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#128810 - 05/28/04 08:37 AM Heavy Metal
mike_jahn Offline
stranger

Registered: 05/28/04
Posts: 18
This is not bragging. It is an admission of guilt, probably indictable. I'm coming (going?) clean because I get asked about it a lot.

I appear to be the one who coined the term "heavy metal." I did this while serving as first rock critic of The New York Times. In a 1971 review of the band Steppenwolf, I referred to their "unique hard rock, heavy and metallic." A year later I referred to "heavy metal music." I was thinking not only of the music, but of the increasing number of bands with names such as Led Zeppelin, Iron Butterfly, and Grand Funk Railroad. (No more "Strawberry Alarm Clock," and a good thing, too.)

Steppenwolf did, of course, use the phrase "heavy metal thunder," in reference to mechanized transport of some sort, in their song "Born to be Wild." So they were the logical jumping off point for my coinage. I merely applied the notion to a form of music which, by the way, Steppenwolf didn't play.

I thought that this feat would win me a lifetime supply of hairspray and leather pants. It didn't, but alas, I no longer have use for either.

Mike Jahn


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#128811 - 05/28/04 08:49 AM Re: Heavy Metal
Buffalo Shrdlu Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/24/02
Posts: 7210
Loc: Vermont
leather pants ain't all they're cracked up to be anyway...

I saw a concert during which Keith Emerson tried to jump back on stage while wearing leather pants. the crowd found his failure very funny. he still managed to blow us all away...

welcome to the board, mike.



_________________________
formerly known as etaoin...

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#128812 - 05/28/04 10:36 AM Re: Heavy Metal
AnnaStrophic Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 6511
Loc: lower upstate New York
You're forgiven, Mike. It was a dirty job, but someone had to do it.


And thank you for this (from your web site): ...in the words of the National Writers Union, "Metaphors be with you."


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#128813 - 05/28/04 10:39 AM Re: Heavy Metal
wow Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/25/00
Posts: 3439
Loc: New England, USA
Welcome Mike. Have you met Musick? You will have lots to talk about! Looking forward to the byplay.


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#128814 - 05/28/04 11:29 AM Re: Heavy Metal
Faldage Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/01/00
Posts: 13783
Welcome ABoard, mike. If you wish to shrive yourself of your guilt, I might suggest visiting this message board: <http://pub122.ezboard.com/bwordoriginsorg>

Don't put forth your claim of inventing it, just ask after the origin.

FWIW, my JunkDrawerMemory® has a faded note in it suggesting that "heavy metal" was a translation of a French graphic novel genre better translated as "screaming metal". The date on the note, if I can read it aright, is in the early '60s.


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#128815 - 05/28/04 12:08 PM Re: Heavy Metal
musick Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/24/00
Posts: 2658
Loc: Chicago
Welcome to our liguistic cauldron, Mike.

I recently had this discussion with someone 15yrs my junior about what constitutes the style of "heavy metal". Since, as you know, it has been around so long and undergone a number of media driven definition changes, I found the closest band that we could agree that fits the label was Metalica. It's good to hear that actually® fits the *original usage requirements, however, she was under the impression that Metalica is the 'definition' of heavy metal. If one thinks about it as describing the thickness and musical weight of the sounds used, well she's correct... and it is, indeed, even heavier than Led Zeppelin - which I understood (as you described) was one of the first to which the term was applied. She has excellent aural capacity and quickly pointed out Zeppelins "folk music"(as you and I might call it) flavor which she claimed didn't make it metalic enough.

To paraphrase an analogy I made to her- "Just because we kept finding new/more complex molecular structures that fit science's definition of metal, it didn't make the more *simple metals any less 'metalic'.


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#128816 - 05/28/04 05:19 PM Re: Heavy Metal
Father Steve Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/06/00
Posts: 2788
Loc: Seattle, Washington, USA
Absolution is available, but only to the repentant.



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#128817 - 05/28/04 06:00 PM Re: Heavy Metal
Buffalo Shrdlu Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/24/02
Posts: 7210
Loc: Vermont
the repentant

like, dude, who was the lead singer in that band?

_________________________
formerly known as etaoin...

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#128818 - 05/28/04 08:14 PM Re: Heavy Metal
mike_jahn Offline
stranger

Registered: 05/28/04
Posts: 18
The punishment included being beaten up on by Margaret Mead and James Baldwin on the David Frost Show. I still have the bruises.


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#128819 - 05/28/04 08:17 PM Re: Heavy Metal
mike_jahn Offline
stranger

Registered: 05/28/04
Posts: 18
Never met him/her/whatever. Looking forward to it.


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