Metal Heads: Heavy Metal Music and Adolescent Alienation

By Jeffrey Jensen Arnett | Go to book overview

PROFILE
Spencer

The first thing you noticed about Spencer was his bat tattoo. You could hardly miss it; it was spread across the top of his chest, with a six-inch wingspan. Another tattoo, of a guitar, decorated his right arm. He had facial hair of several days' growth, and he was wearing a blue baseball cap, on backward in the current adolescent style. He had come to the interview directly from his job as a furniture packer, and he was dressed in work clothes: blue jeans and a light-blue t-shirt. He had an easy smile and an affable way about him. Spencer was living a reckless, chaotic, disordered life -- and loving it. His explanation of how he came to be living in Atlanta is illustrative.

The whole story behind me moving to Atlanta two months ago was that I took my girlfriend to a concert at the Center Stage [a small concert venue in Atlanta]. It ended up with me getting left in Atlanta by my friends and getting fired from the job I'd had in Athens [ Georgia]. Me and my friends wanted to go to that concert in Atlanta. We didn't have a car, so we borrowed this girl's car that one of my friends knew. We had a load of furniture we had to deliver in Alabama the next day, so we were gonna go to the concert, come back [to Athens], get in the truck, and go to Alabama to deliver. Well, on the way down there we started getting real drunk. When we got to the concert, me and my girlfriend started fighting, and we split up, and I tried to get away from her, and I ended up getting lost from my friends. Brian, who was the driver, had to get the furniture so he went ahead and drove back to Athens. On his way back, he got a DUI [arrested for drunk driving], so there went his truck-driving job. I was working for him, so there went my job. The other guy who was with us also worked there and he lost his job, and my girlfriend got in big trouble, so I decided just to stay away from all that and just stay up here for a while.

-73-

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Metal Heads: Heavy Metal Music and Adolescent Alienation
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Tables and Photographs vii
  • Preface ix
  • Profile - Jack 1
  • 1 - A Heavy Metal Concert: The Sensory Equivalent of War 7
  • Profile - Nick 19
  • 2 - Heavy Metal Music and the Socialization of Adolescents 23
  • Profile - Mark 35
  • 3 - What is This Thing Called Heavy Metal? 41
  • Profile - Brian 59
  • 4 - The Allure of Heavy Metal 63
  • Profile - Spencer 73
  • 5 - The Effects of Heavy Metal 77
  • Profile - Lew 91
  • 6 - Sources of Alienation I: Family and Community 97
  • Profile - Reggie 111
  • 7 - Sources of Alienation II: School and Religion 117
  • Profile - Jean 135
  • 8 - The Girls of Metal 139
  • Profile - Barry 151
  • 9 - Heavy Metal Music, Individualism, and Adolescent Alienation 155
  • Appendix: Interview Questions 169
  • Notes 171
  • References 183
  • About the Book and Author 189
  • Index 191
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