By Andrew Vaughan
The rock legend joins â60s contemporaries Neil Young and Pete Townshend in announcing plans to write his memoirs.
The soccer-loving rocker has signed a deal with publishers Random House and, according to theÂ Daily Express, has promised to "hold nothing back."
The book will race his days in The Jeff Beck Group and The Faces, to superstar years in America and marriages to Alana Hamilton, Rachel Hunter and Penny Lancaster.
Stewart said: "I thought long and hard before committing to write my book. It is a funny old thing telling my life story but I truly intend to hold nothing back. I've had quite a life, known some extraordinary people and had some amazing experiences.
"I've waited all this time, until my 50th year in the business and realize I can no longer put it off. Forget skeletons in the closet; this one's going to be socks and knickers under the bed."
By Michael Leonard
To some, it was the ultimate triumph of a band at the top of their game. To others, it was a folly that blew a great band apart. Twenty years ago this week, Guns N' Roses releasedÂ Use Your Illusion. It was only the band's second full release, but what a release.
Use Your Illusion I andÂ Use Your Illusion 2 were confined to a disc each on CD, but on vinyl they were both double albums, making for eight sides of vinyl. With 4.2 million copies sent to record stores for a midnight release, it was the largest album shipment in history. But such grandeur came at a cost.
All involved admit that Guns N' Roses were on a precipice even so early in their career. Guitarist Slash recently toldÂ Total Guitar, "I was just totally obsessed with the creation of theÂ Illusion records and when I got into that studio, I was completely absorbed with everything to do with them, all the time. Because it had been so long. We'd madeÂ Appetite [for Destruction] and then toured for years and â for me, and I know for a couple of the other guys â we'd crashed and burned. So we were pulling ourselves out of the quagmire and going back to work."
For singer Axl Rose, lofty ambitions were paramount. "We want to define ourselves," Rose toldÂ Rolling Stone. "Appetite was our cornerstone, a place to start. That was like: Here's our land and we just put a stake in the ground. Now we're going to build something."
Slash and Axl Rose may have shared ambition, but Guns N' Roses were not in the best shape to realize it. Slash, to his credit, had conquered a drug problem that had blighted theÂ Appetite glory days. But bassist Duff McKagan had sobriety issues, drummer Steven Adler had gone (replaced by Matt Sorum), Izzy Stradlin was troubled and Axl Rose was becoming more reclusive, only "speaking" to fellow Gunners via management members. Then the band relocated to Chicago to start recordingÂ Use Your Illusion.
The sheer scale of the project soon caused friction. Slash admits: "I'd have preferred to do a record with just 10 songs that were a bit more straightforward." While the albums' scope allowed all members to contribute fully, not everything was consensual. A bugbear of Slash's was Rose's introduction of synthesizers to the Guns armory. "I disagreed with synthesizers, and I still do."
Still, it wasn't all bad. Some songs onÂ Use Your Illusion had been around for years and came to impressive fruition. "Dead Horse" was an old Axl tune, "Back off Bitch" was written before Guns N' Roses even formed, "You Could be Mine" had nearly made it ontoÂ Appetite, and "November Rain" was written by Slash and Rose in 1986 beforeÂ Appetite was recorded.
Says Slash: "When Axl and I first played âNovember Rain,' the same guitar melodies that are in the recorded version came through. There was definitely a spark between the two of us. It was hard to arrange that song and âEstranged,' because they were so open-ended and we had to cut âNovember Rain.' But those were Axl's epic piano pieces and they were both breakthrough guitar solos for me. Real melody solos, y'know? I had some good sounds and they were melodically very spontaneous."
The tour that followed proved to be one of the most notorious in rock history. Comprising 194 shows in 27 countries over two and a half years, it was mammoth. But tensions were reaching fever pitch. Fan fights erupted at many gigs â Axl Rose once attacked a fan who had a video camera, another fan had a fight with a press photographer.
On the double-headline section with Metallica in Montreal, James Hetfield was burned in a pyrotechnics accident and when Guns eventually took to the stage there were sound problems: Rose ended up storming offstage, sparking a riot that spilled into the streets. In Venezuela, Guns' equipment got impounded as the result of an attempted miltary coup. Meanwhile, Matt Sorum got lost in the Venezuelan jungle for two days in search of drugs. In Chile, an intoxicated Axl Rose was two hours late onstage and a teenage fan was killed outside the stadium in the melee.
TheÂ Use Your Illusion tour was as outrageous as Spinal Tap, but without any hint of humor. And with seven additional musicians onstage (eight, including keyboardist Dizzy Reed), it was all far removed Gun's punk-metal roots in L.A. By the final date in Argentina in July 1993, Guns N' Roses seemed shattered, musically and emotionally.
Izzy Stradlin, writer of some ofÂ Illusion's best riffs, had bailed out just after the albums were released. Slash saved his next songs for his Snakepit debut album. Apart from the all-covers albumÂ The Spaghetti Incident? (1993), it was the end of Guns N' Roses as most fans knew and loved them.
It's for these reasons thatÂ Use Your Illusion is possibly hard to love. But despite intense friction due to over-ambition, Slash came out smiling.
"That was the first time I had enough money to buy some new guitars. I was like a kid in a candy store, because there was so much material and I wanted all kinds of different guitar sounds, just whatever my vision was for that song. As tumultuous as it was to make those records, the one thing I really enjoyed was those three weeks doing guitars [and] just having a great time down at the Record Plant."
Grand album projects can go both ways. The Beatles "White Album" was a triumph: each member excelled, even if they were on poor personal terms at the time. Genesis'sÂ The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway only proved that Peter Gabriel was so domineering, the band would have to split. With Guns' N' RosesÂ Illusion, it was maybe a bit of both? James Hetfield was cutting when he told Rolling Stone in the aftermath, "Guns N' Roses is a guyâ¦ and some other guys." As theÂ AllMusic guide puts it: "Use Your Illusion is a shining example of a suddenly successful band getting it all wrong and letting its ambitions run wild."
"There's a lot of good crap on thoseÂ Illusion recordsâ¦" is the only perspective Slash chooses to put on it.
Imagine if the sprawling whole was redux'd, as Slash wanted, to 10 killer songs? If so, maybeÂ Use Your Illusion would be a record that made Guns N' Roses, instead of breaking them.
More Slash and Guns N'Roses:
By Bryan Wawzenek
For five years, Queen and Free singer Paul Rodgers teamed up to tour the world and even recorded an album together. The two camps went their separate ways in 2009, but it appears they might reunite next year.
Queen drummer Roger Taylor toldÂ Rolling Stone (viaÂ NME) that he and guitarist Brian May might work with Rodgers again: "I wouldn't rule it out. In fact I read the other day Paul said he wouldn't mind doing something. If something came up as special, we could maybe do that, maybe the Olympics or something. But I certainly wouldn't rule it out and he is a wonderful singer, there's no doubt about that."
In the meantime, Taylor also is working on his own Queen tribute band, called The Queen Extravaganza.
"Essentially we're producing our own show using our own footage and production values to make a show because, let's face it, we're getting a little long in the tooth, but there are an awful lot of tribute bands, some of them good, some of them not good," he said. "And we put together something that we felt was purely extraordinary."
1969, Based on the comic book and TV seriesArchie, The Archies started a four-week run at #1 on the U.S. singles chart with âSugar, Sugar.â It became the longest-running one-hit wonder in the U.K. after spending eight weeks at the top of the charts.
1969, TheÂ Melody Maker readers poll results were published. Winners included Eric Clapton, who won best musician, and Bob Dylan, who won best male singer and best album forÂ Nashville Skyline. Best group went to The Beatles, best single went to Simon and Garfunkel for âThe Boxerâ and best female singer went to Janis Joplin.
1969, During a meeting in London between John Lennon, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, Lennon announced he was leaving The Beatles.
1970, Jim Morrison of The Doors was acquitted on charges of lewd and lascivious behavior, but was found guilty of exposing himself during a concert at The Dinner Key Auditorium in Coconut Grove a year and a half earlier. At his trial at the Dade County Courthouse in Miami, Judge Goodman sentenced Morrison to six months hard labor and a $500 (Â£270), fine for public exposure and sixty days hard labor for profanity. The sentence was appealed, but Morrison was never brought to trial, as he would die in Paris, France on July 3, 1971.
1975, âFameâ by David Bowie hit #1 on the Billboard Singles Charts. For more on this story, seeÂ This Day in Music Spotlight.
1976, The first night of the two-day 100 Club Punk Festival took place on Oxford St., London. It featured the Sex Pistols, The Clash, Sub Way Sect, Siouxie and the Banshees, The Buzzcocks, Vibrators and Stinky Toys. Admission: Â£1.50.
1997, Pearl Jamâs âJeremyâ video was cited as one of the reasons American teenager Barry Loukaitis had snapped into a violent rage that left three people dead. Defense attorneys took the unprecedented step of playing the video in a Washington court.
2005, Canadian JD Fortune beat two other finalists to become the new lead singer with INXS after a worldwide search to replace the late Michael Hutchence. INXS held auditions in six continents as part of a reality TV series.
By Peter Hodgson
Metallica have released a 28-minute documentary on the Big Four show at Yankee Stadium in New York on September 14.
The film includes footage from soundcheck, backstage rehearsals and meet and greets, bass player Rob Trujillo expounding the aesthetics of 13-grain bread, and the epic jam on Motorhead's "Overkill" â featuring members of Megadeth, Slayer, Anthrax and Exodus.
The documentary may be viewed for free but it can also be purchased as a high-quality download fromÂ LiveMetallica.com
The Yankee Stadium show almost didn't feature one of the four cornerstones of thrash: Megadeth's Dave Mustaine almost had to pull out of the show due to an injury to his neck and shoulder suffered during the recently-wrapped Rockstar Energy Mayhem tour. At the concert Mustaine toldÂ Rolling Stone, "I was in a hospital yesterday morning, so I'm going home to get [neck] surgery right after this. It's pretty bad. If I move wrong tonight, I could be paralyzed."
By Bryan Wawzenek
Aerosmith have announced that they've gone into the studio to record a new album of original material. Drummer Joey Kramer tweeted about the first day, calling it "inspiring." He also wrote: "No words can describe how inspired I'm feeling in the studio right now. It's a beautiful thing."
Kramer tweeted a picture of him working with Jack Douglas, who will produce the band's 14th studio album. In a video update on Aerosmith's official site(Aerosmith.com), bass player Tom Hamilton talked about the collaboration with Douglas.
"For those of you who don't know who Jack is, he's the guy who we worked with, producing our best albums of the '70s âÂ Get Your Wings, Toys in the Attic andÂ Rocks. And it's really gonna be cool, because there's no one that knows more about the soul of this band and the creative part of this band [than] Jack. We worked with him on [2004's covers CD]Â Honkin' on Bobo, but that wasn't all original materialâ¦ This time it's gonna be all-new Aerosmith songs."
The as-yet-untitled album will be the band's first of new material since 2001'sÂ Just Push Play.
Warner Bros have decided that they will partner up with Facebook. What does that mean to you? Instead of just using Facebook as a social network or for gaming, you could also buy or rent movies. In fact, this Tuesday they will try the first test. If you visit the official page of "Batman: The Dark Night," you will be able to watch the movie for 30 Facebook credits, or $3.
If this is successful, it could spell doom to somebody like Netflix, who have taken too long to make good movies streamable, on-demand. Meanwhile, Facebook is slowly taking over the world.
There's a big rumor floating about that at Apple's next event on March 2nd, they will be making a special announcement. Angry Birds for St. Patrick's Day?! Uh, no. The iPad 2 could be coming, which would likely improve upon the original. Those additions could feature front and rear facing cameras and a slimmer, lighter feel. Expect the iPad 2 to be more costly though, with a possible drop in price for the original iPad.
By Michael Wright
Ozzy Osbourne is the latest original Sab to speak, in recent weeks, about his openness to the idea of reuniting Black Sabbath. Speaking to theÂ Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, the 61-year-old singer said, "We're talking and that's a good sign. We're not at war with each other. I was speaking to Bill Ward last night. I've got to speak to the other two. But it was in the last attempt where we just all met without saying anything to each other [after] quite a few years. I'm trying to get things done right, talking at least."
It sounds like at least two of his former bandmates are open to a conversation. The aforementionedÂ Ward said recently that "everyone has an open mind about touring again." He then added, "I'd love to do another album and tour with the Sabs. It keeps me fresh and going."
Bassist Geezer Butler expressed similar sentiments this week toÂ Hellbound.ca:
"You know, it would be nice to finish the whole thing off with one last tour, I suppose. We're all getting a bit old now, so time is running out. It would be nice â I wouldn't say âno'!"
As for Ozzy, while he won't commit to any specific plans, he does sound like a man ready make music:
"I can't give any dates, 'cause I don't know anything. I don't know whether they want to do it with me, or whatever, but I'm starting to feel [things] ease up for it. To be honest with you, I would love to do a killer Black Sabbath album. It would make my life, my whole thing, round up perfectly for me."
No word, at this time, from Tony Iommi. Fans can only keep their fingers, ahem, crossed.
By Michael WrightOne of the most influential guitarists of the late â60s English blues-rock scene was Mick Taylor. His dazzling slide and searing lead playing propelled him to success at a young age. By the time he turned 18, he had already opened for Cream and had joined the legendary John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers, taking the place of the departing Peter Green. Taylor played with the Bluesbreakers from 1966-69, at which time he joined âThe Greatest Rock and Roll Band in the Worldâ â The Rolling Stones. Taylorâs tenure in the Stones is often hailed as a creative high-point for the band, with the recording of the seminal albums Sticky Fingers and Exile on Main St. Taylor also played on the definitive Rolling Stones live album, Get Yer Ya-Yaâs Out! He left the band in 1974, and embarked on a series of critically acclaimed solo projects and occasional high-profile gigs with the likes of Jack Bruce and Bob Dylan. Taylor still dazzles audiences around the world with the melodic grace and lightning dexterity that was integral to the magic of now-classic tracks, like âSwayâ and âCanât You Hear Me Knocking.â
Gibson.com recently caught up with Taylor by phone from his London office, in between European shows. Ever the performer, the guitarist seems keen to get back on the road after having to cancel dates earlier in the year because of an illness.
How are you feeling? I understand you had pneumonia this past year.
I had pneumonia and a lot of nasty things, which is why I couldnât fulfill my obligations and finish the tour I was booked to do. But Iâm over that now. Iâm still recovering and getting my strength back, but Iâm over the worst of that.
And youâre back on the road now, right?
Well, not entirely. A couple of weeks ago, we did a show in Poland and we did three shows in Italy and we came home. And then a week later, we did a show in France and then a show in Suffolk, which is in England. And then we did a show two days later in France. So Iâm keeping busy, but Iâm not doing any major tours, yet. No, not ready to do that yet.
What guitars are you playing these days?
Iâm playing a Les Paul, a vintage reissue. Iâve got two Les Pauls at the moment, neither of them are of that much intrinsic value, like the ones I used to play when I was with John Mayall and with the Stones, but theyâre nice guitars. Iâm most interested in trying to acquire an SG like the one I used to have in my last year with John Mayall and I used throughout my 1969 tour with The Rolling Stones. That I [used on] Get Yer Ya-Yaâs Out!
What do you remember about that original guitar?
Well, I just remember loving that guitar â because I must have loved it a lot, otherwise I wouldnât have forsaken a Les Paul to play that. I played both, but I think I preferred that SG because it had a very wide neck, and a very flat neck, and the action was absolutely superb. And the sound was good, too. And it had a Bigsby arm on it, which I didnât use a great deal in those days, but I like that kind of effect, as well.
This NBC situation withÂ Conan leaving and Jay considering doing it too now, has everybody talking. In fact, it's practically writing the late night material for every host. Letterman is all over it, and so is Jimmy Kimmel. Kimmel walked out last night as Jay Leno and did his monologue, which is interesting, because they are supposedly friends.
Watch it below.
Everybody was going bananas today, and rightfully so, when they heard that Jay Leno is probably getting his 11:35pm Tonight Show slot back. Well, what does that mean for Conan O'Brien? Is he done? Are they moving him back to 12:35am?
According to early reports, it looks like Leno will get his old slot, but only get a half an hour. Conan would then take over for a full hour at 12:05am, then Jimmy Fallon would follow.
NBC claims this isn't a firm plan, just something they are considering. Let's hope they realize just how terrible Jay Leno is in the next couple of months.
It's good news/bad news with some new changes that they are making with Netflix. If you're like me, and you like snagging those new releases right away, that's not going to happen anymore.
They have made an agreement with Warner Brothers to add more streaming movies to the website, which is much needed. However, in exchange Netflix will hold back for 28 days on renting out new releases to not only save shipping costs, estimated at $600 million a year, but to give Warner the opportunity to sell those new videos. It's a quid pro quo deal all the way. They better stack up on the disappointing online movie streams, or this is a bad deal for all of us.
The Sacramento Monarchs have announced that they are folding as of today, according to News 10.
The move was made to put full efforts into the Sacramento Kings turnaround, and due to financial challenges the team faced.
There's already rumors that they might resurface in the Bay Area in the near future.
Say what you will about Michael Vick and the dogfighting scandal, but at today's press conference, he did seem sincere and humbled. We will find out more on 60 Minutes with James Brown interviewing him on Sunday Night.
In case you missed the press conference today, here is Michael Vick's opening statement.
