Yesterday (as I write this) I saw the very sad news that Joey Jordison, the founding drummer of Slipknot, has passed away aged 46. This news has certainly bummed me out as a fan of Slipknot (despite it being the case that Joey hadn't been in the band for some time). In my mind, I always assumed at some point, he would be invited back, even if it was just as a guest at some live shows or in the studio if not a full member. I never really got into any of his other bands, though this is definitely a case of me not trying to, rather than me trying to and not liking them.
It made me reflect a little bit on my relationship as a fan of Slipknot, and the times I saw Slipknot with him in the band. My first exposure to Slipknot was flicking through the music channels and seeing the video to Wait and Bleed. At this point in my life, I hadn’t really started listening to rock music of any kind (other than what was on the radio when I was in the car with my parents), and I was very much still in the phase of life where I was judging bands and their fans (in this instance, the “goths”) with no real knowledge behind my opinions - I believe the most accurate way to describe this was that I was a prick (I have previously tried to defend how I was then, but there is little point as I was most definitely in the wrong). Anyway, I think this was just before I started listening to Limp Bizkit and Linkin Park. I didn’t know anything about this band, but this video captivated me. I might be remembering this wrong, but I recall not following this up for some time afterwards. I was still some way from realising my then-behaviour was moronic, but when I had realised this and looked to rectify it, Slipknot were one of the bands I went back to and realised they had a lot of good music. I didn’t immediately like everything, but a lot grew on me quickly. I seem to recall another music video, this time for Left Behind, particularly striking. I also found My Plague a song I particularly liked as an angsty teenager.
I really wanted to see them when they sub-headlined Download 2005 - the Sunday was System of a Down, Slipknot and Slayer (a decent way to end a day at a festival, that). All my friends at the time went to Reading festival that year, and I didn’t have the means to attend Download anyway, so this was a non-starter. I was then meant to see them for the first time sub-headlining Reading 2008, but they had to withdraw due to Joey breaking his ankle. My memory of that situation was breaking the news to a friend who was spending that whole weekend at Reading (I was only there for the day), and everyone felt quite sad about it. I had a ticket to see them twice on their December 2008, but I ended up selling one of them as I couldn’t afford the travel to go twice. I saw them for the first time at Hammersmith Apollo supported by Machine Head and Children of Bodom and just loved it. The next time I saw them was on their first tour following the passing of Paul Gray at Sonisphere 2011. The show was incredible and you could certainly feel that it was an emotional one. The final time I would have seen Slipknot with Joey in the band was very fleeting. At Download 2013, they clashed directly with Black Stone Cherry who were headlining the second stage, and I opted to watch the beginning and end of Slipknot’s set, and all of Black Stone Cherry. I don’t really remember much of Slipknot’s set other than thinking the end was amazing. That was the summer of 2013, and by December 2013, Joey Jordison had left/been fired from Slipknot.
As I said above, I always thought he would be invited back, somehow/someway, but this wasn’t the case and now, sadly, never will be. Rest in Power Joey Jordison. 46 is no age at all.