We'd like to honor the oft-mocked and under-loved breed of dude: the Former Metalhead.
If you express just a slight interest in their metal background, they are quick to unearth their jean jackets from 6th grade with their favorite bands written on the back in Sharpie scrawl. Or, if they were more advanced/obsessed in their formative metal years, the jacket will have the band patches crudely sewn on.
As a party trick, they will whip out their high school yearbook pictures where they have flowing, long hair (before Nirvana made it passe). As they stare at the picture, they will let out a heavy sigh and say that they kinda miss the way it felt to bang their head with a full, unruly mane.
They still have their ticket stubs to the '89 Motley Crue/Guns 'n' Roses stadium concert and they think about framing it every few months but just haven't gotten around to doing it yet. They also still have their raggedy tour shirts from said concerts even though they reek of pot, armpits and mothballs; a toxic combo, if you ask us. Former Metalheads have very strong opinions about Metallica's discography and can argue at length about it for at least 30 minutes or two beers, whichever comes first.
Speaking of beers, you can find ex-metalheads drinking on pretty much any barstool at your local dive bar. It's a strange phenomenon: They are either totally irresponsible and never got their shit together or they are super-responsible and now have real jobs and pay their bills on time.
Former Metalheads, we tip our hat to you! Keep on rocking out in your cubicle desk jobs and telling us how "bands today just don't matter like they did back then."
[Editor's note from Shannon: I just have to stop and tip, no flip, my hat to the kid who was playing sick metal on WKDU at 7am this morning. Any kid metal enough to drag his bony butt out of bed to play Helloween that early gets a gold upside-down star in my book. I tip my hat to you, good sir! When and if the rarity occurs that I deviate from my morning NPR routine again, I hope you'll be slaying it on the air as I roam the dials. Keep up the good work!]