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Saturday, November 26, 2011

Late Update for Saturday 26th November, 2011

Hi folks, for our American readers, here's hoping you had a good and safe Thanksgiving and didn't get crushed in the craziness of Black Friday shopping sales.
Basically Thanksgiving day we spent with family here and Friday was just busy sorting out Christmas decorations, catching up with the neighbours here who's houses look like something of Chevy Chases' Christmas Vacation! Nuts! Their electric bills must be crazy and Christmas is still a month away!
I'm not saying humbug, but seriously it's a little O.T. T. (Over The Top.).

Anyway, here we go with a few bits and pieces for you.
Cheers, Al


Without question, Ronnie James Dio was one of the greatest vocalists in hard rock/heavy metal history, who built a fanatical and devoted following during his multi-decade career. And in the coming months, Dio collectors will have the opportunity to pick up some truly one-of-a-kind releases – a limited edition picture disc of Elf's self-titled debut album, a deluxe picture disc of the Dio release 'Master of the Moon,' and a limited edition and deluxe numbered super secret Picture Disc that will make HISTORY for RECORD STORE DAY 2012!

& Before Elf There Were Elves

As a reminder, just released is the amazing, "And Before Elf....... There Were Elves" featuring both live in the studio and live on stage tracks from 1971 from The Elves featuring a young Ronnie James Dio on vocals! The packaging is spectacular! The CD comes housed in a digi pack with a custom Lenticular cover! When you turn the cover to the right, you see an image and when you turn it to the right, you see a completely different image! This CD is in stores now!
December 13th will see the release of the very first Elf album, as a deluxe numbered picture disc. Originally issued in 1972, the album shows off Dio's vast vocal talents, as he handles honky tonk, blues, and rock, rather than the mega decibel rock that would later become his trademark. This release will be issued in the USA only, and each LP will be individually numbered from 1-2,500.

Master of the Moon

The next release, the 'Master of the Moon' deluxe numbered picture disc, will be released on March 13, 2012. The album was originally issued in 2004, was Dio's tenth studio solo effort overall, and featured such renowned rock names as Simon Wright on drums, Craig Goldy on guitar, Scott Warren on keyboards, and Jeff Pilson on bass.
Unlike the other two aforementioned releases, the 'Master of the Moon' deluxe picture disc will not be a limited edition release.

And lastly, on Record Store Day 2012 (April 16, 2012, to be exact), The Niji Entertainment Group has something very special that will sell out instantly! We don't want to give it away yet, but trust us, fans will be waiting in line at participating Record Store Day locations to scoop this release up!
Dio fans will be the first to know about it, so joing the Official Ronnie James Dio Fan Page On Facebook!

Also recently launched is the Official Dio Store, where fans can buy shirts, CD's, DVD's, Blu-rays and more from Dio, Heaven & Hell and other artists signed to the label:

Don't wait long to pick up these three beautifully assembled Dio releases! These releases will be sold in local record stores across the US as well as online music retailers like and the Official Dio Web Store! The Official Dio Fan Page on Facebook gets over 25,000,000 visitors a month, and once the word is spread about this project, fans will be waiting in line overnight to get their copies. Get ready for some vintage Dio rock…with a sleek new look!

Marco Mendoza announces European lives dates

Marco Mendoza
(Marco Mendoza photo

Bassist / vocalist Marco Mendoza (Thin Lizzy, Whitesnake, Ted Nugent, Soul Sirkus, Blue Murder), who has released two very classy solo albums in 'Live for Tomorrow,' and 'Casa Mendoza' and has played on countless other artists albums, has announced solo European dates.

Live for Tomorrow Casa Mendoza

Marco is currently on tour across North America with Thin Lizzy, alongside Judas Priest and Black Label Society, which is soon to finish this stretch, before Lizzy pick up European live dates in the UK first, then the rest of Europe.

When Marco isn't rockin' thing up with the best in the rock world, he has his own jazz rock and some fusion trio band that plays in L.A.
They occasionally jam the Baked Potato club there, where many other artists show up at from time to time. Apparently quite the place to be ... One day perhaps ...

Anyway, in between all of that Lizzy action, Marco will be playing a number of December dates in Europe with his own band.
The live dates kick off in Denmark on December 7th, at Beta, Kobenhavn and then play dates in Italy, Austria and Germany.

