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June 13, 2015

English actor Christopher Lee dies aged 93

English actor Christopher Lee dies aged 93

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Saturday, June 13, 2015

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Christopher Lee at the Berlin International Film Festival in 2013.
Image: Avda.

Famed English actor, singer and author Sir Christopher Lee died last Sunday morning in London aged 93, after being admitted to Chelsea and Westminster Hospital for heart failure and respiratory problems. News of his death only became public on Thursday, as his wife of 54 years, Birgit Krøncke Lee, wished first to inform friends and family.

A spokesman for the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea confirmed the issuing of his death certificate.

Lee first rose to prominence in the 1950s starring in Hammer Horror films as the classic movie monsters Dracula and Frankenstein and was more recently seen as Saruman the White in the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit films as well as portraying the villainous Count Dooku in the Star Wars films Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith.

In 2010 Lee released a heavy metal album titled Charlemagne: By the Sword and the Cross followed by another metal album in 2013, Charlemagne: The Omens of Death and several collections of Heavy Metal cover songs including A Heavy Metal Christmas, A Heavy Metal Christmas Too and Metal Knight.

In 2008 Lee was knighted for services to drama and charity, and in 2001 received a Bafta Fellowship.

Lee is survived by his wife Birgit and daughter Christina.



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April 12, 2014

GWAR announce Dave Brockie arts foundation

GWAR announce Dave Brockie arts foundation

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Saturday, April 12, 2014

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Brockie as Oderus Urungus in 2004.
Image: Mark Marek.

The surviving members of satirical metal band GWAR yesterday announced a charitable arts foundation in the name of Dave Brockie. Brockie, 50, died last month.

Founding frontman and singer Brockie spent 30 years leading “Earth’s only openly extra-terrestrial rock band”, which actually hailed from Richmond, Virginia. Their obscene lyrics and theatrical live shows brought fame to Brockie, who went by stage name Oderus Urungus, and the fellow Virginia Commonwealth University art students that made up the band.

GWAR unveiled the foundation in a video statement yesterday. Amongst the stated aims are providing support to artists who cannot acquire funds via traditional routes and “the advancement of music, images, letters and performances in the arts”. The foundation is also to preserve Brockie’s body of work and promote his legacy.

“We would like to thank fans and friends for their outpouring of love”, the band said.

A public memorial for Brockie is scheduled for August 15, and the annual GWAR-B-Q is to go ahead the next day. Drawing a line between the stage persona and the man who played it, the band add “Just face it — Oderus would order you to be present and pay tribute to Dave Murray Brockie, his own personal slave!”

Donations can be made at the GWAR-B-Q and via GWAR’s website. The rubber-costumed band remains to publicly decide if they will continue to perform and record. They say the foundation’s first task will be to fund and erect a monument “to provide the world with a place to pay respects to the memory of a very cherished man”.



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  • “GWAR frontman Dave Brockie aka Oderus Urungus dies at age 50” — Wikinews, March 25, 2014

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March 25, 2014

GWAR frontman Dave Brockie aka Oderus Urungus dies at age 50

GWAR frontman Dave Brockie aka Oderus Urungus dies at age 50

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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

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Brockie as Oderus Urungus onstage in 2010.
Image: Stuart Sevastos.

Dave Brockie of rubber-costumed metal act GWAR was found dead in his Richmond, Virginia home late on Sunday. Better known by stage name Oderus Urungus, Brockie was 50.

Founder, singer, leader, and occasional bassist of GWAR, Brockie’s career stretches back to 1984. He and fellow Virginia Commonwealth University art students formed what they dubbed “Earth’s only openly extra-terrestrial rock band”, growing famous for satirical and obscene lyrical themes, and live shows featuring the defilement of effigies and plenty of fake blood.

Fellow founding member Don Drakulich, who still makes props and costumes for the rockers, said he was “very sad” and “shocked”. He said Brockie’s roommate found the corpse. GWAR members changed frequently and the band recovered from the sudden death of guitarist Cory “Flattus Maximus” Smoot during a 2011 tour, but the New York Daily News notes “it’s hard to envision their saga going further” after Brockie’s death.

The band ran with the backstory of crashing to “the most insignificant planet in the universe” 43 million years ago before creating humans by having sex with apes. Becoming encased with ice, the legend ran that upon thawing out in 1984 the members decided to form a band.

Cquote1.svg I am one of the blessed people that gets to do what I love to do for a living Cquote2.svg

—Brockie in 2009

Manager Jack Flanagan announced the death via GWAR’s website, adding a post-mortem will be conducted. “My main focus right now is to look after my band mates and his family” he said. Flanagan said another GWAR member found the body.

Brockie said in 2009 “I am one of the blessed people that gets to do what I love to do for a living.” GWAR received a Grammy nomination in 1993, with Phallus in Wonderland up for Best Longform Music Video.

Fellow Virginia rocker Randy Blythe, vocalist for Lamb of God, paid tribute online, writing on Instagram “When someone dies, a lot of the time people will say ‘Oh, he was a unique person, really one of a kind, a true original’ […] I can’t think of ANYONE even remotely like him.”

Cquote1.svg He never put much stock in ‘limits’ Cquote2.svg

—Lamb of God singer Randy Blythe

Blythe also took to Facebook. “Right now, if I were to truly honor Dave in the way HE would do it if it were ME that had died, I would make a completely tasteless joke about his death. But I do not have the stomach for that — Dave would, but not me. He never put much stock in ‘limits’.”

Ex-GWAR guitarist Steve Douglas said on Facebook “I have had a few bad days in my life but this one truly ranks right up there. […] you are gone and it is hurting very badly!” “I wish it was a joke” said another ex-member, Chris Bopst. “Everyone is in shock.”

Former bassist Mike Bishop paid tribute in an interview with Style Weekly. “Dave was one of the funniest, smartest, most creative and energetic persons I’ve known,” he said. “He was brash sometimes, always crass, irreverent, he was hilarious in every way. But he was also deeply intelligent and interested in life, history, politics and art.”



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March 18, 2014

Arch Enemy singer Angela Gossow quits

Arch Enemy singer Angela Gossow quits – Wikinews, the free news source

Arch Enemy singer Angela Gossow quits

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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Angela Gossow works the crowd at a gig in Brazil in 2007.
Image: Alexandre Cardoso.

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Angela Gossow, longtime singer for Swedish extreme metal band Arch Enemy, announced yesterday via the band’s Facebook page she is leaving the band.

“After 13 years of pure fucking metal, 6 studio albums and countless tours through five continents, I feel the need to enter a different phase in my life, be with my family and pursue other interests.” Gossow says she will stay on to manage Arch Enemy and plans to manage other acts as well.

She added “I am passing the torch to the super talented Alissa White-Gluz, whom I’ve known as a dear friend and a superb vocalist for many years.” White-Gluz leaves The Agonist, of Canada and another extreme metal band.

Cquote1.svg After 13 years of pure fucking metal[…] I feel the need to enter a different phase in my life Cquote2.svg

—Angela Gossow

White-Gluz remarks she is “very honoured and happy to announce a new chapter in my life and musical career[…] I have joined forces with one of my all-time favourite and globally respected bands”. The Agonist have replaced her with Vicky Psarakis, whom they describe as “very talented” and “thrilled” to have.

Founded in 1995, Arch Enemy replaced founding vocalist Johan Liiva with Gossow in 2000. She made her recorded debut with the band the following year on Wages of Sin. Fans are set to hear White-Gluz’s vocals in June with the release of War Eternal.

Gossow said yesterday “Right now I am listening through rough mixes of the new studio album and I am blown away!” Fan reaction to the announcement has been mixed, with the most-liked Facebook comment by far being “Arch Enemy without Angela Gossow is not Arch Enemy anymore”.

Cquote1.svg Music is forever, metal is limitless and this is only the beginning! Cquote2.svg

—Alissa White-Gluz

Founding member, leader, and head songwriter Michael Amott said “We welcome Alissa with open arms — and we hope you will have open ears.” Arch Enemy are producing the new album themselves, as they did with their previous effort, Khaos Legions, in 2011.

