Hellion's lead vocalist Ann Boleyn announced today that she will perform at “A Fight For Life – Rockin’ For Dave Brown – A Cancer Benefit” this Friday in Los Angeles. Roy Z. (Bruce Dickenson, Rob Halford), Rowan Robertson (Dio), Joe Floyd (Warrior), vocalist Betsy (Bitch), Mandy Lion (World War III), Armored Saint, and L.A. favorites DC4 are among those also slated to perform at the cancer benefit. Organizers noted there may be appearances from additional guest performers.
Boleyn confirmed that she will perform two songs that Hellion has not performed in decades. Boleyn has sung publicly only once since 2010. The late Ronnie James Dio, who discovered and mentored Boleyn’s band Hellion, died in May of 2010, due to stomach cancer. Boleyn has supported numerous cancer charities, including the Ronnie James Dio Stand Up And Shout Cancer Fund and the T.J. Martell Foundation. Boleyn explains, “My mother is a cancer survivor and I have lost a numbers of close friends due to cancer.”
A friend of Boleyn's, drummer Dave Brown, known for his work with Sound Barrier, is currently battling cancer. “Many metal musicians and fans have fond memories of Sound Barrier and of Dave,” states Boleyn, who feels the band was under-appreciated. She comments, “In the early 80s, metal bands that did not conform to stereotypes were subjected to racial discrimination, and most often, were simply dismissed by the labels and radio.” Sound Barrier, an all-black heavy metal band, emerged on the Los Angeles music scene in 1980 after landing a record deal with MCA Records. The band was dropped by the label after the band failed to gain sufficient radio airplay, which resulted in lower than expected album sales. Members of Sound Barrier later went on to perform with bands like Fishbone and Mother's Finest. She adds, "Hard rock bands like Living Color that came late in the decade were rare exceptions. Being based in New York, they had a much better chance than they would have here."
"It's an irony," Boleyn points out, "because the greatest guitar player in the history of rock was arguably Jimi Hendrix."
The problem with racism being a detriment to the career of black rock musicians became so blatant during that time, that the Black Rock Coalition was founded in 1985 by Vernon Reid (Living Color), Village Voice journalist Greg Tate, Eye & I singer Dk Dyson, and producer Konda Mason.
"All of us know someone that has been affected by cancer, and those of us in the metal and hard rock community should support and honor those with cancer, and those that have passed from it," comments Boleyn.
Organizers are requesting a donation of $15.00 as the entrance fee. Doors open at 7:00 p.m. The event is to be held at Paladino’s, located at 6101 Reseda Blvd., Reseda, California 91356. (818) 342-1563.