TO HONOR WHAT WOULD HAVE BEEN ERIC CARR’S 70TH BIRTHDAY, AUTHOR GREG PRATO REFLECTS ON THE DRUMMER’S SOUND ON KISS’ “CREATURES OF THE NIGHT” ALBUM

Greg Prato of Brave Words reports:

During the early ‘80s, two rock drummers did a masterful job of replicating the enormity of John Bonham’s drum sound—Bobby Chouinard on Billy Squier’s Don’t Say No, and most definitely, Eric Carr on KISS’ Creatures Of The Night

…Today (July 12th) would have been Eric’s 70th birthday (he sadly passed away on November 24, 1991, after a battle with cancer), and to mark this occasion, below is an excerpt from an earlier book of mine, The Eric Carr Story (available for purchase as a paperback version or a Kindle download here which focuses on the recording of Creatures, how Carr obtained his famous drum sound, and what several renowned metal drummers thought of the album and drumming.

Michael James Jackson (Creatures Of The Night and Lick It Up producer): “We ran two studios at the same time, in the same building, and we’d go back and forth between the two of them. We put Eric in a separate room by himself. There was a big focus on trying to get as close as possible … not to the exact sound of John Bonham, but we tried to get some of the character of Bonham’s sound. You can’t ever duplicate what anybody else has done, because it’s not just the echo, it’s not just the environment, it’s not the ambience—it’s also the sound of the drums, the way they’re hit. There’s so many factors involved, [like] the humidity in the room. All those factors are involved in what the overall ambience is and sound is. But there was a real determination to try and create a sound that really had a character to it that was along those same lines. So Eric was put in a separate room—not even a booth [but] a separate room—and was close-mic’d and distant-mic’d. We had spent a lot of time—we might have spent a couple days—trying to really work and find the sound, specifically around the drums. Because on that record, the drums have a character to them. That is what gives that record an identity. Eric was way into it, because it was his ‘glory moment.’ It was when all the focus was on Eric. He was willing to do whatever it took to achieve that particular thing, and also, was very focused on his playing. I always appreciated that he really cared about exactly what he did and how he was going to sound. And then later, that record was mixed by Bob Clearmountain. It was made very clear to Bob that the particular overall character of the drum sound was a key element in the record. So when he mixed it, he added some of the echo that the Power Station became very famous for. There was an elevator shaft there that he had put a microphone down. He could send the signal into the elevator shaft, which would resonate, and the mic would bring that back. So some of that is also mixed into the drum sound on Creatures. Clearmountain did a great job, because one of the hallmarks of Clearmountain in those days was he had the unique ability to get more low end onto a record that would translate over the radio. A lot of engineers can put it on a record, but you never hear it on the radio. Bob had a methodology where he could really sculpt that in, in a way that if the record got played on the radio, you could hear that low-end character very clearly.”

Loretta Caravello (Eric’s youngest sister): “That was his favorite album. I think he said Saint And Sinner was his favorite song to play. From what I heard, the drums were recorded in an elevator shaft. And they never were able to duplicate that sound again. They tried and tried, and he tried and tried, but no one has been able to duplicate that sound. It just hit it right. It’s like the weather, when you see the ice on the trees, it has to be perfect and the same, and it never is again. He was very proud of the album.”

Bruce Kulick (KISS guitarist 1984-1996):  “There was a time when, for some reason, I was able to stop by the studio when they were doing Creatures, and that was the first time I saw Eric. I love that they were working on I Love It Loud. They were checking the mix. You know, the mix at the end when the song fades out and then comes back in. I thought Creatures of the Night was a brilliant KISS album, because it has such a huge Zeppelin-ish/metal sound to it. I was really impressed with that. And I’m sure that was their reaction to The Elder

Eddie Trunk (Radio DJ and TV host):  “Getting Creatures, it was eye-opening. It was just monstrous. One of the heaviest albums KISS has ever done, and one of the reasons for it, not only the material, but obviously, the drums. The drums are monstrous-sounding. I never heard drums booming like that on a KISS record before or played like that on a KISS record. It all came together—the material, Eric finally being Eric and getting to be what he signed on to be coming to that band. And KISS being a heavier band than they’d ever been. The irony of all of this, of course, is that you had Ace Frehley out the door.” 

Charlie Benante (Anthrax drummer):  “I think Eric was a big Led Zeppelin fan, and he was always into the whole ‘John Bonham thing.’ He played Ludwig, as well. I just think he captured what he wanted to on that record. The drums sound so big and large. If you listen to the fourth side of Alive II, the drum sounds on that record were great. They had some big tones on that record. And I think on Creatures of the Night, they captured that sound as well. It just fit the songs. So I thought that was a great KISS record.”

Read more at Brave Words.

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JUDAS PRIEST RESCHEDULE SOME “50 HEAVY METAL YEARS” U.S. TOUR FOR SUMMER/FALL 2021, OTHER DATES HAVE BEEN CANCELED

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Judas Priest have announced that they will be postponing most of their previously announced fall 2020 U.S. tour dates to the summer/fall of 2021. Unfortunately, not every show was able to be rescheduled, so therefore a dozen concerts had to be canceled.

Says Judas Priest, “We have every intention of adding more shows and cities to our 50th anniversary tour in the Fall of 2021. As soon as we have the new dates finalized, we will announce them.”

The following shows have been rescheduled:

* September 9, 2020 Washington, D.C. at MGM Casino has been moved to October 28, 2021 
* September 12, 2020 Ledyard, CT at Foxwoods Casino Arena has bee moved to October 30, 2021 
* September 17, 2020 Charlotte, NC at PNC Music Pavilion has been moved to September 13, 2021 
* September 24, 2020 Youngstown, OH at the Covelli Centre has been moved to September 17, 2021 
* September 29, 2020 Milwaukee, WI at Miller High Life Theater has been moved to September 22, 2021 
* September 30, 2020 St. Louis, MO at St. Louis Music Park has been moved to September 25, 2021 
* October 2, 2020 Oklahoma City, OK at The Zoo Amphitheatre has been moved to October 16, 2021 
* October 3, 2020 Dallas, TX at Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory has been moved to October 15, 2021 
* October 5, 2020 Cedar Park, TX at HEB Center Cedar Park has been moved to October 13, 2021 
* October 6, 2020 San Antonio, TX at Freeman Coliseum has been moved to October 12, 2021 
* October 9, 2020 Denver, CO at The Mission Ballroom has been moved to September 29, 2021
* October 13, 2020 Phoenix, AZ at Arizona Federal Theatre has been moved to October 9, 2021 
* October 15, 2020 Los Angeles, CA at Microsoft Theater has been moved to October 6, 2021 
* October 17, 2020 Las Vegas, NV at Zappos Theater at Planet Hollywood has been moved to October 8, 2021

All tickets for the original shows will be honored at the new dates. You will receive an e-mail notification from the ticketing company soon that includes information on how to request a refund if you are unable to attend the rescheduled date.

The following shows have been canceled:

The following shows have been canceled:

The following shows have been canceled:

* September 11, 2020 Long Island, NY at Nassau 
* September 14, 2020 Philadelphia, PA at Mann Center 
* September 15, 2020 Newark, NJ at Prudential Center 
* September 18, 2020 Orlando, FL at Rebel Rock Festival 
* September 20, 2020 Louisville, KY at Louder Than Life Festival 
* September 21, 2020 Grand Rapids, MI at Van Andel Arena 
* September 23, 2020 Detroit, MI at the Fox Theatre 
* September 26, 2020 Chicago, IL at Rosemont Theatre 
* September 27, 2020 Minneapolis, MN at Armory 
* October 08, 2020 Albuquerque, NM at Sandia Resort and Casino 
* October 11, 2020 Salt Lake City, UT at Vivint Smart Home Arena

Tickets purchased for these shows will automatically be refunded from the ticketing company in approximately 30 days. For any purchases made in-person at a box office, or for any additional questions, please contact the venue directly.

