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Golden Gods Awards and Epiphone Aid West Memphis Three Fund

Revolver magazine’s Golden Gods Awards and Ephiphone guitars have donated two guitars, signed by winners, performers and presenters at the April 8 event in Los Angeles, which will be auctioned to benefit the West Memphis Three Defense Fund. The WM3 are Jason Baldwin, Jessie Misskelley and Damien Echols, a trio of Arkansas young men who were arrested in June 1993 and ultimately convicted of murdering three elementary school boys. The case has drawn much criticism for sloppy police work, unfounded accusations of Satanism and a vast majority of people believe that the young men were wrongfully convicted in 1994. Baldwin and Misskelley are serving life sentences while Echols is on death row.

DNA tests, which was not available at the time of the initial trials, were conducted in July 2007 and the results proved the three should never have been convicted of these heinous crimes of torturing and mutilating the three boys.

One of the donated guitars is a Zakk Wylde Graveyard Disciple, designed by the Black Label Society frontman and former Ozzy Osbourne guitarist, who was awarded the Best Guitarist Award at the 2010 Golden Gods. The axe is a beauty, thanks to a coffin-shaped body, mother-of-pearl ‘cross’ inlays on the headstock, block fingerboard position markers, contoured double pin-stripe edges, ebony finish, and black hardware. Signatures on the Graveyard Disciple include those of Jerry Cantrell of Alice in Chains, Kerry King of Slayer, Scott Ian of Anthrax, Zakk Wylde, and Chuck Billy and Eric Peterson of Testament, further increasing its value for some lucky metal fan.

The other is a Les Paul Prophecy Custom, features the signatures of Slash, Jerry Cantrell of Alice in Chains, Kerry King of Slayer, Scott Ian of Anthrax, Zakk Wylde, Chuck Billy and Eric Peterson of Testament, and Ben Weinman of the Dillinger Escape Plan.

Starting bids have been set to $999. The auction will last for 17 days-from May 24 to June 10 — one day for each year the West Memphis Three have spent behind bars. June 3, 2010, will mark the 17th anniversary of when Echols, Misskelley and Baldwin were placed behind bars for a crime they did not commit.

All auction proceeds go to the WM3 defense fund via ATA, a tax exempt 501(c)(3) organization.

Be sure and check out the Golden Gods issue of Revolver, the world’s loudest rock magazine, out May 11. The issue includes an exclusive interview with Echols, as well as excerpts from Marilyn Manson‘s speech on his behalf at the awards show. Also, the excerpted Golden Gods telecast will air on VH1 Classic on May 22.

Revolver editor-in-chief Brand Geist told Noisecreep, “For me personally, the most satisfying thing about throwing the 2010 Revolver Golden Gods was working with the West Memphis Three organization. Growing up as a longhaired, black-wearing nerdy outsider in small town Pennsylvania, the story of the WM3 deeply resonated with me when I first heard it as a teenager.

“I’ve followed the case since then and only become more outraged. But I never imagined that one day I would be talking on the phone regularly with Damien Echol’s wife Lorri, or helping to get Slash, Jerry Cantrell, Zakk Wylde and others to sign guitars to raise money for the WM3 defense fund, as well as Marilyn Manson to speak publicly on behalf of the WM3 for the first time. And I definitely never imagined that one day I would walk to my office mailbox and find a handwritten letter from Damien-which is how he answered the questions I had sent to him via Lorri for the interview in the new issue of Revolver.”

Holding that letter in his hands really made an impact on the editor. He said, “It made Damien and his horrific, mind-boggling plight-which was almost a mythic story to me-all too real, and made it all the more clear how important the work we were doing to get him, Jason and Jessie finally freed, really is. So please join us and do what you can, if it’s bidding on the signed guitars, buying a T-shirt from WM3.org, or simply spreading the word.”

For info on how to register and bid on these guitars, please log on to www.skeletonkeyauctions.com.

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