Well, unfortunately, instead of the editorial I wanted to give our readers this month about the importance of hero comics to modern society, and their importance to my own childhood understanding of morals and ethics, we here at THE BLACK GLOVE find ourselves touched again by death this month. And not just one, but three artists which we all thought highly of, were inspired by, and admired and loved for many and varied reasons.
Ronnie James Dio
July 10, 1942 – May 16, 2010
Most of his fans knew he had been fighting stomach cancer for several years, but it still came as a shock to learn of his death on May 16th.
Dio was the heart and soul of old school heavy metal music, a statesman for the music, who could always be seen meeting with his fans, and helping fellow musicians when they needed it.
Anyone who loves old metal music, knew the first time they heard Dio sing in RAINBOW that he was a force with which to be reckoned. With several hit songs under his belt, he left to become a living legend.
As the one time front man for the great metal gods BLACK SABBATH, he gave us the unforgettable hand symbol for metalheads everywhere, the 'horns', and music that will live forever in the minds and hearts of all true metal fans.
That alone would have been enough to make this man historically relevant to music, but he went on to a hugely successful and influential solo career as well, with such hits songs as LAST IN LINE and HOLY DIVER, in which he first wedded the Medieval sword and sorcery look to the Gothic and mystical pretensions of metal music.
Many years later, he once again joined ex-BLACK SABBATH band members to form another metal supergroup, HEAVEN AND HELL, and with them made one incredible live album and one tremendous studio album before his death.
Dio's importance to metal music cannot be underestimated. You have only to ask metal fans and musicians to understand the influence and passion he spread throughout his life.
DIO, this fan will always thank you for your music and the gentleness and kindness with which you shared your talent and life with the world.
May you rest in peace, man.
(April 8, 1972 – May 24, 2010)
First news broke about the passing of Peter Steele, it was hard to believe but when word got around that it was actually true the rock community was silenced. Then news hit that rock legend Ronnie James Dio had lost his ongoing years long battle with stomach cancer. The rock community was brought to its knees. Now within a matter of weeks we have lost yet another rock icon, Paul Gray.
Gray was the bassist for the phenomenal multi-platinum, Grammy Award-winning band Slipknot. His life was cut short at the mere age of 38. Gray was one of the original founding members of Slipknot which is a band that is still going strong with the original lineup after 15 years. With Gray's untimely passing he may have never reached the legend status that Peter Steele or Ronnie James Dio achieved but he will be forever remember as one of the pioneers of the nu-metal movement that Slipknot spearheaded in the late 90’s.
There is some controversy surrounding the cause of death but it’s important to not focus on how Gray died, but instead focus on how he lived. Regardless of the reason for death he joins the ranks of Kurt Cobain, Jimi Hendrix and Jim Morrison as musician’s whose lives ended all too abruptly.
Paul leaves behind a wife and an unborn child.
Paul’s passing affected me greatly, as Slipknot has always been one of my favorite bands. Bassists such as Geezer Butler from Black Sabbath and Paul Gray were the reasons that I took up bass playing. I look up to these players and respect them for their musical abilities. It saddens me deeply that Paul passed at such a young age. My prayers go out to his family and his band mates.
--Steven M. Duarte
Frank Booth is Dead
(May 17, 1936 – May 29, 2010)
When Frank Booth was killed at the end of David Lynch’s Blue Velvet, the viewer most likely exhaled a huge sigh of relief. His reign of causing nightmarish anguish to his antagonists was finally over, straight with a “love letter” through his forehead. But the thing was, Frank Booth was never really dead. Dennis Hopper still lived and breathed amongst us as he continued to appear in films, television shows, and the Hollywood circuit.
Dennis Hopper’s career before Blue Velvet was illustrious. He began his film career alongside the legendary James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause and Giant and the two quickly became friends that lasted until Dean’s death. He also starred in Easy Riders (which he also directed), Apocalypse Now, and various television shows. Everything changed after Blue Velvet was released in 1986, with his portrayal of Frank Booth, which according to several unverified reports may have actually been a part of Hopper’s storied past than a creation of David Lynch’s surreal mind. Frank Booth was a drug-fueled sadist who raped and killed for the pure enjoyment and adrenaline of it. His dialogue was very memorable as was his overall look, complete with a gas-sniffing medical mask. The myth of Frank Booth never fully exited the repertoire of Dennis Hopper’s, even when you look back at his earlier film roles, one could see a slight glimmer of Frank Booth waiting to be expelled. Not that he was a one trick pony with Blue Velvet, but Frank Booth struck a nerve with audiences who felt that he was the archetype of what was wrong and evil with society, the character was even in the American Film Institute’s (AFI) list for being one of film’s greatest villains. For every Speed, Hoosiers or even the spiteful Super Mario Bros. adaptation, it was not uncommon for audiences to expect Hopper’s characters to suddenly exclaim, “Pabst Blue Ribbon!” or get emotionally deranged whenever they listened to a song as Booth did when Roy Orbison’s “In Dreams” played. Frank Booth’s motives were never fully explained or developed as the film provides just a brief snapshot of his enigmatic world.
With the very unfortunate passing of Dennis Hopper, a true cinematic icon, the world can breathe a little easier knowing that Frank Booth is now really dead.
(The Black Glove wants to thank JF Barraza for his touching eulogy for one of the greatest actors/directors/producers/activists and art collectors of all time.)