GWAR’s Dave Brockie aka Oderus Urungus Passes Away On March 23, 2014

March 24, 2014 by  
Filed under Excelsior's Exclamations

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With much sadness, we report that GWAR’s Dave Brockie, otherwise known as Oderus Urungus… The Overlord Scumdog, has died. Scumdogs don’t die, they go on to rule other galaxies.

The MTT crew will always remember the time we spent backstage with Dave/Oderus. Without a doubt, he was our all-time most vile, offensive, and nauseating interview, and we are very proud to have shared time with him.

Our hearts go out to the Dave’s entire GWAR family.

- Moe Train and King B

GWAR’s manager, Jack Flanagan, released the following statement:

“It is with a saddened heart that I confirm my dear friend Dave Brockie, artist, musician, and lead singer of GWAR, passed away at approximately 6:50 p.m. EST Sunday, March 23, 2014. His body was found Sunday by his bandmate at his home in Richmond, Virginia. Richmond authorities have confirmed his death and next of kin has been notified. A full autopsy will be performed. He was 50 years old, born August 30, 1963.

My main focus right now is to look after my bandmates and his family. More information regarding his death shall be released as the details are confirmed.”

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Update on Jeff Hanneman’s (Slayer) Death

May 9, 2013 by  
Filed under Excelsior's Exclamations

From Slayer.net:

While the details are being worked out now, Slayer wants its fans to know that there will be a celebration of Jeff Hanneman’s life sometime later this month, along with Jeff’s family and friends, the public will be invited to attend. More information will be posted here soon.

Kerry King and Tom Araya are trying to deal with the loss of their brother by remembering some the good times they shared.

KERRY: “I had so many great times with Jeff…in the early days when we were out on the road, he and I were the night owls, we would stay up all night on the bus, just hanging out, talking, watching movies…World War II movies, horror movies, we watched “Full Metal Jacket” so many times, we could practically recite all of the dialogue.”

TOM: “When we first formed Slayer, we used to rehearse all the time, religiously, 24/7. Jeff and I spent a lot of time hanging out together, he lived in my father’s garage which was also our rehearsal space. When he got his own apartment, he had an 8-track and I would go there to record songs I’d written, not Slayer songs, other stuff I’d written. At a certain point, you still have the band but you start your own lives outside of the band, so that 24/7 falls to the side, you don’t spend as much time together as you once did. I miss those early days.”

KERRY: “He was a gigantic World War II buff, his father served in that war, so when Slayer played Russia for the first time – I think it was 1998 – Jeff and I went to one of Moscow’s military museums. I’ll never forget him walking around that place, looking at all of the tanks, weapons and other exhibits. He was like a kid on Christmas morning. But that was Jeff’s thing, he knew so much about WW II history, he could have taught it in school.”

TOM: “We were in New York recording South of Heaven. Jeff and I were at the hotel and we had to get to the studio – I think it was called Chung King, a real rundown place. So we left the hotel and decided to walk, but then it started raining. We walked maybe five blocks, and it was raining so hard, we were totally soaked, so we decided to get a cab. Here we are, two dudes with long hair and leather jackets, absolutely soaked, thumbing to the studio. No one would stop. We had to walk the entire way.”

TOM: “Jeff was a lifeline of Slayer, he wrote so many of the songs that the band will always be known for. He had a good heart, he was a good guy.”

*****

We’ve just learned that the official cause of Jeff’s death was alcohol related cirrhosis. While he had his health struggles over the years, including the recent Necrotizing fasciitis infection that devastated his well-being, Jeff and those close to him were not aware of the true extent of his liver condition until the last days of his life. Contrary to some reports, Jeff was not on a transplant list at the time of his passing, or at any time prior to that. In fact, by all accounts, it appeared that he had been improving – he was excited and looking forward to working on a new record.

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RIP JEFF HANNEMAN FROM SLAYER

May 2, 2013 by  
Filed under Excelsior's Exclamations

The Metal Gods above are receiving a gift today in the form of Jeff Hanneman, guitarist and founding member of Slayer.

Jeff passed away due to liver failure around 11am at a hospital near his house. He is survived by his wife Kathy, his sister Kathy, and his brothers Michael and Larry.

Rest in peace, brother.

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RIP RICHIE HAVENS

April 22, 2013 by  
Filed under Excelsior's Exclamations

From Live Loud Co:

Beloved folk icon Richie Havens died this morning in his home from a sudden heart attack. He was 72.

Havens first became part of musical history during his impromptu opening performance at the 1969 Woodstock Festival. Best known for his distinctive intense, rhythmic guitar style and soulful covers of pop and folk songs, Havens toured and recorded music for over 40 years before retiring from the road 3 years ago. Beyond his music, those who have met Havens will remember his gentle and compassionate nature, his light humor and his powerful presence.

While his family greatly appreciates that Richie’s many fans are also mourning this loss, they do ask for privacy during this difficult time.

A public memorial will be planned for a later date.

——

We at Tracks mourn the loss of a legend. Much respect given to Mr. Havens and his family.

- Moe and B

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Festival Dangers Highlighted By Recent Tragedies

August 19, 2011 by  
Filed under Excelsior's Exclamations

If you’re reading this, then you’ve probably been to a festival at some point in your life.  You know that there are always inherent dangers in attending these events, such as over-partying (to the point of death), getting overheated due to lack of shade/water (many fests need to address this better), car accidents on the long trek to the destination, etc..

