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Noteworthy Now Archives for 2012-07

Ian Hunter Sets Release (listen)

After a couple of overtly political albums resulting from his negative opinion of the Bush presidency, Mott the Hoople veteran Ian Hunter is back with an album of 'more upbeat' songs on a release he has titled When I'm President. The eleven track album due out September 4 features Hunter backed by his Rant Band and includes a song featuring his son, Jesse.
Speaking with Classic Rock Magazine, Hunter said the project developed out of a particularly prolific summer of songwriting last year during which he would '...get up every day with something ringing in my head'.  Give a listen to one result below.

Morrison Motorcycle Found

A Craigslist post advertising a 1968 Honda 305 Scrambler recently got the attention of Don Ince, a gear head with a particular passion for motorcycles.  A trace of the cycle's past ownership accounted for the custom paint job on the bike - it had once  been to registered to Kenneth Howard, known in the world of custom art and design as Von Dutch.  The quest for info about the bike took an even more interesting turn when Ince was able to track down additional paperwork showing that the cycle had also been owned by one James Douglas Morrison.  A Google search produced a photo copy of the Doors lead singer's 1967 driver's license listing a Sunset Boulevard address that matched the registration document for the bike when it belonged to Morrison.  Further research indicates that Howard purchased the motorcycle after Morrison's death.


McCartney Closes Olympics Opening

An estimated 1 billion around the world tuned in to view a very  distinctly British opening ceremony for the summer Olympic games in London Friday (7/27).  The spectacle included a chronological and bizarrely choreographed medley of UK pop music that included songs from a lot of artists - nearly none of which was in attendance.  The notable exception was Paul McCartney, who led the 80,000 in the stadium on Hey Jude to bring the over-the-top barrage of Brit pop culture to a merciful close (and remind us of how little music of redeeming value played after the program moved beyond the 60's & 70's material). Rock highlights included the Who's Baba O'Riley, London Calling and God Save The Queen from the Clash (played before Her Majesty arrived), Satisfaction from the Stones, Zeppelin's Trampled Underfoot, the Queen anthem Bohemian Rhapsody and Eclipse from Dark Side of the Moon.  Thoughts of Pink Floyd were visually triggered when the stadium floor was converted into a children's hospital - complete with dozens of the kind of white, metal beds depicted on the cover of Momentary Lapse of Reason.

Walsh Reaffirms James Gang Plans

Just how soon it happens and where the group will play is info that may be some time in coming, but Joe Walsh says his plan to go back on the road with the James Gang will happen 'The first little window I get from my current project (live dates in support of his solo album, Analog Man) and the Eagles.'  Speaking with Music & Musicians, Joe talked about the sessions he had not long ago with Jimmy Fox and Dale Peters, calling them 'great'.  His expectation is for a relatively small-scale tour that would put the group in venues like the House of Blues and the Hard Rock Cafés.


Gary Moore's Tribute to Jimi

Guitar great Gary Moore was one of just a few with the chops to take-on Hendrix material and do Jimi justice.  September 25 we get the chance to both hear and see his renditions of a number of Hendrix classics, including three on which he is joined by Mitch Mitchell and Billy Cox during a concert at the London Hippodrome on October 25, 2007, when Eagle Rock Entertainment releases Blues For Jimi on CD, DVD and Blu-ray.


Blues For Jimi tracks

1) Purple Haze  
2) Manic Depression  
3) Foxy Lady  
4) The Wind Cries Mary  
5) I Don’t Live Today  
6) My Angel  
7) Angel  
8) Fire  
9) Red House  
10) Stone Free  
11) Hey Joe  
12) Voodoo Child (Slight Return)


Larry Hoppen of Orleans Dead at 61

Larry Hoppen, a founding member of Orleans that sang lead on a number of the band's best known songs, passed away Tuesday (7/24) at the age of 61.  Circumstances and a cause of death were not announced pending a medical examination, according to George Gilbert, the attorney for Hoppen.  The other Hoppen brother in Orleans, Lance, issued a brief statement expressing his deep sorrow but vowing that the remaining lineup comprising Orleans will carry on with 40th anniversary tour dates following a break to honor his brother. 
Larry began playing professionally with future Orleans drummer Wells Kelly in a group named Buffalongo in Ithaca, New York.  Late in 1971, John Hall recruited Kelly to join his band, which was based in the Woodstock area.  When a couple of members bailed on Hall's band the following year, Kelly suggested Hoppen as a guy capable of replacing both.  Hall took him up on it and soon after, younger brother Lance Hoppen became the bass player in the band.
The group's first big hit was Let There Be Music, released early in 1975.  The success of that song was quickly eclipsed by Dance With MeStill The One, from the 1976 album Waking and Dreaming, became the best and worst thing that ever happened to the group.  After garnering widespread radio exposure, the song was picked-up as a theme song to promote  shows on the ABC television network in a campaign that was so relentless that even fans of the band grew to dread the song.

