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America Essays Pt VII - Who The F**k Is Caeser Pink?
America Essays Pt VII - Who The F**k Is Caeser Pink?
As Jodi turned through the final pages of the photo album the timeline changed to her teen years, revealing the first hints of the woman she was now. She looked thin and delicate, less confident but poised. Her parents had definite ideas about how a young lady should act, even going so far as to send her to finishing school.
In the final picture the father stands with his brood. The brother has a precocious smile on his face, but one might imagine there is a hint of anger concealed therein. The girls are lined up line summer daisies, dreaming of sunshine, but knowing they need rain. Everything looks perfect.
I think the biggest mystery about Jodi is where do I come in? Why did she seek me out? I look into her eyes searching for an answer. She looks back at me with doe-eyed innocence. But if I look deeper, I see the wisdom of Eve in the moments before she offered Adam the apple.
To the woman who would soon be the mother of all humanity the garden must have seemed an awfully boring place, and Adam a never-ending lout. Sure, he could be counted on to always be there, but as each day faded into another, without direction, without change, without a crease ever crossing his brow, or a new idea ever lighting up his face, perhaps she thought it better to live in struggle and savor each meal procured in toil, then to enjoy an abundance of food with no flavor.
Jodi found me over the internet. She found The Imperial Orgy in a Google search. One can only guess what word she must have been searching. But why seek out a stranger named Caeser Pink? The image that is projected of Caeser Pink on the internet and through the media is…well, I really don’t know what to say. Perhaps a few press clipping would explain it best;
"I have never seen anything like it! I was truly blown away. Caesar was a snarling, predatory beast-like man, venturing out onto the dance floor and enticing women to take a bite of his apple and writhe around with him. His persona was pure sexual confidence. The stage was his and the man was drawing out the crowd's sexuality almost beyond their control. At one point the stage was covered in bodies gyrating to the music, falling over each other and Caesar was in the middle of it all, a sinister smile playing around the corner of his lips. This was the magic man." -Bully Mag
Caeser Pink easily seduces everyone in the audience with his animalistic stage presence...pink is a little bit more than just hypnotizing...he's a new rock and roll icon for the millennium, and most definitely ahead of his time. -Dig This Real Magazine
A most original, original band. Newsprint doesn't do them justice. Looking sort of like an English cousin of Leonardo DiCaprio, Caeser Pink and his crew takes their mission to have a blast very seriously. Their pop-fun songs keeps fans dancing while giving them brain nourishment in the form of serious lyrical themes mouthed by the confident lounge singer cool of Caeser." -The Bronx Times
The Imperial Orgy is a creative feast. Lead vocalist Caeser Pink exudes an air of sel-fassurance and sex appeal reminiscent of John Travolta's character in Grease. Their music embodies a free spirit that infects everyone in the audience. The Imperial Orgy is an experience that broadens the mind and the senses." -Good Times Magazine
"Caeser Pink is the enigmatic leader of a troupe of entertainers called The Imperial Orgy. Take yourself higher with this great show, these great artists and let your mind move to new and higher highs. There's no let up in the rush...takes you places you've never been. The best stadium show in the nation!" -Online TV
The Imperial Orgy is a multimedia onslaught of music, video, artwork, and performance. Mr. Pink is the tall, dark, and devilishly handsome frontman. The Imperial Orgy follows his lead and tries their hardest to break down the boundaries that keep you and me from partaking in the feast of life. The Imperial Orgy's sound has a striking diversity with no limitations. Caeser Pink and the Imperial Orgy want to blow your mind, but they will be content to make you stop and think for a second. -Ampcast.com
This image is something I have grappled with on a daily basis. It was a never-ending tug-of-war between the peasant boy reared in the trailer park, and whatever this other being is. Although I created it, and live it, I didn’t really understand it.
The first time I stepped onstage with The Imperial Orgy I knew I was possessed. Possessed, yet I felt more truly myself than ever before.
In the months before The Imperial Orgy’s first full performance I began falling into deep trances. Sometimes while in these trances I visualized things that would be used in the music or staging, other times I saw events that would soon come to pass, yet seemed too outrageous to be true.
