VARIETY: MÖTLEY CRÜE SELLS CATALOG TO BMG

Variety reports:

After months of negotiations, BMG has acquired the entire recorded-music catalog of Mötley Crüe in a deal sources say is valued at approximately $150 million, although other sources cited a significantly lower number.

The agreement includes the iconic band’s entire recorded output spanning their 40-year career totaling nine studio albums from their 1981 debut, Too Fast for Love, through the latest release in 2008, Saints of Los Angeles, as well as several platinum-selling live albums and compilation sets. Longtime manager Allen Kovac helped the band acquire the catalog from Elektra Records, which signed it in 1982, as part of a contract renegotiation during the 1990s…

…The band’s catalog has been revitalized since the 2019 Netflix biopic The Dirt introduced it to a new generation of fans. Sources say the deal was originally expected to go to Merck Mercuriadis’ Hipgnosis Songs, which has acquired many of the group’s publishing rights from Sixx, its main songwriter.

The band released a statement that reads, “It feels amazing to be collaborating with our new partners at BMG. Their extensive track record of success in rock made them the perfect home to continue preserving and growing our musical legacy, ensuring we always stay at the top…”

…Said BMG CEO Hartwig Masuch, “This is more than just a significant transaction. It’s a new chapter for an extraordinary catalog. Few bands understand the myth and the magic of rock like Mötley Crüe do. In an increasingly competitive rights acquisition market, artists need to be convinced that a buyer will do the right thing with their work. I am delighted that Mötley Crüe have decided BMG will be the best custodians of their musical career…”

…BMG currently represents or owns rights in many of hard rock’s most elite and ground-breaking artists including Black Sabbath, Dio, Iron Maiden, Motörhead, Scorpions, Uriah Heep and many of the artists who reflect their legacy, including Godsmack, Slash, and Bring Me the Horizon.

BMG Senior VP of Catalog Recordings Michael Kachko said, “Mötley Crüe stand among the pantheon of rock legends, the band’s legacy is tremendous and their fans avid. You can be sure that we will lavish all the respect and love for the music that BMG is recognized for to deliver current and future fans the best experience we can.”

Read more at Variety.

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JUDAS PRIEST ANNOUNCE RESCHEDULED NORTH AMERICAN TOUR DATES WITH THE ADDITION OF QUEENSRŸCHE

Judas Priest has announced the rescheduled 50 Heavy Metal Years North American tour dates for March-April 2022. Support on the trek will come from Queensrÿche.

Judas Priest was forced to postpone around two dozen North American shows on its rescheduled 50th-anniversary tour in late September after the band’s guitarist Richie Faulkner suffered an acute cardiac aortic dissection during a performance at the Louder Than Life festival. He ended up undergoing a 10-hour life-saving surgery a short distance away at Rudd Heart and Lung Center at UofL Health – Jewish Hospital in Louisville, Kentucky.

Judas Priest and Queensrÿche tour dates:

Mar. 4 – Peoria Civic Theatre – Peoria, IL 
Mar. 6 – Mission Ballroom – Denver, CO 
Mar. 7 – Maverik Center – West Valley City, UT 
Mar. 9 – Angel Of The Winds Arena – Everett, WA 
Mar. 10 – Moda Center – Portland, OR 
Mar. 12 – Fox Theater – Oakland – Oakland, CA 
Mar. 13 – Zappos Theater at Planet Hollywood – Las Vegas, NV 
Mar. 15 – The Shrine – Los Angeles, CA 
Mar. 16 – Arizona Federal Theatre – Phoenix, AZ 
Mar. 18 – The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory – Irving, TX 
Mar. 20 – H-E-B Center at Cedar Park – Cedar Park, TX 
Mar. 21 – Freeman Coliseum – San Antonio, TX 
Mar. 23 – Nashville Municipal Auditorium – Nashville, TN 
Mar. 25 – Ameris Bank Amphitheatre – Alpharetta, GA 
Mar. 27 – Charleston Coliseum & Convention Center – Charleston, WV 
Mar. 29 – The Met Philadelphia – Philadelphia, PA 
Mar. 30 – Prudential Center – Newark, NJ 
Mar. 31 – The Theater at MGM National Harbor – National Harbor, MD 
Apr. 2 – Foxwoods Resort Casino – Mashantucket, CT 
Apr. 4 – Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell – Lowell, MA 
Apr. 7 – Scotiabank Centre – Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada 
Apr. 10 – Videotron Center – Quebec City, Quebec, Canada 
Apr. 11 – Place Bell – Laval, Quebec, Canada 
Apr. 13 – FirstOntario Centre – Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

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WHITESNAKE ANNOUNCE NEW BASSIST, TANYA O’CALLAGHAN

With the departing Michael Devin, Whitesnake announce the addition of bassist Tanya O’Callaghan.

Frontman David Coverdale said in a statement, “Well, well, well…ladies & gentlemen…boys & girls…we are very proud to announce & to introduce you all to our newest snake…or should I say…snakette!!! Please give a loud Whitesnake choir welcome to the Irish tornado!!! A whirling dervish of a performer whom we feel will bring a fresh, new, exciting musicality & welcome energy to the band, both in the studio & onstage… Here she is… Irish born & bred…the one & only… Tanya O’Callaghan!!!

For whatever reason, Whitesnake has never featured a female musician in the band before… Bad boys!!!…But when we saw Tanya performing with our friend Steven Adler‘s band at the M3 festival in 2019 & we were all blown away… An electrifying performer… When Whitesnake & Michael Devin decided to go their separate ways, Tanya was the first person we reached out to & thankfully she accepted our invitation to become a snake…

We are thrilled & delighted to welcome Tanya O’Callaghan to Whitesnake!!

Let the music do the talking!!!”

O’Callaghan commented on her addition in a social media post, writing,”I guess the snake’s out of the bag. What an absolute honor to be joining Whitesnake/David Coverdale for their worldwide farewell tour 2022/23.

This small town gal still pinches herself over the amount of legends I’ve had the joy to work, tour and record with over the past few years since I made the terrifying solo leap across the Pacific with no clue how everything would unfold.

It’s been a wild ride and just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, who calls, only feckin’ Whitesnake! And the best part, to step into the snake shoes of my bass brothers Rudy SarzoTony FranklinNeil Murray and Michael Devin … are you kidding me.. .what a f#*king honor beyond belief!!! My heart is exploding.”

Coverdale, who turned 70 in September, recently confirmed that he plans to retire from touring after the band’s remaining concerts around the world.

Although he will no longer perform with Whitesnake, he is still planning on writing and recording fresh material once he has retired from the road.

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BLACK SABBATH’S TONY IOMMI RELEASES INSTRUMENTAL SONG “SCENT OF DARK” THAT COORDINATES WITH HIS FIRST MALE FRAGRANCE

Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi has released his first new music in eight years, Scent Of Dark, and that he’s embarking on a unexpected career path: perfumery.

That’s right, introduce  Scent Of Dark, Iommi will also be releasing a fragrance, designed in collaboration with luxury Italian perfume house Xerjoff and Sergio Momo.

The track – Iommi’s first since Black Sabbath’s 13– also features Momo himself, an accomplished guitarist in his own right who lends a hand for some scorching solo lines and supportive riffing.

“I’ve had the riff for quite a while and I’d never done anything with it,” Iommi commented, “but it gave us a base to start from. We built up the track with programmed drums at first and then Mike Exeter demoed bass and keyboards on it, and I added my guitar solos, just to give us an idea of how it was going to sound.

Then we added the strings, I’d worked with string sections on Sabbath albums before, but this was a whole new experience.”

Now, about that fragrance. Over lockdown, Iommi struck up a friendship with Momo of Xerjoff, the latter of which is renowned for its “unique and individual collaborations” – we’re not having a hard time believing that.

It’s this friendship that forms the inspiration for the scent, with Iommi citing his extensive touring experiences as having introduced him to a multiplicity of fragrances.

“It’s something I’ve always been interested in, ever since the early days of products like Brut and Old Spice, which I’d always get given for Christmas,” Iommi reflected. “Once I started touring the world with Sabbath though, I started discovering different sorts of fragrances from other countries and began collecting them.”

Of how his latest project came about, Iommi continued, “I met Sergio through another friend of mine, and Sergio kindly sent me a box of his fragrances and asked if I’d be interested in creating my own, which I certainly wasn’t expecting.

“Sergio suggested I come up with a list of things I like the smell of. He developed some different samples made up from my suggestions and I picked the one I like.”

In terms of what it actually smells like, the scent is said to hark back to ‘60s and ‘70s-era rock, festivals and gatherings by way of amber and patchouli, and pays tribute to Iommi’s ’64 Monkey Gibson SG Special by incorporating “spicy and seductive scents.”

“It’s been a really interesting project for me that has combined many of my different interests and a direction I’m really enjoying going in,” concludes Tony. “I’ve got so many riffs; it would be great to do more instrumental and soundtrack work.”

