Iron Maiden frontman Bruce Dickinson has released the following statement:
“I’ve always admired the hard work, effort and dedication of the Heavy Metal Truants. Ever since our manager Rod, and great Maiden friend Alex Milas came up with the idea back in 2012 and started pedaling their way to the million pound goal , I’d thought Wow – raising money for a fantastic cause, joining a bunch of like-minded people from all walks of life AND getting in some great exercise, that’s something I’d be proud to be a part of.
So now, in 2021 with our European Legacy tour once again derailed by COVID, I can finally say: ‘yes please – count me in’- I’m aiming to complete at least the Download distance of 175 miles outdoors and hopefully much more in the 12 days May 24th to June 4th.
I am absolutely determined to help see the Heavy Metal Truants surpass their target of an £200,000 [Dana’s note: as of this printing (5/17) this amounts to $283,054.56 USD] and also take the HMT collective fundraising total to over £1MILLION [Dana’s note: $1,415,612.71 USD] over their nine rides since 2013.
Once again the fundraising will benefit four children’s charities: Save The Children (international), Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy, Teenage Cancer Trust, and ChildLine/NSPCC. 100% of the donations received is split equally between these four excellent endeavours.
In the last two years, these kid’s charities have lost over 75% of their income through not being able to put on the all-important fundraising events. They need every single ounce of help we can give.
So please help me do it, by digging in your pocket, rummaging down the back of the sofa for loose change, pulling out your check book or just keeping it simple and clicking the links below to donate the 21st century way. What Does This Button Do? It will help a disadvantaged child that’s what it will do.
Please donate generously by either of the following:
Alice Cooper will make his long-awaited return to the road on a headline tour this September and October. The tour begin on September 17th in Atlantic City and runs through October 23rd in Atlanta. Original KISS guitarist Ace Frehley will appear as special guest on all shows.
Pre-sale tickets are available Tuesday, May 18th at 10 a.m. local time. Venue and radio pre-sales are set for Wednesday, May 19th at 10 a.m. local time. The general on-sale is set for Friday, May 21st at 10 a.m. local time.
Alice Cooper tour dates with Ace Frehley:
Sep. 17 – Atlantic City, NJ – Ovation Hall at Oceans Resort Casino (Without Ace Frehley) Sep. 18 – Gilford, NH – Bank of NH Pavilion* Sep. 19 – Bridgeport, CT – Hartford Healthcare Amphitheater* Sep. 21- Boston, MA – Rockland Trust Bank Pavilion* Sep. 22 – Farmingville, NY – Long Island Community Hospital Amphitheatre at Bald Hill* Sep. 24 – Chicago, IL – Huntington Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island* Sep. 25 – Detroit, MI – DTE Energy Music Theatre* Sep. 27 – Youngstown, OH – Youngstown Foundation Amphitheater* Sep. 28 – Huber Heights, OH – Rose Music Center* Sep. 29 – Indianapolis, IN – Farm Bureau Insurance Lawn at White River State Park* Oct. 1 – Milwaukee, WI – BMO Harris Pavilion* Oct. 2 – St. Louis, MO – Saint Louis Music Park* Oct. 3 – Nashville, TN – Ascend Amphitheatre* Oct. 5 – Pikeville, KY – Appalachian Wireless Arena Oct. 6 – Raleigh, NC – The Red Hat Amphitheater* Oct. 7 – Charlotte, NC – Charlotte Metro Credit Union Amphitheatre* Oct. 9 – Jacksonville, FL – Daily’s Place* Oct. 10 – West Palm Beach, FL – iTHINK Financial Amphitheatre* Oct. 11 – Tampa, FL – MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre* Oct. 13 – Montgomery, AL – Montgomery Performing Arts Center Oct. 14 – Birmingham, AL – BJCC Concert Hall Oct. 18 – Sugar Land, TX – Smart Financial Centre Oct. 19 – Austin, TX – HEB Center Oct. 20 – Ft. Worth, TX – Will Rogers Auditorium Oct. 22 – Tupelo, MS – Bancorp South Arena Oct. 23 – Atlanta, GA – Shaky Knees Festival (Without Ace Frehley)
* Produced by Live Nation
Cooper, a Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame inductee, usually spends up to six months a year on the road, bringing his iconic brand of rock psycho-drama to fans both old and new, enjoying it as much as the audience does. Known as the architect of shock rock, Cooper (in both the original Alice Cooper band and as a solo artist) has rattled the cages and undermined the authority of generations of guardians of the status quo, continuing to surprise fans and exude danger at every turn, like a great horror movie. Alice Cooper concerts remain a “not-to-be-missed” attraction.
