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  CHRIS DALE'S METAL MELTDOWN
SCREAM FOR ME SARAJEVO PART 1
A Mission To Play Heavy Metal In The Bosnian War, December 1994
1st June 2012


chris dale

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Back when I was in Bruce Dickinson's band, I woke up way too early one day with the phone ringing. It was Bruce.

"Morning!" he said chirpily. I looked through the curtains. He was right.

"Yeah, morning!" I agreed.

"We've got another gig come in," he said.

"Great news," I replied. I love doing gigs.

"It's Sarajevo," he said. This was back in 1994 and even in my blurred mind alarms bells started ringing.

"Aren't they having a war?" I asked.

"Yeah, sort of... but it's all good. We're under UN protection and we might get a go in a tank!" he enthused. "Are you up for it?"

"Errr.... OK then," I tailed off. It was like interrogation under sleep depravation. I'd have said anything to go back to bed right then and besides, I had always wanted a go in a tank.

bruce dickinson sarajevo
Yours truly at Split Airport

When I woke up properly a bit later I thought about the strange conversation. Apparently it wasn't a dream. We were going to do a gig in war-torn Bosnia.

But it hadn't been in the news for a while and surely Bruce wouldn't be going anywhere properly dangerous. He's far from stupid. Most likely the war must have quietened down since the UN peacekeeping force had arrived... or so I thought.

As a bit of background, in the early 1990s the former Serb dominated Yugoslavia slipped into a series of vicious civil wars. Firstly Slovenia broke away from the republic, then a short war with Serbia ensued before Croatia also broke away. Croatia was the second largest (next to Serbia) of the nations of the former Yugoslavia and with a hastily formed army they put up a fierce defence of their new freedom from Serb domination.

Next Bosnia declared independence. Bosnia was in a more difficult position with Serb minorities in the North and East and Croat minorities in the West. The Bosnian Muslims lived mostly in the centre but the divisions between the communities were not clearly defined by borders. All three nationalities lived next door to each other in many towns and all three now turned on each other.

These were especially ruthless wars. No quarter was given to men, women or children. Mass murder, mutilation, torture and organised rape were common. All sides were guilty of atrocities but the Serbs were the perpetrators of some of the worst and on by far the largest scale.

Finally the UN sent in a peacekeeping force to untangle the three warring factions and impose a truce. A no fly zone was enforced, Sarajevo was still under siege but things seemed to have calmed down, at least on the news... or maybe the continued slaughter was simply no longer newsworthy?

So a couple of weeks after the initial call, we're getting ready to fly to Sarajevo. There were no direct flights (that should have rung more alarm bells), so we were flying to Split in Croatia from Birmingham International. Regular flight from a regular airport, it's all fine so far...

Just when we got on the plane it occurred to us, perhaps for the first time, that this might not really be alright. The plane was full of British soldiers, there were no holiday makers there. We were the only long haired civilians on board. Everyone else on this plane was going to a war. Oooops!

When we landed at Split airport we were met by Colonel Stuart Green, a British Army officer who was very friendly, full of smiles and lots of hand shaking.

bruce dickinson sarajevo
Alex Dickson, Bruce Dickinson and myself at Split Airport

"Thank you so much for coming out here, really so jolly good of you," he gushed. "But you've had a wasted journey, I'm very sorry to say. The show's off, it's all gone a bit hairy out there. We can't guarantee you safe passage into Sarajevo anymore so I'll get you on the next flight back. But really thank you so much for coming this far".

Several of us perked up at this news. Oh, well, nice day out, let's have a sandwich and pop home. But not Bruce. He wanted to know more. How bad was it? Could the mission be rescued? Was there another way we could get through?

I should probably at this point tell you who "we" were. There were eight of us.

bruce dickinson sarajevo
Our gang from left to right: Jed front of house engineer, Andy Veasey bass and drum tech, Alex "Sponder" Elena on drums, Bruce Dickinson- you know him already, Bob Edwards guitar tech, Alex Dickson guitarist and Roland Hyams, press agent.

Bruce, he's the lead singer of Iron Maiden. We're in the middle of touring his 'Balls To Picasso' solo album. He's also the instigator of this whole scenario and his enthusiasm for it knows no bounds.

*****************

balls to picasso   'BALLS TO PICASSO'
"It's not before time. There's so much stuff on it that people will be unaware of..."
Bruce Dickinson
balls to picasso
CLICK HERE FOR MORE ON 'BALLS TO PICASSO'balls to picasso

*****************

Alex Dickson, he's our guitar hero. He generally prefers guitars to wars.

Alex Elena, we called him Sponder to avoid/create confusion. He's the drummer and he plays very loud. He's also Italian I should warn you, and like most of his countrymen (and sensible people all around the world) believes good food should have priority over bloodshed.

bruce dickinson sarajevo
Sponder and me at Split Airport

I'm going to be expected to play bass at some point.

Roland Hyams was our press agent and he was coming along to report on events, liaise with folk and handily keep a diary (to which I've frequently referred in telling this tale). We absolutely relied on him to keep our spirits up on several occasions.

We had a small road crew with us. Irish Jed was going to be doing our front of house sound (that is if they had a sound system at the gig, we still didn't know for sure what was going to happen at the venue).

Bob Edwards was Alex's guitar technician. Bob had put himself firmly in the pacifist camp when on tour one day he had failed to fix the screaming feedback in Alex's amp but instead had concentrated on building an impressive floral display on stage left.

