PEARL JAM’s EDDIE VEDDER, Tom Waits, former CLASH man Joe Strummer and ex-SCREAMING TREES frontman MARK LANEGAN are amongst the names set to appear on a benefit album for three US teenagers serving life sentences for murders they deny committing. ‘Free The Memphis Three’, the brainchild of Supersuckers main player Eddie ‘Spaghetti’ Daly, is designed to support legal appeals and draw attention to the situation of Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelly. The trio 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, 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.
The validity of their sentences was first called into question in ‘Paradise Lost’, a 1996 US documentary.
Daly told Billboard magazine he was driven to put the record together because he felt “they could find me or any of my friends on the street near a crime scene and pick me up for exactly the same things”.
Also donating new or previously unreleased tracks will be Steve Earle, Rocket From The Crypt, Nashville Pussy and Killing Joke.
The album will be released through Aces & Eights Records/Koch in the US in October. A spokesperson for Koch in fine told nme.com that no decision had yet been made reached on if or when the album would appear in the UK.