Six months ago, I get blitzed with a buddy of mine and we're barn-storming new bands while watering the flowers next to this bar we just got tossed out of (for the record, they closed two hours before they kicked us out so at least they were hospitable about it).
As he aims a golden arc of digested beer over the shoulder of an unsuspecting lawn jockey, my buddy says, "Somebody needs to do a band that's half Trans-Siberian Orchestra and (buuuuuuuuuurrp), excuse me, half Celtic Woman."
We'd have peed ourselves silly if we weren't already.
Thing is, I can't help think my buddy kinda wishes he'd done more than just think about it.
Of course, he never would because heavy metal means too much to him to cheapen it like that. I was with him the day we went to Wal-Mart to pick up dog food for his beloved dog Buck and saw that AC/DC chew toy in the clearance section for $1.
At first, I thought he was gonna get it for Buck, but then I noticed him shaking his head.
For those of us of a certain age, whether we dug the music or not, we at least respected that heavy metal was a way of life for those who did it well. The idea of seeing "AC/DC" on a dog toy that wasn't scribbled in the recognizable penmanship of a 12-year-old was unthinkable.
What I love most about Baby Metal is that they employ an even narrower field of focus than a band like the Ramones, who seemed quite comical to many at the time for theirs. "The songs all sound the same," said the critics, but whose songs are they using in Cadillac commercials and Nickelodeon cartoons these days, I wonder?
That's why those who laugh off Baby Metal do so at their own peril while the hipsters they loathe get to take all the credit for digging them before anybody else did. Those same hipsters will get to wax poetically about the stench of the overflowing toilets overpowering even the most ferocious band to a crowd of 12 of the coolest people with no friends ever.
You know the type: no wife, no kids, no job to speak of, but somehow over the past thirty years has managed to see literally every now-legendary rock band before they were famous.
For shits and giggles, you try to stump the guy when you get stuck at the same table at family gatherings or the company Halloween party.
"Saw em. Poughkeepsie, NY. 1974. Blizzard dumped two feet of snow the day of the show. There must have been only 12 people but they played like it was a sold-out Shea Stadium."
"L.A. Forum. had a backstage pass for that one because my buddy worked for the radio station that put on the show. Saw some of the finest ladies I have ever seen in my life at that show. Talk about piles of coke. Sent me home with a glad bag of Peruvian nose sugar."
Sha Na Na?
"Real funny, smart ass. Thinking you can stump me. My girlfriend's brother surprised us with tickets the day before so we drove out to the fucking middle of nowhere to see Janis Joplin and the fucking Who. First band we see after ditching our car and walking two miles through people's yard and shit? Fucking Sha Na Na. I'm talking pre-Bowser Sha Na Na too."
See what I mean about seeing everybody before they were big? If you look closely, you can see him in the audience during Baby Metal's performance on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.
In all seriousness, I do believe that we can now officially end the random mixing of musical genres for maximum shock value. That it took the Japanese to finally meld Slipknot with Celtic Woman and give it a special anime twist is yet another reason for we Americans to hang our heads in shame for not thinking of it first.
Oh, sure, we can cure polio, invent Post-It notes, and put a man on the moon, but we couldn't invent Baby Metal before the Japanese??