Tech by VICE

'Metallica Drummer!' Is the Perfect Pre-Internet Viral Video

"He's talented! He's obsessed! He's Canadian!"

by Jordan Pearson
Jul 24 2015, 2:15pm

Screengrab: YouTube

There were viral videos before the web—believe it or not, people didn't just sit around in the dark and talk about crops. Of these copied and shared VHS and cassette tapes, Metallica Drummer! is certainly one of the finest.

Metallica Drummer! is an excerpt from a longer tape made by Canadian drummer Kevin Dabbs in 1992 for his own personal enjoyment. The clip depicts Dabbs air drumming along to a Metallica song with searing intensity and hilarious accuracy, while wearing Bart Simpson shorts.

Over the next decade, the tape was copied thousands of times and shared from Western Canada all the way down to San Francisco, where it could be purchased for a few bucks. The tape's tagline was "He's talented! He's obsessed! He's Canadian!" and it was the subject of a story in a 1999 issue of SPIN. The clip was even used in a commercial for MTV2.

Until now, we've only had a low-quality YouTube upload of Metallica Drummer! to enjoy. Thankfully, the folks over at AUX tracked Dabbs down and got him to upload a new version to the internet from his personal tape. They also scored an interview with the legendary hoser, wherein he expounds on how it was totally not cool for his personal tape to be shared and copied without his consent. But it's chill, because he says he's made a buttload of money from it.

Unfortunately, Dabbs doesn't tell us where he got those sick Simpsons shorts.

Metallica Drummer!
Kevin Dabbs
motherboard show
short circuit