Holy Crap, It’s Already 11

I meant to do so many things already! But now I have to drive to Lexington.

So whilst I drive and do other non-being-on-the-Web site things, a question to keep you busy:

Tell me your favorite piece of media when you were twelve. 

That could be a TV show, pop song or video, video game, comic book, whatever. The only rule is that it had to be the media-related thing you couldn’t live without.

Tell us! We all wish to know.

This was probably it for me, by the way.


190 Comments on “Holy Crap, It’s Already 11”

  1. I spent all my free time in front of my computer from about 10-16. Something that would have been normal with todays teens, but it was 1980-1986. I played a lot of Zork 1/2/3, Planetfall, etc. Also did a lot of programming in basic as a kid.

  2. Star Blazers. I walked home every day and watched to see what would happen to the Space Battleship Yamamoto. Yes I am old.

  3. Let’s see, 12 years old = late ’79-’80. That would be Empire Strikes Back. I wanted to see Blue Lagoon but couldn’t get in of course.

  4. Quite a few candidates here, but I’ll nominate the comic book All-Star Squadron, which was Roy Thomas’s admirable attempt to build DC Comics’s Golden Age history into something coherent and entertaining. The premise: after Pearl Harbor, FDR asks all of America’s superheroes to team up in one giant group to defend the home front. It was great stuff.

  5. I can’t do 12, but I can do 11. When I was 11 the movie “Aliens” came out on VHS tape (remember those?) and I drove my mom crazy since I watched it EVERY DAY for a month. I think I was just looking for anything Science Fiction related taht didn’t involve too much thinking.

  6. Either Jeff Wayne’s musical War of the Worlds, or Civilization 3. Or Ender’s Game.

  7. Fighting Fantasy books… was crazy about them. Still am now that they are avaiable on phones and tablets. :)

  8. For me, it would be either Brian Jacques’ Redwall series, or the serial Mathnet (part of Square One TV). For my friend S., whom I’m traveling with, it would be Lloyd Alexander’s Chronicles of Prydain.

  9. The tender age of twelve puts me in front of the piano learning to play the Entertainer [http://youtu.be/fPmruHc4S9Q]. The Sting hit theaters hard and my music teacher pushed my piano skills. Ragtime was a much welcomed break from Chopin and Tchaikovsky. Teacher always hated when I played the blues.

  10. Wow, that’s a long time ago. Probably the Frühbeck-deBurgos recording of Carmina Burana.

    No TV in our house about then. Except during football season, when I squeezed in a few eps of Star Trek between games.

  11. Star Trek – The Original Series.
    Everyone thinks I went into science because of Uhura (I am female) but nope; for me it was Scotty and my father who was a self-made engineer.

  12. Let’s see… Asteroids on the Atari2600, Lode Runner and Ultima2 on the Apple2+, Betamax movies (once I put the Betamax player back together) and the day I stopped being the TV remote.

  13. Probably the Bangles’ cassette tape, “Different Light”, which contained such hits as Manic Monday and Walk like an Egyptian. I literally wore it out ’til it wouldn’t play w/o sounding all distorted.

  14. When I was 12, I saw the video for U2’s “Pride: In the Name of Love”. I hadn’t been a big U2 fan before “The Unforgettable Fire”, but that song, and that album, really spoke to me. I couldn’t convince my parents to let me go to that concert, but three years later, when I was 15 and a freshman in HS, I saw U2 on The Joshua Tree tour. The Unforgettable Fire sounded (to my ears, anyway) like nothing that had come before it. It’s a bit strong to say “it changed my life”…but that’s the media thing that I remember from when I was 12.

  15. Let’s see, that would have been late 74 through the first 6 weeks of summer vacation 75. That probably means Kung Fu. Also I got the Ballantine boxed set of The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings for my birthday when I turned 12 and must have read that 3 or 4 times that year. So that’s another good candidate.

  16. Dating myself here. Robert Vaugh as Napoleon Solo and David McCallum as Illya Kuriyakin on The Man from U.N.C.L.E. on the television. Jame Bond had arrived and this TV show was the cultural spin off of all things cold war spyish. Even had the plastic spy gun kit with long barreled silencer (fake of course) to save the world each day playing in the neighborhood.

  17. In the old days, we only saw certain programs once a year, so for me it was the annual viewing of the Wizard of Oz (which I didn’t see in color until I was 13) and the annual viewing of Cinderella–the one with Leslie Ann Warren. In cartoons, I was passionate about Rocky & Bullwinkle and George of the Jungle. We made our own music in those days. I didn’t hear an entire Beatles album until after they broke up, when I was 17 years old.

  18. Wait you were already into Journey at 12?? Ai ai ai. Well, it could have been worse. You could have been into ABBA (don’t even think about it).

    12 was a sort of big change time for me. My brother and I precipitated our family’s move (and my father’s return) to Guam. Frank and I flew from LAX to my Dad’s island home in 1970 and lived with our grandparents for a year. The rest of the family came to live afterward.

    Before that time I could probably relate to a number of media-based activities that I enjoyed (I was a big LA Rams fan in the 60s). After that time I moved to Hawaii and remember a number of things I enjoyed through various media in the 80s. On Guam, however, there was so little on TV that the only ‘media’ we really could relate to–with any sort of continuity–was radio. Besides, we’re talking about living on a tropical island with loads of similar-aged relatives and friends. It was like getting to be Robinson Crusoe and have your regular life too. At least it felt that way. Media took a definite back seat during those years.

    So, I’m going to have to come up blank on that for 12. Between exploring the boonies and all the hours hanging outside with my cousins (not to mention all those fiestas my grandparents made us go to, bless their hearts) there wasn’t much inclination to sit around and listen to the radio or watch TV.

    I will put in an honorable mention for 8-track. In high school that was huge. I think of 8-tracks sort of the same way I think of hardbacks: it was something of substance filled with music. Some may feel that way about records, but not me. 8-track all the way. Like I said, though, that was after 12, so only worth a mention.

  19. Bought my first cassette tape (remember cassette tapes?) – 22B3 by the band Device. And, very probably, drove my parents to the brink of insanity by playing it over, and over, and over, and over…

  20. ST:TNG books, bought from our grocery store, and consumed at a feverish pace (1 per schoolweek; 1 per weekend). The Adventures of Brisco County Junior (Loved it so much I used a disposable camera to take pictures of the opening credits). Jurassic Park on IMAX (probably two dozen times … Which is a lot considering the IMAX theatre was in San Antonio and we were in Austin). I realize you asked for one thing and I gave you three. Well, I gave you ONE tricolon … Does that count?

  21. Stephen King books.. by 12 I was fully addicted and reading my way as quickly as I could through his entire catalog. It being 1988 at that time he had at least a few books for me to go find and read..

  22. Erm, for me 12 means 1967. Erm, I watched Sound of Music every chance I could get, and please remember, this was in theater-only days. Think I saw it 13 times.

  23. I could have been the original (pre-Ecclescake reboot) Dr Who.

    I have no idea if it actually was my most favouritist favourite; however as I remember it and not other things the series definitely made a great impression.

  24. Steve Miller’s “Fly Like an Eagle” album. Listened to it about 800 times in a row.

  25. Hmm..that was about ’76, everywhere we went we played and sang to in the car tape player either Neil Diamond, the Carpenters or Olivia Newton John..so I guess singing to romantic love songs…at 12. Yikes!

  26. 12? 1975. Seventh grade. What the hell was I doing? I had an acoustic guitar and was playing clarinet in band. Ah, yes. I was getting into The Beatles and Paul McCartney. I had a guitar book that had Live and Let Die in it. I was having trouble playing the Bm chord then I had the revelation that playing bass was easier because bass players only played one note at a time. The wheels were in motion toward my first bass guitar in 1976. Aside from The Beatles and Paul McCartney, I also loved America and the Steely Dan album Aja. I had grown out of my love for The Partridge Family by that time.

  27. I was born in 1951. So I turned 12 in 1963. By then I’d read a lot of the paperbacks that my father had published, running MB Books for Macfadden-Bartell. So I’d absorbed, besides the Shakespeare (my Mom paid me a quarter for each Shakespeare sonnet I memorized) I read and loved the 1962-1963 subset {Mark Clifton, Gordon R. Dickson, Cyril M. Kornbluth, George B. Mair, S. Michael, Dorothy Sayers, Clifford Simak, A. E. van Vogt} of:
    Margery Allingham, “The Mind Readers”, (75-175, 1967)
    Poul Anderson, “The High Crusade”, (50-211, 1964)
    Poul Anderson, “The High Crusade”, (60-349, 1968)
    Poul Anderson, “Time and Stars”, (60-206, 1965)
    Taylor Caldwell, “The Devil’s Advocate”, (75-126, 1964)
    Taylor Caldwell, “The Devil’s Advocate”, (75-184, 1967)
    Curtis W. Casewit, “The Peacemakers”, (60-321, 1968)
    Mark Clifton, “When They Come From Space”, (40-105, 1963)
    Mark Clifton, “When They Come From Space”, (50-341, 1967)
    Philip K. Dick, “The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch” (60-240, 1966)
    Philip K. Dick, “Now Wait for Last Year” (60-352, 1968)
    Gordon R. Dickson, “No Room for Man”, (50-179, 1963)
    Gordon R. Dickson, “No Room for Man”, (50-329, 1966)
    R. C. W. Ettinger, “The Prospect of Immortality”, (75-166, 1966),
    1st Cryonics book in paperback
    J. Hunter Holly, “The Mind Traders”, (60-291, 1967)
    Damon Knight, “Beyond the Barrier”, (50-234, 1965)
    Damon Knight, “Cities of Wonder”, (75-183, 1967)
    Cyril M. Kornbluth, “A Mile Beyond the Moon”, (40-100, 1962)
    Cyril M. Kornbluth, “A Mile Beyond the Moon”, (50-288, 1966)
    Murray Leinster, “The Greks Bring Gifts”, (50-224, 1964)
    Murray Leinster, “The Greks Bring Gifts”, (50-418, 1968)
    John Lymington, “Froomb!”, (60-287, 1967)
    George B. Mair, “The Day Khruschev Panicked”, (50-183, 1963)
    S. Michael, “Journey Into Limbo”, (60-140, 1963)
    Sam Moskowitz, “Doorway Into Time”, (50-311, 1966)
    Sam Moskowitz, “Microcosmic God and Other Stories”, (60-335, 1968)
    Eric North [B. C. Cronin], “The Ant Men”, (60-277, 1967)
    Alan E. Nourse, “Tiger by the Tail”, (50-199, 1964)
    Alan E. Nourse, “Tiger by the Tail”, (60-309, 1968)
    Dorothy Sayers, “Human and Inhuman Stories”, (50-156, 1963)
    Dorothy Sayers, “Human and Inhuman Stories”, (60-298, 1967)
    Dorothy Sayers, “Stories of the Supernatural”, (50-170, 1963)
    Dorothy Sayers, “Stories of the Supernatural”, (50-300, 1967)
    Clifford Simak, “All the Traps of Earth”, (50-165, 1963)
    Clifford Simak, “They Walked Like Men”, (50-184, 1963)
    Clifford Simak, “They Walked Like Men”, (50-381, 1967)
    Clifford Simak, “Way Station”, (60-198, 1963)
    Clifford Simak, “All the Traps of Earth”, (50-388, 1967)
    Edward E. “Doc” Smith, “The Vortex Blaster”, (60-325, 1968)
    J. Stearn, “The Door to the Future”, (75-152, 1964)
    William F. Temple, “Shoot at the Moon”, (60-239, 1967)
    A. E. van Vogt, “The Voyage of the Space Beagle”, (60-146, 1963)
    A. E. van Vogt, “The Voyage of the Space Beagle”, (60-318, 1968)
    A. E. van Vogt, “The Beast”, (60-169, 1964)
    A. E. van Vogt, “The Beast”, (60-343, 1968)
    A. E. van Vogt, “Empire of the Atom”, (60-267, 1966)
    A. E. van Vogt, “Masters of Time”, (50-334, 1967)
    A. E. van Vogt, “The Changeling”, (50-335, 1967)
    A. E. van Vogt, “The Wizard of Linn”, (60-366, 1968)

