Mad Metal Man

[REBLOG] #935: LeBrain Train Finale Stats and Analysis

It was a year ago when burnout set in and I took a hiatus from the LeBrain Train for the first time.  We did an excellent show with some very special guests.  Please enjoy the writeup, and a re-run of the show.  One year sure has flown by!


RECORD STORE TALES #935: LeBrain Train Finale and Stats

A week ago we wrapped up the weekly LeBrain Train series to take a nice break.  This has allowed me to devote more time to listening and writing and living!

It’s also been enlightening to look at the last 18 months of shows, and the feedback of viewers and my fellow co-hosts.  Harrison the Mad Metal Man went to the trouble of graphing everyone’s picks for favourite episodes — 11 lists total.  Have a look at the stats and click to zoom in for details.

It’s rewarding to see that most of the shows were on somebody’s favourite list.  Even some of the shows I thought were not very good.  Even one of the early shows, pre-Nigel Tufnel Top Ten, made a list thanks to Harrison.  The very first Tufnel list show was Rush, which showed up on three lists.  This must be heartwarming for Uncle Meat, who was the originator of that Nigel Tufnel Top Ten list idea.

In the beginning I was resistant to doing list shows.  “I hate lists!” I complained.  (Because they’re hard — I could do five Rush lists in one night, all different.)  But Meat persisted, and came up with the Tufnel gimmick.  The concept, based on everyone’s favourite scene in This Is Spinal Tap, is that we call it a “top ten” but we really go to 11.  The gimmick appealed to me, and when we actually went live that day, the Meat Man and I had some great lists.  We also had a Rush list from Michael Morwood making it a nice tight three.  The next week we did Kiss and brought more people in.  The ability to bring in participants this way really appealed to me and the show began to take off.

That Rush list show could definitely use a re-visit….

Votes for favourite shows are clustered on the latter half.  The votes focus mostly on shows from late November 2020 onwards.  At that point streams starting getting a lot longer with more guests.  What do you think is the ideal time for a live show?  I think two hours is prime, but we’re a talkative bunch and most of the later shows clocked in over three hours.  Viewers seem to like a variety of guests with a lot of conflicting opinions, but keeping it to two hours is impossible!

Another interesting thing about these statistics is the way the interview shows break down.  Most of us decided to choose only one show per celebrity — so even though Andy Curran appeared three times, we only picked one each.  So it might appear bizarre that some great, great interviews got no votes:  Brent Jensen’s first visit, and Andy’s first and third did not make any lists.  Only because each of those guys did one show that was far and above some of the best stuff we’ve ever done!

Overall there were six shows tied for first place:

  1. One Hit Wonders.  Probably due to Max the Axe’s hilarious appearance that night.
  2. Top Maiden Artwork.  A very visual show with some serious fans.
  3. Andy Curran/Mike Fraser double header.  A magical moment when the two guys got to talk to each other while Deke and I just sat back and smiled.
  4. Paul Laine.  Truly a special interview and special moment for John Snow and I.
  5. Top Spielberg Films.  A recent show.  The velvety voice of Erik Woods had a lot to do with this!  But it was also truly a great set of lists.
  6. Top Animated Films.  Another recent show (with Woods!) and one I went into with barely any knowledge of animated films at all.

It’s very pleasing to see those last two shows on so many lists.  It proves we were doing quality work right to the end.  I have no doubt the final episode would have made lists too if we could do it again!

Mostly, Harrison’s graph tells me yet again that it wasn’t for nothing.  It meant something to people, and it was consistent if not growing.  We didn’t do a handful of great shows.  We did a series of consistently great episodes.  Peaks and valleys, yes, but lots of peaks.

The Writer’s Room: The Adventures of Tee Bone Man will return after these messages….

August 20, 2022. The Writer’s Room.

“OK guys!” I said as I put my coffee down on the table. “What do we have coming up for Tee Bone Man?”

Harrison officially began the meeting. “I believe you are next with your Deke-centric story, correct Mr. LeBrain?”

“That’s right,” I answered. “That will go up next week. That’s a very special one.  For reasons we will see.”

Harrison smiled.  He understood what was in store for Superdekes.

The 80s Metal Man spoke next, the newest member at the writer’s table.   “And if I am correct, after your Deke story, I will go next month with my time travel tale.”

“Wahoo!” shouted Aaron.

“And after time travel,” answered Harrison, “I have my next story lined up. It is pretty epic and involves a lot of song references and a little bit of foreshadowing.”

“Awesome sauce,” I responded.

Snowman piped in next. “I have an idea for a space-based adventure.”

“Wahoo!” shouted Aaron.

“That sounds great, Snowman. Will there be an even bigger Gene Simmons box set in this one? 10,000 discs of outtakes this time?”

Snowman laughed, but declined to answer the question. “You’ll just have to wait and see. But since you all think I look like Richard Dreyfuss, it might be fun to do a Close Encounters homage with Tee Bone Man and Superdekes.”

Harrison spoke up. “I’m very much looking forward to doing the Lego art on that one, Snowman. Please keep me posted so I can get started on it as soon as possible.”

“Wahoo!” shouted Aaron.

“Hey Harrison,” I said. “How is it going with the Lego art anyway?”

“Very well thank you,” responded the mustachioed Australian metal madman. “But as you can see, it’s not simple artwork by any means. I’d like a month between story chapters in order to perfect the artwork for each.”

The writers at the table all nodded their heads in agreement.

“Wahoo!” shouted Aaron.

“How about you, Aaron?” I queried. “Got anything cooking for Tee Bone Man?”

“Wahoo! I mean, no, not at the moment but I am sure I can come up with another one,” answered Aaron.

“Give ‘er!” I responded, throwing one of his favourite sayings at him. “You’re always welcome to contribute. It would be fun if you included yourself in your next story. We all have.” The table nodded in agreement again.

“OK, so let me get this all straight, just to make sure we’re all on the same page.” I was very excited for how well this was all going, with this creative bunch of writers.  “I’m next with my Deke chapter. Then Metal Man is on deck. Harrison goes after Metal Man. That’s the next two to three months of content right there. We are in good shape, I think.”

“I agree,” said Harrison. “And having read Metal Man’s chapter already, I think it’s good enough to break the multiverse.”

Metal Man smiled at the compliment. “Thank you,” he said. “I might have to write a sequel, I had so much story to fit in there.”

“You’re more than welcome to write a sequel,” I responded. “I’d also like to get some fresh blood in the writer’s room, see if anyone else has a good story to contribute.”

Breaking the fourth wall, Snowman spoke, to you the reader! “That’s right. Whoever is out there reading this right now, if you think you have what it takes, leave a comment below. There are lot of people that know Tee Bone and Superdekes, who could probably do a great job.”

A shudder came over Harrison. “But keep in mind, I can only do art for one per month.”

“And none of us want you to rush it,” I said. “But keep in mind the whole idea was for this to be a community effort.”

“COMMUNITY!” shouted Aaron.

The table nodded in agreement again. I sipped my coffee and continued. “I understand your concerns, and obviously we don’t want things to get bogged down too much.” Like Snowman, I then broke the fourth wall and spoke directly to the readers. “We just all want you, the reader, to understand we want inclusivity. Maybe Lana can come up with a story. Who knows, maybe even Deke will have an idea. I just want people to know this is for all of us.”

I stood and walked around the table to address all the writers.

“You guys are all killing it. We already have some amazing chapters written and it’s only getting better. I want you guys to know how much I appreciate you jumping on this idea with me…” I noticed Aaron had his hand up to ask a question. “Yeah, Aaron? What’s up.”

“I can’t help but notice you’re not wearing pants,” he said flatly.

I looked down and saw he was right.

“Didn’t you get the memo from Tee Bone? It’s time to tell the world – Fuck Pants!”

THE ADVENTURES OF TEE BONE MAN

Chapter One: A Friend in Need (by LeBrain)

Chapter Two: Hell Freezes Over (by Harrison Kopp)

Chapter Three: Hell Ain’t A Bad Place to Be (by LeBrain)

Chapter Four: Tee Bone Man and the Rink of…Doom? (by Aaron KMA)

Chapter Five: The Super Duper Vault (by John Snow)

Chapter Six: Tee Bone Man Goes to Camp (by LeBrain)
COMING SOON: Chapter Seven!

The Adventures of Tee Bone Man and Superdekes – The Story So Far

On this Canada Day, please enjoy reading the exploits of Canada’s greatest superheroes: Tee Bone Man and Superdekes!

This series of fun, clever and witty rock and roll adventures is written by a collective of creators, and you can join too!  But first, catch up on what has happened so far and what is to come.

 


THE ADVENTURES OF TEE BONE MAN

Chapter One:  A Friend in Need (by LeBrain)

As a caravan of Southern Ontario rockers travel north through Thunder Bay, they encounter a terror like none they have ever seen before.  Far from home and out of their element, a “meaty man” and “brainiac” find themselves at the mercy of a legendary beast.  Only with the sudden arrival of two mysterious superheroes do they even stand a chance of survival!

Chapter Two:  Hell Freezes Over (by Harrison Kopp)

Devastating earthquakes threaten all humankind.  Seemingly originating from the continent of Australia, Tee Bone Man makes his way south to investigate.  Teaming up with a young “Man with the Moustache”, they soon realize the only way to stop the earthquakes and save the planet is to eradicate them right from their source — hell!  But how to get there?  Perhaps El Moustachio can help!

Chapter Three:  Hell Ain’t A Bad Place to Be (by LeBrain)

Continuing from chapter two, Tee Bone Man and El Moustachio enlist the aid of Superdekes as they battle the armies of hell!  With action scenes straight out of Tolkien, our trio of heroes must defeat orcs, demons, dragons and far worse to stop the earthquakes.  When the Man with the Moustache discovers a secret doorway, they meet the evil entity responsible.  His goals will shock you!

Chapter Four:  Tee Bone Man and the Rink of…Doom?  (by Aaron KMA)

In their strangest adventure yet, Tee Bone Man and Superdekes encounter a new foe unlike any they have dealt with before.  Is it real, or just fantasy?  Decide for yourself as Tee Bone Man wields a hockey stick instead of a guitar and tries to catch a rat!

Chapter Five:  The Super Duper Vault  (by John Snow)

This chapter takes us back on the highway to hell and its evil ruler, the great Satan himself!  Never satisfied, the terrible red one now covets something truly unique.  Sending new minions dubbed the Knights in Satan’s Service to Earth, they seek the one known as the Snowman!  For he possesses the only copy of the Super Duper Vault, featuring 666 CDs of Gene Simmons outtakes.  Satan wants it and will stop at nothing.  Sounds like a call to Tee Bone Man and Superdekes is in order!


COMING SOON!  What will happen to our heroes next?

Chapter Six:  Tee Bone Man Goes to Camp (by LeBrain)

Well overdue for a vacation, Tee Bone Man treks to camp.  But all is not as it should be.

Chapter Seven (by 80sMetalMan)

Chapter Eight (by Harrison Kopp)

Chapter Nine (by LeBrain)

Stay tuned for the adventure is only beginning!

 

Bassically Collectables! Rob, Harrison and Mike show off their treasures

The always difficult-to-please Chris Sarre called this a “Top Five” show last night, and I’m flattered but have to agree with him!  Thanks to Rob from Visions In Sound, and Harrison the Man Metal Man for showing off your music and entertainment collectables last night.  From rare CDs, autographs and Australian exclusives, to board games, books and odds n’ ends, we saw a lot of cool items with great stories behind them.

Hightlights:

  • Colm Feore autograph and story
  • Custom Lego minifigs
  • Stop-motion transformations
  • Gimli the Cat
  • Sealed action figures
  • Vintage Atari games
  • Fender acoustic bass formerly owned by the late Don Simmons of Helix

Thanks to all who watched and participated live in the comments.  Apologies for the sniffling.  Those board games were dusty and triggered my allergies.

No show next time, time for a break!  Thanks for watching and we’ll see ya when we see ya!

Cool Collectables + Helix Bass tonight on the LeBrain Train

The LeBrain Train: 2000 Words or More with Mike & Friends

Episode 111 – Cool Collectables!  Helix bass, Rob Daniels and Harrison Kopp!

 

Tonight I’ll be showing off some previously unseen treasures of my collection.  The summer months offer a wealth of riches, including a variety of things at the cottage.  From books and magazines to toys and games, and finally my new acoustic bass formerly owned by the late Don Simmons of Helix, there will be plenty of fun things to look at tonight.  Rob from Visions In Sound, and Harrison the Man Metal Man will be on hand as well with their own treasures.

While this episode will be less focused on music than usual, it will be 100% zoomed-in on fun.

