metal talk
metal talk
  CHRIS DALE'S METAL MELTDOWN
SCREAM FOR ME SARAJEVO PART 2
A Mission To Play Heavy Metal In The Bosnian War, December 1994
2nd July 2012


chris dale



Re-Cap: In Part 1 of this feature I was telling the rambling tale of the time I went to Bosnia with the Bruce Dickinson band during the Siege of Sarajevo. In Part 2 we pick up at dawn just outside the besieged city...

Click here for Part 1...

sarajevo
Major Morris and our Serious Road Trip Truck on the outskirts of Sarajevo

Daylight revealed that many of the buildings we'd passed had been riddled with shell and bullet holes. We were now among a small grouping of partially demolished houses at a Bosnian Army checkpoint. Soldiers and civilians shuffled around in the mud looking exhausted. There had been fighting here last night.

This is where we were being met by the UN.

While we waited, Bruce signed a photo for some Bosnian soldiers and him, Roland and Bob shared the last of the vodka from the truck with them and some locals in an old cabin.

The Bosnian soldiers were mostly scruffily dressed in khaki green, wrapped up against the cold as a mild snow had settled here overnight. One of them, a teenager with a Kalashnikov, sniffed at our half emptied case of beer.

"Piva!" he shouted and his eyes lit up. I shook my head at him (trying to follow the earlier advice of not to speak) and looked the other way. Luckily he shrugged and sauntered off. I wasn't going to argue with an armed child for half a case of beer. It was his if he'd insisted.

sarajevo
Loading the Armoured Personnel Carrier at the second Bosnian Army Checkpoint

Meanwhile we'd been met by Major Martin Morris (who'd organised this whole event) and a pair of UN armoured personnel carriers. An armoured personnel carrier, or APC, is a bit like a tank but without a turret and with a bit of seating room inside.

An NBC television crew turned up to record our arrival but caused instant offence to the Bosnian army by filming at the checkpoint.

We were told that taking photographs in a war zone was not a good idea, especially if any of the subjects could be identifiable military targets. As you can see from this feature, we didn't take that advice particularly seriously at the time.

Andy and Bob got our guitars, drums and amps in one APC and we mostly squeezed in the back of the other for the journey into Sarajevo itself. This was quite exciting. Bruce was right. We were going in a tank after all!

Sponder had borrowed a Kevlar helmet and was looking out of the open top of the APC. I had a peak too but a soldier inside called me to sit down.

sarajevo
A view out the top of our APC with a Danish armoured car escorting us

"I wouldn't poke my head out there without a helmet if I were you" he said earnestly. "They (the Serbs) sometimes snipe around here. They're watching us all the time. Never forget that."

I instantly lost all interest in looking outside, not least because the view of rows of burnt vehicles and shelled out houses with civilians huddled over open fires in them did nothing to cheer me up. I chatted to the British soldier instead.

"I read in the papers," I started curiously, "that the British army has killed 16 Croatian soldiers and 32 Serbs out here".

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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
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CLICK HERE FOR MORE ON 'BALLS TO PICASSO'balls to picasso

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

He laughed "Yeah, and the rest. Those will probably be the reported ones. The thing is when we get fired on we have to identify a target before firing back according to the rulebook. Then when we've disabled the target we have to go up into the hills to confirm it before reporting the incident."

"Personally, after emptying a magazine into a hillside the last thing I want to do is check up there to see how the guy on the receiving end is getting on, let alone his mates."

That wasn't quite what the Telegraph had reported. I asked him generally how it was going keeping three sides apart.

"Three? No, there's four warring parties here with us trying to calm it down in the middle. The Serbs, Bosnians, Croats and the French."

He's got muddled up, I thought, "But aren't the French part of the UN peacekeeping force?"

"You tell them that," was his answer. "Everyone else is held back by all this UN red tape but the French are on the offensive. They're not messing about here. They took the airport by storm."

It was through the airport area that we travelled, one small link between Bosnian and UN (or in this case French) territory that the Serbs did not command.

I know the French got a lot of international criticism for not taking part in the more recent Iraq war but there's little doubting when they do go into action they play to win.

Another soldier I later met told me that at one point in the Yugoslav Wars, the Serbs had kidnapped a few French troops to hold for ransom or to use as human shields.

Rather than negotiate, the French immediately armed and scrambled a helicopter squadron from France without waiting for UN approval. They were already en route when the Serbs wisely released their prisoners. That wasn't in the papers either.

And besides, the French were going to prove very useful to us later in the story. Anyway, I'm getting ahead of myself here...

sarajevo
A typical house on the outskirts of Sarajevo

We went in our APC to a UN base in the city centre for a welcome breakfast of... bread and butter with some black coffee. Nothing else. Everything was in short supply and even the UN were on strict rations here.

But we didn't care about the lack of variety, we were hungry, it was lovely and we stuffed ourselves. Then we were straight off to the venue to unload the gear for the gig, while Bruce and Roland went off to do press with Reuters, NBC and a local radio station (Wall Radio, I think they were called).

I've seen a lot of load-ins in my time but this was the only one I'd seen from an armoured personnel carrier, so me and Alex Dickson stood around in the street to watch in interest as the tracked beast reversed up to the loading doors.

There was a British soldier fully armed and in kevlar armour watching with us. He was a friendly type and pointed out some local sights of curiosity.

"See that horizontal brown line up on the hillside over there?" he gestured up into the distance, "with that white, blue and red flag flying?"

"Oh yeah," we'd spotted it.

"That's the Serbian frontline trenches. They're always watching. They're watching us now. They sometimes snipe down into this street. If I were you..." We didn't hear the end of his sentence. We were already inside.

The whole city lived under this state of siege, with the ill-equipped Bosnian army inside defending its half demolished capital and the stronger Serbian army surrounding, sometimes letting vehicles and supplies in, sometimes not. Sometimes they sniped at Bosnian civilians queuing for food or water, sometimes they fired an artillery shell or two into town. Some days were better than others, and some days were worse.

This had gone on for years. The siege officially lasted from April 1992-Feburary 1996. We played there in December 1994. It was the longest siege in modern military history, three times longer than Stalingrad.

In 2003 the prosecution at the trial of the Serbian Major-General Stanislav Galic described the Siege of Sarajevo as "an episode of such notoriety... that one must go back to World War II to find a parallel in European history."

"Not since then had a professional army conducted a campaign of unrelenting violence against the inhabitants of a European city so as to reduce them to a state of medieval deprivation in which they were in constant fear of death... There was nowhere safe for a Sarajevan, not at home, at school (nor) in a hospital from deliberate attack."

But inside the venue and seemingly away from the war outside, the gig was a normal mid-size theatre venue. The Bosnian Culture Centre it was called.

There was a sound system (of sorts), a good size stage and some lights. Three lights. More might be coming later they said. Not all of it was in working order but nothing worse than you see on an average peacetime day in Spain.

"Nema problema", the locals said. They worryingly said that everytime a situation looked unwise or dangerous.

Our crew of Jed, Andy and Bob worked hard to make it functional. Some stuff needed fixing. Some could have done with replacing but with a siege on recently the locals had had other things on their minds and besides they hadn't been able to get new parts for a while.

During the afternoon a few of the owners of some parts of the PA system tried to re-negotiate for more money than they'd previously agreed. This was all being done in good old reliable German Marks, the only currency worth anything out there. At one point it looked like the show might be off. But Major Morris, Bruce and Roland argued with the owners, promises were made and the show was back on.

We were later told that this was standard practice here and was how business on all levels was done, from haggling over food in the marketplace to negotiating a truce between the warring parties. First you make an agreement, then you change your mind and demand more.

It turned out that the PA, lights and other production costs were to be made at the bar that night and nobody was getting paid until a bar profit was made.

The problem being that there was no beer. Everything now relied on a promise of a last minute delivery by Danish UN troops trying to get through Serb lines.

In the meantime (and blissfully unaware that anything was wrong) we went ahead and soundchecked. It was loud and heavy. The system wasn't brilliant but this was going to be a great gig after all!

If the Danes got through...

After soundcheck I went backstage to relax, have a nibble and change my bass strings. Yum, there were chicken nuggets! I tucked in. One of the guys from one of the local support bands looked over.

"Can I have one?" he pointed at the nuggets.

"Yeah, sure" I said. He ate slowly, looking at it and savouring the flavour. Then he told me he hadn't seen chicken for two years.

