Megadeth bassist David Ellefson and Sons of Apollo vocalist Jeff Scott Soto have been collaborating on some new material recently under the moniker Ellefson-Soto. The Ellefson-Soto version of the Riot classic Swords & Tequila released via Ellefson’s Combat Records on ellefsonmusic.bandcamp.com and across all digital streaming outlets.The song was originally featured on the 1981 Riot LP Fire Down Under (Elektra). The play through video can be seen below.
Says Ellefson, “Jeff and I have been friends for so many years that it’s great to finally collaborate on some material together. He has such a distinctive voice and perfect style for some new ideas my guitarist Andy Martongelli (Ellefson) and I have been composing. We are excited about the progress of it all and thought this would be a perfect time to give a little sneak preview. “
Jeff adds, “As COVID-19 became a big negative around the globe, it actually offered many artists a chance to finally collaborate with one another that might have never happened otherwise…as I have known David for many years, I knew from our other efforts outside of our day jobs that we could come up with some badass jams…and here we are, letting you in on our cool little secret.”
As for the choice of cover song Ellefson reminisced, “The first time I ever heard of Riot was on the Castle Donington Monsters of Rock album from 1980. For me, they were the USA representatives during the New Wave of British Heavy Metal. And, Swords & Tequila, along with the entire Fire Down Under album for that matter, show the band delivering it’s rowdy and high energy rock n roll like no other band in the USA was doing at that time. So, it is an honor to offer them much deserved reverence, as well as a reminiscent tribute to the mighty Guy Speranza, who fronted the band like a god during that period.
Soto adds, “What can I say? This was a classic metal track from Riot that we all knew growing up, when David brought up that we should cover it I was thrilled. But when we added Rick Hughes from the band Sword onto it, it truly came to life! 40 years after its release, we hope you dig this new version we built for you.”
More new tracks from Ellefson-Soto are in the works with release details to be announced.
The Ellefson-Soto recording lineup includes:
David Ellefson- Bass Jeff Scott Soto- Lead Vocals Andy Martongelli- Lead & Rhythm Guitars Paolo Caridi- Drums *Featuring Rick Hughes- Lead Vocals (Swords & Tequila)
Vocalist Rick Hughes is the founding front man of the iconic Quebec Power Metal group Sword. The Canadian quartet formed in 1981 and have released a string of metal classics including their eponymous 1984 Aquarias Records debut Metalized which has been esteemed by fans and musicians alike including the likes of Metallica, Megadeth, Motörhead and many more. Hughes explains, “To me, music has always been the best medicine and that is why in this time of not being able to perform with live musicians in front of a live audience, I was more than happy to participate in this camaraderie of seasoned musicians.” Sword’s latest album In Kommand is now available via Combat Records.
Riot formed in New York City in 1975 and has produced a long list of classic hard rock albums for Victor Entertainment, Capitol & Elektra Records as well as re-issues by Metal Blade Records. Guy Speranza was a founding member and vocalist for the group and sang on the early albums Rock City (1977), Narita (1979) and Fire Down Under (1981). He was then succeeded by Rhett Forrester in 1982. Speranza passed away in 2003 from pancreatic cancer at the age of 47. Riot has since undergone several member and lineup changes but still remains active under the new name of Riot V.
On March 19th, Anthrax’s Charlie Benante announces a brand new album, 14-tracks that feature an all-star cast of “who’s who” in the thrash, metal, and rock worlds. With all cuts culled from Benante’s acclaimed “quarantine jam video series,” the album is aptly titled Silver Linings and is due out May 14th (Megaforce Records). Benante has earmarked a portion of the Silver Linings proceeds for the Neal Casal Music Foundation, an organization that provides musical instruments and lessons to students and makes donations to much-needed mental health organizations that support musicians in need. The album’s track “Run-DMC Medley,” featuring Darryl “DMC” McDaniels, Volbeat’s Rob Caggiano, Ra Diaz from Suicidal Tendencies, and Benante, is released. The song can be streamed here, and the video of the original “quarantine jam’ session can be viewed below. Silver Linings digital and vinyl pre-orders can be placed here.
“Back in February of last year,” Benante remembers, “with COVID and all the other B.S. that was going on, I was glued to the 24-hour news cycle on the TV and my phone, and I started to get really depressed. My girlfriend said I needed to turn off the news and suggested I do something creative, whether it was art or drumming or writing new songs, and she was right.”
Benante set up his electric drum kit at home in his art room and started playing along with music he had grown up listening to. It pulled him out of his depression and reignited his creative drive. “I knew a lot of my musician friends were going through the same thing I had been, so I started asking them if they wanted to get involved, play some songs with me, maybe make a video – that’s how it all started.
Throughout the “quarantine video series,” Benante collaborated on jams with fellow Anthrax bandmates Frank Bello, Scott Ian and Jon Donais, his girlfriend, Carla Harvey (Butcher Babies), Corey Taylor (Slipknot), Ra Diaz (Suicidal Tendencies), Mark Osegueda (Death Angel), John 5 (Rob Zombie), and Alex Skolnick (Testament), among many more. Some of Charlie’s favorite songs by Rush, Tom Petty, The Beastie Boys, Stormtroopers of Death, Kings X, Run DMC, Massive Attack, U2, Fugazi, The Chemical Brothers, and Billie Eilish were covered.
For the album’s cover art, Charlie recruited his friend, artist Brian Ewing, whose art he’s always loved. “I think he did a great job,” said Charlie, “and the package’s artwork ties in my fascination with horror.”
“This isn’t a solo album,” Charlie added, “this is a record of my favorite songs done with some of my friends during a very dark time. We found a shining light and this is the result of that light. I was really happy that my musician friends came on board and helped make this record what it is. I appreciate all of them, and they all did such a fantastic job. Despite all of the darkness we’ve experienced this past year, there are ‘silver linings,’ that’s why I chose that title for the album.”
The tracklisting for Charlie Benante’s Silver Lining is as follows:
* City of Blinding Lights-U2 cover-Frank Bello, Mark Osegueda, Charlie Benante* “ Chloe Dancer/Crown of Horns-Mother Love Bone cover-Mark Menghi, Mark Osegueda, Charlie Benante* Teardrop-Massive Attack cover – Carla Harvey, Ra Diaz, Charlie Benante* Run DMC/-Run DMC cover – DMC, Rob Caggiano, Ra Diaz, Charlie Benante Rhiannon-Fleetwood Mac cover – Mark Menghi, Jennifer Cella, Randy McStine, Charlie Benante* Yer So Bad-Tom Petty cover – Carla Harvey, Ra Diaz, Charlie Benante* Transylvania-Iron Maiden cover – Snake Sabo, Frank Bello, Jon Donias, Charlie Benante* Presto Vivace U.K. cover – Ra Diaz, Alex Skolnick, Jordan Rudess, Charlie Benante* Bad Guy-Billie Eilish cover – Ra Diaz, Charlie Benante* Jimmy James-The Beastie Boys cover – Ra Diaz, Charlie Benante* All The Way-KISS cover – PJ Farley, Joe McGinness, John 5, Charlie Benante* Mr Speed-KISS cover – Joe McGinness, PJ Farley, Charlie Benante* Public Image-Public Image cover – Hank Von Hell, Dave Brownsound, Jason “Cone” McCaslin, Charlie Benante* Funny Vibe-Living Color cover – Ra Diaz, Corey Glover, Henry Flury, Charlie Benante
It’s the kind of offer that could make someone kick the habit.
Tana Douglas had just lit her second cigarette, 30 or so minutes into a conversation with George Harrison, when the former Beatle said, “I would marry you tomorrow if you gave up smoking.”
It was 1979 and the two were hiding out in the kitchen at a party hosted by Harrison’s neighbor Jon Lord, keyboardist for the heavy metal band Whitesnake. In the living room, a stripper — a birthday present to Harrison that embarrassed him — danced to the Beatles’ She Loves You.
Douglas was the only woman there who wasn’t a stripper. The first female roadie in rock n’ roll, she hauled equipment and ran lighting for some of the biggest bands in the world — and often saw them at their worst. Besides Whitesnake, she toured with Elton John (“During his brat years, he did drugs and threw tantrums”), Ozzy Osbourne, INXS, Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Police and the Go-Go’s.
“They would bring a guy into the dressing room [after a show] and take his clothes off — debasing, but the guys loved it,” Douglas recalled of the all-girl group.
As recounted in her new memoir, Loud (HarperCollins Australia), Douglas, now in her early 60s, got into the business early. She ran away from her parents’ home in Queensland, Australia, in 1973 at age 15 and joined a group of hippies. When they all wound up at a music festival, she assisted a local pop band in moving equipment: “Everybody started laughing when the guitar player said I would help with the load-out — and then they kept giving me more and more to handle.” At 17, Douglas was recruited by AC/DC and living with the band.
She was taken in by their crew as family, and she held her own.
“I fit in like a guy. I drank, stayed up late, cursed and loaded trucks just like everyone else,” she told The Post.
Then there was the time that she helped save the life of AC/DC vocalist Bon Scott — during an overdose.
“We all woke up to a girl screaming about Bon not breathing,” Douglas recalled. “I did CPR and kept him alive until the paramedics came. He survived and we never talked about it. When you’re young, you think you are bulletproof…”
…Though she happily retired from the road 20 years ago and has since found new careers — doing logistics for bands, location work for movies and writing — there is one thing Douglas misses: a leather jacket lost to Iggy Pop.
During a late ’70s gig in London, Douglas — with whom the rock icon had become friendly on his TV Eye tour — was summoned to the star’s dressing room. “Iggy held a mirror with three lines [of cocaine] and he said that he wants me to meet somebody,” she recalled. “A guy stood in the corner and I assumed he was the coke dealer. I told Iggy that he’s got to get on stage. He did a line and handed me the mirror. I figured, ‘Screw that guy [in the corner],’ and I did both lines. Then Iggy said, ‘I want you to meet David Bowie.’ ”
Iggy rushed out to perform, and Douglas stashed her beloved leather jacket under a monitor on stage. “The show started, Iggy grabbed my leather jacket — which he’d been unsuccessfully asking to borrow — and put it on for a song. Then he peeled it off, threw it aside and a fan grabbed it. That’s how Iggy Pop caused me to lose my trademark leather jacket. Maybe it was revenge because I did Bowie’s line.”
One of the greatest and most successful Canadian rock bands of all-time, Triumph first rose to prominence back in the golden era when vinyl was king – and the preferred format of most music fans.
So, it makes perfect sense for Triumph – Rik Emmett (guitars/vocals), Mike Levine (bass, keyboards) and Gil Moore (drums, vocals) – to be named Record Store Day’s Canadian Ambassadors 2021 (previous Canadian RSD ambassadors have included Marie-Mai, the Trews, and the Sheepdogs, and RSD ambassadors have included Metallica, Pearl Jam, and Brandi Carlile, among others). To prove this point, the band will also be releasing a Record Store Day exclusive/40th anniversary box set of their classic 1981 album, Allied Forces, fully loaded with rare archival content and assorted unearthed gems.
Record Store Day, the global celebration of the culture of the independent record store, takes place this year on June 12th and July 17th. And on the 12th the Allied Forces 40th Anniversary Box Set will drop.
A rock music collector’s dream, the Round Hill Records-issued set will include:
Vinyl #1 : Picture Disc of Original ‘Allied Forces’ Studio Album Vinyl #2 : 2xLP ‘Live in Cleveland’ 1981 Vinyl #3 : 7” Single – Tribute 2021 Version of “Allied Forces” + “Magic Power” Live from Ottawa 1982 (Never Before Released) 11×17 Maple Leaf Gardens Poster (Canada Exclusive) 24-page booklet featuring rare photos and behind the scenes. + ‘Allied Forces’ essay 40th Anniversary Allied Forces retro tour book 40th Anniversary Allied Forces retro tour poster 40th Anniversary Allied Forces retro tour pass Rik Pics (3 Hand Drawn Cartoons) Handwritten Lyrics (Magic Power, Allied Forces & Fight the Good Fight)
You can check out the band’s video greeting for Record Store Day Canada,below.
The trio’s first record to be recorded at their studio, MetalWorks, Allied Forces spawned such rock radio hits as Magic Power, Fight the Good Fight, and Say Goodbye, as well as the title track, which became an automatic concert favorite. The album was also the highest-charting of the band’s career and earning platinum certification in the States.
“We’re extremely proud of Allied Forces. It was the record that started the global rocket ride for us and we’re also excited to share with our fans some really great moments from our archives with this boxset,” says Mike Levine.
“Record Store Day Canada is thrilled to announce the legendary Triumph as the 2021 Record Store Day Canadian Ambassadors. They are one of the most respected bands in Canadian history and their music has stood the test of time. It will be exciting to hear and hold the 40th Anniversary ‘Allied Forces’ box set, being reissued on high-quality vinyl for fans worldwide,” says Ryan Kerr, Record Store Day Canada.
While Triumph no longer tours, the spirit of the band remains alive in not only this killer box set, but also, in a documentary and tribute record that are both in the works. And on June 12th,, fans will get the opportunity to re-experience Allied Forces in an entirely new way.
Picture Disc of Original Allied Forces Studio Album:
Allied Forces Track Listing:
Fool for Your Love Magic Power Air Raid Allied Forces Hot Time (In This City Tonight)
Fight the Good Fight Ordinary Man Petite Etude Say Goodbye
2 X LP ‘Live in Cleveland’ 1981 (remastered):
Live in Cleveland track list:
Intro Tear the Roof Off American Girls Lay it On the Line Allied Forces
Fight The Good Fight Blinding Light Show/Moonchild
Rock ‘N’ Roll Machine I Live For The Weekend Nature’s Child Drum Solo
Instrumental Rocky Mountain Way Hot Time (In the City Tonight)
Limited Edition 7” Single
Vinyl #3 : 7” Single – Tribute 2021 Version of Allied Forces + Magic Power Live from Ottawa 1982 (Never Before Released)
Building upon the excitement from the announcement of his sophomore album, The Ides Of March,last month, Myles Kennedy is releasing its title track to the masses. The Ides Of March is the longest song on the album, clocking in at 7:39, and showcases the musicianship of Kennedy and cohorts – longtime friend and drummer Zia Uddin and bassist/manager Tim Tournier. The band stretch out musically as Kennedy sings an ominous warning ‘beware the ides of March.”
Says Kennedy about the song, “Written quickly one night after having a few drinks, it was an attempt to sum up what so many of us felt during the beginning of the pandemic. We were bored, frustrated and self-medicating to avoid going stir crazy. What I like about the narrative, is it pushes the idea that if everything is going to hell, at least try and do it in a celebratory fashion.”
[Dana’s note: As you all know, our very own Eddie Trunk went off a Twitter tirade last night about the disrespectful, and pitiful manner, in which the Grammy chose to “honor” the passing of iconic guitarist Eddie Van Halen. In light of his frustration, and countless others, Van Halen’s progeny, Wolfgang, says he declined an offer to play “Eruption” as a tribute to his father during this year’s Grammy’s.
He wrote on Twitter today (March 15th) “I don’t think anyone could have lived up to what my father did for music but himself,” Wolfgang wrote, explaining that he was then surprised to see the tribute become just a brief display of his guitar. “I didn’t realize they would only show Pop for 15 seconds in the middle of four full performances for others we had lost.”
“What hurt the most,” Wolfgang continued, “was that he wasn’t even mentioned when they talked about artists we lost in the beginning of the show. I know rock isn’t the most popular genre right now (and the academy does seem a bit out of touch) but I think it’s impossible to ignore the legacy my father left on the instrument, the world of rock, and music in general. There will never be another innovator like him.”
Wolfgang acknowledged that his father, who died last year after a long battle with cancer, wouldn’t have cared about any of it. “I know Pop would probably just laugh it off and say, ‘Eh, who gives a shit?’ He was only about the music anyway. The rest didn’t matter.” But he offered to speak to the Recording Academy “not just about the legacy of my father, but the legacy of the rock genre moving forward.”
Wolfgang, who toured and recorded on bass with Van Halen,will releasing his debut solo album as Mammoth WVH (in which he sings and plays all the instruments), on June 11th. Listen to the song You’re To Blamehere and his first release, a very touching tribute to his father, Distance, here.