Our sincerest condolences to Queensrÿche singer Todd La Torre, who lost his father to suicide last week. It was widely reported that William LaTorre, a well-known St. Petersburg, Florida-based chiropractor, took his own life via a gunshot. No note was found, and no foul play was suspected. On his Facebook page, Todd said, “As many of you have become aware, my father is no longer with us. I haven’t disclosed anything to the press, as to preserve some privacy during this time. It has since been made aware to the public by the media, reaching outlets well outside of my local Tampa Bay area. Although this is a very difficult time, this post is only to confirm that we will not be canceling any shows. I have responsibilities to uphold, and will do whatever I can to perform to the best of my abilities considering the circumstances. Thank you for your support. Sincerely, Todd.”
Said the band in a prepared statement, “From all of us, the entire Queensrÿche family, our deepest and heartfelt condolences to our good friend and bandmate Todd La Torre, his sister Kristina LaTorre Young and the LaTorre family, in the death of their father and friend. Words cannot express our sorrow.” William La Torre was last in the news in 1989, when a speedboat he was driving (and on which a then 16-year-old Todd was a passenger), hit a smaller powerboat and killed four teenagers. The elder La Torre was acquitted on four counts of vessel homicide in 1990, went into debt, and declared bankruptcy two years later.
Where’s Phil? AC/DC has released a brand-new publicity photo that’s missing drummer Phil Rudd. Pictured in the photo (l-r): Cliff Williams (bass), Brian Johnson (vocals), new member Stevie Young (guitar; nephew of founding member Malcolm Young, who is suffering from dementia and recently stepped down ), Angus Young (guitar). Phil was also reportedly absent for recent video shoots for the band’s two new singles, “Play Ball” and “Rock or Bust.” Frontman Brian Johnson was quoted in the press as saying Phil didn’t take part in the video shoots due to a “family emergency.” Couldn’t they have waited then to take the picture??
K.K. Downing, founding member/former guitarist for Judas Priest, recently talked with DigitalJournal.com about leaving the band in 2011, saying he felt the spark “wasn’t there, for whatever reason” on stage. “All that traveling and living out of a suitcase and spending so much time in planes, vans, cars and trains, you have to really enjoy the concerts,” he said. “You have to musically get on a high and that carries you through, but if you’re not enjoying it like you should, then it becomes a lot of hard work because you’ve still got to do the interviews and be pushed and pulled around the place.”
Does he regret leaving? “I don’t regret leaving, because, to me, I thought that it had run its course,” he replied. “I miss what we had, but I don’t particularly miss what we had become when I left…I miss being at the pinnacle of the band. I miss that energy and youthfulness and just delivering all of that up.” He did add, though, “I commend the guys for going back out. I was just watching a bit of their first concert of the tour in Rochester, New York, and it was great. Band sounded good and I’m happy that they continue…I do wish them well and I commend them highly for being out there and carrying on the legacy.”
And while we’re on the subject…K.K. is gearing up to release his own line of perfumes, Metal For Men and Metal Pour Femme. “That’s something else I’ve thought of in my sleep,” he says. “Don’t ask me why! You see these people do a fragrance from the pop world and stuff like that, but nobody’s actually catering for rock and metal fans, so I thought I’d solve the headache of what to buy for Christmas type of thing.” No images (or reviews) of it yet, but we’ll keep you posted!
Check out Dee Snider at Chicago’s United Center last week, taking part in the Blackhawks’ “Shoot The Puck” charity event during an intermission with the Calgary Flames. Said Dee of his attempts, “I have never played hockey in my life, but Slaspshot is my favorite movie.”
Out next week: Kiss’s Love Gun: Deluxe Edition (due October 27). The two-disc set will contain the original 1977 album plus a bonus disc featuring demos and live tracks.