The Jeff Hanneman Memorial Celebration will take place on Thursday, May 23rd at the Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles from 3:30- 7:30PM. Hanneman passed away on May 2nd at the age of 49.
The Memorial Celebration will be free and open to the public on a first-come, first-in basis (subject to venue capacity). All ages are welcome, and paid parking will be available around the venue.
Jeff Hanneman helped shape Slayer’s uncompromising thrash-metal sound as well as an entire genre of music. His riffs of fury and punk-rock attitude were heard in the songs he wrote, including Slayer classics Angel of Death, Raining Blood, South of Heaven and War Ensemble. Hanneman co-founded Slayer with fellow-guitarist Kerry King, bassist Tom Araya and drummer Dave Lombardo in Huntington Park, CA in 1981. For more than 30 years, Hanneman was the band member who stayed out of the spotlight, rarely did interviews, amassed an impressive collection of World War II memorabilia, was with his wife Kathy for nearly three decades, shut off his phone and went incommunicado when he was home from tour, did not want to be on the road too late into any December as Christmas was his favorite holiday, and, from the time he was about 12 years old, woke up every, single day with one thing on his mind: playing the guitar.
It was once suggested to Slayer that if they would write “just one mainstream song that could get on the radio,” they would likely sell millions of records and change the commercial course of their career, similar to what had happened to Metallica with 1991’s Enter Sandman. Jeff was the first to draw a line of integrity in the sand, replying, “We’re going to make a Slayer record. If you can get it on the radio, fine, if not, then fuck it.”
In the most apparent case of following in your father’s footsteps, Jason Bonham is taking Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience on the road again. The son of drumming icon John Bonham, known for his work in Led Zeppelin, created the experience as a tribute to the legacy his father left behind. The Jason Bonham Led Zeppelin Experience is teaming up with Heart for a summer tour they are calling The Heartbreaker Tour. The 32 city run will begin on June 17th in West Palm Beach, FL and run throughout July and August before wrapping on August 30th in Portland, OR. The show will feature the Jason Bonham Led Zeppelin Experience kicking off the night, followed by a set from legendary rockers Heart that will culminate with Jason and company coming together for an all out jam of Led Zeppelin classics. The idea for the tour stemmed from the still-talked-about performance that Jason and Heart did in tribute to Led Zeppelin at the 2012 Kennedy Center Honors.
“What a great night it was for us at the Kennedy Center awards, and now to be able to do it again on the road with Ann and Nancy is such an honor for me. I am really looking forward to taking my Led Zep Experience show out this summer with Heart and to join them in a Zep-a-thon closing the show as well. Just fantastic!” exclaims Bonham.
Jason Bonham’s love of playing drums didn’t develop until late in his teen years. His original love was in motocross, but after his father passed away in 1980, that attention shifted and he returned to drumming.
By 18 years old, he had signed a record deal with Atlantic Records and was playing tours opening for the likes of Queen, AC/DC and Meat Loaf to name a few. In 1988, he stepped behind the kit to fill in for Led Zeppelin when they performed at the Atlantic Record’s 40th Anniversary Concert and later recorded and toured with his father’s band mate, Jimmy Page. In 1989, he received a platinum record with his band Bonham for their debut album The Disregard Of Timekeeping. Jason appeared on the VH1 reality show Supergroup and formed a band with Sebastian Bach (Skid Row), Ted Nugent, Scott Ian (Anthrax) and Evan Seinfeld (Biohazard). Recently, aside from the Jason Bonham Led Zeppelin Experience, Jason was playing in the critically acclaimed Black Country Communion alongside Glenn Hughes, Joe Bonamassa and Derek Sherinian. Last year, Jason played drums on the newly released Celebration Day by Led Zeppelin, which was the live one-off performance the band played in 2007 at London’s legendary O2 Arena.
