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Saturday, July 31, 2010

Interview with Jeff Pilson (Foreigner)

Interview with
Foreigner’s Jeff Pilson
on June 12th, 2010

(Jeff Pilson, with Foreigner at DTE Energy Music Theatre, Clarkston, MI. June 27th, 2010. Photo: Alun Williams)

A short time back, I got to interview a man who in the world of hard and melodic rock has certainly played with some of the best in the game including Dokken of course, Dio, George Lynch, M.S.G. and various others and now lines up as a member of Foreigner and has done so for the past 6 years.
Believe it or not, he was also the bass player in the band Steel Dragon, from the movie 'Rock Star' that featured Mark Wahlberg as the lead singer and a rather hot and good looking Jennifer Aniston.
The Steel Dragon band - for those that don't know, also included Jason Bonham on drums and Zakk Wylde on guitar. Jeff Pilson, Bonham and Wylde also all played on the soundtrack album on the Steel Dragon songs, which also featured Jeff Scott Soto on lead vocals and Steelheart frontman Miljenko Matijevic on lead vocals on other tracks.

Jeff spoke with me about how Foreigner are doing, the World Cup - The Mick Jones Influence! Even my home team Portsmouth got a name check! Well, it was both Mick's and my birthplace! - the sad loss of Ronnie James Dio, Dokken reunion talk and more too.
I hope you enjoy the interview. It could've possibly gone on some more, but unfortunately the time it was set up for, ran close to preparation of 'showtime' on the Foreigner tour and Jeff had to jump in the elevator as we were wrapping things up.
Busy times indeed for the man ....

Jeff: Hello?

AW: Hello Jeff?

Jeff: Yes!

AW: Jeff, it’s Alun Williams, how are you?

Jeff: Hi, how are you doing man?

AW: Good, good, is this a good time for you?

Jeff: Yes of course it’s fine.

AW: Excellent! So, let me ask you this, are you a football fan, soccer fan or no?

Jeff: Well, I kind of have to be in this band because of Mick Jones. (Laughter in the background, guessing Mick is there.) Yes, I’m aware that England and the US just had a draw.

AW: OK, well it’s good to talk to you. Thank you for taking time out to do so.

Jeff: Sure.

AW: Well I guess it’s not too long since the ‘United in Rock tour’ kicked off so how’s it going so far?

Jeff: Oh it’s been fabulous, everything has been great. The bands all get along great, the bands are all sounding great, the production is wonderful. We’re doing really good business, which this year is pretty amazing so yeah, we’re all very, very happy.

AW: Excellent! Yeah, I’m hoping to see you guys at the end of the month. You’re playing up here at Clarkston at Pine Knob as it used to be known and we all still call it today and I’m looking forward to that one.

Jeff: Oh great, great. Yeah, you’ll enjoy it, it’s very cool.

AW: Good stuff! So, it’s been six years for you now in Foreigner, how’s that going? It’s going good with Mick and the guys?

Jeff: Yeah, I know … It’s going really well.

AW: How’s Jason slotting in after Brian’s (Tichy) departure?

Jeff: Oh he’s doing great man. Not easy shoes to fill and he’s doing a great job.

AW: Can you say why Brian wanted to move on, I mean he only rejoined the band about 2 years back?

Jeff: Yeah (Sounding perhaps awkward), well, I look at it as it’s not really a musical thing and it’s not any personality thing, I mean we all got along great. He just has some personal issues that you know, it’s not really my business to go into but …, but they made it so that he needed to stay home more …

AW: Oh OK, because I know he had his own band there for a while on the side …

Jeff: It was nothing like that, we were all getting along great and it’s all good, but he had some personal stuff that he had to take care of and it was impossible for him to be on the road with us and do that.

AW: Right, OK. I guess on a different note, one of my other questions was, has Mick got you into watching football, because I’m from Portsmouth too, where Mick’s from …

Jeff: OK! How funny?!

AW: Yes, so I’m guessing he doesn’t talk too much …

Jeff: Yeah, I hear all about the trials and tribulations of the Portsmouth team that is and their financial woes and everything, yes. (Both laughing) I mean they’re getting penalized and I mean that really sucks.

AW: Yeah, it’s not too good at all and it means I won’t be able to watch them on Fox Soccer channel next season! (Laughs)

Jeff: Exactly! That’s what Mick has said too! (Both laughing).

AW: So I’ll have to search out the games online I guess.

Jeff: Um hmm, that’s what he’s going to do.

AW: I guess getting back to the Foreigner stuff, you’ve been such a strong band from the start, especially when Jason Bonham was in the band as well … Why was it … I guess that you put out a live DVD before you put out a new studio album? I guess that was to show what Kelly and you guys can do right?

Jeff: Which live DVD do you mean now?

AW: The ‘Alive and Rockin’’ DVD, the one in Sweden?

Jeff: Oh right. Well, yeah sure we wanted to … I mean anytime we capture a good little magical show, I mean regardless of who’s on drums or whatever we figure it’s something we should put out and you know, it all contributes to the legacy.

AW: Right. I mean what was the feeling before ‘Can’t Slow Down’ was finished and released? As I mean there’s no real telling how a new album is going to do, especially since it’s been so long …

Jeff: Yeah, I mean we’re all aware of what the world is like right now and selling CD’s is not the thing it was several years ago and we’re aware of that …, but really it just came down to, we just felt that the chemistry was about right within the band and it was time to make a statement and show that Foreigner is relevant musically and it’s not about how many CD’s you sell or how many hits you have or whatever. That’s not really the game these days and of course we’d love to have a hit as much as anybody but if that didn’t happen, I think just the fact that we’ve done as well as we have both in America and Europe, is a testament that what we’re setting out to do we’ve achieved. We’ve proved that there’s some relevance here, that this version of the band the chemistry is right and like I said, it was time to make a musical statement.

AW: Right and I’ve got to say, I personally think that the band as strong if not stronger than it has been for a long, long time. I can remember seeing Foreigner back in the UK with Lou, many, many years ago but I’ve seen you guys play, probably two or three times now since this line up’s been together (Generally) and it’s good, it’s a class act you know.

Jeff: Yeah, well thank you. We appreciate that and you know that’s one of the reasons that we tour as much as we do. The demand is there and we love doing it. So, making a record even though all the parts aren’t there like they once were for the machinery for a record, still the artistic desire for us is there to do it so it worked out great.

AW: Right and Kelly has slotted in so well, I mean who would’ve thought it?

Jeff: I know, I know, really couldn’t have asked for a better guy for the band. I mean he was born to be in this band, I’m convinced!

AW: (Laughing) Yeah, I think so. That was one of the things at the beginning I guess why you guys didn’t feel like doing an album before you went out on the road with Kelly, I guess you thought you’d go out and road test it first. I mean if you look at say Journey, when they got Steve Augeri in first of all they did the album before they went out on tour and even with Arnel, the current guy, but I guess you guys just decided to road test it first right …?

Jeff: Well, you’re giving us more credit. It wasn’t like it was that thought out. It was basically just that Mick wanted to kind of get working again so just the first thing we did was live performance, we didn’t really give it much thought beyond that and then as we played, it just dominoed and got better and better and the band got stronger … Then of course, as we realized that it really was turning into a strong act, that recording was the next logical step. It wasn’t like it was thought out ahead of time, we’ll go out and road test it before we do a record … (Laughing) I wish we had that much foresight, but we really didn’t …
(Both laughing)

AW: Just got the band together and just got out on the road right?!

Jeff: Yeah, we just did it!

AW: Well it is good and it’s nice that … I mean the CD package that you put out, the whole Walmart deal that’s going on, it’s the latest thing isn’t it? I guess everyone is doing it I mean Kiss has done it, REO has done it, so many bands have done and you know …

Jeff: Yeah, well you know, you want to go where the record sales are and Walmart is one of the best distributors of records in the world right now, so it’s kind of a no brainer, plus they were really cool conceptually about everything, they’ve been very supportive of the band and so it really became a very logical fit.

AW: Right. So was there any thought at all towards Kelly singing the ‘Best of’ or not really? Was that never a plan at all?

Jeff: Well, I mean obviously we thought about it, because as you brought up that Journey had done that and it was mixed feelings that it was somewhat erm …, he just felt that it was … I don’t want to say disrespectful to the old band, had we done that but he just felt that, what’s the point … I mean maybe we’ll do that someday, who knows but at this point it was just like, ‘Hey listen, let’s just remix the original recordings, we know they’re great. There’s no need to prove what Kelly can do because you can come and see him live and obviously the guy can sing all the songs,’ so it was really all down to what seemed the best overall solution for the record.

AW: Right, it must be nice to have a Top 30 album in the US charts though …?

Jeff: It’s kind of freaky! (Laughs) It really is!

AW: It’s nice because so many of the bands that were so successful in the 80’s and I’ve basically followed this for all my life too and it’s like … The bands have been pulling everyone in live, for years and years every summer … I mean all the bands go out and tour and everything and the albums have been still released by bands, but not been shifting but now it’s like it’s turned around again hasn’t it? So it’s nice.

Jeff: Yeah, well let’s see what happens … I attribute a lot of that to Mick’s vision for everything. I think he’s very smart about how he does stuff. I think he waited for the right time to put out the record and I think he knew … and certainly his quality control is the highest it gets so … He wanted to make sure that when we did put out a record that it was really strong and I believe that’s the case so … I think it’s a lot of factors and I think we’ve also been fortunate that we’ve been able to do a lot of national television which has really helped and I think it all comes down to the fact that we’ve got the goods. The band is strong, the band is someone that people want to see live … So, you can hype up a record or you can hype up a band all you want, but without the goods behind it, it’s ultimately not going to do a lot of good so I just think that, the timings been right, Mick’s vision and approach has been right and the product is there, so there you go!

AW: Absolutely and as you say, it’s nice to be getting the television coverage you been getting and you’ve been getting quite a lot of radio play too, which is excellent for the singles as well too.

Jeff: Yeah, we’ve been pretty consistently in the Top 20 at AP and again, all the stuff that you would just not expect at this point in both what’s going on with the music business and the age of the band so … Yeah, a lot of factors have worked in our favor, to our favor … We’re grateful for it, we don’t take a minute of it for granted.

