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The Red Rocker sat for an interview with Clay Marshall for an OC Weekly feature and in excerpts that have surfaced online he was asked about the debate between fans over the Roth era and Van Hagar era albums.
He responded, "I have no problem with people saying that early Van Halen stuff was more rock. It was raw rock. They were young kids, for god's sake. First band, first albums. I compare Montrose to that. They were like Montrose.
"When I joined, I was 45 years old. I'm a grown man. I've got kids. I've got a wife. I'm wealthy already - I've had success. We're not going to be that first album again. But that early Van Halen stuff was f***in' killer.
"It's just that when I joined the band, Eddie was kind of done writing that way. He had run out of his licks, and I'm not putting him down in any way. He's still a genius, but you only have so many songs in you. Look at The Beatles; look at The Rolling Stones. You've got to repeat yourself if you stay together and keep going, and Eddie was about to repeat himself.
"When I came in there, he was pulling out stuff saying, 'Well, what do you think about this?' He was trying to write new music, and most of the time, he was sitting down at the piano. I'm going, 'F***, I didn't know you could play piano like that.'
"I immediately start singing, and he's going, 'Wow.' It allowed him as a musician to grow. Just playing guitar in the early stuff and those real simple things in Dave's range of singing, you run out. '1984' was the peak. They would have never outdone that record, and some people don't even like that record because of 'Jump'. I'm going, 'Get out of here - that's a f***in' great song. I wish they would have played me that f***in' riff.'
"I have no ego in that whole thing. If it wasn't for what Dave did with that band, I would have had no band to join. I was running out as a solo artist at the time. I cut my hair off. I said to Ted Templeman, who produced my 'VOA' record - it was a multi-platinum record, and I did my biggest tour ever... He goes, 'What are we going to do next?' I said, 'I'm taking a year off. I'm going to figure out... I've got to write some songs. I don't know what I'm going to do. It's time for a change.'
"Then jumping in there, it was just perfect. Eddie was running out the same way, I'm sure; I wasn't sure which way I was going to go; we got together, and bam - it was like lightning. It was just beautiful, and the timing couldn't have been better.
" I wrote songs to the music I was given. I wrote lyrics and melodies to the music I was given by Eddie. I didn't force none of that. It is what it is. We sold plenty of records, and I'll tell you what - when I play 'When It's Love' or 'Right Now', the ballad, softer side of Van Halen, all I know is that I've got about 15,000 people with lighters in the air singing, so somebody likes that sh*t."
Filmed over two nights at Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort, Mount Pleasant, MI in the fall of 2017, the footage captures a full gospel rendition of the group's 1984 smash that brings the Albert Strickland & Cho'Zen Choir together with both incarnations of the band onstage for the very first time.
Due November 15, "Double Vision: Then And Now" features a stunning multimedia set design with custom CGI animation, lasers, fog, and elaborate FX that elevate this rare reunionl performance to new levels.
"This was a show that I will always remember!," says founder and guitarist Mick Jones. "Sharing the stage with the guys that shaped Foreigner in the beginning and the stellar musicians that carry the flag in the new millennium, was a truly emotional moment."
Foreigner recently wrapped up their 2019 live schedule, and will return to the stage in January for three orchestral shows with The Nashville Symphony before launching a 2020 residency at The Venetian Theatre inside The Venetian Resort Las Vegas. Watch the videohere.
The special run of shows will feature the band performing the landmark album in full and joined by an orchestra and choir and then a second set of some of the band's greatest hits.
The new Forum show will be taking place on April 24th, following the previously announced concerts at the venue on April 17th and 18th. The tour will launch with two nights at the State Farm Arena in Atlanta, GA on February 7th and 8th.
The trek will include two nights in several cities including New York City at Madison Square Garden, Dallas at the American Airlines Center, Houston at the Toyota Center, and San Francisco, CA at the Chase Center. See the dates here.
Metallica revealed earlier this week that their "Metallica And San Francisco Symphony: S&M2" concert film had broken the record for the largest world wide rock cinema release and announced that the film will be returning to theaters for an additional night on October 30th.
Two special concerts was staged at the Chase Center in San Francisco to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the original S&M performance, but Lars told Rolling Stone recently that the band's ties to classical music began long before that with Cliff Burton, who tragically died in a tour bus crash in 1986.
Lars told the publication, "Cliff was definitely the gateway to a lot of that classical stuff.
"When he started talking about classical music in '83, '84, James [Hetfield] and I weren't - or at least maybe I, I don't want to speak for James - we weren't maybe ready to sort of receive that stuff, but slowly his persistence got things like classical music or Simon And Garfunkel, on our radar. It took a little longer for us to open up.
"But I now see an intersection between some of the darker, more dissonant, and more minor stuff we play. S&M2 conductor Michael Tilson Thomas] sometimes calls up and says, 'You gotta check out this performance,' and he'll invite me to some stuff like Mahler or Bach or pieces on the darker side.
"I appreciate a lot of the orchestral stuff but, over the last 20 years, I've figured out how to navigate toward the stuff I'm leaning more towards."
The track is one of four new songs by the Metal God on the project, which also delivers seasonal classics like "Joy To The World," "God Rest ye Merry Gentlemen," "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing" and others.
"I'm always looking for a moment of expression that is a little bit different," Halford tells Billboard about the tune. "I just love the message, the whole idea of the star in the night around Bethlehem and so forth. It's a really nice story.
"My family has always been a faith-based family, but not a go to church every Sunday family," he continues. "But the basic principle of what we believe in have always been there, and that side of me has grown exponentially as I've gotten older. My music is immortal, but I know I'm not, so there's a lot of that wrapped up in this record as well, a lot of emotional components coming through the speakers of Celestial."
Judas Priest were just named among the nominees for induction into the 2020 Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, alongside fellow rockers Soundgarden, Motorhead, T. Rex, Thin Lizzy and more. Watch the lyric videohere.
Following the smash success of their 1992 debut, "Core" - which hit No. 2 on the Billboard 200 on its way to a Grammy Award and US sales of more than 8 million copies - the San Diego, CA outfit returned to the studio for the follow-up.
Produced by Brenden O'Brien and led by the singles "Big Empty", "Vasoline" and "Interstate Love Song", "Purple" debuted at No. I in the US while going on to sell more than 6 million copies in the country.
The 3CD/1LP "Purple: Super Deluxe Edition" includes a newly remastered version of the original studio album on both CD and vinyl, plus unreleased versions of album tracks and rarities, along with an unreleased full concert recording from 1994.
The 25th anniversary reissue explores the making of the album with a mix of unreleased music that includes demos ("Unglued" and "Army Ants") and early versions of album tracks ("Meat Plow" and Interstate Love Song"), plus acoustic recordings ("Big Empty"). The collection also features three unreleased live performances from the 1994 KROQ Acoustic Christmas show, including a version of "Christmastime Is Here" from A Charlie Brown Christmas. Perhaps the biggest surprise of the new collection, however, is STP's previously unreleased demo of "She Knows Me Too Well," a song the Beach Boys originally recorded in 1965.
The expanded project closes with a previously unreleased recording of the band's August 23, 1994 concert in New Haven, Connecticut. The 17-song performance captures the band in top form with both electric and acoustic sets, featuring 10 songs from Purple along with hits from Core ("Plush" and "Sex Type Thing") and covers (David Bowie's "Andy Warhol" and Woody Guthrie's "Gypsy Davy"). Watch the trailerhere.
The tune was originally the second track issued from "Bridges To Babylon", which peaked at No. 3 on the US Billboard 200 on its way to sales of more than a million copies in the country.
On the record's companion world tour, the band were filmed in concert during the last date of a five-night sold-out residency at the River Plate Stadium in the Argentine capital, where they delivered a two-hour-plus set of hits and songs from the then-new 1997 album.
The previously unreleased concert film has been meticulously restored from the original master tapes, and the audio remixed and remastered from the live multitrack recordings.
Due November 8, "Bridges To Buenos Aires" will be available in a variety of formats, including DVD + 2CD, Blu-ray + 2CD, digital video, limited edition blue translucent 180gm triple vinyl, and digital audio. Watch the videohere.
So, starting in March 2019, we began writing our first EP. Four of the songs really tell a story, and originally so did Summertime, but it ended up being way more fun and lighthearted than the original take of the song. I sat at my kitchen table with my acoustic and wrote lyrics that said "Cause you're hot like Summertime, vinyl on a Friday night, I'm playing all your favorite songs outside your window." It was romantic and slow but had the EXACT SAME melody as the Summertime we ended up showing to the world. When I took the demo to the producer he worked his magic, sped the song up, and we made it sassy and fun. It really broke down some boundaries I had about my identity in song writing and singing and that's what makes Summertime so cool to me. To others, it may sound too commercial and too refined but to me, it was honestly so challenging to write and to sing. I had to bring a new energy to the table that I hadn't tapped into since I was a little girl. A super sassy energy. It was fun!
Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen and watch for yourself right here!
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