How Does Music Influence You?

This is something that used to be very relevant in my life when I was in my teens and early twenties. As I get older it isn’t quite as much of an influence as it used to be with one exception. Driving. I have read that reports have been done that show people tend to get more speeding tickets when they are listening to loud music. I haven’t gotten a speeding ticket since 1994 but I tend to drive much faster when listening to certain bands. If I am listening to something such as AC/DC, Megadeth, or Metallica I generally crank it up and drive faster. I suppose at least that part of the report is true but who really cares except for people that think they need to be in control of every little facet of my life and want laws passed that won’t let me listen to music over a certain volume in my car. Asshats.


Anyhow I was thinking specifically about this one show I went to with my friends. Back in my teens a bunch of us lived together and hung out together. Occasionally we would actually work but more often than not we just fucked around hunting for “strange” and getting in trouble. One of our favorite things to do next to going to shows was camping out for them. We would spend literally days camping out at the Omni and occasionally at the Turtles in Peachtree Battle or at the one by the Majestic. I think that was a Turtles anyway. If you are from Atlanta back in the seventies and eighties you know what turtles was.

Back in the eighties Heavy Metal was at it’s peak in the south. Nowadays if a Metal band tours you are lucky to get them to come to Atlanta and if they do they usually play a club rather than a big venue. Not that clubs are a bad thing. Some of the best concerts I have been to have been in clubs. I’ve seen Megadeth, Queensryche, Joe Satriani, SOD, Motorhead, Savatage, and countless other bands in clubs and it is so much better being right there rather than stuck up in the nosebleeds or in the middle of a mosh pit with a bunch of dumbasses, particularly now that I am 40.

Anyway, I don’t remember what show it was that got me to remembering. I think it was Iron Maiden on the Piece of Mind tour, or perhaps Powerslave. Anyway they headlined at the Omni and about twenty of us had seats within the first five rows. We were doing the headbanging thing and just really getting into it when some dumb redneck shoved one of my friends. As a matter of fact it was the guy that I wrote about recently that got busted for running the gambling place up in Flowery Branch earlier this year. The guy that got shoved, not the shover. I lost my shit. I must have jumped over about five people, grabbed the guy off his seat and started bashing his freaking head into the floor. About the time I realized what the hell I was doing I also realized that security was making their way toward me. Man, I ran like a bat out of hell.

I did manage to work my way back around the floor and got back into the front row, but what has always stuck with me was the fact that I lost it so easily. I don’t normally go around bashing people’s heads in, at least not unless it is truly warranted. Before you make the assumption that I was toasted or anything I was completely sober. I don’t drink much anyway and at that point I had quit doing all forms of drugs about two years prior to that. Now, I certainly won’t say that the music “influenced” me to beat the crap out of that guy, that is like the fools that say Judas Priest caused kids to commit suicide. It does however have an effect of facilitation. I figure that I was already pre-disposed to serve out an ass whipping and the music just helped get me in the mood.