Dimebag-Darrell.jpg

Scott Gries, Getty Images

The metal community was turned upside-down on Dec. 8, 2004. On the twenty fourth anniversary of the assassination of John Lennon, music fans across the globe were bombarded by instant messages, emails and phone calls from friends and family informing them or wanting to know if the rumors that Pantera and Damageplan guitarist Dimebag Darrell had really been killed onstage. Was his brother and drummer Vinnie Paul still alive, and what happened to everyone else?

As the hours passed, the horrible truth was revealed and the metal scene was irrevocably altered. Dimebag had, indeed been shot and killed while performing onstage with his band Damaegplan. Not only had the world lose a charismatic wildman, a generous soul and a stellar musician, the game instantly changed for nearly every other musician. No longer were fans rushing the stage viewed as welcome participants; they became potential assailants.

“After something like that happens to one of your best friends, how could you ever feel safe, anywhere, ever?” said Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian. “The few times that kids have made it up onto the stage during our show, no matter how friendly the scenario, the first thing I think is, ‘Dude, you should not be on this f—ing stage. You should know better.’ To me, everything changed after Dime was killed. The stage became off-limits for everyone but musicians. I don’t give a f–k how much fun you’re having. Stay the f–k off the stage.”

At the time of the tragedy, Damageplan were two shows away from the end of a tour to support their debut album, New Found Power, and Dime and his brother drummer Vinnie Paul were looking forward to celebrating the holidays and then getting and getting back into the studio to work on a follow-up record.

The afternoon of the shooting, the band arrived at the Alrosa Villa club in Columbus, Ohio. Soundcheck went without incident and then Dimebag, who remembered playing the place in Pantera’s early days, thanked the club owner for booking Damageplan, the group he and his brother formed when they put Pantera on hold. After soundcheck, Dime went back to the band’s bus to get ready for the show. Then the two brothers stood by the side of the stage to watch the opening band.

“They were doing Parliament songs heavy metal style and they were all dressed up like G.I. Joes,” Vinnie Paul told me in 2006. “We were catching such a nut on them. We were back there doing shots and peeking out and cracking up about the whole thing. So, we were all in a good mood and we had a full house that night and went up on the deck and right before we went on Dime was warming up his hand and putting his lip gloss on. The last thing I ever said to him was ‘Van Halen?’ And he gives me five and says, ‘Van f–in’ Halen!’ That was our code word for letting it all hang out and having a good time. And that’s the last thing he ever said to me, man. It’s insane.”

Just a few bars into the opening song “Breathing New Life,” a six-foot-five inch former marine, Nathan Gale, burst out from behind a seven-and-a-half foot-high wall of amps and ran across the stage with a Beretta 9mm handgun. He stopped directly in front of Dime and fired three shots at the back of the guitarist’s head and one that hit his hand. Gale kept firing as members of the crew charged him. The gunman killed four and injured two before putting Paul’s drum tech, John “Kat” Brooks” in a headlock and taking him hostage. That’s when officer James Niggemeyer, responding to a 911 call less than three minutes after it was made, arrived on the scene without backup and shot Gale dead with a single well-placed shot from 12-guage Remington 870 shotgun. Gale had 35 rounds of ammunition left when he was killed. “I knew from that distance I could shoot the suspect, as long as I aimed high enough and wouldn’t hurt the hostage,” Niggemeyer told MTV News in 2005. “At that point, almost immediately, I fired.”

While he was proclaimed a hero, Niggemeyer suffered from severe post-traumatic stress disorder and severe anxiety and eventually quit the police force. In 2011 he got a civilian job and was still seeing a counselor because of the emotional distress he suffered in 2004.

At first, the police thought Gale shot Dimebag because the he was convinced the guitarist was responsible for breaking up Pantera, his favorite band. The news widened the already huge gulf between Vinnie Paul and Pantera vocalist Philip Anselmo, whose continuous pursuit of side projects and lack of communication with the other members of Pantera contributed to the Abbotts’ decision to stop trying to get Pantera back together. During that time, Anselmo and the Abbott brothers exchanged verbal barbs in the press and Vinnie Paul was especially miffed by a comment Anselmo made to UK magazine Metal Hammer that Dime “deserves to be beaten severely.”

“There’s no doubt the guy who did this was out of his f—in’ mind,” Vinnie Paul told me. “He’s somebody that should have been incarcerated. When you’ve got somebody with obvious mental problems, it’s not a great idea for his mother to go get him a gun that’s used for killing people in the military. And obviously, he knew how to use it. He wasn’t just some ragtime dude who grabbed a gun. I saw what happened, and I knew exactly that the dude was on a mission, man, for whatever reason. And the kind of s— [Philip] said [to Metal Hammer] is the kind of s— that might incite the guy that did this to do the kind of things that he did.”

A thorough police investigation following the shooting determined that Gale was a troubled schizophrenic who believed that the members of Pantera were stealing his thoughts. Although Anselmo hasn’t spoken with Vinnie Paul since before the shooting and was told he wasn’t welcome at Dime’s funeral, the vocalist continues to speak highly of his former close friend Dimebag and insists “it just keeps getting tougher and tougher” every year without him. In addition, he continues to extend an olive branch to Vinnie Paul.

“He can come through that door with fifths, a handshake — any of the above — just as long as he comes because I love the guy,” Anselmo told me in 2010. “I love him. I love Vince. He’s a big part of my life, man. I just want to say on my end, I am an open door. I am an open door.”

As the first decade since Dime’s death passed in 2014 it became clear that Vinnie Paul isn’t ready to welcome Anselmo back into his life and he may never be. “It’s just not important to me,” Vinnie said during a Hellyeah interview. “If you had an ex-wife and it was a pretty bitter split, you might not ever want to talk to her again. Who cares if everybody in the family and your friends want you to say hello again. It’s your choice whether you want to do it or not.”

While time has helped heal the wounds of seeing his brother and bandmate killed in front of him, whenever he stops and thinks about Dime, Vinnie starts to get depressed. That’s the main reason he bought a house in Las Vegas, where he spends much of his time.

“Texas will always be my home, but me and my brother used to go to Vegas all the time to escape,” Paul said. “When my brother was taken from us, there were so many ‘I’m sorrys.’ In Dallas that never stopped. It’s always a reminder of what happened when it comes up. People don’t understand that. They mean well, but I could be out somewhere watching a show, having a good time and I’ll hear, ‘Hey, sorry about your brother, man,’ and I’m right back to thinking about that night and him. It was hard to deal with. So I started going to Vegas for a few weeks at a time and I didn’t hear that as much. Then I found out you could buy houses for nothing because the housing market crashed. So I got a really nice house and now I really enjoy spending time in both places.”

By Jon Wiederhorn

13 Years Ago: Dimebag Darrell Slain Onstage

Service finally removes white power bands nearly three years after they were identified on Southern Poverty Law Center list

By Daniel Kreps

Spotify announced it has removed “hate bands” identified by the Southern Poverty Law Center from the streaming service.

The removal comes after Digital Music News, in the wake of last week’s white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, identified at least 27 “hate bands” from the SPLC list on Spotify. Additionally, because of Spotify’s filtering algorithm, bands that catered to neo-Nazi and white supremacist audiences that fell outside the SPLC list were also easily discoverable.

“Spotify takes immediate action to remove any such material as soon as it has been brought to our attention,” the service said in a statement (via Billboard). “We are glad to have been alerted to this content – and have already removed many of the bands identified today, whilst urgently reviewing the remainder.”

A Spotify rep added that the music is provided by record companies and aggregators, and “that illegal content or material that favors hatred or incites violence against race, religion, sexuality or the like is not tolerated by us.”

In 2014, Apple’s iTunes took similar action with the SPLC’s list of 54 white power groups, banishing the bands from its music. The SPLC also condemned Spotify for its “slow” handling of the matter.

“Spotify has said it uses a list produced by Germany’s Federal Department for Media Harmful to Young Persons to identify artists and music that should be removed,” the SPLC wrote in December 2014. “Content can also be flagged by users or others for Spotify to review. But as of today, Spotify has not removed any songs from a list of hate music provided by the SPLC.”

Spotify responded at the time, “We take this very seriously. Content – artists and music – listed by [German agency Federal Review Board for Media Harmful to Minors] BPjM in Germany is proactively removed from our service. We’re a global company, so we use the BPjM index as a global standard for these issues. Other potentially hateful or objectionable content that is flagged by uses or others but not on the BPjM list is handled on a case by case basis.”

Two-and-a-half years later, Spotify has finally taken steps to remove those bands from the service.

Spotify also announced they have curated their new “Patriotic Passion” playlist, “a soundtrack to an America worth fighting for.” The playlist features tracks by artists like Simon & Garfunkel, N.W.A, Lady Gaga, Jimi Hendrix, Madonna and more.

