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IT'S TIME TO TALK ABOUT THE GREAT KAT!!!!!!
It's hard to believe that The Great Kat released her first album (demo) back in 1986. It
was called "Satan Says" and it's the only release that I don't have in my
She followed that up with two major releases, "Worship Me Or Die" (1987) and
"Beethoven On Speed" (1990), both of which I have. Unfortunately, they're both
which kinda sucks because I hate cassette tapes. Next up was a CD-Rom/EP called
"Digital Beethoven On Cyberspeed," which was kind of interesting
many artists do you know that had a CD-Rom? Can't think of any, can you?
It wasn't until 1997 that I had my first real experience with The Great Kat. An
autographed copy of "Guitar Goddess" arrived in my mailbox one day and, within
(the actual length of the album) I was hooked, which is somewhat interesting because I'm
not really a fan of extreme music and there is no other artist on the planet that's
more extreme than The Great Kat. She won my heart with her black metal scream and super
fast guitar shred. While Kat is well known for taking classical music and
turning them into a short blast of guitar shred, it was here that I would find one of my
favorite, original Kat tunes, "Dominatrix." Although, I think my favorite tune
that I can
actually listen to would be "Goddess," from the "Digital Beethoven On
Cyberspeed" CD-Rom. There were some tunes on the "Worship Me Or Die" and
Speed" albums that I was really into. But, since I no longer have a cassette player,
I haven't heard these releases in ages. So, I'm not gonna comment on them in this
article. When I track 'em down on CD, which is on my "to do" list, I'll talk
about them here.
Anyway, "Bloody Vivaldi" came next (1998) and, of course, an autographed copy
arrived in my mailbox. This was the 2nd time she sent me a disc to review that was
autographed. I thought that was really cool of her and, even though I've been asked, these
are CD's that I will not part with. Call me crazy...but...there's just something about a
woman covered in blood who can play a guitar at 90 million miles an hour that I happen to
enjoy and Kat's album are a prized part of my vast music collection.
I should also point out that, at some point during my review of these three releases, I
had the pleasure of doing a phone interview with The Great Kat. By this time, I had a few
major interviews under my belt and I had built up some confidence in talking with people I
admire. You know, even though I've been doing my thing for more than ten years now, I'm
still nothing more than a star struck fan. I mean, I've talked to King Diamond, Blackie
Lawless of W.A.S.P., various members of Gwar, Erik Turner of Warrant and a host of other
well known figures. I was also lucky enough to meet former Skid Row vocalist Sebastian
Bach (go view my pictures for a photo of an exceptionally drunk me with Sebastian), the
members of Kittie, Don Dokken, Jani Lane, the "Thickskin" line up of Skid Row
and many others. But, like I said, I'm still a fan and almost all of these interviews were
done without any serious level of professionalism and, in some cases, they were done while
I was intoxicated. Anyway...getting The Great Kat on the phone was no different. I thought
I'd get on there, be myself, have a nice little chat to type up when I was done. It went
well for the first question or two and I'm thinking to myself, "Piece of cake!"
Then, something strange happened. The Great Kat said to me, in a very calm voice,
"Now, let me ask you a question." From that moment on, I didn't interview The
Great Kat...she more or less interviewed me...screaming at the top of her lungs and, when
my answers to her questions didn't come fast enough, she gave me the answers, most of
which praised herself and her work. I was seriously at a loss for words. A few minutes
into it, she had asked me what I liked about a video of hers that was sent to me for
review and, not knowing what she wanted to hear (remember...she was in total control of
the interview at this point) I kind mumbled whatever came to my mind first and she would
respond with, "Yeah...what else?" It went on like this for a few times and,
finally, not being able to think of anything else to say, I figured I'd try to be myself
and I responded with, "Uh...the boobs." Because, let's face it, she is a very
attractive woman and, for a very brief moment, I thought the interview was turning back to
my favor because she responded with, "The boobs?" It was almost like she didn't
know how to respond to that. But, in a split second, at the top of her lungs, she
screamed, "I don't have boobs...I'm a goddess...wake up!" For the rest of the
interview, she was in complete control and, when it was all over, I thought to myself,
"What the fuck was that?" I played the tape, which I still have, for a number of
people and they all pretty much said the same thing. It was a trip and, for some strange
reason, it was one of my favorite interviews...even though I didn't get to do much
interviewing. Someday, hopefully, I'll have that interview as an MP3 so I can share it
with you. But, if you want an example of what I heard on the phone, click on the link
below to hear a Great Kat interview.
