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Saturday, February 4, 2012

News updates for Saturday February 4th, 2012

Hi folks, sorry once again for lack of updates and I know you really don't care what my excuses are, but I will say again, that news in general, certainly with press releases has been scarce.
Lined up another interview with a great musician for this evening my time, who I really don't believe has done a full interview in quite some time. Looking forward to that ... 
Anyway, you don't want to hear my blabber, so I'll move on.

Just one other thing for those of you that keep asking me about the radio interview I did, that you didn't get a chance to hear and you wondered if you could find the stream somewhere?
Well, yes you can. Big JD, the radio host who interviewed me has told me to go here:

Select the show date of January 25th, 2012, right mouse click the Mp3 file - That shows the headphones and has the date in the middle of the file name of 20120125 -  to 'Save As' and it will allow you download the file as an Mp3.
That's it!
Cheers, enjoy your weekend!

Bill Ward puts Black Sabbath original reunion in doubt

It seems all is not well in the Black Sabbath reunion camp.
As if it's not bad enough that founding member and lead guitarist Tony Iommi has been diagnosed with lymphoma and is going through treatments as he battles that, but to then have some kind of fued over contracts is just nuts to me.
It casts a very dark shadow over the whole situation, especially with Tony being so sick.

Apparently Bill Ward has been issued a contract to sign, that he says he feels is 'unsignable.'
Here is Bill's message to Black Sabbath fans, about the whole deal:

Dear Sabbath Fans, Fellow Musicians and Interested Parties,
At this time, I would love nothing more than to be able to proceed with the Black Sabbath album and tour. However, I am unable to continue unless a “signable” contract is drawn up; a contract that reflects some dignity and respect toward me as an original member of the band. Last year, I worked diligently in good faith with Tony, Ozzy and Geezer. And on 11/11/11, again in good faith, I participated in the L.A. press conference. Several days ago, after nearly a year of trying to negotiate, another “unsignable” contract was handed to me.
Let me say that although this has put me in some kind of holding pattern, I am packed and ready to leave the U.S. for England. More importantly, I definitely want to play on the album, and I definitely want to tour with Black Sabbath.
Since the news of Tony’s illness, and the understanding that the band would move production to the U.K., I’ve spent everyday getting to or living in a place of readiness to leave. That involves something of a task, and as I’ve tried to find out what’s going on with the U.K. sessions, I’ve realized that I’ve been getting “the cold shoulder” (and, I might add, not for the first time). Feeling somewhat ostracized, my guess is as of today, I will know nothing of what’shappening unless I sign “the unsignable contract.”
The place I’m in feels lousy and lonely because as much as I want to play and participate, I also have to stand for something and not sign on. If I sign as-is, I stand to lose my rights, dignity and respectability as a rock musician. I believe in freedom and freedom of speech. I grew up in a hard rock/metal band. We stood for something then, and we played from the heart with honesty and sincerity. I am in the spirit of integrity, far from the corporate malady, I am real and honest, fair and compassionate.
If I’m replaced, I have to face you, the beloved Sabbath fans. I hope you will not hold me responsible for the failure of an original Black Sabbath lineup as promoted. Without fault finding, I want to assure everyone that my loyalty to Sabbath is intact.
So here I am. I lay my truth down before you. I’m good to go IF I get a “signable” contract. I don’t want to let anyone down, especially Black Sabbath and all the Sabbath fans. You know I love you. It would be a sad day in Rock if this current situation fell to the desires of a few.
My position is not greed-driven. I’m not holding out for a “big piece” of the action (money) like some kind of blackmail deal. I’d like something that recognizes and is reflective of my contributions to the band, including the reunions that started fourteen years ago. After the last tour I vowed to never again sign on to an unreasonable contract. I want a contract that shows some respect to me and my family, a contract that will honor all that I’ve brought to Black Sabbath since its beginning.
That’s the story so far.
Stay safe and stay strong.
I love every single one of you.
–Bill Ward

It's just crazy in this day and age, that musicians, especially those that have known each other for so long, would go through all this stuff that to be honest, borders on being childish.
That said, I agree with Bill that he was there at the start, through the major Ozzy years and even recorded the first brilliant album Sabbath did with Ronnie James Dio (RIP) in 'Heaven and Hell,' so I agree, he deserves better.
Guessing that Sharon Osbourne is doing her usual 'Ozzy is better than everyone else' bit here.
Sad indeed.
Official Bill Ward website:

Night Ranger guitarist Joel Hoekstra posts update for fans

Workaholic guitarist and super nice guy Joel Hoekstra, who's Brad Gillis' foil with US rockers Night Ranger, was very busy in 2011 doing shows with Trans-Siberian Orchestra, the Rock of Ages show on Broadway and even stepping in for Foreigner's Mick Jones for a bunch of shows last summer and much more, has posted an update for fans at his website.
Here's some snippets from there:

'Hi everybody! Once again, I'm overdue with this update, but it's only because I've had such a busy year....the busiest yet. For me it was another year of Night Ranger, Rock of Ages and Trans Siberian Orchestra and some other highly notable moments.

For Night Ranger, 2011 started in the studio. What we came away with was "Somewhere in California", considered by most to be Night Ranger's strongest album in years. For me it was an honor to become part of the bands recording history.

