The Nitty Gritty

But more than all of those I am an entertainer. I carry around a ukulele with me for the same reason a gangster carries a gun; better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it. Stage or sidewalk, Your Pal Pete shows are just where they happen.
Currently, I'm working on a musical, RagnaPOP(or she's got the bomb), set to premiere at this year's Capital Fringe Festival. I'm also working on music, comedy, and musical comedy; for kids and/or adults.
The fruit of these projects will be available on this site, so check back regularly!

Monday, February 19, 2007

Your Pal's Brushes with Greatness:Iced Earth

When I was in high school, one of my best friends was Matt Barlow, former singer for metal bandIced Earth . We started playing music about the same time, him singing and me playing bass. At first we played in our school's "rock" band Excalibur, then after graduation in the more metallic Tainted Halo. We were unique in lower Delaware, while other bands of the metal genre in the area had one original song, we had almost a full set of our own stuff mixed in with the Poison and Van Halen covers.

Matt always hankered for the harder stuff, so he and his guitarist brother moved to Florida, which at the time was the death metal capital of America. I never heard from him again. A few years later, I read a fanzine review of Iced Earth's "The Dark Saga" and came across his name and just about plotzed.

Not being much of a metal fan (Tainted Halo membership notwithstanding), I never followed Iced Earth too closely; I only recently found out that Howard Stern cohort Richard Christy used to play drums for them. Among fans of their Iron Maiden-inspired thrash, though, they are gods. Matt left the band in the wake of 9/11 and is now a police officer in our hometown of Georgetown, Delaware. This was heartbreaking news to his fans and I had heard that a few fans were planning a pilgrimage to Georgetown to find him. By the way the guy who replaced him was Tim "Ripper" Owens, the guy that replaced Rob Halford in Judas Priest and inspired that shitty Marky Mark Movie.

My old band, the Milk-O-Matics, was playing what turned out to be our last show with Hustlero GT, a band whose singer I had met in Salisbury back in the day.

The Hustlero drummer was talking about the awesome Iced Earth/Judas Priest (Matt was still in the band then) he had recently attended. I mentioned that I was best friends and had played with their singer in high school, and he smirked and said, "Yeah, right." I thought to myself, why would I lie about knowing someone in a band I know next to nothing about? Not being prone to lying, I become very defensive if someone suggests I'm being less than truthful, especially when it comes to someone who I've spent as much time with as Matt. I went to his brothers Jim and Mike's weddings (Tainted Halo played at Jim's), fer christsakes!

I remembered something from our past that might prove me right. The Hustlero guitarist and I had first met playing with Matt and his brother in a short-lived thrash band right after Tainted Halo broke up.
"Remember when I first met you in Matt and Jim's attic?", I asked him.
He knew exactly what I was talking about, "That was the same guy?"
The drummer, a rough stocky dude that beat the drums like they slept with his girlfriend and scowled the entire time, melted in a puddle of fanboy geekdom.

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