Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Axl Rose fires Guns N’ Roses road crew?

Still more fallout from the Guns N’ Roses shows last weekend on the U.K. festival circuit.

GNR leader Axl Rose took to twitter today to offer his side of the story.
“Our start times at the Reading and Leeds festivals factually had nothing to do with us, as the previous bands (who were great by the way) came off stage when they did, and we went on within' our contracted and documented changeover time period.

Whatever other nonsense anyone's choosing to write would appear intentionally false.

Having the fans of our show penalized for how the event was ran, or simply the natural flow of events those evenings, and for such minimal amount of overtime along with distortions and falsehoods by media, the promoter and or event organizers regarding the events seems a bit draconian and more than unfair to the fans.

A simple question: If you are aware of our changeover time, the average length of our show and the general nature of how these types of festivals run all of which are no big secrets...why book us?

Is it simply because the lineup on our nights at both festivals sold well? So it's a cash grab with no respect for the fans or the band and somehow an unwanted inconvenience for the cities and law enforcement? If we're not wanted and just being used to line someone else's pockets or for fictitious tabloid fodder at the fans and our expense we're fine with going elsewhere. God forbid we would force ourselves on anyone. It's not that kinda party.

I didn't organize, arrange, authorize, have knowledge of or was even consulted about our being booked for these shows till after the fact nor did I choose to work with anyone I'm aware of other than our manager who was involved in arranging these dates. Yet it would appear we're amazingly often legally obligated to honor such arrangements whether against our will or better judgment. That's simply and unfortunately how this business often works with the artist and imo seems is legally supported to benefit managers, agents, promoters and ticket vendors.

With how the fans and we were treated in the past I had what I feel were legitimate and now proven justified apprehensions. Yet we gave 100% and from where we stood it seemed as if the both the fans (who rocked!) and our camp were having fun and making the most of things.

Why (and what would appear intentionally) risk having it go bad for everyone? Imo that's where true recklessness and negligence at both the fans and our expense would seem to be.

Anyway...thanks again to all the fans who made our nights!!


Meanwhile....Britian’s Daily Star is reporting today that Axl fired his entire road crew – not once, but twice – after GNR's late starts, at both Reading and Leeds, left the band out of time to finish their set each night.

Following Fridays’ debacle at Reading, the Daily Star reports that Rose was asleep backstage at the time he was due onstage; with strict orders for Axl not to be disturbed, GNR was an hour late starting their show. A source told the paper, “Axl was furious. He refused to take responsibility and blamed his team, so he sacked them. Then he realized it was too late to fly in anyone else from America, so he had to rehire them for Leeds.”

At Leeds on Sunday, GNR were only a half-hour late, but still ran out of time trying to finish their set before local curfews kicked in.

We’ll see if the Daily Star report holds up, as GNR are due to play a show at the Odyssey Arena in Belfast tonight, and will, naturally, need a road crew on site.

Welcome Guns N’ Roses - Welcome To The Jungle - Appetite For Destruction

Guns N’ Roses - Welcome To The Jungle
The Reading Festival - Reading, UK – August 27, 2010

Stone Temple Pilots’ Weiland addresses lip-sync rumours

When Scott Weiland fell off the stage last week in Cincinnati (story and video here), it opened up a discussion about whether or not the Stone Temple Pilots’ frontman was singing live, and/or whether or not a backing vocal track was being used to ‘enhance’ his live sound; a the third option was outright lip synching.

During STP’s opening number, “Crackerman,” Weiland walked off the front of the stage and landed in the pit; he was out of sight and off stage for just over a minute, but he never missed a line in the song while he was down.

Since Weiland was nowhere to be seen and the stage audio continued without interruption, some speculated that a backing vocal track may have been used, as a fall of that nature should have resulted in some discomfort and distraction to the vocalist.

Weiland responded to the issue during Saturday’s show in Pittsburgh. "I would like to dispel a rumor swirling its way around the Interwebs,” he said, “that I am not singing these songs that I wrote. There has never been a time in the twenty-five-plus years that I have been singing with these guys, or a combination of these guys, or with other musicians, that I have not sang. So, whoever started that bullsh*t claim, like so many other bullsh*t claims, which is the problem with modern technology, and there are so many great things about it. But that is such a travesty. We are a rock and roll band…rock and roll bands perform live."

Stone Temple Pilots – Scott Weiland addresses lip-sync rumours
First Niagara Pavilion - Burgettstown, PA – August 28, 2010

Big Stone Temple Pilots - Big Bang Baby - Thank You

Stone Temple Pilots – Big Bang Baby (1996)

Watch Guns N’ Roses live at Reading

With all the Guns N’ Roses drama on the U.K. festival circuit last weekend
(see details here, here, here and here), it was easy to be distracted from the actual music itself.

The BBC broadcast the Reading and Leeds festivals on air and online, and a few songs from GNR’s headlining slot last Friday at Reading have surfaced.

Welcome Guns N’ Roses - Welcome To The Jungle - Appetite For Destruction

Guns N’ Roses - Welcome To The Jungle
The Reading Festival - Reading, UK – August 27, 2010

Street Guns N” Roses - Street of Dreams - Chinese Democracy

Guns N’ Roses – Street Of Dreams
The Reading Festival - Reading, UK – August 27, 2010

November Guns N’ Roses - November Rain - Use Your Illusion I

Guns N’ Roses – November Rain
The Reading Festival - Reading, UK – August 27, 2010

This Guns N’ Roses - This I Love - Chinese Democracy

Guns N’ Roses – This I Love
The Reading Festival - Reading, UK – August 27, 2010

Reissue of classic Ozzy albums delayed

News from the far east that the upcoming reissue of 30th Anniversary editions of Ozzy Osbourne’s first two solo albums, 1980’s “Blizzard Of Ozz” and ‘81’s “Diary Of A Madman,” has been postponed.

