Remember When…

At some point in a metalhead’s life there was a point at which metal entered said life.  If you are anything like me, there was a moment when your life changed from what it was to what it is now.  I am taking the time in this blog to reflect on where I came from (in musical interests) and the exact moment that my life changed.  This is one of those where you when JFK was shot moments…only I wasn’t alive back then.

In the 80’s I was into what was popular and at the time and 80’s hair bands ruled as far as I was concerned.  My first declared legitimate favorite band came in 1983 when I was 10 years old.  I was so hooked on Def Leppard’s Pyromania record…yeah I had the vinyl.  I had one of those portable suitcase type record players and I listened to the shit out that record.  At 10 years old I had my first favorite band and I was so jealous that my older brother was going to see them live.  My favorite songs on that album were Rock of Ages, Die Hard The Hunter, and Billy’s Got A Gun.  They still are.

I wasn’t until 2009 that I would catch Def Leppard live at Download Festival, U.K.  It was neat to see them live even if I just came from the Trivium headlining show at the second stage. 

From Def Leppard my muscial interests expanded to what is now affectionately known as hair metal, but I usually just call is 80’s rock.  My next favorite band is one that I actually got to see live…my first ever concert when I was 14. I bought my own ticket and got myself there.  It was actually a fairly short walk from home.  The headliner was none other than Loverboy, but the opener was the band I really wanted to see which was Dokken.  To this day I still really like Under Lock and Key and Beast From The East.  Dokken held the favorite band title for quite some time.  I was beginning to dabble with Ozzy and Judas Priest as well, but if you remember the 80’s like I do even Ozzy and Judas Priest were not scary at all and were not far off from the glam and glitz of that time.

Throughout the decade as I was trying to find myself, I was regularly listening to Bon Jovi, Skid Row, Dokken, Def Leppard, Ozzy, Judas Priest, Whitesnake, White Lion, Tesla, Poison, Great White, AC/DC, and just about any other band that played on MTV…when they actually played music.  The 80’s bands pretty much dominated MTV at the time so I listened to it all.

Sometime during the summer of 8th grade I had a little job working as a bus boy.  I had fun with it allowed me to buy my own music.  At this time I moved on to cassette tapes.  Anyway, in the back of the restaurant was this slightly older (by a few years) long haired kid who washed dishes.  Whenever I brought him stuff to clean he was always listening to this crazy heavy music.  I was intrigued, but all too shy to say anything.  Then one say said individual asks what I listen to.  So I start of rattle off the above mentioned bands.  He says that’s cool, but asked if I heard Metallica.  I say no, so he hits the play button on his boom box  The song that came on was Leper Messiah off Master of Puppets.  I remeber hearing Lars go 1,2,1,2,3,4,5 and then bam, ba, ba, bam, bam and so on.

That was it!  I never looked back.  I mean I definitely never forgot what I used to listen to.  But that warm summer New Hampshire day is when it all started.  When this kid took some time off I did the dishes for about two weeks and he left a case of tapes behind.  I soon heard Iron Maiden, Wasp, Megadeth, King Diamond, and many more.  I think that was summer of 87.  That’s when it started for me.

Today, I listen to pretty much the same metal, but that has expanded especially in the last two years after being in Europe.  I have been exposed to so much more.  BUT, after all is said and done I still throw in Under Lock and Key and Pyromania.  Do you remember when your metal began?  I would love to hear it.  Have a great day! Long live metal and those who inspired it.

 Photo Credit:

Def Leppard – www.defleppard.com

Dokken – http://memoirsofascreamqueen.blogspot.com/2010/10/music-mondays-dokken-dream-warriors.html

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About Reggie

Just a dude writing a heavy metal blog and always on the prowl for a cool metal show. I am also a family man...first and foremost!

Posted on March 16, 2011, in Ramblings and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. Great post!! I can remember the first time I heard Iron Maiden. I was playing with my friend that lived down the street from me. He had a big back yard and we had an affinity for building forts, playing in them, and then destroying it and starting the process over. One day we were playing in one of our forts and he broke out a tape player and started playing some music his older brother gave him. That music was Iron Maiden, album, Somewhere in Time. I thought it was the coolest music ever. I also heard Appetite for Destruction that same day, but for some reason Iron Maiden really connected with me. Some time later we were playing Atari, which was set up in my friends brothers room, when I asked my buddy to put on the Iron Maiden tape again, his brother over heard me and went on and made me my own copy of Somewhere in Time, one of the greatest gifts ever. Over time, his brother would play different rock bands for us here and there, usually Rush, and that’s how I got familiar with heavy music. I think it was our age, we were between 6-10 those years he would play music for us, but he never played the really heavy stuff for us(Metallica, Anthrax).
    Some years later, around age 13or14, a nun caught me reading the booklet for Fear of the Dark in math class(I went to Catholic school), and yelled at me in front of the class. Later one of my classmates came to me and asked if I was into heavy metal. I told him that I liked Iron Maiden, Rush, Primus, and some of the other bands my friends brother got me into. The next day he brought me a tape of …And Justice for All and it’s pretty obvious what happened from there.
    The next year I went to the public high school met some like minded friends, and it’s been all downhill from there.
    It’s funny, but most of the metal heads that I know also got into metal at a pretty young age and just about always got into metal by word of mouth. Someone was cool enough to share their love of metal with them. Metal is quite a community thing and holds no prejudice to who can enter the community, it just ask that you genuinely love metal and to share your love of it. Damn I love everything metal!!!!!

    • Great story, it seems like we all have that moment when it hits us; like a big brother or friend that passes the torch. I like seeing teenages these days with band shirts I used to wear 20 years ago. The thing about metal is that metalheads are always willing to share…and talk about metal whenever there is a chance. Wearing a T-shirt is likely to get at least a nod of approval from some other metalhead. There need not be a 20 minute conversation, just a nod and that’s it. Hey now that I think of it, do you see patch-laden jean jackets in your nec of the woods? I see that a lot around here and I am wonderinng if that style is making a comeback or if that is just a European thing that never faded away. I am seeing young people wearing them and it so reminds me of my teen years.

      Maiden hit me when Seventh Son came out. I didn’t know much about the band except I was scared of Eddie and the album covers. Can I Play With Madness made its rounds on MTV on fairly heavy rotation (on Headbanger’s Ball) and then I realized they weren’t so scary after all. I love that album. GnR was okay, but they never stuck with me like other metal bands did. Of their albums, Appetite was my favorite. My favorite song on that album was Rocket Queen. I never did see GnR live though; seems like the rest of the members are doing fairly well for themselves these days. I got into Velvet Revolver a little bit, but not a whole lot.

      My first real metal concert was Metallica on the …An Justice for All tour. They actually played my hometown in N.H. and it was pretty phenomenal. Up to that point I saw the 80’s hair bands, but that Metallica show was just so good. The only 80’s (hair band) band I saw after that Metallica concert was Warrant on a USO tour in Okinawa, Japan…it was free. She’s My Cherry Pie sounded the same as it did so many years before. Metal Forever!

  2. lol, ya, I see the patch laden jean jackets over here on the big boot. I don’t think it ever went out of style. You shoulda seen the amount of them at the Helloween show I went to recently. As a few years ago, I still saw them here and there in the states too.

  3. My story.. for what it’s worth..

    I’m one of the few, it seems, that didn’t start out their “metal life” with Iron Maiden, Metallica, Megadeath or Rush. 😉
    If it’s because I was too young, or because I didnt want to like the same things as “everyone else”, or because I’m a woman, I don’t know. Grew up in a home with a father who is a Beatles-freak, sings, and plays all kinds of instruments, I was brainwashed early into loving music. When we bought satellite-tv when I was 10, the world of music (outside The Beatles and Elton John) really opened up for me. I’d spend all my free time in front of MTV, when they actually played good music. I really enjoyed Bon Jovi, Guns N Roses and U2.

    I didn’t really get into metal until I was 18 though, around 1997-98. A boyfriend who was into power metal, showed me what metal was. Edguy quickly became my favorite band. I listened to Luca Turilli, Stratovarius, Morifade, Labyrinth, Sonata Arctica.
    Labyrinth was my first metal live-concert. I went to the festival Wacken Open Air a couple of years in a row, and watched hundreds of bands.
    I even went alone one year, when noone wanted to come with me! I still had a great time 🙂
    Learned to like Black Metal from all those festivals. Dimmu Borgir, Cradle of Filth, Bathory, Immortal.
    The older bands like Motörhead, Rush and AC/DC never caught my attention.

    I also had a period when I listened alot to Theater of Tragedy, Children of Bodom and Lacuna Coil. Good times!

    My interest in metal grew fast and I wanted more, I was a bit tired of power and black metal, it didnt hold my attention like it used to.
    Someone at a party had brought a Dream Theater album, Metropolis. That hooked me immediately. It was exactly what I was looking for, not so “simple”, not so short, more music for the money 😉 I bought it and all their earlier releases and couldn’t stop listening. “Images and words” and “Falling into infinity” were the two I played the most.
    But this small change in music taste also meant I was pretty much alone in liking this style, where I lived. My power metal friends didn’t understand what was so good about prog metal….

    Visiting a record store in Gothenburg, I looked through the metal cd’s, and found Pain of Salvation’s “Remedy lane”, it had a small sticker on it saying “on tour with Dream theater”. If I hadn’t seen that sticker, I wouldn’t have bought the album. I’m so glad I did. Since Pain of Salvation are from Sweden, like me, it was quite easy to find a concert to go to. They weren’t very big at the time, and played at a club in my hometown. So did Opeth, just after releasing “Blackwater park” and that’s how I discovered them. Woohoo 😀

    I went to more festivals, it’s still one of my favourite things to do. I listened to Soilwork, In Flames, Hypocrisy, Amon Amarth, Evergrey (I’m very proud of Sweden’s excellent metal bands) Avantasia, Iced Earth, Finntroll, Novembre…

    For the last few years all I have been listening to is Tool, A perfect circle, (even Puscifer actually), Porcupine Tree, Coheed and Cambria and Rishloo.
    I know I have many albums to catch up on, from the bands I used to listen to, that I’ve been talking about in this post. DT’s albums after “Six degrees”, Opeth’s latest cd, both of PoS Road salts…..

    • Thanks for telling us your story! It’s always fun to read others “How I got into metal” stories. That’s awesome you landed on prog metal (one can never have enough prog metal, lol). Have fun playing catch up, I’ve been on that game for 32 years and still trying to catch up. Hell of a lot of fun though 🙂
      That’s awesome you got to see Opeth in their Blackwater Park days! And PoS too. I’ve only saw them when they opened for Opeth, was a great set, but I’d love to see them do a full headlining show at a small club.

    • Thank you for sharing your story. We always like to talk about metal/rock/whatever and relate it to some timeframe in our lives. I remember the first time I heard Dream Theater – Images and Words. It was at the height of my “only listen to metal” days. I was blown away and have been listening to Dream Theater ever since…even the albums that experts say weren’t so good.

      I am amazed you went to a festival by yourself. That was brave. I go to shows all the time by myself, but I am a dude so I don’t worry much. You know, you are probably quite safe in a metal crowd though.

      I am new to PoS myself, thanks to atleastimhousebrken. He has opened my eyes to lot’s of music I wasn’t exposed to in America. Since I have been living in England my doors have opened so much. Not to mention blogging. Metal fans love to share music. Amon Amarth is so awesome. I have seen them three times in the last three years. Just so you know, you will never catch up. Have fun though…I’m 38 and still learning.

  4. Sounds like that’s the meaning of life.Playing catch up on CD’s 😀
    Feels good though, that there’s no end to it.

    • Well, if there is anything to look forward to in life it is that there will always be music to listen to. 😉

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