Love You To Pieces
Spreading The Disease
MARTIN: OK! Today we’re going to review the brand new album by a band called Lizzy Borden. They’re from Los Angeles and they’re on Enigma Records. No, wait–they’re on Metal Blade Records.
HAL: Great! That’s even greater!
MARTIN: Marketed by Enigma.
JESSE: Isn’t she the one that gave her mother 40 wacks? And when she was done she gave her father 42?
HAL: That’s the Lizzy Borden of historicity.
JESSE: Oh, hell.
HAL: This is the L.A.-based hard metal band.
MARTIN: I think we should point out a few things. We should point out that their logo looks like a combination of a bat and a hatchet blade.
HAL: I think that’s kind of imaginative. It looks like Batman!
MARTIN: And also that there’s a beautiful young thing on the front cover wearing her undies! Hal and I were wondering if she was indeed a member of the band, so we actually had to open up the record and pull out the insert to find out that although there is a band member named Lizzy Borden, it’s a guy!
HAL: He’s the singer.
MARTIN: Well, I don’t know about you guys, but, uh, looking at this record and looking at that insert that has a picture of the five guys–they’re kind of posing in the sort of metal-lifestyle way, with long hair, leopard-type stuff, studs. Tony Matuzak, the guitarist, has one of those eyepatches covering his left eye, apparently in homage to the Hathaway shirt commercials.
HAL: I think they look like they’re burnt-out. And they probably don’t care so much about their lives so far, because their lives haven’t been very memorable. In fact, I’ll bet when they look back they can’t even remember what they did yesterday. It was something dull, you know what I mean? They went to the store, got a bag of chips, maybe barbecue chips. Or something.
MARTIN: I think something that could be really fun would be to look at each one of these band members and imagine the life they’ve led that has brought them to being Lizzy Borden today. You guys think that would be a smart thing to do?
HAL: I think that’s an excellent idea!
JESSE: I don’t think that would be bad at all!!
MARTIN: OK, let’s consider: what was Mike Davis doing before he was a member of Lizzy Borden? Hal?
HAL: I think he worked for a potato chip company, that would be my guess. If I just had to guess outright. And I’ll bet he was probably one of the people that had to put all the chips in the bag, and make sure that–you know, ’cause you can’t cheat people–there has to be a certain number of chips…
MARTIN: Do they count the chips?
HAL: I don’t know if they count ’em or weigh ’em, but I’ll bet Mike Davis knows–because I’ll bet he worked for a prominent potato chip company! A good one! Not a bad one!
MARTIN: Any specific brand? Do you think?
HAL: I don’t know all the Los Angeles brands. Is Better Made a national brand?
MARTIN: No, I think that’s just a local Detroit one.
JESSE: I think we should put in a plug for Better Made! ‘Cause they really do make a good potato chip!
HAL: Well, let’s put it this way: I’ll bet he worked for a company that would be like the Better Made of the West Coast.
JESSE: OK! I’ll buy that. Inform our readers that if they ever make it to Michigan, they should try to get a bag of those Red-Hot Better Made potato chips, because those are the greatest!
MARTIN: Those are exceptional…
JESSE: They’re crunchy und dandy!
HAL: OK! Who’s next?
MARTIN: Joey Scott Harges is the drummer.
HAL: What do you think he’s been doing with his life, Jesse? I mean if you looked at his picture, what do you think? Where’s this man been?
JESSE: Well, let me see.
HAL: What’s brought him here to this impasse?
JESSE: I don’t know, it’s hard to say. He probably wasn’t a popular kid when he was young. He probably had a pizza face.
HAL: Do you think it scarred him?
JESSE: It probably scarred him for a long time.
HAL: Psychologically, I mean.
MARTIN: Perhaps once he was in bed with the woman of his dreams, and just at the moment of climax, so to speak, at that very second, the girl moaned, “I want a pepperoni pizza!”–and at that point his life went downhill.
HAL: I think it’s very likely that scenario–or something quite like it–happened.
