Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Slash: What I've Learned

I never want to draw attention to myself, but that's all I do.

There are people who have an image of me as being rude and inconsiderate. But I'm completely the opposite, because I was raised not to be. I might have been tripping over myself drunk, but I was always courteous.

Guitars are like women. You'll never get them totally right.

Risk isn't a word in my vocabulary. It's my very existence.

I'm intimidated by singing. I can carry a tune and I can cover a melody, but I just hate expressing myself verbally — especially in the form of a song — to the point that I don't even like to hum to myself.

Axl and I came from completely different backgrounds. Because of that we made an interesting pair trying to figure each other out.

Between the Beatles and the Stones, my dad liked the Stones, so there was definitely an innate gene that I got from him.

When I was a kid, I got jobs so I could get cigarettes, beer, and something at the A&P. That's how I see money. It's never been a motivating factor.

Being told no was the big thing ever since I can remember. And that was always getting in the way of creativity.

I used to think Les Paul was a guitar. I didn't know he was a real guy. When I got to know him, I found out that if you're really obsessed, he was the guy you'd want to be like. He was always trying to find an answer for what he was looking for in his mind. If things didn't exist, he built them himself. He single-handedly created what I consider "popular music."

It's a constant quest to find that harmony, to connect with it, where everything that you want to come out of it comes out. Those moments are rare, but they're like drugs: Once you get going on it, you're constantly jonesing for it.

When I see footage of Guns N' Roses, I see that fucking hunger and attitude. You could not fuck with those five guys. It was just raw. It was this lean, hungry thing on its way up. It was as sincere as any rock 'n' roll that I've ever heard, and I'm proud of that.

It's not something you can find. There's a moment you arrive at — there's no words for it. A bunch of people come together at this place where a note hits your heart and your brain tells your finger where to go. It's an otherworldly thing, like when a painter gets the right combination of colors together.

If I could hang out with Jimi Hendrix, it wouldn't be over dinner.

Musicians never actually talk about music.

Heroin is a great fucking drug, but it's evil.

I had my chemically induced overdoses and alcohol poisoning and all that. I would just keep pushing it and pushing it. I had absolutely no fear of not waking up. But ultimately the clarity seeps through. If I'm going to be here, then I'm going to have to be able to do what it is I'm here to do.

My grandmother was really the last person to call me Saul. The people who call me Saul are fans who want to have that personal connection. I'm not sure what the psychology behind that is. But I'm assuming they want to get beyond Slash.

It's not like I'm Brad Pitt, but I get recognized pretty regularly. The other night I went to see a friend of mine play. When I arrived, there was just too much attention. The hardest thing about being a rock star is not being a rock star.

The split between Axl and I was a quiet one. But because there was so much attention on the breakup — and are we going to get back together? — it got built up into this monster that led to a kind of animosity that wasn't the focus for me. Neither one of us wants to be down each other's throats for no reason. At this point, I'm trying to put it to rest. So I try to avoid the subject.

When it comes down to it, I like being with one person that I'm comfortable with and who it means something with. But I have no complaints about some of the experiences I've had.

I don't know if that giraffe was trying to kiss me. But it was an experience. Have you ever seen a giraffe's tongue? It's about two feet long.

It's par for the course for me to find the one girl that is the most exciting, outspoken, and flamboyant — the most crazy. You just have to meet my wife.

Guitar is the best form of self-expression I know. Everything else, and I'm just sort of tripping around, trying to figure my way through life.

No interest. I don't tell my kids about those days. One is seven. The other is nine. One is really into his skateboard. I look at him and see myself, and I'm like, "Just do it, man!"

Slash 2012 tour dates

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Duff McKagan Performs 2 Songs with GN'R in Vancouver

Duff McKagan joined the latest version of GN'R on stage last night (Saturday, December 17) at Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada to perform two GN'R classics from Use Your Illusion II: "You Could Be Mine" and "Civil War."

Duff also performed "You Could Be Mine" with GN'R on Friday at the Key Arena in Seattle.

Duff's band Loaded opened for GN'R at both the Seattle and Vancouver shows.

McKagan tweeted earlier today, "Thanks, Axl Rose. My friend..... A really great couple of nights. Thank you Seattle and Vancouver. And... good fuckin night!"

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Duff McKagan Joins GN'R on Stage in Seattle

Last night, at the KeyArena in Seattle, former GN'R bassist Duff McKagan joined Axl Rose and the latest incarnation of Guns N' Roses on stage for a rendition of the 1991 smash hit "You Could Be Mine."

McKagan made worldwide headlines in October 2010 when he joined GN'R onstage for four songs at a concert in London, England, marking the first time he had shared a stage with Axl Rose in 17 years.

1000 miles to the South, on The Sunset Strip, Matt Sorum, Steven Adler and Gilby Clarke shared the stage of The Roxy playing as Camp Freddy.

Guns N' Rose will be inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame next April in Cleveland, prompting speculation about whether the event could lead to a reunion of the band's original lineup.

Axl Rose's Guns N' Roses with Duff McKagan's Loaded will play again tonight in Vancouver, British Columbia

Friday, December 16, 2011

New GN'R Website Coming Soon


Duff McKagan reluctant to open for Guns N' Roses

After weeks of speculation, it was confirmed a few days ago that former Guns N' Roses bassist Duff McKagan's band Loaded will open two shows for the latest version of GN'R on that band's current North American tour. Loaded will warm up for GN'R on December 16 at the Key Arena in Seattle and December 17 at Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

In the latest installment of his column, McKagan stated about the prospect of opening for his old band, "I was somehow reluctant at first to do this. I love that dude (Axl) but wanted to sort of stay out of the fray, especially after that whirlwind tour of the world we had just done. AND that damn book tour.

But this fray is only a fray if I let it be. And now I am actually pretty excited to see my old pal. His band is the nicest bunch of fellas, and I will be home after all. The KeyArena will be rocking tomorrow night . . . and I hope you all show up.

After all, it is just some dudes doing what they know how to do best: connect with the audience, that fan-ship that has honored us with their presence for so damn long. And THAT, my friends . . . is overwhelming."

McKagan made worldwide headlines in October 2010 when he joined GN'R onstage for four songs at a concert in London, England, marking the first time he had set foot on a stage with Axl Rose in 17 years.

Guns N' Roses will be inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame next April in Cleveland, prompting speculation about whether the event could lead to a reunion of the band's original lineup.

McKagan admitted last month in an interview that he had a hard time imaging such a possibility, saying, "I can't. I can't picture it. Your guess is as good as mine. There is no picture."

In his latest SeattleWeekly.com column, McKagan addressed the upcoming induction, writing, "Music to me has never been a competitive sport. We do what we do, and if you connect with an audience and write the songs that feel good to you in the process, that is reward enough. Getting a Grammy or an American Music Award seems a little bit weird in this whole context. I mean, are you BETTER than all those other bands? No. You are just doing YOUR thing, and they theirs. It's not a competition.

But it became very apparent to me that fans of GN'R felt very motivated for our band to 'get into the Hall.' All of those fans ARE very important to me, and thus getting this Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame nod was a victory for them. And so I am deeply honored and feel very good about this whole deal. Thank you all.

I spent a lot of time revisiting my past in the book I just wrote. Living in the past, or just revisiting it, is something I hadn't done until I was in the process of writing that book. The process became personally poignant in how much I appreciated and loved most of the characters in my past, especially the guys in that little band from Hollywood that we formed just after I moved there in 1984.

I've done my best to avoid doing any interviews that pertain to our induction, and maybe this column will serve as all I really need to say for now. I am a grown-up now, and hope that we can achieve some grace and class when that ceremony comes. But in the end, I am only responsible for myself."

Rose was ambivalent in a recent interview about the Hall Of Fame, and told Billboard.com in 2009 that he could never see himself playing with original Guns N' Roses guitarist Slash again, saying, "One of the two of us will die before a reunion. However sad, ugly or unfortunate anyone views it, it is how it is."

Guns N' Roses Reunion Timeline here. Discuss this article with other Guns N' Roses fans here.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Matt Sorum On The Last Days Of Guns N' Roses

Matt Sorum was interviewed last week on Sydney, Australia's Triple M radio station when he was in town for the Hard Rock Café opening down in Darling Harbour, a locality of the city center of Sydney.

When asked what the final straw was that broke up the creative partnership between GN'R lead singer and guitarist Slash, Matt said, "The very, very end of it was us trying to make this record [that became Chinese Democracy] that came out 15, 16, 17 years later. There was a certain style of music that… Axl was always trying to push the envelope. Even with Use Your Illusion I and II, we moved forward and people always go back to Appetite for Destruction. But if you look at Use Your Illusion, it was more of an epic kind of undertaking. Axl, in his mind, would want it to be this epic, stadium, worldwide-renowned supergroup, and he looked at bands like Queen and Led Zeppelin and The Rolling Stones as, sort of, the benchmark for that. So we created these opuses, these epic numbers like 'November Rain', to really, sort of, become this bigger thing. When we went into the next particular record, Axl really wanted to take it to another level, he wanted to experiment with electronics and stuff like that, and we were like, 'Oooh… Now we're getting into a little bit of a gray area.' He was really into Nine Inch Nails, and we were starting to get a little bit uncomfortable with the musical direction. And at that point, we had written a bunch of songs that were more like Appetite For Destruction — stripped down, raw rock and roll; we almost wanted to go back to our roots. But Axl was really pushing to go someplace else. [He] was so obsessed with where the music was going. And I remember it was [after] about four or five years of rehearsals, and Axl came in and said, 'I think we've got one good verse.' [Laughs] And we all looked at each other. And at that point, me and Slash had written a bunch of songs together, which became the first Slash's Snakepit album. Slash said, 'Matt, let's just go do a tour and make a record.' 'Cause Slash said, 'Axl doesn't like the songs.' So we made a record, we put it out, and Slash went on tour. And that was the straw that broke the camel's back. 

He continued, "In retrospect, Slash was out doing a bunch of stuff. If the band would have stepped closer together, maybe we could have figured out what to do, but we were starting to divide; there were solo projects going on, me and Duff did Neurotic Outsiders. But we were all sort of frustrated; we couldn't get moving again. They had a bit of a blowout, and I was there, sitting right there on the couch, and I listened to them going through this whole shenanigans. And that was it. And it was over. It was horrible. And then after Slash left, I was in rehearsals — me and Duff were sticking around, trying to figure out how to do it — and I just said, 'We need to get Slash back,' and Axl said, 'No, I don't think so.' And at that point I was out. And then I went home and I drank heavily with this band called Candlebox who was living at my house at the time. I remember I came home, I stopped by a liquor store and I walked in and I said, 'Axl just fired me, and I think this time it's for real.' [Laughs] 'Cause he had fired me many times before, and he used to call me, too, and say it like this: [imitating Axl's screeching voice] 'You're fired' in that classic voice. It was awesome. I wish I had it on tape. It was killer. But he would call back and go, 'See you at rehearsal tomorrow?' [Laughs]"

Monday, December 12, 2011

Duff McKagan's Loaded to Open for Guns N' Roses in Seattle

Seattle Weekly
Duff McKagan's Loaded Is Opening for Guns N' Roses in Seattle (12/16) & Vancouver (12/17)
By Chris Kornelis

It's been rumored for some time, but I just got the word from our friend Duff McKagan -- his Seattle band, Loaded, will indeed be opening for Guns N' Roses at KeyArena on Friday and at Vancouver's Pacific Coliseum on Saturday.

This will be the first time that McKagan -- the founding bassist of Guns N' Roses -- has opened for the current incarnation of GN'R, which is fronted by Axl Rose, the sole remaining member of the band's classic lineup. Last week, Guns N' Roses got the word that they'd be inaugurated into the Rock N' Roll Hall of Fame next year.

McKagan, who recently published his first memoir, It's So Easy, about his life inside and out of music and GN'R, writes a weekly column that runs every Thursday on Reverb. He'll address this news then.

One thing's for sure, Friday's show -- that was featured on Groupon last week -- just got a whole hell of a lot more interesting. Tickets are available for $26.50 to $72 via Ticketmaster.

Related Discussion: Loaded Confirmed, Seattle and Vancouver

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Matt Sorum Says Rock & Roll Hall of Fame will be a "Complete Train Wreck"

via Blabbermouth
Matt Sorum predicts that the band's upcoming induction into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame will be a "train wreck" because of ongoing tensions between the group's lead singer, Axl Rose, and former guitarist Slash.

The sole remaining original member of Guns N' Roses, Rose seemed to rule out any possibility of working with Slash again in a 2009 interview with Billboard. "What's clear is that one of the two of us will die before a reunion and however sad, ugly or unfortunate anyone views it, it is how it is," he said.

When asked by Australia's TheVine earlier this week about the possibility of a reunion of Guns N' Roses' classic lineup at the upcoming induction ceremony, Sorum said, "It's going to be as big of a train wreck as the Sex Pistols, Blondie, or any of those other bands. That's my prediction. Or Van Halen, which I don't know if you saw, but we [Velvet Revolver] were involved in that. Train wreck; it was a complete train wreck. But maybe it won't; maybe it will be a miracle; I hope for that and put out the positive vibrations. But it's coming up pretty quickly. That's in March, so we'll see."

Sorum also commented on Rose's recent interview with VH1 Classic's "That Metal Show" in which Axl gave off the impression that the tension between the singer and some of his former bandmates had dissipated quite a bit. "I don't know, man," Sorum said. "You know, I don't want to say, because then this will be all over the Internet and I'll just get a bunch of shit for it. The problem is that a lot of the fans don't even take what I have to say with a grain of salt. I'd rather if Slash had that conversation. And Slash is the quiet one; that's the problem. He's not like me. I'm just like a guy who's a little bit more off the cuff — I kinda say what I'm feeling. Slash will just not say anything and that's the way he likes it. And then I'll open my big ol' mouth and the next thing you know I'm getting slapped around the Internet by all the jackasses on their blog sites — you know what I mean? So it's better if I just go, 'I don't know shit.' Which is the absolute truth [laughs]. They could be in a room right now having a coup around a bonfire, eating samoras, and talking about the resurrection of the Holy Grail. Seriously, like the Illuminati or some shit [laughs], and I wouldn't be invited, you know what I'm saying?"

Sorum joined GUNS N' ROSES in 1990 as the replacement for original GN'R drummer Steven Adler, who was fired because of drug addiction. While with the Los Angeles-based hard rock group (1990-1997), Sorum recorded the highly successful albums "Use Your Illusion I" and "Use Your Illusion II" (both 1991) and "The Spaghetti Incident" (1994). He also supported the group on the "Use Your Illusion" tour and can be heard on Guns N' Roses' "Live Era: '87-'93" (1999) and "Greatest Hits" (2004).

As previously reported, Adler told Rolling Stone that he thinks Sorum should be inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame along with keyboardist Dizzy Reed, who joined the touring lineup around the time Adler exited. The drummer explained, "I do believe that Matt Sorum and Dizzy Reed both have every right to be inducted too. Dizzy did play on 'Use Your Illusion', and he's been with Axl longer than anybody. He deserves it. Matt Sorum also played on 'Use Your Illusion'. I think that the seven of us deserve it."

Reed is still a member of GUNS N' ROSES today, having the longest tenure aside from Axl Rose.

Sorum left sometime in the mid-'90s as the rest of the classic version of the group fell apart.

It was announced on Wednesday (December 7) that Guns N' Roses will be inducted into the Hall on April 14 in Cleveland, along with the Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Beastie Boys, Laura Nyro, Donovan and others.

When asked if he thinks the entire original Guns lineup will show up at the induction ceremony, Adler said, "Absolutely not," adding that the bad blood between Rose and Slash is the sole factor holding up a full GUNS reunion: "For twenty years, because of some stupid grudge, which I guarantee you that neither of them could even tell you what it was. They don't even know! . . . twenty years of great music wasn't created because of some stupid grudge."

Friday, December 9, 2011

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the best fucking interview of all time!

Rolling Stone
Steven Adler on a Guns N' Roses Hall of Fame Reunion: "My Toes Are Crossed!"
"We owe it to the fans to do a tour around the world"

Congratulations on the big news.
Dreams do come true.

Tell me your first reaction to hearing it.
Of course, excitement and joy. I always knew it was going to happen, just like when the band first started. I always knew that we were going to be successful and accomplish and succeed at our dreams. There was never a doubt in my mind. When we were recording Appetite For Destruction, we all knew. I've been blessed. I grew up and played and worked and created with the Freddie Mercury, the Jimi Hendrix, the Keith Richards, the John Paul Jones of my generation. I love those guys, no matter what happened. Everything was meant to happen the way it happened. I always knew that we were going to succeed.

You guys got in your first year of eligibility. That's pretty rare these days.
It was such a historical, monumental record. It blows my mind that KISS isn't in there. If it wasn't for KISS, there would be no Guns N' Roses. Bands like that made Guns N' Roses. We were five guys with five personalities and five different influences. The stars were aligned for us.

Getting inducted is a huge deal for me. I just read that Eric Clapton was inducted into the Hall of Fame twice. I went, "Wow, I'm being inducted into the same club as Clapton Is God and the Beatles and Elvis…" It's a honor and a dream come true.

Are you looking forward to the ceremony?
I've been working on my speech for the last three weeks, since I found out we were on the ballot. I've got a tent and a sleeping bag, so I'm going to be there the week before.

Do you think that all five of you will show up?
Absolutely not. But, as far as I know, there is a God and a higher power, and it's possible. Unfortunately, I don't foresee it. You figure that time could heal all wounds, but some people just REALLY hold a crazy grudge.

I think that Axl is cool with you, Duff and Izzy…
He should be cool with Slash! The real shame about the ending of the Guns N' Roses when I got kicked out wasn't just that I got kicked out, but Slash and Axl stopped working together. They are the Keith Richards and the Mick Jagger! The Steven Tyler and Joe Perry! For twenty years, because of some STUPID grudge, which I guarantee you that neither of them could even tell you what it was. They don't even know! I just had lunch with Slash two days ago. He loves Axl. He holds no grudges towards him. Twenty years of great music wasn't created because of some stupid grudge. That's a shame.

It's interesting that Axl was willing to make peace with Duff and Izzy, but he seems to have really held onto his anger towards Slash. He even called him a cancer.
I've been reading his Tweets about all the shows he's been doing in the same states. My brother e-mailed his manager to see if I could come play a song. I had him do it twice, and he has not returned the e-mail. He can't be mad at me!

Didn't you talk to him in Las Vegas a while back?
Seven years ago! But everything was fine. I didn't like that interview he did on That Metal Show. I was very disappointed. He didn't answer one question. I guarantee you – and I could tell by the looks on Eddie and the other guy's faces – that before Axl came out, his manager told those guys, "If you ask him this, if you ask him that, he will stand up and walk out in the middle." I guarantee it. And the questions that that they did ask, he didn't answer. He just started talking about whatever he wanted to. And, he blamed everybody else. He blamed everybody! Who gives a crap? Don't blame people. I was disappointed. I was hoping to hear something better from him.

Then, when he talked about the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame…that's why I don't think he'll show up. He seemed to have such a grudge! He didn't even answer. Eddie asked him, and he did not give a straight answer. He said, "blah blah blah blah." Then he said something about, "I don't know what they're expecting of me and expecting of the old band." What do you mean what they're expecting? Can't we just be fucking people who played music and accomplished a huge goal in their life and just play a couple songs? It's only rock and roll, my god! It's not rocket science.

Bands tend to reunite at the Rock Hall.
If the Police could do a reunion…One of the biggest jerks I ever met was Sting. If he can do it, then anyone can do it. It's not that big a deal. And the Eagles! They did it! They severely hated each other. It's just rock and roll.

Five old friends playing music shouldn't have to be this complicated.
It shouldn't be. It's nerve-wracking. Thank god I believe in a higher power, because it's nerve-wracking. Especially because whenever I go out, even to the 7-11 or something, someone is going to ask me, "When are you guys going to do a reunion." Look, if it was up to me, we would have done it 20 years ago! People fight, they get angry, they do drugs, and they do crazy things. If you survive and get over it, you're supposed to be able to move on. These are the only wounds that I've ever heard of that can't be healed by time. It's not like anyone has fucked anyone's wife or stole their wife, like the Rolling Stones with Brian Jones and Keith Richards. None of that crap happened.

I think Axl might come and it might happen. This is the one time where it feels possible.
It would mean so much to me if he did. Izzy too. I know that Duff and Slash will show up. They're basically normal human beings. Izzy is a gypsy. He's happy doing his own thing and he lives life to the fullest. Izzy is one of my heroes. I look up to him more than anybody. Steven Tyler and Izzy are the two coolest people that I've ever met or ever wanted to be influenced by. But Axl…it would mean so much to me. I personally just want to finish what I started with those jack-offs. We started off something, let's end the career playing together, at least once. I'd love to do a whole tour of the world. I personally, and I know that Slash and Duff feel the same way, we owe it to the fans to do a tour around the world. We haven't performed for over 20 years and they've stuck by us and believe in us. I get Tweets every day from people around the world saying how much they love the original band.

When it comes to after I left, I do believe that Matt Sorum and Dizzy Reed both have every right to be inducted too. Dizzy did play on Use Your Illusion, and he's been with Axl longer than anybody. He deserves it. Matt Sorum also played on Use Your Illusion. I think that the seven of us deserve it. I was just texting Matt Sorum in Australia. I'm going to play with him at The Roxy next week with Camp Freddy. He invited me to come down and play. He's a great guy.

It's going to be a pretty great night in Cleveland with you guys and the Beasties…
Do they do it in Cleveland? I thought they did it in New York.

It's in Cleveland every third year now. It's going to be at Public Hall.
Look at that! I was born in Cleveland. This is how I get to go back. This is fabulous!

It's you guys and the Beastie Boys, Chili Peppers, Donovan, Laura Nyro, The Faces with Rod Stewart…
Oh, wow! Rod Stewart is going to be there too? Wow. I haven't talked to him since he called me up and yelled at me about his ex-wife (laughs hysterically). I love you Rod.

You know what's really cool about the Chili Peppers being there too? Me and Slash and Flea all went to junior high together. We all grew up in the same neighborhood. We all used to play football in the street and Flea would play trumpet for my grandmother on her porch. It was really cool that me and Slash and Flea recorded a song for Slash's solo album last year. That was really exciting…But this! Three punks from the streets of Hollywood who grew up together and did good.

What do you think the moment will be like when you're standing at the podium accepting the award?
I'll tell you after it happens. But I'll tell you that I've been working on my speech for the past three weeks.

Didn't you just find out yesterday?
Once I heard we were on the ballot, I knew we were going to win. That's one thing with this band, I never had any doubts with it…Expect for when they kicked me out. Then I had doubts. My doubts were confirmed! It wasn't like when Bruce Dickinson joined Iron Maiden. The band didn't get bigger and better. That's what was supposed to happen, but it didn't. You'd figure after that normal people would realize, but I guess that we aren't dealing with normal people.

Was Axl always like this? Back in the day was he easier to deal with?
I think that he's exactly the same. From the Tweets that I read, nothing has changed. Back in the day, he did show up on time. He didn't necessarily stay onstage for that long, but we were on time.

How is your health these days? Are you clean?
My health is wonderful. I work out. I'm working. Playing music. I have a beautiful wife, a nice home, a nice car, I got money in the bank. I got three beautiful dogs that love me. Like I said, I'm blessed. I survived. If you want to know what it was really like being a part of Guns N' Roses from the very beginning, you have to get my book. And Slash's book and Duff's book too. If you put them all together, it's like you are best friends with all three of us. I want to see Izzy's book. I want to know what was going on with him. I was there, but I wasn't always there.

Are you clean right now? Off drugs?
Yeah, I'm clean. I work with Dr. Drew. I work with Dr. Sophie. I work with Bob Forrest. Now I'm very excited. I have something to live for.

Do you see this induction as the highlight of your career?
It is a highlight, but the highlight would really be if the five of us could perform together again. That would be the highlight. Yes, this is very huge. Of course. Eric Clapton, John Lennon…I'm getting inducted. Those are going to be my brothers. But the real thing would be if we could perform together. If Axl and the other guys will consider doing it, it would be a dream come true for me. As I said, I would like to finish what I started with them.

I'm guessing that over the next four months there's going to be endless drama and stories of "will they or won't they." I envision lots of drama coming.
The drama hasn't stopped for 25 years. I don't forsee it stopping, but I know there's love between all five of us. I know there is. Not just four of us, five of us. Five. We owe it to the fans. The LEAST we can do is give them one great performance.

Well, I'm crossing my fingers.
Me and you both. My fingers are crossed. My toes are crossed!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Official Press Release

Ceremony to air on HBO; Tickets on sale beginning December 16

Cleveland (December 7, 2011) - Today, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announces its inductees for 2012. The inductees are:

Performer Category:

· Beastie Boys
· Donovan
· Guns N’ Roses
· Laura Nyro
· Red Hot Chili Peppers
· The Small Faces/The Faces

Early Influence:

· Freddie King

Ahmet Ertegun (nonperformer) Award:

· Don Kirshner

The Award for Musical Excellence:

· Cosimo Matassa
· Tom Dowd
· Glyn Johns

The 27th annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will take place on Saturday, April 14, 2012 in Cleveland and premiere on HBO in early May. The 2012 ceremony will again be open to the public, as it was – for the first time in the event’s history – at the 2009 Inductions in Cleveland.

“We are pleased to announce this year’s Hall of Fame inductees, who represent the broad spectrum of artists that define rock and roll,” said Joel Peresman, President and CEO of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation. “We are also thrilled this year to again be partnered with HBO, who presented the Hall of Fame’s 25th Anniversary Concerts.”

“Our previous collaboration with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was a landmark television event,” says Michael Lombardo, president, HBO Programming. “We are delighted to team up with the Hall of Fame again for what should be a memorable evening.”

Leading up to the April 14 ceremony, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame will host more than a week of special events, including the grand opening of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s new Library and Archives, tours of the newly-redesigned Museum interior space, the unveiling of a major new exhibition, the Rock My Soul gospel tribute, a free concert for Cleveland and a special series of education programs designed to teach students across the nation about the history and impact of rock and roll. Once open, the Library and Archives will be the world’s most comprehensive repository of written and audio-visual materials relating to the history of rock and roll.

Tickets to the 2012 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony go on-sale to the public on Saturday, December 17, 2011 beginning at 10 a.m. EST. To purchase tickets, visit rockhall.com or call (877) 212-8898 (please note, this number will not be activated until 10 a.m. EST on 12/17). Tickets are expected to sell-out quickly. Individual tickets to the Induction Ceremony are available for $50 and $100. There will be a two ticket limit on all orders.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame + Museum members can purchase Induction 2012 tickets in advance, beginning Friday, December 16, 2011 at 10 a.m. EST. To purchase tickets, visit rockhall.com or call (877) 212-8898 (please note, this number will not be activated until 10 a.m. EST on 12/16). There will be a two ticket limit on all orders. To be eligible for the member pre-sale, fans must become members by 11 p.m. EST on December 12, 2011 and have a valid Member ID. To join please call (216) 515-8425 or visit www.rockhall.com.

The 2012 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Week is only possible through the generous support of corporate sponsors: Horseshoe Casino, PNC Bank and Medical Mutual of Ohio. Additional generous sponsors include the City of Cleveland, the State of Ohio, Positively Cleveland, John P. Murphy Foundation, Forest City Charitable Enterprises, Kulas Foundation, Cleveland Foundation, George Gund Foundation, Downtown Cleveland Alliance, Greater Cleveland Partnership and Cuyahoga Art and Culture.

The 2012 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame performer inductees were chosen by more than 500 voters of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation. Artists are eligible for inclusion in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 25 years after the release of their first recording.

Induction Ceremony Presenters, the HBO airdate and additional details about the week of events will be announced at a later date.

All inductees are ultimately represented in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio. Through approaches as creative and diverse as the music itself, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum tells the story of rock music with its exhibits, education programs and Library and Archives.

About the 2012 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees:

Performer Category:


At different times over the past three decades, the Beastie Boys have been shaven-head punks, hip-hop bad boys, Seventies-funk students, political activists and style icons. Most important: they have had one of the richest, most important careers in hip-hop and rock, introducing rap to a huge new audience and then pushing the frontiers of what a hip-hop group could do. Their 1986 debut album Licensed To Ill – a supremely bratty, hard-punching, pitch-perfect mix of rap and hard rock – was hip-hop’s first number one album, and remains near the top of the Billboard catalog charts to this day. The single “(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party!),” became a teenage party anthem of the 1980’s; a generation of hip-hop fans memorized hits like “Brass Monkey” and “Paul Revere,” songs which are now part of the rap canon. Their follow-up, 1989’s Paul’s Boutique, was one of the high points of hip-hop’s golden age of sampling, piling hilarious, streetwise rhymes over everything from Loggins & Messina to the Ramones. In the 1990’s, they came full circle musically, picking up their instruments and bringing back hardcore punk and funk into their music repertoire. They recorded three classic albums, Check Your Head, Ill Communication and Hello Nasty, and smash hits like “Sabotage” and “Intergalactic.” Along the way, they’ve kept experimenting with what a hip-hop band can be: becoming the most politically active group of their generation with the Tibetan Freedom Concerts; recording classic videos; putting their fans behind the camera with their film Awesome I F**king Shot That; and recording three new studio albums in the last decade, 2004’s To The Five Boroughs, 2007’s The Mix-Up and 2011’s Hot Sauce Committee Part Two.


The first British folk troubadour who truly captured the imaginations of early Beatles-era fans on both sides of the Atlantic, Donovan Leitch made the transition from a scruffy blue-jeaned busker into a brocaded hippie traveler on Trans Love Airways. As a folkie on the road with Gypsy Dave, Donovan became a Dylanesque visual presence on the BBC’s Ready Steady Go! starting in 1964, and released several classics: “Catch The Wind,” “Colours,” Buffy Ste.-Marie’s “Universal Soldier,” “To Try For The Sun” and more. That changed in 1966, as he came under the production arm of UK hitmaker Mickie Most, and was signed by Clive Davis to Epic Records in the states. Donovan ignited the psychedelic revolution virtually single-handedly when the iconic single “Sunshine Superman” was released that summer of ’66 (and the LP of the same name, with “Season Of The Witch”). His heady fusion of folk, blues and jazz expanded to include Indian music and the TM (transcendental meditation) movement. Donovan was at the center of the Beatles’ fabled pilgrimage to the Maharishi’s ashram in early ’68 (where, it is said, he taught guitar finger-picking techniques to John and Paul). Donovan’s final Top 40 hit with Most was “Goo Goo Barabajagal (Love Is Hot)” in the summer ’69, backed by the Jeff Beck Group. In the ’70s and ’80s, Donovan continued to record and tour sporadically, including songs for Franco Zeffirelli’s Brother Sun, Sister Moon (finally issued in 2004). During the 1990s, Rick Rubin (after working with Johnny Cash) produced Donovan’s Sutras. The 2008 documentary film, Sunshine Superman: The Journey Of Donovan is an essential overview of his career.


Guns N’ Roses may have began as just another long-haired band trying to make it on the L.A. Sunset Strip club scene, but when they unleashed their debut LP Appetite For Destruction on the world in 1987 they instantly established themselves as one the most dynamic and explosive hard rock bands in history. In many ways, they became the Rolling Stones for a new generation. While their peers produced glossy songs that romanticized the party atmosphere of mid-1980s Los Angeles, frontman Axl Rose, guitarist Slash, drummer Steven Adler, rhythm guitarist Izzy Stradlin and bassist Duff McKagan wrote about the gritty realities of the scene, most memorably on their masterpiece “Welcome To The Jungle.” The massive single “Sweet Child O’ Mine” showed their gentler side, while “Mr. Brownstone” was a brilliant cautionary tale about the dangers of heroin. In 1991, inspired by Queen and Elton John, they released the highly ambitious Use Your Illusion albums on the same day. Epic singles “November Rain” and “Civil War” proved how quickly the band had evolved in a few short years, and they were soon packing stadiums all across the globe. When the tour wrapped in late 1993, the band paid tribute to their 1970s hard rock, punk and glam heroes by recording an album of covers called The Spaghetti Incident.


Bronx-born singer, songwriter and pianist Laura Nyro (1947-1997) was still a teenager in 1966 when she recorded her debut album, and Peter, Paul & Mary cut “And When I Die.” At age 19, Laura played the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival, which brought her to the attention of first-time manager David Geffen. He led her to Columbia, Laura’s record label for the next 25 years, starting with 1968’s iconic Eli And The Thirteenth Confession. Other artists scored hit after hit with her songs, led by the 5th Dimension’s “Stoned Soul Picnic” and “Sweet Blindness” in 1968 (then “Wedding Bell Blues” in ’69 and “Blowin' Away” in ’70). Over two consecutive weeks in October 1969, Blood, Sweat & Tears entered the Hot 100 with “And When I Die,” and Three Dog Night followed with “Eli’s Coming.” In 1970-71, Barbra Streisand charted three consecutive times with Laura Nyro songs, “Stoney End,” “Time And Love” and “Flim Flam Man.” Laura’s 1971 LP with Labelle, Gonna Take A Miracle, an entire program of R&B covers, produced in Philadelphia by Gamble & Huff, remains a classic four decades later. Elton John acclaimed her influence to Elvis Costello: “The soul, the passion, the out-and-out audacity of her rhythmic and melody changes was like nothing I’d ever heard before.” Laura’s tragic death of ovarian cancer at age 49 robbed popular music of one of its purest lights.


Formed in the sin-and-glamour capital of America – Hollywood, California – in 1983, the Red Hot Chili Peppers are one of the most flamboyant, commercially successful and musically influential bands of rock’s last quarter century. Singer Anthony Kiedis, bassist Michael Balzary a/k/a Flea, guitarist Hillel Slovak and drummer Jack Irons were high school pals who combined their passions for Jimi Hendrix, Seventies R&B and hardcore punk with sexual exuberance and local skateboard culture, immediately becoming famous for their outrageous (often near-naked) live shows and incendiary jamming. After Slovak’s death in 1988 and other personnel changes, the Chili Peppers – with guitar prodigy John Frusciante and drummer Chad Smith – broke through with 1991’s BloodSugarSexMagik, a multi-platinum fusion of metal and rap that was pivotal in bringing modern black street culture and music to the Nirvana generation. The Chili Peppers’ hits have run the melodic and emotional gamut from the fierce hip hop of BloodSugar’s “Give It Away” and the 1992 Number Two ballad “Under The Bridge,” one of the best pop songs ever written about the grip of addiction, to the heavy riffing of “Scar Tissue” and the gorgeous melancholy of “Otherside” on 1999’s Californication. The Chili Peppers’ 2006 two-CD set, Stadium Arcadium, went right to Number One, an ambitious collection that added Sixties-pop harmonies, blazing psychedelia and progressive-rock dynamics to their heavy California soul. After their longest hiatus ever, the Chili Peppers returned in the summer of 2011 with a new album, I’m With You (which debuted at Number One in 17 countries), and a new tour that will take them through 2013.