NOTE:  I am not a musician, so no song requests on the new bass!  I am a casual fan just looking to fart around to some records this summer on the porch.  We will be taking a nice close look at the bass but I will not be able to play you a song.

As always, your participation is encouraged and desired.  As David Lee Roth said, “It ain’t no good without an audience” so please like, share and join us live!

Friday June 1, 7:00 PM E.S.T.  on YouTubeFacebook and also Facebook!

 

Revenge of the Lists: All 11 Star Wars films discussed in detail!

Did Harrison really cause Erik and Rob to walk off the show?  Did Rob drop two “F-bombs”?  Did Harrison actually smile in the featured image?  Was this one of our best shows ever?

“It’s true.  All of it.”

Our esteemed panel of Jedi masters tonight were:

  • Erik Woods – movie and soundtrack expert
  • Robert Daniels – movie and soundtrack expert
  • Harrison Kopp – young fella who grew up on prequels and Clone Wars
  • LeBrain – old fart

Opinions veered wildly on the 11 Star Wars films we examined in great detail tonight.  While you may never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy, I also will contend you will not find a more passionate Star Wars discussion than the one we had this week.

Truly one of our best shows, and we barely scratched the surface of these films.  Perhaps a deeper dive is in order for the future.

 

Tonight! May the Rankings Be With Us: All 11 Star Wars films rated by our panel of experts!

The LeBrain Train: 2000 Words or More with Mike Ladano and Friends

Episode 108 – All the Star Wars films, ranked!

 

This is a show that has been in the works a long time.  A long time.  I understand you’re Star Wars fans yourselves!  Then you will love this show we have lined up for you tonight.

The Nigel Tugnel Top Ten list format — a top 11 — is perfect for cases like this.  Tonight our panel of experts (top men!) will rank all 11 films (9 Saga movies plus 2 spinoffs).  This is sure to get hairy (Wookiee style) due to the diversity of the panel:

  • Erik Woods – movie and soundtrack expert
  • Robert Daniels – movie and soundtrack expert
  • Harrison Kopp – young fella who grew up on prequels and Clone Wars
  • LeBrain – old fart

Note:  We are only counting the 11 live action theatrical films, not any made-for-video films, or the animated Clone Wars (which did have a brief theatrical run).  Oh sure, Harrison might try to throw a curve ball but the rules are clear.

At the end of the night, will we have consensus?  I sure hope not!  What I do expect is plenty of lively conversation with maybe a little trash-talk.

Friday May 13, 7:00 PM E.S.T.  on YouTubeFacebook and also Facebook!

Raise Your Fist and Yell for these Alice Cooper Deep Cuts

Thank you to Marco from the Contrarians for your awesome contributions to this week’s discussion: Alice Cooper Deep Cuts!  And thanks as always to co-host Harrison the Mad Metal Man!  Harrison really came out of the box with some obscure but still notable songs that you need to check out.  The thing about Alice Cooper is…he’s so prolific, and even on the albums you might not like as much, there are always a standout song or two.  I was surprised to find so much love for certain songs (“Roses On White Lace”, “Aspirin Damage”, “Make That Money (Scrooge’s Song)”, “Fresh Blood” and more).  Alice’s albums were well represented on these lists, with only a handful going unmentioned.  Even so, our runners-up lists covered the shadowy corners of the discography.

More thanks:  Holen & Buried On Mars with two more lists of great songs that need to be heard and appreciated more often.

If you watched this episode live, I appreciate you too!  Another great Friday night for the books!

Alice Cooper Deep Cuts – With Marco from the Contrarians, Harrison and LeBrain!

The LeBrain Train: 2000 Words or More with Mike Ladano and Friends

Episode 107 – Alice Cooper Deep Cuts – Nigel Tufnel Top Ten lists

Tonight, please tune in to a list show over a year in the making!  Harrison the Mad Metal Man has been asking to do this theme for ages now, and we finally got the right trio to do it.  Marco from the Contrarians will be completing the panel tonight as we list off our Alice Cooper Deep Cuts.  No singles, no live concert staples.   Each of us will be listing 11 tracks for the full Nigel Tufnel Top Ten experience.

