Aleister Wild guitarist Terry Span in coma after altercation with bassist Michael Sorden

Update 10/21/11: More troubling news today out of the Springs. There's been several reports filtering in last night and this afternoon that Aliester Wild guitarist Terry Span has passed away. We'll post more details as they become available.

Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

Original item (10/12/11): There's some troubling news coming out of the Springs this afternoon: A dust-up between some musicians over the weekend reportedly left one man, Terry Span, in a coma and another, Michael Sorden, in police custody. According to the Colorado Springs Police Department blotter and a report filed by the Colorado Springs Gazette this afternoon, the incident happened around 1:48 a.m. on October 8 outside of the Union Station Lounge, at 2419 North Union Boulevard, where the two men had just finished performing with their band, Aleister Wild, for Military Appreciation Night. According to an account that the band's latest frontman, Ernest Munoz, gave the Gazette, the conflict started when he declined to help Sorden load his equipment. "I told him 'Forget you' and he came at me, but I thought he was just going to yell in my face," Munoz told the Gazette. "And he just swung and punched me so hard that I fell to the ground."

At that point, Munoz recalls, Span tried to intervene -- and that's when he was allegedly struck by Sorden. The blow sent Span to the ground, and he was later transported to Memorial Hospital, where he remains. The 39-year-old Sorden was arrested at his home on suspicion of second-degree assault.

Span, who graduated from McKinley High School in Canton, Ohio, in 1982, formed Aliester Wild in his native Ohio in 1990. He went on to release a pair of albums (Autumn's Wrath, in 1997, and Child's Play, in 2001) and toured with several different lineups of the metal band -- including one that evidently featured Kelle Rhoads, brother of the late, legendary axman Randy Rhoads, on keyboards, and Kelly Garni of Quiet Riot fame on bass -- before eventually moving to Colorado and re-forming the outfit with new members, including Munoz and Sorden. Span, a guitarist endorsed at one point by Dean Guitars, has embarked on at least seven overseas USO tours with different iterations of the group and done a great deal of work with veterans through his company, American Warriors Association.

According to the Gazette, Sorden was reportedly already on parole after being convicted on a charge of felony menacing in 2000, stemming from an incident involving him and another driver in Glenwood Canyon. Sorden is currently being held at the El Paso County jail without bail.

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.