Def Leppard guitarist Viv Campbell has revealed via his Facebook page that he is currently undergoing treatment for Hodgkin's Lymphoma. Campbell, who previously enjoyed stints in Dio and Whitesnake before replacing Leppard's late-guitarist Steve Clark in 1992, also served double duty over the years with Thin Lizzy.
Viv Campbell's post puts his friends and fans at ease, showing him to be the road warrior he's always been known to be, touring not only with Def Leppard this summer -- but also hitting the road with Last In Line -- featuring former members of Dio.
Viv Campbell's Facebook announcement reads in full:
I feel fortunate that my cancer sent me an alarm call in the form of 'the cough that wouldn't quit.' Otherwise, how would I have known? After several months of trying every inhaler known to man, my doctor finally had me X-rayed. A further CAT scan revealed that enlarged lymph nodes were doing wrestling maneuvers on my windpipe -- hence the cough. What was causing the enlarged lymph nodes, however, was yet to be determined, so I underwent a surgical biopsy on March 11th, the first day of Leppard rehearsals for our Viva Las Vegas shows. Obviously, I didn't make it to rehearsal that day, but it's okay; I know the songs by now. . .
My diagnosis was Hodgkin's Lymphoma and six months of chemotherapy is the prescribed treatment. I'm about 2 months in and feeling rather spiffy, all things considered. Hodgkin's has an over 80 percent cure rate, so by my reckoning, if you're going to have a cancer, Hodgie's is the one to have!
The reason I'm sharing this with you is because, despite cancer and chemo, me and my new aerodynamic hairstyle (read: no hair) are going on tour this summer with the band and I don't want anyone to be so shocked by my new look that they ask for a refund. Simple economics, really.
My family, friends and bandmates have all been extremely supportive through this and I look forward to a summer full of shows with both Def Leppard in June/July and the debut of Last In Line this August.
This week marks the 35th anniversary of the Rolling Stones' 1978 blockbuster, Some Girls. The album, which was competing on the charts and turntables around the globe with breakthrough punk and disco records, was able to absorb the musical influence of what was going down in the clubs and the streets of New York City and become the first album in years to drastically redefine the Stones' sound. It also featured the band's first chart-topper since 1973's "Angie" -- the disco-based monster summer hit and instant classic, "Miss You, which remains the Stones' last chart-topper to date.
Sting has enlisted the help of AC/DC frontman Brian Johnson for vocals on his upcoming studio set. The album, called The Last Ship, will be released on September 24th, and features songs included in Sting's upcoming musical of the same name. The album marks the Police leader's first new material since 2003's Sacred Love collection. There's been no word as to whether Johnson is featured as a solo vocalist or on how many tracks he appears.
Foreigner guitarist Mick Jones has opened up about some of his interesting experiences as a producer, including some colorful sessions with Van Halen. Talking to the gang at the grat web site Ultimate Classic Rock, Jones said working with the rockers was a wild time! "We went through some crazy times. The engineer locked himself in the studio for a day and threatened to burn the tapes. It was a real standoff, you know? It was touch and go whether the tapes were going to survive."
"It all ended up great and everybody ended up really cool and happy with what had happened, but it was pretty exhausting. It all paid off in the end," he added. "To me, a real producer has to have the balls to have that vision of what the end product is going to be like and help guide the artist or the band towards that. That's what I've tried to do, and I've tried to do that with Foreigner. But I've always tried to bring in a second or third ear to keep my perspective and balance it. I think it's important to have that."
Richie Sambora, who is sitting out of Bon Jovi's world tour, has broken his silence regarding his absence -- without actually giving the reasons why he's all but quit the band. Jon Bon Jovi revealed to The Evening Standard that not-discussing the reasons for Sambora playing hooky from the tour is getting tiring, explaining: "It's getting more and more difficult every day to not just sit here and say something. . . Because all I can say is this -- it's for personal reasons. He's been through it before, fortunately for us the same guy who filled in last time was available this time. Life goes on, so if someone chooses not to be here. . . unlike if this were, God forbid, The Edge, and he for some reason couldn't make a U2 show, (then) it would be very difficult to just step in."
Bon Jovi added: "You have a choice -- you either figure it out, go and grow, not only survive but thrive. Or, you say, 'I hate my brother and I'm gonna quit the band.'"
Sambora took the bait and in an exclusive interview with MailOnline, said, "I don't have any major problems in life right now, I love my fans and I feel bad for them at the moment. Bottom line. My opinion is Jon wants to see if he can pull off stadiums by himself. He is making it very difficult for me to come back. Enough with the trash talking!"
He went on to add: "Jon needs to stop talking about me publicly. I am fine working very hard on my fashion company Nikki Rich and this is a private matter.'"
JUST OUR OPINION
This is the deal -- these guys gotta stop calling this a "personal" or "private" matter. It's the furthest thing from being that. Richie Sambora being too trashed to make a string of dates last Bon Jovi tour -- that was a BUSINESS matter. He had to call in sick to work. That's BUSINESS. Personal matters have nothing to do with huge corporations like Chrysler, Google -- or Bon Jovi. They just don't.
