Friday, May 11th, 2012 | musiX | No Comments
I’ve been rawking to this quite a bit lately … and I will stop at nothing to find Judas Priest’s Rocka Rolla on vinyl. The album was released in 1974, back when Rob Halford and the crew were more hippie-dippy than motorcycle gang-bangy.
This clip comes from the band’s 1975 appearance on the BBC’s The Old Grey Whistle Test—sure to make you forget Halford ever sported spikes, yet realize what a huge influence Priest had on rocka and rolla.
Friday, November 6th, 2009 | musiX | No Comments
Bob Dylan just released a … how can I put this … creepy Christmas album, so why not … Rob fucking Halford?! Yes, that Rob Halford—Judas Priest Rob Halford—is releasing Winter Songs on Metal God Records, a tender homage to the holidays … it’s actually about as tender as an overcooked turkey leg.
Listen and watch “Into the Spirit” here. So bad it’s … no, it’s really bad.
Friday, June 19th, 2009 | musiX | 3 Comments
Historically in metal, a band’s image is as (if not more) important as the music itself. From the band’s name, to its garb, right down to the logo. Alice Cooper and KISS were better-known for what they looked like than the music they made (more true with the latter). When metal ruled in the late ’70s and the ’80s, it was all about image … until it regressed to absurdity before finally getting smothered by the always-fashionable flannel shirt.
The Me Decade is when the metal logo was truly birthed—a single, defining brand that could be easily seen and recognized on records, posters and, most importantly, T-shirts. Bands like Motörhead and Judas Priest went with classically ornate logos, while the aforementioned KISS chose a simple, very memorable signature lighting-bolt “SS” (turned into backwards “ZZ” when the band toured Germany). It carried over into the ’80s when it was all about the logo—Metallica, Exodus, Slayer, RATT, Anthrax, Dio, Def Leppard, AC/DC—all of which could be found scrawled on notebooks and in bathroom stalls, or crudely written or carved on school desktops … or so I’ve heard.
The tradition carries on today. In metal if you don’t have a tough/menacing logo, you might as well be playing Showtunes. Especially in black metal. In fact, in the world of black metal a band’s logo might be the first, and sometimes only, identifying element. It doesn’t even have to be legible for chrissakes, as bands are seemingly trying to one-up each other in keeping their names a mystery to the world.
So. For this Black Friday, I’ve scoured the bottomless pit of the Interwebs to find the most unruly, tangled, illegible band logos possible. It is your duty to try to decipher them. I’ll post one new logo per day (not including Saturday and Sunday) through Thursday, June 25. Shoot your answers to me at email@example.com. The person who guesses the most band names correctly out of five will win a classic metal album of my choosing. Yes, this means all five people who both listen to metal and read TDoL have a chance to win a disc. It will, of course, be an incredible metal masterpiece.
Deadline is midnight (PDT), Thursday, June 25, and the winner will be announced next Black Friday. It will take a keen eye. It might also help in some cases to be fluent in Finnish.
Ridiculously unreadable band logo No. 1: This band comes from—you guessed it—Finland. They enjoy long walks in the snow, and their lyrics are as unintelligible as their logo.
Sometimes I feel a little guilty because I still enjoy me some heavy metal. It’s not the center of my rock ‘n’ roll universe like it was when I was a pimple-faced teenager … or a pimple-faced 20-something for that matter, but dammit if a good dose of Slayer doesn’t still do me right … it’s good for the soul.
Owen Brown lives in the UK with his wife. His favorite band is Megadeth. In fact, he’s going to see the band this Saturday night in Birmingham. Owen Brown is 82. His nightly ritual doesn’t include warm milk and Glenn Miller, but rather heading out to the garden shed with a cup of tea and a platter of Sabbath … bloody Sabbath. And he owns about 70 records from classic heavies like Deep Purple, KISS and Judas Priest. Owen Brown’s grown children didn’t think his fascination with metal would last, and his great-grandchildren are usually telling him to turn it down. As you will see, he’s much cooler than his son Pedro.
Friday, January 23rd, 2009 | musiX | No Comments
Metal is still afraid of The Big Bad Evil Gay. In metal, coming out of the closet is akin to losing your luxurious locks … maybe it’s no small coincidence that Rob Halford is both openly gay and openly bald.
Not much has changed since Halford came out more than a decade ago. Metal—a style of music built around “taboos”—is one of the only genres that still keeps its distance from anything gay. Hasn’t metal always been about going against the grain? Disdain for Christian values? Sticking it … um … to the man?
It’s more an issue with metal fans. I could understand why it wouldn’t be easy being a gay man in a metal band when you realize that 95 percent of the fanbase is made up of white, straight males who are generally pissed off at everyone and use the word “gay” in the Eminem sense. But I still find it funny that Freddie Mercury pranced around testosterone-filled arenas for decades wearing sequined dresses and tight, white shorts. As with Halford and Judas Priest, Queen‘s XY-chromosomed fans were either completely oblivious, or in total denial.
Pop, indie rock, even punk have remained relatively open about homosexuality. The Queercore movement started in the ’80s and included bands that either had openly gay members or simply supported sexual diversity. What about metal at that time? The ’80s was the most machismo-laden era of hard rock—ironically, a time when men literally tried to outdo each other in the hair and makeup departments. If you came out of the closet at the height of hair metal you would have been pelted with bottles of Aqua Net.
But maybe the times are a-changin’. A few months ago Gaahl—vocalist for Norwegian black metal band Gorgoroth (Lord of the Rings nerd alert)—went public about his homosexuality: “It doesn’t feel to me as if I’ve outed myself because up until now the whole thing was a non-issue for me. All this evolved very naturally. I feel how I feel and I’ve never made any secret about it.”
As you can see, Gaahl is no Freddie Mercury onstage. Anyway, this could be seen as a giant step, although Gaahl’s announcement has been met with negativity. Gaahl’s close friend Dave DeVero, who encouraged the singer to come out, told Norway’s second largest newspaper that he has received threats from some Gorgoroth fans.
So yes. Metal is the Republican party of music. I think metal fans just need to lighten up … except maybe fans of PINK STËËL.
“Delivering the Goods” – Rob Halford and Skid Row (live)
Gorgoroth live performing “Revelation of Doom”