METALSUCKS.NET: Suckalo Adam Ellsworth sent us the below photo of a painting a friend made for him. That’s a good friend – the painting is apparently an EPIC 30” x 30” without the frame. It portrays, in Adam’s words, “Dave Mustaine fighting a manticore with James Hetfield’s face while Vic Rattlehead cuts off Kirk Hammett’s hair in the background.” And there’s the Metallica/Megadeth feud summed up in a nutshell. MORE
MOTHER JONES: On his rise to the top of the Republican charts, Rick Santorum has picked up plugs and plaudits from media and entertainment luminaries including Glenn Beck, the Duggars, Pat Boone, and Dave Mustaine. Wait, what? Dave Mustaine? The heavy-metal ex-warlock is an admirer of Rick Santorum? In a recent interview with MusicRadar, Mustaine—the Megadeth frontman, former Metallica guitarist, and pillar of the 1980s thrash metal movement—said that Santorum possesses some truly presidential qualities:
Earlier in the election…when the dude went home to be with his daughter when she was sick, that was very commendable. Also, just watching how he hasn’t gotten into doing these horrible, horrible attack ads like Mitt Romney’s done against Newt Gingrich…I’m hoping that if it does come down to it, we’ll see a Republican in the White House…and that it’s Rick Santorum.
When you consider the contrast between the Christian right and—oh, you know—the satanic symbolism and violent sexuality associated with heavy-metal music, Mustaine’s pseudo-endorsement* might seem born out of a slight cognitive dissonance. But when you think about it more, is there really anything more metal than a guy who talks obsessively about sex, the devil, and the imminent destruction of all that is sacred and holy? Take our short quiz to find out if you can tell the difference between Rick Santorum quotes and things Dave Mustaine has said and sung. MORE
RELATED: Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine has said he is opposed to the legalization of gay marriage. The 50-year-old Mustaine told KIRO 97.3 FM Seattle Sounds‘ Josh Kerns that he does not support marriage equality because he’s a Christian and not gay. “Since I’m not gay, the answer to that would be no,” Mustaine said. “Would you support legislation to make marriage between a man and another man legal?” Kerns asked. “I’m Christian, and the answer to that would be no,” he responded. MORE
RELATED: Considering the kinds of things conservative Christians had to say about hard music in the 1980s and ’90s, it might seem like Mustaine, 50, is trying to love his enemies. Religious antipathy toward rock music goes all the way back to the Beatles and beyond, but the attacks on Mustaine’s genre were particularly passionate. Conservative Christian books and magazines overflowed with warnings to parents about the dangerous influence of heavy metal, citing everything from satanic symbols on album covers to subliminal messages to the supposedly demonic effects of the “rock beat.” Metallica and Marilyn Manson were among the leading cultural villains, tempting the youth of America toward subversive movements like the game Magic: The Gathering and Wiccanism.
But if they’d listened a little more closely, they might have heard people like Mustaine articulating a message—though admittedly a version decked out in the F word, black leather, and faux-Satanism—not altogether unlike their own cultural alarmism. In a 1988 interview in the British music newspaper Sounds, Mustaine said, “It says in the Bible that men should not lay with men like they lay with women. I mean I don’t wanna f–k up and not go to heaven.” In the same interview, he added some thoughts on immigration that seem ripped from a 2012 GOP debate transcript. “If I were president of the United States, I’d build a great wall along the Mexican border and not let anybody in.” He also dished to conspiracy theorist and radio personality Alex Jones about the “new world order,” a pervasive scare trope of ’90s evangelical entertainment, including the Left Behind series.
Mustaine’s socially conservative values, however, weren’t doing much for his own life at the time. His rocky two-year stint in Metallica in the early ’80s ended in large part over his raging alcoholism and drug use. Some years later, he turned to Christianity after growing discontent with Alcoholics Anonymous. In a 2007 interview with Decibel magazine, Mustaine explained: “It’s supposed to be founded in believing in God, but say the word God in an AA meeting and most people’s asses grow together. So I kinda just went to the source … I figured I’d go direct to God, cut out the middleman, and not have to pay my dollar every week.”
In the mid-2000s, the now-born-again Mustaine belatedly discovered the ’90s religious right’s passion for boycotts. He threatened to pull Megadeth out of a 2005 festival that featured other metal bands named Rotting Christ and Dissection over their professed Satanism. “I’ve never believed in singing about Satan and thinking he’s cool, because he’s not,” he told Decibel. “As far as me playing with bands like that, I started thinking, ‘You know what, Dave? You’re a headliner. If you don’t wanna play with people that make you uncomfortable, you don’t have to.’ Especially if they’re singing about the confessed enemy of someone you believe in. I mean, what idiot gets onstage with their confessed enemy?’ ” Today, Mustaine has swung even further into line with the religious right and its latest iteration, the Tea Party. Obama is “the most divisive president we’ve ever had.” MORE
RICK SANTORUM: This is a spiritual war. And the Father of Lies has his sights on what you would think the Father of Lies would have his sights on: a good, decent, powerful, influential country – the United States of America. If you were Satan, who would you attack in this day and age. There is no one else to go after other than the United States and that has been the case now for almost two hundred years, once America’s preeminence was sown by our great Founding Fathers. He didn’t have much success in the early days. Our foundation was very strong, in fact, is very strong. But over time, that great, acidic quality of time corrodes even the strongest foundations. And Satan has done so by attacking the great institutions of America, using those great vices of pride, vanity, and sensuality as the root to attack all of the strong plants that has so deeply rooted in the American tradition. He was successful. He attacks all of us and he attacks all of our institutions. The place where he was, in my mind, the most successful and first successful was in academia. He understood pride of smart people. He attacked them at their weakest, that they were, in fact, smarter than everybody else and could come up with something new and different. Pursue new truths, deny the existence of truth, play with it because they’re smart. And so academia, a long time ago, fell. […] The culture is where their next success was and I need not even go into the state of the popular culture today. Whether its sensuality of vanity of the famous in America, they are peacocks on display and they have taken their poor behavior and made it fashionable. The corruption of culture, the corruption of manners, the corruption of decency is now on display whether it’s the NBA or whether it’s a rock concert or whether it’s on a movie set. MORE
RICK SANTORUM: ‘What’s Burning Down Here’? Could It Be…Satan?
“Well I’m burning, I’m burning, I’m burning for you
I’m burning, I’m burning, I’m burning for you
Burn out the day
Burn out the night
I can’t see no reason to put up a fight
I’m living for giving the devil his due
And I’m burning, I’m burning, I’m burning for you.”
– Blue Oyster Cult, “I’m Burning For You”