Monthly Archives: May 2008

Murder is Entertainment Theory?


I snapped this photo at the WWE Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on April 2, 2005

I don’t know if that is the son he murdered or not…doesn’t really matter I guess. Chris Benoit lost his marbles and did what he did….shit happens all the time. Murder is monster. We rap about it, tv shows and movies make drama out of it, and it’s always the biggest story on the news. I’ve known a few murderers…and I’ve also known a few murder victims…and I can tell you that entertainment and shock value are the only winners when it comes to a murder. Murder sells because of the fear associated with having your life taken at the hand of another person. The atrocity is entertainment to most.  My question to you is…how does murder make you feel?

If you don’t know about the Benoit story, read about it here:

On June 25, 2007, Benoit, his wife Nancy, and their 7-year-old son Daniel were found dead in their Fayetteville, Georgia, home at around 2:30 p.m. EDT.[109] Lieutenant Tommy Pope of the Fayette County, Georgia Sheriff’s Department reported to ABC News that police entered Benoit’s home on a “welfare check” after several missed appointments, leading to concerns.[110] Pope also stated the police were not searching for any suspects outside of the house, as the instruments of death were located at the scene of the crime.[111] Detective Bo Turner of the Fayette County Sheriff’s Department told television station WAGA-TV that the case was being treated as a murder-suicide. The station reported that investigators had discovered, and would eventually cite as an official ruling,[112] that Benoit murdered his wife and son over the weekend and hung himself sometime on Monday.[113]

It was first reported to fans of WWE on their WWE Mobile Alerts Service and posted to their official website soon after. On their website, World Wrestling Entertainment released the following statement:

World Wrestling Entertainment is deeply saddened to report that today Chris Benoit and his family were found dead in their home. There are no further details at this time, other than the Benoit family residence is currently being investigated by local authorities. Tonight’s Raw on USA Network will serve as a tribute to Chris Benoit and his family. WWE extends its sincerest thoughts and prayers to the Benoit family’s relatives and loved ones in this time of tragedy.

WWE cancelled the scheduled three hour long live Raw show on June 25, and replaced the broadcast version with a tribute to his life and career, featuring his past matches, segments from the Hard Knocks: The Chris Benoit Story DVD, and comments from wrestlers and announcers.[114] However, once the details of the events became apparent, WWE quickly and quietly began distancing itself from the wrestler by removing merchandise and no longer mentioning him.

Media accusations of steroid use and “roid-rage” quickly surfaced after the killings, prompting negative publicity against WWE and professional wrestling overall. Toxicology reports released on July 17, 2007 revealed that at their time of death, Nancy Benoit had three different drugs in her system: Xanax, hydrocodone, and hydromorphone, all of which were found at the therapeutic rather than toxic levels. Daniel Benoit was found to have Xanax in his system, which led the chief medical examiner, Kris Sperry to believe that he was sedated before he was murdered. Chris Benoit was found to have Xanax, hydrocodone, and an elevated level of testosterone, caused by a synthetic form of testosterone, in his system. The chief medical examiner attributed the testosterone level to Benoit possibly being treated for a deficiency caused by previous steroid abuse. There was no indication that anything in Chris’ body contributed to his violent behavior that led to the murder-suicide, concluding that there was no “roid-rage” involved.

On August 30, 2007, Benoit was discovered to have been given illegal steroids not in compliance with WWE’s Talent Wellness Program in February 2006. Benoit received nandrolone and anastrozole. Eddie Guerrero and Brian Adams, were discovered to have been given steroids prior to their deaths during this investigation, as well as former WWE superstar Sylvain Grenier? and eleven other WWE superstars, who were suspended in accordance with the WWE Talent Wellness program.[115][116]

After the double-murder suicide, former wrestler Chris Nowinski contacted Michael Benoit, father of Chris Benoit, suggesting that years of trauma to his son’s brain may have led to his actions. Tests were conducted on Benoit’s brain by Julian Bailes, the head of neurosurgery at West Virginia University, and results showed that “Benoit’s brain was so severely damaged it resembled the brain of an 85-year-old Alzheimer’s patient.” It was also shown to have an advanced form of dementia and was similar to the brains of four retired NFL players who have suffered multiple concussions, sank into depression and harmed themselves or others. Bailes and his colleagues concluded that repeated concussions can lead to dementia, which can contribute to severe behavioral problems.[117] Benoit’s father suggests that brain damage may have been the leading cause of his crime.[118] He also confirmed that his son was quietly cremated, but what was done with the ashes is not public knowledge.[119]

WSB-TV in Atlanta, Georgia obtained the last known photograph of Chris Benoit. The photo was taken in the office of Dr. Phil Astin, on Friday June 22, 2007, just mere hours before the murders.[120]

Bad Brains


Paul, HR, & Paranorm at The Shortstop in Echo Park.

Ian’s post on the Bad Brains sparked my interest in posting about the group as well.

I can’t remember exactly when Bad Brains became my favorite band. I first heard the band around 86 I guess…so it must’ve been around 88 that I decided this was my shit. After all, it was only a matter of time before the project dwelling, skateboarding, original Indiana rapping afro punk came to bond with the greatest hardcore band of all time. Below are some of my Bad Brains memories (in no particular order). I should put them in chronological order…. If I think of more, I will add them in.

