After revealing that he has plans for not one, but two collaborations with Crazy Horse, Neil Young has posted the first sounds of their new work together. The rock legend unveiled a 37-minute track, now streaming on his official website.
The recording is titled “Horse Back” and was recorded on January 6 at Audio Casa Blanca studios, according to NME. In the video that accompanies the recording, fans have spotted various lyrics sheets, including ones marked “Gallows Pole,” “Clementine,” “This Land,” “Oh Susanna!,” “She’ll Be Coming Around the Mountain” and “Gotta Travel On (Done Laid Around).”
Could Young and Crazy Horse be planning some sort of campfire, folk song, sing-along record – with extreme distortion? Only time will tell.
A long-lost guitar solo originally recorded for “Here Comes the Sun” has been discovered after more than 40 decades. NME reports that George Harrison’s solo, which was ultimately left off the 1969 single, was unearthed by his son Dhani Harrison, as well as Beatles producer George Martin and his son Giles Martin during a visit to Abbey Road Studios.
Dhani and the Martins were listening to the original, multi-track recordings made for “Here Comes the Sun” when they happened upon the solo. George Martin remarked that he had forgotten all about the electric solo, while Dhani said he never knew it existed. You can hear Harrison’s lost solo at about the 1-minute mark in the video below.
Beatles die-hards might also enjoy hearing some extra instrumentation that was ultimately discarded for the Abbey Road track.
British pop legend Sir Paul McCartney has talked about being intimidated when recording with jazz artist Diana Krall for his new album, Kisses on the Bottom.
According the U.K. newspaper The Daily Express, McCartney recorded without an instrument to accompany his vocals. He told Culture magazine: “Here was I in this completely new role, feeling really quite intimidated. There was nothing to hide behind, no guitar or piano that I could put between me and ‘it.’ I had to sort of find a vocal style...
“I’m in front of really good musicians, who know what’s going on, and I’m thinking, ‘Bloody hell, I’m going to totally disgrace myself here. I’m going to be, like, the worst person in this band, and I’m supposed to be, like, not bad. They’re all going to be smiling at me, but secretly thinking, Jesus Christ, this guy is rubbish.’ Then I think, ‘Get it together, Macca, come on.’ ... So, yeah, me not having an instrument was very strange, very intimidating.”
The former Beatle’s new album is due out February 7. In addition to Krall, Eric Clapton and Stevie Wonder appear on Kisses on the Bottom.
1946, Terry Kath, guitar, Chicago
1951, Phil Manzanera, guitar, Roxy Music
1954, Adrian Vandenburg, guitar, Whitesnake
1956, John Lydon, singer, Sex Pistols & Public Image Ltd
1961, Lloyd Cole, vocals, guitar, Lloyd Cole and the Commotions
1967, The Beatles spent a second day at Knole Park, Sevenoaks, Kent, England to complete filming for the “Strawberry Fields Forever” promotional video. The film was shot in color for the benefit of the U.S. market since U.K. television was still broadcasting only in black and white. Taking time out from filming, John Lennon bought an 1843 poster from an antiques shop in Surrey, which provided him with most of the lyrics for the song “Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite.”
1970, American blues musician Slim Harpo died of a heart attack while recording in London. He was 46. Harpo had a #16 hit in the U.S. with “Baby Scratch My Back.” The Rolling Stones, Pretty Things, Yardbirds and Them all covered Harpo’s songs.
1970, The Jackson 5 went to #1 on the U.S. singles chart with “I Want You Back.” The song was originally written for Gladys Knight & The Pips and was the first of four #1's for the group. It made #2 in the U.K.
1976, Abba knocked Queen from #1 on the U.K. singles chart with “Mamma Mia.” Queen's single “Bohemian Rhapsody” had enjoyed a nine-week run atop the charts. Ironically, “Bohemian Rhapsody” contains the famous "oh, mama mia, mama mia, mama mia let me go" line. For more on this, see This Day in Music 1978, Saxophonist Greg Herbert of Blood Sweat & Tears died of an accidental drug overdose in Amsterdam. He was 30.
1990, The Stone Roses were granted conditional bail by Wolverhampton Magistrates court after the band had trashed their record company's offices.
Ever the class act, former Van Halen bass player Michael Anthony says he’s looking forward to hearing the new VH album – especially because it includes material which he originally played with the band on their original demos in the 1970s.
In an interview with Rob Birnie of Planet Rock, to air in full in a few weeks, Anthony said he would not be looking for songwriting credits on the material on the new Van Halen album, A Different Kind of Truth, despite the band’s former policy of crediting all members equally. “I don’t want to do anything. I just let it be,” Anthony said. “And, hey, it’ll be nice to hear some of those old songs again that I haven’t played in a long time.”
Much has been made of how the band returned to early demos of unreleased songs to mine for inspiration for the new material. In an interview with the Los Angeles Times over the weekend, singer David Lee Roth said, “It’s material that Eddie and I generated, literally, in 1975, 1976 and 1977. Usually fellas in our weight division will kind of gamely – or ironically, wink, wink – try to hail back to it [but] keep a safe, mature distance from it.”
A Different Kind of Truth will be released on February 7 around most of the world, but Australia gets the album on February 3. This will no doubt cheer up Aussie fans who were disappointed that the Soundwave Revolution tour, which was to include VH as headliners, was cancelled in 2011.
Jethro Tull singer and flautist Ian Anderson is honoring the 40th anniversary of the album Thick as a Brick by playing the entire album live in concert. It’s the first time the progressive rock epic has been performed live in its entirety since 1972, according to Ultimate Classic Rock.
However, the tour is credited to Anderson as a solo artist and not Jethro Tull as a band. The frontman recently explained why he decided to present the Thick as a Brick tour this way.
“Back in 1972, when I tried to play Thick as a Brick live on stage in the USA, it turned into the tour from hell,” he said. “I decided never to do that again.”
According to Anderson, some members of the audience would “hoot and whistle” during the quieter moments. The experience disheartened the singer to the point that he didn’t even want to be in a rock band anymore, although he ended up soldiering on with Jethro Tull.
Now, he’ll play Thick solo because “the audiences that I attract as Ian Anderson have come to listen to the music and have the sensitivity to keep quiet at the appropriate moments.”
Joe Walsh is done with his new solo album, Analog Man. It is set for a release in May or June and will be his first solo set since 1992’s Songs for a Dying Planet.
In a new interview with the San Diego Reader about the upcoming album, Walsh seems more concerned with technophobia and the state of the union. Of the album title, he says: “I just decided I better get with it. After all, it is the digital age. Back when it was all analog, we used to go in the studio, and studios had knobs. We used to turn knobs and say, let’s see what this does. Now, we have a mouse. We [the members of the Eagles] spend hours yelling at our computers. My son comes in and he says: Dad, you’re really stupid.
“I was at a Lakers game last night, and everybody there was texting. Now and then they’d look up and check the score.”
Walsh also ranted about the current situation in the U.S. “First of all, there is no more money. We have spent it all. Why is everybody waiting for things to get better? They’re not gonna get better, and that’s screamin’ at me. Thirty thousand vets are comin’ home and nobody gives a s--t.”
In a new interview with U.S. radio show The Cowhead Show, AC/DC frontman Brian Johnson says the band’s new album plans have been delayed by illness. The singer revealed: “One of the boys is a little sick and I can’t say anything, but he’s getting better. He’s doing wonderful. Full recovery fully expected.”
Johnson says that he expects the band to go back into the studio later this year to start working on a follow-up to 2008’s Black Ice.
“It’s a wonderful thing when we get in a room. Whenever the boys get back together, I get all excited. The boys, after a while, pick the guitars up, Phil [Rudd] will make his way to the drums, Cliff [Williams] will pull his bass out and then all of a sudden this noise comes out and I sit there with just this big old grin on my face.”
Johnson’s reference to “one of the boys” suggest it is either Angus or Malcolm Young that is currently unwell.
Feeling blue? Crank up some Metallica, and you’ll feel better in no time!
In a her latest book, Your Playlist Can Change Your Life: 10 Proven Ways Your Favorite Music Can Revolutionize Your Health, Memory, Organization, Alertness and More, Columbia University professor Galina Mindlin asserts that rocking out to songs with a certain number of beats per minute can generate specific mental states, such as productivity and relaxation, according to DNAinfo.com.
Lo and behold, Metallica’s hard-rocking tunes fall into that category.
“It’s [about] how music affects you – how it can improve your memory, how it can relieve anxiety, enhance your mood, how we can use playlists for specific tasks,” Mindlin said. “Using music with certain frequencies, you really can create the desired state of mind.”
As for other jams that might lift your mood, Your Playlist Can Change Your Life lists sample playlists, but Mindlin warns that selecting specific songs is a very personal experience. “What’s right for you might not be right for someone else,” she said. “Some people love the classical genre, but some people get excited by pop. The idea is to activate as many brain areas as you can.”
One sample playlist lists songs with 100 to 130 beats per minute for “achieving high alertness when you need to focus on an important work project,” according to DNAinfo.com. Some of those sample songs include “Pride (In the Name of Love)” by U2, “Lady Madonna” from the Beatles, “Goodbye Earl” by the Dixie Chicks and “Don’t Phunk with My Heart” by the Black Eyed Peas. What’s your feel-good jam?
Neil Young has confirmed that he’s completed a new album with Crazy Horse, and that a second album with the band is “in progress.” The veteran rocker said he hopes to release both discs this year.
Young made the revelation at the Slamdance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, were he and director Jonathan Demme are presenting Journeys, their latest concert documentary, which was filmed in Toronto in May 2011.
Members of Crazy Horse last recorded with Young on his 2003 album, Greendale. The last Young album on which the entire band was featured was 1996’s Broken Arrow. In a 2005 interview with Performing Songwriter, Young described his work with Crazy Horse as “cosmic,” and as something he treated with “a special kind of respect.” “My work with Crazy Horse stands alone, in its own way,” he said. “Sometimes it needs to be replenished, sometimes it needs to be revisited, and sometimes it needs to be left alone.”
Runaway Phoenix, a hard rock band fronted by Alice Cooper’s son, has released their first EP. Titled, simply, The E.P., the 6-song disc features Alice himself as a guest on the opening track, “Tug of War.”
Formed in 2002, the Phoenix, Arizona-based group describes their sound as “AC/DC meets The Yardbirds who slept with Led Zeppelin who had an illegitimate love child.” Other influences cited by the band include The Who, Neil Diamond, Audioslave and, of course, Alice Cooper.
Dash Cooper, who handles lead vocal duties for the group, isn’t the only member of the Cooper clan who’s entered the entertainment business. Actress/singer Calico Cooper has been a guest on several of her father’s albums, and has long been an integral part of his stage show. Calico’s younger sister, Sonora Cooper, is said to have similar aspirations.
Canadian rock legends Bachman and Turner have landed roles in a new movie starring Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis. The classic rockers will appear and perform in Dog Fight, a film being directed by Jay Roach (Austin Powers), according to Winnipeg Free Press.
In the film, Ferrell and Galifianakis play North Carolina congressional candidates battling for the same seat. Guitarist Randy Bachman and bassist Fred Turner show up to play their hit “Takin’ Care of Business” at the winner’s celebration rally.
“It was really hard work, long days and about 200 people on set,” the band’s manager Gilles Paquin said. “But it’s one of the biggest movies of the year and it’s great positioning for the band.”
The movie also stars John Lithgow, Dan Aykroyd and Dylan McDermott, and is due to be released later in 2012.
Born on this day:
1943, Jean Knight, R&B singer
1948, Corky Laing, drums, Mountain
1951, David Briggs, guitar, Little River Band
1953, Lucinda Williams, singer-songwriter
1955, Eddie Van Halen, guitarist
1958, Anita Baker, R&B singer
1961, Tom Keifer, vocals, guitar, Cinderella
1963, Andrew Ridgeley, guitar, vocals, Wham!
1970, Kirk Franklin, gospel singer
1980, Brian Fallon, guitar, vocals, The Gaslight Anthem
1986, Matt Heafy, guitar, vocals, Trivium
1961, Elvis Presley was at #1 on the U.K. singles chart with “Are You Lonesome Tonight?” It was the singer’s sixth U.K. #1. The single included a spoken passage loosely based on Shakespeare.
1965, During The Rolling Stones tour of Australia and New Zealand, guitarist Keith Richards had his shirt torn off after 50 fans invaded the stage during the gig at The Town Hall in Brisbane.
1970, John Lennon wrote, recorded and mixed his new single “Instant Karma” all in one day.
1977, Former Fleetwood Mac guitarist Peter Green was committed to a mental hospital following an incident when he threatened his accountant Clifford Adams with an air rifle when he was trying to deliver a £30,000 ($51,000) royalty check to him. For more on this story, see This Day in Music Spotlight.
1980, Prince made his TV debut on American Bandstand.
1986, Allen Collins, guitarist from Lynyrd Skynyrd, crashed his car, paralysing him from the waist down and killing his girlfriend Debra Jean Watts. Collins had survived a plane crash in 1977 that killed other band members.
1989, American singer Donnie Elbert died of a stroke at age 52.
1991, Cher made a special video for the troops involved in Desert Storm during the gulf war. Cher’s Video Canteen featured Janet Jackson, Paul Simon, Van Halen and Bonnie Raitt.
1991, Queen had their second U.K. #1 with “Innuendo.” It was the third-longest #1 song of all time behind The Beatles’ “Hey Jude” and Simple Minds’ “Belfast Child.” The flamenco guitar solo on the track was performed by Yes guitarist Steve Howe.
2003, Billy Joel was airlifted to a hospital after his car smashed into a tree. The singer lost control of his Mercedes S500 and skidded for 100 yards before crashing. The accident happened in The Hamptons, New York.
2004, John Lydon was one of 10 contestants to take part in the latest I’m a Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here U.K. TV show set in the Australian outback. The former Sex Pistols singer was seen by 11 million viewers on the first night covered in bird seed being pecked by giant ostriches. Lydon was paid £25,000 ($42,500) to appear in the show, but walked off the jungle set after four days.
2007, The Rolling Stones topped the U.S. music rich list for the second year running after making $150.6 million in 2006. Tim McGraw and Faith Hill were second in the poll with a combined fortune of $132 million and American country band Rascal Flatts appeared third, having earned $110.5 million in the past year.
The advent and cultural momentum of punk in the late 1970s provided a wild new lens through which all things – especially bands – considered “corporate” were viewed with leering distain. Ironically, even The Rolling Stones were not spared this fate despite having been punks a good decade before the term became a genre of music and style.
In a sense they invited the sneers of young listeners and critics with their 1976 album Black and Blue. Gibson Les Paul virtuoso Mick Taylor had left the band, taking part of its bluesy soul with him, and the album’s second single was “Hot Stuff,” a calculated attempt to cash in on the disco craze. The good news is that the slagging the Stones received from longtime fans and the media sparked a response from Mick Jagger and Keith Richards that restored the group to at least some of its former artistic glories.
And so they created 1978’s Some Girls, an album that was – like Black and Blue – varied compositionally, but honed close to the rock ’n’ roll bones that made The Rolling Stones great. “Shattered,” “When the Whip Comes Down,” “Lies” and “Respectable” (the latter featuring a three-guitar lineup of Richards, Jagger and then-new full-time Stone Ron Wood) all stomped hard, and while “Miss You” ventured back into disco territory, the song’s lyrics were far edgier than the pulpy “Hot Stuff.”
Jagger, in particular, stepped to the fore. Using New York City’s melting pot society for inspiration, he studied the punk and club culture and came away with lyrics about alienation – a theme Richards also explored with his “Before They Make Me Run,” which was sparked by the 1977 Toronto heroin bust that placed the prospect of a jail sentence at his feet – sex, sadomasochism, class and the spirit of old-school soul.
Another reason for Some Girls’ stripped-down sass was the back-to-basics strategy the Stones adopted for the sessions in Paris’ Pathé Marconi Studios. Eschewing the conglomerations of studio musicians that had played on their albums since 1968’s Beggar’s Banquet, the Stones cut all the basics live and played the tracks themselves with a few notable exceptions: Ian McLagen, a confederate of Wood’s from the Faces; blues harmonica player Sugar Blue; saxist Mel Collins and percussionist Simon Kirke.
The recording sessions ran from October 1977 through March 1978 and reportedly included up to 50 songs. Several of the leftovers would end up on the Stones’ next two discs, Emotional Rescue and Tattoo You. And engineer Chris Kimsey was summoned, returning to the position he held for Goats Head Soup and It’s Only Rock ’n’ Roll.
Some Girls’ album cover also took a cue from punk rock culture. The disc featured the band members in drag alongside a list of female celebrities that included Marilyn Monroe, Lucile Ball, Farrah Fawcett, Judy Garland and Raquel Welch, all of whom threatened legal action since proper clearances were never obtained, with Liza Minelli taking up the cause for her late mother Garland.
The disc’s first single, “Miss You,” was The Rolling Stones’ last #1 pop hit, getting dance club as well as radio play. It was a calculated effort on Jagger’s part that paid off commercially, but the rest of the album projected a sense of greater creative integrity. Some Girls reached #1 on the Billboard Top 100 Albums chart and began reaping praise in the media for its return to rock ’n’ roll form. Nonetheless, the disc’s creative stretch ran beyond rock with a cover of the Temptations’ “Just My Imagination (Running Away with Me)” and “Beast of Burdon” representing hard-core soul music, and “Far Away Eyes” a tongue-in-cheek approximation of country. “When the Whip Comes Down” is singular and improbable in the Jagger-Richards cannon. It’s the story of a gay man who comes to New York seeking his fortune and becomes a trash collector.
But Some Girls’ best-written rocker is hand-down the punk-fueled “Shattered,” an edgy love note to New York City’s gritty late ’70s soul. Jagger reportedly wrote the lyrics in the back of a Manhattan cab, and Richards’ stuttering rhythm guitar riff, with a hint of phase shifter, has the command of a snarling dog.
Some Girls went on to sell six million copies. The sequel, 1980’s Emotional Rescue, sold two million and ’81’s Tattoo You sold four million copies. Together, the trio of albums marked the final years of The Rolling Stones’ golden age of recordings.
The Boss is back with a vengeance in 2012. He’s releasing a new album. He’s giving the keynote address at South by Southwest. And now, he’s announced he’ll be hitting the road for a string of U.S. dates with the E Street Band, according to Rolling Stone.
Bruce Springsteen and pals will begin a 19-date tour on March 18 at Phillips Arena in Atlanta. The trek will wind its way up the East Coast, including multiple dates in New Jersey and at Madison Square Garden, before hitting New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival and wrapping up May 2 in Newark. The group will tour Europe in the summer and return for another North American trek in the fall.
It will be the first E Street Band tour without saxophonist Clarence Clemons, who died last year. There’s no word on if Clemons spot in the group will be filled by another player. Springsteen’s new studio album, Wrecking Ball, will be released on March 6.
Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band tour dates:
March 18 – Atlanta, GA – Philips Arena
March 19 – Greensboro, NC – Greensboro Coliseum
March 23 – Tampa, FL – Tampa Bay Times Forum
March 26 – Boston, MA – TD Garden
March 28 – Philadelphia, PA – Wells Fargo Center
March 29 – Philadelphia, PA – Wells Fargo Center
April 1 – Washington, DC – Verizon Center
April 3 – East Rutherford, NJ – Izod Center
April 4 – East Rutherford, NJ – Izod Center
April 6 – New York, NY – Madison Square Garden
April 9 – New York, NY – Madison Square Garden
April 12 – Detroit, MI – The Palace of Auburn Hills
April 13 – Buffalo, NY – First Niagara Center
April 16 – Albany, NY – Times Union Center
April 17 – Cleveland, OH – Quicken Loans Arena April 24 – San Jose, CA – HP Pavilion
April 26 – Los Angeles, CA – Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena
April 29 – New Orleans, LA – New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
May 2 – Newark, NJ – Prudential Center
Alice Cooper is the original makeup-ed metaller, and there are no substitutions. Taking from heavy metal, vaudeville and symphonic rock, the “School’s Out” rocker built his legacy on mixing haunting musical sounds with horrific onstage theatrics – everything from bright red blood to mile-long syringes to electric chairs. The result? The Coop always paints a picture of horror in his concertgoers’ minds.
Along the way, Alice Cooper has developed a somehow lovable persona, making him rock’s favorite villain to date. In the following choice quotes, Alice talks about hitting rock-bottom during his struggle with substance addiction, touring with fellow horror rocker Rob Zombie, finding a Christian faith and getting inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Rock on, Alice!
On finally getting inducted into the Hall of Fame, as told to USA Today in 2011:
We were Susan Lucci for quite a long time – or Pete Rose, whichever way you look at it! … I went, ‘That’s kind of cool. Every year, it’s this new outrage.’ I was sitting there, going, ‘Calm down. Don’t worry. Our time will come.’”
On staying excited about music 30-plus years later, as told to Horror Garage:
You know, it's funny, ’cause I think that if it’s in your blood, you never get tired of it. I’m still a rock ’n’ roll fan. I have a 19-year-old and a 15-year-old, and I’m probably the only dad in the world that bangs on their door and says, ‘Turn that up!’ If it’s good rock ’n’ roll, I’m the first one to turn it up. Like anything else: there’s great rock ’n’ roll, there’s crappy rock ’n’ roll. And I’m not real prejudiced. As much as I’m not a big rap fan, I love Eminem. I think Eminem is very funny.
Lady Gaga is the female Alice Cooper. She created a character named Lady Gaga. She wrote songs for Lady Gaga. Not for herself – for Lady Gaga. I write for Alice; I don’t write for me… And she produced those songs on stage for Lady Gaga. Now there’s a Lady Gaga nation out there, and if you meet her off stage, she’s nothing like that person on stage. [Laughs] It’s like, me either. I’m nothing like Alice. But we created a character that belongs to rock and roll.
On touring with fellow horror rocker Rob Zombie, as told to the Gannett Lansing State Journal in 2010:
You know, Rob is one of my very best friends in the business, so it’s great to be out with him. The shows are funny, because my show is so Alice in that it’s got a sense of humor to it, and so does Rob’s, only his is a whole different kind of thing… We’re much more of an opera than anybody else. When Alice says, ‘Welcome to My Nightmare,’ he gives you the nightmare. Everything about the lyrics tells us what to do theatrically with the song.
Regarding how his Christianity and art work together, as told to HM Magazine in 2011:
You know, first of all, I do mostly the secular rock. But I think … My pastor feels the same way. I am not necessarily praise rock. I’m not Christian praise music. I think that I go to a different place. And I think that Christianity needs to go much more into the secular arts. I think that we need to be heard not just by Christians. I mean, it’s nice ... bands like Creed, P.O.D. There’s some bands out there that are saying some pretty good things. And then there’s a lot of really good praise rock bands. I’ve just never felt... I do that in church. I do that in prayer. I do that, but I think that my message is more of a warning. I don’t mind being the prophet of doom. I think that that’s more fitted for what Alice is.
I feel that, if God is going to use Alice Cooper, it’s going to be more on a level of a warning. It’s not going to be on a level of, ‘Isn’t everything great? Isn’t everything good? Aren’t we all wonderful?’ Alice is going to be more like, ‘Be careful! Satan is not a myth. Don’t sit around pretending like Satan is just a joke.’ Because I have a lot of friends that do believe that. I think my job is to warn about Satan.
Just the stage alone cost around $400,000. But with 43 people working and with rehearsals and everything I would say you’ve got to be spending ... boy, I’m the worst at figures ... but you’ve got to be spending at least a quarter of a million dollars a month just on maintaining everybody. Probably more than that. I’m not really sure ’cause I don’t do any business at all I’m the worst businessman.
On hitting rock bottom, as told to Reuters in 2007:
But it got to the point where I was drinking so much that I was throwing up blood in the morning. Guys in my business – like Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison – usually lasted until the age of 27. I watched them drink themselves to death. And I was pretty much on my way there.
On his love for golf and how it helped save him from substance abuse, as told to Billboard:
I traded one bad habit for another habit, only this habit [golf] was a lot healthier. Golf ended up being a good trade-off. The thing about this book [Cooper’s memoir Alice Cooper, Golf Monster: A Rock 'n' Roller's 12 Steps to Becoming a Golf Addict], is that when I look at the whole juxtaposition of who Alice Cooper is, the golf addiction and the music addiction, still, it’s pretty interesting how they can co-exist.
Regarding his popular radio show, Nights with Alice Cooper, as told to the Gannett Local Music Beatin 2010:
The Dick Clark organization came to me. Everybody was going into satellite radio, and Dick Clark said to me, ‘If you had a radio show, what would it be?’ And I said, ‘I would go back to what I remember FM radio to be: where the DJ played what he or she wanted and it wasn’t a corporate decision.’ You know, ‘These are the most popular songs by demographics for 20 to 35-year-olds’ – I hate that. That kills the whole idea of rock and roll. So, I said, ‘I’ll play bands I like and tell stories about them, because everybody I play, I’m going to know.’ So, I might play songs from The Kinks, Frank Zappa and Iggy and tell stories.
On what horror movies give Alice Cooper the willies, as told to the Concert Livewire in 2001:
There are a couple of horror movies that I think hold up as being scary, and the reason that they are scary is that they're based on real things. I think that when you get into things like Nightmare on Elm Street you're talking about things that just don't happen. But when you're talking about The Exorcist, that's based on truth. That happens a lot. Demon possession and exorcisms really do happen. That’s not just me or anybody saying that, it’s documented on medical record. So it’s very hard to not explain that. I think that anytime you get into the occult you have a realization that this stuff does exist. Probably not as graphic as they do in the movies, but there’s something creepy in the fact that it does exist…
A few months ago, I, your intrepid reporter, camera in hand, delivered a tour of AC/DC-related locations in my adopted hometown of Melbourne, Australia. Melbourne is a beautiful city – it reminds many Americans of the best bits of San Francisco or Portland – and it’s utterly swelling with Oz rock history. It was a really fun article to write, and to reflect on a very, very famous band and its physical connection to a location that I find myself surrounded by every day.
But it’s not every day that I find myself in Los Angeles. That happens once a year for the NAMM Show. And with the new Van Halen album, A Different Kind of Truth, mere weeks away, I recently took the opportunity to hang out in L.A. for a few days and check out a few Van Halen historical sites before heading down to Anaheim for NAMM.
The first stop for any self-respecting Van Halenite is the Whisky A Go Go. This legendary nightclub literally gave birth to the go-go dancing craze, and it was here that the career of The Doors really took off – they were the Whisky’s house band for a while. The Whisky is one of several venues where Van Halen would play mostly covers, with the occasional original thrown in, and you can hear the influence of this period on the band’s later music in the form of tracks like “You Really Got Me” and “You’re No Good,” as well as about half of the Diver Down album. The Whisky was revisited by the band in its Sammy Hagar-led incarnation in March 1993, their first performance there in 15 years. This gig was immortalized in the form of a live video for the song “Dreams” to promote the band’s only official live album to date, Live: Right Here, Right Now, released a month earlier.
The most recent Sunset Strip venue to feature in Van Halen history is the Roxy Theater. Known as the location for much (but not all) of Frank Zappa’s Roxy & Elsewhere album, the Roxy was opened in 1973 and was the location where comedian Paul Reubens first introduced his Pee Wee Herman character. It’s also the site of live albums by Bob Marley, Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band, NOFX, Warren Zevon and more. Van Halen used the venue in late 2011 to film the video for their new single “Tattoo,” and, according to the Roxy’s blog, the band loved the venue so much that they stayed on to rehearse for their forthcoming tour.
Some of the more prominent Van Halen-related Sunset Strip landmarks aren’t there anymore. The Starwood was on the northwest corner of Santa Monica Boulevard and Crescent Heights Avenue. It opened in 1972 and closed down in 1981. In the nine years in between, it hosted bands such as Black Flag, The Go-Go’s, The Knack, FEAR, Mötley Crüe, Quiet Riot, The Runaways, The Ramones, AC/DC, Dokken, The Jam and many more. It was here that Van Halen ultimately became stars, when producer Ted Templeman and Warner Bros. executive Mo Ostin caught a Van Halen set and promptly signed them to the label.
Another legendary VH venue that no longer exists is/was Gazzarri’s. As anyone who has seen The Decline of Western Civilization 2: The Metal Years will know, this club was famous for its glam metal nights in the ’80s, as well as Van Halen’s residencies there in the late ’70s. Van Halen first played here in the mid-’70s, and David Lee Roth recounts many colorful encounters with charismatic owner Bill Gazzarri in his autobiography Crazy From the Heat. Gazzarri passed away in 1991 and the club closed its doors in 1993. A year later, the building was damaged in the Northridge earthquake, and was rebuilt as Billboard Live, which became the Key Club in 1998.
Though not particularly a part of Van Halen folklore, any tour of the Sunset Strip must include the Rainbow Bar & Grill. Found right next door to the Roxy, the Rainbow is where Joe DiMaggio met Marilyn Monroe in 1952, it’s the regular haunt of Lemmy from Motörhead, and virtually every Behind the Music includes an anecdote that begins with, “So I was drinking at the Rainbow one night and…” One particularly interesting external feature is the array of band names carved into the bricks with a nail by a Sunset Strip native named Rich Legg. According to this AENONFIRE article, Legg has the Rainbow’s permission to carve the names and logos, and some of the bricks are particularly well executed, including the Alice in Chains and Judas Priest logos. And of course Van Halen is there, stretched across two bricks – most bands only get one.
So after my little Sunset Strip visit, I turned and headed back towards my hotel, bidding a temporary farewell (I’m sure I’ll be back before I return to Australia in a few weeks) to the Van Halenized patches of the Sunset Strip. But as I looked back up the hill towards Sunset, one last site caught my eye. Black, white and red color combination, stripes… could it be…?
Guitar great Eric Clapton, affectionately dubbed “God” by guitar enthusiasts in the ’60s, may be a veteran but he’s still raking in the cash. According to the Independent newspaper, Clapton has recently filed the accounts for his Marshbrook business, the company that runs his music and touring interests and the leasing of his luxury yacht (the six-bedroom Va Bene that can be rented for £179,000 a week). Marshbrook’s revenue was a cool £12m ($18 million), thanks to an increase in touring revenue. Clapton paid himself £3.98m ($6 million) for the year ending March 31.
1889, Lead Belly (Huddie William Ledbetter), blues musician
1910, Django Reinhardt, guitarist
1948, Anita Pointer, singer, The Pointer Sisters
1950, Danny Federici, keyboards, Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band
1953, Robin Zander, vocals, Cheap Trick (For more, see the
1956, Rock ‘n’ roll fans in Cleveland aged under the age of 18 were banned from dancing in public (unless accompanied by an adult) after local police began enforcing a law dating back to 1931.
1965, “Downtown” made Petula Clark the first U.K. female singer to have a #1 on the U.S. singles chart since Vera Lynn in 1952. A #2 hit in the U.K.
1971, George Harrison became the first solo Beatle to have a #1 when “My Sweet Lord” went to the top of the U.K. single charts. The song, from his All Things Must Pass album, stayed at #1 for five weeks. The track returned to the top of the U.K. charts in 2002, following his death.
1977, Patti Smith broke a vertebra when she fell off the stage at a gig in Tampa, Florida.
1978, Terry Kath, guitarist with Chicago, accidentally shot himself dead while cleaning what he believed was an unloaded gun. Kath’s last words were, "Don't worry, it's not loaded," as he put the gun to his head and pulled the trigger. The guitarist-singer was killed instantly.
1986, Chuck Berry, James Brown, Ray Charles, Sam Cooke, Fats Domino, The Everly Brothers, Buddy Holly, Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard and Elvis Presley were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at the first induction dinner, held in New York City.
1988, Nirvana recorded a 10-song demo with Seattle producer Jack Endino. Sub Pop Records boss Jonathan Poneman heard the tape and offered to put out a Nirvana single.
1990, Allen Collins, guitarist for Lynyrd Skynyrd, died of pneumonia after being ill for several months. Collins, who was one of the band’s founding members, also co-wrote most of the band's songs (including “Free Bird”) with late frontman Ronnie Van Zant. He survived a plane crash in 1977 that killed two other band members. Collins was behind the wheel in a car accident in 1986 that killed his girlfriend and left him paralyzed from the waist down. He later pleaded no contest to vehicular manslaughter as well as driving under the influence of alcohol.
1990, David Bowie announced his forthcoming and final world tour, Sound and Vision 1990, during which he invited each local audience to decide on a “greatest hits” running order, organized through local radio stations.
2005, one of the biggest charity concerts since Live Aid raised £1.25 million for victims of the tsunami disaster in Asia. The concert, held at The Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, Wales, featured Eric Clapton, Manic Street Preachers, Keane, Charlotte Church, Snow Patrol, Embrace, Feeder, Craig David and Liberty X, who appeared before 60,000 fans at the sold-out concert.
The Doors would likely have taken a theatrical turn – and perhaps focused on film work – had Jim Morrison survived, keyboardist Ray Manzarek has revealed.
In an interview with M – Music and Musicians, Manzarek said, “My guess is we would have done more theater venues, playing smaller places for a week at a time, preparing the theater with laser lights and speakers under the seats so that we could swirl the sound throughout the auditorium. We would probably have done theatrical presentations that included dancers and actors with recitations. We would have combined film and music. We all had big ambitions. I wanted to make movies starring the band.”
Manzarek also lamented the fact that the public has a skewed perception of Morrison. “People don’t want to hear about how smart he was, how he was a real poet,” Manzarek said. “They just want dirty stories.”
Recently we told you that Bruce Springsteen’s forthcoming album was produced by Ron Aniello (Jars of Clay, Candlebox) and would feature contributions from Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello and members of the E Street Band. Now, we can reveal that the Boss’s 17th studio album will be called Wrecking Ball and will be released on March 6 in North America.
“The lyrics tell a story you can't hear anywhere else and the music is his most innovative of recent years,” Springsteen manager Jon Landau said in a statement, via Rolling Stone. “The writing is some of the best of his career and both veteran fans and those who are new to Bruce will find much to love on Wrecking Ball.”
The album’s name comes from a song that Bruce and the E Streeters debuted in 2009 when they played some of the last shows at Giants Stadium. The record also features “Land of Hope and Dreams,” a song Springsteen and the gang have been playing live since 1999.
The other nine songs on Wrecking Ball are completely new. Springsteen is streaming kickoff track “We Take Care of Our Own” on his website. Check out the tracklist below:
Bruce Springsteen, Wrecking Ball
1. “We Take Care of Our Own”
2. “Easy Money”
3. “Shackled and Down”
4. “Jack of All Trades”
5. “Death to My Hometown”
6. “The Depression”
7. “Wrecking Ball”
8. “You’ve Got It”
9. “Rocky Ground”
10. “Land of Hope and Dreams”
11. “We Are Live”
Longtime Mötley Crüe crooner Vince Neil says the music business has changed exponentially since his band first started dishing out hair metal in the ’80s.
What’s his advice for upcoming musicians? “Don’t get in the business,” he laughed, speaking with NewsTimes.com. “It’s tough. There [are] so many different outlets for music now. Thirty years ago you had MTV; everybody watched MTV and everybody saw your video. There was one place to go; now there [are] thousands of places to go. It’s a lot tougher. There [are] more eyes out there; it's just harder to get everybody to look at you at the same time.”
Neil added that very little is secret in today’s music industry, and fans have a much more intimate relationship with their favorite rock personalities thanks to social media networks such as Twitter and Facebook: “I think with all the social media everybody pretty much knows everything. What you’re doing and where you’ve been and where you’re going. It’s kind of hard to be secretive anymore.”
For Crüe fans wondering if the guys are planning to splinter soon, Neil added to that speculation. “Eventually it’s time to call it quits,” he said. “I’ve been sitting on my boat in the Bahamas for the last month and just thinking about the future. There [are] a lot of really cool things coming up in my mind, and it might be the time to just kind of bow out. But I haven’t made a decision a hundred percent yet. It’s just a thought that's been going through my head.”
1939, Phil Everly, singer, songwriter
1943, Janis Joplin, singer
1944, Shelly Fabares, singer, actress
1946, Dolly Parton, country singer, songwriter
1947, Rod Evans, vocals, Deep Purple
1949, Robert Palmer, singer, songwriter
1959, Jeff Pilson, bass, Dokken, Foreigner|
1971, John Wozniak, vocals, songwriting, Marcy Playground
1959, The Platters’ “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes” started a three-week run at #1 on the U.S. singles chart.
1967, The Monkees were at #1 on the U.K. singles chart with “I’m a Believer,” the group’s only U.K. #1.
1971, The Beatles’ “White Album” was played in the courtroom at the Sharon Tate murder trial to find out if any songs could have influenced Charles Manson and his followers to commit murder.
1974, Black Oak Arkansas appeared at Kent State University, Kent, Ohio. Support act was Bruce Springsteen. Tickets cost $4.
1978, Johnny Rotten was fired from the Sex Pistols for “not being weird enough anymore.”
1980, “Brass in Pocket” gave The Pretenders their first U.K. #1 single. Also, the band’s self-titled debut album started a four-week run at #1 on the U.K. chart on this day.
1980, Pink Floyd’s The Wall started a 15-week run at #1 on the U.S. album chart. The group’s third U.S. #1, it went on to sell more than 8 million copies.
1993, Fleetwood Mac reunited to perform at Bill Clinton’s inauguration. The band’s “Don’t Stop” was used as the theme for his campaign.
1998, American rockabilly singer, songwriter Carl Perkins died at age 65 from throat cancer. He wrote the classic rock and roll song “Blue Suede Shoes,” the first record by a Sun label to sell a million copies.
2006, American soul singer Wilson Pickett died in hospital near his Ashburn, Virginia, home of a heart attack at age 64. Pickett recorded the soul classics “Mustang Sally,” “Everybody Needs Somebody to Love” and “In the Midnight Hour” plus he scored 15 other U.S. Top 40 singles.
2007, Canadian singer songwriter and former Mamas and the Papas singer Denny Doherty died at the age of 66. He died at his home near Toronto, Canada, after a short illness.
2008, Singer-songwriter John Stewart, who wrote the Monkees hit “Daydream Believer,” died at age 68 after he suffered a massive stroke or brain aneurysm in San Diego. Stewart was a member of folk group The Kingston Trio and went on to record more than 45 solo albums with his biggest solo success being a U.S. top five single, “Gold,” in 1979. For more on this story, see This Day in Music Spotlight.
