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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Six Signs of Metallica's Pervasive Influence on Pop Culture

Posted By on Wed, Dec 7, 2011 at 9:03 AM

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3. Beavis perpetually reps Metallica

MTV miscreants Beavis & Butt-Head, who've built a rep on silly dick jokes and occasionally insightful music video critiques, have always had a soft spot for metal and hard rock groups. This appreciation of course influenced into their apparel of choice, as Butt-Head nearly always rocks an AC/DC shirt and Beavis a Metallica one. (These names are transformed into generic metal-sounding words when the pair's image is being licensed for merch (AC/DC became "Skull" and Metallica "Death Rock"). When the pair returned to the air in late October, they were still wearing the same shirts they were in the '90s. (Those things must be falling apart by now.)

But then, Beavis' love for Metallica is of the true and unconditional sort. When the pair once watched a clip for "For Whom the Bell Tolls," Butt-Head incited Beavis by saying that Metallica sucks and comparing Hetfield to the Cowardly Lion. Beavis angrily shot back "Shut up, Butt-Head" a couple of times, and the pair even came to blows over the issue. (Heh, heh. Blows.) Butt-Head did return from the Dark Side quickly, head banging and tossing up the horns when the song became more to his liking.

4. The film Hesher uses Metallica as shorthand for the genre of metal.

It's always a good indicator that a band's typeface or logo is iconic if you can write a different word in the same style and instantly know exactly what it's referencing. Such is the case with the poster for Hesher, an indie flick released in May that stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Rainn Wilson, and Natalie Portman. Its logo unabashedly apes Metallica's pointy symbol. The homage occurs with good reason, as the film features Gordon-Levitt as the titular character -- a dirty-lookin' dude with long hair who adores metal. The flick's trailer also prominently features Metallica's "Battery" from the 1986 classic Master of Puppets.

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