Larry Paterson, the drummer of former IRON MAIDEN/WOLFSBANE vocalist Blaze Bayley — whose wife/manager Debbie collapsed at the couple's home in Tamworth, UK on July 6 — has released the following statement:
"Sadly, I have to let you all know that Blaze's wife Debbie has passed away in hospital this morning. I know that Blaze has always appreciated the massive amount of supportive emails and letters for Debbie and he, and many were passed on to Debbie in hospital.
"Blaze is understandably not here to write anything so if you don't mind, I would like to write something here about Debbie. I didn't meet Debbie until I auditioned for the band in September 2007. She was always a very genuine person who laughed easily and enjoyed life and she and Blaze were obviously a very strong couple that loved each other totally. I know she was also extremely proud of Blaze, and should have been very proud of herself for helping Blaze 'come back' from what was a dark period for him.
"When I learned that Debbie — the singer's wife — was the band manager, with no previous experience, I had to admit that I was sceptical. I have seen 'Spinal Tap'... and been in enough bands to know that often a situation like that doesn't work! But I was so very impressed with her. She grabbed the job and ran with it... surpassing everybody's expectations (apart from Blaze's, who knew what she was capable of) with her abilities, proving to be both tough and strong in all aspects of the job and life. She shared the same ups and downs, slept on the same airport floors, spent hours and hours in negotiations and ALWAYS cared about the welfare of 'her boys' before everything else. She was bloody brilliant and I am just glad that we all told her that on several occassions. Debbie was also a very supportive friend whatever personal circumstances were happening, and she was always there when you needed her.
"On July 5th, we all went to the IRON MAIDEN show at Twickenham and were fortunate enough to be at the aftershow party. Debbie was like a proud mum as Nico [Bermudez, guitar], Dave [Bermudez, bass] and I were buzzing to be in the company of some of our heroes. She looked so happy that my girlfriend took this photo [see below] on her phone and immediately sent it to her. The album was two days away from release and everything going so well. She had been instrumental in turning around the band's fortunes since 2007. The next day she fell ill.
"Blaze has lost his wife, her family have lost a daughter and sister, the band has lost its manager and we have all lost a very good friend. The world is a poorer place for it."
Bayley and Debbie got married on February 14, 2007 on the island of Gran Canaria.
In a May 2008 interview with HeavyMetal.no, Bayley stated, "I had a lot of problems with alcohol, severe depression, almost had a breakdown at the end of [the] 'Tenth Dimension' [album cycle], fucked about by the record company, totally broke, I'd spent all my money of trying to keep the band together. I was absolutely fucked. I was just about keeping going, and then I met my wife. And she'd known me... We've known each other for 18 years. 20 years. We were apart for years, because I follow this passion for music, and Debbie was following her passion, she was a dancer, and then she got her own hair business, and then we met again, when I was at my lowest. My wife found me, and really made me believe again, that it wasn't all my fault, it wasn't the fact that people didn't like what I was doing, it was the fact that they didn't actually know that I was doing anything at all. So that was a big difference. So that's it. She supported it, then I had incredible support from my family, my friends, and the fans who stuck by me was just incredible. With that kind of support, and with my wife behind me, helping me sort myself out, [I got] through my drinking problems, depression and all of that."