Symposium for the Devil
A VISIT TO A HARD-ROCK CONVENTION FANS AND MUSICIANS CONVERGE TO DISCUSS SOME HEAVY ISSUES
We’re not worthy,” chant 800 long-haired rockers, sinking to their knees as Alice Cooper climbs the stage. No, it’s not Wayne’s World 3. It’s the Foundations Forum, a hard-rock convention held Sept. 8-10 in Burbank, Calif. Cooper is receiving the Lifetime Achievement award for, as presenter Rob Zombie of White Zombie says, ”destroying all the crap hippie music that made everyone nauseous.”
In its seventh year, Foundations Forum (organized by Concrete Marketing, an independent marketing company) has, surprisingly, become less cartoonish than Wayne and Garth. Long gone are colossal, tousled hair dont’s and toe-to-chin spandex. Still, the convention drew 4,000 attendees (including Ice-T and members of L7, Motorhead, and Danzig), many of whom wore black, sported at least one tattoo, and were disappointed with the after-hours action. ”The wildest thing that happened was everyone getting thrown in the pool at the Biohazard party,” complained Bobby Barr, a deejay at Arizona State ‘s radio station. ”That’s boring. If it had been from the eighth floor or something, okay.” Despite that lack of smoke on the water, some highlights of the very heavy proceedings:
*Best Convention Credo: ”We start you at 11 in the morning and run you ’til 2 in the morning,” announced Foundations president Bob Chiappardi, kicking off the festivities. ”Then you’re too tired to do any damage to the hotel.”
Best Variation on Time-Honored Metal Garb: A brown wool jumpsuit with suspenders and matching cap, worn shirtless and with a thick nipple ring encircled by a tattoo, courtesy of Grog Von Haug, who divides his time between two bands, Bulimia Banquet and Imperial Buttwizards.
*Best Band Names: Bile, Cannibal Corpse, Butt Trumpet. Location, Location: Dave Hope, 24, from Youngstown, Ohio, lined the bathrooms with tapes of his band, Love and War. ”People gotta pee,” he reasoned.
*Best Overheard Slice of Meat Loaf: ”He always sweated like a pig, but he never smelled,” according to Meat’s former guitarist, Bob Kulick.
*Most Popular Piercing: Eyebrow.
*Most Useful Accessory: Red airport-ground-crew earmuffs as protection from the deafening unsigned bands playing outside the hotel.
*Best Prognostication: ”Colostomy bags are gonna be huge next year,” predicted L7 bassist Jennifer Finch.
*Best T-shirt Slogan: ”Paint the World with the Blood of Dead Idiots,” courtesy of the band Planet Hate.
Why They’re Still Worthy: ”You have to be able to laugh at yourself,” explained Cooper. ”This isn’t Bosnia-this is fun.”