Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The early Rock pantheon is occupied by only a few hallowed souls. But who makes this short list? Where did the best genre of music come from? We have to consider, at least, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, and Led Zeppelin as the primary founders. If these bands were late 18th Century American statesmen, then they would rank up there with Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, and Alexander Hamilton... undoubtedly.

Indeed, veritable historians believe that the two histories -- that of the American founding and of Heavy Metal -- may have been intertwined. Some recently discovered evidence indicates that Ben Franklin was a satanist, and that he mistook Black Sabbath as an ally. In fact, Black Sabbath wasn't a Satan tribute band, and in addition, they were quite the opposite of an ally. Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, and Led Zeppelin, being ENGLISH, were the enemy! (duh)

Veritable historians believe that Ben Franklin
may have been the first Black Sabbath fan... and a satanist.  

Because of Mr. Franklin's mis-perception of the Founding Fathers of Heavy Metal ("FFHM"), he adamantly supported them. At late hours, eyewitnesses occasionally saw him wearing heavy metal t-shirts -- which must have been really odd apparel for the time period. He was also seen shopping at Hot Topic once.

One of Mr. Franklin's other favorite bands was the mighty Led Zeppelin. This morning I heard one of their songs playing over the system in my apartment building... which is awesome, by the way. Quick aside: My building plays some random ass music, but it's always awesome -- from 99 Luft Balons to Land Down Under (hilarious music video).

You should know who Led Zeppelin is. If you don't, then I hate you, and you should rethink your life. I mean seriously, Led Zep has become a music icon... unlike Uriah Heep (whom I'll cover in a post down the line). Zeppelin started in 1968, and by the 70's were in full swing as (what I call) a proto-metal hard rock band. They did crap-tons of drugs, and probably sexed lots of women. They are often cited as one of the FFHM, contemporaneous with Black Sabbath and Deep Purple.

Now, it is hard to say exactly where metal came from -- most say Black Sabbath, which is likely -- but there are some examples of early songs that were very metal indeed. In-a-gadda-da-vida is surely a proto-metal song, but Iron Butterfly, despite having a kick ass freggin' name, were quite low on the Iron, and very high on the Butterfly (and drugs, I mean c'mon "In-a-gadda-da-vida"? Really? In the garden of eden, perhaps?). So while you have an early band, with a kick ass song, and name, the band was definitely not metal. They are like the Vikings discovering America -- they discovered the best thing in the world, once, but they just didn't recognize it at the time.

Leif Ericsson c. 1000 A.D.

Some fools actually cite a Beatles song (Ticket to Ride) as an early metal song. The Beatles were the Beatles. They were good at what they did, I guess. But they were not metal... please. I really don't see a plausible argument for saying the song Ticket to Ride is metal.. at all. Proponents say that it is metal because of its repetitive bass line. ...Well those people are idiots, and clearly know nothing about metal (after all, they are Beatles fans). See, e.g., Cliff Burton; Steve Harris; Geddy Lee (for an example of an epic bass-player-front-man with a metal as shit voice (at 4:07; also, the RUSH guys look like they are having lots of fun early-on in this video)).

So, in conclusion, "they are who we thought they were" -- Sabbath, Deep Purple, and Led Zep are the real founding fathers.

Have a happy thanksgiving everyone!


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