Soundtrack to Life – Happy Haunting – The Warehouse Years

I now start this column for the second time. Gotta love it when your computer freezes. Anyways, this is now the fourth week of this column and still no mail… ingrates. I kid, I kid. I would like to thank J and Aki for the positive feedback though. Thusfar, I’ve given you two examples of the kind of stories I’m looking for: Where the song is the focal point of the story, and where the song provides a backstory to the actual story. This will be a third, one where I’d heard this song frequently during the time of the events, to a point where when I hear this song today and think of this story. It’s something I talked about on the board at length, though hardly touched upon the topic, however much sense that makes. Warning, this is a long one as it covers 2 years. Expect the sequel, maybe next week. Enjoy.


Happy Haunting – The Warehouse Years

“Superbeast” by Rob Zombie

As they turned down down the corridor, the light faded to pitch black. They’d lost sight of everything; their path, eachother and even their hands were they to even place them not an inch from their face. They felt along the smooth wooden walls, navigating their now invisible path. The girls huddled close to their respective guys who boldly, though apprehensively led the way. Another corner, and amidst the cacophony of the thunder storm they’d left behind, something else could be heard. Something mechanical, gears turning with no relent. Also, there was a hint of something else, music. To a few of the party members, it was a little familiar. An eerie electronic/metal kind of music. Down the hall, they saw light, and though dim, it was enough to illuminate the path ahead. They sped up to once again regain their vision. The concrete floor beneath their feet gave way to a hollow sounding wooden ramp. They stepped up onto the platform and turned with the path to see what lay up ahead. It was like something out of a psychadelic dream. Before them, a wooden bridge, perhaps 15 feet in length, but what was it’s purpose? Why, to carry them over the swirling aether about them. A portal, or so it seemed. Neon blues, oranges and whites rotated clockwise. This was the source of the music.

Shriek the lips across the ragged tongue
Convulsing together sing violently
Move the jaw, cry aloud
Bound up the dead triumphantly

The song was “Superbeast” by Rob Zombie, but the song was no warning, as clearly there was no “Superbeast” in sight. They marveled at the sight for but a moment, before one of the girls prodded her beau out onto the bridge. Convinced it was stable, they all stepped out onto the bridge. But the surroundings had been deceptive. With the swirling all around them, a feeling of vertigo took over. They all felt as though they were drawn to the left hand rail, as if the bridge was forcibly trying to throw them off. They fought to ignore the sensation, focusing on the end of the bridge. Another platform there, with mirror to make the deception just that much more influential. Halfway across when they noticed something else. A form, seemingly melting out of the wall and floor beneath the mirror. Before they knew what it was, it exploded into motion. A feral growl from the creature briefly drowned out the music as it charged down the bridge. The men backed up, the women clutched to them out of fear, some screaming in horror. And then it stopped, only a few inches from the party. It looked like a reject member of Slipknot: Navy blue coveralls, chains draped over it’s shoulders and tied about it’s waist, and it’s face, covered in a gray hood with a cage of forged iron covering it’s visage. It took a moment to look at each member of the group, relishing in the terror of the women it seemed. And then it laughed, a low sinister laugh. The creature’s maw glowed when it opened. Slowly, it backed off, also effected by the vertigo it seemed as it clutched the rail and faded back to the wall. The party looked at the odd figure as they walked past and into another series of black corridors.

As they left, Gary walked in. He looked around and walked across the bridge to my position.

“Good job. I gotta go follow those guys cuz they’ve been causing trouble in the other rooms.”

I lifted my mask and took the glowing mouthpiece out.

“Alright.” I said.

Gary plodded off after them, flashlight in hand. It was gonna be a long night. That’s just a little example of how things go on a nightly basis when you’re working at a haunted house.

It all really started back in 1999. Scott’s accident had brought us all closer together in my little group of friends. And whereas I’d been excluded from many things in the past due to living in the middle of nowhere, my friends now made strides to contact me frequently about what was going on. On one night, after visiting him in the hospital, myself Jay and Musse went about the town, just enjoying the night. They then offered me and invite to work with the haunted house they worked with. I figured it might be something fun to do, so I told ’em to give me a call when the time came. They came through with their promise, and shortly after on a Wednesday night, we were on our way to the haunted house. Granted, it was the middle of summer, and it didn’t start running until October, they needed to start work on it early.