White-Gluz said yesterday “It is not often that you get a phone call from your favorite band asking you to join!” She added “Music is forever, metal is limitless and this is only the beginning!”



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March 16, 2011

English hard rock band The Darkness reunites

English hard rock band The Darkness reunites

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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

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The Darkness, a musical group of the hard rock genre based in England, has made the decision to reunite. They have been separated since 2006.

Cquote1.svg I think it should be a new phase and that should be extended to the clothing. Not a lesser phase, if anything a cranked up version. They’ll be more good. Cquote2.svg

Justin Hawkins, The Darkness

The group are reportedly to perform at the upcoming Download Festival, which is due to occur in June of this year. The four members are anticipated to proceed recording a new album during the months of April and May 2011.

Speaking on Twitter, Justin Hawkins, a singer in the group, expressed his “[t]hanks for all the lovely messages of support” from supporters. “I’m gobsmacked and overwhelmed by all the positivity in and around The Darkness,” he said.

Approximately four years ago, Justin Hawkins departed from The Darkness. In a statement, the reaction of the remainder of the group was one of “total shock”. They subsequently separated until this reforming occurred. Speaking to Newsbeat about the music group, Hawkins explained that “[t]he main thing for us is to make sure that musically we turn the experience into something positive again.”

“We’ve been remembering why it was so much fun in the first place, just four men making loud music in a room,” Hawkins commented. Speaking about the bodysuits he was known for wearing, Hawkins also said that “I think it should be a new phase and that should be extended to the clothing. Not a lesser phase, if anything a cranked up version. They’ll be more good.”



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May 16, 2010

Metal singer Ronnie James Dio dies aged 67

Metal singer Ronnie James Dio dies aged 67

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Sunday, May 16, 2010

Ronnie James Dio

Dio “throwing the horns”. Dio is known for introducing the hand sign into heavy metal culture.

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American metal singer Ronnie James Dio died today at the age of 67, as announced by his wife, Wendy. Dio passed at 07:45 (CST) (13:45 UTC) at the Mayo Clinic, an American disease treatment center, after a two-year fight with stomach cancer that caused him to stop singing while he received treatment. “Ronnie knew how much he was loved by all…Please know he loved you all and his music will live on forever,” added his wife in a statement on Dio’s website.

Dio (born Ronnie James Padavona) was born in July 10, 1942 in the American city of Portsmouth, New Hampshire. He was most noted for his high pitched vocals and lyrical tales involving battles and themes of good versus evil.

He performed with several hard rock and metal groups, but he was most notable for his first act, when he joined as singer of the British metal group Black Sabbath after lead singer and frontman Ozzy Osbourne left the band in 1979. Before Black Sabbath he performed with several less successful bands, including Rainbow, led by former Deep Purple’s Ritchie Blackmore, and Elf.

He also had a very successful solo career under the simple name “Dio”, and had recently reunited with former Black Sabbath band mates under the moniker Heaven and Hell. Some of Dio’s hit songs were “Holy Diver”, “Neon Knights”, and “The Last In Line”.

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December 29, 2009

Avenged Sevenfold drummer James \”The Rev\” Sullivan found dead at age 28

Avenged Sevenfold drummer James “The Rev” Sullivan found dead at age 28

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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

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  • 4 June 2015: Charles Kennedy, former Liberal Democrats leader, dies aged 55
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James “The Rev” Sullivan

The drummer of metalcore rock band Avenged Sevenfold, James Owen Sullivan, has been found dead at his California home located in the United States. Sullivan, better known as “The Rev,” was found dead on Monday at his home in Huntington Beach at around 1:00 p.m. (PST). It is believed that the 28-year-old died of natural causes.

Sullivan was one of the founding members of Avenged Sevenfold when the group debuted in 1999. The group achieved notable success when they won the MTV Best New Artist award in 2006. The group was reportedly working on a fifth album at the time of Sullivan’s death.

