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James Duke Fang-Begley LEAVES THE SQUADRON!

Enemies, comrades, vampires, revenants, ghouls, denizens of the Subterranean Reich. On this unholiest of nights, the very NIGHT OF THE DEAD I must relay a grievous and sorrowful message from OBERKOMMANDO.

Tragically, and against all of our wishes, our great captain JAMES DUKE FANG-BEGLEY has opted to consign himself to eternal torture in our infamous torture chamber THE FIERY PIT, home of such SQUADRON heroes and villains as SIR GRAVEGHOUL TERRORSOUND and ZABULON - thus LEAVING THE SQUADRON.

It has been traditional at times in THE SQUADRON to ROAST departing members. Due to JAMES DUKE FANG-BEGLEY's supreme importance in our ungodly history we have waived that right and choose to PAY TRIBUTE to him instead (we will literally roast him later of course, don't worry).

JAMES DUKE FANG-BEGLEY was one of the founding members of STUKA SQUADRON with LORD PYRE. Without him THE METAL WAR could never have commenced. We salute his constant enthusiasm, and his relentless creativity. We salute his entirely unique voice, for his is a range that within THE SQUADRON has encompassed everything from the deathliest of growls to soaring opera. This, we believe, cannot be replicated. We salute his giant stage presence. We salute his affability. We salute his sense of fun. We salute his sense of humour. We salute his commitment, his perfectionism and his constant humility, as well as his patience and consideration when dealing with fans, journalists and supporters. We salute his infamous double act with LORD PYRE in interviews. We salute his many efforts to promote the band. All of these things we mourn and will miss.

We will also miss the DUKE FANG moments that only he could bring. ODIN forgetting his eye patch and running back offstage. ODIN (again) appearing onstage inadvertently topless after running round the venue due to a locked stage door. DUKE FANG suffering a groinal wardrobe malfunction shortly before supporting EVILE at THE GARAGE and running out of the venue, only to walk straight into a SQUADRON fan whose trousers graced his undead legs for years afterwards. DUKE FANG pulling a tap from the wall in the 'WE DRINK BLOOD' video. DUKE FANG burning his own shirt in the 'WE DRINK BLOOD' video. DUKE FANG dislocating his shoulder while walking to the cash point, then escaping from the hospital. DUKE FANG suddenly rugby tackling guitarists during tricky moments ... The list goes on and on, but is tempered by his HEROISM and GLORY. Who could also forget DUKE FANG running along and singing from the bar at SCRUFFY MURPHY's as microphone stands and semi conscious women flew across the stage ...

JAMES DUKE FANG-BEGLEY has given a few reasons for his departure. He has said that he is disappointed by his relative lack of creative input. This part we deny. His creative input has always been immense. We point to his great contributions on ALL THREE of our NEW WEAPONS (one of which, THE WEEPER accompanies this broadcast). If he feels overlooked then we apologise, but we further hope that when he reflects he will instead be rightly proud of his achievements. He has said that he wants to spend more time with his beautiful family. It would be crass of us to tell him that this is wrong.

In terms of whether there is bad feeling between JAMES DUKE FANG-BEGLEY and STUKA SQUADRON, let us put this into perspective. THE SQUADRON has always been just that - a SQUADRON with many members and contributors. We believe that JAMES DUKE FANG-BEGLEY was in the process of creating some of his best work, and we hope that he still wishes to contribute that to the album which is currently under construction in our underground laboratory. LORD PYRE has offered his bass to any future DUKE FANG project. Basically we wish him as well as you can wish another vampire you are obliged to start torturing shortly.

Naturally to lose a great talent like JAMES DUKE FANG-BEGLEY is a terrible blow, but if the heart is no longer there, then it is time to move on ... until the next time of course! See for reference the revolving door we installed in the FIERY PIT for SIR GRAVEGHOUL TERRORSOUND.

THE SQUADRON will continue when LORD PYRE finally escapes from another of his Arabian missions. In meantime we plan to release a VIDEO and another SONG showcasing the last of JAMES DUKE FANG-BEGLEY's work ... for the moment ... WATCH THIS SPACE!


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