Heavy Metal Uniform
The idea of a dress code for a free spirited music genre seems paradoxical to the scene. However, following the anti-fashion of the hippies in the 1960’s, metal fans began to grow long hair. The unwashed look was passed onward along with shirtlessness.
Only now the clothes became denim & leather. The British band Saxon had a hit record with this name!
Boys had metal band tour tops cropped to show skin and sleeveless to show tattoos.
Days after a show played town there were metalheads wearing their 2-sided tour tops. The back displayed all the dates and cities of the tour and year.
Below are a few pictures of heavy metal guys in the 1980’s. Many wannabe bands formed in the wake of Motley Crue, Ratt, and many others.
In the 1970’s Aerosmith inspire boys to wear denim without shirts as did KISS with their fanbase morphing into a leather and make-up wearing army inspired by the Goth following of Alice Cooper. Boys in make-up!
Below is a gallery of pics from festival shows, where you see a young fan in vest sans shirt, a lone metalhead having a walk, a concert crowd with hands in the air, Van Halen’s debut album which was a landmark record launching a movement to hard rock and metal guitar heroes and star vocalists. Iron Maiden’s “The Number of the Beast” set off the first wave of satanic panic in America.
Glam acts like The New York Dolls were the instigators of this next level movement in heavy rock.
As metalheads we adopt the image of our heroes. Above is a picture of metal guys in the 1980’s, some in make-up, some bare chested. Metal is quite a macho form. Boys needed a creative outlet that was not sports related. Enter electric guitars and girls.
Back in the 1970s Aerosmith had their blue army of guys in jeans without shirts. Then in the 1980s guys wore denim or leather vests san shirts.
Nerds like myself who were not into sports got into music. Metal was influential on teens in the late 1970’s and 1980s. Today it’s global.
Heavy Metal World
Above you see an example of African metallers. The book is available now.
There are several festivals in Europe. Wacken in Germany; Bloodstock in France; Download in the U.K. are a few heavy metal fests.
Not just a men’s club, women also started metal groups. Doro Pesch of Warlock, Lita Ford, and Joan Jett to name a few, all of whom are still active in the scene. Hard rock bands like Def Leppard attract female fans. Now, Iron Maiden and Judas Priest also have female fans.
Rob Halford Of Judas Priest
There is probably no other rock star who became heavy metal’s greatest influencer. He began riding a Harley Davidson motorcycle onstage when introducing their anthem “Hell Bent For Leather”. On recent tours he rode it out at the top of the concerts.
Mr. Halford wearing full leathers, studs, and no shirt became the defining moment for boys and men alike. In the 1980’s I attended dozens of shows where boys donned this look. Quite a crowd!
So you can see where this heavy metal uniform originated in the 70s and 80s. Aerosmith, KISS, Queen, Alice Cooper, The New York Dolls, T-Rex, Van Halen, Deep Purple, Scorpions, Black Sabbath, and others.
QUEEN & KISS Impressed Me The Most. CODA….
Gay rockers like Freddie Mercury changed my life. Today I have a great husband and retain my identity with music.
I love the biker metal look with leather jackets, pants, and no shirt. With jewelry of necklaces, rings, etc.
KISS was voted America’s most popular band in the 70s by the Gallup Poll. Several TV appearances like their ill fated movie, “Phantom Of The Park” and a weird special, The Paul Lynde Halloween special. Infamous for their stage show with spitting blood and loud guitars the band remained for 45 years! Now on the road with their Final ever tour.
21st Century Metalheads
Today you rarely see a kid in the metal uniform. Mostly when you do they are wearing what is now called a battle vest. See the gallery below….
LOGOS. Longhair/short hair. Full color for most bands; Black/Death metal in black & white. Bands must have a name and awesome logo like Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Accept, Venom, Ozzy Osbourne, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, and on and on and on….the battle vest can be worn over a black leather motorcycle jacket too (Denim and Leather).
For everyone out there thanks for reading!
We return next week with another edition of METALEv, The Headbanger’s Clubhouse!