Last month, Kiss’s Gene Simmons told Esquire.com that “rock is finally dead”. Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry was among Gene’s peers who spoke out after the piece ran, telling BamMagazine.com, “I think he’s right in the sense that this whole era of rock and roll has dwindled down to literally a cottage industry…I think that that era of rock bands playing to sold-out arenas and selling millions of records in a pop — yeah, that part of it is dead. I think there are still rock and roll fans. And every time we do a tour, there’s a brand-new batch of kids interested in seeing a band that plays all those songs that they grew up listening to….But as far as there being another Beatles? That was Justin Bieber. But did he change the world? Did he change the way we looked at society? No, so that part of it is dead.”
On a similar note, Swedish guitar great Yngwie Malmsteen recently told The Rockpit, “People love heavy metal, people love rock and roll and people love guitar players, but there’s no money in it…There’s nothing new [being released] simply because the labels, the retailers, the distributors, the manufacturers, graphic designers, photographers and so on, they are not making money… so they say, ‘F**k this,’ and they go do something else. The new groups that start in a garage are not going to get exposed and the fans are not going to get new music.”
He added, “If you’re already established, if you’re Judas Priest or Yngwie Malmsteen, you’re fine. There’s no difference; you do what you’ve been doing and it’s the same….all the old acts, like Alice Cooper, the Scorpions, The Police and more, they’re bigger than ever…To me, I thank God every day for being where I am. I can do whatever I want and not worry about airplay or the first single. I don’t have to worry about any of that s**t. If you’re not established you’re never going to have a big mansion, you’re never going to have a big mansion and a Ferrari, you’re never going to be a rock star. That’s the shame of it all. If you’re established, you’ve got nothing to complain about.”
Ozzy Osbourne lashed out at the UK’s Daily Mail Online after it ran a piece with a headline that screamed, “Ozzy Osbourne says he felt ‘excited’ after the 9/11 terrorist attacks as it was ‘my kind of craziness’”. In the article, the DMO ran snippets of an earlier interview that Oz gave to ShortList magazine. When asked if he was scared during the attacks (he was in NYC at the time), Ozzy was quoted as saying, “I wasn’t scared, I was excited! It was my kind of craziness, y’know. The day after that happened, there was f**king nobody in New York. I remember standing on the steps of the hotel, and — you know when you see an old cowboy film and that tumbleweed rolls past on the ground? There was newspapers just floating around on the streets. It was so f**king weird.”
Ozzy criticized DMO’s version, saying it was pieced together out of context. “I apologize to anyone who may see these quotes and believe this is actually how I feel. Please know that I would never want to offend or hurt anyone — that was never or would ever be my intention. You would think that at my age I would finally realize that any conversation with a journalist can be twisted, reprinted and made into another story. It’s another life lesson learned. My representatives have asked the Mail Online to pull the piece, but of course, they’ve refused and now it has been subsequently picked up worldwide because of the sensational slant the Mail Online put on the story. Love and peace to everyone. May your God go with you.”
In more Ozzy news, Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs” was given a worthy cover treatment by country/folk singer Zac Brown and Foo Fighters on a recent edition of CBS’s Late Show With David Letterman.
Check out Sammy Hagar turning in an acoustic version of Van Halen’s classic “Dreams” on UltimateClassicRock.com. The tune is from Sammy’s new acoustic album, Lite Roast. Said Sammy to UCR, “The reason that I’m so into the version on this record is that when you do something as great as ‘Dreams’, a song like that, it’s hard to f**k with that. People don’t accept it. People have tried it again and again and again and the fans get pissy when you f**k with a classic, usually. You know, like Robert Plant, who I love, when he goes out and does the Zeppelin tunes and he messes with them, you know, the Plant fans love it, [but] the hardcore Zep fans are pissy. [Laughs].
They’re like, ‘We want to hear it the way we grew up with it and the way we loved it.’ I think what I’ve done with that song, it’s a better song this way. The lyric has more meaning, you get it and it touches your heart closer and better. The other one is [such] a physical and emotional performance that the lyrics don’t mean almost anything — you can say anything you want. But when I stripped it down, I finally sing it now, like the way I wrote those lyrics, I know what I’m talking about now. I think the fans, it touches them — people cry and s**t when I sing this acoustically. So this song works.”
One of the ways Mötley Crüe is saying goodbye to its fans is with a large tour program commemorating their ongoing The Final Tour, which runs through the end of next year. “We’ve been asked for years from CrueHeads to do another tour program,” says bassist Nikki Sixx.
“We really wanted to do one that was different. So finally we have done one with the complete history of the band in photos and a final goodbye from each band member at the end. It’s pretty massive. [We] hope you love it as much as we loved putting it together for you. What a wild ride.”