It's generally held that 1967 was a landmark year for rock music. Jimi Hendrix's Are You Experienced, Cream's Disraeli Gears, The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band – all of those albums were released that year and they all had an instant and jarring effect on music history, with particular impact on guitarists. A similar impact was felt around the world in 1991 with the release of several extremely influential albums – U2’s Achtung Baby, Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Blood Sugar Sex Magik, Pearl Jam’s Ten, My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless, Primal Scream’s Screamadelica). Among this elite crop were a pair of very different but equally epoch-changing records: Nirvana's Nevermind and Metallica's self-titled album (often referred to as the Black Album due to its distinctive monochromatic cover).
Metallica had been on the brink of breaking through to the mainstream for a few years. They even scored a minor hit in the form of "One" from 1988's …And Justice For All. But it wasn't until the epic opening section of "Enter Sandman" crept onto radio in July 1991 that the band really exploded into the mainstream. Likewise, Nirvana had been around since 1987 and had sold 40,000 copies of their debut album Bleach in 1989, but Nevermind really busted things wide open for the band.
Like a huge rock dumped in the path of a small stream, the release of the Black Album on August 13 and Nevermind on September 24 seemed to split the direction of guitar playing - and therefore rock music in general – into two distinct paths. One side - the Nirvana-influenced side – favored rougher technique, grittier tones and relatively minimal production. The other side, championed by Metallica acolytes, preferred a heavier, more technically precise sound. The rise of grunge is well documented, and while Nirvana's success helped open the door for their contemporaries, it also opened the floodgates to a surge of imitators. Similarly, the bottom-heavy sound of the Black Album can be heard as an influence on many later recordings, from the immediate aftermath to now, twenty years later.
Black Album producer Bob Rock seemed to take some of the Metallica guitar tone with him when he produced Motley Crue's self-titled album in 1994: the single "Hooligan's Holiday" prominently displays a very Metallica-like rhythm guitar tone in its chorus. Anthrax's The Sound Of White Noise features similar high production values and song structures; and Testament's The Ritual exhibits similar structural streamlining and an increased focus on melody, as did Megadeth's Countdown To Extinction. Did these bands change their approach because that was the way metal was evolving, or were they encouraged by their labels to veer more towards the formula that worked so well for Metallica? It's impossible to say, but intriguing to ponder. It's undeniable that after Metallica led the way, metal became much more mainstream. Pantera's Far Beyond Driven debuted at #1 in 1994, while a year earlier Morbid Angel became the first death metal band to sign with a major label (Giant, a joint venture of Warner Bros. Records and Irving Azoff).
As Bullet For My Valentine's Matt Tuck told this writer for Mixdown magazine in 2010, "I learned guitar by putting on Metallica records. It was as simple as that. I didn't get any coaching, any books. It was just something that was hugely influential for me. As soon as I heard that band I thought, 'I want to be that.' Tuck said that from there he bought the albums, saved up a guitar, learned about tuning and power chords, and that was it. "I just sat down for a couple of years and literally played for hours in my bedroom until I could play every Metallica song," he said. "Then I moved on to other bands like Machine Head, Pantera, Slayer, Megadeth, Testament - all these cool guitar-based metal bands." Today Bullet For My Valentine are one of the most successful of a new breed of metal bands, along with Avenged Sevenfold and Trivium, who wear their Metallica influences on their sleeves.
As for Nirvana, Kurt Cobain's distinctive vocal delivery and Pixies-inspired quiet verse/distorted chorus songwriting style were echoed a couple of years later by bands such as Bush and Silverchair, then on through Lifehouse in the early noughties and to modern bands like 30 Seconds To Mars. In fact 30STM vocalist Jared Leto is a declared Nirvana fanatic – he performed Nirvana's "Pennyroyal Tea" dressed as Cobain on the 17th anniversary of Cobain's death.
What was it about Cobain that galvanized guitar players of the era so thoroughly? Well, for starters, the genius simplicity of his riffs meant they weren't as difficult to master as Metallica's, and perhaps that made them more accessible to kids picking up an axe for the first time to learn a few songs. His guitar solos were typically reflections of his vocal melodies, which made them extremely memorable and playable (since Cobain didn't pack his melodies or solos with billions of notes). And his guitar tones weren't as difficult to replicate as Metallica's. Free of excessive studio processing, Cobain's guitar sounded much more like the average guitar in the average room, compared to Metallica's ultra-crafted sounds. It's easy to imagine young players in 1991 picking up a guitar for the first time to learn songs from each of these two classic albums, and finding that the simpler technical nature of Cobain's riffs (combined with their intriguing harmonic content) was easier to approximate that the complex thrash riffage of Metallica, which required a degree of endurance and precision to nail.
Twenty years on, the division between grunge fans and metal fans has long since disappeared, leveled out by two decades of distance and hindsight. Would the last twenty years have sounded different if Nevermind and the Black Album were released a couple of years apart instead of five weeks? Would the alternative boom of the ’90s have happened if Metallica hadn't warmed radio up to the idea of playing heavier music? And would metal have reached mainstream acceptance if alternative hadn't made it okay for darker-sounding music to chart, compared to the boppy optimism of the 1980s?
Finally, here's an interesting little piece of trivia to mull over: Nevermind was recorded in May and June 1991. Although Metallica started recording the Black Album in October 1990, the band were putting the finishing touches on the record in May, with sessions finally wrapping up in June. It's enticing to ponder whether the two songs that defined the respective albums – "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and "Enter Sandman" – were (at least partly, given Metallica's propensity for overdubs) recorded at the same time.
2013 is a good year for Ronnie Wood. He’s just turned 66 – “I’m really lucky to have survived everything I put myself through,” he admits. Plus, The Rolling Stones play the Glastonbury festival for the first time ever on June 29. Wood was key in persuading his fellow Stones that “we must do this.”
When you’re in a band with Keith Richards, you’ll always be “the other guitarist.” It wasn’t long ago that the other Stones referred to Wood as “the new boy” (he joined in 1975!)
But “Woodie” has his own unique skills, wit, wisdom and plenty of stories…
On playing bass for Jeff Beck in The Jeff Beck Group
“Some people thought, ‘Oh, you can’t go to bass, it’s an inferior instrument if you’re a guitarist,” he told Guitar Player. “But it’s the other way around. I’m really glad I had that training on bass, because when I went back to guitar I had a whole new viewpoint.”
On his straight guitar-to-amp tone
“Effects are not that stunning unless you’re a master of them,” Wood told Guitar Player. “The wah-wah pedal sickens me unless it’s played by Clapton, Page, Beck, Hendrix, or Zappa maybe.” He also told Premier Guitar, “[U2‘s] Edge said to me, ‘How do you get that tone?’ And I said, “Just turning it up to 10 and hitting the full volume.” I don’t use effects… very rarely. And he’s Mr. Effects, and he can’t understand how to do it.”
On how he influenced Slash
Speaking on his new Absolute Classic Rock radio show in 2010, Wood said, “Slash, I remember him as a kid spying on me when I was playing guitar, and I’d teach him little licks.” Wood also added he’s learned licks off Slash. “It’s really good. He’s a great guy to play with, and he’s great at interacting, a good weaver, you know. We can weave, like me and Bobby Womack do, and me and Keith Richards do.”
Here’s Ronnie and Keith jamming and weaving those guitars backstage on Gibson jazzboxes.
On working with Billy Gibbons, another guest on Wood’s album I Feel Like Playing (2010) on the track “Thing About You”
“I’m very chameleon-like,” Wood told Vintage Guitar. “It’s me sounding like Billy Gibbons, and him sounding like me. We’re weaving together in the solos, so that quite honestly I don’t know where I start and leave off, where Billy takes over, and vice versa. It’s nice to know it’s not cut-and-dried, like he’s doing this bit and I’m doing that bit.
“Weaving is something I’ve been doing with Keith Richards since we started playing together. It’s an ancient musical form where we just ‘talk’ to each other through our guitars.”
On the difference between The Stones and his own solo records
Wood told Premier Guitar, “On a Stones album, for a start, you have to get it passed by ‘the board.’ Jagger and Richards don’t accept a suggestion very easily, because they’ve already got it sewn up. So you’ve got to have a pretty good song to get it by the board - which I respect.”
On briefly sharing an apartment with Jimi Hendrix in 1967
“Jimi was quite a gentle flatmate,” Wood told Shortlist. “He gave me a dog - a basset hound called Loopy. We were living with Pat Arnold, who was the singer in The Ikettes, but she threw me and Jimi out because the dog kept sh*tting everywhere. Jimi said, ‘I’m going back on tour, Ronnie. Will you take my dog?’ I had a little house in Kingston [west of London] at the time, so I took her with me. Lovely dog, I’d completely forgotten Jimi gave her to me.
“Neither of us were there long enough. But we did used to sit on the bed and exchange ideas on the guitar. Jimi could flip it over and play left or right-handed equally well.”
On working with Rod Stewart, in the Jeff Beck Group, The Faces and solo…
“It’s not easy playing with Rod,” Wood told Guitar Player. “But he just makes you feel good - as long as you’re playing in the pocket.” Here’s Woodie and Rod on MTV Unplugged” - in the pocket” playing from Ronnie included.
On whether he’s read Keith Richards’ autobiography Life.
“We don’t do each other’s books in The Stones,” Wood told Shortlist. “When mine was published, no one said, ‘You’ve got a great book Ronnie, I read it.’ Nobody even bothered to mention I had one out. I have got Keith’s, he gave me a signed copy. It’s a bit of an undertaking though, isn’t it? I’ve looked at the pictures.”
On working with fellow “madmen” Chuck Berry and Keith Richards
Also on his Absolute Radio show, “Honest Ron” said, “I have many a story about Chuck, especially when I lived in New York. I used to play with him quite a lot, and he’d always have to have the money up front in his guitar case and he’d leap straight from the stage with the guitar case full of money, throw it offstage and into the cab.
“Once, Keith was there in the audience and Chuck came off stage and Keith ran up behind him, tapped him on the shoulder, at which Chuck turned round and went whack and smashed Keith in the eye, gave him a big black eye. Keith said ‘What you do that for? I was only trying to say hello, Chuck!’”
On his dual devotion of painting…
“I always looked up to my brothers Art and Ted, both musicians and painters themselves,” Wood told Uncut. “There wasn’t one moment where music took over. In my life and forever, art and music have been intertwined. The others [Stones] have always supported me in what I do. It’s part of me and always has been. I’ve been nicknamed ‘Ronnie Rembrandt,’ an incredible compliment.” Learn more about Wood’s art at ronniewood.com.
On keeping playing
“I just love to keep playing. Y’know, keeping my fingers hard at the end - otherwise, you give it a few months and they start to go soft. It’s no good. You’ve got to keep working. Keep painting and keep playing.”
Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins spoke to Billboard on the state of the band's next album, the follow up to 2011’s Wasting Light. According to Hawkins, the album is in the planning stages by Foo Fighters main man Dave Grohl: "Dave has his brain working overtime, like usual, and he's got a lot of great ideas, both musically and conceptually -- none that I can speak of at this moment, but it's gonna be great. It's gonna be cool."
Hawkins also suggested that he believes that the band's best work is still ahead of them, saying: "You always want every one of them to be the best one you've ever done, and you always think you haven't done your best one. Although some people may feel we have, I still think we haven't written our 'Hotel California' or our 'Bohemian Rhapsody' or whatever. Every time you start a record, you have to be, like, ready to [expletive] kill yourself or it's not gonna be any good."
Metallica released their latest studio effort, Death Magnetic, in September 2008 - almost five years ago, and the band's fans are getting eager to hear new material from the metal giants. Drummer Lars Ulrich told Rolling Stone that the band isn't in a hurry to put out new music: "I understand there are people waiting for a new record, and so are we. But I can't stress about it. It's not like, '[expletive], hurry up and get this record out.' Hurry up for what? So we can go play gigs? We already play gigs. We'll get there."
Even though new music from Metallica seems distant at this point, it's not like the band members are out of ideas. According to Rolling Stone, Ulrich estimate that the band have come up with a staggering 600 song ideas! These apparently stem from rehearsals and jam sessions while on tour. Next on the agenda for Metallica is the IMAX release of Metallica Through The Never, where a Metallica live performance is interspersed with a story line centered around a fictional member of the band's road crew.
At 24 years old, the world lost Duane Allman – guitarist and co-founder of the the Allman Brothers Band – far too soon, but his legacy and influence on the guitar lives on. In the following feature, we look through some past interviews with Allman, his friends and family to find out more about this rock ‘n’ roll guitar legend. Also, look for Gibson’s all-new Custom Duane Allman guitar to arrive this summer.
“Develop your talent, and leave the world with something. Records are really gifts from people. To think that an artist would love you enough to share his music with anyone is a beautiful thing. That’s fascinated me ever since I piled up my motorcycle. Miles Davis does the best job, to me, of portraying in the innermost, subtlest, softest feelings in the human psyche. He does it beautifully. He’s a fascinating talent, man, a marvelous, marvelous man and a great entertainer. And John Coltrane, probably one of the finest most accomplished players, took his music farther than anybody I believe I ever heard.”
Duane’s daughter, Galadrielle Allman, on her father’s playing style, as told to KUNC.org and NPR’s Scott Simon:
“He’s unique, you know. He's a slide player who took it into a rock venue, which really hadn't happened before," she says. "He really had a special touch with that and I think people really respond to that sound. It's got sort of a vocal quality — it almost sounds like a horn. And I think it conveys emotion particularly well. ... It just kind of gets inside of you.”
“A motorcycle. It was a Harley Davidson 165. We also rode motors together. That’s another thing we did together quite a bit. The three things we did was get high and be drunk, ride motorcycles, and play guitar. And probably play guitar about 50% of the time, and the other 25% to each one of the other things. Right after the Harley, he got himself a Triumph 500, and he’d race up the street, lifting up the front end at 90 miles an hour. Then after that they moved over to an Oldsmobile wagon, and he kind of got out of motorcycles for a while. They had the Oldsmobile wagon, which they carted all the equipment around in, and that’s what they drove to all these places. They went to St. Louis in it. They had that for quite some time. Then after that, I really don’t know what they got.”
“. . . Yeah! It’s a like a newspaper for people that can’t read. Rock and roll will tell you right where everything’s at. It’s just something to move your feet, man, and move your heart and make you feel good inside–forget about all the bullshit that’s going on for awhile and fill up some of the dead space.”
“Oh, he only wanted to be one thing – a rock and roll star. He wanted to be that from the first day that I was sitting there with him, showing him Jimmy Reed licks. The first thing he wanted to do was be a rock and roll star. That’s what he said: ‘Hell, I’m quittin’ school, I’m getting’ a job in music, and that’s the end of that.’ If I had that kind of dedication, I’d be president or whatever. I mean, that guy had a lot of nerve. He’d tell somebody off if they bugged him. He had nerves to do anything. He was a little guy with a lot of charisma. He’s was only about 5’7″, 5’8″, at the top, and he was real thin, extremely thin. But he didn’t appear thin and small when you saw him, because he had that charisma and that long red hair. The minute he came in a room, you knew he was there.”
Duane’s daughter, Galadrielle Allman, on getting to know her father better, as told to Radio.com:
“I’ve learned more about him in the last four years than I ever knew before. I talked to his friends, I spent time with my family and this project really brought it home. I learned that he had a remarkable work ethic. He had a fire in his belly to keep getting better. He loved to be challenged by the people around him. That’s inspiring even if you’re not a musician.”
“B.B. King – he loved B.B. King! Over the years he loved everybody from Chuck Berry to Kenny Burrell. I mean, you name it. He dug everybody. Back then, Johnny Guitar Watson – he liked him. He got into that real old blues stuff, loved Robert Johnson. He just loved any kind of guitar playing.”
Duane’s daughter, Galadrielle Allman, on seeing Derek Trucks perform with Gregg Allman, as told to Radio.com:
“I don’t think anyone who sees Derek [playing] can’t help but to think of Duane. Derek was named after Derek & the Dominoes, he’s the inheritor of a huge legacy. In some ways, he’s Duane’s inheritor just as much as I am. That’s a heavy load to carry. But he’s his own person. I think it’s kind of incredible that he s dealt so well under that kind of pressure. He’s his own person. But you see him lean over and talk to Gregg onstage, you see them interacting on stage – it’s moving. They have a special relationship. If he can make Gregg feel like Duane’s there with him, then I think that’s beautiful.”
“Yeah, it really is, man. It’s just that as human feelings become more complex, as the world gets a little bit more divided and intelligent, complexity is the only difference between blues and jazz. It’s all the portrayal of the feelings and the soul in a medium other than words. You can either complain and say, “Oh man, I really feel bad,” or you can put you sadness into a musical context and make it desirable. Nobody wants to hear anybody bellyache, but everybody want to hear him play the blues. You can say the same thing, but make it to where it’s a little less offensive to your fellow man by playing it with music.”
“No. No, we didn’t. When we started school, we both wanted to get into the band. We went to military school, and we both wanted to play trumpet, and we lost interest in it. My mother always called it her folly, because back then $200 for a trumpet, you know, that was quite a bit.”
He's one of the most important metal vocalists of all time, but Ozzy Osbourne says he identifies more with the heavy blues-rock of the 70s than the term 'heavy metal.'
Speaking to CNN, Osbourne Ozzy said, "I have never ever ever been able to attach myself to the word 'heavy metal' — it has no musical connotations. If it was heavy rock, I could get that, but the '70s was kind of like a bluesy thing, the '80s was kind of bubblegum-frosted hair, multicolored clothes and the '90s was kind of grungy."
Ozzy went on to say that he would often hear from bands that Black Sabbath was a huge influence on them, and "I could go, 'Oh, yeah, I can see that,' but other bands... what part of that is inspired by us? Some of it is just angry people screaming down a microphone!"
As for the legacy Black Sabbath will leave behind, Ozzy puts it all down to good-old-fashioned determination and honesty. "Black Sabbath wasn't some band created by a London mogul," he said. "We were four guys who had a dream that became bigger than expectations. It's been the best thing that ever happened to me."
Blues and R&B great Bobby “Blue” Bland, often called 'the Sinatra of the blues' has died of complications from an ongoing illness at the age of 83.
Memphis Music Foundation’s Pat Mitchell Worley broke the news on Memphis station WREG, writing, "It is a great loss for the blues and for Memphis Music. He was a trail blazer and his music will be missed." Bland's son Rodd Bland said "He's always been the type of guy that if he could help you in any way, form or fashion, he would."
Bland was born Robert Calvin “Bobby” Bland in Rosemark, Tennessee in 1930. He began singing in local gospel groups in Memphis before becoming part of the Beale Street scene alongside the likes of Johnny Ace, Junior Parker and B.B. King.
Prior to a stint in the US Army, Bland recorded for the Modern and Chess labels. After returning from service he signed with Duke Records for his #1 R&B hit Farther Up The Road (1957). Decades of hits followed, and Bland was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 1981 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in (1992). He was honored with the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1997.
The Rolling Stones have released their entire back catalog on iTunes as part of the band’s ongoing celebration of their 50th anniversary. The massive collection spans the group’s complete history, from their first single (a 1963 cover of Chuck Berry’s “Come On”) to last year’s GRRR! compilation. All the recordings have been remastered specifically for iTunes, and are available at a special store section devoted exclusively to the Stones’ music. Other items available at the one-stop destination include the Rolling Stones 50 eBook, a Rolling Stones app, film documentaries and live performances. Notable among these are Charlie is My Darling – Ireland 1965, Ladies and Gentlemen: The Rolling Stones, Rock and Roll Circus and the recent documentary, Crossfire Hurricane.
