Heavy Metal History
Memories The Heavy Metal Gang Era
By. C.A.


The year was 1985 when me and a group of friends decided to form a clique called Metal Heads Rule (MHR). Heavy Metal music was in 100% and so was long hair, brass knuckles and denim jackets. 

We disliked popper, breaker and cholo style street gangs and wanted to form a brotherhood to protect rockers from their constant provocations. We decided to vote “Eddie” in as our official leader since it was he who named our group “Metal Heads Rule”. Eddie and I considered ourselves hard core rockers and wore studded belts and denim jackets, with patches of Metallica, Slayer and Destruction. We were students in Henderson, one of El Paso’s most gang riddled middle schools. It was common to see cholo street gangs such as Diablo (DDT) and Sherman (DST) brawl in the schools cafeteria and hall ways.



Metal Head Territory


We claimed south Glenwood Street as our primary turf and spray painted satanic murals along with our beloved MHR initials on a light post on the street corner. We called that poll "The Tower” and guarded it every day. We armed ourselves with steak knives burrowed from our mother’s kitchen, brass knuckles and even Molotov cocktails. We set claim to an old abandoned building we called “Fort Large” and kept our arsenal of weapons and pornographic magazines stashed inside. There we’d smoke cigarettes while listening to Metallica’s “Kill Em All”, and “Ride the Lighting”. It was an ultimate sin to listen to Run D-MC and any one caught jamming out to Michael Jackson was as good as Boy George in our views. It was heavy metal or the highway.


Bad Company


MHR became feared in school, not for quantity, but quality. Each of our members was bold in every sense of the word and there was no fight we were not willing to take on. We developed a cruel reputation soon after we emerged and began attracting new members. 6 months after the birth of MHR we had now numbered 12 members and decided to form a rule that we would no longer allow anyone else into our group. MHR consisted of me aka “Grumpy”, “Mad-Dog”, “Giggler”, “Pot-Head”, “Hit-Man”, “T-Nuts”, “Bobby”, “Popcorn”, “Shit”, “Boner”, “Eddie”, “Albert”, “Billy-The-Kid”, “Cindy”, and “Beto”. 

Cindy was a bad girl with dark eyes and black lipstick. She was also our gang’s only chick so whenever we came across problems with a stuck up preppy girl or obnoxious chola, Cindy was always there to pull out their hair in the hand full. We loved to score “horror points” by assaulting skaters, and shaking down break dancers for their boom boxes and high tops. We used to get satisfaction in slapping poppers in the back of their chili bowl heads. Every time we saw a “chili bowl” from area poses such as “14-K” and “Too Damn Dope” we’d chase them until their loose Lee Cabarichi jeans and over sized high top Reebok tennis shoes fell off. We were playing for keeps and way over our hard “Metal” heads!



What Goes Up

Must Come Down


Just when I believed nobody would ever have the nerve to mess with MHR, (or call Ozzy Osborne a fruit cake), a skater gang called “Sorry Skates” (SNS) decided to grow balls and disrespect one of our MHR members. I retaliated by challenging one of their members to a fist fight in the schools bathroom. I was pleasantly surprises when he began screaming like Twisted Sister as I threatened to take his Ken Park Vision skateboard. Ironically, the kid decided to provoke MHR again as soon as he was in the company of his skater friends. He forgot to mention the true facts about our unpleasant meeting in the schools bathroom.

 MHR had made its first official enemy the, (SNS) and that’s when things began to change for the worse.

Soon after the issue with SNS, a larger rocker gang called Wild Cats (WCR) decided to cross out one of our MHR tags written in a bathroom stall. We retaliated by spray painting a huge pentagram along with our MHR initials right over WCR. We avoided using the common X cross-out method used by traditional cholo gangs and instead decided to set our own MHR trend and boldly paint a pentagram over enemy graffiti.
Thunder stuck one after school as I walked home alone after spending time in detention for ditching class. A blue station wagon full of WCR members rolled up on me and brutally attacked me. I fought hard but was no match for the 10 feet stomping all over my face and body. I was almost killed that afternoon and the beating would prove as a humbling lesson. It was then that I realized that MHR was no longer a brotherhood, but a full fledged gang.

The Wild Cats began delivering the same dose of sobering medicine to other MHR members and it was then that many of our members began to defect. They stopped going to MHR hang outs and began avoiding me. That pissed me and our few remaining members off so we started carrying out assaults on them. Nothing is as heart breaking as beating the crap out of a guy who was once your best friend. Sensing our weakness, other gangs who once feared MHR decided to take advantage of the situation and join in on the attack. I had made too many enemies, more than me and my remaining few Metal Heads could possibly handle.


The Decline of Heavy Metal Music and MHR

Eddie called me one afternoon to inform me that he too no longer wanted to be a part the gang. He was the lease I'd of ever expected to throw in the towel. I later discovered the reason Eddie had decided to call it quits. He had gotten his ass kicked by a cholo which had caused his once cock strong ego to turn into jam.

My fellow MHR comrades had failed me when I had most needed them and I realized that people tend to adore and respect you when you are at your most powerful, but transform into cowards and hateful hyenas in the first sight of weakness. Smiling faces convert to wicked glances and friendly hand shakes become middle-fingers.

Ironically, Heavy Metal music seemed to be experiencing its own death just as MHR was laid to rest. Teens at school were now jumping onto the cholo/gangster-rap bandwagon and shaving their hard heads. “Lok” sun glasses and denim Levi 501’s were now replaced with creased out Dickie pants and Ben Davis shirts. The hair net-wearing cholo was in and the long haired rocker was out. To make matters worse, Metallica’s beloved James Hetfield and Kirk Hammett had decided to break the rocker constitution and cut their long hair. Motley Crue broke up and El Paso’s Metal Storm and Head Stand store closed down.



Cholo Gang's Multiply

Soon after MHR perished, so did the Wild Cats and the rest of El Paso’s bold rocker gangs. Cholo gangs multiplied and picked-up any poser or wanna-be stupid enough to join. Every now and then I'd wander the streets at night looking for a cholo to assault. They were easy targets, as long as they were not in the company of their gang, or packing a gun. I'd become known as the "Night Stalker" and the "One Man Gang". It was then that I learned the value of independence.


Dedication to El Paso’s Heavy Metal Gang Era

I’m now in my mid 30’s with only half the bad attitude and ugly temper. My long hair has now fallen out with age and some even claim I resemble “Scorpions” lead vocalist Klaus Meine. Every time I meet an old semi-bald rocker I knew in the past, we reminisce on the time MHR was alive. Boy were those the days! Talk about bittersweet!


Before I close this article I’d like to send special salutes to yesterdays El Paso hair gangs, “Metal Heads”, “Wild Cats”, “Hell Fire”, “The Metal Tribe”, “Servants of Satan” and “Demons of Darkness”. I’d also like to apologize to all of you chili bowl wearing break dancers, knobby kneed skaters and pizza faced jocks for all of the torment MHR put you through. We got what we had coming and ended up getting our tight asses kicked too. Long live the memories! Long live Heavy Metal!


Heavy Metal History

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