According to cdjapan.co.jp, the discs were originally scheduled for Japanese release on October 13; the “30th Anniversary Legacy Edition” of “Blizzard” features a bonus disc with more than 10 tracks on it; “30th Anniversary” versions of the first two albums will also be available.

The revamped discs were to include bassist Bob Daisley and drummer Lee Kerslake’s original tracks, which were removed by Sharon Osbourne in 2002 as revenge for an ongoing court case – for full background details, read this.

No word yet from the Ozzy camp as to details surrounding the delay, but I suspect it may have something to do with sales conflict created for Epic Records by the October 5 release of the two-disc/4-sided vinyl “Tour Editions” of “Scream.”

The new edition features 7 unreleased tracks: three of the songs - “One More Time” and “Jump The Moon,” plus the never-before-released “Hand of The Enemy” - are from the “Scream” sessions. The other four songs are live tracks - “Bark at the Moon,” “Let Me Hear You Scream” and “No More Tears,” as well as the Black Sabbath classic, “Fairies Wear Boots" - recorded earlier this year in Folkestone and Birmingham in the U.K.

I I Don't Know (Live with Randy Rhoads) - The Essential Ozzy Osbourne

Ozzy Osbourne – I Don’t Know
After Hours – Rochester, NY - April 28, 1981
(note: Rudy Sarzo and Tommy Aldridge perform here)

Monday, August 30, 2010

Daughtry joins Santana for some Def Leppard

As mentioned last week, Carlos Santana had some special guests join him when he kicked off his annual residency at The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.

India.Arie, Chris Daughtry and Gavin Rossdale joined Carlos for a special performance of “Supernatural Santana: A Trip Through the Hits” – billed as the first and only rock ‘n roll resident show in Vegas.

The three guests are featured on Santana’s classic rock covers set, “Guitar Heaven: The Greatest Guitar Classics Of All Time,” in stores September 21.

Here’s Daughtry joining Santana for a cover of the Def Leppard track, “Photograph.”

Santana featuring Chris Daughtry – Photograph
The Joint, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino - Las Vegas, NV – August 25, 2010

More Guns N’ Roses drama at Leeds

"This war ain't over yet."
- Axl Rose

Following the drama Axl Rose created by starting his set an hour late at the Reading Festival on Friday (see here and here for details), Guns N’ Roses were only a half-hour late last night at the Leeds Festival, ensuring the band should have been able to get their full show in before the night’s curfew kicked in.

Or, so you’d think.

NME reports that, prior to the start of GNR’s encore’s (at approx. 11:20 p.m.), Rose addressed the crowd. “We would like to play a few more songs for you tonight, but someone is telling us the show's over. This war ain't over yet."

In the same speech, Rose claimed the band was advised that they could play to 11:58 p.m., which was news to organizer Melvin Benn.

"I have no idea where that came from," said Benn. "I was behind the sound equipment so I couldn't actually hear what he said. Bands often say things like that when they are curtailed." Benn told NME that GNR had not been given the OK to play until 11:58 p.m.

After the encore of “Paradise City,” the show wrapped up with Rose saying: "Be safe getting out of here. And for the problems with the promoters, f**k you."

Benn downplayed the "war" comment. "I'd definitely book them again but I don't know if they'd come and play," he said. "I doubt I'll be getting a Christmas card from them, which is a shame because tonight was great. There are rules we have to abide by here in the UK, they're very clear rules. It's not personal, I think the band are great. Why would I make it personal?"

Welcome Guns N’ Roses - Welcome To The Jungle - Appetite For Destruction

Guns N’ Roses – Welcome To The Jungle (1987)

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Guns N' Roses UK update

Guns N’ Roses continue to try and play victim following the situation they created at the Reading Festival on Friday night (see here for details).

GNR started their headlining set an hour later than scheduled, causing the band to run out of time before the city curfew/deadline; the festival tried to accommodate fans, and the group, by extending their stage time from 11:30p to midnight, but it wasn’t enough for the band to complete their full show before the plug was pulled.

Today, Axl Rose has gone into “victim” mode, refusing to accept responsibility for his actions. “In regard to Reading,” Axl posted on Twitter, “we feel, at the very least, the fans deserve an apology from those responsible for the nonsense. We'd also like to thank the fans for being so great, singing along n' not tearing the place apart!!”

Logically, if GNR had hit the stage when they were scheduled to, the band would have had time to play their full set; if that happened, the only news story here is that GNR actually showed up on time.

So…if “the fans deserve an apology from those responsible for the nonsense,” when does Axl step up and apologize?

Once the power was cut at Reading, Axl used a megaphone to speak to the crowd, “We had problems with these promoters last time we played Leeds so, unfortunately, due to tonight, we will not be at Leeds.”

GNR are scheduled to headline the Leeds Festival tonight, and organizers expect the band to appear.

Today, Axl continued to try and shift the focus away from his own responsibility in the situation. In another twitter post, Rose said, “We r in constant talks to ensure the fans attending Leeds get what they paid for w/out undue bureaucratic interference. We thank you for your understanding. Peace!!”

“Undue bureaucratic interference?” Really?

Simple question: why not just show up on time, Axl?

Patience Guns N’ Roses - Patience - G N' R Lies

Guns N’ Roses - Patience (1988)

Journey rocks The Midnight Special – Part 2 (1979)

As I mentioned in part 1, Journey’s success with their fourth album (the first with Steve Perry) – 1978's “Infinity” – placed them firmly in rock’s mainstream, thanks to radio-friendly songs and constant touring.

The spring of ’79 brought the follow-up - “Evolution” – and it made Journey arena rock superstars, eventually going triple platinum.

“Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin’” was the band’s first top 20 hit, while “Just The Same Way” and “Too Late” went into regular rotation on FM stations.

“Evolution” was released in April ’79; a month later, the band hosted The Midnight Special for the second time.

