The Tyranny of Tradition
Posts Tagged Darren Moreash
1456 Words With The Puppetmaster
Posted by Keith Spillett in People Who Were Willing To Speak To Me on March 28, 2012
What makes a man make puppets? The question has plagued me for the better part of my adult life. In my quest to find an answer I spoke with one of the great puppet makers of our age or any other, Darren “Geppetto” Moreash. Darren’s company, Darionettes, produces amazing puppet versions of metal artists. From James Hetfield to Slash, Darren has created remarkable likenesses of some of the most renowned figures in heavy music.
How did you first become interested in puppetry?
About 15 years ago I was going out with a girl who – for some reason – wanted a marionette, so, I went out looking for one. All I was able to find was some piece of crap thing (head was a wooden ball with a painted flat face) – just junk. That’s when I decided I was going to make one (of myself). I went to the library and got a book about puppets – do they still have libraries? Anyway I read up on them and carved one out (of myself). Not great but people she showed it too really liked it. I figured “Okay, if people like this one of me I’m going to get some proper tools and see about making some that I think are cool.” Shortly thereafter we broke up. I think she figured if she had a smaller version of me she didn’t need to deal with the big me. Anyway, I made a few, sold some, life got in the way and I stopped. Fast forward 5 years and I meet this girl at my work – tall, blond, 20 years younger than me – totally out of my league but I decide to make her one for Christmas. She’s a big Alice Cooper fan so that’s who I made and gave to her. She loves it – it’s still hanging in our house (10 years later). Yeah that’s right – she married me and since I’m not much to look at all I can say is “Power of the Puppet”, people, “Power of the Puppet”! She’s co-puppet maker with me, Julie makes the clothes and does most of the painting.
Why did you start making puppets of famous metal artists?
I was on the net and was part of the ‘Anvil Metal Pounders Union’ or AMPU, the Anvil official fan club, and noticed that the band was really connected to their fan base. I figured that I’d make a couple marionettes of Lips and Robbo (Anvils front man and drummer). When I posted the photos, I got positive feedback and then noticed that Lips and Robbo themselves were commenting on the photos. I started thinking that I could keep these or see if they wanted them. I could always make more if I wanted (and did). Anyway, if I asked them if they wanted them and they responded “Hell Yeah!” To me, since I can make more, it’s cooler from my perspective to have pictures of the marionettes with the people I made them for or of. After having all the posters, albums and everything else these people have made that are hanging or on display in my home – its nice knowing there’s something in their homes that I made. After the Anvil thing, I just started contacting other people I have liked over the years and then try to get one to them and people really seemed to dig them.
Which puppet do you believe is your best work?
Okay, first I’ll give you the B.S. sounding ‘Gene Simmons talking about a new direction album’ answer. The one I’m working on now is my best work yet – by that I mean each one is artistically getting better than the last, ironically that happens to be a Gene Simmons one I’m working on now. My real favorite right now is either the one I did for Lemmy or Slash – Lemmy liked the puppet so much his crew said it was one of the top three fan gifts he’d ever gotten – the Slash one is for the reaction it evoked.
There are actually people who suffer from a rare disorder called pupaphobia (the fear of puppets). You recently had a run in with one such person. Can you give me some of the highlights?
Oh yes, pupaphabia, a debilitating problem for some. Last week a photographer friend of mine in TO was meeting Slash so he asked me to make a Slash marionette and he’d get it to him. He held it up and Slash stepped back – my friend asked him if he would hold it for a photo – to everyone’s surprise (including Slash’s road crew), Slash’s response was “Get that F@$king thing away from me – it’s freaking me out. I want no part of it.” Slash was visibly shaken up and although he signed a bunch of stuff for my friend, he would do so only if the puppet was nowhere near him. I knew nothing of pupaphobia until then, but have been reading quite a bit about it. The rumor (that I cannot confirm or deny) is that when at a very young age, he watched the T.V. movie “Trilogy of Terror” and, like most people of my age, was haunted by the Zulu Doll that terrorizes Karen Black. The difference being Slash never outgrew that image and it manifested into a phobia. Very sad and if I’d known I wouldn’t have sent it to him.
Who are some of the other metal celebrities your work has gotten in the hands of?
I’ve gotten them to many metal celebrities in various ways. I contacted Anvil through the social network Facebook, Cherie Currie of The Runaways as well. Metal photographers I’ve met have helped a great deal. Through Rockstarpix and Sister D, I’ve gotten them to Twisted Sister during one of her photo shoots. A friend of mine who plays Lemmy in a Mötorhead tribute band (Snaggletöoth) got one I made of Lemmy to Lemmy himself. I asked him how he was going to meet him and he said “I’m just going backstage” – now I gotta tell you – this guy is an ex-wrestler and when a 250 lb 7 foot ‘Lemmy’ tells you he’s going somewhere, it’s a safe bet that he is.
A friend of a friend was seeing Metallica in Brazil and had a backstage access pass so I sent a James Hetfield and James loved it. A guy who runs the local rock station Q104.3 FM got an Ian Gillan one backstage when Deep Purple was in town and about a week later Ian emailed a photo to me of him and the marionette and a week after that he had posted a YouTube video about video piracy using the puppet in his place. It’s called “Garth on Piracy”.
On the not-so-metal front, I’ve got one to Kevin Smith through the shows promoter and he brought it out onstage during his 200th “Smodcast” Podcast in Halifax, NS.
Here’s an odd one: I’m sitting at home on Christmas Eve with “It’s A Wonderful Life” on T.V. and I get an email from Karolyn Wilkinson (she played Zuzu on IAWL, you know, “every time a bell rings an angel gets its wings!”) she was responding to an email I had sent a while prior and was messaging me on Christmas Eve to tell me that she would love to have a Zuzu marionette for the ‘It’s a Wonderful Life Museum’ in New York.
