Results tagged “Devo”

100_4331.JPGMan does this thing bring back some memories. We never had a lot of money as I was growing up. We were never very stereo orientated. My brother never had a stereo except in his car. I didn't have one until a neighbor was moving and gave me his old Soundesign turntable (with an amp) and receiver/8 track player (also with an amp) and two 5" speakers in a box. I was really thankful. I bought a few 8-tracks from Goodwill across the street and I had a few 45's which I used to play on my brother's portable GE record player. That was it. We never were high fidelity kids. The Soundesign crap I'd been given for free was the closest thing to HI-Fi I'd own. I did get all high tech with a Hitachi boom box (which will be featured in a future junk blog) so I could play back my growing tape collection. That was decent. I also started listening to a lot of 80's radio. Pretty soon I was bringing home LPs from the library to record on my boom box. It was that time that I've coined the phrase "Kneedeep In The Hoopla Is The S*IT" as yes, I enjoyed that Starship album, or the radio told me to enjoy it.

100_4332.JPGAfter a bit of use, the turntable amp gave out and that BSR turntable with Soundesign guts gave up the ghost. The amp in my stereo was also a bit wobbly, and that's when I started looking at all of the "modern" Soundesign "rack systems" that Zayre and other discounters had. They were shiny. Some of them had a lot of blinky lights. I don't think any of them were more than $299 with most in the $100-$200 range. They were the best that Zayre had to offer. I think there was even one that came with a television, and that one was expensive. I got this one for Christmas. It cost $149. It had "high speed" tape dubbing. It had an "aux" input. It had two large speakers which were 6" drivers.  It had an integrated turntable, but was separate from the stereo. I bought a double LP "Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band" (movie soundtrack) for $1 from Camelot Records and Tapes in Westgate mall. It played records but sounded like it was. A rock stylus immediately wearing on the cheap record. The tape deck dubber wasn't quite as good as my nice Hitachi boombox, but it played tapes better because of bigger speakers. Believe me, we went through all this in the 80's, 90's and Oughts until cell phones and computers made all of this junk obsolete. Of course, there is much better equipment. I'd say that in the 90's, Hi Fi really became better and cheaper. Right then however, Soundesign stereo was the S*IT!

100_4333.JPGActually, the pressed board of the rack matched the speakers and it was a handsome sight. I'd imagine there were many hours spent by minimum wage Zayre employees setting these stereo racks up and busting through the pressed board by over tightening. Soundesign had the fake EQ design down. The shiny EQ was all the rage back in the 80's. Everybody had a separate EQ and some had the bouncing display. Oooooooh. Soundesign made larger EQ's on their stereos, there were some that were even 5 band, but the majority were three band, just looked like more with double sliders. Shiny plastic went a long way back in the day. How did it sound? Well, the whole stereo sounded better than a boom box. That's the best thing I can say. It was HI-FI to me. Dammit. They had so many pretty stereos at Zayre. I gots me a pretty good one. 

100_4336.JPG Look at all that pressed board. It seems they made a ton of stuff out of that formaldehyde laden cheap stuff way back when. I guess they have kind of phased the stuff out now? The DC out was for the turntable. It did have a pre-amp for the turntable. I never saw it work with the better turntable I bought a few years later. The Aux got very little use until... I think I hooked my VCR Up to it a few times, but my VCR was across the room and was a mono unit, so all it did was make the hiss louder. Yes, this did me well for a year or two, until everything changed. My friend Pete purchased a 12" record from Kraftwerk. It was the "Musique Non-Stop" maxi single. We came home to my place and played it. it started with a robotic voice saying "Boing Boom Tschak". I had a thing for comedy records and had a few tapes I'd made from library records of Dr. Demento discs. This "Boing Boom Tschak" was almost novelty to me, but something came alive. I taped it. I played it over and over. In a week, when my friend Marc and I were up in Michigan and I bought "Electric Cafe" and down the rabbit hole I went. 

