It’s the summer of 1972. I’m a 14-year-old Brooklyn kid transplanted to the hell that is the suburbs. Lost and out of focus, I follow my parents around seeking some sort of connection to the traumatic change in scenery.
Cut to my Uncle Tony’s house. Some thug named Artie calls my Dad and me over to the trunk of his car. Expecting to see a body, he uncovers boxes of 8-track tapes. Dozens of them. He says “take them.” I remember my Dad saying “where did you get these?” He stated, with a sly grin, “they fell off a truck.” I didn’t know that was Italian for “stolen.”
We took them.
On closer inspection, I discover the oddest collection of names. Alice Cooper-Killer (who is she?) George Harrison-All Things Must Pass (wasn’t he a Beatle? Who is this old man with a long beard on the cover?) Cream? Traffic? Deep Purple-Machine Head? Led Zeppelin? Yes-Fragile? Jethro Tull-Thick As A Brick? (that is hilarious). What kind of crazy names are these? Kink Kronikles? Jefferson Airplane? what is this stuff? I hardly remember the rest, but it was a boxful of treasure. I couldn’t wait to listen to this new bounty bestowed upon me by this criminal. The criminal that brought the music back to me.
Of course, Alice Cooper struck me as odd, since I kept waiting to hear a female voice. I invited my school friend, Jimmy, over to listen. He knew more than I did, specifically that Alice was a guy. It was scary, and weird and exactly the medicine a misplaced angst-ridden teenager needed.
I was hooked. Dangerously hooked.