Classic Rock News

Eric Clapton lines up series of US concerts in September

Credit: George Chin

Eric Clapton is returning to the U.S. in September for a series of concerts in major Southern cities.

The eight-show run, which marks Slowhand's first stateside performance since the COVID-19 pandemic began, kicks off September 13 in Forth Worth, Texas, and is mapped out through a September 26 performance in Hollywood, Florida.

Tickets for the concerts will go on sale to the general public this Friday, June 18, at 10 a.m. local time.

Clapton will be performing with a backing band featuring ex-Squeeze/Mike + the Mechanics singer/keyboardist Paul Carrack, keyboardist Chris Stainton, drummer Steve Gadd, bassist Nathan East, and former Earth, Wind & Fire drummer/percussionist Sonny Emory, as well as backing vocalists Sharon White and Katie Kissoon. Ex-Fabulous Thunderbirds guitarist Jimmie Vaughan serves as the support act for the dates.

Last week, Eric released a collaborative tune with Van Morrison under the moniker Slowhand & Van called "The Rebels." The proceeds from sales of the track will benefit the Van Morrison Rhythm & Blues Foundation, which assists musicians experiencing financial difficulties.

Here are all of Clapton's confirmed U.S. tour dates:

9/13 -- Fort Worth, TX, Dickies Arena
9/15 -- Austin, TX, Frank Erwin Center
9/17 -- Houston, TX, Toyota Center
9/18 -- New Orleans, LA, Smoothie King Center
9/21 -- Nashville, TN, Bridgestone Arena
9/23 -- Atlanta, GA, Gas South Arena
9/25 -- Tampa, FL, Amalie Arena
9/26 -- Hollywood, FL, Seminole Hard Rock

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


The Go-Go's' Charlotte Caffey recalls highlights of band's recently reissued 'God Bless The Go-Go's' album

Eagle Records

On May 14, two days after it was announced that The Go-Go's will be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame this October, the band released a 20th anniversary reissue of their last studio album, 2001's God Bless The Go-Go's.

Go-Go's lead guitarist/keyboardist Charlotte Caffey tells ABC Audio that she's glad the album has been reissued because she feels it didn't get the attention it deserved when it first was released.

"We were doing promotion for it when 9/11 happened, so, obviously, there was something more important in the world than promoting a record going on," Caffey explains. "And [radio] people at that time…were not at all interested in any new Go-Go's stuff, even though the first single was 'Unforgiven,' co-written with [Green Day's] Billie Joe Armstrong."

Armstrong co-wrote "Unforgiven" with her and her band mate Jane Wiedlin, and also contributed guitar and backing vocals to the track.

"He sent Jane a cassette tape with a little idea on it, and then Jane and I took it from there," Caffey recalls, adding, "I love the song and I love playing it live."

God Bless The Go-Go's also features a song called "Talking Myself Down" that Caffey and Wiedlin co-wrote with The Bangles' Susanna Hoffs.

"I love her, and she's just amazing," Charlotte gushes about Hoffs, adding that she's also a huge fan of Susanna's "pristine" singing.

The God Bless The Go-Go's reissue's CD and digital editions include two bonus tracks, "I Think I Need Sleep" and "King of Confusion," which originally only were available on the U.K. and Japanese versions of the album, respectively.

The album also was released on vinyl for the first time.

Here's the God Bless the Go-Go's track list:

"La La Land"
"Unforgiven"
"Apology"
"Stuck in My Car"
"Vision of Nowness"
"Here You Are"
"Automatic Rainy Day"
"Kissing Asphalt"
"Insincere"
"Sonic Superslide"
"Throw Me a Curve"
"Talking Myself Down"
"Daisy Chain"
"I Think I Need Sleep"*
"King of Confusion"*

* = bonus tracks, CD and digital only.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Rick Wakeman, Alan Parsons chosen for prestigious UK honors by Queen Elizabeth II

Courtesy of Rick Wakeman; Victor Chavez/Getty Images

Former Yes keyboardist Rick Wakeman and veteran producer, composer and multi-instrumentalist Alan Parsons are among the celebs who have been acknowledged in the 2021 edition of Queen Elizabeth II's annual Birthday Honours list, which recognizes "outstanding achievements" and service of people across the U.K.

Wakeman was named a Commander of the Order of the British Empire, or a C.B.E., for services to music and broadcasting. A C.B.E. is ranked below a knighthood.

Rick posted a message on his official website reacting to the honor.

He writes, "Being extremely patriotic, very British and very much a Royalist, I will admit to feeling very proud but am also acutely aware that it is the musical gift that I am lucky enough to have, that has enabled me to reach out through music in so many ways…so I am extremely grateful for that."

The 72-year-old Rock & Roll Hall of Famer adds, "I can't help but think how proud my [late] Mum and Dad would have been."

Parsons, meanwhile, was cited as an Officer of the Order of the British Empire, or O.B.E., for services to music and music production. The C.B.E. honor is ranked just below a C.B.E.

Parsons is known for his work with his own group, The Alan Parsons Project, as well as his studio contributions as an engineer to albums by The Beatles and Pink Floyd.

In a Twitter message, Alan writes, "I am hugely chuffed and very grateful. It's tremendously satisfying to be listed among others who have also received The Queen's Honours in the arts."

Other music artists acknowledged in the Queen's 2021 Birthday Honours included Skunk Anansie singer Skin, pop singers Lulu and Englebert Humperdinck, and ex-Yaz frontwoman Alison Moyet.

Check out the full list at Gov.uk.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


First 2021 Record Store Day event takes place Saturday, including releases from AC/DC, Rolling Stones & many more

Courtesy of Record Store Day

The first of two 2021 Record Store Day "Drops" events takes place this Saturday, June 12, featuring the release of limited-edition vinyl discs at exclusively independent record stores, including offerings from AC/DC, The Rolling Stones, The Who, Black Sabbath and Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers.

AC/DC's Record Store Day release is a 12-inch picture disc featuring two songs from the band's 2020 album Power Up: "Through the Mists of Time" and "Witch's Spell."

The Rolling Stones are issuing a 10-inch clear-vinyl single called A Bigger Bang Live that features versions of "Rain Fall Down" and "Rough Justice" recorded at concerts in 2006 and 2005, respectively.

The Who will release a two-LP 40th anniversary edition of their 1981 album Face Dances, that's pressed on colored vinyl and features bonus tracks.

Black Sabbath is issuing picture-disc versions of its respective 1980 and 1981 studio albums, Heaven and Hell and Mob Rules, both of which feature Ronnie James Dio taking over for Ozzy Osbourne on lead vocals.

Petty & the Heartbreakers' RSD contribution is a reimagined version of their 1996 soundtrack album Songs and Music from the Motion Picture "She's the One," titled Angel Dream. The LP, which features four previously unreleased tracks, is pressed on cobalt-blue vinyl.

The June 12 installment of Record Store Day 2021 also includes exclusive releases from The Cure, Def Leppard, The Doors, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, The Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Elton John, Janis Joplin, The Kinks, Mötley Crüe, Mötorhead, Robert Palmer, Robert Plant, The Police, Iggy Pop, Steely Dan, The Clash's Joe Strummer, Styx, U2, Warren Zevon and The Zombies.

The second 2021 Record Store Day event takes place July 17.

Check out the whole list of releases and participating independent record stores at RecordStoreDay.com.

 

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


The Killers confirm new Bruce Springsteen collaboration, "Dustland," to be released June 16

Danny Clinch; Denise Truscello/WireImage

Bruce Springsteen will be featured on a new tune by The Killers called "Dustland" that, according to a post on the modern rockers' social media sites, will be released on Wednesday, June 16.

The band also has posted a link to pre-save the digital track, as well as a 10-second clip of an apparent music video for the tune showing both Springsteen and Killers frontman Brandon Flowers singing.

