Friday, April 13, 2007

1982 Revisited

A Benefit For The Family of Curtis Grant
Anvil Chorus / American Heartbreak / Mordred / Mercenery
Bottom of the Hill, San Francisco
April 12, 2007

It goes without saying that it's unbelievably sad that it took the death of someone to bring this type of event together. Hopefully the funds that were raised can help Curtis' family in some small way. All the very best to them.

The Old Metal Days were 2 million years ago and so much has happened in my life since then.. but it's amazing how profound and influential that time was (and continues to be) in my life. The Old Metal Days were so innocent and fun; I wondered if I'd be able to enjoy the night without a 21st Century perspective.

Thankfully, I was not a poser.

As soon as I walked into the club it was the San Francisco Metal Scene circa 1982 all over again!! Timewarp A-Go-Go (but in a good way). If you weren't here for the Metal Scene in the early 80's you might not appreciate the magnitude of this show.

This was how I imagine my 20th HS reunion would have been if I'd attended a school where there were no jocks or cheerleaders, only Metalheads. There were so many old friends and acquaintances in the house... I was profoundly overwhelmed. So many people greeted me by name and I didn't remember some of their names (SORRY!). Overwhelming.

The 3 opening sets were a blur to me, between trying to watch the bands and also chat with all of the old friends over the volume. I've known members of all three bands since back in The Day and I suppose that's why it was the cover songs that I got caught up in the most: Mercenery closing with Satan's 'Blades Of Steel'.. Mordred dedicating Holocaust's 'Death or Glory' to Curtis, Sam Kress, and all the other fallen friends. Then Mordred bringing some old friends onstage to romp through Thin Lizzy's 'Johnny The Fox'. It's amazing how music can take you back to a specific moment in time just... like... that.

Anvil Chorus opened with 'The Blade' and 23 years disappeared in a second. I suppose few outside of the Bay Area even know about Anvil Chorus.. They were local Metal legends in the early-80's and they raged with an intricate sound that was ahead of its time in some ways IMO. Unfortunately, they weren't able to put anything out past a 7" and some demos, but the band was always a live experience anyway... and this show (after only 2 rehearsals) did complete justice to that legacy! It's amazing how music can take you back to a specific moment in time just... like... that. They closed with an amazing double shot of 'Blue Flames' > 'Deadly Weapons' that left me in stunned nostalgia for cassette tapes and denim vests.

There are so many old friends who I want to name check here, but there were so many that I'm sure I'd forget someone.. So instead I'll just say CHEERS to you all!! Hope we die before we get old... Although, I will THANK Loren for setting me up with an issue of Metal Mania that I didn't have: Issue #19 (5th Anniversary Issue) from 1987 with a history of Black Sabbath that I have absolutely no memory of writing!

Beer count = 3. On the way back to the car, some pimply-faced teenagers called me a fag. Meanwhile, back in the 21st Century, Old Metal lives in our hearts.

Anvil Chorus' setlist.. Written on a napkin! (Thanks to Chris J.)

Note For The Newbies: This Anvil Chorus is NOT the Anvil Chorus of which I speak!