In January 1975 Pink Floyd entered London’s Abbey Road Studios to do the seemingly impossible: compose and record a follow-up to their epochal The Dark Side of the Moon. Recently the resulting disc, Wish You Were Here, was reissued in a remastered version with new mixes plus bonus live tracks. The deluxe set – part of the Why Pink Floyd? reissue series – provides an opportunity to revisit that era in the band’s history and to once again pay tribute to the group’s late founder Syd Barrett, whose mental breakdown provided the genesis for this gentler but equally brilliant follow-up to Dark Side.
Dark Side of the Moon was released March 1973 and tore its way up the charts and onto American FM radio, which was in its heyday. The band’s previous albums were all challenging listening, evolving from the pop and psychedelia balancing act The Piper at the Gates of Dawn, their 1967 debut, to 1971’s Meddle, which was anchored by the full-side, 23-minute sonic opus “Echoes” and reached only #70 on the Billboard Top 100 Albums chart.
Dark Side was Pink Floyd’s first calculated shot at the commercial stratosphere. It fared brilliantly. The LP wedded the exploratory sonics of the group’s live shows and earlier albums with crafted pop songwriting, rising to #1 on the Billboard album chart and staying in the Top 100 for 741 weeks due primarily to the success of the singles “Money” and “Us and Them.”
Generally speaking, the cycle of life and its trials were Dark Side of the Moon’s theme, but one song, “Brian Damage,” was specifically inspired by the group’s original frontman Syd Barrett, who had begun to go mad after Floyd’s first album and was replaced by David Gilmour. That song’s lyric “if the band you’re in starts playing different tunes” was directly inspired by Barrett’s on-stage, out-of-synch performances with the group as he’d spiraled down the rabbit hole.
“Brain Damage” implies that the pressures of the music business played some role in Barrett’s deterioration, and that notion planted the seeds of Wish You Were Here. Even as Dark Side of the Moon was being released, Pink Floyd’s bassist and main lyricist Roger Waters was writing for the next studio project. When the group went on a tour of France in early 1974 they played three new Waters driven compositions: “Raving and Drooling,” “You Gotta Be Crazy” and “Shine On You Crazy Diamond.” The first two ultimately evolved into “Sheep” and “Dogs,” respectively, on 1977’s Animals. But “Shine On” became the heart of Wish You Were Here.
Waters pressed on with his writing, and by the time Pink Floyd entered Abbey Road again during 1975’s first week, the fabric of the album was knit – at least in his mind. Absence (obviously), regret, cynicism and the artifice of the music business were the raw material he drew upon. Struggling to embrace these ideas within an overriding musical concept, Pink Floyd decided to split “Shine On You Crazy Diamond,” which had evolved into a suite, in two parts, using that song as a bookend for the newer numbers. “Have a Cigar” was an obvious slap at high-powered music executives. British folk-rock guru Roy Harper, the subject of Led Zeppelin’s country blues mash-up “Hats Off to (Roy) Harper,” was called in to cut the vocals when the arrangement proved to be out of Waters’ range. “Welcome to the Machine,” a song about being depersonalized and consumed by the music industry, preceded “Have a Cigar” to create a mid-LP mini-suite skewering the artifice of the business’ culture. The album’s sole other track, “Wish You Were Here,” is a direct message to Barrett, although it could also be interpreted as a song about unfulfilled love.
Getting to that five-song structure was not easy. The recording of “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” and “Wish You Were Here” were made more poignant by Barrett’s unexpected arrival in the studio during the sessions. After 1968’s A Saucerful of Secrets, Barrett had taken two futile, recorded stabs at a solo career and withdrawn to his mother’s house, where he became an avid gardener and returned to his first form of artistic expression, abstract painting.
On June 5, 1975, six months into the arduous sessions, the band was mixing “Shine On Your Crazy Diamond” when a fat man with shaven eyebrows and a shaved head entered the room. The members initially failed to recognize their former leader and friend, whose conversation made little sense and whose condition drove both Waters and Gilmour to tears. Although Barrett reportedly spoke about his fondness for pork chops and listened to the mixes, then attended a reception that day for Gilmour’s wedding in the EMI cafeteria, he left without saying goodbye. Gilmour, who’d been a friend of Syd’s before taking over his guitar seat in Pink Floyd, quietly kept tabs on Syd until his death from pancreatic cancer in 2006.
More practical aspects of the recording process were challenging. Engineer Brian Humphries, who had worked with the band on 1969’s soundtrack for the movie More at Pye Studios, was unfamiliar with Abbey Road’s gear and accidentally spoiled the “many voices” backing track for “Shine On” after Waters and drummer Nick Mason had painstakingly crafted it. The tracks needed to be rerecorded. And there were tensions between Gilmour and Mason. The drummer’s failing marriage seemed to be taking a toll on his work. Initially Waters and Gilmour even disagreed over the sessions’ conceptual direction.
Focusing on making “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” – as well as a scathing appraisal of the band’s merits as artists and rock stars in New Music Express that appeared during the recording of Wish You Were Here – seemed to unite Pink Floyd once more. Gilmour hit on the song’s opening, ringing four-note guitar phrase by accident, and the sound reminded Waters of Barrett’s plight. After that, the group swung into action. Gilmour lost the three-to-one vote to split the “Shine On” in half and place new numbers between it, and they soldiered on.
Throughout the album, Gilmour’s acoustic guitar was used to balance the more modernistic tones of the synthesizers the band employed extensively, giving Wish You Were Here a more organic sound than Dark Side of the Moon. Dick Parry, who played sax on Dark Side, returned, and the gypsy jazz violinist Stephane Grappelli, who was recording in another of Abbey Road’s studios, played on a track, but his contributions were later scrapped. The classical music heard at the end of “Wish You Were Here” is Tchaikovsky’s Fourth Symphony, recorded from Gilmour’s car radio.
Packaging was the final touch needed for the album’s release. Once again Pink Floyd called on Storm Thorgerson, who’d designed the cover of Dark Side of the Moon. Listening to the album, Thorgerson felt the prevalent theme was “unfulfilled presence.” The front cover photo of two businessmen shaking hands – one of them aflame – was shot on the lot of Los Angeles’ Warner Bros. studios with two stuntmen. To Thorgerson, it defined the music-biz handshake as an empty gesture and depicted to notion of “getting burned” in a business deal. The back cover photo of an empty suit in the desert is equally obvious. To further capture that sense of absence, Thorgerson directed the band to shroud the LP in dark shrink wrap so the art was invisible, with a sticker on the outside announcing the package’s contents.
Retailers ordered 900,000 copies of Wish You Were Here for their shops before it was released. Even Rolling Stone’s savage review didn’t hamper sales, which quickly drove the disc to #1 in the U.S. and U.K. Over the subsequent years, guitar giant Gilmour has repeatedly declared that the brilliant, cynical and compassionate Wish You Were Here is his favorite Pink Floyd album.
Aerosmith members Steven Tyler and Joe Perry will collaborate for a performance later this week on NBC’s The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, according to Ultimate Classic Rock. Tyler had already been booked on the show on Friday, January 20, with Ryan Seacrest and Randy Jackson to promote the new season of American Idol.
The Aerosmith singer and guitarist reportedly will team up with bassist Jackson (who was in Journey briefly) for a performance. Perry will be in Los Angeles for work on the forthcoming Aerosmith album, due later this year.
In addition, Perry will return to Leno’s show 10 days later. He posted on Twitter: “Performing ‘Man of Peace’ on Jay Leno Jan 30th for Amnesty International with some friends @RudyTanzi Paul Santo & Dave Hull.” The performance will be to promote Chimes of Freedom: The Songs of Bob Dylan Honoring 50 Years of Amnesty International.
1941, Bobby Goldsboro, singer
1941, David Ruffin, vocals, The Temptations
1944 “Legs” Larry Smith, drums, Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band
1971, Jonathan Davis, vocals, Korn
1980, Estelle Swaray, singer
1964, The Beatles made their U.S. chart debut when “I Want To Hold Your Hand” entered the chart at #45. It went on to spend seven weeks at the #1 position.
1965, The Rolling Stones recorded “The Last Time” and “Play with Fire” at RCA Studios in Hollywood, California. Phil Spector played bass (actually a downtuned electric guitar) on “Play with Fire.”
1967, Jimi Hendrix recorded an appearance on U.K. TV show, Top of the Pops, and also played a show at the Seven and a Half Club in Mayfair, London.
1974, former members from Free (Paul Rodgers and Simon Kirke), Mott The Hoople (Mick Ralphs) and King Crimson (Boz Burrell) formed Bad Company. The band went on to score a U.S. #1 album with their debut release.
1981, Wendy O. Williams of The Plasmatics was arrested on stage in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and was charged with the offence of simulating sex with a sledgehammer.
1984, Van Halen kicked off their 103-date 1984 North American tour at Jacksonville Coliseum in Jacksonville, Florida.
1991, during AC/DC’s North American tour, three fans were killed during a crush in a crowd at a gig in Salt Lake City, Utah. For more, see the This Day in Music Spotlight.
1996, Lisa Marie Presley divorced Michael Jackson after less then two years of marriage.
1997, songwriter and producer Keith Diamond died of a heart attack. He wrote “Caribbean Queen” and “Suddenly” for Billy Ocean, as well as hits for Donna Summer, James Ingram, Mick Jagger, Sheena Easton and Michael Bolton.
2000, Spencer Goodman was executed by lethal injection in Huntsville, Texas. Goodman was convicted of kidnapping and murdering the wife of ZZ Top manager Bill Ham in 1991. Ham was present for the execution.
2008, four photographers were arrested for reckless driving after they chased Britney Spears' car on the outskirts of Los Angeles. Each of the men was ordered to post $5,000 bail. The cars followed Ms. Spears' car too closely, traveled at an unsafe speed and made several unsafe lane changes, according to police.
