July 22, 2014


1985 (junior high)

Previously on Secret Fun Blog I shared photos of my bedroom at age thirteen. I recently located another one from that set (seen above) which serves as a nice contrast to a group of room shots I just found from late high school and early college. As my teenagerhood progressed my interests didn't change too dramatically. It was toys and movies throughout, except that my toys evolved into "collectibles" and my movies got more monsters in them as my bravery level increased with age. There was the addition of some music-related decor too.

1991 (high school)

My room took on a major transformation in 1988 when I repainted and carpeted the place. My folks didn't think twice when I asked to paint it black, so I was shocked when my choice of color became a hot topic among the local small town lip-flappers. People I hardly knew approached me and asked if I was doing alright. You bet I was, my room looked amazing! I liked to think that in their minds I was rolling myself in puddles of black paint and flailing against the walls, yelling about the abyss. Some actually suggested my color selection was a sign of devil worship! Believe it or not, people still bring up the black room occasionally. This really blows my mind since Satan told me he would destroy my enemies.

Thanks to the Christmas of 1989 I no longer had to share the family television set. After much painstaking TV research in the JCPenny, Sears, and Montgomery Ward catalogs I set my sights on this twenty inch model. The big attraction for me was the stereo sound it boasted. Never mind the fact that the speakers were two inches in diameter, and our cable provider only broadcast two channels in stereo. (MTV was not one of them as it was literally banned in my small, Footloose-style town.) I ended up watching NBC and CBS shows just for the stereo, even if there was something better on. But whenever I saw that little banner that said "In Stereo Where Available" I got a rush of smug, self-satisfaction that could last an entire episode of Major Dad.

It was around that time when I talked my folks into upgrading our eight-dollar-a-month Disney Channel to the ten-dollar-a-month HBO (though even at that price it was not in precious stereo.) They went for it and it was like getting a box office in our home. My bedroom was a 24 hour movie zone, and finally I was getting an unfiltered education of the world we live in. Each month we got the little HBO guide in the mail and I felt an obligation to see every film listed with no regard to whether or not the subject matter interested me, be it Killer Klowns from Outer Space or Barbara Streisand's Yentl. This wasn't as hard as it sounds because many of the movies were repeated dozens of times. I welcomed the beginning of each new month when the programming refreshed.

A few notes: 
-Those Nightmare posters came from the Freddy Fan Club I discussed here
-That thing under the TV was a collage I did for art class. 
-The poster behind the left speaker is of Fido Dido. I still don't understand what that's all about.
-I was so proud of that Lost Boys poster because it's British and I got it from my second Sci-fi convention, called Okon.

1991 (high school)

The update to my room looked so "sophisticated" that initially I kept wall hangings to a minimum. Soon my true nature emerged and I was playing Tetris with my posters again. Speaking of posters, aside from Tron, these are all repros that I would buy from a mall gift shop called Cedrics Inc. I loved that place. In the early 80s it was decorated like the Cheers bar, and by the late 80s it looked like the "Over Our Heads" shop on The Facts of Life.

The Ninja Turtle figures were a result of my first-ever job as a landscape artist. Once bestowed with my first paycheck, I promptly cashed it and drove straight to Wal-Mart where I bought one of every Turtle figure they had, plus a radar detector. I was about to mock my immature financial decision, but then I remembered that I still have all of those carded Turtles and I could sell them now for many times their original value. The radar detector still works too, though I did outgrow my criminal driving habits.

The row of heroes were all released in the wake of consumerism from Tim Burton's Batman movie. I was too late in understanding that Kenner's "Super Powers" figures are the pinnacle of superhero toys, so I was stuck buying up the poorly designed Toy Biz line. This would lead to a self-inflicted trap of chasing down their Marvel junk for several years to come. I soon spiraled into young, dumb yet "serious" collector mode which can happen when you find yourself with a car, disposable income, Wizard magazine, and a summer break. I routinely checked a list of toy aisles and chased down "rare" variants, unaware that it had turned into a joyless chore. I've found that the cure for this syndrome is to give some of your stuff to a kid and watch them tear open the packages and play with it.

