King Diamond parts ways with bassist Hal Patino, battle of words ensues

Posted by on July 21, 2014

kingdiamond hal patinoMany musicians have come in and out of King Diamond’s band. However, bassist Hal Patino’s departure from the group has caused its fair share of drama in a rather short amount of time.

Just a few months away from his long overdue return to the States, King Diamond announced Saturday that Patino was no longer in the band, stating that he had been “relieved of his duties with King Diamond, for reasons very similar to why he was fired from the band in 1990.” That promoted Patino to issue a statement essentially pointing the finger at Diamond. However, rather than stay quiet, Diamond issued his own lengthy response pointing out parts of Patino’s comments he claims are “extreme lies.”

Here’s Diamond’s response in full:

“When someone puts out extreme lies about you and your character, there comes a time when you put a stop to it. This is that time. In the following, I will prove everything I say and I challenge Hal Patino to do the same with what he said.

HAL’S STATEMENT: ‘I will not go into every detail, but the salary I was offered to headline Wacken Open Air, and the 4 other shows this summer was totally ridiculous. Two days before the first rehearsal day, I wrote an e-mail explaining my view on that topic along with a proposal for a fair and realistic salary for these shows, For this, they accused me of’ ‘blackmailing’ !!! I found it disrespectful, and told them that if that is how I get treated after 19 years, we part immediately !! So I already left the band on Thursday the 17th of July, by my own choice.’

First of all, I have no problem disclosing the band salary for the European shows. For these 5 shows, it is €1000 per festival show. This salary does not include per diems for days not played on (which is on top of the salary), plus all shipping, travel, maintenance, strings, drum sticks, insurance, hotel; in short, the company bears all expenses.

We do not headline Wacken Open Air. In reality, we don’t even headline the Black Stage. Sometimes the headliner is not the last band playing on a specific stage. As far as I know, Motorhead playing right before us are the headliner for Friday August 1st on the Black Stage. After them, Slayer plays on the Main Stage and they are the Wacken headliner for Friday. Then we cool everything down on the Black Stage from midnight. I don’t remember who cools down the Main Stage after us.

I’m not gonna get into details on how our registered company in Denmark is run, but it’s a full company with year round expenses, and if it wasn’t for Wacken this year, I could guarantee that there wouldn’t be a US tour in the autumn. The two indoor shows in Berlin and Tilburg are straight losses, even if sold out. On top of this comes EVERYTHING involved in a tour and our company is unfortunately not at the level of Megadeth, Slayer, etc, and can only offer what’s possible. We can’t go and get loans in the bank to pay Hal’s salary, however minor it may seem.

If Hal didn’t find that satisfactory, no one kept him from leaving. I just wish he hadn’t brought this up on the very day/evening I arrived in Denmark (17th of July). He’s had an entire year to think about this, and he brings it up now. An important fact with regard to the salaries is that the entire crew and band from last year’s European tour is identical to both the European shows we’re about to do now and the US shows later this year, except for Hal. It seems everybody is satisfied with what the company can offer at this point, except for Hal.

It doesn’t interest me one way or another whether Hal quit the band or he was asked to leave. It’s exactly the same result. It is interesting though that Hal shipped his gear at the company’s expense to the rehearsal facilities on the very date (17th of July) when he claims that he quit the band. We have the receipt for that with stamped date. You can also see in his official statement that he says that he was willing to try to fly in for some of the early rehearsals from Norway. We’re talking after the 17th of July, which again, doesn’t make sense. Why would he want to try to arrange to fly in for rehearsals from Norway after he already quit the band?

HAL’S STATEMENT: ‘It’s typical King to say that I’m fired – he did the same to me back in 1990 when he told the press that I was kicked out of the band due to lack of enthusiasm and drug problems. That was NOT the reason … It was just Too much touring, King got dropped by Roadrunner Records, and I wanted to go in another direction. He did the same to my best friends Mikkey Dee and Pete Blakk.’

These are extremely insulting and pathetic lies. First of all, would Hal EVER have come back to play for King Diamond if I had lied to the press about him being fired in 1990 due to drug problems? Hal was taken back into the band, sometime after he had asked us in 2000 (I believe it was) at one of our rehearsals, which he was attending with his son, if he could ever get another chance. He swore he was totally clean and that he didn’t even drink anymore. This, back then, made him a true hero to me, but this has of course changed now. I just don’t trust him enough anymore to rely on his contributions.

Next, can anybody explain to me what it means when Hal says that the reason he was fired was instead ‘too much touring’? What does this mean? When did anyone ever get fired for too much touring?? I would like Hal to present the letter from Roadrunner saying they were dropping us from the label, if he can. This is another outright lie. Most of you already know that we bought our way out of Roadrunner by delivering to them King Diamond Abigail LIVE 1987, plus Mercyful Fate’ Return of the Vampire. I also have the contract to prove this, and will gladly scan it in for all to see when I return to Dallas.

