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Pat Boone: In A Metal Mood

Our American Stories / Lee Habeeb
The Truth Network Radio
April 17, 2024 3:01 am

Pat Boone: In A Metal Mood

Our American Stories / Lee Habeeb

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April 17, 2024 3:01 am

On this episode of Our American Stories, our series with music legend Pat Boone goes off the rails into his Heavy Metal classics. It appeared to many, at first, that the Christian and American music stalwart was no longer straight-laced - though there were still laces. Lots of laces.

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And we continue with our American stories. Up next a story from Pat Boone. While Pat is known mostly for his ballads and classic pop music hits. He's here today to talk about a musical 180 he took late in his life.

Take it away Pat. Listen I'm so glad you brought that up because it's a great example of how I've made my way through this this entertainment morass but I did an album of heavy metal classics. And it came about because while I was in England with my musicians you know doing all my hit records and the tour going very well but we're in an airport between airplanes and and one of my musicians said you know what we like doing your hit records you know people why don't we go in the studio and do something different now new together and I said look I thought of it but I can't think of anything I haven't done 10 times already.

I've already done gospel and pop and rock and roll and big band swing. They said well you never did any heavy metal. And we laughed about it no I never did any heavy metal. Well I didn't have any use for heavy metal either or the performers who were doing it. My conductor Dave Siebel's who's still my musical conductor pianist said you know there are a lot of good songs underneath all that noise that we could do a different way and I said like what he said well big band swing.

And I said oh well now you're talking. Let me what kind of songs do you mean. And that's when I was introduced by them to the songs we wound up recording like smoke on the water long way to the top if you want to rock and roll. And then of course crazy trains. Which as I listened to that lyric and him singing it I realized was really good social commentary about how hard it was for young people coming up to cope with all the hypocrisy and double standards. It was his take on how hard it is for kids to grow up and growing up on a crazy trip.

Millions of people. And so we decided we got the big band. Best arrangers and big band swing each to take one song including crazy train and do big band swing versions.

Metal wounds not healing. Life's a better shame. I'm going off the rails on a crazy train. I'm going off the rails on a crazy train. And we put out the album and the night before the album was coming out Dick Clark who produced the American Music Awards had heard it and felt like it was going to be a hit because it was all those big big songs but done a totally different way. No more Mr. Nice Guy. Alice Cooper was one of them. And that was a subtitle. It was Pat Boone in a metal mood.

No more Mr. Nice Guy. And Dick Clark had me and Alice Cooper present the award for hard rock heavy metal which happened to be for Metallica. And I was doing their song in the album Enter Sandman. And to do that Dick Clark had the idea that I would come on dressed like a heavy metal guy and Alice Cooper would come on like Pat Boone in a v-neck sweater carrying a glass of milk wearing white buck shoes.

His long hair pulled back under a golf cap. And I would come out in leather vests designed by Bill Ballou who did Elvis's costumes. Just opened all the way down to my navel.

Bare chest, no sleeves, tattoos on my arms, biceps and pectoral muscles and you know choker and earrings and boots and leather. And so Alice Cooper introduced me. He's the master of shot rock.

Ladies and gentlemen, Alice Cooper. I know the history of heavy metal. But now I'd like to introduce you to the future of heavy metal. Pat Boone.

As the future of heavy metal. And Dick Clark had smoke on the stage and had me stomp out through the fog to confront Alice Cooper who was looking unlike Alice Cooper at that point. And he was stunned because he hadn't seen me in the outfit I was wearing. And the crowd went crazy in the audience. And it was so noisy I couldn't even we couldn't talk yet. And I realized what was happening is the young people are saying who is that? And the older ones said well they said it's Pat Boone but it can't be well who's Pat Boone? Alice, they're laughing at you. You're looking good. Does this signify the death of heavy metal?

No it's a whole new rebirth. You know, Alice, you are my role model. You know that. I mean all this was a cacophony in the audience so I just walked to the front of the stage and stood there flexing my pecs and looking like De Niro in Taxi Driver. Hey, you got a problem with me? You want a piece of me?

Hey. But I had no mic. I was able to do it with attitude. So I walked back to Alice Cooper and he's standing there with his jaw hanging open. And he had to say does this mean I have to sing love letters in the sand? And I had the sound man ready and I said that would be nice. And we just made the most of this humorous take on the songs that I'd done very seriously. Well, I was kicked off Christian TV that night. I mean it looked like I'd gone off to the dark side and was raising a furor.

I had a regular show on Christian television but it was canceled and that was in the news. And then Ozzy moved in next door to me and took up residence and we hadn't even met yet. But when he had moved in and I'd already done his song and he was walking out, I went out to get the mail and here comes Ozzy shuffling along the sidewalk to get into an Escalade. And he said, hello Pat, nice to meet you. He said, I got to go to an AA meeting right now but when I get back we'll get together and have tea, okay? And I said, well sure. So we did. We got to be friends and neighbors for three years.

Two years. And then he began the Osbourne television show. And lo and behold I tuned in to see the show and the first thing I hear is my version of Crazy Train as his theme song.

Not his version. He used my version of Crazy Train, Crazy, Hey That's How It Goes, big band swing, as his theme song. And so we, as I say, we were friends and neighbors, he and Sharon and the kids. So, you know, I was able to be friends with and have the respect of and actually the friendship with a guy with whom I had very little in common. But we were good neighbors.

And that was when Sharon sat on the show. Don't you miss Pat Boone? He said, he was the best blankety blank neighbor we ever had. I mean, I won't fill in the blankety blank, but that was just the way he talked.

And I didn't mind it. That's the way he talked. I knew he grew up as a hard luck kid in England and he had said it was either crime or music for him and he chose music.

Well, I'm glad he didn't choose crime. And a terrific job on the production, editing and storytelling by our own Monty Montgomery and a special thanks to Pat Boone. We've told several stories with him about his life, one just a broad soup and nuts beginning to end, one just about the two loves of his life. And that would be his music and his bride. And my goodness, it'll bring you to tears.

It is absolutely beautiful. And last but not least, Pat Boone of metal fame. In a Metal Mood was the record, the subtitle, No More Mr. Nice Guy. Of course, that scene with he and Alice Cooper, friends, by the way, golfing buddies and two Christian guys, Pat Boone, a Christian and Alice Cooper, a born again Christian later in his life. And imagine the scene when Ozzy Osbourne moves in next to Pat Boone. Everybody would have thought, wow, these guys would have nothing in common. And they didn't. But they did because they had music and they were neighbors. We need more of that in this country.

We don't have to agree on everything or live the same lives to love one another and be good neighbors. Pat Boone in a Metal Mood. His story, his brief dalliance with metal here on Our American Stories. TV hosted by IndieWire's Craft Team Toolkit is an award winning podcast that gets at the heart of what really matters for filmmakers like Spike Lee. It comes back to this story telling what can I use in my toolbox?

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Whisper: medium.en / 2024-04-17 04:21:47 / 2024-04-17 04:26:43 / 5

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