Megadeth among the Maytags Band: The heavy-metal group met with about 400 fans at Best Buy in Glen Burnie. The performers were cool, the fans were calm and the appliances maintained their shine.

August 04, 1998|By Tamara Ikenberg | Tamara Ikenberg,SUN STAFF

Heavy-metal appliances met heavy-metal behemoths Megadeth yesterday at Best Buy in Glen Burnie.

The aging speed-metalheads behind albums such as "Youthanasia," "Rust in Peace" and the current "Cryptic Writings" have gone through a few member shifts since forming in the early '80s.

They played the OZZfest at Nissan Pavilion Sunday night. They came to Best Buy, which sponsored the OZZfest, to sign CD covers, guitars and body parts in the midst of Frigidaires, microwaves and cardboard cutouts of the Maytag repairman.

Nodding his head at the inanimate Maytag man, fan Steve Hickey, 16, said, "He looks like he's having a good time."

But even though the nearly 400 fans -- leaning against refrigerators and pricing washer-dryers to pass the time -- were diverse in age and dress, the beloved Maytag man hardly fit in.

It wasn't all spiked hair and dog collars, although there were a few. It was also clean-cut yuppies and mothers and babies.

Rebekah Wyngaert, 25, had her hands full with a Peter Rabbit diaper bag and 4-month-old baby Zachary slung over her chest in a baby carrier.

"There are quite a few normal-looking people," said the pigtailed mom from Fort Meade. "That's kind of nice."

Her friend Jerry Mercer, 26, sporting multicolored eagle and dagger tattoos on both of his forearms, speculated on how he could punk Zachary out.

"Spike his hair and dye it purple," said Mercer, a Glen Burnie resident. He gently bunched the drooling infant's strawberry blond hair into a makeshift mohawk.

Zachary was too young to express his love for Mega-deth, but other youngsters, such as 7-year-old Mikey Walton, were far more vocal.

"Today I woke up and I kept asking my mom, 'Is it time yet? Is it time yet? Is it time yet?' " said the towheaded Pasadena resident, pacing spastically and clutching a Megadeth CD.

"I was hoping he'd forget," said his mother, Connie, smoking a cigarette in front of the store.

When Megadeth arrived, casually decked out in jeans, T-shirts and tennis shoes, the crowd was calmer than one might expect heavy-metal mavens to be. A few squeals of delight sounded as the band entered the store, flanked by lemon-yellow-shirted Best Buy security guards, but that was as manic as it got.

The smiling, sedate men of Megadeth, Dave Mustaine, Marty Friedman, Nick Menza and Dave Ellefson, sat side by side as fans filed by in assembly-line fashion, shaking hands, gathering autographs and even distributing business cards.

After getting the back of her shirt signed, Leticia Moreno, 16, bounced about frenetically, snapping pictures with a disposable camera.

"When you're inspired by someone, it's really cool to meet them," said Moreno, a Millersville resident. In combat boots and a smorgasbord of bright plastic kitsch, Moreno looked like the victim of an Urban Outfitters explosion.

"These kids are the leaders of tomorrow. By doing this we can show them that their dreams can come true," said orange-maned Megadeth front man Mustaine. "There are too many spoiled rock stars out there that are unavailable to their fans."

Perhaps nobody appreciated their availability more than Patti Berezne, 33.

She was so affected by meeting the band that her speech came in staccato gasps as she held onto the railings outside the store for support.

Berezne, whose tan had a George Hamilton hue, hasn't missed a Megadeth appearance in the region for the past 10 years.

"Now my life is complete," she said. "This is just a beautiful thing."

Other fans kept their cool a little more effectively than Berezne. Kacey Wilder, seated atop his guitar case and wearing green-tinted Terminator glasses inside, divided his attention between his beloved band and household name brands.

"I like the appliances and stuff that they have," the 30-year-old Brooklyn Park resident said. "They have nice refrigerators."

Pub Date: 8/04/98

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