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The largely white, suburban followers of the group were later named Juggalos, after the ICP song "The Juggla," about a mentally disturbed carnival juggler. Juggalos came out in throngs when the group then at the height of their popularity performed at the old Galaxy club on Washington Avenue in February 2000.
That same winter night, a few hundred yards away, art-metalheads Deftones were playing the American Theatre (now the Roberts Orpheum Theatre), while The Point and the now-defunct Extreme Radio broadcast live outside.
Just before seven, according to O'Keefe, Extreme DJ Woody went on the air and began ranting about ICP. "Why would you see that band when you can see a real band like the Deftones?" he asked, before adding: "ICP are pussies."
"I remember thinking, 'That guy's an idiot. He's gonna get his ass kicked,'" says O'Keefe, now marketing manager at the Savvis Center. "Does he not know how this band and their fans are?"
Catching wind of the comments, Violent J and an associate walked the few blocks to the American, pulled Point DJ Cooksie out of his station's van and beat him senseless. They'd mistakenly assumed he'd made the disparaging comments. A group of Juggalos later vandalized The Point's van, according to police reports. Violent J was sentenced to twelve months of probation.
ICP's notoriety was reinforced in a widely reported story this past February, when eighteen-year-old Jacob Robida killed a cop before being gunned down by police officers near Gassville, Arkansas. Police sought him in a hatchet-and-gun attack on men in a New Bedford, Massachusetts, gay bar.
Robida considered himself a Juggalo.
"It's quite obvious that this guy had no clue what being a Juggalo is all about," responds Alex Abbiss, co-founder of ICP's Psychopathic Records, in a prepared statement released shortly after the February 4 shootout. "If anyone knows anything at all about ICP, then you know that they have never, ever been down, or will be down, with any racist or bigotry bullshit."
Ryan Kelley, concert coordinator at Pop's, where ICP plays about once a year, says the typical Juggalo is not a menace.
"They really don't bother anybody else," he says. "They tend to get here before the shows at eight in the morning, sit out there in the parking lot and spray Faygo soda all over themselves."
"Teenagers need to create a world they can call their own," says Sam Dunn, who co-directed Metal: A Headbanger's Journey, a documentary on heavy metal and its fandom. "A lot of kids are more interested in listening to music about hell-fire and the darker forces in life than a crush you have on some girl. On top of that, it never hurts to shock your parents."
Since ICP's sales have fallen off, Juggalos are searching for a new group to shock their parents with, and Wet Grimlinz would be happy to fill the void.
"All the Juggalos I meet, they're looking for a new following," says Wet Grimlinz's B-Skandalus. "They see that ICP's getting older, and [their record label] is signing these young artists, and people aren't feeling them. We're converting people from Juggalos to Grimlinz."
Havok's parents split when he was a year old. About the only time he sees his old man nowadays is when they run into each other on the streets of north county. "We say 'hi,' but he's scared of me. He's scared of responsibility, thinks he owes me something," Havok says.
Some of Havok's finest childhood memories place him in his grandfather's Florissant house, watching USA Network's "Up All Night" programming in the den, or running around in homemade costumes of superheroes he'd invent himself, including one called "Fish Kid."
"I don't know what the hell my powers were supposed to be I guess I could swim real good," says Havok. "I just wanted to have my own superhero."
As a popular McClure North High School student, he listened to Marilyn Manson and wore Adidas jumpsuits with white- and blackface makeup. After dropping out, Havok got his GED and went to St. Charles Community College, where he earned a certificate in computer programming.
Later, he moved back home with his mother, stepfather and two brothers. He wrestled with the Midwest Powerhouse Wrestling League as alter-egos Mickey McCoy (a redneck) and Natas ("Satan" spelled backwards). The pay was twenty bucks per match, but he quit after getting a concussion from falling off the ropes.
Taking up his second love rapping Havok won freestyle contests at the Comedy Forum in St. Peters. He first battled Stogie at a party in the woods of Wentzville in 2002, and, two years later, the pair reunited there in front of 1,000 people. But things got rowdy, police were called, and two cops climbed onstage during Havok's performance.
"They told me: 'You can say whatever you want to the crowd, just get these people out of here,'" he recalls. "So I put my finger right in their face and I say, 'These motherfuckers want us to leave. Ain't that some motherfucking bullshit?' And the crowd just went ballistic."
The party eventually thinned out and Stogie, who'd organized the soiree, spent the night in an O'Fallon jail.