Rock Music

The Who’s Roger Daltrey says he is ‘very, very deaf,’ urges fans to use earplugs

The Who’s frontman Roger Daltrey has a message for kids who are looking to pursue long-lasting careers in rock and roll. During a recent Vegas concert, Daltrey revealed to the rock and roll crowd that after years in the industry, the sounds of rock have made him “very, very deaf.” And as a word to the wise, the rock and roll crooner offered some advice to those looking to follow his career path and yelled to the crowd, “I advise you all – all you rock-and-roll fans – take your f—ing earplugs with you to the gigs.” He then added that he wished earplugs were something that he had used more often when it came to playing rowdy gigs. “If only we had known when we were young… we are lip-reading,” the singer admitted. But despite his hearing issues, Daltrey vowed to keep performing “for a long time.” “I am lucky to be doing what I do – so thank you,” he said. The singer also added that he now uses in-ear monitors and has become very good at reading lips.

Shooting Star’s Van McLain Dies After Long Illness

Van McClain, guitarist with Shooting Star, has died after a three-year battle against the West Nile virus. Confirming the news on Facebook, band spokesman Randy Raley said: “It is with a very broken heart that I announce the passing of one of my all-time favorite people, Van McLain. I love him as a brother and I will miss him desperately. Van has been sick a long time, and I’m glad he’s finally free. Peace and Godspeed to his friends and family.” McClain contracted the virus in 2015, at one point requiring ICU attention including the fitting of feeding and breathing tubes. By last year he had recovered somewhat, but his medical insurers refused to continue his rehab funding, a fundraising page reported. Another fundraising event page reported: “Van is now at a point where he needs intense therapy, transportation and high-tech equipment so he can get stronger like we have been told he can … After over two years of trying to recover, he is now at a point where rehab can help him walk again.” McClain’s first interaction with the music industry was unfortunate – signed in 1968 by Clive Davis in England at the age of 18, he recorded his track “Take The Money and Run” with the expectation of a release. “Two months after we went in the studio, Steve Miller came out with a different (and soon to be much more famous) song named ‘Take the Money and Run,’” McClain told Goldmine in 2013. “There was no way my song was going to get released, so the record deal fell apart, and I moved back to Kansas City.” Formed in 1978, Shooting Star’s first run took them to 1987 before they split, after having been the victims of industry woes which meant they couldn’t take advantage of their AOR radio hit “Last Chance.” In a later interview McLain said: “We’d been slugging away at this for ten years, through about five different record deals, four sets of managers, three crooked lawyers, two turtledoves and a partridge in a pear tree. I’d had enough.” They reconvened in 1989, putting out Best of Shooting Star, which included the previously unreleased track “Touch Me Tonight.” The song became their biggest hit, reaching No. 67 on the Hot 100 and receiving ample play on MTV. The group remained working, with a run of lineup changes, and a total of nine studio albums, the last of which was 2015’s Into the Night. McClain noted: “I just still love getting out there and doing this. Maybe I didn’t get the whole pie, but we still got a slice, and that’s good enough.” Current Kansas frontman Ronnie Platt was a member of Shooting Star from 2007 to 2011. In previously unpublished comments from 2016, Platt told UCR: “Through a mutual friend, I got hooked up with Shooting Star. I met Van and we hit it off.” His only regret with the band, he said, was: “I wish we would have played a lot more.” He added: “What a talented band. They really, really should have been a lot bigger than they were. I know in Chicago, boy, Shooting Star really got a lot of airplay. … It’s funny, all of my friends around Chicago and stuff, ‘Who’s Shooting Star? I’ve never heard of Shooting Star,’ and I would always say, ‘Yes, you did.’ I would play them a montage of their songs and they’d be like, ‘I know that song, I know that song, I know that song.’” He name-checked the tracks “Last Chance,” “Hang On For Your Life,” “Breakout” and “Flesh and Blood.”

And, how about “Tonight” or “Straight Ahead?”  There were so many great songs!  I was devastated to learn of Van’s passing.  Had no idea he was ill.  I have many fond memories of seeing Shooting Star in concert back when I was in high school in St. Louis.  The band’s “spokesperson,” Randy Raley, was a dj back in the’80s and early ’90s for St. Louis’ legendary rock radio station KSHE 95.  Back then, their music was always on KSHE.  If for some reason you don’t who Shooting Star is, they’re like a cross between Journey and Kansas, and were the first band to sign with Virgin records.  Just Google “Shooting Star Band” and you’ll find em.  Or, better, go to eBay and search “Shooting Star” and get a cd or two, while you still can.  A few years ago Van mailed me a cd of a solo project he was working on.  The man never gave up, and went through several singers after Gary threw in the towel and decided to open an asbestos removal business in KC.  He kept the faith, and kept Shooting Star together for decades.  With his passing, Shooting Star is probably no more. Our prayers go to Van’s family  Thanks for all the great tunes, Van.  R.I.P.

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!!   🙂

Tom Petty, legendary rocker, is dead at 66

Tom Petty, the rocker best known as the frontman of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, is dead at 66, CBS News has confirmed. The legendary musician suffered a full cardiac arrest and was found unconscious and not breathing in his Malibu home Sunday night. He was taken to UCLA Santa Monica Hospital and put on life support, reports TMZ. Petty rose to fame in the 1970s with his band, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. The group put out several hits, including “American Girl,” “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around,” “Breakdown,” “Listen to Her Heart” and more. The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002. Petty was also a successful solo artist and sang the megahit “Freefallin’.” Though Petty and his band debuted their first self-titled record in 1976, they continued to perform over the past four decades. Petty played his last show last Monday, performing three sold-out shows at the Hollywood Bowl to conclude their 40th anniversary tour. The band wrote on their website that the tour included 53 shows in 24 states. In December, Petty told Rolling Stone that he thought this would be the group’s last tour together. He said, “It’s very likely we’ll keep playing, but will we take on 50 shows in one tour? I don’t think so. I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was thinking this might be the last big one. We’re all on the backside of our sixties. I have a granddaughter now I’d like to see as much as I can. I don’t want to spend my life on the road. This tour will take me away for four months. With a little kid, that’s a lot of time.” Petty, who released three solo albums and 13 albums with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, also took part in the 1980s supergroup the Traveling Wilburys with Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Roy Orbison and Jeff Lynne. He told Rolling Stone he was hoping to release a deluxe version of his 1994 solo album “Wildflowers” with a bonus disc of unreleased material. He had also hoped to play a special “Wildflowers” tour. The rocker kept his hands full with his SiriusXM channel, Tom Petty Radio, as well. He personally oversaw the station and had his own interview show called “Tom Talks to Cool People” where he interviewed musicians like Micky Dolenz of the Monkees and former Rolling Stones manager Andrew Loog Oldham. Petty was born and raised in Gainesville, Florida. He said he wanted to become a musician when he was 13 and saw The Beatles play on “The Ed Sullivan Show.” He told, “This was the great moment in my life, really, that changed everything. I had been a fan up to that point. But this was the thing that made me want to play music.” He added, “It did have a great profound effect on my life, and I thank them for that. I still think the Beatles [made] the best music ever, and I’m sure I’ll go to my grave thinking the same thing.” Petty showed the guitar he wrote 20 years of songs on to Anthony Mason on “CBS This Morning” in 2009. Click here to see that interview.

We’re saddened to report the passing of Tom.  Originally it was reported he passed late Sunday night/early Monday morning.  But, that initial report by the media was in error.  He had just been removed from life support then, and was surrounded by family, friends, and even some band-mates when he passed peacefully around 8:40p PST Monday evening.  So, we wanted to make sure we put out that correction.  Anyway…  I actually saw Tom in St. Louis in the mid ’80s at the Fox Theater; won some tickets from KSHE 95.  Great show!  Thanks for all the tunes,  and fun memories, Tom..  R.I.P.

Gregg Allman dead: Singer, organist for The Allman Brothers Band was 69

Gregg Allman, the legendary frontman of The Allman Brothers, died Saturday, a publicist said. He was 69. Allman died at his home in Savannah, Georgia, publicist Ken Weinstein said. A statement on the singer’s website said he “passed away peacefully.” Allman, who is credited with spawning the Southern rock movement, cancelled some of his 2016 tour dates after announcing in August that he was “under his doctor’s care at the Mayo Clinic” due to “serious health issues.” Later that year, he canceled more dates citing a throat injury. And in March 2017, he canceled performances for the rest of the year. “Gregg considered being on the road playing music with his brothers and solo band for his beloved fans essential medicine for his soul,” a statement on Allman’s website said. “Playing music lifted him up and kept him going during the toughest of times.” The Nashville rocker, known for his long blond hair, was raised in Florida by a single mother after his father was shot to death. He idolized his older brother Duane, eventually joining a series of bands with him before finally creating the nucleus of The Allman Brothers Band. The original band featured extended jams, tight guitar harmonies by Duane Allman and Dickey Betts, rhythms from a pair of drummers and the smoky blues inflected voice of Gregg Allman. Songs such as “Whipping Post,” ”Ramblin’ Man” and “Midnight Rider,” helped define what came to be known as Southern rock and opened the doors for such stars as Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Marshall Tucker Band. In his 2012 memoir, “My Cross to Bear,” Allman described how Duane was a central figure in his life in the years after their father was murdered by a man he met in a bar. The two boys endured a spell in a military school before being swept up in rock music in their teens. Although Gregg was the first to pick up a guitar, it was Duane who excelled at it. So Gregg later switched to the organ. They failed to crack success until they formed The Allman Brothers Band in 1969. Based in Macon, Georgia, the group featured Betts, drummers Jai Johanny “Jaimoe” Johanson and Butch Trucks and bassist Berry Oakley. They partied to excess while defining a sound that still excites millions. Their self-titled debut album came out in 1969, but it was their seminal live album “At Fillmore East” in 1971 that catapulted the band to stardom. While Duane Allman quickly started to ascend into the pantheon of great guitarists, tragedy struck. He was killed in a motorcycle accident in October 1971, months after recording the Fillmore shows. Another motorcycle accident the following year claimed Oakley’s life. In a 2012 interview with The Associated Press, Gregg Allman said Duane remained on his mind every day. Once in a while, he could even feel his presence. “I can tell when he’s there, man,” Allman said. “I’m not going to get all cosmic on you. But listen, he’s there.” The 1970s brought more highly publicized turmoil: Allman was compelled to testify in a drug case against a former road manager for the band and his marriage to the actress and singer Cher was short-lived even by show business standards. In 1975, Cher and Allman married three days after she divorced her husband and singing partner, Sonny Bono. Their marriage was tumultuous from the start; Cher requested a divorce just nine days after their Las Vegas wedding, although she dismissed the suit a month later. Together they released a widely panned duets album under the name “Allman and Woman.” They had one child together, Elijah Blue, and Cher filed for legal separation in 1977. The Allman Brothers Band likewise split up in the 1980s and then re-formed several times over the years. A changing cast of players has included Derek Trucks, nephew of original drummer Butch Trucks, as well as guitarist Warren Haynes. Starting in 1990, more than 20 years after its founding, the reunited band began releasing new music and found a new audience. In 1995 the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and won a Grammy Award for best rock instrumental performance for “Jessica” the following year. In 2000, Betts was ousted from the band via fax for alleged substance abuse and poor performance and he hasn’t played with the band since. Butch Trucks died in January 2017. Authorities said he shot himself in front of his wife at their Florida home. In his memoir, Allman said he spent years overindulging in women, drugs and alcohol before getting sober in the mid-1990s. He said that after getting sober, he felt “brand new” at the age of 50. “I never believed in God until this,” he said in an interview with The Associated Press in 1998. “I asked him to bring me out of this or let me die before all the innings have been played. Now I have started taking on some spiritualism.” However, after all the years of unhealthy living he ended up with hepatitis C which severely damaged his liver. He underwent a liver transplant in 2010. After the surgery, he turned to music to help him recover and released his first solo album in 14 years “Low Country Blues” in 2011. “I think it’s because you’re doing something you love,” Allman said in a 2011 interview with The Associated Press. “I think it just creates a diversion from the pain itself. You’ve been swallowed up by something you love, you know, and you’re just totally engulfed.” The band was honored with a lifetime achievement Grammy in 2012.

Was sorry to hear this earlier today..  Thanks for all the tunes, Gregg.  R.I.P.