Sunday, August 14, 2005

More on Monster

I recently told the story of the first time I heard Metallica to some folks down here that fawning over the "Black" album. The Bastard (A.K.A Some kind of Bastard) brought home a tape dubbed for him by a friend in school, (I want to say it was Rafi but The Bastard (A.K.A The Great American Bastard) can check my facts), it contained "kill 'Em All" and "Ride the Lightning." While listening to the tape, I can remember saying to myself that I had never heard something so fierce in my life. It blew anything I had been listening to at the time out of the tape deck. They were pissed, drunk and ready to crack skulls and it rang true. I remember a Sunday evening driving home from the big house in Strongs Neck listening to Metal Shop on WBAB and learning that Cliff Burton had died in a bus accident while on tour in Europe. That news was as shocking aas learning John Lennon was shot or that Marvin Gaye was murdered by his father, in each instance I knew at that very moment that I would never anything of their like again. Growing up the youngest I was exposed to the Beatles by the folks and my brothers, and I always wondered if they would ever find a way to get back together, that ended when Lennon died. Eating breakfast before school one morning, after just recently being exposed to the greatness that is Marvin Gaye, I found out that a domestic dispute between his farther and him ended with a bullet in his chest. Brother, brother, brother I hardly knew ya'. When Cliff died so did the soul of Metallica. While my brothers and i discussed at the time whether or not the band could go on, I think we all knew it was over no matter what came next for them. My last great memory of Metallica was at my very first concert, the Monsters of Rock at Giants Stadium in 1986. The Bastard (A.K.A C.E.O. of Bastards R Us) and I ventured to within 20 feet or so from the stage, this was before the tradgedy of floor seating. As we waited through a painful set from Kingdom Come, the crowd around us began to grow to almost an uncomfortable level and I won't lie, at the age of 13 at my first show I began to shit my pants. Metallica was next and the crowd around us sweeled with anticipation. As the band ripped into "Creeping Death" a large mosh pit opened up around us, I grabbed the bottom of my brother's denim vest and hung on for 45 minutes of Metallica's requiem, they would never be the same after that day. We come to find out later in life that Lars Ullrich is really an asshole on wheels, and James Hettfield became so enamored with the alcohol that had fueled him for so long that he had to give it up, and Kirk Hammett was the poor sould that had to be the go-between for a cat fight that would last for the next 15 years. Their music after Cliff's death became at best contrived and retread (e.g. Re-Load). Even Jason Newstead, Burton's replacement, got the picture and walked out on the boys a couple of years back. I enjoyed watching "Some Kind of Monster" simply because it offered answers to why Metallica watered themselves down. That and for the sheer anticipation that Dave Mustaine would stick a boot in Ullrich's ass. It seems the real friends of this mayhem were Hettfield and Mustaine but Ullrich found away to come between them. But more than that it was a comment that one of the bands representatives had said upon hearing tracks from their latest opus, "St. Anger." To paraphrase, he told the band that he hadn't heard that kind of energy since Cliff died. And there you have it, something I had been saying since I hear "And Justice For All." Now "St. Anger" is a a far cry from "Ride The Lightning," (my personal favorite from the Cliff days), but at least they seemed to get the point. It's a shame that it took 20 years to figure it out. You guys would never be the smae without Cliff and you shoud have hung it up the moment that teenage girls held up a lighter when you played "One." R.I.P fellas, "puss, fag, sluts!"

mofo

22 comments:

bastard central said...

i will expound later here but, lars' control problem is reflected from ...justice onward. i have never heard the drums so clearly over the rest of the instrument as i have on any album after cliff died. the bass was the wall of noise that gave that band it's fat sound and newstead always sounded "tinny" on album through no fault of his own. it was always the drums, the drums. the drums. and it makes their studio stuff sound like crap. bob rock was no fucking help. he helped turn them into a pop act.

—the bastard

bastard central said...

ok, here it is. the guy i got the tape from was charlie ochepinto. he was this guy who seemed genuinely uncomfortable with anyone who listened to the mainstream metal. he was the first guy to coin the phrase poseur to me which i got to hear alot of because i couldn't grow my hair in but i had a job that let me afford a leather jacket. but one day i will get into my story about the thug who i had a run in with over my lack of "real metal" and how it cost me 11 bucks and 2 black eyes. i remember it because i played it and was astounded. played it for the mofo and he dug. it was unique. the dub was appalled at first (i think the term he threw out was, "that's black metal") but he came around by ride the lightning. i'm actually a bigger fan of kill em all. i think it's rawer and it appeals to my current 3 chord sensibilities.

that day at the monsters of rock was the first time i had seen such purely distilled anger on stage before. i've seen it several times since then but, nothing like that day. it was the first time i saw them and they were never so good again. it was an ending, even though it was a beginning for us. the phrase that keeps coming to mind for me is johnny rotten saying, "have you ever had the feeling you've been cheated?" right before the sex pistols played the last song of their first US tour. right before they broke up. have you ever had the feeling you've been cheated? sometimes i do.

