A world of music
The foundations rattle
Wall to wall sound
Like nothing I’d found.
Speed Of Light M.S. 1995
Well as I mentioned I was in a little bit of a shock when I realised that Steve was happy to disagree with me about my new found love of heavy metal yet totally respect my right to believe it was the most wonderful thing ever created. However I was even more shocked after we finished breakfast and Steve told me we were going on a trip into the city.
“What about the others? What about the truck?” I asked wondering if the other guys in the crew would wake up and piss off home without looking for us.
“Nah screw ‘em they can stay where they are.”
“You’re not worried about them pissing off without us?” I asked.
“Nope. I’ve got the only set up keys in my pocket.” Steve said with a smirk, the added. “Besides we’ll be back before lunch time and the only way those fuckers will be awake before then is if the Grey Ghosts come along and start making a noise about us being parked illegally.”
Grey Ghost for those of you who don’t know were what parking inspectors where often referred to in Australia, not sure about other parts of the world. The colour sometimes varied but they were called ghosts because you wouldn’t see them coming but the second you’d parked for too long the bastards were there writing you a ticket.
So off we went. We hopped on a tram just down from St. Kilda junction, about five minutes walk from the truck, and headed into the city. Now Melbourne city was an eye opener for me because it was huge compared to Adelaide. We had big buildings, cars, trucks and people but it appeared Melbourne had all that and more ten times over, it was an unbelievable experience. But Steve wasn’t taking me into the city for sight seeing he was talking me to one specific place.
Underneath where the trains rumbled into the main station of the city carrying hundreds of thousands of commuters from the suburbs ready for another day of work, or for the lucky ones shopping, and in the dingiest, darkest little tunnel of a place there was a shop. Not just any shop this was a music shop, specifically a shop that specialised in heavy metal.
As soon as I walked on the door I could hear metal music being played and the only thing that interrupted that was the sound of the trains rumbling overhead seemingly with only the boards of the ceiling between u and them. It was the kind of place where a normal talking voice would not suffice, it had to be something closer to a yell just to be heard over the music. There was posters on the wall from bands I had never heard of, bands like Iron Maiden, Manowar and Slayer. There was racks upon racks of cassettes and LP’s not only arranged in alphabetical order but in genre too and there was so many genres of heavy metal that the average person could not remember half of them. Down the back there was a drum kit and several amps presumably for customers to play.
“Go ya hardest kid!” Steve said as we walked into the dingy shop that kind of felt like home.
That’s exactly what I did, I started out on the first rack I saw and just began to leaf through the LP’s one at a time until I got to the last one in the row, then I started on the next row. Most of the bands I hadn’t heard of, some of the covers, especially the genre they called death metal which from what I could tell was in its infancy at the time, were as scary and horrific as they were amazing. Some of the band logos were indecipherable yet somehow also stunning and each and every record I pulled out some how spoke to me as if telling me I just had to listen to it. The old adage of a kid in a candy shop was never closer to describing me on that day in Metal For Metal Hearts.
I was searching for over an hour, I barely noticed Steve talking to the owner and I certainly had no idea that they were friends, I was too busy being engrossed in everything, absolutely everything I was seeing. It was 10:30 am, I remember looking at my watch, when Steve walked up to me and questioned whether I was going to buy anything.
“Huh?” I replied to him, I might have covered three quarters of the shop but only just.
“I brought you here so you could actually buy some of this ear rotting stuff. Aren’t you going to buy something?”
“Umm. There is so much. I can barely make up my mind.” I replied.
“Well you are going to have to, we need to get going. You’ve got thirty minutes.”
Typical Steve, there was no badgering, he just told me what he wanted to, even with his little ear rot dig, and went back to what he was doing. However I also knew that if I ignored him he wouldn’t stand around waiting for me.
At 10:52am I walked up to the counter with twelve albums in my hand, all LP’s and all from different sections of the store. I’d tried to chose carefully, but without hearing them I wasn’t sure how careful I was being. I’d also chosen based on the amount of cash I knew I had left and how much I needed for food and drinks on our trip back to Adelaide.
Well the tally of the my purchases rang up to $173.00 I was happy my maths work had been right and I would keep my self nearly a square hundred for the trip home which would take us about fourteen hours in the truck. However when I handed over three fifties, a twenty and three singles but was given back the twenty and the singles I must have given the guy behind the counter a strange look because his response was simply.
“No mate of Steve’s pay’s full price.”