They had eaten almost all the poultry in the city soon after the siege had started. This must be frozen UN supplies brought to the venue especially for us. He eyed up the spam pizza...

"Help yourself." I offered him my old bass strings, I'd only done a couple of gigs on them, they were still quite fresh if he wanted them. He was keen to have them.

Then, I realised if they hadn't had much chicken for two years they probably hadn't had any bass strings at all in town. One of the ironies of the music industry is that if your band is doing well and making money you get given free strings, but if your band is skint you have to pay for them.

If you're under siege you can't even pay for them. I gave him all the strings I had in my case, telling him to give them to other bands too. Both Alex's did the same with their drum sticks and guitar strings.

He asked if I had any drugs. Cocaine or heroin maybe?

"No" I said "Drugs are bad, m'kay?" (except South Park hadn't been invented then, so I probably said something equally patronising).

He told me heroin wouldn't shorten his life expectancy. He was conscripted into the Bosnian army defending the city. Both the support bands were.

"I do three days at the frontline, then two days rehearsing with the band, then three days at the front again. When I first joined the army all my friends got killed, so I got promoted."

"Now I watch and shoot while the younger soldiers push forward and then they get killed. I shot an old woman once. I just saw something move in the hedge and shot it. I saw her fall. Then I had a nervous breakdown and spent a while in the hospital."

"But I'm back at the front now. I will get killed one day. Do you think heroin would harm me?"

He was in real life, very real life. Live every day like its your last, people say. This guy was doing that because, quite literally, he might die later this week. I was a tourist eating processed chicken here, flying home soon. He wasn't leaving.

He fought and he played guitar. Nothing else. I arsed around a lot and played guitar a little bit. It suddenly seemed quite trivial what I did.

Meanwhile the Danes had made it through with the beer delivery. Gud bevare Danmark! The bar was stocked and the doors could open.

Support bands, Sikter and Allmanah did their shows. They were both good and they rocked like their lives depended on it. The audience loved them and they bathed in the spotlight.

sarajevo
Poster for the show

Then we did our gig. Unlike many 'for the troops' gigs in war zones, we were playing 'for the people'. This is what Major Morris had planned - the people of Sarajevo got a night out at a Heavy Metal gig in the middle of their personal hell.

There were also some UN soldiers there and some Bosnian army soldiers too. They deserved a night off as much as anyone.

We were the only foreign rock band to play in Sarajevo during the siege. Joan Baez was the only other foreign artist to perform there in the four years.

We played pretty much the set you hear on the Bruce Dickinson 'Alive In Studio A' album. The audience didn't know the songs (if they couldn't get chicken or bass strings, they probably couldn't get the latest Heavy Metal releases either). But we could have done anything up there and we would have got the same reaction.

sarajevo
Scream for me Sarajevo!

"Scream for me Sarajevo!" called Bruce, and they screamed for him. They screamed in a hysterical Beatles style all the way through. It was a release for them. It didn't matter what we did, they just screamed.

Major Morris played air guitar off to the side of stage. I didn't realise army majors did that kind of thing but apparently they do.

sarajevo
Alex Dickson shredding for the kids

The show finished quite early. There was a very strict 10.00pm curfew all over town enforced by the Bosnian military police.

After the show we had a quick few drinks with the locals and some UN soldiers. I got chatting with another British squaddie. He had a lot of respect for us.

"We never thought you lot would come out here in the first place then after this afternoon, we thought you'd be straight out!" he was laughing to himself, over what seemed to be a very private joke.

"Why, what happened this afternoon?" I asked, my innocence getting me further into trouble each time I opened my mouth.

"You know, when they shelled this place earlier?" he said, amused.

"No?" I said. He told me that the Serbs had fired two mortar rounds at the front of the venue this afternoon. They didn't want to kill us as that wouldn't look good on them (not just the bad international press but they probably had a fair few Maiden fans in their own army too). They just wanted to scare us off. They simply didn't want the people of Sarajevo to have a night of rock.

We'd honestly missed the shellfire. Our soundcheck was very loud after all. We have our soundman, Jed to thank for that.

Later we went back to the relative safety of the UN base in town. We'd been given a couple of dormitories in what may have been a former school or large office building. The windows were sandbagged halfway up, the rest was covered in black plastic.

"It stops snipers watching you" we were reassuringly told. Even so there was a dated bullet hole next to my bunk.

sarajevo
The bullet hole in the wall next to my bed

Our next problem was a logistical one. We had a couple of bottles of reasonable red wine from the gig but we had no glasses or cups at all. We're stuck in a school dormitory, on a UN base, after quite a full-on day, with the vino just looking at us. Who would have a bottle opener and wine glasses here?

I knew... the French!

As sure as they'd brought armour piercing rounds, they'd have brought wine glasses. Me and Sponder were off on a mission to find the French Officers' Mess.

Along the way we found more reassurance in the form of posters like this one about spotting different types of landmines.

sarajevo
Posters in the UN Base at Sarajevo

After getting lost a couple of times we eventually knocked on the French Officer's Mess door.

"Entrez", I heard from inside.

We stepped in I and introduced myself in my best schoolboy French, "Bonsoir, nous sommes les musiciens qui avez jouons dans la..." I knew it was all sounding wrong in my head.

"Yes, we know 'oo you are" said the nearest officer in heavily accented English while lounging back in his chair with a cigarette.

There were about half a dozen of them all in combats, eyeing us with suspicion.

"We were wondering if we could borrow eight wine glasses, si'l vous plâit? And a bottle opener?" He almost grinned for a second but thought better of it and merely raised an eyebrow instead and got up to fetch them from a cupboard opposite him.

"We'll bring them back," I said.

"No, we will get 'zem from you," he said helpfully but quite firmly. He looked a bit like Clouseau too.

"We're in the next block, if you go up the stairs by the..." I offered.

"We know whe' you are," he said closing the door behind us in the same helpful but firm manner.

Where would we have been without the French? Vive la France! We drank and were merry, then settled down to sleep. Job done!

sarajevo
Sponder asleep next to the sandbagged window

Tomorrow was a relaxing day off in Sarajevo, then hometime the day after. This wasn't so bad after all, was it?

I laid back in my bunk still dressed (it was freezing cold), pulled the blanket over me and closed my eyes. As I drifted in and out of sleep, punctuated by distant gunfire, I wondered what there was to do on a day off here. As with everything else in a war zone, I found it was done very differently from anywhere else I'd been before...

Thanks to Roland Hyams, Alex Dickson, Alex Sponder Elena, Kasper Bjørn Jensen and Mirza Coric for filling in some gaps in my knowledge on this gig. The photo of the concert poster is courtesy of Mirza too.

Click here for Part 1...
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



Jasenko Pasic at Radio Sarajevo very kindly translated the article into Bosnian and here it is...

Click here for the Bosnian translation...

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, čiji drugi dio pročitajte u nastavku:

Dnevno svjetlo je obasjalo zgrade, potpuno izbušene od granata i metaka. Nalazili smo se pored uništenih kuća u dijelu kojeg je kontrolisala bosanska armija. Vidjeli smo blatnjave i iscrpljene vojnike i civile, a moglo se primijetiti kako su se tu, noć prije vodile borbe.

Upravo tu smo se sastali sa vojnicima UN-a.

Dok smo ih čekali, Bruce se potpisao na sliku jednom bosanskom vojniku, a Roland i Bob su ono malo preostale vodke podijelili sa njima.

Bosanski vojnici su uglavnom bili obučeni u maskirne vojne uniforme, umotani da bi se zaštitili od hladnoće, dok je snijeg blago napadao preko noći. Jedan od njih, tinejđer sa kalašnjikovom, primijetio je da smo imali polupraznu gajbu pive.

„Piva!“ uzbuđeno je viknuo. Klimnuo sam mu glavom (prisjećajući se savjeta kojeg su mi dali, da ne ulazim u priču ni s kim) i okrenuo sam se na drugu stranu. Srećom, slegnuo je ramenima i odšetao dalje. Nije mi uopće bilo do rasprave sa naoružanim klincem oko pola gajbe piva. Svakako ih je uzeo.

U međuvremenu smo se sastali sa majorom Martinom Morrisom (koji je organizator cijelog puta). Tu su bili i dvoja oklopnih kola za prijevoz osoblja (APC), koja su ustvari mnogo slični tenku, samo bez cijevi, a unutar su imali malu prostoriju za sjedenje.

Ekipa sa NBC televizije je bila angažovana da zabilježi naš dolazak, ali su stvorili zbrku među bosanskim vojnicima zbog snimanja na tom dijelu teritorija.

Rečeno nam je da fotografisanje u ratnoj zoni nije baš pametno, posebno ako bi se prepoznalo kao vojna meta. Kao što se da primijetiti, upozorenja nismo baš ozbiljno shvatili u tom momentu.

Andy i Bob su stavili naše gitare, bubnjeve i pojačala u jedan APC, a mi smo onako stisnuti u drugom vozilu krenuli za Sarajevo. Bilo je prilično uzbudljivo. Bruce je ipak bio u pravu, stvarno smo se vozili u tenku.

Sponder je posudio kacigu i provukao se kroz otvor na vozilu. Ja sam također provirio, ali me jedan od vojnika upozorio da se vratim unutra.

"Ja ne bih virio kroz otvor bez kacige, da sam na tvom mjestu“ rekao je. „Oni (srbi) često ovuda pucaju snajperom. Imaju nas na nišanu uvijek, ne zaboravi to.“

Momentalno sam izgubio volju da gledam napolje, ako ne zbog toga onda zbog prizora izgorenih vozila i srušenih kuća. Popričao sam sa jednim od britanskih vojnika.

„ Čitao sam u novinama, da su britanski vojnici ovdje ubili 16 hrvatskih i 32 srpska vojnika? Nasmijao se...“a ostatak?“ To je vjerovatno onaj broj koji se navodi u izvještaju. Stvar je u tome, da kada se na nas puca, moramo identificirati metu, prije nego uzvratimo paljbu...takva su pravila. Onda, nakon što smo onesposobili neprijatelja, moramo da se popnemo na brdo da potvrdimo broj žrtava, prije nego napravimo izvještaj.“

„Osobno, nakon što sam ispraznio šaržer pucajući u brdo, posljednja stvar koju želim da uradim je da provjerim kako se drže ljudi u koje smo upravo pucali...“

To baš i nije onako kako Telegraphov izvještaj govori. Pitao sam ga kako je držati tri strane razdvojene?

„Tri? Ne, ovdje su četiri zaraćene strane, sa nama u sredini koji ih pokušavamo održati nezaraćenima. Srbi, Bošnjaci, Hrvati i Francuzi.“

Zbunjeno ga pogledah...“pa zar francuzi nisu dio UN-ovih mirovnih snaga?“

„Probaj to reći njima“ ...to je bio njegov odgovor.

„Svi ostali se drže podalje od ove UN-ove crvene trake, ali su samo Francuzi ti koji to ne poštuju. Nije šala...a i zauzeli su aerodrom.“

Prelazili smo preko aerodroma, koji je ustvari bio jedina veza bosanske armije i UN-a (u ovom slučaju pod kontrolom francuza).

Znam da su Francuzi mnogo kritikovani zbog toga što nisu htjeli učestvovati u iračkom ratu (1991), ali kad krenu u rat, oni idu na pobjedu. Jedan od vojnika mi je rekao da su Srbi u jednom trenutku kidnapovali nekoliko Francuza i zadržali su ih radi razmjene ili da ih iskoriste kao živi zid.

Kako nisu hjeli pregovarati, Francuzi su se momentalno naoružali, i helikopterom došli u Bosnu bez da su sačekali odobrenje UN-a. Već su bili na putu, kada su srbi mudro pustili zarobljenike. Ni o tome nije pisalo u novinama. Uostalom, Francuzi će se kasnije pokazati nama veoma korisnim.

Doručak u gradu

Krenuli smo na doručak našim oklopnjakom prema UN-ovoj bazi u centru grada (Skenderija) na doručak...hljeb i puter sa malo crne kafe. Ničeg više. Svi su se nalazili u oskudici, čak je i UN bio ograničen u količini namirnica.

Ali to nama nije bilo bitno, jer iako smo ostali gladni bili smo zadovoljni. Krenuli smo istovariti instrumente, dok su Bruce i Roland otišli na koferenciju za novinare sa Reutersom, NBC-om i jednom lokalnom radio stanicom (Radio Zid čini mi se).

Dok smo stajali u ulici, Alex Dickson i ja se nismo mogli načuditi ogromnom oklopnom vozilu na gusjenicama koji se spremalo za utovar. Sa nama je bio jedan naoružani britanski vojnik, u kevlarskom panciru, koji je bio prijateljski raspoložen i pokazao nam je neke lokalne znamenitosti.

„Vidite li onu smeđu horizontalnu liniju na onom brdu i one bijele i crvene zastave?“

„Da, vidimo...“

„To su srpski granični rovovi ili linija. Upravo u nas gledaju. Ponekad pucaju snajperom po ovoj ulici. Da sam na vašem mjestu... „ nismo ni čuli ostatak rečenice, već smo pobjegli unutra.

Cijeli grad je živio pod opsadom, sa loše opremljenom vojskom, braneći polu uništen grad naspram mnogo jače srpske vojske koji su samo ponekad puštali da pomoć uđe u grad. Ponekad su pucali iz snajpera po ljudima, a ponekad gađali granatama. Bilo je loših dana, a bilo je i još gorih.

Rat trajao godinama, od aprila 1992. do februara 1996. a mi smo svirali u decembru 1994. godine. Bila je to najduža opsada jednog grada u modernoj historiji, tri puta duža nego ona Staljingrada.

2003. godine, tužiteljstvo u Hagu je opsadu okarakterisalo tako da se jedino može usporediti sa nekim događajima iz drugog svjetskog rata.

„ Još od tada se nije desilo da profesionalna vojska sprovede kampanju nemilosrdnog nasilja nad stanovnicima jednog evropskog grada, o kojem su oni živjeli u stalnom strahu od smrti. Nigdje nisu bili sigurni, ni u kući, ni školi, a ni u bolnici.“

Ali unutra, činilo se tako daleko u odnosu na rat koji se vodio napolju,, a svirka se trebala desiti u teartu prosječne srednje veličine. Teatar se zvao Bosanski Kulturni Centar.

Opremljeno je kakvim takvim ozvučenjem, bina je pristojne veličine, a postojala su samo tri svjetla. Rekli su nam da će ostatak osvjetljenja doci kasnije. Nije baš sve funkcionisalo, ali nije ni bilo ništa neobično, barem ništa što ne možeš vidjet jednog mirnog popodneva negdje u Španiji.

„Nema problema!“ rekao je jedan od mještana, govoreći kako zna biti mnogo gore.

Još uvijek nema pive

Naša ekipa, Jed, Andy i Bob su se potrudili da sve ide glatko. Jedan dio opreme je trabalo popraviti, ali u stanju opsade ovim mještanima sigurno nije bilo do toga, osim toga nisu mogli nikako doći do rezervnih dijelova.

Tokom popodneva, nekoliko vlasnika tog ozvučenja su pokušali od nas da izmame veću sumu novca za iznajmljivanje. To se sve platilo dobrim starim njemačkim markama, jedinom tamošnjom važećom valutom. U jednom trenutku je izgledalo kao da od nastupa neće biti ništa, ali su se major Morris, Bruce i Roland uspjeli dogovoriti sa vlasnicima i koncert se ipak desio.

Kasnije nam je rečeno da je to način na koji sve ovdje funkcioniše, od najobičnijih stvari pa do pregovaranja o primirju. Najprije se dogovoriš, pa onda promijeniš mišljenje i na kraju zahtijevaš još.

Ispostavilo se da ćemo se oko cijene opreme dogovoriti u lokalnom baru i da niko neće biti plaćen ukoliko to večer u baru ne bude zarade.

Problem je bio u tome što u baru nije bilo pive. Sve je ustvari ovisilo o obećanju danskih trupa o dostavi, koji su pokušavali proći preko srspkih linija.

U međuvremenu, (nesvjesno i ne misleći o tome da li je sve uredu ili ne) otišli smo provjeriti šta je sa zvukom. Bilo je glasno i žestoko. Iako nije baš sve najbolje štimalo, ipak će to biti odlična svirka!

Ako Danci uspiju da dođu do nas...

Razgovor uz piletinu

Nakon toga sam otišao u backstage da nešto gricnem i da promijenim žice na basu. Super, bilo je piletine i sjeo sam da jedem. Jedan od momaka iz drugog benda je vidio isto.

„Mogu li i ja dobiti malo?“ pitao je pokazujući na piletinu.

„Da naravno“ rekao sam. Jeo je polako uživajući u okusu. Onda mi je rekao da piletinu nije jeo dvije godine.

