Good morning Japan and good night America. Today is day one at Studio Sunshine in Tokyo for the recording of the new Aggressive Dogs record. I was just having a conversation with Uzi ( in single words of English and many hand gestures as our conversations usually go) about cassettes and how great they sound, as well as the contents of our collections. I told him how "Kill Em All" from Metallica just turned 32 years old yesterday and how it was my first cassette ever.
I was around 8 years old and for one reason or another, my dad and I were at the old pawn shop in Littleton, NH (back when it was next to the elementary school being operated out of an old house) and I was really just starting to get into music.
At this point my brother had introduced me to the newly released "Black Album" which I was floored by. Accompanied by a video with strobes, swinging sweaty hair, and a kid narrowly escaping from his bed before a semi blasts through it in a raging nightmare scenario, at that young age, I had to have more.
As my dad and the person working the shop did big people stuff ( my memory doesn't recall what the purpose of us being there was and I'm sure it escapes my dad's memory at this point as well haha) I began looking at the wall of used cassette tapes and there it was...a whole stack of Metallica albums; a vision that has never left my mind. I grabbed the first one I saw and brought it over to my dad.
Maybe I liked the word "Metallica" in red on the spine, or maybe the cover with the shadowy hand over a hammer sitting in a pool of blood solidified my selection, but basically at random, I grabbed this tape and begged my dad to pull 25 cents out of his pocket and buy it for me.
After some debating back and forth, the end result was the start of my tape collection and my love of metal. "You're mother is going to kill me" he said. Sorry mom haha
We got in his work truck which, at the time, was an old repurposed telephone company truck that he converted into a handy painting truck. The speedometer didn't work, the clutch was completely shot to piss from all of his young employees learning to drive stick with it, and of course the tape player I IMMEDIATELY jammed this debut album from what became my favorite band ever played for about 40 seconds and unspooled inside this junk cassette deck.
But, like anyone else, we grabbed a pen, wound it back up, and gave it another go. I'm pretty sure that spot on the tape is still a little bubbly over the speakers. I still have that tape in my collection and I'll never forget that day.
Long winded trips down memory lane aside, 22 years later at Studio Sunshine in Tokyo, Japan, I'm cleaning and re-stringing my guitar and listening to Kill Em All. Thanks Dad.