Randy Palmer

(photo © Geof O’Keefe)

Geof reflects: It’s hard to fathom that it was fourteen years ago today – August 8, 2002 – that our beloved Randy Palmer passed away after a week in the hospital, following the auto accident he was involved in on July 31st, 2002. He didn’t live to see the Child of Darkness album released. He didn’t live to see the Symphony of Shadows album we’d just begun recording a few months prior, finally finished and released in 2012. And he didn’t live to participate in the first (and to date only) BEDEMON live performance at Psycho California, May 15, 2015.

To this day, we still meet people and get messages from fans who tell us how much they love BEDEMON. Randy may no longer be with us in the literal physical sense but his music will live on forever. To our brother of doom, you are loved and missed by more people worldwide than you ever could have imagined.

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After their excellent 2015 reissue of the BEDEMON Child of Darkness CD and LP – including limited colored vinyl editions, some still available through their site – Relapse Records is set to reissue both First Daze Here and First Daze Here Too by DC’s own hard rock and doom legends PENTAGRAM on June 17th. Out-of-print for some time now, both have been remastered and had a number of updates and changes including revised and updated artwork and liner notes.

PENTAGRAM co-founder Geof O’Keefe provides the details: “On First Daze Here, there are some notable music changes. “Foreven My Queen” now has the proper cold ending, rather than that abrupt fade-out. The pitch of “Starlady” was a tad off and that’s been corrected.

When First Daze Here originally came out in 2002, the CD had updated versions of the songs, “Be Forewarned” and “Lazy Lady,” which were PENTAGRAM’s first recordings when we’d briefly changed our name to MACABRE. Bobby had added some additional vocals and guitars to both. For reasons no one can now recall, the LP version of First Daze Here only had “Lazy Lady” but was missing “Be Forewarned.” Since the master tape of the final produced 45 versions of those two songs couldn’t be located, I used an unmixed multi-track and tried to replicate the sound of the single, and these “replication mixes,” as I call them, were only available exclusively on a bonus 7″ single that accompanied the original LP version of First Daze Here. Those two “replication mixes” are now included in the main album’s song lineup on both the CD and the LP , replacing the updated versions.

The big news is that a few years back, I was able to finally locate and purchase the master tape of the final produced mix of the 45 “Be Forewarned” and “Lazy Lady,” and these two tracks now make their first-ever appearance with these reissues. On the CD, they are included as part of the regular release on all copies as a bonus CD single. However, fans wanting these two songs on vinyl will have to get them through the Relapse website store, as they are included only as a very limited bonus 45 with certain colored vinyl editions of First Daze Here.

The twelve-page booklet has also been greatly expanded to twenty-eight pages, and includes a more detailed history, updates on PENTAGRAM (and BEDEMON) events that have taken place in the fourteen years since the original release and new track-by-track commentary.

First Daze Here Too doesn’t have any song changes, although it’s been remastered, but the liner notes have been revised and updated. However, the coolest thing is that I lobbied Relapse to revise the front cover to use the original uncropped photo which included Randy Palmer walking next to Bobby but he was removed from the original cover to focus more on the “core four” of the 70s lineup, and they agreed (see new cover image). This five-member lineup photo with Randy is also featured on a brand-new t-shirt! Check out the Relapse store for details.”

Relapse Pentagram Reissues

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ONE YEAR

May 16, 2016

It is absolutely insane that a full year has passed since a special for-the-gig lineup of BEDEMON took the stage in Santa Ana at Psycho California on Friday, May 15th, 2015. It truly seems like it was a few months ago. It was an emotional and memorable event for many, many reasons, and one day Geof O’Keefe’s BEDEMON: The Road To Psycho will be posted on the www.bedemon.com site for all to read, detailing the drama and trauma of the five months leading up to the gig and reflecting on the year that has followed.

I the meantime, given this weekend being the one year anniversary of that event, Geof would like to say: “To the musicians who played that special gig (Greg Mayne, Wino and Frank Hayes), to the two members who, due to work conflicts unfortunately couldn’t be there (Mike Matthews and Craig Junghandel) and the person who was able to book us that so far one-and-only show (Pellet), thank-you for everything all of you contributed. And of course, to the late, great Randy Palmer, who started the BEDEMON wheel rolling and finally got the long-overdue honor of having many of his songs performed live.

Finally, to the fans: those of you who were fortunate enough to be there got to witness a truly special event, and those of you who weren’t can see it on YouTube. And to the ones who approached me with both huge smiles on their faces and in some cases, tears in their eyes, saying it was the best set of the weekend, the main reason they came to the show and asking to please play more shows, I can only say thank-you; your words touched me more than you will ever realize. We would absolutely like to do more shows, but the logistics starting with who would be in the lineup and then the travel and hotel expenses of getting them together just to rehearse make it a daunting prospect when we have no new album to promote nor any label deal, and not currently having anyone in our corner to try and get us any gigs doesn’t help. I wish there was a more optimistic outlook, but that’s the reality. If there’s any news it’ll be here and on the band’s site.

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Remembering Randy

August 8, 2015

photo by Geof O'Keefe

photo by Geof O’Keefe

“I closed my eyes, let everything die, I walked through Heaven and touched the sky.”

(from the song, “Touch the Sky” by Randy Palmer)

To the memory of Randy, who passed away thirteen years ago today, August 8th, 2002. Never forgotten, always missed.

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Thief, the company that put on the Psycho California music festival at which BEDEMON performed for the very first time has put together a brief video wrap-up of the whole event. If you watch carefully, you can see four or five quick flashes of Geof, Greg and Wino, and one whole-band stage shot. Don’t think Frank Hayes made it into the clip, but it’s only 2:07 long, and there were over fifty bands playing during the three-day festival May 15-17. Check the clip out:

And coming soon, exclusively to this site, Geof O’Keefe’s Road To Psycho, an exhaustive and detailed accounting of the five months of drama, trauma, turmoil, stresses and successes that led up to the May 15th debut performance. Check back to see when the piece is posted!

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