Sunday, September 03, 2006

A Trip Down Metal Memory Lane

Shortly after I got home tonight I began watching a show on VH1 about the history of Metal.
It went on for 4 hours, and, except for a brief interlude during which I checked out the premiere of Cartoon Network’s new Fantastic Four series (more on that in another post), I watched the whole thing.
For the most part it was just rehashing of stuff that VH1 rehashes with a new special exactly like this one every couple of months, but there were some good bits thrown in by various Metal veterans.
Naturally it primarily focused on the pussy Glam/Hair/Bubble Gum Metal bands like Poison and all the rest of their ilk, and my interest waned for most of that, but I stuck with it anyway. The most interesting parts were the beginning, which focused on Black Sabbath, and then some of the bits towards the middle that focused on Motorhead, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, and, eventually, Metallica (back when Metallica was cool).
Apparently they’re airing another, similar documentary next Saturday, which I’ll most likely watch as well, even though it will be a rehash of things that have been rehashed over and over again, as recently as tonight.
Apart from various bon mots by people like Dave Mustaine of Megadeth, who’s always good for saying something entirely contrary to what everyone else is saying, there were a couple of other highlights in the 4 hours.
For example, when Nina Blackwood, one of the original MTV VJs appeared on screen, twenty-five years older then she was in those days, my reaction was to exclaim, “Gah! The hell is that?”
She looked like some crazy cat-lady minus the cats. I couldn’t look at her straight on; I had to look at her reflection in the mirror on my wall, in much the same way that Perseus approached Medusa by looking at her reflection in a highly-polished shield, for fear that I would be turned to stone.
I shudder to think of what’s happened to Martha Quinn.
When Jani Lane of Warrant suggested that he should shoot himself in the face for writing Cherry Pie, I wasn’t especially inclined to disagree.
When some guy said that Angus Young of AC/DC “represents the eternal child in all of us,” I said, “And you represent being a total fucking asshole.”
Speaking of the random “some guys” that they had commenting on the history of Metal – many of them rock journalists or club owners – there was one in particular who stood out.
He sort of reminded me of this Kids in the Hall sketch that was a documentary about some forgotten Vaudeville performer known as “The Escapist.” It featured interviews with various people, including someone played by Kid Kevin McDonald, a big fan of a TV show “The Escapist” had starred in, who was credited on-screen as “A 37 Year Old Virgin.”
In the case of the guy on the Metal documentary, I think that would have been more fitting than “Journalist/Author.”
Anyway, watching the show brought back memories of sitting up on Saturday nights watching Headbanger’s Ball, sitting through the endless parade of Cinderella and Ratt videos just for that one gem from Suicidal Tendencies, or, even more rarely, D.R.I.
When they were talking about Ozzfest, it brought back hazy recollections that led me to simply shake my head and say, “So fucking drunk” as I thought about my two tours (’98 and ’99).

My Ozzfest Memories Department:
Crowd surfing and getting passed into an empty space and feeling fingers clutching at me in vain as people tried to keep me aloft and hearing someone say “Sorry, dude,” right before I hit the ground. Hard.
Standing exactly where 50,000 other people were trying to stand, holding on long enough to make eye contact with Dave Mustaine, and then just letting go and letting the crowd push me back to a safe distance. It felt rather a lot like being a zit that was being popped.
Running up and bouncing off of a giant inflatable condom wrapper and being told to, “Fucking stop it!”
Staring around in dismay as all but a handful of people left after Megadeth finished performing on the main stage. Didn’t they know that Motorhead was performing on the second stage?
Running for my life as everyone came back to see Tool afterwards.
Being pulled up and down by rabid Limp Bizkit fans who were doing exactly what they were told as the band, which I’d never heard of previously, performed a cover of “Jump Around.”
Getting my picture taken sitting on a motorcycle as a girl in a thong and tank top with “Ozzy” painted on her ass sat in my lap, lifted her shirt, and pressed her boobs in my face.
(I still have that picture)
Taking a nap on thre ground while Godsmack performed.
Being violently shaken awake from said nap by a concerned girl who thought I was dead, jumping up in a state of extreme confusion and yelling “What the fu-?” while my friend Eric watched and laughed.
The expression on Eric’s face when, while walking through the parking lot before we went in he saw something on the ground, picked it up, and realized that it was an eighth of an ounce of pot.
The best goddamn gyro I’ve ever eaten in my life…made so outstandingly delicious by smoking some of said pot found in the parking lot before eating it.
Eric responding to something a very cute girl with a very nice rack had said, which I couldn’t hear, as we were passing in opposite directions, then hearing her say to him, “I wasn’t talking to you,” before she turned to me, grabbed my chin, pulled me in close, and said, in a breathy whisper, “I was talking to you, baby,” before we were separated by the crowd, leading me to cry out in vain, “But what were you saying?”
Seeing a reunited Sabbath perform, though I don’t so much remember that as I just know that it happened, just as I know that it was amazing, and that if I hadn’t been so totally wasted that I have only the vaguest recollections of it happening, it would rank up there with my top ten memories of all time.
And finally, I remember waking up the day after Ozzfest ’98 to see Eric standing in the doorway saying, “Don’t move a muscle.” I asked, “Why not?” He responded, “Because it will suck.”
And he was right.

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