Former JUDAS PRIEST and current ICED EARTH/BEYOND FEAR frontman Tim "Ripper" Owens was one of a number of heavy rock artists who participated in an all-star jam honoring late PANTERA and DAMAGEPLAN guitarist "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott on January 20 at the Hilton Hotel's Pacific Ballroom in Anaheim, California. The musicians performed a number of KISS, JUDAS PRIEST and PANTERA covers at the event, which is connected with the annual National Association of Music Merchandisers (NAMM) convention.Commented Owens: "It was great to jam with the guys and also jamming [JUDAS PRIEST's] 'Grinder' with Nick Catanese (BLACK LABEL SOCIETY), John 'J.D.' DeServio (BLACK LABEL SOCIETY), Brian Tichy (BILLY IDOL, OZZY OSBOURNE), and Mike Stone (QUEENSRŸCHE). "Man, they all are great musicians… What a blast... and also jamming at soundcheck with no PA and yelling… with Jason Bittner (SHADOWS FALL) on drums (Vinnie Paul was signing stuff) and with Scott Ian (ANTHRAX) and Nick Bowcott (GRIM REAPER). Paul [Gray] (SLIPKNOT) wasn't there yet either. "As for the finale with Scott Ian, Vinnie Paul, Nick and Paul, all I can say is, pinch me, always have wanted to jam with Scott and Vinnie. Maybe we can do this one show a month!!!!" Check out photos at this location. "Dimebag" Darrell was shot to death onstage in December of 2004. Owens is currently working with ICED EARTH guitarist/mainman Jon Schaffer on a two-part concept album based on the "Something Wicked This Way Comes" story that first appeared on ICED EARTH's 1998 album of the same name. "Something Wicked (Part 1)" will be released in September/October 2007, to be followed by "Part 2" in January/February 2008. Commented Owens: "I'm right in the middle of working on the ICED EARTH songs, and wow, they sound kick-ass! Jon is working his ass off and this CD will blow people away!" For more information on Tim "Ripper" Owens' current activities, visit his official web site, www.timripperowens.com.
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