metal Slayer's Marshall stacks greet visitors coming up form the ground floor. (Photo: Phil Gallo)

Prior to the Revolver Golden Gods Award Show yesterday (April 12), the Grammy Museum opened its first-ever heavy metal exhibit, "Golden Gods: The History of Heavy Metal."

More than 40 artifacts are on display at the downtown Los Angeles museum, among them the original art for Dio's 1983 album Holy Diver, Ozzy Osbourne's cape from his appearance at the 1974 California Jam and Eddie, Iron Maiden's stage mascot, who greets visitors coming to the second floor from the third.

"By far that was the most expensive item to ship here," said Andie Cox, co-curator of the exhibit with Kait Stuebner. As a metal fan, Cox was delighted with small quirks in the collection -- Al Jourgensen's hat and Rob Halford's jacket, for example, not to mention the stack of 24 Marshall amps that came from Slayer, complete with unidentifiable grime.

headbanger "Golden Gods: The History of Heavy Metal" co-curators Kait Stuebner, left, and Andie Cox handle interviews Wednesday at the opening of the Grammy Museum heavy metal exhibit. (Photo: Phil Gallo)

Album covers and concert posters line the exhibit, which is peppered with key information in metal's history, which the museum traces to the Kinks and the Who adapting the sounds Link Wray made on his influential instrumental "Rumble." Another breakthrough came when Black Sabbath's Tony Iommi altered his guitar's tuning to C sharp from open E after a factory accident, which gave Sabbath its own dark and distinct sound. And for chart buffs, Quiet Riot's 1983 album Mental Health became the first metal album to hit No. 1 on the Billboard Top 200.

Throughout the opening day, Asking Alexandria's Danny Worsnop held court at a vocal booth giving wannabes a few vague instructions on how to sing contemporary metal.

Media was out in full force for the opening, with crews from local TV news such as KCAL bumping up against MTV2's "Headbanger's Ball" and The exhibit will be up until February.

jacket (Photo: Phil Gallo)