Andy Veasey was our super-tech looking after Sponder's drums and my bass. Me and Andy were mates from back in Wales, a top bloke. He was the one person in this scenario that I looked to for common sense on all occasions.

"We should take their advice and go home," he said solemnly.

But as luck would have it, Bruce had met some folk from a charity group called The Serious Road Trip. They did amazing work. They were mostly foreigners (Brits, Aussies and Kiwis) and they drove truck loads of supplies into worn torn areas then performed circus routines for the local children.

They painted all their trucks in bright yellow with cartoon characters on the sides at a time when every other vehicle on the road was in dark green camouflage. They were doing such a saintly task but worryingly for me, they were all quite clearly insane. They'd take us through, they said.

bruce dickinson sarajevo
Me with some Serious Road Trip crew at Split Airport

We arranged to go for dinner with the British Army then meet up later with the ironically named Serious Road Trip.

Dinner was in the UN Other Ranks canteen in Split. It was over-cooked roast beef and veg, just like school dinners but bigger portions. It was great.

bruce dickinson sarajevo
A misunderstanding in translation at the UN base in Split

After dinner we had a briefing from Squadron Leader Dave Tisdale, an RAF officer. He took us to a lecture room on camp with a big map of Bosnia on the wall. It had brightly coloured star stickers all over parts of it.

He gave us a background as to the war, showed us the route we'd be taking and told us that until recently they'd contained most of the small in-fighting. Did we have any questions?

I had quite a few actually.

"What are the stars for?" I asked innocently.

"Yes, I thought someone might ask that. As I said until recently we were getting a bit quieter. The stars are fire fights we've had reported today. There's been a quite a few as you can see..." He looked at the very starry map. So did we.

Then we went over to the Serious Road Trip centre. It was a hippy camp in the hills. They were very hospitable and plied us with beer and more food. They were very dedicated to their work in bringing a glimmer of light and fun to Bosnia's suffering children.

bruce dickinson sarajevo
Bruce and our Serious Road Trip Driver at Split Airport

They showed us video footage of them juggling in clown make up for shell-shocked kids. They took orphans for a day at the beach. We were humbled.

The video showed their trucks driving through villages shattered by artillery barrages. One video showed a truck driving along before a shell struck just in front on it. The truck swerved and avoided the falling debris. We were shocked.

Now it was dark we could hear occasional small arms fire in the distance. This was the best time to set off they reckoned. We'd be less visible, that's what they said.

I don't think it was only me among us now that was doubting the wisdom of their bright yellow colour scheme. Our truck had Road Runner painted on it too.

Perhaps the beers we'd consumed made us temporarily think this was all going to be fine still, so we got in the ex-military truck. The night was freezing cold.

Most, including Bruce, were in the back. There were no seats so everyone just sat on bits of supplies with a case of beer between them. I volunteered with Bob Edwards to sit up front for the first shift with Dave, the driver.

He was a young New Zealander, very keen, very alert. He crashed the gears, made the most of momentum and never slowed down. The scenery was pitch black except for the dimmed headlights. There were very few street lights; even most towns we passed were in ominous darkness.

Sometimes we drove down proper roads, sometimes roughly hewn tracks on the side of mountains with a cliff drop on one side. At all times we drove full pelt.

Dave told us its best not to go slow as we'd be more likely to be ambushed. As well as three warring armies, bandits would also stop vehicles for their contents. Everyone in the country was armed and hungry.

We stopped once to re-fuel and for a pee. When we jumped down most of us instinctively went to the side of the road to relieve ourselves but Dave called us gently back to the middle of the road.

"Don't go in the hedges, they're sometimes mined. The one lot drop a shell on the road, the other lot jump into the hedge for cover and find the landmines. Besides you don't know who's in the hedge".

From then on we just peed out the back of the moving truck or in an empty bottle if needed. Nobody asked for another stop.

We did however stop a couple of times for passport checks at UN checkpoints, one manned by Spanish soldiers, one by Slovaks.

"Hola," I said to the Spanish soldiers. They ignored me and we drove off.

"Do you speak any Serbo-Croat?" Dave asked me.

"Da, ja govorim malo srpsko-hrvatski," I said slowly, pleased with my homework.

"When we stop at the local army checkpoints later, don't speak any Serbo-Croat to them. Ever. No eye contact. You don't want to get into conversation with them, you don't need to make friends. Most of them are constantly drunk too, on Slivovic. We just keep quiet and speak when we're spoken to."

He looked a little nervous. I took his advice quite seriously now. This wasn't a game, was it?

We drove on through the night and just as day was breaking and I'd nodded off a little for the first time, we pulled up on the side of Mount Igman and saw Sarajevo lying in the valley below us. But the scene wasn't as beautiful as we'd hoped...

Part 2 follows next month...

Read more about the Serious Road Trip's work at http://www.theseriousroadtrip.org/history/

Click here for Part 2...
Click here for Part 3...





MORE CHRIS DALE'S METAL MELTDOWN COLUMNS HERE...

April 2015: Undiscovered Kisstory: The Kiss Drummer Auditions Of 1980
March 2015: Matthew Trippe RIP - The strange case of the man who would be Nikki Sixx
November 2014: Kiss: 'Love Gun' Deluxe Edition
October 2014: Mr. Big – Live Review at Koko, London
September 2014: Mr. Big: 'The Stories We Could Tell' album review
September 2013: Intensive Bass Course with Billy Sheehan
August 2013: Booking Agents vs Promoters
July 2013: Rock and Metal Pub Quiz
June 2013: Communication Tips For European Festivals, Or How To Learn A Language In An Evening
May 2013: Storm Thorgerson (1944-2013) RIP
April 2013: Daily Mail Columnist Richard Littlejohn Sinks To New Low With Anti-Heavy Metal Article
April 2013: The Future Of Classic Bands
March 2013: Smashing Pumpkins Video Shoot
Febuary 2013: Ten Years On Total Rock
January 2013: Kiss Follow Up To Monster 2013
December 2012: Kiss Reformation Magick
November 2012: Exclusive Interview With Geoff Tate
November 2012: Morally Worrying Session
October 2012: Kiss 'Monster' Review
October 2012: The Best Invention Of All Time
September 2012: A Conversation With Rudy Sarzo
August 2012: Scream For Me Sarajevo Part 3
July 2012: Scream For Me Sarajevo Part 2
June 2012: Scream For Me Sarajevo Part 1
May 2012: Managers v Producers
April 2012: Kiss 'Monster' Album Preview
March 2012: London Venue's Nazi Past?
February 2012: How Not to Join the Ozzy Osbourne Band
January 2012: Metal Evilution
December 2011: Take Your Pick Competition
November 2011: The Pandora's Box Of Pop
October 2011: Tank Tour Diary 2011
September 2011: Festival Stage Collapses
August 2011: Bruce Air, The Early Days
July 2011: European Festival Round-Up
June 2011: Bernie Torme Proud To Be Part Of MT Ozzy Article
June 2011: Who's Your Favourite Ozzy Guitarist?
May 2011: Japanese Tsunami Disaster
April 2011: 10,000 Tank Albums!
March 2011: Death Metal Session!
6th February 2011: Gary Moore (4th April 1952 - 6th February 2011)
February 2011: Recording Bass at Steve Harris'
January 2011: A Column About Columns



Radio Sarajevo translated the article into Bosnian and here is their version...

Click here for the Radio Sarajevo article...

Chris Dale je heavy metalac, basist grupe Tank, koji su nedavno izdali svoj novi album War Machine. Do sada je svirao u mnogim bendovima, frontmen je i pop grupe Sack Trick, radi i na TotalRock radiju, a ostatak vremena radi kao vozač na turnejama "svima onima koji putuju u toplije krajeve".

U Bosni i Hercegovini, naročito u Sarajevu, pamte ga, pored drugih, po koncertu iz 1994. u ratnom Sarajevu, na kojem je nastupao zajedno sa velikim Bruceom Dickinsonom, liderom Iron Maidena. Na stranici Metaltalk.net objavio je svoju priču o putu u Sarajevu i koncertu. Donosimo prvi dio, a drugi dio će biti objavljen u narednim sedmicama.

Pa zar tamo nije rat?!

U vrijeme kada sam svirao u bendu Brucea Dickinsona, jedno jutro probudio me je telefon: bio je to Bruce. "Jutro"... zacrvkutao je na telefon... Pogledao sam kroz prozor.... bio je u pravu.

"Da, jutro... slažem se." - "Imamo uskoro još jednu svirku", rekao je. - "Odlična vijest, volim svirke..."

"Ali sviramo u Sarajevu!" Bilo je to 1994. godine, i u mojoj smušenoj glavi upalila se lampica... Upitao sam: "Zar tamo trenutno nije rat?"

"Pa... tako nešto... Ali sve je OK, pod zaštitom smo UN-a. Kad budemo tamo, morat ćemo se kretati u tenku. Šta misliš o tome?" pitao me. "Hm... Uredu, onda", kazao sam u tom bunilu bilo šta samo da se vratim u krevet... Uostalom, oduvijek sam želio da se vozim u tenku.. [...]

Jedino smo mi imali duge kose

Nekoliko sedmica kasnije bili smo spremni letimo za Sarajevo. Nije postojao direktan let do tamo, što me dodatno zbunilo, pa smo letili sa aerodroma u Birminghamu do Splita. Još uvijek je sve izgledalo normalno...

Tek kad smo poletjeli, sinulo nam je po prvi put da se stvari mogu zakomplikovati. Avion je bio pun britanskih vojnika. Situacija se činila ozbiljnom. Jedino smo mi imali duge kose, a svi ostali u avionu su ustvari išli u rat...

Kada smo sletjeli u Split, dočekao nas je britanski oficir Stuart Green. Bio je nasmijan i raspoložen.

"Hvala vam mnogo što ste došli ovdje, baš lijepo od vas", rekao je. - " Džaba ste putovali ovamo, ništa od nastupa, stvari su se zakomplikovale... Više vam ne možemo garantovati siguran put do Sarajeva, tako da ću vas poslati avionom nazad... Ali stvarno, hvala vam što ste prevalili toliki put..."

Vijest nas je zatekla, ali OK, lijep je dan, pojedimo sendvič i nazad kući. Ali Brucea je zanimalo da li postoji neki drugi način da uradimo ono zbog čega smo došli. Možda postoji neki drugi put do tamo.

U ovom momentu bih vjerovatno trebao objasniti ko smo to "mi". Bilo nas je sedmero.

Bruceov bezgranični entuzijazam

Bruce je lider Iron Maidena [koji u to vrijeme, kratkoročno, nije bio član Maidena]. Bili smo u sred turneje Balls to Picasso, i on je svakako inicijator čitave ove ideje, a njegov entuzijazam ne poznaje granice.

Alex Dickson je bio naš guitar hero. On je uglavnom preferira gitare u ratovima. Alex Elena, zvani Sponder, bubnjar i svira veoma glasno. Talijan je i voli svoje zemljake (voli također i sve osjećajne ljude na svijetu) i vjeruje da umjesto što ratujemo, trebamo cijeniti dobru hranu.

Roland Hyams je novinar koji nas prati, i njegov zadatak je da izvještava o nastupima. Pisao je dnevnik (koji mi je mnogo pomogao da ispričam ovu priču). Bio nam je moralni oslonac u nekoliko navrata.

Bob Edwards je bio Alexov tehničar za gitaru, a Andey Veasey Sponderov tehničar za bubnjeve i bas.

Andy je razuman čovjek i na njega sam se mogao osloniti. U jednom momentu je rekao: "Poslušajmo njihov savjet i krenimo kući".

Hipi humanitarci u kamionima

Ne znam jeli nas sreća poslužila ili nije, ali Bruce je upoznao neke ljude iz dobrotvorne organizacije zvane "The Serious Road Trip". Napravili su odličan posao. Bili su uglavnom stranci, i vozili su kamione sa zalihama hrane u zaraćena područja, a kasnije bi priredili cirkus za lokalne klince.

Ofarbali su sve kamione u svijetlu žutu boju, i na njima naslikali likove iz crtića, u vrijeme kada je svaki drugi kamion bio maskirno zeleni. Činili su svetački posao, ali su ujedno bili dovoljno "ludi" da bi bili u stanju obavljati taj posao. Rekli su da nas mogu odvesti tamo.

Dogovorili smo da odemo na večeru sa britanskim vojnicima, a kasnije smo se ponovo našli sa ekipom ironičnog naziva Serious Road Trip.

Večera je bila sa oficirima visokih činova u Splitu. Za večeru smo imali pečenu govedinu i povrće. Bilo je odlično.

Nakon večere smo imali informativni razgovor sa Daveom Tisdaleom, oficirom RAF-a, britanskih zračnih snaga. Pokazao nam je veliku kartu Bosne i uputio nas u situaciju.

[...]

Nakon toga smo otišli do centra Seriuos Road Trip. Bio je to hipi kamp u brdima. Bili su veoma gostoljubivi i ponudili su nas pivom i hranom. Bili su veoma posvećeni svom poslu, pružali su tračak nade i malo zabave napaćenoj bosanskoj djeci. Pokazali su nam snimke na kojima klauni žongliraju ispred djece. Taj dan su neke od te djece poveli na plažu da se kupaju. Bili smo zapanjeni.

Na snimku se vide njihovi kamioni koji prolaze kroz razrušena naselja. Na jednom snimku se čak vidi kamion u momentu dok granata pada ispred njega. Bili smo u šoku.

Većina gradova bila je u mraku

Već je pala noć, a u daljini su se mogle čuti povremene detonacije od granatiranja. "Bilo bi najbolje da isključimo svu opremu, da što manje privlačimo pozornost...", rekli su nam.

Mislim da nisam bio jedini koji je počeo sumnjati u "mudrost" žuto ofarbanih kamiona... Naš kamion je na sebi imao naslikanu Pticu Trkačicu.

Vjerovatno su pive koje smo popili učinile to da još uvijek mislim kako će sve biti uredu, pa smo ušli u jedan od vojnih kamiona. Noć je bila hladna. Većina je, uključujući Brucea, sjedila pozadi. Pošto nije bilo sjedišta, svi smo sjedili na kutijama od namirnica, sa kartonom pive između. Bob Edwards i ja smo se dobrovoljno javili da sjedimo naprijed.

Dave je bio vozač. Mladić sa Novog Zelanda, veoma oprezan i napet. Bio je potpuni mrak i nismo nikako stali. Samo ponegdje je bilo ulične rasvjete. Većina gradova kroz koje smo prošli je bila u mraku.

Ponekad smo se vozili pravim cestama, a ponekad grubo isklesanim stazama po planinama, gdje su visoke litice uvijek bile sa jedne strane. Išli smo punom paprom.

Svi su naoružani i gladni

Dave nam je rekao kako je najbolje da idemo brzo, u protivnom ćemo naletjeti na zasjedu. Pored tri zaraćene armije, vrlo često se dešava da kamione zaustavljaju lokane bande radi pljačke. Svi su u ovoj zemlji ili naoružani ili gladni.

Stali smo jednom da napunimo gorivo i obavimo nuždu. Kada izlaziš iz kamiona, instinktivno staneš uz cestu da se "olakšaš", ali Dave nas je polako zovnuo i rekao da ne obavljamo nuždu na terenu pored ceste, jer on vrlo lako može biti miniran. Od tada smo svi obavljali nuždu sa zadnjeg dijela kamiona u pokretu, ili u staklene boce, ako je za to bilo potrebe. Niko više nije tražio da stanemo.

Nekoliko puta i kada jesmo stali, bilo je zbog kontrole pasoša. Bila su dva UN-ova punkta, jedan španski, drugi slovački.