Copied From Rolling Stone magazine

Written By Daniel Kreps

Spotify Takes Steps to Remove Hate Music From Streaming

'I’d like to think you were saying goodbye in your own way'

Chester Bennington has died after hanging himself, it has been reported. At age 41, the Linkin Park lead singer's passing has shocked the music community, in which he was known as one of the leading pioneers of the nu-metal genre.
Bennington wrote an emotional letter to his friend and Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell after he died in May. In it, he touches on his grief, how he inspired him, and how he felt Cornell was "saying goodbye in your own way".

I dreamt about the Beatles last night. I woke up with Rocky Raccoon playing in my head and a concerned look my wife’s face. She told me my friend had just passed away. Thoughts of you flooded my mind and I wept. I’m still weeping, with sadness, as well as gratitude for having shared some very special moments with you and your beautiful family. You have inspired me in many ways you could never have known. Your talent was pure and unrivalled. your voice was joy and pain, anger and forgiveness, love and heartache all wrapped up into one. I suppose that’s what we all are. You helped me understand that. I just watched a video oof you singing “A Day In The Life” by the Beatles and thought of my dream. I’d like to think you were saying goodbye in your own way. I can’t imagine a world without you in it. I pray you find peace in the next life. I send my love to your wife and children, friends and family.

Chester Bennington death: Read the Linkin Park singer’s emotional farewell letter to Chris Cornell

The band from the game League of Legends has stormed the charts and bagged cameos from the likes of Tommy Lee – despite existing only in the imaginations of their creators

How has a band that doesn’t physically exist, with zero promotion from the music industry, breach the Billboard Top 40 and reach No 1 in the iTunes metal chart?
Conceived by California-based gaming gurus Riot Games in 2014, Pentakill exist purely in the imaginations of their creators – and the 100 million global fans of League of Legends, the multiplayer online battle arena game that spawned the band’s members, Karthus the Deathsinger, Yorick, Sona, Olaf and lead guitarist Mordekaiser the Master of Metal.
Entirely under the mainstream radar, the band’s new CGI video, Mortal Reminder, notched up more than 3m views in less than 48 hours after its release – and the new album, Grasp of the Undying, seems destined to be a huge success.

Pentakill – Mortal Reminder

http://youtu.be/5-mT9D4fdgQ

Although the bulk of the work was done by Riot Games’ in-house composers and sound designers, the album also features collaborations with some of metal’s most respected musicians – there are cameos from the likes of Tommy Lee, Nine Inch Nails alumnus Danny Lohner and Noora Louhimo, singer with the Finnish metal band Battle Beast.
Grasp of the Undying is a surprisingly convincing and substantial modern metal record, even without its pixelated trimmings. Factor in the eye-popping visuals and explosive violence of League of Legends – witness the Mortal Reminder video for evidence – and Pentakill could hardly be more fitting (or preposterous) standard bearers for the love-in between gaming and metal fans, blurring the lines between so-called real music and digital fantasy in a way that no acts have managed before.

Is this the future? Alvin and the Chipmunks were way ahead of the game. They’ve been doing this since 1958!” laughs Tantula. “Even Gorillaz have been killin’ it for more than a decade now. But, regardless, once Skynet becomes sentient and replaces us, a virtual future is pretty much guaranteed. Right now, we just want to usher in a new era of metal domination!”

