Binge and Purge

January 12, 2008 at 12:37 am (Waxing Nostalgic)

Another post about my diet? Not even close. (Although I’ve been a good Big Bad Wolf; I’ve eaten Granny Smith for lunch twice this week.) The title is in reference to Metallica’s box set from the ’90s. Live Sh*t: Binge and Purge. I bought the box set used for $52 at Everyday Music, way back when. This was in the pre-DVD days, for me anyway, so I got the 3 VHS tape- 3 CD edition. It came in a cardboard replica of a sound equipment box, with concert programs, decals and a handy graffiti stencil.

I was whiplashing for joy when I saw the title available on Netflix. A DVD copy! I wouldn’t have to listen to the 23-minute intro to hear Enter Sandman! I could hop about the set list without driving myself mad running back and forth to the VHS player. I was ready to talk to my friend with the cool computer to see if a bootleg could be made. But first, to revisit. I set down with my new drink of choice (Coke Zero Cherry) and clicked on the DVD.

And what was my reward?It was not the concert, but a bunch of pretentious British cunts (sorry girls) talking about Metallica! W…T…F!!! I wanted to play Frisbee with the goddamn disc, but instead I dug deep into the pile of junk buried under the TV, found the box of VHS tapes, and now I am watching the San Diego performance.

I am a Johnny-come-lately with Metallica. I didn’t start listening to them until after Cliff died. My then-fifteen year old nephew turned me onto Master of Puppets and Ride the Lightning. (Probably the last redeemning thing he’s done.) I hadn’t yet embraced the sounds of Slayer etc… but this speed metal stuff sounded okay if you give it a few minutes.

While working graveyard at the Regional Convenience Chain, I would mop every 4:20 AM to the sweet sounds of Harvester of Sorrow. It’s got great elbow action, I can see how the kids would like to mosh and flail to this stuff. When “…And Justice For All” came out, I bought the album. (Along with Black Sabbath’s Headless Cross. They were the last two vinyl LPs I bought.) We almost went to the concert that year, but opted for Blue Oyster Cult instead.

The next time Metallica came to Portland, the Black Album had come out, and they’d gotten BIG. They had the money to put on a big stage show, and were filming what would become LS:B & P. There was no way I was missing this show.

I bought tickets for my little sister and myself. Fellow metal head Phineas bought the 8 ticket maximum, and invited five girls, on the theory that at least one would be his date. We’d pooled our dollars and were all sitting together. I had to smile at his predicament. They all wanted to see Metallica, with the exception of the girl who actually was his date. She was his ride. But we’ll get back to that.

Little sis worked for the Park Bureau, and started at 6 AM. After a grueling day at work, her party began on the bus ride home with a couple of cans of Olde English 800. I’d taken the day of and the day after the concert off from work. It was whiskey and forties for me. Since we were sitting up high at the Coliseum, and since it was Metallica, I rolled a dozen or so joints to pass around. There was a pre-concert party put on by KUFO, and this was the place to be. Drinks were $5, but for that you got a Solo cup full of rum or whiskey, with a shot of Coke. Heavy pour doesn’t come close to describing it. I almost asked for more mixer. Sister couldn’t come in, because she’d left her ID at home. So I drank one for her…

By the time we got inside, most of Phineas’ dates had arrived and were in their seats. He was nowhere to be seen, so I made gregarious drunken small talk with them. When Phineas did arrive, he ditched his actual date, a Persian girl who looked like she’d be more at home at a Journey concert, and we went to our favorite bathroom backstage. After consuming about half a gram of coke off the back of my thumb, we went back to the girls. I was ready to talk smack now!

But too late, it was show time. The band started by addressing the audience from the dressing room. After a fifteen minute documentary, they took the stage and came as close to burning down the Memorial Coliseum as one can. They played for at least three hours, and were still jamming as we left for the last MAX home.

Highlights I remember? I had very nice chats with very nice girls who felt romantically jilted by Phineas, yet were grateful for the free tickets. (Phineas had to leave early with Persian Girl, who lived in Oregon City.) My sister had a nice nap during the 25-minute rendition of Wherever I May Roam, and I found a band that I’d be happy to drop large bucks to see again. They were loud, tight, very into their stuff and enjoyed what they were doing.

People have bitched that Metallica has jumped the shark. Ooh, they cut their hair! They’ve sold out! The hairdos in Binge and Purge have jumped the shark, that’s for sure. The last time I saw James or Lars, the hairlines were creeping back toward their shoulder blades, so it’s for the best. They’ve also grown up, sobered up, made enough money that they can tell their fans to fuck off if they want to, but they still keep making music. While I haven’t heard anything other than what’s on the radio from St. Anger, I liked the Load stuff, and am curious about the new album. And if they tour? I need a quality sophomore show to take my nephew to. Tool is going to be near impossible to top.

Next up, I have the DVD concert called Cunning Stunts, which captured Metallica’s 1996 tour. They look older, for sure. Their hair is shorter, and the moves aren’t as acrobatic. But you get to watch the light rigging collapse, and the stagehand burst into flames and run off. I remember the scandal this caused, and wish I’d gone to that show. (Steely Dan got my money that year, and I don’t regret it. But that’s another story…)

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have work to do. If I don’t rewind the VHS tape, I’ll have to kick my own ass…

Advertisements

1 Comment

  1. gee-no said,

    …………______……………
    ……@–\………../–@……..
    ……@–|………..|–@……..
    ……@–|………..|–@……..
    ………….\__.__/……………
    ……………|___|…………….
    ……………|___|…………….
    ……………|___|…………….
    ……………|___|…………….
    ……………|___|…………….
    ……………|___|…………….
    ……………|___|…………….
    ……..___|___|___………
    ……./…(…|……|…)…\……..
    ……/………___………\…….
    ……\………___………/……..
    ……..\…….___……./……….
    ……../…….|__|…….\……….
    ……/……………………\………
    …./…………..^…………\…….
    ….\………../……\………/…….
    ……\___/……….\__./……..

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: