Golden Gods Awards 2014: Guns N' Roses, Joan Jett, and More From Heavy Metal's Biggest Night

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Lauren Wise
Guns N' Roses at the Golden Gods.

Ahh, the Revolver Golden Gods Awards. A time when the metalheads freaks and rock 'n' roll geeks gather in one small venue to pay tribute to all the artists in the industry who don't really get credit for their masterful guitar riffs, rumbling bass licks, incessant double kick drum, and vocals ranging from melodic to menacing.

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

This year's four-hour ceremony, held April 23 at the intimate Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles, was full of highs and lows -- mosh pits, booze, old and new friends, and a handful of technical difficulties. And attending this year for the second time made me realize something important about the industry.

Many people were there specifically to see Axl Rose get the Ronnie James Dio Lifetime Achievement Award (and see whether he was going to deliver live), and to watch Joan Jett rock the stage and make history as the first female to receive the Golden God Award.

For me, the concept of the Golden Gods always delivers on some level. I truly enjoy seeing the variety of cameos and musical performances. But my main issue with the Golden Gods has always been this: The event, which is one of the biggest celebrations of heavy music, isn't supported by the industry nearly as much as it should be.

The world of heavy metal constantly complains about how the genre isn't taken seriously. Every single Grammy season, an influx of whining tweets, posts and sound bites go out in to the void about how heavy metal is blatantly disregarded. Hell, I even wrote a Metal Mondays post this year called "The Grammys Must Hate Heavy Metal."

So you would think that when heavy metal musicians and those who work in the industry have a chance to celebrate their own type of "heavy metal Grammys," there would be an overwhelming out-pouring of support. It would seem that unless you were touring, there's no excuse not to go to the Golden Gods as a heavy metal artist, whether you want to jump on stage for a cameo performance, hang out with your friends and down some drinks, or just be there to support the industry. However, that doesn't really seem to be the case--at least not this year. Then again, last year Metallica headlined, and they pretty much assure that anyone whose anybody in rock and metal are at their major events.

Prior to the event, the black carpet was full of familiar and surprising faces. There was Marilyn Manson toting actress Kyla Kenedy in his arms (Kenedy portrayed Mika in Season 4 of The Walking Dead). Max Cavalara suggesting that his family do a reality show like The Osbournes, and his son Zyon saying that his mom (Gloria Cavalera) should be nominated for a Golden God as mom and band manager of the year. Jose Mangin told me he wished he could be a "Spanish" fly on the wall for the recording on Pantera's Vulgar Display of Power album.


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