How I became a METALHEAD! (September 2000)
This month we look back to each of our beginnings, to
the time when we became metalheads!
Back when I was in elementary school I started listening to and
buying music. It began with bands like Billy Idol, Durran Durran, David
Bowie, The Police, etc... It was mainly rock stuff that was popular. At
that time, in about 1981-82, I didn't know that there was such a thing
as "heavy metal." I do remember the first metal I bought very
clearly. The way I discovered this tape and band is also ingrained. It
was at recess time at school...some older kid (he was probably only 13)
had on Judas Priest's "You've Got Another Thing Coming" on a
boom box. He had it blaring in the parking lot and it sounded pretty
cool. I was at that time getting into Columbia House (which is a
record club for anyone who doesn't know) and I ordered a bunch of
shit and the one gem amongst the lot was Judas Priest - SCREAMING
FOR VENGEANCE. Little did I know it then, but this would be life
altering, enlightening, mind bending and a holy moment in my life.
After the tapes arrived I immediately got into Judas Priest.
Within a few months I had traded in my "pop" tapes at a second
hand record/book store. After this album there were a few other things
that I quickly discovered - Quiet Riot (can you remember how
popular "Cum on Feel The Noise" was? It was even played at all
our school dances.), Def Leppard's Pyromania (their best
and most "metal" album), Ozzy Osbourne's "Crazy
Train" and one of the more influential bands to me - Motley Crue
with their godlike CD Shout at the Devil. When I think back to
1983 and to bands and songs that started me down the enlightened path,
that is what I think of. I also think of magazines like: Faces, Hit
Parader, Circus, etc. At the time they covered all these bands. Soon
after followed bands like W.A.S.P., Kiss, Van Halen, Ratt, Accept, Iron
Maiden, etc. These bands were in all the magazines and were on TV and
even our shitty local radio station had a metal hour back then!
Of course many of these bands / songs / albums were stepping stones.
Although I kept getting into newer bands and other metal styles I never
really lost touch with the bands and stuff I liked from the beginning.
Some of my friends that I grew up with, who have moved away from metal,
say I haven't changed much (especially with regards to my musical
tastes) since I was a kid (Bob are you reading this? haha). I
guess they are right, except that the older I get the more metal means
to me. There's no chance of me growing out of this like some people
thought I would. As I get ever closer to the big "three-o" the
more this has become apparent to everyone that knows me.
I'm proud to admit that I am not one of those metalheads who got into
metal because of Metallica's black album. I realize that many of the
younger fans did, but there was METAL before Metallica and before the
black album ;-). I guess everyone starts some place...I'm just glad mine
was with one of the TRUEST metal bands - Judas Priest!
How I Got Into metal!!
I knew this would eventually come up and the world would find out how
I was lured down the dark path of Metal. A never ending journey that is
continually shaping my life and the world I create around me. I am the
oldest in my family and one of the oldest of my cousins so I had no one
to turn me onto metal. My father listened to 50s and 60s music when he
had the time so I grew up listening to Elvis, Buddy Holly, The Animals
and a host of other long forgotten groups. When I was 7 or 8 and
actively started listening to my own choices it was always stuff from
the radio, (there were very few videos at this point and no Much Music
or MTV). I had in my collection: Olivia Newton John, Chilliwack, David
Bowie, Tommy Tutone, Rick Springfield, and the list goes on and on and
on. Ok. I was 8 years old. I didn’t know any better. Well about 1983
videos started to be shown on TV. There was the normal contingent of
Duran Duran, Loverboy and Pat Benatar videos etc. However, 2 songs
struck me as awesome and I wanted them bad. I had just gotten one of
those little black mono cassette players so I scrimped and saved up
enough money to buy one of the cassettes which cost about $4.99. That
was a lot of money for an 11 year old. My mother was going shopping and
I asked her to get one of the cassettes for me. My exact words were
something like " First get me Michael Jackson Thriller and
if they don’t have that get me Quiet Riot Metal Health"
Ok. Now that you have all had a good little laugh I will continue. She
came home with the Quiet Riot. I was kinda disappointed at first but
then I put on the Quiet Riot tape. The first song "Metal Health
(Bang Your Head)" just blew my mind. I couldn’t believe that a
band could make music like that. The singer was screaming his head off,
the drummer was beating hard on his drums and the guitar player was
going crazy, at least compared to Olivia Newton John. I fell in love
with the music and listened to that tape all the time.
