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Wednesday, April 9, 2008


Posted By on Wed, Apr 9, 2008 at 2:54 PM

Back in the 1980s, Detroit's Bob Madigan led a demented, noisy, drug-addled band called Slaughterhouse. Madigan's brainchild, the band not only produced a chaotic and disturbing din, its stage shows would involve videos of slaughterhouse meat processing, seizure-inducing strobe lights, and, on one occasion even a pair of clamps with live voltage so audience members not "shocked" by the floor show could shock themselves for real.

Though his band never really went anywhere, a few of Madigan's marijuana-fogged ideas actually had an effect on the scene. His stage shows pioneered multimedia shock-rock. He encouraged the bands nobody else would encourage, such as the meat-flinging screamers of Boom and the Legion of Doom. He even spurred Al Halversen into starting the raw Detroit punk space known as the Hungry Brain.

Eventually, Madigan wound up out in San Francisco, and recent years have seen the Detroit noise vet stumble (literally) into town for a few nights of reconnecting with old friends, getting incoherently wasted and trying not to light his hair on fire while chain-smoking. So, it was with some surprise that we saw that Madigan has evidently put together a run for president, or at least according to this spot, which popped up in the YouTube-osphere recently. What does it say when a fortysomething noisenik whose pasty face shows perpetual torpor is running for the highest office in the land? Whose platform includes the right to urinate in public? As a colleague put it, maybe we need a troubled man in these troubled times.

In any event, it's nice to see that Madigan is still alive and, um, alive. As the spot says, we need a man who can fall down and pick himself up again. Right, Bob? Um, Bob?

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