They should be honest and just tell the truth -- either Sambora's back on the bottle or he wants more money, or as equal a say as Bon Jovi -- because that's really it. It's one or more of those three things.
Whatever the issues are, they can't be that pressing. Sambora's looking pretty lame in all this. Jon Bon Jovi's making it hard for you to go to work playing stadiums??? Really??? In 1976 Keith Richards took the stage the night his infant son died; do you think whatever's troubling Richie about his multi-million dollar cake walk gig is more of a deterrent to taking the stage than that???
Could YOU do this at work??? Y'know, decide that you're just not gonna go anymore and still keep your job??? Bon Jovi, who maintains that he's just a hard-workin' Jersey guy, should fire his ass already. They look stupid.
The Doors' co-founder and keyboardist Ray Manzarek died on Monday, May 20th in Rosenheim, Germany at the RoMed Clinic following a long battle with with bile duct cancer. He was 74. Manzarek was surrounded by his wife Dorothy and his brothers Rick and James Manczarek. Manzarek is survived by Dorothy, their son Pablo, his wife Sharmin, and their three children Noah, Apollo, and Camille. Funeral arrangements are pending. An official statement posted on TheDoors.com stated: "The family asks that their privacy be respected at this difficult time. In lieu of flowers, please make a memoriam donation in Ray Manzarek's name at www.standup2cancer.org."
Doors guitarist Robby Krieger said in a statement: "I was deeply saddened to hear about the passing of my friend and bandmate Ray Manzarek today. I'm just glad to have been able to have played Doors songs with him for the last decade. Ray was a huge part of my life and I will always miss him."
Doors drummer John Densmore said in a statement: "There was no keyboard player on the planet more appropriate to support Jim Morrison's words. Ray, I felt totally in sync with you musically. It was like we were of one mind, holding down the foundation for Robby and Jim to float on top of. I will miss my musical brother."
Ray Manzarek was born Raymond Daniel Manczarek, Jr. on February 12th, 1939 on the South Side of Chicago and was of Polish decent. In 1962 he moved to Southern California to study at the Department of Cinematography at UCLA, where he first met fellow student and future partner Jim Morrison, along with his wife of 45 years, Dorothy Fujikawa. Together with Morrison, Robby Krieger, and drummer John Densmore, the quartet formed the Doors in 1965 and between 1967 and 1971 released six studio albums -- The Doors (1967); Strange Days (1967); Waiting For The Sun (1968); The Soft Parade (1969); Morrison Hotel (1970); and L.A. Woman (1971) -- before Jim Morrison's death on July 3rd, 1971 in Paris.
Manzarek changed the face of rock keyboard playing, with his early signature sound being a combination of a Vox Continental organ -- and later a Gibson G-101 Kalamazoo combo organ -- with his left hand playing the basslines on a Fender Rhodes electric piano "bass unit," which featured only the keyboard's lowest notes. Although the Doors eventually added a studio bassist to their sessions, Manzarek handled the bass duties via his keyboards for the band's live appearances with Morrison.
Following Morrison's death, the Doors soldiered on with Manzarek and Krieger taking over vocal duties on the band's 1971 set, Other Voices, and its follow-up, 1972's Full Circle. Following that, Krieger and Densmore split to form the Butts Band. After a short-lived mid-'70s collaboration with Iggy Pop, Manzarek formed Nite City with future Blondie bassist Nigel Harrison, and produced and collaborated with the likes of Philip Glass, Echo & The Bunnymen, X, and poet Michael McClure, among many others.
In 1978 Manzarek, Krieger, and Densmore reunited to compose and record music to Morrison's poetry for the An American Prayer album. Manzarek collaborated frequently with Robby Krieger. In 2002 the pair began touring as the Doors Of The 21st Century, which went through various name changes -- including Riders On The Storm -- until the pair settled on Manzarek-Krieger or Ray Manzarek & Robby Krieger of The Doors, following a bitter five-year battle against John Densmore and the Morrison estate over the use of the band's name.
In 1998, Manzarek published his memoir, Light My Fire: My Life With The Doors. He followed the autobiography in 2001 with The Poet In Exile, which supposes what would've happened had Jim Morrison faked his death -- as many fans believe. In 2006 he published his second novel, the Civil War-based, Snake Moon.
The Doors' stats remain among the most impressive of the rock era, selling over 100 million albums worldwide, and receiving 19 Gold, 14 Platinum, and five multi-Platinum albums in the U.S. alone.
FRIENDS AND FANS REACT
Joe Perry wrote: "I am very saddened by loss of Ray Manzarek now he's with Jim. They mean as much to me today as they did 40 years ago."
Slash wrote: "The Doors represent the LA sound to me. It was the 1st band I remember hearing when I came from England; 'Light my fire,' I'll never forget."
Alice Cooper wrote: "Ok it is OFFICIAL. Ray Manzarek is dead. Mind blown. RIP Ray."
Flea wrote: "Wow. Ray manzarek. Bless his heart. One of a kind rock original. Grateful to have jammed with him once. R.I..P."
Weird Al Yankovic wrote: Oh man. So terribly sad. We lost a great one. #RIPRayManzarek
Elijah Wood wrote: "The End. Sad to hear of Ray Manzarek's passing."
CHECK IT OUT:The Doors on April 28th, 1969 performing "Wishful Sinful" live onPBS Critique:
CHECK IT OUT:Ray Manzarek fronting the Doors on May 3rd, 1972 while performing "Love Me Two Times" on Germany'sBeat Club:
Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith and former Van Halen bassist Michael Anthony are in the studio with ex-Van Halen singer Sammy Hagar, where the Red Rocker is working on a new album. The three musicians, of course, comprise three-fourths of the lineup of Chickenfoot, although they are apparently not making a new Chickenfoot record at the moment. Joining them on guitar is Neal Schon of Journey, who also played with Hagar in the early Eighties act HSAS.
In a clip posted online, Hagar calls the current group of musicians a "new and improved" version of HSAS.
The initials of the four musicians' last names also happen to spell out HSAS. The original lineup of that act, which issued one live album in 1984, featured Hagar, Schon, Kenny Aaronson on bass and Michael Shrieve on drums.
Chickenfoot, which also includes guitarist Joe Satriani, has released two albums, 2009's self-titled debut and 2011's Chickenfoot III. Drummer Kenny Aronoff replaced Smith for touring purposes in 2011 when Smith had to return to duty with the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Black Sabbath has issued another three-minute featurette, titled "The Sabbath Sound," containing footage of the recording sessions for the band's new album, 13. The disc is due out on June 11th and is the first Sabbath set in 35 years to feature singer Ozzy Osbourne, guitarist Tony Iommi and bassist Geezer Butler all playing together.
Rod Stewart is once again fanning the flames of a reunion Faces reunion -- but as usual is blaming Ron Wood for throwing a wrench in the works. Rod releases his latest album today (May 7th) called, Time. The collection marks his long-awaited return to songwriting and features 11 new songs, which he co-wrote and produced.
In 2012, Rod was all set to play with the Faces -- Ron Wood, Ian MacLagan, and Kenney Jones -- during their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, marking the first time he and the group joined forces since 1993. At the 11th hour, Rod fell ill and was advised under doctor's orders not to travel. Simply Red's Mick Hucknall, who's been his replacement over the past few years during Faces gigs, as always, wowed the crowd who at this point are used to Rod not showing up to the reunion gigs.
Now Rod says that 2014 looks like the year that he'll finally commit to playing with his former-bandmates, telling The Sun: "Well, we were on for it but he got nabbed back by the Rolling Stones, didn't he? But let them have him, because my eyes are on next year. I'd really like a reunion of the Jeff Beck Group AND the Faces with Ronnie. Imagine that? We've got the UK tour coming up with the residency at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas after that then we can start thinking about the Faces."
Over the past decade, Rod Stewart and Ron Wood have teamed up in the studio for a supposed joint album, which at one point was said to be tentatively titled, You Strum - I'll Sing. A while back we asked Rod if there's any chance we'll see him and Ron Wood teaming up for new sessions
Although Don Henley is busy prepping for the upcoming Eagles tour, he took time out to talk about his upcoming solo project, called Cass County, which is his first new album in 13 years, and will be released in September. Cass County, which is Henley's fifth solo album, was co-produced by Henley's longtime collaborator, former Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers drummer, Stan Lynch.
Henley spoke to Jam! Music and shed some light on the album's title and back-story: "That's the name of the rural county I come from in northeast Texas. The album was recorded mostly in Nashville, with some additional recording done in Texas and California. The material on it is a reflection of a part of my musical foundation -- songs I heard on the radio and on my parents' record player in the '50s and '60s."
Although the album has one foot planted firmly in the past -- Henley maintains that the album is relevant for his audience today, explaining, "It's not exactly a 'retro' album, but neither does it reflect much of what's going on in 'modern' music. It's primarily a record for grown-ups -- people who've done some living. It explores the landscape of memory and experience. There are a few cover songs on the album, but most of the content is new, original material."
Henley went on to add: "The mood of the country has changed since the '60s. I think there's always a place for a little social commentary -- after all, that is one of the basic principles of rock, folk, blues and country music -- but you can't hit people over the head with it; you can comment, but you can't preach."
I love to read stories like this when famous people like Dave Grohl meet their Idols! This is from Jeff Giles from the website "Ultimate Classic Rock" It's a great read.
No matter how successful a person might be in his chosen field, he can still have heroes who make him feel like a kid again. Just ask Dave Grohl, who had what sounds like a deeply emotional experience when meeting up with the members of Rush for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony.
