As I dig through the Vaults of Demolish Magazine I often run across various memorabilia of my pre-teen and teenage years when I listened to all things hard rock and “classic” rock. Thanks to my parents – who had music on all the time, I was able to get a few decent records [and many 45 RPM's] and play them on the family stereo system. Of course, what the family listened to and what I like varied greatly.
For example: I wanted to hear KISS and they were playing George Jones! I wanted to put in my Foghat or Nazareth 8-track tape and they wanted to listen to Hank Williams [Sr. that is — not Jr.]. Ugh.
The battle raged on for many years until one day a pair of headphones appeared. When I say headphones, I mean the old-school type – read GIGANTIC! I was so little when I used those I looked like I was in the cockpit of a 747 jet or the [upcoming] NASA space shuttle perhaps. I will try to dig up some pics of that!
*It is also worth noting that we also had a jukebox that actually worked. The reason I say “actually worked” is that a lot of peeps just collect them and or have them sitting around for display or conversation piece. As a matter of fact that was the “family stereo system” for many years during my childhood. For all I knew, that was the only way to play music. It was really cool, it was just like the one that is shown at the beginning of the Happy Days TV show. We had the coin slot disabled so you didn’t have to pay to play the records of course but everything else functioning normally.
It was kinda’ like an earlier [standalone] I-Tunes in the way it functioned.
- You had all of your records stored in one space.
- You had easy access to all
- You could make your selections any way you wanted.
- And you had a list of all the records inside the jukebox with the name of the artist and song title typed [or neatly handwritten] on little cards that were prominently displayed directly in front of you when facing the unit.
Moving forward a bit, and the “console” stereo showed up one day and then it was on! I was able to weasel my way into using this [with those big ass headphones] while they played their old crusty 45RPM singles on the jukebox. Both of these were located in the same room (I might add) so that is when I developed the preference to play my rock….LOUD. Mostly out of necessity.
Around the same time-frame, which was the late 70′s, I was getting into album artwork and art in general. Artwork used to be on all those custom vans around town + rock T-shirts and such. So there was much exposure and lots to “soak in” during that time. The rock n’ roll marketing machine was already firmly in place and if the band was popular you could buy pretty much anything with their logo and or faces on it. By this, I mean school lunch boxes, T-shirts, posters, mirrors, stickers, buttons and finally – school folders and belt buckles!
Being a [big] Steve Miller Band fan-boy, of course it was only befitting that I begged my mom to buy me a Steve Miller Band school folder for the upcoming [grade] school year. A boy needs his school supplies! And since I couldn’t attend any concerts yet, I wasn’t able to get the infamous rock concert T-shirts that were sold there. I settled for a folder and was very proud to own it too. It appears it was printed from the cover for Steve’s tenth studio album called “Book of Dreams”. Every SMB fan will instantly recognize the famous “horse” that adorned some of his best albums.
*Click to enlarge
After a quickie Wiki look up, the album was released in 1977 and the songs were actually leftover material that the band recorded during the sessions for “Fly Like An Eagle”. Wow, that was already a great LP and these “leftover” songs that didn’t make the cut the first time around, ended up being one of the groups most popular and successful studio albums. My favorite was “Jet Airliner”, and two other singles were released.
Let’s get back to the artwork.
The illustration of the winged horse on the album’s cover was created by Alton Kelley and Stanley Mouse, who were credited as “Kelly and Mouse”. The art director for the album Roy Kohara. The cover illustration was reprinted on the record label on the vinyl version of the album.
In case you’re wondering – no I did not order the belt buckle for $5.95! Looking back – I sure wish I did though.
*I do have a KISS belt buckle lurking somewhere in the Vaults.