By Ian Liberman
RIP CHESTER BENNINGTON…
Sadness has once again permeated the world of rock and metal. On July 20, 2017 (Chris Cornell’s birthday), Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington was found dead in his house by his housekeeper. In addition to being a big admirer of Chris Cornell, Bennington sang at the Soundgarden frontman’s funeral just a few short months ago. In an interview with Rolling Stone Magazine, Bennington discussed his eclectic musical influences, which in addition to Soundgarden, included Metallica, Deftones, the Misfits, Jay-Z, Busta Rhymes, and Pusha T. He had no difficulty integrating various genres of music into his work with Linkin Park, whose sound has always effortlessly blended a combination of rap and hard rock. In recent times, Linkin Park experimented with rap lyrics and a pop sound that was panned by many rock critics. It’s unclear just how much Bennington was a part of the writing process due to surgery and suffering an illness during the sessions.
Bennington’s suicide is yet another painful reminder of how many people suffer from depression. RIP Chester!
INTERVIEW WITH HEAVY METAL COMEDIAN…JIM FLORENTINE
Over the years, I have followed Jim Florentine’s career as an actor, stand-up comedian, and rock musicologist. I’ll never forget the TV/radio personality’s hysterical moments on The Howard Stern Show as he promoted his Terrorizing Telemarketers albums. Those appearances led to Florentine being hired Jimmy Kimmel and Adam Corolla to appear on the Comedy Central show, Crank Yankers. The comedian was also featured on the HBO series Down and Dirty with Jim Norton (another heavy metal comedian). Metal fans may not be familiar with his entire resume, but there is no doubt that they watched Florentine with regularity as one of the co-hosts of That Metal Show. Along with Eddie Trunk, and fellow metal comedian, Don Jamieson, Florentine shared his passion and knowledge for all things hard rock and metal.
Florentine has made numerous appearances in a variety of places through the years. With That Metal Show no longer on the air, he has turned the focus of his attention on Metal Midgets (his show on SiriusXM’s classic metal channel, Ozzy’s Boneyard). He also does a podcast with a similar name – Comedy Metal Midgets. I never miss an episode…neither should you!
In February of 2018, Florentine will be publishing his new book entitled Everybody Is Awful. CLICK HERE for details about the book.
The following is my interview with Florentine…
What can you tell me about your new book that is coming out with Da Capo Press?
“It’s a book based on my podcast. Just me ranting about different things.”
You have listened to, interviewed and observed many hard rock and metal bands, on That Metal Show and Metal Midgets. Given the opportunity to become a member of one of those bands, who would you choose, and why?
“After reading a new Van Halen book by their former manager from back in the day, I would say Van Halen. The debauchery that went down was legendary.”
You demonstrate expertise and talent in comedy, acting and radio. Which pursuit do you feel the most comfortable and satisfied with and why?
“I like doing stand-up the best. I am my own boss doing comedy, and that works well because I don’t like to listen to people tell me to do things. Just ask my ex-wife!” (laughs)
I have enjoyed your brilliance and humor as a comic, in the DVD “A Simple Man,” and on the Terrorizing Telemarketers albums. Who were the comedians that inspired you do stand-up comedy, and why?
“I was always a fan of stand-up comics growing up like Rodney Dangerfield and Richard Pryor. When guys like Sam Kinison and Andrew Dice Clay came along and brought a rock star mentality to stand-up is when I got hooked, and knew what I wanted to do.”
Thanks to Jim Florentine for taking the time to do this interview.
INFERNO OF ROCK TRIVIA QUESTIONS:
JULY 2017 TRIVIA QUESTION ANSWERS
 Who is the only guest artist to ever appear on a Black Sabbath album? Ice-T
 This band was called Fecal Matter, Pen Cap Chew, Bliss, Ted Ed Fred, and Skid Row before settling on their final name. Who are they? Nirvana
JULY 2017 TRIVIA QUESTIONS
 The current Nine Inch Nails tour highlights a classic rock artist. Which one?
 What is the name of the new Judas Priest mobile game?