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My First ‘Metal’ Memory

Back in the day, MTV used to do a daily top ten show of videos at about the 5:00 hour, Monday through Friday. The videos were chosen by votes called in from viewers earlier in the day. I am sure most of the readers of this site remember those days, and probably even remember what the show was called. Odds are it was hosted by Adam Curry too!

I remember watching the videos one day with my older sister, who was already a fan of the Glam metal scene, and the RATT "I Want A Woman" video came on. I can still remember watching the video in awe of the band: the music, the stage show, everything. Then, at one point in the video, the camera cuts to a couple of girls holding up a homemade banner that read "Eat me, I’m cheese." My sister started laughing, but I didn’t get the joke. I asked her, "Is it because they are called RATT, and the sign says that they are cheese?" Her response was simply, "Someday you’ll get it."

Of course, eventually I got the joke, and to be honest, I still think it is funny as hell. I know RATT gets a lot of grief from fans about the Reach for the Sky and Detonator eras, but personally, those are my favorite albums by the band. Both of those albums take me back to the time when I first really discovered the music that, many years later, I still cannot stop listening to. Great stuff.

Reader Comments (12)

My first metal memory goes back to when I was about 9 or 10. Some cousins of mine were 10 or so years older than me and when we'd visit them, I'd immediately head to the basement to rifle through their collection of albums. They had a lot of great stuff -- Alice Cooper & Queen immediately spring to mind. But the one that I kept playing, and couldn't get enough of, was the first Van Halen album. Something in that album instantly clicked with me and I haven't stopped listening to aggressive guitars ever since.

Coincidentally, my first ever big metal/rock arena show was Van Halen on the 1984 tour and I've been a concert junkie ever since.
June 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBryon
My first memory was when a cover metal band came to our high school and did a concert for the school. I also remember hearing Pyromania on the radio and wanted it so bad. My first Metal Albums were Dirty Deeds and Metal Health. Over Easter one year, My Shout at the Devil Ablum had vanished and I was convinced that God had taken it. I believe my mom hid it in the spare bedroom and I eventually found it. My next, but not final memory, was going to see Ratt Poison in Johnstown PA. It was a general admission concert and I am surprised that someone did not get killed trying to get up front. Poison was unknown at this point, but not long after, from all their touring, they broke out. I just remember Poison's performance as being very very engergetic. When Ratt came was unreal. They slithered around the stage and sounded amazing. (they still do)
I think I could write a Rockology.
More memories to be made at my second M3: June 19
Cannot wait, for I've never seen the Scorps, Vince solo, or Winger. Of course, KIX will be the highlight for all. They will blow the roof off
June 12, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterbrian
Dial MTV! yes, yes! Ofcourse, I didn't grow up with cable but I had friends video tape shows weekly for me and any chance I had to go to my grandparents house I was game b/c that meant I could watch MTV (ha ha).

remember the ALL METAL show they aired in the summertime called HARD 60, then it went down to HARD 30?

Don't you miss those days?

Kind of makes the Poison lyric soooo true "I just wanna go back to a simpler time, where nothing really matter'd at all"

June 12, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkari
ratt has put out great cd after great cd right till detonator was last good cd after that they became mediocre at best with the song over the edge being last good song, the new cd is pretty good but still not quite up to ratt standards but pretty damn close also they are a great band live i saw them a few years back with quiet riot, firehouse and cinderella what a great show, if u get a chance to see any of them live u wont be disappointed but obviously wont see quiet riot for obvious reasons but check out the rest.
June 12, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterglamrockerarchie
First memory or the first I remember at least, is listening to "Who do we think we are" by Deep Purple. My brother brought the album home from our neighborhood library!

I had forgotten that video until I read "Eat me, I’m cheese." in your article. It still makes me laugh too.
June 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSean
My metal life began the second I saw the video for 'I love it loud' by KISS.
June 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKenny Ozz
MTV has had a bunch of metal programming over the years, going back to the original Heavy Metal Mania hosted by Dee Snider. The shows changed names over the years, but here are the ones that I remember:

Heavy Metal Mania
Heavy Metal 1/2 Hour
Hard 30
Hard 60
Headbanger's Ball
June 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKen
If Zep is Metal (which I consider it to be) then my first Heavy Metal Memory was when I was 10 years old and could hear a faint echo of drumming while I was running around like a wild free-range leaping knome in my backyard in Old Greenwich, CT in (brace yourselves, kidz) probably mid - June, 1970. I'm guessing that because I remember it was early Summer and I was wearin' nothing but a pair of "safari shorts" my mother would buy me at Lord & Taylor, hahaha!!! Barefoot. No shirt. Nothin'. Xcept the shorts.