No one seems more surprised than Ozzy Osbourne by the resounding success of Black Sabbath’s new album, 13. In a just-published interview with London’s The Telegraph, the Sabbath frontman said, “This has really freaked me out. I knew it was a [expletive] good album, but when somebody just told me it’s gone top in 50 countries -- I didn’t know there were 50 countries, and I’m number one in all of them!” Osbourne admitted it was his outsized ego that scuttled the band’s attempt to record eleven years ago. “I was riding on this cloud of being television’s new megastar for five minutes,” he explained. “I was doing well on my own, so it took me a while to get that balanced out in my head. I mean, it’s not Ozzy Osbourne and Black Sabbath. It’s [expletive] Black Sabbath. It’s different from me doing my own thing.” Ironically, Tony Iommi’s lymphoma diagnosis actually helped solidify the 13 project. “The funny thing is, my whole situation finally got us cracking and brought us all more together,” said the guitarist. “Everybody realized, like, wow, what could happen here.”
The Rolling Stones are celebrating their 50th anniversary this year, and while the band’s 50 and Counting tour is still going strong, guitarist Ron Wood is already hinting at what the gents will be up to following the trek.
Chatting with WZLX , Wood stated that the tour has rekindled the fire in the Stones, and he hopes the guys find the time to record new music soon.
“We’re having a ball,” Wood told the station. “The shows are the best we’ve ever done. It’s a new lease on life. They’ve proved to be a kick in the pants for us. Not only can we do it — we’re better than ever.”
He added, “It takes so much time and effort to take this thing back on the road. We test ourselves in stages and this is the latest surge of energy. We’ve got the big wheels rolling now; we’ve just got to find the gaps to record.”
The Stones’ latest full-length, A Bigger Bang, dropped in September of 2005.
Have you caught the Rolling Stones on their 50 and Counting tour? Give us your tales in the comments section below!
Steven Tyler and Joe Perry have been inducted to the Songwriters Hall Of Fame.
The ceremony took place in New York. Among the other inductees were Mick Jones, and Lou Gramm of Foreigner.
Tyler commented on the honor saying: "I love that Joe and I are getting inducted tonight because we put our nose to the grindstone. We can't get harmony if everybody is singing the same note." Perry added, "It means that people are listening to what we're doing. Like Steven said, we're always under the hood working, or we're on the road, whatever. That's what the band is, it's work, and we're doing it."
Nickelback performed a cover of Aerosmith's "Sweet Emotion" during the ceremony, while Tyler and Perry took to the stage and performed "Walk This Way."
It would be nice to have a new album of Poison material one of these days, but frontman Bret Michaels doesn't seem to be in a hurry to get the band back into the studio. His latest is Good Songs and Great Friends, an album of covers of songs from his own catalog with a few covers thrown in for good measure.
The album features guest appearances from a veritable who's who of rock luminaries, including bassists Michael Anthony (Van Halen, Chickenfoot) and Eric Brittingham (Cinderella), and guitarists Ace Frehley, (KISS), Phil Collen (Def Leppard), Gary Rossington (Lynyrd Skynyrd), Joe Perry (Aerosmith), Frank Hannon (Tesla), Leslie West (Mountain) and his own Poison bandmate C.C. DeVille.
There are plenty of guest vocalists too, including Mark Mcgrath (Sugar Ray), Jimmy Buffett, Loretta Lynn and Robert Mason (Warrant, Lynch Mob).
The album even includes a version of Michaels' track Party Rock Band featuring late Ozzy Osbourne/Motley Crue drummer Randy Castillo.
"It's really not just a Bret Michaels album," the singer says. "I had so many other talented artists come in and support that it's really a Bret Michaels & Friends album. There's a staggering amount of talent on this! It's been such a fun project for me and I'm excited to share it with the fans."
Black Sabbath have landed at #1 in the UK with 13, their first album of new tracks with Ozzy Osbourne since 1978's Never Say Die, and earning the band their first number one UK album in over 42 years: their last album to attain that honor was Paranoid in October 1970.
"I'm in shock!" Ozzy tells OfficialCharts.com. "The success of this album has blown me off my feet. We've never had a record climb the charts so fast!"
The previous record for the longest gap between #1 albums was Rod Stewart, who racked up 38 years between New Morning in 1970 and Together Through Life in 2009.
"It's great," Ozzy says." "But Rod's the same as us, we've got something other people haven't got. It's all manufactured [expletive] these days. But the likes of Rod, and Elton John and us have got something different. We know our craft."
Ironically, Stewart's new album Time clocked in at #3 in the UK this week. The Black Sabbath album sold 13,000 more copies than the #2 entry, the album BE by Liam Gallagher's post-Oasis band Beady Eye.
In America, 13 is projected to sell between 120,000 and 130,000 copies in its first week. And it debuted at #4 in Australia's ARIA charts this week, the band's first Australian top-ten result since 1974's Sabbath Bloody Sabbath.
Keith Richards opened up on a wide range of topics in a just-published cover-story for Men’s Journal. The discussion included talk of his complicated relationship with Mick Jagger and his thoughts on turning 70 this December.
“A lot of these things are blown way out of whack,” Richards said, addressing ongoing speculation about tensions between him and the Stones frontman. “It’s like two very volatile brothers – when they clash, they really clash, but when it's over, it's over because we both know we need each other; we both enjoy working with each other. Ninety percent of the time it's as cool as can be, then, of course, the people only get to hear about the 10. And the 10 are pretty fierce.”
Asked about hitting the big “7-0,” Richards confessed he has no advice regarding longevity. “Everybody should try it if they can get there,” he said. “If I had a secret, I'd bottle it maybe. I just happen to be here. Just string it, and play it low.”
Dave Mustaine decided to steer away from topical subjects and focus more on matters of the heart for Megadeth’s new album, Super Collider. Speaking to Billboard, the veteran guitarist said he deliberately avoided material that might stir controversy.
“[The focus was] a little bit more about human politics this time, like my mother-in-law having Alzheimer’s and things like that,” Mustaine explained. “Not everybody watches the news, so when you tell somebody that this is going on, that's going on, this guy’s part of a cover-up, this guy is a philanderer, they don't want to hear it. But if you say, 'Hey, my mother-in-law has Alzheimer’s,’ or something they might have going on in their life, too, all of a sudden you've got that bond. So I figured I would write about what goes on inside my heart instead of inside my head this time …."
Super Collider debuted at #6 on the Billboard 200, the band’s strongest chart-showing since 1994’s Youthanasia. Megadeth will launch their Gigantour on July 3 in Gilford, New Hampshire, along with fellow metal bands Black Label Society, Device, Hellyeah, Newsted and Death Division.
Ringo Starr is partnering with noted illustrator Ben Cort to create a children’s picture book based on The Beatles song, “Octopus’s Garden.” The book will tell a story of five children taken on an underwater adventure by a friendly octopus. A CD featuring a previously unreleased portion of the song will be included in the package.
The former Beatle wrote the whimsical composition in 1968, during a stay on a yacht that belonged to actor-comedian Peter Sellers. Inspiration for the lyrics came from stories about sea creature told by the boat’s captain. The song appeared on The Beatles’ 1969 album, Abbey Road.
Simon & Schuster will publish the book in England in October, with U.S. publication to follow in January 2014. In a prepared statement, the company’s U.K. editor, Ingrid Selberg, called it the "perfect marriage of a truly child-friendly text, based on Ringo's popular song, with illustrations that revel in the imaginative opportunities presented by the lyrics." Starr added that the idea for the book gave him “great pleasure.”
Def Leppard guitarist Vivian Campbell has released a statement through his Facebook page that he has been diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Campbell writes that he the disease was found when his doctor was trying to figure out the cause of a persistent cough. Campbell got the diagnosis as he was getting ready for Def Leppard’s Las Vegas residency. It is amazing that he was able to go through with the shows knowing he had 6 months of chemotherapy in front of him.
Campbell seems to take his condition in stride though, and appear to be of good spirits. He writes, “Hodgkin's has an over 80% cure rate, so by my reckoning, if you’re going to have a cancer, Hodgie’s is the one to have!” Campbell still intends to hit the road with Def Leppard this summer: “The reason I’m sharing this with you is because, despite cancer and chemo, me and my new aerodynamic hairstyle (read: no hair) are going on tour this summer with the band and I don’t want anyone to be so shocked by my new look that they ask for a refund.”
I met Viv back in 1996 when he was still a relatively new member of Def Leppard. He couldn’t have been a nicer guy, who took the time to pose for pictures and sign an autograph to a very excited teenager. I wish you all the best Viv and a speedy recovery!
The Rides, a new all-star blues rock supergroup featuring guitarist Stephen Stills (Buffalo Springfield, CSN, CSN&Y), guitarist Kenny Wayne Shepherd and keyboardist Barry Goldberg (Electric Flag) release their debut album Can’t Get Enough on Monday August 26 via Provogue Records.
The album, which was produced by Jerry Harrison (Talking Heads), includes co-written originals as well as covers of classics by Muddy Waters, Elmore James, Neil Young and — this might come as a bit of a surprise — Iggy and the Stooges. It was inspired by the now classic 1968 album Super Session, which featured Stills on guitar on one side and the late Mike Bloomfield on the other.
Stills says The Rides is the blues band of his dreams. What was initially a collaboration between Stills and Goldberg really kicked into high gear when Shepherd became involved. "The Rides are a perfect mix of generations, where three musicians who love and play the blues collide and create music that goes beyond all our other individual life experiences and career achievement," Shepherd says. "Stephen and I have rock backgrounds as well, but the blues is the fabric that holds this all together."
The Rides will embark on a world tour beginning in September, with dates in the UK planned for November.
For nearly 30 years, Joe Satriani has reigned as one of contemporary music’s most admired and accomplished guitarists. His dazzling six-string work and compositional skills have garnered legions of followers, and indeed the current guitar landscape would look quite different if it weren’t for his pioneering ways. Countless players would no doubt cite Satriani’s albums as essential, but which albums does Satriani himself hold in similar esteem? Below, the 56-year-old guitar great answers that question, while offering details about why these albums are special to him.
Jimi Hendrix — Electric Ladyland or Band of Gypsys
Satriani: These two albums cover so much beautiful music — great guitar playing, innovative and groundbreaking stuff. On Electric Ladyland there’s a lot that’s very fresh and live-in-the-studio. And it’s just insane how great Band of Gypsys is, especially when you consider that “Machine Gun” is a live version of a song that had never been recorded in the studio. It’s just perfect. Hendrix covers everything every guitar player works on today. He just laid it all down in a short time, in front of a live audience on a night over the course of two shows. And it was all done with a very simple setup. Just astounding.
Mahavishnu Orchestra — Birds of Fire
Satriani: I know a lot of Mahavishnu heads really like The Inner Mounting Flame, but there’s something special about Birds of Fire. I think maybe it’s the compositions John McLaughlin came up with that make it special for me. It’s almost like it’s a commercial version of The Inner Mounting Flame, except that it’s not commercial — it’s just tight. The way the band tightened things up really made an impression on me. I grew up loving Hendrix and The Beatles and the Stones and Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin. When Birds of Fire came out, I thought, “Now that’s really fusion.” You could tell McLaughlin really did have one foot in the rock and roll world, and the other in the jazz world. He really bridged the gap, and he was one of the few who could do that. Of course he’s still an incredible musician.
Rolling Stones — Exile on Main St.
Satriani: This is a beautiful record. It’s a real ‘70s album — big and relaxed — in terms of how it’s arranged and everything. There aren’t many records that give you so many listens, where you never get tired of it. You can play Exile on Main St. 10,000 times and never get sick of it. You can’t find albums like that one anymore, where the songs and the music keep giving and giving, over and over again. That’s the sign of a great album.
Jethro Tull — Stand Up
Satriani: People forget, or they don’t talk about it, but I think Stand Up is one of those albums that affected a lot of writers. It’s a record that had a big impact on the music community, in the sense of what people did in reaction to it. During the first 10 years or so after it came out a lot of people ragged on it, but ultimately it spawned several generations of devotees, who then created an entire musical life based on loving that album. It’s almost like Exile on Main St. in that way. I really admire Martin Barre, and of course Ian Anderson is unbelievable musician — his writing, his timing, and his ability to sing and play a number of instruments. I recently read that he would wake up in the morning, write a song or two, catch the train to the studio, and then the band would record what he had written. He just kept repeating that process as he made that album. That completely blew me away, that it was so off-the-cuff. That album is also a great window into the early genius of Andy Johns, who produced it. Later, when I got to do two albums with him, I felt I had completed a circle.
AC/DC — Back in Black
Satriani: Back in Black might eventually wind up being the best-selling record of all time. It’s never slowed down. Each generation keeps discovering how perfect it is, and its classic nature. There’s magic on that album. Everyone thinks they can do it, but then they try and realize, “Wow, there’s a whole lot missing when I do this.” (laughs) There’s magic on all the AC/DC albums, and they’re fantastic live, but this particular record just has so much. No doubt it had something to do with those guys rallying their spirits after losing Bon Scott — feeling they had to do Scott the honor of continuing, and doing it well. It’s not a deep record like Electric Ladyland or Exile on Main St., where there’s all this music history is being reflected, and Hendrix and the Stones are drawing on their R&B roots. Instead, it’s AC/DC saying, “This is what we do, and we’re going to do it with pride.”
(Joe Satriani’s latest album is titled Unstoppable Momentum.)
