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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...

March 2015: Matthew Trippe RIP - The strange case of the man who would be Nikki Sixx
November 2014: Storm Thorgerson (1944-2013) RIP
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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sick of it all SICK OF IT ALL LAUNCH NEW VIDEO FOR 'GET BRONX'
"This video serves to show people across the world that as gritty and unpretentious as hardcore music is, it still translates to the big stage and doesn't need a tiny, intimate atmosphere to work..."

dan reed DAN REED RELEASES NEW ALBUM 'TRANSMISSION' ON 30TH MARCH
Dan will tour the UK in March and April 2015 with Danny Vaughn...

steve hackett STEVE HACKETT LAUNCHES 'THE WHEEL'S TURNING' LYRIC VIDEO
"In contrast to the primal and gothic nature of much of the album, 'The Wheel's Turning' has a fun and nostalgic vibe..."

corbitt WARBEAST'S BRUCE CORBITT ISSUES UPDATE FOLLOWING HIS HEART SCARE
Bruce has been undergoing tests and has an important message to share...

van halen cover VAN HALEN TO RELEASE DEFINITIVE LIVE ALBUM 'TOKYO DOME LIVE IN CONCERT'
Listen to 'Runnin' With The Devil' from this electrifying release...

starz FRONTIERS ANNOUNCE STARZ SIGNING ON EVE OF UK APPEARANCE
American hard rockers Starz will appear live in Europe at the HRH Festival in Wales on March 13th...

enter shikari ENTER SHIKARI ANNOUNCE INTIMATE DOWNLOAD FESTIVAL WARM-UP SHOW
Catch the band at Bristol in June before their slot headlining Download's second stage...

billy idol BILLY IDOL TO RELEASE NEW SINGLE 'SAVE ME NOW'
Idol will tour the UK and Europe in the summer of 2015 ...

bruce corbitt WARBEAST'S BRUCE CORBITT SUFFERS HEART SCARE
Fans of Rigor Mortis and Warbeast were shocked yesterday to read a Facebook update from lead singer Bruce Corbitt...

tony iommi TONY IOMMI, NAPALM DEATH AND LAMB OF GOD APPEAL TO INDONESIAN PRESIDENT FOR BALI NINE DUO CLEMENCY
All artists are hopeful that their words will be persuasive and encourage President Widodo to grant clemency...

serpentyne MEDIEVAL FOLK ROCKERS SERPENTYNE UNLEASH NEW VIDEO FOR 'VALKYRIES'
Over the last few years their live show has become quite the spectacle...

tank TANK REVEAL ALBUM ARTWORK FOR 'VALLEY OF TEARS'
"He's injected so much new energy and inspiration into the band since joining us in 2013..."

tragedy TRAGEDY - THE HEAVY METAL TRIBUTE TO THE BEE GEES AND BEYOND RELEASE UK TOUR DATES AND NEW SINGLE
Tragedy hit the UK for another fun filled tour starting on March 11th...

mike portnoy MIKE PORTNOY IN MEGA "DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM" MOMENT AFTER HAVING TO WAIT AT HOSPITAL
However well intended, the post comes across as though he is expecting to jump the queue due to his "status"...

armored saint ARMORED SAINT TO RELEASE NEW ALBUM THIS SUMMER
"There's everything from classic Armored Saint rocker songs to epic songs and we all dug deep deliver something special..."

david gilmour DAVID GILMOUR ANNOUNCES 2015 SHOWS
The dates will coincide with the release of his as yet untitled fourth solo studio album...

peter gabriel PETER GABRIEL TO RELEASE 'PLAY' DVD ON 18th MAY
This fantastic DVD release features 23 original promotional videos and offers great value for money with a running time of over 2½ hours...

graveltones THE GRAVELTONES WILL RELEASE NEW ALBUM 'LOVE LIES DYING' IN MAY 2015
"Recording this album felt so right, we had the right producer and engineer and the sounds just fell out of us..."

status quo STATUS QUO TO RELEASE TRIUMPHANT FIRST ACOUSTIC GIG 'AQUOSTIC! LIVE AT THE ROUNDHOUSE'
This sensational recording features the new pared-back side of Quo, as revealed on 2014's 'Aquostic! (Stripped Bare)'...

von hertzen VON HERTZEN BROTHERS GET INTO 'TROUBLE' IN NEW VIDEO
"This song is about the chains. The heaviness we carry. The constant struggle we face. It's a song about the enemy we all have inside of us..."

karyn crisis KARYN CRISIS' GOSPEL OF THE WITCHES LAUNCH VIDEO FOR 'THE ALCHEMIST'
The remarkable track is from the upcoming album 'Salem's Wounds'...

iron maiden IRON MAIDEN GIVE BRUCE DICKINSON CANCER UPDATE
Bruce is expected to make a full recovery and Rod expects to be able to provide another update after an MRI scan, probably in late May...

sos festival MORE BANDS ANNOUNCED FOR SOS FESTIVAL
SOS Festival announces more bands, including Triaxis and Furyon who headline the Friday and Sunday respectively...

helloween HELLOWEEN ANNOUNCE NEW ALBUM FOR MAY, 'MY GOD-GIVEN RIGHT'
"We tried to built a world of ideas, keeping the 'classical Helloween' elements, like the pumpkins on the one hand and a complete new look on the other..."

michael schenker album MICHAEL SCHENKER RELEASES VIDEO FOR 'LIVE AND LET LIVE'
'Spirit On A Mission', the explosive and celebratory album of all new material is released on March 23rd...

thunder THUNDER ANNOUNCE 'RESURRECTION DAY' AS A SINGLE RELEASE
The new single from 'Wonder Days' celebrates the recovery of guitarist Ben Matthews after serious illness...

joe strummer movie NEW GUESTS ANNOUNCED FOR THE GIG AND LONDON PREMIERE OF 'JOE STRUMMER ON THE RUN'
The film premieres at Koko on 25th March with more special guests including Norman Watt-Roy announced today...

space elevator Y&T ANNOUNCE EUROPEAN TOUR DATES FOR 2015
Still rocking on and as ready as ever, Y&T return to Europe this autumn, with special festival dates in July...

space elevator SPACE ELEVATOR ANNOUNCE SPRING TOUR
Following their strong live debut last year, the band return for a select handful of dates...

the night flight orchestra THE NIGHT FLIGHT ORCHESTRA ANNOUNCE NEW ALBUM RELEASE
'Skyline Whispers', the latest from the Swedish rockers, lands in June...

femme metal FEMME METAL FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES FULL LINE UP
Lacuna Coil and Therion wil headline the international line-up for the October event in Eindhoven...

dimebag darrell DIMEBAG DARRELL'S GRAVE DESECRATED BY FORMER NUCLEAR HELLFROST VOCALIST REECE EBER
Inevitably, Nuclear Hellfrost's social media pages were bombarded by understandably angry and outraged Pantera fans...

iron maiden NICKO McBRAIN GIVES IRON MAIDEN UPDATE - NEW ALBUM IS READY BUT ON HOLD
"Bruce is in great hands back home in England, not only with his family, but his oncologists and all the people that are working with him..."

battle beast FOUNDING MEMBER ANTON KABANEN FORCED OUT OF BATTLE BEAST
"I did not want to leave. The initiative came from the rest of the band, and I am now forced to leave..."

jethro tull IAN ANDERSON CELEBRATES JETHRO TULL WITH NEW SHOW - UK DATES ANNOUNCED
Ian Anderson has announced six dates of a 2015 UK tour, titled 'Jethro Tull - The Rock Opera'...

fm FM PREMIERE 'DIGGIN' UP THE DIRT' VIDEO
Check out the new single from 'Heroes and Villains' right here. FM will be touring the UK in May with Romeos Daughter as special guests...

ian paice IAN PAICE'S SUNFLOWER SUPERJAM - LIVE AT THE ROYAL ALBERT HALL 2012' IS RELEASED ON MARCH 2nd
This spectacular live document is a feast for the eyes and ears...

hrh 9 UFO AND MORE ACTS CONFIRMED FOR HARD ROCK HELL 9
UFO, Toseland, The Screaming Eagles and Trucker Diablo are just some of the acts in today's announcement, joining Saxon this November in Wales...

hackett stolt STEVE HACKETT REVEALS NEW BASS/12 STRING PLAYER FOR UPCOMING TOURO
Multi-talented guitarist Roine Stolt joins the line-up. "It's marvellous to have both Swedish talents Roine Stolt and Nad Sylvan as part of the band for these Hackett solo/Genesis Revisited shows..."

hammerfall HAMMERFALL ANNOUNCE ONE OFF LONDON SHOW IN MAY
"We're pulling out all the stops to make this a triumphant return to British shores and this time there will be no restrictions on lights, sound or production..."

krokus KROKUS ANNOUNCE FIRST US TOUR IN OVER 25 YEARS
Following the Monsters Of Rock cruise the tour continues through several US cities, ending at the legendary Whisky A Go Go in Los Angeles...

wildfire festival WILDFIRE FESTIVAL 2015 ANNOUNCES SUNDAY NIGHT SPECIAL GUESTS, ACOUSTIC LOUNGE AND MORE
For 2015 the Acoustic Lounge is back, bigger and better than ever....

the darkness BREAKING NEWS: THE DARKNESS ANNOUNCE NEW ALBUM AND UNVEIL NEW VIDEO - WATCH IT HERE
Summer 2015 sees the return of multi-award winning music band The Darkness....

jim cregan JIM CREGAN POSTPONES MARCH CREGAN & CO TOUR FOLLOWING CANCER NEWS
Soon I'll start treatment which I'm hopeful will lead to a full recovery and I'll be back doing what I enjoy most, performing with this great band in May and on tour in October..."

hang the bastard HANG THE BASTARD ANNOUNCE TOUR DATES WITH CORROSION OF CONFORMITY & UK HEADLINE DATES
"It's gonna be heavy and it's gonna be loud!!! Bang your heads, we are coming for you!..."

aaron keylock 17 YEAR OLD GUITAR HERO AARON KEYLOCK SIGNS TO MASCOT LABEL GROUP
One of the most exciting and brightest young talents in the UK, Aaron is a mesmerising live performer with over 200 shows to his name...

danko jones DANKO JONES RETURN TO LONDON ON MARCH 18th
The band bring their own brand of bare-bones hard rock that fits well into the paths paved by such bands as Motörhead, and The Ramones...

bruce dickinson BREAKING NEWS: IRON MAIDEN SINGER BRUCE DICKINSON UNDERGOES CANCER TREATMENT
Sometimes a news item breaks that shakes you to your foundations...

rock goddess ROCK GODDESS ANNOUNCE FIRST LONDON DATE IN OVER THIRTY YEARS
The waiting is over. The reformed South London hard rock trio have announced details of their first London concert in over 30 years...

nigel glockler BREAKING NEWS: SAXON DRUMMER NIGEL GLOCKLER PRONOUNCED 100% RECOVERED WITH ZERO DAMAGE
"This means that I am okay to get back to work, but I am told to ease back into it and on my own timeframe..."

scorpions SCORPIONS STREAMING PREVIEW OF EVERY TRACK FROM 'RETURN TO FOREVER', PLUS NEW VIDEO RIGHT HERE
The new Scorpions album, 'Return To Forever' is just days away from its European release now...

carl palmer CARL PALMER'S ELP LEGACY, MARTIN TURNER PLAYS THE MUSIC OF WISHBONE ASH AND THE STRAWBS ON SUPER TOUR 2015
Carl Palmer is a drummer's drummer. A consummate professional, a brilliant technician and a dynamic showman...

