Headbanger là gì
"You can see it in their eyes," says Jerry Mele. Searing, seething eyes boiling over with carefully contained aggression. Bright Maông chồng truck headlights mounted on an otherwise placid face. Jerry Mele learned how to lớn gauge the danger lurking behind such ominous orbs during a two-year hitch in Vietphái mạnh, where the astute G.I. quickly achieved leadership rank for his ability to trang chủ in on brewing trouble. Living in Thành Phố New York City for most of his 43 years, "where you gotta check your pockets every few feet khổng lồ see how much you just got ripped off," Mele became an expert at spotting ired eyes and cooling off would-be aggressors with some well-chosen words &, sometimes, swift moves. Then, ten years ago while driving a limo for some visiting rochồng stars, Mele finally got to put his knack for disaster detection lớn profitable use. Spotting a crazed-looking fan moving in quick on his employers for the night, Mele managed lớn get to the rabid rocker and somehow instantly cool his aggression without knocking his lights out. "It was just a matter of using your mouth instead of your fists, y"know?" says Mele (rhymes with "melee"). He speaks in an accent so thiông xã it would make Andrew Dice Clay sound like a Stanford professor. "Talking the guy down before things could erupt into a nasty situation. It went from something that looked like an oncoming tornabởi vì to lớn something just blowing in the wind." The band, whose name the maddeningly modest Mele refuses khổng lồ drop, immediately noticed the leaping limo driver"s talent for tornavị twisting and asked hyên ổn, on the spot, if he"d like khổng lồ come on tour as their chief of security. "I was instantly put in charge," marvels Mele. "I was thrown right into the fire. There was no `we"re gonmãng cầu work you inkhổng lồ this." It was like, `Pow! This is your job, man. Take care of it."" Now, after ten years as the head of security for every name from Duran Duran to lớn his current assignment on the Slayer/Anthrax/Megadeth "Clash of the Titans" tour that will stop at Veterans" Memorial Coliseum on Thursday, May 23, Mele has become known throughout the industry as rock"s Great Mediator. It"s a title he wears proudly, if a bit awkwardly.
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"I don"t know why I"m being fingered out," shrugs the shaggy-maned security czar, sipping coffee in the spacious backyard of his plush Scottsdale trang chính. Although he"s lived in the house with his second wife, Angela, for the past two years, his booming business has kept him on the road for all but three weeks of that time. "A lot of people seemed to lớn have sầu noticed the shows I"ve done, & they"re seeing that you can vì a concert where everyone can have sầu a good time without getting hurt. Bands và promoters are telling other people, `Try this guy." But I"m not really doing anything new," insists Mele.
"I just try to get everytoàn thân working as one unit--the bvà, the fans, the security guys, the police, ushers, first-aid people. I"m the guy who tries khổng lồ get everybody toàn thân khổng lồ realize we"re all here to have sầu a good time. Not khổng lồ see how many kids we can bust." IT WAS SLAYER, headbanging headliners on the current Clash of the Titans tour, who persuaded the normally press-shy Mele to go public with his secrets of successful security. "I don"t like lớn drop names of people I"ve sầu worked with," grimaces Mele. (It is believed, however, that they include a top Irish b& that starts with a U and a famous British pop chameleon whose name rhymes with Zowie). "And I don"t feel comfortable doing interviews. But this time, the b& said khổng lồ me, `Do it, man. Talk about what you vày. It"s gonna make a change for the kids, & it"s gonmãng cầu make a change for security."" While Mele professes khổng lồ dislike blowing his own horn, in truth, self-promotion is one of the main ingredients to lớn his success. Long before any concert begins, in the early morning hours when the most fanatical stage rushers are lining up outside the aremãng cầu doors, Mele is there, pressing the flesh, letting the kids know who he is và what his security team"s all about.
"Basically, we try to lớn set a tone right from the beginning," Mele says. "We let the fans know we"ll be working with them lớn make sure everybody enjoys the concert without getting hurt." The personal tương tác, Mele says, disposes of the "us" versus "them" thinking that often results in conflict between the security personnel và the fans. "What we"ve achieved around the country is we"ve sầu got a lot of these fans on our side now, simply because they know we"re on their side, too. And how they show it is they point out the wiseguys. They point out the guys who are starting trouble." Once Mele gets hold of a harmful hooligan, his approach is again slightly different from that of the average aremãng cầu bouncer. "For one thing, I don"t use five guys khổng lồ haul hlặng out," Mele says, noting that it"s futile lớn play a numbers game with a crowd of thousands. "I tap hyên ổn on the shoulder and say, `C"tháng, let"s take a walk." When he says, `Why?" I say, `I"ll explain it khổng lồ you outside. I can"t hear over the music." That gets hlặng out of the crowd, so if he wants khổng lồ be a tough guy in front of everyone, you"ve sầu just knocked 99 percent of his power out of hyên ổn. Now the only one he"s got khổng lồ get tough in front of is me." Usually a polite but firm talking-to will turn a front-row bully inlớn a teddy bear. "I just talk to lớn people lượt thích I wanmãng cầu be talked khổng lồ," Mele says. "I show "em as much respect as I possibly can--at first." The security honcho will happily serve sầu coffee to drunks & walk off a buzz with drug-doers before turning them over to lớn the facility"s rent-a-cops. "But sometimes talking và kindness doesn"t work. Sometimes you have sầu to involve certain people to lớn get a guy khổng lồ understvà what you really mean." Then Mele calls in his staff or the concert hall"s police "khổng lồ restrain them. Not to whale on "em, just get them out the door." Here, too, Mele has khổng lồ watch out for wiseguys. "Just like there"s always that 3 to 5 percent of the audience that"s gonna give sầu you trouble," he says, "5 percent of the security guys you hire are gonna wanna hurt somebody. But they"re weeded out fast." Most of today"s barricade bouncers, in fact, are serious professionals, Mele says. "It"s not the same old `goon squad" it used to be. Some of the guys I hire now are college graduates, retired policemen, even school teachers. Teachers like doing this as a sideline, so when their students go, `You don"t know what"s happening," they can say, `Oh yeah? I watched you last night headbanging, asshole!" "You"re dealing with more professional people now. It"s not like the old days, when you"d go, `Let"s grab the ten biggest guys outside and put a tee shirt on "em."" MELE DREAMS OF A DAY when his security services are billed below the band"s name, just lượt thích light shows were touted on psychedelic concert fliers in the late Sixties, when Mele was going lớn concerts himself. Certainly a "Security by Mele" mention would signal khổng lồ fans that they"re dealing with the concert world"s coolest cop. But the security biz is not a field where one can rest on his laurels. "I"ve never had a kid give me one of these," says Mele proudly, hoisting the famous one-finger salute in the air. "But you never know what"s gonmãng cầu happen at the next concert. It"s like you"re starting over every night. "I have meetings every day, with the building manager, the police department, the fire department, first aid, ushers. Even if we"re doing multiple gigs. I"ve done eight shows in a row at the same venue. Every day at the same time, there"s a meeting. Guys"ll go, `Jerry, we just talked about this yesterday!" And I"ll say, `Yeah, but I wanna make sure you remember it." Every day"s a new ball game."
"I"m the guy who tries to get everytoàn thân to lớn realize we"re all here khổng lồ have a good time."
"I show "em as much respect as I possibly can--at first." "Five percent of the security guys you hire are gonmãng cầu wanmãng cầu hurt sometoàn thân.
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