Monday, December 15, 2008

Metal Spokesmen: An Overview (Part 3 of 3)


One of the most ebullient TV spokesmen, Tony Little has been a fixture in American television for decades, selling his exercise equipment while sporting his fantastic hat/pony tail combo. Though you may think someone like Tony Little probably has nothing to do with the world of metal, you'd be wrong. Read on, and you will see just how similar Manowar's spokesman is to Tony Little.

This is the final post of our three post series about spokesmen in the realm of metal. I'm sorry about the fact that it took three full posts, but there were simply way too many to put in one post.

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Homoerotic warrior


Largely based on He-Man action figures, Manowar's warrior is the pinnacle of homoeroticism in the world of metal, perhaps only beaten by those pictures of Manowar wearing furry armor. For some reason, Manowar's warrior enjoys wearing a spiked cockring around his leg, don't ask me why. Upstate New York is a fucked up place.

Coolness: 2
Evilness: 1
Backpatch worthiness: 7

Total MSM score: 10



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Crazy Mask Guy


If I ever end up in a mental institution, I hope they give me a cool red leather straight jacket.

Though hardly metal, Quiet Riot also attempted to have a spokesperson. Their answer came in the shape of this crazy dude with a mask, who they used in multiple covers. Like Vic and Eddie, he was played by an actual person on their videos. I don't have much to say about this character, except that I highly doubt that mental health professionals would allow him to keep pins of his favorite band on his red leather straight jacket. Sorry, I can only suspend disbelief for so long. Oh, and one last thing. The pun in this album's name took me about ten years to get. I'm retarded.

Coolness: 4
Evilness: 2
Backpatch worthiness: 3

Total MSM score: 9



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Gas Mask Guy


Somewhat related to Sacred Reich's masked surfer, Sodom's spokesmen was a faceless soldier with the standard issue gas mask. Again, what in the hell was the obsession with toxic waste and gas masks in the 80s? Aside from the fact that he was often drawn rather badly (on this cover, he looks like he's melting), the concept was strong and certainly set the mood. Another plus about this character is that he took our attention away from the Sodom logo, which looks like it was drawn by a drunk 5 year old. I know some people like the logo (the same idiots who like all those scrawny, asymmetrical black metal logos), but I don't care. You're all wrong. As a spokesperson, I picture this masked guy on the Home Shopping Network pitching the new Sodom album. Due to his mask, he'd be barely audible. Sales would plummet, and he'd be fired. He would be replaced by Sacred Reich's masked surfer who is currently out of work.

Coolness: 6
Evilness: 7
Backpatch worthiness: 7

Total MSM score: 20



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Helmet-wearing Skull Dude



One of the lesser known spokesmen in the world of metal is Rumble Militia's helmet-wearing skull dude. Though the lyrical content in this album deals largely with concepts like racial equality and the like...these Germans seem pretty comfortable making their spokesman wear a godamned Nazi helmet. I don't get it. Yes, I noticed that he has a red star on the helmet and a red shirt with a star...but come on. My brother and I bought this tape in 1991 because the band was on Century Media. Boy were we let down. Aside from one rather poppy song that I've had stuck in my head ever since, the album is a pile of doo-doo. Still, you have to give them props for stepping up to the spokesperson arena and throwing their Nazi helmet into the ring.

Coolness: 2
Evilness: 4 (He's wearing a Nazi helmet for god's sake!)
Backpatch worthiness: 0

Total MSM score: 6


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Vic Rattlehead

Oh my god, do you see the sticker on the cover of this single? It came with a free Vic mask? Holy crap! How badly do I want to fire up the Nocturnus time machine in order to go buy one of these!


Perhaps one of the best known metal spokesmen is Vic Rattlehead. He's also one of the few (if not the only) to have a last name. This is both a testament to Mustaine's stupidity and stubborness. Vic's last name is also the super-secret name under which Megadeth books itself to play incognito shows, Vic And The Rattleheads. Shhhh, don't tell anyone. It's a secret. Anyway, Vic is a jack of all trades. Like Eddie, he's extremely versatile and able to play a scientist, orchestra conductor, a zombie and so many other roles. Like Laaz Rockit's angry army guy, Vic has had the honor of coming to life in video form. In Hangar 18, he came to life as a dude wearing a mask and holding skeleton hands out of his sleeves. If you are interested in that video, you can enjoy my full review of it here. Vic was also seen in photographic depiction on the cover of So Far, So Good, So What. If you're going to ask me why Vic is on the moon on that cover (see the earth over his shoulder?), I have no idea. I also don't think that things like grenades would work on the moon, since I think they need air to explode. I've heard that you actually can shoot guns in the moon though...but whatever. The bigger question is: why are Vic's sunglasses riveted on? Why are the wires from his headphones chains? Are those headphones Ipod compatible? Vic gives us more questions than answers. Just like Megadeth, because I know when I heard their music, I always ask "who listens to this?" One last note, did you know that Dave Mustaine held a contest recently so that fans could redesign Vic? Oh, it's true. See the finalists here.

Coolness: 6
Evilness: 5
Backpatch worthiness: 7

Total MSM score: 18


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Overall Results:
The Voivod skull is the winner, with Sergeant D as a close second. If you care about these very important results, please double check my math, because I barely paid attention when adding.

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Honorable Mentions:
DRI (Moshing/running dude), Misfits (Crimson Ghost), Danzig/Samhain (Goat Skull Thing), Motorhead (Screaming skull/helmet thing which a reader informs us is called "Snaggletooth B. Motörhead"), C.O.C's (Toxic skull thing), Blind Guardian (Robed wizard guy). Any others we forgot? I'm sure there's plenty more.

26 comments:

  1. You guys are false as hell - Where the fuck is Eddie from Iron Maiden? I mean come on!

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  2. Ummm, these guys did Eddie in an earlier post.

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  3. what about the slatanic wehrmacht slayer nazi helmet guy? surely you guys have LOTS of opinions about slayer,im surprised you didnt have some shit to say about that. i bet it woulda been good,too.

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  4. What about the Anal Cunt "funny guy" who likes to kill old women on the covers of "It Just Gets Worse" and "I Like It When You Die"? Maybe it's not metal, but there's also the Madball "Cigar-smoking, very mad, mad... ball(?!)". Classic shit too.

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  6. Further proof that America is Canadas Mexico, especially when they are rocking castrating skull tanks.

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  7. " Vic gives us more questions than answers. Just like Megadeth, because I know when I heard their music, I always ask "who listens to this?" "

    LOL! this is gold... although i quite like everything up to and including rust in peace

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  8. Sergeant D looks like it was drawn by his feet by the same handless, drunk 5 year old who drawn the Sodom logo (one of most kick-ass logos in history, and I hate black metal logoz!).

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  9. There's also this seal-thing on the first couple of the albums from RIOT.
    I think it's called Johnny.
    FEAR THE SCARY METAL SEAL!!!

    http://www.metal-archives.com/images/3/4/4/0/3440.jpg

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  10. Ok what the fuck is that seal, it looks like a mandrill after a skin graft. How about a great moment in art history post dedicated to Riot and whatever the hell that thing is!

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  11. I liked these posts mostly for their laugh-worthiness but I'm a bit bummed that you didn't remember Snaggletooth is the name of the Mötörhead spokesmonster. I demand an addendum to your list with a review on Snaggletooth.
    cheers

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  12. I have nothing to add except that the flags on the Manowar cover are waving in wildly different directions. Must be some mad updraft from that cave.

    Also, the dude's wearing a bat codpiece.

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  13. Chris, you're right about the flags! Manowar's flags are so metal, that they defy physics!

    Stevhan, per your request, Snaggletooths full name has been added. The damn thing has a Middle initial. "Snaggletooth B. Motörhead". I have to admit, though I really like a couple of Motorhead songs, I don't much care for their overall body of work. Nothing against them, but I guess most such bands end up ranking based on the order in which you encountered them in your life. Friends of mine can't believe that I know more Kiss songs than Judas Priest songs. I say, they're nuts.

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  14. because i don't love motorhead? what can i tell you, by the time i really heard more than Ace Of Spades I was already listening to 7 Minutes of Nausea and I thought they sounded dated and quaint. I know the attitude, aesthetics and heaviness they have/had are great...but the music never really connected with me like it would have if i had heard them earlier on in life.

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  15. If we're including Pestilence "Evil Sphere/Garden Ball", then where are Morbid Angel's weird pentagram thingy and Deicide's satanic infant swing on the cover of "Legion"? Both would be serious contenders in the backpatch worthiness category, especially the latter.

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  16. Although probably not hanging out with Eddie or Venom's satanic goat head anytime soon, Madball's fiery madball deserves an honorable mention. Fuck - they named themselves after the thing and it still appears on almost all of their merch.

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  17. Oh, man, I forgot about the Venom goofy goat/pentagram mascot! That's easily the winner to backpatch worthiness contest.


    Bathory's "Goat" from the eponymous debut is one of the few black metal mascots.

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  18. the bathory one and venom were each only on one cover though right?

    i think the deicide trifixion and the morbid angel pentagram thing are under another category, which i will write about. they are more like logos, or marks. iron maiden had one too, actually it was probably the signature of the Riggs guy who painted their stuff early on. i twas a circle with a line going tohrough it and an arrow at the bottom. anyone remember? we'll write about those too.

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  19. Yup, I remember. Looks like a signature by Derek Riggs. There's also a black cat with an aureola on several Maiden covers...

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  20. Man, many a good chuckle in this final installment. But what about Coroner's round robin/tri-skull logo that graced every cover save for the American version of Punishment for Decadence?

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  21. "Again, what in the hell was the obsession with toxic waste and gas masks in the 80s?"

    Probably that whole "Cold war" thingy, which you might remember was accelerated in the 80s with the fantastically named "Star Wars" program under Ronald Regan.

    Also, all your questions about Mr. Rattlehead are answered in the song "Skull beneath the skin" from the album "Killing is my business...and business is good", by Megadeth.

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  22. there are two kinds of people in this world. motorhead fans and the enemy.

    there is NOT a better spokesman in metal than eddie and i would challenge anyone to prove me wrong. you cant. you simply cant deny it.

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  23. Even though they are not metal, the Misfits' Crimson Ghost is one of the best fucking spokesmen out there. Very cool, very identifiable, backpatch rating of at least 1,000. Kind of evil but not really. I guess it was because I was like 13 when I discovered the Misfits, but this guy has it all for me. Plus, he gets the real person treatment, too! On the cover of The Misfits Collection Vol II, it's just some dude (maybe Jerry Only? Or Danzig? Probably not Danzig?) in a Crimson Ghost mask, hood, and gloves.

    But still, enjoyable overview, way to go.

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  24. The soldier on the Sodom albums is called Karrenheinz.

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  25. Metal spokesmen overview part 3 it's amazing .

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