Archive for January, 2013
John Densmore of The Doors set to release memoir documenting feud with Ray Manzarek and Robbie Krieger
It looks as though any hope for a reunion of John Densmore with his former Doors bandmates Ray Manzarek and Robbie Krieger is done as Densmore plans to release a new book that documents his court battles with his ex-bandmates in detail. 'The Doors Unhinged: Jim Morrison's Legacy Goes To Trial' will be released on April 17th. Here's the press release telling all about it:
For fans of the Doors, timeless tracks like “Break on Through” and “Light My Fire” were the soundtrack to an era, and Jim Morrison’s lyrics the voice of a revolution. Holding steadfast to their progressive 1960s ideology, the members of the Doors refused to sell out and, as four equal members, agreed that their music would never be used to push cars or cigarettes. Then, more than thirty years after Jim Morrison’s death, Cadillac offered the remaining members an astounding $15 million for the use of a song. Drummer John Densmore vetoed the deal, but his former band mates Ray Manzarek and Robby Krieger had a hard time turning down all that money. Soon afterwards, Manzarek and Krieger took a new incarnation of the band out on the road, under the misleading moniker The Doors of the 21st Century, using Jim Morrison’s face to sell tickets. When Densmore took legal action against his friends and band mates to defend Morrison’s artistic legacy, he landed in court, the subject of a countersuit.
New York Times bestselling author John Densmore takes fans into the Los Angeles courtroom where he spent three summer months with Jim Morrison’s aging parents, fighting for integrity over greed. While Krieger and Manzarek lived the rock star life on their world tour, Densmore weathered betrayals by his “musical family,” character assassinations, and the rising fear that he would lose everything in his efforts to stand up for what he believed in. The process of litigation consumed Densmore’s life for five years, plus a half a year while everyone waited to see if the Supreme Court of California would overturn the judge’s ruling.
In THE DOORS: UNHINGED, Densmore describes:
● How Jim Morrison threatened to smash a car onstage if Buick used a Doors song in a commercial;
● Being sued by his former band mates for $40 million, more than they collectively had ever made;
● The opposing lawyer’s bizarre attempts to label him a communist, anarchist & al-Qaeda supporter;
● How testimony from Police drummer Stewart Copeland changed the trial;
● Getting tossed in the paddywagon with Bonnie Raitt after a protest to protect old-growth trees;
● How even years after the Doors’ success, his excitement when he got to carry his hero Coltrane drummer Elvin Jones’ cymbals to his car;
● How Morrison’s father, a career Navy man, was thwarted in his career ambitions by his son’s rock star antics, but how he sided with his late son in court.
John Densmore is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the author of the critically-acclaimed memoir Riders on the Storm. In addition to his musical activities, he has produced award-winning documentaries “Road to Return” and “Juvies,” and contributed articles to Rolling Stone, London’s The Guardian, the Nation, LA Times, Chicago Tribune, Huffington Post and the Utne Reader.
Featuring previously-unreleased photos of Jim Morrison, the band, the Morrison family, and the author himself, Densmore’s second book gives readers an intimate glimpse into this recent chapter of The Doors’ history. With endorsements and support from Neil Young, Tom Petty, Bonnie Raitt, Randy Newman, Tom Waits, Eddie Vedder, Jim Ladd, Oliver Stone, Tim Robbins, Jeff Bridges, Michael Blake, Tom Robbins, Michael Connelly, Anthony DeCurtis, Nigel Williamson, Pearl “Penny” Courson, and the Jim Morrison estate, John Densmore’s THE DOORS: UNHINGED is a humorous and heartbreaking account of one man’s fight to preserve the meaning behind the music. Densmore joins the growing number of authors opting to tell their story their way by self-publishing via Amazon.com’s indie publishing platforms, CreateSpace and Kindle Direct Publishing.
‘Jason Becker’s Not Dead Yet’ benefit show highlights featuring Steve Morse, Richie Kotzen, Uli Jon Roth, Gus G., and more (video)
Steve Morse (Deep Purple), Richie Kotzen (Mr. Big, Poison), Uli Jon Roth (Scorpions) and Gus G. (Firewind, Ozzy Osbourne) were some of the musicians who performed at a special concert on January 23rd at Slim's in San Francisco, California, reminding the world that Jason Becker's Not Dead Yet. Proceeds from the second Jason Becker's Not Dead Yet festival (the first one was held in March 2011) will go towards medical supplies for Jason as well as a trust fund to provide for his future security.
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 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.
The January 23rd Jason Becker's 'Not Dead Yet festival' at Slim's in San Francisco was a tribute to Jason and celebration of his amazing story, as well as an opportunity to educate music fans and guitar aficionados about the effects of ALS and the quest for a cure. The idea for the show originated with Bay Area guitarist Dave Lopez of FLIPSYDE and BANG DATA.
