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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

My 50th MySpace friend KICKS ASS!


Hooray! The father of death metal himself, King Diamond, has accepted my friend request! I am so stoked, you guys. For a long time, some poseur was pretending to be King on MySpace, but that's finally been sorted out & now the King has taken his throne and booted the impostor to the curb where he belongs.

The OFFICIAL MySpace for King Diamond is now run by the one true King. Not run by a label or a fan, but the one and only KING DIAMOND. I'm honored to be on his friend list and eager after 20 years of fandom to finally get the opportunity to see him perform live in April!

There are those bands & musicians that you like and will buy their albums every now & then. There are those you can hear on the radio or Internet radio and say, "Yeah, I like that," but never actually purchase any albums. There are those that you like and might download their entire catalog illegally. There are those you like while you are going through a phase or a mood, which you might forget about for years, then maybe come back to only to forget again a while later.

THEN there are the ones that, since you discover them, become a PART OF YOU. For some reason, these artists make such an impression on you, that you know you will go to your grave humming one of their songs. Their music permeates your soul. It is these artists that shape the lives of their fans in more ways than they can ever know. Their lyrics become part of inside jokes, they inspire poetry they'll never read, they inspire some to begin their own journey into music or some other creative pursuit.

For me, there are three main acts that define this in my life. Electric LightOrchestra, whom I have been a fan of since I first discovered them at about age 8; Manowar, whose "Defender" (FTW version) spoke to me in 1987 like nothing I had ever heard before--I immediately purchased all the albums I could find, joined the fan club, and my lifelong journey with the Kings of Metal began; also in that year I discovered King Diamond. The first KD song I heard was "Abigail." I was intrigued because, once again, I had never heard anything remotely like this, and it was CREEPY AS HELL!
I ran out & bought the Abigail cassette the next day, waited until nightfall, turned out the lights, put on the ol' headphones, and listened to the whole thing, pausing only once to flip the tape over. I was scared shitless by the end of that album. I switched all the lights back on & was too freaked out to sleep for a long time that night. I put the tape away & vowed to never listen to it again because there was something sinister about it.

Then "Them" came out. I heard the first two tracks on the radio the day of the album's release. The DJ instructed me before he played them to turn out the lights for atmosphere. I did so. Once again, the King freaked my shit out. I had tape-recorded the songs as they played, poor reception & all. I listened to them again right then. I was blown away. It was then that I dug out that Abigail tape to give it another listen. What had I been thinking??? This thing was a fucking MASTERPIECE! I ran out the next day and bought "THEM" on cassette. This time I had the added bonus of liner notes & lyrics sheet. Wow. This guy was a freaking genius.

After that night, I sought out old Mercyful Fate albums and vowed to buy each and every King Diamond album from then on. I painted my face and went as vintage King for Halloween that year. He was one of the very few pictures hanging in my locker at school. I was hooked.

The point is, now both the metal bands that helped define who I am are in my friend list. I think that's pretty fucking cool. Hey, guys- Thanks for the last 20 years, and for the back catalog before that. And, of course, all the great shit yet to come. You guys rock! I've only seen Manowar once live, but I hope that King is half as cool as them in person. Manowar was metal enough to hang out after the show for a meet and greet. It was one of the greatest moments of my life, meeting Eric Adams. If I could talk & shake hands with King Diamond, get an autograph, whatever, oh man that would be so awesome. Anyway, enough of me blowing my idols. I'll definitely let everyone know how that show is in April.

And a big thank you, hails and horns to King Diamond, Manowar... oh, and Jeff Lynne, too!