Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Enter Sandman Metallica, Moscow 1991

The genius illustrator Will Broome posted this tune up on my Facebook last night: 

You can't really fail to like it, the energy, the footage and the general hair dedication, the music's pretty faultless of its style. It's like Motorhead's Ace of Spades, everyone, but EVERYONE, even all the metal haters out there, LOVE IT. After 40 years of 'popular' Soviet rock - which barely qualified as a 10p tub of margarine compared to the English speaking West's French hand-churned by virgin's premium heavy metal butter. Moscow in 1991 must've needed Metallica like a starving man needs McDonalds.

Wow, laboured that metaphor to the max, didnI?

I am sleep deprived and a little overstressed, but watching that a tear came to my cynical eye. I know that Tom loves Metallica's music, his cds are all ragged and curled at the edges and when Will gave him a massive Metallica box set of cds he just used to sit 2 inches from the TV watching it and being really fucking happy. It's great that music can do that to you. I know art's great and all that, but can you get off on Van Gogh or Jeff Koons in quite the same way?

When we took Tom to see Metallica at O2 (Thanks Frank, for the box, there's no way he would have ever got in that crowd), once we had coaxed and tempted him with a trail of Stella's from the Thames to the door of the box, and fed him fish and chips, and sat quietly with him listening to him saying he was ill, that he didn't like Metallica anymore, that he was, "Sorry Kate", because he knew we'd all bent over backwards to make his dream of seeing Metallica come true, and now he was sitting there, outside the box, fucking terrified of the noise, the people, the place, the colours, the sounds, the onslaught of sensory stuff that his Fragile X mind was incapable of processing in the way we do.

Neil Mather, a tour manager for people like The Stone Roses, the Happy Mondays, and thankfully for him now, a slightly more manageable, Snow Patrol, walked past our little crew of Tom outside the box. Neil was just lovely with Tom, he just said a couple of things, but you could see Tom's confidence building a little. Frank was really cool. Neil and Frank are two guys who I wouldn't describe as girl's men. But seeing how easy and gentle and normal they were with Tom was great. (Tom needs men around him, not just women with their phenomenal capacity to care but their ability to patronise and mollycoddle a bit too).

Anyway, that's a long story, the one about getting Tom from Devon to the front of a box at the O2 covered in an entire body smile that only comes about when feel music you fucking love, live. I've got to stop on this now because the memory of it is actually making my eyes water and my throat contract and that's not very good at 9.28am. I need tea, fast.

That gig was amazing. There's some video footage (and note to self - do not try to headbang, you have not done it since you were 13, and you are rubbish at it) and you can see all the siblings rocking out together in their own style. Bonding.

Yes, even me, with synthesisers in my soul (bit worrying that, could they block an artery?) and obsession with Prefab Sprout and 70/80s MOR from Supertramp to Fleetwood Mac, and early days of tweeny rebellion spent in a Sheffield of early New Romantics (pre-Dare Human League) and guitars only really figuring large when I listened to the Smiths or Pink Floyd. Yes, even I loved that gig. Metallica deliver the proper goods.

Moments like this remind me what the Mission's All About. Fundamentally, as Tom would says, it's about getting Tom close to something we all love: "HEAVY NOISE"

All I have left to do is this, posted to Facebook by Rich Wearz:  \m/(>_<)\m/

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