Growing up, I pretended to be a muscle-bound metalhead rather than the puny nerd that I really was and during that period, I discovered Metallica with Master of Puppets. A buddy and I would do bench presses with Battery cranked up for inspiration. As I navigated between the rich braniacs in my AP classes and the stoner-metalheads, I also worked at a grocery store with a more redneck/latino flavor to it. I guess it is easy to see that I never quite fit into to any group – or taking the glass half-full approach – I fit in with all the groups on some level. I found that the metal groups presented a multitude of universes in fact. There was the more “satanic” groups inspired by Sabbath, the stoner metalheads inspired by Zeppelin, the Brit Invasion dudes listening to Iron Maiden, the more technical guitar fans that liked Malmstein and Telsa, and the party-metalheads listening to Van Halen and the like. The groups didn’t really mix all that much despite listening to the same type of music. Perhaps it is just emblematic of the way that high school tended to push us into either bovine acceptance of the status quo (as represented by the pep squad, the yearbook committee and the like) or radical embracing of some counter-culture fragment in order to differentiate ourselves.
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