Most of My Blog Traffic is From Pure Dumb Luck

My favorite thing about Youtube, aside from the sheer magnitude of the collection, is what I might call the “connection sessions.” And that’s when, you see something on Ytube and then it reminds you of something else, or you see it over in the “related video” area. And that’s it. You’re on there for hours. A dozen 5 minute clips is an hour, so time flies over there.

As it is, in most cases, I had a legitimate reason for going to Ytube the other day, and then got sucked into watching old Punk Rock. And just like it happened in my real life, I gradually fell into watching Metal. And I noticed that some strange thing has happened over the last few years; more bands than ever are having reunions. So you can see old videos of a group and THEN you can see new videos. But seeing the 80’s thin rockers and then seeing the reunion fat guys is so…on the money. I mean, I got fat too! I’m losing it, but essentially I’ve become a heavy guy.

But this isn’t so much a piece about weight as it is about metal that I liked-and how I got into it at all. And Ytube is a great place to put things into historical context. Mix that with Wikipedia and you’re set. Or Myspace, but I don’t go there for much history or old videos since they bands are pretty much trying to let you know what they’re doing NOW (not to mention it’s their version of things, at least with Wiki the input comes from diverse sources).

So before I give you laundry list of bands I like mind if I tell you how I got into metal? It actually started out as a kid into rock, then punk, then metal. I’ll go into my punk transition another time, but I big part of the process was this kid I met as a freshman in high school; Jay. One day Jay took me to his house and played me the Fear on Saturday Night Live video, the new Venom album and then took me to Wax Trax on the North side of Chicago. We were students at Kenwood Academy on the South side of Chicago. After 2 years I transferred to the Lane Tech on the North side, so I could be closer to the action and boy was I! I think Jay transferred too. Anyway that day at Wax Trax I bought some albums. One by Minor Threat, and one by DOA at his recommendations (and one by DRI at mine).

About 10 years prior to that, at about age 5, I had bought my first “rock” record. Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen. You should have SEEN the Sears “record dealer” trying to figure out what I wanted. Did I mention I’m Black? Well I am, and trying to get this middle aged man in a jacket and tie who worked in the Sears record department to recognize the song I was trying to sing was hilarious. In those days buying records was almost like buying insurance at Sears; very serious business with a professional record guy who treated your purchase as a very legitimate enterprise. And I’m there with my mom, who worked in Sears seasonally doing taxes through H&R Block, and there’s this guy with this giant moustache and sports jacket listening to me sing “Oh momma mia, momma mia, momma mia let me go!” ANYWAY…

Fast forward that last 10 years BACK to 20 years ago. My friend Jay, at the time, was in a Chicago band called Rites of the Accused, and I think he had a Mohawk and giant words on the back of his black leather “isn’t life a blast” I think, from the Flippers song Ha Ha Ha (I would learn later). He had seen me too it turns out. I had these giant motorcycle boots with bright yellow shin pads. I wore them on a Monday and got laughed at ALLLLL day. But that night was the 25th Motown Anniversary and the Jackson 5 was there. Guess what? One of them was wearing the EXACT same boots. Tuesday, I was a GOD. I had the boots FIRST before they were on TV! I was into Mad Max on a CRAZY level. I knew I wanted to be with those kind of people. I didn’t know what they were called, or where they hung out, but I wanted to BE one. And as soon as I could convince my mother I was gonna get a Mohawk too!