Campaign launched to raise funds for medical treatment of founding Venom guitarist Mantas

Jeff "Mantas" Dunne studio portrait
(Image credit: Stephanie Cabral)

A crowdfunding campaign has been launched to raise money to support the medical expenses and recovery of former Venom and current Venom Inc. guitarist Jeff "Mantas" Dunne, who suffered a heart attack last month. Dunne is currently recuperating at home in Portugal. 

"Jeff Dunn, known to the world as Mantas of Venom, is a musical legend whose influence spans across the metal genre, and beyond," reads a statement on the fundraiser page. "His innovative approach has brought us some of the most memorable riffs in metal music, often conceived in moments of everyday simplicity, including a famously inspired session in less than glamorous circumstances.

"Aside from his groundbreaking contributions to music, Jeff is a devoted caretaker to his 27 cats, whom he treats with royal regard, and a friend to many. His generosity and integrity shine through in all his interactions.

"Recently, Jeff's life took an unexpected turn when he suffered a heart attack on the morning of April 17. Despite this frightening event, the swift response from medical professionals at Abrantes UCIC and later in Lisbon ensured he received the necessary care promptly. An angiogram revealed issues with two valves, leading to the immediate placement of two stents. Jeff is now recuperating at home, but his road to recovery will be long, and he will be unable to perform live for the foreseeable future."

Dunne co-founded Venom in 1978 and played on their hugely influential early albums Welcome To Hell (1981), Black Metal (1982) and At War with Satan (1984) before leaving after 1985's Possessed. They gave Metallica their first big break in Europe, inviting Lars Ulrich & Co. over from California to support them on tour in 1984.

Welcome To Hell was a classic!" Ulrich once said. "Black metal, speed metal, death metal, whatever you want to call it. Venom started it all with that one record!” 

Most recently, Dunne has been playing with Venom Inc., alongside another former member of Venom, Tony "Demolition Man" Dolan.

Dunn previously suffered a heart attack in April 2018, and momentarily died before being resuscitated. He subsequently underwent double bypass surgery but was able to make a full recovery. 

The campaign aims to raise €45,000 to support Dunne's medical expenses and recovery process. Donations can be made at GoFundMe

Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 38 years in music industry, online for 25. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.