Uglavnom su na šljivovici

"Hola", rekao sam jednom španskom vojniku koji potpuno izignorisao... Nastavili smo dalje.

"Priča li ko od vas imalo srpsko-hrvatskog jezika?" pitao nas je Dave. - "Da, ja govorim malo..." zadovoljno mu odgovorih...

"Kada budemo stali na jednom od lokalnih stajališta, nemoj im se uopće obraćati na srpsko-hrvatskom jeziku. Nipošto. Ni kontakt očima. Vjeruj mi da ne želiš ni pokušati razgovarati s njima, niti da se sprijateljiš s njima. Većina njih je konstantno pijana, i to na šljivovici".

Od tog momenta smo šutili i pričali samo onda kad nam se neko obrati. Dave je izgledao nervozno. Shvatili smo ga ozbiljno. Ovo više nije igra, zar ne?

Vozili smo se dugo u noć, i taman nekad pred zoru, uspio sam zaspat. Stali smo na planini Igman i tu sam prvi put vidio Sarajevo kako se dolinom pruža ispred nas. Ali prizor nije bio tako prijatan kako smo se nadali...

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Soto will debut live during Feb 2016 with a string of East Coast US dates and a European debut in April with a short run through selected cities and countries...

temperance movement HEAR THE TEMPERANCE MOVEMENT LIVE AND ACOUSTIC AT DEEZER, PARIS
The band dropped into Deezer headquarters during a stop on their current tour promoting new album 'White Bear'...

jezabels CANCER TREATMENT FORCES THE JEZABELS TO CANCEL WORLD TOUR
"The band means so much to me, and cancelling the tour has been a very sad decision. I am hopeful that in the near future we will be back on the road again playing music we love..."

thunder THUNDER ANNOUNCE INTIMATE SHOW AT LONDON'S 100 CLUB
All ticket-sale profits will be going to Childline/NSPCC. Tickets for the special one-off show go on sale on 22nd January...

freddy lim HEAVY METAL STAR ELECTED TO PARLIAMENT IN HISTORIC VICTORY
Freddy Lim, the long-haired, tattooed front man of Taiwanese Black Metal band Chthonic wins a seat in parliament...

hrh doom stoner HRH ANNOUNCE NEW DOOM & STONER SHEFFIELD TRIP
Candlemass, Orange Goblin, Torche and Raging Speedhorn lead the vanguard for HRH's new event...

the mission THE MISSION ANNOUNCE 30TH ANNIVERSARY TOUR
The tour starts in Dublin on October 1st and includes O2 Shepherds Bush Empire in London on October 8th...

cop uk NEW ALBUM FROM C.O.P. UK 'NO PLACE FOR HEAVEN' IS OUT ON 29TH JANUARY
C.O.P. UK will immediately follow the release by hitting the road for a European tour with Helloween...

thin lizzy THIN LIZZY ANNOUNCE 2016 ANNIVERSARY SHOWS: MOTÖRHEAD DRUMMER MIKKEY DEE JOINS BAND
2016 is a year that includes a couple of important anniversaries in the history of Thin Lizzy...

joe bonamassa JOE BONAMASSA RELEASES NEW ALBUM 'BLUES OF DESPERATION' IN MARCH 2016
"You'll hear the proverbial trains, mountains, valleys and other blues references about heartbreak and loneliness, but there are also some poignant moments..."

cairo son CAIRO SON 'STORM CLOUDS' ALBUM LAUNCH SHOW CONFIRMED
The launch party will be held at Nambucca on March 18th...

stormbringer STORMBRINGER ADD NEW DATES TO FEBRUARY SHOWS SUPPORTING THEIR NEW ALBUM 'BLOOD AND RUST'
Check out the dates plus the videos for 'Bad Blood' and 'Rust' right here...

sanguine SANGUINE UNLEASH THEIR VEGAS SPECTACULAR WITH NEW VIDEO FOR 'PRETTY GIRL'
"The lyrics reflect my frustration that women are not meant to be both pretty and strong...but it's more of a 'fuck you' than a complaint..."

glenn frey GLENN FREY OF THE EAGLES PASSES AWAY AGED 67
Glenn Frey, the founder member and guitarist of The Eagles has sadly checked out...

dale griffin MOTT THE HOOPLE DRUMMER DALE GRIFFIN PASSES AWAY AGED 67
Dale "Buffin" Griffin was a founder member of Mott The Hoople and prolific session producer...

stiff little fingers STIFF LITTLE FINGERS ANNOUNCE UK TOUR DATES FOR FEBRUARY/MARCH 2016
Support will come from Ricky Warwick & The Fighting Hearts ...

inglorious INGLORIOUS CONFIRMED FOR SWEDEN'S STOCKHOLM ROCKS FESTIVAL 2016
Inglorious and Grand Magus are the first bands to be announced for 2016...

wishing well WISHING WELL FEATURING GRAHAM BONNET RELEASE 'HIPPIE HEART GYPSY SOUL'
"We wanted something extra to boost the album and when we wrote 'Hippie' we instantly realized that Graham would be a perfect vocalist for the song in many ways..."

sabaton SABATON REVEAL THE OFFICIAL LIVE VIDEO FOR 'RESIST AND BITE' TAKEN FROM FORTHCOMING LIVE RELEASE
"We recorded two shows in case one is not enough for you..."