Our first full performance was at a little bar near the Penn State University called Stoney’s Posthouse Tavern. Usually the entertainment consisted of top 40 bands and alternative cover bands who were ignored by the audiences who came to drink and party with friends. That was about to change. Due to a series of provocative flyers and radio ads, the room was filled to capacity.
Along the back wall of the empty stage a dark video collage created by the multimedia artist Jon Mertz began to flicker. Fog, soaked a deep pink by the red lights began to seep from the corners, blurring the disturbing images on the video screen. I walked out onto the empty stage dressed in black jeans and a shiny 1970’s style leather jacket. As I looked at the faces of the silent crowd I could see the skepticism in their eyes. To make matters worse, instead of singing a familiar cover song I began shouting an apocalyptic poem.
As I move through the days I experience nature’s duality
As I enter the physical realm
I see all men striving blindly to fulfill their desires
Creating a mad, frenzied, insectile order
My delivery challenged the audience. I hurled the words at them like insults. Meanwhile our guitar player Michael Mordes wandered out onto the stage dressed in a red pair of coveralls and with a brown beer-ball over his head, giving him the appearance of a surreal spaceman from a 1950’s sci-fi movie. Underneath my tirade he began playing abstract guitar lines that had nothing to do with the words I was shouting.
The Poor live lives of desperation
Their dignity stolen by poverty's cunning
The rich search for ever more subtle means
To carry out their genteel acts of self destruction
As I read the words I paced back and forth in the red haze, reading the poetry from a black notebook like a caricature of a bad beat poet. One by one the musicians wandered onstage and began playing random atonal noise. As the cacophony grew the audience became increasingly agitated.
“Sing it. Sing it!” people began to shout. The sound beneath me evolved into a horrendous barrage of chaotic noise. Overtop I screamed the final lines of the poem.
Down on my knees
Worshipping, eating, fucking, sucking the beast
The flames enter my stomach
Burn my lungs
Singe my senses
I tried to maintain eye contact with the audience, challenging and taunting them. Their faces registered anger and confusion. Just when I thought they were about to get up and walk out the door, with a flick of my wrist the entire ruckus came to a dead stop with razor’s edge precision.
I stood silent for a moment, allowing it to register with the crowd that the cacophony they thought was the ramblings of talent-less children, was actually a purposeful assault completely under our control. Slowly I walked over the invisible line that separates audience and performer, by doing so announcing that I would not hesitate to enter their territory. Staring into their collective eyes I read the poem’s final lines.
With my eyes finally opened
I see all things are on fire
With another flick of my wrist the band broke into a punk rock version of Brave New Hymn. As the song went through verse, chorus, and back again, although the song was not safely familiar, at least we seemed to be behaving like a nice little rock band should. I could see that the audience was becoming comfortable with the idea that the first assault was just an aberration and they could now settle into a night of drinking without further annoyance from the living jukebox.
Just when they thought it was safe I disappeared from the stage and the band switched into a minimalist new wave funk groove. I returned in a few seconds with the background singers on each side of me. They were dressed in matching skin-tight black lycra skirts. We walked in unison to center stage, right on the first beat of the verse I hit the microphone and the girls froze into a pose with their arms crossed and their chins held high, each in half profile aimed away from me, looking like sexy sentry guards.
Again the lyrics and presentation challenged the audience, asking them to take part in an evening of carefree partying while children starved in Africa and racists in Sarajevo.
Now I'm looking out among you
Now I'm speaking right to you
This is my condemnation
Can you look me in the eye?
Murder, famine, , and poison
We unleash upon the world
But weekend is the time to party
We will drink and dance tonight
Between verses the girls broke into angular dance routines. During the chorus I again went into the audience, imploring them with outstretched hands, “Can you even call me human?”
The girls responded with silky voices, “Don’t say yes, don’t say yes.”
“I just close my eyes again,” I finished then turned my back on the crowd and returned to my space between the women.
