Boyd Rice: The Outsider's Outsider

Episode 9 November 13, 2021 01:32:38
Boyd
The Exile Hour
Boyd Rice: The Outsider's Outsider
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Show Notes

“Boyd Rice is a black pimp.” —Charles Manson

“Boyd Rice was my mentor." —Marilyn Manson

“Boyd is an iconoclast!” —Anton LaVey, Church of Satan

“Boyd Rice could be the next John F. Kennedy or Jesus Christ.” —Kim Fowley

“(Boyd Rice) is a bad influence.” —Der Spiegel

Referred to by some as “The most dangerous man alive”, Boyd Rice (c. 1956) is a pioneering American artist, occultist, prankster, mystic, social critic, archivist, and provocateur whose impact & influence has penetrated nearly every level of global underground culture; a remarkably brazen and polarizing figure who has courted endless controversy worldwide over a span of more than four decades. Rice initially came to prominence in the 1970s as one of the founders of the “Industrial Music” genre and as one of the first artists signed to Mute Records. He quickly gained a reputation for starkly ritualistic live performances that were regarded as being the most abrasive, minimalistic, dangerous, and blisteringly high volume concerts ever staged. As early as 1980, he was already being hailed as “The Godfather of Noise”.

Since then, Rice—a high school dropout raised in a Southern California trailer park—extended his creative pursuits to innumerable fields including visual art, film, literature, photography, acting, interior decoration/design, and culinary arts (taking first prize in the 2012 Denver County Fair Jello molding competition) among other things; something of a Renaissance Man for an age of decadence and decline. 

In his own words:

“My life is a testament to the idea that you can achieve whatever the hell you want if you possess a modicum of creativity, and a certain amount of naivete concerning what is and isn’t possible in this world. I’ve had one man shows of my paintings in New York, but I’m not a painter. I’ve authored several books, but I’m not a writer. I’ve made a living as a recording artist for the last 30 years, but I can’t read a note of music or play an instrument. I’ve somehow managed to make a career out of doing a great number of things I’m in no way qualified to do.”

In the 1980s, through his collaborations with Re/Search Publications, Rice further established his position in the underground with recountings of his uproarious pranks and the promotion of “incredibly strange” cult films and “industrial” culture. Rice’s influence on the subculture was further extended through his vanguard exhibition of found photographs and readymade thrift store art, as well as his zealous endorsements and curation of outsider music, totalitarian & military aesthetics, tiki culture (even designing a now defunct tiki bar in Denver, Colorado eponymously named Tiki Boyd’s), and bygone pop culture in general (he’s been an avid collector, outspoken enthusiast, and longtime archivist of myriad forgotten mid-century oddities & treasures).
 
Rice is also notorious for his public associations with nefarious figures both infamous and obscure, including intimate friendships and associations with the likes of Tiny Tim, cult leader Charles Manson, and Church of Satan founder Anton LaVey (even becoming ordained as a high priest and spokesman for the CoS prior to LaVey’s death), among others. He was the subject of a four-hour-long documentary film entitled ICONOCLAST (released in 2010). Rice’s work and influence continues to be felt in the increasingly fragmented cultural underground of today (or whatever remains of it); inspiring, perplexing, and enraging in equal measure.
 
Rice’s latest LP Blast of Silence was recently issued on the Mute Records label, and his most recent book The Last Testament of Anton Szandor LaVey (containing several essays and conversations, as well as Lavey’s final never-before-published interview) is available on Amazon. In 2019, Rice revived LaVey’s once clandestine inner-order known as The Order of The Trapezoid, which was previously reserved for select members of the CoS priesthood. More information can be found at www.orderofthetrapezoidofficial.com

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