Former JUDAS PRIEST and current ICED EARTH/BEYOND FEAR frontman Tim "Ripper" Owens is one of a number of heavy rock artists who will participate in an all-star jam honoring late PANTERA and DAMAGEPLAN guitarist "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott this Saturday (January 20) at the Hilton Hotel's Pacific Ballroom in Anaheim, California. The musicians will perform three songs at the event, which is connected with the annual National Association of Music Merchandisers (NAMM) convention.
Among the other bandmembers slated to appear are SLIPKNOT's Paul Gray, BLACK LABEL SOCIETY's John Deservio and Nick Catanese, ANTHRAX guitarist Scott Ian, MOTÖRHEAD's Lemmy Kilmister, KISS drummer Eric Singer, ex-GRIM REAPER guitarist Nick Bowcott and Abbott's brother, former PANTERA and DAMAGEPLAN drummer Vinnie Paul.
Owens had the following to say regarding his participation in the event: "I'm real excited to be invited to the NAMM show and do this for Dime. He was a friend of mine and he was one of a kind and the life of the party, and to be able to get up and jam with Scott, Vinnie, Nick [Bowcott] and Paul… This will be a lot of fun! I have always wanted to jam with Vinnie, [and] I can't wait... A big thank you to all involved for the invite!!"
Many of the artists are also doing autograph sessions over the weekend at the NAMM show.
"Dimebag" Darrell was shot to death onstage in December of 2004.
Owens is currently working with ICED EARTH guitarist/mainman Jon Schaffer on a two-part concept album based on the "Something Wicked This Way Comes" story that first appeared on ICED EARTH's 1998 album of the same name. "Something Wicked (Part 1)" will be released in September/October 2007, to be followed by "Part 2" in January/February 2008.
Commented Owens: "I'm right in the middle of working on the ICED EARTH songs, and wow, they sound kick-ass! Jon is working his ass off and this CD will blow people away!"
For more information on Tim "Ripper" Owens' current activities, visit his official web site, www.timripperowens.com.