Around the time that I turned ten, Queen released their classic album, Jazz. I knew nothing about the band yet, but as soon as my friend, Mike, showed me the cover of the “Fat Bottomed Girls” single on 45, I had to have it. Ultimately, the song ended up being one of my all-time favorite Queen songs, but I only discovered it because of the picture on the cover. By today’s standards it is a relatively tame image, even for a 10-year old, but back then the extent of my exposure to naked girls was strictly limited to National Geographic Magazine. Of course, the fact that I felt like I was getting away with something didn’t hurt either.
Anyone who bought Queen Jazz knows that the image on the “Fat Bottomed Girls” single was nothing compared the “Bicycle Race” poster that came inside the album (see below)…
When I found out about the “Bicycle Race” poster, not surprisingly, Queen Jazz was the next album that I bought. As soon as the weekend came, I had my parents take me to the local record store, my favorite place to hang out in my youth. Tucked away in the corner of a shopping center next to a department store that would change names several times over the years, the long and narrow record store was a little slice of paradise for me. Sadly, like most other record stores, my little slice of paradise no longer exists, but the memories remain.
My hard rock music obsession was in full effect by the time that I bought Jazz. The plaid wallpaper in my room could hardly be seen through the posters and pictures of my favorite bands that were plastered on the walls, courtesy of hard rock magazines like Hit Parader, Circus and Creem. Only a narrow space above my window remained bare (so to speak).
The “Bicycle Race” poster fit perfectly in the available space, but I feared that it would be taken down immediately once it was discovered by my mother. Several months went by, and I thought that I was in the clear, but then it happened. On a beautiful spring day, with the breeze blowing through the window, my mother finally looked up, saw the poster and angrily asked me why it was hanging in my room. My walls were so overwhelmingly cluttered that she never really looked at what was on them, so I was able to get away with it for longer than expected.
As I pleaded my case, I pointed out that the poster had been hanging there for a long time, and that I should be allowed to keep it because it came with an album that I bought. Needless to say, this was a battle that I wasn’t going to win, but on the bright side, I was allowed to keep the poster as long as it wasn’t on display for the world to see. I can’t say for sure, but I may still have the poster packed away somewhere inside one of my music nostalgia boxes.
Hearing “Fat Bottom Girls” on the radio a few times this week inspired me to create the Hard Rock Time Machine concept that will appear on Hard Rock Daddy from time to time. Please feel free to share your nostalgic music moments in the comments section.
When, I was ten, my friend somehow got two posters with his album and gave me one. What luck! My parents let me hang it up, but I had to take it down on Mondays when the cleaning lady came.
Thanks for sharing that story. That’s awesome!
Wesley Rodgers says
e barber says
Many years ago my husband and I had an early morning paper route. If anyone had been awake at 3am when I was delivering the papers they would have heard “Fat Bottom Girls” playing full blast from the car cd player and me singing at the top of my lungs!! That song remains one of my faves! We also had the album and cool poster, however, I believe one of our boys abscounded with the poster.
What a cool story! Thank you for sharing it. I can totally relate to singing at the top of my lungs in the car (and some air instruments too).