multiple sclerosis

#924: FU!


What is anger?  One of the most powerful of the human emotions.  It can take over your rational mind, but it is just a mask for what is really going on in your head.  Grief, frustration, loss of control…these can all manifest as anger.

Right now, I am angry.

I’m processing a lot of information.  Earlier this week, we lost Joey Jordison of Slipknot, younger than me at age 46.  Before that it was Mike Howe of Metal Church at age 55, not much older than I am.  I didn’t let these deaths affect me.  I didn’t let the losses in.  Ignored and plowed forward.  Sometimes you can handle the shit, sometimes you can’t.  A little bit of denial got me through the days.

Then we lost Don Simmons of Helix.  This one stung because Don’s sister is a long time family friend.  We’ve known her…what, 35 years?  40?  In fact she was going to hook me up with Don for an interview.   Don was 64 and now things were hitting close to home.

Then it was ZZ Top’s Dusty Hill.  Just as long as we’ve known Don’s sister, Dusty Hill has been singing me the blues.  Rocking blues actually, but Dusty and ZZ Top have been a part of my life for so long.  Most of my life.  ZZ Top have been a standby.  Great tunes when I needed them, on demand, when I had the blues or needed a kick.  Dusty’s gone.

And then, mere hours after Dusty, as if the world needed another kick in the balls, an old friend of mine lost his wife.  Age 40.  Multiple sclerosis.  And they are good people.  They did nothing to deserve this.  I worked with him several years ago, but we kept in touch.  Good by, from Newfoundland, who loves AC/DC and Sloan.  And his wife.  She was inspiring.  Those of us touched by neurological disorders tend to feel a bond.  Whether it’s epilepsy or MS, there are many shared experiences.  I always felt like we had this in common; that we were the loving supporters of our sick wives.  So stuff like this, it hits home.  Hard.  I was sad when he moved out to Fort McMurray.  I can’t imagine what he’s going through now.  I don’t want to.

What is my anger masking?  Fear.  Grief.  Confusion.  And I’m going to have to deal with them eventually.

For my friend, in indescribably pain, a song by his favourite band.  No grief here, just rock.  I’m thinking of you.  This one’s for you man.


R.I.P. Clive Burr


Clive Burr (Iron Maiden) 1957-2013

You were awesome.  I have no words. MS Society of Canada UK Multiple Sclerosis Society A recent article about Maiden’s charity work with Clive, and MS

Iron Maiden’s CLIVE BURR and Multiple Sclerosis

A supplemental to my series of Iron Maiden reviews.

Clive Burr left the band after The Number of the Beast.  Bruce Dickinson once called him “the best drummer Maiden’s ever had.”  He was definitely amazing.

Clive Burr now has mobility problems because of his struggle with Multiple Sclerosis.  As a guy who has friends who this illness, it’s something I feel strongly about.  Clive was great, and the loss of his drumming is tragic.  But what is more important is Clive as a human being, and you can just hope he and his family are coping.

Iron Maiden has released singles and done special concerts to benefit Clive and MS societies.  If you want to learn more about Multiple Sclerosis, check out one of the links below.  It’s a difficult illness to live with, but with proper care a person can still live a normal life. MS Society of Canada UK Multiple Sclerosis Society A recent article about Maiden’s charity work with Clive, and MS

MOVIE REVIEW: God Bless Ozzy Osbourne

God Bless Ozzy Osbourne(blu-ray, 2011, 135 minutes)

The best metal documentaries are the ones with genuine emotion in them (Anvil, for example), and God Bless Ozzy Osbourne is loaded with all sorts of emotion.  Produced by the man’s son, Jack*, this blu-ray runs the gamut of emotions.  From hilarious stories with Tommy Lee to some genuine anger and pain from Oz’s family, this movie goes deeper into the man himself, than the music.

The movie starts with Birmingham, and Black Sabbath.  Some of the classic footage from 1970  is incredible.  Ozzy was one of the most loved frontmen of the decade for a reason, and these clips show why.  They also reveal a young fiery Black Sabbath, playing tight fast versions of classic songs, Bill Ward hammering away on his kit like he is trying to destroy it.

After Sabbath, things become less about the music and more about the family man and the wild man.  You know those stories — the Alamo, the bat, the dove, the gross-out contests.  What’s new here is the raw emotion.  Rudy Sarzo recounts a particularly powerful moment the day that Randy Rhoads is killed.  New and old interview footage with Ozzy reveals deep wounds.

The Jake E. Lee years are pretty much completely skipped except for Ozz critiquing a few old videos from the 1980’s.  Zakk is barely mentioned at all.  In fact, another late Ozzy member, Randy Castillo, appears in many clips and is never even named.  And I’m sure it comes as no surprise that Bob Daisley and Lee Kerslake do not appear at all.

From there we go to more downs, booze, pills, assault, pain, The Osbournes, more pain, and Ozzy’s eventual sobriety, 5 years straight when filmed.  Through it all, Ozzy remains one thing consistently: the clown.

Ozzy is constantly saying and doing things to keep people in stitches.  There’s a certain innocence in it.  Ozzy never seems to really mean to hurt anyone.  He’s just trying to entertain, whether to distract from his own insecurities or just because he was born to entertain, I can’t say.  Probably both.

Athough the movie isn’t overblown with big name cameos, you will hear from artists such as Henry Rollins, Tommy Lee, and Black Sabbath.

Bonus features:

  • Q & A with Ozzy and Jack
  • Deleted scenes
  • Tribeca film festival

4/5 stars.  More about the solo music would have been great.

*I want to briefly mention Jack’s struggle with multiple sclerosis, revealed this past Monday.  Being friends with a person who has MS, I sympathize with the Osbourne family and Jack, but I also know that this is an illness that can be fought!  There are many ways to be a part of the fight, but here’s a pretty cool one that might win you a bike.