Late SLIPKNOT bassist Paul Gray was honored earlier today (Sunday, July 10) by the organizers of the U.K. edition of the Sonisphere festival, which the band will close with a headlining performance. The festival held a two-minute silence at 2:00 p.m. in honor of Gray, who was known as “Number 2” in the group. SLIPKNOT‘s “Vermilion Part 2” was played over the PA ahead of the remembrance, after which BBC Radio 1‘s Daniel P. Carter addressed the audience by saying, “You all know why we’re here, right? The band are all here and they want you to know that they are eternally grateful and Paul Graywould be very touched.”
Gray‘s bass, red jump suit and mask were placed center stage as SLIPKNOT singer Corey Taylor, percussionist Shawn Crahan, guitarist Jim Root and other members of SLIPKNOT and their crew stood nearby and watched the proceedings.
Video footage of the tribute can be seen below (courtesy of RockAAA).
Fans attending the Sonisphere festival are able to leave tributes to Gray in a book of remembrance that is being left open at the Metal Hammer signing tent for the duration of the weekend from midday to midnight each day. The book will be given to SLIPKNOT following the end of the festival.
The Sonisphere show will be the last on this current tour for SLIPKNOT, which is performing for the first time without Gray. The band’s future beyond this run of shows is unclear.
Corey told BBC Radio 1, “We’ve done a handful of [shows so far on this run] and it’s been good with good feedback and a good way for us to say thank you to the kids and celebrate with everybody.” He added, “[At the U.K. Sonisphere] we’re going to have huge booms, fire. We’ve got a really good set together which really celebrates the whole career. It’s very much about the audience, getting them into it and giving something to them and putting on a good, old-school SLIPKNOT show. Enjoying it for what it is. The fans have really been responding to it so far.”
Gray passed away in May 2010 from an accidental overdose of drugs, leaving behind his wife Brenna and daughter October, who was born the following August.
SLIPKNOT percussionist Shawn “Clown” Crahan told The Pulse Of Radio that the support of the group’s fans has been crucial to helping with the grief. “I definitely want to spend just a moment thanking all of our kids out there because, I mean, when you have kids all around the world — Japanese, people in Great Britain, all of Europe, and then everybody in America — when you’ve got all these people coming together to let you know how much he was loved, and how much he’s gonna be missed, and just how important he was to what we are doing, it’s really made a difference.”