Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Music, My Stories

Symbolic Acts Into Another

My relationship with weight has been yoyo’ish. I was always overweight growing up. Some years it was more than others. As my height was shooting up, my weight would adjust to be within the normal ranges for a while and after a few months I would pound em on.

When I turned 17 I started going to the gym and within a 12 month period I was down to 92kg. I started playing soccer again, so along with soccer training and gym training my weight went down to 82kg. That is the lightest I have ever been. I felt great and I looked great, however according to the BMI index I was still overweight for my 6 foot height.

Then I broke my leg.

I didn’t know I broke it at the time. I remember going into a slight tackle with my goal keeper and the other teams striker. Our legs collided and I remember the pain as I hit the ground. However I saw that the ref hadn’t blown the whistle as yet and I got up to kick the ball out. As I stood on my left foot to kick the ball out with my right, I collapsed again.

I called to the sideline to replace me. The game was only 12 minutes old. I limped off to the change room, had a shower and got changed. I then tried to walk the best I could to the stands to watch the rest of the game, having a few smokes and a few beers during the game, along with an ice pack on my knee.

After the game was over, I limped back to the van I was driving along with a few other players that I had to take home. Eventually I got home myself and went to bed. During the night, I felt the leg getting sorer and more painful, however at no stage did I think it was a broken leg.

Morning came and my brother called me to get ready for work. At the time I was doing concreting with him. I told him I cant as my leg was hurting me. My brother looked disappointed and he thought I was faking it to have a day off. My bro is 10 years older than me and during my teen years, he was my bank roll, no questions asked.

Eventually the whole family left for work and I was alone at home. Being awake, the pain got worse and i started to get dizzy from the pain. I needed to go to the toilet but I couldn’t. As I stood up, the pain got super intense and I sat back down again. I needed to call someone, however the phone was about 10 metres away. It was agony, however it was only the beginning.

My godfather eventually came over, however it was by pure accident. He was coming over to see my parents and he ended up being my hospital driver, plus he went back home to get his fathers’ crutches for me.

So I finally get to the hospital and check in. Then I am in the waiting room. After 2 hours I get called for X-Rays. Then I am back in the waiting room. Another hour goes by and a doctor calls me in.

Then I wait another hour as the Doctor attends to 6 different patients in 6 different rooms. Eventually he tells me that nothing is broken as shown on the X-Ray and that it could be a ligament tear. I tell the Doctor that I want to see a specialist, so he gives me a referral with a booking in six weeks. I said no chance, the booking has to be today. This pain is too intense. So I was the last one in the afternoon to see the specialist who resided across the road from the hospital.

He took one look at the X-Ray and told me that my leg is broken. He called the hospital and organised for me to get it put in a plaster cast. The cast started at my ankle and went all the way up to my thigh. Thank god I insisted on seeing the specialist right away. Imagine I waited six weeks to see him. My broken leg would have started to heal incorrectly.

For three months I was out of action.

All I had was my Winfield Blues, my acoustic guitar, Coca Cola, more caffeine from coffees, a notepad to write songs and my music.

I was overdosing on Dream Theater’s “Images and Words” and “Awake”, Blind Guardian’s “Somewhere Far Beyond”, Tad Morose’s “Sender of Thoughts”, Fates Warnings “Inside Out” and “Parallels”, Morgana Lefay’s “Sanctified” and Queensryche’s “Empire” and “Promised Land”. On top of all that was Blue Murder’s “Nothin But Trouble” (I was replaying “Cry For Love” and “We All Fall Down” constantly) and the new super heavy John Corabi Motley Crue album.

When all you have is a lot of time to recuperate, you start to be very productive. The downside is that you also have a lot of time to think. Being injured sucks. It’s all mental. For the first week, I was thinking of what I could have done different to avoid the tackle. Then I was thinking it was meant to be. Then I lost so much leg muscle that the plaster cast got so loose, that I had to go back to hospital to get a new one put on.

Through it all there was music and “Subhuman Race” from Skid Row just hit the streets.

“Into Another” is as Rush as Skid Row could get. Sebastian Bach is a huge fan of Rush, however the song is written by the heart and soul of Skid Row, Rachel Bolan and Dave Sabo.

It’s 7/4 in the verses and then it moves to a 4/4 timing in the chorus.

Searching for circles end
Hoping the wounds will mend
Should this scar, then it was meant to be

The song hit me from the start. I felt like I was that person who was going through the healing process, something that I have never gone through before and I had to do this all on my own. For 4 minutes and 2 seconds all of my problems didn’t exist.

The my cousin brought over “Symbolic” from Death.

I don’t mean to dwell
But I can’t help myself
When I feel the vibe
And taste a memory
Of a time in a life
When years seemed to stand still

I felt like I was back in 1984, going to the beach, catching waves and overdosing on heavy metal. An innocent time that is forever etched in my memory.

When did it begin?
The change to come was undetectable
The open wounds expose the importance of
Our innocence
A high that can never be bought or sold

And then I am older. Where did the years go? What happened to the innocent dreams?

Do you remember when
Things seemed so eternal?
Heroes were so real…
Their magic frozen in time

Thanks Chuck Schuldiner. Rest In Peace. You are the real hero forever frozen in time.

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A to Z of Making It, Music, My Stories, Piracy

Metallica: Hot Metal – June 1992, the “Through The Never” Stage Idea Goes Back To This Period and Staying Power

I have been re-reading a lot of the magazines I have accumulated during the Eighties and the Nineties. I just finished reading a story about Metallica from the Australian magazine “Hot Metal”. It is the June 1992 issue.

