Monday, June 30, 2014

Guns N' Roses Premiere 'Sweet Child O' Mine' Live Video From 'Appetite For Democracy' DVD

Guns N' Roses are reliving the glory days with a brand new live film and we have an exclusive early look at one of its most iconic performances.

Below, watch Axl Rose rock through the 1987 rock and roll classic "Sweet Child O' Mine," as it appears on the new film "Appetite For Democracy 3D: Live at the Hard Rock Casino - Las Vegas":


The live film debuted in theaters back on June 14, screened in one hundred different cities. The DVD/Blu-ray editions go on sale tomorrow (July 1), but for the next 24 hours, the clip above is your exclusive first peek at the first GNR live film since 1992's Use Your Illusion and the band's first 3D film ever.

Aside from this essential track, the film also includes performances of "Welcome To The Jungle," "Mr. Brownstone," "Paradise City," "Nighttrain," "It’s So Easy" and "Rocket Queen." It also features songs like "This I Love" from 2008's "Chinese Democracy" and covers of Paul McCartney's "Live and Let Die," Bob Dylan's "Knockin' On Heaven's Door" and Pink Floyd's "Another Brick in the Wall Pt. 2." All performances come from Guns N' Roses' Nov. 2012 Las Vegas gig at the Hard Rock Casino.

"It's been 22 years since the last GNR concert release and I'm very proud to have been chosen to produce this amazing 3D concert film/new DVD release," Rock Fuel Media producer Barry Summers says. "A Grammy Nomination for 'Best Long Form Video' would be the icing on the cake for Axl and all involved, but we are very pleased with the overwhelming success and praise we are receiving.”

Friday, June 27, 2014

Eric Clapton Contemplating Retirement

Eric Clapton says he is thinking of quitting touring, because he believes it has become "unbearable" and "unapproachable".

Clapton turns 70 next year, and he has what he calls "odd ailments" that may lead to him being forced to stop playing guitar altogether. He intends to concentrate on studio work at the expense of live performances.

"There are tons of things I'd like to do, but I'm looking at retirement too," Clapton said. "What I'll allow myself to do, within reason, is carry on recording in the studio. I don't want to go off the boil to the point where I'm embarrassing myself."

Complaining that he feels the world has become too similar with most countries now resembling "a different version of America," Clapton said of touring: "The road has become unbearable. It's become unapproachable, because it takes so long to get anywhere. It's hostile – everywhere: getting in and out of airports, travelling on planes and in cars."

Asked if he would eventually have to stop playing guitar altogether, he responded: "Maybe. It might be that I can't, if it hurts too much. I have odd ailments."

Clapton's comments come in the same week that he was booed for walking off stage during a gig at Glasgow's Hydro arena (June 21). He later apologized, blaming a "technical fault" for the abandonment.

Awarded a CBE in 2004, Clapton has released 20 solo albums, with the most recent, Old Sock, in 2013.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Heaven & Earth Kick Off European Tour

Heaven & Earth, whose album, Dig, produced by Dave Jenkins, landed on the top 10 Best Vintage Rock Studio Albums of 2013, open their European tour tonight at the O2 Academy in Birmingham, England. 

The tour will take the band throughout the UK, playing mostly 02 Academies, then move onto Switzerland for the Montreux Jazz Festival, and into Holland and Germany for additional dates. The tour wraps with more gigs in England.

Heaven & Earth’s lineup for the tour features founding guitarist Stuart Smith, singer Joe Retta, bassist Lynn Sorensen, keyboardist Ty Bailie and drummer Jackie Barnes.
Speaking with VintageRock.com at the tour’s dress rehearsal in Los Angeles, Smith said: “We’re really looking forward to Europe. It’s where the band belongs.” He’s especially excited to play England, where he was born and raised. 

While Smtih and Retta continually write new material with hopes of recording a follow-up to Dig, the focus is now on playing live. “We need to gig a while,” the guitarist said.
Smith also hinted that special guests, maybe his friends in Deep Purple, may show up to jam at some of the shows. 

Heaven & Earth 2014 Summer European Tour Dates

June 26 - 02 - Birmingham, UK                              
June 27 - 02 - Glasgow, UK                                  
June 28 - 02 - Newcastle, UK                                
June 29 - 02 - Sheffield, UK                                
July 1 - 02 - Liverpool, UK                                
July 2 - 02 - London, UK                                    
July 5 - Montreux Jazz Fest - Montreux, Switzerland
July 6 - De Pul Live - Uden, Holland                                    
July 8 - The Garage Deluxe - Munich, Germany                              
July 10 - Eventhalle Westpark - Ingolstadt, Germany                          
July 15 - The Robin 2 - Bilston, UK                                        
July 16 - The Brook - Southhampton, UK                          
July 17 - Fibbers - York, UK                                            
July 18 - Warehouse 2 - Wakefield, UK                                  
July 20 - Steelhouse Rock festival - Aberbeeg, UK

For tickets and  additional information, go to http://heavenandearthband.com.




Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Steve Hackett's Genesis Revisited: Live At The Royal Albert Hall Coming To DVD

Next week sees the release of prog pioneer Steve Hackett's Genesis Revisited: Live at The Royal Albert Hall DVD set, filmed at the sold out show at London's legendary Royal Albert Hall in October 2013. In advance, a special behind-the-scenes look at this enormous show can be seen below:


A clip of the song 'Carpet Crawlers', featuring special guest Ray Wilson, was also recently revealed and you can view that here:


Genesis Revisited: Live At The Royal Albert Hall was recorded in 5.1 Surround Sound and will be available as a standard 2CD/DVD digipak and a limited 2CD/2DVD/Blu-Ray art book with liner notes, photos and a bonus interview.

Hackett comments: "I'm excited the Steve Hackett Genesis Revisited show at the extraordinary Royal Albert Hall is being released on both DVD and Blu-Ray in 5.1. It was a thrilling musical experience for all concerned with a fantastic light / visual show! Paul Green and team filmed it brilliantly too. It's a feast for eyes, ears and all the senses..."

In order to re-live such a seminal chapter of prog rock history live on stage for Genesis Revisited, Hackett surrounded himself with a team of exceptional musicians including keyboardist Roger King (Gary Moore, Snoop Dog, Jamelia), Gary O'Toole (Chrissie Hynde, Kylie Minogue) on drums, percussion and vocals, Rob Townsend (Eddie Henderson, Bill Bruford, Django Bates) on sax, flute and percussion, Lee Pomeroy (Rick Wakeman, Take That) on bass, and Nad Sylvan (Abbas's Michael B Tretow) on vocals.

Full track listing:
1. Dance On A Volcano
2. Dancing With The Moonlit Knight
3. Fly On A Windshield
4. Broadway Melody of 1974
5. Carpet Crawlers (w/ Ray Wilson)
6. The Return Of The Giant Hogweed (w/ Roine Stolt)
7. The Musical Box
8. Horizons
9. Unquiet Slumbers For The Sleeprs
10. In That Quiet Earth
11. Afterglow
12. I Know What I Like (w/ Ray Wilson)
13. Firth of Fifth (w/ John Wetton)
14. Ripples (w/ Amanda Lehmann)
15. The Fountain of Salmacis
16. Supper's Ready
17. Watcher of the Skies
18. Los Endos

The guitar legend scooped Prog Magazine's 2013 Progressive Music Award for Event Of The Year following another Genesis Revisited sell out performance at London's Hammersmith Apollo. After an unforgettable 2013, Hackett will be rewarding fans in 2014 with his Genesis Extended world tour, which hits the UK in October and sees the return of Nick Beggs on bass.

The show will once again feature seminal tracks from the Genesis Golden Era, some of which were not included on the Genesis Revisited tour.

Genesis Extended 2014 Tour Dates

Wednesday 28 May - Teatro BTM, Barcelona, Spain
Friday 30 May - Centro de Congressos do Arade, Lagoa, Algarve, Portugal
Thursday 7 August - Fairport's Cropredy Convention, Oxon, UK
Tuesday 21 October - Regent Theatre, Ipswich, UK
Wednesday 22 October - Brighton Centre, Brighton, UK
Friday 24 October - Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham, UK
Saturday 25 October - Clyde Auditorium, Glasgow, UK 
Sunday 26 October - Barbican, York, UK 
Tuesday 28 October - Cliffs Pavilion, Southend, UK
Wednesday 29 October - O2 Guildhall, Southampton, UK
Thursday 30 October - St David's Hall, Cardiff, UK 
Saturday 1 November - Eventim Apollo, London, UK 
Sunday 2 November - The Lowry, Salford, UK
 Monday 3 November - Glive, Guildford, UK 
Tuesday 4 November - Symphony Hall, Birmingham, UK

Ticket details can be found at www.hackettsongs.com.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Robert Plant Drops Uplifting New Song 'Rainbow'

There may be no chance of a Led Zeppelin reunion anytime soon, but Robert Plant has new music on the way. The singer-songwriter shared an optimistic new track called "Rainbow" from his forthcoming, grammatically-daring solo album lullaby and... The Ceaseless Roar.

Built above some fuzzy, persistent percussion, "Rainbow" is an uplifting track featuring breezy, enveloping guitars and lyrics about love, lucky charms and yes, rainbows.

lullaby and... The Ceaseless Roar drops September 9 via Nonesuch/Warner Bros. Records, marking the first time Plant has released through the label. It was produced by Plant and mostly recorded at Peter Gabriel's Real World studios. Plant has compared its sound to West African music and Massive Attack.

It will be his first album since 2010's Band of Joy, a collaboration with Patty Griffin and Buddy Miller.

Robert Plant and his new band, the Sensational Space Shifters, will tour Europe this July and the United Kingdom this November, with an American tour set for the fall.


Monday, June 23, 2014

Ted Nugent Kamp For Kids Celebrates 25th Year

Twenty-five years ago, Ted Nugent set out on a mission to get kids out of malls, off the streets, away from drugs and crime, into the woods and in touch with the natural healing powers of the wild. The goal of the Kamp is to teach a child morals and ethics, and their role as caring humans that manage and respect the wildlife around us. From this desire to help others, the “TED NUGENT KAMP FOR KIDS” was founded.

“I started our Kamp in 1989 with a simple goal—to introduce kids to the great outdoors,” says the guitarist. “I made a promise to Fred Bear before he passed away that I would get kids involved. And here we are 25 years later.”

A recent Kamp session sold out in just six hours. Parents stayed up until midnight to begin registering their children online and by 6am on the first day, all 100 slots were gone. And the waiting list is almost as large.

“I’ve never seen anything like it,” said Tim Moran of the Papillion, Nebraska Parks & Recreation. “We always start taking calls from parents literally months before registration—which is literally months before the actual event.  By far, the Ted Nugent Kamp for Kids is one of the most sought-after programs, by both parents and kids, of any youth event we’re involved with.”

All spaces for this weekend’s Kamp at Arrowhead Lake near Neola, IA are already reserved but there are still a limited amount of openings for the July 18 Kamp at Quail Mountain Recreation Area near Twin Lakes, CO. For more info, visit www.tednugent.com/about/involvement/kamp-for-kids/2013-details.

Kamp sessions are outdoor class-format adventure. Each child, ages 11 to 15, is taught proper archery shooting skills, learns hunter’s safety and ethics, survival skills, and participates in hands-on nature studies and a nature walk.

Nugent makes it a point to personally attend as many Kamp sessions as possible. “While my schedule does not permit me to attend all of the events, I take this stuff very personally. Our Kamp for Kids matters. It changes young lives for the better,” he says. In addition to providing hands-on instruction, Nugent also performs a campfire rendition of his popular hunt songs, and talks to Kampers about the dangers of drugs and alcohol.

“I’m not interested in plaques, praise, banquets or awards. I’m only interested in results,” states the Motor City Madman says matter-of-factly. “I get all the rocket fuel motivation I need to keep moving forward when a smiling young kid comes up to me at Kamp and says he or she can’t wait to go fishing or hunting.”

In addition to his work on “TED NUGENT KAMP FOR KIDS,” Nugent will be busy this summer promoting his first full-length album in seven years, SHUTUP&JAM!, out July 8 on Frontiers Records. The collection is available now for pre-order at Amazon and iTunes. The guitarist is also hitting the road for a headlining tour in support of the release, kicking off July 3 in Wichita Falls, TX. Dates and ticket info for all shows is available at https://tour.tednugent.com.

Friday, June 20, 2014

NBC's Beatles Series Tripped Up Over Music Rights, Competing Project

News leaked June 13 that NBC has a team developing an eight-part mini-series on The Beatles. At the outset, it has two big challenges: no music rights and a competing project at Sony Pictures Television.

Marty Bandier, chairman/CEO of Sony/ATV Music Publishing, publisher of all but six of John Lennon and Paul McCartney's Beatles compositions, says he has long pursued a Beatles TV show with the intention of it running on a pay cable outlet like HBO or Showtime.

"About six months ago, we were working with Sony Pictures TV on a show centered around the journey of the Beatles, and at one point we were talking about working with Baz Luhrmann," says Bandier, noting Sony/ATV hasn't been approached by NBC. "We hadn't taken the next step, which is to reach out to the Beatles. The proposal is still on the table."

NBC has not secured likeness rights from McCartney, Ringo Starr or the estates of Lennon and George Harrison, a source says. "NBC couldn't produce a show without the songs, and we can't produce a show without approaching the Beatles for their likeness rights," says Bandier. (Sony Pictures TV declined comment. Executives familiar with the NBC project say the news report was premature).

Filmmakers who have tackled elements of the Beatles story have done so by focusing on their early years: Nowhere Boy, released in 2009, covered Lennon's life from childhood to the formation of the Beatles and included two obscure Fab Four songs. Backbeat, a 1994 film, focused on their time in Hamburg, Germany, when they played all covers. Two of Us, a VH1 film based on a Lennon-McCartney meeting in 1976, had no Beatles music in it.

Using the band's songs is always expensive: Steve Van Zandt cut a deal for David Chase's 2012 film Not Fade Away and got four non-Sony/ATV-published Beatles master recordings for about $250,000 apiece.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Todd Rundren & Utopia Show From 1978 To Be Released

Esoteric Recordings are pleased to announce a new release in the Todd Rundgren Archive Series: Live At The Electric Ballroom

Recorded in Milwaukee on October 23, 1978, this set captures Todd Rundgren and Utopia in their absolute best.

Recorded for an FM radio simulcast, this concert has remained in the vaults until the arrival of this two-CD release, which features the entire concert.

Featuring such classic material as “Real Man,” “Can We Still Be Friends,” “Black Maria,” “The Seven Rays,” “Couldn’t I Just Tell You,” “Hello, It’s Me” and many more, the concert has been mastered from the original broadcast tapes. The set also features an illustrated booklet with new essay notes.

TRACK LIST

DISC ONE
1. REAL MAN
2. IT WOULDN’T HAVE MADE ANY DIFFERENCE
3. LOVE OF THE COMMON MAN
4. TRAPPED
5. ABANDON CITY
6. THE VERB ‘TO LOVE’
7. THE SEVEN RAYS
8. CAN WE STILL BE FRIENDS
9. THE DEATH OF ROCK AND ROLL

DISC TWO
1. YOU CRIED WOLF
2. GANGRENE
3. A DREAM GOES ON FOREVER
4. BLACK MARIA
5. EASTERN INTRIGUE / INITIATION
6. COULDN’T I JUST TELL YOU
7. HELLO, IT’S ME
8. JUST ONE VICTORY

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Renaissance Schedule Fall Shows To Support Symphony Of Light

Renaissance have secured a distribution deal with Red River Entertainment, which now allows their new music to be heard worldwide.  The new album is called Symphony Of Light and contains the songs from the 2012 release, Grandine Il Vento plus three bonus tracks: "Renaissance Man," "Immortal Beloved" and "Tonight.” 

The album's title track is about and dedicated to Leonardo da Vinci, while "Renaissance Man" was written by lead singer Annie Haslam and keyboardist Rave Tesar in honor of the late Michael Dunford, who joined Renaissance in 1970. Together with  Haslam, Renaissance continued touring and recording until 1987. Then, in 2009, the band reunited with Haslam and Dunford for their 40th Anniversary tour.  

Symphony Of Light is now regarded as a true testament to the unforgettable melodies and love that Dunford infused into his work. He died prematurely in late 2012 after Grandine Il Vento was completed. All the songs bathe the listener in flavors from far off countries, with lush orchestral arrangements and unusual lyrical content, with guest performances from Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull) and John Wetton (Asia).

The album cover was designed and painted by Annie Haslam, who has a flourishing career as an artist known for her unique, signature style.  She calls herself an “intuitive visionary painter” who channels "other dimensions, planes of existence, deep into space. I can tune into people, animals, situations, places, tangible and intangible, all from a simple thought and intention."

Haslam has donated paintings to animal groups that include The Farm Sanctuary and the Humane Society of the United States for their fundraising auctions.  She paints musical instruments and has painted acoustic guitars for C.F. Martin Guitars (one of her guitars hangs in their museum) and electric violins manufactured by Mark Wood. Fans have commented that looking at her paintings is like looking at her music, and she displays her work at all her concerts for the fans to enjoy.

Nicholas J. Sands, director of Sands & Company Fine Art in New York City, heralded Haslam's paintings as “magical, enigmatic and wondrous for their ability to take us to a far-away place… of fluid forms that are at once alien and familiar, primordial yet recognizable, which dance in an endless array of colors that are as rich and intense as molten lava.”

Renaissance is: Annie Haslam lead vocals, Rave Tesar keyboards, David J Keyes bass guitar, Jason Hart keyboards, Frank Pagano drums, Ryche Chlanda acoustic guitars.

TRACK LISTING
1. Symphony of Light
2. Waterfall
3. Grandine il Vento
4. Porcelain
5. Cry to The World (guest appearance Ian Anderson on flute)
6. Air of Drama
7. Blood Silver Like Moonlight (Annie's duet with Asia's John Wetton)
8. The Mystic and The Muse
9. Tonight
10. Immortal Beloved
11. Renaissance Man

TOUR DATES
(Stay tuned to www.renaissancetouring.com as more dates are announced)

10/23 - Ridgefield Playhouse, Ridgefield, CT
10/24 - The Concert Hall, New York NY
10/25 - Keswick Theater, Glenside, PA
10/30 - The Center for Arts in Natick, Natick, MA
10/31 - Hart Theatre, Albany, NY
11/01 - Tupelo Music Hall, Londonderry, NH
11/02 - Narrows Center for the Arts, Fall River, MA

RENAISSANCE LINKS
www.renaissancetouring.com
www.facebook.com/RenaissanceTouring
www.facebook.com/AnnieHaslamArt
www.anniehaslam.com

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Frankie Valli Fan Writes Bombshell Book

His eyes adored her — the rest of him slept with her.

April Kirkwood was just a naive, starstruck 16-year-old when Jersey boy Frankie Valli — frontman for the Four Seasons — took her to a Holiday Inn in Belmont, Ohio, and had sex with her, Kirkwood claims in a bombshell new book.

Jersey Boys, the Broadway smash about the now-80-year-old Valli and the Four Seasons, is now a movie directed by Clint Eastwood opening in theaters this week, but you won’t see Kirkwood’s story in it.

Her mid-1970s hotel tryst started a 20-year on-again, off-again affair with Valli, who was 39 the night he took her virginity, she told the Daily News.

“I was so in love with him. I had been going to his concerts since I was a little girl,” said Kirkwood, now 56.

“He’d seen me at 7, 8, 9 years old, I was always there in a big straw hat with his name on it,” she said.

When she showed up at one of his Ohio performances years later, now wearing a low-cut dress Valli liked what he saw, she said.

“I saw him and I said, ‘You don’t know who I am, do you?’ and he said, ‘Yes, September, I definitely know who you are,’” Kirkwood recalled.

“That’s about as funny as Frankie gets,” she added.

The married singer stood close to her and painstakingly untangled all the heavy gold chains she’d thrown around her neck to look older and more sophisticated, she said.

Then he asked her to have a drink, and the besotted teen drove herself to the Holiday Inn to meet him there.

Later, up in his room, after he’d slept with the young girl, he told her “Don’t do this with anyone else,” she said.

He went to sleep while she returned home to her parents house by midnight to get ready for school the next day.

But a week later, her mother agreed to drive her to meet Valli’s bus on the road, after getting her a prescription for the birth-control pill. She took off with the much older man, sleeping with the randy crooner in the crowded band bus, on the back seats of limos, in hotels.

Valli, born Francesco Stephen Castelluccio in Newark, kept up a sporadic affair with Kirkwood for over two decades, she claims.

The clandestine relationship had plenty of cruel moments, Kirkwood said.

“I was very young and romantic and I thought I was going to marry him,” she said.

But Valli made it clear they weren’t going to get hitched, usually after they’d just had sex.

She recalled the time they had a marathon sex session in an upstate New York hotel, and then Valli rolled over and said, “I think I’m going to marry my girlfriend.”

Although she and Valli only slept together in fits and starts — Kirkwood maintains she was faithful during her 17-year second marriage — they were frequently in touch with each other.

“He’d call me and ask me to come visit him or I’d call and ask if I could come. We talked a lot, about a lot of things,” she said.

Her book, Big Girls Do Cry, is due out in August.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Classic Genesis Lineup Reunites For BBC Documentary

The BBC have announce today that progressive rock legends Genesis, fronted by Peter Gabriel, will reunite for a BBC Two channel’s documentary which will be premiered later in 2014.

BBC stated that the show will reunite the classic Genesis era with Gabriel for the first time since 1975. The working title of the documentary is Genesis: Together and Apart.

Tony Hall, Director General of the BBC, said: “Today’s the start of something very special for everyone who loves music. BBC Music is a celebration of the brilliant music talent across our country. We’ll be joining up music on television, radio, iPlayer and online like never before. There’ll be new shows; new partnerships; and whole new ways to support music on the BBC.“

Stay tuned...

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Chubby Checker To Rock Hall: Induct Me Or 'Drop Dead'

Chubby Checker wants the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to know it's time to induct him into its exclusive club before it's too late.

"I don't want to get in there when I'm 85 years old. I'll tell them to drop dead, so you better do it quick while I'm still smiling," Checker said Thursday.

Checker's recording of "The Twist," and subsequent "Let's Twist Again" are considered among the most popular songs in the history of rock 'n' roll.

"Let's Twist Again' was the first rock 'n' roll song that received a Grammy (in 1962)," Checker said.

The 72-year-old recording artist equates a place in the Cleveland-based hall to the ability to sustain his career.

"If you put me in when I'm too old to make a living, then it's no good for me to be in there."

He added: "The Rolling Stones, they're in there. The Beastie Boys are in there, they're young. Hall and Oates were just in there and they're still making money."

He made the comments on the red carpet for the annual Songwriters Hall of Fame gala in New York where Checker performed "Let's Twist Again" for the ASCAP Centennial celebration. A representative for the Rock Hall didn't immediately return an email seeking comment.

At the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony in April, Daryl Hall mentioned that Hall and Oates was the first Philadelphia-based band to be inducted. And after mentioning Chubby Checker, he said: "Why isn't he in?"

And he's not alone. Before going into the ceremony, legendary songwriter Kenny Gamble — of the songwriting team Gamble and Huff — said he feels Checker is long overdue.

"I think Chubby Checker should be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He's the only person I know to have the same song go to No. 1 twice."

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Kiss And Sell: How A Glam Band Makes Millions

From AdWeek.com

Gene Simmons, the bassist and most recognizable member of 1970s rock band Kiss, was once asked what he learned from his first job delivering newspapers in Queens, New York. “If someone likes you,” he said, “they’ll buy what you’re selling—whether or not they need it.”

Simmons learned that lesson at 13. Today, at 64, he and his band mates have proven just how far that nugget of wisdom can be taken. Simmons might be famous for his fire-spitting, serpent-tongued stage persona, but a big part of his $300 million fortune has come not from playing but licensing.

To date, Kiss has stamped its name and likenesses on an estimated 3,000 products—not just the predictable concert swag like T-shirts and belt buckles, but also beer, condoms, slot machines, a miniature golf course, a restaurant chain, a Hello Kitty franchise and even a branded coffin (the “Kiss Kasket”). As guitarist Paul Stanley unabashedly put it, “We will put our brand on anything.”

But as the ads here suggest, there’s more going on behind Kiss’ branding than the mere printing of money. Licensing 101 teaches that even the most inveterate name slappers observe some limits. Martha Stewart might endorse scores of home products but probably not a brand of motor oil. So how can a bunch of rockers who usually hawk clutter like $7 Johnny Lightning die-cast cars also manage to strike a pose for designer John Varvatos, whose suits sell for $895 at Nordstrom?

“Kiss is sliding up the scale, and it’s interesting that they’ve been able to do that,” noted Chris Raih, founder and managing director of Los Angeles-based marketing firm Zambezi. Raih attributes the veteran rock band’s plasticity — its rare ability to endorse lowbrow and high—to several factors. One is the seven-year run of A&E’s Gene Simmons Family Jewels, which revealed the oversexed rocker to be an articulate family man whose kids attended private schools. “The show mellowed his image,” Raih said.

There’s also a burnishing that happens with the passage of time, especially when it comes to rock bands. Acts that were the stuff of parental nightmares 30 years ago have today become familiar, whimsical tokens of lost adolescence. Finally, Raih points out, Kiss has always “embraced the fact that they’re caricatures of themselves,” as willing to poke fun of their makeup and platform boots as their critics. That understanding gives this otherwise sleek Varvatos ad its dusting of humor.

In fact, for all the Kiss fans who grumble over the band’s commercialism, even the grousing has a hint of admiration in it. After all, the band is still making money and still playing rock—and what’s more American than that, damn it?

“Behind all the makeup and the shenanigans,” Raih said, “these guys know what they’re doing.”
When this 1998 ad appeared, Kiss had already been stamping its name on merchandise for over 20 years. That most of the merch had basically nothing to do with music wasn’t an impediment. Raih said the band understood that they were more about image than anything else and used that fact as an opportunity. “It allowed them to enter into deals less selectively,” he said, “and play all along the spectrum.”


Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Led Zeppelin Deluxe Editions Debut In Top 10

The Led Zeppelin reissue campaign is off to a prolific start as the deluxe editions of Led Zeppelin, Led Zeppelin II, and Led Zeppelin III have each debuted in the Top 10 of the Billboard Top 200 Albums chart, charting at #7, #9, and #10, respectively. The albums also occupy the top three spots on the Billboard Catalog and Internet charts. 

Following their worldwide release, all three albums have seen similar success internationally, ranking in the top 20 in multiple countries including Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Holland, Ireland, Japan (International), New Zealand, and the United Kingdom.

The June 3rd release of deluxe editions of Led Zeppelin's first three albums launched an extensive reissue program of all nine of the band's studio albums in chronological order, each remastered by guitarist and producer Jimmy Page. Led Zeppelin has opened the vaults to share dozens of unheard studio and live recordings, with each album featuring a second disc of companion audio comprised entirely of unreleased music related to that album.

Led Zeppelin, Led Zeppelin II, and Led Zeppelin III are available now from Atlantic/Swan Song in the following formats:
•    Single CD - Remastered album packaged in a gatefold card wallet.
•    Deluxe Edition (2CD) - Remastered album, plus a second disc of unreleased companion audio.
•    Single LP - Remastered album on 180-gram vinyl, packaged in a sleeve that replicates the LP's first pressing in exacting detail. (For example, III will feature the original wheel and die cut holes.)
•    Deluxe Edition Vinyl - Remastered album and unreleased companion audio on 180-gram vinyl.
•    Digital Download - Remastered album and companion audio will both be available.
•    Super Deluxe Boxed Set - This collection includes:  
        o Remastered album on CD in vinyl replica sleeve.
        o Companion audio on CD in card wallet.
        o Remastered album on 180-gram vinyl in a sleeve replicating first pressing.
        o Companion audio on 180-gram vinyl.
        o High-def audio download card of all content at 96kHz/24 bit. (Live tracks are 48kHz/24 bit).
        o Hard bound, 70+ page book filled with rare and previously unseen photos and memorabilia.
        o High quality print of the original album cover, the first 30,000 of which will be individually numbered.
        o Led Zeppelin will also include a replica of the band's original Atlantic press kit.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Doors Tribute Album To Feature Members Of Yes, Deep Purple, ELP & Many Others

A star-studded syndicate of rock virtuosos have gathered together to pay tribute to one of the best loved and most influential bands of all-time, the Doors, on a new CD release titled Light My Fire - A Classic Rock Salute To The Doors to be released by Purple Pyramid Records on June 24th! 

Produced by the extraordinarily talented Billy Sherwood, the album features brand new interpretations of classic Doors cuts that defined an entire generation, songs such as “Light My Fire,” “Riders On The Storm,” “Break On Through (To The Other Side),” “Love Her Madly,” “L.A. Woman,” “People Are Strange,” and lots more!

