B Sides for 12/21/2011

Top 11 of 11

We are wrapping up the year by looking at some of the top stories of 2011 with our Top 11 of 11 specials. Today we look at the Top 11 Music Surprises of 11

Steven Tyler Rejected Led Zeppelin Offer
Early in the year we learned the shocking news that Steven Tyler turned down an offer from Led Zeppelin. The story easily became the most surprising music news of 2011: (hennemusic) Aerosmith's Steven Tyler not only jammed with Led Zeppelin following that band's celebrated 2007 reunion, but was asked by Jimmy Page to write a record with them and he turned the offer down.

Tyler dropped the Zeppelin bombshell on Howard Stern's show early Tuesday morning, while making the media rounds in NYC to promote American Idol's launch Wednesday night.

Tyler told Stern, "When I looked Jimmy in the eyes and it came time to...'you wanna write a record with me?' I went, 'No'"

Find out why

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Surprise Van Halen Jam
When the usually reclusive members of Van Halen show up in public that makes headlines. When a member jumps on stage with another band, it becomes no. 2 in our list of the Top 11 Music Surprises of 11. Here it is:

(hennemusic) Fans got a big surprise at the Alter Bridge show back in January at the House Of Blues in West Hollywood: Van Halen was in the house and jammed with the band.

Wolfgang Van Halen sat in on drums for a song while Eddie watched the show from side stage. Artistdirect.com's glowing review of the show noted, "For "One Day Remains," Wolfgang Van Halen stepped behind [drummer Scott] Phillips' kit while Creed touring guitarist, virtuoso Eric Friedman, ripped an impenetrable solo with [Mark] Tremonti."

Friedman later posted to Twitter (@IEROCKII ): "My Mom sat next to Eddie Van Halen all night & had no idea who he was..hahah Classic. She got really embarrassed when she found out!" Find out who else joined them

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Guitarist Killed By Bandmate
Not all surprises are good ones and this sad and shocking news became No. 3 in our list of the Top 11 Music Surprises of 11. Here it is: (Rock News Desk) Aleister Wild guitarist Terry Span has died twelve days after being put in a coma with one punch from his band's bassist. He was 48.

Bassist Michael Sorden, who was on parole for a violent episode involving shooting at a truck driver, floored Span and put him in a coma during an argument about loading out their equipment after a pub gig in Colorado.

The band's singer Ernest Munoz told last week how Sorden had first attacked him outside the venue. As he lay on the ground Span stepped in to stop the fight. But Sorden hit him too. Munoz said: "Blood spattered on my arms and I knew there was something really serious about this." more on this story

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Slash Super Bowl Surprise
Guns N' Roses legend Slash made a surprise appearance at the Super Bowl halftime show and scored the No. 4 spot in our list of the Top 11 Music Surprises of 11. Here it is:

(hennemusic) Slash made his rumored, but unannounced, cameo during the Super Bowl halftime show with the Black Eyed Peas.

It was a short 90 seconds, but Slash rose from under the stage to play a bit of Guns N' Roses' "Sweet Child O' Mine" with Fergie handling vocals.

Slash enjoyed himself, taking to Twitter shortly after the game to share his thoughts: "That was a blast! What an insane event. I wish I'd bet on the game!" he tweeted. more on this story

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Judas Priest Surprise American Idol Fans With James Durbin Jam
Judas Priest's surprise appearance on American Idol captured the No. 5 spot in our list of the Top 11 Music Surprises of 11. Here it is: (RockAAA) Metal gods Judas Priest debuted their new lineup – including latest addition Richie Faulkner – on the American Idol finale Wednesday night.

Priest teamed up Idol contestant James Durbin for a double-shot of metal, playing two of their classics, "Livin' After Midnight" and "Breaking The Law."

Durbin rocked Priest's "You've Got Another Thing Coming," back in March, possibly the first time heavy metal has hit the Idol stage. All season long, Durbin encouraged Idol viewers to get behind the heavy with his slogan, "give metal a chance"; he was eliminated two weeks ago and ended up in fourth place.

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Van Halen Using Backing Tapes In Concert?
Could a band with one of the most talented guitarist on the planet be using backing tapes in concert? When a former Van Halen vocalist made those claims it easily claimed the No. 6 slot in our list of the Top 11 Music Surprises of 11. Here it is: (hennemusic) Sammy Hagar accuses Van Halen of using former bassist Michael Anthony's talents on the road, even after they unceremoniously dismissed him and his contributions to the group and its legacy.

"Those vocal harmonies on the last tour were Mike on tape," asserted Hagar. "Mike should've reamed them for it. Wolfie don't sing like that, and Ed sure as hell don't. Go on the Internet and listen to Ed's voice live from the reunion with me. Hear him sing on 'When It's Love' and some of those songs. Ed can't sing, and his voice is shot if he can, from cigarettes and booze anyway."

