I was 15 in the fall of 1970 when I met this strange, edgy girl in my suburban Cleveland neighborhood, a girl who would later be among those labeled as Goth — dark eye makeup, dark clothes, a creepy, nihilistic attitude. She invited me to her house to listen to albums, which was one of my favorite activities, so I accepted. Except her albums were nothing like my albums, and her room was lit with about a dozen candles.
As I looked through her collection, I asked her to play me her latest favorite, and she lowered the needle on a song called “Black Sabbath,” the leadoff track from the album Black Sabbath by the band Black Sabbath. The cover showed a sinister-looking woman lurking in the woods, with an old building behind her. And the “music” — well, it was the sound of a thunderstorm, with a church bell tolling ominously in the distance. What the hell is this? I thought. And then the band came crashing in with these weighty, frightening chords, evoking a sense of doom and death. I got chills up my spine.