Saturday, April 25, 2015

Full Analog Circle

The exciting sequel to Got The Metal Madness!

1982 to 2015 full circle..

This tape literally changed my life.

In hindsight, the original lyrics to 'Jump In The Fire' are really silly but this tape was written and performed by 4 pimply-faced guys who were only 18-20 years old.  However, these primordial versions of the songs still hold up and I also like how the band recreated the vintage TDK logo for their own Blackened Recordings logo on the reissue.  Clever.

Monday, April 20, 2015

There's No "I" In Scene

Electric Wizard / Satan's Satyrs
Slim's, San Francisco
April 17, 2015

Electric Wizard have been around for 20 years or so but this is their first U.S. Tour in 12 years.  As a result the hype was in and the beards were out for this show.  Tonight sold out a couple of months ago and I snoozed on a ticket, so a big THANKS to Electric Assault Records for getting me on the list. Hail!  That being said I'm just going to cut to the chase and say the crowd tonight was the worst asshole collection of humanity that I've been around at a show in ages.  The asshole vibe and behavior completely overshadowed the music for me tonight... which was extremely unfortunate.

However, before all the bullshit started, Satan's Satyrs came out and played one of the best support sets I've seen in a long time.  As a counterpoint to the Doom theme they had a classic power trio energy that Umlaut is a sucker for... I guess if I was to use a cliche "blog" analogy they were like if Motörhead and Grand Funk Railroad were conjoined at birth... or something like that.  Good 'ol fashioned foot stompin', beer drinkin', headbangin' music.  Dig it!

[Photo courtesy of Photo Ray]

During the changeover the air was suddenly filled with the pungent smell of burning sage... which in hindsight was funny because sage burning is supposed to cleanse an area or person.. but obviously this Hippie shit doesn't affect Hipster Metal beards who have Sabbath patches on their vests and / or jackets... but more on that in a bit.

Burning Sage 
[Photo courtesy of Photo Ray]

As the lights went off and Electric Wizard started up their "Satanic" machine the energy of the crowd went from zero to sixty immediately as 'Witchcraft Today' got things started... and the band sounded good... but then the asshole vibe in the crowd took over.  After 3 songs Photo Ray and I decided it would be a grand idea to retire to the back and enjoy the rest of the show with a cold beer in hand.  Wrong...

A Hipster Metal beard called me an asshole for pushing past him.. and then another refused to move to let me past eventhough I was trying to go BEHIND him and I was moving AWAY from the stage.  The unmoving asshole outweighed me by probably 50 pounds and 3 inches in height but I finally just shoved hard and kept moving.  I'm sure if I had hesitated and looked back I would have caught his fist somewhere... which is exactly what happened to Photo Ray on his journey AWAY from the stage.  I did not see Photo Ray again the rest of the night.

[Photo courtesy of Photo Ray]

Long story short... I ended up at the back of Slim's and tried to enjoy the rest of the set but the asshole crowd behavior just started to annoy me more and more as I continued to witness it.  The next day I heard numerous stories from friends about random fights breaking out.. a random elbow being thrown into a girlfriend's face... just random lame behavior.  A drunk hipster Metal kid tried to give another drunk hipster Metal kid a $5 bill for cutting in front of him in the bathroom line... Then all of Electric Wizard's set started sounding samey and I remembered the only Doom you really need is Black Sabbath albums.  Only Sabbath is real.

It was a bummer how there seemed to be zero sense of community in the crowd compared to the usual Bay Area Metal shows.  I sensed this as early as when I was standing in the Will Call line and thought to myself "Who are these people??  I don't know any of them.."  Once the liquor and music started inside it became Lord Of The Flies-style with seemingly most of the Hipster Metal kidz out for themselves.   Also, does anyone else think it's weird that it's bands like Electric Wizard and Pentagram who these self-absorbed posers have embraced?  They seem to think having a Sabbath patch on their jacket / vest is a badge of cool and if you didn't have one you were not worthy.  It reminds this old man of when jocks started showing up at Metal shows in the latter-80's and changed the vibe of shows by using the pit action as an excuse to fuck with people.  Fuck. Off. All of you. Thanks.

I had the opportunity to do a merch audit but didn't.  On the way back to the car, some pimply-faced teenagers called me a fag.  All in all it was a disappointing show but thankfully the following two things made me feel better once I was back inside the warm confines of Casa de Umlaut:

I was glad I ripped the flyer for this upcoming gig off the bathroom wall at Slim's.

