In the Spring of 1 990, my 13 year old self was hanging out with a friend in a sketchy lean-to of a garage in New Hampshire, cleaning up from tinkering with another friends car, and listening to cassettes on the ghettobox. We’d been listening to headbanger standards for most of that day- Iron Maiden, Metallica and the like.
I was pawing through the cooler for another can of piss-water beer when I saw this bright yellow cassette case with a freaked-out zombie dude on it. I tossed it in the player, twiddled some thumb while it damn thing rewound, and pressed play.
A hollow, ‘verbed out jangler of an intro riff.
Dead simple drums, all backbeat.
And then, this tweaked out caterwaul that could only have come out of some Frank-n-furter’s monster made from parts of the Big Bopper and Patsy Cline”
“you ain’t no punk, you punk…”
I wanted to turn it off, but I was afraid to get close enough to the player to do so- as if increased proximity would have been enough to contaminate me.