Paul Dedrick Gray (April 8, 1972 - May 24, 2010), also known as The Pig or by his number #2, was an American musician, best known as the bassist and one of the founding members of the Grammy Award-winning metal band Slipknot.
Early life and career:
Gray was born in Los Angeles, California. Later his family relocated to Des Moines, Iowa. In his youth, Gray performed in bands such as Anal Blast, Vexx, Body Pit, The Have Nots and Inveigh Catharsis.
In June 2003, Gray crashed his car into another vehicle. After police were called to the scene and searched his car, Gray was arrested for possession of marijuana, cocaine and drug paraphernalia, as well as failure to obey a traffic signal.
At the time of his death, he was one of three original members of Slipknot remaining in the band, and the only one who had maintained his original role in the band due to Clown's switch from main drums to custom percussion during the early days. He was one of the two members not born in Iowa (the other is Jim Root, who was born in Las Vegas). In 2010 Slipknot released the Download 2009 performance on DVD in memory of Gray.
Besides Slipknot, Gray filled in as bassist for Unida during their 2003 tour, appeared on Drop Dead, Gorgeous' Worse Than a Fairy Tale, toured briefly with Reggie and the Full Effect and appeared on the Roadrunner United project, performing bass on "The Enemy" and "Baptized in the Redemption" from the project's album The All-Star Sessions.
An award was named after Paul titled "Paul Gray: Best Bassist of the Year", as a tribute to Paul. Slipknot presented the award to Nikki Sixx, of Sixx A.M. and Mötley Crüe.
On May 24, 2010, The Des Moines Register reported that Gray had been found dead in room 431 at the TownePlace Suites Hotel in Johnston, Iowa at about 10:50 a.m. local time. In a 911-call, obtained by TMZ, one of the hotel's proprietors said that a hypodermic needle was found next to Gray's bed, as well as many pills that were apparently scattered across the room. An initial autopsy determined that no foul play or trauma was involved, but could not establish the cause of death. He is survived by his wife Brenna and their daughter October, who was born after his death.
On June 21, 2010, autopsy results were released that stated Gray had died of an overdose of morphine, and had also shown signs of "significant heart disease".
On the day after Gray's death, May 25, 2010, the band, without their usual masks, held a formal press conference in Des Moines, Iowa. They did not take any questions from the media. The band, as well as Gray's brother, Tony, and wife, Brenna, paid tribute to him.
"He was kind of the person in the band that really wanted everybody in the band to always get along and just concentrate on the band. He was a really great friend and just a great person. He's going to be sadly missed, and the world is going to be a different place without him."
A private funeral was held on May 28, 2010. Paul Gray is buried at the Highland Memory Gardens Cemetery in Iowa. On November 8, 2010, items that decorated Gray's grave, including a Buddha statue and gargoyle statue, were stolen. The band responded to this event with a post on their MySpace and Facebook page, asking the robbers to return the stolen items and appealing for information from the public.
On July 30, Paul Gray was posthumously awarded the Kerrang! "Services to Metal" award; it was collected by his Slipknot bandmate Corey Taylor on his behalf.
Slipknot's former guitarist Donnie Steele filled in on bass guitar for Gray on Slipknot's 2011 Summer tour. Slipknot shows during this time featured Paul's jumpsuit and Self-Titled era pig mask on a stand, along with a bass guitar standing next to it. Fans honoured Gray with a two minute silence during the band's headline set at Sonisphere Festival, Knebworth.
Corey Taylor also got a tattoo of Paul and his number on the back of his right leg.
Trial against physician:
In September 2012, Gray's physician Daniel Baldi was charged with involuntary manslaughter relating to Gray's death, as well as the deaths of at least seven others. He was accused of continually writing high-dose prescription narcotics to Gray, despite his being a known drug addict from December 27, 2005 until his death. The doctor appeared in court on September 27, 2012 to face the charges, to which he pleaded not guilty. On May 1, 2014, jurors found Daniel Baldi not guilty on all seven counts of involuntary manslaughter following two days of deliberation. Gray's wife Brenna had testified during the two-week-long trial that Baldi prescribed the anti-anxiety drug Xanax to her husband, despite knowing he was addicted to the prescription medicine.
Text from this biography licensed under creative commons license