I wasn’t always the jaded, ridiculous music snob that I am today. I’m embarrassed to admit that I too was once just a naive follower of trends, so desperate to appear cool in the eyes of those who I know now had terrible tastes in music. Things started to change of course once I was like 12 or so and obviously I became awesome. But I do want to confess some of my musical low points….
Part 1. 1988
When I was seven, the 16 year old kid who lived across the street was somehow entrusted to be my babysitter. He was a devoted 80’s rocker who always wore an army jacket and was eager to warp the young mind. I recall his attempts to mold me into whatever he was hoping I’d become by beating me up a lot. We played games where I laid on the front lawn and he tried to stab me in the head with a chisel over and over as I rolled out of the way or where I stood and he broke larger and larger branches across my shins to build my tolerance to pain. Naturally, I idolized this guy.
I emptied out the massive, plastic, novelty Coke bottle full of change I’d been saving up, to go to the record store with him once.
I had no idea what I was doing there but I recognized something from all the Heavy Metal magazines he’d had me study all the time and I picked up a shiny, new release that cost every bit of my $42….which even in 1988 was a ton of money for a seven year old and way too much for a record….Ozzy Osbourne’s No Rest for The Wicked.
No Rest for The Wicked is one of the worst fucking albums of all time. You should check it out. Every lyric on this record is sillier than the last but as a young deviant I loved this record…..here, look at these lyrics to Demon Alcohol
“I’ll wash away your lies
And have you hypnotized
There’ll be no compromise today
I’ll share your life of shame
I think you know my name
I’ll introduce myself today
I’m the demon alcohol (demon alcohol)
I’ll get you”
Whoa Mr. Osbourne…thanks for the public service announcement.
Obviously, after hearing this, I never touched alcohol…much like Ozzy I guess.
I wore that thing out. I remember that my dad sat me down for an awkward father-son conversation one day while I was putting it on.
“You know um…..when I was a kid, my parents didn’t like my music and it scared them. When Elvis started playing his music, a lot of people were scared of it and they said a lot of things about it…that it was bad and that it made people bad….but it’s just music. Understand son, that the things on this record are just music.”
I had no idea that, eight years before, people had accused Ozzy of putting subliminal messages into his music that were responsible for the suicide of at least one impressionable, young rocker. And in the 80’s everyone was terrified of devil worshipers and many assumed that music like Ozzy’s could somehow convert people. It scared the shit out of my parents when I walked in proudly wielding the latest Ozzy release. They certainly didn’t want me to become a devil worshiper. So my dad was tasked with explaining to me that music was for entertainment purposes only.
“Understand son?” he asked.
“Yes Dad. Of Course,” I smiled at the silliness of the concept to reassure him and then I cranked up my favorite track, Crazy Babies.
So, clearly, that’s how I started worshiping Satan.
Aside from a few more musical missteps along the way, life’s been great.
Eventually, for some reason, the record went missing and all I could ever find was the empty sleeve, placed carefully and mysteriously upon the shelf….weird huh? Oh well. I was moving on to bigger and better musical things by then.
Thanks for reading. Tune in next time for Part 2: Please Hammer Don’t Hurt Em.