Archive for February, 2013
About two weeks ago, the house up the street had a moving van in front of it. At first, I didn’t think much of it. After all, I live in Atlanta and people are always moving around in order to avoid the rampaging hordes of flesh-eating reptiles that roam the streets at night. Had I not built a Y2K shelter some years back, I would have probably been devoured myself. My family and I hide there during the evenings, watching old VHS copies of The Young and The Restless until the wee hours of the morning with shotguns in our hands. My 4-year-old is particularly skilled at shooting the beasts when they try to overpower the deadbolt. She’s a great shot for 4. I’m hoping that one day she can lead the humans as we rise up and try to take back control of our cities from the robot overlords. Maybe she won’t. We all grow up thinking we are going to be something special. Sometimes, we just end up working in retail.
The fellow coming in and out of the moving van seemed nice enough. He had longish hair and a mustache that made him look something like either Ron Kovic or a relief pitcher for the Brewers in the mid-70s. I greeted him with my usual Sufi chant and politely asked if he minded if I took a lock of his hair in order to fuse his DNA with a water buffalo. He looked a bit shocked, so I put my shirt back on. That way he would not have to stare at the eyes that had begun to grow out of my stomach.
Suddenly, a feeling of recognition overwhelmed me. I knew this fellow. He was in the band Mastodon. I don’t know how I knew, I just knew. I immediately asked him to autograph my copy of .38 Special’s “Wild-Eyed Boys of The South”. I had been carrying this copy of the album with me for months asking celebrities to sign it. So far, I had gotten Rick Wakeman, the former Yes keyboard player who currently works at the Publix deli counter in Decatur, and Jerry Mumphrey, the former Yankees outfielder who lives inside of my right kidney, to put their names on it. Had this Mastodon guy signed it, it would have completed my collection and allowed me to pass into the cosmic netherworld of alien dwarves. But he refused.
He broke my heart. As a fan, all I ask is for a little acknowledgement. After all, I’ve spent hours of my life listening to that album with the whale on the cover of it. Is a signature too much to ask for?
It’s like the time I broke into Cal Ripken’s home and demanded that he sing all of the lyrics to “Covered With Sores” by Cannibal Corpse at gunpoint. I wasn’t asking a lot. My request certainly didn’t warrant the two and a half years I served in the Allenwood Federal Correctional Facility. Or the removal of all of my teeth at the hands of some hired goon named Vito. But the Ripkens can be brutal when you cross them. I learned that the hard way.
So here I am. It’s 2:30 in the afternoon. I am covered in honey and ox blood from head to toe. Waiting. Hoping. I’ve been in the guy from Mastodon’s living room for 3 hours now playing Black Ops 2 on his Xbox. I wonder if he’s at the supermarket. Or collecting and trading pig exoskeletons with his church group. Or meditating at an ashram in Utah. Or at the park reading his dog-eared copy of V.C .Andrews’ masterpiece “Flowers in the Attic”. He has to come home at some point. Doesn’t he?
After more than 40 years of playing and performing with his injury, Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi has finally reattached his finger tips, plus 2 more digits.
Iommi, who lost the tips of 3 of his fingers in 1974 after trying to recreate a stunt from the film “Home Alone 2: Lost in New York,” has learned to play guitar by protecting his mangled fingers with a delicate combination of Silly Putty, raisins, and twist-ties. The mixture, which Iommi mashed onto the tips of his fingers before performing, is said to be the source of Black Sabbath’s iconic sound for the past 4 decades. However, when frontman, Ozzy Osbourne became violently ill after accidently ingesting too much of the mixture, the band deemed it too hazardous of a tradition to continue.
With all Silly Putty-based mixes out of the picture, Iommi was left no choice but to undergo surgery to reattach the missing fingertips.
Last week’s fingertip surgery was deemed a success, but Iommi decided to go under the knife again 2 days later. After a series of escalating dares by his band mates, Iommi underwent additional surgeries to attach two extra fingers on his playing hand.
