Rock Music

Huey Lewis and the News cancel 2018 shows citing singer’s hearing loss

Huey Lewis and the News canceled their 2018 concerts over the singer’s health issues. The band shared the sad news on Twitter Friday explaining how Lewis’ hearing loss has impacted his ability to sing. Lewis said he lost “most” of his hearing two-and-a-half months ago after a concert in Dallas. “Although I can still hear a little, one on one, and on the phone, I can’t hear music well enough to sing,” the frontman said in a statement. “The doctors believe I have Meniere’s disease and have agreed that I can’t perform until I improve,” he wrote. “Therefore the only prudent thing to do is to cancel all future shows. Needless to say, I feel horrible about this and wish to sincerely apologize to all fans who’ve already bought tickets and were planning to come see us. I’m going to concentrate on getting better, and hope that one day soon I’ll be able to perform again.” Meniere’s disease is a disorder where a person experiences episodes of vertigo and fluctuating hearing loss. The band had previously canceled shows this past spring citing medical issues.

Sad news…from the News!   We wish Huey a speedy recovery and hope to see him back on the road in the near future.

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!!

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!!   🙂