You can read some choice quotes here:

Here's a behind the scenes video for Somewhere in California:

and here's the official video for the first track Growin' Up in California:

Joel also goes on to talk also of the Rock of Ages gig that is now a movie, starring Tom Cruise in the lead role that will come out in the Summer this year ...

'I actually STARTED the year playing Rock of Ages 1/1-1/9 at the Brooks Atkinson Theater. Then the show took a brief break to move to the Helen Hayes Theater where it re-opened on 3/24. The show continues to thrive. During 2011 it celebrated it's 1,000th show on Broadway and recently became the 93rd longest running show in the history of Broadway (and is rapidly climbing on that list.).

I was also able to get down to Miami to film a cameo for the upcoming Rock of Ages movie (due out 6/15/12). Basically, they took Sebastian Bach, Nuno Bettencourt, Kevin Cronin, Debbie Gibson and me and put us around Russell Brand in a scene where we are singing across the street to Catherine Zeta Jones and her followers. 
In addition to the filming itself, we were able to play an impromptu concert in catering for the actors and the hang was absolutely priceless.'

Here's the trailer for the movie:

'Once again, I want to finish by thanking my family, my bandmates in Night Ranger/Rock of Ages/Trans Siberian Orchestra, all of my endorsements (see below) and of course anyone who attended a show, bought one of my CD's, or even wrote words of encouragement. 
I've got the best job in the world and I appreciate the opportunity!!!'

There's quite a bit more to it at his website and here's also a few more links.
Seriously, Joel is a great player and a great guy and I wish the guy nothing but continued success and of course the very best for 2012!


The Ronnie James Dio online webstore is new and improved!

If you're a Ronnie James Dio fan and to be honest, there's not many rock fans that aren't, then perhaps this news from the Dio camp, run by Ronnie's widow Wendy Dio, may well be of interest.
Hey folks check out the new and improved Official Dio Web Store:

Smart phone? take a test drive on our new Mobile Dio Store.
Built friendly for the on the go Dio shopper:
Now pay with ALL MAJOR CREDIT CARDS, PayPal, Checks or Money Orders.
Multiple shipping options, rates are calculated real time by USPS and FedEx web apps. You decide if you want to receive your order fast or slow, it's up to you! We even offer normal postal mail to save you money. If you're not in a rush, this is a good option.
Browse the new Dio Store Blog. Find information about new products, releases, related videos and stories :

Log in to your account for complete shopping history. View, track and manage your orders. Address book, wish list and more.

Help us be the best Dio Store we can be! Use our new "Feedback" tool, quick and easy tell us what you think.
New products and features are being added everyday. We just added lots of new shirts for both men and women, hats, beanies, wristbands, CD's, DVD's, Blu-ray and more!!!!

We have a brand new Ronnie James Dio Memorial Stand Up And Shout Cancer Fund Shirt that 100% of the proceeds go to the Fund and you get a cool shirt modeled after the "Long Live Rock 'n' Roll" LP:

The Memorial shirt comes in sizes Medium, Large, XL, XXL, XXXL and XXXXL.

Official weblinks:

Maryland's M3 Annual event announces line up

The M3 annual rock festival held at the Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, MD has become pretty popular in recent years, having played host to many great names in the past, this years event is sure to likewise be no disappointment!

The event that takes place over the May 11th Friday and 12th Saturday, is clearly once again focus around some great, successful 80's rock acts.
Night Ranger will headline the Friday night and they always guarantee a good live show.

Saturday night, the main event will include Ratt back together again, kind of doubtful the new album will be ready by then, but you never know.
If it's anything like 2010's excellent 'Infestation,' then it should be well worth the wait!

The Saturday bill also includes the strange combination of two bands on the same day that well ..., is interesting!
Dokken led by Don Dokken and ..., well, whoever he has in his band at the time I guess are playing the Saturday, but also on the bill is Lynch Mob, featuring former guitarist George Lynch.
Lynch has recently been collaborating with two other members of the 'classic' Dokken line up, in drummer Mick Brown and bassist Jeff Pilson and have been playing together under the name Tooth and Nail, jamming classic Dokken songs that Don Dokken seems to simply not play enough of.

A few other bands on the bill, are also big names from the 80's scene, but three of those big names are minus their original vocalists, Skid Row now having featured Johnny Solinger since 2000, as Sebastian Bach took the solo path. Then there is Warrant, who have had a couple of singers since parting ways with the late singer Jani Lane RIP, now feature Robert Mason on vocals.

Quiet Riot whose singer Kevin Dubrow passed away back in 2007, are currently in limbo, since recently parting ways with Mark Huff, currently have Keith St. John filling in on singing duties, who most recently had been fronting Ronnie Montrose's band.

Saturday night will be headlined by Cinderella who I hope, will have Tom Keifer in good form.
The poor guy has been suffering with some health issues in recent years, which has made the band limit the amount of live shows they now play each year.

Queensryche will no doubt please a lot of fans too, although they seem to not always do so good in front of festival audiences.
Stryper should hopefully have new album done or almost done by the time they play. I loved their last album of covers, appropriately titled 'The Covering.' Should be good too.

I'm sure there's many rock fans that will be pleased to also catch Kix again, after they played at last years event.

Enuff Z'Nuff, Loudness, XYZ and Bang Tango should be crowd pleasers too, as they all have a great live reputation. XYZ though don't play out so much these days, so a special one to catch there.

Official festival site is here:

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