US record stores fight AC/DC Wal-Mart deal… iTunes ‘could close’, claims Apple… Ace Frehley charges for autographs…
US record stores are planning to bring in copies of AC/DC‘s new album, Black Ice, from outside North America to combat the band’s so-called exclusive deal with the Wal-Mart retail chain. One independent chain told Australia’s Undercover News that it has been able import Black Ice from Argentina for $8.25 (approx. £4.67) per unit and will undercut the Wal-Mart price. A store source said: “With technology and international accounts, if a major like Sony BMG America decides they don’t want to do business with us, we will do business with other territories. Why should we allow them to disadvantage our businesses and piss off our customers?”
sinesses and piss off our customers?”
A crucial ruling today could lead to Apple closing its iTunes store. The computer giant has threatened to shut its online music sales service if artists’ royalty fees rise from 4p for each digital music track to 9p. Alternatively the increase could be passed on to iTunes customers who currently pay 79p per track in Britain. Apple vice president Eddy Cue said: “We’re in this business to make money and would most likely not continue to operate iTunes if it were no longer possible to do so profitably.”
As if the thought of Ace Frehley appearing alongside the likes of Burt Reynolds, Angie Dickinson and Eric ‘CHIPS’ Estrada at a toy, model and film expo isn’t bizarre enough, it turns out that the ex-Kiss guitarist will be charging for autographs during his appearance at the Chiller Theatre-organised event. The expo takes place October 24-26 in New Jersey. For more details go here.
Kurt Cobain‘s stolen ashes have apparently resurfaced – but not, it seems, for long. You might remember the Nirvana man’s remains were reportedly stolen, along with a lock of hair, from Courtney Love‘s bedroom back in June. Now an Australian artist called Natascha Stellmach claims to have acquired the ashes, and plans to smoke them in a joint to (and we quote) ‘release Cobain into the ether from the media circus’. The ashes are currently on display at a Berlin art gallery. Ho-hum. After Keith Richards snorting his dad’s ashes, nothing surprises us any more… STOP PRESS: Love’s representative Alan Nierob says Stellmach can’t be in possession of Cobain’s ashes becaue his remains ‘were never taken’ and that the story of the burglary had been ‘erroneously reported’. Read more here.
Despite a 61 per cent drop in sales to 132,000 copes, Metallica‘s Death Magnetic has retained its hold on the No. 1 spot on the Billboard 200 for a third week. After being No.1 in many European countries (including, natch, the UK) Death Magnetic has begun to slip down the charts. But the album remains at No. 1 in Austria, Switzerland, Norway and Sweden, and has just debuted at No. 1 in Greece.
If you’re planning to go to any of Slayer’s upcoming European shows, you’ll get the chance to hear a brand new song from the band. Fans who attend any of the upcoming European Unholy Alliance Tour (Chapter III) dates will receive the new Slayer song via an exclusive download card that will also include special material from the entire tour’s line-up – Slayer, Mastodon, Trivium and Amon Amarth. The download card, along with a limited-edition Unholy Alliance Tour clothing patch, will be given away free only to ticket holders when they arrive at their local venue the night of the show. A brand-new Slayer album is expected in 2009.
Velvet Revolver and former Guns N’ Roses guitarist Slash has demoed 14 songs for his forthcoming solo album. Slash, who has recruited variety of (as yet unnamed) singers to appear on the album, said he wasn’t sure whether it would be released before the next Velvet Revolver album. VR are in the process of recruiting a new singer, following the departure of Scott Weiland earlier this year.