SlipKnot: Des Moines, Iowa: 515- 666 -7448
“BUZZ” Newspaper Article: Jun- Jul 2015 (#51-sK)
While I was born in Sioux City, IA. in the 60s (home of Tommy Bolin), went to Jr. High in Jackson, MS. in the 70s (home of Tommy Aldridge), right out of High School I moved to Phoenix in the 80s (home of Stevie Nicks), I worked for 3 major CD Store Chains in Des Moines, Iowa from 1985- 1999; the Home of ‘Slipknot’
I have told this story a 1000 times, so I thought it’s time I write about it … This My recollection of the events that lead up to, the formation of one of the most popular bands in the entire world. Please bare with me as it’s a little jumbled & skips around a bit, because that is how intertwined the Music Scene was in Des Moines, back then …
> Scepter to Black Diamond: 1985<
I moved to Des Moines, Fall of ’83, after I was staying Shakopee, just after, having moved from Bemidji. I was on tour with ‘High Fever’ (Pat, Frank, Rodney & Kurt) who reign from McAlester, OK. in 1983, I quit because “Road Life” did not agree with me, specifically the “Alcohol & Drugs” & lack of regular food & sleep. My plan was to hookup with my friend’s “Strat” (Brett Rogers: 1965) & Kelly’s band in Des Moines, but by the time I got there they had broken up.
I did manage to join a local band ‘Scepter’ in Summer ’85 with Guitarist John T, Vocalist Mike Allen (11 Aug 1967) & Drummer Tony (Shannon) Post (1967). John left in 1986 & The Drummer Tony & I formed an “Early KISS Tribute Band” called ‘Black Diamond’ with Bob Tyler (as Gene) playing mostly songs off of KISS’ 1st & 2nd LPs (Much like I do today, 30 years later in ‘KISSin Time’).
While we were running ads for a guitarist to play ‘ACE’ My Ex. Girlfriend Cathy, found one Ryan Thorton, (This is really where this story begins) Ryan was fantastic & thought Tony was a great Drummer, but he did not care much for my lack of ability.
One day Ryan brought in some musicians he knew from before; Vocalist: Matt Biegger & his cousin a Bassist:Doran Lindsey. Tony & I jammed with the other 3; Ryan, Matt & Doran a few times in the Summer ’86, before they decided I needed to be replaced with a better guitar player & they wanted Biegger to sing full time & not trade off Lead Vocals with me. I lost track of those guys as I started jamming with some other local musicians, until dropped out of the scene all together in Winter of ’88.
> Atomic Opera: 1991<
The 1st member of ‘SlipKnot’ I met was Jim Root (2 Oct 1971 Las Vegas), in the summer of 1987, I was the Asst. Mgr. of ‘RecordShop’ @ Valley West Mall & Jim used to come in & buy ‘Iron Maiden’ & ‘Yngwie Malmsteen’ Cassettes (as I recall). I heard he was a great guitarist so I sized him up & approached him one day; Me “Say, were looking for a new ACE in my KISS tribute band, wondering if you’re interested in trying out?” as I recall Jim said something to the effect of: “KISS music is beneath me, & I would never wear makeup”.
Back then I used to buy most of my ’60s Gibson Guitars from Paul Wilson’s (who is the transcriber for Christopher Parkening’s TAB books) ‘Ye Olde Guitar Shoppe’ in Urbandale, 1 of the guys who used to work there was a friend of mine; Jared H. (& then eventually Mick Thompson worked there too) who was good friends with Jim Root, it was here about, ’92 or so, I found out Root was in ‘Atomic Opera’ with none other than; Matt Biegger & Doran Lindsey & another ‘Ye Olde Guitar Shoppe’ Instructor; Michael Curry (1 Jun 1965) from Santa Monica, CA. who was also a friend of mine. When Jared left “Ye Olde” about ’94 his replacement was none other than Mick Thompson (1973 Iowa) #7, I used to by vintage guitar parts from Mick @ “Ye Olde”.
However by this time Post had been replaced by Drummer Danny Spain (5 Mar 1969: DSM), who happened to be a friend, of my friend Aaron H. I am not sure as to when Thorton dropped out of the band. I 1st saw ‘Atomic Opera’ at the Botanical Center in Des Moines, the Lineup was; Biegger, Lindsey, Curry, Root & Spain, they were phenomenal, to my memory it was roughly the melding of the music of ‘Metallica’ with the Vocals of ‘Queensryche’ & insanely tight & heavy, it was like nothing I had heard at the time & I was in the music business. Biegger was replaced by Vocalist: Scott Andreas before the band started recording original material.
Curry eventually left the band (he told me the reasons why but I will not reveal them) & was replaced by Bruce Swink.
‘Atomic Opera’ recorded & released a Cassette in 1992, as Vinyl was DEAD & CDs cost a lot of money to produce back then, released under the title “The Judgement” with the title song & these 3 others: “Soldier” “Coupe De La King” “Across The Sea Of Doom” I seem to remember Root had recorded over Lindsey’s Bass tracks, suggested by the Producer, while Doran was a great Bass Player live, there was some inconsistencies with his playing in the studio. I was told Doran didn’t find out until after the release came out & he was given his copy. Sometime 1992, the band had to change their name because of Texas based band of the same name. I was also told there was a 2nd Demo Cassette recorded by the band, there is a 10 min “Live” video of the band, from 1993 @ Clear Water Beach outside of Des Moines, Iowa.
> Voices Again: 1993<
Back in ’88 there was guy who used to hang out in the ‘RecordShop’ I worked @ in Valley West Mall, he was a guitarist named Denny Harvey (5 Apr 1972: DSM) here’s an excerpt from an interview I did with him recently.
*Denny 2015: “The band (Stone Sour) started with Corey, Joel Ekman and myself (Denny H.). I was a rhythm guitarist and it was my second band. We settled on the name Freakshow and practiced for a few months, while Joel and Corey wrote a half dozen songs. Eventually I quit, took the name Freakshow with me, and Joel and Corey kept the material they had written with them. They came up with Stone Sour after the drink. I rejoined about a year later, but it never panned out. I would occasionally jam with the band as a special guest at gigs, or just jam for fun. Corey and I had a punk cover group called the Dumfux that would play parties. About a decade later, Corey and I started doing the Dumfux for fun again, and that lasted 6 or seven years, essentially I am the “Stephen Coronel” (KISS reference) of that band.”
In ’92 I was working at ‘RecordShop’ @ Southridge Mall & I used to see this young guy who worked at the local porn shop, with long blonde hair with a Green streak down the left side of his hair & a purple one down the other side, hanging out in the mall & occasionally hanging out in our store, that would be Corey Taylor (8 Dec 1973: DSM) #8, at the time he was in ‘Stone Sour’ who I knew was around, but I didn’t think they were all that great (I thought I was a better vocalist, let me clue you in, I wasn’t).
Years later in 2000, I was transferred to Burnsville Center, MN. & the word had gotten around, I had known some of the guys in ‘SlipKnot’ back in the day, a lot of young people would come to me & say “I heard you knew ‘SlipKnot’ back in Des Moines, What do they look like without their masks?” Now for me this was Really cool, & had come full circle, because about 15 years earlier that was me, asking guys I met, who either met members of KISS or knew them like: Jay “Hot Sam” Barth: Soundman for KISS 1976.
