Editorial: At What Metal Show Would You Want Your Ashes To Be Scattered?
By now, we all know the story of Nick, the diehard metalhead whose ashes are being scattered at various metal shows around the country during sets by bands like Dying Fetus, Behemoth, and Taake. With the help of his lifelong friend David Rich, Nick’s last remains have been spread throughout the scenes of several states.
David commented on our most recent Facebook post about Nick’s ashes, describing the many different shows where his friend was laid to rest:
Many of our commenters agreed with us that this was both an incredible act of friendship and the most metal thing ever. Several were disgusted at the idea of inhaling bits of a burnt human corpse, though others, myself included, also considered the Aghori treatment brutal as fuck and totally awesome. And I’m sure at least some of the people following this story–this writer being one of them–considered their own mortality to a certain degree, and asked themselves, At what metal show would I have my ashes scattered?
My immediate thought was pretty obvious: a Slayer pit. Slayer will always be my favorite band, and their concerts are blinding crucibles of pure hesherdom, with the most rabid pits, the most diehard fans, and the most amazing live band of all time playing in front of you. In my mind, the average Slayer fan would be happy to mosh in my ashes; Hell, they might even snort a line of them if dared to do so by Tom Araya. And it would only be fitting that my cremated body rests where my living one spent so much time during my life–slamming into a bunch of sweaty chuds while “Mandatory Suicide” raged onstage.
But maybe I’m idealizing this scenario. The type Slayer show I’m remembering probably hasn’t existed since 2007 or so. The last few times I’ve seen Slayer, everyone had assigned seats. There really wasn’t any moshing. And while resting with the gods onstage has a certain appeal, having my remains poured amongst Slayer’s fans feels more vital to me than having them poured out amongst Slayer themselves (so maybe if one of the dudes fired them out into the crowd with some sort of T-shirt cannon-like gun? What a country). And honestly, do I really want my ashes poured onstage without Jeff there?
When I think of the other bands in my top ten, there’s no one whose show I’d really consider appropriate, or who I think would be able to do it properly. Motörhead’s over. Same with Celtic Frost. White Zombie’s broken up, and while I love Rob, it’s just not the same. Cannibal Corpse rule, but for some reason I’m not feeling it. The current incarnation of The Misfits definitely doesn’t make the cut. After that, I’d get my ashes poured out among bands who I like–really, really like–but don’t truly love. And as I mentioned in the Behemoth piece, there’s something about spreading my ashes around among several shows that I find less special.
For the record, none of this would matter to me, truly, because in this scenario I’m dead, and the idea that I’ll be looking down from a cloud or staring up from a pit of boiling dogshit is ridiculous. I consider it comical to be a stickler about what happens to your physical body after you die, because you won’t be around to care, and hey, what’d that piece of shit ever give you other than a bunch of orgasms and the occasional blistering hangover?
Besides, even if my ghost remained wherever, or among whomever, my ashes were scattered around, would I want that to be at a rock venue, or with a bunch of metalheads? Do I want my spirit to rest at a place that occasionally throws a spoiled rich girl’s Sweet Sixteen, or alongside a dude who’ll stop calling himself ‘Meat Cleaver’ when he becomes the manager of a Red Robin?
Look, I’m glad Nick’s ashes got scattered at some killer shows. But death and mourning are more about the living than they are the deceased, so most importantly, I’m glad Nick had a friend like David, and that David got some closure by sending Nick’s ashes to the various pits and stages where they now rest. At the end of the day, maybe it’s not where your physical remains are placed that matters, but the hands that perform the placement, and the memories that move them.
What about you guys? What show would you have your ashes scattered at? Let us know in the comments.