AW: Excellent! That’s good stuff. This is probably a silly question to even suggest but because of the success of the album and the tour, whether there’d be another live album or DVD from this tour put out, because again if it’s not so long since the last one right, it’s probably not so …

Jeff: No it’s not such a ridiculous question at all. Actually we did a … We’re going to be doing a special for HDNET that’s going to be coming out in the fall and that’s going to be a performance that we recorded at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville a couple of months ago and the whole show ended up being really strong. So they’re going to air about an hour or so of it or so I believe or an hour and a half maybe and at some point I think we’re going to put out a … You know, I don’t know when, butat some point we’ll probably put that out as a DVD. We’ll probably include it, like we did the live DVD in the Can’t Slow Down package, but I would not be surprised at all if someday there’s not a package like that.

AW: Right, I guess there’s already been the Alive and Rockin’ DVD and then the bonus live DVD with the Can’t Slow Down package as you just said, so obviously you don’t want to go for overkill on that do you … (Laughing).
It is a good, nice package and nice album and it rally does sound good …

Jeff: Well thank you man, just to hear that is great.

AW: Yes, it is good and as I say I’m looking forward to seeing the live show this year …

Jeff: Great man, well I hope I have a chance to meet you at the show …

AW: Yeah. So what about Jeff Pilson though? You’ve done a heck of a lot of other stuff like Dio and Dokken, I mean …

Jeff: (Laughing) Right! Well of course Ronnie passed away recently and that’s been real tough and there’s talk of some memorial shows in the fall that I’m hoping to be a part of, but I’m not sure how all that’s going to quite work out right now with scheduling, etc, but … That’s been a devastating loss both personally and professionally so … I was on the road when he passed, but fortunately my wife and daughter got to be with him at the hospital before he passed so there was a connection there at least at the end, that was very important to us and that’s been tough. As far as Dokken goes, you know, the guys are friends and we’ve finally managed to bury all the hatchets of the past and you know George and I are real close and his wife and my wife actually work together fairly frequently (Laughing), doing real estate and real estate loans so … (Laughing) Who would’ve ever thought that! (Both laughing.)

AW: How about that as you say …

Jeff: We’ll see what happens …

AW: Yeah, well there’s also talk of a reunion with Don, George and yourself, I mean is that actually happening or is that really just rumors …?

Jeff: Well you know the rumors spread before there was really any substance to it. What is true, is that we are talking and we’re discussing that possibility for somewhere in the future but we’re all open to it now. I mean we’re all past the point of you know, none of us are resisting it anymore … Now it’s down to, is it the right time? Can it be … Will it make sense? I mean all of us are really, really busy so it’s really hard to see when or how but it’s not ruled out so … We’re talking, so maybe …

AW: Of course I only mentioned Don, George and yourself, but of course Mick Brown jumps around all over the place too with Ted Nugent and other folks too …

Jeff: Right, right …

AW: But do you think an album is likely at all if you do?

Jeff: You know, it’s just too early to say and I’d be honest with you, I just don’t know … Again I’m just so busy right now, that it’s kind of hard to imagine right now doing a Dokken record …

AW: Yeah, with Foreigner right and that what kind of what I was thinking …

Jeff: You know Foreigner right now would have to have quite a bit of time off, which is not on the immediate horizon so …At this point I just don’t know but because we are talking, because we get along or we seem to be getting along, I can’t rule it out for the future, you just never know.

AW: Sure and the other projects you were involved in like M.S.G. and Wild Horses … I mean two albums with Wild Horses and it’s kind of ironic that Johnny Edwards (Foreigner vocalist on ‘Unusual Heat.’) was in there just before you did the first album … and then he joined Foreigner …! (Laughs)

Jeff: Yeah, I thought that was kind of funny too. Well, I haven’t done anything with Wild Horses in a while or M.S.G. but they’re all good friends and I did do another Wild Horses record, when was it about 5 – 6 years ago or something like that or maybe longer … My God, times going so fast … (Laughs) I don’t think there’s anymore talk of that but ‘Hey,’ once again you just never know. I’d probably like to do another War and Peace record one of these days but it’s just having the time you know … (More laughter.)

AW: Right and you did one with George too didn’t you so …?

Jeff: Yeah, yeah and he and I want to do another one of those again too … but again (Laughs) it’s all down to time so we’ll just have to see. Anyway I hate to cut this off, but I half to go downstairs and I’m getting in an elevator and I’m afraid we might get cut off but thank you so much for everything. I really appreciate it and like I say, I hope we get to meet at the show at Pine Knob.

AW: OK Jeff, well listen, I appreciate your time anyway and yep, take care of yourself and good luck in Washington tonight. Have a good show, enjoy the gig.

Jeff: Alright man, thank you so much, we’ll talk soon.

AW: Alright, cheers.

Jeff: Bye, bye.

Jeff Pilson website:
His MySpace seems to be a little more up to date ....

Rock News Brief Update for Saturday 31st July, 2010

Bassist JAMES LOMENZO Joins LYNCH MOB For The Summer Tour and Europe
“Smoke And Mirrors” Out Now On Frontiers Records USA
HOLLYWOOD, CA (July 29, 2010) – James Lomenzo (Megadeth, Black Label Society) joins Lynch Mob for their summer tour in support of their current release “Smoke and Mirrors” on Frontiers Records. The band line-up for this tour consists of George Lynch (shred master), Oni Logan (vox), and Brian Tichy (time-keeper).

After seventeen long years singer Oni Logan and guitar wizard George Lynch found their way back together and again show their amazing abilities in some killer new Hard Rock songs."I would say this new record "Smoke and Mirrors", is the record we should have put out as a follow up to "Wicked Sensation"...better late than never I guess...”, says Lynch presenting the new record.

Lynch Mob was formed by George Lynch, one of the few genuine guitar heroes of substance to emerge from the Los Angeles scene, after DOKKEN split up in 1989. The band’s first album” Wicked Sensation” went on to sell over 500,000 units in the US and featured the talents of singer Oni Logan, Anthony Esposito on bass and another former DOKKEN member Mick Brown on drums. After a tour in support of Queensryche, Logan opted out, with Robert Mason taking his place on the follow up self titled release. However Lynch and Brown eventually returned to Dokken releasing 2 studio albums until he left again in late 1997 putting together a several new incarnations of Lynch Mob and exploring new sounds with different projects.


July 2010
July 31 The Filmore New York, NY
August 2010
Aug 01 Crazy Donkey Farmingdale, NY
Aug 02 Eleanor Rigby’s Jermyn, PA
Aug 03 House of Blues Cleveland, OH
Aug 04 Scatz NightClub Middleton, WI
Aug 06 Club Vegas Salt Lake City, UT
Aug 07 The New Oasis Sparks, NV
Aug 08 Tower Theater Fresno, CA
Aug 11 Studio Seven Seattle, WA
Aug 12 Dante’s Portland, OR
Aug 13 Last Day Saloon Santa Rosa, CA
Aug 14 Sky City Amphitheater Pueblo of Acoma, NM

New UFO compilation release from SPV

It seem's German hard rock / metal label SPV GmbH have announced the release dates for the 16 track UFO compilation album BEST OF A DECADE.

The album will be initially released in Germany: 27th August 2010 - Rest of Europe: 30th August 2010 then it gets a release in USA/Canada: 28th September 2010.
It includes 6 live tracks although whether or not these have been released before elsewhere, I cannot confirm. I tend to think they probably have as they are classic UFO tracks - i.e. Michael Schenker era - and not tracks from the SPV years studio albums.
The full album tracklisting is as follows:

1. The Wild One
2. Hard Being Me
3. Lights Out (Live)
4. Saving Me
5. Daylight Goes To Town
6. Let It Roll (Live)
7. This Kids (Live)
8. Heavenly Body
9. Hell Driver
10. Too Hot To Handle (Live)
11. Mr. Freeze
12. Shoot Shoot (Live)
13. Black And Blue
14. Can´t Buy A Thrill
15. Baby Blue
16. Doctor Doctor (Live)

The band are adding new tour dates all the time so keep track of all thing UFO at:
Toto live CD & DVD with Mascot Records

TOTO have signed a deal with Mascot Records for the release in 2011 of a live CD and DVD. The recording was made on July 20 2010 in Copenhagen's KB hallen (Denmark) and features many of their great songs including Pamela, 99, Africa amongst others (tracklisting to be announced at a later date).

The line up of Toto for this DVD/CD:

David Paich, Steve Lukather, Joseph Williams, Simon Phillips, Steve Porcaro and special guests Nathan East, Mabvuto Mavuto and Jori Steinberg.
Asia confirms three UK dates in December
Prog rockers Asia are pleased to announce three new tour dates for the UK in December.
After last weekend's successful performance at London's High Voltage Festival, the band will return to the UK for the following three dates in December 2010.
Friday, December 10 - Edinburgh Picturehouse
Satursday, December 11 - Birmingham Institute
Tuesday, December 14 London Forum

The band is just about to start an extensive US tour through August and into September.

USA dates are:
August 2010
Aug 2nd - Zeiterion Performing Arts Center, New Bedford, MA
Aug 3rd - Birchmere, Alexandria VA
Aug 5th - Penn's Peak, Jim Thorpe PA
Aug 6th - Theatre at Westbury, Westbury NY
Aug 7th - Showboat. Atlantic City NJ
Aug 8th - Ridgefield Playhouse, Ridgefield CT
Aug 10th - Bergen PAC, Englewood, NJ
Aug 12th - Market Block Party, Syracuse, NY
Aug 13th - House of Blues, Cleveland, OH
Aug 14th - Armory, Rochester, NY
Aug 15th - Carnegie Hall of Homestead, Pittsburgh, PA
Aug 17th - Memorial Auditorium, Raleigh, NC
Aug 18th - Variety Playhouse, Atlanta, GA
Aug 20th - House of Blues, Dallas, TX
Aug 21st - House of Blues, Houston, TX
Aug 22nd - Paramount Theatre, Austin, TX
Aug 23rd - Majestic Theatre, San Antonio, TX
Aug 25th - Celebrity Theatre, Phoenix, AZ
Aug 26th - Veijas Casino at DreamCatcher, Alpine, CA
Aug 27th - Club Nokia, Los Angeles, CA
Aug 28th - The Grove, Anaheim, CA
Aug 29th - The Uptown, Napa, CA
September 2010
Sep 1st - Laxon Auditorium, Chico, CA
Sep 2nd - Fox Theatre, Bakersfield, CA
Sep 3rd - Ovation at Green Valley Resort & Spa, Henderson, NV
(For room reservations please call 1-800-6-STATIONS)

Sep 4th - Peppermill Casino, Wendover, NV
Sep 5th - Nugget Casino, Sparks, NV
Sep 7th - Aladdin Theatre, Portland, OR
Sep 8th - Moore Theatre, Seattle, WA
The band's website is:

& finally ....