This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to hear some of the Doors’ peers and prodigies tackle these seminal songs. Not one but TWO members of the quintessential prog rock band Yes, keyboard wizard Rick Wakeman and lead guitarist Steve Howe, joined Deep Purple’s Ian Gillan on the signature song, “Light My Fire,” which, as Wakeman explains, “has always been one of those iconic tracks that keyboard players listen to because of the fact that there are so few tracks with keyboard/organ solos on them compared to our six-stringed buddies. It’s also a solo area that is totally open to interpretation so whatever you do is not comparable to the original, so it was an absolute joy to do.”

Howe likewise enthuses, “I was delighted to play on this album as the Doors were a band I heard a lot as everywhere I went in the late ‘60s their music was playing, at friend’s, in restaurants, gigs & bars throughout London. I’m sure I saw them play at Middle Earth, a then hip club. Then, when the reissue more recently came out, I got totally back into their music, especially ‘Light My Fire.’”

Another keyboard legend, Geoff Downes, likewise extolled the genius of Doors’ organist Ray Manzarek saying, “It was a real privilege to be asked to participate in this project. Ray Manzarek was one of the pioneers of keyboard playing in rock music, and had a major influence on me and many others. His style was totally unique, and an integral element into what made the Doors sound the way they did.”

Meanwhile, renegade guitarist Steve Morse, of Dixie Dregs ad Deep Purple fame, recollects that the Doors were “a soundtrack, literally, for some of the most memorable times, good and bad, that I experienced as a young teen. Like many of my favorites, they were adventurous, improvising, unafraid of what the media might say, and all with a sort of lyrical freedom that still stands up today.”

The Cars’ lead axeman Elliot Easton proclaims, “I had a wonderful time reinterpreting ‘Spanish Caravan,’” a song Easton found both “challenging and very rewarding!” And jazz fusion Larry Coryell concludes, “the Doors were the unofficial representatives to the world for LA, not ‘Los Angeles,’ but ‘LA.’ Their sound - raunchy, cluttered, sassy, leering, kind of mean, and always horny was the sound of LA/Los Angeles itself. How many times circa ‘65-66 did my first wife Julie and I drive through LA on the freeway listening to, say, ‘Love Me Two Times,’ and think that the Doors were the sound of LA just as clearly as Thelonious Monk was the sound of NYC.”

That sound continues to reverberate outward through both space and time, touching each new generation around the globe and keeping the Doors’ flame burning brighter than ever! Producer Billy Sherwood sums it up when he declares, “the Doors’ music will live on forever, and it’s my hope that we’ve paid tribute to the band in the highest way possible.”

1. L.A. Woman - Jimi Jamison (Survivor), Ted Turner (Wishbone Ash) & Patrick Moraz (Moody Blues)
2. Love Me Two Times - Lou Gramm (Foreigner), Thijs van Leer (Focus) & Larry Coryell
3. Roadhouse Blues - Leslie West (Mountain), Brian Auger & Rod Piazza
4. Love Her Madly - Mark Stein (Vanilla Fudge) & Mick Box (Uriah Heep)
5. Riders On The Storm - Joe Lynn Turner (Rainbow), Tony Kaye (Yes) & Steve Cropper (Booker T. & The M.G.’s)
6. The Crystal Ship - Edgar Winter & Chris Spedding
7. Intro (People Are Strange) - Keith Emerson, Jeff “Skunk” Baxter & Joel Druckman (John Fahey)
8. People Are Strange - David Johansen (NY Dolls) & Billy Sherwood (Yes)
9. Touch Me - Robert Gordon, Jordan Rudess (Dream Theater), Steve Morse & Nik Turner (Hawkwind)
10. The Soft Parade - Graham Bonnet (Rainbow), Christopher North (Ambrosia) & Steve Hillage (Gong)
11. Hello, I Love You - Ken Hensley (Uriah Heep) & Roye Albrighton (Nektar)
12. Spanish Caravan - Eric Martin (Mr. Big) & Elliot Easton (The Cars)
13. Alabama Song (Whiskey Bar) - Todd Rundgren & Geoff Downes (Yes / Asia) & Zoot Horn Rollo (Captain Beefheart)
14. Break On Through (To The Other Side) - Mark Farner (Grand Funk Railroad) & Chick Churchill (Ten Years After)
15. Light My Fire - Ian Gillan (Deep Purple), Rick Wakeman (Yes) & Steve Howe (Yes)
16. The End - Pat Travers & Jimmy Greenspoon (Three Dog Night)

To pre-order the CD at Amazon: http://georiot.co/216h
To pre-order the album on iTunes: http://georiot.co/Wns

Monday, June 9, 2014

A Passion Play (Extended Performance) From Jethro Tull Coming July 1

In 1972, Jethro Tull were riding high on the crest of a popularity wave as they were selling out huge arenas on the back of their critically acclaimed fifth album Thick As A Brick. The question was:  “How do you follow a concept album comprising a single 44-minute piece of music?” The answer was: “With a double album of separate songs of course.”

For the first time in their five year career, Tull went into the studio with an unchanged line-up. Founder member and undisputed leader Ian Anderson was still writing songs on flute, acoustic guitar and now saxophone, and he was again joined by guitarist Martin Barre, bassist Jeffrey Hammond-Hammond, drummer Barriemore Barlow and keyboard player John Evans. But which studio to use?

The first criterion was that it had to be abroad. The second criterion was that the studio of choice had to have a good reputation.  The 18th century Château d'Hérouville near Paris had previously been used by Elton John to record Honky Château and by Pink Floyd for Obscured By Clouds. It contained living accommodation as well as studio facilities, and so seemed the ideal choice. What could possibly go wrong?

The choice was a disaster. First up, there were technical problems with the studio itself. Then there was the accommodation... the band all slept in a dormitory, it was very basic which might have been tolerable, had they been the sole occupants of the rooms. Unfortunately, they had unwelcome company, of a bed-bug variety. And then to make matters infinitely worse everybody got food poisoning from the in-house catering.

Unsurprisingly the band decided to go home and the decision was made to ditch the hour or so's worth of music recorded in France. They decided to start from scratch and write a whole new album, instead of trying to somehow regenerate everybody's interest and commitment to something that had already struggled.

And so to A Passion Play, an album that evolved into a 45-minute piece of quasi-prog rock, with complex time-signatures, complex lyrics and, well, complex everything, really. With a mere nine days left in the studio before the next tour, the pressure was on to produce something quickly. The concept explored the notion that choices might still be faced in the afterlife. It recognizes that age-old conflict between good and bad, God and the Devil.

This beautifully packaged 2-CD/2-DVD case-bound book expanded edition of A Passion Play, available July 1, includes the original album and earlier Château d'Hérouville Sessions both of which have been mixed to 5.1 surround sound and new stereo mixes by Steven Wilson.

A heavyweight 180-gram vinyl edition featuring the new stereo mix of the original album is also available.

Disc One - A Passion Play (A new Steven Wilson stereo mix)
1. Lifebeats /Prelude
2. The Silver Cord          
3. Re-Assuring Tune  
4. Memory Bank          
5. Best Friends                
6. Critique Oblique          
7. Forest Dance #1    
8. The Story Of The Hare Who Lost His Spectacles
9. Forest Dance #2          
10. The Foot Of Our Stairs
(2 extra verses found on the end of the multi-track reel have been added back in)    
11. Overseer Overture.
12. Flight From Lucifer    
13. 10.08 to Paddington    
14. Magus Perde          
15. Epilogue    

Disc Two - The Château d'Hérouville Sessions (A new Steven Wilson stereo mix)
1. The Big Top
2. Scenario
3. Audition
4. Skating Away
5. Sailor
6. No Rehearsal
7. Left Right
8. Solitaire
9. Critique Oblique (Part I)
10. Critique Oblique (Part II)
11. Animelee (1st Dance) [Instrumental]
12. Animelee (2nd Dance) [Instrumental]
13. Law Of The Bungle (Part I)
14. Tiger
15. Law Of The Bungle (Part II)

DVD 1 (Audio & Video)
- A Passion Play mixed to 5.1 DTS and AC3 Dolby Digital surround sound and PCM 96/24 PCM stereo.
- A flat transfer from the original master at PCM 96/24 stereo
- Video clips of 'The Story Of The Hare Who Lost His Spectacles' an intro and outro film used in the Passion Play tour of 1973.

DVD 2 (Audio only)
- The Château d'Hérouville Sessions mixed to 5.1 DTS and AC3 Dolby Digital surround sound
- PCM 96/24 PCM stereo.

In the book:
- An extensive article by Martin Webb on the preparation and recording of the album and the Château sessions that preceded it.
- Steven Wilson's thoughts on mixing the recordings
- Memories of the cover shoot and Hare filming by dancer Jane Eve (Colthorpe)
- The Rev'd Godfrey Pilchard's recollections
- 1973 tour history
- Recollections of touring and PA systems by sound man Chris Amson

Thursday, June 5, 2014

The Rolling Stones Play First Concert In Israel

‘Hag Shavuot Sameah [Happy Shavuot Holiday], Israel!” the Rolling Stones lead singer Mick Jagger shouted in Tel Aviv Wednesday night, as the legendary British rock group set off its much anticipated, first-ever gig in Israel. The Stones had pushed back the start time of their show to enable religiously observant concert goers, who were marking the Shavuot holiday, to attend.

The Stones began their playlist with “Start Me Up,” and went on to perform a setlist with 18 more songs, including “Angie,” which is widely popular with Israeli fans. A picture of the full setlist was tweeted by the group’s official Twitter account later Wednesday.

On Tuesday, guitarist Ronnie Wood, drummer Charlie Watts and keyboardist Chuck Leavell traveled to Jerusalem to visit its Old City; Jagger and guitarist Keith Richards did not join them. Jagger tweeted from Caesarea, and he and other band members were also spotted in a cafe north of their Tel Aviv hotel base.

The band resumed their world tour in Oslo last week following the suicide of Jagger’s partner, L’Wren Scott, on March 17.

The Stones touched down in Tel Aviv Monday aboard their private jet, emblazoned with their tongue logo, accompanied by some 70 staff, according to local media.

Wood was seen visiting the Western Wall in Jerusalem's Old City on Tuesday, June 3, a day before the band's concert.

Part of the band’s European tour, the show is a historic visit — the first performance in Israel by one of the two bands that founded modern popular music. The other is the Beatles, whose Paul McCartney played at the same Yarkon Park venue in September 2008.

Israeli promoter Shuki Weiss, once quoted as saying he would retire after bringing the Stones to Israel, guaranteed the band $6.7 million (4.9 million euros) for the one-night stand at Tel Aviv’s Hayarkon Park, according to a newspaper report.

The band ignored pressure from pro-Palestinian activists, including fellow rock stars, to cancel the gig as part of a boycott of Israel over alleged human rights abuses.

The Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions committee urged the Stones to abandon the concert, noting that the band had been vocal opponents of racial segregation in South Africa, comparing apartheid to Israel’s policies towards the Palestinians.

Pink Floyd founders Roger Waters, a relentless critic of Israel and branded an anti-semite by the Anti Defamation League, and Nick Mason joined calls for a boycott.

Some artists have bowed to boycott pressure: US singer Lenny Kravitz cancelled a Tel Aviv concert in October after being petitioned by activists, citing a scheduling conflict. But this summer is witnessing a roll-call of artists coming to Israel. Justin Timberlake played here last week, and Foreigner, Tom Jones, Cyndi Lauper and Deep Purple played recently. Rihanna played last fall. Upcoming shows include the Backstreet Boys, the Pixies, Neil Young, and Lana Del Rey, America and Passenger.

Preparations for the large-scale performance began Sunday, ahead of what was expected to be one of the largest and most technologically sophisticated shows in Tel Aviv history. The stage was decked with LED panels brought to Israel by the band, and a 34-meter (111-foot) catwalk extended from the stage.

Following Tel Aviv, the Stones perform in the Netherlands on June 7, Berlin on June 10 and Paris on June 13.

According to their current schedule, they have the summer off before performing in Australia and New Zealand in October.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Reconfigured King Crimson Announce Tour Dates

King Crimson has expanded their tour to 17 shows. A reunion has been discussed since last fall but it wasn't until today that any firm plans have emerged.

Eight dates in four cities have been announced for September and October with enough empty space in the calendar that additional shows are almost certain.

Leader and sole founding member Robert Fripp said: "King Crimson is returning to active service. We are on-call to be ready for a live performance on September 1, 2014. Seven members: four English, three American. Three drummers. It’s a different configuration of King Crimson than before. Some are familiar names, maybe more than others."

The lineup:

Jakko Jakszyk (lead vocal, guitar) - New to the group, he has recorded six solo albums and has been involved in such projects as Jakszyk Fripp Collins, 21st Century Schizoid Band and 64 Spoons)

Robert Fripp (guitar, mellotron, guitar synth/MIDI guitar) - Has been part of every version of King Crimson.

Tony Levin (bass, Chapman sticks, synthesizer) - Was a member of King Crimson from 1981 to 1984, 1994 to 1998 and 2003 to today. He has also toured regularly with Peter Gabriel along with much studio work.

Mel Collins (saxophone, flute, mellotron) - An early member of the band from 1970 to 1972, along with guesting in other eras. He has also played with the likes of Camel and the Alan Parsons Project.

Pat Mastelotto (acoustic and electronic drums, percussion) - A member since 1994, he has also worked with Mr. Mister.

Gavin Harrison (drums) - Joined King Crimson in 2007. He has previously played with Renaissance and Porcupine Tree along with sessions with numerous other artists.

Bill Rieflin (drums) - A new member of the group, has previously played with Ministry, the Revolting Cocks, KMFDM, Swans, Nine Inch Nails, R.E.M. and many others including The Humans with Robert Fripp, Chris Wong and Toyah Willcox.

The band's last album was 2003's The Power To Believe.

The dates (updated):
09/09 - Albany, NY - The Egg
09/10 - Albany, NY - The Egg
09/12 - Philadelphia, PA - Kimmel Center
09/13 - Philadelphia, PA - Kimmel Center
09/15 - Boston, MA - Colonial Theatre
09/16 - Boston, MA - Colonial Theatre
09/18 - New York, NY - Best Buy Theater
09/19 - New York, NY - Best Buy Theater
09/20 - New York, NY - Best Buy Theater
09/23 - Madison, WI - Barrymore Theatre
09/25 - Chicago, IL - The Vic
09/26 - Chicago, IL - The Vic
09/30 - Los Angeles, CA - Orpheum Theatre
10/01 - Los Angeles, CA - Orpheum Theatre
10/03 - San Francisco, CA - Warfield Theater
10/04 - San Francisco, CA - Warfield Theater
10/06 - Seattle, WA - Moore Theatre

Monday, June 2, 2014

Allman Brothers Band Announce 'Final Concerts' At Beacon

The Allman Brothers Band has announced the final six shows by its current configuration  and perhaps for all time.

The veteran Southern rockers will return to New York's Beacon Theater for six shows in October  with October 21, 22, 24 and 25 making up for dates from this year's March Madness run that were postponed by Gregg Allman's bout of pneumonia and two more concerts added for October 27 and 28. On-sale information is expected to be announced soon.

"That's the way for this incarnation of the band to go out, one final, short Beacon run," guitarist Derek Trucks said  last week. Trucks and fellow axeman Warren Haynes announced earlier this year they would be leaving the group after a 14-year tenure, making this the longest-running lineup in the Allmans' 45-year history. "I think that's appropriate for this version of the group. I think we've done most of our best work there (at the Beacon)."

The question now is whether or not these will be the Allmans' final shows ever. The announcement for the October dates does call them the group's "final concerts," and not just for this lineup, and that seemed to be the case when Haynes and Trucks first announced their departures. But since then Gregg Allman and fellow co-founders Butch Trucks (Derek's uncle) and Jaimoe have equivocated, and Derek Trucks says he himself is not entirely sure about what's in the offing after he and Haynes are gone.

"Originally the idea was, 'Well, let's go out strong and we'll end it together at 45," Trucks said. "That's kind of the why I've been hanging around the last two or three years. That's been the idea for some time. I know that now that date's approaching and it's becoming a realty for the other guys in the band, I don't know if that's exactly how it's gonna go down. Who knows; I don't think anyone knows exactly what's gonna happen. I would never count that band out."

Meanwhile, Trucks -- who's working on a third studio album and getting ready to tour with the Tedeschi Trucks band he leads with is wife Susan Tedeschi -- said neither he nor Haynes are having second thoughts about the end of their time with the Allmans.

"It's been such a ride and it's obviously an honor and life-changing to have been in the band for 15 years now," he said. "I think I maybe hung around longer than I wanted to. I've been personally ready to make a move for five, six years. But in saying that, every time you hit the stage and you hear those tunes and you feel that energy, you're transported to where you need to be. It's family and there's family loyalty, and there's loyalty to the band. I just wanted to do everything in my power to try to have the history of the band end correctly."

Before the Beacon run, the Allmans will perform June 8 at the Mountain Jam festival in Hunter Mountain, NY; September 7 at the Lockn' Music Fest in Arrington, VA; and the third Peach Fest August 14-17 in Scranton, PA.

ABB DATES:

June 8 - Hunter Mountain, NY (Mountain Jam)
Aug. 14-17 - Scranton, PA (Peach Fest)
Sept. 7 -- Arrington, VA (Lockn' Music Fest)
Oct. 21 - NYC (Beacon Theatre - tickets for March 25 honored)
Oct. 22 - NYC (Beacon Theatre - tickets for March 26 honored)
Oct. 24 - NYC (Beacon Theatre - tickets for March 28 honored)
Oct. 25 - NYC (Beacon Theatre - tickets for March 29 honored)
Oct. 27 - NYC (Beacon Theatre)
Oct. 28 - NYC (Beacon Theatre)