Byline: Chelle LaFleur — Gene McLean


Now, Chelle here got a toughie for you, so don’t come back and complain when you hear somethin’ you didn’t wanna. Anyone remember Gene McLean, the dude who made them horrid death metal growls for Forbidden Hope that gave Chelle here nightmares?

Yeah, yeah. We all heard of Forbidden Hope, especially us who ruled the scene in the nineties. We heard about how they broke up in ’98 and how Pluck Remy went on to make that Fermented band happen and get so huge and all. But what none of us heard about was what happened to ol’ Gene. Gene McLean, the meanest dude with the rhymin’ name.

Turns out, no one knows what happened to our boy. That child went and vanished on us as if he’d been spirited away by some underworld demon come to get his voice back. Probably was.

Two months ago, word got out. Pluck went and did what no one thought could ever happen. He dissolved Fermented. Just … up and said to all them members of that hard-workin’ band to go and find themselves new gigs. Told ’em all it’d been fun but there was a door they all gotta walk through and hope it don’t hit ’em on them hineys.

Next thing, we be gettin’ word that Pluck’s found Gene. Brought him back into the fold or whatever it is those two had goin’ on. They be bringin’ back Forbidden Hope and there’s death metal heads all over the place havin’ all sorts of unmentionable sorts-a dreams over this news.

Ever seen a happy death metal head? That is some scary stuff right there, boys and girls. But that’s how you all was. Comin’ up to Chelle at shows and tellin’ her all about how great it was gonna be. Forbidden Hope. Back together. Rulin’ the world the way they should have back in the day.

Now, this is the bad part. Chelle here’s gotta break your hearts.

Word came down tonight that Gene McLean got down with the business end of a shotgun. No one knows why. Word came down from Pluck hisself, along with the request that we not bug the Pluck man for a bit. He be needin’ to grieve.

Chelle don’t blame him. Around these parts, there’s people wonderin’ if bein’ saddled with a girl’s name gone and done Gene in at last. Wonderin’ if the magic between him and Pluck couldn’t hold up over the years. There’s a million reasons why Gene coulda gone and done this.

Chelle ain’t sure why someone would up and off themselves like that. All she knows for sure is that it’s stupid. No matter who you are, there’s people who love you. Or like you. Or need you.

Or all of the above.

You hear me? No matter how bad it gets, when you face that demon who’s gonna take it all away from you, say no. Look for that angel who’s never near enough when you think you need her the most.

That’s the one you wanna say yes to.

You heard it first and you heard it here: Say yes to livin’. Without you, who’s gonna be readin’ Chelle’s columns?

This Sunday Scribblings came together because of the real-life story of Joe Ptacek, the singer for a nineties death metal band called Broken Hope. He was 37. I was never a fan of the band, but that doesn’t really matter. His story’s a tragedy.



  1. Robin

    January 24, 2010 8:43 am

    Really nicely written – in just a few short paragraphs you’ve fleshed out three distinct characters and enabled us to identify and empathize with them.
    .-= Robin´s last blog ..How cool is this?!? =-.

  2. A desi

    January 25, 2010 4:29 am

    very nicely written

    .-= A desi´s last blog ..YESSSSSSSSSS!!! =-.

  3. Carol

    January 25, 2010 2:32 pm

    I love the message.

  4. Alice Audrey

    January 28, 2010 11:17 am

    Your Gene and my Gene are very different. Mine would never off himself. Hmmm…. well, I don’t think so anyway.

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