Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Denim & Leather

The Information Superhighway can still be magically Sci-Fi to me; a place where time travel is possible. Case in point is the following awesome piece of Old Metal history from out of the fog / smoke machine of 20+ years gone.

Submitted by Old Metal Chris:

[click for larger image]

Unfortunately, this has gone missing since I moved last year. I still haven't given up hope that I'll find it. Notice the two hand-made patches I did (from an old, white t-shirt, nonetheless). The band in the larger one kinda pissed me off when they changed their logo by the time their album FINALLY came out. As you can see, the ink ran when I got hosed down at Day on the Green '85, up near the front when Metallica played. I did lose some buttons over the years. My original Metallica button from the first time I saw them at the Stone (March '83), and a button I made out of a guitar (well, bass) pick I got from Willie Lange when he was in Diamond (pre-Laaz Rockit).

Oh, on the back: Full Venom - Welcome To Hell backpatch; below, the 4" x 9" red and black Metallica patch and on top a hand-scrawled "YNGWIE" with a leather black star, cut from the swoosh of some old Nike's I had, dotting the "I".

I bought my backpatch at The Vault. Man, do you remember what a tough decision it was to pick which band you were going to "represent" back then???

Chris and I fought in the Metal Wars in the BATO (Bay Area Theater of Operations) but we never met until now; better late than never, my brutha! The Rock Godz work in mysterious ways.

For the record, Umlaut's own beloved denim vest has been decomposing in a landfill somewhere for the past 15+ years; gone but not forgotten. On the back of mine was a back patch-sized Venom - Black Metal logo that I cut out of a bootleg t-shirt I got at The Vault [Note for The Newbies: The Record Vault was the HQ of SFHM in the 80's and something else that is long gone].

Above the Venom was a large red and black Black Sabbath logo patch. To the left of that was a Tygers Of Pan Tang - Wild Cat 1980 Tour patch with a dubious history. Also of note: Although my denim is long gone, I still have the same Mercyful Fate and Armored Saint buttons that Chris preserved on his denim. METAL.

Here's a pic of me circa early-1982 in my 'ol denim before I cut the sleeves off to make it the classic vest:

The patches (L. to R.): Sabbath > Sabbath > Saxon > MSG. I lovingly sewed each patch on myself; sewing wasn't for pussies if you were putting a Sabbath patch on your denim!

Granted, I realize only a handful of you reading this can appreciate it, while the rest of you are thinking "How old are you??"... All I can say is: Let the Old Men talk!

Metal is the closest thing I've had to religion in my life and I'm a much better person for it. That handful of you reading this know what I'm on about when I admit to getting misty-eyed seeing this shot in Iron Maiden's The Early Days DVD:

It's a sea of denim-clad Maiden fans circa 1982 in the lobby of London's legendary Hammersmith Odeon... My English Metal bruthas fighting the Metal War in the ETO (European Theater of Operations) back in The Day.

Of course, the 21st Century Cool Kids seeing this picture will think it's a denim-clad Turbonegro crowd.. but hey, like, I'm "cool" with that... man.. I might be "old".. but..like.. I'm "hip" to your , like, "scene"..dude... you know... Or as Turbonegro said back in '98: "I'm ridin' high, I'm ridin' low, Prince of the Rodeo..." or as Saxon said way back in '82: "Denim and leather, brought us all together.."

Old man out.

Addendum: I'd forgotten about this pic... out of the fog / smoke machine of 20+ years gone..

More Metal Denim from back in The Day! September 1982: These were friends of mine from Vancouver who came down to soak up the S.F. Metal Scene. I haven't seen or talked to any of these people in almost 20 years.