Last month, we reported that the original mask from Quiet Riot‘s breakthrough 1983 album Metal Health was being sold at auction. Now, it’s been revealed that the mask has officially been bought — for a massive $50,000.
For those of you unfamiliar with the record, Metal Health was Quiet Riot’s third album, released in 1983 via Pasha. The record was a smash hit, primarily for the Slade cover track “Cum On Feel The Noize” but also for its anthemic, metal-uplifting title track, “Metal Health (Bang Your Head).” The record has since sold 10 million copies around the world, and was the first heavy metal release to ever top the Billboard charts, knocking The Police out of the No. 1 slot. Due to its success and how early it was released, many consider it the beginning of the hair metal era, and one of that scene’s most important milestones.
When initially reported, the mask was to be featured in Julien’s Auctions’s new showcase “Icons & Idols: Rock ‘N’ Roll,” which has a record-breaking history of selling some of rock’s rarest and most bizarre items. Among the current crop of rock collectibles in this round of actions was the cover art for Metal Health, painted by Stan Watts, which was listed as likely going for somewhere between $20,000 – 40,000. Even cooler, though, was the original mask that Watts wore to create the iconic image, which was being listed as $8,000 – 10,000.
But according to Blabbermouth, the mask far surpassed the value at which Julien’s had estimated it. The mask finally sold for $50,000, some six times more than its estimated price. Meanwhile, Watt’s original cover painting went for $44,800. These, of course, paled in comparison to a 1976 Gibson Explorer electric guitar, stage-played and photo matched by U2’s The Edge, which went for $437,500, and Amy Winehouse’s Fender Stratocaster electric guitar finished in Daphne Blue, which sold for $153,60o, but hey, for a mask worn by the artist behind a hair metal album, that’s pretty insane dough.
Anyway, congrats to the new owner of the Metal Health mask. We want to assure him, from the bottoms of our hearts: that smell will never come out.
Words by Chris Krovatin