(Atlanta, GA) The Show must go on! Or so it seems, according to Blood Bear, a band from the 80’s known by metal fans as “The band that should have been, but wasn’t.”
The Rock Georgia Festival was cancelled in April due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but that didn’t stop the members of Blood Bear from playing a full set Thursday as the opening band for the event. Taking the stage at 11 AM, lead singer Danger Dagger screamed “GOOD MORNING, GEORGIAAAA” before slamming into a hard rocking mix of some of their greatest hits from the golden era of Hair Bands, playing for a crowd of one.
“I was just here to mow the grass, but they showed up and I figured why not? And they were pretty good!” claims Ben Milston, a local handyman and groundskeeper for the outdoor arena. “Seems like I remember one of their songs, that one about meat socks.”
Speaking to the band after the show, they explained why they continued to play the set even though the audience participation was – well. Less than what one would expect.
“We have been touring non-stop since 1985,” stated lead guitarist Ripper Kill, “and we have had our ups and downs. It doesn’t matter to us if it’s one person or eleventy or something. We are going to give it our all. It’s just nice to still be able to make a living doing what we love.”
And doing what they love is what it’s all about, apparently. Blood Bear has a total of 36 albums under their belt, with total figures of over 12,000 albums sold and concert revenue averaging around $37. “It’s not always profitable, but it’s what we do. When America needs to rock out, we ain’t here to cop out!” said Ripper.
Known for their bad timing on release of their albums and singles, Blood Bear never quite made it to the mainstream – although serious musicians from the era often cite them as influences on their own music. “If it wasn’t for Blood Bear,” claims Skid Row singer and hot dog cart entrepreneur Sebastian Bach, “metal as we know it today wouldn’t be the same. What guitar player doesn’t know that riff from their song Metal Up Your Back Shack? That’s crazy stuff, man. If Rocket in My Pocket had not been released on January 28, 1986, Blood Bear would be the most famous band in the world!”
The Space Shuttle Challenger disaster, of course, occurred on January 28, 1986, when it broke apart 73 seconds into its flight, killing all seven crew members aboard. Because of the sensitive nature of the incident and the title of the band’s album, it was pulled from shelves immediately. The band’s manager, according to Rolling Stone magazine, refused to release the album under another name, stating that it was a themed album that relied on the title for story continuation. This was a mistake that cost the band their fame and fortune, in the opinion of many fans of the band.
Asked why they even bothered to show up when the festival had been cancelled, I was met with silence from the band members as they eyed me skeptically. “What do you mean – well. Yeah, well. It was closed, yeah. Because of the virus thing, of course. But you know, we have our CovidFab suits, so we weren’t worried,” stated Danger. Danger then looked at the rest of the members and said “let’s get the fuck out of here. Fuck.”
Rock on, Blood Bear. Rock on. The spirit of Rock and Roll is still alive and kicking, and it resides in the heart of the American Bear.