Moselle: What you got in there?
Vincent: In here? Doom.
Two pool sharks have this exchange in the film The Color of Money. Vincent (Tom Cruise) opens a case to reveal a Balabushka pool cue he had received from ‘Fast’ Eddie Felson. The line would influence the creators of a first-person shooter game to use “Doom” as the title for their upcoming game. Doom also happens to be my preferred subgenre of heavy metal music. Sludge metal and stoner metal are up there, but they can be considered offshoots of doom metal. During my exploration of these three genres, I’ve had some remarkable experiences. One of the greatest band names I’ve encountered is Sir Lord Baltimore. I can only assume they got their name from the moniker of George Calvert, “Lord Baltimore,” the founder and patron of the Maryland colony. It was either that or a character in Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid; a Native American tracker named Lord Baltimore. One of the best opening lines I’ve heard in a song is in “Shattered Pattern” by King’s Destroy: “Jack woke again with the cottonmouth.” While most of my favorite contemporary bands are from the stoner or sludge metal genres, my favorite band of all time essentially created the doom metal genre: Black Sabbath. One of the seminal bands of the doom metal genre was a band from England called Witchfinder General. When James and I embarked on our journey to introduce him to heavy metal music with the podcast “A Fistful of Faceful,” doom was one of the genres we talked about early on in the show’s infancy. Four of the core groups from the early doom metal scene are Witchfinder General, Saint Vitus, Candlemass, and Trouble. Of all of them, Witchfinder General resonated the most with both me and James. Since then, I’ve learned the former lead singer of Witchfinder General, Zeeb Parkes, was a stage name. Further research has revealed nothing about his true identity. Even in this, the technological age of social media, the man can stay hidden; much like the artist Bansky or Bambi Woods, the stage name of the lead actress in the film Debbie Does Dallas. Since we’ve broached the subject, Robert Kerman, an actor in Debbie Does Dallas, also starred in both exploitation horror films Cannibal Holocaust and Cannibal Ferox. I once wrote a short story titled William Faulkner’s Cannibal Holocaust, a fictitious account of William Faulkner’s attempt to adapt the book Heart of Darkness into a film. At one point, possibly before, during, or after a Seagrams’ Golden Wine Cooler Declaration meeting, but odds were either American Movie or Overnight was certainly playing on the television in the background, El Flaco Explosivo and I talked about making a documentary film about Korean actor Choi Min-Sik. Choi Min-Sik portrayed Daesu-Oh in the film Oldboy. One of our favorites; the film had had a profound impact on me. Choi Min-Sik has been in a handful of phenomenal films including I Saw the Devil and Lady Vengeance. Many people leave a pen and paper on their nightstand, so if they have an idea in the middle of the night, they can write it down. For me, this has been replaced by a smartphone. Rather than use the notes feature, I send myself emails. One morning, due to autocorrect, I saw I had emailed myself with the subject heading of Finding Choi Miniskirt. In the end, we never made the film, but during my ruptured brain aneurysm recovery, and before the pandemic, I figured I could embark on another mission to discover the identity of Zeeb Parkes. If I could arrange an interview with the band King Buffalo, make a documentary film about Iran “The Blade Barkley,” and serve one term as The Comptroller for the city of New York. The aforementioned sentence is an example from the game “two truths and a lie” which I used both while I was teaching English abroad and at my most recent position teaching middle and high school for students with ADHD and learning differences. See if you can guess which one is the lie? Back to the mission: I could find Zeeb Parkes. I had the confidence. As my grade school Irish librarian once said to me in a thick brogue “Aye, Davie, you’re a wheeler-dealer.”
Andrew Davie received an MFA in creative writing from Adelphi University. He taught English in Macau on a Fulbright Grant. In June of 2018, he survived a ruptured brain aneurysm and subarachnoid hemorrhage. His other work can be found in links on his website: asdavie.wordpress.com