Bay Area Thrash Pioneer Dies
Debbie Abono, who was heavily involved with the early days of the Bay Area thrash metal scene, has died at the age of 80, from cancer.Affectionately known as the Thrash Metal Grandmother, she was an active supporter of the scene, managing the likes of Exodus, Possessed and Vio-lence.
Says Exodus guitarist Gary Holt: “She was extremely instrumental to Exodus, both in our early years and again during our reunion with (vocalist) Paul Baloff in 97. We could not have done a lot of the things we did without her help and generosity. Words don’t really do justice to what she has meant to us”.
Classic Rock online writer Xavier Russell, who knew Abono well, adds: “She was an amazing woman, who never saw bad in anybody. Even if she thought a band were total rubbish, she’d give them words of encouragement and tell them they were the best thing since Exodus!
In the early 1980s Debbie certaily did her bit to put Bay Area thrash movement on the world map. She managed bands, promoted gigs, got bands on the radio. She lived and breathed heavy metal.
“I first met her at a Metal Monday gig at The Old Wardorf in San Francisco, where Metallica (with Dave Mustaine still in the band) were headlining. She came up and introduced herself and was charm itself. I thought what is a white haired grandma figure doing at a thrash gig, but she was a metal encyclopedia and headbanged like a manaic, with a beer in hand. She would always plant a demo cassette of her latest discovery in my hand as I left a venue.
Debbie Abono genuinely cared about her bands that she looked after and managed they
were like her own extended family. The world of Thrash has lost one of it’s Creators! A wonderful woman with a wicked sense of humour. R.I.P Debbie.