Friday, August 29, 2008

Here Today (God Only Knows)

Judge Says Arrest of Chinese Democracy Leaker Was “Dramatic”

In his hearing this week, a judge questioned the necessity of arresting Guns N’ Roses leaker Kevin Cogill, calling it “too dramatic.”

The man who posted nine songs from the previously unheard sessions for the forever-in-production Chinese Democracy was shown some leniency by the court as the presiding judge felt the proposed $50,000 bail was excessive and noted that a court summons would have been sufficient.

Instead, as Cogill’s girlfriend Shana told Rolling Stone, “They put him in handcuffs. They let me get him a shirt, and shoes without any laces before they took him away.” Cogill has a preliminary hearing scheduled for September 17, and if he’s found guilty of violating federal copyright law, he faces up to five years in prison.

I Still Think It's Royston Langdon

Duff McKagan of Velvet Revolver told This is Nottingham that "We have a singer we've been working with for a couple of months and he's actually a product of your fair country [UK] — but I won't say who. But we've also had a very interesting call from someone who's a big, big name, so it would be amazing if that worked out. Slash and I have been fighting adversity our whole careers, so the scenario of upheaval is nothing new."


Thursday, August 28, 2008

Who's in the Band? When's the Album Coming Out?

Following the arrest of Blogger Kevin "Skwerl" Cogill, Guns N' Roses new spokesperson, Larry Solters updated their website with the following (as usual) vague missive.
"Guns N' Roses representatives have been made aware of the arrests and are leaving the matter to the authorities."

Awesome Update on the Website You Assholes.

I've got just two questions for you.

1. Who's in the band?

2. When's the album coming out?

Maybe you can have the FBI look into it.


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Kevin Skwerl Arrested!

Blogger, Kevin Skwerl of ANTIQUIET.COM was arrested at his home in Culver City earlier today on suspicion of violating federal copyright laws.

He is accused of posting 9 previously unreleased Guns N' Roses songs on his website.

He is expected to appear in US District Court in Los Angeles later today.

I sure hope that Kevin's got some lawyers contacting him - as it sounds like he'll be needing them.

LA Times: Blogger arrested, accused of posting 9 unreleased Guns N' Roses songs

Antiquiet: Any Lawyers Out There?

Video for Izzy Stradlin's "Concrete" Available

Concrete (04:57)

Well he, ended up here
Came from, way out past there
And he, tried to make it something
And he, knew he had the way

But that six string was a ticket
Out of town and for a ride

To those, high rise and all those dreams
Concrete and palm trees, is all he'd seen
To those, high rise and all those dreams
Concrete and palm trees, is all he'd seen

Well he, met all bad kids
And he, fell in just fine
And all, match the road to him
He was, right there on time

But he tasted and he smoked it
Didn't know what it was for sure

To those, high rise and all those dreams
Concrete and palm trees, is all he'd seen
To those, high rise and all those dreams
Concrete and palm trees, all he'd seen

Well he, end up in jail
In a, 10 by 10 cell
Feeling, full jones withdrawl
Feeling, a lot like hell

But that six string was a ticket
Out of this mess, and our life

Well he, finally made and wound up clean
Concrete and palm trees, were pretty sweet
Well he, finally made and wound up clean
Concrete and palm trees, were pretty sweet

Pretty sweet
Ah ha ha


Related News: Izzy Stradlin - Concrete

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Excerpt: Stephen Davis’ Watch You Bleed: The Saga of Guns N’ Roses

Some think the legend of Guns N' Roses began in the nighttime Los Angeles of 1985, a distant echo of West Hollywood's neon-lit Sunset Strip. Others think it should begin ten years earlier, at the confluence of two Indiana rivers, the Wabash and the Tippecanoe, in the 1970s. But in this telling, the GN'R saga begins in gritty New York, in upper Manhattan, on a sweltering, run-down street in the late afternoon of a summer day in 1980.

Actually it could begin way below the actual city street, in the deeply recessed concrete canyon of the Cross Bronx Expressway, which is where the two young hitchhikers from Indiana decided to get out of the car. It had been a good ride until then, a straight shot from the Ohio line across I-80, Pennsylvania, New Jersey. Bill Bailey and his friend Paul, both eighteen, had left central Indiana via I-65 thirty hours earlier and were making good hitching time toward their first visit to New York City.

The Ford Econoline van that had packed them up crossed the Hudson over the majestic George Washington Bridge. They were on I-95 now. Crossing on the upper deck, looking south, they could see the Empire State Building and the twin towers of the World Trade Center shimmering in the summer haze. Bill Bailey looked up and saw they were passing a sign that said LAST EXIT IN MANHATTAN. He said, "Hey, man. Let us off, OK?"

"I can't pull over," the driver said. He was an electronics salesman on his way to Providence. They were now headed east in the deep-walled pit of the Cross Bronx Expressway.

Bill asked, "Where's the next exit?"

"Way the hell up in the East Bronx."

The hitchers looked at each other. All they had were their backpacks and maybe thirty bucks between them. "Let us off here," Bill said.

"Man, are you sure? It'll be hard to get out of here."

"Yeah, let us out." Just then, traffic slowed into the constipation typical of I-95 as it crosses New York City. The boys jumped out. Cars honked at them as they inched along the sheer walls, looking for a way out. Drivers laughed at them, told them they were fucking insane. A trucker blasted his air horn and they jumped at the sound. The walls of the roadway were at least a hundred feet high, and all they could see were the tops of the buildings up at street level.

After a while they found the service ladder and scaled the wall, a thousand horns blaring far below, emerging into immigrant New York City, circa 1980: Calcutta on the Hudson.

To Bill and his friend, it was bedlam, a Caribbean neighborhood in Washington Heights with a funky street scene of bodegas and shouting kids playing under open hydrants, crones yelling out of windows in Spanish, idlers under shop awnings, hustlers working the corners of 177th and Broadway. Bill and Paul, from Tippecanoe County in Indiana, were the only white faces in a sea of black people, Puerto Ricans, Jamaicans, Dominicans, Muslim women in veils, Haitians, Hindus, Chinese shopkeepers, and lots of kids immediately picking up on two white boys who'd just climbed out of the hellish Cross Bronx like hayseed mountaineers in cowboy boots, blue jeans, and very long straight hair. The boys just stood and gaped, checking out this scene. "Rapper's Delight," bass-heavy hip-hop, blasted out of a bodega speaker. Lurid graffiti covered every flat surface. Kids were busting moves — break dancing — on the sidewalk. Bill Bailey had never seen this before. Basically, there weren't any black people in his part of Indiana, so they might as well have been in Senegal.

Now an old man limped over to them. He gave them the once-over, seeming to linger over Bill's cowboy boots. Bill was becoming uneasy now, his friend noticed, which was never a good thing, because, when agitated or upset, Bill's behavior could get a little out there. Finally, the old man spoke, or rather squawked, in a high-pitched shriek.


The boys, taken aback, just looked at him.


Bill Bailey said, "Uh, we're just trying to get to…"


Bill Bailey — the future W. Axl Rose — just stared at him in wonderment. And then the little old man wound himself up to his full fury and told these white boys what they could expect from New York City at the tail end of the seventies: years of bankruptcy, endemic crime, corruption, decadence — the gateway to the eighties and the scourge of AIDS. He told it to them straight from the gut:


Sometimes, legends come from true stories, and this is one of them.

Welcome to the jungle.

From WATCH YOU BLEED by Stephen Davis. Published by arrangement with Gotham Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA), Inc. Copyright (c) 2008 by Stephen Davis.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Top Hard Rock Albums

for Week Ending 8/23:

Kid Rock ‘Rock N Roll Jesus’ - 101,426 units sold
Disturbed ‘Indestructible’ - 19,807
Trapt ‘Only Through The Pain’ - 11,291
Saving Abel ‘ Self Titled’ - 8,705
Linkin Park ‘Minutes To Midnight’ - 8,650
Shinedown ‘The Sound Of Madness’ - 8,078
Guns N’ Roses ‘Greatest Hits’ - 7,464
Motley Crue ‘Saints of Los Angeles’ - 7,314
Daughtry ‘Self Titled’ - 6,988
Seether ‘Finding Beauty’ - 6,445
Norma Jean ‘AntiMother’ - 5,720
Flyleaf ‘Self Titled’ - 5,323
Avenged Sevenfold ‘Self Titled’ - 4,078
Poison ‘Best of Poison’ - 3,541

Kings of A&R

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Chuck Klosterman - Downtown Owl

Pop culture icon, Chuck Klosterman has just completed his first ever fully fictional novel, Downtown Owl.

If you haven't read any of his previous work, I suggest that you begin at the beginning with Fargo Rock City.

Chuck is often spot-on, and always funny, with his dissection of popular culture and especially music.

A short excerpt from his new work follows.

Downtown Owl is due in stores in September.
September 26,1983 (Julia)

"You're probably one of those Led Zeppelin people. Guys like Zeppelin."
"No, they were gay."
"What?" said Julia. "You thought Led Zeppelin was gay? Weren't they, like, sex fiends?"
"Their singer always seemed gay to me," said Vance. "I haven't listened to that shit since ninth grade."
"How about Fleetwood Mac?" she asked.
"I don't like female singers."
"The Eagles?"
"Nobody listens to the Eagles."
"Quiet Riot?"
"That trash is for dope addicts and twelve-year-olds."
"Van Halen?"
"Mother of God," said Vance. "That clown is even gayer than the queer from Zeppelin. Plus, their guitar player is boring. Why would I want to listen to a guitar that sounds like a police siren?"
"I'm running out of possibilities," she said. "How about... oh! I know: ELO? I love ELO. You better not say anything bad about ELO!"
"They're like a combination of the dullest parts of the Beatles with the gayest parts of Led Zeppelin."
"This is crazy," Julia said. "I don't think I believe what you are saying. I don't think any person could hold such opinions. Do you at least appreciate music that's made by people who aren't in the Rolling Stones? Do you appreciate Bruce Springsteen?"
"He seems like an asshole."
"Oh, he does not."
"He tries too hard," said Vance. "He's needy. He needs people to like him. It's undignified."

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Breaking News! Hetfield's a Douche

Metallica frontman James Hetfield has irked nature lovers by building a 300-foot-long fence on his sprawling San Rafael property that blocks access to a popular trail.

Outraged outdoors enthusiasts say Hetfield erected the metal fence within the past several weeks, closing off a path long left open to hikers, bikers and horseback riders despite being on private property. They're also still mad he, like, totally cut his hair back in the '90s.

The heavy metal icon bought the 500-acre Marin County property in 1999 but has yet to build a 14,000-square-foot house, pool and music studio planned for the site, according to the county.

A contractor for Hetfield said vandalism of a smaller gate and other property along the trail prompted the musician to put up the large fence. To, you know, protect the house that isn't there.

Inside Bay Area

Friday, August 22, 2008

Rock Legends Plot Fall Comeback

By Michael Christopher.

This fall, three rock and roll bands will attempt to work their way back to the charts and regain the revere of music fans around the world. And while across the board success is not likely by any means, it's going to make for one of the most compelling times in music history.

The line-up is impressive no matter how you cut it; AC/DC, Guns N' Roses and Metallica. It's a triple crown of legends. Spanning three generations, there isn't a more appropriate barometer to measure what rock and roll is all about, with the respective catalogs full of instantly recognizable classics.

Back in Black, Appetite for Destruction and The Black Album have sold nearly 100 million records combined, each a flawless masterwork in its own right.
But no band is impervious to the ravages of time and the discontent or flat out tragedies that come with the trappings of fame and hopes for longevity.

AC/DC was able to rebound from the 1980 death of lead vocalist Bon Scott with Back in Black, featuring new singer Brian Johnson. The record is full of both anthemic fist pumpers and catchy singles. "You Shook Me All Night Long" is still one of the most played songs on jukeboxes coast to coast, while the opening notes of the title track never fail to induce chills, or head bob of recognition at the very least.

No one could expect the group to replicate Back in Black's success each time out, but in the seven albums since, AC/DC has gone steadily downhill in terms of the quality of its recording output.

There have been some quality singles, like "Thunderstruck" from The Razor's Edge and the title track to Who Made Who - even though they share a similar guitar line.

Hidden gems exist too. "Big Gun" off the Last Action Hero soundtrack is classic AC/DC bravado, while the pounding "Rising Power" from Flick of the Switch is an unheralded jewel.

Overall though, the band hasn't released a solid record in 28 years. Part of the problem lies within the songs treading too fine a line between tongue in cheek, innuendo heavy metaphors and cheap schoolboy humor. Songs like "Caught with Your Pants Down" and "Kissin' Dynamite" don't leave much to the imagination, not only lyrically, but musically as well.

Stiff Upper Lip, released in 2000, was the last work put out by the group, and it severely lacked in memorable hooks by guitarist Angus Young, taking a much softer approach for AC/DC in general. Johnsons' trademarked cigarette and scotch soaked voice hasn't been the best in recent years either, becoming almost a poor caricature of its former bellow.

The record hit platinum status, but was poorly received by critics and fans alike, though the latter are a loyal bunch, and filled arenas around the world for the supporting tour.

This October, AC/DC will unleash Black Ice, and it's already been promised to be full of signature guitar licks and a rougher, tougher edge. And with a title that references the band's biggest record, it has a lot to live up to.

It's hard to believe that just 15 years ago, Guns N' Roses was the biggest rock group in the land, selling out stadiums, causing chaos, and having an appeal to everyone from metal fans to suburban housewives who loved "that "November Rain" song."

The band's 1987 debut, Appetite for Destruction, was a blistering, near punk rock response to the glam metal ruling the airwaves. It took nearly a year to catch on, but, buoyed by the single "Sweet Child O' Mine," eventually reached the top of the charts.

Getting as much, if not more, coverage was the rock and roll lifestyle led by Guns. Upstaging the acts they were supporting on tour, showing up wasted for award shows and getting into feuds with other bands kept them in the news on an almost daily basis, and none more so than the lightning rod that is Axl Rose. The singer has been blamed for inciting numerous riots, was labeled a homophobic and racist, and is blamed for the demise of the original group.

The fallout began in 1993 when sessions for the new record, Chinese Democracy, began. One by one, Slash, Duff McKagan and Matt Sorum joined guitarist Izzy Stradlin in exiting the group. Nearly two dozen musicians have come and gone from Rose's band as he toiled away on what has become both the most costly and eagerly anticipated release in music.

A notorious perfectionist, Rose has tested the patience of producers, musicians and label executives who are desperate for the album to see the light of day. Soft drink makers Dr. Pepper even got involved, offering everyone in America, save for guitarists Slash and Buckethead, a free soda if Chinese Democracy is released this year.

Sporadic leaks of demo quality versions of a few of the songs from the record have been passed around the Internet for years, but this June saw nine tracks purported to be finished versions hit the web.

None of the songs have the frenetic energy of "Welcome to the Jungle" or will replace "Paradise City" on rock radio, but some, like "Better" and "There Was a Time," have hit written all over them.

Industry insiders claim the album has been delivered to the label, which is trying to figure out how to market something that is destined to remain in the red no matter what sales techniques are devised.

Next month, the first official track from the recording will be released as part of the video game Rock Band 2. "Shackler's Revenge" has industrial overtones, but showcases some stellar guitar work, likely by Buckethead. The patented Rose scream is in full effect throughout the song as well.

Chinese Democracy will never live up to the hype, but whether it's due to curiosity or masochistic tendencies, fans have stuck with Rose through the years of silence and false starts. Periodic touring by the new lineup has been met with more interest than would be expected, but everyone still wants to see the original back together. Only then could Guns N' Roses successfully complete a comeback.
Metallica ultimately has the biggest chance of becoming relevant again.

The band was underground metal for years, garnering a rabid fanbase throughout the 80s while radio and MTV turned a blind eye. After losing bassist Cliff Burton in a bus accident in Europe, the poorly produced but dark and progressive ...And Justice For All was released and forced the media to take notice.

Bob Rock took over as producer, and guided the band to the tight and solid self-titled 1991 release that became known as The Black Album. Radio and MTV played cuts like "Enter Sandman," "Wherever I May Roam" and "Nothing Else Matters" continuously, and Metallica officially entered the mainstream.

Its hardcore fans patiently dealt with the experimental Load and ReLoad releases of the 90s, but balked in 2003 at the supposed return to thrash mish-mash that was St. Anger. The record was so cut and pasted using a music-editing program that the guys had to learn the songs before playing them on the road.

Criticisms ranged from singer James Hetfield's cracking voice on some tracks to the absence of guitar solos and the tinny, steel ping sound of Lars Ulrich's snare drum.
Metallica realized it made a misstep the moment St. Anger dropped, as they rarely played more than one track a night on the tour to support it, which is virtually unheard of in music. The band knows what it has to do, and early indications are that next month's new record, Death Magnetic, will be a back to form magnum opus complete with epic riff heavy compositions ripe for headbanging.

