Rollingstone.com have posted a lengthy feature on Gabe Reed, a failed glam metaller who went on to become a concert promoter who wound up in prison for fraudulent dealings. Though Reed‘s rock star dreams fizzled out early, he had a working relationship with Kiss‘ Gene Simmons which led to him promoting a South American show from the band.
The credibility from that event led him to book various hard rock and metal musicians on ‘all star’ package tours, including Simmons, former members of Skid Row, Guns N’ Roses and more.
However, cracks began to show as complaints about Reed‘s shady practices and missing money became prevalent and tours continued to fall through. At one point Reed had been booking a tour where he’d promised Slayer‘s Tom Araya, Judas Priest‘s Rob Halford and more would take part. Unbeknownst to the investors he took money from however, those artists had declined the offer two months before the contracts were even signed.
They weren’t the only ones to back out of Reed‘s tours either as members of Mötley Crüe, Venom, Accept and more also dropped off. One of Reed‘s overseas tours left Zakk Wylde, Rob Zombie bassist Blasko, former Shinedown guitarist Jasin Todd and Shadows Fall‘s Matt Bachand struggling to get paid with Bachand claiming to have never received the $17,000 he was owed for his involvement.
Reed‘s deception apparently also led to an attempt on his life as promoters with ties to South American drug cartels began to seek revenge. He also didn’t only target established rock stars either as one woman claims he had promised to help his daughter break into the industry, only to then milk her for her live savings. The FBI eventually caught up with Reed and arrested him with 23 victims claiming combined losses of $1.7 million to Reed‘s shady dealings.
He has since pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud and is serving a 57-month prison sentence. It’s a pretty wild read, you can indulge in the full tale over at Rollingstone.com.