News Bites: ‘It’s A New Chapter – Life’s Exciting Again’
All the latest news in brief, including: Reunion fan Adler gives up on Axl Rose; Burritos Ethridge dies; Pussy Riot axe attack, plus latest from GWAR, Metallica, the Stones, Helloween, Queensrÿche, Shy, Who, Lita Ford and Foreigner…
♦ Both original-era Guns N’ Roses drummers have now vowed to put their memories of Axl Rose behind them. Last week, following the singer’s failure to appear at their Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction, Matt Sorum said he’d no longer discuss his former band. Now Steven Adler, the man Sorum replaced, and the member who’s been most vocal about the chances of a reunion, says: “If it was going to happen, that’s when it was going to happen. After that, that’s it. The main person I wanted to end that chapter with, and I’m going to start a new chapter with, was Slash. Life is exciting again.” See Guns’ Hall Of Fame induction video below.
♦ Flying Burrito Brothers bassist Chris Ethridge has died at 65. Willie Nelson, who worked with him in the Family Band, confirmed the news, saying: “He was a talented musician and we were honoured to call him Family.” Ethridge had been ill for some time, with Booker T Jones last week stating he would soon pass away. No details have been revealed.
♦ A fan of arrested Russian punk outfit Pussy Riot has threatened the judge involved in their case with an axe. Three members of the anonymous all-female band, which has performed with as many as 10 on stage, were thrown behind bars last week after they took part in a protest against the Orthodox Christian Church, performing a song called Holy Shit to mark their anger at the religion’s perceived support of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. The man responsible for the attack was fended off and has not been named. Judge Yelena Ivanova has ruled Pussy Riot must stay in jail until a hearing on June 24. A spokesman for Putin says: “The decision must be taken by the legal authorities in strict accordance with the law.”
♦ When Worlds Collide, the last work of GWAR guitarist Cory Smoot, will be released on June 5. The theatrical thrash metal band retired his character, Flattus Maximus, after his sudden death on tour last year at the age of 34. Brian Slagel, boss of Metal Blade Records, says: “We are donating all the proceeds to the Smoot family. Please help us by getting the CD and enjoying the immense talent he was.”
♦ A guitar signed by all four members of Metallica is up for auction to benefit California’s MUSE School.
♦ Richard Branson’s movie production firm have bough the rights to a first-hand account of the Rolling Stones‘ Exile On Main Street sessions. A Season In Hell was written by Robert Greenfield in 2008, telling the story of his own experiences with the band in the south of France in 1971. It’s not known when – or if – the movie will begin shooting.
♦ Helloween have started work on their 13th studio album. Guitarist Michael Weikath says: “We are finalising the songwriting process and we’re getting ready to take the ideas into a final selection.” Their last release was 7 Sinners in 2010.
♦ Geoff Tate of Queensrÿche says his family fear for his hearing – but they have nothing to worry about. He explains: “I am a writer and I’m constantly writing songs. I’m locked into that – I’m writing and tweaking things, and changing things here and there. My wife and kids are always telling me that I’m deaf. Really I’m preoccupied with music playing through my head – I’m writing in my head as I go through the day. Sometimes I kind of check out and I’m just not there.”
♦ Shy will perform a tribute to lost guitarist Steve Harris on October 28 at the Asylum in Birmingham. They’ll play the band’s self-titled last album in full on the night, including guest appearances and charity auctions, with proceeds going to Brain Tumour UK in support of the work done to prevent more people dying from the illness that took Harris. More on this story here.
♦ Pete Townshend‘s long-awaited autobiography, Who I Am, will be published in October.
♦ Lita Ford believes her upcoming record, Living Like A Runaway, is one of her most powerful yet as she drew on the experiences of her “ugly” divorce from Nitro frontman Jim Gillette. She says: “We worked to give the songs a lot of meaning and emotional depth. Listeners shouldn’t pick out individual tracks, but listen to the full album – it’s inspired by Dark Side Of The Moon. It’s a whole journey rather than just an individual song.”
♦ Can you tell the difference between Foreigner, Styx, and, em, Cheapsnake? If so, Foreigner frontman Kelly Hansen could line you up for some top band prizes. He doesn’t quite explain it in the video below, so head over to the band website after you’ve watched it.