John Patrick McDonald Jr. aka Midnight (formerly of Crimson Glory) Has Died (1962-2009)

On July 8th 2009 the Metal Legions learned about the passing of Midnight aka John Patrick McDonald Jr. from liver and kidney failure – the singer was 47 years old.  From 1986 through 1991, Midnight was the lead singer for the Progressive Metal powerhouse Crimson Glory and while a member of the band he was always a dramatic and enigmatic presence on top of an incredibly powerful vocalist.  During the bands early years, he and his band mates wore unique silver face masks that made them look like some kind of mystical Phantom Of The Opera kind of group.  Together with Crimson Glory, Midnight recorded the self-titled debut Crimson Glory, Transcendence, and Strange & Beautiful, the latter release finding the band unmasked and delivering a very different kind of Metal than they first came out gunning with.  The album would be the last one featuring Midnight on vocals and he would be replaced by Wade Black who did their Astronomica CD and got the band back into the business of Progressive Metal.   Midnight would appear with his former band at a Festival in 2004 for a brief acoustic set, and while plans for a larger scale reunion were planned – outside of one show in Greece in 2006 this would not take and he would again be gone from the lineup in 2007 never to return.  This was a shame since many fans were looking forward to this potentially happening.

As a band they always seemed to intrigue me and in my later life as a freelance music photographer I had hoped that the reunion train would somehow manage to roll since I felt that a show with all the stops pulled out would have been a glorious thing for the younger generation of Metal fans to enjoy.   I remembered that I played the Transcendence cassette tape again and again until I finally found it on CD.   Owning the tape was normal since these were the days when you either had the records or the tapes more than the eventual stack of CD’s.  I can safely say that this album has remained one of my very favorites out of all of the Progressive Metal releases I would own.  My favorite songs were “Lonely”, “Painted Skies”, “Red Sharks”, and “Masque Of The Red Death”.  Each of them were thrill rides of music based on the powerhouse vocals that Midnight delivered and the great guitars and drums.  Back in the day when they were masked enigmas, I can proudly exclaim to the world that I saw them in action on the stage of the original L’Amour club in Brooklyn.   They were fantastic and very, very entertaining.  Interestingly enough they were not even headlining, but were instead opening up for Japan’s E-Z-O.  Their set featured almost every number from Transcendence since that was the recording being toured for at the time.  I was never sure if they returned to the club after this particular show and if they did I was not present for it.  All I know is that I enjoyed what they were delivering and I loved the sense of difference in the presentation.

Thanks to the efforts of the people over at Metal Mind Productions who delivered remastered editions of the bands full catalog, was able to review all four Crimson Glory CD’s.  Should you want to learn our thoughts about any of them please click this LINK to do so.   As is our usual course of action, there is a means to purchase the music being reviewed via an embedded link.  We hope that you do so because there was a lot of great Metal being delivered on them from a band that really should have found much more than the underground notoriety that helped to sustain them.

The video above delivers Crimson Glory in their full regalia delivering “Lonely” from the album Transcendence.  It’s a great way to remember the mystical and interesting lead singer and a band that was on fire at the time.  On behalf of we wish the family and friends of Midnight the most heartfelt of condolences and hope that the singer now rocks the halls of Valhalla with a thunderous fire with other Metal legends that we have lost over the years.  Rest in Peace Midnight, you shall be very dearly missed by Metal music.  Thank you for your contributions.

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2 thoughts on “John Patrick McDonald Jr. aka Midnight (formerly of Crimson Glory) Has Died (1962-2009)”

  1. My old band “Eleventh Hour” opened for Crimson Glory in 1992 in NYC while they were promoting “Strange & Beautiful”. Midnight missed the soundcheck and showed up 10min before they went on. I asked guitarist Jon Drenning after the show what happened and he told me ‘Midnight’ had a lot of substance abuse problems. Which I assume eventually led to his firing from ‘Crimson Glory’ a month later. He was a heavy, heavy drinker – which in the end is probably what attributed to his liver failure.

    The last footage I saw of him, he was living in a run down one bedroom house in Florida, basically broke. He was trying to make money by selling his oil paintings and an upcoming CD of acoustic songs.

    A shame really as he had one hellava voice.

  2. If you were a teenager growing up during the 80’s and early 90’s and listened to rock n roll music at some point you would have come in contact with Crimson Glory.I first heard them from a friend of mine who had their cassette .I am now 41 still listening to that era to hear of Midnight’s passing is sad news my thought and prayers go out to his family.
    Chris Wiles.

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