Monday, March 24, 2008

"Oh no, I don't bother with frets...It's supposed to look like a guitar but it's not really supposed to look like a real guitar."

That quote may sound like something the designer of guitar controllers for Rock Band or Guitar Hero might say, but it was said 27 years ago back in 1981 by Rob "Loonhouse" Yeatman, the man many consider the world's greatest celebrity headbanger. Back in the late 70's/early 80's he'd show up to hard rock clubs in the UK with his legendary homemade "hardboard" (aka cardboard) guitars and he'd engage in massive headbanging onslaughts, out-headbanging everybody in a hundred mile radius. Why did he build cardboard guitars? The interviewer says it was "in response to a challenge to decide the headbanger of the year". ROB LOONHOUSE IS MY GODDAMN HERO.

I found a 3 minute clip from a documentary on heavy metal at YouTube and I'm putting it here so that all Macrocranians may share in the genius that was Rob Loonhouse. If you want to see the entire documentary it's on Iron Maiden's "The Early Years" DVD. Rob is actually a part of Iron Maiden history as he's the guy who took the photograph that was made into the cover of their very first released recording, The Soundhouse Tapes. And of course there's this picture of him rocking out with his cardboard guitar onstage with Iron Maiden, cementing his legend in the minds of headbangers everywhere:

Rob has since disappeared from the limelight and where he is now is anyone's guess. But his legendary example of how to be a fan is something we can all learn from, whether we worship heavy metal or little plastic robots. The guy was a brilliant satirist, showing the world that there's a fine line between being a guitar hero and being a heavy metal cardboard air guitar making maniac psychopath. Video gamers, you are only one crappy nightclub away from being the next Rob Loonhouse.

I leave you now with a quote from Rob, something you can hear him say at the end of this video. When asked if he saw headbanging as a lifelong thing, he answered, "Yeah. I'm gonna make a business at being a headbanger, 'cos that's what I'm good at, basically." I'd like to think that instead of continuing with his day job as a wedding photographer, Rob went on to become the world's first CEO of headbanging. Rock on, Rob, wherever you are.


Anonymous said...

Nice piece man, i was one of Rob's compadre's at the venue (Bandwagon HM Soundhouse, Kingsbury NW London)
date was slightly earlier than you say 78-80

I was known as 'the boot' if you really want to know,'cause my 'geetar' was in the shape of a wellington boot!

Evil King Macrocranios said...

Hey thanks for reading. Do you know if Rob is still around?


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Evil King Macrocranios was voted king by the evil peoples of the Kingdom of Macrocrania. They listen to Iron Maiden all day and try to take pictures of ghosts with their webcams.