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Reunited Guns N’ Roses To Play Coachella Festival

Billboard magazine says that "multiple sources" have told them that Guns N' Roses, featuring vocalist Axl Rose and guitarist Slash, will headline next year's edition of the Coachella Festival, set to take place April 15-17 and April 22-24 in Indio, California.

The band is also in talks to play as many as 25 football stadiums in North America in the summer of 2016. In addition, Guns N' Roses will be one of the first acts to play the new Las Vegas Arena opening April 6, 2016. The band is said to be asking up to $3 million per show, with tickets topping out in the $250-$275 range.

The official lineup for Coachella will be announced on January 5, 2016.

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Motorhead Frontman Lemmy Passes Away

Today, heavy metal and rock and roll has lost one of it's greatest icons. Motorhead frontman Ian Fraser Kilmister, better known to the world as Lemmy, has passed away, just days after celebrating his seventieth birthday. A message from the official Motorhead Facebook page reads as follows:

"There is no easy way to say this…our mighty, noble friend Lemmy passed away today after a short battle with an extremely aggressive cancer. He had learnt of the disease on December 26th, and was at home, sitting in front of his favorite video game from The Rainbow which had recently made it’s way down the street, with his family.

"We cannot begin to express our shock and sadness, there aren’t words.

"We will say more in the coming days, but for now, please…play Motörhead loud, play Hawkwind loud, play Lemmy’s music LOUD.Have a drink or few.Share stories.
"Celebrate the LIFE this lovely, wonderful man celebrated so vibrantly himself.

"HE WOULD WANT EXACTLY THAT.

"Ian ‘Lemmy’ Kilmister
1945 -2015
Born to lose, lived to win." More...

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Tourniquet Parts With Vocalist

Tourniquet just issued this announcement online about parting ways with long-time vocalist Luke Easter:

"By mutual and respectful agreement, Luke Easter has stepped down as vocalist of Tourniquet. Luke has been a valuable member of Tourniquet since 1993 and we have shared much music, ministry, and laughter. I will always appreciate his valuable contribution to our music and his representation of the band – and I know many of you will too. We’ve decided that our musical paths are not quite going in the same direction. Luke has been, and is - a great friend. I truly wish the best for him and look forward to seeing whatever his future holds.”

Luke had this to say: "In June, 1993, my life changed. I joined Tourniquet and began a musical journey that has lasted more than two decades. I got the opportunity to see the world; to meet and work with amazing people; to contribute to a body of work that I am proud of; and in the process I was able to share Christ with people all over the world. I am grateful to have been a part of Tourniquet, and to have had the chance to work with someone as talented and prolific as Ted for as long as I have." More...

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The Best And Worst Of Metal In 2015

We've almost got another year in the bag, so it's time to take a look back at all that went down throughout 2015 in the world of heavy metal.

This was an uneven year featuring both highs and lows, and metal didn't escape the drama frequent in other styles of music at all in the last 12 months. Echoing previous schisms in famous black metal bands, Immortal finally took its turn imploding and split into two, and this was probably the worst year in recent memory for U.S. metal tours.

On the flip side of that, a solid number of amazing albums saw release, and metal also catapulted to the top of the charts with some major releases that made people outside the underground take notice.

After two solid years dominated by reunions and reboots, it looks like that craze is finally winding down. This year most notably we saw the return of Faith No More with “Sol Invictus,” but on the more underground end industrial black metal outfit Diabolicum also came back with a first album in 14 years. Although not quite on the same scale of time, Arcturus finally returned with a new full-length after a decade's waiting.

While there are less surprise reunions announced for the coming year, there is one classic outfit hitting the road to take note of, as Black Sabbath's “final” tour - dubbed The End - runs through most of 2016 across the globe. While we wait to see what's in store in the coming year, first we'll look back at everything that went down throughout 2015.

The Good: The Best Of Metal In 2015

Both Slayer and Lamb Of God ended up topping the charts with their latest albums (with Lamb Of God even getting nominated for a Grammy). It's not often a metal album hits #2 in the world, but Slayer managed to do it. While not everyone loved the album, the exposure alone is good for the genre overall.

But how was the more underground metal? Simply put: pretty killer, if you knew were to look. There was a solid mix of great albums from long time bands like Amorphis, Cattle Decapitation, Enslaved, and Soilwork, as well as excellent material from newer and less prolific groups like Alkaloid, Tribulation, and Lychgate.

The tried and true classic outfits from Cradle Of Filth to Iron Maiden to My Dying Bride made appearances, and there were some seriously ambitious undertakings (Swallow The Sun released a TRIPLE album). A handful of bands that were already solid managed to really outdo themselves with stellar material this year though, including Subterannean Masquerade, Code, Shining, and Melechesh. More...

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Emmure Members All Quit Band Except Vocalist

All Emmure members except vocalist Frankie Palmeri have exited the band. Mark Davis (bass), Jesse Ketive (lead guitar), Mike Mulholland (rhythm guitar), and Adam Pierce (drums) all plan to continue on together with a new project next year.

States Mark Davis:

"As some of you may or may not have heard, Jesse, Mikael, Adam, and myself are no longer in Emmure. We have decided collectively to pursue other endeavors. We would like to thank the Emmure fans for all the support and love over the years, and to everyone who has help the band on its way, you are all greatly appreciated. Be on the lookout for a new project from the four of us in 2016."

Continues Davis: More...

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Thy Art Is Murder Parts With Vocalist

Australian outfit Thy Art Is Murder just posted the following message online about parting ways with vocalist CJ McMahon:

"After much conjecture and ambiguity on his behalf, it is with a heavy heart that we must announce today that CJ is no longer a part of Thy Art Is Murder. We have worked so hard from day one to make this band what it is now, and develop the reputation that we have and he had been there with us every step of the way.

"We like to think that even if someone doesn't like our music that they can at least respect our work ethic. This band has taken us to places we never thought we would see and to share stages with many bands we never thought we would get to play with or meet, let alone call friends. It is unfortunate that with our best year to date and our biggest paved out before us that he has decided to leave.

"All this being said, touring as hard as we do does take its toll on you physically, but more importantly mentally and emotionally. We are an underground metal band, and have been so fortunate over the last two years to carve out a small income thanks to so many dedicated and generous fans around the world. For some people, it comes to a turning point in their life where that income is no longer enough for their personal goals, and that point has come for CJ. We would like to wish him all our best as he leaves the band and moves onward to start a family and new life with his loving fiancée.

"The four of us are continuing forward into 2016 for some of the biggest and best tours of our lives. We won't be slowing down or missing any shows. We head back out next month with Parkway Drive and Architects throughout Europe and the UK and will be taking one of our favourite vocalists with us, Nick Arthur from Molotov Solution.

"Thy Art is what we have done with all of our adult lives and we have put absolutely everything we have into the band and the friendship between the four of us. That friendship and drive to create extreme music is what has kept us together through thick and thin. Unfortunately not everyone can share this fire." More...

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Melechesh Frontman Comments On Arrest

Ashmedi, frontman for Sumerian black/thrash pioneers Melechech, has recently been arrested for assault in his hometown of Jerusalem. As rumours have spread over the past two weeks, the band has decided to speak out on the situation. Ashmedi had this to say:

"While on vacation in Jerusalem, I was arrested for beating up somebody in a bar fight. After 3 days in jail and a 3,000 dollar bail plus 18,000 dollar contingent guarantee, I was placed under house arrest for the last 7 weeks and will remain under house arrest until the court sets a date for a trial. Then the judge will decide what will happen next.

"I was having a nice night out at a friend's bar. After several verbal provocations and then verbal death threats to me, I acted in what to me seemed self-defense and finished it. Normally, people know me, I often stop fights and buy people drinks to calm them down - this time shit hit the fan....

"Well, it was a stupid bar fight, which is not my style really, yet things got out of hand and the vacation turned into a nightmare. 3 days jail and now I am still under house arrest for the last 7 weeks until a yet unknown court date, the fortunate news however is that I will be given permission to do the Melechesh concert in Jerusalem, so I can go out for a few hours to rehearse with my guys and the next day naturally perform with Melechesh."

