Adrenaline Mob and Trans-Siberian Orchestra suffered a tragedy over the weekend when bassist David Z (nee Zabildowsky), who played in both bands, was killed Friday (July 14) after a tractor-trailer struck Adrenaline Mob’s RV in Micanopy, Fla.
The group was changing a flat tire on the vehicle on the side of Interstate 75 when the truck swerved and hit the RV and the attached trailer carrying Adrenaline Mob’s equipment. The RV caught fire that was extinguished by emergency first responders, while the other band members — Russell Allen, Jordan Cannata and Mike Orlando — and two crew members were in serious condition at nearby hospitals.
Zablidowsky and Cannata had just joined Adrenaline Mob during the past year, in time for its recently released third studio album We The People. Adrenaline Mob suffered another tragedy in 2015 when drummer AJ Pero died during a tour, while TSO is still reeling from the death of its founder and creative director Paul O’Neill earlier this year.
TSO issued a statement that, “We are terribly saddened with the passing of our talented friend, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Adrenaline Mob and ZO2 bass player, Dave Z (David Zablidowsky). Dave was so very special to our family and our thoughts and prayers go out to Dave’s family, and all those affected by Friday’ tragic accident.”
Each of the other band members issued social media statements on Sunday (July 16). Frontman Allen wrote, “Yesterday I was involved in an accident that took the life of my dear friend and band mate David Z Rock and left 3 of our crew in critical condition. I’m overwhelmed with sorrow. I am so grateful for the out pouring of love we have received from around the world. Please continue to pray for David’s family during this difficult time. And those in critical condition. I want to personally thank Marine Lance Cpl. Patrick Dumon for his bravery in assisting me pulling our Driver Jason from the wreckage and for attending to his wounds. And for helping me to secure and attend to Janet (Rains, tour manager) once I was able to get her free from the fire. Without his selfless act of courage I would not have been able to get them clear of the RV before it was engulfed in flames. On behalf of my band and crew I thank you.”
Guitarist Orlando added, “I cannot begin to thank you all for all the prayers & thoughts. I’m trying to process & deal with this, physically & mentally, so I’m sorry for being vague. We’ve literally experienced hell on earth…I’m absolutely broken, both physical & mental. I love you Dave, I will miss you more than words can say. You were one of the sweetest souls I’ve ever known.” while Cannat posted, “Hi everyone. I don’t even know where to begin so I will start by saying thank you for all of the love and support from everyone. We are all devastated and will need some time to physically and mentally cope but the outpouring of love has been nothing short of inspiring. David Z — I love you, I miss you, and send my heartfelt condolences to your family and friends. To the rest of my band mates and crew, I love you all. Please keep everyone involved in your thoughts and prayers. Thank you everyone. RIP David Z.”
Memorial plans for Zablidowsky are currently pending.
Gary Graff is an award-winning music journalist who not only covers music but has written books on Bob Seger, Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen.