Alter Bridge reached out to a fan who survived a shooting near a US university and flew him as a guest to one of their gigs.
Erik Lasaine was hit by a stray bullet when shots were fired at a party near the University of Illinois on September 25. He survived, but his friend George Korchev died.
Two days after the shooting, Lasaine gave a eulogy to his friend at the university campus and quoted lyrics from Alter Bridge’s track Blackbird.
The band heard about the eulogy and flew Lasaine and Korchev’s girlfriend Samantha Steinberg to their recent gig in Dallas, Texas, where the pair attended a VIP meet and greet with Alter Bridge and attended the soundcheck.
They also got to spend time with the band after the show, during which Alter Bridge had dedicated Blackbird to Korchev.
Lasaine tells Billboard: “It totally blew my mind. I was surprised. It was definitely really cool.”
Alter Bridge frontman Myles Kennedy wrote Blackbird about a friend of his who died and Lasaine says he and Korchev had been listening to the track while sharing a drink before a night out.
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He says: “George seemed to like it. George was really an awesome person. Everybody knows that and I’ve talked to his family and they just want people to remember his legacy, which was just how great of a person he was.”
Robbie Patton, 18, was later charged with murder in relation to Korchev’s death. The shooting on September 25 started after an argument over a spilled drink, according to ABC News. Neither Lasaine or Korchev were involved in the argument and were struck by stray bullets.
Lasaine has a bullet lodged near his spine which doctors say cannot be removed as the procedure would be too risky. It is expected the bullet will dislodge itself in due course.
Blackbird was voted as boasting the 83rd best guitar solo of all time in issue 229 of Classic Rock magazine, which is out now in print and via TeamRock+. On how he and Myles Kennedy put together the two-man solo on the track, Mark Tremonti says: “When we me and Myles went back-to-back having our different styles, I think it just worked. It adds depth.”
Alter Bridge released their fifth album The Last Hero this month.
Alter Bridge remaining tour dates 2016
Nov 04: Bilbao Santana 27, Spain
Nov 05: Barcelona Razzmatazz, Spain
Nov 08: Paris Zenith, France
Nov 09: Brussels AB, Belgium
Nov 10: Amsterdam MHM, Netherlands
Nov 13: Berlin Columbiahalle, Germany
Nov 14: Vienna Gasometer, Austria
Nov 16: Katowice Spodek, Poland
Nov 20: Oslo Sentrum Scene, Norway
Nov 21: Copenhagen Vega Main Hall, Denmark
Nov 23: Manchester Arena, UK
Nov 24: London O2 Arena, UK
Nov 26: Nottingham Motorpoint Arena, UK
Nov 27: Birmingham Genting Arena, UK
Nov 28: Cardiff Motorpoint Arena, UK
Dec 01: Glasgow Hydro, UK
Dec 02: Leeds First Direct Arena, UK
Dec 04: Frankfurt Jahrhunderthalle, Germany
Dec 05: Cologne Palladium, Germany
Dec 06: Hamburg Mehri Theater, Germany
Dec 09: Bolognia Unipol Arena, Italy
Dec 10: Munich Zenith, Germany
Dec 11: Basel Jakobshalle, Switzerland