Tribute to Metal Star Coach
On December 7th we lost the pioneering vocal coach Elizabeth Sabine aged 93, known as ‘The Queen of Scream’ by her rock star clients. She advocated ‘primal sounds’ for healthy vocal function, teaching rockers how to cry like babies! Jaime Vendera was one of her most loyal students and we asked him to share this special tribute.
Every so often in one’s lifetime, a person comes along that leaves such an impact that it changes the course of your life. Liz was one of the few vocal coaches who instinctively knew that the primal sounds of rock singers could be accomplished without damage, knowing such singers could perform night after night with great technique without hurting their voice. Luckily, Elizabeth was in the right time and place to save the voices of the rock voices of the 1980s.
We became friends and she eventually adopted me as her vocal coaching protégé. When she went into vocal coaching mode she asked me to repeat the following words, crying loud with passion: “Gotta Be, Gotta Be, I’d Die, I’d Die, Go Away, Go Away.” She was always elated to hear my voice, knowing I’d retained my birth-right to release my voice without inhibition.
Unfortunately, Liz’s career was just starting to wind down as her energy slowly slipping away from the aches and pains that plagued her body. Her book was out of print and it saddened her. One night as we chatted, she said, “Jaime, I really wish my legacy could carry on.” Those words broke my heart and I vowed to re-release her book.
She made an impact on my life so deeply that it changed who I am forever. I took on the project of revising and re-releasing her book with the help of one of her students and closest friends, Anne Loader McGee. It was a long arduous process but eventually ‘Strengthening Your Singing Voice’ was released through Vendera Publishing. I was thrilled and wanted more for Liz… and so we created more… I took every cassette and video and created her an entire product line of digital downloads. Liz couldn’t believe what I had done for her but you see, I was only repaying this amazing woman for the changes she’d made in my life.
Elizabeth Sabine turned me into a vocal coach, a publisher and even a world record holder. (Of course, that credit is equally divided with my other vocal coach, Jim Gillette.) Liz gave me the final push to make my dream of shattering a glass by my voice a reality. I tried for months, but I just couldn’t make it happen. So I called Liz. As usual we went through our primal cries and sounds and not a day later I shattered my first glass.
She taught countless rock stars and actors and since her passing I’ve seen many kind words about her from Michael Sweet of Stryper, Brian Howe of Bad Company and Jizzy Pearl of Love/Hate. I wish we’d met years earlier so I could’ve shared the stage and travelled the world with her.