John Hall left the group the following year.  Other band members played together sporadically in the ensuing years, but also got involved in other groups - Larry becoming a backing band member for Garland Jeffreys and Kelly going on to play drums with Steve Forbert, Meat Loaf and Clarence Clemons of the E Street Band in his Red Bank Rockers.  Kelly's death in 1984 prompted a Orleans reunion and the group played together from time to time until John Hall was elected to Congress in 2006.

The Outlaws Ride Again

Henry Paul and the Outlaws have recorded their first studio album in 18 years.  It's About Pride is scheduled for a Septemeber 25 release.  Paul says the new studio album represents a new chapter for one of Southern Rock's most enduring groups, adding, 'What our fans loved then they still love now, because we are just as good or even better than we were.'  He says the band set out to record an album that will make a 'significant impression' - a goal he feels they met becuase they were able to make the record on their own terms. The band will be on the road promoting the new release through the summer and fall.

Bruce Battled Depression in 80's

In a wide ranging, excellently written article about Bruce Springsteen loaded with interesting, amusing and sometimes wrenching insights into the man and his band from past and present E Street Band mambers, The New Yorker's David Remmick manages to present a closer look at  Springsteen himself and the people closest to him than many writers have managed to get.  We Are Alive - Bruce Springsteen at sixty-two, a remarkable 15,000 word Profile on The Boss appears in the July 30 edition of the magazine and can be read online. 
The piece recounts the sparce years that Bruce and other eventual members of the E Street Band led a haard scrabble existance playing seaside bars and lived in a surfboard factory.  It also fleshes-out some details about the stormy relationship Springsteen had with his father in terms that suggest that  Bruce went relatively easy on him during the years that he would preface his cover of the Animals song It's My Life in concerts with stories about his late-night run ins with a father that waited up for his son to come home from gigs  so he could badger him about wasting his life trying to be a musician.  Guitarist Steve Van Zandt called Doug Springsteen 'scary', adding, '...all fathers were scary', and '...scared of what we were becoming, so they felt they had to be more authoritarian. They hated us, you know.'
Bruce adored his mother, but the tormented relationship he had with his father and fears over what Remmick describes as the 'paralyzing depressions' and his cutting comments and outbursts directed at his son had to have weighed on Bruce far more than he let-on.  Whether his father's rage toward Bruce was driven by fear for his son's future or just self loathing over what had become of his own life is anyone's guess.  If it was the former, Doug Springsteen lived long enough to find out how wrong he'd been to think what his son was involved with would ultimately be worthless, but a comment Springsteen made to Remmick makes you wonder whether his father ever admitted that or apologized to Bruce over the times he tore into him.  Of his father's take on his son's eventual success Bruce said, 'He might not have liked the songs, but I think he liked that they existed' It meant that he mattered.'
Deeper in the article Remmick gets Bruce to talk a bit about his problems dealing with achieving enormous success doing something he loved while having come from a family that struggled to get by doing a daily grind.  Biographer Dave Marsh went so far as to characterize Springsteen as 'feeling suicidal' in the early 80's, the period that produced the sparse, dark and brooding album Nebraska.  Bruce said his issues stemmed from '...the undertow of history and self-loathing'. His form of self-medication became doing marathon concert sets because on stage he could suspend the torment and conflict he felt during daily life.
That daily life seems to have gotten a lot better now that he has his own family.  Patti Scialfa, now only an occasional member of the E Street Band, tells Remmick that therapy helped her  husband '...look at himself and battle it out.'  Bruce says he recognizes that reserving some torment is helpful, saying that if an artist gets '...extremely pleased with yourself, nobody would be fucking doing it!  Brando would not have acted. Dylan wouldn't have written Like A Rolling Stone, James Brown wouldn't have gone 'Unh!' ', adding, 'That's a motivation. that element of 'I need to remake myself, my town, my audience' - the desire for renewal.'

