Saturday, November 1, 2008


Fans of Glam Metal, 80's Hair Bands and Hard Rock can now get together with other headbangers and share thoughts about their favorite metal bands and artists. THE GLAM FORUMS have opened it's doors to new members! Feel free to check this cool site out today and help spread the word. Members at GLAM METAL FORUMS can create profiles, use personal avatars, make polls and choose from many great metal topics to comment on.

Try it today! Just visit GLAM METAL FORUMS

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

ALICE COOPER - Along Came A Spider Press Release Available

There are only a handful of rock artists that have proven to be as enduring and influential as ALICE COOPER has over the years. Name just about any hard rock artist, and they’ve probably borrowed a thing or two from Alice. And on his latest studio recording, Along Came A Spider (issued via SPV Records on July 29), Alice has returned with a concept album with a sinister streak.

'A dark and menacing album for dark and menacing times’ is perhaps the most fitting description for Alice’s 25th studio album overall, as a chilling conceptual thread runs through the songs, which are told through the voice of a serial killer named Spider - one that Alice describes as “an arachnophobic psychopath” (in the song 'Catch Me If You Can'). Alice, the master storyteller, weaves a web of danger, intrigue and death that rivals his best work.

Co-produced by Danny Saber, Greg Hampton and Alice himself, Along Came A Spider manages to marry both vintage and modern day Alice. As theatrical as ever, the album is a sonic combination of familiar Alice musical elements from albums as diverse as Billion Dollar Babies and Brutal Planet, with the storytelling of Welcome To My Nightmare, capturing the historic dark side of Alice in peak form, an instantly recognizable presence that will be welcomed by his fans. Joining Alice on the album are members of his touring band - longtime Alice drummer Eric Singer (KISS), bassist Chuck Garric, and guitarists Keri Kelli and Jason Hook, with additional contributions from others, including Saber, Hampton, and renowned backing vocalist Bernard Fowler. Slash also lends some guitar style to 'Vengeance Is Mine'.

Saber and Hampton co-wrote several of the album's songs with Alice, while others were collaborations with Alice's band members. Danny Saber, best known for his role as member and producer of BLACK GRAPE, has also worked with many other artists, including THE ROLLING STONES, OZZY OSBOURNE, and DAVID BOWIE, while Greg Hampton's been working on a new album project teaming up Buckethead and Bootsy Collins.

Who else but Alice Cooper, with Along Came A Spider, would create a "love story" about a serial killer named Spider? His trademark is wrapping his victims in silk, and his victims are specifically chosen to feed his hunger to kill. But, upon meeting his (possibly) last victim, he falls in love with her and cannot kill to complete his plan. That could be his demise.

Though it is often said about artists with as rich a history as Alice that their newest albums capture the essence of their greatest work, it may honestly be proposed that Along Came A Spider does exactly that. It's got hard rock with hooks, an Alice trademark ('Vengeance Is Mine', 'I Know Where You Live'), classic balladry, another Alice trademark ('Killed By Love', 'Salvation'), and always with an overtone of evil, yet another Alice trademark. Throughout the album, Alice BECOMES Spider, telling the story of a cold-blooded killer to life vocally, as if this were the soundtrack to an as-yet unmade horror film.

Before such theatrical rockers as DAVID BOWIE, THE NEW YORK DOLLS, KISS, SLIPKNOT, ROB ZOMBIE, and MARILYN MANSON, there was Alice Cooper. The original Alice Cooper group quickly became despised by adults and authority figures, while being idolized by teens and rock fans everywhere, on the strength of a succession of all-time classic albums ('Love It to Death,’ ‘Killer,’ ‘School’s Out,’ ‘Billion Dollar Babies,’ etc.) and anthems ('I’m Eighteen', 'Under My Wheels', 'School’s Out', 'Elected', 'No More Mr. Nice Guy', etc.). Alice had continued success as a solo artist, releasing successful albums like ‘Welcome To My Nightmare' and 'Trash,' featuring classic hits such as 'Only Women Bleed', 'I Never Cry' and 'Poison'. All one has to do is look at the many other artists that have covered Alice to understand how far reaching his influence is – the list is endless -- or just keep in mind that Johnny Rotten auditioned for THE SEX PISTOLS to the tune of 'I'm Eighteen'.

Along Came A Spider tracklisting: 'Prologue/I Know Where You Live', 'Vengeance Is Mine', 'Wake The Dead', 'Catch Me If You Can', '(In Touch With) Your Feminine Side', 'Wrapped In Silk', 'Killed By Love', 'I’m Hungry', 'The One That Got Away', 'Salvation', 'I Am The Spider/Epilogue'.

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Original AC/DC singer Dave Evans will release his new album 'Judgement Day' in July.

The album fills a 5-year gap since the release of 'Sinner' in 2003.

Evans recorded 'Judgement Day' in Brisbane with producer Mark Tinson.

It will feature 10 tracks, including a cover of 'House of the Rising Sun'.

The first single will be 'We Don't Dance To Your Song'. A live video will be made for the single.

Evans will release 'Judgement Day' on July 14 through MGM.

Dave Evans was the first lead singer for AC/DC in 1973 and 1974. He sang on the band's very first single 'Can In Sit Next To You Girl' which was later re-recorded with Bon Scott for the 'TNT' album.

Evans left AC/DC in 1974 after a fall-out with the Young brothers.

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Extreme announce first new album in thirteen years, Saudades de Rock available August 12th on Open E Records

This summer, EXTREME will release Saudades de Rock (pronounced "sow-dodge"), their first studio album in thirteen years which will coincide with their first world tour in over twelve years. Saudades de Rock will be released on August 12th on Open E Records and distributed by Fontana.

The iconic rock foursome - vocalist Gary Cherone, guitarist Nuno Bettencourt, bassist Pat Badger and new drummer Kevin Figueiredo - recorded their fifth studio offering at NRG Studios in Los Angeles with Bettencourt at the helm as producer and mixer. Saudades de Rock boasts 13 tracks, including the infectious roar of "Star," the groove-laden, swagger of "King", a raw funk rock anthem called "Learn To Love", and the expressive ballad "Ghost."

"'Saudades' was always a beautiful word to me," Bettencourt explains about the Portuguese album moniker. "It expresses a longing; an underlying sadness for something or someone that's been missing in your life, and never quite sure if it will ever return. In this case, for us, it's Rock and Roll. Saudades de Rock."

Gary Cherone adds, "I like how it expresses that longing we've been feeling to play for our fans and be together again."

The multi-platinum, Boston-bred band's 2008 'TAKE US ALIVE' world tour gets underway on July 29th at The Chance in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. and will be anchored by a hometown gig two days later at the Bank of America Pavilion. In advance of the tour, Extreme will be a co-headliner on July 11th at the five day Rocklahoma Festival in Pryor, OK.


Saudades de Rock track listing:

1. Star
2. Comfortably Dumb
3. Learn To Love
4. Take Us Alive
5. Run
6. Last Hour
7. Flower Man
8. King Of The Ladies
9. Ghost
10. Slide
11. Interface
12. Sunrise
13. Peace (Saudade)


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Warrant has updated their tour dates with Cinderella, Lynch Mob and Lynam. The new dates are as follows, and ticket information can be found at WARRANT MYSPACE

6. 22 Montreal, Quebec Parc Jean Drapeau
6. 23 Toronto, ON Phoenix Concert Theatre
7. 02 Stockton, California Stockton Arena w/ Cinderella, Lynch Mob and Lynam
7. 03 Alpine, California Viejas Casino Concerts in the Park w/ Cinderella, Lynch Mob and Lynam
7. 04 Universal City Gibson Amphitheater w/ Cinderella, Lynch Mob and Lynam
7. 05 Henderson, Nevada Sunset Station Casino w/ Cinderella, Lynch Mob and Lynam
7. 07 El Paso, Texas El Paso County Coliseum w/ Cinderella, Lynch Mob and Lynam
7. 08 Odessa, Texas Dos Amigos w/ Cinderella, Lynch Mob and Lynam
7. 11 Amarillo, Texas Azteca Music Hall w/ Cinderella, Lynch Mob and Lynam
7. 12 Pryor, Oklahoma Rocklahoma
7. 13 Wichita Falls, Texas Kay Yeager Amphitheater w/ Cinderella, Lynch Mob and Lynam
7. 16 Dallas, Texas House of Blues w/ Cinderella, Lynch mob and Lynam
7. 17 Houston, Texas Verizon Amphitheater w/ Cinderella, Lynch Mob and Lynam
7. 19 Cleveland, Ohio Time Warner Amphitheater w/ Cinderella, Lynch Mob and Lynam
7. 20 Tinley Park, Illinois First Midwest Bank Amphitheater w/ Cinderella, Lynch Mob and Lynam
7. 21 Clarkston, Michigan DTE w/ Cinderella, Lynch Mob and Lynam
7. 22 Baltimore, Maryland Pier Six Pavilion w/ Cinderella, Lynch Mob and Lynam
7. 25 Tampa, Florida St. Pete w/ Cinderella, Lynch Mob and Lynam
7. 26 Pompano Beach, Florida Pompano Beach Amp w/ Cinderella, Lynch Mob and Lynam
7. 27 Orlando, Florida Hard Rock Live w/ Cinderella, Lynch Mob and Lynam
7. 29 Springfiled, Missouri Ozark Empire Fair w/ Cinderella, Lynch Mob and Lynam
7. 31 Hampton Beach, New Hampshire Hampton Beach Casino w/ Cinderella, Lynch Mob and Lynam
8. 01 Clearfield, Pennsylvania Clearfield County Fair w/ Cinderella, Lynch Mob and Lynam
8. 02 Asbury Park, New Jersey Convention Hall w/ Cinderella, Lynch Mob and Lynam
8. 03 Farmingville, New York Brookhaven Amp w/ Cinderella, Lynch Mob and Lynam
8. 06 Columbus, Ohio The LC Pavilion w/ Cinderella, Lynch Mob and Lynam
8. 08 Grand Rapids, MI Deltaplex Arena
8. 09 Oshkosh, Wisconsin Leach Amphitheater
8. 10 Des Moines, Iowa Iowa State Fair w/ Cinderella, Night Ranger
8. 15 Salt Lake City, Utah USANA Amp
8. 16 Winter Park, Colorado Hawgfest
8. 17 Tower, Minnesota Fortune Bay Casino with Alice Cooper


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Monday, June 9, 2008

MÖTLEY CRÜE: New Song Posted Online

A new MÖTLEY CRÜE track, "Mutherfucker Of The Year", is available for streaming on the band's MySpace page. The track comes off the group's new labum, "Saints of Los Angeles", which will be released in Japan on June 18 with the bonus tracks "Kickstart My Heart" (Live & Rare) and "Saints Of Los Angeles" (Live & Rare).