My long time friend Rob Kuhn was getting married & he had his bachelor party in a restaurant in downtown DSM (Des Moines) on 27 Jul 2000, as I walked into the restaurant I saw Taylor & Crahan were up front eating. I told my friend Ace (a local record dealer), who was there, I passed them as I came in, he asked “How do you know it’s them” I said “I have known Corey for years” Ace asked “Did you know SlipKnot is playing in town tonight @ Waterworks Park?” I replied “No, I just got in town right now, walked in here & passed them walking back here to met you guys ” Ace said “You’re probably right then”
Unbelievably, one time in 2001, one young man (Nat) who worked down the hall from us @ Schmidt Music, came in & asked the now famous question. I stopped what I was doing & looked up, blinked a couple times, then responded … “Well, Corey, looks a lot like you” I thought it may have been a cousin or another relative. He replied “Screw you man, I was being serious” & I said “So am I” about a year later the 1st ‘Stone Sour’ CD came out in Aug 2002, so I tracked down Nat @ the guitar store where he worked, went in & asked him “So did you get the new CD?” He responded “Yea, I did, & you weren’t kidding, I do look like Corey!” I said ”I told ya so” some years later in Nov 2011, I was able to tell Corey this story, when I went backstage to see him @ the Varsity in MPLS. I started to walk backstage & his manager asked “Excuse me, where’s your pass?” I said, “Let’s ask Corey & see what he says” I then said “Corey Taylor, we go back a long ways” he said “We do?” I said “RecordShop, Southridge” he said “Rik, get in here how have you been, I haven’t seen you in years, I heard you have your own Music Shop (Mr. Zero’s Inc. 2009), I gotta stop in there?” I looked at is manager & said “See, I Told ya”
>Dressed to Depress: 1994<
Joey Jordison (26 Apr 1975: DSM) #1 worked for our local competitor ‘Musicland’ so I had seen him around, & probably met him through my friends Keith S. or Lewis, who were managers for that chain, at some point I saw Jordison play in a local band ‘Modifidious’ about ’94 & possibly ‘The Rejects’ in ’95, but how was I to know that one day he was going to be JOEY JORDISON of: SLIPKNOT at the time he was just another one of the local musicians on the scene. So I did not pay much attention to him at the time.
> Killers Are Quiet: 1995<
I lived on 35th & University for 8 years, down the street on 2307 University, was a dive bar or also known as a reggae club called “The Safari” I was told sometime in about ’94 Shawn Crahan purchased the club & turned it into a “Rock Venue” (I saw ACE Frehley of: KISS there Nov’94) & renamed it “Hairy Mary’s” I believe ‘SlipKnot’ became pretty much the house band for the club at this time, while I saw many other bands there back then & probably saw ‘SlipKnot’ with other bands on the bill, it didn’t dawn on me to go see ‘SlipKnot’ by themselves because they were always playing there, & besides who knew they would become the world wide phenomenon, that they did. Back then I had see many Local Iowa bands work hard to make it, get signed to a Record Deal & then break up, EX. ‘Peter Lorre’ got signed released a record under the name ‘Saint’ then broke up, ‘White Hot’ about the same deal, ‘Barney Fife’ or ’35 Inch Mudders’ the list goes on & on ….
In the Winter of ’95 I was working @ Best Buy South DSM, I used to make this joke that I was going to start a punk band named “Children From Hell” that would have 3 drummers & a Lead Bassoon Player, my Co-Worker Todd B. Maxfield of ‘Joker’s Poem’ responded “Naw, too late SlipKnot now has 3 drummers”
>Frail Limb Nursery: Purity: 2001 <
I 1st saw ‘SlipKnot’ @ OZZfest on 16 Jun 2001 in Sommerest, WI. as the band took the stage I asked my friend Darin M. “How long has Jim Root been in ‘SlipKnot’ ?” he replied “Since just after the Road Runner CD, why?” me “I just saw him walk on stage is all” he asked “Well how did you know it was Jim, he’s wearing a mask?” I replied “I have know that guy since he was 16 I know the way he walks & stands on stage” he said “Unbelievable”.
The 2nd time I saw ‘SlipKnot’ was with ‘Rammstein’ on 11 Oct 2001 @ Xcel Center in St. Paul, I worked for “fye” which ran the merchandise table for that tour, I remember thinking there was not of people there, but then it was only a month after the “911 Attacks” even so they put on an awesome concert, & that’s saying a lot if you have ever seen ‘Rammstein’.
I get asked all the time, “So if you knew the guys from ‘SlipKnot’ in the very beginning did they always wear the masks? the answer “I am uncertain, as I never bothered to go see them, on their own, as they were always playing down the street, from where I lived, or so it seemed back then, anyway” I do know they dropped out of sight for a while in ’97 or so, then reemerged with “The Look, Image & Sound” this about the time that supposedly, ‘SlipKnot’ “Stole” the image from ‘MushroomHead’ from Cleveland, OH in 1993, however when I asked several members of ‘MushroomHead’ in Nov 2010, about this accusation, @ least 2 of the band members responded “That was all for media hype & publicity, it’s all cool, there is no problem between us & them, there never was, that was solely to draw more attention to both bands @ the time”
>I Am Hated: 2002<
I was visiting my buddy Crazy Rob in the Winter of 2002 in DSM & on this particular day the producer for the documentary “Behind The Masks: The Unauthorized DVD” By: Music Video Distributors which was released in Mar 2002, was stopping by to pick up actual photographs to be used in the DVD video & cover art. I remember they were from the UK while Rob was pulling the photos, I sat & talked with the Producer & the cameraman about my experiences with the band, the Producer did take a few notes, but I do not recall the Camera being turned on, I do remember her saying they had more than enough footage for the DVD, so I am sure my interview was not used.
My co-worker Steve M. & I went to see the new re-make of “Rollerball” for his birthday in Feb 2002. So we’re watching the film & lo & behold ‘SlipKnot’ is in this film, as a kid in Jackson this was 1 of my favorite films & now the band I knew from DSM is in the new version … unreal.
One time while visiting my Mom in Phoenix in Sep 2002 we were at her home on a Friday (6 Sep 02) night, the TV was on in the background when ‘Slipknot’ was on the ‘Jay Leno Show’. I stopped talking & walked over to the TV. MY Mom asked “What’s wrong?” I replied “I knew those guys back in Des Moines” she said “Yea, so…” I responded, “Well, let’s see, I am sitting home on a Friday night with my Mom & they are playing the Jay Leno Show … I wonder who is doing better for themselves?” she responded “So, what what you want to look like those guys?” I said “For that kind of fame & money they’re bringing in, YEA! I would”
Rob K. (owner of WayBack Records) & I went to see Corey & Denny Harvey in ‘The Dumfux’ @ “House Bricks” in Des Moines, in Jan 2005, while I was talking to Corey & getting a CD signed he said “Let me introduce you a guy I know, & he can sign that (CD) for you too” that would be Josh “Gnar” Brainard (6 Aug: DSM) #4, when I went up to him to ask him to sign the CD he said “Who told you this was me?” I replied “Corey, over there” he then responded “Oh, then its ok” & he signed it, his wife offered “That S&M mask in the photo is on our fireplace in the living-room”
> Hero Poet: 2007 <
On 27 Jul 2007 I met Shawn Crahan (26 Sep 1969: DSM) #6 & Stella Katsoudas (3 Nov 1971: Chicago) Of: ‘Sister Soleil’ when I saw ’Dirty Little Rabbits’ play the ‘7th Street Entry’ in MPLS, Crahan was playing a 4 piece jazz kit, I was impressed by what a great drummer he is, Stella responded “I know right, so few know what a great drummer he really is”.
I went to see ‘DANZIG’ with my buddy Perry L. on 17 Aug 2013 @ the Myth in Maplewood & the band ’Scar The Martyr’ was opening, I thought to myself while they were performing “That drummer plays a lot like Joey Jordison, but, can’t be he’s busy with ‘SlipKnot’ & ‘Murder Dolls’ lately” turns out it was Jordison’s new band, & Jordison was no longer in ‘SlipKnot’.
So recently my friend Josey obtained 2 tickets to “Northern Invasion” on 9 May 2015 in Somerset, WI. so we went to go see them … another friend asked me “I didn’t think you were into that kind of music?” I replied “I’m not, but I knew a couple of those guys back in the day in Des Moines, & I am very proud of how far they have come & how far they have gone”
So there you have it, my personal tale, memories & connection to Iowa’s most famous band ‘SlipKnot’ I would like to point out these are my memories from events that happened up to 28 years ago, while I have recalled them to the best of my ability, any corrections are welcomed.
*Corey Taylor will be appearing 12 Jul 2015 Sun @ the ‘Turf Club’ in St. Paul, MN.
Until the next time … RLSchwinden: MrZer0
Mr. Zero’s Inc. 2009
1744 Lexington Ave. N.
Roseville, MN. 55113