GREAT KAT SPEAKS!!!!!!
Okay, back to the albums. Next up was "Rossini's Rape" (2000), which featured
Kat's amazing version of Rossini's "William Tell Overture," which is the song I
usually play for people when I wanna turn 'em on to The Great Kat. Out of all the
classical music she has done, this is my all time favorite. This tune is freakin' awesome
and, if you hear it and you don't like it or you're not impressed by it...there's
something wrong with you.
The Great Kat's next release, "Wagner's War" (2002), would be her response to
the September 11th terrorist attacks. Since Kat lives in New York, I'm sure this event was
a little more personal for her and, more than likely, she probably got to see the damage
and the effect it had on people up close and that's probably the reason why "Wagner's
War" seems to be an angry album. Hell hath no fury like The Great Kat when she's
pissed off, that's for sure and this release seems, at least in my opinion, a more
detailed and thought out project that her previous releases, which I can understand
because I don't think she went into this release simply thinking, "Well, it's time to
make another album." I think she knew that this release would be a statement. She had
a point to make and, believe me, she made it. Of course, she did it in a way that only she
could and, what I really like about this release is the fact that she didn't pull any
punches. Most of the September 11th tunes that were thrown out there were, in my opinion,
crap. Don't get me wrong, there were song good releases. "Dying For The World"
by W.A.S.P. was a great album and that tune about "puttin' a boot in your ass"
was okay for about 15 minutes. But, The Great Kat is the only one who had the nerve to go
for the throat. Her original tunes, "War," "Terror,"
"Punishment" and "Humilation," were obviously directed towards the
terrorists and with lyrics like "kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill,
kill" and "slaughter the bastards," it doesn't take a lot of thought to see
what The Great Kat was thinkin' about when it comes to what should be done to the people
who would take pleasure in flyin' an airplane into our buildings just to cause death and
destruction in our country. I don't care what you think about The Great Kat...this album
made me proud to be an American and, looking back on this release, my feelings haven't
changed a bit. As a whole, this is, by far, her best work.
Through the years, I've been diggin' on Kat's music and I've got a nice collection of
8x10's that I treasure. But, I always wanted something more. So, when The Great Kat
released her first DVD, "Extreme Guitar Shred," well, I was pleased as punch.
Finally...a chance to get to see The Great Kat in action. Well, more so than I have in the
past. This DVD only has a video for six tunes and, with each one, they fly by so fast...if
you blink, you'll miss 'em. "Zapateado" is the best one in terms of quality.
It's an exciting video and The Great Kat is a vision of beauty here. When I watch this
one, I'm not only proud to be an American, I'm proud to be a Great Kat fan as well.
"Torture Chamber," which was filmed in black and white, is like a creepy, brutal
horror movie. "Castration," well, use your imagination. "Live In
Chicago" is a quick clip of Kat doing her thing on stage and "Dominatrix"
is the video that brought about my "boobs" comment in the phone interview. These
two clips were released on VHS. Finally, there's "War," from the "Wagner's
War" CD. Great Kat in Army gear...what more could you want. The special features
include Hot Shred Bits, Shred Faq's and Shred Credits and, again, if you blink, you'll
The only complaint I have about The Great Kat is the fact that everything she does goes by
in the blink of an eye. Her first two major releases, I believe, had a running time of
half an hour or so, which was cool. But, everything from "Guitar Goddess" to
"Wagner's War," you could fit on a single disc...and probably still have room
for another five albums. I mean, sure, I understand her concept and where's she's coming
from and what she's trying to do. But, I would love to sit down and crank her music for
about an hour or so. Same with a video release. I'd love to spend an hour or two sitting
in front of my computer watching The Great Kat do her thing. She's an exceptionally
talented artist and, if you forget about the blood, bondage and screaming for a moment,
she does have a great deal to offer and I think something that has a running time of more
than a few minutes would do her justice. Let's face it, no matter what she does, she's not
gonna put out a weak project. If it's five minutes or five hours, it doesn't matter
because it's gonna rock. Although five hours...yeah...that would be a real pleasure.
Bottom line...The Great Kat is the greatest guitar player in the world. There will never
be another one like her and, I've said it before and I'll say it again, if I ever had the
chance to meet The Great Kat, I would...seriously...get down on my knees and kiss her
feet. There's no other artist I could say that about.
Here's to another 20 years of The Great Kat.
HAIL THE GREAT KAT!
OR DIE - THE GREAT KAT'S OFFICIAL MYSPACE PAGE!
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