OldStand: SPIN, November, 1990

Take our ink-stained hands and join us at the OldStand, where Jon McMillan goes to remind everyone what an honest-to-goodness music magazine is supposed to look like.

For the cover story, Bob Guccione Jr. himself gets in the ring with a hirsute Bon Jovi, and luckily the profile, much like The Bon himself, is much more interesting than you might expect. While “Blaze of Glory” was hitting #1, Bon Jovi took a totally anonymous, love-of-the-game-type gig moonlighting as a guitarist for local bar-bangers/heroes Southside Johnny and the Jukes. He also owns a Steel Horse Ferrari, in which he rides.

But this particular issue of SPIN is not about the music. It’s about politics, culture wars, and drugs. Dean Kuipers sends a dispatch from Reno, where Judas Priest is on trial for allegedly inserting subliminal messages (we’re gay) into their albums (which led to the unfortunate suicide of two down-on-their-luck metalheads). These days, when middle-schoolers have easy access to scat-porn, its tough to work up much angst over Judas Priest. If anything, they seem a bit quaint, with their biker-fetish leather and feathered hair. Not that the album art wasn’t totally subversive and scary as hell, but really, suicide? The whole trial, as you might imagine/remember, was ridiculous (they were acquitted).

Old friend Legs McNeil shows up a bit later, with another Thompson-esque foray into the dark heart of America. This time it’s Atlantic City, where Donald Trump (and his original hair) are staging a Trump-centric game show Trump Card. Here’s Legs, in all his misanthropic glory, describing the guy whose job it is to warm up the in-studio audience:

“Jimmy Craine looked like a man who had sold his soul to Satan in exchange for a bad punchline. And now he had to pay the price, descending into this hell of trying to infuse life and energy into a crowd of people whose orgasm in life is buying Birds Eye vegetables frozen in their own plastic serving pouches.”

Get some, Legs! I definitely wouldn’t turn down the chance to take a road trip with that guy.

Also: Duran Duran’s eminently-forgettable Liberty gets the feature review nod over Bossanova and Mama Said Knock You Out, Axl Rose does his Axl Rose thing (yes you’ve read it before, but at least he’s not wearing pants this time), and another “College Music” insert featuring albums and artists that are now officially classic rock.

That Technotronic album was definitely worth 1/8 of a cent.

Oh Axl, will you ever stop rocking?

Were they pitching this as a fashion accessory? Who read this magazine?

This review made me want to listen to “Stormy Weather” again. Still good.

“Let’s hope she has a thing for douchebags!”

The Feelies? Really?

Here’s a close-up, dweeb.

Okay, Spin, we get it: you think Iggy Pop is really really important.

Apparently, drugs make everything better.

“[Judas Priest] are noticeably better dressed than anyone else in the room, including the judge.”

ebay is officially THE BEST!