A little while later music videos came to TV on video shows and I saw
the video for Quiet Riots "Metal Health." The guitar
playing was swinging his ax back and forth, the singer was swinging
around his mike stand, the bassist was banging his bass and the drummer
was banging the side of his head with his drumsticks!! I lost my fucking
11 year old mind! I was a convert and my love of this heavy music was
growing everyday. The next step on the road to metal was the TV
commercial for the compilation Masters of Metal (I think was its name).
All I can remember from the commercial was Rob Halford screaming
"You’ve got Another Thing Comin’" and green lasers
flashing all over him!! Holy shit this was awesome. I never did buy the
tape though. Not too long after that Much Music came on the air and they
had a metal show called The Power Hour. 1 hour every Thursday
of Judas Priest, Dio, Iron Maiden, Venom, Ratt, Motley Crue, Twisted
Sister etc, etc etc. I watched this show religiously. Every cent I
earned from mowing lawns, birthdays, Christmas etc. went to buying metal
cassettes. My mom thought I was losing my mind buying all the tapes. My
early favorites were Twisted Sister, Iron Maiden, Motley Crue, Ratt,
Wasp and Judas Priest. People kept telling me that I would grow out of
it. Only kids listen to Metal. Well, I never grew out of it. As each
year passed I discovered new bands and got more deeply into metal and
the metal culture. Now here I am, 17 years later and I am a bigger
metalhead than ever. I bet the next 17 years will be even better. Stay
“How I Became a Metalhead”
By Nathan Robinson
Blame it on my parents. Born
and raised by two former hippies, I grew up being surrounded by the
sounds of many classic rock albums by bands like Boston, Journey,
Kansas, Foreigner, Molly Hatchet, The Who, Aerosmith, Led Zepplin, Black
Sabbath, and many others. My
father always was a music fan, and had a large LP collection.
I remember one time, he put on the leading track off Black
Sabbath’s debut album, turned off the lights, and pretended he was a
monster coming to get me. My
mother’s taste in music changed throughout the years, but growing up I
always heard her playing Led Zepplin.
So right from the start I loved music.
When cable television came out, and MTV appeared for the first
time, I got my first dose of heavier music via Def Leppard.
My parents were members of the Columbia House record club, and I
remember Pyromania making its appearance at the house.
I spent countless hours jamming to that album, just sitting
there, staring at the album, and rocking!
And so it was done: Def
Leppard was my favorite band, and I discovered my true love in life:
music! With the help
of MTV, I soon discovered Ratt and Quiet Riot.
At the same time, my brother, three years younger, discovered
Twisted Sister. We both
became involved in having our parents order us albums through Columbia
House or from the record store. Ratt
became my favorite band for a long time, as did Twisted Sister for my
brother. My father took my
brother and I to our first concert…Ratt at Joe Louis Arena, in 1985.
I was in fifth grade at the time.
My brother was in second grade!
Bon fucken Jovi opened, and no one wanted to see them, so my dad
took us there late to miss them. But
from what I remember, it was loud, Ratt kicked ass, and my dad slept the
No doubt about it, MTV had an impact on my music taste.
I started getting into some other stuff like AC/DC, Judas Priest,
and really shitty stuff like Cinderella.
But Ratt remained my favorite band for quite a while.
On the radio one day, I caught Megadeth’s “Wake Up Dead”,
and recorded it. I thought
the vocals sucked, but the music was unlike anything I ever heard.
I even edited the tape to exclude the vocal parts!
But one day at my grandparents’ house, I saw the video for
“Peace Sells” on MTV, and the world changed for me.
I finally discovered true heavy fucking metal!!!
The song blew me away, and so I had to get that album.
We had a little family trip down to Detroit’s Trapper’s
Alley, which used to have a Harmony House in it.
At that store, I bought Peace Sells…But Who’s Buying?
Megadeth replaced Ratt as my favorite band.
But a year later my cousin introduced me to Metallica’s Master
of Puppets. I was blown
away once again, and found a new favorite band!
