THE SEARCH FOR FORMER KISS GUITARIST VINNIE VINCENT

VinnieVincent400 Max Blau of Rolling Stone reports:

Smyrna, Tennessee, is not a likely place to find a guitar god, or anyone in particular, which meant it was just about perfect for Vinnie Vincent. For a while anyway.

Behind a forbidding eight-foot-tall picket fence and a padlocked gate stand two houses. Paint cans, a television set and stuffed black garbage bags litter the driveways. This is where guitarist Vinnie Vincent — who gave life back into KISS in the early Eighties, when the bandmembers had removed their makeup but seemed musically ready for embalming, and then became a hair-metal solo star in his own right — has lived in seclusion for the last 15 years. Or, more accurately, had lived. It’s hard to know where Vincent is these days.

From the looks of it, the houses have been abandoned for some time. Knocks on the front door go unanswered, and multiple calls in to Vincent’s lawyer inquiring about his client’s whereabouts yielded nothing. It’s not as if Vincent, 61, was ever a man about Smyrna. Up the road, a clerk at the gas station can’t recall ever seeing the musician who once played for 137,000 fans in Brazil — KISS’ biggest concert. A next-door neighbor, Paul Sachtjen, says he’d never met Vincent face-to-face. He had, though, endured a battle over some pruned pear trees hanging across property lines, receiving angry letters and police visits, but never at the expense of Vincent’s closely-guarded privacy. Years later, Sachtjen’s son vandalized a convertible belonging to Vincent’s wife, Diane. Soon after, surveillance cameras and mounted outdoor spotlights were installed on Vincent’s property.

“I feel bad for him,” Sachtjen says now. “He wants to be a recluse and left the hell alone.”

As the original replacement for founding member guitarist Ace Frehley, Vincent garnered a reputation as one of the band’s most talented, influential, and divisive members in its 40-year history. From 1982 to 1984, Vincent’s knack for cocky melodies and virtuosic guitar shredding revived an outfit that had limped into the Eighties with the release of the high concept, low quality Music From The Elder. 1983’s Lick It Up was the KISS first album on which Vincent was credited as a member (uncredited, he’d subbed for Frehley on the previous year’s Creatures of the Night). It was also the first time the band appeared without makeup, and as the writer of the title track and the musician responsible for the re-born KISS’ most jaw-dropping moments, Vincent helped frontmen Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons establish a post-grease paint identity, pushing the music in the chart-topping direction of Mötley Crüe and Def Leppard.

Despite his contributions, on April 10th, when KISS receives their long overdue induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Vincent is about as likely to attend the ceremony as Syd Barrett would’ve been to fly on an inflatable pig over a Pink Floyd show.

“He’s such a mysterious figure,” says Bruce Kulick, who held down the lead guitar spot in KISS for 12 years following Vincent’s departure and who will attend the Rock Hall event. “In some ways, he’s the Howard Hughes of KISS. Vinnie has laid low for so long that it adds to his legend.”

Vinnie Vincent’s fans and former bandmates have different theories about his current whereabouts: He might be in Nashville, with family in Connecticut, or with some sympathetic female KISS fan. Wherever he’s gone, believes Promoter Phil Elliott, Vincent will make his presence known once the bills start to pile up.

“I don’t know how he’s going to stay afloat,” Elliott says. “When he’s desperate enough, he’ll come out of the woodwork.”

It’s hard to imagine a situation in which Vincent would not choose to keep his connection to the music world and his fans strictly online, mostly one-way and entirely out of sight, if never truly out of mind. As Robert Fleischman — like so many alienated by Vincent long ago — puts it: “If he wants to be left alone we should leave him alone. I just don’t think he really wants to be left alone.”

If Vincent does resurface, digitally or otherwise, what kind of reception he’ll receive when he does is anyone’s guess. He drew the ire of some fans when he failed to issue refunds for pre-orders from his website. Some customers even threatened him with a lawsuit for alleged fraud for selling a product, The Vinnie Vincent Archives, which he never intended to deliver. As a sop, they received letters from Vincent’s Metaluna Records, likely a one-man operation at this point, apologizing for the lengthy delay in sending out the compilation. Those apology letters came with offers to buy a guitar pick used by Vincent on the Creatures of the Night tour. The asking price was $1,000.

On VVForums.com, rumors still swirl that Vincent will take part in celebrating the KISS legacy he helped create, whether by acknowledging the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony or through some other, more idiosyncratic means. That idea that he might show up is certainly delusional, but it’s also sweetly optimistic — the KISS Army still loves the Ankh Warrior, and as anyone who knows anything about Vinnie Vincent can tell you, stranger things have happened.

Read the entire three page story at Rolling Stone.

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SLASH FEATURING MYLES KENNEDY AND THE CONSPIRATORS JOIN AEROSMITH FOR THE “LET ROCK RULE” SUMMER TOUR; THIRD SOLO STUDIO ALBUM DUE IN SEPTEMBER

SlashandtheConspirators400 Slash joined Aerosmith for a roof-raising set in front of a packed crowd at the Whisky A Go Go in Los Angeles in celebration of their forthcoming headlining North American tour this summer. Promoted exclusively by Live Nation, the Let Rock Rule tour kicks off on Thursday, July 10th at Nikon at Jones Beach Theatre in Wantagh, NY (see full itinerary below). SLASH and Aerosmith–longtime friends who’ve performed together throughout the years–will also take over Los Angeles, California (The Forum), San Francisco, California (Sleep Train Pavilion) and Boston, Massachusetts (Xfinity Center), among other cities, before wrapping Friday, September 12th in Sydney, NS, Canada (Open Hearth Park). Expect Slash and Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators to announce additional solo dates in between the arena shows.

“Aerosmith is one of my all time favorite bands, and one of the greatest rock & roll bands of all time,” says Slash. “It’s an honor for me to go out & tour with them and keep the rock & roll banner flying high.”

“Looking forward to inciting a riot and building the tribal bonfire even higher–it’s a win win with Slash,” said Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler.

Says Arerosmith guitarist Joe Perry: “The writing’s on the wall–Aerosmith and Slash. We’re gonna let rock rule this summer. Catch us if you can.”

The Slash pre-sale begins on Thursday, April 10th at 10:00 AM local time at slashonline.com/tour. The ticket package includes: amazing seats (Level 1 tickets), an exclusive autographed Slash lithograph, a Digital Download of the new Slash album (due in Sept 2014) and a merchandise voucher worth $50, redeemable in the Slash exclusive online store. For all packages, slashonline.com/tour.

American Express® Card Members can purchase tickets before the general public beginning Thursday, April 10th at 10:00 a.m. through Sunday, April 13 at 10:00 p.m. Citi® cardmembers will also have access to pre-sale tickets beginning Thursday, April 10th at 10:00 a.m. through Sunday, April 13 at 10:00 p.m. through Citi’s Private Pass® Program. For complete pre-sale details, visit www.citiprivatepass.com. This summer’s hottest ticket will go on sale to the general public starting on Monday, April 14th through the Live Nation mobile app and at www.livenation.com. The first round of tour dates are below with additional dates for a second leg to be announced shortly.

Slash and his bandmates Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators—Myles Kennedy (vocals), Brent Fitz (drums), Todd Kerns (bass) and Frank Sidoris (guitar)–will return this September with their third studio album, title TBA and second album with this line-up. The group is currently in the studio putting the finishing touches on the follow-up to 2012’s Apocalyptic Love. The group is recording a total of 17 songs–including one instrumental. “It’s very rock. It’s more up-tempo than the last record was,” states vocalist Kennedy. “Slash has got some really great riffs on this record. Killer stuff…” “The material on this album is more serious and more fun at the same time, which is a tough balance,” adds bassist Todd Kerns. “The songs are sleazier, tougher and more dangerous. We’re all very excited to unleash the monster upon you as soon as we can.”

Slash officially began recording as a solo artist with his self-titled 2010 debut album which employed a different vocalist on each track of his first album including Ozzy Osbourne, Fergie and Myles Kennedy among others. Slash explains, “We’ve worked really well together from the start. I never thought about how it’s progressed. It’s real natural and like any sort of close relationship, we established it early on and now we’re just sort of doing our thing, it’s just a really cool kind of synergy that we’ve got.” Apocalyptic Love earned Slash two first-ever Number one U.S. rock radio hits with You’re A Lie and Standing In The Sun. The album’s third single, Anastasia, cracked the Top 10 at Modern and Active Rock and Top Five at Mainstream Rock.

Watch Slash’s Real To Reel webisodes happening now in the studio at www.slashonline.com. The innovative online series is documenting the entire in-studio recording process from the first day of recording to the last, the multi-segment fly-on-the wall series follows Slash and The Conspirators from pre-production at NRG Studios in Los Angeles to Studio Barbarossa in Florida, as they write, play, create and record the new album from start to finish.

Following the summer run with Aerosmith, the group will return to the U.K. and Europe. Expect more shows to be announced shortly.

Aerosmith/Slash tour dates:

July:

10 Wantagh, NY Nikon at Jones Beach Theatre
13 Kitchener, ON, Canada McLennan Park
16 Mansfield, MA Xfinity Center
19 Cadott, WI Rock Fest
22 Cincinnati, OH Riverbend Music Center
25 Tinley Park, IL First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre
30 Inglewood, CA The Forum

August:

2 Las Vegas, NV MGM Grand Garden Arena
8 Stateline, NV Lake Tahoe Outdoor Arena At Harveys
13 Concord, CA Sleep Train Pavilion
16 George, WA The Gorge Amphitheatre
19 Denver, CO Pepsi Center
22 Dallas, TX American Airlines Center
25 The Woodlands, TX The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
28 Atlanta, GA Phillips Arena
31 Atlantic City, NJ Boardwalk Hall

September:

3 Newark, NJ Prudential Center
6 Bristow, VA Jiffy Lube Live
9 Clarkston, MI DTE Energy Music Theatre
12 Sydney, NS, Canada Open Hearth Park

AerosmithSlashtourposter640

Picture above of Slash and the Conspirators courtesy of Robert John.

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SEBASTIAN BACH SAYS “I UNDERSTAND WHY GENE SIMMONS DOESN’T WORK WITH ACE FREHLEY”

sebastian_bach-400 Former Skid Row frontman Sebastian Bach speaks to Ultimate Classic Rock about KISS’ induction into the Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame and why he believes the original line-up will not be preforming at the ceremony.

The singer says, “As a fan, I understand why people would want to see that, But as a 46-year old man that has worked with Gene Simmons and Ace Frehley, I understand why Gene Simmons doesn’t work with Ace Frehley.”

His explained his position further by stating, “Ace has sides to him that maybe the fans don’t see. That’s all I can say.” He revealed that he’s currently working on an autobiography and there will be stories in that book “that will explain more of that topic.” He finished his thoughts on the subject by reiterating ”I understand why Gene doesn’t play with him.”

As he indicated in his comments, he had worked with Frehley in the past, both onstage and in the studio. The two paired up to record a song called Know Where You Go for drummer Anton Fig’s solo album Figments in 2004. At that time, Bach called the collaboration with Frehley “a dream come true and an honor.”

Sebastian Bach’s new album, Give’Em Hell, will be released on April 22nd.

source: ultimateclassicrock.com

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ANTHRAX FRONTMAN JOEY BELLADONNA SAYS HE WISHES THE BAND WOULD COMMUNICATE MORE

joeybelladonna400 Anthrax frontman Joey Belladonna has discussed his recent comments about being “only allowed so much friendship” with his bandmates.

He insists he didn’t mean to suggest there were problems within the ranks, but admits he’d still prefer to have a closer relationship with the rest of the band.

Back in February Belladonnna said: “I don’t think I’ve ever really found my place with this band. They were open to me, but they weren’t doing anything to make me feel it was going to be the best thing in the world. It was more businesslike.”

Now he tells Rocksverige: “I don’t necessarily say that we’re not getting along. When I grew up playing with people in my hometown, we’d hang together. We just don’t. But that doesn’t mean we’re not [d]oing what we need to do – my intentions were not to make things [out] like we’re just a mess.”

He’s sure the situation isn’t an intentional one, but says: “I’m always picking at people and trying to get them to open up and maybe talk. A lot of people don’t want to do it, and that’s fine, but I’m not that kind of guy. Sometimes you don’t know what you’re dealing with until you talk to people. Maybe you can get something off your chest and maybe something can actually be resolved by it.”

Belladonna admits guitarist Scott Ian spoke to him about his previous comments. “Scott asked me, ‘We’re trying to keep things positive, right?’ Scott was on his promotional tour and doing his spoken-word – so what a great time to answer questions!”

Meanwhile, the vocalist continues work on material for the follow-up to Anthrax’s comeback album Worship Music. “We have a lot of stuff,” he says. “There could be around 15 or 16 songs at this point. I have three just finished. It’s going to be really intense and I don’t think we’ll let you down.”

additional source: classicrockmagazine.com

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FRANK GIRARDOT: KISS DOESN’T BELONG IN THE ROCK N’ ROLL HALL OF FAME

kiss-return Frank Girardot of the Pasadena Star-News reports:

I can’t think of a more plain way to say this, so I just will: KISS does not belong in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Period. End of Story.

I will argue my case, but the facts speak for themselves: KISS does not belong in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Over Commericalized Garbage Hall of Fame? Sure.

One-hit Wonder Hall of Fame? Right up there with the best of ‘em.

Don’t tell me that Rock and Roll All Nite is the Rock and Roll national anthem. It isn’t. That’s like saying We’re the Monkees is one of the ‘60s enduring classics.

In short, there is nothing that qualifies KISS for entry into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

And yet, on Thursday, KISS along with the E Street Band, Nirvana, Linda Ronstadt, Peter Gabriel, Cat Stevens — aka Yusef Islam — and Daryl Hall and John Oates, will be inducted into the Cleveland shrine glorifying Rock and Roll.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m attacking KISS here, but I’m not sure Hall and Oates belong in it either. Unless a nomination is akin to a popularity contest.

Explain to me though how KISS beats out Deep Purple? You want an anthem? What the heck is Smoke on the Water?

Machine Head with Highway Star, Smoke on the Water, Lazy and Space Truckin is better than the entire KISS catalog.

For that matter how does KISS get into the winner’s circle ahead of Paul Butterfield? I mean the Butterfield Blues Band played at Monterey with Hendrix and at Woodstock with Hendrix and The Who. I think a better argument can be made for Butterfield as he opened the doors for Eric Clapton and Stevie Ray Vaughn and played alongside Muddy Waters and Albert King.

Name one artist even slightly influenced by KISS or a style of musicianship influenced by the high-heeled poseurs. You can’t.

So what other bands and artists should be honored before KISS?

I would definitely put The Cure, Chicago, Journey, Bon Jovi, The Cars, Barry White, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Jethro Tull, Los Lobos and Willie Nelson in ahead of the make-up boys. How do we really know who is up there playing anyway?

Even Devo and Soundgarden deserve spots in the Cleveland waterfront museum.

To make matters worse, KISS’ guitarist isn’t happy with the induction. But that’s because the HOF has some — albeit limited — standards. CEO Joel Peresman said Thursday’s ceremony will only honor the band’s original members: cat guy, dude with the long tongue, starface and silver eye make-up freak with shoulder pads.

“I don’t need the Hall Of Fame,” Starface told Rolling Stone Magazine. “And if there’s not reciprocity, I’m not interested. The Red Hot Chili Peppers, practically every member was inducted, and virtually all 175 members of the Grateful Dead. Rules need to apply to everybody.”

Probably embarrassed, Peresman nonetheless defended the limited selection.

“…There are certain acts that are nominated and brought in on their entire body of work, up until the day before the nominating committee meets,” Peresman told the Rolling Stone. “They are still evolving bands that are breaking new ground. With KISS, there wasn’t a single person we spoke to that didn’t feel the reason these guys were being inducted was because of the four original members.”

Sadly, even that’s a stretch. But as my friend Dion Lefler points out, “It ain’t the Rock N’ Roll Hall of Quality.”

source: pasadenastarnews.com

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DIO’S “LIVE IN LONDON -HAMMERSMITH APOLLO 1993 TO BE RELEASED ON MAY 13TH ON DVD, SD BLU-RAY, 2CD & DIGITAL FORMATS

diodevilhorns400 Eagle Rock Entertainment is proud to announce the May 13th release of Live In London: Hammersmith Apollo 1993 on DVD, SD Blu-ray and double CD formats, from the incomparable Dio [Pre-book Order Date April 18, MSRP $14.98 DVD, $19.98 SD Blu-ray, $17.98 2CD].

This is the first ever video release of this classic 1993 concert and includes anthems such as Holy Diver, Rainbow In The Dark, Strange Highways, Stand Up And Shout, Man On The Silver Mountain, Heaven And Hell, We Rock, and more. Filmed at London’s Hammersmith Apollo on December 12th, 1993, this concert film captures the then newly-reformed Dio on the last night of their European tour in support of the Strange Highways album. The line-up of Ronnie James Dio (vocals), Vinny Appice (drums), Jeff Pilson (bass), Tracy G (guitar) and Scott Warren (keyboards) the band delivered a blistering performance of tracks from their new album, previous Dio classics and favorites from Ronnie’s career with Black Sabbath and Rainbow. This powerful performance is presented in DTS Surround Sound, Dolby Digital 5.1, and Dolby Digital Stereo.

In addition to this amazing concert, the AV formats offer a bonus Behind-The-Scenes feature entitled “Hangin’ With The Band.”

One of the most influential and celebrated vocalists / frontmen of hard rock and heavy metal, the late Ronnie James Dio’s commanding vocals and mammoth stage presence has resonated with generations of fans. His sophisticated, classical vocalization mixed with imaginative, fantastical song themes was genre-defining, establishing him as one of music’s most beloved icons. Live In London: Hammersmith Apollo masterfully captures him and his namesake band, Dio.

Live In London: Hammersmith Apollo 1993 track listing:

1) Stand Up And Shout
2) Strange Highways
3) Don’t Talk To Strangers
4) Evilution
5) Pain
6) The Mob Rules
7) Children Of The Sea
8) Holy Diver
9) Heaven And Hell
10) Man On The Silver Mountain
11) Drum Solo
12) Heaven And Hell (reprise)
13) Jesus, Mary & The Holy Ghost
14) Hollywood Black
15) The Last In Line
16) Rainbow In The Dark
17) We Rock
18) Here’s To You

For a sneak peak at Live In London – Hammersmith Apollo, here’s a video of Mob Rules.

DioLiveInLondonDVDcover640jpg

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