REV-ELATIONS (CLASSIC HORROR TV/FILM)

Cosmic Rock

Ghastly greetings, groovy ghoulies! Welcome again to Rev-Elations. I had just sat down to write my newest piece on “Awards Season” and what it does and doesn’t mean to the horror genre, when I got the awful news that thrash metal master Bruce Corbitt (vocalist of Rigor Mortis and Warbeast) lost his battle with cancer. So I’m going to pause that original article for now and say few words about this dude and his impact on my life.

 

I think we can all agree if we’re ranking months of the year January would be the dirt worst. The  holidays are over, for most the weather is bitterly cold and unpredictable, the days are short, the electric bills are high, and it just seems to be stuffed full of bad Juju. Turn on the news or go on social media and look at the state of the world and that feeling is probably magnified for a lot of folks.  As a personal cherry on top, it just so happens I’ve lost a lot of important people to me around this time of year as well and with the aforementioned news, this year is no different.

 

I barely knew Bruce Corbitt, oh I knew who he was. I was definitely a fan of Rigor Mortis and Warbeast. I won’t lie and say I knew their entire catalogs or anything but I knew who they were and liked what I’d heard. Since Pantera is one of my all time favorite bands I’m also very familiar with their history and how they came up in the Dallas/Ft Worth area, and Rigor Mortis was a big part of that scene.  So let me take you back to 2013 when in one day, Bruce made a pretty huge impact on me.

 

I had been podcasting for a couple of years at this point when southern metal supergroup DOWN stopped in my hometown of Chattanooga, TN. I was exploring really what I wanted to be in the podcasting realm and was dipping my toe into music and film interviews on my down defunct podcast “The Rev’s Midnight Black Mass”. I’d previously gotten a couple of legit guests (Hank Williams III, Unknown Hinson, Gideon Smith himself and of course all of the wrestling favors I could call in, etc.) but I was aiming even higher here. As mentioned Pantera is one of if not my all time favorite band. (RIP Dime! Rip Vinnie!) The impact their music had on my life can’t be overstated.

 

 

 Former Pantera frontman Philip Anselmo was also the frontman for DOWN. As a teenage metalhead of the 90’s this was my chance to interview Mick Jagger, Axl Rose, Alice Cooper, etc I mean there was nobody bigger than Phil in my formative years. I even dressed as Phil for Halloween in 1994. Meeting this guy and talking to him is a bucket list goal. So I reach out to my buddy Jonathan Williams over at Wrestling With Pop Culture, as a seasoned pro in actual media, he manages to score interviews with anyone and everyone and sure enough he has the PR contacts I need to reach out and try and make this happen. (Thanks Jonathan!) Anselmo’s reps are receptive and say they can probably make it happen for at least a 10 or 20 minute interview if Phil is feeling up to it…. In person. I was just hoping for a phone interview but this was well beyond expectations, plus I’d definitely get an interview with Bruce Corbitt. That would be a theme for the night.  They give me Bruce Corbitt’s number and tell me to contact him to set it up.

 

I call Bruce on his cell phone. He’s in his hotel room and answers the phone sounding disheveled and grumpy.  I realize I had woken him up and immediately thought I shit the bed. He tells me to call him later in the afternoon when he’s more awake. So I do and I apologize profusely for waking him up earlier, he was totally forgiving. He gives me a time and tells me to meet him at the venue.

 

I go to the venue and text him that I’m there, he pops his head out a side door with his ballcap on backwards gives me a “Pssst”, calling me over to him like one would entering into a secret lair of some kind. We go back and start talking and he’s incredibly professional and friendly but I start getting the feeling he’s scoping me out and that me getting this interview with Phil is going to depend on passing the test with Bruce first. As the conversation turns to music, bands we’re into, he thought my wrestling background was pretty cool and asked about that alot and then we did our interview and really connected and exchanged info, followed each other on social media, etc and Bruce pretty much let it slip to me that he’d been sent to scout me out but his reaction indicated I’d clearly passed the test (I guess that test was not being a psychotic fanboy, a weirdo, a douchebag or some other such undesireable.)

 

What ever it was Bruce disappeared and went to talk to Phil. He came back about 10 minutes later and took me into the back. I walked by the green room and catering, and oh cool here are a bunch of my idols just hanging out and coming up and saying hi like I’m somebody important….hahahaha oh man if they only knew.  There’s Pepper Keenan from Corrosion Of Conformity just eating some cheese. There’s Kirk Windstein from Crowbar. There’s Jimmy Bower from Eyehategod. These dudes wrote a big ole’ chunk of the soundtrack to my life.

 

 

And then I’m taken directly to Phillip H Anselmo’s dressing room. This experience in and of itself is something that probably deserves its own article but I’ll summarize it by saying he blew away my wildest expectations. I met a lot of my heros working in wrestling and there are a lot of disappointments out there. I don’t care what anyone else has said about Phil, I’m telling my story. We had an earnest chat about his music, his career, his goals, his losses, our love of horror films, etc. He gave me my 20 or so minute interview for sure. And then let me hang out with him for about another hour like we were old pals. Before I left, he let me get a picture with him and complimented me on how much fun the interview was and told me I was a sharp dude and to keep grinding because he thought I could be somebody. I can not put into words what that meant to me and honestly when I get really down that is a moment I often go back to.  

 

 I don’t feel like that may have happened at all or at least don’t think it would have been nearly as epic of an experience as it was without Bruce Corbitt. I don’t know what he said to Phil that got me that kind of access, but to do that for a dude he’d just met and didn’t know from Adam speaks VOLUMES about the character of Bruce. He was one of a kind and I was one of “his kind” and he treated me as such. He could have easily blown me off but instead he made sure I had an experience I’ll remember until the day I die. We kept up with each other here and there on social media after the interview and when I heard about his cancer diagnosis I reached out to tell him I was thinking about him and he was as kind as usual. The fact that he was robbed of so much of his life by that terrible fucking disease is a travesty. Nobody that young should have to suffer that fate. My heart goes out to his close friends and family who were right there by his side until the end. There is a fundraiser that was set up for his medical expenses and I’m sure those didn’t just magically disappear when he passed so give if you can.

 

 Here is the link:

 

https://fundrazr.com/brucecorbitt?ref=ab_0x95W2Ii9ps0x95W2Ii9ps

 

Here is the interview I conducted with Bruce back in 2013:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GoNYSiZunUk

 

Just another daily reminder that life is fragile and needs to be appreciated. RIP “Batman” Thanks for the music, the memories and being the man. Crank some Warbeast and Rigor Mortis in remembrance of not only Bruce but late Rigor Mortis guitarist Mike Scaccia. I hope wherever you are, you two are jamming out once again.

 

 

Horns Up, Over and Out,

 

Dan Wilson