I’m a music enthusiast. If you know me, you know that I fill every MP3 playing device to the brim with songs (well, I did until I discovered that with the amount of music I purchased Spotify would be way more economical, and as such I now just pay for Spotify). But through all of my weird indie artists hip-hop and downright weird shit I play in my car one wouldn’t expect that I’m actually a huge Metal supporter. Some might even say I was born from Iron Maiden itself – true story. (No, I’m not Bruce Dickinson’s bastard son, I am most certainly my father’s son)
However as big of a fan of Metal I am, I never really have an audience to show my roots. So, this morning I’m doing a small personal article on something that is about me. I hate personal blog entries, so I will try to keep this as non slippery as I can by serving you a dose of the fucking Metal.
Being raised by two rather liberal hillfolk parents who played folk music throughout my childhood, it seems strange to say that my parents were both huge Metal fans back in their hay-day. True stuff, my mother, who looks like Princess Peach, wears mostly pink and has puffy white poodle looking dogs was once a roadie for Iron Maiden; hung out with Bon Jovi and Slash and was an overall boss-ass (and still is to this day,might I add) and my dad who bears an incredible resemblance to Mario was a mega fan of Led Zeppelin. Now, I know what you’re thinking: A, who the fuck cares? Get to the Metal! B, wait – your parents look like Nintendo characters? And finally C, Led Zeppelin isn’t Metal you dunce.
Wrong. Zeppelin themselves might not have been Metal, but every Metal band to date can trace their roots back to one of two bands from the 70s: Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin. Any Metalhead that’s worth their leather will tell you that, and if they don’t then they are poseurs and they suck.* Zeppelin was a huge influence for later Arena-Goodtimes bands like Van Halen, Def Leppard and multitudes of others. [I swear to God almighty that if you say 80s Glam “Metal,” I will kick your balls or ovaries back to whence they came. 80s Glam Rock is not Metal] So, this brings me back to my roots:
My parents played an important and immense part in the shaping of my character. They encouraged me to be a free-thinking individual who supported open thought, art, philosophy, politics and of course – being musicians themselves – music. I learned to appreciate all forms of music not matter how horrendous and blatantly bad [One Direction and Bieber], I still appreciate it as music. And having Maiden and Zeppelin roots in my house as a child, Metal was in my blood. So what is the point of where I’m going? Like a good Dio song intro – wait for it, good shit is coming. [I promise] So as an adult now, I want to present my appreciation for a music form that is blue collar, intellectual, learned, ever-evolving and yet still the song somehow remains the same: Metal. Iron Maiden has been such a huge factor in my life that I can’t really remember a time when Eddie wasn’t in my soul. I can remember when “The Trooper” came on, and I was…Maybe four years old, and I began rocking out. [Yes, for the record, I’ve always had a somewhat shaggy, longish hairstyle compared to most boys because my mom made sure that I didn’t look like a dunce, what with my huge ears and raccoon features, stunning. I know] So I can remember being a four year old child, wearing my Tommy Hilfiger clothes, shaggy auburn-by-black hair banging in the wind* to the “The Trooper,” and my dad jokingly asking my mother if she was sure that I wasn’t Bruce Dickinson’s son.* So, point is that as far back as I can recall, The Metal has always been there for me. It’s in my veins, and my soul and even today nothing will amp me up like a ‘Priest,* Maiden or Danzig song. Metal, in a way, shaped me as a person.
At one point early in my life this is all I wanted to be.
We all go through those horrible thirteen-year-old trends when puberty first strikes, so yes once upon a time this guy here wore that Cradle of Filth shirt proudly, black-and-white striped arm warmers and giant clunky boots that even Ace Frehly would have looked down upon. I was that kid, too, before the jock, the hipster and now – your writer. In many ways, I still am that kid. Unashamedly I look back on my days and smile, as any fan should.
But, the good shit is here. Would you like to know why I’m writing this tribute article? Because the endearing faith of Metal bands, musicians and fanatics alike has never waned. Metal has never surrendered even when on the brink of being forgotten. It lurks there, cultivating itself, molding to every new level and every time that the Metal comes close to extinction incredible musicians and artists spread their form and shit gold on everyone. And it is fan-fucking-tastic. Every once of iron that seeps into our souls is like a fresh morning dew, waiting for new beginnings…If by fresh morning dew I meant blood soaked, leather-bound spiked up singers. Yes, that’s actually exactly what I meant.
I appreciate the artistry, collaboration and integrity that this music has, and for the rest of my life I will always love the Metal. Every time a new music craze comes along, it kills everything in it’s path, save the Metal. The Metal has been, and will always be here to stay. Punk didn’t do anything but help give us Thrash, Techno and Hip-Hop gave NuMetal a beat, New-Wave died [Thank God,] and here in the twenty-first century Metal is strong, vibrant and well. And what an age we live in! Almost all of the original founders of the genre are alive and well, the guys who’ve brought the legion back time and time again, the re-inventors and even the new kids are all living in the same era. That, my friends is outstanding and incredible. For that, I am so thankful. We live in an era of Ozzy Osbourne, Robert Plant, Lars Ulrich, Rob Halford, Jimmy Page and Marilyn Manson. If that doesn’t make you feel fucking incredible and you yourself are, in fact, lame.
I appreciate it because the only definite of Metal music is this: It survives, thrives and drives. A genre that cannot be simply defined by one artist, or group. It defies time, and stands alone as a collection of envelope pushers, mainstreamers and diehards alike.
The Metal, it comes from Hell.
*Not really, I’m sure they’re great people.
*In the backseat of my parents’ cars.
*My mom was a roadie, not a groupie. Get your damned mind out of the gutter.
*The Priest being Judas Priest.
This entire article was written in honor of The Metal, my parents and in memory of Ronnie James Dio.