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Monday, August 29, 2011

Rock News update for Monday 29th August, 2011

Hey there folks,
Well, I'm writing this having just watched the repeat / rerun of Saturday night's 'That Metal Show' on VH1 Classic, that featured a few special guests including Stryper's Michael Sweet and former Warrant lead singer, a certain Jani Lane (RIP) and just looking at the guy on the show - That was recorded just a couple of weeks before he took his own life (or accidentally did) through mixing prescription drugs and vodka - I'm stunned. What's so weird, strange is you look at him and he looked and talked as if he was doing better than he had done for a while. So really, you just have to wonder what goes through peoples minds, as he'd just given himself the best promotion in years, which would only have done him good and then ... It's all over, gone ...
Seriously sad. :(

On a different note ...
After 'That Metal Show' VH1 showed 'Hard Rock Calling,' a concert from London's (UK) Hyde Park earlier this summer and the first band shown on there was Bon Jovi.
Now many of my old mates back home will know that for years I was a huge fan of the band and constantly stood by what they did but there's been a few things in recent years for me that has turned me off the band for one reason or another.
Anyway, I thought I'd check this out though and Bon Jovi is the first band on 'this' show and they play 'It's My Life' and I have to say, I loved the song originally but Jon struggles to go anywhere high on the song ... Sad. He's carried by the band.  'Blaze of Glory' was better but I had already been disappointed. Ah well ...
Listen, have a good week folks, hope to get the Alice Cooper / Ace Frehley live review from here up at the site soon.
Cheers, Al

Thin Lizzy switch second lead player ..., again

(Damon Johnson ... Looks a little like Dave Grohl to me ...?! - Photo )

Thin Lizzy have recruited guitarist Damon Johnson (Alice Cooper, Brother Cane) to replace Richard Fortus on their forthcoming US tour with Judas Priest. Fortus will be on the road with Guns 'n' Roses for the remainder of the year.

Upon his appointment with Thin Lizzy, Damon says, "The music of Thin Lizzy is the absolute biggest influence on my entire career; as a guitarist, songwriter, singer and performer I've been performing Lizzy songs since I started playing in bars in Alabama in 1987. To be even a small footnote on the list of great guitarists that have been in the band over the years is one of the highest accolades of my life. I am honored and beyond excited!!"
For more information on all Thin Lizzy dates please visit

Editor's note: I just wish they'd pull some kind of a more 'suitable' name from the era, if you will.
Viv Campbell, was a good member originally of this line up and fitted well with the generation he was from. Sure I see that both Richard and Damon state they were influenced by Lizzy, but it's not the same to me. Here's hoping I'm proven seriously wrong on the forthcoming US tour later this year.

Whitesnake to play some special Christmas UK shows

Update from Whitesnake as the road trip rolls on ...

New shows for the 2011 "Forevermore" Whitesnake tour schedule are being added. We are calling this portion of the tour the "Have Yourselves A Merry Whitesnake Christmas" shows. It includes just a few select venues that the band could fit in before the holidays. These shows have been announced on the Whitesnake site and a few more will be added in the coming days.

Grand Illusion to release 'Prince of Paupers,' in October 2011

AOR Heaven to release Grand Illusion - Prince of Paupers

           The release of 'Brand New World' in 2010 and all the positive response the album gained, was fuel for more song writing and only a couple of weeks after the Brand New World release, the first new songs were written. It only took a three months to come up with 15 songs and in August 2010 Anders Rydholm, Peter Sundell and Per Svensson took off to Sherman Oaks in Los Angeles, to record with Gregg Bissonette (David Lee Roth, Spinal Tap, Ringo Starr), Steve Lukather (Toto), Jay Graydon (Airplay, Manhattan Transfer, Air Supply) and Tim Pierce (Rick Springfield, Micheal Jackson, Phil Collins). A big moment for the GI boys to record with so many of their musical heroes.

Later on also legendary arranger/conductor Paul Buckmaster (Elton John, David Bowie, Judie Tzuke) helped out with an orchestral arrangment for the song 'Gates of Fire' and the Bosnian guitar wizard Muris Varajic did solos for 5 songs. Muris is a big musical injection for the band and he also joined us for a live gig in August 2011. Robert Säll from Work of Art and W.E.T. also did a solo for the Japanese bonus track 'Not For Sale.'
We would also like to introduce Staffan Stavert to you. He is now the new keyboard player in our "live Grand Illusion band". On this album Staffan plays keyboards on two songs. Kjell Klaesson is as usual helping us with acoustic guitar.
Arlene Matza-Jackson has helped out writing most of the lyrics and the music is as always written by Anders Rydholm.

Firefest 2010 The band also did a couple of live gigs during 2010 and the big highlight of the year was the Firefest appearance in October in Nottingham, UK. Grand Illusion kicked off the festival and the boys were thrilled to play in front of such a devoted croud. During the rehearsals for Firefest, lead singer Peter Sundell caught Lumonia(?) - Ed's note: I think they mean Pneumonia - and he had to struggle hard to be able to sing at all and after the show he totally lost his voice. It took more than three months before Peter was back to normal and the recordings for Prince of Paupers could continue.
The album will be released October 19 in Japan through Marquee/Avalon and through AOR Heaven on October 29th in Europe.
Music: Anders Rydholm
Lyrics: Arlene Matza-Jackson, Anders Rydholm
Songs - Mp3 samples1. Gates of Fire
2. Better Believe It
3. Prince of Paupers
4. So Faraway
5. St Teresas Love
6. Through This War
7. Eyes of Ice
8. Gone
9. Believe in Miracles
10. On and On
11. Under The Wire
12. Winds of Change
13. Not for Sale (Japanese bonus track)
MusiciansAnders Rydholm - keyboards, bass, rhythm guitars
Peter Sundell - lead and background vocals
Per Svensson - lead and background vocals
Gregg Bissonette - drums
Steve Lukather - guitar solo on 4
Jay Graydon - guitar solo on 2
Tim Pierce - rhythm guitars and guitar solos on 5, 6, 8, 9,10, 12
Muris Varajic- guitar solo on 1, 3, 7, 9, 11
Robert Säll - guitar solo on 13
Paul Buckmaster - orchestral arrangmentrs and synths on 1
Kjell Klaesson - acoustic guitar on 9
Staffan Stavert - keyboards on 10, 13

Produced and arranged by: Anders Rydholm
Orchestral arrangement for Gates of Fire by: Paul Buckmaster
Recorded and mixed in GodisPåScen studio, Växjö, Sweden 2010 - 2011 by Anders Rydholm. Drums recorded in Woodcliff studios, Sherman Oaks, USA, by Frank Rosato. Guitar solos recorded by Tim Pierce, Jay Graydon, Muris Varajic, Robert Säll.
Mastered by Frank Rosato
Graphics by: Carl André Beckston (MonoWasp) Photos: Sune Ekstrand
Official band website:


After the groundbreaking and universally successful 2010 KANSAS Collegiate Symphony Tour, legendary rock band KANSAS is not only continuing, but expanding the tour for the fall of 2011.
The 2011 KANSAS Collegiate Symphony Tour will again to help raise funds and awareness for college and university music programs.

Confirmed ‘KANSAS Collegiate Symphony Tour’ dates and venues, with more to be added:

September 24, 2011 (Tickets On Sale August 6, 2011)
Houghton College (Wesley Chapel - Houghton, NY)

  September 25, 2011 (Tickets On Sale Now)
Rochester Institute of Technology (Main Street Armory– Rochester, NY)

  September 30, 2011 (Tickets On Sale Now)
Kennesaw State University (Cobb Energy Center – Atlanta, GA)

  October 1, 2011 (Tickets On Sale Now)
Columbus State University (The RiverCenter for the Performing Arts – Columbus, GA)

  October 7, 2011 (Tickets On Sale August 5, 2011)
James Madison University (JMU Convocation Center - Harrisonburg, VA)

  October 14, 2011 (Tickets On Sale August 13, 2011)
Augustana College (Washington Pavilion Arts Center – Sioux Falls, SD)

  October 15, 2011 (Tickets On Sale August 23, 2011)
Northern Illinois University (NIU Convocation Center – DeKalb, IL)

  October 20, 2011 (Tickets On Sale Now)
Appalachian State University (Farthing Auditorium – Boone, NC)

  November 5, 2011 (Tickets On Sale Now)
University of Central Florida (The Venue at UCF Arena– Orlando, FL)


Sebastian Bach loses so much in East coast storms

Well, it's not just regular folks that have been feeling the pain from the massive storms and knock on effect of Hurricane Irene. Former Skid Row frontman, Sebastian Bach has poured out through his Facebook page, just how devastated he is at how the storm destroyed his home and take away so many of his personal belongings ...
He's also posted photo's of the damage there too.
Read on ...

"I am numb, in shock, & devastated to report that my home of 21 years, my house featured on MTV Cribs, has been destroyed, condemned, & deemed uninhabitable due to the extreme flooding courtesy of Hurricane Irene.

  In the 2 decades I have lived in this home, there has never been a single drop of water in the basement or anywhere else in the structure. Now Irene has overflowed the reservoir adjacent...
to my house. The surging waters have snapped the bridge in half next to my house & sent the bridge straight into my garage, knocking the house off of its foundation. The basement that has been dry for over 2 decades is now overflowing with water & I am not even allowed to start pumping the water out due to fears of electrocution. Original Skid Row & KISS fans, I have bad news for you . Gone are irreplacable items, such as my KISS Gargoyles from the 1979 tour. KISS pinball machine. Skid Row master tapes, video & audio, concerts, master tapes from 'Oh Say Can You Scream' etc. Boxes & boxes of one of a kind Skid Row memorabilia, from the first tour to our last, all stuff I collected on the road that no one else had. I had a library in the basement with every single magazine that had Skid Row on the cover. This library took up a big part of the basement. All of this is lost now. We will salvage what we can of course. But how I wish there was a reason to do a box set or something before Hurricane Irene hit. Nobody cared. Now it's too late. Don't know what you got till it's gone, indeed.
The good news is that all my fathers artwork , including the 16 foot "Slave To The Grind" mural, is all ok. My sons & friends moved all my dads art to the 2nd level of the structure before Irene destroyed our home. My Silver Age Comic Collection is all on the 3rd level, with the David Bierk Archives, which is a completely dry level. But we are not allowed into the house yet to retrieve everything because the foundation has crumbled & the house could conceivably collapse at any second. We are working with the police & fire department to get the electricity turned off so no one gets electrocuted entering the premises. As soon as the power is off we will pump out the basement & salvage what we can. Everything will be put into storage & then it looks like we will level the house :(
This has really taught me that the best things in life are indeed 'free' . What makes me happy is that my children & ex wife are safe. My dads art is unharmed. No one got hurt. My scrapbooks of memories of my life are dry & safe. The only things that are making me smile today is cranking Black Veil Brides "Set the World on Fire" CD over & over again. Texting Danny from Asking Alexandria who may become my new roommate in LA . Getting texts from my girl Minnie in LA making sure I'm ok & trying to cheer me up. My neighbours in New Jersey clamouring around my house, calling me, offering help in any way they can. These things mean more to me than mere posessions.
I have been holding on to my house since December, when my divorce papers were filed. I just could not let go of the only home I had ever known. Well, God has other plans for me it seems. He has made His decision for me. My home has been taken away by an "Act Of God". I just think He is giving me a much needed push, is all. New Jersey, thank you all so much for 25 years of rock n' roll. It's all over now. I will always love New Jersey but now there is literally nothing left for me here except memories of a past life.
Hello, Los Angeles. Hello, New Life. Here I Am. It's time for a new start.
Like I have a choice."
Sebastian Bach - August 2011

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