Richie Sambora is responsible for writing some of the best-known rock songs of the past thirty years, together with Jon Bon Jovi. Sambora’s fast bluesy solos and infectious riffing is half the fun at a Bon Jovi show. Richie, who is attending to a private matter, won’t be on stage with Jon and the boys when Bon Jovi tour Europe this month. Here we present some interesting thoughts from Sambora on guitar playing, song writing, and music in general.
In an interview with Guitar.com in 2000, around the time Bon Jovi released their album Crush, Richie talked about his first guitar:
“A $10 guitar that was returned to E.J. Corvettes, which used to be a big department store in New Jersey. My dad used to work there part-time in the music department and he brought it home for me one day.”
Sambora talked about how he learned to play guitar in an interview with M Music & Musicians Magazine:
“I approached it a bit backward. I would put on something like the Live Johnny Winter And album—which has lots of fast lead solos—and try to move my fingers as fast as I thought he was playing. I didn’t know which notes I was playing; I was just trying to get the same type of phrasing. I did that for a long time with lots of different albums. That created a kind of muscle memory in my hands. By the time I tried to actually put notes to what I was doing, I was already pretty good.”
Even though Sambora is self-taught according to the previous quote, he revealed in the same interview that he has recently started taking guitar lessons:
“I walked into Norman’s Rare Guitars in L.A., and there was a guy playing acoustic guitar. He sounded like two players at once. I asked how he was doing that, and he started showing me all these alternative tunings. He turned out to be [former Wings guitarist] Laurence Juber. I said, ‘Would you teach me how to do that?’ It was fingerstyle playing that had passed me by when I was learning to play. So I took my first guitar lesson at the age of 53. I’m still taking lessons from him. It’s been a gas.”
Richie talked to Guitar World about deciding what guitars to bring out on tour:
“When we tour, I don’t bring a lot of my expensive, vintage guitars out with me, ’cause I’m afraid they’ll get stolen. Leave a 1959 sunburst Les Paul in a hotel room? I don’t think so!
In an interview with MusicRadar, Richie spoke on the subject of songwriting, whether it is something innate or if it can be learned over time:
“You just gotta keep at it. Songwriting is something that's very daunting until you have your first successful song, I think. And you can measure success by a couple of different things: Finishing a song first lyrically and looking at it yourself and saying, 'OK, now I have some cohesive lyrics.' And then the other part of success is obviously making a record and having it be accepted by people, having it touch people and actually mean something to people. ‘Livin' On A Prayer’, ‘Wanted Dead Or Alive’, ‘It's My Life’ - I'm lucky to have written a bunch of those.”
In that same MusicRadar interview Richie reveals the rather primitive way that he and Jon Bon Jovi go about recording demos:
“I swear to God, we still do it the same way: we used to do it on cassette decks, and now we've been backing it up on our iPhones. Big technology guys, me and Jon.”
Sambora told Guitar World how he goes about recording a solo. Turns out most of them are invented on the spot:
“When I plot them out, I just try to get a general framework of how they should go. Otherwise, they tend to sound stale and clinical. Usually I walk in with a basic idea in my head of what the song needs. [...] Sometimes I get lucky and I’ll be a one-take guy; other times, I have to build solos, particularly if they’re long or if I’m trying to find a specific kind of tone. All solos are different, though. They all lead you down new path.”
Richie was asked to describe his guitar playing style by Guitar.com:
“I think I'm a utilitarian. I like to play many different styles and different tones. I like to look at songs as sonic paintings, and lucky enough for me, I'm such as guitar collector and all the guitars have different tones. You stick 'em with different amplifiers and then you make your own colors.”
Richie Sambora was good friends with Les Paul. He shared some of his memories of Les with the readers of Guitar World:
There are a lot of great memories. Most of all, I treasured our conversations, whether they were at my house, his place or in hotel rooms. The friendship we had was very special. I could write a book with the incredible stories he told me. Of course, jamming with him was unbelievable. [...] I played with Les many times, and every time meant something. He was an amazing guy. He was a legend, and he lived long enough to realize he was a legend. What more can you say?”
Richie shared his thoughts on how the music industry has changed over the past decade in an interview with ShawConnect:
“With the whole advent of the social media thing it’s harder for new bands to make it because of all the file-sharing that’s going on. Being in a band you know you’ve got to make some money, people have to support families. I think for new bands it’s harder to keep it up because of that reason. I think they’re losing an income stream right there from albums and songwriting and production. That money is essentially for some people 75 per cent gone. It’s hard to get a leg up when you’re just starting out and trying to move that way.”
Black Sabbath’s highly anticipated new album, 13, is now available to listen to in its entirety on the iTunes store. Fans who pre-order either the standard or the deluxe edition will immediately receive a download of the album’s first single “God is Dead?” The album will have its official release on June 11.
In a new interview, guitarist Tony Iommi says, “It's like we've never been apart.”
Talking to Australia’s The Age, Iommi says, “When we started this project, we went to [producer] Rick Rubin’s house and he played the first [Black Sabbath] album and said, ‘How long is it since you've heard it?’ So he was just trying to get us back into that vibe and we got it… getting back to the basics.
“Over the years, you do get carried away with doing different things… changing your sound, and God knows what else, but with this one, there's a lot of elements of those first albums, and while there's a lot of different stuff going on, it worked out really well.
“It's like we've never been apart, to be honest. We've all been friends for so long and it's been great getting back together — really good — and a really good way to finish off, I think, with the original lineup.”
13, produced by Rick Rubin, sees the reunion of Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler after more than 30 years. It’s not quite the “original lineup” though. Bill Ward is replaced on the album by Rage Against The Machine drummer Brad Wilk.
For only the second time in its history, the Colbert Report on Comedy Central will expand from 30 minutes to an hour as it features an extended interview and performance by Paul McCartney.
The only other time the show has gone the full hour was in September 2011 for an appearance by Radiohead. The McCartney show will air next Wednesday, June 12, from 11:30pm to 12:30am with re-airings the next day. It is expected that McCartney will perform live.
Colbert, staying in character, said “I think this McCartney kid’s got something special and I’m gonna put him on the map!” McCartney previously appeared on the show in a cameo in January of 2009.
Stylistically speaking, most artists tend to stick with a winning formula, or at least they stay within certain parameters. Occasionally, however, a major artist takes a severe turn, and releases an album so different from his or her previous work, it leaves fans scratching their heads. Such albums are often spurned initially, but in time they can attain ”cult classic” status. Below are 10 such discs.
Neil Young – Trans (1982)
No album from Neil Young baffled fans and critics as much as this 1982 effort did. Featuring a vocoder on the bulk of the tracks, the disc was inspired both by Young’s love of electronic music (especially Kraftwerk, at that time) and by his efforts to communicate with his son, who was born with cerebral palsy. With time, the album has come to be seen as one of Young’s most interesting and compelling musical projects.