To this day, I still regard that album as my favorite one of all.
I continued listening to Metallica, Megadeth, Ratt, and some other
decent ‘80s bands, while putting the shitty albums by Cinderella and
Vinnie Vincent Invasion to rest for good.
Meanwhile I started seeing friends wearing Anthrax and Iron
Maiden shirts. For some
reason, I never really had an interest, until I discovered a heavy metal
program on 89.1 WPHS. I
don’t remember it’s name, but the show introduced me to Anthrax,
Exodus, MOD, SOD, and other thrash metal.
Then MTV’s Headbanger’s Ball came out and I discovered
Nuclear Assault. I started
taping the radio show and decided I needed to buy the albums.
But compact discs had just come out on the market, and I decided
to get my own stereo. $1000
got me a decent Pioneer stereo system that I still use
practically every day! Eleven
years and counting! I then
had my mother take me to the local record store to buy my very first
three CDs: Anthrax State
of Euphoria, Exodus Fabulous Disaster, and Nuclear Assault Handle
with Care. As time went
on, I slowly increased my collection of thrash metal CDs, and increased
the number of metal pinups on my bedroom walls.
Then around 1991, I discovered the “Metal Shop of Horrors”, a
radio program airing Friday nights on 89.1 WPHS.
This local radio station, broadcasted from Warren Cousino High
School (!!!!!!) turned my world around.
I couldn’t believe what I had stumbled upon…Napalm Death,
Dark Angel, Sacred Reich, Godflesh, Carcass, Morbid Angel, Demolition
Hammer, Massacre, Death, Terrorizer, Cannibal Corpse, and a song whose
creator took me literally TEN YEARS to figure out:
“Into the Abyss” by Vengeance Rising.
Holy shit!!! This
radio show ruled! Nowhere
else was it possible to hear death metal.
The DJ’s even used vocal harmonizers to make themselves sound
evil. For me, that radio
show became a religious commitment every Friday night.
It introduced me to many of the death metal bands I still listen
to today. In fact, almost
ten years later, that radio show still exists and still cranks out the
My very first death metal album was Napalm Death’s Harmony
Corruption, still one of my favorites.
And as time went on, I just bought more and more music, and
listened to more and more bands. MTV
and the radio definitely helped me discover metal, and I am grateful for
that. But I owe much of my
gratitude to WPHS and the “Metal Shop of Horrors”.
I would very much like to hear from the guys that hosted this
show back in the early ‘90s. If
any of you happen to be reading this, please email me!
I can not remember your names (although I do remember the
Insidious Destroyer…I think he was a host in the mid ‘90s).
Michael De Los Muertos
How did I get into metal? The answer is pretty simple: I was born a
metalhead! I believe that you either like metal or you don't, and
whether you do or not is an innate quality. I was a metalhead long
before I ever knew it or acknowledged it.
My first exposure to any kind of hard rock or metal was in the sixth
grade. That was in 1984, and Van Halen's album of that name was very
popular. I went to school in a very conservative school district in the
midwest, and the Van Halen 1984 album was banned from school property
because it was thought its cover art – the babyfaced cupid smoking a
cigarette – promoted smoking. One day I saw a guy in my class, Brian,
had the tape in his backpack. He and I really weren't friends, but I
asked him about the "banned" tape and I was surprised to learn
it had the song "Jump" on it, which I heard on the radio and
liked very much. Brian hung out with another guy named Jamie. They used
to sit on a bench by the side of the school and use a magnifying glass
to focus sunlight into little points of burning light, which they used
to burn "DEF LEPPARD" and "MOTLEY CRUE" into the
wooden slats of the bench. I didn't listen to much popular music but I
did love that Van Halen tape. Mostly I listened to classical music,
which got me in trouble with my peers, because I had no idea who Duran
Duran or Billy Idol were, and I was the only kid in the world in 1984
that didn't own Michael Jackson's Thriller album.
I wasn't into metal, but for some reason I always seemed to hang out
with metalheads. In chorus class, two years later, I started hanging out
with this grungy guy named Mike who used to wear jean jackets and metal
shirts. Since I was a "good" student, I actually got in
trouble for hanging out with a "bad" kid – I wasn't supposed
to have friends like that! Again, at that time, the idea that I liked
metal or hard rock music would have come as a complete surprise to me.
