The year was 1988. The first George Bush was elected as President, Kirk Gibson of the Los Angeles Dodgers was limping his way across the bases in the World Series and MTV was airing a show dedicated to heavy metal called Headbangers Ball. Even though their flagstaff hard rock program has been relegated to VJ-less MTV2 status in recent years, MTV will still pay homage to the show that gave metal heads stiff necks two decades ago with a 20th anniversary celebration. Highlighting the festivities is an interview and live performance by Headbangers favorite band, Metallica.
Other specials include an Avenged Sevenfold concert from the Long Beach Arena, the premiere of Slipknot’s “Dead Memories” video and a heavy metal panel featuring the show’s past VJs like Twisted Sister’s Dee Snider, Hatebreed’s Jamey Jasta and the show’s most memorable host, Riki Rachtmann (who presided over a number of phenomenal video premieres, including the Rock Daily favorite “November Rain”). Still, all that headbanging probably knocked a screw loose inside MTV’s head, as 2008 is actually the 21st anniversary of the show: The first Headbangers Ball aired in April 1987. Then there’s the fact that the show was off the air from 1995 to 2003, but who cares? The party begins on MTV2 on October 20th.