When one the best hard rock albums of all time came out, I was but a young, impressionable girl.I was still well behaved back then, for the most part. I had poisoned my mind with light pop such as Celine Dion and Tiffany. I had started to reach my tentacles tentatively into the exciting vibrations of the long haired rockers that were popping up all around me.But until I experienced Appetite, well, I had no idea what real hard rock was.I recall walking into the music store and finding the plastic encased tape that would change my music listening experience forever. I also recall my mother questioning the warning labels of explicit language and other such things. I assured her it was fine. Somehow she went along with it.
There’s something about a good front man that makes my insides tingle. I want a reptile like, tight, scantily clad body slithering up to a microphone, piercing my soul with his haunting eyes, and cloaking me with his deep, dark words. I want to feel like I’m the only one in the audience. Like he’s only singing to me.
The Lizard King has always been one of my favorite front men, despite the fact that I’ve only seen him on screen. His vocals are hypnotizing enough to pull me into the TV, landing me in a prime position, squished against the front of the stage.
He absolutely epitomized the definition of good front man. A poet at heart, he went through the ultimate transformation when he stepped on stage. Like a second skin, he shed his shyness, his trepidation, his old self, to become what the masses needed. Men and women looked to him to lead them to the other side in their acid induced states as he crooned to them of dead toads on the road and the end.
His words were haunting. His presence hypnotizing. His essence sereal. If I could, I would step back on time into one of those jam packed venues and infuse myself into the giant being of a crowd swaying back and forth in time to the delivery of the Liazrd King on stage in all his glory.
He had it all. A tight body. Long curls. Luscious lips. A dark message. A mysterious vibe. He entranced entire audiences, taking them away to another world with his presence alone.
If I am to mention how much I love a good front man, I must mention the Lizard King, eventhough I’ve only met him in my rock ‘n roll dreams.
This is a post about one of the most electric live music experiences of my life.
I literally was hanging onto the side of balcony by a combination of the tips of my booted toes and a finger (well maybe two or three fingers), watching one of the most amazing rock gods of all time, in a beer and sweat soaked tent. Somehow I manage to head bang to my fullest.
Let’s back up here. It was Stampede. For those of you who don’t what the heck Stampede is, it’s the ‘Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth.’ Ten days packed full of parties and fun, it’s a concoction of a massive rodeo, an outdoor amusement park, casinos, livestock shows, art galleries, beer gardens, and live concerts. To top it off, the people of Calgary, the fine city that hosts this ridiculous brouhaha, attend a plethora of pancake breakfasts suited up on western gear. Yeeee-haw!!!
I grew up in Calgary, thus, Stampede seethes through my blood. The lover of music that I am, one of the highlights is the line up of live shows that migrate our way during this festive time. When Steven Tyler announced he would be playing at the Cowboys Tent – an outdoor, massive tent erected for the ten days of partying – I snatched my tickets up immediately. Loud. Sweaty. Standing room only. My kind of show.
Every live music experience is special in it’s own way. I love live music. I love the entire experience. From beer soaked joints packed tight to massive stadiums filled with screaming crowds, every experience is unique. And the band does not have to be perfect. in fact, it’s better if they’re not.
I did see GnR when they re-united after many, many years. They all should have been dead a couple of decades earlier. I knew I wasn’t paying to see the GnR of 1987. I knew I was going to see the recently re-united and older GnR. It did turn out to be one of my favourite concerts. Why? Many reasons.
I got to wear what I wanted…
I mean, it’s not like I don’t wear what I want, well, most of the time, but, all of a sudden my pleather and tassels were acceptable. I fit right in. I was tickled pink that I could dawn my stretchy pleather pants and strut around in my buckled boots. Yeah bitch!
It was an outdoor setting on a beautiful day, which we don’t get too much of here in freakin’ Canada. Basking in the sun, beer in hand, band on stage – you can’t ask for more. The drive up had been stressful on a packed highway with a bunch of other jackasses gunning it to the concert. The evening unfolded, starting with tacos and beers, and sliding into an early arrival to the outdoor venue. We had plenty of time to enjoy the amazing opening band and to chat it up with the friends who had joined us. I was relaxed.
