Metal!

Golden Gods Awards 2013: How Gene Simmons Gets Out of Interviews and Other Black Carpet Tales

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First, it was televised only on Xbox Live, Facebook, and AXS TV. How in the hell does a a five-year-running awards show featuring some of the biggest names in hard rock and Grammy-winning artists -- and headlined by Metallica -- not make it onto easily accessible television? Second, the live stream on Facebook, where many were tuned in, went dead halfway through Metallica's set. All the tickets supposedly were sold out the day they went on sale, but as I walked in, they were still selling them. Once I was in, the venue didn't seem even close to full.

People who cherish hard rock and heavy metal should fucking care if they want the genres to survive (but maybe this is just one biased metalhead's opinion). Though the production could have been better, some of the best-selling and Grammy-winningest artists in metal were there in abundance.

Because I was able to go, and the death of Slayer's Jeff Hanneman was announced just hours before the show, it felt like the perfect way for me to pay tribute to metal. Hanneman's death cast a pall over the proceedings, and I'm sure most of the artists didn't even want to be there. I myself found out about an hour before I hit the black carpet, and my blood ran cold.

But like the tragic deaths of "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott, Ronnie James Dio, Slipknot's Paul Gray, and Deftones' Chi Cheng, the Slayer co-founder's passing gave us all a reminder of the community spirit that has long dominated metal. All the performers and fans paid tribute to Hanneman throughout the entire night.

Hosted for the fourth year in a row by FOZZY frontman and WWE legend Chris Jericho, the event is basically a heavy metal family reunion. Metallica performed live and received the Ronnie James Dio Lifetime Achievement Award. The Golden God Award, given to one special honoree a year who embodies the spirit of hard rock and metal, went to Rob Zombie, while Black Sabbath axman Tony Iommi was honored with the "Riff Lord" Award, given each year to a legendary guitarist in the field of hard rock and heavy metal. And that was just the tip of the iceberg.

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Lauren Wise has worked as a rock/heavy metal journalist for 15 years. She contributes to Noisey and LA Weekly, edits books, and drinks whiskey.
Contact: Lauren Wise