When My Ears First Rode The Lightning
Published: Wednesday, September 5, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, September 5, 2012 00:09
The first physical piece of music I ever bought—with money I earned shoveling snowy driveways—was Ride The Lightning by Metallica on cassette tape.
My toddler music feet thought I was waddling to get Metallica’s “The Black Album” with “Enter Sandman” somewhere within its plastic case, but I didn’t even know the names of the songs or what the album looked like, so instead I rode the lightning.
This was the beginning of a beautiful friendship that lasted until “No Leaf Clover” in the late 90s, but I revisit those memories sometimes just to evoke nostalgia.
I’m older than the average student, but equally as childish. Childish enough to tap into my childhood with ease. We all can remember the transition Americans made from CDs to downloads, and maybe even saw an occasional stray cassette tape player in an older family member’s $500 P.O.S. rust bucket.
I had a teenage friend that was a bit shocked that his puke-green huge tank of a car from the 70s had an eight-track player, but eventually happy he had something retro until he had to go through the rigmarole of finding a place that sold eight-track cartridges.
My poor ass inherited a hand-me-down tape recorder that could also play cassettes. It looked like a horizontally crushed shoebox with a pull out handle and large square fingertip-like lever shaped buttons that occasionally squeaked when pressed, like it needed some WD-40.
I was bestowed this tape recorder because my dad bought a fancy CD player for the family and my brother got my dad’s old tape player/radio, so my brother gave me the tape recorder. I played that tape everyday for months until I knew how to sing every single song and until it utterly annoyed the hell out of my parents.
I ended up having Ride The Lightning for a long time, like five or six years until I got my first car and the sun melted it on my dashboard. Having this tape for such a long time by cassette tape lifespan standards, gave me many memories that ended up attaching themselves to this electric Metallica tape.