The New York Post reports that after almost a century of history, New York’s Roseland Ballroom will close in April with a run of seven shows by Lady Gaga.
Initially, Roseland was located at 51st Street and Broadway when it opened in 1919. During that period, the 3,200-capacity room was a hot spot for jazz and big-band music. The likes of Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman and Frank Sinatra headlined there multiple times, and ballroom dancing was also a big draw.
Roseland moved to its current 52nd Street location in 1956 and, at first, maintained its reputation for ballroom dancing — as well as being used for ice-skating and operating as a roller rink. But in the late 1970s and early 1980s, Roseland caught up with the times and started to host disco club nights and shows by modern rock, pop, dance and hip-hop acts (everyone from Red Hot Chili Peppers to the Rolling Stones to, last week, Lorde).
The sadness around Roseland Ballroom’s demise — five years short of its centennial, no less — is compounded by confusion. Owner Larry Ginsberg hasn’t made a public statement about what will happen to the site. Meanwhile, music-industry rumors vary from the building being demolished to make way for condos to an all-new Roseland opening in the future.
Whatever happens, the venue has already written itself into New York folklore.
KISS and Def Leppard will team up this summer for a 42-city North American tour that will “deliver good news and excitement,” says KISS guitarist Paul Stanley.
The tour begins June 23rd in West Valley City, Utah, and wraps up August 31st in Woodlands, Texas. Tickets go on sale starting Friday.
The groups announced the tour Monday at the House of Blues in Los Angeles.The press conference was streamed live via the Live Nation website.
Def Leppard singer Joe Elliott says he and Gene Simmons first discussed the idea of the two bands touring together when he and the Kiss bassist played some South American dates two years ago as part of a rock-and-roll all-stars tour. “It’s finally happened, which is fantastic,” Elliott says.
It’ll be the first time the two bands have shared a bill, though Stanley says, “We’ve run into each other at festivals. It just seemed to be a natural fit.” Stanley also noted that one of guitarist Phil Collen’s pre-Def Leppard bands, Girl, opened for KISS in the U.K. during the early ’80s.
KISS did a similar co-headlining tour with Motley Crue in 2012.
KISS released its first albums, 40 years ago, and the band will commemorate the anniversary with a slew of archival releases, including a 34-LP vinyl box set and a two-CD compilation called KISS 40. The group will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame April 10th.
Def Leppard has been writing music for the group’s next album. “We all camped out at my house last month and wrote songs, which you will hear none of this summer,” Elliott says. Collen says he expects that album to come out in 2015.
Simmons says a dollar from each ticket sold on the tour will go to to the Wounded Warrior Project and other military non-profits. Those charitable partners include the USO, Hire a Hero, Project Resiliency/The Raven Drum Foundatio, and The Augusta Warrior Project. “Politicians fart through their mouth,” Simmons says. “Only the military makes freedom possible.”
Stanley adds that the group also plans to hire vets for its crew. “We try to find a couple of vets who want to go out and be part of the team,” he says. “This is a chance for somebody to travel and be part of the KISS Army.”
Elliot says he doesn’t see any rivalry developing between the groups while they’re on tour. “It’s two great bands that are going to be playing for the same amount of time,” he says. “It’s joint forces. I don’t see it as competitive at all.”
KISS/Def Leppard tour dates:
23 – USANA Amphitheater, West Valley City, Utah 25 – Pepsi Center, Denver, Colo. 27 – Sleep Country Amphitheater, Ridgefield, Wash. 29 – White River Amphitheatre, Auburn, Wash.
2 – Concord Pavilion, Concord, Calif. 3 – Sleep Train Amphitheatre, Wheatland, Calif. 5 – Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre, Irvine, Calif. 6 – Sleep Train Amphitheatre, Chula Vista, Calif. 8 – The Forum, Los Angeles, Calif. 9 – Ak-Chin Pavilion, Phoenix, Ariz. 12 – Austin360 Amphitheater, Austin, Texas (on sale March 22nd) 13 – Gexa Energy Pavilion, Dallas, Texas 15 – Riverbend Music Center, Cincinnati, Ohio 16 – Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, Tenn. 18 – Aaron’s Amphitheatre at Lakewood, Atlanta, Ga. (on sale March 22nd) 19 – PNC Music Pavilion, Charlotte, N.C. 20 – Walnut Creek Amphitheatre, Raleigh, N.C. 22 – Cruzan Amphitheatre, West Palm Beach, Fla. 23 – MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre, Tampa, Fla. 25 – Jiffy Lube Live, Bristow, Va. 26 – PNC Bank Arts Center, Holmdel, N.J. (on sale March 22nd)
1 – Xfinity Center, Mansfield, Mass. 2 – Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, N.J. 3 – Susquehanna Bank Center, Camden, N.J. 5 – Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Saratoga Springs, N.Y. (on sale March 22nd) 6 – Nikon At Jones Beach Theatre, Wantagh, N.Y. (on sale March 22nd) 8 – Farm Bureau Live at Virginia Beach, Virginia Beach, Va. (on sale March 22nd) 9 – Pavilion at Montage Mountain, Scranton, Penn. 10 – Xfinity Theatre, Hartford, Conn. 12 – Molson Canadian Amphitheatre, Toronto, On. 13 – Darien Lake Performing Arts Center, Darien, N.Y. (on sale March 22nd) 15 – Alpine Valley Music Theatre, East Troy, Wisc. 16 – First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre, Tinley Park, Ill. 17 – Target Center, Minneapolis, Minn. 20 – Wells Fargo Arena, Des Moines, Iowa 22 – Klipsch Music Center, Noblesville, Ind. 23 – DTE Energy Music Theatre, Clarkston, Mich. (on sale March 22nd) 24 – First Niagara Pavilion, Burgettstown, Penn. (on sale March 22nd) 26 – Blossom Music Center, Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio 28 – Verizon Wireless Amphitheater, Maryland Heights, Mo. (on sale March 22nd) 29 – BOK Center, Tulsa, Okla. 31 – Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, Woodlands, Texas
“We promised our fans we’d play a new song and we’ve been writing and creating away and we’re going to throw something at them on Sunday,” Metallica’s Lars Ulrich told Rolling Stone last week. “We have something lined up that is fairly representative of where our creative headspace is at right now. It’s one of those things that’s like, ‘Here, we’re writing and we’re creating.'”
They debuted the new song — the epic, eight-minute The Lords of Summer — at their concert in Bogotá, Colombia on March 16th. It’s the band’s first original music since 2012’s Beyond Magnetic EP, and those tracks were outtakes from the band’s 2008 LP Death Magnetic. Metallica are on the first part of their Metallica by Request tour.
Greg Prato of Bravewords spoke with Ronnie James Dio’s manager Wendy Dio and Anthrax drummer Charlie Benate about the Ronnie James Dio tribute album, This is Your Life, which will be released on April 1st through Rhino Records. Highlights from interview appear below.
BraveWords: How did the initial idea come up to do the tribute album?
Wendy Dio: “I’ve been talking about it for two-and-a-half years. The idea came up because I just wanted to keep Ronnie’s legacy and music alive, but also, to raise funds for charity-for research and education into cancer, and to hopefully find a cure one day.”
BraveWords: How was it recording the song Neon Knights, and are you happy with how it came out?
Charlie Benante: “I love the way it came out. I pretty much think we hit it right on the head. Just like with our Anthems record, we didn’t want to go too far off course. We wanted to pay tribute to the artists and basically, the essence of what Dio and Sabbath at the time were about. So we just wanted to hit that right on the head, and we were all extremely happy with what we did.”
BraveWords: When did you first hear Ronnie, and what were your initial impressions?
Charlie Benante: “It was definitely back when he was with Rainbow. And I remember one of the big records at the time in the neighborhood was Rainbow Rising. I remember one of my friends had the painting on the back of his jacket – that’s how heavy we were into Rainbow. And me, I was never a big Deep Purple fan. But I loved Rainbow. And it probably has a lot to do with Ronnie’s voice. I mean, those songs off of Rainbow Rising are just fucking awesome. It’s just killer, that whole thing. So I became a Dio fan right away, and started following him. I was so happy about the Sabbath thing, but I was also worried – I was such a huge Sabbath fan at the time, and didn’t know what to expect. I remember my two friends, two brothers, Rich and Michael, they got the record first, and I’ll never forget listening to that record and the first song, boom. I was fucking hooked. That record to me…it was better than any of those last Sabbath records [1976’s Technical Ecstasy and 1978’s Never Say Die!]. And I think Ronnie had a lot to do with that.”
BraveWords: Any other Ronnie-related projects on the horizon?
Wendy Dio: “Planning on re-releasing Hear ‘N Aid next year, with the money going to the charity. And obviously, there is a lot of unreleased stuff there – there’s boxes and boxes and boxes that have been in storage forever. We just have to get the legal stuff done, which is the hardest thing. You can always get the bands to do something, but it’s the legal licensing of talking with the record labels they’re on and the management and so on, to get something off the ground. So we’re hoping to do that.”
BraveWords: And I recall hearing a while back that a book about Ronnie’s life was being worked on.
Wendy Dio: “Ronnie had written three-quarters of it, and I said I would finish it. I have a publisher, but I’ve been so busy with everything. And also, it’s kind of hard to sit down and have to spend four to six months of time just trying to deal with it. But it’s one of the things that I’m definitely going to finish this year – as well as a documentary. We are going to film a documentary of Ronnie’s life. I’ve already started that, actually.”
Farmikos, the new L.A. band featuring former Ozzy Osbourne and David Lee Roth guitarist Joe Holmes and vocalist Robbie Locke, will be releasing four digital singles on Tuesday, March 18th. A sampler can be heard below.
Scapegoat, Kings of Dust, Exit Stencils and The Sound of My Gun mark Holmes’ long-awaited return to the music scene after taking a lengthy break following his five-year stint with Ozzy Osbourne. Recorded at the Mouse House in Pasadena, CA, the songs feature guest contributions by Holmes’ former Ozzy band mate, bassist Robert Trujillo (Metallica), drummer Brooks Wackerman (Bad Religion), and writing collaborator Brent Hoffort (My Own Machine).
States Holmes, “We’ve been thinking long and hard about the best way put our music out. Rather than going the conventional route and putting out an album, we are releasing these 4 tunes digitally and plan on making additional singles available at regular intervals. We want people to experience our music as we create it instead of holding it to release all at once. We’re excited because this approach allows our audience to grow with us.” Holmes goes on to say, “We had another really productive session recently when Robbie was back in town to lay down vocals and work on new material, so more music is in the pipeline ready to be unleashed, leading up to a full-length album later in the year.”
Farmikos is Joe Holmes’ first venture under his own flag since first attaining local notoriety with Terriff, an L.A. band he formed after taking guitar lessons as a teenager from none other than original Ozzy guitarist, Randy Rhoads. Holmes eventually went on to replace ALS stricken Jason Becker on the 1991 David Lee Roth A Lil’ Ain’t Enough world tour. In 1995, Holmes was brought to the attention of Ozzy Osbourne who was looking for a new guitarist to take over Zakk Wylde’s spot for the Ozzmosis album touring cycle. Holmes would go on to co-write 3 songs, Facing Hell, Junkie and That I Never Had, which appeared on Ozzy’s 2001 album, Down To Earth.
Holmes spent the last several years raising his family and eventually started to put together ideas for what would become Farmikos. Holmes began collaborating and creating material with Brent Hoffort and then joined forces with vocalist and Arkansas native Robbie Locke in 2011. “I really wanted to do my own thing and once Robbie came into the picture things really started to fall into place. It’s taken us a bit longer than anticipated to get to this point but we’re proud to finally present Farmikos to the world and letting people hear what we’ve been working on.”