When you think of the 1980s only one band comes to mind.
Singer/Drummer El Duce had a vision that apparently no one else in the band shared. So he was forced to go it alone. Songs such as “Asshole Gassholeen” or “Meatrack” are things of beauty. It is sad that nobody understood this genius in his lifetime.
Could anyone but El Duce write a line as tender as “Bend up and smell my anal vapor, your face is my toilet paper?” On Slave To Thy Master, El Duce finally speaks his mind: “I’m an ungroomed lover, biggest pig you will discover.”
This was a man who clearly knew how to win over the ladies.
I will never forget the first time I saw The Mentors. I was interviewing their opening band, The Dehumanizers before a show. Three groups were scheduled for the night, but one dropped out. The contract included a pitcher of beer for each band. Naturally, El Duce assumed that the second band’s pitcher was now his.
When his request was denied, Duce went nuts. It was one of the funniest things I have ever seen. He started throwing glasses, tearing down signs, and threatening to pull out of the gig altogether. All over a four dollar pitcher of beer! Finally, management relented, and as far as I could tell provided them with brew for the rest of the night.
Slave To Thy Master absolutely lives up to El Duce’s legacy. Tracks such as “Living On Welfare” and “Sickest Bastard On The Face Of The Earth” are guaranteed to piss off parents and wives.
Since his unfortunate demise in 1997, rumors have abounded about the circumstances surrounding El Duce’s death. The Courtney Love one is my favorite. According to this theory, Duce was contracted to kill Kurt Cobain. He was killed JFK style, because he knew too much.
A friend of mine, who was close to the band finds this idea laughable. Eldon Hoke, (El Duce’s real name), was practically deaf, and often walked down the railroad tracks to his local convenience store for beer. Even though I don’t really buy it, I still love the Courtney conspiracy theory.
In any case, Slave To Thy Master is vintage El Duce material. Remixed and re-mastered, and including new live tracks, this is a disc for the ages.