Sunday, January 29, 2006

Save The Metal Zone


About a month ago I was just browsing through the names of users on myspace, looking for people that I might have known (hey, I live in Greenville Alabama, what else have I got to do?), when I came across someone in Tuscaloosa called Dave "The Metal Guy." He had a picture of himself with Judas Priest's Rob Halford, so out of curiosity I wanted to see who it was that would refer to himself as "The Metal Guy." When I clicked over there I found that he does a metal show on the radio station at the University Of Alabama, WVUA-FM. He referred to it as the "longest running specialty show of heavy metal in Alabama." Suddenly I was very familiar with what he was talking about. I knew because as it turns out I knew that very show. I was the guy who started it back in 1982/83. Once upon a time I went by the radio name of Ace. Sort of a tribute to Ace Frehley.

Now over the years I had heard that the show had continued to exist from time to time. Someone had told me it was still going as late as 1996, but that was all I knew about it. No other details about it found me. When I graduated from the University back in 1984 I only made a few trips back to Tuscaloosa. None beyond 1985. So naturally I was interested in contacting Dave to find out the details of the story of the shows survival. I was impressed with what he told me.

It turns out, much to my surprise, that the show didn't have but three hosts between me and him. A grand total of five over 24 years!! Perhaps even more surprising to me was the fact that I knew all of them. Of course It stands to reason I would know Patricia, the girl to whom I passed the torch. She was followed by Tom "the Metal Warrior" who I also knew. Strangely enough, he and I were a members of the same Fraternity. I know what your didn't think they let long haired heavy metal rockers into fraternities at Alabama. Well they don't. I was an aberration. Literally the only one. It probably had a lot to do with the particular frat. Delta Sig. If you look for it now you won't find one of their chapters at Alabama anymore. Who knows, things like this may have had something to do with that. But thats another story. Probably the most shocking of the cast of characters who would become the host was Pat Seigler. Shocking to me because I would not have thought he would still be there in 1986 to do the show, let alone continue it till 1993! He was from the state of Washington so he was far from home. That meant he was at the University for 10 years. I'm thinking "proffessional student." C'mon Pat, find me and tell me the story here! It was at that point 1993 that Dave took over and he has been there ever since. No, Dave lives in Tuscaloosa and has graduated so he is not a "proffessional student." However being from Tuscaloosa to begin with, he had the unique distinction of having heard every version of the show.

For those who don't know, and anyone who cares, I can remeber exactly how this show was given birth. It was the fall of 1982, (Could have been the spring of 83 but I don't think so), that graduate student and WVUA manager Jon Peterson approached myself, and my friend and fellow communications student, Eric Stewart about doing an all heavy metal radio show on friday nights. It was Peterson's idea to put specialty shows on from 9-12 every night. The rest of the time the station ran a rotation of Album Oriented and college rock. Several genres were represented in the specialty shows from reggae to blues to punk etc., but friday night was the night chosen for metal. I can remember being somewhat apprehensive about doing the show on friday nights. My fear was that everyone would be out partying and no one would be listening. I should point out that this was a golden era for partying at the University Of Alabama. The drinking age was still 19 and, to be honest, If I wasn't doing the show, I would have occupied a spot in "The Booth" like I did every other night. Yes, I mean EVERY other night. From 6-9 all the draft you could drink for $3.00 followed by as much as 8 for 1 shots of mixed drinks afterward all night...........Utopia?

It turns out I was wrong to worry about the show being on friday night, as it was a resounding success from the start. Really, the only one of the specialty shows that could claim that, although the punk show did well and was also well done. We called the show "The Heavy Metal Experience" as Eric was quite the Hendrix fan, and we even had us a cool slogan: "Home taping is killing music and so are Eric and Ace." After one semester Eric didn't want to do the show anymore so I continued on by myself until I graduated.