Phil Lesh Plans Remaining Retro

Phil Lesh has plenty of great material to draw on when he's touring with Furthur and Phil Lesh & Friends and gets enough of a charge out of creating new arrangements of Grateful Dead songs and other tunes his bands cover in concert to feel any need to record anything new.  Telling Billboard that going into a studio to record newly written material is '...not anything I'm interested in doing', the bass player added, 'Nobody makes money on recordings anymore... and the longer I'm in music the less time I like the idea of freezing music in amber so that it's the same every time you play it back' - a philosophy reflected on stage nightly in any band Lesh has toured as a member with during his long career.  In addition to spending a significant portion of most years on the road, the bass player now operates and regularly performs at Terrapin Crossing, a live music venue near his home north of San Francisco.


Sour Note for Guitar Maker IPO

Plans for a Fender Guitar IPO were scrapped on the brink of the launch apparently over concerns that going public could get an off-key welcome due to ongoing uncertainty about the economy.  The Scottsdale, Arizona based manufacturer of electric guitars Leo Fender founded in 1946 had hopes that the Thursday (7/19) IPO could pump up to $150 million into the company.  The company behind guitars strongly associated associated with guitarists ranging from novices to the greatest to ever play the instrument managed to sell nearly 3/4 of a billion dollars worth of equipment over a 12 month period ending in April of this year.

Rare Beatles Vinyl Brings $15k on EBay

The a copy of the US release verison of the Beatles disc that contained the first album appearance of the songs Love Me Do and Twist & Shout has sold for close to $15,000 on EBay.  Introducing... The Beatles hit these shores just under two weeks ahead of the 1964 album that quickly eclipsed it and was widely assumed to be their debut US album, Meet The Beatles. A private collector submitted the bid that sealed the deal on July 12.


Other Members of Live Sue Ed Kowalczyk

Objections over what other group members contend is the illegal use of the name of his former band in promoting his solo concerts has resulted in a legal claim for $2 million being filed against Ed Kowalczyk.  This is the second round of legal action initiated by the other members of Live against the former lead singer.  A 2010 lawsuit sought compensation after the others claimed that Kowalczyk had set himself up to receive all of the proceeds from Live publishing income and demanded that the he get a $100,000 bonus as the front man for performing at a European festival in 2009.  Guitarist Chad Taylor criticized after claiming he found a  2005 'hidden contract' signed only by Kowalczyk, and called the singer out in a blog for putting himself in a position that made him ' to stab his three best friends from middle school in the back' , and add that when informed of the $100k bonus by management, he flatly declared that Kowalczyk was no longer in the band and is ' friend of mine or the lifelong friends of Live."  For his part, Kowalczyk calls the allegations '...all absolutely untrue', defiantly adding, 'The spirit of Live is alive and well in my performances and my new material.'

Who Back At It

An online press conference provided the virtaul setting for the announcement that the Who will mount a North American tour performing the 1973 double album Quadrophenia in its entirety.  The opening six week leg of the tour begins in Sunrise, Florida November 1 and will resume in Southern California with a January 28 show in Anaheim.  Founding members Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey will be joined by Pete's brother Simon, Zak Starkey on drums, Pino Palladino on bass, and keyboard players Chris Stainton and Loren Gold.
Tickets to a canceled 1979 Who concert at the Providence Civic Center will be honored at the same venue (now the Dunkin' Donuts Center) on the tour's closing night.  That original date was canceled by the Mayor of Providence over safety concerns after eleven fans at a general admission Cincinnati Who concert on the same tour died during a crowd stampede.


1 Sunrise, FL BankAtlantic Center
3 Orlando, FL Amway Center
5 Duluth, GA The Arena at Gwinnett Center
8 Greenville, SC Bi-Lo Center
9 Greensboro, NC Greensboro Coliseum
11 Pittsburgh, PA CONSOL Energy Arena
13 Washington, DC Verizon Center
14 Brooklyn, NY Barclays Center
16 Boston, MA TD Garden
20 Montreal, QC Bell Centre (on sale 7/28)
21 Ottawa, ON Scotiabank Place
23 Toronto, ON Air Canada Centre
24 Detroit, MI Joe Louis Arena
27 Minneapolis, MN Target  Center

29 Chicago, IL Allstate Arena


2 Nashville, TN Bridgestone Arena
5 New York, NY Madison Square Garden
6 Newark, NJ Prudential Center
8 Philadelphia, PA Wells Fargo Center
9 Uncasville, CT Mohegan Sun Arena (on sale 8/3)

28 Anaheim, CA Honda Center
30 Los Angeles, CA STAPLES Center

1 Oakland, CA Oracle Arena
2 Reno, NV Reno Events Center
5 San Diego, CA Valley View Casino Center
6 Glendale, AZ Arena
8 Las Vegas, NV The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
12 Denver, CO Pepsi Center
14 Tulsa, OK BOK Center
16 Louisville, KY KFC Yum! Arena
17 Columbus, OH Schottenstein Center
19 Hamilton, ON Copps Coliseum
21 Uniondale, NY Nassau Coliseum
22 Atlantic City, NJ Boardwalk Hall
24 Manchester, NH Verizon Wireless Arena
26 Providence, RI Dunkin' Donuts Center

J. Geils Band Back Together Without Geils

The J. Geils Band, the Boston based Rock & Blues group that roared onto the scene with an electrifying debut album in 1971 has gotten together a few times in recent years to rave reviews and calls for them to tour and record.  Peter Wolf, Magic Dick, Seth Justman and Danny Klein are all onboard, but an awkward situation involving John Geils could mean that the band with his name will be going out without him - and could possibly be forced to come up with a new name.  The problem stems from issues between the band and John Geils' solo record label Francesca Records, which reportedly feels it has rights to the name The J. Geils Band. With or without Geils, the core of the group will have the added firepower of the Uptown Horns with them on the upcoming tour. As for a new name... we vote for The Wolf Pack.

Aerosmith's Joey Kramer Drums Up Business

Fans attending Aerosmith tour concerts will find an unusual addition to the traditional merch... bags of drummer Joey Kramer signature brew coffees.  Kramer's passion for java has been fueled by caffeinated side trips during Aerosmith world tours, during which the drummer got to sample beans on multiple continents.  His label now sports three of his favorites - beans from Guatemala, Sumatra and Ethiopia. All of the beans used in the Kramer roasts are Fair Trade certified and shade grown, a practice that provide additional care and protection to rain-forest trees.  The drummer is using his tour bus as a promotional vehicle for the brand.  Fans that spot the bus and post a photo to the @RockinRoastin Twitter site are eligible to win not just coffee, but copies of his book, concert tickets and other band stuff.



Springsteen Jokes Around in Dublin

The E Street Band concert in Dublin Tuesday (7/17) (story) gave Bruce Springsteen and guitarist Steve Van Zandt a chance to get back at authorities that cut the mics of Bruce and Paul McCartney while the pair was doing Twist & Shout Springsteen and Van Zandt brought a generator and a giant mock power switch on stage and opened the set with a roaring version of I Fought The Law.  When the band cranked into Twist & Shout late in the set a crew member dressed in a police uniform crossed the stage and tried to yank out a prop plug, only to be thwarted by Van Zandt.

To avoid any risk of a repeat of the curfew fiasco in London, the three hour and twenty minute set got started at 7:30.  Twitter@GreasyLake Photo: Twitter@jo clogg

Robert Plant Sort of Married

Robert Plant seemed to confirm that he and singer Patty Griffin are a married couple when speaking with the Independent, but a spokesman for the former Led Zeppelin member later backtracked on his behalf - claiming he was only referencing the fact that he plans on spending a lot more time in the US. Plant, who divorced his former wife in 1983, formed Band Of Joy with Griffin a couple of years ago. When together in the states, the couple is based in a rented house in Austin, Texas that Plant describes as an '...old crack house' so funky that termites fly out of the walls if he taps on the table. It's a good thing John Bonham isn't around to visit!

Monster Mixer Tops Margaritaville Guinness Record

Jimmy Buffett has another item to add to the Margaritaville 'to do' list... get back the Guinness title for the world's largest cocktail.  More than 20 volunteers at the California State Fair in Sacramento combined 4,650 bottles of Jose Cuervo Gold Tacquila with 8,400 gallons of margarita mix, 50 gallons of lime mix and 20 gallons of Cointreau liquer in a 20 horse power blender to mix the frozen concoction.  The new title holder topped the one the Margaritaville folks made two years ago by a whopping 2,000 gallons.  Up to 134,000 individual cocktails could be served from the giant dispenser containing the new record holder.  Nick Nicora, the man behind the giant alcohol slurpie, co-owns one of the country's biggest food and beverage providers. Cohort Christopher Ford of Stitches 'n Dishes, a marketing and PR firm for the food & beverage industry in California, said 'Taking claim of th Guinness world record ...from an institution like Margaritaville is nothing short of extraordinary.'

