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The hard hitting hair metal puppet journalism of Japan’s ‘Pure Rock Digest’
11:01 am

Pop Culture

Heavy Metal
Japanese TV

Given its highly visual element, 80s glam metal was tailor-made for the MTV age. It was born, matured and died on heavy video rotation, perhaps the first, last, and best musical genre defined entirely by its image. A sexual aggressive splatter of hot pink fishnets, bottle-blonde hair and sweaty black leather, the gender-bending men (seriously, despite all the Aqua Net and mascara, the whole movement was 98% dudes) of Hair Metal Nation loved capering around on video.

First he gets tossed out of Metallica, now this…
Of course, many countries had their own version of MTV or its metal-centric VHS spin-offs like the Hard N’ Heavy series. Japan’s version was called Pure Rock Digest. And Japan being Japan, they threw in puppets interviewing bands in broken English.

You honestly can’t ask for anything more 80s than a nerdy Japanese puppet (with sorta racist slanty eyes, even) talking to White Lion about groupies or swilling beer with WASP. I mean, holy fuck, people.

More metal puppet madness after the jump…

Posted by Ken McIntyre | Leave a comment
Sexy sci-fi lobby cards for ‘Heavy Metal’
01:15 pm


Heavy Metal
lobby cards

In the early 1980s, cable TV was an important and marvelous new development for Young America. For one thing, MTV was on it. But there was also soft-core porn and other adult programming, and parents often weren’t conversant enough with the technology (or the TV schedule) to prevent their offspring from watching things they probably shouldn’t. For a male preteen such as myself around 1982, there wasn’t much on the premium cable schedule I was interested in watching more than Heavy Metal. A sci-fi cartoon for adults that was both scary and sexy? With music by Blue Öyster Cult, Journey, and Cheap Trick?? You have got to be fucking kidding me. I was 12 years old and had no way of seeing an R-rated movie. But I could dial up Cinemax when my parents weren’t around…...... 

I think I dimly understood that there was a “magazine” out there called Heavy Metal that was for adults. I definitely did not know that so many of my favorite Canadian entertainers (think SCTV) were involved, including John Candy, Eugene Levy, Ivan Reitman, and Harold Ramis, although I’m certain I would have recognized the name “John Candy” in the credits.

As I say, I never saw the movie in the theater, but if I had I might have spotted some of these handsome lobby cards while entering. I suspect that Heavy Metal has not dated all that well, but I’m impressed at how effortlessly these striking images, after more than 30 years, communicate Danger - Sex - Adventure - FUN.


More ‘Metal’ after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Did Mötley Crüe replace Nikki Sixx with a teenaged alcoholic Satanist clone in 1983?

June 15th, 1983 was just another blurry day in Mötley-land. The up n’ coming sleaze-stars of the Crüe were just about finished recording their breakthrough sophomore album Shout at the Devil and were doing what they did best: drugs. Lots and lots of drugs. After bassist Nikki Sixx and drummer Tommy Lee spent the afternoon snorting coke off a friend’s grand piano and banging a bunch of groupies in a hot tub, Sixx decides to hop into his Porsche—naked, of course—and speed over to ex-Runaway Lita Ford’s house. He never made it. Barreling down the city streets at excess of 90 miles per hour, Sixx hit a telephone pole and totaled his car. He was discovered by some helpful passersby, who pulled his limp body from the wreckage and got him to a hospital. Amazingly, his only major damage was a separated shoulder, and he recovered quickly enough to hit the road for the first leg of the lengthy Shout world tour.

Matthew Trippe…or Nikki Sixx? You decide!
That’s what “they” want you to think, anyway. But that’s not the way Matthew John Trippe remembered it at all…

Trippe was an alcoholic teenage Satanist when he ran into Crüe guitarist Mick Mars at the Troubadour on the Sunset Strip in the spring of ‘83. Mötley, according to Trippe, was looking for a Nikki Sixx clone to cover while the real Sixx was in the hospital recovering from his car crash. Despite the fact that Trippe didn’t really look like Nikki at all and couldn’t play the bass and didn’t even know their songs, he joined the band, toured the world, wrote and recorded half of the Theater of Pain record, and was left high and dry a year later when he was arrested for robbing a magazine stand in Florida for beer money and the now-mended Nikki Sixx rejoined the band.

If this sounds fucking insane to you, well, it seemed that way to the courts too, who tossed out his suit against Mötley Crüe manager Doc Mcghee in 1988.

The “best” proof of the “fake” Nikki Sixx.
Here’s the thing, though. Trippe—who died in 2014 still defiantly telling the world he was the 80s Nikki Sixx—was a boozy, druggy liar, for sure. But so was everybody else in that organization back then. There are enough kinda-sortas to the story (Kerrang! magazine even published a five-page article filled with puzzling evidence) to keep conspiracy theorists going probably forever. And here’s the thing: I saw Vince Neil perform in Oklahoma (don’t ask) in 2007. He did all Mötley Crüe songs, of course, moldy oldies like “Girls, Girls, Girls” and “Live Wire,” but he would only sing the choruses. He would just mumble through the verses. So either this bloated dummy onstage was so wine-soaked at that point that he didn’t even know the words to the songs he’s been singing for thirty years, or they just got a Vince Neil doppelgänger for the gig who didn’t do his homework.


Posted by Ken McIntyre | Leave a comment
Helix’s topless heavy metal dance party
10:25 am

Pop Culture

Heavy Metal
Traci Lords
Porn Stars

Do you remember Helix?

It’s okay if you don’t. They were Canada’s answer to…Dokken, I guess. The band actually started in the early 70s but didn’t really get cooking until 1983 when they ditched their denim-on-denim look for studs and leather and scored their first big hit with the kinda-great-but-mostly ridiculous guitar anthem “Heavy Metal Love.”  They hopped the money train from there and rode the glam metal wave for the next decade or so, touring with everyone from KISS to Aerosmith to Alice Cooper to Rush. But they were always considered tamer than a lot of their contemporaries, even with the requisite druggy bass player problems. So when the next album, 1984’s Walkin’ On the Razor’s Edge rolled around, they decided to go full-tilt porno. How’s that for edgy? Not even Mötley Crüe made videos with underage porn stars.

They were different times, man.
Around that time, Playboy’s cable channel was commissioning nudity-laced cuts of music videos to show between whatever softcore bullshit they were airing at night. Power-popper Dwight Twilley’s 1984 clip for “Girls” is probably Playboy’s most well-known music video, featuring a bunch of Playboy bunnies recreating the teen sex comedy classic Porky’s, but they also made a racy R-rated version of the already iffy video for Helix’s cover of Crazy Elephant’s “Gimme Gimme Good Lovin’.” Both the MTV and the Playboy cut of the video features a satire of the Miss America contest called “Miss Rock Fantasy” starring Slumber Party Massacre star Brinke Stevens and (ahem) a sixteen-year-old Traci Lords.  And yeah, she’s topless. Even by 80s hard rock standards, it’s pretty tasteless. Not surprisingly, even the PG version was banned from most cable channels. It ultimately found a home on the dayglo lycra-abusing porno Electric Blue 26.

Naturally, it’s a “big box” VHS.
Helix frontman Brian Vollmer was interviewed by cable TV culture vultures Night Flight about the video. He admitted it was probably too much.

“Uh, looking back on it, in hindsight, it probably was sexist and we’re tending to get away from that.”

And then he went right back to signing some groupies’ boobs.
More after the jump…

Posted by Ken McIntyre | Leave a comment
Bleak Sabbath: Did the mysterious occult group Jacula invent black metal in 1969?
09:20 am


Heavy Metal

Fumetti plus wizards = total doom

It’s either the most mind-blowing musical anomaly ever unearthed or it’s bullshit. Me, I prefer to believe. You will too. Light some black candles, take a slow sip from your crusty bottle of absinthe, and dig this spooky backstory….

In 1966, fledgling mystic Antonio Bartoccetti moved to Milan where he met a wizard named Franz Parthenzy. The two (apparently) communed with dark spirits who gifted Antonio with a musical vision so sinister and so subversive that it took him three years just to find collaborators brave enough to help him bring it to hideous life. He was eventually joined by an older British pipe organist with a classical background named Charles Tiring (R.I.P., presumably, unless he’s 118 years old) and a mysterious vocalist/violinist/keyboard masher, Fiamma Dello Spirito (or Doris Norton, as mere mortals call her).

Jacula was named after a popular erotic comic book at the time. They lifted their very metal logo from the comic as well. The songs were already channeled by Antonio, so all that was left was to record them. Legend has it that the first album, 1969’s In Cauda Semper Stat Venenum (roughly translated: “It always ends in poison”) was recorded in a crumbling British castle during a seance. Let’s go with that. The self-financed album was “released” in 1969—several months before Black Sabbath, incidentally—in a strictly limited edition of 333 copies. However, it was never sold in stores. Rather, it was handed out freely to like-minded occult dabblers, presumably for further spells and incantations. Cue a jarring crack of thunder and maniacal, mad-scientist laughter.

The world’s first black metal album?

So what does this album sound like? It sounds like Swiss extreme metal pioneers Hellhammer wandering onto the set of 1960s Mario Bava horror movie. It is Maximum Dungeon Synth, with a depressive church organist bonging away while mad monks chant and guitars drone. A shrieking violin cuts through the murk and wordless murmurs confront and confuse. The most jarring aspect, given the year it was created, is the thoroughly inhuman, wildly distorted guitar that permeates the recording, an oppressive boot-heel of ugly noise running roughshod over the perpetually gloomy atmosphere, especially on the album’s heaviest track, the epic “Triumphatus Sad.”  It is this sound that has caused so much contention with heavy metal archeologists, who swear that such wicked riffery could simply not have existed in 1969.

Prevailing wisdom with record collector nerds is that Bartoccetti overdubbed the guitars sometime in the 90s, concocting this hopelessly obscure hoax just to land the “first heavy metal album” mantle. Well, maybe. Black Widow Records reissued the album in 2001 and although the label did not get into details, the album was definitely “cleaned up” and restored from the crumbling 1969 reels, so it’s entirely possible that the Tom G. Warrior teenage Satanist guitars were dropped in later. But so what? Even without the distortion, the album envelops you in such a thick cloak of doom that you can practically feel the ancient slime on the castle walls and inhale the acrid smoke of burning witches.

No matter what, this album is heavy as fuck.

Bleak Sabbath: Jacula in the early 70s

More after the jump…

Posted by Ken McIntyre | Leave a comment
‘The Twilight Zone’ meets M.C. Escher meets Dali in the philosophical comic strip ‘the bus’
05:08 pm


Heavy Metal
Paul Kirchner

A few weeks ago I highlighted “Dope Rider,” the trippy Wild West cartoon that appeared in High Times over a number of years in the 1970s and 1980s. The talented artist of those comic strips was Paul Kirchner, whose masterwork may well be a thoughtful and surreal strip about a municipal bus that appeared regularly in Heavy Metal over the same period, from 1979 to roughly 1985. That strip, “the bus” (always scrupulously set in lower-case), provided an ideal starting point for Kirchner’s fertile imagination, as the strip explored many variations of futility and disaster, fueled as much by The Twilight Zone and Godzilla as the paintings of Salvador Dali and M.C. Escher. As Kirchner himself writes in the afterword to a dandy collection of “the bus” published in 2012 by a French company called Éditions Tanibis,

The humor was inspired by the crazy logic of Warner Brothers cartoons; the paranoia of the Twilight Zone television program; and the surrealistic artwork of Bosch, Magritte, Dali, and Escher.

Escher, for sure—although the comic strips remind me of nothing so much as the playful, deadpan philosophy presented in the works of Jorge Luis Borges.

The book collects 73 of the strips (if my counting is accurate), which would represent almost precisely six years’ worth of output, as reflected in Kirchner’s account. According to Kirchner, he had wanted to present the strip in a horizontal format in the hopes of selling it to the Village Voice, but an editor at Heavy Metal had the shrewd idea of reducing the size:

Shortly after getting my foot in the door, I approached editor Julie Simmons [at Heavy Metal] with a comic strip called “the bus” (always written in lower case). I had drawn the first ten episodes in a horizontal format because I had intended to sell it to a weekly newspaper, the Village Voice. However, the Village Voice turned it down, though the art director was gracious enough to tell me it was the best thing he had ever rejected. Julie liked it and decided to run it as a half-page feature, as Heavy Metal often sold half-page ads and had to fill the remaining space.

Many, though not all, instances of “the bus” have precisely six panels, and most of my favorites are wordless. Tanibis to be saluted for rescuing these great strips from obscurity—even Kirchner himself admits that he never had much idea if anyone really liked the strip:

In those days before the internet, I rarely got feedback from readers about my work. It was published and I was paid, but what did people think of it? I didn’t know.

According to Tanibis, Kirchner has recently started doing “the bus” cartoons again, and Tanibis intends to publish an updated collection before the year is out. Very good news for all of Kirchner’s fans.

(For all the comics embedded in this post, clicking on the image will spawn a larger version.)



More after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
‘Mysterious, Incredible, Bizarre’: 80s Florida buttrockers in best/worst local hair salon ad ever!
10:44 am


Heavy Metal

“It’s mysterious…”

“It’s incredible…”

“It’s bizarre…”

So opens this brain-melting local Brandon, FL hair salon ad.

Thrash-metal pioneers, Nasty Savage, file out, clown-car style, from a vehicle that is not-quite-a-limo. A slack-jawed hesher in white tie and gloves holds the door for them as the Savages make their grand entrance. Group leader and sometimes semi-professional wrestler, “Nasty” Ronnie Galetti, invites us to “let’s just go find out” what “all of the excitement is about” while making the most awkward one-handed air-guitar maneuver imaginable.

Well folks, the excitement is that all of the Nasty Savages are having their hair done at “Flair Family Hair Care inside the Brandon Mall on Highway 60,” and what follows is a truly astounding montage of shots showcasing the vanguard styles of 1984 Florida.  We then hard-cut to the Nasty ones gathered around the barber-chair-seated Ronnie who commands the audience to “get your hair done at Flair.” This endorsement/directive is punctuated with a hypnotic flourish of the hand indicating that the will of the Nasty Ronnie must be obeyed.
Nasty Ronnie Commands
One might speculate that a band member was a blood relative of a Flair stylist or that perhaps someone owed someone a favor. It’s difficult to say because it’s unclear whether the salon or the band is benefiting here. It would appear, neither. Nasty Savage, who recorded for heavyweight Metal label Metal Blade Records in the mid 80s, were known for their over-the-top stage shows. “Nasty” Ronnie frequently smashed television sets over his head as a gimmick. Such tactics were undoubtedly damaging to his various hairstyles, and one can assume that frequent repair visits to Flair Family Hair Care were in order. Perhaps lending his professional endorsement to this commercial was a way of taking the treatments out “in trade”?

This is one of those videos that must be viewed more than once to take in the full measure of every stupid thing happening in it. Of particular interest is anything the overly-animated “‘It’s incredible’ Guy,” David Austin, does. If you’re looking for the prototypical “Florida Man,” look no further. Be sure, also, to take in the confusion on the face of the “limo driver” as the members of Nasty Savage emerge. Finally, try not to miss the kid on the right side of the screen in the salon wide-shot getting his hair teased. It doesn’t get much more incredible, mysterious, or bizarre. The excitement at the Brandon Mall is palpable.

Previously on Dangerous Minds:
‘Heavy Metal Parking Lot’ trading cards
Heavy Metal Gift Ideas

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
The kid from the ‘Balloon Boy’ hoax made a metal video. And, surprise! (not really) it’s awful

Heene Boyz Finger it Out album cover
The Fingered it Out album cover
Or should I say kids, because young Falcon Heene (the boy who never was flying over Colorado in a balloon back in 2009) has put together a metal band with his brothers Ryo and Bradford called Heene Boyz. As you might have already guessed, the young lads are being managed by the man very same man who orchestrated the whole balloon fiasco (with the help of his wife Mayumi), their father Richard Heene.

Falcon Heene, now eleven is the trio’s vocalist and brothers Ryo (age thirteen on drums), and Bradford (age fifteen on guitar) are currently trying to bill themselves as the “youngest metal band in the world,” a distinction that the Heene Boyz technically share with Brooklyn middle-schoolers Unlocking the Truth who are all now between the ages of twelve and thirteen, as well as Japanese band Baby Metal who are all about fourteen now. But I digress.
Balloon Boy Hoax headline
Their big song is called “Balloon Boy No Hoax.” A title that sounds exactly like it was written by an eleven-year-old whose name will always be synonymous with “Balloon Boy.” Remarkably, as the snappy title implies, the lyrics to the song attempt to denounce the fact that “Balloongate 2009” was a hoax in the first place. The boys even take a lyrical swipe at journalist Wolf Blitzer (“Who the hell is Wolf?”). Blitzer was the lucky journo who got to interview the family during a night when he was guest-hosting for Larry King on October 15th, 2009, the same day the hoax went down. When Blitzer asked Richard Heene to clarify what his son was doing hiding in the attic of the family’s garage, he obliged and asked Falcon (who was only six at the time) to respond. The kindergartner answered “You guys said we did this for the show.” (At that point, Richard Heene put on his best dog and pony show in an attempt to deflect Blitzer’s repeated requests to get Falcon to repeat the massive VERBAL BOMB he had just dropped. Heene got all defensive and the rest is history. Both parents spent a short time in jail and Richard Heene’s probation period ended last year.
Heene Boyz Balloon Boy No Hoax video
So without further adieu, here’s “Balloon Boy No Hoax” from the album Fingered it Out. And yeah, they made a video for the title track and it’s even worse than the song.

Yeah Mr. Heene, your kids are going to turn out just fine.

Via Metal Sucks

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
The Devil’s Doo-Wop: Ronnie James Dio, teenybopper crooner
10:51 am


Black Sabbath
Heavy Metal
Ronnie James Dio

Ronnie James Dio
Even a heavy metal tourist such as myself holds the late Ronnie James Dio in reverence. He was an early pioneer of the genre, with bands Elf and Rainbow. He sang for Black Sabbath for a while, and he managed a 30-year career with his own band, Dio. He’s even widely credited with the creation of the infamous “devil horns,” though he insists he merely cultivated the gesture from his Italian grandmother’s attempts to ward off the “evil eye.”

But like I said, I’m merely a casual observer of the genre. I am however, pretty well-versed in early rock ‘n’ roll teeny-bopper fodder—at least, enough so to say that Ronnie James Dio’s early pop crooner career is totally worthy of cranking up on the AM radio when you’re making-out at “Make-Out Point.” He started making music in 1957—it only makes sense that Ronald James Padavona had a few family-friendly incarnations before finding his place in the black hearts of a million Satan-loving heshers. And honestly? The dude was just really talented, with incredible musical instincts and an all-around great voice.
Ronnie Dio and The Prophets
Ronnie Dio and The Prophets, looking wholesome
Below is just a smattering of teen dream Dio’s early recordings. The first (my favorite) is Ronnie Dio and The Red Caps’ 1960 gem,  “An Angel is Missing”—very Ricky Nelson. The second one is Ronnie Dio and The Prophets’ rendition of “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow,” probably from 1962. This is literally one of my favorite songs of all time—I am ruthlessly protective of it, and I approve. The third is Ronnie Dio and The Prophets again, doing “I Told You So.” I saved this one for last, because it’s the darkest one, and its ominous sound may have predicted what was to come!!!!

“An Angel is Missing”

“Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow”

“I Told You So”

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
Metal albums with googly eyes

Beheomth, Zos Kia Cultus

The name of this Tumblr says it all. Its author seems to value brevity:

I have way too much spare time on my hands.

As spoofs of metal’s sometimes over-the-top grimness go, this one is often laugh out loud funny, and there are some albums I really love in there. But if whoever’s doing this reads this, and is taking requests, I’d love to see IX Equilibrium, Shadows of the Sun, and Skullgrid, please and thank you sir or ma’am.

Dehumanized, Prophecies Foretold

Dying Fetus, Descend Into Depravity, back cover

Skeletonwitch, Serpents Unleashed

Vital Remains, Icons of Evil

Immortal, Pure Holocaust, probably the best one of the whole bunch

Ensiferum, From Afar

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
This is why I don’t go to heavy metal shows: ‘I’m getting naked, lets roll!’
08:42 am


Heavy Metal

Marduk does not approve of this tomfoolery
Everyone has a story from a show that they use to one-up their friends. And now, the one to end them all.

I’ve been to many concerts over my career but I can honestly say I have never witnessed what happened at Marduk’s show in Chicago last night. Apparently a drunk racist guy got tossed out by security guards. He decided to fight them on sidewalk outside the venue, Reggie’s nightclub. Somewhere in his drunken mind, he must have thought fighting security guards naked was the edge he needed to take on the two security guards. After taking a punch to the face, the unnamed individual exclaims “I’m getting naked, lets roll!” and drops his pants. His plan didn’t work. And security still put the beatdown on him in the end (no pun intended). You can check out the video below filmed by Griffin Randall.

We get it, dude: you are the most metal guy at the show!

Via The Gauntlet

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
List of bands not allowed to be mentioned on Catholic school’s heavy metal radio show
03:38 pm


Heavy Metal

Claiming to be from Seton Hall University in South Orange, NJ.

I do agree with their strict termination policy, tho.

Click here to read larger image.

Via Nerdcore via reddit

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Happy Birthday Dave Davies

Happy Birthday Dave Davies - founder of The Kinks and highly original guitarist, whose innovative playing style influenced Psychedelic Rock, Heavy Metal, Punk Rock and Brit Pop.

Mr Davies continues to make wonderful music and has just released a fab new CD Fortis Green 2, a follow-up to his 1999 release, named after the district in London where Davies was born, sixty-six years ago. The album is exclusively available at Dave Davies homepage.

Happy Birthday Dave Davies and long may you continue to make music.

Dave Davies - ‘Fortis Green 2’ promo

The Kinks - ‘Got My Feet On The Ground - written and performed by Dave Davies

The Kinks - ‘Susannah’s Still Alive’ - written and performed by Dave Davies

Dave Davies - ‘Death of a Clown’ Live Belgian TV, 2002
Previously on Dangerous Minds

Kinkdom Come: A beautiful film on Dave Davies


Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
‘The Chronicle of the Black Sword’: A Sword & Sorcery concert from Hawkwind and Michael Moorcock

Without the influence of mercurial Robert Calvert, whose factitious relationship with the band came to an end in 1979, Hawkwind returned to the more reliable world of Sword & Sorcery for their 1985 album The Chronicle of the Black Sword. Inspired by occasional Hawkwind member and collaborator Michael Moorcock’s Elric of Melniboné series of novels, The Chronicle of the Black Sword was an ambitious project that led Hawkwind move into their most Spinal Tap moment when they toured an extended stage show for the album.

A film recording was made of Hawkwind performing The Chronicle of the Black Sword at the Hammersmith Odeon, London, December 1985, which was released as a video. It all looks frightfully dated now, with its mime and dreadful video projection, and is so dark it would appear to have been shot with the lens cap on (which maybe no bad thing) but the quality of Hawkwind’s performance somehow makes it all worth it.

Track List:

01. Narration (“The Chronicle Of The Black Sword”)/“Song Of The Swords”
02. Narration/“Sea King”
03. Narration (“Dead God’s Homecoming”)/“Master Of The Universe”
04. “Choose Your Masques”/“Fight Sequence”
05. “Needlegun”
06. “Zarozinia”
07. “Lords Of Chaos”/“The Dark Lords”/“Wizards Of Pan Tang”
08. “Moonglum”
09. “Elric The Enchanter”
10. “Conjuration Of Magnu/Magnu”
11. Narration (“The Final Fight”)/“Horn Of Destiny”


Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment