Ozzy Osbourne dropped his antitrust lawsuit against concert promoter Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) after the company agreed to end their practice of “block-booking” their venues.

In the lawsuit, filed in March 2018, Osbourne accused AEG of forcing him to bring his farewell tour to Los Angeles’ AEG-owned Staples Center – instead of the Osbourne-preferred Forum, owned by rival Madison Square Garden Entertainment – in order to secure a gig at London’s O2 Arena, also owned by AEG.

In August, a judge denied AEG’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit outright. However, Osbourne’s lawyer Dan Wall filed a stipulation to dismiss the case with prejudice Friday, meaning that Osbourne can’t refile the lawsuit on a later date.

According to Variety, Osbourne agreed to drop the lawsuit after AEG stated they would end their policy of making artists schedule both the Staples Center and the O2 Arena. “Sharon [Osbourne] and Ozzy are pleased, there is nothing left to litigate,” Wall told Variety.

In an AEG statement after the lawsuit’s dismissal, the company blamed Live Nation, Madison Square Garden Entertainment and Irving Azoff for instigating the Osbourne antitrust lawsuit and warned that AEG would “redeploy” their block-booking policy if Azoff continued his “pressure tactics seeking to force artists into the Forum.”

“On Friday, Ozzy Osbourne dismissed the class action lawsuit he filed against AEG. This dismissal with prejudice is a victory for AEG. We were fully prepared to see the case through to vindicate our policy, but now that Osbourne has decided to dismiss with prejudice, the case is over,” AEG said.

“The Osbourne suit was instigated by Azoff and paid for by MSG and Live Nation. It was hatched on the back of an artist who we believe had no idea what he was biting off. The suit was a transparent public relations ploy that failed to pressure AEG into backing down from a booking policy that was an effective competitive response to the MSG-Forum tie.”

AEG continued, “It is no surprise that once AEG refused to back down, Azoff, MSG and Live Nation became eager to drop the case as soon as possible. They dismissed the case with prejudice after realizing AEG would aggressively defend it, costing them tens of millions of dollars and posing a source of embarrassment once their questionable tactics were exposed in the course of discovery and trial.”

Osbourne’s only Los Angeles-area concert at press time is an October 11th date at the Hollywood Bowl.

additional source: rolling stone.com

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As previously reported, to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the band’s eponymous album, Kingdom Come have announced a tour. Ruben Mosqueda of KNAC.com spoke with drummer James Kottak about the event, in addition to other topics. Highlights from interview appear below.

KNAC.com: How did you get involved with Kingdom Come?

Kottak: This was in ‘87. I had this agent that would pair musicians up with bands. She mentioned that Kingdom Come were looking for a drummer. I had moved to L.A. and she had asked me what work I had done recently. I mentioned that I had just done an album with Ronnie Montrose. I mentioned that there were songs on full rotation on KNAC. I auditioned and there was what appeared to be a parking lot full of drummers out there! [laughs] In the end Lenny [Wolf] and I really hit it off.

That’s how it got started, then we added guitarist Danny Stag and then bassist Johnny B. Frank. Derek Shulman from Polygram Records came out to see us play and he offered us a deal on the spot. Two months after that, we were in the studio in Vancouver [B.C.] with Bob Rock, who everyone knows from his work with Motley Crue and Metallica, but his first production job was Kingdom Come.

KNAC.com: What was your recollection of working with Bob Rock?

Kottak: Bob Rock was incredible to work with, he was Bruce Fairbairn’s ‘right hand man’ for years. Bob was his engineer and he learned a lot while working with Bruce. He’s such a down to earth guy and I learned so much about recording from making that album.

KNAC.com: Kingdom Come received a lot of flak for being heavily influenced by Led Zeppelin. How fair was that?

Kottak: It was unfair, but when a journalist asked about the influence, I’d take it. And if I was asked about the John Bonham influence? I’d say, ‘Hell yeah! Of course he’s an influence. That’s a huge compliment.’ [laughs] Listen, I embraced the Led Zeppelin comparison anytime it came up. There were a couple of guys in the band that frowned on it, but I was like ‘Guys, you’re missing the point here. We’re being compared to the biggest rock band in the history of rock ‘n’ roll!’ I remember in an interview for one of the magazines, one of our guys was quoted as saying sarcastically, ‘I’ve never heard of Led Zeppelin.’ Of course he was kidding, but sarcasm doesn’t translate well to print. I remember that quote was used as the headline and most people would see that and didn’t bother reading the article.