Few things in life are certain, but one thing that is certain is this: if you’re playing guitar for Ozzy Osbourne, you’re a virtuoso. Osbourne’s current guitarist, Gus G., recently expressed the thoughts of many with these words: “I like all [Ozzy’s guitarists]. I like Zakk Wylde for what he did, and I’m a big fan of the Jake E. Lee albums. The first Ozzy solo album I heard was Diary of a Madman, and I thought Randy [Rhoads] was amazing. I don’t think I have a favorite. I really like all the guys he’s had." Below are profiles and quotes from the sensational six-stringers who’ve backed Osbourne during more than three decades of solo work.
A classically influenced virtuoso, Randy Rhoads was introduced to Osbourne by bassist Dana Strum, from Slaughter, when Osbourne was seeking a guitarist with whom to launch his solo career following his split with Black Sabbath. Rhoads’s tenure with Ozzy was brief – he died tragically in a plane crash in 1982 – but his contributions to rock guitar are monumental. “As a guitar player he was just phenomenal," Osbourne told Guitar Shop, in 1998. “His heart wasn’t really into rock ’n’ roll so much as the classics. He was one of these guys who, once he tasted what he wanted to taste, wanted to move on. He wasn’t really interested in becoming the next guitar hero."
Bernie Torme was charged with the near-impossible task of filling Rhoads’s shoes on the make-up concert dates that had been cancelled in the wake of Rhoads’s tragic death. Torme’s stint with Ozzy lasted just a few weeks, but the sustenance he provided was invaluable. “Musically it was a steep learning curve to play [Rhoads’s] parts, because he was a superb guitarist," Torme told Let ItRock, in 2000. “I think I did a pretty good job, though not at the beginning maybe. I only had three days to learn it all." Osbourne had high praise for Torme as well. “Had it not been for Bernie," he said, “I honestly don’t think that I would’ve done another gig. When I saw Randy’s plane in flames, I thought it was over."
Brad Gillis stepped in after Torme’s departure. His tenure with Osbourne, though brief, was indispensable, especially on the 1982 live album, Speak of the Devil. “The Ozzy gig changed my life," Gillis told GetReadyToRock.com, in 2003. “To be thrown into an instant headline position and asked to emulate Randy Rhoads was a great personal test that I had to endure. I sat in a hotel room for four days learning all the parts. On the fifth day I did my first show in Binghamton, New York. That was the first time I had ever played with the band."
Jake E. Lee
Jake E. Lee’s stint with Osbourne, which extended from late 1982 until 1987, provided much-needed stability during a difficult period. Lee’s playing on 1983’s Bark at the Moon and 1986’s The Ultimate Sin – both of which featured his contributions as co-writer as well as guitarist – was sensational. “On the first album, I felt [pressure] because there were a lot of guitar players who wanted this gig," he told Guitar World, in 1986. “I knew there were going to be a lot of people listening to see if I did any good or not. But I’m not the kind of person who really cares what other people think. There are guitar players who still come up to Ozzy and go, ‘I’m the guitar player you should have got.’"
With the exception of Tony Iommi, no guitar player spent as much time with Ozzy as Zakk Wylde did. A steady force in Osbourne’s career from 1987 to 2009 (with the occasional sabbatical), Wylde remains on good terms with Ozzy to this day, following an amicable split between the two. “We’re both goofballs," Wylde told Gibson.com in 2009. “He’s the greatest. Led Zeppelin was only around for 10 years or so. Ozzy’s been making recordings since 1968 and he’s still around doing it. Something’s gotta be said for that. He’s not just a guy on a sprint."
Steve Vai wrote and recorded with Ozzy in 1994, presumably working on material slated for the 1995 album, Ozzmosis. Vai was credited as co-writer on the track “My Little Man," but all the guitar parts on the album were played by Zakk Wylde. “Ozzy was looking for some songs for his record, and they called me up and we got together," Vai told Jemsite.com, in 1995. “We wrote a whole bunch of material and I think they’re going to use a little bit on the new record." Vai anticipated the interviewer’s next question. “No, I’m not playing on it," he added. “Ozzy has Zakk, and Zakk is a fabulous guitar player."
Alex Skolnick played just one concert with Osbourne, appearing in a performance staged in Nottingham, England, in 1995. A former pupil of Joe Satriani’s, Skolnick is adept at both rock and jazz. Asked by Fretpoint.com to name the musicians who most influenced him, Skolnick cited The Beatles, KISS and jazz greats Wes Montgomery and Pat Metheny, among others. He then added: “I think the one player who really made me focus on metal guitar was Randy Rhoads."
In need of a replacement for Zakk Wylde for the 1995 Ozzmosis tour, Osbourne hired Joe Holmes without knowing that Holmes had taken lessons from Randy Rhoads in the late ’70s. Holmes went on to play several Ozzfest tours before leaving Ozzy’s band during the writing and recording of the 2001 album, Down to Earth. “It’s really spooky," Osbourne once said of Holmes’ playing. “When Joe plays the Randy Rhoads stuff, he plays just like Randy. It’s like I can see Randy’s fingers."
Alice in Chains guitarist Jerry Cantrell recruited Osbourne’s touring band to play on his 2002 solo album, Degradation Trip. Presumably, it was that collaboration that led to Cantrell’s splendid six-string contributions to Osbourne’s 2005 Under Cover album, which featured renditions of “Sunshine of Your Love," “Mississippi Queen," “Sympathy for the Devil" and other classics as only Ozzy can do them. Later, in a Guitar World article, Cantrell said, “Ozzy and Black Sabbath are two of my biggest influences."
In 2009, Gus G., of the Greek power-metal band Firewind, got a call from Ozzy’s management asking him to audition for the role of Osbourne’s new guitarist. To this day, the lucky six-stringer isn’t sure how he came to be on Ozzy’s radar, but he’s grateful for the gig. “It’s still amazing," Gus G. told GeeksofDoom.com, in 2011. “It’s not something you really get used to, and I mean that in a great way. I’m really loving all the changes that have happened to me, and that I’m having the chance to do this at such a level. It’s a blessing. Few people in the world have the chance that I got, so I’m very grateful and I’m really enjoying it."
Rocker extraordinaire Sammy Hagar says that you’ll never hear Chickenfoot play Van Halen songs. He said that you’ll never hear him sing his solo material with the supergroup, either.
“We really do not want to dilute this band and become a Van Halen cover band, or become a Sammy Hagar cover band or a Joe Satriani cover band… The idea is that we are Chickenfoot, and we will stay that,” Hagar told Get Your Rock Out. “I don’t think we will ever play any of our old catalog unless you catch us in Cabo jamming, and then it’s more Hendrix and Zeppelin and Montrose and that kind of stuff.”
But, that doesn’t mean that Hagar fans won’t still have an opportunity to hear the Red Rocker perform his pre-Chickenfoot tunes.
“I save that for my solo tour – if you see Sammy Hagar on tour, you’re going to get my whole catalog,” he said. “You’re going to get [songs] from Montrose to the early Red Rocker years, Van Halen – the Van Hagar era … everything but Chickenfoot.”
Born on this day:
1945, William Hart, vocals, The Delfonics
1949, Mick Taylor, guitar, The Rolling Stones
1955, Steve Earle, singer-songwriter
1959, Susanna Hoffs, vocals, guitars, The Bangles
1964, Andy Rourke, bass, The Smiths
1966, Stephin Merritt, vocals, songwriting, The Magnetic Fields
1966, Shabba Ranks, Jamaican singer
1971, Kid Rock, singer, rapper
1978, Ricky Wilson, vocals, Kaiser Chiefs
1980, Zooey Deschanel, vocals, She & Him
1964, The Rolling Stones released their first EP, which included “You Better Move On,” “Poison Ivy,” “Bye Bye Johnny” and “Money.” It peaked at #15 on the U.K. chart.
1967, The Daily Mail ran the story about a local council survey finding 4,000 holes in the road in Lancashire inspiring John Lennon’s contribution to The Beatles song “A Day in the Life.”
1967, The Jimi Hendrix Experience recorded a session for Radio Luxembourg’s Ready Steady Radio. The band ran up a bar bill of £2.5 shillings, ($6.21), which they were unable to pay.
1970, The Doors appeared at the Felt Forum in New York City. The show was recorded for the band’s forthcoming Absolutely Live album.
1972, A section of Bellevue Boulevard in Memphis was renamed Elvis Presley Boulevard. The remaining length of road kept its original name after protests from the Bellevue Baptist Church.
1974, Dean Martin’s son Dino Martin was arrested after attempting to sell two AK-47 machine guns to an undercover agent. For more on this story, see This Day in Music Spotlight.
1982, Tommy Tucker died, at age 48, after being overcome by poisonous fumes while he was renovating the floors of his New York home. He wrote the 1964 U.S. #11 hit “Hi Heel Sneakers.”
1994, Donny Osmond took part in a charity boxing match held in Chicago against former Partridge Family member Danny Bonaduce. Donny lost 2-1.
2003, A long-lost recording featuring John Lennon and Mick Jagger was set to spark a biding war at a London auction. The acetate record was recorded in 1974 with Jagger singing the blues song “Too Many Cooks” and Lennon playing guitar. The track had never been released because the two artists were signed to different record companies.
2008, The Police played the first nine dates in Australia and New Zealand at the Westpac Stadium in Wellington, New Zealand, on their 152-date reunion tour.
Sir Paul McCartney is looking to stretch out his creative Wings and get into the tourism business.
The Beatles singer says he “wants to give something back to the locals” of his hometown of Liverpool, North West England, in the form of a special sightseeing production.
“I would really love to start a sightseeing business. I have my own magical mystery tours of the city, my own special route I go on and I think other people would love it, too,” he said, according to the Winnipeg Free Press. “I want to give something back to the locals.”
The “Let It Be” singer certainly has the funds to start up his own tourism business. It was recently released that he pulled in $45 million in 2011, nearly doubling his earnings of $25.7 million in 2010. His company also took in a pre-tax profit of $19.7 million, which was up over 2010.
