To listen to Sixx: A.M.’s Gotta Get It Right and to learn more about Modern Vintage, please, click here.
To listen to Sixx: A.M.’s Gotta Get It Right and to learn more about Modern Vintage, please, click here.
BraveWords: What made you choose to write an autobiography, Even Keel, at this point?
Ron Keel: I think the only reason anyone should write a non-fiction book is if they’ve got a good story to tell, or important or interesting information to convey. And I’m always telling stories…whether in interviews, sitting at a bar or around a campfire, whatever. Songwriters and entertainers are usually storytellers by nature anyway. About ten years ago, I started writing my stories down, usually on long flights or road trips to pass the time, and found I really enjoyed the process. If I hadn’t put a hard deadline on publishing this year, I would have kept on writing for at least another ten years – but I really wanted to release the book simultaneously with my new album which is pretty much my autobiography set to music.
BraveWords: How would you describe Gene Simmons as a producer? (Simmons produced Keel’s The Right to Rock and The Final Frontier)
Ron Keel: You know, I think the marketing, make-up and money masks the fact that Gene is really a genuinely great human being with an intense passion for music, and also a deep knowledge and respect for rock & roll history. Not only what Gene did for my career, but what he taught me about making great albums – those lessons are still with me in every recording session I do.
BraveWords: I was surprised Keel never opened for KISS in the ’80s. Was this ever discussed?
Ron Keel: Believe me, I begged. I’m not sure why it never happened either, but never say never – maybe that’s one more dream that will come true. I can tell you, Gene was very active in trying to help us get gigs – I remember him on the phone with Ozzy, telling Ozzy he should give us the opening slot. Ozzy ended up going with some band called Metallica, but Gene gave it his best shot!
BraveWords: Something else I was surprised about – since Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley used to collaborate quite a bit with outside songwriters during the ’80s, that you didn’t collaborate with either on a KISS tune, while such others as Tommy Thayer and Kane Roberts did. Was this ever discussed or attempted?
Ron Keel: It should have I guess, because Gene gave me a lot of input on his songs which we recorded, and he of course had a lot of input on our tunes, and we worked really well together, but it was probably a matter of time. When we were in the studio recording those albums, we were focused on the task at hand and there wasn’t much opportunity to just sit around with instruments and notebooks and create, we were pretty busy making albums. And when it was time to get away from the sessions, we’d go out to eat, or go to a club or a concert, or go to Gene’s place and watch KISS video clips.
BraveWords: A few years ago, I wrote the book The Eric Carr Story. Did you ever cross paths with Eric?
Ron Keel: Eric hung out a few times during the recording sessions, but we never got to know each other well. My impression of him was that of a really nice guy, quiet and humble when he was not behind the kit.
BraveWords: Who were some bands that Keel toured with back in the ’80s, and what are some standout memories of those tours?
Ron Keel: Of course the final leg of the Bon Jovi Slippery When Wet tour stands out – they were at their peak, these were huge arenas sold out for two or three nights (we did three nights back to back at Madison Square Garden on that tour). Another high point for us was our sold out headline tour of Japan in 1986, opening for Van Halen at the Texxas Jam that same year. Coming back to my old hometown of Phoenix opening up for Mötley Crüe in the same arena where I used to fight my way to the front row and dream of being up there centerstage. The 80’s were great, but I’m very fortunate to still be experiencing peaks that are just as gratifying – like last year’s Monsters Of Rock Cruise, when we did two badass Keel gigs, I did my solo gig, I got to sing with the guys in Cinderella, did the all-star jam with Frank Hannon, and capped it off when Lita Ford asked me to join her onstage to do the Ozzy part on Close My Eyes Forever. This year we celebrated Keel’s 30th anniversary by killing it on the main stage at the M3 Festival in Baltimore, and you can’t put a price tag on kicking that much ass.
BraveWords: What are your thoughts on Steeler, and working with Yngwie Malmsteen at the time?
Ron Keel: Steeler has a special place in metal history and certainly a special place in the hearts of the fans. Of course I tell the entire story of Steeler in my book, focusing on the positives and skipping over some of the speed bumps, but Steeler was part of a magical time in rock history during the heyday of the Hollywood metal scene, and nothing can change that. And the album we released (1983′s Steeler) has become a cornerstone of that era, so I’m very proud of that fact. Yngwie and I were both too stubborn to compromise, and it wouldn’t have mattered anyway – he would still have quit the band to join Alcatrazz when he got the call from Graham Bonnet, no matter what the situation with Steeler might have been.
Read more at Bravewords.
Guitarist/singer/songwriter Richie Kotzen released The Essential Richie Kotzen today (September 2nd) on Loud & Proud Records. To celebrate his newest project, he’s hitting the U.S. concert trail starting November 1st in Annapolis, MD at Rams Head Tavern. Before then, he’ll be spending September and most of October on a headlining tour which will take him through Europe and Mexico.
The Essential Richie Kotzen is a two-CD and DVD career retrospective set that encompasses this iconic talent’s entire career of his most essential work: classic material; acoustic performances; bootleg material; and two brand new songs (War Paint and Walk With Me). The DVD features music videos, acoustic performances, and bootleg material. A new official video for War Paint will premiere on MusicRadar.com later this week. In the meantime, the video for Walk With Me (filmed entirely on Kotzen’s iPhone) can be viewed below.
Kotzen personally curated The Essential Richie Kotzen from his 18 solo albums in order to give listeners the most comprehensive, cohesive, and concise introduction to his extensive body of work. “I’ve really changed and grown as an artist and as a person,” he says. “I hand-selected songs so newcomers can get into my music and learn who I am as a recording artist.”
Rave reviews of The Essential Richie Kotzen have already started to surface:
“Kotzen is an artist with a centered musical philosophy anchored by soulful music and a perfectionist’s attention to craft… THE ESSENTIAL RICHIE KOTZEN is an excellent career retrospective by an underrated songwriter.” (Oscar Jordan, Vintage Guitar)
“The extensive combo perfectly captures his dynamic musicianship, his jaw-dropping guitar solos, and his tangy blend of rock, blues, and soul, and will encourage listeners to discover more of his work…” (Bear Frazer, Arena.com)
“Richie Kotzen is one on the most ridiculous guitar players alive today…If you have only heard Richie in other bands (or have no clue who he is) then you really need to hook yourself up and give him his due. Richie has an incredibly soulful voice and did I mention his guitar solos are other worldly? Get the book of his musical life and discover some magic.” (Jason Lally, Realrockreport.com)
Check out Richie Kotzen at any of the following stops, with more dates to be added in the coming weeks on all of his official websites:
1 Annapolis, MD Rams Head Tavern
3 Londonderry, NH Tupelo Music Hall
4 Boston, MA Wilbur Theater
5 New York, NY B.B. King Blues Club & Grill
7 Poughkeepsie, NY The Chance
8 Reading, PA Building 24
9 New Haven, CT Toad’s Place
11 Pittsburgh, PA Altar Bar
Mr. Big have premiered a new song called, Gotta Love The Ride, from upcoming eighth album …The Stories We Could Tell. Listen to it below.
…The Stories We Could Tell will be released on September 26th in Europe, 29th in the UK and to September 30th in North America.
Mr. Big recently announced that Pat Torpey’s fill-in for the band’s upcoming World Tour will be Matt Starr. Torpey was recently diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease).
Sebastian Bach has responded to guitarist Ted Nugent, after Nugent called the former Skid Row frontman “weak” because of his problems with alcohol.
The singer recently revealed he was sober after 25 years, but Nugent was still highly critical of the frontman’s lifestyle.
Nugent said, “Sebastian Bach is a great guy. I love the guy and he’s incredibly gifted and a gentleman for the most part – but he’s weak. He doesn’t understand the concept of the body as a sacred temple. He doesn’t understand accountability and he doesn’t understand how his indulgences and his poisons ruin his life, his marriage and his musical capabilities.”
In response, Bach tweeted, “Being a racist is f–king weak.”
Nugent previously called US President Barack Obama a “subhuman mongrel” and had a gig pulled after a promoter said they didn’t want their “casino to be used as a venue for racist attitudes and views.”
In 2012, Bach told Metal-Rules.com, “Ted’s political beliefs and social opinions overshadow how great a guitar player he is – a lot of people are disgusted by him. People don’t like racism, but he says some things that are straight from the 50s.”
Bach has lined-up four shows in the US, starting on September 26th in Arizona to support his latest album Give ‘Em Hell.
Sebastian Bach tour dates:
September 26th Tempe, AZ
September 27 Tucson, AZ AVA Amphitheater
December 18th Chicago, Illinois Cubby Bear
December 20th Diesel Concert Lounge Chesterfield, MI
For more information on these shows and where to purchase tickets, visit facebook.com/sebastianbach.
additional source: classicrockmagazine.com
On August 30th, KISS Night in Las Vegas III, an annual event that celebrates the music of KISS and benefits the Imagine Foundation, a non-profit corporation created to help fund music and art programs in Clark County Schools, was a huge success. A record breaking amount of donations were received and a capacity crowd packed Count’s Vamp’d, a popular Las Vegas rock bar, restaurant and venue.
