Beatles fans who remain fiercely devoted to the LP format can rejoice – the Fab Four’s albums are coming to vinyl. On Nov. 13, the band’s original studio album remasters, which were released on CD in 2009, will make their wax debut. All 14 discs – the 12 U.K. originals, plus the U.S. version of Magical Mystery Tour and Past Masters Volumes One and Two – will be pressed on 180-gram vinyl. In addition to being available individually, the albums will be collected in a limited-edition box set that also features a 252-page hardbound book written by radio producer Kevin Howlett. The book devotes a full chapter to each album, with rare photos supplementing stories of how each of the vinyl records was prepared. Only 50,000 copies of the box set will be produced for worldwide distribution.
Kurt Cobain’s tragic death in 1995 left Neil Young deeply scarred, the veteran singer-songwriter has revealed. As was widely reported at the time, Cobain left behind a note that quoted Young’s lyric, “It’s better to burn out than to fade away,” from Young’s hit, “Hey Hey, My My (Into the Black).” In his new autobiography, Waging Heavy Peace, Young writes that he was trying to reach out to Cobain in the days just prior to the Nirvana frontman’s death. “When he died and left that note, it struck a deep chord inside of me,” Young writes. “It [expletive] with me. I, coincidentally, had been trying to reach him. I wanted to talk to him. Tell him only to play when he felt like it.” Waging Heavy Peace was published this past Tuesday (Sept. 25). Young wrote the memoir throughout 2011.
The Rolling Stones have released the trailer for their forthcoming retrospective film documentary, Crossfire Hurricane. The preview trailer features both old and relatively new video footage, including vintage TV clips and segment culled from the band’s massive arena shows, as well as candid shots of group members caught in behind-the-scenes moments.
Directed by Brett Morgen, the two-hour-plus documentary features historical footage, much of it widely unseen, and commentary from Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts, Ronnie Wood and former Stones Bill Wyman and Mick Taylor. Crossfire Hurricane is set to premiere at the London Film Festival on October 18, where it will be broadcast by satellite to more than 250 cinemas throughout Europe. HBO will air the film on November 15. To watch the trailer, click here.
Jason Bonham is gearing up for another run with his Led Zeppelin Experience, and the trek kicks off on Oct. 5 in Napa Valley, Calif., and runs through Dec. 20 in Milwaukee, Wis.
The Experience celebrates “the life and music of Jason’s father, the late Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham.”
“This is a personal trip through my life with the music of Led Zeppelin and how the music influenced me,” Jason said in an official statement.
Jason, of course, jammed out with Robert Plant, John Paul Jones and Jimmy Page at Led Zeppelin’s seminal reunion concert in 2007, which was taped for the “Celebration Day” movie that will hit theaters on Oct. 17.
“Performing my father’s songs at the Led Zeppelin 02 reunion concert in 2007 was an honor that I will forever remember as one of the most bittersweet, yet greatest nights of my life,” Jason said. “I’m over the moon that the 02 concert will finally be available for all Zeppelin fans to enjoy. That special night was the original spark that ignited JBLZE.”
Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience 2012 Tour Dates:
10/5 -- Napa Valley, Calif., The Uptown Theatre
10/6 -- Reno, Nev., The Silver Legacy
10/11 -- Los Angeles, Calif., Greek Theater
10/12 -- Las Vegas, Nev., Aliante Casino
10/13 -- Indio, Calif., Fantasy Springs Resort Casino
10/14 -- San Francisco, Calif., The Warfield 10/16 -- Sacramento, Calif., Crest Theatre
11/9 -- Westbury, N.Y., Theatre at Westbury
11/10 -- Philadelphia, Pa., Electric Factory
11/11 -- York, Pa., Capitol Theatre
11/12 -- Niagara Falls, N.Y., Rapids Theatre
11/14 -- Port Chester, N.Y., Capitol Theatre
11/15-- Montclair, N.J., The Wellmont Theatre
11/16 -- Wilmington, De., Grand Opera House
11/17 -- Munhall, Pa., Carnegie Music Hall of Homestead
11/19 -- Royal Oak, Mich., Royal Oak Music Theatre
12/20 -- Milwaukee, Wis., Pabst Theatre
Dig Las Vegas and KISS? Then you’re in luck! (No pun intended!) The famed glam-rock band have announced that a new KISS-dedicated slot game is coming to Las Vegas in October.
WMS Gaming Inc. will debut the special slot game at the 12th annual Global Gaming Expo, held Oct. 2 through 4 at the Sands Expo and Convention Center.
“We’ve spent 40 years bringing our spectacle music and the KISS experience to life on stages around the world. We’re blown away by this new cutting edge slot game,” KISS members Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley said in an official statement. “WMS has done an incredible job of capturing the energy of KISS and bringing our classic rock to life on the casino floor.”
Both Stanley and Simmons will be at the Global Gaming Expo on Oct. 2 to help ring in the new game. Note that this isn’t the first Kiss-dedicated slot machine in Las Vegas, but the older machines are apparently becoming scarce in casinos as they go out of service.
For millions of Rush fans old and new, it’s a pleasure to see the world’s greatest power-trio riding as high today as they did back in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, when they first catapulted to arena rock superstardom on the heels of such classic albums as 2112, Hemispheres, Permanent Waves and Moving Pictures. And over the years, each of the three members have established themselves as iconic figures on their instruments. Many consider Neil Peart the greatest rock drummer alive – if not ever – while Geddy Lee’s skills on the bass are remarkable (even more so when you see that he plays like that while singing!)
Then we have guitarist-extraordinaire Alex Lifeson, who has carved out his own estimable and indelible niche in the pantheon of guitar heroes. In a band known for its intricate detail and complex musical landscapes, Lifeson’s guitar work is the paintbrush that completes the portrait.
From Rush’s 1981 Moving Pictures album, “YYZ,” which gets its name from the identification code for the Toronto Pearson International Airport (Rush’s hometown), is an instrumental piece that lets all three members shine. Lifeson’s solo, in particularly, is a wonderfully meandering, almost schizophrenic dance, not unlike the frazzled flight of a bumblebee that’s just been sprayed with Raid and is frantically trying, and failing, to maintain altitude until it crashes to the ground.
Of his solo on “Freewill,” Lifeson told Gibson.com "It's a really hard solo to play. I think I feel a certain amount of pride in that fact alone. Every time I play it, I'm amazed I got through it. It's so frenetic and exciting… Recording it, I didn't have anything planned; I was just responding to what the other guys did. Basically, I was just trying to keep up! But I think it worked out pretty well. I'm rather happy with it, and I can usually find fault with everything I do."
8. “Kid Gloves”
From Rush’s 1984 album Grace Under Pressure, Lifeson spoke about his solo on “Kid Gloves”: “It's got a hip, kind of slinky attitude, a little goofy humor. When I play it, I feel a certain confidence, also like a prankster, which is not the way I am in real life at all. What's funny about it, too, is that it has a plot to it, and I only realized that after I recorded it for the first time — I never have a plot in mind when I'm recording solos; I always just kind of wing them. The “Kid Gloves” solo guided me; it's like it knew what it wanted to be, and I just had to allow myself to follow."
7. “The Trees”
Starting with a classical guitar prelude (and often preceded in concert by the classical piece “Broon’s Bane”), Lifeson takes us on a diverse musical journey, soft and plaintiff at first, then utterly bone-crunching until he humanely takes the foot off the pedal for a mid-song respite just so we might catch our breath. His solo, though relatively brief, is sublime and perfectly moves the narrative forward.
6. “Closer to the Heart”
Released in 1977 from their A Farewell to Kings album, Lifeson’s guitar work on “Closer to the Heart” is inspiring and uplifting, from the first indelible and beautiful acoustic riff to the monolithic thunder-crunch of his transition to electric. His solo captivates with a soaring ascension up the fretboard. Lifeson’s full skills are on display here.
When “Xanadu” fades in, like an otherworldly fog enveloping you without your notice, Lifeson hypnotizes you with a series of ethereal and random notes that eventually coalesce into a string of six eerily repeated notes. Soon your eyes are fixed and dilated, and you are fully receptive to any and all suggestion. His spell on you is complete. Enjoy the ride.
4. “Fly By Night”
Along with Geddy Lee’s amazing vocals, the foundational guitar riff throughout “Fly By Night” is the fuel that propels this classic Rush song. But the real revelation is Lifeson’s piercing and emotive solo, which is refreshingly spiced with a healthy dollop of driving Texas blues-rock.
“I love the elasticity of the solo,” Lifeson told Gibson.com “It’s a very emotional piece of music for me to play. The song is about loneliness and isolation, and I think the solo reflects that. There’s a lot of heart in it. Even now it’s my favorite solo to perform live. I never get tired of it.”
2. “Spirit of Radio”
From 1980’s Permanent Waves album, Lifeson delivers unto the rock world one of the most amazing, original and enduring opening riffs in rock history. That riff alone warrants inclusion on this list, but the icing on this Rush confection is Lifeson’s acidic and screaming Wah-fueled solo that drives the song home.
1. “La Villa Stangiato”
Epic. From the first few delicate notes of Lifeson’s classical guitar, notes that quickly cascade into a frenetic and blistering pace – and that’s in just the first 20 seconds – “La Villa Strangiato” is at times beautiful, other times haunting and sinister. However you define Rush, this is the penultimate Rush song. Operatic and dazzling, this is Lifeson’s greatest and most dynamic guitar moment.
Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler was recently interviewed by noisecreep.com. In the interview Tyler talks candidly about recording the new Aerosmith album Music from Another Dimension! and the much-publicized near break-up of the band a few years back.
When recording Music from Another Dimension! Aerosmith and producer Jack Douglas dug deep in the band's archives, and finished up some demos originally recorded during the band's Get A Grip sessions in 1992-1993. Says Tyler about the recording process: "When we do an album, one of our secrets is to 'overdo.' That way it's not just nine songs. We always overwrite. For every album there's 20 songs, and usually five that we don't use, and might get used for the next record. But this time we used them all."
Aerosmith have tried to write and record the new album on several occasions in the past few years, and at one point it looked as though it would not happen at all, with Tyler joining American Idol as a judge, and the rest of the band looking for a new lead singer. Luckily, the band members managed to put their differences aside and are set to release their first album of new material since 2001. Tyler mused on the subject and considered that it all worked out for the best: "It was just perfect the way it went. It was not nice at the moment and I was totally incensed that a lot of those guys didn't call me back, but I had done something to them. It's just the boys club, we can be rough with each other."
ZZ Top have done darn well for being just a “little ol’ band from Texas,” and the guys seem to be getting better and better with time.
ZZ Top’s first studio album in a lengthy nine years, La Futura, enjoyed a major showing on the Billboard 200 chart this week, landing at No. 6 and selling 31,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Congratulations, guys!
La Futura’s first-week sales showing at No. 6 is actually the highest sales week to date for ZZ Top. The last time the Texas trio entered the Billboard’s Top 10 was in 1992 with their Greatest Hits compilation, which topped out at No. 9.
ZZ Top are currently on the road to promote La Futura on a lengthy North Americana tour that runs through Oct. 27 show at Bee Cave, Texas.
What ZZ Top song do you never tire of hearing? Tell us in the comments area below! And don’t forget to have a little look at Billy’s “Pearly Gates” here!
Fans haven’t heard much from the legendary Eric Clapton in 2012, but as it turns out, the guitarist is plotting a big 2013. After all, next year will mark the 50th anniversary of the beginning of his lengthy music career, so there’s no better time to hear some new Clapton tunes.
In a post on his official website, Clapton broke the news that, indeed, he has been recording a new studio album that will reach fans’ ears in early 2013.
