Riot’s classic Thundersteel and Privilege Of Power lineup reunited in 2009 and delivered a critically acclaimed album, Immortal Soul, via major metal heavyweights SPV/ Steamhammer and Avalon/ Marquee. A successful tour with performances on the prestigious 70000 Tons Of Metal cruise and appearances at Sweden Rock and Metalway festivals solidified Riot’s long-sought-after return a success, but success doesn’t come without tragedy.
The band’s journey has never been easy, with personnel changes and the untimely deaths of frontmen Guy Speranza, Rhett Forrester as well as the passing of long-time founding guitarist Mark Reale who finally lost his lifelong battle with Crohn’s disease early last year, and with Tony Moore battling his own demons and health issues, Riot, like Johnny, are back again!
Through the storm of life’s obstacles, Mike Flyntz, Bobby Jarzombek and Don Van Stavern are joined by powerhouse vocalist extraordinaire Todd Michael Hall (Jack Starr’s Burning Starr, Reverence) and are ready to raise the flag in honor of the Riot legacy of music and our fallen bandmates and heroes, as well as the fans who have been demanding Riot for years and years to come! With the blessing of Mark’s father Tony Reale, the remaining members prepare for the next phase, the fifth phase if you will, of Riot.
Mark always used to say that there were always different phases of Riot throughout the years continuing on with a new singer, sound, logo as well and each having a few records under their belt, Phase One: Guy Speranza, Phase Two: Rhett Forrester, Phase Three: Tony Moore, Phase Four: Mike DiMeo and now Phase Five: Todd Michael Hall! A new album is in the works for a summer 2014 release and reissues are due on Sony, EMI and Metal Blade.
Riot V is:
Todd Michael Hall – Vocals Bobby Jarzombek – Drums Don Van Stavern – Bass Mike Flyntz – Guitar
Legendary rock icon Ronnie Montrose has been called the “Father of American Hard Rock,” an innovator and an incendiary guitar genius. For the first time fans of Ronnie Montrose will have the opportunity to bid on a vast array of instruments, personal items and memorabilia from the late genius’ musical life which will benefit the Sweet Relief Musicians Fund.
Highlights of the Montrose Collection at Julien’s Auctions’ upcoming Icons & Idols: Rock N’ Roll event include an extraordinary array of Ronnie Montrose’s personal guitars, played on stage and part of his unprecedented place in rock history. It also includes personal items, stage and studio equipment and memorabilia.
Luthier CJ Hutchins describes Ronnie Montrose’s 1997 Baker B2 “The Beast” guitar which is offered in the auction as “a very special guitar.” Hutchins tells the story of how for years Montrose’s sound was produced by a Gibson Les Paul that sadly was stolen off stage. Since Ronnie was more comfortable with a 25.5 scale length and a 17/8” nut width, he pretty much quit playing Gibson Les Pauls and Gene Baker made him “The Beast” to bring back the power into Ronnie’s arsenal. He added that “this was the go to guitar for a Les Paul that’s more Les Paul than a Les Paul.” (Estimate: $5,500-$6.500)
“Flat Top Red – If ever there was a man’s alter ego, Flat Top Red was it! If I had a dollar for everytime I heard the opening riff from “Rock Candy” played on a stage somewhere in the world, well, you get the idea,” said Ronnie’s luthier CJ Hutchins. He added “The Beast was much sweeter but Flat Top Red has more throat. He used it everywhere for nearly everything. He loved it so much; in fact, he had Gene make a clone of it, only in blue which he named “Blue Dog.”This very special guitar offered at auction is estimated at $5,000-$5,500.
Hutchins also explains the Bogner Shiva and how he would describe Ronnie changing guitar rigs like he changed his socks. Montrose was always looking for the elusive ratio between headroom and distortion and how the FX loop was engineered was also vital to him. He personally modified that part of the amp to make it more clean and less reactive to his tone, in other words more transparent. The Shiva was all he used at home, in the studio and on stage. “Gamma 4” was recorded with the Shiva. The custom modified amp will also be offered at auction with an estimate of $3,000-$4,000.
