Slipknot's Corey Taylor, Motörhead's Lemmy Kilmister and Ice-T are among the artists contributing to an album benefiting the convicted killers known as the West Memphis Three.
The as-yet-untitled LP is spearheaded by Henry Rollins and will feature guest vocalists singing tunes originally recorded by the hardcore veteran's previous band, Black Flag.
Taylor recorded a version of "Room 13," while Kilmister growls his way through "Thirsty and Miserable," according to a source close to the project. Furthering his fascination with the 5-0 that started with the controversial Body Count song "Cop Killer" and continues with his role on TV's "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit," Ice-T gives his version of "Police Story." Rollins himself revisits the Black Flag staple "My War."
The Rollins Band or Mother Superior, as the trio are known when not fronted by the thick-necked singer provides the backing music for the singers.
Marilyn Manson was expected to deliver a cover of "Six Pack," though it never materialized, according to the source, who added that Amen's Casey Chaos was then tapped to fill the void. However, a post on Mike Patton's Ipecac Recordings Web site claimed that the former Faith No More frontman recorded the same song, which was the title track of a 1981 Black Flag EP. Iggy Pop, Ween, Rancid and Hank Williams III were also listed as participants in the project.
Rollins' spokesperson could not clarify the situation at press time and said that a track list for the album had not been finalized.
The LP is slated for release in November on Rollins' 2.13.61 label. Proceeds from its sales will go toward the legal defense of Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley a.k.a. the West Memphis Three who were convicted of murdering three young boys in West Memphis, Arkansas, in 1993. Baldwin and Misskelly were sentenced to life, while Echols received the death penalty. All three were teenagers when they were tried in 1994.
Supporters of the West Memphis Three believe they were wrongly convicted. Two HBO documentaries, "Paradise Lost: The Child Murders At Robin Hood Hills" (1996) and "Paradise Lost 2: Revelations" (2000), chronicle the alleged injustices of their arrest and trial. Additional information on the prisoners, their trial and the efforts to help them is available at www.wm3.org.
In March, Rollins, X's Exene Cervenka (who's also expected to appear on the album with her band, the Original Sinners) and MC5 guitarist Wayne Kramer performed a benefit concert for the prisoners in Los Angeles.
This album is the second high-profile LP to raise money for the WM3 cause. Free the West Memphis 3: A Benefit for Truth & Justice, released in 2000, included tracks by Rocket From the Crypt, Joe Strummer, Tom Waits, Steve Earle, L7 and the Supersuckers, whose frontman, Eddie Spaghetti, was one of the project's organizers (see "Vedder, Supersuckers For West Memphis Three LP").
Joe D'Angelo, with additional reporting by Iann Robinson