Earl Root memorial show and auction this Saturday
Photos courtesy of Nancy Root
With Northeast's Art-A-Whirl and the resurrection of the Lyn-Lake Street Festival in Minneapolis winding down Sunday night, the band Chooglin' took the stage at Sauce Soundbar to cap off what many considered the 'first weekend of summer' in the Twin Cities.
Before a packed house of stumbling Uptowners, the band delayed their usual set of tanker-fueled boogie rock with a soft tribute to singer Ronnie James Dio, who had the internets ablaze with the news of his long battle with stomach cancer coming to a sobering end. Long credited as the founder of metal's iconic "devil horns" and a real pioneer of the form, Mr. Dio did not go down quietly as the stories and celebration of his music, genuine character, and elvin stature comforted mournful fans across the globe.
But as metal fans contemplated the passing of another great one, Nancy Root is gearing up for her own tribute and memorial to our own best loved local soldier of metal, her late husband, Earl who also fell to the disease only 2 years ago. With the help of fans and friends, Nancy will be continuing the fight in Earl's honor as she peddles around Lake Tahoe for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Team in Training 100 mile marathon.
As master of all trades in metal, Earl was a shining example of musician, DJ, record store, and label owner, father and husband, and all around friend to the thousands of people he kept awake every week on his notorious "Root of All Evil" radio show for 21 years. Still on the air after his passing, the "Root of All Evil" not only ignited the Twin Cities metal scene in the '80s, but lays claim to being the longest running metal music program in the world.
With an infectious amount of enthusiasm for music in general, Earl Root "had no prejudices about anyone," Nancy says. "He could talk music of any kind with anyone." It was with that enthusiasm, and not to mention one of the most massive music collections in the Midwest, that he ran his own record store, Root Cellar Records where Earl held court.
Though she stays private and tries to maintain a life of her own, Nancy stays in touch with fans and proudly takes on the family business, still selling records online and maintaining the vast collection of records, collectibles, and "other sundries" that Earl left behind, much of which will be on display and up for auction at the yearly benefit memorial that is happening again this weekend at Station 4.
Representing the life and personality of someone large as Earl's isn't easy. But Nancy enjoys the spirit that carries on and speaks with joy when reflecting on the life they had together. "We met in our early 20s, so really kind of grew up together," she says.
Always in touch with his inner child, Earl was more than the just the sword lord of the radio; he was a cat person, loved Disneyworld, had a secret collection of Beanie Babies and was a master of amusement park games. "He could get 3-4 stuffed animals at a time in those claw machines for me," Nancy adds.
But musical mayhem will reign supreme Saturday. Rolling out the noise in support of Nancy's cause are the heaviest hitters from the Twin Cities metal community including Ripsnorter, Demonicon, Cold Colours the legendary Impaler and Earl's former band, God Awful headlining and playing their final performance.
Up for auction will be some of Earl's guitars, music, collectibles and most importantly, his skull collection. Naturally, Nancy has designed a special skull pin to pay tribute to Earl that can be bought online for those who want to show support.
"We all know Earl will be watching," she says. Watching proudly no doubt with his hero, Ronnie James Dio, atop the silver mountain in the sky.
For more information about this weekend's tribute, Nancy's fundraiser and the Root of All Evil check out their website, RootofAllEvil.com.
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