Pentakill: how a metal band that doesn’t exist made it to No 1

CONDOLEEZZA RICE trained to be a concert pianist. Alan Greenspan, former chairman of the Federal Reserve, was a professional clarinet and saxophone player. The hedge fund billionaire Bruce Kovner is a pianist who took classes at Juilliard.
Multiple studies link music study to academic achievement. But what is it about serious music training that seems to correlate with outsize success in other fields?
The connection isn’t a coincidence. I know because I asked. I put the question to top-flight professionals in industries from tech to finance to media, all of whom had serious (if often little-known) past lives as musicians. Almost all made a connection between their music training and their professional achievements.
The phenomenon extends beyond the math-music association. Strikingly, many high achievers told me music opened up the pathways to creative thinking. And their experiences suggest that music training sharpens other qualities: Collaboration. The ability to listen. A way of thinking that weaves together disparate ideas. The power to focus on the present and the future simultaneously.
Will your school music program turn your kid into a Paul Allen, the billionaire co-founder of Microsoft (guitar)? Or a Woody Allen (clarinet)? Probably not. These are singular achievers. But the way these and other visionaries I spoke to process music is intriguing. As is the way many of them apply music’s lessons of focus and discipline into new ways of thinking and communicating — even problem solving.
Look carefully and you’ll find musicians at the top of almost any industry. Woody Allen performs weekly with a jazz band. The television broadcaster Paula Zahn (cello) and the NBC chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd (French horn) attended college on music scholarships; NBC’s Andrea Mitchell trained to become a professional violinist. Both Microsoft’s Mr. Allen and the venture capitalist Roger McNamee have rock bands. Larry Page, a co-founder of Google, played saxophone in high school. Steven Spielberg is a clarinetist and son of a pianist. The former World Bank president James D. Wolfensohn has played cello at Carnegie Hall.
“It’s not a coincidence,” says Mr. Greenspan, who gave up jazz clarinet but still dabbles at the baby grand in his living room. “I can tell you as a statistician, the probability that that is mere chance is extremely small.” The cautious former Fed chief adds, “That’s all that you can judge about the facts. The crucial question is: why does that connection exist?”
Paul Allen offers an answer. He says music “reinforces your confidence in the ability to create.” Mr. Allen began playing the violin at age 7 and switched to the guitar as a teenager. Even in the early days of Microsoft, he would pick up his guitar at the end of marathon days of programming. The music was the emotional analog to his day job, with each channeling a different type of creative impulse. In both, he says, “something is pushing you to look beyond what currently exists and express yourself in a new way.”
Mr. Todd says there is a connection between years of practice and competition and what he calls the “drive for perfection.” The veteran advertising executive Steve Hayden credits his background as a cellist for his most famous work, the Apple “1984” commercial depicting rebellion against a dictator. “I was thinking of Stravinsky when I came up with that idea,” he says. He adds that his cello performance background helps him work collaboratively: “Ensemble playing trains you, quite literally, to play well with others, to know when to solo and when to follow.”
For many of the high achievers I spoke with, music functions as a “hidden language,” as Mr. Wolfensohn calls it, one that enhances the ability to connect disparate or even contradictory ideas. When he ran the World Bank, Mr. Wolfensohn traveled to more than 100 countries, often taking in local performances (and occasionally joining in on a borrowed cello), which helped him understand “the culture of people, as distinct from their balance sheet.”


It’s in that context that the much-discussed connection between math and music resonates most. Both are at heart modes of expression. Bruce Kovner, the founder of the hedge fund Caxton Associates and chairman of the board of Juilliard, says he sees similarities between his piano playing and investing strategy; as he says, both “relate to pattern recognition, and some people extend these paradigms across different senses.”

Mr. Kovner and the concert pianist Robert Taub both describe a sort of synesthesia — they perceive patterns in a three-dimensional way. Mr. Taub, who gained fame for his Beethoven recordings and has since founded a music software company, MuseAmi, says that when he performs, he can “visualize all of the notes and their interrelationships,” a skill that translates intellectually into making “multiple connections in multiple spheres.”
For others I spoke to, their passion for music is more notable than their talent. Woody Allen told me bluntly, “I’m not an accomplished musician. I get total traction from the fact that I’m in movies.”
Mr. Allen sees music as a diversion, unconnected to his day job. He likens himself to “a weekend tennis player who comes in once a week to play. I don’t have a particularly good ear at all or a particularly good sense of timing. In comedy, I’ve got a good instinct for rhythm. In music, I don’t, really.”
Still, he practices the clarinet at least half an hour every day, because wind players will lose their embouchure (mouth position) if they don’t: “If you want to play at all you have to practice. I have to practice every single day to be as bad as I am.” He performs regularly, even touring internationally with his New Orleans jazz band. “I never thought I would be playing in concert halls of the world to 5,000, 6,000 people,” he says. “I will say, quite unexpectedly, it enriched my life tremendously.”
Music provides balance, explains Mr. Wolfensohn, who began cello lessons as an adult. “You aren’t trying to win any races or be the leader of this or the leader of that. You’re enjoying it because of the satisfaction and joy you get out of music, which is totally unrelated to your professional status.”
For Roger McNamee, whose Elevation Partners is perhaps best known for its early investment in Facebook, “music and technology have converged,” he says. He became expert on Facebook by using it to promote his band, Moonalice, and now is focusing on video by live-streaming its concerts. He says musicians and top professionals share “the almost desperate need to dive deep.” This capacity to obsess seems to unite top performers in music and other fields.