The Killers first teased the news of the collaboration on Thursday, when they tweeted, "We're announcing a killer collab (pun intended) later this week, but you've got to figure out who it's with." They added that they would be posting different clues leading up to the announcement, and encouraged fans to submit their guesses via TheKillersMusic.com/GuesstheFeature.

The first clue was a photo of a Ferris wheel on the Atlantic City, New Jersey, boardwalk, accompanied by the caption, "This city is down on the boardwalk and also the title of a song by our mystery artist." The Boss, of course, wrote a song called "Atlantic City" that appeared on his 1982 album Nebraska.

However, after reports emerged Thursday that Springsteen had called in to his radio show and revealed that he and The Killers were working on a new song together, the band then unveiled the new details about the tune.

"Looks like the cat's out of the bag," a message tweeted by The Killers late Thursday reads. "When The Boss decides it's time to make an announcement, it's time to make an announcement."

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Watch ZZ Top frontman Billy Gibbons' latest solo music video, "She's On Fire"

Credit: Harry Reese

ZZ Top frontman Billy Gibbons has released a music video for a fourth song from his latest solo album, Hardware, this one for a driving rock tune titled "She's On Fire."

Like Gibbons' three previous videos, the "She's On Fire" clip was shot by Texas-based filmmaker Harry Reese on location in California's high desert while the album was being made in the area.

The video finds Billy and his two Hardware collaborators, second guitarist Austin Hanks and ex-Guns N' Roses drummer Matt Sorum, rocking out in a sunny, arid landscape surrounded by Joshua trees and other desert plant life.

As they play the tune, a redheaded model drives up in a customized '84 Chevy El Camino, gets out of the car and proceeds dance and sway to the music in front of the rockers. The clip also features brief cameos by an iguana and a chameleon. As the song comes to an end, the woman gets back in her car and drives away, as Gibbons, Sorum and Hanks stand gawking together, ZZ Top-style, and point approvingly at her.

"The video is really an encapsulation of many of the themes touched upon in Hardware: the desert, pretty girls, heat, cacti, reptiles and rockin' out," Billy says in a statement. "One-stop shopping!"

In a press release about the video, the car featured in the video is identified as Gibbons' Grocery Getter, which had its own Discovery Channel special and was customized to Billy's specifications by celebrated hot-rod builder Jimmy Shine.

You can watch the "She's On Fire" video, as well as previously released clips for "My Lucky Card," "Desert High" and "West Coast Junkie," on Gibbons' official YouTube channel.

Hardware is available now.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Former Styx singer Dennis DeYoung's farewell album, '26 East, Volume 2,' released today

Frontiers Music srl

Former Styx singer/keyboardist Dennis DeYoung has just released what he says will be his final studio album, 26 East, Volume 2, a sequel to 2020's 26 East, Volume 1.

The collection features 12 tracks, four of which were co-written by Ides of March and ex-Survivor member Jim Peterik. Peterik also contributes guitar, bass and backing vocals to the record, while The Ides of March's horn section is featured on a track called "Hello Goodbye."

In addition, Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello lends his talents to the song "The Last Guitar Hero." Dennis' son Matthew plays drums on some of the tunes.

The album ends with a short song called "Grand Finale," which finds Dennis giving a nod to the Styx classic "The Grand Illusion."

Coinciding with 26 East, Volume 2's arrival, one of the new songs, a power ballad titled "There's No Turning Back Time," has been posted at the Frontiers Music label's YouTube channel. You also can check out previously released music videos for two songs, the prog-flavored "The Isle of Misanthrope" and the hard-rocking "The Last Guitar Hero," respectively, at DeYoung's YouTube channel and Frontiers' YouTube site.

DeYoung credits his friend Peterik for motivating him to record both volumes of 26 East.  "If not for Jim Peterik's encouragement, talent and prodding I would not have recorded this music," DeYoung says in a statement. "He once told me the world needed my music; to which I replied 'have the world text me for verification.' We collaborated from the get go, happily and seamlessly…Just two Chicago guys doing what they do best, making music and having a laugh."

Here's the full 26 East, Volume 2 track list:

"Hello Goodbye"
"Land of the Living"
"The Last Guitar Hero"
"Your Saving Grace"
"Proof of Heaven"
"Made for Each Other"
"There's No Turning Back Time"
"St. Quarantine"
"So Little Did We Know"
"Always Time"
"The Isle of Misanthrope"
"Grand Finale"

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Late Boston frontman Brad Delp would've turned 70 on Saturday

Richard Creamer/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Late Boston frontman Brad Delp, whose soaring vocals powered the band's arena-ready songs, was born 70 years ago this Saturday, June 12.

Delp contributed all the vocals to Boston's classic 1976 self-titled debut album, while main songwriter/lead guitarist Tom Scholz played most of the instrumental parts besides drums.

Scholz wrote the majority of Boston's songs, although Delp co-wrote "Smokin'" and composed the album's closer, "Let Me Take You Home Tonight."

Boston peaked at #3 on the Billboard 200 and featured three top-40 hits -- "More than a Feeling," "Long Time" and "Peace of Mind." The album has sold a whopping 17 million copies in the U.S.

Boston's 1978 follow-up, Don't Look Back, also was hugely successful, topping the Billboard 200 and featuring the hit title track. Delp again sang all vocals. He also co-wrote the song "Party" and penned "Used to Bad News." The album has sold seven million copies in the U.S.

After a hiatus, the band returned with its third studio effort, the chart-topping Third Stage, in 1986. The album featured the band's first #1 single, "Amanda." Delp co-wrote two songs, "Cool the Engines" and "Can'tcha Say (You Believe in Me)/Still in Love," the latter of which reached #20 in the Hot 100.

Outside of the band, Delp collaborated frequently with founding Boston guitarist Barry Goudreau, who left the group in 1981. Brad contributed to Barry's 1980 debut solo album, and the two played and recorded together in the band RTZ and as a duo. Delp also played for years in a Beatles cover band called Beatlejuice.

Brad didn't appear on Boston's 1994 album, Walk On, and shared vocal duties on its follow-up, 2002's Corporate America.

Sadly, Delp died by suicide in March 2007. He was 55.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Slowhand & Van: Eric Clapton and Van Morrison release new duet, "The Rebels"

Bushbranch/Surfdog Records

Eric Clapton has teamed up with Van Morrison under the moniker Slowhand & Van for a new collaborative single titled "The Rebels" that's available now as a digital download and via streaming services.

The song, which was written by Morrison, is a duet version of a tune called "Where Have All the Rebels Gone?" that appears on Van's recently released studio album, Latest Record Project, Vol. 1.

An animated music video for the new rendition has premiered at Clapton's YouTube channel. It features cartoon versions of Eric and Van walking down a hall with a series of "wanted" posters on the wall. The posters feature different iconic musical "rebels" who come to life as Clapton and Morrison pass them.

The song also will be released soon as a 12-inch vinyl single featuring an instrumental version of "The Rebels" on the B-side. You can pre-order it now.

The single's cover art is a sketch created by Clapton's daughter, Julie, that depicts Eric sitting in a chair with a "wanted" poster of Van on the wall behind him. A limited-edition fine-art print of the cover sketch signed by Julie Clapton will be available to order soon at Surfdog.com.

Money raised by sale of the single and prints will benefit the Van Morrison Rhythm & Blues Foundation, which assists musicians experiencing financial difficulties.

Last year, Clapton recorded and released another new Morrison-penned song, "Stand and Deliver," and Eric has voiced his support for Van in his critique of the U.K. government's handling of the COVID-19 lockdown and its effect on the country's live-music industry.

Clapton also referenced "Where Have All the Rebels Gone?" in a message he wrote recently questioning the AstraZeneca COVID vaccine's safety and revealing he had a severe reaction to the vaccine.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Def Leppard's 'Volume Three' box set, focusing on band's 2000s releases, arrives today

UMe/Virgin

The latest installment of Def Leppard's limited-edition series of box sets spanning the band's entire career hits stores today.

The new collection, Def Leppard -- Volume Three, focuses on the first decade of the 2000s, including three studio albums: 2002's X, the 2006 covers project Yeah! and 2008's Songs from the Sparkle Lounge.

