In the summer of 1987, I was 13 years old, and I was starting to expand my musical horizons a bit more. I always had a preference for hard rock music, considering how much I adored Kiss from such a young age. However, since pop music was so prevalent at the time, I listened to much of what happened to be on the radio. Some of it was decent, but some was pretty awful. I was ready for something new, and I sure got more than I bargained for.
One late summer day, I was sitting in my bedroom listening to music (as usual), and I got a phone call from my friend Adam who lived down the street. He asked if he could come over and play me something, and he ran over just a few minutes later. He showed me the tape before he popped it in, and I recognized the name Guns N’ Roses, but I had not heard them yet. When he pressed play, and the opening riff from “Welcome To The Jungle” hit, I was instantly hooked. If there was a way music could sound dangerous, that was what it would sound like. When “Jungle” ended, I was in a daze, dumbfounded by what I just heard. With no warning, “It’s So Easy” started, with that outstanding bass riff intro. At this point, I was in full on headbanging mode, but then, unexpectedly, that first “F Bomb” hit in the middle of the song. Adam and I exchanged a smile and a nod, the kind of nod that kids give to each other when they know they are doing something wrong, but it feels so right. All that was on my mind at that point was how I was going to get to the record store to get my own copy.
We listened to a few more songs, and Adam left. I made my way to the record store the next day, and I listened to “Appetite” almost exclusively for what seemed like weeks, maybe months. That record spoke to me unlike any other record. The riffs, the wailing vocals, the tempo changes, just a top to bottom masterpiece. In my opinion, it is one of those once in a lifetime records. I feel like if it were released today, it would still be successful. I still listen to it on a regular basis, and probably still will as I enter middle age and beyond. I only hope that new generations of kids discover it for the first time, and keep passing it on, like any good tradition.