A love letter to Slipknot’s Dicknose

He's the man... the man with a dick for a nose

Well, you wouldn’t want to be around when he blows his Dicknose, would you? Yes, this weekend brought the sad news that Dicknose – call him Chris Fehn if you must – is leaving the ‘Knot.

Masked Iowa noise bastards Slipknot are prepping their sixth album, scheduled for an August release date, and head honcho Corey Taylor has, of course, been talking it up good and proper. “It’s going to be one of the darkest chapters in Slipknot’s history,” he told Zane Lowe on Beats 1. “It’s dark, it’s heavy, it’s heavy, it’s melodic, it’s fierce, it’s angry and it’s raw as hell. It’s going to be talking about a lot of things that people are going to need in their life.”

Everyone except Dicknose, that is, who will be holding his head in his hands, somehow managing not to get caught up in his facial genitalia, as he considers the good ship ‘Knot sailing away without him, this time not guided by the divining rod that is his distinctive dicknose. It’s all down to brass tacks, apparently, which goes to show that even when you’re in a world-famous nu-metal band, most of your role in which is to wank off a prosthetic nose, everyone has bills to pay. No, I don’t know if he wears the mask when he meets his bank manager.

Dicknose is suing Slipknot, alleging he hasn’t received his due for songwriting duties in the band. Someone told me his main duties were hitting bins with a bat and wanking off his nose, but anyone with a nuanced understanding of penile contributions knows that Dicknose was vital to the whole damn operation. Even more so than the fucking clown, he was the warped court jester of the troupe, a frightening man who might well poke his nose into your business.

I remember, as an MTV 2 (and Scuzz!)- addicted teenager, sheltered in rural Yorkshire, being absolutely terrified of– and beguiled by – Slipknot in equal measure. The video for ‘Wait And Bleed’, these awful men in their identical boilersuits, in their fucked-up masks, Corey Taylor looking like he might strangle you with one tight dread, gripped me with delicious fear. They were just so many of them. What if they burst in through the door and got me. What then?

But Dicknose was always the most horrifying, and delightful. Like, there’s something inherently funny about a man with a dick for a nose (unless it’s Dan Ackroyd in the 1991 comedy horror Nothing But Trouble, in which case it’s simply the evil product of a nightmare machine), but it’s that queasy kind of funny where also it’s just so fucking horrible, like the scene in Blue Velvet where Dennis Hopper inhales all that gas and falls about laughing.

I think I have enough distance from the situation now to admit that at 14 I illegally downloaded ‘Wait and Bleed’ on Napster. And I lived in fear – actual, genuine fear, that cold feeling in the middle of your chest – that Slipknot would come and get me for it. Instead of expecting them to shake me down for the 99p, though, I imagined standing in the court room as they all peered down at me from – I dunno, the witness box, or something? And it was Dicknose that I saw most vividly, that dread look in his eyes as he pointed his Dicknose accusingly in my direction.

I can still see it now, wobbling at me.

And now Dicknose is embarking on a legal battle for real, and although the loss is real and palpable, all I can think is: thank God it’s not me he’s pointing that thing at.