  • Ian Rogers purchased a Bad Brains coffee mug for me
  • I began screening Bad Brains t-shirts in my graphic arts class at John Adams High School. Yes, kids do smoke weed in the high school dark room while film is developing.
  • Skated DeMeyer ramp everyday with Mike Tatay while listening to Quickness
  • Purchased my first Bad Brains t-shirt while skating the Kalamazoo skate zoo. I can’t remember the name of the record store I got the shirts from, but it was pretty cool at the time.

HR writes checks for $100,000,000

  • Martin Bleinkensopp had the cassette tape for Rock for Light so I finally got to hear it. Life was a bitch before the internet.
  • I got off the 101 freeway and was heading home down Hollywood Blvd and I saw HR. I pulled over and said, “HR, you need a ride?”. He was like “Yes Bredren!”. I gave him a ride in my caddy for around 2 or 3 miles. We talked for awhile and he invited me to an upcoming show of his in LBC. I was in the middle of a sentence and he hopped out at a red light and said “Jah! Rastafari!” and bounced.
  • Amise and I had a band in high school called “Dead Homiez”. The only songs we played were Bad Brains songs. “Right Brigade”, “Banned in DC”, and “FVK” were some of the songs we covered.
  • Took in the Bad Brains show at House of Blues Sunset with Dj Destroy and Tony Kanal. Some kid wanted to stage dive from the balcony into the crowd below but stopped after being talked out of it. That would’ve been pure disaster. HR was playing air guitar with a real guitar the entire time, but it wasn’t plugged in.
  • On the way back from Sasquatch, we had time to spare in the airport so we went to the food court for something to eat. I decided on fish, get in the line, and notice that I’m standing directly behind Darryl Jennifer and Dr Know. They were stoked that I came all the way from LA to see the show.
  • Before it came out, I asked Ian a bunch of times to ask Yauch about getting me a copy of “Build A Nation” to no avail. Silva had it in his car on the way to a skatepark one day, but couldn’t find it. I had to wait until I could get my hands on the mp3s to hear the record.

HR plays the piano at a house party.

  • I heard that HR was playing at the now ghost Coconut Teaser. He was going on after a member of Bodycount’s band. The place was somewhat packed for the fist band, but everyone split after the band finished. I was like wtf? Time passed and HR’s band took the stage while there were 5 of us in the crowd. I pulled a bar stool up to the center of the stage and took in a pretty good show with almost nobody present. Though HR didn’t know the guys in the band it seemed, they played well and did “I and I Survive” and “Pay to Cum”, among other songs. Did I forget to mention that he came out video taping himself and had some parakeets in a cage with him?
  • I heard HR was playing with some latin band so I went down to the Key Club to check it out. In the bathroom I got mean mugged by what I thought were bangers, but everything was cool, so I went back up to join whoever was with me. I said, “Some Kid Frost looking dude just mad dogged me in the bathroom” and laughed it off. To my surprise, it really was Kid Frost and he comes out on the stage to do a show like 5 minutes later. Anyway, HR does his thing with a pretty tight latin reggae backing band which was cool
  • There is a video tape that Ian made in Toronto of HR getting arrested and taken away in a police car. I will see if I can dig it up.
  • Rob Mitchell had a drum circle type jam party at his house and HR showed up to play the piano and sing. Rob sent me the picture of it as well as a slip of paper with a 100 Million Dollar Promissary Note written to him from HR from a Human Rights account. I wonder if HR has funds to cover it?
  • Ran into HR at The Shortstop in Echo Park. Paul and I snapped a quick pic with him.
  • Ran into HR at The Echo in Echo Park. He was on the mic chanting at a weekly club called Dub Club
  • Saw HR walking down third in Koreatown
  • I skipped going to see Bad Brains when they came to my college town because Earl and HR weren’t in the band at the time.

Deathbowl to Downtown: The Evolution of Skateboarding in New York City


New York, go see this movie. It contains awesome footage and has some great music in it.. hint, hint, hint.


With their distinct style and in-depth perspective, independent filmmakers Coan Nichols and Rick Charnoski have delivered yet another one-of-a-kind skateboard documentary. With three years in the making, Deathbowl to Downtown: The Evolution of Skateboarding in New York shares the street-level textures and unconventional characters of previous Nichols/Charnoski classics. But it also takes on another dimension, covering the Big Apple itself as the film’s central figure, a growing and changing cityscape of unlimited skate terrain.

Narrated by Chloe Sevigny and injected with a period soundtrack, the skate history of America’s most populous city blends exclusive interviews and never-before-seen footage. And it moves with the scope and insight of a veteran skateboarder. Make that two veteran skateboarders – both Nichols and Charnoski have been skating steadily for more than 20 years.

The big night in the Big Apple is on Thursday, May 8, at the Tribeca Performing Arts Center, which will screen the premiere. Those in the know can get tickets, which have been scattered around various East Coast locations. Then on May 9, you can check out a special exhibit covering 35 years of skateboard photography in New York. The party closer runs Saturday night at the KCDC skate shop in Williamsburg.

Deathbowl to Downtown is the debut release from Six Stair, Nichols and Charnoski’s new production company. The Six Stair studio is on Fairfax Avenue in Los Angeles.