The Day Heavy Metal Died

John and I were out the other night having a hamburger at a bar that has really good bands playing every Saturday night.  We never get to go because for some reason John will spend $800 on a kayak, but won’t spend $5 on a cover charge.  I picked up a flyer, and it turned out the weekend that Emily and her husband, Paul, were coming there was a showcase of metal bands playing.

“Great,” I said, “we’ll take them here that weekend”.

I sensed John didn’t really believe that I would plan this, but I did. That Saturday, Emily got Grace to sleep, Tristan babysat and off we went. I was really quite proud of myself for planning a night out, just like the old days I thought to myself (really old days, like 30 years ago).

We left at 7.  We got there at 7:10.  We just walked right in, giggling that the bouncer wasn’t there to charge us the cover charge. John was over the moon.  He must have mentioned it a couple of times before the drinks arrived.

We were talking and laughing.  It was really fun until we started to look around and notice the band members coming in one by one, bringing in their equipment.  A lot of them had those t-shirts with very disturbing images on them, devils, hatchets, ghosts, skulls etc.    The table started to doubt what kind of music was going to be played.  Not me, of course, I had seen the flyer.

To prove it to them, I dug around in my purse. After a while I pulled out the flyer, found the date and pointed out that it did indeed say“Metal Band Showcase”.

Paul laughed and said, “Metal is screamo!”

“No, it’s not, Metal is Heavy Metal”, I said a little condescendingly (just a little, really).

“No, mom, Metal is screamo,”Emily said, with a lot of condescension in her voice.

I look at John for help and he gives me a helpless shrug.

“No”, I continue this ridiculous argument, “Heavy Metal is Led Zeppelin, Rolling Stones.”

“No, mom,” Emily says patiently, “that’s classic rock”.

“What? I don’t understand”, I keep looking at John begging for some clarity, he’s no help!

Then the band starts and I am still holding on to my naive belief that the band will begin its opening set with “Gotta a Whole Lotta Love”  or “Living on a Prayer”.  No such luck.

The music started out okay, until the singer began to roar into the microphone.  I’m sure there is a technical name for the noise that came out of that kid’s throat, but I can’t imagine that it is more descriptive than roaring.

Everyone thought it was so funny, but I didn’t.  I was thoroughly disappointed.  We left after the drinks and went over to a boring old bar and had chicken wings.  John’s only recollection of that night is that at least he didn’t have to pay the cover charge.

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4 thoughts on “The Day Heavy Metal Died

  1. So, why do you think heavy metal died? Emily was right: Led Zeppelin and the Stones were never heavy metal. (She’s not right about it being “screamo” however.) Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden and Judas Priests were, and are, classic heavy metal. Those three bands are still touring today. So, how is heavy metal dead? You went to one bar and heard some aggressive music and decided that an entire music genre died because it didn’t sound like Bon Jovi?

    You’re right: this is a silly argument. Never mind.

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    • Well recently after posting this article someone else told me something similar. Now I think we were all confused! And I still am a little. It was really just an amusing story and title more than anything.

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      • I take things too literally I suppose. But, we metal fans are so picky and get our feathers ruffled at the slightest hint of criticism of our music. It’s ridiculous, really.

        I do like your blog!

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      • I completely understand being touchy about who and what you love, just wait until I start writing about Bono! And thanks for saying you still like my blog!

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