I was glad I stopped for my favorite post-show veggie burrito at Taqueria Cancun.

I was also thankful I'd been introduced to Satan's Satyrs because they're my new favorite band this week... However.. there is no "I" in "scene", kidz.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Crypt Keeper

Kirk von Hammett's Fear FestEvil
High On Fire / Orchid / Ghoul
Rock Bar Theater, San Jose, California
April 11, 2015

It's cool when an old friend has the means to take a childhood hobby to the next level as an adult... and that's exactly what Mr. Kirk Hammett has done.  What began as a child with an obsession with horror movies and comics has evolved into an adult world class collector of all that is dark and fun.. and it's been made even cooler that he wants to share it with the public instead of sitting in a dark room surrounded by his valuable rarities.  This was the 4th official Kirk von Hammett event dating back to the book release party in 2012.   As with last year's event, this year was a 3-day celebration but Umlaut was only able to attend the Saturday event which featured performances by my longtime favorites High On Fire, Orchid, and Ghoul.

Back in The Day the space that is now the Rock Bar was a gambling joint called Garden City Casino.  It was odd seeing how they've basically jammed a stage into the space to fit the existing floor plan.  Interesting and odd.  This was my first visit to this relatively new venue and I had heard nothing but good things about it.

Upon arriving there was a ginormous line waiting at the entrance so I killed time in the vendor tent adjacent to the entrance as well as a small carnival games area that was next to it.  The FestEvil vibe was definitely in effect as costumed humans wandered the area.. but it was only a matter of time before things were sorted out for me.  If only all Horror conventions were this easy:

Once inside there was time to kill before the bands started... Running into friends, chatting with friends, drinking beers with friends, and also checking out this year's version of Kirk's Crypt featuring some of his collection on display.  Honesty is my only excuse:  Umlaut only has a casual interest in Horror films and there were really only 2 items that caught my undivided attention... mainly because I am a fan and had seen the items at past events but had failed to take pictures of them.  Not this time...

Yes.. Umlaut is one of those now-mainstream types who adores The Walking Dead.. The show and the comics.  Anyway, one thing led to another and this happened..

"Devil's grip.. The Iron Fist.."
[Photo courtesy of Photo Ray]

... and in case you were wondering this is what "backstage" looked like at FestEvil:


As the sun set outside the musical portion of the event started up.  Ghoul are one of my favorite bands and it warmed my heart that these band friends were asked to perform.  Obviously they were a natural fit and it was cool that they immediately won the crowd over during the first song even as they sprayed the front row with blood-like liquid.  Orchid are another group of band friends and they were making a return performance after having been included in last year's party.  The Orchid lads were as thunderous as ever but their set was a bit overshadowed by guitarist Mark's vintage Motörhead 1983 Tour shirt in the dressing room:

According to the Umlaut Archives this was the 18th time I'd seen High On Fire.. but I only watched moments of their set as I found myself socializing with friends again more than rocking out.  Again... Honesty is my only excuse.. but I was just going with the flow, man.

Far and away the highlight of the day was the jam session finale featuring the host lead guitarist backed by High On Fire as well as guest appearances by Corey Taylor of Slipknot on vocals, John 5 on guitar for most of the set, and Charlie Benante of Anthrax taking over drums for half of the set as well.  Before all of that Rock Star power hit the stage this happened in a hallway behind the stage:

The best thing about this All-Star jam was that it did not include the usual cover songs that every Metal All-Star jam usually plays (cue 'Highway To Hell'..'Iron Man'.. etc..).  This being Kirk Hammett's party he dug deep into his teenage album collection and pulled out some nerdy song choices!

 "BRAIN!!"  Yes, autographed by the host after the show..

For the newbies that would be Thin Lizzy, Black Sabbath, Motörhead, Uli Roth-era Scorpions, Riot, Venom, and Judas Priest.  FUCK. YEAH.  The performance was loose as all of the Rock Stars seemed to tap into their teenage heads again for the duration of the jam.  Oddly, I watched this once in a lifetime moment while kneeling inside a fake fireplace at stage left that evidently is a remnant of the space's previous incarnation.  The suburbs can be very weird, man.