The article is written by Robyn Doreian, who was the editor once however when this story hit the press, she had moved on to Metal Hammer. The story was a combination of two days she spent with the band, plus separate interviews with James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich.

The first part that got me interested was the following answers from James Hetfield;

RD – First up, I ask him about the new stage design, which not only challenges conventional rock shows but also has consider-able advantages for the fans.

JH – “We sat down and talked about what we wanted to do. For instance, Lars has his travelling drum kit that was all his thing. I have to make that clear,” he scoffs, “because I find it a little silly. As much as he wants to be in the spotlight, he also gets to travel. He’s basically a front man on drums. We should have thought of it earlier in our careers, I guess.”

“The snake-pit was a combination of ideas from band members and management. Initially that hole in the middle of the stage was meant to be a special effects area, with things like little crosses rising up, or a blow-up ‘Justice’ lady or something.” sniggers Hetfield.

“We said no’ Why not put some kids in there, some fans. That would be cool. We usually put between 40 and 90 kids in there, depending on each city’s fire regulations and stuff.”

RD – What about the area set aside for taping?

JH – “Fans have to buy a special ticket for the tape section. It’s like five bucks more, and there are like 20 or 30 kids who can get in there and video, audio or whatever they want to do. It’s a cool thing to do, to flood the market with bootlegs. And it makes it a little more personal.”

The above got my interest for two reasons;

1. The stage design.
2. Bootlegs.

First, the stage design. The grand stage design that is seen in the movie “Through the Never” was conceived back in 1991 for the tour in support of the Black album. Of course, an idea is just an idea until it is executed and with the exponential rise of technologies, that idea finally came to fruition in 2012.

The point of this is that no one should ever give up on an idea. If it doesn’t work at a particular given point in time, keep it filed away as it could work at a later time.

Second, the bootlegs. The Black tour did something great for the hard core fans that no other band had really done up until then.

Metallica in 1992, wanted to flood the market with bootlegs. Metallica in 2013 has the following disclaimer on their Live Metallica website “Terms of Use”;

Any violation of copyright laws may result in severe civil and criminal penalties. Violators will be prosecuted to the maximum extent possible.

Compare the above to the comments from Hetfield. What a difference between Metallica and the Metallicorporation? This is why Metallica messed up big time with Napster by handing over names of fans at the Senate Hearings.

Next up in the interview was Lars Ulrich. Knowing what we know now, words from the past is always interesting.

RD – Seizing the opportunity I ask him whether, seeing as Metallica have now been so firmly embraced by the mainstream, it’s possible that they are becoming what they once rebelled against.

LU – “I don’t disagree with that, but we were always more into doing our own thing, never about being shocking for its own sake or pissing people off. You should always be yourself.”

Lars admits that he and Metallica are becoming the entity that they rebelled against. Is there anything wrong with that? Of course not. Can a band remain the same after they accumulate millions? No chance.

RD – Do you ever think that in years to come there is a danger of Metallica being viewed as a dinosaur band, some sort of corporate rock giant similar to what happened to bands like Zeppelin in the 70s?

LU – “I think there are a lot of people in the States right now who, simply because we have gained confidence in what we’re doing, are saying that we are doing the same arena rock clichés that these other bands were doing. My attitude is basically that if people come and see us and think its arena rock crap then that’s fine. It doesn’t affect me; because I know what we’re doing is distinctly different from what everyone else is doing.”

RD – With Grammy awards, cumulative record sales in the millions and adulation the whole world over, what is there left for the band to achieve?

LU – “Staying power. In terms of numbers, it’s not going to get much bigger but its important not to burn out. A lot of bands don’t have the confidence for a long term career, so they try and milk everything while they can. We plan to be around for quite a while, so when this tour is over we’re going to have a long period of inactivity.”

The above is interesting to me for the following two reasons;

1. Be Yourself / Stay true to yourself
2. Staying Power

I was a fan of Metallica coming before the Black album came out. It was “Ride the Lightning” that did it for me. I cannot recall how many arguments I got into over what is the better album between “Master Of Puppets” and “Ride The Lightning”.

Then the Black album comes out and I really liked it. I thought it was perfect. The songs hammered the ear drums from start to finish and the groove was undeniable. Metallica wrote and recorded an album that they wanted to write. It was never designed to have a hit single whereas “Load” and “Reload” to me, feels like Metallica had that single idea in the backs of their mind.

The comments about staying power ring true. As Lars said, in terms of numbers, it wouldn’t get any bigger than the Black album. However reaching the top is not the end of the journey. That is when a new journey begins.

Twisted Sister failed after “Stay Hungry” exploded.

Motley Crue fired Vince Neil after “Dr Feelgood”.

Guns N Roses became Adler-less after “Appetite for Destruction” and after “Use Your Illusion,” Guns N Roses became an Axl Rose solo project.

Motorhead had Fast Eddie Clarke play on one more album (“Iron Fist”) after “Ace of Spades.”

Skid Row got one more album out in “Subhuman Race” after the massive “Slave To The Grind” and disappeared.

Van Halen released “1984” and then fired David Lee Roth. They are one of the rare bands that changed lead singers and went on to bigger success, with the Van Hager era.

Poison got “Flesh and Blood” out after the mega successful “Open and Say Ahh” and it was curtains, even though “Native Tongue” with Richie Kotzen was a great album.

White Lion never recovered from the mega success of “Pride”.

Warrant released the excellent and heavy “Dog Eat Dog”, however it was no “Cherry Pie” and they got dropped after Jani Lane left.

Also when a band reaches the top, it opens up the opportunity for some time off. Metallica had been on an album and tour cycle since “Kill Em All” was released in 1983. After 11 constant years, by 1994, they had some time off, before they regrouped for the “Load” albums.

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