My name is Geoff Chaplin and this is my music blog.  I’ve been a fan of music for as much as I can remember of my 39 years and I thought it was about time I forced my views onto the online world. The picture to your right is definitely not a current one!

One of the major components of this blog is recordings of a now defunct radio show named Let’s Mosh which I was a member of since 1996 or so along with my good mates Mark and Steve.  We played a wide range of heavy metal and also enjoyed rambling crap and bickering between ourselves during talk breaks.

My earliest memories of music are The Beatles and ABBA and I still love each band and listen to them regularly. When I put on their albums I get an instant flashback of sitting on the lounge room floor next to the cabinet of LPs (which my Mum still has) admiring the cover art.

Pop only held me so long though and I first discovered heavy metal when Twisted Sister burst onto the world scene with We’re Not Gonna Take It and I Wanna Rock from their Stay Hungry album in about 1984 (although I do remember liking Kiss songs and the Deep Purple song Black Night before this).

From there it was a short step to Iron Maiden and then thrash took me over with Metallica, Kreator, Megadeth, Anthrax, S.O.D., and most of all Slayer. Thanks heaps to my old primary school mate Phil Collings who played me Maiden, Metallica and Slayer for the first time and also to my former neighbour Ben Green who lent me Ride The Lightning on LP. I still remember the feeling when I first heard Kreator’s masterpiece Pleasure To Kill on a tape which had S.O.D: Speak English Or Die on the other side and it scared the bejesus out of me. S.O.D. had been a fun listen and so I flipped the tape over and after the nice intro of Choir Of The Damned suddenly Ripping Corpse exploded out of the stereo and Mille started screaming and I had major fear chills! This would have been about 1987 or so and it was a few more years until I received another dose of scary metal when I first heard death metal in the form of Death’s Leprosy album.

I used to record songs I liked from a local metal radio show called The Blitz and one night the host played the first 2 songs from Leprosy and it was very similar to driving past a car accident – I just couldn’t look away! Those 2 songs were played over and over and finally Leprosy was purchased on vinyl and my love affair with death metal began (and hasn’t ceased yet). Funnily enough the radio show I co-hosted was essentially the successor to The Blitz so it was a very satisfying feeling for me when I received feedback that someone discovered a new band by listening to the show.

Local gigs and tape trading began after this and thankfully my good mate Andy Dykes provided me with plenty of choice tunes from his much more extensive trading circle and my tastes grew to encompass all forms of extreme metal. 25 odd years, hundreds of gigs and thousands of CDs later I am still addicted to the rush received from listening to metal and I really hope that never changes.

If you are wondering what the title of the blog means well a “mendicant” is an itinerant preacher (essentially a wandering beggar priest) and the Mendicant Music header is a detail from the following picture which is from the book Dance Of Death by Hans Holbein The Younger. This book was first published in 1538 and is a series of woodcuts depicting Death interacting with a variety of people who cannot escape his embrace.

The reason I use the term mendicant is quite different though as I first discovered the word in a comic called Groo The Wanderer by Sergio Aragones and Mark Evanier. Groo was essentially a spoof of Conan The Barbarian and is about a wandering swordsman who is very capable with the blade but is incredibly stupid. The comic follows his journeys with his dog Rufferto and is a series of mishaps caused by his stupidity and/or ignorance. They are very funny comics and beautifully drawn by Aragones who people may recognise from his work in Mad Magazine where he mostly drew the marginal comics on the sides of pages. As Groo is so unintelligent he doesn’t usually understand when people insult him except for the word mendicant which sends him into a rage even though he doesn’t know what it means. The name just stuck with me although thankfully I am no beggar and sadly I am no wandering warrior.

 

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