My real and true first musical love -

As a tribute to Kevin DuBrow's passing, (and as I had previously promised) here is the story (and way more that you want to / need to know) behind my real and true first musical love - Quiet Riot
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The time frame... Circa 1981-1984.

Prior to the integration of the Compact Disc as the mainstay music delivery medium in America, music was delivered on vinyl records, cassette tapes, eight-track tapes, and FM Radio.

Somewhere between 5th and 6th grade (around 1981) a dorky young fat kid started noticing the influence of music in his life. By this time, most of the "cool kids" were talking about, singing, and bringing their boom boxes and tapes to school, but since our little chubby friend's priority for spending his money at the time was divided between TI-99/4a cartridges and Dungeon & Dragons modules, there was little room for buying albums or cassettes.

So prey tell, what does one of the minions of young, fat, uncool, D&D playing, Dr. Who fans do when they start "feeling the music"? Well, I'll tell ya'! They sit next to a radio with their handy-dandy mono cassette player/recorder, and hitting the record button when they hear a song they like!

IF (by this point in the story) you need to ask how I know this AND you missed the point that this is really my own life I am writing about THEN I need to point out that you I am trying to be obvious here so GOTO the beginning of this post and start reading it over again.

(That is an insider joke for all the other dorky nerds that wrote their own BASIC programs, and to prove that I am indeed the dorky young fat kid you read about - the only difference between then and now is that I am not young anymore.)
The audio quality of some of my early recorded music was the equivalent to some of the early transatlantic Marconi Broadcasts, but hey.. I got to listen to the music I liked when I wanted to! In addition to the normal "Top 40" hits I recorded off the radio, some of my friends and I enjoyed the odd "TV Theme Songs". The themes to "Dukes of Hazzard" and "Dallas" were among my regular diet of music at this early stage of the game (yet another example of my dorkiness).

Side note - Much of the music I recorded came from 99.5 WLOL radio station. This was the same time the WLOL "Hines and Burglund" morning show was popular here in the Metro area. I think Hines and Burlund is where I got my taste for talk radio, and Shock Jock talk radio like Opie & Anthony and my all time favorite radio show (Yup, I'm plugging them again) The Ron & Fez show on XM Satelite Radio! (Love you guys!)

Growing up, I did have a couple of children's records, and I even had my own Elvis LP or two (which may have been cool around 1977-1980 (the years following his demise)) but somewhere along this time frame, fueled by what I think was my parents feeling of embarrassment (either FOR me (or, as I suspect) BY me), they broke down and bought me my first true "Pop" album - Billy Joel's Glass Houses. The album was pretty good, and was popular at the time . I played it frequently, but since it was bought FOR me (and not by my asking at all), this story will continue.

It was not until sometime in 1983 that Quiet Riot's - Cum on Feel the Noize...

SCREECHING BRAKE NOISES -- Oh my goodness... I never realized (until JUST NOW as I type this) the overtones of the "Cum" in that title.... Did Cum mean then what Cum mean now?? Wow... And I mean wow... Dang, I guess I was pretty naive back then. Thank goodness my parents did not catch on to that one... I would have NEVER been allowed to buy that album!

...that Quiet Riot's Cum on Feel the Noize became a wildly popular hit. Oh, I had my own Marconi quality copy of the song recorded off the radio, but the song (and more so, the STYLE) moved me. It inspired me enough that I felt I needed to spend some of that TI and D&D money on it. It was not long afterwards that I owned my own copy of the "Metal Health" cassette (bought with my own money) and it was being played over and over. From here, my priorities changed - and fast. The Cassette Player was no longer sufficient, and I got my first "boom box" (still mono, but it was upright like a boombox and it had a BUILT IN AM/FM radio so that I could make tapes directly from the radio source! No more Marconi recordings for this chubby little geek!).

Now that you have all useless background behind WHY I went to the concert, I'll share with you the story about the concert...

After having fallen in love with Quiet Riot's Metal Heath album, Quiet Riot followed it up with their Condition Critical album. This was one of the few albums I was in a HUGE hurry to purchase. I believe I may have purchased this on the 2nd day after it "dropped". I was in 8th or 9th grade. By this time my cousin Bob (who I have always been close with) was also into Quiet Riot!

Ask Bob about our wilderness clubhouse (at his family cabin) and the "Quiet Riot" painted (graffiti style) on the wall. That clubhouse is still standing some twenty-three years later - as is our tribute to Quiet Riot... I wonder how many other places in America still have Quiet Riot Graffiti still visible? I'll get some photos of "Oakwood" (the clubhouse) and the graffiti next time I am at the cabin.

When the concert was announced, Bob and I decided we wanted to go. We talked to our parents, and it was decided we could go, but with a chaperone (my mother / Bob's aunt). Also, somewhere along the line, my sister tagged along as well. (Although she never really was the Heavy Metal kind of gal.) My sister, and my cousin Gen (Bob's sister) were big Rick Springfield fans at that time!

Please call me, Please call me, Please call me, Please call me, Please call
me, Please call me, Please call me, Please call me, Please call me, Please call
me, Please call me, Please call me, Please call me, Please call me, Please call
me, Please call me, Please call me, Please call me, Please call me, Please call
me, Please call me.

or..

May I please meet Rick, May I please meet Rick, May I please meet Rick, May I please meet Rick, May I please meet Rick, May I please meet Rick, May I please meet Rick, May I please meet Rick, May I please meet Rick, May I please meet Rick, May I please meet Rick, May I please meet Rick, May I please meet Rick, May I please meet Rick, Dont ask.. They are inside jokes.

Our entourage consisted of myself (an 8th grade boy), Bob (a seventh grade boy), my sister (a sixth grade girl), and our mother/aunt.

The concert was held at the (now demolished) Met Center. We had tickets on the main stage floor, and about half way back on the left side of the stage (as you face it). As we arrived and started looking for our seats, an elderly male usher approached us. He grabbed my mom's arm and asked her if she was staying for the show. He asked her that if she was staying, if she knew what she was in for. Mom got a chuckle and told her that she was planning on staying. The usher got a very serious face. He said something to the effect of "As the second oldest person at this concert, may I offer you a pair of ear plugs?" My mom to this day still gets a laugh out of the whole deal.

As far as the concert goes, I do not remember a lot of the details. It has been over twenty years. But what I do remember...

- Thinking to myself how much different Quiet Riot sounded live in concert vs on tape.

- The "totally stoned" guy in the next seat who kept bumping into me. His eyes were rolled back into his head, and he was rocking with the music. At one point during the concert he lit a cigarette (pre-smoking ban) and then totally forgot about it. He took no puffs off the darn thing, and kept (nearly) bumping me with it. I remember watching it burn, wondering how long the ash would get before he bumped it enough to drop the ash.

- Another thing about smoking at the concert. The cigarette smoke I smelled at the concert did not smell like any cigarette somke I had smelled before. It had a much "sweeter" and "herbal" smell. Hmmmmm.... I wonder why?

- At one point in the concert - I felt a twinge of fear, anger, frustration, and confusion as I noticed the group behind us actually trying to start my mom's sweatshirt on fire with a lighter. She could not feel it, but they had the lit lighter up against the sweatshirt on my mom was wearing, and laughing. It was so loud, and the crowd was jumping, yelling, screaming, and "banging their heads" that I could not get their attention by yelling. I watched as they tried a couple of times, but then as I leaned over as far as I could towards them - pointing at them, they quickly withdrew the lighter. It was hard concentrating on the rest of the concert after that. I had to keep an eye on the arsonists / "crematorium-ists".

- Almost everyone had lighters for the ballad. On the opposite end of the floor, in the middle of the crowd - someone had a giant "flame thrower" of some sort. It was a tube. When it went off, it shot flames twice as high as the crowds, straight into the air. It gave off a surprising amount of light. I only saw that thing fire off two or maybe three times, and did not see it again. I imagine that the operator of the clandestine flamethrower was ejected, had his flamethrower removed, was arrested, or any combination of the listed possibilities... (Although it was pretty darn cool!)

- Learning just how much bands charge for their "Concert Tee-Shirts". I bought the cheapest one I could find, which had "glow in the dark" paint on it. I bought it "just to fit" and after washing and drying it shrinking it, and realizing that I really did not want to be seen in anything "glow in the dark" (even I have my geek limits!) - It got retired to the bottom of my shirt drawer.

I consider myself a music lover. My musical tastes are all over the board, but in all honestly, my real and true first musical love was Kevin DuBrow and Quiet Riot.

Kevin - may you rest in peace.
Rudy, Frankie and Carlos - thanks!

6 comments:

  1. BAH! I can't take it anymore - I must confess that I too was a HUGE fan of Quiet Riot.

    I was in 7th grade and out on the field for football practice when Come On Feel The Noise started playing over the P.A. system in the main football field - It was the first time I heard the band. The varsity cheerleaders - goddesses to a mere 7th grader - were doing a routine to the song. I stopped dead in my tracks to the music that, at the time, sounded "otherworldly." I was a huge fan for years.

    If you listen carefully - no one does - you'll hear bits and pieces of Carlos Cavazo's lead from that song occasionally worked into my improvised leads as, I suppose, a secret tribute.

    Also, JUST YESTERDAY on the way home from work / school, I went to great lengths to explain basic and if / then statements to my 8 year old. Yes, knowing all the factors of 4532 is useful to someone...I think.

    Great post, David.

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  2. Man - I thought that I was the only one to use one of those dorky tape recorders to listen to music - Picture one bungeed onto the rear rack of a huffy ten-speed, playing AC/DC. You weren't the only fat nerd roaming around the Twin Cities metro!

    With that tape recorder I had recorded entire episodes of The Night Stalker on audio cassette, long before I ever heard of VHS or Beta. I too had the whole Dungeons & Dragons and Dr. Who thing going on... I have to tell you, the similarities are scary!

    I wasn't much of a Quiet Riot fan. I really did try to like Motley Crue (Another band I see that you're a fan of) for a while, but it just didn't work out. In the end we needed to see other people. So I crammed my head full of Led Zeppelin and The Who instead.

    Playing off of what Eric said above, if you listen to my playing you may catch occasional glimpses of Pete Townshend. But then again I play church music, Filipino folk music and Christmas carols so take that with a grain of salt.

    I have similar concert memories - I think everyone does.
    Ex., the lights coming up after an Ozzy Osborne concert to see a guy vomiting into the seat in front of him, or the time I went to see The Firm and the baked guy next to me let me use his binoculars when Jimmy Page was doing the violin bow solo. You can appreciate other people's stories when you know that you've seen even weirder stuff, like Billy Idol molesting his female keyboard player while she was in the middle of a solo!

    Thanks for the post, you stirred up a lot of memories. Sorry for the long comment.

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  3. Thanks for the comments guys! (Terry, dont worry about long comments... I have started leaving comments for others that acutally turned into posts here!)

    Yeah, Quiet Riot let to MÖTLEY CRÜE . After MÖTLEY CRÜE, my musical tastes started going bi-polar on me... Stay tuned... I'm working on a (much shorter) post that covers my "all time favorites" through the different years / eras in my life!

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  4. Great read FOF! While I am a bit younger, and I stress a bit, a remember Quiet Riot. I want to comment on your "handy-dandy mono cassette player/recorder". I too had one of those and my brother and I would sit for hours infront of the console stereo waiting for the top 10 on 99.5 WLOL. I might still have the tape recording of "Old Time Rock and Roll" in which you can hear my brother set the recorder down to get the steady recording and me saying "all right!" Talk about geek!

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  5. What is this cassette you speak of? I seem to remember reading about something in a history book, is that it?

    Please enlighten us younger folk.

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  6. I can't get past the image of me spending literally dozens of hours typing in a basic program from one of those early 80s computer magazines, then recording it on my tape recorder, only to find that some piece of code on line 2,7659 was wrong and wouldn't actually be fixed for another two issues.

    And people wonder why Atari was such a hit!

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