3.24.2008

rokken with dokken

I confess. In junior high and high school I was a huge metalhead. I wasn't a stoner, but I was a metalhead. I would pretty much buy any cassette as long as the band had long hair and looked metal-ish. I mean anything. Some bands I remember buying that I doubt anyone else besides the band members themselves remember: Odin, Vyper, Tuff Luck, Reckless, Leatherwolf, Vain, Dirty Looks, Sea Hags, Helix, D'Molls, Dogs D'Amour, Tora! Tora!, and on and on.

Then there was the second tier, bands that were mildly popular, but deserved a bigger audience than they got. Y & T, Rough Cutt, and Black 'N' Blue are in this category.

Then there was the "A" list that everyone knew. Motley Crue. Ratt. Scorpions. Iron Maiden. And, of course, Dokken and Judas Priest.

The weird part about the whole 80's metal thing is that until Poison, Bon Jovi and Whitesnake made "metal" acceptable to cheerleaders, anything metal was considered evil. Even if you listened to something as unthreatening as Queensryche, your non-metal friends just referred to it as that "Kill your mom" music. Seriously. To the non-metal fan, every metal song, even the power ballads, apparently, was about killing your mom.

So before the Poison/Bon Jovi/Whitesnake awaking, the metal "scene", was pretty large, yet somehow not mainstream. Bands would fill up arenas, yet get no regular play on MTV (outside of Metal Shop/Headbanger's Ball) or the radio. Combine this with growing up culturally isolated in Lemoore and having to travel to Fresno for any concert, I kind of assumed that what our experience was unique.

But then, about ten years ago, my friend Avery gave me a copy of Heavy Metal Parking Lot. Although filmed in Maryland, it could have just as well been Fresno. Or anywhere. Anyone associated with metal concerts in the 80's knows all of the dudes in the film. They know the metal sluts. They recognize the Dokken / Priest split of many fans.

A snapshot into my teen years. And now it's available on the internets. Livin' after midnight, indeed.

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