You always hear the term puppetmaster used in a menacing way. Have you ever considered creating an army of demon puppets and bringing them to life in order to have them destroy the city of Calgary or anything like that? Do you have any demonical, puppet master type plans?
It there’s one thing I’ve learned from masterminds The Joker, The Green Goblin and Milli Vanilli, its ‘don’t tell your plan before it comes to fruition or it’s doomed to fail’. One issue I’m struggling with right now is the whole soul transfer thing. A movie like “Child’s Play” would have you believe it’s easier than it is. Although I do think that one human soul could accommodate at least a dozen marionettes because of their size. I do know Maggie May had Rod Stewart’s soul because I heard him say it but what can a dozen little Rod Stewarts accomplish outside of annoying people. Then there’s the issue of where to find a dozen little stomach pumps, and really, who has time? To quote Bela Lugosi from Ed Wood’s Glen or Glenda “Pull The Strings!! Pull The Strings!!!”
If you want to see more of Darren’s work or contact him, check out Darrionettes.com or email him at email@example.com.
Alice Cooper, Darren Moreash, Gene Simmons, heavy metal puppets, Ian Gillan, James Hetfield, Lemmy, Puppet
Fellow Deranged Wanderers
- 5,491,863 lives ruined
- Ozzy Checks Into Rehabilitation Center For Addiction To Marzipan
- They Shoot Gorillas, Don’t They?
- Montana Metal Militia Take Over Federal Building Demanding Release of New Necrophagist Album
- Ted Cruz To Travel Back in Time; Kill Margaret Sanger In Womb
- New Slayer Yogurt “Repentless” Is Mayonnaise! (A Logomachy)
- Trump: “We Must Build A Wall To Keep Mexican Metal Bands Like Sepultura Out of This Country!”
- Newhart Themed “…And My Other Brother Darryl” Taking Metal World By Storm
- Former Iron Maiden Singer Paul Di’Anno To Star in Upcoming Transformers Sequel
- Articles I Probably Shouldn't Have Bothered Writing
- Basketball Coaching Nonsense
- BlaK Dan's Theatre of Cruelty
- Blithering Sports Fan Prattle
- Excessive Cruelty Towards Strangers
- Existential Rambings
- General Weirdness
- Health Tips for An Early Death
- HEAVY METAL MUST BE DESTROYED
- Here's Why I Dislike You So Much
- King Diamond For President in 2012
- Mr. Spillett's Academy Of Film Study For The Mentally Tormented
- Notes on Carcass Heartwork
- Parenting Tips For Those With Children
- People Who Were Willing To Speak To Me
- Pointless Music Reviews
- Pointyheaded Highbrow Stuff
- Really Brilliant Things You Should Read But Probably Won't Because You Are A Pantera Fan
- The Exorcism of Glen Benton
- The One Time I Left The House
- The Poetry of Death
- The Politics Of Catastrophe
- The Resurrection of Michael Jackson
- The Sarah Palin Fiasco
- Totally Useless Information
- November 2017
- June 2016
- January 2016
- September 2015
- August 2015
- July 2015
- June 2015
- May 2015
- April 2015
- March 2015
- February 2015
- January 2015
- December 2014
- November 2014
- October 2014
- September 2014
- August 2014
- July 2014
- June 2014
- May 2014
- April 2014
- March 2014
- February 2014
- January 2014
- December 2013
- November 2013
- October 2013
- September 2013
- August 2013
- July 2013
- June 2013
- May 2013
- April 2013
- March 2013
- February 2013
- October 2012
- September 2012
- July 2012
- June 2012
- May 2012
- April 2012
- March 2012
- February 2012
- January 2012
- December 2011
- November 2011
- October 2011
- September 2011
- August 2011
- July 2011
- June 2011
- May 2011
- April 2011
- March 2011
- February 2011
- January 2011
- December 2010
- November 2010
- October 2010
Top Posts & Pages
- Danzig Gives Birth To Identical Twin Girls
- Morgan Freeman Slated To Play King Diamond In New Film
- Venom Singer Saddened By Royal Snub
- The Time I Met Chuck Schuldiner
- Danzig To Sue Everyone On Earth
- George Clooney Agrees to Buy Bones of Bathory’s Quorthon For 1.6 Million Dollars
- Kate Middleton Pregnant With Spawn of Satan; Venom Singer “Uncle Cronos" Invited To Baptism
- Malevolent Creation Guitarist's Heroic Brush With Death To Become Film Starring Jamie Foxx
- Exclusive: New Photographic Evidence Links Lemmy To The JFK Assassination
- About The Tyranny of Tradition
WordsAbbath art Atlanta barack obama Barack Obama citizenship conspiracy theories baseball basketball Black metal Black Sabbath Burzum Carcass Children Cronos Danzig dave mustaine death Deicide EVIL existential dread existentialism fear freedom Glenn Danzig God Health Heartwork heavy metal heavy metal music Human Humor Iron Maiden James Hetfield Jeffrey Walker Jeff Walker Judas Priest Kerry King King Diamond King Diamond For President in 2012 Lars Ulrich Lemmy liberty Manowar Marshall McLuhan megadeth Mercyful Fate Metal Metallica Mitt Romney Morbid Angel Music NBA Ozzy Ozzy Osbourne Pantera philosophy politics President Religion and Spirituality Republican Richard Nixon Rick Santorum Ronald Reagan Satan Shopping silkk the shocker Slayer suffering Sweden terrorism Testament Tony Iommi United States Varg Vikernes Venom weird