All popular music was forbidden in the dorm: therefore, heavy metal was extremely popular. If you are going to get expelled for listening to secular music, all forms of which are banned, you damned well better not get expelled for listening to Supertramp or Menudo. The transgression needed to suit the threatened punishment, and so The Scorpions, Def Leppard and Van Halen were the strong meat that a lot of missionary kids sought most often. I’m supposed to be embarrassed, I think, that my first foray into popular music resulted in Van Halen. But I'd thought about it plenty and Van Halen was exactly how much I was prepared to rebel. Honestly, I was afraid of heavy metal. I have never owned an Iron Maiden record. They are too scary. Iron Maiden is playing Vancouver shortly and their posters are up all over town and I wish that they weren't because Eddie still makes me very uneasy. Van Halen did not scare me.
Fanciful at best, the idea that you could prohibit music and make it stick. Music always finds its way in. We were still in the city, and on occasion we would receive permission to spend an afternoon after school walking around Quito. Iῆaquito, our ‘hood, sounded like traffic congestion, cumbia and Quechua; but further along, other parts of the city were more Westernized and a twenty minute walk would get you within earshot of Madonna, pizzerias, video arcades and a record shop, where I bought Diver Down (Warner Bros., 1982), my first ever record. The record I bought I did not buy to play: I did not own a record player. I just wanted to know what it felt like to touch an actual record. I did have a Walkman, and a friend made me a copy of their record and I listened to it on tape all the time. Diver Down, which I no longer own, is a covers record: there is not anything heavy or metal about it. I don't know if I even liked it, but I do know that David Lee Roth is the only singer in the world who has ever come on stage like this...
...and that still ought to count for something. Happy Trails.