My old friend Ed Montgomery and I wanted to go see King Diamond at Bogarts in Cincinnati. No vehicle though. So we enlisted the help of a strange upperclassman named Rob. Actually, he was alright but his driving made us both a bit nervous. He seemed to jerk the wheel a bit too much. We cruised down to the club and ran into some other Daytonites - Trasher Mike, Steve, Cleve and Anthony Semirale - aka Stone.
Flotsam and Jetsam opened the show and a huge pit emerged in front us. I'm a little leery of charging into these pits - it's a good way to get a bloody nose or at the very least, stomped on. Instead, I like to hover on the outskirts. Every once in a while you get bumped around but it's no big deal. Also, you don't have some fat ass who's sweating profusely rub up against you. That is not my idea of a good time. Flotsam rocked. During the set break, I saw the stage manager (Ole Bang, that's really his name) helping set things up. I asked him if we could get an autograph of the King and he surprisingly was very cool with it. In fact, he claimed to remember me. I thought that was odd but played along. After the show, Ed and I were led backstage. There was a a very peculiar dude in the corridor holding a clock. He asked us if were going to meet King Diamond and I said "that's the plan." He explained how he was hoping to get his clock signed - on the face of the clock was a painting of King Diamond's head (full satanic makeup and it looked pretty sharp). We also met these two groupie chicks from Dayton who we'd run into a few more times at these metal shows. I forget their names.
Anyway, Ole Bang comes up to us and says "the King is ready to see you." Ed and I open the door and there he is - no makeup. I must say, the King looked pretty haggard. Must have been worn out from all that screeching and that bizarre stage show. Anybody who has seen King Diamond would know what I'm talking about. He opened his mouth and in a haunting soft voice said "Come forward." Ed and I look at each other and nervously approached. He asked us if we enjoyed the show and we both mumbled "Yes, Mr. Diamond." He then signed my fan club letter which I kept in my wallet for years. He wrote the standard KING DIAMOND with two inverted crosses on both sides. I wish I still had that memento. Maybe I'll search through my files.
This wasn't the best show I've seen. I thought Flotsam was much better, but no way was I going to miss King D on that Welcome Home tour. All his friends were there - Missy, some giant mummy/Frankenstein thing, and don't forget Grandma. Not one of the best shows, but probably one of the strangest. It's always time for tea.