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October 2, 2023

ICYMI: Slayer’s Drummer Asked for Some Accountability, Got Fired for His Trouble

There isn't a lot of thrash metal in my musical library. In fact, I don't think there's any. I didn't really have Slayer/Anthrax/Megadeth phase. Maybe it's the shouting. Maybe it's the hair. Regardless, I missed this story about Slayer's founding drummer Dave Lambardo getting fired for demanding some business prudence:

The band's drummer and co-founding member Dave Lombardo has been kicked off the group's upcoming Australian tour, and he posted a long Facebook note detailing his side of what happened. In short, Lombardo said that after questioning the group's expenses and accounting practices on tour, he was informed by the band's lawyers that he wouldn't be needed on the upcoming tour and would be replaced by fill-in Jon Dette (who played drums for the band between 1992 and 2002).

I'll bet the farm that there are more than a few public accounting partners around the country who had Slayer phases in the late 80s and early 90s. In fact, they may wear concert shirts under their monogrammed button-ups to this day, and in some rare cases, when they really need some intense focus, they close the door to their office and crank Reign in Blood. For those guys, this news has to be gut-wrenching.

Anyway, Lombardo's concerns seem pretty legit if his account on his FB page is even remotely true:

Last year, I discovered 90% of Slayer’s tour income was being deducted as expenses including the professional fees paid to management, costing the band millions of dollars and leaving 10% or less to split amongst the four of us. In my opinion, this is not the way a band’s business should operate. I tried rectifying it by letting my band mates know, and [vocalist] Tom [Araya] and I hired auditors to figure out what happened, but I was denied access to detailed information and the necessary back up documents. 
I spent the Christmas and New Year holidays realizing I had toured all over the world in 2012, but yet, had not been paid (except a small advance) or provided a proper accounting for a full year's sweat and blood. On top of this, I was told that I would not be paid until I signed a long form contract which gave me no written assurance of how much or on what basis management would deduct commissions, nor did it provide me access to the financial budgets or records for review. It also forbade me to do interviews or make statements having to do with the band, in effect a gagging order.
The band doesn't agree to this version of the events, "except to acknowledge that Mr. Lombardo came to the band less than a week before their scheduled departure for Australia to present an entirely new set of terms for his engagement that were contrary to those that had been previously agreed upon." 
Lombardo is hopeful to get this sorted out, so if you know so If you or someone you know is an aging metalhead that's good with numbers and impeccable integrity run these Lombardo down so he can continue rocking on (or whatever). 

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