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Top 5 stories for second half this week

New Van Halen Group Coming
antiMusic reports: Former Van Halen bassist Michael Anthony updated his fans via an online post to his road blog and broke the news that he has teamed up with Sammy Hagar for a new project and recapped his Cinco de Mayo bash.

Here is what he had to say, "Well, another Cinco de Mayo bash at the Tahoe Wabo... and what a party!! I had a great time as usual, and can't wait till the next one. I'll be putting up some pictures on my website to check out, and if any of you crazies who were there would like to share some of your shots, send them on over and Bobo (Brad) will put them up.

"On another note, Sammy and I are working on a new project with a couple of good friends, and it is going to be totally KICKASS!! so stay tuned. Summer is almost here, so get out the suntan lotion, and I'll see you guys out there soon." - Anthony's site

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Rush Founder Died of Heart Attack
Metal Underground reports: It has been revealed that the tragic death of original Rush drummer John Rutsey was caused by a heart attack he suffered in his sleep due to a lifelong battle with diabetes.
The following message was published in the National Post on May 15: "Rutsey, John Howard - It is with deep sadness that John's family announces his untimely passing due to complications from his lifelong affliction with diabetes, at age 55.

Donations may be made in John's memory to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, 7100 Woodbine Avenue, Suite 311, Markham, ON, L3R 5J2 (online: www.jdrf.ca, by phone: 905-944-4631). Online Condolences: newbiggingfh@rogers.com." - more metal news

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The End of Ozzfest As We Know It
antiMusic reports: It's now official, Ozzfest the tour is no more. It is now Ozzfest the one day festival. Ozzy and Metallica are heading the lineup which will also include main stage action from Serj Tankian (System of a Down), Hellyeah, Jonathan Davis (Korn), Cavalera Conspiracy, Shadows Fall, Apocalyptica and In This Moment.

The press release says that a special all-star tribute to slain Pantera guitarist 'Dimebag' Darrell Abbott will also take place on the mainstage when the event takes place on Saturday August 9th in Dallas Texas.

It wouldn't be Ozzfest without a second stage and the line-up there includes Sevendust, Devildriver, Kingdom of Sorrow, Soilent Green, Witchcraft and Goatwhore. And they will even have a third stage dedicated "as an homage" to bands from Texas. The Sword, Drowning Pool and Rigor Mortis are set to play that one. - remember the Alamo and click here for more

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Top 50 Nude Music Stars
antiMusic reports: Gigwise continues their tradition of musical photo galleries but this time they do it in he buff. Here you go: Robbie Williams, Britney Spears and Tommy Lee have all got naked to a certain extent in their time. As a result, they're amongst the 50 acts who have made it into Gigwise's new Naked Ambition gallery.

Ever wondered what some of the biggest names in music look like without any clothes on or wondered just what possessed them to do such a thing? Well this is your chance to find out.

Here Gigwise looks at 50 musicians that have either got naked, semi-naked or expose so much flesh that they leave very little to the imagination. - Click here if you have the stomach for it.

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Megadeth Vs Dickheads
BW&BK reports: Fan accounts are surfacing regarding an incident during Megadeth 's May 12th Gigantour stop in Edmonton, Alberta at the Shaw Conference Center that saw frontman Dave Mustaine come close to stopping the show. Megadeth forum member "kingmidis" has issued the following recap:

"Some dickhead threw a beer or something on the soundboard, thus making Dave, and I'm sure the whole crew, pissed off and on edge. ---- getting thrown on stage fueled the tension and at the pinicle, some dickheads ran across stage during 'A Toute Le Monde' causing the band to walk off stage for 20 or so minutes. (I presume during that time, Dave and co. kicked the f**king sh*t out of the guy who got caught on stage.)

"Dave comes back on stage to give the lowdown and chew out security. Gives a solid speech on the situation and the utter lack of respect it is to have sh*t thrown on stage/people get on stage." - more on this story

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Green Day Club Tour
antiMusic reports: The worst kept secret in rock n' roll, Foxboro Hot Tubs (aka Green Day) are planning to hit the road next week for a special series of club shows. The Green Day sideband will release their debut album next Tuesday (May 20th)

On the ticket front there is good news and bad news. The good news is that Ticketmaster won't be getting a cut from these dates and the tickets will only be $20 each.