WHOLE LOTTA LOVE: An All-Star rock Salute To Big girls
OK, now I don't think this is quite right and no I'm not saying this because I'm defending fat, sorry 'large' girls but, perhaps doing something like this will give people that hate rockers, even more fuel to criticize the genre.
I mean, an all star salute to 'fat girls' is how it's titled ...
Anyway, the reason I have included the details of the press release is simply because of the artists involved. 
Newark, NJ, July 31, 2010 --( SplitScreen Entertainment has revealed the cover art of its upcoming tribute album "Whole Lotta Love: An All-Star Salute To Fat Chicks." The image can be viewed at the official "Whole Lotta Love" MySpace page or at the SplitScreen Entertainment website. Inspired by the art of 19th century painter William Rimmer, the album cover is based on his most famous work, Evening (The Fall of Day). In place of the winged male in the original is a classically Rubenesque female figure, gracefully floating over a tranquil seascape. The new rendition was created by eminent pop artist Les Toil, known for his bold and beautiful "big girl" pin-up art (as well as concert posters for the likes of Tori Amos and Alanis Morissette, and cover art for albums featuring NOFX, Green Day and Blink-182). In addition to serving as the cover of the tribute, the new artwork is also being offered on posters and T-shirts available from SplitScreen Entertainment.

"To complement such a unique project as this, the cover art needed to be absolutely perfect," reasons SplitScreen Entertainment founder A.J. Confessore. "I wanted to reference an iconic and evocative image, replacing the central figure with a larger woman in a classy and tasteful manner. After months of trying to come up with just the right idea, it finally hit me like a bolt out of the blue! This vision was ultimately given form by the endlessly gifted Les Toil, who rendered our angelic ingenue with due serenity and poise (while also striking that delicate balance between parody and homage). In the end, I hope this image will resonate with fans in the rock and plus-size communities alike."

"Passive and subtle were never qualities that attracted me to rock & roll," adds artist Les Toil. "Apparently the same can be said for my appreciation of the opposite sex. I want a fat bottomed girl. A whole lotta Rosie. A big-legged woman who does (or doesn't) have soul. In other words, I want a whole lotta love!"

As previously reported, "Whole Lotta Love: An All-Star Salute To Fat Chicks" is a musical homage to the big, beautiful women who make the rockin' world go 'round. The tribute will feature all-new recordings of popular songs praising the fuller female figure, originally made famous by some of the biggest names in rock and pop music. These anthems to abundance will be performed by renowned rock & rollers from yesterday and today, along with a select few rising stars. In direct opposition to the "no fat chicks" mantra espoused by some, "Whole Lotta Love" will be a star-studded celebration of large and lovely ladies. Songs confirmed so far include Queen's arena rock classic "Fat Bottomed Girls" by L.A. Guns singer Phil Lewis, with guitarist Paul LaPlaca and drummer John Macaluso. Also on tap is a high-octane version of the AC/DC concert staple "Whole Lotta Rosie" by Rufus Fontain, featuring Cinderella guitarist Jeff LaBar and original Jackyl vocalist Ronnie Honeycutt. The Poison chart-topper "Unskinny Bop" is ably recreated by party rock outfit Evick, featuring members of the Bret Michaels Band. And the bass-heavy Spinal Tap dirge "Big Bottom" is given a 6-string revamp by Twisted Sister guitarist Eddie Ojeda and his Band of Steel. Plus-sized songstress Celisa Stratton brings all-new meaning to the title track "Whole Lotta Love" by Led Zeppelin, in conjunction with veteran Quiet Riot drummer Frankie Banali and guitarist Alex Grossi. Additional artists and track listings will be announced as they are confirmed. Samples of all tracks are available at the official "Whole Lotta Love" MySpace page.

"Whole Lotta Love: An All-Star Salute To Fat Chicks" is scheduled for an August 31, 2010 release and is now available for pre-order directly from SplitScreen Entertainment. The first 500 pre-orders will receive a free instant digital download of "Fat Bottomed Girls," as well as a bonus mini-print of the cover art upon delivery of the album. Further details can be found at the SplitScreen Entertainment website.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Update - Thursday 29th July, 2010

Hi folks, yes you guessed it ... No chance to get to any updates today, but hopefully Friday I'll be able to make up for that.
Long day on a business trip today, up at 4.30am, on the road by 5am .... Home again late tonight ... Groan ...
Anyway, thanks for your patience, more soon!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Rock News for Wednesday 28th July, 2010

The ULTIMATE Backstage Experience

As VIP Packages Saturate the Ailing Concert Industry, Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy Camp Offers the Most Genuine Value at Recession-Busting Rates During Weekend Warrior Adventures


Mitch Ryder added to Chicago!
Rami Jaffee (Foo Fighters, Wallflowers) added to San Francisco and Philadelphia!
Teddy Andreadis (Guns N’ Roses) added to Dallas and Chicago!
David Uosikkinen (The Hooters) added to Philadelphia!
More special surprise guests to be announced.

Click here to watch the Promo Video:
It’s a true rock ‘n’ roll awakening that only campers attending this fall’s four “Weekend Warrior” Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy Camps can truly understand. Simply put, there is no VIP offer any concert promoter can make anywhere that compares to the “ultimate” backstage experience campers get at ROCK ‘N’ ROLL FANTASY CAMP (RRFC) – especially at the Recession-busting rates of the “Weekend Warrior” camps.

