Saturday, May 2, 2009

Metal Archeology: Artifacts from a lifetime devoted to metal (Part 4)

Archeologists from UNC Chapel Hill uncover my oversized copy of Convicted. Thanks, dudes! I've been looking for that!

Yeah, I know it was my brother Lucho who started the Archeology posts (part1, part2, part3), but to be fair, most of the digs were done in OUR mom's basement, so in a way, they are my posts, too. Anyway, last time I was there I dug through old Metal Hammer magazines and Blue Grape backpatches to find a small box of tapes. Let me share some of my finds...

Ordered off some local rag in the late 80's in Toledo, Ohio, this was the very first demo tape we ever owned. Undertaker were a terrible thrashy band with horrible production, a terrible cover and a song called "Sesame Street Mosh". What a treasure!

I've talked about Impetigo a lot on past posts. They are still one of my top 10 favorite bands of all times. I was SO amped when I got this in the mail from Mark! He told me he took the tape to practice specially to get it signed for me. I'm not sure if that was true or not, but I was the KING of the metal scene that day and this tape was my crown. A really lame, lame crown.

This find goes back to the 80's. I hope you find this as funny as I do. Back in the day, in South America, it was hard to get original tapes, so dubbed tapes were the norm. This guy in my class, Eduardo, went to Miami for the summer and brought back a bunch of metal tapes. Of course, I dubbed them all, walked to a near by pharmacy and photocopied all the covers. One of the tapes he brought back the summer of 1988 was Maiden's "Seventh Son." Not sure why I felt the need to use color pencils and a black ball-point in a sad attempt at make the cover look "real", but I'm glad I did. I was 13, what an idiot!

There's plenty more junk where these came from, so stay tuned and watch out for the next "Metal Archeology: Artifacts from a lifetime devoted to metal" post!


  1. Making the Iron Maiden tape cover look "real" is absolutely fucking OUTSTANDING. So classic...

  2. I'm sure the guys in Maiden wouldn't mind the audio piracy if they saw that you noted the songwriting credits

  3. I miss the days of being a kid and making mixed tapes for friends. I used to love throwing the odd metal song into those compilations for the people who "hated" metal...they always ended up loving the band I put on there. WORD!

  4. Music piracy the early days. We would purchase 90 min tapes and put two albums on each side. We even made a catalog of albums so our friends could create their own tapes for $7.00. Now I feel old you Suck.

  5. Man, I so gotta find out if a friend of mind still has the homemade South Of Heaven tape cover he made - with full fold out lyrics, all faithfully reproduced... in fucking pencil!

    shit, thems the days, huh?

  6. I still got my Cryptic Slaughter tapes (real covers though w/ the Rock Against Reagan logo, your Maiden one is sweet tho!) and I even busted out my Beyond Possesion LP last night! I almost even made it through one whole song!

  7. Is that a mermaid on the second Iron Maiden picture?

  8. It's cool seeing we all did the same things, even dwelling in different and really distant countries!

  9. the biggest problem with dubbing tapes was: what to do if a song got cut off. do you start that song from the beginning again on the other side? or do you just let it go and start from the next song. what a dilemma!

    that maiden cover took some real work. i think we may have made others like it..maybe south of heaven?

    by the way, because of this weekend post by my brother...i'm off the hook for my usual monday post. i'll post something on friday.

  10. I never copied the time or songwriting credits on my tapes, so you are a bigger nerd than I was...On each on my tapes (and I had hundreds), however, I painstakingly copied the band logos (really hard work in the cases of Unleashed,Malevolent Creation, Morbid Angel, Necrophobic etc. considering the small space), and I remember being really bummed when I asked friends to copy me albums and they didn´t write the track titles.

  11. Still have the first cassette I ever bought....

    Snoop Dogg - Murder Was The Case

    Saw Kreator live last night, and boy their lyrics really are middle-school esque.

    All I gotta say is that at a kreator/exodus show last night I realized that if any man had the antidote to Rob Flynn's Disease, it would be Gary Holt Of Exodus.

    The man has not one tattoo, piercing, or bad haircut/dyejob, and his dress style is not anywhere near most RFD or TVD infections. Just has black pants and a t shirt with "nice shoes, wanna fuck?".

    I mean here is the man who brought metal's truly beloved "Toxic Walts" (Which they played last night for the first in any time I've ever seen them) just riffing away looking like a metal Jeff Daniels, and doing nothing to change it. If only other musicians could do the same....

  12. Noticed I spelled Toxic Waltz incorrectly. Hopefully Steve Souza doesn't find out and nag me to death with that voice...

  13. the biggest problem with dubbing tapes was: what to do if a song got cut off. do you start that song from the beginning again on the other side? or do you just let it go and start from the next song. what a dilemma!So true. It meant carefully calculating the number of songs you could fit on one side. The remaining space on a side could be used for the odd song by an otherwise not so interesting band.

