This led to a very unexpected revisit to my junior high headbanger days. Turns out the two boys were middle school students, and shocked me that they knew who Metal Church was ... and that the late Ronnie James Dio once sang for Sabbath ... and that Ozzy Osbourne's recordings with them are the better ones.
I always got a kick out how Ozzy (Randy Rhoads, actually) quotes the truly scary guitar riff from the now 45-year-old song "Black Sabbath" in this song from his storied solo career.
"Do you know Metallica?," one asked. Well it's funny you should mention that, son ... I remember when they first came out (I ended up saying the same thing at the mention of The Red Hot Chili Peppers).
James Hetfield signs my Lollapalooza 1996 backstage pass in Charles Town, W. Va.
The conversation leaped from Motley Crue and Iron Maiden to a newer group called The Skull, and Slipknot and Pantera, neither of which I've ever been able to get into. Heavy metal has become significantly angrier and much, much, much less fun than it was in the '80s. For example, how about this proto rap-metal nugget, sampling Sam Kinsion, Beastie Boys and Metallica's "Master of Puppets?"
"Do you like Guns 'N' Roses?"
Sorry, never liked them. However, I'd listen to Slash and Duff jam in Velvet Revolver (who will probably never record together again because Scott Weiland is turning into as big of an idiot as Axl Rose) till the cows come home. But thanks to browsing the playlists of Dee Snider's House of Hair radio show, I did find this worthy cover by the late Kevin DuBrow of Quiet Riot.
And with that, please crank up this playlist: