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Godsmack bassist visits Tornado practice

October 22, 2010

Godsmack founder and bassist Robbie Merrill was in town for a show on Friday night at the Verizon Theatre in Dallas. 

But, first thing’s first: time to get in some quality practice time with the Texas Tornado. 

So, on Thursday, Merrill called up his friend, Tornado head coach Tony Curtale, and wanted to see if the team needed one more skater at practice.

"Of course I obliged," said Curtale.  "Robbie is a great guy, a very talented musician who just happened to grow up playing hockey.  Every time the band gets to Dallas, we try and make it happen where he can come out and skate with us."

Merrill grew up in Lawrence, Mass., playing hockey. As a matter of fact, he started playing hockey before he started playing bass.

"I have a love for the game, so it's great to get out and play when I can," said Merrill.  "I always enjoy coming out and practicing with the Tornado before a show.  It's a nice break." 

Merrill was put through some drills with the rest of the players and even tried his hand at coaching. 

"I help out with a high school team back home, but these guys are on an entirely different level.  They are a very impressive group of players; the talent is awesome, really."

Merrill ended up winning the team helmet in a shootout competition at the end of practice and then posed for some pictures with the players. 

"It's a neat experience for our guys each time Robbie comes out," said Curtale.  "Most of the players really enjoy Godsmack's music, so to see one of the guys that helped found the band and is the heart-and-soul of the group is a pretty cool experience."

Godsmack has had three consecutive number one albums on The Billboard 200.  The band also has parked a ratified 19 top-10 rock radio hits, including 15 songs in the top 5.  Its latest album, “The Oracle,” was released earlier this year and is its fifth straight full-length studio album to debut at No. 1 with 117,000 sold in the first week of release.

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