Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Nightmare Before Christmas 2007, Saturday: Heavy Metal Parking Lot


Loafing around the chalet, we saw a fascinating documentary called Heavy Metal Parking Lot. This was an engagingly simple concept, recording a load of teenagers in the parking lot of some Maryland enormodome while they hung around drinking their illegally acquired beer before going in to a concert by Judas Priest. Attendees of events like ATP and the Nightmare Before Christmas think they like a drink, but they have nothing on these Priest fans, many of whom probably died on the way home in drink driving accidents.

The film is fascinating on a number of levels. It is, obviously, straightforwardly amusing to look at all these drunken teenagers shouting about how much they love Priest. At another level you can analyse the social mores at play. The metalheads here (mostly male, almost entirely white) seem to live in a land untouched by fashion, for although the film was made in the mid to late 1980s, they look like people from the 1970s. Given the testosterone flowing from these guys, it is also amusing to imagine how they reacted subsequently on learning that the lead singer of Judas Priest bats for the other team.

Heavy Metal Parking Lot was followed by Neil Diamond Parking Lot – same venue, ten years later, but this time Neil Diamond is playing the Maryland enormodome. I never knew that Diamond's fans are predominantly middle aged (and older) women. But it was interesting to watch these people enthuse about the music maker they were going to see, albeit in less drunken terms. I think they then had Harry Potter Parking Lot (children queue for J.K. Rowling singing (in a bookshop, not the enormodome), Monster Truck Parking Lot (unfinished), G.G. Allin Parking Lot, Annabel Chong Parking Lot, and There's Life In That Horse Yet Parking Lot.

No comments: