Thursday, February 28, 2019

Chris Cornell: A Suicide without Motive PT III

"He would come home from work, he would sit down in his chair, pour like a bourbon/rocks...he would not say a word. And this would go on for hours. And if he did speak, that meant your ass...and that was kinda it...I think it's just handed down. Genreation to generation the...Irish Catholic drunk kinda way of expressing all your emotions...It's been years...I never had a relationship with him because he wasn't that kind of dad...I never communicated with him at all [laughs]...yeah I dunno...when you grow up without having a relationship with your father, you don't really know any different." - Chris Cornell on Howard Stern show, 2011

Mother, who's your man
Is he doing what he can
To make a proper home, home
By overturning other stones, stones
Father, mighty man
Loves his little boys, boys
Shows them how to kill
To save his precious stones, stones
- Soundgarden "Far Beyond the Wheel"


His parents are Edward F. Boyle, a pharmacist of Irish-Catholic background, and Karen Cornell, an accountant and psychic of Jewish background - Wiki

Got my arms around baby brother
Put your hands away
Your gonna kill your mother, gonna kill your mother
Kill your mother
And I love her, yeah
I love her
- Soundgarden "Hands all Over"

"I try to beat it....if I go to a song, and there's a lot of them that came outta really bad places...but because I came out of that bad place there's sort of a triumphant approach to being able to sing it now...there's some sort of positive attitude that comes out of the fact that "look at how lucky I am?" That I get to express those things in music and then go out and play it for other people. What ends up happening is...people will come up to me...and they will point out those specific songs..and say, "this helped me through a really difficult time." - strobe.com, 2009

If I took you for a ride, would you take it wrong?
Or would you make it right, make it right?
Looking for a pedestal that I can put you on
And be on my way, on my way
-Soundgarden "Searching with my Good Eye Closed"

Since publishing my last blog on this topic, I have obtained the official 57 page Police Investigative Report, as released to the public around July of 2017. Although it does include crime scene photos, pictures of Cornell's body have been completely redacted, per request by his widow. Most of this report was released in pieces to the public via Detroit News, TMZ, and various other news outlets and is not very hard to find online last I checked. While my previous 2 blogs concerning this topic spent a lot of time focussing on the media and its consistently biased reporting from the start, this blog will be more devoted to analyzing the source information in the report. I can tell you right now, almost none of the basic details regarding this event are clear. Here are some examples of what is not clear in this report:

What time Cornell died

Who the last person was to see him alive

How many Ativan pills he took, when, and who was in possession of the pill bottle

Exactly how he supposedly hung himself

Needless to say, some of the information and pictures in this blog are very disturbing. No details are presented here to be gratuitous or purely for shock value, but it is necessary to get graphic at certain points in order to establish any sort of clarity and truth.

NOTE: Some of the photos in this blog are high resolution, and must be blown up in order to see the finer details. If you are on a Smart Phone, you will not see some of these details I point out unless you actually tap on the photo, then blow it up. If you simply try to enlarge the screen without tapping on the photo, it will look low resolution and details will be blurry or lost. Some of the points I make here cannot be fully appreciated without blowing certain photos up, so this is a critical point.

HOW EXACTLY DID CORNELL HANG HIMSELF?

The exercise band Cornell supposedly used to hang himself with was composed of 4 parts: A black door anchor [upon which is a Bionic Body logo, which I underlined in yellow above], a black carabiner clip, the red band itself [also referred to as a "tube"], and a black handle upon the opposite end. The picture above shows the door anchor, carabiner, and exercise band [The fat end of the door anchor is slightly cropped outside of view]. These parts were designed to work together in a very specific way, and below is an actual image from the Bionic Body website showing the same Door Anchor and carabiner Cornell owned.

Before getting into what the report says, it would be helpful to briefly explain how these tools are supposed to be used.

Although this man is not using the Bionic Body brand, the basic mechanics behind using a door anchor with a resistance band/tube is the same. Note the fat end on one side, a loop on the other. Notice the different colored bands coiled on top of the table to the left. These are exercise bands with different weight resistances.

A door anchor can be positioned on the side of the door, the bottom, or along the top, depending on what sort of workout/muscle group the user intends to exercise. [Note how close the man's head is to the top of the door above]

The yellow arrow above indicates where the resistance band is looped through the door anchor. The brand Cornell used has a carabiner clipped through this loop on the user's side of the door. The reason for linking a carabiner clip between the end of the exercise band and the door anchor loop is to more easily and quickly switch them out. It also makes it a lot easier to stack them together, in order to increase resistance that much more. According to the Case Registration Summary for the Wayne County Medical Examiner, Cornell also had a blue exercise band in his room the night he died. The color of these exercise bands denote WEIGHT RESISTANCE, which is why users typically own more than one color. If you want a more intense/less intense workout, you simply switch to a band/tube with a different weight resistance rating, or stack them together in whatever combination desired.

Now that we know how these tools are supposed to be used, let's take a look at how the report says Cornell used them to hang from his bathroom door.

There is really only 1 interview of Martin Kirsten anywhere regarding this event, and above is a section of it. Let's call this NARRATIVE 1. It was conducted by the homicide detective at the scene of the crime at 3:10am, and is in the detective's handwriting. There are indications that certain statements by Kirsten were abbreviated/summarized by the detective. So this isn't even really a raw interview, it's more of an interpretation. The fact the public never got a single raw interview with this man should raise suspicion right off the bat. Martin Kirsten is the only person we know of, with first hand knowledge of how Cornell hung himself, as he supposedly found the body. Here is what the interview says regarding that.

"I went inside and the bathroom door was partially opened and I could see his feet. I saw the band around his neck he was on the floor. I forced the band from wherever it was hanging and attempted loosen the band from around his neck and began chest compressions with I believe my left hand."

First off, Kirsten mentions a "band" and nothing else. No carabiner clip is mentioned at all, nothing jammed into the door, no door anchor. In fact, he doesn't say anything indicating Cornell hung from the door at all! Mr Kirsten is a bodyguard, and I am sure he works out. People who need to be fit for their career would probably recognize an exercise band, and it's parts, a lot quicker than people who do not need to be fit for their job. Further, as Cornell's bodyguard, he'd also be aware of his various routines - and his use of exercise bands on the road was obviously part of his regular workout routine. One would think Martin would give a little more details here, or that the homicide detective would probe a bit more for clarification. He says he forced the band from "wherever it was hanging." How can he not know what it was hanging from if he physically forced it down? What exactly was securing the band in place and how did the door manage to open before Mr Kirsten arrived - if the door was used in the hanging? There is also no mention of blood. Again, this is the only direct statement we get from Kirsten regarding these details, and they are extremely vague. There are no apparent attempts to clarify these details anywhere in this report.

The phrase "life saving protocols" is found in several places in this report, including NARRATIVE 1. This is how I determined that the words in NARRATIVE 1 are not necessarily direct quotes from Kirsten. Kirsten states that he started chest compressions initially, but is later quoted in the same report as using the term "life saving protocols." People don't talk this way in conversation, this is a go to phrase used by more than one member of this investigation in the report. That may seem like a small, petty detail, but again, we don't seem to have a raw interview with Kirsten regarding this event ANYWHERE! The closest thing we've got is NARRATIVE 1, which fluctuates from appearing to quote Kirsten by using "I" several times, to summarizing quotes with phrases such as "life saving protocols."

The next narrative we get was conducted by Alonzo Tolefree, and/or Sylvester Hewston around 4:20am. Note that "Tolefree Casino 1" is listed in an earlier image I posted above, listing this as "crime: suicide" at 2:35 am. That was about 2 hours before they interviewed Martin Kirsten and about 2 hours before the Homicide Investigator had completed his interview with Martin Kirsten! Let's call this NARRATIVE 2.

"At this time, pro [Kirsten] kicked in bedroom door and found victim laying on bathroom floor with blood running from his mouth and a red exercise band around victim’s neck. At 12:56AM, MGM medic XXXX stated she came to room 11:36 and she stated door was open and she found victim laying on bathroom floor with red exercise band around his neck. XXXX untied red exercise band from victim’s neck and began CPR on victim which was not breathing at this time."

There is still NO MENTION of the door having been used at all in the alleged hanging. Mr Kirsten should have been regarded as suspect #1 in a possible murder at this point, as his innocence would have been far from proven as of yet. They didn't grill him on details regarding what Cornell's noose was hanging from?

Kirsten does not make it clear what time he discovered Cornell's body, but the last time he gives in NARRATIVE 1 is 11:34pm. The above narrative states that the MGM medic showed up at 12:56. That's a 22 minute gap from the last time reference we got. This medic was a woman [Dawn Jones, according to a news article I encountered while researching earlier blogs], and the band was still around Cornell's neck when she arrived and the body was still on the bathroom floor. She then "untied" the band from around victim's neck.

As I pointed out in a previous blog, the above "noose" is not tied, it is clearly attached with a clip device. So why did the medic state she untied it? Kirsten also states he already loosened it before the medic arrived. Kirsten said nothing about it being tied before that. It seems strange that Kirsten would loosen the band, but leave it around Cornell's neck during the entire time he performed chest compressions, up until the MGM medic arrived - who then "untied" a band which was never tied to begin with! The medic mentions blood, whereas Kirsten said nothing about blood. I would imagine there was a lot of blood as Kirsten attempted to revive Cornell, given what some of the photos show. How many minutes was he alone with the body performing chest compressions? We don't know because there is so little to go on with regard to this 22 minute gap so far.

It isn't clear who conducted NARRATIVE 3, but here it is.

"He stated that he entered the room and observed the bathroom door slightly opened. He was able to see the decedent’s feet in the bathroom and pushed the door open. Upon entry, he found the decedent on the floor with a red resistance band around his neck and the opposite end of the band across the top of the entry door. He released the band from on top of the door and loosened the end around the decedent’s neck and began chest compressions. He continued chest compressions until the arrival of MGM medical personnel, who were subsequently replaced by Detroit EMS. They attempted life saving protocols for sometime until pronouncing death."

In this 3rd narrative, we finally get the detail regarding what the band was supposedly hanging from. Regarding technical aspects of how the band was fastened to the top of the door, we get nothing. Only that the opposite end of the band was "across the top of the entry door." We've seen how the exercise band is designed to be locked into the closed door. Given that, this explanation in narrative 3 simply makes no sense. The band could not possibly have been attached to the top of the door at all, since it was open! There's no mention of a carabiner clip and no mention of the door anchor. Mr Kirsten "pushed the door open," which further begs the question, "what was holding that band into place on top of the door as Kirsten pushed the door open, which would then require him to "force it" down?" Without further explanation, this detail should be assumed incomplete at best, a lie at worst! Again, no mention of blood. We get no additional details regarding time, but it is stated that Detroit EMS showed up after the MGM medic.

I assume this is Angela Anderson Cobb, who is listed on the Medical Examiner's Case Registration Summary as arriving on the scene at 3:53am. This is not the MGM Medic who showed up first, this is the City of Detroit Medic who showed up after. The color photo showing the noose is the one most people saw. I notated in a previous blog how this picture limits perspective by cropping out the bottom of the noose. The one below it was published by TMZ, and looks a lot crappier as you can tell. The reason for this, is that the black and white picture was not included on the disc containing the bulk of the photos - it was included as a cheap paper copy. Therefore, someone would have needed to scan the paper copy, then post it online - making it a 2nd generation copy at the least. The reasons this should be regarded as suspicious are several.