Think about it a minute.  There are all the classic Alice Cooper Band records, including the obscure opening duo of Pretties For You and Easy Action.  Not long after the classic run, the “blackout” albums that Alice doesn’t remember making.  The late 80s had their fair share of great deep cuts on Coop’s horror-themed Constrictor and Raise Your Fist and Yell.  Then we have Cooper’s entire output for the last 30 years with plenty of hidden gems.  Add in some pretty cool soundtracks and B-sides.  Yes, there will be a wealth of Alice riches tonight.

Your live participation means all the world to us, so I hope you can make it.  Go Leafs?

Friday May 6, 7:00 PM E.S.T.  on YouTubeFacebook and also Facebook!

 

The Adventures of Tee Bone Man – Chapter Three: Hell Ain’t A Bad Place To Be

Previously…

“Ready?”

“As I’ll ever be” came Tee Bone’s reply. “Let’s do this”

The Australian pressed the accelerator, and with the roar of the eight-cylinder engine, the car lurched forward and began its journey towards Hell. The needle climbed with every passing second, but even with the power of Tee Bone’s Scotch coursing through it, the old Ford was not what it used to be.

The Australian began to worry. They were not going fast enough, and they would run into a turn or, worse, another car soon. He threw his head back towards the direction of Tee Bone

“I don’t think we’re gonna make it!”

“Hold on!” Tee Bone yelled back. Then he began to wind his arm around a couple times, gathering air. The supercharger roared with delight. Then he hit the loudest power chord he had ever played, and the car surged forward as the world seemed to disappear in a flash of white.

For several seconds the only sound either of the men heard was the engine in front of them. Then colour returned to their vision. The colour red.

They had made it to Hell. Now they just needed to find the source of these disturbances, stop them and get back to the real world without dying. Somehow.

CHAPTER THREE: HELL AIN’T A BAD PLACE TO BE

“How did I get into this mess?” asked the Australian to himself, hiding behind a rock. “48 hours ago, I was grooming my moustache in my room, listening to the superior Blaze Bayley…and now here I am trapped in Hell with a madman!”

The flying madman in question, dressed in tights and cape, and wielding an electric guitar, was like a whirling dervish in the middle of a hellish landscape too twisted and horrific to describe.

Yet the sound of it all was music to the mustachioed Australian’s ears.


Earlier…

The spell had worked, and the pair entered Hell. With world-rending earthquakes set to ravage the Earth, Tee Bone Man and his young accomplice sought to find the source of the seismic waves, at the very core of the underworld. Surely they did not expect the entrance to the everlasting fire be unguarded, but what they faced before them was beyond their sickest nightmares.

Staring the pair down were thousands upon thousands of monsters. Assorted ghouls from the tradition of fire and brimstone: demons, goblins, evil spirits, orcs, darkfriends, dragons, and worse. If Tolkien had crossed paths with George R.R. Martin to write the ultimate battle scene, you’d still be looking at a day at a picnic compared to what our heroic duo now stared down!

Tee Bone Man was unshaken.

“Hold this?” he asked casually of his smaller friend, handing over his trademark black Van Halen mask for safekeeping.

“This means business.” Tee Bone Man reached behind his electric guitar, and unscrewed a compartment.

“Secret stash,” he winked as he grabbed a tiny capsule. “Scotch on the rocks.”

Tee Bone Man opened the capsule and downed the noxious substance inside. Suddenly he glowed in radioactive green light as he seemed to grow two times in size.

“Listen, friend,” Tee Bone said to the Australian. “I’m sorry you got dragged into this. But we’re not alone. Use this transmitter, call for help. Ask for Superdekes.” He handed the smaller man a pager-like device with a picture of an amp head on it. “We’ve opened the gates of Hell, he should be able to get in without having to do the spell over again, right?”

“Affirmative,” answered the Australian. “But the portal only stays open for one day. If you’re expecting help, help better hurry.”

Tee Bone Man winked again. “No problem for this guy. He’s inventive.”

With that, the hero grabbed his guitar, and began shredding. Lightning and flame ripped from the instrument, striking the demons and orcs charging their way. Tee Bone Man then ascended above them and dive-bombed the demons with the kind of power riffs they had never heard before. Even for hellspawn, the brain-melting power of the music was far too much to handle. Dozens at a time, the monsters were slain by the flying guitar slinger, banking to and fro in the air, dodging spears, axes and arrows.

“Take cover!” he yelled below to his friend.

Hiding behind a rock, the Australian pushed a button on the transmitter given to him by Tee Bone Man.