Pojela se sva perad još na početku rata. Ovo što sad jedem su ustvari UN-ove zalihe koje su nama donijeli.

"Posluži se“ rekao sam. Ponudio sam mu svoje bas žice a samo sam nekoliko puta svirao na njima. Rado ih je uzeo.

A onda sam shvatio da ti ljudi nisu jeli piletinu dvije godine, i da su se žice teško mogle nabaviti. Jedna od ironija muzičke industrije je da ako bend dobro zarađuje, žice dobijate besplatno, a ako ne onda ih morate kupiti.

Kad ste pod opsadnom, veoma je teško doći do opreme. Tom momku sam dao sve žice koje sam imao, da ih on podijeli sa drugima, a i Alex je također poklonio svoje žice.

Pitao me da li imam droge. Kokaina ili heroina možda?

„Nemam“ rekoh, droge su loše m'kay?" ( Samo što tada South park nije ni postojao, tako da sam vjerovatno rekao nešto jednako upečatljivo).

Rekao mi je da mu heroin ne bi skratio toliko život koliko je to rat učinio. I on i momci iz drugih bendova su prisilno regrutovani u vojsku.

„Tri dana provodim na liniji, onda dva dana vježbam sa bendom, pa sam ponovo tri dana na liniji. Od kada sam u vojsci, skoro svi moji drugovi su izginuli, a ja sam unaprijeđen.“

"Sada osmatram i pucam, dok sa druge strane još mlađi vojnici gube glavu. Jedanom sam pogodio staricu i vidio je kako je pala. Nako toga sam doživio nervni slom i proveo mnogo vremena u bolnici.“

„Ali sad sam opet ok i ponovo na frontu. Jednog dana ću poginuti. Zar stvarno misliš da bi mi malo heroina škodilo?“

Za njega je sve to bila stvarnost. Ljudi kažu „živi svaki dan kao da ti je posljednji“. Ovi momci su živjeli upravo tako, jer se ginulo svaki dan. Ja sam ovdje bio turistički, poslije toga se vraćam kući, a on ostaje. On se borio i svirao. I to je to. Ja sam se muvao okolo i pomalo svirao gitaru.

U međuvremenu su Danci uspjeli isporučiti pive. „Gud bevare Danmark!“ Opskrbili smo se i sve je bilo spremno.

Koncert 'za ljude'

Predgrupe Sikter i Allmanah su odsvirali svoj dio. Svirali su kao da im život zavisi od toga. Bili su u centru pažnje i publika ih je dobro prihvatila.

I mi smo odsvirali svoje. Za razliku od sviranja „za trupe“ mi smo ovdje svirali za ljude.

Ovo je ono što je major Morris imao u planu. Sarajlije su izašle na heavy metal tu noć , iako su se i sami nalazili u paklu. Bilo je tu i nekih UN-ovih vojnika kao i bosanskih. I oni su zaslužili slobodnu noć.

Mi smo bili jedini strani rock bend koji je svirao u Sarajevu za vrijeme opsade, osim Joan Baez koja je bila jedina strana umjetnica koja je tu nastupila tokom ratnih godina.

Svirali smo uglavnom one pjesme koje su na albumu Brucea Dickinsona „Alive in studio A“. Publika nije znala pjesme (Naravno, ako nisu mogli jesti piletinu i nabaviti žice za gitaru, nisu ni mogli doći do najnovijeg albuma čije pjesme upravo sviramo). Šta god da smo svirali, mislim da bi dobili istu reakciju od njih.

„Scream for me Sarajevo!“ viknuo je Bruce, a ljudi su vrištali za njim i pomalo su podsjećali na publiku Betlesa. To je za njih bio ispušni ventil i ništa drugo više nije bilo bitno.

Major Morris je glumio da svira gitaru dok je stajao postrani. Nisam znao da majori to rade, ali očigledno je tako.

Koncert je trajao prilično kratko. Svirali smo samo do 22h jer je na snazi bio strogi policijski sat koji je uvela vojna policija. Nakon nastupa smo popili još nekoliko pića sa lokalnim ljudima kao i sa nekim od britanskih vojnika. Pričao sam sa još jednim vojnikom. Mnogo nas je poštovao.

Pronaći čaše i otvarač

„Stvarno nismo vjerovali da ćete se uopće pojaviti ovdje nakon onog danas, a kamoli ostati tu nakon nastupa, a da odmah ne odete nazad kući“ smijao se dok mi je govorio.

„A šta se to desilo danas?“ pitao sam.

„Pa znaš li da su danas granatirali ovo mjesto?“ upitao me začuđeno.

„Ne?“ rekao sam. Rekao mi je da su srbi danas poslijepodne ispalili dvije granate tu ispred. Ali nisu željeli da nas ubiju vjerovatno što bi to izledalo loše po njih ( ne samo zbog toga nego što je vjerovatno i među njima bilo Maidnovih fanova). Samo su željeli da nas prepadnu. Jednostavno nisu željeli da Sarajlije imaju noć rocka.

Iskreno, nismo čuli granatiranje. Ozvučenje je jednostavno bilo prejako. Na tome se moramo zahvaliti našem toncu Jedu.

Kasnije smo otišli u relativno sigurno UN-ovo sklonište, koje je zapravo bila bivša školska zgrada ili poslovni objekat. Na prozorima su bile vreće sa pijeskom i crni najloni.

„To sprječava snajpersitu da te vidi“ tako su nam rekli. Mada se pored mog kreveta nalazila rupa od snajperskog metka.

Naš slijedeći problem je bio logističke prirode. Imali smo nekoliko boca crnog vina koje su nam ostale sa svirke, ali nismo imali čaše.

Nalazili smo se u napuštenoj školi u UN-ovoj bazi, nakon napornog dana i sa bocama vina koje su tu samo stajale. „Ko bi mogao imati otvarač i čaše?“

Znao sam...Francuzi!

Ako su mogli ponijeti protivoklopnu municiju, onda mora da imaju i čaše za vino. Sponder i ja smo krenuli u potragu za francuskim oficirom Messom. Na putu smo nailazili na na plakate na kojima su se vidjele detaljne upute kako prepoznati nagaznu minu.

Nakon što smo se nekoliko puta izgubili, najzad smo našli ured oficira Messa.

„Entrez!“ čulo se iznutra. Na svom „francuskom“ sam se predstavio najbolje što sam mogao, "Bonsoir, nous sommes les musiciens qui avez jouons dans la..." znajući da je pogrešno zvučalo.

„Da, znamo ko ste“ rekao je njegov kolega specifičnim engleskim naglaskom, dok je pušio cigaretu.

Sumnjivo su u nas gledali.

„Zanima nas dali možemo posuditi osam čaša, si'l vous plâit? I otvarač ako može?“ Na trenutak se namrštio i podigao obrvu, međutim ipak se ustao se da nam dohvati otvarač i čaše iz ormara.

„Vratićemo vam ih“ rekao sam.

„Ne, mi ćemo ih uzeti,“ rekao je uvjerljivo. Izgledao je pomalo kao Clouseau.

„Mi smo u drugom dijelu zgrade, kada dođete do stepenica...“

„Znamo gdje ste,“ rekao je zatvarajući vrata za nama.

Gdje bismo bili da nam nema Francuza? Vive la France! Pili smo i bili veseli, a potom otišli spavati.

Sutradan je bio opušten dan u Sarajevu, a idući smo krenuli kući. Ovo i nije ispalo tako loše, zar ne?

Legao sam obučen na svoj ležaj, (bilo je ledeno hladno) pokrio se i zatvorio oči. San mi je bio isprekidan zvucima pucnjeva, zapitao sam se kako da iskoristim slobodan dan. Ali kako to biva u ratu, shvatio sam da je to potpuno dugačije od svega što sam do sad vidio...







 

red hot chili peppers BREAKING NEWS: RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS ANNOUNCE FIRST UK TOUR FOR FIVE YEARS
This exciting run kicks off with two nights at London's O2 on 5th and 6th December and takes in dates in Glasgow, Birmingham and Manchester...

uriah heep HEEP OF FUN FOR LEE KERSLAKE ROCK PARTY AT 100 CLUB
Lee will be joined by plenty of special guests for the evening, most notably every member of the current Uriah Heep line-up...

korn KORN UNVEIL NEW VIDEO FOR 'INSANE': DON'T TRY THIS AT HOME
'Insane' appears on Korn's latest and twelfth studio album 'The Serenity Of Suffering' which you can pre-order here...

status quo STATUS QUO REVEAL ARTWORK AND TRACKLISTING FOR 'AQUOSTIC II - THAT'S A FACT!'
This is the sound of a band living in the present, embracing the future, whilst cherishing their past...

london tattoo convention ORANGE GOBLIN TO HEADLINE LONDON TATTOO CONVENTION PLUS FIVE MORE ANNOUNCED WITH ORIGINAL 2000AD EXHIBITION
London Tattoo Convention have upped the rock and Metal music ante even higher than ever...

bruce dickinson EXCLUSIVE: SCREAM FOR ME SARAJEVO FEATURING BRUCE DICKINSON SCOOPS SARAJEVO FILM FESTIVAL AWARDS
The audience surveyed rated the film 4.98 out of a total of 5.00 while Al Jazeera awarded it the Best Documentary out of twenty two entrants...

wakrat WATCH RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE'S TIM COMMERFORD START NEW NATION IN PARLIAMENT SQUARE ON VIDEO HERE
"The current system is oppressive and elitist, promoting racist ideologies in order to push a self-serving agenda..."

led zeppelin LED ZEPPELIN GIVE YOU AN INSIDE LOOK AT 'THE COMPLETE BBC SESSIONS' SUPER DELUXE
Musical highlights on this new collection include the debut of a long-lost radio session that has achieved near-mythic status among fans...

saxon SAXON PRESENT A HOARD OF LIVE GLORY IN A BOX OF VINYL GOLD
"This is not going to be around again and with exclusive art work too. Bring it on - I think we'll play some of these tracks on tour in the Autumn."

journey toto JOURNEY AND TOTO LIVE SPECTACULARS ON THE WAY IN SEPTEMBER
"When I first listened back, the thought omnipresent in my mind was simply, 'That's that raw, sizzling energy we had in high school!'"

titanfest SKYCLAD, OLIVER/DAWSON SAXON AND MORE ANNOUNCED FOR TITANFEST
It's the 30th anniversary of Onslaught's 'The Force' and they requested that Titanfest be scheduled for November so that the album could be celebrated in style.

geoff tate GEOFF TATE'S OPERATION MINDCRIME UNVEIL TWO NEW TRACKS
"With the key finally in his possession, "H" has everything he needs to finally launch his long awaited project called The New Reality. Or does he..."

kai hansen KAI HANSEN ANNOUNCES DEBUT SOLO ALBUM AND LAUNCHES 'BORN FREE' VIDEO
As Hansen puts it in 'Born Free': "It made me feel so groovy – it gave me instant heat."

big country BIG COUNTRY HEADING OUT ON 'THE SEER' 30th ANNIVERSARY TOUR
Big Country will be performing 'The Seer' in its entirety when tbey hit the road for a 24-date UK tour starting on September 14th...

metallica UK EXCLUSIVE: METALLICA RELEASE 'HARDWIRED' - NEW VIDEO RIGHT HERE
"Has it really been eight years? Doesn't feel like it! We’re obviously beyond psyched to share new tunes with all our friends out there via MetalTalk...

manowar WAS BREAKING NEWS: MANOWAR TICKETS ON SALE FOR THE FINAL BATTLE WORLD TOUR
The Kings Of Metal are abdicating and our very last Call To Arms is coming...

opeth OPETH DETAIL WEMBLEY ARENA SHOW
"We'll only play this set list three times on the whole world tour so if you miss it, you'll have missed it..."

tank UPDATED: TANK RELEASE DIGITAL DELUXE VERSIONS OF 'WAR MACHINE' AND 'WAR NATION'
"Doogies vocals were exactly suited to this period of Tank and we're extremely proud of what we created in these two albums."

pete way PETE WAY LEAVES HOSPITAL AFTER HEART ATTACK
"Pete Way and I would like to thank you all for your messages, kind thoughts and prayers..."

vader WAS BREAKING NEWS: VADER ANNOUNCE NOVEMBER LONDON GIG
Vader will be touring in support of their recently announced new studio album 'The Empire' which is due for release this autumn...

dead daisies THE DEAD DAISIES RELEASE NEW VIDEO FOR 'JOIN TOGETHER' AS 'MAKE SOME NOISE' CRASHES INTO WORLDWIDE CHARTS
"We want to thank all of our fans and friends around the world for the amazing support of our new record 'Make Some Noise'!"

bloodstock POLICE APPEAL FOR INFORMATION REGARDING SEXUAL ASSAULT AT BLOODSTOCK
"Police are appealing for anyone with information to get in touch and are asking people to share this appeal..."

guns n roses EXCLUSIVE: GUNS N' ROSES DOWNLOAD ANNOUNCEMENT ON THE WAY WITH AUSTRALIAN AND JAPANESE DATES CONFIRMED
Other possibles for the remaining two headline slots are Aerosmith, Def Leppard and Metallica...

dragonforce EXCLUSIVE: KRUSHER AGREES TO REFEREE STEEL PANTHER v DRAGONFORCE HEAVY METAL SUPERFIGHT
This is the one the fans want and this morning it has moved a step closer to actually happening...

the mission THE MISSION NEW ALBUM IS OUT ON 30th SEPTEMBER AND THE NEW SINGLE IS RIGHT HERE
"I can't say it's an album I enjoyed making but it is an album I needed to make..."

roger dean URIAH HEEP, BUDGIE AND ATOMIC ROOSTER ARTISTS WORK TO BE IMMORTALISED ON STAMPS
Roger Dean has designed over 100 album covers for artists including Yes, Asia, London Symphony Orchestra, Nightwing, It Bites and Snafu.

evil scarecrow WAS BREAKING NEWS: EVIL SCARECROW ANNOUNCE 'ROCK YOU LIKE A HURRICANADO' TOUR
"We'll be bringing our biggest, silliest show yet along with some brand new, probably never heard before, music 'genius'..."

blaze bayley BLAZE BAYLEY TO BE FEATURED IN MULTI-PART CANADIAN DOCUMENTARY
"I'm excited to be returning to Canada and I look forward to meeting my fans, with the opportunity for them to be a part of the documentary."

last in line LAST IN LINE ADDED TO WINTER STORM LINE-UP
Winter Storm, the festival that will take place over the weekend of 25th and 26th November in Troon, South Ayrshire, have already announced an exciting line-up...

gojira EXCLUSIVE: GOJIRA SAUVAGE BLOODSTOCK WITH BEST PERFORMANCE SO FAR
The future of Heavy Metal is bright, it's French and it's in the hands of environmentalists...

behemoth EXCLUSIVE: BEHEMOTH HOLD A MESSE NOIR AT BLOODSTOCK: GABRIEL BLOWS HIS TRUMPETS OVER ENGLAND
A stunning stage show that featured more fire than Pudding Lane in 1666...

bruce dickinson EXCLUSIVE: SCREAM FOR ME SARAJEVO: DOCUMENTARY ON BRUCE DICKINSON'S BOSNIAN WAR GIG TO PREMIERE THIS WEEK
After the premiere, details will be released about how the documentary will be made generally available...

motorhead EXCLUSIVE: DEE SNIDER GUESTS WITH PHIL CAMPBELL AT BLOODSTOCK TO PAY PERSONAL TRIBUTE TO LEMMY
"I need some closure, Phil needs some closure, you need some closure... so let's do this!"...

motorhead EXCLUSIVE: PHIL CAMPBELL FORMALLY OPENS LEMMY'S BAR AT BLOODSTOCK 2016
"He would be very proud right now and he would want you all to get your rocks off. This place is amazing..."

tony iommi GREAT NEWS FROM TONY IOMMI: CANCER IS IN REMISSION
"The chemotherapy and the follow-up treatment appear to have done the trick — but I'm aware that it could come back one day."

suicide silence SUICIDE SILENCE ANNOUNCE NOVEMBER 2016 UK TOUR
"Hold on to your butts cause we will be headbanging our way through your town! Bring your A game cause we will be bringing ours..."

ac dc AC/DC IN FULL FLIGHT: QUALITY LIMITED EDITION BOOK IS A MUST FOR COLLECTORS
All of the photographs have been carefully processed and digitally restored to optimise reproduction quality.

ozzy osbourne BOB DAISLEY FILES LAWSUIT AGAINST OZZY OSBOURNE, WHO RESPONDS
"We would have hoped that after 36 years that Mr Daisley would have lost his unhealthy personal obsession and resentment towards Mr Osbourne's success."