Kirk and High On Fire channel Phil Lynott as they launch into 'Emerald'

I did not do a FestEvil merch audit.  On the way back to the car, some pimply-faced suburban teenagers called me a fag.  FestEvil is the type of event that people in The Bay Area tend to observe with a jaded ho-hum hometown attitude.  "Oh great.. A member of Metallica doing this and that.. blah blah.."  If this event were held in another city the buzz and the energy around it would probably be on another level.  Instead it was just another of many, many "only in The Bay Area" events and moments to add to the list.  Ain't we lucky!? 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Press Eject And Give Me The Tape

Last week Umlaut's 20th Century mid-level quality Sony tape deck died when I tried to play a tape for the first time in months.  The drive belt must have snapped and thankfully the tape didn't get fucked up.  What to do now here in 2015 when ancient audio equipment dies?

The answer:  Craigslist.. Where you can go for quality 20th Century analog gear that doesn't cost a fortune.  I was interested in finding an upscale direct drive deck (like a Tascam) instead of a less durable "consumer" belt drive deck like my old dead Sony... and I totally lucked out!  A Tascam 202 MKII was posted on Craigslist 2 days earlier by a studio guy clearing out gear he wasn't using anymore. He said he had barely used the deck and once I saw it I believed him; it was clean with only some minor scratches on the case.  The "new" cassette deck was acquired at a neutral location and I wasn't jumped, robbed, or shot.  Sometimes the Rock Godz work in mysterious ways, man.

Back at Casa de Umlaut, G.B.H. live in San Francisco - 1984 and Thin Lizzy live in Preston, England - 1979 (Black Rose Tour) broke the excellent new machine in:

Once this new toy was warmed up, Umlaut got sucked into a vortex of nostalgia over the cassette bootlegs and demo tapes he dubbed and traded in his salad days.  Thankfully, many of the vintage tapes hibernated like the sleeping Cthulhu in my attic... and I quickly brought them out of their slumber.

More fun than an MP3:

After this 1985 show Venom didn't visit San Francisco again for 21 years:

Kirk's 3rd show with the band supporting Venom in New York City:

Yes, Kirk did play 'The Mechanix' with Metallica.  This show was before the band entered the studio to record Kill 'Em All and the new guitarist had only been in the band around 2 weeks.

"Let's rehearse songs from our next album called Master Of Puppets and then maybe someone in the room might leave a tape deck running and record it without us knowing about it.."

Finding the following tape in my attic was pure uncut magic:  A good friend of Umlaut who now lives here in The Bay Area is from Bradford, England and he saw this show on the Master Of Puppets Tour.  He also has snapshots taken at the show with his cheap teenage camera.  I had completely forgotten I had this:

Time travel does exist!  My friend didn't know a recording of this show even existed... and what are the odds that I'd have this tape and be friends with him all these years later!?  What an amazing full circle thing, right?  Sometimes the Metal Godz work in mysterious ways, man.. and sometimes it takes almost 30 years for their full circle plan to be completed.

Achtung! Accept.. Restless & Wild Tour in Deutschland 1983:

This is one of the best Old Metal audience bootleg tapes.  You can hear just enough of the crowd so you feel like you're getting elbowed in the face by drunk teenage German headbangers while getting beer spilled on you at the same time.
July 1981.. A week after the High 'N Dry album was released. It was Def Leppard's first U.K. Tour in over a year and the crowd sounds small and lackluster at best:

Awkward... No wonder Def Leppard decided to focus on America for their success.

Murder In The Front Row:  Exodus destroys San Francisco and Berkeley - 1983-84:

The 2/20/83 recording is Kirk Hammett's first to last show with Exodus before leaving to join that other band. All of these tapes include classic Baloff between-song comments and banter that made him a legend.

A quintessential 1983 tape trade:

Penpals would send me demo tapes of bands they thought I would like. Being introduced to Hellhammer so early before they became known as the Metal legends from Switzerland was something I didn't appreciate until years later...

The Blackout U.K. Tour 1982.. and the Scorps included Uli-era songs 'We'll Burn The Sky' and 'Steamrock Fever' in the set in Europe. Unfortunately that was not the case on the U.S. Tour that followed.. "with Michael Schenker on encore."

Maiden were only 13 days into the Number Of The Beast Tour but, as Bruce says before 'Children Of The Damned' early in the set, the album wasn't being released for another 2 weeks.  So, the crowd was hearing most of the new songs for the first time. Only the 'Run To The Hills' single had been released and, as Bruce also said at this show, it was at #7 on the U.K. charts. As a bonus, the band also played the b-side of the single ('Total Eclipse'). This was the 11th show in 1982 for Maiden and a set so long that it took 1 1/4 90-minute blank tapes to capture. The Beast would be on the road in Europe, Australia, Japan, and North America for 9 more months after this night.

