All roads have led to this. Forty-one years in the making, the R40 Live tour took a very real journey back through time. Beginning with the grand design: a state-of-the-art stage set that pivots, rolls and dives, and brings Clockwork Angels in to bombastic, colorful life before marching stridently back in time (through theater stages, a panoply of band and fan shots, the accrued memories of a life spent playing live) to a mocked-up school gym and the band playing there; a solitary bass amp set on the chair behind Geddy Lee, a mirror ball spiraling crazily above, casting thin rods of light like a light rain across the crowd, Working Man coming to a shuddering halt as the band’s beginning becomes their end.

Rush recorded and filmed R40 Live over two sold-out shows in the band’s hometown of Toronto at the Air Canada Centre on June 17th & 19th, 2015 in the middle of their R40 Live 35-date North American tour.

R40 Live had the trio of Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart, performing a career-spanning live retrospective, celebrating their 40+ years together. The epic live shows by the Rock Hall of Famers were captured with 14 cameras to present the band feature-film style.

The center-point of this tour was the remarkable setlist, coupled with their idea of a “de-evolution” set design. When the band opened the show with cuts Headlong Flight and The Anarchist from their most recent studio recording, 2012’s Clockwork Angels, they did so with all the bells and whistles from that extensive tour. They worked backwards through their catalog as the show progressed, the innovative set design making for constant visual eye-candy, as stagehands exchanged the gear and props on stage to resemble the era-correct tour staging in accordance with the songs being played.

The first set featured the infamous dryers on stage while they played Roll The Bones, Subdivisions, and for the first time ever live, Losing It featuring violinist Ben Mink, who appeared on the original studio recording from 1982’s Signals.

The second set opened with classics Tom Sawyer, followed by crowd favorite, The Spirit of Radio, but also included Jacob’s Ladder, which hasn’t been performed live since 1980 on their Permanent Waves tour.

The last few songs of the R40 were set against the persimmon curtained theatre-looking stage, with the crowd raising their lighters and camera phones to Closer to the Heart, and then Alex and Geddy appeared with their signature doubleneck guitars as they played Xanadu, into the epic 2112 and encored with Lakeside Park/Anthem and What You’re Doing/Working Man.

The concert film also includes the the band’s renowned tour videos, highlighted by Roll The Bones (R40 Live), that features an array of special guests in the rap part of the song: Jay Baruchel (She’s Out Of My League), Les Claypool (Primus), Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones), Tom Morello (Rage Against The Machine, Audioslave), Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers), The Trailer Park Boys, and Jason Segel & Paul Rudd (I Love You, Man). It is the first time the band put the song back in the setlist since the R30 tour, a full decade ago. During the R40 Live tour, Roll The Bones gained new life and became a fan-favorite with an arena sing-along to the chorus “Why are we here? Because we’re here – Roll The Bones.”

Singer/Bassist Geddy Lee explained how the large group of cameo appearances came about, “We had this older video of an animated skeleton doing the “rap” part of Roll The Bones, and felt it was time to update the concept for this tour. So, after a lot of joking around with our show design team, we thought it would fun if we called upon some of our well-known pals and see if they wanted to have some fun with the lyrics. There were so many good and funny moments that it was hard to choose, some really hilarious and outrageous stuff. I’m so glad it worked out as it brought a big smile to the faces in the audience (and to us) every single night!”

R40 Live audio was produced by Rush & David Botrill, and mixed by David Botrill (Tool, Muse); the film was directed by Dale Heslip, and produced by Allan Weinrib. The live photograph on the cover of R40 was shot by baseball Hall of Famer Randy Johnson, who captured the band in a rare moment when both Geddy Lee and Alex LIfeson were on Neil Peart’s drum kit riser. “As a friend and fan of Rush, and the passion I have for photography to capture moments, it’s great that both can blend together in a lasting impression, here for the world to see,” commented the self-described ‘6”10 ninja in the photo pit,” who was on a portion of the tour in his new role as photographer.



eaglewithflagandconstitution_640 We here at send our love and respect to all of the veterans who have proudly served our country. You are the true super heroes and we have undying admiration for your commitment and bravery.

God bless, all branches of our military. Thank you, for your service.


brucedickinson400 Iron Maiden frontman Bruce Dickinson will write his autobiography during the band’s Book Of Souls world tour next year, he’s confirmed.

Also, he’s hoping the experience of flying the biggest-ever version of Ed Force One will add to the story.

Dickinson will have plenty to tell, including his recent cancer battle, his two stints with Maiden and his solo years in between, along with his life as businessman, sword fencer and author.

He says, “It was flattering to be approached to write a book about my experiences. It seems an appropriate time to do it, as I will have plenty of time on tour to work on a book. I’m sure flying the 747 round the world will add to the tale with some unusual scenarios!”

The title is to be published by HarperNonFiction in 2017 as a hardcover, e-book and an audio book, with a paperback edition following in 2018. Four Nordic language versions have also been confirmed.

HarperCollins senior editor Denise Oswald says, “Bruce might quite literally be the world’s most interesting man. Being one of the greatest rock singers of all time is merely the beginning.

“His memoir, like his voice, is sure to set a new gold standard.”

Iron Maiden’s Book Of Souls was released on September 4th.

US tour dates:

Feb 24: Fort Lauderdale BB&T Center, FL
Feb 26: Tulsa BOK Center, OK
Feb 28: Las Vegas Mandalay Bay Events Center, NV
Mar 30: New York Madison Square Garden, NY
Apr 5: Detroit Palace of Auburn Hills, MI
Apr 6: Chicago United Center, IL
Apr 11: Tacoma Dome, WA
Apr 13: Denver Pepsi Center, CO
Apr 15: Los Angeles Forum, CA

Previously announced dates:

Apr 29: Christchurch Horncastle Arena, New Zealand
May 01: Aucklane Vector Arena, New Zealand
May 04: Brisbane Entertainment Centre, Australia
May 06: Sydney Allphones Arena, Australia
May 09: Melbourne Rod Laver Arena, Australia
May 12: Adelaide Entertainment Centre, Australia
May 14: Perth Arena, Australia



miketramp640 Paul Elliott of Classic Rock reports:

May 25th, 1988 was a day that Mike Tramp would remember for the rest of his life. White Lion, the New York-based rock band fronted by Danish singer Tramp, were beginning a three month tour as support act to AC/DC at Indianapolis’ massive 15,000-capacity Market Square Arena.

White Lion were riding high. Their second album, Pride, had sold a million copies, and they’d been on the road for the best part of a year, opening for Kiss – whose bassist/vocalist Gene Simmons had told Tramp he had “the coolest name in rock’n’roll” – and then Aerosmith, whose singer Steven Tyler would greet Tramp each night by singing White Lion’s breakthrough hit Wait.

…There would be more good moments for Mike Tramp and White Lion on that tour. When The Children Cry would reach Number 3 on the US chart, a personal triumph for the singer who had written the song three years earlier as a struggling wannabe. And Tramp was ecstatic when AC/DC’s Brian Johnson told him: “This is the first time we’ve seen a big amount of women in our audience!”

But the good times didn’t last. In Tramp’s words, “the rise of White Lion was like climbing a ladder with a rocket up your ass!” But, at similar velocity came the band’s decline. And although this resulted from a number of contributing factors (including record company politics), what ultimately destroyed White Lion was the very thing that made them great – the strange relationship between Mike Tramp and guitarist Vito Bratta.

As Tramp says now, “Vito and I had no connection whatsoever except through music. It’s sad, but true.”

…“I was the engine that made Vito move,” he says. “[Back in the early days] Vito lived with his parents on Staten Island, and he never lifted a finger to make any money. If he drove to my place in Queens, I’d have to give him $10 for gas.”

…The story of White Lion ends as so many rock’n’roll stories do – in a battle for the band’s name. In the 21 years since the band broke up, Bratta’s public profile has been virtually nonexistent, while Tramp has remained active, recording and touring as a solo artist and with the bands Freak Of Nature and Mike Tramp And The Rock’N’Roll Circuz. Tramp has also continued to use the name of White Lion. He has toured, with varying band line-ups, as Tramp’s White Lion and White Lion II. He recorded 12 classic White Lion songs on his solo album Remembering White Lion (“A silly album,” he says, “but I was able to pocket $40,000 and live off that”). And in 2008 came a brand new White Lion album, Return Of The Pride, fronted by Tramp.

But in 2010, Tramp ceded ownership of the name White Lion to Bratta in an out-of-court settlement. Tramp says that he and Bratta came to this agreement following “a deep conversation.” But he adds, more pragmatically. “I didn’t want to spend all my money on f–king lawyers.” And as Tramp sees it, what Bratta has achieved is a pyrrhic victory. “I’m proud of what Vito and I did with White Lion,” he says, “and for that, I still love him. But the only thing Vito will take with him to his grave is the name White Lion. He would never have left f–king Staten Island – which he still lives on – if it hadn’t been for a kid from Copenhagen with the energy of a rocket.”

Read more at Classic Rock.



blackielawless640 Paul Elliott of Classic Rock spoke with W.A.S.P frontman Blackie Lawless. Excerpts from the interview appear below.

CR: You’re the guy in W.A.S.P. You’re also a born again Christian. Is there an inherent conflict in this?

Blackie Lawless: That’s true, but if people really listen to the new album, they might walk away with a different perspective on that.

CR: What is the meaning of the album’s title?

BL: Golgotha is from Hebrew. It means the place of the skull. It’s the name for the hill where Christ was crucified. That actual hill still exists and it looks like a human skull.

CR: What is the message you’re trying to convey in this album?

BL: There is not one message. I just want to make people think. It’s what I’ve tried to do for the past twenty-five years – to get people to think. If you go back to [1989 W.A.S.P. album] The Headless Children, the opening line says, “Father, come save us from this madness we’re under/God of creation, are we blind?” Even then, I was talking about this stuff, although not necessarily conscious of it.

CR: How would you describe this change in your life – is it a conversion or a return to Christianity?

BL: Interesting question – one I’ve been asking myself for the last ten years. There will be times when it feels like a new conversion, but then I’ll think back to my teens and think, no, this is an extension. From a Biblical perspective, if we look at stories like the prodigal son, we see a tremendous falling away, and yet someone who was able to return. If that’s the case, then I certainly fit that description.

CR: Was there a defining moment in this?

BL: Not really. It wasn’t like anything bad happened. It’s been a slow gradual process. It didn’t happen overnight.

CR: What happened in your teens?

BL: When I left the church I was eighteen. I left because I became disenfranchised with the concept of religion. What I discovered later was that religion was a concoction of man’s imagination. And the institutionalised thinking that goes along with it, I didn’t want any part of that, so I left the church and came to California and went as far away from that as you could possibly go. I went around for the next twenty years bumping into walls thinking I was mad at God.

CR: And then what?

BL: One day I woke up and realized I’m not mad at God, I’m mad at Man for the institutionalised thinking they put me through. And when I started coming back to my faith, I realized there was nobody on this planet more anti-religious than Jesus Christ himself. When you look at what he said to the religious rulers of his day, he railed on those guys.

CR: [Back in the early days of the band, you had] a real wildman of rock in the band – guitarist and Chewbacca lookalike Chris Holmes. Were you close, or were you just two guys in a band together?

BL: Before W.A.S.P. we had a band called Sister, and we were closer then. But when we signed to EMI, we had Rod Smallwood (Iron Maiden manager) on board. It was like, ‘Hey, this is now a business. You gotta tighten up.’ Chris and I were angry guys, but he was venting his anger in a different way to mine.

CR: He was a self-confessed alcoholic.

BL: Yes. That created a lot of separation between us.

CR: The problem that Chris had was revealed in the 1988 documentary The Decline Of Western Civilization part II: The Metal Years. It is the most famous scene in that movie: Chris sitting on an inflatable chair in his swimming pool, with his elderly mom watching on as he downs a bottle of vodka in one…

BL: I gotta tell you the whole story for it to really make sense (laughs). Penelope Spheeris, the director, was a friend of mine, and she devised this plan to have a face-to-face debate between me and Tipper Gore (co-founder of censorship lobby the PMRC – Parents Music Resource Center). This was going to be the centerpiece of the whole film. But then her husband (Senator Al Gore) decides he’s running for President, so on the day before we were going to film the debate, Tipper Gore pulls out. Penelope calls me in a panic. ‘Have you got another idea?’ I said, ‘No – that was gonna be the absolute firecracker.’ So a couple of says later she calls again and says, ‘Would you mind if I interview Chris?’ I talked about it with Rod Smallwood. He asked me what I thought. And the famous line of all time came out. I said, ‘How bad can it be?’

CR: And so?

BL:I told Penelope, ‘Go ahead.’

CR: And when you saw the movie, how did you react?

BL: I got a cut of the film and I flipped. I got on the phone to Penelope immediately. ‘You gotta take this out! The whole thing!’ And she says, ‘I can’t – the prints have already gone out to the theaters.’ So that was that.

CR: Chris Holmes left the band in 1989, returned in 1996 and then left again in 2002. Have you kept in touch with him since then?

BL: I really don’t know a lot about what he’s doing. I heard he made a record, but that’s about all.

CR: What’s next for you and the band?

BL: See previous answer. I’m taking it day by day. Literally, as the spirit moves me, that’s where I’m going.

CR: And is it a happy ending for Blackie Lawless?

BL: Well, so far, yeah, it is. I think about the old Sinatra song My Way: “Regrets, I’ve had a few, but then again, too few to mention.” So as far as that goes, I think I’m right where I need to be. I’m in a really good place.

Read more at Classic Rock.

Golgotha was released on October 2nd. Click on the highlighted titles to watch lyric videos for Scream and Golgotha.



aerosmith640 Gary Graff of Billboard reports:

Scratch Aerosmith off the list of groups planning to tour in 2016 — at least in North America.

The group was slated to play in both early 2016 and during the summer, but that’s been put on ice by frontman Steven Tyler and his solo album plans, according to guitarist Brad Whitford. “Steven doesn’t want to do it,” Whitford, who’s readying a new album of his own with Ted Nugent singer/guitarist Derek St. Holmes, tells Billboard. “It’s unfortunate. We kind of feel a little bit abandoned by him. I guess he seems to think his solo career is going to go great guns, and he doesn’t seem to realize that — in my opinion — his fans around the globe want to see him in the context of Aerosmith and don’t really care for whatever he thinks he’s gonna do…I don’t know if he gets that but, hey, that’s what he wants to do. I can’t put a gun to his head. It’s just pretty disappointing.”

Tyler has been recording his country-leaning album in Nashville, with plans for a 2016 release. His first single from the set, the Dann Huff-produced “Love Is Your Name,” came out in mid-May and peaked at Number 19 on the Hot Country Songs chart, and he’s been making the rounds of the assorted country music awards shows.

…The reunited Whitford St. Holmes — which the two launched in 1980 and released one self-titled album the following year — hits the road November 12th in Milwaukee for a 10-date tour. It’s a bit of a silver lining for Whitford and will see the release of a new album, Reunion, in the near future.

“Derek and I now live in the same town [Nashville] and we’ve been great friends since the mid-’70s, and once we were hanging out here together it was just the natural evolution of us sitting around and creating music and we just got to the point of, ‘Wow, we’ve got to do something with this,'” Whitford says. They recorded Reunion over a two-week period at Castle Recording in Franklin, Tenn., with Beau Maxwell and a band that includes Tesla drummer Tony Luccketta and Aerosmith touring keyboardist Buck Johnson, among others.

“It’s a classic rock album — modern classic rock,” Whitford says.

…Whitford and St. Holmes wrote all nine songs for Reunion and plan to return to the studio after the tour to start recording more material they’ve come up with.

Read more at Billboard.


armoredsaint400 Los Angeles, California’s Armored Saint has had a banner year with the release of their seventh studio album, Win Hands Down, which is a vintage crush of classic power propelled by a cathartic blast of life in the year 2015. They played massive European festivals, crushed the masses across North America co-headlining with metal legends Saxon and now wrap-up the year with a very striking new music video for the blistering new track, An Exercise In Debauchery, shot by Brian Cox (Hollywood Undead, Prong). View the video below courtesy of

John Bush (vocals) states, “I’m so happy with the way this video turned out. The song has a heavy subject matter and the video compliments it perfectly. There’s also a feeling of campiness which makes the viewer fade in and out of being uncomfortable and having a chuckle. The actors did a great job and personal props to my neighbor Sharon who let it all out as the police officer. Oh yeah, the band looks bad ass as well. Debauchery indeed.”

Joey Vera (bass) further adds, “We’re psyched to play these upcoming shows. First at M15 in Corona, CA. We haven’t played Riverside County in a long time, so this is gonna be sick! Then after Thanksgiving, we head out to Europe for two headline shows and two festivals with legends Accept. What a great way for us to end this year. We’re cooking up more shows for 2016, so we’ll see you all soon!”

Armored Saint tour dates:

Nov. 14 – M15 – Corona, CA (headlining show)
Dec. 1 – De Helling – Utrecht, Netherlands (headline show with Diablo Blvd support)
Dec. 2 – Colos-Saal – Aschaffenburg, Germany (headline show with Diablo Blvd support)
Dec. 4 – Waterkant X-Mas Bash – Hamburg, Germany
Dec. 5 – Ruhrpott Metal Meeting – Oberhausen, Germany
Feb. 22 – Monsters of Rock Cruise – Miami, FL



acefrehleytributeposter640 In 2013, Izzy Presley started ACK! A Tribute To Ace Frehley in Minneapolis along with Pentagram drummer Minnesota Pete Campbell, and since Izzy has relocated to Los Angeles he has taken his show with him.

He is debuting the band in Hollywood on Thursday November 12th with an all star cast. The band itself features Mike Dupke (Formerly of W.A.S.P.), Barry Pointer from Lucky Strike Live, and Dylan Wilson from Richie Kotzen’s band. Johnny Martin of Adler and Chad Stewart from Faster Pussycat were unavailable to do the show due to scheduling reasons but will be playing with the band in the future.

The show will also feature an all star jam that will not only feature the aforementioned performers, but also Chris Wyse of Ace Frehley’s band, Rafael Moreira from Paul Stanley’s Solo Band, dUg Pinnick of King’s X, Alex Kane of the legendary Life Sex & Death, former Faster Pussycat bassist Eric Stacey, Tempest Crane from the Minneapolis icons All The Pretty Horses, Courtney Cox from Femme Fatale and The Iron Maidens, Robbie Rist – yes Cousin Oliver of the Brady Bunch – Emily Dickinson, Tiny Biuso, Howie Simon, Stephen Chesney, Patrick Stone, Zach Throne, Jim Wilson, and more with some other surprises in store.

The show will be opened by Los Angeles based Los Lizzy, a tribute to Thin Lizzy and starts at 10pm. Best part….NO COVER!


RitchieBlackmore As previously reported, founding Deep Purple and Rainbow guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, has announced that he will be playing three rock shows in Europe under the name of Ricthie Blackmore’s Rainbow.

Blackmore has finally revealed who will his bandmates. Sharing the stage with the legendary guitarist will be Lords of Black singer Ronnie Romero, Stratovarius keyboardist Jens Johansson, Blackmore’s Night drummer David Keith and bassist Bob Nouveau.

While some fans may be underwhelmed by the news, this lineup will keep the focus on Blackmore, which is what the tour is all about.

Blackmore is particularly excited about introducing Romero to a larger audience.

“The singer I found is very exciting,” Blackmore told Billboard in September, before he announced the lineup. “He’s a cross between [former Rainbow frontman Ronnie James] Dio meets Freddie Mercury. So, this will mean exposing a new singer to the masses, and I’m sure he’ll become pretty famous because of his voice.”

Listen to Romero cover of Deep Purple’s Stormbringer in the video below.

Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow and guests are scheduled to play at two Monsters Of Rock festivals in Germany on June 17th and 18th and one UK show on June 25 in England at Birmingham Genting Arena. More dates are expected to be announced. Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow will perform “the classic rock anthems of Rainbow and Deep Purple,” according to show announcements. Blackmore reportedly plans to film and record the performances for future release.

[Dana’s note: Thank you to Todd, for passing this news along.]

additional source:


mikepornoy Dennis Gast of Music Insider Magazine spoke with Winery Dogs drummer Mike Portnoy. Excerpts from the interview appear below.

Dennis Gast: I am a huge fan, so I was wondering if you could tell me a bit about what first inspired you to begin playing?

Mike Portnoy: Well, I was a music fan from the minute I was born. My dad was a rock ‘n’ roll DJ, and he surrounded me with music from the minute I was born. I grew up with The Beatles, The Who, the Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin and all that stuff in the late 60s and early 70s. I think I inevitably became a musician, because I was such a music fan from the beginning.

It was probably Keith Moon who made me gravitate toward the drums. When I saw the movie The Kids Are All Right, when it came out in the theaters in 1979, seeing Keith Moon and how amazing and charismatic he was, I think that’s what made me become a drummer.

Gast: So would you say Keith Moon is your biggest influence?

Portnoy: He is certainly one of the “Big Four” for me: Keith Moon (The Who), John Bonham (Led Zeppelin), Ringo Starr (The Beatles) and Neil Peart (Rush). In the early days Keith was probably my biggest drum hero, but then once I discovered more progressive music, I went through a huge Neil Peart phase, and for several years he was my biggest hero. There are so many drummers who inspire me.

Gast: Considering how many musicians you have already played with over the years, do you have any bucket list artists you would still like to work with?

Portnoy: Sure, of course. I mean, the last five years, since leaving Dream Theater, I have been able to check off a lot from that list, because everyone I work with now is someone I have wanted to work with. Billy, Richie, Steve Morse in Flying Colors. I just did the Metal Allegiance album with the guys from Anthrax, Slayer, Pantera and Megadeth. So, I am slowly knocking off the bucket list.

Of course, there are those dream artists, the ones who I will probably never work with. For me, these guys are like Roger Waters (Pink Floyd), Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin), Pete Townsend (The Who) or Paul McCartney (The Beatles). These are the “dream guys” who I may never cross paths with, but to work with any of those guys would be an absolute check off of the bucket list.

Gast: Having played with so many great musicians over time, when did the three of you in The Winery Dogs first cross paths?

Portnoy: I first saw Billy play when he was in Talas back in the early 80s. They were a staple in the New York bar and club scene. I was still a teenager, and I would sneak into clubs and see Talas play, and I had never seen anyone play bass the way Billy does. That was the first I had seen or heard of Billy. Then, we first played together in the early 90s, while we were working on a Rush tribute album. That’s how my relationship with Billy began.

As far as Richie goes, I never really knew about his ability as a singer and guitar player, I just knew him as the replacement guy with Mr. Big and Poison. So a few years ago I was turned onto some of his solo material, and I was just blown away by what he does. Then, Eddie Trunk introduced the two of us, and that’s how that relationship started.

Gast: I read somewhere that you guys started your own “band camp” called Dog Camp. Can you tell me a little bit about that?

Portnoy: We did it the last two summers in New York, and basically, it is like a rock ‘n’ roll fantasy camp kind of thing, where people from all ages and levels of musicianship are welcome to come. The last two summers we did it, and it was a lot of fun. The campers get to see us play in a very intimate setting, but we also conducted master classes and clinics and had guest musicians helping us out. It’s just a very intimate and cool learning environment.

Gast: Are there plans already in the works for a third record?

Portnoy: Yes, of course, but we are still at the early stages of support for Hot Streak, so this cycle will go until at least the end of next year.

Read more at Music Insider Magazine.