70 tons of metal 70000 TONS OF METAL: SIXTY BANDS, BARS THAT NEVER CLOSE AND MUCH MORE
Heavy Metal bands from around the globe playing concerts on four different stages...

lamb of god WAS BREAKING NEWS: LAMB OF GOD REVEAL NEW MUSIC VIDEO FOR 'EMBERS': MARK MORTON HAS SOME DEEPLY PERSONAL WORDS
"Nearly a decade after 'Walk With Me In Hell' it was happening yet again. Art was imitating life..."

iron maiden WAS BREAKING NEWS: IRON MAIDEN RELEASE "THANK YOU" VIDEO - WATCH IT HERE
Now it's break time for Iron Maiden but they will be back for a full scale UK Tour in 2017...

meat loaf WAS BREAKING NEWS: MEAT LOAF RELEASES SECOND TRACK FROM FORTHCOMING NEW ALBUM WITH JIM STEINMAN - LISTEN HERE
"Now psychologist and psychiatrists all over America are giving it to their patients..."

devin townsend DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT LAUNCH FIRST TRACK FROM 'TRANSCENDENCE' - LISTEN HERE
Devin has also announced that he will take part in a live Q&A tomorrow, 10th August, via Facebook...

anathema ANATHEMA LINE UP AUTUMN UK TOUR TO ROAD TEST NEW MUSIC
"There's something about the immediacy of playing something new before an audience who are hearing it for the first time..."

meshuggah MESHUGGAH TO RELEASE THEIR EIGHTH STUDIO ALBUM, 'THE VIOLENT SLEEP OF REASON'
Inspired by a Goya painting called The Sleep Of Reason Produces Monsters...

kansas KANSAS RELEASE FIRST SINGLE FROM 'THE PRELUDE IMPLICIT' - LISTEN HERE
"Recording 'The Prelude Implicit' was an incredible experience and I couldn't be happier with the results..."

todd rundgren TODD RUNDGREN LIVE ALBUM OUT AUGUST 26th IN MULTIPLE FORMATS
Watch the video clip of Todd's electrifying performance of 'Black Maria' here...

saxon EXCLUSIVE: SAXON AND GIRLSCHOOL TOO HOT TO HANDLE AT WACKEN: DIO MAKES GUEST APPEARANCE AND TWISTED SISTER'S FIRE BURNS ONE LAST TIME
Heavy Metal thunder struck Wacken's Main Stage...

wacken EXCLUSIVE: ARCH ENEMY CLOSE WACKEN IN STYLE AS TRIPTYKON AND CLUTCH IMPRESS: FIRST 2017 BANDS ANNOUNCED
German Metal festivals are still in full swing at 3.00am...

therion EXCLUSIVE: THERION STEAL THE SHOW AT WACKEN: CONTAINS NSFW STEEL PANTHER PHOTOS
Catch this incarnation of Therion when you can because today they were superb...

bruce dickinson IRON MAIDEN FRONTMAN TAKES ON THE GOVERNMENT: BRUCE SHOOTING CLOWNS JUST HOURS AFTER WORLD TOUR ENDS
"Byzantine - people in The Awkward Squad - reasons that I frankly don't want to understand - just get it fixed!"

pete way PETE WAY TAKING A FAST RIDE OUT OF HERE WITH SHOCKING AUTOBIOGRAPHY
"He blew millions on drugs and booze and left behind him a trail of chaos and carnage..."

eluveitie EXCLUSIVE: ELUVEITIE RETURN FROM THE DEAD TO DESTROY WACKEN
Somehow Chrigel has managed to create another incarnation of Eluveitie whilst the band were embroiled in a heavy touring schedule.

iron maiden EXCLUSIVE: IRON MAIDEN CLOSE THE BOOK WITH SPECTACULAR WACKEN PERFORMANCE
"After the show I was so relieved everything went well that I had a glass of wine while I said my farewells to my friends in the crew."

motorheaed EXCLUSIVE: NO SLEEP 'TIL HAMBURG: MOTÖRHEAD'S BOMBER MAKES ITS FINAL FLIGHT AT WACKEN
And he spoke, with his voice: "Don't forget us. We are Motörhead. And we play rock n' fucking roll."

magnum WAS BREAKING NEWS: MAGNUM ANNOUNCE DECEMBER UK TOUR DATES
The latest album crashed into teh UK charts at number 31, their best position since the 80s...

don airey EXCLUSIVE: DON AIREY ROCKS CAMBRIDGE FIRST DAY ALL NIGHT LONG
Cambridge Rock 2016 kicked off in style last night as a packed out Main Stage area ensured that Don Airey took to the stage to rapturous applause.

status quo STATUS QUO'S RICK PARFITT HAS ALL THE REASONS TO BE HAPPY IN HIS CONVALESCENCE
"Had a lovely morning walk with Pappa Parf. He's really on the mend."

delain DELAIN UNVEIL FIRST ALBUM DETAILS: EUROPEAN TOUR WITH EVERGREY AND KOBRA AND THE LOTUS ANNOUNCED
"We have never had so many milestone events in one year and there is still more to come.

buckcherry BUCKCHERRY ANNOUNCE NEW RELEASE AND UK TOUR DATES
2016 is the 10th anniversary of their acclaimed '15' album and the huge rock hit that was 'Crazy Bitch'

dokken DOKKEN CLASSIC LINE-UP ANNOUNCE TOUR DATES
"Being that it is only six shows, we are going to make it as spectacular as possible."

weapon uk WEAPON (UK)'S 'SET THE STAGE ALIGHT' 35th ANNIVERSARY EDITION SET FOR RELEASE
The anniversary edition contains all Weapon UK's 1980/81 recordings and two live bonus tracks.

slayer WAS BREAKING NEWS: SLAYER FUTURE "VERY UNCLEAR" SAYS KERRY KING
"I'm holding off a lot of things I wanna do at home, just 'cause I don't know if I'm gonna be working in two years..."

black sabbath WAS BREAKING NEWS: OZZY OSBOURNE REVEALS SEX ADDICTION
"I am mortified at what my behavior has done to my family..."

black sabbath WAS BREAKING NEWS: BLACK SABBATH DENIAL ISSUED BY BILL WARD
"We have seen it reported in the news that Bill will be playing with Black Sabbath on The End tour..."

scorpion chld WAS BREAKING NEWS: SCORPION CHILD AND JARED JAMES NICHOLS ANNOUNCE UK TOUR
"It is our pleasure to announce a return to the United Kingdom. Now that 'Acid Roulette' is in play, we will have some real fun...."

clutch CLUTCH RELEASE OFFICIAL VIDEO FOR 'A QUICK DEATH IN TEXAS'
"Originally, I was going to be drawn-and-quartered, but we didn’t have the budget for four horses..."

simon townshend THE WHO TOURING GUITARIST SIMON TOWNSHEND'S RE-MASTERED ALBUMS FEATURING EDDIE VEDDER ON THE WAY
"I would place it amongst his best work. Incredible how he just gets better and better..."

skillet SKILLET EXTEND THE UNLEASHED TOUR: LONDON DATE INCLUDED
The tour is in support of Skillet's new album 'Unleashed', their first in three years, which will be released on August 5t...

evyltyde EVYLTYDE TO HEADLINE LEICESTER'S FIREBUG: VEIL OF DELUSIONS TO MAKE THEIR UK DEBUT
Female fronted Metallers bring their take on traditional classic rock, 21st century style, to Leicester's Firebug venue in September...

ac dc AC/DC FUTURE UNCLEAR BUT ANGUS SAYS HE WANTS TO PLAY WITH KEITH RICHARDS
"At this point, I don't know. We were committed to finishing the tour. Who knows what I'll feel after..."

marilyn manson EXCLUSIVE: CBS ATTEMPT TO DISCREDIT SLIPKNOT AND MARILYN MANSON FANS WITH "VIOLENCE" LIES
If you happen to see any reports about what happened on Saturday night at the First Niagara Pavilion, be very careful what you believe....

sex pistols SEX, DRUGS, ROCK N' ROLL, FASHION, CRIME, POLITICS: UK SCREENINGS OF 'ANARCHY! THE McLAREN WESTWOOD GANG' HERE
Much more than the short lived punk phenomenon however and explores the notion of Malcolm McLaren as the great architect of British Punk...

pink floyd PINK FLOYD TO RELEASE MAMMOTH 27-DISC BOX-SET IN NOVEMBER
Pink Floyd delve into their vast music archive to produce a deluxe package that includes seven individual book-style volumes...

