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Music / The Mentors

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From L to R, Heathen Skum (bass), El Duce (former vocalist & drummer), Sickie Wifebeater (guitar)

"Bend up and smell my anal vapor
Your face is my toilet paper!"
"Golden Shower"

The Mentors are easily among one of the most controversial bands to have graced the face of the earth. Formed by three high school friends in Seattle in May 1976 before moving to Los Angeles shortly after, the band developed a cult following (along with an equal amount of detractors) due to their deliberately sexist and perverse lyrics and song titles (e.g., "On the Rag", "Suck and Fuck and Cook and Clean", and "Four F Club"note ), their gimmick of wearing black executioner hoods onstage, and their appearances on talk shows, where the band would deliberately make offensive comments to piss off their audience.

The band made an appearance out of the underground scene in the mid-1990s, when drummer/vocalist El Duce claimed to have been offered $50,000 to kill Kurt Cobain. Not long afterward, he was killed in a drunken accident and the Mentors disbanded. The band reunited in 2001 with El Rapo filling in for the spot of El Duce. As of that time, the original bassist and guitarist are still playing with their new drummer/singer, Mad Dog.


This band provides examples of:

  • The Band Minus the Face: The band has continued without El Duce. Fans are definitely divided on this issue, with some saying "no Duce, no Mentors", and others accepting the changed lineup.
  • A Date with Rosie Palms: "Constantly Jacking".
  • Deadpan Snarker: El Duce was one.
    Wally George: Do you really appeal to a bunch of perverts?!
    El Duce: Well, your audience gets off. [cue audience shouting and booing]
  • Even Evil Has Standards: El Duce was a complete shitbag when it came to women, but whenever he told the story about being offered $50,000 by Courtney Love to "blow her husband's head off", according to him, he originally played along, thinking it was a joke, however when he realized she was serious, he backed out, saying that was too much for him. Even though Duce was an Unreliable Narrator, the fact that he was apparently above committing murder says something.
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  • Gonk: El Duce, to the point where almost every time he was on a talk show, he was asked to take his hood off, then told to put it back on when his face was revealed.
  • Heavy Meta: "Heterosexuals Have the Right to Rock" is a cross between this and a Take That! to glam bands (see below).
  • In the Hood: The Mentors are immediately identifiable in photographs, merch, tattoos, etc., by their black hoods. Several people have commented that due to the deliberately misogynistic, homophobic, and generally completely offensive lyrics/conduct committed by the band (and spearheaded by El Duce), the hoods were probably necessary to avoid being jumped offstage.
  • Insistent Terminology: El Duce never called the band a metal band or a punk band, rather, he preferred the term "rape rock". He also referred to the type of rape the band promoted as "peaceful rape" - i.e., having sex with a girl who was drunk/on drugs or passed out as opposed to violent sexual assault, although that didn't matter to, well, anyone who was against rape.
  • Lead Drummer: El Duce.
  • Misogyny Song: Many, many Mentors songs have this trait - "All Women are Insane", "On The Rag", "Sex Slave", and "My Erection is Over", just for starters. The band calls their genre of music "Rape Rock", and the singer appeared on many television shows (including Jerry Springer) to promote social acceptance of rape.
  • No Periods, Period: Averted in "On the Rag".
  • Rated M for Manly: The Mentors had a very prominent masculist attitude, and weren't afraid to show it off.
  • Refuge in Audacity: They were one of the most notorious shock rock bands ever due to this trope.
  • Shock Rock: The Mentors are up there with GG Allin as some of the most offensive musicians to pick up an instrument.
  • Stage Names: All band members had one. Guitarist Eric Carlson, drummer Eldon Hoke, and bassist Steve Broy took on the names Sickie Wifebeater, El Duce, and Dr. Heathen Scum, respectively.
  • Take That!: "Heterosexuals Have the Right to Rock" is one against the Glam Rock movement, calling the people involved "fags", "transvestites in drag", and "most likely to have AIDS", among other things.
  • Three Chords and the Truth: The "truth" is mainly misogynistic lyrics, but the "three chords" part is fairly apt in that the music isn't very technical with the noted exception of Sickie's solos, which he'd show off while playing live by playing the guitar over his head and with his hand reversed on the fretboard in a manner which could be compared to some of the flashier metal bands of the decade.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Musically, "Rock'em Sock'em". Personally, Sickie Wifebeater apparently lived up to his name, which the band sang about in "The Sickie Sniffer Test".
    Interviewer: "What's the Sickie Sniffer Test?"
    Sickie: "Well, that's when...y'know how ya always gotta lick 'em before you dick 'em? This time I like to sniff 'em [to see if his wife's been with another man] before I smack 'em!"
  • Unreliable Narrator: El Duce, most especially notable when you hear his story about being offered to kill Kurt Cobain. While he passed a polygraph test when asked about the story, it was later revealed that the story was cooked up by Duce and a friend of the band's as a publicity stunt.


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