A foreboding storm is gathering overhead. Bells toll, lighting cracks, rain falls…something dark and sinister is heading this way. It’s 1970 and four guys from Birmingham, with the release of their debut self-titled album, have single-handedly created what would become known forever as heavy metal. It was a singular moment of crushing heaviness that would define the genre for years to come.

The sixties were over. Charles Manson and his knife wielding followers had put a violent end to peace and love and the optimism and hope of the decade had vanished. As the seventies came down like a dark cloud, Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, Bill Ward and Geezer Butler welcomed these uncertain times with open arms and riffs of thunder. And so “The Ten Year War” began.

Fresh from receiving the “Golden God” icon award at this year’s Metal Hammer Golden Gods, Black Sabbath has announced The Ten Year War — a limited edition vinyl box set, released September 29th through BMG, that brings together their eight Ozzy-fronted albums, plus a swathe of other rarities, all housed within exclusive artwork created by renowned street artist, graphic designer and activist Shepard Fairey.

Despite Black Sabbath’s multi-million selling albums and rabid fan base throughout the seventies, this adulation wasn’t always mirrored by the music press at the time. The band received more than their fair share of criticism, prompting them to publish The Ten Year War brochure; a playful dig at journalists with the witty tagline “more good press than most — more bad press than any.” The brochure is reproduced in full for the box set and is one of the many exclusive items held within that also includes:

8 x vinyl LPs meticulously reproduced in their original sleeves, remastered by renowned mastering engineer Andy Pearce from the original tapes and pressed on 180 gram splatter-colored vinyl, each LP with unique and individual colouring.

* Black Sabbath
* Paranoid
* Master Of Reality (including original fold-out colour poster)
* Vol. 4
* Sabbath Bloody Sabbath
* Sabotage
* Technical Ecstasy
* Never Say Die!

2 x rare 7″ singles, reproduced in their original sleeves:

* Japanese version of Evil Woman (Don’t Play Your Games With Me)/Black Sabbath.
* Chilean version of Paranoid/The Wizard (only 100 copies of the original radio promo were pressed).

Crucifix-shaped Black Sabbath USB stick, exclusive to this box set, which can be worn round the neck and contains MQA high definition audio of the first eight Black Sabbath albums.

The extremely rare The Ten Year War brochure, reproduced from the original publication.

Hardback book, featuring accolades from the cream of rock royalty, coupled with official and candid iconic photography of the band during their 1970s tours, recording sessions and photo shoots.

“Tenth Anniversary World Tour” 1978 official program, impeccably reproduced.

Reprinted tour poster from the 1972 Seattle Centre Arena show.

Box set is individually numbered.

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Gene Simmons has withdrawn his application to trademark the devil horns hand gesture used by many rock and metal fans all over the world.

The original papers filed at US Patent and Trademark Office have been updated and say that Simmons’ claim has been abandoned.

The papers read, “The owner of the trademark application withdrew (e.g. abandoned) the application and the application is no longer active.”

The Hollywood Reporter originally said that the bassist and vocalist claimed he first used the hand gesture in November, 1974, during the band’s Hotter Than Hell tour.

However, Simmons told issue 196 of Classic Rock that he got the inspiration for the devil horns from Spider-Man and the way he shoots webs from his wrists.

Simmons said, “We laid down the templates. When you see bands rocking out in sync, that’s us. When you see bands putting up that two-fingered devil horn salute, that started with KISS.”

When asked if it was Ronnie James Dio who actually started it, Simmons replied, “Well, I’ve heard Ronnie say that to my face and I said, ‘God bless you.’ I mean him no ill will, but I think he’s wrong.

Mine came from Spider-Man doing his hand signal, as a homage to him. If you see me in photos, I’m sticking out my thumb. That’s the sign in sign language which means ‘I love you.’”

Ronnie James Dio’s, ex wife and manager, Wendy Dio, told TheWrap that she thought Simmons’ trademark bid was disgusting. She also stated, “[The hand gesture] belongs to everyone; it doesn’t belong to anyone. … It’s a public domain; it shouldn’t be trademarked.”

additional source: Classic Rock via

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SiriusXM announced today that legendary rock band Guns N’ Roses will perform at Harlem’s world famous Apollo Theater for a special invitation-only concert for SiriusXM subscribers on Thursday, July 20th. Howard Stern made the announcement today during his live SiriusXM show The Howard Stern Show.

The exclusive SiriusXM concert marks the first time that Guns N’ Roses will perform at the iconic venue. The special event, taking place before the next leg of the band’s North American Not In This Lifetime tour, will air live nationwide on SiriusXM’s Guns N’ Roses Radio. The concert will also air live on Howard Stern’s Howard 101 channel.

SiriusXM’s Guns N’ Roses Radio will feature music from the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees’ entire iconic career, including the 1987 Appetite for Destruction album, which is celebrating its 30thanniversary. The SiriusXM channel will also include music by artists who have influenced Guns N’ Roses, live tracks and rarities.

“Guns N’ Roses started off in Los Angeles in 1985 and went on to conquer the world with its swaggering, unrepentant, rebel rock and roll, and we are thrilled to have them perform this exclusive show for SiriusXM at the world famous Apollo Theater,” said Scott Greenstein, President and Chief Content Officer of SiriusXM. “Our subscribers will get a once in a lifetime experience, seeing the ultimate rock and roll band live before the next leg of their national tour kicks off.”

Guns N’ Roses Radio will launch on Thursday, July 13th and will air through Saturday, July 22nd, via satellite on channel 41, and through the SiriusXM App on smartphones and other connected devices, as well as online at

For more information about Guns N’ Roses and their Not In This Lifetime tour, visit

The legendary non-profit Apollo Theater is known for launching the careers of countless iconic performers, and has been a catalyst for artistic excellence and innovation since it opened its doors in 1934. The Apollo’s new artistic vision builds on its legacy and new Apollo programming has music as its core, driving large scale and more intimate music, dance and theater presentations. For more information, visit

Guns N’ Roses Radio is an example of SiriusXM channels created with iconic and leading artists, including Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Radio, The Beatles Channel, Jimmy Buffett’s Radio Margaritaville, Garth Brooks’ The Garth Channel, Willie Nelson’s Willie’s Roadhouse, Kenny Chesney’s No Shoes Radio, Tom Petty Radio, B.B. King’s Bluesville, Elvis Radio, Siriusly Sinatra, Ozzy Osbourne’s Ozzy’s Boneyard, Pearl Jam Radio and Eminem’s Shade 45.

SiriusXM subscribers since June 7th can enter for the chance to win a trip to New York City including airfare, hotel stay and a pair of tickets to the Apollo Theater show, plus SiriusXM will fly the winner and a guest to the show of their choice on the Guns N’ Roses Not In This Lifetime 2017 U.S. Tour including airfare, hotel stay and tickets. See Official Rules for complete details at

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Ruben Mosqueda of Sleaze Roxx spoke with rock manager Alan Niven (Guns N’ Roses and Great White). Niven, contacted the site, regarding allegations made by former Great White lead singer, Jack Russell, in a previous interview. Excerpts from the discussion appear, below.

Sleaze Roxx: On Jack [Russell] indicating that it was only until Once Bitten… that people got to hear what he really sounded like. Russell went on to say that Alan Niven asked him to sing as “Jack Evil.”

Alan Niven: That is complete bulls–t. “Jack Evil” was an exhortation from Michael Wagener. His other one was ‘Jackie, make a fist.’ By the way, Michael Lardie, Kendall and I were the producers on Once Bitten. We were the ones who brought out the qualities of his voice [laughs]!”

Sleaze Roxx: On Jack’s [Russell] statement that Alan Niven was trying to change Great White to The Eagles on the Sail Away album.

