I’ve been a slave to heavy metal for as long as remember. I regularly listen for messages from Satan so that I might better do his bidding. And I also own spiked bracelets and pants made from assorted animal skins (I’m not saying I wear any of them with great regularity- it’s just that I have them with me in case I need them, which is the important part). The reason I bring this up is, a few years ago, when I was doing some of my regular metal research, I began scouring the Internet for information about Saint Vitus, one of my favorite metal bands. I was doing this because a lot of the time when I’m listening to metal I also like to read about metal. And while I was reading up on Saint Vitus, I saw a mention of a band they list as an influence, Pentagram. Somehow, even though- as mentioned- I am a slave to metal, I had never heard of them. Still, I figured if they were good enough to influence Saint Vitus (who are totally sweet), they must be pretty fucking sweet, so I decided to seek them out. And I’m glad I did because they are basically the best band ever, a mix of Black Sabbath, Blue Cheer, Deep Purple, the Yardbirds, and more drugs than any of those bands have ever consumed combined. I was instantly hooked and listened to pretty much nothing but Pentagram for the next few months straight. I forced everyone who came over to my apartment to listen to them too. And I tried to bring them up in conversation whenever possible. It must have been kind of annoying now that I think about it.
Given my affinity for metal research, I soon began to read up on Pentagram too. Turns out they formed in Maryland in the ‘70s and- thanks to the lead singer/songwriter/founder Bobby Liebling’s appetite for drugs and other forms of self-destruction- achieved repeated liftoffs before repeatedly crashing to the ground and starting all over again, kind of like the Wright Brothers before they finally got it right or something, I guess.
The reason I bring all this up is this past weekend I finally got around to watching “Last Days Here”, a documentary about Bobby Liebling, on Netflix Instant. The movie has been on the festival circuit for a while but now you can and should totally watch it in your home without having to wear a laminate or a wristband or anything. You don’t have to be a slave to metal to enjoy it either- you just have to like a good story. I don’t think this ruins it for you, but the gist of it is this: a guy lives with his parents, does tons of drugs, alienates everyone around him, and almost dies a million times until he is in his 50s and finally gets it together enough to get the band back together. They play a triumphant show in New York City (Yes, I was there and was also really, really hammered) and eventually Bobby meets a twentysomething superfox and, well, I don’t even want to tell you what happens next. Just watch the movie.
Also, I was lucky enough to meet the guy who’s music I became so obsessed with. You can watch a video of us chatting here:
Bride of Evil,