Iconic guitarist George Lynch was recently interview with Canada’s The Metal Voice where he was asked if he had any kind of contact with legendary Ozzy Osbourne axeman Randy Rhoads when they were both on the Los Angeles rock scene in the late 1970s. He responded (as transcribed by blabbermouth.net), “We played shows together frequently. We rehearsed at the same rehearsal facility and shared the same rooms, so we had a lot of opportunities to hang out and share licks and talk occasionally. We weren’t friends or anything, but we were in the same business and we ran in the same circles and ran into each other all the time. I’d known that he appreciated my playing and liked my playing, and he would bring people to see me frequently, including his mom.”

He continued, “We were both [up] for Ozzy a number of times, and I was up for it on three different occasions, and one of them was the time that Randy got it over me. And then the understanding was that between whichever one of us got it, the other one would teach at Musonia [School Of Music, which was founded more than 70 years ago by Randy’s mother, Delores Rhoads]. Well, I got the consolation prize. He told his mom that if anything ever happened with him that he would want me to maybe fill in if possible, if I’d be willing to, so I did.”

Lynch reportedly tried out for the position of Ozzy’s lead guitarist in 1979 — losing to Rhoads — and another time in 1982, when Osbourne was looking for someone to replace Brad Gillis. According to Lynch, he was preparing to step into the role before Ozzy changed his mind and decided to go with Jake E. Lee instead.

George went into more detail about his Ozzy auditions during a 2019 interview with Ultimate Guitar. At the time, he said, “I never played a show [with Ozzy]. I played soundchecks. [Laughs] So I would travel with the band to kind of see how everything worked, and they would get to know me, and that kind of thing. But, I never went on stage during a show. But I would be in the wings at soundcheck, and Brad Gillis, who was the guitar player at the time, would come over and hand me his guitar and I would play a song or two. And then we went into rehearsals. I rehearsed with them. I brought in a bass player, Don Costa, who was Ozzy’s bass player for a little while. We rehearsed in Texas for a while.”

“The touring was in Scotland and England and Ireland,” he continued. “And then we moved everything over to Los Angeles, and that’s where I was told that they wouldn’t be needing my services in the 11th hour after I’d been working with them for a couple of months.”

Lynch remembered that he was “very devastated” when Osbourne offered the gig to Lee over him. “My wife was with me,” he said. “I had quit my job. We had two little kids. We had an apartment. We really didn’t have much money, so it was a great opportunity for me. I was a delivery driver for a liquor company, and I would kind of deliver booze into the not-so-good areas; nobody else wanted to drive into those areas so I took that job. It was a good union job, so I made enough money to support us. And I had to quit that job to go do the Ozzy thing. And when they fired me like that… And they didn’t pay me, and they didn’t give me any compensation. They didn’t ask me if I was okay or anything. They just didn’t care. They just said… It was literally, like… It took, like, a minute. Ozzy just said, ‘Hey, it’s not gonna be working out. Thanks a lot for your time. And see ya later. Bye.’ [Laughs] Yeah, my jaw dropped. I couldn’t believe it. My heart just dropped and… Yeah, I think I cried on the way home. [Laughs] It was very devastating.”

Lynch also believed there were other factors that ultimately contributed to Osbourne choosing Jake as his new guitar player.

“I remember [Ozzy] was bald at the time,” George told Ultimate Guitar. “He kept coming into my room and asking me why I cut my hair. Because I had short hair for my job. I told him that he was bald. [Laughs] So I thought, ‘Well, maybe I could just go bald like you, and then we could be a couple of cue balls up there. Or I can wear a wig until my hair grows out.’ He had a problem with that.”

That was one of the reasons, I think, I didn’t get [the Ozzy gig] — was my image,” Lynch added. “Jake E. had a great image — hair down his ass, [and he] showed up all leathered. He looked great. He admittedly didn’t play that great [at the audition], but he looked fantastic. And I think Sharon [Ozzy’s wife and manager] was really calling the shots, and Sharon wanted somebody that looked right. And she felt that Jake E. was the look they were going for. I don’t think she cared too much about the playing. Not that Jake E. wasn’t capable — Jake E. is great, obviously — he didn’t have a great audition. But he plays fantastic.”

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Record Store Day, which will be on June 12th and July 17th will feature some interesting releases.

On June 12th, Mötley Crue will release a 40th-anniversary cassette box set containing tapes of the band’s first five albums. The set includes the band’s core catalog titles (Too Fast For LoveShout At The DevilTheatre Of PainGirls, Girls, Girls and Dr. Feelgoo”) with artwork. This product is an exclusive limited run for RSD. 

Also, on the 12th, AC/DC will release a 12-inch picture disc including the songs Through The Mists Of Time and Witch’s Spell, from the band’s global chart-topping album Power Up, housed in a PVC jacket with an OBI strip at the top.

Finally, Anthrax has will release a limited-edition, custom mini-turntable, as well as a vinyl disc bundle consisting of four three-inch singles (sold separately). For the vinyl discs, the band reached way back into its rich catalogue for four favorites: MadhouseI Am The LawGot The Time and Discharge. Taking inspiration from the 3″ turntable creation in Japan, drummer Charlie Benante, who oversees all of the band’s artwork, orchestrated creating the minis’ cover art in the style of the seven-inch record covers he collected from Iron Maiden and KISS. One thousand of the turntables and 1000 of the vinyl bundles will be exclusively available on RSD.

But wait, there’s more: one of the 1000 mini-turntables will include a Golden Ticket, the winner to be the recipient of a personal Zoom call from frontman Joey Belladonna and bassist Frank Bello.

“I’m really happy about being part of this,” said Belladonna. “I love being able to reach out and connect with our fans, so being a ‘first prize’ in this contest and having the opportunity to have a real conversation with one of our fans is really terrific.” Added Bello, “I love the idea of the golden ticket, it’s a cool ‘Willy Wonka’ moment, and it’ll be fun to just shoot the s–t with one of our fans.”

Record Store Day, a global celebration of the culture of the record store, will be broken up into two “Drops” this year, similar to the way it was done in 2020. The two “Drop” dates will be June 12th, and the second July 17th; the Anthrax custom turntables 17 and vinyl bundles will be available in conjunction with the second RDS “Drop”, on July 17 and July 9 respectivel

For a full list of participating Record Store Day retailers, visit RecordStoreDay.com.

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Sammy Hagar & The Circle (including drummer Jason Bonham, bassist Michael Anthony and guitarist Vic Johnson) has announced a handful of Florida shows in May and June. The five-date trek will begin on May 23rd in Key West and include two shows each in Orlando and St. Augustine.

Sammy Hagar & The Circle said in a statement, “Sammy & The Circle are heading back on the road. NEW tour dates. Excited to bring back live music while keeping fans’ safety in mind. Find more info about COVID protocol & safety measures by visiting each venues’ website. Go to http://redrocker.com/events for tickets & more details.”

Tour dates:

May 23 – Key West, FL @ Key West Amphitheater 
May 25 – Orlando, FL @ Dr. Phillips Center 
May 26 – Orlando, FL @ Dr. Phillips Center 
Jun. 1 – St. Augustine, FL @ St. Augustine Amphitheater 
Jun. 2 – St. Augustine, FL @ St. Augustine Amphitheater

Tickets for all five shows will go on sale Friday, April 9th.

Each venue is enforcing a social distancing policy, including the St. Augustine Amphitheatre concerts, which will have a limited capacity with distanced seating and enhanced safety measures. These changes include digital ticketing and mobile concession ordering..

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’70s classic rock legends Cactus have released their new album, Tightrope, on all formats today. (April 5th) The band filmed a slick performance video for the title track, which offers one of the album’s most killer and memorably groovy hooks (see it below).

Founding member and drum legend Carmine Appice had this to say about the song: “Tightrope is one of my favorite songs from the album. The drum and bass groove plus the cool guitar riff rock. Cool melodies on top make this is a great classic heavy blues rock track. I love it!!!”