Alan Niven: Psycho City in my mind, it was perhaps the best studio album we had made. I felt it would be a mistake to try and replicate it on Sail Away but that it would be smarter to take a slightly different approach, especially since we had not gotten the results that album deserved. This was discussed before we began recording. Radio was moving away from Def Leppard, Whitesnake and Ratt. It was done with Warrant and Poison. The ’80s rock was leprous to the grunge movement. Everyone agreed. At a Chinese meal on the conclusion of the recording of Sail Away, I went around the table and asked if everyone felt good about what we had done. Everyone agreed.

In the long run, I would have liked Great White to develop into an area between [Pink] Floyd and The Eagles. I wanted more songs that mean something — and Henley is a master there — with even greater ‘guitarscapes’ for Kendall, who has brilliant feel and I consider one of the underrated, underappreciated, players of his generation. Each album was not a mirror image of the last. We weren’t Def Leppard. There was always a determination to grow.

Furthermore, Sail Away is a complete and solid record, something that has eluded Jack since. I believe a record should have elements of the visceral, of intelligence and of spirit. Sail Away has all these elements. I can only surmise that Jack dislikes Led Zeppelin lll? Now that was a huge departure. Jack likes to call Sail Away an “acoustic” album. That defines the limits of his hearing capacity. There are tracks on Sail Away that could just as easily been on Once Bitten… or HookedLivin’ In The USA and Momma Don’t Stop for example. Now take into account that Sail Away, the song, was the #16 most played track at AOR that year, ahead of the two Counting Crows tracks. Not bad for the middle of the grunge era. Had we got to work a second track, I believe the album would have easily gone gold. Also keep in mind, unlike most others, we never made the same record twice. There is no point to that.

When we signed with Zoo, the head of radio promotion was Michael Prince. He liked and understood the band. He drove Sail Away. He was then replaced by Ray Gmeiner, a former roommate of Doug Goldstein. That was the end of the promotion for the band.

Sleaze Roxx: On when and how things turned sour between [Alan] Niven and Jack [Russell].

Alan Niven: It was in 1994 when I busted the little c–t stealing from the band’s “petty cash” while we were on tour.

Sleaze Roxx: You helped launch Enigma Records in the ’80s.

Alan Niven: I did. It was around that time that I began a relationship with a guy named Don Dokken. I signed Mötley Crüe to their first contract with Greenworld and then I met Tom Zutaut. I was in my office in Torrance [California] and this guy rolls in a 1956 white Bentley. I was like “Hello” [laughs]! The guy comes into my office, tosses a record on my desk, sits down and puts his feet on my desk. Without as much as a “Hello,” he says “I want you to do for my band what you did for Mötley Crüe.” The guy was Don Dokken. That was the beginning of a beautiful friendship. We wound up living together for quite a while.

It was Don that introduced me to a band called Dante Fox. It was Great White before the name change. Don felt that they’d be good for my indie label ambitions. I went to see them and I thought they were terrible. I said to Don, “What the f–k?” [laughs]! Don said, “No, you missed it.” So I went to another gig and it didn’t improve my evaluation of the band. I drove from Hollywood all the way to the south coast of Palos Verdes to a tiny, tiny little cottage. Needless to say it was a long haul at three o’clock in the morning. I was driving back and I kept saying to myself “I don’t get it. I don’t get it.” It was then that I had a moment of clarity. I went through my mental checklist. I respected Don’s judgment so I went to look again a third time. At the tail end of the show, I was still pretty unenthused until they performed I Don’t Need No Doctor [Ashford and Simpson cover]. They completely blew the roof off the Troubadour. It was then that I said to myself, “Now I get it!” Kendall was on fire.

Sleaze Roxx: How did you leaving the Great White camp transpire?

Alan Niven: Well, that transpired by the entire band coming to my house. We were in my kitchen. Jack stood there and said, “We’ve decided that we want to go our own way.” At which point I replied with, “Get the f–k out of my house! F–king now!” That was the extent of the conversation. It was something that was driven by Jack. He had his motivations. It was very distressing, upsetting, but if he was going to have the nerve to do that in my own home… then I was done with him.

This is a guy that f–ked up at every turn. The band would have been far more established had he not destroyed the momentum of the band. They went from a great opener to great headliner. We were on our first headlining tour. We were touring with M.S.G. [McAuley Schenker Group] and Havan Black opening for us. They were also two other Capitol acts so we had an incredible amount of focus and support from the label. The tour was doing fantastic. About two weeks into the tour, Jack went off on a drug binge. He got on a plane. He was supposed to be [in] Lubbock [Texas], where we were supposed to be playing. He goes to Phoenix [Arizona]. I have to add, he was thrown off the plane because he was so f–ked up. That stopped the tour right there and that put a stop to our transition tour to headlining act. It was so frustrating because at the time that he did this, the tour was 70% sold already. It was already sold-out in the Northeast, which is a hard market to sell out shows. He totally f–king derailed us. I still stood by the guy. He completely f–ked up the band at that point. I don’t think the band ever truly recovered from that. So, for Jack to have an attitude about anything is just outrageous. The guy is a criminal — that’s a fact. The last time I wore a suit was to go to his probation hearing where I spoke on Jack’s behalf. There were looking at me and my English accent and they like, “Oh well, if he says so then it must be true.”

Jack can be the best company. Back in the day, you could have the best nights of your life with him. He is funny and he can be a delight to spend time with but he’s a complex character. There are some negative aspects to Jack. I think the mistake I made with Jack was that I could be Professor Higgins [My Fair Lady]. I thought that I could help him develop into someone really special. Jack’s negative characteristics confounded me in the end.

Read more at Sleaze Roxx/a>.


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On the heels of the posting the video for Everybody Needs A Little Trouble, and the audio for 1992, Mr. Big is now streaming, Mean To Me. Listen to the song, below.

Mean To Me appears on the band’s forthcoming new album, Defying Gravity, scheduled for July 21st release, from its previous date, of July 7th. Read more about the band’s ninth original studio album, by clicking here.

Mr. Big are currently on the road. The remaining dates of the first leg of their tour, can be viewed, below.

6/16 Dallas, TX Gas Monkey Live
6/17 Houston, TX Scout Bar
6/19 Kansas City, MO Knuckleheads Saloon
6/22 Tempe, AZ Marquee Theatre
6/23 Agoura Hills, CA Canyon Club

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Tim Kennealy of the TheWrap reports:

Following news that KISS frontman Gene Simmons is attempting to trademark the “horns” hand gesture, TheWrap spoke to Wendy Dio, widow of deceased singer Ronnie James Dio, who’s widely credited with popularizing the hand gesture.

Wendy’s assessment of Simmons’ trademark bid? It’s “disgusting.”

“To try to make money off of something like this is disgusting,” Dio told TheWrap. “It belongs to everyone; it doesn’t belong to anyone. … It’s a public domain; it shouldn’t be trademarked.”

Dio was quick to note that her husband — who fronted groups including Black Sabbath and Rainbow — shouldn’t be credited with the gesture either. As she noted, the singer, who died in 2010, adopted the hand gesture from an old Italian sign that he picked up from his grandmother, which is used to either ward off evil or give the evil eye, depending on how it’s employed.

Dio also noted that the rock band Coven used the hand gesture, as displayed on the cover of the group’s 1969 debut album, while the cartoon version of John Lennon flashes a similar sign on the cover of the Beatles’ Yellow Submarine album, released in 1969.

Dio characterized Simmons’ effort to trademark the hand gesture as “a joke,” and noted, “It’s just crazy.”

“It’s laughable, I think, quite honestly,” Dio said, likening Simmons’ trademark bid to trying to trademark the bird or the peace sign. “I think he’s made a complete fool of himself.”

Read more at TheWrap.


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