#620: The Retired Jedi Master (of Rock)

GETTING MORE TALE #620: The Retired Jedi Master (of Rock)

It is always sad when one of my old Jedi Masters of Rock loses their passion for it.

I think for Bob, that began when he entered college. While Bob taught me the ins and outs of Iron Maiden, Ozzy Osbourne, Dio, and Motley Crue, he was drifting away from heavy metal. There is nothing wrong with diversifying, but his passion for the heavier side of things was waning.

I remember in the summer of ’91 when Motley Crue released their awesome new groove-laden single, “Primal Scream”. I asked Bob if he liked it, and his response was that the new Motley was “too heavy”. My heart broke in two pieces that day. I was so excited about that track. Motley were doing exactly what I wanted them to do: turning it up and giving no fucks. Bob just wasn’t into that.

His tastes were changing. I think a big part of it was that the girls he liked at college weren’t into heavy metal. Bob was checking out more commercial sounds and ballads. One of his favourite groups was Frozen Ghost.  I also remember he was very much into Bad Company’s Holy Water. Meanwhile I was digging into the roots of metal and the bands of the future as well: from Deep Purple to I Mother Earth.  Our paths diverged.  I couldn’t be less interested in new Bad Company, but I was intent on collecting the entire Black Sabbath back catalogue.  It made me a little sad, but I’m not regretful about where my explorations took me over the years.

I think it can be summed up as below:

1. The girls we liked didn’t listen to metal.
2. Bob’s tastes diversified while he outgrew metal.
3. I doubled down on metal, going all in. The girls might not like metal, but maybe they’d appreciate my don’t-give-a-fuck attitude?

Bob’s method got him dates. My method did not! But my musical journey took me far and wide.  From the deep neon coloured oceans of Frank Zappa, to the craggy peaks of Mount Marillion, and back to the Valley of Judas Priest. As real life took over – job, wife, kids – Bob was no longer the music head that I was. He has always been a hard worker, and a family guy. My passion only grew deeper. The longer, heavier and more complex the tunes, the more interested I was in the band. I loved musicianship. Ballads were starting to sound the same to me, and there were some cool new sounds coming out of the woodwork.

Life took Bob and I in different directions. He met a lovely lady named Trish and now has four kids. I have none.  If I had four kids, would I still have time to invest in my passion, music? Bob’s kids keep him very busy, believe me!

Bob sold off his collection many years ago. He had some amazing Iron Maiden 12” singles and picture discs. I bought a few of his singles, but there was one tie-dyed bootleg picture disc EP that I would have loved to get my hands on. I couldn’t tell you anything about it today, except that it was Iron Maiden. He had to do what he had to do. It’s gone now and he has little recollection at all about it.  That information is sadly lost to me now.

Not every Jedi Master of Rock stays in the trenches forever. Some do, and end up writing about it on the internet. Bob may have retired his rock and roll shoes, but his influence lives on right here in these pages.  Thank you for your wisdom and friendship.




  1. I’m more in your boat I suppose. I dove head first into metal in the 80s by getting interested in 2 bands from the 70s. Kiss and Alice Cooper. Those 2 changed my life as a young kid. The superhero and horror styled theatre combined with bombastic rick….perfect recipe for a guy like me. While those 2 are still my favorites of all time, by delving into them I became more interested in others. Soon after came Motorhead, The Crue ( who were HUGE then) GnR, Sabbath,Izzy etc…..that gave way to the heavier acts like Anthrax,Slayer,Megadeth and yes Metallica. Strangely, the complex grooves of some of those bands took me in the direction of complex music. Frank Zappa ,as you mentioned,being one of those. On the other hand, the more punching in your face simple stuff sent me right into the arms of punk. The Ramones,Misfits,Black Flag etc…..through that I ended up weaving a tapestry of favorites that include Bowie,Lou Reed,Iggy Pop and Nick Cave. These days I am still discovering new things, like The Other, Diemonsterdie,The Cryptkeeper 5 and so on. Its a normal practice to have anything ranging from Maiden to The Supersuckers to The Damned playing while I’m writing or taking pics for my blog. To me,Metal is really the best way to open the doors to all kinds of genres that are ,essentially still rock based, even if its not as loud. Lol


  2. Don’t think it’s the kids. I got 2 and still listen to music every day. My kids like music too so they are used to me having it playing. Metal was my second passion, first was rockabilly (Stray cats, Gene Vincent, Elvis…) but metal hit pretty hard with Kiss, Maiden, Black Sabbath and Rainbow. Never left metal but I got into a lot more styles of music. Used to say I can listen to anything but jazz, but these days even that goes. But my passion is still metal and hard rock. Can’t go for long without hearing those. That reminds I miss having a show to look forward to like remember Mtv’s Headbangers ball? Used to love that show.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Life does indeed get busy…
    Bob just like you said outgrew Metal….
    1991 was a change in music direction as Cobain had the LA Hair Metal Bands in view and all those bands from the Pacific Northwest just demolished a whole genre in what didn’t take much time…

    Great Post


  4. Great write-up. I was like Bob a little. When I got married the first time, my music purchasing slowed down. Then the second time, with kids, I started selling off the collection. Now the kids are older and into music, I’m back re-collecting things I had before and new stuff too and now writing about it.

    Liked by 1 person

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