They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Here are 1039 words about this picture.
Let’s start with the guy on the left, because what the hell is he doing anyway? He looks like the love-child of a circa 1970’s porn star and The Ultimate Warrior. He’s wearing what appears to be a candy-necklace of some sort, along with the scraps of fabric that he’s tied around his arm. One thing you should know about Satanists from the 80’s is that they loved to accessorize. And look at the guy’s moustache for Christ’s sake. It’s like he’s not even trying. If you’re going to be a Satanist, facial hair is important. You can’t just have a moustache, okay? It’s not appropriate. And if you absolutely insist on having a mustache, you’d damn well better wax it or something. Has he waxed his? I don’t know. Maybe. You can’t tell. Maybe one day, when they finally release Black Roses in high-definition, we’ll know.
Then you’ve got this next guy. Is he even in the band? It looks like he’s on his phone, but given that this movie is from 1988, we know that’s not the case. Unless he’s got one of those Swatch phones that flashes when it rings and someone is calling him at the exact moment the picture was taken. He was maybe about to smile or something, then the phone rang and the flashing caught his eye and he’s like “Look at that. Worth every penny,” and he thinks about his dad, who was with him when he bought the phone, and who said “The doctors told us you were part girl when you were born, Jimmy, and I feel like this is directly related.” Now this guy, Jimmy, is like “yeah, sure dad. But I can answer it, even in the dark.”
The next fellow, leaning against the wall, is probably also watching that phone. A second later he’s like “Bro, you were totally right on that phone. Fuck your dad.” And the other guy is like “I know, right? Look at that flash. Not that it matters, because Damien hypnotized me and made me beat my dad to death when I joined the band anyway. Maybe one day I’ll see him in hell and I can tell him how wrong he was.”
Now we come to the big show. Damian. He’s leaned over the table, wearing his football pads and the artisan leather harness that he bought with his first paycheck from the record label. He’d probably dreamed of it for weeks, maybe sketched it out on a notepad by his bed. “What’s that you’re working on, Damien?” “It’s my dream, boys. It’s the perfect article of clothing. It looks total gnar, it’s metal as shit, and it’s cut in such a way that it makes my man-jugs thirty-five percent more bodacious than they are on their own.” Then he gives his hair another dousing with Aqua-Net.
The look on Damien’s face is not what you’d expect. It’s definitely not he look of a ruthless Satanist, dead set on turning the youth of Mill Basin into Satan Soldiers. It’s a look of satisfaction. It’s a look that says “guys, I love that I can always count on you to make the best possible pentagram with the materials at hand. Other guys would have phoned this in, maybe made the pentagram with a sharpie or, worse yet, something as laughably clichéd as blood. Not you guys. You put this shit together with tape and candles, because you’re professionals.
“And you know what else, as long as we’re on the subject? I don’t say it enough, but I love you guys. We’re out here on the road, working in Satan’s name, corrupting the youth and transforming kids in to monsters, which makes it easy to lose sight of the fact that before we started working for Satan, it was just us and the music. Just four guys, and maybe also that one girl—because let’s face it, the script for this movie is so incomprehensible it’s damn near impossible to know who’s really in the band—best friends til the end, shredding like our lives depended on it. And guys, our lives did depend on it.
“So here we are. Doing it. Really living it. I’m just so happy that our dark lord blessed me with such a swell group of friends. So there. I’ve said it, you sonsabitches. I love you. Forever.”
Then he leans in, even closer, hoping that the angle of the picture and the dim candlelight will hide the tears on his face.
Last but not least, we find a man with a bass guitar. He’s leaned against the wood paneling, completely impervious to the electronic temptations of the swatch phone ringing only feet from where he’s currently standing. He’s bored. He’s seen it all. There’s only one thing on his mind right now, and it’s solo album.
Why should Damien get to hog the spotlight? Why should Damien get to transform in to a glorious dinosaur demon, when all the rest of us just transform in to a group of zombies that look like grandfathers coated in gray paint? And you know what else? Why is it that when we transform on stage, that one guy – the lovechild of the 1970’s porn star and The Ultimate Warrior—loses his facial hair? You mean to tell me that in the midst of all this magical transformation, we can’t carry forward a moustache? Because if Satan’s magic is that weak, that ineffectual, that he can’t wizard that moustache from one form to the next, then what in the hell are we doing serving him anyway? Listen, guys, I love Satan as much as the next guy, but think about it. Just think about it. He can make us in to fucking lizard people, but he can’t keep the mustache?
You’re kidding me, Frank. What do you mean, ‘it’ll burn off in Hell’? We’re not in Hell. We’re in Mill Basin, playing a thirty day run of shows. There’s no hellfire here to burn a moustache off. And speaking of, why in God’s name are we playing here for so long? The venue is like half the size of a gym, and we’re big enough to be on the news…
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