The Decline of Western Civilization Part II - The Metal Years.

For the most part, I'm a simple man with simple musical tastes. If you wanted to catch the bulk of the essence of my musical influence, you'd only need to see three documentaries:

Woodstock - the concert documentary of the famous 1969 festival
Hype! - a full recount of the heyday of the Seattle music scene from the late 80s through the Nirvana/Soundgarden/Pearl Jam scene of the early 90s
The Decline of Western Civilization Part II - The Metal Years.

I saw this documentary on MTV YEARS ago. I'm serious, like in 88 or 89, and I've been looking for it ever since. Finally, I managed to download it over the weekend.

It's chock full of interviews from superstars, up-and-comers, and never-was's in and around the Los Angeles Heavy Metal scene of the early 80s. Prominently featured are Joe Perry & Steven Tyler from Aerosmith, Gene Simmons & Paul Stanley from Kiss, Alice Cooper, Lemmy, Ozzy Osbourne (sans Sharon), the band Poison, the lead guitarist from WASP, and Dave Mustaine from Megadeth. Too. Fucking. Cool.

It was really interesting to listen to the young kids in the metal scene, in crappy bands just starting out. Failure NEVER comes into their minds. And yet, twenty years later and this is the highlight of their musical career. There was one kid, probably too young to drink, dropped out of school in the 7th grade, TOTALLY banking his future on music, and I've never heard of him. It's sad, really, but it's what happens. Even if they were quality musicians/performers, they never had a chance anyway because the genre of Heavy Metal - at least that which was popular in the 80s - died a brutal death thanks to Nirvana.

What I noticed right away is that there were some pretty considerable omissions. The word "Metallica" was never uttered even though they were, in 1986, the biggest metal act to never have a Top 40 single. They'd been around for 4 years, released three albums, and yet no mention whatsoever? I mean, I can understand that the documentary is about the Culture of the Heavy Metal fans, the lifestyle, the drugs and the hair and the sound and the pitfalls of fame, but I just don't see how you leave out Metallica. It's unjust.

Lemmy Is God. Period.

The scene in the middle where there's just five minutes of the guitarist from WASP is pretty brutal footage. I mean, he probably guzzled a full fifth of vodka within the span of five minutes, just straight chugging. Unbelievable; I can't believe the guy's still alive to this day.

Steven Tyler and Ozzy Osbourne should've had their own hourlong documentaries each - back in the day, not now. Those guys are entertaining all by themselves.

Poison sucks. Fuck Poison.

Lemmy Is Still God. Motörhead fucking rules.

I also can't believe that Guns N' Roses were omitted from the movie; nearly the entire movie took place in their backyard!

Kiss sucks as well; but Paul Stanley was filmed entirely while lying in a bed full of supermodels, so that's cool. Plus, Gene Simmons is a giant horn-dog and that's cool too. Basically, Kiss sucks, but the individual members are pretty fucking badass.

Steppenwolf invented the term "Heavy Metal" in their song "Born to be Wild". Yet another reason why Steppenwolf fucking rules.

Where the fuck was Motley Crue? Def Leppard? Bon Jovi? Van Halen? AC/DC? Iron Maiden?