News Segment


March 20, 2007

Original SHOK PARIS drummer Bill Sabo suffered heart failure and passed away on March 16. Sabo was 46 years old and is survived by wife Erica (39) and sons Drew (19) and Cameron (7). A memorial service will be held Saturday, March 31 at United Methodist Church in Cleveland, Ohio at 2 p.m.

Sabo, along with guitarist and cousin Eric Marderwald, guitarist Ken Erb and bassist Kel Berkshire, formed SHOK PARIS — a band that would later become one of the most popular Cleveland metal bands of the 1980s. He also coined the band’s unique name. He described their sound at the time as an “interesting mix of strong, hard-driving energy with the gracefulness of Paris, France.”

Sabo played on SHOK PARIS’ first recording, “Go Down Fighting”, a track that appeared on the 1983 “Cleveland Metal” compilation album. The song instantly became a regional hit, placing SHOK PARIS at the forefront of the fledging ’80s Cleveland metal scene. Overnight the band became a headlining act after having only played a small handful of shows. Sabo also played on the band’s debut album, “Go For The Throat”, released in 1984 on Auburn Records, co-writing all of the songs on the record. He left the group before the recording of the next album with Auburn, “Steel And Starlight”, to pursue other musical interests. SHOK PARIS were later signed to I.R.S./ MCA Records and went on to record another album (“Concrete Killers”) and tour with SAVATAGE and LIZZY BORDEN before disbanding in 1989. The band reformed in 2004 to play the Bang Your Head festival in Germany and the Auburn Records 20th anniversary show in Cleveland.

“In the beginning, Bill was the fabric that held SHOK PARIS together”, says former SHOK PARIS and current AFTERSHOK lead vocalist Vic Hix. “He was one of the best pure drummers I have ever worked with and was a good song writer to boot. I personally miss him. Our thoughts are now with his family.” Click here for Hix’s full statement.

Reflects BREAKER guitarist Michael Klein: “Eric (Marderwald), Bill, a couple of other friends and myself started out together in the basement of Eric’s parents house while still in high school. I still have cassettes with countless renditions of ‘Starbreaker’ by JUDAS PRIEST…pretty funny stuff. After a few years under the name QUASIMODO, several parties, and countless gallons of beers and laughs, we eventually set upon our respective paths, which for me ultimately led to BREAKER and for Eric and Bill to SHOK PARIS. Whenever I think of the basement days Bill comes to mind. Rest in peace friend, my life is richer for having known you.” Click here for Klein’s full statement.

“We are all deeply saddened by this tragic event”, says Auburn president Bill Peters. “Bill was a very well-respected member of the Cleveland metal community and an absolute pleasure for me to work with in the early years of SHOK PARIS. He will be missed.”

Courtesy of