Def Leppard moved one step closer to induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame after a convincing win in the fan vote, which closed last night.
The British band secured 547,647 votes, ahead of Stevie Nicks (427,844), Todd Rundgren (365,370), the Zombies (329,052) and the Cure (264,443).
All five of the top-polling acts receive an additional vote in the final ballot, beyond the support given by members of the Hall, which includes artists, industry executives and others. While winning the fan vote doesn’t guarantee induction, all of the artists who have won it since its introduction in 2012 have gone on to receive the honor.
“Let’s not get too excited,” Def Leppard singer Joe Elliott told Ultimate Classic Rock recently. “The nomination in one thing, being inducted is another. Essentially, it’s worth one-thousandth of the entire vote, so it’s not worth a great deal numerically speaking. … The other 999 [voters] have got no option but to take notice of it.”
Robert Cavuoto of My Global Mind recently spoke with guitarist Carlos Cavazo (Quiet Riot, Ratt), excerpts from the interview appear below.
Robert Cavuoto: I think a lot of people were surprised to see that you departed from Ratt after Warren DeMartini left, tell me about that decision?
Carlos Cavazo: Warren didn’t leave; he was actually fired from the band. They wanted me to stay, and I really didn’t want to do it without him. He was the reason I was initially in the band. Without the original members up there it seemed like it was falling apart as they have problems. I figured maybe it’s best that I go my own way. I really couldn’t see myself up there with another guitarplayer. It didn’t seem right.
Robert Cavuoto: I thought you were a perfect fit for the band as you came from that genre; you are a great guitar player and the best replacement for Robbin Crosby. You and Warren made a strong guitar team; it was sad for us fans to see it end.
Carlos Cavazo: Thanks, that’s what everyone thought, and I felt that I fit in really well. I have known the guys a long time, and no matter what happens they will always still be my friends. I know we are going through some rough times now, but they will always be my bros. Hopefully, we will get together someday and play again.
Robert Cavuoto: Is the door open for you and Warren to play with Ratt again?
Carlos Cavazo: I would hope so, never-say-never. I would play with them again if Warren were back.
Robert Cavuoto: I thought of you as the original guitarist of Quiet Riot as that was my initial introduction to the band as a teenager. Was there any concern at the time thatyou were replacing Randy Rhoades as the guitarist?
Carlos Cavazo: To be honest with you, I didn’t even think or worry about it at the time. Kevin had gone through a couple of guitarists before I started working with him. When we got together, we agreed that we were going to stick to a heavier…sound. The first two albums that they put out with Randy were more pop than what we were trying to do. That is probably why it was a different starting point. I never thought about being a replacement for Randy; I don’t think anybody can fill that guy’s shoes.
Robert Cavuoto: Thirty-Five years ago on November 26th, 1983 Metal Health reached number one on the Billboard charts. What was it like for you that day and how did it impact the band?
Carlos Cavazo: We were so busy touring I don’t think we gave it a lot of thought. We had a couple of weeks off, and when we came home, everywhere I went people were recognizing me. I thought “we must be big” as this never happened to me before. [Laughing] Then the money started to come, and we started to be a little well off. Before that, I never had a job that paid good money.
Robert Cavuoto: How many times platinum did Metal Health go?
Carlos Cavazo: I think six to eight times platinum, I’m not sure of the exact numbers but it still continues to sell. All of our records worldwide sold over 10 million albums. It affected us because we got pressure from the record company to keep putting out new records and they were trying to tell us what to do. They should have left us to do what we wanted to do like on the first record. That was why it was such a big hit because it came naturally. There were pressure and control issues within the band too. Some people wanted to control the band more than others.
Robert Cavuoto: If Kevin Dubrow was still alive, do you think the four original members of Quiet Riot would still be together?
Carlos Cavazo: I would hope so as that would be the only way I would be in the band is if Kevin was still in the band.
In 2017, Memphis rockers Tora Tora were approached by Frontiers Music Srl about recording a proper new studio album and they enthusiastically jumped at the opportunity. The resulting LP, Bastards Of Beale, set for release on February 22nd, brings back the magic of the band’s blues-rooted hard rock sound that gained them a loyal following upon their debut in the late ’80s. Always a far cry from their more polished mainstream peers and more spiritually connected to blue collar hard rock, the band’s return picks up where they left off, while not sounding even the slightest bit dated.
The first single from Bastards Of Beale, a song called Rose Of Jericho, can be streamed below.
“The first draft of this song was titled Rock ‘N’ Roll Ain’t Dead Yet,” says vocalist Anthony Corder. “It began with the idea of us tapping into our passion of writing together again, and getting to create new tunes, but it also opened a floodgate of memories, of our experiences with our fans. It is about finding the things that make you happy and passionate, what drives you… music, art, friends, family, inspiration, partying… even when you feel like you may lose touch with them sometimes, they are still present.”
Guitarist Keith Douglas stated about the band getting back together and recording a proper studio album: “The last studio album we did was Revolution Day which was recorded in ’94. It’s hard to believe that was almost 25 years ago. Music in general was in kind of a weird place at that point and our fit within our label was questionable, so we just kind of stepped away to do other things for a while. We played one show together in 2001 for a special occasion, but it was 2008 before we started playing together again semi-regularly. We had always talked about trying to do a new project and just happened to come into contact with Frontiers at the right time to make that happen. So why not now?”
“The band recorded the new album at Sam Phillips Recording in Memphis, Tennessee,” continues Corder. “Sam is, of course, recognized for his work with Sun Studios and Elvis, arguably being responsible for creating rock and roll. But after Sun Studios, he moved right down the street to create Sam Phillips Recording. He wanted to be on the cutting edge of technology with recording, while having room to expand. This building has hosted too many icons to name, but a few would be Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis, Bob Dylan and Robert Plant. While we were there, William Bell (Stax) was visiting. We were really inspired while recording there.”
Bastards Of Beale track listing:
01. Sons Of Zebedee
02. Giants Fall
04. Silence The Sirens
05. Son Of A Prodigal Son
06. Lights Up The River
07. Let Us Be One
08. All Good Things
09. Rose Of Jericho
11. Bastards Of Beale
Tora Tora started in 1985 in the garage of then high school students Antony Corder, Keith Douglas, John Patterson and Patrick Francis. They beat out sixty other groups in a local Battle Of The Bands contest and received some free studio time at Ardent Studios. They cut one track before using the prize money they had won to record an entire independent EP called To Rock To Roll. Ardent was so impressed with the recordings that they offered to help shop the demo and gave them even more free recording time. Tora Tora eventually singed with A&M. That debut album made the Billboard Top 100 and hovered on the brink of breaking wide open as songs such as Walking Shoes, Guilty, Riverside Drive and Phantom Rider became local anthems. They followed up with Wild America, which produced two more singles. A third album, Revolution Day, was recorded but never released due to label restructuring. Due to the onset of the grunge era, Tora Tora, much like many other bands of their genre, called it quits in 1994.
In 2008, all four original members reunited for some performances. One was a sold-out performance at Newby’s, a local club in Memphis, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of receiving their major label recording contract. The second appearance occurred during Rocklahoma 2008 before the band played another reunion show at The New Daisy Theatre on March 7th, 2009 in Memphis.
Since the reunion, Tora Tora has issued three albums of previously unreleased material — Before & After, Bombs Away: The Unreleased Surprise Attack Recordings and Miss B. Haven’: The Unreleased Wild America Recordings. But fans were clamoring for new music from the band, and that is just what they will get with the release of “Bastards Of Beale”.
Tora Tora is:
Anthony Corder: Vocals, Background Vocals, Acoustic Guitars
Keith Douglas: Lead And Rhythm Guitar, Acoustic Guitar
Patrick Francis: Bass
John Patterson: Drums, Percussion
Deadland Ritual, featuring bassist Geezer Butler (Black Sabbath), vocalist Franky Perez (Apocalyptica, Scars on Broadway), drummer Matt Sorum (Guns N’ Roses, Velvet Revolver) and guitarist Steve Stevens (Billy Idol) has unveiled a debut track and video, Down In Flames (through Sonik Riot Recordings/AWAL powered by Kobalt), watch it below.
Drawing inspiration from the ritual symbolism of desert badlands paired with Sorum’s love of the idea of a “ritualistic forgotten space,” the name Deadland Ritual felt appropriate for the darker tone of the music the group was making. “Obviously we’ve been through some stuff,” Perez says. “If you’re being honest artistically, all the turmoil of love, loss, happiness and pain in life makes its way into the music.”
Sorum’s longtime friendships with Stevens and Perez helped to form the initial core of the lineup, but it was a pivotal moment when Butler agreed to join. Butler admits there was a lot to think about when he got the invitation. “I had to get used to the idea of starting from scratch again, which is good,” he says. “But I really liked the music I was hearing. It’s not your typical hard rock or metal stuff.”
For Stevens, it was a revelation the first time he found himself recording with Butler. “There’s a lot of times in the studio as a guitar player, you get a guitar sound and you’re trying to make it work, tweaking it,” Stevens says. There was none of that bulls–t. It just fit against his bass sound and it was really exciting to me. I get to hear my guitar against a bass guitarist that I’ve idolized forever.”
Sorum was determined to take things to the next level. “I wanted to get the best drum sound I’ve ever gotten, and play the best I’ve played,” says Sorum. “I think I’ve achieved that. As a drummer I’ve morphed through a lot of decades of rock and roll.”
The initial recordings are only the beginning of what fans can expect in the coming months. The band is focused on quality vs. quantity and letting the muse carry them in the appropriate direction. With festival appearances booked and headline dates in the works, they’ll use the time leading up to that trek to continue writing and recording, releasing singles along the way and perhaps, a LP.
Deadland Ritual promises the live shows will be something special, mixing the original material with deeper cuts from their collective past. “Not the typical songs you would expect,” according to Sorum.
Deadland Ritual tour dates so far:
June 14 Donnington England @ Download Festival
June 22 Clisson, France @ Hellfest Festival
With Leg Three of Slayer’s Final World Tour having wrapped up this past Saturday, dates in Australia, Japan, the South Pacific, and the final European dates announced in the past weeks, today Slayer announces Leg Five: North America of its Final World Tour.
