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Rock News

BRIAN WHEAT: “Def Leppard Are Like Our Big Brothers.”
 
 
Rock reporter Demerie Leigh recently sat down with TESLA bassist Brian Wheat to get his thoughts on the influence Def Leppard had on the band during the early days.
 
“Def Leppard are like our big brothers. When we were young starting out we used to play their songs in the clubs. The last proper tour across America we did was in ’87 – ’88 which was “Hysteria” which was a huge tour for them, i think it was their biggest album. We kinda learned how to be a band from being with them every night. They were good too, to have to go on before (them), the bar was high, so I think that’s why we were so good early on because playing with them every night you had to be good.
 
It’s gonna be great. They’re good guys.”
 
 
 
 
 
 
Styx Battle Tampa Lightning to Kick Off Electric Summer Tour With Def Leppard and Tesla
 
Neither torrential rain nor persistent thunder could derail the kickoff to Styx’s big summer tour with Def Leppard and Tesla, which got underway in fine fashion at the MidFlorida Ampitheatre in Tampa, Florida on June 23. 
 
While inclement weather delayed the start of the show for almost 90 minutes (and ultimately prevented Tesla from performing at all last night), it did nothing to dampen Styx’s enthusiasm once the band hit the stage at 8:25 p.m. “When you’re playing outdoors, there are a lot of things you can control, but you can’t control the weather,” guitarist/vocalist Tommy Shaw says backstage, shortly after the band wrapped a rousing, set-closing gallop through “Renegade” at 9:07 p.m. “You do everything you can. We waited for the lightning to pass, and we found our window. 
 
Def Leppard was quite glad to see Styx perform such a great set in Tampa, and they’re looking forward to sharing a long, fruitful summer ahead. “It’s always nice to hook up with old friends and tour together, because we already have a special vibe,” observes Phil Collen, Def Leppard’s lead guitarist. (Styx and Leppard last toured together in 2007.)
 
JY, in turn, also has a deep respect for the headliners. “We love playing with Def Leppard,” he affirms. “Joe Elliott knocked on our door, and we hugged like old friends, like we hadn’t missed a beat in 8 years since we had last seen each other. Phil Collen also came over and hugged me, and their crew treated our crew so well. There’s a very dear spot in our hearts for them, and vice-versa. I sense that these bands belong together more than every 8 years, so 3 or 4 years down the line, we’ll do this once more, at the least.”
 
One new thing you’ll immediately notice about Styx’s live set is that the music they walk onstage to has officially changed. “We’re calling it ‘Overture,’” explains Tommy of the brand-new composition. “We used ‘Drastic Measures’ for about 10 years, so it’s the right time to have a new intro.” 
 
Another new element is what you’ll see appear on the big screen behind the band.Charlie [Brusco, Styx’s manager] determined they needed to have something that represented the records they’ve done in the past — the album cover artwork. But we had to build them to fill this giant screen that Def Leppard supplied. I also did a new blue logo for them, which matches the set piece — cold steel, and rivet steel. 
 
So is it any wonder we got a great opening night set from the band, despite the hurdles Mother Nature put in the way? Well, not really. Take it from sound master Gary Loizzo: “How awesome was that? They’re such a great live band — they can pull off anything.” It is the Styx way, after all.
 
Def Leppard, Styx and Tesla Team Up For Summer Tour 
 
'80s hard rock icons Def Leppard, Styx and Tesla are teaming up for a cross-country tour this summer.
 
Def Leppard lead singer Joe Elliott and Co., who are headlining the tour, kick things off in Tampa, Fla., on June 23 and are set to make four stops in New York in July, including Jones Beach on July 24, and one in New Jersey, Billboard reports. 
 
The 48-stop tour will be the British fivesome's return to the road after a successful run with tongue-wagging rockers KISS this past summer.
 
Elliott promised the partnership with two bands from their hair metal heyday would be a pyrotechnic crowd-pleaser.
 
"We've toured with both of these bands before," the singer told Billboard. "Styx is a great bunch of guys and as American as mom's apple pie all the way through."
 
"Nobody's going to go see Tesla and Styx and not know who they are," he added. "They're going to say, 'I know all those guys and all those songs. That's a show I want to see.'"
 
2015 Tour Dates
 
June 23 Tampa, FL — MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre
 
June 25 West Palm Beach, FL — Coral Sky Amphitheatre
 
June 27 Birmingham, AL — Oak Mountain Amphitheatre
 
June 28 Atlanta, GA — Aaron's Amphitheatre at Lakewood 
 
June 30 Charlotte, NC — PNC Music Pavilion 
 
July 02 Bristow, VA — Jiffy Lube Live (on sale now)
 
July 03 Virginia Beach, VA — Farm Bureau Live at Virginia Beach (on sale now)
 
July 05 Uncasville, CT — Mohegan Sun Arena 
 
July 07 Gilford, NH — Bank of NH Pavilion at Meadowbrook
 
July 09 Mansfield, MA — Xfinity Center 
 
July 11 Bethel, NY — Bethel Woods Center for the Arts 
 
July 12 Darien Center, NY — Darien Lake Performing Arts Center
 
July 14 Toronto, ON — Molson Canadian Amphitheatre 
 
July 15 Youngstown, OH — Covelli Centre
 
July 17 Clarkston, MI — DTE Energy Music Theatre
 
July 21 Mt. Pleasant, MI — Soaring Eagle Resort & Casino
 
July 23 Wantagh, NY — Nikon at Jones Beach Theater 
 
July 24 Saratoga Springs, NY — Saratoga Performing Arts Center
 
July 25 Holmdel, NJ — PNC Bank Arts Center 
 
Aug. 07 Sturgis, SD — Buffalo Chip Campground
 
Aug. 08 Sioux Falls, SD — Sioux Falls Arena
 
 
 
 
 
John Mellencamp's Still “Plain Spoken” After All These Years
  
John Mellencamp used to feel at home playing the biggest arenas and amphitheaters that could hold him during his Rock and Roll Hall of Fame career. 
 
Nowadays, however, the “Small Town” guy likes the smaller places. 
 
Some of it is pragmatic, he freely acknowledges. The albums and radio play are not as abundant as they were during the multiplatinum ’80s heyday of “American Fool,” “Uh-Huh,” “Scarecrow” and “The Lonesome Jubilee.” Fortunately, however, that dovetails with a time in his life when Mellencamp, at 63, has less interest in playing the big rock shows. 
 
“I just can’t go out in front of 10,000 drunk people and play anymore,” the Indiana native says in a recent interview. “There’s nothing there for me to do that. I’m a musician. I’m a songwriter. You’re coming to hear music. I’m not here for your folly and your throwing up, too. I really have no interest in doing that.” 
 
But before he sounds like, well, his father, Mellencamp adds, “Don’t get me wrong; I have nothing with people having a drink or being stoned a little bit, but I don’t want fights breaking out and I don’t want to have to stop the show because people are jumping on the stage and all that stupid (stuff). That was all really fun when you were 28. It’s ... silly now” 
 
The theaters and opera houses are also better suited for Mellencamp’s latest album, the aptly titled “Plain Spoken,” which came out in September. It’s his first new release in seven years, and Mellencamp’s first in a new lifetime deal with Republic Records. 
 
“I thought it was time to probably make one,” Mellencamp says with a chuckle. “Y’know, I’ve never planned nothing in my life. I probably could’ve been more popular if I would’ve made a plan.” 
 
Popularity is relative, of course. Since 1976 he’s sold more than 40 million albums worldwide, scored nearly two dozen Top 40 hits and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2008. He also established credentials in painting, film (“Falling From Grace,” “After Image,” “Lone Star State of Mind”) and, more recently theater, via “Ghost Brothers of Darkland County,” a joint effort with Stephen King. 
 
Mellencamp began his career as Johnny Cougar during the mid-’70s, eventually retaking his surname and growing from brash ne’er-do-well into an Americana troubadour and activist who co-founded Farm Aid in 1984. Nearly four decades in, Mellencamp still sounds quietly awed by how durable his career has been. 
 
“We were all kids when we signed our first (record) deals, and you didn’t really anticipate making records your entire life,” says the thrice-married Mellencamp, who has five children and has been linked with actress Meg Ryan, who took the cover photo for “Plain Spoken.” “I got a text from another artist the other day that just read, ‘Can you ... believe we’re still doing this?’ I wrote back, ‘No. It’s unbelievable to me.’ 
 
“I’m very grateful that I never had to have a straight job. I never had to do any of that stuff. But I will tell you that being in a rock band — I don’t even like to use the word ‘rock’ anymore — early in my career and now being a songwriter and my own boss tends to make it all very colorful, to be kind. It makes a guy very colorful.” 
 
Early on, in fact, Mellencamp dubbed himself The Little Bastard on production credits in a nod to his sometimes surly temperament and the bad-boy posture of his music. At the start of “Plain Spoken” he declares himself “a troubled man,” while on “The Isolation of Mister” he confesses that he’s “never looked forward to the future, never enjoyed where I’ve been.” Give him an opening in conversation, he’ll grouse with gusto about the political right, the deteriorating state of the music industry and declining opportunities for artists in the Internet age. 
 
“Intellectual property, it just doesn’t have any value because everybody thinks music should be free. Everybody thinks books should be free, and movies,” Mellencamp explains. And because of that, he considers “Plain Spoken” “just a calling card.” 
 
“I don’t intend that it’s going to sell anything like I used to sell. Everybody goes, ‘Oh, it’s his age. He’s not writing hit songs. ...’ “That’s bull---- It’s got nothing to do with my age. It’s got nothing to do with the songs on the record. It has to do with the delivery system, the Internet, and that people don’t want to pay for music anymore.” 
 
Mellencamp acknowledges that environment is liberating for a veteran artist like him, however, and “Plain Spoken” reflects that. Its 10 songs are dominated by acoustic instruments and introspective lyrical ruminations. It’s not until the closing “Lawless Times” that he and his band get up a head of blues-rock steam as he rails about big business, government, authority in general and illegal downloading. 
 
“I think it’s definitely not an album a 25-year-old could write,” Mellencamp says. “Maybe some of our greatest songwriters could’ve written something like that at 25; obviously (Bob) Dylan did. But for me it was an achievement to be able to take my life experience and try to relate it to people our age, which is really what this record is. 
 
“I’m not sure how much my 19-year-old son would enjoy this record, y’know? He’s 19; I’m not so sure he’s gonna know what I’m talking about. But that’s OK. It’s not for him. I don’t have to write songs for 19-year-olds anymore. That’s not really in my vocabulary anymore.”
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LED ZEPPELIN DETAIL FINAL REISSUES

 

Remastered, expanded editions of Presence, In Through The Out Door and Coda feature alternate mixes and unreleased songs Led Zeppelin have released details of the tracks included on the forthcoming reissues of the band's final three albums, which are released on July 31.

 

The unreleased songs are the oddly titled 10 Ribs & All/Carrot Pod Pod, otherwise known as Pod, recorded during the Presence sessions, Sugar Mama, a blues jam from the Olympic Studio sessions for the band's first album, and St. Tristan’s Sword, an instrumental recorded at the same time as Led Zeppelin III. The latter two tracks appear on the companion discs for Coda, the only album in the reissue programme to feature two such discs.

 

Other tracks seeing the light of day for the first time include versions of Friends and Four Hands [Four Sticks] recorded with India's Bombay Orchestra in 1972, and a early version of When The Levee Breaks titled If It Keeps On Raining, from 1970. There are also alternate takes of The Wanton Song and In The Light.

 

The three albums will all be available in a variety of formats: single CD, Deluxe Edition CD sets, single vinyl, Deluxe Edition vinyl, digital download, and a Super Deluxe Boxed Set.

 

The latter includes the remastered album on CD in a vinyl replica sleeve, the companion audio on CD in a card wallet, the remastered album on 180-gram vinyl in a sleeve replicating the original pressing, the companion audio on 180-gram vinyl, a high-def audio download card featuring all the music at 96kHz/24 bit, a hardbound, 72-page book filled with rare and previously unseen photos and memorabilia, plus a high quality print of the original album cover. The first 30,000 of will be individually numbered.

 

Ann Wilson reveals nerves only kicked in after acclaimed Stairway To Heaven performance that left Robert Plant in tears

Heart vocalist Ann Wilson says she only became nervous about performing Stairway To Heaven with Led Zeppelin in the crowd after the song had finished.
 
Her band’s take on the classic track took place at the Kennedy Center Honors ceremony in Washington in December 2012, with Jason Bonham playing drums. The orchestrated arrangement, fronted with Wilson’s trademark voice, left Robert Plant in tears of joy.
 
Wilson tells Classic Rock Revisited: “That was one of the most unforgettable nights of my life. Zeppelin was there, as was President Obama and Michelle Obama. Bonnie Raitt, Buddy Guy – it doesn’t stop who was there that night. It was a life-changer.”
 
She reveals: “When we were done we walked backstage and there was a feeling of awe. We were like, ‘What just happened?’ We weren’t nervous when we were doing it – but afterwards our nervous system came back to life and it all kicked in.”
 
Asked whether she’d consider taking part in some form of Led Zeppelin reunion without Plant, she says: “Hypothetically, if they ever needed a lead singer and Heart was not active, I’d go and play with Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones any day of the week.”
 
Wilson admits that sometimes her voice surprises even her. “I don’t know if ‘goosebumps’ is the word,” she says, “But here are moments when it’s really clicking and it’s divine. When that happens, when I feel that i can really, really, let my soul sing, that that is pure light for me. It doesn’t get any better than that.”
 
Heart have just released a Christmas album called Home For The Holidays, where they aim to avoid the traditional cover versions in pursuit of tracks that “send some hope out to the world.”
 
 
Heart vocalist Ann Wilson is a newlywed
 
People reports that Wilson tied the knot with Dean Wetter on April 25, celebrating in front of a small group of family and friends with a ceremony held in her manager’s backyard. The magazine offers exclusive photos of the event.
Heart’s official Facebook page offered its support, posting an announcement that reads, “A harmonious melody of devotion was felt on 4/25, as ‪#‎AnnWilson‬ and ‪#‎DeanWetter‬ were married in an intimate ceremony in front of family and friends. Congratulations to the Newlyweds! Love Rules!!!”
Wilson also offered a few quotes to People, describing the occasion as “beautiful” and saying, “Dean and I first met in the ’80s and went on a date where we both got smashed and I tried to seduce him. Like the gentleman he is, he declined. Years passed, we got back in touch after we had both grown up, and Pow! – It worked! Did it ever! He is my friend, my angel, my husband. I am truly happy.”
The newlyweds have a brief window of domestic bliss on the calendar before Heart are scheduled to get back on the road for the next leg of their 2015 tour, which picks up again May 17 and continues all the way through to mid-September.

 

 

 

 

 

 

QUEEN guitarist and astrophysicist BRIAN MAY is part of a group that's raising awareness for THE THREAT OF ASTEROIDS on our planet.  In case you didn't know Brian May attained a PhD in astrophysics from Imperial College in 2007.

 

 

They're calling for the creation of a massive asteroid detection system.  The group also includes BILL NYE, the "Science Guy."



 

The Edge says Bono's bicycle accident injuries are serious and as part of his recovery: 'He Basically Can't Move'.

 

 

However, they are confident in his eventual recovery and U2 just announced plans to kick off their next tour in May.  


 

"Rolling Stone" has released a list of "The Top 50 Albums of 2014."  U2's "Songs of Innocence" was #1, followed by BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN's "High Hopes" and "Turn Blue" by The Black Keys came in 3rd.

 

Click here for more details.


 

 

ANGUS YOUNG of AC/DC spoke about his brother MALCOM's dementia, saying he started having symptoms as early as 2008.

 

 

Click here for more details.


 

 

Yet another Janis Joplin movie is in the works, and maybe this one will actually get off the ground.  It's called "Get It While You Can" . . . and Amy Adams is once again attached to play Janis.   Amy has been trying to play Janis for over four years now, when she was first linked to the role. In the past, she's said she'd like to sing Janis' songs herself. That said, it isn't scheduled to begin production for another six months, so don't get too excited yet.

 

Janis Joplin

 

 


 

 

Another twist in the ongoing saga of a future Led Zeppelin reunion.

 



ROBERT PLANT's rep issued a one-word response to rumors that Plant ripped up an $800 million contract to reunite LED ZEPPELIN: "Rubbish".

Get more details here.


 

Robert Plant tore up an $800 Million contract for planned 35-date tour even though Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones had signed up.
 


Click here for more details.


 

Phil Rudd, the drummer for legendary Australian rock band AC/DC, has been charged in New Zealand with attempting to arrange the murders of two people. Rudd was also charged with possession of meth and pot.

 

On Friday, New Zealand prosecutors backtracked by dropping a murder-for-hire charges him, saying there wasn't enough evidence to proceed.

 

 



Click here for more details.

 

The band issued a statement about Phil Rudd's arrest.

Click here to read the statement.

 


 

 

The Doobie Brothers new album, "Southbound" is available now.

 

 

The album contains a new spin on Doobie Brothers Classics with Country Music artists. You can preview some of the songs on their website.


 

 

CREAM bassist JACK BRUCE died of liver disease on Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014.  He was 71. 

 

 

He wrote and sang the majority of Cream's songs . . . including "I Feel Free", "White Room", "Politician" and "Sunshine of Your Love".



 

Roger Daltrey has confirmed that The Who are currently writing and recording a new studio album.

 



The band recently revealed new song 'Be Lucky', their first in 8 years, and have been spurred into action by the track and their 50th anniversary celebrations and will now follow it up with their newest album.


Click here for more details.


 

 

STEVEN TYLER from AEROSMITH is doing a country-influenced solo album.

 



Click here for more details.


 

 

DAVID GILMOUR says Pink Floyd is pretty much over . . . quote, "It's a shame, but this is the end."

 

 

Click here for more details.


 

 

 

PINK FLOYD released the tracklist and artwork for their upcoming album "The Endless River". It comes out November 11th. 

 

 

In a separate story,  ROGER WATERS is being bombarded with questions about the new PINK FLOYD album "Endless River".  But he has NOTHING to do with it.  He says, quote, "David Gilmour and Nick Mason constitute the group Pink Floyd. I, on the other hand, am not part of Pink Floyd.  I left Pink Floyd in 1985."


 

PHIL COLLINS will perform a few songs at a charity benefit, but he says he's, quote, "not ready to return to the full concert stage at this time." In a separate story Phil admits he developed a serious alcohol problem after retiring in 2010. Phil said, “I don’t drink any more, and I’ve never fallen off the wagon.”

 

 

Click here for more details.


 

BOB SEGER kicks off a new tour on November 19th in Saginaw, Michigan in support of his new album "Ride Out".  He says this might be his last album and tour.

 



Click here for more details.


 

 

Black Sabbath reveals plans for a new album and a final tour next year.

 

 

Click here for more details.


 

 

AC/DC has announced that founding guitarist MALCOLM YOUNG is NOT coming back.  Apparently he isn't expected to fully recover from whatever illness he has, but they didn't elaborate on his condition.  Malcolm's nephew STEVIE YOUNG is taking his place on their upcoming album, and their tour next year.


 

 

A DOORS documentary made by the band members themselves in 1968 is was released on DVD November 11th.

 

 

Click here for more details.


 

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN is releasing a children's book called "Outlaw Pete".  It's based on his 2009 song of the same name, which was itself based on an old book his mother used to read him called "Brave Cowboy Bill".  So in other words, Bruce Springsteen remade a book.

 


 

 

 

 

THE DOOBIE BROTHERS released the track listing of their country duets album "Southbound", which was released on November 4th. That's the album where they brought in country artists to help them re-record their biggest hits. Guest performers include Blake Shelton, Toby Keith, Brad Paisley and Zac Brown.

 


 

 

STEVIE NICKS released a song called "The Dealer" from her new album.

 



 

 

Rest In Peace Dick Wagner, he died at the age of 71. Dick Wagner was a former guitarist for ALICE COOPER. Wagner co-wrote Alice's classic power ballads "Only Women Bleed", "I Never Cry", "You and Me" and "How You Gonna See Me Now".

