Saturday, March 17, 2012

Rolling Stones Postpone 50th Anniv Tour

According to Rolling Stone Magazine, Keith Richards says the band is not ready to do a tour in 2012.

An article in the magazine reads: "Basically, we're just not ready," says Keith. Instead, 2013 is the new goal. "I have a feeling that's more realistic.”

The article continues:

But Stones insiders say that one reason for the delay is Richards' health, which has raised questions about his ability to make it through a worldwide tour. The quality of the guitarist's performances declined after he suffered a head injury on vacation in Fiji in April 2006, midway through the Bigger Bang tour.

The Stones gathered in a London studio in December and played together for the first time since the final night of the two-year Bigger Bang tour in August 2007. Making the occasion even more special, former bassist Bill Wyman sat in for the first time since he left in 1992. "We played a lot of blues and outtakes of 'Some Girls' and things like that," says Mick Jagger. "It went very well."

Adds Richards, "It was a very back-to-basics sort of session. There was a lot of jamming. On the third day, Mick turned up, which was a real joy. Because I set it up really as a magnet, you know."

Despite holding off on touring this year, the band is still buzzing from reuniting with Wyman. "We're back in touch, which is great, because I hadn't really spoken to him for years," says Richards. Will Wyman rejoin the group on the road in 2013? "I think he's up for it," Richards says. "We talked about it. I'll let you know when I can."

It would be cool to see the band with Wyman again. The article talks about the notion of the band setting up for 10 shows in New York, LA, London etc, to take the touring pressure off. Despite the fact that many fans would have to travel to shows, honestly the idea of them setting up camp in one town and playing a string of shows just makes sense. These guys have earned it.

Personally, I'd love to see the guys with Mick Taylor again, which has also been talked but but not in these recent reports. I have seen the Stones a few times and they are still solid live but for sure jumped the shark ages ago. Seeing Wyman back or Mick Taylor would juice it up for me. I guess we'll see.

Hopefully Keith is going to hang in there. When did the Stones jump the shark? For me it was after Tattoo You. How about you? Here is the band in its prime IMO:

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Good Rush - Bad Rush: The Lawsuit

As reported on Classic Rock this morning, the band Rush is suing the conservative asshole Rush Limbaugh.

Seems that the latter is playing the former's The Spirit of Radio on his own radio show and the Canadian trio is not pleased.

In a letter published to the Internet today and delivered to Rushhole via mail, "the use of Rush’s music in this manner implies an endorsement of the views expressed and products advertised on the show, and is in breach of not only copyright and trademark rights, but also, of section 51 of the New York Civil Rights Law..."

Radio Rush has had a trove of advertisers bail on this show and two of his 600 markets cancel his program due to comments I am starting to call Slut-Gate. From The Week:

On Saturday, after days of being hammered by the media and abandoned by several longtime national sponsors, radio host Rush Limbaugh issued an apology to Sandra Fluke. The Georgetown law student had testified in favor of President Obama's birth control insurance mandate at a congressional hearing last week, prompting Limbaugh to call her a "slut" and "prostitute," saying that if taxpayers have to pay for birth control pills for Fluke and her fellow "feminazis," then the government was essentially subsidizing sex, and "we want you to post the [sex] videos online so we can all watch." In apologizing, Limbaugh said he regretted the "insulting word choices" in his "attempt to be humorous."

Anyway, I am sure Geddy, Alex and Neil want nothing to do with this. Usually I hate lawyers but in this case, sue on!

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Sammy Hagar Remembers Ronnie Montrose

Sammy Hagar put out one of the best remembrances of super-guitarist Ronnie Montrose this week (Ronnie passed away from cancer on March 3), speaking to Rolling Stone Magazine. Here is the whole thing:

I've got to tell you, for [1973's Montrose] being my first album I had ever been involved with my life, to have something that's that classic to still stand up, and it's still in my opinion one of the best recording projects I've ever been involved in - that's all due to Ronnie. I wrote songs with him, but it was his trip. He's the guy that got me to sing with him. I had no experience whatsoever; I just wrote the first four songs in my life, which were "Bad Motor Scooter," "Make It Last," "One Thing on My Mind," and "I Don't Want It," played them for Ronnie upon first meeting, shook my hand, and said, "Let's start a band." I went from zero to a hundred.

 I saw him at Winterland with the Edgar Winter Group, [touring in support of] They Only Come Out at Night, with "Free Ride" and "Frankenstein." And I didn't know who he was; I didn't know anything about him. I had a band that was a soul band – we were playing Tower of Power and James Brown – and we sat there and watched Edgar Winter. I just told my guitar player, "I want you to be like that" – like Ronnie Montrose. And he's going, "I don't want to play that kind of music," and I'm going, "Well, I do." We got into it. It broke my band up, by seeing Ronnie for the first time. I said, "I'm going to be like that guy. I'm going to play guitar like that and I'm going to sing like…the way I sing." [Laughs]

I was talking to a guy a couple of days after the show, and he was saying, "That's Ronnie Montrose, and that was his last show. He lives in Sausalito." I lived in San Francisco, and I said, "Do you have his address?" because I didn't even have a phone. He gave it to me, and I went and knocked on his door, dressed like David Bowie – big old high heel platform shoes, satin pants, probably had make-up on, with a Les Paul and a notebook pad with all kinds of lyrics in it. I said, "I'm Sammy Hagar. I heard you're looking for a singer." He said, "Come on in. You got any songs?" I played him my four songs, we shook hands, and he said, "Let's start a band. Do you know any drummers? I've got a bass player, Bill Church." I had a drummer, Denny Carmassi – wasn't in my band, but he was my favorite drummer around town.

Within a month we were signed to Warner Bros. Records, Ted Templeman producing, and the first Montrose album was born a month after that. It was the fastest thing I've ever done in my life. Like I said, I went from zero to a hundred in the blink of an eye – all because of Ronnie.

My opinion of him? The most high-energy guy on stage I've ever seen. At that time, he was completely running in circles, jumping in the air. I mean, he was just intense. And I loved it. I hadn't come out yet, and that's what I really wanted to be – but I didn't have the balls. And the band I was in, we were a soul band. I couldn't act like that in a soul band. They wanted me to dance. Honestly, huge influence on me.

He was a changeling. Ronnie never liked to stick with anything. We made one of the greatest hard rock/heavy metal albums of all time with that first Montrose album, and then he didn't want to do that any more. "Nah, nah, we've got to have better songs, we've got to change our image, that kind of music is out." Boy, he was just laying it on us. Ronnie really liked to change – immediately. Like, before it was really established, he wanted to change. We butted heads and I got thrown out of the band [after one more album, 1974's Paper Money], but I carried on with that "first Ronnie Montrose" I saw. The first guy that came out in Montrose – '73, that year, what I learned from Ronnie Montrose, I still utilize today when I step on a stage. I try to keep the energy up and the entertainment high.

The first time Eddie Van Halen and I met, it was around 1977. We were on a stadium show with Boston, Black Sabbath, myself, Van Halen. He came to my dressing room, and said, "I'm a Montrose freak, I love the band!" And Ted Templeman told me, when he signed Van Halen, they were called something else, and he wanted to name them after the guitar player. He said on the first Van Halen record, he took the first Montrose record in there and said, "Boom. We're going to have eight great songs, they're going to be this long, they're going to be this tempo." And pretty much patterned the whole thing after it – right down to saying, "Why don't you guys get Sammy Hagar to sing in this band? He's been thrown out of Montrose." That's a true story!

Eddie had a totally new twist on the whole guitar style thing, but as far as the chording goes – not his soloing as much as the chording – yeah, he took some of that big open chord thing [from Montrose]. The big open A, the big open D, the big open E. Everything as open as you could make it, to make it as heavy as possible with one guitar. And that was pretty much Ronnie's style, too. And of course the fire, too – Van Halen came out with all that fire, which is Ronnie. Ronnie was full of fire, man.

A couple of weeks ago [was the last time I spoke to Montrose], and about a week before that, and then four or five days before that. We were talking a lot, because we were planning a Montrose reunion for my birthday in Cabo this year. Montrose, the whole band, has not been there. Denny's been there, Bill's been there, Ronnie's been there – but [the whole band together] has never been there. I said to Ronnie, "Come on, man. We're all getting old. Let's do this again while we can." And he was in, we were all in. On my 65th, on October 13th, I was planning on coming out with Montrose, doing the whole first album, then going in with my other band, and then bringing Chickenfoot out. I was going to try to [cover] my whole four decades for the fans that night, without nobody knowing. The fans don't ever know what I'm going to do down there. And Ronnie was in. It's crazy. I even played back on my message box, February 10th – "Hagar, Ronzo…call me back!" It was all good. It's fucked up that those songs will never be played by those four members again. That's so weird to me. It's like the end of an era. Songs can go forever, but we can't. It's trippy.

[I would like Montrose to be remembered] as one of the pioneers of American heavy/hard rock. And certainly, one of the great hard rock guitar players. But he was more than that – he was really versatile. But if you're going to remember him for anything, put on that first Montrose record.

For me Ronnie's passing is the end of an era. Ronnie Montrose gave me my first break as a songwriter, as a front man, as a recording artist and as a touring artist, and for that I will always be grateful. The first Montrose album was the first album I ever recorded and it still stands as one of the best recordings I have ever been a part of.

The only positive I can grab onto is the fact that the music will live on. It's a shame to lose Ronnie and I'm so sorry for his loved ones. Rest in peace.

----- Nice, Sammy. And here is a pretty sweet video I found the other night:

Ronnie Montrose - Night of the Guitars by alexandru2006