Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

‘I’m not locking down anymore,’ says former Van Halen frontman Sammy Hagar

Rock singer Sammy Hagar on Friday declared himself done with restrictions meant to slow the spread of COVID-19, the contagious and potentially deadly respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus. The 72-year-old former Van Halen frontman spoke his mind about the ongoing coronavirus pandemic during an interview conducted by KSHE-95, a classic rock radio station based out of St. Louis, Missouri. “I don’t say the word ‘hate’ very much, but I hate this frigging coronavirus crap,” said Mr. Hagar. “I’m not afraid of it, and I’m not locking down anymore. I’ll go around to anyone. If you don’t wanna be around me, fine. Keep your distance — I’m all cool with that. It’s not like I’m against that. But I’m sorry — I have no fear at my age about it.” Mr. Hagar said elsewhere during the interview that he was nervous at first about potentially contracting COVID-19 since individuals his age are at a high risk of becoming seriously ill or dying from it. “I was still worried about this possibly killing me. And you know what I thought of? I thought, you know what? I’ve had the best life of any human being on this planet. If the damn thing wants to come and get me and kill me, let it be,” said the singer. “Life isn’t gonna be any better from this day on for the rest of my life than it has been. And I swear to you — I came to grips with it.” Mr. Hagar fronted the rock group Montrose before launching a career a successful career as a solo-artist that earned him a hit in 1984 with the anti-speed limit anthem “I Can’t Drive 55.” He joined Van Halen the following year and sang lead vocals on the group’s next four albums, including 1991’s Grammy Award-winning record “For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge,” before leaving the band later that decade. Speaking to Rolling Stone magazine in a separate interview published earlier in the week, Mr. Hagar referred to COVID-19 as “the flu” and harshly criticized the economic shutdown it sparked. “I’d rather personally get sick and even personally die, if that’s what it takes. We have to save the world and this country from this economic thing that’s going to kill more people in the long run,” he told Rolling Stone. “This shutdown of the economy is going to make that escalate 10 times and then we’re all going to be sick and you can’t walk down the street. I would rather see everyone go back to work. If some of us have to sacrifice on that, OK. I will die for my children and my grandchildren to have a life anywhere close to the life that I had in this wonderful country and freedom. That’s just the way that I feel about it,” said the singer.

God bless Sammy..  There are few in the entertainment industry who get it.  And, we love the shout out to “the Rock of St. Louis,” KSHE 95; the greatest rock radio station in the nation, bar none.  Here’s the link, if ya want to check out that interview:  https://www.kshe95.com/real-rock-news/favazz-interviews-sammy-hagar-amidst-covid-19-pandemic/             Thanks Sammy!!   🙂

Roger Waters blasts ex bandmate David Gilmour for banning him from Pink Floyd’s website

Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters has called out David Gilmour for banning him from the rock group’s official website and social media platforms. On Monday, Waters posted a lengthy video to his Twitter account in which he puts Gilmour on blast for assuming control of the rockers’ webpage and essentially banning him from having any part of it. “Nothing from me is on the website,” the band’s original bass guitarist said in a video filmed from inside of his home. “I am banned by David Gilmour from the website.” Waters said he feels it would be “fair and correct” for all of the band members to post updates about their projects on the site, no matter if they’ve since left the group. “David thinks he owns it. I think he thinks that because I left the band in 1985 that he owns Pink Floyd, that he is Pink Floyd, that I’m irrelevant and I should just keep my mouth shut,” Waters adds later in the clip. He recently released his social distancing rendition of the band’s hit “Mother,” which he admitted made him feel nostalgic about jamming out with his former bandmates. “It did make me think, one and a half million of you have viewed our new version of ‘Mother.’ It really warms my heart but it doesn’t bring up the question of why is this video not available on a website that calls itself The Pink Floyd website,” Waters argued. The musician also took aim at Gilmour for not promoting Waters’ 2019 film about the band titled “Us and Them.” “We’re not allowed to even mention such a fact on the official Pink Floyd website. This is wrong,” Waters continued, adding, “We should rise up and, oh, I’ll just change the name of the band to Spinal Tap and then everything will be hunky-dory.” Waters said he also brought up this issue with the band’s “surviving members” last year. He stressed in his tweet along with the video that, in addition to the band’s website, Gilmour has also blocked him from accessing the group’s “Facebook page and all the rest.” The musician then vowed not to “get all weird and sarcastic” and concluded with some thoughts about the coronavirus. “We live in dark, dark desperate times and we need to find ways to communicate with one another so we can act cooperatively to stop the man destroying this fragile planet that we call home,” Waters said. Waters left the band in 1985 and pursued legal action against the group for continuing to use the band name. He failed in court. In 2013, Waters admitted in an interview that he regretted taking legal action against his former band members.

