|Exodus' raging vocalist, Paul Baloff (RIP). (All William L. Tuck III photos)|
I'd heard some Motorhead and Venom from my friend Pat (aka Adam Bomb-- DJ and bass man) in the early '80s, but when bands like Metallica and Slayer came across my path soon after, it was game on.
I grew up a rocker -- UFO, Van Halen, Thin Lizzy, KISS, Cheap Trick, etc. -- and then hooked onto the power, chaos and lyrical inspiration of punk in '79-'80 and let it rip from there. (I'd heard the Sex Pistols on the family AM radio in '77 or so and seen some punk specials on TV, but I remained a rocker for a while longer.)
After testing the headbanging waters with Metallica and Slayer (the latter of whom my buddy John and I hung out with on Pat's show, "The Final Countdown" at LMU in the Los Angeles area), my friends Corrosion of Conformity came to town and unleashed their walloping hymns into my brain in the summer of '84 at the Cathay De Grande. Although punk was my primary thing, I was ready for more clenched-fist metal, for sure.
So I -- along with others in the punk scene -- soon got caught up in the speed/thrash-metal scene a bit, mixing in with the longhairs at gigs featuring Possessed, Exodus, Hirax, Detente, Dark Angel, Savage Grace, etc.
COC, DRI, Dr. Know, GBH and other punk/metal hybrid bands were usually on the bills, as well, so those raucous gigs were begging to have us in attendance.
"You guys are fucking raging," Exodus singer Paul Baloff (RIP) screamed to a crowd at the Balboa Theater one fine evening.
|Exodus' Baloff and Gary Holt at the Country Club.|
Ruthless, once again, were so lame that one young Exodus fan chucked pieces of ice at the singer and was yanked from the gig by a security guard. Much to his dismay, the headbanger missed the band he saved up his pennies to see that night, but the rest of us raged with Exodus tenfold.
In March of that year, I brought my friend Roween along for the metal ride for Metallica and Armored Saint at the Hollywood Palladium. (Speaking of Roween, Carrie thinks it’s funny that he went to a metal show. She used to carpool with him in high school and he would always drill her about music, stating she had to pick either punk or metal. One or the other, but you could not like both. Carrie would say punk, even though she loved the metal also. )
Metallica actually opened that night and hit us with blast upon blast from the "Ride the Lightning" LP along with earlier tunes. From the initial strains of the melodic intro to "Fight Fire with Fire," some 'bangers in the crowd were already slam dancing... and then when the song kicked into gear, the place fucking erupted, with bodies flying everywhere, voices and fists raised and noggins properly banging -- it was a beautiful sight.