Speaking with the Pulse of Radio, Grohl admitted that inducting Rush into the Hall — and later performing with them on stage for a version of ’2112′ — was “one of the most special nights of my life.”
Calling the performance “terrifying” and “amazing” in equal measure, Grohl recalled, “When I got ’2112′ when I was eight years old, it f—ing changed the direction of my life. I heard the drums. It made me want to become a drummer.” Naturally, all that history meant meeting Rush drummer Neil Peart proved particularly special; as Grohl put it, “This man was as influential as any religion or any hero or any person in someone’s life. He said, ‘So nice to meet you. Can I make you a coffee?’ And he made me a coffee, man. And later on that night, I went to dinner and had a couple glasses of wine and I started f—ing crying because my hero made me a f—ing coffee.”
A conversation about Dave Grohl inducting Rush into the Rock Hall seemed like as good a time as any to point out that his former band Nirvana will be eligible for that honor next year. “Wow. I didn’t even know that. Interesting,” he responded. “Well, hopefully they make us wait as long as Rush did, because did you see all their f—ing fans out there tonight?”
The Allman Brothers Band are taking the show on the road this summer for a series of 15 concerts. The band has just added stops in August and September in Scranton, Pennsylvania; Chicago; Hartford, Connecticut; Gilford, New Hampshire; Raleigh and Charlotte, North Carolina; Alpharetta, Georgia; Virginia Beach, Virginia; Mansfield, Massachusetts; and Wantagh, New York. Steve Winwood will open for the band on a handful of shows.
The Allman Brothers Band tour dates (subject to change):
August 16, 17 - Scranton, PA - The Peach Music Festival at Toyota Pavilion At Montage Mountain
August 17 - Scranton, PA - Toyota Pavilion At Montage Mountain
August 20, 21 - Chicago, IL - Chicago Theatre
August 23 - Darien Center, NY - Darien Lake Performing Arts Center (with Steve Winwood)
August 24 - Hartford, CT - Comcast Theatre (with Steve Winwood)
August 27 - Gilford, NH - Meadowbrook (with Steve Winwood)
August 28 - Saratoga Springs, NY - Saratoga Performing Arts Center (with Steve Winwood)
August 30 - Raleigh, NC - Time Warner Cable Music Pavilion August 31 - Charlotte, NC - Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre (with Steve Winwood)
September 2 - Alpharetta, GA - Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre At Encore Park
September 4 - Virginia Beach, VA - Farm Bureau Live At Virginia Beach
September 6 - Mansfield, MA - Comcast Center
September 7 - Wantagh, NY - Nikon At Jones Beach Theater
Van Halenplayed its first show of 2013 and first since last spring on Saturday night (April 20th) as one of the headliners at theStone Music Festivalin Sydney, Australia. The band has not played live since canceling 31 North American dates last summer, citing exhaustion. GuitaristEddie Van Halenwas then sidelined for four to six months after undergoing surgery for the inflammatory intestinal affliction diverticulitis.
The group opened its 20-song set with "Unchained" and proceeded through a solid list of hits and fan favorites, ending the night with "Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love" and "Jump." Only three songs from its 2012 album,A Different Kind Of Truth-- "She's The Woman," "Tattoo" and "China Town" -- were performed during the evening.
Van Halen will next play three shows in Japan in late June before coming home to appear at the annualRock USAfestival, scheduled for July 17th through July 20th in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
CHECK IT OUT: Watch Van Halen perform "Unchained" in Australia:
Heart finally gets inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame during the ceremony at L.A.'s Nokia Theater. Jason Bonham will induct the band, which in addition to sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson, will include the classic 1975 to 1979 Heart lineup featuring lead guitarist Roger Fisher, bassist Steve Fossen, longtime guitarist/keyboardist Howard Leese, and drummer Michael DeRosier.
The members of Rush hope that their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Thursday nigh will pave the way for more progressive and heavy rock acts to get inside the doors. Bassist Geddy Lee said, "I hope this means other great bands like Yes will follow suit. Deep Purple was on the ballot this year, and I was hoping they'd get in with us. We wouldn't be the band we are without Deep Purple's existence."
Guitarist Alex Lifeson added that he hoped Rush's long-awaited inclusion "opens the doors for bands like the Moody Blues and King Crimson . . . it's odd to have (a Hall of Fame) where there seem to be guidelines for who's acceptable and who's not." Thursday's event will be filmed and broadcast on HBO on May 18th.
The members of Black Sabbath were interviewed last Wednesday (April 10th) by new Fuse News correspondent Jack Osbourne, who of course had an inside advantage in landing the interview thanks to being singer Ozzy Osbourne's son. Ozzy, guitarist Tony Iommi and bassist Geezer Butler made a surprise appearance that evening at a Los Angeles listening party for their new album, 13, where Jack asked if there was any nervousness about making a record together after 35 years.
His father replied, "The pressure was on us, because it had been so long since we'd worked together . . . it's like now or never. This album, for me, was probably the most important of my career."
