Monday, January 18, 2010

Hail! Members Talk about Chi Cheng Benefit Concert

Hail! memebers Tim "Ripper" Owens (vocals; Iced Earth, Yngwie Malmsteen, ex-Judas Priest), David Ellefson (bass; F5, ex-Megadeth), and Mike Portnoy (Dream Theatre) took part in an all-star jam on Saturday, January 16, at The Sidebar in Fullerton, California. The jam was a benefit for Deftones bassist Chi Cheng.

Hail! commented on the benefit concert saying, "The show last night at The Slidebar went amazing! The place was packed to the rafters and the line extended around the block 'till long after we played.

"Thanks to all your wonderful support, the event was a tremendous success and over $100,000 was raised to help offset Chi Cheng from the Deftones' medical expenses.

"It was an honor to be able to contribute to this benefit event.

"We wish you the best, Chi, and hope for your continued and full recovery.

"We originally planned a six song set of 'Ace Of Spades,' 'Breaking the Law,' 'Grinder,' 'Paranoid,' and 'Run to the Hills', but as we are prone to do, we threw in two more that even we didn't know we were going to play! We were having such a good time that we spontaneously broke into 'Cold Gin' and ended the night with 'The Trooper.'

"As Andreas [Kisser; Sepultura/Hail! guitarist] was not with us (he was in Brazil), Machine Head guitarist Phil Demmel and The Letter Black guitarist Mark Anthony filled in and did an amazing job. These guys both killed it and we thank them profusely.

"Mike Portnoy played drums and was his usual ridiculously great.

"Due to the nature of the event, we weren’t able to rehearse or even soundcheck, so when we stepped on stage, it was literally the first notes we ever played together.

"Most surreal memory of the evening was that there were no dressing rooms in the club, so we changed and hung out in the kitchen of the restaurant as the staff actively cooked all around us.

"Lit guitarist Jeremy Popoff, who owns the venue, along with the event promoter, Danny Hill, took good care of us and we thank them.

"It was a fun warm up for our shows in New York and Boston next week. We're looking forward to them and will see you all soon."

Cheng was seriously injured in an automobile accident in November 2008. The accident left Cheng in a coma. He also suffered a near-fatal septicemia infection and underwent surgery to replace a bone flap in his skull that had been removed after the accident in order to relieve intracranial pressure. Since the accident, Cheng has been in a semi-conscious state. His family has accumulated an overwhelming amount of medical bills that their insurance cannot entirely cover.

The 39-year-old Cheng is noted as being a poet as well as a musician. In 2000, he released a CD of his poetry entitled The Bamboo Parachute.

Cheng has played with Deftones since the band's formation in 1988. The band's debut album - Adrenaline - was released in 1995. In 2000, the band went platnum with the release of White Pony.

For more information on the Chi Cheng benefit, visit

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