Heavy Metal Music in Britain by ProQuest


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									Book Reviews                                                                              773

Heavy Metal Music in Britain. Edited             tributors, and that introduction, apparently
by Gerd Bayer. (Ashgate Popular and              without irony, is called “Doing Cultural
Folk Music Series.) Burlington, VT:              Studies with Earplugs.”
Ashgate, 2009. [xii, 201 p. ISBN                    The book’s least impressive chapter was
                                                 authored by its best-known scholar: heavy
9780754664239. $99.95.] Index.                   metal, Deena Weinstein argues, is all about
   This is an exciting time to be intellectu-    power, not masculinity, and the two are un-
ally interested in heavy metal. Susan Fast’s     related: “It is British heavy metal’s affirma-
book on Led Zeppelin combined musical            tive core that insures that its interpretation
analysis, ethnography, and phenomenology         of ‘masculinity’ is free standing and not an-
and other cultural theory in an illuminat-       chored in invidious comparisons based on
ing study of how bodily performance, gen-        gender and sexual orientation.” Metal cele-
der and sexuality, sounds, and symbols cre-      brates the active life, and “Nietzsche, not
ate meaning for fans and musicians (Susan        Freud or his feminist revisionists, is the
Fast, In the Houses of the Holy: Led Zeppelin    presiding genius of British heavy metal”
and the Power of Rock Music [New York:           (p. 28). Nietzsche! That fierce opponent of
Oxford University Press, 2001]). Harry           women’s emancipation and autonomy, the
Berger’s exploration of metal and jazz also      famous misogynist who argued that women
used phenomenology and ethnography,              can’t know truth and have no perspective,
with an emphasis on how musicians them-          who suggested that “When a woman has
selves account for their music (Harris M.        scholarly inclinations there is usually some-
Berger, Metal, Rock, and Jazz: Perception and    thing wrong with her sexually” (Friedrich
the Phenomenology of Musical Experience [Han-    Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil: Preface to a
over: Wesleyan University Press, 1999]).         Philosophy of the Future. In Basic Writings of
Glenn Pillsbury’s study of Metallica concen-     Nietzsche, ed. and trans. Walter Kaufmann
trated on how the physicality of perfor-         [New York: The Modern Library, 1968],
mance interacts with cultural narratives of      279). In order to mount this preposterous
race, orientalism, and musical signification      thesis, Weinstein simply ignores most previ-
(Glenn T. Pillsbury, Damage Incorporated:        ous scholarship on heavy metal and gen-
Metallica and the Production of Musical          der, even her own, which included this
Identity [New York: Routledge, 2006]).           sensible statement: “Power, the essential in-
Steve Waksman’s treatment of “cock rock”         herent and delineated meaning of heavy
merged sophisticated cultural theory with        metal, is culturally coded as a masculine
musical specificity to explore the complex        trait” (Deena Weinstein, Heavy Metal: A
positioning of men and women with re-            Cultural Sociology [New York: Lexington
spect to music that s
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