I received a copy of the 1988 album “So Far, So Good, So What?” by Megadeth as a birthday present. I don’t know if that was the first time my mom screened music before she gave it to me, but it was the first time I became aware that she was not so unlike the other mothers who confiscated my tapes for the weekend when I came to visit their children. My mom just didn’t subscribe to “These Bands Are Satanic, Quarterly” like the other good Christian matrons of classmates from my Lutheran grade school. She actually listened to that shit for herself. She said, “I listened to it, and I couldn’t understand any of it, so I guess you can have it.” I also got “The Fat Boys Are Back,” that year, which I assume passed the mom test because everything on that record is about food, and moms love making everything about food.
By this time in my life I was a full blown juvenile delinquent, or at least I looked like one (some things never change). I was a grade school kid with grade school interests, but I looked like a total teenage high school burnout with ripped jeans, metal shirts, and a mullet. I told teachers I had dentist appointments so I could leave school and go eat frozen yogurt at TCBY. This was a time when TCBY could anchor a new strip mall development, instead of a truck stop. I was bad news buddy, and now I had a copy of “So Far, So Good, So What?” on glorious audio cassette tape to really up the, “I am an awful human being,” ante after I finished a swirl froyo waffle cone with chocolate chip topping. So, after I scarfing down my yogurt, I popped that Megadeth tape in my Sony Walkman and went to research Dave Mustaine in Circus and Hit Parader magazines at the pharmacy where kids bought bubble gum cigarettes.
Dave Mustaine was kicked out of Metallica because he was a bigger dick who did more drugs than James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich. He wrote some of their earliest, best songs (case in point: “Mechanix” from Megadeth’s first album is superior to the incredible “Four Horsemen” from Metallica’s Kill ‘em All). Dave Mustaine was sober now and like a deadly karate expert who had to carry a card identifying him as a deadly weapon or something. Lovestruck with Dave Mustaine, I fell in love with this album from the second the old timey radio gets nuked until the last time he squelches “…as long as there’s the PMRC!” I was a little kid, I had bad taste in adult men and heavy metal. The overwrought lyrics on “So Far, So Good… So What!” make you roll your eyes so far back in your head that you can see your brain going dark, had a power over me that definitively put me on the path to enlightened degeneracy and stunted development, but those words certainly lacked the staying power to stave off the horrifying embarrassment of once enjoying that truly terrible, awful cover of “Anarchy in the U.K.” when I mistakenly thought my taste was getting better as a teenager. My taste never got better, but it always changed right after side B was over, and it was time to put a new tape in the deck.