As for live performances, for overseas fans who want to see Clapton live, he also has some U.K. shows booked for May. Those dates include gigs in Birmingham on May 13, Manchester on May 14 and a five-night residency at London’s Royal Albert Hall on May 17, 18, 20, 21 and 23. At the live shows, Clapton will be joined by several key players of his longtime backing band: guitarist Doyle Bramhall II, drummer Steve Jordan and bass player Willie Weeks, to name a few. Paul Carrack will also be on the trek.
Members of Clapton’s fan club can pre-order tickets for the U.K. shows now, while the general public will have their starting beginning on Friday (Sept. 21).
No one can say Billy Gibbons doesn’t have a way with words. Ask him about the key to ZZ Top’sstaying power, and you’re as likely to get an analysis of hot rod maintenance as you are to hear music-related thoughts about long-term success. Fact is, however, ZZ Top’s run of four decades with the same lineup is the rock and roll equivalent of Joe DiMaggio’s 56-game hitting streak – a record that will likely never be broken. In the choice quotes gathered below, Gibbons addresses that issue, as well as such topics as his love of the blues, his beloved Pearly Gates and some early advice he received from both Alice Cooper and Ike Turner.
On getting his very first guitar, as told to Gibson.com in 2009:
“On Christmas Eve in ’63, Santa stopped by with a Gibson Melody Maker. While the kids from my neighborhood were into The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, I was trying to learn licks from Little Richard, Muddy Waters and Jimmy Reed records.”
On playing with Dusty Hill and Frank Beard for the 1st time, as told to BMG Discovery in 1997:
“We wanted to see how our talents mingled. A little 30-minute thing turned into a three-hour jam. When we wrapped it up, we said, ‘Well, that felt pretty good. I think we’ve got ourselves a band!’”
On the special tone of Pearly Gates, his beloved ’59 Les Paul Standard, as told to Gibson.com in 2009:
“Divine, simply divine. Pearly was born on one of those fateful days when everything was [aligned] just right. The wood was well-balanced, the glue was right and the electronics were built in perfectly. She was waiting underneath a bed for years, just waiting to burst out of there, and I was lucky enough to be her conqueror. Pearly is the reason for my guitar mania. I own a lot of great and valuable instruments, but none of them match the sound of Pearly Gates.”
On the song where ZZ Top found its style, as told to Goldmine in 2004:
“’La Grange,’ in '73. That was a green light for us. We liked the tones, the richness of the instrumentation and the simplicity of the composition. We just thought, ‘All right, this is us. We can do this.’ With the Tres Hombres album, we managed to mingle the Texas roots and the Memphis madness together, with this Salvador Dali of the Delta effect. That’s still a lot of fun."
On his love of the blues, as told to Music Radar in 2011:
“Ever since I was a little kid and first heard Jimmy Reed's ‘Honey, Don't Let Me Go,’ the blues has been in my blood. The blues is a mighty long road. Or it could be a river, one that twists and turns and flows into a sea of limitless musical potential. The blues is life itself.”
On learning about theatrics from Alice Cooper in the early ‘70s, as told to Gritz in 2004:
“Traveling with Alice Cooper in the early days of ZZ Top was outrageous. His passion for extremes within the realm of show-biz flair was really inviting. He taught us quite a bit. He also stimulated the idea-factory, to no end. The general consensus is that blues music is very serious, that it’s all strictly about composition and content. But the presentation -- the showmanship factors -- were zooming.”
On the use of synthesizers on the Eliminator album, as told to Goldmine in 2004:
“There's a standing joke in the band about ZZ Top being new-genre inventors as a result of our inability to read a technical manual. It was just a matter of turning knobs until something sounded right, and then hitting the ‘record’ button. In those days, manufacturers were intent on finding utility for these crazy new inventions, many of which had not been proven yet. We really didn’t plan those runaway hit records. They were the result of a lot of luck in the studio. As long as you could turn it up loud, that was our code.”
On some sage advice he once received from Ike Turner, as told to BMG Discovery in 1997:
“We were asked to open a show for Ike and Tina at an outdoor venue in Atlanta in 1971. Ike came up to me after the show and said, ‘I want to compliment you and your band. You have a fine musical outfit. But … you’re going to need some better clothes.’”
On the laudation bestowed upon him by Jimi Hendrix, who once called him “America’s best young guitar player,” as told to Music Radar in 2009:
"When the man who practically invented or reinvented what the electric guitar can do says such wonderful things about you, you have a responsibility to wear that title with pride and dignity. The last thing you want to do is let a guy like Jimi down. I hope he's looking down at me and still feeling good about the mighty honor he bestowed upon me."
On the secret to ZZ Top’s longevity, as told to BE Entertainment in 2008:
“We still enjoy doing what we do, more than most anything else that a given day might offer. Playing is foremost in our minds, 24 hours a day. The notion of tone, taste and tenacity has been our byline for forever.”
Guitar legend Carlos Santana is always a joy to speak to. And Carlos is in good form in a new, rather bizarre interview with the U.K’s The Guardian.
Carlos is asked how he stays so positive. He says: “You know, I've been programming – which is the right word – my brain to convince the molecules in my body that it's my choice to make every day the best day of my life.”
The Guardian asks: Does that work?
Carlos: “Yes! Your body is like a dog! Or a horse! Or a computer! If you stay on it, morning, afternoon and night, after a while it starts believing that you're capable of not being with misery.”
Carlos also doesn’t care about chart positions – “ the idea of numbers is very foreign to my brain” – but believes in melody. “I realized a long time ago that instrumental music speaks a lot more clearly than English, Spanish, Yiddish, Swahili, any other language. Pure melody goes outside time.
“Jeff Beck is a singer, but he sings with a guitar, so does Eric, so does Stevie Ray. It's not just through your mouth, it's through your fingers.”
