Under 30

I can't complain but sometimes I still do

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Special guest metal columnist Serpico: "A funny thing happened to me on the way to the Monsters of Rock Tour…"

My good friend Serpico is a metal god. He owns hundreds of vintage metal CDs, he can drop knowledge on the most obscure metal bands known to man, he even drives around in a car with "MTLHEAD" plates. He makes Rikki Rachtman look like Kenny G.

I have long thought it a crime that Serp's incredible metal knowledge wasn't being shared with the world. So I've invited him to write an occasional column for my blog. Read on if you dare. But don't stand too close to the computer screen, ladies. His writing is so potent, it could get you pregnant.

WASP!! I LOVE WASP!! If you ever want to scare the living crap out of me, yell that phrase.

As the summer tours are winding down, I can’t help but think about one of the dandies I got the privilege to attend in the summer of 1988, on Friday, May 27. I, like many others, made the trip to Alpine Valley in East Troy, Wisconsin to witness the miraculous lineup of Kingdom Come, Dokken, Metallica, Scorpions and Van Hagar – Halen – sorry. It was billed as the Monsters of Rock Tour and all other tours that summer would be paltry in comparison because metal ruled the world.

8:30 am: It was a hot, sunny day where you just knew the beer was gonna taste great and hijinx would definitely be on the menu. Prior to boarding the van, I carefully sifted through the proper metal gear and donned my WASP t-shirt, MTLHED Wisconsin license plate and multi-colored palm tree jams – I was stylin’.

10 am: Anyway, we arrive at Alpine Valley, park the van and commence pre-concert festivities – drinking heavily. One thing that everyone should know, is that when I have a few bowls of loudmouth soup, I tend to get VERY social – “Not a boast but a curse,” as Sir Lancelot once said. While shaking hands and saying “hi” and taking pictures with complete strangers is all fine and well, but you always have to remember to keep that guard up. Everyone slips on occasion.

11 am: So concert time is 1pm and Social Drinking Hour #1 has gone very well. A few pictures with strangers, have talked with anyone wearing any kind of metal t-shirt, had to dumb down my vocabulary for some conversations, but all is well…and getting tipsy.

Sometime am/pm don’t know: Me and Bob go for a stroll to see the sights and to jabber with fellow metal maniacs about what the day at the Monsters of Rock could have in store for us. Little did I know that in about 40 yards my MoR day was going to take a turn – all because of WASP.

So on this adventure, I was completely taking in the Alpine Valley experience: Admiring those summertime girls and their big hair, observing various tailgating parties, listening to the different musical tastes every 25 feet – Iron Maiden here, Van Halen there, Metallica, KISS even Krokus – Ahh…this IS a little slice of heaven, truly things that – “WASP!! I LOVE WASP!!” Then it happened…

I now know how a deer in headlights actually feels before the moment of impact. But then again, they probably never drank Busch Light, so their reaction time would basically be nonexistent like mine was. I know him today only as The Beast in the Red Tank. He was a man of great stature and drunkeness who knew he liked WASP.

Following his war cry, he charged. I could not move, I was frozen in terror. If I was Ted Nugent, I would have drawn the bow back and dropped him in his tracks like Fred Bear, but I wasn’t Ted Nugent, I was Jim, the Two-Fisted Slobber who was clearly no match for The Beast. I juked left, then right, or I thought I did, to no avail. The Beast was upon me, he hit me with a force of 1,000,000 watts of a Motorhead concert and hoisted me over his shoulder like a sack of potatoes…

“So this is how it’s going to end, “ was all I could think as The Beast twirled around effortlessly yelling “WASP!! WASP!!” with me over his shoulder. He was surprisingly graceful and gentle for a big intoxicated man. After what seemed an eternity of the WASP war dance, my fellow WASP fan, The Beast, decided to set me down. Whether he was dizzy from the war dance or he just ran out of gentleness, I’ll never know…

The nearest place to set me down would have been the grass. But The Beast must’ve liked bright colors and the nearest bright color was a nice juicy 1984 red Trans Am. The Beast turned to meet the Trans Am head on, “Yeeeaaaaahhh!” he bellowed. I figured this was the end. I braced for what would be the body slam of all body slams. Killed by some Manowar outcast just didn’t seem fair. The Beast ran to the Trans Am with me over his shoulder “WAAAAAAAASP!!!” he proclaimed. “Oh, shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!!” I proclaimed. – THUNK!!

It was done. The Beast had won. Only the corpse remained. But wait! What’s this??!! I’m alive! There’s no pain! I can feel!! Once I had realized that I was okay, my wits came back to me and I surveyed my surroundings. The Beast reared up for what I thought was a congratulatory handshake and to help me up. Instead, a look of befuddlement, then fear. He spoke. “Uh-oh.” He turned and he ran. Yep, The Beast ran.

At this point I had no idea of the damage that The Beast and I inflicted on this now less-than-mint Trans Am. Until I got up off the car, I was just happy to be alive and still have full use of all my facilities. Then I saw it. The hood of the Trans Am folded like a napkin under me and The Beast, forming a hammock-like indentation. Oh, this is was not good. Especially with me standing in front of said Trans Am. So I looked left, then right and then behind me. I saw Bob with mouth agape and we did what most drunk people would do…we ran…really fast.

I think about 15 cars down we hid behind a Suburban and regrouped. Okay, no one saw us – that we know of. No one appears to be pissed off and looking for someone. Alright, it looks to be clear. Dodged a major bullet. Okay, let’s get back to the van and keep drinking. Bob informed me on the way back, “Dude, I’m glad you’re okay and all, but that was great!” Yeah, I can laugh about it now.

I never saw The Beast again and I never met the owner of the Trans Am. However, I do apologize for the dent but I had no control over The Beast. He acted on his own love for WASP.

Well, the rest of the day is kinda blurry. Didn’t see Kingdom Come, all I remember is saying, “Let’s go see Metallica!” Everything after that is in and out. Remember looking up and seeing James Hetfield then black. Remember looking up and seeing Don Dokken then black. Finally came back to the land of the living after a while and saw the Scorpions and Van Halen to close out the Monsters of Rock day. Apparently, I made quite a few new friends along the way to the gates. Bob told me I was shaking hands, high fivein’ people and telling everyone that I loved whatever band t-shirt they had on. He said I could’ve been mayor in East Troy.

Dean Wormer said it best when he claimed that fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life. He’s right, to a point. I mean heart disease can kill you and you can’t put a price on education and while alcohol may be the devil’s mouthwash, it does tend to make things interesting. But for one day, when metal ruled the world, it was okay…and yeah, I still love WASP.


Anonymous Deej said...

Very funny! The Monsters of Rock tour at Alpine Valley was the Woodstock of kids who grew up in the 80's (in Wisconsin). I have heard many-a-legend of that faithful day. Yours was great. Being from WAY northern Wisonsin and quite young I only rememeber seeing covereage on MTV. I once knew a girl who was there. When asked what it was like to see Metallica back in the day supporting Master of Puppets shortly after the death of Cliff (i believe.) She replied...."I dont know. It was so hot I spent most of the day in line for lemonade." Anyway..I am looking forward to Serpico (the Eddie Trunk of the Fox Valley) sharing more of his metal knowledge and enthusiasm.

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