Short audio samples of all 13 tracks that are set to appear on the U.S. version of "Saints of Los Angeles" are available on

MÖTLEY CRÜE headed back into the studio last month to record another song for "Saints of Los Angeles". As a result, the disc's U.S. release date had to be pushed back from June 17 to June 24. Bassist Nikki Sixx said in a statement that the idea for the new song, entitled "Goin'Out Swingin'", came about before the group's recent press conference, in which it announced this summer's "Crüe Fest" tour with PAPA ROACH, BUCKCHERRY, TRAPT and SIXX: A.M. Sixx explained, "Before our performance at the press conference, we were firing on all cylinders at sound check just jamming out, and that's when the new idea came. We quickly laid it down and went to the studio to record it, and liked it so much we pushed back the release one week so that we could get it onto the album — it now has 13 tracks. It's the ultimate song to end the record with and begin the new chapter of our career."

According to, "Saints of Los Angeles" will feature the following track listing:

01. L.A.M.F.
02. Face Down In The Dirt
03. What's It Gonna Take
04. Down At The Whisky
05. Saints Of Los Angeles
06. Mutherfucker Of The Year
07. The Animal In Me
08. Welcome To The Machine
09. Just Another Psycho
10. Chicks = Trouble
11. This Ain't A Love Song
12. White Trash Circus
13. Goin' Out Swingin'

The album is loosely based on the band's memoir, "The Dirt", which was published in 2001. The CD will be the first to feature all four original members of the CRÜE since 1997's "Generation Swine".

"Crüe Fest" will kick off on July 1 in West Palm Beach, Florida, hitting 40 cities before wrapping up in late August.

On June 25, a 10-album Japan-only cardboard sleeve reissue series from MÖTLEY CRÜE will be made available featuring the following LPs:

"Too Fast For Love" (1981)
"Shout At The Devil" (1983)
"Theatre Of Pain" (1985)
"Girls Girls Girls" (1987)
"Dr. Feelgood" (1989)
"Mötley Crüe" (1994)
"Generation Swine" (1997)
"Supersonic & Demonic Relics" (1999)
"Live: Entertainment Or Death" (1999)
"New Tattoo" (2000)

Each cardboard sleeve reissue features a high-quality SHM-CD disc (playable on standard CD players).

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PAUL STANLEY Comments On Reports Of Upcoming KISS Clone Reality TV Show

In the wake of numerous reports stemming from an interview done in Norway regarding an upcoming KISS clone reality TV show, frontman Paul Stanley has issued the following statement:

"A KISS clone reality show? First of all, contrary to what was said by anyone, there is no signed deal. Secondly, if we were to do a KISS II, and I don't rule that out, it would be in addition to, and never in place of KISS. If we were to do it, I know it would be done in a groundbreaking way and would be tremendously entertaining. KISS has always defined itself by the rules we break, so what's the big surprise? We are in the middle of our biggest and most successful tour of Europe ever, playing to over a half million people, and neither KISS or I have any plans to stop afterwards!"

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SAXON - New Single Title Revealed

SAXON frontman Biff Byford has issued the following blog update following their Rock am Ring 2008 appearance in Nürburgring, Germany on June 7th:

"We went to see METALLICA play a fucking amazing stage set, we stood at the side of the stage and some guy walks up and says come with me and he takes us though the stage set into the tunnel to the cockpit (that’s what its called) behind Lars (Ulrich) if you’ve seen the shows its where they go to change guitars its a bit similar to what we had on the Crusader tour every thing behind the castle set, suddenly they play 'Princess Of The Night and a bit of 'Motorcycle Man'.

That’s what I call a good day and the guys in the band went out of there way to be friendly and say hello we really appreciate it - we know they are big Saxon fans and we want to thank them. F!!!!ÖÖÖÖ!!king brilliant. So after 28 years, we finally met metal warriors in the circle of life when fate put them together many years ago to bring them full circle to meet again the circle is complete.

Just to fill you in on new stuff we will play the Montreux Jazz Festival on July 14th.

The new album will be out in January there will be a single for release in October on download we have not decided the title of the album yet but the single will be called 'Live To Rock' and SPV will be making a video."

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First Authorized Book On HEART Hits Stores This Month

This month, ECW Press is proud to announce the retail release of HEART: In The Studio, written by biographer Jake Brown, with exclusive interview contributions from Heart principles Ann and Nancy Wilson, fellow band members, as well as all of the group’s producers, chronicling the behind-the-scenes story of the hit-making process which produced such classic-and-pop-rock staples as ‘Magic Man', ‘Crazy On You’, ‘Barracuda’, ‘Straight On', ‘These Dreams', ‘Alone’, ‘All I Wanna Do (Is Make Love To You)’, and countless others over three decades and 30 million+ albums sold. Heart is still beloved by rock fans worldwide, and this summer is co-headlining a tour with fellow classic-rock legend JOURNEY, as well as working on material for a new studio album, due in 2009, in time with the band’s rumored pending-induction into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame. To learn more about this exciting title or place a review request, visit HEARTINTHESTUDIOBOOK MYSPACE or the book’s publisher at ECWPRESS.COM

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HOLLYWOOD ROCKS! Hair Metal Documentary DVD Soon To Be Released

Based on the best-selling coffee table book of the same name, Hollywood Rocks! (being released worldwide by Cleopatra Records) is a 90-minute documentary film containing music snippets, music video clips, live concert footage, rare photos and interviews with some of the most notable metal/hard rock recording artists who made their mark during the 1980s and early 1990s Hollywood, California hard rock/hair metal music scene.

In Hollywood Rocks! the artists give their take on their most memorable moments (both the good and the bad) in this once-in-a lifetime musical era characterized by "big hair", loud clothing styles, excessive partying and an underground method of street promotion simply know as "flyering." And of course, what hard rock documentary would be complete without the inclusion of at least one of the more famous female fans who flocked to this southern California city to cheer on their heroes of this genre?

Interview segments with some of the current and former stars are broken up with exclusive, rare cutaway still photos of the artist from their heyday, music video clips by the artist and an occasional live concert clip from the period from which this film is based. Also interviewed for their historical perspectives are Cleopatra Records founder and President Brian Perera and former A&R guru Vicki Hamilton who describe in some detail the colorful business environment of this era. A stellar music background of nothing but the "hits" and musical rarities cement this film as a one-of-a-kind "must have" piece for collectors and fans worldwide.

Many stars featured here are still actively recording and touring, such as Stephen Pearcy (RATT), Steven Adler (ex-GUNS N' ROSES), C.C. Deville (POISON), Jani Lane (WARRANT), Jack Russell (GREAT WHITE), Tracii Guns (L.A. GUNS), Fred Coury (CINDERELLA), Mickey Finn (JETBOY), Jeff Duncan (ARMORED SAINT), Ron Keel (KEEL) , Lizzie Grey (LONDON/SPIDERS & SNAKES) and Terry Ilous (XYZ). In fact, summer 2008 dates at the Rocklahoma Festival in Pryor, Oklahoma and the South Texas Rockfest in San Antonio, Texas have been confirmed for many of the artists mentioned above, and just in time for the June 24th release date for Hollywood Rocks.

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JUDAS PRIEST - Free Lawn Ticket Offer

Yes, you did indeed read that right. While supplies last, when you purchase any configuration (regular CD edition, limited edition-deluxe hard-bound version and limited edition deluxe box (3LP's, 2 CD, book and poster) available only at Best Buy) of the initial pressing of JUDAS PRIEST’s double disc concept album, Nostradamus (release date – June 17th), specially marked CD’s will contain an insert with a exclusive code inside the CD package for one free lawn ticket to see Judas Priest on selected dates of the Metal Masters tour this summer, courtesy of Live Nation (see below for a complete list).

Visit JUDASPRIEST.COM for details on this special offer.

This seemingly too-good-to-be-true offer will be good while supplies last.

Also, this offer will not pertain to all the dates of the Metal Masters tour (see below for complete list of dates that the offer is good for).

The Metal Masters tour will undoubtedly be the top metal concert attraction of the summer.

In addition to a headlining performance by Judas Priest, fans will also be treated to sets by HEAVEN AND HELL, MOTÖRHEAD and TESTAMENT.

“As ever, we look forward to screaming out loud with our metal maniac fans when we hit the road,” enthuses Priest singer, Rob Halford. “The Priest is back!”

The tour, produced by Live Nation, will be Priest’s first thorough sets of US dates in nearly three years, and will be in support of the group’s aforementioned Nostradamus release.

Long in the works, Nostradamus was recorded in the UK, and takes epic storytelling to a whole new level, as it recounts the life of this mysterious, world-known 16th century French prophet.

Some of the events that Nostradamus experts have interpreted as some of his predictions include the great fire of London in 1666, the rise of Adolf Hitler, and most recently, 9-11, among countless other renowned events.

“For me, Nostradamus has been a musical journey without comparison,” adds guitarist KK Downing.

“The intrigue and mystery that surrounds this revered man has expanded my perception of heavy metal to the highest plateau and enabled me to reach the outer limits of my imagination and transport unique feelings and emotions to the instrument that allows me to express myself.”

Praiseworthy advance reviews of Nostradamus have only caused the buzz to grow around Priest’s 16th studio release overall.

Case in point, a review by Eddie Trunk (host of the syndicated radio show ‘Eddie Trunk Rocks’), in which he raved, “Priest touches on so much new ground and really pushed the envelope on some things.