He doesn’t care about “Greatest Guitarists” lists either. “I look them straight in the eye. No one's better than me. I'm not better than anyone. Whether it's Eric Clapton or B.B, King we look straight at each other. And that keeps it real.”
Santana also admits he is useless at computer game Guitar Hero. “I tried to play my daughter once. She beat me. She blew me off the stage,” he admits.
Santana is working on his memoir for publication in 2014. It could be an interesting read…
Aerosmith have announced the second leg of their Global Warming Tour. The band hit the road in support of their Music From Another Dimension album, which is out in November. New tracks include “Out Go The Lights,” “Oh Yeah,” “Luv XXX,” “We All Fall Down,” “Street Jesus” and “Can’t Stop Loving You,” on which Steven Tyler duets with Carrie Underwood. The album also includes “Freedom Fighter,” which features Johnny Depp on backing vocals.
Aerosmith wrapped up the first leg of the Global Warming Tour this summer, on which they were joined by Cheap Trick as special guests. The new tour goes from November to December.
The next dates are:
11/8 — Oklahoma City
11/11 — Wichita
11/14 — Kansas City
11/16 — Austin, Texas
11/20 — New York, Madison Square Garden
11/23 — Atlantic City
11/25 — Columbus
11/27 — Toronto
12/1 — Las Vegas
12/3 — Los Angeles
12/6 — New Orleans
12/9 — Fort Lauderdale
12/11 — Tampa
Classic Rock reports that guitar legend Chuck Berry was the victim of three burglaries at his home in St Louis, Missouri. During the first break in last week, a 1978 Gibson ES-355 was stolen from Berry's office. In a subsequent break in the thieves stole garden equipment, and damaged the fence surrounding Berry's property.
But on the third visit to Berry's property, neighbors spotted the thieves, and they were subsequently apprehended.
Berry made no mention of the incident during his monthly gig at Blueberry Hill in St Louis. The venue's owner Joe Edwards told Fox 2: "Chuck has always been the consummate performer and the show must go on. He won’t let anything get in the way of going out and giving the audience everything he can give – so that’s why he kept mum, I think."
When police searched one of the suspects home, Berry's ES-355 was found and returned to the veteran rocker.
As we have previously reported here on Gibson.com, Soundgarden have confirmed the upcoming release of their first studio album in 16 years. The album, which is called King Animal, is scheduled for a November 13 release. It has taken years for the album to finally see the light of day after the band announced it back in 2010, and now Australian radio station Radar Music has proposed a reason for the lengthy delay.
As most of you know, Soundgarden drummer Matt Cameron is also the drummer of fellow Seattle band Pearl Jam. Cameron has been busy touring with Pearl Jam during their tour behind latest album, Backspacer, as well as brief tours with Soundgarden.
Radar Music is speculating that perhaps the new Soundgarden album was delayed on purpose so that it will sync up with another Pearl Jam release. GrungeReport.net recently published an interview with Pearl Jam bassist Jeff Ament where he was asked about the new Pearl Jam album, saying "We’re half way through, we have a ton of ideas." Cameron has previously stated that he will not be leaving Pearl Jam as a result of playing with Soundgarden again. Radar Music is suggesting that there is a possibility the two bands will be touring together behind new releases next year, since it is hard to see how Matt Cameron could possibly pull off touring with both his bands at the same time in any other way.
Of course this is all speculation, but imagine seeing these two legendary bands back to back in concert. This would also open up the possibility for a Temple Of The Dog reunion, since that band was made up of Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell, Cameron, and members of Pearl Jam.
Astronaut Chris Hadfield has a 6-month visit to the International Space Station starting 5 December. But it will also involve guitars. The Canadian astronaut is scheduled to blast off aboard a Russian spacecraft with NASA astronaut Tom Marshburn and Russian cosmonaut Roman Romanenko. And all three are avid guitarists.
Romanenko even played with U2when the group visited Moscow in 2010, and Marshburn is a keen classical guitarist.
Hadfield says he's planning to do some songwriting while he gazes down at the Earth. He told Canada.com: "I think it would be really good to record a bunch of songs on orbit, original music on orbit. Some of the earliest spacefaring songs, I'm going to write and play up there."
He'll take time during evenings and weekends to play and record the songs he's written and some of those sessions will include other members of the astronaut trio.
Recommended cover songs for the crew, anyone? Maybe…
“Space Travel is Boring” by Modest Mouse
"Stellar" by Incubus
“Starlight” by Muse
“Space Oddity” by David Bowie
"I Don't Want to Live on the Moon" by the cast of Sesame Street (sung by Ernie)
A new tribute album to Les Paul is out now. Thank You Les has been put together by Lou Pallo, long-standing friend and co-guitarist in the Les Paul Trio, and it assembles a stunning cast.
Steve Miller, who also contributed liner notes, sings and plays on "Mr. Day/Tell Me What's the Reason" and "Nature Boy." Keith Richards provides vocals and guitar for "It's Been a Long, Long Time," Billy Gibbons is featured on "September Song," Jose Feliciano plays "Bésame Mucho," and Eddie Brigati of the Young Rascals appears on "I'm Confessin' That I Love You."
Nokie Edwards from the Ventures trades lines with Pallo on "Caravan" and "Out of Nowhere." Slash plays on "Deep in the Blues."
Les Paul fans can learn more at ThankYouLes.com. A DVD of the album’s making is also out.
Led Zeppelin may never come back. But they kinda will be, via Celebration Day - the film of the one-off reunion show they played in London in 2007. Art and tracklisting is now confirmed, after Jimmy Page spent many hours approving the sound and mix.
Celebration Day gets a worldwide theater release on 17 October, followed by "multiple video and audio" formats on 19 November. A reported 20 million people applied for tickets for Led Zeppelin's London O2 show nearly five years ago. And the show’s 16-song set is included in its entirety in Celebration Day.
