“Black Metallic” is Track 3 off of Catherine Wheel’s 1992 Album Ferment. What a year 1992 was in Music, and in my life. Everything changed for me that year. Everything. And the Music from that year that I connected to, and that soundtracked my life, was everything. All that Music still is everything, too. My heart still swirls around the Music I loved in 1992. This Song included.
“Black Metallic” was written by Catherine Wheel and produced by Timothy Friese-Greene. The Band, Catherine Wheel, was formed in 1990, comprising of singer-guitarist Rob Dickinson (cousin of Bruce Dickinson of Iron Maiden), guitarist Brian Futter, bassist Dave Hawes, and drummer Neil Simms. The name Catherine Wheel was taken from the firework of that name, which in turn had taken its name from the medieval torture device called a catherine wheel. (from Wikipedia)
Catherine Wheel are often considered part of the Shoegaze genre. In some ways, I feel they were a “gateway” into Shoegaze for me.
“Black Metallic” by Catherine Wheel
from the Album, Ferment (1992)
The first time I heard this song I was laying on the floor of an ex-boyfriend’s bedroom. We were staring up at the glow-in-the-dark stars that we’d stuck up there together the year before. Back when things were clearer between us.
He lay there beside me, staring up in that same lost sort of way that had attracted me to him in the first place. He looked as lost as I felt. Right then, as the starting chords to “Black Metallic” started up he reached over and grabbed hold of my hand.
We didn’t say much. We just held on tight and closed our eyes, letting the Music wash over us. Letting it take us back to better days. I can still remember a tear sliding down my cheek, how it got caught between the fabric of my sweatshirt and the curve of my neck.
There was no way we could reconcile. I think we both knew it. But through the 7:19 minutes of the Song we were still “us”. We hit in it, in that “us”, until the Song was over.
When I think on that time, my eyes closed, Song playing, I swear I can still smell that slight hint of tobacco and cologne on his clothes. A scent that stayed held within his jacket for months and months after he was gone. The jacket I never gave back. I remember the way one of my shoes dangled half-off my right foot, and how his thumb had a slight callous on it from this nervous habit of chewing on it when he thought no one was looking.
He was the first boy I ever loved with every part of my being, enough so that I felt gutted when we finally parted ways. Enough so that that love will always be part of the way I think on all of it, and how I will always feel about “Black Metallic”.