What else would you call a complete oral history of heavy metal but Louder Than Hell? That’s a fun question to contemplate, but not nearly as fun as the stories that the book’s authors, Jon Wiederhorn and Katherine Turman, share in the latest episode of The Hivecast with Matt Pinfield. The stories within range are exactly the type of hilarious and spooky heavy-metal shenanigans we all love to revel in.
For instance, there’s this gem Wiederhorn recalls about former Pentagram and current Raven drummer Joe Hasselvander: “He was in this studio in New York, and there was a stack of tarot cards there,” Wiederhorn says. “They were these wild, occult-looking things, and he took a few of them for himself, because he thought it was a great collectible. And apparently the cards were cursed, and he went through what he said were years of trying to clean his house; his family had been touched by them. He said everything that happened in the Amityville Horror happened once he had the cards in his possession where he lived. There was blood, there were flies. He said it was just terrifying, and he was able to trace it back through occult specialists, and claims that they belonged to the Witchfinder General at one point.”
That’s creepy, but the real spine-tingler is yet to come: “The guy who picked up the rest of the cards,” Wiederhorn says, “was Cliff Burton.” The former Metallica bassist died in a bus crash that left the rest of his bandmates unharmed, of course, after picking up the cards. Check out the rest of the podcast for more stories of horror, depravity, rock and roll excess, and of course: heavy fucking metal.