So, even though Roger admits he quit the band 35 YEARS ago, and then SUED the band….he thinks he should be able to have access to their site?  Seriously??  We’ve already established that Roger is a little crazy.  But, c’mon..   It’s unfortunate when things like this happen.  But, they do.  Recently Jonathan Cain and Neal Schon of Journey fired legendary drummer Steve Smith, arguably one of the greatest drummers in rock history, and founding bassist Ross Valory over business/money issues.  Minus Steve Perry, that ended the classic Escape-Frontiers-Trial By Fire era that produced all the great Journey hits.  Awful..  But, I digress..  If Roger wants to try and mend the fence with Dave and Nick, he should do it behind the scenes; not out on social media.  It makes him look like a whiny 16 year old girl.  Dude..  You’re 76 years old.  Get over it.  If you want to see the official Pink Floyd web site in question, click on the text above.

Led Zeppelin wins ‘Stairway to Heaven’ copyright infringement case

Led Zeppelin scored a major win on Monday in the copyright battle over “Stairway to Heaven,” as the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a jury verdict finding the song did not infringe on the 1968 song “Taurus.” The ruling is also a significant win for the music industry, which has felt itself fighting a losing battle against frivolous copyright suits since the “Blurred Lines” trial in 2015. The court overturned the so-called “inverse ratio rule,” a precedent that has governed copyright cases in the 9th Circuit for the last 43 years. To prove copyright infringement, a plaintiff must show that the alleged infringer had access to the plaintiff’s work, and that the two works are “substantially similar.” The inverse ratio rule — which had not been adopted in other circuits — held that the more access was shown, the less similarity was required to establish infringement. The rule has been a thorn in the side of defendants — including record labels and major artists — for decades. In overturning the rule, the appeals court noted that the idea of “access” has become diluted in the digital age, as millions of works are readily available on Netflix, YouTube, and Spotify. The court also held that the rule has the effect of establishing a lower burden of proof for infringement of popular works. “It was a terrible rule,” said Ed McPherson, an attorney who filed an amicus brief in support of Led Zeppelin, on behalf of songwriters, producers and musicians. “If you have a lot of access, that shouldn’t mean there should be a lesser standard to prove copyright infringement. It’s never made sense to me.” The court also pushed back on the claims of similarity in the Led Zeppelin case, in an opinion that should hearten critics of the “Blurred Lines” decision. “We have never extended copyright protection to just a few notes,” the court held. “Instead we have held that ‘a four-note sequence common in the music field’ is not the copyrightable expression in a song.” The Zeppelin case began in 2014, when journalist Michael Skidmore filed suit on behalf of the estate of Randy Wolfe, the late frontman of the band “Spirit.” The lawsuit alleged that the iconic opening instrumental riff in “Stairway to Heaven” was lifted from Spirit’s 1968 song “Taurus.” A jury ruled against the plaintiffs in 2016, but a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals revived the case in September 2018. The panel held that Judge Gary Klausner had given the wrong jury instructions, and ordered a new trial. Led Zeppelin’s attorneys appealed to the full circuit, which heard the case last September. McPherson said he was not sure whether the court would take the opportunity to overturn the inverse ratio rule, as the subject hardly came up at oral argument. “I’m thrilled they did do it,” he said. “It’s a terrific decision. I have renewed faith in the 9th Circuit.”

Journey members Steven Smith, Ross Valory fired, bandmates embroiled in lawsuit over trademark

Two members of Journey have been kicked out of the band amid the filing of a lawsuit over its trademark. The legendary band’s bassist, Ross Valory, and drummer, Steven Smith, were kicked out of the group after guitarist Neal Schon and keyboardist Jon Cain filed a lawsuit against the two, accusing them of attempting a “coup” to gain control of the band’s trademark, according to a complaint. Schon and Cain accuse their former bandmates of declaratory judgment and breach of fiduciary duty and are seeking damages in excess of $10 million. According to the complaint, Schon and Cain accuse Valory and Smith of attempting to take control of the trademark last month by “improperly” holding meetings with shareholders and the board of directors of one of the band’s corporate entities named Nightmare Productions. In these meetings, Smith was voted to replace Cain as board president and Valory was voted to replace Schon as secretary, the outlet said. Schon and Cain claim their former bandmates incorrectly assumed they had rights to the Journey name. “Smith and Valory erroneously contend that Nightmare Productions controls the Journey name. They hope to use Nightmare Productions to hold the Journey name hostage and force Cain, Schon and Nightmare Productions to provide them with wind-fall payments for their retirement,” the complaint states. It continues: “Smith and Valory are wrong that Nightmare Productions controls the Journey name. Cain and Schon, through an entity named Elmo Partners, hold all rights to the Journey name.” The plaintiffs cite two trademark registration numbers and cite a trademark license agreement from 1985 to prove their ownership of the band name. The two band members further claim Valory and Smith want Nightmare Productions to “pay them a share of Journey touring revenue in perpetuity under the guise of a licensing fee while they perform absolutely no work for the band.” Schon and Cain accuse their former pals of concocting a “malicious” and “very ill-conceived” scheme in order to “set themselves up for retirement.” Journey formed in 1973 and quickly became known as one of the world’s most successful rock bands, with 10 platinum albums, 18 Top 40 singles and over 75 million albums sold worldwide, a press release from the law firm representing Schon and Cain states. Schon and Cain officially removed Smith and Valory from Journey in a letter dated March 3, the release explains. Skip Miller, attorney for Schon and Cain, provided a statement on their behalf in a news release this week. “This is not an action that Neal and Jon wanted to bring against two men that they once considered their brothers, but the devious and truculent behavior of Steve and Ross left them reluctantly with no choice but to act decisively. Journey will continue on with great success by ridding the band of disruptive members and replacing them with top musicians; and most importantly, by keeping its essential members—Schon, Cain and Pineda—fully intact.”

Just when I was having a great day, I read this…  And, I have tix for their concert this coming June in Denver, for crying out loud!  What a buzzkill…    Think I’ll get a refund if I can..  This is reminiscent of when Jon and Neal fired Ross and Steve back in the mid ’80s for a while, and then when the band had their reunion for their “Trial by Fire” cd, Smith and Valory returned.   Steve Smith is one of the greatest drummers in rock history.  Even the late great Neil Peart of Rush asked him once how he got to be so good.  Yeah.. He’s THAT good.  And, of course, Ross is a founding member of Journey, and his bass sound is signature to the Journey sound.  At any rate, there is apparently a lot more to this story.  When they had the vote, former lead singer Steve Perry was present and sided with Smith and Valory.  So, I’m guessing this story is FAR from over.  Someone just needs to put these four guys in a room and smack ’em upside the head and tell them to work it out and get back to playing together.  For more, click on the text above.

 

 

 

Neil Peart, Rush Drummer Who Set a New Standard for Rock Virtuosity, Dead at 67

Neil Peart, the drummer and lyricist for Rush, died Tuesday, January 7th, in Santa Monica, California at age 67. The cause was brain cancer, which he had been quietly battling for three years, according to Elliot Mintz, a spokesperson for the Peart family. A representative for the band confirmed the news to Rolling Stone. Peart was widely considered one of rock’s greatest drummers, with a flamboyant yet utterly precise style that paid homage to his hero, The Who’s Keith Moon, while going well beyond that example. He joined singer-bassist Geddy Lee and guitarist Alex Lifeson in Rush in 1974, and his virtuosic playing and literate, wildly imaginative lyrics – which drew on Ayn Rand and science fiction, among other influences – helped make the trio one of the key bands of the classic-rock era. His drum fills on songs like “Tom Sawyer” were pop hooks in their own right, each one an unforgettable mini-composition. A rigorous autodidact and a gifted writer, Peart was also the author of numerous books. Peart never stopped believing in the possibilities of rock (“a gift beyond price,” he called it in Rush’s 1980 track “The Spirit of Radio”) and despising what he saw as over-commercialization of the music industry. “It’s about being your own hero,” he told Rolling Stone in 2015. “I set out to never betray the values that 16-year-old had, to never sell out, to never bow to the man. A compromise is what I can never accept.” “Neil is the most air-drummed-to drummer of all time,” former Police drummer Stewart Copeland said in 2015. “Neil pushes that band, which has a lot of musicality, a lot of ideas crammed into every eight bars — but he keeps the throb, which is the important thing. And he can do that while doing all kinds of cool shit.” Rush finished their final tour in 2015; Peart was done with the road and eager to spend more time with his wife, Carrie Nuttal, and daughter Olivia. On August 10th, 1997, Peart’s 19-year-old daughter, Selena, died in a single-car accident on the long drive to her university in Toronto. Just five months later, Selena’s mother – Peart’s common-law wife of 23 years, Jackie — was diagnosed with terminal cancer, quickly succumbing. Peart told his bandmates to consider him retired, and he embarked on a solitary motorcycle trip across the United States. He remarried in 2000, and found his way back to Rush by 2001. Peart grew up in Port Dalhousie, a middle-class suburb 70 miles from Toronto. As a teen, he permed his hair, took to wearing a cape and purple boots on the city bus, and scrawled “God is dead” on his bedroom wall. At one point, he got in trouble for pounding out beats on his desk during class. His teacher’s idea of punishment was to insist that he bang on his desk nonstop for an hour’s worth of detention, time he happily spent re-creating Keith Moon’s parts from Tommy.

I was devastated to get a text earlier today informing me of Neil’s passing.  As a drummer myself, Neil was one of my idols growing up; a hero.  My big drumset (I have three) is a Tama one…because of Neil.  I saw Rush’s “Signals” tour (in 1982) twice…and saw every tour since, except in 2008 when I was in Afghanistan playing Army.  The last time I saw Rush was in 2014 in Denver; their last tour.  Neil was one of a kind.  The band issued the following statement today, “It is with the deepest sadness that we must share the terrible news that on Tuesday our friend, soul brother and bandmate of over 45 years, Neil, has lost his incredibly brave three and a half year battle with brain cancer (Glioblastoma).  We ask that friends, fans, and media alike understandably respect the family’s need for privacy and peace at this extremely painful and difficult time.  Those wishing to express their condolences can choose a cancer research group or charity of their choice and make a donation in Neil’s name.  Rest in peace brother.”   Our prayers go out to Carrie and Olivia.. and, of course,  Alex and Geddy.  Thanks Neil for the tunes, the lyrics and the inspiration.  Our hearts are truly broken.  R.I.P.

Bon Jovi, The Cars, Moody Blues, Dire Straits, others inducted into Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

Bon Jovi reunited with former members onstage Saturday night to celebrate their admission into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, as the late icon Nina Simone and other nominees made up this year’s induction class. Bon Jovi was the first band to take the stage in Cleveland’s Public Auditorium, USA Today reported. Band members Jon Bon Jovi, David Bryan and Tico Torres reunited with former bandmates Richie Sambora and Alec John. Jon Bon Jovi gave a 20-minute-long speech onstage, which he said he had been writing for years. “I’ve been writing this speech since I first strummed a broom and sang at the top of the stairs of my childhood home,” he said, according to the paper. “I’ve actually written it many ways, many times. Some days I write a thank you speech and other days, I write a (expletive)-you speech.” Sambora, who left the New Jersey band in 2013, and Alec John Such, who left in 1994, embraced their former bandmates with a hug after each one spoke onstage to accept the honor. They performed together, singing crowd favorites like “Livin’ on a Prayer,” ”You Give Love a Bad Name” and “It’s My Life.” Sambora thanked his fans and bandmates, the paper reported. “Songs are very profound in a way, because you’re connecting with humanity,” he said. “Everybody’s more alike than they are (different), and especially now in today’s world, that’s really important.” Simone, who died in 2003, was welcomed into the Rock Hall in a groundbreaking way from performers who she has deeply inspired, from Lauryn Hill and Andra Day to Mary J. Blige. Hill stretched her voice and sang in French, in honor of Simone’s music, which earned her a standing ovation from the crowd. Day, a Grammy-nominated R&B singer, hit high notes that also earned her applause. Both women exceptionally displayed their powerhouse voices. Blige inducted Simone, calling the singer “bold, strong, feisty and fearless.” “Her voice was so distinctive and powerful and I never heard anything like it,” the R&B superstar said. Simone was a leader in pushing for civil rights and influenced everyone from Aretha Franklin to Alicia Keys. Her brother, Sam Waymon, accepted the honor on his sister’s behalf. The 33rd annual Rock Hall ceremony kicked off with a tribute to Tom Petty, who died in October at age 66. The Killers earned a loud applause from the audience when they started performing “American Girl,” then transitioned to “Free Fallin’.” The Cars and four first-time nominees, including Simone, Dire Straits, the Moody Blues and Sister Rosetta Tharpe, make up the 2018 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame class. The ceremony didn’t end this year with the group jam session of the induction class that has become Rock Hall tradition, USA Today reported. Instead, inductees the Moody Blues ended the night as the last act. Rock Hall voters have recently opened their hearts to progressive rockers, which benefited the “Nights in White Satin” singers. Howard Stern inducted this year’s class, telling jokes along the way, including one about Rock Hall co-founder Jann Wenner, questioning why he was qualified to vote on who enters the hall. Stern said the Rolling Stone magazine founder doesn’t play any instruments “but he did start a great magazine … and now it’s the size of a pamphlet.”

