Sex, Drugs, and Rock and Roll

"We\'re like a fuckin\' grenade and it\'s like everybody\'s

struggiling to hold the pin in!"-(Slash, Guns N\' Roses)

April 12,2004

Essay 2

Since the 1960\'s, heavy metal rock was just that, an explosion, that resulted in critics and many others trying to suppress it. Everything about rock was wild and over-the-top, from its styleand fashion, to the concert behavior, and even to the outrageous scandels.

First off, the style of heavy metal was just as outrageous as the music. It was a time of big teased hair. The more hair spray, the better- just hope your not standing behind the woman who\'s spraying. Guys usually used bandanas to hold back their wild mane, which was just as long as women\'s. Women weren\'t the only people to wear makeup either. Men wore plenty of eye liner, and in extreme cases, like Twisted Sister and Kiss, wore makeup all over their face. The pants depeneded on the formality of the event. While on stage, most artists wore tight leather pants with silk shirts- which were probably leopard print or a hot color. While backstage they could be seen wearing torn, ripped up jeans- which were just as tight as the leather pants. Sunglasses were worn inside, maybe to help with the hangovers. Today if someone walked down the street dressed like this, they would definitly turn heads.

The clothes were not the only crazy part of rock, however the concert experience of heavy metal was arguably one of the most fierce that anyone has ever seen. When the Beatleslaunched their concert tour, their tiny amplifiers could not be heard over the screaming crowds. However, by the early 1970\'s, manufacturers like Marshall, Orange, and Sunn founded an industry that pushed the tolerances of vacuum tubes, creating vast acoustic possibilities throughthe deafening roar of guitars. (Bogdanov) Now, instead of going to little night clubs to see bands,fans were traveling to huge stadiums all over the country.

It almost seems as if as the music got louder, the crowd grew more intense. Aggressive music demanded violent physical responses that sent bodies colliding into one another with the influence of slam dancing and stage diving that punk brought. "I go into a concert situation and see people going absolutely insane mashing and slamming," says Dave Mustaine of Megadeth. The age-old practice of headbanging seemed inncoecnt in comparison to flailing limbs, bodies smashing into each other, and a crush of thousands of fans pressing against the stage. It was this extreme behavior that made fans crazed. Bands in metal arenas learned that rough crowds came with the territory, and they loved it. As Neil Young said, "Rock n\' Roll is like a drug, I don\'t take it very much, but when I do rock and roll, I fuckin\' do it. But I don\'t want to do it all the time \'cause it\'ll kill me." Rock concerts are extreme, yes, but the excitement felt, both for the artist and the audience, while there is amazing. When people went to a heavy metal concert, they new what to expect. They left their briefcase, tie, and everyday problems - the nagging wife, the crying baby, and the bills- behind while they were able to let loose and have a good time with loud music and intense dancing.

Maybe it was this violent dancing that left society blaming rock for most of its problems. What ever the reason, many artists -such as Twisted Sister, Janes Addiction, and Kiss- found themselves being accused of devilworshiping. However, Hundreds of Christian metal groups demonstrated that there was nothing inherent in the music to lead people toward destruction. In fact, many rockers were indeed religious.

"People are quick to judge us, they think we spend our time sacraficing

animals and praying to the devil, but most of the time I\'m relaxing at home

with the dog, while watching cartoons with my children. In fact, yesturday

I was helping my youngest daughter prepare for her first holy communion,

so much for that satanic colt idea.", Mark Mendoza, also known as the

"Animal", or Twisted Sister., commented.

Yet, early in the 1980\'s, rock music became confused with the crimes of two famous sociopaths. Serial killer Richard Ramirez was dubbed the "Night Stalker", owing to a