Music News

DAVID LEE ROTH: 'I WOULDN'T HOLD MY BREATH' FOR A VAN HALEN REUNION

David Lee Roth has just given fans even less hope for a Van Halen comeback, saying he "wouldn't hold (his) breath" for the band to ramp up again. Roth, who drew mixed reviews for his recent run of Las Vegas gigs, will serve as the opening act for Kiss during the band's North American dates.

Blabbermouth transcribed the chat Roth had on the PodKats! Las Vegas Entertainment podcast, in which he spoke about being in touch with Eddie Van Halen: "I just called Ed to find out who the guitar tech I need to talk to is and some of the gear I need. Everybody's fully aware (of the residency). We live in small circles here. We have the same manager, everything. The stuff you sing along with, I wrote. I'm a part-owner. It's in the DNA. Whatever happens with Van Halen, it's not for me to guess. I wouldn't hold my breath."

Roth went on to explain how his solo band differs from the Van Halen: "I put together a double-guitar, three-guitars approach, because we're not making any effort to replicate Van Halen live. That's guitar, bass, drums, Eddie (Van Halen) -- wonderful. No, this is the album. We start the way the album sounds, and man, that's a high hurdle. It requires multiple guitars."

He went on to add: "I take it very seriously when I get out there in the music department. This is not a tribute band; it's not a backup band. This has taken me about four years to really bring it around. Most acts take six, eight weeks to bring the full production together. We'll have put in eight months in preparation for the music in the same spirit that the original Van Halen was built. The average age in this band now is 25 years old, and they're ready to plug in."

Greg Renoff, the author of the recent Van Halen biography, Van Halen Rising: How A Southern California Backyard Party Band Saved Heavy Metal, ultimately feels that David Lee Roth's solo career dried up due to a drastic dip in material: "The musicians were great, I don't think the songs were good enough. They weren't Eddie Van Halen (laughs)-quality songs. You listen to that record -- y'know, 'Yankee Rose' might be catchy and stuff but, I can listen to the second side of (Van Halen's) Fair Warning and be completely swept away in the music, whereas with the second side of Eat 'Em And Smile, you're like 'well. . . ' The songs aren't great, right? You still got Roth, and Roth's personality comes through, but yeah, I don't think the songs were good enough. The other thing, too, was that magic combination of the songwriting team. You can't just split that up."

David Lee Roth will kick off his opening slot with Kiss on February 1st in Manchester, New Hampshire at SNHU Arena.

Roth's next Las Vegas stand will be a six-show run on March 18th, 20th, 21st, 25th, 27th, and 28th at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino's House of Blues venue.

AUDIO: GREG RENOFF ON EARLY VAN HALEN SONGWRITING

JUDGE DISMISSES JOEY KRAMER'S LAWSUIT AGAINST AEROSMITH BANDMATES

A Massachusetts judge has rejected Aerosmith drummer Joey Kramer's lawsuit against his bandmates. Earlier this week, Kramer filed suit against the band claiming he was forced to audition to keep his job following surgery and was deemed too weak to perform. Kramer specifically took umbrage at being not permitted to play at the band's MusiCares honor on Friday (January 24th) or the Grammys on Sunday (January 27th). TMZ posted footage of Kramer being turned away from an Aerosmith Grammy rehearsal.

Ultimate Classic Rock reported that the ruling specifically cited that despite Kramer's claims, he is not entitled to perform, stating in part: "Given that Kramer has not played with the band in six months and the dearth of available rehearsal time before the upcoming performances, Kramer has not shown a realistic alternative course of action sufficient to protect the band's business interests . . . As Kramer concedes, nothing in the parties' Agreement creates specific rights or obligations with respect to the procedures to be followed when a member of the band desires to return from a temporary incapacity or disability. The Agreement is simply silent on that issue."