    I had tapes with a self made cover, featuring a handpainted band logo (outline in Chinese ink). Liner notes sometimes mentioned the producer. Scott Burns or Colin Richardson, it was crucial info!

  14. that rules that so many of us used to make tapes like that.
    I had quite a few copied tapes and mixtapes with artwork... my friend randy showed me this cool trick in the 6th grade where you take the tape apart and color in the little gray slips with permanent marker... sometimes we'd also cut out pictures from t shirt ads in metal magazines and tape them inside the cassette.
    It was also cool to write on them with whiteout pens or if we were really lucky we'd get those little vinyl transfer letters that you'd rub onto the cassette at the craft shop to make your tapes look super pro.
    ahhh... being poor and nerdy...
    so sweet...

  15. If I ran out of time on side-A, I would rewind both tapes to the beginning of the cutoff track, then record blank over the tape's remaining time. Then I'd flip them over and continue the complete rest-of-album on side-B. That happened until I got a tape deck with auto-reverse; I'd just let it flip over and keep recording on-the-fly. The missing 2 seconds were a pain in the ass.

    When I got into listening to 7" EPs, I hated swapping and flipping them all the time. So I'd copy 5 or 6 to a tape, so I can just hear a bunch of them back-to-back thanks to said auto-reverse. I transcribed the excessive tracklists of all my shitty grind compilations to each j-card. Meat Shits and Anal Cunt were a problem. The lamest part is that it wasn't THAT long ago. I was doing this when I was 20 at the very least.

    Around the same time, I was into collecting stupid demo or split tapes from basement record companies. I gave it up when I ordered a bunch of tapes from one guy's "label". Instead of just sending me separate tapes, he would record one tape to side A, then another to side-B, and stuff BOTH j-cards into the case. They weren't even split tapes! And I paid full price for each side like a sucker. The record collector in me wants to know: what the fuck am I supposed to do with these? Make a second-generation copy of side-B, so I can file it with the j-card?

    The 90s were cool because more bands would pro-replicate tapes complete with printing on the cassette or custom printed labels.

  16. I remember when I was 15 or so, I somehow had come into possession of some of that tamper-resistant tape that police use to seal up boxes of evidence. So for a while, the cases of any mixed tapes I gave to people were covered in this crazy red tape with "EVIDENCE" in big letters all over it. Like it was a cassette full of murder or something.
    Huh. I bet I still have that stuff somewhere.

  17. "a cassette full of murder"HAHAHA!

  18. coloring in the photocopied cover with colored pencils!! this is so hilarious.

    i totally did this with DRI "4 of a kind".

  19. That's a photocopied cover? jk......

    You wrote the songwriting credits too......fuckin awesome!

  20. Excellent tape collection, that Impetigo one fucking KILLS!!

    I did almost the exact same thing with the first Iron Maiden tape I copied, it was the first album and I did a cover with my rendition of Eddie done in felt tip pens. What a fucking collosal douche lord...

    As for later when I was tape trading, I would always fill up tapes (my own included) with 7" and various tracks. I always hated the length of silence at the end of a tape after a forty minute album had run out. Having to fast forward it to flip it over to carry on listening really bugged me. It was something that stayed with me a long time and I still hate not filling CDs completely with music, if I ever, rarely, copy them now.

    I also agree with Twin Earth, I hated getting tapes and now CDs when someone hasn't bothered putting song titles on. How can I enjoy something if I don't know what it's called?

    Funny story, when I was an idiot and young and getting into Iron Maiden, I fell in love with the song Aces High. For some fucking reason I recorded the song over and over again on a C90 so I wouldn't have to rewind it to listen to it again. Later I got into Slayer and rejected Maiden out of hand, I recorded the album Reign In Blood over the Aces High tape. To this day, when I'm listening to it in the car there is still fifteen minutes of Aces High after Slayer finish...

    Aaaah, the simplicity of youth and tapes. We'll never see their like again!

  21. Oh man. If I had a minute of space left over, I would just find random shit to throw at the end, like hooking the VCR up to the stereo to put the "fuck YOU, asshole" part of Commando on there. The best was when this bootleg CD of Metallica b-sides and the $5.98 EP got something on it and started skipping right at the very beginning of "So What." So in the end, I had a mixed tape that ended with Hetfield going "fuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuck" for about a full minute and a half.

  22. Holy crap! Undertaker. Being from Toledo Ohio, I was in a band with Bryan Autullo (rhythm guitar for Undertaker) at one point and saw these guys live more times than I care to count. It was only a matter of time before you posted something I had a personal connection with. Awesome...

  23. Metallica were fucking with tape traders way back by making their albums too long. It was always difficult to record one side straight onto a cassette.

    A second hand shop near where I lived used to sell "live albums" on cassette with xeroxed covers.

  24. Great post - brings me back. My problem was totaling up the amount of time all the songs were to fit on a C-90 - especially if it was an EP or a live album (Rhyme Of the Ancient Mariner anyone?) - that would always fuck it up.

  25. So nice this archaeology and artifacts .