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HOT BODIES NEED HOT CASSETTES
September 13, 2012 9:06 AM   Subscribe

80s Muscle!
posted by shakespeherian (56 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite

 
Hey- your post is getting baby oil all over the place! Now the internet is all slippery!
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 9:11 AM on September 13, 2012 [5 favorites]


I thought muscle was kind of a new thing, but this is interesting; it appears to have been around, at least in the personal spheres of some early adopters, up to thirty years ago. I guess it's like everyone says: Only about a hundred people saw muscle back in the 80s, but everyone who did went on to grow a muscles of their own.

Thanks so much for the informative post.
posted by Greg Nog at 9:11 AM on September 13, 2012 [4 favorites]


(man you guys are never going to guess what e-mail conversation brought this post about)
posted by The Whelk at 9:12 AM on September 13, 2012


also that is not the right outfit for welding. you will get injured.
posted by The Whelk at 9:13 AM on September 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


oh god my eyes

all that feathered hair
posted by elizardbits at 9:15 AM on September 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


Wow, the 80s can make anything look gay.
posted by zzazazz at 9:15 AM on September 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Someone explain this, is all I ask.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:16 AM on September 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


Some day if I keep training, I'll be that greasy.
posted by cmoj at 9:18 AM on September 13, 2012


Someone explain this, is all I ask.

you know the film Weird Science? Well, there's an all-male all-homoerotic alternate-universe, and,
posted by Greg Nog at 9:18 AM on September 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


This post smells faintly of bacon.
posted by elizardbits at 9:21 AM on September 13, 2012


You know that thing where sometimes a person's head doesn't match the rest of their body
posted by shakespeherian at 9:25 AM on September 13, 2012 [6 favorites]


Man, if I ever wake up just totally buff, I am going to wear suspenders and no shirt all day long.
posted by griphus at 9:25 AM on September 13, 2012


No elizardbits it smells like baby oil, weight gain powder, hairspray and acne medication
posted by The Whelk at 9:25 AM on September 13, 2012


So this is one of those fetish tumblrs, right?
posted by crunchland at 9:28 AM on September 13, 2012


The implication of that sentence is that some aren't.
posted by griphus at 9:32 AM on September 13, 2012 [5 favorites]


Someone explain this, is all I ask.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:16 AM on September 13 [+] [!]


Men-nude-o?
posted by chavenet at 9:32 AM on September 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


Between the steroids and the spandex, it's almost as if having tiny genitals was the point.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:32 AM on September 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


You know that think where sometimes a person looks like they have implanted a manhole cover in their back.
posted by therubettes at 9:34 AM on September 13, 2012


WHO YA GONNA CALL?

Hint: not Ghostbusters
posted by shakespeherian at 9:34 AM on September 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


If that article didn't make a "private thigh" pun, they should be ashamed of themselves.
posted by griphus at 9:36 AM on September 13, 2012


This is not the gay porn I was looking for.
posted by PapaLobo at 9:45 AM on September 13, 2012


you're all wrong, it smells like that stale whiff of sweaty funk that lingered in your high school locker room and made gym class very very annoying and gross
posted by ninjew at 9:50 AM on September 13, 2012


I thought muscle was kind of a new thing, but this is interesting; it appears to have been around, at least in the personal spheres of some early adopters, up to thirty years ago.

Bodybuilding gained widespread public attention in the US with the release of Pumping Iron in 1977, but its lineage goes back to the late 19th century. Artistic appreciation and representation of muscular physiques is much older than that.
posted by ludwig_van at 9:51 AM on September 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Bodybuilders in the 80s were continually threatened by triangles hanging precariously over their heads.
posted by Trace McJoy at 9:53 AM on September 13, 2012 [9 favorites]


Also for the perfect audio/video complement to this post, watch Bob Couch's music video for the song "Pump Iron."

And you can also watch the entirety of the classic Pumping Iron on youtube. Even if you have no interest in bodybuilding, I think it's very fascinating to watch a young, relatively-unknown Arnold in action.
posted by ludwig_van at 9:56 AM on September 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


it appears to have been around, at least in the personal spheres of some early adopters, up to thirty years ago

It enjoyed a vogue then. Here is Ronald Reagan expressing his virility.