Founded in London in 1965, the Small Faces were two great bands in one: visionary mods who were creative peers and commercial equals of the Beatles, the Who and the Rolling Stones, then reborn in the early Seventies with a shortened name and a thrilling inventive hard-rock sound. Together, the Small Faces and Faces have been a lasting inspiration on artists like the Black Crowes, the Jam’s Paul Weller, the Replacements and Oasis. Named for their diminutive stature and mod slang for a snappy dresser, bassist Ronnie Lane, organist Ian McLagan, drummer Kenney Jones and singer Steve Marriott recorded an explosive series of U.K. hit singles and classic albums, mostly written by Marriott and Lane, that set the standard for Sixties soul-inflected pop and English psychedelic romanticism. Marriott’s Cockney-Otis Redding wail was a profound influence on heavy-rock singers like Led Zeppelin’s Robert Plant. When Marriott quit in early 1969, Lane, Jones and McLagan recruited singer Rod Stewart and guitarist Ron Wood, both from the Jeff Beck Group. Fusing R&B, country roots and Fifties rock, the Faces made joyful roots music with arena muscle, cutting their own immortal body of work (1972’s “Stay With Me,” Lane’s elegiac gem “Ooh La La”) while conquering America with boozy-brother showmanship. The Faces broke up in 1975 when Stewart went solo full-time and Wood joined the Stones. (Lane died in 1997.) But in their exuberance and pioneering spirit, the Small Faces and the Faces have always been one band: brilliant, unprecedented and as influential as ever.

Early Influence:


Guitarists ranging from Eric Clapton and Mike Bloomfield, to Peter Green, Jeff Beck and Carlos Santana have all acknowledged their debt to Freddie King (1934-1976), the “Texas Cannonball.” His ’60s classics, “Have You Ever Loved A Woman,” “Hide Away,” “You’ve Got To Love Her With A Feeling” and “The Stumble” are part of the DNA of modern electric blues. Born in Texas, young Freddie arrived in Chicago with his family in 1950, a perfect moment to start learning from Muddy Waters, Little Walter, Jimmy Rogers and all of the legendary post-war bluesmen. Over the next ten years, as the First Great blues revival took shape, Freddie developed a style all his own. In 1961, he miraculously charted six R&B Top 30 hits on the King/Federal label that were heard from coast-to-coast and were profoundly influential on both sides of the Atlantic. Three covers are indelibly etched: “Hideaway” featuring Clapton (on John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, the ‘Beano’ LP of 1966), “The Stumble” and “Someday, After Awhile (You’ll Be Sorry)” (both featuring Green, on Mayall’s A Hard Road, ’67) and “Have You Ever Loved A Woman” (a staple for Clapton ever since the first Derek & the Dominos album). Freddie King thrived on rock, jazz and blues scenes and at festivals starting in the late ’60s and ’70s, even getting name-checked by Grand Funk Railroad on “We’re An American Band” (“Up all night with Freddie King/ I got to tell you, poker’s his thing”). Right up through his death, all too soon at age 42, Freddie influenced Stevie Ray and Jimmie Vaughan, and the next generation of disciples who would take electric blues into the ’80s, ’90s and beyond.

Ahmet Ertegun (nonperformer) Award:


Don Kirshner’s career spanned the heyday of New York's Brill Building, which was the ground zero of pop songwriting in the 1950s and 60s, included a pivotal role in creating the Monkees and the Archies, and later found him hosting the long-running live-music television show Don Kirshner's Rock Concert.
Kirshner began his music career when he met fellow Bronx native Robert Cassotto, They began writing songs together. Cassotto changed his name to Bobby Darin and went on to a successful recording career. In 1958, Kirshner embarked upon a new partnership, founding Aldon Music with musician Al Nevin. Aldon was a songwriting factory, where teams of writers churned out songs to be sold to the stars of the day. Neil Diamond was one of the first songwriters signed up to Aldon, and the company roster soon grew to include such future Rock and Roll Hall of Famers as Barry Mann and Cynthia Weill, Gerry Goffin and Carole King and Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman. In 1963, Kirshner and Nevins sold the Aldon songs catalog to Screen Gems. Kirshner embarked upon the second act of his career, masterminding the made for-television group the Monkees and the made-for-cartoon group the Archies. By 1972, Kirshner was concentrating on his television career. That year he became executive producer on ABC's live-music show, In Concert. In 1973, he debuted Don Kirshner's Rock Concert. The show hosted performances by a who’s who of rock luminaries, including the Rolling Stones, the Eagles, David Bowie, Fleetwood Mac, Blondie, the Ramones and the Allman Brothers, among many others. Don Kirshner's Rock Concert was broadcast until 1982, and Kirshner retired, first to New Jersey, then Boca Raton, Florida, where he died of heart failure on January 17, 2011.

The Award for Musical Excellence:


New Orleans R&B historian Jeff Hannusch has written that “Virtually every R&B record made in New Orleans between the late 40s and early 70s was engineered by Cosimo Matassa, and recorded in one of his four studios.” As the owner of J&M Recording Studios in the city’s French Quarter, Matassa recorded the music that helped give birth to rock and roll. Fats Domino, Dave Bartholomew, Little Richard, Lloyd Price, Smiley Lewis, Professor Longhair, Roy Brown and countless others created magic at J&M. Matassa opened the J&M Record Shop in 1945, and installed recording equipment in the back of the store. There were no recording studios in the city at the time, and J&M became a gathering place for musicians. Matassa sought to capture rather than shape the city’s thriving R&B scene: “I always tried to capture the dynamics of a live performance. These guys were doing these songs on their gigs and that was the sound that I was trying to get. We didn’t have any gimmicks—no overdubbing, no reverb—nothing. Those guys played with a lot of excitement; and I felt if I couldn’t put it in the groove, people weren’t going to move.” Record labels like DeLuxe, Atlantic, Chess, Imperial, King and Specialty lined up to record at J&M. He moved the studio around New Orleans in later years and kept on recording New Orleans greats like Aaron Neville, Lee Dorsey, and Robert Parker.


Tom Dowd (1925-2002) was a scientist who deeply loved soulful, funky music. His attention to sonic detail, embrace of new technology, and love of music gained him the trust of rock and roll’s biggest stars who asked him to record their greatest albums. After completing high school he worked at Columbia University in the Physics Department where he conducted research on nuclear power and became a technician in the now infamous Manhattan Project. His dreams of becoming a nuclear physicist research specialist were sidetracked when he began using his engineering knowledge to work as a freelancer for various New York record labels. In 1954 he was brought in as a staff engineer and producer at Atlantic Records. “Tom’s contributions to the development and evolution of Atlantic Records was inestimable,” said Jerry Wexler, “you couldn’t quantify it, it was just enormous.” Dowd was responsible for embracing a number of technological innovations at Atlantic including the use of stereo and eight-track recording machines. But for Dowd it wasn’t simply about turning the EQ knobs on a mixing board. He tried to find ways to capture the spirit and visceral energy of musical performance and reproduce it on record. At Atlantic he recorded, and occasionally produced, artists such as Big Joe Turner, Ruth Brown, LaVern Baker, Ray Charles, John Coltrane, Ornette Coleman, Aretha Franklin, Solomon Burke, Wilson Pickett, and Otis Redding – to name just a few. Dowd never allowed himself to be boxed into a single musical sound. His ears were always open, and in later years he helped to create the signature sound of the Allman Brothers, Cream, Dusty Springfield, Rod Stewart, Bette Midler, Chicago, and the James Gang.


Engineer and producer Glyn Johns was born in Epsom, England, on February 15, 1942. He began his career as a performer, fronting the band the Presidents during the early 1960s. He became an apprentice to the producer Shel Talmy, who worked with the Who and the Kinks. By 1965, Johns was engineering Rolling Stones’ recording sessions, including 1967's Their Satanic Majesties Request and 1968’s Beggars Banquet. In addition to his work with the Stones, he engineered albums for Traffic, Procol Harum, Spooky Tooth, the Move and Billy Nichols in 1968 alone. Also in 1968, he found the time to engineer and produce the Steve Miller Band’s album Sailor, which led to more production work.
By 1971, Johns had hit his stride as a producer, with Who’s Next by the Who, the Rolling Stones’ Sticky Fingers and the Faces’ A Nod Is as Good as a Wink to a Blind Horse to his credit. He produced the Eagles’ first three albums and is arguably responsible for creating that group’s distinct Southern California sound. He was asked to rescue the Beatles’ ill-fated Get Back sessions and worked on the tapes for months before the project was turned over to Phil Spector to complete as Let It Be. Johns’ production and engineering throughout the Seventies included work with the Band, Joe Cocker, Rod Stewart, Eric Clapton and many others. In the Eighties, Johns worked as engineer or producer for the Who, the Clash and Jimmy Page. His Nineties credits include production for John Hiatt, David Crosby and Belly. Johns’ most recent work is as mixer, engineer and producer of Ryan Adams’ 2011 album, Ashes and Fire.

