Steven Tyler booked studio time in Muscle Shoals, Alabama a few months ago. Not much has been revealed about the sessions the Aerosmith front man did, but Tyler mentioned in a Joe Rogan Experience podcast that one of the songs he recorded while at FAME Studios was Brown Sugar, the Stones classic from Sticky Fingers, the 1971 album that included tracks recorded in Muscle Shoals. AL.com reports that Extreme guitarist Nuno Bettencourt was in on the Tyler sessions and says Steven included a number of musicians and singers on the original. Even if it doesn't measure up to it, we're happy to hear that Steven might be back to Rockin' after his foray into Country.
Foreigner, Journey, Yes and other heritage groups have replaced lead vocalists with soundalikes and managed to continue drawing well. One group's front man apparently decided his name and persona were so tightly associated with the group name in fan's minds that the other members were expendable. Ian Anderson seems to be doing okay touring as Jethro Tull without guitarist Martin Barre and other group mainstays.
Barre is busy developing his own career. His new solo album, Road Less Travelled, comes along September 1.
Phil Collins is releasing a 4 disc set in September that showcases the former Genesis member's solo sessions with a wide range of other musicians. Plays Well With Others will include Collins working with everyone from Brain Eno to Tony Bennett. On the Rock side, highlights will be performances with Robert Plant, Eric Clapton, Paul McCartney and David Crosby. The collection drops September 28.
Gary Lee Weinrib was born on this day in 1953 in Toronto to parents that survived imprisonment in two of the most horrific Nazi concentration camps. Geddy's father was able to find his mother post liberation after the pair had been sent to separate camps late during WW2. The name Geddy was adopted by the future Rush bass player and singer because his childhood friends picked up on his mother's pronunciation of his given first name at birth sounded more like Geddy than Gary.
In a move that will thrill fans and fuel haters, a U2 visitor center is slated for construction on Dublin's Grand Canal Dock. The more than 10,000 square foot, four floor structure will house the bands's original studio and exhibit space featuring instruments and memorabilia related to the group. The project plan calls for it to be a "world class tourist attraction featuring permanent, yet constantly evolving, exhibition of the U2 story on the site they recorded six albums."
On July 27& 28, 1973 an estimated 600,000 descended on the Finger Lakes village of Watkins Glen in upstate New York for Summer Jam, a concert featuring the Allman Brothers band the Grateful Dead and The Band. Staged near the fabled Watkins Glen race track, the concert was scheduled for the 28th but hordes of early arrivals got to hear the Dead and the Allman Brothers do extended soundchecks the day before. The Band's set during the actual concert was interrupted by a potent thunder storm. A defiant Garth Brooks remained on stage of it to accompany the storm with dramatic organ flourishes until a tremendous crash of thunder sent him scrambling for cover, too.
US military families have a great supporter in the Rock ranks. James Gang and Eagles veteran Joe Walsh donated proceeds from a number of his concerts to local Veteran support groups in communities he's played. A couple of years ago, he decided to stage an annual benefit concert. He's had no problem enlisting great performers and friends to join him. This year's VetsAid show takes place in the Tacoma Domed in Washington on November 11 and features Walsh, James Taylor, Chis Stapleton and Don Henley. Tickets go on sale 7/27 through Ticketmaster and the Tacoma Dome box office. TY, Joe!
Bon Scott was considered so beyond replaceable in the hearts and minds of AC/DC fans that it's hard to imagine more daunting shoes to fill than Brian Johnson set out to with the release of this album on this day in 1980. Bon's legendary status is eternally assured, but Brian certainly deserves a tremendous amount of credit for the role he played in keeping AC/DC one of the biggest Classic Rock bands in history.
Between the time Yes finished recording its second album and its July 24th release, the group replaced guitarist Peter Banks with Steve Howe. Banks was bounced, in part, for arguing against using strings and brass backing on songs - a contention many fans and critics shared. We can only speculate how different the album might have been had Howe been involved from the start.
Saul Hudson's parents weren't musicians, but their careers related to it. The eventual Guns N' Roses and Velvet Revolver guitarist's mother was a costume designer whose client list included David Bowie. His father an artist, whose work included album covers for Neil Young and Joni Mitchell. Slash was born in Hempstead, London on Jyly 23, 1965.
A record company 16 year-old David Jones submitted it to considered it worthless, but the demo the future David Bowie recorded in 1963 while in a band called The Konrads is expected to sell for close to $20k. The Independent reports that the drummer/manager of the group came across it while packing things up for a move almost 30 years ago.
The Eagles spent fewer years as a band than disbanded, but the body of work they produced from 1971-1980 and the tours they have staged since getting back together since the first of a couple of reunions in 1994 have kept the one of America's most prominent bands. In addition to QBing the Eagles, Don Henley has 5 solo albums to his credit. The drummer/guitarist/vocalist/producer was born on this day in 1947 in Gilmor, Texas.
Many don't realize that when Santana delivered one of the most riveting sets at the original Woodstock festival the group's debut album hadn't even been released yet. The fusion of Rock and firey Latin American rhythms and the searing guitar work of the man born on this day in Mexico has continued to enthrall audiences to this day. Happy brithday, Carlos Santana!
Springsteen on Broadway, Bruce's one-man show on Broadway, will wrap-up after three extensions and close to 300 performances. Ticket demand and prices remain high. If the availability or cost of going to the live show proved too daunting, you'll still be able to catch it. Netflix has reached a deal to televise a recording of a performance on December 15th.
If you're a big Queen fan you might have a fighting chance going one-on-one with Brian May on trivia involving his band, but he might then up the stakes and shift the subject to Astrophysics and Astronomy. The Queen guitarist's Rock credentials are matched with some major qualifications in those fields. Happy birthday to him today.
The Doors 4th studio album was eight months in the making, due in good part to the fact Jim Morrison was not writing songs during the group's long tour leading into the studio sessions. He contibuted less to this album than he had to any of the previous studio recordings. The addition of orchestral backing and more jazz influenced styling from Ray Manzarek than on the first three albums earned little praise from fans and critics that had come to expect straight-up Rock from Morrison and company.
The Circle has been playing together a few years and released a live DVD, but Sammy Hagar's group has yet to put out an album. That changes soon when the group that includes Jason Bonham, Michael Anthony and Vic Johnson in addition to the Red Rocker turns loose a debut album that Bonham described while talking with Sonic Perspectives as an release that is intended to be listened to as albums used to be... from start to finish.
Most bands morph into existence, picking-up members over a period of weeks or months. One of Rock's original power trio's was formed in a single day, July 16, 1966.
His time as a member of the Yardbirds and John Mayall's Bluesbreakers made Eric Clapton the best known of the three, but it was Ginger Baker that brought the members of Cream together. Baker had been the drummer in the Graham Bond Organisation, a band that also included Jack Bruce. When Ginger proposed forming a new band with Clapton, Eric agreed to it, provided that Bruce, who had been a member of the Bluesbreakers during EC's stint with Mayall, be included. Since Bruce and Baker had frequently feuded during their time together in the Bond band, Baker was reluctant to go along with it but did because Clapton insisted. Baker and Bruce continued to knock heads during the few years and four albums Cream was together.
In 1969, weary of the ongoing battles between Baker and Bruce, Clapton and Baker joined former Spencer Davis Group and Traffic member Steve Winwood in forming Blind Faith, opting to invite Ric Gretch from the band Family to play bass.
Talking Heads second album dropped on this date in 1978. David Byrne brought Brian Eno in to produce it. The biggest song on it was the group's unlikely choice of Take Me To The River, a song written four years earlier by soul singer Al Green and his guitarist that Green never released as a single.
Smashing Pumpkins have been known to throw a curve ball from time to time, but one they played during the 30+ song set opening their reunion tour in Glendale, Arizona Thursday night must have really surprised their audience.
The USPS will issue a John Lennon stamp in September. The 'forever' stamp includes John's signature on a photo shot for his 1974 Walls and Bridges album. The stamp pane is designed to resemble a 45rpm singles sleeve and has a photo of John taken in 1971 at his white piano for the Imagine album. The official release of the stamp will be at a ceremony at the Namburg Bandshell in New York City's Central Park at 11am on September 7th.
Christine Anne Perfect was born July 12, 1943 in Lancashire. Her father was a professional violinist, her mother a spiritualist said to have psychic and faith healing skills. The future Fleetwood Mac keyboard player and vocalist was classically trained on piano, but jumped to Rock in her mid teens. During her college years she did some singing with Spencer Davis before joining the group Chicken Shack. She met and married FM's bass player John McVie in 1968, released a solo album in 1970 and was invited to join Fleetwood Mac.
Tom Petty's wife and daughter as well as Benmont Tench and Mike Campbell of the Heartbreakers have curated a collection of previously unreleased material for a box set that drops on September 28. An American Treasure will include alternate studio takes and live versions of several tracks released on albums, but also some originals and covers that have not been put out on past albums. The release is slated to come out on 4 CDs.
Phil Collen's late May absence from Def Leppard's tour with Journey now has an explanation. The guitarist's wife encountered life threatening complications during delivery of the couple's baby son. Internal bleeding led to his wife needing to be resuscitated. Speaking with Rock Talk's Mitch Lafon, Collen said,She actually died and they brought her back to life.'
From Elf to Heaven & Hell by way of stints with Black Sabbath, Rainbow and Dio, the bad-ass great vocalist born on this day in Portsmouth, New Hampshire and raised in Cortland, New York earned recognition for having some of the best pipes in Rock.
July 8 & 9, 1972 an estimated 200,000 descended on Pocono Raceway in rural Pennsylvania for a festival that featured a number of lesser known groups on the opening day and night and a much better known lineup day two, when ELP, the Faces with Rod Stewart and Ronnie Wood, Humble Pie with Peter Frampton, the J. Geils Band and Three Dog Night played.
Richard Starkey arrived in this world on July 7, 1940. The only child of parents that loved swing music. They divorced when he was only 5, leaving his mother to raise the future Beatles drummer largely on her own, a challenge that was compounded by her young son having appendicitis when he was six and contracting tuberculosis two years later. His mother married Harry Graves when Ringo was thirteen. Graves was a Big Band enthusiast and turned his step-son on to the stars of the genre. He also helped arrange a job for him as an machine apprentice in an equipment factory. There, a co-worker introduced Ringo to Skiffle music. It would become a shared passion that was an instant thing in common he would have with John Lennon and Paul McCartney.
Rapid recovery wishes to Elvis Costello who today announced he must cancel additional live due to surgery to address a "small but very aggressive cancerous malignancy". The operation has already taken place and some dates were played post-op, but his doctor has decided he needs additional recovery time before resuming his tour.
Pink Floyd gave fans extra reason to be glad they were seeing the group at Knebworth on this date in 1975 - the chance to be the first to hear songs from Wish You Were Here, an album that would not come out until two months later. Floyd included Have A Cigar and all of the parts of Shine On You Crazy Diamond during the first set on July 5th.
Today is also the anniversary of the day the Rolling Stones paid tribute to Brian Jones in 1969 by doing a huge concert in Hyde Park, and Robbie Robertson of The Band was born on July 5th in 1943.
The wait was over for the third studio album by the Doors on this date in 1968. Waiting For The Sun eclipsed the success of the self titled debut album and Strange Days by becoming the bands only #1 selling album. The release dropped on the same date that Jim Morrison died on three years later in Paris.
Multi-instrumentalist Wolfgang Van Halen has wrapped up the recording of his debut solo album. The Van Halen bass player and son of Eddie Van Halen hasn't revealed a title or release date for the project yet. Michael Baskette, who produced the sessions, calls it '...so awesome and I am proud of it on all levels'. The album has been in the works for the better part of 3 years. The long timeline isn't related to difficulty lining up schedules of other musicians; Wolfie reportedly plays all of the instruments on it.
These two albums dropped on the first of first of July in 1968 and '70. Music From Big Pink introduced The Band, Bob Dylan's former backing musicians, and established them as one of the most distinctively different sounding groups of any era.
Absolutely Live gave the many fans that would never have the opportunity to see The Doors in concert a pretty good idea of how intense and disjointed a live performance by Morrison & Co. was.