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ALCATRAZZ RELEASE RELEASE HIGH OCTANE NEW SINGLE “DIRTY LIKE THE CITY” FROM UPCOMING ALBUM “BORN INNOCENT” OUT JULY 31ST

Alcatrazz release new single Dirty Like The City ahead of their brand new full-length album, Born Innocent, which is set to be released through Silver Lining Music on July 31st; pre-orders now available at this location.

Frontman Graham Bonnet comments, Steve Vai sent us about 60 songs, out of all of them Dirty Like The City was the one that stood out right away for me and after a good listen, I just knew it had to be included in the album.”

Keyboardist Jimmy Waldo adds, “I loved this piece when Steve Vai sent it to us, and knew right away that Alcatrazz would eat it alive, it was a perfect fit with all the other material on the album.”

Listen to the song by clicking here.

The hard-hitting, melodic heavy metal band Alcatrazz will once again throw down a studio gauntlet on July 31st with Born Innocent, their first studio venture since 1986’s Dangerous Games.  Alongside the unique vocal prowess and range of star frontman and founding member Graham Bonnet, Born Innocent also features fellow founding members Jimmy Waldo and Gary Shea.  And from the classic album art, featuring the mighty rock itself, Born Innocent is a journey into the sort of heavy, melodic and supremely articulated hard rock that is a cornerstone of the likes of Rainbow and the Michael Schenker Group, territory Alcatrazz successfully strode in the ‘80s before going on hiatus.

Debuting on Born Innocent is the latest of the illustrious Alcatrazz guitarists to bring their extreme six-string talents to the band, with Boston-based Berklee College of Music Assistant Professor of Guitar, and one-man metal impresario Joe Stump perhaps proving the finest of a list which includes the likes of Yngwie Malmsteen and Steve Vai.

The name Alcatrazz is a brand name,” announces star frontman and founding member Graham Bonnet. “People know what Alcatrazz delivers, and on this album you have the original ideas of Alcatrazz but played in a modern way with new inspiration.”

“The name Alcatrazz is a brand name,” announces star frontman and founding member Graham Bonnet. “People know what Alcatrazz delivers, and on this album you have the original ideas of Alcatrazz but played in a modern way with new inspiration.”

Alcatrazz’s Born Innocent will be released on CD and digital formats.  For pre-orders, go to this location.  

Born Innocent track Listing:

  1. Born Innocent
  2. Polar Bear
  3. Finn McCool
  4. We Still Remember
  5. London 1666
  6. Dirty Like The City
  7. I Am The King
  8. Something That I Am Missing
  9. Paper Flags
  10. The Wound Is Open
  11. Body Beautiful
  12. Warth Lane
  13. For Tony

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ROUND HILL RECORDS TO REISSUE 11 RIK EMMETT SOLO TITLES ON JULY 10TH

For decades, Rik Emmett (largely considered one of the greatest rock guitarists of all-time) has been a prolific recording artist – whether it be as a member of Triumph, offering solo material, or collaborating with others.  And now, fans will be able to enjoy quite a few of his solo releases once again – which covers a wide variety of styles.  On July 10th, Round Hill Records will be reissuing 11 solo Rik recordings in the digital format, including Ten Invitations (1998), Swing Shift (1998), Raw Quartet (1999), Live at Berklee (2000), Handiwork (2003), Good Faith (2003), Strung-Out Troubadours (2006), Live at Hugh’s Room (2007), Liberty Manifesto (2007), Push & Pull (2009), and Marco’s Secret Songbook (2012).

“As my loyal fans will tell you, I’m not the kind of artist who spends a lot of time and energy looking back,” explains Rik.  “But it has been nice to feel there’s a partner who places value on the history of my work beyond the Triumph years.  I don’t think of myself as a difficult artist:  I’d like to think I’m easy-going and cooperative.  But I have a lot of decades of experience in the music business, and I know that an eclectic catalogue of music like this presents Round Hill with some, ummm, unique challenges. It’s gratifying to find patronage that can breathe new life and energy into the public’s awareness of the catalogue.  I’m glad that Round Hill respects the work I did, and the music I made.  My heart and soul is in this collection.  So I only hope the best for Round Hill, as they try to make the digital universe of the 21st century, with its infinite challenges, aware of a humble troubadour from Canada.”

For Triumph fans who may just be discovering these solo Rik titles, its creator discussed the differences between the two.  “There’s no comparison to be made, really:  separate universes.  The first album of this new Round Hill catalogue dates from 1996.  I had already been out of Triumph for over 8 years, and by then, had fully transitioned away from any attempts to make mainstream, charting, music-business kinds of projects.  I was simply pursuing personal artistic goals, and I had a loyal group of fans – patrons, really – who would indulge that, making it self-sufficient.  Many of these albums were about testing my chops, writing and playing instrumental compositions, or exploring styles of music-making that had nothing to do with rock.  These albums represent an artistic learning curve of my own digital studio, my own production, my own composing.  The hints of prolific eclecticism that a keen Triumph fan might have found back in the 70’s and 80’s is fully in evidence in this catalogue that spans 1998 to 2012.”

“Every album has its moments.  Would you ask a parent to choose a favorite child?  I love things about all of them, for different reasons. Swing Shift has some personal highlights:  I’d waited all my life to try and put original songs like Taste of Steel and Mr. Bebop on an album and the Live at Berklee CD was a unique, crazy night … I’m also very proud of the collaborations with Dave Dunlop on the Troubadours albums, especially State of Grace and Deeper Kind of Blue.  And if any fans are looking for hard rock, the Airtime Liberty Manifesto album I did with Mike Shotton is a heavy-progressive project.  There are some songwriting gems on Marco’s Secret Songbook, too. Hope is a song I really love, and Between The Dreams has an ‘epic’ dimension in my imagination.  I guess the ‘favorite’ thing I feel about the entire collection, is the depth and breadth of my songwriting.  I’m really glad Round Hill is giving the world another chance to give it all a listen.”

And lastly, what about future projects? “I never stop writing.  My notebook has three songs on the go, right now.  My own website has new downloads out for a collection of 24 tracks entitled Folk Songs for the Farewell Bonfire.  And I’ve just completed a book of poetry, which I’m currently shopping around.  Also, in early stages of development:  a memoir/autobiography, and a select compilation of the over-2,000 pages of fan forum blogging I’ve done on my site since it launched a few decades back.  Plus, I collaborate on videos for endorsement partners (doin’ some country chicken-pickin’, next week), do a bit of co-writing, and participate in some charity initiatives.  So I’m keeping busy, creatively.” 

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RONNIE JAMES DIO STAND UP AND SHOUT CANCER FUND CELEBRATES DIO’S BIRTHDAY WITH SPECIAL VIDEO

The Ronnie James Dio Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund founded in memory of the late rock legend, will commemorate what would have been Dio’s 78thbirthday on July 10th with a video in which rock music celebrities talk about what Ronnie and his music has meant to them. Dio lost his months-long battle with gastric cancer 10 years ago, and the charity founded after his passing has raised more than $2 million to fight the disease that took his life.
Largely compiled from red carpet interviews with celebrity guests at various Dio Cancer Fund events, including the 10th Anniversary Awards Gala held at the Avalon in Hollywood in February just before the pandemic shutdown, the video contains special video messages from Rob Halford and Geezer Butler, who were close friends of Dio’s.   Among those also expressing their thoughts are Dave Grohl, Jack Black, Rudy Sarzo, Craig Goldy, Scott Warren, Simon Wright and Vinny Appice of the Dio band, Fred Coury, Robbie Crane and Ricky Warwick of Black Star Riders, Ahmet Zappa, Joey Vera, Glenn Hughes, Jeff Pilson, Doug Aldrich, Terry Ilous and Eddie Trunk, who hosts most of the Dio Cancer Fund events.
The video can be viewed on the Dio Cancer Fund’s newly redesigned website at diocancerfund.org or watch it below.
Merchandise from the 10th Anniversary Awards Gala, including programs, posters, teeshirts, totebags and masks, is available for purchase at:  diocancerfund.3dcartstores.com.
n addition to its two annual events plus gala dinners more intimate fund-raising efforts and, of course, direct support from the vast community of Dio fans worldwide, the Dio Cancer Fund was also the beneficiary of proceeds from the 2014 Platinum-selling tribute album called This Is Your Life containing songs written by Ronnie James Dio that were recorded and donated by major rock and metal recording artists. The This Is Your Life album resulted in a 2015 Grammy™ win for Best Metal Performance for Tenacious D (actor/musicians Jack Black and Kyle Gass) and their rendition of Ronnie James Dio’s The Last in Line from the tribute album. 
Dr. David Wong, Professor and Associate Dean for Research, UCLA School of Dentistry and Director for UCLA Center for Oral/Head & Neck Oncology Research (COOR), was among the honorees at this year’s 10th Anniversary Awards Gala. He and his dedicated team of researchers have been developing a simple, non-invasive saliva swab test for the early detection of specific cancers, a concept that is tailor-made for the Dio Cancer Fund’s mission. He believes this simple test, called a liquid biopsy, can and should become part of any routine physical examination conducted in a primary care physician’s office. During his acceptance speech at the Gala, Dr. Wong announced that the financial support from the Dio Cancer Fund had resulted in their research obtaining $8.2 million in additional funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and that he expected a saliva test with “the ability to screen for the earliest sign of gastric cancer” will be available for medical use within the next three years. 
In its early stages, the Dio Cancer Fund committed funds over a three-year period to specific gastric cancer research at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston where Ronnie James Dio was treated for the last six months of his life. Additionally, the Dio Cancer Fund donated seed money to the Vanderbilt University Hospital in Nashville, via its relationship with the T.J. Martell Foundation, to support research for a blood test to detect gastric and esophageal cancers that the hospital was able to parlay into a multi-million-dollar grant from the NIH.
Ronnie James Dio, the world-renowned voice behind such iconic heavy metal bands as Black Sabbath, Rainbow, Heaven and Hell and his own band, Dio, valiantly battled gastric cancer for some six months after a devastating terminal diagnosis. The Dio Cancer Fund, created in his memory, has made it its mission to help eradicate this disease through education and by association with ground-breaking research into early detection.  As Dio Cancer Fund’s Founder/President Wendy Dio regularly says: “Early detection saves lives.”
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SKID ROW SIGN WITH ROUND HILL MUSIC

Round Hill Music has added another iconic band to its stellar publishing stable with the signing of Skid Row. The band has inked a worldwide administration deal for their catalog.

Of the signing, Round Hill CEO Josh Gruss commented: “Skid Row is an incredibly powerful band that I first saw play as a 12-year-old, new to the world of live music, at The Ritz in New York City with Japanese rockers EZO opening up. It was an experience I will never forget. Then to get to know [guitarist] Snake [Dave Sabo] and [bassist] Rachel [Bolan] personally more recently, and to have them on our roster at Round Hill, I could not be more thrilled. We will do a great job representing their publishing.”

Sabo affirmed, “The passion that Josh and everyone at Round Hill has shown towards Skid Row and our music made this a no-brainer! Their enthusiasm is infectious and we couldn’t ask for a better partnership moving forward.” Bolan added: “I’m very happy to be working with Round Hill. And excited for what the future will bring.”

Most recently, the band was scheduled to tour with Ratt, Tom Keifer and Slaughter on The Big Rock Summer Tour, but due to the Corona pandemic, it was ultimately canceled.

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