The box set, which is available as a six-CD or a nine-LP package, also features three discs of archival material compiled by frontman Joe Elliott: B-Sides, Yeah! Studio Covers and Yeah! Live.

Def Leppard drummer Rick Allen tells ABC Audio that he and his band mates love putting out the box sets.

"[A]ll these records, they've been around for so long and they're part of people's DNA," he maintains. "And it's wonderful to really delve in and be able to [include] alternate versions, versions that never made the record, that kind of thing."

A major portion of the Volume Three collection is dedicated to Yeah!, which mainly featured Def Leppard's renditions of 1970s U.K. artists that influenced them.

"[R]eally, we grew up on '70s music," Allen notes. "That was the thing that really inspired us, particularly bands like Queen and David Bowie, Mott the HoopleIan Hunter."

Rick recalls that when it came time to choose tunes to cover for the Yeah! album, he and his band mates were on the same page.

"[W]e all came up with…a short list of songs that we really loved," he explains. "And more often than not, we liked the same songs."

To celebrate the box set's arrival, Elliott, Phil Collen and Viv Campbell will take part in a virtual release party at Def Leppard's Twitter page starting at 1 p.m. ET. The band mates will field fan questions during the event.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Pete Townshend donates solo song "Give Blood" for use in promoting World Blood Donor Day

Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

The Who's Pete Townshend has allowed his 1985 solo song "Give Blood" to be used to promote this year's edition of World Blood Donor Day, which takes place each year on June 14.

The campaign is a joint initiative by the World Health Organization, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies to raise awareness about the global need for blood and blood products and to thank people who volunteer to donate blood for the benefit of others.

"Give Blood" has been adapted by the Global Blood Fund charity for the World Blood Donor Day initiative with new lyrics focusing on the good that donating blood does to help the health of people around the world. Videos featuring multiple versions of the song sung in a variety of languages have been posted on the charity's official YouTube channel. The English version of the tune is sung by Imogen Andrews, the niece of Julie Andrews.

"Although it is now more than 35 years since I wrote the song 'Give Blood', this is the first time it has actually been used to encourage donation," Townshend says in a statement. "Shortage of blood around the world is a huge issue, particularly in poorer countries, and so I was delighted to give permission for Global Blood Fund to use my work to help communicate the need for more donors to come forward."

"Give Blood" originally appeared on Pete's 1985 solo album, White City: A Novel, and featured guest guitar work from Pink Floyd's David Gilmour.

To find out more about World Blood Donor Day and the "Give Blood" campaign, visit WHO.int and GlobalBloodFund.org.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Streaming concert by Ten Years After to premiere next week on Mandolin

Live Eye Presents

A special concert by veteran British blues-rockers Ten Years After, shot recently at an empty venue in London, will be streamed on Thursday, June 17, at Mandolin.com as the first part of a three-show series dubbed Blue Crossroads.

Tickets for the Ten Years After show, which will premiere at 9 p.m. ET, are available now for $15, entitling you to view the event unlimited times for 72 hours after it first airs.

The band's founding drummer, Ric Lee, says of the show, "Fans can expect an hour long concert mixing new and old Ten Years After songs…From the finished cut I've seen we did capture the excitement of a live gig in spite of the fact that, due to Covid restrictions, we weren't allowed an audience."

The concert was shot at London's Subterania venue. Ten Years After's current lineup features Lee, founding keyboardist Chick Churchill, veteran bassist Colin Hodgkinson, and singer/guitarist Marcus Bonfanti. Hodgkinson and Bonfanti both joined the group in 2014.

The Blue Crossroads series also will feature concerts from two of Bonfanti's other projects -- Marcus Bonfanti Electric Band on July 1, and Jawbone on July 15. Discounted ticket packages for all three streaming shows priced at $33 also are available at Mandolin.com.

Meanwhile, Lee, who recently released a memoir titled From Headstocks to Woodstock, reports that says Ten Years After has some interesting upcoming plans.

The band's recent concert album Naturally Live will get its debut U.S. release soon. The group will celebrate the 50th anniversary of their 1971 album A Space in Time -- which features the hit "I'd Love to Change the World" -- at the forthcoming tour dates. Lee says, "With luck we'll start touring again in Europe later this year and hopefully hit the USA in 2022."

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


First all-female Rock Fantasy Camp to feature Nancy Wilson, Melissa Etheridge, Kathy Valentine & more

Courtesy of Rock 'n' Roll Fantasy Camp

Heart guitarist Nancy Wilson, Melissa Etheridge and Go-Go's bassist Kathy Valentine are part of the lineup of the first-ever all-female Rock 'n' Roll Fantasy Camp, which will take place in Los Angeles January 27-30, 2022, which is Grammy weekend.

Wilson, Etheridge and Valentine are among the rockers who will serve as musical mentors to the campers, as well as Australian guitar whiz Orianthi, former Michael Jackson touring guitarist Jennifer Batten, Jeff Beck/one-time Prince touring bassist Rhonda Smith, and many more.

Besides the accomplished musicians taking part in the camp, the crew and staff for the event also will be solely comprised of women.

The four-day event will feature masterclasses, Q&A sessions and themed jams, and will culminate on Sunday, January 30, with the campers performing in front of a live audience at the famed Whisky a Go Go club in West Hollywood, California. The campers also will be treated to a pre-Grammy party on Saturday night.

"The Rock 'n' Roll Fantasy Camp is always a joy to do," says Wilson. "Looking forward to the first ever all girl camp this year! It ought to be extra cool and extra fun."

Adds Etheridge, "It's so inspiring having organizations such as the Rock 'n' Roll Fantasy Camp embrace and support women in the music industry. I'm looking forward to meeting the campers and collaborating with everyone there!"

Valentine, who took part in a virtual Rock Fantasy Camp event in 2020, says, "One of my favorite things about the virtual one I did last year was getting the opportunity to encourage, inspire, and share what I've learned in my career with campers."

To book a spot at the first "Women Only" edition of the camp or fond out more details, visit RockCamp.com.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Elton John says UK in danger of "losing a generation of talent" due to post-Brexit trade deal

Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images

Elton John is continuing his fight to help musicians in the U.K. after the British government failed to secure visa-free travel for artists touring Europe post-Brexit.

In a statement made to a Select Committee hearing in Parliament on Thursday, and posted to his Instagram, Elton said he believes the country is "currently in grave danger of losing a generation of talent due to the gaping holes in the government's trade deal."

He points out that new and emerging artists will be unable to tour Europe freely due to the financial and logistical burden. As things stand now, they will need separate visas for each of the 27 European Union countries, and separate $478 permits for instruments and equipment. Prior to Brexit, musicians could move freely between European Union countries during tours.

Elton accused the U.K. government of breaking the promise they made in 2020 to protect musicians and other creative industries from the impact of Brexit on touring in Europe, saying that "despite the looming catastrophe," the government seems "unable or unwilling" to find a solution.

"I call on the government to sort this mess out or we risk losing future generations of world-beating talent," Elton says. "This is about whether one of the U.K.'s most successful industries, worth [111 billion pounds] a year, is allowed to prosper and contribute hugely to both our cultural and economic wealth, or crash and burn."

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Elton John (@eltonjohn)

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Listen to unearthed Motörhead soundcheck performance of "Stay Clean"

Credit: Rick Saunders

An unearthed recording of a Motörhead soundcheck performance of the 1979 Overkill song "Stay Clean" has been released.

The track is one of the many rarities included on the upcoming No Sleep 'Til Hammersmith 40th anniversary reissue, which includes remastered audio from the legendary 1981 live album, along with a host of never-before-released live recordings.

You can download the "Stay Clean" soundcheck performance now via digital outlets. It's also accompanied by a video featuring footage of the Motörhead road crew from their 1981 tour, which you can watch now on YouTube.

The No Sleep 'Till Hammersmith reissue will be released June 25.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


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