Anyone who’s been following Ghost and their “lore” knows that the previous frontmen/head of the clergy known as Papa Emeritus has seen…. less than savory ends following their runs with the band. Whether they’re quietly replaced and killed in a lore dump later on or violently removed from the stage at the end of a show, there’s always a sense of finality with the man in front of it all (even though Tobias Forge remains the actual man behind the mask).
Leading up to the end of Ghost’s Imperatour, fans all over the world speculated that Papa would meet his end during the second of two Los Angeles shows. When that didn’t happen, they expected him to buy the farm at the end of the band’s Australia run. Apparently that didn’t happen either, as fans posted video of Pap Emeritus IV (formerly Cardinal Copia) announcing that he was done.
“It’s a big night in so many ways, I’m going to let you accompany me, you can stay where you are and I’m going to go have a little bit of a drink over here…
“I know a lot of people are expecting some sort of explosion, implosion, a miracle where I just disappear, in favor of a successor. I’m going to take this ice cube and I’m going to put it down my pants. I usually don’t do that, but that is to make me feel a little bit better because now I’m focusing on that and not on you.
“Just in case you thought I was pissing myself, which I’m sure would have been the great finale. But you know what? This finale, it’s just going to be my last show. And I’m going to do my best to deliver that show to you. And that would just have to be enough, OK?”
It’s a pretty big divergence from how things have gone in the past, but with the band now working on a hybrid narrative/concert film, we’ll likely know what fate Papa IV receives.
In the meantime, I’ll be pulling for the band to have Papa IV hold off his attackers before assuming complete control and releasing a cover of The Beatles’ “Happiness Is A Warm Gun.” But that’s just me…
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