And they will be playing live for the first time ever this coming Friday 5/15/15, but it’s been a complicated road to get there…
BEDEMON will be playing a first-ever live show this Friday the 15th of May at Psycho California, a three-day metal fest in Santa Ana, California at The Observatory.
BEDEMON has never performed a single show, ever, with any line-up. When discussion of possibly appearing at Psycho California first came up in November, we were honored. As the months have passed though, determining who would be in the band has proven to be a real challenge on many levels for many reasons. Ultimately, due to prior commitments, neither long-time member bassist Mike Matthews nor current BEDEMON vocalist Craig Junghandel will be able to participate at the Psycho California show. There was some talk about possibly having PENTAGRAM vocalist Bobby Liebling do the set, having appeared on the 70s songs contained on their Child of Darkness: From the Original Master Tapes release which has just been reissued by Relapse Records in both CD and vinyl form, but in the end it was felt that his focus needed to be on PENTAGRAM, who are also appearing at Psycho California and additionally are currently finishing up a new studio album for release later this year.
Yet despite these seemingly insurmountable setbacks, you can’t kill BEDEMON that easily and doomed you will be, Psycho California, as Greg Mayne of PENTAGRAM’s classic 70s line-up will be appearing on bass. Mayne also has BEDEMON ties himself, as he was in the line-up that recorded the 1986 BEDEMON sessions after Mike had moved to Washington state. This will be the first time Mayne and O’Keefe have appeared on stage together in nearly 40 years.
And speaking of Geof O’Keefe, better-known as the drummer for the 70s PENTAGRAM who recorded the original studio versions of “Forever My Queen,” “Be Forewarned,” “Last Days Here” and others, at this show he’ll be playing guitar.
“People not familiar with the early beginning of PENTAGRAM might not realize that when Bobby and I put the band together back in the fall of 1971,” says O’Keefe, “I was originally the guitarist for the first two versions of the band. I’ve actually been playing guitar longer than drums. Not only is this the first time I’ll be playing guitar live on stage but it’s the first time I’ve stepped on a stage in 30 years. I couldn’t be more excited and appreciative to be part of this special and historic experience!”
So with Junghandel and Liebling not singing, who will be handling the BEDEMON vocals? Stepping in on this very special occasion is a rather unique guest and another DC legend in his own right: Scott “Wino” Weinrich! (SAINT VITUS, SPIRIT CARAVAN, THE OBSESSED, PLACE OF SKULLS, SHRINE BUILDER, THE HIDDEN HAND as well as having released a number of great solo projects).
Says O’Keefe of these developments: “While I am really disappointed neither Mike and Craig can perform at this particular show due to prior career commitments, this is an amazing line-up for a very special show. I’m excited to have my old buddy Greg Mayne on board. I haven’t seen him in nearly thirty years and haven’t played with him in forty. And Wino is a DC legend and international star in his own right and it’s an honor to have him guesting on vocals.”
Wino continued, “I am super happy and proud to be singing a full set with BEDEMON, one of the first and still one of the coolest “heavy” bands in the world. Randy isn’t with us, but he remains an inspiration for us all. When Geof, Greg and my manager Pellet grabbed the reins, I was honored to have been asked to be part of this special event. And remember: “If it ain’t HEAVY, it ain’t SHIT!” See you at Psycho California!”
California drummer and current O’Keefe collaborator Frank Hayes will be rounding out this stellar line-up. In addition to being a huge fan of both PENTAGRAM and BEDEMON even before learning O’Keefe lived in the area, Hayes is a metal fan in general, and has played in a number of local bands such as OGOUN performing original doom.
This first-ever show under the name BEDEMON is being viewed as a tribute to founder Randy Palmer. More than half of the songs being performed are songs Palmer either wrote or co-wrote. The band will appear on Day One of the festival which happens on May 15th, 2015 at The Observatory in Santa Anna, CA.