A trio of newly critters at Toronto's High Park Zoo have been named for the three members of Rush after more than 32,000 of the nearly 45,000 votes cast in a naming poll were for naming the capybaras Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart. If having their names applied to South American Rodents seems unflattering, Geddy, Alex and Neil aren't letting on. Alex took to his Instagram account to write "We are thrilled" and to thank Rush fans for the honor and add, "By the way, which one is me? In the picture I saw none of them were wearing glasses."
Adam Clayton accepted the MusiCares award Monday (6/26) in New York City. In accepting the honor from the organization dedicated to assisting musicians confronting substance abuse issues, the U2 bassist thanked his U2 band mates and Eric Clapton and Pete Townshend for helping him beat his drinking probem. Speaking bout his difficulties controlling his drinking, Clayton inferred that he feared his career depended on him being in an alcohol fueled state but said, '...two heroes of mine were there for me and it meant a great deal that they would try to convince me otherwise.' The turning point, Clayton says, came 'After two particularly destructive benders Eric Clapton was there on the end of the phone. He didn't sugar-coat it, he told me that I needed to change my life and that I wouldn't regret it.' Clapton provided Clayton with the name of the treatment center that Clayton checked in to and, while he was there, Townshend visited and helped him '...put steel on my back'.
Sammy Hagar has upped the stakes in his campaign to get Van Halen members to agree to a tour featuring both him and David Lee Roth. Talking with Rolling Stone, the Red Rocker proposed the group do a series of concerts that alternate every couple of songs between him and David Lee Roth singing lead. Hagar says the opportunity gives the group the chance to provide fans with the greatest Van Halen concerts ever without any ongoing obligation to continue with dual dueling front men. His notion is that Michael Anthony plays bass and Eddie Van Halen's son Wolfie, the current VH bassist, reconvenes his own band to be the opening act for the tour.
Sammy added that he would donate the money he makes on the tour to local food banks in the cities played if the band would make the same commitment. Hagar currently donates a portion of his currentt tour proceeds to food banks serving the areas he performs in. AntiMusic.com
Former Lynyrd Skynyrd drummer Artimus Pyle and a film company are targets of a suit filed by some other band members and the heirs of Ronnie Van Zant and Steve and Cassie Gaines seeking to block the production of a movie based largely on the 1977 plane crash that killed Van Zant, Gaines and his sister, a backup singer for the band. The suit against production and distribution of Street Survivor: The True Story of th Lynyrd Skynyrd Plane Crash was filed in My but did not come to light until last week when a ruling was issued by a judge against an attempt to put the brakes on the project through a perliminary injunction. The case could be decided largely on the 'blood oath' surviving members committed to after the crash. One provision of it was to never try to capitalize on the tragedy that claimed their band mates. Barring developments that could end the case, a trial will start on July 11.
The early 80's session that produced the Queen-David Bowie collaboration on Under Pressure included the recording of other songs with both Bowie and Freddie Mercury, according to Brian May. The Queen guitarist recently revealed that additional tracks were laid down that haven't 'come to light yet'. "Yet" implies that they certainly could. May says there was a competitive tension between Bowie and Mercury that manifest itself in things like neither of them wanting to be the first to arrive at the studio. He added that the pair 'locked horns' at times while working out and recording Under Pressure but pointed out that, '...those are the things that happen in a studio, that's when the sparks fly and that's why it turned out so great.'
Ringo Starr may have to come up with the melody, but Olivia Harrison, George's widow, has delivered the lyrics to the drummer. She found them in a folder inside a piano bench her late husband used. The song, apparently written at about the time the Beatles we're falling apart, includes the line "Hey Ringo, now I want you to know. That without you my guitar plays far too slow." Olivia doesn't know whether George ever recorded a demo of the song, but she vows to look around to see whether she find a recording of it.
Bruce Springsteen has reportedly arranged a residency on Broadway for the fall that is expected to have an 8 week run at the Kerr Theatre. Bruce in a 975 seat venue so close to his home turf is certain to be one of the tougher tickets ever - and you can be sure the scalpers and after-market ticket hawkers are well into planning ways to make them even harder and much more expensive to come by. Whether any and how many members of his band will participate in the Kerr performances remains to be seen, as does who might guest with Bruce. There is also already speculation that the series of dates could be a forerunner to a Springsteen based musical.
The East/West Classic Rock Fests slated for CitiField and Dodger Staduim will not be Fleetwood Mac's final concerts. Christine McVie confirmed that her band is laying the groundwork for a 2018 world tour, and it sounds pretty firm. Speaking with The One Show in the UK, McVie said a plan is already in place for rehearsals to start in March and a tour to kick-off in June. The group's plan to put out an album this year got sidelined due to scheduling conflicts revolving around Stevie Nicks. The sessions then morphed into a Christine McVie/Lindsey Buckingham album.