I was expecting a decrepit old house but was rather surprised when we pulled up in a gravel lot with several long warehouses. This was the sight of a haunted house? When we entered, a few people milled about, moving things around. Some people were disassembling things, while others were putting things together. Very industrious it seemed.

“I wonder if Tiffany and Lara (yes, the same Lara who posts at these boards) are here.” Musse mused.

“Who’re they?” I asked.

“Some people we worked with last year.” Jay answered.

As if on cue, out they came. They welcomed Jay and Musse back fondly, but now it was time for introductions.

Jay: “Lara, Tiff, this is doG.”

Me: “What?”

Tiff: “Why doG?”

Jay: “It’s like God, but backwards. Cuz Joe is God.”

Me: “Just call me Joe.”

Lara: “Nice to meet you doG.”

Me: “It’s Joe!”

Jay: “Sure it is doG.”

Me: “Jason….”

And thus, we were called The Zoo. Jay is known often as Mouse. Musse is, well, Moose. And I’m doG. Thus, The Zoo.

With introductions out of the way, Jay decided to take us on a guided tour. As we went from room to room, we’d get in the way of those who were working, and Jay would vanish momentarily only to pop up when we least expected it. When it came time to work, we weren’t allowed to do much as we weren’t 18 yet, so for the most part we painted and cleaned things. That was our duty, but we kept it interesting, interspersing it with a quick vanishing act followed by popping up when anyone walked by. It practically became a competition.

First night of actually working as a monster, I worked with Ben. Ben is infamous not only in our house but in the community for piecing together some of the best costumes around Halloween. This year, it was a hideous alien costume with boots that made him about 8 feet tall. Pretty imposing when he comes stalking out of his cell. I played the survivor of an alien attack. Smashing outfit too; black and neon yellow jogging jacket, a red bandana and Laser Tag gear. In any case, I’d tell the groups of the attack and tell them to get out. At this time Ben would come charging out in his alien gear and I would “fend him off”. When Jay helped me in here serving as Captain, we were a little better. After that night, I worked in the dark maze. Basically, I didn’t have to be seen, didn’t have to act, just give the group a scare when they walked past. I still dressed up, as I’d occassionally follow groups into the light. Beat up flannel, chain around the waist, glow in the dark hockey mask.

One of my fonder memories was trailing one group for two rooms. Through the cemetary, into the Ogre’s room. The Ogre was a huge prop we’d pieced together with what we could find. It was rigged so that it would stand up, over 10 feet tall. Someone, using a voice changer would then speak for it. I’d followed this group in, the Ogre stood, and demanded one of the girl’s to step forward. After several demands, she still wouldn’t budge.

“He said ‘Step forward'” I rhasped. Now, she moved. They were honestly scared. I’d put fear into these people. Shy little me who’d never really been taken seriously by my peers before was now making the demands, and they were listening. Power trip, ‘nough said. And honestly, that’s a part of doing this that I absolutely love. On any given day, I’m just another guy in this world, another face in the crowd, someone you wouldn’t think twice about, someone you’ll forget in a minute’s time. In that house though, I’m not me. I’m feared, I’m a focal point, I’m someone you’ll remember days later, maybe longer. It’s a complete role reversal, and it’s just such a rush to me. The fact that I might be giving someone nightmares….. and then when I get into costume those nightmares are worse! Couldn’t miss the dig at myself.

After the season was over, I coudn’t wait for the next year. And in the late spring, we returned to start working. As per usual, the comaraderie was much the same. Idle chat and gossip while working, brief breaks during our job in which one would chase one another with a broom or something that could conceivable hurt. During one such spree, Lara walks in.

“You guys are crazy. I missed you!”

That gets ya right here, don’t it? I was starting to feel at home here. I couldn’t wait for our weekly visits to help out, as is the case to this day. But this year, we didn’t show up for most nights. Still there was our share of memories.

As mentioned above, my favored costume was the Slipknot gear I’d assembled. I worked the black hole (as described earlier), and the office. I’d hide behind what was supposed to be French Doors, and on cue I’d shut off the lights, throw on the strobe and come charging out. That was actually my first role as a big scare, so I was happy for the opportunity. When I wasn’t working those rooms or the dark maze, I’d be working the Exorcist room in which I played a priest. Everything was rigged to move around at the push of a switch. Drawers, a chair, the bed. I would either be chanting over the afflicted girl’s bed, or sitting in a chair rocking back and forth saying “No hope.” Being me, I had to take a few shots at organized religion while dressed the part. Never in front of the guests though, as it would likely offend them. I was often found in the dressing room crossing myself, nodding and saying “Send me money.” Well, I thought it was funny.

Of course there was the whole Legacy room fiasco I’d mentioned before on the boards. Jay and Musse basically turned this room into a two man mosh pit. They ruined everything in that room. Shelves, books, decorations, you name it, they wrecked it. They actually put a hole in one of the walls, illuminating one of the dark mazes. When they weren’t working it, thankfully others continued the trend with that room. Actually, Lara and Aki worked the room one night. On that night, I just so happened to be roaming around the place, lookin’ for a good scare. I got it in my mind, that these people are already jumpy, so I don’t have to try hard, just thump the wall. Trust me, sometimes, that’s all it takes. So, I was walking down an access hallway, thumping the walls every few feet. And when I made it to the Legacy room, I hear a group in there, so I gave the wall and extra hard thump. Screams come from the room. Yes!

“Hey! You knocked the light out!”

I couldn’t help but laugh.

Ah yes, Aki. How she became a part of the house was a different story. See, we didn’t want siblings getting involved, namely due to Musse’s little brother. He was obnoxious at the time, just trust me. The annoying sort of tag along. As it worked out actually, Aki met Lara online. Lara had been a part of the house, practically since it’s conception, so that’s how she was a part of it. Anyways, she was trying to get ahold of Jay, and wound up getting Aki. They clicked, and the rest is history. So that’s how Aki became a part of it all. She and Lara frequently worked the elevator. They didn’t aim to scare, just to entertain. Their method: Speaking in British accents and taunting the guests. It was quite hilarious.

Even the hallway after the elevator had it’s own stories. For one, we had fake picture frames that the monsters could “interface” with the groups through. Whether it be just snarling or reaching at them. I got quite a few good scares like that. It was through one of those pictures that I caught something I thought was priceless. The group came out and was greeted by my friend Adam standing there. “I’m Adam, I’ll be your screaming idiot for the night.” And with that, he tore off down the hall. Well, we say if ya can’t scare ’em, entertain ’em.

That final night, as we had our “cast party after the show”, there was a nacho cheese fight. It all kinda started by accident, but it was all in good fun. Nights like these layed the foundation for coming years. Not just for the haunted house, but for friends as well. And every night, before and after we were done, a few select tracks from Rob Zombie’s Hellbilly Deluxe could be heard over all, blaring from the black hole. I can never hear that album without thinking of my nights working for the Hartford Jaycees Haunted House.


Got a story you’d like to tell about a song that’s in the Soundtrack of your life? Don’t post it on the board. Email it to me and I’ll put it in my column. Stories will be posted in the order that their received. I don’t play favorites. All I ask is that you make sure the spelling and grammar are in fine order.
Email your stories to:


Soundtrack to Life – Graduation

Okay, so the past two columns have not been exactly what the idea of this column is all about. As such, I’ve received no other stories from any of you. No matter. Things may change over time. But anyways, this story will be a break from the other two, and give you a better idea of what I’m looking for.



“So Long” by The Suicide Machines

I barely remembered the past few nights. Most of the other students were studying hard to see to it they’d make it out those doors uncontested. That was never a worry for me. I’d always been good when it came to tests and exams, so that was the least of my worries. My past few nights had been spent with my friends, lovin’ life on the streets of this miserable city. I was too focused on the days ahead to worry about what questions might be on the papers they threw at us. Here it was, I was finally here. After 13 long years, I’d no longer have to wake up every morning and settle into the ever-conforming crowd so that I could learn. This was it, time to graduate.

