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March 24, 2007


Bronwyn C.

Goofball! I have a copy of "Dream Deceivers"! Of course! Why didn't you just ask me?
xoxox,-Bronwyn C.


This story gets even better. I remember reading about this case in Rolling Stone as a kid. I was horrified, the images never left me. Last year I started getting into comics again, and who should reappear, but Mr. Vance! It turns out that one of the best comic books of the 90's, "Preacher", has a character based on him. The cool thing is, the character gets to seek vengeance and actually becomes a rock star post-injury!

Rory Murray

I had my own copy of Dream Deceivers, recorded from the original PBS broadcast. Also on the tape was Ozzy Osbournes excellent bio, 'Don't Blame Me'.
Both featured unfounded allegations that their music lead to the deaths and/or disfigurement of some really STUPID teens that read way too much into the lyrics.
I loaned this tape to a friend that never returned it. When I finally stole it back, it had been recorded over with porn. Thanks Gary Salazar, you asshole!

Janey Yonkers

Re: SilberPete's reminiscence of the Arseface character in "Preacher": The geniuses at Vertigo were completely unaware of James Vance, and when someone from another imprint showed them a story about Vance that had appeared earlier in "The Big Book of Death" (written by WFMU's own Bronwyn C.), they nearly shat themselves. They'd just had a huge lawsuit involving characters who were clearly based on Johnny and Edgar Winter (who they'd never heard of either) and were terrified that Vance's family would see Arseface and sue. But since there are only 20,000 people in the entire U.S.A. who still read comic books, that didn't happen.
"Preacher" was really good, though.

Gary Salazar

No problem bro. Excuse me while I go pleasure myself.


Where the fuck did these parents DENY ANY fault in raising these losers? WHere in the movie, give me a time. You can't because they NEVER deny screwing up. They are simply saying that the music these two retard malcontents were listening to CONTRIBUTED to these "tragic" events. Saying something influenced your kid into something DOESN'T mean its exclusively at fault? Pretty simple, aint it? Maybe all the fucking time you spent listening to this sorry ass excuse for music should have been spent paying attention in school.

Again, where did these admittingly loser parents EVER say, TO THE CAMERA, "WE WERE ENTIRELY NOT TO BLAME. The music screwed the kids up from the time they were 5............Good luck finding it.


Nick, where in this article did the author make the claim that the parents denied any fault in the fates of these two young lads? In fact, the only claim that the author made was that there was a complete absence of subliminal messages in the music.

Good luck finding it.


I just watched this the other day, and I'm not sure how you can come away from it thinking the parents (Vance's mother especially) weren't trying to shift accountability away from themselves. And to not have the least bit of sympathy for those two kids after seeing it probably means that you're a bigger piece of human garbage than they ever were.

Deeper Than Purple

I've seen this documentary a few times.

I kind of got the sense that James Vance had bought into his mother's and stepfather's blaming the music for his and Ray Bellknapp's suicide pact. 'Cause, you know, it couldn't have had anything to do with the fact that he was, oh, maybe severely depressed due in large part to having been physically and emotionally abused for most of his short life.

I think the most horrifying part was when James Vance's stepfather was telling the story of how he had beaten James with his fists when he suspected the boy was high on marijuana and laughing about it. And the mother was obviously a, um, stone-cold mother. The contempt the woman had for her son was so obvious, it was sickening.

Also, I tried to commit suicide when I was nineteen, (twenty-three years ago- I'm an old headbanger chick) and I really think that if I had succeeded, my own parents would have been going through my record collection trying to decide which heavy metal band to sue. Ozzy had already been tried and failed, Deep Purple didn't really have the kind of lyrical content that could be (mis)interpreted as an incitement to suicide, I didn't have any Judas Priest at the time, so I'm thinking they probably would have gone after Ronnie James Dio.

I think there are a lot of abusive parents out there who, after they've spent a bit less than two decades doing the maximum damage they can to their kids' psyches, want to put the blame elsewhere when the kid turns out to be royally screwed up mentally and emotionally. And heavy metal does present kind of a wide target.

Still, having been in James Vance's shoes (I tried to OD, so at least I came out of it with no physical damage), I can honestly say, no heavy metal artist was responsible for my suicide attempt.

The responsibility for that lies with one person, and that person is me.

I think it's sad that James Vance never got that through his head before he died.

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