by Jeff Paris
~ Who?! ~
4th of July 1987. Baton Rouge, LA. Go out and watch some fireworks. Come home and put on Headbanger’s Ball, back before Riki Rachtman was the host. Hell, this one’s got Downtown Julie Brown hosting. Make sure the videotape is good to go, because you’re taking this one back to Germany with you to share with your friends back “home” and let them see what’s on MTV these days. In the middle of it all, here’s a big, booming-chorus singalong with convertibles, bonfires on the beach, hot chicks, and a great riff. And some chucklenut at school borrows your VHS tape to make his own copy of it and never gives it back to you (looking at you Joe Cordero!) so you’ve lost your only copy of the song.
Of course, no one can find this album overseas. Next Summer, back in the US, no one can find the album in the US either. (Though in a nice bit of schmooze, you ask Hastings Music to special order it for you over and over, knowing they won’t get it, but when they tell you they can’t get it, they give you a $5 coupon for your trouble). Meanwhile, you occasionally ask some friends if they’ve heard of it, and of course no one has.
Hell, you can’t even find it on Napster when everyone was just throwing songs to the wind out there and sharing their entire music libraries. Did it ever really exist?
15 years later, a random YouTube playlist throws this up into the mix. Seriously? SERIOUSLY?! Yes, seriously. Song found, later re-acquired.
Oh yeah, this video also features a future Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member, too. That’s future GNR drummer Matt Sorum on drums.
Oh yeah, and someone made a playlist of that night’s Headbanger’s Ball, too, so you can watch all the videos in order, even if you don’t get Downtown Julie Brown trying to act like a metalhead.