R.I.P. Texas blues legend Johnny Winter, who was found dead in his hotel room near Zürich, Switzerland, last Wednesday, July 16. He was 70. An autopsy has been ordered to ascertain the cause of death (no foul play is suspected). The passing of the influential guitarist/singer reverberated widely with musicians the world over, and we’ve included some online tributes from the metal community below:
It wasn’t Jon Bon Jovi who “discovered” Cinderella…it was Kiss’s Gene Simmons, says Cinderella frontman Tom Keifer. In a recent interview with BigMusicGeek.com, Tom was asked about Bon Jovi’s role in the band’s beginnings. “Actually, I’m going to set the record straight because something came up online about this recently,” said Tom. “Jon is credited with discovering the band. Or, in other words, his interest in the band actually led to a record deal. But if you went back a couple years before that, Gene Simmons was actually the guy who first took an interest in the band. His interest did not lead to a deal for one reason or another…so I guess in terms of discovery, you really could credit Gene, even though both Gene and Jon showed an interest in the band.
Jon’s interest did eventually lead to a deal, but that was pulling teeth, too. He told his A&R guy they were chumming about us and said, ‘You’ve got to go down and see them.’ He came down and he still wasn’t convinced. It’s not easy to get a record deal. Gene Simmons and Jon Bon Jovi can be singing your praises all day long and it doesn’t mean you’re going to get a deal. Gene was the first to take an interest and then a couple years later, Jon wandered into that club and went to his A&R guy. We finally won him over and he signed us to a full deal, but that was a bit of a process too. I’m grateful to both Gene and Jon for the interest they took in the band.”
Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich credits Noel Gallagher (Oasis) for helping him give up cocaine. Said Lars to the UK’s Mirror recently, “In the early days, I’d always get drunk way faster than the other guys [in Metallica]. I realized that if there was a little bit of cocaine involved I could stay up longer, instead of ending up face down in the corner passed out three hours before the party ended. I loved the social elements of cocaine. I loved the danger of it.
Then about 10 years ago, I read an interview with Noel Gallagher, in which he said, ‘I just stopped doing cocaine.’ I thought that was really cool: it felt so fresh, so honest, so pure — I love that side of him. I’ve never had an addictive personality, so I woke up one day and said: ‘enough.’”
Check out actor/musician Johnny Depp’s guitar work with Aerosmith during a concert stop in Mansfield, MA last week. Johnny, who’s currently in the area filming a movie, came on stage to help the band tear through a version of “Train Kept A-Rollin’.”
Gene Simmons wants you to be nice to rich people. The Kiss founder/bassist/vocalist was recently quoted in the San Diego Union-Tribune as saying this: “I have been part of the [top] one percent [wealthy Americans] for the past 30 years, [and] it’s fantastic!” enthused Gene.
“The one percent pays 80 percent of all taxes. Fifty percent of the population of the U.S. pays no taxes. The one percent provides all the jobs for everybody else. If the one percent didn’t exist, there would be chaos and the American economy would drop dead.” He added, “Try being nice to rich people. I don’t remember the last poor person who gave me a job.”
AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd is gearing up for the release of his brand new solo album, Head Job, on August 29. Check out the official lyric video for the album’s first single, “Repo Man”.
Guitarist Slash doesn’t spend time dwelling on his former glory days with Guns N’ Roses.
When the Toronto Sun asked him if he ponders what might have happened if the original lineup was still intact, he responded, “I don’t think about that because that’s not what happened, so what’s the point? People are always like, ‘What if you had done things differently?’ Not only with GN’R. But it’s just such a waste of time. Things happened and it’s done. I sort of loathe looking back and fantasizing about anything one way or another because in the end it didn’t happen.”
Here’s your first look at Overkill’s new video for the single “Bitter Pill.” The song is from the band’s just-released album, White Devil Armory.