Former BROKEN HOPE guitarist Jeremy Wagner has released the following message regarding the passing of Debbie Abono, a well-respected and much-loved manager and promotional machine behind some of San Francisco Bay Area's strongest metal bands (POSSESSED, FORBIDDEN, EXODUS, VIO-LENCE, SKINLAB):
"I was bummed to hear about Debbie Abono — manager extraordinaire — passing away.
"I imagine Debbie is managing Ronnie James Dio right now, up in heaven, until Wendy Dio can make up there to take charge.
"I met Debbie Abono when I was a teenager. I had already knew about her early work managing POSSESSED, and when FORBIDDEN and EXODUS came through my town (Waukegan, Illinois), I got to meet her and pick her brain about everything metal and how cool it was that she managed such awesome bands.
"In the early '90s, I was on my first North American tour with BROKEN HOPE and we were set to play Berkeley, California. Our bassist — Shaun Glass [now with DIRGE WITHIN; formerly of SOIL] — was an old friend of Debbie's, so he contacted her when we got to the Bay Area and she came out to visit us. Debbie told us we all looked like we needed hugs and something to eat.
"Let me tell you, after 50 dates in a cargo van with no A/C or rear seats, we needed big hugs and mental help!
"That day, Debbie took us out for a nice dinner and told us she'd like to guide us when out next album came out. On our third album — 'Repulsive Conception' — Debbie stepped in and managed BROKEN HOPE for that entire period. Debbie coordinated our tour solicitations and guarantees, she worked out our tour support, she sometimes paid for our hotel rooms, she bought Shaun a bass head when his gear died, she even set up her own toll-free phone number so we could call her from any pay phone free of charge! On top of all this, she gave me hard-as-nails career advice and she never, ever charged BROKEN HOPE one cent or her work — she only wanted to help us out.
"We could never thank Debbie enough... this angel who helped us out so much.
"I'll always remember Debbie Abono with great fondness and love. Her stories of a young James Hetfield and Cliff Burton and of feeding a juvenile METALLICA at her house along with walking around Rome with members of NAPALM DEATH are just a few of the gems I hold in my memory bank.
"Take a look at the liner notes on METALLICA's 'Master of Puppets'; you will find her name there.
"There's a wise saying Debbie taught me and hammered into me, and I still use it today in my approach to everything from business to personal matters: 'You get farther with sugar than with vinegar.'
"Debbie Abono, thanks for blessing my life.
"Rest in peace. Eternal love to you and your family."