Near the song’s end a young man who had obviously had enough of this nonsense ran up onto the stage and demanded that we stop the music. We continued on as if he wasn’t there. He took an angry stance behind me with his arms folded over his chest as if to say ‘I’m not leaving until you stop this music.” I noticed a few of my backwoods friends stood up, ready to provide assistance if any trouble broke out. I stood directly in front of the angry fellow and let myself fall backwards unto him. I’m not sure what happened to him after that. He disappeared and was not seen again.
By this time it was beginning to dawn on the audience they we weren’t going to provide an evening of safe entertainment, and they would have to go with it or get out. By the fourth song a few of the more confident women had begun to dance in front of the stage area. Throughout the first set we took them on a musical journey. We sat down for an unplugged-style acoustic ballad, I wore a large dunce cap for an industrial rocker called Idiot Love. With each song the group of people dancing in front of the stage grew larger.
By the set’s end the audience had grown to trust us. Although we stepped far outside the boundaries they were used to, they began to feel like they understood the parameters of where we might go. Now it was time to break through those parameters and see how far we could actually take them.
As the keyboard player began to fill the room with sounds of church organ, I introduced “The Imperial Orgy’s spiritual advisor and pharmacist…the Reverend Blue Blotter.”
Guitarist Michael Mordes stepped up to the mic and began preaching with the voice of a Southern Baptist evangelist. Between lines I lead the audience in shouts of ‘Amen’ and “Halleluiah.”
"Good evening my people out there. I am here with a message from the Lord. I am here to tell you that we're all going to heaven. Yes everyone that's here tonight. And I know you may be lookin' for meaning in your life and I'm here to tell you that you'll find it! You'll find it in heaven! Because many don't know this but God is a woman. Yes, that's right. A beautiful, sexy, big-breasted woman.
"Now God wants me to tell you that while we're on this earth we need to love each other. Wait a minute people, God is speaking to me right now...and God wants me to spread the word of love right here to you. So children right this very moment turn to that person beside you, be they stranger or friend, and extend your hand. Extend your hand and touch them...in a very intimate place. That's right my friends, feel the spirit of God's creative powers. Cause while you're here God wants you to practice for Her. So please people do God's work, and while you're here... F**k like Bunnies! "
At that moment a pair of copulating rabbits filled the video screen, followed by a Noah’s Ark’s parade of mating animals both large and small. As he completed his sermon I walked to the microphone and yelled, “Let the orgy begin!” The band broke into a funky prince-esque groove, and I pulled a large red apple from my pocket and began blowing my breath on it and shining on my shirtsleeve.
I walked slowly out onto the dance floor, my face aimed downward, but my eyes peering upwards at the faces in the crowd, providing an expression of lechery as in the old movie posters for A Clockwork Orange. I bit into the apple as if taunting the crowd, chewing nonchalantly as the guitarist took a solo. When the chorus came I held the apple out to an innocent looking college girl. She hesitated for a moment than grabbed my hand, pulling the apple close to her mouth and took a large bite as the crowd cheered in approval.
I wanna show you sex salvation
I wanna give you a sensual revelation
I wanna show you sex salvation
I'll lead you to erotic devastation
Now that they understood the game, the women were not only willing to bite the apple, they seemed to be jumping out of the skin in hopes of being next to take part in the new ritual. By the middle bridge, three apples had been chewed to the core.
Finally the musicians broke down to a simmering groove. I walked through the crowd of dancers searching for an appropriate consort. I chose a woman whose dark eyes suggested she was more acquainted with the ways of love than the average schoolgirl. As I whispered into the microphone I circled around her.
“Woman you look so fine. What I wanna know is do you read the Bible?
Cause I wanna know you.”
She looked into my eyes as she danced. Feeling the heat she pulled her outer shirt off over her head, leaving on a thin white undershirt covering her medium sized breasts. Bringing my mouth close behind her right ear I continued.
“Can I kiss the back of your neck three times? Maybe even seven? And then
down and down and down…”
Circling around her I fell on my knees in front of her. Taking her hand in mine, I slid down flat on my back. She straddled me, placing her behind on my crotch as she sat upright atop me. She began grinding her hips against me in rhythm to the music. Looking up at her I asked,
“Baby can you thrust?”
On cue the band responded with a loud James Brown style ‘horn blast.’ With the blast I thrust against her, raising her into the air with my pelvis. I repeated the question.