As he mentioned, Ashmedi has been granted permission to rehearse with the rest of the band for tomorrow's concert in Jerusalem, which will mark Melechesh's first show there since the summer of 1998.

Melechesh is currently supporting latest album "Enki" (reviewed here), which was released in early 2015. More...

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Northern Oak Disbanding

U.K. folk metal band Northern Oak just issued the following statement online about deciding to call it day:

"Northern Oak has been an incredible experience, having toured across the UK and created music that has gone beyond borders, delighting ears as far as Australia and Japan. None of this could have happened without your help, for which we are eternally grateful.

"2016 will mark the 10 year anniversary of the band, but it is the last 5 years with the current members which have been the defining line up for the band, and we feel that the different musical backgrounds of the current members has been one of our key strengths. Sadly it has come to a stage where not all members are able to continue, and so we have taken the decision to disband in 2016.

"We will be performing a farewell tour across February and March to celebrate what has been a glorious journey and we hope to see friends, old and new, there one last time. Thank you once again for all your support and we hope you enjoy listening to our music for a long time to come."

Friday 26th February - Old Angel, Nottingham W/ Old Corpse Road + Red Rum + Raptorgeist
Saturday 27th February - Black Heart, London W/ Old Corpse Road + Eibon La Furies
Saturday 5th March - Corporation, Sheffield W/ Old Corpse Road + Eibon La Furies More...

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2016 Grammy Metal Performance Nominees Announced

Ready to rage all over again about the lack of metal knowledge in the Grammy awards? It's that time of year again...

If you aren't familiar with this amusing setup, there isn't actually a "best metal album" or "best metal song" category.

Instead, the Grammy's feature a token "best metal performance" nomination that typically involves a bunch of mainstream rock bands and one or two metal groups.

The 2015 winner was Tenacious D covering a Dio track while the 2012 winner was rock band Halestorm.

This year's nominees surprisingly actually include some metal bands, but of course only those that are most well known. The 2016 Grammy nominees for "Best Metal Performance" are: More...

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Ex-Stone Temple Pilots Singer Scott Weiland Dead

Update: The members of Stone Temple Pilots have now released a statement regarding Scott's death. Read it over here.

According to TMZ.com, former Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver singer Scott Weiland was found dead on his tour bus in Minnesota.

A source connected to Scott's band The Wildabouts says Weiland was found on the band's tour bus Thursday night around 9 pm, shortly before the The Wildabouts' live set at the Medina Ballroom. He was 48.

Stone Temple Pilots fired Weiland in 2013 after reuniting with him in 2010 for a series of tours and one self-titled album. The band had previously been on hiatus since 2002, primarily due to the singer's struggles with drugs and alcohol. The band then recruited new vocalist Chester Bennington.

More...

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Chthonic's Freddy Lim Running For Office

Remember when Chthonic started a political party? Turns out something's actually coming of that.

"Using music to change the world" is a slogan that appears often in the history of rock, however, in Taiwan, a man is turning it into reality: Chthonic lead vocalist Freddy Lim is traveling the road of music to parliament. Oon December 26th, a Formosa Defenders outdoor concert will be held in place of a campaign rally.

Formed in 1995, the Taiwanese band Chthonic, now under the Universal Music/Spinefarm Records banner, features a blend of unique oriental melody and heavy metal music. Chthonic has released eight albums recounting stories of struggles against authoritarian repression that have touched fans around the globe. The band's lyrics have historically focused on accounts of the country's inhabitants fighting against repressive regimes in history that textbooks refused to tell in addition to their public displays of support for social movements and human rights activities, including last year's Sunflower Movement and this year's student protests against the Ministry Of Education's adjustments in high school curriculum guidelines.

Beyond Chthonic, Lim also serves as the lead vocalist of a band that he formed with former Megadeth guitarist Marty Friedman, Metal Clone X, which has released two albums in Taiwan and Japan. Lim has also organized two of the most well known music festivals -- the Formoz Festival and Megaport Festival -- with participation from the likes of Muse, Megadeth, and Moby and was behind the Say Yes To Taiwan and With Justice We Cure This Nation concerts that focused on public issues such as transitional justice. More...

