New York has a quintessential rock sound. It’s provocative, sexy, and witty, with a humor not found anywhere else in the world. Whether it’s Lou Reed, The Ramones, TV on the Radio, or any other of the menagerie of bands, from hip-hop to metal, you can point it out and hold it on a pedestal, or dissect it under a microscope and never find what it is that makes it from New York…. It’s just there.
Anthrax holds a special place in my heart. Branded in my brain, 10 years old, snowy, Cleveland, OH winter evening, watching MTV, more specifically Headbanger’s Ball, as most 10 year olds did in 1991. On screen come Anthrax, a band I had heard of only in the most darkened circles in the 5th grade, usually reserved for the kids whose parents let them out of the house past 8 on a school night. And Public Enemy who drove the bus for bringing African American youth politics to the forefront through hip-hop. Quite an exotic mix for a white kid from the suburbs whose cassette tape collection consisted of Milli Vanilli and Madonna.