—the bastard

bigbromofo said...

the riffs were created by his drums. that is why the long lame songs are his because they follow his drum beat. the better songs are hetfield guitar generated. besides lars is no steve harris when it comes to follow my instrument as the melody.

i would like to see the movie. it sounds as though cliff is the brian epstein of metallica. after brian died, the beatles wandered around looking for people to lead them. they then decided to do it themselves. they made bad decisions financially until they got fed up woth each other one at a time. thankfully george martin kept them in line unlike bob rock. again, those who choose not to learn from history are doomed to repeat it. at least the 1 1/2 years iof metallica video was 1/2 way decent.

and by the way i said you shouldnt paly tha tbecause mom and dad may not like it. i dont think i would have used black metal.

dub plat

bastard central said...

in a way cliff was brian epstien and stu sutcliffe rolled into one. he was a revered guy and a leader of sorts. hell, he got them to move to the bay area which worked out for them ultimately. i don't dig all that much on bob rock as a producer. they should explore other production options

dub, i wouldn't have said that you dais "black metal" unless i heard the words come out of your mouth that evening. you said it, it's out there. revel in it.

—the bastard

Thomas said...

I was repulsed by the film. While realizing that something must have been gnawing away at James Hetfield's soul to drive him into the rehabilitation exile that he embraced, the decision by James and the rest of his band to film selected excerpts from the band's therapy sessions is beyond the label of sheer self-indulgence. To assume that snarling drooling, sweaty, smelly old-school Metallica fans want to see the band as a touchy-feely flaccid group of wealthy, self-absorbed mental cases is reaching quite far... I myself relate to your description of being terrified in the midst of cro-magnon sociopaths clad in denim and leather waiting for the obliterating riffs of Fight Fire With Fire or Battery. The movie, while appealing to my more mature and refined senses, seemed to offend my sense of what Metallica was all about to me when they actually mattered, before using bloody semen on their CD covers.

Post-Cliff Burton Metallica is a different entity. I lost interest in them after the tragedy.

Thomas said...

Addendum to above comment:

The songs One and Of Wolf And Man are the exceptions to my post-Cliff Burton malaise toward the band.

bastard central said...

well played metatron.

after justice i dropped out and began my long vacation from the genre, listening to mostly punk and industrial. it wasn't until i met jimmy 3k that i remembered how good sabbabath was. allthough one was a good toon. wack ass video but a good toon.

—the bastard

bigbromofo said...

excuse me bastard bloody bastard, but you were listening to the greatest metal band from Birmingham (just ahead of rob and the boys) during your "punk period". if i rememeber there is a tape with a lead singer that strangely looks like the bastard 15 years ago with a bassist that strangely looks like the nice lady either in Stewart Hall or OLL Auditorium singing "One" "Rock Hard, Ride Free", etc during such period that you mention. methinks you might be embellishing on the story slightly. by the way do we have to wait for your last will and testament reading to view that tape. some of us have not been invited to watch this U68 classic for whatever reasons unknown to the bigbromofo. i do know that you should go to the store and put it on DVD and save (savor) the memories of you forgetting the first verse of "run to the hills". if tommy lee can go reality TV so can you bastard.

I still do not agree with the black metal comment and plead loss of memory to indeed state what i did in fact say.

Dub Plat - Big Bro Mofo

bastard central said...

dude, that was 1987. the second act was in college around '89. true. but i was just filling my roll as hired gun there. i'm not embellishing, just shortening the tale. coulda been worse. i could have bought up budgie's entire catalog (ohhhhhhhhhh) instead. i have decided that the fusion tape shall be used to summon up a shuggoth to pull me and it (the tape) down into the brimstone together. i just found that stupid thing about a month ago. it was never that you were not invited, it was just only aired at my 29th birthday party (looked real interesting to the former drummer of bad religion who was my client at the time) and you didn't come. i'll air it again when the spirit moves me.

the black metal comment stands. i wouldn't have said it if i didn't hear it.

—voivod rocks the power hour yeah.

bigbromofo said...

true fans of any genre will go and buy the albums that some of teh bands they like were interesetd in. therefore my budgie collection and other NWOBHM without buying the NWOBHM are worth buying. let's not talk about another U68 classic "Broken Heroes".

I was in Bermuda on vacation in 1999 for our 1st wedding anniversary. it would appear if one looks at the calendar one would notice that my anniversay and your birthday are quite close. there havent been too many invites anyway. i would like to make a resvervation for 5 to view the Fusion tape at some point in the near future so that AJR speedwagon can view their uncle in all his MET-TAL glory. You were not a hired gun, you WERE Johnny Bravoi, Greg.

is that U68 tape still around or did we tape over it?

Black Metal my ass. I plead the fifth.

