Metal is rock's untamed wild child. Metal is rude, crude, irreverent and irrepressibly loud. Metal is rock and roll just as it's supposed to be, which is why everyone from Black Sabbath to Iron Maiden to Motley Crue to Slayer to Slipknot, have been hated by critics, feared by parents, attacked by politicians, and blamed for most of the world's ills. So how did a combination of the devil and decibels become such an irresistible lure to generations of metal fans around the world?
What Ken Burns did for jazz, VH1 does for heavy metal -- only a lot louder. "Heavy: The Story of Metal," premiering Monday -- Thursday, May 1-4 at 9PM* each night traces the evolution of heavy metal music and culture, from its dark, grim beginnings in Birmingham, England to the worldwide force that it remains to this day.
In a series of four themed hours, "Heavy: The Story of Metal," explores four decades of music, each hour examining this powerful and often misunderstood genre, from metal's pioneers to its love of glam and excess; from the fight for metal's rebellious soul to its storied flirtation with the devil:
Episode One traces metal's roots in the late-60's in the bombed-out industrial town of Birmingham England, where Black Sabbath was born, to the spectacular rise of Kiss and "glam metal" in the early '70s.
Episode Two examines metal's growing pains during the '70s when both high-brow rock critics and punk rock threatened its very existence. By decade's end, bands such as Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and Def Leppard gave birth to what became known as "The New Wave of British Heavy Metal."
Episode Three sees metal thrive in, of all places, sunny California. Van Halen, Poison, Motley Crue -- it's the world of hair metal. And, keeping everyone's Jacuzzi-soaked ego in check, a little film called Spinal Tap emerges.
Episode Four takes a walk on the dark side: Guns N' Roses, Metallica, thrash, grunge, and how the music and images of Marilyn Manson became associated with the Columbine massacre.
Told from the perspective of the musicians, promoters, writers and fans who have kept metal's flame alive for four decades, "Heavy: The Story of Metal," contains revealing, hilarious and sometimes shocking conversations. Interviews include Sebastian Bach, Jerry Cantrell, Phil Collen, Bruce Dickinson, Fred Durst, Ace Frehley, Rob Halford, Scott Ian, Tony Iommi, Chris Jericho, Lemmy Kilmister, Chuck Klosterman, Jani Lane, Tommy Lee, Doc McGhee, Bret Michaels, Dave Mustaine, Vinnie Paul, Mark Putnam, Riki Rachtman, Dave "Snake" Sabo, Nikki Sixx, Slash, Dee Snider, Geoff Tate, Eddie Trunk, Rob Zombie and more.
In the same vein as VH1's critically acclaimed, award winning 2004 hip-hop chronicle "And You Don't Stop," "Heavy: The Story of Metal," combines interviews, verite moments and rare and exclusive footage and photos, to bring metal's history to life while examining the considerable pop-culture impact of the loudest music that ever was.
"Heavy: The Story of Metal," is produced by 441 Productions in conjunction with VH1. Stephen Mintz serves as Supervising Producer. Matt Maranz is Executive Producer for 441 Productions. Brad Abramson, Shelly Tatro, and Michael Hirschorn serve as Executive Producers for VH1.