March 21, 2002
8:10 PM   Subscribe

Tooling around today, I happened upon small but burgeoning subculture-gay Heavy Metal fans. Headbanging and Rainbow Pride stickers may seem like an odd combo until you think of the number of openly gay performers in Hard Rock (Roddy Bottum of Faith No More, Doug Pinnick of King's X-a gay Christian metalhead, and of course the great Rob Halford formerly of the legendary Judas Preist. I dunno whether this is a large trend or merely people coming out of yet another closet, but it's nice to see metal shaking off it's homophobic image.
posted by jonmc (17 comments total)
jonmc: you prove, yet again, why you're my hero. While I am an absolute musical nerd (You'll find me wandering the streets of New York or New Haven listening to Wendy Carlos or Gentle Giant or some medieval motet), I love rockin' boys; I would love my future husband to be a rocker. I abhor most house/club music traditionally associated with gay lads, I rarely listen to opera or Judy Garland (though Judy is fabulous). I grew up on Led Zeppelin, The Beatles and Kenny Rogers, and I still like them all today. Thanks for simultaneously bustin' two stereotypes.

I was in the Virgin store on 14th street in New York yesterday and they were playing a Faith No More video. I noted that the keyboardist was cute (since I have a natural attraction to keyboardists of any kind) but I had no idea that he was gay. I remember thinking how I wished more rockin' lads were gay lads. Funny how even I make assumptions based on personality traits.
posted by evanizer at 8:44 PM on March 21, 2002

and I of course forgot the two supreme examples of great gay rockers, ladies and gentlemen, Their majesties....although I pray the latter would convert for just one night...
posted by jonmc at 8:53 PM on March 21, 2002

Evanizer, you can have the heavy metal if I can have all the broadway musicals.

We can share custody of "Hedwig and the Angry Inch."
posted by ColdChef at 9:24 PM on March 21, 2002

Deal, ColdChef. Except Cabaret. That's mine. I once sang the entire part of the emcee in a piano bar impromptu.

I also once sang Zeppelin's The Battle of Evermore accompanied by a lute and a shawm at an event during grad school.

So I'm pretty mixed up.

Another pointless personal anecdote: My cousin and I used to love Megadeth when we were young teenagers, before I discovered England. He had long, curly hair and was an excellent headbanger. I tried it once at a Metallica concert and I fainted, waking up at the first aid post, happy to miss the rest of the concert.

Wonder if anyone else on Mefi will comment here. There don't seem to be too many hard rock fans here, let alone gay ones... Are any of the other MetaQueers rockers?
posted by evanizer at 9:33 PM on March 21, 2002

I also once sang Zeppelin's The Battle of Evermore accompanied by a lute and a shawm at an event during grad school.

Sandy Denny's part or Robert Plant's? :)

Actually there's a few headbangers here, BarneyFife and Dreama have admitted to digging Twisted Sister and riffola, tsarfan and BarneyFifesBullet have stood up for metal in the past, I have taken a sexual orientation poll so I don't know if any queer tharshers are amongst us...although mdn did say she scould see me in a mullet...
posted by jonmc at 9:39 PM on March 21, 2002

um, that "have" should be "haven't"....must take sobriety test before typing...
posted by jonmc at 9:44 PM on March 21, 2002

Good call, jonmc! I sang Robert Plant's part and my pal sang Denny's part and we both sang falsetto! It was part of an evening where people were supposed to arrange rock songs as late Renaissance/Baroque compositions. Ours was supposed to mimic a Henry Purcell song. Someone else did 'Jane Says' as a Playford-type ballad, and there was a full Baroque counterpoint version (including the drum solo) of 'Inna Gadda Da Vida" on a harpsichord (!).
posted by evanizer at 10:12 PM on March 21, 2002

I used to be such a King's X fan. I still pull out Gretchen Goes to Nebraska once in a while, thoug I kind of tuned out after Faith, Hope, Love. If I'd known they made an album called Please Come Home... Mr. Bulbous I'd have probably kept listening. :)

