All Hell Breaks Loose, the debut album by Black Star Riders (the band who formed out of the latest incarnation of Thin Lizzy) features what guitarists Scott Gorham and Damon Johnson say is an evolution of their classic twin guitar attack.
So how do they approach that Thin Lizzy sound? Do they celebrate it? Avoid it? Hint at it? "Well, y'know, there's two different camps, really," Gorham says. "Damon keeps saying we're not going to get away from the Thin Lizzy sound just because of the fact that I'm in the band, y'know? It's my style. But when we decided that this was not going to be a Thin Lizzy album, it was going to be a Black Star Riders album, I was kinda shying away from the heavy harmony guitar thing and all that. But Damon and the other guys really wanted to keep that in there. And it's not because I hate harmony guitar. I just wanted to steer the thing in a whole brand new path. But now that we haven't done that, I'm glad that we didn't, because what we've come up with harmony-wise is a little bit different from the old Lizzy way of doing it. And it's kind of furthered it in a cooler way, if you can imagine that."
Johnson adds, "That's the thing. Scott is so incredibly humble about it and he always has been, but the fact is that he is a vital part of this particular piece of real estate in the history of rock guitar, the history of rock, period. I would say to him, 'Bro, you own that. You created that. You're part of it.' So for me and Marco and Ricky it's just an honor to be asked to play in Thin Lizzy to begin with. So I felt a healthy tug of war between whether it should sound like Lizzy or not."
Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen and his group the Underthinkers are releasing an album, Everywhere at Once, in August. Allen is the not-so-famous-as-Bill Gates co-founder of the technology company Microsoft, but is a huge guitar-head and music aficionado.
Everywhere at Once features some stellar guests. Joe Walsh, Derek Trucks, Heart’s Ann and Nancy Wilson, Chrissie Hynde, Doyle Bramhall II, Los Lobos’ David Hidalgo and Ivan Neville all feature on the album. Allen himself co-wrote all of the songs.
Seattle-native Allen saw Jimi Hendrix perform when he was 16 and was key in founding the EMP Museum in Seattle. Allen paid a reported $2m at auction to buy the guitar Hendrix played in ’69 at Woodstock.
“I've rarely gone a week without picking up a guitar,” he wrote in his memoir. “It's more than a hobby; it gives me balance and keeps me in the moment, which can be a challenge with all the projects I'm pursuing at any one time… I take music with me wherever I go.”
Proceeds from Everywhere at Once’s sales will go toward the EMP Museum‘s educational programs. Which is good, as in March 2013 Allen was estimated by Forbes to be the 53rd-richest person in the world.
After months of speculation, the world now knows why the Black Sabbath reunion was absent one of its four original members, drummer Bill Ward. Guitarist Tony Iommi says he cut off the talks but not over money or arguments. It was because he felt he was short on time.
Iommi was diagnosed with cancer in 2012, just after the reunion was announced. As negotiations dragged out between the band and Ward, Tony says he was worried that his time would run out before the band could accomplish anything.
Tony tells Guitar World, “Once I heard ‘cancerous lymphoma,’ I thought, ‘That’s it. I’ve had it.’ We waited a long time for Bill and we wanted to sort it out. But at the end of the day, especially after I was diagnosed, I thought, 'F****** hell, that's it. we've got to get a move on. I might pop off next year!' I emailed him and said, ‘Bill, we can’t wait any longer. We’ve got to get on with it.’ And that was it.”
Bassist Geezer Butler adds his support for Iommi working through his illness. “It brought up how we’re all mortal beings and we aren’t here for ever. Tony and I were on the Heaven and Hell tour with Ronnie (James Dio) – and six months later Ronnie was dead. When Tony got the cancer, obviously that was in his mind... So it was like, let’s get the album done at all costs, as long as Tony’s up to it. It didn’t affect his playing at all – in fact, I think it really encouraged him to keep his mind off the cancer, which is the best thing you can possibly do.”
Black Sabbath release their new album 13 on June 10 and follow with a world tour. Rage Against The Machine’s Brad Wilk plays drums.
A 45rpm two-sided metal acetate test copy of Led Zeppelin’s “Your Time is Gonna Come” has fetched $3600 on eBay after 40 bids.
The bluesy track was from the band’s self-titled 1969 debut album, and the item formerly belonged to a DJ who worked in the U.K. and South Africa, according to its Austin, Texas-based seller.
“Your Time is Gonna Come” is, itself, a sort of rarity. The song is said to have been performed only once onstage by Zeppelin, as part of a medley with “Whole Lotta Love” during a 1971 concert in Tokyo, Japan. Jimmy Page played steel guitar on the original sessions, while co-writer John Paul Jones played organ. Page did later play “Your Time Is Gonna Come” live during his series of concert appearances with the Black Crowes, later released as the album Live at the Greek.
Metallica has enough material for a new album, they’ve revealed, but they’re still culling through their “riffs CDs” for more great ideas. “The grooves and the riffs that are already on the radar are really, really awesome," says bassist Robert Trujillo, speaking to Billboard. "We've still got more riffs to go through and jam out and throw into the process, but we're getting there, and we'll have something great, hopefully, in the next year.”
Frontman James Hetfield added that the band’s busy schedule – which includes focusing on their forthcoming 3D movie – has slowed the process. “I want it done yesterday," he said. “This movie is keeping us pretty busy at this point and it's taking a lot of our time and effort. We've been touring some obscure places; I guess basically what we're trying to do is pay for this movie, so the touring is keeping us from getting in there and finishing the record.”
The veteran rockers will preside over their own Orion Music and More Festival in Detroit next month. Their 3D film, Metallica Through the Never, debuts September 27 on every IMAX screen in North America.
Criminally under-appreciated yet darn near ubiquitous in some of the greatest rock and roll songs ever recorded, today is the day we celebrate a musical instrument first developed to assist herdsmen in keeping track of their wayward future Big Macs and Whoppers:the cowbell. First appearing in American mountain and hillbilly music back in the 1920s, the cowbell really started gaining traction during the ‘60s, as the psychedelic movement embraced all forms of musical (and other) experimentation. Today we honor the cream of the cowbell crop!
10. “Red Morning Light” Kings of Leon
A surprising yet entirely deserving newcomer to the pantheon of cowbell classics, Tennessee-based Kings of Leon deliver a raucous and raw cowbell confection with “Red Morning Light.” No longer relegated to the second-tier of percussion instruments, the cowbell gets the real spotlight treatment thanks to drummer Ivan Nathan Followill’s groovy and sparse mid-song breakdown.
