Music – everyone has their favorite, their opinion but all can agree that music is crucial and can help you when you are feeling low or accentuate when you are on top of the word.
In case being surrounded with phenomenal artists was not enough, I am proud to be the wife of one! Andy Burke is the kindest soul (the razor blades are mostly for show…..mostly) and I know that the only thing other than our marriage that he might be more passionate about would be music. It runs through his veins. Music is his reprieve. Music carries him through. Music speaks when there are no words. Music calms my savage beast.
Since Renee’ is doing the sumMEr of ME I thought I’d participate as well – even if it is in my own special way. I’ve chosen to celebrate/honor myself by retracing the steps of my past to try & reconnect with the young man I used to be. In doing so I’ve chosen to engulf myself in the music of my ALL TIME FAVORITE BAND – W.A.S.P. Sure, it sounds crazy and to the rest of the world it might be, but not to me. This band has everything to do with who I am, how I think and how I approach every day life. They were my best friends, my confidantes and when nobody else understood or took a second to stop and ask me how I was doing, W.A.S.P. always did and they never failed to deliver a message be it or good or bad.
It started in 1984 when Mom hooked me up with the now legendary 12 records for a penny deal from Columbia House. I chose to order all “Heavy Metal” records because they looked cool and from I’d been hearing and seeing it was sure to be phenomenal! Well in that special pile, we ordered the self-titled album from a band called W.A.S.P. No, I’d never heard a song by the band but the name sounded so cool and it had songs like “Hellion”, “Sleeping In The Fire” and “I Wanna Be Somebody”. How could it not be good? When the records came in, I went directly for the W.A.S.P. record and opened it as fast I could and dropped the needle in the groove. To my satisfaction “I Wanna Be Somebody” started and it was everything I had hoped for – loud, aggressive, cool and rude. By the time the record was over I was in love and I just couldn’t get enough of this new band. The singer’s name was Blackie Lawless and he looked like a leather bound psychopath. The same can be said of the rest of the band specifically, guitarist Chris Holmes; he looked to be 7 foot tall, he was tattooed up and looked like the meanest man I’d ever seen. Oh, yes! From there I had to have everything the band released, I saved any and all money I could get my hands on – I never ate lunch at school – I had to have records – specifically W.A.S.P. records! Don’t fret, I’m still the same way – if Renee’ wouldn’t kill me I’d eat crackers all day and drink water just to buy records/music equipment.
The music of W.A.S.P. made me feel fearless, invincible and free. No matter what came or went, I felt as long as I had their tunes to back me I could do or be anything. In some ways, the band was a negative influence but then again so were all the Horror movies I watched. I’ve always been a loner and that has nothing to do with anything specifically, it’s just who I am. I live in my own world and I most often don’t care what’s going on in yours because it’s yours, not mine. W.A.S.P., with every release over the years they’ve only helped to solidify those feelings, but it’s not all negative or short sighted – the music is fun! I learned about all sorts of wonderful emotions, situations and other things – “Harder Faster”, “The Manimal” or “Animal F**k Like A Beast”. Most importantly I learned the art of being passionate about Rock N Roll and that I wasn’t alone.
Now that I’m all “growed” up and, in certain circles I’m old as dirt, I still love W.A.S.P. The music still brings a smile to my face non-stop and I’ll still jump at a chance to purchase any kind of merchandise from the band and go to a show if they come anywhere near us – which NEVER happens. The last time I got to see them was on the Unholy Terror Tour in 1999. A dear friend bought me two tickets for my birthday and I dragged Renee’ along. The show was great to me but Renee’ giggled the entire time because they were abit old, tired and a little worse for wear, but hell, a lifetime of Sex, Drugs & Rock N Roll will do that to you! I was enthralled; you suffer for your art no matter the cause and there were at least 150 people at the venue who came to kick some ass and hear the mighty Winged Assassins lay it down one more time! Great times, great band and the company of Renee’ was great to me. Although she doesn’t share my passion for W.A.S.P. AT ALL she doesn’t take away from it and she supports it at every turn because she understands what they meant to me back then and what they mean to me now. I’m all smiles with every spin, my horns go up and my heart palpitates just as it did the first time I heard any of their songs. And if you called me tomorrow and said “W.A.S.P. will be in Atlanta tonight” I’d be busting ass, selling stuff and breaking plans all over the place to get to that show. The band represents my youth, my pride, my love and who I am as a musician and as a fan. And if ‘nothing don’t happen’, one day I’ll be able to say I was able to make someone feel the same way W.A.S.P. makes me feel with music of my very own music!
To round out my sumMEr of ME declaration, I leave you with one of my favorite songs from W.A.S.P. “Mean Man”. “A tattooed man, I’m hell on wheels, born a wicked child left alone in the fields. My father was the wind, my mother was fire, raised by the wolves and I grew up wild”!