This was probably the best time to do a Heavy Metal specialty show. The "New Wave Of British Heavy Metal" was peaking with bands like Iron Maiden, Saxon and Def Leppard still climbing in popularity. I was getting regular requests for bands like Venom, Tygers of Pan Tang, Angelwitch and Demon. It seems looking back as though this show was a great introduction for all the bands that would later be the supergroups of the 80's. I played Metallica, Anthrax, Ratt, Twisted Sister, Queensryche, Dokken, and a host of others while they were still independent unsigned acts with barely a record out. Metal was on an upward spiral and all those bands and many more would go on to sell millions of records. Kerrang magazine, the leading European metal magazine at the time, even gave the show a mention in its pages. That credibility went a long way to getting some of the metal record labels to start sending some records. Otherwise, for the most part, ithe show was built around my record collection. Fortunately, a sizeable one. WVUA even sponsored an air guitar contest and an air guitar show and the audience that showed up for these events was primarily the audience for the metal show.

There was one event above all that stood out to me as showing just how powerful this show had become. There was a campus church group that arranged to have a seminar on campus on the dangers of rock music. I first became aware of it when I saw posters all over campus embazoned with the words "Rock and Roll Hell" ( at the time a current KISS song!), and a picture of a young Jim Morrison. I had been to a few of these things before and knew that they pretty much amounted to only a small group of people preaching the evils of rock music to people who don't actually listen to the stuff. So being a generally mischievous personality, I couldn't resist giving this seminar some free publicity and encouraging the listeners to show up at this thing. I said I would be there and they should be there as well. They did not let me down. When I got there no seats were still available. This was one of the larger lecture halls on the campus that held a few hundred people. You could tell that the presenters were not prepared for such a "partisan" audience. It was a rather humbling experience to realize that I had made that happen. There is still a girl here in Greenville, who was a student then with the organization that put that seminar on, who gives me dirty looks to this day. It was one of the better seminars of its type and some of what they said even lingered with me enough to be the subject of Babylon Mystery Orchestra's second record:"On Earth As It Is In Heaven." The bottom line is that "The Heavy metal Experience" was popular and the audience, as all heavy metal fans tend to be, was dedicated and loyal.

A lot has changed since then. Heavy Metal went on to peak in the late 80's and I am sure the show never lost a bit of its popularity through those years. However metal took quite a hit with the grunge movement in the early 90's. It became, essentially, an underground form of music again. This is where Dave comes into the story as he inherited the show when metal was at its lowest period. That the show survives to this day is a testament, I believe, to his willingness to stick with it. I believe it would have been easy for WVUA to just let the show drop if he hadn't stayed with it past his graduation. A show like this one can only be done well by someone who is willing to buy a lot of music. Although I know the labels send him way more music than they sent when I was doing it, you still have to have a sizeable personal collection or the show won't have all the elements that draw people back time and again.

Now I hear that after all this time, and with heavy metal music back on a big upswing, that WVUA is considering dropping or moving the show. This probably stresses me out the most because I have just recently rediscovered the show and really for the first time listened to the thing. Its a totally different experience to hear it than it is to do the show. Thanks to the "magic" of internet radio I can listen to it. That is one thing I am truly envious about. I wish we had that back in 1983. I am sure the novelty of a metal show in deepest darkest Alabama would have been irresistable to the preconcieved notions of metalheads worldwide. I know it would have attracted attention. Maybe the strangeness of that wears off after 24 years. However Dave tells me that people from all over the world are at some point listening and let him know. Does anyone really believe the proposed replacement of a rap show would have any lure beyond the guys doing the show? Lets be honest. Have you ever heard of a rap artist toiling away for years putting out records that barely sell enough to keep him going? Heavy Metal has literally thrived on such artists. From Jag Panzer to Iced Earth and way beyond. What purpose does it serve when a noncommercial radio station starts devoting too much time rap music which only glorifies the "bling." Rap music already dominates commercial radio and video stations. Does Kanye West need this too? Heres the deal though: A rap show will have a smaller audience than the metal show. Rap music can be heard everywhere. People wont stay home to hear it. There is not, from what I have seen , anywhere near the sense of "community" that has long been developed in the metal world. that is what builds an audience for a specialty show. And yes, I will go ahead and say it. All that rap stuff sounds alike anyway. So there!

The metal show has proven itself over the years. Tamper with something that isn't working and leave it alone. Now if Dave were not willing to continue I could see how there could be a problem. That problem may in fact arrive in the futre. I am sure he won't do it forever. But even then, an attempt should be made to find someone with a sizeable collection of heavy metal records to try and keep it going. Most students currently at the University were not even born when the metal show started.

The shows survival over a generation speaks volumes about its quality over time. So why not on friday nights at 10:00 give it a shot the way I do. Go to and listen to it. Dave calls it "The Metal Zone" these days. Even though I know they are now in a different studio, the show still has that sound and feel that makes me picture what it was like to be there 24 years ago. A good blend of old and new, popular and obscure. Done the right way, where the music is the focus, these shows are hard to beat.

Just to set the record straight. When the show started none of the other DJ's at the station liked this type of music. New wave was the big musical movement. The powers that be, aside from Jon Peterson, didn't give it a chance. The Talking Heads were going to change the world. If I heard it once I heard it a thousand times: "David Byrne is a genius." That was important music. heavy metal was already a dead genre. Who got the last laugh?

Sidney Allen Johnson



P.S. For anyone who remembers the original show and, subsequently, me. Let it be known that I am not entirely a bitter old metalhead.Though I am back to living in Greenville Alabama with 2 cats 2 dogs and a grumpy old man (my not so well father). There is good news.... I just saved a bundle on car insurance by switching to Geico....And I still have ALL of my LONG hair. I survive intact so I win! See for proof. Pat! Tom! Patricia! Where are you? I'm talking pictures here. I never surrendered. Manowar would be so proud. DEATH TO FALSE METAL!!!!

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Eye Of The Needle


Everyone should live on the edge once in awhile. I have been trying to make up my mind which song to put up on the internet from the new Babylon Mystery Orchestra CD "The Great Apostasy: A Conspiracy Of Satanic Christianity."

It has really come down to a choice between two songs. Either the very heavy and very mean song, "King Of The Earth," in which our favourite rebel angel lays claim to the entire inststution we call Christianity; or "Eye Of The Needle," an acoustimetalsong about some very real people whose names were not changed to preserve their guilt. Since I have chosen to call this essay by the title of "Eye Of The Needle" you know which song is going up. Unlike most artists, I actually like for everyone to know something about where my songs come from. So lets look at these people who are the subjects (combatants?) of this song.

In the CD booklet I introduce the two main characters with their own words. First there is the Reverend V. Eugene Robinson, the recently and controversially elected homosexual Bishop in the Episcopal church. He has this to say about himself and his relationship with his "fellow man:"

"I believe that God gave us the gift of sexuality so that we might express with our bodies the love thats in our hearts. I just need to tell you that I experience that with my partner. In the time that we have, I cant go into all the theology around it, but what I can tell you is that in my relationship with my partner, I am able to express the deep love thats in my heart, and in his unfailing and unquestioning love of me, I experience just a little bit of the kind of never-ending, never-failing love that God has for me. So its sacramental for me."

Then there is one of the most colorful characters in all of American religion: The Reverend Fred Phelps of the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka Kansas. His statement is direct and to the point:

"God Hates Fags!"

If you are unfamiliar with the good reverend I would suggest you take a visit to his web site, conveniently. Trust me. It will amuse you to no end.

Though there is no evidence that these two people have ever actually met each other, they are contestants in the same game. Each one trying to prove his point and win the right to be a leader in this most influential of institutions: the Christian Church. To be sure, if Eugene Robinson truly believes that his relationship is "sacremental" and compatible with the word of God, he is free to establish a church with those very concepts of homosexual tolerance built right into the doctrines and creeds of his new church. Neither I, nor probably any other reasonable American, would deny that this is his right as an American citizen. However this is not what he has it? No, he has brought before an existing body of believers this controversial line of thinking, with full knowledge that MOST of them will not want to go along with it. He has become a knowing and willing divider of the very people, of whom, he was supposed to be a leader. Is he doing this out of some sort of moral conviction that homosexuals are a discriminated segment of society? This could be possible, but his method is the equivalent of Malcom X demanding civil rights from the Ku Klux Klan. Homosexuality is clearly unacceptable in Bible based Judeao-Christian teaching.

