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Classic Rock News And Views
March 17, 2011
Well, to be a little more forthcoming about it, this is news I did miss. I’ve been busy with a lot of other stuff for a while, but it’s time to get back on track. Here’s some of what’s been going on with classic rock recently.
Rush Tour and Studio Time in The Works
How could I not lead with my favorite Canadian rock trio? Rush is making news lately, starting with their plans to hit the road at the end of this month for a continuation of their Time Machine tour. Demand from fans for more live Rush seems to be fueling the group’s decision to devote their time to touring between March 30th, when they perform in Fort Lauderdale, FL until July 2nd where things wrap up (according to the schedule on Rush.com) in Seattle.
In addition to their touring activities, Lee, Lifeson and Peart plan to head into the studio in September. This news comes from an interview guitarist Alex Lifeson did with Gibson last month. Work will continue on their up-coming album Clockwork Angels, which has no solid release date but according to Lifeson, they hope to have it ready for release in time to coincide with a tour sometime in the spring of 2012.
Pink Floyd’s Barrett A Painter Before All Else
It may be surprising to hear that someone so well-known as a founder of the legendary Pink Floyd considered himself a painter first and a musician second. This revelation about Syd Barrett comes from Barrett’s sister Rosemary Breen, who reveals that Barrett seemed a bit baffled about his notoriety stemming from his work with Pink Floyd when compared with his work as a different kind of artist – a painter.
Almost a half-century later, it’s not hard to understand at all. Pink Floyd went on to be one of the most recognized names in rock, making music that stands alongside the myriad of other classic rock music that can still be heard on radio, television and countless iPods, cell phones and other pint-sized devices that deliver music to the ears of fans these days. As a Pink Floyd fan myself, I didn’t even know Barrett was a painter until today.
Perhaps Pink Floyd simply turned into something bigger than Syd Barrett ever dreamed possible at one time.
Ronnie Says He’s Sorry
It’s been a while since we’ve had much to say about Rolling Stone guitarist Ron Wood, and this time the news is decidedly more positive. Wood split with his wife wife nearly two years ago after becoming involved with a young Russian woman while he struggled with his alcohol addiction problems. He contacted his ex-wife recently to apologize for his actions.
Ex-wife Jo seems happy to have accepted his apology and says that she told Wood that she forgave him now and I forgave him then, apparently making reference to when Wood first left her. “It’s the first time I’ve ever known him actually to say I’m sorry, so that was quite amazing,” she added. Perhaps Elton John had it right when he sang about sorry being the hardest word.
Wood, who has been involved with 30-year-old Brazilian Model Ana Araujo for a while, seems unlikely to ever reconcile with his ex-wife, especially since she says she happy with the way things are now and is enjoying her independence. Appearing recently on the British chat show Loose Women, she has this to say regarding the situation: “I’d never have him back now I’m too happy on my own. I love my life now.”
So it seems everyone is happy now. Kudos to Ron Wood for reaching out to say he was sorry.
Joe Satriani Says New Chickenfoot Album ‘Kicks Pretty Hard’
Reportedly about 99-percent finished, the second album from Chickenfoot should be wrapped up pretty soon.
With various commitments that must be honored by the four members of the group, it can be difficult to get them all in one place at the same time. That fact, however, might actually help put a little extra kick in the group’s second album.
“I finished my Black Swans tour, knowing that we would have Chad for only a certain amount of time because of the Chili Peppers,” Satriani said. “So we had to meet up and blast through the tracks, which resulted in a terrific amount of energy and enthusiasm. It’s like we were bottled up for so long, just waiting and waiting to get together to make this record. This isn’t going to be a laid-back album by any means. It kicks pretty hard.”
It seems the finishing touches on the new record consist of vocal track work by Sammy Hagar. Satriani sounds confident that the end result will be worth waiting for, adding that, “I think I can definitively say that the album sounds heavier and that it sounds like Chickenfoot.”
March 23, 2010
Them Crooked Vultures, the group that includes former Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones, landed in London to do their part for the Teenage Cancer Trust, a charitable effort dedicated to “improving the lives of teenagers and young adults with cancer.”
The Vultures took to the stage at Royal Albert Hall in London last night for a two-hour set, and were quite happy to be part of the effort, according to front man Josh Homme, who said, “What an absolute pleasure to see you all here this evening. London let its hair down for the right reason, huh?”
Check out more on the story from NME and the video below from Absolute Radio.
Gene Simmons Speaks His Mind on Fox News
Anyone at all familiar with KISS rocker Gene Simmons knows he’s not the least bit bashful about telling things the way he sees them. In a recent appearance on Fox News, Simmons had a few things to say about President Obama and the current state of U.S. foreign policy.
Simmons told Fox’s Megan Kelly that, “I voted for Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama. We can disagree for instance on certain social issues, and completely disagree with our pathetic foreign policy. It’s wimpy.”
With regard to the white-hot health care issue, Simmons does not sound like he’s in Obama’s corner on that issue either. “I think the worst thing we can do right now is health care… When the government gets involved it’s disaster.”
Simmons has described himself on occasion as an “Ayn Randian of sorts,” and has credited some of Rand’s work for inspiring his own creative efforts. Something he apparently has in common with Rush drummer and lyricist Neil Peart.
