Tuesday, September 13, 2005


BLACK METAL [click for MP3!]

Note: The MP3 contains naughty words and references to Satan. It made Umlaut laugh out loud.

"I'm down with the muthafucking Devil, Joe!"

Umlaut and K.J. have been friends since before the dawn of Christianity. We fought the Metal Wars together, with K.J. in command of the Northwest Front while I was in the NorCal trenches. Epic times filled with adventure.. but we're all growed up now.

Submitted by K.J.

Ah, "Black Metal." I remember playing "Teacher's Pet" during Journalism class in high school and being reprimanded.

I also remember Slayer shirts outselling Venom shirts during their 1985 tour together (with Exodus opening), when I (and Tour Manager Doug) worked for Boutwell Enterprises as star merchandisers.

Venom. Horrible live band.

I remember when Tom Araya, in a fit of drunken wisdom, relieved himself on a sleeping Cronos. He was rewarded with some Newcastle-styled fisticuffs and a swollen black eye.

On Another Note: Click HERE to read K.J.'s recent Film Threat interview with Elijah "Frodo Baggins" Wood!

Just when you thought it was safe to read Umlaut again... MORE Venom. "Lay down your soul to the Gods Rock 'N Roll... BLACK METAL..."

Submitted by Cammie

And speaking of Venom... My Venom memory comes from a drunken night in St. Petersburg, Russia with a bunch of Russian friends.

We saw a flier saying that they would be playing an outdoor show that night (!!!!) (In 1993!) and as we got drunk we kept saying "We've GOT to see Venom" but of course we got too drunk and remembered too late and we ran down to the place just as they were leaving the stage.

The whole rest of the night as we drank more, we kept saying "I can't believe we missed Venom!!"

It would have been awesome and bizarre to see them there. I mean, what the hell were they doing in Russia in 1993?

Who could have guessed that Venom, of all things, would cause such a flurry of responses from the Umlaut Community?? Umlaut's Old Metal friend Micki shared the exciting sequel to his Maiden Brazil report...

Submitted by Micki

When Venom went to Brazil with Exciter in 1986 they were supposed to give autographs in a Metal specialized store called Woodstock.

The store is located on one side of a valley called Anhangabau (an Indian name which means "River of Evil" - how cool is that? P.S.: There is no river anymore, just the valley) and across the Valley there are the "Galleries", a kind of vertical mall with lots of smaller Metal stores (therefore, you can say that the places to buy Metal in Sao Paulo is on both sides of the "River of Evil"...).

Since Woodstock was THE place for the Metalheads to meet and hang out then, people would go to the Galleries and afterwards gather at Woodstock.

Knowing a lot of Metal kids would be around because of Venom and Exciter's autograph sessions, a bunch of Skinheads gathered around the Galleries to beat up the weaker (and smaller numbered) kids (If they are so brave, why didn't they go to Woodstock? You know the answer...).

When some of those kids started showing up at Woodstock, bloodied and bruised, Venom's Cronos and Exciter's Dan Beehler (the guys present at the autograph session) started asking why.

When they became aware of the reason, they left the place immediately and crossed the bridge over the valley (the "Tea Bridge", because it was made by the English) in order to beat up the Skinheads!

After that, who cares the concerts sucked? Those guys ARE METAL! Those guys RULE!

P.S.: The manager who brought them over to Brazil (a British guy whose company was called Red Door Productions) ran away with all the money the bands made in the four shows they played there! For some reason English robbers love Brazil. Ronald Biggs spent most of his fugitive life there...

Now this Venom thread is just getting plain silly.. Umlaut and John Marshall have known each other at least 22 years. Old Metallica fans will remember John as a member of their original road crew (stage manager / guitar tech) and fill-in guitarist in 1986 and 1992 when Hetfield couldn't play guitar due to injuries. Metal fans will know him as guitarist for the Northwest's mighty Metal Church from 1987-93.

