Wednesday, February 11, 2009

My First Metal Album

For this week's writing assignment, MamaKat has us talking about the first record or CD we bought for ourselves.

They did not have CDs when I bought my first recording. I'm that old. I bought it in cassette form and played it over and over and over, much to my mother's chagrin, I'm sure. For this cassette was none other than Ozzy Osbourne's Diary of a Madman. I was 12 years old.

I remember immediately falling in love with the guitar riffs. It's a love I have never outgrown. The guitar is still SO good, 26 years later! I loved the lyrics, too.

This whole record seemed so dangerous, so rebellious. Ozzy Osbourne was at the height of controversy then, with talk of bat's heads and the Alamo circulating on the twitter of the day: FM radio. I remember being slightly afraid when I looked at the cover art. It depicted a room in a castle with an inverted cross on the wall. Ozzy himself was all decked out like Linda Blair in The Exorcist with ripped clothing, spattered blood, and a pale white face with a ghoulish grin. Oddly, what was most frightening to me was a small child in the background, perched on a table by a bookshelf and snickering into his hands. He seemed the most evil thing in the picture. A little Damien, controlling the entire affair from a seemingly innocent facade.

At age 12, I was far too young to have any remotely lusty thoughts. But I do believe, in a small way, this record marked the beginning of my "bad boy" phase that all adolescent girls go through. There was something so forbidden about the music: the screaming guitars, the throbbing beat, the lyrics indicative of insanity --or worse. I think it was the beginning of my obsession with horror movies, as well.

I used to hang out with my friends, listening to the tape with the volume turned up all the way on the boom box. Most of the time, we were quickly banished to the garage. My friend, Laura, had a 17 year old brother who thought that it was FANTASTIC that his little sister and her friends were into Ozzy Osbourne. He offered to take us to see Ozzy in concert when the show came to town. Our mothers quickly nixed that idea: "Absolutely not." (We couldn't understand why our moms were so LAME. )

Alas, I remember hanging out in Laura's bedroom, eating Cadbury Creme Eggs from her father's store when we heard on the radio that the guitarist, Randy Rhodes, had died in a helicopter crash. They had been playing chicken with a car and a helicopter. (Drugs may have been involved in this decision). It was right around the time the next Ozzy Osbourne record, Bark at the Moon, came out that I realized that I actually was not an Ozzy fan. I was a Randy Rhodes fan. And he was dead.

As I look back on my life, I am faced with plenty of cringe worthy moments. This is not one of them. I'm pretty impressed with my musical tastes at age 12. (that, and the fact that my favorite song when I was 8 was "Ice Cream Man" by Van Halen) I still have Diary of a Madman, only now it's in CD form. And in my CD case, it's filed under "R".


Dan said...

I can remember taking my younger brother to the only concert we went to together. I was in college and he was in high school and the year was 1973. We went to a Black Sabbath concert. The show was interesting. (But the crowd was even more interesting.) And someplace I think I still have a vinyl record of Back Sabbath around here.

Good choice in music!

Heather said...

Nice. Your first cassette was infinitely cooler than mine. :)

Anonymous said...

My first 45 was "The Devil when down to Georga." My Aunt Diane (who passed away just a few short years later) bought it for me and her daughter. I was about 9 and Amy was about 7. My first 8-track was YMCA. Yeah, I'm cool. I know it.

Enjoyed meeting you at Blissdom. Can't wait for next year.