100_4334.JPG Soon after I had all the Kraftwerk on tape and then I got into DEVO and likewise got all of it and then got deeper. Radio was less and less where I got my music. This used to be be the tape storage area where I kept all of the tapes of my growing store bought tape collection. Then my friend Steve bought the first Sony CD Portable player and man I liked the sound it produced. At the same time, prices were dropping and there was at least 6 appliance-electronics stores operating in my area, all at their throats trying to get our business. Mace electronics was the newest in the area, and when they had a Teac Three Beam 2x Oversampling model for $149 (sans remote), somehow I had the cake to buy it. I went to Camelot in Westgate and purchased Electric Cafe for 18.99 on CD. (Where I got the cake from, I've no idea.) I hooked it up to this stereo and instantly I was really REALLY HIGH FIDELITY. It sounded even better through the Koss headphones I'd purchased from Forest City Home Centers (which also had a appliance and electronics selection back when) and loved every minute of the lack of hiss from the CD player. From there, I only used the tape decks to record tapes from the CD's I'd bought. Of course, I had Foreigner "Records" and Van Halen's "1984" and Beach Boys "Fantastic Summer Best Of" , but I traded them all when my friend Bill started selling CDs and got me hooked on Frank Zappa, Negativland and Nitzer Ebb.

Well, Soundesign made systems in the 90's. They even made some that were re-branded Radio Shack. One had a HUGE upright loading CD player clad in pressed board that was more of a space taker than a good sounding CD player. Still, even the worst CD players sounded better than records or tapes right? They made other portable sound equipment, but none of it was more than a slightly better GPX product. Yeah, I was glad they were around at a time when the sounds started to mean stuff to me. Now, a portable computer tablet through good headphones containing all of my music sounds better than the old Soundesign. My computer speakers sound better. My LAPTOP sounds external speakers... Koss...


Evelynn, A Modified Lenoxx

100_4337.JPGA few pieces in my junk collection went to junk but got modified so they wouldn't be junk. Here is evidence to the modification. Way back when, CD players still cost a ton of money for your stereo. By this time I had a 100mhz computer with a CD Rom player. It played okay. I had a full stereo system, but the CD player had gone south. I had a "gifted" CD boom box that was temperamental and had pretty much given up it's ability to play CDs. So, I went to the well and asked for a cheap CD boom box for Christmas. I got this, The cheap Lenoxx box that Wally sold a ton of, and even in multiple colors. For what it is, it was pretty good. CD Player just had the track number it was playing. Had tape. Got pretty loud without distortion.

100_4338.JPGI did this. Saved the crazy wrapper on the top of CDs. I managed to pull them off in tact. I'd give you my secret but who gives a rats ass. CD's? Who buys those anymore? GWAR: War Party was the follow up to "Violence Has Arrived" which brought me back into the Gwar camp. It was hard, it was ugly, and it rocked. "War Party" was just as heavy but a little less listened too by me. I like them both.

Cake: Pressure Chief was another great CAKE album, but I'm a huge fan of CAKE. I'm glad they still are together but it's been a little while since their last album became the lowest selling #1 record in history. Hell I bought it from Best Buy just before Best Buy gave up on the media.

Then, the final album from Q And Not U. More of a dance beat album than their previous two albums. I bought this one from a local record store and it became the most listened too effort of the three. Driving home from a convention, on the good ol' FRS walkie talkie deal, a friend driving in front of Boomer and myself told us to turn on the radio, and it was Q And Not U. Boom looked them up when we got to his house and we were instant fans. I even saw them twice in concert. They broke up within the year of this release. I still listen to the album.

Yeah, the CD player did have some "programming" effects, but who uses any of those anyway, save for repeating the album...


Ahhhh, the discs this played. For all it's years old, it still plays CDs well. Okay, it does have a little trouble with CDRs, but aged CD players just weren't designed for home made CDS. Damn. All the Devo and Ministry and Failure and Cars and the list goes on and on. When I got a 3 disc DVD player the next Christmas, this saw less use until I moved  and it became more of a radio in my new place than a CD player. Ahh yes, it was another independent band called "Dysrhythmia" that also secured the change needed to keep this box alive.

I was living in Louisville and my good friend Bob told me about a hard rock instrumental band that was appearing in a small theater. I said okay and were set to see it but the theater closed. So, the local performance group donated their store front space for the band to jam. There was about 15 people on folding chairs and we watched Dysrhythmia blow our minds with fast metal, hard rock and jazz. Well, since It didn't cost much to get in and we'd just seen some great stuff I bought both of their CDs. I listened to them at home and really jammed to one of them. I'd pump the volume up on the Lenoxx and head bang until...wait...that speaker on one side... yep. Blew the speaker. It might have been because of the distortion on the maybe... Ahh... System Of A Down was coming out and further twisted my view of metal and I never looked back.

