Posts Tagged ‘metal’
True stories and Spike Lee joints teach us that between police and certain fringes of black population there’s bad blood, either because the first has always been seen as the armed wing of the white power that continues to oppress blacks, either because the latter often has culpably failed to exploit the rights won by the blood of previous generations, preferring to remain isolated in name but not in respect of those battles.
The early 90s attended the exploding of this tension and the triggering elements were the events linked to the arrest of Rodney King, a black American who was arrested for speeding March 3, 1991 in Los Angeles by LAPD after his refusal to a patrol intimated order to approach. King resisted arrest and suffered a beating by four cops that was accidentally filmed by a a bystander and accepted as the main evidence in the subsequent trial against the officers accused of brutality. King came out with broken bones but survived.
The following year, an unthinkable first verdict acquitted the 4 officers: President Bush himself declared that he felt it difficult to associate a similar decision to associate the images of the incident. The retaliation of the black community in Los Angeles was devastating: for three days the city was on fire, 53 people died, the wounded were more than 2000, only a battered Rodney King’s appeal to non-violence on live TV was able to gradually restore calm.
In the spring of 1992, the rap metal band Body Count came up with the first self-titled album containing the song “Cop Killer”, written in 1990 by singer Ice T and music by guitarist Ernie C, and inspired by the famous Talking Heads hit, Psycho Killer. The band’s large following among the black minorities and the combination of events ended up slamming the Body Count in the dock: the public was scandalized by the song’s lyrics, even the White House, especially Vice President Dan Quayle’s mouth, intervened to persuade Warner Bros. Records to pick up the album. Many associations linked to the police lined up against the band, the publisher and record stores selling the offending disk, threatening to boycott any requests for help if Cop Killer was not removed from the shelves.
Ice T claimed that the lyrics brought back the thinking of a fictional character and that he just played him firsthand. He admitted that he sometimes had “hostile thoughts” against the police, but he never tried to give rash to these instincts. A part of the public, including the National Black Police Association, sided with the Body Count in the name of freedom of expression enshrined in the First Amendment: the world of music, in the past, expressed in a hostile way toward the “guardians of ‘Order and Justice “, as in the case of” I Shot the Sheriff “, revived by Eric Clapton in the middle 70s without any pandemonium unleashed.
In July 1992, when the controversy had already dominated the clamor and appreciation for the song, Ice T, in agreement with the band and Warner Bros., decided to withdraw the album and republish it without the offending track that was supposed to go alone as a single. In fact the band left the label and the only reproposition of Cop Killer dated 2005, in “Body Cont: Live in LA”.
Although there has been nearly 20 years, the echoes of that time does not tend to decline and the curiosity of many fans and other bands, even the youngest, is directed to that song that embodied the energy of an emerging group, but was found to be present in spite of hell: in a recent interview, Ernie C defines it as something without half-measures, a love/hate thing. Imagine that Ice T is now a cop on Law & Order TV series.
The causes that led the 25 year-old Nathan Gale to appear armed on stage at the Damageplan concert on December 8, 2004 at Alrosa Villa, Columbus, Ohio, are suggestive of paranoid schizophrenia that plagued him for years: the obsessive passion toward Pantera’s music induced him to be convinced that he regularly attended by members of the band and the discrepancies that led to the group dissolution were probably a trigger for the killing spree.
That night at Alrosa Villa Nathan reaches the stage by a service entrance, fired Dime with three shots and then put the gun aimed at those who’s trying to stop him: the death also reaches Jeff “Mayhem” Thompson, the security chief of the band that tries to intercept Gale after the first shots, Erin Halk, an official of the club, trying in vain to immobilize the attacker while re-charging the weapon, and Nathan Bray, a member of the public, while trying to revive Dimebag. John “Kat” Brooks, a drum technician is wounded and taken hostage by Gale in an attempt to make his way through the crowd, until agent Niggemeyer grasps him behind exploding a blow directly on the face with a shotgun, thus putting an end to the slaughter.
Often rockstars, especially if linked to the world of heavy metal, tend to cultivate a personal transgressive image , perhaps more for a label than for natural disposition. Dimebag Darrell, former guitarist and co-founder of Pantera with his brother, the drummer Vinnie Paul, can surely be counted as an exception to this clichet and the sad end in which hewas it was protagonist on the stage at Alrosa Villa, sounds like an obvious injustice against those who, during his long career through glam, thrash and groove metal, had always respected his colleagues and especially the fans.
These very human qualities, as well as an undisputed talent for dealing with the six strings, gathered for the funeral at Arlington, Texas, many influential personalities and fans of heavy metal, so that some Dimebag relatives were induced to move away from the security service in order to avoid any of these utterances.
Eddie Van Halen performed a guitar solo with his yellow and black striped Charvel better known as “Bumblebee” and then placed it in the coffin of Dimebag that earlier had asked him if it was possible to have a copy. Gene Simmons met another specific desire of the illustrious deceased who, still alive, stated he wanted to be buried in a “Kiss kasket”, a coffin with the Kiss logo, probably the most original in the range of gadgets signed by the band formed in New York in 1973: since there were no copies available in that moment, Simmons decided to donate its personal to Dimebag family specifying that “…he sort of learned his rock ‘n’ roll roots by listening to us for some strange reason.”