Theme Thursday – For Those Who Rocked…

On July 11th, 2001 Slipknot headlined the (Sunday) last day of Sonisphere, UK.  What made this particular event so special was it marked Slipknot’s first live appearance since the death of bassist Paul Gray.  This got me thinking of bands that have lost band members.  In particular, it got me thinking about what happens to the band when a musician dies.  Sometimes, the band moves on and sometimes it is the end complete.

This theme Thursday is a tribute to those who rocked, but unfortunately met their demise way too early in life.  I wanted to take a few minutes to remember their contributions to metal and share them with A Metal State of Mind readers.  I can’t possibly list them all so if I missed one of your favorite rockers please let us know about their accomplishments in the comments box.

…and so we begin.

Dimebag Darrell Abbot – Pantera/Damage Plan

One of the most shocking and violent deaths in metal resulted from a gunshot wound to the head to Darrell Abbot (on stage) from Pantera/Damage Plan on 8 Dec 2004.  Known for his heavy riffs and aggressive style, Dimebag Darrell Abbott shredded his way to stardom in Pantera throughout the 90’s and then in Damage Plan in the 2000’s.  Dimebag’s untimely death sent shock waves through the metal world.  Here is a video of Dimebag in action.

Pantera has since dissolved.  Band members went on their separate ways.  Singer Phil Anselmo and Bassist Rex Brown went on to form a band called Down.  Dimebag’s brother and (former) Pantera drummer Vinnie Paul formed a band called Hellyeah….featured below.

Peter Steele – Type O Negative

Type O Negative was deep and dark and often attracted vampires to their shows.  I can say this because I have seen them live three times and saw the diverse crowd.  Peter Steele’s voice was excessively deep and his singing style was melancholy, powerful, and unique.  Steele died of heart failure on April 14th, 2010.  As of now, Type O Negative is no longer a band.  Peter Steele enjoyed a long career in the music business as a member of Fallout and Carnivore before forming Type O Negative in the mid-nineties.

Mike Alexander – Evile

British metal quartet Evile is currently paving a path to success with their brutal and traditional style of thrash.  Their former bassist, Mike Alexander, passed away in 2009 while on tour in Sweden.  The cause was a pulmonary embolism (blood clot in the lung).  After Alexander’s death, Evile was asked by Metal Hammer to cover Pantera’s Cemetery Gates.  They obliged and did an outstanding job on the cover.  Evile took time to mourn their band mate’s death and then recruited a new bassist.  Evile is currently slated to release a new album in September 2011.

Video with Mike Alexander

Video of Evile’s cover of Cemetery Gates (features pictures of both Dimebag and  Mike Alexander)

Chuck Schuldiner – Death

Many, including myself, will say that Death put death metal on the music map.  When I was much younger, death metal was just not for me.  I was making a transition from 80’s hair bands to the thrash I know and love by bands like Megadeth and Overkill.  Death metal was just a bit much at the time, but I did grow into it and I have much respect for its technicality and brutality, especially with Death.  Death was the band I got into and respected ever since when the album Human was released.  Chuck was very talented and would have made contributions in metal for years and years.  Unfortunately, his life ended far too short; a result of brain cancer which took his life in 2001.  Prior to his death, Chuck also formed another band called Control Denied which released an album in 1999 and 2011.

Cliff Burton – Metallica

Most metal fans know (or should know) of the loss of Metallica’s Cliff Burton.  The bassist died in Sweden on Sept 27, 1986.   Metallica was enjoying the fruits of success with the release of Master of Puppets and touring Europe in support of that album.  Cliff Burton was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with Metallica in 2009.  For those that have seen Cliff Burton live or on some of Metallica’s DVDs you know that was an outstanding bassist.

Paul Gray – Slipknot

Of those on this list, Paul Gray’s death is the most recent.  The bassist (3rd on this list) died in May 2010 of a drug overdose.  Paul Gray was one of three original Slipknot members active in the band when he passed away.  Slipknot has been on hiatus ever since until this year when Slipknot headlined the Sonisphere festival in Knebworth, UK.  Since the recent shows, singer Corey Taylor stated that he felt better about Slipknot’s future than he had felt immediately following Gray’s death.  According to Taylor, Gray was one of the main contributors to Slipknot’s music.

This list could go on a bit longer, but I will wrap it up here.  There are numerous musicians who unfortunately pass away before their time.   As mentioned before, the recent show with Slipknot just got me thinking about the bands that either move on or essentially retire when a band member dies.  I also wanted to take a minute to remember them and see them in their glory through some videos.

R. I. P. to all mentioned here and to those we know of that are not on this list.

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About Reggie

Just a dude writing a heavy metal blog and always on the prowl for a cool metal show. I am also a family man...first and foremost!

Posted on July 28, 2011, in Theme Thursday and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Great post!!! RIP to all those who have passed on and made the metal world go round.
    I’d like to also note Ronnie James Dio, well because he is Ronnie James Dio. If not for him we would all not be throwing our metal horns in the air at any opportune metal moment. He also contributed lots to the metal realm with more than his iconic hand gesture. He was one of the original pioneers of metal and besides playing for his band Dio he also played for metal legends such as Black Sabbath and Rainbow. He helped shape a sound that we have all come to love.

  2. Oh Crap Dio; how could I have forgotten the master? Damn I forgot Randy Rhoades too. I guess I can always do a follow up sometime.

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