'Danger Of Death'
June 8, 2008 2:46 PM   Subscribe

In Bed With Chris Needham (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7) A BBC video-diary documentary from 1991 depicting the trails and tribulations of a teenage metal fan as he tries to knock his band, Manslaughter, into shape for its first gig, with many digressions into his philosophy of life along the way. Some NSFW swearing. posted by fearfulsymmetry (12 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
"It’s beautifully, brutally authentic. Flat lighting brings out bad skin and hair grease; wintry-pale on unprocessed video, Loughborough looks like Krakow in the 1970s." - The Cult Of Chris Needham
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 4:01 PM on June 8, 2008 [2 favorites]

Krakows quite lovely, was it really that bad in the 70s? Warsaw, on the other hand, is like the bad bits of Luton.
posted by Artw at 4:54 PM on June 8, 2008

Nice bit of writing there.
posted by fire&wings at 5:04 PM on June 8, 2008

very cool. lots of material to wade through here, and i got about 2/3 of the way through the recent interview. looking forward to going back & watching the show. thanks for the post!
posted by msconduct at 5:28 PM on June 8, 2008

Fantastic post.

"27 and a half billion females in the world... and you go and get married when you're 17."
posted by game warden to the events rhino at 6:06 PM on June 8, 2008

Great stuff, especially the interview!

"The beginning, ending and be-all of Heavy Metal is the first track, side one, Black Sabbath, Black Sabbath – It’s got the down-key, the rain, the funeral toll, the time change, the vocalist wailing away in that Warlock style, the guitar solo – that is Heavy Metal! And everything else that came after was just an interpretation. And then Judas Priest came along and turned it from being ploddy to being fast."

"The best thing that Grunge did was that it forced Heavy Metal underground again. It needed that purge in itself to find out who the real deal was."

"I’m still Metal as fuck. And you can put that I did give the Metal Salute when I said that. I’m still Metal as FUCK and I make no apologies for it AT ALL. Because fucking no matter what comes, what goes, Metal’s always been here and it’s always gonna be here, and it not about trends or nothing else, it’s about just fucking Heavy fucking Metal."

A-fucking-men... and all of it thanks to guys like this, who'll keep heavy metal alive to the end! Denim! And Leather!
posted by vorfeed at 6:35 PM on June 8, 2008 [2 favorites]

I enjoyed that. Thanks!
posted by ericthegardener at 7:29 PM on June 8, 2008

posted by ericb at 7:53 PM on June 8, 2008

Thanks a lot for posting this. I'm loving this stuff! I'm so metal my balls clank when I walk, or at least I thought until I found this gold.
posted by Dark Messiah at 9:09 PM on June 8, 2008

Presumably you people must all be American, because I didn't find this charming at all. Go to any small town or suburban pub in the UK and they're all full of Chris Needhams, young and old. Underachievers, out with the lads on a Friday night, bitter and resentful because their dreams came to naught, and they're still living vicariously through their teenage glory years. Twat savant indeed.

Also, are we sure that it was made in 1992? Why does it all look like 1982? Did nobody ever get on one in Leicestershire? Did hiphop pass the East Midlands by?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:52 AM on June 9, 2008

PeterMcDermott, this certainly was made in 1992. Not long after it came out, some friends of mine made a shot for shot homage and if I'm remember correctly, we were still in 5th form - or as they were trying to persuade us to call it at the time "year 11".
posted by davehat at 3:27 AM on June 9, 2008

Wow. I rediscovered this just last night via YouTube -- it was semi-legendary amongst my peers when first broadcast -- now here I find it on MeFi. IIRC, my friend managed to secure a copy of the Manslaughter demo being recorded in the final part here.

PeterMcDermott: as a smallish-town resident who was just a little older than Needham, and had a few years before been into metal (though just far enough removed in age and musical taste to appreciate the humour in the program), I can say that most kids like this had zero interest in any music outside of metal (and its slightly softer rock permutations, in order to placate their girlfriends). There's a definite sense (still apparent in Needham's more recent interview) of being "true" and "faithful" to metal.

In my experience, grunge co-opted a fair number of teenage metalheads of that generation (and acted as a conduit to indie rock, and then beyond to other genres), but that would have been perhaps a year after this was broadcast. In fact, you can still see a significant number of youths a lot like this in bars here: Iron Maiden t-shirts, too-large army surplus gear, etc.

I did find Needham's ill-informed rants charming (and the random slice of life stuff even moreso -- "What about that bloody fish!" etc), but it he's still pursuing the same line, that's a different matter.
posted by palimpsest at 4:59 AM on June 15, 2008

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