No, I never “grew out of it”….
Dozed off on the train on my way home, and when I woke up, just a few minutes before my station, the girl next to me smiled and said:
– I remember you from junior high!
I looked at her and I could have sworn I’d never seen her before. But I generally suck at remembering faces, which gets me in trouble as people probably think I’m a stuck up bitch for not remembering them…
She turned to my colleague, pointed at me and said:
– She was the only girl in the entire school, who was into heavy metal.
Well, okay then. Apparently she DID know me. :D
– So… I guess you’ve grown out of it now, huh…? she said and smiled.
Grew out of it? Of what? Being a metalhead? Are you kidding?
– No way, I’m still a rock chick, always were, always will be. Well it was nice to see you! I said, still not knowing who she was.
She said she used to be in a grade above us. Okay, that makes it even better. Back in those days you definitely didn’t socialize with anyone YOUNGER, that was very uncool. So, I must have left quite an impression if even one of the “older chicks” noticed and remembers me – from 1983!
My mind just wandered off to those days, when I started my walk home. 1983. Junior high.
I don’t remember much from that time really, other than being intensely crazy about heavy metal.
I was still a kid, trying to find my identity – which was especially hard being the only girl in school who was into metal. I had no one to share that with and I didn’t really belong anywhere.
I used to hang with the guys, which of course the other teenage girls in my class didn’t do, unless they wanted a boyfriend. So, I guess I was just…different. :)
There were very few female role-models for me. I remember getting into Rock Goddess but they were pretty much like guys… Same thing with Girlschool, guys with tits.
Then Lita Ford came along and that changed my whole world. She became my “guiding light” through the jungle of metal where girls simply didn’t belong back in those days. She was a tough woman, but still a woman. Not a dude-chick.
I was so in love with the whole heavy metal scene that I couldn’t focus on ANYTHING else. It was ALL about hard rock/heavy metal.
I would go and buy those cheap LP’s with cut-outs from Spain, cause I couldn’t afford anything else. I remember buying Scorpions “Blackout” and it had all the titles translated! Hang on, I’ve still got all that shit here…. Yeah, this is what it looked like:
I would sit and carve the names and logos of the bands I liked, on my school desk with a sharp pencil – leaving permanent traces of where I’d been. I guess you could call it an obsession, cause it really was.
My backpack was decorated with the same thing – the Judas Priest logo and a bunch of Van Halen and Def Leppard-buttons and patches.
I read everything I could get my hands on, any metal magazine – which of course would be from the UK or the US cause we didn’t have anything like that in Sweden. Until the music mag OKEJ came along.
I used to hang outside the newsstand every Wednesday morning when a new issue of OKEJ would come out, right before going to woodwork class. Then of course, I couldn’t concentrate on anything else all day, I would read that freaking thing, cover to cover, not missing a WORD! :)
And it had all these cool posters too. This was my first Judas Priest-poster, that was from OKEJ. ME – I looked dorky as hell, but the whole world of rock’n’roll was all still new to me. Before I “converted” to metal, I had been a BEATLES-fan…! Quite a transition to say the least.
My parents worried. This was not supposed to happen, they wanted big things for me, I was supposed to go to university and make something of myself. Not listen to that….noise.
Dad used to say that music wouldn’t “put food on the table” and I needed to focus on the IMPORTANT things in life. Well… When I got my first job writing about metal 5 years later, he couldn’t really use that as a motivational speech anymore. ;)
Eventually my parents accepted that this was my call in life. I loved the music, it was very important to me and I incorporated it into my life with a passion.
[14 years old, just started decorating my walls with ugly longhaired men dressed in black leather!]
And no – I never “grew out of it”!
I told the girl on the train, that there is nothing to “grow out” of – because metal is the ULTIMATE music in my book. There is no higher level.
Many are always going to think that classical music is fancier but when it comes to complexity, you will find a lot of those influences in metal as well, only modernized and better suited for electric guitars and amps.
She looked surprised but I walked away with a sense of pride. Yeah, I have to say that I actually felt proud to be remembered by someone, 31 years later, for being the only female rocker in junior high – and STILL BE that girl! :)
I don’t know what my life would have looked like if I hadn’t fallen in love with metal, but I’m so glad that I never had to find out, because I’ve really lived a life I could never have dreamed of when I was a kid- and I owe it all to rock’n’roll.
It’s the love of my life and will be in my heart & soul till the day I die. :)