Soundtrack to Life – A New Interactive Column

If ya frequent the board, you know who I am. I go by many names, but only one iB ID for this board. Loki. 21 years old, still livin’ at home in the grand state of Wisconsin. It’s a boring life in a boring town with that same old crowd. Recognize that line? I’m sure some of you do. “History of a Boring Town” by Less Than Jake. Which is a nice little segway as I tell you what this column is about.

What this column is about is the importance of music in our lives. We all have songs that hold a significance to us, whether they remind us of a relationship, a period of our lives, or just a day we felt was special. I’d thought of opening this on the forums, but it just seemed like so many stories would be told that would get overlooked, as well as stories that are just one line of pointless crude humor. Don’t worry, I’m not depriving you of the chance to tell your story, cuz I think there’s gonna be a lot of great stories that come of this. In fact, I’m making this column interactive. How can you get involved? I’ll give instructions at the end of my little story. For now, this is a taste of things to come from me, and hopefully from you.

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My Metal Roots

Song: “Symphony of Destruction” by Megadeth.

I don’t quite remember the year, but safe to say I was pretty young. Music really didn’t mean much to me back then. The only songs I’d bothered to memorize were the ones we learned in music class. I never sang along with the radio, just lip synced. I felt it was more respectful, probably because I’d oft had to sit through my older brother’s off key renditions of Motley Crue songs. The only songs that meant anything to me were those taught in music class, and what bits I’d heard on the radio going from point A to point B. Occasionally, Pat (my older bro) would catch on to the hits of the day, buy the single and play it over and over again. Needless to say, I heard my share of MC Hammer and Vanilla Ice. Thankfully, he wasn’t a New Kids on the Block fan. No, that was left to the other kids on my bus route. But that’s all another story for another time.

Despite his brief flirtations with rap music, Pat was big into rock, particularly metal. He loved all the 80’s hair metal bands. You name it, he listened to it. When you’re young and impressionable, you take a cue from your elders, and older siblings are a good example. Basically, I listened to whatever he said was cool, therefor I took a liking to heavy metal music. but what the radio offered wasn’t exactly heavy metal. I’d occasionally get a taste of Metallica, but aside from that it was mostly hair metal and AC/DC.

Anyways, there came a time when our parents had decided that Pat was mature enough that he could babysit for us while they were gone. Most weekends, Pat would be at his friend Sam’s house. Sam was much more in tune with the metal scene and he had tuned Pat in to something that would become a Saturday night mainstay. As it turned out, our parents had started a Saturday night pool league, so Pat was our babysitter. When you’re cool with your brother, it’s cool to have hime as a babysitter. I believe him, myself and the youngest brother, Tim, had spent the evening having some sort of war involving Nerf weapons. It was getting late but we were all still up. All of a sudden, Pat looks at the clock.

“Whoah! Headbanger’s Ball is on!” he rushed off to the other room and began programing the dish to find MTV.

“What’s that?” I asked. But I knew back then, if Pat liked it, it had to be cool.

“They play nothing but heavy metal videos! Like Metallica and Motley Crue. It’s awesome!”

I needed no further prompting to watch. So I took a seat and waited for the program to get back from commercial. Various images flashed before the screen with a vicious guitar riff in the background, all ending with a spinning head sporitng bondage type headgear and the sound of Phil Anselmo from Pantera screaming “HOSTIIIIIIIIILLLLEEE!!!!!” in the background. Rather than cutting to the VJ, they went straight to video. Peaceful images filled the screen followed by an almost angelic chant.

Ahh ah

Was this what they were so crazy about? Suddenly a blastwave wipes the peaceful scene from existence as a brutal riff ripped over the speakers.

“Whoah! That was cool!” The little title appeared in the lower left hand corner. “Symphony of Destruction” by Megadeth. How hardcore is that? This was the very personification of heavy metal. Macho, brutal, powerful music. I was hooked. Saturday had become the greatest day of the week. Not only were we off school, but we bowled in the morning, and at night we were treated to a plethora of amazing bands and videos. In sixth grade I wore my first band shirt. It was Alice in Chains for Jar of Flies. Nobody really believed it when they saw it. Quiet little knows everything boy listened to metal. They never really got over it. My taste in music won me some great friends though, guys I’ll never forget. I became a fan of some of the most hardcore bands of the time; Metallica, Pantera, nine inch nails, and of course Megadeth.

Whenever I think about how I got into heavy metal, I can’t help think about that song.

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Now for the crowd participation segment of our show. Got a story you’d like to share? Please don’t post it on the board. Email it to me. I plan on making this a weekly segment, more frequently if needs be. Describe to us an incident in your life in which music has been the back drop or played a profound role. It doesn’t have to mirror what I have here, this is merely an example. I won’t play favorites. All I ask is that your story be of reasonable length and have some substance to it. Since this will be posted on the main page, I recommend you run a spelling/grammar check before submitting it to me. That email again is:
loki@baloolapalooza.com