Legendary rock photographer Ross Halfin has teamed up with Rufus Publications for the publication of Randy Rhoads By Ross Halfin, a celebration of one of the most influential hard rock/heavy metal guitarists of all time. This extensive photo book features many classic and unseen shots of the former Ozzy Osbourne and Quiet Riot guitarist chosen by Ross from his personal archive.
Halfin announced the completion of Randy Rhoads By Ross Halfin in a tweet writing, “Just finished this today. My new book on Randy Rhoads which will be coming soon via Rufus Books . I’ve gone through my archive to uncover loads of never before seen photos and I hope some very nice surprises for you . #rosshalfin #randyrhoads”
Rhoads’s bandmate in Ozzy’s group, bassist Rudy Sarzo, gave the book his stamp of approval, tweeting, “@RossHalfin was not only our unofficial band photographer but also a tour bus mate, a trusted confidant and an awesome Hang. He had photographic access to Ozzy’s world like no one else. I’m really looking forward to his book.”
After a string of chart hits and live triumphs, one of rock music’s most exciting new bands Dirty Honey is keeping the momentum going with the April 23rd release of their self-titled debut full-length. The Los Angeles quartet has dropped a new single, California Dreamin’, with a news feature and video that premiered today atRolling Stone.
A bold opener with towering chorus hooks and slipshod grooves, California Dreamin’ features smoking guitar solos bookended by massive riffs and hooks. Lyrically, the single puts a different spin on the idea of California as the promised land: vocalist/lyricist Marc LaBelle drew on the tough times he faced after moving west in the early 2010s to craft a bittersweet cautionary tale that hints at personal and emotional turbulence.
“Lots of people come out to California, chasing a dream, and sometimes, people just don’t make it,” said LaBelle. “California isn’t always the ‘land of milk and honey,’ dreams don’t always come true here, and that’s the perspective this song and video take. The video is a dream through California that showcases the good, the bad and the ugly.”
Dirty Honey — LaBelle, guitarist John Notto, bassist Justin Smolian, and drummer Corey Coverstone — planned to record the album with producer Nick DiDia (Rage Against The Machine, Pearl Jam), who had produced the band’s 2019 EP; but the day before the band was due to fly to Australia to track the album, Los Angeles entered lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic and traveling was off the table. Still keen to work with DiDia, they came up with a Plan B: record the full-length at Henson Studios in Los Angeles studio with DiDia beamed into the proceedings via the magic of modern technology.
Having to switch gears delayed the start of recording slightly, although this extra time ended up being a boon. Dirty Honey rented a rehearsal space and demoed the album’s songs in advance, meaning the tracks were in good shape when DiDia came onboard. “If we had gone when we were supposed to in March, we wouldn’t have had as many songs,” Smolian says. “We did a lot of rehearsing and got tighter as a band. Except for Marc’s lyrics, everything was pretty much written by the time we got into the studio, there really wasn’t a lot of, ‘Let’s try this, let’s try that.’ It was more about capturing takes.”
Adds drummer Corey Coverstone, “Because of the pandemic, we had a lot more time to write and prepare, which was great. It meant that we were able to workshop the songs a lot more, and I think it really made a difference.”
The Dirty Honey album does sound effortless and captures the lightning-in-a-bottle dynamics and energy of the band’s live sound. The collection boasts airtight songwriting that plays up their strengths: sexy, bluesy, nasty rock ‘n’ roll. LaBelle reaffirms his status as one of contemporary rock’s best vocalists on The Wire, while the gospel-tinted Another Last Time is a midtempo, organ-fueled album-closer bursting with soul.
Although the pandemic has thrown some obstacles in the way, Dirty Honey knows that pushing through those tough times will only help them come out stronger on the other side. “When you finally come through on those moments, that’s where the real magic comes in,” Notto says. “What makes all of our songs fun to play and listen to is we don’t allow ourselves to stop short of getting the best possible results out of each one of them.”
In fact, if anything, all of the four band members are determined to better themselves going forward. “As a guitarist, I’m always inspired by the everlasting pursuit of the perfect riff,” Notto adds. “I also wanted to extend the artistic statement that we’ve already made. We weren’t looking to sound different, or prove our growth, necessarily. It was more about, ‘Oh, you thought that was good? Hold my beer.'”
