Saturday, November 28, 2009

Ratt Attack On "That Metal Show"

The first time I ever heard Ratt’s “Round and Round,” I was 9 years old and spending my summer vacation in a TV-free dacha in upstate New York with my grandmother. It was the summer of '84, and the local Top 40 radio station supplied my only entertainment. I went on to discover a ton of amazing singles that year: Prince's "Let Go Crazy," Depeche Mode's "People are People," and, of course, "Round and Round." After hearing the latter, though, nothing would ever be the same again. Something about Warren DeMartini’s wailing guitar affected me in a way I didn't understand yet. It was a pleasing noise that complemented Stephen Pearcy's acrid vocals and mesmerized my still-developing psyche.

In many ways, hearing "Round and Round" set me on my heavy metal path, doomed forever to chase the feedback/power chord dragon. It was perhaps the salient moment that affirmed my interest in music—at least that's how I tried to explain it to DeMartini after watching him and Pearcy film this past Saturday's episode of VH1 Classic's That Metal Show. I say tried, because what really came out of my mouth was probably far less eloquent. But standing before my childhood idol, words failed me.

Seeing the founders of Ratt on That Metal Show was the latest event to renew my interest in the '80s LA glam metal phenoms. This past July, I FINALLY got to see them play live—and perform Out of the Cellar in its entirety—as if they never skipped a beat. After more than 10 years spent as adversaries, Pearcy had only recently rejoined the remaining band members to tour, sign with Roadrunner and begin working on new material.

Then came the advent of Ratturday. True, the weekend tradition's origin might be a bit dubious, but surely even the Blotz would approve of disciples blasting Ratt's greatest hits every Saturday afternoon in his honor. Think of Ratturday as the cock rock equivalent of Peter Griffin's Church of the Fonz and come up with your own sacraments. Go with G-d and lay it down.

Finally, there was my meet & greet moment with the toxic twins after the That Metal Show taping. Forgetting that there was an eager queue of folks behind me waiting to give their regards, I sandwiched myself between DeMartini and Pearcy demanding a photo-op, then opened up a flurry of verbal run-off the guys were surely not expecting. While the guitarist listened patiently as I tried to unsuccessfully express my reverence, the tattered frontman acted his usual aloof rock star self, the elder statesman of thigh bruisers—and an object of my lust even at the age of 50.

Everything went so much better than I'd imagined. Guess it goes to show that you're never too old—or too jaded—to get starstruck. With love we'll find a way, just give it time. And "Way Cool Jr." still kind of sucks. Amen.

Here's a sampler of their appearance on That Metal Show.

To see more Ratt on That Metal Show, click here.

That Metal Show, starring Eddie Trunk, Don Jamieson and Jim Florentine, airs every Ratturday at 11pm EST on Vh1 Classic. Special thanks to Nyle Washington.

No comments: