Wacken Open Air, one of the world's largest heavy metal music festivals, and the Hall Of Heavy Metal History have joined forces to former MANOWAR and DICTATORS guitarist Ross "The Boss" Friedman as the first-ever "Global Metal Ambassador." The onstage induction ceremony took place August 3 in front of 75,000 metal fans, in Wacken, Germany. Joining Ross on stage were Hall Of Heavy Metal History board members Whitney Alyson Ribbins and Steve Goldby.
"We are very happy to have had this very special ceremony with Ross The Boss on our stage for the very first time," said one of the Wacken Open Air promoters, Thomas Jensen.
"It is a great honor to join with Wacken Open Air to induct Ross 'The Boss' Friedman, with the Hall Of Heavy Metal History Global Metal Ambassador award," says Hall Of Heavy Metal History founder/CEO Pat Gesualdo."If anyone deserves this award, it's Ross. He has been working extremely hard for decades to ensure that metal continues to thrive."
"It was a huge privilege to be inducted into the 2017 Hall Of Heavy Metal History, along with Randy Rhoads, Ronnie James Dio, Lemmy Kilmister, and the other superstar inductees," says Ross. "Now I am the very first 'Global Metal Ambassador' in the music industry. That is a huge honor as well."
The Hall Of Heavy Metal History is part of the non-profit organization D.A.D. (Drums And Disabilities). Proceeds from both organizations are donated to establish free therapy services and programs to help disabled children and their families. Every January, iconic musicians and music industry personalities are inducted into the Hall Of Heavy Metal History in Anaheim, California.
The new lineup of ROSS THE BOSS, the band led by Friedman, performed at this year's Hall Of Heavy Metal History induction ceremony in January at the Anaheim Expo Center in Anaheim, California.
Joining Friedman in the group's incarnation are SYMPHONY X bassist Mike LePond, former MANOWAR drummer Kenny "Rhino" Earl and LET US PREY vocalist Marc Lopes.
One of the great metal guitarists, Friedman first made his name with THE DICTATORS, before briefly teaming up with French band SHAKIN' STREET. But in more recent times, he became renowned for his work with MANOWAR. A founding member, Ross recorded six albums with the band, before leaving after 1988's "Kings Of Metal". Since then he's worked with MANITOBA'S WILD KINGDOM, BRAIN SURGEONS and THE SPINATRAS. Now he's back doing what he does best — playing loud, true heavy metal with DEATH DEALER and ROSS THE BOSS.