For roughly three years, say from ages 12 thru 15, certain album covers provided inspiration for that most necessary of activities. Album covers were the perfect inspirational device: They were naturally strewn all over my room and were question-free. My mom never asked, “Why are those records on your bed?” But she would ask, “Why is the Readers Digest Home Medical Guide and Encyclopedia on your bed?” [Don’t laugh; it had some sexy, sexy cross-sections and line drawings.] And it’s not like I had that poster of Cheryl Tiegs, y’know that one, hanging over my bed. I had a poster of Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem.
Moreover, album covers could be easily taken into bathroom in the form of the Columbia House catalog that came every month as part of the ongoing scam I was running on them. It was full of tiny covers that I had to squint to see, but I was squinting anyways. The bathroom was also full of copies of my sisters’ Cosmopolitans, but they were heavy with ads and often required two hands. If I wanted to read in the bathroom, I’d read The World Almanac, thank you.
Candy-O by The Cars
This cover was designed by Alberto Vargas, who did a lot illustrations for Playboy. This is closest I could ever come to an actual issue without digging in a dumpster.
In the Heat of the Night by Pat Benetar
I was so convinced that Pat Benatar didn’t exist outside of Virginia [I had no idea how music worked], that I had my mom take a special trip to the record store to get this album before we moved to Columbus. That was a good choice.
Country Life by Roxy Music
Permanent Waves by Rush
“What are you looking at?” demanded my mom when she caught me looking at this cover in the record store. Even though I loved the song “Spirit of Radio,” I was not allowed to purchase the record. Alas, it was to remain a Columbia House special.
Middle Man by Boz Scaggs
Breakfast in America by Supertramp
Now we’re getting into that gray area I probably should’ve paid more attention to.
Sticky Fingers by The Rolling Stones
Glass Houses by Billy Joel
Get Lucky by Loverboy
Is it lady-ass or man-ass? If it’s lady-ass, that man is awfully close. If it’s man-ass, he’s about to do something real bad in his red leather jeans. Bonus points for being readily available in my girlfriend’s room. Seriously, whose ass is this?