Once a Knothead…

August 7, 2015 at 10:31 am (Cosmic Encounters)



Since at least 1999 I have been going to “my last concert.” Much like the FINAL TOURS by Ozzy, KISS, Motley Ass etc… I keep finding reasons to return. I remember seeing ZZ Top and Lynyrd Skynyrd, and thinking after Freebird played that I should have seen that song performed live before age 38. Then Tool put another amazing album out, and I had to see them perform. I’d been told a Tool show is like church to a rocker. Attendance was mandatory. So I planned on the October 2001 Tool show as my last.

We all know how my will power held out on that decision.

Since then I have seen a who’s who (but not The Who) of heavy rock royalty. Marilyn Manson, Motorhead, Slayer, Rob Zombie, all have flitted across my field of vision the past few years. I saw The Wall performed as live as it’s gonna get, though will probably see the movie when it comes out. (In 1982, we thought a LIVE performance was coming, and got Alan Parker’s dream sequence instead.) I’ve seen Pink Floyd and Roger Waters, but not together. I’ve seen Page and Plant, but not Led Zeppelin. I have not seen the Rolling Stones, mostly for financial reasons. Any time they have been near me, tix have been $400. For that much money, if I want to see people dancing in adult diapers I will visit a nearby rest home.

There was a time I kept track of the alcohol I wanted to try when I fell off the wagon. Little by little I’ve run out of alcohol I am interested in trying. That’s right, The Man With The Iron Liver doesn’t give a damn about alcohol any more. (But if I did, I would try Dawn of the Red for its label alone.) I used to say I didn’t need to be drunk to have fun, until that became untrue. Maybe I need to be drunk to get into today’s music, because what I hear is whiny and a ripoff of previous generations who actually went to music school.

WASP is a good example of music you need to be drunk to appreciate. Van Halen is another. It just sounds better after six beers and half a dozen shots of Wild Turkey. (But then, what doesn’t?) The challenge is finding music extreme enough to scratch my itch, without having to destroy my life by getting drunk enough to enjoy it. I always thought Motorhead would be pointless listening when sober, but was pleasantly surprised to find I liked it better clear-headed. Some of this stuff translates!

One band has always eluded me. My first thought was, “Oh Christ, another exploitation of clowns for a cheap thrill.” (I’m such a clown philanthropist.) Much like The Grammys, I wasn’t sure if they were a parody band, like Spinal Tap. (Smell The Glove is a classic, parody or not.) When Slipknot were banned from the Roseland for setting themselves on fire with lighter fluid, I was intrigued, but not enough to pay to see. I witness jackassery on an hourly basis at work.

Over the years, I won tickets off the radio three different times. Traded Rockfest tickets (Slipknot headlining) because it was in a cow pasture in Scappoose and I had no ride. (Got a ghetto-blaster from a skinhead for that pair.) The others I traded, or just let stay at the station. Meh.

Then something happened. The dude from Slipknot quit drinking, and the music went from raging anger to thought-filled screams of anguish and hope. (Or the lack thereof. “ALL…HOPE…IS…GONE!”) I fell in love with, and to, that album. It reminds me of Raven, and then Clairissa. During a short, intense period of time this album soundtracked our friendship.

Some years back I decided I had to see Slipknot, so it became my “retirement” concert. Once I see them, I can quit going to shows. Will that be the case? I doubt it.

See, they are playing at Veteran’s Memorial Coliseum, which is tiny for a national-sized act. It’s like having a steak in a cereal bowl. So much goodness in the bowl there’s barely room to slip your fork in. They pile all that stuff in front of me, and turn it up to 11. And light it on fire.


I will not be drinking. And I may have to break down and wear a ponytail. I will be sitting close enough to singe off a few hairs…


  1. Mo's Deaf said,


  2. Hutz said,

    Hey are you the guy that helped out my blond date and me outside the store late last night while we were waiting for the MAX that was never going to come? If so, thank you man, much appreciated.

    • beastard said,

      I would love to take credit, but I was off last night. I’m guessing that was “Festus.” 🙂

  3. Hutz said,

    He seemed a good dude. The fact that I walked in at 1 wearing a suit and with a beautiful blond lady in a dress in tow may have briefly thrown him. We weren’t buying 40’s or chew; just a couple of the waters that you guys have there in front. He helped us out later — tell him thanks.


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