Maintaining the band’s ethos of “play as many places as possible to make it easier for everyone to see the band one last time,” Leg Five will begin May 2nd the Ak-Chin Amphitheatre in Phoenix AZ and see the band performing 16 shows across the Southern states and then up the east coast, culminating at the Xfinity Center Amphitheatre in Mansfield, MA on May 25th. Lamb of God, Amon Amarth and Cannibal Corpse will support Slayer on all Leg Five dates. Special Slayer VIP Packages will be available for all dates; those details are accessible here.
Also today, Episode 3 of Slayer Looks Back on 37 Years video interview series is released. Tom Araya and Kerry King talk about getting their first record deal and the release of Show No Mercy; Tom, Kerry and Paul Bostaph remember Paul’s first meeting with the band and his subsequent audition to be Slayer’s drummer. Check out the clip, below.
With still more dates coming – it’s a big world and it takes time to transverse it – confirmed 2019 dates for Slayer’s Final World Tour are as follows:
March-Leg Four: Australia, Japan, South Pacific (Anthrax and Behemoth will support on headline dates):
7 Brisbane Riverstage, Brisbane, Australia
9 Download Festival, Sydney, Australia
11 Download Festival, Melbourne, Australia
15 Eventfinda Stadium, Auckland, New Zealand
17 Horncastle Arena, Christchurch, New Zealand
21 Download Festival, Chiba Prefecture, Japan
23 Pulp Summer Slam, Manila, Philippines
May-Leg Five: North America (Lamb of God, Amon Amarth and Cannibal Corpse will support on all dates):
2 Ak-Chin Amphitheatre, Phoenix, AZ
3 Isleta Amphitheatre, Albuquerque, NM
5 UTEP/Don Haskins Center, El Paso, TX
7 Bert Ogden Arena, Edinburg, TX
8 The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory, Dallas, TX
10 MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre, Tampa, FL
11 Coral Sky Amphitheatre, West Palm Beach, Florida
13 Big Sandy Superstore Arena, Huntington, WV
14 Merriweasther Post Pavilion, Columbia, MD
16 Ruoff Home Mortgage Music Center, Noblesville, IN
17 Providence Medical Center Amphitheatre, Bonner Springs, KS
19 DTE Energy Music Center, Clarkston, MI
20 Covel Centre, Youngstown, OH
22 Canadian Tire Centre, Ottawa, ON CANADA
24 BB&T Pavilion, Camden, NJ
25 Xfinity Center, Mansfield, MA
June=Leg Six: Europe (Support acts for headline dates TBA)
4 Arena Gilwice, Gilwice, Poland
6 Sweden Rock, Solvesborg, Sweden
8 Rock Am Ring, Nurburgring, Germany
9 Rock Im Park, Nurnberg, Germany
11 Sports Arena, Budapest, Hungary
13 Leipzig Arena, Leipzig, Germany
14 Nova Rock, Nickelsdorf, Austria
June 14-16 Download, Donington Park, UK
19 Arena, Geneva, Switzerland
21 Graspop Metal Meeting, Dessel, Belgium
23 Hellfest, Clisson, France
25 Tipsport Arena, Prague, Czechoslovakia
28 Tons of Rock, Oslo, Norway
29 Tuska Open Air, Helsinki, Finland
3-6 Resurrection Festival, Viviero, Spain
5 VOA Heavy Rock Festival, Lisbon, Portugal
7 Rock The Castle, Verona, Italy
10 Metalheadmeeting, Bucharest, Romania
11 Airport Park, Sofia, Bulgaria
13 Rockwave Festival, Athens, Greece
27-28* Heavy Montreal, Parc Jean-Drapeau, Montreal, QC
Gene Simmons was sued by a woman who claims the KISS singer groped her in 2016, and the allegation sounds similar to a different case he settled earlier this year.
The woman, who hasn’t been identified, alleged in court documents first obtained by The Blast that Simmons assaulted her at the opening of one his Rock & Brews restaurants, where she was reportedly working as a dishwasher.
She said she agreed to take a photo with Simmons when he came into the kitchen, but alleged that he “reached over and forcefully placed his hand on her vagina, completely covering it.” She further alleged that she saw the musician act “in a sexually charged manner” with other women that day.
Simmons has not publicly responded to the allegation, and Yahoo Lifestyle has reached out to his team for comment.
Simmons’ Rock & Brews restaurants are located all over the country, and it’s unclear at which branch the unnamed woman was working. She’s reportedly seeking unspecified damages.
The case comes months after Simmons settled another sexual battery claim against him. After an unnamed radio personality accused him in 2017 of groping her at the opening of a California Rock & Brews restaurant, The Blast reported that Simmons had settled for an unknown amount.
“Friends, I intend to defend myself against any alleged charges you may have been reading about in the media,” Simmons said in a statement to Pitchfork before the settlement.
Less than 24 hours after The Blast broke the news about the latest lawsuit, Simmons announced the passing of his mother, Flora Klein.