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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

News Update for Wednesday 23rd November, 2011

Well folks, here in the good old U.S. of A., Thanksgiving weekend is upon us and many have already finished work for the week and are planning a getaway.
Me, I'll be at home on Dad duty as the school is closed and there's no one else to watch our two, so it's a vacation day from the day job!
Hmm, wonder if I'll get through any of those reviews now ... We'll see!
Listen folks, a very Happy Thanksgiving to everyone over here or US folks working away from home.
Be safe, take care of those you love and have a great weekekend break, hopefully!
Cheers, Al

Swiss Rockers Gotthard discover it's time to move on ...

After Swiss band Gotthard's lead vocalist, Steve Lee was killed in a tragic accident last year while on holiday with friends in the US, the band have finally found the strength to move on.

This posted recently at the band's website:

GOTTHARD - At last we continue!
New singer confirmed. He is Swiss!
Dear GOTTHARD Fans - it gives us great pleasure to announce that we have found a new singer. The successor to Steve Lee, who was killed in a tragic accident last year, is Nic Maeder and is Swiss-born. Nic was born in 1971 in Lausanne, lived in Melbourne, Australia and grew up between Switzerland and "Down Under".
"Nic not only has a great voice and is a fantastic musician, but we also have a great person in our midst", says Leo. "We can rock again at last".
During the months after the decision to carry on was taken, we received a huge amount of applications from all over the world; it was really overwhelming! At this point we would really like to thank everyone, especially the candidates, to whom we were not able to send a personal message. Thank you for your understanding and we wish all of you lots of luck and success in the future!
"The search took a long time but it was clear to all of us when we met Nic that he was the right guy. With him we can enjoy the music again and celebrate new success," states Hena. "I'm really happy that we are continuing".
The final decision for Nic Maeder was unanimous. "We noticed straight away that the chemistry, both musically and personally, was right. For us, he is the new member of the family", says Freddy.
Nic Maeder, who besides his singing position also plays guitar and piano, is a very talented and creative person. His songwriting ability also means he fits perfectly into the Gotthard family. He is the missing piece in the puzzle.
"Music has been my companion all my life and always was an important part of it. It is a great feeling to be able to share in the birth of a song and to see how it keeps growing. I can experience that with GOTTHARD and it makes me happy. I am making music with friends," says Nic Maeder.

Of course you can write a lot about a new singer, but in the end there is nothing better than seeing and hearing him sing. We therefore decided to produce a song plus video as a thank you to our fans, which can be downloaded free of charge. It is dedicated to all our Fans who didn't lose their faith and trust in GOTTHARD. You have supported us with all your strength during the past months. Thank you so much!
Marc "With Nic, we have taken the right decision for GOTTHARD. A lot of courage is needed to step into the footsteps of such a great singer. For that, Nic has earned our respect. Let's never forget this and make Nic welcome in the family.
We are in the studio at the moment and are working with renewed energy and enthusiasm on songs for a new album, which will be released in the spring of 2012... keep on rocking!!!
"Remember it's me" can be downloaded free at

All I'd like to add is good luck to the guys, I know Steve Lee will be greatly missed, RIP Steve ..., but I'm certain the fans are glad you can move forward. I'm also sure it's what Steve would've wanted too.

Coming Soon!

~On January 10~

To Be Released by Eagle Rock Entertainment through Eagle Vision.

"This fantastic and moving two-parter tells the story of the finest live band in the history of rock. There's archive footage of past performances, interviews with the members and, best of all, plenty of insider anecdotes; the choicest being Elton John's reaction to Bohemian Rhapsody: "Are you off your head? You'll never get that played."
The Guardian/UK.

(November, 2011) — In 1971, four college students got together to form a rock band.
Since then, that certain band called Queen have released 26 albums and sold over 300 million records worldwide. The popularity of Freddie Mercury, Brian May, Roger Taylor and John Deacon is stronger than ever 40 years on. On November 6, 2011, in front of an estimated TV audience of 1.2 billion they were honored with the Global Icon Award at the 2011 MTV EMA.

But for Queen the journey was no bed of roses. No pleasure cruise. Queen had their share of kicks in the face, but they came through - and this is how they did it.

Set against a backdrop of brilliant music and stunning live performances from every corner of the globe, Queen: Days of Our Lives - available in both Blu-Ray and standard DVD formats, brings Queen’s 40th Anniversary year to a close in suitably regal style.

Days Of Our Lives began as a two-part documentary produced by long-term Queen collaborators and life long fans Rhys Thomas (the comedian who famously broke the Mastermind all-time record points score with a specialist subject of Queen) and Simon Lupton, and directed by the renowned director Matt Casey. After 10 years of making Queen DVDs, Lupton and Thomas were asked by the band to produce the definitive 40th Anniversary documentary and after almost a year of painstaking research and editing, this was the result.

Split over two episodes, Part One covering 1970-80, Part Two 1980 – present day, the documentary is a genuine rollercoaster of rock and roll history.

In this film, for the first time, it is the band that tells their story. Featuring brand new interviews with Brian May and Roger Taylor and unseen archive footage - including their recently unearthed first ever TV performance - it is a compelling story told with intelligence, wit, plenty of humor and painful honesty.

Rhys Thomas comments, “We set out to make the definitive Queen documentary. It's a funny, honest, inspiring and ultimately tragic account of ‘a certain band called Queen’, as told by the band themselves. We tell the story of four students who met in West London, slogged hard and conquered the world, ultimately changing rock music forever.”
When originally broadcast in the UK on BBC 2 across two nights in May of this year, Queen: Days of Our Lives was the highest rated TV show on in its slot, beating every other channel and peaking with 3 million viewers. It has been widely regarded as one of the finest rock documentaries made and the critical reaction was outstanding. “Funny that,” says Thomas, “considering Queen were always denounced by the press!”

“The Boys did a fantastic Job on this documentary ... with little interference from us! I think this one will set the bench mark for years to come,”
said Brian May.

Thomas explains the transfer of the original BBC documentary to DVD release: “When originally making the series it wasn’t easy condensing 40 years of Queen down to just two hours. In fact, there was so much more to be said and so much more to be seen. Thanks to Blu-Ray and DVD, so much more of that story can now be told…As the two documentaries worked so well, we resisted the idea of making an epic 3-hour ‘Extended Cut’. They are always boring, and as Freddie said to his manager Jim Beach in his last days: “Do anything you want with my music dear, but never make me boring!

“So rather than simply dump a load of ‘deleted scenes’ onto the DVD and Blu-Ray, Simon and I decided to edit them all with as much love, time and care as we put into the main documentary. What we have as a result is a great companion to the main story and some real gems, most notably covering the formation of the band and the making of the last three albums which was only touched upon in the televised version. For instance, we learn from Brian how John Deacon made a cut in ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ for the record company and Freddie’s reaction; the revelation that Freddie was not sober during the making of ‘Spread Your Wings’/’We Will Rock You’ in Roger’s back garden, and a hilarious sequence about Queen and their love of Scrabble.

“As well as the new sequences, there are 7 new videos. Excerpts were featured in the main documentary, but we have completed them, and here on DVD and Blu- Ray they appear in full.”
The Blu-Ray format allows for additional bonus material and therefore differs in content to the Standard DVD release. Please check credits for each release.

‘Queen: Days of our Lives’ Blu-Ray & Standard DVD content descriptions:

Documentary Part 1 – 59 mins
Documentary Part 2 – 59 mins.

ADDITIONAL VIDEOS – Blu-Ray and Standard DVD (24 mins):

Seven Seas Of Rhye 2011:

A compilation of all four Top Of The Pops and Rainbow Live performances from 1974 – all unseen

Killer Queen 2011

A compilation of two Top of The Pops performances, one the familiar 1974 Christmas Special, the other - discovered in the late British comedian Dick Emery’s private collection, hasn’t been seen since 1974, the original master tape wiped from the BBC archives.

Somebody To Love 2011

This is a new edit of the video using the four takes shot on the day, most of which has never before been seen.

We Are The Champions 2011

In 1977, cameras filmed Queen recording a new version of the song for the promo video. This video shows the band performing and mixing this unreleased version in two live takes. An instrumental version of this closed Part One of ‘Days of our Lives’. Here for the first time the video can be seen in its entirety.

Crazy Little Thing Called Love 2011

A new edit of the video compiled from the rushes including outtakes and unseen angles.

Under Pressure 2011

A new video intercutting Queen’s first live performance of the song in Montreal 81 and Queen + David Bowie at the Freddie Mercury Tribute.

Radio Ga Ga 2011

This new video includes unseen color footage from the 1984 Radio Ga Ga video shoot plus rushes and outtakes.

BONUS SEQUENCES – Blu-Ray (59 mins) / Standard DVD (21 mins only):

Queen: The Beginning

A detailed look at how Queen formed in 1971. Covering Smile, finding John Deacon, and the early struggles of the band.

Queen On Tour 1974-5

Featuring Queen at the Rainbow and unseen footage of the band touring Japan for the first time. Includes excerpts of ‘Now I’m Here’, ‘Killer Queen’ and ‘In The Lap Of The Gods’ live.

Bohemian Rhapsody

Brian reveals how John Deacon made a cut in ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ for the record company, only to be dismissed by Freddie: “Either it’s released in it’s entirety or not at all!.”

Working Together

The Band discuss their working relationship, including unheard archive of Queen having a ‘creative discussion!’

Leaving John Reid

An in-depth account of how the band left manager John Reid and set up Queen Productions – plus the revelation that Freddie was not sober during the making of ‘Spread Your Wings’/’We Will Rock You’ in Roger’s back garden.

Don’t Stop Me Now

 Brian and Roger discuss ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’ and the ‘Guitar Version’ discarded by Freddie.

Flash Gordon

A short sequence on the making of Queen’s first film soundtrack, ‘Flash Gordon’, plus an alternate promo video.

Making Videos

The band discuss the video making process, featuring lots of unseen outtakes.

Scrabble Wars

A hilarious sequence about Queen and their love of Scrabble. You will just have to watch!

From Magic to The Miracle

 In the three years between A Kind Of Magic and The Miracle, the members of Queen went through some life changing experiences in their working and personal lives. This chapter sheds light on what went on behind closed doors.

Going Slightly Mad: The Making of Innuendo

In 1991 Queen hit the charts with a No.1 album and single, “Innuendo.” Creatively the band were reinvigorated, their material better than ever, but beneath the surface, they all had to face the fact that Freddie was seriously ill and time was running out.

Made In Heaven

 Roger and Brian talk about the making of the last Queen album, Made In Heaven, working with Freddie in his final weeks, as well and working with the material he had recorded after he had passed away and the emotional distress it caused.

Return To Imperial 

Brian returns to Imperial College and shows us around the college where he and Roger first met, formed Smile and ultimately Queen.

BONUS INTERVIEWS - Blu-Ray (19 mins). Not included on Standard DVD:

The Bonus Interview section contains various interesting, funny and insightful footage that didn’t fit into any particular sequence but was too great to leave on the cutting room floor.

Official website:

"This evocative chronological profile is strong on anecdote, performance and unseen footage, with astute and amusing contributions from John Deacon, Brian May and Roger Taylor - the surviving champions of the world." Sunday Times.

"A rich colourful history celebrated here in this essential documentary". The Times Weekend
"This film celebrates (Queen’s) career, picking apart their grandiose approach to making music which singled them out as a satin-robed breath of air at a time of denim-clad rock."
Mail on Sunday.

Status Quo go Quofestive!

Well, it's getting close to that time ...
Yes, December is Status Quo UK tour time!

This year is no different and on the back of their UK success with latest studio album 'Quid Pro Quo,' Francis Rossi , Rick Parfitt and the boys will be hitting the UK road in typical fashion, playing eleven major cities.
This year they will be joined by Roy Wood's and his Wizzard band and Kim Wilde .... Didn't they do the same thing last year?!

Check out the EPK here:

For all tour dates and ticket information:

DOKKEN to enter the studio for a brand new album due for release in 2012

Frontiers Records is excited to announce the signing of DOKKEN for the worldwide release of the band’s forthcoming studio album in the spring of 2012.

The cooperation between Frontiers and DOKKEN started with the release of the band’s CD 'Lightning Strikes Again' in 2007.

The album marked a return to DOKKEN’s signature style with melodic hooklines and blazing guitar riffs that epitomized the band’s sound on such records as 'Tooth & Nail,' 'Under Lock and Key,' 'Back for the Attack' and 'Dysfunctional.'

 'So far we have written 10 songs in only 8 weeks' says singer Don Dokken.
'Usually we spend a year or more on our music. I can't explain why this time it came so fast, it just happened. So far the music is very uptempo and heavy, of course we know our fans like the classic DOKKEN sound and this is where our new music is headed. It’s been a band of brothers doing what we love : 'music'.'
DOKKEN plans to finish their new recording by the end of February and go out on the road in June. 'In a perfect world we would like to release the new album before the summer and then play the festivals in Europe. Then hopefully we can jump on a package tour in the US,' says Don Dokken'We want to give everyone a great CD that will keep all music fans Rokkin’ during these troubled times!'
DOKKEN is now formed by Don Dokken on lead vocals, Jon Levin on guitar, Sean McNabb on bass and Mick Brown on drums.

Formed in 1978, Dokken is one of the bands that defined the American Hard Rock trademark sound of the 80’s. They have been nominated for a Grammy Award in 1989 and sold more than 10 million albums worldwide.
Their next album will be their 11th original studio release.

Weblinks :

"Oprah's Next Chapter" launches with a two-hour episode with Aerosmith's Steven Tyler
(Steven Tyler photo from:

Oprah Winfrey's Primetime Series to Launch on New Year's Day
It's been a busy week for the folks at Oprah Winfrey's OWN Network.

OWN has announced that Winfrey's primetime series Oprah's Next Chapter will launch with a two-hour premiere on Sunday, January 1 from 9-11 p.m. with Aerosmith's Steven Tyler at his New Hampshire home. In the two-hour premiere, Winfrey and Tyler cover everything from his years of drug addiction, his complicated relationships with his wives and American Idol.
Oprah's Next Chapter will move to its regular time slot beginning the following week at 9 p.m.

"After 25 years I got myself out of the studio chairs. I moved into the next chapter, and I am having more fun than ever -- moving around the country and the whole world talking to people I'm really interested in getting to know and I think viewers will be, too," said Winfrey. "It is so energizing to be out and about in the world exploring new people, new places and new ideas."
For a sneak peek at Oprah's Next Chapter, visit

Story source:

Sammy Hagar speak to on Van Halen and more

Yes, this story with Sammy Hagar was posted over at the website:

With Van Halen apparently inking a big deal with Interscope and Eddie Van Halen basically staying out of the press, fans are extra curious about just what to expect from Van Halen’s long-awaited new tracks.

Since Eddie is M.I.A., former Van Halen singer Sammy Hagar offered his thoughts about the forthcoming Van Halen release, claiming that he has only the highest hopes for the album.

“I’ll be the first guy waiting in line at the record store, if I could find one anymore,” he told Rolling Stone. “I’ll be really curious. I think they owe the fans that. I would love to see them make a great record. They have some of the most loyal fans in rock, and they’ve been treated so, so bad these last 20 years. I’m a real fan friendly guy.”

More on Sammy Hagar:
Sammy Hagar Red Rocker Les Paul
Sammy Hagar Signature Explorer
Gibson Exclusive: Sammy Hagar Talks Van Hagar, Chickenfoot and Tequila

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