The Day I Danced with Metallica
by Lucy Lipschitz
Aside from my family, the two passions in my life are Metallica and belly dancing.
Perhaps this is not such a strange mixture, but for some reason, maybe because of my age (mid-forties), or the
perception people have of me, (an attractive, vibrant grandmother-to-be), they seem to really freak out when I
tell them about my two hobbies. However, I despise stereotypes, I can and will do whatever I want; besides, I'm
not too shabby a dancer and a pretty crazed Met (Metallica) freak.
I decided to dance to Metallica's "Memory Remains" one performance night.
This is a perfect song for me, but hits a little too close to home. It is about a crazy, burnt out old woman living
in the past. I thought the song could be very effective. It has many varieties, lots of that good ole' Met drama,
and of course, Kirk's insane-tear-your-heart-out guitar solo. It starts out in a mocking tone toward this older
unattractive woman, but at the end, we are able to have compassion for her. She is sadly saying, "Just say
hello." Her la-da-da-da-da's, just make me teary eyed. I felt this non-Metallica crowd might be able to appreciate
I wore my full black costume, going for the Gloria Swanson look, with all of the
black eye make up, including black lipstick and facial tattoos! In a terrifying sort of way, I was beautiful!
I already knew "Memory Remains" so well. I've seen the Band sing it live four times now. I had danced
to it many, many times. I was so very happy to finally perform this in public. Metallica and I would be incredibly
good; I knew it. The big night came. I was to be the last one performer. Would the somewhat laid-back audience
respond to the song and to me? I was introduced; I stepped down to the floor, covered in my black veil from head
to toe, and the first lines of the tune boomed out. It was my turn. "This is it, Girl, time to dance as never
before! Let the people know why you adore Metallica," I thought to myself.
Oh! The glory, the wonder, of swooping and swaying! Mighty Hetfield's voice, the guitars, and the drums, carried
me along! No one can surpass this band in drama and dark visions. I became "HER", that sweet, little
crazy lady from Hollywood. I spun my veil, it flew above my head, and over the audience; it swirled around me,
like a patch of night. The light caught the sequins in my costume, and in my jewelry. As I spun and twirled, so
did the light and dark in my skirts. I turned my back to the audience so the people could see my wonderful back
tattoos dance as well. " Oh, Man!" I thought. "I am knocking them dead! This is great!" Marianne's
first solo came on. I shimmied and vibrated. I did my beloved and distinctive popping moves with my arms and head.
I felt as one with the song; this was not some cute little shimmy dance. Oh, No!
This was "Sunset Blvd". This song had something to say! How moved this audience must be! I stole a look
Now I know why this type of music is called "Heavy Metal". The one member
of the audience who knows who Metallica is, was smiling and clapping. The four (remaining) members looked like
a large lead pipe had been dropped on their collective heads! Their mouths were almost hanging open, looking absolutely
horrified. They looked like they were watching Satan's mother raise the dead, and if I had danced any longer, they
probably would have had a pleasant little witch burning in front of the café. I could have been burned at
the stake (or possibly, become a steak, who could tell?)
The last part of Marianne's closing vocal started. There was nothing left for me
to lose. I yelled out, "Everybody SING!" and my one Metallica friend and I started in on our la-da-da-da-da's.
As Marianne and the hurdy-gurdy ended on that sad, lonely note, I was ecstatic. I smiled as I walked off the dance
floor. The roar of the silence was deafening. The announcer exclaimed, "Well, that certainly WAS different"!
A few months later, I received a phone call telling me not to dance to Metallica music ever again. Metallica is
too noisy! Gosh darn Metallica, they are so LOUD! So, because I hate being told what to do, I just told them I
won't dance at their quiet little venue ever again. That's their loss, 'cause I had a routine worked out to "Free
Speech for the Dumb". It would have been awesome.