MACHINE HEAD frontman Robb Flynn has recorded an acoustic cover of Black Sabbath’s “Die Young” from the classic Heaven and Hell album in tribute to late metal manager Debbie Abono, who sadly passed away on the same day as legendary heavy metal singer and HEAVEN AND HELL front man Ronnie James Dio.
In a statement made at the beginning of the video, below, which was recorded the day after Debbie’s passing, Robb says, “I don’t know why I recorded this song, it doesn’t really have relevance to Debbie or Dio, but I was sad and depressed and it was the only thing that made sense in the world.”
There are no plans to officially release Flynn’s version of “Die Young,” but an MP3 version of the track is available for free download at his band’s official site HERE, and the video can be viewed below.
Debbie Abono, a well-respected and much-loved manager and promotional machine behind some of the San Francisco Bay Area’s strongest metal bands (Possessed, Forbidden, Exodus, Vio-Lence, Skinlab), passed away on May 16 after a battle with cancer. She was 80 years old.
In a May 17 statement regarding Abono’s passing, Flynn wrote:
“I am devastated at the passing of Debbie Abono and words aren’t coming very clear for me right now. Debbie was like a second mom to me, and having never lost a family member yet, this is very difficult. Debbie managed Vio-Lence [Flynn’s pre-Machine Head band], and toured with us in a van as manager, tour manager, mom, friend, and facilitator. Phil [Demmel; current Machine Head, former Vio-Lence guitarist] and I were her roommates at crummy Motel 6’s across America.
“Thinking back on it now, touring with a bunch of snot-nosed thrash metal-ers for two months at a time in a van, playing crummy clubs, isn’t the usual course most 55-year-old ladies take in their lives, but she was no ordinary 55-year-old lady. She was fiery, feisty, charming, funny, and could look a person over in about two seconds and find something to joke about / roast them about should they wanted to test her. She was one of the biggest forces behind the thrash and early-death-metal movements than I think most people will ever realize.” The full statement can be read HERE.