KNAC.com: Which bands sounds more like Zeppelin, Kingdom Come or Greta Van Fleet?

Kottak: I would say Greta Van Fleet. [laughs] I remember the first time I heard them I thought it was Led Zeppelin until I realized I wasn’t familiar with the song. [laughs] Those kids are going through the exact thing that we went through. I have heard and read interviews where they mentioned Kingdom Come, so they really know their classic rock history.

KNAC.com: Lenny Wolf isn’t part of the 30th Anniversary Tour. I assume he owns the name? How did you strike up a deal to use the name for this tour?

Kottak: I started talking to Lenny as far back as 2008 about doing Kingdom Come again. Scorpions were winding down and I began to plan for what happened after the tour ended. So we released Sting In The Tail shortly thereafter, we announced a ‘farewell tour’ and we were going to go around the world and say goodbye to all our fans. And we did for a close to three years. [laughs] So fast forward a few years and Lenny, the rest of the guys and I get back together, we talk, we rehearse, we had dinner together, things are going great. Then I get a call from Scorpions’ management saying, ‘James, we know you’re doing Planet Rock, Kottak and Kingdom Come. Can you not do that? We have decided not to say farewell and Scorpions will be doing another album and tour.’ The good news was that we went into the studio and we did Return To Forever and another three years of touring. My allegiance was to Scorpions and I pulled the plug on everything else that I was working on, including Kingdom Come. I wasn’t happy about that, but that’s how it goes. In that time, Lenny decided to retire from music and he’s living in Hamburg, Germany and enjoying life. We’re friends, we still talk and we’ll see each other again soon, I’m sure.

KNAC.com: Moving forward would you like to record new music with the guys or will this end once the anniversary dates are over?

Kottak: You asked earlier about ‘the deal’ with Lenny and the ownership of the name. I can’t disclose details, but he gave us his blessing to move forward. We would like to and will do new music, but there is a wait period for us to be able to do that. I’m totally okay with that for the time being. Right now we’re going out, doing some shows, we’re testing the waters, we’re reconnecting with fans and guys like you.

KNAC.com: If James Kottak decided to write a biography what would it be titled?

Kottak: Funny you should mention this, I have written stuff for a book. That’s a project for another day. What would I call it? I would like to call it 33 Days. I could simply call it Rock & Roll Forever. It’s already across my back. [bursts into laughter].

Read more at KNAC.com.

source: knac.com

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After a 45-year career, KISS announced they will embark on their final word tour, during their appearance on NBC’s America’s Got Talent on Wednesday.

The band performed their hit Detroit Rock City to launch AGT‘s season finale episode before announcing the news. “This is going to be our last tour,” they announced onstage. “It will be the most explosive, biggest show we’ve ever done. People who love us, come to see us. If you’ve never seen us, this is the time. This will be the show.”

The band has not yet revealed tour dates, but they said in a statement that their final shows will be part of a multi-year End of the Road world tour and that they’d announce updates on their official website in the coming weeks…

…“All that we have built and all that we have conquered over the past four decades could never have happened without the millions of people worldwide who’ve filled clubs, arenas and stadiums over those years,” Kiss said in a statement. “This will be the ultimate celebration for those who’ve seen us and a last chance for those who haven’t. KISS Army, we’re saying goodbye on our final tour with our biggest show yet and we’ll go out the same way we came in… Unapologetic and Unstoppable.”

additional source: rollingstone.com

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Forty years ago today, the four founding members of KISS — Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Ace Frehley and Peter Criss — released their respective solo albums all on the same day to much fanfare, chart success, and platinum sales. And now, four decades later, all four of these pioneering albums are celebrated in The Solo Albums – 40th Anniversary Collection, a limited-edition 180-gram 4LP box set by Casablanca/UMe that’s earmarked for release on October 19.

Preorders commence today, September 18th, for the limited run of 2,500 vinyl box sets, available exclusively through KISS’ artist webstore and The Sound Of Vinyl. Each heavyweight 180-gram LP features a unique color to match its associated cover art; Gene Simmons appears in red vinyl, Paul Stanley sports purple vinyl, Ace Frehley contains blue vinyl, and Peter Criss is in green vinyl. All four albums are housed together in a deluxe black-matte slipcase that features glossy black images of the four artists’ faces surrounding a silver-foil print of the infamous KISS logo.

Also included in this set are four 12-by-12-inch posters of each album cover, plus an exclusive turntable slipmat that shows all four of artist Eraldo Carugati’s iconic, painted album-cover face images all connected together.

All four of these solo albums served to showcase the wide range of talents of each KISS bandmember. Gene Simmons, co-produced by Simmons and Sean Delaney, features the band’s bassist and co-lead vocalist switching over mainly to acoustic and electric guitar duties for songs that highlight his penchant for Beatles-esque melodies, funk, and hard rock. Highlights include a remake of See You In Your Dreams (initially found on KISS’ 1976 benchmark album Rock And Roll Over) and a cover of the 1940 Disney classic from Pinocchio, When You Wish Upon A Star. Guest musicians include Aerosmith’s Joe Perry, Cheap Tricks’s Rick Nielsen, Bob Seger, Cher, Donna Summer and Katey Sagal.

Meanwhile, Paul Stanley was co-produced by Stanley and Jeff Glixman and it showcases all-original material and stellar work across the board from the KISS lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist, in addition to lead and acoustic guitar work from longtime KISS axe associate Bob Kulick. The super-catchy track Hold Me, Touch Me (Think Of Me When We’re Apart) reached No. 46 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart.

Ace Frehley, produced by Eddie Kramer and Frehley, finds the lead guitarist doing what he does best. Frehley’s foot-stomping cover of New York Groove, originally a 1975 hit by the British glam band Hello, peaked at No. 13 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart. Guest musicians include Anton Fig on drums (a sometimes KISS session musician who later became a member of Frehley’s Comet) and bassist Will Lee, both of whom went on to become core members of both of David Letterman’s late-night talk-show house bands led by keyboardist Paul Shaffer.

Finally, Peter Criss was produced by Vini Poncia, a onetime Ringo Starr co-writer who later produced a pair of key KISS albums, 1979’s Dynasty and 1980’s Unmasked. Most of the songs on Peter Criss had been written back in 1971 for the drummer/vocalist’s aptly named pre-KISS band, Lips. The album also boasts a rousing cover of Bobby Lewis’s No. 1 1961 hit single, Tossin’ And Turnin’, a song that KISS often wound up playing live during their 1979 Dynasty tour.

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Guitarist Damon Johnson has announced that he’s parted company amicably with Black Star Riders.

Johnson says, “Three excellent albums in six years with this great band is one of the proudest achievements of my career, and it has been glorious. My family and I have decided to focus our efforts into growing my solo career and I’m excited to be home more to take advantage of working and writing in Nashville. Though I’m moving on from Black Star Riders, I will continue to work with Ricky in Warwick Johnson and plan on being a part of any Thin Lizzy commitments in the future. Much love and continued success to the entire band and to the incredible Black Star Riders fans worldwide.”

Fellow guitarist Scott Gorham says, “I just want to thank Damon for being part of the band and three great records together and I wish him all the best. For BSR it’s onwards and upwards!”

Frontman Ricky Warwick says he respects Johnson’s decision and adds, “Damon Johnson is my bro and I love him. It’s been a wonderful journey for the last six years writing, recording and playing live with him, moulding, building and making Black Star Riders into the formidable force that we have become. He will always be family. I will miss him.”

Bassist Robert Crane reports that he’s thankful to have “shared this amazing musical journey” with Johnson and adds, “I’m hopeful our paths cross again one day. Love and respect to D.J. and his family.”

The band have moved quickly to replace Johnson, and have brought Stone Sour guitarist Christian Martucci into the fold.

He says, “As a fan who’s been inspired by their music, it’s an honor and privilege to be a part of Black Star Riders. I’m really looking forward to this!”

Warwick calls Martucci “a sonic force of nature, an insanely talented guitar player and a wonderful human being” and reports that he’s delighted to welcome him to the band.

Warwick adds, “His musical pedigree speaks for itself. He will be an amazing addition to Black Star Riders, bringing a new edge and dynamic presence to the band. I eagerly look forward to writing, recording album number four and touring the world with him, Robert, Scott and Chad. The best way to predict the future is to go and create it. The best is yet to come.”

additional source: Classic Rock via loudersound.com

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On the 30th Anniversary of their platinum album, Blow My Fuse, Maryland hard rock icons, Kix will release Fuse 30 Reblown-30th Anniversary Special Edition two-disc set on September 21st exclusively on PledgeMusic, exactly 30 years after Blow My Fuse’s original September 19th, 1988 release date. Fuse 30 Reblown is available for pre-order now through the band’s PledgeMusic store, located here where fans can also purchase special commemorative merchandise including signed copies of the album, t-shirts, pins, and beach towels.

Fuse 30 Reblown Disc one features a raw and impactful remix by Beau Hill (Alice Cooper, Ratt, Warrant, KIX) of Kix’s Atlantic Records album Blow My Fuse, and a top-notch mastering job by Jay Frigoletto (Alice in Chains, Tesla). Never-before-released demos of all 10 tracks, recorded in the early to mid 1980’s, are on Disc Two and prove how well-prepared Kix were prior to entering the studio to record their albums.

The album Blow My Fuse features the group’s biggest hit, the power ballad, Don’t Close Your Eyes, which reached #11 on the Billboard Hot 100 in early 1989. The album achieved platinum sales and peaked at #46 on the Billboard Top 200, making it the band’s most successful of their 35-year career.

“We are proud to be celebrating the 30-year anniversary of the biggest album of our lives,” says singer Steve Whiteman. “We went from clubs to arenas, a van to a tour bus, and from the U.S. to Japan and Europe. And 30 years later, our fans are still right here with us.”

Kix gracefully eased back into the public consciousness in 2008. After sold out hometown gigs, the quintet hit the stage at Rocklahoma in front of over 20,000 people, venturing out of the Mid-Atlantic for the first time in 13 years. Delivering a triumphant set alongside Sammy Hagar and Alice Cooper, they left their mark on old and new fans alike. After capturing their fiery reunion on 2012’s Live in Baltimore CD & DVD, the members agreed to enter the studio once again.

In 2014, KIX released their seventh full-length album, Rock Your Face Off (Loud & Proud Records) their first studio effort since 1995’s Show Business. The album debuted at number one on Amazon’s “Hard Rock and Metal “chart, in the Top 50 on Billboard’s “Top 200 Albums” chart, #5 on the “Independent Albums “chart, #11 on the “Top Internet “chart, #17 on the “Top Rock Albums” chart, #27 on the “Indy/Small Chain Core Stores” chart and #33 on the “Physical” chart.

KIX last released Can’t Stop The Show: The Return Of Kix on October 21st, 2016, a two-disc DVD/CD set that entered the Billboard Top Music Video Sales chart at number three, and rose to the number one position, the band’s highest charting debut and first number one ever in their 35-year history. The 71-minute film offered an in-depth look into Kix’s decision to record their first new album, 2014’s Rock Your Face Off, in almost 20 years.

Fuse 30 Reblown:

Disc 1 – Blow My Fuse remixed by Beau Hill; remastered by Jay Frigoletto

1. Red Lite, Green Lite, TNT
2. Get It While It’s Hot
3. No Ring Around Rosie
4. Don’t Close Your Eyes
5. She Dropped Me The Bomb
6. Cold Blood
7. Piece Of The Pie
8. Boomerang
9. Blow My Fuse
10. Dirty Boys

Disc 2 – Blow My Fuse Demo Recordings 1984-1987:

1. Red Lite, Green Lite, TNT (6/20/86)
2. Get It While It’s Hot (11/10/86)
3. No Ring Around Rosie (1987)
4. Don’t Close Your Eyes (11/25/86)
5. She Dropped Me The Bomb (6/20/86)
6. Cold Blood (3/21/87)
7. Piece Of The Pie (6/20/86)
8. Boomerang (3/4/84)
9. Blow My Fuse (9/5/86)
10. Dirty Boys (11/10/86)

Kix will be playing select shows for the rest of the year. And as part of the 30th anniversary celebration of the album, the band is performing the entire Blow My Fuse album from beginning to end at all of their live shows. All tour dates can be found on the band’s website and below.

Tour Dates:

Sep 28 @ 80’s In The Park – Cocoa Beach, FL

Oct 6 @ Starland Ballroom – Sayreville, NJ
Oct 13 @ 5 South Event Center – Callaway, MD

Nov 1 @ Proof Rooftop Lounge – Houston, TX
Nov 3 @ IDL Ballroom – Tulsa, OK
Nov 10 @ Rockfest 80’s – Miramar, FL
Nov 17 @ Tallyho Theater – Leesburg, VA
Nov 23 @ Club XL – Harrisburg, PA

Dec 1 @ Lincoln Theater – Raleigh, NC
Dec 8 @ BLK Live – Scottsdale, AZ
Dec 07 @ Whisky a Go Go – Los Angeles, CA
Dec 15 @ Jergel’s Rhythm Grille – Warrendale, PA
Dec 21 @ Brunswick Volunteer Fire Dept – Brunswick, MD

Feb 24 @ Monsters of Rock Cruise – Miami, FL

Kix online:


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