It went on to read: "Notwithstanding Kramer's assertion that the band's past practice has been to permit a member to return with no questions asked, the parties' affidavits suggest a good faith dispute whether it's in Aerosmith's best interest to allow Kramer to participate in the unique MusiCares and Grammy Award performances, which will occur in mere days. The defendants have expressed a willingness to allow Kramer to return to the residency performances in the spring, following an adequate opportunity for the band to rehearse."

Joey Kramer said in a statement:

Although I'm extremely disappointed by the Judge's ruling today, I respect it. I knew filing a lawsuit was a bit of an uphill battle considering that the corporate documents don't reference any process for a band member returning from an injury or illness. However, the band waited until January 15th to tell me that they weren't letting me play at the awards ceremonies this week. I can hold my head high knowing that I did the right thing – to fight for my right to celebrate the band's success that I have dedicated the better part of my life to helping build.

The truth speaks for itself. Ever since I injured my foot last August and went through many hours of physical therapy to heal, not once did the band in its entirety offer to rehearse with me. That is a fact. I was also sent the full rehearsal schedule on January 18th and flew to LA the next day to rehearse and have many texts and emails stating the band can't wait for my return. That's also a fact. When I showed up to rehearse, I was greeted by two security guards who prohibited me from entering.

The band's offer to allow me to participate in this week's MusiCares and Grammy celebrations for red carpet photo ops only, is appreciated; however, with a fill-in drummer playing on stage at two events honoring our collective musical contributions, it is extremely hurtful to me. I am a professional musician who is eager to return to my rightful place with Aerosmith.

I want to thank my fans for the incredible outpouring of support and for sharing my goal of taking my place on stage as one of the five founding members of Aerosmith and continuing to play the music I love."


ALICE COOPER / LITA FORD TREK ROLLS ON THROUGH JUNE

Alice Copper and Lita Ford have just tagged 20 new dates onto their joint tour -- with special guests Tesla opening the shows. The newly added dates pick up on May 30th in Paso Robles, California at Vina Robles Amphitheatre and run through June 27th when the tour hits Clarkston, Michigan's DTE Energy Music Theatre.

Alice Cooper admits he doesn't know how he would compete in today's music marketplace: "I think if I started a band today, I don't know, I wouldn't know how to compete with the bands today. If I were Alice Cooper starting today, I think you probably have to kill somebody and then get acquitted so people know that you're a killer, at least, so you have some validity, whereas when I played Alice before, all I had to do was play that killer. Now I think, you know, on a lot of rap records, a lot of even the metal things, you have to kill something or kill somebody or be implicated in a killing or something in order to have validity. That's scary."

UPDATED: Alice Cooper / Lita Ford tour dates (subject to change):

March 31 - Niagara Falls, ON - Avalon Theatre
April 1 - Peterborough, ON - Memorial Centre
April 3 - Grand Rapids, MI - DeVos Music Hall
April 4 - Milwaukee, MI - Miller High Life Theater
April 5 - Appleton, WI - Fox Performing Arts Center
April 7 - Omaha, NE - Orpheum Theatre
April 8 - Davenport, IA - Adler Theatre
April 10 - Grand Forks, ND - Alerus Center
April 11 - Winnipeg, MB - Centennial Concert Hall
April 13 Regina, SK Conexus Arts Centre
April 15 - Edmonton, AB - Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium
April 16 - Prince George, BC - CN Centre
April 18 - Abbotsford, BC - Abbotsford Entertainment & Sports Centre
April 19 Penticton, BC - South Okanagan Events Centre
April 20 - Seattle, WA - McCaw Hall
April 22 - Portland, OR - Keller Auditorium
May 30 - Paso Robles, CA - Vina Robles Amphitheatre
May 31 - Los Angeles, CA - Hollywood Bowl
June 3 - Denver, CO - Mission Ballroom
June 5 - Thackerville, OK - Winstar World Casino
June 6 - Topeka, KS - Stormont Vail Events Center
June 7 - St Louis, MO - Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre
June 9 - Nashville, TN - Ascend Amphitheatre
June 10 - Huber Heights, OH - Rose Music Center
June 12 - Welch, MN - Treasure Island Resort & Casino
(with Blue Oyster Cult)
June 13 - Chicago, IL - Rosemont Theatre
June 14 - Cleveland, OH - Blossom Music Center
June 16 - Boston, MA - Rockland Trust Bank Pavilion
June 17 - Wilkes Barre, PA - Mohegan Sun Arena
June 19 - Holmdel, NJ - PNC Bank Arts Center
June 20 - Gilford, NH - Bank of NH Pavilion
June 21 - Baltimore, MD - The Hall at Live! Casino & Hotel
(Alice Cooper and Lita Ford only)
June 23 - Wantagh, NY - Northwell Health at Jones Beach
June 25 - Philadelphia, PA - The Mann Center
June 26 - Pittsburgh, PA - S&T Bank Music Park
June 27 - Detroit, MI - DTE Energy Music Theatre