I remember the furore (round these parts) when Roddy Bottum came out, some of thge comments I heard were just foul but it certainly seems far more acceptable to be open about it, thank God.
posted by jackiemcghee at 11:14 PM on March 21, 2002

I'm not a big metal guy in general, but there's something very wrong with you if you can't enjoy early eighties era Judas Priest. And Bon Scott era AC/DC. And that Van Halen record with the Kurelek painting on it is good. And Lemmy. Kneel before Lemmy. Maybe I am a metal guy.
And why does Joan Jett have to be gay? You people can have all the Rosie O'Donnells and Ellen Degeneri you can stand, but stay away from the angry chicks with the tarantula eyes. They belong to dong.

Heh. Belong to dong sounds like a Ted Nugent song.
posted by dong_resin at 1:11 AM on March 22, 2002

Frankly, i don't care if she's gay or not, but Joan Jett is an amazingly hot woman, especially in her Runaway days (but hell, even Lita Ford was hot back then!)
posted by Ufez Jones at 1:18 AM on March 22, 2002

I performed my first and only stage dive at an outdoor King's X concert some 10 years or so ago.

Just wanted to share...
posted by syzygy at 1:55 AM on March 22, 2002

Heh. An exboyfriend of mine liked metal and especially Priest. RE: Halford, he said, "He's just so very masculine that he doesn't even NEED women! Rwaaaah!"
(This delivered with a S. London accent for full effect. And because he was from there.)
posted by mimi at 4:52 AM on March 22, 2002

MetaQueers! What a wonderful concept! .." I disagree with your dress sense, but I have to defend to the death your right to wear... that? Heavens to Betsy, darlin', are you sure??"
hehehe. This ole queer still likes to bop, but headbangin' is banned by my doctor :)
Gimme mutant Country Blues anyday...
Well, he may still be gay, but he says he ain't Christian no more:
"...I don't even believe in God anymore. I went through a whole period in my life where I kind of got away from it. You never know I might come back to it if someone can convince me. At this point I just want to have a good time and live my a sinner (laughs) Life's just too short then you die so I wont waste my life following some fucking rule book that somebody made up when they don't even know if its true or not. If it can't be proven beyond a shadow of a doubt then I can't follow it. Why waste my time on something I'm not sure of." - Doug Pinnick
posted by dash_slot- at 5:35 AM on March 22, 2002

i went to see kings x at the marquee club in london waaay back in the days of their first album and the gig was so insanely great (apart from scott ian from anthrax landing on my head, bastard) that i wrote my first and thus far only fan letter. and doug pinnick wrote back to me, a nice handwritten letter on kings x headed notepaper. what a chap.

how embarrassing.

i used to love metal, then i went all electronica chin strokey. but this week i have been mostly listening to system of a down, none of whom are gay, as far as i know...
posted by rikabel at 9:10 AM on March 22, 2002

It was 20 years ago this week, according to Jett's biography page ...

"I Love Rock'n'Roll" hit the very top of the Billboard's Charts on March 20, 1982 and stayed #1 for 7 weeks. Joan Jett had come back from nowhere.
posted by allaboutgeorge at 10:58 AM on March 22, 2002

I once jumped on stage to sing "Goldilox" with King's X after Doug blew out his voice and beckoned for someone to come up and sing. I was able to belt out a verse before I was elbowed out of the way by a mob that rushed the stage.

Anyway, listen to the live version of "Over My Head" from their "Best of King's X" album and you'll have a pretty good idea why Doug P. isn't a Christian anymore.
posted by scottandrew at 11:01 AM on March 22, 2002

i'm gay, and I dislike the "club" sound you always hear (if you have any doubts about what that sound is, watch Queer as Folk). Big fan of Pink Floyd, Rush, Black Sabbath, AC/DC, many others, and other flavors as well (I've a complete collection of Annie Lennox/Eurythmics).

Don't consider myself to be a headbanger, though.
posted by yesster at 1:48 PM on March 22, 2002

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