 


 

 

Rest In Peace Johnny Winter. The legendary blues - rock guitarist has died at the age of 70.

 



He rose to musical fame with his brother in the Edgar Winter Group. In the early '70s, Winter formed a band with members of the McCoys, known for their 1965 hit Hang On Sloopy. That group featured a guitarist named Rick Derringer, who wrote Rock and Roll, Hoochie Koo. That song was recorded by Winter in 1970 and Derringer in 1973. Winter performed often with blues and rock singer Janis Joplin. Winter had recently recorded an album called Step Back, containing traditional blues and early rock and roll songs and featuring collaborations with Eric Clapton, Billy Gibbons, Joe Perry of Aerosmith, Dr. John, Leslie West and others. The album is due for a Sept. 2 release.


Click here for more details.


 

 

It's official: KISS is getting a short-term residency at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Vegas.

 

 

They're doing nine shows, and it kicks off on November 5th.



THE WHO announced a 50th anniversary tour and they're also doing a new album.  Daltrey told Rolling Stone that while there are no confirmed North American dates currently booked, they are planning on touring here.

 

 

Click here for more information.


 

Deep Purple have confirmed they will release a new album. Their 20th in 2015.

Frontman Ian Gillan previously revealed the band were holed up in a studio in Portugal. And bass player Roger Glover has announced the follow up to 2013's Now What will arrive next year.

 



Click here for more details.


 

 

PHIL COLLINS may be coming back to music after all.

 

 

His longtime bassist says Phil is assembling a band to do "exploratory rehearsals." And if things go well, he could launch a comeback. For what it's worth, it seems like he still isn't able to drum. The band he's putting together also includes drummer JASON BONHAM . . . the son of LED ZEPPELIN drummer JOHN BONHAM.


 


Someone bought a handwritten draft of the lyrics from BOB DYLAN'S "Like a Rolling Stone" for over $2 million.

 

 

 

 

 

The classic GENESIS lineup is reuniting, but not to make new music. They're just participating in a BBC documentary about the band.


 

QUEEN is saying that ADAM LAMBERT is a better fit for them than PAUL RODGERS was.
 

 

Paul Rogers

 

 

Adam Lambert


British rock act Queen are playing North American arenas this summer with American Idol season eight runner up Adam Lambert as frontman for their first tour together on this side of the pond.

And the two remaining Queen members say it could be the last time they hit the road.

Before Lambert, Queen has previously toured with fellow Brit Paul Rodgers, 64, of Bad Company and Free on and off between 2005-2009.

“Paul has one of the greatest rock voices but it’s more blues and soul orientated I would have thought,” said drummer Roger Taylor.

“It really felt like Adam has a great chemistry with us and delivers our songs in his imitable way with his extraordinary and voice,” said Taylor.


 

 

 

42 years after "Stairway to Heaven" came out, SPIRIT has FINALLY filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against LED ZEPPELIN . . . for allegedly lifting part of their song "Taurus" for the opening chords of "Stairway to Heaven".  Led Zeppelin has not commented.

 

Here is "Taurus" by Spirit, you can skip ahead to :45 seconds to hear the section of the song that is in dispute.

 

 

And here is "Stairway to Heaven".


 

 

 

 

Rocker Ozzy Osbourne once bit the head off a bat . . . now its family is getting revenge. He cannot convert part of his Buckinghamshire estate until he can protect the bats which live there, the council said.

 



The Black Sabbath singer, who once claimed he bit the head off a live bat, applied to turn a barn on his Jordans' estate into a two-bedroom home.

The council refused after "considerable evidence" of bats and owls were found there.

It said measures had to be put in place to protect the animals.

 

Click here for more details.


 

 


In an old interview, JOHN LENNON sort of says YOKO ONO'S MIND broke up THE BEATLES. He explains, quote, "If you're with somebody who's got a 'ticking' mind, which was the best part about being with the Beatles when they were ticking, is they were ticking, you know? But it began to slow down. But with Yoko, it's like living with four or five people . . . it's far out."

 


 

 







 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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