I’d taken care to wake up early that day. My friends and I had decided to arrive in style on that final day of school. I was all set, waiting for our chariot to arrive. And there it was. A red convertible Pontiac Sunfire, top down of course. Okay, so it ain’t the snazziest car out there, but come on, it was a convertible. Musse was driving, and I was his first stop. Hopped in the passenger side and enjoyed the crisp summer air of the early morning. Dew still clinging to everything gave the world a distinctive smell. Ahhh, freedom. We gathered up Jay and Tim on the way to school. My god it was beautiful. I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed a morning as much as I enjoyed this one.

I finally felt liberated in this school. With a spring in my step and the heels of my brand new combat boots clicking off the ground, I wandered through many of the halls for what I knew would be the last time. Memories came flooding back. The friends I met, the jokes we shared, the girls I admired from afar, the classes I’d had throughout the past 4 years, and all the changes that had taken place in the building. I looked around for Her, one last time, hoping for the courage to speak, but it never came. Oh well, time for class.

I don’t remember what exams I had that day, though I think it was only one. It never felt so good to leave that school. I wouldn’t have to put up with these people anymore, I hoped. The fact of the matter is, no matter where you go, you’ll have assholes to deal with. But that’s neither here nor there. School had been this burden on my shoulders, the warden watching the inmates, the obligation to which we all had to respond. Perhaps I took it more seriously than others, and that’s why I felt so liberated to be out of there. Honestly, I still have recurring nightmares of being late for school. Told ya I was lame.

Our school, West Bend East and West Highschool, was divided into those two compass points. East had their graduation first, which I sadly didn’t attend. Jay was there, Tim was there, yet I didn’t make it to the cerimony. The next night, West Highschool held it’s graduation. All of the graduates had to go to their homeroom class rooms to get ready for the cerimony. All the guest had to wait in the gymnasium for the cerimony to begin. Teachers and staff patrolled the halls to be sure nobody was breaking the rules. But, leave it to my friends…..


I looked down the hall and here came Tia, Jay and Adam. The three had gotten past security just to see me before the cerimony. I got a hug from Tia and the four of us chatted for a moment before they wished me luck and headed back to the gymnasium, unescorted by “security”. Here I was, feeling all alone up here, couldn’t find anyone from my class who cared enough to talk to me, and these three wind up finding me. I didn’t see anybody else breaking the rules to see their friends. Damn, I felt special.

We entered the gymnasium, double file, guys and girls arm in arm. Hearing the graduation theme playing, I held myself up high, almost strutting into the assembly. Of course, being a wrestling fan, I couldn’t shake images of Macho Man Randy Savage, but that’s neither here nor there. We sat through the speeches and performances from our valedictorians and other students. I didn’t care much for it, as I remembered some of these people being pompous asses. Of course there were people in the class wearing the masking tape “Hi Mom” on their mortar boards, but no, no streakers. Zack Aiuppa talked about it, but of course he didn’t follow through. The moment of the cerimony had to be Mr. Klingon standing before the assembly and singing “I Hope You Dance” by Leann Wommack, a song which to this day I haven’t forgotten, and have sort of grown attached to.

Time came for us to walk across the stage. I watched as single file they went across the stage. Applause was to be held until the end of the cerimony, but there were a few rowdy onlookers who felt a need to hoot and holler for their friend or family member. I didn’t plan on doing anything fancy when crossing the stage. Just to take my diploma with a somber straight face. My time was coming as we wound down the line.

“Joseph R. Nichols”

I walked up the steps, shook hands, and just as I reached for my diploma, I hear it straight ahead of me in a higher tier of bleachers.

“Go Joe!”

Damn them. I couldn’t help grinning ear to ear. One of the few who got a cheer.