Launching its Mission Metallica site earlier this year has done two things for the group. First, with "fly on the wall" footage from the studio released daily, it gave fans a chance to experience the record, or at least snippets of it, months before it hit stores.

More importantly, it successfully shook the charge that Metallica was an out of touch act, especially technology wise, ever since it went after the filesharing service Napster in a litigious, public and unpopular way a few years back.
Amends have been made, now all that's left is the music to represent the final step in the band's revival.

The Delco Times

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Sit Tight

GN’R and all parties involved in the release of Chinese Democracy are silent because Harmonix have exclusivity deals relating to "Shackler’s Revenge." Any comment/confirmation of the supposed leaking of this song would in no way benefit any of the parties involved. Period.

Harmonix have a lot riding on Rock Band 2 and having the first official release of GN’R since November of 1999 is a big selling point. If GN’R confirms or denies the leak they will directly and negatively impact profitability of Rock Band 2 and the integrity of the contract they’ve signed with Harmonix. Having already partially profited from the deal with Harmonix, it would be inappropriate to potentially harm sales of the game by confirming that a free leaked version could be obtained from the internet. Keep in mind, Harmonix have worked very hard to keep up their end of the deal.

So whether to address the recent leak, and identify if it is or isn’t "Shackler’s Revenge" ... simple solution: pre-order Rock Band 2, and you’ll be the first person guaranteed to have a finished, polished version of the song Axl intended for you to hear as an introduction to the imminent release of Chinese Democracy.

Sit tight, I think you will all be pleasantly surprised in the coming months.


Loaded Signs Deal With Century Media

Duff McKagan’s Loaded has returned after a lengthy hiatus with their much anticipated, new full-length release.

The quartet has signed a worldwide deal with Century Media Records and a five song EP, Wasted Heart, will be issued in September in conjunction with their upcoming European headlining tour.

This run also marks the band’s first trip to the UK. The new offering was recorded by Martin Feveyear (Presidents of the USA, Kings of Leon) and the full-length album is set for an early 2009 release.

Be sure to visit Loaded's MySpace to check out the new track, “No More,” (from the Wasted Heart EP) and to view new webisodes (shot by King of Hearts Promotions) featuring exclusive footage from the studio, along with interview segments.

Century Media

Monday, August 18, 2008

Radiohead Deny 'Choke' Soundtrack Report

Radiohead have denied that they have written the score for the big screen adaptation of Chuck Palahniuk's Choke.

Palahniuk claimed yesterday that the group has produced original material for the film.

However, a spokesperson for the band insisted that their only contribution to the soundtrack will be "The Reckoner", which is on their recent In Rainbows album.

"No-one in the Radiohead organisation is aware of the band composing any original, incidental or ambient music for Choke," commented the representative.

Digital Spy

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Chinese Democracy to be Retail Exclusive?

The June leak of nine allegedly "mastered, finished" tracks from Guns N' Roses' long-delayed Chinese Democracy spurred a renewed round of chatter about whether the Axl Rose-led band will finally release the 14-years-in-the-making album.

But some concrete signs are finally emerging that the album's release could be imminent. That's because, according to sources, negotiations are underway for Chinese Democracy to come out as an exclusive at one of the big boxes -- either Wal-Mart or Best Buy.

Negotiations are also ongoing to have conventional record company distribution, another source says.

Guns N' Roses is now managed by Irving Azoff's Front Line Management, and Azoff is a well-known proponent of issuing albums exclusively through retailers. He released the Eagles' Long Road Out of Eden through Wal-Mart, much to the chagrin of other merchants.

Most recently, it became known that AC/DC's next album will come out exclusively through Wal-Mart. Merchants were particularly incensed that the deal was apparently struck with the blessing of Columbia.

It's unclear who initiated the Guns N' Roses exclusive negotiations -- Front Line or Interscope, the band's label.

Representatives at Front Line and Interscope with knowledge of the situation couldn't be reached for comment by deadline. A Wal-Mart representative says the chain couldn't confirm this fall's exclusives. Best Buy representatives couldn't be reached for comment by deadline.


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Lenny Kravitz: "I Am Not Joining Velvet Revolver"

Lenny Kravitz has shot down as false Internet reports that he is set to become the new singer of Velvet Revolver.

The singer told, "I know and love the Velvet Revolver guys but there is no truth to the story about me joining their band."

Itz Lenny for Revolver

LENNY KRAVITZ has got himself a new job – as frontman of hard rock supergroup VELVET REVOLVER.
The rocker, who is playing at the V Festival in Staffordshire and Chelmsford this weekend, has been spotted in the studio with the band. The group, originally made up of former GUNS N’ ROSES and WASTED YOUTH members, including guitar legend SLASH, have been looking for a new frontman since their split from SCOTT WEILAND.

Other names that had been linked to the job include ex- VAN HALEN singer SAMMY HAGAR and SPACEHOG’s ROYSTON LANGDON. A new album is expected early next year.

A source said: “Velvet Revolver’s new album will draw heavily on their messy split with Scott. “The band wanted a big name who could easily hold his own and reckon Lenny is just the man for the job.”

Former wildman Lenny should be able to hold his own all right – he vowed earlier this year to stay celibate until he marries again.

The Sun

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Lenny Kravitz to Front Velvet Revolver

You heard it here first.

Lenny Kravitz is joining Velvet Revolver.

It's not a "done deal," but it looks like Lenny will front VR for their 3rd (and possibly final) album.

Yesterday Duff McKagan told Billboard "that although Velvet Revolver did play with [Royston] Langdon" and that "he's fucking awesome, at this point I'd have to say no" on him becoming the new singer.

"We just have to make sure it's the right guy," he says, adding that Weiland's angry departure from the band this spring has brought him closer to group members Slash, Matt Sorum and Dave Kushner. "Karmically, we deserve the right guy. It's a tough thing, man. We make a pretty big noise."

Velvet Revolver isn't so much auditioning vocalists as "just seeing how it feels," McKagan says, adding with a laugh, "We wouldn't know how to do an audition. We wouldn't have somebody come in and go, 'Okay, play 'Slither!' Play 'Fall To Pieces!'"

For now, the band is taking inspiration from its recent personnel drama and channeling it into new material. "We have a bunch of stuff finished. It's great. It's killer," McKagan says. "We started getting really productive when a ton of drama started happening on the road. It was like our safe place to go to. Sometimes that's how you get some feelings out."

One thing McKagan hasn't done is listen to any of the online leaks from his former band Guns N' Roses' long-awaited Chinese Democracy. "I wouldn't even know where to look," he says, chuckling. "Slash said he heard a couple of tunes. I wish [Axl Rose] all the best."


Thursday, August 7, 2008

Anything Goes - Hollywood Rose

This video surfaced on YouTube recently - I believe it is the oldest video of Axl and Izzy in circulation.

It is an incredibly amateurish home video of Hollywood Rose performing "My Way Your Way" aka "Anything Goes" in what appears to be a subway station.

There is a curious bit at the end where Axl disappears for a few moments and then returns.

Riding a rail perhaps?

-Mack Arillo

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Slash and Duff Talk Sobriety

In this video, Producer Don Was interviews Slash and Duff about rocking out sober vs. playing F'ed up.


Monday, August 4, 2008

Steven Adler's Court Date Moved to Aug 20

Former Guns N' Roses drummer (and Celebrity Rehab "star") Steven Adler and his lawyer Barry Sands were at a hearing in Los Angeles on July 28th, regarding Steven's recent drug related arrest.

Prior to the hearing, Steven told X17 cameras he was nervous, but looking to move on and sober up. He added that he had relapsed after 37 days, but that he's been sober for 7 days now.

Baby steps, right? After the hearing was over, the aging rocker's attorney said that the court date was moved to August 20, and his client hasn't been charged with a crime.

Let's hope he stays clean - GN'R reunion here we come!

You can watch Ol' Popcorn himself give an entertaining tour of his tattoos below.

Sleaze Roxx

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Cheech and Chong Reunion!

Cheech and Chong will reunite for their first tour in more than 25 years, beginning September 12 at the Tower Theatre in Philadelphia.

More than 20 dates have been confirmed for the Live Nation-produced US trek, with more to be announced in the coming weeks.

Chong's wife and comedy partner, Shelby Chong, has been tapped to open all dates.

Here are Cheech & Chong's US tour dates:

Sept. 12: Philadelphia (Tower Theatre)
Sept. 13: Washington, D.C. (Warner Theatre)
Sept. 19: Indianapolis (Murat Center)
Sept. 20: Detroit (Fillmore State)
Sept. 26: Atlanta (Tabernacle)
Sept. 27: Miami (Fillmore Jackie Gleason)
Oct. 24: Westbury, N.Y. (Westbury Theatre)
Oct. 25: Minneapolis (Orpheum Theatre)
Oct. 31: Houston (Verizon Wireless)
Nov. 1: Dallas (Majestic Theatre)
Nov. 7: Wallingford, Conn. (Chevrolet Theatre)
Nov. 8: Rosemont, Ill. (Rosemont Theatre)
Nov. 14: Phoenix (Dodge Theatre)
Nov. 15: Austin, Texas (Austin Music Hall)
Nov. 21: Sacramento, Calif. (Memorial Auditorium)
Nov. 22: Berkley, Calif. (Berkeley Community Theatre)
Nov. 28: San Diego (Copley Symphony Hall)
Nov. 29: Seattle (Paramount Theatre)
Nov. 30: San Jose, Calif. (San Jose PAC)
Dec. 6: Los Angeles (Gibson Amphitheater)
Dec. 12: Boston (Orpheum Theatre)
Dec. 13: Atlantic City, N.J. (Borgata Music Box)
Dec. 19: Reno, Nev. (Silver Legacy Casino)
Dec. 20: Denver (Paramount Theatre)

You can watch the classic Cheech and Chong skit "Let's Make a Dope Deal" below.


VR in Negotiations with Royston Langdon

Royston Langdon with wife Liv Tyler and son Milo last Halloween in NYC.

Velvet Revolver has been looking for a new frontman since dismissing Scott Weiland back in April.

Rumored candidates have included ex-Skid Row singer Sebastian Bach, former MTV VJ Steve Isaacs and ex-Spacehog vocalist Royston Langdon, who has apparently had several successful rehearsal sessions with the band.

Speaking to the Artisan News Service on July 23, 2008 at a fashion event in Los Angeles, drummer Matt Sorum stated about the group's lead singer search, "We got a call from a pretty big guy who wants to be our singer. I can't say who that is yet but talks are happening about it and hopefully we'll see what happens in the next couple of months."

Asked about the possibility of Sebastian Bach joining VR, Sorum said, "No. No, it's a lot cooler than that but I don't know if it's going to happen so I can't say. It's cool that people are calling us and wanting to get in the band, so that's exciting."

Langdon performed last month with Slash's Blues Ball at a charity event in Las Vegas.

You can watch the video below.


Friday, August 1, 2008

The Dead Will Rock for Obama

Three of the Grateful Dead's surviving members - Bob Weir, Phil Lesh and Mickey Hart - reunited for a February fundraiser for Barack Obama in San Francisco, and Hart tells it could happen again.

"We're not making plans, but I think we stand at the ready to be of service," Hart says. "We're all deeply into this, into Barack Obama and the thought of taking this country back in some shape or form, what's left of it - it's probably one thing we can all agree on! So, you bet, I would spend a night with my brothers for that any time, any place."

Hart says that he and the other Dead alumni have exchanged "a few friendly emails" about doing something more for the campaign, but no firm details have been set. "That's all there really needs to be until the moment really comes," he notes.

Hart, meanwhile, is in the midst of a busy summer debuting his new Mickey Hart Band, which includes longtime associate Steve Kimock on guitar, former Meters bassist George Porter, Jr., drummer Walfredo Reyes, Jr., talking drum virtuoso Sikiru, singer Jen Durkin and String Cheese Incident keyboardist Kyle Hollingsworth.

"It's a sizzling band," Hart gushes, "very powerful. It's not like a regular rock'n'roll band; it does rock, but it's very fierce in its rhythmic dexterity."

The group has been on the road since early June and plays the inaugural Rothbury Festival on Thursday, as well as the Milwaukee Summerfest on Sunday. Its repertoire includes several new songs written by Hart and Kimock with lyricist Robert Hunter, which Hart says he's been accumulating in recent years.

"I would say there's about 16 of them," he says. "I've been saving them up over the years. We've been writing -- I just didn't have the band to play 'em. This band was actually constructed specifically to play these songs."

Hart hopes to get his new band in the studio some time this year to record the new material.