A few years after that, in high school, I did listen to popular music
a lot, but a lot of it was starting to bore me. I remember listening to
endless boring hours of radio – lots of Whitney Houston, Bob Seger,
and Rod Stewart – before a "good" song would come on. There
was this one terrific song I loved that was super-super heavy (compared
to Whitney Houston!) and had the bitchingest guitar solo in the world. I
later learned it was called "The Final Countdown" by a band
A year after that, on a study trip to Washington, D.C., I was
assigned a hotel room with these two guys from Georgia who were cut from
the same cloth as the "bad" friends of my past. They smoked,
they smuggled liquor into the hotel, etc. – and they also had a lot of
metal and hard rock tapes with them. I was curious enough to ask them to
let me listen to some. I heard most of one tape by Rush, and perhaps
five minutes of one by Metallica (I think it was And Justice For All).
For the first time the concept of "heavy metal" dawned on me.
When I got back home after the trip, I went to a record store –
something I hardly ever did – with a friend of mine who had no
interest in hard rock or metal. Instinctively, I picked up a Metallica
tape, Master of Puppets. "You're not gonna buy that, are you?"
he said. I shrugged and figured, why not – might be good. I paid for
it and we went out to his car, which had a tape player. I convinced him
to let me play the tape on his stereo.
The beginning of "Battery" – the first song on Master of
Puppets – starts out with the slow, mellow Spanish-sounding guitar. A
little twangle like the background music at a Mexican restaurant. I'm
sitting there going, "This is Metallica? I've been
misinformed!" Then, BLAMMO! the guitars kick in all at once. That
moment was a true epiphany for me. I loved it – the heaviness, the
loudness, the weird outer-spacey sound to it. From that moment I
couldn't get enough. It was primarily from a hunger to make up for all
the time I'd wasted before I realized there was metal in my soul. A
dozen years later, I think I've made up for it pretty well.
I’ll keep this short and sweet! As much as I hate to admit it, the
reason that I first got into heavy metal was…my…mom(!). My family
bought it’s first CD player and she decided to buy me some CD’s:
Guns ‘N Roses’ Use Your
Illusion 1, and Metallica’s Black
Album. Is that a cool fuckin’ mom or what? As much as I can’t
stand the Black Album now, I
gotta give it kudos for introducing me to heavy metal. Funnily enough,
up to that point I was into the mainstream rap shit (anybody remember
C+C Music Factory? Haha). Anyhow, I guess from then on I was just like
any other metalhead. I played the shit out of those CD’s and then
moved on to other forms of metal.
first, it was mostly stuff that I wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot pole
nowadays. Y’know, stuff like Poison, Def Leppard, Cinderella, L.A.
Guns etc. ad nauseum. Somewhere in there I discovered my namesake, and
still favorite metal band, W.A.S.P. (two used tapes of Inside
the Electric Circus and Headless
Children for $5). At this point I had heard some death metal and hated it! Ah well, the stupidity of youth, eh? Needless to say, the
heavier shit eventually did show up on my playlist and CD rack. I’m
guessing that that’s a pretty typical story for most metalheads out
"Metalheads are born, not made," my good
friend Muertos is apt to say. But the quest to recognize your true self can be a long and
arduous one. It took me
some time to realize that I was a metalhead, but when I did, the
realization was so strong I almost felt it slap me upside the head.
My personal journey to self-discovery started when
I was a wee lass growing up in a household that blended two cultures
that are sworn enemies—my mom is American and my dad is Middle
Eastern. I say this because
I think it is relevant—I grew up in a household where we were taught
to be open-minded and non-prejudicial, to think beyond societal
boundaries, even though my family was pretty conservative.
This taught me to be interested in seeing how other people live,
especially people in different subcultures of society.
In high school, you would be just as likely to see
me organizing a pep rally with my friends in the student
government/preppie crowd, as hanging out with my friends who were jocks,
drama geeks, or reclusive "freaks". In college, I went to a gay bar with my gay friend, where I
was the only heterosexual (real) female, so that I could point out guys
with cute butts to him when he didn't want to look uncool by wearing his
glasses. I went with
another friend to her competitive tap dancing recitals.
