First I discovered Van Halen. Then it was Bon Jovi. After that was what I refer to my “Metal Awakening,” the day when I discovered eight different metal bands all at once. Picture it. McKenna Jr. High School. 1987.
We all had that friend who either had the older brother, older neighbors, or older friends who would turn them onto music. In junior high, my friends Chris had these two neighbors who I think were juniors in high school at the time. I never met them. Rumour was they were hot and he got to third base with them; the usual stories you hear when you’re thirteen. What was really important was this on 90 minute Maxell tape he handed me one time with a bunch of bands on it I had never heard of…
Metallica, Anthrax, Ozzy Osbourne, Megadeath, Iron Maiden, Dio, Black Sabbath, AC/DC, and Quiet Riot.
And it wasn’t just the bands, but the songs. Besides having Sabbath and AC/DC’s greatest hits, this was also around the time “Master of Puppets,” “Spreading the Disease,” and “Randy Rhodes Tribute” was out as well. It was this day the “Hungry for Heaven” became on of my all-time favourite songs.
I was FLOORED because I had never heard anything as loud, as fast, and as angry before. We all had a choice to make when we started the 7th grade…guido, new waver, or metalhead. Not being Italian and hating Depeche Mode (still do), my choice was easy even without the tape. With the tape, I grab some old flannel shirts and had my mom take me to Home Décor in the Sunrise Mall to get my Randy Rhodes T-Shirt the “Ride the Lightening” back patch for my denim jacket.
Twenty three years later (sigh), these still remain some of my favourite bands and favourite songs, as remise after the passing of one of the legends.
Rest in Peace, Ronnie James Dio.