The Rolling Stones – Their Satanic Majesties Request (1967)
Opinion remains divided on this sole “psychedelic” effort from the Stones, released just six months after The Beatles unveiled Sgt. Pepper’s. Fitted with mellotrons, orchestration and soundscape textures, the disc was a far cry from the blues-based triumphs that would soon follow. Outtakes have surfaced that show striking cooperation between Keith Richards, Brian Jones and session keyboardist Nicky Hopkins as the material was developed. “2000 Light Years from Home” and “She’s a Rainbow” sport two of the Stones’ strongest melodies.
Todd Rundgren – With a Twist (1997)
Todd Rundgren has made a career out of unexpected moves, but this 1997 album surprised even his most ardent fans. Re-recording his biggest hits and best-known songs, Rundgren embraced a full-blown bossa nova style, giving “Hello It’s Me,” “I Saw the Light,” and other classic-rock staples an entirely new stylistic life. On his subsequent theater tour, Rundgren fitted the stage with a tiki bar setting, and seated select audience members at lounge tables, where they were served exotic drinks by the monitor engineer.
Lou Reed – Metal Machine Music (1975)
Whether it was a sick joke, a demented masterpiece, or ground zero for industrial rock is debatable, but there’s no denying that this two-album noise-fest is unlike anything else ever released by a major label. Essentially an hour-plus opus of squalling guitar feedback, mixed at varying speeds, Metal Machine Music has been described as “the ultimate conceptual punk album.” Much credit is due Reed for having the audacity to release what many consider to be contemporary music’s most non-commercial album ever.
David Bowie – Young Americans (1975)
David Bowie’s Berlin trilogy (Low, “Heroes” and Lodger) are generally regarded as his most innovative work, but no disc in Bowie’s catalog marked as severe a stylistic turn as Young Americans. A 180-degree about-face from glam rock, this pseudo R&B disc – described by Bowie as “plastic soul” – spawned colossal hits in the title track and in the John Lennon collaboration, “Fame.” Recording at Philadelphia’s Sigma Sound studios – home to The Spinners and The O’Jays – Bowie relied heavily on David Sanborn for superb sax work and on a pre-fame Luther Vandross for vocal arrangements. “Plastic” or not, Bowie’s achieved credibility as a funk artist among black audiences.
Sly & The Family Stone – There’s a Riot Goin’ On (1971)
Sly Stone was at the height of his commercial powers in 1971, having previously released the triumphant Stand! and a Greatest Hits album filled with some of the best soul-pop and psychedelic funk ever committed to vinyl. Rather than capitalize on such radio-friendly fare, however, Stone elected to do an about-face, and released an album filled with dark, edgy songs that reeked of disillusionment. In point of fact, Riot’s murky sound presaged The Rolling Stones’ Exile on Main St., and today the disc is regarded as a masterpiece.
KISS – Music from “The Elder” (1981)
The motivation behind this 1981 concept album was two-fold: first, KISS were determined to reverse a downward trend in sales, and second, the group yearned to be regarded as “serious” artists. Enlisting Bob Ezrin as producer, the band at first announced they were returning to the straight-up rock sound that had made the Ezrin-produced Destroyer album a triumph. Instead, the direction turned toward an ambitious plot-line and such misguided musical decisions as enlisting the services of the American Symphony Orchestra. A disgruntled Ace Frehley broke from KISS soon after recording was complete. In the years hence, however, the disc has become something of a cult classic.
Bruce Springsteen – Nebraska (1982)
By the time Bruce Springsteen began recording demos for a new album in 1982, his backing group, the E Street Band, were regarded as one of rock’s most gloriously spirited ensembles. As he tracked the demos in rough form on a cassette-tape Portastudio, Springsteen fully intended that the E Streeters would flesh out the songs in the manner of previous discs. In the end, however, everyone involved felt the haunted, desolate beauty of the tracks was best preserved in their original form. To this day, the sparse, acoustic-based Nebraska is regarded as a singular high point in Springsteen’s catalog.
Yes – 90125 (1983)
Although Yes’s lineup changed often during the ’70s, the band had, throughout that decade, held firm to the classically inspired prog-rock on which its reputation was built. This 1983 album changed that. With producer-maestro Trevor Horn at the controls, and Trevor Rabin on guitar, the group created snappy, effects-laden pop perfectly suited to the newly launched MTV era. Yes eventually returned to their prog-rock ambitions, but 90125 (along with such singles as “Owner of a Lonely Heart” and “Leave It”) remains one of rock’s most strikingly daring departures.
Johnny Cash – American Recordings (1994)
Who could have imagined that a pairing of country legend Johnny Cash with rap/metal maestro Rick Rubin would yield one of the best albums of the ’90s? Dissatisfied with the manner in which his previous albums had been recorded, Cash nonetheless took a huge artistic risk when he agreed to Rubin’s suggestion to record in Cash’s living room, with only an acoustic guitar for accompaniment. The results were dazzling, with tracks such as “Delia’s Gone” and “Thirteen” (written by Glenn Danzig, specifically for Cash) dripping with heartrending beauty and aching authenticity. Most agreed the disc was easily Cash’s best in a quarter century.
Fans at the Rolling Stones’ latest round of tour dates have been treated to an array of special musical guests, including pop singer Katy Perry, Foo Fighters frontman and former Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl, country singer Keith Urban, alternative pop-rock singer Gwen Stefani and more.
Now, the Stones have added another big name to their ever-growing list of guest talent: Taylor Swift.
Swift joined the band Monday night (June 3), during their show at Chicago’s United Center. The young country-pop singer and Stones frontman Mick Jagger sang an acoustic version of “As Tears Go By,” with Keith Richards on acoustic guitar.
Swift, of course, had a blast singing with Jagger. After the show, the singer tweeted, “Filing this under ‘never in my wildest dreams.’ Thank you Rolling Stones for inviting me to Chicago to sing with you.”
Lou Reed is on the mend after receiving a liver transplant last month. Speaking to the London Times, Reed’s wife, Laurie Anderson, said Reed’s condition prior to the surgery was “as serious as it gets” ... “he was dying.”
Earlier this year Reed cancelled five concert appearances scheduled for April, including two at Coachella, without specifying a reason. The veteran rocker recently posted an update about his health on his website. “I am a triumph of modern medicine, physics and chemistry,” he wrote. “I am bigger and stronger than ever. My Chen Taiji and health regimen has served me well all of these years, thanks to Master Ren Guang-yi.” Reed also promised that a swift return to music is a top priority. “I look forward to being on stage performing, and writing more songs to connect with your hearts and spirits and the universe well into the future."
