Anthrax's Frank Bello-The Spirit of Cliff Burton Will Always Be In Every Metallica Song
Updated: Dec 23, 2021
Jimmy Kay from Canada's The Metal Voice spoke to Anthrax bassist Frank Bello about his new Book which includes stories about his father's abandonment, his brothers murder, meeting Gene Simmons (during Lick it up recording), Black Sabbath tour dates (with Glenn Hughes and Ray Gillen), the passing of Metallica's Cliff Burton and a whole lot more.
Frank Bello memoir, "Fathers, Brothers, And Sons: Surviving Anguish, Abandonment, And Anthrax", was released on November 2 via Rare Bird, co-written by Frank Bello and Joel McIver. The foreword was written by KISS bassist/vocalist Gene Simmons
Scott Ian wrote two books on Anthrax how is your book different?
"Scott Ian wrote two great books on Anthrax, it pretty much told everything about Anthrax and had some great rock and roll stories. For my book I wanted to go inside me. I really wanted to go deep and to let this stuff out because abandonment is a big thing in my life and it affects a lot of people in this world. My dad took off when I was 10 years old. What happens and people will understand who have been abandoned by a parent is it left an emptiness, a feeling of did I do something wrong? What is wrong with me? And you are always searching for the father figure, you want something to give you a backbone. You are always looking for something to make you feel better, so music was my outlet to make me feel better. It was the only thing that really took that anguish away and made me feel better. I am getting great comments and feedback from this book and it is helping others better to understand their situation. If Frank went through this and he can brush himself off then maybe I can do it too and that means a lot to me. I can pay it forward. People are finding this book inspiring. "
Tell us briefly of the murder of your brother
"Unfortunately on March 25, 1996 my brother Anthony was murdered in the Bronx, three gunshots, some guy just took him out. It was a horrible horrible experience as you could imagine for my family but it went deeper with all of us. It took me out of my game. Two weeks after my brothers murder I snapped to the point where I become the hunter, I kind of lost who I was, I saw black. I didn't care about Anthrax, I didn't care about family, I just had a goal and it was about revenge. It was bad. I was stocking and I was hunting, thankful I thought of my mom. What am I doing here? Why do I have a gun in my hand? I had my mom in my head thinking what happens if I do this? She loses two sons. I thought of my brother who passed and it kind of pulled me out of it. So I went home and stuck myself in therapy. The witness came to the pre-trial but what we found out later they could not find the witness, it's a cold case."
Tell me about sneaking into the studio where Kiss' Gene Simmons was working on the album 'Lick it up'
"My friend and I Tom were pretty tenacious about going downtown and meeting these guys (Kiss) my friend Tom had the in at their management about where they were going to be, he had heard they were going to be at Right Track studio in New York and Tommy and I went down there. Tom rings the bell and they let us in (as Fans) I couldn't believe they let us in? Gene Simmons is there relaxing after a take. Gene kind of understood we were die hard fans, so he says would you like to hear a song? Gene let us into the room where he was mixing the song 'Young and Wasted' , we loved every second of it, we went outside screaming how much we loved it. " (story is explained in detail in the book)
What was it like touring with Black Sabbath back in the Glenn Hughes/ Ray Gillen Era
"I think it was 6 shows on that tour, it was great because Tony Iommi is the nicest person in the world and of course he is the Riff master, a legend we love him. It was fun thing to be on tour in the big arenas, it didn't do well on that tour but it was a little taste of what could be for us. I remember seeing Ray Gillen do the sound checks and he would sing amazing, rest his soul."
Tell me about the passing of Metallica's Cliff Burton while on tour in the 80's
"There are no words. We were young, touring everyday you get used to the same people hanging out together every day Anthrax and Metallica. I would watch their show every night, I always loved what Cliff was doing, talking with his bass. Cliff was innovative, he always thought outside the box as a bass player. There was this little saying we had, hey maybe I will see you later. The last vision I have of Cliff was his bus was going and Cliff was walking out the door and I said to him hey Cliff maybe I will see you later? Then he pokes his head from out the bus and says, maybe I will? And that is the last vision from him I remember and it still kind of haunts me. A lot of credit to Metallica for brushing themselves off and having to go forward and becoming the biggest band in the world with the spirit of Cliff. The Spirit of Cliff Burton will always be in Every Metallica Song."
What about doing a one ofg show with all three Anthrax singers all eras?
" I never say never"
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