The full dates are:


Marco is a seriously talented player, so if you get the chance to see him play, GO ...
If it is just Marco and his band or whoever he's playing with at the time, go check him out!
The official Marco Mendoza website:

Jeff Paris and 'All star' friends Charity project

The multi-talented Jeff Paris, singer / songwriter / guitarist / producer, etc, etc, who has released some great albums through the years including 'Race to Paradise,' 'Wired Up,' 'Lucky This Time,' 'Smack' and many more.
He's done session work all over the place Alias, Lita Ford and Vixen to name just three and Vixen had video success with his songs 'Cryin'' and 'One Night Alone,' as well as covering his 'Charmed Life' track on their debut album.

Jeff recently played the UK's annual Firefest event to much praise and has also been touring with Grammy Award winner Keb' Mo' but he's now wanting to share with his fans and more, some very important news about a charity project, that he's given a hand to ...

Hi guys,
After the Japan tsunami in March, Terry Ilous (XYZ, Great White) and I ("a nice bloke"- Charlotte Bailey) approached the Red Cross with an idea to use music to raise money for disaster relief. First we focused on Japan, but this year proved to be so catastrophe prone that we expanded to a global perspective.
It's been quite a learning curve, but everything's set up. Our organization is called "United Rockers 4 U" (UR4U).On December 12 we're releasing our single "One Family," featuring Eddie Money, Jimi Jamison, Robin McAuley (Survivor), Don Dokken (Dokken), Bobby Kimball (Toto), Paul Shortino (Rough Cutt), Michael Thompson, Ritchie Kotzen, and members of Whitesnake, Quiet Riot, Dio, Guns ‘n’ Roses and others. All these artists donated their performances to our cause. Beau Hill (Ratt, Winger, Warrant, Alice Cooper, Europe, etc.) mixed it and it's slamming!
It's straight up melodic rock, and really worth having.
It'll be available on iTunes, Amazon, etc. shortly.
All proceeds from the sale of "One Family" go to the Red Cross. So in order to handle some unavoidable costs (mixing, CD pressing, publicist, etc.) we're asking for donations. If you want to help, and believe me, no donation is too small, go online to:

There's a PayPal button for contributions, and whatever you can do, we appreciate.
Terry and I are Dads, and we saw clips on the news that just brought us to tears. "That could be us," we said to each other.
Do you have to be Sting or Angelina Jolie to do something significant to help the afflicted? Nah!!
Thanks for taking the time to read this. Check out the website, and honestly, anything you do is awesome.
Thanks and happy holidays,

All power to you Jeff and all the other guys doing this very good thing, for a very worthy cause.
I hope those good folks out there can help too.

Steve Lukather and friends playing Mark and Brian's Xmas show

Chickenfoot will perform at this year's Mark And Brian Christmas Show at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles, California on Thursday, December 15.
Also scheduled to appear are Steve Miller Band, Steve Lukather and Kevin Cronin (REO Speedwagon), among others.
For more information check the 95.5 KLOS website.

Paul Sabu World Exclusive

It’s been a long time coming and now Paul Sabu fans can hear the return to his classic sound onChris Nelson’s Hair metal Haven between 5pm and 6pm English (GMT) time [12 noon –1pm EST] on Saturday Nov 26th.
Some 6 months out from his eagerly awaited UK debut live appearance at Z Rock 2012, Paul Sabu has come up with an outright rocking gem to wet his fans appetite ...
As usual there are some whom doubt, well rest assured those whom did doubt are in for a shock because Paul’s forthcoming studio album for Z Records will more than please fans of Heartbreak or Only Child .
Z Records head Mark Alger commented “I’ve always been a Paul Sabu fan so signing Paul was a purely selfish act, what Paul is working on right now seriously rekindles the spirit of the awesome albums Paul's most noted for from the 80’s”

ROCK DON’T RUN is the first taster of what’s to come, a seriously mesmerising track with a huge chorus that will stay in your head for days. Paul is joined by good friend and rock legend Frankie Banali on drums and the rest of the band ..., hmmmm no we’ll save some news for closer to the release date in March 2012!

