Lars Ulrich, Dave Mustaine + Rock Community Mourn Death of ‘Metal Legend’ Bob Nalbandian
The rock world is mourning the death of journalist, documentarian and metalhead Bob Nalbandian. Blabbermouth reported that Nalbandian was recently diagnosed with mantle cell lymphoma and passed away on Dec. 30, 2022, in Redding, California.
Nalbandian was known and loved for many things, but more than anything else, he was a genuine fan of heavy metal and dedicated his life to telling the stories of the community. As the director and co-producer of the documentary series Inside Metal, Nalbandian unpacked the histories of different metal scenes, from hard rock and metal in Los Angeles to the godfathers of thrash in the San Francisco area.
Watch Official Trailer For Inside Metal: Bay Area Godfathers
In addition to Inside Metal, Nalbandian created and hosted two podcasts, The Shockwaves Skullsessions Podcast and Shockwaves/HardRadio Podcast.
"Bob Nalbandian started in the music and entertainment business at age 17 as the publisher/editor in chief of the seminal heavy metal fanzine The Headbanger in April of 1982, a nationally distributed zine which featured the very first profiles of then-unsigned L.A. bands Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth and Armored Saint," his LinkedIn bio reads. "Throughout the '80s and '90s, Nalbandian was also a contributing editor to several well-known music mags including Metal Rendezvous, Creem, Music Connection, Hit Parader, BAM [and] Foundations, as well as associate editor for men's magazines Platinum and Men's Perspective."
Lars Ulrich shared his sympathies and deep respect on social media. "Bob, thank you for your contributions to the hard rock and metal community. For over 40 years your spirit, passion and dedication to this music and everything it represents has been unparalleled and inspiring."
Author and Metallica biographer Mark Eglinton mourned the news of Nalbandian's passing, as well. "Bob helped me with many things over the years, especially my Metallica book years ago—a subject he was highly qualified to assist with."
"Sad news today, my friend Bob Nalbandian, the metal legend who helped me find Marty Friedman, has passed away," Dave Mustaine wrote on Twitter. "We will miss you terribly, Bob."
Quoting Mustaine's tweet, Marty Friedman shared, "Bob introduced me to Megadeth, and for that I'll always be grateful. He also did similar deeds for countless others, as he was a walking encyclopedia of metal, and a trusted confidant to all."
Author and historian Greg Renoff acknowledged Nalbandian's influence on his own work. "Bob accomplished so much during his too-short life, but his SHOCKWAVES/SESSIONS pod episodes on the '70s L.A. rock/metal scene deeply informed my understanding of the era."
Nalbandian was in the crowd at Metallica's first-ever shows, witnessing the future of metal. In recent years, he celebrated Record Store Day with Jonny Z, James Hetfield and the Metallica Family in 2016 and joined thousands of fans for Metallica's 40th-anniversary celebrations in San Francisco in 2018.
Today, his work remains on most streaming services; fans can even download The Headbanger via Amazon Kindle. May we all continue to enjoy, learn from and celebrate the life and legacy of Bob Nalbandian.