A couple of weeks ago we attended the “It’s Alive” exhibit at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts.
There are 100+ items on display curated from Kirk Hammett of Metallica’s private collection.
Like Kirk, I grew up as an early teen reading everything I could find about horror and sci-fi movies. The definitive information source in the early 60’s were the Famous Monsters of Filmland and Spacemen magazines which I would buy at the local variety store.
Forrest J. Ackerman(Forry) was our monster movie subject matter authority. He was Editor for Famous Monsters/Spacemen. He had an extensive memorabilia archive of 36,000+ items at his three Ackermansions. I learned a great deal from his authoritative articles that highlighted rare movie stills from such classics as King Kong, Bride of Frankenstein, and Dracula. His favorite sci-fi movie that he turned me on to was Metropolis by Fritz Lang (1927).
I collect music posters and they adorn many walls in my house. I gained a deeper appreciation for the rare movie posters in Kirk’s collection as an art form. Many of the posters on display were from Universal Pictures. I never fathomed how many movies Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi had made either individually or in collaboration.
If I had to choose one poster that enchanted me most it was the French movie poster of Frankenstein (1931) with the rare graveyard scene.
I deeply thank Kirk Hammett for sharing his private collection with the public. I also want to thank Peabody Essex Museum for the fantastic exhibition. It brought back many deep-seated memories seeing the Universal Movie posters, lobby cards and giant green Space Invader from Mars alien.
It’s Alive! Classic Horror and Sci-Fi Art from the Kirk Hammett Collection is on view until November 26.
It was October 1962 and I was 10 years old. I was in sixth grade attending John D. Magrath Elementary School. I recall going to the 5&10 Store (H.L. Greens) in downtown Norwalk, Connecticut where they sold 45 records. My father bought me a copy of Bobby “Boris” Pickett‘s “Monster Mash” . I bugged him like crazy to purchase it for me as “Monster Mash” was a #1 radio hit that week.
I was a major fan of horror films known as melodramas in those days. I read with religious fervor Famous Monsters of Filmland. I thought it was so cool that popular music validated my passion for Universal Pictures classics such as Frankenstein and Dracula.
(As you may recall Zacherley also had a hit with Monster Mash. Zacherley was very good friends with Dick Clark. He also had a show on WABC-TV in 1962, Shock Theater)
As soon as we got home from shopping I placed the 45 on the hi-fi and delighted in the fact I had my own copy of “Monster Mash”. I turned on the black and white TV in my room and watched Dick Clark’s American Bandstand. It was a Saturday afternoon. I sat in front of the TV with my TV table, eating a grilled cheese sandwich. Dick Clark introduced the number one song that week with his musical guest being Bobby “Boris” Pickett who lipsynched “Monster Mash”.
Happy Halloween everybody!
Now everything's cool, Drac's a part of the band
And my monster mash is the hit of the land
For you, the living, this mash was meant too
When you get to my door, tell them Boris sent you