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Immortal Comments On Copyright Battle

Echoing previous black metal schisms like the Gorgoroth disaster, Immortal recently split into two entities, with Abbath going his own way in a self-titled project while Demonaz and Horgh continued on with the Immortal name.

After the Immortal trademark case was closed by Patentstyret (Norway’s Patent Office) in November 2015, Demonaz and Horgh can finally share their side of the story for the first time. They comment:

"The conflict was not about anyone leaving the band as Abbath claimed. It was all about his personal problems. He had cancelled rehearsals and ruined the band’s progress for a very long time. We were forced to confront him about it.

"Abbath recently told Australian website TheMusic.com.au that we wanted things solely on our own timetable and that we claimed he needed rehab.

"The band had to reschedule rehearsals all the time because of him. Even then, he did not show up. He told the band, friends, and family that he needed to go to rehab again. He had got help from a clinic before. We offered to wait for him to recover this time also. Sadly he changed his decision.

"Instead of trying to solve his problems, he went behind our back and secretly applied for a trademark ownership of the bands logo and name. It was hard to believe that his problems had led him to such a point. More...

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Fear Factory In Bus Crash In Germany

Currently on the road in Europe (and not cancelling any dates after the recent terrorist attacks in France), Fear Factory has unfortunately had a run of bad luck in Germany. The band had this to say about a bus crash this morning:

"We just left Aschaffenburger Germany heading our way to Munich and we were just involved in a bus crash! Everyone is OK just a little shaken up. It doesn't help when it's 4:30 am and snowing outside!"

It's not clear yet if any dates will be cancelled or postponed at this point, and you can find a list of upcoming European shows right here.

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Heavy Metal Black Friday Deals Revealed

It's almost Black Friday again (which for many stores has essentially just become "Black Month" as the sales start earlier and employees are expected to work all Thanksgiving) and you might not think that matters to metalheads, but many of the labels actually jump on that bandwagon.

Best of all - you don't have to go to a store at four in the morning to get these deals.

The holiday / Thanksgiving / Christmas sales are already ramping up through the various online distros, so if you're looking for new music on a budget, these heavy metal Black Friday deals will help you find new tunes.

This is just the start though, so check back in each day as we add in more deals. Specifically look for Amazon to launch something big soon, as that online juggernaut usually does $5 albums that rotate out each day. If you know of any metal sales that aren't listed below, be sure to leave a comment and we'll get it added.

And it's here - the Amazon $5 digital album sale arrives! Grab digital copies of music from Megadeth, Rage Against The Machine, Veil of Maya, Slayer, and more in rotating deals on full-length albums.

Most of the stock on the Nuclear Blast America shop - CDs, vinyl, shirts, etc. - are on sale for the "Blackest Friday," up to 45% off.

The Razorback Records webstore is offering 25% off your order if you buy at least $10 worth of music through November 30th.

The Thanksgiving Week Sale is now going at the Facedown Records web store with albums on sale for as little as $1.

Bullet Tooth is offering vinyl bundles on discount, ranging from $15 - $50 and featuring music from Earth Crisis, Memphis May Fire, Ritual, and more.

The Omega Order is offering 25% off a large selection of death metal, gore grind, and grindcore discs this week.

Comatose Music has an ongoing sale where you get a free CD of $10 or less if you buy three CDs totaling $30 - the deal stacks too, so you can get two free CDs at $60 and three free CDs at $90. More...

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The Ghost Inside In Deadly Bus Crash

The Ghost Inside was involved in a serious bus crash yesterday in which 10 people were injured and 2 died. The group checked in today with this update:

"Thanks to everyone who reached out with concern today. The Ghost Inside was involved in a serious bus accident outside El Paso, TX this morning. All 5 band members + all members of the crew are alive and currently being treated for their injuries.

"Please keep them in your thoughts as well as their bus driver and those in the other vehicle who did not make it. Unfortunately, all U.S. shows on the Locals Only Tour are cancelled. Refunds available at point of purchase. We will update you more when we can."

KFoxTV.com also reported on the collision:

“We have accounted for 12 people. Two have been confirmed deceased and 10 are injured,” said State Trooper Moises Vasquez. “Some were transported to local area hospitals in Hudspeth, and others were transported to El Paso."

The driver of the tour bus, Gregory Hoke, 31, of Round Rock, Texas and the driver of the semi, Steven Cunningham, 64, of Las Cruces, were killed, officials said. The Ghost Inside band members, Andrew Tkaczykt, 28, Jonathan Vigil and Zach Johnson, 28, received serious injuries and were transported to University Medical Center via helicopter. They are said to be in critical condition, officials said.

If you'd like to help out the band, a GoFundMe campaign has been set up to help cover the cost of medical expenses and replacing the tour bus. More...

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Lamb Of God Drops Off Tour Due To Terror Concerns

Update: Randy Blythe has now posted a very lengthy statement online explaining the band's reasoning behind dropping off the tour. You can read that article over here.

After the ISIS-led terrorist attacks in Paris last week, Lamb Of God has decided to drop off all remaining European tour dates with Children Of Bodom and Sylosis. The band comments:

"Due to concerns brought to our attention by the venue security team yesterday in Tilburg - and continued general concerns across Europe - we have decided against putting our fans, our crew and ourselves in this position night after night and will be canceling the remainder of our performances in Europe. This is a decision we are making on behalf of the fans, our crew, and our band, as well as the well-being of everyone's family, friends and loved ones at home. Stay safe, and we will see you very soon."

The tour will continue without Lamb Of God, however, with Children Of Bodom commenting: "Lamb of God has chosen to leave the European tour due to security concerns in Europe. Our team has been working very hard to make all of the remaining shows happen. WE WANT TO, AND HAVE DECIDED TO, CONTINUE ON THE ROAD AND PLAY THE REST OF THE TOUR. Sylosis also will be joining us on their scheduled appearances.

"Here is what we know so far. Unfortunately the promoter has decided to move forward and cancel tonight's show in Oberhausen, Germany, and the additional shows in Germany. At this time, the remaining schedule will move forward as this (we ARE looking to add more shows FYI). We WILL keep you updated as we have changes, and we are doing our best to keep you informed as quickly as possible on everything." More...

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Anthrax Reveals New Album Artwork

Anthrax has revealed the cover art of the band's upcoming release, "For All Kings," due out February 26, 2016 via Megaforce. The band's drummer, Charlie Benante, who designed the artwork and worked closely with artist Alex Ross, talks about the concept in a short video below.

Benante promises that the eleven-song "For All Kings" will be "aggressive and super-thrashy." The album was written by Benante, bassist Frank Bello, and rhythm guitarist Scott Ian.

Anthrax is currently on tour with Slayer in Europe and will join up with Lamb of God in the U.S. starting in January. On these dates, fans will be treated to songs from throughout Anthrax's career, including the classics as well as the brand new "Evil Twin," a song that Bello says "is a song that begs to be played live."

1/15 Stage AE, Pittsburgh, PA
1/16 Electric Factory, Philadelphia, PA
1/17 The Fillmore, Silver Spring, MD
1/19 Tabernacle, Atlanta, GA
1/22 Constant Convocation Center, Norfolk, VA
1/23 Hammerstein Ballroom, New York, NY
1/24 Oakdale Theatre, Wallingford, CT
1/28 Royal Oak Music Theatre, Royal Oak, MI
1/29 Egyptian Room at Old National Center, Indianapolis, IN
1/30 Aragon Ballroom, Chicago, IL
1/31 Orbit Room, Grand Rapids, MI
2/2 Arvest Bank Theatre at The Midland, Kansas City, MO
2/4 Revention Music Center, Houston, TX
2/5 Bomb Factory, Dallas, TX
2/6 Concrete Street Pavilion, Corpus Christi, TX
2/8 ACL Live at the Moody Theatre, Austin, TX
2/9 Diamond Ballroom, Oklahoma City, OK
2/11 Brooklyn Bowl, Las Vegas, NV
2/12 Hollywood Palladium, Los Angeles, CA More...

