Enlarge Slipknot performs during opening night of the Ozzfest 2001 North American tour at the Tweeter Center in Chicago, Ill.. 6/8/01 Photo by Scott Gries/ImageDirect

Corey Taylor Used to Work in a Porn Shop

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I really ought to have known this already seeing as this site has basically become CoreyTaylorRules of late, but I only just learned from this interview with Let There Be Talk that Corey Taylor worked in a porn shop in Des Moines, IA in the early ’90s, long before Slipknot existed. It was quite a time, and Corey not only has plenty of stories about the characters that came into the store (with a few relayed below) but reveals that he channeled the shop’s… um, ambiance… to write Slipknot lyrics while on the job.

Ultimate Guitar has transcribed the relevant portion of the interview, and you can read that through below.

“I never really had it pretty good. I grew up poor, I was homeless for a while. Even after I got into my 20s and whatnot – hard keeping jobs and being a musician.”

What were you doing? Construction?

“I did roofing and siding for a while. But then I was like, ‘This ain’t for me.’ And then I worked in restaurants… The best job I ever had, three and a half years – I was a sales associate at a porn shop. And it was the fucking best gig. I didn’t clean any fluids.”

In Iowa?

“Yeah, the Adult Emporium. It’s not there anymore, it got bobbed by another place.”

You got to see some weird people go in there, huh?

“Dude, that’s another book I’m gonna write. From the moment I started that gig until the day I left… I wrote all the lyrics for the first Slipknot album [1999’s self-titled] in there. Because I worked from midnight to eight, which is the best time to work. Crazy shit. I had a dude walk in wearing nothing but chaps. And this is like, 2:30 in the morning. From the neck up, he looked like Billy Ray Cyrus, like 1991. Amazing mullet, very well taken care of. He had the Randy mustache and then no shirt and then just the fucking leather chaps. No pants. He just looks stunned. For a split second, I didn’t really know what to say. And I just went ‘Dude! You can’t be in here like that!’ And he’s like… *incoherent noises.* So my buddy came out from the back who was the janitor.”

The cum sweeper?

“Yeah, the guy that dealt with all the chemicals. [Laughs] He grabs him and he threw him out. We were there for about two seconds, we were laughing about it. And then all of the sudden, that motherfucker had gone to his car and gotten a shot glass and thrown it through the fucking door. And I was like, ‘What the fuck?!’ And I looked at my buddy and he’s like, ‘Let’s go get him.’ So we ran outside. He drove to the ditch to get up on the goddamn road. And I was like, ‘You motherfucker.’ So I called the cops. And they were like, ‘Can you give us a description?’. And I said, ‘Okay. Well, he was driving a Delta 88. However, he’s wearing nothing but chaps.’ ‘What do you mean, nothing but chaps?’ I was like, ‘I mean he forgot to put the pants on before he put the chaps on.’ And they start laughing, they’re like, ‘Alright.’ I never heard about it again. So I have several stories like that.”

Was that the last job before your band took off?

“Yeah, I tried to take that job back when we were working on the music for [2001’s] ‘Iowa.’ And they wouldn’t take me back.”
There’s no money, people don’t understand… Oh yeah, dude. You make shit.”

You’re out on tour, you get home, you need to get a job again.

“I had about three grand in my pocket. Which, at the time was like, the most money I’ve ever had. I still didn’t have an apartment and I was still trying to figure out where the fuck I was going to live. Because I had lost my apartment right before we went out on the first tour in ’99. So basically I was keeping all my stuff in my grandma’s house.”

You grew up with no father?

“Yeah. I didn’t meet my dad until I was like 30.”

Was that weird?

“Yeah, it was weird at first. And then we got along. We just haven’t talked. It’s just one of those things where it’s like, okay, I can say I’ve done it. But it’s tough. It’s like, you’re the adult, you’re the father, you should be wanting to talk to me. If you don’t want to talk to me, okay, that’s cool. I got what I needed. But the cool thing is, I found out that I have two brothers and another sister on my dad’s side who I actually do talk to. So that’s kind of cool.”

Switching back to the topic of being broke in a band with more members than an average rock/metal group, Corey said:

“There wasn’t a lot to go around. Let’s put it that way. But once we started working on ‘Iowa,’ that’s when stuff actually started to pay off. But I just wanted to get my job back to write the lyrics. I wanted to be able to work midnight-day to write the lyrics. They didn’t want to take me back because they were afraid that kids were gonna want to show up and see me. Because I’d talked about the place in the press. I was like, ‘Dude, I’ll shave my head, I’ll grow a beard. Nobody will know me.’ They’re like, ‘No, we won’t do it.’

“Some of the shit we sold in that place, man. There was this little petite woman who came in. She had to weigh about a buck 10. Beautiful. But really not a frame of a girl who you’d think would be going for it. And she kind of disappears into the store. I’m doing whatever – I’m checking rentals in. I turn around and she’s come up to the counter with two of the biggest Van Johnson plastic products I’ve ever seen in my life. And one was called ‘The Fist,’ and then its companion piece, ‘The Hand.’ Which is basically the same thing as ‘The Fist,’ except it’s doing the duckbill. And it’s much bigger than my four. [Laughs] It’s solid rubber.”

You can knock people out with it.

“Absolutely. You can pass it out to cops and they can use it for riot control. And she kind of sets them down. [Laughs] And there’s this awkward little quiet moment where she’s bright red. And I go, ‘For you? Will this be all for you tonight?’ She’s like ‘Oh, my god…’ She took them, she left, never saw her again. I was like, ‘Would you like some lubes and lotions to go with this?’…

“My aunt came in one night.”

Did she know you worked there?

“No. She – god bless her – tried to play it off like she was looking for directions. I was like, ‘It’s one in the morning. Where do you think you’re trying to get to?’ She couldn’t leave fast enough. I don’t want to name-check her. Because I haven’t told… Like, none of my family knows this. [Laughs] But it was brutal.”

You can listen to the interview below.

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