Saturday, March 5, 2016

a tribute to Bill Bates (1962-2016)

Bill Bates
Dec. 15, 1962 – Feb. 21, 2016
(by MMB)
In the metal music scene in Houston, Texas dj Bill Bates was loved by musicians, metal music supporters and friends in general. Bill played all types of metal music on the Sweet Nightmares radio show on KPFT 90.1 FM, including Texas bands and there are many local Houston metal musicians whose songs Bill played.
Bill’s love of metal music and music in general goes back a long time and he was practically a walking library of knowledge. Bill was obsessed with metal and other like-minded people would recognize a kindred spirit in Bill, who affectionately was called “The Master,” which is a joke within the name Bill “The Master” Bates. Bill was also very funny and had lots of hilarious and embarrassing stories about your favorite bands, Texas bands, and himself. There is a reason why people genuinely loved Bill and it’s because he was kind. That is the Bill that many of us knew.
The older generation knew Bill through the original metal music show Sweet Nightmares that started in the 1980s and that was hosted by Bill and his friend Wes Weaver. Wes (ex-Imprecation, ex-Infernal Dominion) is the guitarist for the death metal band Blaspherian. For many, the names Bill and Wes, Wes and Bill, were said together as if they were twins. These two metal personalities have played a big role in turning people on to new metal music, especially extreme metal.
Bill had not been well for a long time, and for the recent period dj Herman García has kept the show going. It is important that Herman has stepped up to do the show.
Many people have said wonderful things about Bill and it is impossible to put all those comments together in one place. These are some words that friends and musicians and others have said about Bill:
Bill The Master Bates, Houston has lost one of the undergrounds most influential radio personal in music. Not only was Bill Bates a radio personal that played some of the most brutal music to ever get radio time by anyone, he was also an energetic fan of the sounds of the underground. I first had the honor and pleasure of meeting Bill when I was in my early 20's Ive always been a fan Of what Bill Bates and Wes Weaver had accomplished on 90.1 Kpft Sweet Nightmares. What these guys did inspired me to be the musician that I became by playing the music that I wanted to hear instead of playing commercial music that was not getting my attention. Thanks Bill for being apart of the Houston Metal Scene and never giving up on the music. What you guys did up at KPFT was establish a ground zero for all local metal heads. Rest easy, and be at peace. \m/
Rivethead Magazine celebrates the life and mourns the passing of our old friend Bill Bates. Early RH staff writer and longtime host of the KPFT "Sweet Nightmares" radio show, Bill was and will always be a legendary icon to the underground Houston scene. Here he writes about Sweet Nightmares from RH Issue #8, June of 1989. Thanks for everything you ever did, brother. Someone should read the last paragraph of this at your funeral.
Herman: Last night was kind of tough. We played some of Bill's favorite bands including deadhorse, Helstar and Trouble. We talked about some of memories of Bill Bates and then what blew me away was Bill's mom calling to thank us for doing the show and to say she was still in awe of how important her son was to the community. Important indeed. No one can fit in those shoes. But we will keep going at it and I hope all of you continue to tune in. \m/ \m/
One thing a lot of us agreed. Bill Bates must have sensed this time was coming. He was going to shows, he set up shows and he made it to the radio station. It was almost like he was saying his goodbye as he made his final tour. He touched so many but he was trying real hard to show people no matter what you are suffering, you still need to make time for friends, family and most important do what you can to help your friends in the metal community stay strong. This last week I am seeing so many people stand united in their love for Bill. For that say thank you. He would want you all to know that. So tomorrow one more tough day to say our goodbyes. Then we can continue to share our memories of him. He may have passed, but he will never be forgotten.
Wes: Just got back from the Bill Bates viewing, he looked really good. I had to say a last goodbye since i missed him after his departure from the hospital. Was really sad, but they had him in his sweet nightmares t-shirt, and an astros jacket, kinda fitting with how much he loved the radio show and the astros, well sports in general....Good bye old friend, i'll see you on the other side some time.
sitting at home today, with the baby...remembering the old school days and thinking of all the crazy times with Bill Bates I remembered this video, shot by Sean Sitka, from Vinnie Labella's house (EXHORDER), in 1990 in New Orleans....with bills physical problems,i think the exhorder guys thought it a little funny so Vinnie wrote 'side actions blues' some good natured ribbing and Bill makes his appearance at the 5:25 mark unphased and having a great time...always laughing....
Rubén Elizondo: I was deeply saddened to hear the news on Bill's passing. He played a huge part in the Houston Metal Scene. He did so much for many people, including myself. In the late 80s he managed Dark Reign. In 1990 Bill got us on the whole Texas Tour with Morbid Angel. By 1991 he got us two dates with Death here in Houston and New Orleans. He supported many bands in Houston by giving them air play, as well as setting up shows. Bill even handled all of the paper work to purchase my house for me and my wife. Thank you for your 30 year friendship Bill, I was honored to get the chance to know you. There will never be another Bill Bates. R.I.P.
Andrew Apollyon: I hope I'm able to perform the Bill Bates tribute show with my old band Hideously Defleshed. It would be an honour to pay tribute and support a true Houston legend. Bill Bates was a true gentlemen and class act. He always supported hideously defleshed as you can see from the pic below and played our music on k.p.f.t TheEjacula SweetNightmares often. If we are unable to perform the show due to the fact I'm leaving to the Middle East soon and my job may not allow me to take time off from work at the last moment for the show I will make sure we will donate a nice amount of funds to his benefit. Thank you Mr. Bill Bates we ❤ you...
Jerry Warden: Bill Bates was on the air at KPFT in Houston when I hosted The Metal Show on KNON in Dallas from '86-'89 and he continued to host Sweet Nightmares into 2016. I knew him as a fellow promoter of metal at a time when community radio was the only source for metal music. Later, I was a fan as I listened to him in S.Texas penitentiaries. Upon my return home, I reacquainted myself w/ Bill and conveyed my respect for his longevity on the air. He asked my band, WarlockTexas, to open for Satan as the direct support band at Numbers in Houston and asked me more than once to attend his last show featuring Insecticide, a band we both played on the air and hosted in the '80s. I wish I would've attended your last show, Bill, bc I have the utmost respect for u. U are The fuckin' Master.
Joshua James Merritt: Bill Bates, family and friends. I want to apologize for not coming to the service today... I simply cannot do viewings anymore... I want my last visual memory of him to be that happy smile of his sitting on the side of the Fitz stage watching Venom Inc, not of him in a casket... my eyes are watering up just typing this.... and for the record, when I depart, NO VIEWING, please. I will have words for our fallen comrade tonight on my radio show. Bill, we love you and we are all missing you dearly.
Dobber Beverly: A preshow shot for Bill Bates tonight. A tie that has been the bind for so many of us since we were kids jamming 90.1. Being able to turn that radio on and jam with pals you know and friends you didn't know yet. I wouldn't know half the people I know now if it wasn't for Bill and he was a hell of a dude. Rest in peace my friend and see you cats tomorrow!
Richard Cagle: Voices came out in 1990... It was a collection of Metal Bands from around the region that I put out on Saturn Records... It was well received in Europe and helped promote the Texas/Louisiana metal scene... Joe Claytor (Band Manager/Local Promoter) and Bill Bates (Sweet Nightmares, KPFT Radio DJ), both helped me put this together... without them, I doubt it would have gotten done or been as successful as it was at the time. With the passing of Bill this week, I've been reflecting on how both Joe and Bill helped and influenced the whole Metal scene in the 90s. They will both be missed... I thank them for all that they did.. Rest in Peace my friends....
John Fossum: Extremely sad to hear of the passing of Bill Bates. A dedicated, passionate music scene pioneer, promoter, fan and friend. When I moved to the Houston area in 1984, Bill was one of the first people I met. I listened religiously to the "Sweet Nightmares" radio show on KPFT that he and Wes Weaver made into a Metal program staple. I'm glad to have known him. It was a true honour. I have no doubt that he is yucking it up with Lemmy right now. Rest in peace, brotherman.
TRIBUTE SHOW: March 20th at the Scout Bar. Doors at 1pm. The death of Bill Bates is a blow to the metal community of Houston. So some people have gotten together to show their respects and to show that Bill "The Master" will not be forgotten. A fitting tribute is quickly being assembled and a great way to give back to a person that meant so much to the music of Houston. There will be music, a raffle and some special items to auction. So when you come bring your money. You will want to take some of these items home at the end of the night.
Sweet Nightmares (Houston, TX): Thursday night 11pm-2am (Houston time) KPFT 90.1 fm

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