100_4342.JPG Now, before you say anything, yeah, I realized it was just me listening to music really loud, not the way the music was recorded...awww forget it. So before all this Louisville nonsense, my good friend Smash Greywolf got a job offer in California.  I'd met him in Toledo and we became fast fiends. He knew computers and ran a Linux desktop before Linux became Windows-Like. With the gig, he needed to shed anything including mountains of computer debris, so I was "gifted" a Samsung boom box. I'd "sold" the very same model only a few years before as a loss leader boombox. I just wasn't a fan of cheeseburger Samsung stuff, but for FREE? Indeed the CD was fiddly, but worked until I moved to Louisville. It went into a storage box thereafter.

Until Lenoxx sprung a leak on challenging metal music. I kept the speakers when I moved from Louisville to Cleveland and needed a radio near my computer that wasn't a full stereo. Apartments. Paper thin walls. "Turn down that DEVO dammit!" So, a little creative wiring and I had a new "Modified Lenoxx" that sounded pretty good but didn't have a subwoofer to disturb the 'burrs. I listened to WTAM and then my Sirius Radio  as well as CDs through this for a few years. When I moved again, this became basement bait and has little use since. So, Junk Blog.  Never get rid of it, but little use. Junk Blog.  I said JUNK BLOG.


100_3900.JPGOn my itty bitty kwitzmas twee, I have a lot of debris of favorite things from my past and present. This one was a on-going treat for me every year. It's a beer coaster turned ornament from Cumberland Brews in Lousiville, KY. I've always liked beer beverage but what I drank for beer beverage could hardly be called BEER. It was more CORN SODA. Yes, but the term "Craft Beer" came along and we had a place to go to get bombed with class!I'd been to one or two micros before, but this was my first "home town" "gotta have it". They announced it was opening somewhere in the "Highlands" area of Louisville , but I drove by it several times and didn't see it. One day I looked up and saw images of hops, and thought, that's it!

It is a real small place, bar of about 12 seats and about 7 tables. The head brewer was brewing a batch of beer right in the front window in a large stainless steel cooker and steam was filling the air. It was that cool of a place. A former ice creamery, so the tile needed to have a kitchen where beer could be brewed was perfect. 4 stainless holding tanks were right there as well and then the refrigerator was at the end, all closed in with glass and there was a Mr. Hankey key chain hanging from a valve. (Christmas poo at a beer joint?)  I met the brewer, the owner and the manager all that day as I drank the best beer I'd had. It wasn't that cheap, but pretty cheap for a micro brew of such taste and quality. I went there at least twice a week. When I moved to Cleveland, I always make a point to go back at least once a year.  The place has changed in that they sell more beer and now brew off site, plus the manager and head brewer are no longer there...but the bison burgers are still the same. Cheers.

100_3908.JPGMr. Fat Hanz is showing off his BALLS! Oh? Only ONE BALL?  It's an Indians baseball team ornament with a fat pudgy MF head with some serious eyebrows. For years I put this junk on my tree and not get anything out of the "root root root for the home team." At least this year, we've got something going on. Do baseball players wear toilet seats? Is that the new safety gear? We're All Devo!

100_3898.JPG...and the most debris of the debris I put on my tree every year... I put this in the back of my tree, but I do put this on the tree. Every year.  You know that symbol. Well, I look at it like, I found all this world of wonder from those punks over at the corporate and their operating system for my computer barely powerful enough to microwave a burrito. It was when the net was getting going, and e-mail was becoming a thing. I got a Internet Service Provider and the software they gave me...they told me to use the Internet Explorer program to download Netscape if I wanted to get my e-mails from their Microsoft servers. Microsoft's own server products, not compatible with Microsoft Internet Explorer. Still, I'd still be using Win95, but time marches on. Gee, that's a PEN-GOO-WIN right next to it. Hmmmmm. Hehehehehehehehe.

100_3896.JPGThe MONEY SHOT (TM)  The full rest of the ornaments for this entry. Of course, there's a PEN-GOO-WIN. It's for my favorite hockey team. Really. It's for my favorite computer operating system. Really. It was a premium strapped to a box of Christmas Lifesavers.  The rest are just duplicates of other key chains you've seen from my button box posts. The "SCION" key chain was a really nice and heavy promo given out at the Cleveland auto show for the new and amazing cars from China. Er...Japan? Yep. Toyota's different trendy brand. It had a good run. Do you know anyone that bought one?  There is also a Yuengling key chain bought at the Tampa former Strohs plant on the only beer plant tour I've been on. Free beers. Clearance crap. Plus, everybody's favorite Japanese stripper, Sony Tape. She wore these to cover up her *Shhhhhhh! Check it!*

100_3902.JPGLast but yes last, is the bumper sticker from my beloved Cumberland Brews. I sort of got the vibe that they liked jam music. They always would be playing anything funky or rasta or noodling. I didn't get any reference in the place until I became a fan of the Grateful Dead. Gee, that bumper sticker is a lyric from the song "Ripple". The poster from the 1995 tour still hangs there. Bears. Jerry. Volkswagen Busses. The owner is a DEAD HEAD. Cumberland Blues is a song by the Grateful Dead. Jerry would love the place. Oh, and RIP Ear X-Tacy. The greatest media store in the 'Ville. Okay. Nuff.  -Ricochet

Dats Total Devo

100_4009.JPGThis is a junk blog artifact. Obscure release of a well known band on a dead format tape product. It's Total Devo by Devo on DAT tape. WTF? Yes, it's the only DAT released by Akron's own spud band and it was one of the few hundred albums that got released for a format that seemed great but failed to be a commercial success.

DAT or Digital Audio Tape came out in the early 90's as a tape format you could record digitally too. A real boon to anyone that wanted digital recording quality in a compact version. It was smaller than a Sony 8MM tape which was Sony's small camcorder format. The problem with DAT is that it was an even smaller VHS or 8MM mechanical tape system. Therefore, if you wanted to have a portable DAT, you still needed room for a rotating head, let alone the power it would consume. Therefore, only for the richly rich recordists.  Now the bright peeps over at Phillips came out with a competing format called Digital Compact Cassette. DCC was like a cassette, only it recorded digital data. Even fewer of those were released because they were also expensive, very few portables were released. The biggest flaw with the DCC format was that they were able to play normal cassette tapes. When you put in a Certron tape to play your family from the 1970s, it was enough to dirty the heads and make your DCC not play/record DCC. Therefore consumers saw it as unreliable. Radio Shack was a big proponent of the $600 DCC, but when we had ours under the neon "The Technology Store" sign in our store, the door of our DCC would not open.  I think our closeout demo was marked down to $300 but I left Radio Shack after a few months of working there. 


DCC was a complete failure, but not as bad as the DIVX format that was the DVD you could own, or not. Both are on the technology short lived pile. DAT lasted a lot longer. Why? Because before there was digital computers with TONS of storage, DATS provided that storage that was unavailable with a hard drive. By 1994 or so, if you wanted to archive a three hour radio show in good quality, radio stations were using DAT. Most professional recording studios would master to DAT to make their CD/Tape masters. We have a DAT master of the album we put on cassette for my band Spudlok. I think DAT lasted until a few years ago when everybody finally switched to a completely digital format. My friend Boomer gave me a Tascam DA-30 machine which he got when a studio THREW IT OUT!  I had some DAT tapes recorded in 1997 when I recorded all my bits off of tapes when I was let go from WIOT. I mastered all of them on computer and since it's become part of my stack of junk. Same with the pro reel to reel TASCAM tape deck Boomer gave me. All stuff I used in the 90's that sits collecting dust in my audio artifact collection.

100_4012.JPGBeing a Devo fan in the late 80's to early 90's was not a really popular thing. Devo reformed with a different drummer and came back on a small label called Enigma. They released a lot of independent bands and had a big budget for the return of Devo after Devo was given the shaft by the brothers Warner. The final album was Shout! on Warner Brothers and well, was thin. It had some popularity on college radio, but other than that, appeared Devo was done and Warner's did very little to promote the album. The original drummer left for a lucrative business as an electrician. Meanwhile Mark started "Mutato Music" with pretty much all of the other DEVO's and built a hell of a future as not a band.

However, there was enough demand, and with a new drummer, DEVO recorded new material and got a contract with a new label to start DEVO on a new second level. Hence "Total Devo". I listened to the album a LOT, and loved "Disco Dancer". However, it was a commercial failure and the band says that, without selling Warner album levels, Enigma became less supportive. That this album was released on DAT at all is a curiosity. I haven't opened it, keeping it sealed if ever it's worth more than $10. I could have bought this on vinyl record, and did a few years later as a cut out. It's funny to think that the vinyl will last 50 years and in another 10, this DAT version likely won't even be able to be played.

I believe SONY was the last to give up DAT as they were professionally used for way too long after digital storage became cheap. Maybe there are even players still being made, just like VCRs, but if they are, they are not long for the world. I like having a bit of my radio history as junk.

ARF! -Ric


It's a 227 Chess Board!  (That's an old line from one of my radio bits. Obscurity. We do it all for you Rod.) I'm guessing this is older than most my favorite rock bands. Likely it's about the same age as when rock and roll began. No idea why I need to bring that up other than this was passed down to me. It's not worth a thing because I don't believe there was a value put on plastic.

100_3762.JPG...or this fine material covered case with a snap to hold all of this fun chess set in place. I know how to play chess but I haven't played it in 30 years or so. Therefore I don't remember anything about playing chess. I may have played chess with my brother once with this set, but I doubt it. I wanted to play chess like they did in Futureworld. (Sequel to Westworld.) The players were "holograms" and they really lanced each other!  Oh no, all we got here is plastic and magnets. However, in 2016 we're closer to  "holograms plaing chess" being reality.... or a robot that sounds like "UhhhOOooooUhhhOooooo"  when you steal his face right off of his head. (Jerry Garcia was pushed...)

100_3764.JPG Lowe. Staunton. Web search. Staunton was a chess player? Lowe was E.S. Lowe, a game company that put out Yahtzee. Wow. Who cares? This chess board is in really good shape for it's age. Indeed I looked this up to see what this was made out of and FLEABAY has a few of these exact sets. Big deal. Are they made of Bakelite? Maybe? I don't know.

100_3765.JPGIt's E.S. Lowe's finest chess set. It's magnetic for playing chess in a tornado. Never mind "shelter in place". You can sit outside and trust every piece will be just where you moved it on the board. It's got a neat, cheap, plastic holder for all the pieces and when you put the board on top, none of them move. That was a "deluxe" feature in the 50's and I only judge that age by the looks of the lettering.  I know the holder isn't Bakelite. Was Michael Jackson singing about this chess set? Hmmmmmmmmmmmm.

100_3766.JPGHell Mr. FatHanz (TM) you ought to have that cut on your thumb looked at, or start using some kind of hand cream. Sheesh. Yes, the final picture of this set is the pieces that are without magnets. I don't know where they went and the pieces have been without since I got the set. You know, I'll bet most of these sets became missing pieces as pieces rolled off and into those heater vents with huge holes. Maybe the magnets from these pieces went the same way. The glue on these is that orange color like the plastic tiles in my bathroom. Funny thing is, when handling these pieces, the magnets stay in each piece. Likely these were dug out by the previous owner? Maybe used in a science project for school?  I could measure and replace each of these and get the value of the whole set up to about $5. Ahhhh, forget it. Junk Blog.


Are We Not Men? We Are SOLO.

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100_3127.JPGHere's a great idea. Compact discs were all the rage, vinyl was dying it's slow death, and the only way to record and playback music or not worry about damaging/having stolen your CD collection was, the glorious tape cassette. This little device rocked my car for many hours and kept my "Kneedeep In The Hoopla Is The S*IT" recording off the radio music tastes rolling.  A few years later, I had a dealer. My friend Bill has his CD store and he had access to wholesalers that could get imports.   He came across this. I spent my didn't have money on it.  What is it? Why did I buy something that I've kept wrapped? Why did I buy the special edition "Unfinished" version of Beauty And The Beast on LASERDISC for $100 and proceeded to watch it only 3 times? WHY? WHY?

