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Tag: Alex Van Halen

Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart release new autobiography this Tuesday, ‘Kicking & Dreaming: A Story of Heart, Soul and Rock & Roll’

by on Sep.12, 2012, under LINKS, ROCK NEWS

Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart release new autobiography this Tuesday, ‘Kicking & Dreaming: A Story of Heart, Soul and Rock & Roll’

Ann & Nancy Wilson are legendary figures in the world of rock, who undoubtedly have some more than interesting stories to share of their over four decades in the music business. This Tuesday (Sept. 18) their book 'Kicking & Dreaming: A Story of Heart, Soul and Rock & Roll' hits shelves (Harper Collins) and tells the stories behind their ascent in the world of rock, the inspiration and making of their classic tracks, and shares juicy details about some of the connections with other artists they've made over the years. Here's a full description and some of what you can expect to find in the book:

The mystery of "Magic Man." The wicked riff of "Barracuda." The sadness and beauty of "Alone." The raw energy of "Crazy On You." These songs, and so many more, are part of the fabric of American music. Heart, fronted by Ann and Nancy Wilson, has given fans everywhere classic, raw, and pure badass rock and roll for more than three decades. As the only sisters in rock who write their own music and play their own instruments, Ann and Nancy have always stood apart—certainly from their male counterparts but also from their female peers. By refusing to let themselves and their music be defined by their gender, and by never allowing their sexuality to overshadow their talent, the Wilson sisters have made their mark, and in the process paved the way for many of today's female artists.

In Kicking and Dreaming, Ann and Nancy, with the help of critically acclaimed and bestselling music biographer Charles R. Cross (Heavier Than Heaven: A Biography of Kurt Cobain), recount a journey that has taken them from a gypsy-like life as the children of a globe-trotting Marine to the frozen back roads of Vancouver, where they got their start as a band, to the pinnacle of success—and sometimes excess. In these pages, readers will learn the truth about the relationship that inspired "Magic Man" and "Crazy On You," the turmoil of inter-band romances gone awry, the reality of life on the road as single women and then as mothers of small children, and the thrill of performing and in some cases partying with the likes of the Rolling Stones, Stevie Nicks, Van Halen, Def Leppard, and other rock legends. It has not always been an easy path. Ann struggled with and triumphed over a childhood stutter, body image, and alcoholism; Nancy suffered the pain and disappointment of fertility issues and a failed marriage but ultimately found love again and happiness as a mom. Through it all, the sisters drew from the strength of a family bond that trumps everything else, as told in this intimate, honest, and uniquely female take on the rock and roll life.

Throughout their career, Ann and Nancy have never found an answer to the question they are most frequently asked: What is it like to be a woman in rock and roll?" Kicking and Dreaming puts that question to bed, once and for all.

Rollingstone.com  has posted some of the stories found in the book, and by all indications, it looks like it will be an amazing read:

During Ann's junior year in high school, their parents became aware that their daughters were regularly smoking pot. Having hit a bit of a counterculture experimental phase, one night after dinner, the Wilson parents suggested that the whole family toke together. Ann recalls it being rather embarrassing: "It wasn't the best pot, but I wasn't about to share my connection with my parents."

"Crazy On You" was inspired by Ann's first serious romance, with Michael Fischer, who would soon become Heart's iron-fisted manager. The pair shacked up on a hippie commune in Canada. Wilson writes that while the lyrics "were straight out of the scenes of wild sexuality that went on in the cottage," they were also about her feminist awakening and finding empowerment through her music.

During Heart's earliest incarnation they were primarily a cover band, cementing their reputation in the Vancouver club scene with their set of Led Zeppelin songs. In March 1975, Heart was onstage performing "Stairway to Heaven" when Zeppelin themselves walked in, fresh from their show at the Pacific Coliseum. Wilson writes that the foursome seemed oblivious, disappearing into the club's inner-sactum, where Jimmy Page was tended to by "his doctor" before promptly passing out.

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When Nancy was on location with her then-husband (and former Rolling Stone scribe) Cameron Crowe while he was directing the 2001 bomb Vanilla Sky, the film's star, Tom Cruise, gave the couple a personally guided tour of Scientology's Celebrity Centre.

