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Chuck Billy is the lead singer of the legendary San Francisco Bay area thrash metal band Testament, which has reunited with its original lineup and will destroy the Rialto Theatre on Thursday, March 29. For ticket information, visit the Rialto Web site.

What was the first concert you ever saw?

My first real concert by myself was Kiss in 1974 in San Francisco. There was so much pot smoke that night ... I made my way up to the front row on Gene Simmons' side, and he spat blood on me. I still have the T-shirt.

What CDs are in your changer right now?

I listen to everything on my iPod. I've got thousands of songs. I've been doing a lot of running lately, so I listen to The Haunted, (Iron Maiden's) Number of the Beast. It all depends on what kind of mood I'm in.

How many total albums do you own (CDs, vinyl, cassettes, 8-tracks)?

Probably close to 10,000, easy. I bought a record collection from a biker buddy recently.

Do you download music and if so, legally or illegally?

No, I don't. I never download.

What was the first album you owned?

It was probably something like The Monkees or The Partridge Family--something really gay when I was little.

What song would you like played at your funeral?

That's a tough one. Something like a Marley song or "Smoke Two Joints."

Musically speaking, what do you love that your friends don't know about? What's your favorite guilty pleasure?

I got some Madonna, Tori Amos (on my iPod). The only thing I don't listen to is R&B and rap. If something's good, it's good to listen to. I've got lots of soundtrack stuff like The Nightmare Before Christmas.

What band or artist changed your life, and how?

Gene Simmons. To me, when I was young, strumming on the broomsticks, he was such a monster and a big figure to me. When I met him in person, he was more of a stronger figure because he was really intelligent--he was more than what I thought.

Figurative gun to your head, what is your favorite album of all time?

Bonded by Blood, Exodus.

More by Jon Hobson

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