Throw ’em up for National Metal Day. In honor of the classic metal mockumentary “This is Spinal Tap,” the day falls on November 11 every year. Metal fans all over the world celebrate themes like good and evil, God and Satan — plus love and despair plunged in a black hole of angst with a soundtrack of screaming guitars and extended drum solos. Metal is fashion with its love of leather and studs. Metal declares independence from the mundane and conventional while insanity, alienation, and death are the foundation for gloomy introspection, which is all part of the fun.
National Metal Day - History
Distraught parents sued Judas Priest over son's suicide
When a young Judas Priest fan took his own life, his parents sued the group claiming the son heard the words "do it" when the song was played backwards. The band ultimately won the case.
Zappa testified before Congress
Visionary musician Frank Zappa appeared before Congress to protest attempts to legislate and censor the lyrics of heavy metal songs — with Zappa saying that the proposed legislation was like "treating dandruff by decapitation".
Rob Reiner film spoofed metal band culture
The metal mockumentary "This is Spinal Tap," about the adventures of a metal band on tour, turned into an iconic tour de force starring Reiner, Christopher Guest, Michael McKean, and Harry Shearer. Turn this one up to "11."
Leather and studs entered metal fashion
Judas Priest's album "Hellbent for Leather" introduced the pairing of leather and metal studs as a fashion statement with a nod to gay lifestyles.
Metal born in England
Black Sabbath used loud clashing guitar solos as a reaction to the despair and dreariness of life in the economically-depressed area of West Midlands, England.
National Metal Day Activities
1. Listen to all your favorite metal bands
National Metal Day is just an excuse for non-stop head-banging music. Start it out with Black Sabbath, the originators of the metal sound, and just move through all the incarnations of the music from decade to decade. Throw in some Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple, too. Close the day out with a viewing of "This is Spinal Tap."
2. Throw a metal fashion show
Much of the fascination with metal is the fashion. The jewelry, the hair, and the clothes are a big part of metal's draw. Have your crew dress up as their favorite musicians. Dare someone to be Marilyn Manson for just for a couple of hours and pick up some food at the Quickie Mart. Dress up and then take a subway train to nowhere.
3. Play metal video games
Believe it or not, there are scores of video games dedicated to heavy metal. The plots revolve around a band like Iron Maiden or Metallica. Grab your die-hard metal gamers and get a competition going. Turn it up and turn it out but just let the neighbors know ahead of time.
5 Mind-Melting Metal Things To Know
1. It's addictive
A metal fan in Sweden claimed and received disability for his metal "addiction" because his attendance at 300 concerts during one year rendered him helpless and unable to work.
2. Anyone can sing lead
A parrot was the lead vocalist of a death metal band.
3. You're never too young to rock
In Finland, there's a dinosaur heavy metal band that's all the rage with kids.
4. Metal goes sky high
Iron Maiden's Bruce Dickinson is a professional airplane pilot who flies "Ed Force One," the band's private plane.
5. It's an unusual career choice
Dave Mustaine of Megadeth chose heavy metal as a career to irritate his brother-in-law, who punched him for listening to Judas Priest.
Why We Love National Metal Day
A. It's loud
Heavy metal, or just plain "metal" to most fans, is characterized by long, over-amplified guitar riffs. The wild-haired musicians wield their guitars like weapons to the delight of their fans. Metal is an in-your-face kind of music mostly supplied by skinny men in extremely tight pants. Metal started in 1968 across the Big Pond in England where Black Sabbath emerged as the first band to ponder the uselessness of the universe.
B. It glorifies the occult
Metal music seems to idealize the occult, generally, and Satan, specifically. But this Devil is not the one to cast you down and dance on your soul; metal's Satan is like the ultimate rocker — a guy who jams all day and all night — but in hell. There's a party going on that never stops with all the debauchery, sex and drugs, i.e. fun, that anyone would want. The fashion in metal is heavy with inverted crosses, devils' head necklaces, and lots and lots of leather. Metal can be an acquired taste.
C. It's about rebellion
Metal bands like Judas Priest, Black Sabbath and Marilyn Manson take pride in running against the grain. These bands believe that being authentic about your art and your inner self is the only thing that matters in a wasteland of commercialism. But of course, it never hurts to sell a gazillion records and make the Billboard Top 5. If the search for the naked truth offends society, these are not the folks to invite for a tea party.