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I Wanna Rock!

I don't listen to the radio too often because New York music radio sucks. But once in a while, K-Rock comes up with something good. This time, it's the Metal Meltdown Weekend. They blasted off the metal mania at 3pm, when I was in my car, driving home towards a three day weekend. First song: Scorpions, Rock You Like a Hurricane. You know the rest. Windows down, volume turned up to 11, resurrecting my metal goddess scream. And it dawned on me: I miss stadium rock. You know what I mean by stadium rock (a/k/a arena rock). High-pitched, screaming lyrics in songs that put today's three minute ditties to shame. Blazing guitar solos. Rolling drums. Come on, get there with me. You're in a stadium, circa 1979, wearing your baseball jersey, probably the one with the AC/DC logo on it. Tens of thousands of fellow metal heads swarm around you. And then, the lights go down. Laser beams turn on. It's all neon and effected smoke. The drum roll begins and some dude in a leather vest and sequined pants is being lowered onto the stage by strings. The guitarist screeches his entrance and the leather dude emits a roar into his microphone. Rock. On. For the next three hours you're a mess of sweat and spilled beer. You smell like Cheech and Chong's van. Your throat is sore and your ears are ringing. And as the leather dude and his band exit the stage, you let out a strained scream and flick your Bic until your thumb goes numb. That is rock and roll. God damn, I miss those days. I intend to spend this weekend with K-Rock's metal mania turned up all the way. I'm going to drink nothing but warm Budweiser, cut my hair into a mullet and turn my living room into a replica of Nassau Coliseum, complete with strobe and laser lights and bad acoustics. I'm even going to pretend there's some dude outside who wants to rip me off by trying to sell me a nickel bag of oregano, and I'll kick his ass and have my boyfriend kick his ass too and then we'll all go hang out behind 7-11 and talk about how much Ozzy fucking rocks, man. Eh, who am I kidding? I'll be drinking martinis and painting the trim in the kitchen while Dio'sRainbow in the Dark blares from the speakers and makes me feel old. But I do take solace in the fact that Dee Snider is seven years older than me.


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A fuckin' men! Dude, total flash back to the old barn in 1986, watching AC/DC after some crapass band from Japan called Loudness spent an hour plus stinking up the stage. Then of course we had the two gay guys behind us trying to sell us dope and being so obvious about it that they were getting the cops interested, idjits - we brought our own, leave us alone - thank god they got into a fight with some drunk rednecks, and we got even better seats when they were ejected. Shit, I think my ears rang for a week because of those damn CO2 cannons. Angus RULZ!

I think one of the cheesiest, yet finest moments in metal is FOR THOSE ABOUT TO ROCK (cannon shot) WE SALUTE YOU!

circa 1979? Nope, sorry. Ramones, Dead Boys, Johnny Thunders & the Heartbreakers (curse you, Tom Petty, and your corporate-rock label's lawyer lackies!) was the soundtrack while we searched for a brawl with hippies like y'all.

Dude, I was there, too (you know, CBGBs, that whole bit). I am multi-faceted, man!

If you want some modern day Arena Rawk! (heavily salted with irony), there's The Darkness...


I love The Darkness. My son and I bonded over that band. They are bringing generations together!

Whenever I tell people who are not from NYC that our radio stations are awful, they don't believe me. Everyone thinks that if NY has a good music scene there's gotta be good radio here. Nope. Z100 and KTU are the market leaders, ugh.

I grew up hearing about the good ol' days of WNEW, but now we have corporate marketed drivel.

Bring on the metal, what's the greatest metal song ever?

1976, Fargo Civic Center, last year of high school: Blue. Oyster. Cult. IN FREAKIN' FARGO! The same year NAZARETH came! To FREAKIN' FARGO! We were living in the center of Rockistan, dude.

As for Greatest Metal Song Evar, does Cheap Trick's first album count? Because "Hot Love" is like one of a kind.

