Michelle Meldrum, who died on 21 May, 2008, after three days in a coma, was the lead guitarist with the all-girl hard rock outfit Phantom Blue and then her own band, Meldrum. Phantom Blue emerged in the late 1980s, recorded three albums and toured the world before Michelle left in 1994. She formed Meldrum in the late 1990s and they played with Motörhead, Black Label Society, Sepultura, Danzig and Nashville Pussy. Despite attempts by record companies to turn her into a sex symbol, she remained true to her original musical ambitions and shunned the mainstream with an aggressive and forthright style. She was married to Europe guitarist John Norum and they had a three-year-old son, Jake. Michelle Meldrum was born on 28 September, 1968, in Detroit. Many members of her family were musicians and entertainers - her great uncle was the arts and crafts champion Elbert Hubbard - and she learned the guitar young. At 13 her family moved to LA and a few years later she formed her first thrash metal band with friend and drummer Gene Hoglan (who would go on to play with the metal outfit Strapping Young Lad). Wargod were featured on several rock compilations of the era. She then teamed up with Gigi Hangach, Nicole Couch, Kim Nielsen and Linda McDonald to form Phantom Blue in 1987. They were signed to Shrapnel Records, released their self-titled debut album in 1989 and had a minor hit with the single Why Call it Love? Despite promising early record sales and successful tours, Phantom Blue became an increasingly untenable operation due in part to tension between the members but mainly because of record company pressure. The label was keen to exploit the sex appeal of the five girls, so dressed them up in incongruous glam outfits and filmed them inside a male prison, much to the band's distaste. By the time they had found a more suitable record deal with Griffin Records to put out follow-up album Built to Perform, much of their momentum had been lost. The line-up became unstable and Meldrum jumped ship in 1994, shortly before the independent release of Prime Cuts & Glazed Donuts and the eventual collapse of the band. She married John Norum in 1995 and they moved to Sweden where Michelle began putting together the international line-up of Meldrum. With vocals by Moa Holmsten and an evolving rhythm section, Meldrum recorded Loaded Metal Cannon in 2000, though its release was delayed by a year. In 2005 they toured America and Europe supporting Motörhead, the highlight of their career thus far. The following year she was reunited with Gene Hoglan after a 10-year estrangement in time for him to join the band for their second album Blowin' Up The Machine (2007). Holmsten had recently been replaced by Australian singer Michele Madden (formerly of Tourettes) and the band had been working in the studio on new material when Meldrum was taken ill on 17 May. News of her coma quickly spread onto the internet and there were several rumours of her death before it was confirmed by the band.
Recogido en lastingtributeSegún informan varias agencias, murió el día 21 a primera hora de la noche (hora local) en el St. Joseph's Hospital en Burbank (Estados Unidos). La causa de la muerte según informa Blabbermouth.Net ha sido un crecimiento místico que restringió el flujo de sangre y oxigeno al cerebro, lo que provoco un infarto cerebral.
Michelle alcanzo reconocimiento internacional gracias a su banda Phantom Blue y un gran debut homónimo editado por Roadrunner/Shrapnel Records que les convirtió en la banda femenina de Heavy Metal del momento compitiendo directamente con el Hard Rock más comercial de Vixen. Tras ese éxito, Phantom Blue al igual que otras muchas formaciones de Heavy Metal, pegaron un bajón de popularidad pero Michelle continúo trabajando en el mundo de la música con bandas como Post Mortem, Wargod e incluso colaborando con su marido, el sueco John Norum (guitarrista de Europe) y con quien tiene un hijo de tres años, Jake Thomas.
Recogido en metaldreams
De momento, Europe ya ha suspendido un concierto de su gira, tal y como ponen en su página web:
We regret to inform that Europe is cancelling the appearance at the Kopevik Festival in Norway on the 31st May.
The reason is, John Norums wife, Michelle Meldrum has suddenly passed away.
The band sends their love and support to John, the couples son Jake and Michelle's family and friends.
Actualización (03/06/08): cancelación gira verano de Europe