So I was running an errand Wednesday night, flipping the stations as I drove, when I happened upon a familiar – circa 1983 – power glam beat, pulsing out of an oldies station. Took me a moment to place it, and then, oh yeah: “Bang your heeeeaaaaad, metal health’ll drive you mad.”
That’s right. Quiet Riot. One of the 20 or 30 indispensable bands of the golden age of hair and spandex.
If you think I didn’t crank the tiny rear speakers on my 10-year-old Honda Civic as loud as they would go, you are sadly mistaken. Probably haven’t heard that song in 20 years. Yet, the words and sensations came back instantly, like the answer to some long forgotten prayer.
I’m a finder, I’m a keeper
I ain’t a loser, and I ain’t no weeper
I got the boys
to make the noise
Bang you heeeaaaadddd, etc, etc.
That is great songwriting.
I was transported instantly to my youth, to a night at the county fair long ago. The song roared above the squeals of some poor 8th grade girl as my girth, my lust, and centripetal (or is it centrifugal?) force crushed her against the door of the “Love Machine” car we shared for a fraught, fleeting moment in time. The carnies watched over us and smiled through their six teeth and cigarette smoke, nodding rhythmically – and sort of creepily – as whatever the Quiet Riot dude’s name is rocked out from the speakers. Alas, it was not to be. The ride ended. We parted. (Quickly, if I remember correctly) But we’ll always have Palatka. And hair metal.
As long as we remember to bang our heads, the terrorists will never win.