Alongside guests The Jacksons, Herbie Hancock and Anita Ward, Journey performed five songs: "Lovin’ You Is Easy," "Just The Same Way," "Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin," "City Of The Angels" and "Too Late" – they also jammed with Hancock on the Junior Walker/Motown classic, “(I’m A) Road Runner.”

Journey – The Midnight Special (program intro)
The Midnight Special – aired May 18, 1979

Lovin' Journey - Lovin' You Is Easy -

Journey – Lovin’ You is Easy
The Midnight Special – aired May 18, 1979

Just Journey - Just the Same Way - Evolution

Journey – Just the Same Way
The Midnight Special – aired May 18, 1979

Lovin', Journey - Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin' - Evolution

City Journey - City of the Angels - Evolution

Journey – Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin’ / City Of The Angels
The Midnight Special – aired May 18, 1979

Too Journey - Too Late - Evolution

Journey – Too Late
The Midnight Special – aired May 18, 1979

Journey with Herbie Hancock – (I’m A Road Runner)
The Midnight Special – aired May 18, 1979

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Guns N’ Roses cut off at Reading Festival

Who didn’t see this coming?

Guns N’ Roses set at the Reading Festival last night was cut short when the band started an hour later than scheduled.

The NME reports Festival organizer Melvin Benn commented: "After failing to take to the stage at the scheduled 9.30pm (BST) time, the performance started at 10.30pm and the band were given permission by the festival to play 30 minutes extra to its scheduled 11.30pm finish until midnight."

He added: "Guns N' Roses wanted to 'extend' the new agreed curfew past midnight but were prevented from doing so in order to comply with the entertainment licence issued by Reading Borough Council."

As I mentioned on Wednesday (“Can anyone tame Axl Rose?”), festival organizer Melvin Benn told the BBC , “I've had a very heavy warning from the local councils. There is a curfew - it's a very strict curfew. Unfortunately, if the band chose not to take to the stage on time, there's really nothing I can do. I won't be allowed to break the curfew.”

Stage power was cut as GNR returned for their encore; Axl Rose used a megaphone to speak to the crowd, “We had problems with these promoters last time we played Leeds so, unfortunately, due to tonight, we will not be at Leeds, although we will try and play a bit more now." The band tried to get “Paradise City” started – the crowd was even singing along – but, without power, only drums could be heard if you were close to the stage (p.a. and amplifiers had been cut).

Guns N' Roses – Axl Rose statement following curfew enforcement
Reading Festival – August 27, 2010

Following the event, GNR guitarist D.J. Ashba tried to spin things, clearly unable to grasp the cause and effect of the band's late start. “Apparently the promoter has had a personal grudge with GN'R stemming from 8 years ago, if this was the case why book the band?,” he posted to Twitter (Twitlonger, actually). “He knows our show. Let me guess... To take our fans money and then not allow us to give them a show that they payed for. This was clearly not a curfew thing because after cutting our power like a selfish money grubbing prick, he allowed music blasting through out the venue till the early morning. For us this was all about the fans, the show and the music. For the promoter it was all about the money and not about the fans or the music. The promoter was already being a cocky f$#k in the press before we arrived, so yes we went on a little late, and for this we apologize. However, our fans payed to see a show, and that's why we showed up, too give them just that. Sad that this promoter's music festival has little too do with the fans or the love for music. Last night was insane! They pulled the power, but failed to kill the connection as 90,000 people sang Paradise City. Much love to you all!!!”

Despite Rose’s threat to pull out of their appearance at tomorrow’s Leeds Festival, NME reports that festival organizers expect the band to play, as scheduled.

Paradise Guns N’ Roses - Paradise City - Appetite for Destruction

Guns N’ Roses - Paradise City (1987)

Lynyrd Skynyrd rock Lopez Tonight

Lynyrd Skynyrd are currently making the rounds on their “God & Guns” tour, and they stopped by Lopez Tonight on Thursday (26) to play one of their classics.

Sweet Lynyrd Skynyrd - Sweet Home Alabama (Live) - God & Guns (Special Edition)

Lynyrd Skynyrd – Sweet Home Alabama
Lopez Tonight - August 26, 2010

Journey rocks The Midnight Special – Part 1 (1978)

After three albums, Journey altered their focus from jazz-rock leanings to accessible, radio-friendly pop-rock with the addition of vocalist Steve Perry in the fall of 1977.

With Perry up front, Journey were quickly on the rise: following the release of “Infinity" in January ’78, the band did some warm-up dates around California in February; a few weeks later, they stopped by The Midnight Special to record their appearance as guest hosts, for broadcast later that spring.

It was the first of two occasions when Journey hosted the program: today, the April ’78 edition, and their May ’79 appearance, tomorrow.

Along with guests Eddie Money, Rita Coolidge and Al Jarreau, Journey performed five songs: "Wheel in the Sky," "Feeling That Way," "Anytime," "Patiently" and "La Do Da."

By the time the episode went to air in April, Journey were on the road with Montrose and rock n’ roll upstarts Van Halen as their opening acts.

“Infinity” went on to produce FM staples like “Wheel In The Sky,” “Lights” and “Anytime,” and gave the band their first platinum record.

Wheel Journey - Wheel In the Sky - Infinity

Journey – Wheel In The Sky
The Midnight Special – aired April 28, 1978

Journey – band introductions by bassist Ross Valory
The Midnight Special – aired April 28, 1978

Feeling Journey - Feeling That Way - Infinity

Journey – Feeling That Way
The Midnight Special – aired April 28, 1978

Patiently Journey - Patiently - Infinity

Journey – Patiently
The Midnight Special – aired April 28, 1978

Friday, August 27, 2010

U2 and NASA celebrate collaboration

U2 and NASA have released a commemorative video highlighting a year's worth of collaboration in space and on the Irish rock band's 360 Degree tour.