It's funny how old habits fell right back into place when listening to cassettes. Such as using a finger to tighten the slack on a tape before putting it in the deck before rewinding so (hopefully) the tape wouldn't snap when rewind ended.  Anyway, cassettes served a purpose back in ancient times.  It's definitely not the perfect audio medium but for those of us old people who grew up using cassettes the nostalgia is strong.  It's how we shared music back in The Day. 

I'd forgotten that part of the excitement of listening to cassettes was that the machine could destroy a tape at any moment if you weren't careful. So many precautions were needed (cleaning and demagnetizing the tape heads, etc..). It's a lost art form.  However, having a quality tape machine also reduces the chances of an analog audio tragedy.. so thanks again to the Rock Godz for sending the Tascam my way.

Ironically, Metallica, the most successful band who benefited the most from cassette trading, recently announced a nostalgic cassette release for Record Store Day 2015.  Click HERE for the story as it was announced by Rolling Stone.. and more on this release in the near future.  

Press eject... and NO Umlaut will not be putting any of these on YouTube.  Sorry, kidz of the Digital Age.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

March 30 Years Ago

This is what Umlaut was doing in March of 1985:

[From the Umlaut Archives]

One of these things is not like the others...
  • March 3rd - Prince & The Revolution - Purple Rain Tour ("Wear Purple")
  • March 13th, 14th, & 15th - Metallica - Ride The Lightning Tour (No ticket stub for the 13th..)
  • March 21st - Iron Maiden - Powerslave Tour
Tonight we're gonna party like it's 1999 but dammit it ain't right because it's 2 minutes to midnight.

Monday, March 02, 2015

Got The Metal Madness

The secret project I've been assisting with for the past 8 months is finally being revealed...

Click HERE for the full story over at and this is how I was introduced to No Life 'Til Leather via a tape trade with my friend K.J. Doughton in the Summer of 1982:

On the B-Side was an advance demo of an album called Restless & Wild by a German band called Accept that had a different version of 'Get Ready' called 'Flaming Guitar Fire'.. This cassette literally changed my life..

Friday, February 27, 2015

Back To The Grind

Napalm Death / Voivod / Exhumed / Iron Reagan
Oakland Metro, Oakland, California
February 21, 2015

The Friday night commute traffic across The Bay Bridge seemed worse than it really was..but it was still a time suck.  However, we eventually made it to beautiful West Oakland.  Thankfully there was zero guest list drama but due to the traffic we walked in during Iron Reagan's last song.. They sounded great and I was bummed I missed them.  Sorry guys... Next time I'll arrive earlier.. Goddammit.

The Metro was packed solid sold out and with that came the old school uncomfortable side of the venue; muggy sweaty heat.  That being said, nothing comes as close to the old Ruthie's Inn Bay Area Metal Days as a sold out show at The Metro... so if you want to time travel back to 1984 it's as close as you'll ever get.  Adding another main room bar behind the stage was a solid move by the club.. and I appreciate how that, even in a divey venue here in the 21st Century, you can get quality beer despite a sticky floor.  

Local Bay Area heroes Exhumed were up next and delivered a solid, solid set.  I'm still bemused how Max channels James Hetfield circa 1988 onstage, but there's nothing wrong with that.  Also, to make this run of shows special, the band brought back original bass player Ross Sewage (Ludicra, Ghoul, Impaled) for the 5 West Coast shows to play songs off their first album... Which I don't own (honesty is my only excuse..).. but it was a great old school set. 

[Photo courtesy of Photo Ray]

The mighty Voivod landed on the Oakland stage next and were nothing short of magnificent.  Yes, there was another lineup change since the last time I saw them with Blacky leaving the bass position again... bummer.  As with every band from my salad days, it's impossible to expect them to still have their "original" members intact.. and Voivod at 1/2 of the original members is at the average ratio.  That being said, they absolutely killed it.  There are new faces but the same musical mastery that made them special in the first place is still front and center; the spirit of Piggy is still very much an aura around the band. Voivod's Prog Thrash resonates even more for me now and the 9-song set bent time and space.  Vintage tracks such as 'Order of the Blackguards', 'Voivod', and the Pink Floyd cover 'Astronomy Domine' were the cornerstones of the performance but I have to say the epic new song 'We Are Connected' was my favorite of the set.  There is still life in the Voivod machine!