About the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation was established by legendary record executive Ahmet Ertegun and a group of music business executives to honor the artists that have defined rock and roll and have inspired and continue to inspire a generation. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, Inc. is the nonprofit organization that exists to educate visitors, fans and scholars from around the world about the history and continuing significance of rock and roll music. It carries out this mission both through its operation of a world-class museum designed by I.M. Pei in Cleveland, Ohio that collects, preserves, exhibits and interprets this art form and through its library and archives as well as educational programs. For further information, please visit rockhall.com.

Source: http://rockhall.com/pressroom/announcements/2012-inductees-announced/
Facebook Event Page: http://www.facebook.com/events/195557547197418/
Related Discussion: http://www.gunsnfnroses.com/index.php?/topic/10017-gnr-officially-inducted-into-rock-hall-via-eddie-trunk/page__st__40__p__120143#entry120143

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Guns N' Roses Voted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame!

Beatie Boys, Guns N' Roses, Laura Nyro, Donovan tapped for Rock's Hall of Fame

Tomorrow - Dec 7, 2011 - the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio will officially announce that Guns N' Roses have been voted in.

The ceremony will take place on April 14, 2012 in Cleveland. Many fans hope that this occasion will entice the Classic Lineup to appear together on the same stage for the first time since 1993.

Slash and Steven Adler have both said they will attend the ceremony, and in his interview with Eddie Trunk this past October, Axl Rose seems to have softened his stance against appearing there.

Axl Rose recently revived "Estranged" and "Civil War," 2 songs he wrote with Slash and has not performed since 1993.

Congratulations guys! You deserve it!!


Monday, December 5, 2011

Axl Sings Civil War in Nashville

Last night, at the Bridgestone arena in Nashville, TN, Axl Rose sang "Civil War" for the first time in nearly 19 years! The last time he sang it was on February 6, 1993 in Auckland, New Zealand as part of the original band's Use Your Illusion tour.

Earlier this year, Axl also dusted off "Estranged" after an absence of 18+ years.

Guns N' Roses have been nominated for the Rock N' Roll Hall of Fame. Many people expect a reunion of the original band, should they be inducted in April 2012.

Video HERE. Discussion HERE.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Italian Fans Launch Online Campaign for Guns N' Roses Reunion

A group of Italian Guns N' Roses fans have launched an online campaign in a bid to urge the original members of the band to reunite for next year's Rock N' Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony.

The group are favourites to be added to the Cleveland, Ohio museum on April 14, 2012 and devotees hope the big occasion will bring Axl Rose, Slash, Duff McKagan and Izzy Stradlin back together.

Fans are being asked to sign a petition on GNRonline.it - the biggest online Italian community dedicated to Guns N' Roses.

The official statement reads, "25 years ago a band would come and save Rock N' Roll. 25 years later they are taking their place in history - this might be your only chance to see Axl, Izzy, Slash, Duff and Steven play together one last time - you know it's hard, but together we will make it - join our call and PLEAD FOR a Guns N'Roses reunion at the Rock N' Roll Hall of Fame on April 14, 2012. We see in the plausible Rock N' Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony, which will take place on April 14, 2012, a unique possibiliy to make this happen. Perhaps the only one. Our decision goes beyond any other projects Slash, Izzy, Steven or Duff might be working on. It goes beyond the "New" Guns N' Roses, whose Chinese Democracy and tour we always supported and will continue to do so as GN'R tours the Americas in 2011.

You can view the petition here.

Battle of the Bands (and Egos) for the Rock Hall of Fame

New York Times
Old rock ’n’ rollers don’t fade away. They just hope for a nod from Cleveland.

Specifically, for a nod from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, where the stars who once filled our ears get another shot at immortality, or at least some big money.

With the recording industry under financial attack from many sides, one of the few ways for old acts to pique new interest is to be inducted into the hall of fame. So, each fall, managers and record labels dive into a mosh pit of monster egos, clashing tastes and rival interests in the industry, all in the hope of placing their artists among the royalty of rock. The 15 nominees for 2012 include The Cure, Donna Summer, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts and Guns N’ Roses. Ballots are due on Sunday, and winners will be announced on Wednesday.

For the inductees, the reward can be enormous. Weekly record sales for a performer or band leap 40 to 60 percent, on average, in the weeks after selection, says David Bakula, a senior vice president at Nielsen SoundScan. While winning a Grammy often helps one album, a nod from Cleveland can lift an entire back catalog.

These days, labels and artists need all the help they can get. The music business is worth half of what it was 10 years ago, and the decline doesn’t look as if it will slow anytime soon. Total revenue from shipments of CDs, DVDs and other music products in the United States was $6.85 billion in 2010, according to the Recording Industry Association of America; in 2000, that figure topped $14 billion.

But the path to the hall of fame can be long and difficult. Controversy surrounds the selection process, which is shrouded in secrecy.

What is known is that a nominating committee of about 30 music critics, entertainment lawyers and recording executives winnows the field each year to 15 artists. Then another committee, this one of about 500 people, including past winners, selects five inductees. Artists can qualify for a spot 25 years after their first recording, which means that performers from the 1980s now have a chance to rank up there with Elvis. (The winners to be announced this week will be inducted at a ceremony next April.)

With fame and money at stake, it’s no surprise that a lot of backstage lobbying goes on. Why any particular act is chosen in any particular year is a mystery to performers as well as outsiders — and committee members say they want to keep it that way. The Bee Gees were passed over 11 times before being inducted in 1997; some fans and managers say the long wait reflected an anti-disco bias within the selection committees. And despite 27 studio albums and 45 years of touring, as well as a style that would influence many other artists, Alice Cooper was passed over 16 times before finally being inducted this year.

“When I wasn’t being nominated, I played it down all the time,” Mr. Cooper says. “But it really does make a big difference.”

He continues: “I used to think that when you got in, you’d understand how it worked, and how you get nominated — there would be a secret handshake, and there’d be a dossier about Area 51 and the president’s assassination.”

No such luck.

Rhino Records, which handles his back catalog, took advantage of his induction, however. It ran 30-second spots during the televised induction ceremony and made sure that Alice Cooper compilations, boxed sets and deluxe editions were available at Web sites and brick-and-mortar retailers. Mr. Cooper says the number of young people attending his concerts has jumped. So far this year, sales of his CDs, digital albums and other compilations are up significantly in the United States, to about 115,000 from 75,000 in all of 2010, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

This hall-of-fame effect is well established in the recording industry. For instance, sales of Bee Gees albums surged to 1.1 million in 1997, the year of the group’s induction, from 210,000 in 1996. Sales of Fleetwood Mac albums jumped to 3.2 million in 1998, when that band was inducted, from 483,000 in 1997, according to SoundScan.

In 2009, good news from Cleveland bolstered the career of Wanda Jackson, “the queen of rockabilly,” who gained fame in the mid-1950s and 60s. After Ms. Jackson was inducted, she collaborated on an album with Jack White of the White Stripes. Suddenly Ms. Jackson, who is now 74, was everywhere, opening for Adele’s 2011 tour and even rocking out, alongside Mr. White, on the “Late Show With David Letterman.”

“She had a phenomenal and, frankly, deserved refocus on her life and career,” says Joel Peresman, the president and chief executive of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation. “I think we give some really deserved artists another chance at the spotlight.”

Their labels get another chance, too. The biggest gains come for artists who, along with managers and record labels, aggressively promote their hall-of-fame status in music magazines and online. Many also rush out or reissue boxed sets, greatest-hits albums and commemorative CD-DVD collections.

“Because of the increased awareness, there’s definitely an increase in sales across their catalogs,” says Jane Ventom, senior vice president for catalog marketing at EMI Music North America.

Bands that split up near the peak of their popularity and then get back together for the induction ceremonies can reap the biggest rewards, because fans often dream of a big reunion tour, à la the Eagles.

“With certain artists, it really gives them another bite at the apple,” Mr. Peresman says.