U2 approached NASA in 2009 with an idea to include a dialogue between the band and the crew of the International Space Station during U2's world tour. The astronauts of Expedition 20, the crew then living aboard the space station, agreed to participate and spoke with U2 several times before recording a video segment the band incorporated into its concerts.

The space station crew members were Michael Barratt of NASA, Frank De Winne of the European Space Agency, Bob Thirsk of the Canadian Space Agency, Koichi Wakata of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, and Gennady Padalka and Roman Romanenko of the Russian Federal Space Agency.

"Working with U2 is atypical for NASA," said Bill Gerstenmaier, NASA's associate administrator for Space Operations. "By combining their world tour with the space station's out-of-this-world mission, more people -- and different people than our normal target audiences -- learned about the International Space Station and the important work we are doing in orbit."

Speaking onstage in Houston last year, Bono said, "These are the very best people in the world -- dedicated to figuring how our little planet exists in this cosmos we call home." De Winne and Romanenko attended U2's performance in Moscow on Wednesday and met with the band before the show.

U2.com created the video and presented it to NASA to document the collaboration between the band and the space agency.

U2 / NASA video (2010)

Remembering Stevie Ray Vaughan

Stevie Ray Vaughan: October 3, 1954 - August 27, 1990

Today marks the 20th Anniversary of the passing of one of music’s biggest and best: Stevie Ray Vaughan.

20 years. I can still remember it like it was yesterday.

On the morning of August 27, 1990, I was at my office when early media reports were starting to come in about an accident at Alpine Valley in East Troy, Wisconsin; no names were mentioned, just that it happened after the Eric Clapton show the night before. Updates throughout the morning changed to “members of Eric Clapton’s entourage,” and then the possibility that Clapton, himself, may have been on board the downed helicopter.

Just the chance that Clapton could have been gone was enough to consider, but by lunch time, the news was confirmed: Stevie Ray Vaughan and four others had died when, in poor weather conditions, their copter crashed into the side of a ski hill moments after takeoff, just before 1:00 a.m. local time.

VH1 Legends – Stevie Ray Vaughan

I had just seen Stevie the month before, on a double-bill with Joe Cocker, at Copps Coliseum in Hamilton, Ontario. The July 10 Copps show was still fresh in my mind; as I’m writing this, it gives me chills just thinking about how awesome he had played, just like it did the first time I saw him, five years earlier.

It was such a tragic end to a life reborn: Stevie had emerged from alcohol and drug problems as a reinvigorated soul. 1989’s “In Step” was, essentially, Stevie’s ‘comeback’ album, and it burned with the fire and passion of a musician who had something to prove – to himself, and to the world. As a fan, you couldn’t help being in his corner, just like I had been from the first record onwards.

My first SRV experience was seeing him open for Dire Straits at Toronto’s Varsity Arena in the summer of ‘85. With its MTV reference, “Money For Nothing” was omnipresent and Dire Straits were breaking big time with their new “Brothers In Arms” album: so big, that they had to play four consecutive nights to satisfy demand.

Stevie was touring in support of “Couldn’t Stand The Weather,” and I was awestruck: after hundreds of concerts, it remains the only time I have ever walked out after a show and said “If I ever learn to play guitar, I would want to play just like that.”

The caveat here is that I have, probably, taken for granted that I would want to play at the skill level of my guitar guru, Eddie Van Halen; EVH’s music is so ingrained in my DNA that I never really had to think about it, let alone utter the words. Like that old line VH used to use: “What is understood, need not be discussed” (quoting Sammy Hagar’s pal, Maui artist Loren Adams).

On both counts, playing like SRV and EVH is, and remains, a pipe dream. I wouldn’t pick up a guitar to teach myself how to play for almost another 10 years after that first SRV experience (about 5 years after his passing), and today - 15 years later - I’ve grown to appreciate that playing music is about finding your own way in your own time.

For those who never had the chance to experience SRV in person, it may be hard to properly explain the magnitude of the man’s presence, charisma, and guitar skills. There was something otherworldly about Stevie’s playing: he was “one with the instrument” in a way that very few ever could be. Jimi Hendrix and Van Halen are the only other two players, in my mind, that have so fully incorporated the instrument into their beings, that you’d swear the guitar was another appendage to their body – you can’t tell where the guitar ended and their body began.

Watch videos of Stevie in action (and/or Jimi or Eddie), and maybe you’ll look for, and begin to see, what I’m talking about: a certain fluidity of being that seems effortless, the result of years of devotion to an instrument - a lot of work goes on behind closed doors to make it “look” so easy. But it isn’t.

Stevie’s talent was so great, and so rare: he helped put the blues in the mainstream spotlight during his time, transcending music and culture like few before...and no one, since.

Stevie Ray Vaughan: October 3, 1954 - August 27, 1990

Crossfire SRV & Double Trouble - Crossfire - In Step (Bonus Track Version

SRV & Double Trouble – Crossfire
Austin City Limits – recorded October 10, 1989

Riviera SRV & Double Trouble - Riviera Paradise - In Step (Bonus Track Version)

SRV & Double Trouble – Riviera Paradise
Austin City Limits – recorded October 10, 1989

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Stone Temple Pilots’ Weiland falls off stage in Cincinnati

First Steven Tyler (here), and now Scott Weiland.

The Stone Temple Pilots frontman took a header off the stage last night in Cincinnati, during the band’s opening number, “Crackerman.”

Weiland didn’t miss a beat or a line, continuing to sing while in the pit; he finally reappeared on stage almost a full minute later.

Crackerman Stone Temple Pilots - Crackerman - Core

Stone Temple Pilots – Crackerman
Scott Weiland falls off stage (@ 1:28 mark)
River Bend Music Centre – Cincinnati, OH – August 25, 2010

First glance at Bruce Springsteen documentary

"'Darkness' was my 'samurai' record, stripped to the frame and ready to rumble…But the music that got left behind was substantial."
Bruce Springsteen

The new Bruce Springsteen documentary, “The Promise: The Making Of Darkness On The Edge Of Town,” sees its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival next month, in advance of its DVD release on November 16.

The film documents the creation of the 1978 follow-up to “Born To Run,” which made Springsteen a household name. “Darkness” produced such Bruce standards as “Badlands,” “The Promised Land,” “Prove It All Night” and the title track.

Directed by Grammy- and Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Thom Zimny, the ninety-minute film combines never-before-seen footage of Springsteen and the E Street Band shot between 1976 and 1978—including home rehearsals and studio sessions—with new interviews with Springsteen, E Street Band members, manager Jon Landau, former-manager Mike Appel, and others closely involved in the making of the record.

In the first clip released from the film, you’ll see Bruce and Steven Van Zandt doing a unique version of “Sherry Darling” - a full band version showed up two years later on “The River.”

Bruce Springsteen – The Promise: The Making Of Darkness On The Edge Of Town (clip)

“The Promise: The Darkness On The Edge Of Town Story" will be released on November 16. A Deluxe Package comprises over six hours of film and more than two hours of audio across 3 CDs and 3 DVDs. The media contents are packaged within an 80-page notebook containing facsimiles from Springsteen's original notebooks from the recording sessions, which include alternate lyrics, song ideas, recording details, and personal notes in addition to a new essay by Springsteen and never-before-seen photographs.

The CDs feature a remastered version of “Darkness,” as well as “The Promise” - two discs of 21 previously unreleased songs from the sessions; Springsteen recorded almost 70 songs and pared things down to 10 for the original release. "The Promise" will also be available as a stand-alone 2 CD set.

The DVDs include more than four hours of live concert film from the Thrill Hill Vault, including the bootleg house cut (the footage that appeared on-screen at the concert) from a 1978 Houston show, and a 2009 performance of "Darkness on the Edge of Town" in its entirety from Asbury Park. The special performance in Asbury Park was shot in HD without an audience and successfully recreates the stark atmosphere of the original album.

This footage is not included in this package, but here's a version of "Darkness" from 2000.

Darkness Bruce Springsteen - Darkness On the Edge of Town - Darkness On the Edge of

Bruce Springsteen – Darkness On The Edge Of Town
From DVD: “Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band: Live In New York City”
MSG, NYC – 2000

First glance at Keith Richards’ new book

Told you yesterday about some of the details surrounding the upcoming Keith Richards autobiography, “Life,” set for release on October 26.

Little, Brown & Company Publisher Michael Pietsch has released his thoughts on the book, along with our first glance at an excerpt from it.

Dear friends,

The opportunity to publish an autobiography as enthralling as that of Keith Richards comes once in a lifetime—if you’re lucky! And lucky is what I’m feeling as I finish reading LIFE, the most exciting memoir I’ve ever had a hand in. Not only does it recount the essential rock ’n’ roll life—that would be plenty. It captures much more: Blasting past the constraints of postwar England; a passionate appetite for music, especially America’s heartfelt blues, R&B, country, and soul; how it felt to arrive in America with The Rolling Stones as torrents of change were unleashed. All those encounters and adventures we’ve heard of for decades—Redlands, Morocco, exile in France, Altamont—and the people—Mick Jagger, Brian Jones, Marianne Faithfull, Anita Pallenberg, Gram Parsons, Patti Hansen, Johnny Depp and more – are here in Keith’s own vivid memories.

The best news of all is how superbly written this book is. Working with James Fox (I hope you know his excellent White Mischief ), Keith Richards has created his story in a voice as intimate and unmistakable as if he were sitting across from you talking. And the man sitting there is experienced, opinionated, witty, learned, and utterly unrestrained. We are lucky to have this extraordinary book, and I cannot wait to share it with you.

Michael Pietsch
Here’s our first taste of Keith, in his own words…

We’d be working all night in the studio, we’d be down in this bunker all night and suddenly the dawn comes up and we’ve got this boat. Go down the steps through the cave to the dockside, let’s take the boat—Mandrax— to Italy for breakfast. Most days we used to go down to Menton on the border, an Italian town just inside France by some quirk of treaty making, or just beyond it to Italy proper for breakfast. No passport, right past Monte Carlo, just as the sun’s coming up, with music ringing in our ears. Take a cassette player and play something we’ve done while we’re going there, play that second mix. Then we’d play it to the Italians, see what they thought while we’re having breakfast. Pick up some fresh fish. If you hit the fishermen at the right time, you could get red snapper straight off the boats and take it home for lunch.

We’d just jump in, Bobby Keys, me, Mick, whoever was up for it. We liked the way the Italians cooked their eggs, and the bread. And that you had actually crossed a border, there was a sort of an extra sense of freedom about it. Pull into Monte Carlo for lunch. Have a chat with either Onassis’ lot or Niarchos’, who had the big, big yachts there. You could almost see the guns pointed at each other. That’s why we called it Main Street. When we first came up with the title it worked in American terms because everybody’s got a main street. But our Main Street was that Riviera strip. And we were exiles, so it rung perfectly true and said everything we needed to say.
Some of Keith’s favorite books:

Before The Rolling Stones - Before They Make Me Run - Some Girls (Remastered)

The Rolling Stones – Before They Make Me Run
Licks Tour - MSG, NYC – January 16, 2003

10-year old joins Ozzy for “Crazy Train”

Ozzy Osbourne has always talked about how fortunate he is to have worked with some highly-skilled guitarists: starting with Tony Iommi (and does it get any better than that?), that list includes Randy Rhoads, Brad Gillis, Jake E. Lee, Zakk Wylde, and his current sidekick, Gus G.

I’m not so sure Gus should get too comfortable in the new lineup.

There’s a new kid in town.

And he means business.

And he’s 10-years old.

