By the time I bought my first record with my own money I had already been listening to old Michael Jackson and Monty Python records that I found in my living room as part of my parents’ “record collection”. These were great as a kid to listen to but as I grew older I wanted to distance myself from my parents tastes and move closer towards that of my older cousin Marcie. Marcie was a badass. She had all these gnarly posters with crazy violent shit happening on them in her room and had the matching piano books to learn the associated songs. (sneaky move Marcie) I had no fucking idea what they were or what they sounded like but I felt the need to be cool like Marcie so I decided to start my own collection of shit with edgy images.
I worked a paper route and it paid next to nothing so it took me a while to save up enough cash to even consider going into the music section of Zellers (RIP). It was a routine Saturday morning trip out to do errands when we ended up passing though Zellers. I wandered into the Fort Knox like quarantine that held all the high end electronics, CDs and cassettes hoping to find the cassette that would bring me one step closer to Marcie-like badass-dom. Eyes peeled, I scoured the shelves for something that would look cool as fuck to have and wound up in the metal section. There was a band name that I recognized from Marcies’ room: Metallica. She had an …And Justice for All poster but they were out of that one so I went with Ride the Lightning instead. I paid for the cassette, had it released from its hermetic security box and was on my way.
As soon as I got home I cracked the plastic and headed to my room to listen to it on my cheap Walkman. I was totally bummed out when “Fight Fire with Fire” started since it was all soft and acoustic. Dread began to set until one beautifully placed swell cracked the soothing melody and sent the track off its fucking rails. I was obsessed with listening to that tape and had all but worn it out by the time I lost it. To this day it’s my favourite Metallica album. (even its 33rpm version rules)