Setting The Record Straight: The Truth Behind Five Popular Heavy Metal Stories

dio metal horns

Often at this website, we are accused of fabricating stories or writing “joke news” articles.  While we consider this sort of attack on our jurnalizmcore integrity to be unfounded and patently absurd, we are willing to admit that there is a good deal of fake news out there parading as truth.  Tyranny of Tradition’s staff of over 500 reporters, 700 editors and 3,000 fact checkers constantly strive to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.  The same cannot be said for many of the best-known acts in heavy metal.

The truth is that many of the most memorable stories in metal history are just that, stories.  Nothing more than creations of either the artist or the record label in order to drum up attention for the band.  Here are a few of the most famous myths in heavy metal history unmasked once and for all.

Myth #1:   Dio Invented The Heavy Metal Horns Up Hand Symbol In Praise of The Devil

For a myth to be effective, it often has to have a shred of truth in it.  While it is true that Dio first used and popularized the symbol, it was not invented as the shout out to Satan that most people think.  While Dio was touring with the band Elf in 1972, the band visited Canberra, Australia.  While there, he was performing in front of a crowd filled with mostly deaf aborigines.

During the first song, many in the crowd realized that Dio’s fly was unzipped.  The symbol in Aboriginal Sign Language for “your fly is down” is the horns hand gesture.  Hundreds of people began flashing the sign to Dio, who, thinking it was a spontaneous show of enthusiasm for his music, began flashing it back.  Finally, he realized why they were doing it and took care of the embarrassing situation.  However, he was so impressed by the sea of horns up hand signs, he began incorporating it into his stage act.  Satan had nothing to do with it.

Myth #2  Suicidal Tendencies Singer Mike Muir Is A Jehovah’s Witness

We are often astonished at how many people in our culture are members of this religious movement.  From Prince to Venus and Serena Williams to Abbath, there are many recognizable cultural icons that you wouldn’t think are Jehovah’s Witnesses but are.  Some, like Abbath, even still go door to door preaching The Word.  Mike Muir, however, is not one.

An article appeared 3 years ago in USA Today about the religions history in which Muir was described as an active member of the faith.  The reporter confused Mike Muir from Suicidal Tendencies with Mike Muir, a carpenter from San Luis Obispo, California.  Don’t expect Cyco Miko to come a’knocking at your door anytime soon.

Myth #3 Dave Mustaine Was Once in Metallica

In many ways, this is truly The Great Rock’N’Roll Swindle.  It started as a joke between friends Lars Ulrich and Dave Mustaine.  The two concocted a pretend feud centered on a made up story about Mustaine being kicked out of Metallica.  This was completely untrue.  Over the years, the joke has gotten somewhat out of control with Mustaine going so far as to put a song exactly like a Metallica song on a Megadeth album (Mechanix, a direct copy of The Four Horseman) and several doctored photos and videos of Mustaine with Metallica floating around on the internet.  Things really reached a ridiculous level in 2004 when Ulrich and Mustaine created the hysterical “little Danish friend” scene in the Spinal Tap sequel known as “Some Kind of Monster”.

Myth #4  Happy Days Actor Scott Baio Was The Original Drummer For Slayer

This is yet another in a series of examples of how, as Mark Twain once said, “A heavy metal lie can go halfway around the world before the truth can put on it’s combat boots”.  Scott Baio, known for his work on sitcoms “Happy Days” and “Charles In Charge”, was linked to the band on several websites earlier this year including a Facebook site called “I Bet I Can Get A Million Lithuanians To Tell Kerry King To Let Scott Baio Back In Slayer.”  The rumor, as strange as it sounds, wasn’t all that far from the truth.   Baio is, in fact, a die-hard metal head and played drums briefly in the 80s thrash band Forbidden, but was never in Slayer.

Myth #5  Cronos is The Uncle of British Princess Kate Middleton

This ridiculous, unfounded rumor was circulated around the Internet by some 3rd rate metal Onion site.  Why an Onion would be made out of metal is beside the point.  Typically, Mother Nature is capable of producing both metals and vegetables, but rarely has she seen fit to create a hybrid of the two.  And what would be the point of such a vegetable?

Anyway, this rumor got so out of control that the Royal Family was forced to issue denials and actually barred the writer from ever visiting England.  But, he was not planning on going there anyway, because he had heard that British people eat fish and chips off of newspaper.  Which is disgusting.

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  1. #1 by Fried Chicken And Metal on January 13, 2014 - 11:09 AM

    I think there is still a possibility that #5 is a true story. I’ve seen in mentioned in multiple places. The first four?? All unadulterated poppycock.

  2. #3 by Anonīmais Šakālis (@Anon_Shakalis) on January 13, 2014 - 5:01 PM

    «Tyranny of Tradition’s staff of over 500 reporters, 700 editors and 3,000 fact checkers constantly strive to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.» Yeah, all those facts and stories… And only 1 writer to write ’em all! 😉

    • #4 by Keith Spillett on January 13, 2014 - 5:47 PM

      We have many writers who use the same name. And others who use different names. The point of this is to keep people guessing so they won’t find the underground bunker myself and my comrades are currently hiding in.

      Chemtrails…to you. Until we meet again.

  3. #5 by Ms. Pibb on January 14, 2014 - 10:28 AM

    Metal history is a set of lies agreed upon.

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