Yuto Miyazawa is a 10-year old Japanese musical child prodigy; he was named "The Youngest Professional Guitarist" by the Guinness Book of World Records in August, 2008. In the tradition of Hendrix and Van Halen (who were almost never without a guitar in their hands), Yuto is mostly self-taught and reportedly plays all the time; he’s only had a handful of lessons.

In the spring of 2009, Miyazawa made headlines after playing “Crazy Train” on the Ellen DeGeneres Show; Ozzy even showed up to meet the young guitar whiz on the program. Obviously impressed, Ozzy recruited the (then) 9-year old to join him for his gig at BlizzCon 2009.

Crazy Ozzy Osbourne - Crazy Train - Blizzard of Ozz

Ozzy Osbourne – Crazy Train
Featuring Yuto Miyazawa
BlizzCon 2009
Anaheim Convention Center - Anaheim, CA – August 22, 2009

DeGeneres had Miyazawa back for another visit this past spring, where he played the Sabbath classic, “Paranoid.”

Paranoid Black Sabbath - Paranoid - Dazed and Confused (Motion Picture Soundtrack

Yuto Miyazawa - Paranoid
The Ellen DeGeneres Show – May 3, 2010

And now….the latest Ozzy/Yuto pairing happened last Saturday at the Hartford stop of Ozzfest 2010.

Ozzy Osbourne – Crazy Train
Featuring Yuto Miyazawa
Ozzfest 2010
Comcast Theatre - Hartford, CT – August 21, 2010

If you'll excuse me, I have to grab my guitar now and practice - a lot.

Stevie Ray Vaughan: The Final Performance

Sunday, August 26, 1990 – Stevie Ray Vaughan walks on stage at the Alpine Valley Music Theatre in East Troy, Wisconsin before a sold-out crowd of 30,000.

It would be his final show.

SRV had been on the road in support of “In Step,” since the album’s release in the spring of ’89. The original series of dates ran through October of ’89; SRV then did two months of shows on “The Fire Meets The Fury” tour with Jeff Beck, followed by an MTV Unplugged show recorded at the end of January ’90 with fellow axeman Joe Satriani.

The “In Step” tour resumed with more dates in May, and then SRV hooked up on a two-month, co-headlining tour with Joe Cocker, which started in June.

I saw the SRV/Cocker double-bill at the Copps Coliseum in Hamilton, Ontario on July 10, and it was truly an awesome evening full of music by both legends. Copps was my second live SRV experience (the first was five years earlier at Toronto’s Varsity Arena, when he opened for Dire Straits), and Stevie was on fire like never before.

On Friday, August 24, SRV played the Kalamazoo County Fair in Michigan, before joining Eric Clapton for two shows over the weekend at Alpine Valley. Sharing the Alpine bills with Clapton and SRV were The Robert Cray Band featuring The Memphis Horns.

On the 26th - following Cray’s opening set - Stevie and Double Trouble members Tommy Shannon (bass), Chris Layton (drums) and Reese Wynans on keyboards, took to the stage. The set started off in high gear with “Collins’ Shuffle” (an Albert Collins cover).

Collins Stevie Ray Vaughan - Collins Shuffle (Live At Montreux 1982) - Live At Montreux 1982 & 1985

SRV & Double Trouble – Collins Shuffle
Alpine Valley Music Theatre - East Troy, Wisconsin – August 26, 1990

From “The House Is Rockin’,” onward, SRV played a remarkable show. Late in the set, big brother Jimmie joined him for a rocking version of Freddie King’s “Goin’ Down.” The final song that Stevie would play with Double Trouble was Jimi Hendrix's classic, “Voodoo Chile (Slight Return).”

Voodoo Stevie Ray Vaughan - Voodoo Child (Slight Return) - Couldn't Stand the Weather

SRV & Double Trouble – Voodoo Chile (Slight Return)
Alpine Valley Music Theatre - East Troy, Wisconsin – August 26, 1990

By all accounts, it was Stevie’s night, with his energy, presence, and skillful playing filling the Wisconsin night. “Stevie just smoked,” said brother Jimmie in an interview with Guitar World. “It was one of those gigs where you see someone play, and you can’t believe what you’re hearing. Stevie was unreal. He was just on another plane, and we all knew it.”

“It was one of the most incredible sets I ever heard Stevie play," said Buddy Guy. “I had goose bumps."

“Those shows were just great fun, really exciting,” said bassist Tommy Shannon. “They were sort of the culmination of all the good times we’d been having for the last year or two. And as good as we had been playing, those two shows were just unreal.”

Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble
Alpine Valley Music Theatre - East Troy, Wisconsin – August 26, 1990

1. Collins' Shuffle (Albert Collins cover)
2. The House Is Rockin'
3. Tightrope
4. The Things (That) I Used to Do (Guitar Slim cover)
5. Let Me Love You Baby (Willie Dixon cover)
6. Leave My Girl Alone (Buddy Guy cover)
7. Pride And Joy
8. Wall Of Denial
9. Riviera Paradise
10. Superstition (Stevie Wonder cover)
11. Couldn't Stand the Weather
12. Goin' Down (with guest Jimmie Vaughan) (Freddie King cover)
13. Crossfire Play Video
14. Voodoo Chile (Slight Return) (Jimi Hendrix cover)

Clapton was up next, playing in support of the “Journeyman” record. Eric started with “Pretending,” and closed with “Sunshine Of Your Love.”

For his final encore, Clapton introduced his guests:

“I’d like to bring out, to join me – in truth – the best guitar players in the entire world: Buddy Guy…Stevie Ray Vaughan…Robert Cray…Jimmie Vaughan.”

Eric Clapton – Sweet Home Chicago (part 1)
With Stevie Ray Vaughan, Buddy Guy, Robert Cray, Jimmie Vaughan
Alpine Valley Music Theatre - East Troy, Wisconsin – August 26, 1990

Eric Clapton – Sweet Home Chicago (part 2)
With Stevie Ray Vaughan, Buddy Guy, Robert Cray, Jimmie Vaughan
Alpine Valley Music Theatre - East Troy, Wisconsin – August 26, 1990

Tomorrow: a personal remembrance of the late, great Stevie Ray Vaughan.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Keith Richards’ book due Oct. 26

"People say 'why don't you give it up?' I don't think they quite understand. I'm not doing it just for the money, or for you. I'm doing it for me."

Music fans can circle October 26 on their calendar: Keith Richards’ autobiography, “Life,” hits stores.

Here’s the promo blurb from publishers Little, Brown & Company:
The long-awaited autobiography of the guitarist, songwriter, singer, and founding member of the Rolling Stones.

Ladies and gentleman: Keith Richards.

With the Rolling Stones, Keith Richards created the songs that roused the world, and he lived the original rock and roll life.

Now, at last, the man himself tells his story of life in the crossfire hurricane. Listening obsessively to Chuck Berry and Muddy Waters records, learning guitar and forming a band with Mick Jagger and Brian Jones. The Rolling Stones' first fame and the notorious drug busts that led to his enduring image an outlaw folk hero. Creating immortal riffs like the ones in "Jumping Jack Flash" and "Honky Tonk Women." Falling in love with Anita Pallenberg and the death of Brian Jones. Tax exile in France, wildfire tours of the US, isolation and addiction. Falling in love with Patti Hansen. Bitter estrangement from Jagger and subsequent reconciliation. Marriage, family, solo albums and Xpensive Winos, and the road that goes on forever.

With his trademark disarming honesty. Keith Richard brings us the story of a life we have all longed to know more of, unfettered, fearless, and true.
Keith put the book together with author James Fox; the two have known each other since the early ‘70s, when Fox was a journalist for the Sunday Times in London. Fox’s books include the international bestseller “White Mischief.”

Keith's pal, Johnny Depp, will be the voice behind the audiobook version of "Life."

Life (Unabridged) - Keith Richards, James FoxLife (Unabridged) - Keith Richards, James Fox

The week “Life” is released, Richards will be giving a talk and book signing in the Celeste Bartos Auditorium at the New York Library's main branch on 5th Avenue.

Honky Honky Tonk Women - Hot Rocks 1964-1971

The Rolling Stones - Honky Tonk Women
Live At The Max – Urban Jungle Tour - 1990

Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler mobbed in NY

There’s just no peace on the Aerosmith tour these days (see here and here for more details).

Steven Tyler was mobbed by autograph seekers in New York as he entered Trump Plaza Hotel last night.

Upon arriving, things were fine as Tyler started signing autographs for the crowd, but the scene turned nasty when some of the group turned aggressive. A shoving match ensued, and an associate of Tyler’s (security guy, maybe?) got caught in the middle – for some reason, he ended up in a choke-hold by someone in the mob.

Tyler tried to cool the situation, by asking the group to “chill, chill.” The Aerosmith frontman then made his way inside the hotel and, again, tried to calm things down. “Shut up! Shut the f**k up!,” said Tyler, “You just f**ked with my guy, ok? I’ll give you guys what you want,” as he continued to sign stuff for the group.

Tyler was aware that video was rolling on the scene; he even pushed the camera away, at one point.

In my opinion, the group appears to be made up of “professional” autograph hounds – the type who are only looking to resell signed items – “real” fans don’t tend to be so aggressive.

TMZ has the video here.

Pearl Jam to turn 20 at Bridge School Benefit

Most rock bands don’t age particularly well, but don’t ever count Pearl Jam on that list.

Thundering out of the gate with 1991’s “Ten,” PJ were in danger of peaking too early while caught in the crossfire of the whole grunge thing. A stellar debut by any standards, “Ten” spoke to a generation: among the classic tracks, the single “Jeremy” was ubiquitous in the early 90s, its companion video so perfectly crafted that its success caused the band to pull away from making videos for many years.

By their own admission, PJ could have imploded at any time in those early days, crushed by the weight of expectations that only extraordinary success can bring. Instead, the band closed camp, battled their demons and kept their head down, placing the focus solely on their music.

Twenty years later and, like fine wine, PJ have aged extremely well – continuing to matter to their fans by developing a communal spirit, delivering consistently compelling music, and killer live shows where no two setlists are alike.

Keeping the focus on their music means there’s no big celebration planned, but there are a couple of shows on the schedule that sync up - almost to the day – that PJ played their first show as Mookie Blaylock, at the Off Ramp club in Seattle on October 22, 1991.

“The only thing we've got going on in October is Bridge School, which is really special," guitarist Stone Gossard told Billboard while out promoting his side-band, Brad. "So that's our 20th anniversary, which is fitting. It's perfect: not too blown up. It's not about us, it about all those kids that are on stage with you and about Neil Young and his commitment, his influence."

The concerts are a benefit for the Bridge School, which develops and uses advanced technologies to aid in the instruction of children with disabilities. Young's involvement stems, at least partially, from the fact that both of his sons have cerebral palsy and his daughter, like Young himself, has epilepsy.

You can help support the Bridge School with your donation here.

PJ are the only act confirmed, so far, for this year's shows, scheduled for October 23 and 24 in Mountain View, California; it will be their eighth Bridge appearance.

Jeremy Pearl Jam - Jeremy - Ten (Legacy Edition)

Pearl Jam – Jeremy
Bridge School Benefit 6
Shoreline Amphitheatre – Mountain View, CA – November 1, 1992

Wishlist Pearl Jam - Wishlist - Yield

Pearl Jam – Wishlist
Bridge School Benefit 13
Shoreline Amphitheatre – Mountain View, CA – October 31, 1999

Black Pearl Jam - Black - Ten (Legacy Edition)

Pearl Jam – Black
Bridge School Benefit 20
Shoreline Amphitheatre – Mountain View, CA – October 22, 2006

Can anyone tame Axl Rose?

