After two 1975 domestic albums, AC/DC unleashed their first album beyond Australia in 1976. The US release would not come until mid May, but the rest of the world got its jolt of High Voltage on April 30th.
An always mercurial musician has come up with another unexpected career move. Bob Dylan is entering the liquor business.Several Rockers have licensing arrangements hitching their names to wines and spirits, but Dylan has an ownership stake in a new brand that will hawk Bourbon, Rye and a Double Barrel Whiskey, Knocking On Heaven's Door.
April 28, 1978 has to be in the mind's eye highlights reel for Cheap Trick's members. It was the first of two nights the group spent on stage at Budokan in Japan, and the reception they got from 12,000 fan(atics) rivaled ones the Beatles got during their US tours.
Foreigner ventured into new territory with the April 27 release of a May, 2017 concert in Lucerne, Switzerland that featured the current lineup of the group backed by a 58 piece orchestra and a choir of 60. Here's a look & listen to what's on the CD/LP/DVD and digital release.
Paul Daniel Frehley roared into this world on this date in 1951. KISS guitarist for the group's first decade went solo in '82, and was back in the ranks from 1996-2002. Ace prided himself on being a self taught musician... he never took a lesson. He credits Jeff Beck, Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page,Pete Townshend, Buddy Guy, BB King and Albert Lee as having inspired him.
Stones releasing an avalanche of vinyl. A 15 lp box set of albums dating from 1971 - 2016 is due June 15. All have been remastered from original tapes and cut at 1/2 speed in Abbey Road Studios. The hearing of most of the group's fan base might not be intact enough to discern the difference, but those willing to pony up for the set will receive individually numbered copies of the limited edition release.
When synthesizer Rock ruled, Gary Wright's light shone bright. Born on this date in 1943 in Jersey, his entertainment career started as stage and TV child actor. Wright was in a couple of bands in high school before deciding to pursue a medical degree, which led to studies in Europe, where he met Island Records head honcho Chris Blackwell, who arranged for him to join a UK band that soon became the on-again-off-again band Spooky Tooth. Wright played on George Harrison's All Things Must Pass during the first Spooky Tooth hiatus and later worked on other Harrison solo projects. Wright one big solo album came out in the summer of 1975. The title song became a staple of Album Rock radio and Love Is Alive was a moderately big song, too.
Fleetwood Mac collectively gave their reason Lindsey Buckingham is no longer with the group during a session on the CBS Morning News. Mick Fleetwood attributed it to Buckingham's resistance to going out on the tour the band had been putting together over the last several months, saying that tensions had been rising and they finally hit a brick wall over the issue. New FM guitarist Campbell, put on the spot about whether being in the band is a long term commitment for him, skirted it a bit. Fleetwood Mac's history of being like a real life soap opera could make it Interesting to see how long Campbell lasts. Everyone's always said Tom Petty was one of the easiest guys in music to work with. Nobody's ever said that about Mick, Stevie & Christine.
Black Sabbath's first album with Ronnie James Dio was released on this day in 1980. The original sessions for Heaven & Hell started with Ozzy in a process Tony Iommi called "Highly frustrating and never ending". Several unproductive months into it, Osbourne was gone, Dio in.
In the span of just a few days, Patti Smith performed with three members of Tom Petty's Heartbreakers and Bruce Springsteen. The appearance with the Heartbreakers came during an Autism awareness and fund raising event on Saturday (4/21) in Austin, Texas. Her performance of Because The Night with them marked the first time Mike Campbell, Benmont Tench and Stever Ferrone had taken the stage together since Petty died last October. Stephen Stills would also join the Heartbreakers during that set on a version of I Won't Back Down. At the Tribeca Film Festival's night at the Beacon Theatre in New York, Smith welcomed Because The Night's writer to join her on stage.
A lot of his contemporaries gave up writing new music and started doing 'victory lap' tours, but Tom Petty was always pushing himself and his band to beat expectations and surprise fans in the process. God bless him.
This great album that included musical contributions from all of the Heartbreakers except Stan Lynch but was Petty's first solo release came out on this date in '89.
Lynyrd Skynyrd will play its final concert in the city it was formed in. The clsoing date for the legendary band's final tour is September 2 at EverBank Field in Jacksonville. Commenting on the announcement, Johnny Van Zant, the broter of original lead vocalist Ronnie, said, This is a dream come true for the Lynyrd Skynyrd band. We're going to rock the house here. My brother and Gary (Rossington) and Alan Collins started this band a long time ago. We are on our farewell tour. I't time to wrap it up.' Jason Aldean and Kid Rock are also on the bill and a number of special guests are expected to join the Kkynyrd lineup during the night.
Peter Kenneth Frampton comes alive on April 22, 1950 and is in his first band by the time he's 12. Older classmate David Bowie (Jones, at the time) has a group, too. Three bands later, at age 18, Frampton hooks-up with Steve Marriott to form Humble Pie. His decision to go solo in 1971 and form a group named Frampton's Camel the following year both looked like bad career moves until 5 years later when Frampton Comes Alive! blew up and became one of the biggest selling live albums in history, logging nearly 100 consecutive weeks on the Billboard albums chart and being certified platinum (1 million copies) 8 times.
Metallica has made it a point to raise awareness and funds for area food banks when on tour. The group is also asking fans to step up and volunteer at food banks. A concentrated campaign is underway to mobilize as many as possible on May 23. The Metallica Day of Service is being coordinated by the group's foundation, All Within My Hands. Fans that register online to volunteer at food banks in a number of cities will be thanked by the band with a limited edition t-shirt.
Bruce Springsteen's original hand written lyrics for Born To Run sold 5 years ago for $197,000 in a Sotheby's auction. The single sheet draft of the title song to his 1975 album includes notations and lyrics that Bruce elected to leave out of the final version that goes up for bids in June is expected to handily top that. sothebys.com
The crop of things springing up for Record Store Day on April 21 is impressive. Here are some of the highlights, and
a link to the complete list.
AC/DC - Back In Black - Casette
Andrew Oldham Orchestra -Rolling Stones Songbook - LP
Jeff Beck - Truth - LP
Dickey Bets - Live At The Lone Star Roadhouse - 2LP
Blue Oyster Cult - Rarities - LP
David Bowie - Let's Dance Demo - 12" Vinyl
Def Leppard - Live at Abbey Road - 12" Vinyl
Doors - Live at the Matrix - LP
Jerry Garcia - Run For The Roses - LP
Gov't Mule - Girl With No Self Esteem - 12" Vinyl
Led Zeppelin - Rock And Roll (Sun Studio) / Friends (Olympic Studio) - 7" gold Vinyl
Pink Floyd - Piper At The Gates Of Dawn - LP
Police - Roxanne - 7" Picture Disc
Iggy Pop - Live at the Ritz - 2LP
Small Faces - Lazy Sunday/Ogdens Nut Gone Flake - 7" Vinyl
Smithereens - Smithereens Play Tommy - LP
George Thorogood - Shot Down/Ain't Coming Home - 7" Vinyl
A 2017 sold-out Paul Rodgers Royal Albert Hall concert featuring the music his pre-Bad Company band Free is coming out on CD/DVD/Blu-ray and vinyl. The 16 tack set includes Free's biggest tracks All Right Now and Fire And Water of course, but it also includes some songs that the group never performed live during its brief history. Rodgers says the chance to revisit that period in his career proved unexpectedly exciting, saying, 'I have been making music for a long, long, long time, so to get super charged and reinspired to perform was a revelation.'
Free Spirit - Celebrating The Music of Free drops on June 22.
A life of fast cars and leisure has suited Nick Mason for the last several years, but the Pink Floyd drummer is apparently ready to get behind the kit again. Reports have emerged that Mason will team with Gary Kemp (Spandau Ballet) and bassist Guy Pratt, who was involved in Pink Floyd's 1994 release The Division Bell, in a new band that adopts the title of Floyd's second album for its name. Nick Mason's Saucerful of Secrets has slated four concerts for London next month that will, according to a band statement, be "...a unique opportunity to experience Pink Floyd's celebrated and significant early body of work played live including songs from albums The Piper at the Gates of Dawn and A Saucerful of Secrets."
London was an unlikely place for a California band to record an old west themed album, but The Eagles did it for their second studio release. Plans director Sam Peckinpah (Straw Dogs, Major Dundee, Pat Garrett and Billy The Kid) to base a film on the songs on the album never panned out, but the group did film a bare-bones promo for the album when they were staging the front and back cover photos for the album at a western movie set in one of the canyons north of LA.
Felix Pappalardi, one of Rock's most underrated guitarists, had his life and career come to a sudden and tragic end when he was shot in the neck and killed by his wife in the couple's home on this day in 1983. His wife served 2 years on a manslaughter sentence that many found too light to begin with. The Mountain guitarist had been having an affair and had just returned home when his wife plugged him with a derringer he had given her as a gift. Her claim was that the gun went off accidentally. The Daily News reported that the couple's marriage license was found shredded in a garbage pail and that her first phone call following the incident was to her lawyer, not 911.