Special congrats to the Moody Blues!  Their induction was WAY overdue.  Everyone else on stage was in diapers (or hadn’t even been born) when they were making their first hits.  Also glad to see Dire Straits got recognized, even though the Kopfler brothers were no-shows.

Fleetwood Mac replacing Lindsey Buckingham before upcoming tour

Fleetwood Mac’s Lindsey Buckingham reportedly has left the group just before it embarks on a massive tour this summer. However, the famed guitarist will be replaced and the shows will go on. According to TMZ, the group revealed that the longtime guitarist will not be performing with the band on tour, but that the other members wish him luck in future endeavors. Fortunately, the loss is being made up by way of Mike Campbell, longtime lead guitarist for Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, as well as Crowded House frontman Neil Finn when the tour kicks off. “We are thrilled to welcome the musical talents of the caliber of Mike Campbell and Neil Finn into the Mac family. With Mike and Neil, we’ll be performing all the hits that the fans love, plus we’ll be surprising our audiences with some tracks from our historic catalogue of songs,” said the group said in a statement to Variety. “Fleetwood Mac has always been a creative evolution. We look forward to honoring that spirit on this upcoming tour.” “Fleetwood Mac has always been about an amazing collection of songs that are performed with a unique blend of talents,” Mick Fleetwood told the outlet. “We jammed with Mike and Neil and the chemistry really worked and let the band realize that this is the right combination to go forward with in Fleetwood Mac style. We know we have something new, yet it’s got the unmistakable Mac sound.” Buckingham joined the group as a lead guitarist in 1974 and stayed on until 1987. He took a break from the band for 10 years before returning in 1997. He and the rest of the band were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame a year later. The band is currently expected to hit the road in June with later tour dates still to come.

NO!!!!!!!  Well, guess I’ll scratch that tour off my list for this summer.   Glad I was able to see the famous “Dance” tour back in ’97.  That chemistry between Stevie and Lindsey cannot be replicated, and Lindsey has a signature guitar sound/style.  What a bummer!  Boo!!

Moody Blues rocker Ray Thomas dies before Hall of Fame induction ceremony

Ray Thomas, a founding member of British rock group The Moody Blues, has died at 76, months before the band is due to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. His music label, Esoteric Recordings/Cherry Red Records, said Thomas died suddenly Thursday at his home in Surrey, south of London. “We are deeply shocked by his passing and will miss his warmth, humor and kindness,” the label said Sunday. “It was a privilege to have known and worked with him and our thoughts are with his family and his wife Lee at this sad time.” No cause of death was given, but Thomas disclosed in 2014 that he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer. Born in 1941, Thomas performed in rock and blues bands in the English Midlands city of Birmingham before founding The Moody Blues in 1964 with fellow musicians including Mike Pinder and Denny Laine. The band’s roots lay in blues and R&B, but its 1964 hit “Go Now” was a foretaste of the lush, orchestral sound that came to be called progressive rock. The Moody Blues’ 1967 album “Days of Future Passed” is a prog-rock landmark, and Thomas’s flute solo on the single “Nights in White Satin” one of its defining moments. Thomas wrote several songs for the band, including the trippy “Legend of a Mind” and “Veteran Cosmic Rocker.” Thomas released two solo albums after the band broke up in 1974. The Moody Blues later reformed, and Thomas remained a member before leaving around the turn of the millennium due to poor health. The band is due to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio in April.

An honor WAY overdue…  We are very sorry to hear of Ray’s passing.  Thanks for the tunes, Ray.  R.I.P.

AC/DC co-founder Malcolm Young dead at 64

Malcolm Young, the rhythm guitar player and founding member of heavy metal legends AC/DC, has died, the group announced Saturday. He was 64. Known for the powerhouse riffs and rhythm guitar that propelled the group from Sydney, Australia, to superstardom, Young had been suffering from dementia for the past three years, the Australian Associated Press reported. He died peacefully on Saturday with his family by his bedside, the news agency reported. Young started the band with his brother Angus Young in 1973. “As a guitarist, songwriter and visionary he was a perfectionist and a unique man,” Angus Young said on the AC/DC website. “He always stuck to his guns and did and said exactly what he wanted. He took great pride in all that he endeavored. His loyalty to the fans was unsurpassed. “As his brother it is hard to express in words what he has meant to me during my life, the bond we had was unique and very special. “He leaves behind an enormous legacy that will live on forever. Malcolm, job well done.” Other musicians have taken to social media to honor the rock star’s legacy. Ozzy Osbourne wrote on Twitter, “So sad to learn of the passing of yet another friend, Malcolm Young. He will be sadly missed. God Bless.” “A very sad loss for rock,” Nikki Sixx wrote. “Rest in Peace Malcolm Young and Thank You.” Eddie Van Halen said it was “a sad day in rock and roll.” “Young was my friend and the heart and soul of AC/DC,” he said on Twitter. “He will be missed and my deepest condolences to his family, bandmates and friends.” Joe Elliot of Def Leppard said on band’s Twitter page, “I’m sad to hear of the passing of Malcolm Young.” “He was an incrdible guitar player & the glue for that band onstage & off,” he wrote. The Young brothers lost their older brother George Young, the Easybeats guitarist and AC/DC’s longtime producer, in October at the age of 70, Rolling Stone reported. Malcolm was replaced by nephew Stevie for the band’s last tour promoting the 2014 album Rock Or Bust. “Renowned for his musical prowess, Malcolm was a songwriter, guitarist, performer, producer and visionary who inspired many,” AC/DC said in a statement. “From the outset, he knew what he wanted to achieve and, along with his younger brother, took to the world stage giving their all at every show. Nothing less would do for their fans.” He is survived by his wife O’Linda and two children.

We are saddened to report the passing of Malcolm.  My first rock concert was AC/DC…back in 1981 for the “For Those About to Rock” tour…and have seen them many many times over the years.  The most recent being in 2009; probably the last tour with that classic 1980 “Back in Black” lineup with the Young, Young, Johnson, Rudd, and Williams.  Lot’s of great memories..and great shows.  Thanks for the tunes, Malcolm.  R.I.P.

KISS pauses Louisiana concert to lead crowd in Pledge of Allegiance

KISS band members got patriotic during Saturday night’s concert in Louisiana, temporarily pausing the classic rock show to lead the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance. After finishing up their signature song, “(I Wanna) Rock and Roll All Nite” at the Gretna Heritage Festival, guitarist Paul Stanley thanked the U.S. military and gave a shout-out to Army Maj. Steve Roberts, who was in attendance, The Times-Picayune reported. “It’s always cool to love your country,” Mr. Stanley told the crowd. The concert in Gretna wrapped up the band’s KISSWORLD 2017 Tour in North America and Europe, and it wasn’t the first time the pledge was made part of the show. Last week, Mr. Stanley recited the pledge along with the audience in Sugar Land, Texas, ending it with: “God bless America! God bless our troops!” It comes amid a renewed debate in the country about paying respect to American symbols, as athletes continue to kneel during the national anthem as a protest against racial injustice. Last year during their “Freedom to Rock” tour, KISS took a veiled shot at former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who sparked the movement. “A lot of times the people that are born free think that freedom is free and it’s not. Freedom is only free because there are people willing to sacrifice to keep us free,” Mr. Stanley told the crowd at the time.

Agreed!  And well said, Paul.  Kudos to Gene and Paul for taking such a politically INcorrect stance during their shows!   Excellent!!   🙂