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This is a true story.
A fellow sixth former came into school one day and announced he was selling all his LPs because he no longer liked rock music.
And the reason for his sudden antipathy towards a genre he’d previously loved?
A photograph of him at the recent sixth form disco. Headbanging!
He was embarrassed by that photo. “I look like a d-ckhead,” he said. And he did.
In fact, so did the rest of us caught on camera that fateful night.
Except we didn’t look quite as much a d-ckhead as he did and we didn’t sell all our records.
But let’s face it, headbanging wasn’t cool. In fact, it was probably the polar opposite of cool.
The punks weren’t exactly cool dudes either as they pogoed themselves into manic oblivion, knocking over anything or anyone within range but they didn’t take themselves too seriously.
And that was the problem with we headbangers. We took ourselves bloody seriously at times.
The pained expressions on our adolescent faces as we hammered away on our guitars (!!), the ridiculous poses and perhaps most embarrassing of all, the “eyes shut” look as we “concentrated” on playing that oh-so-difficult solo. God help us.
It wasn’t always that bad of course. Headbanging could be a laugh. It could even be admired.
My mate Steve turned up at one or two bashes dressed as Angus Young and had his stage act down to an art form.
When a group of lads got together, there was nothing wrong with a spot of headbanging on those rare occasions when we managed to persuade the DJ to stick on some “decent” music.
We might have looked stupid but not half as stupid as we would have giving it a bit of John Travolta as Whole Lotta Rosie boomed out.
Headbanging was OK if 1: you did it with your mates, 2: your tongue was placed firmly in cheek and 3 (optional), you were pissed.
No-one headbangs now, mainly due to the fact that we’ve all matured and/or gone bald.
Actually, that’s not quite right. I’m neither mature nore bald and have almost as much hair as I did 30 years ago.
The reason I don’t headbang anymore is that I’ve lost my air guitar. I can’t find it anywhere.