September 6, 2010, posted by Crumbs
Members of METALLICA, MACHINE HEAD, DEATH ANGEL, FORBIDDEN, SKINLAB and D.R.I., as well as former members of EXODUS, OVERKILL, S.O.D., POSSESSED, SACRILEGE B.C. and STEREOMUD, are among the musicians who made an appearance at a special event to celebrate the life of Debbie Abono, a well-respected and much-loved manager and promotional machine behind some of San Francisco Bay Area's strongest metal bands (POSSESSED, FORBIDDEN, EXODUS, VIO-LENCE, SKINLAB), who passed away on May 16 after a battle with cancer. She was 80 years old. Photos from the event, which took place last Sunday, August 29 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel & Resort in Concord, California, can be viewed below (all pictures by Sven Soderlund and Harald Oimoen).
According to an obituary published in the Contra Costa Times on May 30, 2010, "Debbie was in her mid-fifties when she plunged into the Bay Area's heavy metal/thrash metal music scene. She quickly [started working with] some of the Bay Area's strongest metal bands (POSSESSED, FORBIDDEN, VIO-LENCE, EXODUS, SKINLAB) as well as Chicago's BROKEN HOPE, Florida's OBITUARY and CYNIC, Ohio's SPUDMONSTERS, and from Texas SKREW. Many of these members who have gone onto further success with their careers with Debbie's constant guidance. She is known around the world not only for the work she has done for countless musicians, band crew members and their families, but more so for her heart and generosity and her ability to uplift, motivate and empower all those around her to always be honest and to be their best.
After recently learning that Debbie was gravely ill, James Hetfield of METALLICA, another Bay Area legend, gave a verbal tribute before singing the hit song 'Nothing Else Matters' at a performance in Belfast, Ireland. Alex Skolnick, guitarist for TESTAMENT, posted the following statement: 'In the mid-1980s when most folks over forty were afraid of metal, there was Debbie Abono, a kind, sophisticated woman in her 50s. She saw right through the pentagrams, upside-down crosses, leather and spikes and recognized that some kind souls lay underneath the anger reflected much younger, often-misunderstood group of metalheads and became manager to some of the heaviest bands. By doing so, she helped us realize that older people weren't so bad either.' TESTAMENT also dedicated the song 'Alone In The Dark' [to Debbie] during the band's May 16, 2010 performance in Enschede, Netherlands."
Debbie's love for music from Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin through METALLICA and MACHINE HEAD inspired her to set up a music scholarship through Mechanics Bank.
Donations can be made through the web site www.ebcf.kintera.org and via check payable to "East Bay Community Foundation" and should be accompanied by a note designating that the gift is for the Debbie Abono Memorial Fund for Music. Contributions should be mailed to The East Bay Community Foundation, Attn: Giles Miller, 200 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, Oakland, CA 94612.
Photos below by Sven Soderlund & Harald Oimoen
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