Fall 2003-End 2004

I started working at IB Tech through Time Temporary Services on September 29th. It was a terrible job at first but a few weeks later I got moved into a different area of the factory. I worked at a total of 24 different areas in the factory during my time there. I did not do much else during that time, except go to the occasional concert.

On October 11th, 2003, I drove to Cleveland because Zakk Wylde was doing a signing at the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame, and his first Les Paul was being put on display there. I drove down, but got there too late, and Zakk had already left. I got to hang out with Shawn and his friend Jason and his wife. We went and ate at Alice Cooperstown Restaurant, which was really kickass.

On December 1st, 2003, my cousin Brandon went with me to see Anthrax at Headliners in Toledo. The crowd was totally...nonexistant, as was the stage...but the band totally kicked ass regardless. Oddly enough, it was Anthrax's first time EVER playing in Toledo...and probably their last, judging by their reaction to the small crowd.

On December 7th, 2003, I went with my friend Eric from Senior Citizen to Cleveland to see Anthrax play at The Odeon. Two local bands, Seven, and Seven Tongues opened the show. Both local bands were pretty cool, it was the first time I ever saw local bands open who actually rocked.

On January 1st, 2004, Shawn Sexton and I officially split with Walt and BLS.net and started the new Official Black Label Society Fan-Site, www.SDMFworldwide.com.

On January 16th, 2004, I went with my cousin Mike, and his girlfriend Michelle to see Sevendust at the Agora in Cleveland.

Not much else happened until I got laid off from IB Tech on March 26th, 2004.

On April 7th, 2004, I drove down to Nashville, after I was invited by the legendary record producer Michael Wagener to visit his studio. I stayed in my friend (and a moderator from SDMFworldwide) Ben's dorm room at Belmont University that night and drove back home the next morning. Anyway here's what I wrote when I got back from the studio:
" Holy shit! His recordings of Ozzmosis are 5000 times better than the final one. and Mike Inez and Randy Castillo are playing on it, not Geezer or Deen. He A-Bed his version and the final, comparing them and his made the actual release sound like a fucking bad demo. Ozzy's vocals were 100 times better, Randy Castillo played circles around Deen....I can't believe the label changed it. Unbelievable. I will never hear that album the same again. Oh yeah, and we got the priveledge of hearing a completely unreleased Ozzy song called "Slow Burn"...it was a soft song and fucking awesome.
See You On The Other Side had a choir of girls singing on it and saxophone and everything, it was awesome. It totally sounded like No More Tears' production except totally better. Amazing. The songs they recorded were as follows:

1. Perry Mason
2. See You On The Other Side
3. Tomorrow
4. Old L.A. Tonight
5. Living With The Enemy
6. Aimee
7. Slow Burn"

In May 2004, I recorded a pop/punk band from Mansfield called Banned. I also did the artwork on the CD "Handle Without Care." They recorded the whole album live as a band, and did the vocals seperately. I also recorded another band from Mansfield called Happy Monday the same week. I also finished tracking and mixing for Senior Citizen's 2nd album "Volume 23" in May.

In June of 2004, the recording for 5 Knuckle Shuffle's album "Ancestors' Sins" was completed, and it was mixed and mastered in August.

On July 16th, I went to see Evanescence, Seether, and Three Days Grace with Adrianne at Germain Amphitheater. I also did a lot of listening to the new Megadeth album "The System Has Failed" which had leaked onto the internet that summer.

On July 20th, I went by myself to Ozzfest 2004. I had a backstage pass, and I got to meet James Lomenzo, talk with Nick Catanese, Tim Bolin, Big Val, and Fred Kowalo again, as well as Philth and his dad. I also met Kerry King from Slayer, Howard Jones from Killswitch Engage, and Big Dave (who later went on to become the main 'character' on MTV's reality show "Battle For Ozzfest"). BLS, Slayer, Judas Priest, and Black Sabbath all kicked serious ass.

In August 2004, I recorded a 4 song EP for Eclipse The Sky. The recording, sonically, is one of the best things I have recorded to date.

A lot of time was spend unsuccessfully trying to find a job that summer. Too many shitty temporary services and dead end jobs. There weren't really any good concerts happening that summer either.

In late August, I also recorded my grandpa Barney (guitar), my dad Danny Sr. (guitar), and a relative from North Carolina, Eugene Haith (mandolin, vocals, harmonica) playing live at a big family get-together (My grandparents' 50th Anniversary) in my grandparents' basement.

On October 5th, I went to the Odeon in Cleveland to see Anthrax and Dio. Anthrax yet again, kicked serious ass. That was my 7th time seeing them live and they never disappoint.

In October 2004, my friend Tim Lyons from L.I.E. in Kansas City approached me about approaching former Black Label Society drummer Phil "Philth" Ondich about playing a guest track on the upcoming L.I.E. album. Phil really dug the track "Die Trying" and agreed to play on it. On October 6th, I engineered and we tracked the drums here at Fuzz Recording Studio. The raw drum tracks were then sent to Tim in Kansas City where he and his band tracked the rest of the instruments in his home studio.

In mid-October, I went with my Grandma and aunts Cheryl and Karen to North Carolina. We stayed at my great aunt Franny's most of the time. We went to the Charlotte NASCAR race and watched it from a very drunken infield. It was cool hanging out with my 2nd cousin Paul Goodman, as well as Franny, Edith, Gene, Dot, Allison, Cheryl, Karen, Grad, and everyone. I loved it down there and hope to go back sometime soon.

On October 30th, I recorded Senior Citizen's Halloween show, as well as their Misfits cover band Horror Business' set as well.

On November 7th, 2004, I went to see Exodus and Megadeth at the Odeon in Cleveland. The new band was exceptional and it was such a great show. I ran into Jeff from Senior Citizen as well as his friend Fike, and also the guitar player from a local band called The Barn.

On December 8th, 2004, I went by myself to see Damageplan in Columbus at the Alrosa Villa. It was definatly the worst thing I have ever witnessed. 30 seconds into their first song, some psycho with a gun jumped onstage and murdered Dimebag Darrell, one of my favorite guitarists ever...just 20 feet in front of me. After the whole thing was said and done, this insane asshole had killed 4 people (Dimebag Darrell, Jeffery "Mayhem" Thompson, Damageplan's head of security, Erin Halk, Alrosa bouncer, and Nathan Bray, a fan from the audience). A heroic police officer, James Niggemeyer, rushed into the club without backup, and took him out with a shotgun, ending a hostage situation. This is the most horrific thing I could ever imagine, let alone witnessing it with my own two eyes. It took a long time for what happened to sink into my brain, and I still can't believe it. Concerts will never be the same for me. I will always remember this. The image will always be burned in my mind when I am watching other bands take the stage at shows. Unfortunatly I will never forget seeing one of my heros pass away...but I will also never forget the music he made that helped me through some tough times.

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