The Citizen Kane Of Of Wasted Teenage Metalness
March 30, 2016 1:33 AM   Subscribe

Heavy metal definitely rules! Twisted Sister, Judas Priest, Dokken, Ozzy, Scorpions. They all rule! Heavy Metal Parking Lot was one of the earliest, pre-Internet viral films, a slice of a simpler time in mid-80s America. Deadspin asks: what actually was it all about, and where did those teenage metalheads end up?

Metal in the '80s was its own thing, and not easy to understand if you weren't there. But there are various guides if it wasn't your scene.
posted by Mezentian (66 comments total) 35 users marked this as a favorite
 
I used to get my hair cut by an older lady who had learned her trade in LA at that time, and who used to do hair for Sunset Strip type hair metal bands. She loved to talk about those days although I got the idea that there was a lot she didn't want to go into at her work....
posted by thelonius at 3:28 AM on March 30, 2016 [4 favorites]


Wow, I wasn't at this exact concert but I think it must have been this tour.
posted by Meatbomb at 4:15 AM on March 30, 2016


My favorite part of HMPL is when they ask the girl what she'd do if Rob Halford were there, and she thinks about it quite seriously before replying "I'd probably jump his bones". The combination of the seriousness of her deliberation and the hindsight that Halford is gay just slays me.

That, or Gram.
posted by kevinbelt at 4:28 AM on March 30, 2016 [8 favorites]


I could've been one of those kids. The obvious intent was to make fun of them, but it kind of backfires since by the end, most people are thinking 'I wanna party with those guys!"

*lives after midnight, rocks till dawn*
posted by jonmc at 4:29 AM on March 30, 2016 [14 favorites]


ITYM: before replying "I'd probably jump his boooooooones"

I am sure there is an entire discussion to be had around the Mercury/Halford/Village People, but what struck me is how mainstream and 'bro' these people were.

I am not this old, but these people didna seem Priest fans.

The obvious intent was to make fun of them,

I am not sure you're right. It is there, but it is also showing metalheads circa 1986. And it was a different world.
posted by Mezentian at 5:02 AM on March 30, 2016


Of course as I've said before, an Indie Rock Parking Lot would kinda suck since nobody would be getting fucked up or trying to get laid or in a fight, they'd just be sipping free trade coffee and tweeting on their iPhones and there'd be no parking lot anyway since they'd all take their fucking bicycles.
posted by jonmc at 5:14 AM on March 30, 2016 [15 favorites]


In 1986 I went to see Dokken open for Judas Priest on the Fuel for Life tour at the Capital Center in Landover Maryland on Memorial Day Weekend. So, I totally could have been in the video. I'm not (thank FSM, as my hair... yeah. I've burned all pictures from that era.) but I could have been.

Since I was there and reliably illustrate the demographic at hand, I will state for the record that neither I nor any of my friends at the time had any idea that Mr. Halford preferred men. No clue. In 1986, in my world, possibly Elton John was gay. And Liberace. We were all pretty sure Liberace was gay. Freddie Mercury? Not gay. Rob Halford? Not gay. Village People? Lame, but not gay. (We did not particularly understand camp or gay stereotypes so all that just flew over our heads. You would absolutely shit your pants at the number of conservative straight middle-aged white folks back then dancing and singing and doing the arms for Y.M.C.A with their children... no gay vibe at all, there. None. We found no innuendo at all in that song.)

It was a different time. Not a better time, but a different time.
posted by which_chick at 5:36 AM on March 30, 2016 [32 favorites]


This was filmed in my backyard by a friend of my older brother. There was a time - a moment anyway - when the characters in that film were what I and my fellow little-sibling peers *aspired* to.

And no, the intent was not to poke fun. The intent was to become a filmmaker.
posted by headnsouth at 5:42 AM on March 30, 2016 [9 favorites]


Sorry, Graham (like gram-a-dope-n-shit) from the "west coast," your Baltimore O gives you away.

This is goddamn fantastic.
posted by uncleozzy at 5:47 AM on March 30, 2016 [2 favorites]


It's fun to watch this now, but back then these were the kids we would try to avoid - they didn't take kindly to weirdos.
posted by Flashman at 5:54 AM on March 30, 2016 [4 favorites]


Kinda sequel: Neil Diamond Parking Lot.
posted by box at 5:55 AM on March 30, 2016 [3 favorites]


My parents moved to DC right before I left for college in Fall 85, so this concert was right after I came home for the summer. Probably the only reason I wasn't there was that I didn't have a car, and didn't have any friends in DC so I didn't have anybody to go with. But yeah, I would have fit right in with Zebraman back in the day.
posted by COD at 5:59 AM on March 30, 2016


(And if you just want more '80s metal people, I strongly recommend 'The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years.')
posted by box at 6:06 AM on March 30, 2016 [6 favorites]


"What's this???"
"We're with MTV."
"BULLLL-shit!"
*sudden cut*
posted by The Card Cheat at 6:13 AM on March 30, 2016 [3 favorites]


Kinda sequel: Neil Diamond Parking Lot yt .

Hawt.
Augusty.

(And if you just want more '80s metal people, I strongly recommend 'The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years.'

Aww come on.
it's a trilogy!
Embrace the three!
posted by Mezentian at 6:13 AM on March 30, 2016 [1 favorite]


Jeff Krulik has made some interesting docs. I met him at Facets in Chicago, about 15 years ago at a retrospective of his different films. Super nice guy and really open. My first viewings of HMPL were on VHS tape. Super scratchy and worn. I miss that kind of feel to film.

Just looked on YouTube and found Jeff has a channel.

Thanks for posting this!
posted by zerobyproxy at 6:17 AM on March 30, 2016


Kinda sequel: Neil Diamond Parking Lot yt .

OH MY GOD.
Actual sequel.
posted by Mezentian at 6:18 AM on March 30, 2016


(We did not particularly understand camp or gay stereotypes so all that just flew over our heads. You would absolutely shit your pants at the number of conservative straight middle-aged white folks back then dancing and singing and doing the arms for Y.M.C.A with their children... no gay vibe at all, there. None. We found no innuendo at all in that song.)

I've told this story here before, but my buddy in HS was a full on metalhead. I liked Judas Priest and Sabbath, not so big on Metallica or Quiet Riot or any of the other in that huge metal wave.

Anyways, the two of us are at my first Judas Priest concert, of course very baked, and when Halford comes out he is in his full black leather biker daddy outfit. He comes from stage left and leans against the speaker tower, one leg high up knee jutted out, one hand behind his neck, leather cap pushed way way down with the brim obscuring his face. The crowd of super hetero teen metalheads went wild, screaming, screaming, fists and hail satan signs high in the air.

And I watched this, and thought to myself, "How is Rob Halford not totally gay? That is the gayest thing I have ever seen. There is no way that he is not gay." I was genuinely bewildered that it seemed like I was the only one seeing it.
posted by Meatbomb at 6:24 AM on March 30, 2016 [15 favorites]


In 2001 I briefly dated Jennie. I was 31 at the time, and Jennie was 44. Jennie was very, very into 70's and 80's rock. She wanted to go see LA Guns and Dokken play at the House of Blues in Myrtle Beach, so we went. I like doing things I would not usually do. Sometimes I even do things for the sake of history rather than for the sake of my own enjoyment. This was one of those times. After all, a good story lasts much longer than a good experience.

Jennie was dressed the part for this show. Included in her ensemble was a very tight and low cut top that showcased a previous investment of hers. One of the first things I was struck by when we entered the building was the audience. No one was young. This was not the same demographic as had gone to these shows in the 80's. These were the exact same people. Most of them had carefully chosen their attire from a time capsule.

I had seen people raise their hands in the air with their index and pinky fingers extended while loud music played. Every time I saw people do it in the past, it was being done by people who were making fun of heavy metal fans. I had done it with my friends. I didn't know that people actually did that for real. But here I was that night, standing among hundreds of people who were doing just that. And they were doing it with great passion and seriousness. I stood there during the show watching both the fans and the performers with great fascination. Each band played a song I vaguely recognized, and then 45 minutes or so of similar sounding songs I did not recognize. They sounded fine. LA Guns played one blues number that featured the lead guitarist singing and playing the blues. That got me thinking about how many pop bands must have some talented musicians who never get to do anything interesting when performing. They must hate that.

