I’m napping on a beat-up sectional sofa when the doorbell startles me from my dream (a bikini-clad Gumby undulating to “Lady Marmalade”). I throw open the door and a warm gust of air rushes past me. The stoop is empty, but for a CD with a note: I can see you. Raven.
I rush to my window to catch a glimpse of He Who Has Seen Me. The film on the unwashed glass gives an eerie Texas Chainsaw Massacre opaqueness to the bright, sunshiney day. I see a shorts-clad figure amble across the lot to a Love Machine (pronounced ma-CHEEN)-style van with curtained windows. The conveyance ambles—just as its driver did—through the lot and away.
The clock on the wall reads 4:30 p.m. It’s early, but I elect to vacate the premises and pick up the wife from work. I take the disc, by a band called Die Monster Die, with me. I learn Raven, pictured in a black hockey mask and shoulder pads, is the bassplayer. Even without the mysterious events of the past 13 minutes, it’s intriguing. The disc, What Is Shall Always Be, resonates with B-movie punk & roll attitude, chiefly on “A Bag of Limestone, a Crawlspace and You,” “Return to Planet 8,” “How Many People Do I Have To Kill Before You Know I Love You?” and “Monsters Rise Tonite.” The latter issues a portentous proclamation amid guttural, punky power chords and a chorus of “Whoas”: “There ain’t no doubt about it, baby/the monsters rise tonite!”
Little do I know, they will. I pick up my woman and head straight for my favorite almost-Mexican restaurant for a Grilled Stuft final meal. As I drag a chip through succulent cheesy goo, I find myself absently humming Die Monster Die tunes. Much like the burrito, DMD’s catchy gabba-gabba-Samhain style is tasty. I refill my carbonated beverage of choice and go home.
The message light blinks: 6 … 6 … 6… All hang-up calls, save one. It seems I can save money by consolidating my credit card debt. I just had to call this guy and give him all my account numbers. The predators were out en force. The phone rings, and I start. It’s Zero Delorean, DMD’s stringy-haired, skull-faced vocalist and guitarist. I’m told I’ll be picked up at midnight for an interview. Whew. No death. I watch a vintage ’85 Val Kilmer comedy.
The phone rings again at 11:45. This time I do not start. No one speaks to me, but I hear a female voice: Are you gonna go up and get him? There is manic knocking and bell-ringing. Maybe there won’t be anyone there, I think. Not so.
“Hi, I’m Meatwhistle!”
DMD’s effusive, Leatherface-y drummer bounds into the van’s passenger seat and offers me the seat immediately behind him. An open 12-pack of Natural Light stands at my feet and a guy dressed as a hobo clown stares blankly in the seat to my left. The clown makes me more nervous than any of DMD or even the blond little person—the infamous Netty—behind me. The clown continues to mock me from behind his bulbous alcoholic’s nose, unblinking throughout the ride to the boneyard. No one offers me a beer, and I don’t reach for one.
At the cemetery, we pile out. The air is cool and sprinklers march like spitting, one-legged chickens. The clown is too drunk to walk; Meatwhistle carries him. Raven pulls a high-backed wicker chair from the rear of the van. We hop the wall and make for the center of the yard, careful to avoid the mist. As we walk, I ask Zero for the DMD’s official oral history. He obliges, in between sips of beer.
The story is somewhat analogous to that of shock-rockers GWAR, only DMD is from Planet 8 in the 8th Dimension, as opposed to Antarctica. And their mission isn’t to annihilate Earth, but save it from boredom. Somewhere, Meatwhistle asserts that “it’s about the music.” As they prop the drunken clown up in the chair and Netty begins to sex him up, I can vouch for DMD’s success—at least for tonight.