“Baby can you thrust?”
Again the band responded with a blast and I raised her into the air with my hips.
“Gimmie two,” I begged and the band obliged
“Make it faster, faster, faster, faster!”
In quick succession the music hits responded and with each hit I lifted her skyward as she gyrated atop me. The audience seemed stunned. The women seemed in a frenzy of sexual excitement. With that we ended our first set and ran towards the basement storage area that we were using as a dressing room. The audience had never seen anything like The Imperial Orgy, but in all my years as a musician I had never seen a crowd reaction in the bar band circuit.
During the second set we took them on a new journey. The first third of the set focused on political rock and reggae. During Dancing Now I dressed like a third world guerrilla with a ski mask and toy machine gun. The girls dressed like corporate executives. With strings attached to the shoulders of my jacket they controlled me like a puppet, slipping money into my pockets and pointing at people in the audience, who I would then pretend I was shooting with the toy gun.
The middle section of the set was all deep funk and trip hop. During Exhibition I carried a video camera as I sang. The plan was to film people in the audience as they danced and project it onto the video screen behind the band. The first woman I put the video camera on immediately ripped her shirt open, her naked breasts filling the video screen and bringing cheers from the crowd.
For the set’s end we went into dark gothic music. The set finished with Struggle The Void. As the song came to a close I stared into the horizon screaming at God like a madman. Behind me the band de-evolved into a barrage of noise.
Standing on life's edge
Looking out into the darkness
How can one live in the face of death
Knowing all is nothingness?
I call out to you from the darkness
But you remain silent
Hiding in a mist of unspoken promises
Is there anyone out there? Speak to me
Reach out your hand
I want answers not faith
In our fear we make an image
A babble of insanity
I will tear you from my heart
And if in the final hour you are there
I will spit in your face
I am alive!
I search and I find nothing
With the din still echoing in their ears we ran offstage. As we changed our costumes in the kitchen’s basement, using cardboard boxes for dressing tables, a writer for the local papers yelled down the stairs with an excited voice, “You guys are fucking great!”
For the third set I dressed in a shiny turquoise suit and the girls dressed in evening dresses. As we walked single file out onto the stage the audience stood up and applauded. Another first for the bar band scene. Throughout the evening the sexual tension continued to rise. Twice women dropped to their knees and imitated performing felatio on me as I sang. Another time I reached out for a woman’s hand and she responded by bending down and kissing mine.
During Sleepwalk Heaven I was tearing the strings off my guitar, each making a menacing twang as they popped, when suddenly a young man ran out of the audience holding his middle finger in the air and yelling “Fuck you, Fuck you!’ angrily into my face. He then ran into the crowd and disappeared.
For the encore we performed a ragged version of Iggy Pop’s “I Wanna Be Your Dog.” During the third verse we brought down the music to a sexy grind. On my hands and knees I crawled onto the dance floor and collapsed on my back. One of a set of Armenian twins crawled on top of me as gave me a long slow kiss as the crowd danced around us.
As I moaned the chorus refrain, “Now I wanna be your dog…” I pulled the dancers into a pile on the floor. The crowd writhed in a slithering pile of bodies that became an impromptu petting orgy. Video of the performance shows our guitarist looking down at the scene on the dance floor with a comically confused look on his face.
Upon awakening the next morning, the previous night’s events seemed unreal. Usually on the morning after a performance I am in a contemplative mood, but on this morning I felt like I had undergone a transformation and was unsure how to grasp what had taken place. I felt as if a long hidden part of myself had suddenly emerged and briefly taken control.
It was a gray autumn Sunday morning. I walked the empty streets of State College trying to make sense of it all. As I walked an unknown voice shouted “Caeser Pink,” from a passing car as if my name was some kind of football cheer.
I wandered into the Ye Ole’ College Dinner,” a worn-out hangout for college kids and visiting parents. The place was almost empty.
“Seating for one?” a fresh-faced hostess asked me.
I nodded through my haze. As I followed her to the booth my eyes traced the soft lines of her form. He hair was a dirty blonde and fell in cheese-ball curls around her shoulders. Without thinking I reached my hand out to touch her, catching myself only inches away running my fingers across the nape of her neck.