First off, nobody in the first 3 official narratives mentioned anything about a carabiner clip. In fact, it isn't until narrative 3 that the door is specifically mentioned as what Cornell hung from. As we saw, it stated that the red band was laid across the top of the door. No mention at all of a carabiner or door anchor. So why is it that in the above pictures, they are laying the CARABINER across the top of the door, and not the exercise band? Nobody said he used it this way, and it's not even the proper way to fasten the tube on top of the door! One reason they could have done this would be to rule out one possible way Cornell may have used it. But the Medical Examiner later confirms that this is the way he did it in their own official documents! Only reason I can see for pushing this "carabiner theory" was simply to confuse people.

The color images indicate that investigators were in possession of perfectly clear digital copies of these pictures. But strangely, the only picture clearly revealing that Cornell, at 6'3, was too tall to have hung himself at this height - was only released in the form of a badly printed hard copy. Look at how low the bottom of the noose is. Do we really need to draw some elaborate diagram showing that this is indeed too low for a 6'3 man to have hung suspended from? Sure, he could have choked himself at this height, but that is not what we were told. To "hang" yourself doesn't mean you "choked" yourself while leaning forward with a noose wrapped around your neck and jammed into the top of a door.

"Hang: to fasten to some elevated point without support from below" - Webster's Online Dictionary
"Hang: suspend or be suspended from above with the lower part dangling free." - Google

To HANG means you are SUSPENDED completely in the air, without your feet touching the ground. For Cornell to have hung himself from this noose in the way depicted in the pictures above is IMPOSSIBLE. In fact, the woman in the picture couldn't have either! You have to wonder what was going on in her mind while these photos were being taken. Imagine you are staring down at this noose for a photo, and the blood of a 6'3 man is on the floor near you, and people are saying he hung himself from this door, using the noose in your hand, which isn't even tall enough to hang YOU.

"Per information given to me by the investigating officer, the deceased was discovered by his bodyguard suspended by the neck from the above described item." - Case Registration Summary for the Wayne County Medical Examiner

"I saw the band around his neck he was on the floor." - Narrative 1

"At this time, pro kicked in bedroom door and found victim laying on bathroom floor with blood running from his mouth and a red exercise band around victim’s neck." - Narrative 2

"Upon entry, he found the decedent on the floor with a red resistance band around his neck and the opposite end of the band across the top of the entry door." - Narrative 3

Notice that the body was found on the floor, until the Medical Examiner's Case Registration summary is typed up. Everything before that was information allegedly gathered directly from Mr Kirsten by officers on the scene. The story was changed once the Medical Examiner's documents came into play, therefore, the quote above appears to be false. Why would an "investigating officer" give the medical examiner details which are not consistent with 3 different official reports, one of which is supposed to be directly quoting Mr Kirsten, clearly stating the body was found on the floor? She didn't even say "partially suspended," she said "suspended!" We already looked at the meaning of HANG from 2 different sources!

"Inside of the bathroom there is a Burgundy rubber resistance exercise tube with a metal clip on one end and a black handle on the other. Part of the rubber tubing is looped through this handle."

This is the first time anyone mentions a "metal clip" on one end of the tube, and it's not even a complete description.

[If you are on a Smart Phone, you need to tap on the above image in order to properly blow it up and see the details]

What happened to the door anchor? Isn't that on one end of the tube? For some reason, the phrase "DOOR ANCHOR" appears nowhere in this report! The metal clip is BETWEEN the end of the tube and the door anchor, on the opposite end of the handle. Why is the Medical Examiner pretending the door anchor doesn't exist? Probably because it makes absolutely no sense to jam a carabiner into a door, instead of a perfectly functional door anchor, only to have the noose hang halfway down the door - where a 6'3 man could not possibly hang suspended from! I suppose they figured omitting any mention of the door anchor in the report would draw less attention to the absurdity of the carabiner theory? And why is the Medical Examiner presenting this carabiner theory seemingly out of nowhere when it clearly isn't plausible, nor was it mentioned in any of the first 3 narratives provided by Mr Kirsten? In fact, the photos in the official report show NO EVIDENCE that the carabiner was jammed into the top of the door. What the evidence DOES support, is that the TUBE was laid across the top of the door - consistent with Mr Kirsten's initial interviews [we will look closely at this later in the blog].

Notice the word HEAVY printed on the red tube in the above photo. You may have never noticed this before, because all of the photos released by Detroit News and TMZ either show the side of the tube this word is NOT printed on, or it is obscured in some manner. There is a very plausible reason this may have been done, because it suggests the tube is a MISMATCH with the other Bionic Body gear Cornell owned.

In the above Bionic Body ad, we can see these tubes come with a label attached to the end denoting weight resistance. The red one is rated at 70LBs, clearly. On the Bionic Body website, Kim Lyons is featured in a demonstration video where she clearly states the tubes are rated 20-100LBs. They are also listed for sale, from 20-100LBs. Chris Cornell was 180Lbs. He could not have even hung from a Bionic Body tube without it snapping! So now we can see one reason why it would have been switched. The fact major news media didn't notice this or feel that it was worth mentioning anywhere suggests they are turning a blind eye to certain details purposefully. And yet, TMZ has time and resources to fabricate articles suggesting Cornell was a needle junkie, only to quietly retract the suggestion later, after the public has already taken the bait. Even as recent as the day I type this, in 2019, the media has not let up on this campaign to CONVINCE the public Cornell had a lethal drug problem. And his widow is at the head of this campaign.

"Chris Cornell’s Widow Implores Congress to Act on Opioid Crisis: His 'Death Was Not Inevitable'" -People.com 02.26.19

It's almost as if Vicky is BEGGING the public to buy this story. Sorry, NO OPIOIDS were found in Cornell's body according to the Toxicology report. The Narcan was injected AFTER he was dead in an attempt to revive him, and TMZ tried to make it look like Cornell shot up beforehand, hoping to deceive fans who don't look that closely at details. But sure, go ahead, insult the fan's intelligence and throw some more dirt on top of Cornell's grave! The jig is up Vicky, we know you are covering something up.

"A similar resistance band, this one blue is lying on the bed" - Medical Examiner Case Registration Summary

Notice how in this far away shot, it does look like 1 single resistance band. I see green myself, but at least it half-way appears to match the Medical Examiner's quote above. This photo was published by Detroit News.

This is one of the TMZ photos, slightly cropped [#19 of the original article], clearly showing 2 bands. One green, one blue. Why did the Medical Examiner note 1 blue band upon the bed, but not the green one? We can see they are attached to 1 handle, stacked together. But that does not make them 1, it is still 2 tubes of different colors. Either the medical Examiner is not recording accurate details here or the photos are staged incorrectly. You pick which one, but either is enough to bring into question the accuracy of this investigation. Details like this put people in jail (or keep them out). You don't say there is 1 of something where there is clearly 2. Especially when it is in reference to a potential murder weapon at the scene of a crime.

The tubes pictured above, like the red one shown earlier, also do not have Bionic Body labels on them, and appear to be the same mismatched brand as the red one featured in the official photos. I searched for these exact tubes online and could not find a match. But again, these types of tubes are not typically rated to resist more than 100LBs. So while we can rule out the idea that Cornell hung from the height demonstrated in the earlier photos, we can't necessarily rule out whether the tube was strong enough to support his weight because we don't know what brand these are. "Heavy," could mean it has 180LB resistance. It would be interesting to see what word is printed on the end of the blue and green tubes. But conveniently, they are turned on the side concealing this label in the photos above.

"This notch appears to be indicative of where the resistance band was positioned when used as tool for hanging." - Narrative 3

We are viewing the bathroom door from the outside [Cornell supposedly hung himself on the INSIDE of the bathroom]. What exactly caused this notch? Well they are telling you above that the RESISTANCE BAND was positioned here. Given that, why would we assume anything but the resistance band created this notch? Before getting more into that, let's confirm that there is NO EVIDENCE supporting that a carabiner was ever used in the manner suggested in the Medical Examiner's documents.


The metal arm you see is called a Top Jamb style concealed door closer mechanism. This is a discreet version of any door closer you might see in a classroom or office building. They are designed to prevent doors from slamming, and automatically close them softly. The arm is installed into the upper door frame, where it is bolted into a stationary position. A track is built into the top of the door, and it glides back and fourth as the door opens and closes. As you can see, the arm must come to rest exactly, or even past where the notch is, upon the closing of the door. The reason the door is carved the way it is, is to allow the metal arm to glide back and fourth. If the metal arm did not need to rest where the notch is, the door would not be carved out that far along the top! If the carabiner was placed just over the notch, not only would it be meeting resistance from the top of the door frame as the door tries to close, but the metal arm closer would be blocked before it could reach it's closing position. In other words, the door could not even close with that carabiner placed there! I mean, unless Cornell shut the door so hard that it created one hell of a dent in the top of the door, the upper door frame, and basically destroyed the metal arm closer mechanism! Incidentally, there is not one single picture in this report of the inside/upper part of the door frame - where there would have to be some sort of impression from the carabiner, had it been jammed this way [which it obviously wasn't].

Now let's look at a TMZ published photo. Notice how the color of the TMZ imprint almost exactly matches the paint where it was scratched. Obviously, all of the TMZ photos have this transparent stamp upon them, but this one interferes with details in a very perceptible way. The left "leg" of the letter M is right on top of the notch, and confuses the finer details by slightly warping the appearance of colors. Was this done purposefully? It seems rather stupid to stamp the logo directly on top of the most important detail in the photo. Why publish these at all only to obscure the most important details in the picture?

Remember, Cornell supposedly hung himself on the opposite side of this door. A carabiner sitting jammed horizontally on top of the door could not have created a notch running that far down the door, and the loop connected to it has no paint visibly on it. Whatever created that notch shredded the paint, and was pulled at an angle TOWARDS the crevice. There is no physical way Cornell could have pulled anything at this angle on the outside of the door, while he hung on the inside. His weight would be pulling it in the OPPOSITE direction. Someone was on the outside of the door, pulling downwards, and towards the crevice. That is why the shredded paint is at an angle. The crevice was being used to prevent the tube from slipping from side to side, as 180LBS hung upon the opposite end of it. Also notice there is only 1 scratch on top of the door where the blue gloved finger is. The carabiner would have made 2 scratches side by side, had 180LBs been pressed down upon it in the manner suggested. There is no visible evidence here that the carabiner was ever jammed into this position. Did anyone at The Detroit News bother to look closely at these photos before telling the world Cornell hung himself? Either my name is Sherlock Holmes or mainstream news media has deliberately fed the public false information regarding Cornell's death!

[If you are on a Smart Phone, you need to tap on the above image in order to properly blow it up and see the details]

Have you ever wondered what that tannish powdery stuff is on the red tube? I did for a long time. It is paint from the top of the door. The positioning of the clip here was arranged to give the impression that the tannish markings were caused by it pulling against the tube. But if you look closely where the lower left arrow is pointing, that is shredded paint, just like we saw in the notch on the OUTSIDE of the door. This part of the tube was not being pulled by the clip, it was being pulled violently into the crevice on the outside of the door, creating the notch. So just like the first few narratives suggested, the red tube was in fact, laid across the top of the door. No carabiner was jammed in this scenario, that is pure bullshit. The arrow pointing to the torn rubber is probably where the clip was actually being pulled on the INSIDE of the door. If you look carefully, you can even see how the tube is warped slightly in this exact spot, further contributing to the idea that the clip was being pulled very hard into it at this position. This scenario would make the noose EXTREMELY tight, and it would place Cornell's neck directly level with the top of the door, not halfway down the door as depicted in the ridiculous photos we saw earlier. As he struggled, the back of his head would likely be banging against the wall. If he had injuries on the back of his head, this is probably how he got them and why these injuries would need to be covered up. Because this would be evidence of a struggle. By redacting these injuries from the final report and focusing on the absurd "carabiner theory," the public is then deceived and confused to the point of giving up.

Notice above where the Z imprint is. It is right on top of the tube where the tannish paint powder is running along it. Isn't it interesting that the placement of this Z manages to help conceal the manner in which the tube was actually used? The clip is again, being suggestively placed to give the impression that the tannish markings were the result of the clip being pulled into the tube. The report mentions nothing about these details, but pictures don't lie. That clip did not transfer tannish paint/dust onto the tube, the top of the door did. Here is the image without the TMZ imprint, slightly blown up:

Now that we can see the tannish markings along the tube, this begs the question, "how did shredded paint and other tannish markings get there?" Well, a metal clip certainly didn't do it! That then leads to the only possible conclusion, that this part of the tube was being pulled against the top of the door, transfering paint onto it, as it shredded. No other tools have paint on them. Not the carabiner, not the handle, not the door anchor.

The red line above is representative of the resistance tube, laid across the notch - just how Mr Kirsten stated in his original testimony to Detective Weaver in Narrative 1. I purposefully made the line thin so you can see how well this tube would fit into the notch, as well as the single scratch indicated where the person's gloved finger is placed. The notch runs fairly far down the door in a vertical motion. As you can see, the red tube would have to have been pulled downwards and towards the crevice in the door here, in order to have created that notch. Whoever did this was probably very strong, or had help. How Cornell was forced into this position on the inside of the bathroom, and how he remained there is another story. But it seems clear this would have required at least 2 people. 1 to subdue him inside the bathroom, and one to pull the tube downwards from the outside. If he really wanted to kill himself, he didn't need to get this complicated about it.

As far as the metal arm and the door closer mechanism - in some of the above pictures you will notice there is quite a bit of paint dust on the top of the arm. It is wiped off however, just on the tip. This is where the red tube slipped over the top of it just above the notch upon the closing of the door. Being that the tube can be stretched and smooshed, it is much more plausible than the carabiner as far as the door being able to close with it jammed above. If someone wanted to murder Cornell this way, I doubt they would have left anything to chance. They would have known which resistance tube was required for the job, again highlighting the fact that the tube is a mismatch with the other Bionic Body Gear found at the crime scene.

I said earlier that it isn't clear who the last person was to see Cornell alive in this report. Are you starting to see why this is such a critical detail? The strength of the resistance tube is still a little in question, but we have resolved the issue of height, the issue of the door being able to close, and the issue of the head injury - which was not my intent at all, it just became obvious when positioning the red tube over the door. Although there is a document floating around online, and a supposed 911 call - both confirming the injury on the back of Cornell's head, neither are mentioned in this report. However, the Medical Examiner's questionable Case Registration Summary does say this:

"...male is lying supine [face up] on the floor of the suite's bedroom area having been moved there to facilitate resuscitative efforts...stains of suspected blood are present on his face and on the floor next to and beneath his head."

I don't want to comment too much on the blood, because I have no idea what a hanging does to a person's throat, which might cause so much of it. To have it pouring from his mouth seems at least plausible. To have excessive blood on the back of his head on the other hand, seems a lot less plausible. Trauma on the back of his head from hitting the wall would indicate resistance to being hung, which contradicts the suicide theory. But with murder, it fits. Pictures showing the wall just above the door inside the bathroom might help clear this up, but there are none in the report. Every photo where the camera is pointed towards that part of the wall, the door is open just enough to block it. [Another fishy detail worth notating] If he was dragged from the bathroom, to the bedroom, and there was still enough blood to stain the ground under his head in the bedroom - I would say this lends itself to the idea that he had a wound on the back of his head. But since all photos of Cornell's body have been redacted from the report and his body was hastily cremated, there is no way we can confirm this. But between his torn shirt and all the blood, the possibility of a struggle seems quite plausible. Cornell was a strong man, he would have fought for his life.

One last note regarding the alleged "head injury." While I do think Cornell may have suffered injuries to the back of his head at the scene of the crime, there are no documents in the actual report backing this up. That's not to say that they weren't redacted, or that documents floating around the internet are not legitimate, they may be. But this idea he had an injury to the back of his head earlier in the evening, DURING the last Soundgarden show, is a bit harder to swallow for me. I have seen the footage and the picture stills and I am not convinced myself. It also seems like a potentially confusing bit of disinformation, designed to send people off into an endless labyrinth of questions ultimately leading nowhere.

WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON TO SEE CORNELL ALIVE?


[Narrative 1] "Chris called me and said that Apple TV was not working. I arranged for hotel IT to bring the remote that provides access to the hotel’s network. That was around 11:34 PM. I was in my room and was watching television when I received a phone call from his wife Vicki. She sounded angry because he wasn’t responding to his phone. She told me to go to the room and check on Chris."

Who was this Hotel IT person and where is the interview with him/her? Mr Kirsten doesn't say he went to Cornell's room to fix anything, he says he "arranged for hotel IT to bring the remote..." Well where did they bring it? To Mr Kirsten's room? To Cornell? Isn't it important to specify where this IT person took that remote? Because if they took it to Cornell's room, that would mean the faceless IT representative was the last one to see him alive!

Mr Kirsten then states he was in his room and got a call from "Vicki" [many names are misspelled in this 3 page interview]. Not only does Mr Kirsten say nothing about going to Cornell's room to fix his computer, he says nothing about returning to his room after things are sorted out! So based upon his direct testimony, why would anyone assume he went to Cornell's room at all to "fix his computer?"

[Narrative 2] "Bodyguard for rockband Soundgarden who states he was in above hotel room with victim (Christopher Cornell lead singer for group Soundgarden) at 11:30PM on 5/17/2017 trying to fix victim’s computer which was not working at the time. PRO fixed computer and then gave him 2 sleeping pills (adalan) in which victim takes for anxiety. Pro left room and went to his room 2 doors down."

The story has now changed significantly. "Apple TV" turned into a "computer" and the call to IT is left out completely, even though Mr Kirsten made it clear in his own earlier testimony that they were called to "bring the remote" somewhere. He then gives Cornell 2 sleeping pills, and leaves [this business with the pills gets extremely confusing, so I will cover that seperately].

[Narrative 3] "Mr Kirsten stated that Mr Cornell called him to report that his television was not working and to facilitate the repair. Mr Kirsten arranged for hotel IT staff to come to Mr Cornell’s room to facilitate access to their network for his usage on his personal Apple TV. Mr Kirsten stated that during this time he was talking by telephone to his wife. Upon completion of the resolution of the IT problem, Mr Kirsten returned to his hotel room."

Here is yet another different version of events. The above narrative states that IT went directly to Cornell's room. Nothing is mentioned about Mr Kirsten going to Cornell's room, only that he "returned to his hotel room." Returned from where? From the Hotel lobby? How do we know he even went to Cornell's room based on the above and how do we know who the last person was to leave Cornell's room, or that they even left at all? "...completion of the IT problem" does not specify who from IT showed up or what time they left or what Mr Kirsten's part was in all of that. The narrative above said Cornell called Mr Kirsten to "facilitate the repair," that's not the same as "come to my room to fix my computer." You don't have to be present physically to facilitate something. We assume that now because we know what the media has been pushing. But we're supposed to be reading from the horse's mouth here! It's not clearly saying he went to Cornell's room at all! Did news journalists get together and just decide on a version they would all push onto the public, which was a combination of the 3 narratives?

The above narrative also states that Mr Kirsten was talking to Cornell's wife either during, or at some point before the IT problem was resolved. How was Mr Kirsten "fixing Cornell's computer" if he was also talking to Cornell's wife at the same time? And what were they talking about, since this was presumably before she spoke with her husband and heard him slurring his words? Ever get the feeling we're just being told a bunch of bullshit here to send us around in circles? How hard is it to determine clearly who did what and when, since there really is only 2 people, plus the IT personnel, who were present in some way shortly before Cornell died? Cell phones give exact times. Cornell's phone was not recovered, according to the report. Pretty important piece of missing evidence I'd say. And pretty convenient for anyone trying to cover things up here.

Given the fact there are 3 different versions of this story within 3 different official reports - and that Mr Kirsten was the primary source of the information, I don't see how any news journalist could have written a factual article on this particular topic and I don't see how anyone could have accepted that the truth was ever obtained from Mr Kirsten. If the news media was really concerned with reporting the truth, they would have notated the alarming signs of foul play here and blatant inconsistencies with the official narratives!

"To rule out the possibility that someone else had killed Cornell, 52, detectives poured through the hotel's surveillance video, which was trained on the corridor outside his 11th floor room. They found nobody had entered or exited the suite after his bodyguard left around 11:35pm Wednesday, according to the source." - The Detroit News, May 22nd, 2017

The above quote from Detroit News is what Wikipedia is basing it's determination that Cornell was not murdered upon. First of all, this footage is mentioned nowhere in the official report, and yet it seems to have been determined a suicide from the start. None of this surveillance footage has surfaced anywhere, even though surveillance footage shows up daily in the news showing drunk drivers slamming into buildings, people throwing tantrums, people robbing stores, etc... Not even a nice still image of Mr Kirsten heroically kicking in Cornell's door has appeared. The specific wording they use referencing the source in that article is, "a Detroit Police source with knowledge of the investigation." I'm sure police use many "sources" to get their information, but that doesn't make every source an official member of the police department, or an official member of the investigation! The credentials this unknown source has, is that they have "knowledge of the investigation." Notice how specific that sounds initially, but descends rapidly into vagueness upon closer examination. They coulda said "Police spoke with someone who knows a lot about what happened and he said the surveillance footage rules out foul play." That's basically the same statement, just written out a bit more plainly and less deceptively. If this is what people out there are calling "proof" that Cornell was not murdered, I find that pretty sad.

The first line in the quote doesn't actually even clearly say Cornell wasn't murdered by someone. It says they ruled out the possibility that "someone else had killed Cornell." Someone else? Why is it so hard to just say, "detectives ruled out MURDER by watching the Hotel surveillance footage?" Ruling out murder means nobody murdered him. Ruling out that SOMEONE ELSE had killed him" makes it sound like someone is being ruled out, not that murder is being ruled out! Why are they messing around with words like this?

[Narrative 2] "Pro [Mr Kirsten] received a call from victim’s wife at 12:15 AM on 5/18/2017…who stated she talked to her husband (victim) at 11:35pm on 5/17/2017 who stated to wife that he was groggy and just kept saying I am just tired and hung up the phone."

If Cornell got a call from his wife at 11:35, within 1 minute of Mr Kirsten leaving his room, that's a pretty well timed call I'd say, because it provides the only evidence Cornell was still alive at that point. The fact his phone was not recovered means that Vicky's phone showing a call to Cornell at 11:35 would be the only potential proof he was still alive when Mr Kirsten left his room. That doesn't even necessarily mean Cornell received the call, without hearing the call itself. The murderer could have answered the phone, showing a call was received on Cornell's end. But again, Cornell's phone disappeared so, who cares right? Vicky was not present physically, so how did investigators determine so quickly that Cornell was not already dead when Mr Kirsten left at 11:35, even if they had managed to already SCOUR THROUGH the MGM surveillance footage? Her phone was not present for them to verify this call was made at 11:35. We also don't know what time these IT personnel showed up exactly or when they left, and we have conflicting reports as to whether Mr Kirsten went to Cornell's room at all to deal with the IT issue.

As far as Cornell's room being locked from the inside - Mr Kirsten had a key. He could have spent that 22 minute time gap mentioned earlier doctoring up the area to make it look like he broke into a suicide scene. Where is the footage of Mr Kirsten kicking doors down, where are the voice recordings of him frantically calling the front desk, and where are the phone calls of Vicky talking to Mr Kirsten while he is kicking these doors down? Until the surveillance footage and phone calls surface, I don't see any logical reason to buy any of this. There's just too many problems here, nothing comes together.

By the way, MGM also owns Mandalay Bay - where the worst concert shooting in American history occurred just a few months after this event. MGM then proceeded to sue 1,900 victims, according to NBC News, as a pre-emptive measure to circumvent the lawsuits they had been presented with or anticipated. After public outcry, MGM then offered to donate the cost of serving defendants their papers to charity, in an attempt to regain public affection. When we consider the security breaches likely necessary to have allowed that shooting to occur, Cornell's murder would have required a much smaller effort of corruption on the inside. MGM appeared very sketchy in 2017, to say the least.

"There are prescription bottles for Omeprazole and Prednisone prescribed to the deceased. I did not observe any other medications, illicit substances, alcohol or tobacco products at the scene." - Page 18, Medical Examiner's Case Registration Summary

The Medical Examiner's quote above matches the color picture with the 2 pill bottles in it. The black and white one under it however, presents a real problem. First off, remember the other black and white picture earlier, which revealed the noose was hanging too low to have hung Cornell from the door? Well the black and white picture above showing a bottle of Lorazepam [Ativan] was also not on the disc with the other photos, but was only included as a crappy printed hard copy on paper. So again, a very critical detail provided separately from the other images in the report, forcing the press to scan it and publish a 2nd generation copy - or decide not to include it due to the poor quality. The Medical Examiner says there were no other bottles or drugs observed in the room. So where was this picture of the Lorazepam taken? Every other photo in the report was taken in Cornell's room or just in front of the door.

"I spoke with the investigator Weaver as well as the bodyguard of the deceased, Mr Martin Kirsten. Mr Kirsten stated that he spoke to the deceased in person at approximately 23:30 [11:30pm] on May 17, 2017. At that time the deceased reportedly took two Lorazepam 2mg tablet which were from a prescription bottle prescribed to the deceased."

The Toxicology report indicates that Cornell had taken 4 of these Lorazepam pills. Cornell's wife also stated to the press that he told her over the phone that he may have taken "an extra Ativan or 2." The word "extra" indicates he had already taken the 2 his bodyguard gave him before taking more. This is why the location of the bottle throughout the evening is so important to determine. If Mr Kirsten had it, then left at 11:30 - how did Cornell take 2 more after that? If Kirsten gave him 4, why did he maintain he only gave him 2? If the bottle wasn't found in the room, how did it get back in there for a photo to be taken of it? If the bottle was taken outside of the room at 11:30, there is no way Cornell could have taken 2 more because Mr Kirsten [and the surveillance footage supposedly backs this up] never went back in until he found Cornell dead. These official documents themselves don't even agree with one another on critical details. Again and again, we must wonder how mainstream media was able to come to any clear conclusions on these matters, and who thought these unverifiable "facts" were solid enough to push onto the public? The fact that contradictions in this report are ALWAYS assumed to err on the side favoring suicide is a very clear indication of a coverup on multiple levels. Or, at the very least, a complete lack of objective observation.

WHAT TIME DID CORNELL DIE?

The last time reference Mr Kirsten gave in his own testimony before rushing over to break Cornell's door down, was 11:34PM. He doesn't make it clear if this was DURING or AFTER the conclusion of the Apple TV business. But he indicates that it was around that time.

"Pro [Mr Kirsten] received a call from victim’s wife at 12:15 AM on 5/18/2017…who stated she talked to her husband (victim) at 11:35 on 5/17/2017 who stated to wife that he was groggy and just kept saying I am just tired and hung up the phone." Narrative 2

Narrative 2 has a statement attributed to Vicky Cornell stating she last spoke with her husband on the phone at 11:35 - one minute after Mr Kirsten says he left in one account [the accounts vary as we know]. The Detroit News also makes specific reference to the time of 11:35 as the point where their "source" claims investigators did not view anyone coming or going from Cornell's room after. I find it strange that the last time reference we get before Cornell is found dead, is exactly 1 minute before 11:36. 1136 was Cornell's room number, and above is an alleged picture of the front door to his room that night. I wanted to try and stay away from the whole "creepy numbers" angle here, but it's just kind of staring us in the face so I figured it was worth pointing out. Was 11:36 the time Cornell was supposed to be murdered?

I thought it was a little odd that the numbers on the right are bigger than the numbers on the left. It doesn't look very good, does it? In the report there is a very clear close up of this, and in it you can see that the numbers on the right, with a white background, are on a separate sign placed next to the numbers on the left. Pretty tacky for an MGM grand Hotel, I'd say. However, the full number "1136" in braille is etched completely into the lower right side upon close examination. This was how I ruled out the idea that the room number was changed for the photos. However, I still find it a bit odd that the colors and difference in size of the numbers on the left, vs the numbers on the right subconsciously suggest viewing them as separate from one another. Why is that significant? Well, if you add up the numbers on the right, 3 + 6, you get 9. So now the entire number becomes 119, or 911 backwards. If you add the numbers up, 1 + 1 + 3 + 6, you get 11. This room is on the 11th floor. So we have 3 elevens and a 9. That may mean nothing, but I just thought it was a bit too strange not to mention. And being that Cornell's mother is a numerologist, I imagine she probably has some thoughts on this as well. But she has remained completely silent on this topic publicly, which could indicate many things, nothing of which I will attempt to guess at here.

"Soundgarden Guitarist Blasts Chris Cornell Murder Conspiracy Theories" - Rock997.com

You may have seen this headline in a few different places online. Here's the ONLY QUOTE attributed to Kim Thayil [Soundgarden guitarist] in that article, which is absurdly short, and is paraphrased:

"Thayil says nobody saw anything “that would have allowed us to anticipate what would happen.” He said the show that night had a few early challenges but that it went fine after those were smoothed out."

So who is Thayil "blasting" there? All he basically said was that nobody saw Cornell's death coming. How does that translate to him "blasting" conspiracy theorists? It is actually the author of the article's words that are "blasting" imaginary conspiracy theorists, NOT Thayil's. Clearly, the headline of the article is supposed to support the "popular consensus" regarding Cornell's death, but the actual contents of the article are apparently not required to support what the headline is stating. The article relies upon the assumption that "well, you already know he killed himself," rather than holding itself to actually backing up, with Thayil's quotes, what the headline states.

"SOUNDGARDEN Guitarist Dismisses CHRIS CORNELL Murder Conspiracy Theories" - Blabbermouth.com

Again, we have a headline citing the same Detroit Free Press article, stating something that isn't made obvious in the article itself by Thayil, but by the person who wrote the article. Here is the quote included in the Blabbermouth article referenced above:

"Thayil also addressed what he called "cockamamie ideas floating around out there" — conspiracy theories that hit the web after Cornell's death, such as speculation the singer was murdered because he was about to expose a child sex ring allegedly associated with a Washington, D.C., pizza parlor some claimed was a front, although Washington police said that theory was "fictitious.""

Thayil's entire quote is "...cockamamie ideas floating around out there." It's not even a complete sentence! One would think that if he had these strong feelings about the awful "conspiracy theorists" out there, he'd manage to complete a sentence making his feelings on the matter unquestionable, in his own words. This guy has a degree in philosophy, I'm sure he's got an articulate opinion on this subject. We certainly aren't getting it from these fragments of his quotes, paraphrased in articles where the author's words alone are supporting what the headline says.

"Thayil's tone sharpens with anger when he references "the cockamamie ideas floating around out there" — conspiracy theories that hit the web after Cornell's death, such as speculation the singer was murdered because he was about to expose a pedophile ring.... "There were a few minor difficulties (early) in the show that I felt adjusted themselves within a few songs," Thayil says of Cornell's Fox performance. "And then the rest of the show went pretty well."..."The fact of the matter is there was nothing that would suggest this outcome," he says." - Freep.com

Above is a quote from the Detroit Free Press, where all of these articles are supposedly getting their information from. We've got the "cockamamie" fragment, heavily paraphrased again by the author in the article. Thayil didn't directly address any "conspiracy theorists" who think Cornell was murdered - it was the author of the article who mentions these things.

""The fact of the matter is there was nothing that would suggest this outcome," he says."

Here we have a complete sentence, but without knowing what was discussed previous to this quote, we don't really know what Thayil means by "outcome." We assume he is referring to Cornell's suicide, but he never states that in his own words. Why didn't they just publish the entire interview instead of these sound bytes paraphrased with more of the author's wording than the subject's? Obviously Thayil never gave the answers these "journalists" wanted, so they took snippets of his answers and filled in the rest themselves. There's no quote from him in these articles directly stating "people who think Cornell was murdered are nuts." I didn't see any quote from Thayil clearly stating "I do not believe Cornell was murdered." Do you think people are asking him this question? Of course they are, wouldn't he want to set the record straight? The article is presenting the quote as being ASSUMPTIVE of Cornell's suicide - without being able to come up with 1 complete sentence from Thayil clearly supporting this presumed fact. There simply isn't enough dialogue from Thayil in the article to determine where he stands exactly. I could take that same last quote, write a headline that says "Thayil never expected murder," and it would still make sense!

Recall Vicky Cornell's statements about how everybody supposedly knew something was off with Cornell that night before he died. Doesn't sound like Thayil shares that view from the above. He said "nothing" would suggest this outcome. He didn't say anything about a "relapse," about his voice being way off, or about any head injuries. He was on the damned stage with Cornell all night, I think he woulda saw a wound on the back of Cornell's head before people on Youtube spotted it! There were no indications because he was fine and had no intention of taking his own life.

IN CONCLUSION

"Lynch: to put to death (as by hanging) by mob action without legal approval or permission" - Merriam-Webster's Dictionary

Americans typically associate lynching with racial hatred for obvious historical reasons. But as we can see, a lynching doesn't necessarily have to involve race. What a lynching does is it sends a distinct message of hatred towards the victim, and anyone who might sympathize with them. I'm sure whoever wanted Cornell dead could have made it look much cleaner than this. I believe Cornell's death was supposed to look a little suspicious because someone wanted to send a message to those "in the know," regarding whatever it was he got himself into. I don't know much about Chester Bennington, but all I really need to know is that he was a friend of Cornell's, sang a song at his wake, then ended up dead at the end of a rope on Cornell's birthday just a couple months later. They called it suicide, I call it a very clear message: "Don't talk."

"...and so we kind of decided well lets use my celebrity and the fact that I have a fan base in an effective way to try to help some kids...it's like real easy for me, so the idea is just to recognize that and realize that I am in a privileged position to be able to help without really having to go that far out of my way, and then make sure that I am consistently doing that. Cause one day I won't be able to do that and I'll have wasted that opportunity to help some children that need it." Cornell on KLOS, 2015

CLICK TO READ PART I
CLICK TO READ PART II

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Thursday, August 30, 2018

Bathory and the Scandinavian Metal Attack PT I - Myths and Legends

"the more times you tell a lie, in the end people will believe in it and it becomes the truth." -Quorthon, Bathory.nu site

For those who are not aware, Bathory was a Swedish band which existed from about 1983-2004, and are widely regarded as the inventors of modern Scandinavian black metal. Scandinavian black metal of the 1990s became a somewhat international topic when major news media began sensationalizing the deaths, church burnings, and extreme political views of some of the more notorious individuals of the relatively small [at the time] Nordic black metal scene - most of whom pretty much worshipped Bathory universally. Bathory is also considered the pioneer of a 2nd musical genre called VIKING METAL, which then lead to endless other sub genres all falling loosely under the banner of FOLK or PAGAN METAL.

Bathory was a very interesting group, not just due to their profound influence upon heavy metal, but also because of the fact that it really wasn't a band at all, but a single individual who called himself Quorthon.

"Bathory is a one-man band, if you wanna call it like that, but I’d like to refer to Bathory as a studio project, rather than a one-man band." - Quorthon

We never really got a clear explanation as to why band members were never permanent [if they existed at all], and on top of it, Quorthon often contradicted his own already questionable explanations regarding it. This makes it very difficult to find many things out about "the band" despite a seemingly endless sea of interviews and articles which were done before Quorthon's untimely death in 2004. But with the recent passing of Quorthon's father, Stig Börje "Boss" Forsberg late last year, some new information has become available via his "2nd wife" Klaudia, who now runs Black Mark Productions. There is also a vast sea of fragments Quorthon left behind in the form of interviews, which I have sifted through and categorized, in order to put the Bathory puzzle together more cohesively, if that can even be done at all.

In this first blog on Bathory, I will take a look at some of the common "myths and legends" regarding the group and see if we can gain some insight using either Quorthon's own remarks, remarks made by others close to the band, or materials otherwise produced by the "BathoryCorp" itself. [note - BathoryCorp is a term I made up myself as a way to reference the apparent protocols behind the group at any given time in history. For example, the protocol which stated Quorthon was not to reveal to the public his blood relation to his father, who produced every album and seemed to own the label his band was on for his entire career. Reading some interviews, one might get the impression this was Quorthon's idea, to keep things secret. However there is evidence that it was his father, BOSS, who was more likely the one who came up with this unwritten rule. But since we don't really know, we can simply say it was "the will of BathoryCorp" that the father and son relationship remain a secret to the public while the band exists]

NOTE - All quotes contained within the rest of this blog will be of Quorthon, unless otherwise notated. All sources should be included at the bottom of this page or within the quotation itself, but as usual, I welcome any corrections.

SECTION 1 - THE VENOM INFLUENCE

"I must have been the first maniac to know about Venom in Sweden. Cronos has done a lot for this evil thing and I thank him for that, but he didn't inspire me to sing this way as some seem to think."

..."I'm not a Venom fan but I love the Black Metal LP."

"I don't think there are any similarities musically between Venom and Bathory at all. But I do think 'Black Metal' - which I heard for the first time 3 months after we formed Bathory - is one of the best albums ever made because it has genuine feeling."

"we dedicated a song "Woman of Dark Desires" to Elizabeth Bathory mainly because everone was asking us "why the name Bathory?" And because they wanted to know more about Elizabeth Bathory...I read a book about you know, Vlad Tepes and Gilda Reyes, and everybody and...Elizabeth Bathory was in that book and I was just fascinated by her life story."

"When I was 14 I went to London Dungeon for the first time...I put her name in my memory Countess Elizabeth Bathory.... 2-3 months after the band had formed, Venom released the album Black Metal and on that album was a song about Elizabeth Bathory. But then we already had made homemade shirts and stuff... we didn't know how big Venom was in England then."

- Quorthon - various responses to the reason for naming the band Bathory, and whether Venom was an influence

As pointed out by Dayal Patterson, and any number of researchers on this topic, there are numerous dead giveaways that Bathory borrowed heavily from Venom. First dead giveaway is the name of the band. COUNTESS BATHORY is the title of a song on the album BLACK METAL - which came out in 1982, and took the underground by storm [Metallica, Slayer, and Exodus' debut albums all have a strong Venom influence for starters].

The first image above is Venom's first demo, "Demon," released in 1980. Notice there is a song on it called "Raise the Dead." Take note of the black and white goat head inside a pentagram. Bathory's first album, which came out in 1983, also has a song on it called "Raise the Dead" and also features a black and white goat head, [minus the pentagram, although the album has a huge pentagram on the back of it!] The 2nd image above is Venom's first album, "Welcome to Hell," which came out in 1981. This album has a gold goat head on the front, inside a pentagram. Well if you skip down a couple images, you'll see the infamous Bathory "Yellow Goat" record. Quorthon has said he intended the original debut Bathory album cover to feature a GOLD goat [gee, wonder where he got that idea????] but apparently GOLD was too expensive, so they went with the closest color they could afford, "canary yellow." So something like 1000 copies of Bathory's first album were printed in CANARY YELLOW. All pressings after were switched to black and white.

Venom's "Black Metal" album [1982] is also pictured above, featuring [surprise!] a goat head, in grey/silver. The track listing includes a re-recording of "Raise the Dead," and another song called "Sacrifice." Bathory also has a song called "Sacrifice" on their first album. Finally, note the old English font on the cover of Venom's "Black Metal." Venom was obviously influenced by Motorhead. Bathory used this same Olde English font for their logo. So it appears Bathory's first album was basically copying all visual concepts from Venom's first 2 albums, and probably the first demo [ok, we'll give them Motorhead as well, a band Quorthon was always quick to cite as an influence] So now that we've established that Bathory was clearly copying Venom's artwork and song titles, possibly even from the first demo, let's take a look at some lyrical similarities.

Lyrics to "Raise the Dead" by Bathory...

"Dust to dust"...
I gasp for air
I scream for sight
And fight against
Torment and dread
Calling the vengeance
I tear at the lid
And promise to raise
From the dead

Now let's look at the lyrics to Venom's "Buried Alive/Raise the Dead"

[intro] Earth to earth
Ashes to ashes
Dust to dust

I tear at the lid, my fingers they bleed...My lungs gasp for air, my eyes scream for sight

Between the torn shirts, the black dyed hair, the spandex, and the explorer shaped guitars - I think it is fair to assume, especially given the other information cited above, that Bathory was largely modeled after Venom. This is not a criticism! Plenty of bands were influenced by Venom, and most are quick to admit it. What was strange about Quorthon was not just his denial that Bathory was copying Venom's lyrics and image, but the next level he often went to in order to disprove their influence [rather unsuccessfully.] In one particular interview, which is partially quoted above, Quorthon gets audibly annoyed while speaking about this topic and proposes [rather absurdly] that Venom got their history wrong regarding Elizabeth Bathory's name. You can hear a tape edit, followed by a completely different 2nd response to the question in a more calm voice tone. So he provides 2 completely different answers to the same question within the same interview! Obviously, he intended one of the responses to be edited out. But since it was not, we get a window into Quorthon's world of fiction [I recommend people check this interview out - YOUTUBE user gabalgabow Interview 30/10/1987]

SECTION 2 - THE FATHER AND SON TEAM

"Another rumor hard to kill, and occasionally still believed in, is the rumor that insists there is a blood relation between Quorthon and Black Mark president Boss." - Bathory.nu [Quorthon's defunct website, still searchable online as of this writing]

In the above, Quorthon is referring to himself in the 3rd person. But anyone who reads enough Bathory interviews can tell that every word written within those biographical bathory.nu pages was all Quorthon. Sitting at a computer, hour after hour, trying to control the perception of his band by "setting the record straight" on whatever topic he decided needed straightening. And when it came to his relationship to his father - you can often feel his extreme frustration as he types to furiously dispel this "myth" which has since been confirmed to be true.

[Question - ace was quorthon right?] "logically I find it difficult to call him that, that was just his stage name. Borje's paternity was officially known a few days after Ace's death in an evening paper by Jonas Akerlung (Bathory drummer, today a well-known video producer - ed) who wrote there about Thomas Forsberg. Borje was quite angry about that because later he would gladly had done it himself if necessary. Thomas was just the birth name he loves to rename. Ace was on his ID. that is how he is officially known to all Swedish authorities. As a musician, he was so self-sufficient and independent that his relationship with the producer of Bathory did not matter. But Because the media could have seen it differently, he kept it secret"

The above is a rough translation I did from Rock Hard magazine, which is in German. The person answering the question is "his [Börje's] second wife Klaudia Scharein-Forsberg, who is currently continuing the business of Black Mark." Borje is Quorthon's father, Stig Börje "Boss" Forsberg. Most fans know him simply as "Boss," producer of all Bathory albums. Quorthon's birth name was Thomas Börje Forsberg, but Klaudia reveals in the above that he changed his first name legally to ACE. Quorthon was a big Kiss fan, so no big secret where he got that one. Probably the most interesting bit of information from the above is the fact that Boss got angry about Jonas revealing his relationship to his son in the press. This shows that BOSS also didn't want the public knowing - further contributing to the possibility that it was HIS idea to begin with.

[Borje Forseberg (on the left) at Quorthon's 1986 in store appearance at Heavy Sound. Next to him is Quorthon's mysterious side-kick, possibly a Paul Lundburg or Jonas Åkerlund. He says nothing and stands around trying to look creepy the entire time, while Quorthon interacts with fans and signs autographs]

"Back in the early days, maintaining secrecy about myself and the band was all-important" -Quorthon

...[in 1984] "We lived in a sort of Metal community in the house of the Tyfon label boss, together with his son that everybody knows as Quorthon of Bathory. That was a big secret back then he threatened to kill anybody who would talk about that." - Jay C. Blade [OZ]

"...and the one who talked me into the serious part of it was BOSS. If we hadn't been in contact with him we would have been one of the heavy metal bands in Sweden that never get the attention they need." - Quorthon

In the above we have a member of OZ, who were on Tyfon before Bathory, revealing in one short statement that BOSS was literally "the boss" of Tyfon Grammofon. He also reveals that BOSS was very serious about keeping his relationship to his son a secret. This was very early on, again supporting the idea that it was a decision made from the start, probably by BOSS/BathoryCorp - not necessarily Quorthon, who was probably around 17 at the time Bathory formed.

Within that last quote, Quorthon conveys that BOSS was pushing him to do Bathory, but he was careful not to make it sound like there was a blood relation between them. He also leaves out the part about already working at the label [Tyfon] he pretends to only be distantly "in contact" with [more on that later].

Quorthon seems to be playing 2 roles here. He is playing "Quorthon the musician," but also "Ace Forseberg, employee of BathoryCorp." Ace Forsberg, BathoryCorp, and to a degree BOSS, must all remain as invisible as possible to the public. QUORTHON is a character which was acted out by Ace Forsberg for the public in order to sell Bathory's music. Part of this act may have been Ace's REAL personality, but varying degrees of it seems to have always contained fiction. Over the years, we watch him struggle to balance both sides, but he slips here and there, then constantly tries to "set the record straight" again, only to contradict himself in other interviews. That is why he often seemed so confusing. Over time, Quorthon grew to resent this character he was supposed to be, and that is why he felt the need to do the Quorthon "solo albums" [or so it seems].

None of this is really that unusual in rock history, it really just comes down to selling records in the end. But often it seemed Quorthon went out of his way to confuse fans, leaving them wondering what is true and what isn't on all sorts of levels. It could be that he was simply a "bad actor" and had a hard time keeping his "script" straight over the years. But BOSS was always there hovering in the background to make sure certain things were done a certain way.


[Stig Börje "Boss" Forsberg, lower right, with his 60s Swedish pop band Ghost Riders]

"Boss then told us if we really really wanted double bass drums on a track [during the recording of the debut album], or if there was a double bass drum passage we felt was absolutely crucial to a particular song, we could then always try out playing that short passage on that single bass drum placed over one of those cardboard boxes using regular sticks wrapped up in pieces of cloth...There were only two passages recorded in that way that we chose to keep on tape."

It's no big secret that Bathory utilized all sorts of studio trickery on their albums. That's not to say they are any less brilliant, but the point is that much of what is heard on Bathory albums was artificially produced in the studio. The first album in particular is the one usually regarded as the most "raw" and least "artificial." But the above reveals a very early example of unorthodox studio trickery initiated, not by Quorthon, but by his father, Boss. Boss was, in fact, a drummer himself. He had a very interesting, not to mention successful, musical history dating back to the 60s. [more on this later]

To conclude this section, let's review some of the key things established here - BOSS was indeed Quorthon's father and BathoryCorp had a rule about keeping it secret [seemingly from the start, and even after Quorthon's death]. BOSS was a [successful] drummer/producer with studio experience dating as far back as the 60s. BOSS seems to have owned or headed Black Mark Productions and Tyfon Grammafon. His 2nd wife [who he presumably divorced at some point] now runs Black Mark Productions. Lastly, Quorthon was a character created by BathoryCorp very early on to be the "face" of Bathory. Thomas "Ace" Forseberg often struggled over the years to keep this character consistent, without revealing whatever it was BathoryCorp did not want the public to know - which was usually something to do with his personal connection to BOSS. It was often Quorthon's own failed attempts to keep his character convincing in front of the public that contributed both to his mystique and confusing image.

SECTION 3 - LIVE SHOWS/TOURING/MUSIC VIDEO

"Yeah, sure [I've played live before]. I had an oi punk band [Strudskuk] prior to Bathory. If you translate the name it would be "Battle Dick.""

[ever played live?] "No, we have been close several times, but then always when I tell them what we do onstage...we have played in front of friends sometimes and thrashed around the rehearsal place. That gave us the reputation as being the most outrageous, craziest, and wildest thrashing band in Stockholm....no wonder the people who had arranged the show did everything to get us off the bill!"

"In Sweden, there's absolutely nothing, no bands, no kids! When we are playing over there, we cannot count upon more than two hundred people at our shows. Same goes for Finland, where our friends of Oz are meeting the same metallic desert..."

"When the real heavy hitters began playing in Finland, we left for Stockholm, where world of music was completely different (from that of Finland). In the 80s Stockholm was the rock city, and still is!" - Mark Ruffneck, OZ [yourlastrites.com]

"I did all that [playing shows] in 1983/84 and beginning of 85 it's...really boring...and besides, 50% of all the material that Bathory recorded on albums is impossible to reproduce onstage anyway...I remember the first couple of times...it was just for friends. At party's you know, and playing in cinemas and stuff like that...Bathory wasn't a big band or anything like that and...it was great fun..."

"We had never made a tour simply because Sweden is a rotten place when it comes to try to find people suitable for something like Bathory"

"Alot of people say the same thing. That I could make a million bucks literally if I would take Bathory out on the road right now. But I am not a performer and I hate concerts."

"We couldn't bring our stage with us here in Scandinavia and still can't. For Bathory it is important to have a impressing stage show so that the audience get something in return for the ticket they have paid for. I think it is boring just standing there with no effects or pyro-technics.

The above is probably a mixture of truth and flat out fiction. Quorthon obviously wanted to play live on some level, at least to give the fans what they want. But clearly BathoryCorp had a "no live shows" rule for most of Bathory's existence. Quorthon always had explanations as to why the band could not play live. But as you can see above, he changed the reasons all the time - and some of them didn't even make sense! In this section we will explore why the "no live shows" rule existed.

BATHORY/CELTIC FROST/DESTRUCTION TOUR

"...Important Records asked us to come over and do some kind of tour together with Celtic Frost and Destruction in summer of '86. While all of this was happening, I of course didn't have a lineup together..."

"There were plans for BATHORY to tour the US in ‘86-’87 together with some other bands like Destruction and Celtic Frost. But those plans just never materialized. So I said, "-To hell with it all….let’s just make records from here on!"

"It was meant that we should go out with Destruction and Celtic Frost in the states then...I asked if the Sodom drummer could come up and play with me in Stockholm to see if it could work out. We were in the rehearsal place for 2 weeks and we came to the conclusion that the fans might think it was a bit weird if we went together on tour."

"Both of our fans could be confused in the end and also Sodom and Bathory are two bands that received the most shit because we sound the way we do and we were very early and we started this whole death metal thing, but we are not having huge organizations behind us"

"Chris came up to Stockholm early ’86: the reason was, we have been offered by Combat Records to join a tour across United States together with Destruction, Possessed, and Celtic Frost, during the summer of 86, or something like that, and all of a sudden, I realized that the guy who was playing drums in Bathory at the time, I wasn’t sure he was gonna be in it or not: also he did the army, which is in Sweden voluntary, but he was in the army...I called Chris, and I said: “Why don’t you come up, and we’ll see what we can come up with. If things turn out well, could you, would you consider, you know, helping us out on this tour?,”...he stayed for two weeks, or something, this was exactly when Chernobyl nuclear pant in Russia accident. And I told him: “Hey, you better go to the German embassy to get your pills,” and he said: “Whaat?” “Well, you’re gonna die from cancer: I got my pills this morning,” you know, and he was so damn… (laughs), he was so scared that he took a fucking train to Germany immediately the next day...But we had a lot of fun for two weeks anyway. He snores like, you know, pig."

I don't think there is one fan of 80s extreme underground metal who's jaw would not drop to see Bathory, Celtic Frost, and Destruction on the same bill [Quorthon even throws POSSESSED into the tour within that last quote!] As far as underground metal goes, this would have been as hot a ticket as a Slayer or Metallica tour. We're talking legendary. So I would think that pressure for Bathory to finally get out there and play live must have been great for BathoryCorp to consider breaking the "no live shows" rule. But as you can see above, Quorthon again gives confusing answers to explain why it did not work out.

One of Quorthon's "go to" statements as to why he could not find band members was that it was too hard to find dedicated musicians into that type of music. And yet he can pick up the phone, in 1986, call Sodom's drummer, and Sodom's drummer flies out and jams with Quorthon for 2 weeks! Quorthon had no problem finding suitable musicians. The idea that he did was pure bullshit.

Take note of this thing he says above, "we are not having huge organizations behind us." He made similar statements to this in quite a few interviews I came across, and in this case he says it out of context. Why does he throw this seemingly inapplicable bit of information in with his response to the question of why the tour didn't work out? It's kind of like when a child is home alone and his mother walks into the door and asks "how are you, did you miss me?" and the child responds, "I didn't take the cookies from the jar that are missing!" He's volunteering information which was not asked for, inadvertently suggesting what nobody is thinking to begin with! Nobody asked him "hey, does Bathory have a big organization behind it?" No, the questions was - "what happened with Witchhunter and that amazing tour?" In what way does "we don't have a big organization behind us" answer this question? If it is part of a larger answer, fair enough. But Quorthon does not offer a larger answer, that WAS his entire answer! This is a typical example of the "canned responses" he threw out to interviewers in order to shut down a line of questioning he didn't like. But he didn't always seem to realize, or care, how illogical and odd his answers often were.

Clearly, a tour was seriously considered, but something happened which destroyed these plans, and Quorthon would not tell the truth about it. He gives several different reasons in different interviews. When police interrogate a suspect, they ask the same questions several times, because they are seeing if the suspect sticks to their story. Someone who can't stick to their story is generally lying. That's what Quorthon is doing here. No crime in that, but a curious fan can't help but ask, why?


"If I decide to do something, it has to be done my way."

"I'm totally comfortable when I have my 60 cigarettes a day, some wine and whiskey, a cunt to fuck and a guitar to crank up really loud."

"In January/Feb 85 we went into the studio and recorded "the return"...We were utterly drunk every bloody day while recording it"

"I can't even stand the smell of beer and prefer a bottle of fine old wine or very clean and pure Vodka."

"I'm a vegetarian so I wouldn't be able to slaughter lambs on stage (as has been hinted in the past)."

"Thomas "Quorthon" Forsberg is dead. The head of legendary cult band Bathory and son of Black Mark Records owner Börje "The Boss" Forsberg was found dead in his Stockholm apartment on Monday, June 7th. Cardiac arrest was identified as the cause of death, Quorthon suffered for years from an incurable heart disease. He was just 39 years old." -Rockhard.de [translated from German]

From the above, we can gather a few different possibilities as to why Bathory could not play live shows, and why they seemed to suddenly back out of the above mentioned tour.

The quote where Quorthon states "it has to be done my way" was probably mostly fact. Quorthon probably did get his way, since his father owned Tyfon/Black Mark. So why bother with band members, or anyone else who might have opinions about how things should operate within Bathory? Maybe Quorthon made planning the tour too difficult by being demanding?

[You were at L'Moure. L'More is sorta the big place for Heavy Metal in New York what did you think of it?] "I went with a couple of people and I told them, "don't tell anyone I'm here because I won't be able to walk around and just be anybody." After about 45 minutes people started to turn around and take my picture and I tried to cover my face. We came up in the street, we had our limousine...afterwards and there's hundreds of fans surrounding the car. We signed autographs and tits and ass and posters and everything, and its great."

"In the last ten years I've attended only two shows, a bit forced to do it. I hate being surrounded by people."

"I was head of security, and I was doing my very best to sorta like, sneak around in the shadows, cause, I mean, 80% of everybody there had my picture on their walls back home..."

"He just didn’t look like what you thought the guy that penned “Equimanthorn,” “Through Blood By Thunder” and “A Fine Day To Die” would look like – unless he also had been a member of the Cold Lake lineup of Celtic Frost. Quorthon looked a lot more like a hair metal dude than one of the forefathers of black metal – cowboy boots, ironed jeans and a black muscle shirt. I think after years of seeing him standing in a pentagram in that famous press picture I just didn’t expect him to be a sort of funny guy, who really liked to call almost everybody by the same name: Frank" - www.decibelmagazine.com/2013/04/17/black-metal-at-the-pickle-barrel-a-night-with-quorthon/

Quorthon's appearance often contradicted this notion that he was a "recluse" who hated crowds of people, shows, and playing live. For starters, his earliest promo pics show a guy pretty in love with posing in front of a camera. Also, anyone can watch the video referenced above from Heavy Sound in 1986 and see how Quorthon gobbles up all the attention he can from a crowd of fans - it's almost as touching, as it is absurd, to watch Quorthon acting like Yngwie Malmsteen alongside his silly silent sidekick, doing his best to appear creepy and vampiric, and failing in an almost comic manner. The person quoted above who said Quorthon looked like a "hair metal dude" wasn't the only one to notice this about him. Dead [later of Mayhem] was present at the signing referenced above and famously made similar statements, even expressing disappointment in his idol's horribly "rockstar" attitude. And this thing about "hating crowds" and "hating shows" makes it really hard to understand why he'd roll up to New York's hottest Metal Club [at the time] in a Limo or decide to be "head of security" at a Death Metal show where everyone would know who he is! Not to mention the bizarre events which occurred there, but we'll get into that later in more detail.

Perhaps Quorthon made all of that up because his health was an issue. The quote about being a "vegetarian" is from a pretty early interview. Unless he was making that up [which is possible] this shows he was health conscious early on - even if he did drink tons of alcohol and smoke "60 cigarettes a day". Quorthon was very skinny most of his life, this backs up the idea that he was careful about what he ate - though it doesn't really prove that a serious health issue was the reason. The above image with the caption stating he quit smoking around Twilight of the Gods [1991] indicates again that he was concerned for his health. Quorthon also stated in some interviews and on his own website that he'd planned to end Bathory after Twilight of the Gods. That's 2 pretty big decisions made around the same time. Did some health scare occur which provoked these decisions? Although Quorthon was pretty open about drinking, he was always quick to exaggerate his hatred for drugs and how stupid people who did them were.

"you’re gonna die from cancer: I got my pills this morning”

This was part of one of Quorthon's more absurd, and obviously fictional explanations [quoted earlier] as to why things didn't work out with Witchhunter, who obviously wasn't the only drummer he could have rehearsed with. We're supposed to think Quorthon scared Witchhunter away by making him think he needs to go to the German embassy and get some anti radiation pills from the "Chernobyl fallout." Despite the fact that this makes no sense at all, it does reveal something interesting about Quorthon's thinking at that time. He makes specific reference to DISEASE and PILLS. Was this him accidentally revealing part of the REAL reasons he could not tour? His obituary stated he long fought an incurable heart disease. Perhaps he had this disease longer than people realize, and perhaps he took prescription pills for it. If true, the real reason things didn't work out was because Quorthon's health problems became obvious to the point where a tour was ruled out.

If I am correct, this is clearly something Quorthon/BathoryCorp probably wasn't at all comfortable with people knowing. Shows and tours can be brutal on one's body. Witchhunter himself later died of liver failure at 42. Jeff Hanneman, of Slayer's "official cause of death was announced as alcohol-related cirrhosis." Most underground metal musicians deal with the brutal lifestyle of touring over the years through drugs, alcohol, therapy, coaches, or some other sort of vice. BOSS probably didn't want his son, who liked to drink and smoke, exposed to it for his own safety. This is the best reason I can guess why Bathory never played live and declared no more shows would be planned ever after dropping suddenly from the Celtic Frost/Destruction/Bathory tour.

OKAY WELL, LET'S JUST MAKE A VIDEO THEN!

"...we intend to record a live video as soon as possible to give all our fans, wherever they live, an equal chance to see our stage show. But to go on the road touring and putting on the type of show we have would cost a lot of money which we don't have right now...It will have about six or seven tracks and we will probably incorporate a little bit about the history of the band as well."

"Well, we will be making 2 videos. The first one will be a promotion video which will be shot outdoor in a deserted place here in Sweden that looks very Scandinavian. Next up we will do another video that will last about an hour or so, with loads of unreleased material on it - rare stuff. There will also be some live songs with our stage show for people that haven't seen us live."

Quorthon was talking about doing a video in interviews as early as 1987. That would be a short time after Bathory's big tour with Destruction and Celtic Frost was aborted. It seems this was BathoryCorp's way of placating fans who were anxious to see Bathory live. Professional music videos were not cheap to make in the 80s - yet Quorthon uses finances as an excuse as to why the band cannot tour in the above. Most of what he describes above in 1987 did eventually materialize, but not at the same time.

The "Road to Asa Bay" video provided the only footage the public ever got of Bathory "playing live," which isn't even them really playing live, it's just Quorthon playing air guitar with a fake band and fake members. The documentary/biography aspect Quorthon describes is something he was working on, but was only ever released in partial text form, via the now defunct Bathory.nu [which pages can still be partially recovered from on google] and the "In Memory of Quorthon" release, which contained an extensive booklet that can also be mostly found online. The "outdoor deserted place" manifested itself also on the "One Road to Asa Bay" video, which was very high quality in the end [and cost tons of money according to Quorthon]. Finally, the "unreleased material" he speaks of appeared in the form of the Jubileum series, of which there were 3 full albums.

"Music is so unimportant live. We want to do something different, not what the fans have already seen, so we decided to do a big video which will cost a lot of money and have everything that we want in it, exactly how we want it!..There'll be a huge stage show, for all the fans to see the songs the way they want. We'll have bombs...they've been done before, but ours will go 30 feet. We'll have big mountains as a backdrop and horses, naked women...everything."

Now Quorthon gives us something like a combination of the first idea - a video featuring the band playing LIVE, but also specific hints of what would become the "One Road to Asa Bay video." He says it will "cost a lot of money." Why does he think people care how much money it will cost? Again, here he is offering up information nobody seems to have asked for. He seems to be responding to the question, "Hey Quorthon, what are you doing with all the money from album sales if you never tour or play shows?" He probably felt guilty because he's sitting on his ass writing letters all day and drinking tons of booze and banging chicks while fans are begging for a live show! So he wants them to know that he is going to USE that money to give back to them. That is my guess as to why he brings up the money thing there.

"Among others we went to viking graves, but a lot of the things we filmed are apparently not in the video according to those who saw it. We poured five hundred liters of gasoline in a big lake and gasoline is thicker than water, so it spread like a thin membrane over the surface...But all of this was for fun. Not a fraud, just to have some fun."

"I spent 25000 SEK out of my own pocket...If I had known that I wasn't going to be able to see a second of the 19 hours we shot for the video...I have never seen it and I never will. But I managed to get back the original master copies from assorted video channels in Europe and managed to burn them."

"I spent between $3,000 and $5,000 on that video out of my own money, and we had 16 hours of film. Once, the whole thing was supposedly mixed together. There was so little time because I was going on a promotion tour in Europe for six weeks. We had so little time to do the video properly before we went out. So I said, "O.K. Let's wait. I'll take care of all that when I get back to Stockholm." but sometime when I was out there, someone put the whole thing together and just started to distribute it - and it was not meant to be that way. I should say first that I have never seen the video myself. I refuse to see it. the guy who was filming that thing - six months after recording that video, nobody heard from him anymore. He owes us alot of money and all that. I spent two weeks organizing - renting horses, uniforms, armor, swords, people, food, driving people - everything. I paid a lot of money and I wasn't even allowed to be there when the whole thing was mixed. We had 16 hours of film, and I wasn't even allowed to see one second"

This all gets very Spinal Tap here, but I think the bottom line is that BathoryCorp was following through on their plans as described by Quorthon in the earlier quote from 1987, but he probably didn't have as much control of everything as he would have liked. Again, Quorthon brings focus on the vast amounts of money it all cost because it is important to him, and I think this is genuine actually, that the fans know the money they have spent on Bathory is going back to the fans in some way.

Being that BOSS was involved in so many other projects, his time to devote to Bathory was probably somewhat limited. So I do buy the idea that Quorthon probably ran Bathory by himself to a large degree. But this entire business of how the video was shot, then taken away, then sent back, then destroyed by Quorthon after never bothering to watch it is all a bit too much. Something wacky happened here, and it's not being explained fully. However, the video itself is far from the "hack job" Quorthon makes it out to be. In fact, it seems quite meticulously edited and shot. If Quorthon was concerned whether his vision was interpreted correctly, I think it is clear that SOMEONE's vision was clearly interpreted in it. We'll take a closer look at the video in a future blog.

"We poured five hundred liters of gasoline in a big lake and gasoline is thicker than water, so it spread like a thin membrane over the surface...But all of this was for fun. Not a fraud, just to have some fun."

Maybe Quorthon was upset because he needed the fans to know how much money he spent on the video and he needed to prove to them that he was "not a fraud" by creating these awesome visual spectacles? Without scenes such as the one he describes above, he figures people would be asking "where's the bombs and fires and explosions Quorthon was bragging about?" He then goes on to state it was "Not a fraud, just to have some fun." So here he seems to be speaking to people he believes are calling him a "fraud." I can only assume people were, otherwise, why would he hint at a desire to disprove this accusation, seemingly out of nowhere? Creating a high budget video was again, his way to show the public that "here's where your Bathory dollars are going! Bathory is a real band, not a fraud!" Albums weren't enough, he needed to give them something more, and touring was out. So when certain key [expensive] scenes were edited out of the video, Quorthon was livid because these scenes were probably THE WHOLE POINT of doing the video from his perspective! By stating he "never saw it" he's probably trying to get out of having to discuss details within it, which was a topic that likely made him furious. I actually feel kind of bad for Quorthon, if this is all true. He must have been under tremendous pressure - and to make it worse, he couldn't vent his true frustrations to the pubic, he could only do it through the limited character of "Quorthon." Perhaps I am wrong, but this would explain almost every ridiculous detail of Quorthon's otherwise impossible to make sense of quotations above, regarding the final version of the video.

THE MANOWAR THING

Swing your hammer to crack the sky
Lift your cape so that you might fly

- "Thor (The Powerhead)" by Manowar (1984)

God of Thunder
Who crack the sky
Swing your Hammer
Way up high

-"Valhallah" by Bathory (1990)

BLACK CLOUDS on the horizon
Great thunder and BURNING RAIN
His CHARIOT pounding
I heard the heavens scream his name

- "Thor (The Powerhead)" by Manowar (1984)

In CHARIOT of gold
Ride across the clouds
The BLACK STORM is unfold
BURNING MIST is but a shroud

-"Valhallah" by Bathory (1990)

God of thunder, God of rain
Earth shaker who feels no pain

- "Thor (The Powerhead)" by Manowar (1984)

God of thunder
Lightning rain
The winds of glory
Whispers your name

-"Valhallah" by Bathory (1990)

Above we can clearly see that Bathory was again modeling themselves after a band that they felt was on the pulse of something. It is not my goal here to lessen Bathory's impact as the "innovator of Viking Metal," but the bottom line is that they copied a hell of a lot of it directly from Manowar!

"[on Enter the Eternal Fire] we copied the rhythms thing, I mean, the rhythm beat from Manowar, cause the drummer who was at the band at the time was a big Manowar fan, and he introduced that way of playing for me, you know, that (sings) “doo-doo-dah-duh”, 3/6th , or whatever it’s called..."

"About me talking about people probably making comparisons with Manowar was simply not an excuse for not putting it [Blood on Ice] out, but mainly to show that I was aware of the fact that the comparison was gonna be made by allot of people, not to piss on "Blood On Ice" as an album or Manowar as a band."

"I teamed up with Joey Demaio. We were in the same hotel or something. A good encounter...I was introduced to Manowar by the drummer we had in 1987. He was very much into them."

Quorthon always avoided saying that HE was a Manowar fan [while also avoiding saying ANYTHING bad about them]. Instead, he would say that his DRUMMER was a Manowar fan, and that is how the influence crept in. The album "Under the Sign of the Black Mark" was released by Under One Flag, a sub label of Music for Nations, in 1987. Manowar was also on Music For Nations at one point, but apparently left the label just before recording "Sign of the Hammer" in 1984. This encounter with Quorthon was likely the result of a business connection via Music for Nations, but we never really get enough information to determine the full details. However he does state his "drummer" introduced him to Joey Demaio and that his "drummer" was the big Manowar fan.

"Twilight… is entirely drum machine"

"The drums are a mix of drummachine and real drums. I think it's 75% drummachine and the rest is something I do afterwards when you feel no, the beats should have been harder there."

"I just enter the studio, I’m calling him up, I’m sending him tapes of the songs, where I play bass and guitar and I have a drum machine, and, you know, how to play the songs to go into the studio, we record the stuff, and he goes back home."

"For the past 11 or 12 years it's been a two man project situation which I have no intention whatsoever to bring onto a stage or even further than what it's all about today. I am much too happy about the present situation."

"Well, it’s not a band, actually for the last fifteen years it’s been a two-man project"

"I do not deny that earlier in our career I played most of the instruments on our records and produced much of the material."

"Someone called Palle Lundburg we have NEVER HAD IN THE STUDIO. QUORTHON PLAYED THE DRUMS HIMSELF on “Under the Sign of the Black Mark." - BOSS

After reading the above, it is clear that Quorthon either was the drummer, or the drummer was a drum machine which he programed, possibly with the help of someone else. Quorthon's father was a drummer, he was in the studio for every Bathory recording, he was the one watching the NWOBHM trend in the early 80s, and he was probably the one watching Manowar and deciding to incorporate their style. Boss would have had the connections to introduce his son to Demaio, probably not some non-existent "assistant" who helped him program drums which he already programed himself! Boss is probably the one Quorthon was secretly referring to as the "drummer" who introduced him to Joey Demaio.

Invincible in battle, wargods hear my deathwish cry
I'll laugh in the face of death, I into glory ride

-Bathory "Equimanthorn" from Under the Sign of the Black Mark (1987)

If we go back to Bathory's 3rd album, the phrase "Into Glory Ride" pops up in the lyrics. This happens to be the title of Manowar's 2nd album! Given that Quorthon admitted above they were already borrowing Manowar's drum beat - it seems Quorthon was thinking of them when writing his lyrics as well!

We have read your letters, we have heard your call
We were brought together cause we've got the balls

Manowar "Army of Immortals" [1984, Music for Nations]

You kept your faith, you mailed us your hails
You spread our name and commotion
You are the ones who believes and supports
and that's called shear bloody f*cking devotion

-Bathory "Of Doom" [1987, Under One Flag/Music for Nations]

In the 70s, KISS had a fan club called "The Kiss Army." It was great marketing and it's fun for the fans to sort of "play act" this "us against the world" attitude. Manowar took this same concept when addressing their "Army of Immortals." They continued this theme with their "Warriors of the World" album - which was largely influenced by the events of 9/11. Bathory obviously took their own awkward first stab at this marketing technique, in their otherwise pretty badassed song "Equimanthorn." When we consider that Bathory's first appearance was on a compilation called "Scandinavian Metal Attack," we get hints that Bathory was merely an extension of a larger marketing plan, whose think tank existed before the band did. Again, BOSS was in the business, and was successful, for many years before Bathory formed. It would be naive to assume he did not apply his wealth of wisdom when it came to marketing Bathory's music early on. Quorthon was a teen still when Bathory formed. He didn't "accidentally" become one of the the most successful/influential extreme metal artist of all time without lots of help.

I'm not suggesting any of this is necessarily positive or negative, but that this was already a well known marketing technique by the time Bathory was formed. There is a term most of you may have heard, where a band may be described as having a "cult like" following. Ghost [also from Sweden], in particular, is a modern example of a group who are so blatant in their attempts to market themselves as a "cult band," it tends to put a lot of people off because of it's obvious commercial motivation. A band who can develop a "cult like" following, basically creates a small society within society. This then gives the band a degree of power within larger society - who are largely DIVIDED, which is why large record corporations end up either creating, owning, or destroying these types of bands. Bands like this are profitable, but beyond that, they can have a profound influence upon society. One need only consider for a moment, the social impact that the viking/folk/pagan metal movement has had upon societies internationally to begin to understand the potentially profound importance of what Bathory was doing from the start.

[Varg Vikernes is probably regarded as the most influential, and infamous, "Black Metal musician" of all time. He continues to post videos to this day on his "thuleanperspective" youtube channel. You may have to tap on the above image to blow it up, if you are on a smartphone]

A BIT MORE ON THE VIKING THING

"In 1984-1985 I came to the conclusion that Satan and Satanism was created by the Christian church itself, so here we had a hoax made up by another hoax to terrify people into the arms of the Christian faith. It's all religious bullshit anyway...I went further back in time to see what was there before Christianity came around to become the dictatorial way of life and death. I didn't need to go too far from my front door, to be reminded of the rich culture and history in Scandinavia before the Christian church came around."

Bathory was formed in 1983. So if he had this "awakening" that early, why did he write 2 or 3 albums of "satanic music" before making the switch to the Norse theme? As much as I want to believe the above, it is hard to buy it given BathoryCorp's obvious marketing strategies driving the band's musical direction from the beginning. It seems Ace's job here was to play the role of Quorthon, now as the evolving artist - fed up with the contradictions of both Satan and God, deciding to embrace his own country's pagan culture. This is great marketing because it allows their "anti christian" fanbase to follow along without feeling alienated - but also takes them on a new musical journey, closer to their own world [if you were a Scandinavian fan especially]. What is more interesting is that it also brought them closer to a heated social/political territory. The unfortunate fact is, Neo Nazi organizations have a history of appropriating Norse themes and symbols, making this a much more sensitive topic in parts of Europe, than here in America. And the truth is, Sweden had a well documented history of problems with Neo Nazi Skinheads - particularly in the late 70s/early 80s, and through the 90s. Some of them were in Oi! punk bands.

"Ultima Thule (Latin for "Farthest North") was founded in early 1984 in Nyköping, Sweden... Their style is based on what they call Vikingarock ("Viking rock"), which combines occasional folk melodies with rock, mixed with Oi!, street punk and Teddy Boy...The band's first EP was sponsored by Bevara Sverige Svenskt ("Keep Sweden Swedish") and was used as a campaign theme by Sverigepartiet. Some of their songs were included on compilation albums with bands like Skrewdriver and Brutal Attack...Their first vocalist, from 1984 to 1986, Bruno Hansen, was the leader of the Nyköping "action group" of the Nordic Reich Party, and some music critics classify the band as White Power music...Between 1984 and 1987 the band played at about 30 skinhead concerts. On 6 June 1987 they played together with Agent Bulldogg, Vit Aggression and Dirlewanger at a white power concert in Södertälje. On 30 November 1991, the band played at a white power concert with Vit Aggression and Division S...Ultima Thule has sold one certified platinum and three gold albums in Sweden, and managed to have three singles on the 20th-best hits list at the same time. Their lyrics are mostly in Swedish, with only a few songs in English, including covers of bands such as Sham 69 and Ronettes" - Wikipedia

I should first state that this band has actively attempted to distance itself from "Neo Nazi" groups more recently, and does not seem to agree that they ever were "Neo Nazis." Nevertheless, they formed about the same time as Bathory, and were in the Swedish Oi! punk scene. Although not from Stockholm. Oi! punk originated in England, mainly London. According to Quorthon himself, he was in Oi! punk bands just before Bathory [2, in fact], and visited the "London Dungeon" around 1981. So I am sure he knew very well, as did BOSS, what a Neo Nazi Oi! punk skinhead was. Given Ultima Thule's controversial history and their eventual mainstream success - I find it very hard to believe Quorthon and/or Boss did not know who this band was, which called itself "Vikingarock," BEFORE they decided to "go full Viking" with Bathory. It also begs the question, what motivated the young Quorthon to suddenly jump from Oi! punk misfit to "cult heavy metal icon?" I am not accusing Bathory of being a politically motivated band, but it would be very naive not to at least consider it. We will go into possible political motivations behind the creation of Bathory, or lack thereof, in a future blog.


[a young Thomas "Ace/Quorthon" Forsberg on the left, in this advertisement for Marillas "Grammofonteater"]

QUORTHON'S "DAY JOB"

"...he [BOSS] gave me an opening to get my head off school at the age of 14 when he gave me that quarter time job back in 1980."

"I quit school, or, more or less, I was thrown out of school back in ’82...we had something called, whatever you could translate...uhm…you would go to school 2 days a week, and you would work a regular job..they sorta like got me this 2 days, or 3 days a week kinda job at the record company"

If he was working at his father's record label, Tyfon Grammafon, in 1980 - this would have been before Quorthon says he was "thrown out of school in '82." That kind of messes up his story a bit!

"Borje [BOSS] was very rich at the end of the seventies because of his success as a hit producer" - Klaudia Forsberg [Boss' 2nd wife]

At the beginning of this section is an image I found at www.blodelddod.se which shows Quorthon as a child, presumably in a commercial for a toy which involves a vinyl record. This was a really cool "toy" put out by Marilla Grammofon - which was owned by BOSS's friend, Hans Edler. BOSS worked for Marilla and was also a band mate of Edler in the group I pictured earlier, Ghostriders. Was young Quorthon paid for this appearance? I'd imagine so. If he was, this would be the earliest job he had that I know of, a "child actor" of sorts?

My guess is that Quorthon really didn't have to go to school because his dad owned a successful business, which he was eager to work at from an early age. I've read various stories about Quorthon being present as a child during some of his father's recordings, and even some stories claiming he played here and there on some of them. I don't know exactly what the truth is, but I think it is safe to say Quorthon did work at the family business fairly early, and he was just trying to make it all sound cooler by stating he was "thrown out" of school. I don't imagine he ever worked a "real job" by the time he formed Bathory in 1983, because he was already working at the family business AND playing in the band which would quickly become the label's top seller. So why would he need to get a "real" job?

"...I'll tell you why I've never driven a cab: I don't have a driver's license."

"I get my money only 3-4 times a year. But it is enough, it really is. But I do some other work every now and then. Like for instance as a security guard at concerts etc. I don't know if it counts as a job because you are mostly standing there with your arms folded and a button that says security. So its like getting money for nothing."

"There's a curious thing, and it's that the whole BATHORY discography is selling quite well. I think it's maybe because of the 'legend' that has been created behind the band's name...the albums sales increase year by year."

"In the 80's we would receive up to 100 fan letters every week. Now a days I spend most of the days answering fan email."

"So now, about 6 years ago, I started getting money that I was supposed to have been receiving during the ‘80s, so I wasn’t making a single cent during the entire ‘80s, and now I’m getting all those money—I haven’t had to take a work or have a job in 6 years"

"Bathory has sold over 1.4 million records, we don’t spend any money on tours or videos, I haven’t had to flip burgers down at McDonald’s for twenty years"


[Karlstad-Örjans ‎– I Hennes Blåa Ögon, Produced by Börje Forsberg, Tyfon Grammofon 1987 - POP/Schlager]

If Quorthon's dad owned Tyfon and Black Mark - both companies he worked for, how is it he wasn't ever paid during the 80s? Tyfon was producing bands through the 80s right up until Blackmark was established in 1991. Are we to believe BOSS was so clueless as to operate his business in the 80s without making sure Tyfon/Blackmark was getting the money due to them? And if he was, why would he NOT pay Quorthon, his son, forcing him to "flip burgers" and take on these dangerous "head of security" gigs at death metal concerts for bands getting death threats [Gorefest and Deicide] where bombs are going off at a venue known to contain the Neo Nazi headquarters of Stockholm?

"20 feet away from there you have the militant Stockholm neo-Nazi organization have their headquarters, 20 feet away…from the concert, and they have been placing bombs just about everywhere, 2 times a week for the past 12 months or so, but, I mean, you couldn’t say it straight out"

In the quote from 1997, he says he hasn't had to work a job in 6 years. Another quote has him stating he hadn't had to "flip burgers" in 20 years. Bathory only existed for 21 years! The security gig which was mentioned earlier would have fallen within 6 and 20 years of both interviews quoted above. There were many witnesses who saw him doing security at the 1992 Fyshuset gig where a bomb went off. This sounds like a guy who never worked a "regular" job, but who's trying very hard to sound like he has! Seems to me he wanted to create an image of himself as a young misfit who was thrown out of school, who struggled in the working class [the history of Oi! punk is based in working class youth of London], dabbled in the occult, built up this occult band with the help of a producer [BOSS] who believed in the band. This is part of Quorthon's role. But Quorthon was a character whos story was not entirely based in reality.

"writing for Bathory is work. Because I do so many other things, I write sixties’ pop, classical music, I’m just now completing my fourth string quartet"

None of what we are discussing here is meant to detract from the impact of Bathory's music. But when you leave a trail of question marks behind, as Quorthon did over the years, some day people are going to start to pick them up and ask "just what is this?"

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SOURCES - http://m.bathoryhordes.com, STORBERG Heavy Metal zine (2002), HELL AWAITS (2001), Menelaos Megariotis (2001), Twilight (2001, )Vampiria (2001), Metalunderground.com Phone interview with Quorthon by CROMCarl (1997),Phone interview with Quorthon by Oliver Ueck, KILL YOURSELF 1997, Hard Rock Magazine (1987), Power Metal (1987), Metal Hammer (1987), Metal Forces (1987), RAW! (1988), Morbid (1988), Loud Zine (1988), drunkinagraveyard.com April 24, 2003, MTV (1990), Tales Of The Macabre (1997), Victim (1997), YOUTUBE user gabalgabow Interview 30/10/1987, Slayer Magazine, Black Metal "Evolution of the Cult", Wikipedia Germany, Descend Magazine/96 (Metallian diaries), Ian Christie 96, Slayer Mag 1986, Slayer Mag 1995, Decibel Interview, 2013, kick ass 1985, http://www.maelstromzine.com/ezine/interview_iss12_99.php 2001, https://www.decibelmagazine.com/2013/04/17/black-metal-at-the-pickle-barrel-a-night-with-quorthon/ (1986), Lords of Chaos, Bathory.nu

You might also like to read the blogs I wrote about the Murder of Dimebag Darrell.