Friday, November 28, 2008

PTSD (Post-Thanksgiving Starch Disorder)

Ten minutes shy of noon and I'm finishing up the bottle of wine I opened last night: an Australian blended red with grenache as the base, with equal parts mataro and shiraz for flavor that went well with the chocolate ancho mole I whipped up.

After the dishes and kitchen were cleaned, I sat down in front of the computer for a bit, surfing and checking e-mail (a compulsion I can't seem to shake on holidays). Whenever I browse YouTube I can't help but root around for old hair metal bands. I found this gem:

The band was called Nitro and, like many bands of the era (Vinnie Vincent Invasion comes to mind) they ascribed to a "bigger is better" aesthetic. Guitarist Michael Angelo Batio was one of those guitarists who could fill an eight-bar solo with thousands of notes. Singer Jim Gillette had claimed to have a six octave range — he legitimately could hit four octaves — and routinely shattered wine glasses with his voice in concerts.

Too bad they couldn't write a good song with guns pointed at their heads. But this was the late 80's, so that never held Nitro back. Both Batio and Gillette released popular instruction videos through Doug Marks' "Metal Method" series in which each purported that, with the right amount of training and instruction, you, too could suck as hard as they unleash your untapped musical potential.

The great thing about Nirvana and the grunge explosion is that hack bands like Nitro were killed off immediately. To their credit, Nitro also wasn't one of those bands that hung on long after grunge died whining that they could have been big if it hadn't been for Kurt Cobain's ability to write good songs.

Not that Gillette has anything to whine about, nor would he give a damn if he ever came across this. He's living a charmed life. Post-Nitro, Gillette took his instruction video money, moved to an island, started training in jujitsu and MMA, and became a legitimate, fireplug-bodied badass.

Oh, yeah, he also married Lita Ford, which is as ultimate a "fuck you" as one can get without having to actually mouth the words.

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