MARTIN: OK! Tony Matuzak–first of all, he’s missing a left eye.
JESSE: The name sounds like something off of the Taxi TV show, doesn’t it?
MARTIN: I don’t know, I never watch television. I’m too cool.
HAL: I don’t even own a TV. I’m even cooler.
MARTIN: I’ll bet he doesn’t watch TV, and if he does, probably the left part of the screen is black.
JESSE: So you guys have been missing Solid Gold?
MARTIN: I don’t know what that is.
HAL: What are you talking about? We are the triumvirate of metal wisdom!
MARTIN: I think Tony Matuzak, when he was really small, was probably the kind of kid that would do mean things. He’d throw eggs at nuns’ mailboxes. He’d blow them up with firecrackers, M80’s and the like. And once he and his friend, Biff, decided to go out in the woods where there was a railroad track running by. And they thought for kicks they’d stick coins on the railroad tracks…
HAL: Lots of kids do that!
MARTIN: Well, I know I did that as a child.
HAL: I did, too!
MARTIN: I think what happened to Tony was, once he had too much fun doing it and maybe he took a complete roll of pennies and laid all 50 of them out on the tracks and when the train came speeding by, one, just a coincidence, one…
HAL: Duck,Tony, duck!
MARTIN: One came and punctured his eye! It went all the way to the back of his brain! It actually caused significant damage to both his face and his guitar-playing ability! Um, that could have happened.
HAL: Either that, or he probably tried to cut open a golf ball. That could’ve happened, too.
MARTIN: Oh, that stuff happens. Either rubber bands come and poke your eye out, or, of course the acid inside or the mini-explosion caused by the opening of the golf ball…That could’ve happened.
HAL: Do you think we could agree that whatever Tony did back then, he probably regrets it now and he would like to warn kids not to do whatever it was he did thatâ¦
JESSE: I think they might be trying to hint at it a little on some of the titles, about his eye damage. With “American Metal,” you know, he could have gotten a piece of metal in his eye.
HAL: American metal!
JESSE: “Flesh Eater.” Somebody might’ve tried to eat his eye.
MARTIN: Oh, that’s disgusting!
JESSE: “Warfare.” He might’ve lost it in the war. “Godiva”…
MARTIN: Maybe he saw Lady Godiva and if his eye offended thee, he plucked it out.
HAL: He might be a religious guy, you know?
JESSE: And of course, the last one, âRod Of Ironâ…
MARTIN & HAL: (Groan)
MARTIN: I don’t want to discuss that one.
JESSE: “Love You To Pieces.” “Red Rum,” he probably drank some…
MARTIN: He was so drunk, he probably … missed his mouth.
JESSE: “Save Me.” He probably started screaming “Save Me!” ’cause he thought he was dying.
HAL: I’ll bet he would say that, yeah. Or something like that.
MARTIN: Maybe it was the eye itself talking!
JESSE: Then there’s “Psychopath,” which is what happens when…
MARTIN: When you lose your eye, yeah. In The Book Of Eye Loss that I recently bought, there’s about five different methods, and they’re actually all in there. Surprisingly. Next is Gene Allen. He plays guitar.
HAL: You think he wanted to be in the movies when he was younger, but he didn’t make it so, you know, he ended up in kinda like a low-level metal band?
MARTIN: That could be. Or maybe when he was young he took biology and he realized that he had some problems with chromosome damage, and decided to just, you know, kind of let everybody know. “Gene”–G-E-N-E. Say it loud, say it proud. His genes are distorted, bad, wrong. He has bad genes. He probably should be put to death, purely on the basis of his genealogy.
HAL: But what age do you think he came to grips with this DNA problem that he has? And that he carries with him? And that he will pass on to his children, should he be fortunate enough to sire any?
MARTIN: I would say between 11 or 12.
HAL: Eleven and 12?
MARTIN: A disturbing time.
HAL: Well, let’s get on to Lizzy himself.
MARTIN: I think Lizzy is so important we should have a few theories about how Lizzy, what his life was…
JESSE: Do you think his parents were really so cruel as to name him Lizzy Borden?
