The Null Device

Hell Bent for Leather

A recollection of growing up as a heavy-metal fanatic in the British Midlands in the 1980s:
The drummer was called James and the singer was called Jez. We met at the Bavisters' a few weeks later and, as they got out of their car and started unloading their gear, I froze. They were both wearing spandex trousers and had long, impressive mullets. I'd never seen anyone as cool as them in real life before.
When we first saw Kurt Cobain, it wasn't clear that he was the assassin who'd come to slit our throats. He had long hair for a start, professed a love of Black Sabbath and, with his grubby bandmates, had made a snotty but hardly radical debut album called Bleach. That was OK; metal was assimilating the nascent grunge movement pretty well. There certainly weren't any lines in the sand - until Nevermind.

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