Saturday, December 18, 2004

Eight Days a Week: Concerts and Death in December 2004

December 8 is the anniversary of the assassination of John Lennon in 1980. For heavy metal fans, it will now be recalled also as the date on which Pantera founder "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott was gunned down while performing. And it kicked off a strange week of music location-related violence. Is this all coincidence or the copycat effect at work here?

First there was the shooting of Darrell Abbott by Nathan Gale. On Wednesday, December 8, 2004, Gale charged the stage at a show by Abbott's new band, Damageplan, at the Alrosa Villa nightclub in Columbus, Ohio. Gale shot and killed four people, including Abbott, before a police officer shot Gale to death. Reports are now out that Gale was a paranoid schizophrenia.

Then on Saturday, December 11, in Colombo, Sri Lanka (please note the twilight language here - Colombus - Colombo), a hand grenade was lobbed into the VIP section of the audience at a Bollywood concert led by Indian film star Sharukh Khan (also spelled Shahrukh Khan). Two people were killed and 11 others wounded. Since the 12/11 grenade attack, Khan has been back in the news , promoting her desire to appear in the James Bonds films (which have been linked with the twilight language before).

Then four days later came the breaking news that there was "random shooting" immediately before a concert. The incident ended in a suicide. In Garden Grove, California, Johnnie Carl, 57, the longtime conductor of the Crystal Cathedral Orchestra - a composer and arranger who worked with Celine Dion and John Tesh - shot himself to death at the soaring glass-and-steel church Friday, December 16, 2004, after a nine-hour standoff that started just before a Christmas pageant was to begin. Carl got into argument Thursday evening, December 15, 2004, with another employee, fired four shots, barricaded himself in a bathroom, and then died by suicide as police officers tried to talk to him.

Is this concert-death-suicide media cycle finished?

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