DVD review: The Mentors, El Duce Vita (MVD).

El Duce, vocalist and drummer of the Mentors, was a saint, a prophet and a legend. He and his band wore black hoods, and so should we. Where he urinated, we all should urinate. Where he masturbated, we should masturbate.

People say Courtney Love tried to pay El Duce $50,000 to kill Kurt Cobain. This is a slander; the correct amount is $50. El Duce passed away in 1997 after passing out on a railroad track, an example to us all. He died for his own sins, the kind to which we can only aspire.

“El Duce Vita” contains several Mentors videos. Though regrettably no video of “Going Through Her Purse” survives, the classics “Golden Showers” and “On the Rag” are present and unobscured by pretentious metaphor; those who seek advice on cunnilingus during menstruation may discover it here. Shot for approximately nothing, using only the cheapest of strippers to perform specialized activities, the clips could not have been matched artistically if millions had been spent on special effects and Madonna. This is a band whose lyrics have been read in Congress. If you can say the same, step forward.

Substantial live footage of the Mentors (also featuring guitarist Sickie Wifebeater and bassist Dr. Heathen Scum) fills out the disc to about 50 minutes. You need this material. It is a gospel of heavy metal, inspired by scriptures first written in the dark days of punk.

No one will make money on “El Duce Vita,” just as the Mentors made none during their storied 20-year span of emptying halls throughout America. It was all done in the name of art and transcendence.

I am proud to stand as one who, in 1982, touched the hem of Eldon Hoke’s garment, and stepped in his holy puke. May his memory live forever.

Comments (1)

One should never drink lots of beer and think about El Duce with a keyboard handy. That fucker nearly pissed on me once. It was at a party at someone's house up on that hill on Normandie just south of Melrose (or was it a block over? That street we's all park on when going to the Anti-club?). This was 1980, and we were new in town and hanging with John Dentino. There was a motley collection of weirdos, I remember an insanely drunk Chuck Dukowski, and running into Kickboy Face at the buffet table. Inside someone (a critic I think whose name I can't recall) was spinning Motown. At some point, out back where the BBQ was, I felt a hint of a mist, women screeched and there ws Duce, up on a garage or something, pissing on us all. I also remember it wasn't my scene at all. I was what, 22? 23? and wanted something much more punk and outrageous. Kids ya know.... My fave personal El Duce story, tho', involves my wife Fyl. It was at Rajis. Can't remember the gig. I was either downstairs where the band was playing or up the stairs at the bar. She was there in the middle alone at a table resting her feet. The room was full of hipster chicks resting their high heeled feet at the tables. Duce came in and went from table to table, sitting down and saying something awful and scaring the chicks away. He finally sat down at Phyllis' table and grunted or belched or something. She looked at him and said hello. When she didn't flee he sort of relaxed, fell out of character and chatted. They talked for a spell about drinking and Raji's and what not. After several minutes he rose, bid a friendly farewell, went to a table full of chicks, acted like a pig and scared them off. Hard not to like that guy. ps: I like my story of his end better. I suspect yours is the truth, but him bowing to the people in their cars at the crossing and then taking a big swig off his 40 ouncer seconds before the train hit him was better. And he was decapitated by the way. When the rumor of his death first swirled about I somehow found out his real name and called the Riverside County coroner. They said he was indeed dead. He had been decapitated by a train.