GETTING MORE TALE #833: Juice Tin Saw Blades
Part One of the 1986 Saga
It was Bob Schipper that discovered if you cut out the top of a juice tin, and then continue to cut teeth into it, you could make yourself a replica saw blade wrist band like the ones wielded by Blackie Lawless of W.A.S.P. Bob was always the one inventing things. He was the most creative of us. He was usually the instigator.
We had to improvise with our rock n’ roll accessories. Neither of us had the resources or the parental approval to make or wear leather studded wristbands. You could buy studs at the local mall rock shop (there were rock shops opening up everywhere) but instead of trying to do that, we made our own out of the same juice tins. Before too long we had studded wristbands made of black electrical tape backed by cardboard and tin.
What I really wanted to do, but failed to achieve in a realistic looking way, was to make Vince Neil’s arm gauntlet. He had this wrist piece that appeared to have a crossbow bolt launcher on it. It looked lethal! Though I tried, I couldn’t make anything that looked quite like it.
Bob was also working on a jean jacket project, with buttons and a huge back patch of Iron Maiden’s Powerslave. Buying a back patch was an important component of the jacket. He had to pick a cool image that meant a lot to him, because it would be his identity, at least from behind! The only thing people would know about him from behind was that he liked whatever band his back patch was. The Powerslave choice was perfect. When Bob eventually outgrew the jacket, he took the back patch off and sewed it to the front of his guitar amp. That he blunted the sound of the amp wasn’t the issue — looking cool was the point. At least he got a lot of mileage out of that patch.
Meanwhile we’d drink as much apple juice as we could, to gather more raw materials for our precious projects. A soup tin, for example, could be carved into the shape of a ninja star. Scouring our recycling bins for more, we would create our little weapons and throw them at trees, trying to get them to stick. In the summer of 1985 we had an entire arsenal made of tin. Each throwing star was only good for one or two throws before they were blunted and deformed. Bob got the idea to buy throwing knives instead…improvised throwing knives.
We went to the Zellers store, bought a set of the cheapest possible kitchen paring knives, took them home and threw them at trees. A paring knife would last longer than a soup tin throwing star, but not by much.
Hey, give us some credit! We didn’t steal mom’s knives and wreck them. We bought our own!
It was an innocent time, but we’d heard that the cops would give you a warning if you were downtown wearing spikes. Not studs, but spikes — the pointy kind. So we kept to our neighbourhood with the juice tin sawblades and throwing stars. I can remember one Sunday, riding my bike solo with my juice tin sawblades on. I ran into a kid I knew who had a good laugh at me. I never wore them again. They were pretty haggard.
You can imagine how silly we looked, riding around on our BMX bikes with studded wrist bands that smelled like soup. Short-haired boys with just a tiny fringe of growth at the back. “Leave the back long,” we’d tell the barbers though they never did. “I have to cut off the dead ends,” they’d respond. And you’d come out of the salon with short hair again.
You know, mom and dad used to give me a hard time about the way I looked, but thinking back they probably had good reason!