Looks like a post-Christmas shot to me. Organ, LPs, a giant Roman statue replica (!), a “self buttering popcorn popper,” a Golden Book on the glorious red carpet, newspaper basket, round rug hanging on the wall, and what appear to be giant keys attached to the kitchen wall. It was fun while it lasted.
More living rooms here.
(Photo via eBay)
Some of these photos I’ve posted before in various categories. The others are from Kurt Clark and Michael Daddino. See here for more. Have a Pabst or two while you’re at it.
The photos are via heath_bar/Flickr. We’re in Houston, Texas. Summer of ’86. First shot: if all those maps are connected, I’m impressed. The kids on the bed are drinking Cherry Coke, which was introduced in 1985 after the New Coke disaster. Just seeing that can brings back the essence of summer when summers were free. How about one of the greatest ’80s commercials ever to jog your memory?
The kid on the left is drinking a Minute Maid Lemon-Lime Soda. I found a commercial for that too. Pay close attention to the giant can at the very end taking the water bucket challenge.
Second shot: The blue book on the right is the rulebook for the first D&D Basic Set, a.k.a. “Holmes Basic,” released in 1977. Just above that, mostly obscured by the green dresser, is a board game called All the King’s Men. Originally released as Smess: The Ninny’s Chess in 1970, Parker Brothers re-released the game with a Medieval theme in 1979. I doubt that the revision was a coincidence.
One of the best living room decor shots I’ve seen. There’s more Star Wars on the far left, just in front of the coffee table. I think one of the boxes is the 12″ C-3PO figure. (It’s actually the MPC C-3PO model kit. Thanks, Retro Art Blog!)
The kid in the photo is Scott Tipton, comics writer and co-creator of Blastoff Comics. He says:
I can’t remember a Christmas growing up when there wasn’t exactly what I wanted either under the Christmas tree or arriving as a surprise on Christmas morning. And half the time, I hadn’t even asked for it — my parents just knew. This was the thing I would want. The Mego Batman Wayne Foundation? The Star Wars Millennium Falcon? ROM the Spaceknight? There they were.
And looking back now as a grown man with bills and responsibilities of my own, I can even more than ever appreciate what that meant. We were a working-class family, no question about it. My father drove a truck for a living, and my mother worked at the school cafeteria. Some of these gifts must have meant skipped lunches for my father and careful tightening of the purse-strings by my mother. And yet every year, Christmas was an absolute joy, and not just for the presents under the tree. My parents always treated Christmas as something special — to go back to the Dickens, we “were happy, grateful, pleased with one another, and contented with the time.”
That hits me in the feelers. Scott goes on to ask everyone who can to donate to Toys for Tots, “Because every kid should have a Batmobile under the tree if they want one.” Hard to argue with that.
I didn’t forget about the giant Bat Away box. Here’s the commercial. (Stick around for the hilarious Zips shoes commercial that comes next.)
I never thought paper clips could look this cool. I don’t know where he’s going with his tiny suitcase and his pack of smokes, but I bet he slept in a van and had a killer time.
It was such a pain in the ass keeping sheets on the bed. The solution was one of our defining gestures.
Rock and Roll Over is a KISS album from 1976, and KISS Army is the name of the official KISS fan club started in 1975 (it survives online today). Here’s a patch from around the same time sporting the logo.
Can anyone tell (1) who’s in the article on the wall, and (2) who’s on the magazine on the bed?
UPDATE: Eagle-eyed Sam Staley pegged the magazine as Circus #165 (October, 1977), with Hall & Oates on the cover. Put on a shirt, Oates!
(Photo via Pacific Coast Trade/eBay)
Halloween marks the beginning of my personal holiday season. October itself has a smell and a feel, a comforting crispness, even in Southern California. I don’t have the time to do anything elaborate for the blog, but I do have a few great shots like the one above, and I’ll try to mix in some other ghostly stuff as well.
The first costume I remember wearing is a Luke Skywalker number my mom made for me in ’77 or ’78. What about you guys?
The kid is Dan Amrich, and he still has his carts. He didn’t keep the Knight Rider shirt and the KangaROOS. That would have been weird.
ROOS are still around as part of the bullshit “retro” craze. They’re referred to as “lifestyle” shoes, and here’s a choice quote from Wikipedia: “They were notable for having a small zippered pocket on the side of the shoe, large enough for a small amount of loose change, keys, or more recently, condoms.”
Hipsters bother me.
(Photo via Dan’s Flickr)
There’s a Flickr group called My ’80s Bedroom. You’ll dig it. New wave, punk and post-punk, heavy metal, skateboards, surfboards, Atari, acid wash, big hair, bad mustaches, cut-off Levi cords, Swatches, Ray Bans, The Monkees, Star Wars, Judge Dredd, wood paneling, Gumby—it’s all there. I may add to the collection if I ever get a chance to rifle through all the photos at my mom’s house.
Those of you from Southern California will enjoy the KROQ sticker on the “bleach-splashed denim notebook” in the last photo.
Go here to see more shots of what our rooms looked like.
(Images via grilled cheese, Allan Kingdom, and Tattoo Dave)
Apologies if you thought the title of this post was metaphorical.