Last year, Jonathan Athon—known simply as Athon to the many, many people who knew and loved him—passed away at the age of 32 following a motorcycle accident. His girlfriend, Emily, survived with serious injuries, and is still recovering from the crash. Losing Athon was a massive, massive blow to the many communities who lay claim to him—to the heavy metal fans he'd gleefully bulldozed with basslines as part of Black Tusk, to the bands he toured with, to the far-flung friends he loved, laughed, grilled, and drank with, to the old friends and family he grew up alongside in his beloved hometown of Savannah, GA, and to the scores of hearts and eardrums all over the damn globe he'd touched with a weathered hand, a thunderous note, or a cheeky grin. He is missed terribly.
To pay tribute to Athon's memory and also lend a hand to the woman he loved dearly, Milwaukee-based writer, editor, and heavy metal fan Paul Gleason came up with the idea for an ebook. This Time Is Divine: A Tribute To Black Tusk's Jonathan Athon features writings and memories from a variety of Athon's friends, including Baroness' John Baizely, Kylesa's Philip Cope, Red Fang's Aaron Beam, tattoo artist Chris Parry, Jam Room recording engineer Jay Matheson, and more. I was asked to participate, and contributed my own eulogy for my dear friend, which ran on Noisey during my first week as a new editor.
The book is currently available for purchase here.
It costs ten bucks, and every cent of the profits go towards Emily's ongoing medical expenses. To those who wish to donate to the Memorial Fund set up by the band to benefit Emily and Athon's family, donations can be made at AthonFund@gmail.com.
As for his brothers in Black Tusk, Andrew and James decided to forge ahead with longtime friend Corey Barhorst filling in on bass for the band's upcoming European tour supporting Black Label Society. Look for their upcoming new album—the last to feature Athon's signature rumbling bass—via Relapse Records later this year.
BLACK TUSK European Tour:
Feb 11 Glasgow, UK 02 ABC
Feb 12 Birmingham, UK The Institute
Feb 13 London, UK Roundhouse
Feb 14 Bristol, UK Bristol 02 Academy
Feb 15 Leeds, UK Leeds 02 Academy
Feb 17 Norwich, UK Norwich UEA
Feb 18 Nottingham, UK Rock City
Feb 19 Manchester, UK Manchester Academy
Feb 21 Amsterdam, NL Melkweg
Feb 22 Brussels, BE Ancienne Belgique
Feb 24 Frankfurt, DE Batschkapp
Feb 25 Dortmund, DE FZW Freizeitzentrum West
Feb 26 Paris, FR Le Bataclan
Feb 27 Strasbourg, FR La Laitere
Mar 01 Aarhus, DK Train
Mar 03 Oslo, NO Rockefeller Music Hall
Mar 05 Stockholm, SE Close Up Baten (Crusie)
Mar 06 Helsinki, FI Nosturl
Mar 08 Tallinn, EE Rock Cafe
Mar 09 Vilnius, LT Forum Palace
Mar 11 Gdansk, PL B90
Mar 12 Krakow, PL Studio
Mar 14 Pratteln, CH Z7
Mar 15 Lausanne, CH Les Docks
Kim Kelly is lucky to have called Athon a friend. She's on Twitter - @grimkim.