Full tracklisting is…
“Good Times Bad Times”
“ In My Time of Dying”
“For Your Life”
“Trampled Under Foot”
“Nobody's Fault But Mine”
“Since I've Been Loving You”
“Dazed and Confused”
“Stairway to Heaven”
“The Song Remains the Same”
“Misty Mountain Hop”
“Whole Lotta Love”
“Rock and Roll”
The first live album from AC/DC in 20 years, AC/DC Live At River Plate, is released on November 20.
Recorded in Buenos Aires in December 2009 in front of nearly 200,000 fans, AC/DC Live At River Plate was part of the huge Black Ice tour. It will “chronicle one of the largest rock shows in history,” and covers all eras of the band’ songs.
The collection will be available on double CD or 3 x red vinyl L.P. with a 24-page booklet of photographs.
“Rock N Roll Train”
“Hell Ain't a Bad Place to Be”
“Back in Black”
“Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap”
“Shot Down in Flames”
“Shoot to Thrill”
“Dog Eat Dog”
“You Shook Me All Night Long”
“Whole Lotta Rosie”
“Let There Be Rock”
“Highway To Hell”
“For Those About to Rock (We Salute You)”
Led Zeppelin are set to be recognized during the 2012 Kennedy Center Honors, which honor outstanding lifetime contributions to the arts. The British hard rockers are in good company, too, as the rest of this year’s inductees include blues great Buddy Guy, actor Dustin Hoffman, late-night TV host David Letterman and Russian ballerina and choreographer Natalia Makarova.
The ceremony will take place Dec. 2 at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. Expect all of Zeppelin’s surviving members — singer Robert Plant, guitarist Jimmy Page and bassist/keyboardist John Paul Jones -- to attend. Fans can also catch a TV special offering highlights of the show on CBS on Dec. 26 at 9 p.m. ET/PT.
“Led Zeppelin's John Paul Jones, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant transformed the sound of rock and roll with their lyricism and innovative song structures, infusing blues into the sound of rock and roll and laying the foundation for countless rock bands,” Kennedy Center chairman David M. Rubenstein said in an official statement.
So, how big of a deal is this event? It’s big enough for the President to be there, as the honorees are expected to be with President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, at the gala.
What’s your favorite Led Zeppelin riff or track? Tell us in the comments section below, rockers!
Cheap Trick drummer Bun E. Carlos says not to fear, that he remains a “full member” of the legendary power pop group. “I'm a full member of Cheap Trick in all respects," he told Billboard, in an email exchange. "Solely as an accommodation to some of the band members, I reluctantly agreed to take a temporary hiatus from touring."
Speculation that Carlos might no longer be part of Cheap Trick reached a peak recently when word came that he wasn’t invited to play on the band’s contribution to a forthcoming A Very Special Christmas album. Carlos admits that the snub came as a shock. “The Special Olympics was as surprised as I was,” he said. “They had no idea I wasn't on the record.”
For the past two years, guitarist Rick Nielsen’s son, Daxx, has been filling in as Cheap Trick’s touring drummer. Still, Carlos says his bandmates “have never seriously talked [with him] about leaving permanently.” “Tom, Rick and Robin simply can’t make a recording without me and call it Cheap Trick,” he said.
Ringo Starr has issued a statement denying that he was the drummer on recently unearthed recordings by Rory Storm and The Hurricanes. As previously reported, tapes from March 1960 by Starr’s pre-Beatles band were recently found in the cellar of Storm’s sister’s home. Scores of articles appeared last week indicating that Starr was the drummer on the recordings, but he says that’s not the case.
“It’s not me,” Starr said, in a statement issued through his publicist. “That was done after I’d left to join the Beatles. I don’t know who the drummer was but I hope that Rory fans enjoy it anyway.”
Starr went on to cite two songs he did record with Storm. “The only two tracks I was on were recorded while we were in Germany in 1960, when we made a two-track acetate, and for those of you in the digi world that is a-ce-tate, of ‘Mailman Bring Me No More Blues,’ a Buddy Holly song sung by Lou Walters, and ‘Fever.’ I’d love to hear those tracks ‘cause I don’t have a copy.” The statement was signed “Peace & Love, Ringo.”
The Who guitarist Pete Townshend has set October 11 as the release date for his long awaited autobiography Who I Am. Townshend is said to have been working on the book for the past 15 years.
It appears that Townshend has written the book himself, without the help of a ghostwriter, according to a statement in a press release. He said, "I am lucky to be alive and to have such a crazy story to tell, full of wild adventures and creative machinations. I am happy that I am able to write my book myself, in my own ‘voice’ that many readers will be hearing for the first time."
Townshend, and surviving The Who band member Roger Daltrey were recently in the spotlight as the musical act that headlined the closing ceremonies of the London Olympics. They played an energetic mini-set comprised of "Baba O'Riley," as well as "See Me, Feel Me/Listening To You," and "My Generation."
According to HarperCollins the guitar legend will be promoting the release of Who I Am with a short book tour of the US east coast. Townshend will visit New York City Public Library on October 8 for a Q&A session, with a visit to Barnes & Noble in Union Square for an in-store signing the following day. The book tour then continues on to Philadelphia, Ridgewood NJ, and Boston in the following days.
Take a look at the 50th Anniversary Pete Townshend SG here.
A while back we reported on a list compiled by Celebrity Net Worth of the richest drummers in the world. On top of that list was Ringo Starr. Now CNW have published a new list of the wealthiest lead singers, and perhaps not surprisingly, it has Ringo's Beatle band mate Paul McCartney in the top spot. Macca has an estimated net worth of $800 million, which is $200 million ahead of U2 singer Bono. CNW have arrived at these numbers based on, among other things, royalties, real estate holdings and record sales.
It is interesting to see Bruce Springsteen at number 13, with a net worth of (only) $200 million. One might expect Springsteen, who is still enjoying a hugely successful career with sold out stadiums all over the world, to be higher on the list. Perhaps a lot of his earnings are divided between the many members of the E Street Band?
Jimmy Buffet is third on the list with $400 million. The main part of his net worth is most likely from his Margaritaville brand, including his highly successful restaurant chain. Sammy Hagar, another singer turned entrepreneur, comes in at $120 million which is probably due to his successful ventures in Tequila making (Cabo Wabo Tequila), and his chain of Cabo Wabo Cantina restaurants.
Led Zeppelin have posted a 14 second video on their official Facebook page. The video is nothing more than alternating images of the four symbols from the Led Zeppelin IV album accompanied by a live intro of “Good Times Bad Times.”
The band has previously been displaying pictures with numbers on them, seemingly counting down to an announcement on Wednesday or Thursday this week. Many have speculated as to what the pictures, and video is alluding to.
It most likely means that the band are about to announce the DVD release of their concert at the O2 Arena in London in 2007. According to The Sun, Jimmy Page himself has been behind the controls in the studio, working on the project for the past couple of months, says their source "Jimmy Page has been in the studio making sure everything is perfect. The band want it to remain true to their exceptionally high standards. It's coming out on November 22 as part of a simultaneous global release."
In the meantime feel free to admire the Jimmy Page “Number Two” Les Paul here.
According to Classic Rock, Jimi Hendrix’s sister believes Jimi was getting ready to develop his sound before his tragic death.
Janie Hendrix told KISW: “What he was trying to do was create this new sound. He told my dad: ‘You’re going to be doubly proud of me.’ He was bringing all these instruments like he did at Woodstock. The way he was describing it in 1969 was what Earth Wind & Fire became. That’s what we would have had: richer, bigger bands with more sounds and more cultures. There would have been a definite evolution.”
Hendrix would have turned 70 this year and Janie believes he would still have been involved in rock and roll: “He’d still be playing music. He’d be doing what he was doing then: encouraging kids to play, buying them guitars.”
Following a full decade without a studio album, KISS made a spectacular return to form three years ago with Sonic Boom, a no-frills album that recalled the band’s mid to late ‘70s glory years. Incredibly, the group’s forthcoming new album, Monster, is an even greater triumph. Packed with explosive energy and the sort of guitar riffs other bands dream about, Monster seems destined for a prime spot among other KISS classics.
Even more so than on Sonic Boom, guitarist Tommy Thayer played an integral role on Monster, writing or co-writing ten songs and, alongside Paul Stanley, delivering half the band’s two-guitar punch. Clearly, he’s established himself as an indispensable cog in the current KISS lineup of Stanley, Gene Simmons, Eric Singer and himself. In the following interview, Thayer talks about the new album, his main guitar influences and why Gibsons are his choice guitars both on-stage and in the studio.
How did the band approach making the new album?
Generally, it was the same approach as Sonic Boom. We didn’t have an agenda. We just wanted to write great rock and roll songs and make a cohesive album. With Sonic Boom, it was more like testing the waters, seeing how things would go with this lineup and with the band as it is today. We came up with a great record, obviously, and we found that we could be effective and lethal in the studio. Monster takes those things to a new level, and ups the ante in terms of the songs and the production. It was similar, but it was new and improved as well.
Why was the band reluctant to make an album for all those years prior to Sonic Boom?
That’s probably more a question for Paul or Gene. It was before I was on-board. But my impression is that they didn’t feel comfortable trying to record a studio album because of the state of the band at that time. They didn’t feel it was healthy -- or that the band could produce, write and record a great rock and roll record. That said, the band has fused incredibly well in the last eight or ten years. There’s such great spirit and chemistry now, it suddenly became obvious – prior to making Sonic Boom -- that this band should make a studio album.
What guitars did you use on Monster?
Primarily I used a Gibson SG – a 1961 reissue that belongs to Paul. It’s the same guitar I used on a lot of Sonic Boom. Normally I play a Les Paul, but for recording work I’ve found that the SG has a little more punch, and isn’t quite as full-bodied. Sonically, the SG fit well into the tracks. I did use the Les Paul on a few things as well. It was pretty much straight head: plug the SG into a couple of good amps, and keep it raw and ballsy.
What Les Paul models do you play?
They’re Custom Shop reissues of the ’58, ’59 and 1960 Les Paul Standards. I use those guitars on-stage as well. I also have one that’s customized – the Rocket Guitar, which has a rocket launcher mounted on the back of the headstock. I also have a couple of Explorers I take on the road. They have a silver-sparkle finish, the same finish that my new Epiphone Tommy Thayer Signature Les Paul will have. The signature model is similar to the Les Paul I often use on solos, which is a Les Paul Standard with a silver sparkle top. Epiphone will be releasing officially announcing that guitar in the next couple of months and it should be available in stores in early 2013."
Who are your main guitar influences?
My favorite bands when I was learning to play were Foghat, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, KISS, Aerosmith, Montrose – those types of bands. Probably my favorite guitar players were Ronnie Montrose and Jimmy Page and Peter Frampton. I’m still a big fan of Frampton. I also loved Pat Travers, Robin Trower … second generation mid ‘70s players. Mainly I learned by mimicking records, putting albums on the turntable and trying to figure out the chords and riffs. I probably didn’t learn them quite right, in the beginning. When you’re a kid, you’re kind of at a loss for how some of these things are done. Eventually I started learning some solos – again, by listening and studying what was on those albums.
Which era was the greatest for guitar riffs?
The early to mid ‘70s was a great time for guitar riffs. But at the same time, when you’re 13 or 14 years old, that’s a magical period in your life, when you’re first getting into playing guitar and first going to concerts and so forth. The riffs you’re listening to at that age tend to stay with you. A great rock album that still holds up today is the first Montrose album. “Rock Candy,” “Rock the Nation,” “Bad Motor Scooter,” “Space Station #5” … those are great rock and roll songs with incredible riffs. A great guitar riff is worth its weight in gold. Being able to come up with great riffs – and write that kind of stuff – isn’t as easy as people think.
What makes Gibsons so right for what you do?