Ms. Zahn remembers spending up to four hours a day “holed up in cramped practice rooms trying to master a phrase” on her cello. Mr. Todd, now 41, recounted in detail the solo audition at age 17 when he got the second-highest mark rather than the highest mark — though he still was principal horn in Florida’s All-State Orchestra.
“I’ve always believed the reason I’ve gotten ahead is by outworking other people,” he says. It’s a skill learned by “playing that solo one more time, working on that one little section one more time,” and it translates into “working on something over and over again, or double-checking or triple-checking.” He adds, “There’s nothing like music to teach you that eventually if you work hard enough, it does get better. You see the results.”
That’s an observation worth remembering at a time when music as a serious pursuit — and music education — is in decline in this country.
Consider the qualities these high achievers say music has sharpened: collaboration, creativity, discipline and the capacity to reconcile conflicting ideas. All are qualities notably absent from public life. Music may not make you a genius, or rich, or even a better person. But it helps train you to think differently, to process different points of view — and most important, to take pleasure in listening.

What do you think? Leave a comment.

Copied From The New York Times

Is Music the Key to Success?

Kendall and Kylie Jenner learned a valuable lesson today — sometimes it’s NOT easier to ask for forgiveness than permission … because they just apologized for ripping off images of music icons to hawk t-shirts for $125.00 a pop.
Kendall and Kylie just waived the white flag saying … “These designs were not well thought out and we deeply apologize to anyone that has been upset and/or offended, especially to the families of the artists.

It’s pretty incredible. The Jenners slapped images of Notorious B.I.G., Tupac, Ozzy Osbourne, The Doors, Pink Floyd, Metallica, and others … without ever contacting them or their estates. We say incredible because they themselves have been embroiled in fights where people have tried using their images.
 Biggie’s estate fired off a cease and desist letter to the Jenners and Biggie’s mom accused them of “exploitation.”
Kendall and Kylie have now scrubbed their site of the entire vintage line.

KENDALL AND KYLIE JENNER YANK ALL THEIR ‘VINTAGE T-SHIRTS’ OF METAL AND ROCK ICONS. WE’RE SO SORRY.

Bob Seger, left, and his Silver Bullet Band in London in 1977 (from second to left: Drew Abbott, Robyn Robbins, Alto Reed, Chris Campbell and Charlie Allen Martin). Malcolm Clarke/Getty Images


“[Bob] Seger’s absence from digital services, combined with the gradual disappearance of even physical copies of half his catalog, suggest a rare level of indifference to his legacy,” Tim Quirk wrote for NPR Music in late March in his feature, “Where Have All The Bob Seger Albums Gone?”
Today, much of Seger’s music has finally arrived in the digital realm, and so half of that late-career dereliction — whether by design or overly tightened professional security — is now erased. Taylor who?
No less than 13 of Seger’s previously unavailable albums — Beautiful Loser, Night Moves, Live Bullet, Stranger In Town, Nine Tonight, Against The Wind, The Distance, Greatest Hits, Like A Rock, Greatest Hits 2, The Fire Inside, Ultimate Hits and Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Man — are now available on most major streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music, but notably excluding both Pandora Premium and Tidal.
Unlike many streaming holdouts, the vast majority of Seger’s music — even his bestselling Greatest Hits — was also never available to purchase as digital files. Compounding the problem, physical copies of many of his greatest albums also remain difficult to find, though some of Seger’s albums, including Greatest Hits and his 1968 debut, Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Man, are now being reissued on vinyl.

“[Bob] Seger’s absence from digital services, combined with the gradual disappearance of even physical copies of half his catalog, suggest a rare level of indifference to his legacy,” Tim Quirk wrote for NPR Music in late March in his feature, “Where Have All The Bob Seger Albums Gone?”

Today, much of Seger’s music has finally arrived in the digital realm, and so half of that late-career dereliction — whether by design or overly tightened professional security — is now erased. Taylor who?
No less than 13 of Seger’s previously unavailable albums — Beautiful Loser, Night Moves, Live Bullet, Stranger In Town, Nine Tonight, Against The Wind, The Distance, Greatest Hits, Like A Rock, Greatest Hits 2, The Fire Inside, Ultimate Hits and Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Man — are now available on most major streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music, but notably excluding both Pandora Premium and Tidal.
Unlike many streaming holdouts, the vast majority of Seger’s music — even his bestselling Greatest Hits — was also never available to purchase as digital files. Compounding the problem, physical copies of many of his greatest albums also remain difficult to find, though some of Seger’s albums, including Greatest Hits and his 1968 debut, Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Man, are now being reissued on vinyl.

By Andrew Flanagan

Bob Seger’s Music Finally Arrives Online