Sammy Hagar says the estate of Ronnie Montrose is behind the delay in releasing the guitarist’s tribute show DVD and the frustrated singer vows that if the concert film doesn’t hit shelves soon, he’ll take action himself.
Guitar icon Montrose shot himself in March this year. He had suffered from clinical depression for much of his life, and the deaths of his uncle and dog within weeks of each other are understood to have been factors in his decision to commit suicide.
The following month, surviving Montrose members Hagar, Bill Church and Denny Carmassi fronted a memorial event that also starred Joe Satriani, Neal Schon, Tommy Thayer, Jimmy DeGrasso and many others. It was filmed, and an early release was predicted, but it has not come to pass.
Answering fan questions in the video below, Chickenfoot frontman says “There were some problems with the Montrose estate people. They weren’t co-operating and stuff. But we filmed everything and it was great stuff. If it doesn’t get done sooner than later I’m going to just take it and do it myself.”
Chickenfoot are planning a year without action in 2013 due to drummer Chad Smith’s commitments to the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Satriani’s solo work, but the singer says that he and bassist Michael Anthony might work on a project together.
Bon Jovi’s upcoming What About Now? will mark a musical “evolution” for the band, but not to the point that might be off-putting to group’s worldwide legion of fans.
Guitarist Richie Sambora tells Billboard that “Jon (Bon Jovi) and I, when we get together it sounds like Bon Jovi. It sounds like us. That’s basically the way it is and what comes out comes out.” But for What About Now?, due out this spring, he says the band and co-producer John Shanks focused on dynamics, and “just basically pushing the production a bit more or lessening the production so you’re a bit more naked. It goes both ways on this particular record. We’ve stripped it down, taken some away and added some different elements.”
Meanwhile, Sambora says the album’s first single, Because We Can, which will be released on January 7th, is indicative of the album’s upbeat tone to the album. “The lyrics are very positive — obviously Because We Can, What About Now?, it’s all empowering and that’s what we were trying to get to. We were trying to get some positive lyrics. That’s kind of where we landed.”
Bon Jovi begins a world tour on February 9th in Uncasville, Conn., with dates booked into late July that include two South African dates in May, a headlining slot June 16th at England’s Isle of Wight Festival and a two-night home state run at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.
John Parks of Legendary Rock Interviews spoke with iconic guitarist George Lynch about T&N, Lynch Mob and Randy Rhoads. Portions of the interview appear below.
LRI: Is it true that Michael Sweet of Stryper will be the touring singer for T&N when you tour?
George: Yeah, that was the decision we all collectively came up with, we thought he was really the right choice. Lynch Mob has done quite a few dates with Stryper and we know Michael as a man and he’s just such a wonderful guy which is important at this stage in the game. I’ve learned that lesson the hard way over the years and now it’s to the point where you just wanna work with people who want to work with you and are dedicated, honest, transparent and have a good work ethic. Michael is obviously talented, we all knew that but he is also just a good person who has all of those qualities and architecture and is a solid guy but more importantly his voice is really suited to what we are trying to accomplish live which is to recreate the Dokken stuff faithfully. Jeff’s voice is not necessarily ideal for all of that because he has a bit of a raspier, harder edge which is better suited to the original music that T&N has done, Jeff will do some of the Dokken stuff but then Michael will come in and do some of the material that he’s better at. The other advantage we have with Michael Sweet other than him being just a great human being is that he’s a really good guitar player and really suited to playing the rhythm parts we have which is something we really need collectively in this band and for this material. There’s a lot of guitars on this record and we wanna reproduce the record faithfully. Plus, he’s not a bad lookin guy either!
LRI: There are also a great many people who are under the impression that your band Lynch Mob is also over and broken up which is partially because of Robbie Crane talking about his leaving the band. The last EP was probably the best thing you’ve ever done. Is there any future for Lynch Mob?
George: We have half a record which is just on the shelf, it’s something we’ve been working on for quite a long time and it’s beautiful and I would really hate to see the record not be heard but at this point it’s only half done and I don’t know exactly when we will be getting back together to finish it, if at all but I am hopefully optimistic (laughs). We all have a lot of other things going on though and I understand that, Robbie’s got some other project, Oni (Logan, vocalist) is doing Dio Disciples and I have two or three very heavy projects going on with the T&N thing, the movie and associated band Shadow Train which is working on the soundtrack to the movie and then the album I am making with Doug Pinnick of King’s X and Ray Luzier of Korn.
LRI: I had heard about that, You, Doug and Ray, that is pretty amazing sounding on paper….
George: Yeah, we are doing a power trio thing and have been writing. We’re getting through the initial stages of the album and have completed a few sketched out song ideas which are pretty exciting to me and are hitting it really hard this winter. We’re gonna see where this goes.
LRI: I have to ask, you’ve talked about your interaction with my all time favorite guitarist, Randy Rhoads. I worked with Kelly Garni on some quote gathering and editing for his upcoming book talking about growing up with Randy and was just wondering, what was the extent of your relationship with Randy?
George: Well, I gotta be honest with you, we were not like best friends or anything, it was more like casual acquaintances. We would play shows together, share a dressing room, hang out and talk. He liked the way I played and we shared a mutual respect in that sense but we didn’t know each other much beyond that. He was obviously on the radar in the Hollywood scene before breaking out but I didn’t understand or have an appreciation for how deep of a player he was until he went to England and made the records with Ozzy. At that point, I took over his teaching duties at Musonia, his mom’s school and really started delving into the repertoire of what Randy had actually recorded. Of course when I later auditioned for Ozzy it gave me an even greater appreciation for the complexity and depth of his compositions.
LRI: Much has been made of Randy’s distaste for Black Sabbath’s music. When you auditioned for Ozzy were you a fan of those classic Sabbath songs?
George: Oh sure. I mean, I had a Black Sabbath poster hanging on my wall in the early 70s and my band played Sabbath songs. I can remember the first album coming out and blowing our minds and the Paranoid album and all of that, that was the material we cut our teeth on and learned from.
UFO frontman Phil Mogg still misses bassist Pete Way, but says it’s not possible for them to work together.
Way left the band after a series of health problems which are in part due to his hard-living lifestyle, and even though Mogg would love to have him back, he doesn’t think it will happen.
The vocalist says in Classic Rock No179, “We’ve not spoken in a while and I often wonder what he’s up to. There are some things about him that I really miss, such as his outlook on life. But he’s on such a disruptive course, having him around doesn’t work like it used to.”
UFO hit the road again in the spring, and Mogg says fans can expect a slightly different live show this time round.
“There’s been feedback from people saying we play the same songs each year, so this time we’ll be adding a lick of paint to the setlist,” he reports.
And Mogg may have a slightly different attitude to his personal performance after an incident at a London show, where he told two fans, “If you say that one more time I’m likely to get off this stage and deal with you.”
He admits, “I remember thinking, ‘Whoops!’ I was definitely pushing my luck a bit there. I enjoy the banter – but offering members of the audience out is always dangerous.”
The full UFO article is featured in the latest edition of Classic Rock, dated January 2013 and on sale now. The issue is dedicated to The Best Of 2012: the ultimate review of the past 12 months. The new edition also includes a free 2013 calendar, Best of 2012 CD and features on the Rolling Stones, Duff McKagan and Nikki Sixx, Rush, Queensryche, Alice Cooper and much more.
In October 2012 Thin Lizzy announced that they would not be recording new material under the Thin Lizzy moniker. The last incarnation of the band — Scott Gorham, Brian Downey, Darren Wharton, Ricky Warwick, Damon Johnson and Marco Mendoza — would be looking to form a new project. Step forward Black Star Riders…
December 2012 sees the announcement of the new band formed by Thin Lizzy alumni Ricky Warwick (vocals), Scott Gorham (guitar), Damon Johnson (guitar), and Marco Mendoza (bass) with new addition Jimmy DeGrasso on drums (Alice Cooper, Megadeth, David Lee Roth, Suicidal Tendencies). The change in personnel came about as Brian Downey didn’t want to commit to the touring cycle a new album would entail and Darren Wharton wanted to concentrate on Dare and other music and film projects.
Black Star Riders is set to enter the studio in Los Angeles in January 2013 to start recording their debut album with the legendary Kevin Shirley (Led Zeppelin, Iron Maiden, Aerosmith, Rush). The album will feature material the band wrote whilst touring as Thin Lizzy and the sound retains that classic feel but is very much its own as well. The Black Star Riders record is the next step in the evolution of the Thin Lizzy story.
“We are all very excited about the music that we have created for Black Star Riders. The synergy between the five of us has been phenomenal and I can’t wait for the world to hear these songs,” says Ricky Warwick.
The new, as yet untitled, album will be released in May 2013 through Nuclear Blast. Black Star Riders are one of the first bands signed by Monte Conner — the former Roadrunner A&R guru who has signed acts such as Slipknot, Machine Head, Sepultura and Rush. Conner recently joined Nuclear Blast as the president of Nuclear Blast Entertainment, a new U.S. partnership he co-founded with Nuclear Blast owner Markus Staiger.
Says Conner, “As a lifelong Thin Lizzy fan, I was floored by this line-up’s new material. Not only do the new songs sound like Thin Lizzy but they sound like CLASSIC Thin Lizzy. Black Star Riders totally captures the essence of what was great about the original band while at the same time adding something totally fresh and modern. Even when I heard the band decided to change their name, my interest in signing them did not waver for one second.”
The band are looking to support their May album release with European festivals shows in the summer of 2013 and follow this up with worldwide touring. The set list will consist of material from the new album and classic Thin Lizzy material.
For more information, please visit www.facebook.com/BlackStarRidersOfficial.
12/11/12: Thanks to all who came to Dingbatz to our 3rd annual Christmas party. The places was packed and we raged till 3A with great bands, drinks and fun. Appreciate all the support and thanks to Fred and the staff at Dingbatz for hosting a great party as always.
Had JJ, Eddie & AJ of Twisted Sister in studio for the SiriusXM show last night. Be sure to catch them next Sunday at the Emporium on LI for a hurricane Sandy benefit with Adrenaline Mob. Great hang with the guys in the studio who are long time friends and always step up for the NYC area.
Slash will be writing the forward to my second book out next year. Halford did the first. Honored to have such great support from such icons lending their voice to what I do. For those that ordered signed copies of my current book for the holidays I am signing and sending as quick as I can. Big amount shipping tomorrow, then more early next week. If you get your orders in to me over the next few days I should be able to process and get to you for Christmas delivery. I will do my best! Here is the link for ordering info:
This site will soon be redesigned and relaunched. Appreciate your patience as we go through a transition process the next month or so to make it better than ever. Sorry for any glitches along the way in advance.
THIS FRIDAY, can’t wait to welcome Peter Criss back into my studio. Lot’s to discuss! Listen live starting 11P ET on Q104.3 NYC or to the free stream outside the NYC broadcast area at www.q1043.com or via free iheartradio app. This show also airs on all affiliate stations the following weekend. Don’t forget I’m now heard in Boston on AAF every Sunday night at 7P and will be in Boston in Jan. Details on home page.
Many appearances and events coming in for 2013 already. Keep an eye on the shows listing on the home page.
Nice to see Rush and Heart finally got into the Hall. Mind boggling Deep Purple didn’t, especially when you consider they influenced EVERYBODY! No logic and a disgrace these two bands had to wait 15 years, but congrats to them. Still a joke really though.
Year end radio specials coming. I’ll announce by end of the week.