100_3129.JPG..for ART man. Yeah. That's it. Story is, Mark Mothersbaugh is one of the front man of a tiny little band from Akron, Ohio that nobody has heard of called DEVO. In the late 80's to early 90's DEVO wasn't all that. They were yesterday's bunny bitch. Tossed away from the brothers Warner as Devo's final album from the original line up, "Shout", landed like a drunken binge turd in a jail toilet.  "No No Devo".

So what was Marky to do? Cartoon soundtracks. He formed "Mutato Music" and was taking calls from the knuckleheads at NICK and douches at Dipsney and suddenly everyone was bopping to the solo sounds of "O Soy" or whatever the track was. We all bounced to the soundtrack of the Howie Mandel vehicle with the fat kid that talked like a baby and his exploits. This was hot rockin DEVO Non Gratis music. I bought into it. I bought two CD's volumes called "Musik For Insomniaks"  I'll admit to listening to them a whopping TWICE, but you know, they were music by the guy in DEVO! I mean, come on! I liked the disc of "Muzak" versions of Devo hits that was released earlier. Used a track or two for my crappy morning show.  Yes, being in radio, these were good songs for background musiK. Our parody of PeeWee's Playhouse would have been less good had we not had access to finer hits like "Xp137". (We did it for Under The Shelf and it was called Pewet's Outhouse and the secret word was "BLOW*OB" AHHHHHHHHHHHH!)

100_3130.JPGAhhh, very good Mr. Fat Hanz (TM) Show that I didn't open this to this day. I thought maybe I'd get my money back tenfold. You can look around on the intrawebs to see what the inside contains. You get the tape in cheesy ABS Gold, recorded on a Certron (TM) cassette. (See the orange swoop on the page? It's genuine Certron. Any nudnik that had a tape recorder in the 70's and 80's know this was the best of the worst, the cream of the crap, the 3 for $1 tape choice because we were kids. We had that quarter for allowance. ) There was also a deck of cards with pictures of the DEVO guy holding up his artwork. Japanese folk ate this crap up. Right? It was imported for poot heads that thought they were cool. It's the golden turd in my junk. But hey, it's worth MUCH. Accepting offers, minimum bid, ONE MEELION DOLLARS.

Of course, Devo came back in the 90's and MarkiePOO did the soundtrack to "The Shaggy Dog" (TV Version with the Whoa! Kid and Ed Begley Jr. and the chick who schtupped the fat guy on NYPD Blue.) I even got to see them live at Peabodys. A venue for bands going up, on the way down, or just gasping for air trying to make a buck. A few weeks earlier a then little known band called "Warrant" was opening for other hair metal bands. A scant 4 months later, they ate all the CHERRY PIE they could eat.  Meanwhile this tape and cards skyrocketed in value. Hahahahahahhahhahhahh *cough* Junk Blog.


100_3088.JPGI've got quite a few of these. They are easy ways to promote your brand. Foam koozies. Your logo here. 100 Minimum and $75 set up fee. I used a few until they eventually got torn up, but there are ones I save in my junk collection. Radio station? Check. Radio station I worked at? Bonus points. Put crap in the koozie for storage. Perfect.

100_3089.JPGHere's the crap. It's not like this stuff needs the scary protection provided by sooper 'IOT koozie, but it's in there. Hell, a thousand years from now, this koozie will likely still be filled with this crap. Crap like this doesn't break down in landfills. Maybe I should call this blog "The CRAP Blog." Nahhh, some of this crap does have a valued use. Who wants to be known as a guy that has a house full of crap? I guess a house full of junk isn't that much better. What's in a name. It's all worthless.

100_3091.JPGI have a thing for key chains. I have used the same damn key chains for over 30 years. A Sears home services key chain, a "Great Northern Plaza's" mall key chain and a brown leather "belt hook" key chain. That's it. I haven't used anything else, but I sure have a lot of replacements if I need them. My button box is full of them for lack of anywhere else to put them.

Here is a typical "better than the worst" beer key chain. Miller Lite is about as poo poo as it gets as a beer, but it's better than Bud or Coors light beers. I like bottle opener beer key chains. Which is why the 94.5 WXKR key chain is a good one as well. My former radio "host" at WIOT works for 94.5 and that was a freebie he gave me back in the days when they still had freebies to give. The other is a key chain with a red LED light provided by one of our "partners" (repair providers) while I worked at the Louisville warranty company. I carried one for a couple of years but it fell apart. Here's it's clone, and it's clean. (Name removed.)

