MTV's Headbangers Ball premiered April 18, 1987, a time when Sunset Strip-style hair metal still ruled. The show, which featured popular hard rock and metal alongside a few more underground artists, aired Saturday nights at midnight. The original host was the sardonic (and not very metal) VJ Kevin Seal, who also hosted MTV's alt-rock show 120 Minutes, but the show was soon taken over by Adam Curry, who, with his luxurious mane, looked more the part. Riki Rachtman, owner of infamous L.A. nightclub The Cathouse, took over as host in 1990, and remained till the show got canceled in 1995. Headbanger's Ball was revived for MTV2 in 2003 with Hatebreed vocalist Jamey Jasta as host through 2007.
For those who remember Headbangers Ball's original era fondly, one YouTube user has made a playlist titled "The Complete Collection Of MTV HEADBANGERS BALL" featuring 1194 videos that ran on the show. It includes tons from the '80s, from Mötley Crüe, Cinderella, Poison, Def Leppard, Accept, Dokken, Whitesnake, Scorpions, Ozzy, Winger, W.A.S.P. and more to Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, Pantera, Anthrax, Suicidal Tendencies, Obituary, Killer Dwarfs, The Cult, Prong, Wrathchild America, Raging Slab, Faith No More, and lots more.
You can watch that playlist, along with Headbangers Ball's opening credits circa 1989 and a rip of a VHS Best-Of compilation, below.
Riki Rachtman is currently on tour with "an evening of unbelievable true stories of Rock n Roll, sleaze, and debauchery."
Noted metal fans Beavis and Butt-Head have now been immortalized in new Headbangers Ball ReAction Figures that you can pick up in the BV store.