Monday, May 30, 2011

Slash Schedules Next Album for Spring 2012

via Blabbermouth
In a recent interview with Planet Rock, legendary guitarist Slash revealed that his new solo album will be released next spring.

Another record has been talked about for some time but this is the first time that Slash has talked about the schedule for its release.

Although Alter Bridge vocalist Myles Kennedy sang just two tracks on Slash's self-titled solo debut, Slash recently confirmed that Myles will sing everything on the guitarist's next solo effort.

Speaking to Nicky Horne, he revealed, "Myles and I have been writing all throughout the tour so we've got a lot of material, and at this point we're probably gonna start a little bit of pre-production in June and then do the tour in July. In September we're going to [do more] pre-production and the album is slated to come out in March or April."

This past December, Slash was interviewed backstage at Melbourne's Soundwave Festival. He said the album with Myles will be recorded using the current touring band.

Happy Birthday GunsNFNRoses Forum

Birthday wishes and Thank-You here.

Friday, May 27, 2011

"Slash isn’t a person. He’s more like a feeling in your heart."

AV Club
One of South Park’s strengths is that no matter how close to downright preachy its satire can sometimes be, it can always make up for any hint of self-seriousness with something completely, cartoonishly ludicrous. For example, the proposition that well-known rock guitarist Slash is actually a mythical character based on the ancient Dutch legend of "Vunder Slash," and whose participation in everything from Cartman’s birthday party to his entire tenure in Guns N' Roses can be explained away as somebody’s parent donning a hat and wig just to bring a little love into the world. To name another example, a hot tub filled with KFC gravy. It’s often these little things that keep South Park’s satire from turning into full-bore sermonizing, and thankfully tonight had a lot of them.

You wouldn’t think that an episode based on the premise of Cartman luring Kyle into the seedy underground world of crack baby basketball — a sport that, as its name suggests, consists entirely of malnourished crack babies tussling over a little ball filled with cocaine — would need any further leavening, but let’s get our one minor criticism out of the way first. “Crack Baby Athletic Association” was such a direct commentary on the NCAA and its treatment of college athletes that the episode couldn’t help but get on its soapbox a little. And that moment came approximately halfway through, when Cartman adopted his Southern alter ego “Eric P. Cartman” (as the Dukes Of Hazzard taught us, all it takes is adding the middle initial “P.” to make you sound like a pompous hick) and stormed the dean’s office at the University of Colorado Boulder to inquire pointedly about the “slaves” on its basketball team.

Now, saying that this scene bordered on preachy isn’t a knock on its message: Many have argued that college athletes do tend to get royally screwed by their institutions — all of which make a huge profit off of everything from ticket sales to licensing deals while the people actually doing the work are expressly forbidden from making a dime — and there’s every reason to stick it to the NCAA in this regard. And it’s not even a knock on how overall funny the scene was, as Cartman certainly made for a fine plantation owner (“Screw you, sirruh, I’m a-goin’ home”), and his switch to a conspiratorial whisper as he asked the dean flat out how he got away with it had its own mischievous, Bugs Bunny-esque charm. But this scene, combined with Kyle’s repeated, one-sided attempts at justifying the league for all the attention it brought to otherwise-ignored crack babies (the scholarships and potential NBA pathways provided to college athletes, in other words), made “Crack Baby Athletic Association” a particularly talky episode, one that seemed unwilling to leave anything to subtlety, lest anyone miss the fact that, yes, it was definitely about the NCAA.

Luckily it didn’t apply that blunt pressure everywhere: “CBAA” was far slyer in the scene where Kyle proposes building an orphanage for their exploited crack babies, and Cartman rejoices because it will look like they’re also giving their athletes “a place to live and grow for a few years” as a trade-off. And Cartman’s visit to an expectant crack mother as he lays out his hoop dreams for her unborn child got right to the heart of the bureaucratic nonsense of the matter, with Cartman explaining he couldn’t very well change the rules of the “historic franchise” of crack baby basketball, founded 12 long days ago, because he didn’t make the rules — he just thought them up and wrote them down. (Less poignant but much funnier was Cartman’s incredulous response to amending them on his office whiteboard: “What do you want me to do—find a stepladder of some kind and risk my safety to get up there and change the rules?”) These went a long way toward keeping the episode from being completely heavy-handed.

And again, while the episode tended to grind on its message, it was abated by some especially top-notch ridiculousness — particularly the subplot about Clyde and Craig discovering the truth about Slash, which I’m guessing will end up outshining even the crack babies and the digs at the NCAA to be this episode’s most lasting legacy. For good reason, too: Casting Slash as a benevolent, omnipresent, Santa-like figure is one of the show’s greatest celebrity alternate realities since it brought in Mel Gibson as a poop-smearing masochist, or revealed that Robert Smith is capable of transforming into a giant moth. (Hopefully it will think to bring Slash back for a proper Christmas episode). Plus, it explains so much about why Slash ever agreed to play with the Black Eyed Peas at the Super Bowl; knowing that it was probably just my dad in a top hat will make me sleep a little sounder tonight.

I also enjoyed Cartman’s surprisingly easy beguiling of Kyle, who’s seduced by a whirlwind of flashy karaoke club sequences, some smooth “the world is ours for the taking” talk straight out of Wall Street or Boiler Room (or The Social Network, for you young’uns), and the irresistible lure of bacon pancakes. Like the crumbling of his kosherness in the face of so much delicious bacon, Kyle’s rare step away from his usual moral standards, though it initially seemed out of character, was one of the more nuanced aspects of the episode, proving that the argument really isn’t so cut and dry as “college athletes are slaves,” and allowing that there are at least a few more angles to it than that, including the obvious (and defensible) belief of recruiters that they're actually doing some good. Again, I didn’t love that Kyle simply talked through these ideas in long, circuitous monologues, but I did like Stan’s pointed non-reaction to them—or better yet, his trenchant remark that Kyle was saying exactly what Cartman would say, spurring Kyle’s terrible self-realization that indeed he, too, could be corruptible. In the world of South Park, tiny moments like these actually count as big leaps forward in characterization.

Finally, you have to admire the way things wrapped up both appropriately thematic and totally absurd, beginning with the tables being turned and the boys falling prey to the even more underhanded contract dealings of EA Sports and its own ruthless slaveowner-like manager.

Screwed out of so much as a free copy of the videogame they’d helped to create according to the company’s equally irrational rules, Cartman and the other managers of the Crack Baby Athletic Association are left with nothing but the cold comfort that they briefly “got to play with the big boys,” and maybe the knowledge that they learned a lesson or two of their own about trusting corporations and always reading your contracts carefully.

But rather than dwell on this with an “I learned something today” speech — a conceit South Park seems to have totally dropped this season — things came to a close with a last-minute intervention from Slash, who was revealed to have created the crack baby orphanage anyway, out of the love and caring that he stands for (or did he?).

And thus, “CBAA” ended things by having it both ways, hitting its message hard one last time, then veering wildly away to a magical place where Slash watches over us from the stars. If not quite the gleefully escalating lunacy of last week, it was another solid balance of satire, character, and hilariously stupid shit.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Duff McKagan Says Guns N' Roses Split was Caused by Lawyers
Duff McKagan says he has never had any personal problems with Axl Rose and the cracks which formed, and eventually tore Guns N' Roses apart, were deliberately created by lawyers looking to make a quick buck.

The bassist quit GN'R in 1997, following in the footsteps of Slash and Izzy Stradlin, leaving Axl as the only classic line-up member remaining.

But he reveals the whole situation was created by outside influences and not by any disagreement or personal issue between the band and Axl. He told AV Club:

"I never had a personal beef with Axl, truth be told. Lawyers and stuff in that instance, it was kind of treacherous. They make money and try to create enemies between clients.

I wish they'd teach that course. If there was a rock 'n' roll textbook, I could add some shit to it, real valuable shit. We were torn apart by people who weren't in the band, and that's really what always happens.

Same thing, in a way, that happened with Velvet Revolver. When you gotta have managers and agents, you can’t protect everyone from addiction. And it's addiction, you know? It’s a modern world we live in, with everything at our fingertips, and if it’s not at our fingertips, you can dot-com anything."

On the subject of Velvet Revolver's split with singer Scott Weiland, McKagan insists that can simply be put down to addiction. He continued:

"Scott's thing was substance-related, and I’m not throwing him under the bus. It's pretty well-documented.

It wasn't like, 'You’re a fucking dick.' Scott and I especially went through a lot of stuff in that band together. I went up to the mountains with him in Washington and we did martial arts and did some soul-searching together, just him and me. He didn't let me down. I'm fine, you know? I still care for him very much, and always will.

We're bros when it comes down to it, and that's it. We were having a hell of a hard time working together at the end. It wouldn’t come to blows, but it was just difficult when certain elements came back into the picture, but we’re all good."

My Entire Childhood Reduced Down into 2 Minutes

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Dizzy Reed: "A Lot of People are Waiting for My Record"

Dalton Daily Citizen
Dizzy Reed is coming to Georgia this Saturday. Best known for his tenure as the keyboardist for Guns N' Roses, with whom he has played, toured, and recorded since 1990, Dizzy will be at Wild Bill's in Atlanta playing all your favorite Guns N' Roses tunes, along with some new stuff from his upcoming CD, titled Rock N Roll Ain’t Easy.

Apart from Axl Rose, Dizzy is the longest standing member of GN'R. Because GN'R's Appetite for Destruction is my all-time-favorite-Get-Motivated-CD, I was beside myself when the opportunity to chat with Dizzy presented itself last week.

Here’s how that went:

"Why do they call you Dizzy?" I wanted to know.

"That’s my name," he answered. "My real name is Dizwald."

"Really?" I asked, hoping disappointment wasn't evident in my voice. I mean, come on, what kind of rock star name is Dizwald?

"No," he chuckled. "My parents weren't that cool. It’s a long sort-of thing I grew into. When I was with my former band, The Wild, I used to go by "DZ" and just to mess with me they used to call me Dizzy. I started answering to it just to keep them from messing with me. As it turns out, it's probably the most appropriate nickname for me."

His "real name" is Darren (Arthur) Reed.

It is well known that musicians, especially when on the road, get a kick out of playing practical jokes on each other. I asked Dizzy if he was prone to prank.

"I've always just, after the show, gone back to my hotel to read a book and go to sleep," he answered angelically. "It keeps me out of trouble."

"Really?" I asked.

"Of course not," he replied. "But I usually put my energy elsewhere. We play a lot of Poker and race Hot Wheels on the road."

"Did you say Hot Wheels," I asked. "As in, the little cars?"

Dizzy explained that Tommy Stinson, GN'R's bassist, brought Hot Wheels cars on the tour bus once. With the hours and hours the guys had to entertain themselves, they put the cars down at one end of the bus. When the driver shifted gears, or went around a curve, the cars would move a little. Victory went to the first car to reach the finish line.

"Sometimes the cars won't move for 30 minutes," he said. "It's like a horse race. You put a little money down ... the issue comes when some of the guys are in their bunks, trying to sleep, and you’re yelling for your car to win."

The key, Dizzy explained, is finding a good car. When he was on tour in Paris, France, he went to the Ferrari dealership and bought some official Ferrari Hot Wheels.

"Those things are bad ass," he relayed. "They weren’t cheap."

"Do you win a lot?" I quizzed.

"I never lose," he said.

"I heard you were in the recording studio yesterday," I told him. "What’s going on? Can we expect a follow-up to Chinese Democracy any time soon?"

"Most days off I’m in one studio or another," Dizzy shared. "But no, GN'R is taking some time off right now. Yesterday I was working on a concept album, still in its infantile stage, nothing worth talking about yet."

As far as a follow-up to Chinese Democracy, GN'R's last album, released in 2008, goes, Dizzy is hopeful.

"You knew Axl Rose and the original line-up of GN'R before they became huge," I said. "Did you, at that time, have any idea you’d someday join them?"

"The first time I saw them I said to myself, 'this band is going to be huge,'" Dizzy shared. "They had all the great elements on stage. They were doing something that seemed important. They had the right songs, a great frontman, and character. I wanted to be in that band."

In the 80s GN'R practiced in a warehouse next to where Dizzy's band, The Wild, practiced. That's how he first met the original Guns.

"Axl had a plan in place," Dizzy said. "He wanted to add a keyboard and when he met me he decided I would be that guy. People sit around, drinking beers, and everybody's got ideas and plans. Ninety-nine percent of those plans never happen. I was hoping Axl's would, but I wasn’t counting on it. They’d come back to town, I'd run into them, and they'd say 'We're going to need you soon.'"

Then one day they called.

"It didn't hit me until I read something in LA Weekly that said "Izzy, Dizzy, and Slash in the same band," Dizzy recalled. "Well, that didn't last long!"

Slash, GN'R's original lead guitarist, and Izzy Stradlin, GN'R's original rhythm guitarist, left GN'R after Dizzy joined the band.

"What has kept you with Guns this long?" I asked.

"I believe in what we’re doing," he answered. "At the end of the day my loyalty is with Axl and GN'R. When someone has left, we've brought in someone just as good or better. The lineup we have now is the best we've ever had. In the studio there's a lot of energy. There’s no reason to leave. Guns is still my number one priority."

Dizzy will be bringing his own band, DFR, with him to Atlanta on Saturday. In addition to GN'R hits, they will perform songs from Dizzy's forthcoming CD, Rock n' Roll Ain’t Easy.

"We’ve been playing these songs around the world," Dizzy said. "A lot of people are waiting for my record. These things take time, sometimes a couple of years, sometimes 16 years."

I laughed at Dizzy's good-natured reference to the 16-year time span between GN'R's "The Spaghetti Incident?" and the long-awaited release of Chinese Democracy.

Dizzy expects Rock n' Roll Ain’t Easy to come out this summer. On it he plays with a variety of musicians, including Richard Fortus and Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal (both of GN'R), Mike Duda and Mike Dupke (W.A.S.P), Frankie Banali (Quiet Riot), Ricky Warwick (Thin Lizzy), Todd Youth, and a host of others.

"All self-respecting rockers have tattoos," I declared. "What kind of ink do you have?"

"I've got a few different things," he said. "I have a lot of naked girls, beer bottles, the moon, stars, dragons, different animals ... I have a buffalo, in homage to my hometown of Bolder, Colorado. All of my stuff kind-of means something to me."

My 13 year-old son, Adam Scott, is in love with his electric guitar. I asked Dizzy what advice he could offer my own budding rock star.

"It’s practice, practice, practice, practice, and more practice," Dizzy said. "And school. When you're 13, you don't see how important school is, but you find out later. At the end of the day, Rock n' Roll is a dream but if you decide you want to do it, it's still a job. For anybody who has had success, they have worked really, really hard. It’s the people who work the hardest who go the furthest."

Finally, I asked Dizzy what the future holds for Dizzy Reed.

"Well, I bought a lottery ticket so I'm hoping ..." he laughed. "No, I've been very, very fortunate in my life to have been given a talent and to be able to use it. I'm just hoping to be doing this as long as I can and that people will still enjoy it and want to come out and be a part of it. I want to keep Rock n' Roll alive. If I can keep young bands alive, that's what it's all about."

You can keep up with Dizzy's comings and goings online at dizzyreedmusic on Facebook and at dizwaldmusic on MySpace.

On Saturday, Dizzy and DFR will headline for the up-and-coming band, Years of Sorrow, and Years of Sorrow's CD release party. Wild Bill's is located at 2075 Market Street, in Duluth. For more information, call (678) 473-1000. Tickets can be purchased online at

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

GN'R Makes List of Top 5 Disastrous Comebacks

Former All-Ireland winning captain Graham Geraghty is back in the Meath panel. He’s 38. He hasn’t played inter-county football in three years. This can only end badly – here are five other disastrous comebacks.

By Shane Breslin

1. Michael Barrymore

Once the darling of TV-land, who strode up and down those Strike It Lucky steps with grace and sent audiences into peals of laughter with a knowing raise of an eyebrow, Barrymore’s career has been stranded in purgatory for ten years.

Amazingly, he’s still only 58, but he’s been off the scene since 2001, when the whole house of cards having come tumbling down following the discovery of the dead body of Stuart Lubbock in his swimming pool.

Barrymore’s latest attempt at a career revival in a stand-up show at London’s Comedy Story earlier this year ended in embarrassment, with one comedy fan telling the Daily Mirror: “It was tragic. He was a complete mess.”

2. Guns N' Roses

Axl Rose & Co had enjoyed almost a decade at the top of their game – through hits such as "Sweet Child of Mine," "Patience," "Paradise City" and "Smells Like Teen Spirit." (Joking, we’re joking. We know that was Metallica. Or maybe Megadeth.)

They drifted off the scene in 1993 but Rose always remained hopeful of pocketing a few more zillions returning to the top of his game. Then, in 2002, albeit without Slash, the enigmatic guitarist who to many was every bit as vital a member of the band, it happened.

Only it didn’t. On the eve of the planned opening show of the band’s first North American tour in nine years, Rose having opted against leaving LA for Vancouver, the concert was cancelled and fans rioted in previously sleepy Canadian streets. Another riot followed in Philadelphia and the remainder of the tour was cancelled.

Rose and his ever-changing troupe of drummers, bassists, backing singers and back-rubbers are still together, although these days they're more likely to be pelted with missiles from angry former fans than put on a showstopping performance.

And through it all, they’ve long since become an artistic relic, albeit a pleasant reminder of happier times when we could all vomit, in public and without danger of embarrassment or recrimination, in a big field in Co Meath.

3. Bjorn Borg

Once the best tennis player on the planet, the winner of 11 Grand Slam titles, Borg hung up his headband and racquet in 1983, whereupon he took to the exhibition circuit, lived on his own island, divorced one woman, fathered a child with a second and married a third.

Fed up with all that boring stuff, he returned to competitive action in the 1990s but was blown out of the water, losing 12 successive matches before being sent spinning back into retirement with his pony-tail between his legs.

4. Whitney Houston

Here was a woman who could stir carnal instincts in the most reserved of folk. Whitney, circa 1992, was so great that my old English teacher, a bookish man whose energies were otherwise devoted to Shakespeare and John Betjeman, named a tie in her honour.

However, a lasting dalliance with hard drugs and Bobby Brown – of which we’re not really sure which was the more negative influence – proved her undoing.

She still sings, and she still sings well enough, in a backroom karaoke sort of way. But the dancing eyes and the glass-shattering notes of The Bodyguard are long since gone.

5. Jarlath Fallon

For so many years, Fallon’s career followed the path of the GAA's highest achievers. Breaks into the inter-county team in his teens. Becomes captain in the early 20s. All-Ireland winner at 25.

The Tuam man with the exaggerated sidestep won a second All-Ireland three years later in 2001, but even if Galway’s fortunes dipped slightly thereafter, here was a man who could slip towards retirement with his head held high. Which he did, before he followed the natural course into the backroom team as a selector in Peter Ford’s management team.

Then, in 2006, came the bombshell that Fallon was resigning that position to make himself available for selection again, and he was immediately restored to the starting line-up, with Ford declaring that his former sidekick had “kept himself fit in the gym”. Unfortunately, he hadn’t drank enough milk and his collarbone snapped after 20 minutes' football. In 2007, he retired again, this time for good.

Fallon was just 33 when he returned to inter-county GAA, and misery ensued. Geraghty is 38. This, surely, can’t go well. Can it?

Monday, May 23, 2011

Tommy Stinson Says Record Company Involvement Caused Chinese Democracy Delay

AV Club recently conducted an interview with Tommy Stinson. An excerpt from the chat follows below.

AV Club: How did you end up with GN'R?

It was kind of a fluke. A friend of mine, Josh Freese, was playing drums with them, and I asked him what he was up to, and he was like, "Oh, fuck, I can't really talk about it, but I'll tell you anyway." And it turned out he was playing drums, and working on the record. He said, "It's funny that you're asking me, because Duff McKagan just quit, and we need a bass player." I was just joking with him: "Oh, that would be a fucking hoot," given my thoughts about Guns N' Roses at that time. But I did it anyway just as a laugh, and it turned out pretty good. They didn't really audition anyone else. They liked me, and because Josh was doing it, it was a compelling notion. At the time, coincidentally, I was about to get kind of screwed by yet another record label with the PERFECT record. I felt like, "You know what? This is enough." It's been five years of trying to get this thing going, I keep getting screwed, and I just want a break. So I looked at it as something to do until I figured out my next move. And it worked out pretty good, all things considered.

AV Club: Chinese Democracy took all of 10 years to make. What was the recording process like? I mean, you couldn't have been working at it every day for 10 years.

At first we were in there a lot. We were working on the writing aspect of it, but it just kept going on. We had Interscope chairman Jimmy Iovine intervening in a not-so-productive way, and we had other guys coming and going with nutty ideas. My summation of the whole thing is that Interscope, when they took over Geffen, really led Axl Rose to believe that Jimmy Iovine would be involved, and would help get this record done and make it happen. But basically what he did was let it completely fall apart. Then he had this great idea to bring in producer Roy Thomas Baker to make it sound better. All he did was re-record everything three or four different times, trying to make it sound like something it didn't need to sound like, and spend $10 million in the process. My two cents on the whole thing is that I really think Jimmy Iovine fucked the whole thing up. It was a bummer. Most of the songs that are on the record now were done 10 fucking years ago. But all the talking heads in the mix were saying, "Make 'em sound better! Make 'em sound better!" So we kept re-doing this and that. And it ended up coming back down to the same fucking songs that they were 10 years ago, except that now they were a super-dense mishmash of a bunch of instrumentation. That whole era pretty much sums up what happened to the record industry. Those kinds of people, making those kinds of decisions and not really helping the artist.

Read the entire interview from the AV Club here.

Related discussion:

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Dj Ashba Says "Genius" Axl Rose has 3 Albums' Worth of Music Recorded

Guitarist Dj Ashba told Nui Te Koha of Australia's long-running rock station Triple M that the band's frontman, Axl Rose, has three albums' worth of new material written, most of which will never see the light of day.

"Axl has a lot of great songs up his sleeve," Ashba said. "He probably has three albums worth of stuff recorded.

"The stuff I've heard ... I've been up in his hotel room many nights and he just sits down at the piano and plays. I'm like, 'This is amazing. People have to hear this song.' And he's like, 'Ah, this is something I'm tinkering on.'

"He's just a genius when it comes down to music and I just cannot wait to sit down with an acoustic guitar and just write. He's just got this gift that's very, very rare."

In addition to Ashba and sole original member Axl Rose, the current lineup of GN'R includes guitarists Ron Thal and Richard Fortus, bassist Tommy Stinson, keyboardists Dizzy Reed and Chris Pitman and drummer Frank Ferrer.

Ashba joined GN'R in March 2009 following the departure of Robin Finck.

As previously reported, Chinese Democracy, the 2008 album released by the current edition of GN'R after a 15-year wait, can now be purchased at for $1.99.

Best Buy was the exclusive US retailer for Chinese Democracy, reportedly paying $14 million for 1.6 million copies. But the album was a major sales disappointment, moving less than 620,000 copies despite the curiosity and hype surrounding its release.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

M Shadows Comments on Chinese Democracy

via Blabbermouth Do you have any feelings about the Chinese Democracy record?

M. Shadows:
There are great songs there and Axl is a great singer; he's an amazing singer. It's hard because a lot of times it's that feeling a band gives you when you know they're a band and you know what it's about. And there's so much drama that goes around that camp. I've met Bumblefoot and a couple of the guys in that band and they're great guys and great players — it's just really hard to play in that shadow of what Guns N' Roses was. And I think that kind of takes you away from when you're listening to a record and what it's all about.

What made Dark Side Of The Moon so great is some of the mystique and where it was coming from and just the authenticity of it. And that's what kinda sucks about the new Guns N' Roses — it's really hard to put your finger on it but it's not the same thing. I think for all of us it would be really nice if they could just get it together and do some stuff but that's probably never gonna happen.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Scott Weiland's Near-Salvation: Velvet Revolver, Martial Arts and Money

Rolling Stone
Excerpt from Not Dead and Not for Sale, Weiland's forthcoming memoir.

Slipping and sliding, peeping and hiding.

Basically, the story was that Mary had cleaned up and I hadn't. I was strung out and fucked up. Mary wanted out of the marriage — the agony of our divorce went on for years — but Mary still took an interest in my career. Always has. Always will. Ka-ching. Ka-ching.

She said she'd been hanging with Susan McKagan, a former swimsuit supermodel and wife of Duff, the bass player with Guns N' Roses when the group was at its height. Susan told Mary that three guys from GNR — Duff on bass, Matt Sorum on drums, and Slash on guitar — had formed a band. Initially, Izzy Stradlin was in, but soon opted out. David Kushner from Wasted Youth took his place.

"Sounds like a lot of egos," I said. "Sounds like a lot of trouble."

"They put some songs on a CD that they want you to hear," Mary said. "They think you'll like what they're doing."

I didn't. It sounded like Bad Company-styled classic rock. And I never liked Bad Company. But being a nice guy, I said, "There's some stuff that's okay, but just send me another disc when you have a few new songs."

A week or so later, another CD arrived with songs custom-designed for me. The tunes had STP written all over them.

Duff called and said, "Hey, man, just drop by the studio." I knew Duff from the gym, and I said I'd try. I still wasn't sure whether I wanted to hook up with these guys.

"Look, Scott," Duff said, "there's also soundtrack stuff we've been asked to do. And the money's great."

The money attracted me.

My managers, pushing me to join this band, said, "They're going to cover Pink Floyd's 'Money' for a new movie called The Italian Job. And then Ang Lee wants songs for his remake of The Hulk. This is going to be a hot band. Just give it a chance."

I reluctantly agreed. The idea was just to jam. Couldn't hurt to see if there was any chemistry. Meanwhile, I was still hurting chemically. I was still shooting dope. That's the reason I showed up many hours late.

When I arrived, I was shocked. The guys had set up a major industry event. All sorts of music execs were there. It was being billed as an announcement of "Guns N' Roses with Scott Weiland" and made to look like a done deal, not just a casual jam. I was confused, and, because of my drug habit, I was also a wreck. But what the fuck, I was there and might as well sing.

We sang two songs — "Set Me Free" for The Hulk and the cover of "Money." I was blown away by the powerful chemistry between us. So was everyone else. These guys attacked rock and roll like a street gang. I liked their ferocity and balls-out commitment. Besides, looking over and seeing Slash playing beside me — Slash, who'd been an idol of mine back in the eighties — was a thrill. I knew Dave Kushner from the Electric Love Hogs, an underground rock band. Back in the day, STP had aspired to be on the Love Hogs level. I remember seeing them at English Acid, a hip spot in West Hollywood. I also knew Matt Sorum from rehab; he and I had been in together.

Fact is, I had a lot in common with these guys. We'd been down the dark alleys, gotten mugged, stumbled, fell, and got back up. When I hooked up with them, they were looking good. Through martial arts, Duff had put together eight years of sobriety. Matt had six years. And Dave had over a dozen years. When they saw my strung-out condition, they vowed to do everything in their power to help.

I went back to rehab but rehab didn't work. That's when Duff started talking about his trainer in Lake Chelan, Washington State. "Bring your detox meds and come up there with me," Duff offered. "You'll meet my martial arts master, one guy who can really help you."

His help came quickly and powerfully. His name is Sifu Joseph Simonet, and he's a master of six different martial arts forms. I planned to stay a month but stayed for three. At his Wind and Rock training facility, I also worked with his associate and fiancée at the time, Addy Hernandez, a kickboxer and holder of a black belt in kenpo karate. Sifu Simonet comes from a kung fu background in addition to the art form of Pentjak Silat Tongkat Serak. He created his own form called Key Fighting Concepts and, from day one, I related to his energy. He's a deeply wise man with a bit of a temper and a flair for martial arts instruction and philosophical riffing.

"My art form never stops evolving," he likes to say. "I can never repeat myself because the past is gone and the present is ever new, ever changing."

With intense daily training, I learned to channel my aggression, confusion, fear, and athleticism in positive directions. The rigorous routine allowed me to wean myself off opiates. The setting also helped. Lake Chelan Valley sits in the center of the magnificent North Cascades National Forest. The lake is a breathtakingly beautiful fifty-mile, glacier-fed body of crystal-clean water. Nature is untamed. Bears and wild goats roam the mountains. I fell in love with the area and decided to buy land there and, in time, build a cabin in the woods.

Back in Los Angeles, I hooked up with Benny "the Jet" Urquidez, a five-time world-champion kickboxer. Benny boasts that he has never been defeated, and when you train with him, you don't doubt it. He was my instructor for eighteen months after I returned from Lake Chelan. This was a difficult period — around 2006 — because Mary and I were still doing a death dance around our marriage. I'd walk into Benny's dojo — his karate gym — and right away Benny could read my mind.

"You're depressed," he'd say. "The energy between you and your wife has turned especially toxic this week."

"How do you know that?"

"I'm looking in your eyes — that's how."

Then Benny would start to explain the concept of being "glazed." He said that obviously anyone can incur physical injury. But once you're glazed, you're mentally and spiritually protected from harm. The glaze resists negative thoughts. Of course, like everyone, you will be affected by external circumstances, feelings, and moods, but the impact will be minimal because of the strength of your spiritual and mental muscles.


Ready to walk back into the world a whole man, ready to accept the world on its own terms.

Ready to get out there, join up with a balls-out rock band, and reinvent myself as a singer and artist.

It was going to work.

It had to work.

It did.

And then it didn't.

Back in 2003, after I joined Velvet Revolver and got straight, I wrote all the lyrics and all of the melodies for our first album, Contraband, which wound up selling over four million copies. The big hit was "Fall to Pieces." Duff and I wrote it at Lavish, the studio I built in Burbank. It was built on a riff by Slash, and somehow in the middle of the night we turned it into a song about coming to terms — or not coming to terms — with my heroin addiction. It was also about my relationship with Mary, and how it was falling apart. When Mary wrote her memoir last year, she titled it Fall to Pieces. In the song, I sang . . .

All the years I've tried
With more to go
Will the memories die?
I'm waiting
Will I find you?
Can I find you?
We're falling down
I'm falling

We went on the road for two years, toured the world, and established ourselves as a premier rock band. Velvet Revolver was a powerful force. There was so much energy on that stage that at times it felt absolutely combustible. Anything could happen at any time. We were a bunch of renegades held together by a rough passion that none of us completely understood. We were dangerous. We were on a runaway train, and audiences were drawn to our breakneck speed.

I liked our first record but can't call it the music of my soul. There was a certain commercial calculation behind it. We wanted hits; we wanted to prove that, independent of Guns N' Roses and STP, we could make a big splash. And we did. My fellow STPers — Robert, Dean, and Eric — tried a number of musical configurations without me, but none of them were successful. I wished them well, but I have to confess that, as a competitive guy, I wasn't displeased to be in a new band that fans were flocking to see.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Steven Adler To Announce "Big Television Show, Major Record Deal"

On May 17, Steven Adler will hold a press conference and book signing at Hollywood Soundcheck (located at 8872 Sunset Blvd) next to The Viper Room. Also on May 17, Steven Adler will reveal that he is joining forces with The Ultimate Warrior – the former WWF champion and first to beat Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania VI in 1990. Furthermore, Adler will announce details of “a big television show and major record deal” at Hollywood Soundcheck.

In a rather ironic twist of fate, last year Adler’s Appetite worked with producer and Cinderella drummer Fred Coury – who in 1987 sat in for Steven at a handful of Guns N’ Roses shows when he broke his hand. “Yes I did. I hit Nikki Sixx’s face a good 10 or 15 times. But Fred Coury only produced two demo songs, "Stardog" and "Fading," which are on iTunes right now. I love Fred Coury. He’s a great drummer, a great person, a great producer and maybe I might do some more stuff with him later on. But right now we have somebody else in mind, a huge industry giant. I can’t mention anybody yet. But on May 17th at Hollywood Soundcheck, right next door to The Viper Room on Sunset Blvd., I’m going to be doing a book signing and that’s when I’m going to be able to talk about everything with the record, the band, who’s going to produce it and the record deal. It’ll be a big press conference; I’m very excited about that" says Adler.

You can watch a video below of Chip Z'Nuff talking about how Adler's Appetite has signed a "massive" record deal, which includes a huge advance, and a gigantic record produced by someone like Rick Rubin.

Thanks to FunkyMonkey for the find.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Steven Tyler Says Steven Adler Was Asked To Fake His Drug Stupor

via Blabbermouth

Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler has slammed the VH1 reality series Celebrity Rehab With Dr. Drew and its host, addiction-medicine specialist Dr. Drew Pinsky, who formerly worked at one of the hospitals where Tyler sought treatment.

In his new book, Does The Noise In My Head Bother You?, Tyler claims that former GN'R drummer Steven Adler, a patient at Las Encinas (where Celebrity Rehab was filmed), was asked to fake his behavior for the benefit of the cameras.

"They wanted him to act out his own messed-up state when he entered rehab. It was ghoulish and unreal. They gave him 30 grand for the episode, he snorted it all, crashed his car, and he ended up in jail detox," Tyler wrote.

Adler appeared on season two of Rehab and the first season of the spin-off show Sober House back in late 2008 and early 2009. Adler then went on to stints in real rehab centers after being ordered to by a judge as part of a DUI bust.

Tyler added, "It didn't seem to me all that ethical using actual fucked-up people like Steven Adler in a reality show, but who am I to say? Not to mention getting trashed celebrities to mime their own self-destructive nosedives which they then sensationalize on a melo-fucking-dramatic reality show, which so traumatizes them they end up in worse shape than ever — from the drugs they bought with the money from the show."

Adler recently confirmed that he joined the cast of Celebrity Rehab With Dr. Drew for another season. Also scheduled to appear on the show's Season 5 are Michael Lohan, Jeremy Jackson, Dwight Gooden, Michaele Salahi and Bai Ling.

Previous seasons of Celebrity Rehab With Dr. Drew have featured celebrity patients undergoing detoxification and treatment at a center in the Los Angeles area. The series chronicle the patients' intensive 21-day program with both group and one-on-one therapy and non-traditional therapies like art and music. Returning to the show to help Dr. Drew are expected to be drug counselor Bob Forrest and resident technician Shelly Sprague who have each spent years on both sides of the rehab fence. After they complete the program, the patients will be strongly encouraged to continue their treatment in a sober living facility or treatment center for at least three months at VH1's expense.

Celebrity Rehab Presents Sober House included footage of Adler being arrested on July 18, 2008 after he showed up at a sober-living home high and in possession of heroin, and could barely stand up because he was so blitzed.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Slash and Myles Kennedy Added to High Voltage Festival

Virtual Festivals
Slash and Myles Kennedy have been added to the bill for this year's High Voltage Festival.

Slash will make his only UK festival appearance of the year at the event, which takes place at Victoria Park on July 23-24.

Last week, Slash announced via his twitter account that things were "really coming together in the writing process for the next record," and that he's going to do "a more comprehensive tour of Canada" on his next tour. Slash and Myles will also be playing Stoke-on-Trent this July.

Judas Priest and Dream Theater will headline the High Voltage Festival, with Black Country Communion, Jethro Tull, Queensryche, Thunder and Thin Lizzy among the other acts set to appear.

Weekend Tickets are onsale now, priced at £99, with day tickets costing £56.50 per day. There's also a deposit scheme available, with the final payment due on July 1.

Click here to buy High Voltage Festival 2011 Tickets

Slash and Myles Kennedy tour dates:

07/09 Kinross, UK
07/10 Naas, Ireland
07/12 Paris, France
07/13 Zurich, Switzerland
07/15 Madrid, Spain Sonisphere Festival
07/16 Lisbon, Portugal Super Bock Super Rock
07/23 London, UK High Voltage Festival
07/28 Milan, Italy
07/29 Rome, Italy