News Bites: Elvis, Jimi, Kurt Next For Hologram Treatment?
All the latest news in brief, including: 3D controversy continues, plus Dream Theater and Def Leppard new albums and latest from GWAR, Joey Ramone, Lita Ford, Scott Weiland, Levon Helm, Charlatans and lullaby rock…
♦ One of the chiefs behind the controversial Tupac hologram says he’d love to bring back big rock icons in the digital interactive format in the future. Crowds at the Coachella Festival were shocked earlier this month when a computer-generated version of the rapper, murdered in 1996, performed on stage with Dr Dre and Snoop Dogg. But Sanj Surati of Musion Technology tells the NME: “Putting Elvis on stage with Justin Bieber would be a cool thing.” Asked who else he’d like to bring back he says: “Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain – and Michael Jackson would be the ultimate one. This is obviously a historic and exciting initiative.”
♦ Dream Theater have started work on their next album, their first with new drummer Mike Mangini as a fully-contributing artist. Guitarist John Petrucci confirms they’re creating on the road at the moment, saying: “Writing officially commenced while in Osaka the other day. Jet lag seems to open up one’s creative channels.”
♦ Meanwhile, Def Leppard drummer Rick Allen says they’re progressing towards the demo stage of their upcoming record, telling 98.7 The Gater that he’ll soon be in a studio adding his input to material laid down by guitarist Phil Collen.
♦ GWAR have thanked fans for their support as they wind up the world tour on which guitarist Cory Smoot, alias Flattus Maximus, died suddenly. Almost immediately after his passing on the band’s bus in Canada last year they vowed to keep going because it’s what he would have wanted. They’re also trying to raise money for Smoot’s widow and unborn child. The band say: “We have come through the hardest thing a band can ever deal with. We made it because of that little unborn baby back in Richmond, the rocking mama that’s gonna have little Corie Rae this June – but mostly we made it because of you. We have the obligation to care for Cory’s family but that wasn’t enough to give inspired performances every night. I hope we did that, and if we succeeded it was because of the strength you gave us.”
♦ The producer of Joey Ramone‘s second posthumous album says he didn’t even listen to the instrumental tracks when he received the tapes. Ed Stasium tells MusicRadar: “Things were pretty basic – there was a drum machine, a guitar, a bass and Joey. Some of the songs were fragmented and some were arranged very well. I tried to add what I thought Joey was going for. He was always a great singer – he could nail a one-take vocal no problem. He was spot on with his pitch.” Ya Know, named for Ramone’s favourite phrase when speaking, features instrumental tracks added by Joan Jett, Steven Van Zandt, Richie Ramone, Bun E Carlos and others.
♦ Lita Ford has fond memories of taking her departed mum on the road with her. The former Runaway tells Noisecreep: “I loved hanging out with her. My solo band was on tour with Bon Jovi in Italy and I took my mum with us. She was Italian and her dream was to see me play in Rome. One of her sisters lived in Rome and the other in California, so I took her too so they could all be together. Little did I know my mum and one of her sisters would die soon after that – I just feel good that I got the chance to have them together with me in the country they were born in. That was a special day.”
♦ A new Scott Weiland track, Breathe, will appear on the compilation album inspired by superhero movie Avengers Assemble. It’s his first new release since last year’s delayed Christmas album, The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year.
♦ Levon Helm‘s family have invited his fans to their final respects in person at his Woodstock home and studio today between 10am and 3pm. The Band drummer, who died last week aged 71 after a battle with throat cancer, will be buried at a private ceremony tomorrow.
♦ Charlatans frontman Tim Burgess says writing his autobiography was a dull experience – but doing it himself was better than creating a “pre-Christmas book like a teen pop star”. He explains: “Was it difficult? Of course it was. I’m not a writer, but I spoke into a Dictaphone. I went to Wales with my girlfriend and came back with about 20 hours’ worth which I transcribed. It was really boring.” The title, Telling Stories, is published today.
♦ The latest buzz for turning rock songs into toddlers’ tracks continues with Hair Metal Goes Lullaby, a digital album comprising 10 tracks including Poison’s Every Rose Has Its Thorn, Motley Crue’s Home Sweet Home, Bon Jovi’s Livin’ On A Prayer, Queensryche’s Jet City Woman and Whitesnake’s Here I Go Again. Start ‘em young – listen to the samples here.