The early radio success of "Magic Man" was paid for with hookers and cocaine. The band's publicist would ferry the Wilson sisters to radio appearances where they would meet the DJ, do a station ID and then be told to go wait outside. According to Nancy, "When we were out of the way, he'd pass the DJ a gram of cocaine or the number of a hooker he'd lined up and say 'She's yours, on Heart.' It wasn't until years later that the Wilson sisters found out about the shady dealings that had gone on behind their backs.

The photo negative for a topless picture of Ann Wilson, taken surreptitiously by Annie Leibovitz, is rotting in a safe deposit box. When a shoot with the photographer for the band's Bebe Le Strange-era Rolling Stone cover went south, the band demanded the famed rock photographer destroy her copy; when she refused, Heart took her to court. The judge ordered the negative to be kept in a safe deposit box that could only be opened with two keys – one belonging to Wilson and the other to Leibovitz – insuring it would never see the light of day.

In the fall of 1982, Heart had a brush with the legendary ego of John Cougar Mellencamp. The young singer was opening the band's tour behind Private Audition, Heart's first album that wasn't an immediate million-seller, when Mellencamp's "Jack and Diane" went to number one. He came to the band with a proposition: "Seeing as your album is a turkey and mine is a hit, care to swap places?" The Wilson sisters declined, reminding him that the tour had sold out before he'd even been announced as the opening act.

While Heart was on tour with Van Halen, Alex and Eddie, in their own fumbling, wasted way, suggested a four-way-of-sorts between them. The sisters declined, but later that night, when Nancy learned that Eddie didn't own an acoustic guitar she was incredulous, and she gave him one of her own before sending him on his way. The next morning, after a night-long binge, he called her hotel room and serenaded her over the phone.

Order your copy of 'Kicking & Dreaming' at amazon.com

Ann & Nancy have the upcoming book signing appearances scheduled:

Sept. 17 - 7pm - Barnes & Noble(Union Square) - New York, NY
Sept. 18 - 7pm - Book Revue - Huntington, NY
Sept. 27 - 7pm - Barnes & Noble (The Grove) - Los Angeles, CA

Ann & Nancy continue their 2012 tour with dates into November, and will release their 14th studio album 'Fanatic' (via Legacy Recordings) on October 2nd.

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Top 30 list of richest drummers in the world

by on Aug.27, 2012, under ROCK NEWS

Top 30 list of richest drummers in the world

We now know who the richest drummers in the world are, and it really should be no suprise who is #1. Celebritynetworth.com compiled all information including salaries, real estate holdings, divorces, record sales, royalties and endorsements to come up with the figures. The final net worths come from a formula that takes out taxes, manager’s fees, agents fees, and lifestyle. Check out the Top 30 below.

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The 30 Richest Drummers in the World:
1. Ringo Starr – $300 Million (The Beatles/Solo)
2. Phil Collins – $250 Million (Solo/Genesis)
3. Dave Grohl – $225 Million (Nirvana/Foo Fighters)
4. Don Henley – $200 Million (The Eagles)
5. Lars Ulrich – $175 Million (Metallica)
6. Charlie Watts – $160 Million (The Rolling Stones)
7. Larry Mullen Jr. – $150 Million (U2)
8. Roger Taylor – $105 Million (Queen)
9. Joey Kramer – $100 Million (Aerosmith)
10. Chad Smith – $90 Million (The Red Hot Chili Peppers/Chickenfoot)
11. Travis Barker – $85 Million (Blink 182/The Aquabats)
12. Stewart Copeland – $80 Million (The Police)
13. Alex Van Halen – $75 Million (Van Halen)
14. Nick Mason – $75 Million (Pink Floyd)
15. Tommy Lee – $70 Million (Motley Crue)
16. Bill Ward – $65 Million (Black Sabbath)
17. Jon Fishman – $60 Million (Phish)
18. Carter Beauford – $55 Million (Dave Matthews Band)
19. Rick Allen – $50 Million (Def Leppard)
20. Tre Cool – $45 Million (Green Day)
21. Danny Carey – $40 Million (Tool)
22. Tico Torres – $40 Million (Bon Jovi)
23. Max Weinberg – $35 Million (Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band/Conan O’Brien)
24. Mickey Hart – $30 Million (The Grateful Dead)
25. Bill Kreutzmann – $25 Million (The Grateful Dead)
26. Neil Peart – $22 Million (Rush)
27. Taylor Hawkins – $20 Million (Foo Fighters)
28. Questlove – $16 Million (The Roots, Jimmy Fallon)
29: Steven Adler – $15 Million (Guns N’ Roses)
30. Mick Fleetwood – $8.5 Million (Fleetwood Mac)

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Van Halen News: Guitar World Interview excerpt, Diamond Dave ‘Love Train’ clip

by on Jul.15, 2012, under LINKS, ROCK NEWS, VIDEO

Van Halen News: Guitar World Interview excerpt, Diamond Dave ‘Love Train’ clip

Guitar World Magazine has posted an exclusive excerpt from their recent interview with Eddie Van Halen. Check it out the below.

Guitar Word: The last time we talked, you said you weren’t sure if you wanted to make a new Van Halen album. What changed your mind?

EVH: I think I was pissed off at the time. I didn’t want to do something new because I felt that even if we did, the fans wouldn’t like it anyway. We just snapped back and realized that, hey, we’re doing this for us, too. This is what we do. We make music for a living. Like I’ve always said, if you like what you’re doing, you’re halfway there; if someone else likes it, that’s even better. If they don’t like it, at least you like it. Not to be selfish, but you kind of have to be.

Guitar Word: What got the ball rolling on this album?

EVH: Wolfgang’s enthusiasm. He was going, “Come on, come on!” We went up to 5150 and started jamming. It felt like a comfortable old pair of shoes. Working with Dave again was like we had never left each other. It was that comfortable. We’ve known each other since high school. When you have old friends, five or six years can go by when you don’t see each other, but you just pick up where you left off.

We started recording at the studio at my house with just Alex, Wolfgang and me. Basically it’s the same way we start any record. We went through our archives of stuff we had already written. Wolfgang picked out a bunch of tunes. She’s the Woman was the first one. We started jamming on songs like She’s the Woman and Bulletheadand reworked them.

Dave was onboard from the beginning. I was already recording and engineering demos of She’s the Woman, Bullethead and Let’s Get Rockin’, which is now Outta Space. I sent Pro Tools files of recordings over to Dave, who was working over at Henson Studios, where he likes to record, which got him totally excited. He said, “Let’s get going!”

Guitar Word: How did you choose John Shanks [Bon Jovi, Fleetwood Mac] to produce the album?

EVH: The most difficult part of the process was deciding whether or not we should use a producer and who we should use. We had a big list of producers. Ever since we did that interview together with Tony Iommi [for GW’s Anniversary 2010 issue], I’ve been in contact with Tony a lot. Sabbath is doing their reunion also, and they’re working with Rick Rubin. I don’t think Rick is the right producer for the kind of band that Van Halen is, but his name was in the hat.

So was Pat Leonard [Pink Floyd, Roger Waters, Madonna]. Dave doesn’t have a home studio, so he goes down to Henson to record, write and keep his voice in shape. One day he told me that he ran into this guy named John Shanks. I thought he was an odd choice, but we were open to anything. John asked what we had. I played him our three demos, and he loved them.

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It was actually Wolf’s idea for the album to be a collection of our B-sides along with three reworked songs, which would be new to our audience. Instead of the "Best Of" it would be the B’s Of” — you know, songs like Drop Dead Legs, Girl Gone Bad… It would be a record of our more hardcore songs and none of the pop stuff. That was the initial plan for this album, but the deeper we dug, the more we found. At the same time I was writing new songs.

Dave got very excited about that. We all did. We ended up recording demos for 35 songs. All of those songs were ready to go, and we were able to play them all. We called John again and asked, “Are you busy? Do you want to come up and take a listen?” He was like, “Whoa! You’ve got a shitload of songs here!” We pretty much left it to John and Wolfgang to pick the songs, and it all went from there.

For the new album, Wolfgang pulled out some songs from the band’s past, which is something the group had done for previous records. For example, on Fair Warning, the band was still drawing on material like Mean Street/Voodoo Queen, which were from the demos you recorded before the first album came out. We were doing things like that even later.

Seventh Seal [from Balance] is a song that I wrote before Van Halen was even a band. Hang ’Em High [from Diver Down] was written long before we put it on an album. Same with House of Pain [from 1984], which was also on the demos we recorded in 1976 with Gene Simmons.

We approached this record no different than any other. The internet has changed everything. Now everyone knows where things came from. Before the internet nobody would have known that these were songs that we had already written but never released. When the album first came out, some people were saying that we purposely did old songs to get the public to relate to our old sound. But this record wasn’t planned that way. Whenever we make a record the first thing we do is go over what we already have in the bag that we can pick from, and then we focus on writing new material.

When we were digging around, I was amazed how fresh some of the songs sounded. I was going, “Did I really write that way back then?” The biggest trip is that I wrote some of those songs when I was still in high school and even junior high. A good idea is a good idea no matter when you do it.

You can order the issue at the Guitar World Online Store.

A video called '50 Rides On The Love Train,' which is 50 completely different versions of DLR singing 'Love Train' accompanied with video of him dancing at various places has been posted. In a David lee Roth scrapbook video, in the beginning it mentions that he warms up to 'Love Train' (originally by The O'Jays in 1972). Sometimes when he’s warming up they actually record him singing along with 'Love Train'. It is  entertaining but you may have to view it over time, since it is almost 2 1/2 hours long and you can only handle so much of the Love Train at any one time.

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Van Halen News: Ripping up California, brothers long wait to see VH is over

by on Jun.08, 2012, under INTERVIEWS, ROCK NEWS, ROCK TOUR DATES, VIDEO

Van Halen News: Ripping up California, brothers long wait to see VH is over

Van Halen have been ripping up California with show this past week in the San Francisco bay area (Oakland and San Jose) and in Los Angeles, as the band continues gelling in ways I never thought possible when they first announced their reunion tour. They have continously dropped in tracks that haven't been performed in many years and are giving concert goers and awesome experience. Despite the postponing concert dates after the June 26th show in New Orleans, and all the talk surrounding the canceled dates, the band will be touring again after taking a bit of a breather to recharge the batteries. Here's performance and interview footage of the guys and a video clip of two brothers who have waited 28 years to see Van Halen Wailing!

Here's a true story of two brothers (Elvis and The Goo) who have waited 28 long years to see Van Halen:

Here's the latest video with Eddie, Alex and Dave sitting on stools around the camera talking about the good old days, as DLR 'interviews' the guys. They talk early influences, first records they ever bought and how it got them playing music, how the Beatles 'Hard Day's Night' influenced them all and more:

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David Lee Roth in Oakland with a hell of a funny rap during 'Everybody Wants Some'

Van Halen played “Bottoms Up” Tuesday night (June 5) at the Oracle Arena in Oakland for the first time onstage since 1983! Check it out, along with an amazing 'Unchained' and a funny 'Pretty Woman.'



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Van Halen News: David Lee Roth shows Canada his ass tattoo and stops fight in Manchester

by on Mar.24, 2012, under FUNNIES, ROCK NEWS, VIDEO

Van Halen News: David Lee Roth shows Canada his ass tattoo and stops fight in Manchester

Van Halen's 2012 tour continues to get rave reviews at every stop, with Eddie, Alex and Wolfgang Van Halen rocking with an intensity and comfortibility that grows with each gig. Apparently Diamond Dave is getting the most comfortable. His voice seems to be getting stronger as the tour goes along, and that confidence level has grown to really expose itself, to the point of ass cheek exposure.

At the VH concert in Toronto on March 17, during the band's performance of 'Tattoo,' from their latest album, 'A Different Kind of Truth,' the 56 year old frontman pulled down his pants and showed off his gun. Not that gun, the tattoo of a gun on his ass. At least it wasn't a Tony Danza 'Keep on Truckin' tattoo.

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Roth has talked in the past of having a smaller tattoo of the King, Elvis Presley, on his lower leg. "I actually have a tattoo of Elvis," he told Van Halen News Desk. "It’s right where my foot connects to my leg, and when I move my my foot up and down it’s like Elvis goes 'thank you very much.' I’m very popular with kids at Thanksgiving." Check out his 56 year old ass right here:


Fast Tube

Last week in Manchester, NH, (Mar. 13) David Lee Roth noticed a fight breaking out in the audience soon after the band started playing 'Pretty Woman.' He stopped the show and verbally layed into the brawlers. The fight instantly stopped, the crowed cheered, and then Roth turns to the band with, "Shall we continue?," rocking back into the song.

Fast Tube

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