If you're looking for a nice show and you're up in the midnight hour tonight/this morning, you may want to peak out your window. The annual meteor shower that takes place in August every year is back. Expected to peak at 1am, it usual doesn't disapoint. You may be in a coma tomorrow at work, but it might be cool toÂ check out.
The Cash For Clunkers program that President Obama signed into law over a month ago, actually goes into effect today. The program was aimed to kick-start the auto industry by giving you a chance to turn in your car for a rebate of $3,500-$4,500. That doesn't include the rebates that the dealership may already be offering you. This happens at certain dealerships across the country, and will only go until November 1st. At that point congress will discuss whether or not it will continue another year.
There are a lot of questions that are answered here, but obviously a lot of you should qualify for this. Check it out!
There's the tribute to Alice In Wonderland on your left, that's in Central Park in New York. Soon, you're going to see the updated movie version with Tim Burton directing and who else but Johnny Depp as The Mad Hatter.
Look for it to hit theatres in March.
There were a lot of surprises and new faces on the list of this mornings Emmy nominations, celebrating the best on television.
Â 30 Rock was one of the shows that did well this morning, as Tina Fey was nominated for Best Actress, Alec Baldwin for Best Actor and the show got a nod for Best Comedy. The show leads the field with a total of 22 nominations. Mad MenÂ got 16.
For the full list, go here
Today show co-host Meredith Vierra ran herself into a bad situation last week, when she insulted her guests dress.
She was talking with a consumer expert on great deals, and Vierra had this to say.
"I can see all the NBC bean counters, all of my wardrobe is going to be from PropertyRoom.com, starting with (pointing at her guest) that ugly yellow dress."
Wow! After groans from everybody behind the scenes, she tried to recover, but it was too late.
Some new words have been added to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, in fact there are 100 new entries.
You'll have to officially add frenemy, vlog and waterboarding to your daily vernacular.
For some more additions, go here.
We've all heard "The customer is always right." That mayÂ be the rule now more than ever thanks to Twitter and YouTube, to spread a story like wild fire.
A guy in a band who watched United Airlines fling around his guitar on the tarmac, has now made a YouTube video. It describes everything they did in a song, and how they refused to replace it.
You've heard a lot of praise thrown Michael Jackson's way over the last week. However, a New York congressman ripped Jackson on video saying he was a "low-life" among several other things.
We have video goodness below.
According to a new study, Roseville ranks as one of the fastest growing cities in the country.
It's grown by nearly 113,000 people in just the last year, but surprisingly New Orleans ranks as the highest.
Read more about it here.
President Obama kills a fly on CNBC during an interview at the White House the other day, and I jokingly said to a friend, "Just wait...PETA will be all over that." I was joking, but they delivered.
Yes, you guessed it..despite his record for animal rights, killing a fly on national television was the worst thing you could ever imagine. I guess it could be worse right?
Watch the bloodshed spew forth in the horrific killing video below.
I don't know if you heard me talk about this incident on the air or not. Basically, a 77 year old woman was tasered after a routine traffic stop. Now, just reading that, you automatically believe the cop was at fault. However, if you see the 3:00 piece the Today Show did on this woman, and how unwilling she was to cooperate, you may change your mind.
For more, go to their website. Click the picture on their site for the video.
The new upgrades made to the iPhone were the ones that most were calling out for. Everything from copy and paste functions to recording video and at half the price. The new iPhone 3G-S will only you cost you $99, which is usually what a refurbished phone costs.
With all of the apps that Apple offers, this still beats the competition, without a doubt.
It should be out on June 19th. For more, read on.
According to several reports, actor David Carradine was found dead this morning in a hotel room in Bangkok. Some reports say he died of natural causes, but there is at least one newspaper that says he committed suicide by hanging himself.
Carradine was best known for his work in Kill Bill and also the Kung Fu TV Series. He was 72 years old.
Maxim has just released their Hot 100 List of the year and Megan Fox (left) has been bumped from #1 (gasp!)
The usuals are on the list, from Jessica Alba and Scarlett Johansson, but there are a lot of fresh faces as well.
In fact, #1 I guarantee most people have never heard of before, and the same could be said for #4.
Get the full list right now, and then stick your face in a bucket of ice water.
There is a Facebook worm making it's way around that you should know about. This should come as a big surprise, since Myspace has been loaded with viruses and worms for years.
Basically, watch for anybody sending you an e-mail to watch a video on YouTube with a link attached.
If you do, you'll be kicked out to a page like the pic above, complete with a picture of the friend who sent you the link. Using your friends to trick you into downloading malicious software is called "social engineering."
Read more here