When Lizzy Borden beat the hell out of Metal Blade’s Santa Claus, Brian Slagel

Metal Blade Records are celebrating their 40th anniversary, and a Las Vegas show on 5 October will see Killswitch Engage, Fit For An Autopsy and Visigoth join the celebrations. Lizzy Borden has been talking on Metal Blade’s Rewind about The Murderous Metal tour and how he persuaded Brian Slagel to film a live show.

“I guess about ’84, ’85 people started doing live form VHS shows,” Lizzy says. “So I pitched it to Brian because they hadn’t done one at that moment. I said, what about filming our show? And he loved the idea. So we went on our first tour, Love You To Pieces, Murderous Metal, and on the last night of the tour, we had planned on filming at the Country Club.

“It was a lot of pressure, and we weren’t smart enough to realise that we should film a sound check to get some footage or some audio just in case. So it was a one-and-done. You know, everything we filmed was how it happened.”

The process was not totally smooth, though. “A couple of mics went out,” Lizzy says, “and there were some problems. We had to retouch some stuff, but other than that, it’s exactly the way it was.”

Most people did not know that Brian was in the show. “It was December, right near Christmas,” Lizzy says. “So Brian came out as Santa Claus, we beat the hell out of him, and it was really fun. It was great that he was in the show, and almost no one knew that Brian was Santa.

“I had to talk him into doing it. We rehearsed it backstage. He had a pillow on, and we were kind of lightly hitting him, but a couple of people hit him hard, and he’s like, ‘hey!”

On stage that night, when Santa was on stage, Lizzy called out, “We’re not gonna hurt you, I wouldn’t rip your heart out.”

“I had to hit him with a bat,” Lizzy says. “So I had to practice how to pull my punches, but we were doing some theatrical stuff on stage where we did have to pull our punches. So I kind of hit a little bit, but the rest of the band was just wailing on him.”

As with recent conversations with Tony Iommi, Wendy Dio and Thunder, Lizzy finds that today’s younger audiences are catching up on some Classic Metal.

“That video has been reissued a few times,” he says, “but the younger audience has found it, and it’s new to them. We could have done that last week to them. You know, other people grew up with it, and it’s part of their record collection. It’s getting dusty in the corner, and everyone’s trying to break it out. But actually, all the young kids into Classic Metal discovered it, and when they find out Brian’s in on it, it’s very funny. Thank you.”

The October show is Metal Blade’s big celebration blowout. “I hope you all can come party with us in Las Vegas on 5 October,” Brian Slagel says. “This is the big celebration of Metal Blade.”

Sleeve Notes

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