American Heavy Metal Weekend

so I watched the “cult classic” Heavy Metal Parking Lot courtesy of Netflix yesterday and wasn’t that impressed. When they said it was a favorite on the Nirvana tour bus I could only think that Kurt identified himself/his audience in the lunkheads going to see that Judas Priest show. Zebraman that hates punk is interesting, but the highlight for me is the guy in the DC 101 shirt that resembles a cross between Steve Perry and Chris Robinson, aka one ugly guy.

No I can’t really identify with the crowd going to see Priest that night (other than agreeing that they DO rock) but I did witness a couple of lunkhead moments myself back in the 80s at the few metal shows I did go see.

In 1985, Mike Mitten (RIP) and I ventured down to the Omni courtesy of comp tix to see AC/DC with opener Yngwie Malmsteen. Now, Mike liked his metal a bit more than me, but even he agreed that Yngwie was a douche so we waited until we figured he’d be about over before heading to the Omni. At that point, will call was located in the foyer at the Omni International/CNN Center. As we approached the window, the show had apparently just sold out as one of the workers was closing her booth. A drunken guy straight out of the parking lot documentary yelled very loudly “What’s that c*** doing?” He then proceeded to bang on the booth window and say “Hey, c***, what are you doing?” We got our tickets and went in and to this day one of the few things I remember about the show was that the entire row in front of us was teenage boys who were, for some reason, shirtless.

I also saw Metallica at the Omni back in 1989. At that time, virtually every show I saw there the security near the floor would hop on anybody that moved. Except at Metallica. The comp tix we got were just off the floor and sure enough a fight breaks out in my row. I’m still waiting for security to arrive.

A year before we got comp tix to see Dio and Megadeth at the half-house configuration of the Omni. I only decided to go because I read a review in either the NME or Melody Maker where they mentioned that at one point the guitarist “killed” a giant spider with lasers coming out of his guitar. So stupidly outlandish, I HAD to see it! I was one of the few however as had they moved everyone in the building to the floor, it still wouldn’t have been full. This is half-house, remember. Anyway, at some point I had to pee and stumbled in the dark to the men’s room. Now, with that small a crowd, you’d expect harmony. Nope, I pick the bathroom where two genii decide they’re gonna fight. and I barely survived that to just get back as the guitarist is finishing his lame overlong solo and killing the spider. Bad news all the way around.

Skip ahead around a decade to Lakewood and Ozzfest, the first time the reunited Black Sabbath play Atlanta. At one point, Ozzy bellows “Come on, you gotta get more fuckin’ crazy!” At this point (I’m on the lawn) I look to my left and folks have set the lawn ablaze. Ozzy, can you get “more fuckin’ crazy” than setting the venue on fire?

Anyway, those are my “parking lot” moments. Devo fans didn’t really “party” enough to get their own documentary so I couldn’t have filmed much at shows I went to…..

Unrelated note, I kinda like the Simpsons movie. Sappy predictable ending but good bits interspersed… 


One thought on “American Heavy Metal Weekend”

  1. Dear god, JFK, I was at 3 of those 4 shows. The Yngwie and AC/DC show was my first proper concert, the first one I went to not at a state fair or in a high school gym. The Dio show was quite ridiculous and we were really there for Megadeth and stuck around for Dio, although I’m pretty sure we bailed before the end (but not before the giant spider, the most Spinal Tappish moment I’ve ever experienced live).

    The Metallica I remember quite well because that was part of a long drunken weekend where we saw Janes Addiction at the Cotton Club on Thursday night, called in sick to work on Friday to keep drinking, saw Savage Grace in a basement show in some venue in a warehouse in Cabbagetown that Friday and Metallica that Saturday. I also remember the point in the show where Jason Newsted took his 45 minute bass solo, and there was this moment when the entire sold out crowd yawned as one and all looked at their watches simultaneously.

    I was sitting with Tim Bennett and some of his friends from Metal Blade who came down for the weekend. On the way back from the bathroom I started talking to a girl as we headed down the long stairs and her seats were further down than ours. When we got to my row, I said “OK, this is me” and we had a long wet kiss. Tim and his friends looked at me funny and asked who that was. I said “That was Jessica, I met her on the stairs.” Their reaction was perhaps the high point of the entire weekend. My one and only moment of being a player.

    The Lakewood show is the only one of that batch I wasn’t there for. I would have liked to have seen the reunited Sabbath, but thinking about Gillian and Dio’s tenure in Sabbath, they were really quite credible. The band was great with all three singers.

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