Last year, ANTHRAX guitarist and scene mogul Scott Ian went on a spoken word tour throughout Europe and North America. Now before you start wondering if this gig is a thrasher's patter for mutineers and literati as Henry Rollins has conducted over the years, take a look at the title of this package for Ian's conversational one-man-show. "Swearing Words in Glasgow" is more shtick and spiel than a call to arms. Ian does call out well-known figures in the music scene he's crossed paths with, but all told, he delivers a frequently funny, F-bombed glimpse into his world and the players he's mingled with.
Ian notes he was inspired by the comedian friends he's made over the past few years, including Brian Posehn and Patton Oswalt, and how their interest in his war stories led him to take these yarns on the road. Hauling this DVD project of his spoken word stopover in Glasgow to PledgeMusic for a funding campaign, "Swearing Words in Glasgow" should be considered a preview of Ian's recently released autobiography. You'll find Ian throwing out some acknowledgements and quick-strike guitar salutes to his benefactors on the special features, along with a gut-busting "Swearing Supercut" segment which threads all of the profanity of this set together. You can bank on it like you can Ian's a Doctor Who nut "Swearing Supercut" is fucking hysterical.
You know you're in for it as Scott Ian opens with a passage from Anthony Keidis' bio "Scar Tissue" (not shown on the DVD for legal reasons) and embellishes the phrase "ex-junkie cunt" along with an expression of what many longtime RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS fans have felt but have kept quiet about. Afterwards, Ian uses a slide show for the remainder of his set, a heavy bulk of the images in comic book form to illustrate ANTHRAX's formative years and most specifically, Scott Ian's first run-in with MOTÖRHEAD's Lemmy Kilmister. The chain of events following Ian and Kilmister's bonding over Jack and Cokes to Ian crapping his pants in a drunken stupor en route to a press junket in Munich is revolting as it is freaking hilarious. The riotous denouement comes in the form of a German doctor (incorporated by Ian into his recurrent, self-deprecating Jewish humor) who groans "Ach, disgusting" when administering a needle of medicine to Ian's shit-caked rear end.
So it goes with the remainder of "Swearing Words in Glasgow" as Ian shares some warm and gut-busting anecdotes about his friendships in the industry, namely Kilmister plus KISS's Gene Simmons, PANTERA's Dimebag Darrell and SLAYER's Jeff Hanneman, the latter two lost to the metal world. Ian's reflections upon his friendship with Dimebag are worth the price of admission, in particular the fleshed-out pranks each man perpetrated upon the other. As Dime was fond of nicknaming Scott Ian "Baldini", the story grows even funnier as Ian gruffs and growls his recount from the late Darrell's view. It brings to life the spirited tomfoolery most people knew was part of the man's candor, but not quite revealed to the extent Scott Ian shares here.
Another high point of Ian's set comes via his run-in with Steven Spielberg and the indirect connection to Al Jourgensen and MINISTRY, who had a bit part in Spielberg's "A.I." flick. Stick around to see how all figures come together in this story, but as Ian correctly asserts, you won't ever think of "A.I." as "Artificial Intelligence" again, but "Anal Intruder".
Near the end of his show, Ian opens the floor to his audience for a little Q&A, which he fields honestly. He's respectful toward former guitarist Rob Caggiano after being asked if the band ever pranked Caggiano's ever-present knit cap. Put on the spot to flag who he felt was the biggest douche he'd met on tour with ANTHRAX, his open answer (following a little intentional redirect) may or may not surprise viewers. As Ian discusses his longtime aversion to alcohol morphing into a firm appreciation of it, it's almost as apologetic as the self-flogging Semitic cracks he weaves that you have to be of the faith or to routinely hang out with to fully get.
This is a guy who gets his crowd guffawing over the story of how he thought MOTÖRHEAD were Mexican instead of English judging by the "Ace of Spades" bandito cover, and who explains he inevitably turned to drinking in light of Dimebag Darrell's "drink it or wear it" ethos. If you're looking for a personal retrospective of life in the band, you'll have to wait until Ian's book comes out. There's veritably no dirt, no direct reflections of all things ANTHRAX or S.O.D. and THE DAMNED THINGS for that matter — save for the opening monologue leading to Ian's shitfaced shenanigans as Lemmy Kilmister's guest.
Scott Ian, who has hosted numerous times on TV, co-owned a bar with ALICE IN CHAINS guitarist Jerry Cantrell and written for comic books, seems to be naturally at ease in this spoken word format. The few times he appears jittery, he has an expletive to chew on that carries him through and it's not just ANTHRAX fans who will trip on "Swearing Words In Glasgow". Worth the ride no matter if you can tell Judge Dredd from Judge Death or if you know what Stephen King story "A.D.I./Horror of it All" comes from.