Remembering Eddie Van Halen My Guitar Hero

I don’t know where to begin…..I never thought I’d be mouring Eddie Van Halen. I thought the same in January when Neil Peart passed. We never think that our idols and closest of family and friends will ever leave this world….but they do…

When I was a kid around 5 or 6 I remember hearing Van Halen for the first time. My uncle Rick was a huge fan and had seen them in concert. We had cable at home and when I was by myself the channel was always set to 32 for MTV. They played Van Halen videos all the time. Jump, Panama, Hot for Teacher etc. The keyboard intro 1984 always caught my attention. Then going right into Jump. It was Eruption thought that blew me away.

If anyone plays rock guitar and likes Eddie at some point in their playing career they tried to or did learn Eruption. I remember once I got it. My friends Andy, Eric and George would constantly say “play Eruption.” It was our jam. As that little 6 year old kid I used to get in trouble all the time. I had this old tennis racket that I pretended was my guitar and id jump on and off my bed as if it was a stage. Trying to be just like Eddie. I’d go to the corner store Bills or Davila’s and buy the candy cigarettes and tape one to the racket because it looked like Eddie lol.

I met Eddie a few times and he was cool as hell. I never thought I’d meet my guitar hero but I did. Come to think of it, he was the only guitar hero of mine I actually got to meet. Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Randy Rhoads….they all died young and before I could really know much about them. Back in 2014 my dad bought me this guitar. The Eddie Van Halen Frankenstrat replica. I love this guitar. I dreamed of owning this guitar when I was a kid. I had dreams that I had one and I’d wake up and look around my room and the house looking for my EVH guitar but it was just a dream. Thats how real the dreams were for me at such a young age.

Eddie inspired so many guitarists. Many would say he wasn’t that great of a guitarist. They’re full of shit! Eddie is Legendary. He filled this guy with the passion to learn an instrument that has now been part of my entire life. I have this guitar, the shoes, guitar picks, etc but the memory of meeting the man himself and what the music has meant to me will live on…I was sitting here playing Eruption over and over and realized holy fuck I forgot some of it. Then it came back to me. I really don’t know what else to say….Eddie Van Halen has always been one of my idols and he always will…..If I had the chance to tell him again I’d say thank you for the music and the inspiration….

RIP Edward Van Halen

When I….

most people dont like to think of the day they will die or expire from this earth. Earlier tonight a friend lost a family member. Its never easy to lose someone under any circumstance. As humans though we must come to the realization that we aren’t getting any younger and one day we as well will leave this Earth leaving behind our own kids and grandkids and such. Its a painful thought. Growing up from the time I was around 7 or 8 I started getting dreams that I would die in a plane crash. I dont really have those dreams anymore but its a hell of a thing to think of when your 10 minutes into a 20 hour trip. Death is never easy for anyone. I’d like to know that when my time is up that the people in my life at that time will know what I would like. My final wishes if you say.

Like I say no one ever wants to go through or even think of their own demise but lets be realistic. It would make things easier for those we leave behind. Honestly for me its pretty simple. I dont need anything fancy. I dont need tons of flowers and a fancy funeral home. Just give me a peaceful place where those can mourn for me. I also would want someone to play quietly a CD of Frederic Chopin who is my favorite classical composer. His music just has touched me in so many ways. The piece I want played for sure….is Etude in E Tristesse Opus 10 No. 3. It is my favorite piece ever written. It sets the moods I love. I always dreamed of going to Europe and sitting in the Swiss Alps and listening to it. My dream came true where I got to do so. I also would like a selection of other pieces like Grand Valse Brilliante and Raindrops Prelude in D Flat Major Opus 28 No. 15 and anything written in C Sharp Minor my favorite key. As a little kid I slept and enjoyed classical music. Mozart, Chopin, Beethoven, Strauss, Tchaikovsky, Brahms, Bach…etc…I’d also like for my family or whomever to display at least one guitar because its been my passion since I was little.

I dont mind giving others the chance to mourn and pay their respects but what I would really like after all the final goodbyes is to be cremated and have my ashes spread across the Swiss Alps where I can forever rest where it is cold and in a serene beautiful place. Thats my only wishes. I wont have kids im sure at 36 right now im sure no girl is looking to get pregnant at this age beacuse most already have a handful of kids. So thats all I really would want. Nothing fancy just my favorite music. Of course if whomever decides to bury me thats fine but at least let it be a nice spot dont throw me in a fucking ghetto! lol.

I guess i could talk of something more happy like…….If I get married.

Well, this is a long shot. I doubt I have much in common with anyone and seriously the only person I have nearly 99% in common with i call da boss. LOL. I dont see the point in lavish weddings but i know the ladies dream of all that. I once thought writing one’s own vows was cheesy but i think it would be the coolest thing. Problem is….i’d bore the fuck out of everyone because i’d be like Stevie Wonder at the Grammys saying…..”and i’d like to thank…” lol. I guess my thing is…I dont want a wedding that would be the social event of the season lol. I surely dont want some father saying….”Gill its time we had a talk….” sorry buddy but if we are at this point its safe to say im already fucking your daughter…..WELL! LOL. As far as food goes. Fuck man just bring on a mixture of mexican food and some BBQ! That’s my fav shit lol. How about after getting married i get her to do do a AFF skydive with me?!? Hell fucking yeah! ok ok ok ok wait, this is all shit you know because I wont be getting married but it is a what if! lol. I mean what girl really wants to marry a guy that is constantly away from home unless she is away with me making music and shit eh? lol.

Wow im sitting here typing this to some spaced out meditation music on you tube. Whoa! Oh I forgot to add above that I also want Adagio for Strings at my funeral so jot this shit down or something. lol Damn this is stoner kinda music. Well below I will attach some you tube videos of a few classical pieces I mentioned above. My favorites. Take a quick listen even if you dont like or listen to classical. Maybe you will enjoy it one day. OOOOOH i forgot to mention……A while back I had played some lotto numbers…didnt win shit. So i had a fortune from a fortune cookie and was gonna play those numbers this particular evening. I forgot to buy the ticket. So I ended up checking the numbers for that night. Can you fucking believe ALL numbers on the fortune were the WINNING numbers? Yeah I would have won that shit. Hey more money doesnt hurt eh? I never play but just for shits and giggles decided to or meant to and BAM the numbers i had struck and i didnt play. Figures eh? Oh well. SO thats my idiot moment of the year so far. lol.

Enjoy the music and you will see why I love these pieces of classical music.

Ok so here are the videos.

Etude in E – Tristesse

Adagio for Strings

Steve Jobs 1955-2011

First off many know I am not an Apple fan by any means. Therefore I really can’t say anything about Steve Jobs that will fascinate you. With his death days ago I had to stop all the teasing because it just wasn’t right to do. I still won’t be an Apple fan but I will give my sypathy to his family on his death.

I guess thats why he decided to step down as CEO in order to enjoy what was left of his life. Makes me wonder why a man with all the money couldn’t get treatment for his situation. Then again I guess it was at a point where it was untreatable. I dont know. Im sure others do. Like i say though, I didn’t follow the life of him.

He did create a kick ass Apple IIe computer which I remember creating stupid loop programs and shit back in elementary school. lol. Thats about all I can say. Out of respect for his family and his followers I simply wanted to post this to pay respects to the innovator he was and will continue to be. I can’t see myself paying that much for a laptop but then again I am a PC guy so those that like MACs im sure will continue to enjoy his products. For those that do, thats the biggest tribute to the man they could do.

It is true that many of his ideas were incorporated in the computers we use today. I guess I grew to like computers because of that Apple IIe tan colored big ass computer LOL.

So as I end this, thanx Steve Jobs.

On a humorous note: look at those old pics of Steve when he had long hair, beard and glasses……I swear he resembles Ben Javhari from the Short Circuit movies (played by Fisher Stevens) lol

RIP Steve

Steve Jobs 1955-2011

Steve Jobs 1955-2011

Just A Quick Post….

Lately I have been feeling pretty down. Its hard to imagine someone that I looked up to and shared great memories with is gone. I guess I will never get over that. Most people dont get over death, they just learn to cope. I think right now I am in that coping stage. I can find myself being happy as ever during the day and the next moment i break out in tears thinking of Paul. Not only as a human being but also his music impacted me. Having the utmost pleasure of knowing him……it was an honor. I always thought of his laugh as sort of a Butt-head laugh. lol. I find myself jamming to the music as hard as before and yet when its over i feel about as weak and sad as a person that just lost someone.

I think for me I need more closure. I need to go back to visit his grave and say somethings I never got to say before. Things I never got to say before he died. We tend to take for granted the people in our lives imagining they will always be there throughout our entire life then they are gone. Nothing in life ever prepares you for that. Nothing. I always have this macho persona and I keep things bottled up for so long. Lately I think those feelings need to come out. I cant discuss those feelings with all of you. Many of you wont understand or wont even care to understand. Ive tried to talk to some about it but hesitated because i’d probably just get rolling eyes. I really cant talk to anyone about everything because who can really relate to it all? I’d figure only someone that cared for the guy as much as I did could understand. I wish I could be on that motorcycle in Switzerland again taking that 300+ mile journey into the Swiss Alps. Views to die for which I spend moments thinking about these things. I videoed a few parts of those roads for myself and to one day share with others. You all see the beauty of this little country through my camera eye, reference to Rush, but my mind was on other things. Like one instance where I nearly forgot how to brake and downshift on the bike when a large group of people was crossing the street near Interlaken.

I wont rant on and on but to those of you who have loved ones you really care about which should be all of you lol…..dont take them for granted. One day they will not be here. Spend all the time with those people as you can. I wish I could have but thats just not how the cards were played. All I can do is cope with that and hope to god, allah….or who ever that there is a better place than this. Life is too short. Now as I bid you all a goodnight im off to shower, read on the kindle a bit and then go to sleep. Need to buy some Arctic Silver 5 to see if that helps my PC CPU.

Goodnight friends. SOrry I dont have pics to post. I do but since i have been re-working on my system I dont have everything organized just yet.


Remembering Paul Gray: One Year Later

Remembering Paul Gray: One Year Later

I can remember nearly a year ago today as I write this and one year to date when I publish this that our Slipknot brother Paul Dedrick Gray was found dead in Urbandale Iowa. As we go about our day full of work, errands and various odd things to do, we sometimes forget the small things in life. Just about everywhere we go we listen to music in some capacity. Be it on the radio, a CD, watching your favorite bands DVD or even just humming the song in your head while you perform your daily tasks. For me it was Rush. Ive stated over the years that many different bands including Slipknot have been part of a huge soundtrack to my life. Even though Rush was playing in my vehicle that day, there is always the reminders of Slipknot in my mind. The All Access laminates, seeing a Maggot with a t-shirt on, a Tribal S tattoo. During this period my musical tastes once again had changed as it does normally. Its my way of studying and learning different techniques of those greats. For me though, Slipknot is with me daily. My Tribal S tattoo, the 9-ball signifying the official number nine and my Japanese Kanji one bearing the name of the band. Still to this day sporting these inked wonders for the public to see. So with that said, I come to the real reason I am writing this. If you have any interest in Paul Gray and my thoughts on him and the band then I ask you to please read on. If not, thank your for even reading this far! …….

In the beginning of Slipknot I never really spent much time talking to Paul. Maybe it was because I never considered myself a bass player. Maybe it was because I felt outside of my circle. Here was this tall shaved headed guy as nice as you could imagine and I gave him the cold shoulder. Even a few times when we locked eyes and I made it appear as I wanted to talk to him but felt too shy……. I didn’t. Then one day on the Viva La Loco Tour with Coal Chamber I was smoking a joint with Dez Fafara, singer for Coal Chamber, my friend Recio and Paul came over asking for a drag. No one knew him. The fans were clueless that their favorite bands bassist was merely a few feet away standing on the side of the stage in plain view. Most of the venues we played back then were small quite old buildings. Run down pieces of shit that could have allowed anyone to do something has horrible as happened to Dimebag Darrell. Although, I had by this time spoken to Paul and shared some laughs, this weed smoking “puff puff give” moment was a defining moment for me. After that, things changed. I was no longer afraid to talk to him. So you ask why was it so much different to talk to him than Joey, Corey or James? Well, being that Paul was the head honcho! The co-founding member of this band that had caught my attention. He to me was larger than life. For me, meeting Paul was quite similar in effect to how I felt the first time I met Ozzy Osbourne. Yeah yeah, people say Paul and Slipknot are a shit band with no talent. They in many ways created a new theme to shock rock. It was about a circus show. Masks, suits, heavy gear, kegs, steel pipes and fire on stage. In many ways I feel ashamed that I felt this way.

Paul was always one of the guys after shows and even before hanging around the crowds when given the opportunity. He felt one of the most important factors to his success as a musician was not about how many chicks he could fuck or how many autographs he could sign; it was about making that connection with the fans. It was something that almost everyone in the band came to enjoy. Back at this time it was easier to interact with fans. Fame was not such a huge factor. It was about rising as far as they could with what they had to work with. Paul daily was out there making music, performing what he loved and meeting with the people that made it all possible. As the years went by, record after record and break after break it was harder to make contact with the band. This was a defining moment for them. Yet Paul still made his rounds. Meeting with fans, taking those pics and signing autographs and even pausing for a few moments to hear a life changing story from someone he hardly knew. Many of these fans were commenting on their love for the music or his bass playing. He would nod and smile back with a handshake or a hug and thank the fans. Then there were the fans that would break out in tears. Not for meeting someone they admired but because they wanted to share their story of life, survival and healing. “You saved my life. I wanted to kill myself until I heard this song. My brother died and loved you guys. Ive been depressed for so long and your music just gave me the power to change my life…..” So many to mention. All life changing in their own ways. Every time I heard these and looked at Paul he would chuckle and shed some tears. Its an emotional feeling you just can’t describe. Unless you save lives for a living its hard to really grasp the idea of that. Paul at first thought, how could me playing a bass really change someone’s life? Yet it did and he quickly began to understand how that could happen. He looked back to his favorite bands and how a particular song was his solace from life.

Paul was the spirit of the band. Technically he still is just not physically. With nine people on a bus it was hard to manage living with people so much different than each other. He joined in on the partying, the smoking, the drinking, the women and everything else that come with being a star. He was even caught dead in the middle of arguments he had nothing to do with at all. Yet he found ways to get everyone back in a good mood. Paul was in many ways like myself. Caring, funny, shy at times and talented. In his career he did let his fame get to his head. The money was coming in so fast he didn’t know what to do with it. In the bands down time he turned back to drugs as his release from everything. As many who do drugs will always do without any proper help. He became the subject of talk when he got in an accident with a lady and her child. He was arrested for possession of drug paraphernalia. It happens. Of course this is in no way a good thing nor do I condone his use of drugs or anyone’s. Although he made it through this terrible time and back to the stage, the drugs continued to haunt him. Similarly as with my own situation where I allowed a past relationship to haunt me. We both did things and tried hard to overcome those demons but just never could. Always seeking the right advice. The smallest thing that could just magically change our lives forever. Just when he thought he found it, he allowed himself to fall back into the hands of the devil. Slipknot was his accomplishment. It was that band that he helped keep together for a ten year anniversary. When everyone doubted Slipknot would last two album cycles they lasted ten years. When other bands became just one hit wonders they survived. That just sweetened the pot. Already he was part of this machine that was nominated for many Grammys and eventually won one. In America, winning a Grammy is the best accomplishment industry wise one can achieve. Many artists today have survived years without ever winning one.

For Paul, Slipknot was his life. Everyone associated with them was his extended family. This included the fans. I can remember the days they had just a handful of people following them up to the days where they graduated to stadiums and arenas. One can be huge in America but never anywhere else but Slipknot was worldwide. It was a monster. Slipknot spread like a plague across the world. Paul could always remember playing in these smaller intimate clubs but on their first trip to Europe it was chaos.

The sickness grew so fast it was an epidemic. Going from an attendance of 1,000 to 50,000 plus was mind blowing for Paul. Once again one of those defining moments where you just stop and take it all in and realize this is really happening. Paul would state he never imagined Slipknot blowing up as huge as they did. He figured they would be that band that came out with a few hit songs and later ended up back home in Des Moines trying to figure out what happened to them. Instead they achieved fame. With the help of his eight brothers they turned something they loved into a source of income.

In the fall of 2009, Slipknot toured one last leg of festivals in Europe. Gods of Metal, Rock IM, Rock AM Ring, Download…etc. Sharing the stage with some of the guys even they admired as they grew up. Iron Maiden, Metallica, KISS…etc…Once again, another defining moment in their career and another one for the books. The basis for Slipknot’s latest DVD release is a performance at the yearly UK Download Festival. One of Paul’s final performances with the band. Paul seemed to have his life in order. He married and later found out he would be a proud father. After this tour ended with shows in Europe and the USA, Slipknot went on to take their usual break as Corey and James would be preparing for their Stone Sour project. Paul spent time at home with his wife and working on various projects with other musicians. His mind was always at work. Constantly writing and coming up with ideas. By May of 2010 Paul didn’t have work to worry about. It was the bands time off. His only real concern was becoming a father. Yet he never stopped ticking and once again the habits that haunted him for years took over. On May 24, 2010 Paul Gray was found dead in his hotel room by a housekeeper for the hotel. He was found with drugs, paraphernalia, his bags and his bass. His autopsy declared the drugs had killed him. Always looking back and thinking that nothing will ever happen to them because they have done it so many times before. His death shocked his fans. His bandmates in disbelief. I was notified of his death by text. Same way I was notified about Dimebag Darrell’s death. Wanting to believe that this was just another hoax concocted by some fucked up hater, it was true. Can’t say I shed any tears at that moment. Was too shocked. I turned to alcohol as my healer. I mentioned earlier that we both had our own demons we had to fight. Although I had many as he did as well, I managed to fight off the depression I had for that past relationship. New hobbies and new friends made that possible. Not to mention new love. Paul never did find that healing. Although he was loved by so many, he felt helpless. So helpless he turned to drugs. His wife was not much help. She more than likely had to know he was on drugs. She could have done something…said something….Maybe she did and maybe she didn’t. Either way, Paul felt too comfortable with those drugs. Once again feeling invincible as if nothing would ever happen to him. Status, fame, wealth has no bearing on our lives. No matter how much we have or how little our lives can turn to shit and we can die in the blink of an eye. I imagined Paul sitting in that room writing on his bass. He got stoked about some new material he really dug and while already under the influence of that drug, he happily took more. It was like a reward. I might be wrong but that’s just what I had dreamed the night after. Its like I was looking at a camera of him sitting there.

Paul died before he reached his 40s. He married the woman he loved and he brought a beautiful daughter into this world. Her name is October Dedrick Gray. Sadly he will never get to see the most beautiful creation he ever made on this Earth. He wont be able to see her grow up and help her through life as a father should always do with their daughters. During Paul’s life he experienced so much. So much that he lived the dream. He toured the world and won over the hearts of millions worldwide. He changed lives, saved lives and brought one into this world. He leaves behind memories of his career and his personal life. He leaves behind the fans with whom each has their own unique memories of him. Paul Gray did things to himself that we don’t all agree with as do many other stars but he also did so many positive things. He made his mark in this world to forever hold his tiny place in music history. He helped pave the way for his fellow brothers and their own musical careers so that even when Slipknot officially retires their masks forever they can move on and remember those days and accomplishments. For me, music, awards, fans…its all shit compared to the daughter he leaves behind but with the career he held she will always know that her daddy was loved by so many people young and old. She will be able to look back at his photos as Paul Gray the man he was off the stage and see his face, his smile and hear his voice. She will be able to see him in action as #2 of Slipknot. Even if she never comes to like his music she can still love her father for what he became…….a legendary musician who helped pave the way for a new era of metal music. She will hear and read of those who were inspired to follow in their own dreams because of him.

Its been one year now since his death and can’t say that it is any easier to handle. Every moment that I can think of pops in my head. That joke, that first handshake, that time he put the pig mask on my face and told me to tease the crowd in S.A. I saw a taste of that fame through his eyes. Standing next to him and even wearing that mask as dirty and stinky as it was and seeing 3,000 people throw their fucking middle fingers in the fucking air was an honor indeed. I cherish those moments and will continue to do so. Paul allowed me to get that glimpse of what it was like to feel loved by so many. A feeling I would never feel for myself. Im not rockstar and never will be but for those moments in time I can think back as if it was yesterday and imagine how awesome it was. I never could get over my shyness of playing in front of people let alone stars and huge crowds. For Paul, he did and he made every moment worth everything he could. No matter how close anyone was to him, it was just his time to go. He made his mark on the world and the good man upstairs called upon him. It’s the cycle of life we all live and must face. Yet that doesn’t give us the right to fuck our lives up by killing ourselves and poisoning our minds and bodies with trash like drugs.

Im not one to preach to anyone about things although I do do it sometimes but in honor of Paul Gray’s memory I want to take this time to reach out to you all about drugs. I have tried drugs before. I smoked weed in my 20s. I tried cocaine but I never shot up anything. At 35 years old I do not use any drugs nor have I recently stopped doing any. Besides the occasional cigar or beer, I am drug free. If you are abusing any illegal narcotics and/or alcohol or know someone that is, please get them help. They will tell you shit. They will cuss at you and call you names and tell you to fuck off but fuck man you have to be tough. You have to get raw with them. You have to explain to them that they are ruining their lives. Sure those drugs might make one feel great but if they are constantly abusing them to the point that they go through with drawl and are wasting their money then that’s a sure sign they need help and fast. Don’t wait forever hoping that someone else will do it because that day you decide to finally do something might be too late. Its one thing to bury someone when they die of natural causes but to bury someone that allows themselves and others to slowly poison themselves its unacceptable. We as humans are always giving our advice to others. I know I do but we never seem to take our own advice. Paul was an example. He would give you advice or that pick me up you needed yet he never allowed himself to find solace in his own life and love himself. Those around him that knew of his habits that never said anything im sure look back and think…..”what if…” It’s a powerful statement. “What if I had helped him? What if I had kicked their ass and made them get help?” We as humans always think of our emotional state and that of others. We never want to disappoint or hurt others so we keep our feelings locked up inside. Then one day it’s too late and we let all that out. Rather than be that “what if” be that “I did.” Help those that need it. Reach out to the ones you love that need help. Sure I am annoying, I hate Apple and ive had bad experiences with women but when I really want to say something that makes sense I do it. If anyone thinks what I have said in this post is full of shit then I think you should really re-think your morals. Everything I have said here comes from the heart. Nothing here is meant to be funny or stupid. This is a serious post for me and an emotional one. This post is about Paul’s death one year later but is also about looking at the events that lead to his death and helping those that need it. Be the voice of reason. Don’t let someone you love end up losing their life as Paul did over drugs. Drugs are shit and I refuse to poison my body with them. As a tribute to Paul if you are a fan, help someone or just get the good word out there about the horrible effects on drugs and how they kill. Paul’s memory lives on in each of you that is a fan. You all made his life worth living and although some of you may feel betrayed by his drug abuse, remember that he also accomplished so much. Remember the music that still resonates through your speakers and in your hearts. No one can take that from you ever. Paul Dedrick Gray lives on even after death and his millions of fans are why…..

Petra caeli……

Thanx to you all & Special Thanx to you Maggots/Fans…..

Masked Isolation

In a city known for its vast cornfields and as The Hartford of the West, came nine men who with a vivid dream of making their musical aspirations a reality. Known to many as Des Moines Iowa, the nine members of Slipknot referred to their hometown as “Des Fucking Moines Iowa.” In the beginning Slipknot went though many changes in the line-up. Holding true to the bands roots though was one of the founding members of the band. A young rocker named Paul Dedrick Gray. He would lead the band to a future they never really imagined. In the early years of Slipknot every member would tell you that they never imagined becoming the huge rock icons they have become today. Each member in their own representing the band in their own unique way. Paul enjoyed taking the stage and speaking with his fans…their fans! This post is dedicated to the memory of Slipknot’s one and only bassist, (#2) Paul Dedrick Gray.

Paul was born in Los Angeles California on April 8 1972. He died May 24 2010 in Urbandale Iowa in a hotel room. In his 38 years old life he had been though just about everything you can imagine. No need to go into these things but in his mid-20s Paul and Slipknot began their trek across the world looking for just a piece of music history. Paul would recall the times they played local venues like Hairy Mary’s and there would be only a few people in attendance but they played anyways for the people that did show up. When they began touring with Ozzfest their chance to be noticed had finally come. They hit the Ozzfest with such force that they became one of the driving forces of the tour. On that stage in the beginning to the end was Paul.

We know him by many names. Pig mask, #2..etc are just a few. Slipknot at this time was chaotic and energetic but most of all, a mystery. No one knew the identity of these nine men. After each performance the members of the band would reach out to their fans. The suspense of not know who was who was exciting to the fans. Many times they stood next to a member and never knew it. Although members like Corey, Joey and Shawn were always out to greet fans, Paul would make his presence known. Speaking with fans and fulfilling their wishes. Signing autographs and taking pics with them covering his face. At this time Slipknot wanted to keep their identities hidden. Paul was easily noticed by his Tribal S tattoo. He became a fan favorite not only because of his friendly demeanor around fans but because he truly enjoyed speaking with them. Getting their input on their music was most important!

Paul enjoyed performing for his fans and for the love of his music. He loved his brothers passionately. He loved his fans with every beat of his heart. In Slipknot Paul hid behind a mask. A mask that personified who he was on the concert stage. In the public he would wear the mask when representing Slipknot but when he was out with his family and just being to himself he was just Paul. I can’t say there was never a time when he denied a fan an autograph or a photo op because there were those times. Among the madness of being a rockstar and getting the “job” done on time he had to follow along the itinerary. At times this meant cutting short meet and greets with fans. When Paul put on his mask he was a different person. He was #2 the pig mask. He was a bassist that went out every night on that stage and gave it everything he had. There was times he performed sick or even hurt but he still walked out on that stage because he had his pride and he knew the fans wanted their fill. It was this devotion that Paul felt not only to himself but to his fans. The Maggots!

Behind those masks was epic. Paul would tell you just how crazy it was. The blood, sweat, tears and the stench that came from those masks. It was horrid but day in and day out they still suited and masked up for another go with the craziest fuckers on the planet. Paul would tell you how the stench would send them into this state of euphoria. Along with the heat from wearing the coveralls and the constricting breathing from the mask, the band would find it hard to perform. No one knew what it was like to be in Slipknot but the nine themselves. Even though who toured with them could not comprehend the insanity they endured among each other. They would blast each song with so much intensity that they often found themselves fighting one another on stage and throwing shit at each other. The aggression of being in an insane band the stress of living together on one bus. It all came out on stage. This combined with their SiC demented minds at work. Each Slipknot show with the unique minds of each member brought a show worth seeing every time.

As each of us followed Slipknot from their early days to their mega ranks among the rock gods we followed their evolution from being totally hidden behing their masks to becoming a face known among the crowds. As the masks came off we began to learn more about the people that some of us looked at as our heros. Be it you are a vocalist, DJ, guitarist, bassist….or whatever, we saw the nine for who they are as human beings rather than some alive crash test dummy that demolished the stage. As Paul unmasked he became one of the more common known members of the band. As many look up to the frontman or the guitarists and drummers of a band, Paul as a bassist was different. He was a founding member. He was that guy that you could walk up to and just have a conversation with about anything and he enjoyed the company. As many would approach him and say just how much they loved the band and his bass work, others would approach him differently. More times than he could count he had been approached by fans that had so many problems at home and with life in general. Many of those fans looking to end their lives because of their problems. Overcome with emotions and from the joy of meeting someone that changed their lives they would tell Paul just how much their music had helped them recover and kept them from doing anything tragic to themselves. If you have never had anyone tell you that you saved their lives because of the art that you created then you can’t understand how Paul felt everytime he heard this. It was the most powerful thing he had ever done for anyone. It made him stop and think and realize that even with so many people that hated their music and what they stood for, there was those that benefited from the art he loved creating and performing. To save a life is a powerful feeling. It cant be described.

Many times fans would be disappointed because they wanted to meet Paul with the mask on. Other fans didnt really care if they ever met the band and knew their personalities or not. Behind Paul’s mask was everything that he lived. As much as we all loved him for the human being he was and the musician he became to be, he had his own demons. The mask was his own personal isolation. Although Paul could spend hours on the stage totally destroying the fans with his presence he still had things that haunted him. Most common that we know of was his drug use. Fans know of his incident where he was arrested for possession of paraphernalia. He ended up being sentenced to one year probation. As humans we all make mistakes in our lives. Paul no doubt made his own.

In the end he paid the ultimate price with his drug use. That does not take away from the legacy he leaves behind. As we all do things we later may regret we have to pay the consequences no matter what they may be. For Paul, it cost him his life and his daughter. Paul died at 38 years old. He never got to see his daughter October Dedrick Gray. As tragic as that is he did get to enjoy the love and passion of knowing that he was bringing a beautiful child into this world. October may not have her father in physical presence but he has become her guardian angel that will care for her and look after her for the rest of her life. Paul loved his daughter without ever seeing her. He was so happy to become a father. He had so much to live for. He had his music career, his fans, his brothers, his family and most of all his wife and daughter.

Many today call Paul Gray one of the greatest bassist to ever live. A common thing said about a person after they have passed on. Paul was indeed a great bassist but he would tell you he wasn’t the greatest. He just loved what he did and he loved spicing up his playing. His live performances were a bit different than his recorded performances. During the recording of an album everything must come together perfect. Everything must fit together like a puzzle. On stage there was more room for play where the band could improvise their parts to their mood and tastes for that day. Thats what makes each musician their own. Thats what made Paul a unique bassist. Apart from his improvised parts he also used a left-handed bass. Something not done by many. He would play with or without a pick and utilized the finger-picking style often. His bass sound was heavy with a very low end.

When Paul died the world of heavy metal was silenced. As Slipknot was on their break from touring and writing because of other members commitments to other projects, Paul continued to work. His mind never fell short of ideas. He never gave up a moment to pick up his bass and work on something that came to mind. The day he died his fans felt something they never ever imagined feeling. Slipknot seemed to be a band that would never die as with their members. News broke out quickly of Paul’s death. We all can remember that moment we heard and what we had been doing at that very moment. We begin to remember all those great times we had listening to the music, meeting the band and for those of us lucky to be blessed with his presence we remembered the good times.

Masked as #2 Paul still went on to perform. Even with things that bothered him and the isolation he felt having to deal with his problems he still put everything he had into his performances and the fans gave that energy right back to them. He fed off that energy and it fueled his desire to be the best bassist he could be. One can only imagine what Paul was feeling in that hotel room # 431. Was he happy? Was he sad? Was he confused? I spoke to Paul days before and he was happy. I told him about my other job interest with another band and he couldn’t have been more happy for me. On the phone I sensed something wrong with him. Something seemed like it wasnt right. As much as he loved to perform and meet his fans he was falling back into his own Masked Isolation. His inner demons began to haunt him and overcome him. We can be angry at him for doing the drugs again but we have to forgive him for his faults and love him for what he left us. Paul was not just some guy that played bass. He was legendary in his own way. Maybe the music socialites wont ever notice what he meant to us all but those of us that loved him and followed him along his road to success, we know what he meant to us all and to the music industry.

Friends of many bands dedicated their shows to Paul. Their own way of being able to pay their respects to him. They shared the love for music that he had. Not one of us know what Paul was feeling in that hotel room. As much as we want answers we will never get them. Paul isolated himself from life. He knew what he had but something was bothering him. Something was on his mind. Was it the stress from becoming a new father? Was it his life at home with his wife? Those questions dont need to be answered. They are not our business.

In many ways I could relate to Paul and that feeling of isolation. As a rockstar Paul was noticed in many places. He couldn’t live a normal life anymore without being noticed along the way somewhere. Restaurants, hotels, bars, airports, even on the streets. That alone can be enough to make someone feel isolated. Like their life and privacy has been compromised. He dealt with that the best he could. For me, it was being noticed by people. Im not a rockstar. The stress of work, being away from home and not having a social life was hard for me. Still is. That alone is isolation. It makes you feel like your options are limited. Could Paul have felt like his options were limited? Maybe he felt as if though he had no where to turn. In life the people we love the most we dont always confide in for help. We begin to think that we will bother someone with our problems when they probably have their own. We dont want that burden.

I wish I could have known what Paul felt in that hotel room. I would have taken it all up for him. I would have given my life for that guy. I loved him like a brother. Maybe I never knew him well enough but we shared a passion for something that touched our hearts the same. That alone makes two people have a bond. I wish I could have known his pain, sorrow or whatever he felt. When Paul died I felt like shit. I felt like part of me died. I wanted to eat up that pain and if I could have told God to take me instead I would have. He had so much to live for. He had Slipknot, his brothers, his friends, his family and his wife and daughter. At the time he died I felt like I had nothing. I felt like shit. I felt as though I didnt deserve to be alive while someone so beautiful was taken from us. Paul made a difference in the world. He touched the lives of so many people/Maggots. People loved Paul. I stand corrected, as people still love Paul and will never forget the music he touched our lives with. As an older man at 34, many bands have touched my life like Metallica, Rush, Van Halen…Slipknot and Paul have reached that plateau with me. Their music has become part of the soundtrack to my life.

As we mourn the loss of our friend, family member and hero we remember the times that mattered to us. Maybe it was that look Paul gave you at a show or the handshake and hug you got from him at a meet and greet. Maybe it was that quick moment he spent signing something for you and taking a pic with you that you would always remember. For me, I had numerous pics with Paul. I cherished those pics as I have all others ive taken with rockstars. Sadly, when a hard drive totally died I lost everything including those pics. I was devastated when Paul died that I lost those pics. As much as I wand to share those frozen moments in time with you all I can’t. I can remember those times vividly and I cherish them with everything I have. I can share the great times with you all. Those are meaningless to others but for me they mean the world. Im sure all of you that were touched by Paul have your own memories of him. Remember them. Cherish them. Those memories will never die. They will live on through us for the rest of our lives. We will take those memories with us to our own graves and to eternity. Paul is gone but not forgotten by us all.

As time has gone on many fans have felt huge disappointment with Paul’s death. Many are just cold-hearted fuckers that dont realize that a decision to move on in any capacity is hard to make. Paul can never be replaced. There was only one Paul Gray. #2 lives on though every Maggot. When Paul died many fans became upset because nothing seemed to have been done in his honor. In defense of the family and the bands privacy to mourn on their own I respect that. For the fans though, they feel a void has been left in their hearts. A man they have cherished for over ten years is suddenly taken from us and nothing seems to have been done for his memory. Fans have posted on many blogs including my own on their feelings towards the band and the family that nothing formally has been done to honor the life and music of Paul Gray. As I stated earlier I can respect the privacy of the family and the remaining eight members but from a fans perspective they feel as though he has been forgotten. Nothing has been done to remember him. Many fans wanted a memorial service in which they would be able to honor his life together as a whole. Nothing. Instead fans around the world were left to mourn in their own way. When Dimebag Darrell was murdered a memorial was made for the public to attend where not only fans but other rockstars could remember their friend and pay their respects. Same was done with Michael Jackson. Many fans have felt that something of this magnitude should have been done for them.

In Paul’s death there is a silence. There is that very same isolation he felt. His family kept his memorial services private. That is expected. The family has also chosen to keep his final resting place location a secret. Although, its publicly known where Paul is buried, many fans feel as though they should be allowed to know where he is buried so they can pay their own respects one day. I can totally understand that. At the same time I have mixed emotions about it as well. Where there are fans that merely want to pay their respects to him there are those that dont give a shit. Many would destroy it and others that have managed to find him have even stolen from his grave. This my friends is why the family wants to keep his location a secret. If you think going to a man’s grave and stealing from it is ok and that you are taking a piece of him with you then you are fucking wrong. If I caught any of you doing this i’d fuck you up. It’s disrespectful and just wrong to steal from him and his family. Going back to that isolation, his family now feels this. Now his family and his friends feel that they must isolate him from the world that although loves him also seems to think that its ok to dishonor his memory. Its a shame that a few people can fuck up something for so many other people.

I wish that one day the band and the family will find it in their hearts to do something for Paul where fans around the world can learn more about the man behind the mask. Let that isolation from within that mask go and show the world who Paul Gray was. We just got a taste of his life and his love but those that knew him got so much more. In a way I find it selfish that they would want to keep his memory so private. When Paul inked his name on that Roadrunner Records contract he was signing his life away to the world. His life was not his own anymore. He was a public figure that would one day become and iconic figure. Paul was loved by millions of people that adored him and his presence on the concert stage. We as friends and fans don’t ask the family and the band for his entire life but just for a look into what he loved about music. Its been heard in interviews what he has done and how he has felt about his career and his fans but I think its time that his brothers in Slipknot and his family let that isolation go and let his fans know about who he was in their eyes. We know what Paul meant to us all. We know what Paul felt about his music and his fans and although we heard the press conference in which a few people spoke of what he meant to them, many believe that those willing to tell their stories and share their love of Paul with the world tell his story through their own words.

In recent months, Slipknot released a new DVD highlighting one of the final shows Paul did with the band. This DVD compilation was dedicated to the memory of their brother Paul. A beautiful way to immortalize their brother. As i write this I believe that the band and family are definitely due their privacy and their feelings to forever be theirs, but I think fans are seeking something that will help them come to terms with the loss of him. Maybe we never will hear what his family and his brothers passionately feel about him but thats ok. Its their right to lock those memories forever and to only share with one another. I think many fans just want to remember Paul by seeing how others feel about him. I think many fans would like to one day in the future see a DVD about the life of Paul Gray and what he has meant to other musicians. Surely Paul Gray inspired many people including other signed artists.

Maybe one day something will be done to honor a man who truly loved his work and his fans. For now fans may feel his memory has been masked behind isolation that no one wants others to know about. Paul would want Slipknot to go on. He could never be replaced. He will be there in spirit every time they take the stage. If the band decides to just do shows or if they decide to make another album, it is their decision to do so. We can agree with that or not but its their decision to make not ours. We can support them or not. Slipknot has agreed to do some shows in 2011. If you are attending those shows I ask you to do something. Close your eyes for a brief moment and think about Paul. He will be there. He will feel your love and he will be up there jammin with the guys. You will be able to feel his life, his spirit, his music resonating through those speakers and into your hearts. You feel a shiver. That shiver is a little piece of Paul Gray entering you and forever will be with you. Open your eyes and what do you see, you see the beautiful creation that Paul Gray helped create, maintain and breath life even after his death!

** My thoughts**

I miss you Paul. With every ounce of life I have left inside me you are never forgotten. Man I remember the first time I met you. I remember the laughs. For years my favorite song has always been Surfacing but when you died nothing hit me more than Snuff. Not for the lyrics but for the music. The key, the mood and the feelings that it gives me. It allows me to remember everything about you that was great. I wish to fucking god that I could wish you back into this world and ask him to take me instead but thats not possible. I wish you could see your daughter and hold her but in your own ways in spirit you already have. To the Gray family and the remaining eight of Slipknot, Paul will never be forgotten. His memory lives on. That will never die. As you feel your own sorrow for his loss please understand the loss the world is feeling. You lost a loved one and the Maggots/fans have lost a hero, an idol a person that they looked up to. For his own faults in life that are looked upon by the press and others as negative, his spirit and his will to please his fans has touched so many. What Paul has done to help others lives and to save others from meeting their own demise by far over powers the negative things he did in his life. Paul Gray lives on for the legacy he left behind for his family, friends and the future musicians with whom the lives he has touched.

With much love and respect to the Gray Family, Slipknot and the legion of Maggots out there around the world…..

Thank you,

G Grylls

Masked Isolation…..(A Work in Progress)

In the process of writing this piece. This is a short piece dedicated to the memory of Paul Dedrick Gray and my mixed feelings of his death and other shit. A little different from what I have posted in the past but with some of the same things. Please bare with me and this will be posted ASAP.

Give me a few days or so. Its not gonna be long but I want to make sure i post what I want to say.

If your a Slipknot or Paul Gray fan that has felt a huge void has been left out of his legacy then you might enjoy this article. Paul died in May 2010 and since then not much has been said of his death or has been done about it. As we as fans, friends, family..etc accept and deal with the way things are being handled, some feel that his memory has been put aside and left for shit. This piece will concentrate on that.

This will be based on my own feelings and emotions. This article in no way will be written in part of the feelings of the family or the band. Many might have mixed feelings on what I will say but I think the Maggots that feel Paul’s memory has been isolated will agree with me. Many knew the man behind the mask. They knew his name, his number, his masks and his voice but they didnt know much about what made him tick and what inspired him. Interviews with him have been posted all over You Tube and other sites but nothing formally celebrating his life has been said. This is where this piece comes in.

This piece is not being written to upset Brenna Gray, Tony Gray or the remaining members of the band we know and love called Slipknot. Its merely about what Paul Gray to me represented to the music industry and the world. To the legions of fans all over the world. I ask you to read this piece when it is done and leave your comments good or bad. Im not here asking for praise or hatred. Just your honest opinions to this. So in the next few days, possibly Thursday or Friday this piece will be published on my blog. Right here.

If this sounds interesting to you then please stay tuned. Those looking for iphone information….im sorry this blog is really meant for my personal feelings about life, travel, motorcycles and work. The few articles on here about iphone hacking is merely because I did this for a friend.

Thanks for your understand and please stay tuned in the next few days for this work to be released.


Paul Backstage

Rumors in the Wind

Over the last few days I have read and heard various rumors about Slipknot. Mostly about them making a new album. Who starts this shit? I mean come on. Obviously people have nothing better to do. Im sure the culprit is amongst the Slipknot haters. Wouldn’t surprise me to say the least.

In May 2010 Slipknot lost bassist Paul Gray. He was also a founding member of the band. Late 2009 Slipknot had just finished a string of US and European tour dates. This ended their run for All Hope is Gone. With the band looking to take some time off and eventually look into other projects in the coming year. Corey and James to begin a new Stone Sour project and Shawn with his DLR project. Can’t rule out Shawn E either. Not only is he the Stone Sour bassist but he also is Slipknot’s Stage Manager so he is on tour with the Knot and then with SS as bassist. People, these guys need rest. Some have families, wives, kids…etc. With the death of Paul Gray that brought much to think about. The bands future. Touring, writing…etc…. Its not easy to lose someone close to you as many of you should know. Especially someone you consider like a brother! I know how that goes! Its also not easy to make a transition from being constantly on the road to home life and then knowing soon your going to be doing it all over again. Sort of like your own prison so to speak. Imagine how a man feels knowing he has committed a crime and although may be free he will eventually be off somewhere else away from his family and loved ones. Away from him normal life. If you think rockstar life is normal then you people are pretty fucked in the head. Its not! I can’t relate by means of saying im a rockstar because im not but ive seen it in front of me with my own eyes how they do deal with it. Its not always pretty.

Rumors im sure are spread to sometimes make people have hope. Sort of like Slipknot’s last album with its catchy title All Hope is Gone. Well, All hope is not gone! You have to give those guys time to mourn and think. Its not easy to go back into something so soon after tragedy. The Stone Sour guys managed to do so. Those that went to their shows probably had a great time. For those on the stage it was hell. Losing someone close to you is not just something you can forget in a few weeks or even months. It takes time. When Neil Peart of Rush lost his daughter and wife he took time off. He told his bandmates that he was done. “Consider me retired” Neil said. Rush took many years off. Time it took for Neil to recover his urge for going back to work with the guys as he said.

Its not known how long Slipknot will be out of the loop. Does it really matter? As a fan if you are a fan reading this, you should have much respect for these guys. Corey said on his official twitter page that he is not even sure about the upcoming 2011 tour dates. he has mixed emotions about it. So one would ask why would he not have problems touring with Stone Sour but with Slipknot he would? Well, with Stone Sour its a different band. There was no Paul in that band. There was no constant reminder of what he lost. Besides, who’s to say Corey didn’t feel like doing those shows? Just sayin……With Slipknot there is that constant reminder of #2. His brother. Their brother. Their friend. It stabs you in the fucking heart constantly. I go on with my life everyday but there isn’t a moment that I dont think about Paul or some moment I shared with the guy at least one throughout the day. Something in my daily life becomes a reminder. Its not easy to deal with but it does get better with time. Other members of Slipknot have other projects they might be working on and some are quite apparent. Thats their own gig. Its not Slipknot. Those projects may not bring on the pain of losing their brother but believe me they still feel it. Daily!

Many ask why the family of Paul Gray still keep his burial a secret. Well let me say this. To those of you that don’t know. Some people did find his grave. I did mention as to what cemetery but NOT the location. That information was made available in his obituary so its not like that was a secret. What is kept a secret is where he actually is. Some people found him and in the past months some pretty fucked up fans stole items from his resting place. Seriously people. Do some of you fans feel its ok to steal from someone’s grave? Those items left there were left for a reason and were not meant for YOU to take. THIS is why the family has wanted to keep it a secret. Can you imagine what people would be doing over at Michael Jackson’s grave if they had public access to it? Yes people its a guarded area. Only people of importance are allowed in that area where MJ is.

So in closing I ask those that are Slipknot fans reading this to do me a favor. Well not only me but the band as well. If you want bonafide news about the band then goto their website. Thats about the best place for news. I dont have news for you. Neither does any other site. Corey stated that other memebers mentioned things about a new album. Like Joey. Well, it was a pretty shitty thing to say in my opinion when he didnt know for sure that would happen and not even getting with the other guys. Im sure many of the rumors stemmed from his comment. Still though im sure his comment in regards to a new album was meant to ease the fans minds about their future. He was looking out for their best interests but in a way that caused quite a stir among the maggot community. So thats why I ask if your a fan goto the bands homepage for real news. Give these guys time to heal. They need it. You see it from a totally different perspective. These guys made the music that healed your minds. What about these guys minds? They need healing. Its time for you all to give that healing medicine back. Dont rush them or harass them for a new album, new songs, tour dates or whatever. Just respect them and their wishes until the see it fit. If they never choose to do another album or write another song then so be it. Respect mother fuckers! You want it, you got to give it!

Much respect to Sid, Joey, Paul R.I.P., Chris, James, Craig, Shawn, Mick and Corey. You guys take all the time you need and if you come back thats fucking awesome….If you don’t I personally understand. I hope the rest of you can as well……


I wear the Slipknot markings for a reason. For the love I have for this band. I may not feel the same way musically as I did back in the late 90s but this band was definitely part of my life for over 10 years and is a part of the soundtrack to my life. I wear the Tribal S, Slipknot in Japanese Kanji and the coveted #9 9-ball. Although musically I dont listen to Slipknot much anymore, they are still part of my life. I remember all the days and stories from the tours. Muscially I have moved on. Away from the heavier metal and onto my roots. Where I started. My first bands to ever hear was Ozzy, Van Halen and Rush. Ive moved away from guitar and onto drums. Learning the style and techniques of Neil Peart. As an owner of one of the rare R30 Drum Kits I cherish that thing. One because its an awesome drum kit and two because a friend that shared his passion for Rush died and left it to me. Its too beautiful a kit to let it sit there and deteriorate so I play it. Musically I have moved on to other styles and back to my roots of old rock and classical but I still enjoy the occasional metal song and Slipknot has etched their spot in that list. I had a discussion with a “friend” before he died about my musical changes and how I felt. He told me to move on and enjoy it. Enjoy the music the way you like it. If you cant enjoy it, you can’t live it. Although at that moment this friend felt like I didnt like him anymore he knew why I was changing. He knew it wasn’t personal. He knew in the end we all evolve. Evolution is part of who we are. In retrospect, if we all look at ourselves now and then go back and see ourselves from our past…..we wouldn’t be the same person. We change. Maybe not entirely but to an extent we change. We do things we may regret and things we are glad we did but in the end we evolve and its our decisions to make in our own lives and not anyone elses……..