Friday, May 18, 2012


Last summer, I embarked upon my final series of live performances with Iced Earth.  During some down time at the ROCK AM Festival in Germany, I was approached by a young man baring gifts­.  His name is Alex Pineda, and he had traveled all the way from Bogota, Colombia to catch one of the last shows.  I was presented with a hand carved sculpture of a jaguar’s head which represents the Jaguar God in the indigenous culture of his homeland.  I was truly grateful and I don’t really know which of us was more excited about the meeting. I know that Alex had spent a lot of time and money to make the 6000 mile trip, and was a bit “sleep happy” when we met, but I was just so appreciative of his steadfastness and was overwhelmed by his loyalty to the band.  I know that there are fans that have gone to great lengths to see Iced Earth and this was but another stunning example of how blessed the band is…and I am.

Alex is the personification of driven, and the surrogate of the metal fraternity’s loyalty.  During his travels, he documented the journey for those of us who have ever dared to dream.  Alex’s dream was to go to Germany and hang out with his heavy metal brethren, a mission that was destined to succeed, but was wrought with its own specific challenges.  For these challenges to be overcome, he enlisted the aid of several friends from overseas; fellow metallers who were more than willing to help out their “brother from another mother”.  Is there any doubt that (metal) music is THE universal language?  I don’t think so, but you could ask a Martian the next time you see one!

Anyway…I suppose that there are at least two lessons in this story (if you find anymore, keep it to yourself).  First, never be afraid to act on your dreams (unless your dreams involve you wearing a meat shirt inside a lion’s cage).  Second, never ever take what you have for granted.  Thank you, Alex, for the reminder…and thank you all for listening!

Follow your dreams!!!


Monday, May 7, 2012


Well, by now most of you have either seen The Avengers or have heard that the film had the biggest opening weekend in the U.S…ever!  All of my friends in other parts of the world told me how great the movie was before I was able to see it, so I was ready for something fairly epic…or so I thought.  My wife and I went to a matinee show in Rehoboth Beach to find a modest but enthusiastic crowd waiting to be awed by “Earth’s Mightiest Heroes”.  There was an older gentleman there with his twenty-something son, who looked as though they had been waiting to see the film together for a long time.  I thought that Heather was going to start crying because it was “so cute”.  I have to admit, it was pretty cool seeing two generations of comic fans enjoying the anticipation together, as my guys and I will be doing in years to come.  Back to the show…

After a fairly impressive trailer for “The Amazing Spider-Man”, the show began.  We were re-introduced to the “Cosmic Cube” or “Tesseract” as it’s known in the film world.  We had a foreshadowing of the Tesseract and Loki uniting at the end of “Captain America: The First Avenger” and it didn’t take a lot to imagine what might come of that union.  I’m not going to go into the entire explanation of the movie because I really want you guys to see it for yourself.  There are so many cool aspects of the Avengers it’s really hard to believe that writers Zak Penn and Joss Whedon were able to put it all in at just over two hours.  There are the inevitable duels between the would-be teammates that are brought to us in epic form.  The hero and villain match-ups are great as well.  My favorite of these, and strangely the shortest, is that of The Hulk v. Loki.  All of the characters are given their due in the movie and it is what every fan-boy has been waiting for decades to see.

I hope to see the numbers of moviegoers increase in the following weeks to prove that a comic book property can be the highest grossing of all time.  Though I have high hopes for “The Bat” and “The Spider”, I think it will be hard to beat the scale of bad-assness that The Avengers has accomplished in their first outing.  Judging by the sneak peek of their future foe, Avengers II will assuredly destroy whatever records they make this year.  Congratulations to all involved and especially Mr. Whedon…the best superhero movie of all time may be your opus my friend.

This one I will definitely be seeing again on the big screen!