  28. 1976. The Bicentennial. ABC-TV’s Saturday morning cartoon lineup: the Krofft Supershow (Electra Woman and Dyna Girl!), Jabberjaw, the Scooby-Doo/Dyno-Mutt Hour! And on Saturday night? Holmes & Yo-Yo! Whoo-hoo! In the world of comic books (my other 12-year old obsession): Metal Men and the big Superman vs. the Amazing Spider-Man crossover! (I remember being fascinated with the elaborate work that was done on that cover, ensuring that each super-hero had equal prominence.)

  29. In ’89 I was deep into anything written by Stephen King, my introduction being The Dark Half. I was seriously fearful of any large group of sparrows after that book. Also, the first Batman movie had me swinging from the trees becaped and cowled, much to the dismay of my mother, and arresting our cats and dogs for comic crimes. Batman was HUGE for me.

  30. 1970: had to be re-runs of the original Star Trek, which I’d already seen enough times to know when scenes had been trimmed or cut entirely to squeeze in more commercials. We still had only b&w televisions, so I’d yet to see it in color.

  31. The movie Love Me Tender was a high spot. I really really didn’t like Elvis Presley, and was pleased to see him shot and buried. Not kind, but hey, I was in 7th grade. How much maturity can you expect?

  32. My walkman, and all my tapes. The tapes I taped off of my records, because records were a better investment. The walkman was brand new (to me) and looked just like my brother’s, so I put my initials on the top in pink nail polish. Man I loved that walkman. It had auto-reverse. So. Fancy!

  33. Media? We didn’t have “media” in my day, sonny, we had three TV channels and the World Book Encyclopedia. As for favorites, it was a toss-up between “The Man From Uncle” and “My Favorite Martian.”

    And speaking of holy crap, Holy Crap, I’m old.

  34. 1982-3, so it was a tie between Depeche Mode (Just can’t get enough) and Michael Jackson (the yellow vest sweater poster, which proudly hung in my bedroom for years).

  35. Let’s see, that would put me in the year I finished sixth grade (1981). So my pick would be the dog-eared copy of Heinlein’s Stranger in a Strange Land that I had purchased and read the year before. You can see the cover here.
    I know, twelve might be a little young for Stranger, but I was a precocious lad. I’d read Rocket Ship Galileo, Space Cadet, and Have Spacesuit, Will Travel from our elementary school library. I bought paperbacks of Starman Jones and Tunnel in the Sky, and I think one of those books mentioned on the cover that Heinlein was author of Stranger, so I picked up Stranger when I was in 5th grade. I even carried it to class to read after tests to my very fundamentalist Christian school. The teachers had no idea what I was reading.
    And I still own that very copy of Stranger.

  36. ’82 means Doctor Who but because I lived in Vermont and we couldn’t get the rebroadcast on PBS (mountain living is fun…NOT) it meant the books. Particularly the Invasion of the Dinosaurs. Oh and Billy Joel. Allentown always plays through my head when I think of that book.

  37. I should have also mentioned I bought it new at the news stand. Yes, I’m that old.

  38. Discover Magazine: I figuratively devoured every issue. Had a subscription from Day #1 till about the year 2000.

  39. Another vote for “Kung Fu”. I loved the shit out of that show. That’s if I had to pick one; I was also obsessed with “The Six Million Dollar Man”. Our local station showed reruns of “The Big Valley”, so when it came on, I was all “Dude, that’s Heath Barkley!” (although we didn’t actually say ‘dude’ back then)

  40. Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit. My parents took them away from me for a whilr and made me go outside…

  41. This was the year I began sneaking behind my parents’ back to listen to (GASP!) secular music! I’d received a clock radio for that same birthday, and I would spend hours in my room listening to it. The volume was carefully calibrated to not be heard outside my room. I quickly learned exactly how far to twist the tuner knob to return to the safe and allowed Christian radio station. It was the first real crack in the carefully constructed wall around our lives.