Wendy Dio says she considers an effort by Gene Simmons of KISS fame to obtain a trademark on the 'horn's gesture (demonstrated by Lars Ulrich of Metallica) both 'laughable' and 'disgusting'. Her late husband Ronnie Jame Dio had as much or more to do with its adoption by Rock fans as anyone. Ronnie, who maintained the gesture was something his grandmother used to flash, once quipped when the gesture was brought up in an interview, 'Gene Simmons will tell you that he invented it. But then again, Gene invented breathing and shoes and everything else.'
Neil Young and his former wife Pegi have announced that they will no longer be the hosts for the annual Bridge School benefit concerts the couple started in 1986. Pegi Young passed along the news on the Bridge School web site, writing, "They have been truly memorable events and we have great appreciation for everyone involved". The former couple also penned letters to Friends of Bridge School to let them know that the years of effort they put into the concerts was reflected in the eyes of the special needs students that the school serves and letting those who made a point of attending the annual concerts theat their contribution to the cause made them the "...soul that kept everything happening for all of these years."
The Youngs vowed to continue to help raise funds for the school outside the framework of the concert event. The event, held in recent years at the Shoreline Amhitheater, drew an A list of performers that included Bruce Springsteen, Pearl Jam, Dave Matthews, Metallica and dozens more.
News travels a little slower from Denmark. We've just learned that Metallica's Lars Ulrich was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Order of Dannebrog by his native country's Queen on May 26th. (Drum roll please) all hail Sir Lars! HenneMusic.com
A photo and caption posted to Ozzy Osbourne's Facebook account leave little doubt that a 2017 OzzFest is in the works. Expect an official announcement soon - and that it will again be a two day affair with Slipknot anchoring day two.
A Model- T Ford that was once owned by Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham is up for sale. The vintage vehicle, featured in The Song Remains The Same film, is being offered through the UK branch of EBay in association with Midwest Performance, a car broker. The listing describes the car as an "iconic Hot Rod" that is a "...very collectible piece of Rock history." The C-Cab model was custom built in the early 70's in San Francisco and shipped to Bonham in the UK. The listing price is close to $325k. Gibson.com
U2 did its first US festival set ever at Bonaroo on Friday night (6/9). During it, Bono paused before the band did One Tree Hill to say, 'This next song is about a friend of ours that was stolen away from us far too soon, way back then. And I’m sure a lot of people here at Bonnaroo have had a similar experience. Tonight, we want to sing it for Lily Cornell. Her dad had an epic heart.'
Phil Collins might be second guessing the naming his comeback the Not Dead Yet Tour. The former Genesis member lost his balance on his way to the John in his hotel room and suffered a rather serious head injury in the early morning hours Thursday (6/8). The fall and resulting postponements were announced on his Facebook page.
The 30th anniversary of the release of Def Leppard's Hysteria will be accompanied by a remastered reissue that will be available August 4 in a number of configurations, topped by a Super Deluxe 7 disc version that includes 2 DVDs. Here's a look & listen.
The annual Country Music Awards show opened Wednesday (6/7) with a host of artists performing Midnight Rider in tribute to Allman Brothers Band co-founding member Gregg Allman. ABB member Derek Trucks delivered a great solo on the rendition that included Darius Rucker and Lady Antebellum's Charles Kelley. HuffingtonPost.com
Pete Townshend has added Billy Idol to his lineup of musicians with his band for limited run of US dates performing Quadrophenia with orchestras. The founding member of the Who says, 'Melding the contrasting sounds of Quadrophenia with a symphony has been a really unique and powerful way to reach a wide audience of classical and pop music lovers alike'. HenneMusic.com
Quadrophenia US Tour dates
9/2 Tanglewood Music Center - Lenox, MA (with Boston Pops Orchestra)
9/9 Metropolitan Opera House - New York City
9/10 Metropolitan Opera House - New York City
Dead & Company keyboard player Jeff Chimenti has accepted the daunting task of deciding which Grateful Dead songs should get featured in an upcoming musical based on the band. Broadway World is reporting that that the yet-to-be titled stage production will be a "...semi- fantastical and immersive Americana tale" based on a 1920's family engaged in various nefarious enterprises, including gambling, conning and swindling. Based on that description, songs like Me and My Uncle, Deal, Jack Straw and Friend of the Devil should be good candidates. The last attempt (1998) at a play based on the band's material was practically dead on arrival - it folded after just a few performances.
Guitarist Neal Schon and keyboard player Jonathan Cain apparently are at odds. Schon went on Instagram on Sunday (6/4) to post "I want to be elevated by whom I play with, not feel like I've got cement shoes. If anyone is unhappy they are not running My band, they should leave". That post was followed by one in which he called out Cain specifically and shed some light on the nature of his issues with him. It appears Schon thinks Cain is trying to interject politics and religion into Journey's songs or performances because the guitarist wrote, "I've stated how I felt about mixing Religiona nad Politics and how our music is not of 1 religion - Democratic or Republican. This and has been an issue with myself Mr Cain and his now wife since he married." Cain is married to a Pentecostal Christian televangelist. Cain's online reaction was "A heart of gratitude leaves no room for complaining. For it is impossible to be truly thankful and filled with negativity and ungratefulness at the same time." HenneMusic.com
Guns N' Roses hasn't hit the studio yet, but band members have been recording some rough demos of songs that could make it onto a new album. Guitarist Richard Fortus describes the process as '...sort of assembling ideas, but not going into a studio and actually recording a new album.' Any formal recording will need to get done between dates or legs of the current GNR tour, which is slated to run through November. Speaking on The Stage Left podcast, Fortus also said Axl Rose has a knack for formulating songs; 'The genius of Axl is his ability to assemble songs from different parts and make them feel cohesive as a song. And I've never seen anybody able to do that in the same way.'
Without apologies to anyone that bought tickets for a concert on thie current tour because it would be the last chance to catch the band live, Aerosmith's previous claims their current tour will be their last are being walked back by band members. Speaking with NME, guitarist Joe Perry said that as the Aero-Vederci Baby! tour rolled along, the guys realized none of them was able to say with commitment that any stop on the tour would be the last time they would do a concert there. "We were looking at each other going, 'really? Are we really gonna say this is the farewell tour?' So we kinda changed our minds. Will the band be together in a year? We'll do everything we can to make sure it is but God may have other plans. Judging by how he's treated us over the last 48 years I'd like to think he's gonna let us see 50 but you can't guarantee that."
Jerry Garcia's custom made 'Wolf'guitar was auctioned Wednesday (5/31) for $1.6 million during a special event at Brooklyn Bowl that included live sets from Joe Russo's Friends with Benefits. An additional buyer's fee boosted the total paid for the prized instrument to $1.9 million. The $1.6 bid by a multi-millionaire .com marketing Dead Head was matched by an anonymous charity, bringing the total netted by the Southern Poverty Law Center from the instrument's sale to $3.5 million. JamBands.com
Roger Waters is featured in a segment of CBS Sunday Morning(6/4). During it, the Pink Floyd veteran tells the program's Anthony Mason while talking about his current tour, 'I can't imagine I'll ever do another one after this.' This comes as Waters and David Gilmour have come to terms with past differences that caused each to take pot-shots through the press and social media at one another. Of those skirmishes Waters says it's '...a real waste of time and energy to butt heads about things that are essentially superficial.' Whether the cease fire opens up the possibility that Waters, Gilmour and Nick Mason will ever share a stage together is anybody's guess.
Gregg Allman will be laid to rest near his brother Duane and fellow Allman Brothers Band member Berry Oakley following a service at Snow's Memorial Chapel Saturday (6/3). Macon, Georgia is preparing for a large turn-out of fans, but the ceremony itself will be private, as will a reception follows it on the grounds of The Big House, the band's communal home in the early 70's that is now a museum. Only two original band members are still with us, Dickey Betts and Jaimo - Jai Johanny Johnson, but many more in the ranks of subsequent generation members of the group and various spin-offs are expected to attend and fans are expected to line the streets during a procession. Family, band members and close friends Gregg's will gather after the burial for a private dinner at the H&H Restaurant, a Southern and soul food establishment Gregg and the band loved. Various venues in the city will be staging tribute performances dedicated to Allman throughout the weekend.
U2's The Edge has been named the 2017 recipient of the Les Paul Spirit Award. The guitarist will be honored during an invite only ceremony in Manchester, TN June 9 before his band takes the stage at the Bonnaroo Festival. The award is presnted annually to "...an individual who exemplifies the spirit of the late, great Les Paul through innovation, engineering, technology and/or music." The Les Paul Foundation's Michael Braunstein wrote of this year's recipient, "Not only is he an extraordinary talent who has given us an incredible array of amazing music but he is also an innovator who understands that sound, technologies, and a personal creative spirit play a role in creating music that cannot be forgotten."
The Edge receives the award on what would have been the 102d birthday of the pioneering guitarist it is named for. Past recipients include Joe Perry, Slash, Bruce Springsteen, Pete Townshend, Neil Young, Robbie Robertson, Steve Miller and Todd Rundgren. Gibson.com