The Rock Hall of Fame deserves the derission it gets for the slew of acts it has inducted that are not Rock and for many deserving Rockers it ignored all together or waited longer than it should have to enshrine. That said, the class of 2018 had a much lower ratio of unwarranted to highly deserving inductees than any year in quite some time. The Hall also deserves props for having the balls to let Howard Stern induct Bon Jovi. True to form, Howard pulled no punches and even went so far as to bash the Hall for letting Jann Wenner, the Rolling Stone magazine editor who has a tight relationship with the Hall and is suspected of having opposed the induction of Bon Jovi for years, from even having a vote. During his introduction of Bon Jovi he said Rolling Stone was a 'great magazine' that '...is now a pamphlet'. He credited the band he was inducting, saying, 'These boys have worked their asses off, and led the crowd in praising them with a sing-a-long of a portion of Dead or Alive before turning it over to the band for their own comments. Bon Jovi, performing with Richie Sambora for the first time since the guitarist quit the band, ripped into renditions of You Give Love a Bad Name, Livin' on a Prayer and It's My Life.
Up next was Dire Straits, minus both Mark and David Knopfler, Mark for unspecified 'personal reasons' and David evidently because the Hall rescinded an offet to cover his traansportation costs. With those two missing, the band members in attendance elected not to perform at the induction.
The Killers Brandon Flowers, who opened the evening with a tribute medley of American Girl into Free Fallin in tribute to Tom Petty, did the honors of inducting the Cars, calling them a group that '...turned my black and white town into color'. The Boston band then did a set that included Just What I Needed, My Best Friend's Girl, Moving in Stereo and You Might Think.
The too long overlooked Moody Blues closed out the evening. After an introduction from Heart's Ann Wilson, the veteran Rockers did a set featuring several of their best known songs.
The super structure of one of the massive 'claw' stages U2 toured the world with will get a new life as an attraction for Salt Lake City's Loving Living Planet Aquarium. The 165' high structure will become part of the facility's Science Learning Campus and is expected to be a concert setting as well as a site for evening film screenings. A Go Fund Me campaign has been set up to help raise funds to cover the costs of getting the massive 250 ton structure set up.
52 doors to rooms at New York's Chelsea Hotel celebrated musicians, writers and artists lived or stayed in collected a lot of impressive bids Thursday (4/12). Bidding for Bob Dylan's topped $100,000, while the door Janis Joplin and Leonard Cohen shacked up behind fetched just over $106k. Jimi Hendrix's brought a top bid of $13,000. Jim Morrison of the Doors door was a relative bargain at just $8,000, while Joni Mitchell's was in higher demand than some expected, with bidding for that reaching $85,000.
After a year and a half playing rhythm guitar for Frank Zappa's Mothers of Invention, Lowell George recruited Richie Hayward, the drummer in The Factory, a band George had been in pre-Zappa, fellow Zappa musician Roy Estrada, and pianist Billy Payne to form Little Feat. Kenny Gradney replaced Estrada on bass in 1972 and Lowell got his high school friend and guitarist Paul Barrere to join and added Sam Clayton for percussion. Lowell's insistence of maintaining total control of the band drove Barrere and Payne to quit in 1979, by which time George was concentrating on a solo career. He died four days after starting a tour in support of his album Thanks, I'll Eat It Here. His death was ruled a heart attack related to cocaine use.
On this date in 1970, the Mac lost its original guitarist, Peter Green, but he left the band on his own, announcing he had found God. Other April 11th comings and goings... 19 year-old Bob Dylan makes his concert debut in an appearance with John Lee Hooker (1961) … Metallica fires Dave Mustaine, replacing him with Kirk Hammett (1983), Dave Prater of Sam & Dave killed in a car wreck (1983), John "Jay" Geils of the J Geils Band dies (2017).
On April 11, 1988, Neil Young released This Note's For You, the album with a title song that made his case against commercial endorsements and sponsorships.
Empty Sky, Elton John's actual debut album, was released in the UK in 1969. It drew so little notice there that did not get a US release until 5 years after the self-titled album he put out in America on this date in 1970, which most people stateside assumed was his debut album.