Other highlights include a Ronnie Montrose owned, played and personally modified 1963 Fender Stratocaster (Estimate: $15,000-$17,000), a Ronnie Montrose 2003 Taylor 712 CE guitar which he used as his main acoustic performance guitar (Estimate: $3,000-$3,500), original Montrose handwritten lyrics (Estimate: $1,000-$1,200), a Ronnie Montrose owned and played 1994 Fender Stratocaster “Skinny” model guitar (Estimate: $6,000-$7,000), a 1943 Gibson J4 “The Old Boy” guitar (Estimate: $6,000-$7,000), a Ronnie Montrose Custom MOOG System (Estimate: $800-$1,000), a Ronnie Montrose 1980’s SHO-BUD pedal steel (Estimate: $1,200-$1,400), a 2002 Baker BJ “Montrose” model guitar (Estimate:$4,000-$4,500) and much more. The full selection of Ronnie Montrose items can be viewed at www.juliensauctions.com. Once at the site you can click “flip catalog” and view all of the items.
A portion of the proceeds from the sale will go to Sweet Relief, an organization that provides financial assistance to all types of career musicians who are struggling to make ends meet while facing illness, disability, or age-related problems. For more information go to www.sweetrelief.org/news/ronnie-montrose.
“Sweet Relief Musicians Fund is thrilled to have been chosen by Leighsa Montrose as a beneficiary for the sale of Ronnie Montrose’s gear. We look forward to being able to honor Ronnie’s legacy by continuing to provide help to musicians in need who are suffering from Cancer, MS, Diabetes, Depression and other debilitating ailments. It is generosity like this that allows us to do our work in a real and meaningful way,” Bill Bennett, President of Sweet Relief Musicians Fund.
Ronnie Montrose created the iconic guitar riff for the classic song Wild Nights during his time with Van Morrison. In the Edgar Winter group he left even a bigger mark with his catch heavy-handed riffs on songs like Free Ride and “em>Frankenstein. It was his self-titled release Montrose that would become his iconic moment and a cornerstone of American hard rock. This release in 1973 gave fans such classics as Rock Candy, Space Station #5 and Rock the Nation. It laid the ground work and became the template for bands like Van Halen and countless others. His musical journey led him to the creation of GAMMA where he crafted songs like Voyager, Thunder and Lightning and Ready for Action. Known for always reinventing himself through his ownself-inflicted creative challenges he ventured through a brief instrumental period and brought the world Open Fire and Town without Pity.
“Ronnie was a force of nature and in his time here on this earth, he followed his own true north, making the music that came from his heart and inspired millions. He was never afraid to step off the beaten path, and take the direction that his instinct told him to follow,” said his wife Leighsa Montrose. “He fully understood his gifts, and constantly pushed himself to evolve, improve, and make better music. He did this for himself, and he did this for you because he adored and appreciated his fans. I can only hope that youwill choose to celebrate Ronnie’s life, and what his music meant to you, rather than mourn his passing. Ronnie would have wanted it that way. He loved being a guitarist, a composer, a producer, and a creator of magic. Please keep his energy, his joy, and his love in your hearts.”
The newest band ready to take aim at the creative void in the hard rock world, Red Dragon Cartel, are set to release their debut album through Frontiers Records. The self-titled debut by the band made up of guitar legend Jake E. Lee, bassist Ronnie Mancuso, singer D.J. Smith and drummer Jonas Fairley is set for release on January 24th in Europe and January 28th in North America.
Jake E. Lee is best known for his work in Badlands and as guitarist for Ozzy Osbourne on Bark at the Moon and The Ultimate Sin albums. Red Dragon Cartel also features various guest appearances from some of music’s most notable faces including legendary Cheap Trick vocalist Robin Zander, original Iron Maiden vocalist Paul Di’Anno, Kill Devil Hill/Pantera bassist Rex Brown, Slash’s Conspirators Todd Kearns and Brent Fitz and In This Moment front woman Maria Brink. The album was produced by Ronnie Mancuso and Jake E. Lee and was executive produced, mixed and mastered by Kevin Churko (In This Moment, Ozzy Osbourne, Five Finger Death Punch).
From the opening riff of Deceived to final sustained piano chord of Exquisite Tenderness, it is clear Red Dragon Cartel has created an album that stands amongst some of the greatest hard rock albums of all time. Infectious songs such as Shout It Out, Wasted and Slave showcase the band’s ability to write memorable hooks and vocal melodies. Robin Zander of Cheap Trick lends his voice to the track Feeder and Maria Brink of In This Moment lends her unique vocals to the track Big Mouth. Paul Di’Anno and Sass Jordan also lend their talents to the band’s debut. Jake E. Lee’s trademark playing style instantly shines through and picks up right where he left off. The album is available for pre-order at Amazon or digitally on iTunes that comes with an instant download of Deceived.
The track listing for Red Dragon Cartel is:
1. Deceived 2. Shout It Out 3. Feeder with Robin Zander 4. Fall From The Sky (Seagull) 5. Wasted with Paul Di’Anno 6. Slave 7. Big Mouth with Maria Brink 8. War Machine 9. Redeem Me with Sass Jordan 10. Exquisite Tenderness
The band will be bringing these new powerhouse songs on the road playing a handful of dates in the US before embarking on a full tour in 2014. Tickets are currently on-sale and all information can be found on the band’s website.
December 12th – Los Angeles, CA – Whisky A Go Go December 14th – Tempe, AZ – Marquee Theater (Support of Queensryche) December 15th – San Diego, CA – Brick By Brick December 20th – Las Vegas, NV – Count’s Vamp’d
For more information, please visit the following sites:
We’ve committed to taking about a year off,” Lifeson tells Billboard. “We all agreed when we finished this [Clockwork Angels] tour (in early August) we were going to take this time off and we weren’t going to talk about band stuff or make any plans. We committed to a year, so that’s going to take us through to the end of next summer, for sure. That’s the minimum. We haven’t stopped or quit. Right now, we’re just relaxing. We’re taking it easy and just enjoying our current employment.”
Since being inducted into Rock N’ Roll Hall of fame, the Rush guitarist was happy to cast a ballot for this year’s nominees.
“I put my votes in,” says Lifeson, whose impromptu “blah, blah, blah” speech was a highlight of the 2012 induction ceremony. “Certainly with Deep Purple and Yes and Nirvana, I think they’re all candidates, and I think KISS deserves to be in there, too. We have lots of great memories of working together with them, and I think they’ve been influential and worked for a very long time and worked very hard. I think for all the indifference we had before, actually going through it and feeling the love in the room and the sense of community we felt with all the other musicians that are in there, it’s a good thing provided it’s inclusive and it’s broad.”
The Experience Hendrix Tour, a tribute to Jimi Hendrix that began in 1995, will return in 2014, reports Radio.com.
The tribute tour will feature such artists as Buddy Guy, Bootsy Collins, Zakk Wylde, Dweezil Zappa, Jonny Lang and many more.
Running at a little over three weeks, Experience Hendrix will begin March 11th in Dallas, Texas, with an end at Detroit’s Fox Theater on April 3rd.
Wylde and Ana Popovic are the tour’s rookies, while the rest of the roster have played the circuit in some incarnation or form in years past. Experience Hendrix began in 1995 as the Jimi Hendrix Guitar Festival at Bumbershoot. A full list of dates can be found below.
Experience Hendrix dates:
March 11 – Dallas, Texas – Verizon Theater March 13 – St. Louis, Mo. – Fox Theater March 14 – Chicago, Ill. – Chicago Theater March 15 – Ames, Iowa – Stephens Auditorium March 16 – Milwaukee, Wisc. – Riverside Theater March 18 – Louisville, Ky. – Whitney Hall March 19 – Charleston, W. Va. – Clay Center March 20 – Pittsburgh, Pa. – Benedum Theater March 21 – Glenside, Pa. – Keswick Theater March 22 – Atlantic City N.J. – Harrahs March 23 – Wilkes-Barre, Pa. – Kirby Center for the Performing Arts March 25 – Red Bank, N.J. – Count Basie Theater March 28 – Albany, N.Y. – Palace Theater March 29 – Waterbury, Conn. – Palace Theater March 30 – Washington, D.C. – Lincoln Theater April 1 – Buffalo, N.Y. – Center of Arts April 2 – Northfield, Ohio – Hard Rock Theater April 3 – Detroit, Mich. – Fox Theater