Somewhere in the tundra of Thunder Bay, Superdekes was fretting.

The quakes were worsening. They were worldwide. And he had not heard from his friend Tee Bone Man. Tracking him was usually routine, but this time he disappeared off the map. Not that Tee Bone Man couldn’t take care of himself, but this was the most critical adventure yet. This wasn’t just saving a bunch of southerners from a Sasquatch, this was saving the world!

A crackle on the radio.

“Come in? Tee Bone?” begged Superdekes into the microphone.

He paused and waited. “Anyone there?”

Suddenly another crackle, louder this time.

“Hello, I’m looking for Superdekes,” came a voice with a unique accent that was uncategorizable. “Come in Superdekes!”

“This is Superdekes, who’s this on Tee Bone’s radio?”

“This is Harrison Holden in Australia…well, Hell actually. Tee Bone Man and I are outnumbered and we need your help! Can you track us from this signal? The portal will only be open for 23 more hours and I don’t know if Tee Bone Man can hold them off that long!” A short pause followed and then the voice returned. “I am completely unarmed and hiding behind a rock. Not the most comfortable position to be in while being divebombed by parademons.”

“Oh boy,” said Superdekes to himself. “What did Tee Bone get himself into this time?” He pushed the button on his device again. Into the radio he spoke. “No problem kid. I can be there in a jiffy. I’ve been working on something. As for being unarmed, I got your back. Sit tight. What did you say your name was again?”

“I’m Harrison, from Australia,” the young man answered. “They call me the Man with the Moustache.”

“See you soon, Moustache Man,” answered Superdekes. He opened the door to the garage of their headquarters, Deke’s Palace.

Deke’s old black motorcycle helmet and suit hung on the wall, but the bike in the center of the room was brand new. It glimmered with a fiery red sheen, seemingly independent of the ambient light in the room. It evoked power, speed, and stealth all at once. It was a beauty.

“I was hoping to give this baby a trial run first, but duty calls. And you always gotta do your rock and roll duty.”

Superdekes opened a weapons locker, packed a couple bags, and sat atop the bike. With the push of a button, the whisper-quiet engine was engaged. Superdekes lowered the visor of his helmet and revved. The garage door opened and he rode out into the Thunder Bay arctic sun. It was frosty for August, as his breath formed clouds in front of his face.

With a sudden charge, the fire-red bike tore off, down the secret driveway onto the road.

“Here we go,” said Superdekes with a tinge of concern. He opened a control panel on the dash of his bike and flipped a toggle. As he accelerated down the road, flaps emerged from the sides of the bike, forming horizontal wings. At 160 kilometers per hour, Superdekes began to climb!

The flying motorcycle set course for the south Pacific, and Superdekes engaged the afterburners. Like the USS Enterprise going to warp speed, the bike disappeared in the air as it raced to save the world.


Wave after wave had fallen but our hero fought on!

With a stab, he impaled a hideous troll through the back with his guitar. A swing of the weapon removed the head from another. A kick to the face, and another one bit the dust. Focusing all his power, Tee Bone Man created the ultimate power chord and aimed it directly at a dragon overhead. With a thunderous cry, the mighty beast fell, unable to withstand distortion of that magnitude.

But they were getting nowhere! With young Harrison pinned down behind a rock, and Tee Bone fully engaged battling enemies, there was no way to find the source of, and stop the earthquakes.

“This is ridiculous,” said the young Australian. “I’m not hiding here behind a rock all day! I’ve got to find the source of the quakes.”

Venturing out, the man evaded the eyes of evil. He slunk along a line of rocks, using his keen Australian sense of seismic forces to triangulate the quakes. As Tee Bone Man blasted beasts overhead, the young man leaped from cover to cover, sensing he was getting closer.

A flying insectoid beasty landed right before him! It bared its fangs and approached.

“Meesa in big doo doo this time,” sighed the Australian as he prepared to defend himself hand to hand against the giant bug.

As the beasty dove at him to attack, it was distracted by a sound overhead. It looked up.

“Hey, Harrison! El Moustachio! Catch!”

The young Australian looked up and gasped at a sight he’d never seen before: a sleek flying motorcycle, slicing through the air like an arrow! Atop the flying bike, a rider in black. He tossed the young man a weapon.

A moustache-shaped weapon! A sonic boomerang!