After the show, Jennie suggested we go out back an meet the bands. This was something she apparently regularly did. I didn't even know it was possible. We waited outside the back door with 10-12 other people. Inside had been a scene I had never witnessed. Outside after was a scene I didn't even know existed. Soon LA Guns emerged from the building. They were very pleasant and stopped and talked to the waiting fans. They posed for pictures and signed autographs. The lead singer attracted most of the attention. The lead guitarist was standing to the side. I told him that I really enjoyed the blues song he played. He lit up at that. He was happy to talk about how much he enjoys doing that and was glad that it was appreciated. LA Guns left.

After a few more minutes, Don Dokken emerged. He was apparently the big celebrity of the night. Jennie caught his eye immediately. She stood before him with the other fans asking for autographs and pictures. He looked down at her, and took a long look at her cleavage. "You should be the poster child for breasts."

That was the line. That was what he actually said. It is a line I have not used myself, as I am thinking it might not work well for me. He then leaned his head down and kissed the top of each one, and then kissed Jennie on the mouth. It was like she had touched the hand of God. Jennie was enthralled. She smiled and laughed. She could not have been happier.

I was not jealous. What was there to be jealous of? We went on our way and Mr. Dokken went on his. We drove home. I already knew we had considerably different interests and values. That night, I decided that difference was insurmountable.

That was the last date we went on.
posted by flarbuse at 6:26 AM on March 30, 2016 [54 favorites]


hat got me thinking about how many pop bands must have some talented musicians who never get to do anything interesting when performing. They must hate that.

Victor Bailey was talking about how, when he and Omar Hakim were playing on Madonna's tour, she'd cut them off in rehearsals: "Don't play any of that Weather Report shit". I always thought that was funny: hire Weather Report's rhythm section and then yell at them for sounding like Weather Report.

Bailey said that the main thing he took away from the gig was appreciation of the level of detail and conscious mastery of detail with which she approached everything about her production.
posted by thelonius at 6:44 AM on March 30, 2016 [6 favorites]


My favorite part of HMPL is when they ask the girl what she'd do if Rob Halford were there, and she thinks about it quite seriously before replying "I'd probably jump his bones". The combination of the seriousness of her deliberation and the hindsight that Halford is gay just slays me.

Here at 4:10, Narduwar plays the segment from HMPL where a woman explains what she'd do if Halford were present.

Halford's response is priceless.

Actually, that whole Nardwuar interview is great.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 6:59 AM on March 30, 2016 [5 favorites]


Great piece. Cool to find out what happened to everybody over the years.

And if nothing else, thank you Laura Schnitker for introducing me to the totally not metal Delta Saints.
posted by Naberius at 7:08 AM on March 30, 2016


mandolin conspiracy, YES! Those pics that Narduar shows Halford, they are from exactly the concert I went to, 1984 at the Pacific Colosseum. Far out.
posted by Meatbomb at 7:09 AM on March 30, 2016 [1 favorite]


We had our "stoner burnout metalheads" at my high school also, which otherwise was an utter bastion of UMC prep in the mid-80's - and they hung out in the student parking lot. There were only 15-20 of them in a school of 1200, but the principal HATED these kids. Then again, this was a guy who wore a deerstalker outfit complete with cape and cap for outerwear and insisted everyone call him DOCTOR Principal. ::eyeroll::

I basically went to a John Hughes High, populated by mostly Blaine, Steff and Claire types of all races, save for a couple of Duckie types, one out-and-out punk, and these kids in the parking lot.

I usually ignored the metalhead kids, which was in my best interests; the girls of the group had no problem screaming the N-word at me. I didn't understand at the time that part of why they did this was their way of displacing their upset at how they were treated. At the same time, these kids were by no means the stereotypical poor or dumb group; no one actually living in Whitefish Bay is less than upper middle class, and they went on to Top 25 4-year unis. 99.999% of the school's students did. I do wonder how they ended up. Most people I know from those days stayed in Milwaukee, even the rich kids. I'm one of the few who moved away.
posted by droplet at 7:33 AM on March 30, 2016 [7 favorites]


Victor Bailey was talking about how, when he and Omar Hakim were playing on Madonna's tour, she'd cut them off in rehearsals: "Don't play any of that Weather Report shit". I always thought that was funny: hire Weather Report's rhythm section and then yell at them for sounding like Weather Report.