Submitted by John

OK, I guess I'll join the bandwagon and add my Venom memories.......

The first time Metallica went to Europe was in February of '84, for two weeks worth of gigs opening for Venom. It was the first time any of us had been outside the U.S. (except for Lars). It was crazy to see the response they got, since they had never been to any of these places. It was when I truly realized Metallica was headed for the stratosphere. (OK I'll admit these memories are more about Metallica, but Venom was there).

I remember one gig where the dressing room was downstairs underneath the stage. I think it was Zurich. As soon as Venom went onstage, a roar went up, and some INSANE amount of pyro went off...... and chunks of plaster started falling from the ceiling. I was out of there quick.

I don't remember if Venom really sucked onstage. It was fun to make fun of their evil names though. MANTAS! No, Jeffrey.

I remember sitting in a restaurant in Italy WAY past closing time while the chef and the waitress kept bringing us food. Cronos was there, trying to pick up on the waitress. She was older, maybe in her 40's (oh shit I'm OLD), and not bad looking. I'm pretty sure he failed. I think I bought a bottle of wine there, the kind with the straw basket around the bottle. Somehow I got it all the way home in my suitcase without breaking.

I remember getting to a gig at about 10 or 11 in the morning for load in. No one was there, so we went out and found a bar/restaurant and Cliff orders a dark, bitter beer and starts chugging it. I thought it was nasty. I guess I didn't know shit about good beer when I was 22. I think it was Guinness he was drinking. I was probably wishing for a Michelob or Bud Light or something.

The last gig of the two weeks was a festival with about 6 or 8 bands. Venom went on last, Metallica supported. I think there were about 6,000 people there, probably the biggest gig by far they had ever played. When Metallica took the stage, the crowd roar LITERALLY sent chills up my spine. I couldn't imagine what it was like to be in the band. It was WAY cool. There's a photo from that era with the four guys in the dressing room in their underwear. You can see the bottom of Kirk's white socks, all dark and dirty because he probably hadn't done any laundry in a month or so. That photo was taken at this gig. Don't ask me how or why I remember that.

Good Times.

Rich Hellhound and Umlaut were shoulder-to-shoulder in the NorCal Metal battles back in The Day. I think we also had Drivers Ed and Algebra together as well.

Submitted by Rich Hellhound

When I saw Venom at the Kabuki Theater in S.F. (with Slayer in '84?), there were a couple of Skinheads harassing Metalheads in the underground parking lot after the show. They were stereotype 'Skins; no shirts, suspenders, Doc Martens, etc., and one was trying to arrange a fight between his buddy (who stood in classic boxer pose, and never said anything) and whichever passing Metalhead would accept the challenge. The "sales pitch" was pretty amusing; it went something like "Just you and him, one on one," repeated over and over. In fact, I think that's literally all the guy said.

Granted my friends and I only paused for a moment to watch one of the exchanges, but I never actually saw a fight. They were still attempting to start something as we drove away. I remember wondering at the time if it wasn't all planned (Skinhead One: "Hey, there's a Metal show at the Kabuki." Skinhead Two: "Cool, let's hang out in the parking lot after the show lets out, and kick some Dirt Head ass!").

Perhaps (and this is a far more interesting theory), there is some sort of cosmic connection between Venom and Skinheads; an ancient, eternal battle that has raged for centuries. For surely the Black Metal Gods must have their adversaries, and would not this nemesis be the polar opposite of the mighty, long-haired warriors?

Oh, and Venom did suck live. I remember being pissed at how Cronos "altered" Countess Bathory (my fave Venom song at the time), so he could sing and play it at the same time. Most of the time he was singing, he wasn't really even playing (just holding chords, as if it were a guitar). Cronos was being spit on repeatedly, and at one point yelled at the crowd, "See that lighting rig up there? If you don't stop spitting it's coming right down on your fucking heads!" I also remember Mantas' lame Karate kicks at the end of the show.

Venom really did suck live..
(From the Umlaut Archives)