I can remember following the drumming... cutting through the Witty's back yard, then the White's back yard, across Sound Beach Avenue, hopping over a ROCK wall (how apropos!) and lurking through someone else's yard (this was unchartered territory) and getting closer to a big brown cedar shake Cape Cod job.

I remember the music getting louder and louder. I was a little Beatles freak then. My Mom reared me on Beatles. My first record was a 45 of "She Loves You", which I used to sing non-stop when I was 3 in '63! I can still remember it -- singin' along with my Mom (R.I.P) in the back of her two tone '55 Chevy Nomad wagon, dudes, how cool was that? Then she bought me Sgt. Peppers for my birthday in '67 along with some psychedelic clothes, hahaha!!! And Yellow Submarine in '68. She didn't buy me the White Album, but I got shown that and played for me by one of my girlfriends at the time (hahaha!!!)

Anyway, I thought the music I was hearing was some kind of louder version of the Beatles and I could tell it was being played live because of the way it started and stopped randomly.

As I approached the house I could tell it was emanating from the garage. Looking like a miniature Massad special ops guy, I crouched down and scampered across the lawn up to this garage I could tell the music was coming from and I peered through the pained window of the rear door to the garage.

Through the window I saw this guy that kinda looked like a less skeletal version of Ronnie Younkins from Kix wearing nothing but hip hugger Levi's bell bottoms and an SG just like Angus. He was in there with a band, but they're kinda fuzzy in my memory now but basically looked like Steppenwolf. Everybody did back then (at least in the Greenwich area of CT, hahaha!!!). I remember him! Maybe it was his parent's house and he was the leader of the band. That's what it seems like in my memory.

Anyway, I start watchin' 'em and what do you know, they were learning "Whole Lotta Love" by Led Zeppelin! I could feel butterflies in my stomach, I was so excited and exhilarated by the sheer power of what they were playing. I could feel the thump of the bass hitting me right in the heart! I remember it was "Whole Lotta Love" because of a combination of things. I remember him flipping the record and then picking up the album cover to see what track he was looking for.

Well, how could I ever forget that cover he was holding up? It was my first moment seeing it and I'll never forget what it looks like and I'm sure you all know by heart what it looks like, too!...

"L-e-d Z-e-p-p-e-l-i-n I-I"

What also made me realize it was "Whole Lotta Love" (all of this being post mortem a night or two later) was goin' to sleep with my avocado green GE clock radio playin' and wakin' up at like 3 in the morning to THE song I heard in the garage -- "Whole Lotta Love". (This was something I would continue to do throughout my life until listening to radio was replaced by mixtapes on the humongo stereo at low volume and now do with my iPod quite frequently even today. This is how I discovered Punk Rock from '76 through '78 when it hit our shores as WGTB -- Georgetown University's radio station which was playing a lot of Glam Rock, i.e. Bowie and T.Rex as well as what we called "Space Rock" like Floyd, Steve Hillage, Deodato, Angelis, Allan Parsons, suddenly started playin' the entire albums of new Punk bands I had never even heard of at midnight the day the albums came out -- Sex Pistols, Ramones, The Damned, 999, Iggy Pop, The Stranglers, Blondie, The Runaways, AC/DC, Cheap Trick, etc., etc. -- the latter three we thought were Punk, too, hahaha!!! -- and I remember that same lightening bolt sensation when I heard two of the first ones in one night, The Ramones and The Pistols, thinking, "Now This is Heavy Metal!", hahaha!!!, and running to the record store and buying the albums and singles I heard on that station over the course of the next 3 years the very next day until the Jesuit Fathers pulled the plug on the station. Some days later after hearing that first Ramones album I remember hearing Joey Ramone in an interview on GTB that the Ramones didn't set out to be Punk Rock -- They wanted to compete with Ted Nugent, hahaha!!! I also remember telling my bandmates -- I was in a 70's classic rock cover band then -- "Whoever combines Punk Rock with Aerosmith will be the next big thing -- Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Motley Crue's first album and look as evidence, IMHO, tho there is obviously a big New York Dolls influence also just as they influenced Aerosmith, The Pistols, and Poison too -- check the riffs...)...

...But I digress... Back to 3 a.m. on that fateful night in'70 when I had identified "Whole Lotta Love" -- I can remember being literally stunned by what felt like a lightening bolt coming out of the little mono speaker and bolting up and crouching in my bed in front of the radio which was on top of this bookcase/bedboard thingy at the head of my bed, literally kneeling in front of the radio clinging to every sound emanating from it and hearing the DJ say those words, "Led Zeppelin, 'Whole Lotta Love'". It was like I was receiving Holy Communion at The Altar of Rock and Roll!

