Don Henley‘s new Cass County LP features guest appearances from some of Nashville’s biggest stars, and when he stopped at the city’s Ryman Auditorium for a show Oct. 18, he paid tribute to yet another country legend — sort of, anyway.
Rolling Stone reports that Henley’s set list for his night at the Ryman included a somewhat surprising cover: “It Don’t Matter to the Sun,” a song that originally appeared on Garth Brooks‘ much-maligned 1999 release Garth Brooks in … The Life of Chris Gaines.
Originally conceived as the musical lead-in to a movie starring Brooks as an Australian pop star, the record was widely regarded as a costly creative folly — even though it peaked at No. 2, went double platinum and spun off a Top 5 hit in “Lost in You.”
However roundly Brooks might have been mocked for the whole Gaines concept, the album had a solid creative pedigree, with a track listing largely penned by the songwriting triumvirate of Gordon Kennedy, Wayne Kirkpatrick and Tommy Sims — the same trio responsible for Eric Clapton‘s massive hit “Change the World.” They clearly have a fan in Henley, who’s been adding a number of clever cover choices to the set list for his Cass County dates.
Even though “It Don’t Matter to the Sun” might have been the biggest surprise of his Ryman performance, Henley started raising eyebrows earlier in the tour, when he debuted his take on the 30-year-old Tears for Fears hit “Everybody Wants to Rule the World.”
Other covers include Randy Newman‘s “Let’s Burn Down the Cornfield” and the Screamin’ Jay Hawkins classic “I Put a Spell on You” — as well as his set-opening rendition of Steve Young’s “Seven Bridges Road,” which he first covered with the Eagles.
Henley remains on the road in support of Cass County until mid-November, with singer-songwriter Shawn Colvin offering support at all shows, including his apperance at the DAR Constitution Hall in Washington, DC November 5th.
Cheap Trick, Deep Purple, the Cars, Yes, Steve Miller and Chicago Among Rock Hall of Fame Nominees
Cheap Trick, Deep Purple, the Cars, Yes, Steve Miller and Chicago are among the 15 artists who have been newly nominated for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Approximately five of these acts will actually be chosen as part of next year’s Hall of Fame induction class, which will be announced in December.
The other nine nominees are Los Lobos, Nine Inch Nails, Janet Jackson, N.W.A, the Smiths, Chaka Khan, Chic, the J.B.’s and the Spinners.
For the fourth year in a row, fans will be able to cast their votes at Rolling Stone to determine one of the new inductees.
The combined fan-vote ballot will only receive as much weight as each of the 800 submitted by the artists, historians and music industry insiders of the Rock Hall voting body.
In order to be eligible for inclusion on this year’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ballot, acts had to have released their first single or album in 1990 or earlier.
This is the first year that Chicago, Cheap Trick, the Cars, Los Lobos and Steve Miller have been nominated. The Black Crowes are among several newly eligible artists who were not nominated for possible induction.
The 2016 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will take place next April in New York City, and will be televised on HBO later in the year.
Def Leppard’s Phil Collen Interviewed About New Book
Def Leppard's guitarist Phil Collen, gets it all down in his new memoir, Adrenalized: Life, Def Leppard, and Beyond.
In this interview Phil talks about the book and the band’s forthcoming album – their 11th – the self-titled Def Leppard.
Q: A revelation from Adrenalized – you’re still not an official member of Def Leppard.
Phil: Right! (laughs) I think they did sneak me in there somewhere though.
Q: Why did you decide to write a memoir now?
Phil: I didn’t, actually. I was at the Gerson Institute for a fund raiser and a friend of mine, Chris Epting, who’s my co-writer, suggested I write a book. I don’t really like the idea, as it seems egotistical but Chris convinced me we could do it in a different sort of way.
Q: This was my takeaway on the secret of Def Leppard’s success: You were frugal, loyal and never forgot your working class roots.
Phil: I’d say you hit it bang-on the head. That’s it in a nutshell. It’s like fitness in that it’s not rocket science, but few are willing to do it. Our parents grew up in war-torn England with the Blitz going off trying to kill them and buildings blowing up here and there and they took that value system and instilled it into us. I think the further you get away from that sort of suffering and hard work, the less respect and honor people have in their everyday lives. All the guys in Def Leppard had that same working class background and it was based on those values. Even down to things like not wasting water, because there were rations.
Q: I loved the part where you’re on the biggest tour in the world but you still refuse limos.
Phil: Absolutely! But then again, we were also surrounded by really cool people. At first we said, “Limos are great!” Then Peter Mensch, our former manager, would say “Guys, let me break it down for you…”
So we were fortunate that we had people who would nurture us and explain those things. A lot of bands don’t know or simply don’t care. Even with our management, it was very much a team and a family. And it still is to this day.
Q: I watched the In the Round DVD recently. How were multi-tracked masterpieces likePyromania and Hysteriarecreated so faithfully? I heard you didn’t use tracks.
Phil: Ah, In the Round! No [recorded] backing vocals, no tracks. Every member of this band is a bad-ass singer and we thought it was a cop out out to rely on tracks.
Q: You guys are working double up, every song on that show. Rick Savage is singing harmony, playing bass, guitar, keyboards, samples….
Phil: Here’s a fun story for you. When we recorded “Love Bites” we were never in the same room at the same time. We all sang on it but most of the backing vocals were Mutt Lange, he’s the one you hear more than anyone else and Mutt’s an amazing singer.
So we release the album and “Love Bites” goes to Number One. We’d never played it! It was so hard to work out how to play guitar and sing those parts at the same time. We had to come up with hybrid parts because before, where there had been eight guitar parts — you had to choose the most prominent ones and make a collage of sorts. Same thing with the vocals. I remember we had two days off but instead of taking the downtime we actually went into a studio just to practice that song and try to work it out. Again, it goes back to that thing: you want to be proud of your work. We were and we are.
Kurt Cobain's Montage of Heck Documentary Soundtrack Coming
More details have been revealed ahead of the release of the soundtrack for the Kurt Cobain documentary Montage Of Heck.
The film's audio companion set was previously said to be due on December 6 – the same day as the DVD and Blu-ray version of Brett Morgen's documentary will be issued.
But it has now been announced that Kurt Cobain - Montage Of Heck: The Home Recordings will be released on CD and digitally on November 13.
A 2LP vinyl edition will follow on December 4. Additionally, a seven-inch single featuring And I Love Her and Sappy (Early Demo) will hit the streets on November 20.
Kurt Cobain: Montage Of Heck Super Deluxe Edition and Kurt Cobain: Montage Of Heck: The Home Recordings both include the soundtrack – essentially a Cobain solo record featuring raw cassette recordings made by the frontman.
The Super Deluxe Edition will include the feature film and 48 minutes of bonus interviews on Blu-ray and DVD, a 31-track deluxe soundtrack on CD and cassette, a 160-page hardbound book with extended interviews and images from the Cobain archive, a puzzle with a collectable storage container, movie poster, postcards and a bookmark.
The 31-track deluxe soundtrack CD is exclusively available in the Super Deluxe Edition and showcases tracks from the documentary including spoken word, demos and full songs.
The Home Recordings soundtrack will be released in two stand-alone physical formats – a 31-track deluxe album available on 2LP vinyl and a standard edition 13-track CD.
Morgen was given unrestricted access to Cobain's archive for the film – the first authorised documentary about the Nirvana icon.
Rush Announce Release Dates for ‘Atlantic Years’ Vinyl Reissues
Rush‘s year of vinyl reissues just got even busier. The band has spent 2015 bringing its classic early albums to vinyl and hi-def digital audio via a yearlong reissue campaign that encompasses the LPs they recorded for Mercury between the self-titled 1974 debut and 1989′s A Show of Hands.
Those releases, scheduled to conclude in December, will now be joined by a separate slew of reissues that focus on the group’s Atlantic recordings.
Six of those albums — Presto (1989), Roll the Bones (1991), Counterparts (1993), Test for Echo (1996), Feedback (2004) and Snakes & Arrows (2007) — are set to be pressed on audiophile-quality, 200-gram vinyl, each sold with a code to access a high-definition digital download.
Three of the releases (Counterparts, Test for Echo and Snakes & Arrows) are being released as two-LP sets; according to a press release, the Counterparts and Test for Echo vinyl editions also “feature etched designs on side D of the album which are available for the first time on these pressings.”
This set of reissues, called the Atlantic Years on Vinyl, is already available for pre-order through Rush’s official site, with the first of several chronological installments — Presto and Roll the Bones — arriving Oct. 23. Counterparts and Test for Echo follow Nov. 6, with Feedback and Snakes & Arrows rounding out the series on Jan. 15, 2016.
In the midst of all this activity, the group has planned another release of a more recent vintage: On Nov. 20, they’re set to issue a CD/DVD package commemorating their R40 Live tour with footage from a pair of shows at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto.
Def Leppard Gives First Glimpse Of The Band’s New Self-titled Effort.
The group’s 11th studio album — and first since 2008′s The Sparkle Lounge — Def Leppard is reportedly due to arrive in stores Oct. 30, according to pre-release information listed at Amazon.
It’s perhaps worth noting that the store’s U.K. site shows the CD arriving in the U.K. in late November, so it’s entirely possible that these dates are still very much in flux; the band’s U.S. distribution arm, Mailboat Records, doesn’t yet list any information regarding the new release.
Whenever it arrives, Def Leppard looks to be a 14-track affair, as revealed by singer Joe Elliott in a photo posted to the band’s official Instagram account.
Elliott also explained the reasoning behind releasing a self-titled album at this point in the band’s career, saying, “It’s just called ‘Def Leppard’ because that’s what it sounds like. It doesn’t sounds like any one specific era of Def Leppard. It’s got everything.”
That “everything,” Elliott argued, includes bits of Def Leppard’s many influences. “You’ll listen and you go ‘Oh, that sounds like Def Leppard’ or you’ll go ‘That is Leppard, but sounds a bit like Led Zeppelin or Queen but you can hear the AC/DC or the Crosby, Stills and Nash coming through,” he predicted. “We have not shied away from anything that’s influenced us in our growing up periods of our life. Just because we’ve made the kind of music we’ve made doesn’t mean to say we don’t like all of this other stuff.”
Ritchie Blackmore Confirms First Rock Concerts in Nearly 20 Years
Ritchie Blackmore will play a quartet of rock-focused shows in Europe next year, returning to the genre that hurtled him to fame after being away from it for nearly 20 years.
Members of his celebrated former bands are also slated to participate, says the guitarist.
“I am doing four dates in June, which will be all rock,” Blackmore tells Noisey. “I have the band basically together and it will be [the best of] Rainbow and Deep Purple.”
Blackmore didn’t confirm which former bandmates will participate, though Joe Lynn Turner has already suggested he could be involved. David Coverdale has also previously approached Blackmore about working together again.
Ritchie Blackmore has co-led Blackmore’s Night, a traditional folk band, with his wife, Candice Night, since 1997. And that’s where he’ll be returning after these one-off rock shows are completed.
“It’s just having fun, but it’s only four dates in Europe,” he noted. “I don’t want to do anymore because I take what I’m doing now much more seriously.”
Blackmore’s Night will release a new album, All Our Yesterdays, on Sept. 18.
For those of you keeping score, Coverdale played with Blackmore in Deep Purple from 1973-75.
Turner joined Blackmore in Rainbow from 1980-84, and was then in Deep Purple from 1989-92.
Blackmore led Deep Purple from 1968-75 and then again from 1984-93; stints in Rainbow followed both times, in 1975-84, and then in 1993-97.
Guns N’ Roses Reunion Rumors Quashed by Festival Promoter
It sounds like Guns N’ Roses fans hopeful for a reunion of the classic lineup will need to continue exercising a little patience.
Perhaps sparked by the recent news that ex-GNR guitarist Slash is on friendly terms again with bandleader Axl Rose, last week saw the circulation of a rumor that the group’s Appetite for Destruction lineup would reconvene to perform at the 2016 Soundwave Festival in Australia next January.
Unfortunately, it sounds like that was just wishful thinking — at least according to Soundwave promoter A.J. Maddah, who tells Music Feeds that as fun as it’s been for him to indulge in the fantasy of hosting one of rock’s most long hoped-for reunions, he has to point out the obvious: Getting those guys back together would take a long time and a lot of lawyers.
“It’s been nice for me personally to share this fantasy for a few days along with the fans but it is not happening for SW16,” said Maddah. “I sure hope those guys do get back together again, as there has never been — or, as far as I am concerned, ever will be — such a potent force for rock ‘n’ roll than the original GNR in full flight.”
That being said, Maddah has been around long enough to understand the complex negotiations involved in something like this. “If it does happen, it is going to take longer than six months for the band to be ready to tour,” he pointed out. “I think it’ll take a hundred lawyers six months just to get the five of them into a rehearsal room together. … But if by a miracle it does happen, then of course, I’ll throw everything I can to be involved. It would be my last act as a promoter — after that, I’ll have nowhere to go!”
Van Halen 2015 Tour Features Debuts and Rarities
Van Halen kicked off their 2015 summer tour peppering their set list with a half-dozen songs that haven’t been played live in decades – or in some cases, which were making their live debuts.
Bassist Wolfgang Van Halen promised fans “by far the best set list” he’s ever made for this trek, and he delivered a big surprise right out of the gates as the band started the show with “Light Up the Sky” from their 1979 sophomore album.
It’s a track that hasn’t been played live in 35 years, according to our friends at the Van Halen News Desk.
The night also saw the live debuts of “Drop Dead Legs” and “Dirty Movies” – both of which we’ve included below – and the return of long-lost gems such as “Feel Your Love Tonight” and “In a Simple Rhyme,” the latter complete with the Women and Children-closing instrumental “Growth.”
Of course, essential classics such as “Runnin’ With the Devil” and “Panama” occupied the majority of the evening.
Van Halen’s summer tour continues with a stop at Jiffy Lube Live in Bristow, VA. August 29th.
Motley Crue's All Bad things Must Come To An End Final Tour 2015
Mötley Crüe has set out on the last leg of their two year Final Tour cycle, first announcing plans for their two year Final Tour by signing a Cessation Of Touring Agreement at a press conference in Los Angeles in January 2014, solidifying the end of their touring career for December 2015.
Since the announcement the band has been touring tirelessly to say goodbye to fans around the world including Japan, Australia and New Zealand earlier this year.
After thirty-four years performing together, the 2015 leg of the Final Tour includes shows all across the globe. September will see the band perform their final Mexico shows and also take them to Brazil one last time to play Rock In Rio before embarking on their last ever European dates in November and returning to Canada and the US for dates leading into Christmas and the very final show on New Year’s eve.
By the end of 2015, The Final Tour will have visited an impressive 5 continents since July 2014 (North America, South America, Europe, Australia and Asia) for a total of more than 164 shows.
The Crue has for the first time introduced the “Crüesnest”, a special platform attached to their second stage which enables some fans to watch the grand finale of the show from the best seats in the house.
Crüesnest seats provide the ultimate viewing experience as they are separated from the band by merely a few feet. Riders of the experience are strapped and buckled into one of only a few seats at the foot of the second stage.
The platform raises approximately 25 feet into the air and gives a birds-eye view of the venue as well as an unprecedented up close and personal view of the band while they perform the finale of their show.
Audiences can also expect a high-energy performance from very special guest Alice Cooper, who joined the band for the Final Tour in 2014. He will be tearing up the stage for crowds across North America once again on most 2015 dates.
The Crue’s touring career will conclude for good on New Year’s Eve, December 31 at Staples Center in their hometown of Los Angeles, the city where the band’s career began 34 years ago.
Aug. 26 -Motley Crue w/Alice Cooper - Royal Farms Arena - Baltimore
Aerosmith Celebrate Tour Finale With the Minnesota Vikings Cheerleaders
Aerosmith celebrated the end of their 2015 Blue Army tour in high style last Friday night (Aug. 7) in Canton, Ohio, inviting opening act Living Colour and the Minnesota Vikings cheerleaders onstage for a spectacular romp through “Walk This Way.”
The show was part of the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s annual enshrinement weekend, with the cheerleaders in town to root their team on against the Pittsburgh Steelers in an exhibition game the following night.
The rest of Aerosmith’s 17-song set was equally impressive, with Tyler in absolutely peak vocal form and a well-chosen set list featuring particularly powerful takes on “Last Child” and “Rats in the Cellar.”
Joe Perry took the microphone for a hard-hitting version of Fleetwood Mac’s “Stop Messing Around,” and the duo commandeered the front stage walkway for a dramatic encore of “Dream On.”
Aerosmith will release a new concert film, Aerosmith Rocks Donington 2014, on Sept. 4, and seem to be finally circling around the idea of recording a follow-up to 2012′s Music from Another Dimension!
A Farewell to Tours? Rush Conclude ‘R40′ Dates
The members of Rush have concluded what may well be their final large-scale tour.
The group marked the last date of its R40 trek on Aug. 1, closing out a run of shows billed in advance as “their last major tour of this magnitude.”
Although that statement was obviously parsed carefully enough to make room for further performances, the band members have made it clear they’re really starting to feel all the miles they’ve racked up over the years.
Even before the R40 tour was announced, drummer Neil Peart was candid regarding his reluctance to head back out on the road, admitting that having a young daughter at home can’t help but temper his enthusiasm for spending weeks out of town.
Peart’s pain was partly mended by bringing his wife and daughter (who attended her first Rush show on this tour) out for visits, but decades of playing music have also taken a physical toll; as previously reported, Peart battles tendinitis in his arm, while guitarist Alex Lifeson is coping with painful arthritis that makes it difficult for him to play.
It’s all added up to a series of dates that Lifeson recently admitted left the band in a reflective mood.
“In the past when we’ve celebrated our anniversary — like, for example, our 30 tour 10 years ago, it was a bit of a retrospective as well. We kind of tried to reach back and balance the live set with material from our entire career,” he explained. “But this time we focused a lot more on looking back from the present right back to the very beginning.”
Is this the end of Rush live?...stayed tuned.
Billy Joel At Farm Bureau Live Amphitheater - June 6, 2015
Billy Joel delivered the goods on Saturday for a near-sellout crowd, performing two dozen songs over the course of two hours.
At age 66, Joel remains in very strong voice, even reaching the high notes on "An Innocent Man" that a few years ago he was handing off to his backing singers.
The staging was just right - lots of lighting effects, no unnecessary pyrotechnics, and large video screens that alternated between shots of the performers and images that correlated to the subject of the songs.
Concert Review: The Eagles
For the packed John Paul Jones arena Monday night, the Charlottesville audience showed their appreciation for three hours of music that was obviously just as much a part of their lives as the band’s.
Like a couple of old pals, Glenn Frey and Don Henley met onstage, bumped fists, and sat down side by side. For this “History of The Eagles” tour, the band took the audience through their story, both onstage and with filmed reminiscences.
Founding member Bernie Leadon joined the group onstage for only an early segment, taking the spotlight for the Dillard & Clark song “Train Leaves Here This Morning.”
Timothy B. Schmit appeared next, joining for “Peaceful Easy Feeling” and prompting Frey to note how the song reminded him of Schmit’s previous band, Poco.
The crowd then erupted as Joe Walsh rounded out the group.
“Peaceful Easy Feeling” was a perfect example of how the band currently sounds. While Frey’s lead vocals were carefully controlled, they were clear and distinctive, and the song came to life when all voices joined to melt away the years and remind why The Eagles’ early hits have such staying power.
Walsh’s star turn was a huge crowd-pleaser as the band backed Walsh on his solo hit “Life’s Been Good,” followed by a Walsh/Frey guitar showdown for the James Gang favorite “Funk #49.”
Their “History of The Eagles” show leaves little to be desired for fans of their hits. The Eagles’ Charlottesville stop offered a group still in full control of their gifts and working to ensure that a memorable Eagles experience was had by all.
And for a band facing a 50th anniversary in a few more years, that’s probably more than even they imagined back when they released “Hell Freezes Over.”
Eagles Upcoming 2015 U.S. Tour Dates
The long-running History of the Eagles tour has been given a fresh round of dates that will keep the band on the road well into the summer.
The tour, which launched in 2013 with the premiere of the band documentary of the same name,is currently scheduled to conclude with a July 29 stop in Louisiana.
While a follow-up to the band’s most recent LP, 2007′s double-disc set Long Road Out of Eden, remains well in the distance, 2015 may finally bring the release of Eagles co-founder Don Henley‘s next solo album, a long-in-the-works collection titled Cass County.
Henley said the record was finished back in 2013, hinting that it would offer substantial appeal for longtime fans.
“It’s primarily a record for grown-ups — people who’ve done some living,” he said.
“It explores the landscape of memory and experience. There are a few cover songs on the album, but most of the content is new, original material.”
Check out the list of Eagles upcoming tour dates below, and visit the band’s official site for ticketing information.
History of the Eagles 2015 Upcoming Tour Dates:
7/10 – Miami, Fla.
7/12 – Greenville, S.C.
7/13 – Charlottesville, Va.
7/15 – Hartford, Ct.
7/17 – Atlantic City, N.J.
7/18 – Buffalo, N.Y.
7/20 – Baltimore, Md.- Royal Farms Arena
7/22 – Dayton, Ohio
7/24 – Detroit, Mich.
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.