Thursday, May 17, 2012

Brotherhood of Glam

I used to get asked about the Brotherhood a lot so just in case anybody still cares I figured I cover that off a bit. The Brotherhood of Glam were the guitarists in Beautiful Corpse. Unlike myself these guys wore masks and kept their real identities a secret. One of them for really good reason, the other one just thought it was funny. Definitely a strong nod to Kiss with these guys. More recently I have gotten questions as to whether Glamstein is a nod to Rammstein. Stupid question, Rammstein was formed years after the Corpse made their last public appearance. Glamstein is a reference to the Mary Shelley classic, and yes he got it wrong as he is the monster not the doctor. But the idea is he is built out of pieces of other glam entities like Bowie, Liberace, Elvis, Gene Simmons etc. The name Frankenglam was also bandied about but Glamstein stuck.

If you haven't seen a picture, or seen one our shows, Glamstein was known for his sparkle. He wore no colour, no black, nothing that didn't reflect light. Head to toe in outfits made of sequin, polished metal, tinsel, pieces of glass, faux diamonds, anything to refract and reflect stage lights. The walking Christmas tree decoration. And to hide his true identity, he wore a jack-o-lantern covered in little mirrors. An actual grinning disco ball. He had the lighting guy beam lasers into on concentrated ball near the front of the stage, and when he leaned his head into it it would explode light in all directions. It was a pretty cool effect but I couldn't look at him on stage for fear of going blind. His guitar was flat black because he didn't want it to distract from the spectacle of him. Glamstein's real name will remain a mystery because he is still alive as far as I know and still wishes to avoid the Hungarian authorities. No, he isn't Attila Ambrus, he isn't that old and he hates hockey.

Lord Gothchild is less of an enigma. Just a guy that spent a lot of time practising guitar and watching The Six Million Dollar Man. That's the only reason I supported his secret identity ruse. He wanted to do it because Glamstein did and he thought it sounded cool. But also, he allegedly stalked Lee Majors for a while and I decided I didn't need that kind of publicity if there was ever a restraining order. Steve Austin is cool and everything, but stalking a dude from a TV show is pretty teenage girl for a "professional". His stage gear was a little more subtle. He did the Victorian-era ponce thing with the long flowing coats, powder wig, ruffled accents. He had this thing he built like combination rollerskates and mini stilts that made him appear extra tall and thin. He could basically lean and coast around on wheels without moving his legs much so it looked like he was floating. I stayed away from him on stage too because I was always afraid I'd knock him down. Later on he added the whole blacklight thing. He did his face, teeth and contacts in UV reactive polymer and put a blacklight spot right on his mic. When he is in his regular spot he looked like his usual ponce self. When he leaned out of the spot into the blacklight to do vocals he looked all distorted and evil. Pretty cool effect.

The net result of working with these guys on stage was I didn't have to do much to keep the show interesting. Glamstein toyed with setting his head on fire but never really got it to work the way he wanted it to. Lasers are safer anyway I kept telling him. Lord Gothchild built the Flying W guitar himself out of spare parts. It was more of a gimmick than an instrument, but he had each of the three necks in a different open tuning so he could do a three chord progression with one hand. If you haven't seen the Flying W, it was three guitars, all kind goofy looking but it was the 80's. The three guitars would click together with magnetic locks and form one three-necked super guitar. LG wanted us to play the three separate guitars for half of the song, then there was a drum and bass bridge where we did the Joining Ceremony and then he would play the three cord progression on the assembled Flying W. It was a hassle to play but the crowd was into. We generally did the Joining Ceremony during Guitarded, as that was the original intent. But sometimes we would shoe horn it into some new release to help boost interest in new material.

I can't believe there isn't a single video of this on You Tube, we have done it like a 1000 times. When the industry machine decides to bury you, they bury you deep. Nobody finds the body.

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