(Here’s a great piece that was on CNN’s website last Friday)
(CNN)-After watching him burst from the obscure world of heavy metal music onto the national stage as a Republican candidate for the Presidency, most Americans are asking the same question, “Who is King Diamond?” As of 2010, most political commentators hadn’t even heard the album Fatal Portrait let alone considered him to be a possible challenger to Barack Obama’s Presidency. However, the past few months have seen a whirlwind of political action by The King, including solving the debt crisis, helping to overthrow Mubarak’s government in Egypt and giving a speech in front of 2 million screaming, poorly-dressed metalheads at this month’s Million Metalhead March.
Not only is The King gathering a flood of support from disaffected Republicans (as well as some Democrats), his shadowy political action committee, known as THEM, has raised over 13 million dollars in less than 2 weeks. In order to understand King Diamond’s appeal to voters, it is first important to learn about his fascinating background. In many ways, The King’s story is America’s story.
Kim Bendix Peterson was born in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1739. He was the son of Per Peterson, a blacksmith, and Abigail Peterson, a blood-drinking witch who was a direct descendant of the God Poseidon. He was an intelligent young man who was deeply interested in alchemy, local politics and dead animals. When he turned 16, he had his first meeting with the Dark Lord Satan, who was working as a science teacher at The King’s high school. Satan, who was impressed by young Kim’s quick wit and nimble mind, became something of a mentor to him. “I remember when I first met him,” said Satan in an exclusive interview with CNN last week, “you could just tell he was going to do great things.”
When Kim turned 21, he officially took on the name King Diamond during a ritual sacrifice of Copenhagen’s largest water buffalo. The King was immediately given the powers of invisibility, the ability to cast spells on those he felt were deserving of torment and the occasional ability to raise the dead. Satan worried that The King might be taking on too much at a young age, but Diamond was able to keep things in perspective, rising to the role of Dark Prince in a span of less than five years.
Things haven’t always been easy for The King. Diamond has had to overcome several major obstacles in his life including a yearlong bout with bubonic plague and his grandmother’s devastating battle with mental illness. However, nothing compares to the horrible four year stretch where he was dead back in the 1840s. After being burned at the stake by wild-eyed French farmers who believed he caused blight on their crops, he was trapped in a darkened purgatory for what seemed like eternity. Eventually Charon, the ferryman on the river Styx, found the King screaming falsetto Latin choruses at passing demons and led him out of the realm of eternal darkness. “I felt like The King still had so much evil to bring to the world,” said Charon in his biography “Rollin’ On The River of The Dead: A Memoir”, “so I took pity on his soul and returned him to the world of the living. I’d do it again in a heartbeat.”
After his return to earth, The King became involved in politics, eventually landing a high-ranking position as Ambassador to Russia under President Teddy Roosevelt. While in the Roosevelt administration, Diamond accidently helped to negotiate the end of the Russo-Japanese War. For his work, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize along with the President, an Award that he tossed into a blazing fire moments after he received it. Things turned sour between him and Roosevelt soon after when the President refused to allow Satan to take control of Arizona, which he believed Satan rightfully won from the President in a game of poker. The King became disillusioned with politics and travelled to the Far East in order to learn meditation techniques from several enlightened masters.
The King returned to Europe in the 1970s and began his career as a musician, believing that music was the best way to spread his message of unbridled horror to the world. After stints in bands like Brainstorm and Black Rose, the King truly found his calling in the 1980s fronting metal legends Mercyful Fate. Along with the seven studio albums he recorded with Fate, he also put together twelve magnificent studio records as a solo artist. After seeing what he referred to as the “embarrassing state of American politics”, he decided it was time to return and save America from the “tyranny of the painfully stupid”. The King plans to bring a no-nonsense approach to governing that includes a more equitable tax code and the return of the guillotine. He has a bold, striking vision for America that many consider radical. However, in these troubled times, a radical message like his may be just what Americans are looking for.