For people whose memories of the ’80s and early ’90s largely involve being driven to and from various functions in the Chevy trucks of their metal-enthusiast stepfathers, on those few occasions when the stepfathers in question were not asleep or working the night shift at Big Bear!*
Metal in America has never been a particularly urban movement; its environment is mostly suburban or rural, and its stronghold is traditionally the Midwest. The image of the stereotypical metal fan – young, white, lower or middle class – has been firmly entrenched in American pop-culture since the late ’70s… the circumstances of [two Priest fans’] lives can tell us a good deal about the social circumstances of a large portion of metal’s most fervent mid-’80s American fans. [They] both grew up in fractured families in a lower-middle-class area of suburban Reno; had histories of depression, substance abuse, and violence; and used their obsession with heavy metal as a way to define themselves as part of an oppositional subculture.
I’m so glad that Slash married a woman who shares his love of ridiculous hats.
Finally, I would like to point out that all of these elements, along with the presumed hyper-hetero-masculinity of metal (lots of songs about fucking! and sometimes raping!) were what made it possible for Rob Halford to dress like a Tom of Finland illustration for years without anyone thinking anything other than “man, that dude must get so much pussy.”