ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, DEC. 9, 2004
By Steve Newton
Back in ’82 when I first started writing for the Straight, I instantly became the paper’s on-call heavy-metal dude. Nobody else seemed to want the job–certainly not Alexander Varty, the main music critic at the time. So I happily took on the role, because it meant that every once in a while editor/publisher Dan McLeod would reach down under his cluttered desk, pull out a new promo copy of Iron Maiden’s Number of the Beast or Judas Priest’s Screaming for Vengeance, and then casually hand it over for potential review.
Only a true music buff can fully appreciate the profound joy of scoring free tunes.
And I loved Priest. I interviewed them and went to see them at the Pacific Coliseum on the Screaming for Vengeance tour, where I picked up a rockin’ baseball cap. Strangely enough, I remember wearing it to a jazz show at the Commodore, and running into Alex–that’s what we called him back then–in front of the club. Though we’d only met once or twice before, he took one look at the cap’s logo and marched away, but not before muttering “Judas Priest” in disgust.
That’s when I knew I was on to something.
Anyone else who donned a Priest cap in ’82 should keep an eye out for Metalogy, a four-CD, 65-track retrospective of the ear-busting British band’s 30-year career. There’s more than five hours’ worth of Rob Halford’s vein-bulging vocals and K. K. Downing and Glenn Tipton’s intense guitar wipeouts.
The package includes a 64-page book and a 17-song DVD of a concert recorded in ’82 at Mid South Coliseum in Memphis, where I’m pretty damn sure a few Priest caps were seen in the parking lot. And just in case you forgot what ’80s metal is all about, the box comes adorned with four rows of metal studs.
Watch your fingers.