Live From Las Vegas is proud to present Yngwie Malmsteen. Join The Maestro himself for a live, “one-night-only” experience, as he performs the best of his legendary catalog. The show will take place onMarch 20th at 7:30pm PST as both a live, in-person concert and livestream experience. Veteran rock n’ roll historian and personality Eddie Trunk will act as host of the evening’s proceedings.
Yngwie Malmsteen was born in Stockholm, Sweden, on June 30th, 1963. Applying his intense curiosity and tenacity to first an old Mosrite and then a cheap Stratocaster, Yngwie immersed himself in the music of such bands like Deep Purple and spent long hours practicing to learn their songs. His admiration for Ritchie Blackmore‘s classically influenced playing led him back to the source: Bach, Vivaldi, Beethoven, and Mozart. As Yngwie absorbed the classical structures of the masters, his prodigious style began to take shape.
By age 10, he began to focus all his energies on music. His mother and sister, the latter a talented flautist, recognized his unique musical gifts and gave him support and encouragement. His mastery of the instrument progressed rapidly. In his early teens, Yngwie saw a television performance of Russian violinist Gideon Kremer, who performed the highly difficult 24 Caprices of 19th-century virtuoso violinist Niccolo Paganini. The effect was profound, and Yngwie understood at last how to combine his love of classical music with his burgeoning guitar skills and onstage charisma.
Yngwie’s first solo album, Rising Force (now considered the bible for neoclassical rock) made it to #60 on the Billboard charts, an impressive feat for a mostly instrumental guitar album with no commercial airplay. The album also gained Yngwie a Grammy nomination for best rock instrumental performance. He was voted “Best New Talent” in several readers’ polls, “Best Rock Guitarist” the year after, and Rising Force became “Album of the Year”. Rising Force blazed a trail on the concert circuit that established Yngwie as one of rock guitar’s brightest new stars and added a new genre to the music lexicon: neoclassical rock.
With his place in guitar history firmly established, Yngwie’s neo-classical compositions fueled the ears of fans and the ambitions of aspiring guitarists worldwide for over a decade with such powerhouse classic albums as Marching Out’Trilogy‘Odyssey, Live in Leningrad / Trial By Fire (gold-selling concert video of Yngwie’s 1989 sold-out concerts in Moscow and Leningrad), Fire & Ice (which debuted in Japan at #1 and sold over 100,000 copies on the day of its release), The Seventh Sign, Magnum Opus, Inspiration’(covering the music of Deep Purple, Rainbow,U.K., Kansas, Scorpions, Rush, and Jimi Hendrix), Facing the Animal, Alchemy‘, and Attack!!
Early in 2009, Yngwie contributed three tracks to the video game Rock Band, for both Xbox and PlayStation. Still promoting Perpetual Flame, Yngwie and the band played a series of killer concerts in Japan with rock icons Deep Purple. By mid-summer, Yngwie astonished fans and critics alike by releasing an album completely off the beaten path for him; an entirely instrumental collection of ballads from Yngwie’s earlier work performed on acoustic guitar with orchestral arrangements. To everyone’s surprise, Angels of Love (inspired by Yngwie’s wife April) hit the top of Amazon.com’s New Age music list.
Recognition of Yngwie’s place in music history continued to come in. In TIME Magazine, Yngwie found himself included as one of the “10 Greatest Electric Guitar Players.” Near the end of the year, Yngwie and his management company decided to begin releasing rare archival concert footage. The first was Yngwie in Korea, shot during his 2001 War to End All Wars Tour, in Seoul, South Korea. And that, asserts Yngwie, is just the tip of the iceberg of things to come.
Niclas Müller-Hansen Sweden’s Rock Sverige of spoke with singer/guitarist/songwriter, [Dana’s note: and all around badass] Richie Kozten. Highlights from the interview appear below.
Q: When was the first time you guys [Iron Maiden guitarist Adrian Smith and Richie Kozten] met?
A: Well, we met almost ten years ago. It seems like the older I get, the more twisted memory becomes. We´ve known each other for quite some time. Adrian has a home in Malibu and my wife and I live close by to where his house is here in California. We would go over there for parties and such and he has a room in his house that is set up like a soundproofed jam room. We would all go in there and play and finally at one of these times someone said “You two should try and write a song together!” so we did it and I think the first song that we wrote is Running. It was very easy for us to do it and it came out really cool and quick. No hang ups, so we thought “Well, let´s try another one.” And before we knew it we had three or four songs we felt good about. Then we thought “Hey, maybe we should make a record?” and that´s how we got here [with Smith/Kotzen].
Q: I read somewhere that Iron Maiden was actually the first show you went to?
A: No, the first concert I ever went to was Stevie Wonder, but it was also around the same time I went and saw my first rock concert, so yes, my first hard rock show was Iron Maiden on the Piece Of Mind tour and that was something. I loved it. I was a huge Iron Maiden fan as a kid and I still am.
Q: [Guitarist] Eddie [Van Halen], what did he mean to you?
A: That would be the first and one of the few guitarists that I tried to emulate as a young student of the instrument. I will never forget the first time I heard him and this is how out of touch I was. We were driving home, my parents had the radio on and I was in the back of the car and the guitar solo to Beat It (Michael Jackson) came on. That guitar started playing and my dad was about to turn off the car and I screamed and said “No!” and I scared him. From there I needed to find out who the hell was playing that. I had never heard a guitar sound like that. I had been around and I´d seen concerts and I was a Sabbath fan and a Scorpions fan, but I had never heard a guitar sound like that. That´s how I got turned on to Van Halen and from there I bought every record they made.
Q: So you hadn’t come across the band Van Halen before that?
A: Isn’t that crazy? (laughs) I’ll never forget, one of my young friends and I were looking through a magazine and and we saw a picture of Van Halen and said “Look at these guys! They ruined their guitars. Why would they paint their guitars like that?” I didn’t say that. My friend pointed to the picture and said it and we didn’t know who Van Halen was. We knew who Black Sabbath was, we knew the Scorpions, but we didn’t know about Van Halen.
Q: Writing songs for an album like [Smith/Kotzen], did you pick up things from each other when it comes to playing?
A: I don´t know. First and foremost with Adrian and I and really the reason why this works so well, is that we are both songwriters. Adrian writes song after song and he’s got tons of ideas and you know my track record of writing songs, that’s what I do. I don’t pick up the guitar unless I have an idea for a song, it’s that simple. The song element came pretty easy. With the guitar playing, that was easy as well, but it was real casual, like “Hey, Richie, why don´t you play the beginning of this and I’ll take the outro?” or “Hey Adrian, let me do the solo into the chorus because I have an idea about how I wanna get out of it.” We just did really what we wanted. Maybe we discussed a different approach to the songs in the mixes or something, but in general it was all just casual. Very easy and no egos. I think because we both have been doing this business of writing songs, recording them and performing them long enough to not have any bulls–t get in the way. If one of us was not a songwriter, if one guy was just a musician…I’m gonna separate something here. There’s a massive difference between a musician and a recording artist. A recording artist writes songs, signs publishing deals, signs recording contracts. A musician plays music. Sometimes they’re both. I’m both and Adrian is both, but if one of us was just a guy who kinda plays the guitar and does a lot of hot licks, you´d probably have some problems. It wouldn’t be about songs, it would be about somebody trying to show off. But, because our priority is songs, we don’t have any bullshit.
Q: Besides living close to each other and so on, what else made you guys click, so to speak? He´s British and in one of the biggest metal bands, you´re American and the cool looking guy?
A: (Laughs) Well look, I think Adrian’s pretty f–king cool and I’ve been a fan of his since I was a young boy trying to figure out his guitar licks. But the point of the matter is this, why this works is because we have a common ground. Adrian loves American blues and I grew up listening to traditional R&B and soul music and we both love the original rock bands like The Stones, The Who, Led Zeppelin, The Beatles and that’s our common ground. We both kinda have this love for soul and blues, but when it comes to rock and roll we’re gonna listen to The Stones before we put on a record from the 90’s or something, if you follow what I´m saying? That’s why we have a foundation to build on.
Q: Do you look at this as something that will continue? Will there be a second album?
A: Hey, if I have anything to do with it, absolutely. It’s an interesting thing because I remember this when we did The Winery Dogs and the record wasn’t even out yet and people were carrying on “Is it a real band? Are you gonna make another record?” and I said “Listen to the record we made first and worry about it later.” To be honest, yeah. The process was so easy and I don’t see a reason to not make another record as I sit here today. Of course.
Q: You mentioned The Rolling Stones. You opened up for them in Japan. I talked to Joe Satriani recently and he mentioned how cool Mick Jagger was when he played with him. What was it like opening for The Stones?
A: I’ll tell you something. The Rolling Stones never had an opening act in Japan ever. I was the only one to ever do it. In Japan it is traditional to not have an opening band. Normally you just go and see the headliner play and that’s the end of it. I was skeptical and I didn’t really brag about it or tell anybody about it until after I played the first show. Then I made a couple of phone calls from Tokyo or wherever we were and said “Hi, you´ll never believe what I just did.”, because I was convinced I was gonna get there and everybody’s gonna look at me and say “Who the hell is this guy?” The other thing that was really great was that when I got there, I knew half of the guys in the road crew from mutual friends, so all these guys were going “Hi Richie.” They all fu–ing knew me so it was great. Then, which was a kicker, before the last show you take a photograph with the band and I have it hanging up in my house. I had to sign a waiver that you can’t post it, can’t share it…so nothing with this f–king picture. It was the worst f–king resolution and they sent it to me and I was like “I don’t even know if I can print this f–ing thing.” I printed it and I hung it up. When they took the picture, Ron Wood came out and he looked at Mick Jagger and said “Oh my god Mick, did you hear this guy’s voice? Did you hear him sing?” and Mick said “No Ron, I´ll check it out.” Ron put his hand on my throat and said “Your voice sounds like early Rod Stewart. You sound like a combination between Rod Stewart and Bernard Fowler.” Bernard is the background singer for The Rolling Stones and he’s one of the coolest most badass singers that ever walked the earth, so Ron Wood just paid me a compliment, like the best compliment I could ever get paid. Comparing me as a hybrid between Bernard and Rod, in front of everybody, the whole f–king group. And in front of my f–king band and in front of Bernard who acted like he didn’t know who I was and I’ve known him for 15 f–king years. Ron looked at Bernard and said “Did you hear him sing?” and he said “No.” I was like “Are you out of your f–king mind? We hang out at the Sunset Marquis every f–king night!,” but you know, it was just a funny moment. That was a real “Pinch yourself Richie” moment.
Q: A final thing. Is there anything happening with The Winery Dogs?
A: No… you know, unfortunately it´s tricky because… look… Adrian and I, he’s got a house down the road from me, so we can get together whenever he’s in town. Billy (Sheehan) lives in Nashville, Mike (Portnoy) lives in Pennsylvania and I’m out in California, so for us to really do something proper and for it to be true to the band… Look, I can write a song and send it to Billy and tell him to put bass on it, but that ain’t a Winery Dogs song. We gotta be in the f–king room and until all three of us can agree… I think we should all go down to Nashville. Billy’s down there and he’s got a beautiful house. We’ve worked at my house, my old house, and we’ve worked at Portnoy’s house, but we’ve never worked at Billy’s house. I ain´t getting on an airplane anytime soon, I can tell you that, but once everybody’s clear in this Covid bulls–t, I’ll fly down to Nashville and work on an album.
Smith/Kozten will release their eponymous album on March 26th. Listen to the second single Scars, here. Also, for more details about this release, and to hear the first single, Taking My Chances, please go here.
Joe Bonamassa is known for “always being on the road.” This time he’s bringing the concert into the homes of fans around the world in an epic pay-per-view performance from the live music capital of the world — Austin, Texas. On April 1st at 9 p.m. ET, he’ll perform a specially curated set from Austin City Limits Live, alongside Late Night With David Letterman‘s Anton Fig on drums and legendary bass player Steve Mackey, as a rare three-piece blues rock power trio.
Austin is one of the first spots Joe originally performed as a three-piece, years ago at legendary Antone’s, and is the city that saw the rise of guitar visionary Stevie Ray Vaughan. Austin City Limits Live, known as “music’s best address,” is a national landmark and was awarded “Best New Major Concert Venue” by Pollstar when it opened. It has been home to some incredible artists over the years such as B.B. King, Willie Nelson, Santana, Paul McCartney, Peter Frampton and Bonamassa himself as well as many others. ACL Live is a world-class stage to perform at and no doubt, Bonamassa will bring his incredible power to the stage, making his own mark on its history.
This event especially goes out to the fans, who via social media, have made their stamp on the evening, selecting their favorite Bonamassa tunes from his unparalleled, extensive catalogue of 24 No. 1 studio albums and countless productions, to create a very special setlist. It will be a new and exciting celebration of some searing hits from his earliest influences as well as amazing original compositions embodying the guitar mastery that he’s best known for. This highly curated set will more than delight longtime super fans as well as captivate new ones.
Livestream tickets and packages are available to purchase at this location.
There are a variety of pricing levels available for fans worldwide to be a part of this special “audience.” Tickets to the livestream event starts at $30. Fans may also purchase a $44.99 package that includes a limited-edition commemorative t-shirt, or upgrade to the Deluxe package for $64.99 which also features the Ultimate Video Collection, a one-year all pass for Bonamassa’s on-demand service which includes 17-plus concert releases from Joe Bonamassa, Black Country Communion and Rock Candy Funk Party — available at any time on most devices.
As part of this unique concert event, fans also have the option to purchase a Commemorative VIP ticket giving them an experience they will never forget. VIP ticket holders will have their photo and name featured in the livestream credits and DVD credits as a virtual audience member.
Joe Bonamassa is one of the most celebrated performing musicians of today. Hailed internationally as one of the greatest guitar players of his generation, Guitar World has honored him as “the world’s biggest blues guitarist.” The two-time Grammy-nominated artist has almost single-handedly redefined the blues-rock genre and brought it into the mainstream. Joe recently received his 24th No. 1 album on the Billboard Blues chart with the studio album Royal Tea, a nod to his British heroes, recorded at the legendary Abbey Road Studios.
Amidst the pandemic, Joe performed the Royal Tea album in entirety before its release last September at the iconic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville with over 17,000 virtual tickets sold, reaching 44 different countries. The event also raised over $32,000 for Bonamassa‘s Fueling Musicians program, presented by his non-profit Keeping The Blues Alive Foundation(KTBA). Now Joe is ready to hit the stage again for an even more exciting, fan-curated experience at Austin City Limits Live. Each ticket purchase for the livestream will include a $1 donation to Fueling Musicians.
Bonamassa has been working hard to raise money for musicians affected by the COVID-19 crisis. The Fueling Musicians program is an emergency relief fund designed to support musicians by providing immediate cash payments for essential living expenses of $1,500 to help them stay afloat and get back on the road again when it is safe. To date, they’ve raised over $380,000 and distributed the money to over 230 artists. In fact, they’re getting checks delivered to some folks who have yet to even receive their support from the government stimulus. As someone who has spent the majority of his life on the road, Joe knows the clear and evident impact of the crisis on his entertainment community.
While much of the applause Bonamassa receives should be credited to his sheer talent, some part of his success needs to be attributed to Joe and his business partner for having the foresight and ability to become some of music’s savviest entrepreneurs.Bonamassa, now 43, and his partner Roy Weisman have together devised a 360-degree independent business model that has survived and thrived during one of the music industry’s most uncertain eras, particularly considering the challenges created by the current pandemic.
In addition to the livestream, Bonamassa has announced a select run of live, limited capacity, safe and socially distanced in-person shows for March and April through Macon, Georgia; Clearwater, Florida; Austin, Texas; and Huntsville, Alabama.
Mar. 27 – Macon, GA – Macon City Auditorium (sold out) Mar. 29 – Clearwater, FL – Ruth Eckerd Hall Mar. 31 – Austin, TX – ACL Live Apr. 1 – Austin, TX – ACL Live Apr. 3 – Huntsville, AL – Mark C Smith Concert Hall (sold out)
AC/DC founder, and guitarist, Angus Young spoke with Matt Pinfield on his show New & Approved on 95.5 KLOS about how original singer Bon Scott thought Brian Johnson was a great talent.
Young recounted (via blabbermouth.net), “Bon had been in a band that had toured in Britain, and they were opening for the band Brian was in [at the time], which was a band called Geordie Anyhow, they were gigging away, and as Bon told the story, he was saying he was listening to Geordie performing and listening to Brian, and then he heard this screaming. He said it sounded great — he said it sounded like Little Richard was on the stage. He said this guy [was] howling and yelling. And then he said then he saw the guy on the floor. Bon thought it was great — it was the best act he had seen, and a singer, in a long time. But what he didn’t know, afterwards he found out, Brian had an attack of appendicitis. But Bon thought it was part of the act. He thought, ‘This guy is incredible.’ ‘And he was still hittin’ these high notes.’ “
AC/DC released their latest album Power Up on November 13th, 2020. It was recorded over a six-week period in August and September 2018 at Warehouse Studios in Vancouver with producer Brendan O’Brien, who also worked 2008’s Black Ice and 2014’s Rock Or Bust.
The Power Up line up included features Brian Johnson (vocals), Phil Rudd (drums), Cliff Williams (bass), Angus Young (guitar) and Stevie Young (guitar).