Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Needing a New Groove

Happy Cinco de Mayo, by the way! This is the day that Puebla (the name of both a state and state capitol) celebrates the Battle of Puebla during which Mexico chalked up a fairly lop-sided victory against French forces (is there anyone to whom the French have not lost a battle over the years?). However, it was a short-lived victory as Napoleon’s forces quickly re-grouped and annexed the country, setting up their own government under Emperor Maximilian I of Austria.

[poor, poor, Emperor Max…I was reading a pretty good biography on him prior to my move into the new house last year…I’ll need to dig that book out of storage]

No one in Mexico celebrates this holiday, with the possible exception of the Poblanos (people of Puebla). Certainly, not my wife…though her office is having her make pico de gallo for their party.

ANYWAY…I need some new music. Or rather, I need some OLD music. I know, I know…I already listed to plenty of “old” music (Iron Maiden, AC/DC, Sabbath, Judas Priest, Zeppelin)…but much of this is stuff I’ve added to the iPod more recently. A lot of these tracks…with the exception of the Maiden/Zeppelin stuff…are all disks and downloads I’ve added over the last 10-12 years. I’m talking about the stuff I was listening to over 20+ years ago.

I’ve been Jonesin’ for some Def Leppard.

See…the thing is I listened to A LOT of good rock and metal music in the 80s…a lot of Iron Maiden and Prince for sure, but also Quiet Riot, Warlock, and a shit-ton of Def Leppard (I only stopped buying their stuff when my MOM got Adrenalize herself…and played it alongside her Michael Bolton albums…ewww!).

But the thing is, most of this stuff I had on cassette tape. Hell, a lot of it (most of the Scorpions and Ozzy stuff, for example) was dubbed from friends' tapes. Remember “dubbing?” Remember when that was a general word in the ol’ lexicon? “Can you dub me a copy of this?” “This album’s badass…I’ll dub it for you.”

Wow…now that I think about it, “dub” was probably short for “double.”

But in the days of “Walkmen” and “Boom Boxes” tapes and mixes were the way we rolled with our music. Looong before downloading or “burning” CDs. Man, even citing “Napster” probably dates me. : (

So I have at least one or two cardboard crates jam-packed with cassettes, and no conceivable way to put them into the iPod…and since I’m such a cheap bastard, I haven’t bothered to replace much of the collection over the years, except haphazardly. Unfortunately, I don’t have a (working) cassette player anymore either…even the one in my car is f’d (good thing it still plays CDs…).

And, man o man, have I been missing Def Leppard this week. It was 1987 when Hysteria came out, the height of my Dungeons & Dungeons playing and, wow, did we listen to that album over and over again. Pyromania and High N Dry, too, but mainly Hysteria…over and over again. Joe Elliott in shredded jeans everyone cool was sporting (and you couldn’t turn on the MTV all summer long without seeing that damn Pour Some Sugar video...). Mmm…I don’t watch MTV anymore, but I can’t remember anything like it…except maybe Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit.”

But by the time “grunge” was happening in Seattle, I had side-lined D&D for what I thought would be a permanent hiatus. Acting, music, GIRLS…and the wonderful world of White Wolf...occupied a lot more of my attention. And strangely enough, all THAT’s been shelved at this point (including the Nirvana and Pearl Jam…for about 15 years!) and I am back to D&D play.

[well, I DO still like the girls…actually, just my wife…but she certainly counts!]

I didn’t even LIKE all the songs on Hysteria (I loathedArmageddon It”), but now as I work away on the finishing touches of my B/X Companion (thanks for the ponaturi pix, Kelvin!) I find myself wishing I could crank up Women or Animal or Run Riot. It’s getting warmer in Seattle and I’m feeling that “Summertime” feeling and I’m missing some good old fashion rock-party music. No, not Poison.. they of the coiffed hair and reality TV shows. I mean Rock Rock Till You Drop party music. There IS a difference…at least in my book.

Maybe, I’ll have to bite the bullet and buy the damn albums (again). **SIGH**


  1. Led Zeppelin was always my go-to soundtrack for D&D back in high school—and no, not just the 'hobbits and wringwraiths' songs. Funny thing is, I didn't really like the band when I first heard them. My buddy played them all the time, though, and we often played at his house and now? Well, D&D and Zepp are linked in my mind forever.

  2. You should read Fargo Rock City by Chuck Klosterman if you haven't already. I think you'd get a kick out of it.

    It's a bit out of period, but after seeing The Runaways movie I picked up their first couple albums plus their "Live in Japan" album and was really surprised by their consistency. Good, solid 70s hard rock.

  3. Believe I saw Def Leopard for their 'High n Dry' album but thought that they went too 'pop' for Pyro. I'm such a freakin snob.

    One of my fav's to listen to for gaming inspiration back in the day was Ronnie James Dio - whether in Sabbath, Rainbow, his later solo act or his first band, "Elf" I think it was. Wikipedia tells me he has a helluva longer history than that. Any way, cheap mysticism and power metal was potent for D&D in high school. **horns sign**

  4. @ Rolo: Hysteria will be forever linked with AD&D in my mind...especially with Queen of the Demonweb Pits and my attempt to solo it with a 20th level bard (and, yeah, I failed). I didn't really get into Zep till college, so Houses of the Holy is associated with Rifts, and Physical Graffiti with Vampire.

    @ SirL: I'll check it out if I have a chance. I saw a movie poster for the Runaways, but there was no that about Joan Jett? I didn't think it was out yet?

    @ Red: Snobs are totally welcome at my blog. I can only hope people will knock me down off my own high horse eventually (humiliation is great for opening the mind). Cheers!
    : )