Tony Iommi’s signature scent will be available from November 29 from selected retailers or the official Xerjoff website.

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Photo credit: Max Sticca

additional source: guitarworld.com

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JUDAS PRIEST ANNOUNCE THE “SCREAMING FOR VENGEANCE” GRAPHIC NOVEL

Z2 Comics proudly announces that one of the biggest acts in the history of heavy music will team with the rapidly growing entertainment brand for an original graphic novel to be released in 2022, in time for the anniversary of their highest selling album of all time, the indisputable classic: Screaming for Vengeance
Teaming with writers Rantz Hoseley (Comic Book Tattoo, the Heroin Diaries) and Neil Kleid( Savor), and artist Christopher Mitten (Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.), the multi-platinum selling Metal Gods bestow upon their generations of fans their first-ever graphic novel!
500 years from now, a ring of cities orbit high above the surface of a dead world, controlled by a ruling elite that maintains power through manipulation and brutality. When a naïve engineer inadvertently threatens the status quo with his vital scientific discovery… A Bloodstone… he is betrayed by those he trusted and cast out to the broken planet below.  In the wreckage and desolation of a broken world where every day is a battle for survival, he must choose between accepting his new life in exile…or Screaming For Vengeance. 
“I cannot overstate what an inspiration Judas Priest has been to me, personally.” said Hoseley. “I was already a fan of the band, when Screaming for Vengeance was released, but no one was ready for the impact it had. That incredible cover art? Those songs? That album became my daily soundtrack and creative fuel, to the point where I wore the cassette out in my car. To be able to contribute to a project inspired by these songs that mean so much to me? Well, that is an honor and a responsibility I take very seriously.”
To further celebrate the creative legacy of this monumental album and landmark anniversary, the graphic novel includes an extensive interview with original cover artist Doug Johnson in which he discusses the process of creating the award-winning album cover design, and the origin of the metallic bird of prey, now known as “The Hellion.” Additionally, as part of the expansion of Z2’s product offerings, newly appointed Z2 Vice President of Collectibles and Aggronautix founder Clint Weiler has designed a detailed Hellion statue, with working “electric eyes” in celebration of both the original album design, and the dramatic conclusion of the story in the Screaming For Vengeance graphic novel”
Certified double platinum in the United States, Screaming for Vengeance was released in July of 1982, and marked the beginning of the band’s success in North America, transcending the “new wave of British heavy metal” sound they had come to define, and moving them into the mainstream despite a heavier-than-ever sound. The album’s first single You’ve Got Another Thing Coming would prove to be one of the biggest hard rock hits in history and continues to inspire fists in the air around the world to this day. The album was ranked #3 on Rolling Stone’s 2017 list of “100 Greatest Metal Albums of All Time,” and is celebrated throughout the world as one of the genre’s most defining moments, ushering in the success of heavy music in the 1980s up through today.
Judas Priest: Screaming for Vengeance will be released in both softcover and hardcover formats in finer bookstores, comic shops and record stores everywhere in July 2022, with special limited deluxe and super deluxe versions featuring an exclusive anniversary vinyl LP, prints and more available to preorder now exclusively through the Z2 website
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BILL AUCOIN – ON TOP OF THE WORLD ONE FINAL TIME

KISS manager Bill Aucoin‘s partner shared the following information with Eddie about scattering his ashes in Iceland. He writes:

“We always talked about places we wanted to go – Boston, the city where he studied communications at Northeastern University; revisit his old rental house in New City just north of New York, a place with just the right energy for a late twenty-something Bill Aucoin and his partner Sean Delaney to begin cooking up an early KISS stew; Barcelona (or, to be more precise, El Bulli, Ferran Adria’s original gastronomical science lab where molecular gastronomy was born); and… Iceland. 

I’m not sure what the point of ignition was for the concept of traveling to Iceland. It may have started with me and my fascination with The Sugar Cubes (Bjork’s pre-solo career alternative troop). But Bill, a lifetime million mile American Airlines Advantage member, had never been there despite a decade-plus worldwide globe-trot with the mighty KISS, and consequently, Billy Idol, so he liked the idea. Bill and I were science and travel buffs, often spending Sundays at home watching programs on astro-physics, string theory, and quantum mechanics. We in fact attended a symposium during the World Science Festival in New York on this very subject featuring Dr. Brian Greene and Alan Alda (yes, that Alan Alda). Sometimes one of these shows would cover our own planet, geothermal activity, volcanoes or glaciers, and our appetite for Iceland would be piqued. 

In the early 2000’s, Bill and I paid a visit to his sister Betty and her son Mark Britton in Westerly, Rhode Island. This had been Betty’s home since the 1970’s where Bill and Sean would sometimes take refuge and devour homemade pot roast and apple pie when the couple were still “roughing it” during their early years after Bill’s successful stint in TV but pre-profitable in music. During this visit, the subject of Iceland somehow came up and Betty explained that she had visited the island in recent years, describing what a beautifully unusual and captivating place it was. When we revealed that Bill and I had set our sights on the icy country, his sister, in her usual sternly but encouraging tone insisted that we make the pilgrimage. Bill had great respect for both of his older sisters, Betty and Janet, so when they spoke, Bill took note, he may not have always followed their advice, but he paid close attention. I think Betty’s insight is what cemented the Icelandic concept for us, from then on it wasn’t a topic of conversation between us so much as a mission we had to commit the time to. 

Bill and I would soon thereafter begin working together with a South Florida group, Nothing Rhymes With Orange, whom we traveled with frequently, often to the UK, New York, etc. Then Bill signed on metal monster group and Eurovision winners, Lordi. They toured as part of Ozzfest and that would take Bill around the U.S., as well as tours in Japan, New Zealand, etc. With all that traveling, we never found an opportunity to visit Iceland and Bill would soon succumb to complications stemming from prostate cancer in 2010. 

Bill was cremated and initially, half of Bill’s ashes were scattered at LeTub Saloon on the intracoastal waterway in Hollywood, FL. LeTub is a burger joint and watering hole that Bill and I would frequent – sometimes up to five days a week. We’d host friends and family there, and often times music industry peers too. It was one of our favorite spots since it’s partly outdoors and Bill could smoke his cigars while sipping a Sea Breeze. A plaque donated by Bill’s close friend and once assistant, Suzanne, was installed at the table where we would normally hold court –  “You’re Sitting in Great Company,” it reads. 

Bill’s sister, Betty (Janet tragically passed a year after Bill), spread some of Bill’s ashes over the grave sites of Bill’s parents in Ayer, Massachussets, where Bill was born and raised. I kept some of the ashes as I knew there would be at least one other location where Bill’s remains would go, a place that will remain a secret for now. 

However, my love affair with Iceland didn’t perish with the loss of Bill. It persisted and my current partner, Joe, and I had discussed visiting Iceland since shortly after we met several years ago. So, when it was announced in March of 2021 that a new volcano had been born in Fagradasfjall, and it was predicted that its lava would likely spill for months if not years to come, I heard the voice of Bill and his sister in my head telling me it was now or never. Now, turned out to be eight months after the volcano began to erupt, but this gave me time to better plan my trip and to hatch a plan to bring Bill with me. Bill was all about the spectacle, and to let him rest atop of an active volcano, to go up in flames in a blaze of natural pyrotechnic glory seemed, well… natural. 

I’ve never hiked a mountain, let alone a snow smothered active volcano, but professional excursion companies on the island made the idea plausible. I didn’t read any restrictions about leaving photos of loved ones in the lava beds, and the idea of asking permission to spread ashes at a volcano of all places seemed a little absurd, so I never bothered to ask. This is how on Sunday, November 7th, 2021, I found myself, my partner Joe, Suzanne, and three friends, marching lock-stepped up a 2,000 foot mountain to the site where the new baby volcano had been spewing fresh, hot lava up until five weeks earlier. None of us are experienced mountain hikers, especially in these icy conditions and I’ll confess that at times, we all had second thoughts. But a back pack with Bill’s remains and bottle of Fireball for an after-tribute toast kept me from backing out. When we finally reached the site, we were welcomed by a field thousands of acres wide of smoldering, cooling lava. Although in my mind’s eye I pictured a glowing light show of rolling fire, the cooler grounds gave me the opportunity to actually walk into the field of the setting lava stone and with precision, wedge a photograph of Bill wielding a fat Partagas cigar at our favorite LeTub table, within a crack in a plate of hardened black magma. The same crevasse also allowed for me to spread his ashes within it in order to protect them from being blown away by the freezing wind. 

Experts are saying the Fagradasfjall volcano will begin erupting once again in the near future and likely continue this on and off cycle for some time. Whenever it may take place – be it days, weeks, or months from today – the stage is now set for Bill to set off his next fiery display and put on one hell of a show atop the land of fire and ice we planned on visiting for so many years. I will keep some of his remaining ashes for the next adventure.”

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