Strap It On

    Helmet live
July 29, 1997
Austin, Texas

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My girlfriend and I got to Austin about 4:30 in the afternoon. It had been advertised that the doors opened at 7:30, but it turned out to be 9:00, so we decided to just walk around for a while. I turned the corner and about a block up from us was John Stanier. We decided to follow him, he walked up about two blocks and went in a coffee shop. We went in after him, and were right behind him in line. I started talking to him and told him we were in town for the show. He said he didn't really know anyone in Austin and invited us to sit down. He was extremely nice and I asked him about 100 questions on everything from how he liked playing with Chris Traynor to how they ended up touring with Korn. He answered everything and was really nice about it. I mentioned during our conversation that we had to still go get tickets at the local record store, and he said not to worry about it, he would put us on the guest list. While we were sitting there the bassist (Mark) and drummer (Dale Crover) for the Melvins came in and sat down with us. Dale was extremely nice and Mark was a little bit of a jerk. Anyway, after an hour and a half of talking with John he said he needed to get back for soundcheck and got up to leave. We decided to leave also and walked out with him. He told us at the door he would see us later and we could meet the rest of the guys after the show. We left and went to a local record store and the owner was nice enough to give us a promotional helmet poster. We went back to the show when doors at opened at 9:00 and got in free by being on the guest list. Helmet didn't come on until midnight but it was well worth the wait. The setlist was a s follows:

high visibility
wilma's rainbow
pure
driving nowhere
birth defect
easy to get bored
fbla II (possibly the highlight of the show—great solo by Chris)
better
like i care
unsung
milktoast
tic
iron head
meantime
exactly what you wanted

After the show the Melvins drummer Dale came over and started talking to us. He said we could come backstage with him. We went back there and the whole band was hanging out, trying to cool down after the show. I got to talk to all them. Page was extremely nice, as were the rest of them. They all signed the poster I got earlier, with John signing it Go JP. It was an incredible concert made that much better by meeting the band and them all being so nice. When I was talking with John he had joked about being the puppet master of the band, that as the drummer he controlled everything.

I told Page what he had said and Page's reaction was "I just bought a really nice new drum machine." He then joked how he like to say that there are three musicians in helmet and a drummer. Overall it was an experience I will never forget, both the meeting the band and the show.

 

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