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  CHRIS DALE'S METAL MELTDOWN
SCREAM FOR ME SARAJEVO PART 3
A Mission To Play Heavy Metal In The Bosnian War, December 1994
1st August 2012


chris dale

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Click here for Part 1...
Click here for Part 2...


In parts 1 and 2 I'd been going on about the time I went to Sarajevo during the Bosnian War with the Bruce Dickinson band. We pick up the tale with a day off in the besieged city after the gig...

bruce dickinson sarajevo
Your Humble Narrator

So, what do we do on a day off in Sarajevo? Well, much the same as we'd do in any other town.

On days off on normal tours you might do some sight seeing, maybe do a celebrity appearance or signing session type thing for some fans, then go to a bar or find a party.

All three of these happened in Sarajevo but being in a war zone they were all a bit more surreal than on 'normal' tours.

Being shown the sights in Sarajevo was done by Major Martin Morris and a couple of British soldiers in a mini-bus, driving along mostly deserted streets through the ruins of what had been a modern thriving city. Every other building was pock marked by shrapnel. Most of the windows were long gone and now boarded up.



bruce dickinson sarajevo
A street scene in Sarajevo. Notice the missing windows and the wrecked bus with sheet metal down the side to protect its passengers.

Spare bits of greenery were converted to vegetable patches, even the roadsides and central reservations. But the growers risked death by sniper fire every time they checked on their carrots.

We stopped here and there to see the sights. As I remember these sights consisted mostly of views of the Serbian frontlines (always from a distance) and various shell holes (usually in civilian targets such as a block of flats or a market place).

We saw a large graveyard with all of the graves looking poignantly fresh. Each time we got out to see the sights we rushed back inside the mini-bus, as if its thin panels offered real protection. We kept our heads low through fear. This was not a fun-filled tourist trip.

Our 'celebrity' personal appearance was a little different too. Bruce and Alex were going to do an acoustic session at an orphanage.

An orphanage is always a kind of sad place, kids who for whatever reason don't have their mums and dads there to look after them. This was more tragic.

These kids had all lost their parents in the war. Many of them had seen them murdered in front of them. Some were still in shock, just staring straight ahead. They'd been like that for months. Others clung to us and wouldn't let go. Maybe they knew we'd be getting out of here soon.

bruce dickinson sarajevo
Alex Elena playing with a child at the Orphanage

There were two shell holes in the playground. The people running the orphanage told us the Serbs had fired the first shell during playtime. Then they put the second one in when the ambulance crew arrived. It was a cold attack and was calculated to cause the most possible casualties amongst children and non-combatants.

It was under these conditions that Sarajevo lived. Before we got there I had known this was a war. I had known that wars are bad things. But I wasn't emotionally prepared for this at all.

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

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

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

In the evening we went to a local fire station, where UN firemen and other workers were having a small party for us. I'm not sure what the real address was but it was known to our British Army hosts as 'Sniper Alley'. I resisted asking how it got its name.

It was a dual carriageway that was largely deserted as dusk approached. There were burnt out cars and rubble across the road and its pavements.

The sensible route to take, we were told, was just blasting down it at full pelt while also swerving left and right. I've been in cars before when people drive too fast, sometimes because they're drunk or stupid, often a combination of the two. Somehow it's even scarier when a sensible and sober driver does it deliberately because dangerous driving is infinitely safer than safe driving in this topsy-turvy world.

I didn't actually urinate myself on the journey but I seem to remember it was a close call.

At the fire station, Andy and Bob set some of our gear up for a quiet jam. We didn't bring Ampegs and Marshalls down here so one of the locals was going out to pick up a little guitar amp from his friend's house. Sponder went with them out of curiosity.

When he got back he told us that at the friend's house, all the family were in one room with a nine-volt battery running a single Christmas tree light bulb taped to a mirror to illuminate the room. They invited him in and offered him food and drink.

We felt unable to help these people. Sponder gave this household all the British money he had on him. They cried in gratitude but nothing could help them really. Back home we had lit houses, CD players, nights out and what we took most for granted, relative personal safety.

These people had none of that. They all had crippled, missing or dead relatives. They lived in squalor and fear.

Yet, you know the odd thing? They were, more alive, more happy for the moment and more generous with what little they had than anyone back home. Their human spirit was unbroken.

These people smiled. They were probably not far from clinical starvation and yet they offered Sponder food. All the civilians we met out there were like that.

During the gig the night before, people at the front had a few times rolled cans of beer across the stage at me. I thanked them and gave them back. We had free beer backstage (thanks to the Danish Army!). These people had no proper running economy. Half of them had no regular water supply but they would buy you a beer.

bruce dickinson sarajevo
Alex Dickson and Bruce performing an acoustic 'Tears Of The Dragon' in the fire station

Back at the fire station Bruce and Alex did a few acoustic tunes, then me, Sponder and Alex jammed around a bit and got some of the locals up. One was the Portuguese UN Medical Officer - he wasn't a bad drummer! We did 'Jumping Jack Flash' with him.

The insane situation outside broke down all barriers, smiles and beer flowed all round till late in the night... or would have done if the Bosnian military police hadn't turned up to enforce the curfew and send us back to base.

bruce dickinson sarajevo
Jose, the Portuguese Medical Officer on drums!

The next morning after an emergency rations breakfast of pasta and baked beans Major Morris and our British Army friends from the previous days were ready to pick us up for the trip out of the city. They were driving us to a UN base in Kiseljak, where we'd get helicoptered back to Split and flown home from there.

The only slight worry we had in advance was that we'd be passing through Serbian Army lines this way.

We were neutral non-combatants in the war and we were being chaperoned by British UN peacekeeping soldiers in armoured Land Rovers. The UN had arranged with the Serbian command that we were coming through so nothing should go wrong for us but anytime you have to meet a group of armed and drunken murderers is cause for concern.

Also the thought of actually meeting the people who had been deliberately putting Sarajevo in such a state of death and misery was daunting in itself.

We were due to pass through four Serbian checkpoints. They were imaginatively known as Sierra One, Two, Three and Four by our UN hosts.

bruce dickinson sarajevo
Serbian Army Checkpoint. It was pointed out to me later that taking photos like this can potentially get you shot as a spy.

At Sierra One we were stopped but we didn't have to get out. The Serbian soldiers took a quick count of passports and passengers to make sure they tallied up then waved us through.

Sierra Two and Three also waved us past. Fine, we thought, they've radioed ahead and we clear through.

At Sierra Four we were stopped and asked to get out and line up on the roadside.

The Serbian officer in command was a woman who had aged badly but was probably in her late twenties. She spoke reasonable English and was dressed exactly like so many rock chicks at London's nightclubs of the time - bleached blonde permed hair, too much make up, tight leggings and thigh high boots. The only difference was the blue/grey camouflage Serbian Army jacket she wore over the top.

Following her were two or three soldiers in the same camouflage pattern uniforms but without the leggings and thigh boots. They had Kalashnikovs casually slung over their shoulders. She smiled at us. They didn't.

She went up and down the line of us, examining passports, asking general conversational questions and being ever so charming. Her unshaven escorts did not charm us but stayed back, smoking and eyeing us up and down, no doubt with their trigger fingers itching.

She eventually bid us a happy journey. We were keen to get out of there and quickly got back in the Land Rovers.

Back on our way, the British soldiers told us: "She's one we'll be hunting down after the war. She's had plenty of people shot on the side of the road. She wouldn't touch you guys but we didn't want to mention it before the check in case you got freaked out."

From the Serbian lines we drove up to the UN base at Kiseljack in Croatian-Bosnian territory. There, we finally felt a little relief. We were beyond sniper fire, landmines, stray shells and mortar rounds. Kiseljak was nice; it was the first time in two days when there wasn't any gunfire to be heard in the background.

We weren't bothered at all when we were told that our helicopter ride to Split would be a little delayed. They gave us some lunch instead.

The delay, we were told over lunch, was due to one of their two Sea King helicopters undergoing repairs. It turned out that it had been hit yesterday by small arms fire. Nothing serious, they said.

We had been due to go out on that one but instead we'd have to wait for the other to get back from its current mission and be refuelled.



bruce dickinson sarajevo
The UN base at Kiseljak. Notice the two Sea King helicopters. The one on the right, partially tarpaulined, is undergoing repairs after being shot at and ours is on the left.

Pretty much everything that everyone had said since we got here had made me think that this whole trip was a quite stupidly dangerous thing to have attempted but this was at least surely the last crazy thing we'd have to do before going home, so with no option we got into the least damaged of the Sea Kings.

Getting into the Sea King, a British Naval officer was handing out life vests but ran out just before me and Alex Dickson.

"Sorry about that," he said. "We haven't got anymore but not to worry. To be honest they're not a lot of help. Most of the trip is over land, if you do get shot down over the lakes, then you've got to get out of the helicopter and swim clear of the rotors before they hit the water. Once the rotors touch down they'll chop up anything floating within their radius. Then you have to inflate your jacket.

"If you panic and inflate it too early inside the copter, you'll float the to top of it, get stuck in the fuselage and sink with it. Then if you've managed to get out and clear the rotors and inflate your life jacket you might have two or maybe three minutes to swim to safety or get rescued before hypothermia will set in.

"Bearing in mind that the rescue copter is currently under-going repairs, I wouldn't worry about the life jacket too much."

bruce dickinson sarajevo
Me in the Sea King helicopter

That was more reassuring advice that made my bowels loosen. But surely, this lot are winding us up a bit with all this scary reassurance? I mean, I know there's a war on but maybe I'm just jumping at shadows and they're all having a laugh at us for it and telling bigger and bigger tales?

Once we were inside the helicopter, they fixed a heavy machine gun to the open port on the right next to us and belted in some ammunition. The gunner cocked it and sat back for the flight. We took off and flew over some stunning forested mountainous countryside.

After the first twenty minutes or so and passing over some lakes, he packed the gun up and put the ammunition away. I asked him why he was packing up now.

"We're past the fighting zone now. We don't need it." More reassurance for now but that meant they really did think there was a possibility of being shot at over the last section: the life-jackets were for real.

But now surely at last the danger really is over. We can rest easy. We're safe and nearly home!

Most of us had headphones on in the helicopter and could hear the pilot and crew talking all the "Roger Charlie Bravo Two Zero" stuff that pilots do. Bruce loves that kind of thing and probably even knew what they were on about.

bruce dickinson sarajevo
Bruce on board the Sea King helicopter

Then the pilot said over the headphones: "I hear we have some civvies onboard. We'd like to show you what the Royal Navy can do with a Sea King."

At that moment we dropped out of the sky to below tree level, spun over hilltops at high speed, swung side to side in tight valleys and generally risked our mortality in every conceivable way.

On the ride some of our flight crew shouted: "The Royal Navy are not pussies!!!" I had never suspected they were, and have certainly not doubted it since.

We didn't have seat belts and the starboard side was wide open for the machine gun which had been taken away. We clung on for dear life to anything we could grip.

The flight crew loved it. They must have done it dozens of times before. They threw their heads back and laughed. They lived with mortal risks every day and this was how they dealt with it. More danger, this time for fun.

Other British UN soldiers had told us of similar episodes, for example driving up and down 'Sniper Alley' under fire for kicks or shooting up buildings, which a female UN soldier told us felt "sexy". This is how the human mind deals with being in fear constantly; it turns to viewing the danger as fun.

Black humour was rife in all the UN troops we met. Most of it was good humour with some great jokes and a seemingly fearless attitude. But in some cases I suspected it was caused by intense personal stress with only the comradeship of their unit as a relief.

I've not been on a fair ground ride since. They're all stupid and useless as compared to what the Royal Navy can do with a Sea King.



bruce dickinson sarajevo
Andy Veasey, myself and Alex Dickson on board the homebound Hercules. Notice the visible relief on our faces, contrasting with the concerned looks all through the previous two days in Sarajevo.

When we landed at Split we spent an evening drinking with some British special forces (they were highly trained drinkers as well as killers) then flew on a Hercules transporter plane back to RAF Brize Norton where Maiden's legendary roadie, Johnny Allen, picked us up in a splitter van.

"Make sure you've got your seat belts on", he said. It seemed so trivial. We drove at a steady 68 mph down the M40. We were not going to be swerving sniper fire, or being shot down into a frozen lake. Seat belts? Pah!

In fact, of course, wearing a seat belt is a very sensible thing to do back in real life. But that was the problem. British normal life didn't work for me anymore. I'd only been away for a weekend yet everything was changed forever. We'd all changed inside a bit.

I'd not actually been personally shot at, none of us were injured and my family was still alive. I've got nothing to complain about. In fact we got back into London as it was building up for Christmas. Oxford Street, the lights, Santa, presents, shoppers... consumerism. It should be great. But I couldn't be happy.

I tried telling people at home what had happened out there but they couldn't understand. They nodded and agreed but they couldn't see it and I could see that they couldn't see it.

I would break down in tears at the wrong moments, excuse myself and go to the toilet to sort myself out. It's OK. That's a normal reaction. I'm fine now. Mostly. I was only there for a weekend.

But what about the people of Sarajevo? They'd lived through years of it. They actually lost friends, family members and limbs.

What about the soldiers who still fight in Afghanistan and other parts of the world? What happens when they get home after a six month tour of duty?

