Since 2011, the eleventh day of the eleventh month every year has been designated National Metal Day. The honor arises from a classic scene in the 1984 comedy masterpiece This Is Spinal Tap wherein metal guitarist extraordinaire Nigel Tufnel (Christopher Guest) shows off his custom Marshall amps, which are equipped with one extra notch on the volume knob. As Nigel famously puts it: “These go to eleven!”
That sublime moment perfectly encapsulates the fervor, ferocity, and, most importantly, the fun that makes heavy metal the vanguard of rock-and-roll gone “over-the-top.” In addition to its own inborn extremes, heavy metal has always devoured whatever rock music’s latest outrage may be and used it to make itself stronger—from electric blues to punk to hip-hop to grunge and beyond.
So in honor of National Metal Day today, we trace the eleven most insane, untamed, taboo shattering leaps forward in heavy music history. Lock your fingers into horn position, adjust your head for banging, and let’s tear it up!
Hear Ozzy Osbourne tell the story about the night of January 20th in 1982 when he bit the head off a bat, surely one of metal’s heaviest dates.
In the realm of heavy metal, every day is Halloween. Just consider the costumes, the make-up, the shrieking, the zombie mascots, the haunted house stage decor, and the omnipresence of horned demons and hungry gargoyles set loose in tribute to the forces of darkness. And what back stage rider is complete without a gluttonous array of sweets and candies(no brown M&M’s please)?
Another way of looking at it, though, is that for one day each year, the whole rest of the world goes heavy metal. Either way, come late October, Halloween and heavy metal are as intertwined as the words “trick” and “treat.” The unholy wellspring from which each draws its greatest inspiration is the hairy, scary visual and cultural vocabulary of horror movies. Read more…
With the exception of maybe Led Zeppelin, nearly every band in the history of rock n’ roll is on tour this summer, or so it seems. Whether they recently reformed or never went away, the lure of concert cash and merch money is enough to make any aging rocker get on the bus. However, the musicians you see playing your favorite songs of yesteryear might be very different than those that played on the original albums. It’s gotten so bad we wrote about 20 Bands with Only One Original Member a couple months back. That’s not the case with these bands. Read more…
Things get a little crazy when famed Twisted Sister singer Dee Snider returns to That Metal Show show this Saturday night. Ed, Don and Jim relax and have a laugh as the always-animated front-man shares tales of a life in heavy metal. Then former-Deep Purple great Glenn Hughes calls into the “Metal Modem” to talk about his new band California Breed with this week’s special musical guest Chris Caffrey of Trans-Siberian Orchestra shredding all the while. Peep pics of this week’s show and tune in to VH1 Classic Saturday night at 11/10C to watch the whole show!
We’re halfway through the VH1 ClassicAmerica’s Hard 100 Countdown Poll and there’s still another 50 legendary hard rock and heavy metal songs coming your way for you to vote on and help us rank!
Today progressive hard rockers Rush’s almost-hit “Limelight” goes up against thrash masters Slayer’s harrowing “Seasons In The Abyss” and the surging alternative grunge of Stone Temple Pilots‘s “Wicked Garden,” plus classics from Twisted Sister, Quiet Riot and more.
Welcome to Day 2 of America’s Hard 100 countdown poll where YOU, the FANS help us determine the 100 best hard rock and metal songs of all time! VH1 and VH1 Classic have been putting together awesome music-related countdown shows that run the gamut from the 100 Greatest Hard Rock Songs to the 40 Greatest Metal Songs for years now which were painstakingly put together after hours of debate from music critics, producers and the artists themselves. Now we’re giving you the opportunity to let us know which hard rocking classics land where in the list! Each day for the next 9 days, we’ll reveal a new list of songs that you can vote on.
Dee Snider is back on your TV, but this time you won’t see him on The Celebrity Apprentice. Actually, if you were watching the finale of Donald Trump‘s reality show a few weeks ago then you would’ve seen the Twisted Sister frontman starring in a new commercial for Stanley Steemer. In the ad, the rocker shows up at a suburban house where he tells a woman she’s won a Dee Snider Weekend. Her husband flips outs (in make-up like Dee, of course!), trashes the house, and — you already know what happens next — Stanley Steemer shows up to save the day! (YAY!) We feel comforted knowing they are able to “get the rock ‘n’ roll out of your carpet.” We’ll be sure to hit them up after the next house trashing, mosh pit, food fight we have (which, we’re loathe to admit, happens more than you think).
Sometimes it?s all about helping others. When the call went out regarding participation in “Phoenix Rising,” a benefit concert to assist the Station Family Fund, plenty of artists came running. What?s the SFF? It?s the group that generates and dispenses monies needed to ease the medical bills of those who survived Rhode Island?s infamous Station nightclub fire, a blaze that killed 100 rock fans and injured another 200 on Feb 20, 2003.
Last Monday, at the Dunkin? Donuts Center in Providence, the SFF hosted a multi-artist bash that illustrated the effectiveness of uniting for a cause. Co-organized by the group Tesla, who lost an associate in the tragedy, it was a night full of fun and memories, 5000 fans and 20-plus artists rocking the place silly. VH1 was there, too. An edited version of the four-hour concert will be shown on the channel and VH1 Classic on March 23. It’s entitled Aftermath: The Station Fire Five Years Later.
Twisted Sister, Tesla, Staind?s Aaron Lewis, Winger and several other acts represented the rock side of things. John Rich, Gretchen Wilson, and Dierks Bentley flew up from Nashville for the evening to put on an acoustic show that stressed their high-flying country slant.
?Wear your tee-shirts proud,? bellowed Sister?s Dee Snider, who acted as the program?s MC. ?Let people know you were here. I learned a lot about bravery, courage and heart tonight. I recognized the strength of the people who survived. There will be sad moments, but this is a party, and people want to rock. So let?s rock!?
One tragic event, innumerable tragic offshoots. When Rhode Island’s Station nightclub burned to the ground on February 20, 2003, 100 rock fans died and 200 were injured – many of them dreadfully so. It’s been five years since the infamous blaze took place, and lots of lives still need help being rebuilt. Though some compensations have been issued, the whopping medical bills and daunting personal struggles are crippling for many of those who went out to see Great White perform in the tiny club on that frigid night. Those facts are the reason that an array of artists from both the rock and country camps have chosen to participate in “Phoenix Rising! Musicians United To Benefit the Victims of the Station Nightclub Fire.” VH1 is making a concert special from the evening’s performances.
On February 25, in Providence, Rhode Island, John Rich of Big & Rich, and Dee Snider of Twisted Sister, host a multi-artist concert bash to raise money for the Station Family Fund which was founded by survivors to provide treatment and rehabilitation relief. Gretchen Wilson, Dierks Bentley, Alabama’s Randy Owen, Kellie Pickler will represent the country side of the fence. Staind‘s Aaron Lewis, Tesla, Winger, Boston’s Tom Scholz and Gary Pihl, Kevin Max, Carmine Appice’s SLAM, and Stryper will join Snider and the Twisted Sister crew. The goal is to honor the anniversary of those lost, and make life a bit easier for those still recovering. Tickets are available through Ticket Master.
On Sunday, March 23, VH1 Classic and VH1 will air Aftermath: The Station Fire Five Years Later, a one-hour special of show highlights.
Ticket Contacts: Dunkin’ Donuts Center 401-331-0700 or www.dunkindonutcenter.com