Right Thinking From The Left Coast
We didn't lose the game; we just ran out of time. - Vince Lombardi

Balls to the Airport
by Lee

So I’m sitting here working on the computer, and as usual I have iTunes on shuffle.  The song that just came on was “Balls to the Wall” by Accept, a German heavy metal band from the 1980s.  Check out this album cover.

image

Now, as hard as this might be to believe today, nobody thought this was gay back then.  Nowadays you take one look at it and you can just imagine the gerbil crawling up his intestine.  But this was your typical metal band, all about pussy and partying, nothing inherently homosexual.

The truly ironic thing, though, is that the guy who popularized the leather and studs look was Rob Halford from Judas Priest, who actually is gay.  (This didn’t become public knowledge until the 90s.) I remember an interview Halford did once where he said that, in the early days of the band, he was frustrated because he had to stay closeted.  One day he was in New York and he walked past a gay leather shop.  He bought a whole bunch of leather stuff and wore it on stage that night.  The crowd went insane for it, and it became the look not only for Priest but for most metal bands as well.  I remember Halford saying something like, “Here’s this stadium full of horny heterosexual teenage boys cheering at the leather and studs, thinking how cool it was, when in reality it was my way of expressing my latent homosexuality in public.”

It’s weird.  As a kid who grew up on metal in the 80s, I can say honestly that we didn’t see anything gay about it.  But, looking back on it now, man, there was a lot of gay shit.  But it wasn’t gay.  In the documentary Metal: A Headbanger’s Journey they devote a whole section to this.  Dee Snider, who made transvestitism an art form, laughs it off and says, yeah, this looks really gay now, but trust me, there was nothing gay about it back then.

I’m not gay.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that…

Update: GripeBoy, in the comments to this post.

I was dressing like a mod and took a lot of shit for listening to supposed “gay” bands like Tears For Fears and Depeche Mode when in fact, the most homophobic of all my friends were listening to a hard core biker fag.

Now THAT is fucking funny. 

Posted by Lee on 08/29/07 at 07:21 PM (Discuss this in the forums)

Comments


Posted by West Virginia Rebel on 08/29/07 at 08:22 PM from United States

Speaking of closeted gays, I’m looking for a link to documentation which shows that Rumsfeld knew what was going on at Abu Ghraib (the details if not the specifics) and basically responded with the “It’s OK because they’re the bad guys” attitude. I think you had a post which had some of Rummy’s memos.

BT remember Eddie Van Halen and Davie Lee Roth’s spandex? And Motley Crue’s makeup, but you knew their fans could kick your ass so you didn’t say anything about it.

Posted by West Virginia Rebel on 08/29/07 at 08:24 PM from United States

PS A post where you compared Rummy’s attitude with that of Petraeus’s, I mean.

Posted by howco on 08/29/07 at 08:47 PM from United States

Accept I think I rember them, werent they the band with the little blond headed troll as a lead singer?

Posted by Loud on 08/29/07 at 08:53 PM from United States

werent they the band with the little blond headed troll as a lead singer?

You’d have to be a LOT more specific with 80’s music.

Posted by dwex on 08/29/07 at 09:23 PM from United States

Man, if you wanna go back to the best of 80s hair metal, I got 2 words for ya: Tawny Kitaen

(what’s happened to her looks since then is a crime against humanity)

Posted by Akula on 08/29/07 at 09:45 PM from United States

I grew up in the 90’s. I think the 80’s were gay… and a good lot of the 2000’s is gay too. The 80s had hair metal and glam rock and gay leather. This decade has emo kids, where the guys wear womens clothes and nail polish.

What a bunch of faggots.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that!
Episode 57… The Outing…

Posted by howco on 08/29/07 at 10:01 PM from United States

You’d have to be a LOT more specific with 80’s music.

The guy was like 4 foot tall I think. All the other dudes had the big 80’s hair. He had a close cut. The other guys wore leather and such. He wore camo outfits.

I went and looked for images online and found several. I rember not listening to them cause the guy looked like a goof, not because they sucked or anything.

Posted by The Contrarian on 08/29/07 at 10:02 PM from Japan

Yeah, I have to admit, my generation is kinda gay. I can’t stand emo music/people. Jesus christ, talk about a sense of entitlement!

They 80’s were probably less gay by comparison. I don’t think we need to worry about Lee. Remember: it’s only gay if the balls touch.

Random fact: I used to live near Dee Snyder. He has a house on Long Island about one mile from where I went to high school and one of my friends is his next door neighbor.

Posted by West Virginia Rebel on 08/29/07 at 10:16 PM from United States

The Seventies-now they were gay. Glam rock and disco, anyone?

Posted by on 08/30/07 at 12:23 AM from United States

werent they the band with the little blond headed troll as a lead singer?

Udo Dirkschneider. He reminded me of a headbanging Napoleon Bonaparte.

FTR - I called Halford as gay way back in the day. I specifically remember arguing my my friends about it. The thing was, I was way into Depeche Mode and similar bands at the time (although I still rocked hard to fucking Maiden. Up the Irons!). Anyway, I was dressing like a mod and took a lot of shit for listening to supposed “gay” bands like Tears For Fears and Depeche Mode when in fact, the most homophobic of all my friends were listening to a hard core biker fag. Of course, no offense to arguably the best heavy metal singer in history, Rob Halford. The dude fucking rocked! Who cares if he’s gay?

Posted by on 08/30/07 at 03:50 AM from United Kingdom

If you were into Heavy Metal in the 80’s, guess what? You’re gay. All the 80’s metal videos had guys in leather, rubbing shoulder blades in a factory that seemed to manufacture nothing but sparks. Then they’d cut to a bunch of hot girls MILES AWAY from the band.

Hat Tip. Patton Oswalt

Posted by on 08/30/07 at 07:25 AM from United States

The guy was like 4 foot tall I think. All the other dudes had the big 80’s hair. He had a close cut. The other guys wore leather and such. He wore camo outfits.

I think the singer of Accept - the band Lee blogged about in this post - matches that description . . .

Posted by on 08/30/07 at 10:46 AM from United States

As WVR points out, Glam rock started in the early 70’s kids!  Brian Eno and Brian Ferry in Roxy Music for example, plus a bunch of Kraut Rock stuff that was going on then.  Go check out some album art from the first couple Roxy music albums, ...flamers!  David Bowie started in and around then too, say no more.

Best damn music tho.  Eno is the best of the best.

Extra points for anyone who knows where the expression “Balls to the walls” comes from.

Posted by on 08/30/07 at 11:08 AM from United States

I knew there was a reason I hated heavy metal music…

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