ZZ Top Announces Chile Benefit Show
Texas rock trio ZZ Top will appear at Movistar Arena in the Chilean city of Santiago on May 18th for a benefit concert for victims of the magnitude 8.8 earthquake that shook the region on February 27th.
On the band’s official website, guitarist Billy Gibbons announced news of the show via video. Gibbons, speaking in Spanish, expressed the band’s sentiment with the following statement:
“I’m Billy from the band ZZ Top. The whole world knows about the effects caused by the earthquake that happened in your beautiful country. We know that the Chilean spirit can never be broken and that right now it is stronger than ever. ZZ will be in Santiago on May 18 at the Movistar arena. We hope that you can join us for a special night.”
For more, see Undercover.
October 23, 2009
Bon Jovi Announces World Tour
In support of their 11th studio album, Bon Jovi have announced that they will embark on a world tour that will stretch into a period of nearly two years.
February will mark the start of the tour which will begin with Seattle and eventually take the veteran rockers through more than 130 shows in 30 countries.
Bon Jovi’s new album, The Circle, is set for release on November 12th on the Island Records label.
Joe Perry Interview
On October 14th, Aerosmith guitarist stopped by radio station 107.7 “The Bone,” in the bay area.
Perry has recently released a new album entitled Have Guitar, Will Travel and will be on the road next month for a few shows with his group, The Joe Perry Project.
The show venues are limited to the northeast U.S., with the exception of a show in Windsor, Ontario and Indio, California.
Check out the video clips of the interview at Blabbermouth.
Song-writing a Painful Process For Vivian Campbell
Def Leppard’s Vivian Campbell describes the song-writing process as “painful,” and his inclination towards being more of a soul singer demands that he consider the fact that singer Joe Elliott does not approach things the same way he does.
Describing his struggles with song-writing, Campbell says, “I’m not a good enough songwriter where I can write to order. If somebody says, ‘Write a song for Britney Spears’ – I can’t do that. I’m not a prolific songwriter. I’m not one of these songwriter hacks who can churn out a song a day for so-and-so. It’s a painful process for me.
For much more on this, see Ultimate Guitar.
October 20, 2009
Meat Loaf Impersonator Arrested
Perhaps nobody but Eric Brown, 37, of Middletown, KY knows why he thought he could get away with pretending he was Meat Loaf, but the booking photos make it apparent that the man arrested after grabbing the steering wheel of a taxi he was a passenger in does not look like Meat Loaf.
Although the long hair and stocky build are qualities he has in common with the Meat Loaf of years gone by, anyone familiar with the Bat Out of Hell rocker and actor would know Mr. Brown was not who he claimed to be. For heaven’s sake, Meat Loaf guest hosted on House last season!
Check out the story at KYPost.com.
Phil Collins Unable To Play Drums
Best known, perhaps, for his years with prog rock group Genesis, Phil Collins is being forced to take a break from playing drums.
The multi-talented 58-year-old who resides in Switzerland these days, has told a German newspaper that recent surgery to repair a dislocated vertebra in his neck has left him with limited use of his fingers.
Collins reports that the only way he could currently play would be to “glue drumsticks to my hands.”
It appears that the condition is expected to be temporary.
Read more at the Star Tribune.
October 15, 2009
Rush axe man Lifeson soars on ‘man date’
Not looking much like the menacing owl portrayed on the cover of Fly By Night, Alex Lifeson recently joined Canadian comic Rick Mercer as they filmed a “man date” segment for Mercer’s CBC TV show The Rick Mercer Report.
The pair stopped by Niagara Freefall Indoor Skydiving to float around a bit, which, judging from the photograph, Mercer enjoyed thoroughly. More at The Niagara Falls Review.
Valerie Bertinelli pens new book
This time, instead of Losing It, Bertinelli is Finding It, and sharing her inspirational story about how she “discovered how to live the best life possible at the age of 49.”
Coming as a shock to some of us who watched her every move on One Day At A Time, Bertinelli describes her struggles with her self-image and how she felt inferior to co-star MacKenzie Phillips. Perhaps by now she has come to the realization that it was her that most of us admiring young men had our eyes glued to during each episode. I know I sure did! Check out the full scoop at ABC News.
Buble and Oprah a KISS killer?
In a recent interview with Macleans magazine, KISS frontman and business mogul, Gene Simmons jokingly (at least I hope he was joking) referred to himself as “king of the world.” Unfortunately for KISS, Simmons was not able to proclaim his group as king of the charts at the same time.
Having never had an album make it all the way to #1 on the Billboard chart, the group seemed poised to finally reach the promised land with the release of their new album Sonic Boom.
Those hopes were dashed by none other than Michael Buble, the Canadian crooner who was recently featured on Oprah after the release of his new album Crazy Love. Oprah’s star power was cited as a contributing factor that helped send Buble to the top of the chart with Sonic Boom coming in second. Read more from Gawker.
Aerosmith guitarist takes to the track
If you happen to be an Aerosmith fan who also enjoys things like racing, you will definitely want to check out the footage of Brad Whitford as he zips around a racetrack in a Volkswagen speed machine.
Check it out at Aerosmith’s official website.