9. “Nightrain” Guns N’ Roses
Slash was always a big fan of “Nightrain,” proclaiming in his autobiography that it was his favorite song to play live because “when we had our huge stage later on [after Guns N’ Roses got big], I’d run the length of it, jump off the amplifiers, and lose it just about every time we played it. I’m not sure why, but no other song we ever played live made me move like that.” Slash might not know why “Nightrain” did that to him, but we do: monster cowbell intro! Duh!
8. “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper” Blue Oyster Cult
A strong staple on rock radio since its release in 1976, Blue Oyster Cult’s “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper” was catapulted into the cowbell stratosphere thanks to its hilarious send-up by Will Ferrell and Christopher Walken on Saturday Night Live. “I’ve got a fever!” Walken exclaims during his portrayal of producer Bruce Dickinson, “and the only prescription is more cowbell!” This singular moment in rock history ushered the cowbell to its rightful place in the forefront of iconic rock instruments, just behind the ‘59 Les Paul Standard.
7. “Low Rider” War
Appearing on War’s 1975 album Why Can’t We Be Friends?, this cowbell classic shot to #1 on Billboard’s R&B chart and #7 on the pop chart, making it one of the California band’s biggest hits. One of the first songs to glamorize the Chicano culture’s love of utilizing hydraulics to lift and lower their hot-rods, the prodigious use of cowbell propels “Low Rider” beautifully, like a pimped-out ‘67 GTO rolling smooth down Ventura Boulevard.
6. “Time Has Come Today” The Chambers Brothers
Originally released in 1966 then re-released as a shorter radio-friendly version in 1966, this Chambers Brothers classic painted a psychedelic sonic picture of the events of the day, namely the Vietnam War. Considered ahead of its time because of the multiple effects incorporated throughout the song, particularly the longer original album cut, the most notable and memorable effect is the constant “tick-tock, tick-tock” of a cowbell.
5. “Rock of Ages” Def Leppard
“Gunter…glieben…glauchen…globen,” and with those four head-scratching German words (actually spoken by Def Leppard producer Mutt Lange), the Leps’ still fully-armed drummer Rick Allen turns his attention to the almighty cowbell, clanging out the classic intro to one of the ‘80s greatest fist-pumping anthems. It’s better to cowbell than fade away!
4. “We’re an American Band” Grand Funk Railroad
Grand Funk Railroad’s first-ever chart-topping hit was a song sent from cowbell heaven. Produced by Todd Rundgren and originally released on gold transparent vinyl, 1973’s “We’re an American Band” kicks off with drummer Don Brewer thwacking out the beat with his kick-drum, snare and ubiquitous cowbell. Brewer also sang the song instead of Grand Funk’s usual lead vocalist Mark Farner.
3. “Hair of the Dog” Nazareth
Scottish rock stalwarts Nazareth kick off the title track to their 1975 masterpiece album Hair of the Dog with a colossal cowbell cacophony. The lyrics alone scare the bejeezus out of you: “Now you’re messing with a…S.O.B.!” Ever had your noggin pummeled by the business end of a cowbell? Trust me. It’s not pretty, and this cowbell classic does just that.
2. “Mississippi Queen” Mountain
Mountain drummer Corky Laing co-wrote this scorching cowbell-driven number with guitarist-singer Leslie West. Originally appearing on Mountain’s 1970 album Climbing!, “Mississippi Queen” remains the group’s most popular song, even more so today with the younger crowd thanks to its inclusion in both Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock and Rock Band gaming systems.
1. “Honky Tonk Women” The Rolling Stones
What separates The Rolling Stones copious cowbell from the herd during the intro to this debaucherous little ditty is the non-traditional beat producer Jimmy Miller thunks out on the cowbell (no, Charlie Watts did not play the cowbell on this one). Where most cowbellists stick to a straightforward hard-driving cow-beat, Jimmy’s softer, funkier take on the beef bongo instantly identifies one of the Stones’ greatest songs. Your blue ribbon winner!
2013’s The Next Day proves that David Bowie still has the power to surprise. What is never surprising is the calibre of musicians in Bowie’s go-to contact list. Here’s a rundown of his greatest guitarists…
Bowie and Ronson could not have been more different. The singer/composer was an art-school dandy from London, the guitarist was earlier earning a living as a Council gardener in gritty North England city, Hull. Yet the bluff-talking Ronson was also classically trained on piano, recorder and violin.
Ronson debuted via a few cameos appearances on Bowie’s Man of Words, Man of Music album (later re-titled Space Oddity), but it was proto-glam The Man Who Sold the World, that saw Ronson truly deliver.
The fuzz of Ronson’s Les Paul on the title track became famous – ask Kurt Cobain – and Ronson’s work on Hunky Dory, Pin-Ups and notably The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars cemented his rep as a superb riff writer and soloist.
Ronson was a huge influence on other Les Paul guitarists of the 1970s, but his and Bowie’s alliance always seemed to be temporary. Bowie himself admitted to the NME in the early ‘70s, “I don’t think this will last long.”
In-the-know guitarists will always love Mick Ronson. Ronson and Bowie were co-producers of Lou Reed’s classic Transformer album of 1972. Reed later commented that Ronson was the driving force: he contributed guitar, piano, recorder and backing vocals, as well as arrangements, notably the lush strings of “Perfect Day.”
After being elbowed-out by Bowie, Ronson joined Mott The Hoople, played with Bob Dylan, Van Morrison and many more. In ’76, Ronson revealed he hadn’t then even been back in contact with Bowie. “I didn’t bother,” he told Melody Maker. “I didn't really feel like listening to him making a lot of excuses. I didn’t see the point.”
Ronson died aged just 46 in 1993, his last major job being producer of Morrissey’s album Your Arsenal. “No matter how you juggle the words, Mick was not replaced in David’s life,” Morrissey opined to Uncut magazine this year. “None of David’s $20,000-a-day U.S. guitarists had a single grain of Mick’s natural style, and even [Brian] Eno only worked with David for 14 days. Mick had been David’s lifelong asset – no-one else.”
Earl Slick (born Frank Madeloni) has been a Bowie mainstay. He was hired by David Bowie to replace Ronson as lead guitarist for the Diamond Dogs tour in ‘74 (the David Live album was recorded on this tour). Slick also played lead guitar on the Young Americans and Station To Station albums of ‘75 and ‘76 respectively. Listen to the latter album’s “Stay” for just one example of Slick’s slickness.
Slick is back with Bowie on The Next Day. “David got in touch with me out of the blue, and he said, ‘I’m ready to go back in. What are you doing? Are you around? Are you touring?’ I said, ‘No, just get me some dates.’” If Bowie ever does play live again, expect to see Slick at his side.
Alomar is an under-appreciated piece of the Bowie guitar jigsaw. He first joined Bowie for the Diamond Dogs tour and Alomar’s impromptu riff on a session Bowie and John Lennon recorded together (The Beatles’ “Across the Universe”) was developed into Bowie’s “Fame.” Young Americans (‘75) was Alomar's first appearance on a Bowie album, and began a long period of collaboration. Alomar was Bowie’s rhythm man, and underpinned Bowie's recordings for half a decade.
Bowie’s “Golden Years” came from an Alomar riff. Nerd fact? Bowie’s Lodger single “Boys Keep Swinging” features Alomar playing drums. Alomar also played guitar on Iggy Pop's two Bowie-produced albums of 1977, The Idiot and Lust For Life. He’s also on Bowie’s “Everyone Says ‘Hi’” (from 2002 album Heathen in 2002). Although never in the spotlight, Alomar has played on 12 Bowie albums.
Fripp’s unique guitar style is to fore on the albums “Heroes” and Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps.) His shimmering, sustaining Les Paul hovers throughout “Heroes” (the song) and across Bowie’s whole 1977 album. Fripp had his own MO: for the title track, Fripp placed strips of tape on the studio floor to indicate where he should stand to sustain certain notes. “He would stand on the letter ‘G,’ for instance, if he wanted the ‘G’ note to sustain,” remembered producer Tony Visconti.
Three years on, Fripp added stabbing/wailing guitar to Bowie’s Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps) album. Listen to “Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps),” “Fashion,” and “Teenage Wildlife” for simply astounding guitarism.
Belew joined Bowie in the ‘70s to play Fripp’s parts, on the recommendation of Brian Eno… Fripp and Belew would later join together in King Crimson.
Bowie and producer Eno put Belew through the mincer for the Lodger album. Belew said on his website: “The record was [initially] to be called Planned Accidents and so they wanted to capture my accidental responses to the songs by not allowing me to hear them beforehand! So I would go upstairs into the recording room, put on my headphones, look into the closed circuit camera and say, ‘what key would this one be in?’ I'd hear a disconnected voice, ‘don't worry about the key, when you hear the count off just start playing something.’”
On Lodger Belew splatters avant-garde guitar as only he does, yet “planned accidents” was a mad experiment that worked. Belew says, “David told me “Boys Keep Swinging” was written with me in mind.”
Stevie Ray Vaughan and Nile Rodgers
SRV was a bit-player in Bowie’s career. But what parts. SRV’s soloing on “Let’s Dance” and “China Girl” helped catapult Vaughan’s career, yet Bowie and SRV apparently mixed like oil and water. SRV quit/was fired just before Bowie’s huge Serious Moonlight tour – many reasons have been offered by different people, but we’re not going there for legal reasons. Earl Slick returned to play on the tour. But, of course, Let’s Dance also benefitted from the production and guitar genius of Nile Rodgers – he plays most of the album’s rhythm guitars. And Carlos Alomar is in there again, as well. Let’s Dance remains Bowie’s biggest-selling album.
Frampton and Bowie were pals at Bromley Technical School. But they’d never played together professionally until Bowie’s Never Let Me Down and the subsequent Glass Spider tour. Neither got any good reviews, but Frampton sees it differently.
“The ’80s were a difficult period for me,” he told M Magazine. “It wasn’t until my dear friend David Bowie got me out on the road for the Glass Spider tour and on his Never Let MeDown record and reintroduced me as a guitar player around the world. I can never thank him enough for believing in me, and seeing past the image of the satin pants and big hair to the guitar player he first met when we played together in school.”
Gabrels was with Bowie, on and off, from 1987 to 1999. The Tin Machine albums they made together weren’t Bowie’s most commercially successful but, like Fripp and Belew, Gabrels is an avant-garde leaning guitarist and writer with the power to surprise. Gabrels also worked on Bowie’s Outside (1995), Earthling (1997), and Hours… albums though at times, you’d be pushed to realize it’s actually guitars being played.
Gabrels later told MusicDish in 2002 that Tin Machine “was a volatile mix of personalities.” He also added, “It is always a bittersweet compliment to me when fans, writers and reviewers say that my ‘unique’ guitar style was important in defining the sound of any of the records I did with David. The reason for that is the fact that on most every album I have done with him, I also co-wrote the majority of the songs and co-produced.
“I may be overly sensitive to this issue, but I am continually amazed by the number of musicians, fans and music critics who seem to be unaware of the amount of songwriting I did with David or my involvement as a producer.”
Other guitarists, of course, have played on Bowie albums. So: who’s your favorite David Bowie guitarist?
Playing backup to a lead guitarist who gets all the attention. If you’ve ever doubted the importance of the bassist, imagine any song by the likes of AC/DC, The Who, or the Rolling Stones without bass — it would sound flat and incomplete. It is the bassist’s job to fill out the sound and give depth to a band’s music. But some bassists go above and beyond that main requirement. Here we’ll take a look at some of the best bass players to ever walk the earth. Who did we forget? Let us know in the comments!
If there is one bass player that is instantly recognizable it has to be Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. When you hear that unique slap bass sound that Flea has developed you know right away that it’s him, even when he’s guest starring on someone else’s song, like Alanis Morissette’s breakthrough single “You Oughta Know.” Flea comes from a jazz background, having originally started his musical career playing the trumpet, and it seems as if he draws a lot of inspiration from that genre in his bass playing.
The least known person on this list is probably Pino Palladino. But that doesn’t mean he is any less deserving of being on this list. Palladino has mainly worked as a session musician, but after John Entwistle’s passing he has stepped in to fill the void he left in The Who, a job that he was quite clearly made for. Pino Palladino is also one third of the John Mayer Trio, along with John Mayer (of course), and drummer Steve Jordan.
Recent Hall of Fame inductee Geddy Lee of Rush is basically the original that many bassists try to imitate. What makes Lee so special is the fact that aside from playing some of the most intricate bass lines ever heard, he does it while singing. Sometimes he even adds keyboards to the mix, while playing bass notes with foot pedals.