Tragedy at Pukkelpop

However, one doesn’t usually think about the fact that a stage could collapse at any point due to structural inefficiencies, winds, storms, installation mistakes, or any other reason.  Sadly, the world has seen not one, but two major festival disasters this month.  First, five were killed at the Indiana State Fair when Sugarland was set to play, and then on August 18, at the Pukkelpop Festival in Belgium.  Three tent stages collapsed, killing five and injuring over 75.  Earlier this summer, the staged collapsed in Ottawa while Cheap Trick was playing, and a lighting rig fell right before The Flaming Lips was set to perform.

The Indiana Department of Homeland Security is in charge of inspecting buildings, rides, and elevators, yet they said that ”there is no permitting process” for erecting a stage of that size. “There is no regulation on it. We do not regulate putting up of scaffolding in a business or an entertainment setting or anything of that type. You’re talking about scaffolding and equipment, not a structure.

The definition of “structure” from Dictionary.com:

1.  mode of building, construction, or organization; arrangement of parts, elements, or constituents: a pyramidal structure.  
2.  something built or constructed, as a building, bridge, or dam.
3.  a complex system considered from the point of view of the whole rather than of any single part: the structure ofmodern science.
4.  anything composed of parts arranged together in some way; an organization.

That asinine comment and “and washing of hands” by saying that the remnants of the stage (see picture below) was not a structure makes the IDHS look like absolute imbeciles.  The stage wasn’t hit by a hurricane or a tornado, so most likely this disaster could have been averted.  But, since the IDHS said that the stage wasn’t a structure, lives were lost.

Festivals need to also be sure that their venue isn’t a black hole for cell phone reception (you KNOW who you are, Mr. Big Festival).  If there is an incident which needs to immediately be addressed, a person should be able to contact emergency personnel at a moments notice, not when they can get a signal.

Bonnaroo has had TEN deaths since their inception in 2002.  The festival is one of our all-time favorite festivals.  Amazing music, people, food and atmosphere.  We’ve been witness to many, many people who get a taste of freedom and hedonism… Take it to the limit and go way beyond their body’s capacity.  We’ve seen people pass out from heat exhaustion (I’ve been there.), people doing fistfulls of pills and acid, and partiers drinking enough alcohol that would make a bear hammered.  This experience is not isolated to one festival.  It’s a far reaching epidemic brought upon by people who don’t know their limits.  Can you blame the festival for all of the deaths?  Of course not.

So, this wasn't a structure...

Does Team Excelsior party while at the festivals?

You’re damn right!  Our coverage plans have always included living the festival like the others do (but quite to the extent that some do.)

Have we taken it a bit too far from time to time and paid the price in the morning (or afternoon)?

Of course! 

But can we, as festival goers/media prevent stages from collapsing or any other structural problems?  NO.  With people purchasing $100+ tickets to festivals, they deserve a peace of mind that all bases will be covered to ensure their safety.  I’m not an engineer, nor a stagehand, but there needs to be international reform of event inspection from a structural point of view.  Stages need to be meticulously inspected from a major governing body, and festival grounds need to have proper amenities available to ensure physical safety.

Here’s to hoping that festivals will re-examine their safety measure from top to bottom, as to ensure the safety of all their guests.  MTT’s hearts go out to all those affected by the recent tragedies.

- Monty “Moe Train” Wiradilaga

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MTT Remembers Paul Gray (#2, The Pig) of Slipknot (R.I.P.)

May 24, 2010 by  
Filed under Excelsior's Exclamations

We had the opportunity (and pleasure) to be in the photo pit during Slipknot’s Mayhem Festival stop in Camden, NJ.  Not only was it the first and only time we’d ever seen Slipknot, but was also hands down one of the most insane concert experiences ever.  We’d already been spit on my Marilyn Manson, shredded to death by Dragonforce, but Slipknot took the overall trophy that day.

Paul Gray, the bassist of Slipknot, was found dead on May 24, 2010 in his Iowa hotel room.  Known as #2 or The Pig, Gray made a huge impact on the rock world through Slipknot’s musical contributions.  #2′s death follows very closely after the passing of Ronnie James Dio and Peter Steel of Type-O Negative.  People always say that things happen in threes…

Bass guitarist Paul Gray performing in metal b...

We had the opportunity (and pleasure) to be in the photo pit during Slipknot’s Mayhem Festival stop in Camden, NJ.  Not only was it the first and only time we’d ever seen Slipknot, but was also hands down one of the most insane concert experiences ever.  We’d already been spit on my Marilyn Manson, shredded to death by Dragonforce, but Slipknot took the overall trophy that day.

The first thing that came into my mind as the curtains opened was, “what the fuck is going on?!”  Weird creatures crawling all over the stage, hydraulic lift drums, and mass insanity.  The music was brutally tight, and we were quite lucky to be in the safety of the photo pit… That was till they sent one of their goons running through the photo pit to break up the piece.  (I took a serious gut shot from a guy that must have been 6’7 350 lbs!  I didn’t care.  Sometimes I miss being in the pit!)

It was easy to suspend reality during their set as the music with the visuals seamlessly fused in musical madness.  We were literally leaning on the stage.  Corey Taylor kept spitting loogs all over the photographers (thankfully, I avoided it), and all the band members were in our face.  We had an extremely close view of very well calculated theatrics.  However, I can’t help but to think that those who were back in the crowd got the full sense of what transpired that night, not those in the guarded photo pit.

After our time was up in the photo pit, I quickly rushed to the other side of the pit and got into where the real maggots were crawling.  I didn’t know the history of the band, nor the words to any of their songs, but damn, they were bad ass.  It’s this lasting image that I have of #2.  Paul Gray was doing what he loved, to the people that loved him and his music.

His legacy lives in the music and all of the people he touched.

R.I.P. #2.

– Moe

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