It should be an interesting weekend on the U.K. festival circuit.

Guns N’ Roses are scheduled to headline the Reading Festival on Friday, and the Leeds Festival on Sunday, and the band has been warned to play on the festivals’ schedules – and not Axl’s – or risk not playing at all.

Festival organizer Melvin Benn told the BBC, “"If Guns N' Roses decide to take to stage as late as they did in Leeds some years ago, then the performance just won't happen. I've had a very heavy warning from the local councils. There is a curfew - it's a very strict curfew."

In 2002, GnR went on 2 hours late at Leeds and it caused problems for the event with the local council. "We got away with it once," added Benn. "We won't get away with it for a second time. Unfortunately, if the band chose not to take to the stage on time, there's really nothing I can do. I won't be allowed to break the curfew.”

As always, the bottom line remains the bottom line. “The truth is,” continued Benn, “it's threatening the viability of the festival. It threatens the licence. It really is quite important."

Let’s keep an eye on this scene to see what happens….

Here’s fan-shot footage of the set’s opening song from earlier this year.

Chinese Guns N’ Roses - Chinese Democracy - Chinese Democracy

Guns N’ Roses – Chinese Democracy
Roberto Clemente Coliseum – San Juan, Puerto Rico – April 15, 2010

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Bret Michaels co-hosts Miss Universe 2010

Popped in a few times on the broadcast last night to see how Bret Michaels would do as co-host of the Miss Universe pageant; yes, it was a slow night at hennemusic.

Considering the importance (sarcasm mode on) of the event and, from the few minutes I saw, it looked like Bret made out fine, co-hosting with Natalie Morales from NBC’s “The Today Show.”

Michaels was decked out in a tux, sporting his trademark headband, to boot.

Caught the final few segments to see how things turned out, and had a few laughs. I see pageant co-owner Donald Trump saved a few bucks by playing the role of pre-recorded tv announcer, making sure to get in all his plugs for the show’s sponsors as the program went in and out of commercial breaks.

Down to the top five, each contestant was asked a question by one of the judges. And the judges? The “esteemed” (*cough*) panel included Criss Angel, William Baldwin and Chazz Palminteri, among others. Really?

The first four questions went ok, but I knew Miss Philippines – who had huge audience support - blew any chance of winning when her answer made her look like a real rocket scientist (and maybe that is her day job, I don’t know).

Miss Universe 2010 – Q&A session
Featuring Miss Philippines
Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino – Las Vegas, NV – August 23, 2010

After that, I wasn’t surprised she ended up 5th out of 5. The winner was Jimena Navarrete, Miss Mexico.

Miss Universe 2010 - Winner selection
Bret Michaels co-hosts event
Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino – Las Vegas, NV – August 23, 2010

Another new U2 song

U2 have unveiled another new song on their 360° World Tour.

“Every Breaking Wave” premiered last Saturday (21) at the band’s show in Helsinki.

“No one’s heard that before, including the two of us,” said Bono, after he and The Edge finished the quiet song.

The track was reportedly planned for “No Line On The Horizon,” but didn’t make the final cut; it may be included in a future U2 release, and there’s a bunch on the horizon.

Bono recently told Rolling Stone that U2 have as many as four records ready to go. “We have “Songs of Ascent,” which is the meditative work that was meant to complement “No Line on the Horizon.” We've got a rock album. We also have a club-sounding album. And then we have the Spider-Man (musical) stuff.”

Recalling opening night of this leg in Turin a few weeks back – where the band played 3 new songs (click here for more info and to see/hear them) - playing new music on the road thrills Bono. “The idea was to make the crowd the spectacle – for us to be in the middle of this community and be able to play a new song if we want. People actually see it happening, because there is nothing else on stage. You can't hide.”

Bono says the concept challenges both the performers and the fans. “So now is the throwdown: "Oh, really? Let's see you play some new songs. How about three?" he continued. “Sure, people can say, ""Oh, I didn't think that was any good." But if I was a U2 fan, that's what I would want. I would want to watch a new song develop. We may discover it's not what we thought it was, and it may never see the light of day.

U2 – Every Breaking Wave (unreleased)
Olympic Stadium – Helsinki, Finland – August 21, 2010

Guests to join Santana on opening night in Vegas

Carlos Santana kicks off his annual residency tomorrow at The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, and he’ll be joined by some special guests.

India.Arie, Chris Daughtry and Gavin Rossdale will join Carlos for a special performance of “Supernatural Santana: A Trip Through the Hits” – billed as the first and only rock ‘n roll resident show in Vegas.

The three guests are featured on Santana’s classic rock covers set, “Guitar Heaven: The Greatest Guitar Classics Of All Time,” in stores September 21. (For more details, check here and here).

India.Arie joins Carlos on the album's first single "While My Guitar Gently Weeps," Chris Daughtry on Def Leppard’s “Photograph,” and Gavin Rossdale on the T. Rex classic "Bang A Gong (Get It On)."

Wonder if any other guests will pop up – on opening night and/or beyond? I’m looking your way, Eddie Van Halen…(the new cd includes a cover of Van Halen’s “Dance The Night Away,” with Train’s Pat Monahan on vocals; the song has been in Santana’s setlist this summer).

Dance Dance the Night Away - Van Halen II

Van Halen – Dance The Night Away (1979)

While While My Guitar Gently Weeps (Live at Madison Square Garden) - Let It Roll - Songs of George Harrison (Remastered)

George Harrison – While My Guitar Gently Weeps
With Eric Clapton on guitar
The Concert For Bangladesh – MSG, New York – August 1, 1971

Def Leppard – Photograph (1983)

Bang T. Rex - Bang a Gong (Get It On) - Electric Warrior (Remastered)

T. Rex – Bang A Gong (Get It On) (1971)