So why would he do this? Money and power. If you truly believe that homosexuality and Christianity are compatible, you could start your own church. Unfortunately you will start with nothing but your beliefs. To any person with a belief system of their own this may seem like an honorable and reasonable thing to do, but if you have a greater agenda you need something else. That something else is capital. Both financial and political. How much better is it to gain acceptance in an existing church, with all the wealth and resources of that church to back up your beliefs. This is why it was important for V. Eugene Robinson to be elected a Bishop in the Episcopal Church. A denomination with some three million members. This is in fact the policy of the homosexual agenda. To force others to "tolerate" their beliefs even where there should be no reasonable expectation of such tolerance. If the Episcopal church does as it is threatening to do, it will divide over this issue. Dividing their wealth and marginalizing their influence. If they do not divide, then you should expect another denomination in the very near future to suffer a similar conflict of conscience. The big winner? That infamous fallen angel who truly is behind all of it. Divide and conquer he will.

Then there is Fred Phelps. He is he complete opposite of V. Eugene Robinson. Rev. Fred is at the cutting edge of Christian intolerance. The man has a history of showing up at the funerals of homosexuals, particularly if they have been the victims of murder, and waving his "God hates Fags" signs. He gained worldwide attention for these shenanigans back when the case of Matthew Shepard was in the news. As of this writing, according to his website, Matthew Shepard has been in hell 2660 days!! ( And he has a picture of him there to prove it ) He has a history of knowing all the people who are going into hell and announcing it on his site. You might expect someone like the pope to be there for his tolerance of the pedophile priests ( hey, there is a Babylon Mystery Orchestra song about them on the new CD too!), but did you know Bob Hope is in hell? Bob Hope?? There are even wonderful literations about the tsunami and hurricanes doing God's cleanup work. Recently he has even taken to attending the funerals of fallen soldiers with his protest that they are dying for a nation that defends sodomites.

Though he may truly have the literal interpretation of the Bible on his side for his arguments against tolerating/accepting homosexuality, he certainly doesn't possess much of Jesus' spirit in him. Funerals are less about the dead than those friends and relatives left behind. Jesus said "blessed are those who mourn." It is those people that inevitably have to suffer through Rev. Fred's unsolicited vicious diatribes. The good reverend can never know the whole story behind all these people. If he did then perhaps he wouldn't be there. Apparently he thinks he, like Jonah before him, is on a crusade to save America from itself. Where is a whale when you need one? Rev. Fred needs a "timeout." Perhaps that is why his Westboro Baptist Church is in Kansas. There isn't much risk of whales swallowing him that far from the ocean. America may need some sort of "revival" of its spirit to save itself, but it won't come from him. Once again we see only one big winner in all this. Our bright and shining fallen angel who seeks to decieve and divide us.

Did I mention that the premise of the new Babylon Mystery Orchestra CD is the satanic infiltration and domination of the institution of Christianity? These two characters, and their televangelist charlatan comrades, provide a wonderful study of the modern day influence of Satan over HIS churches.

Wednesday, January 4, 2006

An Essay On The Great Apostasy: A Conspiracy Of Satanic Christianity

An Essay on "The Great Apostasy: A Conspiracy Of Satanic Christianity"

Satan is smarter than you are....Believe it.. The entire concept of the new Babylon Mystery Orchestra CD, "The Great Apostasy: A Conspiracy Of Satanic Christianity," can probably be boiled down to that one statement. I will attempt here to explain some of the thinking that went into this work.

"The Great Apostasy," as can be deduced from its title, is an exploration of how the church has not only failed to live up to its promise and potential, but has actually been used as an instrument of deception against the very people it was meant to serve.. The idea that Satan could infiltrate and dominate the very apparatus designed to bring believers together in the name of God is not an idea that will sit well with the masses of church goers, but with the world spinning towards a certain inevitable apocalypse, the time has arrived to present and consider these ideas. When Jesus was brought before Pilate he told him "My kingdom is not of this world," yet even a casual observation of the church and its history reveals an institution not only "of this world" but obssessed with this world.