HAL: I think his dad was a milkman that drove around, except he didn’t deliver milk. He delivered potato chips.
MARTIN: That could be! There’s a link there that we shouldn’t overlook. I have two theories, do you care to hear them?
HAL: Well, yeah, but we haven’t heard about the mom yet. I hope you can include her.
MARTIN: His mom will be a member. OK, first of all, as you probably noticed, Lizzy is short for the word “lizard.” Correct?
MARTIN: OK. I’m theorizing that Lizzy’s mother, incredibly enough, was from another planet. A planet of lizards. And–now here’s where the link comes all together–his father was, indeed, the milkman Hal spoke of, andâ¦
JESSE: But he delivered potato chips!
MARTIN: No. Here’s where you guys messed up. He delivered milk. Borden’s milk.
HAL: Borden’s milk. WOW!
MARTIN: So I think that comes together there.
HAL: Martin, you really got metal insight. I kind of envy you for that.
MARTIN: There’s one other thing…
JESSE: OK, but do you think that he grew up hating his parents, and he killed them with an ax?
MARTIN: Nope. Well, that could be.
HAL: Plus, we’ve got a genetic problem here. The mating between a human being milkman and a lizard from another planet.
MARTIN: Yes. It seems incomprehensible. Unless something else were to happen. Now I refer you to something someone once told me was on TV, which I, of course, didn’t see. I never watch TV. I’m sure everyone would remember that Elizabeth Montgomery portrayed Lizzy Borden in a filmed TV drama of some repute. Let’s forget that she’s E-LIZ-a-beth Montgomery, and let’s remember that she was on a TV show called Bewitched. She had powers far beyond that of mortal men. Powers such that she could cause a lizard and a human milkman that delivered Borden’s milk to consummate a relationship and actually result in a birth of a metal genius who would call himself Lizzy Borden and rule the world before his tongue was cut off in a horrible accident!
HAL: Incredible. But it all hangs together so well! I think we’re 99 percent sure that these theories are, in fact, correct.
MARTIN: Now that we’ve discussed the band, let’s talk about all three of our impressions of the record–which we listened to prior to doing this review. I’d like to say, first of all, that it’s the best heavy metal album Iâve ever heard in my entire life. What would you like to say?
HAL: I’d like to say that it really, really … can I say “sucks”? It really, really does suck. And I see no reason to not put them to death, in the slowest and most painful way.
MARTIN: Jesse, do you have any opinion?
JESSE: I think we should go have some potato chips!
MARTIN: OK, then we’re all agreed. We’ve all got the same feeling about the record–and we’re strong in our feelings.
HAL: It’s good that we get along like this!
JESSE: Yeah. So I guess that’s it, huh?
MARTIN: Nope. Not quite.
JESSE: What do you mean?
HAL: What about Anthrax?
JESSE: Oh yeah.
MARTIN: Anthrax are new and hip! According to this bio, which was, of course, mailed to the triumvirate of heavy metal wisdom, “Anthrax was formed in July 1981 by five musicians drawn together by their mutual love for hardcore and heavy metal.”
HAL: Utterly fascinating!
JESSE: Have you listened to it yet?
MARTIN: No. I was scared to, because of what else the bio says!
MARTIN: It says, “They’re Anthrax, and after one listen, your head will never be the same.”
MARTIN: It’s true!
HAL: Let de fish fry p’oceed!
(album is played)
MARTIN: Good lord, Hal–you now have the head of a goldfish!
HAL: Blub, blub!
JESSE: Martin, you look like a cigarette lighter!
HAL: Blub, blub!
MARTIN: Jesse, look at you! (Jesse looks in mirror) You look like a turnip!
JESSE: Oh no! They were right!
HAL: Blub, blub!
MARTIN: Oh God!
–Martin Dio, Hal Jordan & Jesse Grace
(CREEM CLOSE-UP: METAL ROCK âN’ ROLL, March 1986)