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metal talk
26th September 2013

river phoenix

As people around the world get ready to mark the 20th anniversary of River Phoenix's death on 31st October, information about that night and its events, previously only known amongst those who were there, is being shared more publicly.

River's death, aged only 23, sent a massive shockwave across Hollywood and the music industry as he was perceived to be a clean cut, sober, vegan who was capable of living his life in a way that did not endanger his or anyone else's life.

He died on the pavement outside Johnny Depp's nightclub, The Viper Rooms, after attending the club with friends to hear Depp's band, P, who were playing that night.

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River was known to be a pretty decent guitarist, having formed his own band Aleka's Attic some years earlier, so he had planned on joining Depp on stage. It was known at the time that he saw himself more as a musician than an actor.

Shortly after arriving at the club he told his friend Bob Forrest (previously front man of Helonious Monster) that he felt unwell, River then collapsed and was carried outside by his brother Joaquin who also called 911.

Bob went on to say that River had been hanging out with some of the Red Hot Chilli Peppers in the days preceding his death and their constant use of crack cocaine followed by heroin was a well known routine. Bob also stated that it was Flea from RHCP who accompanied River in the ambulance to the ER at Cedar-Sinai Hospital.

River was in the middle of filming Dark Blood, directed by George Sluzier and they had just finished location shooting in Utah. The movie was abandoned after River died but now, due to digital magic Sluzier has managed to finish all the scenes and the final result was premiered at the Berlin Film Festival this spring.

Jonathon Pryce, the skilled character actor (think Colonel Peron in Evita), was also part of Dark Blood and was profoundly shocked by River's death and has since gone on to take on the role of patron at the charity Friendship Works.

The charity provides support through volunteers who become mentors to children who are growing up with significant challenges which may overwhelm and subsume them otherwise. These issues include dealing with addictions amongst other challenges.

Pryce went on to say that River was "absolutely delightful" but he changed when they finished the location shoot and returned to LA. He became less focussed and two days later he was dead.



Wacken Winter Nights 2018 takes place between February 23rd and 25th 2018 and the great news is that you can now experience a full-on, top class German Metal Festival easily and affordably.

It only takes an hour to fly to Hamburg from London and we've had longer journeys than that within the capital and they were certainly more expensive than the £33 air ticket that just appeared in our 'flights to Wacken Winter Nights' search.


Wacken Winter Nights is organised by the same team who are responsible for the world's greatest Metal festival, Wacken-Open-Air and the 2018 bill includes Skyclad, Orphaned Land, Elvenking, Finntroll, Grave Digger, Aeverium, Comes Vagantes, Coppelius, Corvus Corax, Die Pressgëng, Elvellon, Heimataerde, Hell-O-Matic, Ignis Fatuu, Ingrimm, Irdorath, Johnny Deathshadow, Krayenzeit, Letzte Instanz, Mr Hurley und die Pulveraffen, Pampatut, Pat Razket, Schandmaul, Sündenrausch, The Aberlour's, The Moon And The Nightspirit, Torfrock, Visions Of Atlantis, Vroudenspil, Wind Rose and more.

Besides this rich billing of superb Metal bands, there is so much more to see in the festival area including the medieval market and also the walking acts and jugglers you will meet at the theme worlds, including Robert Blake, three-time World Cup winner of street magic.

Wacken Winter Nights is something not to be missed and you can check out the amazing ticket and accommodation prices right here.

We just priced up the whole four day trip with hotels, flights, shuttles and festival tickets for less than £300 and we don't think you will get a better value festival than that, anywhere.


MetalTalk recently sat down with Wacken founder and owner Thomas Jensen and that interview will be online next week and it's a fascinating insight into how Wacken originated from nothing to become the world's premiere Heavy Metal event.


Wacken 2018 takes place from 2nd to 4th August 20218 and as with Wacken Winter Nights, if you have never experienced all it has to offer, then you owe it to yourself to remedy that.

Already announced for Wacken 2018 are Judas Priest, Nightwish, Running Wild (exclusive), Arch Enemy, Dirkschneider, Doro (Special Anniversary Show), In Extremo, Sepultura, Amorphis, Amaranthe, Firewind, W.A.R., Belphegor, Mantar, Knorkator, Deserted Fear, Watain, Night Demon, Epica, Knorkator, Belphegor, Firewind, Deserted Fear and many more and we'll have more Wacken 2018 announcements during December.

As well as being the greatest Heavy Metal festival in the world, it is without a doubt the Mecca of Metal and the one thing that every single person who loves our music should have on their bucket list.

For 2018, MetalTalk have joined forces with Wacken-Open-Air to help you get to Wacken easily and inexpensively and you can peruse the ticket and travel options right here.

If you are interested in going to Wacken 2018 and have questions, please fill out the form below and we will contact you with answers to all your enquiries. You are under no obligation whatsoever by filling this form out. We won't add you to any mailing lists or send you loads of spam - all we will do is help you get to Wacken as easily and inexpensively as possible.



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