You might see me one night at a "beautiful people"
party with my friend who is a fashion model, and the next night in my
stoner friend's basement, reading a magazine while they played D & D
on 'shrooms. Another friend
took me to his extreme punk shows, where I was the only person who
wasn't pierced, tattooed and who sported a natural hair color.
All of the different subcultures that I watched I found
fascinating and I liked a lot of the people in each subculture I met.
But I never really felt any compelling need to join any of
them—all of those folks were doing their thing, but their thing had
nothing to do with me. And
all this time, I thought of music as a backdrop to life, not something
to which you pay separate attention.
A guy I was working with was consumed by Heavy
Metal. I was fascinated
that this intelligent person could put so much of his identity into
liking a form of music, without being a musician himself.
I hadn't really been exposed to any Metal, except a few hair
bands that got some radio play. I didn't know a single person who listened to Metal.
I asked to borrow some music from him—nothing too extreme,
something I might like. I figured that I would learn a little about another
subculture and move on with my life.
So he lent me some Megadeth—Countdown to Extinction.
"You might not like it," he warned, "and it's not
really like some of the harder stuff I listen to…." He was doubtful. Besides
the long hair and the fact that I almost always wore black, I didn't
look very metal.
I listened. I
liked it, but I wondered if it was very representative of the stuff that
made my friend so enraptured. "I
gotta be honest," I told my co-worker, "this doesn’t seem so
amazingly heavy." He
looked at me with renewed interest and a glimmer of hope in his eye.
"I'll bring you some more stuff," he said.
And he did. Iron
Maiden, Slayer, Testament. Everything
he brought, I wanted to absorb. I
loved the raw energy, the brutality, the complexity that could often
sound so simple, even primal. I
learned about classifications in Metal, icons in Metal, issues in Metal.
I started asking my friend if I could tag along to shows.
I wanted to understand the music, I wanted to understand the
people. Soon I felt like I
wasn't trying to understand something different from me--instead I was
beginning to understand myself.
A lot of people say that Metal is their hobby, and
that might appear to be true of me.
I'm educated, have a "real" job, and a life rich with
family and friends. On the
side, I listen to Metal, go to shows, and write and read about Metal.
But I also know something that only other metalheads know.
I know that being a metalhead is not just about listening to a
form of music. In a very
real sense, being a metalhead is recognizing that there is something in
your genes that makes metal course through your veins.
(And, no, I'm not going to apologize for how cheesy that sounds.) It's something you feel when you stand with other metalheads
in a show and realize that everyone is feeling the same thing.
It's the same feeling my tap dancer friend must have felt when
she landed a routine, or my punk friend must have felt when he crested a
wave in the mosh. I just happen to get the feeling when I listen to Metal.
"Metalheads are born, not made."
I'm just glad I eventually recognized my birthright.
How did I become a Metalhead??? Hmm... Hard to say, really. I guess I
must’ve had a pre-existing disposition for liking aggressive music.
There’s no other explanation that I can think of. I can still remember
when Meat Loaf released Bat Out of Hell back in 1977 (Damn, I’m
getting old...). My Mom had it on vinyl and played it quite often. There
was many a day when I’d return home after a grueling day of
kindergarten to be greeted by our old stereo blasting "...I’m
dying at the bottom of a pit in the blazing sun, Torn and twisted at the
foot of a burning bike..." and I loved it. The music was almost
operatic/symphonic with its varying tempos, heavy guitars, killer piano,
and non-wimpy lyrics belted out by a singer with balls who was totally
unlike those castrated Gibb brothers ("...aah, aah, aah, aah,
Staying Alive, Staying Alive...") who seemed to dominate the
airwaves at the time.
After getting a taste of Meat Loaf (no pun intended), I found myself
having a lower tolerance for ballads and songs that weren’t guitar
driven. I remember loving songs like Eddie Money’s "Two Tickets
to Paradise" (1977), Journey’s "Any Way You Want It"
(1979), Kiss’ "I Was Made For Loving You" (1979) and Pat
Benetar’s "Heartbreaker" (1979), all of which were upbeat
tunes and featured distorted guitars. When the TV show Solid Gold was on
the air, I would watch faithfully every week. Most episodes featured
quality Rock acts of the day, but unfortunately it also featured it’s
share of Pop, Soul, and Country. I would sit in front of the television
in agony waiting for someone like, Diana Ross, Kenny Rogers, or Dionne
Warwick to finish performing (or lip-syncing, as the case may be) so I
could watch artists such as Rick Springfield, Survivor, and my first
"Metal Gods", Quiet Riot.
