Roll up, roll up, see the man with claws for hands...
"What the hell was that about?"
It's a question I've heard from a few people who've listened to the CIRCU5 track, 'The Amazing Monstrous Grady'. If you've had a chance to hear it, you might be thinking the same.
What's it all about?
The song refers to a sideshow performer from the last century, called Grady Stiles. He had a rare condition called 'Ectrodactyly', which fuses fingers and toes into a claw-like shape.
Grady was born into a travelling carnival family, who quickly put him on show as 'Lobster Boy'. He was a big hit.
But as an adult, he was an alcoholic abuser. His strength and temper made him dangerous, and he beat his wife and family regularly.
In 1978, Grady's daughter fell in love with a man he didn't like. The night before their wedding, Grady shot the man dead. However, he got away with murder, as no prison could care for an inmate with his condition.
Escaping jail made him arrogant. He remarried his first wife and became even more abusive. But his cruelty ended abruptly when he was shot dead by a seventeen-year-old sideshow performer.
What's the link between Grady Stiles and the CIRCU5 album? The album's story is about a boy raised as a psychopath in a secret organisation called CIRCU5. As an adult, he's seen as a failed experiment by CIRCU5. And CIRCU5's codeword for a failed experiment? 'Grady' - because Grady Stiles was a psychopathic failure who made a mess of his life.
Thanks again for getting my album, it means a lot.