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Who's the Boss?

“At the end of the film classic Conan the Destroyer, the title character sits on his throne. Though his thick muscles bear the scars of his many hard fought battles, his steel-eyed gaze over his vast kingdom shows how proud and mighty he remains. His enemies vanquished, the challengers to his throne dispatched, it is time for the triumphant king to rest.”

And so opens the online biography for the band Manowar; their own biography on their own website that they themselves authored. Most band biographies start out with where the band met (always during or just after art university if the bands are British, and usually in some sort of basement party for American bands), their influences, etc. Not Manowar. Manowar says “we’re Conan the Destroyer, we have a throne, and we had some enemies. The enemies are gone, and the throne is still here under our collective, overly muscled buttocks.” That’s some pretty impressive stuff. Mind you, this is the band who, in the same biography, reminds you that they were the first metal band to introduce the elements of swordplay and sorcery into their cover art and lyrics. Conan would be pleased. But there is a problem.

The original, co-founding bassist for this band was Ross Friedman. Now, Ross understood he needed a nickname. Unfortunately, Ross took the traditional “what rhymes with…” approach to nicknaming and ended up with “The Boss.” Ross The Boss. One of the men in the picture above (yes, Manowar actually were/still are totally ripped and wore loincloths) is Ross The Boss. That’s just awful. It’s not bad for, perhaps, a funk band, maybe a “Grand Funk” band, or, I don’t know, Bruce Springsteen, but this is Conan the Destroyer we’re talking about here. Not “Conan the Good at Swords.” With this said, wouldn't it have made sense for Ross "The Boss" to change his name to "Dragon Floss" Ross upon his founding of Manowar? Again, every band can have a boss. Springsteen is “the boss” (in no way do I mean that literally. If I met him, I would say to him "You sir, are not the boss of anything except crap and Jann Wenner. I say good day to you sir!"). But how many bands have a backstory that involves their bassist surviving multiple dragon attacks? (Which, if you think about it, is the only way for a living person to obtain the the nickname Dragon Floss…see where I’m going now?) I’m pretty sure none of them do, and that is patently ridiculous.

The fact that there are no issues of Kerrang, or Hit Parader, or Circus - whatever - with "Dragon Floss" Ross explaining how he has repeatedly, despite great the peril, climbed the hidden Mountain of Molten Blood, where years ago he discovered the world's last remaining dragons guarding the Ancient Texts of Odin's Muses... I'm telling you, a lot of kids are shoving bad metal music, booze and crystal meth into the "that" sized holes in their lives. Ross really let us down on that one.

Part of me wants to write Manowar a letter, explaining how they should listen to me, because I’m probably the only person who’s not a current or former member of the band that sees himself as a Viking in every single one of his own memories. That’s called “cred” when you’re talking Manowar. But it’s too late. Ross “The Boss” has long since left Manowar, and we’re stuck with the story of Ross Friedman meeting some other dude at a Black Sabbath concert and forming Manowar. Not the worst backstory, not the best, but unless that Black Sabbath concert was played in a volcano of molten blood for an audience of ancient dragons perched upon the giant, iron clad texts written by the giant, iron clad chicks who served as Odin’s muses…

Once again, Manowar, you have let me down, you have let yourselves down, and most importantly, you’ve let Conan down.


Anonymous said...

"CONAN THE DESTROYER" was to fans of the first Conan movie what "The Phantom Menace" was to Star Wars fans.
Wilt “The Stilt” Chamberlain? Grace Jones? C'mon!

I'm not even sure that Manowar had seen themselves this abomination, as the the ending sequence reads as follows:

"At length he sought adventure in distant lands and trod the jeweled thrones of the earth beneath his sandaled feet. Until at last he found his own kingdom and wore his crown upon a troubled brow."

Where in this is mentioned "the triumphant king to rest"?

What a load. Concurrent with their initial release, Steve Harris and Bruce (a different kind of "boss") had already disposed of Kleenex that had more epic metal in their content than Manowar might of dreamed up on their most copulative dreams. Never mind Ronnie James Dio.

Shit, Bo Hanson.

Two words: Ken Kelly. Perhaps Manowar are wearing sandals in that album cover, obscured by the epic mountain of magma upon which they stand.

GhostOfTyrone said...


We've struck a nerve...

It's going to be okay. They'll eventually stop playing Manowar every 6 minutes on the radio, car commercials will stop using Manowar songs, and school children will eventually find another band to obsess over. Then we can put this long national nightmare that was Manowar safely behind us.



Anonymous said...

Perhaps. I'm just tired of my fourteen-year-old daughter consonantly playing "Pleasure Slave" on repeat. And her room! It is a mess of steel broadswords ("They're called Claymores daddy"), and posters of glistening-muscled men cavorting with armored, horned demons.

The school called me the other day, and apparently she's taken to carving runic symbols on her desk. This, coupled with her shrine to Loki, and the burnt offerings which is making our home smell like's driving me crazy!

I hope this phase passes soon. I'm not sure how much more I can take.

Worst of all, she is now showing interest in LARP. This might be the final straw.

Plus she wants to change her name to Skaði, which I have no idea how to pronounce.

GhostOfTyrone said...


Just be thankful she's not listening to that Lady Gaga music. That stuff corrupts children's souls and gets them to worship God-knows-what. I heard that if you could play mp3s backwards, all of hers would say "from the unclean comes He Who Cannot Be Named" over and over. It sounds like either that, or "From OK Magazine: all tops on sale at the Gap today."


Hang in there.



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