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.