Items of Metal: A Sonic Journey Through Rebellion & Community

From its early origins to its diverse subgenres, metal has become a global phenomenon, forging a unique bond between musicians and fans who find solace and strength in its sonic embrace.

May 24, 2024

a blue guitar with writing on it


Metal music, a genre born from the fiery depths of rock and roll, has captivated generations with its raw power, rebellious spirit, and unwavering sense of community. From its early origins to its diverse subgenres, metal has become a global phenomenon, forging a unique bond between musicians and fans who find solace and strength in its sonic embrace.

Metal's roots trace back to the late 1960s and early 1970s when pioneers like Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, and Led Zeppelin began experimenting with heavier sounds, distorted guitars, and aggressive vocals. These early innovators laid the foundation for what would become a vast and diverse musical landscape.

Throughout the decades, metal has continually evolved, spawning a multitude of subgenres, each with its own distinct sound and aesthetic. From the raw intensity of thrash metal (Metallica, Slayer) to the theatrical grandeur of power metal (Sabaton, DragonForce) and the brutal aggression of death metal (Cannibal Corpse, Morbid Angel), metal has something to offer every discerning ear.

A 1985 Dean Cadillac solid body electric guitar, serial number illegible, in Vibrato Blue burst finish. Ordered and owned by Iron Maiden guitarist Dave Murray, but played by Bruce Dickinson for the clean guitar parts of the song “Revelations” during the 1985 Rock in Rio tour for which video footage exists on Youtube (a link can be provided upon request). From Dave Murray's guitar tech and Iron Maiden's tour manager, Bill Barclay.

During this performance, Dickinson shows off for the crowd, throwing the guitar around his shoulder. Then, he runs off stage with the guitar, and when he reappears, his left eyebrow is split open with blood on his forehead. He’d hit himself in the face with the very pointy headstock of this Cadillac.

The guitar is signed, “Bruce Dickinson, part time geetarist” on the front, with the remnant of an inscription “To Lee,” that has been wiped away. The guitar’s serial number is impressed on the back of the headstock but can not be read.

The Dean Cadillac features a body shape influenced by the Gibson les Paul, but with an exaggerated treble-side cutaway which juts out from the body like an Explorer model. Striking Vibrato Blue burst finish, a bound 24.75” scale length neck with block inlays and 22 frets, two humbuckers, a three-way toggle switch, and volume and tone controls for each pickup.

Includes a black hardshell case with red interior, a Dave Murray arm band, a copy of the Letter of Provenance, a Washburn receipt addressed to Dave Murray from July 8th, 1985 for both the guitar and the case, as well as photos of the owner with the guitar and Dave Murray.

Signed, Guitars & Instruments, Electric Guitars

The Metal Community: A Brotherhood of Steel

One of the most remarkable aspects of metal music is its passionate and dedicated fanbase. Metalheads, as they are affectionately known, form a tight-knit community bound by a shared love for the music and its associated culture.

Metal concerts are more than just musical events; they are gatherings of like-minded individuals who find a sense of belonging and acceptance in the mosh pits and crowd chants. The energy and camaraderie at these shows are infectious, creating an atmosphere of unity and shared passion.

Two bands from Music Icons that have left an indelible mark on the metal scene are Iron Maiden and Slipknot.

A custom-made leather jacket, owned by Slipknot bassist, Paul Gray.

The oversized black leather jacket features white contrast stitching, two white-painted skulls on the front, a red painted symbol on the back, a mudcloth interior lining, with two front pockets. Labeled "Junker Designs LA." No size present. Junker Designs has also created clothing for Mötley Crüe, Steven Tyler, Kenny Kravitz, and others.

Accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity signed by Gray's widow, Brenna Gray.

Clothing & Jewelry

Iron Maiden

Formed in 1975, Iron Maiden is a British heavy metal institution. Their epic song structures, soaring vocals, and captivating stage shows have earned them a devoted following worldwide. With albums like "The Number of the Beast" and "Powerslave," Iron Maiden has cemented their place in metal history.


Emerging in the late 1990s, Slipknot brought a new level of aggression and theatricality to the metal scene. Their masked personas, chaotic live performances, and unique blend of heavy metal, nu-metal, and industrial elements have made them one of the most popular and influential bands of their generation.

A 2001 Music Man Sterling solid body bass guitar, serial #L02049, in satin natural finish. Used in-studio and from the collection of the late Paul Gray, co-founder, songwriter, and bassist for metal band Slipknot. Gray held down the low frequencies for the band from 1995-2010, performing as his stage persona #2. This bass was used during the recording of Slipknot's Vol. 3: The Subliminal Verses.

This Music Man Sterling bass is a left-handed four string model with a 34” scale length maple neck, a 22 fret rosewood fretboard with dot inlays, a satin-finished ash body, plastic tortoise shell pickguard, a single humbucker pickup, active electronics with a three-band EQ, and a three-way switch for selecting both pickup coils in series, series with phantom coil, and parallel operation.

Includes black molded hardshell case, a COA signed by Brenna Gray, and a letter from Brenna.

PROVENANCE From the collection of Paul Gray

Guitars & Instruments, Electric Guitars

Metal music's enduring appeal lies in its ability to channel raw emotions, challenge societal norms, and provide an outlet for frustration and anger. Its powerful sound and rebellious spirit resonate with those who feel marginalized or misunderstood.

The genre’s emphasis on community and shared experiences fosters a sense of belonging and acceptance. Metalheads find solace in knowing they are not alone in their love for the music and its associated culture.

From its humble beginnings to its global reach, metal has touched countless lives and continues to inspire new generations of musicians and fans alike. Whether you're a seasoned metalhead or a curious newcomer, the world of metal music awaits, ready to unleash its power and forge a bond that will last a lifetime.

Check out more artifacts from Iron Maiden, Slipknot, and other legendary artists available in Music Icons.

a man singing into a microphone while holding a guitar


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