During the festivities, Las Vegas based drummer and vocalist, Scot Coogan, announced his KISS related news: Coogan will be returning to the Ace Frehley band this fall, along with The Cult’s Chris Wyse, to support Frehley’s new album, Space Invader, which debuted at number nine on the Billboard Charts, selling over 20,000 copies in the first week of release. “I consider Ace a friend, and I will always be his drummer. When he called me last week about doing shows, I was honored. We are both excited to have the chance to play together once again.”
In 2012, Coogan took a break after six years from his drummer/lead vocalist duties with Frehley to focus on other projects. After touring with Lynch Mob and recording the critically acclaimed Sound Mountain Sessions, Coogan was recruited to drum for Lita Ford on the 2012 Rock of Ages tour with Def Leppard and Poison.
Coogan relocated to Las Vegas in January 2013, after being offered a position as Music Director and Rock Star Counselor at Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp. Scot instructed Rock Star for a Day sessions, Corporate Events and Fantasy Camps, most notably last November’s Modern Drummer sponsored Camp.
After an introduction in 2013 at Count’s Vamp’d, renowned Blue Man Group drummer Jeff Tortora gave Coogan the rare opportunity to drum for his avant-garde band, Tinnitus! After this performance, Coogan was recommended for an audition with Blue Man Group. As fate would have it, he landed this coveted gig and by July 2014, Coogan began performing at Blue Man Group Las Vegas, inside the Monte Carlo Resort and Casino.
Coogan has spent much of the past year establishing himself in the Las Vegas entertainment and music communities. He is now a regular on red carpets around town, performs steadily on the strip and at local venues. His reputation as a top notch session drummer proceeded him from Los Angeles and over the past year, Coogan has recorded dozens of original drum tracks for producers including seven time Grammy Award Winner Steve Thompson, Bobby Ferrari and Mike Varney.
Even with Ace Frehley tour dates on the horizon, Coogan will continue to perform with Blue Man Group and other local artists. Coogan is proud to consider Las Vegas his base of operations and home to his recording studio and production company, Break A Stick. He is securing a Las Vegas residency for his successful Led Zeppelin cover band, 6 Foot Nurse, in which he sings like Robert Plant and drums like John Bonham, concurrently.
Coogan also has a new album coming out on September 16th, the self-titled release, Red Zone Rider, a three piece band, featuring guitar hero Vinnie Moore from UFO and MSG’s Kelly Keeling.
On Sebastian Bach:
“I love the guy, he’s incredibly gifted, a gentleman for the most part, but he’s weak. He’s weak. And he doesn’t understand the concept of the [body as a] Sacred Temple. He doesn’t understand accountability. He doesn’t understand — clearly — how his indulgences and his poisons ruin his life. And his relationships, and his marriage. And his musical capabilities. I love the guy and if he’s watching this, I love you, but when you’re the drunk Sebastian Bach, you’re nowhere near the Sebastian Bach that you are when you’re clean and sober. Case closed. That isn’t a Ted Nugent opinion, that’s scientific truism.”
On his drummer Mick Brown, who got a DUI a few years ago backstage at one of Ted’s shows:
“Well, he had a couple of beers and went on a golf cart ride! Whoa! Let’s crucify him! That’s no big deal! Even I can look the other way for that! I have zero tolerance for dangerous criminal behavior that compromises the music. It was the last date of the tour. He watched me get up on stage with Tommy Shaw and the STYX guys and we played a Damn Yankees masterpiece, Coming Of Age. I can understand how anybody could lose control of themselves under that musical jihad. It was a very powerful musical moment. It was very magical and I think he did a couple of extras, saw some good-looking chicks with short skirts… I don’t bemoan his decision. A golf cart and two pretty girls? It was harmless.”
On Tom Morello:
“Tom Morello claims to be an ultra-liberal. But let’s examine Tom Morello’s life, shall we? He works really hard. He gets up early. He puts his heart and soul into being the best craftsman he can be. Provides for and protects his family. He’s true to his family. So far, he sounds an awful lot like Ted Nugent. [My new album] SHUTUP&JAM, if it’s a shout-out to anybody, is probably a shout out to my good friend Tom Morello. Because we talk politics, and we should do it on film sometime, it’s quite telling. Because the typical liberal, when they attempt to debate me, always ends up with a very predictable statement: ‘Yeah, but still…’ If you give people stuff, dependence will be the result. If you give a beggar money, you’re helping to kill him! Because he will spend that money while you lie to yourself and feel good, you’ve actually expedited the death of that individual, because he will buy dangerous deadly things with that money! You gotta be kidding me! If he wants a sandwich, give him a sandwich! That’s not what he wants! My point being: Tom Morello, I love him dearly, I respect his musical genius, and I respect him as a man. And when it gets time to have a legitimate political debate, we remain civil and gentlemanly, and eventually we can both shut up and jam because we both come from the Chuck Berry school of uppity, spirited, freedom-drenched American rhythm and blues.”
Listen to Nugent’s interview with Radio.com below.
Julia Hatmaker of pennlive.com reports:
The Motley Crue show at the Great Allentown Fair on August 27th was evidently lacking in the “rocking out” department. Tommy Lee, the band’s drummer, tweeted out his disappointment in the crowd, which he called “absent.”
Lee’s tweet read:
T❍mmy L✮✮ ✔ @MrTommyLand
The comments were met with apologies and confusion, with some fans saying from their perspective the crowd was eating up the band’s set.
Others blamed the sound guy and the lack of a drum solo. Sheila Gordon tweeted out her disapproval over Lee’s words:
Sheila Gordon @birdie2973
@MrTommyLand I’ve always defended him in the past but not this time. be greatful that after 30+ years fans pay big money to come see you
4:30 PM – 28 Aug 2014
According to the The Morning Call, the fault wasn’t on the crowd – but on Motley Crue itself.
The review called the show “boring” and singer Vince Neil “lackluster,” although it did ad that there were “enough flames, fireworks and skimpily-dressed women (and, occasionally, good music) in its hour-and-45-minute show to keep the audience of 8,679 from having its eyes glaze over.”
Lehigh Valley Live’s reviewer was kinder, stating that “the music seemed secondary to the visual stimulants” and that the performance was “the kind of hits-filled send-off expected of a band on their farewell tour. Nothing more, nothing less.”
Regardless of how the show went, not all the Motley Crue band members took to twitter to rag on the fans. Bassist Nikki Sixx had this to say:
Nikki Sixx ✔ @NikkiSixx
Sold out.Thank you.
10:56 PM – 27 Aug 2014
In somewhat related news, Lee has uploaded professionally filmed video footage of his solo during the band’s The Final Tour. Dubbed The Cruecifly, watch the video below.
Led Zeppelin have released a trailer for the second wave of their reissue campaign- featuring a previously unreleased version of classic track Black Dog.
Following the huge success of the first series of reissues which included: Led Zeppelin, Led Zeppelin II and Led Zeppelin III, Led Zeppelin IV and Houses Of The Holy will be available on October 28th.
Both albums have been remastered by guitarist and producer Jimmy Page, and come with a companion disc of unreleased related material.
Each will be available in single CD, deluxe 2CD, single LP, deluxe 2LP and digital formats. Super deluxe box set editions contain CD, LP and digital formats, 80-page hardback book and a high-quality print of the original album cover – the first 30,000 of which will be individually numbered.
Originally released in November 1971, Led Zeppelin IV has been certified 23x platinum and entered the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999. Houses Of The Holy, launched two years later, has sold more than 11 million copies.
Watch the trailer for the second reissues below.
additional source: classicrockmagazine.com
Mr Big announced today (August 28th) that drummer Pat Torpey’s fill-in for the band’s upcoming World Tour will be Matt Starr. Starr is currently Ace Frehley’s drummer and will sit in for Torpey (who was recently diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease) throughout Mr. Big’s tour in support of their latest album, …The Stories We Could Tell.
The release for Mr. Big’s highly anticipated new album, …The Stories We Could Tell has been moved to September 26th in Europe, 29th in the UK and to September 30th in North America via Frontiers Music Srl.
“The new album rocks,’ says Paul Gilbert. ‘I love playing guitar, singing, and writing with Eric, Billy, and Pat. And after 25 years, I’m proud that we can make an album that is melodic, powerful, interesting, groovy, and emotional.”
The original line-up comprised of Eric Martin (vocals), Paul Gilbert (guitar), Billy Sheehan (bass) and Pat Torpey (drums), are back with some of their most powerful material to date. The new album is the follow-up to the 2011 release ‘What If,’ that marked the band’s return to their signature hard rock sound.
The new album is already available for pre-order at Amazon.
Mr. Big European tour dates are below:
Oct 17 Koko London, United Kingdom
Oct 18 Tivoli Vredenburg, Ronda Utrecht, Netherlands
Oct 20 Z7 Pratteln, Switzerland
Oct 21 Live Club Trezzo Sull’adda Mi, Italy
Oct 23 La Riviera Madrid, Spain