As I sat down it dawned on me that last night so many social taboos had been broken with such ease that my mind believed such freedom is natural. For now on I would have to live day-to-day life censuring every action so that I didn’t get myself in trouble. As I thought about the behavior of the women at the performance, I felt as if I had peeked behind a curtain to catch a glimpse of the truth behind women’s repressed sexuality.
I looked down at the thick wooden table that my arms rested heavily upon. Although it shone with a glossy coat of shellac, the wood was etched with a jumble of twenty-plus year’s worth of graffiti. ‘Jenny is a bitch, Delta House bar tour 93, AC/DC, Billy Z. died here,’ one and on. A history of college-town names, rude comments, and insults to lost loves, carved one upon another to create a mosaic babble of meaningless words and symbols. It felt like it buzzed with an electric energy that was frozen into the grain of the wood. I felt exhausted by looking at it. I laid my head upon the table, feeling like I could sink down into its depths, never to be seen again.
My sense of self was both found and lost by the transformation that was taking me. Sometimes you just have no idea who the fuck you are. The Rolling Stones once sang, “What’s a poor boy to do except play in a rock and roll band.”
I respond, “Hail, hail, rock and roll.” These gifts of life given to me by rock and roll, had blown this poor boy’s mind.
In the months that followed the events of the performance became a template for a ritualized ceremony that was repeated in a variety of venues and to a growing number of fans. We seemed to be especially popular with Catholic and Indian girls. Both come from some sort of sexually repressed background I suppose.
At the same time The Imperial Orgy was surrounded by controversy. A performance was canceled due to threats from Christians groups who warned of terrorist acts against a frightened bar owner, claiming that they would riot if the performance was allowed to take place. The Penn State University banned the group’s flyers from public display because they were “distressing to some students.” When the local newspaper took up our cause as a first amendment issue, lawyers were called in and the university officials backtracked, even claiming the flyers were never banned in the first place.
On any given day the local paper would print a letter to the editor either for, or against The Imperial Orgy. Women’s Studies classes argued about the group’s presentations of sexuality. Eventually they sent an emissary to invite me to speak before the class, to defend our behavior I assume. Ironically, although I was willing to meet the class, after the emissary offered herself to me for an afternoon of fun, the event never materialized.
During one concert chaos broke out when a bouncer became offended by the performance and threatened to turn off the electricity. When I responded by getting the audience to chant “Turn off the power, turn off the power,” he upgraded his threat to ‘giving me a beating I wouldn’t forget.’ Eventually the police were called in and a couple fans whisk me away to avoid arrest.
During this time the community of people who were following the group were using us as a catalyst to explore their own sexuality. First time lesbianism was rampant. A photographer who was photographing the group for a school project invited me to her apartment to look at proofs, then offered herself and two of her friends to me for a late-night pleasure-fest atop a local mountain.
Some women became confused by it all. A kiss shared on the dance floor during a performance lead to delusions that affairs were taking place that never existed. Overall, it seemed everyone was questioning their sexual identity, expanding their boundaries, and trying to overcome the repression hard-wired into the brains by family and society.
Most of the women who followed us were brilliant, but bordering on lunacy. There was Sasha, a neurotic Indian lotus who would one day earn a doctorate, despite her never-ending mental turmoil. Sasha was a new age hippie type and when she was nervous would say things like, “What color are you feeling right now?” She would ply me with homemade baked goods and her dreams of sexual abandon.
There was Ornelia, a tall Catholic Goddess with a mane of flaming locks surrounding her ivory-white face. Her icy demeanor struck fear into the hearts of the other girls. I kissed her before I ever spoke a word to her. We were playing in a large industrial club with a set of high balconies. She was standing against the railing on one of the balconies when I spotted her. I crawled up onto a barstool and then unto the bar, then crawled up onto the balcony. As I hung over the crowd while clinging to the outside of the railing, with Ornelia facing me on the inside of the railing, she greeted me with a warm wet kiss.
