木曜日, 11月 18, 2004

黒くされる

fire
is the outcome of hypocrisy
darkest potency
in the exit of humanity
color our world blackened


(hetfield, ulrich, newsted)
© 1988 creeping death music, ascap


the blog has moulted. again. into something none more black. to quote jim and black (no pun intended), chaos has blackened.

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James in spandex.everyone knows of metallica right? if i were to pose this question in 1986, i bet no one not many would have answered in the affirmative.i was drawn into their music when i was in form four, courtesy of members of the "rocker" fraternity in my batch. those were the days of the pirated apache cassettes that sold for a mere three bucks. the metallica tape was a mix tape then with stuff from their first three albums (which strangely enough didn't include the eponymous seek and destroy). to my ears, their music was really hard-hitting to my senses. the term thrash was the in word among rock circles in school. stuff only kutus are allowed to listen to (no, i ain't no kutu then. gua low profile. hahaha).The definitive. the first metallica tune i learnt back then was the acoustic bit in the middle of master of puppets. and i learnt it from my then 12-year old brudder (lagi lima paun). metallica was difficult to play, especially the solos (for me it still is...haha) in those days. electric guitars were expensive for any one of us to try out a metallica riff with conviction. besides, no one in school was able to pull off a fast metallica lick especially on a kapok.

Damage inc.heavy metal band t-shirts were also the cool thing, albeit semi-contraband, in school (form four onwards only, or you'll be in deep doo-doo). for those with the import t-shirts (double-sided oooo), lagi rock! to get that, you either need to have a sibling/relative studying abroad or spend like RM50 at oazy (adik nak t-shirt mana?) in pertama complex. i had to share a metallica t-shirt with my brudder as it costed us (well, my folks) a bomb. the things we'd do in our youth to be... err... cool. i just laugh nowadays.

so we knew of metallica in those days, but we didn't know who the band members are. imported rock mags were expensive and we had no way to find out who the members of most bands were! i noticed a grafitti on a classroom wall:

vocals/guitar: hetfield
guitar: hammett
drums: ulrich
bass: cliff burton


i finally knew who the 'tallica guys were, but why no first names, apart from cliff? i remembered my mates pronouncing his surname phonetically (boo-ton). i then realised the graffiti was taken from half-written credits in a pirated tape. oh well. another thing was, was it really so kutu to have a written a half-baked graffiti like that? there were some really great ones in the dormitory bogs but my favourite graffiti in school was one that said Spookey markET. i'd leave you to figure that one out. i digress slightly. :)

it wasn't until after leaving school in 1988, when polygram malaysia distributed the $5.98 EP on tape. i think i played that tape to death. it was our first exposure to the then new kid, jason newsted, on bass. "i raped your mother today" from last caress was the most memorable (and funny) one from that album.What I would've seen in Belfast. the thing about metallica was, despite the major cussing onstage (my dad once said that metallica was a band jahat, for saying motherfucker), not a single fuck word was written in their own songs, up to the load sessions. ironic.

1988 was the year i left for britain. the year metallica released ... and justice for all. and the following year, they played a gig in belfast as part of the european leg of their damaged justice tour. no way i could go see them. i was in a boarding school 81 miles south. oh well. i got a damaged justice (with the american summer dates on the back) tour tee at virgin marble arch though. it ain't the same, but it kept me happy. justice was great if it wasn't for the fact that the bass line was inaudible. see the irritated look on jason's face in the inlay? it wasn't until many years later that i learnt to play justice and one. and i think i still can't play blackened (i tried it once a long time ago and i was traumatised soon after. haha.).

when they released the black album, i bought the tape one day in advance from the rest of the world at victoria in pertama (yes, i love the place.). that day i found out i could learn the songs straight away. that meant either i have improved (ahem) or metallica's standard has definitely gone the way of the dodo. the album was great. it won't match puppets, i know. but the black album was also the one that led them to mainstream success. not good news, especially for the metallica elitist. reminds me of what lars ulrich once said:

"it used to be one chick, and 50, 000 guys. i saw like 50, 000 chicks and 50, 000 guys out there. that's a sign of makin' it!!"


in 1992, i bought a ticket to see them live at whitley bay ice rink near newcastle in october. my first ever metallica gig. i was simply ecstatic. tragedy struck in the summer when i found out from the news on tv3 (i remembered it was wan zaleha radzi reading that evening. lalalala) that a riot occurred in montreal due to james hetfield's fire accident with the pyro and guns 'n' fuckin' roses' (it was axl's fault actually, the twat) unexpected short set. the first thing that went through my mind was: damn the gig's off. worst still, there'll be someone else on guitar (which they did for a few gigs stateside). the good thing was, hetfield recovered fine and was playing guitar again. the day came, and it was wet and cold. went with some mates, and this was what awaited us in that excuse for an ice rink:

The diamond-shaped stage with the snake-pit. They toured non-stop for three years, a total of more than 300 venues. That's a world tour.


it was ace, but i didn't get to see that view above as we were on the floor :) . pity, it wasn't the snakepit, as it would've been awesome. they had no support act. in its place was a 30-minute documentary video thingy on the recording of the black album (pretty much an excerpt from the 2 and a half years dvd). and of course, a live telecast from the dressing room. kirk hammett wanting his bottle of newcy brown. and lars telling us how they're gonna come out and play for six fucken hours. the punters simply went bananas when the lights went off and morricone's ecstasy of gold was reverbrating through the ice rink. metallica played an awesome 3 hour set. i was simply gobsmacked. they didn't kick off with sandman, but their set was simply rocking. i was crushed, bounced around throughout. my eardrums were also given a right bashing (i had tinnitus for 2 days). they gave us like 2 and a half encores. half because they still hung around after the obligatory pick/drumstick tossing, and played stone cold crazy. if you wanna know how i felt like that evening, go watch the live shit: binge and purge dvd. ain't the same as being there, though. hehe.

Het and Lars during the Load tour, 1996.


in 1996, metallica threw us fans a curve ball. i was in the doctors' mess when there they were on the entertainment news, hair all shorn off. and what's with the fucking mini afro, kirk? damn. load was a real test. i loved it. didn't love it more than their older stuff but i feel musicians should mature and evolve. i remembered watching the pumpkins-like until it sleeps video, and i knew there would be repercussions. they came to play newcastle arena later that year. i was a little late in booking the tix, and despite assurances from the git on the phone that my seat was one of the best in the house, i wished i hadn't bothered coming. the seats were on the same level as the floor. to add insult to injury, the well-meaning ushers wouldn't let us stand. idiots. have they ever had a rock concert before? not only i was pissed off, but at the same time i was nursing this pre-cold headache. that aside, the gig was just superb. yeah, they had short hair yaddayadda, they still rocked the house big time. even songs like until it sleeps sounded heavy as hell. oh yeah, they kicked off with so what. just like the fort worth dvd. they had this fake pyro accident with the lights crashing down in the middle. since i didn't exactly read any reviews from previous gigs, when the first initial sparks was noted in the background, i thought shit was gonna happen. but when the large hydraulic light towers came crashing down, as well as seeing one of the crewmembers running frantically across the stage in flames? come on, this had to be all fake. damn convincing, though!

i've grown up listening to their music. i am a tad disappointed with st. anger but then some of their songs like frantic, dirty window and unnamed feeling have grown on me. i didn't actually go to any of their gigs after the load tour as they only played large outdoor events in britain thereafter. i don't like it when i can't see the band! i did, however, catch them live at london's earl's court last winter. the band was in top form despite all the shit that happened with them in the past few years. they played well, and robert trujillo was simply brilliant on the bass.

Metallica at Earl's Court, London: Dec 20, 2003.


with their setlist revisiting material from their earlier days, i felt as if i hadn't left that dorm in seremban in 1986.

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all pics taken from encycmet and metallicaworld with thanks. go here for my review on some kind of monster.

update: for pics and setlist of the 'tallica gig that i went to on dec 19, mosey your ass over here.