Undoubtedly you've seen the news that Paul Gray, bassist for Slipknot, was found dead in a Des Moines area hotel on Monday, May 24. This really saddened me in a way that the recent passing of Peter Steele and Ronnie James Dio didn't because I had been an acquaintance of Paul's in the band's early days. Paul was always very kind and polite anytime I talked with him. I saw Slipknot perform a few times in Des Moines and once in Kansas City during 1996-1998, and became good friends with one of the band members although we've unfortunately lost touch over the years. This band member and I used to hang out in his apartment and trade death metal CDs and video bootlegs. I've got a large collection of old Slipknot photos that I'll try to get scanned and posted. I'll also dig out an interview I conducted with Paul in 1998 - this was the first interview that the band gave for a non-local (Des Moines) publication. For now, here's an early promotional picture of Slipknot from 1997 with former members Greg "Cuddles" Welts and Josh Brainard. Below that is a 1999 promotional shot featuring all of the members we're familiar with that the entire band signed for me.
Rest in peace, Paul. God bless your family and friends as they struggle through this difficult time.