'Rock Don’t Run' will blow your mind so make sure you hear it first.
If for any reason you're unable to hear the show visit www.rockforces.comwhere the show will be streamed 1 hour after transmission.
The track will also be on Z’s news page at

And Z Rock Festival details

The discounted ticket prrice offer for Z Rock 2012 will end at midnight on Nov 30th, if you want to take advantage of the £7 saving per ticket go to

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

House of Lords – Big Money album review

House of Lords – Big Money album review
Released on: Frontiers records. Release date: Available now

House of Lords are a band with some great history and even better is their back catalogue for the most part.
It was really only ‘The Power and the Myth,’ that has really disappointed fans, as starting with their self titled debut, through ‘Sahara’ – Killer album! – then ‘Demon’s Down,’ there were some true gems of material. After the ‘Power and the Myth’ disappointment, they seemed to find their true form once more!
‘World Upside Down,’ ‘Come To My Kingdom’ and ‘Cartesian Dreams’ are all albums I’m glad to say have returned to the more familiar classic House of Lords sound. I enjoy all of them!
 ‘Big Money’ is now the outfit’s eighth studio release and it’s a good one!
I was fortunate to have seen the original band soon after the release of their first self titled album, opening for the Scorpions back in 1989 and was very impressed!
They of course, like many bands of their ilk have been through a number of lineup changes, the biggest of which to many fans was when original founding member Gregg Giuffria decided to step away from the project.
Lead vocalist James Christian has basically maintained the helm since then and he’s done very well as I say, after three very good and consistent previous studio releases.

The album opens with the title track, and the female spoken line of, ‘The root of all evil,’ quickly followed by Christian’s scream of ‘Money! Yeah, yeah!’ It get’s into a great reminder of so much of the bands previous good works. Very impressive!
Great guitar work, big harmonies, catchy hook lines galore and it rocks! What more could you want?!

‘One Man Down’ next starts in a familiar House of Lords style, with some nice acoustic guitar, well presented harmony vocals before … Kick in those drums and electric guitars guys!
It’s actually got a kind of Led Zep groove about it to be honest, but it’s still very reminiscent of some of the bands best early work.

OK, talk about big hit song territory! ‘First to Cry’ is a huge song with hook lines and big choruses that would make Bon Jovi wish they’d written this, in their hey day! It’s massive!
Great lead work here from Jimi Bell and good solid backing from Chris McCarvill on bass and BJ Zampa on drums.

It’s funny to say this but if there was something I’d say I often feel is missing from their recent releases it really is Gregg Giufrria’s keyboards, but these guys still manage to capture some great moments with prominent keyboards and it’s no more obvious here than on ‘Someday When.’
What a truly great track this is, it’s strong, really powerful to me and simply lush!
‘Searchin’’ next has an almost melodic hard rockin’ mid paced blues groove, but it no blues snooze, far from it, it’s a good groove indeed!
Wow! ‘Livin’ In a Dreamworld’ I have to say, greatly reminds me of Rainbow, and specifically the Ronnie James Dio (RIP) era track ‘Gates of Babylon’ an awful lot through the verses, but the chorus is really something quite different. That said, Jimi does play the lead break in a style that’s somewhere between (Ritchie) Blackmore and (Yngwie) Malmsteen, nice!
Big power ballad time in ‘The Next Time I Hold You,’ is as sickly sweet as any AOR ballad could be, but that’s what the people like, right?! Perfect power ballad.
‘Run For Your Life’ is a more up tempo commercial rocker, and as well ..., always, James Christian is right on his game. Great stuff!

In ‘Hologram’ it kicks off with some nice little riff and powerful bass and drums and then gets into a groove that’s quite akin to Def Leppard, added to some of House of Lords most contagious hooks.  More classy lead work continues from Jimi Bell.
It’s a really catchy tune, no question!

‘Seven’ seems a little darker from the get go, then how about a little cowbell anyone?!  The song then find its groove and then the pre-chorus takes the song up a little and then the chorus, oh yes, it’s all big vocals as you’d expect from these guys.

The up tempo ‘Once, Twice,’ is next and it races along nicely and a few little changes pre-chorus and then, it’s a speedy chorus to keep it all moving, faster and faster! A very catchy, seriously racing number, where Jimi Bell seems to speed through his solo but it’s brilliant! Love it!

‘Blood’ is a darker, moody number through its verses, but then the chorus takes it up to the melodic rocking harmonies they do so well!
That’s it, done!
For me, they’ve done well for themselves again a very enjoyable album from these guys, boy would I like to catch them live again though. It’s been too long, over twenty years!
They last played Detroit with Bang Tango, a few years ago with such a poorly advertised show, that I missed them … I was also travelling on business as it turned out and found out they were playing, after my Mexico trip was determined. :(
James Christian was recently diagnosed with prostate cancer, but has had treatment and is now in recovery, the band cancelled live dates in October / November but have rescheduled these for early 2012. I hope they come through Detroit, you guys rock!
James, get well soon mate!
 Rating: 4 out of 5

Official website:

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

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Judas Priest with Black Label Society and Thin Lizzy - Joe Louis Arena, Detroit, MI.

Judas Priest with special guests Black Label Society and Thin Lizzy
Joe Louis Arena, Detroit, Michigan – Sunday November 13th, 2011

Tonight for me personally was a very special night, for a few reasons and for many rock fans, this was quite the triple bill!
I did catch Judas Priest two years back on their 30th Anniversary tour for ‘British Steel’ and at that time, they were just absolutely phenomenal!
So here we are, a couple of years on and Priest are touring one man down, so to speak, since K.K. Downing had deciding to withdraw from Priest activities almost a year ago, young gun Ritchie Faulkner has stepped into the fray to take his place, but we’ll get to the Priest review in a bit.

So, my ‘special’ night starts with Thin Lizzy, a band I grew up listening to in my young teenage years back in the UK and saw live with Phil Lynott about ten times.
They WERE, my favourite live act back then. From those days, I don’t recall ever seeing a bad Lizzy gig even with all of Phil’s troubles with Lizzy he always came through.
Grand Slam after that was really where I think it became more obvious that he was in trouble, in front of the fans and I saw them twice ...
This is the ‘new’ Thin Lizzy, revitalized with two newer members in the lineup.
Many Lizzy fans will know that the last lineup that toured with Phil on the ‘Thunder and Lightning’ tour, went out and played live in Japan and a few other places, with Marco Mendoza on bass in the mid-90’s, but these shows were limited, then Brian Downey left in ’97, replaced by Tommy Aldridge.
As we entered the millennium both Marco Mendoza and keyboard man Darren Wharton quit, which only left (John) Sykes and Gorham, as previous Lizzy members, I caught the band in 2004 opening for Deep Purple. It was a far cry from what I knew best of Lizzy.
In 2010, the latest version of Lizzy was created with a lot more credibility, featuring Downey, Gorham, Wharton, Mendoza and new ‘boys’ Ricky Warwick (The Almighty) and on loan from Def Leppard, Vivian Campbell. Since Leppard went back on the road, Lizzy had recruited ex-Gun ‘n’ Roses player Richard Fortus until recently when G‘n’R went back on the road and Lizzy pulled in Brother Cane and Alice Cooper lead player Damon Johnson. This is the line up today!
OK, Lizzy history update behind me now, let’s get on with the gig review here!

(Damon Johnson, Brian Downey, Darren Wharton, Ricky Warwick - Thin Lizzy. Joe Louis Arena, Detroit, MI. Photo: Alun Williams©)

The band comes out rocking with ‘Are You Ready’ and from the moment they hit the stage, they are clearly on their game!
Ricky Warwick gets good backing vocal support now from Johnson, Mendoza and Gorham.
‘Waiting For An Alibi’ next, really showcases Damon’s great pairing with Gorham on the harmony solos and the band are tight!
When ‘Jailbreak’ kicks in next, it does remind me how much I miss the old Lizzy shows with flash bombs!
One of the things that made Lizzy stand out so much back in the Phil days was that they did like their pyro’s and it always helped make the show a great event. These days it’s all about letting the music and the playing thereof that does the talking.

(Scott Gorham - Thin Lizzy. Photo: Alun Williams©)

Perhaps a little surprised by the inclusion of ‘Massacre’ next, but nonetheless, it is of course presented in absolutely storming fashion, I'm not complaining!

(Ricky Warwick - Photo: ©Scott Uchida)

Ricky then does a brief band introduction before the stunning ‘Emerald’ that is one of the classic reminders of the music Phil wrote, that made Lizzy so great and it’s played superbly.
‘Killer on the Loose’ is up next is perhaps a surprise choice in the set too, but it rocks out!
I have to say, that none of the tracks in Lizzy's set tonight gives Darren Wharton the chance to shine on keys, as these songs are all more guitar loaded, but he looks happy enough at the back there!
Maybe time for some more headline shows, eh guys?!

