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09 So Far: Top Stories of Jan - March

The Year Is Half Over, Join Us This Holiday Weekend As We Look Back At The Top Stories From Jan, Feb and March

. 2009 News Rewind: Top 3 Stories
Metallica Snub Dead Member
antiMusic reports: Rolling Stone gave fans an exclusive preview of the new Metallica: Guitar Hero game this week, but one thing little excerpt from the article stuck out for us and it has to deal with the band leaving the late-great Cliff Burton out of the game and the rather lame reason they gave for doing so. Here are some excerpts from the RS report:

In a storyline concocted by frontman James Hetfield, players begin as Metallica's opening act, and eventually play as Metallica once they prove their mettle. Everything about the game, from the menu animations based on art by Pushead, Metallica's long-running collaborating artist, to venues and stage sets from all phases of the band's career to signature lighting effects and crowd chants will be familiar to fans.

The members all initially appear as their modern-day selves, but there will be unlockable character skins that hearken back to earlier eras. Although no past members are in the game (there go fantasies for a Cliff Burton cameo — the band feared his inclusion may have felt like a slight to Trujillo), a few of Metallica's heroes make appearances. [how is that for spin? A slight to Trujillo? Surely he would understand the band honoring their own history and key founding member of the group. Or perhaps it is out of respect to Cliff who was a member of the band back when they refused to sell out by making a music video.] - Read the full RS report

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Country Singer Rejects Velvet Revolver Job Offer
antiMusic reports: Velvet Revolver found their man. A singer who they felt was the perfect choice to replace Scott Weiland. But the singer turned down the job... twice! Classic Rock magazine broke the story: Country rock star Shooter Jennings has confirmed that he has been offered the job of singer with Velvet Revolver – but has turned the band down TWICE! Shooter, the son of country legend Waylon Jennings, was one of the men Classic Rock tipped as potential VR singers back in April last year.

At that time Duff McKagan admitted that Jennings could make a good replacement: "Shooter's great, actually," he told CR's Scott Rowley. "That's a good idea. He's does a southern rock thing, but his old band was straight up kinda rock. He's a talented guy man, he's pretty awesome. He would be good."

In a new interview with Classic Rock, Jennings confirms that he was asked – but turned the band down. And not just once. [before he returned to his family musical roots, Shooter headed up Stargunn, a popular hard rock band in Los Angeles that had a style similar to Aerosmith meets Buckcherry but with a country kick and stylistically he would be a good match for Velvet Revolver. His name would also make for a good fit.] - more on this story

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No Chance of Full Van Halen Reunion
Blabbermouth reports: Eddie Van Halen has told RollingStone.com that his son Wolfgang Van Halen, 17, who spent the last year on the road with his dad's band VAN HALEN, playing bass, is a "permanent" member of the group.

"Wolfie had it the toughest on tour: he had three or four hours of [tutoring] every day, and then the gig," Eddie Van Halen told RollingStone.com.

"I yanked him out of school for 11th grade, which is actually the most important year, because that's what they go by for college. And the school said, 'We're not going to let him back in, if you pull him out, because we've never done that before.' Well, first time for everything, dude, you know? They did let him back for 12th grade, because he wanted to graduate with his buddies." - more on this story

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. 2009 News Rewind: March
Adler Says F**k Axl Rose
antiMusic reports: Former Guns N' Roses drummer Steven Adler had some strong words for Axl during an interview with Psycho Babble.

When discussing the possibilities of a Guns N' Roses reunion and what it would mean to him, according to a Sleazeroxx report Adler said, "It would be nice if we could do a reunion. I know, it would help me, in my life. Because I'm afraid when I die I'm gonna have to come back again to finish what I started. And if I could finish what I started with the GN'R guys, as a band, I know I could die happy.

"But I'm not gonna wait for him (Axl Rose). I waited and cried for decades, and no more. F**k him!" - watch the video here

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Artists Secretly Ripping Off Their Fans
antiMusic reports: The Wall Street Journal's Ethan Smith has published an interesting article about how artists are dishonestly scalping their own tickets. The worst part of this whole thing is that fans don't get the chance to actually buy the tickets at their face value; they are set aside so they can be scalped for exorbitant prices. Why don't they just sell these "select" tix directly at these insane prices and at least be honest about the whole thing? Here is part of Ethan Smith's article on this scam:

Less than a minute after tickets for last August's Neil Diamond concerts at New York's Madison Square Garden went on sale, more than 100 seats were available for hundreds of dollars more than their normal face value on premium-ticket site TicketExchange.com. The seller? Neil Diamond.

