You’d think with my level of obsessive music nerdiness I’d have read a bunch of musician biographies at this point in my life but you’d be completely wrong. I listen to so many bands that there aren’t many I care enough about to devote that level of energy to, but being a fan since I was a teenager, Ministry: The Last Gospels According to Al Jourgensen was something I couldn’t resist. And it’s not like I read it because of the music really. I was more curious as to how a long time heroin addict is not only still alive after all these years but also continues to put out quality shit for the most part.
I remember reading an interview nearly a decade ago where he was talking about cleaning up off smack while recording and thinking to myself: errr, that guy was strung out back in the 90’s. I can’t vouch for his recent output but both Animositsomina and Houses of the Molé which came out in the early 2000’s were both surprisingly solid. How is that possible? The guy would have to be superhuman to shoot all that junk and still be able to talk, but talk he can, and interspersed between depraved tales of bestiality (I wish I was joking), colostomy bag sex (again), and in general living the most charmed/horrifying existence known to anyone in history, there was something even more unexpected and weird going down throughout the book, namely, aliens. What’s most compelling about these stories is that he just slips them in between tales about making records, hanging out with celebrities, and doing gargantuan amounts of hard drugs as if there’s nothing remotely off about it. Just another strange day in a life filled with exorbitantly strange days. It’s not the focus of the book all but rather a minor footnote. He starts by just dropping this statement and letting it hang:
“If you’re into UFOs and extraterrestrials, you know the Grays are these little fuckers from another planet who come down to earth every once in a while to check it out. They’ve been keeping an eye on me from an early age. I didn’t get the name ‘Alien Jourgensen’ for nothing.”
Ummm, okay. One of those things you could just dismiss to junk psychosis, but it continues when he talks about a missing time incident during his teen years. All he remembers is a screen image scenario about hitting an albino deer with his car and nothing else:
“for years none of us had any recollection of what happened right after the crash. The next thing I knew, it was the next day and I’m waking up in my dorm room bed, which is insane because the car was not drivable. I didn’t even have any memory of having owned a car. My friend, who’s now an Alaska state senator was like, “what happened to your car?” And I reacted like there was no car. I said, “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” He just thought I was being weird.
From that point on I took buses and hitchhiked all over the place. Also, I was missing twenty-four hours of my life. It was just gone. It took me almost two years of asking questions to the girls who were with me that night to finally remember we were even in a car wreck with an albino deer. All at once we suddenly said “Yeah, yeah, I remember that!” I never got my car back. I don’t know what happened to it. And I’m sure there was some sort of alien activity that took place. These extraterrestrials took us somewhere and checked us out for a full day and sent us home. Throughout my life these guys have kept tabs on me. I don’t know what they want, but whatever it is I’ll give it to them. I like these fuckers. I think they’re cool. I’m not scared. I just feel kind of impatient, like, “whatever it is you’ve got planned for me, just do it. Let’s go.”
Classic alien contactee fare. Missing time. Foggy seemingly implanted memories with multiple people involved. Weird, but it gets even weirder when he talks about a gray terminating his wife’s pregnancy later in life:
“But I know aliens exist. I’ve had a few run-ins with them and Angie (Al’s wife) can vouch for me.
When we were in Sonic Ranch (studio) one of the gray fuckers came into our bedroom. He crept in and started running around in circles. He woke me up and I started screaming at him. He was wearing this shiny uniform and had a big, bulbous head. He was agile as a monkey. He must have leapt out a window because the next thing we knew he was on the roof. I heard his feet scampering and then he took off. The really strange thing is that Angie was pregnant at the time with my child. She was in her first trimester. And after that meeting with the Gray, there was no more pregnancy. She didn’t miscarry –it was just gone. I don’t know if they somehow stole the fetus or what, but she never woke up even as I was screaming at this thing.
Having a baby at the time would have been extremely difficult for but of us.”
Annnnnnd, that’s basically all he has to say about aliens in the entire book. Now, the obvious accusation one would hurl at someone in his position is that he’s just making up these claims to move units, but as established, it’s such a small part of the book as a whole it’s negligible. Not only that, but the guy has dirt and stories about more celebrities than nearly anyone. He was there the night River Phoenix died. He hazed a pre-fame Trent Reznor, hung out with William S. Burroughs, and lived with and was experimented on by none other than Timothy Leary. This book didn’t need a few random stories about aliens to sell and I sure as fuck didn’t know it had them until I read it. It’s not like he was playing it up in the press interviews. He seems to bring these things up mainly because it’s something odd about his life experience that he’s never been able to rectify. The easy thing to do would be shut up about it but Al isn’t the sort to give a fuck what people think of him. Having read more books about UFO’s than rock stars, what I find fascinating about the whole thing is how the experiences didn’t strike him as terrifying at all like they do to most people in similar situations. He says he likes them. Also should be noted that he describes his continual acid hallucinations (even under the direction of Leary) as involving giant spiders. If you’ve read Strieber, you’ll recall that his guardian gray presented itself as a hyper-dimensional sex spider. No, really.
So what the hell is going on here? Because of our puritanical views towards recreational drug use, it’d be easy to dismiss his stories as just being the ramblings of a guy who’s mind is well beyond fried, but then you have to take Sammy Hagar into account. That’s right, the red rocker also released a book that talked about his alien encounters back in 2011 and he was basically straight edge until his 30’s and even then he never did much more than drink tequila at Cabo Wabo. A lot of the experiences he talks about happened in childhood before all that bro stuff, including this gem:
“That’s right. It was real. [Aliens] were plugged into me. It was a download situation. This was long before computers or any kind of wireless. There weren’t even wireless telephones. Looking back now, it was like, “Fuck, they downloaded something into me!” Or they uploaded something from my brain, like an experiment. “See what this guy knows.”…”
Having never had a typical alien encounter, I find that one particularly fascinating because after I started fooling around with magick, that’s what happened to me. I had the sensation that updates were being downloaded into my hypnagogic sleep states for about six months. It’s like they were installing a sort of inter-dimensional translation software and when they were finished they seemed quite proud of themselves. I could go on and on about this stuff forever (and I do on Facebook, friend me).
Why do I think these rock star UFO stories are so significant? Well, because the biggest lie perpetuated by the media and pop culture in general is that all supposed alien contactees are three toothed rednecks living in trailer parks in the middle of nowhere. You still see comedians making ignorant jokes about it to this day. And yet, neither of these guys are losers. They’re both far more successful than 99% of the population. More successful than most billionaires. It’s one thing to make a billion dollars, it’s another to have millions of screaming fans and women continually getting in line to fuck you. These books might be the most significant events in mainstreaming supposed abductee phenomenon in years. So the next time some normal person makes a comment about aliens only abducting hicks that no one cares about, bring up Al Jourgensen, or Sammy Hagar. They’ve both written about it in books and what an oddly matched duo. How hilarious is it to think that “aliens” are not only involved in the molding of pop culture but that they do this by infiltrating the minds of the anti-Bush dude from Ministry, and errrr, the guy who replaced David Lee Roth in Van Halen? That ba-da-da-da-da-ditty-da guitar sing along part in Why Can’t This Be Love is sort of inhuman. They do have a sense of humor those fuckers. Oh, and for the record, my favorite Ministry album is Filth Pig by a long shot. He was going doom way before it ever got trendy and rarely gets any credit for doing so. Most people hated that record. You know what’s even stranger? I’ve now dated two consecutive women who not only love that album but request that I play it as an aphrodisiac continually. Odds? One in a gajillion.
Ministry: The Lost Gospels of Al Jourgensen is out now and would make a perfect Christmas gift. Couldn’t recommend it any more highly.