For Those Not About to Rock...
In my ongoing war against stupid, sheeplike behavior, I have to address this subject, because I've lost all patience with it:
People doing the "heavy metal horns."
You know "the horns" -- the hand gesture made with forefinger and pinky extended from a fist raised in a gesture of "rocking out." Ronnie James Dio started the whole thing like 25 years ago as part of his stage act (according to Dio, the actual meaning of the sign is something akin to "warding off the evil eye") and it's since become the official salute of headbangers everywhere. God bless.
But here's what I don't like -- people doing the horns and not meaning it. Assholes trying to be cute, giving the ironic horn salute at inappropriate events, like a wedding. Or a funeral. Or while some folkie is onstage gently strumming an acoustic guitar. The gesture says, "get it? I'm pretending to rock out even though this music or situation isn't really rocking!" Yeah, we get it. Why don't you go put your head in an oven?
The horn throwers will ALWAYS do the sign whenever a camera is pointed at them. And they always do it, for some godforsaken reason, with the tongue stuck all the way out. Ugh. People can be so predictable that sometimes I feel like I'm watching reruns of my life.
As boring and cliche and unfunny and overused as the devil horns gesture is, people still think they are being so fucking cute when they do it. Listen, folks. IT'S NOT FUNNY ANYMORE. Beavis and Butthead exhausted all of the humorous potential of the devil horns over a decade ago. And the reason it was so funny then is that when those two lovable cartoon cretins did it, they were SO INTO IT! They were banging their giant animated heads to Pantera and it was awesome. The reason you're doing it is because you're trying to be ironic. But all you're doing is perpetuating an extremely tired joke. The irony is deeper than you think.
I saw Anthrax a couple years ago opening for Motorhead in Asbury Park. At some point during their set, Scott Ian made a little speech about people giving the horns. He said "if you don't own the first six Black Sabbath albums, then you're not allowed do the devil horns."
Amen to that. If you mean it, then flash the heavy metal salute with all the gusto you've got. But if you're just trying to be cute, then go find another party.
Andee's Essential Listening for Headbangers Everywhere
Black Sabbath Master of Reality and Mob Rules
Slayer Reign in Blood, South of Heaven and Seasons in the Abyss
Motorhead No Remorse
Pantera Vulgar Display of Power
Rage Against the Machine self titled
Iron Maiden The Number of the Beast
Alice In Chains Facelift
Ministry Psalm 69: The Way to Succeed and the Way to Suck Eggs
Anthrax Among the Living
Judas Priest British Steel and Screaming for Vengeance
Megadeth Peace Sells...But Who's Buying? and Rust in Peace
Metallica Kill 'em All, Ride the Lightning and Master of Puppets
Fight War of Words
White Zombie La Sexorcisto: Devil Music Vol. 1
Accept Balls to the Wall
Mercyful Fate Don't Break the Oath