Whats up shred heads? I recently was able to ask a few questions to John Gentner who owns the most excellent heavy metal shop on the face of the planet, METAL HEAD located in Astoria OR. We were able to ask some sound metal business questions as well as what really matters. Such as who needs to get kicked in the balls and why are babes just so radical?
Thanks John for taking the time to answer a few of our questions! First off what made you want to start up Metal Head?
I’d have to say the seed was planted when I was a young teen going to record stores like 2nd Avenue Records and Ozone Records. I would spend hours looking at CDs and feel right at home. I guess that never left me over the years. I wanted to provide a place for people to hopefully have a similar experience that I did.
What are some of the craziest/rarest items that you have found since opening Metal Head?
I’ve only had a few people come in to sell me records so far, but one that sticks out was a French Venom bootleg. It was purple and had a killer track list. I had to scour the internet to figure out what the fuck it was. Totally rad. Sold it in, like, two days.
Whats one record you really want but just haven’t been able to find/buy?
There are a couple ‘white whales’ that I always keep an eye out for, but am never able to track down. One is an album by an obscure hard rock group from the 1970’s called ‘Fresh Blueberry Pancakes’. The album is called ‘Heavy!’ and is a fucking beast! The cover art is a ridiculous cartoon of a stack of pancakes jumping out of the the kitchen in a diner. It’s a pretty tough record to find.
What most of our readers would really like to know is are you a Hulk Hogan fan or a Rowdy Roddy Piper fan?
Rowdy Roddy, baby!
Since your located in Astoria, Oregon I’m sure you deal with a few tourist bozos wandering into the store. What are your biggest pet peeves with “normal folk” cruising through your store? If you could, what medieval torture device would you use on them?
I’d have to say the #1 pet peeve of mine would be people taking pictures of shit without asking. It’s fucking weird, people and their God-damned phones drive me nuts. First I’d like to throw their precious device into the river, and then after that I guess set them on fire. That seems fitting.
If you could kick any heavy metal celebrity in the head who would it be and why?
I think I’d like to kick Bobby Liebling in the head. Not out of anger, but more like trying to open a drug piñata. Could you imagine what ingesting what little grey matter he has left would be like? I’d be willing to take that trip.
Do you have any words of quasi useful beer fueled wisdom you can bestow on a young heavy metal entrepreneur?
Well, I guess my advice would be not to overthink it and just go for it! My personal experience of ‘just selling shit I know about and love’ has worked for me thus far. If you have an opportunity to do something then by all means give it a shot. I am way happier for having done it myself.
Thanks John. Metal Head is open Wednesday – Sunday from 12:00pm to 7pm 1126 Marine Dr, Astoria Oregon. While on tour or passing through make Metal Head your next stop for all things righteous and heavy metal! SHRED
-Chaos Force Chris
August 16, 2016