For some reason, I’ve been remembering all the concerts I used to go to back when I was younger. I often wonder where I would be if I had kept pursuing a career in the music business. Sometimes, I think I would have done better. I was never the weirdest one when I was in the music business, that’s for sure.
I remember my first heavy metal concert. It was a death metal group made up of several of my friends. They called themselves “Bastard Cuzzin”, and were the biggest thing in my town. (Actually, besides a few really bad punk garage bands, they were the only thing in town!)
It was a Halloween show at the Prescott Rodeo Fairgrounds. Not the nice new Coors Light one in P.V., but the old one in Prescott. Up until this time, I had led a pretty sheltered life. I had never seen or been to a live concert before, andhad no idea what to expect. I was only 12 or 13. Next thing I know, I’m smack dab in the middle of a mosh pit with hair, knuckles & leather jackets flailing everywhere.
I was hooked.
After that, it was an endless stream of show after show after show. I remember holding on to a amp in the bed of a truck with no tailgate for 110 miles to see my buddies open for Sacred Reich at the old Mason Jar.
I moved back to Phoenix when I was 18 with a drug habit & a love of 2 things (besides drugs, of course!). Heavy Metal & pro wrestling.
I went to every show. I was in Heavy Metal Heaven. Coming from Prescott’s fledgling metal scene to Phoenix’s thriving one was such a rush. My first night home, I was at the Deicide concert at the Nile Theater in Mesa for their “once Upon” tour. A week after that I was at Pantera’s “101 Proof” tour.
That was just the arenas. At the local clubs, I sa nationals like Stuck Mojo, Flotsam & Jetsam, Napalm Death, Cannibal Corpse; even no name (at the time) bands like Disturbed & Static X.
And on top of the seemingly endless stream of national acts to rip my face off and send me into a headbanging coma; there was an underground scene that was fucking unbelievable.
Bands like Pelvic Meatloaf, Corrosive, Wendigo Psychosis, Infusion, Unleashed Insanity, Structure, Excessive Bleeding, Mob 40’s, Torso, Native Blood, Travail, S.I.L., N-17… the list just goes on and on.
It during this time of endless fun that I met a group of friends that will forever be in my heart and mind. Some I still talk to and see occasionally; others I have no idea what became of them.
We were all so passionate about the music. Most of us were in a band, or roadied with a band, or did sound, or worked in or on radio, etc. I did whatever I could. That’s when my buddy Spyder asked if I ever thought about writing. He wrote for a local mag call Berzerker Metal Magazine. I told him that I had always enjoyed writing, and as a kid in school had often entertained the idea of becoming a author. The owner, Dan, said it would be alright if I had a go at it.
I started with album reviews. Suddenly, I had a stack of free cd’s from various unsigned bands and record companies at my fingertips. I listened to so much free music, and writing about the ones I liked, I didn’t think it could get any better.
Then, I started doing show reviews. That was the mother fucking shit to a 18 year old kid.Here I am, free music, free shows, getting to drink in bars, party with rock stars, banging hot groupies left and right… ok, maybe the last part I made up, but they WERE there; but usually I was to wasted to care by the time it was ready for the parking lot pimping to take place(still had the drug problem, remember? That particular problem was also great for the party/concert loving lifestyle I was leading).
Man, it was a great time. I remember one time, Slayer was doing a small venue tour to support their “Diablous in Musica” album. I went and saw them at Club Rioin Tempe when they came through. I spent the night moshing in the skin pit and being a maniac.
I got woken up the next day to my friends’ Dan (owner of the mag), Spyder, Spanky & Dennis (98 KUPD INTO THE PIT hosts) banging on the door to my apartment.
“Get your as in the car” they said. Next thing my still half-drunk ass knew, I was in line at Ticketmaster and on the road to Tuscon for a second night of Slayer at the New West Gotham. Back to back nights of Slayer? Anyone who has gone to Slayer can probably feel me on this one. 2 nights of Slayer? I was going to die.
I don’t remember much about the show, save jumping off a really high monitor into the heart of the pit for War Ensemble; but I do remember this. We had been given rolls and rolls of various sized “No Alien” stickers. They had the “O” with the “/” through it and an alien head in it. We left a trail of those damn things from Tuscon to Phoenix that I still think we could get in trouble for. Especially at the Waffell House. Whew. Bet that guy that had to clean that bathroom was PISSED. And the guy at the Circle K. Almost forgot about them. LOL.
There were so many other times I can remember… Dio, Iron Maiden, Deep Purple… So much fun.
I eventually cleaned up (off the drugs) and got into wrestling. The day I started training for wrestling, I stopped writing. Hell, after a year of doing shows I quit going to concerts all together. There was no time; between always being on the road wrestling and having to swing a new wife & step son at home.I don’t think I went to a single concert from 04’-08, when I started doing some part-time bouncing work at the venue we wrestled at in Tempe, The Sets. They would have shows, and I would fill in every now and then.
I wonder, though, if I hadn’t chased my dream and become a pro wrestler, would I be sitting here writing what it would have been like if I had become a wrestler instead of a music journalist??
LOL. I guess we’ll never know. If you managed to read this this long and haven’t switched pages or fallen asleep, I hope I entertained you for a bit. Truth be told, I was just sitting in front of my laptop thinking, and suddenly I started typing, and this came out. I have no idea why I wrote it.
If you did enjoy it, there is a show this Saturday. It’s at the Marquee Theater. My buddies in Pelvic Meatloaf will be tearing it up along side (sic)monic & 5 other bands. Should be a good show, but I have a funny feeling I’ll be staying away from the mosh pit now if I go…