Greetings from England’s green and pleasant land, where your trusty Jackson reporter landed this morning! As I’m sure you know, the 2010 Download Festival kicks off tomorrow, and myself and the team are chomping at the bit to get there for what promises to be a truly memorable weekend of world-class ass-kicking metal.
Is it Live or is it Memorex?
If you’re a natural-born cynic like me then you’re probably thinking “This guy’s probably not even over there; he’s blogging this in his underwear from a basement in Arizona and is just stealing photos and festival updates from the web.” Awful mental image aside, if you suspect that, I promise you that over the next few days you will see photos and video clips from Download and elsewhere that will, as Prong once said, “prove you wrong!” And here’s one to get that started, taken just a few minutes ago …
Photographic proof that Budweiser is not the king of beers!
I challenge you to find that shot on the web or at a so-called “English pub” in the United States that boasts that fine an array of hand pumps! Anyway, the real fun starts tomorrow. Here’s a shot of a few Download essentials …
Lamb of God’s Burning Hourglass Anthology Offering
Lamb of God’s Hourglass anthology Super Deluxe edition.
Rightfully hailed by many as one of the most exciting and influential metal acts of the new millennium, Lamb of God is spending 2010 in celebration of 15 shred-filled years as the flag bearers of U.S. metal. To commemorate this auspicious occasion, the band now offers its Hourglass anthology—a comprehensive survey of the band’s career to date—in no fewer than five different editions, one of which includes a very special Jackson element. These are:
Hourglass Three-Disc Anthology. Presents 44 tracks, including 18 rare and previously unreleased songs, on three CDs—Vol. 1: The Underground Years, Vol. 2: The Epic Years and Vol. 3: The Vault.
Hourglass Vinyl Box Set. Linen-wrapped collector’s box containing 180-gram vinyl pressings of all six studio albums—Burn the Priest, New American Gospel, As the Palaces Burn, Ashes of the Wake, Sacrament and Wrath.
Hourglass USB Box Set. All six studio albums on individual USB drives in a cigarette box-shaped collector’s package.
Hourglass Deluxe Set. Includes three-disc anthology, vinyl box set and USB box set. Also features linen-bound 144-page book of Ken Adams Lamb of God art, which includes designs for albums, T-shirts and tour passes, and commentary by Adams.
And our personal favorite …
Hourglass Super Deluxe Set. The Lamb of God mother lode. Limited edition collector’s set includes three-disc anthology, vinyl box set, USB box set, Ken Adams art book, 4’x6’ “Pure American Metal” flag, Hourglass sticker, signed 8”x10” photo and a Mark Morton Signature Series Jackson Dominion D2 guitar, all in a personalized Lamb of God coffin case.
Lamb of God’s Mark Morton onstage at Download ’09.
The Download Festival in England is not only one of metal’s biggest festivals, it’s also one of the genre’s most famous—and rightfully so. Held at Donington Park, this year’s three-day extravaganza of metal mayhem marks the 30th anniversary of hard-rock festivals held at this world-renowned motorsport racetrack in Leicestershire.
Download 2010 kicks off on Friday, June 11, and Jackson will be there with live updates from the metal marathon, where more than 100 bands will play on five stages. Bands boasting Jackson-wielding axemen at Download include Lamb of God, Job For a Cowboy, The Damned Things, Megadeth and Bullet For My Valentine (who headline the Ronnie James Dio Stage on Friday).
Throughout the weekend Jackson will be everywhere—backstage, onstage, in the crowd and, of course, in the bar—delivering live Download updates and photos on Facebook and Twitter. We’ll also be joined by a Jackson and Download favorite, the one and only Phil Demmel of the mighty Machine Head. And, on the Monday after Download, we’ll be heading down to the Metal Hammer Golden Gods Awards in London, where Demmel will present the Jackson-sponsored “Best Shredder Award.” We’ll also be crashing the pre-awards boat ride down the Thames, with Mr. Demmel at our helm. Bands and an open bar on a boat? Should be a blast …
Ronnie James Dio, 1942-2010, as seen on the cover of 1998 live album Inferno: Last in Live.
Along with the rest of the metal-loving world, we at Jackson Guitars mourn the passing of one of the genre’s greatest ever singers, Ronnie James Dio. From Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow to Black Sabbath to Dio to Heaven & Hell, the little man with the giant voice blessed us all with his amazing vocal talents for well over 30 years.
We were honored to participate in the standing ovation he received from his fans and peers at the recent Revolver magazine Golden Gods Awards in Los Angeles, where he was deservedly crowned “Best Metal Vocalist.” Sadly just over month later though, after a courageous battle with cancer, Dio was taken from us on Sunday, May 16.
Since the heart-wrenching news of Dio’s passing, countless condolences and tributes have poured in from all over the world. One of the most apt comes from Jackson signature artist Scott Ian of Anthrax, who toured with Dio in 2004.
“Horns at half mast,” Ian said, simply. “Such a huge loss.”
The fact that the organizers of the massive Download Festival in England immediately renamed its pivotal second stage as the “Ronnie James Dio Stage” speaks volumes regarding the massive and indelible impact the singer’s amazing talent had on the hard rock and metal community.
Our thoughts and sincere condolences are with the legendary singer’s wife, Wendy, and, of course, his family and friends. Rest in peace Ronnie James Dio—your memory, music and amazing voice will always live on.
The 30th Anniversary RR5FR Rhoads, in white with black graphics.
As the Bloodline celebrates its 30th sonically sinister year, Jackson is very proud to unveil a very special limited edition model of the guitar that started it all, specifically designed and decorated to commemorate the occasion—the 30th Anniversary RR5FR Rhoads.
Only 150 of these guitars have been made—30 apiece in five different combinations of colors and Jackson 30th anniversary graphics (black with red, gold or white graphics; white with black or red graphics). Each of the five versions is hand-numbered 1 through 30 on the back of the headstock.
A formidable instrument in its own right, the RR5FR arms the famous asymmetrical V-shaped body of the Rhoads with a rock maple through-body neck, compound-radius rosewood fingerboard, a pair of DiMarzio® Tone Zone™ pickups, a Floyd Rose® double-locking tremolo, black hardware and a Jackson guitar case.
Jackson began in 1980 with the slashing form of what would become the Rhoads guitar sketched on paper by the great Randy Rhoads himself. Now, three decades later, the limited edition 30th Anniversary RR5FR Rhoads pays homage to the very heart from which the Bloodline pumps—Randy Rhoads.
From left, the 30th Anniversary RR5FR Rhoads in black with red graphics, black with yellow graphics, black with white graphics and white with red graphics.