Iommi discussed the writing process for the disc, saying, "I had a bunch of riffs on CDs and played it to everybody, and then everybody decided, 'We like this one' or 'We don't like that,' and the ones we liked, we started work on them." The band was also asked about working with producer Rick Rubin, who has a reputation for actually not showing up very often to the sessions he is getting paid to "produce." Iommi said, "It was funny at first, because coming to rehearsals, when we were actually writing the songs, he'd come down for like, five or ten minutes and then go. Then he'd go,'Call me when you've got another one.' So it was really strange. We'd never worked with anybody like that before.".
13 comes out on June 11th and is the first Sabbath album to feature Ozzy, Iommi and Butler together since 1978's Never Say Die!. Brad Wilk of Rage Against The Machine provided drum tracks in lieu of original drummer Bill Ward.
Sabbath will begin a world tour later this month in Australia, with North American dates coming in the summer and European gigs penciled in for the fall.
The band will also make a rare TV appearance to perform a new song called "End Of The Beginning" on the season finale of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. The episode is set to air on Wednesday, May 15th at 10:00 p.m. ET on CBS.
Yet another reason why Joe Walsh just may be the coolest guy in rock -- he can't wait to play with the guy he replaced in the Eagles. Walsh confirmed to us that co-founding guitarist Bernie Leadon -- who Walsh replaced in December 1975 -- will be back on the road with the band this year playing during parts of the Eagles' 40th anniversary tour.
Walsh shed some light on how Bernie Leadon would be fitting into the upcoming Eagles shows: ["Bernie's gonna come out, Don and Glenn and Bernie are gonna maybe do some acoustic stuff. Y'know, Bernie's brilliant. He's a great, great, guitar player. I never really got a chance to play with him, 'cause I kind of replaced him. But, y'know, we've been in contact. We, we see him from time to time. And I'm really glad he's comin'. Really glad he's comin', because it's gonna take the whole show up a notch and I'm really looking forward to playing with him, finally."
Legendary producer - engineer Andy Johns, best known for his work with the Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin, died on April 7th of undisclosed causes, according to Noise 11. Johns, whose older brother is noted Stones engineer and Who and Eagles producer Glyn Johns, made his bones at London's legendary Olympic Studios working early sessions for Rod Stewart, Jethro Tull, and Humble Pie.
Despite a career of quality and groundbreaking work, Johns will always be remembered for engineering such legendary albums as Blind Faith's self-titled debut; Led Zeppelin's second, third, and fourth albums, Houses Of The Holy, Physical Graffiti, and Coda; along with the Rolling Stones' Sticky Fingers, Exile On Main Street, Goats Head Soup, and It's Only Rock N' Roll, among many others.
Among the classic albums Johns produced were Free's Highway; Television's Marquee Moon; Cinderella's Night Songs; Van Halen's For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge; Joe Satriani's The Extremist; Chickenfoot's self-titled debut, and the Steve Miller Band's two most recent albums, Bingo! and Let Your Hair Down.
Peter Frampton posted on his Facebook page: "Andy Johns engineer/producer and long time friend has left us and way too soon. He worked with Humble Pie on our first 2 albums. Better known for Led Zep and Stones classic albums. And Songs For A Tailor by Jack Bruce. A big fav of mine. So many other amazing sounding records were recorded/produced by Andy. My thoughts are with his family and especially his brother Glyn. We will all miss Andy. RIP"
Queen's Brian May posted a tribute to Johns on his website (BrianMay.com) saying: "Ouch. So sad to hear of the passing of Andy Johns -- great record producer. Lovely guy -- patient, skilled, funny, encouraging, sharp. . . all the qualities you want in someone who is getting your music on to tape. I remember him as one of the Olympic Studios team in Barnes playing around with varying tape speeds and early phasing with George Chiantz. He went on to become one of the very top rock producers in the world. Condolences to all the family. Andy was such a great guy. RIP. Bri"
Slash tweeted: "1 of the great engineer/producers of our time."
Legendary record producer Phil Ramone died of a brain aneurysm on Saturday, March 30th at New York Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan, according to Billboard. Ramone was first hospitalized in late February for an aortic aneurysm, in which the aorta swells to 1.5 times its normal size, and runs the risk of fatally rupturing. Ramone is survived by his wife Karen and three sons, Matt, B.J. -- named for Billy Joel, and Simon -- named for Paul Simon. Ramone's most recent project, was Tony Bennett's Latin album, Viva Duets which featured Christina Aguilera, Gloria Estefan, and Marc Anthony, among others. In 2007, Ramone published his memoir, called Making Records: The Scenes Behind The Music.
Phil Ramone was born on January 5th, 1934 in South Africa and as a child prodigy violinist at age 10, he performed for Queen Elizabeth II. He emigrated to the U.S. in the late-1940's and was classically trained at the prestigious Juilliard School in New York City, becoming a naturalized American citizen in 1953. In addition to co-owning and operating Manhattan's A&R Recording Studios, Ramone became known as one of the best sets of ears in the business, with his engineering work among the best and most sought after in the U.S.