Big Bro Mofo - not enough dub plat on the power hour

bastard central said...

dub,

i'm just giving you grief about NWOBHM. i bought more than my share of diamondhead. and we all know that saxon is a thing to make fun of.

i'm just saying that the tape is aired at my disgression. you just happened to be outof town when it struck me. i didn't plan to air it. mo and others asked to see it. thus, it aired.

the u68 tape was lent to the deuce for a cover band he joined along with my copy of the screaming for vengeance tour live. the copies were poor and i was listening to something else @ that point.

dude, you said it. i heard it. get over it.

—the bastard

bigbromofo said...

WHAT!!!!Priest Live in Memphis is not in our control!!!!!

That is like when i sent all of the comics to TJ and they have fallen into the void of LI.

Damn You Bastard!!! No more will we hear......ahhhhhhhhhhh I'll take you Higher!!!!!

Thank you I could not remember the name Saxon. I also forgot to mention Killing tIme - the wait.

Dub Plat

bastard central said...

nope. all gone. the deuce has it and i don't know where he is anymore.

you could get a copy off of amazon or sumthin

saxon was the inspiration for this is spinal tap. the wait was written by killing JOKE. killing TIME was a nyhc band

and that's one to grow on

—the bastard

mofo said...

I was in Bellerose Lanes working when I saw some dude, dressed in the bowlers uniform, singing "One" while the video that was playing. I said to myself, that guy doesn't listen to Mettalica! And that was it for me.

I wish we had that Priest concert, I would love to put that verson of "Desert Plains" on a tape

bigbromofo said...

you must find strutter / deuce / black diamond or whatever his name is. That tape must be found or he will be a ....Victim of Changes....

i thought that spinal tap was a conglomeration of saxon, dio, priest, rainbow, etc. the mrs. st hubbins is wendy dio, the multitude of drummers is priest / rainbow, etc.


my mind is fuzzy like the black metal comment thank you for the correction on the killing joke issue.

hey mofo glad to see that they let you use the computer once in a while. that version of desert plains is better than the priest live version. i will look for it at amazon but we cant replace the U68 tape. that was a homegrown special.

every group has the jump the shark moment. priest has turbo, maiden has the era after live after death past seventh son, kiss without makeup, even motorhead has 1916. the only thing is that all of these groups got back to reality and produced there core music for the older fans. metallica went askew and stayed that way. they were great once. they forgot.

Big Bro Mofo - dub plat

bastard central said...

mofo,

we ALL love that version of desert plains. it's very METAL not to be confused with vivian from the young ones who was very metal

dub,

last i heard the deuce had gotten married and he was living in elmhurst which is weird for me. his mother and he moved to forest hills to get away from the "element" in QV. i believe that dean the throat has his copy, we can always dub it again for humor purposes. maybe we can back it up with fusion......nah.

i will no longer comment on the black metal comment. it happened.

st hubbins was totally based on biff byford of saxon. come on look at the hair and for fucks sake, his name is biff byford!

i agree with your jump the shark theory. allthough one can redeem oneself afterwards but that IS the prettiest picture of lemmy on 1916. so airbrushed. and as for metallica, money and surrounding yourself with the wrong kind of people brings you there.

—the bastard

bigbromofo said...

i agree . look at MC hammer and the wrong people. when are the doing metallica behind the music II in front of the money.

Biff Byford may be lenny from Laverne and Shirley but his wife is wendy dio....she rocks...

yes i think tha tis what i would like for my birthday, priest live in memphis with a smattering of Fusion 87 and 89.

Lemmy added moles after 1916 to make himself look ....moleier

jimmy3000 said...

Thank Tom for the resurgence in the Mighty Sabbath (AKA Black Sa-bab-bath) Before then I was merely a kid playing with Evil Kinevil rocket cycle in the front yard cranking "Iron Man" and "Paranoid" over and over on my Sounddesign tape deck with a mono 3" speaker made from the finest Osaka tissue paper. Many-a-night was spent smokin' wheelchair and drinkin' Scotch! until sunrise being initiated by the sonic supernova matter that was Sabbath from 1970 to 1976.

bastard central said...

thank you jim for bringing the wheelchair into this. i must always give props for the most obscure obscurities like osaka tissue paper. it is truly a gift from god

—bas

bigbromofo said...

bastard

please translate since i obviuosly did not understand any references form mr.3000 bernie mac.

dub plat

bastard central said...

3k deals in obscurities. he's the guy i got the phrase cold war leftover when referring to my oven from 3k. i go with the ockams razor theory on things 3k says. either the radio was made in japan, or made by the 47 ronin. either way, i try to go for waht's close to obvious.

—the bastard

"Oh, I'm sick of doing Japanese stuff! In jail we had to be in this dumb kabuki play about the 47 Ronin, and I wanted to be Oshi, but they made me Ori!"
—homer simpson

bigbromofo said...

again the concorde has flown over my head and taken so more hair. WHAT?!