As my colleague Erin DeWitt has pointed out, other than Machine Head and a couple of anonymous House of Blues employees, none of the main mucky-mucks involved in the Disney-bans-metal controversy are talking. At all. And the speech clampdown has filtered down through all levels of the Anaheim HOB, so much that not even the bartenders, security or service-industry workers will sing.
That's what I found last night at the Rentals/Copeland/Goldenboy show. Asked a server in the restaurant, “Hey, what's this about metal shows being banned?” -- got a “You'll have to ask someone inside the club.”
Asked one of the wand-waving security dudes: “I don't know anything about that.”
Asked the upstairs patio bartender, one who looked vaguely “metal”-ish with his scraggly goatee, who might have wanted to vent his pissed-offness to me (and after I told him about reading an LA Times article about the ban over the weekend): “I dunno, I don't read newspapers...” then, pointing to a fellow barkeep nearby, “...and neither does she.”
Guy, you better be making some serious bank at your job if you're that afraid of losing it.
The lady bartender inside the main room was no help, either.
“Hey, can I ask you a question? What's up with metal shows being banned...”
“I'm sorry Mr. Kane, I'm not allowed to comment.”
WHOA! I didn't even know her, and didn't tell her who I was or who I work for. And it's not like my face is as recognizable as Gustavo's. Creepy! Somebody got to her!
So since nobody is talking, we at the Weekly are forced to paint some fictitious pictures of how this ban might have come about. Remember, we're just thinking out loud:
SCENARIO #1: Some idjit doofus went to a metal show at the HOB, got stinking drunk, hurt himself (fell from the balcony level? Slipped on the wood staircase? Stood too close to the speakers and suffered permanent hearing loss? Got his eyed poked out after slamming his face onto someone's steel-studded belt?) and decided to sue Disney, since he got hurt on Disney property. Disney, wanting to avoid any potential headaches in the future, said no more metal because metal hurts people and is very, very bad.
SCENARIO #2: Vacationing Mennonite family happens to be walking past the HOB one recent evening while a metal band busily headbangs inside. A confluence of catastrophic coincidence (“perfect storm” is such a cliché) occurs when a door is opened, sound waves are diverted, and the dastardly word “MUTHAFUKKA!” reaches the family's young children, deflowering their innocent eardrums forever. Obviously distressed, the parents complain to Disney, and threaten to sue. Bye-bye, leather-adorned messengers of Satan!
SCENARIO #3: Disney, HOB, Live Nation and everyone involved are just being dicks for no reason.
And right now, #3 looks to be the best explanation.
This ban leaves too many unanswered questions. Metal is out, but who's job is it to define what exactly metal is? Does this mean, in these tribute-band-happy times, a Black Sabbath or Def Leppard trib act is no longer welcome on the HOB stage? If it's a question of offensive lyrics, does that mean all bands will have to submit lyric sheets to HOB Anaheim talent buyer Todd Miller?
We don't know, but what we do know is that this isn't about metal, weird band names or potentially offensive lyrics. Still booked and on-sale at the Anaheim HOB as of today:
*A Halloween Static-X, Shadows Fall and 3 Inches of Blood bill (it even says “metal” on the HOB ticket site).
*A Sept. 30 show with German hessians Edguy.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
*A Nov. 7 show with New York death metal icons Suffocation, featuring songs like “Bind, Torture, Kill,” “Entrails of You” and “Involuntary Slaughter.”
*A King Diamond show booked for next April 27. Dude – no one is blacker, darker, offensive-er or Satanic-er than the King!
*And, on Sept. 29, the most reviled, shocking and blood-curdling band of all: Hootie & the Blowfish.
Just what the hell is going on here, anyway? And why aren't people talking?