In May 2001, at the age of 24, I moved back in with my parents, into my childhood bedroom, semi-defeated and wholly without direction in my life. I was still a Metalhead, as I had been for nigh on fifteen years at that point, but my musical tastes had grown, as well. I’d gotten into punk rock a few years prior, and at the time, I was working in a music store, and I may or may not have been smoking a lot of reefer, both which opened up all kinds of new musical doors for me – The Beatles, Talking Heads, The Smiths, Elvis Costello, Depeche Mode, Otis Redding, De La Soul, Kris Kristofferson, and on and on and on. My point is that I was not listening to metal quite as often as I had been in the mid-90’s. The stratospheric rise of nü-metal in the late 90’s also played a role, but that’s a topic for another post. I’m here today to talk about some weird synchronicity.
On September 10, 2001, at 12:25 AM, I wrote the following in my journal:
“In a metal mood. It came out of nowhere. Testament and Nuclear Assault are sounding especially good tonight, as is Death Angel…”
Nothing unusual about that as it stands. However, the next night (possibly later that same night), still in a metal mood, I was listening to Anthrax’s severely underrated 1998 album Volume 8: The Threat is Real! at a relatively high volume through my headphones. On the song “Big Fat”, there’s a line where John Bush says:
You asked me can I deliver?
Like a monster crossing the Hudson River
And when I heard that line, sitting in my dark room with my eyes closed, possibly high on the pot, I had this scene playing out in my head of a faceless, formless monster crossing the river from New Jersey, just crashing through, crushing, and devastating New York City (having never been to the city, the New York City of my imagination has always just been stock footage of Manhattan, like what you always see in movies and television shows). It was admittedly kind of fucked up, but it was also fairly cinematic and unrealistic, as I have never witnessed real-life Hollywood-blockbuster-type carnage, either.
The next morning, a little after 10:00 AM, I awoke to the phone ringing. My mom was calling to tell me that the country was under attack, and I turned on the TV, and everyone reading this knows what I saw. It wasn’t until a couple of days later that I remembered my strange vision of sorts.
But there’s more weird synchronicity to the story!
Fast forward to 2005. I’m living in Austin, Texas with
a drunken whore my then-wife, and I see an ad in The Austin Chronicle (Austin’s oh-so-full-of-itself weekly alternative newspaper) for an upcoming show. Friday, September 10, at The Back Room: Testament and Nuclear Assault! Is that not some shit?
Postscript: I ended up not going to that show, as Testament dropped off the tour for some reason (this was before the internet was so widely available (at least to me), but I do know that this was less than 2 years after Chuck Billy had whipped cancer’s ass – possibly unrelated, I have no idea), and I was much less interested in just seeing Nuclear Assault, which in hindsight was an incredibly stupid decision. With a few exceptions, I did not make the best decisions of my life while I was living in Austin.
At any rate, the events that took place 13 years ago today were undeniably fucked, and it’s clear that things will always be different than they were on September 10, 2001. I don’t have anything to add to this that hasn’t already been said, and probably in a more eloquent manner.
Here’s another excerpt from my journal…
“09.12.01 12:15 am
It’s now been 14 hours since I started watching news coverage, and still can’t get used to the images…I hope I can sleep well tonight…I hope there’s something to wake up to…”
I’m glad there was something to wake up to, and I’m glad that I still have music to help ease me through scary times, sad times, rough times, and total bullshit times. I’m also glad it’s there for the good times.
That’s all for today. Thanks for reading. Stay heavy, y’all.