Welcome back to our two-part Halloween special on urban legends in rock! Last time we discussed someone who sold his soul to the devil, and now we’ll be discussing rock you’ve actually heard about. As rock gained traction and began dividing itself into separate genres, performers began using more and more gimmicks to stand out and get attention. Taking it one step further than earlier controversial stars like Elvis Presley, artists in the 1970s pushed the envelope with their names, their public persona, and their music itself.
KISS, whose name was rumored to be an acronym for Knights In Satan’s Service, caught a lot of heat from religious groups for the group’s suggestive lyrics and “demonic” face paint. The hue and cry from conservatives hasn’t hurt them in the slightest. In fact, KISS frontman Gene Simmons has used the band’s enduring popularity to fuel sales for everything from comic books to caskets. For the first issue of Marvel’s KISS comic books, the band members poured vials of their blood into the vats of red ink for printing – an act which was witnessed and signed by a notary public to ensure authenticity.
That issue still sells to collectors for around $400 depending on condition. Whether or not it’s worth it depends entirely on you! But if you’re a vampire, maybe look into a blood drive to get your fix or something.
Speaking of someone who’s probably swallowed more blood than the average person… When I say Ozzy Osbourne, what's the first thing you think of? Bats? Crazy Train? Maybe that time he wandered around the Alamo in Sharon’s dress?
He did bite the head off a bat after a fan threw the poor thing on the stage, but the bat bit back, and he had to be treated for rabies. Which is a shame, because foaming at the mouth would probably be the coolest stage trick ever. But almost a year before that, at a sales event for Columbia Records, Ozzy was supposed to release two doves as a peace offering.
Now, remember, this was back before Ozzy was a lovable mumbling TV Dad. This was full on Prince of Darkness Ozzy, fresh from being kicked out of Black Sabbath. So when a label employee was bothering him, Ozzy grabbed the doves, bit their heads off, and spat them at her. One after another. Just keeping up with The Osbournes, right? Yeah, not so much. This momentary lapse in judgment got him kicked out of the party – which was probably his goal the entire time.
We could write a book on urban legends in heavy metal alone (and we wouldn’t be the first), but we hope you've enjoyed the few here! Did we miss your favorite? Leave a comment and let us know!
Written by Ashton
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