The DVD version of the documentary film "Jason Becker: Not Dead Yet" was made available on December 18 via Kino Lorber.
For more on Jason Becker and his fight with ALS, go to http://www.jasonbeckerguitar.com/
Here's a 43-minute video of highlights from last week's concert:
The fifth annual Revolver Golden Gods Awards presented by Epiphone will take place Thursday, May 2nd, at Club Nokia in Downtown Los Angeles. For the first time ever, the event will be broadcast live on national television through AXS TV and broadcast in the US and key international markets through Xbox LIVE and Facebook. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster.
Fozzy frontman and WWE pro-wrestling legend Chris Jericho will reprise his role as host for the fourth consecutive year. The nominees in 11 different fan-voted categories, plus the recipients of this year’s prestigious Ronnie James Dio Lifetime Achievement Award (presented by Ernie Ball), Golden God Award (presented by Sumerian Records) and Riff Lord (presented by EMG Pickups), were revealed at a press conference at the Hard Rock Cafe Hollywood in Los Angeles.
Host Chris Jericho was on hand, along with Sebastian Bach, Five Finger Death Punch, Halestorm, Scott Ian (Anthrax), Maria Brink and Chris Howorth (In This Moment), John 5 (Rob Zombie), Greg Puciato (Dillinger Escape Plan) and Zakk Wylde to announce the nominees. Halestorm performed a special live set, including a guest appearance by Sebastian Bach on a cover of the Skid Row classic Slave to the Grind.
Fans everywhere can cast their vote to decide who will take home the awards for Best Guitarist (presented by Epiphone), Best Drummer (presented by Drum Workshop), Best Vocalist (presented by Rockstar Energy Drink), Album of the Year (presented by Orange Amplification), Song of the Year, Best Live Band (presented by Samson/Zoom), Best New Talent, Most Metal Athlete, (presented by Roadrunner Records), Comeback of the Year, Paul Gray Best Bassist (presented by Dean Markley) and Most Dedicated Fans (presented by Xbox LIVE).
Voting is now open at GoldenGodsAwards.com and ends April 15th.
The Golden God Award (presented by Sumerian Records), which is given to one special honoree a year who embodies the spirit of hard rock and metal, will go to Rob Zombie, who commented, “What can I say? It is a complete honor to receive this award and have my name join the list of such legendary past winners as Alice Cooper and Gene Simmons. Pretty cool deal to be part of the Golden God club.” (The other previous honorees are Rob Halford of Judas Priest and Dave Mustaine of Megadeth.) Rob Zombie will be releasing his brand new album, Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor (Zodiac Swan/T-Boy/Ume), on April 23rd, and his latest feature film, The Lords of Salem (Anchor Bay), on April 26th.
The Ronnie James Dio Lifetime Achievement Award (presented by Ernie Ball), will go to hard-rock and metal icons Metallica, who will release the 3D movie Through the Never in August. (Previous honorees include Rush, Motley Crue, Lemmy Kilmister of Motorhead and Ozzy Osbourne.)
Metallica’s Lars Ulrich commented, “Since the Revolver Golden Gods Awards is fast becoming THE most rocking awards ceremony in the hard rock world, we are beyond psyched to be at the receiving end of this shout out and in the distinguished company of Rush, Lemmy, Ozzy and Motley Crue. I was hanging out and presenting at the shenanigans two years ago and the energy in the room and the vibe backstage was beyond fucking cool, so Metallica is chomping at the bit to partake in this year’s event. Once again, we are honored to be recognized as achievers (!!) and we can’t wait to get up and jam onstage and sweat for and on everybody gathered.
The Riff Lord Award, (presented by EMG Pickups) is given each year to a legendary guitarist in the field of hard rock & heavy metal. This year it’s going to none other than Black Sabbath axeman, Tony Iommi, who had this to say about the honor, “What a great honor to receive the Golden Gods Riff Lord Award for 2013, especially with our new Sabbath album coming out. I hope there will be some new favorite riffs in these songs.” Slash of Guns N’ Roses and Velvet Revolver won the award last year.
Adding to the celebration, the 2013 Revolver Golden Gods Awards show will feature one-of-a-kind special performances and collaborations that honor both the past, present and future of heavy music. The night’s hard-rocking musical performances will include sets by Metallica, Five Finger Death Punch, Anthrax, Stone Sour, Dillinger Escape Plan and Halestorm, with more performers to be announced in the coming weeks.
Returning as well is the “Black Carpet” pre-show that will be hosted by legendary heavy-metal frontmen Sebastian Bach and Dee Snider. Bach and Snider will be interviewing all the nominees, honorees and performers on the Revolver Black Carpet before show time for the special, which will air on both AXS TV and Xbox LIVE.
The nominees for the 2013 Revolver Golden Gods Awards presented by Epiphone are:
Best Guitarist presented by Epiphone:
• John 5 (Rob Zombie & solo)
• Stephen Carpenter (Deftones)
• Alex Lifeson (Rush)
• Misha Mansoor (Periphery)
• Brendon Small (Dethklok)
• Kim Thayil (Soundgarden)
Best Drummer presented by Drum Workshop:
• Abe Cunningham (Deftones)
• Mario Duplantier (Gojira)
• Arejay Hale (Halestorm)
• Gene Hoglan (Dethklok & Testament)
• Roy Mayorga (Stone Sour)
• Neil Peart (Rush)
Paul Gray Best Bassist presented by Dean Markley:
• Rex Brown (Kill Devil Hill)
• Steve Harris (Iron Maiden & solo)
• Lemmy Kilmister (Motörhead)
• Geddy Lee (Rush)
• Jason Newsted (Newsted)
• Sergio Vega (Deftones)
Best Vocalist presented by Rockstar Energy Drink:
• Phil Anselmo (Down & solo)
• Maria Brink (In This Moment)
• Chris Cornell (Soundgarden)
• Lzzy Hale (Halestorm)
• Chino Moreno (Deftones)
• Corey Taylor (Stone Sour & Slipknot)
Best New Talent:
• Miss May I
• Of Mice & Men
• Young Guns
Most Metal Athlete presented by Roadrunner Records:
• Tom Crabtree (Green Bay Packers, NFL)
• Tanner Faust (Rally and drifting car racing)
• Clay Guida (Mixed Martial Arts fighting, UFC)
• Triple H (WWE wrestling)
• Geoff Rowley (Skateboarding)
• CJ Wilson (Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, MLB)
Best Live Band presented by Samson/Zoom:
• Five Finger Death Punch
• Lamb of God
Comeback Of The Year:
• The Darkness
• Tenacious D
Song Of The Year:
• Asking Alexandria, Run Free
• Avenged Sevenfold, Carry On
• Black Veil Brides, In The End
• Dethklok, I Ejaculate Fire
• Halestorm, Love Bites (So Do I)
• In This Moment, Blood
Most Dedicated Fans presented by Xbox LIVE:
• Black Label Society
• Black Veil Brides
• A Day To Remember
Album Of The Year presented by Orange Amplification:
• Deftones, Koi No Yokan
• Gojira, L’Enfant Sauvage
• Halestorm, The Strange Case of…
• Marilyn Manson, Born Villain
• Soundgarden, King Animal
• Stone Sour, House of Gold & Bones Part 1
Enter to win in ‘The Valentine’s Day Goal Zero Rock Out Speaker Giveaway’ with Marshall of Rock and MyBatteryPlace.com
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Rikki Rockett, drummer of multiplatinum rock band, Poison is out to prove that "drums do come true" on his new reality show "American Drums". Rockett is shopping a docu-series about his ultra-custom drum company Rockett Drum Works, Inc.
For nearly a decade, Rockett has been building custom drum kits for clients ranging from modern day legends-of-rock, to future rockers-in-training. He and his rag tag gang of misfit staffers at Rocket Drum Works not only create some of the most jaw-dropping ultra-custom kits in the world, but are the only drum-kit makers who can boast 100% American made product.
On “American Drums,” Rockett gives viewers an all-access pass into the gritty world of rock and roll craftsmen - from his oddball staff and their hard-to-impress clientele to the high-tech drum designs themselves. “Making drums of this caliber is not easy,” says Rockett. “It takes precision, artistry, and craftsmanship. My crew has all three.”
Rockett continues, “If I’m being totally honest, when we deliver kits to the clients, it never ceases to amaze me we’re able to hit aggressive deadlines and budgets when I see the lunatics running the asylum back at my shop. But we’ve never messed up an order – yet.”
Among the drummers playing Rockett Drum Works kits are Saigon Kick drummer Phil Varone, Steven Adler (Adler, ex-Guns N' Roses), Jamie Follese from the new emo band Hot Chele Rae on Jive Records, and Troy Patrick Farrell from White Lion.
Started by Rockett in 2005, Rockett Drum Works constructs drums built at the company's facility in Southern California by drummers. The company states, "All of the Rockett Drum Works staff are caring, highly skilled drummers and craftsman. We play what we build and we stand by what we build. Our goal is to offer something special to the player who wants something other than the typical 'off-the-rack' drums. Something that makes a statement. Something that reflects you, the player. No matter if you are a rock, punk, jazz or a country artist, Rockett Drum Works has drums that will match your playing style.
"Rockett Drum Works prides itself on producing fully custom drums. We not only cater to individuals, we also cater to shops who seek to carry a line that no one else on the market has. We basically will custom-create a line for your shop."