Thursday, July 5, 2012
Thoughts on the Randy Blythe Situation
Unless you've either been living under a soundproof, 6 ton rock at the bottom of Atlantis for the last week. or just don't ever read the news, you've probably heard that Randy Blythe, singer of Lamb of God, Halo of Locusts and prospective candidate for President of the United States (might I add he'd be a whole hell of a lot better than Mitt Romney) was arrested in Prague for an incident that happened at a Lamb of God show back in May of 2010. The incident in question was a 19 year old fan climbing on stage during the show and being allegedly thrown off and/or beaten by Blythe, thus suffering a brain hemorrhage, going into a coma, and dying two weeks later. A lot of bullshit surrounds both the incident itself and the way the case is proceeding currently, namely that despite posting bail last Monday Blythe remains in a Czech prison and will so until next week. This article will mainly just be my thoughts on the entire sordid affair. If you want the full spectrum of news and other things relating to this, read GunShyAssassin's coverage of it.
I think the entire case against Randy is a load of shit. The video that surfaced a number of days ago showing all three times the deceased fan climbed onstage is more than enough evidence in my opinion that Blythe is innocent. The security guard gets more involved in physically touching the fan than Randy does; the first time we see the fan in the video he's trying to climb up onstage, and partially succeeds, until the security guard next to where he climbs up literally ragdolls him back to the floor, and you can very clearly see him whack his head on the guardrail and the floor when he goes down. The second time he gets up onstage and dives off with no interference from the band or security, as is common at a heavy metal concert in a small venue, only the crowd didn't catch him and he went straight down to the floor. Considering something just like that happened to me when I saw Hatebreed in Hartford, Connecticut in December 2009, it is not a pleasant feeling at all. The third time is the part of the video that circulated around before video of the other two incidents were discovered. The fan climbs up onstage, and Randy pushes him by the head as the security officer rams him from behind and sends him flying off the stage and into the crowd. I have three points to argue for Randy's innocence based off this video and the circumstances surrounding the incident as a whole.
1. The security guard was at way more fault than Randy was with this fan whacking his head on the floor. You very clearly see him yank the fan offstage and shove him off later in the video with enough force that he could've flown 5 or 10 feet away from the stage. Why haven't we heard more about the security guard? Why isn't he being at the very least questioned considering the video shows him touching the fan way more than it shows Randy touching the fan?
2. If they wanted to arrest Randy for this fan's death, why didn't they issue an international warrant for his arrest back in 2010 when the incident happened? If the parents of this kid wanted their son's alleged killer to pay for his actions, they should have gone to the police about it a whole hell of a lot sooner than over two years after it had happened. Not to mention that no one in Lamb of God's camp, from the band members to their manager, was informed that this kid died at their show. The whole thing reeks of the parents looking for someone to blame and choosing the most notable name to do so.
3. If it wasn't the security guard that contributed to this fan's death from roughhousing him, then it was through the kid's own stupidity. The majority of what a crowd will do at a metal show, from moshing to crowd surfing to stage diving, is very inherently unsafe. Stage diving is probably the most unsafe of them all since you're jumping from an elevated distance of at least 6 or 7 feet in the air with just the hands and bodies of the people beneath you to be your catch. Now I'm not opposed to moshing and all that, as I partake in it whenever I go to a heavy metal show, but stage diving is something I'll never do, as I do not trust the section of the crowd I'm jumping to to catch me. Considering that this kid jumped to an empty sector of the crowd and fell straight down to the concrete floor, it's at least partially his fault for not having the sense of judgment to either choose a part of the crowd that would at least try to catch him or to not do it at all because IT IS FUCKING DANGEROUS.
In my opinion, Randy Blythe is innocent of the accusations being levied against him (I don't say charges because he hasn't actually been charged with anything yet. That's right, he's being held in a Czech prison without any charges against him despite having posted bail), and he should be freed immediately, his $200,000 bail returned to him, and he should be exonerated of all accusations made that he killed this fan. I also think that the security guard in the video should be arrested and charged with the crime that Randy's currently facing, for he is clearly more at fault here than Randy ever will be. The fact that Randy is the one in jail for this incident, despite the video pretty much exonerating him of doing anything contributing to the fan's death, is bullshit.
To quote Scott Ian of Anthrax, "Randy didn't cause that fan's death. That fan chose his path." I couldn't agree more. Free Randy Blythe.