Cancer Claims Jon Lord

The creative and performing roles keyboard player Jon Lord filled in the studio and on stage had as much to do with the sound of Deep Purple as any guitar player in the group's history. Lord, who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer just under a year ago, died Monday (7/16) with close friends and family members at his side.  Tributes began pouring in immediately after the family's announcement that Lord had passed '...from Darkness into Light.'  Yes veteran Rick Wakeman said that he and his fellow keyboard player had been planning to begin recording together - a project that his illness prevented from coming to fruition.  Wakeman characterized Lord's contribution to music and Classic Rock in particular as 'immeasurable' and added, '...I will miss him terribly.'  Lord maintained a presence in Deep Purple through many of the years that other members came and went with such frequency that fans never knew for sure who would be in the band during any given tour.  He finally took leave of the band himself in 2002.

Bret Michaels Assembles Odd Cast

Bret Michaels travels in some interesting circles and the former Poison front man called in some pretty divergent members of those circles to help put together his next album, Bret Michaels & Friends: Get Your Rock On.  Joining Michaels on the project are Jimmy Buffett, Country stars Loretta Lynn and Rascal Flatts, members of Lynyrd Skynyrd, Joe Perry of Aerosmith, former Van Halen bass monster Michael Anthony and KISS veteran Ace FrehleyMichaels still hopes to get Rick Nielson of Cheap Trick and Zakk Wylde onboard in time to keep a September release date.  The release features updated versions of a number of tunes. including Every Rose Has Its Thorn (with Perry) and Nothin' But a Good Time (with Anthony & Frehley).

Plug Pulled on Bruce & McCartney at UK Festival (Video)

What Bruce Springsteen said was a moment he'd '...been waiting 50 years' for started great but went south when someone with much more in the gonads department than the common sense one decided to cut the mics on The Boss and Paul McCartney as they wrapped up a scorching set during the Hard Rock Calling Festival in London over the weekend.  The move was made to avoid violating curfew as Sir Paul and the E Street Band were ripping through an epic rendition of Twist and Shout.  The decision got guitarist Steve Van Zandt riled enough to tweet '...when did England become a police state?' and go off on the authorities for ruining a good time instead of catching criminals.

Wall Tour Tops All

Roger Waters Wall tour generated nearly 1.5 million ticket sales during the first half of 2012, outpacing tours by Bruce Springsteen and Madonna to claim the top spot in earnings by a wide margin.  The Waters tour take was edged in North America by the Cirque du Soleil Michael Jackson: The Immortal tour which racked up $78.5 million to the almost $70 million brought in by the Waters tour.  With a slew of dates yet to come for Springsteen while Waters is in the home stretch of his world tour, The Boss is expected to easily to eclipse the Waters total before the year is out.

Stones Celebrate 50th With Photo Shoot

Members of the Rolling Stones got together in London's Somerset House this week for a photo shoot marking the 50th anniversary of the group's first official gig at the Marquee Club (July 12, 1962) and the publication of Rolling Stones 50 - a photo retrospective on the band that added volumes and decades to the history of Rock.  Charlie Watts said reunion tour plans are still only in the works, but confirmed that the group has been playing together in anticipation of live performances in the coming months. Ron Wood added, 'We had a good play in New York a few weeks ago.  We did 50 songs in five days. It was brilliant.'

Fleetwood Mac Returns in 2013

Just a couple of months after Mick Fleetwood expressed the opinion that the band that bears his name would never tour or record again, Stevie Nicks is claiming that all members of the group are 'onboard' with a plan to hit the road for an extensive Fleetwood Mac tour in 2013.  Speaking with CBS, Nicks said her interest in touring in support of her most recent solo project did not signal an end to her interest in Fleetwood Mac, the band that she and her then partner Lindsey Buckingham joined at the end of 1974.  Buckingham has also been touring solo in support of Seeds We Sow, his first solo project in a number of years.

Farm Aid 20 Lands in PA

The 20th annual Farm Aid concert will be staged in Hershey, PA's Hershey Stadium on September 22 and will include performances by charter members Neil Young, John Mellencamp, Willie Nelson and Dave Matthews, joined byTim Reynolds, Jack Johnson, ALO, Pegi Young & The Survivors and Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real. The series has generated more than $40 million in assistance to family and small farms during its two decade run.  Dave Matthews talks about the importance of the cause in a promotional video.




The Springsteens Serenade Paris

Bruce Springsteen's daughter filled the role Courtney Cox played in the original video for Dancing In The Dark when The Boss pulled her from the crowd to do some steps with him on stage during his closing concert in Paris Thursday (7/5). The younger Springsteen, one of the nation's top equestrians, could get a shot at representing her homeland at the London Olympics.