Check out Epiphone’s Limited Edition Paul McCartney 1964 Texan, here. The guitar is a replica of the instrument McCartney used to record “Yesterday” and performed with on the Ed Sullivan Show.
One of rock’s most anticipated upcoming albums is the new set from hard rock titans Guns N’ Roses. Fresh off a North American arena tour, the gents of GN’R are poised to bring raw, gritty rock and roll back to popular music’s forefront.
According to Guns N’ Roses and Sixx:A.M. guitarist DJ Ashba, getting out a new stream of songs is the band’s “main priority.”
“I can’t give anybody a definite date, because I’m not gonna give anybody false hope. But what I can say is [making a new album] absolutely is our main priority,” Ashba told Mama’s Fallen Angels (via Blabbermouth). “And I cannot wait to get [working on the album].”
He went on to reveal that GN’R frontman Axl Rose already has loads of tracks recorded for the new LP. “I mean, Axl has tons and tons of stuff recorded as it is. I mean, he sits there in his hotel room and he’ll play me hours of stuff. And I’ve written over 10 songs – I think 12 songs now – for him that he really likes,” he said. “And I think now that we’re off tour, we’re gonna kind of start talking about, ‘Hey, let’s start piecing together what we feel would be the next best Guns N’ Roses record.’ It’s absolutely everybody’s goal to get out an album within a reasonable amount of time. That is everybody’s focus.”
What do you think the latest rock creation from GN’R will bring?
John Lennon, a cat lover? It seems so. According to Mental Floss, the late Beatles musician had a strong fondness for cats and owned several during his lifetime, beginning during his childhood.
Little Lennon’s first pet was named Elvis, and the cat was actually owned by his mom, Julia. Both Lennon and his mom adored Elvis Presley, which is where they got the cat’s name. As the story goes, the Lennons were a bit shocked with Elvis – who they thought was a male cat – gave birth to a littler of cats in the cupboard.
When Lennon – who also had a liking for dogs – married his first wife, Cynthia, he gave her a dog named Bernard as a gift. Bernard and Sally were supposed to be John’s only two pet dogs. Slowly, the couple began acquiring cat after cat until, eventually, they owned roughly 10 cats! He also owned two cats with his second wife, Yoko Ono.
Lennon, who was always passionate about art, also loved to sketch drawings of cats. Some of his illustrations of cats ended up in his books, to boot. Read more about Lennon’s cat interest, here. Add it to your list of random facts about Beatles players.
1941, Long John Baldry, vocals, Bluesology
1946, Cynthia Robinson, vocals, Sly and the Family Stone
1951, Chris Bell, guitar, Big Star
1954, Felipe Rose, vocals, The Village People
1960, Charlie Gillingham, keyboards, Counting Crows
1963, Guy Chambers, singer, songwriter, producer
1965, Greg Kriesel, bass, The Offspring
1974, Melanie Chisholm (aka Mel C or Sporty Spice), The Spice Girls
1964, The Beatles appeared on the ATV show Sunday Night at the London Palladium, performing "I Wanna Hold Your Hand," "This Boy," "All My Loving," "Money" and "Twist and Shout." The compare for the evening was Bruce Forsyth. When The Beatles appeared on this show on October 13, 1963, their fee had been £250. Three months later, their fee was £1,000.
1974, The Steve Miller Band were at #1 on the U.S. singles chart with "The Joker," the group’s first of three #1 hits. It reached #1 on the U.K. chart when it was re-released in 1990.
1975, The first night of a U.K. tour kicked off under the banner of The Warner Brothers Music Show. It featured Little Feat, Montrose, Tower of Power, The Doobie Brothers and Graham Central Station.
1977, EMI Records issued a statement saying it felt unable to promote The Sex Pistols’ records in view of the adverse publicity generated over the last two months.
1977, The Police had their first rehearsal, held at drummer Stewart Copeland’s London flat, with Henri Padovani on guitar.
1981, it was reported that the White House had expanded its record library by including albums by Bob Dylan, KISS and the Sex Pistols.
1983, Swedish percussionist with Traffic, Reebop Kwaku Baah, died from a brain hemorrhage in Stockholm, Sweden. Baah also worked with Eric Clapton, Steve Winwood, Ginger Baker’s Air Force, Can and The Rolling Stones.
1996, AC/DC played the first date on their Ballbreaker World Tour in Greensboro, North Carolina. The world tour would last for 11 months, finishing on November 30, 1996 in Christchurch, New Zealand.
2003, Singer-songwriter Maurice Gibb from the Bee Gees died at age 53 in Miami, Florida following a heart attack during abdominal surgery. The Bee Gees released more than 20 albums and had the 1979 worldwide #1 album, Spirits Having Flown. Gibb was married to the Scottish singer Lulu from 1969 to 1973. In 2002, Maurice was made a Commander of the British Empire (CBE), along with his brothers. For more on Gibb, see today’s This Day in Music Spotlight.
2005, it was announced that the Strawberry Field children’s home immortalized by The Beatles was to close. The home in Woolton, Liverpool, was made famous when John Lennon wrote "Strawberry Fields Forever" after playing there as a child.
Rock legend and famed hunter Ted Nugent is putting his name on bullets.
According to Music-News.com, ammunitions company Pierce Munitions will start producing the Nugent-branded ammo in the next few months.
“My life, family and friends are one big shooting, hunting, outdoor family. I am excited and proud to now help create state-of-the-art ammo for dedicated sporters everywhere,” Nugent said in a statement on Blabbermouth.net.
The Ted Nugent bullets will be available for purchase in the middle part of the year.
The rock and roll landscape is littered with album projects that have been abandoned, shelved or even stolen. Most such projects are lost forever, consigned permanently to the dustbin of history. In the case of major artists, however, these albums occasionally attain a near-mythic status, inspiring fans to wonder if in fact a heretofore unheard masterpiece might one day surface. To varying degrees, the “lost” albums below have acquired just that sort of reputation.
Bruce Springsteen – Electric Nebraska
Bruce Springsteen’s bleak, darkly acoustic Nebraska album was hailed as a monumental work upon its release in 1982. Fact is, however, The Boss’s original intent was that the disc be a full-on rock and roll effort. To that end, Springsteen recorded Nebraska’s songs with his E Street Band, replete with amped-up arrangements, before deciding his homemade demos would better serve the message he wanted to convey. Drummer Max Weinberg later described the electric versions of the songs as “hard-edged” and “killing.”
Neil Young – Homegrown
This mostly acoustic country-rock album – recorded by Neil Young in 1974 – was so close to being released, the cover art already had been designed. Young has described the album as “the missing link between Harvest, Comes a Time, Old Ways and Harvest Moon.” Many of Homegrown’s songs centered on the deteriorating relationship between Young and his then-girlfriend, actress Carrie Snodgrass. In the end, Young deemed the songs too personal and opted to release Tonight’s the Night instead.
Prince – Camille
In 1986, Prince began work on an album intended to showcase his strange (even for him) new obsession: speeding up his recorded vocals to make himself sound like a female. Dubbing his feminine alter-ego Camille, the Purple One is said to have recorded an eight-song LP that was even bawdier that the previous tracks that had drawn the ire of the Parents Music Resource Center. Prince shelved the disc, but several of the songs he had worked up, including “Housequake” and “If I Was Your Girlfriend,” surfaced on subsequent albums.
The Kinks – Four More Respected Gentlemen
The songs for this never-released Kinks album, recorded in 1968, were originally intended for a U.S.-only LP to be released in tandem with a Europe-only version of the band’s The Kinks are the Village Green Preservation Society. Instead, record label powers-that-be opted to shelve the former album, and instead released a longer version of the latter disc in both the U.K. and the U.S. Years later, with tongue planted firmly in cheek, Kinks leader Ray Davies said Four More Respected Gentlemen consisted of a song cycle about table manners.
Green Day – Cigarettes and Valentines
This intended follow-up to Green Day’s 2000 album, Warning, never saw the light of day for one simple reason: the master tapes were stolen from the studio. Frontman Billie Joe Armstrong later said the pilfered material was “good stuff,” while bassist Mike Dirnt remarked that the songs constituted a return to Green Day’s “hard and fast” punk roots. Nonetheless, instead of re-recording the album, the band decided to go a different route. The result was the acclaimed 2004 disc, American Idiot.
Pink Floyd – Household Objects
In 1974, in the wake of Dark Side of the Moon’s monumental success, Pink Floyd was casting about for a worthwhile departure. The idea the band came up with was to create music using nothing but household objects. Rubber bands, cardboard boxes and water-filled crystal wine glasses were among the tools employed in the effort, but alas, the challenges proved insurmountable. “It just got too difficult – and pointless,” David Gilmour later told writer Jim DeRogatis.
The Beatles – Get Back
Paul McCartney’s idea for The Beatles in 1968 was that they should “get back” to their roots, and make an album free of studio refinement and overdubs. He also wanted the band to get back to live performances, which in fact The Beatles half-heartedly did for their famous “rooftop” performance. In the end, however, tensions prevailed and the Get Back sessions grinded to a halt. Producer Phil Spector eventually pieced together the Let It Be album from the Get Back tapes, but that string-laden LP was a far different animal from what McCartney intended.
David Bowie – Toy
Prepped for release in 2002, this album featured new versions of some of Bowie’s earliest work. Recording with his Hours… touring band and longtime producer Tony Visconti, Bowie re-cut such obscure tracks as 1968’s “In the Heat of the Morning,” 1971’s “Shadow Man” and 1964’s rousing “Liza Jane,” which had been released originally in Bowie’s early incarnation as David Jones and the King Bees. For reasons unclear, Virgin Records shelved the disc, although several tracks surfaced later on other albums and as B-sides. A full version of Toy was leaked onto the Internet in early 2011.