  42. This will sound crazy, but I wasn’t attached to any kind of media when I was 12. We didn’t get a TV until I was 13, so I spent my time after school hunting for quarterstaff-sized trees, cutting them down and then proceeding to hit as many still-living trees with them as I could manage before the staff broke.

    I feel like it was incredibly productive use of my childhood.

  43. My collection of 45s. I was just starting them. I got $1 allowance and the 45s cost 99 cents. My best friend would bring over her collection and we would listen to them for hours. I was 13 when I bought my first real record (gasp!). Elton John’s greatest hits. Crocodile Rock. Yep. That was 1973, all right.

  44. TV – the original Star Trek. We were too poor to spend $$ on comic books; thankfully my dad was a sci-fi buff, so we never missed an ep of TOS.

    I would have said WCLV (classical music on the radio), but I didn’t discover that till the next year, when I was 13.

  45. Star Wars. Actually, much more specifically, The Star Wars Sketchbook full of Joe Johnston’s concept art. Which is why I do what I do now.

    Also, Van Halen’s first album. Which is why I did what I used to do.

    That was a pretty powerful year!

  46. That was 1982 for me, and about the time that I discovered KISS Alive! and Alive II. Couldn’t get enough of them, mostly because of the makeup personas that they created.


    When I was 12, I was well into Stephen King, especially early novels like Carrie, Pet Sematary, Skeleton Crew stories, etc. It would be another couple of years before it was nearly swamped out by my “Back to the Future” obsession, namely because the movie hadn’t been made yet. ;-)

  48. Grateful Dead, “Touch of Grey.” My parents had just gotten divorced, resulting in a move from a small town to a large town, new school, a different type of life completely. The chorus’s hook is “I will get by.” Maybe the only thing that got me through some rough years.

  49. Star Wars blew my 12 year old mind. Kaboom! Everybody’s problem with The Phantom Menace, et. al? We’re not twelve any more.

  50. During our formative years, my parents wouldn’t let us watch TV after dinner, so we lived for Friday and Saturday nights. The line up – Love Boat and Fantasy Island.

  51. Do books counts as media in 1981?

    Do games count as media?

    While I could pretend to be cool and say that it was The Police’s “Ghost in the Machine”, I didn’t pick that up until I was 13. And don’t get me wrong, Star Wars / Empire, Donner’s Superman, and Bashki’s Lord of the Rings were all looming large in my consciousness, and Raiders of the Lost Ark was pretty much the best thing ever in the history of everything, but we didn’t have a VCR yet, so I wasn’t saturated in those, yet.

    So honestly, it was probably the 1st Edition Dungeons and Dragons Player’s Handbook and Dungeon Master’s Guide.

  52. Like JohnC, it was totally Doc Savage for me too. (I was 12 in 1971.) Those Bantam paperback reprints with the great James Bama covers. One read of The Munitions Master–purchased from a wire rack at the local drug store–and I was hooked. When I realized that more than 60 additional stories had been previously published, I may have actively salivated.

  53. I was 12 in… 1985. So my favourite media thing would have been listening to Duran Duran records over and over. And watching Time Bandits on HBO over and over. Ooh and Rock Over London, which was this syndicated program you could listen to late at night on some radio stations (intended to introduce UK music to US listeners).

  54. Robotech and Voltron: Defender of the Universe. I admit that I was crushing on several characters. This was so bad that I would actually get up at 6:30 am on a school day to watch the double feature before I had to get ready for the bus.

  55. I was 12 in 1977. So: Star Wars. Star Trek on TV. And I had recently discovered the Foundation trilogy by Asimov.

  56. 12 years old, would have been 1959/1960. Media – books (first (STILL)) tv second.
    Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo and Rick Brant series
    Paladin, Dragnet, The Lawman, Ed Sullivan and several more. I will confess to having to google ‘tv in 1959’, but seeing the list brought them back to glorious living black and white

  57. In 1989, when I turned 12, I was totally wrapped up in the middle of Marvel Comics’ Inferno crossover.

  58. 12 would put me in 1995. And like the crazy person that I am, I think that it would have to be Monty Python (Bravo started playing it at like 5pm every day around then if I remember correctly . . .) that I wouldn’t have been able to live without. Followed closely by my Christopher Pike books. . .

  59. 1989 – The Little Mermaid. I know I watched it 42 before I stopped counting.

  60. That’d be 1970, so if I have to pick just one… The Making of Star Trek; I wore out three paperback copies. I wasn’t quite old enough for ST:TOS when it first aired, but in 1970 they were rerunning it every afternoon in the perfect after school time slot. My best friend and I watched it obsessively, talked about it all the time, and wrote our very first fanfic. It was my first experience of deep and passionate fannishness, and it was glorious.

  61. That was 1987 for me. I was really into Stephen King and Sweet Valley High book-wise. Music-wise I was heavily into Bon Jovi. Movie-wise The Lost Boys.

  62. That was around when Final Fantasy VII came out, so probably that. I was big into the Star Wars expanded universe books (notably Timothy Zahn’s work, which are the only ones I remember fondly today) at the time, too.

