Archive for December, 2012
Led Zeppelin's Robert Plant, Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones were awarded America's greatest cultural honor, the Kennedy Award, by President Barack Obama at The White House in Washington on Sunday, December 2nd. Also honored were late night TV host David Letterman, Actor Dustin Hoffman, Chicago bluesman Buddy Guy and ballerina Natalia Makarova.
The Kennedy Award is the nation's highest award for those who influenced American culture through the arts. The recipients will be saluted by fellow performers in a show that will air Dec. 26th on CBS.
Obama elicited laughs from his guests when he described the honorees as "some extraordinary people who have no business being on the same stage together."
While introducing the honorees at a ceremony in the White House East Room, Obama joked, "I worked with the speechwriters - there is no smooth transition from ballet to Led Zeppelin."
Noting that Buddy Guy made his first guitar strings using the wire from a window screen, he said, "That worked until his parents started wondering how all the mosquitoes were getting in." Guy, a sharecropper’s son who made his first instrument with wire scrounged from his family’s home in rural Louisiana.
“He’s one of the most idiosyncratic and passionate blues greats, and there are not many left of that original generation,” said Bonnie Raitt, who as an 18-year-old blues singer was often the warm-up act for Guy. Raitt led a tribute that included singer Tracy Chapman and guitarist Jeff Beck. Guy, 76, was a pioneer in the Chicago blues style that pushed the sound of electrically amped guitar to the forefront of the music.
“You mastered the soul of gut bucket,” actor Morgan Freeman told the Kennedy Center audience. “You made a bridge from roots to rock ’n roll.”
Buddy Guy's blues influence made its way across the Atlantic to Britain and had a profound effect on the men who would become Led Zeppelin: guitarist Jimmy Page, 68, vocalist Robert Plant, 64, bassist/keyboardist John Paul Jones, 66, and drummer John Bonham, who died in 1980.
“Of course, these guys also redefined the rock and roll lifestyle,” the president said to audience laughter about Zeppelin. Obama added, "When Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones and John Bonham burst onto the musical scene in the late 1960s, the world never saw it coming,"
"There was this singer with a mane like a lion and a voice like a banshee, a guitar prodigy who left people’s jaws on the floor, a versatile bassist who was equally at home on the keyboards, a drummer who played like his life depended on it. It’s been said that a generation of young people survived teenage angst with a pair of headphones and a Zeppelin album...but even now, 32 years after John Bonham’s passing - and we all I think appreciate the fact - the Zeppelin legacy lives on."
The president thanked the members of Led Zeppelin for behaving themselves at the White House given their history of "hotel rooms trashed and mayhem all around."
"It's fitting that we're doing this in a room with windows that are about three inches thick and Secret Service all around," he said to laughter from the diverse group of artists.
He finished his speech, saying: "We honor Led Zeppelin for making us all feel young, and for showing us that some guys who are not completely youthful can still rock!"
Nancy and Ann Wilson of the rock band Heart, belted out a version of their idols “Stairway to Heaven” to close out the show.
The Rollins Stones rocked the O2 Arena in London last Thursday night (Nov. 29) for the second of two shows there on theie '50 Years and Counting' mini-tour, joined by former band members Bill Wyman and Mick Taylor once again, as well as special guests Eric Clapton on 'Champagne And Reefer' and Florence Welch of Florence And The Machine on 'Gimme Shelter.'
Mick Jagger also laughed off the Rolling Stones’ £100,000 ($160,000) fine for breaking curfew at their O2 Arena show in London last Sunday. Joking to the crowd, Jagger told fans: “We’re more relaxed tonight. We’ll get to play the whole thing. We had to pay £100,000 because we went on too long. That’s like...ten seats!”
Former band members BIll Wyman and Mick Taylor once again made appearances and Eric Clapton took the stage for Champagne And Reefer while Florence Welch of Florence And The Machine sang on 'Gimme Shelter.'
The setlist on Thursday included new additions "The Last Time" and "Live With Me," and the band played "Lady Jane" live for the first time since 1967. They closed with "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction," which they weren't able to perform last Sunday. The Stones now head across the Atlantic for three shows: New York’s Barclay Center on December 8th, and the Prudential Center in Newark N.J. on December 13th and 15th.
The final show will be telecast live via pay-per-view at 9pm ET. The pay-per-view entitled “One More Shot” will be distributed by WWE.
Rolling Stones 11/30/12 setlist:
Get Off Of My Cloud
I Wanna Be Your Man
The Last Time
Paint It Black
Gimme Shelter (with Florence Welch)
Champagne And Reefer (with Eric Clapton)
Live With Me
One More Shot
Doom And Gloom
It’s Only Rock ‘N’ Roll (But I Like It) (with Bill Wyman)
Honky Tonk Women (with Bill Wyman)
Before They Make Me Run (sung by Keith Richards)
Happy (sung by Keith Richards)
Midnight Rambler (with Mick Taylor)
Start Me Up
Sympathy For The Devil
You Can’t Always Get What You Want
Jumpin’ Jack Flash
(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction
Armored Saint were part of the Metal Blade Records's 30th anniversary show, which took place this past Friday, November 30th at the House Of Blues in West Hollywood, California. Besides performing some of their greatest tracks, they rocked some cover songs with guest musicians, including Amon Amarth's Johan Hegg and Fates Warning/Redemption's Ray Alder. Sets by Sacred Reich and Gypsyhawk were also a part of the celebration, hosted by 'That Metal Show's' Eddie Trunk and Don Jamieson.
Metal Blade Records founder Brian Slagel was a teenage metal fan preparing to enter college in 1982 and working as a buyer for Oz Records, a shop in Woodland Hills, when he started a fanzine called The New Heavy Metal Revue. That evolved into a compilation album called The New Heavy Metal Revue presents Metal Massacre, which featured Metallica, Ratt, Black 'N Blue, Malice, Cirith Ungol, Demon Flight, Bitch, Avatar, Pandemonium and thus, Metal Blade was born. Slagel originally operated the label out of his mother's garage, and after the Armored Saint EP release and Slayer's 'Show No Mercy' release the label was on it's way. Bitch's 'Be My Slave' being targeted by Tipper Gore's PMRC in 1985 brought recognition to the label as well. The early music by Slayer and Corrosion Of Conformity, Cannibal Corpse, GWAR, Mercyful Fate, King Diamond, Six Feet Under, Fates Warning, and Armored Saint were all part of the explosion of Metal Blade.
Congrats to Metal Blade and Brian Slagel on the 30th Anniversary and here's to many more years of metal success to come!
Amazing documentary ‘Jason Becker: Not Dead Yet’ to be released on DVD December 18th, bonus scenes part of new issue of Guitar Interactive online magazine (video)
The documentary film 'Jason Becker: Not Dead Yet' wil be released on December 18th. Watch the trailer below and check out the latest issue of Guitar Interactive online magazine for two exclusive scenes from the movie.
The world premiere of "Jason Becker: Not Dead Yet", took place this past March 3rd at the Cinequest film festival in San Jose, California at the San Jose Repertory Theatre, with Not Dead Yet" winning two awards at at the Cinequest: Audience Award for Best Documentary and the Special Jury Prize for Documentary.
Jason Becker, a onetime guitar prodigy first known as part of the metal duo Cacophony, was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, aka Lou Gehrig's Disease) at age 20, shortly after joining David Lee Roth's band for the gold-selling 1991 album "A Little Ain't Enough". Although the disease robbed him of his ability to play guitar — and eventually left him both paralyzed and unable to speak — Becker continues to compose music with the help of computers, collaborators, and a system of communication using eye movements that was devised by his father Gary.
Even after his once prodigious axe skills left him, Jason's music continued to earn the respect of his peers. Joe Satriani called 2001's "Perspectives" — Jason's first recorded work after losing his motor functions (originally self-released in 1996) — "a triumphantly powerful and beautiful album." Fellow virtuosos joined the chorus of praise, including Steve Vai, who said, "Jason has discovered a brilliant source of inspiration within himself. His deep soul searching has resulted in a body of music that reveals courage and insight and is deeply moving."
Jason's original partner in Cacophony, Marty Friedman added, "To call Jason a genius is an understatement. He doesn't cater to trend, target audiences, marketing gimmicks or anything like that. He plays out the emotions from his heart and makes real music that is a salute to the human spirit. Jason is a prodigy and on 'Perspectives' he realizes his miraculous potential."
Jason's amazing story is told through interviews, never-before-seen archive footage of his performances; as well as unreleased family photos and footage from the Becker archives. The soundtrack is comprised of Jason's released and unreleased material including demos from his childhood and new material he has been working on. The film was shot using a combination of full 1080p HD cameras and 16mm film.
Jason's most recent album, 2008's "Collection", is a mix of old recordings and new compositions, with guest guitar work from Satriani, Vai, Friedman, Michael Lee Firkins, and Greg Howe. Go to www.jasonbeckerguitar.com for more on Jason.
The latest issue of the great online magazine Guitar Interactive is out and it is completely free. Check out the complete issue #14 here: www.iguitar.com and scroll to the Jason Becker feature on pages 26-29. The latest issue also features great interviews with Richie Kotzen, Steve Hackett and Andy Fraser, as well as reviews and previews of all the latest and greatest in guitar technology.