When I was 19 I got a job at a NaNa, a sort of punk rock atelier. A fresh face from Orange County, new to LA, just enrolled in Santa Monica City College, came to LA to play in bands, make records and make it big (so I thought). Anything music related I was drawn to. I had begged a friend’s girlfriend who had managed a NaNa location on 3rd Street in Los Angeles (across the street from where the Orlando Hotel stands now), for a job, any job! I had a crap car, some punk rock tee shirts, camo shorts, Vans, a drum set and nothing more. I didn’t know if I were going to be homeless or famous. I needed a job! Those Stafford Loans were micro and ordering a pizza was an opulent expense. Fortunately, Jill (my friend’s girlfriend at the time) took pity on my poor dimpled cheeks, and gave me a job. My job? I skated out in front of the store for hours until pretty girls would walk in, ask for Doc Martins and I would (coquetry) fetch sizes and colors batting bashful eyes. It was a great job for a drummer with no money, who loved to skate.
I would bring my skateboard to SMCC. There I would skate in the quads, practicing kick flips ad naseum. There were few other kids kick flipping their days away. Soon we became a cult of kick flippers, a crew of sorts. Mike Eizinger from Incubus and Mickey Madden from Maroon 5 were among the Kick Flippers. A guy with a cow print shaved head would sit in with us, draw cartoons and make hilarious jokes. He would try his hand at kick flipping, shave layers of skin off his shins then go right back to drawing cartoons and telling jokes, in a slurpy lisp. Eventually, a punk rock girl with short blue hair joined in and eventually our slurpy, lispy friend pulled his attention to this blue haired girl. That girl was a 16-year-old Tara McPherson. How she started a Junior College at 16? I have no idea, but she was there.
So, what does this all have to do with Aliens? A lot!
I remember Aliens as a kid. These creepy, slimey cockroach shell-ish looking humanoid creatures that killed in a mindless, annihilation, hive like way. Anything that moved was fair game for a ravenous slay. Cut to my slurpy, lispy friend and his new girlfriend. My friend was a huge H.R. Giger fan. I had no idea who H.R. Giger was. My friend knew a ton about Mr. Giger. I had a friend in high school that played guitar. He couldn’t jam because he couldn’t ride on a riff long enough to get a groove down, he was always toggling to micro riffs that had nothing to do with one another, not like a “prog” way, but in a “I have no idea what I’m doing and I can’t jam” way. This guy was really into Fangoria. First time I saw a poster of Pinhead was in this guy’s room. I had a poster of Michael Jordan and some guy getting barreled at Pipeline in my room. I was new to this horror as fanship world. I digress. Cut back to my shaved head friend with the cow print dye job – he and his girl moved into an apartment behind an alley in Santa Monica. They lived upstairs. Their house was a confectionary of Toys, Nostalgia and Horror. I had never seen anything like it – Robby the Robot, Shogun Warriors, Star Wars toys and they had a huge Alien toy! It scared the shit out of me! I would sometimes crash there and I would be forced to stare at this eyeless drooling banana shaped-head death creature, and a large figure of Pinhead! WTF! I couldn’t think of a more unpleasant place to sleep – my sleeping totems where a large deadly alien and the demon man, Pinhead. Joy! I would look at the other wall and there was a Geiger poster, which had tails and ingested mechanisms coming out a half woman creature with exposed breasts. Needless to say, I slept light and had a few strange dreams at their place. This was the first time I heard the term “Xenomorph” – I was like “Xerox-wha?” “What the hell are you saying?” It left an impression. This was around 1994. Eventually, I was filled on the whole Giger story, saw all the Alien movies and became a fan of the hive, and those trying to survive the hive. Really a story of species dominance and survival, for both! Here I am, 24 years later and I’m making little Xenomorphs that are magically fun to play with! What are the odds!
We’ve been working on Aliens for almost a year – increasing the articulation, the poseability, the play value, the accessories – Aliens is TLS’ Gold Star Standard! What better way to preview Aliens than to have a one off, limited edition matte black Xenomorph with a spring loaded inner jaw, bendy tail, with 15 points of articulation, a commemorative Alien Day foot stamp and collectors packaging, and ONLY available online at Hot Topic! Check Hot Topic’s webstore for availability. Don’t sleep on this one, these are gorgeous. I think Giger would approve!