The Spirit of Sal Balsamo

My dad didn’t care for Heavy Metal, but Sal Balsamo did. He loomed large over Mount Metal outside of Seely Place Elementary School, a sprawling rock formation dominated by his jean jacket worshipping brethren, decked out in Metallica, Slayer and Overkill patches on all. It was here where Sal Balsamo delivered his metal front men with 10 Commandments of Metal to burn into their burnout craniums forever.

Commandment 1:  Thou shall not steal metal riffs from Twinkle Toe Rhodes.

Commandment 2: Thou shall Not Disrespect thy Father and Mother of Heavy Metal, Deep Purple and Lita Ford.

Commandment 3: Thou shall not carry hatred in your heart for Metallica’s brothers in arms after the killer commercial success from the Black album and beyond.

Commandment 4: Thou shall pray to the programing manager of MTV for playing the Cherry Pie video on one endless loop during the winter of 90, which even made Kareem Adul Jabbar crack a smile during Ramadan that was eight miles wide.

Commandment 5: Thou shall request DJs at Bar Mitzvah parties to play Cult of Personality even if they insist on not knowing who the fuck Vern Reed is yet.

Commandment 6: Thou shall kiss your guitar more than your girlfriend’s ass after she puts on the freshman 50 at the University of Buffalo.

Commandment 7: Thou shall find a new groupie to love if they deride Heavy Metal music as awful despite GNR, Motely Cru, Cinderella and Poison rocking your world more than they ever did.

Commandment 8: Thou shall consider blowing Desmond Child for penning Hair Metal classic hits like Poison by Alice Cooper, Dude Looks Like A Lady by Aerosmith and Living On a Prayer by the long haired cowboys from New Jersey, Bon Jovi.

Commandment 9: Thou shall laugh when you hear Jim Norton roast Sammy Haggar on Comedy Central with, “I don’t drink, but my hunch tells me Sammy that your Tequilla Cabo Wabo, is Van Halen light.”

Commandment 10: Thou shall pay Ace Frehley’s medical bills, if Gene Simmons screws him out any future touring money ever again.

The Spirit of Sal Balsamo burned on at his fort in the woods behind Seely Place one unseasonably warm December afternoon before Christmas Break. A fire erupted after a scatter of fiery ash landed on top of some old, discarded rugs used for after school hook ups with Elisa Velle on Valentines Day. Sal and his metal head Disciples watched in holy shit man aw as the fire raced up a giant oak tree, rapidly approaching his old Kindergarten classroom at Seely as it roared with Metallica Kill Them All rage up high in the sky. Sal Balsamo’s father was a retired fireman from Yonkers, NY and former roadie for Led Zepplin, so blazing inferno’s, backdrafts and fiery satanic altars his father would walk into as Jimmy Page pleaded with the Devil for more electric slaying chops than Hendrix or Tommy Iommi ever possessed didn’t dampen Sal Balsamo’s metal worshiping spirit one bit.

Then, a voice emerged from the fire that screamed, Run For The Hills, Run For Your Life, which freaked out Sal and his crew because the voice sounded exactly like the human air raid siren Bruce Dickenson from Iron Maiden because his super natural voice pierces through the clouds of Heavy Metal Heaven. So, Sal and his crew run for the hills as the fire roars on with Gene Simmons fireball blowing delight. Now, in the fire Gene Simmon’s face emerges and yells, “Loud, I wanna hear it loud, right between the eyes.” And Sal Balsamo’s crew started screaming the chorus in the unison while looking up to this Heavy Metal light show for the ages, no longer running for the hills with such divine powered pushed authority anymore.

Do It All Dad, a 46-year-old self-stylized Hair Metal Comedian takes a break from retelling the Spirit of Sal Ballsano and his son Hardcore Hunga Rocks says, “So what happened to the fire Daddy? Did Gene Simmons burn his tongue on it or what?” Do It All Dad says, “Eventually, the fireman extinguished the fire and what you see is the original Seely Place still standing.  But Heavy Metal never dies and it sure is fuck ain’t noise pollution. So, it’s on with show Hardcore Hunga Rocks. I think you’re finally ready for Nightmare on Elm Street, but let’s blast Too Fast For Love in the car first. Their leader guitar player Mick Mars is the Freddy Kruger of shredding. Hardcore Hunga says, “Let’s get on with the show already daddy. But when we get home, you get to play Van Halen on vinyl and use me as an air guitar appendage for Eruption, then we watch the movie, or I’ll be your worst nightmare, moron, got it.” Do It All Dad says, “Only if you promise to shout at any future devil bitch who tries to tell you Heavy Metal sucks.”

“Deal daddy, deal.”

The End

Michael Kornbluth

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