Monday, May 24, 2010
Just last year, it felt surreal hearing that Slipknot's debut album, which I had in the sixth grade, was ten years old and now the bassist of that band, Paul Gray, is dead. In all honesty, it's been a long time since I've listened to Slipknot. It's been even longer since I felt the same ambiguous rage and desperation that they were able to channel in their music that is perfect for middle and high school kids. That said, every once in awhile, when I'm in the right mood, nothing is better than that first album.
I remember a cousin Matthew taking me to church with him in his blue Camero and asking if I'd ever heard of Slipknot because I had just hit the age where my friends fell in love with Korn and Limp Bizkit and Slipknot was in the same vein. He played it too loud for comfort. I stepped out of his car and walked into church with my ears still ringing and how amazing that felt.
I remember too when I was in the eight grade, an aunt of mine got me a Linkin Park shirt for Christmas. I was never really a fan of Linkin Park so I asked my mom if it would be okay to take it back and get something else and when she said okay I used that money and I got the Slipknot shirt I posted a picture of up there. Back then, the black was a little less gray and the image was a little less cracked but it was the first of many slipknot shirts I would waste money on through out high school. At one point, I could wear a different shirt every day of the week and they would still say Slipknot on them.
I remember going down to San Jose with my stepdad to go to my very first concert in 2001, my freshman year of high school, and feeling a nervous excitement as we waited through the line and Christian protesters shouted that all who entered would be struck down by god for worshiping satan.
I remember being fairly timid as a kid and yet, the more I embraced that music, that culture, the more I was able to open up and be more confident in myself even when that confidence was pretty unwarranted. Had you asked me then who my favorite band was, I would have answered Slipknot without hesitation. It wasn't even a question, really.
The reason I'm writing this is because Paul Gray, the bassist of slipknot died today, or at least he was discovered dead today and it feels a little weird. I didn't know him and he alone didn't have any significant impact on my life but he was definitely a part of something that did and it's an uneasy feeling to deal with that. In high school I played bass because I wanted to be cool like Paul Gray. I got a mohawk because I wanted to be cool like Paul Gray. I even started wearing ties because I wanted to be cool like Paul Gray. And then I didn't. I hope his family is okay.
An old painting I did