One of the Beast's summertime obsessions is going through our pile of vintage magazines from the 1970s. Imagine taping something off TV on a Jurassic-period VCR circa 1979-1982 and watching it now: The fascinating parts are not the original episode of One of the Boys or The Powers of Matthew Star but the commercials that come in between -- because who cared the first time around? Now, the jingles for Juicy Fruit gum or Vaseline hand lotion seem more resonant than the crap you liked enough to save. Call it "NostADgia."
The same applies to my old OMNI or National Lampoon magazines. We get as much thrill looking over old ads for Tareytown 100s, Earth Shoes, Two Fingers Tequila, the "Who Can Beat Nixon?" board game or lavish ads for forgotten albums by Rare Earth, Triumvirat, Puzzle and Brian Auger's Oblivion Express than Carl Sagan's predictions for Port-Wine-and-Fondue Swinger Parties on Mars or the latest comic masterpiece from Doug Kenney. One of our faves is the t-shirt ads, usually located in the B&W jumble of marginal, pre-Internet cottage industries selling roach clips, psychedelic posters and fake IDs. Here's a sampling of some of the more sophisticated and urbane (i.e., douchy, hostile and often horrifying) offerings from a concern in La Habra, California circa 1982:
My Face Is Leaving at Nine, Be On It
As Long as I Have a Face, You Have a Place To Sit
I'd Walk Over You to See The "The Who"
I'm Not Wearing Any Underwear, Film at 11
Bend Over, I'll Drive
I Rode The Mustache
In Space, Nobody Can Hear You Fart
Hey Little Girl, Want A Piece of Candy?
Hey Little Boy, Want A Piece of Candy?
Save Our Beaches...Harpoon A Fat Chick!
Have A Nice Day, Asshole!
Boy, I'd Sure Like To Touch Those!
I'm So Horny, Even The Crack of Dawn Isn't Safe
I May Not Go Down on History, But I'll Go Down on Your Little Sister
Life Is A Bed of Roses, But Watch Out for the Pricks
The Word of the Day is 'Legs,' So Help Spread the Word
When Everything's Right, Nothing Matters
Kart Racers Do It on All Fours
I Go from Zero to Horny in 2.5 Seconds