“Thanks Superdekes!” shouted the young man with a smile on his face. He raised the moustache-shaped weapon and aimed. He’d been throwing boomerangs all his life, since Grade 1 Boomerang class at the local school. With deadly aim, he fired the weapon, which hummed with sonic cutting power. It swiftly removed an arm and two legs from the beast, leaving it Anakin-crippled in the hot sand.

“I hate sand,” mumbled Harrison Holden to himself, as the moustacherang returned to his deft hand.

Flying overhead and shredding chords, Tee Bone man saw that he had been joined by Superdekes. The tide was turning!

“Nice bike,” said Tee Bone. “When were you planning on telling me about your flying motorcycle?”

With a smirk Superdekes answered, “Since you can fly and I can’t, I was going to surprise you one day when you were on your morning scotch run. Surprise!” With that, Dekes nailed a couple flying demons with the sonic blasters attached to the wings of his bike.

Like old pros, the two formed up a position, and deftly took down a dozen or more airborne threats in one efficient strike. Below them, young Harrison Holden was tearing through a row of demons with his new favourite weapon.

“I do like this thing,” he said to no-one in particular.

Another one down, and the Australian noticed something in the rock wall dead ahead.

“Guys! This is El Moustachio,” he shouted into the transmitter. “I think I found the source. There’s a big door up ahead in the mountain face!”

Tee Bone Man looked down and saw the same thing. “I’ll clear you a path. Get to that door!” He blasted a clearing through the monsters with a supercharged solo from the Satriani book of rock.

As if on cue, the Australian bolted like Harry LaSalles towards the stone entrance. To his surprise, it opened right before his eyes! Could it be a trap? He was prepared for anything. Almost.

Harrison kept running until he entered…a beautifully decorated and lit 18th century hallway, right out of the most luxurious mansion he’d ever seen depicted. He came to a dead stop and looked around him. Paintings adored the walls; sculptures decorated the corners. There was a brightly lit room straight ahead, unguarded, and so he entered. What he saw, he could not believe. A Ming vase…a priceless Stradivarius violin…a Da Vinci sketch…a signed Gretzky rookie card…this place was beyond “millionaire” and straight into “billionaire”. What was it doing in the middle of Hell?

“Welcome, young Holden,” said a sinister voice from a dark corner, the only dark corner in the room.

“Show yourself!” demanded the young man.

“But of course,” answered the voice. On switched a light, and before him Harrison saw a red figure. Exactly as Derek Riggs had drawn him on Iron Maiden’s album covers, sat the Devil himself, comfortably in a plush chair.

“Please allow me to introduce myself, but I think you already know my name.”

“I do,” said Harrison with a lump in his throat. He certainly didn’t expect to have to face off against the great Satan all by himself. Then he remembered the transmitter in his pocket and covertly opened a channel.

“What do you want, foul one?” he said mustering all the courage he could find. “What do you want with the world? Stop your earthquakes or I’ll finish this myself!” He could not believe he was hearing himself say these things, but here he was! He felt stronger and more confident than he ever had before.

The unholiest saw through it. “You cannot hurt me, boy. But you do not have to hurt me. Let’s get to it. What I want, you have already brought with you.”

Now truly scared, Harrison answered defiantly, “Oh yeah? What’s that you evil wretch? Whatever it is, you won’t get it!”

A smile went from pointed ear to pointed ear. “I want Tee Bone Man’s autograph.”

A long pause.

“Say that again?” asked the young man.

“What I want,” said the sinister Devil, “is Tee Bone’s autograph. You see my collection here. Over there to my right, in the frame on the wall?” He pointed a long red fingernail at a record on the wall. “That’s an original. Beatles Yesterday and Today with the ‘butcher’ cover. Beautiful picture, I might add.” Lucifer paused and snickered to himself. “You know, it’s funny. All the shit that John Lennon took about being ‘bigger than Jesus’? You’re probably too young to remember that. They all said he’d be going straight to Hell for saying that. But do you see John Lennon here? No. Some of the people who swore he’d be coming here are now my neighbours, but one thing I don’t have in my collection is John Lennon.” He paused a moment, seemingly in sadness. Could a being this evil ever truly know sadness? “At least I could have Tee Bone Man’s autograph.”