At the beginning of the book of Revelation, Jesus has a message for seven churches that existed in the first century. These were real bodies of believers that gathered to worship and glorify the ressurected saviour at a time when the new Christian religion was being persecuted as an outlaw cult.. I have during my lifetime encountered many explanations as to what these messages to the seven churches are supposed to disclose, but never have I heard or read any interpretation them at their simplest and most obvious meaning. Of the seven churches, five of them he compliments on certain attributes of their faith, but then he has something against each one.. He chastises each of them for allowing something in their teaching or behavior that he finds unacceptable, and warns them of the consequences of continuing on those paths. A sixth church is already so corrupted that he calls its works dead. Only in the one church, Philadelphia, is he totally satisfied. To this one church, and to this church only, does he issue the promise to be kept from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world. Combine this with Paul's first letter to the Thessolonians 4:16-18 and you have the foundation for one of the modern churches favorite beliefs...the pretribulation rapture.. However, it is quite clear that since only the church of Philadelphia would even be eligible for such a thing, every church ever since that time has made it a point to find some way of marking themselves as either Philadelphia itself or its rightful descendant.. If the rapture had occured in the 1st century AD six churches would have been "left behind." The modern rationale is that everybody elses church is in a state of apostasy but not yours. Its the only way to keep them filled.

So what really happened here? There is a tremendous statement being made in the 2nd and 3rd chapters of Revelation that needs to be trumpeted loud and clear because its entirely to obvious: These churches, the very first churches that were spawned in the same century that Jesus walked the earth, were under direct Satanic attack! Already Satan had managed to infiltrate five churches by planting a small seed of compromise in each of them. Such things may have seemed harmless to the fledgling churches but Jesus is warning that it is anything but harmless. Only Philadelphia was promised to be kept from the hour of temptation. One church, Sardis, was already corrupted to the point of being called dead. Six out of seven churches compromised. By any standard of measurement 6/7 is a very impressive ratio of success for our favorite fallen angel.

Now lets step back and extrapolate the history of the church since that time from this point of observation. If Satan had established this firm foothold in the churches from their inception, we should be able to see evidence of his influence throughout the church's history. Lo and behold what do we find? Unsurprisingly we find a church wallowing in the affairs of the world at the expense of the real Kingdom of God.

Perhaps the single biggest accomplishment of the early church was to rise from a small persecuted cult in the first century to the religion of the state in Constantine's Rome. With the Christian church enshrined as the official religion of the state we have this unholy marriage that set the precedent for a thousand years of church intervention into government and international affairs. Along the way accumulating more wealth and more influence for itself as an institution and its leaders. The church even went so far as to finance wars, from the obvious Crusades to the Spanish Armada of 1588 (a bad investment for the church on that adventure!). Inquisitions, wars, schisms, the selling of indulgences and my personal favorite:: The St. Bartholemew's Day Massacre of 1572, when as many as 100,000 Christians may have been killed, by Christians, for not having the right Christian beliefs. Of course these are just some of the bigger events in church history. What was that Jesus said again? "My kingdom is not of this world." No small wonder that churches don't spend any time teaching the history of Christianity.

It must be mentioned here that a large part of the success at diverting the church's attention away from where it belonged was due to the total control the early church maintained over access to the Bible itself. A priest could easily go his entire life never seeing the actual written word of God for himself. Some of this can be attributed to the fact that all copies of the Bible had to be written by hand until the invention of the printing press came along. However the church didn't see it as important that the majority of its representatives be involved in the actual reading or interpreting of the word of God. Were these populations of Christians therefore putting their faith in God or in the institution of the church? Satan had successfully manipulated the church into an institutional heirarchy, with levels of authority and control over information and resources, and a large part of that success, at least in its early history, was achieved by limiting access to the word of God. These people were willing to follow their church leadership on the mere hope that they were honest and faithful perveyors of God's wishes. Now thats blind faith!! The church, at least at its highest levels, was obviously not operating with regard to God's words or their congregation's needs..