geilo MetalTalk COLUMNIST ROGER FAUSKE HEADS OFF ON A TREK ACROSS FROZEN NORWAY
Our heroic voyager will travel over 100km on skis raising money for three worthy charities...

quireboys THE QUIREBOYS RELEASE NEW ALBUM 'ST CECILIA AND THE GYPSY SOUL' ON 30TH MARCH 2015
The album will be part of a luxurious 4CD set, which includes 'Halfpenny Dancer' in the package...

rick springfield RICK SPRINGFIELD TO RELEASE NEW CD/DVD 'STRIPPED DOWN' ON 9th MARCH 2015
"Now, if you can't make it to one of my 2015 Stripped Down dates live, you can enjoy it in the comfort of your own living room...naked, if you want..."

turbowolf TURBOWOLF RELEASE BLISTERING NEW SINGLE 'NINE LIVES'
"Nine Lives is a song about making the most of our limited time; about living with no regrets; about changing our attitudes towards death and about life..."

arch enemy ARCH ENEMY ANNOUNCE NEW LIVE DATES FOR 2015
European fans will see Arch Enemy again in late April. The band are coming back with support from US Metal force Unearth and Drone from Germany...

toto TOTO DEBUT NEW SINGLE 'HOLY WAR'
Toto have announced a March 20th release date for their new studio album 'Toto XIV' in Europe...

motley crue EXCLUSIVE: MOTLEY CRUE PAY TRIBUTE TO GARY GLITTER ON THE FINAL TOUR
Debauched rockers Motley Crue are currently in Japan performing their last Asian dates on their much publicised Final Tour...

music for nations LEGENDARY HEAVY METAL LABEL MUSIC FOR NATIONS IS BACK
As well as reissues, the label will be signing new artists for the first time in over a decade...

satyricon SATYRICON SIGNS WITH NAPALM RECORDS FOR RELEASE OF SPECTACULAR LIVE DVD
"It's not a live album. It's a celebration of what Satyricon stands for as a band..."

absolva ABSOLVA RELEASE NEW VIDEO FOR 'IN SOME WILD UNIVERSE' PLUS TOUR UPDATE
This video features the touring line-up of the band for 2015...

tytan TYTAN AND FRIENDS TO PLAY AT THE WEDFEST
Joining them will also be Midnight Messiah plus the promising young rocking sounds of Bad Touch, Knock Out Kaine and Piston...

rival sons RIVAL SONS WITHDRAW FROM SOUNDWAVE 2015
Australia will have to wait a little longer to see Rival Sons in the flesh as family matters take priority...

the answer HARDCORE SUPERSTAR WILL RELEASE NEW ALBUM 'HCSS' ON 20TH APRIL 2015
"This is nothing less than Hardcore Superstar coming full circle by showing our fans where we come from and what we still believe in..."

the answer THE ANSWER RELEASE BRAND NEW LYRIC VIDEO FOR TRACK 'LONG LIVE THE RENEGADES'
"The song is about just doing what you do best and having a bit of a bunker mentality..."

dead kennedys DEAD KENNEDYS ANNOUNCE UK AND EUROPE HEADLINE TOUR FOR JUNE 2015
US punk pioneers will bring their distincitve sound to four countries over ten dates...

carl sentance BREAKING NEWS: CARL SENTANCE ANNOUNCED AS NEW VOCALIST FOR NAZARETH
Persian Risk vocalist Carl Sentance replaces Linton Osbourne to start the next chapter for the Scottish hard rockers...

rockingham firefest BREAKING NEWS: ROCKINGHAM RELIGHTS THE FIREFEST; GOTTHARD, DAN REED, STAN BUSH AND MORE ANNOUNCED
The AOR flag will be raised high yet again over Nottingham Rock City...