  63. Age 12? That would have been the Beatles. My sister and I bought the Norwegian Wood album and played it endlessly. I still picture a snowy day in Connecticut every time I hear the title song. And then at age 13 I won a front row ticket to a Beatles concert — and my dad made me go camping instead. But that’s another story….

  64. Star Trek, now known as The Original Series, but back then it was just Star Trek. I watched every episode. It was the one hour a week that I got to override my brother’s choices for TV, so I remember it very well!

  65. For non-book media, it would have to be Get Smart.

    But mostly it was books, I was into series or clusters of SF books: Heinlein juveniles, Andre Norton (and Alan Nourse was shelved right next door). Narnia, Prydain. Danny Dunn and Lucky Starr. And non-SF: The Three Investigators, and anything by Walter Farley.

  66. That would’ve been 1960. My second brother had just been born and my grandfather was dying of cancer. Don’t remember what I was into; I think I was just trying to keep a low profile and stay out of everybody’s way.

  67. The History of the US Navy during WWII, all 15 volumes of it. The next year was when pop music entered my life in a big way. The Madison Junior High got a juke box for the lunch room. “American Pie” played nonstop during lunch hours for 3 months straight

  68. That was the year that I got seriously into SF, and started reading Heinlein, Asimov, etc. If books count as media, then at age 12 I was all about SFF. No TV in the house, the computer was a TI 99 that I mostly used for math “games,” and I couldn’t have cared less about music or arcade games. I’m a bookworm, always have been.

  69. Well, we were living in [Europe] in 1962, so consumable media would have been movies, radio, magazines, records, and books. I don’t seem to remember the movies or the books. The magazines were the parents’ choices: Parents (yes, really), Good Housekeeping, McCalls, Ladies Home Journal, Modern Screen, Photoplay (Mom’s choices), Saturday Evening Post, Life, Time (Dad’s; he also got Playboy and Army Times, but the latter was boring, and the former I didn’t discover until the next year), Seventeen, American Girl, and Boys Life. All, I think, bought at the newsstand. We did have comics; we bought the DC line, and occasionally swapped for things like Journey into Mystery before it introduced Thor. If it had print, I read it. Mostly I listened to radio. The old serials, comedies, and dramas were still being broadcast, so I didn’t miss TV; the World Series was pretty exciting that year. The original cast recording of My Fair Lady is pretty much part of my cells, as are Tito Puente, a Duke Ellington album and some comedy recordings.

    “Open Arms” is a beautiful song and Journey was a fine band. Don’t let ’em tell you different.

  70. Gee, with a few exceptions I feel like the oldest man in the world here.

    OK, 1961 then, still one of the best rock & roll years ever. Will You Love Me Tomorrow, BLue Moon, Runaway (my favorite song ever), Mother-in-Law, Quarter to Three, Tossin’ and Turnin’ (the #1 song of the year), Take Good Care of My Baby, Hit the Road Jack, Runaround Sue,
    And those were just some of the #1 songs.
    Please Mr. Postman (first Motown #1 hit), The Lion Sleeps Tonight.

  71. “The first thing the boy Garion remembered was the kitchen at Faldor’s farm.”

    Pawn of Prophecy – Chapter 1, sentence 1; book one of The Belgariad. David Eddings was my first real novel, and between myself and my father we wore out at least two copies of the entire series.

  72. Anne McCaffrey novels. I read everything she wrote, particularly the Dragonsong/singer/drums trilogy and the Pegasus trilogy, multiple times. I always had one in my bag.

  73. That was 6th grade, when my Reading teacher assigned us a different genre to check out at the library every week. The first assignment was something called ‘science fiction’…

    That was almost 40 years ago, but I still remember that I devoured The Andromeda Strain in a single day.

  74. When I was 12 (in 1983), I had a little tape deck and exactly one tape — of the Clash’s “London Calling.” I used to carry it around the house with me all day long, just playing it over and over.

  75. My uncle bought me The Deed of Paksenarrion and the Legacy of Gird. I read each of those twice or so, and the second first one three or four time. I had an author crush on Elizabeth Moon.

  76. Hm, Age 12. That would be 6th grade. 1980-1981. So “Empire Strikes Back”, in both movie and comic book adaptation, were way up there, but the absolute top of the list can’t-miss-it entry had to be “Dukes of Hazzard”.

    Shut up.

  77. The Film Form and The Film Sense by Sergei Eisenstein. Any movie I could get to see, which at the time was almost anything because the University near us had these incredible cheap film showings several nights a week and for some reason my parents were indulging my cinema madness. In fact it was my father who pointed out the books after we saw “Alexander Nevsky” at one of these showings.

    Musically, I’m not sure — everything was changing drastically in 1965, and I was pretty enthralled by it all, but when I looked up a particular song, it didn’t come out till I was almost 14, so it doesn’t count. But it was a really exciting time in music, I have to say (probably it always is, honestly).

    Oh, probably I should say “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction,” because that did come out in 1965 and it was one of the most unsettling experiences of my life to see Mick Jagger singing that on afternoon TV.

    Also, everything by Zelazny and Clifford D. Simak and Maxim Gorky I could get my hands on.
    And Goethe.

  78. First things first: OMG STEVE PERRY!!!!! I was in LOVE with him–and especially with “Open Arms” …and his long, silky, hair…and those sideburns!!!! So sexy!! But I was around 14 when this song came out.
    I turned 12 at the end of ’78. I was in love with Christopher Reeves/Superman. I even skipped out early on a babysitting job when I had the chance to go see the movie AGAIN. (I told them I had family emergency–for some reason, it was about 3 years before they asked me to babysit again) I thought my faovirte scene was when he catches Lois, preventing her from flying off a skyscraper: (at :18) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GDItpGFh_Ck

    But really, it’s the whole nerdy, Clark Kent-still-waters-run-deep that seems to have stuck with me: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BIaF0QKtY0c&feature=fvwp&NR=1

    As for music, when I turned 12, I got 2 Billy Joel Albums (as per my request), “The Stranger” and “52nd Street.” I wanted them for “Just the Way You Are” and “My Life,” the latter of which I blasted as much as possible in a passive-aggressive attempt at rebelliousness. What I didn’t realize is that “Scenes From an Italian Restaurant” and “Vienna” would become my all time favorites… with “Vienna” being a song that I would dedicate to my oldest daughter (who was around 12 at the time) and her obsessiveness over her grades…10 years later, our youngest, who is currently 12, has learned to play “Vienna” on her clarinet. I guess we ARE doing our jobs as parents. ;-)

    So here’s the one I ended up listening to over, and over, especially in the morning while getting ready for school: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=au74rR9lIYQ (Scenes From an Italian Restaurant)
    Funny story, my mom almost made me stop listening to it, because at first, she thought the lyrics said, “A bottle of reds, a bottle of whites…” She thought it was glorifying drug use. I tried to explain the lyrics, but she wouldn’t believe me until I showed her the lyrics in the liner notes. 0.o

  79. The movies I rented over and over in 1994:
    Disney’s Aladdin
    Ace Ventura Pet Detective.

  80. I have a really poor memory of being a kid, actually. I had to look up what was going on in 1986 in order to remember what I liked… The only thing I can say with certainty that I really enjoyed came out just before I turned 13, which would be the Giffen/DeMatteis Justice League. Still the best League, in my opinion.

  81. I was 12 in 1996, when I couldn’t get enough of TIE Fighter on the PC. It had brilliant gameplay, amazing music and sound design, and a compelling story of betrayal and intrigue. Best of all, it was a way to play in the Star Wars universe back in the days before the prequels!

  82. Toss up between the Foundation trilogy and about any Laugh-In episode……..

  83. Dr Who, on black and white television with 405 lines of glorious resolution, starring William Hartnell. That vintage series may look dated now, but then it was groundbreaking. It was also more science fiction and less fantasy, as written “back when I were a lad”.

  84. Set the wayback machine for 1959. We had parentally disapproved music from KOMA, 1500 AM, a thousand miles away, on our seven-transistor radios. The Flamingos, I Only Have Eyes For You as an example. Early that year, though, was The Day The Music Died. Late that year, Starship Troopers came out, and Ben Hur would win Best Picture.

  85. I think it was my 12th or 13th birthday when I received a copy of Star Wars for our Toshiba CED Video Disc player. We played the living daylights out of that disc.

    At that age my favorite book was probably the AD&D 1st ed. Players Handbook. My thanks to the other commenters for reminding me.

  86. Oh, this is an easy one! For me, it was Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In. It created a buzz among my contemporaries for the first time in my life that decades later became known as the water-cooler effect.

  87. Judging from the dates given, commenters on this thread are between 15 and 70 years old. That’s a amazing range! Three plus GENERATIONS.

  88. I had the fortune of discovering Stephen King at 10 or 11 years old. The Stand was published when I was 12. I read that book at least 3 times that year. So completely obsessed was I that I even read it out loud to my younger sister who refused to read anything that long herself.
    It ruined me for post apocafic the way Les Mis ruined me for musicals. I still revisit them both every few years.

  89. Stripes. I watched that movie about 30 times when I was 12 on cable and VHS. I once watched it 3 times in one day.

    I think I need to watch that tonight. :)

  90. I turned 12 in 1989, and so that would mean I was “Hangin’ Tough” with The New Kids on the Block. Oh yes, Joey was HAWT!! And, when I wasn’t drooling over his poster in my room, I read mostly Stephen King and the Sunfire series, which is a series of books written by different authors wherein the titular character is a young woman who is around 16-years-old. Each novel includes a love triangle and some major historical event or major conflict. My favorite was Rachel, who is a young Jewish girl who was working in the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory – the fire scene was particularly frightening and vivid. I also liked Cassie, Elizabeth, Roxanne, Margaret, and Joanna (and not just because we have the same name!). I think this reading year set-up my long-standing desire to see romance juxtaposed with horror and/or the supernatural.

  91. 1971: Star Trek: Original Series (which by then I had practically memorized since the reruns played all the time), Tolkien, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings (also practically memorized) and for music: Carole King, Tapestry, and Don McLean, American Pie.

  92. *thinks* 1962. We hadn’t gotten a TV yet. (We did, the next year, but didn’t watch it much.) Didn’t go to many movies; didn’t listen much to the radio ( that would change in a few years, when I got addicted to the Saturday Metropolitan Opera broadcasts).