Of course, GnR was – well – GnR. My long time beloved front man had been dwindling for a while. But I knew this. I was prepared. He held his own – well enough – for me to be delighted by the somewhat reminiscent screeches of the wild orange maned Axel of my youth. Even if it only came in small glimpses between rest breaks, during which I’m sure he was guzzling water and gulping down oxygen from a tank behind the stage. Still. I got to see Axel one last time.
80s Metal is still alive. And, no, not just in my house. Although, the Bon Julie household does see a high daily dose of everything 80s and everything metal, despite the eye rolls and head shakes, it lives beyond the walls of one house.
Thus, when on the spur of the moment, 90s Britney and 80s Bon Julie, in the midst of sprawling evening, ventured to a local establishment for a few shots and a dose of live 80s music…the seedlings for local band NöIZE BöYZ to come back to life were planted.
Hold up. 90s Britney? Yes. The Brittney-Bon Julie duo is what you get when a bunch of quirky, dark writers decide to go to Olive Garden for cheap pasta and boiled meatballs. The night had been themed as dress like you did in the 90s. One demon sent another demon a picture of 90s Britney. The receiving demon showed up for dinner ready to declare that oops, she’d done it again. The evening was off to a grand start. The two little demons slithered away for a night of who knew what. Declaring that the evening needed some sort of spice, the little demon not in pigtails and a skirt pulled on cheap pleather and a Bon Jovi t-shirt. Thus, Bon Julie morphed into being and the dancing begun.
As declared by this not so subtle duo, the band was amazing, the dancing was spastic, and the night an overall success.
With an upcoming 80s metal party to celebrate the completion of a concept album wrapped in a serial killer novel, Bon Julie couldn’t fathom the party without the new found 80s rock gods. To her delight, they were interested. To her double delight, they had an alter ego featuring 80s metal.
Although they have been hopping around town wearing their primary identification, they had so much fun re-igniting their 80s metal alter ego, and have unleashed an uncontrollable appetite by their fans. Thus, without further ado, the NöIZE BöYZ will be back THIS SATURDAY for a live stream 80s metal show that will rumble your insides and see you banging your head in your living room uncontrollably.
Join Bon Julie and throw in a couple of high kicks…just be careful not to knock over any lamps.
It is absolutely 100% a-okay to celebrate the S!$T out of something you did that you are very happy about.
And, as I am telling you this, I will admit that I just re-learned this lesson again a few days ago. I know – to truly celebrate you can be hard.
I worked for two years writing and producing my first novel. It is infused with things that I am passionate about. 80s heavy metal. Serial killers. Detectives and criminal profiling. And wilderness.
For an entire week leading up to the 80s Heavy Metal Party / Book Launch that I had planned, I was seeping self-doubt and dripping with a feeling that I was a self-indulgent m!#er f%&er. Yes. But – I have a tool box now for when I have these feelings. I rid myself of negative thoughts and replaced them with positive and exciting ones. And I worked on my energy – I tapped into that inner glow, that inner WHAM BAM that people see in me. I let it swell within in, a growing ball of powerful punch, until it was ready for the PARTAY! Thus, I put myself out there now to show you that it is totally OK for you to celebrate you!!!
When the launch day came, I eased into it. All my hard work and planning was done. Everything was in place. I let go. I allowed myself to truly enjoy and be in every moment. And guess what? I celebrated like an 80s rock star!!!
Remember a time when you had to walk across the street and knock on the door to talk to your friend?
Remember a time when you tied up the only phone line in your house all night, every night, until your parents got you a separate line?
Remember a time when you would pick up the telephone only to hear the crackling noise of the dial up Internet followed by your dad demanding to know who ruined his connection?
Remember a time when you laid in bed at night listening to the top ten at ten on AM radio?
Remember a time when finding the start of your favorite song required a series of skillful button pushes …. rewind, stop, play, stop, fast forward, stop, play, stop, rewind, stop, play, stop, rewind, stop, play…aaaaaah.