Talking Shit

Former Black Sabbath Bassist Dave "The Beast" Spitz Is a Lawyer by Day, War Pig by Night

Halloween really is the most special time of the year for many, but for most metal fans, the holiday takes on a uniquely special glow. There's an indelible connection between heavy metal's cartoonish nature and shock values and Halloween that can be difficult to pin down, but exists as a constant regardless. Horror films and heavy metal are the peanut butter and jelly of entertainment, really.

Whatever the case may be, If you're too old or have too much pride to trick or treat, there's a veritable cornucopia of party options for South Floridians this evening, and while those may be overwhelming, we suggest the area's metal fans head over to Nectar at Seminole Casino Coconut Creek to catch a show by one of the most authentic Black Sabbath tributes ever, War Pigs, which features a former member of Sabbath and Deerfield Beach resident, Dave Spitz.

Dave "The Beast" Spitz has really seen it all over his years in heavy metal. The bassist came up in the same New York metal scene that birthed the East Coast's answer to California's thrash revolution in the '80s. He's been a member of underground thrash/hardcore heroes Nuclear Assault, his kid brother, Dan Spitz, is the former (and most important) lead guitarist Anthrax ever had, and Dave was also previously a member of White Lion and Great White when they were both at their peaks of success.

And, as previously mentioned, the man has shared the power of the riff with the originator himself, Toni Iommi, as a member of Black Sabbath's late '80s iteration. In addition to all of this, Spitz still found the time to become a trial lawyer in South Florida and a martial arts master. Some people just have all the drive.

We caught up with Spitz to speak about tonight's gig and the similarities between a life in metal and a life in law during a rare breather between his law and music practices.

Hey Dave! Do you have a halloween costume planned for the show?

No, I'm a costume in myself, really! The other guys might wear something! But we've got a bunch of decorations, we're putting a lot of cool Halloween and metal stuff, as much as we can fit in there, to try to make it a lot of fun.

On a somber note, I know you're a big Jack Bruce fan. Any words about the man and his influence to help further eulogize a master?

Totally in mourning, man. Jack Bruce is the reason I play bass. He's really my main influence, I have many, many different influences, but Jack Bruce is really my main influence from the early days.

I studied classical music and in second or third grade I was a clarinetist, so I was trained classically in the very early days, but I always wanted to play bass. I took like three or four acoustic guitar lessons and I said, "To hell with this, I want to play bass. I want to be like Jack Bruce."

Why have you and your brother Dan never released any music together? Any plans to do some in the future?

Yeah, people always ask that! I mean, we might be doing some stuff in the future. But he was always in Anthrax and different bands, we play together here and there, just small stuff, we never did any major records together because we're always both involved in other bands and other projects. But he lives down here and he's coming to the show tonight, but we're talking about maybe putting something together and doing something new down here.

Have you seen crazier things on the road in heavy metal, or in Florida courtrooms?

Being on the road is certainly not the same as being in court, but the thing people always ask me is how can you do both?

I always planned on going to law school, my dad was an attorney, but law is what makes civilization function -- without law, we'd be ape men and killing each other. With my music, I was lucky enough to meet good people and get along with good people and talent is part of it -- but it's luck and timing and who you know, and it was back in the day, so there was a lot more money around and things happening at that time. I had some good breaks.

When I'm in court, it's another stage that I'm on. It's not the same as wearing a crazy outfit and beating the hell out of my bass, but I'm a problem solver, and I love helping people.

War Pigs, 8 p.m., Friday, October 31, at Nectar, Seminole Casino Coconut Creek, 5550 NW 40th St, Coconut Creek, show is free. Visit

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David Von Bader