Sunday, December 15, 2013

Stryper Hates Their Drummer

You're reading Books, Beer and BLOGshit! It's the only blog that muses over resurgent 80's Christian metal has-beens. I am your sinner and blogger, Mr. Frank.

In the past few months I've been finding a new appreciation for the rock band, Stryper. Stryper came out of the 80's glam metal scene and had the unique angle of being Christian rockers. Everything about the band was driven from a near evangelical push for everyone to accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. The bands name, their look and their lyrics were all driven by their theology.

At the time that really turned me off. To me Jesus was so opposite that everything metal was supposed to be. Metal was rebellious, dangerous and dark. Jesus was the light and the way and love. It just never mixed in my mind and I wrote Stryper off as a bunch of pussies (their super ballad, Honestly, did nothing to help their case either.)

Fast Forward fifteen years or so. The Lord sends to me Armand Rosamilia (yes, that Armand Rosamilia) who begins to instill in me a new found appreciation for what Stryper was and is. He guided me to songs and albums I had ignored or was ignorant to. Two notable albums being an album of cover songs called The Covering and a collection of re-recorded Stryper songs entitled Second Coming. Check them both out you should be as pleasantly surprised as I was.

Couple this with an now brand new Stryper album that sonically should put any issues of them being a bunch of 'pussies' to rest once and for all. Their lead single off the album, No More Hell To Pay, is immediately gripping and you can't help but start thrashing your ghostly locks to the beat.

Cue the video. Rock out to it. Get the song into your bones because you're going to need to watch a second time around and really WATCH what's going on in the video because you may be hypnotized by the bad ass music the first time around and miss it.  Go on, Ill Wait. We'll pick up on the other side.

Did you notice it? Did you see it? Once you do it's comical. That's right, Stryper hates their drummer!

Right there, just 9 seconds into the video. There he is, in the middle of the desert. Just him and a bass drum and two cymbals propped up against it. That's all he gets. The WHOLE video. 

I can picture it now: The whole band and video crew parked on the side of a desolate highway in the badlands of Wyoming. The shoot location maybe about a half mile walk off the road. They crew has all these off roading dollies with all terrain wheels and stuff on them. Cameras, lighting, hardware, hardshell cases with guitars all piled on. Then -

"Opps, no room for your drum kit dude. Just grab and drum and a cymbal or some shit and follow us. Grace be upon us all."

"But, wait, I gotta put my stuff on the dollie."

"No time man, we gotta roll, schedules to keep and shit. Just carry the shit and shut the fuck up. Praise Jesus."

"Damnit! Err, I mean Hallelujia!"

So now they are out there, the cameras are rolling. They band is looking all bad ass with their axes slung around their necks, decked out in leather and sunglasses, kicking up dust clouds. Then there's Slappy (I'll call him Slappy because that's all he seems to do in this video, slap shit) in the back of everyone slapping the side of a drum desperately trying to keep up with the image.

The director starts begging him for more -

"Slappy, can you like do something else other than play paddy cake with the bass drum. All praise his name."

"Dude, I don't even have sticks! What the hell do you want me to do?! Err, uhh, to the heavens I pray thee well."

"I don't know Slappy, pick up that cymbal and pretend you're a gypsy or something. Amen."

So now Slappy is getting incredulous. He's marching around in the middle of the wastelands slapping out Cum Ba Ya My Lord on a giant crash cymbal and he doesn't even have drum stick to twirl around and look all bad ass with.

Now Slappy looses his damn mind. The other members of the band are rocking out with their guitars. They look cool. If this were a fair fight the bass player would have like one string tied between two fingers and he would have to try and strum it with his giant schnozz.

Slappy goes apeshit crazy and picks up the bass drum and starts singing One Toke Over The Line Sweet Jesus. He raises the bass drum over his head and dares God to strike him down where he stands like a deranged Lt. Dan in black and yellow striped leather chaps.

The director yells "Cut! Print! We got it. Thanks boys."

Everyone packs their gear back on the dollies. Slappy drags his bass drum through the jagged dust and rocks behind him. His cymbals he leaves behind. He used them as Frisbees at some point when he became unhinged during the shoot. Fuck it all, Amen.

Go on, scroll back up. See it again in a whole new. Praise Jesus.

From Wikipedia:  Robert Lee Sweet (born March 21, 1960 in Lynwood, California) is the drummer of the Christian metal band Stryper. He and his brother Michael originally founded the band as Roxx or Roxx Regime. Robert became known as the "Visual Time Keeper" for his wild drumming and captivating drum kits. Unlike most drummers, Sweet faces in the direction of stage left or right while playing, not straight ahead, so that the audience can see him and not have their view of him obscured by his drumkit. Sweet also played a key role in the visual direction of the band itself as well as being a significant contributor to the group.

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