Hope everyone is having a great week. Radio shows have been killer this week with some great topics and guests including Chris Jericho and Paul Dean of Loverboy. Hear any old shows On Demand on the SiriusXM app. Tomorrow all listener calls about rock for Free For All Friday. Listen daily live 2-4P ET, replay 9-11P ET on 106 Volume on SiriusXM.

New podcast now up and free via Itunes or www.PodcastOne.com with guest David Coverdale. Great talk about Whitesnake, Purple and Jimmy Page!

I’ll be in Milwaukee this weekend. Hosting Saxon and Black Star Riders at the Northern Lights Theater. Hope to see you if attending.

I’ll be broadcasting live from the R&R HOF in Cleveland next Friday 4/13 from 9A-Noon ET on Volume. From there to Tulsa to host LA Guns at IDL that night! 4/22 back in Houston at Proof for Tom Keifer. Then 4/23 live Trunk Nation remote on SiriusXM from White Oak Music Hall 1-3 Central. Free and open to all! Please see all appearances on the home page.

Brand new TRUNK NATION T-Shirt just released in the Merch Store on this site. Perfect for the Spring! Thanks for supporting and representing the shows! Thanks to David Calcano for the design! Check it out now.

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Former Judas Priest guitarist K. K. Downing will release his autobiography, Heavy Duty: Days And Nights In Judas Priest, on on September 18th through Da Capo Press. The book was co-written by the Scottish author and journalist Mark Eglinton, whose previous collaborations include Official Truth, 101 Proof with Rex Brown of Pantera and Confessions Of A Heretic with Behemoth’s Adam “Nergal” Darski.

In a recent message posted to his official Facebook page, Downing posted:

“Hi everyone!

I’m proud to finally show you all the cover art for the U.S edition of my forthcoming autobiography.

I’ve put my heart and soul into this book to give you, the fans, an honest account of my life in and out of Judas Priest. The book is available to pre-order here.

Additionally, the guitarist previously wrote:

“My life story is something that I am very proud of — even though I suspect that some of the details will surprise you just as they did me as I lived through them.

Recollecting my life as I have done in this book has often brought me to close to tears, but has also made me laugh with the fondest memories. It is true that I have made many friends along the way but it is also true that I have made some enemies. But one thing is for sure: the music that has been everything to me has not only been my salvation, but has also brought me closer to the people of so many nations — and I can honestly say that I consider all of you to be my very dear friends.

Heavy Duty is now destined to come your way in September, and it is my proudest moment to be able to share it with you.”

Heavy Duty official book synopsis states:

“Judas Priest formed in the industrial city of Birmingham, England, in 1968. With its distinctive twin-guitar sound, studs-and-leather image, and international sales of over 50 million records, Judas Priest became the archetypal heavy metal band in the 1980s. Iconic tracks like Breaking The Law, Living After Midnight and ‘You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’ helped the band achieve extraordinary success, but no one from the band has stepped out to tell their or the band’s story until now.

As the band approaches its golden anniversary, fans will at last be able to delve backstage into the decades of shocking, hilarious, and haunting stories that surround the heavy metal institution. In Heavy Duty, guitarist K.K. Downing discusses the complex personality conflicts, the business screw-ups, the acrimonious relationship with fellow heavy metal band Iron Maiden, as well as how Judas Priest found itself at the epicenter of a storm of parental outrage that targeted heavy metal in the ’80s. He also describes his role in cementing the band’s trademark black leather and studs image that would not only become synonymous with the entire genre, but would also give singer Rob Halford a viable outlet by which to express his sexuality. Lastly, he recounts the life-changing moment when he looked at his bandmates on stage during a 2010 concert and thought, ‘This is the last show.’ Whatever the topic, whoever’s involved, K.K. doesn’t hold back.

With the band at the beginning through his retirement in 2010 (and even still as a member of the band’s board of directors), Downing has seen it all and is now finally at a place in his life where he can also let it all go. Even if you’re a lifelong fan, if you think you know the full story of JUDAS PRIEST, well, you’ve got another thing coming.”

In other K. K. Downing news, the guitarist has opened a new concert venue in Wolverhampton, England. Called KK’s Steel Mill, the venue will host a number of hard rock and heavy metal acts over the coming months, including U.S. rockers Skid Row, who are booked to play there in August.

Says Downing, “It’s with great pleasure and excitement I can confirm another new chapter in my lifelong musical journey, however this time on the other side of the crowd barriers.

As many fans may have already seen, I will be hosting live rock and metal shows at an exciting new venue close to home in Wolverhampton, based in the heart of the Midlands… ‘The Home Of Metal.’

Last year, I was asked to visit this venue by a good friend, and together we agreed it would make an amazing place for fans to see top bands and artists close up in unique surroundings.

The city of Wolverhampton itself and the Midlands in general has a great live music scene, with many new bands now making the breakthrough, not to mention the Old Guard of Legends still at the forefront driving the way.

KK’s Steel Mill is very happy to have found its home at Starworks Warehouse. The historic building was the birthplace of The Star Motor Car Company around the early 1900s, and the building in its current format has kept that raw industrial feel.

We aim to put on regular headlining shows throughout the year, and I am thrilled to announce for starters I will host American rockers Skid Row on Friday the 24th of August when Snake, Rachel, Scotti, Rob and ZP bring their hard-hitting show to the Steel Mill.

I’m looking forward to seeing many fans at the upcoming shows enjoy the music! I’ll probably see you at the bar.”

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On Sunday, April 22nd, late Megadth drummer Nick Menza will be celebrated by his family, friends and colleagues in a night of musical remembrance of his vast and varied musical history at Lucky Strike Live in Hollywood, California.

Mostly known to the public at large for his work with the Dave Mustaine-fronted band, Nick also contributed his substantial artistic talents over a broad spectrum of visual and musical expressions and all will be on display on this night of art, music and fun. A silent auction of some of his instruments, art and memorabilia will be on display and open for bidding. CDs of his music from former bands will also be on sale, as well as T-shirts and custom Nick Menza drum sticks.

Appearing that night will be a tribute from rock musicians and former bandmates coming together to honor their friend. All proceeds from this event will go to Nick’s sons, including future sales of CDs, art and merchandise, as well as a DVD of this performance.

For a full list of currently scheduled performers, please visit this location.

The drummer died on May 21st, after collapsing onstage during a concert in Studio City, California.

Menza’s management confirmed the death in a statement writing, “Nick collapsed during the third song into a set with his band OHM. Earliest reports indicate he suffered a massive heart attack and was pronounced dead upon arrival at hospital.”

The Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner later ruled that his death was due to cardiovascular disease.

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Glenn Hughes, former bassist and singer of Deep Purple, known to millions as the “voice of rock,” Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame inductee, and the current frontman for rock super group Black Country Communion, has announced that he will perform Deep Purple-only material with his Classic Deep Purple Live nationwide U.S. tour in August-September 2018.

The tour promises to be dynamic, a turn-back-the-clocks, two-hour live extravaganza homage to his tenure in MK 3 and MK 4 incarnations of Deep Purple — one of music history’s most seminal and influential rock and roll groups.

Comments Hughes, “I’m excited to be touring the Classic Deep Purple Live in the U.S. late this summer. I first toured Classic Deep Purple Live in Australia and New Zealand last year and it went down like a storm. We’re also touring the show throughout South America in April, and international festivals throughout the summer. By the time we tour the U.S., then the U.K. in October, we’ll be on fire.”

As well as Glenn on lead vocals and bass guitar, the touring band also features Søren Andersen (guitar), Jesper Bo Hansen (keyboards) and Fer Escobedo (drums).

A second leg of the USA tour will added soon, with further shows throughout November and December.

