Zakk Wylde…This Hero Shall Not Be Protested

Sean Harris

Aside from Killinger, there were other reasons to be in Vancouver last weekend. A little band from Whitby, Ontario came to The Vogue Theater those two nights and not only were they there to play a few songs, they wanted to showcase their insanely technical musical precision and comedic chops. Luke Hoskins of Protest The Hero made Randy Rhoads smile in his grave. The talent and skill just oozes off the guy and I’m excited to have discovered another “Guitar Hero.” I don’t have enough fingers and toes to count how many times he went off on ridiculous tapping tangents, making Yngwie Malmsteen look like Lil Wayne in comparison. Alright maybe I’m a tad biased.

Vocalist Rody Walker could be one of the funniest front men I’ve ever witnessed live. Why?

Night 1 – “The other day I went to the barber and I told the guy I wanted to look like the bad guy from The Fifth Element and look, this is what I got. I look like a total asshole. So I thought fuck it and I bought an Insane Clown Posse T-shirt. In my books if your gonna look like an asshole, you might as well look like a fucking asshole. We all know there’s nothing worse than a closet juggalo.”

Night 2 – An ICP chant was started and enjoyed by all.

Now thanks to Chris Harris himself and BLS’ publicist, I was able to do something that a lot of people never get to experience. I definitely recommend meeting one of your idols, if at all possible. Zakk Wylde, even with his gruff exterior, turned out to be one of the absolute nicest guys I’ve met in my entire life. My interview with him lasted around ten minutes but the memories will last a lifetime. Video of this incident now exists on Youtube, if anyone is interested. If you can’t tell I was rather flustered but I thought I kept it together pretty well. When I walked into his dressing room in the catacombs of the venue, it took every fiber of my being not to screech like a little girl shouting, “OMG!! YOUR ZAKK WYLDE!!” I almost cried when he hugged me.

He made me feel at home and I proceeded to conduct a somewhat professional interview. Hey what do you want from me, perfection? We covered a wide range of topics which included the New York Giants, the NHL lockout, his four little bambinos at home, Ozzy and Friends, Pantera, and most importantly, Stone Cold Steve Austin’s view of Mr. Wylde.

“Here’s a bar of soap. Learn how to use it you smelly motherfucker!”

I thought Zakk smelled fantastic.

When our confab was over I felt on top of the world even though the whole time with him felt surreal. He brought me back to earth when he said he had to put on his eye liner and fishnet stockings. He then obliged to autograph my BLS shirt, taking a solid minute to sign. I was wondering why he was taking so long. I then realized he drew a piece of artwork on it, one of his bulls eye guitars. The shirt is now in my personal Smithsonian.

I also received the best piece of advice I’ve ever attained in my life.

“Go shoot some heroine and come back for the show and you’ll be good to go.”

I took that advice as always have a sense of humor.

The shows themselves were something to behold. Zakk was Zakk. Can you say twelve minute guitar solo? No description needed. Nick Catanese proved his “Evil Twin” moniker is not a fluke. Jeff Fabb, formerly from the band that guy from American Idol started, convinced he could be a full time guy. John Deservio, also known as J Diesel to the boys downtown, cemented himself as one of my all time favorite bassists. The whole night I was playing air bass and more than a few times J.D. noticed as I could read his lips when he said, “You Play Bass?” Good times.

Hit after hit was played, head after head was banged and The Canadian Chapter of The Black Label Society went home with more than smiles on our faces.

In my case I went home with two Wylde picks, a signed shirt and a huge wet spot on the front of my pants.

Yeah, like you wouldn’t piss yourself if you met Zakk Wylde…

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