I have had the misfortune of sitting through a N'SYNC concert DVD. At the very end of the concert, as I was putting away the kitchen knife best suited for wrist-slitting, the boys leave the stage and for thirty seconds the band whips into playing Rush's YYZ. Poor bastards, for thirty seconds a night they got to play something that required a little more finesse.

What was kind of a amazing about the Priest fans I knew is that when Rob came out they just kind of shrugged and said "Halford is a METAL GOD!"
posted by Ber at 7:51 AM on March 30, 2016 [5 favorites]


no one actually living in Whitefish Bay is less than upper middle class

I'm having trouble imagining metal kids from WB.
posted by Fister Roboto at 8:08 AM on March 30, 2016


I first saw this in 1991 in Los Angeles. It came with a high recommendation from either the LA Weekly or the LA Reader, I can't remember which. Even then, less than a decade after it was filmed, it was being treated as a sociological document of an era.
posted by maxsparber at 8:10 AM on March 30, 2016


"I sincerely miss those heavy metal bands..." ♬♩

(not really)
posted by entropicamericana at 8:34 AM on March 30, 2016 [1 favorite]


Fister Roboto, it certainly wasn't what I imagined there'd be either when I transferred from an MPS high school, but there they were!
posted by droplet at 8:34 AM on March 30, 2016


"How is Rob Halford not totally gay? That is the gayest thing I have ever seen ..."

Even gayer than Balls to the Wall?

(I still love BTTW, partly—or maybe mostly—because it's the gayest album ever produced by a band who insisted that they were utterly utterly straight.)
posted by octobersurprise at 8:58 AM on March 30, 2016 [1 favorite]


Even gayer than Balls to the Wall?

Holy shit - the album cover might as well be a detail from Tom of Finland drawing.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 9:01 AM on March 30, 2016 [6 favorites]


According to Patton Oswalt, all '80s heavy metal is gay.
posted by jonp72 at 9:07 AM on March 30, 2016


I always liked Restless and Wild better. Nobody shreiks like Udo, plus he did a great job producing Raven's All For One.
posted by jonmc at 9:09 AM on March 30, 2016


Ber: What was kind of a amazing about the Priest fans I knew is that when Rob came out they just kind of shrugged and said "Halford is a METAL GOD!"

Reminds me of the quasi-enlightened biker conversation about Halford I overheard a few years ago.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 9:15 AM on March 30, 2016 [2 favorites]


I suppose no discussion of homoeroticism in '80s metal is complete without the Wyckyd Sceptre party tape.
posted by jonp72 at 9:18 AM on March 30, 2016 [4 favorites]


Hats Off to Halford.
posted by Pope Guilty at 9:19 AM on March 30, 2016 [1 favorite]


One of the first things I was struck by when we entered the building was the audience. No one was young. This was not the same demographic as had gone to these shows in the 80's. These were the exact same people. Most of them had carefully chosen their attire from a time capsule.

I saw this same thing at a Dead Milkmen concert last year. I was one of the younger people in the crowd, in my late 30s, while most seemed to be in their 50s, many wearing what I assume was their old punk clothes from high school--a couple sizes too small in many cases. The Milkmen had to stop the show and remind us not to get up on the stage because they had day jobs and don't appreciate getting kicked in the face by a 45-year-olds stage diving. I often wondered what the day jobs were for the people in the audience -- was I looking at bankers and insurance people in costume? It was something to behold. Anyways they still sound really good. I actually think they sound better than they used to now that Rodney's voice is deeper and more gravelly.
posted by Hoopo at 9:37 AM on March 30, 2016 [2 favorites]


My favorite thing about the latter-day Milkmen is that Rodney was way into all the bands called out in "Instant Club Hit" and now does industrial remixes.
posted by Pope Guilty at 9:42 AM on March 30, 2016 [5 favorites]


One of the first things I was struck by when we entered the building was the audience. No one was young.

My 22 year old son is a fan of metal, from early 80s Black Sabbath through the 80s stuff to modern metal bands, so we occasionally make a father-son night out of attending metal shows. He is often the only person under about 40 at these shows. It's kind of funny, and usually gets me a few high fives for clearly having done a fine job of raising him :)
posted by COD at 9:55 AM on March 30, 2016 [1 favorite]


Wasn't there a FPP about gay metal subculture here once? Years ago.....
posted by thelonius at 10:10 AM on March 30, 2016


an Indie Rock Parking Lot would kinda suck since nobody would be getting fucked up

Spoken like a man who's never gone to a festival and watched the indie kids lose their shit all weekend on a cornucopia of pharmaceuticals. The biggest drug fiends I've ever met, man.
posted by palomar at 10:34 AM on March 30, 2016 [7 favorites]


There was a time - a moment anyway - when the characters in that film were what I and my fellow little-sibling peers *aspired* to.

Seriously. Back then, I would have thought these were some of the coolest people ever.

The most important takeaway: How did I not know this movie existed until now?
posted by SisterHavana at 10:53 AM on March 30, 2016


And I watched this, and thought to myself, "How is Rob Halford not totally gay? That is the gayest thing I have ever seen. There is no way that he is not gay." I was genuinely bewildered that it seemed like I was the only one seeing it.

Knowledge of gay culture in general, and the leather scene in particular, wasn't as widespread as you'd think, especially in the pre-internet era. Yeah, there was Cruising, but that film wasn't that successful, probably better known for the controversy surrounding it than actually seen. I think that most people probably figured out the deal with Mercury and Halford after they'd learned more about gay culture beyond the prevalent stereotypes.
posted by Halloween Jack at 11:07 AM on March 30, 2016 [4 favorites]


How did I not know this movie existed until now?

My first thought was "A post about Heavy Metal Parking Lot, really, did someone die?" Because I couldn’t imagine that everyone in the world was not intimately familiar with it. You know what happens when you make assumptions.
posted by bongo_x at 11:41 AM on March 30, 2016 [2 favorites]


Deadspin caught up with the dressed-up delinquent—now known as Cherie Steinbacher of Springfield, Va.—to ask if that scream indicated she thought she was at a Metallica show; yes, she thought she was at a Metallica show.
posted by Chrysostom at 12:49 PM on March 30, 2016 [1 favorite]


Knowledge of gay culture in general, and the leather scene in particular, wasn't as widespread as you'd think, especially in the pre-internet era. Yeah, there was Cruising, but that film wasn't that successful

I'd say that Frankie's "Relax," the video, and it's use the following year in De Palma's Body Double was a key moment there. I mean, here are the boys on the cover of the NME. As it was, I'd date my own cognizance of something called a "leather scene" to that song, though it undoubtedly helped to have older gay friends to explain the details.
posted by octobersurprise at 1:58 PM on March 30, 2016 [3 favorites]


I was one of these kids, actually - well, not these kids, but I watch this now and it looks like everyone I hung out with at the time. Yeah. Anyway.

Rob being gay was never really a thing for me and my friends - I can remember as early as 1984 discussing the fact that Halford was gay. I distinctly remember the conversation - we were at a friend's house, listening to Defending the Faith, which had just been released, and one of our friends said "Dude, I think Rob is gay. Just something about him." And all of us agreed, but we also agreed that it didn't matter, and that Priest totally fuckin' rocked. And this coming from a room full of pot smoking long hairs wearing Ozzy shirts (or whatever band we were currently into) with the sleeves cut off and leather jackets with skull patches sewn on.

This was in Texas, mind you, in the 80's. I've thought about this a lot, and am sort of proud to have that as a memory. Out of all the negatives that I experienced in my childhood in NE TX, this is one memory that distinctly tells me that we weren't all idiots. Okay. I was an idiot, but I wasn't racist, and I wasn't homophobic.
posted by bradth27 at 2:29 PM on March 30, 2016 [8 favorites]


I agree that metalfolk are underestimated. Most younger bangers I meet these days are Latino actually, and black people aren't unknown on the scene either. At my store we had an event for Scott Ian's auotobio and the crowd was extremely mixed. The idea of metal as a unifying force can be for real.
posted by jonmc at 2:54 PM on March 30, 2016 [5 favorites]


Grinder. Looking for meat.

Just drop a vowel from the song's title. Heh heh.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 5:23 PM on March 30, 2016 [1 favorite]


Metalfilter.
Here's my one and only Judas Priest-related story (barely)...a friend of mine was into Dungens & Dragons, as well as metal, in high school and during one of their more heated discussions on the finer points of D&D policy and protocol, they decided to tape the meeting so that the rules could be consulted later. While his buddies were hashing out the finer points of wizardry and whatnot, my friend can be heard on the tape, in the background singing "LIV-IN' AFTER MID-NIGHT! ROCK-ING UNTIL DAWN!"
posted by GospelofWesleyWillis at 6:38 PM on March 30, 2016 [2 favorites]


Also, I definitely remember this film being referenced for laughs, but when I finally saw it I thought 'damn, that looked like fun" even though I was precisely the type of "new wave" weirdo geek or whatever that they would've mocked in HS.
posted by GospelofWesleyWillis at 6:41 PM on March 30, 2016 [1 favorite]


At my store we had an event for Scott Ian's auotobio and the crowd was extremely mixed.

Now, he's Anthrax, and he takes no shit.
posted by box at 7:55 PM on March 30, 2016


I was one of these metalheads, except I mostly grew out of it once I started high school in the mid '80s. At the time, my high school had an actual smoking section around a tree where the misfits gathered. There was a lot of big hair represented there, between the metalheads, the goths and the punks. But at that point, the hyper aggressive anger and adolescent testosterone-driven heavy metal culture started to seem a bit dated to me, and much more conservative than I first imagined – the less masculine presenting boys like me were still bullied, and there was no place for dancing or much self-deprecating humor, etc. So, naturally I gravitated to the punks and goths, who were still misfits but were much more inclusive, for suburban subculture anyway. And they had better drugs, and less macho posturing, but at least as much misplaced hostility and distrust of authority. And today, I have much more fondness for '80s punk, goth and new- and no-wave than I do for '80s metal, especially when hair metal took over.

That said, Judas Priest in their prime was a serious metal powerhouse, and when "Screaming for Vengeance" was released, I was 12 years old, the exact age to best appreciate its music and attitude, and I practically wore out the vinyl. The fact that this super-legit fuck-you metal machine was fronted by one of the best vocalists in the business, who – surprise! – turned out to be flamboyantly gay in a very prominent leather boy style, is utterly delightful to me today. I mean, talk about hiding in plain sight. It's potentially more subversive than the kind of not-really-closeted role Liberace and Elton John used to embody: the obvious but closeted gay man as entertainer to a decidedly anti-gay culture. Although heavy metal fashion played with gender, subverting conventions about hair, makeup, etc., and hair metal even moreso, but it was still a mostly conservative culture on the whole, with strict gender roles.

Metal culture only accepted Rob Halford after people realized the whole S&M leather schtick adopted by metalheads was the epitome of gay club culture as well, and, hey, guess it's not all that strange when the badass leather clad metalhead biker turned out to be a leather boy, and regardless he was still a fucking monumental metal singer and could surely kick your ass or ride over it with his Harley. I mean, what were they gonna do, stop listening to Priest?
posted by krinklyfig at 9:48 PM on March 30, 2016 [1 favorite]


So, I just listened to the title track from "Screaming for Vengeance" for the first time in many years, and, holy shit, they really were a great band. (I always preferred the title track over the single, "You Got Another Thing Comin'," which is not bad but more radio friendly and not nearly as pure fucking metal.) The production is a bit dated, but it was about as good as you could expect for a headlining metal band in that era.

They were a remarkably tight band by then, not really prog or into Iron Maiden territory, but with enough twists and turns to be interesting, but always driven and never noodling. Fucking great stuff, even to me at 46, almost 35 years after I bought the album, and about 30 years since I gave up on metal... I mean, not entirely. I always listened to old Sabbath through the years and saw them a few times in the last decade. And of course Tool was great. But this was a pleasant surprise, to discover that Priest could still scratch that itch.
posted by krinklyfig at 10:38 PM on March 30, 2016 [1 favorite]


Fucking great stuff, even to me at 46, almost 35 years after I bought the album, and about 30 years since I gave up on metal...

I also haven't listened to that stuff since high school. My wife is from another place and time, so it is interesting to us for me to play her some of my old stuff, bands she has never heard of. The one band she absolutely adores is Judas Priest, so for the last couple years it has been back in regular rotation at the Meatbomb house.

My favourite of theirs is Green Manalishi (With the Two Pronged Crown). I can't find online the live version where Halford pulls out all the operatic stops right at the end. Holy shit what an incredible talent. GET OUT OF THE WAY, INDESTRUCTIBLE METAL MACHINE COMING!!!!1
posted by Meatbomb at 12:12 AM on March 31, 2016 [2 favorites]


Knowledge of gay culture in general, and the leather scene in particular, wasn't as widespread as you'd think, especially in the pre-internet era.

I don’t know, Bronski Beat, Culture Club, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Soft Cell, Pet Shop Boys, Erasure, Dead or Alive…those are just some of the acts that were "out" in the early 80’s. It wasn’t particularly hidden.

We were debating whether Halford was gay in the early 80’s. We thought it was odd, gay metal was not a common thing, but not put off even in our small southwest city. He’s a metal god and all.
posted by bongo_x at 1:02 AM on March 31, 2016 [2 favorites]


Where did we end up? In our 50s with jobs and kids and mortgages.
posted by spitbull at 4:08 AM on March 31, 2016 [2 favorites]


"Back then, I would have thought these were some of the coolest people ever.

The most important takeaway: How did I not know this movie existed until now?"

The question in your second sentence is answered by your first sentence. The Venn diagram of people who were into metal and people who watched HMPL has a fairly small intersection.
posted by kevinbelt at 7:02 AM on March 31, 2016


My favourite of theirs is Green Manalishi (With the Two Pronged Crown)

Interesting and probably useless trivia: That's actually a Fleetwood Mac song from 1969. I much prefer the Judas Priest version. Fleetwood Mac had a much more psychedelic rock take on the song, which probably isn't surprising given when it was recorded.
posted by COD at 10:33 AM on March 31, 2016 [2 favorites]


And one of their other most popular songs in the early days was a cover of Diamonds and Rust by Joan Baez.
posted by bongo_x at 11:10 AM on March 31, 2016 [3 favorites]


This was posted some years ago on MF but it deserves posting here: a classical voice trainer rates five heavy metal singers. Halford comes off rather well.
posted by Ber at 11:32 AM on March 31, 2016 [1 favorite]


I'm a fan of Judas Priest but the Fleetwood Mac (that's pre-Buckingham-Nicks, it's the opus of Peter Green's disintegrating sanity) version of Green Manalishi is the one.
posted by atoxyl at 12:45 PM on March 31, 2016


oops, that's a live version which is plenty good but this is the record etched in my memory (a crackly vinyl rip seems appropriate)
posted by atoxyl at 12:51 PM on March 31, 2016


And my second favorite is the Melvins. Priest is quite good for a fast take but it works better to slow it down.
posted by atoxyl at 1:02 PM on March 31, 2016


I'm not a huge Priest fan, but Breaking the Law is such a fantastic song start to finish!
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:13 PM on March 31, 2016 [3 favorites]


ataoxyl: I'm a fan of Judas Priest but the Fleetwood Mac (that's pre-Buckingham-Nicks, it's the opus of Peter Green's disintegrating sanity) version of Green Manalishi is the one yt .

I just gave this a listen, and I kind of knew of it, thanks to Priest, obviously, but never sat down to experience in its original form.

It would have been a very different Clinton '92 campaign if this had been the Fleetwood Mac they used instead of, you know...

And by different, I mean better.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 5:50 PM on April 4, 2016 [1 favorite]


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