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Bang Your Head!

I have a brand new car with XM radio. Because I travel on business frequently, I spend an inordinate amount of time in the car, and have enjoyed listening to various XM channels, including 1st Wave, 80s on 8, and Classic Rewind.

One of the challenges of having grown up in the U.S. but having lived in Canada for most of my adult life is that a lot of the music I listened to as a kid is not on Toronto music stations (thanks to Canadian-content laws). Having this new outlet to old music is like taking a drive with an old friend.

So I was driving home from a meeting downtown this week, and listening to 80s on 8, and there it was, “Bang Your Head”, by Quiet Riot. As the lyrics go, “metal health will drive you mad”. I don’t think I’ve heard this song in at least fifteen years, and so I turned it up, and while driving down the Gardiner Expressway had myself one of those exquisite and private head banger moments.

I predict if you go looking for a head shot of me somewhere on the internet, when you find it you’ll be very surprised to think I might have some head banger blood in me. In the days of Quiet Riot, at best I was what you might consider a “preppy” head banger. But in my mind, once a head banger always a head banger.

One thing I’ve learned from using Twitter and through reading other blogs in the past few months is that there certainly are a lot of HR Professionals who have head banger tendencies. I like this because I feel like I have tapped into a part of a demographic I never knew existed before. And these people are not just the regular rock buffs, some of them are the all-out “I once had a Pioneer stereo which I turned up to 20 to play “We’re Not Going to Take It” and blew out the speakers and now I am suffering hearing loss”-type head bangers.

Thinking about this, I’m not so sure that metal health is such a bad thing. After all, everyone needs a diversion from the doldrums of life. As HR Professionals, we see our share of ickiness in our work and an outlet where we can feel a little defiant is not such a bad thing. The truth of the matter is that no matter what type of position you hold in the HR field, we have to plan for and deal with all sorts of things that can have direct impact on the lives of others. We do need an outlet to let loose, and listening to Quiet Riot is a great diversion from the responsibility of our work.

By the way, in undertaking the research to write this blog, I had to find the “Bang Your Head” video. As I was watching it, I noticed there was a part of the song that felt eerily familiar to something else that was popular during that time. It turns out that part of the riff from “Bang Your Head” is similar to part of a riff from “Big Bottom” by Spinal Tap. If you don’t believe me, play both side-by-side and you’ll see what I mean. Do this only if you’re willing to admit you’re a head banger.

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