Friday, July 2, 2010

Watch That Video (Sleeze Beez, anyone? Anyone?)

Youtube is still a no-no here in Turkey even with all the computer-whiz stuff my sister's boyfriend attempted on my little laptop, but I remembered (our answer to fighting the lack of online video watching) today! So, to combat boredom during my nightly battle to woo sleep, I looked up and enjoyed all my old favorite videos.

The classic that started it all, Iron Maiden's "Can I Play With Madness"

There was a time when I was obsessed with Aerosmith, I loved them. My email address that I still use is actually an old song of theirs ( but when I discovered Hanoi Rock and realized my favorite song of theirs also had the same title, I switched allegiance. I did a summer program at Boston University (waaay before I went there for grad school) where the program director was actually a good friend of Steven Tyler's, as well as a producer on Nine Lives. He showed us all this old footage and told stories about the band (instead of teaching us producing but really, how do you teach that?) and when he found out they were my favorite, he promised me some old junk of their that he got stuck with. He never followed through but for a while there, I was in heaven. I think Aerosmith is still the standard by which I judge music videos (Guns 'n' Roses and Meat Loaf round out the video kings trifecta). Theirs were honestly just mini-films and were so fun to watch, not to mention enjoy the music with. When I think of MTV, especially now that they don't play videos, I always think of the Alicia Silverstone trilogy; "Crazy," "Cryin'," and, "Amazing."

This is however my favorite song of theirs, "Walk on Water." This video is actually taken right off that program, Friday Rocks, on Vh1 that I've mentioned before. Oh those were the days. Staying up all night just to catch maybe one, two if you were lucky, videos you really wanted and it would still be so worth it.

Speaking of switching allegiance, I can't not mention Hanoi Rocks. They were the first bluesy metal/dirty sax rock'n'roll (yes I meant sax, as in saxophone) band I'd ever heard, even before Guns 'n' Roses. Okay, I grew up in '90s Europe, obviously I'd heard Guns'n'Roses before but I never actually listened to Appetite for Destruction all the way through until I was in college. Some people might say blasphemy. I say a big, resounding meh. As it stands, I'm still not a Guns girl and probably never will be. But the similarity between Slash and my messy, curly hair will always guarantee me a fail-safe, last-minute costume on any given Halloween. Anyway, I heard "Gypsy Boots," and my jaw literally dropped. I think it was the first time I got a crush on a song. They got back together not too long ago and recorded one of their best albums and then announced they were breaking up for good last year. I was mighty pissed. Their farewell tours were in Sweden/Finland and Japan. The Japan dates coincided with my spring break from school so, with my boyfriend, we headed off to Japan. Yep, and that's why I can say I followed a band to Japan. Sure, I wanted to see the country and so did my boyfriend. I'd never been and he's a Japan dork (not the crazy, makes-you-cringe-in-secondhand-embarrassment kind) so it worked out. You know what worked out even better? Meeting Michael Monroe randomly in the middle of the Harajuku district.

This was the second Hanoi Rocks song I ever listened to that basically sealed them as my new favorite band. And yes, Michael Monroe is just as terrifying and wonderful in real life as he is in the video.

Hanoi Rocks, "People Like Me."

This was the time when I really got into reading the metal site, Metal Sludge. I kept reading about all these bands that I didn't know (along with the ones I did), so I went on the hugest downloading and music hunting spree that summer. I don't support downloading music illegally and I always spend the money now or buy used but eh, silly little high school girl with no access to music in Istanbul meets Limewire? Come on now. Anyway, this is basically how I met all my '80s L.A. metal but just as a representative of all of them; from the badass end of the spectrum, like Motley Crue, to the silly and kind of softer variety, like Enuff Z'Nuff, here are my loves, Cinderella with, "Gypsy Road." As you may have noticed, I love songs with the word gypsy in them for some reason. Hanoi Rocks, Cinderella, Dio's, "Gypsy," all good by me.

Cinderella, "Gypsy Road."

A current band that's another favorite of mine are Hardcore Superstar. They're of the Scandinavian sleaze variety that I adore so much and I even got to interview the drummer, via email, for one of the sites I worked for. The link to the interview is here (because I'm stupidly proud of what I managed to do via writing and no contact other than editors and publicity people and no chance to write an introduction or commentary whatsoever) and this is the first song by theirs that caught my attention.

Hardcore Superstar, "We Don't Celebrate Sundays."

Number six, the augmented number of the beast, is of course, AC/DC. You show me a genuine metal or rock fan who doesn't like AC/DC and I'll show you a swift kick to the groin. They are without comparison and though I'm a Bon Scott fan all the way, Brian Johnson brings me immeasurable joy with his unmistakable screech. My boyfriend and I suffered through a rush hour, Chinatown bus-ride from Boston to New York to see them. We didn't sleep that night as we had to catch the train back home because I had class at 9 am the next morning but it was so worth it. I love AC/DC, Amtrak, however, not so much.

AC/DC, "Touch Too Much," my favorite off my favorite record, Highway to Hell.

I could literally think of a hundred more songs and bands but I'll just end with a certain man. A certain man my friends and I couldn't believe was for real in high school and who, once I paid attention to, I decided was one of the happiest, most adrenaline-pumping, awe and every other emotion/action- inspiring, individuals on the whole planet. Everyone I know, especially my boyfriend and boy friends, see him as a hero and why not? He just loves music and wants to party. And thinks I'm beautiful.

Andrew WK, "She Is Beautiful."

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