A lot of it has to do with the guitarists I grew up loving. Most of them played Les Pauls or other Gibsons. The guys in Aerosmith, Ronnie Montrose, Peter Frampton and the guys in KISS all played Les Pauls. When you’re growing up, and you’re first excited about rock and roll and guitar players, you want to mimic that as soon as you can. Those players weren’t using those guitars by chance. When it’s combined with the right amp, you just can’t beat the sound and the beefiness of a Gibson.
(Check out Tommy’s impressive Gibson arsenal here)
Is being a guitarist in KISS different from being a guitarist in other rock bands?
It’s a whole other world. I could never imagine being in a regular band again. That would be a huge step backwards. Being in KISS is the ultimate in rock and roll performance and theatrics. I was thinking about that the other night. We were on-stage doing “Rock and Roll All Nite” toward the end of our set. Gene and I were going up on lifts – about 30 feet into the air – and confetti was flying and bombs were going off. All of a sudden a big smile came over my face. I was thinking, “How lucky can I be, being in this band, on-stage right now, experiencing this?” It doesn’t get any better.
It's been a long, long, long time coming, but Led Zeppelin's 2007 reunion looks set to be released in visible and audible form.
The mighty Zep dropped a pretty big hint over the weekend in the form of a black and white image featuring the word 'FIVE' in the famous Led Zeppelin typeface. Fans initially took this as a reference to the nearly five years that have elapsed since the historic reunion, which saw Robert Plant, Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones performing at London's 02 Arena with drummer Jason Bonham as a tribute to late former Atlantic Records head Ahmet Ertugun.
But the Led Zeppelin Facebook page has since been updated with a new graphic in the same typeface: 'FOUR.' Sounds like a countdown to me! Could the official announcement be coming this week?
A few more obvious hints have seemingly been dropped by Jimmy Page's manager Peter Mensch via Twitter. In July he said "Today, Moulder [presumably producer/engineer Alan Moulder] continues with his stellar mixing of the O2 show. It’s been 5 years coming and it’s almost here." And over the weekend he wrote: "It’s almost here. I’ve seen it and heard it. Almost 5 years to the day."
There are rumors of a DVD/2 CD set being released around November.
ZZ Top return to CD racks on 11 September with La Futura. The Texan trio’s first album in nine years is already a hit with music critics who wouldn’t normally praise the band.
In the U.K’s The Guardian newspaper, Michael Hann writes: “It's simply brilliant. In fact, their 15th album would sound amazing even if the songs weren't up to scratch – [Billy] Gibbons and co-producer Rick Rubin have done a remarkable job in making the band sound both timely and timeless, and fiercer than at any time in their career.”
Hann adds, sure to please gearhead Gibbons, “ZZ Top sound like an engine coughing and spluttering and roaring into life.”
At the New York Times, they say: “The result is kind of incredible: loud, immediate and knowing, full of subtle changes to simple song structures and the same pop-art representations of blues and Texas culture that the band has dealt in ever since it first put palmetto trees and a live buffalo onstage in 1976.”
Gibbons tells the New York Times of the album’s long gestation: “It’s a real uphill challenge to battle the white-guyness. White people get nervous and speed things up… you don’t have to be in a hurry because you ain’t got nothing to gain and you ain’t got nothin’ to lose. And that’s where the groove lies. Consider that as a mental concept for a second.”
Later, Gibbons qualified. “I’m speaking not about seriousness — you can be way serious. But there’s no advantage in getting hasty.”
Check out Billy Gibbons’ “Pearly Gates” Les Paul Standard here.
There’s no denying that Rush have been around for a long time. I know a lot of bands who would enjoy just one-tenth of the longevity Rush has seen over the past decades.
So, what’s the band’s secret to staying around? Speaking with Grammy.com, Rush bass player and vocalist Geddy Lee said that he’s not exactly sure!
“It’s a little mysterious to me,” Lee said. “There’s a particular obvious chemical reaction we have with each other as players. We all like making the same kind of music, which I think is the one thing that kills a lot of bands: the fact that their tastes start changing, and the thing they want to put in their music is not something the other guys agree with. We don't have that problem here.
“The other thing that breaks up most bands is interpersonal relationships. We don't have that problem either, because we do get along well and we respect each other. Most of the time the biggest concern we have is, who is going to say something funnier? Where we get into one-upmanship is in the comedy department, not the music department. I think those things combined have really helped keep this band going.”
Geddy Lee recently claimed the top spot on Gibson’s list of the Top 10 Metal and Hard Rock Bass Players. Check out the full list here.
Congratulations are in order for the Who’s Pete Townshend! The legendary musician is set to pick up the Les Paul Award at the 28th annual Technical Excellence & Creativity (TEC) Awards on Jan. 25 in Anaheim, Calif.
The award, named after the innovative Les Paul, recognizes people or institutions that have made a significant impact on the world of audio production and technology, according to a release.
Townshend is in good company, as past honorees include Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen, Sting, Brian Wilson and Neil Young.
“Following in Les’ footsteps, Pete Townshend personifies both guitar wizardry and technical prowess in both studio and live music performance,” Les Paul Foundation executive Michael Braunstein said in an official statement. “He is a true original and a natural choice for the Les Paul Award honor.”
The TEC Awards honor “outstanding achievement in audio technology and production.” The event, sponsored by the Les Paul Foundation, will take place at the Anaheim Hilton on the second day of the NAMM music-equipment trade show.
Bob Dylan’s new album, Tempest, comes out Tuesday (Sept. 11) in the U.S., but fans who can’t wait that long can listen to it right now. All ten tracks on the disc are currently available for streaming at iTunes, free of charge.
The release of Tempest, Dylan’s 35th studio album, coincides with the legendary songwriter’s 50th year as a recording artist.
Produced by Dylan himself, the album includes a tribute to John Lennon (“Roll On John”) and a 14-minute epic (the title track) inspired by the story of the Titanic.
