As I was walking to Walgreens on Friday, a carrier pigeon with seven wings landed on my shoulder. I opened the message in its talons and it summoned me to a cave 52 miles outside of Provo, Utah. I immediately ran to my car, sped to the airport and bought a ridiculously priced ticket for Provo on a plane leaving in 35 minutes. After all, this sort of thing had never happened to me before.
The message read simply “The Guy From Universe Number Five Has Summoned You”. Then, it gave me the coordinates. That was all.
When I arrived in Provo, I stole a car out of the long term parking lot (2009 Ford Focus…the thing handles like a dream) and drove about 120 miles per hour to get to the cave. I arrived five minutes later with the hoof of a deer in the car’s front grill and a look of complete panic on my face.
When I entered the cave, I encountered a beast like I had never seen before. It had 47 horns and 22 tails. Fire shot from its gills.
“Are you…..Grimlock Von Myxlplyx?” I asked shyly.
“GRRR4AGDR7WHWY#U+=Y#U??!#?&#YG$#Y!#%#%aHB!#UJN$@NTR,” it responded.
And the interview began….
Grimlock…..where is Universe Number Five located?
A question a child might ask, but not a childish question. First, one has to look within themselves to determine where Universe Number Five is NOT. Then, after one has verified proof that a certain point is NOT Universe Number Five, one must accept that everything else is Universe Number Five. Up to and including this. And that.
What is your Universes current relationship with Universe Number 14?
Being that Universe Number 14 is part of Universe Number Five, I treat it in much the same manner the band Dead Horse would treat the Spice Girls. Even though there is a perceived separation, one can’t escape that beyond the illusion it is one and the same. And neither. While both.
What is the relationship between spirituality and metal?
If you cannot enter a deep meditation while listening to Gore Beyond Necropsy or Exit-13, you are simply not trying hard enough. When metal isn’t tried hard enough, you get bands like Asking Alexandria, Pantera and Black Veil Brides. When spirituality isn’t tried hard enough, you get religious zealots who want to manipulate the social structure of society or groups of easily misled young men willing to blow themselves up to further a cause that would ultimately seek to suck the life from humanity. When both are merged and utilized to their maximum potential in our everyday lives however, we can do a myriad of wonderful things, up to and including drinking coffee and eating fried chicken. That, my friend, is Mu. That, my friend, is Enlightenment.
I’ve heard you and the DRI mascot had a falling out. Can you tell us a little bit about what started the feud? Is there any chance of reconciliation?
If I were a lesser man, I’d blame Wendy Moncrief. However, I believe in accountability. Foremost, I should never have assumed that he was without emotion and basic human feelings when I reported his survival of the building fire. While I’m glad that he didn’t become a victim of a Righteous Pigs song, I was very callous in the way I handled the conversation with him. Plus, he’s Bobby Gustafson’s friend. For that he deserves a hug and some understanding.
If you were trapped on an island with one Incantation album for the rest of your life, which would it be?
If it can’t be their entire discography slammed into an mp3 CD, then with apologies to “Onward To Golgotha” and “Diabolical Conquest”, I’d have to select “Make It Big”.
If you were trapped on an island with Incantation what album would you listen to first?
I wonder if they’d play “Make It Big” in its entirety. Kinda like the “Mindcrime” tour… Just play “M.I.B.” followed by an assortment from their other albums. Hell, they could even do it unplugged if they had to. Ukeleles, Hawaiian style. “Oahu To Golgotha” Tour 2013, get your T-shirts! Get your programs!
If you were trapped in the belly of a giant narwhal all with the former members of Sepultura what would you listen to first?
Oh, that’s easy. I’d listen to something Wu-Tang-y like Sarcofago’s “I.N.R.I.” I figure if anything will get the Seps back to their roots (bloody or otherwise) it’d be that. Perhaps it would wake them from their coma or whatever malaise they’ve obviously been going through for the last 20 years.
According to Congressman and former Obituary saxophonist Allen West, one of the main reasons he lost in his bid to become President of Florida was because of the Universe Number Five article claiming he was made of gorgonzola cheese. How do you respond to these charges?
First of all, I stand firmly behind the reporting of my sources. If Source X says that West is Gorgonzola, then it’s true. Look, this is Florida. The strangest things in the entire universe happen in this state on a daily basis. So bizarre are we, in fact, that the West/Gorgonzola news wasn’t even newsworthy enough to make the papers that day. It was seriously news item #1,178 the day it broke.
What was your first reaction when you realized that Ice Cube was doing children’s films?
I was stoked, actually! The carbon-based electro-soul that represents itself to humanity as Ice Cube is a multifaceted being. People like to label him as the guy who made some of the greatest hip-hop albums of all-time. While, of course, that is true, he’s not to be pigeonholed. He is a rapper, an actor, an activist, a soccer mom, a balloon enthusiast, a kangaroo caretaker, the tuba player on Opeth’s “Blackwater Park” album, an electrician, an electric eel, eclectically ill, and has a license to chill. Respect.
What’s your opinion on consonants?
As a Scrabble player, I love them. Especially ‘Q’. Until I started playing Scrabble, I didn’t know that “Qi”, “Qat”, and “Suq” were actual words. Now they are straight up weapons of word game assassination. Also, when you experience getting “Quixotic” in a triple word score box, everything, including the Tampa Bay Buccaneers winning another Super Bowl, pales in comparison.
Who is your favorite Black Sabbath singer Tony Martin, Ian Gillian or Leopold Stokowski?
It troubles me that you neglected to include Jeff Fenholt here. Fenholt has a resume that would make George O’Leary proud. According to his autobiography, he was once a full time vocalist for Black Sabbath during the 80′s. He even wrote of tales of drugs, abuse, debauchery, etc. Why? To further his televangelism career, according to his siblings. He wanted to sound as awful as possible so as to make his redemption seem more impressive. Once it came to light that the dude was at least semi-fraudulent, Trinity Broadcasting Network fired him, or at least kinda started neglecting him. In reality though, he was romantically linked to Salvador Dali’s wife in her last days. That is much more impressive than singing for Black Sabbath. Think about it, anyone could sing for Sabbath, heck they let Ozzy do it. However, scoring with the wife of the greatest artist of the last 200 years?? THAT is metal!
In closing, thanks Keith. When I grow up, I wanna wear your shoes. Also, if you don’t own “Testimony Of The Ancients” by Pestilence, I’ll pray for your lost soul. And stuff. Read the “Boomer Bible”. Tip your waitresses… over. Out!
If you haven’t been to Universe Number Five, you’ll end up there eventually. So…why wait?
In the most ironic attack in recent memory, a 500-pound bat attacked Black Sabbath vocalist Ozzy Osbourne, severing his head clean off of his body during a show last night in Los Angeles. Black Sabbath, the metal band formerly fronted by metal legend Tony Martin, were performing the song “Headless Cross” when Ozzy was accosted and decapitated by the bat.
The bat, a mutant Eastern Tubenose indigenous to the Three Mile Island region of Pennsylvania, scrawled out the word “REVENGE” in Ozzy’s blood on the stage immediately after the attack. Police quickly apprehended the bat and are holding him in a steel box on 1 million dollars bail at Lompoc Federal Prison. The bat’s attorney Ken “Iron Head” Murphy has said that the bat will not make any comments until his 5 PM press conference tomorrow afternoon. However, a police officer who interrogated the bat claims that he bit off Ozzy’s head accidentally, thinking it was made of plastic.
Miraculously, in spite of no longer having a head, Ozzy is in excellent condition. He was unable to finish the concert, but has said he will solider on and not miss any other show dates. He was even seen playing touch football in the hospital courtyard with members of the band One Direction and former Falcon Crest Star Lorenzo Lamas. “I can’t said miss eleven quarter horse the whole enchilada, you know. On stage is where I glumfer and would never become a gorilla, at least not on purpose,” slurred Ozzy through a hole in his neck to a crowd of reporters outside of his hospital room.
Rumors have begun to swirl about a potential connection between the bat and Al-Qaeda. Supposedly, the bat had contacted other bats in a local cave about starting a “bat jihad” against infidels and vampire novelists who have been creating and enforcing negative stereotypes their species. The bat was carrying a journal at the time of his arrest that listed plans to carry out several attacks against high profile celebrities including Stephanie Meyer, author of the Twilight books, former Batman star Adam West and musician Meatloaf, who is best known for his bat-sploitation album “Bat Out of Hell”.