devilment DEVILMENT, FEATURING DANI FILTH, TO TOUR THE UK IN DECEMBER
"It's going to be awesome touring this in our home nation just before Xmas. We literally can't wait; the shows are going to be insane!"

a7x AVENGED SEVENFOLD, DISTURBED AND IN FLAMES TO TOUR UK IN JANUARY
The tour hits eight UK cities between 10th and 21st January and tickets are on sale right now...

hellyeah HELLYEAH HONOUR DIMEBAG IN NEW "MUST SEE" VIDEO OF PHIL COLLINS SONG
"...and he's, like, 'Dude, you're gonna be singing this song for the rest of your life."

opeth OPETH UNVEIL FIRST TRACK FROM FORTHCOMING NEW ALBUM: LISTEN HERE
"We're happy with the tune. It's heavy, a bit 'meat and potato' but what the hell... we love it! Hope you do too!"

led zeppelin RANDY CALIFORNIA'S ESTATE APPEAL LED ZEPPELIN 'STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN' VERDICT
The jury agreed with the defence's argument that the chord progression was "commonplace” and dated back centuries

iron maiden WATCH IRON MAIDEN'S NEW ED FORCE ONE SPECIAL VIDEO RIGHT HERE
"In this guise, with Iron Maiden down the side of it, it just blows the doors off ever other plane on the planet..."

joe bonamassa JOE BONAMASSA TO PLAY TWO SHOWS AT THE ROYAL ALBERT HALL
The Royal Albert Hall concerts will feature a hand-picked group of world-class musicians playing material from his latest album plus classic Bonamassa fan favourites...

winterstorm festival TROON - ARE YOU READY TO ROCK? WINTER STORM FESTIVAL IS ANNOUNCED
A new rock festival is heading to the Scottish seaside town of Troon in South Ayrshire this November...

blues festival FORMER WHITESNAKE MAN ANNOUNCED FOR THE GREAT BRITISH RHYTHM AND BLUES FESTIVAL
"We are really excited about the changes we are making and hope they will attract a wider audience..."

armored saint ARMORED SAINT TO HEADLINE OZZFEST MEETS KNOTFEST KICK-OFF PARTY
The September 23rd pre-festival concert includes a night of performances from Armored Saint, Havok, Exmortus and Thrown Into Exile...

new england EXCLUSIVE: NEW ENGLAND ANNOUNCE NOVEMBER TOUR DATES INCLUDING JAPAN
New England have announced tour dates in support of last year's vinyl release 'I Know There`s Something Here' and upcoming album 'Live At The Regent Theater...

british lion STEVE HARRIS' BRITISH LION TO HEADLINE PLANET ROCKSTOCK
"Fundamentally, it's still rock, and if you see it live, it's really powerful live..."

second relation SECOND RELATION PREMIERE TITLE TRACK OF FORTHCOMING THIRD ALBUM 'ENO'
Austrian prog rockers Second Relation's new single and video is premiering today and it's got Europe in a buzz...

amorettes THE AMORETTES ANNOUNCE SECOND LONDON SHOW ON CO-HEADLINE TOUR
"Our show at Our Black Heart in London has sold out in ten days, which is fantastic! How quickly could this one sell out?"

thunder THUNDER PLAN TO GIVE THE GAME AWAY WITH A NEW BOOK
The band plan to launch the book at an event being held as part of the 'Louder Than Words' literary festival in Manchester on Saturday 12th November.

rudolf schenker SCHENKERS AT WAR: RUDOLF BREAKS HIS SILENCE ON MICHAEL'S ACCUSATIONS
"He's a trick master, and he's a wannabe. And that's it. He can do whatever he wants..."

jon oliva SAVATAGE MAINMAN JON OLIVA RECOVERING FROM STROKE
"I lived the rock n' roll lifestyle since I was 18. It's all I knew and I enjoyed the ride very much..."

ramblin man RAMBLIN' MAN FAIR 2017 DATES ANNOUNCED PLUS WHO WE THINK COULD HEADLINE NEXT YEAR
After what was probably the best rockin' weekend of the year so far, we didn't have to wait long before we could start planning for the 2017 rematch...

airbourne AIRBOURNE ANNOUNCE NOVEMBER HEADLINE UK TOUR
The band will play ten UK date beginning in Portsmouth and Norwich on November 17th and finish off with two nights at The Electric Ballroom in Camden, London...

black stone cherry BLACK STONE CHERRY ANNOUNCE UK TOUR
"We have never done anything like this before and we knew the UK was the only place to do it. That's all we're gonna say about it!"

gary rossington LYNYRD SKYNYRD UPDATE WITH MORE CANCELLATIONS DUE TO GARY ROSSINGTON ILLNESS
"Currently the band hopes to resume touring on Thursday 4th August at The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, The Woodlands..."

extreme EXTREME CELEBRATE 25TH ANNIVERSARY OF 'PORNOGRAFFITI' ALBUM WITH 'PORNOGRAFFITI LIVE 25/METAL MELTDOWN'
"Some of these songs were never played live before so we had to go back and relearn them for the tour."

ozzy osbourne OZZY OSBOURNE: "I'M NOT HAPPY BEING SOBER"
"It scares me. I hear all the time people say that they have another drink in them but they may not have another sobriety in them..."

paul rodgers IT'S NOT ALL RIGHT NOW! PAUL RODGERS SUES DONALD TRUMP
"We will make America great again. God bless you and good night, I love you."

heavy metal HEAVY METAL HELPS PEOPLE DEAL WITH MORTALITY ACCORDING TO OFFICIAL STUDY
"Metal music can be seen as cultural good for fans and thereby can form part of their social identity."

motorhead MOTÖRHEAD STILL RUNNING DOWN THE HIGHWAY: PHIL, MIKKEY AND EDDIE ALL GEARED UP FOR FORTHCOMING DATES
"Every snare hit I do from now on until the end of my career will be a small tribute to Lemmy..."

iron maiden IRON MAIDEN'S STEVE HARRIS DROPS THE PRICE OF HIS ESSEX MANSION BY £1MILLION
The eight-bedroom mansion was on the market for £6.75million in 2012 but it's "guide price" is now a mere £3.95million...

hrh aor ALL GUNS BLAZING FOR NEW HRH AOR 5 ANNOUNCEMENT
Phil Lewis & Tracii Guns unite under the L.A. Guns banner once again for next year's HRH AOR 5 being held next March at Camp HRH in North Wales...

deep purple DEEP PURPLE 'LIVE AT THE NEC' DVD ON THE WAY: FAREWELL JON, WELCOME DON
The two share keyboard duties during the night in a very fitting "passing-of-the-torch" moment...

status quo ROCK 'TIL YOU DROP WITH STATUS QUO 1981-1986 VINYL BOX SET
In addition to the studio albums the box set will include an extra disc of b-sides and extended mixes...

zz top ZZ TOP TO RELEASE THEIR VERY FIRST OFFICIAL LIVE ALBUM IN SEPTEMBER
"In an abstract surrealism style, this collection is a definitive chronicle of the band hangin' together for four plus deluxe decades..."

tygers of pan tang TYGERS OF PAN TANG "SPECIAL TIME" HAS COME WITH NEW RELEASE
"The new Tygers album is finished, done and dusted and ready to unleash on our 'Tygertastic' audience. You're gonna love this one, it's a MONSTER..."

andy fraser ANDY FRASER OF FREE'S LAST RECORDING WITH SAIICHI SUGIYAMA ONLINE HERE
"'Melting Away' became one of Andy's last recordings. He still had so much to offer and I was really looking forward to continuing to work with him."

ritchie blackmore RITCHIE BLACKMORE'S RAINBOW TO PLAY AGAIN BUT WITH LESS DEEP PURPLE SONGS
"I would do probably ninety-five percent Rainbow songs; that's what they seem to want to hear. And it didn't occur to me. I just naturally assumed they wanted to hear everything."

saxon EXCLUSIVE: THIS IS WHAT OUR FAVOURITE ROCKERS THINK OF THE CURRENT POLITICAL CLIMATE
Comment from Saxon, Slash, Thunder, Iron Maiden, Uli Jon Roth, Hawkwind, Cher, Johnny Rotten, Machine Head And More...

beyond the black UK EXCLUSIVE: BEYOND THE BLACK SINGER JENNIFER HABEN IS LOST IN FOREVER AS FIVE MEMBERS DEPART THE BAND
"I have enjoyed the time together with the guys very much and am grateful for everything we have achieved together in Germany. I am currently looking for new colleagues..."