To see how the sport has, ah, developed since then, compare the front double biceps shots of dominant 80s Mr. Olympia Lee Haney and current Mr. Olympia Phil Heath - who will be defending his title on the 29th.
posted by Egg Shen at 10:03 AM on September 13, 2012


I was hoping for some '80s M.U.S.C.L.E. instead.
posted by Strange Interlude at 10:23 AM on September 13, 2012 [5 favorites]


Oiled-up Joe Piscapo poses, check. International Male catalog scans, check. OK boss, this Tumblr's legit.
posted by Blue Meanie at 10:26 AM on September 13, 2012


And I was hoping for some '80s Muscle instead
posted by Debaser626 at 10:29 AM on September 13, 2012


I was about to sneer that there's no such thing as '80s muscle, it was all show and no go, but then I remembered the GNX, so I thought, hey, a Buick tumblr! Let's see!

Boy, was my boss happy he was shoulder-surfing today!
posted by Slap*Happy at 10:30 AM on September 13, 2012


Maybe this post needs the "lubricated men" tag.
posted by elizardbits at 10:32 AM on September 13, 2012


If we're doing that, we might as well have a "lubricated men" back-tagging project. Everyone who participates gets a "'I was a lubricated man superstar!" on their profile.
posted by griphus at 10:35 AM on September 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


DO WANT
posted by elizardbits at 10:35 AM on September 13, 2012


See, kids, once upon a time, before the Internet made images easy to access for nearly anyone, young closeted homosexuals had to seek their visual stimulus in any nudity they could get. We didn't have your Flesh-robot or your Cody Blue or what have you. And we were so desperate for male near-nudity that we took it. And we liked it/

So that's why, 20+ years later, I'm still somewhat attracted to people who have obviously done steroids. It was, literally, beaten into my id.


(Worry not, dear reader, that my personal reaction to this post is too much information; wherever my line is for oily beekcake, this is WELL over it)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:37 AM on September 13, 2012 [5 favorites]


oily beekcake

oh god beaker and dr bunsen honeydew in posing pouches

posted by elizardbits at 10:41 AM on September 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


holy shit MCMikeNamara you're gay? How did I not know that?

Also, in the 70s, Hustler and Penthouse ALWAYS had (thumbnail-sized and with dots covering the interesting bits) gay porn ads in the back pages. That was about as good as it got, but it worked well enough, I guess. Always made me wonder why those ads were always there every month though winkwinknudge.

posted by PapaLobo at 10:52 AM on September 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


WJLB 97.9 FM - STRONG SONGS
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:55 AM on September 13, 2012


SOMEONE PLEASE EXPLAIN THIS!

and may no one find photos of me wearing suspenders and a belt in the 1980s.
posted by zippy at 11:08 AM on September 13, 2012


An alternate soundtrack to this post would be: Feel My Bicep.
posted by jonbro at 11:08 AM on September 13, 2012


It's kind of interesting to contrast this with 70s Big. That blog has kind of strayed from it's original format, but it used to be all just posts about how cool it was to be big and strong like weightlifters from the 70s with their cool moustaches and athletic shorty shorts.

I blame those Zubaz-looking pants for robbing bodybuilding of it's lumberjack luster.
posted by SharkParty at 11:09 AM on September 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


SOMEONE PLEASE EXPLAIN THIS!
posted by jonbro at 11:09 AM on September 13, 2012


Where are Hans und Franz?
posted by MtDewd at 11:12 AM on September 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Off the top of my head, no pose looks more awkward than "I'm just hanging around, flexing my lats."
posted by One Hand Slowclapping at 11:21 AM on September 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


This is exactly the best sort of thing, where you wind up scrolling, scrolling and chuckling softly to yourself at your desk when all of a sudden cubical buddy wants to know what's making you giggle and you have to click back to the front page really quick to find something plausible.
posted by carsonb at 11:36 AM on September 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


Some Tumblrs are like a form of psychological warfare.
You can feel the damage, LITERALLY FEEL THE DAMAGE,
Taking place in your soul.
But do you look away? No, you CAN'T LOOK AWAY.
You cannot look away and now you are damaged.
posted by Skygazer at 11:51 AM on September 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


its lineage goes back to the late 19th century

Physical Culture mag, 1902
posted by mediareport at 1:26 PM on September 13, 2012



See, kids, once upon a time, before the Internet made images easy to access for nearly anyone, young closeted homosexuals had to seek their visual stimulus in any nudity they could get.