The 14 time Grammy winner's resume reads like a who's who of the entertainment industry over the past 50 years, with Ramone's name on the label of albums by such icons as Paul Simon, Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, Barbra Streisand, Duke Ellington, Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Rod Stewart, and Elton John, among others. Ramone is also credited for introducing optical surround sound for motion pictures.
Despite those credits, Phil Ramone -- lovingly referred to by many as the "Pope Of Pop" -- will always be best known for the seven albums he produced for Billy Joel -- The Stranger (1977), 52nd Street (1978), Glass Houses (1980), Songs In The Attic (1981), The Nylon Curtain (1982), An Innocent Man (1983), and The Bridge (1986).
Ramone produced and helped arrange such Billy Joel classics as "Just The Way You Are," "Movin' Out (Anthony's Song)," "She's Always A Woman," "Only The Good Die Young," "Scenes From An Italian Restaurant," "Big Shot," "My Life," "Honesty," "You May Be Right," "It's Still Rock N' Roll To me," "Don't Ask Me Why," "She's Got A Way," "Pressure," "Allentown," "Goodnight Saigon," "Tell Her About It," "The Longest Time," "Uptown Girl," and "A Matter Of Trust," among others.
Billy Joel issued a statement saying: "I always thought of Phil Ramone as the most talented member in my band. He was the band member that no one ever ever saw onstage. He was with me as long as any of the musicians I ever played with -- longer than most. So much of my music was shaped by him and brought to fruition by him. I have lost a dear friend -- and my greatest mentor. The music world lost a giant today."
FRIENDS AND COLLABORATORS REMEMBER PHIL RAMONE
Paul McCartney: "Phil was a great friend of mine for many years. We first worked together when I recorded 'Another Day' in New York at A&R Studios. He was a very sweet man who combined this with expert knowledge of both engineering and production. I'll always remember him as a great friend that I knew, loved and admired over the many years that we worked and played together."
Quincy Jones: "There aren't enough words to express how heavy my heart is with the news of the passing of my dear friend and brother Phil Ramone. Phil was a collaborator in the studio and a friend in life for more than 50 years. Whenever I was in the studio recording, if Phil wasn't there by my side it would seem like one ingredient was missing. Today we lost one of the true musicians, innovators and geniuses of the record industry. His immense talents were only surpassed by the gigantic size of his heart, and I will miss him terribly."
Barbra Streisand: "I'm so saddened to learn of Phil's passing. We first worked together in 1967 when I did a free concert in Central Park. His brilliance at capturing sound was immediately evident. Later we worked together on the film A Star Is Born, where Phil was able to record me singing live, including 'Evergreen.' In the next decade we worked on the soundtrack to Yentl and many other recordings. Phil had impeccable musical taste, great ears and the most gentle way of bringing out the best in all the artists he worked with. The monumental recordings he produced will endure for all time."
Stevie Wonder: "What a heart break to all of us who knew him and loved him. What a great man, what a kind spirit, such an incredible producer. The star of stars behind the stars. Phil will be missed always."
Aretha Franklin: "This is so shocking. I just performed for his tribute in December. Truly one of the great names in music has gone on, but the melodies will remain."
Elton John: "A friend, a musical genius and the most lovable person. It was a thrill for me to have worked with Phil, and I have so many wonderful memories."
Tony Bennett: "Phil Ramone was a lovely person and a very gifted musician and producer. It was a joy to have him work with me in the recording studio on so many projects as he had a wonderful sense of humor and a deep love of music. Phil had the admiration and respect from everyone in the entertainment industry and his passing is a great loss."
Julian Lennon: "I'm deeply saddened to hear the news of my dear friend & First Ever Producer, Phil Ramone's Passing. . . My Heart, of course, goes out to all of his Family & friends. . . Phil, We were just getting to know each other again. . . I'm going to miss you. . . As will countless others. . . You were one of the best. . . Always will be. . . x"
ASCAP president and singer/songwriter Paul Williams: "Phil Ramone was a giant whose love and understanding of songwriting, combined with his mastery of the recording arts and science led to a lifetime of producing beautiful music. His legacy of timeless classics includes the seminal work of a long list of iconic songwriters and legendary recording artists. Our condolences go out to his family and friends. While the world has lost a giant his work will live on and be celebrated for all time. Godspeed, my friend."
Bette Midler: "Phil Ramone. A giant in the recording world; kind beyond words."
Songwriter Diane Warren: "Phil Ramone was the epitome of class. And what a true producer should be. Musical. Sensitive. He knew his s***. And was a gentleman. One of not only the greatest producers EVER but one of the greatest people EVER."
Robbie Robertson: "I am deeply saddened to hear my friend Phil Ramone passed away. We first met in 1968 at A&R Studios while The Band was making Music From Big Pink. I am currently doing a new mix on an album we worked on together many years ago. He was a true sonic genius and a brilliant, versatile record producer. They just don't make 'em like that no more. Blessings."
PHIL RAMONE'S GRAMMY AWARDS
1965 - Best Engineered Recording (non classical) - Getz/Gilberto - Stan Getz and Joao Gilberto
1970 - Best Musical Show Album - Promises, Promises
1976 - Album of the Year - Still Crazy After All These Years - Paul Simon
1979 - Record of the Year - "Just The Way You Are" - Billy Joel
1980 - Album of the Year - 52nd Street - Billy Joel
1981 - Producer of the Year (non classical)
1984 - Best Album Of Original Score Written For A Motion Picture Or A Television Special - Flashdance
1995 - Best Musical Show Album - Passion
2003 - Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album - Playin' With My Friends: Bennett Sings The Blues - Tony Bennett
2005 - Album of the Year and Best Surround Sound Album - Genius Loves Company - Ray Charles
2005 - Technical Grammy for a Lifetime of Innovative Contributions to the Recording Academy
2006 - Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album - The Art of Romance - Tony Bennett
2007 - Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album - Duets: An American Classic - Tony Bennett
2012 - Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album - Duets II - Tony Bennett
MAJOR ALBUMS PRODUCED BY PHIL RAMONE (via Vintage Vinyl News):
Calypso In Brass - Harry Belafonte
The Art Of Romance - Tony Bennett
Bennett Sings Ellington: Hot & Cool - Tony Bennett
Playin' With My Friends: Bennett Sings the Blues - Tony Bennett
Duets: An American Classic - Tony Bennett
Duets II - Tony Bennett
Lovelines - The Carpenters
Genius Loves Company - Ray Charles
Genius And Friends - Ray Charles
Hot Streets - Chicago
Chicago 13 - Chicago
Stardust - Natalie Cole
Watermark - Art Garfunkel
The Stranger - Billy Joel
52nd Street - Billy Joel
Glass Houses - Billy Joel
An Innocent Man - Billy Joel
The Nylon Curtain - Billy Joel
The Bridge - Billy Joel
One Night Only: The Greatest Hits - Elton John
A Night To Remember - Cyndi Lauper
Valotte - Julian Lennon
The Secret Value Of Daydreaming - Julian Lennon
Celebrate Me Home - Kenny Loggins
Just A Little Lovin' - Shelby Lynn
Songs From The Last Century - George Michael
Duets: Friends And Legends - Anne Murray
Guitar Slinger - Brian Setzer Orchestra
Am I Not Your Girl? - Sinead O'Connor
There Goes Rhymin' Simon - Paul Simon
Paul Simon In Concert: Live Rhymin' - Paul Simon
Still Crazy After All These Years - Paul Simon
One Trick Pony - Paul Simon
So Beautiful Or So What - Paul Simon
The Concert In Central Park - Simon & Garfunkel
Duets - Frank Sinatra
Duets II - Frank Sinatra
Phoebe Snow - Phoebe Snow
Second Childhood - Phoebe Snow
Never Letting Go - Phoebe Snow
Time Takes Time - Ringo Starr
It Had To Be You: The Great American Songbook - Rod Stewart
As Time Goes By: The Great American Songbook Volume II - Rod Stewart
A Star Is Born - Barbra Streisand
Till I Loved You - Barbra Streisand
Mary - Mary Travers
Rufus Does Judy At Carnegie Hall - Rufus Wainwright
Is Robert Plant slowly warming to the notion of another Led Zeppelin reunion? By the looks of his Sensational Space Shifters opening night setlist for his tour Down Under -- it certainly looks like it. Noise 11 reported that on March 23rd, nine of the 14 songs in Plant's show were Zeppelin classics, with Plant tackling "Heartbreaker," "Friends," "Black Dog," "Going To California," "Four Sticks," "Ramble On," "Bron Y Aur Stomp," "Whole Lotta Love," and "Rock And Roll."
Last month Robert Plant hinted that 2014 might see another revival of Led Zeppelin. During his recent appearance on Australia's 60 Minutes, he planted the seed for future band activities -- while pointing the finger at Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones for holding up ongoing Zep plans. Plant defended himself against fans believing that he's the sole holdout for new Zeppelin music and road dates, saying, "Y'know, the two other guys are Capricorns and they keep schtum. They don't say a word. But they are quite contained in their own worlds and they leave it to me. . . and I'm not the bad guy."
When reminded that the fans long believed him to be the "bad guy," Plant said, "Well then, you need to see the Capricorns -- 'cause, I've got nothing to do in 2014."
AC/DC bassist Cliff Williams has told BackstageAxxess.com in a new interview that guitarists Malcolm and Angus Young are currently writing songs for the legendary Australian band's next album. But Williams said that there's still a long way to go, explaining, "(There is) nothing in the works right now (as far as recording). We're still getting over the last tour, so we're just hanging out and doing stuff. The guys are writing material and when they've got some stuff together, they'll give us a holler."
