Comedienne extraordinaire Joan Rivers died this past Thursday, September 4, following a minor surgical procedure several days prior. She was mourned by her peers the world over, and was remembered in social media posts by the rock community:
Mötley Crüe bassist Nikki Sixx recently underwent surgery to repair a double hernia. He talked openly about it on Facebook, telling his fans, “I have been performing during the last few months with a pretty intense double hernia, but you gotta give 100% even through the pain onstage.The good news is yesterday I got surgery on both sides and it went really really well…I should be up and kicking ass in a few weeks and back in the gym/tour in six weeks. Looking forward to seeing you all back out on the road. P.S.: Holy Jesus, it feels like I got kicked in the stomach by a horse. They gave me some pain meds but I am trying to not take them, and luckily, [wife] Courtney Bingham-Sixx looks pretty hot in her nurse outfit…”
KISS’s Gene Simmons recently sat down with his own son, Nick, for an interview featured on Esquire.com. When asked what advice he’d have for today’s musicians and songwriters, Gene said, “Don’t quit your day job is a good piece of advice. When I was coming up, it was not an insurmountable mountain. Once you had a record company on your side, they would fund you…there are still record companies, and it does apply to pop, rap, and country to an extent. But for performers who are also songwriters — the creators — for rock music, for soul, for the blues — it’s finally dead. Rock is finally dead.
I am so sad that the next 15-year-old kid in a garage…will not have anywhere near the same opportunity that I did. He will most likely, no matter what he does, fail miserably…And who is the culprit? The death of rock was not a natural death. Rock did not die of old age. It was murdered. And the real culprit is that kid’s 15-year-old next-door neighbor, probably a friend of his…The masses do not recognize file-sharing and downloading as stealing because there’s a copy left behind for you — it’s not that copy that’s the problem, it’s the other one that someone received but didn’t pay for. The problem is that nobody will pay you for the 10,000 hours you put in to create what you created…It’s very sad for new bands. My heart goes out to them. They just don’t have a chance.” Read Gene’s comments in their entirety.
Rock is dead? Not a chance, responds Dee Snider. Dee fired off a response to Gene’s Esquire diatribe, saying, “Recently, my esteemed colleague, Gene Simmons of Kiss declared that “Rock ‘n’ Roll is finally dead”. Really?
While I have nothing but respect for Gene, he couldn’t be further off the mark. Yes, the rock ‘n’ roll “business model” that helped KISS (and my band for that matter) achieve fame and fortune is most certainly long dead and buried, but rock ‘n’ roll is alive and well and thriving on social media, in the streets, and in clubs and concert halls all over the world. And the bands playing it are more genuine and heartfelt than ever because they are in it for one reason: the love of rock ‘n’ roll.
Spend some time seeing and listening to these incredible young bands and their rabid fans and you will know that rock ‘n’ roll couldn’t be more alive. Yes, it’s not the same as it was for the first 50 years of rock’s existence, but the fire definitely still burns.
And it wasn’t some 15 year old kid in Saint Paul, Minnesota (to paraphrase Mr. Simmons) who killed the rock ‘n’ roll goose that laid the platinum egg…it was greedy, big city, record company moguls who made their own velvet noose to hang themselves with. It was they who took advantage of the consumer (and the artist for that matter) and drove them to use an alternative source of music presented to them. Read Dee’s entire rebuttal on the HOH website, here.
What’s this? Ozzy Osbourne has put up a Facebook page teasing a new event (or attraction?) called Ozzy Osbourne’s Hell Gate, along with the date of October 2015. No additional details are available (so far), but rumors in the press and among fans point to the possibility that his Ozzness has once again teamed up with Universal Studios Hollywood for another annual Halloween Horror Nights event (Black Sabbath was featured last year in a 3D maze attraction called Black Sabbath: 13 3D).
Former W.A.S.P. guitarist Chris Holmes had some choice words for singers in a recent interview with Global Onslaught: “…I don’t need to put up with any singers on the road,” he said. “That’s the worst thing to anybody that’s in a band; to put up with their attitude — singers’ attitudes. I will sit here and say that most of them are jerks. They call it LSD: Lead Singer Disease. It’s a really bad thing to have. I haven’t got it yet. I mean, I might get it, I don’t know, if I sing.
Gene Simmons [Kiss] — he plays bass and he’s got LSD, I guarantee you that. Paul Stanley’s [Kiss] got it. Blackie Lawless [W.A.S.P.] has got it. Bruce Dickinson [Iron Maiden] don’t; he’s a singer. It’s kind of weird. Dave Lee Roth; Dave’s Dave. I used to hate the guy, but Dave’s Dave. His personality…Without him, they [Van Halen] never would have made it.”
Metallica will be featured in the Guinness World Records 2015 edition (out this week!) for becoming the first band to perform in concert on all seven of Earth’s continents. They scored the feat by playing for a gathering of 120 scientists and contest winners last December in Antarctica. “Last year as we hit the road, like we do most years, visiting a lot of our favorite places along with some new ones, we didn’t realize that we were on track to break a world record!,” said the band.
“Good thing someone else was paying attention as we managed to play on all seven continents in one year, becoming the first and only band to ever do so! Our friends at Guinness World Records took notice bestowing on us the distinct honor of being featured in their official book. In addition to performing live in North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Australia, and Africa, the year was capped off with a visit to Antarctica on December 8, 2013, to play for 120 scientists, contest winners and their penguin friends at the Argentine Carlini Station. We were literally at the bottom of the earth for one of the most unique, special and unforgettable days in our 30+ years as a band and low and behold, our little adventure sealed the deal for the record! Who woulda thought.”
Have a listen to Mr. Big’s new songs, “Gotta Love The Ride” and “The Monster In Me” off their upcoming studio album, The Stories We Could Tell, due out on September 30.
Guitarist Vinnie Moore (UFO, Alice Cooper), frontman Kelly Keeling (Baton Rouge, MSG, Trans-Siberian Orchestra) and drummer Scot Coogan (Lita Ford, Ace Frehley) have teamed up to form Red Zone Rider. The new band’s self-titled debut album is due out on September. 16.