Original Machine Head Drummer Tony Costanza Passes Away

Tony Costanza (ex-Machine Head, ex-Crowbar, etc.) has sadly passed away. The drummer was 52 years old.

Costanza’s former Crisis bandmate Afzaal Nasiruddeen confirmed the news with the following statement:

“It is with a very heavy heart that I have to accept and inform everyone concerned that I lost my brother, band mate, home boy and family today.

Tony Costanza was one of a kind. A man with a huge heart, love and loyalty for the ones close to him.

I cannot relate to this reality of loss yet. I know he had a lot of admirers, and I was one of his biggest. He would have literally taken a bullet for me. Thats the kind of gangster brother he was.

Tony died in his sleep this morning so I am sure he was at peace and in no pain.

I wish his Mother all the strength she can muster as she will need every ounce of it.

I will be starting a GofundMe page for her and Tony‘s funeral expenses. Please help if you knew him and care.

Please hold your loved ones close as the sense of loss is insurmountable sometimes.

Tony my friend, I will love you and cherish our memories together, forever. Hope you are in a better pace now. Rest In Peace.”

Chris Kontos, who replaced Costanza in Machine Head back in 1992, has since commented as well:

“R.I.P. Tony Costanza. I’m thankful that you and I remained in contact over the past 27 years. Im so sad to hear about your passing bro.

After I played on the very first MH demo ever some time in June 1992 I moved to NYC for a short time. In that time Tony became the first drummer of Machine Head. They did a demo and a video for Fuck It All. He played the first string of live shows/parties in the Bay Area.

When I came back home in October 92′ I actually was Tony’s drum tech for a few shows. Shortly after that the drum position became available for what ever reason it makes no difference now, that’s when I became the second drummer for MH. We wrote some more songs together and then recorded the ‘Fuck It All’ demo that got the band signed. He came up with some really great drum parts. He had a very powerful style and it was a challenge to put my own spin on his contributions to the music and for sure kept a few of his parts.

Tony was a very kind person and always supported and encouraged me over the years with music and then with BMX. We have both confided in each other when we hit hard times over time. Im thankful for his friendship and brotherhood. He was a great drummer. Our legacy is forever connected by our participation in MACHINE HEAD and the Fuck It All/Burn My Eyes 1992-1995 moment.

Be thunder bro…be thunder!”

UPDATE: Machine Head’s Robb Flynn has now paid tribute to Costanza:

“So sad to hear about Tony Costanza passing away today.

The first 6 month of Machine Head’s existence happened because he joined.

I began talking to Tony around March 1992 for the first time. I can’t exactly remember how we got in touch, he was from Las Vegas and this was before the Internet, before cell phones, it’s possible that a guy who used to work for Vio-lence name Joey copobianco put me in touch with him.

We started talking on the phone about Machine Head, and eventually he relocated to the Bay Area. It seemed in a lot of ways, he was ready to start a new life, he has been the singer for the early-Grindcore band Papsmear and I had actually met him the year prior with Mitch from Napalm Death when Mitch, Shane and him came up to a show in the Bay Area

It’s a little foggy, but I want to say he might’ve moved in with me for the first few weeks he was up here. One hilarious memory I have, is of him staying the night at Genevra‘s apartment, we all got super drunk on purple Kool-Aid and fucking MOONSHINE, and apparently he had eaten some kind of Chinese squid-based dish earlier that night, later on, hammered out of his mind, threw up purple squid all over her carpet. Genevra was pissed for a minute, but we couldn’t help laugh hysterically about it later on, it was just so funny to see all these little purple squids all over the floor.

I had already fleshed out a couple of the early MH songs on the drums with my friend Gary, and then later on a whirlwind 2 day jam with Chris Kontos, but that was the only time that we had heard the songs played as a band.

So to have Tony there, regularly jamming “Death Church”, “Blood For Blood” and “Fuck It All” at the Emeryville warehouse in a room we shared with 6 other punk rock bands was pretty thrilling… Some of the songs that he worked out with us from-the-start would’ve been “A Thousand Lies”,”I’m Your God Now”, “Nation on Fire” and “Rage to Overcome”, and even part of a “Davidian” riff.

Tony was a character, funny, kind of a fabulous disaster, but a good guy with a great heart. He didn’t click with one of the band guys though, so there was always like a weird tension when he was around. But we played our first few shows with him at Mike Scum’s Woolsey house in Oakland, which ended up being Machine Head’s first kegger party/show.

We also played our first official club show with him at the Huntridge Theater in Las Vegas, filmed our very first video for the song “fuck it all“, recorded part of a rehearsal tape/demo with Eric Wong at Laughing Dead’s studio, and we also played the LA metal fest at Gazarri’s in Hollywood which was notable for the fact that we played twice, to 20 people each time, but the 2nd time, Dino from Fear Factory was there, Igor from Sepultura, the Biohazard dudes were all there, and Rick Hunolt from Exodus (all in town for a Foundations Forum), along with our friends Andy and Gary.

Chris Kontos was originally my first choice to be in Machine Head, but at the time he was pretty busy with multiple bands (Attitude Adjustment, Grinch, and Verbal Abuse) and it looked like one of them (VA) had a real shot at getting signed. So Chris went away for a while, and in that time we got Tony.

After a minute, Chris came back into the picture and volunteered to be Tony’s drum tech, (though truth be told, Chris had his eye on getting IN Machine Head more than actually helping Tony out), and basically confessed as much to Rick / Exodus while he was doing our lights at the metal fest.

Later that night when Chris told us he was up to join MH at our friends Gary‘s house, it was kind of a no-brainer.

Tony saw the writing on the wall, and quit soon after.

It was only a short 6 months that he was with us, but in many ways he helped form so many of the songs on Burn My Eyes into what they would become.

I was always grateful for everything that he did.

Tony was also a member of Crowbar during the early 2000s, and appeared on the band’s 2001 album “Sonic Excess In Its Purest Form”. He played with the band Crisis and I’d like to thank Azfaal for letting me know about Tony today. To see him still rockin’ a Machine Head shirt in that photo meant a lot.

We maintained a friendship throughout the 27 years since he was in the band. We talked a couple times a year, he definitely had more than a few health problems, and he did enjoy his partying… He was a stubborn son of a bitch.

He would tell me later on that “he regretted the decision, but that it was always an honor to play in his ‘favorite band ever’”.

It chokes me up to write those words…

Afzaal has set up a GoFundMe to help with his funeral expenses… If anybody would like to donate, both Tony’s family and I would appreciate it.

GOFUNDME

https://gf.me/u/ymrtk5

Rest In Peace Costanza

– Robb”

[via Blabbermouth]

Fleetwood Mac Co-Founder Peter Green Passes Away

Fleetwood Mac co-founder Peter Green has sadly passed away at the age of 73. Solicitors acting on behalf of his family issued the following statement: “It is with great sadness that the family of Peter Green announce his death this weekend, peacefully in his sleep. A further statement will be provided in the coming days.” A number of musicians have paid tribute to Green on social media:

Peter Frampton:

Geezer Butler (Black Sabbath):

David Coverdale (Whitesnake):

Paul Stanley (KISS):

Alex Skolnick (Testament):

Jay Jay French (Twisted Sister):

Slash (Guns N’ Roses):

View this post on Instagram

RIP #PeterGreen

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Kirk Hammett (Metallica):

[via Blabbermouth]

Former Death Members Share Quarantine Performance Of “Overactive Imagination”

Death tribute band Death To All have shared a quarantine performance of “Overactive Imagination.“ That group features Max Phelps (Exist) and former Death members Gene Hoglan (Testament), Steve Di Giorgio (Testament), and Bobby Koelble.

Former UFO Guitarist Paul Chapman Passes Away

Ex-UFO guitarist Paul Chapman has sadly passed away at the age of 66. His son issued the following statement:

“It is with a heavy heart writing this, today is my dads 66th birthday. He passed away earlier this afternoon. He was a brilliant, energetic, loving and most carefree person and the First man I ever loved. Everyone he came in contact with loved him. no ADORED him. will keep everyone posted on his celebration of life. I appreciate everyone’s thoughts and prayers as his family grieves and processes everything at this time. I love you Dad. So much.”

Watch Testament, Overkill, Etc. Members Perform Death’s “Overactive Imagination” In Quarantine

Jason Bittner (Overkill, Shadows Fall) has joined forces with Felipe Roa (ex-Shadows Fall), Bobby Koeble (ex-Death), and Steve DiGiorgio (Testament, ex-Death) for a quarantine performance of Death’s “Overactive Imagination.” You can check that out below:

Bittner commented:

“Well there’s a bunch of explaining that goes along with this video and a history of sorts…

After the whole pandemic started, I contacted my longtime friend and former bandmate Felipe Roa (SHADOWS FALL touring guitarist after Jon joined ANTHRAX) to see if he wanted to do some ‘quarantine covers’ and I proposed ‘Wake Up Dead’ by Megadeth, and by now you have seen that one. At the time of discussion Felipe asked if I wanted to do a DEATH tune, knowing that they are one of my all-time fave bands as well as his, and we used to jam DEATH in soundchecks all the time. Initially my first reaction ‘ummmm, I don’t know if I want to do that much WORK, hahaha,’ but as soon as he said ‘Overactive Imagination’ I was in – I used to jam this song all the time in my formative years but I did wonder if I could still pull it off. After a couple days of shedding and trying to be 25 again, we had a completed drum track, which I even sent to my pals (former Death drummers) Richard Christy and Gene Hoglan for ‘approval’. Sean [Reinert] already gave me the green light from Heaven.

At first we were just going to do it the two of us, but I had a plan. Here’s some crazy trivia – while I attended Berklee College of Music in the 80’s, I played in a band with Bobby Koeble and we actually recorded a few original songs wayyyyyy back in the late 80’s. Bobby later went on to join Death for the Symbolic album and still plays in DEATH TO ALL. After not speaking for over 30 years I hit up Bobby, reconnected (which I’d been meaning to do for years) and asked him if he wanted to do this tune with us and he said yes right away. He asked who was playing bass and I told him Felipe probably would do that too… unless… ‘Unless what?’ Unless I can get Steve to do it… So the next point was to contact my friend, and one of the greatest bass players out there, Mr. Steve DiGiorgio to see if this could be possible.

At first Steve wasn’t sure if he could commit due to his many projects, so we actually asked our friend Bill Bodily (Ex- Toxik, Flotsam And Jetsam touring bassist) to do the bass since Steve wasn’t available. In the meantime, I had sent Steve the track after we put Bobby on it just to ‘make sure’ he couldn’t do it. I had a feeling if Bobby committed, Steve would follow. A week later he did send his tracks, so first off THANK YOU to Steve for going above and beyond in such a quick and timely manner, and also to Bill for being our ‘backup’, sorry it didn’t work out – next time!

So there you have it folks, we put a lot of work into this one because we absolutely love this band in every incarnation, and I am proud to say that I am friends with a lot of the people who have played in their ranks so… so this one goes out to… Terry Butler, James Murphy, Richard Christy, and Gene Hoglan. Lastly, a moment to remember past members Scott Clendenin, my former bandmate and friend Ralph Santolla, my longtime friend and mentor Sean Reinert, and lastly the one and only Chuck Schuldiner for being one of the greatest songwriters to ever grace the Metal world!! Enjoy and share!!”

The Sweet Bassist Steve Priest Passes Away

The Sweet bassist Steve Priest has passed away at the age of 72. His bandmate Andy Scott confirmed the sad news on Facebook.

Scott said the following:

“Then there was one!

I am in pieces right now. Steve Priest has passed away. His wife Maureen and I have kept in contact and though his health was failing I never envisaged this moment. Never. My thoughts are with his family x.

He was the best bass player I ever played with. The noise we made as a band was so powerful. From that moment in the summer of 1970 when set off on our Musical Odyssey the world opened up and the rollercoaster ride started! He eventually followed his heart and moved to the USA. First New York then LA.

Rest in Peace brother. All my love.

Andy”

Ex-Misfits Drummer Joey Image Reportedly Passes Away

According to the The New York Hardcore Chronicles Page, Joey Image has sadly passed away at the age of 63. The musician, who served as Misfits’ drummer from 1978-1980, had been battling liver cancer and was keeping people updated on his condition through GoFundMe.

Bob Kulick Passes Away

Bob Kulick has passed away at the age of 70. The legendary session guitarist and producer has worked with numerous artists over the years including KISS, Meat Loaf, Lou Reed, W.A.S.P., Motörhead, and tons more. His brother Bruce Kulick (ex-KISS) confirmed the sad news:

“I am heartbroken to have to share the news of the passing of my brother Bob Kulick. His love of music, and his talent as a musician and producer should always be celebrated. I know he is at peace now, with my parents, playing his guitar as loud as possible. Please respect the Kulick Family’s privacy during this very sad time.”

Relapse Records Release Death “Non Analog – On Stage Series – Live 1990-1991” Set

Relapse Records are continuing their Death “Non Analog – On Stage Series” with the release of “Non Analog – On Stage Series – Live 1990-1991.” You can stream that below. The following was said about the set: “This rare recording features songs performed throughout DEATH’s 1990 Spiritual Healing tour & 1991 Human tour! ”

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Estranged Wife Of Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson Passes Away

Paddy Bowden, the estranged wife of Iron Maiden singer Bruce Dickinson, has sadly passed away. Her body was found in a London home that the couple shared prior to their 2018 split. Dickinson and Bowden got married in 1990 and had three children together including Griffin Dickinson (SHVPES), Austin Dickinson (As Lions, ex-Rise To Remain), and Kia Dickinson. Bruce told The Sun the following:

“This is a terrible tragedy which appears to be a tragic accident. Our children Austin, Griffin and Kia and I are devastated. Out of respect for Paddy we won’t be making any further comment at this hugely difficult and painful time for our family.”