End of Line for CSN?

Stephen Stills doesn't think he and Graham Nash and David Crosby will ever record another studio album together.  Talking with, the guitarist even cast doubt on whether the covers album the trio has labored over for years will ever get released.  Frustration over slow progress, differences of opinion over the sound of the album and upcoming schedule conflicts of producer Rick Rubin have made easy to understand why the experience of doing the latest project would make the three less than thrilled at the prospect of trying to record together in the future, but a covers album would be a disappointing way for this prolific trio of writers to call it quits together.  One thing is a lock - a live concert CD and DVD.

7 Year Sentence for U2 Personal Assistant

The former personal assistant to bass player Adam Clayton will spend up to seven years behind bars after being convicted on several counts of felony theft for pilfering his accounts of more than $3 million for her personal use.  Carol Hawkins listened as the judge in the case called her actions '...rooted in greed and nothing else', adding, 'Whether she was a fool or a very clever person matters little.'  In passing sentence, the judge flatly rejected any consideration of the 48 year-old's belief that what she did was known to the U2 member and that his failure to tell her to stop amounted to approval of her use of the money, which she used to make extravagant personal pleasures, including a stable of racehorses and a New York City apartment.

Former Black Crowe Makes Skynyrd Debut

The August 21 release from Lynyrd Skynyrd will be the first featruing one-time Black Crowes member Johnny ColtLast of a Dying Breed includes 11 tracks, but a bonus edition featuring four added tunes will also get released.  The latest studio album marks a return to the 'old school' approach to recording.  Gary Rossington called the process of laying down songs live in the studio instead of piecing together tracks individual musicians recorded in seperate sessions '...a lot of fun', and something he says resulted in a better feeling and sounding album, adding, 'We can't wait to let the fans hear these songs and play 'em live.'

Dickey Betts Sits-In With Furthur

Allman Brothers veteran Dickey Betts hasn't gotten much love from his former band in a long, long time, but the southern guitar great has been a welcome guest performer with Phil Lesh & Friends in recent years, and Saturday (6/30) made his first appearance with Furthur, the band that reunited Lesh with Grateful Dead guitarist Bob Weir.  The setting was Terrapin Crossroads, the performance space Lesh recently opened a few miles north of the Golden Gate Bridge.  Betts, straight off a gig at the Marin County Fair a couple of exits north on Rt. 101, joined Furthur on Viola Lee Blues, Caution: Do Not Stop on the Tracks and the Allman Brothers classic, Blue Sky.
No video has turned-up yet from the Terrapin set (could be that Phil is less welcome to fans recording in his own place than he has been over the years at other venues), but we did find one of Dickey  with his own band doing Ramblin' Man at the night's earlier gig.


Queensryche Split With Singer Gets 'Ugly'

The decision by other members of Queensryche to oust Geoff Tate in order to '...move forward in a positive direction' hit an almost immediate snag when the lead singer announced he would file a claim to protect his rights to the creative input he had as a member of the recently reformed Seattle band.  Speaking with Rolling Stone, Tate said the claim has been filed and predicted things would '...probably get ugly'.  Tate traces the origins of his differences of opinion with other members to a winter decision to shift band merchandising to an outside company.  Things escalated, according to Tate, after the group fired members of his family that were serving as the bands manager, office assistant and guitar tech.  A confrontation between Tate and other group members backstage before a Sao Palo, Brazil concert over the dismissals, led to one member saying 'We just fired your whole family, and you're next' and a scuffle followed according to Tate when asked about reports he had pulled a knife on guitarist Michael Wilton

VH U.S. Dates Reportedly Canceled

North American tour dates for Van Halen that the group postponed several weeks ago are now apparently canceled.  The update was noted by Pollstar and appears to be confirmed by Ticketmaster, whose site changed the status of dates in Uncasville (CT), Baltimore, Rochester, Detroit, Toledo, Memphis, Sacramento, Reno and Milwaukee from postponed to canceled.  The explanation for the dates being put on hold was that the band decided the schedule was too intense and risked the tour turning into a '...robot zombie tour', according to a video statement released by David Lee Roth at the time the delay became official. The fact VH seemed willing to sacrifice U.S. dates so it would be in good form for the November tour of Japan should hardly sit well with US fans that jumped to buy tickets when dates were first announced and found out only days later they had blown a bunch of bucks on a 'postponed' concert.  Ticket holders can get those bucks back at point of purchase or have credit cards credited.


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