Growing up, I was always surrounded by music. My folks were a bit bemused when my tastes veered away from ABBA and Elvis and Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass and more towards rock and metal. I was awkward and shy and a dork -- still am -- but none of that mattered with headphones on, or in my car with the stereo blaring.
When Iron Maiden was on the Beast on the Road tour supporting Judas Priest, I begged my parents to let me go to my first live show. But the venue was in downtown Chicago. I guess 15 was too young for a girl to go wandering around by herself so clearly mom had to come with me. I can't remember if I was colossally embarrassed by that or not (probably), but explaining things to her was hysterical.
Mom: "Is that marijuana they’re smoking?"
Mom: "WHAT IS THAT THING?!"
Me: "Eddie, their mascot. Isn’t he awesome?"
Mom: *skeptical about the awesome*
They also let me see Krokus’ set at Chicagofest one year. "Why is he swinging that giant axe?!?" "Because it is RAD." MMMMMM.
Nearly all my allowance & babysitting money went to vinyl, with anything left over going to arcade games. Tempest was my favorite, but I played almost everything -- except Robotron, because I can’t coordinate two hands like that (still can’t). There were 2 arcades in my town: the one within walking distance, and the better one we had to hitchhike to because we couldn’t drive. Whenever we traveled, out of town or across the country, first thing was to find a record store and an arcade. When we were in Connecticut visiting my aunt, I found a Krokus album I didn’t have. And because I didn’t want to wait to listen to it until we got home, I treated everyone to an extended listening party.
Pretty sure they loved it.
One summer I got a couple tickets to a Scorpions show, but sadly our travel plans changed. I sent the tickets to my would-be boyfriend, who took another girl and instantly became not-my-would-be boyfriend. By way of consolation, my other aunt took me to see This is Spinal Tap. Almost a good trade.
Halfway through junior year, mom & I moved to Southern California which was an entirely different music scene. In Chicago you went to your friends’ houses to listen to their music collection; in California, you mostly saw the band live. But venues in Orange County & LA/ Hollywood were close enough to hit shows 7 nights a week, which was absolutely sustainable as a teen-or-20-something.
Before the decade was out, I moved from metal to new wave to alternative & goth so I have literally lived in black band t-shirts since 1981. And I’m ok with that.
Me: On brand since basically forever.
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