First, the Metallica: I met their original record company honcho at a flea market in New Jersey in 1984. He ran his label at the flea market! He gave me their “Kill ‘Em All” album, which I played on a heavy metal radio show at the time. He started giving me more albums and I started learning about more metal bands that were trying to break through during that time, including: Anthrax, Raven, TT Quick, Manowar and Venom. I played them all. Met Metallica a few times and have a poster signed by them. They called me “Su-No-E.” Others picked it up for a while, but a party in 1985 cemented “MotleySu” as my permanent nickname. My friend Brian continued to call me “Su-No-E” for years, though, and a small part of me misses that.
Next, the Maiden: My friend Mary, who worked with me as receptionists at PolyGram Records, got us tickets for a week of Iron Maiden concerts at Radio City Music Hall. Queensryche opened. We had the most amazing time! We got to go backstage a few times and meet the guys in Maiden. The nicest guys: drummer Nicko McBrain and bassist Steve Harris. I’ve loved the band since ’85 and have seen them in concert a number of times; most recently in 2008 at White River Amphitheater in Auburn, Washington. This band has only gotten better with time.
The making of MotleySu is a little more detailed. I didn’t discover metal until 7th grade, when I heard the album KISS Alive II. I LOVED IT. I went to see KISS in concert that year. I told my mom I was spending the night with my friend Janice and her dad drove us to the Capital Center to see the concert. A-MA-ZING. That was the same year that I saw a picture of Steven Tyler on the cover of the rock magazine CREEM and realized that he looked a lot different from Leif Garrett, whose posters papered my walls. I think that was when I truly realized that there was a monumental difference between “boys” and “men.”
I moved to Germany in 8th grade, but it wasn’t until high school that I discovered even more great hard rock/heavy metal music to like. AC/DC’s “High Voltage.” Judas Priest’s “British Steel.” Van Halen’s “Women and Children First.” I loved it all and made room for them in my collection alongside my mainstay KISS. The music set the soundtrack for my high school years. It consoled me through heartbreak and tragedy. It buoyed me through success and accomplishment. It brought new friends into my sphere. During junior year, I was introduced to punk, via the California band “Black Flag.” They and singer Henry Rollins remain a favorite to this day.