A muscular figure loomed in the doorway. “If that’s what it will take to end this, then let’s talk, Devil.” Tee Bone Man, weary from the battle and covered with demon blood, entered the room. His supercharged presence lit the area even brighter. He winked at Harrison. Turning on that transmitter was a good idea.

“But why the hell — pardon the pun — why the hell didn’t you just ask me?” asked Tee Bone quite logically.

“Ask you how, exactly?” the great Satan answered. “Nobody plays records backwards anymore, there was no way to get your attention. If God can talk to people in the form of natural disasters as they claim, why can’t I?” He seemed pretty defensive, for a guy who’s supposed to be the ultimate evil.

“Listen,” the Devil started over again. “I’m not all that bad. Yes, I’ve done a lot of bad shit, but most of what goes down on Earth? That’s all you. Humans being shitty to each other. Until now, I haven’t intervened in human affairs in many years. Not since George W. Bush. He was the last one I swear. Since then, honestly, you guys have been doing a pretty good job of my work for me.”

Tee Bone Man looked down in contemplation.

“If what you say is true, then I truly have my work cut out for me up on Earth,” he said after a thought. “But dude, we just fought the armies of Mordor to get here. That was completely unnecessary!”

“It sure was awesome though, wasn’t it?” answered the demonic one.

Tee Bone sighed. It was the Devil, after all. Evil’s gonna evil.

“You can have your autograph, Lucifer.”

The Devil jumped up out of his chair and did a little dance. Just as he did, Superdekes entered the room and removed his helmet.

“Oh my God is that…did you bring…Superdekes? I thought he couldn’t fly? Sorry I’m such a big fan. Can I have his autograph too? I didn’t think there would be any way I could get both your autographs! In fact I never thought I’d ever see either of you here in Hell.” The Devil danced across the room as if on ice. He slid over to a massive bookshelf and removed his treasured autograph book.

“See? I already have a page set aside for you with your picture on it!” said the Devil to Tee Bone Man. “Sorry your picture is not in here, but I truly never expected to see Superdekes!”

“Mildy creepy, but OK. Got a pen?”

With that, pens appeared in Superdekes and Tee Bone Man’s hands.

As they signed the book, the Devil noticed young Harrison standing behind, slightly aloof.

“Come here, you,” motioned the Devil. “I want your autograph too! As far as I’m concerned, you’re part of the team now.”

With a smile, young Harrison Holden saw a pen in his hand.

“See, Tee Bone Man? What happened on that battlefield today made this young man with the moustache into a bonafide hero. The evil that I do often has a purpose.” Satan smiled from one pointed ear to the other again, his sharp teeth gleaming white.

Harrison the Hero leaned over and signed the book right under Tee Bone and Superdekes. Then he paused.

“Wait a minute,” he asked. “How do I know I didn’t just sign my soul over to you?”

Satan laughed. “Look, I may be the Devil, but the rules of contracts are very specific. For me to take your soul via a signed contract, the contract must be clear and understood by all parties. You signed my autograph book, that’s all. Look, check out page three.” The Devil magically flipped to the correct page. “That’s Elvis. And that one? Bruce Lee. You know how hard it was to get those autographs? Those guys aren’t here either. But Hitler is! I could give you a thousand numbered Hitler autographs to sell on eBay, if you want?”

“Uhhh, no thanks!” the three answered in unison.

“Then I thank you for your additions to my collection. I can’t wait to invite Adolf and Joseph to check them out! Farewell, you heroes!”

The Devil snapped his fingers and the three began to fade.

“Bye guys…” waved Harrison to the other two. They both waved back as all three disappeared, leaving the Devil alone with his new treasures.


Deke’s Palace, Thunder Bay.

The two materialized back in their old headquarters. Without a word, each took an armchair and sat, exhausted.

Long silence. An hour. Two hours.

Then Tee Bone stirred.

“Hey Superdekes. Pass the scotch? I could use a drink.”

“You got it, pal,” answered Superdekes. Their glasses clinked, a record spun, and the two friends drank. “You never got that replacement AC/DC vinyl on the Albert Productions label,” he reminded Tee Bone as an afterthought.

“Oh yeah,” said Tee Bone with a yawn. “No worries. We’ll go back and thank that Harrison Holden kid for everything one day. Then we can get you all the new vinyl you want.”

“Right on pal,” said Superdekes as the two friend clinked glasses again.

Until the next adventure!