Last night I was backstage at Ozzfest. Yep. It’s true. Mr. D. Randall Blythe lead shouter of the massive metal band Lamb of God is, of all things, a Zen practitioner and fan of my books. Not only did he get me and my friends Bret and Ronny backstage, he dedicated their song Redneck to li’l ol’ me right there in front of a city’s worth of metal heads spread out across the hills of San Bernardino. Here’s a video of the song:


We were on board that very bus you see in the video. Though the hot babes must have been elsewhere at the time. I did not see Ozzy, by the way, though I did spot Sharon Osbourne and Jake E. Lee.

I’ve never been backstage at a big-ass rock’n’roll concert before. That was pretty interesting. The organizers handle things very efficiently at Ozzfest. Set lengths and start times are strictly observed. It’s fairly hectic before the show begins. This may nave been one of the reasons I never pushed all that hard to be a rock star. I mean, in the Eighties I gave it a shot. But even at the low level Dimentia 13 achieved, I could see that it was a damned hard way of life. I have a lot of respect for people like Randy who can handle it. I don’t think I could have.

After the show the bands and road crews had a big ol’ barbeque with more roasting meat than I’d ever seen. Luckily Randy was kind enough to provide a Bocca Burger for me. Those guys were chowing on nothing but sausages, buffalo wings, beer and Jagermeister. Not even buns for the sausages or chips to go with the wings. Like an Atkins Diet get-together gone mad.

There was sort of a biker party atmosphere happening, although you got the impression it was a little less dangerous than a real biker bash. Even scary looking musicians are kind of wimpy at heart. Still, had I not been invited into that group, I would have steered well clear of it. I talked for a while with Frank Novenic of Hatebreed. Frank’s from Cleveland and was actually impressed to meet an ex-member of Zero Defex. It’s not too often that happens! I guess we made some kind of a mark, like a piss stain on a wall. We both knew the late Dave Araca of The Guns (the Cleveland band, not the LA one). Frank has a tattoo from Dave as have a whole lot of people I know.

Randy is an intelligent, straight-up and kind of bookish guy in person. I’m gonna try and work out an interview or conversation with him later for a Suicide Girls piece.

Funniest comment of the evening. We’re talking to this girl Melissa who is running away from a man she calls Leatherface. At one point someone about 15 feet away trips over a bunch of bottles and emerges unscathed, though the altercation makes a hell of a noise. Melissa turns to us and says, “I’m stoned. Did that just happen?”

At some point I’m gonna write this all up. But for now just an interrim report to chew on.

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24 Responses

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  1. element
    element July 22, 2007 at 2:14 pm |

    Hell Yeah, double devil up!

  2. Anonymous
    Anonymous July 22, 2007 at 2:33 pm |

    What? No mention of half-naked groupies?

  3. Jinzang
    Jinzang July 22, 2007 at 3:47 pm |

    Brad’s wife probably reads this blog. Besides, what’s the average age for heavy metal fans? Maybe like going to an Beach Boys concert looking for groupies.

  4. luzerlinux
    luzerlinux July 22, 2007 at 5:44 pm |

    I’d have to say the average age of a Heavy Metal fan would be ~20-30… Of course, I’m only 20 and have been a Metal fan since I was ~9… guess, maybe, I’m biased..

    Sounds like you had a great time Brad, it’s pretty surprising anyone in Lamb of God is a Zen practitioner, but that’s awesome!

    Thanks for your books and the interesting blog!

  5. Mysterion
    Mysterion July 22, 2007 at 7:12 pm |

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. Anonymous
    Anonymous July 22, 2007 at 8:32 pm |

    yo brad, I recognized you. Did you get hurt when the bus door slammed into your face?

  7. Lone Wolf
    Lone Wolf July 23, 2007 at 1:02 am |

    Randy is into Zen, that’s awesome.

    After watching Randy and another member of L.O.G. beat the holy hell out of each other on their Lamb of God DVD (this after drinking a large complimentry bottle of hard liquor), I remember thinking that some time in the Zendo would do those fellas some good. But I think time in the Zendo would do anybody good.

    I also remember thinking that fights are bound to happen when you mix hard liquor with a Punk(Randy) and a Metal Head(the other Guy: I’m having a brain fart and can’t remember the dudes name. I do remember him doing more of the damage though). But, really I don’t think there is much beef between punks and metal heads anymore. The coolest thing about Lamb of God is their blending of punk and metal. Actually, I think it’s cool how quickly Randy and the other member squashed their beef and kept rocking together after that crazy situation.

    Glad you had a good time at OzzFest Brad.

    And speaking of Hatebreed, I have a story to tell. Years ago, the local SXE kids in my little old town in Ohio invited Hatebreed, when they were a rather new band and weren’t as popular, to do a show. They played at this very small place called the Garange Hall, which most people rent out for wedding receptions or whatever. It’s so weird now when I think that Hatebreed played in this little town, in which the only concerts are during the fair. Only country bands are invited to the fair, my town is pretty much full of hillbillies. This year it’s Merele Haggard lol. I swear sometimes I question if I was dropped off in this time as some bad alien experiment gone wrong.

  8. Lone Wolf
    Lone Wolf July 23, 2007 at 1:05 am |

    Dropped off in this town, not time Duh duh duh!

  9. Jared
    Jared July 23, 2007 at 7:40 am |

    Lamb of God is awesome. And speaking of Hatebreed, I saw them in concert with Bury Your Dead and it was one of the best shows I have ever been too. The venue, which normally didn’t allow circle pits, made a special exception for BYD.

  10. professor
    professor July 23, 2007 at 10:29 am |

    Sweet! Great band… although I don’t think I’d hire them for MY kid’s birthday party.

    One of my friends got to spend a day riding motorcycles with Neil Peart, which I thought was pretty cool. So’s this.

  11. Jules
    Jules July 23, 2007 at 11:42 am |

    I went to Ozzfest a couple years ago. I thought Iron Maiden was one of the best bands, even after all these years. Sabbath was kinda sad… Ozzy’s voice kept cracking and he got all mad, threw the mike down, and stomped off stage. The band finished the song and played another without him, then he came back and apologized to the crowd. Then he took off his shirt, and started scratching his torso up with his fingernails while he was jumping up and down and trying to sing. It was the most effective anti-drug message I have ever seen.

  12. July 23, 2007 at 11:42 am |

    well that explains the prison breakout feel at the end of zazenkai–it definitely felt like something was afoot
    glad you tres amigos had a whopping good time

  13. Smoggyrob
    Smoggyrob July 23, 2007 at 7:13 pm |

    [Smoggyrob points at lone wolf]

    Time traveler with a lame coverup! Get ’em! Dibs on the jet-car!

  14. Blake
    Blake July 24, 2007 at 5:49 am |

    In the late 90’s I worked for a major record store (yes, store… not label) and I had the pleasure of kicking it (yes, kicking it) backstage at an Ozzfest pre-party. Ozzy was nowhere to be seen but I got to hang out with Primus (Les Claypool is just as fun to drink beer with as you would expect), Puya and several others. It was a blast even though the sponsoring label used it as an opportunity to play crappy music videos in an attempt to get us to play their albums in our stores.

    Everyone was getting their free t-shirts signed by the band members so I decided to wander around and have regular people sign mine. I mean how many people have a shirt signed by Steve McAllister from marketing? Pretty sweet!

  15. Imperatrix
    Imperatrix July 24, 2007 at 8:09 pm |

    Youse guys are so cool. All I have from my decades of attending shows and events is a buncha autographed “Monsters Of (aagh!) Progressive Rock” memorabilia. Bleargh! All those wasted years! I’d take Les Claypool over Chris Squire any day.

  16. Nate
    Nate July 27, 2007 at 7:39 am |

    Brad, great post here. Looking forward to reading the possible interview that you do with him. I’m a big metalhead, have been since I was 8. I am the vocalist for a very small/ independent death metal band from MA called Leukorrhea. If you get time you should check out an article I wrote for The Worst Horse and parallels between the metal lifestyle and my practice. The link is

    ps. When you coming out the east coast?

  17. Anonymous
    Anonymous July 29, 2007 at 1:56 am |

    From SG blog…

    “… for way too long Buddhism has been the exclusive province of a) whiny intellectuals who try and make it as complicated as possible so no one but their friends can possibly discuss it and b) spaced out new age waste cases who haven’t got a single clue what Buddha was on about, but they like that little Om symbol. I’m glad to see it reclaimed by normal people. And by “normal people” I mean, of course, booze soaked heavy metal musicians in leather and studs.”

    Brad, do you think that repeating this crap often enough will make it true?

    Yes, there are some people who fall in to your simplistic A or B scenario. But there have been, and continue to be, a large group of ‘normal’ people who have embraced buddhist teaching. Of course not all of them have built up a faux outsider image, run off to shave there head and chant mantra, and written a couple of books.

    Can you be Brad Warner in this moment, drop all the bullshit of past and future, or are you wed to the ‘hardcore’ tag?

  18. Anonymous
    Anonymous July 30, 2007 at 3:51 am |

    Y’know, I met Lamb of God years ago when they played with Gwar. It was my first non-local concert, I must’ve been 16. I watched Lamb of God play, then unknown, and I was frozen rapt on the spot. After they played the lead singer walked out into the crowd. As he passed I said, “You guys put on a hell of a show, thanks!”. He gave me a look like “Fuck you, squirt” and started chatting up come black metal guys. I still have no respect for them.

    Also, there’s a lot of good hardcore these days that doesn’t sound so much like metal. Blood for Blood, Roger Miret and the Diasasters, tons of local bands everywhere that don’t get contracts or radio time because they don’t sound metal enough.

  19. Jules
    Jules July 30, 2007 at 12:12 pm |

    Anonymous wrote: Can you be Brad Warner in this moment, drop all the bullshit of past and future, or are you wed to the ‘hardcore’ tag?

    PLEASE, either grow up and lose the more-zen-than-thou attitude, or go find a chat room where the other kids are playing the same game you are.

  20. ferris
    ferris August 30, 2007 at 10:06 am |

    Funny you should mention it… the LOG video for “Redneck” actually features the band playing a kids’ birthday party…

    The funny video is one of the best reasons to take them seriously. None of that “we’re big scary monster dudes” horsesh*t.


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    javieth September 17, 2010 at 1:31 pm |

    Oh, i love to cook lamb specially when my boyfriend visit me, i like when i see him very happy. In fact i am trying to get some recipes because i want to cook varieties. i think this blog is perfect because show many new ideas and is sure i will prove it. this blog is wonderful.

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  22. Generic Viagra
    Generic Viagra February 21, 2011 at 6:41 am |

    man are you serious? this band suck, I mean the letter of them songs, and the rhythm of music, awful, seriously men I can't understand why this band can be presented in a event like Ozzfest.

  23. pharmacy
    pharmacy September 5, 2011 at 12:55 pm |

    Ozzfest is one of the best festival in the year.. it is just excellent

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    xl pharmacy October 4, 2011 at 10:03 am |

    It is one of my favorites bands like since forever, awesome video.

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