Rockers React To Prince’s Death
Members of Guns N’ Roses, Aerosmith, Kiss, Mötley Crüe and our own Dee Snider are among the rock musicians and scores of other artists who reacted on social media to the passing of the artist known as Prince, who died Thursday, April 21 at the age of 57.
“It is with profound sadness that I am confirming that the legendary, iconic performer, Prince Rogers Nelson, has died at his Paisley Park residence this morning at the age of 57,” said Prince’s publicist, Yvette Noel-Schure.
Prince’s death came only days after he said he wasn’t feeling well, causing the cancellation of at least one concert in Atlanta. He eventually played the city, after which his plane made an emergency landing in Illinois for what is now being described as a “Percocet overdose.”
Prince won seven Grammy Awards, and an Oscar for the original song score to his classic film Purple Rain. In 2007, he won a Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song, for “The Song Of The Heart” from Happy Feet.
Cities all over the world lit up public buildings in purple as a show of respect for the iconic artist last weekend.
Alice Cooper Says Prince Tried to Steal Guitarist Orianthi
Orianthi Panagaris, known professionally as Orianthi, is an Australian singer-songwriter who has been named one of the 12 Greatest Female Electric Guitarists.
Currently, Orianthi is in both a professional and personal relationship with former Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora, but prior to that she spent three years in Alice Cooper‘s band. According to her former employer, it was tough to keep her, because Prince wanted her for his own projects.
Speaking to Billboard about Prince, Cooper revealed that the two had never met. However, he said, “The only real relationship we ever had was he kept trying to steal Orianthi out of my band. Every time I talked to Orianthi she’d be on the phone and say, ‘It’s Prince again.’ I said, ‘Could you tell him that you’re with me for about the next year’ — kidding, of course. I know that he liked to have pretty girls in his band. Other than that I don’t think I ever talked to the guy.”
Orianthi left Cooper’s band two years ago and has been been working on a new album with Sambora for much of that time. Cooper, meanwhile, quickly recruited Nita Strauss after Orianthi’s departure.
Phil Lewis of L.A. Guns Makes Controversial Race-Related Comments While Paying Tribute To Prince
L.A. Guns frontman Phil Lewis made some controversial comments during the opening concert of L.A. Guns’ current U.S. tour last Friday night at Fish Head Cantina in Arbutus, Maryland.
While introducing L.A. Guns’ breakthrough hit single “Ballad Of Jayne,” Lewis spoke about Prince’s passing and recalled L.A. Guns’ first performance at the club that Prince helped turn into a must-see mecca after featuring it in his breakthrough 1984 film Purple Rain: Minneapolis’s First Ave.
“I remember when we were working on [L.A. Guns’ 1989 album] ‘Cocked & Loaded’, we were on tour, and they said there was a venue that we could play in Minnesota; it was called First Avenue. And I didn’t know too much about it at the time. But after I saw the movie, and I got it; I was with the program.
“We were all into that Prince, right?! Purple Rain. It was so cool, because, you know, you had all your heavy shit, and then you had the pop shit, and there was Prince doing his own f***ing thing.
“The problem is, right now — and I’m not gonna be a racist about it — but black people are all one-dimensional. We need more Princes, man. We need less f***ing rappers and more people like Prince.
“There, I said it.”
GNR vs. AC/DC
AC/DC Offer Ticket Refunds For June Show with Axl Rose
AC/DC fans who have bought tickets for the band’s show in London are being offered the chance to claim a refund.
Customers who bought tickets for the June 4 gig at the Olympic Stadium were sent an email giving them the opportunity to claim a refund.
The show is part of the band’s Rock Or Bust world tour and will feature Guns N’ Roses’ Axl Rose on lead vocals after Brian Johnson was ordered to stop touring or risk going deaf.
The message reads: “You have the opportunity to request a refund of your ticket. Refunds will be available from now until 5pm on Friday, May 6.”
Guns N’ Roses’ Original Manager Vicky Hamilton on GNR’s Reunion and New Memoir “Appetite For Dysfunction
For Vicky Hamilton, Guns N’ Roses original manager, seeing founding members Axl Rose, Slash and Duff McKagan playing together was a trip down memory lane — and mostly good memories.
“It was awesome,” Hamilton, who recently published Appetite For Dysfunction, a memoir about her days managing with Guns N’ Roses as well as Motley Crue, Poison, Faster Pussycat and others. Hamilton, who parted ways with GNR after helping the group sign its deal with Geffen Records in 1997 and went on to work as an A&R rep for the label, checked out one the group’s recent shows at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
“Obviously I wish that Steven [Adler] and Izzy [Stradlin] [were there]. To me it’s not quite a reunion without all of the five magical pieces. But I loved seeing it. They looked great,” she says. “I think they’re better musicians than they ever were. They’re older and really can’t make those moves anymore, and Axl was sitting and all that. I missed some of the rawness and the spontaneity they had back in the day, but it was great to see.”
