GHOULISH DE­LIGHT

Pro­moter hop­ing to fol­low up Goblin ap­pear­ance with John Car­pen­ter

Winnipeg Sun - - NEWS - KEVIN KING

It’s a show Cory Thomas was pre­pared to take a blood­bath on.

Even with prog-rock band Goblin in the house at the Park Theatre on Mon­day per­form­ing the in­flu­en­tial score as Dario Ar­gento’s 1977 hor­ror clas­sic Sus­piria screens — and with a re­cent re­make rekin­dling in­ter­est — Thomas knew it rep­re­sented a huge risk.

Just months into a full­time job as tal­ent buyer af­ter years op­er­at­ing as an in­de­pen­dent, be­com­ing the city’s most prom­i­nent heavy mu­sic pro­moter, he was aware of the haz­ards of book­ing a show as a fan.

Sure enough, new boss Erick Cas­sel­man couldn’t get fully be­hind the ef­fort.

But as a mas­sive fan of both heavy mu­sic and hor­ror movies — heck, he’s also the drum­mer for hor­ror metal band Zom­bie As­sault — Thomas wasn’t pre­pared to let it die.

He spoke to his band­mates and to­gether they even­tu­ally ponied up the cash to not only have Clau­dio Si­mon­etti’s Goblin add a Win­nipeg date to the end of its tour, fly­ing in from Philadel­phia, but to fly the band back home to Rome the next day.

“I was like, ‘Guys, you want to go in on this with me? We could lose money to­gether. And they were, ‘Yup. Let’s do it.’ They were like, ‘I’ll lose money with a smile on my face,’” Thomas re­calls. “All I cared about is the show hap­pen­ing. I booked the show think­ing, ‘Well, this could be a huge dis­as­ter. There could be 150 peo­ple there and I’ll lose my shirt, but … I said, What­ever, we’re go­ing do this. And it sold like hot­cakes.”

Sure enough, there were less than 40 of the 450 tick­ets re­main­ing at the time of our con­ver­sa­tion, and Thomas fig­ures they need those to go just to break even. But if there’s any nerves in­volved, it’s only in his ex­cite­ment to see the show go off.

Af­ter the film, Goblin will re­turn for a sec­ond set fea­tur­ing some of its other sound­track work. Per­haps they’ll in­clude the track Si­mon­etti did for Win­nipeg film com­pany Astron-6 in its 2014 homage/par­ody of Ital­ian sub­genre gi­allo, The Ed­i­tor, but ex­pect to hear cuts from films such as Dawn of the Dead and Deep Red, Goblin’s first ef­fort of many with Ar­gento.

Af­ter the di­rec­tor had a fall­ing out with the orig­i­nal com­poser, Goblin was asked to com­pose and record the score for Deep Red in a mat­ter of weeks. The sound­track be­came a sur­prise hit, sell­ing over a mil­lion copies and they were asked back for Sus­piria.

Given the time to be creative, they ex­per­i­mented with un­usual in­stru­ments in­clud­ing the bouzouki (a Greek stringed in­stru­ment), the tabla (an In­dian drum), and a big Moog syn­the­sizer. Sound­tracks of the day tended to be recorded with an orches­tra or band and used pri­mar­ily as back­ground mu­sic, but Goblin was able to make the score as much a char­ac­ter in the film as Ar­gento’s bold use of colour and vis­ually ar­rest­ing im­agery.

The ti­tle track is a men­ac­ing, mu­sic-box lul­laby wracked with dis­torted ghostly whis­pers whose in­flu­ence can still be heard through­out the genre, some ex­am­ples be­ing John Car­pen­ter’s orig­i­nal Hal­loween, and the Stranger Things theme.

“It’s a clas­sic key­board line that’s creepy and eerie and it’s just per­fect. I think it’s one of the great­est movie sound­tracks ever,” Thomas gushes. “I own them all. I’ve got them all on vinyl. I’m like, ‘Which one am I go­ing to bring to get signed at the show?”

With the rel­a­tive suc­cess of this ven­ture se­cured, Thomas ex­pects he’ll keep pes­ter­ing di­rec­tor/com­poser Car­pen­ter to come per­form some of his sound­track hits here.

“I’ve been try­ing. Some­times I have to chase a band for years be­fore I get them. So I’m go­ing to keep on John. I want him in here next. Es­pe­cially now that I can see there’s a scene for this here. Win­nipeg likes this stuff.”

KEVIN KING/WIN­NIPEG SUN

Cory Thomas, tal­ent buyer for the Park Theatre is pleased with the re­sponse for the screen­ing of Dario Ar­gento’s Sus­piria (in­set right) with Ital­ian prog rock band Goblin (in­set left) per­form­ing the sound­track live.

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