cats in space CATS IN SPACE SET TO RELEASE SLADE CLASSIC WITH DANNY BOWES OF THUNDER ON GUEST VOCALS
"It's is one of my favourite Slade songs, so when they asked me to sing on their version it took me a good second and a half to say yes..."

guns n roses WAS BREAKING NEWS: GUNS N' ROSES ADD MORE TOUR DATES FOR OCTOBER AND NOVEMBER
The Gunners' newly announced dates are for South America with ten dates in Argentina, Brazil, Peru, Chile and Colombia with more to be announced soon...

keith moon YOU WON'T GET FOOLED WITH OFFICIAL KEITH MOON COMMEMORATIVE DRUM HEAD
Manufactured as a special, custom product by Remo, these 14" high-gloss drum heads are a perfect collector's item for true fans of the legendary drummer and The Who...

the answer WAS BREAKING NEWS: THE ANSWER AND THE DEAD DAISIES ANNOUNCE NOVEMBER UK TOUR
"The fact that we get to debut this new material with our mates The Dead Daisies just adds to the rush we're currently experiencing. You really don't want to miss this one!"

ian gillan IAN GILLAN SAYS: "IT'S A WONDERFUL THING, VINYL..." WITH NEW COLLECTION ABOUT TO BE RELEASED
"You just bought something significant, not easily disposable. And look at the sleeves - aren't they cool..."

quireboys THE QUIREBOYS NEW ALBUM ON THE WAY: "THE LYRICS ON THE TITLE TRACK ARE SOME OF SPIKE'S BEST EVER!"
"I approached the songwriting from a different angle and it felt good. There's a lot of passion there."

48 hours 48 HOURS TO ROCK THE UK TO A CITY OF ASHES
"We're hitting the road in September for a co-headline tour with our broseph's City Of Ashes! This will be one of the unsigned tours of the year!"

hammerfall WAS BREAKING NEWS: LIVE LIFE LOUD WITH HAMMERFALL ON 2017 EUROPEAN TOUR: NEW ALBUM ON THE WAY
"We can't wait to get back on stage again to have a gigantic Heavy Metal party every night with all our Templar friends!"

joe perry AEROSMITH GUITARIST JOE PERRY REPORTEDLY SUFFERS HEART ATTACK DURING HOLLYWOOD VAMPIRES GIG
"Thanks to everyone asking about our brother Joe Perry," Alice Cooper wrote. "He is stable right now, with family and is under the best care."

onslaught ONSLAUGHT, BEHOLDER AND ANIHILATED TOUR PROMISES TO BE A TOUR DE FORCE
"By the time we hit the road in November it will be well over two-and-a-half years since we did the last run and we feel the time is now right..."

arw ARW (JON ANDERSON, TREVOR RABIN AND RICK WAKEMAN) ANNOUNCE BAND FOR UPCOMING WORLD TOUR
"I have played with arguably the three greatest bass players ever and I can't wait to play with one of them again!"

marillion MARILLION UNVEIL 'THE NEW KINGS' FROM FORTHCOMING STUDIO ALBUM 'FEAR'
'The New Kings' can also be heard on Marillion's current tour which starts on Monday 11th July in Barcelona...

michael des barres AN AMERICAN WRITER ASKS WHY IT TAKES A BRITISH EX-PAT TO ASK, "WHAT'S GOING ON?" MICHAEL DES BARRES HAS THE ANSWER
This incendiary cover of Marvin Gaye's classic confronts America's issues in an incredibly timely and head-on manner...

freedom call FREEDOM CALL RELEASE A NEW METAL HYMN 'HAMMER OF THE GODS', AVAILABLE FOR DOWNLOAD NOW
The trademark bold vocal harmonies remain. The track is taken from forthcoming opus 'Master Of Light'...

guns n roses STEVEN ADLER JOINS GUNS N' ROSES ON STAGE IN OHIO: FOUR FIFTHS OF 'APPETITE' LINE-UP PLAY TOGETHER FOR FIRST TIME SINCE 1990
"On the drums, you might know this guy. Ladies and gentlemen, Mr Steven Adler..."

ac dc AC/DC BASSIST CLIFF WILLIAMS TO RETIRE AFTER ROCK OR BUST WORLD TOUR: "IT'S BEEN SURREAL"
"AC/DC has been... you know, just... I don't know what else I would wanna do. I love the music and I love playing in the band, and I'm all filled up..."

guns n roses GUNS N' ROSES USE THEIR ILLUSION TO SILENCE THE DOUBTERS WITH US TOUR GOING SO FINE
Axl is clearly in his element on this tour, running across the stage to jump on the monitors mid-song and displaying all the panache of a man completely on top of his game...

stray del bromham STRAY TO ROAM AROUND THE UK ON TOUR INCLUDING A RARE REUNION OF THE ORIGINAL LINE-UP
No need to move a mountain as both Stray and Del Bromham's Blues Devils are on their way to a venue near you...

amorettes THE AMORETTES ANNOY THE NEIGHBOURS WITH RAUCOUS NEW SINGLE
'Let The Neighbours Call The Cops' was co- written by vocalist Gill Montgomery and Black Star Riders front man Ricky Warwick...

eagles of death metal WAS BREAKING NEWS: EAGLES OF DEATH METAL WANT YOU SO BAD ON TWO UK DATES IN AUGUST
This is EODM's first visit to the UK since the band were caught up in the terrible events at The Bataclan Theatre in Paris back in November 2015...

soil SOiL 'SHINE ON' THE UK WITH COMPREHENSIVE TOUR
"We are looking forward to seeing some new places and making some new friends this time around..."

acid reign ACID REIGN GET IN FESTIVE MOOD EARLY WITH SPECIAL GIG ANNOUNCEMENT
'Tis the season to Thrash as Acid Reign team up with Shrapnel with far from obnoxious results...

iron maiden IRON MAIDEN: LEGACY OF THE BEAST MOBILE RPG GAME IS OUT NOW
"We've always wanted to make a quality Maiden mobile game as we think the combination of Eddie and the music is so well suited..."

rick parfitt status quo EXCLUSIVE: STATUS QUO'S RICK PARFITT SEEMS TO BE 'FINE FINE FINE' AS HE IS SPOTTED OUT AND ABOUT
Following the recent health scare a picture has emerged online of him taking a walk in Kingston over the weekend...

bullet for my valentine BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE TO PLAY 'THE POISON' IN FULL FOR THE FIRST EVER TIME
"We promised you something special right? See 'The Poison' played in full for the first time in Manchester! Tickets on sale now here..."

alter bridge WAS BREAKING NEWS: ALTER BRIDGE TO HEADLINE ARENAS ACROSS EUROPE THIS WINTER WITH GOJIRA AND VOLBEAT
This will be their biggest headline tour yet with twenty-four dates across fifteen countries, kicking off on November 4th 2016

the mission WAS BREAKING NEWS: BAUHAUS FRONTMAN PETER MURPHY TO GUEST WITH THE MISSION ON THEIR 30th ANNIVERSARY UK TOUR
"Peter's appearance will help make these shows the special events that we always wanted and hoped they'd be..."

iron maiden IRON MAIDEN ILLUSTRATOR DESIGNS SHIRT FOR ONE DIRECTION'S ZAYN MALIK, MAIDEN LAUNCH THIRD TROOPER BEER AND HI-ON-MAIDEN TO HEADLINE PICCSTOCK
A full-bodied beer using a blend of chocolate and crystal malts to give "a roasted malt and caramel backbone with hints of liquorice and honey"...

bruce dickinson BRUCE DICKINSON TO TAKE PART IN TOP GEAR STYLE CHARITY ROAD TRIP
"The enthusiasm from the group is amazing which will lend itself to making it an unforgettable trip..."

anvil WAS BREAKING NEWS: ANVIL ANNOUNCE UK AND EUROPEAN TOUR FOR OCTOBER/NOVEMBER
Anvil will not only be playing dates in Scotland and Wales but also English towns which rarely see major international artists, such as Huddersfield, Doncaster and Grimsby.

status quo IT'S TIME TO GET 'DOWN DOWN' TO BUTLINS AS SECOND STATUS QUO FAN CLUB CONVENTION IS ANNOUNCED
The weekend will feature live music from ex-Quo drummer John Coghlan and his band with long time friend of the band, Jackie Lynton also scheduled to appear...

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