And there was Sneha, another Indian princess and future doctor of psychology. Her dark beauty and sensual playfulness hid the fact that she was fighting her family to avoid a prearranged marriage to an Indian man who she only met during the marriage ceremony on a trip to the homeland.
There was Jenn, one of the Armenian twins who was spreading her wings and her love for the first time. Her guileless innocence was like a leaf that had broken free from the tree and was willing to float on a breeze, going whichever way life would take her, as long as she could experience life to its fullest.
And there was also Monica, another wounded Indian princess who carried her virginity with her like Atlas with the globe on his back. Every word that came out of her mouth was sex. Sex swirled around her like an impenetrable fog.
The first time I went to her apartment I noticed tampons were hung from the lampshades as decoration. In every corner penis shaped candles burned and melted into soft mush, I suppose much as did her suitors at the gates of her blessed virginity. She wore a thin gauze dress that barely covered her bulging caramel colored breasts. She tuned the TV to a soft-core porn cable channel and sat down beside me on the couch.
Then in an environment swollen with sexuality, she began to sing the praises of her virginity. She bore its burden like an albatross. With words dripping with sex, she told stories of every man who tried to seduce her, the lurid details of every blocked advance, and every frustrated suitor. How far they went, the debaucheries they wanted to assault her with, and how she ached for the one love who would one day receive her bounty. She was a bear’s trap waiting to maim, so I kept a safe distance no matter how much she paraded herself before me.
Then there was Chrissanne, a well-read intellectual and local legend as a free-love hippie-chick gone-cynical. She was thin as a rail and almost six feet tall. She had a model’s fashion sense and used her provocative attire like a whipping post. I once took her to see a movie. With an elderly couple sitting just two seats away, she nonchalant took my hand, lifted her long flowing hippie skirt, and placed my hand directly on her silken snatch before calmly smoothing her skirt and settling down to enjoy the flick.
Beyond this menagerie of half-insane, over-sexed fallen-angels, was a parade of faces that came and went. I know there must have been some men mixed in with them, but I can’t seem to remember much about them. What I do recall is that our fan-base transcended social and musical cliques. We had Dead-heads, metal dudes, aging prog-rockers, Goth kids, funk fans, and the random folkie who hid safely in the back The only group we didn’t connect with was the grunge crowd, whose shoe-gazer aesthetics found our unseemly displays of fun and passion far too uncouth to suit their ‘misunderstood and always suffering’ middle class pretensions.
This chaotic period went on for about six months. During these days I seemed to have boundless energy and health. I think it was the only winter in my life that I didn’t come down with at last one cold. It was a snowy winter and it seemed every other day I was digging the band’s van out of the snow so we could do a gig.
As a way of dealing with the changes in my life, and in my self, I began to think of my stage persona as a separate identity from my true self. I was a child of the 70’s feminist’ age and my ideas of manhood were shaped by those values. I was taught that a good man was expected t be sensitive and non-aggressive, and definitely not a chauvinist pig, as they were once called.
Because of this I felt that my new persona was somewhat embarrassing and offensive. Plus this was the age when political correctness was rampant on college campuses and women’s studies classes were teaching young women that if a man makes sexual advances of any kind it is bordering on .
To the women who knew my stage persona before they knew me personally, I often found myself exclaiming “That’s not me, I’m really not like that.” This approach to self-identity soon created an unworkable psychic schism. Events were soon to make this problem worse.
I convinced the group to move to New York City to be at the center of the music business. In late summer the band members made the move, but due to a run of bad luck I wasn’t able to follow. Worse yet, as I tried to come up with the money to move to New York, I found myself homeless and mentally deteriorating.
I had spent months suffering endless humiliations and at times living like an animal. By the end of it I was physically ill and in deep depression. In a period of nine months my ego had been swollen to its greatest heights, and then deflated to its lowest depths. My sense of self was nil.
When I finally came up with a little money and was ready to join my friends in the big apple it was late October. For months I had not played or written music. To get myself back into the frame of mind I gathered my lyrics together and bound them into a little book at Kinkos. As I proofread the lyrics I noticed that some of the songs seemed to be written with a voice that was clearly not my own. Among them was Circus Circus.
Caligula was a friend of mine
The Marquis De Sade used to drink my wine
I was with Krishna when the gopi danced
Now I'm here won't you take a chance?
I'm the author of the Kama Sutra
I'm the singer of Solomon's song
Embrace the sinner, liberate the saint
Lust for life baby that's the way
Often I don’t remember writing my lyrics and this strange voice seemed very alien to a man who had been laid so low. Even though my self-esteem had been trampled into the ground by life’s events, I thought back to the performances and my stage persona. It all seemed very far away. It seemed that to inhabit that persona and bring about those reactions were now an unattainable dream. It was always hard for me to reconcile the trailer-trash peasant that I saw myself as, and the persona of Caeser Pink. Now it seemed incomprehensible.
On my drive to New York City I was dealt one final blow to my self-esteem. During this time I was having a maddening love affair with a young woman who lived in New Jersey. She came from a wealthy family and her parents didn’t approve of me. As her mother said, “If he was a doctor or a lawyer it would be different.” This made my poverty and homelessness even more frustrating and humiliating. It brought back a lifetime of financial struggling and memories of my parent’s struggles with poverty.
The turmoil of this situation caused my girlfriend to self-destruct. In a misplaced suicide attempt she had gotten into a bad auto accident and broken her back. On the way to New York I stopped to see her. In her bedroom she was propped up by a heavy back brace and her hair was matted to her forehead with dried blood. It now seems understandable that she would want to take a beak from the relationship to get her health back, but at the time I was devastated.
I arrived in New York late that night without anywhere to stay and without enough money to get my own place. Samantha, one of the Orgy’s background singers allowed me to sleep in the basement of the house she shared with the group’s keyboard player.
I felt completely destroyed. This was supposed to be the beginning of an exciting new life, but here I was sleeping on the floor of a dingy basement with no confidence in my self and no will to live. I felt as if my sense of self was dying. My perpetually racing mind was my worst enemy. Although I always thought suicide was a coward’s way out, when each passing moment is unbearable, you simply don’t want to live anymore. I bought a shotgun and rested it in the corner beside the layer of foam rubber that I used as a bed on the basement floor. Each morning I gave myself one day’s reprieve in hopes that the sickness that had invaded my body would leave. It was the only time in my life when I ever lost all hope, and although I never pulled the trigger, I died a spiritual death.
In some ways the fracture in my identity was related to issues of how manhood is defined in America. Although men always receive messages in the media that we should be sensitive guys who defer to their partners on all things, it seemed to me that within relationships this behavior did not make women happy. The women I was with would have preferred a strong man who took control of situations and provided direction. It seemed that the women who mouthed feminist ideology, were the ones who most wanted a stronger man.
Around this time I saw Camille Paglia in a debate on Larry King’s TV show. She was brash and aggressive, obnoxious even. She was attacking the current state of feminist thought on gender issues. She argued that masculine aggressiveness was good for society and should not be something to be ashamed of. In my emotionally raw state I was surprised to find that her words brought tears to my eyes.
For my birthday a few days later Samantha bought me a copy of Paglia’s book Vamps & Tramps. Her iconoclastic ideas seemed new to the world, but rang true in my heart. Her words helped me to embrace the masculine feelings that seemed natural to me, yet which I always rejected. It made me feel less ashamed of the part of my persona that women seemed to respond to, but which I disavowed out of fear of being a sexist jerk.
There was something else in her book that captured my attention. She kept referring to rock and roll as ‘pagan.’ She compared rock stars to modern incarnations of ancient gods and goddesses. She argued that despite our lip service to Christianity, America was a wholly pagan society.
The idea seemed mysterious to me. Over my life I had made an effort to study all the major religions and most of the minor ones in my never ending search for truth and meaning. But one area that I had neglected was pre-Christian European earth religions. I went out and got a couple books on the subject in order to learn more.
In the books they described an ancient ceremony where a man personifies a spirit that represents masculinity as a universal principle. He was a god of hunting, war, and fertility. In the ceremony the man wore animal skins and deer antlers on his head. As Christianity was trying to give the old religions a bad reputation this is where the image of Satan as a horned demon came from.
The job of this horned spirit was to evoke the Goddess in a woman at the ceremony. The modern Wiccans call it drawing down the moon. The goal is to fill a woman with the universal spirit of femininity and female fertility, the counterpart to the masculine spirit that the horned man represents.
When I read this a light of recognition went off in my head. This seemed very similar to the ritual that played out at Imperial Orgy shows. If one believes Carl Jung’s theory that universal images reside in our collective unconscious, I may have tapped into something both in myself and in the audience members, something that none of us were conscious of, but that had a powerful effect when triggered.
I always felt in some way that the women in the audience were reacting to something more than myself as an individual. And that reaction seemed to cause them to act, almost against their will, as if taken by a spirit of feminine sexuality that caused them to behave in ways that they normally never would have.
In this light the strange voice that wrote the lyrics in some of my songs suddenly was revealed.
I'm the Satan here to possess your soul
I need your body, I'll take control
Have mercy baby, I want you on top
Forgive my passion, it never stops
Further, this verse from Sex Salvation seemed to describe this pagan ceremony outright.
Life is sacred, don't let it pass
Take my desire, break from your past
You're the Goddess, I'm the beast
Join me in life's wanton feast
I knew nothing of these things so it came from somewhere in the unconscious. For the first time the conflict in my identity made sense. At the time I heard Howard Stern say that when he is on the radio he is more truly himself than at any other time because he can be more honest and uninhibited than in his day-to-day life. I have also heard actors say that playing a role has made them discover a part of themselves that they didn’t know existed.
With this revelation I was able to integrate my fractured psyche. Since I felt that my ‘self’ as a man was spiritually dead, I embraced ‘Caeser Pink’ and allowed the more dominant persona to absorb the weaker into its whole. For the first time, perhaps in my entire life, I began to feel whole.
Now that I understood my self, and had more control of my identity and how it related to my creative work, I decided to write a new song that would make use of this knowledge.
It is called Oak King Blues, named after a Celtic god who dies and is reborn each year.
Spear to cauldron, lance to grail
Death and resurrection, surrender to love
Good evening children, without horns or fur I rise tonight
Our golden father sleeps in the West and the moon hangs heavy with seed
In the forest deep, the odor of musk rides the warm summer breeze
The fecund fields give birth to green and the peach is swollen with sweet nectar
Here I am
And I've come for you tonight
I possess this man so I may find you
I am the mirror, I'm the flame that burns inside you
Look into these eyes
Do you see something you recognize?
Look deep into these eyes
Without beginning, without end, your deepest secrets lie within
On summer's eve I'll ask you to dance with me again
After the autumn feast I'll invite you to sacrifice yourself at my hands
Close your eyes, I'll pierce your soft flesh and slice your middle through
Blood will flow and your mother's tears with spill on the fallen body of her innocent child
Girl you must die
And I've come to take your life
Your corpse is my possession, but from dust a woman will arise
I call to the virgin within you, I call out to the whore
My soul needs yours
Let my desire awaken you from your child's sleep
I evoke the Goddess
Know your beauty, feel your power, can you recognize yourself?
Because life is calling and I've been waiting since time began
My eternal bride
Mystery of the waters, desire in the hearts of man
You are the alter that awakens life
He has died for love of earth
Kiss of lips, harvest of womb
Bewildered mind but heart adores
Love crystallizes into blood
Communion of polarities
His wounds to heal
From that time on the name given to me at birth was an empty shell that had no meaning to me. Out of courtesy I let my oldest friends call me whatever they want. Although when they call that name from my past I might respond, I my heart that person is a ghost. A soul consumed by a greater soul.
And in the end, isn’t that what death is? And the often-repeated ritual meant to prepare us for that mysterious transformation, whether the ritual is the Christian being born again, the Buddhist reaching enlightenment, or the Freudian becoming self-actualized, it is the same as the process of spiritual death and rebirth that I experienced in those horrible and hallowed days of which I speak.
It is this image of Caeser Pink that is projected in the media and through our websites that brought Jodi to me. Of all the men in the world and on the internet, the millions searching for women in chat rooms and dating sight, the millions of web sites of every kind imaginable, it is this image that sparked her imagination and brought her to me.