Oh WWF, you small comfort on cold nights.
posted by The Whelk at 1:27 PM on September 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


Okay also something I have noticed from my purely ojective viewing of bodybuilder stuff. Those take a photo a day progress videos all have this one point in the video where they start getting fake tans, bleached tips and skin quality the consistency of beef jerky. It's really weird and it happens in every. single. one.
posted by The Whelk at 2:09 PM on September 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


(also this is right song)
posted by The Whelk at 2:11 PM on September 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


There is no way in which the 80's where not awesome.
posted by oddman at 2:39 PM on September 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Despite the fact that we're supposed to be nostalgic about our youth, the eighties sucked, right down to those stupid billowy pants that I, at least, did not wear, because they looked like pyjamas.

I had the fluffy, sky-high mullet with L'Oreal Coloriffic Mousse highlights and a little razor groove over each ear, the Swatch Shields (because glacier glasses made it impossible to drive), the lime green muscle shirt with mesh, grommets, and fake paint splatters, the white seersucker pants, and the Hawaiian-themed Vans with one magenta sock and one teal sock, with two Swatches for accuracy, an ear cuff with a dangly pewter feather because I don't believe in poking holes in my body, and a little wad of Kennebec Spruce Gum in my mouth at all times in case I was called upon to French (mind you, that's more of an 1880s thing, and I'm not sure why I thought tasting like a pine tree was sexier than mint, but I was the last of the true originals, dig), but those dumb pants?

No way, man.

Now, back then, I also had my briefest career, working as a stripper in a sad little dive that's now buried under the new ballpark like the Wicked Witch of the East, where the ceiling was so low that you danced between the bar and the grimy, nicotine-tar ceiling like aliens working their way through an air shaft, and a ripped, shiny, shaved physique was not what kept me employed, alas. I got a rep for being "trade" because I looked like the sort of slack straight guys who would do this as a fill-in between selling loveboat, but I envied the muscley dudes and busted my ass on the Soloflex in a vain attempt to move some fast-twitch fiber around in the subcutaneous regions, but as a doe-eyed smalltown kid in the big city, I did not grasp that those bodies come primarily from certain pricey injectables. I was just works-hard-in-shape, not magazine-in-shape, and I had the other crippling eighties social disease of being decidedly alabaster.

Had I spent a week at the tattoo shops, I could have paid my way through college as a scowly, disdainful rough trade dickhead dancing for angel dust money, but again—doe eyed and all that. I did try to counteract the alabaster, however.

No one warned me about QT. I do wish I'd been warned about QT.

I decided I needed to be eighties blond and tan, or something like that, so I picked up a bottle of Titian Gold hair dye and a bottle of QT, and dyed my body and hair a color almost entirely unlike either "titian gold" or tan. As the sun set, I thought I'd sleep on it, and woke up, stood naked in front of the mirror doors of the closet in my crappy little basement room in a group house, and could not quite figure out how I could possibly go out in public again with my carrot orange hair and carrot orange skin and jaundice yellow fingernails that were a side effect of the process of dying my hair carrot orange. I thought if I wore a lot of orange clothing for a while, I could play down the overall effect, but it did not help.

"What the—" was a common refrain. Hair can be redyed or hidden in a hat. Skin dyed carrot orange with a potent lotion of canthaxanthin does not fade. Skin dyed this way loses color through sloughing off outer layers, and it does this in blotches, spots, clumps, and other places where things rub up against it. I was the tangerine Elephant Man for a couple weeks, and got a crick in my neck from hanging my head every time I'd step into a 7-11 and hear "what the—"

"Yes, I am AWARE that I am orange," I once said aloud to a group a tittering teenagers at the 7-11 at Randolph Road and Nicholson. "I made a bad decision with a skin care product and I am orange. Is that okay with you?"

One fine day, when the last of the orange had gone, on a Friday night, I closed the ammonia cylinders on my diazo duplicator, locked up my office, and drove to DC in my Datsun wagon, taking Beach Drive, which is the second most beautiful way to enter the city. I drove through the little shunt that used to let you drive across the old ford in the creek (long closed, alas), stopped the car with water rushing around the wheels, opened the door, and leaned out to wash my hair in the water with apple-scented Suave.

