Type O taps into old memories

Shelley Blundell

One of my fondest memories from my late teenage years was rolling around in my friend Roland’s beat-up car with the “Dukes of Hazzard” doors, listening to gloomy metal music.

While I wasn’t a Goth by any stretch of the imagination, the music always enthralled me and filled my soul with unexplainable urges and desires. Despite the plethora of bands available on Roland’s mixed tapes that invoked such emotion, it was Type O Negative that always got my blood boiling … in a good way.

Imagine my excitement when I heard the band was coming to the House of Blues in Cleveland. I was excited, giddy; all shook up over seeing the gloom-rockers who had so impacted those impressionable years.

Now, imagine my dismay as I stood in a crowd of disgustingly smelly, aging metal heads and Goth wannabes with more eyeliner on than Phyllis Diller, patiently waiting for the band to take the stage — and had to listen to the Chicken Dance Polka for 20 minutes.

What I can only assume was a cheap ploy to enrage an already off-kilter crowd, or express Type O Negative’s well-known masochistic sense of humor, the Chicken Dance Polka quickly became more than I could bear. When the loop finally came to a soul-crushing end, all listeners breathed an audible sigh of relief.

Until “It’s a Small World (After All)” came on.

At this point, I was thinking to myself “What a waste of a Tuesday night!”

I tell you this anecdote to tell you about another music memory.

I attended my very first music concert at the ripe old age of 14 (I was with my parents, and the band was Def Leppard.) And, to this day, it remains one of best concerts I’ve ever been to.

Why, you may ask? (Or laugh — lots of people hate on “the Lepp.”)

Because Def Leppard gave the crowd what they wanted and more, and the band gave everyone in attendance the impression they wanted to be there.

Type O? Not so much.

I hesitated to say this about one of my favorite bands because, quite frankly, Peter Steele (lead singer for the band) is enormous. And no, I’m not just talking about his legendary Playgirl-featured member. The man is a monolith, and I’m pretty sure he could do some serious damage to me if he wanted to.

However, despite Steele’s huge . following, I felt cheated. The band played a lot off the new album, which was to be expected, but only one or two classics. I was crushed.

Although I understand that bands tour to promote their songs, I think many bands touring today forget that before they had new fans, they had old fans, and it couldn’t hurt to throw them a frigging bone, “Black No. 1” in the case of Type O.

While I was disappointed by the show, I still love the band. “Christian Woman” and “Love You to Death” still have the power to take me back to those days with my friends, the scent of sea in the air, and the promise of youthful excitement on the horizon.

Maybe some bands are best viewed in one’s imagination, only.

Shelley Blundell is a history graduate, senior magazine journalism major and a columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].