I haven’t been able to think about “mentoring” anyone with a straight face since the 80s, when I first heard Seattle’s Mentors, the grand Illuminated Masters who continue to rule my extremely potty-mouthed inner-12-year-old. (Had I actually heard “Four-F Club” when I was 12, those 4-H meetings would have been a lot more entertaining.) The Mentors were awful—really, really fucking awful—and they gloried in it more than any other sucky band in a legion of sucky bands. That’s kinda what made them great. When their lyrics were given one of those dramatic recitations in Congress during the PMRC hearings, they managed to make every single other band look completely gonad-less and weak by comparison. They were so awful that founding member El Duce‘s death–he was hit by a train in 1997–is, in its own punch-in-the-gut kind of way, almost a punchline. A man like that ought to be immortal.
Anyhow, they’re on my mind right now because MVD is releasing a Mentors DVD in early April: 50 minutes of vintage, hooded madness from “one of heavy metal’s most innovative bands,” as the company coyly phrases it. God, I can’t wait. Maybe it’s true that “All Women Are Insane.”