Ticket reselling -- also known as scalping -- is an estimated $3 billion-a-year business in which professional brokers buy seats with the hope of flipping them to the public at a hefty markup.

In the case of the Neil Diamond concerts, however, the source of the higher-priced tickets was the singer, working with Ticketmaster Entertainment Inc., which owns TicketExchange, and concert promoter AEG Live. - more on this story

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Amy Winehouse Denies Fan Attack
Reuters reports: British singer Amy Winehouse on Tuesday denied assaulting a woman after a charity ball in London last year, a case that has already prevented her from performing in the United States.

The 25-year-old bee-hived soul singer pleaded not guilty to a charge of common assault at Westminster Magistrates' Court, the Press Association reported.

She is accused of assaulting Sherene Flash after the Berkeley Ball last September. The case was adjourned until July 23. - more on this story

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Bad Company Feel Like Making A Comeback
Nightwatcher reports: Bad Company, (Paul Rodgers, Mick Ralphs and Simon Kirke), are planning to reunite for a tour this year. Dates for the trek will be announced shortly.

A DVD capturing the group's last reunion performance -- a one-off Aug. 8, 2008, concert in Hollywood, Fla. -- will be released soon.

[Does this mean that the Paul Rodgers + Queen project is history? Or is it simply on hold? No official word on that, so we'll have to wait and see.] - more on this story

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U2 Ties Led Zeppelin Record
Billboard reports: U2 scores its seventh No. 1 on The Billboard 200 as "No Line on the Horizon" bows in the top slot.

The Interscope album moved 484,000 copies in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan, the best sales week for an artist since Britney Spears' "Circus" arrived at No. 1 in early December with 505,000.

U2 is now tied with Led Zeppelin for the third-most No. 1s by a band, behind only the Beatles' 19 and the Rolling Stones' nine - more on this story

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Monkees Star Has Cancer
AP reports: Peter Tork, a former member of the 1960s pop group the Monkees, says he has a rare form of head and neck cancer, but the prognosis is good.

The 67-year-old Tork had surgery Wednesday in New York. His spokeswoman says he is doing well and will begin radiation treatment after a short recovery period.

He announced on his Web site Tuesday that he has been diagnosed with adenoid cystic carcinoma on the lower region of his tongue. - more on this story

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Red Hot Van Hagar Supergroup Album Details
PR reports: Chickenfoot, the band which features former Van Halen singer Sammy Hagar, guitarist Joe Satriani, former Van Halen bassist Michael Anthony and Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith, have announced the global release of their debut album Chickenfoot. The album will be released by earMUSIC in Germany on June 5th and in the UK on Monday June 8th. The album will be released by Best Buy in the US on Sunday, June 7th.

The album, hailed as the most intense rock'n'roll album since Led Zeppelin, coincides with a European tour that will consist of outdoor festivals, including Montreaux, Switzerland, and Bospop, Holland, plus various intimate indoor rock shows including the London O2 Shepherd's Bush Empire on June 25th.

The debut album will be packaged in heat sensitive artwork (pictured), which means when you put hour hand on the CD inlay, photos of the band members will be revealed behind the Chickenfoot band logo. "People have this idea of what this band is about, or what Sammy Hagar is about as a lyricist and a vocalist," says Joe Satriani. "We manage to get each guy to up his game in a non-confrontational way. When I play with Chickenfoot, I want to give them more all the time, and I don't hold anything back. I think the rest of the guys feel the same way." - more on this story

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Motown Legend Dies
Reuters reports: Motown drummer Uriel Jones, whose hard-driving funk propelled classic tunes by the Temptations and Marvin Gaye, died in a Michigan hospital on Tuesday after suffering complications from a heart attack, a family member said. He was 74.

Jones, the last surviving drummer in the Motown session band known as the Funk Brothers, was stricken in mid-February but had been showing signs of improvement, said his sister-in-law Leslie Coleman.

He relapsed last Tuesday, and died at Oakwood Hospital & Medical Center in Dearborn, she told Reuters. - more on this story

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Teen Metal Fan Accused of Murdering Radio Journalist
Blabbermouth reports: The 16-year-old boy arrested in the fatal stabbing of the radio journalist George Weber was a death/black metal fan who used MySpace to profess his love for sex, violence, knives and Satanism, according to Gawker.com. He was ordered held without bail late Wednesday on charges of second-degree murder and criminal possession of a weapon.

Officials said the teenager, John Katehis (pictured below), of East Elmhurst, Queens, New York apparently answered a Craigslist ad in which Weber, 47, sought a sexual partner, according to The New York Times. The police believed Weber planned to pay Katehis for sex. The police commissioner, Raymond W. Kelly, said that the two had arranged to meet on Wednesday, March 18 in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, but rescheduled the meeting for Friday evening.

Katehis's MySpace page, which was taken down Wednesday, said he enjoyed "drinking, bike riding, hanging out, roof hopping, hanging off trains," and "extreme violence (chaos, anarchy, etc ...) video games, violent movies and listening to my iPod." - more on this story

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24 Year Old Rocker Dies In His Sleep
antiMusic reports: The Cute Lepers posted the following tragic news for fans on their Myspace page on Saturday: Early the morning of March 28, in Cincinnati our friend and band-mate Travis Criscola passed away in his sleep. He was 24.

Travis was guitarist in the Cute Lepers for the last six months and was the perfect addition to the band as it's developed. He was our friend. His company was always a pleasure. I don't think I ever heard him say a negative word about any one. He was smart, polite and considerate, always interested in learning more about music and playing guitar... he really loved music. He was passionate about music in a way that only other like minded musicians recognize and relate with. When Travis joined the band he would not think twice about jumping on the bus from Olympia and making the two hour ride to Seattle for a spur of the moment rehearsal, and then riding the bus two more hours to get back home. In fact Travis was doing this three times a week up until we left for Europe to start our tour. His character and his commitment made him the very best we could hope for in a band-mate and a friend. We're gonna really miss him.

We feel that it's appropriate and absolutely not in bad taste to disclose the cause of death of our friend. Travis combined alcohol and pills, then went to sleep and never woke up. It was an accident. - more on this story

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. 2009 News Rewind: February
80s Rocker Arrested For Threatening To Kill His Singer
NME reports: Men At Work's guitarist has reportedly been arrested for allegedly threatening to kill the band's lead singer.

Ronald Strykert, 51, was taken into custody by Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies on Friday (February 13) on the charge of making criminal threats against frontman Colin Hay.

Strykert allegedly threatened Hay in December 2007, and missed his arraignment last May on the misdemeanor charge, reports the Los Angeles Times. - Hay shouldn't have offered him a vegemite sandwich

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Boston Leader Vs Fans
Nightwatcher reports: Being a Boston fan can be more than feeling. It can lead to litigation! According to Boston.com, no good deed goes unpunished at least in the world of Tom Scholz.

Just ask George Gouldsmith. The LA-based IT manager has been a big fan of the band Boston since 'More Than A Feeling' ruled the radio in the '70s. In 2005, Gouldsmith started a Yahoo message board called Boston Rocks, but he bagged it last year after the site's members began squabbling and Boston mastermind Tom Scholz took exception to some of the posts.

So Gouldsmith created another Boston fan board called CoolTheEngines. But before long, the members were at it again, badmouthing Scholz for his treatment of late singer Brad Delp and other former band members. The result? Scholz and wife Kim enlisted Burns & Levinson attorney Lawrence Green to send Gouldsmith a cease and desist letter. - more on this story

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Blink-182 Return: Official Statement
antiMusic reports: Blink-182 have ended the speculation over a reunion, they are back together and recording new music. Here is the statement they sent over on Sunday evening:

Hi. We're blink-182. This past week there've been a lot of questions about the current status of the band, and we wanted you to hear it straight from us.

To put it simply, We're back. We mean, really back. Picking up where we left off and then some. In the studio writing and recording a new album. Preparing to tour the world yet again. Friendships reformed. 17 years deep in our legacy.

Summer 2009.

