How An Onstage Video Cost Slipknot Fans And Friends Early On

Gene Smirnov - [1] - philadelphia commercialportrait and music photographer., CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
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For any self-respecting musician, commitment to your art comes above everything else. Slipknot might be revered by a legion of loyal maggots for their extreme tendencies, but their button-pushing behavior didn’t always sit well with their very real friends and families.

In a 2011 oral history of the band’s self-titled album published by Revolver, frontman Corey Taylor lamented the effect that their choice of visuals had on the audience at a Halloween show.

“We had this bootleg videotape that we had named ‘Sex, Death, and Mayhem,’ which had crazy animation, porn scenes, and real-life death on film,” he said. “We decided to use it to add some visuals to our Halloween shows. We put up two gigantic old-school televisions and we ran a VCR to it from the front of the house. We spliced together an hour of footage that culminated with the suicide of Bud Dwyer.”

He continued: “We looped the footage, and at the end of ‘Scissors,’ there’s Bud Dwyer popping himself over and over. Not only did we loop the suicide, we slowed it down. We lost half of our fans after that show.”

“I had a friend who, still to this day, will not talk to me,” said Taylor. “She looked at me straight in the face and said, ‘This is disgusting, this is not gonna go anywhere. You are wasting your fucking life. And quite frankly, because you backed that decision, you are not the person I thought you were.’”

Amidst a highly anticipated press conference, Pennsylvania state treasurer R. Bud Dwyer took his own life on January 22, 1987, broadcasting the tragedy to a shocked nation. A career politician, Dwyer eventually became the state treasurer but faced a bribery scandal, leading to his conviction on multiple counts. 

Facing a 55-year sentence, he called a press conference. While most in attendance expected Dwyer to tender his resignation, the disgraced politician instead proclaimed his innocence and condemned the persecution he believed he was enduring before producing a revolver from a manilla envelope and blowing his brains out.

The shocking event has been a staple of real-life gore compilations ever since.