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Tool Announces U.S. Tour Dates

Maybe that sporadically hinted but never confirmed Tool album is actually happening?

The band has now revealed via Facebook that Tool is gearing up to hit the road again in early January - perhaps this time supporting new music?

Tickets go on sale on Friday, with full date and venue details available below. The band had also enigmatically posted this message just before revealing the dates:

"SOMETHING WICKED THIS... YOUR WAY COMES! For those of you who only like NEWS about TOOL, here's something that should be of great interest. The impenetrable veil of my dark scrying mirror FINALLY CLEARED today - enough so, in fact - that I could perceive a large heptagram on a complexly lit stage where four performers were dwarfed by dramatic video projections.

"Evidently the sonic and visual extravaganza that I was receiving is a rare glimpse of FUTURE TOOL U.S.A. TOUR DATES in the month of JANUARY, 2016 e.v. However, with some of the images in the depths of the black glass not being clearly distinct... YET, fans will have to keep checking back for an official announcement.

"Regarding an opening band(s), what I was able to discern through the ever-shifting veil will in all likeliness be exciting to many Tool enthusiasts. STAY TUNED, FOLKS... as my trusty SCRYING MIRROR CONTINUES TO CLEAR..."

Saturday, January 9 - San Diego, CA @ Viejas Arena
Wednesday, January 13 - San Antonio, TX @ AT&T Center
Saturday, January 16 - Tulsa, OK @ BOK Center
Sunday, January 17 - Grand Prairie, TX (Dallas) @ Verizon Theatre
Tuesday, January 19 - Southaven, MS (Memphis) @ Landers Center
Saturday, January 23 - Nashville, TN @ Bridgestone Arena
Monday, January 25 - Atlanta, GA @ Infinite Energy Center
Tuesday, January 26 - Charlotte, NC @ Bojangles Coliseum

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Metal Bands React To Paris Terrorist Attacks

Members of Metallica, Pantera, In Flames, Testament, AC/DC, Kiss, Slipknot, Mötley Crüe, Slash, Warbringer, Aborted, Periphery, Killswitch Engage, August Burns Red, Raising The Veil, Born Of Osiris, All Shall Perish, Carnifex, Textures and Anthrax etc. are among the musicians who have (so far) reacted with shock and pledges of solidarity for France following the killing of scores of people in attacks in Paris on Friday night. Some of their views can be seen below.


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Randy Blythe Assaulted In Dublin

Maybe Randy Blythe should stop leaving the country, as he's again run afoul of the locals, this time in Ireland. Blythe updated his Instagram account with this post about being attacked in Dublin:

"Sometimes doing what you love comes at a price: here's the Samuel Beckett bridge in Dublin, Ireland. Last night around midnight I walked one block away from my hotel to take some long exposures - right after I shot this very frame, I looked up & saw 5 or 6 teenage dudes (16 to 18 year olds?) in hoodies & track pants spreading out around me. 'Well, crap, I guess it's on' I thought.

"I started stepping quickly into the street away from the little cul-de-sac where I was (it was a bad spot to be trapped), trying to keep my eye on all of them at the same time. One kid drew up to my left getting close & BLAM - someone else hit me in the head from behind with something (I think they had a stick or whatever) - I saw stars for a second, then I heard car horns & a cabbie was driving at these kids & I was standing in the street trying to shake it off, because that little fucker had rang my bell pretty good.

"Like all cowards & weaklings all over the world, they came at me in numbers and struck from behind. I never even had a chance to smash one of the little shits because the cabbie (thank you, whoever you are) scattered them while I was regaining my wits. So now my glasses are gone (but I have contacts), my new Surf City hat w/the Black Flag bars is gone (but I brought another hat), my new e-cig is gone (but I have others), & I have a split open elbow & a bit of a headache (but it could have been much, much worse - I could have caught a knife). More...

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