Prior to his Guns N' Roses days, Axl Rose was the singer in a band called Rapidfire. Kevin Lawrence, who was the guitarist in Rapidfire, has recently released snippets of demos recorded by the band in 1983, with Rose on lead vocals. Lawrence's lawyer has released a 35-page document detailing the history behind the band and the recordings: "The five songs I described are not available to the public. There is no website you can visit to download them. There are no CDs waiting to be shipped. Then again, that could change."
"At this point, I cast the decision out to anyone and everyone who has read my narrative and commentary and has an interest in what happens to the tracks laid down by Rapidfire in 1983. Speak up and speak out about what you would like to have happen. Kevin and I will listen and see what we can do."
Rose left Rapidfire shortly after recording the demo, in order to form Hollywood Rose with his friend Izzy Stradlin. The rest is history...
Red Hot Chili Peppers released their latest album, I'm With You, in 2011, and have been busy touring ever since. Now, with only a handful of shows left, you would think that the band is looking forward to a well-deserved break. Not so, according to Chili Pepper's drummer Chad Smith. In an interview with Billboard, Smith recently stated: "We're probably looking at getting together in September and getting on a roll and starting to write songs for the next record. We always have little ideas percolating in jams and rehearsal warm-ups and sound checks and gigs. Sometimes we bust into stuff... We just kind of play whatever, so we always have those little tidbits. But we don't have any fully-formed songs until the four of us get in a room together. That's when the real writing process starts. So, yeah, we're looking at the fall."
I'm With You was the band's first release with new guitarist Josh Klinghoffer, who replaced John Frusciante in 2009. Judging from sales figures, Klinghoffer seems to be fitting in quite well in the band. I'm With You has sold 589,000 copies in the States, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
It's been 4 years since U2 released their latest album, No Line on the Horizon, and as always with the Irish quartet rumors have been flying about when their next album will drop. Now it finally seems as a release date is getting closer. Atu2 report that all the members of U2 were present at Electric Lady Studios in New York City last Friday (May 31), where producer Danger Mouse is finalizing the mixing of the band's new album. Later in the day the entire band headed up on the roof of the studio to record an acoustic version of "Sunday Bloody Sunday." Apparently Coldplay singer Chris Martin was also present at the studio, but it is not known if he is participating on a track or just hanging out with his friends.
U2 bassist Adam Clayton recently told Hot Press: "We very much want to have a record out by the end of this year. September, October, November; that kind of time. We’re working with Dangermouse who’s a smart guy. He’s on it; he’s excited. It’s a great team and feels very liberating at the moment – anything goes." If we get a new U2 album before the end of the year, it stands to reason that there's a tour in the works for next summer.
Peter Frampton is currently touring his live extravaganza, Guitar Circus, featuring guests B.B. King, Robert Cray, Sonny Landreth and more. Frampton became a star via Comes Alive, his 1976 double album, and tells TBO.com he still doesn’t understand why live music works so well for him.
“I can’t say why the studio versions of the [Comes Alive] songs that became hits weren’t successful. All I can think of when I hear the recordings from San Francisco venue Winterland is that there is so much passion and energy.
“The funny thing is how it was back then,” Frampton tells TBO.com. “Live albums didn't count as part of your record deal but that particular album turned my career around and I was told that wasn’t part of my deal.”
But Frampton reports he’s now happy playing a tour called Guitar Circus with some stellar talent. “People forget or don’t realize that I was a guitarist first and then I became a singer. I never wanted to become a singer,” he says. “I knew way back when I was no Steve Marriott or Paul Rodgers, but you steal from the best and I stole from Steve Marriott and Peter Wolf. I was a guitarist.”
The Rolling Stones may be on their 50 and Counting tour, but Keith Richards is polishing a new solo album for 2014. In a new interview with Mojo magazine, Richards says: “I’ve been cutting stuff with Steve Jordan. For the last couple of years we get together and lay down tracks for a possible album.
“There’s some great stuff in the can, we’re just polishing things up and waiting for the right time to put it out. Maybe after this year with The Stones.”
Steve Jordan is the drummer/multi-instrumentalist who co-produced with Richards in his X-Pensive Winos band. Read more about Keith Richards’ solo albums.
In the same Mojo interview, Richards admits “there couldn’t be a Rolling Stones without Charlie Watts.” He also gives credit to bassist Darryl Jones. “Everybody thinks he’s the new boy but he’s been with us 20 years. His playing with Charlie is so locked in, I can’t think of a rhythm section I’ve been with, except in the Winos maybe with Steve Jordan and Charlie Drayton, where I’ve felt that same rapport. I wanna give Mr. Jones his due.”
The Rolling Stones make their Glastonbury Festival debut on June 27. But “difficulties” are already afoot. Despite Glastonbury’s long-standing media partnership with the BBC, the band’s performance may not be televised at the Stones’ request.
The BBC have already promised its “biggest and best Glastonbury coverage to date” and “plans to make this the most digital Glastonbury ever.” The BBC plan to broadcast over 120 performances and 250 hours of live broadcasting from the six main music stages.
However, the BBC are still in discussions with the Rolling Stones about coverage of their Saturday headline slot. According to The Independent, the BBC has been told by the band that only the opening four songs of their set could be televised. Viewers would then be told that the band had demanded a “blackout” of the rest of their performance.
The Stones charged $40 (£26) for a pay-per-view deal to fans who were unable to attend their New York show in 2012. However the dispute isn’t necessarily all about money. According to The Independent’s source, Mick Jagger has said he “didn't sign up for a TV show.” The Stones are apparently concerned about factors beyond their control affecting a performance which could be streamed worldwide on the night.
The source said: “If there's torrential rain it will play havoc with their performance and they want to sound and look at their best.”
Fans of Beatles drummer Ringo Starr will have the chance to get their hands on a new eBook offering rare photos and memoirs of Starr on June 12 via Apple’s iBookstore. The interactive publication, named Photograph, is biographical and features Starr going over his life with never-before-published photos, text, audio and video.
Perhaps not so coincidentally, the same day the Photograph eBook is out, a new display called “Ringo: Peace & Love” will debut at the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles. On hand will be the legendary drum sets Ringo played during the Beatles’ Shea Stadium show and on The Ed Sullivan Show, his Sgt. Pepper’s outfit, the cape he sported in the Help! film, special photos and keepsakes and more.
The Photograph eBook will run $9.99 and is available for pre-order now via www.RingoPhotograph.com.
Those who don’t want to go the eBook route will have the option to purchase a limited-edition physical version of Photograph in December. The physical edition will offer a few extras, including more images than the eBook version. Starr will also autograph 2,500 copies of the hard-bound book.