The bad news is this will definitely be a first come/ first serve situation as the band is making the tickets available only on the day of the show at the venue box office. Leave your Master Card at home, these will be cash only and there is a maximum of 2 tickets per person. - more on this story

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Morrissey's Revenge
Gigwise reports: Morrissey's feud with the NME has reached new heights after the singer had the magazine's Editor Conor McNicholas ejected from an L.A. hotel.

Morrissey and McNicholas were due to stay in the same hotel last week, independently of one another, when Morrissey learned of the double booking.

Merck Mercuriadis, Morrissey's spokesperson, says, "I have a very good relationship with the hotel, and when I explained the situation they agreed it would not be appropriate for Conor to stay." - But Conor had the last laugh

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Weezer CD Coming 3 Weeks Early
antiMusic reports: Leaks can be a good things for fans, aside from the obvious advantage of getting the leaked tracks, it sometimes means they'll be able to legitimately get the full album sooner than expected. Such is the case with Weezer who have moved the release of their new album up.

Here is the official word on the move: The streets can't wait any longer: Buoyed by a single which reached #1 at Modern Rock radio a mere eleven days after its release to the format, and a tidal wave of buzz, Weezer's new, self-titled album on DGC/Interscope Records has had its release date moved up three weeks to June 3.

The latest single "Pork and Beans" produced by Jacknife Lee (U2, R.E.M.) has been embraced by Modern Rock radio making it the quickest journey to #1 that any Weezer single has found in its illustrious history. The single has earned rave reviews in the UK's NME and Rolling Stone.
- more on this story

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Weiland Already Out of Jail
antiMusic reports: A little follow up to yesterday's story about Scott Weiland turning himself into jail to serve his 192 hour sentence for a second DUI that he pleaded no contest to. It appears that Weiland went into jail, was processed and then let go a few minutes later. Think he learned his lesson this time?

TMZ has the details: Scott Weiland was released from jail at 6:54 PM last night after serving only 10 hours out of his 192-hour sentence. His rehab stints last longer!

Weiland turned himself in at 8:55 AM yesterday, was officially booked at just after noon, and then assigned a housing location at 6:41 PM. But that wasn't quite necessary, since he was released just 13 minutes later. - more on this story

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Remy Ma Gets 8 Years in Prison
Reuters reports: Grammy-nominated rapper Remy Ma was sentenced to eight years in prison on Tuesday for shooting and wounding an acquaintance after discovering money was missing from her purse after a night out in Manhattan.

In sentencing the rapper, criminal court judge Rena Uviller said Remy Ma, whose real name is Remy Smith, was "an extremely angry young woman whose anger is completely out of control."

In March, a New York jury found Smith, nominated for a 2004 Grammy for her part in Terror Squad's song "Lean Back," guilty of assault, weapons possession and attempted coercion. - more on this story

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Alice In Chains Begin Work on New CD
Blabbermouth reports: Alice In Chains is finally working on music for its first all-new studio effort since 1995's self-titled third album. Guitarist Jerry Cantrell confirmed that he, bassist Mike Inez, drummer Sean Kinney and new singer William DuVall have been writing songs for months, but told The Pulse of Radio they're not rushing to start recording.

"We've been working about the last four months, and there's a good bulk of music and a good body of work so far, and we're having fun, and you know, we're taking our time and trying to figure out where William fits in and where we need to step up, and I have all the confidence in the world in the guys," he said.

"The most important thing to me is that we're all together and, you know, it's been a tough and painful experience at times, but it's been very rewarding at the same time." - more on this story

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Guns N' Roses Guitarist Offering Free Download
PR reports: Ron Thal aka Bumblefoot is treating his fans new and old to a bit of free music before his new album "Abnormal" is released to the public for sale, by offering the title track free for download. As with his previous albums Thal will be self-releasing "Abnormal" online.

"I never went along with the way the music industry did things, and have always been rebelliously against it, spouting off how the system doesn't work, and how bands should be DIY and make it just about the music and the fans. 10 years ago I was giving away songs on Napster and releasing my own albums, selling them online. 10 years later, I still do it and still stand by it - ---- the business, connect directly with the fans."