Asked how the band's creative process works, Williams said, "(Angus and Malcolm) get a bunch of ideas together. Some are more together than others -- and then we'll all hit the studio or a little rehearsal room and we'll kick it around with a producer. And then we get in a studio and record, and that's kind of how it runs.".
AC/DC's last album, Black Ice, was released in 2008 and was followed by a nearly two-year world tour.
Malcolm Young told Classic Rock magazine last year, "I've been doing some jamming on some song ideas but I do that all the time, as do the rest of the band . . . I think we need a couple of years to recuperate and work on it a bit more."
Ozzy Osbourne told Australia's Rip It Up in a new interview that he would love to collaborate with British singing star Adele before he dies. Asked about the possibility of Black Sabbath producer Rick Rubin, who also produced Adele's last record, arranging some sort of session together, Ozzy replied, "I'd die a happy man, I think she's f***ing great. She's not f***ing botox-faced, she's a normal, healthy girl who speaks in her native accent."
Ozzy may not have time for many collaborations in the months ahead, as Sabbath gears up for the June release of 13, the first Sabbath effort in 35 years with Ozzy singing.
The band is preparing to tour the world in support of the new disc this year, although Ozzy said that guitarist Tony Iommi's recent battle with cancer has affected the way the group intends to hit the road.
Ozzy explained, "Tony's fine, but he can only go out on the road for six weeks at a time as he has to have infusions or some s*** for his immune system. I was amazed that during his chemotherapy he was still writing songs."
Sabbath will release 13 on June 11th, with Ozzy, Iommi and bassist Geezer Butler joined on the CD by Rage Against The Machine drummer Brad Wilk. Sabbath will launch its world tour next month in New Zealand, Australia and Japan, with North American dates to follow in July and August.
Ozzy revealed to Rip It Up that he briefly went vegan in 2012, saying, "I tried it, but I didn't last more than a week or two . . . How can the guy who bit the head off several creatures suddenly turn full circle and now live on vegetables? That doesn't sound right. I was Satan last week, now I'm on some f***ing do-it-yourself gardening experience."
Ozzy also admitted that he has never allowed himself to forget his dirt-poor upbringing and childhood in England's West Midlands, explaining, "If I'm passing I frequently go back to my old house and sit on the doorstep for half an hour in the middle of the night. I'll be going from Liverpool down the M6 and I'll pull off in Aston for the memories. I can remember sitting on that step when I was a kid wondering what I'd be when I was a man."
The rumors continue to swell regarding what shape the Rolling Stones' 2013 shows will take. According to the latest word being whispered in industry and fan circles is that the band will be hitting the road sometime in the spring -- with Examiner.com posting that the newly formed Virgin Live and Paul Dainty's Dainty Group will handle publicizing the shows. Pollstar reported that the still-unannounced shows would reportedly be limited to 18 concerts "including multiple nights in select cities."
Kasabian's Sergio "Serge" Pizzorno may have given out the first clue as to where one of those shows might take place when he spoke MTV News about his band's spot at this summer's Glastonbury Festival: "I hope ours is the most talked about performance of the weekend, but that would be a miracle because the Rolling Stones are playing Glastonbury." Ron Wood has gone on record as saying he's personally pushing the band to play the annual UK festival.
Eric Clapton says that he will quit touring when he reaches 70 in 2015. Clapton, who kicks off his next string of North American dates on March 14th in Phoenix, Arizona, explained his decision to Rolling Stone, saying, "The bit onstage, that's easy. If I could do that around my neighborhood, that would be great. You have guys in Texas that play their circuit, and it keeps them alive. But for me, the struggle is the travel. And the only way you can beat that is by throwing so much money at it that you make a loss. So the idea is I'm taking a leaf out of JJ (Cale)'s book: When I'm 70, I'll stop. I won't stop playing or doing one-offs, but I'll stop touring, I think."
Foreigner's Mick Jones and Lou Gramm will reunite in June for their induction into the Songwriters Hall Of Fame, according to Ultimate Classic Rock. Both Jones and Gramm, who parted ways in 2003 when Gramm quit the band, have suffered from health problems over recent years, with Gramm surviving a brain tumor and Jones recently undergoing open heart surgery. Gramm, who still performs and is a born again Christian, was replaced by current lead singer Kelly Hansen in 2005.
Mick Jones said that he and Gramm have decided to perform "Juke Box Hero" and "I Want To Know What Love Is" at Gramm's suggestion, adding that he's ""very much looking forward" to the reunion.
ones went on to say: "I'm so proud of what Lou and I achieved in those early years and throughout the time that we were together. I think it's the first time that we've been recognized for our work and our writing, which was really the foundation of what we did together, as much as the performing. . . I think this band has always been a song-driven band and so that has its place for me and it's very important and it's going to be great to share that with Lou. It will help us to move along in our relationship, which has been fairly quiet in the last seven or eight years."