Then it was a zillion classic Heavy Metal Memories in the 70's with always somebody's older brother turning us onto something cool -- Steppenwolf (who supposedly coined the phrase "Heavy Metal" with the lyric on "Born To Be Wild"), Deep Purple (Machine Head), Sabbath, Aerosmith, Nugent, Van Halen, Boston, Rainbow, Blue Oyster Cult, Nazareth, AC/DC, etc... And I saw nearly all of those bands...

And now for my first Glam Metal Memory... sometime in September of '82, wasted out of our gourds in NYC me and my bro came back to his apartment at 67th between Madison and Park. I was blitzed on Tanqueray (Firewater to the Injuns!) and all happy-drunk about landing my first real job (If you wanna call Advertising "real"). The bars, as most of you already know, don't close 'til 4, or 5 or longer, if you know how to work over the bartenders (insanely overtip)...

So, my compadre, Charlie, he ain't hurtin' either... And we're flippin' the channels and, lo and behold, we hit on Motley Crue's video for "Livewire"! We were both mesmerized and just falling all over the floor laffing so hard, because, as you all know, it is just simply killariously and insanely masterful, right down to Vince's futuristic looking chrome wireless mic with the antenna out the back.

That day in Connecticut when I was a kid watching that garage band learnin' Zep through the window panes, no doubt, changed my life forever, but that night in the early 80's when I saw the Crue's "Livewire" vid on a cool grass roots show of pirated videos on NYC Public Access Television just absolutely changed my life all over again!

p.s. I remember goin' over at my friend Patty's in Annapolis, MD with a bunch of kids I knew from High School (who I was then in Art School with in Baltimore, tho it was summer and we were off) to watch the debut of MTV... "Video Killed The Radio Star"! Then I remember goin' over to different peoples houses and even pretending liking chix just so I could watch MTV cuz we didn't have it in our Neighborhood at the time. And I'll never forget watchin' HARD 60 and 30 and so many Headbanger's Balls (I've got approximately 66 of 'em on videotape I need to transfer before they turn to dust, mixed with aerial footage of Bombing Sorties off CNN during the first Gulf War, which I taped -- we are up to 4 Gulf Wars now, counting the Gulf of Mexico. Oh, and I used to nail the end of CBS Sunday Morning "the morning after" Headbanger's Ball where Charles Osgood still leaves us with a few minutes of nature footage including just the ambient sounds of whatever they were shooting live as the audio, which had hilarious effect between each Headbanger's Ball)... Anyway, about HB, I just knew I had to get home on Saturday night at 11:00 as often as I could to watch it AND tape it -- yeah, sometimes I would just tape it while tearin' up the city or the Hamptons -- but quite often I would either snag chix early (either in the NYC or the Hamptons, whichever time of year it was) or whatever chick I was dating at the time, and convince 'em to go back to my apartment so I could watch it. It's funny cuz they always thought I was just going for "an early close" to "seal the deal", so to speak, when all I was really trying to do was just get back to my apartment in time to watch Headbanger's Ball, hahaha!!! Sometimes, I even used to make-out with one eye on the show, STG!, hahaha!!!
June 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMetalboy!
My first memory is a whopper! I was raised on the stuff my parents listened to like most other kids. In fourth grade my godmother had acquired some tickets to see KISS and her friend could not go last minute so her and my cousin of the same age invited me to go. I cannot even remember if it was Joe Louis or Cobo Arena here in Detroit. I had never heard Kiss or anything like it before, I was in awe! My godmother left to use the bathroom and while she was gone the older kids behind us offered us a hit on there "cigarette", so wanting to be cool we each took a couple puffs. Years later I realized why it made me feel a little "funny". KISS, pot and my first metal memory- God bless Metal!.
June 13, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterreptileblvd
my first metal memory was purchasing black sabbath
master of reality....
my mother about had a heart attack.....
unlike other kids my age i listened to ufo.thin lizzy,and others....
ever since those albums i was hooked....
i am now 47 and the metal still runs thru my blood...
i get intothe newer bands as much as the older ones.
horns up.....
June 14, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterj haynes
First memory is being at my cousins house and he played his new record - Iron Maiden - killers - would have been about 1982 - i loved it - he let me hear ac/dc highway to hell and i was hooked.

My first purchase was Too fast for love - Motley crue - i was hooked on glam from that moment.
June 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSkwint_hed
the funny thing is Ratt is mine too. lol VH1 was doing a special and showing classic that day. well, Round and Round came on and i remember turning around and looking at my mom and her saying, yes, that is a man, ha ha ha. i went to bed that night still not convinced that stephen pearcy was a man. lol
June 16, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterchey

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