rockers

‘Rock Ramp.’ The words stir fear in the hearts of all. They mean something, but what? Loud heavy metal music? Yes. Public consumption of alcoholic beverages? Uh huh, yes. Parades of bad-looking, tattooed dudes draping protective inked arms around girlfriends with unusually colored hair? Yes. Skulls, motorcycles, sunglasses, sneers, cigarettes … Look, I’ll stop there and say that Estonia has a vibrant “rocker” culture. “Rocker” as in young men and women who would fit in fine at a Gene Vincent concert. Be-Bop-A-Lula, I don’t mean maybe. My brother-in-law’s one of them, too. I asked him over pancakes the other morning, “So, who’s in Metallica these days?” And he just rattled them all off, “James Hatfield, Lars Ulrich, Kirk Hammett, Robert Trujillo.” “Ah, Robert Trujillo, he’s the one who replaced…” “Jason Newsted,” and he was right there with the name, like a conscientious concierge. But I’d be fooling you to just say, “Rocker” is “Heavy Metal.” It’s not. It’s more like Hells Angels, The Wild Ones. These guys aren’t head bangers … they’re greasy. There was even a parade of bikers roaming around Viljandi with their “ESTONIA” leather jackets on. Like Genghis Khan on an iron horse, as Hunter S. Thompson put it. And I did catch myself wondering, what year is it? Twenty Thirteen? Nineteen Sixty Six?

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