A GoFundMe campaign has been launched to help cover the medical bills and funeral arrangements for DARK ANGEL guitarist Jim Durkin, who died last Wednesday (March 8) at the age of 58.
Annabelle Durkin and Karlos Medina, who are organizing the fundraiser, wrote in an introductory message on the GoFundMe page: "On Wednesday, March 8th, 2023, the worldwide metal community lost a TITAN of thrash metal: JIM DURKIN of DARK ANGEL.
"While best known for creating ear-blistering, adrenaline-inducing, soul-slaughtering guitar riffs and writing songs that would become legendary in a genre of metal that his band helped create, he was also a gentle giant with an incredible singing voice who would stop everything to move an injured animal -- insect, bird, reptile, mammal -- out of harm's way.
"Humble to his core, he never understood why anyone made a fuss about him. It is inconceivable, unjust, and utterly devastating for a human being as beautiful as Jim to be taken from us. He will always remain a shining example of the tenacity of the human spirit.
"Jim's wife of 34 years, Annie Durkin, is shattered at her sudden loss. She needs assistance to cover the costs of her husband's final arrangements and medical bills. Any additional funds will go toward keeping the home that has been an oasis of hospitality for so many touring musicians passing through Los Angeles.
"We are grateful to anyone moved to donate. Contributions of any amount would be deeply appreciated. Your shared memories, photos, and words of support will provide much-needed solace in this time of incredible sorrow.
"Thank you all for your love, kindness, and compassion."
Jim's passing was confirmed by his wife on his Facebook page on Friday (March 10). She wrote: "With a broken and heavy heart, I want to share that the love of my life, my best friend and husband, Jimmy, passed away Wednesday morning. He was not alone as I was with him along with a few close friends until the end. He will be truly missed and no one can ever replace the love I have for him. May he rest in peace.
"Ever Thine, Ever Mine, Ever Ours……. My Immortal Beloved. I will see you again."
A short time later, DARK ANGEL also issued a statement on Durkin's passing, writing: "We in the DARK ANGEL Family are deeply saddened and crushed today with the news of our brother and founder Jimmy Durkin passing away Wednesday morning.
"We would like to thank his fans for their continuous loyalty and support. We will come out with a full statement very soon. We ask that you please respect the family's privacy while we mourn the loss of this great man."
An original member of DARK ANGEL, Durkin played on the band's first three albums — 1985's "We Have Arrived", 1986's "Darkness Descends" and 1989's "Leave Scars" — before departing the group in 1989. He was part of DARK ANGEL's lineup when the band reformed in 2013, and had been playing with them ever since.
Durkin had been sitting out some of DARK ANGEL's recent gigs. He was replaced at the shows by drummer Gene Hoglan's wife Laura Christine.
DARK ANGEL, which has been touring intermittently since reforming a decade ago, is scheduled to perform its legendary album "Darkness Descends" in its entirety at three special concerts next month at the Teragram Ballroom in Los Angeles, California.
For much of the last few years, Durkin and his bandmates had been working on material for a new studio album.
DARK ANGEL's first CD since 1991's "Time Does Not Heal" was supposed to feature the lineup that has performed sporadic live shows since reuniting in 2013: Hoglan, Durkin, Eric Meyer (guitar),Ron Rinehart (vocals) and Michael Gonzalez (bass).
In February 2022, Hoglan said during a Twitch livestream from his home that he and his DARK ANGEL bandmates were "in the process" of making a new album. "I have a lot of work ahead of me, and so does Jim Durkin," Gene said. "He's been sending over songs, riffs, stuff like that, [which has been] super exciting. We're all of the same mindset of making this just the most absolutely kick-ass DARK ANGEL record that we can."
DARK ANGEL released two albums with Don Doty on vocals — the aforementioned "We Have Arrived" and "Darkness Descends" — before he exited the group and was replaced by Rinehart (after a brief stint with Jim Drabos in 1987). The band issued two more studio LPs — "Leave Scars" and "Time Does Not Heal" — before calling it quits in 1992.