The Who – Lifehouse
Simply put, Lifehouse was a project toppled by the weight of Pete Townshend’s grand ambitions. Conceptually, in the wake of Tommy, Townshend wanted to construct a multimedia extravaganza that would incorporate music that reflected the personalities and states of mind of The Who’s audience. The complications involved in the undertaking precipitated a nervous breakdown in Townshend, but not before he penned some of his finest songs. Fortunately, although Lifehouse was abandoned, much of the material found its way onto Who’s Next, one of The Who’s most triumphant albums.
The Beach Boys – Smile
This album – contemporary music’s most famous “lost” disc – was intended to be an ambitious follow-up to The Beach Boys’ 1966 pop masterpiece, Pet Sounds. Building on the epic sweep of “Good Vibrations,” Brian Wilson’s “pocket symphony,” Wilson and lyricist Van Dyke Parks envisioned an intricate tapestry of sound. Wilson wasn’t able to pull together his original vision for Smile, although years later, in 2004, he recorded a version on his own. The recently released Smile Sessions Box Set, which gathers material from the original sessions, offers a tantalizing aural portrait of what might have been.
Rock legend and reality TV star Steven Tyler has been talking to the press to promote the upcoming season of American Idol. The talent competition’s new season (the second to feature the singer) begins next Wednesday, January 18.
But Tyler’s also been discussing his other project – that little band known as Aerosmith. Speaking at a Television Critics Association press conference, Tyler talked about the progress being made on the Rock and Roll Hall of Famers’ new album.
“All of it’s been written, but I gotta lay lyrics on it and I haven’t had a lot of time,” he said, according to Blabbermouth. “But what I’ve listened to so far just knocked me out. I know a good song, I know what’s gonna get played on the radio, I’m not that pretentious to say I think we’ve got hits, but I think we’ve got something, and that’s all that matters.”
Previously, the album was rumored to be coming out this spring.
Fans of John Fogerty will want to tune in to the debut of Fox’s new TV series, The Finder, when the show debuts Thursday (January 12). Fogerty not only wrote the show’s theme song; he scored a guest role as an actor in the opening episode.
“The producers of the show, I guess they’re big fans and had this idea that they wanted me to play a character,” Fogerty said in an interview with Billboard.com. “They had a storyline that was inspired, I guess, by some events in my real life. And then as things rolled along, they asked me to create a theme for their show.”
Fogerty also performed a stripped-down version of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Fortunate Son” for the episode. The track will be posted for free download on his website one week after the show airs. The veteran rocker went on to reveal that he’s been recording original material for a new album that will include such guests as Brad Paisley, Miranda Lambert and the Foo Fighters.
The reunited Black Sabbath were set to be a headliner at this year’s Coachella Festival, but were forced to pull out due to the Tony Iommi’s recent lymphoma diagnosis, multiple industry sources have told Billboard.
It hasn’t been revealed which of the three announced headliners – Radiohead, The Black Keys or the combination of Dr. Dre and Snoop Dog – was added as a last-minute replacement for Sabbath. As reported previously, Iommi is working closely with physicians to determine the best course of treatment for the disease.
In November, the reunited Sabbath lineup of Iommi, Ozzy Osbourne, Geezer Butler and Bill Ward announced plans to tour following the release of a new album. The album, the first to feature Osbourne since 1978, is slated for release this fall. It’s uncertain whether other Sabbath live dates – including a headlining slot at England’s Download Festival scheduled for early June – will be affected by Iommi’s diagnosis and treatment.
1895, Laurens Hammond, inventor of the Hammond organ
1924, Slim Harpo, blues harmonica player, singer
1942, Clarence Clemons, saxophone, E Street Band
1952, Lee Ritenour, jazz guitarist
1958, Vicki Peterson, guitar, vocals, The Bangles
1968, Tom Dumont, guitar, No Doubt
1971, Mary J. Blige, R&B singer, songwriter
1971, Tom Rowlands, The Chemical Brothers
1981, Tom Meighan, vocals, Kasabian
1958, The release date for the Elvis Presley single “Jailhouse Rock” was put back a week after Decca Records pressing plants in the U.K. were unable to meet the advance orders of 250,000 copies.
1964, Ring of Fire by Johnny Cash became the first country album to go to #1 on the U.S. album chart.
1965, The Righteous Brothers arrived in Britain for a promotional visit, appearing on three TV shows – Ready Steady Go!, Scene At 6.30 and Discs A Go-Go.
1967, The Jimi Hendrix Experience recorded “Purple Haze.” Jimi also signed to the new record label Track Records on this day. For more on this story, see This Day in Music Spotlight.
1978, Elvis Costello and the Attractions appeared at Newcastle City Hall, England.
1985, A Brazilian rock festival held in Rio claimed to be the biggest ever staged. The festival featured featured Queen, Rod Stewart, AC/DC, Whitesnake, Yes and Iron Maiden.
1992, Nirvana appeared on Saturday Night Live. Also on this day, Nevermind went to #1 on the U.S. album chart.
1998, Rolling Stone magazine readers poll picked Be Here Now by Oasis as album of the year.
1999, Ex-Mighty Wah singer Pete Wylie appeared in a Liverpool Court charged with making threats to kill his ex-girlfriend.
2002, Mickey Finn, percussionist and sideman to Marc Bolan in T. Rex, died of kidney and liver problems at age 55.
2005, Former Bread guitarist and Academy Award-winning songwriter James Griffin died at his home in Nashville at the age of 61 after suffering from cancer. Bread had the 1970s hits “Make It with You,” “Baby I’m-a Want You” and “Everything I Own.”
2008, Ringo Starr helped launch the celebrations for Liverpool’s year as European Capital of Culture. He was joined by acrobats who dangled on wires from cranes as the opening party kicked off a year-long program of more than 350 events. Organizers hoped the Capital of Culture tag would attract an extra 2 million visitors to Liverpool and boost the economy by £100m.
Van Halen have announced more details about their much-anticipated new album, A Different Kind of Truth.
Of course, it will be the band’s first album with David Lee Roth on vocals since 1984’s 1984 and Van Halen’s first album of any sort since ’98’s Van Halen III. A Different Kind of Truth will be released on February 7.
Today, the band also released their new single, “Tattoo.” Check out the official video for the song here.
Van Halen, A Different Kind of Truth tracklisting:
“She’s the Woman”
“You and Your Blues”
“Blood And Fire”
“The Trouble With Never”
1917, Jerry Wexler, producer and record company executive
1927, Johnnie Ray, teen idol singer
1939, Scott McKenzie, singer, songwriter
1943, Jim Croce, singer, songwriter
1945, Rod Stewart, singer, songwriter, The Jeff Beck Group, Faces
1948, Donald Fagen, vocals, keyboards, Steely Dan
1955, Michael Schenker, guitarist
1986, Alex Turner, guitar, vocals, Arctic Monkeys
1956, Elvis Presley made his first recordings for RCA Records at the United Methodist Television, Radio and Film Studios in Nashville. “Heartbreak Hotel” was one of the songs recorded during this session.
1958, Jerry Lee Lewis was at #1 on the U.K. singles chart with “Great Balls of Fire.”
1963, on his second visit to the U.K. in less than a month, Bob Dylan played at the Troubadour Club in London.
1964, The Rolling Stones recorded “Not Fade Away” at Regent Sound Studios in London, England.
1965, John Lennon appeared on the Peter Cook and Dudley Moore U.K. TV show, Not Only But Also.
1976, blues artist Howlin' Wolf (a.k.a. Chester Burnett) died of cancer, aged 66. The guitarist, singer and harmonica player's songs included “Smoke Stack Lightning,” “Little Red Rooster” and “Spoonful.” (For more on this story, see the This Day in Music Spotlight.
1990, Bon Jovi played the first of seven sold-out nights at the Hammersmith Odeon in London, England on their New Jersey Syndicate Tour.
1981, John and Yoko's Double Fantasy album started an eight-week run at #1 on the U.S. chart. “Just Like Starting Over” was at #1 on the U.S. singles chart.
1997, English singer Kenny Pickett (from the ’60s band Creation) died of a heart attack, aged 54. The group had the 1966 hit, “Painter Man.”
1997, James Brown received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
2001, American guitarist-songwriter Bryan Gregory, died after suffering a heart attack in Anaheim, California at the age of 46. He was a founding member of The Cramps.
2006, an Australian woman appeared in court charged with repeatedly stabbing her partner with a pair of scissors in the back, shoulder and thigh because he played Elvis Presley's song, "Burning Love," over and over again.
2007, Madame Tussauds unveiled its fourth waxwork of Kylie Minogue, making the Australian pop star the most modeled celebrity after the Queen. The model became the first scented waxwork, wearing Minogue's Darling perfume.
2009, Black Eyed Peas singer, Fergie, married actor Josh Duhamel at the Church Estates Vineyards in Malibu. Guests included her bandmate, will.i.am, and actress Kate Hudson.
With rumors buzzing that Mick Jagger and Keith Richards have been warming to the idea of a 2012 Stones tour to mark the band’s 50th anniversary, drummer Charlie Watts has chipped in with his thoughts.
Watts told BBC 6 Music: “It would be lovely next year to do some shows because it will be 50 years. Ronnie plays, I still play, Mick sings, he can do it anyway, I think Keith is doing some records.”
Watts, however, also explained that such a tour is a vast undertaking, saying: “It would be great if we did, we are just getting to an age where it’s getting a bit difficult to get it together and it’s such a bloody performance getting us together.”
Guitar legend Tony Iommi has been diagnosed with the early stages of lymphoma. A statement on Iommi’s website says that, “his bandmates would like everyone to send positive vibes to the guitarist at this time.”
The statement also says that Iommi is working with doctors on finding the best treatment and remains upbeat and determined to make a full recovery.
The news comes just as the original Black Sabbath – Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Bill Ward – have been working with producer Rick Rubin on their first album in over 30 years. The band also plan to tour this year.
Gibson.com wishes SG great Tony a speedy recovery.