[Photo courtesy of Photo Ray]

To be honest, I didn't know what to expect from Napalm Death but everything I had heard about shows in recent times had been nothing but raving... and they completely delivered as well.  Grind is just about the only Metal that still holds my attention at this point in history (Sorry Death and Black Metals.. but.. you make me yawn now..It's not you.. It's me..).  Thankfully, Napalm Death has released a brutally great new album that has only reinforced Grind in my heart and that translated perfectly live.  The entire 22-song set was an unrelenting buzz saw groove abattoir of volume.  At times the assault was breathtaking (or maybe it was the sweaty claustrophobic Metro getting to me) and, despite having his right arm in a sling, Barney was in fine form both during and between songs. The new songs 'Smash A Single Digit' and 'How The Years Condemn' really did it for me tonight and it was inspiring that my favorite parts of both Voivod and Napalm sets were their new songs.  Maybe I'm not so completely jaded about Metal after all... maybe.

Napalm Death
[Photo courtesy of Photo Ray]

A nice Bay Area moment occurred when Jello Biafra joined Napalm for the appropriate cover of the Dead Kennedy's 'Nazi Punks Fuck Off'.. Although Jello is seemingly at every show (still!) these days... but more power to Jello because at least he's out there supporting the bands he likes... I guess.. Anyway.. it was a nice moment.

I didn't do a merch audit.. I meant to.. but when I went to the side room where all the merch was set up I started talking to so many people that I forgot.  Oh well.. I don't need anymore black t-shirts anyway.  On the way back to the car, some pimply-faced teenagers called us fags.   All in all, it was a damn fun night and easily the show of the year so far.. and no one got hurt and we all made it home safely.  I ate a bowl of cereal.. went to bed... and awoke the next morning to fight again.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015


The teenage me in 1983:

It's a good thing I was able to shut the sales of the album down and it's only managed to sell over 10 million copies since then.....

Thursday, February 12, 2015

The Ecstasy Of Gold

The exciting sequel to Damage Inc..

Salesforce 2015 Kickoff Party
Pier 48, San Francisco, California
February 9, 2015

Sometimes the Rock Godz work in mysterious ways... The week before tonight I found myself at a small social gathering with these things as the guests of honor:

Three in 5 years... Duck The Fodgers!  Yes... Metallica have their own clubhouse where they hang out with each other and put shit their fans throw at them onstage on the walls.  Oddly, there are no bras on display.  Lock 'N Loll?

Anyway,  I was minding my own business on the following Friday afternoon when I answered a phone call from Metallica's office asking if I would be "around" on Monday.  I thought about it and answered "Why.. Yes I will be "around" on Monday.." and was informed that the band were playing a "secret show" in San Francisco and that I was invited to attend.  Well, isn't that nice?  Lock 'N Loll.

Fast forward to the following Monday and it wasn't until around 5:00pm that I got the details about where and when to go for this "secret show".  Ironically, it ended up being at Pier 48 which is directly across McCovey Cove from my beloved AT&T Park.   When I arrived at the "secret" location it could not have been easier to gain entry.

Free parking?  Check.
My name on the guest list?  Check.
Only person wearing a Motörhead hoodie?  Check.

Once inside it was like entering the cover of the Load album except it was filled with table after table after table after table of free food and alcohol that seemed to go on forever. 

Umlaut goes into The Void

I won't dwell too much on the fact that tonight was a corporate gig with the band playing a private party for the employees of Salesforce to celebrate the end of their fiscal year.  If you can make it, take it.  We should all be so lucky to work for a company whose CEO is a Metallica fan who has enough disposable wealth to hire them to play his parties instead of Kanye West or Katy Perry. Anyway...

I had been told that the band would go on at 9:15pm but even after walking to the very end of the massive space I had no idea where they would be playing.  Very bizarre..  Then I stopped to chat with someone I know from the band's camp who also didn't know where the stage was..  Randomly, a passing food server overheard us talking and informed us that the hall was curtained off at the far end and it would be opened soon and that's where the stage was... She explained that it was set up that way so the "Metallica fans" would mingle instead of going straight to the stage to wait for the band. Ooookaay... I didn't see any obvious Metallica fans amongst the hundreds of suits and business casual folks around me... but whatever.  Armed with this new information, I headed back towards the far curtained off area and.. lo and behold.. it had indeed opened to reveal a modest stage at the far end.  Lock 'N Loll.

[Photo courtesy of]

I hadn't seen Metallica live in over 2 years and I will admit my jaded self got excited when I saw how intimate the show would be up close.  Despite the modest surroundings the stage allowed for "fans" to stand around it on 3 sides and then there were sections on either side with mics setup so it looked like a miniature stadium stage.  As I sipped my complimentary beer the band were late getting the party started... So I took out my iPhone and was posting something to my personal social media when a Salesforce employee next to me said something about not to hashtag "Salesforce" because this was a "secret" event.  My reply was "I don't work for Salesforce..." which caught Mr. Nosey off guard for a second until he then asked "How did you get in??" (I could see the wheels turning in his head about calling security...) but all I said was "I'm with the band..."   Was that a dick move on my part?  Maybe... because I wasn't really "with" the band.. but it shut him up.

Anyway, the house lights didn't go down until after 9:30pm when the CEO of Salesforce came out to address his minions and introduce the entertainment for the evening.  There was no 'Ecstasy Of Gold' intro tape and the hometown band casually launched straight into 'Hit The Lights' followed by 'Master Of Puppets'..


I quickly forgot about where I was and just focused on watching the band play because it was the closest I'd been to them onstage in a very long time.  I noticed that they all wore off-the-shelf shoes; Robert had on his signature pair of Vans.  It's the little things. During 'Sanitarium' this dude knelt down in front of me and we both had a flashback to The Stone, San Francisco - 1983:



The more things change, the more they stay the same... As the song ended that dude started to walk back towards the drum riser but turned and tossed this to me.. which I caught in midair (natch!):

Battle scarred by stage use...

It would be easy to dismiss this performance but, in the spirit of simply having fun and not being a negative creep, I realized it was just like watching the band rehearse.  There was no real pressure on them since they weren't playing for *their* crowd.  It was a casual audience at best.  There was free food and open bars everywhere.  It was probably the best free concert I've ever seen.  Also, it had been many, many years since the last time I was against a stage during a Metallica set and felt it vibrate from the volume.  It was cool.

A solid 14 song setlist... All killer and no filler.  There was no production and no intro tapes; it was a performance basically stripped down to the very bare essentials and that made it unique despite the corporate nature of the event.  Like I just said, it was like watching the band rehearse but they did break a sweat.  However, it was awkward when the Salesforce crowd chanted "Yeah!" instead of "Die!" during 'Creeping Death'.   I literally laughed out loud.. Yeah.. awkward.  For those who care the setlist was:
  • Hit the Lights
  • Master of Puppets
  • Welcome Home (Sanitarium)
  • Sad But True
  • The Unforgiven
  • Fuel
  • Wherever I May Roam
  • One
  • For Whom the Bell Tolls
  • Battery
  • Nothing Else Matters
  • Enter Sandman
  • Creeping Death
  • Seek & Destroy
Not bad for a free show on a Monday night, man.

Before the band came out I chatted with another Salesforce employee next to me who works at their office in Australia.  He was a legit Metallica fan and out of his mind with excitement and couldn't believe they were playing his company party.  A nice guy who also had a proper camera with him:

  [Photos courtesy of Nish Veer]

"We're scanning the scene at Salesforce tonight.. We're looking for YOU to start up a fight!" 

The party closed with the standard 'Seek And Destroy' and it was nice to see the song done without the beach ball drop that happens at "real" Metallica shows these days.  It's bizarre to me how 'Seek' has become the "party" song of a Metallica set when back in The Day it was a song that made me want to fuck shit up.  Weird...  Hope I die before I get old.

Anyway, as the song ended and The Four Horsemen took their bows, The Master Of Puppets turned around, caught my eye, and tossed one of his sweat-soaked wristbands to me... Uhhh...  I picked it up, looked to see if it even had the band's name on it (which it did not) and then I said out loud "This is fucking gross.." and tossed it onto the drum riser.  In hindsight I should have probably kept it to sell on Ebay, right?  Oh well.. Honesty is my only excuse. I mean, how would he feel if I tossed my dirty laundry at him in public?

Tonight's corporate gig was much better than the Salesforce gig 3 years ago, but that was because I had made the effort to be right up front against the stage and not 50 yards back standing with indifferent hors d'oeuvre swilling guests who would have been much happier if their CEO had hired Kanye West or Katy Perry to perform instead.  I had fun.  I ate and drank for free.  I was home in 20 minutes.

There was no Metallica merch for sale.  On the way back to the car, some pimply-faced teenagers called me a fag.   After I got home this text exchange happened between Umlaut and the Master Of Puppets:

Awww.. Battery is found in me.