A recent discussions with my peers from the metal brotherhood on Twitter made me write a series of few posts. About the beginning and the love. Yes, I just want to nail down thoughts about love, personal taste and preferences. I'm going to write down my metal history. It could be boring for somebody, but for me it is so exciting and it means a lot. Simply because the times here were completely different compared to the normal countries and markets.
I remember it was very early October 1989. I was 11 and I was in 5th grade at school when I asked a schoolmate for a favour. My schoolmate was wearing some boots and patches on his jacket, had black and white photos of some long-hair guys with him, and all the time was drawing fantastic band logos! His bigger brother was among the most metal guys in the whole school and I asked whether he could draw me some band's logos. I was so attracted to this stuff, that I really wanted it so badly. I had seen some of the logos drawn on walls on the street, some drawn with pen on jackets, some on back patches. Around this time the metal music was banned officially, the metal guys were considered the biggest scumbags, and it was very underground - extremely difficult to find. No music business, no decent records market, only pirate stuff. After a weekend, my friend brought me two sheets of a notebook with my gems. After this day everything changed. I began to draw logos myself, asked my parents to buy me boots. Just before New Years eve I had my first Metal Hammer. Bought it in Greece where we spent the holidays. Also I was bought a nice pair of white high training shoes, very popular in the metal society by that time. Ten days after we had at home simple two tapes cassette recorder, but that was enough!
It was maybe 20-21 of March 1990 when I re-recorded Judas Priest's Live 87 and some cut version of Kings of metal by Manowar. These were my first full metal records to own myself. Manowar suddenly became the greatest band on the world for me. In two weeks I was bought also some re-recorded tape of Fighting the world with good quality.
In the last ten days of March I managed to re-record WASP debut album, SDI debut album, Iron Maiden - Somewhere in time. WASP and SDI were something extraordinary for me. Loved them so much. I felt the music entering into my blood, I felt the excitement. Still these two albums are essential for me. Love them a lot. Also I was bought tapes of Dio - Last in Line and Yngwie Malmsteen - Odyssey. Plus tapes of the most popular Bulgarian bands from the BG Rock series - Ahat, Control, Era. I remember that at school, in Music subject classes we were allowed to bring our music and to listen to it. We played these BG Rock bands vinyls back then.
My very first Metallica record I owned was Master of puppets. I re-recorded it from already re-recorded tape in the end of March 1990. By that time I had 11 years and 8 month of age. I was just entering into records collection. The quality was so poor that I nearly could hear something. Few days later I re-recorded Ride the lightning. I had Kill'em all by the end of April. A good friend of mine was also into this music. He was big Metallica fan. On his birthday we were in his place. He gave me an original imported tape of MOP to re-record, as well as Garage days. Also this day (or maybe later) I think I watched there Cliff'em all video tape and I left speechless. Not sure but I think I was also bought Creeping death/Jump in the fire tape also on this same day. So in May I was so under Metallica influence, that it was inevitable - they became my favourite band.
In the meantime (April/May) I continued furiously to re-record tapes. I asked schoolmates, friends, whomever to give me whatever...This way I got Running wild - Port royal, Helloween - Keeper of the seven keys and Live in the UK, Kiss - Lick it up.
There were few audio recording studios in town. You give empty tape and they record your choice out their catalogue. They had there Slayer, Sodom, Kreator - bands were almost impossible to find. This way I got South of Heaven, Mortal way of life, Extreme aggression. It was beginning of July 1990, just after Football world cup in Italy and I was just recovered from pneumonia. After listening for the first time the records, I had a headache. Week later, on my birthday I re-recorded Anthrax' State of euphoria and received as a BD present a tape of Testament's Practice what you preach, and also recorded Venom, Motorhead and AC/DC. My cousin had recorded from the same studio Voivod, King Diamond, Exploited. From another studio I got Candlemass - Tales of creation. I also had Sodom's Persecution mania and Agent orange. A friend of mine gave mi Cinderella (Night songs still among my fave glam records) and Bon Jovi. For sure I miss something here...I remember my first Metallica tee - it was a simple tee with ironed big sticker of Harvester of sorrow, as well as same of Exhumer (Possessed by fire)
My collection was growing more and more. In the beginning of September finally I re-recorded And Justice for all (from that friend of mine, also from original imported tape), re-recorded Megadeth's first three albums (also from him), bought Sign of the hammer by Manowar (so great record). A friend re-recoded for me Black Sabbath's Tyr. Same time next to my place a new studio opened. They had huge (for that time) catalogue and were selling "ready" tapes too. It was incredible for us the kids to find such gems there. Known and unknown. And the recording and tapes buying process continued. Literally everything had to be swallowed. The heavier the band, the better. Also, the heavier the band, the more metal guy you are.
By that time I witnessed the new albums of Megadeth, Judas Priest, Slayer, Testament, had my boots and camo jacket. Received as present original Iron Maiden back patch and Anthrax tee. The mid autumn also brought me Death's Leprosy and Spiritual healing, Napalm Death - Harmony corruption, Obituary - Slowly we rot, Holy Moses. I myself began to re-record to others for some small amount of money. In the end of the year I had a video tape with Raw Power episodes, which had been broadcated in the late hours on the National Television.
We had an food and electricity norms - the country was so poor that we had electricity for few hours and then one or two hours it was shut down. I listened on batteries on my cassette recorder. There were coupons for the bread and main foods, and if somebody wanted to buy it, he had to stand on a long queue at 5 o'clock in the morning. The old regime has just been gone. It was 1990, a fantastic year, and I was 12.