Stefan Lessard joined Dave Matthews Band when he was only sixteen years old. In fact, when the band would perform in bars they would actually have to sneak him in. Just like his band mates, Lessard is an incredibly gifted musician. He plays the bass as if it were a lead instrument. If you want to hear a great example of Lessard in action, check out any live recording of DMB doing “All Along The Watchtower.” Stefan does the most intricate and melodic bass intro that sets the mood for the entire song.
Master funk bassist Les Claypool admits being heavily influenced by another bassist on this list: Geddy Lee of Rush. Claypool was able to take those influences, master them, and turn them in to his own style, which was the back bone of his band Primus, probably the wackiest band to ever cross over to mainstream success.
The Who bassist John Entwistle passed away far too early at the age of 57. But the legacy he left behind is remarkable. Entwistle was the only possible choice to match the talent of Pete Townshend. His bass playing was so melodic, it could at times be mistaken for the lead guitar part.
Cliff Burton’s contribution to music only consisted in the first three Metallica albums, Kill ‘Em All, Ride The Lightning, and Master of Puppets. But with those three albums, Master of Puppets in particular, Burton set the bar for what a bassist in a metal band could do. It seems to be a common theme that great bass players know how to push their instrument to the limit, making it sound like more than just bass notes backing up a lead guitarist.
John Paul Jones
Just like his Led Zeppelin band mate Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones started out as a session musician. Jones masters multiple music styles, having played bass in the studio for such diverse artists as Cat Stevens and Jeff Beck. Along with the late John Bonham, John Paul Jones provided the most solid and recognizable rhythm section a band could have.
When you see Billy Sheehan playing the bass live, your jaw will most certainly drop by the sheer speed with which he plays the bass. It is really hard to grasp that a human being can play like that. Sheehan has played bass with the likes of Steve Vai, and David Lee Roth, as well as his own band Mr. Big. In Mr. Big, Sheehan and guitarist Paul Gilbert use power drills with guitar picks mounted on them to play the song “Daddy, Brother, Lover, Little Boy” as if they weren’t playing fast enough already.
It’s easy to forget that aside from being a great front man and songwriter, Phil Lynott was also an excellent bass player. His bass lines are some of the most inventive you will find in rock music. You also have to keep in mind that Lynott played them while singing — that takes some serious skills! Phil Lynott left this world way too soon, but at least he left behind a great collection of music that is still in heavy rotation on rock radio stations all over the world.
Black Sabbath fans who tuned in to the season finale of “CSI” didn’t have to wait long to see the band in action. The TV crime drama opened with Sabbath performing “The End of the Beginning,” the lead track from the group’s forthcoming new album.
The script called for characters played by actors Ted Danson and Marc Vann to comment on the performance. “So nice to see Black Sabbath again,” says Vann. “Saw them in ’78 at the Spectrum in Philly.”
“Around the same time as I saw the [Grateful] Dead at the Winterland Ballroom," replies Danson. "A little bit of a different vibe."
Ozzy Osbourne subsequently did a mock interview with a reporter attending the show. “So, Ozzy, another incredible gig,” offers the reporter. “The new album is titled 13, right?”
"That’s correct," replies Ozzy. "The album's kind of like a modern sound but there's no denying it's a Black Sabbath album. It’s still got the black Sabbath vibe, you know?”
Later in the episode, the new Sabbath single “God is Dead?” was featured as part of the soundtrack. 13 will be released in North America on June 11.
Bob Dylan is now officially an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Henry Cobb, president of the Academy, praised the 71-year-old Dylan for his contributions to the creative arts. The citation reads: “For more than 50 years, defying categorization in a culture beguiled by categories, Bob Dylan has probed and prodded our psyches, recording and then changing our world and our lives through poetry made manifest in song - creating relationships that we never imagined could exist between words, emotions and ideas.”
Virginia Dejani, executive director of the Academy, said the legendary singer was designated an honorary member because the Academy couldn’t decide which category – art, literature or music – he best fit into. Dylan was unable to attend the ceremony, which took place in Manhattan, but he did issue a statement. “I feel extremely honored and very lucky to be included in this pantheon of great individual artists who comprise the Academy of Arts and Letters,” he said. “I look forward to meeting all of you some time soon.”
Beatles flick Help! is heading to the small screen. The 1965 movie will arrive on Blu-ray for the first time on June 25, and the offering will include a digitally restored version of the film and 5.1 audio, plus an hour of extra material.
As for the bonus hour, that will include interviews with cast and crew members from the original movie, a 30-minute making-of documentary, a deleted scene and more. The release also packs a booklet featuring an introduction by director Richard Lester and a special essay about the movie from Martin Scorsese.
Help! was the follow-up to 1964’s A Hard Day's Night and depicts the Fab Four dealing with a cursed ring that Ringo Starr got his hands on. Memorable songs in the flick include “Ticket to Ride,” “I Need You,” “The Night Before” and “You’re Going to Lose That Girl,” among others.
Do you remember the first time you saw Help! the movie? Tell us your Beatles stories in the comments area below!
Ex-Rolling Stones bassist Bill Wyman has said he will “never” play live with the band again.
Wyman, who played with the Rolling Stones between 1962 until 1993, joined the band onstage for their 50th anniversary gigs at London's O2 Arena in November 2012, but in April he said that he would not be interested in rejoining the group on a permanent basis because he has “better things to do.”
Now, in an interview with the Huffington Post, Wyman has ruled out the possibility of performing with the Stones ever again. “The nice thing was that my kids saw me on stage with the Stones,” he said. “They’d asked me the December before, and I had to jam with them for three days. I was under the impression I was going to get really involved, but when it came to it, they only wanted me to do two songs, which was very disappointing.”
Wyman added: “I’ve always maintained that you can’t go back to things, and they can never be the same... It doesn’t work. It was a one-off. Five minutes. OK, never again. No regrets, we’re still great friends.”
The Rolling Stones are currently on their 50 & Counting tour.
Metallica are screening their upcoming 3D movie, Through the Never, at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival.
According to Variety, the movie will be shopped and screened at Cannes, the world's most lauded cinema showcase, by international sales company Exclusive Media.
“After wading through multiple international distribution options for our film, we are excited to be partnering up with the folks at Exclusive Media, who we feel understand Metallica and understand our film better than anyone else,” said drummer Lars Ulrich. “Throw in the cherry-on-top, launching our international sales with a couple of screenings at the film market during a little up-and-coming film festival in Cannes, and it feels like we're off to a pretty rockin' start.”