Hamilton acknowledges that GNR’s resurgence has put some wind in the sails of Appetite For Dysfunction, which she started working on in 2007. Reaction has been mostly positive, though some of the book’s subjects are clearly keeping a respectful distance.
“I think they’re intimidated,” Hamilton says. But even though it’s frank, the book isn’t designed to be a smutty tell-all, either. “Most of the books written by women in the music business are love-affair tell-alls, and I tried to step away from that,” she explains. “I did tell some of my personal history because my editor kept on saying ‘There’s no sex in there! There’s got to be SEX and drugs and rock ‘n’ roll!’ So I included a few sex stories, mine and others. But that wasn’t what it was about to me.
Alice Cooper Says Axl Rose’s Voice Is “Absolutely Perfect” for AC/DC
The announcement that Guns N’ Roses frontman Axl Rose would be stepping in for AC/DC vocalist Brian Johnson on upcoming tour dates due to Johnson’s hearing condition has drawn mixed reviews. Alice Cooper is among those that thinks the pairing is a good one.
Cooper tells Rolling Stone, “I just think that’s such a unique combination. Whoever has tickets to that show has got the golden ticket, because who doesn’t want to see that?”
When Cooper first heard the rumblings that Rose would step in for Johnson, he wasn’t sure about it. “At first I thought it was an April Fool’s thing,” Cooper says. “I went, ‘Oh, come on.’ Then I started thinking about it and said, ‘You know, his voice is absolutely perfect for that band. That might just work.’”
The Who’s Roger Daltrey Says “Gimme A Break” on Axl Rose Singing for AC/DC
Roger Daltrey recently spoke to Jane Stevenson of Ifpress.com.
When asked what he thought when he heard AC/DC’s Brian Johnson had to retire from the band’s remaining Rock Or Bust tour dates and that Guns N’ Roses’ Axl Rose would be their guest singer, Daltrey said, “I mean I really feel badly for Brian. It must be heartbreaking for him after all the service he’s given that band over the years. I thought their farewell statement to the press and to Brian was fairly curt to say the least. I felt for him. That must have hurt. I’ve spoken to Brian. He’s got loads of other things he wants to do in his life. I think AC/DC will miss Brian much more than Brian will miss AC/DC. There you go. What do you expect from Australians? (laughs) … And he’s such a lovely guy, Brian. I’ve known him for 40 odd years, more… I mean, go and see karaoke with Axl Rose? Give me a break. (Laughs).”
Odds N’ Sods
Sons of Anarchy TV Cast Members Join Ronnie James Dio’s 2nd Annual Ride for Ronnie Rally
Actor Emilio Rivera (“Marcus Alvarez” on the Sons Of Anarchy television series) will lead the 2nd Annual Ride For Ronnie Motorcycle Ride and Concert, benefiting the Ronnie James Dio Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund on Sunday, May 22.
Following Rivera at the front of this year’s Ride will be a VIP pack comprised of Sons Of Anarchy actors Michael Beach (“Taddarius Orwell ‘T.O.’ Cross) and Sean McNabb (“Tacoma-VP”) as well as Wendy Dio, Lita Ford (who will also perform at the concert following the ride) Frank Kramer of KLOS’ “Heidi and Frank” morning show, and “Boston” Tom Foresteire.
Forestiere will ride the one-of-a-kind “Holy Diver” Harley-Davidson motorcycle he won at the recent Street Party that launched this year’s RIDE. It is custom-painted with the illustration from the cover of Ronnie James Dio’s iconic Holy Diver album.
Riders will assemble for a continental breakfast at Harley-Davidson of Glendale with kickstands up at 11 AM. The ride will take them through the streets of Los Angeles County to Los Encinos Park in Encino, where they will be treated to an afternoon of live music, raffle and live auction, various food and merchandise vendors and more.
The Inaugural RIDE, held in May 2015 as part of a weekend of events commemorating the 5th anniversary of the passing of Ronnie James Dio, raised $155,000 for the cancer charity from that weekend’s events.
Led Zeppelin Can Settle “Stairway to Heaven” Lawsuit For $1 and Writing Credit
Bloomberg is reporting that lawyers suing members of rock supergroup Led Zeppelin say their client is willing to settle a lawsuit over the band’s most famous song – a claim potentially worth millions of dollars – for just $1. The catch is that band members Robert Plant and Jimmy Page would have to give the late Randy California a writing credit on the iconic 1971 rock ballad “Stairway To Heaven.”
A federal judge in Los Angeles has ruled that a jury must decide whether Led Zeppelin borrowed the opening licks of “Taurus,” which was recorded by the band Spirit.
The lawsuit was brought in 2014, 43 years after “Stairway To Heaven” was released, on behalf of the late Randy California, Spirit’s guitarist and the composer of “Taurus.” A trust created by his mother and administered by a former rock journalist alleged in the complaint that Page lifted the opening acoustics on “Stairway” from an instrumental that California had written in 1966 for his girlfriend. According to trustee Michael Skidmore, Page had asked California to teach him the chords to “Taurus” in 1969, when the two groups would sometimes tour together.
Dee Snider Makes Surprise Appearance During ‘Ultimate Jam Night’ at Whisky a Go Go
Twisted Sister frontman Dee Snider delivered a surprise performance of Twisted Sister’s “We’re Not Gonna Take It” and AC/DC’s “Highway To Hell” with his son and guest emcee Jesse Snider during this past Tuesday’s “Ultimate Jam Night” at the world-famous Whisky a Go Go in West Hollywood, California.
Check out video of Dee’s appearance, here.
Guns N’ Roses Add Shows to “Not In This Lifetime” Tour
Guns N’ Roses added dates in LA, Chicago, Boston, and NYC for the Not In This Lifetime tour.
Four more dates have been revealed:
7/3 – Chicago, IL – Soldier Field
7/20 – Foxboro, MA – Gilette Stadium
7/24 – East Rutherford, N.J. – MetLife Stadium
8/18 – Los Angeles, CA – Dodger Stadium
Tickets go on sale to the general public on varying dates, so for complete ticket information, head over to GunsNRoses.com or www.facebook.com/gunsnroses/events.
Complete list of GNR tour dates is here.
Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler To Headline LaconiaFest
Steven Tyler is set to perform on the LaconiaFest main stage of the motorcycle music festival on June 15. Tyler will take the stage backed by his Nashville-based band, Loving Mary.
A beloved staple in New Hampshire, Tyler has a longtime connection to the area. In addition to spending his childhood summers in Lake Sunapee, it is where he met the members of the Joe Perry Jam Band, which later evolved into Aerosmith.
“We couldn’t be more proud of Steven Tyler’s homecoming to the state of New Hampshire for LaconiaFest,” says Tyler Glover, co-producer of LaconiaFest. “Fans in this area grew up listening to Tyler’s iconic voice several times a day on the radio, and they are even more eager to see him perform in person.”
Tickets for the June 15 Steven Tyler show will be go on sale via www.LaconiaFest.com.
Roger Daltrey Confirms the Who for Rumored Mega-Festival Show
Last weekend, the organizers of the Coachella festival in California announced a three-day mega-festival featuring Bob Dylan and Paul McCartney on the first night, the Rolling Stones and Neil Young on the second night, and the Who and Roger Waters on the third evening.
The Who’s Roger Daltrey appears to have confirmed the story. “I think it’s us and Roger Waters on the same day,” he told the Canadian media company Postmedia Network. “It’s a fantastic idea for a festival. It’s the greatest remains of our era.”
Neil Young’s manager Elliot Roberts had spoken to the Los Angeles Times, sounding as if he was sure the show was going ahead: “You won’t get a chance to see a bill like this, perhaps ever again. It’s a show I look forward to more than any show in a long time,” Roberts said.
The show is believed to be taking place at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California – the Coachella site – from October 7-9, 2016.
In The Studio
Judas Priest Back in the Studio Working on New Album
Judas Priest have confirmed they’re back in the studio working on new material.
Frontman Rob Halford recently said the band aimed to release their 18th album in 2017, adding: “I can’t wait to get into the writing zone again – that’s one of the most thrilling moments for me in Priest.
“You go into a room with some amps, ‘Hey, guys, have a cup of tea,’ turn the amps on, start riffing, and boom – you could have another amazing Priest song by the end of the day.
“There was already an extraordinary amount of ideas collected throughout that tour, so I’m optimistic we should have something, probably not by the end of this year, but definitely by the early part of next year.”
Kip Winger to Release Debut Classical Album in May
Kip Winger may be known best for his success with his rock band Winger and his early days as a bass player with Alice Cooper. However, in May, Winger will release his debut classical album with the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra.
“I’ve spent my life dedicated to music”, Winger explains, “Since my early days with Alice Cooper I’ve always known that my ultimate destination was composing classical music for the orchestra.”
Run to the Cash Machine
Check out the recently posted Iron Maiden “The Book of Souls” Concert Attendance and Grosses. And that’s not including merch & swag sales!
The Sao Paulo gig was the highest gross for gigs between March 6 and April 9, at $2,844,250, with the Auburn Hills, MI gig reporting the lowest gross for one show, a mere $750,508.
Blast from the Past
Guitarist and lead vocalist Paul Stanley applies his “Starchild” makeup.
Photo credit: Waring Abbott/Getty Images
Retronaut posted a gallery of rare photos of KISS putting on their makeup before a show in 1974. Check it out, here.