The Heartbreaker tour dates:
17th West Palm Beach, FL Cruzan Amphitheatre
18th Tampa, FL 1-800-Ask Gary Amphitheatre
20th Atlanta, GA Chastain Park Amphitheatre
21st Charlotte, NC Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
22nd Raleigh, NC Time Warner Cable Pavilion
24th Virginia Beach, VA Farm Bureau Live
25th Washington, DC Jiffy Lube Amphitheatre
27th Wantagh, NY Nikon At Jones Beach Theater
28th Boston, MA Comcast Center
29th Bethel, NY Bethel Woods Center For The Arts
2nd Holmdel, NJ PNC Bank Arts Center
3rd Camden, NJ Susquehanna Bank Center
4th Uncasville, CT Mohegan Sun Arena
19th Detroit, MI DTE Energy Music Theater
21st Pittsburgh, PA First Niagra Pavilion
22nd Cleveland, OH Blossom Music Center
23rd Toronto, ONT Molson Canadian Amphitheatre
27th Cincinnati, OH Riverbend Music Center
J29th Chicago, IL Ravinia
30th Indianapolis, IN Klipsch Music Center
14th Houston, TX Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
15th Dallas, TX GEXA Energy Center
17th St. Louis, MO Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
18th Kansas City, MO Starlight Theatre
20th Denver, CO Fiddler’s Green Amphitheater
22nd Los Angeles, CA Greek Theatre
23rd Los Angeles, CA Greek Theatre
24th Indio, CA Fantasy Springs Resort Casino
26th San Diego, CA SDSU Open Air Theater
28th San Francisco, CA Americas Cup Pavilion
30th Portland, OR Sleep County Amphitheater
31st Seattle, WA Bumbershoot Festival
Jason Bohnam Led Zeppelin Experience solo dates:
6th Trois-Rivieres, QUE Le Festivoix de Trois Rivieres
24th Ottawa, ONT Southern Hall – National Arts Centre
26th Lockport. NY Canal Concert Series
2nd Louisville, KY Kentucky Center for the Arts
3rd Nashville, TN War Memorial Auditorium
Justin Tedaldi of the Examiner spoke with Judas Priest’s Rob Halford and Richie Faulkner about the Epitaph tour, when metal music peaked, Bob Dylan and their infamous show at Madison Square Garden [in which fans pulled out the seats and the seat cushions and threw them onstage]. Portions of the interview appear below.
Examiner: Epitaph was originally planned as a farewell tour for Judas Priest, and now Priest is doing limited touring. What’s in the future?
Halford: Just to put the record straight, there was never any finality with the idea of the Epitaph tour. I think just to say that it was a farewell tour and you stick the name epitaph, the wires were crossed. We just want to reinforce the fact that it isn’t the end of touring for Priest. We’re still going to go out, but we’re going to go out in a different way that will preserve a lot of things in the band. We’ve always wanted to give a thousand percent, and by taking the breaks we feel are necessary on these big massive world treks, we can keep delivering the goods.
Examiner: There are some pundits who say that metal peaked as an art form sometime between the rise of Guns N’ Roses and the breakthrough of Metallica in the early ’90s. What’s your take on that?
Halford: You just look at the charts right now, the rock Top 40. You’ve got Alice in Chains, who’s still around, God bless them—we’re all Alice in Chains fans. Halestorm, a relatively new band, great female singer…
Faulkner: Five Finger Death Punch.
Halford: Five Finger Death Punch, that are gonna be zooming up the charts. Anyhow, what I’m trying to say is that, you know, it’s probably the way that in the entertainment industry and culturally things get thrown under the microscope, and it seems like that’s what it’s all about, and then when it pulls away—this might be a belief—if you’re not completely involved, then it’s losing its edge. And that’s never been the way with metal; in fact, it’s gone in the opposite direction. Now, metal is this massive global phenomenon. Right now as we’re speaking, there are thousands of metal bands playing in different time zones on stages all over the world, you know? Even though I do take your point; it’s a valid point.
There was a time when it was all metal 24/7 and hard rock 24/7 with the likes of Guns N’ Roses and Metallica. But we’re in a different world now, in the way that we exchange information. And in those days around the ’80s, it was a pretty limited way of getting your message across. You had MTV when it was MTV, you know, music television, videos all the time. You had certain rock radio stations that, again, most of them have fallen by the wayside. One minute you’re listening to your great rock station, the next morning, it’s salsa music, you know? That’s the cutting part of the music industry; it’s kind of sad, but that’s the reality of it.
But where we’re at now is, you’ve got all these different platforms. You’ve got your MySpace, your Facebook, you’ve got people tweeting, texting, people are making their own web designs for their own bands. And it’s just a different animal in terms of how the industry was in the ’80s. But the good thing about all that revolution is that now it is in the hands of the fans. In the old days, the radio station was told by the label to play what songs, and that’s how you broke an act. You don’t do that anymore; that doesn’t happen. That shouldn’t have happened, but that was the model in those days.
Now, it’s entirely in the hands of the fans, which is a great idea when you think about it, because all music is driven by the people that love that particular band, that particular artist. And now, [across] all different platforms in the industry, here are the fans leading the charge, and the rest of the industry is servicing the extra industry as you need. It’s been remarkable, really, as a musician, to see that side of the business go the way that it has.
Examiner: The name Judas Priest was taken from a Bob Dylan song. As label mates with Dylan, both now and in the past, did he ever have any comments about that?
Halford: I met Bob Dylan once in my life at the Sony [Music] Studios when I was in a band called Fight, and he was doing some recording in other parts of the building. Somebody said, “Bob Dylan’s here; would you want to meet him?” and I said, “Yeah!” Who doesn’t want to meet Bob Dylan?
Halford: So I’m walking through the corridors, twisting and turning, and there’s a room like this. And Bob’s sitting there, and he’s got, what, six chicks around him.
Faulkner: Has he really?
Halford: Yeah! He’s got six chicks around him.
Halford: Beautiful chicks.
Examiner: What year was this?
Halford: ’93, ’94. And he’s looking great and he’s sitting there. As I walked in the room he goes [à la Dylan], “Hey, Rob, good to see you, man…”
Halford: That’s my Bob Dylan: “Hey, Rob, good to see you, man. What’s going on?” “Bob, it’s an honor. I love you, you’re an icon.” “Yeah. You know, so…how’s Ozzy doing?” “I don’t know [laughs]. I suppose Ozzy’s okay.”
Halford: And we chatted for a couple of minutes, but I was star struck, you know? I still get star struck by people that I love and I admire. I left going, “oh my God, I’ve just met Bob Dylan. You shook Bob Dylan’s hand; it was a real treat.” But the name Judas Priest has always been magical; it’s always had that kind of mysterious quality. It’s the two words: “Judas”—we know what Judas did—and then “priest,” that yin-yang, light and shade, good and bad, positive-negative, you know? It’s been a fantastic name for this band for all these years, and it still is now.
Examiner: When did you first start being called the Metal God?
Halford: It just grew as a groundswell thing that came from the fans and friends in the business, you know? It’s great; I’ve always taken it as in an affectionate way, you know? It makes me realize that I’ve got a role to play and that a lot of people count on me for doing the best that I can possibly do in metal. So it’s like a little flag that’s always in the back of my mind: “what would the Metal God do?” I think it’s fallible; it’s useful to take that type of nickname and put it to good use.
Examiner: Richie mentioned earlier that the band is still banned from Madison Square Garden since its infamous gig in 1984…
Halford: We are, although I did appear there with the Halford band when I opened up for [Iron] Maiden a few years ago, and I was interested to see what would happen when I got in the building.
Examiner: Is the ban still in effect?
Halford: I don’t really know. We haven’t been back since that day. If we are still banned, which I doubt…
Examiner: I was thinking that’s why you played the Izod Center on the Epitaph tour instead of Madison Square Garden, although I know it’s a real metal stronghold in New Jersey.
Halford: The unfortunate thing is, you know for a fact that if we played the Garden, that cushions would start flying again. We’d be halfway through and then somebody else would start and somebody else would start, and it would be like, “I was there in blah blah and now I’m doing it again!”
Examiner: They’re in the middle of a renovation now, so maybe that might help the process.
Halford: Oh, well, then they should have told us. They should have said, “look, we’re renovating, so come now and do your damage.”
Faulkner: “We’re taking the seats out, so come on.”
Halford: That was a crazy night. I’ve got some amazing pictures from that event…a bit of rock and roll history, for sure.
The Cult will perform its 1987 album Electric, raw and unfiltered, on tour in 2013, an event branded as Electric 13. Until now, The Cult have never performed the album in its entirety. The live show will also include a second set pulling from the band’s eight other studio albums.
Commented The Cult vocalist Ian Astbury, “The Cult’s lifeblood has always been playing live. We are between albums and decided to continue the momentum created by Choice Of Weapon, stay in people’s hearts and minds. As Love Live was such an incredible experience, we have decided that performing the Electric album, an event that has been demanded by our fans and followers as the perfect live set to play in 2013.”
Born out of the ashes of the U.K. post-punk scene, The Cult evolved to become one of the most influential and controversial rock bands of the late 20th century, selling millions of albums, headlining venues worldwide, infusing innovative possibilities into the worlds of music, art and fashion and quickly ascending through the ranks of the indie music world to achieve global status.
In 1987, The Cult released Electric, an album of stylistic change that aimed the band straight at the heart of the rock market. Recorded in New York City at the legendary Electric Ladyland studios and filled with the energy of the dirty NYC streets, together with a young producer named Rick Rubin, who resonated more with the hip hop world of The Beastie Boys, Run DMC, and Public Enemy; the band delivered an recording that has gone on to become one of The Cult’s most successful and influential albums, and as a follow-up to Love, kicked the door wide open to a passionate new audience.
Electric went on to become the band’s first platinum album. They quickly captured media attention featuring heavily in music and fashion magazines as well as becoming an MTV staple after dark and where spun heavily on radio coast to coast. Electric was supported by an incident filled world tour with Guns N’ Roses as the opener in North America. Beginning in January of that year, The Cult headlined in the U.K., Europe, the U.S., Canada, and Australia, opened select dates for Iggy Pop and David Bowie, returning at the end of the year to sell out Wembley Arena and Brixton Academy in London.
Greg Prato of Rolling Stone spoke with the Metal God Rob Halford and Judas Priest guitarist Richie Faulkner about the band’s Epitaph DVD and new music. Portions of the interview appear below.
RS: When did the idea come up to document the Epitaph tour with a DVD?
Rob Halford: Pretty much when we were in rehearsals, before the big world tour kicked off, the rehearsals . . . it was different. It was different musically, because we were going through the decades of Priest metal. And along with the production, all these great things that were being shown to us that we wanted to include, and to some extent, carry on the experience we had with some of the Nostradamus moments. We thought, “The time is right again to put this all down on film.” It just felt like a natural idea to follow up the British Steel DVD.
So as soon as we talked it through, we started to put things into motion and waited until the end, which when you think about it now, we waited until the very last show – it was kind of a ballsy thing to do, because there could have been a technical breakdown, and then, “What are we going to do now?” But thankfully everything ran like clockwork, and it was just great to have that experience captured. It’s a defining moment. It’s a very unusual thing for Priest to do, in that everything we tried to do has had an original attitude to it. And most certainly, the Epitaph tour carried that significance.
RS: How would you say this DVD differs from previous Priest DVDs?
Halford: Just in the musical side of it, as well as the great production all these wonderfully talented people committed to getting for us, to go through pretty much four decades of metal is exceptional for Priest. We’ve never done anything like that before. To go from Rock Rolla all the way through to Nostradamus, to make that kind of statement was, again, an exciting experience for us. You could feel it as you were playing. The musical jump from a song that was written in the Seventies to something that was written in 2008 . . . that’s a jump. And you can hear the music developing through the decades. Turbo Lover is separate from Painkiller, as Painkiller is from Breaking the Law, or as Victim of Changes. For metal aficionados, it’s a real treat. And that definitely was the most unusual aspect of this whole project.
RS: How was it playing such rarely performed tunes as Never Satisfied, Starbreaker, and Beyond the Realms of Death again?
Halford: I love Never Satisfied. There’s something just very essential. It starts in an unusual way musically. How does it start . . . it’s like [sings opening], that’s like a fanfare. And I love the breakdown section. The timing of that is very unusual, if you really break that song down. And then it roars back out of that middle section. I love that breakdown section because of what Richie was doing. Guitar-wise, his phrasing, what he was doing in that part – I don’t know how he did it, because it was pure Seventies. And then the other big challenge was Blood Red Skies – that’s just a big opus. But Starbreaker . . . I’m the world’s biggest Priest fan.
RS: And how is the new Priest studio album coming along?
Faulkner: It’s coming along really well. We’re not saying too much about it at the moment –it’s kind of early to say. But it’s shaping up really well. The great thing from a writing point of view is that Priest’s brand of music is so broad, there’s a lot to take from. One extreme from the other. You can put stuff on the table and nothing is discounted. You might get some bands that are like, “Oh, we can’t do that, it sounds a bit like this or that.” With Priest, you can put anything on the table and you’ve got the flexibility from the scope of the sound, creatively. And then you’ve got people like Halford and Glenn, they put their stamp on it. Songs like Green Manalishi and Diamonds and Rust – when a band like Priest, with that sort of musical voice gets on something, it becomes a whole different monster. And the same thing with the new stuff. So it’s exciting. And from my point of view, to be a part of that is ridiculous. It’s fantastic.
RS: Are you involved in the songwriting process, Richie?
Faulkner: Yes. I put some stuff on the table. It’s always been a writing team. And to even be given the chance to put stuff forward is amazing. It could have been a bit awkward if it didn’t fit in or whatever, but it fit in, and it’s all working really well. And from a fan’s point of view, I’ve been in bands before [where they said], “Oh, you can’t play that, it sounds like Priest.” Now you can. I can’t wait to hear the finished thing.
RS: Any idea when the album will come out?
Halford: Ready when it’s ready. No rush. We don’t want to drop the ball – we’ve never dropped the ball, anyway. We’re certainly not in a “luxury moment.” When you think about it, any band that was in the Eighties that was having success, you were literally making a record a year. The demand was so strong . . . I mean, in those days, you were popping out platinum albums all the time. To get remotely close to gold in today’s world is a massive achievement. It’s a different world altogether. We’ve never slacked off – we’ve always enjoyed writing, we’ve always enjoyed being in the studio. There’s never been like, “Oh, God, we’ve got to make another record.” There’s always been this genuine desire. The hunger has never left us. When you wake up, it’s like, “Another heavy metal day. What are we going to do today?” It’s great. As a 62-year-old man, I’m just really pleased that I’m still feeling that way about my metal. I’m a metal head – I’m sixty-fucking-two, it’s incredible. That side of Priest is just solid as ever. We’re eager to keep going down the metal coalmine and seeing if we can hack up some diamonds.
The Winery Dogs, a new project featuring drummer Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater, Adrenaline Mob), bassist Billy Sheehan (Mr. Big, Talas) and guitarist/vocalist Richie Kotzen (Mr. Big, Poison) have posted a video for their second song Desire which can be viewed below.
To watch the video for the band’s other song, Elevate, please click here.
The band’s self-titled debut album, which will be released in Japan on May 15th through Victor Entertainment.
The Winery Dogs track listing:
3. We Are One
4. I’m No Angel
5. The Other Side
6. You Saved Me
7. Not Hopeless
8. One More Time
10. Six Feet Deeper
12. The Dying