Frehley, KISS co-founder and 2014 Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame inductee, continues his reflections on a lifetime in music with Origins, Vol. 2. No stranger to cover versions throughout his musical history — having recorded, rebranded and repossessed such notable nuggets as New York Groove, Do Ya and I Wanna Go Back over the course of his eight previous studio efforts — this new collection presents a thoughtful and exciting selection of songs that inspired and helped shape the legendary guitarist. Foremost of importance to the original Spaceman is delivering an album his fans will enjoy, but one where every song also has a place in his life’s jukebox.
“I’ve known Alice for over 30 years,” says Frehley. “We’re good friends, and we’ve toured together numerous times and always had a blast. Our musical roots are very similar, and the combination of our two bands make for a great event that nobody is gonna want to miss. Being off the road for more than a year because of the pandemic has been tough on everyone in the music industry, and I’m really looking forward to seeing all of the fans happy, healthy, and ready to rock.”
Ruben Mosqueda of Sleaze Roxx spoke with guitarist Paul Gilbert (Mr. Big, Racer X). The majority of the interview appears below.
Sleaze Roxx: You have a new [solo] album coming on June 4th titled, Werewolves Of Portland. Was this an album that was written over the pandemic? How did these times influence the album?
Paul Gilbert: Yes, it was. My plan was to record it about a year ago. I had done one rehearsal and then Covid caused me to quarantine for a while. No one, as you know, had any idea how long that was going to last. The delay went on and on. After about six months, I said, “I think I have to change my plan [laughs]!” I originally wanted to cut it “live.” Well, that wasn’t going to work with everything going on. I decided to play all of the instruments myself. I thought that was pretty fun, especially playing the drums. I loved that, I really like playing with other people [laughs], [so] the thought of doing it all alone was weird. I was writing, recording, performing and engineering an album… You need to have another human being in the room to look at that can give you a grin every now and again to let you know that you’re on the right track. So, I knew that I wanted to work with an engineer. I showed up at his studio and we were both wearing masks. That lasted about an hour. We thought we’d risk it. We did have contact with many other people. It turned out fine. We still kept our distance of course and other precautions. The guy’s name is Kevin Hahn.
I met Kevin through Kelly Lemieux [Buckcherry] who is a bass player who I play with sometimes. I said to Kevin, “I don’t know how my drumming is going to go, because I haven’t played drums in ages. Just hit record and we’ll see what happens. If it’s good we’ll keep it. If it’s not, we’ll have to find someone that can come in here that can do it.” We just needed to start somewhere. So he pressed record, I did it and it was alright [laughs]. Kevin is great. He went in with protools and fixed a mistake here and there. Since, I was the songwriter, I really knew what I wanted in terms of the drums and guitar. Where I really needed some help was with the bass parts, that was a little more challenging. Kevin was really helpful when it came time to do the bass parts. Professorship At The Leningrad Conservatory is one where Kevin was helpful because I can play funk guitar, but I don’t play funk bass. He saved me a lot of time with some great ideas on that. I had spent something like two days trying to figure out a good bass part on that and I got it done in an hour, due to his guidance.
Sleaze Roxx: You moved to Portland [Oregon] in recent years. What inspired the move?
Paul Gilbert: I moved to Portland five-six years ago. I can’t recall exactly. I wanted somewhere peaceful with nice trees and laid back people [laughs]. I don’t know what happened. I had been in L.A. for about 10 years in the ’80s and another 10 years in the 2000s. My wife never liked it there for whatever reason. She’s the one that convinced me to make the move. There was this period where there was this drought… It just never rained. Places like Portland and Seattle were known for rain. I was like, “Whoa, I could use some rain for a change!”…The food was good, at least at the time when I moved up here. I had played gigs here before and people seemed… normal [laughs]! It was just great. I’d hang out at the guitar shops and everyone was cool. I just don’t know what’s going on around here right now. People are destroying property, breaking windows and spray painting walls. Portland’s become the most angry, rageful city that I have ever seen in my life [laughs]! There’s some deep seeded anger. When I came up with the title Werewolves of Portland, I just thought it was a funny title and it was a nod to the old Warren Zevon song Werewolves of London. It was just a lighthearted idea by switching the city name. I wasn’t thinking beyond that. Then all of a sudden it’s like, “Whoa ‘werewolves’ have taken on a whole new metaphor. I thought about changing the title, but I liked it and I decided to keep it…
Sleaze Roxx: Will you be promoting this album with any limited live performances of perhaps a live stream at all?
Paul Gilbert: First of all, I have no idea [laughs]! I’m a musician. I have no idea how to promote it. I let the record company give me direction. They encourage me to make some videos for it. On the last album, it was easy to make videos because we brought in a guy with a camera into the studio and he made the videos while we played live. I was a little hesitant to do that for this record since I played everything. I just didn’t know how that would work…The first video for the album was for Argument About Pie and I believe that’s the first lyric video for an all instrumental song. I’m really proud of that one. I drew the whole thing. I had drawn before, but that’s the most drawing that I had even done in my life [laughs]…It was time consuming, but very gratifying…
Sleaze Roxx: You have been making solo albums since ’98 when you released King of Clubs and Flying Dog. Those albums received critical acclaim. What’s been your experience with people’s reception with instrumental or mostly instrumental albums?
Paul Gilbert: With the early stuff in the ’90s, I had given up on the expectations of having any kind of a solo career in America or Europe. Mr. Big had become so big in Japan. When you leave a band and you make solo music, it’s just never going to be as big as the band. Even my little fraction of a career in Japan was pretty good. I would head to Japan for a short tour and I would make a couple of records a year. That kept me busy. I spent the majority of that time focusing on one country and was able to live on that. The first album where I started branching out to other parts of the world was Get Out of My Yard, the first instrumental record. I would always get asked “When are you going to make an instrumental record?” It was something that I had always resisted. So, I finally decided to do it…I made that album, then I’m on G3 with Joe Satriani and I did my very first tour of Europe as a solo artist and it did very well.
It was funny, because when I did that record, I almost felt my career go down a little bit in Japan. It rose in the rest of the world. I didn’t know if it was better to do vocal records for Japan and all instrumental stuff for the rest of the world? I felt like I would have to split myself in half and be a different person for different places. It’s hard….If I woke up one morning with the voice of Freddie Mercury, then I could just be a lead singer. That’s just not the case, but as a performer and songwriter, I’m also closer to that. I’m not a shred-metal guy. I don’t listen to djent [metal] or prog-djent. I don’t know anything about that. I love The Beatles, Queen and The Carpenters. When I write songs, it’s more like that. My voice won’t do that, so I use the guitar to play those kinds of melodies on it. The guitar allows me to be a better singer with a better voice. The better voice being my guitar.
Sleaze Roxx: You wear hearing protection. When did you notice a change in your hearing and do you have an idea of when the damage transpired? How did this influence your writing and your playing?
Paul Gilbert: I have a lot of hearing loss and it’s been a gradual thing in my journey of losing so much treble. I have to sort of feel it out. The thing that I do now is that I wear ear plugs, which takes out even more treble… I cannot hear cymbals or a hi-hat…In order to function on stage with other musicians, I gotta really choose my battles. I need to hear myself, the kick drum and the snare. If I start drifting off time, they’ll have to follow me, because I won’t be able to hear them. So even when I’m wrong, I’m right [laughs]! So it’s like following the leader and my apologies if I drift. What has happened because I don’t hear myself very well, is that I have to use what I call my ‘inner melodic generator.’ Half of what I’m hearing is my imagination. I think that has helped really improve my musicianship.
Sleaze Roxx: Racer-X were signed by Mike Varney’s Shrapnel Records. What made that label the place to be?
Paul Gilbert: Back in the day, Mike had a column in Guitar Player [magazine] called Spotlight. I had sent a tape to Mike. Randy Rhoads had passed away. I was about 15 years old at the time. I didn’t know anyone in the business, but I thought, “If I don’t try, I will never get a gig like that.” So the only thing I could think of was to get a tape to someone, because I didn’t have any connections. I remember Mike had printed the address and said something like that he would respond to anyone that would send him a tape. He mentioned that he would respond whether he liked it or not. I sent him the tape and he got back to me. He said, “Hey, you’re just a kid. I can’t help you get the Ozzy audition. I really like your playing. Keep sending me stuff.” The funny thing about Mike is, he always liked my guitar playing but he always hated my songs. He really hated them. He was polite about it [and’ he’d say stuff like, “This is terrible, are you joking [laughs]?” … If he had hated my playing as well, that would have been discouraging. I think just the fact that he liked one thing and didn’t like the other, helped motivate me to work harder and make him like my songs. I really worked on my ability to write songs.
When I was 17, I moved to LA. He liked my songs a lot better. He looked for some musicians for me to play with. He connected me with [singer] Jeff Martin and the other guys I met while in school at G.I.T. — the whole time I’m sending demos to Mike. I wanted to be a band like Van Halen, Journey where it featured the song and the singer. Mike would say stuff like, “If there’s a spot with space, fill it. This is going to be the only time you’re going to have to rip people’s heads off. Just over play and go crazy [laughs].” I loved Yngwie [Malmsteen] and Van Halen to some extent did that. My first instinct wasn’t to go that crazy. I had a sense of balance. Mike was one that wanted to tip the balance to guitar…He wanted me to get it out of my system because he felt at some point I would be in a big band and I wouldn’t be able to do that in it.
Sleaze Roxx: When did you meet Billy Sheehan for the first time? Did you talk about working together back then?
Paul Gilbert: I was aware of Billy’s work and I was thrilled to work with him. He left the David Lee Roth gig and had been putting it out there that he wanted to put a band together. One of the people that he had reached out to was Mike Varney.
Sleaze Roxx: Mr. Big used power drills on Daddy, Brother, Lover, Little Boy. Eddie Van Halen used a drill on Poundcake. Lean Into It and For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge were both released in 1991. Both are the opening track on their respective albums. Is there some funny business happening there?
Paul Gilbert: [Bursts into laughter] The drill thing goes back to my days in Racer-X. I think Bruce and I were on the cover of one of the guitar magazines holding drills. Then, Eddie goes and uses a drill on Poundcake. That was just surreal to me. I don’t even think I was on Eddie’s radar when he thought about doing that. What Eddie did, he decided to do on his own. I don’t think there was any theft involved there, at all. Eddie was, and will always be, a hero of mine. I have so many memories of picking up those early Van Halen records. I would take them, listen to them and try to dissect them. They were my homework assignment. Everyone knows about his tapping, but a lot of the stuff that I learned from Eddie’s playing was the finger picking, like you hear on Little Guitars or on Bottoms Up. He helped me develop my finger picking. I also loved his vibrato. There would be people at the guitar shops playing Eddie Van Halen, but they wouldn’t be able to capture that vibrato. It was like getting a mouthful of icing, but they were missing the cake, hat’s the best part. Eddie played with the energy of a kid, but the grip of a grown-up.
The Stadium Tour with Def Leppard, Mötley Crüe, Poison and Joan Jett & The Blackhearts has been officially postponed until 2022.
The postponement was announced in a joint statement and it states:
“To all our loyal fans, we wanted to let you know that we learned today that the tour is getting moved to 2022.
This is the only way to ensure that we can play ALL of the dates for ALL of you who have purchased tickets. We appreciate you hanging in there and can’t wait to get back on stage and bring The Stadium Tour to all of our fans.
It is going to be one for the history books!”
The Stadium Tour 2022 dates:
June 16 – Atlanta, GA @ SunTrust Park June 18 – Miami, FL @ Hard Rock Stadium June 19 – Orlando, FL @ Camping World Stadium June 22 – Washington, D.C. @ Nationals Park June 24 – Flushing, NY @ Citi Field June 25 – Philadelphia, PA @ Citizens Bank Park June 28 – Charlotte, NC @ Bank of America Stadium Jun. 30 – Nashville, TN @ Nissan Stadium July 02 – Jacksonville, FL @ TIAA Bank Field July 05 – St. Louis, MO @ Busch Stadium July 08 – Chicago, IL @ Wrigley Field July 10 – Detroit, MI @ Comerica Park July 12 – Hershey, PA @ Hersheypark Stadium July 14 – Cleveland, OH @ FirstEnergy Stadium July 15 – Cincinnati, OH @ Great American Ballpark July 17 – Milwaukee, WI @ Miller Park July 19 – Kansas City, MO @ Kauffman Stadium July 21 – Denver, CO @ Coors Field August 05 – Boston, MA @ Fenway Park August 06 – Boston, MA @ Fenway Park August 10 – Buffalo, NY @ New Era Field August 12 – Pittsburgh, PA @ PNC Park August 14 – Minneapolis, MN @ U.S. Bank Stadium August 19 – Houston, TX @ Minute Maid Park August 21 – San Antonio, TX @ Alamodome August 22 – Arlington, TX @ Globe Life Field August 27 – Los Angeles, CA @ SoFi Stadium August 28 – San Diego, CA @ Petco Park August 31 – Seattle, WA @ T-Mobile Park September 07 – San Francisco, CA @ Oracle Park
As previously reported, rock photographer Ross Halfin has teamed up with Rufus Publications for the publication of Randy Rhoads By Ross Halfin, a celebration of one of the most influential hard rock/heavy metal guitarists of all time.
Ozzy Osbourne pays tribute to the iconic guitarist by writing the book’s introduction.
“It’s weird, I only knew Randy for a couple of years, but it felt much longer. I felt like I knew him for my whole life,” says Osbourne. “I still think about him a lot, and I do wonder what he would be doing now. I owe him a huge amount – he was the beginning of me. He wasn’t just my guitarist, he was my friend.”
“He was a monster of a player. What an incredible find he was. Randy was a great player and a good guy. He knew what he wanted…and wouldn’t stop ‘til he got it.”
Former Quiet Riot guitarist Rhoads joined Ozzy’s solo band in 1979, aged 22, and co-wrote every song on 1980’s Blizzard Of Ozz and 1981’s Diary Of A Madman, the two albums which set up Osbourne’s post-Sabbath career. On March 19th, 1982, while touring Ozzy’s second album, Rhoads was tragically killed in a freak accident, when a light aircraft in which he was a passenger collided with the band’s tour bus.
The book will be available in three editions: the standard book, which features the volume and a cloth slim case, as well a Deluxe Signed Leather Edition and Super Deluxe Edition. The latter two editions are autographed by Osbourne and Halfin. The book is available now for pre-order.
Rufus Publications say, “Randy Rhoads by Ross Halfin celebrates his time with Randy and Ozzy Osbourne both onstage and off with hundreds of beautiful, largely unseen images from those early years.”
In other Rhoads news, the guitarist will be inducted into the Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame 2021 class as a Music Excellence honoree. Osbourne told Sal Cirrincione for Premiere Radio Networks, “I’m so happy that Randy’s genius, which we all saw from the beginning, is finally being recognized and that he is getting his due. I only wish he was here in person to get this award and that we could all celebrate together. It’s really great that Randy’s family, friends and fans get to see him honored this way.”
In November 1981, Mötley Crüe stormed into the cultural zeitgeist with the release of their debut album Too Fast For Love, setting the stage for what would become one of the most iconic careers ever in music. This year, the band is celebrating its 40th anniversary with a special series of music re-releases and fan activations, revisiting its globally acclaimed catalogue. The first release will be a digital remastering of their smash 1987 album Girls, Girls, Girls. The groundbreaking body of work features hits Wild Side, You’re All I Need and the title track Girls Girls Girls, which became a global success, despite the original uncensored video being banned by MTV. True to the band’s play-by-their-own-rules ideology that has given a safe space for millions of fans all over the world to express themselves freely, the video was named “one of the most NSFW (not safe for work) videos of all time” by Rolling Stone in 2011.
Fans can now pre-order this special remastered digital edition of Girls, Girls, Girls album ahead of its release on June 11th. Further releases to be announced soon.
Bassist Nikki Sixx recently said about the Crüe’s 40th anniversary, “In Kickstart My Heart the lyrics say, ‘When we started this band / All we needed, needed was a laugh / Years gone by, I’d say we’ve kicked some ass.’
It’s always been about great songs and over-the-top live shows for us. The fans were always right by our side. I don’t know where all of the years went. It went by in a flash. What I can’t forget are the four decades of fans who have counted themselves as Crüeheads from day one, supporting us through thick and thin. To them we are in debt and thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
Happy 40th birthday to us all.”
Singer VinceNeil, Sixx, guitarist MickMars and drummer TommyLee are firmly ingrained in the fabric of rock history. Mötley Crüe has sold over 100 million albums worldwide, achieving seven USA platinum and multi-platinum albums, 22 Top 40 mainstream rock hits, six Top 20 pop singles and three Grammy nominations.
The band has had 1.6 billion streams across digital providers and has over 8 million social media followers. In 2006, the band was inducted into the Hollywood Walk Of Fame.
A stunning live act, Mötley Crüe has taken its incendiary show across the world, selling over 100 million tickets globally.
The band’s biography The Dirt: Confessions Of The World’s Most Notorious Rock Band, first published in 2001, became a New York Times best-seller and has sold over one million copies worldwide. In addition, the band members have authored three other New York Times best-sellers.
2019 saw The Dirt released as a feature-length biopic. The film became one of the biggest releases of that year and scored a 94% positive audience score on Rotten Tomatoes.
The band remains a huge global draw. Mötley Crüe is set to co-headline a nearly sold-out North American stadium tour with Def Leppard, Poison and Joan Jett.
Mötley Crüe’s legacy and influence in the global music scene cannot be underestimated. 2021 is the year to celebrate the achievements of this extraordinary band.