    So, books/magazines. My father always subscribed to a couple of the SF mags, though not always the same two. My favorite stories were Cordwainer Smith’s “The Ballad of Lost C’Mell” and Zenna Henderson’s “Shadow on the Moon”. They’re both still among my favorite authors. (Didn’t encounter LotR until I was 16.)

  93. I don’t remember being obsessed with any one thing, but I do remember really liking Weird Al Yankovic and Star Trek (at 12 it would have probably been Voyager – I know, I know). Thankfully my tastes have matured somewhat (somewhat).

  94. Oh good grief! Forget the Atari, the clear winner was DnD. At that point I was still primarily a player in my older sisters groups when they let me tag along, but I was on the verge of starting to play heavily with my own friends. I could spend hours just reading the rule books.

  95. Snoop Doggy Dogg’s first album, Doggystyle. Never got old. My dad had to put in time and effort to stop me from singing the lyrics in front of my mother.

  96. 12 years old was 1980-81. That would have been various Atari 2600 games (especially Asteroids and Missile Command), The Empire Strikes Back and some collections of Asimov short stories. And I had very much not outgrown Lego.

    I think I got my Atari 400 (with BASIC and Star Raiders) in 1981; I may have been 13 by then. I was messing around and learning programming on my dad’s engineering mainframe account at GE, but I’m not sure Hunt the Wumpus counts as “media”.

  97. 1977: so you know…. But not before Space 1999. My 12 year old self was sure it was way superior to Star Trek at the time, I mean to the point of fisticuffs.

  98. Hello, youngsters. I was 12 in 1947. No tv. Double-feature movies with a weekly serial. A quarter every Saturday afternoon. Edgar Rice Burroughs books. Classical music on the radio on Sunday afternoons!

  99. I would say the original Star Trek would be my #1. My parents had a large folk music collection and I resisted rock and roll to listen to Harry Belafonte, Weavers, etc. My two older sisters were really into the Beatles and I disdained the screaming hysterics that pursued whenever their music came on when I was younger. By 12 though I was gravitating more and more to rock and roll and I would come home from school and put on my sister’s Beatles, Stones, Dave Clark Five, Beach Boys, etc, etc. After a while it was like having a fix…

  100. No TV in our house when I was 12 but I found Alexander Dumas in the library.

  101. Oh man, sorry for the second post here, I just remember The Avengers – Emma Peel and Mr. Steed. I lived for that show. I was in LOVE with Emma Peel (and her car)…

  102. Elton John – Daniel (first album bought halfsies with brother; I still have the LP with the original songbook)
    John Denver – Rocky Mountain High
    Jim Croce – Bad Bad Leroy Brown
    Also, as A MD Hamm @ 11:36, I also learned to play “The Entertainer” except I played flute in the school band.

  103. Ah . . . 1975. It’s a tie between William Goldman & George Roy Hill’s book about making “The Great Waldo Pepper” (Best. Flying. Movie. Ever.) and Stephen Whitfield’s book “The Making of Star Trek.” Read and reread them both ’til I had them memorized, absolutely entranced by seeing what happened behind the cameras.

  104. The “Sunbowverse” – Transformers, G.I. Joe, Inhumanoids, etc. Sad to say, my three younger brothers and I avoided Jem due to its perceived girlishness. The patriarchy hurts everyone…

  105. Back to the Future and The Goonies in the theater. Star Wars and Empire at our local Bilbo Baggins Video Rentals. It was a good year to be 12.

  106. I got all you youngsters beat! At 12 I saw the very first production of Aristophanes “The Clouds” on opening night! I was obsessed with that.

    That scoundrel Socrates got what was coming to him!

  107. I was 12 in 1965-66. Dark Shadows ran from 1966 to 1971, so I’m going to count it, even though I didn’t start watching until the second year when Jonathan Frid started playing Barnabus.

  108. It’s a toss-up between Pokemon or David Eddings’ Belgariad series. (Unless that was around when Spike TV started showing DS9 on weekday afternoons, in which case Trek takes the cake.)

  109. It would have been Tintin, very probably. That’s when the Tintin comics were translated to my native language (Bengali) – I got all of them the day they came out. Then I got the English translations as a gift and then, after a few years, bought the whole set of Bengali translations again for my nephew.

    Good times…

  110. I was obsessed with lots of stuff at age 12 (1979-1980), as I’d already long been a reader and deeply into movies, TV, comics, RPGs (mostly AD&D at that point) etc. etc. But the thing that happened every week day? Star Blazers after school, as well as the Jim Terry Production’s Force Five anime bloc. Which explains why I am so looking forward to Pacific Rim… I was infected by the giant robot virus at an early age.

  111. In Cleveland, on Saturday nights, the local classical music station played a program called, originally enough, Saturday Night (Convivial Companionship for the Housebound on Live-It-Up Night). It was full of sketch comedy and comedic music. They had everything from Dr. Demento songs to Firesign Theatre. In fact, before I ever knew it was a television show, I had memorized most of the Monty Python sketches from hearing them through the barely functional earpiece on my Radio Shack transistor radio. I had to use the earpiece, since at twelve, I was most certainly not allowed to stay up and listen to a midnight radio program. It was, however, my great addiction at that age, and it colored my sense of humor permanently.

  112. 12 years old in 1987. Marion Zimmer Bradley’s “Sword and Sorceress” anthologies and Star Trek: Next Gen, both of which I still enjoy regularly (thank you, well-kept bookshelves and Netflix).