What about the innocent people who live (and the children who grow up) through that shit in Syria today or any of the many conflict zones around the globe?

Can these people ever be normal again?

Quite frankly no. Seeing a war and its effects and meeting its victims up close for a couple of days was far more shocking than I'd expected. If Tony Blair and George Bush had seen the Bosnian War up close they could never have invaded Iraq.

Living through or taking part in a war is more horrific than can be imagined. You'd literally be scarred for life.

Remember those stories about how Grandad was in the Second World War or Uncle Bob was in Korea and he never wanted to talk about it? He couldn't talk about it.

War veterans walk our streets every day. Their view of the world is very different to ours. Everyday life is extremely trivial to them. The price of tomatoes, someone complaining about a having a headache, soap operas - it means nothing after what they've seen.

But they can't tell you what they've seen because you wouldn't understand it and you would think they are mad, which is what much of society does. They need understanding and support.

In all 18 British soldiers were killed in action in Bosnia, trying to save civilian lives. You can donate towards helping injured British servicemen and women at Help For Heroes by clicking here.

According to the International Center for Transitional Justice, the Yugoslav Wars resulted in the deaths of around 140,000 people in total. Of those over 11,000 were Bosnian civilians living in Sarajevo during the siege and of those over 1,500 were children. A further 15,000 children were injured in Sarajevo.

You can donate to the children of Bosnia at SOS Childrens' Villages by clicking here.

Normal service will be resumed next month. Until then enjoy your life - you are blessed to have it.

bruce dickinson sarajevo
Roland Hyams and Alex Sponder Elena - smiles all round on the way home

Thanks to Roland Hyams, Alex Dickson, Alex Sponder Elena, and Mirza Coric for providing extra information about this experience. Thanks very much also to Bruce, Sanctuary Management and Major Martin Morris for making all this possible. However the biggest thanks should go to all the UN personnel who kept us safe, the Serious Road Trip who got us there and the people of Sarajevo who made us feel so welcome throughout.

Click here for Part 1...
Click here for Part 2...





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



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aj pero BANDMATES AND STARS PAY TRIBUTE TO TWISTED SISTER AND ADRENALINE MOB DRUMMER AJ PERO
Pero was on tour with Adrenaline Mob when members of that band were unable to rouse him on their bus on Friday morning...

red dragon cartel RED DRAGON CARTEL NAME MICHAEL THOMAS BECK IN LEAD VOCALIST CHANGE UP
Darren James Smith is out, and a new era begins. The saga continues...

walls of jericho WALLS OF JERICHO ARE ENTERING THE STUDIO
The band will start work shortly on their first full length album since 2008...

beyond forgotton shores DORMANT INFERNO & DIONYSUS ANNOUNCE SPLIT RELEASE 'BEYOND FORGOTTEN SHORES'
India's Transcending Obscurity label produces a Doom Metal double...

icon I.C.O.N SIGN TO METALBOX RECORDINGS
With a follow up album to 'New Born Lie' on the way and an extensive touring schedule, 2015 sees I.C.O.N in full flow...

soldierfield SOLDIERFIELD RELEASE OFFICIAL VIDEO FOR 'THE ONLY WAR'
The video is from the latest acclaimed release 'Catharsis'...

serpentine SERPENTINE ANNOUNCE THE RELEASE OF THEIR ALBUM 'CIRCLE OF KNIVES'
The new studio album contains ten brand new songs from the melodic rock quintet...

rival sons RIVAL SONS HAVE RECORDED EXCLUSIVE RECORD STORE DAY TRACKS
The limited edition 7" contains two previously unreleased songs...

styx STYX RELEASE 'LIVE AT THE ORLEANS ARENA LAS VEGAS'
The definitive live show is available on DVD, CD, Blu-ray and digital formats...

electric wizard ELECTRIC WIZARD CONFIRM FULL SUPPORTING CAST FOR HEADLINE SHOW AT THE ROUNDHOUSE IN LONDON
The Cosmic Dead, Purson and Moss are added to the May 15th bill...

mike porcaro MIKE PORCARO OF TOTO DEAD AT 59
The rock world was shook again on Sunday morning, March 15th 2015...

joe bonamassa JOE BONAMASSA & KENNY WAYNE SHEPHERD TO RELEASE EXCLUSIVE RECORD STORE DAY VINYLS
A chance to get your hands on 180g vinyl pressings from the blues rock giants...

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..."

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...

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...

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..."

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..."

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...

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...

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...

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..."

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...

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...

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 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...

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...

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...

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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