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SOUNDTRACK: The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years [movie] (1988).

I feel like this movie aired a lot when I was a kid.  I wish I could remember what I thought about it back then, because watching it the other night I couldn’t believe how dumb everyone looked.  Whether it was Steven Tyler acting profound talking about masturbating or Joe Perry and his sourpuss.  Or Paul Stanley lying in bed with 4 women strewn around during his interview.   Or bless his heart, Chris Holmes’ drunken antics in the pool in front of his mother.   I’m half certain that it was staged, as nobody is that dumb.

Or any of the nameless masses primping for the movie (I’d love to know where the guy with half black/half white hair is now).  Or when any of the people who were sure they were going to become rock stars gave up and got jobs.

The only people who come out looking clever are Lemmy, seeming calm and wise on a mountaintop (?); Poison, for the love of God, who admit to their failings yet seem rather reasonable (and make the best unintentional joke about blowing all your cash on a Le Mans), Dave Mustaine who seems the most intelligent person in the movie, and Ozzy Osbourne.

Ozzy gets the best cut of anyone.  In his bathrobe, he makes a delicious breakfast of eggs, very undercooked bacon (he should have started the bacon first) and spilt orange juice.  At this time in his career, I believe he was being managed by Sharon (who everyone knows from the reality show), but at the time, she was unknown.  And I have to wonder how much of the genius of that scene was her idea.  Not only does it make anyone who called him a Satanist look silly, he gets the biggest and best intentional laughs.

Watching this movie as a married 40 year old, with my wife sitting next to me, I was frankly embarrassed for the way these bozos were carrying on.  And I think I was more embarrassed for them than for me.  Ah, Odin and your buttless chaps.

Of course, I’ve been a metalhead forever so I’ve always been amused by nonsensical antics.  And I’ve always rebelled against people like the woman from whatever anti-metal group was in the movie.  What’s great about her scene is that Penelope Spheeris doesn’t mock her.  She doesn’t do any weird edits or goofy sound effects or anything.  She just lets the lady speak her version of the truth and allows the audience (granted the audience is metal fans, but any reasonable adult could tell) to realize just how weird and silly she is.  The idea that the Secret Devil Worship Sign (as the Dead Milkmen call it) is really three 6’s (even her demonstration pushing reality) and that it is three fingers down to deny the holy trinity (when in fact it’s actually two fingers down and one thumb across) is just inspired lunacy.  Especially when you hear Ronnie James Dio, who ostensibly brought the sign into metal in the first place reveal that it was a something his grandmother did to ward off the evil eye.   Ah, the days of 80’s censorship, which I got ever so het up about.

But it was just those people that encouraged bands to come up with more and more outrageous names and deeds.  So, when Sarah asks me what is wrong with a band for naming themselves (* see below the fold for my newfound favorite band name), I told her it was in response to people like that.  When people go looking for evil in the mundane, well, why not just be evil right in their faces and see what they do.

Sure, it’s childish, but it’s also fun!

I only wish they would show The Decline of Western Civilization Part One once in a while.

[READ: February 28, 2010]  All Known Metal Bands (D-E)

About eight months ago, I posted that I had started reading this book.  Obviously I am not reading it very often as I am only up to the E’s.  But I picked it up again the other day and found my two new favorite band names: (more…)

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SOUNDTRACK: Metal Shop (radio program 1980’s).

Back in high school, my friend Al and I listened to this syndicated radio show, which always came back from commercials with “MumumumumumuMetal Shop.” The more I listened to the show, the more into metal I got. And, in high school I rebelled against pop music by delving deeply into the metal scene. I had one of those denim covered 3 ring binders with nearly 100 bands inked on it. Whenever I saw a logo in Kerrang or some other place, I added it, even if I never heard the band. It was good fun.

I also liked to find weird heavy bands to shock anyone who cared to listen (which was no one, actually). So, I have some albums from Bathory, and Venom, Cirith Ungol, and Manowar, sweet, ridiculous, Manowar. These bands all predated the really crazy death and black metal scenes. Somehow, even though Venom were “satan worshippers” they were still pretty goofy. I have a great VHS of Slayer and Venom live at Studio 54. It has some interviews with them afterwards, and they’re just a bunch of silly dudes.

My musical tastes have expanded greatly since those days, but after reading the book below, I may have to dust off my Bathory vinyl and see what it sounds like.

[READ: June 30, 2008] All Known Metal Bands.

This is one of those strange books that surfaces from time to time. What you get is a list of some 50,000 names of heavy metal bands. And that’s it. (Well, there’s an epigram and a concluding remarks pages, but otherwise just an alphabetical list of every metal band that Marin could find while surfig the web.)

Probably not worth the $20some but I joined the McSweeney’s 10 for $100 program, so I got this for $10, so I got that going for me.

It is certainly fun to see the names that have been used over the years. He mentions that some names were used by many different bands, and I do rather wish he had put parenthetical notes for how many of each band, or perhaps a country of origin, but what can you do.

UPDATE:  Why you should never post before reading the book: Even better than parentheses, he lists all of the times that a name was used.  So, you get a list that inlcudes Paranoia eight times!  It is actually quite funny, especially when you see some of the really obscure names that have been used multiple times.  So, thank you, Dan Martin, for doing that.  (Country of origin would have been very interesting but would have ruined the flow, admittedly.)

The seling point, such as it is, is the design. The cover is a beautiful dark blue and silver cloth, and the interior pages are all black with silver writing on it (of course). That probably goes some way to explaining the cost.

My interesting side note is that I started to read it last night (and, yes, I’m actually writing about this without having finished it, but COME ON, it’s 50,000 names), and just as I read the first three names, we had a power failure and I was cast into utter darkness. There was none more black.

[Secret devil worship sign].

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