Pete Steele, Ronnie James Dio and now Paul Gray all taken by the rockin’ Grim Reaper within weeks.
When Mr G called me last night with the news that ‘The Pig’ had been found dead in a hotel room in Iowa my heart sank, not just because he was only 38 and a friend but also that he was due to be a father later this Summer when his wife Brenna has their first child. My thoughts and condolences go out to her and all the members of Slipknot.
I first met Paul in late May 1999 when I was MC’ing the US Ozzfest and over the next few months I got to know ‘#2’ and the rest of the band well.
It was remarkable that at the beginning of the tour their first album hadn’t even been released - it was a month into the tour before it was - but by the end of the tour a month later they had sold over 1,000,000 copies. I felt privileged to see a band go from nothing to worldwide success in just a matter of nine weeks and I felt even more privileged that by the end of the tour I had nine more friends.
Over the years when I met up with the band I would discuss with Paul and Mick about taking them to see Stonehenge. Sadly we never did make that journey and now we never will.