Are shows becoming seriously dangerous places? Granted, this wasn't a Yanni concert, but it seems that deaths and injuries are becoming a lot more common at festivals and shows alike. This situation dates back to 2010, when Lamb of God frontman Randy Blythe allegedly shoved a 19-year-old stagediver off the stage - and onto his head. The resulting injuries and complications led to the death of the fan, and charges of 'maliciously causing severe bodily harm' from Czech authorities. Now, the singer is out on bail and in Richmond, Virginia.
I was recently released on bail from Pankrác Prison in Prague, Czech Republic, after over a month of incarceration. Now that I am out for the moment, I would like to say a few things.
I was told by my attorney that I had a lot support from peers in the music industry, my hometown, fans, and of course my family. I cannot express how emotional it made me upon my release to read about even a fraction of the voices that were raised on my behalf. From legends in my music community, to fans across the world, and even people who were previously unaware of my existence but sympathized with my plight - I am truly humbled. I cannot thank you enough for your thoughts and prayers. I would especially like to thank the people of Richmond, VA, for standing by me.
In the 48 hours I have been home, many people I have never met before have stopped me on the street, waved and smiled as I passed by, or said hello in a restaurant. All have said "We are glad you are home, Randy". You all make me proud and grateful that I call Richmond home.
I received no special treatment, and was in general population with everyone else - make no mistake, it was prison, not some celebrity rehab tv show. But I was treated fairly by the guards and kindly by my fellow inmates. People are dying ofstarvation all over the world. Men and women are losing their lives daily in the Middle East and other war torn regions. I had food, clothes, shelter, and no one was trying to kill me. I cannot complain over a short stay in prison while many people elsewhere fight to survive on a daily basis.
While I maintain my innocence 100%, and will do so steadfastly, I will NOT hide in the United States, safe from extradition and possible prosecution. As I write this, the family of a fan of my band suffers through the indescribably tragic loss of their child. They have to deal with constantly varying media reports about the circumstances surrounding his death. I am charged with maliciously causing severe bodily harm to this young man, resulting in his death. While I consider the charge leveled against me ludicrous and without qualification, my opinion makes no difference in this matter. The charge exists, and for the family of this young man, questions remain. The worst possible pain remains.
It is fairly common knowledge amongst fans of my band that I once lost a child as well. I, unfortunately, am intimately familiar with what their pain is like. Therefore, I know all too well that in their time of grief, this family needs and deserves some real answers, not a media explosion followed by the accused killer of their son hiding like a coward thousands of miles away while they suffer. I am a man. I was raised to face my problems head on, not run from them like a petulant child.
I hope that justice is done, and the family of Daniel N. will receive the closure they undoubtably need to facilitate healing. I feel VERY STRONGLY that as an adult, it would be both irresponsible and immoral for me not to return to Prague if I am summoned. This is not about bail money. This is about a young man who lost his life. I will act with honor, and I will fight to clear my good name in this matter.
Thank you for reading this, and I wish you all peace.
Thedisco Tuesday, August 07, 2012
If you bothered to watch the videos you would probably rewrite the last sentence. Dubious at best.
Russ Tuesday, August 07, 2012
Agreed. Video from multiple angles clearly shows a bouncer/guard on stage pushing the fan (who had been tossed from the stage twice before this incident) with much more force than Randy.
Nice to put his statement in full on the page, but the lead is poorly researched and written.
paul Tuesday, August 07, 2012
Agreed, I hadn't seen that video, which of course puts everything in doubt. So thanks for showing that to me.
Outside of that, I don't have a deeper investigation into what transpired, you're right.
576madson Tuesday, August 07, 2012
Before you jump all over this poor author you have to realize that youtube clip is also very circumspect. Who knows if thats the actual kid and who was doing the shoving. I agreed that this needs to be handled in a court of law weighing all available evidence.
Thedisco Tuesday, August 07, 2012
Unless there was another kid who was taped jumping up on the stage four times at the same gig then it is doubtful there is much to be circumspect about.
It clearly shows an extremely large venue security staffer shoving the kid off the stage while Randy - using his free left hand - barely has a grip on the guy as he goes off the stage. The other incident shows the kid rolling himself off the stage and into a barrier.
The case is dubious at best and leaves one curious what axe the prosecutor has to grind with trying to keep him in jail for so long even after bond was posted. It is hard for an international celebrity to disappear, esp. as his only source of income is tied into that work. If he's only pulling in $200,000/yr he isn't exactly rolling in it either.
I'd be nervous about going back, as justice being served doesn't seem all too likely.
Anthem Maker Wednesday, August 08, 2012
"Unless there was another kid who was taped jumping up on the stage four times at the same gig then it is doubtful there is much to be circumspect about. "
Exactly! This could easily be someone else being filmed in fact that's a major claim being made. There's more than one stage jumpers at shows like these.
3 simple things Tuesday, August 07, 2012
1. security guards should be in front of the stage, to prevent people from climbing up.
2. if someone manages to climb, you don't throw them back down. You remove them from the side of the stage (left or right).
3. no venue should be allowed to do business without properly trained security guards.
----- RIP Dimebag Darrel -----
Thedisco Tuesday, August 07, 2012
You are correct on all counts, but these are chaotic enviroments that aren't perfect and if anything highlights venue negligence, not manslaughter charges for the singer of the band.
Generally, as I'm sure anyone who has been on tour for a week or years can atest to, the intelligence factor of venue security is on the low end and coupled with meathead aggression and psuedo power trips often lead to abuse of fans and general mishandling of simple situations.
There is a certain amount of assumed risk on the part of the fan in these situations. If you are going to climb up on the stage where someone is working, expect to be forcibly removed.
Peter Wednesday, August 08, 2012
I'm not a law student, and I definitely don't know much about laws overseas, but that kid demonstrated what's called contributory negligence - in which he understood the risks and dangers, ignored them, and ended up in injury (in this case, death). I know most countries will alleviate the compensation (such as England's courts) due to contributory negligence, but i'm not sure about the Czech Republic. Again, I could be entirely wrong, just my two cents.
paul Wednesday, August 08, 2012
Here's one video, with commentary. Another clip had embedding blocked but you can find that here.
musiclawyer Thursday, August 09, 2012
Whole thing just sucks. Concepts of assumed risk and contributory negligence may not even exist in Czech Republic and may have no relevancy. But, if you go to this kind of a show, anywhere in the world, you know there will be stage diving, you know that can be risky business, and ifyou do it, you know you can get hurt. Also must know club security is not typically a gentle sort handling things with delicate care. So when you dive, you clearly assume risk. In billions of instances, it's all just fun with no serious reprocussion. Just unfortunate, beyond what words can describe, that this ended up this way.