From the cover of Quiet Riot's third album, "Metal Health," this enduring metal mascot was designed by Quiet Riot and Jay Vigon in 1983. Makes a fairly synchronistic follow-up to the previous entry about Left Insane, really. The album ultimately sold six million copies - how many of those six million people do you know? "Cum on Feel the Noize" was the big hit that everyone knows; its video came from the same cosmos of dread as Greg Kihn's "Jeopardy" video and the clip for Dio's "Last in Line." Each - Kihn's impending marriage; Peluce's menial delivery job; the kid from the Quiet Riot video waking up early and having that mask hanging over his head - seemed to have their respective menaces spawned from a sense of middle-class responsibility that none of the curly-haired heroes wanted to assume or pursue. And here you thought people thinking about heavy metal only concerned themselves with messages playing backwards. Crushing, middle-class fears factor very heavily in the dull, beige, backwards world out of which heavy metal attempts to pull its listeners. Quiet Riot's late singer Kevin DuBrow (possibly the man behind the mask) dressed up in straitjacket and mask onstage, and while that makes for great theatre, it also represents a rare moment of explicit empathy between elevated performer and downtrodden fan. Guitarist Carlos Cavazo recently discussed the album cover: "It was an idea created by the whole band. It's supposed to be a guy who goes crazy banging his head, and they had to put a straitjacket and an iron mask on him, so that he wouldn't hurt himself. I remember the mask was Rudy's [Sarzo, bass] idea. He got the idea from the movie ‘The Man In The Iron Mask."
Here's "Night of the Living Dead," in glorious black&white. Happy Halloween, folks. All Souls' Day is just around the corner!