Randy Blythe Recalls 2010 Prague Concert in ‘Dark Days’ Excerpt
Though the calendar says 2015, the experiences of 2010 and 2012 are looming large over Lamb of God this summer. The band is building up to the release of their latest disc, VII: Sturm und Drang, which was influenced by singer Randy Blythe's time in a Prague prison on manslaughter charges related to the death of a youth at one of the band's shows in Prague in 2010. For those looking for even more detail, Blythe has penned a new book called Dark Days that's also hitting shelves this month and he's been sharing excerpts from the page-turner of late.
One such excerpt currently appears at Rolling Stone and reflects on Blythe's memory from May 24, 2010, the day that a young fan named Daniel Nosek suffered an injury that would result in his death a couple weeks later. In 2012, Bltyhe was arrested on manslaughter charges related to the incident but would be declared innocent in a trial that took place in 2013.
In one passage, Blythe recalls the concert in question, but keep in mind that the fan that Blythe initially speaks of in the excerpt is not Daniel Nosek, but rather Milan Poradek, who would later testify as a key witness for the singer's defense. Poradek had been confused for Nosek in video footage of the night's events.
Blythe says in the book, "I remember that right from the beginning of our set, there seemed to be a lot of people onstage. People who did not belong. People who were not in our band, crew or working as security. As a matter of fact, I don't remember there being security of any sort present in the area near the stage, because people kept on hopping up, bumping into me as they ran across the already crowded platform and leaping into the crowd."
The singer says that given the rowdiness at their shows, the band always has a signed contract with the promoter that requires them to provide a trained security staff and a reliable barricade, but on this night, it felt like there was little security at the show as more fans than usual found their way onto the stage.
He recalls, "I began to get very annoyed. I was particularly annoyed with one young blond-haired fan who jumped onto the stage again and again, trying to put his arms around me as I tried to sing. I watched him fly into the audience at one point and hit the floor pretty hard, only to reappear on stage not too long after. He had already made two appearances prior to this instance, and despite my pointing at him, shaking my head to communicate my displeasure, here he was again. I decided at this point I had had about enough of his shenanigans, figured that he was drunk or crazy, and decided to teach him a lesson."
As Blythe tells it, "As he came toward me, I reached out with my left arm around his neck, slipped my hip behind his, and took us both to the ground. Once we were on the ground, I wrapped one of his legs with my left leg in what my middle school wrestling coach would have called a half-grapevine, then straightened up a bit and grabbed him around his throat with my left hand. I didn't choke him, but applied enough pressure to let him know I meant business, and in between singing lyrics into the mic I had kept in my right hand the whole time, I began to yell something to effect of 'No! No more, you a--hole!' into his face."
And while the young man initially didn't get the message, Blythe eventually did get his point across. "I do not remember him leaving the stage," says Blythe. "But I do remember my bassist John looking at me and saying, 'That was f--king awesome.'"
Reflecting on the experience now, Blythe says, "My next recollection is hazy, and doubtlessly colored by repeated viewings of video of the show that night, countless rereading of the specific wording of the charge laid against me, and examining in great detail the many conflicting testimonials witnesses gave concerning that evening's events. I remember someone I believed to be my friend whom I had just so sternly warned against coming onstage, a young male with blond hair, flying off the stage in front of me, disappearing into the crowd, then getting up holding their head like it hurt. I believe, but am in no way 100 percent certain, that I pushed this person from the stage, and that it would have been from about the middle of the stage. I remember this person getting up looking shaken and me looking into the audience to see if he was okay. I remember several audience members giving me the thumbs-up sign, as if to say, 'He's fine, keep going.' I remember this young man shaking his head briefly as if he was not okay, then proceeding to briefly headbang again as if nothing had happened before wandering back into the crowd. This gave me a moment's concern, but I supposed that he was fine, and we continued to play. No one told us otherwise."
Adding to the memory of the day was another momentous event in the world of metal, as Blythe was contacted after the show by the band's publicist to inform him of the news that Slipknot's Paul Gray had passed away.
"That is truly all I remember of May 24, 2010. I only remember that much because it was our first time in Prague, security was so bad I had to wrestle some kid to the ground onstage, and Paul Gray died. It was a bad day, but I wish I could remember more of it. I wish I could remember every second. Then maybe I would have had some real answers to all the impossible questions that were about to be asked of me," says the singer.
Blythe has been sharing more excerpts from the Dark Days book at his Instagram site. If you're interested in checking out more of the book, it's available to order at this location. Meanwhile, the band's VII: Sturm und Drang album is currently available for pre-order at Amazon and iTunes.
Randy Blythe Discusses the Perception of His Czech Arrest
Randy Blythe Discusses His Dark Days Memoir + Time Behind Bars