A statement from Fleetwood Mac about the group's upcoming tour released Monday (4/10) also contained a notice that Lindsey Buckingham won't be part of it. Mick Fleetwood broke the news this way, "Fleetwood Mac has always been about an amazing collection of songs that are performed with a unique blend of talents. We jammed with Mike (Campbell) and Neil (Finn) and the chemistry rally worked and let the band realize that this is the right combination to go forward with in Fleetwood Mac style. We know we have something new, yet it's got the unmistakable Mac sound." Tom Petty's guitarist and the former Crowded House frontman are in, Buckingham is out.
Self driving cars may have a convert in Ozzy Osbourne. Ozzy's son says his father has decided to hang up his keys after a minor mishap on a freeway. Jack Osbourne told the Daily Mirror his dad had cut back on driving already and is ready to not be burdened by the responsibilities of being behind the wheel. All aboard!
King Crimson made its concert debut in the London Speakeasy on this date in 1969. Less than 3 months later, they would play for more than 600,000 in Hyde Park opening for the Rolling Stones. Also on 4/9/1969, Bob Dylan released Nashville Skyline.
Plenty of fans consider the album Aerosmith turned loose on this date in 1975 to be the band's best. Their third studio album, Toys In The Attic's sessions benefitted from the group sharpening its chops on its nearly 60 concert Get Your Wings tour.
The Grateful Dead did the opening night of the Europe '72 tour at the Wembley Empire Pool in London on this date. The 20 concert tour produced the Europe '72 triple album released in November of that year. In 2011, a compilation of all of the shows on the tour was put out.
Ritchie Sambora will take the stage with Bon Jovi for the first time in 5 years when the group gets inducted into the Rock Hall Of Fame next week. The guitarist says a session to prep for the performance went great and wasn't uncomfortable or awkward.
On this day in 1994, the inner demons Kurt Cobain struggled with prevailed and the Nirvana frontman apparently took his own life with a shotgun after shooting-up a sizeable dose of heroin. With his band at its peak in popularity and a 20 month old daughter, there was speculation his death was accidental or might have involved foul play, but authorities could find no convincing evidence that his death was something other than a suicide.
Looks like Dire Straits fans will only get Alan Clark, John Illsley and Guy Fletcher doing Telegraph Road with Stevie Wonder singing lead. David Knopfler doesn't plan to attend because he says the Hall retracted an offer to cover travel expenses. His brother hasn't provided a reason he's declined the opportunity to join his former bandmates at the April 14 event.
On this date in 1969, the Doors performed at the Dinner Key Auditorium in Miami. During the concert, Jim Morrison allegedly exposed himself. Four days after the concert, the Dade County Sheriff put out a warrant for the lead singer's arrest on charges that included a felony count for lewd and lascivious behavior and 5 lesser charges. He was convicted on the 20th of September. Despite his conviction, whether Morrison actually went as far as the worst charge was questionable. Outgoing Florida Governor Charlie Crist requested his state's Parole Board grant Morrison a posthumous pardon on December 9, 2010. It got unanimous approval.
Nils Lofgren reunited with his stolen guitars. An arrest was made by Dallas police Monday (4/2) of a man being charged with stealing four guitars and some other things belonging to Nils Lofgren last Friday. The E Street Band guitarist was able to do his solo band set with axes loaned to him by a fan and former band mate. Lofgren notified fans via his Twitter account, posting, "Thank you all. This has been an unbelievable weekend. Thank you to my crew who had to do double time, just so I could walk on stage. Fellow musicians who lovingly offered their own guitars."
Sammy Hagar hosts epic birthday parties each fall at his Cabo Wabo Cantina in Cabo San Lucas. Last October's was filmed and included appearances by Toby Keith, Eddie Money, Bob Weir and others in addition to his own outfit The Circle,comprised of The Red Rocker himself, Michael Anthony, Jason Bonham and Vic Johnson.
April Fools day 1972 marked the opening day of Mar Y Sol, the 3 day festival/fiasco in Puerto Rico marrd by delays caused by productionproblems, controversy over it getting rescheduled on Holy Week and the fact that Black Sabbath, Fleetwood Mac as some other advertised acts did not appear. Sabbath was reportedly at a hotel a few miles from the fest site but was unable to get there because raods to the beachside setting were clogged and helicopters were not available to fly the band in. The promoter is said to have left the festival before it ended due to reports he was being sought by police.
On this date in 1976, Rush reseased 2112,a rebound release after a couple of disappointingly received albums and lukewarm fan reaction to the 1975/76 Caress of Steel tour.