Thursday, April 25, 1974 was my 16th birthday and I was so excited because it meant that I’d be able to get my driver’s license. My brother Jim knew that I was all hyped up and wanted to get me something special for my birthday that year.
That day I went to school and I came home and wandered up to my room. My brother Jim was in there laying on his bed reading a copy of Rolling Stone.
Above my bed was a framed poster of Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention and it was one of the coolest posters I had ever seen! It was a magnificent photo of Frank Zappa menacingly pointing his guitar with the Mothers of all sprawled out behind him.
At the top were the following words: “Shame….. You didn’t trust your mothers. The Mothers of Invention go ‘ABSOLUTELY FREE’ on Verve records.”
I walked over looked at it and then turned around and my brother was sitting up on his bed with a big grin on his face and he said, “Happy birthday!”
I thanked him and told him it was the greatest poster ever! He told me that he bought it at Co-op Tapes and Records on Main Street and it was the only one they had. Then he went and got it framed and he hid it for a month from me. He kept it in my parents closet and told them not to mention it to me. I thought it was cool that they were in on the whole thing. He hung it up on the wall before I got home from school.
It really meant a lot to me that he went to all that trouble and I’ve always treasured it and it’s my oldest possession in life.
It’s been with me since that day in 1974 and it’s been hung on a wall in every place I’ve ever lived (various houses and apartments in Peoria, Chicago, Indianapolis and two places in New York City) and now it hangs on the wall of the MBIP World Headquarters here in Peoria, Illinois.
It still has the original frame, but I’ve had to scotch tape the corners to keep it together.
I found a copy of it on Etsy where it’s selling for $850.00! Apparently these days it’s a pretty rare poster!
On ebay it’s going for $499.99.
Well, don’t bother putting in a bid on mine, I’m not selling and it’s staying with me as it’s my oldest and most prized possession!
Have a wonderful Friday everyone and we’ll see you tomorrow!