Kevin wants me to buy him a Judas Priest album for Christmas. I’m in the little room contemplating this while listening to the one AC/DC cassette I have. I know, I know, it’s not the same thing, they’re totally different bands, etc., but still, — metal is metal. All I asked him for was an import Depeche Mode single on yellow vinyl.

Kevin and I are talking again — obviously. He finally got over himself. Plus, it was getting really awkward at school, especially since we’re science partners. I’m not even sure why we’re getting each other gifts when we ask each other for exactly one thing that we want that our parents’ would never get us so we’re pretty much guaranteed to get it and we do this every single year. I suppose I could get him something else. I know what he likes. I just didn’t know he liked Judas Priest. I’m still not completely convinced that he really does, or that he really should. I don’t know if I can condone his new affection for metal.

He says it’s not that different than punk, and that if I gave it a proper try then I would understand. He even said I could open the record if I buy it for him and play it or tape it before giving it to him. But I don’t know. I mean, there’s a line. There’s a line between metal and punk. There’s a line between right and wrong and this feels wrong.


Image: Rob Halford and K.K. Downing of Judas Priest, MTV: Who’s Who in Rock Video, Zomba Books, 1983.

Welcome to the Little Room is a series of 250-word re-imagined vignettes from my ’80s youth with a focus on music and style. It appears weekly on

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