While the metal community was mourning the loss of Ronnie James Dio on May 16th, for many in the Bay Area thrash scene, the passing of manager Debbie Abono on the same day was just as important. Abono was a 55 year-old mother whose only connection to metal had been as a mom of teenage metal fans, one of whom wound up dating Larry LaLonde, guitarist in a band called Blizzard (later in Possessed and Primus). Abono wound up managing Possessed, and went on to manage Exodus, Vio-Lence, and other non-Bay Area bands like Cynic and Obituary. She passed away on the same day as Dio at the age of 80.
Machine Head’s Robb Flynn, who Obano managed when he was in Vio-Lence, was “devastated” by the passing, and in a statement called her “his second mom.” He recorded an acoustic cover of “Die Young,” from Black Sabbath’s Heaven and Hell album. While neither her or Dio died young, Flynn’s speech at the beginning of the video sums his feelings up. There’s no plan on officially releasing this, but it’s available for free download at the band’s website.