100_3092.JPGHere's something I bought from a flea market. A ZAPPA patch. It's meant to be sewn onto my jeans jacket along with a Depeche Mode and New Order and KMFDM and Yo Yo Ma and Metallica and Led Zeppelin and DEVO patch. *burp* For a while, I loved Zappa's music. The first CD I bought was "Thing Fish" which the Zappa expert I bought it from told me it was considered by Zappa fans to be his worst. It recycled everything and didn't have a guitar solo! However, I thought it was funny. I like humor. I was in the process of owning every Zappa disc but then, I had rent to pay, so I sold most of the collection. He's like the Grateful Dead. You either need to collect them all or pass on everything except the hits. I really don't listen to his stuff anymore, but I'm new to the Grateful give me time. I used to listen to Kraftwerk or Devo every day as well. Of course it helps when Sirius/XM has a 24/7 channel devoted to your band and they play your concerts  which you were damn smart enough to record pretty much all of... so that there is always something different to hear. I digress.

100_3093.JPGWhen I worked for the Louisville warranty company, I had the chance to go up in a balloon. We had sponsorship in a Louisville area balloon rally and all I got was this lousy pin. Float in a hot air balloon strapped to a basket with flammable materials lit in a controlled fashion? AHHHHH!  Pins are popular in Louisville. Ask anyone that has a worthless collection of pins for the Kentucky Derby festival. They are good for 10% off of a hot dog at festival vendors. They also give you preferred seating in the "thunder pots", or portable toilets brought in for the "Thunder Over Louisville" festival two weeks before the Kentucky Derby. Ahh, the near South. "Hop on the snodder and go to the CiCi's."

Then, my Tokyo Shapiro name tag. Nothing to see here. At least they didn't make us wear smocks or ties or jackets or condoms.

100_3094.JPGFinally, no cash value. There was a lasertag called "Photon." It was the first and arguably the best lasertag ever. You got dressed in a heavy battery suit and wore a surgical hat so you wouldn't get head lice when you put on the heavy helmet. Then you went into a built out, lots of lights and plastic and aircraft carpet field and played lasertag with a pounding soundtrack that would make Tangerine Dream jealous.  You'd be all sweaty from running for 6 1/2 minutes and then they would spray Lysol in your helmet. You'd eat red jump rope licorice and drink water from the fountain and play Empire City 1941 in the arcade. Fun, eh? Ahhh, but the company went under and they left their arenas as furnished shells and the one in Louisville became "Laser Blaze." Less of a laser tag system, more fluorescent paint and rock and roll soundtrack. It was still to us that played Photon, the closet thing to Photon. It wasn't. I remember when our company held a year end even there and one team was guilty of cheating in order to win. Couldn't have done that with Photon. Well, unless you were Predator. He knew all the tricks. That MF. Scoring on me when I fell down in pain from a leg cramp. Standing there. Scoring on an injured warrior. What a dick.

ARF! -Ric

SHURE-ly it's junk...right?

DSCF8627.JPGOn this blog, a few of the items I have in my junk box are junk in waiting and someday will become a useful item. I remember that I needed these when I got my first real turntable. It's a Shure turntable cartridge. It was the one above the cheapest one I could get.

You see, I never was one for records. I had my Soundesign "rock on rock" turntable to play the few records that I had. We used to have a Goodwill right across the street and this was in the 80's when you would pay a few bucks for stuff rather than tens of bucks. That's when I found a Technics turntable. All it needed was a needle. It's not the best from Technics but it's better than any crystal ceramic piece of dung on cheap turn tables.

100_2805.JPGA man built this! It's a turntable! It has a lot of dust on it because I haven't used it for two years. When I started using it again, I had to get a belt for it as the old one had rotted from lack of use.  You can see the duplicate Shure cartridge I bought for it. I've been using the same for all these years, but maybe it's seen 150 sides, so it's still good as used.

