Torn Flesh: Another Holy Grail In Hand

All collectors -- regardless of what they collect -- have a short list of holy grail items that they'd strongly consider selling their souls to acquire. Over time, I've been lucky enough to get my hands on a few of my own holy grails -- most after hours spent searching online and sometimes years of waiting for them to surface.

This week I was able to check one more holy grail item off my list.

In 1990, I was an early-teen and my tastes in music focused largely on Run DMC, INXS, or whatever was playing on the radio. Among the music that occasionally made its way into my cassette player, however, was also a healthy dose of Christian rock, rap, and metal. One such band was a small-market thrash band from Ohio known as Torn Flesh.

The first I heard of Torn Flesh was a track shared with me by a friend from church -- the 52-second Happy Birthday.

Apparently that was all it took as it wasn't long before I picked up their album, Crux of the Mosh.

Now here's the point where I have to pause and speak to the lyrics found on this album -- a disclaimer, if you will.

Without getting preachy, let me be clear. As a Christian adult confident in my own personal opinions and beliefs, I completely disagree with much of the closed-minded lyrical content found on this album. That said, I feel comfortable looking past the ultra-conservative hellfire and brimstone message saturating the lyrics of Torn Flesh and continue to be intrigued by this obscure band I listened to as a kid.

So back in 1991, I listened to Torn Flesh enough that I decided to contact them through the address found in the album's liner notes. In return, I received a few newsletters and a caricature drawing of lead singer, Greg Hudson. Greg wrote a short note on the back of the envelope mentioning a new album in the works tentatively titled "Road Kill."

Fast-forwarding many years and introducing a thing to this story called "the internet," I discovered that although Road Kill never came to be, there were other Torn Flesh titles out there. These two titles were produced independently on a very small scale prior to Crux of the Mosh -- a full-length album titled "Love Kills" and earlier EP called "Thrashin'."

I had to have them.

Thanks to eBay, Love Kills was pretty easy to come up with. In fact, two different versions eventually surfaced -- both of which I was able to pick up for just a few bucks each.

But then there was the Thrashin' EP. For years, all I could find anywhere online were a few sites detailing the track list and one site showing an image of the album cover. That was it.

Still, I saved a search on eBay to notify me of anything mentioning "Torn Flesh" in the title. I was confident that eventually this thing would pop up. And I was right. After five years of searching, there it was last month staring me in the face from my eBay feed.

The opening bid was only two bucks...but what if there was some other idiot out there who'd also been looking for this thing and was willing to sell the farm to ensure they didn't miss out? To play it safe, I bid high -- higher than I wanted to pay, but not so high that I'd regret winning at that price. In the final seconds of the auction, the price jumped from $2 to $7 to my winning bid of $30.

Apparently I'm not the only idiot who'd been looking for this. Despite the last-second spike, I was still beyond happy as this was well below my high bid.

Thirty bucks for a four song EP with an interview on the B-Side? Crazy, right?


I just checked another holy grail item off my list.

Worth. Every. Penny.

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