Sammy didn't stop there. "I just don't see Van Halen getting together again," said the Red Rocker. "I don't know what would have to happen for it to happen. I don't think they're ever going to get together with Dave. They've been working on that record for a year and a half or whatever, and they keep postponing and postponing it." There is yet more here

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Bruce Springsteen Surprise Club Tribute Jam For Clarence Clemons
A bittersweet story about Bruce Springsteen making a rare club appearance to tribute his friend and bandmate landed the no. 7 spot in our list of the Top 11 Music Surprises of 11. Here it is: (hennemusic) The 400 people at the Wonder Bar Sunday night saw another legendary evening of music in Asbury Park. The New Jersey Star-Ledger reports Bruce Springsteen joined J.T. Bowen and the Sensational Soul Cruisers for a 45-minute set at the club as part of a "Tribute to the Late, Great Clarence Clemons."

Bowen was the lead singer of Clemons' band, The Red Bank Rockers, in the 1980s. Clarence's son, Nick Clemons, opened the evening playing with his band. The Sensational Soul Cruisers then played their first set and were joined by Bowen for the second one. Midway through the second set, they played Clarence's hit with Jackson Browne, "You're a Friend of Mine," and Springsteen came over to the side of the stage to watch.

Bowen then called Springsteen up to play at 9 p.m., marking the first time Bruce has performed in public (outside of Clemons' private memorial service) since Clarence's passing on June 18. The set with Bruce included a variety of Clarence's songs, rare Springsteen tracks and soul covers. More including video here

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Poison Accused Of Stealing Early Hits
We reported about this story years ago when we received an anonymous mailing with audio and video but when a lawsuit was filed claiming Poison didn't write their earliest hits, it became the no. 8 story in our list of the Top 11 Music Surprises of 11. Here it is:

(Rock News Desk) Poison insist there's no truth behind a lawsuit which accuses them of stealing some of the songs which appeared on their debut album Look What the Cat Dragged In.

They're the subject of a lawsuit filed by two musicians who worked with guitarist CC DeVille before he joined Poison and made it big. Billy McCarthy and James Stonich auditioned DeVille for their outfit Kid Rocker, and they say the tryout included two of their songs which DeVille later incorporated into Poison tracks.

Now a lawyer representing Bret Michaels and co says the band are ready to defend their position. Mark D Passin tells the Hollywood Reporter, "Obviously, if the Poison songs that are the subject of the complaint infringed any songs written by plaintiffs McCarthy and Stonich, they would have filed their lawsuit over 20 years ago." more on this story

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KISS Dropped From Michael Jackson Tribute Show
We are not sure what was more surprising, the thought of KISS playing at a Michael Jackson tribute concert or just how quickly they were yanked from the show due to protests. The result lands at No. 9 in our list of the Top 11 Music Surprises of 11. Here it is:

(Rock News Desk) KISS have been dropped from the Michael Jackson memorial concert to take place in Wales after promoters were alerted to comments made after the pop star's death in which Gene Simmons suggested he was a paedophile.

Global Live Events, who are running the show in Cardiff in October, responded to pressure from Jackson fans and the trustees of his estate. A letter from the management team told Global: "We were especially disappointed with the announcement that Kiss and Gene Simmons were added as one of the acts. Mr Simmons made disparaging public remarks about Michael Jackson after his passing."

"I knew Michael – but no matter what my fond memories and fond images were, with one allegation of paedophilia after another and another… oh dear," Simmons told Classic Rock in 2010. "One musician quit after seeing boys coming out of the hotel room. You know, where there's smoke there's fire. There's no question in my mind he molested those kids. Not a doubt." more on this story

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U2 Going On Hiatus?
Bands go on hiatus or break up all the time, especially bands with careers that span decades but when a band that just completed one of the most successful tours in music history hints that they are going on ice, people take notice. U2's hiatus speculation lands the no. 10 spot in our list of the Top 11 Music Surprises of 11. Here it is:

(Gibson) Heading up the biggest concert tour in the history of rock music has to be taxing. So, it's no wonder U2's Bono is hinting at a major hiatus for the guys over the next few years.

In an interview with Guilty Pleasures (via Metro) in the U.K. at the annual GQ Men of the Year Awards, the singer first mentioned how much the gents of U2 enjoyed every blasted date of the 360° Tour: "They say every tour is 10 days too long. Not with this one. We genuinely loved every single night and at the end we were so sad."

However, the 51-year-old says he and his comrades need a lengthy break and won't be back "for a while." more on this story

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Evan Seinfield Surprised Biohazard By Quitting
Fans were not the only ones shocked when Evan Seinfield left Biohazard this year, the band's reaction claimed the 11th spot in our list of the Top 11 Music Surprises of 11. Here it is:

(Rock News Desk) Biohazard guitarist Billy Graziadei has revealed frontman Evan Seinfield quit the band and his colleagues were left shocked by the move.

They'd just finished work on and album they were all proud of when Seinfeld told them he was leaving. Graziadei says they had to decide at very short notice whether to continue without him.

And although they recruited former member Scott Roberts as a temporary stand-in, they may keep him on after all. "It dropped like a bombshell – it came from left field," Graziadei tells Metalshrine. "We'd finished tracking the album in February and didn't have much contact with him. Then a couple of weeks ago he called up and said: 'I can't do it any more. more on this story

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