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King Diamond split with bassist Patino

Frontman says Hal was fired - but he insists he quit

King Diamond have split with bassist Hal Patino for the second and apparently final time – with the parties disagreeing over whether he was sacked or quit.

Frontman Diamond announced yesterday that Patino had been dismissed "for reasons very similar to why he was fired in 1990," adding: "This will have no negative impact on our upcoming shows. On the contrary."

But Patino has bitten back in a longer statement, saying he resigned on Thursday after losing patience over a number of restrictions that had been placed on him in recent months.

He reports: "The salary I was offered to headline Wacken Open Air and the four other shows this summer was totally ridiculous. I wrote an email explaining my view, along with a proposal for a realistic salary. For this, they accused me of 'blackmailing.'

"I found it disrespectful, and told them if that's how I get treated after 19 years, we part immediately. I left the band by my own choice."

The bassist lists some of the other reasons for his decision as rules being imposed on what we wore on stage and how he played, adding that there were "bad vibes" over his involvement with his son Maryann Cotton's band.

He continues: "It's typical King to say that I'm fired. He did same to me in 1990 when he told the press I was kicked out due to lack of enthusiasm and drug problems. That was not the reason – it was too much touring, King got dropped and I wanted to go in another direction. He did the same to my best friends Mikkey Dee and Pete Blakk."

Patino intends to focus on Nordic Beast alongside Motorhead drummer Dee and former Europe guitarist John Norum, work with ex Alice Cooper axeman Dick Wagner, and he's also planning a solo project.

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