Rocky’s Bru: Black Metal’s no satanic cult

Sunday People

Rocky’s Bru: Black Metal’s no satanic cult
Ahirudin Attan

The other day my brother-in-law passed me a CD containing all his favourite rock numbers: Led Zeppelin, Grand Funk, Deep Purple, Pink Floyd, Black Sabbath, Uriah Heep… the works.

He is about 60, a “Haji” with a Javanese cap over white hair and he drives a cab in Singapore. When I played the disc on the way back to KL, Ahirul was wide-eyed. “Pak Lang listens to this?”

Years ago, when he was courting my sister, my brother-in-law had long hair and wore bell-bottoms. He brought me a Led Zeppelin record one day after he learned that I had just bought the latest Barry Manilow LP. I started appreciating heavy metal.

In 1978, we went to my first rock concert. A young Ramli Sarip, hair down to his knees, greeted his beer-guzzling and smoking audience, with an .

Most people wear black at heavy metal and rock concerts: black T-shirts, black caps, black bandanas, black singlets, black hot-pants.

But back in those days, people were less judgmental, even in Singapore, I suppose.

Nobody called you a Satanist even though there were stories linking Led Zep and satanic cults.

Today, in the age of lurid rap and MTV, metal is suddenly a bad word in Malaysia.

At a time when we seem to be fighting a losing battle against social and environmental degradation, and when terrorists are attacking neighbouring countries, Black Metal has suddenly become a threat to the national security of the country.

The other day, the police raided a place in Old Klang Road and announced to the Press that they had stopped a “Black Metal” party.

Now, is that a fact?

Just before that they had banned a proposed concert by a so-called “Black Metal” group. They said the group promotes ideals which are against religion.

But that’s not the first time we have barred a group of musicians from performing in Malaysia. About 20 years ago, Scorpions were shut out because of their long hair. (Eventually, they came and performed here, their hair still as long as ever!).

Away from Black Metal, a couple of weeks before the New Year, a friend had to convince fellow organisers to call off a beach party they were planning to hold in Pulau Langkawi because the Press and an MP had accused them of trying to organise an orgy.

They had taken a flyer from last year’s party, which showed the outline of a woman in a swimsuit, and said similar orgies had taken place, involving the same group of people, for some years.

“It’s a beach party, for heaven’s sake. We dance. We don’t have group sex,” Encik K told me, his wife by his side.

“Maybe they just don’t want us to have a good time because they can’t have a good time or don’t know how to,” the wife chipped in, the disdain for those “party-poopers” clear in her voice and in her eyes.

Or are some people using tags like “Black Metal” and beach orgies conveniently to suit their own political purposes and social agenda?

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