  1991 (high school) 

The closet door is covered with partial CD longboxes. Say what you will about my taste in music, but just remember that I possess the powers of darkness.

1992 (college) 

This was my set up during the second half of my freshman year. It was a pretty lousy semester for many reasons: first college girlfriend broke up with me, booted out of the dorm because I couldn't pay for it, and a dad with cancer. I didn't even care that my TV was on an egg box.

-My kind friends got me that Pump Up the Volume display from the video store.
-That's a bean bag, not a trash bag there in the corner.
-In front of Felix, that's one of those Dr. Pepper lights with the huge flickering bulbs from the 70s.
-There are six mugs in the photo: Laurel and Hardy, King Kong and Godzilla, Howdy Doody and Betty Boop.

1992 (college)

When I was really young my mom put up panels of cork board on one wall and it enhanced my decorating forevermore. Here is a list of the things I hung on my cork board wall in 1992, or I guess you could just look at the photo. Starting at the top left....

-Two "Appetite for Destruction" record albums, one with the "banned" Robert Williams cover
-Guns N' Roses poster that a friend won at a carnival 
-Promotional postcard from the band L.A. Guns
-Dark Knight Bruce Wayne from Kenner
-Panel from The Black Orchid graphic novel
-Piece of Guns  N' Roses longbox 
-Signed Ghost Rider #15 (1991)
-Travel brochure for Terror something something
-Photo of my friend Josef
-Image of an old Batmobile (from the Westfield Comic Club booklet)
-Creature from the Black Lagoon Halloween mask
-Ink art assignment of my reflection
-Mego The Thing (Back to the left)
-Robotech Rick Hunter figure
-Signed Sandman #1
-Image of Concrete (from the Westfield Comic Club booklet) 
-Photos from my '91 spring break
-Art assignment based on Citizen Kane
-Image of Sam and Max Freelance Police
-Werewolf Halloween mask
-Metal Indiana Jones sign from MGM Studios, FL
-Image of the band Extreme
-Rubber skeleton
-Hellraiser comic poster
-Images of Faith No More and Nirvana
-Some Clive Barker advertisement
-Columbia Records metal sign purchased through Columbia House music club
-3-D glasses from the movie Freddy's Dead
-Photo of the moon
-Image of Soundgarden
-Some baseball card thing
-Axl Rose sticker 
-Boba Fett figure
-Batman sunday comic
-Roger Rabbit advertising flyer
-Mike and Ike pencil bag
-Groucho nose and glasses disguises
-Groucho Marx disguise print 
-Image from a comic book, possibly The Rocketeer
-Guns N' Roses magazine photo and ticket stub
-Sam and Max image (from the Westfield Comic Club booklet)
-Rubber skeleton from garage sale wearing gumball charm medal that says "ninja."
-Lisa Frank light switch plate sticker

I feel much better now that this information is on the internet. 

In related news, there is a great Flickr set called My 80s Bedroom.


Hugh Walter said...

That Satan! He's such a liar!

The weird thing about this post, is that it reveals you to be younger than I thought; from the stuff you cover...it's taken years off you!


Kirk D. said...

Ha, well still being a bona fide middle aged man I'll take any years I can get.

Brian Barnes said...

I really need to stop looking at these nostalgia posts from people near my age (I calculate you're about 5 years younger than me.) One I just read a couple days ago finally made me jump and buy a repop Stretch Monster, and those aren't necessarily cheap!

I've decided to blame blog authors on my own lame midlife crisis. I reserve that right as an entitled American!

Luckily, nothing in here was a trigger warning, except I want to redo my entire house in black carpet ...

Anonymous said...

I still have that Guns N Roses Appetite-era poster on my door.

Kirk D. said...

Brian- I agree, that Stretch Monster would look so fine on black carpet.

Anonymous- Never take it down!