I had a wonderful evening last night at the official opening of Home of Metal – 40 Years of Heavy Metal and its Unique Birthplace at the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery.
In the words of its fantastic organisers, Capsule, ‘Home of Metal is a celebration of the music that was born in the Black Country and Birmingham. A project created and produced by Capsule.
Bringing people together to share their passion and exploring themes of heavy metal through exhibitions, film screenings, live events, a conference and family friendly activities.
Four decades since heavy metal was unleashed onto an unsuspecting world, Home of Metal honours a truly global musical phenomenon.’
The exhibition begins with a pyramid of CCTV monitors featuring Midlands News reports and ATV Stock footage of factory work in the West Midlands and includes a replica 1960s living room and television where I could take a seat on a 60s sofa and watch an exclusive interview with Ozzy Osbourne about the founding of Black Sabbath in Aston in 1969. I opened the top drawer of a bureau in the room to find books and woodbines with notes on their significance to the bands.
Then onto giant posters, flyers and photographs from the Birmingham music scene of the 1960s and 70s.
But the most striking part of the exhibition is a beautifully installed performance tent, complete with stage on which stand Tony Iommi’s large flight cases, speakers and guitars and a series of wonderfully elaborate costumes from Judas Priest. In the tent there is also an area for you to try out an electronic drum kit, guitars, and don a heavy metal hairstyle in the form of a selection of classic rock wigs!
Behind a 10 foot poster advertsing Monsters of Rock, August 16th, sits a monitor which plays footage archived at MACE of ATV Today news reports from first Monsters of Rock festivals.
Activities and Exhibitions throughout this celebration of the home of heavy metal also include:
You Should be Living – The Visual Language of Heavy Metal at Wolverhampton Art Gallery from now until 11th September; Metal at Dudley Museum & Art Gallery from 18 July to 25 September and Metal on Film – a Home of Metal Touring Film Programme, produced by the brilliant 7 inch Cinema and including footage from our archives.
Sky Arts, Home of Metal’s media partner were filming yesterday as part of a behind the scenes documentary which will feature on Sky Arts 1 HD and www.sky.com.arts from July.
MACE are very proud to be sponsors of Home of Metal, with Laney and Gibson and to have footage from the ITV Central regional collection feature in this brilliant exhibition.
The visit to the exhibition ended with a visit to the Home of Metal shop, complete with copies of our highly popular DVD, The Black Country 1969 and Home of Metal goodies, and I couldn’t resist buying a tea towel, sew on badge (that took me back to the 80’s!) and a postcard!
What a great evening!