So, you know how in your life there are a few moments that you can clearly remember things changing for you forever? Like, from that moment on, you were different? I do, and that is what this post is all about. It's not funny so much as nostalgic, but for whatever reason it just seemed like something to write about.
6th grade, 1984.
Up to this point in my life, I didn't listen to much rock. I was a KISS fan, but they got a little out of control and my mom sort of put the kibosh on my membership to the KISS army. I would occasionally go over to this one guys house, and his older brother would be playing Led Zepplin or Black Sabbath or something, and I thought it was awesome, but those little snatches of radness just never took hold. Really, up to that point, I was more of a country fan, because that was what my folks listened to.
Then came a revelation: 1984 by Van Freaking Halen. Eddie Van Halen was the coolest guitar player ever, and for whatever reason, I was able to listen to Van Halen without getting any static from the parents. Man, I think I wore out 3 cassettes over the course of 1984 listening to 1984. A bunch of other cool records came out that year: Pyromania by Def Leppard, Metal Health by Quiet Riot, Tooth and Nail by Dokken. I listened to them all, but Van Halen ruled with an iron fist. I loved Van Halen. I still love Van Halen. I will die loving Van Halen.
Looking a little deeper, I can even pinpoint the exact song that changed everything. It was "Hot for Teacher". The second I heard "Hot for Teacher" I was hooked. Add to that the incredibly awesome video (Ms. PhysEd still haunts my dreams), and it becomes a little clearer why a bored 6th grader looking for an identity and something to latch on to found the best band in the world.
Thinking about it now, it surprises me a little that I can point not only to one particular band, but one individual song. Why did that song stick, where "Dancing on the Ceiling" or some song by Culture Club didn't? Why Van Halen? Why not Sabbath, or Aerosmith, or Foghat? I don't really know, but it did, and the result is me.
Enjoy watching a key turning point in my life!