The album takes you on a nearly two-hour journey. It is without a doubt best looked at as a complete work as all true concept albums are.

You can really see it living out on a stage. It sounds like Priest have truly created something special and once again lived up to their rightful billing as ‘Metal Gods’.”

As to why they chose to make a concept album about Nostradamus, Glenn Tipton explains: “We didn't - he chose us. We feel it was meant to be!”

Soon, the Metal Gods will be destroying a concert stage near you.

Tickets for all shows on sale now at LIVENATION.COM

For more information, visit: JUDASPRIEST.COM

Offer good only for one of the following shows, while supplies last:

6 - Camden, NJ
7 - Bristow, VA
9 - Holmdel, NJ
16 - Pittsburgh, PA
19 - Chicago, IL
22 - Dallas, TX
23 - Houston, TX
24 - San Antonio, TX
27 - Albuquerque, NM
28 - Phoenix, AZ
30 - San Bernardino, CA
31 - Mountain View, CA

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GIRLSCHOOL Schedule New Live Dates

UK rock legends GIRLSCHOOL have added new dates to their upcoming live itinerary. The band now have the following gigs scheduled:

26 - Benatska Nok Open Air - Mala Skala, Czech Republic

4 - 100 Club - London, England (album release party)

18 - Lantaarn - Helendoorn, Holland (NEW)
19 - Metal Female Voices Festival - Wieze, Belgium
20 - Zeche - Bochum, Germany (NEW)
29 - Z7 - Pratteln, Switzerland (NEW)
30 - Halle 101 - Speyer, Germany (NEW)

15 - Keep It True Festival - Wuerzburg, Germany

16 - Astoria - London, England (30th Anniversary Show, with DORO, MCQUEEN, guests)

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Sunday, June 8, 2008

Billy Idol Idolizes Himself On New Best-Of Collection

Billy Idol has never had a problem with self-idolatry, and he'll continue that trend with The Very Best Of Billy Idol: Idolize Yourself, which will be released through Capitol Records on June 24.

The collection span Idol's solo career, from his 1982 eponymous release through 2005's Devil's Playground. The Very Best Of Billy Idol: Idolize Yourself will be available in three formats: a CD; a deluxe CD/DVD; and a digital version for those who prefer files to discs. The CD features two new tracks, "John Wayne" and "New Future Weapon," produced by Josh Abraham (30 Seconds To Mars, Limp Bizkit, Staind). The DVD with the deluxe edition includes 13 music videos, including previously unreleased edits of "Cradle Of Love" and "Hot In The City."

You can see Idol perform many of the songs on this new collection at these Canadian dates:

July 4 Coquitlam, BC @ Red Robinson Theatre
July 5 Richmond, BC @ River Rock Casino Resort
July 8 Enoch, AB @ River Cree Resort & Casino
July 9 Calgary, AB @ Fort Calgary
Aug. 6 Hamilton, ON @ Copps Coliseum w/Def Leppard
Aug. 7 London, ON @ John Labatt Centre w/Def Leppard
Aug. 9 Quebec City, QC @ Colisee Pepsi w/Def Leppard
Aug. 10 Ottawa, ON @ Scotiabank Place w/Def Leppard
Aug. 13 Winnipeg, MB @ MTS Centre w/Def Leppard
Here are the tracks on The Very Best Of Billy Idol: Idolize Yourself:

"Dancing With Myself"
"Hot In The City"
"White Wedding, Part 1"
"Rebel Yell"
"Eyes Without A Face"
"Flesh For Fantasy"
"Catch My Fall"
"To Be A Lover"
"Don't Need A Gun"
"Sweet Sixteen"
"Mony, Mony" (live)
"Cradle Of Love"
"L.A. Woman"
"Shock To The System"
"World Comin' Down"
"John Wayne"
"New Future Weapon"
Here's what's on the deluxe-edition DVD:

"Dancing With Myself"
"Hot In The City" (previously unreleased uncensored version)
"White Wedding, Part 1"
"Rebel Yell"
"Eyes Without A Face"
"Flesh For Fantasy"
"Catch My Fall"
"To Be A Lover"
"Don't Need A Gun"
"Sweet Sixteen"
"Mony, Mony" (live)
"Cradle Of Love" (previously unreleased extended Billy Idol-only version)
"L.A. Woman"

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AC/DC To Sell New Album "Only Through Wal-Mart Stores"

According to Reuters, AC/DC will sell its new album only through Wal-Mart Stores Inc, the Wall Street Journal reported on its website on Sunday, citing unnamed sources. The AC/DC album is expected to come out in the fall, the paper reported. Wal-Mart did not have an immediate comment.

AC/DC recently finished their as-yet-untitled new album in Vancouver, BC with producer Brendan O'Brien (BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN) and engineer Mike Fraser (METALLICA, AEROSMITH, VAN HALEN).

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KISS Costumes And Masks Unveiled

Costumes Galore is creating KISS costumes and masks with price points ranging from $4.99 to $500. Pictured are prototypes of clay sculptures that will be used to create KISS masks. Next stage will be pre production where they will add color and hair. These products will be sold online and are estimated in market place is October 2008.

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Saturday, June 7, 2008

New L.A. GUNS Singer Embraces Change In His Musical Direction

Marty Casey, the former contestant on the hit CBS-TV "reality" show "Rock Star: INXS" who was recently named the new lead singer for the Tracii Guns-led version of L.A. GUNS, has posted the following message on his official blog:

"I wanted to reach out to everyone and let you know of some equally amazing and difficult changes going on in my life at the present moment. With sincere thought and sleepless nights, I have made the decision to change my current musical direction. I am still deeply committed to the creation and performance of music but have decided to take on a new opportunity. This scenario appeared very quickly and I only had a few days to make the decision. I chose what I felt was right for my life.

"I have been working in Los Angeles and Toronto as a songwriter for the new L.A. GUNS album, and as we were working on the album, the former singer of the band made some extremely bad decisions and left the band as a result. The band was in the studio in Canada with their producer, Steve Thompson, and all set to record the songs we had written together. On top of the month of recording that needed to be completed, their world tour was confirmed to begin at the end of June.

"They offered me the opportunity to step in and be the new voice of L.A. GUNS. I thought about the opportunity and the possibilities it opened up for me. I loved the songs I had written with the band and felt it was time for me to embrace this new direction. I was excited at the opportunity to record this album and then join the 'Summer Blackout Tour' which will take me all over the world over the next year. I chose to dive into the creativity and momentum. It was a tough decision because the LOVEHAMMERS [Marty's band] have always been very good friends and musical brothers. It was incredibly hard to talk to them and let them know of my new musical direction. My intent was not to hurt anyone. My intent is to continue passionately in creating and performing music. I have felt stuck for some time, and when this scenario presented itself, it felt like the clouds opening up and showing me a bright light of possibility. I am excited to record this album that I have so passionately been writing and then set-off on tour for the next year. It feels like the right place for me.

"I hope you embrace my change in direction and I hope you understand. I am working incredibly hard recording the album and want to affect people with intense live performances. A place has opened up for me, and I am committed to making this a success. I also hope there will be future LOVEHAMMERS shows because Bob, Dino and Billy are a big part of my life."

L.A. GUNS' new album featuring Marty Casey will be released later in the year via Alexus Records. Look for the guys on tour this summer with FASTER PUSSYCAT and BANG TANGO as they blaze a trail through a city near you.

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LITA FORD: More Warm-Up Shows Revealed

80s hard rock queen Lita Ford will play at least a couple of warm-up shows for her upcoming Rocklahoma appearance. Ford is apparently being billed as the Lita Ford "tribute" act KISS ME DEADLY for these special performances, which will kick off in late June. So far the following dates have been announced:

June 28 - Poughkeepsie, New York @ The Chance *
July 06 - Famingdale, NY @ Club Loaded at The Crazy Donkey *
July 07 - New York, NY @ B.B. King Blues Club & Grill *
July 11 - Pryor, OK @ Rocklahoma

* Billed as KISS ME DEADLY

As previously reported, Lita Ford has announced her "current [band] lineup for touring and recording." It is as follows:

Stet Howland (W.A.S.P.) - Drums
Teddy Cook (DIO) - Bass
Michael T. Ross (HARDLINE, ANGEL) - Keyboards

Lita Ford recently signed a deal with Coallier Entertainment, the New York-based company whose list of clients includes such artists as TWISTED SISTER and SEBASTIAN BACH.

In a statement released in late March by Lita Ford stated regarding her comeback performance at Rocklahoma: "It's been way too long since I've rocked a crowd. Broke out my axe and turned it up loud. Always in my heart — forever in my soul. On July 11th I'm gonna rock 'n' roll. At Rocklahoma I'll hit the stage with thousands of you maniacs. Close My Eyes — Kiss Me Deadly — can't forget the leather pants!"

Rocklahoma festival will be held July 9-13, 2008 at the Catch The Fever Festival Grounds, four miles north of Pryor, Oklahoma. TRIUMPH and EXTREME are among the bands reuniting with all or most of their original lineups for this year's festival, which will also feature sets from NIGHT RANGER, CINDERELLA, Bret Michaels, TESLA, ARMORED SAINT, L.A. GUNS and many more. More than 85 bands in all will perform on three giant stages throughout the five days.

ANIMAL: Love Stet Howland. He did some great shit with W.A.S.P. so he should kick ass with Lita.

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DEF LEPPARD Frontman Slams MÖTLEY CRÜE, POISON; Says Most L.A. 'Glam' Bands Had No Substance

During yesterday's (Friday, June 6) press conference at the Sweden Rock Festival in Sölvesborg, Sweden, DEF LEPPARD singer Joe Elliott was asked how his band managed to avoid getting caught up in the whole "glam-rock" scene of the '80s even after citing such image-oriented artists as MICK RONSON, DAVID BOWIE and T.REX as major influences.

"If you actually look at the way that the 'glam' bands, if you want to call it that, from Los Angeles dressed themselves up, they totally missed the point," Elliott replied. "When English glam bands from the '70s came on 'Top of the Pops' [long-running British music chart television program], it was almost an afterthought to what they were actually doing — music always came first, and then they'd be like, 'What are we gonna wear?' . . . Bowie was very image-driven, and maybe the music came second, but a lot of the other bands, it was always about the music — the image thing was just something that they did to just upstage other bands on 'Top of the Pops'; that's what they used to do. So we were never driven to do the mascara thing or whatever these bands did. They didn't have any substance musically, I don't think, in comparison to us, so we didn't feel we needed to do it. Bands that do that are doing it to cover up the fact that there is no substance in their music. The only band — and I'm not saying it because we're here — the only band that did pull it off was [Finland's] HANOI ROCKS. I thought HANOI ROCKS were a good band, and they looked… Michael Monroe [HANOI frontman] was one of the best… I would have shagged him. [Laughs] I like Michael, I think he's sexy, and I'm not gay. And I think Andy McCoy [HANOI guitarist] does the best kind of Keith Richards... so much better than MÖTLEY CRÜE or POISON or any of those bands. They were real — the rest of the guys, it was all a bit fake for me."

ANIMAL: How on earth can you possibly knock other bands wearing shorts like this? I really have to know.

And check out Phil's bulge, I think he's liking it.

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KIX Reunite In Jersey

Reactivated Maryland hard rockers KIX made their first area appearance in 12 years Friday at Dexters in Riverdale, NJ, kicking off a string of dates which includes a stop at this summer’s Rocklahoma festival. Original members Steve Whiteman on vocals, Ronnie Younkins and Brian Jay Forsy (guitars) and Jimmy Chalfant (drums) were joined by new bassist Mark Schenker treating the crowd to a high energy set filled with fan favorites and MTV hits. The night's setlist was as follows 'Hot Wire', 'The Itch', 'She Dropped Me The Bomb', 'Sex', 'Cold Blood', 'Nut Wagon' (instrumental), 'Cold Shower', 'For Shame', 'Don't Close Your Eyes', 'Same Jane', 'Girl Money', 'Midnight Dynamite', 'Blow My Fuse', 'Yeah Yeah Yeah'.


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Friday, June 6, 2008

Gibson USA Proudly Presents the Joan Jett Signature Melody Maker

"I got my Melody Maker in 1977,” the legendary Joan Jett says about the guitar she has made one of the most iconic instruments in rock and roll. “It was light and it sounded great. It was the guitar I had in the Runaways and then played on all my hits, like ‘I Love Rock N’ Roll’ and ‘Bad Reputation’ and ‘Do You Wanna Touch Me.’ It’s my baby.”

Carefully developed in close cooperation with Jett herself, Gibson’s Joan Jett Signature Melody Maker features a lightweight, slab mahogany body with a Worn White finish.

The slim-tapered neck profile is handcrafted to the same specs as Jett’s original guitar, with an ebony fingerboard and Gibson’s classic, silk-screened gold logo on the headstock.

The tuners are mini-Grovers with authentic “witch hat” knobs, exactly as they are on Jett’s guitar.

A “kill” switch replaces the normal Gibson toggle switch, and the body is outfitted with a period-correct black vinyl pickguard.

The classic, snarling growl of Jett’s original Melody Maker is accurately captured by a single Gibson Burstbucker 3 zebra humbucker, slightly overwound with asymmetrical coils, unpolished Alnico II magnets, and all the punch and power of an original Gibson PAF pickup.

Add some typical Melody Maker appointments—24 ¾-inch scale length, and standard Gibson Tune-o-matic and stopbar tailpiece—and the result is a painstaking and heartfelt tribute to one of the most fearless, groundbreaking artists in rock and roll.

Each Joan Jett Signature Melody Maker comes with a Gibson USA hard case.


Kiss Manager Confirms New Members Rumors

The manager of rock band Kiss has confirmed the group are in talks to launch a TV talent show to find replacements for frontman Paul Stanley and guitarist Gene Simmons - when the duo eventually retire.

It has long been rumored that founding members Stanley and Simmons hope to keep the band running when they decide to quit - but both men have been evasive when asked about whether any new members have been signed up and if the takeover will happen after their current world tour.

The rock veterans are the only original members left in the band, which was marred by the departure of Ace Frehely and Peter Criss and the death of Eric Carr in 1991 - the group now includes replacements Eric Singer and Tommy Thayer.

However their longtime manager Doc McGhee insists that there are indeed plans to replace all four band members and keep KISS alive for a new generation - they are close to signing a deal to find their replacements through an American Idol-style TV show.

McGhee says in a new TV documentary about the band, "I believe that KISS can go on forever. I believe that there is a way - and we are talking to people and we're pretty close to getting it done - about finding the four new members of KISS."

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Tenacious D Plan Their The Who Tribute

Jack Black's crazy rock duo Tenacious D are to use their Metallica support shows in England as a platform to honor their heroes The Who.

Black and pal Kyle Gass are rehearsing a The Who medley, which they'll perform at their upcoming British shows.

The funnyman tells WENN, "We're doing some concerts in August, opening for Metallica and we are very excited. We've decided to use the occasion to pay some kind of tribute to The Who and do a medley of sorts, probably from The Who Live At Leeds, which is the greatest live album of all time. I can't wait to play in front of that many people; we've never played as huge a crowd as 50,000, so it'll be fun."

Tenacious D won't be the only act honoring The Who this summer - Pearl Jam, the Flaming Lips and the Foo Fighters will pay tribute to the group when the British rockers are feted at VH1's third annual Rock Honors show in California in July.

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FASTWAY Gear Up Rock And Blues Show

With Sweden Rock under their belt (and FAST EDDIE CLARKE’s first visit to Japan ever, last fall, now a fine memory), FASTWAY have a UK date next to fulfill, at Rock And Blues, in Derby, Saturday, July 26th – previously cancelled, now back on.

“I was asked to do some things with Fastway,” says the legendary ex-MOTÖRHEAD guitarist. “And one thing led to another, and it was quite nice, because I was already in the saddle from having done the work on my Anthology CD, which came out through Sanctuary last year. Steve Strange, who is a longtime friend of mine, he’s quite a well-known agent in London, and he was sort of… we were going to hook up and play together about 20 years ago, and he said, ‘Hey man, I can get a few shows; do you want to do them?’ And I said, well, why not? (laughs). So that’s how it all started, really. So I went straight from doing the Anthology into the sort of Fastway reunion, because it’s been 25 years since I put it together with PETE WAY. So it seemed like a good idea at the time.”

With respect to Anthology, Clarke says that it, “was something I really always thought about doing and I never got around to it. And when Sanctuary Records called up and said, hey, do you want to do one, I said well, good idea. So together we pooled my old stuff, way back to my first sort of recording band, which is CURTIS KNIGHT; I managed to grab a couple of tracks from him. Before I joined Motörhead, I was working on a solo project thing, and we got a couple of tracks from that. And they were sort of semi-demos. It was rock, but it was sort of that weird, back in the early ‘70s-type music. One is very slow, and one of them is, well, I guess it’s quite rocky, really. It’s hard to say. You can definitely get it on Amazon; that’s probably your quickest way. And then of course it features the Motörhead stuff, about 12 tracks of Motörhead. I had a few demos from when Pete and I first put Fastway together, and so I stuck those on there, and then it’s just a few Fastway tracks, a few solo album tracks, and then a track I’d been working on about three years ago when I was planning an album with some guys. We never took it any further, so I used a track off that. So it’s a bit of a mishmash, but it spans sort of the last 30 years, really. In fact a bit more than that, actually. I can’t believe how fucking long ago it is now. It’s now Universal, but I believe it’s still out under sort of the Sanctuary title. I had to get one on Amazon a while ago - because of all the turmoil, they didn’t have any stock (laughs).”

Eddie’s also writing, as well as having recorded a guitar solo for old mates GIRLSCHOOL. And the new stuff? When will we see it? “It’s possibly a Fastway project, if we get around to doing any recording. We’re doing a few shows this year; I don’t know the extent of it. If we do a record, it might come into play. But the singer and I, TOBY JEPSON, did sit down last year, November time, and we knocked out about six tunes together. They’re just outlines. And the live stuff… I don’t mind; I’ll do anything just to play. We’re only doing it for fun, really. It’s just nice to get out there and do it again. I don’t treat it as that serious anymore, because at my age you can’t, really. You’ve got to just get out there and enjoy yourself.”

Click FASTEDDIECLARKE.COM for more information.

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Sharon Osbourne Quits as X Factor Judge

Sharon Osbourne has announced that she is stepping down as a judge on The X Factor after four series.

In a statement she thanked fellow judge Simon Cowell and "the wonderful British public for their enormous support".

The wife of rock star Ozzy was also joined on the panel by Louis Walsh and, in the last series, by Dannii Minogue.

"She has been a tremendous judge and mentor on the programme, but we respect her wish to leave and wish her the very best," an ITV spokesman said.

"ITV thanks her for her immense contribution to the show and for all her humour, compassion and energy."

No winner

Osbourne was rumoured to have clashed with her fellow judges, and during the most recent run, she walked out of a show when two of her three of her acts faced the axe.

Host Dermot O'Leary told viewers that she was unable to choose between her singers and left the remaining judges to make a decision.

A spokesman for the show said at the time: "She was very upset last night. All we can say at this stage is that we're hoping she'll be back for next week."

In 2005, Osbourne threw two glasses of water over Louis Walsh after he criticised one of the competing acts, Journey South, and made derogatory comments about her husband Ozzy.

Osbourne has not produced a winning act in four series of the programme.

The 2007 season was won by Scottish singer Leon Jackson, mentored by Dannii Minogue.

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TWISTED NEWS! Dee Snider Sets It Straight About Twisted Sister Musical

Posted on Dee Snider's House of Hair, Snider talked about the rumors regarding the Twisted Sister broadway Musical. The following is what was said...

Recently, certain entertainment sites have erroneously reported that Twisted Sister is heading to Broadway to have their music adapted for a musical. Untrue!
BuzzChic has learned from da Man, Twisted Sister frontman Dee Snider himself that, "We are holding four nights on Broadway at the Nokia Theater for a run of Christmas shows in December. It's called "Twisted Sister's Twisted Christmas Extravaganza: Show Band and Revue" and will have an expanded Christmas theme and elements within our Christmas concert."
So there!

NIGHT RANGER Guitarist BRAD GILLIS, SEBASTIAN BACH and More Featured on Wyldside Radio Show

This week the nationally syndicated, Wyldside Radio Show, is proud to bring you an exclusive interview with none other than guitarist extraordinaire, Brad Gillis of NIGHT RANGER! Brad will be dishing all the dirt to us about Night Ranger’s first new studio album in over a decade, Hole In The Sun, the band's upcoming performance at Rocklahoma 2008, and the bands formula for keeping it all together as a band for almost 25 years! This interview will be without a doubt one that you will not want to miss!!

This interview is all part of The Wyldside Radio Show’s ongoing build up for Rocklahoma 2008 to be held in Pryor, OK from July 9th -13th. Wyldside Radio is very proud to be the OFFICIAL Podcast channel of Rocklahoma this year and will be bringing you exclusive backstage coverage of all the festivities and goings on at the event! For more info on Rocklahoma 2008, including ticket info, please check out their website at ROCKLAHOMA.COM

Each week, The Wyldside Radio Show will bring you a brand new and exclusive, in depth interview with a different performer from Rocklahoma 2008, the biggest festival of its kind supporting the great Hard Rockin’ '80s! Check out who we will be interviewing in the upcoming shows:

June 6th - 13th: Brad Gillis (Night Ranger)
June 13th - 20th: Jeff Keith (TESLA)

Other Upcoming Artists to be interviewed include: Gary Cherone and Nuno Bettencourt (EXTREME), members of the band TRIUMPH, and rock n' roll madman, SEBASTIAN BACH

The Wyldside Radio Show is a two hour nationally syndicated radio show, which accentuates the artist of the past decades and focuses on the tribute of the metal genre from the 80’s and early 90’s. The Wyldside Radio Show also features interviews with legendary artists from the 80s and respectable new rock artists of today. The goal of The Wyldside Radio Show is to reinvigorate the hard rock and metal music which spanned the earlier decade that is severely neglected on today’s airwaves.

For more info, including affiliated stations and show times, please go to WYLDSIDERADIO.COM and WYLDSIDERADIO MYSPACE

PAUL STANLEY - "Art, Theater, Music - There Is No Difference"

The Boston Globe recently ran the following story on KISS frontman Paul Stanley:

Members of the Kiss Army, as the rock band's fans call themselves, are mobilizing. They strut past the Bloomingdale's makeup ladies in the Mall at Chestnut Hill, wearing leather vests and concert T-shirts as they make their way to singer Paul Stanley's art show at the Wentworth Gallery at the end of April.

Stanley, who is in the middle of Kiss's 35th anniversary world tour, is setting aside time for private meetings with anyone who buys one of his acrylic paintings or prints, priced from $1,500 to more than $50,000.

The crowd is a motley crew: a pudgy guy with a Red Sox cap and buzz cut, a blonde who could pass for an aging groupie, an art collector with a turtleneck. The brightly lit gallery is located next to a Sephora skincare shop, which is fitting for the primped and groomed singer known for his black-and-white "Starchild" makeup.

"Does he look good? How's his hair? Oh, god, there he is!" says Lisa Fiorino, a mother of two from Randolph, as she catches a glimpse of the 56-year-old Stanley, who is decked out in a dark vest with red pinstripes, skinny jeans, black boots, and his trademark jet-black mane.

Fiorino wears a guitar-pick necklace, uses a 'Calling Dr. Love' cellphone ringtone, and has a tattoo of Stanley's face on her upper back. She's hoping the singer will mingle after he meets the paying customers, who are accorded VIP status with free wine and photo ops. A Kiss soundtrack plays overhead.

"I'm a little flustered and need some wine," Jennifer Jack says after meeting Stanley, who signed her silver Kiss purse. She and her husband, George, who bought 1978's "Double Platinum" when he was 8 years old, purchased a print of Stanley's "Mona Lisa," a riff on da Vinci's famous painting, for their Concord, N.H., home.

Stanley draws closer when George Jack tells him his paintings are reminiscent of LeRoy Neiman, the 80-year-old American artist who got his start as a contributor to Playboy magazine.

"I keep finding that all these people connect with me, not just through music but through art," Stanley says.

The youngest patron is 18-month-old Zakk Robinson, who was named after Ozzy Osbourne guitarist Zakk Wylde, according to his father, Michael Robinson of Wrentham. The baby wears a T-shirt featuring the cover of 1976's "Rock and Roll Over" album. On the shirt, made specially for Kiss Army offspring, the title has been altered to "Rock Me and Roll Over."

Robinson, who bought a print of Stanley's tortured, hollow-eyed "Scream," wrote on the entertainment website "Next to my wedding day and the birth of my son," Kiss's 1996 reunion tour featuring the original members was a "monumental time in my life."

Stanley, a father of two, pays special attention to the VIPs' kids, giving them high-fives, making googly eyes, and signing miniature electric guitars. He still speaks with a thick New York accent.

"Paul Stanley's a regular guy," said VIP Dean Demagistris of Bedford, N.H. "I like his music, but I didn't think his art would be this good."

Demagistris, who keeps a room filled with rock merchandise, said he's seen Kiss perform 45 times. He paid about $4,000 for two prints, including the abstract "Purple Haze," a tribute to guitarist Jimi Hendrix.

For Stanley, the tour of the Wentworth Gallery chain marks his most recent reincarnation. A graduate of the New York City High School of Music and Art, the setting of television show "Fame," the singer last stepped outside rock music when he starred in a stage production of "Phantom of the Opera" almost a decade ago.

"Art, theater, music - there is no difference," Stanley says. "No one should tell anyone else what's good and what isn't."

After the last of the VIPs head home, Stanley appears from behind a roped-off area to address the non-buyers who are finally given entry to the gallery.

"I want to apologize for not being able to speak to everyone," he says in a raised voice. "I know everyone would want to shake my hand, have me sign something, tell me a story, but there just isn't enough time."

Fiorino, standing in the front row after waiting outside the gallery for two hours, turns around to reveal the Starchild tattoo. Others hold up memorabilia to sign. Stanley throws up his hands.

Just then, the singer notices a boy in a wheelchair off to the side and heads over for a snapshot, breaking his own policy. When he's finished, Stanley smiles and tells the fans, "OK now, don't go out and get a wheelchair and try to come back here."

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Black Sabbath And Jethro Tull Stars Save British Rock Radio Station

Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi and Jethro Tull frontman Ian Anderson have helped to save British radio station Planet Rock from closure.

The digital station faced being shut down last month unless parent company Gcap media found a suitable buyer.

Queen guitarist Brian May had expressed interest in purchasing the beleaguered station, but it was the group of music legends headed by Iommi and Anderson who were successful in the takeover bid.

The group, also including Irish session guitarist Gary Moore, joined rock fan Malcolm Bluemel in coming forward to save the station.

And Anderson insists they will be able to revive Planet Rock.

He says, "Onwards and upwards - from the threat of extinction to a fantastic future, with a little help from its friends.

"I am personally delighted that the show goes on, as it must, since our heritage of great British rock music is too important to see slip away from national radio."

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VAN HALEN 2007-2008 NORTH AMERICAN TOUR HIGHEST GROSSING IN BAND'S HISTORY. Arena Concerts Sell Out Across The Country, Grossing More Than $93 Million

Nearly a million fans journeyed from all over the world to witness the landmark VAN HALEN tour, which kicked-off in September of 2007 in Charlotte, NC and wrapped up June 2, 2008 in Grand Rapids, MI. VAN HALEN, featuring Eddie Van Halen, David Lee Roth, Alex Van Halen and Wolfgang Van Halen delivered their bombastic live assault performances to legions of loyal fans at 75 arena concerts throughout the U.S. and Canada.

Performing live with Roth for the first time in more than 23 years, VAN HALEN proved its timeless catalog of hits still packs the punch it did decades earlier. Each night, the band treated the capacity audiences to a dream set list of more than two hours of VAN HALEN gems plucked from their original era. Favorites including, "Jump", "Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love", "Panama" and more, received a jolt of vivacity and spirit.

"We send our thanks to the countless new and lifetime fans that helped make this tour our most successful," said VAN HALEN in a joint statement. "We also send special gratitude to the tireless efforts of the VAN HALEN touring crew, Live Nation and the media, as well as opening acts Ky Mani Marley and Ryan Shaw," the band went on to say.

Now that the final bits of confetti have fallen, VAN HALEN has their sights set on bright horizons with exciting developments on the way.

Visit VAN HALEN.COM for a Photo Gallery from the tour.

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Rock icon Joan Jett has blasted Britney Spears for covering her track I Love Rock N' Roll - because she isn't convinced the pop star is a fan of rock music.

The 1970s rocker, who recorded the track in 1982, is confused by the star's choice to cover her song in 2002, and admits she has never even taken the time to listen to her version of the track.

She says, "I've never even heard Britney's version. I mean, I've obviously heard about it, but I never understood that whole idea.

"I mean, people usually cover a song that says something about them, but I doubt she loves rock 'n' roll. Maybe she likes songs."

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Attend NIGHT RANGER Taping Session At XM Satellite Radio Studios In Washington, DC

XM Satellite Radio is assembling a small audience of friends and fans of NIGHT RANGER for a taping session with the artist on the afternoon of June 11, 2008 at XM's Washington, DC broadcast studios.

The seating for this special program is extremely limited and approximately 40 people will be chosen on a "first-come, first-served" basis determined by when their email is received at XM. If you are interested and are 100% confident that you can be in Washington, DC on the afternoon of June 11, 2008, please send an email complete with your full name and contact information to Make sure to include "NIGHT RANGER" in the subject line of your message.

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James Michael Wants "Eleven" For Motley Crue Album

As a producer, engineer, and songwriter, James Michael has worked with artists ranging from Motley Crue, Meat Loaf, and the Scorpions to Deana Carter, Hilary Duff, and Alanis Morissette. As a singer and multi-instrumentalist, Michael is a member of rock band Sixx:A.M., with Motley Crue bassist Nikki Sixx and DJ Ashba. Most recently, Michael completed production of the new Sixx:AM album, followed by the latest Motley Crue release, Saints of Los Angeles. Both projects were recorded and produced with his ICON-controlled Pro Tools|HD® system, and all the guitar tracks for the Motley Crue album were created using Digidesign’s newly-released Eleven™ guitar amp emulation plug-in.

“Eleven has really changed everything for people like myself who work extensively with guitar sounds,” says Michael. “We’ve seen the potential for years with small preamps and amp emulation plug-ins, but Eleven is the first plug-in that can honestly replace the guitar amp. It really, truly sounds like the amps it claims to emulate. Many of the older plug-ins are a bit too perfect, but Eleven captures all the little imperfections of those vintage amps. And the microphone emulations are just stunning. I can close my eyes and toggle through them, and it’s just amazing how accurate they are.”

Listening to Michael, it’s clear he’s a true aficionado of vintage tube technology. “When I did the Scorpions album, we spent a fortune on renting a bunch of vintage amps,” he recalls. “It’s a great sound, but the result was always a bit hit or miss. That’s the nature of tubes. Sometimes a particular amp is exactly the sound you’re looking for; other times, it’s just not quite [right]. And most of the time, there’s no guarantee you can get that same sound the next day. Sometimes the sound changes even while you’re working, and you’re just praying for 20 minutes more with the same sound. Now I can honestly say those days are over — I’ve got Eleven.”

From a producer’s perspective, Michael says that Eleven offers a level of flexibility that was never an option when recording traditional mic’d guitar amps. “Eleven [along with Pro Tools] gives me a lot more control over the editing process. I can really zoom in on the waveform of a guitar part. More importantly, it gives me the ability to change a part in the context of the mix. Lots of times you work hard to build up a nice musical bed, then you pop the vocal in and it just doesn’t work; maybe you need to try a different cabinet or room mic, whatever. Now I can do that. I can make changes right up until mastering. It’s really a dream come true.”

Michael is equally emphatic in praising his Digidesign® ICON D-Control™ system. Besides the Motley Crue and Sixx:AM projects, Michael has also used the ICON for surround mixes of Meat Loaf’s Three Bats Live DVD. “The ICON has been a real life changer for me and the way I work,” he says. “I was always a mouse-and-keyboard kind of guy, and I’m very quick with editing on a workstation. But I realized I tended to position myself differently for editing than for mixing, and that affected my perspective as a mixer. Now with the ICON, I can edit and mix from a hands-on producer’s perspective. The ICON helps me make better mix decisions.”

He cites the ICON console’s deep integration with Pro Tools® software as a sea of change from his previous work with large-format analog consoles. “With the ICON, I no longer have to think of the console and the DAW as separate entities,” he says. “My workflow isn’t split between riding the faders for levels and grabbing the mouse to tweak an effect. It’s all one integrated process again. I have no desire to ever go back to an analog console.”

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Sirius Hair Nation Picks Top 100 Metal Songs

Hair Nation counted down the Top 100 Hair Metal songs ever. Here's the list of the songs starting with #1.

Do you agree?


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KISS Army Invades Halifax For Band Expo

The following report is courtesy of Dean Lisk from

She doesn’t have as much memorabilia as Gene Simmons has in his home — seen regularly on the show Family Jewels — but Heather Churchill’s house still has an impressive shrine to KISS.

“It’s the music, the show, everything about them,” said the Lower Sackville resident, who has everything from KISS perfume to face-painted teddy bears. “I like the fact that 35 years after they formed, they are still strong. It’s the whole experience, so to speak.”

She and other member of the KISS army are invading the Quality Inn & Suites in Halifax this Saturday for an expo dedicated to the painted-faced rock band.

“I’ve loved them since I was the same age as my son,” said Churchill, pointing to her eight-year-old.

She is organizing the expo, which will include special guest KISS 4K comic artist Adam Black, and Halifax-based tribute band Dressed 2 Kill. While Churchill always liked the band, it’s only been in the last few years that she has become an avid fan.

“There is a huge online community and I’ve known a lot of those people for the last few years, from different fan sites and websites,” she said. “I have a lot of friends all over the world and we unite over these guys.”

Pre-registration has been strong, and Churchill expects 300 to 500 fans to show up.

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OZZY OSBOURNE Wins Libel Damages

According to BBC News, OZZY OSBOURNE has accepted libel damages from the Daily Star over allegations he suffered a health scare which jeopardised the Brit Awards.

The star, who co-hosted the ceremony with wife Sharon and children Kelly and Jack in February, was not at London's High Court for the settlement.

The 59-year-old will donate the undisclosed award to his wife's colon cancer charity.

The article claimed Osbourne collapsed twice before the ceremony.

The story - entitled Ozzy's freak show - also alleged the show's organisers went into emergency talks to decide whether he should be withdrawn at the last minute.

It implied that he was in such poor health that he was incapable of presenting the awards ceremony.

It also claimed the musician used an electric buggy to move around the set and had a place to sit in case he got tired.

Osbourne's lawyer John Kelly said the article had caused "considerable embarrassment and distress".

He added that the newspaper now accepted that Osbourne was fit enough to present the awards and had not suffered health problems.
Kate Wilson, representing Express Newspapers, apologised sincerely, accepting the allegations were untrue and never should have been published.

The Brit Awards show, hosted by the Osbournes, was watched by more than six million viewers.

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Wednesday, June 4, 2008

GREAT WHITE: More Tour Dates Announced

California rockers GREAT WHITE have lined up the following dates:

Jun. 05 - Waukesha, WI @ A Taste of Summer Festival
Jun. 06 - Beaver Dam, WI @ Club 208
Jun. 07 - Celina, OH @ Romers at Westlake Buy Tickets Here
Jun. 08 - Madison, WI @ Dry Bean
Jun. 13 - Santa Fe, NM @ Camel Rock Casino
Jun. 14 - Anthony, TX @ Wet N Wild Water Park (with DOKKEN)
Jun. 19 - San Juan Capistrano, CA @ Coach House
Jun. 20 - Los Angeles, CA @ Crash Mansion
Jun. 21 - Agoura, CA @ Canyon Club
Jun. 27 - Balingen, Germany @ Bang Your Head Festival
Jul. 10 - Oswego, NY @ Scriba Town Inn
Jul. 11 - Walker, MN @ Moondance Jam
Jul. 12 - Glendale Heights, IL @ Summerfest
Jul. 23 - London, Ontario @ Harris Park
Jul. 24 - Heyward, WI @ LCO Casino
Jul. 25 - Eagle River, WI @ High Pines Amphitheater
Jul. 26 - Toledo, OH @ Toledo Harley Davidson
Aug. 15 - Tempe, AZ @ The Marquee
Aug. 16 - Santa Fe, NM @ Sky City Casino
Aug. 23 - Greenwood, IL @ Gait Airport
Sep. 12 - Boone, IA @ The Venue
Sep. 20 - Jim Thorpe, PA @ Penn Peak

GREAT WHITE will perform live on the nationally syndicated radio show "Rockline", hosted by Bob Coburn, on Wednesday, August 13 at 11:30 p.m. EST/8:30 p.m. PST. Fans can talk live with GREAT WHITE by calling 800-344-ROCK (7625). To find a station near you or to listen to the show live via the Internet, go to ROCKLINERADIO.COM

GREAT WHITE released a new album in July 2007 entitled "Back to the Rhythm" via Shrapnel Records. Frontiers Records issued the CD in Europe on August 31 via in a lavish digipack edition. The record — which also marks GREAT WHITE's 25th anniversary — features original members Jack Russell (vocals), Mark Kendall (lead guitar), Audie Desbrow (drums), Michael Lardie (guitar/keyboards) and Sean McNabb (bass).

"Back to the Rhythm" was mixed, produced, and engineered by guitarist Michael Lardie with all members contributing to to the final mix.

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Ozzy Osbourne, Slash Appear on New Alice Cooper Album

Rock legend ALICE COOPER will be releasing his new album, Along Came A Spider, in Germany, Austria, Switzerland on July 25th, the rest of Europe on July 28th and July 29th in North America via Steamhammer/SPV.

British Alice Cooper news site SickThingsUK reports:

"According to Uncut Magazine and Idolator both OZZY OSBOURNE and SLASH guest on the new album Along Came A Spider. Ozzy plays harmonica on a track he co-wrote with Alice - '(In Touch With) Your Feminine Side', while Slash plays guitar."

As previously reported, Along Came A Spider tracklisting is as follows: 'Catch Me', 'Hungry', 'I Am The Spider', 'I Know Where You Live', '(In Touch With) Your Feminine Side', 'Killed By Love', 'Salvation', 'The One That Got Away', 'Vengeance Is Mine', 'Wake The Dead', 'Wrapped In Silk'.

Along Came A Spider was co-produced by Greg Hampton and Danny Saber in Los Angeles.

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Crimes of Passion Sign To Vigilante Records

Crimes of Passion have signed a record deal with Vigilante Records, and will
see the release of their self titled album on July 21st in Europe.

The band will also be supporting White Lion on their European tour in

For more information, and if you would like to do an interview with the band
on one of the live shows, please contact

8 Jun 2008 Sin City SWANSEA, WALES
9 Jun 2008 The Yardbirds GRIMSBY, UK
10 Jun 2008 The Cluny NEWCASTLE, UK
12 Jun 2008 Astoria 2 LONDON, UK
14 Jun 2008 The Corporation SHEFFIELD, UK
15 Jun 2008 JB¹s DUDLEY, UK
18 Jun 2008 Smuget OSLO, NORWAY
19 Jun 2008 U.L Ørnen Leknes Ungdomshus LEKNES, NORWAY
20 Jun 2008 Drammens Teater DRAMMEN, NORWAY
21 Jun 2008 Flora Hallen FLORO, NORWAY
25 Jun 2008 Nieuwe Nor HEERLEN, HOLLAND
26 Jun 2008 Elysee Montmartre PARIS, FRANCE
3 Jul 2008 Sala Heineken MADRID, SPAIN
4 Jul 2008 Sala Totem VILLABA (NAVARRA)
5 Jul 2008 Capitol SANTIAGO, SPAIN
6 Jul 2008 Apollo 2 BARCELONA, SPAIN

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Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Motley Crue's MIck Mars Interviewed

Jim Otey of Pollstar recently sat down with Motley Crue guitarist Mick Mars and filed the following report.

Motley Crue is gearing up to hit the road as the leader of its own touring rock festival, Crue Fest, which features a lineup that boasts Buckcherry and Papa Roach.

The band is also set to release Saints of Los Angeles, its first new studio album with all of its original members in over a decade June 24.

Crue Fest launches July 1 at Cruzan Amphitheatre in West Palm Beach, Fla. and will hit more than 40 cities before wrapping up August 31 at Post-Gazette Pavilion in Pittsburgh.

Motley Crue guitarist Mick Mars sat down recently to talk with Pollstar about touring, fans, the band's new album and trying to avoid being turned into The Monkees.

You guys are stars in your own right. You could go out on tour and headline, playing whatever size venues you wanted. Why do a touring festival?
I think it was the next real step, the next step up the ladder I guess you'd say. We're still doing arenas, but we wanted to step it up a notch. Not to compete, but to establish that we can also do our own festival, like Ozzfest or Lollapalooza, but we're doing it. It's just stepping up to the plate and taking it on.

You've certainly earned your stripes. You've had high highs and low lows.
Yes, I went from corporal to sergeant.

Who picked the bands on the tour?
We selected them. We had a whole list, everyone from My Chemical Romance on down. We had a bunch of bands like that on the list and we picked the ones we thought would be best for the bill. We looked at what was going on with them chart-wise. You know how that works. Music is a business and you need to look at who's going to fit with your band the best.

Speaking of music being a business, what kind of changes have you seen since you started doing this, especially with touring?
Touring has changed. Well, actually touring won't really change, but the way that you tour does, if that makes sense. In other words, the way that it gets set up. It's a lot more organized now. You still get out there and there are a bunch of things booked, but it's a lot more organized. In the old days we'd play one place and the next night we were supposed to be 2000 miles away. That's impossible.

The people who run it now, the promoters and agents, are more on the ball. It's easier to tour these days than in the past.

So it's gotten easier, but hasn't it also become more necessary?
Yes, but I like touring, even though my body's a little bent up from AS [ankylosing spondylitis]. But that ain't gonna hold me back from touring. It's what I do. It's fun to see all the fans - not only am I growing older, the fans are growing older too. I can see them in the audience looking up just like when they were 16, but bringing their kids. And it's cool.

Do you see a lot of new fans too?
Oh man, yeah. A lot of young fans. I think they snuck daddy's Shout at the Devil out or something.

So now it's the original four guys back together.

You've been back together for a little while now. Is it getting easier to be together because you're older and you might not have the egos you had when you were younger, or is it the same old rock and roll lifestyle?
I think it's pretty close to the same as it's always been. There are a couple of guys that like to go out and "have a good time," as I'll call it. But for me, when I'm done with the gig and I meet a few people and say, "Hi," then I'm off to the next city. Some of the guys like to hang out and go to the clubs and do that kind of stuff. So it's still pretty much the same.

You've been an influence on a lot of younger bands. Is that a little strange to deal with sometimes when, for example, someone from a hot band walks up and says, "Hey man, you were an enormous influence to me?"
It's a bit different, because I don't feel that way. I don't know how to explain it. I've had a few bands, like Hinder and Machina, come up to me and they're just in awe. And I'm going, "I'm just the guitar player. Come on." But I imagine if I had to go up to - if Hendrix was still alive, I'd feel the same. Or with Jeff Beck or Eric Clapton, I'd probably - no I can say, safely, that I would feel the same.

The Internet has changed things a lot. Do you think it's helped metal and hardcore bands as much as it has indie bands?
I think it's helped tremendously. But there's still TV stuff that I feel is necessary, like some of the late night shows - Leno, Letterman and Kimmel. Those things are still important. And radio interviews are still an important thing too, even though there isn't much left in the way of radio other than satellite. But you can get away with a lot more on that than you could on regular radio.

Do you think it's still possible for a band to be as big as you were?
I think it's still possible, if they have the right marketing plan and the right people behind them pushing - and if they work. If your manager goes, "You have to do abcd to get to this point," and the band follows that and does it, they can do over the top things. Because the good managers - not to sound egotistical, but managers like the one I've got - have a plan and you follow that plan and stick to it. So you can do it, but doing it is hard work.

Is the new album, Saints of Los Angeles, vintage Crue or is it a more mature Crue?
It sounds to me like vintage Crue - meaning "Feel Good," "Girls, Girls, Girls" and that kind of stuff - but at the same time, it's more modern sounding. The rawness from back then is on the album, but the songs are more modern. They fit into the genre today, instead of sounding like it's 1980. It's modern, but it's Motley too.

Have you been involved in the preparations for the movie based on the book "Dirt," which is about the band?
The movie is still in the works. I've gotten a few scripts, but they weren't true to the story, so I didn't care much for them personally. It was like they wanted to do a Monkees kind of thing. And that ain't Motley Crue. They keep trying to polish it up, but we're a lot different than most of the scripts we've gotten. So the movie is still in the works, but we've still got to find the right director and find the right script and everything else. It will come out, but I don't know when.

Is there a headlining run in the works for after the festival tour to support the new album?
We're working on a world tour, not a world festival tour, but we're doing 40 or more dates on Crue Fest and then after that we'll do Europe and Japan. There are tons of festivals to do in Europe. And in Japan we'll go over and play eight or 10 gigs, because it's not a very big place. Then we'll hit Australia and hopefully new places like Argentina. And of course, we'll play Mexico City.

ANIMAL: Mick, hope you beat the damn spondy, I know what kind of hell it can be. I go in for surgery June 30th for my spondy which I had for a year, every day is pain. Wish you the best, I know what you are going through.

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MARTY CASEY To Front Tracii Guns' L.A. GUNS

L.A. GUNS, featuring guitarist Tracii Guns, has some big news heading into their Summer Blackout Tour 2008.

The band will be hitting the road this month with a couple of new members on board. In addition to Tracii Guns on lead guitar, Jeremy Guns will be on bass along with Chad Stewart on drums, and the band has enlisted new rhythm guitar player Alec “Big Al” Bauer, who has been touring with the band since 2007.

Marty Casey, the “new blonde guy,” as the band has affectionately referred to him on their website, is the new voice of L.A. Guns. Casey gained recognition as a vocalist along with millions of fans during his run on the hit CBS show Rock Star: INXS. He was also instrumental in writing and creating new material on the upcoming L.A. Guns album.

The boys of L.A. Guns have another “big gun” in their pocket. The band is currently in Canada recording their new album with multi-Grammy award winning producer Steve Thompson. Tracii describes the album by saying, “this definitely will not be your father’s L.A. Guns” and the music is “slightly more advanced” and the lyrics are “more introspective, without losing the fun nature of our Rock ‘n’ Roll.”

L.A. Guns is currently signed with Alexus Records. Look for these guys on tour this summer with FASTER PUSSYCAT and BANG TANGO as they blaze a trail through a city near you.

Tour dates:

27 - Green Bay, WI - Club Toxic
28 - Sault Sainte Marie, ON - Runway Park

3 - San Juan, Puerto Rico - Hard Rock Live
5 - Sarasota, FL - Muscle Fairgrounds
10 - Pryor, OK - Rocklahoma
11 - Dallas, TX - Firewater Outdoors
12 - Boerne, TX - South Texas Rock Fest.
13 - Houston, TX - Meridian
14 - Texarkana, AR - Shooters Sports Bar
17 - Raleigh, NC - Volume 11
18 - Johnson City, TN - Nashville Station
19 - Springfield, VA - Jaxx
23 - Schaumburg, IL - Chicago City Limits
24 - Green Bay, WI - Club Toxic
25 - St. Paul, MN - Station 4

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TWISTED SISTER's 'A Twisted Christmas' Headed For Broadway

TWISTED SISTER's "A Twisted Christmas" will make its way to Broadway in New York City this December. More details will be announced soon.

On September 25, Razor & Tie Entertainment released "A Twisted Christmas Live", a DVD of TWISTED SISTER's holiday 2006 show at New Jersey's legendary Starland Ballroom. The DVD features performances of tunes from "A Twisted Christmas" (which features rock n' roll versions of beloved Christmas classics), as well as TWISTED SISTER's greatest hits.

Formed in 1976, TWISTED SISTER ruled the radio airwaves and MTV in the 1980s with such monster hits as "We're Not Gonna Take It" and "I Wanna Rock". To date, the band has sold over 10 million albums worldwide, boasts 34 silver, gold and platinum certifications from 8 countries and has toured in 22 different countries. TWISTED SISTER has given over 9,000 performances in their thirty-year career.

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SKID ROW Singer Johnny Solinger Prefers Horseback

Mario Tarradell of The Dallas Morning News recently spoke to SKID ROW singer Johnny Solinger about Johnny's newly released self-titled country debut CD. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow:

On where the disc comes from:

"I remember going to parties from junior high to college and the DJ played AC/DC 'Back in Black' and then 'Whiskey River' by WILLIE NELSON. MÖTLEY CRÜE... JOHNNY CASH. It was all the same to me. I grew up with that music. I always wanted to cut an album that was my version of Texas country. So when we finished the SKID ROW tour last year, I moved the family to Austin."

On moonlighting as a country artist playing Lone Star honky-tonks while SKID ROW is on tour hiatus:

"It's an amazing scene, so unique in comparison to the rest of the country. SKID ROW pays the bills, but this is a labor of love. I'm watering it, watching it grow."

On whether he's afraid he'll have trouble convincing the purists:

"People are so cynical. Anybody that knows me from the band knows I'm just a redneck from Texas. It is for real. This is where I live. This is where I'm from. It's totally written, recorded, produced in Texas."

"Here, we are open-minded enough to listen to both country and rock side by side. I listened to Hank Sr. I could never sing that stuff. I don't think I'd ever be good at it. But I sure liked listening to it. So when it came time to make mine, I wanted some of that influence in my music."

