May 16, 2012

Heavy Metal Smuggling Grannies sparked tape trading in Eastern Europe

The Gauntlet has posted a great article that reminds me so much of growing up under commie regime, except my grandma would bring me shoes and cigarettes. Wish she brought some metal.

"In the 70's, much of Europe was a hotbed of heavy metal activity and many mainstream rock radio stations began playing metal over the air. This was also true of West Germany’s television and radio programming which could be picked up over the air in parts of East Germany giving listeners their first taste of underground metal. The seeds were planted and many East Germans were hooked on metal but with only state run record shops selling AMIGA music, they had no way to purchase the sought after albums and crossing the border into West Germany was still very illegal.

 Around the same time that heavy metal began playing over West German airwaves, East Germany relaxed its emigration laws to allow the elderly, 65 plus, to visit family residing in West Germany. Many teens seized upon this as an opportunity to have grandma smuggle metal records.

Mille Petrozza from Kreator stated "They [fans] found ways to get the records. Older people were allowed to travel outside of East Germany in the later years. A lot of kids would have their grandparents or grandmas bring in metal albums from West Germany. That was how it worked. There was an underground trading scene that developed once the albums were brought in. Our music was extensively known by the East Germans from this. They were adventurous times back then for getting metal."

You must read the whole story here.


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