  113. I was 12 in 1949. Television wasn’t available in either of the towns I lived in that year (meaning the nearest big city – St. Louis and Nashville). I don’t remember a film I particularly liked that year, either. Closest thing I can think of would probably be the Red Skelton Show on radio, which I tried to listen to every week. (We didn’t have personal computers or video games in those days either. Mostly I read books. As I still do…)

  114. I”d have to say the animated series of Star Trek. Fabulous planets and sets and cool aliens that didn’t have to be guys in rubber suits, Lt. Arex FTW!

  115. My favorite song when I was 12 was probably “Sultans of Swing” by Dire Straits. I still love that song, and I don’t mind if I don’t “make the scene”. I’ve a daytime job, I’m doin’ alright.


    My favorite book when I was 12 was “Breed To Come” by Grand Master Andre Norton. (It was released several years before I was 12, but I found it in a used book store and liked the cover art. It was the first “adult” sci-fi book that I read, having previously been introduced to sci-fi by the good Mr Asimov, writing under the pen name “Paul French”.

  116. Setting: 1971, middle of nowhere, two crappy local TV stations, movies and records too expensive. My brothers and I lived for Casey Kasem’s American Top Forty every week on the radio.

  117. @untilmidnight – I remember how excited I was when I learned that Andre the Giant was in the bigfoot suit.

  118. That would be Appetite for Destruction, which i was not allowed to buy, so I copied it onto tape at a friend’s house and listened to it secretly every chance I got. Then I left the tape on a picnic table in the sun and when it warped I took that as a sign. No points for guessing my upbringing.

  119. Anything by Andre Norton. I loved her books back then and still hold them in affection. C.S. Lewis introduced me to Fantasy, but Andre Norton introduced me to SF.

  120. hmm, 1974, that would be Tolkien and CS Lewis and then the incomparable Dorothy Sayers. My brother tried to improve my heavily Osmonds-influenced musical taste by buying me Carole King’s Tapestry and a John Denver live in concert album. I still love Saturday Night in Toledo Ohio.

  121. 1960 for me… 2 things. TV: Danger Man, and music: Dave Brubeck Quartet ” Take Five.” Not the prime media of my youth, however – I saw “Forbidden Planet” first run (drive-in, no less); it was the second feature after a completely forgettable Hudson-Day thing. My parents started the car, I pitched a fit, we stayed, and my widdle 8 year old mind was blown. Didn’t see the like again for over 20 years. Yeah, yeah, 2001 – thbbbppt. I didn’t like it then, don’t like it now, and I’ve learned to deal with it.

  122. Days of Future Passed by the Moody Blues (Nights in White Satin was in release 5 years after the album was first released) and Star Trek reruns.

  123. My favorite media memory from when I was 12 is the Beatles on my transistor radio. That would be 1963-1964.

    Also, JFK was assassinated. It’s the first time in my life I remember an event swallowing television whole. We even watched the funeral on TV at school.

  124. Battlestar Galactica and The Incredible Hulk. Plus all the cool Saturday morning cartoons in 1978.

  125. I mostly was into Mulan, Anastasia and Ever After (Ever After, btw is the very first time I heard a movie audience applaud and cheer in the middle of the movie [when she punches her sister and she falls over the bed] Music wise, I was SUPER into Ragtime (the musical), and book wise I had just discovered Tamora Pierce’s Alanna books. So, yeah. That was me age 12.

  126. Hmm… I had a relatively pop-media-starved childhood. At 12, I got started on some classical music training that was supposed to make me world-famous, which didn’t end up happening. I remember my mind being blown the first time I heard some Enya at age 16 or 17 – it was like, classical music only not boring!

    I did read a ton of Star Trek TOS books through the early teen years. I wasn’t allowed to buy anything, so mostly I would sit around in a bookstore for hours at a time for weeks on end, until they finally told me to go away. Then I would move to another bookstore and do the same thing. Then rotate back to the first one and etc.

  127. Have Space Suit, Will Travel :  Hardback, yellow&black dustjacket, immensely old – over twice my age, as I recall – and still in excellent condition.  I became the book’s unofficial curator sometime mid-school year, having signed it out so often …  Judy, the librarian who introduced me to sf, would simply redirect inquiries after the book to the reading gentleman(!), who either would have the book on his person, or would know its location.
    My continued lifelong addiction to reading? A good part of that is her fault.

  128. I turned 12 in late 1965, shortly after the debut of ‘Lost in Space’ – the original. Made quite an impression, cheesy though it turned over time.

    Major trivia – when did this series jump the shark?

  129. That just reminds me of Heavy Metal. Which, incidentally, would be my favorite piece of media when I was 14. At age 12 I suspect The Hobbit and Star Wars vied for primacy in brain.

  130. Rick Springfield’s “Living in Oz” on cassette and every single book written by Stephen King as of 1983. Life was good.

  131. 12 years old, had to be John Byrne & Chris Claremont’s XMen. A complete “world changer” for me every month, that stuck with me far, far, FAR, into my addled adult years.

  132. Huh. Not sure why that happened. Partial edit from a different post elsewhere.

  133. Young Sherlock Holmes & Johnny Dangerously. They were both on the same VHS and I was ill at the time. So I’d watch, rewind, watch again…. and again….

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