With recording completed and finishing touches being added to the tracks and art work, "Abnormal" will be ready for release In early June, with the free track available for download Monday May 19th, 2008. Along with CD's being available for purchase, the tracks will be available for download on iTunes, and a very special limited edition Fan Pack will be available for diehard fans that want something a bit different in a limited quantity. - more on this story

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Grohl's Open Response To Open Letter To Metallica
antiMusic reports: Turns out that Dave Grohl's "open letter to Metallica" wasn't really an open letter at all. A fan wrote us to let us know that it was an interview quote taken out of context by Metal Hammer, who reportedly published it as a 'letter of the month'. (We don't subscribe so we can't verify this. The original "open letter" was emailed to us as well. It was funny, so we ran with it). So this is all he said, fan said stuff, but Dave Grohl took to the Foos website to address the issue. Here is what he had to say:

Just wanted to write a quick note to clear up this whole "Open letter to Metallica" fiasco......For the record, I never "wrote" anything to Metallica. I was asked by a journalist, at the end of a long interview (abut the Foo Fighters) to give a quick message to Metallica in the studio.

So, I rattled that quote off the top of my head. No biggie, right? Somehow it became my "open letter" to the band, and now it's been picked up by everyone from Blabbermouth to Rolling Stone (as if anyone really cares!). Now, it's true that I've been a loyal fan of this band for 25 years, and I can't wait to hear the new ----, but an "open letter" to the band?!!?? Nah. Not my style. I'd rather just text 'em - more on this story

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Def Sex Pistols Leppard Supergroup Preview
PR reports: Man Raze, a newly formed rock outfit featuring Phil Collen of Def Leppard, Simon Laffy from Girl and Paul Cook of The Sex Pistols, have announced the release of their full-length album "Surreal" on June 3, 2008 via VH1 Classic Records.

Mixing the raw energy of the Pistols mixed with the immaculate pop rock of Def Leppard, Man Raze is a unique clash of 70's simplicity with 80's excess, punk clubs with stadium rock. Whether it's the punk vibrancy of "Turn It Up", the beautiful rock craftsmanship of "Every Second Of Every Day" or the reggae-soaked dub mix of "Runnin' Me Up", Surreal is an album that continuously pumps out the rock hits that these three members are most notorious for.

Recently, Man Raze filmed a private show in Los Angeles that will premiere on VH1 Classic.com later this year. The band plans to launch a U.S. tour in 2008. "The fun part about Man Raze is that musically we can go off in any direction from rock to alternative the next," said Phil Collen. We are looking forward to playing live this fall." - more on this story

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Van Halen Live DVD?
Blabbermouth reports: Van Halen is reportedly filming select shows on its current tour for an upcoming DVD release. Last night's (May 13) concert at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey was the first performance to be filmed, according to singer David Lee Roth.

Eddie Van Halen recently spoke to People magazine about his health in the wake of the March 2008 announcement that VAN HALEN's ongoing world tour was put on ice after the guitarist was diagnosed with an unspecified medical condition.

There are still no public details on exactly what ailed, or ails, the guitarist, but he says, quote, "I feel excellent. I'm healthier than I've ever been. It's wonderful." - more on this story

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Stone Temple Pilots Add More Dates
antiMusic reports: Stone Temple Pilots have added more than a dozen new dates as they get ready to kick off their reunion tour this weekend. Here is the PR: One of this summer's most highly-anticipated music events has arrived.

Stone Temple Pilots' long-awaited reunion tour, their first trek together in 8 years, is set to kick off this Saturday, May 17th in Columbus, OH. The 60-city tour will bring the iconic band's brand of charismatic musicianship and exhilarating live shows to amphitheatres all across North America.

On the eve of the tour's kick-off, the band is excited to announce newly added dates for their reunion tour, which will keep Stone Temple Pilots on the road through October. - more on this story

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Charles Manson Monkee Business
antiMusic reports: Gibson has an interesting article about some of the people that were turned down for the 60s wanna-be-atles show The Monkees. They also address a long running rumor and learned what we've known for a long time: Rodney on the Roq is full of crock. But here is the tale:

Rumors also circulated for years that convict/cult figure Charles Manson had been an unlikely participant in the Monkees auditions as well. Now serving a life sentence in San Quentin for organizing the infamous Tate-LaBianca killings that terrorized Los Angeles in 1969, Manson was indeed a fringe figure in Hollywood's music scene during the '60s, a wannabe songwriter who eventually manipulated his way into the circles of Columbia producer Terry Melcher and Beach Boy Dennis Wilson. Wilson not only briefly played host to Manson and his "family" of outcasts, but convinced the Beach Boys to record one of Charlie's songs, "Never Learn Not to Love," for their 1969 20/20 album and the B-side of their "Bluebirds Over the Mountain" single.

Manson's persistently rumored Monkees connection likely comes courtesy of longtime KROQ radio personality Rodney Bingenheimer, the veteran L.A. scenemaker/male groupie who'd also failed his Monkees audition, yet remained close enough to the band to be cast as Davy Jones' double in an episode of the show. Bingenheimer claimed that Manson was a part of the Monkees auditions so frequently that the story even made it into Eric Lefcowitz's biography of the band, Monkees Tale. But a quick review of Manson's extensive criminal record puts the kibosh on Bingenheimer's oft-told legend: Charlie served time at the U.S. Penitentiary at McNeil Island, Washington and Terminal Island prison from 1961 until March, 1967. - You might be surprised who else tried out for the band

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Zeppelin Snaked
antiMusic reports: Whitesnake enjoyed probably more press this past week than they've received in two decades. The problem is it was all about quotes attributed to frontman David Coverdale about another band. The Mirror posted a quote reportedly from Coverdale alluding to an upcoming Led Zeppelin world tour that Whitesnake might open. Forget for a moment that Zeppelin traditionally didn't have an opening act and the joking tone of the quote, now Coverdale claims he had no idea where this came from.

Blabbermouth has the story: Whitesnake frontman David Coverdale has contacted UK's Classic Rock magazine to set the record straight about his band's so called plans to go on tour with Led Zeppelin. Earlier in the week Coverdale was quoted as saying: "I'm expecting a call from Jimmy [Page] any day asking my band Whitesnake to support them on their world tour. Am I on board? You bet. Probably worth billions."

In an e-mail to Classic Rock's Geoff Barton, Coverdale requested: "May I call upon your assistance, if needed, ol' cock, to help put out this sh*tstorm that be gathering steam about me supposedly saying I'm awaiting Lord Page's call to invite me to be the supporting act on the forthcoming Led Zeppelin world tour. What f**king world tour, we ask ourselves? We're already out on our Good To Be Bad world tour, thank you very much!" Coverdale continued: "I have no idea where this started, Geoffers. But, with the wildfire of the internet, my poor ol' German publicist is fighting them off with her rusty, but trusty, Luger." - Smells a bit like the ol' publicity stunt? The mystery continues here

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3 Doors Down, Staind and Hinder Tour Details
PR reports: 3 Doors Down announced today their plans for a full headline summer tour in celebration of the upcoming self-titled Universal Republic Records release, 3 Doors Down, to be made available everywhere on May 20th. 3 Doors Down promises the shows will be one of the summer concert season's more rocking bills, tearing it up live across the US with two of the most invincible road warrior bands, Boston-based Staind and notorious Oklahoma fivesome Hinder.

In a show of their heartfelt affection for their fans, 3 Doors Down is also taking on the hard-hit economy, creating flexible, fan-friendly ticket prices that will vary in price, starting at $25 at all venues. Front man Brad Arnold affirms he recalls a thing or two as a huge music fan himself about saving a penny in order to see your favorite rock band.

"Being from Mississippi, I remember how great it was to head out to a rock concert as soon as the weather broke," says Brad. "We're so grateful to our fans for being there through thick and thin and supporting our new single "It's Not My Time," the idea of keeping ticket prices down is just one way we plan to return the favor. Of course, the upside to this is we will be accepting no excuses when it comes to having a great time at one of our shows."
- more on this story

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Race An Issue in R. Kelly Trial
AP reports: Jury selection was completed at R. Kelly's child pornography trial Thursday amid contentious exchanges between prosecutors and defense attorneys, who accused each other of trying to stack the panel along racial lines.

Of the 12 jurors who will open the case, eight are white and four are black. The four alternates include two blacks, one Hispanic and one white.

Defense attorneys objected several times as prosecutors used challenges to have several blacks dismissed from the jury pool. - more on this story

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