The whole problem with trust culminated while we were in the studio recording The Eye, at which time Ole Bang, Andy LaRocque and myself can vouch to the fact that Hal Patino was not to be found anywhere when he was supposed to lay down bass tracks. No one could find him, no matter how many phone calls we placed. We ended up spending seven days watching the walls of expensive Sweet Silence studios in Denmark with absolutely nothing to do but sit and hope that Hal Patino would show up at some point. This is actually part of the reason why we had to buy our way out from the Roadrunner contract. We were so under recouped that the label, with good reason I guess, wanted to take the over expenditure off our next recording budget. This was simply not an option if we were to continue as a band at the time.

Seriously Hal, how dare you accuse me of having fired Mikkey Dee?! You might have forgotten, but both Andy and I remember very well Mikkey coming by Sweet Silence studios during The Eye recordings to play us the new Dokken album, which he had just recorded with them. I have never uttered a bad word about Mikkey, whom I’ve always had the highest respect for, both as a drummer and as a person. And he knows that. Pete Blakk had some problems like you during the recording of The Eye and the US tour prior to that, which at the time made him unreliable. A situation I think everybody knows he took care of in a very noble way.

HAL’S STATEMENT: ‘I am in Norway at the moment and will play two live shows with my other band, I told the KD camp that I would be able to fly back and forth so I did not miss the two first rehearsals – and the next thing I read is a statement from King where it says that I’m fired.’

Again, how is it possible to fire someone who has already quit???

LAST… I would like to address Hal, if he reads this. Personally, I don’t care if it says you quit, was let go, or whatever with regards to what has happened, but we will obviously never be working together again. There is no trust left. We can stop it at that, or you can continue if you want, just don’t forget that I know so many of the people you associate with just as well as you, and I know what’s going on in your life. Your real problem is really not what we’ve been talking about these past couple of days, right? You know, in the end, I’m really trying to be nice about this.”

Diamond’s comments are pretty damn direct and straight to the point. However, it doesn’t end there. It didn’t take Patino long to respond to Diamond’s claims, calling him out for saying he has drug issues. Here’s Patino’s latest response in full:

“I’m NOT a drug addict! I’m actually getting pretty tired of this already, but I feel like I have to tell the story from my point of view (without responding to every little detail in King’s statement, cause that would turn this into a novel). After this, it’s up to every individual to think/believe whatever they want to.

WHAT THE FUCK!!? – King has done it again ! I got 3 kids who are using Facebook and reading the news on a daily basis. You’re lying about stuff – like accusing me of doing drugs and calling me a liar is about as low and disgusting as it gets – but it really doesn’t come as a surprise to me, because it has always been like this. I knew that something like this would come up, and King knows that if we could have come to some kind of an agreement, I would have been able to fly in and out from rehearsals to the shows in Norway … When I didn’t hear from him (them) .. I just quit!

King! How can you call me a liar when I said that you did the same thing to my friends Mikkey Dee and Pete Blakk! They left the band before you told the press that they were fired! This (below) speaks for itself!

Music Street Journal – Mikkey Dee Interview:

‘King and record company said: ‘Mikkey Dee was actually relieved of his services with King Diamond because he wanted too much money, blahblahblah’ and I go ‘Monty, you fucking asshole, this is Mikkey at Kent, I didn’t get fired, I left, you bastard, I’m gonna sue you,’ you know. So they were making lies about it, and then when I joined Dokken, King called me up cause then he’s been spreading the word about me, he did all the magazines and I did nothing, and now it was my turn to be in the press, people were fucking chasing me, ‘oh Mikkey, you’re in Dokken.’

Link :

Statement from King Diamond 1990 – 3 months after Pete left the band:
“Pete Blakk was kicked out of the band due to lack of enthusiasm and drug problems.”

As I know – and so many other people know, Pete was sober when we did The Eye– and had been for 6 months. About my absence in the studio: I was down with the flu those few days. I called the studio back then – they we’re fully aware of the reasons for my not being there. To everybody out there I’m not doing drugs, I’m not even a drinker – but I always do a few whiskey shots right before I go onstage to get the right attitude, I don’t see that as a ‘Drug Problem.’

I would like to address King, if he reads this. Personally I don’t care for the shit you are writing about me, I’m more concerned about my kids, family and friends, reading all your bullshit about me being a drug addict! You think you know what’s going on in my life? You don’t know shit and you never will!
Your real problem is that you are a tired bitter old man, that’s the only thing I get from your statement.

Just to end this now, I will NEVER forgive you! All that support you got from my family and especially my son Jackie ‘Maryann Cotton’ who has promoted you through all kinds of media (TV, interviews, and so on). When you were told that he was in a writing process with Dick Wagner and Alice Cooper, you turned your back on him, even though you’ve known him since he was a little child. And you are right, I will never ever work with you again because this is what you get for being with King Diamond for 19 years.

To all the people out there that have expressed their support and concern: THANK YOU!”

Patino made his debut with King Diamond on 1988’s album Them, appearing on two more albums before his first exit from the band in 1990. He then rejoined the group in 2002 in time for Abigail II: The Revenge. Needless to say, though, both Diamond and Patino make it pretty clear that a second reunion will never occur. As of now, it’s unclear who will be handling bass in King Diamond now, but the new guy is certainly coming in under less that pleasant circumstances.

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