The 16-year-old announced he wanted some classic rock posters for his room. Since I saved almost everything from my youth – or at least I thought I did -- I offered to pull the poster box up from the basement.
I had some pretty sweet posters as a kid. The record store in downtown Massapequa Park was a hangout, and Neil, owner of “The Wax Museum” frequently offered me the promotional posters from my favorite groups.
And I had concert shots of Led Zeppelin and Aerosmith, and a whole assortment of Kiss classics.
Plus, there was a tremendous collection of Mets posters, too. None of which interested him.
But there was much to enjoy as we unrolled memory after memory.
One of the first was one of the oldest, from the Evel Knievel phase. My poster has this photo, but with a horrid poem. Oh, the joys of screaming down the block in my blue Evel cape, getting enough steam for the bike to clear a ramp for what then seemed like a death-defying stunt. Alas, Evel was rejected by the son.
Then we found the oldest, and most classic, of the Kiss posters, the “Spirit of ’76.” Mine is similar to this one, with another shot from this photo session. Kiss and patriotism, a combination that can’t be beat. It, too, was rejected.
I did not find the amazing Susan Anton Golden Girl poster that I promised him. I never saw the movie. Unlike the infamous Farrah Fawcett swimsuit poster, this one featured Ms. Anton with lots of hair posing in running shorts and a tank top.
Therefore, I could claim a tenuous sports link. This wasn't a tacky cheesecake poster. I did in fact appear on the spring track team, and was showing support for my sport. Actually, I went for the team because A) It was a coed team, and B) It was a no-cut sport, and C) It was a coed team. Which was important. I now realize that my parents were probably not fooled.
I offered my son my Mary Lou Retton Wheaties poster instead. He recoiled in horror, as did my wife and daughter.
He also rejected the Alive II-era poster of Ace Frehley, complete with Gibson Les Paul belching smoke. I was stunned by this, because it really is a great poster. The foil "Love Gun" poster was shot down, too.
Finally, we found one that captured my son’s interest. It was the promo poster for Rush’s “Moving Pictures,” with shots from several previous albums along the bottom. This is probably my favorite album cover of all time, largely because it contains my favorite album of all time. This poster moved from Massapequa Park to the Missouri dorm room to our apartment and back. And sadly, there was significant wear and tear, mostly tear.
The son was bummed, and I promised a restoration project would be in the works with a framing to preserve what is left of it for the ages. But that will have to wait until after the holidays.
We did uncover two sweet Twisted Sister posters, one a collection of concert shots, the other a promo piece for “Come Out and Play” with Dee Snider peeing out from under a manhole cover. Both of these were proudly displayed in the dorm room, along with Mary Lou. My family is contemplating sending a letter to the Pope asking that my roommate Tony be considered for sainthood.
The rejections came fast and furious. New York skylines, St. Louis Arches, Mookie and Buckner, the 1969 champions, Islanders with the Stanley Cup, final game at Comiskey – all of them carefully rolled back up.
He scoffed at the life-sized versions of Harold Baines, Frank Thomas, Kelly Gruber and even Darryl Strawberry.
“Dude, you did want posters? Right?”
We never did find Zep or Aerosmith.
Finally, one met his approval. It was a oversized promo poster for Rush’s Permanent Waves album, again with smaller versions of previous albums along the bottom. It’s a darned good cover for an excellent album and was in reasonably good condition considering I was in junior high when I acquired it. Off it went, upstairs and on the wall.
I have to admit, he’s got pretty good taste.