It’s once again with great sadness that I must share the news about another of our Heavy Metal stalwarts having passed with guitarist Ralph Santolla. Recently, his personal Facebook profile found the musician noting that he was not feeling well and not long after he would suffer a heart attack and soon fall into a coma. Despite the efforts to save him, the doctors found there was no promising change or hope of recovery and he was taken off of life support late Wednesday evening and would leave us at the age of 51. Such a shame.
Santolla was most famously known as one of the axe wielders in some incredible acts like Obituary, Iced Earth and Deicide. At one point in his career he kept up pace with the legendary Chuck Schuldiner in Death’s live shows but he didn’t record anything with them sadly. Ralph worked on a number of other projects that you can learn more about in his Wikipedia entry down below. One of them was a solo effort that his family maintains will see the light of day posthumously as soon as its possible to be addressed. A family member mentioned online that Ralph was an organ donor and that should some musical ability or razor sharp sarcasm come into play in someone’s life that it was likely due to Ralph’s presence with them. At least during this sad time that some other people can have a chance on a longer life. More should consider being a donor because its not like we need the stuff anymore once we pass on.
I met Ralph several times over the years thanks to the shows I was covering and sharing some mutual friends. He was a talented and interesting person for sure and the photos in this memorial reflection all feature Ralph from some Obituary tours that I covered back around 2007-2009. Two of these shows took place at the now shuttered B.B. King Blues Club while the other was at the Gramercy Theatre which might have been called The Blender Theatre at the time. I didn’t remember seeing him in Deicide or Iced Earth but I could be wrong since those shows are so long ago in my memory at this point. Ralph was truly an excellent player that I think we only ever got to see a small part of since his talents were far deeper than only the Heavy Metal stuff that so many of us bore witness to.
Though there were many news outlets reporting on his passing days before, we opted to wait until the news was 100% final out of proper respect. We wish his family, friends and numerous band mates over the years the deepest of condolences during this sad time. Thank you Ralph for giving us some incendiary riffs for many years. May you Rest In Peace. We welcome fans of the musician to add their own reflections down below in the comments.
It’s with sadness that I must share the recently announced news about The Cranberries lead singer Dolores O’Riordan who has passed away. She might not have been on the Metal side of the fence but man did this girl have some pipes. I’ve shared the official publicist statement below. Should any further information come to light I will amend this memorial posting.
Official Statement: “Irish and international singer Dolores O’Riordan has died suddenly in London today. She was 46 years old. The lead singer with the Irish band The Cranberries, was in London for a short recording session. No further details are available at this time. Family members are devastated to hear the breaking news and have requested privacy at this very difficult time.”
Update From The Band: “We are devastated on the passing of our friend Dolores. She was an extraordinary talent and we feel very privileged to have been part of her life from 1989 when we started the Cranberries. The world has lost a true artist today.
Noel, Mike and Fergal
It was reported that the singer was only recently back to action after dealing with some illness and other malaise so hopes were high by her fans and the band to get back to doing what they all did best together. While I will not speculate, I sure find the words “died suddenly” to be troubling so let’s wait until they announce the cause of her passing. My background in the music of The Cranberries was very, very limited as it was not a band that I followed over the years but I like many others, I’m well aware of the hits that would be played on both terrestrial and satellite radio. Actually, some of my friends who had cover bands over the years even did songs by them and that was one of the main ways that I was able to enjoy their sound. It always saddens me to add another chapter to the In Memoriam post category but this is the way that things go. We extend our deepest sympathy to Dolores’ family, band members, friends and her worldwide fans and hope that they kind find some strength during this terrible time. Thank you for gifting music with your voice Dolores, may you Rest In Peace.
I hadn’t even finished the first cup of the morning coffee when I started hearing the buzz about the passing of former Motorhead/Fastway guitarist “Fast” Eddie Clarke. He was 67 years of age and was apparently in the hospital being treated for pneumonia. Thanks to “Fast” Eddie, the world of Heavy Rock and Metal were never the same as so many of the Motorhead songs became timeless classics.
Born Edward Allen Clarke, he was a very active musician even before he would hook up with Lemmy and Phil in around 1976 and begin making history. Together, these three formed a lineup that is still revered to this very day as its most classic. “Fast” Eddie was not only a part of the bands very first album but so many other seminal classics like “Bomber”, “Overkill”, “Iron Fist”, “Ace Of Spades” and of course the live album that everyone I knew owned at one time or another in “No Sleep Til Hammersmith”. After leaving Motorhead based on creative differences (as it always happens), “Fast” Eddie would form Fastway with former UFO Bassist Pete Way (get it? Fast and Way? Wonderful). I used to catch both bands videos on a channel called U68 and their “Power Hour”. Look it up, its rather popular and important to a lot of certain age Rock and Metal fans. Sadly, despite my deep appreciation for the Rock and Metal here, I never ever saw Eddie in Motorhead or even Fastway. Motorhead toured often but I don’t really know how often the latter band was in the states or if I was even seeing shows yet based on my vintage. It’s a sad loss and like so many of our other memorial toasts, my words just briefly touch upon his talents as interested folks can learn more by clicking through to his official Wikipedia entry since all the things you need to know have been already written down.
Being an active local musician way back in the day I can admit to knowing many guitarists who aimed at learning the sonic riffs of “Fast” Eddie Clarke. Some succeeded while others really didn’t. While there are so many amazing songs that he was a part of, if you have a copy of the “No Remorse” compilation release this will give you a fine example of what made “Fast Eddie Clarke so special to us. We’ve lost so many musicians over the last couple of years and so many of them still resonate a few years later. We wish his family, friends, fellow musicians and the worldwide fans that he made over the years the deepest of condolences. Rest In Peace Eddie and thank you for all the great riffs. If you should hear a rumble in the skies tonight, it’s because the classic lineup of Motorhead is back in the rehearsal space. Fans are encouraged to leave their fondest memory of “Fast” Eddie Clarke down in the comments below.
The news is circulating about the early morning passing of famed Rock and Metal Producer Chris Tsangarides after a brief illness. Mr. Tsangarides was only 61 years of age. One can easily say that the music industry will really miss his level of skills. Readers of this website will surely know his name from some amazing Heavy Metal artists works that he made even better with his productions. This brief excerpt from his Wikipedia page outlines some that might spark your memory too.
“During the 80s and up to the 90s, Tsangarides became famous on the hard rock and heavy metal scene for the quality of his job and for having produced signature albums, like Anvil’s Metal on Metal in 1982, Thin Lizzy’s acclaimed final studio release Thunder and Lightning in 1983 and the Grammy nominated Painkiller by Judas Priest in 1990. He worked in those years with Black Sabbath, Ozzy Osbourne, Helloween, Y&T, Tygers of Pan Tang, Anthem, Sinner, King Diamond, Ian Gillan and produced also Bruce Dickinson’s first solo album Tattooed Millionaire (1990). The 90s saw Tsangarides still at work with metal bands like Exodus, Overkill, Judas Priest again with the album Painkiller, the Japanese Loudness and guitar virtuoso Yngwie Malmsteen, but he also produced the British gothic rock act The Sisters of Mercy and the alternative rock groups The Tragically Hip and Concrete Blonde”.
It was reported that a combination of heart failure and pneumonia were the cause of his passing. As all the most pertinent information about the famous producer can be found on his Wiki entry, I am deferring the readership over to there so they can learn even more about him. There are more bands whose skills he made all the brighter with his talents and we have to thank him for that. My most recent memory of him was seeing him in the Anvil movie when the band was hoping to get him to work on their latest release of the time. Thank you Chris for helping make Metal and Hard Rock greater with your touch, you will be missed for sure. We extend heartfelt condolences to his family, friends and worldwide fans at this time. Rest In Peace. What was your favorite album that he worked on and what made this the case? Please let us know down in the comments section below.
Sadly, it seems that The Band in the Great Beyond has brought on another member, as New Jersey’s own Pat Dinizio, a founding member of The Smithereens has passed away at the age of 62. The musician had been dealing with numerous health issues over the recent months but was looking forward to getting back on the road as soon as possible. A statement from the members of the band is below:
“Today we mourn the loss of our friend, brother and bandmate Pat DiNizio. Pat had the magic touch. He channeled the essence of joy and heartbreak into hook-laden three minute pop songs infused with a lifelong passion for rock & roll. Our journey with Pat was long, storied and a hell of a lot of fun. We grew up together. Little did we know that we wouldn’t grow old together. Goodbye Pat. Seems like yesterday”. Jimmy, Mike, Dennis (December 12, 2017) Continue reading The Smithereens Founder Pat Dinizio Has Passed Away (1955-2017)→