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Pit Stories: Glen Benton Cheers on Skin Head Rampage at Harpos

Photo of Deicide

Band Photo: Deicide (?)

Each week Metal Underground.com offers our readers a new Pit Story. Usually, these tales originate from band members. This time, however, I’m going to recount one of the bloodiest, most violent pits in my twenty years of attending metal concerts. Skinheads gathered in hundreds at concerts in Detroit during 1995-1996. When a band finished a song, a sea of arms extended outward forming the Nazi salute, “Sieg Heil.” The huge number of shaved, white skulls marked a stark contrast to the mostly African American environments outside of venues such as Harpos and Saint Andrews Hall.

The racism was not the scariest aspect of these shows for those in attendance. Skinheads flailed knees and elbows in the pit, often leading to fellow moshers leaving the circle with bloody noses or worst—being knocked down and stomped by lead-weighted boots. The violence at those shows has never been duplicated at any venue I have attended across the country. I will never forget the first time I experienced this chaos:

I saw my first concert at Detroit’s infamous rock club, Harpos in the spring of 1995. Deicide headlined a great night of death metal that included Broken Hope (the newly reunited). I was used to helping people up when they fell in the pit. That was not the norm this night. The skinheads greeted fallen members of the circle with das boot—literally crushing the bones of those they stomped (one of my friends confessed to getting his ribs broken). One group of skinheads tattooed the word “Nosferatu” to their stomachs. According to a member of their group, they were vampire skin heads.

One member of the group did not sport the expected shaved head, except for the bottom and sides of his head. He wore his curly, black hair long. Apparently, he was part of the clique and judging by the amount of muscular definition on his shirtless torso, nobody would tell him he needed to shave his head. He didn’t come for fun, he came for blood. One man who didn’t take kindly to his elbows pushed the “skin.” The vampire Nazi responded with a kick to the mid section that his opponent caught. As soon as he felt the kick come in contact with the man’s hands, the Nazi jumped on the man’s throat with clenched hands to execute a suffocating choke. During another fight, the Skinhead punched another fed up pit member. Right in the middle of song, Deicide front man Glen Benton stopped and said, “Yeah, beat his ass.” That he did, at least until the man hit the floor. Then, his fascist cohorts stomped the man until he quit moving.

Rex_84's avatar

An avid metal head for over twenty years, Darren Cowan has written for several metal publications and attended concerts throughout various regions of the U.S.

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21 Comments on "Pit Stories: Vampire Nazi Boot Stomp at Deicide"

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brandedcfh420's avatar

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1. brandedcfh420 writes:

deicide sucks balls to begin with...glen is a lame a$$ wannbe satanist who thinks he is a bad a$$ in the metal world, but just another trendy bandwagon fake a$$ wannabe satanist.....shame they actually have people buy their pitfiul albums.......

# Jul 17, 2012 @ 1:41 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
BrianMN's avatar

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2. BrianMN writes:

I agree with Branded.
If the band can see stuff like this going on than they have an obligation to halt the show.
This is one of the main reasons I stopped going to concerts altogether.
The amount of $hit heads you run into is unreal.
If Glen supports this kind of behavior then he can hardly complain about getting knocked around by PETA or jumped by Christians that stole his bass.
It’s called karma.

# Jul 17, 2012 @ 2:44 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Drum_Junkie's avatar

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3. Drum_Junkie writes:

Hey Rex. I didn't know you lived up in Michigan before.
I was going to college in Flint about that same time period. The only show I was able to catch at Harpo's was Grip Inc. opening up for Morbid Angel in 1995 (I think there was a local band there, too, but I forget their name.) That was a great concert and I do remember that the pit was pretty f***in' wild. Too wild for my tastes. I stayed closer to the back.

# Jul 17, 2012 @ 3:38 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
spiral_architect's avatar

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4. spiral_architect writes:

THESE BOOTS ARE MADE FOR STOMPING......

# Jul 17, 2012 @ 3:45 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Rex_84's avatar

Writer

5. Rex_84 writes:

Drum_Junkie, I saw that Morbid Angel show. That was one of my all-time favorites concerts. Exploding Zombies from Flint was the local band that opened.

# Jul 17, 2012 @ 4:51 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
btbamfav20's avatar

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6. btbamfav20 writes:

I agree with branded and brian... whats the point of going to a show to get ur face stomped in my skinhead, and VAMPIRE skinheads at that... thats f***in retarded, whoever encourages that on stage obv aren't there for their music. if they were, then their music would be good, sh**ty a$$ deicide. if i was a fan before, i certainly am not now...

NP: Dream Catcher - Angel Vivaldi

# Jul 17, 2012 @ 5:40 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
DixieSkumLord666's avatar

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7. DixieSkumLord666 writes:

wow....what a bunch of dum dums....i liked the first few deicide records but ever since i saw glen kick a lizard on a dvd i've lost some respect for him....but the thing that irks me is that for every jackass like the ones described in this story there are 100 relatively normal metalheads with wives, kids and pets...which one does the media always focus on? I went to see slayer and motorhead(totally awesome btw) in atlanta this weekend and there were no fights to my knowledge....headbangers need to stop fighting with each other period. I'm not trying to be anyone's mom and say never fight, but take care of it somewhere other then shows. Don't ruin everyone else's good times with your stupid beer muscles and rage fits. Thanks for letting me vent everyone.

# Jul 17, 2012 @ 10:49 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
DixieSkumLord666's avatar

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8. DixieSkumLord666 writes:

wow....what a bunch of dum dums....i liked the first few deicide records but ever since i saw glen kick a lizard on a dvd i've lost some respect for him....but the thing that irks me is that for every jackass like the ones described in this story there are 100 relatively normal metalheads with wives, kids and pets...which one does the media always focus on? I went to see slayer and motorhead(totally awesome btw) in atlanta this weekend and there were no fights to my knowledge....headbangers need to stop fighting with each other period. I'm not trying to be anyone's mom and say never fight, but take care of it somewhere other then shows. Don't ruin everyone else's good times with your stupid beer muscles and rage fits. Thanks for letting me vent everyone.

# Jul 17, 2012 @ 10:50 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Drum_Junkie's avatar

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9. Drum_Junkie writes:

Exploding Zombies... Thanks Rex!

# Jul 18, 2012 @ 8:49 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
KREDD's avatar

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10. KREDD writes:

beer muscles...so true, haha

# Jul 18, 2012 @ 3:41 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
DixieSkumLord666's avatar

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11. DixieSkumLord666 writes:

you know whats worse than dudes fighting at metal shows? the girl fights...a dude fight can usually be broken up or resolved quickly but girls are way more brutal and then guy friends on both sides start going at it like crazy and the awesome show gets ended. Perhaps in the future all metal shows will have three sections...extreme violent no rules cage fighting(with cage), friendly mosh fun, and over 30 stand around and headbang with a beer in your hand. Sooo....on a related note who here thinks the cro-mags stabbing incident had something to do with the bath salts zombie epidemic? also slayer and motorhead is the tour of the summer...go see it if comes anywhere near where you live. Good to have all you fellow heshers to chew the fat with during these crazy summer days.

# Jul 18, 2012 @ 11:17 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
12. Woofa writes:

the worse thing ever happened to me was i was wearing thongs up the front one concert and got mu toes f***ed up haha.
i sent a few elbows in a few directions in the pit myself back in the day, never seriously hurt anyone though.

# Jul 20, 2012 @ 7:57 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
13. metalheadmike writes:

deicide is the worst band ever!!! anyone that pays to see them deserves to get their head stomped in!!!

# Jul 20, 2012 @ 8:57 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
DixieSkumLord666's avatar

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14. DixieSkumLord666 writes:

woooahh metalhead mike....i'm sure there's bands that are much worse than Deicide. I've payed to see them on a few occasions...why do I deserve a head-stomping? Glen was a lot better with the hoffman brothers for sure, but their last album was actually pretty cool. Woofa, you must be european because no one in america calls flip flops thongs...your older brother or a friend should have told you that sneakers or boots are the best footwear for metal shows. My general rules is to have fun and be nice to everybody in the pit because most people have to work the next day and or go home to either parents or spouses and kids. I used to get a lot crazier at show between 18-25...now if i mosh for a few songs i'm content to hang out and relax and just watch the band.

# Jul 21, 2012 @ 12:31 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
DixieSkumLord666's avatar

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15. DixieSkumLord666 writes:

woooahh metalhead mike....i'm sure there's bands that are much worse than Deicide. I've payed to see them on a few occasions...why do I deserve a head-stomping? Glen was a lot better with the hoffman brothers for sure, but their last album was actually pretty cool. Woofa, you must be european because no one in america calls flip flops thongs...your older brother or a friend should have told you that sneakers or boots are the best footwear for metal shows. My general rules is to have fun and be nice to everybody in the pit because most people have to work the next day and or go home to either parents or spouses and kids. I used to get a lot crazier at show between 18-25...now if i mosh for a few songs i'm content to hang out and relax and just watch the band.

# Jul 21, 2012 @ 12:31 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
thessalian's avatar

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16. thessalian writes:

you can't always tell which direction a pit will go. i was at a danzig show years back... 2001? here in atlanta and some skinhead started punching me in the back for no reason. i know you're not in the pit to hold hands and sing kumbaya, but there has to be a line between that and kicking the everloving crap out of someone. and benton- well, he certainly *thinks* he's a bada$$ doesn't he?

# Jul 23, 2012 @ 11:56 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
silvermountains's avatar

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17. silvermountains writes:

Deicide and Greg are a joke haha

# Jul 24, 2012 @ 11:55 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
18. evilskinhead writes:

Wut a bunch of wimpering fags first off decide is hella tight second if u dont want to ger hurt stay out the pit wieenies skinhead 4 life 88 sieg hiel

# Aug 6, 2012 @ 5:00 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
brandedcfh420's avatar

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19. brandedcfh420 writes:

#18 is definitely a retard special ed kid.

# Aug 6, 2012 @ 7:18 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
DixieSkumLord666's avatar

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20. DixieSkumLord666 writes:

hurr durr I iz bonehead...yeah...all that sieg heil stuff certainly worked out well for germany...god what an effin retard...nazi punks f*** off...go bang your sister or your mom. Perhaps learn to spell...what isn't that difficult of a word.

# Aug 6, 2012 @ 10:39 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
DixieSkumLord666's avatar

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21. DixieSkumLord666 writes:

hurr durr I iz bonehead...yeah...all that sieg heil stuff certainly worked out well for germany...god what an effin retard...nazi punks f*** off...go bang your sister or your mom. Perhaps learn to spell...what isn't that difficult of a word.

# Aug 6, 2012 @ 10:39 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address

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