Archive for the obit Category

Slipknot Bassist Death Ruled Accidental

Posted in news, obit with tags , , on June 21, 2010 by thirteenburn


An autopsy report released today reveals Slipknot bassist Paul Gray’s death was caused by an accidental overdose of morphine and fentanyl, a narcotic analgesic that is 100 times more potent than morphine. According to the Polk County, Iowa Medical Examiner’s Office, the toxicology report and final autopsy showed that Gray also had “significant heart disease” at the time of his death on May 25th at age 38.

Another passing that possibly could have been prevented. How sad…


Slipknot Bassist Paul Gray – 1972-2010

Posted in breaking news, obit with tags , , on May 25, 2010 by thirteenburn


Police say metal band Slipknot bassist Paul Gray has been found dead in an Iowa hotel room. Police say a hotel employee found the 38-year-old Gray dead in a room Monday at the Town Plaza Hotel in Urbandale, a suburb of Des Moines. Foul play isn’t suspected.

Paul Gray will be greatly missed by fans and fellow musicians alike.

Paul Gray: 1972-2010 R.I.P.

Remembering Ronnie James Dio

Posted in obit, opinion with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 21, 2010 by thirteenburn

As Tony Iommi is known for being the father of the “heavy metal” guitar sound, his on-again, off-again Black Sabbath band mate in Ronnie James Dio is considered the father of the “heavy metal” vocal style. There was no one else like him at the time and close to fifty years later you can still hear his influence loud and clear.

The first time I heard of Ronnie James was when I was living in Germany on the Gov’t dime (USAF – Bitburg) and the NWOBHM was just starting to hit the states. In short order, I realized that, while this was something new for my friends back home, the genre had been well established in Europe. Bands like Samson (w/ Bruce Dickenson on vocals pre-Iron Maiden, also a heavy weight of the genre with singer Paul Di’Anno) Saxon, Judas Priest and several other lesser-known bands that never quite translated their European success back here in the states: Diamond Head, Girlschool, Nightwing and Tygers Of Pan Tang, just to name a few. To the general population, these bands are probably more known for their heavy influence on the music of Metallica than for their music itself, but they were considered commonplace in Germany.

And then came Holy Diver. I had first heard, and heard of, Ronnie James Dio via his stint with Rainbow and even back then I remember being blown away with his power as a vocalist. To be honest, however, I was not a huge fan of what I considered “classical metal.” I didn’t hate it; it was just a style that I wasn’t into all that much. But Holy Diver was something different.

Very few albums give me goose bumps at first listen, but Holy Diver did exactly that. The sound of the opening riff from the title track was something I hadn’t heard before. It’s hard to put into words; it was just the “hugeness” of guitar sound, and it’s the first time outside of first hearing Eddie Van Halen that I seriously entertained the thought of learning the instrument. At that time, I had a good fifteen years as a drummer under my belt, learning at the age of eight from my dad who drummed in a few Jazz bands during his high school and college days. Up to that time in my life, I hadn’t taken it that seriously, but that wall all about to change when I heard Dio – the man and the band.

Very few musicians can stand the test of time. Ronnie James Dio is one of those musicians. Listen to and/or read any of his myriad interviews and you can’t help but feel like you know the man personally. Several of those in the music industry press who have had the honor of conducting said interviews have become close friends with the man because of his ‘common man’ vibe and attitude. If it’s one thing that can be said of Ronnie James Dio, it’s that he’s never suffered from L.S.D. – Lead Singer’s Disease. One interview in particular drove that fact home when he recounted a story where a certain guitar player he never named (clearly he was referring to Blackmore but as classy as Dio is, he never said his name) made it a point to blow off fans because, as this guitar player put it (paraphrasing) “if you do it for one fan, you end up spending hours singing your name and I don’t have the time…”. As Dio put it, “that’s ridiculous because without the fans, we’re nothing; I’m nothing.”

“Without the fans, we’re nothing; I’m nothing.”

No truer words were ever spoken and while I’m sure that all bands/musicians claim the same mind-set, percentage wise there aren’t many bands that actually step up and put their money where their mouths are and Ronnie James Dio is one of those musicians. And it’s that attitude that has made Dio such a hugely popular figure in the world of metal, both with the fans and industry peers alike.

Thank you, Ronnie James Dio. Thank you for all the fantastic music you created. Thank you for your humanity towards the fan. Thank you for all you’ve done for the metal genre and music in general, and above all, thank you for all the great memories you’ve given all of us.

You’re a rainbow in the dark and will be missed.

Ronnie James Dio – 1942 – 2010

Malcolm McLaren; Dead At 64

Posted in breaking news, news, obit with tags , , , , , , on April 8, 2010 by thirteenburn

Malcolm McLaren - 1946-2010


UK paper The Independent reports that Malcolm McLaren, best known as the former manager of the Sex Pistols, died today after a long battle with cancer.


Former Sex Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren has died aged 64.

He had been suffering from cancer and died this morning – April 8th – in New York, reports the Independent. His body is set to be flown to London to be buried in Highgate cemetery.


Malcolm McLaren, the former Sex Pistols manager who is credited with helping form the legendary U.K. punk band, has died at the age of 64 after a battle with cancer. “He had been suffering from cancer for some time, but recently had been full of health, which then rapidly deteriorated,” McLaren’s spokesman Les Molloy told The Independent. Molloy confirmed McLaren died in New York this morning; his body will be moved to London for burial in Highgate Cemetery. John Lydon said in a statement, “For me Malc was always entertaining, and I hope you remember that. Above all else he was an entertainer and I will miss him, and so should you.”

Right or wrong, for better or worse, Malcolm McLaren made an impact in the music industry and whether or not you loved him or hated him, the music world is a bit darker without him.

My thoughts and prayers are with his family and close friends.

R.I.P. Mr. McLaren


Posted in breaking news, obit with tags , , on March 17, 2010 by thirteenburn

Alex Chilton


Alex Chilton, singer and guitarist of Big Star, one of the most influential rock groups to emerge from the early 1970s, has passed away at the age of 59. Chilton reportedly suffered a heart attack today in New Orleans, just days before Big Star were scheduled to perform at the SXSW Festival in Austin, Texas. Chilton had been complaining about his health earlier in the day, and was eventually taken to a New Orleans hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Big Star drummer Jody Stephens confirmed Chilton’s passing, Memphis’ Commercial Appeal reports. “Alex passed away a couple of hours ago,” Stephens said. “I don’t have a lot of particulars, but they kind of suspect that it was a heart attack.”

I really don’t know what to say right now other than that countless bands and myriad singer/songwriters bear witness to his lasting influence on their music and Alex Chilton and those – and other – contributions he gave to the music world will be greatly missed.

My thoughts and prayers go out tonight to the family and friends of Alex. God Speed to you, sir, and may you rest in peace for all eternity.