“Before Marilyn Manson, there was everyone else. Rather than try to understand or even pay any kind of real attention to what was happening, members of the Moral Majority determined that the heavy metal influence was a satanic influence. Ozzy Osbourne’s infamous, “Suicide Solution” presented a prime example of the present hyper-defensive climate, as every Metalhead in the world understood that the song was written about the late Bon Scott, former lead vocalist of AC/DC. But, rather than doing any respectful research, the Moral Majority and other intimidated self-appointed and elected elders of the communal council jumped to the conclusion that the song was giving instruction on how to take one’s life. At the same token, Iron Maiden’s legendary “Number of the Beast” is a classic composition about a dream, but the voting folks just took bits and pieces of the tune, came to their own conclusions, and proclaimed them to be advocates of Satan. Fear mongering escalated nearly out of control, bringing Tipper Gore (then wife of former vice president, Al Gore) to the forefront of the anti-conformity battle, with her minions marching behind her, calling themselves the Parents’ Music Resource Center (PMRC) and they meant business.” – T. Ray
September 2, 2013
On an unusually cool morning in Austin, I saw the ad for citizen reporters to share their personal experience from the ’80’s. Before I even started my coffee I said, “I got this,” and my submission practically wrote itself. Headbangers was one of nine essays vetted and chosen out of 60 entries to be featured. When the article was published, it gained a little attention from some of the bigger Metal Facebook pages. I did some reviews, went on to do some interviews, then…
Being alive is sometimes like swing dancing: You just go where you’re thrown, find your groove, and try to stay on your feet. As long as the music keeps playing, you’re alright.
Living Metal: Headbangers and the Witch Hunters
’80’s Throwback: What Life Looked Like When Crossfire First Aired – Feature Article
From the Report: “Music defined us. T. Ray Verteramo fell in love with heavy metal, which was under heavy fire at the time by Tipper Gore and those of the self-proclaimed moral majority. It was a topic of discussion on ‘Crossfire’ when Frank Zappa was a guest. Verteramo believed it to be an issue of free speech. The experience shaped her. ‘When you’re judged so readily, so quickly, and so harshly for so long, it’s hard not to become more empathetic...”