Back in the early 1980’s, junior high school boys had two choices…take shop class or be ridiculed for taking home economics with all of the girls. Like most boys, I had no interest in cooking and sewing, but I also didn’t grow up very handy, so shop class held only slightly more appeal than home economics for me. Needless to say, my limited skills made disassembling and reassembling a lawn mower engine challenging and tedious. The shop teacher, Mr. M, was kind of a goofy guy who was always warning us about the dangers of oily rags. When the following semester rolled around, Mr. M directed us towards the metal lathe to assign our next project, but the only metal that I was interested in back then was heavy metal.
When Mr. M told us that we would be making miniature cannons, inspiration struck! I begrudgingly went through the process of grinding the metal cylinder into a cannon, as the song “For Those About To Rock (We Salute You)” played over and over in my head. The song was the title track off of AC/DC’s latest release, and it just so happened that the album cover featured a black cannon over a copper background. My cannon looked like everyone else’s for the most part, with one exception. On a piece of copper that was attached to the frame, I drew the AC/DC logo, and wrote the words…“For Those About To Rock!” It’s been over 30 years, but I still have that cannon packed away in a box somewhere.
Considerably less torturous was the print class that I also took in junior high school. I can’t remember the teacher’s name, but I do remember that he was not nearly as goofy as Mr. M. Although I didn’t have much interest in learning the printing process, it did give me the opportunity to create some pretty cool hard rock inspired projects. The first project involved screen printing our names and an image onto our own stationary. A friend of mine, who has gone on to become a respected tattoo artist, created a unique logo for the band Zebra. The stationary is also packed away in a box somewhere.
The more challenging project, screen printing an image onto a cut-up sweatshirt (80’s style), didn’t survive numerous washings, but I wore it proudly for as long as I could. The logo for my favorite local rock station was sprawled across my chest, and the Rush logo / star man from the “Archives” album cover covered the entire back of the sweatshirt.
Beyond the assigned projects, my text books, with brown paper shopping bags as book covers, were all emblazoned with hand-drawn logos of my favorite bands (Rainbow, Rush, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, AC/DC and many others). Reflecting back makes me realize the profound impact that hard rock and heavy metal had on my youth. Good times! \m/ \m/