Riding Bitch

The daily musings of a writer.


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A Head-Banging Good Time

The Roxy Theatre, West Hollywood

The Roxy Theatre, West Hollywood

Before I met my late husband Kaz I was never a huge fan of heavy metal music. I had never even been to a heavy metal show. I liked some of the older groups that fall into heavy rock or early metal like Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Alice in Chains, Metallica, Black Sabath because this was “music I can still sing to.” The bands that sound like men screaming at the top of their lungs accompanied by high-pitched-shrieking guitars and mile-per-second drums did not fall into that category. 

Being with Kaz changed all that. Not only did he love heavy metal but his best friend was the lead singer of a well-known metal band. Needless to say, I was exposed to a lot of thrashing music when we were together, recorded and live.

The first metal show he took me to was a band called The Sword. He described them as “trippy metal” with lyrics about forrest nymphs and other mythical creatures. 

Here’s a link to their song “How Heavy This Axe” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m9KbmRTgigQ

And another one to “Winter’s Wolves” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NYCreOzCxP8

I listened to them a little before the show but still didn’t know what to expect. Live shows are completely different. Was I in for an experience! The energy of the music was so powerful and loud, I could feel it pulsate in every part of my body. Every head in the 300+ crowd bobbed up and down at the same exact time, myself included, enhancing the music to create this synchronised throbbing pulse. Up near the front of the stage, men were running into and bouncing off of one another in a swirling testosterine-filled mosh pit. Truth be told, I had been in a few mosh pits as a teenager (I once lost a pair of eyeglasses at a Butthole Surfers show), and had forgotten how cool they can be to watch, if not participate.

Afterwards I told Kaz “that was amazing!” and he laughed. We went to several other shows after that. I didn’t grow to love the music to the point of listening to it by myself, but I did love going to the shows.

This past Saturday was no different. I went to see his best friend’s band perform at The Roxy. That’s him in the picture above, in the far distance on the left. After I took this I actually went all the way to the front, to the edge of the stage. People were pushing into me, sort of pinning me in place. I didn’t care. I loved watching the band from this close. They bounced and stomped around the stage, sweat pouring down their faces, fingers moving so furiously to the point of blurring, their long hair bobbing up and down with the beat, every now and then catching the light. It was exhilerating, cathartic, and reminded me of Kaz in a way that made me smile. 

To get an idea of the energy at these types of shows, check out German band RAMMSTEIN in a much larger venue with more make-up and theatrics:


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Discovering Disco Fever

Thanks for the lovely responses to Friday’s post. I ended up hopping online a little on Friday because I love checking on other people’s blogs and hate to fall too far behind. You people are so productive!! Friday night I went to dinner with my friend T, who was with Kaz and I for many important moments, including right after he passed. She was a rock for me/us and, other than my mother-in-law, I can’t imagine commemorating the day with a more appropriate person.  

The rest of the weekend was pretty tame except for Saturday night, when I attended a friend’s birthday party. All I knew from the invitaion was it was going to be disco-themed and I should wear an afro, bell bottoms and sequins. Well, I don’t own any bell bottoms or sequins, but I can certainely make my hair BIG like an afro. So, that’s what I did and told the puppy as I walked out, “Mommy’s going to get her groove on.”

A little known fact about me – I used to dance a lot when I was in my 20s and early 30s. Back in Philadelphia in the late 80s/early 90s, the predominant beats were hip hop, house music and trance-hop. I used to go to black clubs, straight clubs, gay clubs, tranny clubs, wherever they had the best DJs. Sometimes I’d go with friends. Other times I’d go alone, wearing sneakers and comfortable clothes (not heels and dresses) because my sole purpose was to dance my ass off. And dance I did. For hours. Until I was a sweaty, slimy mess with runny mascara and frizzy hair.

But that was a lifetime ago, maybe more than one. I haven’t been out dancing in a LOOOOOONNNGGGG time.

Boy, was I in for an eyeful. Not only was this club packed, not only were there half-naked male go-go dancers, a disco ball, strobing lights and a freakin’ wind machine, but also everyone was dancing. Like, REALLY dancing. Men were twirling each other, stomping their feet, swishing and swaying around and around. One woman wore a gold sequined mini-dress with caped sleeves which billowed as she twirled.

I was so overwhelmed at first, I had to stand to the side for a while and take it all in. “You need to catch disco fever!” a man yelled at me over Donna Summer’s Last Dance. It took me a little while to catch it… but then I was on fire. And it felt really good.

Now I want to share some disco fever with you. Here’s the beautiful and incomparable Gloria Gaynor singing her world-famous hit “I will Survive” in a floor-length, gold sequined dress in some hot Latin country in English and Spanish (hence the 9 minute clip). Click play and turn it UP! And if some part of your body doesn’t move while listening to this, call a doctor because you may not be human. 🙂