MARTIN: This is a fascinating record. One of the most fascinating aspects of it is that it’s 12 inches.
JESSE: Uh, the first song was pretty good–“Crazy Motorcycle”–it’s sort of a cliche. Remember Montrose’s “Get On My Bad Motor Scooter And Ride”?
MARTIN: Do you think it’d be possible to ascribe qualities like “craziness” to inanimate objects like motorcycles, and do you think it’s worthwhile to do?
HAL: It’s worthwhile. I think it’s legitimate. It’s done all the time.
JESSE: Many records are evil.
MARTIN: Do you think Rogue Male is evil?
JESSE: Naw, I don’t really think so. I mean, we all sorta agreed that first song was pretty good.
MARTIN: Then what happened when we played the other song?
JESSE: Well, we didn’t like the rest of it.
HAL: Well, the third song wasn’t that bad.
JESSE: Yeah, the third song was OK, too. You said, “this is good ole rock ‘n’ roll,” Hal. Or something like that.
MARTIN: But it seems to me like we’re not really enthusiastic here. Why is that?
JESSE: Well, the point is that if you’ve got one good song–the one song we all agreed on–and then we said the third one wasn’t bad…that’s a better ratio than most of the heavy metal albums we’ve been listening to.
HAL: Naw, I think it’s because we’ve listened to Slayer and Venom and bands that were better at doing the same thing than Rogue Male is trying to do.
MARTIN: Yeah, I’d have to agree. Let’s look at it from the standpoint of uniqueness. Is the guy’s voice unique? No.
JESSE: He sounds like Lemmy.
HAL: We all know he sounds like Lemmy. And you know too, Jim–you’re the singer by the way, Jim, and I’m talking to you now. So listen, fool: you sound too much like Lemmy.
MARTIN: What’s his last name?
MARTIN: How do you spell it?
MARTIN: Imagine if he had a brother named Richard.
JESSE: It would be Dick Little. There’s a guy in the town that I used to live in that owns a place called “Face’s Lounge,” and his name was Richard Face. And he always went by the name Richard. ‘Cause if he didn’t he would have been Dick Face!
MARTIN: Speaking of Dickface, this picture on the cover is pretty strange. Apparently it’s Jim Lyttle himself, as an artist views Jim. I guess it’s some sort of cybotron with wires hanging out. I guess we’re supposed to assume that Jim Lyttle is actually a mechanical creature.
HAL: This is such a tired idea–it’s hard to believe that Elektra would let this go out as album art. But I’ll talk to them later, personally.
MARTIN: They may not call today. Because we have a heavy schedule with Atlantic.
JESSE: Why are these heavy metal guys getting into this ugliness concept? That album cover compared to a lot of others isn’t really that bad. The album cover’s ugly…
MARTIN: It’s not offensive. It borders on like…
HAL: I think there’s another point, too, you know? I mean, is this album really metal?
MARTIN: It’s probably more hard rock in a sense–like a band like Nazareth was hard rock.
JESSE: I don’t know. They’re harder than Nazareth.
MARTIN: You’re thinking of “Love Hurtsâ–because you have a sissified notion of what Nazareth was like.
JESSE: That’s not true.
HAL: I think that’s well known, actually. You do indeed have a sissified attitude.
MARTIN: If I remember correctly from our last review, weren’t you reading about new music bands when Hal and I were listening to heavy metal. Some heavy, heavy metal?
HAL: Some hardcore metal?
MARTIN: Some of the heaviest?
JESSE: You guys said they sound like Motorhead. Motorhead’s about as hard as you can get. And that’s what they’re trying to mimic.
HAL: In fact, Jim says in their bio that the only metal bands he likes are Metallica and Motorhead.
MARTIN: Hey, those are two pretty good bands!
HAL: The two M’s!
MARTIN: Wait, the phone’s ringing, let me go get it.
HAL: Yeah, see what’s going on.
MARTIN: This might be Elektra! (leaves room)
MARTIN: (returns) Hal, it’s your wife!
HAL: Is it really? Why is she calling me in the middle of a review?
MARTIN: Maybe she doesn’t want you to listen to Rogue Male!
MARTIN: Or maybe she’s involved with a rogue male of her own!
JESSE: She’s upset ’cause you didn’t give her a thorough bonin’.
MARTIN: Let’s hope Hal’s wife don’t be a-readin’ Metal Rock ‘N’ Roll.
HAL: Well, that’s all right, you know, in-jokes and all.
MARTIN: Well, I’ll put her on hold. (Hal leaves room)
MARTIN: (Hal returns) Well, did you talk to her?
HAL: Yeah, I talked to her. I guess what happened was, she’s getting tired of Jesse calling up and wanting to borrow her dresses.
MARTIN: Gosh, Jesse–I should’ve never gone on that metal trip a couple of months ago!
JESSE: That’s just the thing, you know. She’s called me up and asked me to come over and said, “Hal would never wear these dresses. And if you wear these dresses…” Well, I can’t tell you the rest.
MARTIN: Hal, when you get down to it, the fact that Jesse’s admitting to having worn dresses is a good step toward an imminent recovery. And, speaking of dresses, there’s a song called “Dressed Incognito”–it’s the first song on the second side. I think we should explain to the readers that we don’t bother to…
JESSE: Yeah, but Hal hasn’t mentioned that they’re his dresses!
MARTIN: You know what they say, “in brightest day, in darkest night.”
HAL: (to Jesse) You are such a fag, I can’t believe it! I mean, I don’t go out with girls with mohawks.
MARTIN: And not only that, but when my phone rings, I get up and answer it.
JESSE: But you don’t know what a feisty experience it can be, ’til you lick one of those shaved heads!
HAL: I think one of the things about this album that I noticed right away–there’s only one song that’s under three minutes, and there’s like four or five that are over four minutes long.
MARTIN: Aye, lad, there’s just “Unemployment,” which is just two minutes and 50 seconds.
HAL: But that was kind of a crummy song. Humdrum, run-of-the-mill, you might say.
MARTIN: I’ll tell you what. It looks like we’re running out of vital things to say about Rogue Male, so let’s just make some statements about what we’d rather do than listen to Rogue Male.
JESSE: I’d rather go across the street and have one of those soft-serve ice creams in a freshly cooked waffle.
MARTIN: That sounds pretty interesting.
JESSE: I’d rather go over to Hal’s wife and be with his wife and wear her dresses. No, his dresses.
HAL: And I’d rather be there with a camera.
MARTIN: I think that rather than listen to Rogue Male, I’d like to do my income taxes.
HAL: Yeah, we’re not too excited about these guys.
MARTIN: There must be something good about them.
JESSE: We don’t hate them, though. You haven’t said yet that they should be killed.
HAL: Well, I don’t think they should be killed.
MARTIN: Maybe there’s something else…
HAL: These guys are Irish.
JESSE: Yeah, maybe they’re associated with Fiona. Fiona was on American Bandstand, I think we should tell the readers that. And she looked wonderful. Mahvelous. Dick Clark even made a comment about it. And, if Dick Clark happens to be reading this, we think he did a good job getting her. And next week he should have the Mighty Belfegore!
MARTIN: Listen, did he happen to make a comment about Fiona’s dress?
JESSE: I didn’t notice Fiona’s dress. I just noticed.
MARTIN: Your eyes must’ve been obscured. I guess the thing here is, there’s no real excitement for Rogue Male now, because we have other things on our minds that are more important than Rogue Male.
HAL: Well, if this was as arresting as say, Belfegore, then we’d have good things to say!
MARTIN: What could make this record better? If they were Belfegore, or if they did the “Mule Song…”
JESSE: I was just gonna say, if they did the “Mule Song.”
HAL: I don’t know. I don’t think they could do it that well.
MARTIN: He doesn’t have a “Mule Song” voice. Hey, you know, we didn’t listen to “Get Off My Back.” That might be similar, in terms of sentiment, to the “Mule Song.”
JESSE: You don’t think they could do it as good as Champion Jack Dupree?
HAL: I think the readers would back me on thisâ¦I think by now, they know that Jack Dupree’s version of the “Mule Song” is indeed the best.
MARTIN: I was down in the record store the other day, talking to many of my heavy metal fans, who come and ask me questions about metal, and they asked me how to obtain Champion Jack Dupree’s recording of the “Mule Song.” There are a lot of people who want to know this–and, in fact, to the people who are willing to write to METAL, I could explain it. But on the basis of how Champion Jack was deprived of his royalties, and he now lives in poverty, I think it would be best if we kept that under wraps.
HAL: Is it fair–that we, of the triumvirate of metal knowledge, keep it to ourselves?
MARTIN: I think for now, yes. Until we listen to a metal record that makes all of us uniformly declare “This music is better than Belfegore, better than the ‘Mule Song”‘–only then will we allow all our readers to obtain both the “Mule Song” and the new Belfegore record that we know of!
HAL: I think that since this is gonna be a short review, we should address the fact that what a service we’re doing the readers. And maybe tell them a little bit about ourselves.
MARTIN: Speaking of a dress–Jesse likes to wear them!
JESSE: I think we should mention that the other day we were down in one of the stores in Birmingham and we met one of heavy metal’s biggest fans.
MARTIN: Oh, is that the fellow that saw the Rocky Horror Picture Show âover a thousand times, literallyâ?
JESSE: Yes. And he was trying to impress the new wave girls by announcing all the heavy metal shows he’s been to.
HAL: It’s really a burden, ’cause he could probably identify us right away as the guys who know all about heavy metal. The real metal. What it is. How to find it.
MARTIN: Well, he could identify you and me, Hal–but of course, let’s not forget Jesse had a stack of ballet and opera records.
JESSE: We were down there a couple of days later…
HAL: Not to mention his U2 T-shirt.
JESSE: You’re Hal, right? Who are you? (looks at Martin)
MARTIN: I’m your mother. Stop wearing those dresses!
JESSE: I think the readers should be well aware by now that these guys are two of the most homophobic guys that you would ever want to know.
MARTIN: Incidentally, readers, you’d be happy to know that Jesse is afraid of homos!
HAL: And he’s afraid of AIDS, too! So, I guess there’s sort of a link there!
JESSE: These guys…they think, their biggest jokes are about homos and, god forbid, women. There’s something wrong with these guys. They feel threatened.
MARTIN: Gee, Hal, there’s one thing here I’m noticing. We may feel that way, yet, we don’t feel inclined to don women’s dresses each night when we come home from a hard day at the factory!
JESSE: I don’t don … I don’t don… I don’t don women’s clothing!
HAL: Our jokes involve homos and women ..in fact, we’re talking about him! So, therefore, you are describing yourself as a homo and/or a woman.
JESSE: The only time I’ve ever donned a dress–and it’s not necessarily a woman’s dress–is whenever Hal or Martin’s wife calls me over and needs a thorough bonin’!
MARTIN: I think that the readers should know that Hal and Martin’s wives are two separate women. It’s important they realize this.
JESSE: That’s true.
MARTIN: But we may be rambling. So let’s close this up with, I guess, solicitations to our wonderful readers, who’ve kept us in business. Incidentally, in the last mail sack, we took a vote, so to speak, about who got the most praise, and it’s sorta uniformly distributed. I think there were 700 votes for me. And maybe like 550 for one of the other guys. And 720 for the other. We’ll keep you in suspense for now, readers. But, basically, thanks for all the cards and letters and to the guy in Omaha who sent us that money. We can’t do much with it, but we’ll put it in a safe place, and maybe in a couple of years…
HAL: Just a postcard would be sufficient. Just to know that you’re reading us, you know. That’d be fine. I guess we just enjoy our jobs, basically. We just like coming here and reviewing these metal records.
MARTIN: If there’s any records that you readers would like us to review, we’d be more than happy to do it. That’s all I can say. Just send in that request with a few dollars and we’ll be happy to have it in an issue in the next three years
–Martin Dio, Jesse Grace & Hal Jordan
(CREEM CLOSE-UP: METAL ROCK âN’ ROLL, September 1985)