Former MEGADETH and current F5 bassist David Ellefson has issued the following update:
"I just arrived back in the USA from the Tim 'Ripper' Owens [JUDAS PRIEST, ICED EARTH, YNGWIE MALMSTEEN, BEYOND FEAR] tour of Europe. Ripper and I have worked on a lot of things lately, including our band HAIL!, his solo album 'Play My Game', and laying down tracks on that Dimebag tribute song 'Leave It Alone' a few years back. It was fun work pulling together a really strong band to support Ripper as he rolled out his new album. Chris Caffery's [SAVATAGE] a great player, BEYOND FEAR's guitarist John Comprix shreds and drummer Simon Wright [AC/DC, DIO] is as rock solid as they come.
"This trip put us on six shows with HEAVEN & HELL, one headlining gig and two festivals.
"Tony [Iommi], Geezer [Butler], Vinny [Appice] and Ronnie [James Dio] are just plain awesome! Watching them reminds me why I started playing bass in the first place. The last time I did a show with them was in 1992 at a festival called Regio Emilio in Italy. It was on the 'Countdown To Extinction' tour for me, and they were still going under BLACK SABBATH, supporting their 'Dehumanizer' album. Also on that bill that day was up-and-comer PANTERA, which is ironic because Phil Anselmo, Rex Brown and I got a few minutes to get caught up between our sets at the Download festival in England last week, too.
"I first met Ronnie James Dio, Vinny Appice and Ripper's guitarist Chris Caffery in 1987 when we all toured together on the DIO 'Dream Evil' tour. Chris was in SAVATAGE at the time and it was the 'So Far, So Good... So What' tour for me.
"The cool thing about the festival circuit in Europe is that everyone is there... fans and bands alike. Bands from all around the world congregate to perform, hang or simply drink each other's beer and tell tales from the road... which creates a sort of metal family reunion all summer long.
"At Download, there was a lot of attraction to ANVIL, who headlined one of the stages. It was good to meet up with Lips again, as I met him briefly at the Bang Your Head!!! festival in Germany back in 2001 after his long absence from the scene. He was on every magazine cover when I was getting rolling back in 1983. It's funny how he's now a household name due to their movie! I also got to give kudos to the lovely Cristina Scabbia from LACUNA COIL for her powerhouse performance on the 'A Tout Le Monde' remake. She was a fine choice for a duet on that song, if I may say so myself. They had a great slot on the bill just before MÖTLEY CRÜE that day.
"We also played the Sweden Rock Festival doing a full headlining set. Everyone from DREAM THEATER to HELSTAR were there, and Ripper, John Comprix and I took time out of the day's press schedule to go check out Bay Area icons FORBIDDEN. We all met up later, along with Hank Shermann from MERCYFUL FATE. That was a great hang amongst metal dudes, for sure! MERCYFUL FATE were one of the most highly respected European metal bands during the rise of the early thrash movement back in the early '80s and Hank wrote some of the most inventive and haunting riffs back in those days, too."
In other news, Ellefson will take part in a signing session on Saturday November 7, 2009 at the Montréal Metal Gathering at at Cafe Chaos in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
Fan-filmed video footage of Owens's June 5, 2009 headlining concert at the Rock in Copenhagen, Denmark can be viewed below (courtesy of "Metalex1982").
More clips from the same concert are available at this location.