The movie tells the story of a band crew member who is sent out on a mission during Metallica's live set in front of a sold-out arena; while on this mission, he unexpectedly has his life turned completely upside down…
The Cannes Film Festival runs May 15–26. The movie will be first seen in public theaters from September 27.
Jimi Hendrix, and famous jazz trumpeter Miles Davis, along with drummer Tony Williams, had been trying to enlist the bass guitar duties of Paul McCartney for a recording project in 1969. Validity to this story comes from a telegram that the trio sent to McCartney at the Beatles' Apple Records on October 21, 1969: "We are recording and LP together this weekend in NewYork [sic]," the note starts out according to The Associated Press. "How about coming in to play bass stop call Alvan Douglas 212-5812212. Peace Jimi Hendrix Miles Davis Tony Williams." Alvan Douglas refer to producer Alan Douglas, but his name is misspelled.
Hendrix and Co., got a response from the Beatles camp the following day saying that Paul was on vacation for the next two weeks, and thus unable to participate. Had the session taken place, it would have been quite a unique collaboration with some of the greatest musicians of that era from different genres. The original telegram is part of the Hard Rock Café memorabilia collection, and is on display at the Hard Rock Café in Prague, Czech Republic.
Sorry for the pun but there's no other way to say it: Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield — often called 'the coolest guy in outer space,' — has recorded the most out-of-this-world cover ever: David Bowie's "Space Oddity" from 250 miles high and hurtling around the Earth at more than 17,000 miles per hour while aboard the International Space Station.
In Hadfield's version of "Space Oddity," the lyrics were altered to include mention of the Soyuz capsule aboard which Hadfield will return to Kazakhstan on Monday night. "With deference to the genius of David Bowie, here's Space Oddity, recorded on Station," Hadfield tweeted. "A last glimpse of the World."
Staff at the Canadian Space Agency and musician Emm Gryner helped to bring the song to life. And David Bowie showed his appreciation for Hadfield's efforts by tweeting "Hallo Spaceboy," a very apt reference to his 1995 track of the same name.
If there's one thing KISS fans can always rely on, it's the reassuring familiarity of the band's live show. Gene Simmons flying up to the light truss, Gene Simmons spitting fire, Gene Simmons spitting blood… Paul Stanley zip lining out to the middle of the audience, Tommy Thayer blasting the light rig with rocket fire from his signature Epiphone Les Paul… but it seems the band is about to shake things up. Frontman Paul Stanley isn't giving much away — he's not saying whether any of those classic elements will remain — but he does promise that fans will be "blown away by what we're doing onstage" on the band's next run.
Speaking to VH1 Radio Network's Dave Basner at the opening of Stanley's new Californian restaurant Rock & Brews, the frontman said, "You know, for so many years, we've talked about a new stage show and basically what we've been doing has been an extension of the old stage show. So people would sometimes come and, obviously, the band does a great show and it's great to be there, but some people would say, 'Gee, it doesn't look that different.' This is a completely different stage, it follows a really great theme, the lights are like nothing you've ever seen before."
KISS recently toured Australia with Motley Crue and Thin Lizzy, and are hitting the road in Europe on June 1 in support of their latest album, Monster.
Carlos Santana already has a bevy of awards, and now, he can add a special Las Vegas honor to his collection. The House of Blues Las Vegas inducted the guitarist into its Blues God Ceiling on Tuesday (May 7). The Ceiling consists of a set of clay busts of blues or blues-influenced greats that hangs at the venue’s Crossroads bar.
At the ceremony, Santana mentioned several other musicians already inducted into the Blues God Ceiling and paid tribute to their legacy, including Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page and Janis Joplin.
Quite appropriately, Santana is in the midst of a new series of shows in his multi-year House of Blues Las Vegas residency. The current string of concerts runs through June 2. He’ll be back in September and November to perform a handful of additional dates. For the full set of tour dates, head to Santana’s official website.
Hey, Beatles fans—there’s a new musical coming to Broadway that might peak your interest.
The Beatles-inspired stage musical Let It Be is currently running on London’s West End, and now, the show is getting ready for its Broadway debut. According to Playbill, the production will preview July 16 at New York City’s St. James Theater, with the official opening slated for July 24. The show depicts the Beats from their first gigs at Cavern Club in Liverpool, England, to the height of Beatles fanfare.
Let It Be will offer such Beatles hits as “Yesterday,” “She Loves You,” “Hey Jude,” “Let It Be” and “Come Together,” to name a few. The show will feature a cast of musicians playing John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr. The show is scheduled to play at the St. James Theater through Dec. 29.
Tickets for Let It Be will go on sale to the general public beginning on May 23. For more information on the show, head to the production’s official website.
What band would you like to see honored with a stage musical? Give us your thoughts in the comments area below!
Earlier this week, Guns N’ Roses guitarist Richard Fortus revealed that frontman Axl Rose and the gang have “spent a lot of time in the studio” working on their upcoming, seventh studio album. Now, guitarist Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal is adding to the buzz about new music, stating that he’s positive the band will release some new tunes once they’re off tour.
“There’s a lot of stuff [written], it's just a question of all of us organizing,” he told Rolling Stone in a new interview. “We’re still doing shows, and I think once we clear our schedule and focus more on new music, it’ll happen. We just have little things on the back burner, just waiting for the right time for us to organize and make something new out of it.”
Guns N’ Roses will wrap up their current tour on June 8, where they’re set to headline at the Governor’s Ball Festival in New York City.
Are you stoked for new GN’R or not so much? Give us your thoughts in the comments section below, rockers!
Joe Satriani’s 1987 album, Surfing with the Alien, set a new standard for instrumental guitar playing. Looking back, the pioneering guitarist credits Eddie Van Halen for ushering in a new renaissance period for the instrument. “I came along at the end of that,” says Satriani, in a forthcoming interview with M Music & Musicians. “Eddie had already brought more positive energy to electric guitar playing. I was an early fan. He was playing what every kid my age wanted to play. Things were closing in for music in the ‘70s. There was disco, there was punk, and there was a sort of a refinement of the electric blues movement of the ‘60s. Fusion had run its course. But suddenly there was Eddie, smiling and laughing while he was tearing up the fret board. That’s what I had been waiting for, the reemergence of that.” Satriani’s latest album, Unstoppable Momentum, was released May 7th.
