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HISTORY OF HEAVY MUSIC (article first published : 2006-10-18)

A book is currently being compiled on the history of South African Heavy Music. The publication was initially reserved exclusively for Heavy Metal acts, but has grown to encompass all sub genres and styles of music that is viewed as extreme or 'Heavy' and in the greater scheme of things outside of mainstream popular music.

“Extreme music is widely misunderstood, and in many cases misrepresented by the media focusing on controversial acts or aspects representing a small number of artists,” says the publicity material. “This publication will attempt to set the record straight and examine the evolution of various sub genres to their current status today in a South African context.

The book is open to bands, venues, publishers, promoters, photo-journalists and record labels. In fact, anyone, of any age who enjoys or collects extreme music, may have something of value to add to the publication, and in turn officially be acknowledged for their contribution or opinion.

“The beginning of South African heavy metal, as we know it, can be traced back to the late 1970's, with some acts playing 'underground music' even earlier, so it's not surprising to find fifty year old executive, as well as a thirteen year old student, both listening to the same bands.”

The History of South African Heavy Metal was first published in 1996 by Michael Gill, under the title Death before Disco, which contained a series of articles included in Powerzone, an underground fanzine. A year later, the series was continued online by Powerzone, hosted by the M.O.D. Multimedia Group. Information from the series will form part of the foundation of the proposed project.

The title Death before Disco was, to the best of knowledge first seen in the mid 1980's on a back patch worn by Jo'burg head banger and writer Russell Harris, who was also co-author of the first five articles in the DBD series.

To have your experiences or information included in this documentary, please contact the authors, on email, saheavymetal@gmail.com or phone 011 235 4253.




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