That’s why Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy Camp is going on tour this fall, with an exclusive East Coast camp in Philadelphia (Oct. 22-24 a the Trocadero); a West Coast camp in San Francisco (Nov. 5-7 at the Fillmore); a Southwest camp in Dallas (Nov 12-14 at the House of Blues) and a Midwest camp in Chicago (Nov. 19-21 at the House of Blues). Campers will be traveling across state lines to live out their rock ‘n’ roll fantasies while having the ultimate backstage experience of their lives with head counselor Dickey Betts (co-founder of the Allman Brothers Band), along with camp counselors Mark Farner (formerly of Grand Funk Railroad), Mark Hudson (Aerosmith), Kip Winger (Winger), Rudy Sarzo (Quiet Riot, Ozzy) and Sandy Gennaro (Joan Jett, Pat Travers).

And look who now will be making special guest counselor appearances: Mitch Ryder in Chicago, Rami Jaffee (Foo Fighters, Wallflowers) in Philly and San Francisco; Teddy Andreadis (Guns N’ Roses) in Dallas and Chicago, and David Uosikkinen (The Hooters) in Philadephia. With more to be announced!

Rock pundits from Rolling Stone to the New York Times are noting with anguish this summer that while vast numbers of people are losing their jobs and homes, the VIP packages once reserved for megastars like U2 and the Rolling Stones are trickling down to the rank-and-file of live performers to prop up a struggling industry . As artists desperately try to maximize grosses in an ailing economy, they’re giving you the opportunity to pay even more than the already inflated ticket prices to feel like you’re getting closer to them. But how much more do you really get?

As the New York Times recently noted, Bon Jovi has been offering an $1875 VIP package that includes a leather bag, a catered meal and a take-home folding chair with the band’s logo. But where’s the genuine band interaction?

By comparison, for $1999, “Weekend Warrior” campers gain admission to a three-day camp with over a half-dozen rock star counselors, two lunches, a ticket to the final night concert opening night cocktail party and dinner, a swag bag and most of all – learning and playing all weekend long with the rock star counselors. Pay a little more and you get things like autographed guitars and drum heads, a DVD of the final concert (with YOU in it), the opportunity to write and record original songs, take Master Classes, and receive concert tickets and private meet-and-greets for 10 of your closest friends and family members. Consider all of your rock ‘n’ roll fantasies truly fulfilled. Chair or no chair, these three-day camps will change your life!

No top-dollar VIP package being offered by an act on tour this summer even comes close: Not by the Black Eyed Peas, not even by Justin Bieber. Sure, you can grab a quick picture with KISS for a $999 concert ticket; but the Eagles won’t even let you snap a single shot. Some rockers will take a quick “pic” with VIP’s who’ve stood in a long line waiting for that brief few seconds of face time. Some will offer a glass of wine. Almost all will guarantee you a seat in the first 10 rows and a free t-shirt – but would you expect a seat any further away at that price?

ROCK ‘N’ ROLL FANTASY CAMP shows you what a real VIP package looks like, giving you everything those other packages offer (well, maybe not the take-home chair), with the true promise of the most genuine rock star interaction you could imagine. And with your favorite rock legends. YOU and the rock stars are the concert, and you work together with your rock star counselors to attain that moment, the grand finale, at a renowned rock concert venue.

ROCK ‘N’ ROLL FANTASY CAMP has never been more accessible, thanks to these new, Recession-busting “Weekend Warrior” packages. For that once-in-a-lifetime experience, a deposit of just $299 will save you, a friend or family member a limited spot. It’s an irresistible combination that affords the opportunity to embark on a widely acclaimed adventure, as TV viewers around the world will see this fall when VH1 Classic’s weekly hour-long docu-series premieres. Each day is a new thrilling challenge for the “rock campers.” “Weekend Warrior” packages start at $1999 for this once-in-a-lifetime weekend-long experience.
For more information, please visit:
About Rock 'n’ Roll Fantasy Camp
Since 1997, Rock ’n’ Roll Fantasy Camp has been giving individuals--regardless of their musical ability--a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to live like a rock star and jam with their idols. The sessions begin with an opening night party and include intensive rehearsals with rock star counselors and jams, master classes and Q&A’s with rock legends, recording an original song at historic studios and conclude with a sold-out, closing night performance at a legendary club. It’s a dream come true for any music fan. Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy Camp takes place annually in London at Abbey Road Studios and Los Angeles. Other camp locations have included New York and Las Vegas. For information, please call 888.762.2263 x2 or visit

Roxy Music UK Tour dates ahead ... New Bryan Ferry album too

OK, well it seems that the main UK tour will be featuring original Roxy Music member and leader Bryan Ferry, going out on tour under the title of 'For Your Pleasure,'
Who else of the original band is not really made clear, but he will be joined on tour by Anna Phoebe on violin and keyboards ...
UK Tour dates are:
January 2011
Jan. 25: Newcastle Metro Radio Arena
Jan. 27: Glasgow SECC
Jan. 28: Glasgow SECC
Jan. 30: Manchester MEN Arena
Jan. 31: Birmingham LG Arena
February 2011
Feb. 2: Nottingham Trent FM Arena
Feb. 7: London O2 Arena

There are currently some other Summer 2010 European festival tour dates too, going on now.
Details on those here:

Bryan Ferry does though also have a new solo album to plug ... Although quite how close to rock it may be, is anyone's guess?!