With the arrival of Martin Luther and the Protestant Reformation you would think this would resolve itself. Luther being the first dissident cleric to take advantage of the new technology of the printing press and print contradictory views of church doctrine.. Eventually he would go so far as to print the Bible itself in his own native language with the idea that any and everyone should read it for himself. Such heresy! Did this have the effect through history of actually reforming the church or did it just open up the competitive floodgates, releasing a variety of interpretations on an unsuspecting public? To be sure we in the modern world enjoy a tremendous freedom to explore the word for ourselves as well as interact with the views of others. Yet looking through any newspaper today you will find a world still fervently at war with itself over religious ideology. There are so many denominations with so many alternative interpretations of the Bible that one can't help but think there is an intelligent design behind all the confusion and acrimony, and of course that is the case.. Alternative is almost synonymous with satanic in the modern cultural lexicon. The result has been a diversity strewn path to perversity, with the church as the battlefield and their flocks as the casualties. All of it intelligently designed and manipulated by Satan, who permits enough truth in the equation to bait the faithful lambs into his trap only to shear them at the time of the great harvest at the end of days.

Still think its impossible that the church, your church, could possibly be a victim of such an insidious satanic conspiracy? Then consider the mystery religions of Mithra. The earliest lore surrounding this prechristian diety suggests that Mithra was a benevolent intermediary between the creator God and humanity. He was even refered to as the "Redeemer." Mithra was supposedly was born in a cave where he was visited by herdsman bearing gifts who were guided to the site by a star. Does this sound familiar? There are historical records that indicate Mithra worship goes back as far as 1400 BC. In fact, the persion religion of Zoroastrianism is a direct descendent of the Mithra religion. Zoroaster himself supposedly was immaculately concieved and survived an assassination attempt while he was a baby. How does this apply to our topic of satanic control of the church? Well for starters, many intellectuals have used the Mithra and Zoroastrian religions as an excuse to deny the existence of God and the viability of Christianity altogether. It predates Jesus by over a thousand years! Therefore the Christian religion is likened to a modern rock band that plagiarizes what has come before and claims it as its own. However the person of faith should have an entirely different perspective altogether.

We know that though Jesus was born as a living breathing being in on our world over 2000 years ago, he no more began on that day than he ended at calvary. Quite the opposite. Only his physical existence began with his birth that day. He has always existed and the angelic power we call Lucifer knew him, and had known him for thousands, perhaps millions of years. Here is the danger: Satan knew how Jesus would enter our world, why he would enter our world and what he must do to redeem us, and he knew it in significant detail. With this information he did what he has always done.. He replicated the messiah in alternative religions thousands of years before Jesus was born by Mary in Bethlehem. Confusion, distraction, replication and always alternatives are the satanic method of operation. Those alternatives have been multiplied exponentially to this day, even within the Christian churches.

Still think it can't happen to you? Consider one last thing. Biblical scholars will argue about almost anything especially details concerning the birth, life and death of Jesus. However they are pretty united in one thing, Jesus almost certainly was NOT born on December 25. You want to guess who was born on that guessed it:: Mithra's birthday was celebrated on December 25th, a thousand years before Jesus was born. Consider also the "wise men" that followed the star to Bethlehem. They were Zoroastrians!! Members of the very religion Satan created to replicate and confuse Christ's birth were looking down on him as a child!!

Now ask yourself: Who has us celebrating Jesus birth on December 25th? Who has raised this as an issue that you should say "Merry Christmas" and look upon the phrase "happy holidays" as an attempt to remove Christ from the national holiday? Who fights for the right to have manger scenes depicting the three "wise" Zoroastrians bearing gifts looking down on the baby Jesus? Of course the church has been teaching these things all these years. Like you, the church was being decieved, even before it was born.

Paul said in Ephesians 6 to "take unto you the whole armour of God." Make sure you wear that armor to church. Satan is smarter than you and he is there with you IN your church....Believe It..