Attention all METAL heads: last weekend a behemoth metal vinyl collection descended upon Amoeba Music's San Francisco location!!! Hundreds of records spanning from roughly 1980 to the early-1990's era of vinyl production disruption, including virtually every style of metal imaginable from heavy, hard, hair (glam), thrash, speed, sleaze, and everything in between, including some far-out regional private press pieces. This hoard of remarkable bangers are in excellent condition or maiden (i.e. factory sealed). We're busy readying the beast for release in stages with the first wave to be presented for sale this weekend on Saturday, August 18th. Come feast your eyes, and beware of Stevil and metal Ben's "Buy Or Die" maxim!
The images that follow are only a taste of the overall scope and breadth of this collection, from Accept to Znöwhite. While details concerning the who, what, and whyfores behind the collection remain deliciously mysterious, I can relay (on a personal note) that confronting the prowess and megaforces latent in this darkened pain cave's worth of vinyl treasure is enough to render one's powers physical regulation helpless. I went rogue. And much like attempting an impromptu dual-impression of Nitro's Jim Gillett and Michael Angelo Batio, I found myself short of breath, overwhelmed, and somehow unworthy.
For me, one of the two most impressive pieces to surface in this collection are Mötley Crüe's debut Too Fast For Love, independently pressed on the band's own Leathür Records label. These were the records that the band purportedly tossed out into the audience during their earliest gigs... you know, back when Nikki Sixx used to light his legs on fire. I'd be lying if I said I wouldn't have, at one time, considered giving my life for a chance to be among those who actually scored this record that way. But then that is the kind of thinking that comes of teenage years bookended by cheesey plastic rock 'n roll and proto-punk thrash metal, ever heeding liner notes that warned of "masked backwards messages."
The other record that made me do a double take was Odin's Don't Take No For An Answer EP. Perhaps most widely known for being featured in Penelope Spheeris' documentary The Decline of the Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years, Odin was a band seemingly poised to claim the "Next Big Thing!" status in the late-80's Hollywood rock scene. A memorable moment of the rockumentary depicts sleazy promoter Bill Gazzari, along with his newly crowned rock 'n' roll bimbo, er, winner of the 1987 Miss Gazzari Dance Contest, exhibiting an uncomfortably detached squareness as they chant "Odin! Odin! Odin!" heralding vocalist Randy O. & co. to the stage for a live performance. Trotting out in a maelstrom of constructed glamor, Randy's leather-framed naked ass thrusts in to the rhythm of his best Tom Keifer impersonation (nobody and I mean nobody does Tom Keifer like Tom Keifer, nevermind that Cinderella still resides at the very height of under-appreciated cornerstone acts of the era), caterwauling the lyrics to "Little Gypsy" with a level cocksuredness that only comes of a personal belief that one's band is about to become multi-millionaires. Back then, when MTV used to regularly air Decline after Headbanger's Ball, I too believed the hype and it is likely that I would have bought the record from the local soundhole if I could. Knowing that the band would never really "make it" only compounds the attraction to this rare relic of throwaway trashiness and broken dreams that characterized the once-upon-a-time Hollywood rock scene.
ANYWAY, enough about my interests, here's more shots of the collection. Get there early and LET THEM EAT METAL!