Rock Music

Ozzy Osbourne recalls ‘most painful, miserable year’ of his life, reveals Parkinson’s disease diagnosis

For the Prince of Darkness, 2019 was a rough one. In an interview with Robin Roberts on “Good Morning America,” Ozzy Osbourne revealed that he had a “miserable” year after falling in the bathroom. “When I had the fall, it was pitch black. I went to the bathroom and I fell,” recounted Osbourne, 71, while sitting next to his wife, Sharon Osbourne. “I just fell and landed like a slam on the floor and I remember lying there thinking, ‘Well, you’ve done it now,’ really calm. Sharon [called] an ambulance. After that, it was all downhill.” Black Sabbath’s former lead singer revealed he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, which is a neurodegenerative disorder that typically develops slowly over years, although not all patients are affected the same. It can cause tremors, limb rigidity, gait and balance issues as well as slowness of movement. There is no known cure for the disease, but patients can seek treatment through various medications and surgery, according to the Parkinson’s Foundation. “It’s PRKN 2,” Sharon shared of Ozzy’s diagnosis. “There’s so many different types of Parkinson’s; it’s not a death sentence by any stretch of the imagination, but it does affect certain nerves in your body. And it’s — it’s like you have a good day, a good day, and then a really bad day.” The two then noted that he’s been recovering from the fall for nearly a year now. “Next month, a year,” recounted the rock star. “Worst, longest, most painful, miserable year of my life.” Osbourne’s fall resulted in him receiving 15 screws in his spine, which was followed by multiple hospitalizations, ultimately causing him to delay his tour. “I’m not dying,” Osbourne said in a video he shared to Twitter in October 2019. “I am recovering, it’s just taking a little bit longer than everyone thought it would. I’m bored stiff of being stuck on a f—–g bed all day.” In the same video, the “Paranoid” singer thanked fans for their support before saying: “Now will you f–k off and let me get better?”

Classic Ozzy…  We wish him a speedy recovery.   For more on this interview, and to see a video clip, 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.

Eddie Money dead at 70

Rock legend Eddie Money, known for chart-topping hits like “Two Tickets to Paradise” and “Take Me Home Tonight,” has died at age 70, but his musical legacy will continue to resonate with fans. Money, born Edward Mahoney, was battling stage 4 esophageal cancer, he revealed last month. His family released a statement Thursday saying Money “passed away peacefully.” “He had a unique texture to his voice. His songs had a bit of soul to them, and R&B that gave him a wide reach,” Jim Farber, veteran New York City-based music critic, told FOX Business. “There was this kind of everyman quality to him.” The Brooklyn-born rock star, who grew up on Long Island, followed in his father’s footsteps of becoming a New York City police officer, but moved to Berkeley, California two years later to pursue his dream of being a musician. He signed a recording contract with Columbia Records and emerged onto the music scene with his namesake debut album in 1977. Hits like “Two Tickets to Paradise,” and “Baby Hold On” went double-Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. Like late musicians before him, critics say Money’s legacy will live on — whether it’s through tribute concerts, a Broadway show, documentary or his reality show. And his catalog music sales will continue to spike. “He played to an audience around his age, 20 years younger and even a few years older. There’s an audience that very much wants to hold onto its youth through the music; they’re nostalgic for,” Faber said. Money released his self-titled debut album in 1977 that spawned two top 40 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 including the iconic “Two Tickets to Paradise,” and “Baby Hold on.” The rockstar had 11 songs that reached the top 40 on the Billboard Hot 100 list between 1978 and 1992. Of those two made it to the Top 10 including, “Take Me Home Tonight,” the single that featured the iconic hook from The Ronettes, “Be My Baby” (No. 4, 1986) and “Walk on Water” (No. 9, 1988). Money’s last spot on the top 20 list was in 1990 with his single “Peace in Our Time,” but he continued to stay relevant. The rockstar toured, appearing on commercials on TV shows, like a 2002 episode of “The King of Queens,” and a catchy 2012 commercial for GEICO insurance playing off the rocker’s “Two Tickets to Paradise.” He even had a movie named after his song “Take Me Home Tonight,” in 2011. And in 2016, Money interviewed with Oprah for her special, “Oprah: Where Are They Now?” Money’s humor and easy-going candor ultimately led to his AXS TV reality series “Real Money,” which debuted in 2018, and was on its second season. The show followed his life at home and on the road with his wife, Laurie, and their five kids. Money, a longtime smoker, talked about his health issues on the show where he revealed his cancer diagnosis. “He was very much about being an everyday guy,” Farber said. “The idea that you would see him with his family doing everyday things really fits with his image. Last year February, Money created and starred in his first-ever musical, “Two Tickets to Paradise: The Eddie Money Musical” in Rochester. The show chronicled his life story from the late 1960s as he trained to be a New York City police officer and his journey to rock and roll stardom through the 1980s. The show sold out thousands of tickets priced up to $60 each. “For me, the musical captures that most important time when you’re starting out before you get jaded,” Money said in a press release for the show last year. Eric Vaughn Johnson, a theater director and producer who worked with Money on the show, says Money would improv his own jokes. Off stage, he said, the rockstar was a regular guy. “We got a cheeseburger at McDonalds on our way to the theater. He didn’t need to go to the best restaurants — although he did. Those were not important things to him; his important thing was being himself.”

Indeed..  We’re very saddened to hear of Eddie’s passing earlier today.  I had the privilege of seeing him just last summer here in Denver; sat in the second row.  He performed with a few of his kids, and the family definitely rocked it.  And Eddie’s voice sounded great! Eddie was a one of the good guys in rock, in an industry where there are so many self-absorbed, egomaniacal jerks.  Eddie gave to charity, and supported the troops, and came from a family of cops.  So, he was a big supported of law enforcement.  He even was a NYPD trainee himself before deciding that music was his path in life, to the chagrin of his father.  Thanks for the tunes, Eddie.  R.I.P.

Singer Eddie Money reveals he has stage 4 esophageal cancer

Singer Eddie Money has revealed he has stage 4 esophageal cancer. The ’70s and ’80s hitmaker, known for tunes such as “Two Tickets to Paradise” and “Take Me Home Tonight,” said his fate is in “God’s hands.” Money made the stunning announcement in a video released Saturday from his AXS TV reality series called “Real Money.” The full episode airs Sept. 12. In the video, Money says he discovered he had cancer after what he thought was a routine checkup. The 70-year-old whose real name is Edward Mahoney learned that the disease had spread to his liver and lymph nodes. Money said it hit him “really, really hard.” He’s had numerous health problems recently including heart valve surgery earlier this year and pneumonia after the procedure, leading to his cancellation of a planned summer tour.

We’re heartbroken to learn of Eddie’s cancer.  I saw him in concert, with his kids as part of his band, just last summer, and he sounded great!  We’re all pullin for ya, Eddie!  Keep the faith!

Pete Townshend pressing forward with new Who album

Pete Townshend is working full throttle on the upcoming Who album — which could be out by this spring. Townshend has been posting on TheWho.com about his current overdub sessions for the album — and the planning of the album cover art. Townshend even posted a 30-second clip of an unfinished track for the album featuring noted guitarist Gordon Giltrap supplying a flamenco-like nylon string guitar line. Townshend went on to post on the website about working with famed pop artist Sir Peter Blake — best known for designing the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band as well as the Who’s Face Dances — about providing the artwork for the new Who album: Townshend wrote, “Today (January 24th) I met with Peter Blake the artist at his studio in London to discuss what he might do to create album art for the next Who album, We are old friends, going back to 1964 when we met on the set of the Ready Steady Go! TV show. Peter also studied with, and knew well, many of the lecturers who taught me at Ealing Art School between 1961 and 1964. It was great to see the amazing collection of art and sculptures he has. It’s colorful, exciting and stimulating. I shot a video with my new Vlogging camera. Sorry about the shaking — I will get better. By the way, with the help of a friend from Texas who will remain nameless but for the fact that he has a website called theentiref***inguniverse.com gave us an idea for a name for the album. Quite simply ‘WHO’. Might take us right back to the beginning, who knows.” Pete Townshend gave us the back-story on what will be the Who’s first new studio set in nearly 13 years: “I had said to our managers that I would like to tour, but only if we had a new album out. And because I had made that condition, I spent from May, June, July — and quite a chunk of August — working on 15 tracks and wrestling a few tracks from ancient history, and submitted them in the beginning of September.” Townshend told us he’s planning on adding musicians to his studio tracks to flesh out the songs: “Maybe with Pino Palladino on bass and Zak Starkley on drums to replace the bass and drums elements on the recordings that I’ve made, so that it feels more like a band. We shall see. But we’ve started, y’know, we’re in the process. Roger listened to my songs. He came back with a plan, which is, he’s away for six weeks — or nearly, eight weeks, now — when he comes back he’s going to start working on the vocals.” In celebration of their recently announced 2019 North American MOVING ON! Tour, The Who have launched a series of pop up Magic Buses straight from the 60s in Chicago, Los Angeles and New York City. The buses are inspired by The Who’s iconic song “Magic Bus” and compilation album, Magic Bus – The Who On Tour from 1968. Fans in New York City can see the double decker buses now through February 10th as they hit the streets all over Manhattan from Harlem to Midtown, down to Chelsea and Greenwich Village. Fans who spot the bus can also enter a sweepstakes for a chance to win two premium tickets to The Who’s tour stop nearest to them. To enter, fans can post a picture of the bus on Instagram or Twitter using the hashtag #MagicBusEntry and follow + tag @LiveNation in the image.

How cool is that?!?  🙂

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!!