King Diamond – “The Family Ghost”
Speaking of Andy LaRocque, I’ve been obsessed recently with King Diamond’s “The Family Ghost,” from 1987’s Abigail. My first encounter with it was via Beavis and Butthead. Their riffing/ripping on it is just classic.
The Beavis and Butthead episode was a bit unfair, since it didn’t show the whole video. Sure, it’s a house of LOL’s. Why is King Diamond eating a sandwich? Why is Michael Denner spinning around so much? Does he think he’s in Winger? What the hell is going on? But, really, the song is ace. Sweet shredding at the end! It’s weird that the video has hair metal production values. At that age, though, I was OK with pretty much any long-haired dude with a guitar on TV.
Now this is buried treasure: a video of King Diamond performing the song at The Stone in San Francisco on August 3, 1987. Note that the bassist (Timi Hansen?) is wearing the same striped top as drummer Mikkey Dee in the video above. Did they share outfits? Did they both work at Foot Locker? Seeing metal videos this old is always a trip. Guitarists play axes long out of fashion: Fender, Charvel, Hamer, Kramer. People have short hair and mustaches. When was the last time you saw someone with just a mustache — no beard, no long hair, no metal anything — stage dive? That’s like a UFO sighting.