DSCF8628.JPGSo, I bought two of these suckers. Guess from where? I must have bought these in 1989 or so. I went into the Northeast Appliance store in North Olmsted (a store I'd have the "pleasure" of closing forever a few years later.) The tag said 30 bucks but I think I got two for $40. Even back then, turntables were on the way out. Northeast had 4 cartridges back then ranging from $20 to $80 and well, I don't even remember if we still carried them when I helped scrape NENO from the memories of Clevelanders. So, buying two, I thought was a good idea. I still had only a few singles and some EP's and DEVO and Kraftwerk albums. I didn't listen to them, I taped them if they weren't out on CD.

DSCF8626.JPGShure DTE800. What a bunch of advertising speak! "Durabody Encapsulated"?  It's not a allergy tablet, it's a record player cartridge. "Construction ensures long life and performance uniformity".  What the hell does that mean? I guess it means they pooped hundreds of thousands of these from the factory and they would all perform the same. Of course, every turntable and every system is different. Every record is different. It may sound like sh*t when played on your $20,000 HIFI, but on a $8 turntable from Goodwill through a Soundesign stereo? It'll sound A-OK. The bit about a diamond tip for improved blah blah blah, that's the only reasonable claim. I think the more expensive these got, the more adjectives they used to describe it.

DSCF8629.JPGSo, I plan to eventually put this to use in the above turntable, but right now, it lies dormant in my junk collection. Junk until it becomes UN Junk. Hey! There's a slogan in there. Dormant texture returns to a bright, crisp , audio experience when rescued from this beautiful, clean and delectable piled high junk system to perform it's excellence finally for the 180G platters.

Junk Blog Bonus    

100_2799.JPGFor those of you who might have wanted to know what vinyl I had sitting in front of my turntable, here it is! The very first LP I ever bought, and it's a double set. It's all orchestra. I thought I was going to get Meco's disco Cantina band. No dice. My brother had the mono GE record player and I played this a bit, but it was mostly boring to me. As for the movie, I liked it but I didn't go nuts for space crap and well, I think I've seen the other two original movies on video or TV and the new three flicks, the Jar Jar one on TV. Sorry geeks and fudds.

What's more of interest is that I stuck a sales stamp for "Music City News" on it. Likely is was from the giant Publishers Clearing House (or a competitor, yes, they had competitors in the 70's.) big envelope of fun. It even says "newspaper format". It later double as a price tag as I must have tried to see this at a flea market a long time ago as it has 1.00 on it. Hey! I'll buy that for 1.00! What's that dust? It's black... OH, it's vinyl grindings from being played with a rock. Neat movie photos and the big scary DARTH on the back.

ARF! -Ric

Radio Shack Executive Stress Thingy

DSCF8653.JPG6 sounds, no waiting. It's got a Frank Zapper. It's the title of a Bob Wier solo song. It's got a rap verse from Mista Tung Twista. It's got a video game title and a laser tag noise. Finally, it's also a blast. As noise makers go, it's the cheesiest. Ahhh, but I remember how every executive in every fast food restaurant, retail hell hole or phone soliciting office that I ever interviewed in, had a lack of this device or the title of executive.

DSCF8654.JPGIt's a wonder that this survived. I'm sure 90% of these fine devices ended with corroded batteries in landfills near you. Sorta echos Radio Shack's current reality eh? Eh? EHHHHH?

DSCF8655.JPGLook at those FAT fingers pushing the fun button to make the genuine RED LED light while farting out a bit of fart fart fart, only digital, classy, Frank Zapper. I must have got it for a Christmas gift because, even though I like this sort of crap, I'd never buy this sort of crap. Maybe it came free as a giveaway with a coupon from the newspaper. You know, like batteries and flash lights?

DSCF8656.JPGActually, this got use when I got bands. I used this to make a song as you could push the buttons in a certain way to create a boop-boop-beep-beep rhythm. When my friend Bill and I formed the band "Spudlok", this was placed in the studio bag of percussion like cowbells and triangles and other analog stuff.  Then it made it's way into my junk collection where it happily belongs. I love the fake "wooden" sides.

Oh yeah, I guess I'm going to violate the prime directive again. I could have done a demo video or demo sounds or something interactive and cool, but I didn't. However, I had to show what this baby could do, so rather than searching the interwebs for it, I'll include this minimal YEWTOOB link. We do it all for you, ROD.  Bombs away!

ARF -Ric