On Oct. 17 Elvis Costello shared a chilling new song from his upcoming studio album Hey Clockface. "Newspaper Pane," accompanied by an animated lyric video that has been shared on YouTube, tells the story of a woman cooped up in a room where the windows are covered with old newspapers, which she put up to allow herself to immerse herself in the details of an unattainable life. Hey Clockface, due Oct. 30, was recorded by the iconic New Wave musician after he was separated from his regular collaborators by the coronavirus pandemic earlier in 2020. Meanwhile, a new box set collection of Costello's classic 1979 set Armed Forces is being reissued on Nov. 6. - New Musical Express, 10/17/20...... "Leave Virginia Alone," a new Tom Petty single culled from his newly released Wildflowers and All the Rest box set, has debuted at No. 23 on Billboard's Adult Alternative Songs chart for the week ending Oct. 23. "Leave Virginia Alone" also has the distinction of being covered by Rod Stewart in 1995 for his A Spanner in the Works LP and rose to No. 10 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary airplay chart and No. 34 on the Pop Songs chart that July. At the time, Stewart explained that the song "was for Tom Petty's album, and he took it off because it was too close lyrically to something that was a hit beforehand, and his manager couldn't persuade him to put it on the album. So his manager, who's a friend of my manager, said, 'Would Rod listen to the song?'" Stewart, who confessed that he "wasn't really a Tom Petty fan" but he thought Petter was "a good performer though," also revealed that "Leave Virginia Alone" "absolutely went by me" the first time he heard it. "It took me two or three good listens. I had to be persuaded to do it, in other words. But now I'm glad we did," Stewart noted. Petty's version of "Leave Virginia Alone," which he solely wrote and didn't make the final Wildflowers album, can be streamed on YouTube. 1994's Wildflowers was the second solo album from Petty, who died at age 66 in 2017. - Billboard, 10/16/20...... Speaking of Tom Petty, Stevie Nicks recently told Forbes magazine that listening to the late Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member has helped her through the grief of losing her rocker pal. "He spent a lot of time on [Petty's Sirius XM] radio station to the point where the rest of the Heartbreakers were like, 'So you missed your calling. You just really wanted to be a disc jockey'," mused Nicks, who enjoyed a longstanding personal and professional relationship with Petty, and the pair duetted at London's Hyde Park just months before his Oct. 2017. "He did so much work on it they've been able to totally keep the Tom Petty radio station alive and I'm so happy about that because to me I hear him and it's like I'm talking to him while he's talking to us... I forget that he's gone because of that station," she added. Nicks also lamented the loss of several other of her rocker friends in the past few years, including Prince, Glenn Frey and Eddie Van Halen. "In the last couple of years of [my dad's] life, at one point he said to me, 'All my friends are dead'," she remembered. "The people that live to be really old, like hopefully me, there will be a time where a lot of people will be gone. And I certainly never expected for Prince and Tom Petty to be gone in 2020." - Music-News.com, 10/17/20...... A new action figure of late Motörhead frontman Lemmy Kilmister has been unveiled for the 40th anniversary of Motörhead's classic Ace of Spades album. The 3.753 "Lemmy ReAction figurine" is designed by Super7, who announced the news on Instagram on Oct. 17. "To commemorate the 40th Anniversary of the Ace Of Spades album, Super7 is proud to present the man, the myth, the legend," reads the caption. Led by designer Brian Flynn, the San Francisco-based company have previously released Iron Maiden and Misfits paraphernalia, as well as covering Star Wars, Alien and Planet Of The Apes. The 40th anniversary Ace Of Spades reissue box set drops on Oct. 30 with 42 previously unreleased tracks. - NME, 10/17/20...... The Kinks are celebrating the 50th anniversary of their classic 1970 album Lola Versus Powerman and The Moneygoround, Part One with a special set of reissues, including a limited edition deluxe 10 slipcased book pack (containing a 60-page book, 3 CDs, 2 7" singles and four color prints), digital exclusives, and a 2xCD hardback book. Commonly abbreviated to either Lola Versus Powerman or Lola, the band's eighth studio album was released in Nov. 1970 and included such songs as "Lola" and "Apeman." Speaking about the album, Kinks frontman Ray Davies said: "The album is a celebration of artistic freedom (including my own) and the right for anyone to be gender free if one wishes. The secret is to be a good and trusting person and friend. A brand new Davies-helmed remix/medley of the Kinks track "Any Time" titled "The Follower/Any Time 20202" was released on Oct. 14 and can be streamed on YouTube. - NME, 10/15/20...... Fleetwood Mac's 1977 No. 1 single "Dreams" has re-entered the Billboard Hot 100 pop chart for the week of Oct. 17 sparked by a viral TikTok video featuring the song. Landing at No. 21, it's the first time the song has landed on the Hot 100 since its original run No. 1. "Dreams" garnered 13.4 million streams (up 54%) and 22,000 downloads sold (up 197%) in the tracking week ending Oct. 8, according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data. In the TikTok clip, Idahoan Nathan Apodaca rides his longboard while drinking a large bottle of Ocean Spray Cran-Raspberry juice, backed by "Dreams." The video became so popular that the band's own Mick Fleetwood recreated the clip. Ocean Spray even gifted Apodaca a red pickup truck (filled with bottles of Ocean Spray juice). "Dreams" originally debuted on the Hot 100 dated Apr. 16, 1977, and spent a week at No. 1 (June 18). Fleetwood Mac last appeared in the Hot 100's Top 40 on May 19, 1990, with "Save Me." Stevie Nicks has also just posted her own "Dreams" response to Apodaca's TikTok clip on Twitter, tagging Apodaca's TikTok account alongside the caption "Afternoon vibe. Lace 'em up!". - Billboard/NME, 10/13/20...... AC/DC's lead single "Shot in the Dark" from the band's upcoming album Power Up has debuted at No. 5 on Billboard Best Mainstream Rock Songs chart for the week of Oct. 17. "Shot in the Dark" is the most popular Mainstream Rock Songs song in over 12 years, since Disturbed's "Inside the Fire" also ignited at No. 5 on the ranking dated Apr.12, 2008. In other AC/DC news, a former bassist for the group who briefly played with the Aussie headbangers in 1975 has died. Paul Matters joined AC/DC after the release of 1975's High Voltage, replacing original bassist Larry Van Kriedt. Matters was fired only weeks later, reportedly by then AC/DC lead singer Bon Scott, with Mark Evans taking his place in the band. Matters' passing was announced on Facebook by friend Rod Wescombe, who said he had led a "reclusive life" after his dismissal from the band. - Billboard/NME, 10/15/20...... Van Halen songs are dominating Billboard's Hot Hard Rock Songs chart in mid-October following the death of founding guitarist Eddie Van Halen on Oct. 6 after his lengthy battle with throat cancer. In the tracking week running Oct. 2-8, Van Halen's discography earned 49.3 million U.S. on-demand streams, a jump of 463%, according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data. Additionally, the band's album sales spiked 1,442% to 27,000 in sales, while its digital song sales rose 2,522% to 88,000. Multiple classic albums and songs by the band have also reached the Oct. 17-dated charts. Leading the way, "Jump" becomes the first catalog song in the streaming/airplay/sales-based Hot Hard Rock Songs chart's four-month history to reach No. 1, debuting atop the list, ahead of five other Van Halen songs. - Billboard, 10/14/20...... Bob Dylan's Grey Water Park Productions is teaming up with George Clooney for a movie adaptation of John Grisham's baseball-themed novel Calico Joe. The story is set in the world of Major League Baseball and tells a tale about fathers and sons, and forgiveness and redemption. The film is being directed by Clooney's Smokehouse Pictures partner Grant Heslov, who with Clooney said in a joint statment that "John has written a beautiful story and the chance to collaborate with Bob to bring it to the screen is just fantastic." Bob Dylan added: "George and Grant see in this book what I see in it -- a powerful story that will resonate with young and old alike. People in all walks of life will be able relate to it." - Music-News.com, 10/16/20...... In a new interview with the UK paper The Guardian, Peter Frampton revealed that The Who's Pete Townsend once asked him to join The Who as his replacement. Frampton says that during a creative and financial low point in his career, Townshend contacted him to say he was leaving the band and wanted the "Baby, I Love Your Way" singer to fill in on guitar and vocals for him. "It was the most bizarre thing I ever heard... Three men couldn't fill his shoes!," Frampton recalled. Frampton says he declined the offer initially, but says he called back a few days later due to his own financial struggles -- only to discover that Townshend appeared to have no recollection of the conversation. Frampton, 70, also spoke about firing his manager Dee Anthony, who died in 2009, with Frampton claiming that he was shielded from financial issues. "I was kept away from those things," he said. "I was kept high. If I needed weed, he made sure I had weed. If I needed cocaine, he made sure I had cocaine. He didn't want me thinking about what was going on," Frampton added. "It was criminal. I could have put him in jail." - NME, 10/17/20....... Elton John has shared another song from his upcoming career retrospective box set Jewel Box, due Nov. 13 from UMC/EMI. "Here's to the Next Time," which has been shared on YouTube, was recorded at London's DJM Studio in late 1967 when John was still known as Reg Dwight, with the complete version appearing in 1968 as the B-side to John's first single, "I've Been Loving You." "Here's to the Next Time" follows two other rare Elton songs, "Regimental Sgt. Zippo" and "Sing Me Sad Song," which will also feature on Jewel Box. The 50th anniversary box set is split into four parts -- "Deep Cuts," "Rarities," "B-sides," "And This Is Me" -- and will be released in 4xLP, 8xCD, 3xLP and 2xLP formats. - NME, 10/17/20...... In other Elton John news, the Rocket Man has just settled a £3million court dispute with his ex-wife, Renate Blauel. The settlement comes after Blauel sought compensation from John over the summer after he mentioned her in several sections in his autobiography Me, allegedly breaking the terms of an agreement the couple made when they divorced 32 years ago. In papers filed in his defense at the time, the Elton's legal team denied breaching the agreement, arguing the details in the book were public knowledge and that the contract "applies only to private and confidential matters." Now, according to Sky News, a rep for Blauel says "the couple are happy to announce that they have resolved this case, in a way that acknowledges Renate's need for privacy." "For her part, Renate acknowledges that Elton has acted in a dignified and respectful way towards her in the last 30 years and has been always happy to help her," according to the rep. John has also reacted to his his fallout with Rod Stewart in a new chapter of Me, which has been recently published. In 2018, Rod criticized Elton's decision to head out on his extensive "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" farewell tour, branding it "money-grabbing." John now writes that Stewart had a "f---ing cheek" lecturing him about "rock and roll." He wrote: "I certainly didn't feel like I needed a lecture on the feral spirit of rock and roll from someone who'd spent most of the last decade crooning his way through the Great American Songbook and Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas." - NME, 10/14/20...... Phil Collins has issued a ceast and desist order to the Pres. Donald Trump re-election campaign over the use of Collins' iconic 1981 single "In The Air Tonight" at a Trump campaign event in Des Moines, Iowa on Oct. 14. Collins' reps confirmed in a statement to the Consequence of Sound website that have issued the order, following the likes of the Rolling Stones, Neil Young, Linkin Park, the estate of Tom Petty and more in objecting to their music being used at Trump events. "Yes we are well aware of the Trump campaign's use of this song and we have already issued a 'cease and desist' letter via our lawyers who continue to monitor the situation," a rep for Collins said. Meanwhile, John Fogerty says he's issuing his own cease and desist order to the Trump campaign over use of the 1969 Creedence Clearwater Revival hit "Fortunate Son" at Trump rallies. Posting on Twitter on Oct. 16, Fogerty said: "He is using my words and my voice to portray a message that I do not endorse." Sharing the statement along with a photograph of himself in uniform, Fogerty explained that "Fortunate Son"' came about "because, as a veteran, I was disgusted that some people were allowed to be excluded from serving our country because they had access to political and financial privilege... I also wrote about wealthy people not paying their fair share of taxes. Mr. Trump is a prime example of both of these issues. "The fact that Mr. Trump also fans the flames of hatred, racism, and fear while rewriting ancient history, is even more reason to be troubled by his use of my song," he added. - NME, 10/17/20...... In related news, Bruce Springsteen told Australia's Daily Telegraph newspaper on Oct. 15 that he's considering moving down under should Pres. Trump win a second term in the Nov. 3 election. "If Trump is re-elected -- which he will not be; I'm predicting right now he's gonna lose -- if by some happenstance he should be, I'll see you on the next plane [to Australia]," Springsteen told the paper. The New Jersey rocker has a long history of speaking out against Trump, having previously labelled him "a threat to our democracy" and criticizing his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, telling him to "put on a f---ing mask." Meanwhile, the first full trailer of Springsteen's new documentary, Bruce Springsteen's Letter To You, has been shared on YouTube. The Apple Original Films documentary is set to arrive on Apple TV+ on Oct. 23, coinciding with the release of Springsteen's new album with the E Street Band, also called Letter To You. Written by Springsteen and directed by his frequent collaborator Thom Zimny (Western Stars, The Gift: The Journey Of Johnny Cash, Springsteen On Broadway), the film is described as "a tribute to the E Street Band, to rock music itself and to the role it has played in Springsteen's life." - NME, 10/17/20...... On Oct. 13, Stevie Wonder shared two new songs, "Where Is Our Love Song" and "Can't Put It in The Hands Of Fate" on YouTube, and announced he was leaving Motown Records after nearly 60 years to start his own label, So What The Fuss Music to be distributed by Republic Records. "I had a great conversation with Monte Lipman, the (Republic) president, and I spoke with India.Arie, who had signed with Republic," said Wonder, who had been on the Motown roster for his entire career, first signing with them as an 11-year-old prodigy in 1961. "Even though I have left Motown, I never leave Motown. That's Detroit," Wonder said. "So I'm sure that we can figure out how we can do some things at Motown. Maybe I'll do my 'Gospel Inspired by Lula' with Motown. We'll work it out," he added, referring to a gospel project named after his late mother he announced in 2013. Of the two new tracks, he said of "Where Is Our Love Song": "It is a song that really I started working on when I was 18, not even knowing what the song was going to be about, but I had the melody. Then this year came all the confusion and all the hate and all the east versus west, left versus right... I'm watching all this and say, 'Hold up, how can you be talking about God and there be hate in your spirit?'." Of the latter track, 'Can't Put It In The Hands Of Fate', Wonder added: "I was thinking about where we are in the world. And I was thinking about how this is most crucial time. Not just Black people or people of color but young people everywhere are going, 'This is not acceptable.' Change is right now. We can't put it in the hands of fate. Ain't nobody got time to wait." - NME, 10/13/20...... Former Talking Heads frontman David Byrne has told the UK paper The Guardian that he hasn't read his former bandmate Chris Frantz new memoir Remain in Love. "Noooo," Byrne said when asked about the book, before adding: "I knew that if I read it I would get asked about it. So I've avoided it." In the memoir, Frantz documented the band's final meeting and said Byrne was so exasperated that the other members kept their cool when he announced their split, that he yelled: "You should be calling me an asshole." Byrne has dampened speculation about a Talking Heads reunion on many occasions -- in 2017, he said that the prospect of getting the band back together would "probably be [taking] quite a number of steps backwards." Meanwhile, it has been announced that Byrne's acclaimed "American Utopia" live show is set to return to Broadway in New York City in Sept. 2021. Byrne's stage show/rock spectacle is a live adaptation of the artist's 2018 solo album American Utopia, which one critic called "the best musical experience on the planet." A Spike Lee-directed HBO film release of American Utopia premiered on the premium cable channel in October after opening the Toronto Film Festival on Sept. 10. - NME, 10/15/20...... Alice Cooper has shared a new video for his 1972 single "Elected" on YouTube. Cooper has also revamped his official website in time for Halloween, with slogans including: "I can do nothing as well as they can do nothing" and "I have absolutely no idea what to do." Alice is also offering up a host of new presidential merchandise including T-shirts, stickers, and pins that show the shock-rocker holding his own severed head, emblazoned with phrases such as, "A Sickman for a Sick Nation / Wild Party Forever." Cooper previously confirmed he has partnered with AirBnB for a new event where he will read scary stories to fans ahead of this year's Halloween. Spooky Story Time with Alice Cooper will take place on Oct. 21 at 4:00 pm PT (12:00 am BST). Cooper says that 100% of proceeds from the event, which costs around £80 per person, will go to childrens' charity North Star Reach. - NME, 10/15/20...... Actress Rhonda Fleming, whose long career embraced filmdom's Golden Age and the early days of television, died on Oct. 14 in Santa Monica, Calif. at age 97. No cause was given, but her death was confirmed by her secretary. Ms. Fleming was known as the "Queen of Technicolor" for her stunning red hair and green eyes, which lit up appearances in such films as Out of the Past and Spellbound. Overall, she appeared in more than 40 films, working with directors Alfed Hitchcock, Jacques Tourneur and Robert Siodmak, among other film greats. Her best-known films included the 1948 musical fantasy A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court with Bing Crosby, the 1957 Western Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, and the noir Slightly Scarlet, alongside John Payne. The Hollywood-born actress was also the costar to some of Hollywood's biggest names, including four films with Ronald Reagan before he entered politics. She also worked with Glenn Ford, Kirk Douglas, Burt Lancaster, Bob Hope, and Rock Hudson, among others. In television, Ms. Fleming guest-starred in Wagon Train, Police Woman, The Love Boat, was in a special of McMillan & Wife. Later in life, Ms. Fleming became a philanthropist, supporting Providence Saint John's Health Center in Santa Monica, Calif., where she established the Rhonda Fleming Carlson Inspiration Garden in 2014. Ms. Fleming is survived by her son, Kent Lane, two granddaughters, and five great-grandchildren. - Deadline.com, 10/16/20.
Sunday, October 18, 2020
Thursday, October 8, 2020
Bruce Springsteen will be among the artists appearing in a 2020 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame special, which premieres on Nov. 7 on HBO and HBO Max. The 2020 RRHOF ceremony was originally set to go ahead in May, though it was pushed back to November due to the coronavirus pandemic. In addition, as a way to make sure the event could go ahead, the ceremony will be pre-recorded and air the same date as the induction. Depeche Mode, The Doobie Brothers, Whitney Houston, Nine Inch Nails, The Notorious B.I.G. and T. Rex will be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame. Other artists set to feature at the event are Miley Cyrus, St. Vincent, Dave Grohl, Sean "Diddy" Combs, Ringo Starr, Jennifer Hudson, Alicia Keys, Gwen Stefani and more. - NME, 10/9/20...... Alice Cooper has partnered with home rental website Airbnb for a new event where he will read scary stories to fans ahead of Halloween 2020. Spooky Story Time with Alice Cooper will take place on Oct. 21 at 4:00 pm PT (12:00 am BST). Speaking of the new event on Twitter, Cooper says he will "take my penchant for terror to the scariest place I know -- the internet." Inviting fans to "join me for a kid-friendly spooky story hour," Cooper added that "100% of proceeds from the event, which costs around £80 per person, will go to childrens' charity North Star Reach." Cooper added that the event will be "suitable for children ages 6+ with an appetite for fright." - NME, 10/10/20...... Fleetwood Mac drummer Mick Fleetwood participated in a Zoom interview with TikTok user Nathan Apodaca (@420doggface208) on Oct. 8 to thank him for making the Fleetwood Mac song "Dreams" a viral hit. "One, we owe you," Fleetwood told Apodaca, whose serene video of himself lip-syncing to the 1977 hit while while riding a skateboard and drinking straight from a bottle of cranberry juice has been viewed on TikTok over 34 million times. "It's such a great story, and it's so needed," Fleetwood continued. "In days that are really challenging... it makes people smile, and I'm so happy to be part of it. Congratulations on a wild, wild skateboard journey that has led us to talking today," Fleetwood concluded, before adding, "I hope Stevie [Nicks]'s watching. She's going to be overjoyed." Fleetwood also revealed how his own recreation of Apodaca's viral video came together, saying, "I was just led right into it. People around me were going like, 'Dad, you've got to do this, it's so cool.' So we did it, and now here we are, talking." In other Fleetwood Mac news, Stevie Nicks has shared her new single, "Show Them the Way," on YouTube. Nicks recently told the Associated Press that the song was inspired by a dream she had in 2008 where she played at a political benefit attended by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., John Lennon, John Lewis, John F. Kennedy and Bobby Kennedy. "Everything was timeless, even me/ I wasn't old, I wasn't young, I was just part of their dream/ A shadow walked with me down the hall, it was Martin Luther King," Nicks sings on the track, which features Dave Grohl on drums. A music video of "Show Them the Way" directed by Oscar-winning director Cameron Crowe will be released soon. Nicks will release a live album and concert film, 24 Karat Gold - Songs from the Vault, on vinyl, CD and to stream from Oct. 30 through BMG. The film will be screened in select cinemas for two nights only, on Oct. 21 and Oct. 25. - Billboard/New Musical Express, 10/9/20...... Gimme Some Truth: The Ultimate Mixes, a new John Lennon hits collection produced in collaboration with Lennon's widow Yoko Ono and John and Yoko's son Sean Lennon, could surpass Scottish group Travis's new LP 10 Songs to become the top selling album in the UK, according to the Official U.K. Singles and Albums Charts survey. On Oct. 12, Gimme Some Truth had risen to No. 3 on the midweek chart, just 364 combined sales behind the Travis album. Lennon has three No. 1's as a solo artist on the chart, and a whopping 16 with the Beatles, more than any act in Official Chart history. Gimme Some Truth: The Ultimate Mixes was executive produced by Yoko and produced by Sean, and contains 36 of Lennon's best-loved songs from his solo career. Sean Lennon recently told interviewer George Stroumboulopoulos on his Apple Music Hits show "STROMBO" that his dad returning his MBE to Queen Elizabeth II in 1966 was "maybe more punk than anything the punks did." "It was a big deal to return the Member of the British Empire thingamajig that he was given. To the Queen, that was very irreverent," Sean said. All four Beatles were given the honour in 1965, but Lennon returned his award a year later in protest against the Vietnam War and Britain's involvement in the conflict in Biafra. - Billboard/NME, 10/12/20...... Meanwhile, country-pop music icon Willie Nelson and the band Promise of the Real lead by his sons Lukas and Micah Nelson, have paid tribute Lennon on what would have been his 80th birthday on Oct. 9 with a cover of Lennon's 1981 posthumous hit "Watching the Wheels." In the video tribute, which has been shared on YouTube, Lukas and Micah can be seen trading off lines in the first verse, while Willie takes the second: "Well they shake their heads and they look at me/ As if I've lost my mind/ I tell them there's no hurry/ I'm just sitting here doing time." - NME, 10/10/20...... In other Lennon news, John Lennon 1980: The Last Days in the Life author Kenneth Womack says that if Lennon was still alive "he'd be giving Pres. Donald Trump hell." "I think in a lot of ways he would have been like David Bowie, very moved by the internet," Womack told the U.K. paper The Mirror. "He would be an influencer in that way... he'd be right there on Twitter giving Trump hell." Elsewhere on the Fab Four front, Liverpool's Cavern Club where the Beatles famously gigged before rising to international fame in the early 1960s, is among the venues which have received a lifeline from the U.K. government to survive the financial impact of coronavirus. The Cavern has been given £525,000 to fund the recording of performances from local musicians. They will be streamed online to provide employment opportunities for technical staff and artists from across Merseyside. - NME, 10/12/20...... Eddie Van Halen's brother and bandmate Alex Van Halen paid tribute to his younger brother Eddie, who died on Oct. 6 following a lengthy battle with cancer, with a touching message posted on Twitter on Oct. 8. "Hey Ed. Love you. See you on the other side. Your brother, Al," Alex posted, and accompanied the message with a cute black and white photo of the pair as young boys. Following Eddie's death, at the age of 65, Alex, 67, is the only member who has been with the band throughout its existence, and played on all 12 studio albums. Meanwhile, former VH frontman Sammy Hagar and former VH bassist Mike Anthony recorded a video tribute to Eddie during a recent public rehearsal of their band Sammy Hagar and the Circle on Catalina Island, Calif. During the show, Hagar invited the audience to take a moment of silence to remember Eddie, after which they launched into the anthemic "Right Now," a single from the 1991 album For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge. "I'll tell you, a Van Halen song never felt so hard to sing and play in my life," Hagar says in the clip, which has been shared on YouTube. "After the unfortunate thing that happened yesterday with Eddie Van Halen, for Mike and I, it was just like getting hit by a freaking Mack truck," Hagar shared. "Kind of took the wind out of the sails." The video is captioned by a comment from the two former VH rockers: "We love you Eddie. The music will live forever." - Billboard, 10/9/20...... In related news, David Crosby is explaining a comment he made about Eddie Van Halen after the guitar god's death. On Oct. 10, a fan tweeted to Crosby asking his opinion of Eddie, to which Crosby replied with a one-word answer: "Meh & . ." Crosby's curt post drew backlash from Tracii Guns of the U.S. rock band L.A. Guns who called the remark "very disrespectful" and Dee Snider of Twisted Sister who said he "always hated [Crosby] AND his mustache." But Crosby doubled down on his comments when fans began to voice their ire. "Sorry & just meant he does not move me much," Crosby wrote in another tweet. On Oct. 12, Crosby added that "[Jimi] Hendrix changed the world of guitar. Nobody else really & look I get it ..many of you loved Van Halen & .and the one time I met he was nice & .and he was talented & meh to me means I don't care that much & .and I don't & doesn't mean he wasn't good, he was but not for me." - NME, 10/12/20...... Ozzy Osbourne's wife Sharon Osbourne has confirmed that Ozzy's twice-postponed tour has been rebooked for 2022. Osbourne's 'No More Tours II' tour was first announced in Nov. 2017, and a number of dates throughout 2018 were completed. However, a run