Dylan kicks off a North American tour tomorrow (Sept. 6) at Artpark in Lewiston, New York, along with special guest Mark Knopfler. To listen to Tempest, click here.
Early recordings made by Ringo Starr with his first band, Rory Storm and The Hurricanes, have been unearthed after 50 years, the BBC has reported.
The tapes, which were made in March 1960, were found in the cellar of Storm’s sister’s home. Starr became a member of The Hurricanes in 1959, three years before Beatles manager Brian Epstein convinced him to join The Beatles.
Led by a charismatic frontman—Storm, born Alan Caldwell, is said to have influenced Rod Stewart’s performing style--The Hurricanes were among England’s most popular bands during the early Merseybeat era. Included among the unearthed tapes are tracks recorded at the Jive Hive club north of Liverpool, and recordings made at Storm’s house, where groups--including The Beatles—often gathered for night sessions. The recordings will be released as Rory Storm and The Hurricanes’ first and only album later this month.
The Rolling Stones have announced the release of a new greatest hits collection, set to hit stores in November. The big news, however, is that the multi-format set will include two brand new studio recordings.
Titled GRRR!, the collection will be available in five formats, including a 3-CD version that features 50 songs and a 4-CD “super deluxe” set that features 80 tracks. The new songs, “Gloom and Doom” and “One Last Shot,” were recorded by the band last month in Paris. The August 2012 session marked the first instance in which Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts and Ron Wood had been in a studio together since the band recorded 2005’s A Bigger Bang.
GRRR! will be released in most countries on November 12, with release in North America set for the following day. The announcement included no mention of any live performances.
Eddie Van Halen has been released from hospital after having undergone emergency surgery for diverticulitis. Eddie ended up spending three weeks in the hospital after some stitches popped post operation causing an infection. He is now on rest for the next 4 to 6 months.
Van Halen were supposed to tour Japan in the fall, but those dates are being rescheduled for next year. Earlier in the year Van Halen canceled all dates on their U.S. summer tour after June 26, citing the need for a break after 18 months spent recording, and the subsequent tour.
After being released from the hospital Eddie Van Halen has taken to Facebook to assure his fans of his ongoing successful recovery “Thank you for all of your cool comments! Hanging out, taking it easy and following the doctors orders.”
Mark Abrahamian, the guitarist for Starship passed away suddenly on Sunday. According to a report by Classic Rock, the band had just played a gig opening for Survivor, and Boston.
Apparently Abrahamian had experienced chest pains earlier in the day. After the show the band sat down to eat and Abrahamian told Starship's bassist that he wasn't feeling well. While on the phone with his fiancee Abrahamian slumped to the floor. Sadly he was pronounced dead after having been rushed to the hospital.
Starship is fronted by former Jefferson Starship singer Mickey Thomas. He formed Starship in 1992 after Jefferson Starship disbanded. Abrahamian had been a member of Starship for twelve years. It was apparently upon hearing Eddie Van Halen's “Eruption” solo that Abrahamian decided to become a guitar player. The band issued a statement saying “We are shocked and saddened at the sudden loss of Mark. We will miss you, brother. Rest in peace.” Mark Abrahamian was 46.
The original Liverpool homes of The Beatles are increasingly becoming tourist destinations. Dozens of companies are now offering tours of the Fab Four’s former haunts across the northern English city. But many Liverpool residents would wish tourists would – ahem - let it be.
They say their peace is being shattered with tourists arriving at all hours of the day and night. Local paper The Liverpool Echo spoke to Kathleen Hughes, 74, who lives in George Harrison's birthplace, Arnold Grove in the Liverpool district of Wavertree. She said she was scared by the “hoards of people outside my door”. Retired care-worker Kathleen added: "The tour taxis come zooming up the street and in the summer there are hundreds of them every day. At the weekend they are turning up constantly, even as late as two o'clock in the morning.
“I live on my own and sometimes it's really frightening with the flashes going off through my windows. It's horrible having strangers sticking their faces in my window and knocking at all times of day.
"If the door's open some of them some are so cheeky they just walk straight into the house as though it's a museum.”
Tony Roberts, 82, and his wife Reni, 77, have lived next door to Paul McCartney's childhood home in Forthlin Road, Allerton, since 1970. Reni told The Liverpool Echo, "Sometimes there are up to 200 people outside the house and it can be really overwhelming. It has gone berserk recently with more and more tour companies opening-up.
"They turn up as early as 7.15am and start snapping away at the houses. It feels like we are living in a goldfish bowl at times.”
Liverpool City Council says it was aware of residents’ concerns and were speaking to tour firms to “respect the neighborhoods”.
Don Felder has been speaking about his new solo album Road To Forever. It is his first solo album since 1983. Speaking to MusicRadar’s Joe Bosso, Felder recounts his childhood guitar influences and friends, including some names you may not know Felder knew.
“I grew up in Gainesville, Florida, and there was an unusual number of unique talents that grew up there,” says Felder. “Stephen Stills and I had a band together when we were 14, 15 years old. Tommy Petty is a few years younger than me – he was one of my guitar students. Duane and Gregg Allman lived in Daytona, but they would come to Gainesville and play in all the battle of the bands against us. They did all the fraternities and parties at the University of Florida.
"I first encountered electric slide guitar from Duane Allman. I became very good friends with him; in fact, I sat on the floor of his mother's house in Daytona, and he showed me how to play slide guitar, the tunings and positions. I never wanted to emulate and copy Duane, but I learned my foundation from him. He was brilliant, of course. I stole everything I could from him – and Petty stole everything he could from me!”
Felder plays his ’57 Gibson Les Paul on the album, along with a whole lot more. "I have just a little under 300 guitars, all the way back to the ones I had in high school – I never sold them or traded them. With the exception of a few that have been stolen, I have just about every guitar that I ever bought. Each one has its own character and sound and feel and voice, and you have to make sure that each guitar has its own space on a record, or else it turns to mud.”