When I was in high school '82-'86 every summer brought the Texas Jam to the Cotton Bowl in Dallas. Nothing like twelve hours in 100 degree heat listening to the best bands. There was nothing like Rush back then.

Sorry to be vulgar, but it has to be said:

Rock out with your cock out!

Yeah, the closest I got to metal was Cheap Trick and then it was only so I could argue with my pals whether Rick Neilsen (the Pee Wee Herman of rock) and Bunny (the chain smoking fatso frumpy baldy mustached drummer) were cooler than the big haired singer and bassist. I think it was '79 or around that time when I saw them in Allentown Fairgrounds.

Openers were April Wine (yeah, still makes me think of puking Boones Farm) and I think a little band known as The Cars but then again I probably smoked allot of pot and that's just what we played on the 8-track during the drive.

Yeah, the cannon shot is cheezy as hell but as you point out it is one of the finest moments in metal and arena rock. There's something about the concussive force of 25,000 people screaming "FIRE", coupled with a band that has the volume turned up to 11 and two big ass CO2 cannons detonating all under the pressure cooker of a domed arena that just screams ROCK'N'ROLL! and Yes - the Darkness totally rocks.

Heel Yes the Ramones - the last three years I've held a vigil service on April 15th in memmory of Joey, and while you're at it don't forget Blondie, Elvis Costello, Iggy Pop (Sixteen anyone?), Talking Heads, and Siouxsie.


Damn, anyone else want to get their old stereo systems out - not boomboxes folks, I'm talking vinyl and eight track man, a BMC turntable, a Sony cassette deck, a Jensen receiver and amp, with four 150 watt speakers two big ass sub whoofers - and get a kegger going with some really loud music and maybe some 20 year old cheeba (hey, it was in the coat pocet of my old denim jacket - honest to god mom I was just holding it for a friend!) and do some serious damage to our reputations as responsible adults? I'm thinking that's the plan for this weekend. sigh I want to be 18 again, even if it's only for about 48 hours...

I intend to spend this weekend with K-Rock's metal mania turned up all the way. I'm going to drink nothing but warm Budweiser, cut my hair into a mullet and turn my living room into a replica of Nassau Coliseum, complete with strobe and laser lights and bad acoustics.

Send me the address. I'm on my way.

Michele: Daughter-hawk (12) is a RAWKer, big time. She digs the Darkness, White Stripes, Soledad Brothers, Vines, Strokes, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, etc.

Decent little guitarist, too -- she's learning some Hendrix (Hey Joe).

Bring on the metal, what's the greatest metal song ever?

First person to say Stairway to Heaven dies.

My son (11) loves all that stuff and plays the guitar.

Does she dig younger guys?

Michele: Daughter-hawk (12) is a RAWKer, big time. She digs the Darkness, White Stripes, Soledad Brothers, Vines, Strokes, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, etc.

Man, it is such a mind-fuck to realize that the 'Hawk is married with children. I thought all us 'Net jokesters were freakish sullen weirdos. Kudos for breaking the mold, dude!

Wrong, Lileks! The Vatican of Hi-Decibel Mulletude will forever be the Sioux. City. Municipal. Auditorium.

Pre-concert at the Auditorium made "Heavy Metal Parking Lot" looks like "Dangerous Liaisons."

Michele: I've considered allowing the daughter to date when she leaves the convent school in Luxembourg. Her release is currently scheduled for 2018.

Allah: Hey, somebody has to take the initiative to breed. The internet jokester community is dying out, and if it weren't for runaways and rogue Chinese adoption agencies, our madrassas would be empty.

(sigh) You're telling me my story. Why do you think I swore that I would someday stand on the mix riser at Madison Square Garden? I took me more than fifteen years on my way from little ol' Daisy Hollow, but I made it.

You know what, though? Having been there and done that, I know this: it was never really about arenas. It was about the bars. And I came from a time and a place where you could not swing a dead cat without hitting a bunch of devotees (the real thing) starving to death at putting on big rock shows in clubs, at least four nights a week. In 1982, I was running with 48 thousand watts of theatrical dimming (I do lights, ladies and gentlemen: lights) and we looked and sounded like the very hammer of God, on any Friday or Saturday night all over the northeast, for a modest cover charge.

And then? And then: the Vampire State legislature came along to raise the drinking age from 18 to 21, and that was that. They might as well have started shooting at us. It was just about as lethal to what we were doing.

I could never go live like that again, but I do not regret one minute of it, and would not have missed it for anything.

Old fogey here...

The Who, San Diego, 1973.

2nd old fogey post

I'm more in the Who/CCR/Cream/Santana/Eagles wings of rock (and Styx for sheer fun). Husband (bass player) much more metal than me. He spent 14 years as keyboard/synthesizer techie and had a great time as roadie and assistant to Ronnie James Dios, Sacred Heart Tour, 1986.

Darleen: I live about ten miles over the hill from Cortland, New York. Think about it. (I ran with Feinstein for a while -- who's back in action.) Dio's a homie.

It's a small road. Tell me your husband's name. E-mail if you wanna. I think I might know your man. If it's who I think it is, it's been a long time. Ask him if he knows me.

I was there, dude, I was so there. If Lileks does some nostalgic piece about tailgating at the Met Center in Bloomington, I think I may weep, or have a Bacardi 151 puke flashback.

I never got to see them live, but I remember friends in junior high telling me that after going to see Grand Funk Railroad their ears rang for three days.

Their first live album still sounds great.

But if anyone starts waxing nostalgic about Black Oak Arkansas I'm going to hurl.

Arena Rock always seems to bring back memories of puking.

Midgard: wow. Rainbow AND Triumph.

I never did tailgate and / or puke the Boones at the Met Center; went there once when I was eight to see a ballgame. Went to the adjacent hockey-rink arena to see The Romantics / Cheap Trick, though. As a double bill, it was better than another concert from that august season: Alice Cooper / BeBop Deluxe.

There's another thread entirely: bad double bills, or really spectacularly perfect ones.

Stairway to Heaven?


but it's been a long time since Rock and Roll.

I miss the Texxas Jams. In an older, kinda "nah, couldn't do it now" sorta way.

For me personally, music is better now than it was in my youth. There are a handful of bands I love from back then - Springsteen, the Go-Go's, Mellencamp, but without the Internet it was pretty difficult to seek out bands that weren't hugely popular who played the sort of music I crave. Rocking hard but with REALLY great melodies and words that fit together just right is what does it for me.

In recent years I've found so many great bands, my cup runneth over. Just a couple I may not have mentioned here before: Manda & The Marbles and Dropkick Murphys.

I'm gonna see MATM live for the first time tomorrow night - they're trekking across the country over the next couple of weeks in advance of the July 21 release of their latest full-length album, Angels With Dirty Faces. Check 'em out if you get the chance.

Dropkick Murphys are from Boston - they're big Bruins and Red Sox fans, Michele, so ya gotta love 'em. ;-) Musically, they are the real deal. Rock & roll just can't be much more authentic than what you get from these guys, sweat-drenched and obviously coming from the heart. They're finishing up a European tour right now, but get a copy of their latest album, Blackout. You won't be sorry.

Is this a meeting of Headbangers Annonymous?? I confess, I'm a member.

June 1979, Giants Stadium, Boston and the Outlaws. Good stuff! Also on that bill, Poco and Todd Rungren. Not so good!!

Two of my top metal moments: Summer 1981, Judas Priest and Iron Maiden at the old Palladium on 14th Steet in NYC. Maiden warmed up. "Killers" had just come out. That was the line-up with Paul Di'Anno on vocals. Di'Anno was great, not a poseur like Bruce Dickinson. Priest was incredible. I can still hear "Victim of Changes". A few years later was Motorhead and Mercyful Fate at the Capitol Theatre in Passaic. My neck hurt for a week after that show.

Hi Billy

You have mail. :-)

Thanx, Darleen: I just got back to you. I appreciate it.

Thank you Michele. You took me back to the late 70s. Chicago's International Amphitheater. General seating for...Richie Blackmore and Rainbow opening for Cheap Trick. Yeah, I know, they had it backwards...but Rainbow played for at least two hours before Cheap Trick took the stage and by then...we were ready for the local boys made good. I was probably wearing my YES jersey, the one with the airbrushed blue clouds on it...I think I paid all of 5 bucks for it.

Umm, Ladies and GentleIdiots, about the Ultimate Arena venue (somebody wake up the northern wahoos):
Three words:
Really, who filmed a concert bio in your little hockey rinky-dink overwrought rollerskates palaces?


And Lilecks? I'm still pissed at you about the whole Newhouse thingie. Jeez, BuzzBoy's bad enough. I live five minutes walk from "Advance, Inc."
Not the midtown, the homestead. SINY.
Can't you get Molly Ivens whacked?

Dude, I was there, too (you know, CBGBs, that whole bit). I am multi-faceted, man!

Well then, little Long Island, tell me about the times you went to a dump called HEAT.

Representing Cortland NY YO! Home of Ronnie James and the great Enemies ("I wanna be disconnected"), and the "Rock" Feinstein, now restauranteur.

I still remember going up to the Syracuse War Memorial, drinking OV splits in the parking lot then going to see AC/DC, Sabbath, Ozzie, Rush, Judas, Iron Maiden, etc....good times..

First concert: KISS at MSG, November, 1977. Love Gun tour.

RUSH - x5, Farewell to Kings, Hemispheres, Permanent Waves (4th row) & Moving Pictures x3

Judas Priest x4, Point of Entry, Screaming for Vengeance (x2) & Turbo (FRONT ROW, shook KK's hand & my buddy blew a big "hit" into KK's face)

Iron Maiden x4, Killers (w/ Paul Dianno), Number of the Beast (FRONT ROW), Piece of Mind & Powerslave (8th Row)

Triumph x2, Progressions of Power & Never Surrender.

ZZ Top x2, Deguello & El Loco.

OZZY x2, Blizzard of Oz & Diary of a Madman (Both w/ Randy, 2nd time was 3 days before Randy died)

Def Leppard, High & Dry (with original guitarist Pete Willis)

The only concert that penetrates that pot and Everclear induced fog is Blue Oyster Cult/Rush/Point Blank concert in Fargo. I couldn't hear anything for two days after. It was my first laser light show and we had some great Thai stick. I judged every concert I saw after that by that standard, not one measured up.

Note to Lileks -- Met Center WAS the hockey arena, everyone partied in the surrounding parking lot prior to stumbling indoors. Baseball was played at Met Stadium, next door, current site of the labyrinth of capitalism. I don't remember them ever having concerts at the stadium, it's possible though.

Heh well I am such a sad headbanger/rocker that I started a band at 36! (To be fair we have several real semi-pro/pro musicians involved.) We have just finished demoing material for a record company and now we have to wait. I have been a rock critic/disc jockey since I was 17 so, I have been involved just not with the performing bit.

Gigs too many to list: Highlights include Iron Maiden (Powerslave (Miami) and Ed the Hunter tour in Quebec City), KingsX (Toad's Place, New Haven), Deep Purple first reunion show on the Perfect Strangers tour, Hurricane Party (100 Club, London) and Pride & Glory industry gig Gibson's Club.) First gig: Stranger, The Outlaws & Molly Hatchet at Miami Marine Stadium.

If you think NY radio sucks you should be in the UK. Radio seriously stinks here and there is really nothing for rock fans baring satillite or digital radio. This might be the reason that per capita this is the best CD sales market in the world.