I just finished watching the 4 part series on VH1 Classic (DishNet channel 163) called Heavy: the History Of Metal. I never really realized how much heavy metal had inspired, and was such an important part of my life in the 80's. Believe it or not I was very much a loner. the only thing I really looked forward to in the 80's was coming home after school to my dog Ginger... then later on to spend time with my girlfriend Donna. They were at the time the 2 most important things in my life. Sadly Ginger got old... and eventually had to take the long sleep. This was grade 8 for me and I was shattered. She went everywhere with me... we would go for 5 hour walks into the rouge valley.. we would visit with the trainer of the Littlest Hobo, and she would run and bark at the 5 dogs it took to film the series. We would walk along the tree/fence line that leads into the Toronto Zoo... looking and wondering what it would be like to be caged. she would never know... but I did. Living in stairwells... sneaking onto the top of FoodCity after dark to the ventilation shaft to stay warm.... hot wiring cars and sleeping in the backseat till sun up, and then leaving them... but NEVER stealing them. I did bad, illegal things out of neccesity, but never out of profit. I am a better man today... 3 childeren, a wonderful wife... and a new Ginger.... Daphne. My family on the other hand, still feels like a mountain I will never climb... like i'm afraid of heights or something. My sister constantly keeps reaching her hand out to me and I never grab on to it.... why? anyway, back on track to the VH1 special... a friend lent me his Ozzy Osbourne albums for a while, and a whole new light bulb lit up. Here was this man... the knew what was going on inside my head. He was singing the thoughts, and feeling I had.. the lonely ness... the sadness... the anger.. then I started hearing about how people thought he was a satanist. How he was singing to/about the devil. I couldn't believe it. Did these people not listen to the words??? did they not understand?? I would telll them if they had only asked. Moving more in the genre I dug.... Metallica was my next stop, them Black Sabbath and Judas Priest.... Motley Crue, Van Halen, Iron Maiden etc... these guys may have been drinking and smoking and taking drugs, but because thats what people seen when they looked at them thats what they assumed the people listening were like. I had long hair, smoked, and cried myself to sleep more often that not. My brother Dave, was the coolest person I knew. I never told him that, but I would sneak his Cat Stevens, Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Pink Floyd records when he wasn't home... looking back, I'm sure he knew, but I was his little brother, and I thought I could get away with anything. Then again... you know.. maybe he never knew..... never knew how much I wanted to hang out with his and his friends... wanted to go down stairs and watch M*A*S*H with him... I could hear him laughing, watching it, and I just wanted to be like him. Now he is a successful businessman, with a big house, and wonderful wife... 2 amazing kids, and as far as I'm concerned... father of the year. I will forever be in his shadow.
Anyways.. the 1980's Heavy Metal scene to me was most important... I have seen Motley Crue, Van Halen, David Lee Roth, Bon Jovi (3 times), Ozzy Osbourne and AeroSmith. I have partied with the Killer Dwarfs.. Lee Arron, and.... ahem... I know I know.... Larry Gowan. I actually lost my virginity on his couch.... with a girl that lived 2 floors up from him.... not metal, but roack in my book. :)
I would get my pay cheque, and hope on the subway alone... get off at College St, and accross from Maple Leaf Gardens on Carleton St, was this amazing record store called The Record Peddler. I would pour over the imports, and after what seemed like hours, come home with a Black Sabbath, or Ozzy import that nobody would have heard of... the 1980's were the best years of my life, and wish that my childeren could understand how different things were. I would never give those memories up for ANYTHING in the world.... but I may do somethings differently..... definatly.
If anybody has the 83' US Festival on tape, or DVD... I would appreciate it alot.