It’s a euphemism to say, “I’m going to the Electric Circus.” This usually means going to a dark place with big speakers, 12 pack of beer, and a WASP album collection. Chances are you do this alone and for sure without any small children or women within earshot. I have visited the Electric Circus often sinse 1986 when I was a wee rock fan and first discovered WASP.
The above live video for LOVE Machine seems to be fairly recent, put represents the raw rock power of WASP and their mastermind, Blackie Lawless. Known in their day as shock rock because of their onstange antics and lyrical content. The saw blade cod pieces, blood, torture racks and songs like Fuck Like a Beast really define the term shock rock. You could put Kiss in the same category, but WASP took the idea to new heights that few have been able to pull off so well.
So, now you think, WASP was just a band that relied on gimmicks to get people to pay attention… praying on the sensablities of disenchanted teenages looking for an identity. This would be true to some degree, but Blackie Lawless was and is much more than that, writing many songs that are quite clever, unique, and multi-layered. If you bother to really listen, you might find a sophistication that you didn’t expect like you might find in an Edger Allen Poe story. Of course, Blackie does fall short of this sometimes and you’ll find him just sick, but still cool.
WASP came out of the same L. A. music scene as Motley Crue, Ratt and others, but forged their own path. They have continued to record straight up until now and have become one of rocks most enduring bands. They continue to have success with their live show, but has toned down much of their shock themes. Their shows still tend to be dark and brooding, but with a deep catalog of great rock songs there isn’t much need to pray on the lowest aspect of their music.
Here are some of my favorits from their discography:
WASP (self titled debut)
Inside the Electric Circus
The Headless Children
The Crimson Idol
Dying for the World
I encourage you to find and listen to WASP in your own Electric Circus. You will find Blackie Lawless, a creative and sometimes genius song writer with the blood of rock n’ roll in his veins. I’m off to the Electric Circus.