Authors: Jon Wiederhorn
O MY PARENTS
HELDON, FOR THEIR ETERNAL
SUPPORT, WITHOUT WHICH
WOULD PROBABLY BE WORKING
A REAL JOB
LIZABETH, AND MY CHILDREN
HLOE, WHO LEARNED TO FLASH THE DEVIL HORNS LONG
BEFORE THEY DISCOVERED THEIR LOVE FOR
O MY MOTHER
HANK YOU FOR THE WORDS
was eight years old, sitting in my uncle’s bedroom at my grandparents’ house, going through his vinyl. I pulled out the first Black Sabbath record. There’s woods and a witch, and I’m a little kid looking at this going, “What is this? This is scary.” And my uncle goes, “That’s Black Sabbath. They’re acid rock.” I’m like, “What’s acid rock?”
So I put it on and it starts with the rain and then that riff comes in and I’m like, “Oh my God.” I was a little kid, scared, sitting in my uncle’s weird dark room with his black light posters, and I had never heard anything like that. Up until that point I lived on AM radio in the car with my parents, listening to whatever was on WABC in New York. This was my first exposure to anything like that, and I instantly liked it. I went, “What else is like this?” And we listened to Led Zeppelin and Frank Zappa and everything heavy and weird he had in his collection.
I started asking my parents to buy me records, and I watched stuff like
Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert
on TV, and this other show,
, which were about the only places you could see live performance on TV back then. I got way into music. I had a cousin who was twelve years older than me who was a biker and a musician. He lived down the street from us and I used to hang out in his basement when he’d jam. I’d sit there and watch, and I thought anyone with long hair was the coolest guy in the world, and anyone who had a guitar was the coolest guy in the world. That was my introduction to the world of heavy metal.
We were living in Long Island when I was in fourth, fifth, and sixth grade, and up until I started seventh grade, music to me was really personal. None of my friends were into music. They all played hockey. None of them gave a shit about Black Sabbath or Led Zeppelin. So I’d just sit in my house and practice my guitar and listen to songs. It wasn’t until I was thirteen and starting seventh grade that I met kids who were listening to Zeppelin and KISS and Aerosmith and Cheap Trick and the Ramones, and that’s when I really started to blossom.