It’s hard to believe it’s been 10 years since…

30 11 2011

George Harrison passed away.  Yesterday was the anniversary of his death, but I got distracted by other things.  In any event, I really can’t believe a decade has come and gone without George

It’s nice to think that he was surrounded by friends and loved ones in his last months.  Unlike his former bandmate, John Lennon, he had a chance to iron out all his differences with Paul McCartney (and any he might’ve had with Ringo, as well.)  Before leaving us, he apparently embraced “traditional Christianity” (though he passed during a Hindu ritual of some sort) and left us with a really dang good album, Brainwashed.  He was truly a great talent and a highly entertaining, funny cat.   He was always searching for God and I hope, George found Him.

George and Olivia Harrison

Here’s one of his best solo songs.  Luckily, we were able to hear it.



Van Halen surfaces with new record company execs; Hagar takes shots (not of tequila, either)

28 11 2011

To diehard Van Halen fans, this might be old news.  But it’s good news.  Van Halen has finally surfaced.  Apparently, in mid-November, they set up gear at the Roxy in LA where, reportedly, they were shooting a video.   A photo with the band and a bunch of record company stiffs all but confirms they’re with Interscope Geffen A&M Records.

Van Halen with Execs


Since Van Halen couldn’t be reached for comment, Rolling Stone thought it to be the second best thing to get Sammy Hagar’s take… on issues about which he knows nothing first hand (the new record and the band’s record deal.)

Sammy talks a big game about not being bitter.  He might have just cause to be.  But you wouldn’t know it from the shots he takes at the band.

We’re hearing that Van Halen signed to Interscope this week.
What? VH? Van Halen? I don’t think . . . How long has it been since they did a record?  And that last one doesn’t count. You have to go back to 1995. For them to take that long to make a record, I don’t think it’s ever going to happen. If it does, it better be good. Oh man. It actually might be. I’m not dogging them. I don’t understand why they couldn’t do something by now. [Laughs] Though I kind of do understand.

This seems legit. I think they actually, for real, signed to Interscope.
I thought they signed to Sony. Hmmm . . . Interesting. I’ll be the first guy waiting in line at the record store, if I could find one anymore. I’ll be really curious. I think they owe the fans that. I would love to see them make a great record. They have some of the most loyal fans in rock, and they’ve been treated so, so bad these last 20 years. I’m a real fan friendly guy.

The fans aren’t too happy that they threw Michael Anthony out of the band.
It didn’t bother me when they threw me out. I’m a solo artist. I can start a new band. But Mike? He’s the most loyal guy, and the best bass player in the world – and the best background singer on the planet. His vocal sound is as much a part of Van Halen as anyone’s. When they threw him out, I just thought “WHY? This is so wrong. This is so damned wrong!” Then to go back to Dave, FINALLY – but they threw Mike out first. Once again, it’s not a fan friendly band. Eddie could have played a solo album with Wolfie. He could have produced it and gone on tour and played theaters with him.  He could have done so many different things. He did not have to make Wolfie the bass player in Van Halen.

I find it interesting that David Lee Roth has barely made a peep in public since he rejoined the band. Before that, he wasn’t exactly a press shy guy.
Yeah, this isn’t very Dave-like. Obviously, he’s trying to make it work. Look, I’ve been there. It’s not an easy camp. It’s gotten crazier and wackier, every day. I think that Dave has just learned that if he wants to make it work, he needs to shut up and hang in there and do what he can, and do what they say. It’s a very strange situation.

Look, back in the day, Dave was the boss. He was running the damn show. When I came in, I was the boss. I was running the show, but I didn’t want that job. It was always, “Well, what do you guys want to do?” They’d be like, “I don’t know. What do you want to do?” Then all of a sudden, it became this wicked, freaking dictatorship – and nothing has happened since.

I think nothing would be more fascinating than a Some Kind of Monster-style documentary about the making of this new record. Can you even imagine?
I’d be curious to be a fly on that wall. I heard this record is old outtakes from the old days. I mean, stuff from before I even joined the band. I heard this five years ago though. Michael Anthony was curious if his background vocals would wind up on the album. I don’t think it’s a bad idea. It’s kind of interesting. Bob Seger did it, and so did the Rolling Stones. I think it’s an interesting thing to do in your old age if you can’t come up with fresh, good stuff – or you can’t get along. Because from what I heard, they aren’t working with new material. Ed and Dave didn’t actually write new songs. They took old stuff from previous sessions, and then maybe Dave had to go in and add vocals because they just had scat vocals, or even no vocal part at all.

That’s bizarre, because in the few interviews that he does, Ed is always talking about how many great new guitar parts he’s written.
Ed talks really weird about all that stuff recently. He goes, “I have all this music! So much music . . . ” Well, they really aren’t songs [laughs]. They’re really not. It was always easy for me to write songs with Ed. He had all these parts, and I had these ideas. I’d be like, “Oh, go to B over there for a bridge – write a bridge, Ed.” He’d do it, and it would be some bad ass shit. But it wasn’t like he wrote instrumentals and I just had to write lyrics over them, like I do now with Joe Satriani. Joe writes friggin’ instrumentals. Ed doesn’t have any songs. I’m sorry. I love the guy’s guitar stuff, but play me a song, will you?

Rolling Stone finally gets it right; Music Critics Still Assume It’s Wrong

24 11 2011

Rolling Stone magazine, in my estimation, is a joke.  It does, however, sometimes get its (meaningless) top _____ lists right.  2003’s list of greatest guitarist had arguably the best hard rock guitarist of my generation, Eddie Van Halen, way down at 70.  Now he’s in their top 10.  Why the change?  Critics say that RS simply wants to be in good with EVH as a new Van Halen album approaches.  Apparently, critics think Clapton’s rated too highly.  I’m not a big EC fan, but his influence justifies his placement on the most recent list.

Hey Detroiters, Noel Gallagher’s coming to the Royal Oak Music Theater in March

18 11 2011

I got my tickets already.  This should be a great concert.  The Royal Oak Music Theater is a great place to see a show.  There’s not a bad seat in the house and there’s a decent bar there, with service even to the main floor.

Julian Lennon: a right and fitting keeper of Beatles treasures

14 11 2011

At the risk of making this yet another “Yoko Ono is the manipulating dragon lady that broke up the Beatles” kind of statement, I will say that she should be ashamed of herself for the way in which she dealt with Julian and his rights to a portion of his own father’s Estate.  Sadly, John probably loved his second wife miles more than his own flesh and blood, and it shows in what little provisions were made for him growing up.  To Julian’s credit, he’s used his own money (earned and with the “settlement” he got from Mrs. Ono-Lennon) to buy back a bunch of his dad’s stuff.  Some of the great pieces he’s gathered over the years are now on loan from Julian for display.  Good on him.


“These go to eleven”

11 11 2011

It’s 11/11/11.  How can we forget the immortal Nigel Tufnel on this fine day?


Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds on The Late Show with David Letterman

11 11 2011

I stayed up until just shy of 1:00 a.m. to catch Noel Gallagher and his new band on David Letterman’s show.  After sitting through nearly an hour-and-a-half of largely unfunny stuff, I was glad to see the band.

Noel sounds great.  He seems to be in top form and his band is tight.  I don’t think there’s anything terribly complex about the song they played, “If I Had a Gun…” but the execution was spot-on.

Watch this video before Youtube has it yanked.