It was funny. I was in a band when I was in 7th grade. I had just got kicked out of another school, and the middle school I went to only went to the 6th grade. So that meant the next few years of my life would be spent in.....you guessed it, a private catholic school. I HATED it.
It was a small school and church called The Church Of The Resurrection. Neat right? So this place was pretty strict, and my parents thought that was just what I needed. We had to wear a tie and everything. Oh, and the catholic school girl rumors?? All true. Ha.
So back to it. I met a couple of guys in my new school that had long hair like I did, and liked the same kind of music. I mean lets face it. The more the back patch on your jean jacked scared your mom, you knew you were doing something right. In a conversation on the playground with my friends Tommy Back, and Jerry Potavin, we all discovered that we each played and instrument. Tommy was a drummer, Jerry was a bass player, and I had been playing guitar because I had a neighbor who was living out my dream playing gigs and such. So we said lets get together and see what we can do. So we did. I can still remember the heat of Tommy's attic. but we needed a spot to practice, and when you're the drummer, you usually dictate where that is. Those months went by fast, and we got pretty good. Girls from school would come watch us play, and the more that came the louder it go. We spent a lot of time together like most bands do. But remember, we were only in the 7th grade. So we couldn't hit the bars (yet), so it was a lot of sleep overs at Tommy's house.
One night after a long hot day of practice in the sauna we called home, we went down to Tommy's living room. We camped out there and would wait for Headbangers Ball to come on at midnight on MTV. Tommy said he found something. He pulled out this VHS tape a friend gave him and said "I think you guys need to see this." It was Metallica...it was the very first gig where they released "Kill Em All" and they were performing tracks from it. This was everything to us. We wanted to be this band. These guys were the direction we were looking to go. We wanted to play fast, play loud and do things by our rules. What kid doesn't right? So after that we decided to cover a couple of Metallica songs. Here comes Tommy again. He had another tape. It was this exact video. Jerry was instantly in because he thought Cliff Burton was an amazing bass player, which he was for sure. So Tommy pops the tape in, and that's when we knew "For Whom The Bell Tolls" would be a song we wound need to do for sure. All agreed, and we did it well.
After a while, people change. People move away, change schools, get new friends...it's called life. I ended up going to public school after freshman year with my guys at the private expensive High School, found new friends, new band, ever signed a small label deal with a little company with a project completely different then what I had ever done.
Tommy went on to do his thing, Jerry played in bands in Cincinnati and melted peoples faces. I ended up having some radio play for a few months, and then it was gone. Again, life happens. I found a new love, radio.
I wanted to talk to people, I wanted to meet bands, have a cool experience and love what I do. I do every day to this very day. I don't have any regrets about how my life has turned out, I love every minute I get to do (stress "get to", I don't HAVE to do S&%T I don't want to do ha) But every time i hear a song from Metallica it takes me back to Price Hill, in Cincinnati, Ohio with my 7th and 8th grad band mates that I still love to this day. Even if we don't play together anymore, or barely even talk on Facebook or social media. We'll always have the common love for the band that I believe put me right where I belong.
Hope you feel the same way about a band like I do. Music is supposed to move you, or make you feel, or make you angry. It's a universal language, and I'm thankful the band that moved me is still around today. Like I said, life happens. People move on. It's not all the original members, I get that. But it still moves me. I wouldn't be the person I am today without that first summer in that hot attic.
Photo: Getty Images/Fabrice Coffrini