For years, one channel over all others has done more to anger metal fans than any other with their obnoxious countdowns and Top 100's. No, not MTV (an acronym that used to stand for Music Television), the party in question is in fact, VH1.
In recent years, with the advent of their cable tier-level channel, VH1 Classic, they have gone over-the-top with their debauchery trying to show their knowledge of the sacred music and appeal to metal fans. It started with “Metal Mania,” a segment of programming dedicated to playing only “Metal” videos. Unfortunately for us true metalheads, to see videos for Motörhead, Dio, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, and others which include Anthrax, Megadeth, and Metallica, we have to sit through countless Ratt, Poison, Warrant, Dokken, and Winger videos. While it is better than listening to the radio, it is still awful. Distorted guitar and either falsetto or growls does not inherently mean a band is metal. We as metalheads know this, apparently VH1 does not, but, I digress.
Beginning in 2008, VH1 Classic unveiled an original talk show series targeting our demographic with super metal guru Eddie Trunk, Jim Florentine, and Don Jamieson as the hosts. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I am talking about:
For those of you unfamiliar with Eddie Trunk, he is about the least metal person on the planet, and may remember him from his days on those atrocious Top 100 countdowns featuring “Metal” artists and always flaunting his knowledge of everything metal. I will say he knows what he talks about when he opens his mouth, which is always good, but knowledge of metal does not make the individual metal. Does knowledge of Faraday’s law of induction make one an electrical engineer or does knowing where to place fingers to play chords make someone a musician? No. One cannot be what one is not unless dramatic steps are taken by the individual to change.
That Metal Show, in theory, is a relatively good show featuring heroes of metal, updates on bands, metal trivia, and debates on what is more metal. The inherent problem here is that VH1 got their greasy little paws over this idea and feature not-so-metal bands like Twisted Swister (although Dee Snyder is an interesting personality) and Europe. Yes, Europe, the band that brought “The Final Countdown” and “Carrie,” a band that did its very best to look pretty and whose front man, without being glam, looked like a woman at the height of the band's popularity. Other guests have included Aerosmith, Hatebreed, and Rush. Apparently, VH1 needs a little more help understanding, distorted guitar does not make a band metal.
When a corporate conglomerate gets its snaky fingers over an idea to appease a demographic, this is what happens. They take experts to figure out what the fans want to see and hear, they assume that their target will find their programming great, and think that they know and possess the solutions to an untapped market. They fail to realize that true metal fans will not typically listen to Aerosmith or Hatebreed. So, what happens as a result is that they give the world a show about metal, dedicated to metal featuring hosts with short hair and that look relatively well-groomed.
|These guys wouldn't know metal if it slit their wrists|
If the producers had listened to one Manowar song in its entirety they would know how to appease true metalheads.
Most metalheads despise Kiss and Aerosmith, turn off their radios when they hear Guns N Roses, and vomit at the thought of Alter Bridge. Not That Metal Show. Once again, the VH1 adage if it has distorted guitar it has to be metal holds here, just adding more fuel to the metalhead's hatred and alienation that have defined his or her upbringing.
At the end of every episode they have a “Throwdown,” where the hosts and the special guests argue between two metal topics, usually classic albums. Who do they think they are, Bobby Flay? There is no debating which is better, metalheads know. When Bill Ward and Danzig appeared on the show, they debated the albums Heaven & Hell and Blizzard of Oz. There is no argument and it should be understood why without explanation. To make matters worse, the hosts fail to argue effectively, especially when they debate a guest's work, having their panties too far in a bunch to want to hurt the guest's feelings. Everyone who makes a point goes on the defensive, no one attacking the weak points trying to disprove the other or trying to point out why their opinion is the only just and logical one. Metalheads defend only when they have to, otherwise, they crush their opponents with tact, superior taste, and understanding of why it is so.
Tell that to Eddie Trunk, Don Jamieson, and Jim Florentine.
The day Eddie Trunk was born, metal experienced one of its greatest travesties because he was destined to pull a Trojan horse on unsuspecting metalheads everywhere; knowing and loving just enough metal to pass as a metalhead, but acting and doing just enough for those with unblinded eyes to know him for what he truly is, an imposter. After six seasons, there seems no signs of stopping this show unless somehow they can hear the rallying cries of true metalheads that the show itself is not metal and must end. He said on one show TMS is “...the one show that actually pays some respect to their music.” Don't make me laugh.