The absence of ‘The Rocker’ is very clear, even ‘Don’t Believe A Word’ would've been good too and yes, many more as well could’ve been picked, but such short stage time allowed, due to the three band bill, it must be a tough task picking out what not to play.

(Damon Johnson, Scott Gorham, Ricky Warwick - Photo: © Scott Uchida)

‘Rosalie’ is included though, the song originally written by Bob Seger as a tribute to Rosalie Trombley from CKLW a radio station in Windsor, Ontario that used to be ‘THE’ station in the Mid-West back in the ‘old days.’ Rosalie wasn’t a hit for Seger, but was for Lizzy.
Search her out, interesting story!
Midway through ‘Rosalie,’ Ricky Warwick brings things down a bit and gets the crowd singing and then dedicates this to the memories of both Phil Lynott and Gary Moore, RIP both stars.
A stunning version of ‘Black Rose’ is up next and this is where the guitar work between Scott Gorham and Damon Johnson, really shines through. I’ll bet Gary Moore was even looking down alongside Phil, grinning from ear to ear as these guys duel so well on their masterpiece!

(Marco Mendoza - Thin Lizzy)

The rhythm section of Brian Downey and Marco Mendoza is also worth special mention, as it’s songs like ‘Emerald’ and ‘Black Rose,’ where Phil and Brian blended so well and now Marco clearly pays full tribute to Phil with his playing. Great job guys!
Then it was ‘Cowboy Song’ where it’s all too clear, Damon is a great fit with Lizzy and the band wrap thing up by merging into ‘Boys Are Back In Town.’
I really, truly enjoyed this Lizzy set, it had been a long time … Can’t wait until you come around again guys!

We had the chance to then catch up with Lizzy backstage which led to my recent Lizzy news update, with the conversations that were shared and the guys were complete hosts. Thanks Lizzy, great to see the ‘Boys Back in Town’ again!

With meeting Lizzy, it meant that we missed Black Label Society completely, but we did see Zak Wylde running around with his two minders backstage, looking mean as ever! LOL!
I’m sure the fans loved their set!

(Richie Faulkner, Rob Halford, Glenn Tipton - Judas Priest. Photo: Alun Williams©)

So, two years on and ‘the Priest’ are back again, but this time minus original guitarist K.K. Downing, who told everyone last year that he needed to take time off … Retire?
I for one find that hard to believe and I’m sure we’ll see K.K. back in the Priest fold at some point again in the future.
Richie Faulkner is the young starlet that has stepped into Downing’s footsteps …, at least for now and I’ve got to say I was impressed by his playing, but more on that later!

Opening up with ‘Rapid Fire’ and then big old flames coming out from all over the stage for ‘Metal Gods!’
Rob Halford speaks out next to the crowd saying, ‘Are you ready for some Judas Priest metal?!’
‘Heading For the Highway’ kicks off and the Detroit crowd is in good voice tonight, no question and then we get ‘Judas Rising!’
The band is rocking and the stage set is impressed with emphasis on chains, scaffolding and huge pipes on stage too, but the chains are everywhere!
(Judas Priest onstage in Detroit! Photo: Alun Williams©)

Rob then introduces the next song, ‘Here’s one for you from the ‘Sin After sin’ album, ‘Starbreaker!’ It’s during this song that I take a moment and look at Rhonda and say, ‘Those screams .., how does he do it?!’
Incredible range that the guy has, but I’m not telling fans anything they don’t already know, right folks?!
Glenn Tipton and new boy Faulkner do sound good together, but there is something I notice, but maybe it’s just me … Hmmm

 (The packed house for Judas Priest!  Photo: Alun Williams©)

It’s the ‘Sad Wings of Destiny’ album that the band goes to next for ‘Victim of Changes,’ it’s all good folks!
Then Rob says, ‘Let’s go back to the one that started it all then, in 1974 ‘Rocka Rolla’ and this one’s called ‘Never Satisfied.’
Things are eased back a little as they pull out their cover of Joan Baez’ ‘Diamonds and Rust.’ It’s really well done I’ve got to say and I’ve been listening to it again recently on the bands current release, the compilation, ‘The Chosen Few,’ a best of with tracks picked by other rock stars.

Throughout the set, the screen behind the band has been showing each album cover that each track comes from … That’ll be helpful for new fans to remember from the show then?! Good marketing work lads! LOL!
Next on the screen we see ‘Nostradamus’ and from that epic, we get ‘Prophecy’ with plenty of pyros and more flames! It’s a killer stage event!

(Judas Priest live at Joe Louis Arena, Detroit, MI. Photo: Alun Williams©)

To the ‘Painkiller’ album next for ‘Night Crawler’ and clear as day, Richie Faulkner is trying to encourage the crowd some – Not that they needed it, believe me! – but it’s clear at this point, that he’s working the crowd possibly almost as much as Rob is and a lot more than Glenn Tipton!
Ian Hill of course is simply solid alongside Scott Travis and the two are bound as solid as can be!

‘Turbo Lover’ goes down well next before the acoustic guitar on a stand comes out, as ‘Beyond the Realms of Death’ is presented.
Light and dark played superbly here and again, that voice of Rob’s probably doesn’t stand out as much as it does here!
I would say at this point, that where I was going with something I noticed earlier is that where with K.K. Downing onboard, it was obvious that Tipton and Downing were brothers in arms, standing side by side jamming frequently … This is not so apparent with Faulkner, maybe Glenn doesn’t want to throw the guy off too much after sharing the stage with another guy for what, almost forty years?!

‘The Sentinel’ is up next followed closely by ‘Blood Red Skies’ and again, Faulkner has got these lead breaks down well indeed!
 Funny isn’t it that both Lizzy and Priest are featuring newer guitar players and they are both clearly shining certainly tonight and I’m sure others that see them on this tour will feel the same way.
After this the crowd is really fired up, cheering and shouting and Rob is pacing the stage – As only he does! – and he waits for the crowd to quiet down a little and then he starts telling us about everywhere they’ve played and he then goes on to say – Don’t they all?! – that, ‘We love Detroit, thanks to all the heavy metal fans for all your support and …. We are going to keep going; we’re not calling it quits!’
 So, were we not all under the same impression that the ‘Epitaph’ tour was the last?!
Good news for fans out there then …!

 (Epitaph backdrop. Photo: Alun Williams©)

Back to the music and it’s the bands interpretation of Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Green Manalishi (With the Two Pronged Crown),’ you go lads!
There’s the ‘British Steel’ album cover and Rob starts telling us all about recording the album and how lucky the band were to record it in the house that was once John Lennon’s place. ‘Breaking The Law’ is possibly the crowd favourite of the night so far, based on the roar it gets.
Then the rest of the band gets a breather, except Scott Travis as its drum solo time, which then leads straight into ‘Painkiller’ which closes the set.
Of course you know they are coming back and it’s ‘The Hellion / Electric Eye’ and they are rocking and we’re looking at hitting the two hour mark anytime now and the band goes offstage … Surely not … Nah, can’t be … Aha, is that a Harley I hear?!
Back they come with ‘Hell Bent For Leather,’ with Rob astride the familiar chrome plated Harley Davidson, before Rob walks off the side of the stage and comes back draped in two flags stitched together, the Stars and Stripes and the Union Jack and it’s ‘Another Thing Coming!’
Judas Priest has totally rocked the house tonight, no question!
Is there time for one more? You betcha!
‘Living After Midnight’ does the trick!

Thank you Judas Priest for an absolutely stunning show, Thin Lizzy too and I’m sure that Black Label Society did their bit too!
A great night indeed, a tour not to be missed folks … Go!!!

Rating: 5 out of 5 for great entertainment and a seriously rocking night!

Official weblinks:

On a final note, my special thanks go out to Marco Mendoza and Scott Gorham, the interviews we did earlier this year were great and this capped it thanks guys!
Special mention to the other guys for their time too, Darren, Brian, Ricky and Damon.
Ace and Adam, thanks guys! Scott Uchida for a couple of the Lizzy pics too.
Of course, none of this would've been possible without the fantastic team at Chipster, thanks Jen and Chip! As always, you guys come through, thanks!
(With the Lizzy boys and Rhonda too! - Backstage at the Joe Louis Arena.)