HENRY ROLLINS SETS UP BENEFIT GIG FOR 'WEST MEMPHIS THREE'

The rocker gets behind the campaign to free a trio of men convicted for the 1993 murder of three children they deny committing...

HENRY ROLLINS SETS UP BENEFIT GIG FOR 'WEST MEMPHIS THREE'
HENRY ROLLINS is putting together a benefit concert in aid of the WEST MEMPHIS THREE, a trio of men convicted for the 1993 murder of three children they deny committing.

The show, to be held at the Los Angeles Troubador on March 8, will also feature sets from former MC5 man Wayne Kramer as well as veterans Original Sinners.

All proceeds will go towards the fight to overturn the convictions of the Memphis Three. The trio, Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelly were convicted of the gruesome 1993 murders of three eight-year olds in West Memphis, Arkansas. Their convictions rested on the confession of Misskelly, a teen with an IQ of 72, which he later denied. Echols, Baldwin and Misskelly, then all fans of heavy metal, were held up as Satanists during the trial as prosecutors claimed the murders were ritualistic. Echols is currently on Death Row while Baldwin and Misskelly are serving life sentences.

Their case became a cause celebre in 1996 when a US documentary, 'Paradise Lost', called the convictions into serious doubt. The trio's fight for freedom has since been adopted by a host of big name supporters.

Eddie Vedder has frequently spoken out on their behalf and worn a T-shirt supporting their cause at numerous Pearl Jam live shows. Late last year, Vedder, Tom Waits, former Clash man Joe Strummer, Steve Earle and ex-Screaming Trees frontman Mark Lanegan all donated tracks to 'Free The Memphis Three', an album released to raise funds for their legal battle.

Henry Rollins has released a statement explaining why he felt he needed to organised the benefit show.

It reads: "After watching the two documentaries, ('Paradise Lost' and 'Revelations: Paradise Lost 2') which detail what happened to the victims (both dead and alive) my reaction was a mixture of sadness and anger: sadness at the death of the little boys and the unimaginable sense of hopelessness, heartbreak and frustration that fills their relatives on a regular basis. Then anger at what appears to be a made-for-television worst case scenario breakdown in the American justice system.

"What the West Memphis Three have been put through, and are going through, is an American nightmare of the highest order. I wanted to get involved.

"If this kind of insanity is allowed to happen in America, then no American is really safe. To do nothing is to submit to this horrific slander of truth and basically join in with the perpetrators.

"It's simple for me. I don't know who killed those three little boys. I just know it's not the West Memphis Three. So, what can I do? Raise some money and hopefully some awareness. I don't know what else I can do, if someone has an idea, let me know.

"Damien Echols faces lethal injection for a crime he didn't commit. Jason and Jesse face life in prison. It might as well be you or me. After the benefit on March 8, I will get in my car and drive to my house. That, in itself, is kind of obscene seeing what these three are dealing with."

For more information on the West Memphis Three case visit www.WM3.org.

Read More On This Artist

More News
The Maccabees on new album: 'It's stripped back, fewer layers, more piano'
Alt-J, Florence + The Machine, The War On Drugs to play Sweden's Way Out West festival
Blink-182's Tom DeLonge discusses plans for punk trio's new album
Karen O says label boss Julian Casablancas is 'a fucking amazing guy'
The Wombats announce details of new album 'Glitterbug'
Sam Smith becomes only artist to sell one million albums in UK and US in 2014
London superclub Fabric respond to reports they are facing closure after drug-related deaths
Pussy Riot: 'Our goal is not to make a political album'
Azealia Banks accuses Eminem of sexism in his music
Gerard Way 'made plans to work with' The Libertines' Carl Barat
The Smiths' Mike Joyce says Queen should wear 'Queen is Dead' T-shirt during...
Wu-Tang Clan tried to get James Blake to feature on 'A Better Tomorrow'
Royal Blood 'wanted to support Foo Fighters before even starting the band'
Spectres announce UK tour dates
Taylor Swift was surprised at industry's reaction to her decision to leave Spotify
Ride, Bastille, Duran Duran and more to play tiny War Child gigs
Noel Gallagher's teenage daughter recalls how he embarrassed her in front of Harry Styles
Manics' Nicky Wire: 'There hasn't been a decent attempt at a Christmas single in...
Radio 1 music boss tells The Killers' Brandon Flowers: 'You're not too old to make...
John Lydon: 'Ukip's talk about immigration is subdued racism'
Brandon Flowers says second solo album is 'definitely going to be different'
Lucy Rose announces UK tour and promises to play new material

More News

Comments

Please login to add your comment.

Latest Tickets - Booking Now
 
Know Your NME
 

 
NME Store & Framed Prints
Inside NME.COM