Tour dates:

Aug. 25 – NYCB Theatre – Westbury, NY
Aug. 26 – Space Ballroom – Hamden, C
Aug. 28 – The Stone Pony – Asbury Park, NJ
Aug. 29 – Sony Hall – New York, NY
Aug. 31 – The Queen – Wilmington, DE

Sep. 1 – Chameleon Club – Lancaster, PA
Sep. 4 – Rams Head On Stage – Annapolis, MD
Sep. 5 – Jergels – Warrendale, PA
Sep. 7 – The Keswick Theatre – Glenside, PA
Sep. 8 – Penn’s Peak – Jim Thorpe, PA
Sep. 11 – The Chance Theater – Poughkeepsie, NY
Sep. 13 – Arcada Theatre – Saint Charles, IL
Sep. 16 – House of Blues – Cleveland, OH
Sep. 18 – Tupelo Music Hall – Derry, NH
Sep. 19 – The Wilbur – Boston, MA
Sep. 21 – Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel – Providence, RI
Sep. 22 – Tarrytown Music Hall – Tarrytown, NY

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Ruben Mosqueda of Metal Titans spoke with Black Star Riders guitarist Damon Johnson. Excerpts from the interview appear below.

“This [tour] is going to change things for us, there’s no other band you can name that embraces hard work like we do,” says an enthusiastic Damon Johnson…about opening for Judas Priest across North America this spring.

“This tour will absolutely bring Black Star Riders to the forefront and will get promoter’s attention and we will get some festival appearances.” Black Star Riders issued their 3rd effort Heavy Fire in February of 2017 [Nuclear Blast Records] and are bursting at the seams to play in America.

Johnson goes on to say, “I’m proud of this band, I’m proud that we have great people in this band and that we have mutual admiration and respect for one another. To break the band in the [United] States would simply be the icing on the cake…I can tell you that for this tour we’re doing stuff that’s heavier. You have to for the Judas Priest crowd.”

Metal Titans: Black Star Riders have released three albums; you’ve done great business around the world. Breaking Black Star Riders in North America has been challenging. This spring tour with [Judas] Priest and Saxon should help tremendously.

Damon Johnson: Ruben, let me start by saying that we are jubilant and elated to be a part of this tour with Judas Priest and Saxon. This whole thing happened because the Priest guys are friends and they have been so supportive of Black Star Riders, as far back as when we were still Thin Lizzy. I guess it’s great to have friends in high places, right? [laughs]

I won’t kid you, but to your point; America has eluded us. There are many rock n’ roll avenues [rock radio] in America that have helped us, but the reality is Ruben, they don’t reach enough people. Active radio nowadays only plays the same 12 bands and to get your band played on there is going to cost you more money than you can print. It’s been a challenge, it’s been really hard. There are people that want to hear Black Star Riders in America but we just can’t afford to bring all the gear, fly Scotty [Gorham] in and then get into a van and pull a trailer and play to 40 people a night. There’s just no awareness, that’s just the way that it is. I don’t want to sound like I’m complaining, I’m just looking at things realistically. That’s the hard facts and the hard reality. I thought to myself, “Man, this just isn’t going to happen for us in America,” then we got the call from Judas Priest in September [2017] about this tour. I can’t even begin to tell you how stoked we are about this tour.

Metal Titans: In between Priest shows, Black Star Riders and Saxon are doing joint shows. That must be gratifying that there’s interest from promoters to book the band?

Damon Johnson: Absolutely and in deed you’re right Ruben. We’ve book 5-6 show Saxon and we’ve booked 5-6 shows on our own. We did one in Buffalo [New York] last week and we have one coming up in Montreal [Quebec, Canada] and we just announced Seattle [Washington] within the last 72 hours.

Metal Titans: Black Star Riders have become its own entity; there’s an evolution from All Hell Breaks Loose to Heavy Fire. I hear little less Thin Lizzy with each subsequent record.

Damon Johnson: I never felt that we ever needed to deny or rid ourselves of our Lizzy origins or heritage. We absolutely wanted to grow the Black Star Riders name and allow it to grow it’s own enthusiastic fanbase. The idea to write a song that sounds like Thin Lizzy, if I knew the formula for that I would tell you right now. You know what I mean? It’s not like Scott Gorham will walk in wearing a particular suit, plug in and next thing you Ricky is sounding like Phil [Lynott] and the song sounds like Thin Lizzy circa Johnny The Fox! [laughs]

Metal Titans: You’re on tour with Priest and Saxon at the moment; what are your favorite albums by each of your tourmates?

Damon Johnson: I’m definitely familiar with both bands but I must admits Priest more so, than Saxon. I had one of my best friends playing drums in one of my high school bands. He was really up to date on all of the British metal bands; he turned me onto Saxon. What was the record? Wheels Of Steel? Did that have Princess Of The Night on it?

Metal Titans: That would have been Denim And Leather.

Damon Johnson: I’ve always love that. We attempted to cover that in our band. [laughs]

The Priest catalog; I’m super familiar with. My favorite album from Priest from top to bottom is Point Of Entry. It’s not one that people pick, that record just spoke to me. Heading Out To The Highway just spoke to me. And Desert Plains? Ruben, that song is my top 20 songs of all-time. I love that song so much, I wish they were doing that on this tour but I know it’s hard for them to fit everyone’s favorites in.

Metal Titans: And you have three records with Black Star Riders. If you had to turn to one of the three records to recommend to a new fan, which would it be and why?

Damon Johnson: [long pause] I think it would be hard to deny that the new record; Heavy Fire would be a good place to start. The record has so much diversity and great dynamics; in my opinion that is the most “Lizzyesque” thing about the record, that it just covers so much ground. Heavy Fire, the title track is in your face and Who Rides The Tiger is one of my favorite songs that I have ever written. There’s some great melodic stuff on there that is “Motown” influenced, which is something that Ricky and I are huge fans of, like; Dancing With The Wrong Girl and Testify Or Say Goodbye.

I have to add a footnote; there a song on our second album The Killer Instinct [2015] it has a song on there titled Blindsided to date that is my favorite Black Star Riders song. I thank our producer Nick Raskulinecz for really pushing us to the limit. I think we delivered in spades on that one. I love that song so much and can’t say enough about Ricky’s lyrics and his ability to tell a story.

Read more at Metal Titans.

source: metaltitans.com

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Def Leppard guitarist Phil Collen says that Angus Young should resist the urge to make a new AC/DC album with Axl Rose, insisting that the legendary hard rock band “has lots its integrity” through its recent lineup changes, reports blabbermouth.net.

Singer Angry Anderson of the veteran Australian act Rose Tatto said in a recent interview with The Rockpit that Angus told him he is at work on new AC/DC music and intends to have Guns N’ Roses frontman Axl Rose — who took Johnson’s place on the road in 2016 — sing on the LP.

Asked in a recent interview with Forrest of the Boise radio station 96.9 The Eagle if Angus should record a new AC/DC album with Axl, Phil said: “No. I’m a huge AC/DC fan, and if the whole band’s left or gone… Malcolm [is] dead, obviously. Brian Johnson got kicked out. Cliff Williams retired and Phil Rudd got arrested. You’ve got one person [left], so it’s not really AC/DC. Maybe call it ‘A, With Axl Rose.’ It kind of loses its appeal. It becomes karaoke; it becomes something else, and it’s lost its integrity, really.”

He continued: “I wouldn’t do that, personally, if I was Angus. I thought Axl Rose [did] a great job, by the way. I thought he [did] amazing when he stood in for Brian Johnson. I thought he was amazing, actually. Full power to him — he’s done really, really good stuff. But I think as a band, if he was gonna do an album, it may sound good, but it’s not really the band anymore.”

Singer Brian Johnson was forced to leave the band mid-tour due to a dangerous level of hearing loss, while Rudd was dismissed following a drug arrest and Williams decided to retire at the end of the cycle.

Malcolm Young was diagnosed with dementia several years ago and bowed out before the sessions for Rock Or Bust began. He died this past November.

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