Classic Rock News and Notes 12-10

Rod_stewartThe biggest news on the horizon is the reunion of Emerson, Lake and Palmer at the High Voltage Classic Rock Festival in Victoria Park, London on July 25. Greg Lake (vocals, bass and guitar) and Keith Emerson (keyboards) are also writing together again. It promises to be an inspiring show and the musical event of the summer. Look for Review Fix’s interview with Greg Lake on this site soon. ZZ Top will be playing the festival on July 24. We will pass along any news of more bands being added.

The much-anticipated Faces reunion might or might not happen without Rod Stewart, the band’s original singer. Three of the original members – Ronnie Wood (guitar), Ian McLagan (keyboards) and Kenney Jones (drums) – played a charity show on Oct. 25 at the Royal Albert Hall in London. The Rolling Stones’ Bill Wyman (bass) replaced deceased member Ronnie Lane while the vocal duties of Rod Stewart, who is involved in his own recording projects and did not attend, was handled by a troika of Spice Girl Mel B., Kiki Dee and Simply Red’s Mick Hucknall. There is a rumbling that Hucknall would be tabbed lead singer if the reunion happens in 2010. Rod Stewart offered this statement on CNN: “Faces had a reunion…in London without me because I’m promoting this album…Hopefully, I’ll get me old job back. It’s on the cards. I’ll do it eventually.” Let us hope this reformation of one of classic rock’s signature band happens with Stewart, as it was meant to be.

Ronnie James Dio (Elf, Rainbow, Black Sabbath, Heaven and Hell), one of classic rock’s most talented vocalists, has been diagnosed with stomach cancer. Dio had been touring with former Black Sabbath members Geezer Butler (bass) and Tony Iommi (guitar), along with Vinny Appice (drums). His manager and wife Wendy said, “After he kills this dragon, Ronnie will be back on stage where he belongs, doing what he loves best: Performing for his fans.” He will be starting treatment immediately, and our prayers are with one of rock’s greatest singers and nicest people. Dio was featured on this Web site in an article that designated his Elf’s debut album in the number one spot on our underrated and underappreciated classic-rock album list.

The status of Aerosmith is quite unstable at the moment. After lead vocalist and front man Steven Tyler abruptly quit the band’s tour in August after falling off the stage, things have been quite unsettled. There have been rumors that Tyler is beginning to take drugs again. This allegation has been alluded to by band members who consider Tyler to be a brother. Tyler tried to quell these rumblings by unexpectedly joining guitarist Joe Perry at a recent solo show and proclaiming that he was not leaving Aerosmith. Tyler also recently sought to hire a separate manager, which did not help matters much.

Tyler has distanced himself from the members of the band, even allegedly hanging up on Perry when discussing a planned South American tour. According to my sources, the band has even considered replacing Tyler with another vocalist and calling the band another name. We will keep you posted on any new developments.

Dee Anthony, the manager extraordinaire who guided the careers of Jerry Vale, Tony Bennet, Peter Frampton , Jethro Tull, Ten Years After and Emerson, Lake and Palmer, died on Oct. 26 at the age of 83 in a Norwalk Connecticut hospital.
Born Anthony D’Addario, during his 40-year career he managed Peter Frampton (when he released his landmark “Frampton Comes Alive!” album) and English imports Traffic and Joe Cocker when they first arrived in the United States. Listen to the aforementioned Greg Lake interview (which will be posted on this Web site) to hear his thoughts on this one-of- kind manager and man.

Dickie Peterson, bassist and lead singer for power trio Blue Cheer, whose raucous version of Eddie Cochran’s Summertime Blues on their debut album “Vincebus Eruptum” rivaled The Who’s, died at the age of 63 on Oct. 12. He had been planning a tour of Europe in support of 2009’s Blue Cheer DVD release, “Blue Cheer Rocks Europe.”

The Scorpions, Germany’s stellar classic-rock outfit, will be embarking on a 2010 world tour. The band can fill arenas all over the world. They had just come off a two-year tour in support of their most recent release, “Humanity: Hour 1.” They plan to tour their native Germany, parts of Europe, Russia, the United States and Asia.

The Scorpions guitarist, Rudolph Schenker, has written a book, “Rock Your Life,” which is more of a life-coaching book than a rock one.

Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck, two former “Yardbirds,” (though they never played in the group at the same time) will be touring together with a couple of dates at New York’s Madison Square Garden on Feb. 18 and 19 (on sale Dec. 12). Seeing these two guitar masters on one stage is a once-in-a-lifetime concert experience. They played together in Tokyo earlier this year, and it went so well that they decided to try it again. Jeff Beck’s performance on the 25th Anniversary Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Concert, recently broadcast on HBO, was stirring. His wonderful instrumental interpretation of the Beatles’ “A Day in The Life” has been nominated for a Grammy award.

Mott the Hoople’s series of London reunion shows at the Hammersmith Apollo, celebrating their 40th anniversary in October, were big hits with fans and critics alike. Concert Live, recorded the Oct. 1 – a three-CD, set is available at www.ianhunter.com.

A new band that has some classic-rock fans talking is “Three Crooked Vultures.” The band features Dave Grohl on drums and Led Zeppelin’s legendary bassist John Paul Jones. Check out “Nobody Loves Me and Neither Do I” and “Mind Eraser, No Chaser” on their self-titled debut. A unique aspect of this band is that they have made the complete album available for fans to listen to on YouTube.

A new Jethro Tull CD/DVD set is a must – buy it this holiday season. It is a performance from 1978, when Ian Anderson and the boys were at their musical zenith. The running time of the DVD is 95 minutes, with 50 minutes of live footage. (The other 45 minutes has music with photographs.) The CD is a 78-minute version of the show. The version of “Aqualung” is one of the best Tull versions of the song ever performed live.

Genesis drummer and solo artist Phil Collins, 58, has to put down his drumsticks for a while because of recent surgery to repair a dislocated vertebra in his neck. This has led to Collins not being able to hold the sticks properly because of his fingers being affected. This is not a permanent condition, though, and I am sure Collins will be back on the skins in no time. His last tour with Genesis was spectacular, by the way.

I have heard through the grapevine that there might be a Queen version of Rock Band soon. Brian May (guitarist) said, “Yes, we’re into it – I think it may happen.” I am sure aspiring guitarists and air guitarists alike will be thrilled.

The Pretenders are planning to go on tour next year. This is good news, as Chrissie Hynde’s voice is sorely missed on the rock ‘n’ roll scene.

About Steve Janowsky 88 Articles
Steve Janowsky is a former co-host of the Rocktologists theme based classic rock show radio show on WKRB 90.3 fm, which was voted the best classic rock podcast in the country by Dave White of About.com. Some of the interview guests on the show were Simon Kirke ( Free and Bad Company), Carl Palmer (ELP), Vince Martell (Vanilla Fudge), Randy Jackson (Zebra) and Frank Marino of Mahogany Rush. Janowsky is also an English and Journalism instructor at Kingsborough Community College in Brooklyn, NY and is an avid guitar player and songwriter.

4 Comments

  1. Hi,

    This news sure beats the crap I am bombarded with daily on the radio. Hope Rod Stewart gets back together for a show at Madison Square Garden with The Faces

  2. ELP reuniting? Never thought I’d see that. Here’s hoping Lake’s voice is in better shape than on “In The Hot Seat”.

  3. Steve, We hope certainly that Ronnie James Dio recovers fully. I expect that Greg Lake will be very well prepared for the ELP reunion. In your interview with him, he clearly indicates that he values highly the opportunity to work with Keith Emerson again. I cannot wait for the podcast of that interview to be posted soon.

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