Judas Priest have been presented with a special plaque commemorating an incredible 50 years in music and over 50 million album sales worldwide. The presentation was made on the eve of the band’s induction in to the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in Los Angeles last month.

There are few heavy metal bands that have managed to scale the heights that Judas Priest have during their 50-year career. Their presence and influence remains at an all-time high as evidenced by 2018’s Firepower being the highest-charting album of their career, a 2010 Grammy Award win for “Best Metal Performance”, plus being a 2006 VH1 Rock Honors recipient. Judas Priest originally formed in 1969 in Birmingham, England (an area that many feel birthed heavy metal). Rob HalfordGlenn TiptonK.K. Downing and Ian Hill would be the nucleus of musicians (along with several different drummers over the years) that would go on to change the face of heavy metal. The current lineup, which changed in 2011, consists of HalfordTiptonHillRichie Faulkner and Scott Travis.

Following early albums such as Rocka RollaSin After Sin and Sad Wings Of DestinyJudas Priest redefined heavy music forever with the 1980 release of iconic album British Steel. Subsequent albums such as Screaming For Vengeance and Painkiller established the band as Metal Gods, identified by charismatic Halford‘s characteristic soaring high-pitched vocals.

Priest received the Musical Excellence Award at this year’s Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, which honored EminemDolly PartonDuran DuranLionel RichiePat BenatarEURYTHMICS and Carly Simon in the Performers category.

The members who got inducted include current members HalfordHillTipton and Travis, along with former members DowningLes Binks (drums) and late drummer Dave Holland.

HalfordHillTipton and Travis were joined by BinksDowning and Faulkner for a three-song medley consisting of You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’Breaking The Law and Living After Midnight. [Dana’s note: As previously reported, You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’ was cut from the show, which was broadcasted on HBO and HBO Max on November 19th.]

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Their musical partnership extends all the way back to 1984 and the release of the now classic sophomore album from Dokken, Tooth And Nail. No wonder then that when guitarist George Lynch and bassist Jeff Pilson get together, not only do the creative sparks fly but the memories come rushing back as well. Following up on the duo’s most recent trip down memory lane, a full-length a collection of fresh and invigorating versions of hits from yesteryear, 2020’s Heavy Hitters, Lynch and Pilson are releasing a brand new single today, an original song co-written by both artists that reflects back on all the twists and turns that life can bring. 

It’s A Wonderful Life is simply a gorgeous power ballad that brings out the best in both Lynch and Pilson. Musically, the song has echoes of Tooth And Nail’s smash hit single Alone Again, with a beautiful, chiming acoustic guitar intro that gives way to epic, fist-pumping riffs. But lyrically the song couldn’t be more different – instead of regret and sorrow, It’s A Wonderful Life boasts a surprisingly optimistic and hopeful outlook on a life’s journey despite the bouts of doubt and indecision. Since the song borrows its title and refrain from the popular 1946 Frank Capra Christmas classic, it seems only fitting that the single is being released just as this year’s holiday season is getting into full swing. 

Lynch shares his excitement about the new song, saying “Jeff and I have been woodshedding and writing songs together for 40 years and we’ve never lost that enthusiasm and passion that we shared since day one.” Pilson likewise proclaims, “We just HAD to write our own Christmas track. No Jingle Bells for us.”

Stream/download the single here.

Watch for Lynch & Pilson’s highly anticipated follow-up album, Heavy Hitters 2, coming later next year.

Order Heavy Hitters 1 on CD/vinyl, here, or stream/download, here.

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The Bowl For Ronnie Celebrity Bowling Party, benefiting the Ronnie James Dio Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund, made a splashy post-pandemic return by attracting a sell-out crowd well in advance and bringing in over $72,000 for the music-based cancer charity. The November 17th event at PINZ Bowling Center in Studio City, California was the charity’s first public fund-raising event in three years. 

Some 300 rockers, bowling enthusiasts, Dio fans and Dio Cancer Fund supporters made up the capacity crowd at the event, hosted by broadcast personality Eddie Trunk, who is heard on SiriusXM’s 103 Faction Talk channel.

This year’s attendees included Doug Aldrich (The Dead Daisies); record producers Joe Barresi and Jay Ruston; singer Em Beihold; Jack Black (Tenacious D); Ann Boleyn (Hellion), Mark Chaussee (Danzig), Tyler Connolly (Theory of a Deadman); actors Al Coronel (The Last Ship) and Star Fields (Sons of Anarchy); Matt Duncan (DC4); Shawn Duncan (L.A. Guns, DC4); Lita Ford; Abby Gennet (Slunt); DJ Will (KNAC); Jesse Hughes and Jennie Vee of Eagles of Death Metal; Ari Kamin (Adler’s Appetite); guitarist Bobby Keller; Richie Kotzen (Winery Dogs); Julia Lage (Vixen); Ministry members Roy Mayorga, Cesar Soto, Monte Pittman and John Bechdel; actor/musician Sean McNabb (Lynch Mob); Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine); Dave “Chili” Moreno, Jason Cornwell, Chas West, Roy Z and Jimmy Burkhard of West Bound; Rob “Blasko” Nicholson (Ozzy Osbourne); Marty O’Brien (Daughtry); Tim “Ripper” Owens, Harry Conklin and Sean Peck of The Three Tremors featuring Tim “Ripper” Owens; Slim Jim Phantom (Stray Cats); Rowan Robertson (Dio, DC4); Brett Scallions (Fuel); Howie Simon (Winger); Zak St. John (Black Star Riders); Dio band members Bjorn Englen, Scott Warren and Simon Wright; Ricky Warwick (Black Star Riders); Brent Woods (Sebastian Bach, Chevy Metal); entrepreneur Ahmet Zappa and his sister actress Diva Zappa.

The late Steve Strange, legendary agent who represented Eminem, Coldplay, Queens of the Stone Age, Snow Patrol and Alice in Chains, among many others, was celebrated by friends and colleagues with photos throughout the venue. The Dio Cancer Fund  inaugurated the new Steve Strange Award for the individual celebrity bowler with the highest overall bowling score. All of the trophies and medals awarded this year bear his photo as a further tribute to him.

Dr. David Wong, whose team at the UCLA School of Dentistry has had the support of the Dio Cancer Fund for its research in the development of salivary biomarkers for gastric cancer detection since 2016, announced that, with support from the Dio Cancer Fund, his research has developed nine saliva RNA biomarkers that can mark patients with gastric cancer with high clinical performance. This progress has allowed them to submit their finding to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for a “Gastric Cancer Biomarker Characterization Center” grant. The Board of Directors presented him with a check for an additional $25,000 toward his team’s research on a simple, non-invasive saliva swab test for early cancer detection. 

The celebrity bowling tournament was the scene of fierce competition, with the team headed by Tim “Ripper” Owens and members of his band The Three Tremors featuring Tim “Ripper” Owens capturing the 1st place trophy. 

Dan Hayes of Stamford, CT, the 2019 winning bidder to play on Eddie Trunk’s celebrity team, returned this year with his band LiegeLord to sponsor the 1st place winning corporate team.

Highlights from, 2022’s Bowl For Ronnie can be viewed below.

Pictured above Eddie’s team with: Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine (front), Brent Woods (Chevy Metal), Eddie Trunk, Jack Black (Tenacious D) and Doug Burgess of Tulsa, OK, who was the highest bidder on eBay to play on Eddie Trunk’s celebrity bowling team. (Photo by Gene Kirkland)

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A 2005 Ronnie James Dio Classic Rock article, is once again making the rounds. In it, the iconic singer explains to Greg Prato why he thinks The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band is “the greatest album ever made,” his explanation appears below.

“I think that the greatest album that has ever been made is Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. I can’t think of a losing track on that album. 

It was at a time when The Beatles were not just great musicians and incredible songwriters, it was at a time when they were really experimenting, especially in the studio. And that’s what you can hear throughout this album, I think. You can hear the tape loops that were done; the way George Martin manipulated things; the way that Paul McCartney and John Lennon had those kind of ideas; George Harrison’s contribution with the Indian influence; the look of the album, because it was so different. Just everything about it. 

It includes probably my favourite song on earth: A Day In The Life, which I think is just an absolutely brilliant song. I think it has the greatest ending that there ever was – and it’s just one piano note going on for 11 minutes or something. 

The first time I heard A Day in the Life I was in a car, and I had to pull over to the side of the road. I was just absolutely stunned by it. ding that there ever was – and it’s just one piano note going on for 11 minutes or something.

I just think it’s an album that if anyone hasn’t heard it, I’m sure, even to this day, they will listen to it and say: ‘Wow! What was that?!’ The melodic content of it all. Just the way The Beatles always were. I find no flaws on the album.

I like everything on it. For some strange reason I like Being For The Benefit of Mr. Kite. I like that song a lot. I even like When I’m Sixty-Four. I guess because I’m thinking about that now. Everything on it is just brilliant. 

It was far-reaching. It was beyond belief. I don’t think anyone could fathom what they had done. I mean, this was The Beatles; The Beatles didn’t do that. It wasn’t that immediate a jump, because [The Beatles’] Revolver was starting to that get that way as well. It was because of the experimentation that Sgt. Pepper’s… was an absolutely phenomenal album. 

It always holds up for me. Even if I’d never heard the remastered version, it doesn’t matter to me. A good song is a good song. Remastering is great for the audiophile. For me, it really doesn’t matter. I just hear the song and I can envision all the other things that are in it. Of course, a bad recording is a bad recording. But for me, the album holds up because of its content, not so terribly much because of its recording. Although I think, once again, the experimentation on the record really is phenomenal.”

In other Dio news, Dio: Dreamers Never Die, the first-ever career-spanning documentary on the life and times of legendary metal icon Ronnie James Dio, will have its television premiere on Showtime on December 1st. It will also be available to stream via the Showtime app. For more information, please click here.

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Motörhead released its 23rd (and final) studio album, Bad Magic, in 2015. Due on February 24th, Bad Magic: Seriously Bad Magic represents a bonus-packed refresh, adding two previously unreleased tracks from those furious sessions — Bullet In Your Brain and Greedy Bastards — as well as a snarling, fangs-out live performance from that subsequent tour at the giant Mt. Fuji Festival in Japan in 2015. Fans will also get War, Love, Death And Injustice, an audio interview with Lemmy [Kilmister] conducted by Motörhead expert Robert Kiewik during the tour. The box-set will also exclusively contain a Murder One ouija board (complete with the Ace Of Spades planchette to spell out the conversation).

A new video for Bullet In Your Brain, featuring exclusive, never-before-seen footage of the band in the studio for the Bad Magic sessions, can be seen below. A foot-down, fist-pumping Lemmy-bass-driven stomper with a deliciously dirty Phil Campbell riff, and Mikkey Dee-driven dynamics, both the song and footage are a tremendous treat for fans who have craved new Motörmaterial.

Bad Magic: Seriously Bad Magic will be released on double 12-inch vinyl, CD digipak with bonus disc, limited-edition boxset, digital download and streaming. The limited-edition boxset will contain the CD digipak with bonus disc, double 12″ vinyl, exclusive Lemmy: War, Love, Death And Injustice audio interview on 12-inch vinyl and exclusive edition Motörhead Murder One ouija board and planchette.

Bad Magic: Seriously Bad Magic track listing:

1.  Victory Or Die
2.  Thunder & Lightning
3.  Fire Storm Hotel
4.  Shoot Out All Of Your Lights
5.  The Devil
6.  Electricity
7.  Evil Eye
8.  Teach Them How To Bleed
9.  Till The End
10. Tell Me Who To Kill
11. Choking On Your Screams
12. When The Sky Comes Looking For You
13. Sympathy For The Devil
14. Heroes
15. Bullet In Your Brain
16. Greedy Bastards

Live at Mt Fuji Rock Festival 2015 – Sayonara Folks! track listing:

1.  We Are Motörhead
2.  Damage Case
3.  Stay Clean
4.  Metropolis
5.  Over The Top
6.  String Theory
7.  The Chase Is Better Than The Catch
8.  Rock It
9.  Lost Woman Blues
10. Doctor Rock
11. Just ‘Cos You Got The Power
12. Going To Brazil
13. Ace Of Spades
14. Overkill

At the time of its release back in 2015, Bad Magic arrived as a massive kick in the teeth for anyone who believed Motörhead were going to amble along into a peaceful little pasture containing fluffy little lambs, folk music and perhaps the odd medieval lute here and there. Big-rig head crushers such as Thunder & Lightning and Teach Them How To Bleed brought such people to their knees begging for forgiveness, as the album unfurled into their toughest, leanest, meanest and most uncompromising album in aeons. Much of this came down to long-time producer Cameron Webb getting the band to record live at NRG North Hollywood, Maple Studios and Grandmaster in California together for the first time in the Kilmister/Campbell/Dee era, and from the crackling punk energy of Electricity to Brian May of Queen’s scintillating guest-appearance on The Devil, a vast wealth of aggression, attitude, and excellent songwriting was cultivated in that furious working environment. Phil Campbell didn’t just record possibly his finest guitars, he threw down most certainly his best solos for decades, while Mikkey Dee‘s drumming found new tribal resonance with the Motörhead sound he had helped nurture. There was also one of Lemmy’s rawest lyrical life reflections on Till The End, and a cover of The Rolling Stones‘ Sympathy For The Devil which made the song feel like one of their own. One of the hidden gold-dust additions to Bad Magic: Seriously Bad Magic is Motörhead’s famous, and internationally acclaimed, version of David Bowie‘s classic Heroes. Originally slated for inclusion on the last release only to be withdrawn at the last minute, it was a cover version which Lemmy had a great affection for, and as such its inclusion here is both fitting and just.

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Mötley Crüe and Def Leppard have announced two U.S. shows for February 2023. The two bands, who recently teamed up for the mega-successful The Stadium Tour, will play at the 7,000-capacity Hard Rock Live at Etess Arena in Atlantic City, New Jersey on February 10th and February 11th.

Presales for the Atlantic City dates begin today (November 29th),with tickets going on sale to the general public on December 2nd.

The Atlantic City shows will mark Mötley Crüe’s first U.S. live appearances since the announcement that founding guitarist Mick Mars would no longer tour with the legendary rock act. He is being replaced on the road by former Rob Zombie and Marilyn Manson guitarist John 5.

In October, it was announced that Mötley Crüe and Def Leppard will go global in 2023 with their co-headline The World Tour. Produced by Live Nation, the trek will begin on February 18th at Foro Sol in Mexico City and include stops throughout Latin America before heading to Europe in May 2023.

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