of U.K. dates have been delayed twice. The first postponement was due to Ozzy's ill health, and second due to the coronavirus pandemic. Ozzy and Sharon appeared on Planet Rock Radio on Oct. 11 and were asked about the difficulties of booking venues for shows after the pandemic has subsided. "Everybody's booking their tours again for like 2022, and to find availabilities right now, it's crazy," Sharon said. "Agents and facilities are going nuts, trying to get everybody back. It will be exciting. I think it will be a very exciting time when bands do go back and it'll be joyous." She then confirmed: "Ozzy's tour has been rebooked. The British tour, he'll be back in '22. You know, we just carry on as normal. We've been doing loads of TV shows here and you've got to just keep going until Ozzy can go back live." - NME, 10/12/20...... Elton John unveiled a previously unreleased song, "Regimental Sgt. Zippo," on YouTube on Oct. 12. John recorded the psychedelic track back in 1968, with lyrics from his longtime songwriting partner Bernie Taupin. Posting on Twitter, Elton said the song was originally intended "to be the title track of his unreleased debut album in 1969" and "can be found on my upcoming 'Jewel Box'!" Jewel Box, due Nov. 13 from UMC/EMI, will feature 60 unreleased tracks, including rarities and B-sides. "To delve back through every period of my career in such detail for 'Jewel Box' has been an absolute pleasure," Elton said in September as he announced the release. "Hearing these long lost tracks again, I find it hard to comprehend just how prolific Bernie [Taupin] and I were during the early days." - NME, 10/12/20...... Former The Sex Pistols frontman John Lydon (a.k.a. Johnny Rotten) has told the U.K.'s The Observer paper that he plans on voting for Pres. Donald Trump in the upcoming presidential election because he feels Trump's Democratic challenger, former Vice-President Joe Biden, is "incapable" of leading America. Lydon, who previously backed Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, said he supports Trump because of the economy. "I'd be daft as a brush not to," Lydon said. "He's the only sensible choice now that Biden is up -- he's incapable of being the man at the helm." According to the article, Lydon started supporting the US president after Trump was accused of racism. "I've been accused of the very same thing, so I'm offended for anybody who's called that," he explained. In 2008, Lydon and his entourage were involved in a backstage altercation with Kele Okereke, after the Bloc Party frontman asked Lydon at Spain's Summercase festival if he would ever consider reforming Public Image Ltd. It was alleged that Lydon responded with a racist tirade including the statement, "Your problem is your black attitude," followed by what Okereke called an "unprovoked racist attack" that resulted in him suffering severe facial bruising, cuts to his face and body and a split lip. He later referred to Lydon as "the devil in my eyes." - NME, 10/11/20...... Queen + Adam Lambert recently landed their first U.K. No. 1 album together after their new live collection Live Around the World was released on Oct. 2. Live Around the World secured the top spot on the Official Albums Chart with the most CD and download sales for the first week of October following a late challenge from K-pop girl group, Blackpink. Live Around The World is Queen's 10th No. 1 album in the U.K., and first for almost 25 years since Made in Heaven in Nov. 1995, the group's final studio album featuring the last recorded vocals from Freddie Mercury. It also marks nearly 45 years since the band's very first No. 1 album A Night at the Opera in Dec. 1975. "Thank you folks for making us Number 1 after all these years. So Queen + Adam Lambert's very first release is Number 1... amazing. God bless you all," Queen guitarist Brian May said in a video shared on YouTube. - Music-News.com, 10/9/20...... A new remix of David Bowie's 1970 song "The Man Who Sold the World" has been shared on Spotify.com by longtime Bowie producer Tony Visconti. Visconti's "2020 remix" is lifted from the forthcoming Man Who Sold the World 50th anniversary reissue Metrobolist (the album's original title) which drops on Nov. 6. Visconti has remixed the entire album, which will also be released as a limited edition, numbered gold and white vinyl LP, for the new project. - NME, 10/9/10...... Motörhead have announced they're launching a new podcast to mark the 40th anniversary of their 1980 LP, Ace of Spades. "The Motörcast" lands on streaming platforms in mid-October, detailing the "warts and all stories of life on the road, behind the scenes, in the studio and more importantly, down the pub," according to a preview posted on Spotify.com. Subsequent instalments of "The Motörcast" will arrive every two weeks. Motörhead's forthcoming Ace Of Spades reissue, meanwhile, hits stores on Oct. 30 and will boast a previously unheard show from the "Ace Up Your Sleeve" tour, the story of the album, previously unseen photos and 42 unreleased tracks. - NME, 10/8/20...... Major League Baseball Hall of Fame inductee Whitey Ford, who finished his career with a record of 236-106, setting the franchise mark for most-ever wins by a New York Yankee, died on Oct. 9 at the age of 91, the team has announced. During his tenure as a Yankee, Mr. Ford helped lead New York to 11 American League pennants and six World Series titles. His 10 World Series victories still stand as a Major League Baseball record, and his .690 career winning percentage is the highest among pitchers with at least 300 career decisions. Mr. Ford earned his "Chairman of the Board" nickname in part for his role as a reliable ace for one of the most successful teams of its time. A left-handed hurler who pitched from 1950 through 1967, Mr. Ford captured the 1961 Cy Young Award, and was a 10-time All-Star and 1974 MLB Hall of Fame inductee. "Whitey loved the Hall of Fame, Cooperstown and the legacy that he and his teammates built during the game's golden era," said National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum Jane Forbes Clark in a statement. "We extend our deepest condolences to his family and we will celebrate his life in Cooperstown forever." - CNN.com, 10/9/20...... Tom Kennedy, best known for hosting such TV game shows as You Don't Say! and Name That Tune, died on Oct. 7 in Oxnard, Calif. He was 93. Born in Louisville, Ky., on Feb. 26, 1927, Mr. Kennedy began hosting game shows as they rose to popularity in the '50s. He went on to host various game shows for nearly three decades, with his biggest successes being You Don't Say!" on NBC from 1963 to 1969, Split Second from 1972 to 1975, Name That Tune from 1974 to 1981 and Password Plus from 1980 to 1982. His other hosting credits include The Big Game, Dr. I.Q., It's Your Bet, Break the Bank, 50 Grand Slam, To Say the Least, Whew! and Body Language (1984-86). Mr. Kennedy also hosted a nighttime, syndicated edition of The Price Is Right from 1985 to 1986, and briefly had his own talk show, The Real Tom Kennedy Show. Mr. Kennedy retired in 1989. In 2005, Mr. Kennedy and his brother, Narz, both received the Game Show Congress' Bill Cullen award for lifetime achievement. He is survived by his three children and a daughter-in-law. - Variety.com, 10/8/20.
AC/DC released their comeback single "Shot In The Dark" on Oct. 7 after teasing new material for the past few weeks. Previewed last week in the form of a short video clip, the track is taken from the recently reunited band's upcoming new album POWER UP, which will be released on Nov. 13. Describing "Shot In The Dark," guitarist Angus Young said, "It's a strong single from a powerful rock album. You'll be able to hear it and know straight away that it's AC/DC. That's what we've always strived for." On AC/DC's return, Young added: "We got together in 2018 and we worked on a lot of ideas that Malcolm [Young] and me had done through the years." Power Up welcomes the return of British singer Brian Johnson, who stepped aside in 2016 on doctor's orders due to hearing-loss issues, and sees drummer Phil Rudd reunite with the group after a stint in rehab. The band has shared their "Shot In The Dark" single for streaming on YouTube. - NME, 10/7/20...... Reaction continues to the untimely death of iconic rock guitarist Eddie Van Halen on Oct. 6 at age 65. Van Halen's widow, Janie Liszewski, shared an emotional tribute to her late husband on Instagram on Oct. 7, writing "My husband, my love, my Peep, my heat and soul have been shattered into a million pieces... Our journey together has not always been an easy one but in the end and always we have a connection and love that will always be.... I will see you again soon in a place with no pain or sorrow. Please watch over Kody and I. We love you and miss you so very much." Eddie's brother Alex Van Halen, who cofounded with Eddie the band that bears their names, posted a brief but heartfelt tribute to his younger brother on the morning of Oct. 8. "Hey Ed. Love you. See you on the other side. Your brother, Al," reads the simple post, accompanied by a touching black and white photo of the pair as young boys. On Howard Stern's SiriusXM radio show on Oct. 7, Stern read a statement from former Van Halen vocalist Sammy Hagar who said that he and Eddie had quietly reconciled earlier in 2020, just months before the legendary guitarist's death. "I would love you to share that Eddie and I had been texting and it's been a love fest since we started communicating earlier this year," Hagar said in the statement. "We both agreed not to tell anyone because of all the rumors it would stir up about a reunion, et cetera, and we both knew that wasn't going to happen. He also didn't want anyone to know about his health. He stopped responding to me a month ago and I figured it wasn't good. I reached out to him one more time last week and, when he didn't respond, I figured it was a matter of time. But it came way too soon." Howard Stern's Eddie Van Halen tribute can be viewed on YouTube. Meanwhile, the sales of the Van Halen band's albums and songs have spiked by 6,198% after Eddie's death. Van Halen's collected albums and songs sold 40,000 copies on Oct. 6 -- up 6,198% compared to just under 1,000 sold on Oct. 5, according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data. The act's album catalog sold 9,000 copies on Oct. 6 (up by 5,835% compared to a negligible sum on Oct. 5). The act's top-selling album on Oct. 6 was its self-titled 1978 debut, with 2,000 sold. Van Halen's top 10 biggest-selling songs on Oct. 6 were: "Jump" (3,000) (the band's only No. 1 of its 16 Top 40 hits), "Panama" (2,000), "Eruption" (2,000), "Runnin' With the Devil" (2,000), "You Really Got Me" (2,000), "Dance the Night Away" (1,000), "Why Can't This Be Love" (1,000), "Hot for Teacher" (1,000), "Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love" (1,000) and "Jamie's Cryin'" (1,000). - New Musical Express/Variety.com/Billboard, 9/8/20...... Beatles legend Paul McCartney and actor Alec Baldwin have announced they'll be taking over SiriusXM radio's The Beatles Channel on Oct. 9 to celebrate the life of John Lennon, who would've turned 80 that day. Macca and Balwin's exclusive programming will begin airing at 11:00 a.m. EDT and run throughout the weekend and next week, featuring Sir Paul reflecting on his bandmate and friend in conversation with Baldwin and John's son Sean Ono Lennon guest deejaying with his favorite songs by his dad (both from his solo discography and with the Beatles) while remembering his favorite childhood memories. Snippets of McCartney and Baldwin's conversation have been shared on YouTube. Other musical guests include Peter Asher, host of The Beatles Channel's show Peter Asher: From Me to You who will explore the connection between Lennon and iconic author Lewis Carroll, and Laura Cantrell, the host of the George Harrison-dedicated show Dark Horse Radio, who will explore the relationship between Harrison and Lennon. Lennon's 80th birthday special will air Friday at 11 a.m. ET, 4 p.m. ET and 9 p.m. ET on channel 18 on SiriusXM radio and on the SiriusXM app. The program will re-run multiple times throughout the weekend and next week and be available On Demand from the SiriusXM app. Meanwhile, a new pop-up TV channel is being launched in the U.K. to mark what would have been Lennon's 80th birthday. Sky, Virgin and Freeview will broadcast LENNON80 on Oct. 9 in honour of John, which will include a mix of old footage and new content. Among the programmes airing on the channel will be the famous documentary Bed Peace, which follows Lennon and Yoko Ono's famous "Bed-In for Peace" protest in 1969, as well as appearances on Parkinson in 1971 and The Dick Cavett Show in 1971 and 1972. LENNON80 will be available until Oct. 15. - Billboard/New Musical Express, 10/7/20...... In other Lennon-related news, the estate of late 1980s pop superstar George Michael have loaned John's "Imagine" piano to the Strawberry Field exhibition in Liverpool so it can go on public display. John's Steinway piano, which he wrote and recorded his 1971 song "Imagine" on, was bought by Michael at auction for £1.45 million back Oct. 2000. Michael later toured the piano around the world "as a symbol of peace" and used it during the recording of his song "Patience." Speaking to reporters at the time of the auction purchase, Michael said that "it's not the type of thing that should be in storage somewhere or being protected, it should be seen by people." In a statement, the Michael estate said, "We know that the piano will be a source of hope and inspiration to all who come to see it... not only during these difficult times but for many years to come, in the same way that it inspired George [after] he bought it some 20 years ago." All funds raised by paying visitors to the exhibition will be used to help The Salvation Army change the lives of young people with learning difficulties. Meanwhile, leading Beatles scholar Kenneth Womack who has just released his new book John Lennon 1980: The Last Days in the Life says he believes he has discovered the baseball film that inspired John's beautiful song "Grow Old With Me." The song was released a month before the legendary artist was shot dead in December 1980, and it was known to have been influenced by a film about baseball that Lennon saw during a visit to Bermuda earlier that year. In an interview with The Observer, Womack said he had watched dozens of films before realising that the key inspiration was A Love Affair: The Eleanor And Lou Gehrig Story, a 1978 movie about a baseball player who died after battling a rare nervous system disorder. "I wanted to know what film had inspired him to compose such a beautiful song," Womack explained. "For John, the use of such 'found objects' in life and art was essential to his composition practices." After watching dozens in search of the mysterious film in question, I began to study TV guides from that period. John was a regular subscriber." Upon realising A Love Affair had been screened at the time Lennon was staying in Bermuda, Womack made the connection, concluding: "The mystery, quite suddenly, was solved." - NME, 10/7/20...... Led Zeppelin have defeated the copyright challenge against their 1971 song "Stairway to Heaven" for the third time after the US Supreme Court declined to hear the case on Oct. 6. The decision of the US Supreme Court upholds a March 2020 ruling by the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. This is the last option for legal appeal in its current form in the US Courts system. Michael Skidmore, a trustee for the estate of Spirit guitarist Randy California, first filed a lawsuit against the legendary British rock band in 2014, claiming "Stairway To Heaven" had violated the copyright of Spirit's 1968 track "Taurus." However, a judge ruled in favor of Led Zeppelin in July 2016. A new trial was later ordered by the US appeals court in Sept. 2018. Skidmore relaunched his legal campaign in August via a new petition on Law360, claiming "Our circuit is the most hostile to copyright owners of all the circuits." In other Zeppelin news, the band announced a special, limited edition Japanese version vinyl reissue of their 1970 single "Immigrant Song" to mark the 50th anniversary of the release of their album Led Zeppelin III. The single will also include the non-album track "Hey, Hey, What Can I Do" and will be presented in a sleeve that replicates the original artwork. The reissue is limited to just 19,700 copies. Set for release on Jan. 15, 2021, the single can be pre-ordered now. - NME, 10/6/20...... Appearing on Chris Evans' "How to Wow" podcast, Rod Stewart said he fears that "we've spoiled the Earth" and that "it's too late to turn back now." While discussing the coronavirus pandemic with Evans, Stewart said that he thinks "the good Lord is intent on wiping us all out, because we've spoiled the Earth." "We've spoiled it. I think it's too late to turn back now. I think global warming is going to spoil the Earth. We're literally... I believe we're too late." Rod also criticized U.S. Pres. Donald Trump -- calling him "that prick in the White House" -- for withdrawing the US from the Paris Agreement in 2017, branding the decision as "terrible." Elsewhere in the interview, Stewart spoke about his ongoing feud with Elton John by claiming that the latter had turned down his offer to end their row. "We don't talk to each other anymore. Big falling out," Stewart explained. "Last time I emailed him I said, 'I've got this football pitch, would you like the boys to come up?' You know, 'cause they both love football." His invite included Elton's two sons -- Zachary and Elijah -- who he shares with husband David Furnish, but he alleges John didn't reply to his email. The two singers fell out in 2019 after Stewart criticized John's decision to head out on an extensive farewell world tour, as well as poking fun at his Rocketman biopic by saying that it wasn't "very flattering." - NME, 10/7/20...... Bruce Springsteen has announced he will premiere his new documentary, Bruce Springsteen's Letter To You, on Oct. 23 on Apple TV+. The Apple Original Films documentary will coincide with the release of Springsteen's new album with The E Street Band, Letter to You. According to a press release, "fans around the world will get a behind-the-scenes look at the iconic artist's creative process." The documentary captures the New Jersey rocker recording Letter To You live with the full E Street Band, and includes final take performances of 10 originals from the new record. A teaser trailer for Letter To You has been shared on YouTube. - NME, 10/5/20...... Van Morrison announced a string of new UK dates on Oct. 5. The Irish crooner, who has recently attracted criticism for his opinions on the coronavirus crisis, has already held gigs at Camden's Electric Ballroom in September. With four shows at London's Palladium venue already scheduled for mid-November, Morrison will now play two more gigs at London's PowerHaus (formerly known as Dingwalls) on Nov. 7 and 8. 150 tickets are set to be sold for each date, with strict social distancing rules in place. - NME, 10/5/20...... In a new interview with the Canadian radio station K-97, KISS singer/bassist Gene Simmons said he wants people to stop complaining about being in lockdown during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic .Simmons said he doesn't think it's that hard to just stay at home, especially in comparison to a time that saw his mother live through World War II. "Right now, the pandemic is not fun," Simmons said. "It is devastating for families who've lost loved ones. A million people are dead around the world -- two hundred thousand dead in America, and many, many fewer -- thank God -- in Canada, because you're more sane and more, sort of, non-political about it. But as you can tell, in America, there are areas where certain segments of the population see health and wearing a mask, or not wearing a mask, as political, and that's a shame. It just makes sense." He continued: "In either case, the perspective is my mother lived through World War II. My mother was a victim of the concentration camps of Nazi Germany when she was 14 years old. My mother survived. The rest of our family were wiped out, and you don't wanna get into that." Elsewhere in the interview, Simmons criticized those choosing not to wear a mask during the pandemic. "Wear a goddamn mask. It's not about you; it's about the rest of us," he said. - NME, 10/3/20...... Elvis Costello and The Attractions will release a new box set of their classic 1979 album Armed Forces on Nov. 6. The release will include demos, B-sides and seven notebooks with new linear notes from Costello. It also includes handwritten lyrics, rare photos and nine pieces of vinyl. The demos and B-sides collection included in the collection is called "Sketches for Emotional Fascism." The band has shared a new video about the collection on YouTube. - NME, 10/3/20...... Mick Jagger has been named the fifth most dangerous celebrity to search for online. According to cyber-security firm McAfee, the Rolling Stones frontman joins the likes of actor Idris Elba and comic Ricky Gervais as the most likely names to send you down an online rabbit hole that could put you at risk of malware and viruses. TV host Graham Norton came top in this year's poll, closely followed by Gervais and actor Tom Hardy. Jagger took the fifth spot, with the rest of the list featuring the likes of Elba, Ruth Jones, Margot Robbie, Kate Moss, Bella Hadid and Mary Berry. "It's no/ surprise that/ we've seen one of the UK's most-loved national treasures topping the list, with hackers exploiting his popularity," said Raj Samani of McAffee. "Consumers are searching the web for free online entertainment now more than ever." - NME, 10/6/20...... In other Rolling Stones-related news, guitarist Ronnie Wood has told the "Tea with Twiggy" podcast that he's ditched drugs and booze in favor of coffee and knitting. To keep himself occupied between tours, Wood said he keeps up his long-term hobby of painting and he's also taken up knitting as it reminds him of his mum, who passed away back in 2005. "I do knit. I used to hold the spool of wool for my mum. She taught me the plain stitch and I still do it today. I knit endless scarves now," he said. Although he's embraced clean living, the music legend does allow himself one stimulant -- regular cups of coffee. "I'm an espresso man but that is an old leftover habit from rehab. I couldn't do anything else so coffee was the thing. I hope I am a living, walking example of coffee being good for you because I drink enough of the stuff," he added. - WENN/Canoe.com, 10/6/20...... Legendary reggae producer Bunny Lee has died at the age of 79, it has been confirmed. The producer, whose real name was Edward O'Sullivan Lee, played an integral role in the introduction of the genre to the UK in the 1970s after securing a licensing deal with Trojan Records. Announcing Lee's passing, Jamaican broadcaster Clinton Lindsay said that the producer had been "battling kidney problems" for several months. His exact cause of death has yet to be confirmed. He also played an instrumental role in producing early dub music, working with close friend King Tubby in the early 1970s. Paying tribute, journalist Nadine White wrote: "Bunny 'Striker' Lee has died. He was one of the most influential producers in the history of reggae music. The original Don 'Gorgon'. This is such sad news! The world owes this man a great deal." - NME, 10/7/20.
Wednesday, October 7, 2020
American reggae-pop musician and actor Johnny Nash, best known for his 1972 No. 1 reggae-influenced hit "I Can See Clearly Now", died on Oct 6 of natural causes, his son John Nash II confirmed to celebrity website TMZ and a Los Angeles TV station. He was 80. "He was a wonderful father and family man. He loved people and the world. He will be missed within his community. Family was his everything," Nash's son told TMZ.com. Nash also told the CBSLA television station that his father died at his home. Born John Lester "Johnny" Nash, Jr. in Houston, Tex., on Aug. 19, 1940, Mr. Nash began releasing music in the late '50s, making his major label debut with the 1957 song "A Teenager Sings the Blues." He appeared on local TV from age 13, and was with Arthur Godfrey's TV/radio show from 1956-63. In 1959, he was cast in the film Take a Giant Step. He moved to Jamaica in the mid-1960s where he was influenced by reggae music, and began his recording career. Mr. Nash also scored hits with "Hold Me Tight" in 1968 (#5) and with his version of Bob Marley's "Stir It Up" and "There are More Questions Than Answers." According to his official website, Mr. Nash helped the late Marley sign a recording contract, and was also notably the first non-Jamaican to record reggae music in Kingston, Jamaica. Mr. Nash also sang the theme song for the Canadian-American animated series The Mighty Hercules, which ran from 1963-66. Upon the release of "I Can See Clearly Now" -- largely called a comeback song at the time -- the infectious hit sat at Number One for four weeks in the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, and became a hit in Canada, the U.K. and South Africa. The song made a return to the Billboard charts in 1993, when it was recorded by Jamaican singer Jimmy Cliff for the soundtrack for the film Cool Runnings, about the Jamaican Olympic bobsled team. Mr. Nash's last studio album, Here Again, was released in 1986. More recently, Mr. Nash had begun working on the transfer of old analogue tapes of his music from the 1970s and 1980s into a new digital format. As well as his son, Mr. Nash is survived by his wife, Carli. - Reuters/New Musical Express, 10/7/20.
Guitar legend and Van Halen leader Eddie Van Halen, whose hard-rocking band emerged from L.A.'s Sunset Strip music scene in the early Seventies to reign as one of the top rock acts for over four decades, died on Oct. 6 after a battle with throat cancer at St. Johns Hospital in Santa Monica, Calif., with his current wife, Janie, by his side. He was 65. "I can't believe I'm having to write this, but my father, Edward Lodewijk Van Halen, has lost his long and arduous battle with cancer this morning," Eddie and his former wife Valerie Bertinelli's son Wolfgang Van Halen posted on Twitter. "He was the best father I could ever ask for. Every moment I've shared with him on and off stage was a gift," Wolfgang added. Eddie's death comes just months after Wolfgang offered hope that his dad may one day tour again with the band, and before original VH vocalist David Lee Roth claimed earlier in 2020 that Eddie "was not doing very well." The health of the hospitalized Van Halen, who had been battling cancer over the past decade and had been in and out of the hospital over the past year, reportedly went quickly downhill in the final 72 hours after doctors discovered that his throat cancer had spread to his brain and other organs. In previous interviews, Eddie had said he believed he developed throat cancer from frequent holding a metal guitar pick in his mouth more than 20 years ago, however he was also a heavy smoker. Born in Amsterdam, Netherlands on Jan. 26, 1955, Eddie studied classical piano after moving to the Los Angeles suburb of Pasadena with his family in the 1960s. After switching to guitar, he and his older brother, Alex Van Halen, who took up the drums, formed bands that would eventually become Van Halen in 1972, with lead singer Roth and bassist Michael Anthony. Featuring Eddie's explosive riffs and solos, VH quickly became a staple of Sunset Strip clubs such as Gazzari's and the Whisky a Go Go before releasing their eponymous debut album in 1978. Van Halen climbed to No. 19 on the Billboard Hot 200 album chart and became one of the most successful rock debuts of the decade, followed by a string of top-selling albums that would make VH one of the biggest rock acts of the late 1970s and early 1980s. Known for his two-handed tapping technique on the strings, Van Halen earned a place along such guitar virtuosos as Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page as one of rock's most celebrated guitarists. Roth, who often clashed with the Van Halen brothers, split from the band in the mid-Eighties and was replaced for a decade by Sammy Hagar, who once sang lead with the '70s hard rock band Montrose, an influence on Eddie's group. Wolfgang Van Halen became the band's bassist in 2006 and the original VH lineup, with Wolfgang replacing Michael Anthony on bass, reunited in 2007 for a tour and, four years later, an album. VH's run included a dozen studio albums during their on-and-off reunions, and they added synthesizers to the mix for hits such as "Jump" and "I'll Wait." Eddie also played the solo on Michael Jackson's 1982 hit "Beat It" and made guest contributions to albums by Hagar, Queen's Brian May, Pink Floyd bassist Roger Waters, LL Cool J and David Garfield. A perpetual winner of guitar polls -- he was voted the No. 1 guitarist of all time by readers of Guitar World magazine in 2012 -- Eddie and Van Halen were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007, though Eddie did not attend the ceremony. VH also won a Grammy Award for "Best Hard Rock Performance with Vocal" in 1992. The group has sold more than 80 million albums worldwide -- the last of which, A Different Kind of Truth, came out in 2012, with Tokyo Dome Live in Concert following three years later. Eddie was married twice -- to actress Valerie Bertinelli from 1981 to 2007, and married current wife Jane Liszewski in 2008. Eddie's fellow superstar musicians and fans were quick to salute his memory on social media, including Sammy Hagar, who shared a photo of himself and the late guitarist on Instagram and added the caption: "Heartbroken and speechless. My love to the family." Others paying tribute include Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Lenny Kravitz, Nikki Sixx, Brian Wilson, Joe Elliott, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler, Yusuf/Cat Stevens, Billy Idol, Kenny Chesney and Pete Townshend. Valerie Bertinelli, who was married to Eddie from 1981 to 2007, has yet to directly comment on the guitar great's death, but she did repost Wolfgang's tribute to his father, which confirmed his passing, on her social media pages, and added a string of broken heart emojis. Memorial arrangements for Van Halen are pending. - Reuters/Billboard/New Musical Express, 10/6/20.