KING DIAMOND - Highly Strung Page 2
By Martin Popoff

I asked King what the first spark of inspiration was that got him into this story line. Something he read? A particular movie?

"I haven't read a book in six years or something like that," is his surprising reply. "I watched some movies but it had nothing to do with that. I always try to stay miles away from any plot that I might have seen in a movie. The initial spark came from when Mercyful Fate was touring in '99, with Metallica in Europe. We had a show in Budapest, Hungary and we had a Sunday off there, I remember, and the band took a walk in the old part of Budapest where the streets are really narrow. And we passed something that was called The National Puppet Theater. It looked like a real theater and that's what really blew my mind. How could this be? What kind of theater... what would that be like? Usually you would think about a puppet theater being a tent in a park or something. But here was a real theater called The National Puppet Theater. And I thought, my God, I wonder what goes on in there? But it was closed Sunday. And walking further down the same street, one shop after another started popping up with these puppet shops. And they're all closed Sunday afternoon in Europe; it's usually like that, and there were no lights in the shops. So I was leaning up against the window with my hands trying to look inside to see what was there. I could see inside and there were full-size puppets, all sizes, some of them almost human size. And they were on chairs, hanging on the walls, up on shelves, and it gave me the creeps (laughs). Right when I saw those puppets in there, in the darkness, it was like, I wouldn't... if someone paid me, I wouldn't sleep in there. I knew that they would come alive and kill me or something like that. So it gave me a heavy impression."

KING DIAMOND - Highly Strung Page 3