Cactus came to be known as “the American Led Zeppelin,” a moniker they owned by virtue of their explosive blues rock stylings, subdued yet undeniably brilliant musicianship, not to mention their energetic and vivacious stage presence which made them a staple of arena rock venues around the globe. Now the band has returned with a smashing new album called Tightrope that strikes a delicate balance between powerful, driving rockers and more complex, heady album tracks. Still led by Appice alongside longtime members Jimmy Kunes on vocals and Randy Pratt on harmonica, Tightrope is, according to Appice, “one of the best Cactus albums we’ve ever done. From playing to production and songs, we really took a step up.” They are joined by new lead guitarist/vocalist Paul Warren (ex-Rod Stewart, Tina Turner, Joe Cocker) and James Caputo on bass. Tightrope will also give longtime Cactus fans a reason to cheer as it includes special guest appearances from original Cactus guitarist Jim McCarty and singer Phil Naro.

Tightrope track listing:

01. Tightrope 
02. Papa Was A Rolling Stone 
03. All Shook Up 
04. Poison In Paradise 
05. Third Time Gone
06. Shake That Thing
07. Primitive Touch
08. Preaching Woman Man Blues
09. Elevation
10. Suite 1 & 2: Everlong, All The Madmen
11. Headed For A Fall
12. Wear It Out

Dana’s note: If you are having trouble viewing, hit refresh

Cactus has had a long and turbulent history. Formed in 1970 from the ashes of Vanilla Fudge by Carmine Appice and Tim Bogert, the initial lineup also featured McCarty and vocalist Rusty Day. (Appice and Bogert had originally planned a new band with Jeff Beckwhich was put off until 1973, because of Beck’s near-fatal car crash in 1969.) Jim McCartyhad come from Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels and was playing with The Buddy Miles Express. Tim and Carmine also found vocalist Day in The Amboy Dukes with Ted Nugent. Together, the four musicians formed Cactus, named after the peyote cactus, which provided a key ingredient in mind-altering drugs.

While Cactus saw success from the start and soon built a loyal fan base, by early 1973, the band had collapsed mainly due to lack of real support from its label, and the fact that Beck was now ready play with Carmine and Tim. It would not be until 2006, three decades after the tragic death of Rusty Day, that the group reformed with Pratt and Kunes. When Tim Bogert was forced into retirement after a serious motorcycle accident, Pete Bremy jumped in both in Cactus and Vanilla Fudge. 

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Iconic guitarist George Lynch was a recent guest on Aftershocks TV, where he discussed retiring the Lynch Mob band name and what he use as his new moniker.

Lynch said, per blabbermouth.net, “”I’ll always have my touring entity. It won’t be Lynch Mob. I’m thinking of calling it George Lynch And The New West. The New West is a name I’ve had kicking around since freakin’ the ’80s, and I told some of my friends about it. And recently I [have been] kind of searching for a new name for a touring entity, and one friend brought that up. He goes, ‘What about The New West? That was a cool-ass name.’ And I’m, like, ‘You know what? Yeah. I do like that. George Lynch And The New West. Why not?’ So I think that might be what I’ll use. That’s what I’ve been putting out there with my agent. And that way, it’ll give me the freedom to play a wider variety of stuff. It’s not just gonna be Lynch Mob-centric. I mean, I’ll probably play some of that, and Dokken, but also all kinds of other stuff. I can play anything. I can change it up every night.”

Last August, Lynch Mob celebrated the 30th anniversary of Wicked Sensation with a special limited print/deluxe edition of the albumWicked Sensation Reimagined features re-worked and re-recorded versions of the LP’s classic songs, and was made available via Rat Pak Records. 

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KISS’ Gene Simmons was once famously quoted as stating “Rock is dead,” and then amended the statement by adding, “young fans” are the reason why.

After Simmons made his initial declaration many responded including, our very own Eddie Trunk, Dee Snider, AC/DC’s Brian Johnson and Angus Young and Def Leppard frontman Joe Elliott.

Now Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi has shared his take with Greg Prato at Consequence of Sound.

Iommi stated, “I don’t think rock is going to die. That’s been said for years. I mean, how many times I’ve heard that statement over the past 50-odd years? It’s quite a lot, really.”

He continued, “I think good music is not going to go. There’s always going to be a market for it. There are going to be an amount of bands that fall by the wayside — as there always is, there always will be. But there are certain bands that are going to stick out and going to be there. You’ve got Metallica up there — they’re not going to go away. They’ve got a lot of fans and they’ve got a great fanbase. There are a lot of bands out there. No, the music is not going to go away.”

In recent Sabbath news, the band recently released deluxe versions of the Dio era albums, Heaven and Hell and Mob Rules, read more details here.

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