Parked the car in one of the picnic areas, moussed my hair with L'Oreal Coloriffic Mousse in a magenta hue, then lay face-down and spread-eagled on the picnic table with my head dangling over the edge until my hair stopped dripping and dried into a mighty magenta cockscomb. I changed out of my khakis, my horrible work shirt, and my practical underpants and into my night clothes, then drove through the city and through the roundabout way to my familiar haunt.

I managed to get a slot, and stood around pretending to smoke a few Benson and Hedges Menthol Lite 100s (the trick is to just let them burn and tap the ashes as you go), then climbed up onto the bar. The other dancer, as usual, was golden tan, shiny as Christmas morning, shaved clean down to his butthole, and had pecs almost big enough to motorboat, and he peeled off layers of shredded t-shirts like Billy Squier's career-ending performance and did little twitchy tit-dances to show off every ampule of chemistry and every grunty moment spent clanging around the free weights at Bally's. I still burned with jealousy, because I'd been orange and now I was alabaster again, and had a body that just looked like a human.

I am ugly, and everyone else is pretty.

Other dancer did that body builder thing in which his back flared like a cobra, and I felt deflated. He was compact and built, just short enough that he could stand normally on the bar while I bounced off the ceiling like a pinball, up to my usual dance moves purloined from David Byrne, Laurie Anderson, and Oliver Hardy, and when he started having the sea of old men touch his bicep, I feared my socks would have nothing but my own "starter" buck in there to show for the night. Fortunately, I had a friend behind the bar.

"Hey boys," shouted my friendly bar-back, "Does anyone hear the choppers comin'?"

He cupped his ear in a standard gesture, then completed the thought.

"I think we have a helicopter comin' in to land, right here at La Cage!"

And there's my cue.

Yeah, muscle boy, you may have the body I'd dye myself orange to get, and you may have the triple-white VW Cabriolet with the subwoofer and the auto-reverse tape deck, and you may have the body of an Olympian athlete, but can you do this?

I sneered, I looked as mean and difficult as possible, put on my best Billy Idol disdain-face, and glared at the crowd through narrowed eyes.

"Which one 'a you old faggots wants to be a landing pad?"

Whapwhapwhapwhapwhap.

It may not have been a triumphant return, per se, and man, no matter how much I didn't want to long to be the kind of eighties big man around campus with big muscles and everything just right, I always felt ashamed that I just wasn't enough of what I was supposed to be for the world. I'd count my money, leave at closing time, and go home and sleep on the mashed-down fold-out foam chair-bed that was my grim pallet in my roachy basement cell in an unpleasant group house of milk stealers with Eno playing me to sleep on my Panasonic, and love and money and success and beauty were all things that people in magazines had in that overlit world of the future that was always twenty minutes ahead of us in the eighties.

As I drifted into the haze of Discreet Music, I finally realized who an oddly familiar face from that night had belonged to. It's not often that you get to whip the toupee off your high school social studies teacher with your penis, but this is a whole new world.

These days are going to do me in.
posted by sonascope at 3:36 PM on September 13, 2012 [20 favorites]


Who knew Jerry Seinfeld was pumping iron in the 80's?
posted by digsrus at 4:22 PM on September 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Great story sonascope, but all one had to do in the mountains of New Mexico to indicate one was queer was to pierce the "wrong" ear. So neener neener neener.

Of course every boy's dream car up there and back then was a fucking Subaru Brat, but that's a whole other thang.
posted by PapaLobo at 5:01 PM on September 13, 2012


No one warned me about QT. I do wish I'd been warned about QT. [...] Skin dyed carrot orange with a potent lotion of canthaxanthin does not fade.

Canthaxanthin was a pill that tanned from the inside. Well, sort of. What it did was turn fat brown. Lovely as that thought is, I doubt that's what you smeared yourself with.

The active ingredient in Coppertone QT was "Ketochromin," their trademarked name for Dihydroxyacetone. It's the very same stuff in modern fake tan.
posted by Sys Rq at 7:52 PM on September 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


There is no way in which the 80's where not awesome. --- nostalgia is all well and good, but I wouldn't go that far. AIDs, Reagan and the War on Drugs, Walter Mondale, crack cocaine, the Exxon Valdez, the Challenger exploding...
posted by crunchland at 8:38 PM on September 13, 2012


Metafilter: an unpleasant group house of milk stealers
posted by Slap*Happy at 4:32 AM on September 14, 2012


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