An account of heavy metal in the 1980s.
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It's the 1980s and heavy metal has exploded across America and Frankie, Bob, Rick and Jeff are caught up in it. From Dio to Twisted Sister these metal heads hit up every concert they can. Attending colleges in different states, heavy metal music is what brings these four friends back together summer after summer.
But with the middle of the 1980s begins the intolerance of heavy metal. Girlfriends, yuppies and Jesus freaks want to put an end to the metal scene just as Ozzy Osbourne and Aerosmith are playing their greatest hits. Cracks begin in their friendship while everyone is trying to make their way in the world, especially when Jeff's travels lead him to England. Will heavy metal all stars like Ted Nugent, Judas Priest and Anthrax bring these four friends back together or are their partying days soon to be over.
The excitement was now boiling over as the two cars paid their toll coming off the bridge and drove the remaining few blocks to the Spectrum. Frankie and Nick parked their cars on the street behind the main parking lot. Once the engines were turned off, everyone climbed out of the cars with Phil greeting the others with a lit up joint. Bob broke out some beers compliments of his older brother while Mario unveiled some California Coolers from out of a brown bag. With the Twisted Sister tape starting its second side, the boys began their pre concert party in earnest.
A few more cars began to park where the boys were having their party, with people getting out to have pre concert parties of their own. The familiar scene of boys in denim vests and heavy metal t-shirts and girls in short black dresses brought back warm feelings of familiarity while the boys partied on. About twenty minutes later, with the tape finished, the joint smoked and the beers and coolers drunk, the boys decided it was time to head for the concert.
The boys locked their cars and began to walk toward the Spectrum together. Just as they were about to go through the gate, a warning voice called out, “I wouldn’t go through the parking lot if I were you.”
Before the boys could turn around and question why, the voice continued, “The cops are supposed to have a warrant and are searching everyone in the parking lot.”
Completing their turn, the boys saw the boy behind the voice. He was short in height with long, stringy mousy hair. He was dressed in a black t-shirt and his jeans were so badly ripped that they didn’t seem worth wearing. He was flanked by two taller friends who were nodding their heads in agreement with him.
The boys looked at each other for a brief moment in an attempt to agree on whether or not the boy was serious. In the end they silently decided it wasn’t worth taking the risk so they each said a “Thanks dude,” to the boy and walked around the block.
The extra few yards they had to walk only added a few more minutes to the journey to the Spectrum. There were more familiar sights of people trying to sell extra tickets or unsolicited merchandise as well as more concertgoers and especially girls in black mini skirts. Instinctively, all of them scanned the parking lot in order to see if there were indeed cops conducting any searches; but they didn’t see any. Therefore, they concluded that it was just another rumour that had been going around.
Once they crossed the road and made began making their way to the Spectrum doors the familiar scenes came back to them as if it hadn’t been nearly five months since they had been to a concert together. There were people having last minute parties before going inside as well as ticket scalpers and people selling concert t-shirts and merchandise. There were also people going around the Spectrum concourse announcing, “Trips, trips.”
All seven of the boys took in all of these sights before walking into the Spectrum. They didn’t forget the ritual of being searched once they went in through the doors, but they submitted willingly to it. Once the ritual was over, they quickly made their way to their seats. Their seats were on the second level so when they got into the seating area, they stopped to survey the area. While they saw that nothing had changed in the months since they last visited the Spectrum, they were quietly reassured that the night was going to be a great one. Down below, the seats were quickly being occupied and there was good music playing through the speakers. What was even better was the fact that their seats on the second level looked almost directly down onto the stage. When they sat down, they couldn’t wait for the lights to go off and the show to start.