babymetal BABYMETAL ANNOUNCE NEW ALBUM TITLE
'Metal Resistance' is released worldwide on April 1st before their headline Wembley show the next day...

motorhead MOTÖRHEAD: THE TRAIN KEEPS A-ROLLIN'
We hope to see Phil and Mikkey back in full-time action as soon as possible, as well as Fast Eddie...

evil scarecrow EVIL SCARECROW RELEASE THEIR BRILLIANTLY BONKERS LYRIC VIDEO FOR 'END LEVEL BOSS'
The fan favourite will finally appear in the live show for the remaining shows of the 'Boldly Going Anywhere!' tour...

life of agony LIFE OF AGONY SIGN WORLDWIDE DEAL WITH NAPALM RECORDS
'A Place Where There's No More Pain' will be released later in 2016...

metal church METAL CHURCH ANNOUNCE TRACK LISTING AND COVER ARTWORK FOR NEW ALBUM 'XI'
The band's 11th studio release marks the return of legendary vocalist and front man Mike Howe...

twisted sister NEW EUROPEAN RELEASE DATE AND NEW COVER ARTWORK REVEALED FOR THE MOVIE 'WE ARE TWISTED F*CKING SISTER!'
The documentary is a mesmerizing and wickedly funny story of a 10 year odyssey to overnight success...

saxon SAXON TO RELEASE 9 ALBUM VINYL BOX SET
This spectacular package is a must have for Saxon fans and collectors and will be released in March...

wildfire festival WILDFIRE FESTIVAL 2016 ANNOUNCE DAY SPLITS
Saturday night headliners, running order and set times for Scotland's premier rock and Metal festival will be announced in February...

black stone cherry BLACK STONE CHERRY TO PLAY CHARITY GIG AT THE BORDERLINE ON JANUARY 24th
All proceeds of this special appearance will go to The Teenage Cancer Trust...

trivium TRIVIUM ANNOUNCE UK TOUR WITH SOME SURPRISING CHOICES OF VENUE
None of the regular main cities like London, Birmingham, Manchester or Glasgow are included on this jaunt...

yes YES TO TOUR UK AND EUROPE IN APRIL
The set will include 1971's 'Fragile' and 1980's 'Drama' in their entirety...

blind guardian BLIND GUARDIAN ANNOUNCE UK AND IRELAND TOUR IN MAY
Blind Guardian will be playing a spellbinding 150 minute long set every night – these shows are not to be missed...

fish farewell FISH ANNOUNCES APRIL HEADLINE TOUR DUE TO PHENOMENAL DEMAND
Another final chance to see 'Misplaced Childhood' in full following the recent sold out run and including the rescheduled European shows...

morgoth MORGOTH ANNOUNCE EUROPEAN TOUR WITH INCANTATION
Be sure not to miss this killer package of total Death Metal sovereignty...

iron maiden IRON MAIDEN TO TOUR CHINA FOR FIRST TIME IN THEIR CAREER
Iron Maiden will visit China in April 2016, once their set list has been submitted for approval from the Ministry Of Culture...

3 doors down 3 DOORS DOWN ANNOUNCE NEW ALBUM 'US AND THE NIGHT' OUT MARCH 11th
"It's truly been a labour of love and we can't wait to get these songs out to our fans around the world..."

prong PRONG RELEASE NEW ALBUM ON FEBRUARY 5th
'X – No Absolutes' is packed with the band's trademark driving riffs and pinpoint-precise grooves...

skarlett riot SKARLETT RIOT HEAD OUT ON TOUR WITH DEVILSKIN
Skarlett Riot will be main support to Devilskin for six UK dates in February...

david bowie DAVID BOWIE PASSES AWAY AGED 69 AFTER SECRET BATTLE WITH CANCER
The Ziggy era would later prove to be a big influence on many heavy rock bands such as Def Leppard and Marilyn Manson...

motorhead LEMMY LAID TO REST: SUPERB TRIBUTES PAID AT MOVING SERVICE
"Phil Campbell made sure there's a line down there and that's supposed to be speed for Lemmy, he made sure he had a mirror and the whole bit so... do it up Lem."

motorhead LEMMY'S FUNERAL TO BE STREAMED LIVE ONLINE: CAMPAIGNS GAINING MOMENTUM
"Two large Lemmy's please, easy on the ice." Has a nice ring to it, don't you think...

wed fest CHASE THE ACE,StOp,sToP!, BURNING CROWS, TYTAN & WEAPON UK ALL SET FOR WED-FEST 3
It's an action packed line up for the fundraising festival on 2nd April 2016 with all proceeds going to charity...

warren haynes WARREN HAYNES REVEALS LIVE VIDEO FOR 'GOLD DUST WOMAN
The track is taken from Warren Haynes' solo album 'Ashes & Dust'. Gov't Mule will tour the UK and Europe in May 2016...

black stone cherry BLACK STONE CHERRY DETAIL 'KENTUCKY' ALBUM AND REVEAL NEW TRACK 'THE WAY OF THE FUTURE'
"This album is by far the heaviest, most aggressive album we've ever made. We went in focused, but not overly prepared..."

magnum MAGNUM ANNOUNCE NEW STUDIO ALBUM 'SACRED BLOOD "DIVINE" LIES'
Tony Clarkin was inspired to write 25 new songs during and after the recent European tour, the most outstanding 13 of which were selected for this album...

borknagar BORKNAGAR LAUNCH VIDEO FOR 'WINTER THRICE'
"The song and the video features all the 4 vocalists throughout our 20 years of adventure, including Kristoffer Rygg a.k.a. Garm, who was our very first vocalist back in the days..."

anthrax ANTHRAX REVEAL NEW TRACK 'BREATHING LIGHTNING'
The track is taken from the upcoming release 'For All Kings'...

avantasia AVANTASIA RELEASE SNIPPET TRAILER FOR 'GHOSTLIGHTS'
A further five tracks are previewed with just under a month to the official release date...

michael schenker temple of rock MICHAEL SCHENKER'S TEMPLE OF ROCK RELEASE NEW SINGLE TO COINCIDE WITH JANUARY 2016 UK TOUR
The double A-side 'Rock City'/Good Times' is out on January 11th prior to nine UK headline dates...

cambridge rock festival CARL PALMER, FOCUS, HEKZ, PINK FAIRIES, CURVED AIR & PURSON AMONG FIRST BANDS ANNOUNCED FOR CAMBRIDGE ROCK FESTIVAL
The acclaimed festival returns on August 4th-7th 2016 after a year's absence...

voivod VOIVOD ANNOUNCE NEW EP 'POST SOCIETY' 
"We hope you will enjoy this EP of good old thrash-prog-punk-metal or whatever people want to call Voïvod nowadays..."

lemmy LEMMY FUNERAL DETAILS RELEASED: GLOBAL TRIBUTE TO TAKE PLACE ON SATURDAY
"Join us Saturday, January 9th as we say goodbye a dear friend and loved one..."

guns n roses GUNS N' ROSES REUNITE TO PLAY TWO PERFORMANCES AT COACHELLA FESTIVAL
Slash and Duff McKagan rejoin Axl Rose for shows in April 2016, with a possible summer stadium tour...

witchcraft WITCHCRAFT RELEASE NEW SONG 'THEORY OF CONSEQUENCE'
The track is taken from the new album 'Nucleus', released on January 15th...

beholder BEHOLDER PREMIERE NEW MUSIC VIDEO FOR 'FROZEN STEPS OF UTØYA'
The first taste of the album 'Reflections' showcases a strong start to 2016 from the British Progressive Metal band...

burning crows THE BURNING CROWS ANNOUNCE UK AND EIRE TOUR FOR APRIL/MAY
If high energy rock n' roll played hard and with gusto is your thing, come join the carnival of frivolity...

davy olist DAVY O'LIST PLAYS LIVE AT THE BORDERLINE LONDON 23rd JANUARY 2016
Davy O'List returns to his Prog Rock roots with a higly anticipated live show...

space elevator SPACE ELEVATOR PAY TRIBUTE TO PHIL LYNOTT ON NEW SINGLE
All profits from the cover of the classic 'Don't Believe A Word' will go to charity. The single is released on the 30th anniversary of Phil Lynott's death ...

dawk LONG TIME MANOWAR ENGINEER DAWK HAS SADLY PASSED AWAY
His love of life, sense of humor and charismatic ways will always be treasured by his family and truly never forgotten.

lemmy DETAILS EMERGE OF LEMMY'S FINAL HOURS
"That's like a Rocky story to me. This is courage at his best. He was dying. He didn't know it, but his body must have felt it. He had nothing left."

lemmy MIKKEY DEE: "MOTORHEAD IS OVER"
"Lemmy was Motörhead. But the band will live on in the memories of many."

lemmy MOTORHEAD LEGEND LEMMY PASSES AWAY AGED 70
Ian Fraser Kilmister, aka Lemmy, has passed away five days after his 70th birthday....

giants of rock SCHENKER, IAN HUNTER, PROCOL HARUM, WISHBONE ASH, NAZARETH, SNAKECHARMER, GRAHAM BONNET & RUSS BALLARD ALL CONFIRMED FOR GIANTS OF ROCK FESTIVAL
It's a corker of a line up for the third Giants Of Rock in Minehead...

great british rock and blues HAWKWIND, FM, BERNIE TORMÉ, TYGERS OF PAN TANG ALL SET FOR GREAT BRITISH ROCK & BLUES FESTIVAL
Blow away the winter blues with the first festival of 2016...

punk rock holiday FIRST 15 BANDS ANNOUNCED FOR PUNK ROCK HOLIDAY 1.6
The annual festival is breaking all records for the jubilee 6th edition...

sonata arctica SONATA ARCTICA RELEASE CHRISTMAS SINGLE 'CHRISTMAS SPIRITS'
"Christmas is just around the corner so we decided to cheer you all up with a nice Christmas story..."

five finger death punch FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH UNVEIL OFFICIAL VINYL RE-ISSUES OF THE FIRST 3 ALBUMS
'The Way Of The Fist', 'War Is The Answer' and 'American Capitalist' will be re-released in special packaging on February 12th...

monster truck MONSTER TRUCK ANNOUNCE MARCH/APRIL 2016 INTIMATE EUROPEAN TOUR
"After a long year of prepping the new album for release we are overjoyed to be spending a portion of the debut in Europe and the UK..."

monster magnet MONSTER MAGNET REISSUE FOUR CLASSIC ALBUMS
Monster Magnet will perform a special one-off UK show in March focusing on these upgraded albums...

wildfire festival WILDFIRE FESTIVAL 2016 ANNOUNCE OVER 20 MORE BANDS
Scotland's biggest Rock and Metal festival welcomes another raft of the highest quality acts...

thunder THUNDER REVEAL DVD AND 2016 TOUR DETAILS
2016 is the year of 'All You Can Eat' Thunder with an expansive box set and arena dates...

vardis terry horbury TERRY HORBURY FROM VARDIS PASSES AWAY AGED 65
Terry Horbury died after a short illness and will be hugely missed for both his talent and personality...

ramblin man BLACK STONE CHERRY ANNOUNCED AS SUNDAY HEADLINERS FOR RAMBLIN' MAN FAIR
Black Stone Cherry, The Graveltones and Airbourne are among the next batch of acts joining Whitesnake, Uriah Heep and Hawkind for 2016...

scott ian anthrax SCOTT IAN FROM ANTHRAX DISCUSSES WHY THE BAND FELT IT WAS IMPORTANT TO COMPLETE THEIR UK AND EU TOUR AFTER THE RECENT ATTACKS IN PARIS
Watch the video right here...

delta deep DELTA DEEP FEATURING DEF LEPPARD'S PHIL COLLEN ANNOUNCE EXCLUSIVE UK SHOWS ON 20TH & 21ST DECEMBER
Don't miss this chance to see the remarkable quartet...

acdc AC/DC ANNOUNCE 2016 AMERICAN AND EUROPEAN TOUR DATES
The "Rock Or Bust" tour continues its onslaught on the world...

ricky warwick RICKY WARWICK PREMIERES VIDEO FOR 'THE ROAD TO DAMASCUS STREET'
The track is the first to be revealed from his two new solo albums to be released in 2016...

lacuna coil LACUNA COIL REVEAL FIRST DETAILS FOR NEW ALBUM
'Delirium' is being recorded in Milan and will be released in 2016...

off yer rocka OFF YER ROCKA RECORDINGS HITS THE ROAD IN STYLE WITH A SHOWCASE TOUR OF THE UK
Each date will feature three talented bands from the label...

grand slam PHIL LYNOTT'S SONGS TO BE RE-RECORDED IN NEW GRAND SLAM PROJECT FEATURING MARK STANWAY & LAURENCE ARCHER
"This new band will be able to play all of the Grand Slam classic songs to their full potential and will re-record the songs giving them the justice they always deserved..."

babymetal BABYMETAL ANNOUNCE BRAND NEW STUDIO ALBUM FOR 2016 TO BE RELEASED ON APRIL 1st
The album is released the day before Babymetal's biggest ever UK show at Wembley Arena...

treatment THE TREATMENT ANNOUNCE NEW ALBUM 'GENERATION ME'
The album celebrates a raft of spectacular big sounding rock songs bursting with hi-octane rock energy...

korpiklaani moonsorrow KORPIKLAANI ANNOUNCE CO-HEADLINE TOUR WITH MOONSORROW
Get ready for an unforgettable show from two powerhouses of the Finnish Folk Metal scene...

reckless love RECKLESS LOVE ANNOUNCE A EUROPEAN TOUR FOR 2016
Reckless Love will be joined by special guests Santa Cruz for the 25 date outing...

tony iommi IRON MAIDEN ANNOUNCE THREE JULY DATES IN SPAIN
Iron Maiden will play Viveiro, Madrid and Barcelona...

tony iommi 'AN AUDIENCE WITH TONY IOMMI' WILL TAKE PLACE ON SATURDAY 19 MARCH 2016
Tickets for the exclusive Birmingham event go on-sale 11th December...

sabaton SABATON TO RELEASE 'HEROES ON TOUR' LIVE DVD/CD PACKAGE ON MARCH 4TH 2016
Sabaton will also tour the UK in a co-headline slot with Alestorm in the spring...

ramblin man WHITESNAKE TO HEADLINE RAMBLIN' MAN FAIR
The first batch of bands is announced today and in addition to the legendary Whitesnake features Europe, Hawkwind and more...

heart HEART ANNOUNCE RARE UK TOUR
Ann and Nancy Wilson bring Heart to the UK for only the second time in 25 years, including a performance with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra...

dirkschneider DIRKSCHNEIDER ANNOUNCE UK DATES WITH SPECIAL GUESTS ANVIL
The tour closes the chapter on Accept as Udo Dirkschneider performs the songs for the last time...

rodney matthews ionawr IONAWR – AN EXHIBITION OF RODNEY MATTHEWS' ART OPENS IN JANUARY 2016
The spectacular exhibition ecompasses Matthews' artistic career as both a science fiction and fantasy artist ...

purson PURSON ANNOUNCE UK TOUR AND ALBUM RELEASE DATE
The album 'Desire's Magic Theatre' draws inspiration from the rock operas of the late sixties and early seventies...

graham bonnet GRAHAM BONNET ANNOUNCES UK TOUR
The ex-Rainbow frontman headlines sixteen dates including a special homecoming show...

manowar MANOWAR UNVEIL STAGE DESIGNS FOR "GODS AND KINGS WORLD TOUR 2016" PLUS NEW MUSIC VIDEOS
It'll be like the set of an epic movie. Or better yet, for the length of our concert you will be living in ancient Rome, Greece and Valhalla..."

weapon uk WEAPON UK ANNOUNCE TOUR DATES FOR 2016
The eight date headline tour will take place in February and March...

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