When all was said and done, the tassle had been turned to the other side, it was time to mingle. We left the gymnasium, passing by friends and family. There was my ever-proud father with the camcorder in hand and his friend Tom. We made our way to the cafeteria where all could meet and talk. My dad handed me the camera as I went around meeting up with my friends and other graduates. While wandering from group to group, I couldn’t help but sing a little, low enough so the camera didn’t catch it though. A song I’d heard lately, playing from the tape deck in Jay’s van.

“You know you make me wanna say so long
You know you make me wanna say good bye.”

A lot of them did. There were a lot of people in the cafeteria that day that I never cared to see again. I wanted to put this place behind me as soon as possible. I still had one more social event to attend though. Project Graduation.

I got in Jay’s van and stopped at his house to change into my street clothes, nameley my black T-shirt with a red anarchy symbol on the front, and “Punk’s Not Dead” in white lettering on the back. Oh yeah, I was gonna ruffle some feathers. The whole event was basically to keep us from drinking and raising a ruckus on the streets that night. Jay and I went cuz it just seemed like a good idea. Hell, free food and a variety of activities beat the hell outta boredom and having to pay for a meal at Webb’s. Jay cleaned house in the gambling event we had there, and wound up ranking third over all. He picked up a microwave as his prize. This was very exciting at the time as we were talking about opening a coffee shop at the time. In the big raffle we had going on, I got a blanket. Whoopdeefuckin’doo. Well, we could use it for the roadtrip we were planning. We still had fun though. An American Gladiator style joust event was there, and a boxing game with oversized gloves. So whenever we got bored we beat the tar out of eachother. There was a hypnotist there later on, always good entertainment. Yeah, it was all sappy wholesome fun, but hey, it was fun.

As we drove off that night, I couldn’t shake the song from my head. This was it, the last hurrah. I wouldn’t see a lot of these people ever again. And as I thought about it, I smiled. Though the song is more of a breakup song, I guess it fits my relationship with that school.

How could such a simple argument turn into this?
I thought that I knew everything about you.
I pushed that flashing red button that set you off.
I guess that I didn’t really know you as well as I thought I did.
I guess that I figured out everything about you.
I guess that I know all there is to know.
I guess that I figured out what makes you do the things you do.
I guess that I know everything that there is to know.
You know you make me wanna say so long.
You know you make me wanna say good bye.
You know you make me wanna say so long.
You know you make me wanna say GOOD BYE!!!
How could you do all the things you’ve done to me?
And still have the nerve to say we’re friends, I don’t know.
They tell me that it’s all a part of growing up and being scared.
When I was down and out, where were you, you weren’t there!
I guess that I figured out everything about you.
I guess that I know all there is to know.
I guess that I figured out what makes you do the things you do.
I guess that I know everything that there is to know.
You know you make me wanna say so long.
You know you make me wanna say good bye.
You know you make me wanna say so long.
You know you make me wanna say GOOD BYE!!!
Good bye!
Good bye!
Good bye!
Good fuckin’ bye!


Got a story you’d like to tell about a song that’s in the Soundtrack of your life? Don’t post it on the board. Email it to me and I’ll put it in my column. Stories will be posted in the order that their received. I don’t play favorites. All I ask is that you make sure the spelling and grammar are in fine order.
Email your stories to:


Soundtrack to Life – Making Your Own Decisions

Okay, so last week’s column wasn’t exactly a good example of what I have in mind for this column. I’ll warn you now that this one isn’t either, and perhaps not the one after that even. I’m trying to start at the very roots of my facination with music and work my way into the interesting stuff. Just bear with me people. And even if you don’t, I’m still gonna write.


Making Your Own Decisions

“Plush” by Stone Temple Pilots

As I said in the last article, there’s a time in our lives in which we respect our elders, perhaps a little too much. As such, my musical tastes came from my brother and his friends. I was a metal head, but didn’t nearly look the part. Only listened to metal, and only the songs that they thought were cool. “This Love”, “Walk”, and “Fucking Hostile” by Pantera. “Wish” and “Head Like a Hole” by nine inch nails. “Symphony of Destruction” and “Sweating Bullets” by Megadeth. “Rooster” by Alice in Chains. You get the picture. They had deemed it worthy of listen with that one simple word: “Cool”.

We’d be watching MTV or Headbanger’s Ball and as the videos came on, they got judged. As always, I went with the final decision.

Primus. Cool.

Ugly Kid Joe. Cool

Suicidal Tendencies. Cool

Winger. Sucks

Pat and Sam were like a real life Beavis and Butthead, though not as dumb. Time changes things though. Yeah, granted, that was off topic, but I couldn’t resist getting a shot at my brother in there. I watched the videos they watched, listened to what they listened to, aspiring one day that I would be as cool as them. *snort* Okay, two shots. Sue me.

One night, the two of them were watching over myself and Tim yet again. As usual, Headbanger’s Ball is on. Rock on. They’re going through the countdown, playing all the favorites. Our MTV God, Ricky Rachtman, was the host of the show as I’m sure some of you remember. As one of the videos ends, I forget which, he makes a startling announcement. Not only do we have a new number 1 video this week, but this video is a world premiere. It has never been aired before, and yet it’s number 1.


This must be the end all be all metal video, nay, music video since metal videos are the best anyways. This video is gonna revolutionalize the music industry and it’s gonna be the coolest thing we’ve ever seen. We sat on edge waiting for this video masterpiece. And when it was time, our MTV God told us what it was.

“This week’s number 1 video is a brand new one from Aerosmith. Here is ‘Livin’ on the Edge’.”

We stared in amazement at this work of music video mastery. So many odd images, it was almost dumbfounding. I didn’t need them to tell me, this was cool. It held the number 1 position for a few weeks, and we had taped at least one of these weeks. One day, feeling bored, I decided I was gonna learn this song. Not recorded off the radio, all we had was the video recorded off of MTV. So, I popped the tape in, rewound to about the spot that it was on and hit play. Well, I was a little off, as it was actually time for the number 2 video.

“I guess I can sit through it” I reasoned. At the time, the unplugged style of music was a hit on MTV. What I see is a studio audience applauding two men. One with spiked reddish brown hair and a goatee, the other with a mop of brown hair strumming a guitar. I’d heard this song before. It was “Plush” by Stone Temple Pilots. One of the songs and bands Pat had deemed uncool. I remember thinking it was an alright tune though, so I sat through it. The soulful crooning of Scott Weiland and the melodic strumming of Dean DeLeo made the song sound even better. I let it play through and then listened to “Livin’ on the Edge” afterward. I paused the tape as need be to learn the words, but wound up having to rewind it several times, each time making sure to catch Plush as well.

Next week the song came on and I began singing along.

“Dude, don’t tell me you like this song!” Pat sneered.

“Actually, I do.” I stated matter-of-factly.

Wow, I was so damn rebellious. He didn’t like ’em, so what. I’d finally understood that my opinion in music mattered, not just those of my peers. He tried though, I’ll give him that. He tried his damndest to make me dislike this band. Coming up with the clever acronym “Sexually Transmitted Parasites” for one, I guess he was smarter then. That’s three. He also had to point out that Scott Weiland smoked. Mind you, back then I knew nothing of the outside world. “He couldn’t smoke. He’s a singer! That’s not right!”. I even went so far as to write the band, and part of the letter mentioned that Weiland shouldn’t smoke. Thank God I never sent that out. See, right here, King Dork. I can’t believe I was ever so naive. In any case, he couldn’t sway my opinion.

Not too long thereafter, we’d signed up through a record company. One of those deals where on your first order you get like 7 CDs for the price of one and I got to select one of the CDs. My pick was Stone Temple Pilots “Core”, the very CD with Plush on it. It was my first CD ever. From here on out, I liked music because I liked it, not because somebody told me to. Had I still followed my brother, I wouldn’t have enjoyed such bands as the Gin Blossoms, Blind Melon, Soul Asylum, Duran Duran and Counting Crows. This was the start of a musical revolution for me.


Got a story you’d like to tell about a song that’s in the Soundtrack of your life? Don’t post it on the board. Email it to me and I’ll put it in my column. Stories will be posted in the order that their received. I don’t play favorites. All I ask is that you make sure the spelling and grammar are in fine order.
Email your stories to:


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.


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.


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: