Skid Row: New singer, new music
As reported last week, Skid Row has split with their singer of the last 14 years, Johnny Solinger. Founding member Snake Sabo said, “We had a lot of great times together and created a lot of great music. We wish him nothing but the best.” Co-founder Rachel Bolan added, “Sometimes things just end. People go in different directions and grow apart and you have to make a decision. He will always be our brother.”
The band wasted no time filling the slot, hiring TNT vocalist Tony Harnell. “Tony’s experience, power and undeniable range made our decision an easy one,” commented guitarist Scotti Hill. Drummer Rob Hammersmith added, “I believe this will be a great year for Skid Row. I’m looking forward for things to come.”
The band is already trying to silence the critics by releasing a brand new version of “18 And Life”, recorded with new singer Harnell. Download the song for free at www.skidrow.com. Check it out and let us know what you think.
The band will head into the studio to record the third chapter of the United World Rebellion trilogy this summer. They will also hit the road for another world tour in support of the record.
Jon Bon Jovi Stars in New Reality Show
Jon Bon Jovi will return to his hometown for an upcoming television reality show “If I Wasn’t A Rock Star”. The show will follow artists as they go back to where they grew up to see how their lives would be different if they hadn’t made it in the music industry.
Bon Jovi, who will also serve as an executive producer on the series, tells Variety: “I was drawn to this project simply because it will be a celebration of the working men and women of the US. They are the real rock stars.”
Bon Jovi said last year that he had no bad feelings towards the band’s former guitarist Richie Sambora, who left the group in 2013. Sambora is currently at the center of a death threat investigation after he allegedly made a phone call to Nikki Lund, his ex-girlfriend and fashion business partner, saying he’d “dig a hole in the desert and bury her”. Sambora denies the allegation.
Ronnie James Dio Tribute Weekend
More details have been revealed about the celebration planned to commemorate the 5th anniversary of Ronnie James Dio’s passing. Among the events previously announced for May 15-17 in Los Angeles are a public memorial service, a celebrity bowling tournament and the inaugural “Ride For Ronnie” motorcycle ride and BBQ.
In addition to Ronnie’s former Dio bandmates Craig Goldy, Simon Wright, Jimmy Bain, Rowan Robertson and Scott Warren, many celebrities will also be on hand. They include Jack Black and Kyle Gass of Tenacious D, who say, “Let’s roll some balls in honor of the greatest heavy metal singer of all time!” Other attendees will be Oni Logan (Lynch Mob), Sean McNabb (Lynch Mob, ex-Quiet Riot), Bjorn Engelin (Dio Disciples), John Payne (Asia), Eddie Money, Chris Broderick (ex-Megadeth), Christian Martucci and Ray Mayorga of Stone Sour.
The weekend kicks off with the Bowl For Ronnie celebrity bowling tournament on Friday, May 15, at Pinz Bowling Center in Studio City, Calif. The event will feature a silent auction featuring bowling pins autographed by Anthrax, Metallica, Aerosmith, Fleetwood Mac, Yes and more. Purchase tickets here.
On May 16, a free public memorial service will be held at Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills, featuring several musicians speaking and performing Dio’s music. As seating for this event is limited, those interested in attending are asked to send an email with your name, phone number and the number of seats to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The inaugural “Ride For Ronnie” motorcycle ride and BBQ will wrap up the weekend. The BBQ will feature live music, raffle prizes, a live auction and more. More information and tickets are here. All money raised during the weekend events will go to the Ronnie James Dio Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund.
Aerosmith To Launch “Blue Army” Tour In June
Legendary rockers Aerosmith will be back on the road this summer for the “Blue Army” tour. Steven Tyler, Joe Perry, Joey Kramer, Tom Hamilton and Brad Whitford kick off the new tour June 13 in Glendale, Ariz.
Perry says, “The name Blue Army came from the fact that ‘everyone’ in our audience from the ’70s were wearing blue denim and it looked like a sea of blue, thus The Blue Army.”
Check out all the tour dates on the HOH website.
Vivian Campbell Says New Def Leppard Is “The Best Album We’ve Made In 23 Years”
Def Leppard guitarist Vivian Campbell spoke to Canada’s The Province about the band’s forthcoming studio album, which is expected before the end of the year.
“There’s a lot of talk before we make an album,” Campbell cheerfully concedes. Despite his illness –Campbell is in remission from his second attack of Hodgkin’s lymphoma and is required to undergo frequent tests and checkups — he remains upbeat. “With this album there wasn’t as much talking but there is an awful lot of experimentalism that goes on with a Leppard record. Once we find our direction, we’re very quick.”
“If the band had continued to be a hard rock band it would have been successful,” says Campbell. “But we’ve been able to progress and still we’ve been true to our hard rock roots. We’re one part AC/DC and one part Queen.”
“Frankly, candidly, we could go year after year playing our hits. A record for us is kind of a loss leader. A new record is something we do for us.”
Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi Says He’s Healthy
On April 12, Black Sabbath announced that they were canceling their “farewell” performance at Ozzfest Japan this year. Instead of Sabbath closing down the show, Ozzy Osbourne will be taking the stage to perform his act solo.
The cancellation of the gig, plus the fact that Osbourne himself was not the reason for the nixed show, led some to speculate that Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi may have suffered a setback in his battle with lymphoma. But, the metal legend squashed those rumors with a post on his official website.
“Thank you for all the enquiries about my health, very kind,” wrote Iommi. “I’m not sure how the rumour of my being unwell started as I was away on holiday! Once you’ve had something like lymphoma the fear that it will return never leaves, all I can say is that right now I’m fine and have regular blood tests.”
Bill Ward Wants Ozzy Apology
Original Black Sabbath member Bill Ward has posted the following statement on his Facebook page, talking about his relationship with the band and has also announcing a solo album titled Accountable Beasts:
“I have neither severed nor discontinued my relationship with Black Sabbath, however, since 2012, the often inaccurate statements about me as a person and as a musician have caused me to be guarded and be especially detached emotionally and spiritually from Ozzy. His rhetoric above all has brought me the most discord. The continuing misguided information about me has established a necessity on my part to confront these issues. And now, with the imminent release of a new Bill Ward Band album, and the flurry of rumors about new Sabbath projects, I feel it appropriate to speak in a truthful and an un-cynical way.
“There is always speculation about a true, original Sabbath lineup for the next tour or record. With a sad heart, I have to say I will not participate in any musical undertakings until a righting of the wrongs spoken against me has been achieved. I must admit, I have little to no expectations of this happening, but in the order of first things first, I’m looking for an honest accountability of all of Ozzy’s statements that I felt were untrue. I would want Ozzy to amend his opinions and exaggerations. I would want him to be forthcoming about his unrealistic viewpoints. And because I was chastised publicly, I would want him to amend publicly in his words, and not through an Ozzy representative, the nature of the wrongs. I would not want to continue on with him without this seemingly impassible dilemma being addressed. I don’t think previously strong relationships can remain strong after dispute by just sweeping the offensive stuff under the carpet, or by saying a puny sorry, or “oh, that’s all over now.” It doesn’t work like that for me. Righting of wrong works, and that’s what I want if I’m ever going to be his friend again.”
Read the entire announcement on his Facebook page.
SIXX: A.M. Performs Live In Las Vegas
Here’s some fan-filmed video footage of SIXX: A.M., the band featuring Mötley Crüe bassist Nikki Sixx alongside guitarist DJ Ashba and vocalist James Michael, perfoming on April 10 at The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.
SIXX: A.M. will continue its “Modern Vintage” tour, playing a limited number of dates all across North America throughout the end of April, several nights of which are already sold out. While on the road, the prolific band is also in the process of writing music for its upcoming full-length album, which is tentatively due in 2016.
Check out the videos on DailyHeadbanger.com.