The campaigns, a Facebook page called “If This Page Gets 10,000 Likes My Friend Will Attach 2 More Fingers On His Hand” and the viral Twitter hashtag “#ThumbsForTony” proved to be wildly successful, gaining more than 20,000 ‘likes’ and 38,000 ‘RTs’ respectively. Two fast-acting fans jumped at the chance to donate a finger to the cause and the fingers were exchanged and attached in a matter of hours.
“I’m not happy he did it,” said a spokesperson at the Black Sabbath camp who wished not to be named, “but then again, you don’t just turn down a triple-dog-dare from Ozzy Osbourne.”
The surgeon, Dr. Tony Welling, whom Iommi selected based solely on their mutual first name, had no previous experience in amputation or reattachment surgery. And the donors, a 5-year-old spider monkey named Coco, and late Chicago mayor, Richard J. Daley, will both receive lifetime backstage passes as well as the secret recipe for Iommi’s raisin-putty-fingertip mix.
(The fellow who wrote this article, Andrew Sebastian Bach, is a complete lunatic. He blogs regularly at chicagorants.com where he regularly explores important issues facing the Windy City like face-eating llamas and why everyone hates the White Sox)
I believe it was Henry Kissinger who once said, “There is no soup like the milk of human longing.” Or was it Lacan. I’m not sure. Irregardless of redundant words that don’t actually exist or simply restate words that could be a heck of a lot shorter, Kissinger meant what he said. If he did say it. Which he didn’t.
I’m reminded of a time before radar. A time where planes needed to fly below nothing to be hidden. They simply didn’t exist. A time where whales walked the earth and the band Earth performed in Wales. Or neither.
You wanted him to be Souza. You pretended as only the pretentious can. But he was not and you cried. Tears of horror. You lifted your copy of Fabulous Disasters towards the sky and you shook it. You demanded God reformulate Himself in your image for once so that He could understand the grave misfortune He had bestowed upon the world. You swore allegiance if He only would bring back the mighty Zetro.
First, there was denial. Then, anger. Then, bargaining. You listened to their cover of Elvis Costello’s “Pump It Up” and started telling random strangers, Jehovah’s Witnesses, anyone who would listen how it was an unappreciated classic. You walked into a supermarket wearing an outfit made out of Australian Herring. You began gargling diet soda and spitting it on children. You bought a ’76 Dodge Dart and painted the lyrics from Manowar’s “Bridge of Death” all over the doors. You joined People For The Ethical Treatment of Animals. You sent poems and toenail clippings to all the living members of the Bar-Kays.
You began attending lectures at Emory University about the history of the sciatic nerve. You moved to Norway. You became a vegan. You began accusing high-ranking government officials of being Freemasons. You disavowed the use of salt. You fell in love. You became convinced that people were out to get you.
You stopped reading this article. You began biting your cousin’s arm hair. You went to your window, opened it and began shouting all the lyrics from the first five Venom albums. You joined the Peace Corps. You learned to play bass. You became convinced that you had killed John F Kennedy in spite of the fact that you were born 12 years after the assassination took place. You started being mistaken in public for Marilu Henner. You tried a new type of shampoo. You spent 37 dollars and 29 cents on a used copy of an Atrophy album only to find that it had decayed. You ate all of the rolls. I know you did. I saw you. Don’t lie. You did. And now you are not admitting it. You are a dishonest person.
As Rick Pitino once said, “Paul Baloff isn’t walking through that door.” Or was it Hegel. I’m not sure. I think we can all agree on one thing, violent video games are the cause of nearly all of our current problems. That, and misogynistic, violent metal lyrics. And cell phone towers. And terrorism. And disco goregrind.
But, if I know one thing, it is this, Rob Dukes is a talented man who has brought stability and a brutal new sound to Exodus. Or maybe he didn’t. I dunno. But, if I know one thing, it is this, Rob Dukes is emblematic of how heavy metal fans have become ill-equipped to handle even the most minor of changes without turning into a bunch of fundamentalist whiners with the undying need to prove that they were “there” first, even if they don’t really care where “there” is. Or maybe not. I dunno. All I know is this, if it weren’t for Exodus, the children of Israel would never have left slavery through the strength of Yahweh. And that, at the end of the day, is all that is important.