"At some point I'm going to be just doing country. It's not totally unique for a guy with a rock background to jump on the country bandwagon. But it's not a bandwagon for me. The influence comes from my parents and grandparents. When you grow up in Texas, you better like this kind of music cause that's what you're gonna hear."

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YNGWIE MALMSTEEN - Even Judge Judy Would Be Proud! has issued the following report:

"Hulk Hogan might've gotten away with a bandana in court, but do ya think this Mickey Rourkean get up is the way to sway a federal jury?

In case you're a little rusty on your speed metal guitar heroes, that's fleet-fingered YNGWIE (that's ING-vay) MALMSTEEN, the sultan of the Strat, whom we caught outside of court in New York. He's in the midst of a long legal battle with his former manager over some cash he says he's owed.

We're told that the judge tolerated Yngwie's chesty display - though curiously enough, women in sandals and shorts were turned away. And guess what - he just won a $400K judgment!

We the jury love chest hair!"

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ENUFF Z'NUFF Lead Singer Donnie Vie Issues The Following Update

Hey brothers and sisters, halle fucking loooooyah, I'm back in my MySpace page for the first time in two months or more. I was locked out by a matter pertaining to the split with my old lady. I am a single motherfucking rockstar right now...I can't believe it. I'll be getting to all my backed up shit in the next few days, as I am in Vegas mixing the new enuff Z'nuff record.

It is by far the strongest record to date. It didn't start out that way, but in the last few months I had an emotional breakthrough and feel alive and strong for the first time in I don't know how long, and I wrote and sang some increddible shit. Plus I'm clean of drugs, which I'm sure doesn't hurt. Anyway, you can download two new records of killer shit I just did at Make sure you check it out!

PS: Enuff Z'nuff is playing starting this month.

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Monday, June 2, 2008

Flashback: Eddie Van Halen on 1984 With Steven Rosen

You could hear the hushed whispers rippling amongst Non-Believers of the Guitar Nation: “Dude, Eddie Van Halen is playing keyboards!” Sacrilege maybe, but the first time you heard the guitar legend pounding out those Oberheim chords on a song called “Jump” from a new album titled 1984, it was instant conversion. The sound was new and different, but it was still definitely all Van Halen.

The song would eventually go to No. 1 (the band’s first) but it would only arrive there kicking and screaming. When singer David Lee Roth heard the original keyboard riff that would become the heart of a song originally titled “Go Ahead and Jump,” he threw a major tantrum. There was no way he wanted his bona fide guitar hero band mate plunking around on a keyboard. And then when he found out that Eddie had built his own studio, he went catatonic. David basked in the power and autonomy he wielded when the band worked in outside studios. Recording in the guitar player’s own backyard was not part of the plan.

But Eddie was adamant. He was hearing music in his head and the luxury of his home studio―named 5150―afforded him the time and means to, as he described it, “Noodle around.” Anybody thinking the musician had replaced guitars with keyboards needed only to put the needle down on any track. 1984 exploded with the most massive guitar tones Eddie had ever created. These ranged from the swampy Gibson Flying V rhythms on the ultra-hyper shuffle “Hot for Teacher” to the sweeping and kaleidoscopic stringiness of “Top Jimmy.” Not to mention the dazzling fingerwork on the “Jump” solo.

Several months after the December 31, 1983 release of 1984, I sat down with Eddie to talk about his creation. We got together up at his studio. As we sat out in the control room, I looked around and saw his Flying V propped in a corner and a row of modified Strats, Les Pauls, and various other guitars sitting in stands. And sitting out in the studio’s main room was a lone Oberheim.

Did you think that 1984 would have been so well received?

That’s hard to say; I like everything we’ve done. I figured that it was good and would get noticed. But how can anyone say, “This is going to go platinum!”

You spent more time making 1984 than any other album you’ve ever recorded.

Yeah, but Fair Warning also took a long time because I was getting married and this and that. But 1984 did take the longest because the U.S. Festival got in the way [major outdoor festival at which Van Halen headlined, earning a then-record $1.5 million payday for a single performance].

However long it took, obviously the wait was worth it.

It didn’t mar the success of the album. If we would have had to have the record out at a certain deadline in the middle of that, it would have suffered. But we said, “Screw ’em! We’ll put it out when it’s damn well ready.”

Having your own studio allowed you a little more flexibility in terms of bringing out different guitars?

Yeah; I used a Gibson Flying V on “Hot for Teacher” and “Drop Dead Legs.” Actually, I’ve used a lot of different guitars recording-wise. I used the V because I needed the pickup switch to do the quiet part in “Hot for Teacher.” Live, I used a Roland Echo Box with a volume knob on it and I hooked it up to my pedal boards so I could hit the pedal and drop the volume because I couldn’t reach for the knob quick enough on the guitar. That song was beyond any boogie I’ve ever heard; it was pretty powerful.

You must have felt pretty strongly about including a song like “Jump.” The keyboards and that strange solo section weren’t exactly Van Halen trademarks.

I had the idea for “Jump” around the time of Fair Warning [1981]. When Michael, Alex, and Dave first heard it, they didn’t like it too much. They either weren’t ready for it or probably me playing the keyboards had something to do with it. We [Eddie and then engineer, Donn Landee] put it down on tape and it was, “Here it is guys, if you don’t like it, write something yourself.” So they had to like it.

Did you worry about how your fans would react to their very own guitar hero playing keyboards?

No, though the rest of the guys wondered about it. If I go out there and play saxophone and play it well, what’s the difference? It doesn’t mean I can’t play guitar anymore.

What type of keyboard did you use on “Jump?” This really wasn’t the first time you’d actually put keys on an album.

Yeah, I used one of those cheap little kid’s toys, an Electro-Harmonix on “Sunday Afternoon in the Park.” It didn’t have any notes; you could rub your hand across the whole octave of the board and it would go rrrrrrrrr [rolls tongue and imitates sequencer line]. I just blazed it through the Marshalls. It was cheaper than a Casio and was made of cardboard, plastic, and a little sensor keyboard.

And on Diver Down, I remember Dave always wanted to redo “Dancing in the Streets” and I remember him giving me a tape of it. I said, “I can’t get a handle on anything out of this.” I didn’t want to do it. I didn’t like it. So I suggested “Pretty Woman” because that seemed more a Van Halen song to cover; it was us. I was working on something on the Minimoog and Ted [Templeman, producer] happened to hear the riff and said, “Wow, we can use this for ‘Dancing in the Streets.’ ” So Ted and Dave were happy, and I wasn’t. Because the riff I had for something else got used for a song I didn’t even want to do.

And I used a Wurlitzer electric piano pumped through my Marshalls on “The Cradle Will Rock.” So I did use keyboards before “Jump.”

But getting back to your original question, I used an Oberheim OB-Xa. They stopped making them, so now I play an OB-8, which is a better keyboard. You can basically get the same sounds out of it; there’s just a slight difference between the two. To my ears, the OB-Xa seems to have a little warmer sound, but the OB-8 is much more dependable.

Was it difficult in coming up with the final version of “Jump?” Was it like a Fleetwood Mac or Steely Dan thing where you ran through dozens and dozens of different takes?

I think we just did “Jump” once. Actually the tape ran out at the very end just in time. That’s why we had to be careful with the fade at the end. When Donn mixed it, he had to fade it just right, otherwise he would have run out of tape. And most of the other songs happened the same way; some took longer but not much longer. Again, it was because of all the interruptions that the album took so long to finish.

So the album was really built around hearing sounds in your head, and then searching out the perfect instrument to create those sounds.

Yeah; I just knew what sound I wanted to noodle with. Not necessarily for “Jump” but just to noodle with. Whenever I sit down, I know what kind of sound I’m looking for.

You have always described the sound of your guitar as brown; how would you explain the sound of your keyboard playing?

The same: brown. I play brown to drums, everything. It’s just a warm sound: warm, big, majestic. That’s the thing―as long as you do something well, what’s the difference? I just knew that everyone from my father to the guy who works on my cars loved it [keyboards]. It had a universal appeal to it. If people didn’t like it, that’s fine, too; I knew what it was. Donn and I liked it so much, we didn’t care what anybody else thought about it, I guess.

Looking objectively at the album, do you think your main contribution was the serious introduction of synthesizers to the Van Halen sound?

Yeah, it’s neat. It’s almost like I play more keyboards now than I do guitar! I enjoy playing keyboards. It means you don’t have to jump around on-stage and have something hanging ’round your neck. No, I’m joking.

Did the success of the album give you even more freedom to wander outside the traditional Van Halen boundaries?

It gave me the freedom to play keyboards comfortably. Now I don’t have to worry about what the rest of the guys think other people will think. I never worried about what anyone thinks except it makes you feel kind of uncertain when the guys worry.

Did you think how you’d stage songs like “Jump” and “I’ll Wait?”

No, I just figured I’d cut the solo out of “Jump” because it’s such a short little thing; or play it on keyboard, which I did. Mike played a Minimoog bass live since I did some counter-melodies on the record that I didn’t have enough hands for. And “I’ll Wait” was one they really didn’t want. It was actually that song more than “Jump,” they didn’t want to touch with a 10-foot pole.

Are you the final sounding board on what eventually ends up on the record?

I’m not the only one involved; if the rest of the guys don’t like something, I’m out-voted. But with regard to my happiness about the album, what I think of it is more important. If I like it and other people don’t, of course my reaction might be, “Why don’t they like it?” But like I said before, I don’t write to please other people. It’s nice but you have to please yourself first.

When you look back at 1984, will it stand the test of time for you? Was this a high point in your creative life?

It was both a very high and a very low point emotionally for me. Since it was recorded at my house, I got a lot of flak from producers and from Dave. In a way, that made me work harder and in a way, it turned me off to working with those people. So what I did was work at night after everyone split and then the next day play stuff for them. They’re the types of people who, I guess, like to work from noon to 6 p.m., break for dinner, go to sleep at 11, and wake up at noon again. You know what I mean? I’m not that type of person, and they knew that all along. So I guess it scared the crap out of ’em when I built the studio. Because hey, I’d wake up at 5 a.m. and want to play. If an idea pops in my head, I want to put it down. You don’t put off an idea until tomorrow.

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