Thanks and get ready... - Their Myspace

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Deftones Member In A Coma But Band Rocks On
Lambgoat reports: In conjunction with the announcement of their forthcoming appearance at this year's Bamboozle Left in April, Deftones have issued an update regarding the condition of bassist Chi Cheng, who has been in a coma since early-November. Here you go:

"Our fallen comrade has not made significant progress as of late, but continues to fight on from his accident. Doctors are working feverishly to return our brother to us, and we continue to hold out hope and faith that Chi returns to the life he has waiting for him and can join us on stage once again.

"For everyone that knows Chi, knows that he never wanted down time. Chi always wanted to keep working and never slow down, which is why we feel confident in returning to the stage at Bamboozle in April. Chi would want it, and we want to make sure we're keeping his legacy alive. - Find out who is filling in for Chi

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Punk Legend Dies
Reuters reports: Cramps frontman Lux Interior died Wednesday at a Glendale, Calif., hospital as the result of a pre-existing heart condition, the band's publicist confirmed to Billboard. He was 52.

The Cramps formed in 1976 and were part of the now legendary downtown New York punk scene. Their lineup shifted over the years but always included Lux and his wife, Poison Ivy.

The band's rockabilly-infused punk has been credited as an influence by bands including the White Stripes and the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion - more on this story

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Did Springsteen Rip Off KISS Song?
MusicRadar reports: hile a resolution to the Joe Satriani-Coldplay lawsuit possibly years away, along comes another YouTube song mash-up, and this one's a doozy: Did Bruce Springsteen copy KISS's 1979 disco hit I Was Made For Loving You when writing his new song Outlaw Pete?

That's what an Internet poster who calls himself kstreetshuffle is asking. He just slapped a mash of the two songs on YouTube. [Sadly the KISS song is far superior and actually sung in key.]

Whether anybody can find a similarity to the main riff and melody of Springsteen's epic portrait of an Appalacian-born badass and KISS's dance floor stomper is bound to be the chatter of the Internet for the next coming weeks. Or months - more on this story, the mashup and Gene Simmon's 2 cents

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Nikki Sixx Spits On Female Fan
Metal Sludge reports: Motley Crue bassist recently had a hissy fit on stage when someone threw a bottle of water at him. Nikki got hardcore with the fan, who turned out to be a girl.

Nikki spits into the crowd and then tells her to suck his dick. After he calls her a bitch and tells her to get the ---- outta here, she then starts to cry.

Oddly enough, it's the same water bottle he threw into the crowd only seconds earlier. Check out the video. You can clearly hear the verbal assault and see him spit into the crowd at the 1:55 mark of the clip. - Full Metal Sludge Report

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INXS Singer Now Homeless
Nightwatcher reports: In a case of an artist getting back to their roots, Australian rockers INXS have kicked singer J.D. Fortune out of the band leaving him broke and homeless.

The Canadian artist, real name Jason Dean Bennison, was chosen as the replacement for late rocker Michael Hutchence after winning a reality TV search in 2005.

However, after completing a world tour with the New Sensation hit-makers, 35-year-old Fortune claims he was simply abandoned - and is now living in his car. - more on this story

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Rihanna's Statement About Chris Brown Beating
NME reports: Just hours after pictures of a bruised and beaten Rihanna appeared online, the singer's representatives have released a statement regarding the alleged attack by her boyfriend Chris Brown almost two weeks ago.

The statement reads: "At the request of the authorities, Rihanna is not commenting about the incident involving Chris Brown.

"She wants to assure her fans that she remains strong, is doing well, and deeply appreciates the outpouring of support she has received during this difficult time." - more on this story

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Sublime Reunion?
Punknews.org reports: Rumors abound that some version of Sublime will be reuniting on February 28th at Cantino Los Tres Hobres in Nevada.

The venue lists the show as "S*blime" and Bud Gaugh (of Sublime) notes: "VERY VERY special guests performing. Trust us, you will kick yourself in the ass with spiked steel-toe boots if you miss this show. "

Last year, a slide show on The Bamboozle's official website also hinted at a reunion. Although Sublime effectively dissolved after the death of vocalist Bradley Nowell in May of 1996, sources have reported that the surviving members of the band have been working with a new vocalist. - More Punk News

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. 2009 News Rewind: January
Metal Pedophile Back In Jail
Blabbermouth reports: According to the web site of the New Jersey Department of Corrections, former Static-X and Dope guitarist Tripp Eisen, whose real name is Tod Rex Salvador, is back in jail as of December 10, 2008 following an apparent parole violation. He is currently scheduled to be released on October 19, 2009.

Tripp Eisen was paroled from the Mid-State Correctional Facility and was released from custody on April 17, 2007 after serving time for allegedly meeting and sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl in January 2005.

Eisen was arrested in Orange County, California in late February 2005. The then-39-year-old musician allegedly met the Sayreville, New Jersey girl on the Internet, drove from Pennsylvania on January 7, 2005 to meet her, and assaulted her in a shopping center in Old Bridge, New Jersey. The girl's mother found out about the incident and alerted police. - But there was another girl and another arrest

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Rock Ruled Music In 2008: Biggest Sellers Revealed
antiMusic reports: The Nielsen Company sent over their year end SoundScan report for 2008 and there were some very interesting results. You know how the music biz keeps crying that the sky is falling? In reality music sales continue to grow and 2008 set a new record. Overall music sales increased over 10% in 2008 to over 1.5 billion.

Overall album sales on the other hand dropped -8.5% to 535.4 million while digital album sales soared 32% to 65.8 million units sold in 2008. While the digital future keeps growing, old school vinyl is making a major resurgence and jumped 89% last year to 1.88 million LPs sold.

Before we get into the top selling artists etc, an interesting side note: while MTV and their assorted channels, radio, and the labels seem to focus a lot of their energy on rap, R&B and country, it appears that alternative, rock and metal are far more popular with record buyers. Rap took a nose dive of almost 20% in 2008 with sales of 33,410 million units, compare that to the 50,476 million metal albums sold. R&B which dominates Top 40 radio only managed sales of 77,014 million (a drop of almost 20% from 2007). Country music was the worst hit in sales decline, falling 24% in 2008 to end up BEHIND metal in sales at 47,657 million. While all genres saw a drop in sales in 2008, it was the rock related ones that declined the least. Alternative CD sales fell -8.7% with 80,919 million units sold. Rock declined -6.5% with 139,666 units sold (interesting almost twice as much as R&B. MTV pay attention to why your ratings are dropping) and metal saw the smallest decline in sales with only a -4.7% drop in 2008.

Who were the biggest sellers of 2008? Taylor Swift came out on top with 4,003,000 units sold. AC/DC roared back in 2008 coming in at No. 2 with sales of 3,418,000. Lil Wayne was 3 with 3,382,000. Coldplay came in fourth with 2,691,000. Metallica was fifth with 2,466,000 with Kid Rock just behind them with 2,405,000 albums sold last year. The rest of the top 10 looked like this:
7. Jonas Brothers (2,340,000)
8. Sugarland (2,063,000)
9. Nickelback (1,953,000) 1
0. Jack Johnson (1,895,000).

Did someone say vinyl sales almost doubled? Here is how the top 10 vinyl albums sales ended up in 2008:
1. In Rainbows/ Radiohead
2. Abbey Road / Beatles
3. Chinese Democracy / Guns N' Roses
4. Funplex/ B-52's
5. Third/ Portished
6. In the Aeroplane… /Neutral Milk Hotel
7. Dark Side of the Moon/ Pink Floyd
8. Fleet Foxes/ Fleet Foxes
9. Death Magnetic/ Metallica
10. O.K. Computer/ Radiohead

- The Nielsen Company included these interesting facts in their report

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Slipknot Show Fatal For Iowa Fan
Launch reports: A Slipknot fan has died after suffering a heart attack at one of the metal band's gigs in Iowa.

Corey Nickels, 29, collapsed on the concourse level of the Mid-America Center at 10:30pm (CST) on Sunday night (January 25) after watching the band, suffering cardiac arrest as rescue staff attended to him, reports Nonpareilonline.com.

The fan was pronounced dead at the Jennie Edmundson Hospital after CPR failed to revive him. Friends said Nickels had a history of heart problems in his family. - more on this story

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U2 Accused of CD Art Theft
NME reports: American musician and label owner Taylor Deupree has accused U2 of copying one of his album covers for their new record.

The Irish band's sleeve for 'No Line On The Horizon' features the same image as Deupree's 2006 album 'Specification. Fifteen'.

Both covers are based on a photograph by Japanese artist Hiroshi Sugimoto. [One NME reader brings up an interesting accusation about how U2 sued a band in the past. Read more of this story and that comment - more on this story

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Miley Cyrus Metal Head?
Blabbermouth reports: 16-year-old pop star Miley Cyrus has posted a new video for all her fans in which she claims that she is not "a poser" because she was recently photographed wearing an Iron Maiden shirt.

She says in the clip, which can be seen at the full story link, "I'm sure you all have seen me rocking an Iron Maiden shirt lately and I know there's been some people saying, 'Oh, she's a poser,' and 'The only reason she's wearing Iron Maiden is because she wants to be a rock star.' . . .

"So, Iron Maiden — 'Run To The Hills', 'Fear of the Dark', 'Running Free', [all] good song(s), check it out. So thank you, guys. I actually do like Iron Maiden." - Think of all the tweens who will soon be sporting Eddie T-shirts and rocking out to real music! Watch the video here

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Stooges Founder Dies
BBC reports: The Stooges guitarist Ron Asheton has been found dead at his home in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Asheton, 60, was an original member of the rock band fronted by Iggy Pop in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Police sergeant Brad Hill said there were no signs of foul play, and the musician's death appeared to be from natural causes. - more on this story

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Metallica and Guns N' Roses Tour?
antiMusic reports: While there are quotes from members of Metallica in articles floating around music sites today where they seem enthusiastic about doing a coheadlining tour with Guns N' Roses, the quotes are not sourced, which is typical of unreliable UK tabloids. There is a good reason they didn't provide the source of the quotes because they were taken out of context and misquoted; which again, is typical of the UK tabloid press. The actual quotes came from a press conference on Fuse about Metallica being inducted into the Crock and Lull Hall of Lame (a.k.a. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame).

Here is an example of how the UK music tabs are spinning the story: "drummer Lars Ulrich admits he would jump at the chance to tour alongside Axl Rose's legendary group. He says, 'We're road dogs. We love to tour. So we'd never say no. We've learned never to say no to anything, and all four of us love Chinese Democracy.'"

The actual exchange went like this (full video below): A reporter asks "on the topic of drama and near tragedy, would you guys ever consider touring with Guns N' Roses again now that they're back out?"

(Laughter from Metallica) Lars is seen shaking his head and mouthing the word "no" but then becomes diplomatic and says, "Like James was saying earlier, we're rode dogs we love to tour, so if that opportunity ever came in the right situation… of course."

James adds, "We've learned never to say never, cause you don't know what hurtle, or what great thing is gonna be handed to you." - more including the video of the press conference

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Osbourne Goes To Rehab
Hecklerspray reports: Kelly Osbourne has checked into rehab for the next 30 days. We didn't know pastry could be so addictive. Kelly Osbourne holds the key to all kinds of different - yet equally universal - problems. For instance, we've all been in the situation where a national newspaper has printed a story claiming that a loved one doesn't know what an earthquake is - that's just a normal part of growing up. But what should you do in that scenario?

Kelly Osbourne knows - she thinks you should march up to the journalist who wrote the story and thump them in the face in front of several people until you're arrested. It seems to work quite well, but only if you're under the influence or drugs or drink or 'personal problems' or whatever the hell is up with Kelly Osbourne at the moment.

You see, just days after her arrest Kelly Osbourne has decided to check into a rehab facility. Which would normally be a fairly responsible thing to so, except Kelly didn't think it through - by going into rehab, Kelly's left Sharon Osbourne to talk on her behalf, and - that's never a good idea.

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Rocker Killed By Drunk Driver
Blabbermouth reports: Former Lizzy Borden guitarist Corey Daum (a.k.a. Corey James) was killed in a car crash on Saturday morning (January 24) in Nashville, Tennessee. He was 39 years old.

According to The Tennessean, a Kentucky man has been charged with vehicular homicide after police said he drove into a concrete wall, killing Daum.

Daum died at the scene of the accident on an Interstate 40 on-ramp on George L. Davis Boulevard. According to police, the car was driven by Charles Wolford of Owensboro, Ky., who admitted at the scene that he had been drinking. - more on this story

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