sven dirkschneider U.D.O. ANNOUNCE DIRKSCHNEIDER'S SON AS NEW DRUMMER
"His style of playing drums is fresh and really grooves heavily. It simply is exactly what we need for U.D.O..."

pentagram PENTAGRAM RE-SIGNS WITH PEACEVILLE RECORDS - ALBUM RECORDING UNDERWAY
Through four decades of adversity and triumph, Pentagram have become a legendary international act...

uriah heep URIAH HEEP 2015 UK TOUR ANNOUNCED
This tour follows on from the release of the band's acclaimed album 'Outsider' which enjoyed excellent reviews...

godsmack GODSMACK VOCALIST SULLY ERNA TO MAKE AN ONLINE POKER COMEBACK
For Godsmack fans this could be disheartening as Erna shifts his attention from music to poker...

heidevolk HEIDEVOLK LAUNCH VIDEO FOR NEW TRACK 'WINTER WOEDE'; NEW ALBUM ON THE WAY
The album and video mark the debut of the band's newest members, Kevin Vruchtbaert on guitar and Lars Vogel on vocals...

quo convention FIRST EVER STATUS QUO FAN CLUB CONVENTION ANNOUNCED
There will be live music, very special guests and a packed programme this October for this very special celebration...

queensryche THUNDER CONFIRMED AS VERY SPECIAL GUESTS TO ZZ TOP AT WEMBLEY ARENA PLUS MINI UK TOUR ANNOUNCED
The group's first studio album in six years, 'Wonder Days', reminds us why Thunder are now more revered than ever before...

queensryche QUEENSRŸCHE TO TOUR EUROPE AND RELEASE NEW ALBUM IN 2015
It's a busy year for Queensrÿche with headline shows and festival appearances before the new album release...

dir en grey dir en grey RETURN FOR TWO EXCLUSIVE SHOWS
The Islington O2 Academy will be the scene for Japanese avant-garde Metal in May...

unleashed SWEDISH LEGENDS UNLEASHED REVEAL ALBUM TITLE AND ARTWORK
The founders of the Viking Death Metal movement are back and as brutal as ever...

status quo BREAKING NEWS: STATUS QUO ANNOUNCE 'AQUOSTIC' ROYAL ALBERT HALL GIG IN APRIL
This is the show that wowed the listeners of BBC Radio 2, plus those lucky enough to be in the intimate surroundings of Roundhouse in October...

monument MONUMENT ANNOUNCE UK TOUR
You want great British Metal? You've got it with Monument's headline tour this Spring...

santa cruz SANTA CRUZ REVEAL LYRIC VIDEO FOR 'MY REMEDY'
Get a taste of the new album with 'My Remedy', the third single to be released...

Shattered sun LEGENDARY BRITISH MELODIC ROCKERS FM RETURN WITH 'HEROES & VILLAINS' ON APRIL 17TH
"We're on a roll! Some of the tracks on this album are better than anything that the band has ever produced, and Steve's voice is as good as ever..."

nightwish NIGHTWISH ANNOUNCE ONLY UK DATE THIS YEAR WITH ARCH ENEMY SUPPORTING
"Who would have thought about headlining at Wembley Arena one day when we were starting our UK touring history..."

quireboys THE QUIREBOYS GO UNPLUGGED AND PERSONAL: ACOUSTIC DATES ANNOUNCED
After last year's highly acclaimed unplugged tour, The Quireboys are pleased to announce a very intimate string of evenings early 2015...

killit KILLIT UNLEASH DEBUT VIDEO AND ANNOUNCE FIRST EVER LIVE SHOW
'Shut It Down' is the first single from the album and is out now and available...

state villains STATE VILLAINS TO RELEASE SECOND EP IN SPRING
State Villains have an honesty that harkens back to an era of integrity and a distinct lack of gimmicks...

chris slade BREAKING NEWS: CHRIS SLADE IS BACK IN AC/DC
Chris will rejoin the legendary hard rockers for their appearance at the 57th annual Grammy Awards as well as the band's upcoming tour...

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