new blog A Patchwork Of Flesh for details of a Frankenstein art project. http://drunkenseveredhead.blogspot.com/

also http://pinhead45.blogspot.com/ for more art and music.

Could you link me if I reciprocate please.

4/11/2009 7:44 AM

 
Anonymous Paul said...

This is such a great site and great stories.Thanks a million for sharing.

9/15/2009 9:36 PM

 
Anonymous christian said...

That Famous Monsters shirt is epic.

10/18/2009 10:57 PM

 
Anonymous viagra online said...

in my country we don't celebrate Halloween, however I always love that date, inclusive some places make Halloween parties and costume contest, my favorite disguise was a Blade costume last year.

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Cheers,

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