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Kevin Bower from Hell How's he doing?

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I know someone here bought his Hell Standard, and I thought some of you had communicated with him personally.  Does anyone know how he's doing these day?  His playing on those Hell albums was amazing, and it was cool to see him hanging around here.

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Haven't communicated since we wrestled that guitar through customs, but he was cheerful, practical, and not looking back at the time. 

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It’s me who has Kev’s 4-digit Standard.

I have his email and his phone number.

I even worked with him on a side project —successfully, must I add.

However, at a given moment he stopped replying to my emails. He did tell me he was having problems with his wrist —I think it’s no longer a secret around here. I haven’t tried to text him or to call him ever since. I guess it’s about time though. The man is a great individual and an awesome musician.

 

19940D42-9B74-499D-AD06-104B34FBC0BA.jpeg

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Really enjoyed Hell. Crying shame they are no longer around. Usually bands like that do pretty well on those metal festival circuit. 

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Hey there, guys!

Surprisingly, Kev did reply to my texto. I wrote to him something inspired by a conversation I had with @Ting Ho Dung a few months ago —Michael and I do chat often and had already talked about this.

Kev’s reply, though still a bit sad and nostalgic, also sounds like he’s already seeing some light at the end of the tunnel. I toyed with the idea of transcribing the whole thing for you guys, but finally decided to share here only what directly concerns the HFC —no need to tell you why.

So, I beg your indulgence. This is what I’m willing to share for now, which isn’t much, but at least you’ll see he says “hi” to us all here:

BD299BBC-C5FC-4A8B-8DD6-117706C61E4B.jpeg

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I hope he's able to work with or around the wrist issues. Having your life/livelihood go away due to injury sucks, especially when it's not something usually considered highly physically strenuous.

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1 hour ago, tbonesullivan said:

I hope he's able to work with or around the wrist issues. Having your life/livelihood go away due to injury sucks, especially when it's not something usually considered highly physically strenuous.

HELL was his baby, the dream of his life finally turned into reality. Losing it in a such... unlikely way, it was a heavy blow. I empathize tremendously with Kev. 

It never was a matter of income though. I’m well aware of his main job, and of the fact HELL never was more than “a professional hobby”, as he used to say. 

But he lost his “ikigai”. The grief was terrible. 😞

Luckily, he’s still alive and slowly moving on. 🙏🙇

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Curious... is that picture over red or is Kevin in makeup? He looks very Devilishly Red...

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15 minutes ago, Dutchman said:

Curious... is that picture over red or is Kevin in makeup? He looks very Devilishly Red...

The pic was taken with a cheap cell. He’s the Devil in person though. Like Lucifer himself! 🤪🤣

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I wish him nothing but the best.   I went through a period of carpal tunnel problems  in 1991. It was downright depressing at the moment, having to quit playing for nearly 2 years, and nothing else was pain-free either.    It was actually encountering my first Hamer at that time (that red '81 Cruise,) that gave me some hope to play again comfortably.  Tough time I did a lot of growing in...

 

Glad he's doing well!

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It's amazing to me that as good as he was, he is able to move on with such a great attitude.  Thanks for the update, Zorrow!  I knew someone would know what he was up to.

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20 hours ago, Bass Guy Dave said:

I went through a period of carpal tunnel problems  in 1991. It was downright depressing at the moment, having to quit playing for nearly 2 years, and nothing else was pain-free either.  ...

 

Empathize with that. Five years back I had a horrible bout of sciatica and it shutdown my right leg for three months and was in constant pain. I was in my late 50’s and thought if this is what the golden years are going to look like, just take me now.  Lasting pain makes you have real bad thoughts  and warps your vision  

 

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Just had a buddy (his Prog band is Magnatar, if you want to check it out) have surgery on both wrists in a period of three months.  He plays electric mandolin and is already starting to play a bit.  Was surgery not an option for Kev?  Just wondered. 

 

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Posted (edited)

To expect for things to keep going on and on and on and on over the years is a glitch in the human brain.

The best stuff in life usually has a span of only a few years. Actual Punk music lasted for maybe four or five years... New Wave was the same, disco was the same, grunge was the same, thrash was the same... what is good and what is great is usually not sustainable.

Kev needs the kindness and grace from the rest of the world to age, live and love without the expectation of: next albums, tours, appearances or interviews. That expectation can drive a musician into a cave for years... look what it did to Vito Bratta & Jake E. Lee!

What he achieved with Hell was unbelievable! Most of us wankers never amount to a fucking thing and he actually DID it!

I don’t blame him for constricting his social circle a bit while bowing out from the public eye for some rest, recuperation and regrouping.

Hopefully he will take advantage of the wonderful NHS and get some treatment... or not and let things heal naturally on their own. Whatever he thinks is best.

The dude is a star... made of light. Most of us are made of mud. lolz

Cheers to a future with or without playing metal... either way, the mountain has already been climbed... no need to keep climbing more mountains. If one or two present themselves to him and he decides to take them on, I’m sure he will kick some ass and see the summit.

Very impressive man and we are lucky he ever gave us losers the time of day. lolz

Edited by zenmindbeginner
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Hello all,

It's been a while. Such a long while in fact, that I couldn't remember my password - and since my email also changed, I had to re-register. But anyway -  a few evenings ago, I was lurking for the first time in a coupla years and this thread brought such a lump to my throat, I just thought it appropriate to reply. It's pretty common knowledge on the board that I had major problems with my left wrist, problems that surgery tried and failed to correct. On top of that (although I won't go into detail) one of the band members found himself in a domestic situation which simply wasn't compatible with recording and touring, so the writing was pretty much on the wall because this guy was our front man and he was irreplaceable. And then - Andy got the gig with Judas Priest which, to be honest, would have killed it anyway. I was (and still am) totally stoked for the guy - because without him, the whole Hell thing would never have happened in the first place.

So after spending so much time throwing my whole heart and soul into this, the only way I could really deal with it was to draw a line in the sand and walk away without a backwards glance. Which is exactly what I did. Yeah, I could have carried on in a bar band or whatever, but my heart just wasn't in it any more, and when you've spent many years driving a Bentley, a beat-up Ford just doesn't cut it. Rightly or wrongly, I've never been a second-best kinda person, and just I took the view that nothing could ever top what I'd already done, and so I decided just to disappear and let the grass grow back over the battlefield. Within a month I'd sold all of my gear and cut my hair off, and just quietly slipped back into the world of being an ordinary carpenter. It was quite a cathartic experience in many ways - I never did the 'famous' thing very well, always feeling super-embarrassed when I had these huge bearded metalheads standing in line at signing sessions, with them trembling and being overwhelmed by the fact that I said 'Hi' to them and shook their hands. Minor fame is a strange thing indeed and I found it awkward to deal with.

But - I was lucky enough to have seen, done and experienced things which most players could only have dreamed of - and for that I'll always feel incredibly lucky. I've toured 27 countries and played on many of Europe and Scandinavia's biggest stages alongside world-class bands, and I had an absolute blast doing it. Of course there are regrets - never hitting either North or South America, giving up #0666 with Mr. Shishkov's passion and skill hanging over me like a great guilty millstone, knowing that a killer 3rd album would never see the light of day - the list is a very, very, very  long one.

I'd like to close by thanking everyone on here for your endless support, enthusiasm and encouragement. It always felt like I was part of a family, and for that, I'll always be truly grateful. Thanks for the memories - and here's a bittersweet one which will always stay with me - it's the very first song from our very first album - but also the very last song of our very last show. Take it easy guys.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EQHgP70vtx8

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Check in again every now and then.  Your experiences can give us insight into the world of touring, and not just your own.  We missed you.

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Thanks for responding, @KevBower.  It's always better to hear straight from the source.  I'm happy for all your successes and sad for your regrets.  When I heard that first Hell CD, it blew me away!  You're a great part of the Hamer community and I hope you'll check in from time to time.  In fact, you'd better!  You never know when we'll be talking about you!

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5 hours ago, KevBower said:

Hello all,

It's been a while. Such a long while in fact, that I couldn't remember my password - and since my email also changed, I had to re-register. But anyway -  a few evenings ago, I was lurking for the first time in a coupla years and this thread brought such a lump to my throat, I just thought it appropriate to reply. It's pretty common knowledge on the board that I had major problems with my left wrist, problems that surgery tried and failed to correct. On top of that (although I won't go into detail) one of the band members found himself in a domestic situation which simply wasn't compatible with recording and touring, so the writing was pretty much on the wall because this guy was our front man and he was irreplaceable. And then - Andy got the gig with Judas Priest which, to be honest, would have killed it anyway. I was (and still am) totally stoked for the guy - because without him, the whole Hell thing would never have happened in the first place.

So after spending so much time throwing my whole heart and soul into this, the only way I could really deal with it was to draw a line in the sand and walk away without a backwards glance. Which is exactly what I did. Yeah, I could have carried on in a bar band or whatever, but my heart just wasn't in it any more, and when you've spent many years driving a Bentley, a beat-up Ford just doesn't cut it. Rightly or wrongly, I've never been a second-best kinda person, and just I took the view that nothing could ever top what I'd already done, and so I decided just to disappear and let the grass grow back over the battlefield. Within a month I'd sold all of my gear and cut my hair off, and just quietly slipped back into the world of being an ordinary carpenter. It was quite a cathartic experience in many ways - I never did the 'famous' thing very well, always feeling super-embarrassed when I had these huge bearded metalheads standing in line at signing sessions, with them trembling and being overwhelmed by the fact that I said 'Hi' to them and shook their hands. Minor fame is a strange thing indeed and I found it awkward to deal with.

But - I was lucky enough to have seen, done and experienced things which most players could only have dreamed of - and for that I'll always feel incredibly lucky. I've toured 27 countries and played on many of Europe and Scandinavia's biggest stages alongside world-class bands, and I had an absolute blast doing it. Of course there are regrets - never hitting either North or South America, giving up #0666 with Mr. Shishkov's passion and skill hanging over me like a great guilty millstone, knowing that a killer 3rd album would never see the light of day - the list is a very, very, very  long one.

I'd like to close by thanking everyone on here for your endless support, enthusiasm and encouragement. It always felt like I was part of a family, and for that, I'll always be truly grateful. Thanks for the memories - and here's a bittersweet one which will always stay with me - it's the very first song from our very first album - but also the very last song of our very last show. Take it easy guys.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EQHgP70vtx8

One of the coolest thing I have ever read on the Internet. Hats off to you and this is what makes this forum so special.

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Just so you know Kevin, you should stick around. Your insight into all things Guitars and music would be much appreciated and respected. I absolutely suck at playing and have zero experience or knowledge of the music business but that hasn’t stopped me from running my mouth on the subject. Heck, some times HFC members even give me a thumbs up on my comments. 😀

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Much respect, Kevin. You accomplished what most of us only dream of. Here's to even more fulfilling pursuits in your future.

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1 hour ago, geoff_hartwell said:

Earnest, Genuine, and also Killer. 🤘

Awesome!.. Thanks for sharing~

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