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#128810 - 05/28/04 12:37 PM Heavy Metal  
Joined: May 2004
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mike_jahn Offline
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mike_jahn  Offline
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Joined: May 2004
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


#128811 - 05/28/04 12:49 PM Re: Heavy Metal  
Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 7,210
Buffalo Shrdlu Offline
Carpal Tunnel
Buffalo Shrdlu  Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 7,210
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...
#128812 - 05/28/04 02:36 PM Re: Heavy Metal  
Joined: Mar 2000
Posts: 6,511
AnnaStrophic Offline
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AnnaStrophic  Offline
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Posts: 6,511
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."


#128813 - 05/28/04 02:39 PM Re: Heavy Metal  
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 3,439
wow Offline
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wow  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 3,439
New England, USA
Welcome Mike. Have you met Musick? You will have lots to talk about! Looking forward to the byplay.


#128814 - 05/28/04 03:29 PM Re: Heavy Metal  
Joined: Dec 2000
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Faldage Offline
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Faldage  Offline
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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.


#128815 - 05/28/04 04:08 PM Re: Heavy Metal  
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musick Offline
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musick  Offline
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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'.


#128816 - 05/28/04 09:19 PM Re: Heavy Metal  
Joined: Sep 2000
Posts: 2,788
Father Steve Offline
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Father Steve  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2000
Posts: 2,788
Seattle, Washington, USA
Absolution is available, but only to the repentant.



#128817 - 05/28/04 10:00 PM Re: Heavy Metal  
Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 7,210
Buffalo Shrdlu Offline
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Buffalo Shrdlu  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 7,210
Vermont
the repentant

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



formerly known as etaoin...
#128818 - 05/29/04 12:14 AM Re: Heavy Metal  
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 18
mike_jahn Offline
stranger
mike_jahn  Offline
stranger

Joined: May 2004
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.


#128819 - 05/29/04 12:17 AM Re: Heavy Metal  
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 18
mike_jahn Offline
stranger
mike_jahn  Offline
stranger

Joined: May 2004
Posts: 18
Never met him/her/whatever. Looking forward to it.


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