Metal ’til I die

London is awfully British, so I thought yesterday. When I became bored of Trafalgar Square, off I went to Camden in search of Celtic jewellery and some heavy metal pubs. I found both. The jewellery is great but the pub I went to was disappointing frankly.

It was so British: lifeless and lacking in entertainment with nothing going on at all except a bunch of strangers getting drunk whilst on their smart phones, it was dingy but overpriced with no draft beer or cider on offer having any real bite, and generally pretty boring.

So I had one pint only and then walked to St. Pancras. I did take some pics of the pub I went to, that being The Devonshire Arms. It might be alright on a Saturday night once in a while I suppose…

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The missing letter…

With my video collection reaching the desired target of 666, I noticed there is one letter of the alphabet which no band or artist represents. And after looking into it further, I am quite sure that is how it will stay. Care to guess what that letter is?

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‘It’s always funny until someone gets hurt and then it’s just hilarious’? Is it always so? Well, try spending over a year expanding your music video library until you reach your desired target then try to put the brakes on and see what happens…its not funny and it’s not hilarious even though deleting additions does indeed hurt.

I’ve adopted a 1 in 1 out policy so that the number stays at 666. Some things I rarely listen to, so they are the first to go but it’s getting harder. I feel as though I am caught in a crossfire between new and old, with the former taking priority. As it stands it is:

Metal A-B 85 Videos8

Metal C-E 94 Videos

Metal F-K 131 Videos

Metal L-O 128 Videos

Metal P-S 119 Videos

Metal T-Z 109 Videos

Here’s one of them, Ricochet by Faith No More, still my favourite band. I used to listen to this whilst cycling at night through the rain in the countryside that took me into Hertfordshire in early May 1995, just before I started University there.

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A well-put remark…

I sit in my office in Cambridge and read ‘I’m the man’ an autobiography by Scott Ian…how much of it was written by him is a discussion we can save for another day.

Content is all his for sure and I noticed early on he gives an account of the impact of punk on rock/metal very much to the point. Find it at the very bottom of the page.

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That magic number

I finally reached 666 videos for the music video collection I began expanding last year.

The two main challenges have been; finding all the songs I have liked over the years, understanding the metal scene as it is today, having a much broader range of sub-genres than it did two or three decades ago, working with such a large number, as six hundred and sixty six certainly is.

Regarding the last point, the criteria for inclusion has been 1) great song, 2) great video, and 3) a combination of both. It is 2) that has to be revised because there are many videos I have which I can’t watch because the song is stunningly mediocre in my opinion or is of no interest to myself. This has meant I can pull out songs I will never like and replace them with content from bands I have always liked but without a video accompaniment. Over time I should have a tidy, streamlined video/music collection which will stay put at my favourite number 666.



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History doesn’t offer us neat end points, however…

I’m having a whale of a time expanding my music video collection to 666 videos, I really am -not!!!!

One of the good things that has come from it, however, is that it has caused me to examine the styles of music I preferred most and how they impacted on one another. It actually taught me that whenever asked if I am ‘metal’ or into ‘metal, or even a ‘metalhead’, which must have happened a 1000 times over by now, its not correct to simply agree.

1970s  -punk. Definitely punk.

1980s -thrash and to some degree NWOBH

1990s -alternative rock/grunge as its also called

2000s -nothing at all except an occasional trip down memory lane to alternative rock with some metal

2010 – broad: a rediscovery of all that before and all that since, mostly metal in all its modern forms

The principal critique is that in the 90s I loved the alternative rock bands more than all else and because I had become tired of thrash, which had more or less died out by then. Of the five decades I have been alive only a small part of it has been focused on metal.

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Six five one


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Six, four, two


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Moody fucker


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The smiling cyclist who suddenly had much less to smile about…

This morning, I put 7 kms on the bike, which of course is nothing. I noticed that I was, as usual, going too fast. With a wry smile I thought about the song L.F.D.Y [Live Fast Die Young] by the young Italian band Ultra-Violence.

Whilst cycling I thought to myself ‘ahem, I am middle-aged already thus the title of the song can’t be applied to myself and my riding style’.

A few more kms down the road I thought about the near fatal accident I had on Oct 9th 2016. I was told that I was also cycling too fast then, which was the primary cause of the accident and it got me thinking. I so often listen to music before or whilst riding to give me extra speed and energy. If I wasn’t so into metal, how different would my riding style be? If I listen to romantic classical music, would I be over-doing so much on my bike I asked myself. I realised very quickly that I would not be, and for a few seconds only, took leave of my senses, sure that I would be better off having a very different taste in music…ha ha, I’m still a kid, so in certain respects I probably will live fast and die young…

More from Ultra Violence – The way I’ll stay.




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