BRYAN FERRY returns with his new studio album OLYMPIA on Virgin Records on October 25th.


The single 'You Can Dance', already a club hit across Europe, will be released on August 2nd.

The new songs include collaborations with Scissor Sisters ('Heartache By Numbers') and Groove Armada ('Shameless').
Recorded in London, the album features Pink Floyd's David Gilmour, Jonny Greenwood of Radiohead, Nile Rogers from Chic, Primal Scream bassist Mani, and Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

The full track-listing for the album is:


OLYMPIA was co-produced by Bryan Ferry and Rhett Davies

The Cars to reunite ..., possibly ...

According to a posting on The Cars Facebook page, that led to an article almost two weeks ago in the Boston Herald and has since led to an article in Rolling Stone magazine, it seems possible - Although not confirmed ... or denied! - that The Cars may indeed reunite with the remaining living members ...

The posting originates from a recent band photo posted on their Facebook page, with the surviving members gathered together in an unidentified studio .... Here's that picture - courtesy of course of The Car's Facebook page!

It would certainly be cool if original singer / guitarist Ric Ocasek, guitarist Elliot Easton, keyboardist Greg Hawkes and drummer David Robinson would settle their differences and do it all over again.
Here are the two stories:
The Car's Facebook page is here:

Steve Lukather new album cover and tour update

In November 2010 Steve Lukather will do a small tour to promote his new album 'All's Well That Ends Well,' to be released on October 11th by Mascot Records.
More tour dates for 2011 to come. You can find the links to the ticket information in the ticket info section.


With the UK's Cambridge Rock Festival about a week away, Southern England AOR / melodic rockers, Newman are revving up to join the likes of many other rockers for the weekend event starting Thursday August 5th. - FYI - Newman will be playing on Friday 6th August.

Praying Mantis, Tygers of Pan Tang, Stray, Oliver / Dawson Saxon and two All star celebrity rock bands that include former members of Whitesnake, Thunder, Wishbone Ash, Magnum, Tyketto to name a few, will be getting together at the 10th annual Cambridge Rock Festival next weekend.

In advance of the event, Newman have posted this update at their site:  

Paul, Dave, Nic, Steve and Nog are looking forward to seeing everyone at the CRF10 this year, we know it's going to be a great event. As you can see by the flyer below there's some great bands over the four day festival. If you haven't already booked your tickets you can get to the Official Cambridge Rock Site by clicking on the flyer below - Link here: - or ringing the numbers at the bottom of this update ...

We will also be running a festival special limited offer where you will be able to pick up "Decade" and the "The Art Of Balance" for just £15. And, if you so desire, this will also be signed by the band on the day, see you there !!!!!!

About the event ...
The Cambridge Rock Festival is widely regarded as one of the friendliest and most welcoming festivals around. Arising from the fact that the festival is run by enthusiastic music fans first and foremost. Festival goers come back year after year and have gotten to know many of the volunteers and crew almost as an extended family; something unheard of at most festivals. As such the atmosphere is second to none and quite simply like no other rock festival you may have been to.

Local heroes leading the charge on the festival’s opening night are the irrepressible; Split Whiskers, who can always be relied upon to light the fuse. The fireworks continue to build driven by The Pure Floyd Show, Led Zep Too, and the amazing All Star Band performing The 80’s Rocked Show. Incorporating almost every classic rock hit of the 80’s – it’s impossible not to sing along with these crowd pleasers, brought to you by members of Tyketto, Magnum and Thunder.

The Classic Rock Society present their finely tuned collection of the new breed of classic rock bands on Friday 6th August, calling on a variety of genres from folk oriented to the metal edged. The evening will then be brought to a triumphant climax proved by The Tygers of Pang Tang.

This year’s crop of bands will appeal to fans of Whitesnake, as up until recently the Monsters of British Rock were known as Moody Murray Whitesnake. Freeway will be storming the stage on the Saturday night by request.

By way of contrast Hazel O’Connor will be also singing on the Cambridge Rock Festival’s long weekend. She will be performing with The Subterraneans and Clare Hirst who is well known for playing Live Aid with David Bowie. Together they will be reproducing the “Breaking Glass” set on this, the 30th anniversary of the album and film.

The Haggis Farm Polo Club will also play host to a number of excellent Blues Rock bands. The likes of Danny Bryant, Larry Miller, Chantel McGregor, Storm Warning or The Mustangs will offer you plenty of choice. And just to prove the girls can rock them out too – Deborah Bonham, JOANovARC, and Emerald Sky will be crankin’ up the volume. In all over 70 bands will be taking the stage across the Cambridge Rock Festival’s long weekend.

The Cambridge Rock Festival takes pride in looking after their festival goers; by providing two all weather stages to ensure full protection from the elements, as well as flushing toilets and showers with no queues. Complimenting the music will be the best choice of beers, ciders, perrys and spirits at any music festival, which are available at reasonable prices. The festival itself is easily accessible from the M11 (Junction 12) and the cycleway from Cambridge City Centre. The Cambridge Rock Festival is proud to support so many different charities throughout the event with our designated charities per day being Addenbrookes Charitable Trust, CambzLan, The Princes Trust in Association with Camrider and Help For Heroes.

For more information and tickets please go to or call 01353 749 749 or 0845 299 0845 to book.


Dates as follows:
September 8 – Winnipeg
September 10 – Calgary
September 12 – Saskatoon
September 14 – Edmonton
September 16 – Vancouver

More details at:

Def Leppard's Phil Collen gets hitched!

This posted at the Def Leppard website:

(Picture courtesy of - Photo by Ash Newell.) congratulates Phil Collen and Helen L. Simmons, who got married this past Friday 23rd July!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Rock News for Tuesday 27th July, 2010






For a limited time, fans can preview Stryper's upcoming Big3 Records release by following Stryper frontman Michael Sweet on Twitter. The new collection of cover songs pays tribute to the bands that inspired Stryper, including Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Led Zeppelin, Kansas and many others.

(NASHVILLE, Tennessee) -- Following the success of their 25th Anniversary World Tour earlier this year, legendary rock band Stryper headed into the studio to work on their upcoming album, The Covering, tentatively scheduled for release October 13th from Big3 Records/SONY. For a limited time, fans can preview the new album by following Stryper frontman Michael Sweet on Twitter at where he will be revealing a hidden website where fans can hear exclusive song clips not available anywhere else.
The Covering, produced by Michael Sweet, will be unlike any previous Stryper recording, in that it’s a collection of cover songs from bands that inspired them and helped to shape their sound and musical identity, including past hits from Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Led Zeppelin, Kansas and many others. A cover of Black Sabbath’s hit “Heaven and Hell” will be the first single, with an expected iTunes release in advance of the album. The Covering will also include “God,” a new original recording from Stryper.

"Stryper recorded The Yellow and Black Attack (Enigma Records) back in 1983, and it was released the following year,” says Michael. “Twenty six years have passed and after seven studio releases and multiple compilation and live projects, we decided to show our fans where our roots lie musically. The Covering consists of particular songs and groups that molded and shaped us and made us who we are today.”

One of the highlights for Stryper fans is that The Covering is the first studio album in nearly two decades on which all four original members, plus longtime keyboardist Charles Foley, have recorded together.

“This record includes the original lineup,” explains Michael. Tim, Robert, Oz and I haven't recorded a full-length project together since 1990’s Against the Law (Enigma Records), so this is truly history in the making. We also had what was probably the best time we've ever had recording a record together and I believe that this comes through in the energy and the spirit of each track. We're all extremely excited about this record and more importantly, we're all extremely confident about the future of Stryper and the four of us making music together for years to come."
About Stryper
Stryper’s latest album, Murder by Pride, was released in 2009. The band supported the album with a year-long 25th Anniversary World Tour which took them throughout North America, South America, Europe and Australia. In 1984, Stryper broke onto the scene with their debut EP The Yellow and Black Attack, and have since gone on to sell 8 million albums and tour the world spreading an inspirational message through their branded sound of rock songs, heavy guitars, and pristine harmony vocals. The group’s unprecedented 1986 album To Hell with the Devil was the first Christian album to go platinum and was named one of the “100 Greatest Albums in Christian Music” by CCM Magazine. Stryper was also the first Christian band to get airplay on MTV, where they had several hit videos, including the #1 “Most Requested” videos “Free” and “Honestly.”
For more information, visit

Oh and to hear those new samples, go here:

FM new UK dates

UK AOR act FM have just announced 3 new UK dates in the Autumn. The dates are as follows:

Keep up weith all their news here:

In addition to this, FM are also included in Classic rock magazines stroy on "The Return of AOR."
Read the full article here:

Eagle Rock Gives DVD Treatment To

~Released August 17, 2010~

New York, NY (July 27, 2010)—Continuing to bring the stories of rock’s greatest pioneers to home entertainment, Eagle Rock will release Jackson Browne’s Going Home DVD on August 17.
A re-issue of the 1999 home video released via Pioneer, this music film has been revived for the DVD market as a reminder of Browne’s lasting legacy. This DVD, part documentary and part live experience, sees him reflecting on his four decade career. Going Home features not only interviews with Browne, but footage of live sets from different decades in his career seamlessly blended into one another. These live moments are a testament to the timeless nature of his music. Guest appearances, in interviews and performances, include Don Henley, David Crosby, Graham Nash, The Eagles, David Lindley, Jennifer Warnes, and Bonnie Raitt.

An accomplished songwriter with seven platinum records to his name, Jackson Browne’s homegrown, heartfelt music has earned him inductions in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (2004) and the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame (2007). He’s penned hit songs not only for himself, but The Eagles, Linda Ronstadt, Joan Baez, and others. His honest, personal delivery and moving, breathing songs have laid the foundation for a solid and celebrated career, which is beautifully captured on Going Home.

Track Listing:
1.) I’m Alive
2.) Farther On
3.) Doctor My Eyes
4.) These Days
5.) Birds of St. Marks
6.) Your Bright Baby Blues
7.) Take It Easy
8.) In The Shape Of A Heart
9.) Everywhere I Go
10.) World In Motion
11.) You Can Get It If You Really Want It
12.) Good Morning Little Mutant
13.) All Along The Watchtower
14.) The Pretender
15.) For Everyman
16.) Lives In The Balance
17.) Knock On Any Door
18.) My Problem Is You
19.) Too Many Angels
20.) Sleep’s Dark and Silent Gate
21.) Sky Blue and Black
22.) Before the Deluge
23.) Running On Empty