Avenged Sevenfold released a statement via their website saying “It is with great sadness and heavy hearts that we tell you of the passing today of Jimmy “The Rev” Sullivan. Jimmy was not only one of the world’s best drummers, but more importantly he was our best friend and brother. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Jimmy’s family and we hope that you will respect their privacy during this difficult time.”

They added, “Jimmy you are forever in our hearts. We love you.”

An investigation into the cause of Sullivan’s death is ongoing.



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February 14, 2009

Germany\’s GUN Records closes

Germany’s GUN Records closes – Wikinews, the free news source

Germany’s GUN Records closes

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Saturday, February 14, 2009

German rock and metal label GUN Records (Great Unlimited Noises) announced Friday that they were to close. No explanation has been given for the move.

Formed as a joint venture between BMG and Wolfgang Funk in 1992, the label had seen its parent merge with Sony in 2005 to form Sony BMG and Funk quit as president in December 2008. In the nineties the label worked with German metal bands such as U.D.O., Sodom and Running Wild.

GUN’s current international acts – including Wales’ Bullet for My Valentine, Finland’s Lordi and the Netherlands’ Within Tempatation – will now be handled out of Sony’s Munich international division. National artists, such as Oomph! and The Donots, will also be Sony’s direct responsibility via either Four Music or Columbia Germany in Berlin.

The label has also worked with Sturm und Drang, Apocalyptica and HIM. The closure will affect eight employees including Arno Hartfield, the managing director.



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February 1, 2009

Tarja Turunen reveals working title for new album

Tarja Turunen reveals working title for new album

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Sunday, February 1, 2009

Tarja in Argentina

Finnish symphonic rocker Tarja Turunen has revealed that the working title for her new album is What Lies Beneath. The album follows on from 2007’s My Winter Storm.

“With My Winter Storm, I chose the name of the album in the early stages and that helped me to create the concept for the album. With the new album, I decided to do it the same way, so I searched for an inspiring title and all the songs are one way or another related to it,” Tarja explained.

My Winter Storm was Tarja’s first album after she left the Finnish symphonic power metal band Nightwish, which she fronted. On the day of the album’s release – November 14, 2007 – it was certified gold in Finland for sales in excess of 15,000 copies. On January 2, the album was rereleased in a 2-CD format with 32 tracks, including a guest appearence by Doro Pesch and an unreleased song recorded in China that features the Beijing Philharmonic and the Qingdao Symphony Orchestra.

Regarding her next effort, she said “In the last months I’ve been writing a lot of music for my new album. Songwriting is always an amazing learning experience, and it has been a pleasure to discuss music with different people.

Cquote1.svg The songs are absolutely more mature, wild, and emotional and they sound more me, if I can say so. Cquote2.svg

—Tarja

“The album process is still going on and I have more songs that are in the working. It is sounding very promising. The songs are absolutely more mature, wild, and emotional and they sound more me, if I can say so.”

The album is tentatively scheduled for release in September, but Tarja has commented that this is not set in stone. “The biggest difference in preparing this new album is that I will be taking the time that I need until the songs are in a shape that I am happy with,” she said “No matter how long it takes. I want it to be perfect for me. No hurry; no pressure.”



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  • “Tarja Turunen to perform at Doro Pesch’s 25th anniversary concert and record duets with her” — Wikinews, September 17, 2008

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December 7, 2008

British ISPs restrict access to Wikipedia amid child pornography allegations

British ISPs restrict access to Wikipedia amid child pornography allegations

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Sunday, December 7, 2008

Wikimedia-logo.svg This article mentions the Wikimedia Foundation, one of its projects, or people related to it. Wikinews is a project of the Wikimedia Foundation.
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Wikinews has learned at least six of the United Kingdom’s main Internet Service Providers (ISPs) have implemented monitoring and filtering mechanisms that are causing major problems for UK contributors on websites operated by the Wikimedia Foundation, in addition to 1,200 other websites. The filters appear to be applied because Wikimedia sites are hosting a Scorpions album cover which some call child pornography. Scorpions are a German hard rock band who have used several controversial album covers and are perhaps best known for the song Rock You Like a Hurricane.

The measures applied redirect traffic for a significant portion of the UK’s Internet population through six servers which can log and filter the content available to the end user. A serious side-effect of this is the inability of administrators on Wikimedia sites to block vandals, and other troublemakers, without potentially impacting hundreds of thousands of innocent UK contributors who work on WMF sites in good faith.

The filtering is in response to the Internet Watch Foundation’s list of websites that host content reported to contain inappropriate images of naked children. The IWF considers those images child pornography. However, in the United States, where the websites of the Wikimedia Foundation are hosted, it is not considered obscene under the criteria of the Miller test, which requires that an obscene work lack “serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value” – as album art is used to “brand” the album, it is considered to be artistic.

Contributors or individuals attempting to view an affected image or file, depending on their ISP, may get a warning saying, “we have blocked this page because, according to the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF), it contains indecent images of children or pointers to them; you could be breaking UK law if you viewed the page.” Other ISPs provide blank pages, 404 errors, or other means of blocking the content. Due to a configuration mistake at one Internet service provider, some users have reported being totally unable to access Wikimedia sites to the Wikipedia technical help desk.

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“The Protection of Children Act 1978 as amended in the Sexual Offences Act 2003, makes it an offence to take, make, permit to be taken, distribute, show, possess with intent to distribute, and advertise indecent photographs or pseudo-photographs of children under the age of eighteen. The ‘making’ of such images includes downloading, that is, making a copy of a child sexual abuse image on a computer, so, in the UK, accessing such content online is a serious criminal offence,” says the IWF on their website in an article updated on November 28. The IWF say there are at least 800 to 1,200 websites on the list of those who host or contain offensive material. The list is not public and the IWF never notified Wikimedia Foundation about the blocking of Wikipedia content. The affected page does not display any message informing the user about blocked content on most ISPs, instead, a technical error message is shown.

However, Demon Internet redirects users to a block message on the IWF’s site explaining that the page was blocked as the organization suspects child porn or links to it to be present. The IWF states that, “we do not notify site owners that their websites are on our list.”

1976 album cover for the Scorpions which also appears on Amazon.com and many other sites.
Image: RCA/Scorpions.

The concern for Wikimedia is for some images like an album cover from a 1976 record of the Scorpions titled Virgin Killer. It displays an underage girl, posing nude, with a lens crack crossing over her genitals, but nothing blocking out her breasts. The girl appears to be around ten years old. In the U.S., the band later replaced the image with one of the group. The cover was uploaded to Wikipedia in 2006, but Wikinews learned that on May 9, 2008 at (21:17 UTC), despite a result of strong consensus to ‘keep’ in a deletion request, the image was deleted, however for a different reason. It was deleted due to a claim by an administrator that it violated Wikipedia’s policy for dealing with copyrighted images, which require that any images used under the doctrine of fair use must alongside other criteria, “significantly increase readers’ understanding of the topic, and its omission would be detrimental to that understanding”, with the administrator claiming that the article “lacked meaningful discussion” of the album art. This result was overturned using the deletion review process. Earlier, on December 6, the image was put back up for a deletion request, but it was later closed as Wikimedia “does not censor”.

Another image that is questionable could be a screenshot from the 1938 film Child Bride. Its goal was to bring to light the attempts at banning child marriages. In the article on Wikipedia, a screenshot appears of then 12-year-old Shirley Mills partially naked after skinny dipping. In the photo, at least one of her breasts can be seen.

Other albums featuring nudity below the age of sixteen have previously caused controversy; Blind Faith attracted criticism as did Houses of the Holy, and Nirvana’s Nevermind.

Multiple companies have gone public stating that they implement the recommendations of the Internet Watch Foundation. Not all of these are known to have implemented measures against Wikimedia sites; the major UK ISPs thought to have affected Wikimedia sites are Telefonica O2/Be Unlimited, Virgin Media, Easynet, Plusnet, Demon, and Opal Telecommunications (TalkTalk).

Wikinews has contacted Wikimedia’s legal counsel, Mike Godwin and the IWF for a statement, but neither have replied as of this time.

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