Classic Rock News and Notes 12-20

The 2010 class of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees has been announced and here it is: The Alice Cooper Band, Neil Diamond, Dr. John, Darlene Love, Tom Waits, Jac Holzman, Art Rupe and Leon Russell, whose recent album “The Union,” with Elton John has received rave reviews. Cooper’s induction into the Hall of fame is long overdue. His stellar band, which included lead guitarist Glen Buxton (deceased), rhythm guitarist Michael Bruce, bass player Dennis Dunaway and drummer Neil Smith, along with a cutting edge theatrical stage show was the inspiration for future bands like Kiss and solo artists like Marilyn Manson. Interestingly, the remaining members of The Alice Cooper Band are in the process of recording a new album called “Welcome to My Nightmare 2.”

Despite the fact that these groundbreakers have finally been recognized by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, that institution has a long way to go in acknowledging the huge impact of Deep Purple, the aforementioned Kiss, Grand Funk Railroad, Emerson, Lake and Palmer, Yes and too many other bands to mention. The induction will take place on March 14 at the Waldorf-Astoria hotel in New York City.

“Don’t Stop Believin’” from Journey’s 1981 album “Escape” has topped the three million mark in paid downloads. 29 years after its release, the song has been used on “The Sopranos,” “X-Factor,” “American Idol” and such films as “The Wedding Singer” and “Shrek.” The series finale of Glee featured the track which has brought it to the attention of a younger fan base.

Van Halen will be going back on the road in the new year, possibly venturing to Australia, Europe and the mainland. Rumors that original bassist Michael Anthony will rejoin the group are unfounded. There are still a tremendous amount of bad feelings between him and Eddie Van Halen and that rift will be difficult to mend. Anthony is also said to be working on a second Chickenfoot album, though this might be quashed by drummer Chad Smith’s commitment to the Red Hot Chili Peppers, guitarist Joe Satriani’s touring plans and singer Sammy Hagar’s obligations.Van Halen’s son Wolfgang will must probably be back on bass for Van Halen. The band is said to be working on a new album. Singer David Lee Roth is recording vocals separately from the rest of the group and sending them to an extremely critical Van Halen, so the release might not be ready by the time the tour starts.

On the heels of Keith Richard’s critically acclaimed book “Life,” he has alluded to the fact that The Rolling Stones will be touring from 2011-2012 to mark the band’s 50th anniversary (They were founded in 1962).”We are looking forward to next June-we’ll be going on tour together again,” he said according to Stones.com. After Richard’s less than flattering remarks about his long time musical partner Mick Jagger in his new book, this might be wishful thinking. If it does happen, let’s hope that former bassist Bill Wyman and guitarist Mick Taylor are included. Whatever the case, it would be a must-see musical event. Their “Bigger Bang” tour in 2005-2006 was the top grossing concert series in history.

Stephen Davis, who wrote the Led Zeppelin tome, “Hammer of The Gods,” has authored a new book “LZ-’75-the Lost chronicles of Led Zeppelin’s 1975 American Tour.”Davis covered the band on the legendary band’s 1975 tour for the Atlantic Monthly. The book is chock full of memorabilia, photographs , notes and fan letters culled from a collection of Davis’ found in a friend’s basement. 215 pages long and quite readable, LZ-’75 would be a great addition to anyone’s classic rock library.

“Fallen Angel,” a documentary about the “Cosmic Cowboy” Gram Parsons is a wonderful tribute to an amazing talent who left us at the much too young age of 26 on September 19, 1973 from an overdose of morphine and alcohol.With contributions from Emmylou Harris (his partner on some of his greatest songs), Bernie Leadon (The Eagles), Peter Buck (R.E.M.), Pamela Des Barres and his widow Gretchen Parsons Carpenter, this rockumentary sheds light on Parson’s indelible impact on the music world. A member of the Byrds and The Flying Burrito Brothers, his blending of Country and Rock influenced bands like the aforementioned Eagles and Keith Richard of the Rolling Stones. Parsons even covered the Rolling Stone’s “Wild Horses.” Any rock aficionado will love this well-crafted documentary.

The Allman Brothers will be back at the Beacon Theater this March , after a one-year absence with their blues-based brilliance. They will be playing eight shows- March, 10, 11,12,14, 15, 17, 18 and 19th.Tickets went on sale on December 4th, so get your credit card ready. It is a show like no other. Greg Allman has just released a new solo album, “Low Country Blues” on the Rounder label which was produced by T-Bone Burnett. The Rounder label is the same company that released the multi-Grammy winning “Raising Sand,” the Robert Plant-Alison Krauss CD. Allman, who had a recent liver transplant, is in top form on this much-anticipated effort.

Chicago is working on a new album which will be produced by Phil Ramone (Billy Joel). Keyboardist Robert Lamm told Australia’s Undercover Music, that Ramone is an old friend having worked on the band’s 12th album, “Hot Streets.”

A new Fleetwood Mac album (their first since 2003) might be in the works according to guitarist and vocalist Lindsey Buckingham. “I think when everyone finishes up what‘s going on in the next ten months, we will probably get in the studio and make an album.” There is also talk of a 2011 tour.

Finally, it’s hard to believe the cold-blooded killing of John Lennon happened over 30 years ago on December 8th, 1980. Lennon was a songwriter, singer, peace activist, author, humanitarian, icon, Liverpudlian and New Yorker. He was a member of the greatest band in recorded history, but was one of us, a human being with heart and great foresight. To get a taste of his solo material, purchase the recently remastered re-issues of “Imagine”, his Plastic Ono Band work and “Walls and Bridges,”to name a few, which were released on what would have been his 70th birthday on October 9. Lennon’s legacy will live on through the centuries and his influence will never be equaled.

Photo by Roy Kerwood, courtesy of Wikipedia Commons

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.

1 Comment

  1. I like these “News and Notes” columns, so keep ’em coming, Steve.

    I agree, The Coop was long overdue for induction into the RNRHOF. Not only were they ground-breaking in their stage show/ theatrics, but Alice/Vince is actually a really good songwriter, something that is often overlooked.

    As for VH, here’s hoping Eddie can put aside his ego for a change and we get some new VH material with Roth soon. Eddie’s about killed that band by running off Roth and Hagar twice, and now Michael Anthony.

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