During an appearance on the May 10th broadcast of Eddie‘s SiriusXM show, Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk, the director of the recently released, Randy Rhoads: Reflections Of A Guitar Icon documentary, Andre Relis, stated that the Rhoads family was not involved in the making of the film. “I do believe the family’s very protective of it,” he said (as transcribed by blabbermouth.net). “They had ideas early on about what they wanted.”
“I wasn’t around when these earlier documentaries were in production — I wasn’t around in the sense that I wasn’t involved with them; I had nothing to do with the earlier ones,” he continued, referencing Randy Rhoads: The Quiet Riot Years, the 2012 documentary from Quiet Riot‘s personal photographer/lighting director Ron Sobol, and another documentary from director Peter M. Margolis and Dakota Films which was reportedly started in 2007 and completed a decade ago, but never made available. “And it appears that there was difficulties from the Osbourne side too, to license music. And beyond that, I really don’t know, man. It’s a weird one. And that’s actually what really intrigued me, because my specialty, as a producer, is to get stuff out that a lot of people have a hard time getting out, whether it be a feature film or a documentary or whatever it may be. There’s been quite a few projects that I’ve honed in on and got stuff done that a lot of people before me couldn’t.”
While Relis was able to license “pieces of the Sobol doc,” he was unable to secure the rights to much footage of Rhoads with Osbourne or any of the music the pair made together. “[Sharon and Ozzy] weren’t gonna give it to me, man,” he said. “And they made that very clear to me once they found out I was doing this documentary. That was the challenging part. I had to go in this on my own without their support. I tried to get their support, but they weren’t having it. So, yeah, every little piece of when he joined Ozzy was very difficult to get.”
“From my research, the Osbournes own all, if not 99 percent, of the live footage from that era,” he explained. “So I had to find a gentleman, and it took me many months, who controlled even some real basic footage of Ozzy with Randy on stage.”
Hewent on to say that he “got some really interesting communication from Sharon. Not the best, friendliest stuff was coming from that side of things,” he revealed. “I won’t go into detail on that. But I can say that I find it very mysterious.”
“There was another documentary [in the works] — a bigger-budget Dakota Films documentary in 2008, 2009. They did everything, and they were close to getting it released,” he continued. “And from what I understand — I can’t say this, ’cause I wasn’t there — but the Osbournes wouldn’t license ’em any music, and from the perspective of the [Rhoads] family, it seemed to me like they weren’t gonna get on board with anything unless the Ozzy music and the stuff with Ozzy was in that documentary. And if it’s impossible to license, then you’re kind of in a conundrum.”
“It was very bizarre,” Andre said. “And the reason as to why they didn’t want a documentary out in 2008 and they don’t want a documentary out now, I don’t know — I just don’t know. But I’m not gonna let it stop getting a documentary on Randy Rhoads out there. Forty years after, there’s no other documentaries out there on his life, and it needed to be done and out there for the public to really put the respect into this man’s legacy.”
Asked if the interviews with the Rhoads family members is “new footage,” Relis said, “No, that’s not new footage. I tried to get their cooperation. And I don’t need to get into the details of it all. But I’m hoping, now that it’s out there, that they realize that this a real tribute to Randy Rhoads and it’s a piece to show his legacy. But for whatever reason, I think partially because of what was going on with the Osbournes, they just couldn’t get on board.”
The director admitted that he has received some “blowback” from “some of the diehard Randy Rhoads fans” about the fact that the family wasn’t involved in the film. “I tried to get ’em involved,” he said. “I did everything I could — offered ’em participation, everything, to get them involved — but for whatever reason, they didn’t wanna be part of it. And I don’t know why. It’s a big mystery to me. But I’ll ask those fans out there: would you rather have nothing or a documentary that really showcases his legacy?”
Randy Rhoads: Reflections Of A Guitar Icon premiered on Video On Demand on May 6th. Clips from the film can be seen here and here.
As previously reported, Whitesnake have re-released their Greatest Hits album by having it revised, remixed and remastered.
Below is a clip of David Coverdale discussing how Still of The Night came to be, and how instrumental [Dana’s note: Pun intended ;)], guitarist John Sykes was to taking the song to another level.
To read more about this special release, please click here.
In other Whitesnake news, the band will be going on tour with the Scorpions starting August 21st in Toronto, Ontario, Canada and winding down on October 21st in Las Vegas, Nevada, see the entire tour here.
The Cult have announced North American tour dates for the month of July. The band will be joined by Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and Zola Jesus, the schedule is as follows:
8 – St Paul, MN – Palace Theatre * 9 – Milwaukee, WI – US Cellular Stage At Summerfest 10 – Chesterfield, MO – The Factory At The District * 12 – Chicago, IL – Riviera Theatre * 14 – Cincinatti, OH – PNC At Riverbend * 15 – Dayton, OH – Rose Music Center At The Heights United States 16 – Pittsburgh, PA – Stage AE * 19 – Washington, DC – The Anthem * 20 – New York, NY – The Rooftop At Pier 17 * 22 – Philadelphia, PA – Metropolitan Opera House * 23 – Boston, MA – Leader Bank Pavillion * 24 – New Haven, CT – College Street Music Hall * 26 – Syracuse, NY – Crouse Hinds Theater * 27 – Detroit, MI – Meadowbrook Amphitheatre * 29 – Leamington, ON – Hogs For Hospice Charity Event At Seacliff Park 30 – Rama, ON – Casino Rama
Whitesnake continues to revisit its multi-platinum career as it remixes some of its biggest hits for a new collection, Greatest Hits, which was made available on May 6th on digital and streaming services.
Whitesnake founder and lead singer David Coverdale had 16 tracks remixed and remastered for this collection. He explains: “We’ve definitely expanded on the original Greatest Hits, took them all out of the sonic time capsule of the ’80s and ’90s, and brought them up to date, sound-wise … as always, we have the original albums for those who consider them holy relics.”
Keyboardist Derek Sherinian (Dream Theater, Sons Of Apollo),who also appeared on Whitesnake’s recent Red, White And Blues trilogy, adds Hammond organ to more than half the songs on the collection. His scorching contributions can be heard on the Number One smash Here I Go Again, Fool For Your Loving, You’re Gonna Break My Heart Again and more. New performances by former Whitesnake guitarist Adrian Vandenberg can also be heard on The Deeper The LoveandJudgement Day”from the 1989 album Slip Of The Tongue.
Along with those new additions, Coverdale also went back to the vault to unearth vintage performances by guitarist John Sykes that didn’t appear on the original recordings, including a solo on Slide It In and rhythm guitar on Give Me All Your Love.
Greatest Hits focuses extensively on three blockbuster albums the band released during the 1980s: 1984’s Slide It In (double platinum), 1987’s Whitesnake (eight times platinum),and 1989’s Slip Of The Tongue(platinum). But the collection goes deeper with songs like Sweet Lady Luck, a B-side on the 12-inch single for The Deeper The Loveand Forevermore, the title track from the band’s 2011 album.
Greatest Hits CD/Blu-ray track listing:
“Greatest Hits” CD/Blu-ray track listing:
1. Still Of The Night 2. Here I Go Again 3. Is This Love 4. Give Me All Your Love 5. Love Ain’t No Stranger 6. Slide It In 7. Slow An’ Easy 8. Guilty Of Love 9. Fool For Your Loving 10. Judgment Day 11. The Deeper The Love 12. Now You’re Gone 13. You’re Gonna Break My Heart Again 14. Sweet Lady Luck 15. Crying In The Rain 16. Forevermore
Scorpions, one of the most iconic and influential hard rock bands of all time, will return to North America on the Rock Believer world tour with special guests Whitesnake on the David Coverdale-fronted outfit’s farewell tour.
Fresh off of their sold-out Sin City Nights Las Vegas residency, Scorpions will begin the two-month-long Live Nation-produced run of dates on August 14th in Toronto, with additional concerts in Los Angeles, Detroit, Chicago, Dallas, and Denver, among others. In addition to Whitesnake, Swedish band Thundermother will be joining the tour.
Tickets go on sale to the public on May 13th at 10 a.m. local time on Ticketmaster.com. Scorpions Rock Zone fan club members will have exclusive, first access to tickets starting May 10th at 10 a.m. local time.
Scorpions frontman Klaus Meine said, “After the amazing start we’ve had with our residency in Las Vegas, it’s about time to come back for a real tour to rock the U.S. like a hurricane again. We can’t wait to see all you rock believers out there.”
Coverdale added, “Once again it’s time to feel the sting of the Scorpions and the bite of the Whitesnake. Can’t Wait!!!”
SCORPIONS North American tour dates with WHITESNAKE:
Aug. 21 – Toronto, ON – Budweiser Stage Aug. 24 – Quebec City, QC – Centre Videotron Aug. 27 – Montreal, QC – Bell Center Aug. 30 – Detroit, MI – Pine Knob Music Theatre Sep. 1 – Rosemont, IL – Allstate Arena Sep. 5 – Atlantic City, NJ – Borgata Casino* Sep. 7 – Belmont Park, NY – UBS Arena Sep. 9 – Mashantucket, CT – Foxwoods Casino* Sep. 12 – Hollywood, FL – Hard Rock Live Sep. 14 – Tampa, FL – Amalie Arena Sep. 17 – Houston, TX – Toyota Center Sep. 19 – El Paso, TX – Don Haskins Center Sep. 21 – Tulsa, OK – BOK Arena Sep. 24 – San Antonio, TX – Freeman Coliseum Sep. 27 – Dallas, TX – American Airlines Center Sep. 29 – Denver, CO – Ball Arena Oct. 1 – San Diego, CA – Viejas Arena Oct. 4 – Los Angeles, CA – The Forum Oct. 7 – Fresno, CA – Save Mart Center Oct. 9 – Portland, OR – Moda Center Oct. 13 – Spokane, WA – Spokane Arena Oct. 15 – Tacoma, WA – Tacoma Dome Oct. 18 – Oakland, CA – Oakland Coliseum Oct. 21 – Las Vegas, NV – Mandalay Bay
* Scorpions only
Scorpion’ latest album, Rock Believer, was released on February 25th.
Last July, Whitesnake announced that it had enlisted Croatian singer/multi-instrumentalist Dino Jelusick for its upcoming tour. Jelusick is a member of multi-platinum selling band Trans-Siberian Orchestra and was previously part of Dirty Shirley (with George Lynch), Animal Drive and recorded with many others. The 29-year-old Dino has been singing, touring and recording since the age of five. Other than being a vocalist, his main instrument are keyboards but he also plays bass, guitar and drums. He finished music academy and did theater work.
Whitesnake had been touring in support of its latest album, Flesh & Blood, which was released in May 2019 through Frontiers Music Srl.
Greg Prato of Vintage Rock spoke with Def Leppard guitarist Vivian Campbell, highlights from the interview appear below.
Vintage Rock: How much are you looking forward to the start of The Stadium Tour?
Vivian Campbell: You won’t believe how much I’m looking forward to it. And I’m pretty sure the rest of the guys feel the same way…We’re very anxious to get back to work…We are going to probably focus on the new album more than people may expect us to. And that wasn’t initially the plan, but I think we were very enthused by the response that the record has gotten…
…And the label is hot on the record — they were very enthusiastic about it, they’re very excited about it. And that’s genuine — that’s not just them blowing smoke up our ass. We can genuinely tell that…if you strategically put these songs in the set — in the right place and in the right way — they could actually come across. So, you never know. There’s just a general feeling that it’s appropriate to actually focus on some new music for this tour.
Vivian Campbell: It’s certainly different in the way we recorded it. We didn’t see each other at all — it was entirely remote…But I immediately started to panic, because I’m a Luddite — I have a hard time with technology, and I didn’t have any sort of home recording setup. So I had a very quick, very steep learning curve with regard to technology. I spent a lot of time on the phone talking about how this stuff worked and I had to buy some more gear. That was difficult, and I had a little anxiety at first but it got easier. And then I came to appreciate the other side of the equation — that it’s actually a lot better to work that way for me because there is no pressure of having anyone looking over my shoulder. And as a guitarist, I really appreciated that…I feel it’s probably some of my best playing, and I feel the same is true with [guitarist] Phil.[Collen] And I think we all really appreciated being able to work on that sort of schedule.
But having said that, I don’t think it’s the kind of thing that the band could have done on the first or second album…[to] make a record this way remotely. But we have so much road under our wheels. We’ve made so many records…I think kind of really set us up and enabled us to be able to deliver a record of this quality by doing it remotely.
Vintage Rock: What are some of your favorite tracks on the album?
Vivian Campbell: …[bassist Rick] Sav[age] has a couple of songs on the record that that bookend the album — the first song and the last song [Take What You Want (see lyric video below) and From Here to Eternity]. I really like those songs in particular. I like a lot of the record — there’s nothing on the record I don’t like. But the Sav songs, for whatever reason…I think it’s because he’s a mad Queen fan, and his songs may seem simple at times, but there’s parts in them that are very, very, very complicated. And as a musician, I think I appreciate that.
Vintage Rock: Is it true you used your black Les Paul from back in the Dio days on this album?
Vivian Campbell: Yeah, I did. Ever since I started doing the Last in Line…when I do Last in Line recordings and live shows, I use that guitar exclusively — because it just seems appropriate. Because that was the guitar I did Holy Diver with. So, I have sort of rekindled my relationship with it. And then for this record — recording at home — I essentially used four different guitars. But I did most of the solos…in fact, I think I did all of the solos maybe on that particular Les Paul — the Dio one. But the other guitars I used was another Les Paul — the custom shop Viv Campbell model that they made in 2018, and I have a ‘66 Fender Telecaster that I used, and I used my blue Tom Anderson 1988 Stratocaster on a few things. Those were the four guitars that I used.
Vintage Rock: Is there a story behind how and when you obtained that Les Paul?
Vivian Campbell: When I first started playing, Rory Gallagher was my first guitar hero, first album I had, first concert I saw. And Rory was famous for his old, beat up Stratocaster. So, at first I wanted a Stratocaster — but I couldn’t afford one. Because I was only twelve or thirteen at that time. But at that time, I worked every summer, every school holiday, every weekend — ’cause I was “a guitar kid,” I wanted to save up money to buy guitars, effects pedals and stuff and guitar strings. By the time I had saved enough money to buy a proper guitar, I had fallen under the influence of Thin Lizzy and their guitar players, Brian Robertson and Scott Gorham. And in particular, an Irish guitarist who had been through Thin Lizzy a bunch of times — Gary Moore. Gary I would say was my ultimate, ultimate guitar hero. He’s a guy that shaped my playing more than anyone else. He was famous for playing that Peter Green Les Paul [aka “Greeny,” now owned by Metallica’s Kirk Hammett] — the guitar that Peter Green had given him.
So, I wanted a Les Paul, and I had gone to my local mom and pop guitar shop. And this is Ireland in the late 1970s — you don’t have Guitar Center…So, I ordered a gold Les Paul Standard. And I waited for months and months and months and months and months to come and show up. And then one Friday afternoon, I went into the shop on my way back from school, and they said, “Well…good news and bad news. The good news is we finally got a Gibson Les Paul. The bad news is it’s not a Standard.” It was a wine red Deluxe . The Deluxe was a little bit cheaper than the Standard, so that was a good thing, too. But Scott Gorham from Thin Lizzy played a Les Paul Deluxe at that time, so I thought, “Well, if it’s good enough for someone of that caliber, it’s certainly good enough for me.” So, I ended up buying the guitar.
I didn’t like the color and I never liked shiny guitars. Because of my Rory Gallagher influences, I like guitars that have patina. So, I took it home that night and I took sandpaper to it, and I took off all the shine — all the varnish. And then within a month or two I took it to someone to put humbuckers in it and to repaint it black — the color that it is today. And I basically changed every facet on that guitar — all the hardware, changed everything. Y’know, the machine heads, the nut, the jack plate, the bridge, the frets, the pickups…every aspect of it. It’s all been “hot-rodded” over the years. So, that guitar meant a lot to me. It was the guitar I really learned how to play on. That’s when I really became a decent guitar player — was when I got that. I really invested in playing it and that was the guitar I used in Sweet Savage, that was the guitar I used for the Holy Diver album and tour. So, I consider it the most valuable instrument I have. And it’s also the only one I know this serial number to.
Vintage Rock: You just mentioned Dio — after you left, was there ever any possibility of you and Ronnie getting back together or talking?
Vivian Campbell: I’d like to clarify — I was fired from Dio. I did not leave Dio. And that’s a bit of an urban myth, because all these decades after, a lot of people are under that misconception thinking that I left the band. I never wanted to leave Dio. I was fired in the middle of a tour. But I was a squeaky wheel. I was the one who was trying to get Ronnie to uphold his promises and be true to his words, and it didn’t work out. So, I don’t think there was ever any chance that we were gonna work together again.
Ronnie’s wife, Wendy, right up until the day he died, she was his manager — and she never saw me as being of any value to Ronnie. She always thought I was just a guitar player and I was easily replaceable. I think Ronnie knew a little better. So, I think if Ronnie and I had met each other without Wendy, and we’d gone to the pub and we’d had a pint of beer and talked through our differences, yeah, I think we could have worked together again and it would have been great. But as long as Wendy was controlling his career, that was never going to happen.
Vintage Rock: Do you regret never getting the opportunity to make amends with Ronnie before his passing?
Vivian Campbell: Yeah. Y’know, we both said ugly things about each other in the media — which is never a good idea. But you get goaded into these things. And everyone makes these mistakes. That was unfortunate. But Ronnie was a complicated guy — like everyone. When people ask me, “What’s so-and-so like?”, it’s hard to summarize the human experience in a couple of sentences. I mean, we’re all complicated beings – we have good days and we have bad days. We have good attributes from our personalities and we have negative ones. And Ronnie was complicated. We had days when he and I got along really well, and there were days where I thought he was a total a-hole…and I’m sure he thought exactly the same about me. But the one thing that we did good together was we could make music together.
I always found it a very strained relationship because of…and I will own most of the responsibility for that, because I was very bashful around Ronnie. Because I was 20 years old and I’d been listening to Ronnie in Rainbow and Sabbath for years before I ended up being in a band with them, and finding myself in the studio in LA, and just in this whole surreal, very different environment that I’d known before. And being in a band with this guy whose albums I’d been listening to since I was about thirteen years old. So, I just had this strange sort of deference towards him — where he was a rock star, in my opinion. Plus, he was so much older than me. You almost wanted to call him “Mr. Dio.” I didn’t, but I kind of felt like it. Like, I probably should be more respectful in that regard. So, it was a little bit strange to have that sort of relationship. I never felt quite comfortable around him. The only time I did was when we were playing music.
Vintage Rock: Looking back, what are your favorite Dio tracks that you played on?
Vivian Campbell: Gosh…I was never particularly fond of the Sacred Heart album..But every time I do hear something, I think, “Wow. I did play pretty good on that.” The first two albums, the environment in which they were made was much more healthy. So, I’m definitely more familiar with those.
I mean, I like the solo in in The Last In Line — that the title track of that album — I think that’s a well-constructed solo. Obviously, I’m proud of the solo in Rainbow In The Dark, but I wouldn’t say that’s a well-constructed solo — because that was a first take and I didn’t know what I was doing. But I think I got really lucky with it. There’s different aspects of other solos on the early Dio records that were like pulling teeth…and others were really easy to do. Don’t Talk To Strangers I think is a particularly strong solo…
Vintage Rock: Before you mentioned Rory Gallagher and Gary Moore as influences. Did you ever get the opportunity to meet either of them?
Vivian Campbell: Yes, I did meet Rory…and I actually got to meet him as a fan backstage. He was one of those guys who would literally stand there and sign every last autograph ‘til whatever time in the morning. So, he was very, very gracious — he signed my concert stub.
So then, in later years, I actually got to meet Rory in the mid 1980s, a few years before his death. A guitar magazine asked me to interview him as a peer to peer sort of thing, so I got to meet him at LA, which was a real treat. I got to play the Strat — which was more difficult than I had anticipated, because he used heavier strings. But he was just a lovely, lovely really down to earth human being. And no pretense of being a star or celebrity — he was just like an old school blues musician. Just loved to play the music and loved the lifestyle.
I met Gary Moore under very strange circumstances one time — and it didn’t go well. That certainly would be one to file under the headline of “never meet your heroes.” I had been asked about four or five months before Phil Lynott passed away…Jimmy Bain — the bass player in Dio — was really close with Phil Lynott. They were good friends. But I’d known Phil also…I didn’t know him terribly well — I wouldn’t consider him a peer — but he was very supportive of Sweet Savage, and got on stage with us a few times and jammed with us.
But anyway, long story short, Jimmy had said that Phil was looking for a guitar player to record some demos with for a solo album. This wasn’t Thin Lizzy, this was to be a Phil Lynott solo album. So, I went to London for about a week in 1985. I remember the original Live Aid was on — I remember watching it on TV at Phil’s house. So I went there, and like I said, this was several months before he passed away from basically a heroin overdose. So, Phil was just very, very distant. I couldn’t understand a word he was saying — he was mumbling, he was in cold sweats. His wife and kids had left him and he was living in this house. He had this minder guy — a driver guy — who was looking after him, and a couple of Swedish au pairs. I mean, it was really bizarre, kind of strange, surreal rock star stuff. And I was just like, “What the hell is going on?”
So anyway, I was in Phil’s house, and then one morning I came down to the kitchen to make a cup of tea and I walked into the kitchen and Gary Moore was in the kitchen…in Phil’s house. It was totally unexpected. I don’t know if he had a key or if the door just wasn’t locked or whatever. So I walk into Phil Lynott’s kitchen and everyone else is still sleeping, and Gary Moore is standing there. And he had come round to check up on Phil. And he obviously felt that I was part of this whole…y’know, I was enabling him to be doing what he was doing. He thought that I was complicit in Phil’s drug addiction — which, obviously, I wasn’t. I mean, I’ve never done heroin in my life nor would I want to. I knew nothing about it. But Gary was not friendly. I was like, “Oh Gary, what kind of strings do you use? Blah blah blah.” And he wasn’t having any of it. He was like, “Where’s Phil?” “I think he’s still asleep. I haven’t seen him.” “Well, tell him I was here. Tell him to call me.” But it was definitely cold. He was not friendly towards me. But I don’t blame him — Phil was his friend and he thought that I was one of those people that was enabling Phil’s demise just because I happened to be there. So, that was unfortunate.
Vintage Rock: How are you doing health-wise? (Campbell revealed in 2013 that he was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma)
Vivian Campbell: Good, thank you. It’s ongoing. I still have to do maintenance, but I’ve been very fortunate — I have good doctors and I live in an era when there is a lot of options, good options, and a lot of new things coming along. So, I’m hoping to get on another trial for CART (a type of cell therapy), so I’m just waiting for a trial to open. And hopefully after this summer’s tour I’ll get a chance to do something like that. But it’s good. I mean, it’s not something I’ve ever spent a lot of time fretting over. It’s all part and parcel of the process.
Def Leppard’s forthcoming new album, Diamond Star Halos, will be released on May 27th and can be pre-ordered here.
The band will be hitting the road, starting June 16th in Atlanta, with the rescheduled The Stadium Tour, along with Mötley Crüe, Poison and Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, see the entire schedule below.
16 Atlanta, GA Truist Park 18 Miami, FL Hard Rock Stadium 19 Orlando, FL Camping World Stadium 22 Washington, DC Nationals Park 24 Queens, NY Citi Field 25 Philadelphia, PA Citizens Bank Park 28 Charlotte, NC Bank of America Stadium 30 Nashville, TN Nissan Stadium
2 Jacksonville, FL TIAA Bank Field 5 St. Louis, MO Busch Stadium 8 Chicago, IL Wrigley Field 10 Detroit, MI Comerica Park 12 Hershey, PA Hersheypark Stadium 14 Cleveland, OH First Energy Stadium, Home of the Cleveland Browns 15 Cincinnati, OH Great American Ball Park 17 Milwaukee, WI American Family 19 Kansas City, MO Kauffman Stadium 21 Denver, CO Coors Field
5 Boston, MA Fenway Park 6 Boston, MA Fenway Park 8 Toronto, ON Rogers Centre 10 Orchard Park, NY Highmark Stadium 12 Pittsburgh, PA PNC Park 14 Minneapolis, MN U.S. Bank Stadium 16 Indianapolis, IN Lucas Oil Stadium 19 Houston, TX Minute Maid Park 21 San Antonio, TX Alamodome 22 Arlington, TX Globe Life Field 25 Glendale, AZ State Farm Stadium 27 Inglewood, CA SoFi Stadium 28 San Diego, CA Petco Park 31 Seattle, WA T-Mobile Park
2 Vancouver, BC BC PlaceSunday 4 Edmonton, AB Commonwealth Stadium /Stade du Commonwealth 7 San Francisco, CA Oracle Park 9 Las Vegas, NV Allegiant Stadium