Things looked promising for the third annual San Diego Metal Swap Meet. “The first one [in 2009] was held on my driveway in City Heights,” says organizer Brian Parker about the bizarre bazaar that connects serious local metal heads with hard-to-find leather gauntlets, horror movie video cassettes and patches for Swedish death metal bands like Dismember. “We drew about 300 people and had 20 vendors.”
Parker, 33, used to work at Blue Meannie Records in El Cajon. He says the record stores that used to sell T-shirts, accessories, and collectible posters don’t exist now. “Last year, we had it at Queen Bee’s and drew, like, 500 [people] and 28 vendors.”
It was announced in December that the third Metal Swap Meet would be returning to Queen Bee’s on April 23. Then a few weeks ago it was announced that the biggest metal event in years was going to be the same day: Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, and Anthrax would be playing Coachella.
“At first I was bummed out,” says Parker. “Then I saw they were charging $100 to get in or $200 V.I.P. We are only charging $3. I don’t see a lot of kids saving up $100. I think that show is for old guys with money.”
Cattle Decapitation frontman Travis Ryan will have a booth at this year’s swap meet selling rare CDs from his own catalog.
“The swap meet has more in common with the underground scene than major-label acts like Metallica, who have sucked for the last 20 years,” says Ryan.
Veteran metal band Cage will also play April 23 at Queen Bee’s.