Classic Rock News

  • Paul McCartney is looking for fans to help him create a video for his theme song to the "Meat Free Monday" campaign, which is now celebrating its fifth birthday. A message was posted on his official website ( saying: "If you'd like to get involved, pick a line or two from Paul's song ‘Meat Free Monday’ (or pick every line if you want!) and take a photo of yourself with it. You could write the words on a piece of paper; draw them in the sand; make them out of fruit and veg; make something with the words on; do something on your computer -- remember, the more creative your photo, the more chance you have of it being included. Feel free to involve friends, family and colleagues too! We will pick our favorites and turn them into a video for the song."
  • McCartney told us that many of the reasons that kept people from going veggie in the past have been proven to be unfounded: "There are plenty of veggie alternatives on the market -- there’s some fantastic products these days. Y’see, my mum was a nurse, and she would’ve said to me -- I know, sort of way back in the ‘50s, ‘Oh, you won’t get your protein’ -- that was not true. There’s millions of ways of getting protein; and particularly the great products on the market these days."
  • Ringo Starr & His All Starr Band will kick off their fall dates on October 2nd in Catoosa, Oklahoma at The Joint at the Hard Rock Casino / Tulsa.
  • 40 years after the Beatles' first Los Angeles invasion, an actual beetle -- as in bug -- has hit Hollywood. Billboard reported the tree planted in Griffith Park in honor of George Harrison back in 2004 has been taken over by beetles, with City Councilman Tom LaBonge telling The Los Angeles Times that the pine tree will soon be replanted in salute to "The Quiet Beatle."

Billy Joel will be the sixth recipient of the prestigious Gershwin Prize from the Library of Congress in November. The honor celebrates an artist's catalogue of work and is given annually "to a composer or performer whose lifetime contributions exemplify the standard of excellence associated with George and Ira Gershwin." The annual recipient is selected by the Librarian of Congress "based upon recommendations from a board made up of scholars, producers, performers, music critics, songwriters and music specialists."

Librarian of Congress James H. Billington was quoted in the announcement saying, "Billy Joel is a storyteller of the highest order. There is an intimacy to his songwriting that bridges the gap between the listener and the worlds he shares through music. When you listen to a Billy Joel song, you know about the people and the place and what happened there. And while there may be pain, despair and loss, there is ultimately a resilience to it that makes you want to go to these places again and again."

  • Billy Joel added: "The great composer, George Gershwin, has been a personal inspiration to me throughout my career. And the Library’s decision to include me among those songwriters who have been past recipients is a milestone for me."
  • Past Gershwin Prize inductees are Paul Simon, who was awarded the first Gershwin Prize in 2009, Stevie Wonder (2010), Paul McCartney (2011), Burt Bacharach and Hal David (2012), and Carole King (2013).
  • Although Billy Joel has a colorful history -- both on and off the stage -- he admits that he's hardly what one would call nostalgic: "I can't plan what I'm gonna do. It sort of happens -- it just kinda pops into my head: 'That's what I'm gonna do.' I don't rest on my laurels. I'm not thinking about what I've done; I think about what I'm gonna do. Or I think what I'm doing right at the moment. I really don't like to look back too much. Too much retrospective thinking starts to make me feel like I'm a fossil." :
    July 26 - Washington, DC - Nationals Park
    August 2 - Philadelphia, PA - Citizens Bank Park
    August 7 - New York, NY - Madison Square Garden
    September 17 - New York, NY - Madison Square Garden
    October 2 - New York, NY - Madison Square Garden
    November 25 - New York, NY - Madison Square Garden
    December 18 - New York, NY - Madison Square Garden

Fans are hoping that Keith Richards' enthusiasm for the Rolling Stones' recent road dates will lead to a new album. The Stones, who recently wrapped their European dates, are on hiatus until the fall when they hit the road to play a series of Down Under make up shows, which were postponed following the suicide in March of Mick Jagger's longtime girlfriend, L'Wren Scott.

Richards -- who is also working on a solo set -- spoke about the band's future in a "thank you" video, which served as a salute to the fans who caught this leg of the 14 On Fire tour, saying, "This band is really picking up steam now. There’s something in the air. . . Our strength lies in being together. There’s a certain chemistry. I can’t put my finger on it -- if I knew the answer I’d bottle it and sell it. . . It’s been a real buzz. I think I may keep this job on."

  • Keith Richards admitted that throughout the ups and downs of the Stones' long and storied career, allowing a certain element of the music to stay alive and in the moment is what's kept the band honest on stage: "It’s a strange balance of things, but, as I say, for a lead singer, for the frontman -- so to speak -- it’s important that he feels, like, totally confident in that he has a band behind him that’s not gonna fall apart if he tries anything. Be ludicrous, if you like, I mean -- we’ll be there. Every gig is different, which is why I never got bored doing this stuff. Take the Stones on stage 1963 or now, it’s still that same sense of adventure." :
    October 25 - Adelaide, Australia - Adelaide Oval
    October 29 - Perth, Australia - Perth Arena
    November 1 - Perth, Australia - Perth Arena
    November 5 - Melbourne, Australia - Rod Laver Arena
    November 8 - Woodend, Australia - Hanging Rock
    November 12 - Sydney, Australia - Allphones Arena
    November 15 - Pokolbin, Australia - Hope Estate Winery
    November 18 - Boondall, Australia - Brisbane Entertainment Centre
    November 22 - Auckland, New Zealand - Mt Smart Stadium

Former Eagles guitarist Don Felder says that "Hotel California" really should never have been the massive hit single it became. Felder, who co-wrote the tune, is currently out on the road opening for Styx and Foreigner, recalled the song to Utah’s Daily Herald, explaining, "‘Hotel California’ was exactly wrong on all formats. It was six-and-a-half minutes long, the introduction was a minute, you couldn’t dance to it, it stops in the middle, it breaks down with no drums and it’s got this two-minute guitar solo on the end of it. It’s completely wrong for AM radio."

He credits Don Henley for recognizing the song’s hit potential -- which he admits completely missed: "So when Don said, ‘That’s going to be our next single,’ I said, ‘You know, I think that’s wrong. That’s like an FM track, I don’t think that should be on AM radio. I think that’s not the right call.’ And he said, ‘Nope, that’s what we’re going to do.’ And I went, ‘OK, but I told you so.’ And I’ve never been so happy to have been so wrong in my life. He was right. He heard something in that that he believed in, so good for him."

  • Don Felder told us that he's well aware that the Eagles was bigger than any if its individual members: "That group as a team, the five of us -- well, really seven of us, in the records we made including Bernie Leadon and Randy Meisner and Joe (Walsh) and Timothy Schmit -- was definitely the best work that any of us have done together on record. I think that that sum of its parts are greater than any of the individual people involved in that project."

Rob Zombie's guitarist, John Five, has revealed in an interview with a Canadian rock journalist that he has recorded a brand new album with Van Halen singer David Lee Roth, which he says is "incredible" and which he hopes to release at some point in the near future. Five told writer Mitch Lafon, "It's 11 of the greatest songs you'll ever hear, and it's just me and Dave, and we had Gregg Bissonette play drums on it. And it's unbelievable . . . just great, great songs. And hopefully sometime it'll see the light of day. But he's, of course, busy with Van Halen and all that stuff. But it's an incredible record."

Five added that he and Roth made the record "maybe a year and a half ago," saying, "I always go over to his house and we write music and things like that. It's a lot of fun. They're all original songs. I would just go over to his house during the day and write this music and then he would book the studio at night."

  • Five said that the material "sounds like just Dave from that Van Halen I or II or Women And Children First era, (in terms of his) singing (style), and it's incredible, man."
  • Five, whose real name is John Lowery, got his first big break playing on Roth's solo album, DLR Band, before landing stints with Marilyn Manson and now Zombie.
  • Five has been playing in Rob Zombie's band since 2005 and has been the longest-running member of the group. We asked Zombie what makes for a great band member: "What makes a great band member is someone who knows their place in the band. 'Cause usually the fighting comes from someone wanting to - they always think, 'Well, you're doing that so I should do that' or 'why don't I do this' or 'you just use his songs and not my songs.' And when people are smart enough to know, 'There's only four spots and I have one of them, and I should be happy,' and it doesn't diminish their role in any way, that's what makes for a great band member, you know."
  • John Five will release his eighth solo album, titled Careful With That Axe, on August 12th -- a different record from the one he did with Roth.
  • Roth himself is reportedly at work with Van Halen on that band's 13th studio album.
  • John Five, Rob Zombie and the rest of Zombie's band will start a short fall tour on September 8th in Portland, Oregon.

Black Sabbath frontman Ozzy Osbourne has asked his fans to "help unscramble Ozzy's new cover art by using the hashtag #OzzyRules on Facebook and Twitter. The more you share the sooner it unlocks." It is unclear, however, what the cover art in question will be used for, although it could be for a new solo studio album. Ozzy's last studio effort on his own, Scream, came out in 2010.

  • Ozzy's touring guitarist, Gus G., told Noisefull in a recent interview, "Ozzy wants to do another solo album, that's for sure. As far as I know, he has a contract for three more solo albums, so I don't know when he will finish them, if he'll do them and if I'm going to be a part of it, but I definitely know that he wants to do one more solo album."
  • Ozzy's last two solo sets, Scream and 2007's Black Rain, were recorded in his home studio. He told us a while back that working that way had its pros and cons: "I don't know if it's a good thing or a bad thing, because in one respect you go, 'If only I had more time to do an album, maybe I could do a better album.' But then if you've got unlimited time, the urgency's not there. At the end of the day the end result was pretty cool, but I don't know whether I want to continue to do it that way. I'd like to jam out with the band and get some, like, vibe going, you know. I want to incorporate that and this new technology thing."
  • Ozzy stated in 2011 that he had started working on ideas for a new solo set, but that was before Black Sabbath reunited to record the album 13, issue it last year and tour the world.
  • Sabbath played its last show of the 13 touring cycle on July 4th in London, although the band members have indicated that they are interested in making another studio album together and continuing to tour.
  • John Mellencamp’s son is in trouble again. The 20-year-old Duke walk-on defensive back, Hud Mellencamp, will face "a misdemeanor charge for illegal consumption of an alcoholic beverage." Hud was charged on July 10th by the Monroe Indiana County Clerk’s office, with an initial hearing on the case scheduled for September 25th. Last July, Hud was charged with felony battery after he allegedly followed an unnamed male to his house after a party, beating him and leaving the victim "with facial fractures that required stitches and the attention of a plastic surgeon."
    • Hud’s younger brother Speck Mellencamp was also charged in the assault and the case, which is scheduled for a pretrial conference in Monroe County on July 24th. ( / The Indianapolis Star)
  • ZZ Top has delayed their upcoming dates by two weeks due to bassist Dusty Hill undergoing surgery for kidney stones. Ultimate Classic Rock reported the tour -- which was scheduled to kick off on Friday, July 25th -- will now begin on Wednesday, August 6th in Sturgis, South Dakota. Shows that, as of now, are scrapped are: Morton, Minnesota (July 25th); West Bend, Wisconsin (July 26th); Cincinnati, Ohio (July 27th); Louisville, Kentucky (July 29th); Asheville, North Carolina (July 30th); and Bethlehem, Pennsylvania (August 1st).
    • None of the canceled dates will affect the band's upcoming joint shows with Jeff Beck, which begins on August 8th in Missoula, Montana.
  • Although he’s been taken to task by Debbie Harry in the past for saying the same exact thing, Blondie’s co-founding drummer Clem Burke says the band’s days might be numbered. Blondie, who now features only Harry, Burke, and Chris Stein from the band’s classic lineup, will hit the road next month in Europe behind their latest release, Ghosts Of Download. Burke spoke candidly about the future of Blondie, revealing, "By the time we get to beautiful Vancouver, B.C., we will have toured Europe, played Glastonbury and done a number of big festivals in North America. As for the rumors of the last tour, we’ve decided we’ll live forever. But Debbie is older than me and has hinted it could be time. Obviously without her, there is no Blondie." (The Providence)

Listen to MGK on your: