The Grammy Museum, Los Angeles
April 11, 2012- February 2013
By Lexa Vonn
Photos: Courtesy of The GRAMMY Museum
The Golden Gods "History of Heavy Metal" exhibit opened on April 11 at The Grammy Museum in downtown Los Angeles as part of Revolver Magazine's 2012 Golden God Awards Ceremony, held just next door at Club Nokia. The exhibit, which will run into early next year, views as a chronological history lesson in the birth, transgression, and ongoing evolution of the controversial genre. Displayed on stone plaques amongst standard memorabilia like guitars, stage clothes, and tour posters are little known facts about the timeline of heavy metal. For instance, we all know that Black Sabbath was one of the pioneers of drop- down tuning that introduced the dark heavy sound became synonymous with metal music. But, did you know that Tony Iommi original dropped his tuning from E to C# to ease tension in his fingers after losing the tips of his right middle and ring fingers in an accident at his factory job? And we all remember when artists such as Frank Zappa and Twisted Sister's Dee Snider took on Tipper Gore's music censorship group the PMRC, but did you know that John Denver was also a soldier in the fight to keep music free to be sleazy? How about MTV's "Headbanger's Ball", which we all stayed up late to watch? Did you know it was originally a monthly show called, "Heavy Metal Mania"? These are just some of the interesting tidbits you will discover at "The History of Heavy Metal" exhibit.
Along with gazing at such items as Judas Priest's Rob Halford's leather studded stage coat and the Quiet Riot signature "Metal Health" metal mask, you can also engage in interactive activities such as the Scream Booth (a karaoke booth gone psychotic), or try your hand as a producer at the Lamb of God mixing board. When you are tired of playing rock star, you may retire to any one of five television screens playing loops of VH1 documentaries on your favorite metal gods. But before exiting the exhibit, be sure to pay your respects at the heavy metal "wailing wall" which features a giant collage of all our fallen heroes, gone but never forgotten, they are surely kicking ass eternally at the big gig in the sky. Now don't you wish they had exhibits like this on your elementary school museum fieldtrip?
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