The Left-Handed Dictionary of Heavy Metal by Rick Johnson
(from Creem Metal, Oct. 1985)
OK, metal mutts, let’s all set our illegal playthings aside for a minute. Hey–you guys in the corner gang-isolating that vibrating grommet, cool it a sec, will ya? It’s time for some EDUCATION. I mean, like the guy on NIGHT COURT said, a filthy mind is a terrible thing to waste, so listen up.
We all know what a dictionary is, correct? I know, let’s ask Yellowman! “I HAVE TO LOVVE HER BEFORE I SEX HER, RIGHT?” U.R. WRONG, Yellowman! Why don’t you go sit in a bait shop and try to look innocent for awhile until we’re done here.
Anyhoo, there are probably a few of you out there who’ve never encountered a dictionary on the lefthanded persuasion. In a nodshell, it’s a lot like the regular kind only it’s wrong and stupid and silly and stuff. Sophisticated works that they are, left-handed dictionaries are often used as a device to market otherwise useless, shamefully overpriced trade paperbacks on boring subjects like gardening, checkers or personal computers. There’s probably dozens of ’em weighing down the bargain tables at your local chain bookstores right now. GO SEE!
Back ALREADY? Oh, I see, you had to stay home and make ice instead. Well, I can relate to that. What did you think I was gonna do while you were at the bookstore? Actually, in the words of my favorite weatherman, this sounds like a good time to be somewhere but anywhere, wouldn’t you agree?
Let’s ALL split instead of this dumb explaining stuff. But take a gander at it during your regular studytime this evening. And remember…it’s only left-handed!
ACCEPT: German band known internationally for projecting the confused sexuality of an altered fur coat.
BACKING VOCALS: vaguely martial singing voices often heard in Dodge commercials and the background of Iron Maiden songs.
BACKSTAGE PASS: when Vince Neil hurls a groupie to Nikki Sixx.
BACKWARDS MASKING: putting your Kevin DuBrow mask on in reverse in order to scare yourself.
BALLSY: nervy, foolishly brave. EX. The Houston Astrodome officials’ 1965 decision to have elephants come in to “urinate-on-it-while-trampling” was a BALSY way to test the artificial turf.
BULGE: male humpage officially listed in the National Bone Marrow Registry.
CANADA: only country in Western Hemisphere considered dishwater safe.
CHEST HAIR: decorative mane located directly below the neck of all heavy metal singers, EX. If Mr. Roth were an albino, his chest would look exactly like cathedral-flocked drywall.
DEATH: the long dirt nap, a favored goal of many metal lyrics. The author would like to point out that LIFE can actually be pretty much OK, especially if they’d take the childproof cap off it.
D.O.A. how metalheads spell DIY.
DOM: the individual notes in a melody. EX. This song does DOOM-DOOM-DA-DOOM, DOOM-DOOM-DA-DOOM.
DOUBLE FEATURE: Wendy O. WIlliams beding over.
ENCORE: farcical concert activity wherein the audience pretends to want the act to return and the musicians pretend to be surprised.
EVIL: REALLY bad behavior, possibly serious enough to get you restricted to your cabana.
FLYING V: guitar shaped to resemble Bobby Vee’s ears.
FRETLESS BASS: any of numerous edible spiny-finned fishes that are particularly troublesome to keep in tune.
GRAMMY: music industry award that’s about as big an honor as being tried as an adult.
GEDDY: generic term for any metal bass player with a nose that resembles a telescopic puner.
GROUPIE: promiscuous female music fanatic usually dressed like something that belongs on a wire rack in a liquor store.
HEAD: parlor game played by ngroupies, also known as bobbing for meatus.
HOT: good, great, or popular. EX. Concrete Pig’s new record is so hot, it’s selling like firewood in Bhopal.
IN TUNE: Weird nether region rarely inhabited by metal bands. See PRACTICE.
JAMS: collective term for music that sounds like a Meineke Mufflergram.
KILLER: excellent, outstanding. EX. Bryan Adam’s new single is almost as killer as the Emergency Broadcast System’s “Attention” tone.
KROKUS: extremely disgusting, to be avoided at all tcost. EX. “Quick, Bernice! Call the KROKUS Prevention Clinic before it’s too late!”
LOUD: music or noise of such excessive volume that it’s not for listening, it’s for examining fetuses.
MAD DOG: slang term for Mogen David’s delightfully impudent 20-20 “wine”, a popular black-out drink slightly less powerful than death penalty serum.
MELODY: complimentary series of musical notes infrequently heard in heavy metal. See TALENT.
MINDLESS: of or pertaining to the music of Kiss.
MTV: mythical television network said to have earned millions of dollars by-get this-showing nothing but music videos and commercials 24 hours a day. See ATLANTIS.
NODDED-OUT: human brain undergoing Ziploc fatigue after Judas Priest overdose.
OPENING ACT: target practice before the headliner.
OUTRAGEOUS: now meaningless adjective found plastered all over covers of metal magazines, right under “”hot”.
PRACTICE: don’t make me laugh.
PRODUCED BY JIM STEINMAN: kiss of death that’s to records what “Special Appearance by Jennifer Warren” is to films.
QUEER: distinctively unusual. EX. The lyrics of Accept are very QUEER, indeed.
REMORSE: the guilty feeling one gets when one has done something very, very bad. EX. Van Halen apparently felt no REMORSE over their DIVER DOWN album.
SHRINK WRAP: material used for storing Ronnie James Dio.
SNEER: obligatory heavy metal facial expression, similar to the smile of a poisonous reptile.
SOLO: inept or amateurish. EX. Mick Mars’s guitar leads are SOLO, they could fit under an amoeba’s pantyhose.
STAGE PRESENCE: gifts given to a person on a stage.
STUD: metal medal presented to headbangers who’ve successfully completed a coma. Usually dislayed on clothing in a manner similar to the notches on an outlaw’s gun or the scabs on Nikki’s…uhh, nevermind.
SYMBOLISM: pointless system of making one thing stand for another. EX. He was greatly impressed by the SYMBOLISM in DEATHRACE 2000 particularly when Sylvester Stallone smashes up the white violin.
TOUGH ACT TO FOLLOW: an over the counter heavy duty bathroom cleanser from Dow.
TRAMPLED: how your ears should feel after a good metal concert.
UNIQUE: exceedingly rare quality uncommon to metal records. EX. THe music of Thunderpussy was truly UNIQUE, a once in a lifetime experience not unlike being identified from your dental records.
VICIOUS: noxious, spiteful, depraved. EX. Blackie Lawless is so VICIOUS he should be permanently cordoned off.
WANG BAR: dimly lit establishment where wangs go to consume alcoholic beverages.
WASP: abbreviation for Why Ask Stupid People?
WASTED: transcendental state similar to being Motorhead.
X-RAY: low level radiation usd to “see through” the outer layers of an object. EX. The X-RAY of Angus Young’s skull showed what appeared to be the inside of an empty freight elevator.
YOYO: what Ozzy Osbourne sees when he looks in a mirror