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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

News Update for Wednesday May 16th, 2012

Hi all,

Today I'd just like to first of pay respect to one of the most legendary vocalist to ever grace the world of rock 'n' roll ...
Two years ago today, we lost Ronnie James Dio to cancer, such a terrible disease, that every day we quite possibly all hear of someone else diagnosed with it.
As we remember Ronnie, at this very moment, one of his closest friends and another rock 'n' roll legendary guitarist, Tony Iommi continues to fight his own cancerous battle, as he continues to be treated for lymphoma ... Get well soon Tony and Ronnie, RIP my friend.
Your music will always live on.

On with the news, but spare a thought for Ronnie and say a prayer for Tony.
Cheers, Al

Bill Ward makes fresh statement on the Black Sabbath on / off reunion saga

Having read Bill Ward's full statement at his website regarding this whole Black Sabbath Reunion situation, if you ask me, it's all sick!
I can't believe that Bill Ward, the original drummer in Black Sabbath, from 1969 - 1980, then through other spells during the 80's and 90's and then from 1997 - 2006, as well as part of the latest reunion announced last year, until earlier this year, is being cold shouldered by the other guys.
Sure I understand that there's two sides to every story and obviously in this case, four sides.
My guess is that since Ozzy's wife Sharon, is most likely calling the shots, both Geezer Butler and the still sick Tony Iommi, have no doubt had gagging orders placed on them ...

So, only Bill Ward is opening his heart and thoughts to fans and the world ...
It then transpired that as Black Sabbath announced that they would play a warm up gig prior to the Download festival, in the bands city of birth, Bill Ward was not invited.
Bill claims he learned of this, purely through the internet, so he made attempts to try and be a part of the opening reunion show - First of three. - and it seemed some breakthrough was made and he was told he could play on three songs, and to ..., “come to the UK, play for free and see how the first show goes.”
What?! Is this a joke?!
If this was I, after being one of the founding members of this legendary act back in 1969, that started it all back in Birmingham, I'd tell them to shove it!
What a bloody insult!

So Bill has made this statement and I post just the initial part of it, but to read it in it's entirety, please follow the link to Bill's website:

"Dear Sabbath Fans and Fellow Musicians,
I sincerely regret to inform you that after a final effort to participate in the upcoming Sabbath shows a failure to agree has continued. At this time I have to inform you that I won’t be playing with Black Sabbath at the Birmingham gig dated May 19th, 2012, nor will I be playing at Download on June 10th, 2012. Further, I will not be playing at Lollapalooza on August 3, 2012.

It is with a very sad heart that I bring you this news. I am sincerely passionate in my desire to play with the band, and I’m very, very sorry that it’s fallen to this. This statement is even more painstaking to write, as I was particularly excited to play alongside Tony Iommi after the recent treatments he underwent. I wanted that to become a reality. (continue reading…)"

Seriously, what do you think fans?
I certainly wouldn't lay any blame on Tony, as the guy is seriously in a bad way and to be honest, since no updated statement on his health and treatment progress has been made since March - Two months ago! - I truly wonder how he really is?
These gigs are fast approaching and while I see he posted a statement, remembering old friend Ronnie James Dio (Yesterday), ahead of today being the second anniversary of Ronnie's passing, saying "I've been thinking of you old friend while dealing with my own health issues over the last 6 months and remembering the good times - Tony," realistically will Tony Iommi be fit to play any of these shows?
Tony, I wish you nothing but good health.
Geezer Butler clearly is in good health and is keeping quiet ...
There's nothing posted at his site ...

To me, it's perfectly clear, Ozzy must already be the richest Sabbath member, end of story and with wife Sharon's notorious 'mafia' like dealings - Following in her father Don Arden's footsteps - it's like, who would argue with her? Ozzy is simply Sharon's puppet these days ...
Fact of the matter is, this will NOT be a complete Black Sabbath reunion, as one of the true founding members will not be a part of it.

Incidentally, if you hadn't seen it already, you should read another former Sabbath drummers take on this, Vinny Appice:

To try and keep up with all things Sabbath related - And I wish you luck! - here's links to all the members official sites:


UFO's Phil Mogg talks of Pete Way

Original UFO bassist Pete Way has been battling liver disease, pretty much through his alcohol addiction - And other things ... - for a number of years now, while UFO's singer Phil Mogg 'appears' to have controlled his demons for the most part, especially after delivering a very good new album with UFO in 'Seven Deadly,' the bands latest release from a month or so back.

At present, UFO’s roster includes three veteran members including founding drummer Andy Parker who recently returned to the fold and new keyboardist/rhythm guitarist Paul Raymond. Bassist Pete Way, who had been playing with the group before being sidelined by an unnamed liver disease, is not currently an active member, but Mogg hopes to see him back with the band in the future.

 “We’re hanging on hope,” he tells on the phone from England. “I don’t know whether or not he will be able to return. I see him down the road here. There’s a small studio on the beachfront, and he’s doing something with a guy from The Damned, but every time I say, ‘Hey, how’s Pete doing?’ I get a nonplussed reply like, ‘Well, he seems OK. blah blah blah. ’ Whether or not he rejoins the band, I’m hoping he pulls back from the abyss.”

Full story here:

Michael Schenker planning new live DVD

After 2010's 30th Anniversary of the Michael Schenker Group live in in Tokyo DVD, with original vocalist Gary Barden, it seems Mr. Schenker is soon to release a new live DVD from his current tour, in support of his current 'Temple of Rock' album.

Michael Schenker (UFO, Scorpions) is currently touring in Europe with vocalist Doogie White (Rainbow, Yngwie Malmsteen, Tank), Herman Rarebell (Drums - Ex-Scorpions), Francis Buchholz (Bass - Ex-Scorpions) and Wayne Findlay (Keyboards/Guitars) and announced this at his site:

"Hi Everyone!
Tonight's Tilburg show Sunday, May 13, will be filmed LIVE to be released as a DVD!
Be there everybody and get Ready To Rock!.

Official website:

Simple Minds Live in Europe 2012

Simple Minds Live Dates

Complete List Of Summer Live Shows

Below is a list of all confirmed Simple Minds dates so far this summer.

23rd June 2012 Sat, Danube Island Festival, VIENNA, AUSTRIA, AT - 5x5 + HITS -
29th June 2012 Fri, Main Square Festival, ARRAS, France, FR - 5x5 FESTIVAL
30th June 2012 Sat, Rock Werchter 2012, Belgium, BE - 5x5 FESTIVAL

7th July 2012 Sat, T in the Park, Kinross, Scotland, UK - 5x5 FESTIVAL - SOLD OUT
8th July 2012 Sun, NEWCASTLE Academy, UK - 5x5 FULL SET

11th July 2012 Wed, Train, AARHUS, DENMARK, DK - 5x5 FULL SET
13th July 2012 Fri, Dalhalla nr Rattvik, SWEDEN, SE - 5x5 FESTIVAL

15th July 2012 Sun, Latitude Festival, Suffolk, England, UK - 5x5 FESTIVAL

21st July 2012 Sat, ARLES, Theatre Antique, France, FR - 5x5 + HITS
23rd July 2012 Mon, VIENNE, Theatre Antique, France, FR - 5x5 + HITS
25th July 2012 Wed, 'Amp It Up' Festival, ANTIBES, France, FR - 5x5 FESTIVAL
26th July 2012 Thu, MODENA, Piazza Grande, ITALY, IT - 5x5 + HITS
27th July 2012 Fri, ROMA, Ippodromo Delle Capannelle, ITALY, IT - 5x5 + HITS
28th July 2012 Sat, GRADO, Diga Nazario Sauro, ITALY, IT - 5x5 + HITS
11th August 2012 Sat, Auditorio Exterior IFA, ALICANTE, SPAIN, ES - 5x5 + HITS
12th August 2012 Sun, Festival Cap Roig, Calella de Palafrugell, SPAIN , ES - 5x5 + HITS
17th August 2012 Fri, Stadtpark, HAMBURG, GERMANY, DE - 5x5 FESTIVAL
18th August 2012 Sat, RS2 Sommer Fest, BERLIN, GERMANY, DE - 5x5 FESTIVAL
19th August 2012 Sun, E-Werk, KOLN, GERMANY, DE - 5x5 FULL SET
21st August 2012 Tue, Tonahalle, MUNICH, GERMANY, DE - 5x5 FULL SET
22nd August 2012 Wed, Amphitheater, HANAU, GERMANY, DE - 5x5 FESTIVAL
23rd August 2012 Thu, Schlachthof, DRESDEN, GERMANY, DE - 5x5 FULL SET
25th August 2012 Sat, Brabant Open Air Festival, Eindhoven, Netherlands, NL - 5x5 FESTIVAL

For more details:

GOTTHARD – Countdown to album release on iTunes
Hear some songs from “Firebirth”.

The Countdown has started. It is less than four weeks until “Firebirth”, the new GOTTHARD
album, is released on June 1st.
From this Friday 11th of May onwards, you can sample the music on iTunes (Switzerland and Germany only). This is the start of a countdown lasting three weeks on the download portal, on which one new song per week will be presented.

It all starts on 11th May with the song “Give me Real”, an earthy rock number perfectly in
style with early GOTTHARD; the rhythm will immediately sweep you along.
One week later, on May 18th, the song “Shine” will be available for pre-listening. This blues mid-tempo number presents lots of emotion upfront. And then on May 25th, the last track “The Story’s
will be presented as a listener; you will immediately be compelled to stamp your feet.

All three songs will be offered on iTunes for immediate download and when the entire album
is released and you decide to buy it, the downloads already paid for will be taken into account
and subtracted from the total price of the album.

For those of you not used to using such portals, you should check out GOTTHARD’S
page. On May 19th, a track by track pre-listening will be started, in which a part of
each song can be heard and the band will give a comment on every one.

Mike Portnoy's Flying Colors announce September European tour

Flying Colors, the hot new virtuoso prog rock supergroup featuring drummer Mike Portnoy (ex-Dream Theater), guitarist Steve Morse (Deep Purple), and Neal Morse (Spock’s Beard), follow the release of their eponymous debut album with a rare European tour taking in London’s prestigious Shepherd’s Bush Empire on September 21st. 

Tickets for all the European tour can be ordered online via the official European press page here:
Flying Colors: September 2012 European Tour

* Hamburg / Markthalle / Sept 9
* Berlin / C-Club / Sept 10
* Munich / Theaterfabrik / Sept 11
* Milan / Alcatraz / Sept 13
* Zurich / Volkshaus / Sept 14
* Stuttgart / Longhorn / Sept 15
* Aschaffenburg / Colos-Saal / Sept 16
* Cologne / Gloria / Sept 17
* Paris / Le Trianon / Sept 19
* Tilburg / 013 / Sept 20
* London / Shepherd's Bush Empire / Sept 21

Flying Colors showcases Mike Portnoy (drums, vocals), Dave LaRue (bass), Neal Morse (keyboards, vocals), Casey McPherson (lead vocals, guitar), and Steve Morse (lead guitar). "The album has bits and pieces of what you'd expect from each of us,” says Portnoy. “The sum of all its parts led to brand new, unchartered territory for everyone involved." 
Flying Colors began with a simple idea: virtuoso musicians and a pop singer joining together to make new-fashioned music the old fashioned way.  Refreshing, classic, old and new, the songs are saturated with the many styles, tones and hues of the players who in becoming a band have delivered a unique fusion of vintage craftsmanship and contemporary music. 

"It was quite an experience making the album,” recalls Dave LaRue. “It's been an inspiring challenge melding folk, prog, pop and metal into one big recording."

Mike Portnoy was the co-founding member and drummer for the world’s biggest prog metal band Dream Theater Neal Morse is the co-founding member of the prog rock bands Spock’s Beard and Transatlantic David LaRue is the bassist for the Dixie Dregs and has worked with Joe Satriani and Steve VaiSteve Morse is the lead guitarist for Deep PurpleCasey McPherson is the lead singer for Alpha Rev, who has experienced success on US radio with numerous hit singles including “New Morning”.


New material from Leather Leone (former Chastain Vocalist)!!!!!!

The metal community rejoice!!!!
the return of Leather Leone and Sandy Sledge on
 “Imagine Me Alive”

In absence for more than two decades, we embrace new material from  Leather Leone (Chastain, Rude Girl, Malibu Barbi) and drummer Sandy Sledge (Rude Girl, Malibu Barbi, Warbride, WeaponsVan) in their new project Sledge Leather

The Sledge Leather debut album “Imagine Me Alive” was inspired in 2010 when Leather Leone called Sandy Sledge to collaborate on the Ronnie James Dio track “Egypt”for a demo tribute recording. 
Due to the overwhelming response for more material, Sledge Leather was born and were confirmed for Germany’s Keep it True Festival, April 30, 2011.

Sledge Leather entered the studio in 2011 to record their comeback album “Imagine Me Alive”, engulfing the listener in an onslaught of heavy metal with 11 cohesive tracks that resurrects a classic HEAVY metal sound with Dio's former band members Scott Warren (keyboards), and Jimmy Bain (bass).
“We wanted to finish what we started with Rude Girl in the ‘80s – straight up heavy a** metal,” Sandy Sledge explains, “This album truly shows the different ways that Leather’s voice can create music.”
Leather Leone comments: "It's great for me to finally have a huge say in what's written and how it's written. With Sledge, I feel like it's writing with a soulmate — same beliefs, same ideas — because we are writing what comes to us naturally and what comes to us naturally is HEAVY music. This is metal. It's just 'metal.' Heavy, metal."

Respected industry friends Mike Varney and Monte Connor comment on Sledge Leather.

"Sledge and Leather are the most powerful team of female rockers on the metal scene today,” says Mike Varney, founder of Shrapnel Records.
"Leather sounds as great as she ever did and kicks even more ass than she did in the ‘80s!,” says Monte Connor of Roadrunner Records.

Sledge Leather's album line-up includes: Leather Leone (vocals), Sandy Sledge (drums), Matthias Weisheit (guitars), Scott Warren (keyboards/orchestration), and Jimmy Bain (bass).
“Imagine Me Alive” is currently available from the band and soon through all on-line outlets. 

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