A long-circulated bootleg recording of a legendary 1973 Rolling Stones concert is being officially produced as a limited edition box set. Titled The Brussels Affair, the ambitious set centers on a show staged by the Stones in Brussels, Belgium, on October 17, 1973. The high-end package, which marks the inaugural release from a planned Stones Archive Series, comes in three versions: a platinum edition, an art edition and a collector’s edition. At present, only the collector’s edition is available for purchase, at a price of $750. Limited to 1727 copies, the collector’s edition includes a 180-gram triple-vinyl set of the show, a book hand-signed by Mick Jagger, photographer Michael Putland and writer Nick Kent, a ‘70s-era “tongue & lips” wristwatch and a 1973 tour lithograph. When available, the platinum and art editions will be even more extravagant, with production runs of each limited to 1973 copies. For more information, click here.
Women prefer men who play guitar. The journal Psychology of Music reports that researchers in France asked a 20-year-old man to approach 300 women in their ‘20s and early ‘30s in a public shopping district. In each instance, the man introduced himself, complimented the woman and asked for her phone number. Sometimes he was empty-handed, other times he carried a sports bag, and other times he held a guitar case.
The results? Nearly one-third of the women provided their number when the subject carried the guitar case, as opposed to just 14 percent who complied when he was empty-handed. The results when carrying a sports bag were even worse, yielding a paltry nine percent success rate. In their conclusion, the study’s authors suggest that musical talent is often associated with “physical and intellectual abilities.”
Of course, we at Gibson never had doubts on that score.
David Bowie has released a video for the title track for his latest album, The Next Day. The clip, which was conceived and written by Bowie himself, was directed by Floria Sigismundi, the same director who was behind the camera for Bowie’s previous film promo, “The Stars (Are Out Tonight).” Actors Gary Oldman and Marion Cotillard co-star in the new video, which is set in a pub inhabited by a cast of religious characters. Oldman and Bowie have worked together previously, recording a duet of Bowie’s “You’ve Been Around” for a 1995 solo album by guitarist Reeves Gabrels. The two also appeared in the 1996 biopic Basquiat, with Bowie portraying artist Andy Warhol and Oldman in the role of a fellow painter. Oldman is the second actor-friend to be recruited by Bowie for a Next Day video. Earlier the year, Tilda Swinton was cast as the rocker’s wife in a clip for “The Stars (Are Out Tonight).”
In a recent interview with Mojo, producer Rick Rubin talked about the drummers that he suggested for Black Sabbath. Rubin said : "I was asking: who grew up listening to the same music as them? Who played in bands where they jammed back then? It’s a very different thing from the way hard rock and heavy metal drummers play today. That’s the kind of drummer I was looking for."
One name that was on Rubin's short-list was Ginger Baker. Rubin explains why he thought the former Cream drummer would be a perfect fit for Black Sabbath: "He was on my list because I wanted to get someone who had grown up in the same world as them, and who jammed the way they did. There aren’t many of those people left. Most of them are dead."
The band eventually settled on Rage Against The Machine drummer Brad Wilk, a decision that Rubin was quite pleased with: "There were some other very good drummers but there wasn’t that emotional connection or that tension that you need, musically speaking. To me every great band has emotional side. When Brad played with Sabbath you could feel that there was something pulling them. He had that emotional connection."
13 will be released on June 10, and Black Sabbath will tour the US in support of the album during the summer.
Making an album – even a classic album – sometimes can be an exercise in overcoming adversity. Still, the monumental troubles that Paul McCartney and Wings had to surmount to record Band on the Run, easily McCartney’s best post-Beatles album, easily could have served as fodder for an epic Hollywood film.
It all began with McCartney’s desire to work in a locale that was off the beaten path. Fortunately (or perhaps unfortunately, as it turned out), his record company, EMI, had an international presence, with recording facilities based in Bombay, Rio de Janeiro, Peking and … aha! … Lagos. Enchanted by visions of sunning on the beach by day, and recording by night, McCartney decided to gather his Wings bandmates and head for the Nigerian city, nestled on the west coast of Africa. Nevermind the fact that pre-trip inoculations to prevent cholera, typhoid, polio and a host of other potential diseases were required.
One week prior to heading for Africa, McCartney corralled his fellow Wings members to rehearse some new songs. Disputes ensued, and guitarist Henry McCullough and drummer Denny Seiwell left the band. All of a sudden, Wings was a trio consisting of McCartney, wife Linda and guitarist Denny Laine. Off the three went, upbeat and confident despite the unforeseen defection of their drummer and lead guitarist.
The studio in Lagos was decidedly ramshackle. Microphones were discovered tucked away in a cupboard, the control desk was faulty and acoustic baffles used for sound separation were nowhere to be found. Heroically, however, engineer Geoff Emerick pulled together the equipment necessary to forge onwards.
A regular daily pattern ensued. Weekday mornings were spent swimming at a local country club. In mid-afternoon, the band would make the hour-long drive to the studio, where the work sometimes went on until 4 or 5 a.m. Weekends were reserved for rest and recreation, in keeping with McCartney’s reasons for choosing Lagos in the first place.
As regards the sessions, McCartney, Linda and Laine were galvanized and motivated by the defections of Seiwell and McCullough. As he had often done on his solo albums, Macca himself handled most of the lead guitar and drumming duties. Notwithstanding the technical difficulties, recording was going relatively smoothly, until one evening the McCartneys decided to take a leisurely stroll. Out of nowhere, a car pulled up, five men jumped out, and, at knifepoint, McCartney was forced to relinquish all the valuables in his possession. Among the items taken were cassettes of demos of potential Wings material.
Such was the first of a series of travails that dogged the sessions. On one occasion, McCartney collapsed in the studio, unable to catch his breath. A heart attack was initially suspected, but after a period of rest, McCartney gathered himself. The episode was later diagnosed as a bronchial spasm triggered by excessive smoking. On another occasion, a local Afro-beat star and political activist went on radio and accused McCartney of coming to Lagos to “exploit and steal” African music. To placate the accuser, McCartney agreed not to enlist help from local musicians. He also steered clear of giving any songs an “African” sound.
By the end of September of 1973, six weeks into their stay in Lagos, the Wings entourage was relieved to be headed back to London. Overdubs were added at Air Studios, including terrific orchestral arrangements by Tony Visconti, best known for his production work on albums by Marc Bolan and David Bowie. On October 28, the iconic cover photo (which featured actors Christopher Lee and James Coburn, among other celebrities) was shot. Incredibly, despite the harrowing incidents that occurred in Lagos, the album brimmed with a buoyant spirit, and was rife with such classics as “Jet” (which found McCartney paying tribute to the family’s Lab puppy) and “Helen Wheels” (which did the same for McCartney’s Land Rover).
Even more remarkable, McCartney continued to choose unusual places to record Wings’ albums, traveling to such far-flung cities as Paris, New Orleans, Nashville and the Virgin Islands. Lagos, however, did not receive a return visit. In 1998, 25 years after making Band on the Run, McCartney offered an assessment of the experience. “When we got back home, people said, ‘Ah, out of adversity has been born a good album.’ But I hate that theory. It may well be true, but that’s why I don’t like it. I hate the idea that you’ve got to sweat and suffer to produce something good. But it turned out successfully anyway.”
Indeed, even John Lennon, who generally only grudgingly complimented McCartney’s post-Beatles work, concurred. “Band on the Run is a great album,” Lennon told Rolling Stone, not long after the album was released. “Wings keep changing all the time. It doesn’t matter who’s playing. You can call them Wings, but it’s Paul McCartney music – and it’s good stuff.”
U2 frontman Bono and guitarist The Edge are known for much more than just their chart-topping rock anthems: Both are humanitarians who have lent their time and hearts to a variety of causes over the years. We’re taking a closer look at the statesmen of rock ‘n’ roll with profiles of both Bono and The Edge to get to know both a bit better.
U2’s David “The Edge” Howell Evans was born in Barking, Essex, in East London, to Gwenda and Garvin Evans. He met the guys who would eventually make up U2 in school, and formally joined the band in the mid-‘70s, after responding to a notice posted on his school’s bulletin board at Mount Temple appealing for musicians.
Right as U2 were getting off their feet, Bono renamed Dave Evans. His new moniker, “The Edge,” is a name he would take with him for his entire career.
Following high school graduation, The Edge decided to wait a year to pursue collage and, instead, focused on music and U2. He left U2 at one point in the late-‘70s, but Bono convinced him to follow his heart, and The Edge soon found his way back to the band. The rest is rock ‘n’ roll history.
The Edge married Aislinn O'Sullivan in 1983, and the two had three daughters: Hollie, Arran and Blue Angel. The two separated in 1990 and divorced in 1996. He married Morleigh Steinberg, the belly dancer and choreographer from the Zoo TV Tour, in 2002, and the two have two children: Sian and Levi.
The Edge’s guitar work truly defines U2’s sweeping, clean sound. He’s known for his soaring sonic textures and heavily processed, ringing guitars.
All of the members of U2 have been supporters of organizations such as Greenpeace and Amnesty International. In 2005, The Edge took his involvement further and co-founded the charity Music Rising with Bob Ezrin and Gibson’s own Henry Juszkiewicz in response to Hurricane Katrina. The goal of the organization was to restore the Gulf Coast’s musical climate by replacing instruments that had been lost in the tragedy. The Edge also publically supports the New York Food Bank and Mencap Northern Ireland.
“Just as a comedian doesn’t want to tell the same jokes over and over, we don’t want to play the same songs the same way. On the other hand, we’ve now come to a place where we’re comfortable admitting we have our own style and we can do what we want with it. It’s our sound. We made it, and we can break it if we want. Of course, we’re the only ones that know how to put it back together again, too. All it takes is lots of arguing,” on U2’s evolving sound, via Guitar World.
“ … Jamming is really the most awful, excruciating experience for me, I really don’t enjoy it. First of all, that’s not how I work as a guitar player. I compose using the instrument, I don’t really sit down and play for the sake of playing stuff. So the idea of jamming – endless, directionless noodling around some nondescript chord progression – I really find very boring. Obviously a great song is fun to play, but U2 were never really in that phase of The Beatles in Hamburg or Van Morrison in showbands or Dylan in the folk clubs, of knowing and learning a big collection of classics. We never did that, and at the time we were forming as a band there really wasn’t a large collection of songs that we felt like learning. It was actually a moment where the past was being thrown out the window, so its very much part of our DNA as a band not to be too reverential, as a general rule, and to try and look forward all the time. Invention being what we value most highly as opposed to emulation – which is what a lot of musicians feel is important, being able to play like the greats,” on jamming with other guitarists, via The Telegraph.
“I suppose ultimately I’m interested in music. I’m a musician. I’m not a gunslinger. That’s the difference between what I do and what a lot of guitar heroes do,” on resisting rock ‘n’ roll clichés, via www.atu2.com.
Who: Paul David “Bono” Hewson
Born: May 10, 1960
Instruments: Vocals, guitar
U2 frontman Paul David “Bono” Hewson was born in the north Dublin suburb of Ballymun. His father, Brendan Robert Hewson, was Catholic, and his mother, Iris Elizabeth Rankin, was protestant.
At the age of 14, Bono suffered a tragedy when his mother passed away after experiencing a brain hemorrhage at her own father’s funeral.
Shortly after losing his mother, Hewson got his nickname. At first, his new name was “Steinhegvanhuysenolegbangbangbang,” but that moniker evolved to “Bonavox of O’Connell Street” (after a hearing aid show in Dublin) to Bono Vox (“good voice” in Latin) and, eventually, to “Bono.” A childhood friend, “Guggi” (Derek Rowan), helped give him the name.
As for love, Bono began dating Alison Stewart in 1976, and the two were married on August 21, 1982. The couple has four children: Jordan, Memphis Eve, Elijah Bob Patricius Guggi and John Abraham.
Like The Edge, Bono responded to a note on the Mount Temple bulletin board calling for musicians. The band started under the name Feedback, which evolved to Hype and, finally, U2. The band, of course, would become one of the biggest rock bands in the world.
Bono is known for not only his lush, powerful tenor, but also for his moving lyrical themes. U2 have always made faith, hope and love their central motifs, and that’s thanks in no small part to Bono’s spiritual lyrics.
Bono has a long history of dedicating his time to causes both with and outside of U2. His activism started when he traveled to Ethiopia with World Vision to lend a helping hand to a feeding camp with his wife Ali. For decades, Bono has assisted a number of causes and charities, including Greenpeace, the Jubilee 2000 project and beyond. He fought to end AIDS and extreme poverty in Africa by co-founding the lobbying organization DATA (Debt, Aid, Trade, Africa) and combated poverty with the ONE Campaign to Make Poverty History (U.S.) and the Make Poverty History movement (U.K.). Bono also was instrumental, alongside Bob Geldof, in helping to put together the Live 8 concerts in 2005, a collection of events around the world with the goal to increase aid, cancel Third World debt and help better the terms of trade with the world’s poorest countries and regions.
More recently, in 2006, Bono and Bobby Shriver co-founded the Product (RED) campaign, which aims to sway large companies with global brands to sell a few lines of products from which a part of the revenue will go towards the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and malaria. Bono has helped many other charities over the years, and he’s widely considered one of rock’s biggest humanitarians.
“Our generation will be remembered for the Internet, for the war against terror, and for how we let an entire continent burst into flames while we stood around with watering cans—or not,” regarding the AIDS epidemic, via Oprah.
“… I often wonder if religion is the enemy of God. It’s almost like religion is what happens when the Spirit has left the building. God's Spirit moves through us and the world at a pace that can never be constricted by any one religious paradigm. I love that. You know, it says somewhere in the scriptures that the Spirit moves like a wind--no one knows where it's come from or where it's going. The Spirit is described in the Holy Scriptures as much more anarchic than any established religion credits,” on religion, via Beliefnet.com.
“We have so many [new] songs, some of our best. But I'm putting some time aside to just go and get lost in the music. I want to take my young boys and my wife and just disappear with my iPod Nano and some books and an acoustic guitar,” on U2’s future, via Rolling Stone.
It's one of the big questions in rock (or more accurately metal) right now: why exactly is Bill Ward not playing with Black Sabbath right now?" There have been plenty of rumors as to why Bill's not involved, Ozzy Osbourne has finally shed some light on the matter by suggesting Ward's playing was out of shape.
In an interview with Mojo magazine, Ozzy said the band started to wonder if Ward had the stamina for a 90-minute or two-hour show. "My suggestion was that we run through a set and see how he got on because he was so out of condition and the drummer is the most demanding job in the whole band," Ozzy said. "We looked at Bill, and he couldn’t remember what the [expletive] we were doing. But he didn’t come clean and say, ‘I can’t cut this gig, but can we work something out, guys, where I’ll come on but with another drummer backing me up?’ Or, ‘I’ll come and play a few songs.’ That would have been cool."
Osbourne went on to say that he understood Ward's pride was hurt. "The guy will always be a dear, dear friend and a brother to me, but … He can’t be surprised that he didn’t get the gig," Ozzy says.
While Rage Against The Machine drummer Brad Will performs on Sabbath's forthcoming album 13, Ozzy's drummer Tommy Clufetos is manning the drum throne on tour. And as this writer can attest, having caught one of the two Melbourne, Australia shows last week, Clufetos is doing a great job, even getting a standing ovation from much of the crowd after his drum solo. Given the immensity of taking over from Ward, that's quite an achievement.
Mötley Crüe guitarist Mick Mars says he's "alright" after being knocked over by a 'fan' at a show in Canada on Saturday.
The band were playing Primal Scream at Spectra Place in Estevan, Saskatchewan when someone from audience made their way onto the stage, knocking over Mars before grabbing Vince Neil — and subsequently being tackled by security to the soundtrack of a few choice words from Nikki Sixx and Tommy Lee.
The show was stopped and the band left the stage. Eventually they returned to finish the concert. "Thank all of you for your concerns about me being knocked down last night," Mars tweeted. "I'm alright; nothing broken. My bodyguard Rhyno got two busted ribs."
The incident is particularly shocking given Mars's battle with ankylosing spondylitis, a condition he was diagnosed with at the age of 19 and which is progressively fusing his bones together.
And further adding insult to quite literal injury, the incident happened on Mars's 62nd birthday.
Aerosmith bass player Tom Hamilton was forced to quit the Australian leg of the Aerosmith tour last week before the band’s first Melbourne gig but has updated fans from his sickbed.
Hamilton tweeted, “The only thing that’s kinda cool about this pneumonia thing, is all the sweet sweet luv I’m gettin from the 4 corners of the globe!”
Hamilton flew to Australia and played on the first Aerosmith show in Sydney on April 20 and also the next in New Zealand but fell ill with pneumonia just prior to the Melbourne show last weekend.
Hamilton has since returned back to the U.S. His place in Aerosmith was taken by bass player David Hull who was flown in to continue the tour. Hull has played with Aerosmith before when Hamilton was sidelined. Hull is also a member of the Joe Perry Project and also writes soundtrack music for the TV show NCIS.
A long list of music luminaries have signed on to appear in a new documentary about legendary bluesman B.B. King. Expect to see Mick Jagger, Eric Clapton, Slash, Keith Richards, Ron Wood, Ringo Starr and Bono all pop up in the film.
The flick, titled B.B. King — The Life of Riley, will premiere in North American on June 14 at the NXNE Film Festival in Toronto, Canada. Morgan Freeman will narrate the documentary. Other musicians set to be featured in the movie include Buddy Guy, Carlos Santana, Bonnie Raitt, Dr. John, Leon Russell, Mick Hucknall of Simply Red, Bill Wyman and the late John Lennon.
B.B. King is 87 years old and still active on the touring circuit. The guitarist has dozens of summer North American shows lined up, and for a list of upcoming tour dates, head to his official website.
It took a decade, but Fleetwood Mac fans can at last enjoy new music from the band. The veteran rockers have unveiled Extended Play, an EP featuring four brand new songs written by Lindsey Buckingham, plus a rediscovered and revamped track originally written by Stevie Nicks during sessions for the 1973 album project, Buckingham Nicks. The EP marks the first instance in which the band has released new studio material since they issued their 2003 album, Say You Will. Buckingham promised the EP was on its way during a concert in Philadelphia in March. “One of the things we thought would be a good idea before we hit the road would be to go into the studio and cut some new material,” he told the crowd. “So last year we did that. It's the best stuff we've done in a long time and in a few days we're going to drop an EP of new stuff."
It's been 35 years since Cheap Trick recorded their iconic live album At Budokan in Tokyo. Having already sold gold with their first three studio releases in Japan, At Budokan would become the band's major US breakthrough. To celebrate the 35-year anniversary of the Budokan gigs, which took place on April 28 and 30 respectively in 1978, Cheap Trick decided to play concerts on those very dates on both coasts of the US.
On April 28 guitarist Rick Nielsen, singer Robin Zander, bassist Tom Petersson, and drummer Daxx (who is Rick Nielsen's son) took the stage at a John Varvatos boutique in New York City, located where the legendary club CBGB's once was. The band played a 90-minute set that included classics like "Surrender," and "I Want You to Want Me." Rolling Stone reports that the venue, which can only hold a few hundred people, was so packed that people spilled out in to the streets.
The band did another anniversary gig April 30 at the El Rey Theatre in Los Angeles in order to pay homage to both Budokan shows.