12/19 – Early 80’s Music Develoment Program

When The Rolling Stones concert movie “Let’s Spend the Night Together” came out in the movie theater, Mayland, Billy and I all went (maybe Brian too). We all ran up to the front of the theater and put on our own little show. We all played like we were the Stones and there was only a few people in the theater. No one complained and we got a few laughs of encouragement so we stayed there for almost the whole movie. By this time I was fading out of my two year Stones faze and moving into my heavy metal fixation.

Once I got my Kiss album and started listening to heavier music it really started getting popular. The 80’s hair metal scene was beginning and I was completely on board. Quiet Riot had also just come out with Metal Health and the video of the guy in the metal mask was all boys my age were into and talking about. There was a roller skating rink on Main St in East Hartford and we all used to go there on Saturdays. Mostly we would just play the video games and hang out and the once in a while that a metal song came on we bolted out there like rockets – just to skate around in a circle playing air guitar. We probably looked like a bunch of little idiots but who cares. I was fast on skates thanks to my previous ice skating experience but stopping was one of those elemental things that I was not so good at. I used to skate off the floor and the carpet would slow you down some but my way of really stopping was to just run into something or someone. It looked like the sidelines at an NFL game when one of the players runs off the side of the field and rolls over the photographers.

The next year was big for heavy metal. Def Leppard Pyromania, Motley Crue’s Shout at the Devil and Van Halen’s 1984 all came out in late 83 and we had them all. I still had my little plastic record player but by now I wanted something more. What was good about my record player is that you could play records in reverse. The Motley Crue album had a message on the back that said warning: backwards messages on this album. We tried many times to play it backwards but never really heard anything. I’m sure it was just a ploy to get kids like me to ruin their records trying to play them backwards so that we’d have to buy a new one.

My step brother Greg who was 10 years older than me was staying with us by this point and I didn’t see too much of him because he was like 18 and out doing his thing. I knew some of the guys he hung out with. There was this one guy Lance who had most of the Kiss albums up to like 1980, which was almost everything up to the album I bought, and he wanted the Motley Crue and Van Halen albums that I had just bought. He offered up his entire Kiss catalog for those two albums. Done! I was now the proud owner of almost all Kiss albums. Some were good – some not so much but I was happy with my trade. I went from owning like 4 albums (Wizard of Oz album not included) to like 20. I listened to them all for days, weeks, until I knew them all.

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About Alton B. Etheridge III

My Last Years of Childhood is about my musings as I relive my childhood in words before I get too old to remember!
This entry was posted in Childhood, Confessions, Life, Memoir, Nostalgia and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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