Once I heard Quiet Riot, I knew I had found my musical calling. After
securing a copy of Metal Health on vinyl (which I wore out, along
with a cassette copy... I now have it on CD.), I would go into music
stores and just stare at album covers like Iron Maiden - Killers,
WASP - s/t, and Accept - Metal Heart and wonder what they
sounded like. The artwork just screamed "METAL!". But
there was no such thing as previewing albums back then and being only 11
or 12, cash was rather hard to come by. Fortunately, it was during this
time that Heavy Metal was at its commercial peak, so between television,
radio, and magazines I managed to discover quite a few bands. And the
more quality Heavy Metal bands I discovered, the more my tolerance for
non-guitar oriented music decreased. (Although, since discovering Metal,
my appreciation for Classical music has increased.)
So even though I think my musical tastes were somehow determined at
birth, I was obviously "helped along" by my Mom’s
appreciation for good Rock ‘N’ Roll. And I’m sure that being an
introverted social outcast during my academic years had an influence as
well. (How many Metal fans do you know that were popular in highschool?)
I got hooked on Hard Rock twenty three years ago, which then led me to
discover Heavy Metal seventeen years ago, and I love it now more than
ever. I think it’s safe to say that I’ll be listening to this music
until the day I die. And when I do, bury me in a Judas Priest T-shirt
with my guitar and an air conditioner because I wanna go where the Metal
How I Became A Metalhead.
By Jesse Ruth
This question just begs for a heaping dose of nostalgia. And
let me tell ya, I am more than happy to oblige. First of all, I
think we need to set the way back machine for the year nineteen hundred
and eighty-four. '84 was a particularly grand year for music,
because every type of band imaginable seemed to be utilizing a powerful,
mind-bending medium known as music video. Videos were given a huge
boost by MTV, a cable channel that specifically geared itself toward the
new format (MTV sucks now and hardly concerns itself with music videos,
but that's another story...). MTV, however, was not the only way
to see videos. And thank god, because for the first five years or
so MTV was virtually unavailable to most Americans (MTV was initially
cabled into urban homes only). Anyway, if you didn't have MTV,
there were other cable stations that had their own video shows and they
usually aired 'em on late Friday and/or Saturday nights. "Night
Flight" was one such show and was totally responsible for
introducing me to METAL!!!
Metal was rapidly becoming popular in the early to mid 80's and among
the first bands to promote themselves through video were the "L.A.
scene" metal bands (Motley Crue, etc.). Now this is the part
of the story where I point to the "demon seed" that germinated
within me and created a monster that never let loose its cursed
grip...ARE YOU READY??? When I first heard this topic, ONE name
(and ONE name only) came to mind and that name is RATT!!! More
specifically, "Round and Round." The first time I heard
that song I was floored, just completely leveled. That song had
hooks that sunk in pretty fuckin' deep. I was, in case you're
interested, exposed to lots and lots of heavy music at even earlier
phases in my life. My dad gave me my first taste of "the
heavy stuff" with small bites of Cream and Hendrix and my friends
(more specifically, their older brothers) turned my ear toward even
heavier shit, like the mighty Zep, Rush and KISS. But RATT...man
that was metal, plain and freakin' simple! They had the look, the
attitude, the chops and wicked videos (the "Round and Round"
video had Milton Berle in it for Christ's sake!).
Because of the exposure music vids gave them, metal bands became
popular enough to be put into constant rotation on local radio stations.
More importantly, they played lots 'o metal at my grade school
paradise, the local roller rink! When I think of the rink, I think
of the P.A. system just crankin' out the Twisted Sister, Quiet Riot,
Motley Crue, Van Halen, etc. Zippin' around the rink like a
maniac, flirtin' with the pretty girls, playing Miss Pac Man and
"CUM ON FEEL THE NOIZE!" bustin' apart my eleven year old
eardrums...what beautiful memories!!! There were other stages
within my metalhead development, but I won¹t bore you with that shit. I
just think it's pretty cool that it all began with a little RATT...and
that's all it took!!!
How I Became A Metalhead
By Keith McDonald
Believe it or not, I used to listen to bands like The J.Geils Band at
a time hen bands like Van Halen and Twisted Sister were big...I was also
very young at the time. My brother listened to hard rock and heavy
metal, yet I still didn't catch on. His close friend listened to
everything from Metallica to Motley Crue and my real introduction to
rock, KISS. I began listening to KISS, which really isn't metal but is a
start. As I grew older and was in high school and I got heavily into the
"glam" scene listening to bands like Warrant, Skid Row and
Dokken. But it wasn't until my cousin introduced me to Iron Maiden,
Slayer, Megadeth and Metallica, that my music tastes got heavier and
heavier. He knew I was a drummer in a band and thought I would love the
music he was into. He would play me over and over again Megadeth's Peace
Sells But Who's Buying and Metallica's Kill 'Em All. It was the constant
playing of metal that hooked me in. It's funny too because my cousin now
listens to music I never even heard of while my tastes have continued to
expand into all types of metal with the exclusion of "new"
metal and the ever-popular "hip-hop metal". Please. And to
quote Dee Snider..."if it ain't Metal....it's crap!".
I've been looking forward to this month's rant since EvilG informed
me of this a couple of weeks ago, as I'm sure our contributors will
share a lot of common ground on this one.
I was introduced to music at an early age. I used to go to my cousins
house on the weekends and hang out. Saturday nights my older cousins
would send out for pizza and ,listen to music. That's where I first
discovered the world of Kiss, Led Zeppelin, Nazareth, Alice Cooper, etc.
I couldn't believe how cool this stuff was, yet how scary the album
covers were. Little did I know what was in store.
Speed ahead to 1981.I'm listening to Blondie, Kiss, David Bowie, Led
Zeppelin and whatever shit was on the top 40 at the time. I remember
just hearing AC/DC around this time as well. A friend of mine just got
back from Toronto, calls me and said "Come over, I got this band
you've got to hear. I show up and he cranks it up." Woe to you oh
earth and sea.." I look at the cover and see a devil and stuff
"let him who have understanding the number of the beast" I was
hooked. Iron Maiden's The Number of the Beast. I was blown away by the
cool guitars and vocals, and those album covers, creepy yet awesome.
This got the ball rolling. Soon to follow was Ozzy Osbourne, AC/DC
Quiet Riot, Van Halen, Twisted Sister as well as some top 40 stuff
still. Then one of those life changing albums. I go to A & A records
and see this big display of 4 guys wearing make-up with all kinds of
fire in the background. I look at the album cover, it's all black except
for the writing: "MOTLEY CRUE - SHOUT AT THE DEVIL."I brought
it home and put it on. "In the beginning"... This was
it. This was the one. It had it all, the songs, the heaviness (don't
laugh) the looks, the attitude. IT ALL CHANGED THAT YEAR. That Christmas
I got Duran Duran's Seven and the Ragged Tiger and Black Sabbaths
Born Again. You can guess which album got returned. Soon my
bedroom walls were covered with posters, ,jackets with patches and
badges and the quarter length sleeve rock jersey became an essential
part of the wardrobe.
Ratt, Saxon, Krokus, Accept, more Maiden, Priest, Queensryche, Raven,
I could go on and on. Another friend who looked nothing like a metalhead
always read Kerrang and bought all the import stuff, introduced me to
the heavier bands: Anthrax, Metallica, Slayer, Overkill, Megadeth.
Metallica's Master of Puppets was one of those eye
opening albums as well.
I get sad sometimes when I see some people from high school, and they
tell me that they've "grown out of all that heavy metal
stuff." Shame really. I'm out of high school 14 years now and I'M
still a metalhead. I've still got all my records, posters, patches and
magazines as well. Granted,my wife thinks the Shout At The Devil
jersey is probably a bit too small these days. Oh well. By the way, as I
wrote this I've been playing Shout At The Devil in the
background, and you know what??? It still kicks ass!!!!!! METAL