Why that jackass thought we’d want his autograph I’ll never know but the drumhead had become an albatross around my neck, one I thought I’d never shed. I secretly wished Cannibal Corpse would do a cover of Iron Maiden‘s “Rime of the Ancient Mariner”.

2018 was not a good year for me. Whenever you lose more than you gain the results can be nothing less than obvious. I spent this year with eyes on the finish line and I’m glad December 31st is finally here. Although the bright spots in 2018 were often few and far in between, I want to share a story with you that I will treasure for life.

Back in 2015, I attended a Cannibal Corpse show with two of my best friends JD Peterson and David Halbe. We managed to score a drumhead autographed by the whole band. A short time later, a physical altercation between loved ones ruined Rob Barrett’s signature!

It became a personal quest for Dave and I to correct this blasphemy and complete the masterpiece that was so wrongly defaced. It turned out to be three years of hell. While we’ve interacted with Cannibal Corpse on a business level before, the music industry can be tricky. It seems the larger the artist, the more layers of bullshit you’ve got to wade through to get to them.

Dave went through his traditional contacts who were receptive to my dilemma but seemingly unable to bridge the gap between artist and fan. We decided to get creative…

We started bringing the drumhead to every Cannibal Corpse show that we attended. We were hoping we might catch Rob Barrett leaving a tour bus. Unfortunately, the members of Cannibal Corpse proved to be as elusive as the metal greats of old. Their tour bus was an impregnable sanctum, something we learned from artists and fans alike.

I eventually resorted to bringing the drumhead inside venues and trying to pass it up on stage! This plan nearly backfired fantastically when an idiotic security guard attempted to the sign the drumhead himself! Why that jackass thought we’d want his autograph I’ll never know but the drumhead had become an albatross around my neck, one I thought I’d never shed. I secretly wished Cannibal Corpse would do a cover of Iron Maiden‘s “Rime of the Ancient Mariner”.

Luckily, this past November offered the resolution I was looking for but it was a trek I would have to make on my own. Here’s what went down: When I saw that Cannibal Corpse announced a show in Indianapolis, Indiana (11/29/18) at The Vogue (6259 N. College Avenue. 46220) I knew I had to attend. It’s not very often that Cannibal Corpse plays a show in my backyard (Indiana) but more importantly I had a mission to obtain Rob Barrett’s autograph.

I arrived at the venue about an hour before the doors opened. I waited in line and entered the building. I made a brief visit to the merch counter to drop some names, which didn’t do shit. I figured my best option would be to make my way around the back of the building where the tour bus was undoubtedly located. I went to my vehicle to gather/drink some beers and grab the drumhead. I’d anticipated this plan of attack the night before so I made a paper bag sign at work that read: Need Rob Barrett’s Autograph!

I hung out in the gangway by the tour bus and held up my paper bag sign like a fucking hobo. This move definitely got some attention.  Alex Webster came off the tour bus. I told him the drumhead story and mentioned our Metal Blade contact. Alex hung out for a while and shot the shit with me, he even took a photo.

More time passed when Paul Mazurkiewicz exited the tour bus on his way into the venue. He acknowledged me and told me to hang tight. I shook his hand and he was on his way.

By now I had been waiting outside in the cold for three fucking hours! I was in the midst of considering three hours compared to three long years of trying to get this cursed drumhead completed when suddenly I felt a tap on my shoulder. I turned around and came face to face with Rob Barrett “I heard you’ve been looking for me.” he said.

I gave him a brief rundown of the story and he was more than happy to help me put an ending to it. I gave him a blue sharpie specifically to use, the rest of the band had used black and he asked me why blue? “Because getting this drumhead completed has made me nothing but black and blue!” He laughed. We took a photo and he handed me a guitar pick from his pocket.

I missed all of the opening bands that night but I was able to catch Cannibal Corpse. They kicked total ass! In my mind their set seemed somehow better that night because I’d interacted with them on a personal level. Cheers to the guys in Cannibal Corpse for giving me their time, especially Rob! The albatross is gone – Cannibal Rules! \m/

Cannibal Corpse are:

  • George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher – Vocals
  • Alex Webster – Bass
  • Pat O’Brien – Guitars
  • Paul Mazurkiewicz – Drums
  • Rob Barrett – Guitars
Share this: