Kim Jong-il and '80s hair metal were almost synonymous, and last night when the world found out that the North Korean leader passed on to the big rock show in the sky, all I could listen to was hair ballads, driving through the city in tears. Looking at things he would never get to look at through my tear-stricken eyes.
The swagger, the passion, the cult of personality, the virile way he lead his people, his fans, just like Axl Rose on the Use Your Illusion tour, or at the very least, the late Jani Lane at a record signing after "Cherry Pie" came out. The Dear Leader had charisma for days, the wardrobe, the mythology - he invented the hamburger after all - and the adoration of millions and millions in his home country.
Totally eerie, like when MTV's Kurt Loder first reported the death of NIrvana's Kurt Cobain.
Kim died on a train, in transit, on tour like any road-dogging rocker. He shunned planes, instead immersing himself in the posh decadence and romantic views of a passenger train, enabling him to make whistle-stop tours throughout his country. They say he died of fatigue, but I think that the pressures of the mundane life away from the world's stage finally took their toll, exasperated by his bad-boy partying ways with dignitaries and his own staff. And what a lucky staff he had!
The man was once injured falling off a horse and decided that everyone on his staff should be as high as he was, ordering them to all be injected with the same amount of painkillers he was prescribed. Paging Nikki Sixx!
His son, Kim Jong-un, is set to be his successor, and we have studied enough rock history to know that it won't be easy to fill in for the old man. Look at Hank Jr., trying to live up to his father's image, nearly dying the process. Or even David Lee Roth's porn star daughter...
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