Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Slipknot's Paul Grey has died at the age of 38.

Urbandale police are investigating the death of the bass guitarist for Grammy award-winning Slipknot at a local hotel.

Paul Dedrick Gray, 38, of Johnston was found dead at approximately 10:50 a.m. today (May 24) by an employee at TownePlace Suites, 8800 Northpark Drive, police said.

There was no evidence of foul play, police said, but the investigation is ongoing.

An autopsy is scheduled for Tuesday. Toxicology tests will be done.

Gray was a founding member of Slipknot and one of only two members not born in Iowa. The band broke into the mainstream with a platinum-selling self-titled debut in 1999. Two follow-ups, 2002's "Iowa" and 2005's "Vol. 3 (The Subliminal Verses)" also went platinum. The band has been nominated for seven Grammy awards, winning in 2006 for best metal performance.

“It’s just a devastating loss for the Des Moines music scene and the world’s music scene,” said Matt Nyberg, who was dubbed “First Maggot” by Slipknot’s Shawn Crahan. Nyberg’s band Facecage is on Slipknot lead singer Corey Taylor’s Great Big Mouth Records. “He was always one of the nicest guys. You never heard anything negative from him."

In 2008, Slipknot released its most recent album, “All Hope Is Gone,” and toured arenas, including its first-ever show at Wells Fargo Arena in January. The band ended its tour cycle in October, and members of the band have been working on individual projects since then.

Gray was arrested on drug charges in June 2003, after he crashed his Porsche into a Des Moines motorist at Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway and Carpenter Avenue.

Police charged Gray with marijuana possession, cocaine possession, possession of drug paraphernalia and a red-light violation. He later pleaded guilty to operating while under the influence of drugs, and was sentenced to one year of informal probation.

His court file included a handwritten note from Dr. Joe Takamine, who described a conversation with Gray about his “sporadic use of various drugs and of the long periods of abstinence in between.”

Takamine concluded that Gray was not addicted to any drug and understood the consequences of drug use.

"In light of his past and present history and because of his great love of music, I feel that Mr. Gray will refrain from future use of mind-altering chemicals," Takamine wrote.

Until next time keep rockin'
The 0800 Jukebox crew.

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