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Music Time Capsule Log # 8: Rocking in the Land of Vikings

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Music Time Capsule Log # 8: Rocking in the Land of Vikings

12 September 2018

Mark Antony Rossi

I had my eye on Denmark longer than when I discovered they make Legos. And every woman looks like a supermodel. Both of these are decent motivations to visit. But to the curious among us, and I count myself as one, we wonder what’s it like in countries that produce interesting rock and rollers? I’ve heard Mercyful Fate for years and admired the outstanding guitar work and really enjoyed the fact that the singer King Diamond sang in such a strange high falsetto. Yet I could never get over his lyrics and interviews talking about the devil. It always seemed a poor way to play into the stereotypes already swirling around rock and rock right up to the court case with Judas Priest. Ironically unlike most bands who used occultic stuff as marketing gimmicks (Venom, Motley Crue) Mr. Diamond was a serious adherent to that side of religion. So I drifted away from that band.

Next was an underrated outfit from Denmark called Pretty Maids who I caught on the European circuit and love their fervor and super album “Future World” that really set fire to my appetite to check them out further. Then King Diamond went solo and released a horror concept album “Abigail” and I was back in the good graces of listening to his material nonstop. I probably played “Deadly Omens” until the needle wore out. I was still buying and using LP’s back then.

Finally I got a chance to go to Denmark. I took the Eurotrain to Copenhagen. And it was such a sight with people speaking English and most folks not looking down on your because you’re American. The City had one hell of a music scene with bars literally devoted to every kind of genre possible. You could listen to rock, disco, pop, metal and jazz all in a few hours. I ducked into a reggae joint a girl I had met earlier that day and we talked and had a drink at the bar.

The bartender than tells someone in Danish that King Diamond is sitting in a booth a few feet away from our bar stools. The visitor claims he doesn’t care. Maybe he doesn’t know King Diamond from Burger King but I definitely do. I asked the girl to wait a moment and I went over to the table. He was sitting with more of his band and didn’t have on the trademark face makeup. But his hairline was the same and I introduced myself and told him I loved “Abigail” and I’m glad he dropped that devil stuff. He laughed and said in heavily accented English “I hear that a lot.” I hurried back to the bar but the girl was gone.

I didn’t think I was talking with him that long. I finished my drink and went I looked over the band was calling me over to their booth. Diamond said to me “she left.” I said “yeah, that was quick.” Everyone at the table laughed. One of the band members asked me why I wasn’t in the rock bar. I told him I couldn’t listen to “The Final Countdown” any longer. They laughed. I told them reggae was more metal than The Final Countdown. They bought me a drink and I stayed for a half hour and listened to their crazy adventures on the road.

Mark Antony Rossi


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