But this being rock ’n’ roll, things don’t always go smoothly. The Sex Pistols were no-shows at their induction in 2006. When Van Halen was inducted in 2007, fans buzzed that David Lee Roth would get back together with his old band mates and, possibly, agree to a reunion tour. But old squabbles resurfaced, several Van Halen members didn’t show, and Velvet Revolver was brought in to play some Van Halen hits as a tribute.

This year, many in the industry are watching Guns N’ Roses. The front man Axl Rose and the guitarist Saul Hudson, known as Slash, had a fallout during the early 1990s, when the band was at its peak. Speculation is rife that Mr. Rose and Slash might reunite for the ceremony if the band is inducted. Mr. Rose has been playing with a rotating roster of musicians under the Guns N’ Roses name, a move that has sharply divided fans. Big-name managers like Irving Azoff, who successfully reunited the Eagles, have tried and failed to get the original band together.

Mr. Cooper, who is a friend of both Mr. Rose and Slash, says a reunion tour would be a huge hit. The payoff could be tens of millions of dollars, if not hundreds of millions.

“If they got together, they would be selling out football stadiums,” Mr. Cooper says.

Cliff Burnstein, co-founder of Q Prime Management, which represents Metallica and other bands, agrees. “If they announced a tour off of that, it would kill — totally kill,” he says.

Mr. Burnstein has been lobbying this year on behalf of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, who are among the nominees.

Another 2012 nominee, War, is in a similar situation, although on a smaller scale than Guns N’ Roses. War split up in 1986, and several founding members formed the Lowrider Band. War’s lead singer, Lonnie Jordan, who carried on under the original name, hasn’t spoken to his former band mates for years, except in court, but he says that he hopes all of them will show up if War is inducted into the hall.

“We had a great marriage at one time and we made beautiful kids, which is the music,” Mr. Jordan says. “I hold no grudges against anyone.”

Jann Wenner, publisher and co-founder of Rolling Stone magazine and co-founder of the hall of fame, says that most artists put aside their differences when inducted, even if it’s just for a night. The Van Halen fiasco was an anomaly, he says.

Such dramas aside, the big issue for many industry insiders is the selection process itself. Doc McGhee, who manages Kiss, has been particularly critical. He says the hall of fame has had a bias against certain hard-rock bands like Kiss, Bon Jovi and Def Leppard. (Kiss fans have gone so far as to stage rallies outside the hall of fame.)

Allen Kovac, the president of Tenth Street Entertainment, says he had to intervene on behalf of the Bee Gees, who were a client. He called two committee members at the time — Ahmet Ertegun, founder of Atlantic Records, and Seymour Stein of Sire Records — to make a case for the band, a chart-topper in the 1970s.

“There was a great prejudice against one of the best groups of all time,” Mr. Kovac says. “They were being held out of the hall of fame because some guys didn’t like ‘You Should Be Dancing.’ ”

Most bands and managers don’t have that kind of access, and Mr. Kovac says he would like to see the nominating committee overhauled to include representatives from new forces within the industry, like iTunes, Yahoo and Pandora.

Mr. Peresman of the hall of fame says plans are in the works to get the public more involved. The hall recently introduced a feature on its Web site that lets fans vote for nominees. The poll, however, will have no impact on the committee’s decisions.

Jon Landau, who manages Bruce Springsteen and is chairman of the nominating committee, concedes that the choices are subjective. But he defends the status quo. The hall of fame, he says, recognizes quality and influence, not record sales or flavor-of-the-month popularity.

“I, like everybody else in the room, have favorites,” Mr. Landau says. Committee members, like old band mates, often bicker among themselves. But don’t expect to hear the details.

“We’ve done a good job of keeping the proceedings nontransparent,” he says. “It all dies in the room.”

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Slash #65 on Rolling Stone's 100 Greatest Guitarists

Rolling Stone
He may have spent much of his Guns N' Roses prime shirtless, drunk and surrounded by snakes, but Slash brought good taste and restraint back to hard-rock guitar. "It was a stripped-down rock & roll sound compared to what everybody else was doing," says Slash. He could riff like Joe Perry, and intertwine, Stones-style, with Izzy Stradlin. And lyrical solos like the from-the-mountaintop grandeur of "November Rain" were permanently laced into the songs' fabric. "It's hard to play those solos any other way," says Slash. "It will sound wrong."

Key Tracks: "Sweet Child O'Mine," "Welcome to the Jungle"

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Reckless Road to be Released in UK as a "Bookazine"

Reckless Road: Guns N' Roses And The Making Of Appetite For Destruction, in which author Marc Canter tells of the making of the band's multimillion-selling debut, Appetite for Destruction, will be released in the UK on December 1 as a Classic Rock bookazine called Classic Rock Presents Reckless Road: Guns N' Roses And The Making Of Appetite For Destruction.

Marc Canter is an amateur photographer and the owner and general manager of the legendary rock 'n' roll hangout Canter's Deli in Los Angeles, California. He has been friends with Slash for over 34 years and, has had unlimited access to the formative years of one of the greatest rock bands of all time, Guns N' Roses. An avid collector, Canter is proud and excited to share his memories with the public for the first time.

When teenager and amateur photographer Marc Canter set out to document his best friend Saul Hudson's rise as a rock guitarist in 1982, he never imagined he was documenting the genesis of the next great rock 'n' roll band. His friend became the legendary guitarist Slash, and Canter found himself witnessing the creation of GN'R front and center. The candid shots contained in Reckless Road, taken as the band toured in 1985-1987 and made the legendary album Appetite For Destruction, capture their raw, blood-sweat-and-tears performances as well as their intimate moments. Containing original gig memorabilia including show flyers, ticket stubs, set lists, press clippings, and handwritten lyrics as well as in-depth interviews with band members and the people closest to them, Reckless Road offers an explicit, first-person perspective readers won't find anywhere else.

Discuss this story with other Guns N' Roses fans here.

Originally published in America in 2008, Reckless Road contains interviews with Slash, Duff McKagan and Steven Adler, as well as groupies, failed producers, and former managers and bandmates. Canter amassed a treasure trove of memorabilia, including:

* Lyrics to "My Michelle", written on the back of a water-stained flier
* A $37,500 advance check from Geffen that has Slash's name misspelled as "Stash"
* 1,000 never-before-seen photos
* Audio/video recordings for the bands first 50 shows


Sunday, November 13, 2011

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Axl Rose Talks State of Guns N' Roses and Addresses Rumors on That Metal Show

Ultimate Classic Rock
Guns N’ Roses frontman Axl Rose might be a difficult guy, even for a metal god, but you’d never know it from his interview he did with That Metal Show on VH1 Classic last night (Nov 11).

Funny, articulate and at times humble, the interview seemed to usher in a kinder, gentler Rose, especially when asked about the band’s nomination for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. If GN’R get inducted, it would presumably team Rose with Slash and his other former bandmates. Although Rose has never reconciled with Slash, going so far as to call him a cancer, he only had kind things to say about the nomination.

“[Elton John] asked me to induct him,” said Rose, wearing shades, a black hat, jeans, and a partially unbuttoned white shirt. “I am very proud of that, still. I don’t know what [the nomination] means in terms of me and the old band … I don’t know — that is still all up in the air. It’s an honor to be on the nomination and I know there is definitely an element of the fans that really like that.”

After telling Rose they and others think he’s a very funny, nice guy, host Eddie Trunk and the other hosts asked him a bit about the rumors that have swirled around him for years.

“There are too many things, two decades of people talking. Most of the time they are talking about somebody who had a bias or might have said something and they were joking,” said Rose, adding that political feuds among publicists also caused him to be set up at times. “It didn’t hit me that I should nip it in the bud.”

He added that he has taken some of the talk personally and it’s taken him a long time to get over it but now he tries to not wade into the rumor mill.

That didn’t stop him from shaking his head over the more bizarre rumors, though.

“When ‘Sweet Child of Mine’ took off, KISS FM [in Los Angeles], the biggest DJ, talked about how I have a tattoo of California on one side [of my leg],” he said. “It’s like in England they wrote about how I ran over my dogs and ate them!”

He also talked about playing London’s O2 arena last year when former GN’R bassist Duff McKagan joined him onstage to play ‘Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door,’ ‘Nice Boys’ and ‘You Could Be Mine.’ He added that he and McKagan would work together again but didn’t mention any other plans to reunite with other former members. Rose has said many times int he past he would not reunite with Slash again.

“One of the two of us will die before a reunion,” Rose told Billboard in 2009. “However sad, ugly or unfortunate anyone views it, it is how it is.”
For now, though, Rose concentrated on his excitement about the current lineup of the band and how much he is enjoying his first U.S. tour in five years.

“I feel great with the lineup and the chemistry and stuff,” he said. “I feel the right people helped make [the 2008 record 'Chinese Democracy'] and the right people are playing that want to be here.”

When Chinese Democracy was recorded, there were a lot of extra songs that didn’t make it onto the album. Rose didn’t say when or if those songs will soon make it onto a new Guns N’ Roses album.

“Yeah, we’re trying to figure it out,” he said. “We’re working with new management and feeling things out in the US as we are going throughout the country.”

Those that think Rose’s spark has dimmed a bit, though, needn’t worry. When talking about the album cover for ‘Appetite for Destruction, he talked about the first cover shot that he wanted for the album.

“The original cover that was never made was going to be the Challenger exploding [in 1986],” he said. “It wasn’t meant derogatory. That photo just blew my mind and [the record company wouldn't let me use it because they said] ‘That is in bad taste.’”

Discussion thread here.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Slash Shows Off His Band's Chemistry on New Live Disc

On Slash's 2010 self-titled release, the guitarist worked with some of rock's greatest singers – Ozzy Osbourne, Lemmy, Chris Cornell and Iggy Pop, among others. When it came time to tour, those vocalists obviously had other committments, so the guitarist recruited Alter Bridge singer Myles Kennedy, as well as bassist Todd Kerns and drummer Brent Fitz, to travel around the world with him.

He wasn't looking for this to be a long-term band, but the chemistry was undeniable. "It was one of those moments where from on high you get sort of a blessing and get all the right people without looking for them. It just happened," Slash tells Rolling Stone. "From the onset we clicked. We just got better and better over time."

Stream the full album here.

That cohesion is on display on Made In Stoke 24/7/11, a live chronicle of the guitarist's return to Stoke-on-Trent, the town where he was raised until the age of five. Featuring a mix of Guns N' Roses tracks ("Rocket Queen," "Sweet Child O' Mine," "Mr. Brownstone"), Slash's Snakepit tunes and material from Slash, the live album shows the quartet has melded into a real band.

Making it official, they're already at work on an untitled album due in April of next year. Slash knew very early this was the group to make his next album, he says. "I learned way back in March of 2010, when we did our first show at the Roxy, [and even] before that, when we were rehearsing, there was something that clicked with those guys," he says. "It was just always a lot of fun, and I decided that’s who I wanted to do the record with."

Stream the full album here.

Thus far they've recorded three tracks, with 14 more to come in December and January when Kennedy gets off the road with Alter Bridge. Slash is pumped up about what they've done so far, calling it "fucking rad." "On the last record, creatively it was pretty open-ended. This one is very diverse, but it’s one band," he says. "It’s really cool. It rocks really hard. There are some cool epic songs and a couple of really cool ballads. I hate calling them ballads – more bluesy tunes. It just covers a lot."

Full interview and stream here.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Inside Axl Rose's First TV Interview in Over a Decade

For the first time in over a decade, reclusive Guns N' Roses frontman Axl Rose has sat down for a TV interview, chatting with Eddie Trunk, Jim Florentine, and Don Jamieson, the hosts of VH1's That Metal Show, backstage following a stop on GN'R's U.S. tour in Miami on October 29. The interview didn't start until 5:30 A.M. — and it went for close to two hours. There was a lot to catch up on. SPIN got the lowdown on what Axl discussed straight from Trunk. (The interview airs on the season premiere of That Metal Show on National Metal Day, November 11). "Love him or hate him, he's still Axl Rose," Trunk tells SPIN. "And he's masterfully found a way to always be interesting."

How'd this rare interview come together?
The only radio appearance Axl has done in the past few decades was on my radio show about five years ago. He walked into my radio studio in 2006 completely out of left field. Nobody saw it coming and he hung out with me for over three hours on the air. We had some connection, so I had a feeling that there was a chance this TV interview might happen. We have a level of trust. He's been at the top of our list for a long time. But it's always a gamble.

What did you think of the new lineup's performance?
I've seen various versions of GN'R since the original band broke up, some lineups better than others, but I was pleasantly surprised. Axl in particular sounded great. People always ask, "Was it as good as the original band?" No band is ever going to be as good as the original lineup. That shouldn't even a be part of the thought process. That said, they did great renditions of the old songs, they played the new material, and everyone had a solo, a chance to shine.

Why did the interview start so late?
I asked him about his perpetual history of late starts during the interview. He said it's all about when he feels that everything is right and he feels ready to go. He made a joke that being late has plagued him since his childhood. So, when the band went on at midnight I told my producer, "There's no way he's going to play for three hours, then get off stage and do an interview." Around 4 or 5 A.M. I was sure it wasn't going to happen. But sure enough, at 5:30 A.M., Axl walked into the locker room where we set up. He was as fresh as a daisy. He sat down and was in no hurry to leave. He wanted his guitarist DJ Ashba to be on the set with him, too. It was shocking. He's a nocturnal guy, but I expected him to walk off the stage and right out the door to South Beach. He said that in those couple of hours between the end of the show and the interview that he was cooling down. He takes a lot of precautions to preserve his voice. But it's all on Axl time, no question. If you're going to attempt to interview Axl, then you better get plenty sleep the night before, and not have anything to do early the next morning.

What was Axl's demeanor during the interview?
When he first came into the room he had his guard up. He knows me, but he did not know my co-hosts. But he looked great. About five minutes into the interview we had him chuckling. He loosened up and had some fun. We were not going to beat him up for coming in late.

Were there any topics you were told not to discuss?
The only thing he didn't want to discuss, understandably, was a reunion with the original lineup. He's all about this band, this lineup. Journalists constantly bring up the idea of a reunion. But there's nothing imminent about it. It defeats the purpose of what they're doing now. Axl feels like it's disrespectful to his new band. But we talked about past members of the band throughout the interview. Axl brought up some of the old guys before we even did.

So he's really excited about this new lineup?
Yeah. Axl emphasized that this current tour, which goes until the end of December in America, is extremely important to him and the new band. It's hugely important for fans to see him after all the BS and misconceptions. It's really important for fans to see him having fun and championing this band. Yes, this band is very important to him. He pointed out that every member of the band does a solo. He said, "If this was just the Axl Rose show, and I wasn't worried about promoting a band, then I wouldn't be giving these three different guitar players the spotlight." He said, "It's really important to me that people see this as a band."

Do you think this lineup will release new albums and tour more often?
I think so. Axl did say that he wants Guns to be more active. He feels good about the team around him. He has a new manager. Axl's bandmembers told us that he has a ton of songs that they've all heard. It's just a matter of honing in and getting into the studio to recorded and then release them.

Axl said that original GN'R bassist Duff McKagan's band Loaded will be opening select dates on this tour.
Yep. When I asked Axl about Duff playing with GN'R in England, he volunteered that information. However, I don't think there's any definite plan. Axl mentioned it in passing. But since then I've heard from a number of people doubting it, saying, "Well, that's a nice idea." To my knowledge there's nothing locked in yet.

Axl and his former manager, Irving Azoff, have been suing and counter-suing each other. Was that discussed?
We didn't get into the business and lawsuit stuff too much. But without citing specific names, Axl mentioned that various managers, agents, and promoters over the years have been far more responsible for what's gone down than he has. Axl is probably getting sued or countersued every day. It's almost hard to keep track.

Guns N' Roses are nominated for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Did you ask about that? Who from the original lineup would attend the ceremony to accept the award?
Axl said that he doesn't really follow that stuff. He said it's an honor to be nominated, but he doesn't know how it's going to play out. Axl's a huge fan of Elton John and it was an honor for him to induct Elton a few years back. So it seems that Axl thinks that anything that's good by Elton is good by him. But it seemed too premature to discuss. First GN'R have to see if they get in. Then they'll see how it plays out. I've talked to Slash about it, too, actually. Slash and I are friends, and Slash basically feels that if they get into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, then they'll see who shows up and who doesn't. Whoever shows up will stand onstage. Slash remembered the legendary debacle with Van Halen. They had two guys who weren't even in Van Halen — Michael Anthony and Sammy Hagar — up onstage accepting the award! So I know Slash wants to avoid anything awkward like that.

Do you think the Slash Vs. Axl Rose beef is repairable?
I do. I saw Slash a couple days ago in Los Angeles, where I was giving an award for Ronnie James Dio's cancer foundation, and we talked a little bit. He knew that I'd just interviewed Axl, and he asked about Axl and how he was. I said that Axl mentioned him in the interview, and that it wasn't anything negative. Slash said, "Yeah, we've actually been pretty cool lately." Slash is a pretty easy-going guy, and he'll ride with the tide. But it's hard to get a read on it. But outside of Slash, Axl is cool with every other original member of Guns. Izzy [Stradlin] comes out and plays with Axl and the band every once in a while. Duff just played with him. There are no issues with either of the two drummers. If there's a rub with the Rock Hall induction, it would only be about Slash. In talking to both Slash and Axl, though, they're both very committed to their careers right now. Axl is amped about this new GNR lineup, and I just heard Slash's next record, which is coming out next year. It's amazing. The media dwells on their relationship more than the guys themselves do.

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