Meanwhile in Washington, several conservative talk radio hosts and Republican Congressmen have criticized President Obama for not referring to the bat beheading as a terrorist attack and immediately invading Transylvania. Obama’s response has instead been a more measured approach, authorizing Predator drone strikes on caves and belfries that harbor bats that might or might not be linked to terrorism.
I was one of 60 lucky people who were able to hear the new Black Sabbath album ‘13’ on Wednesday at its premiere in Hollywood. Ozzy and I have been close since we served together in the Korean War and I often get invited to these big Black Sabbath events. I don’t like to make a big deal about it, but I took a bullet for him as the two of us charged up San Juan Hill. Back then, he liked everyone to call him Sparky.
I introduced him to Tony Iommi at a VFW function in the ‘70s. His father and mine were traveling pudding salesman in Yorkshire. Pudding was a huge industry in those days. Tony and I both had part time jobs at the pudding mill up the road from our high school. When the mill closed, Tony considered moving to Pittsburgh and becoming a professional buffalo hunter. I knew he was a good guitar player and Ozzy used to sing really well in the shower in our bunker, so I put the two together. The rest is history.
The event, which took place at the Herve Villachaize Theatre, was attended by some of the top names in journalism. I was lucky enough to be standing in line directly behind former CBS news anchor Walter Cronkite. Old Uncle Walter was sipping off a mug of paint thinner and orange juice and raving on and on about how it was Bill Ward’s fault that we abandoned the Gold Standard all those years ago. Pretty soon, he had gotten completely out of control and was escorted out by security, but not before he had invited me to an afterparty down in Crenshaw at MC Ren’s house.
We were escorted through a long tunnel into the basement of the building. There we were all strip searched by former Sabbath singer Tony Martin and forced to bathe in ox blood in order to make sure we had no audio equipment and were free of what he called “impurities”. It was all quite weird.
Finally we reached a cavernous room filled with medieval torture equipment and a buffet table featuring all sorts of Black Sabbath themed appetizers. I avoided the Rat Salad. Ozzy was in the midst of an in depth conversation with several reporters about which brands of freezer bags are best to preserve the ear wax of small children when I caught his attention. We talked for a minute or two, then he got that far away look he gets that makes him look like he is receiving signals from the planet Melmac. I knew my time with him was up.
I wandered around for another 15 minutes trying to find Tony, but when I finally caught up with him he was locked in a heated debate with former Happy Days star Tom Bosley over whether aerosol cans were actually a technology created by aliens. Tom was getting pretty heated and said some stuff about the breeding practices of the British royalty and Tony stormed off after threatening to have Tom’s legs broken by a gang of soccer hooligans.
After sitting through some opening comments from Ozzy’s son Jack about the importance of proper dental hygiene and watching Geezer Butler pass out face first into a bowl of tomato bisque, they played the album. The whole thing was terribly awkward. A group of strangers shuffling around in their seats watching other people listening to music. Everyone casting nervous glances at Ozzy, hoping they wouldn’t chuckle when he turned some simple lyric into an incoherent noise that could only be deciphered by a team of top-flight linguists or a pack of geese.
The whole experience took a turn for the worse quickly. The album started off with the pseudo-ironically titled “End of The Beginning”. A catchy song that seems slightly longer than director’s cut of Apocalypse Now. The guy next to me began to doze off and was audibly snoring through the last 12 minutes of the song. Ozzy start walking over with his mouth gaping open, pointing at the guy and looking ominously like Donald Sutherland at the end of the 70’s “Invasion of the Body Snatchers”. A security guard instantly grabbed him by the scruff of his neck and jerked him out of his seat. Two other guards pulled him to the back, beating him on the head with a truncheon as they walked.
Next thing I know, the second song lurched forward muffled by wild howling and jeering from the press as the wheezing miscreant was dragged out of the room for some sort of 14th century torture at the hands of Ozzy’s goons. The song was embarrassingly titled “God Is Dead?” and, unfortunately, is not a Carnivore cover. And then came the next song. And the next. And on and on.
It sounds like a Black Sabbath album. What else was it going to be? It’s not like they were going to shift gears in their late seventies and start sounding like England Dan and John Ford Coley. Everything sounds vaguely like Children of The Grave. Tony tunes down to Q flat minor for most of the record and Ozzy’s voice floats its way through hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of production equipment in order to sound like he’s in tune. It’s all assembly line stuff at this point.
The thing about the record that is unique and somewhat horrifying are the lyrics. I was astonished to see a bizarre homage to MC Hammer’s gangsta phase in the song “Age of Reason”. “Pumps and A Bump, I liiiiiiiii-ke the gi-rrrrrrrrls with the Pumps and A Bump” bellowed Ozzy in a hideously uneven chorus that would shame even the most ardent of Sabbath fans. Then, there was the whole part where Ozzy starts mumbling about the dangers of poison sumac in “Damaged Soul”. I can’t begin to explain what he’s talking about there. The albums high point, oddly enough, is the uncredited cameo rap verse that OJ Da Juiceman lays down about halfway through the album’s final track “Dear Father”.
The record ended and a chorus of applause cascaded through the hall. The band said a few things and the press, several members of whom were greedily jamming the remaining trays of bat-shaped chicken fingers into their Sabbath ‘13’ tote-bags, anxiously filed out trying to get home in time for the night’s airing of American Idol. In what felt like seconds the room was empty of everyone but Tony, who sat alone in the corner with his guitar playing notes to no one in particular.
I’d like to take this opportunity to set the record straight. The firing of Bill Ward from Black Sabbath was my decision and my decision alone. You all are creations that exist only in my mind. Bill Ward and Black Sabbath are mere hallucinations that I invented. I have been alone here on earth since those terrible months back in 2004. I invented all of you. None of what you know to be reality is actually real.
People have taken his firing as an opportunity to smear the impeccable character of Sharon Osbourne. Sharon is a warm and wonderful woman. When I created her, it was based on a memory of a loving Sunday School teacher I had as a child. Blame me, the creator of this sick and twisted world for the firing of Bill. She doesn’t deserve your scorn.
Honestly, I was bored. I’m really running out of things to do here on earth since the plague wiped out the rest of the human race. I spend most of my days scrounging for food, but when I need entertainment, I make up ridiculous stories about “your world” in my mind. I’m so good at it that you, my illusions, have begun to think you are real and that the fantasies I create for you are the truth. I sit here for hours in my cave making up things like President Obama or the taste of new kinds of orange sodas or LeBron James or designs for Nike running shoes as I await my death and the end of the human race.
Please understand that I have big plans for Bill. There is a scenario I am working on know where Bill is forced to fight off a swarm of three-headed dragons that emerge from behind the sun next year. His firing might give him the time he needs to prepare to save your fictitious little universe.
Sharon and Ozzy are to be treated well. One or two more bad words about them from any of you and I’ll think you away completely. It will be as if you never were. You may awaken in an endless maze with minotaurs in it or you may not awaken at all. No one will even have a memory of you. Am I clear?
Anyway, please make a point to go out and support one of the greatest metal bands ever on this year’s reunion tour. You won’t be sorry you went!
(as partially formulated by psychologist and poet RD Laing in his book “Knots”)
They are playing a game about Bill Ward.
They are playing at not playing a game about Bill Ward.
If I show them I see they are,
I shall break the rules and they will tell me I’m not metal.
I must play their game, of not seeing I see the game.
They are not having fun playing the Bill Ward game.
I can’t have fun if they don’t.
If I get them to have fun when playing the Bill Ward game, then I can have fun with them.
Getting them to have fun, is not fun. It is hard work.
I might get fun out of finding out why they’re not.
I’m not supposed to get fun out of working out why
But there is even some fun in pretending to them I’m not
having fun finding out why they ’re not.
Sharon comes along and says: let’s have fun, but without Bill.
But having fun is a waste of time, because it doesn’t
help to figure out why they’re not having fun.
How dare you have fun when Ozzy died on the Cross
Was He having fun?
Is Sharon having fun?
Is this fun?
Is it fun that Bill Ward is not having fun?
Is it fun that we are having fun about Sharon not having fun?
Is Ozzy having fun not having fun because Sharon is not having fun making Bill Ward not have fun?
Where are we anymore?