AUDIO: ALICE COOPER DISCUSSES THE IMAGES OF MUSICIANS

SAMMY HAGAR & RICK SPRINGFIELD TEAM UP FOR NEW BRAND OF RUM

Sammy Hagar and Rick Springfield are teaming up. . . as rum runners??? The two rock veterans have been pals for years -- with Springfield scoring a 1981 Top 10 hit with a cover of Hagar's "I've Done Everything For You." The pair has joined forces to relaunch one of Hagar's spirit lines, "which offers a collection of flavored rums called Sammy's Beach Bar Rum." The brand, which was started by Hagar has now taken on Springfield as a partner.

All told, there are three new rums on the market -- a classic white rum, the Kola Spiced rum and the Red Head Macadamia Nut rum.

Rick Springfield told People, "Our first collaboration was a home run so we thought why not try it again. Sammy has had such amazing success in the spirit business and I've wanted to get into it for a while now. When this opportunity came along I thought it was a brilliant idea. And I am an Ernest Hemingway fan so of course I drink rum. I've tried a bunch of them and the Beach Bar brand is a cut above all the ones I tried -- smoother and sweeter."

Back in 2007, it was reported Hagar sold and 80 percent interest in his Cabo Wabo Tequila for and estimated $80 million.

Rick Springfield next performs on January 30th in Plymouth, Massachusetts at Plymouth Memorial Hall.

Sammy Hagar & The Circle are set to play on February 7th in San Antonio, Texas at the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo.


FLASHBACK: THE FIRST ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME INDUCTION CEREMONY

It was 34 years ago tonight (January 23rd, 1986) that the first inductees entered the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in a ceremony held at New York City's Waldorf-Astoria. The inaugural class of the Hall of Fame featured rock's forefathers: Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley, Little Richard, Fats Domino, Buddy Holly, the Everly Brothers, Ray Charles, James Brown, Sam Cooke and Jerry Lee Lewis. Included in the Non-Performer category were Sun Records founder Sam Phillips and seminal disc jockey Alan Freed, whom many credit for actually coining the phrase "Rock And Roll."

Also inducted that night in the Early Influence category were blues icon Robert Johnson, country's Jimmie Rogers, and boogie-woogie pianist Jimmy Yancey. Columbia Records' legendary A&R man John Hammond, who was responsible for discovering Billie Holiday, Aretha Franklin, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, and many others, received the Hall's first Lifetime Achievement Award.

The emotional inductions included Keith Richards' speech inducting Chuck Berry and John Lennon's sons Julian and Sean Lennon saluting their father's hero, Elvis Presley.

The ceremony featured the first all-star jam, which closed the night's festivities. Among the stars joining the inductees onstage were Steve Winwood, John Fogerty, Billy Joel, and ZZ Top. The musicians, backed by Late Night With David Letterman's house band -- the World's Most Dangerous Band, lead by Paul Shaffer -- rocked into the early hours on classics such as Berry's "Roll Over Beethoven," "Little Queenie," and "Johnny B. Goode"; Lewis' "Great Balls Of Fire" and "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On"; Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Proud Mary"; Chubby Checker's "The Twist"; and the Spencer Davis Group's "Gimme Some Lovin'," among others.

Paul McCartney told us that the birth of rock n' roll in the mid-1950's not only changed his life but the world at large: "It was America reawakening the world 'cause, y'know, we were into sort of other stuff then, and suddenly Elvis, Little Richard came screaming out of across the Atlantic, y'know, and it was just so exciting for us all. That is a very exciting time, so to remember it was very exciting, but also being a teenager at that time was a very exciting, interesting time."

Mick Jagger spoke about Buddy Holly's influence on the future British Invasion rockers: "Every English person you talk to, from my generation, at least, will tell you that Buddy Holly was -- he was a big influence as a songwriter. And he wrote all these songs in a very short period of time, and they're all very simple. And he was very big in England, I think he toured only once; I saw him on stage. But he was a very big influence."

Graham Nash recalled first meeting the Everly Brothers in 1960 while still a teen back in England, and never forgot their attention and kindness: "The Everly Brothers came to Manchester, and me and Allan Clarke, who later formed the Hollies with me, decided that we were going to meet the Everly Brothers. And that was a dream, I mean, who does that, right? But we waited; the last bus left, we knew we would have to walk nine miles back home in the pissing rain -- it was a drag -- except, we were gonna meet our idols! So, around 1:30 in the morning they come, they're a little drunk, they come 'round the corner (laughter) and we go, "Oh, they're here, God, they're walking towards us, oh my goodness,' right? Don and Phil Everly talked to me and Allan Clarke for what seemed like half-an-hour -- just encouraging us."

Even after all these years, George Thorogood feels that his two biggest heroes deserve all the credit for being the architects of rock n' roll as we know and love it: "To me, Chuck Berry invented rock n' roll. Bo Diddley and Chuck Berry are the two most important musicians of all time, because rock n' roll changed the world. It's not a musical phenomenon -- it's a social phenomenon, and it still is. And it was Chuck Berry who took black music and revved it up and brought it into the living rooms of white America. He wrote 'Johnny B. Goode.' -- the all-time 'Mr. Rock n' Roll' song."

Billy Joel, who gave his daughter Alexa the middle name of Ray, in tribute to his idol, went on to duet with him on his 1986 classic "Baby Grand" from The Bridge. He said that "Brother Ray" was always a key vocal inspiration for him: "Sometimes I'm trying to sound like Ray Charles . . . the funny thing is, I found out Robert Plant sings the way he did because he was trying to sing like Ray Charles and that's as close as he could get."

James Burton, Elvis Presley's longtime lead guitarist and bandleader, said that Elvis was never not in full control of his voice, even on his final tours when his health was sometimes in question: "Oh yeah, he knew his range. Oh yeah, absolutely. He had perfect pitch. I mean the guy could be clear across the stage and go into a song he probably hadn't sung in years -- it was there. It was such a natural talent, y'know? It was a blessing from God."

ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons credits rock n' roll's forefathers for everything that came after them: "We get the beat from Bo, we got the poetry from Chuck, and we got the insane madness vocal from Little Richard. Those three combined, if you could possibly invent something beyond that, we'd be on another planet -- but I think we're already there anyway (laughs)."

The 35th annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame class will induct the Doobie Brothers, T. Rex, Whitney Houston, Depeche Mode, Nine Inch Nails, and the Notorious B.I.G.

Jon Landau -- Bruce Springsteen's manager and producer, along with music mogul and Eagles manager Irving Azoff, will be both receive the Ahmet Ertegun Award.

The Rock Hall induction ceremony will take place on May 2nd at Cleveland's Public Hall with the event airing live on HBO.

AUDIO: BILLY GIBBONS ON BO DIDDLEY CHUCK BERRY LITTLE RICHARD
AUDIO: JAMES BURTON ON ELVIS PRESLEY'S VOCAL TALENT
AUDIO: BILLY JOEL ON RAY CHARLES
AUDIO: GEORGE THOROGOOD ON LOVING CHUCK BERRY AND BO DIDDLEY
AUDIO: GRAHAM NASH ON MEETING THE EVERLY BROTHERS IN 1960
AUDIO: MICK JAGGER ON BUDDY HOLLY
AUDIO: PAUL MCCARTNEY ON FIRST HEARING ELVIS AND LITTLE RICHARD

THE GO-GO'S ROLL OUT 2020 TOUR DATES

The Go-Go's have rolled out a string of summer dates, taking in a total of 11 stops on both coasts. The band, featuring its classic lineup -- Belinda Carlisle, Jane Wiedlin, Charlotte Caffey, Gina Schock, and Kathy Valentine -- start and end the jaunt in Southern California -- beginning on June 25th in San Diego, at Humphreys and wrapping on July 13th in Costa Mesa at Segerstrom Center for the Arts.

The group's eagerly-anticipated Alison Eastwood-directed documentary, titled The Go-Go's, is set to premiere on Sunday (January 26th) at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, before airing on Showtime.

Guitarist Jane Wiedlin shed light on the magic component that's always made the Go-Go's stand apart from the pack: "I would say one thing about the Go-Go's songwriting is there's always two qualities going on at the same time. It's either, sort of, sunny music with dark lyrics or optimistic lyrics with slightly bitter sounding music. We always have those two things, and if one's missing it doesn't sound like the Go-Go's. So you notice it in more songs more than others but it's always been this weird little formula that we do naturally"

JUST ANNOUNCED: The Go-Go's tour dates (subject to change):

June 25 - San Diego, CA - Humphreys
June 27 - Las Vegas, NV - Fremont St. Experience
June 28 - Temecula, CA - Pechanga Theater
June 30 - Los Angeles, CA - The Orpheum Theater
July 1 - Los Angeles, CA - The Orpheum Theater
July 5 - Asbury Park, NJ - The Stone Pony
July 7 - Westbury, NY - Theater at Westbury
July 9 - Bensalem, PA - Parx Casino
July 10 - Mashantucket, CT - Foxwoods Resort and Casino
July 12 - San Francisco, CA - The Masonic
July 13 - Costa Mesa, CA - Segerstrom Center for the Arts

AUDIO: JANE WIEDLIN ON THE GO-GO'S MUSICAL_FORMULA

SLASH SAYS GUNS N' ROSES IS 'NOT REALLY SURE' WHAT TO DO WITH NEW MUSIC

Guns N' Roses guitarist Slash may have just lowered fan expectations for a new studio album from the band.

Asked in a new interview with Guitar.com for an update on new music from the group, Slash responded, "There's been no definitive answer on anything and I'll just keep to that. Stuff is happening, but there are no specifics."

Slash elaborated, "More than anything, it's because of the nature of the industry right now. It's just like, how do you want to do this? I mean there's material and there's recording and there's s**t going on, but we're not really sure what we're doing with it right now."

Ever since Slash, singer Axl Rose and bassist Duff McKagan reunited in 2016, rumors have been circulating that new music from the band -- the first to feature the three original members since 1993 -- was in the works. The band itself has hinted at new music as well.

When Guitar.com pointed out to Slash that the music industry in 2020 is a lot different now than the last time Guns made a record, the guitarist said, "Yeah. And there's a handful people who said, 'Yeah, make a record and go old school.' And there's a handful of people that are, like, 'We don't even know what buying a record is any more.'"

Guns N' Roses will next perform at the second Bud Light Super Bowl Music Fest, set to take place January 30th through February 1st at American Airlines Arena in Miami. Guns will headline on January 31st.


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