“From across the room Lemmy spots me. “˜How you feeling? … we were having a drink then all of a sudden you stopped speaking English and ran screaming from the bar!'”
It was the opening show of Scott Ian‘s Speaking Words tour of the UK. The Anthrax guitarist, comic book writer, and now raconteur is in Oxford, England, as he kicks off his latest venture.
The great bearded one is sharing stories from his life, 30-plus years of which have been spent in the heavy metal world. Throw in Meat Loaf as a father-in-law and recording a reality TV show with a heavily armed (and dangerous) Ted Nugent, and there is much to talk about.
The diminutive guitarist (I’m no giant, but there’s clean air between my shoulders and his smooth bald head) has the audience laughing throughout his tales of the perils of playing “˜drunk itunes’, the aforementioned brush with Lemmy – and death – and trying to help Pantera guitarist Dimebag (apparently just Darrell to his friends) in stopping Sebastian Bach from bothering goats and committing suicide. Sort of.
It was the day after Jeff Hanneman’s memorial service. The Slayer guitarist died only days before, an autopsy showing cirrhosis of the liver. Hanneman was only 49 when he died – the same age as Ian is now – and inevitably being part of thrash metal’s “˜Big Four’, their paths had crossed over the years. Ian’s remembers Hanneman’s intelligence and “incisve wit,” a “super nice guy” who, had it been the occasion of one of their other metal brothers passing would be “the first to raise a glass” in their memory.
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