Found Metal Friday! / by Tony McMillen

Cliff Burton jean jacket

My new heavy metal horror novel An Augmented Fourth comes out this June.

To mark the occasion I'm going to bring you '"Found Metal" on Fridays.

Found Metal is pop culture stuff I’ve dredged up from the corners of my mind and mother internet that aren’t explicitly heavy metal in and of themselves but nevertheless they still possess that unnamable thing that makes something metal. Some things just have that connotation with them and it’s hard to say exactly why. Metal is one of those things that’s impossible to define exactly but you know it when you see it.

Today's found metal is jean jackets. Seriously. Canadian chainmail, Midwest mithril, cowboy camouflage. Sure, jean jackets aren't solely a metal accoutrement, punks wear jean jackets, regular rockers too, rappers rock denim, whatever the fuck is going to come on down the way, grimewave dungeon ska twitch pop - which is probably already an actual scene that's already dead and passe -point is - everyone rocks jean jackets, but to me, jean jackets will always mean metal.

This might be all on account of one man: Cliff Burton, bass player for Metallica.

It seemed like his jean jacket was his fucking Venom symbiote that powered him but had bonded to him so that he could never remove it. Whenever I actually find a photo of Cliff not wearing a jean jacket he doesn't look right to me. It's like John Lennon without his glasses. 

What I love about Cliff was that he looked just like his fans, all of Metallica did back then. But Cliff, with that damn jacket and that shrimpy moustache looked like every other hesher I ever hung out with when I was 14 years old. He looked like me actually. Skinny gangle limbs and wispy 'stache and all. 

This is famous author Tony McMillen at age 17 lock up your daugh... actually they'll be fine. He has no game.

This is famous author Tony McMillen at age 17 lock up your daugh... actually they'll be fine. He has no game.

People will tell you leather is the true uniform of the metalhead, fuck that. Leather costs too much damn money. A real metalhead steals his big sister's jean jacket, tears the sleeves off and draws the Mercyful Fate logo on the back with magic marker. 

I have soft spot for Cliff like a lot of metal fans do, partly because he died young and partly I suspect because he seemed like one of us. I did name the main character of my book Codger Burton, after all. 

Cliff 'Em All.

Get out your metal detectors!

If you got something you think is unintentionally brutal or accidentally scary send that found metal to me via an email and if I use it I'll send you some sort of prize. Hit me up at: tonymcmllen@gmail.com