I was a teenager when I discovered hard rock and heavy metal music. I sang it in bands, attended concerts whenever I got the chance, and drove my parents over the edge blasting loud music from the record player in my room.
Like all youthful enthusiasms, my heavy metal fandom subsided a bit as I got distracted by life, but I still listen to a hard rock station in the car on my commutes and occasionally crank up a CD in the living room while I'm doing housework.
The other day I heard a commercial for the Ozzfest tour which contained this nugget of news: the tour includes the original lineup of Judas Priest, back together for the first time in many years. My first thought was, "I've gotta get a ticket to that show!"
Nevermind that I saw Judas Priest about ten times in their heyday or that I'd honestly rather be horsewhipped than attend an all-day outdoor event of any kind. Leave aside the fact that my years of concertgoing and lead singing left me with one ear too fried to handle any kind of loud noise. When I heard that commercial, I was nineteen again and all I could think of was that the coolest band my nineteen-year-old self had ever heard was back!
On Friday afternoon, I had a chance to revisit a slice of my heavy metal youth preserved in the form of a new hard rock bar that just opened in our town. Our office closed an hour early and we all went to happy hour there. My twenty-something coworkers looked a bit bemused by the whole experience, but I think everyone over thirty had a moment or two of deja vu drinking cheap beer and oversized shots surrounded by the blare of loud music and the twinkle of chrome.
It was a lot of fun, but later my ear started buzzing unpleasantly and I had to wear an earplug at the coffee shop after dinner to stand the volume of the folk trio playing there. How lame is that?!
Sadly, everyone from the era of the hair bands is now older and forced to contend with loftier goals than "I wanna rock." I think this was summed up best by something I heard while I was listening to Dee Snider's House of Hair on the radio yesterday. Who do you suppose was the show's sponsor for the hour? Harley-Davidson? No. A leather jacket store? No again. Hmmm, an alcoholic beverage or a nightclub? Wrong aaaand wrong. It was Advil.