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Day in Rock Report for 12/26/2016


Today's Day in Rock Stories


George Michael Dies From Reported Heart Failure At 53

Acclaimed singer George Michael died Christmas day (December 25th) at the age of 53. The pop star's cause of death was heart failure, his manager revealed to The Hollywood Reporter.

Michael's longtime manager Michael Lippman told the publication that the beloved singer, who originally rose to fame as part of the pop duo Wham! before finding major success as a solo artist, was found on Christmas morning.

His publicist issued the following statement to the BBC, "It is with great sadness that we can confirm our beloved son, brother and friend George passed away peacefully at home over the Christmas period. "The family would ask that their privacy be respected at this difficult and emotional time. There will be no further comment at this stage."

Both Elton John and the band Queen reacted on social media. John, who teamed up with Michael in 1991 for a duet of his 1974 classic "Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me," wrote on Instagram, I am in deep shock. I have lost a beloved friend the kindest, most generous soul and a brilliant artist. My heart goes out to his family and all of his fans." Watch it here.

Queen published a link to a video their performance of "Somebody To Love" with Michael that was recorded during the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert and simply wrote "George Michael: 1963 2016." Watch the video here.

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Status Quo's Rick Parfitt Dies From Serious Infection At 68

(hennemusic) Status Quo guitarist Rick Parfitt died Saturday in a hospital in Spain at the age of 68. The rock veteran passed away two days after being admitted to address complications from a shoulder injury he sustained in a fall.

"We are truly devastated to have to announce that Status Quo guitarist Rick Parfitt has passed away at lunchtime today," said the Parfitt family and Status Quo manager Simon Porter in a joint statement. "He died in hospital in Marbella, Spain as a result of a severe infection, having been admitted to hospital on Thursday evening following complications to a shoulder injury incurred by a previous fall. This tragic news comes at a time when Rick was hugely looking forward to launching a solo career with an album and autobiography planned for 2017 following his departure from Status Quo's touring activities on medical advice.

"He will be sorely missed by his family, friends, fellow band members, management, crew and his dedicated legion of fans from throughout the world, gained through 50 years of monumental success with Status Quo. Rick is survived by his wife Lyndsay, their twins Tommy and Lily and Rick's adult children Rick Jnr and Harry." Read more here.

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Bruce Springsteen Releases His Final Concert With Clarence Clemons

(hennemusic) Bruce Springsteen has released the final E Street band concert performance with saxophonist Clarence Clemons, who passed away in 2011 at the age of 69 following complications from a massive stroke.

The group's November 22, 2009 concert at the HSBC Arena in Buffalo, NY was a three-and-a-half-hour, 35-song marathon that included a rare performance of Springsteen's 1973 debut, "Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J.", in its entirety.

In addition to Clemons' last arena show with the E Street Band, the event also marked the final date on the group's tour in support of the singer's sixteenth album, "Working On A Dream."

The Buffalo concert is available to download now through the Live Bruce Springsteen site, with a physical release scheduled for January 23. Read more here.

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Guns N' Roses Reunion, Axl Rose and Taco Bell 2016 In Review

One of the biggest rock news stories of 2016 was the reunion of Guns N' Roses featuring frontman Axl Rose and original lead guitarist Slash and bass player Duff McKagan.

In our first Day In Report of the year we saw Axl playing down rumors that the he would once again perform with the two other icons of the classic era of the band.

We reported: Axl Rose has issued his first public response to rumors of an impending announcement regarding a Guns N' Roses reunion. Rose tweeted on Friday: "The only thing I know 'confirmed' is my LOVE of Taco Bell! Mmmmm.... Taco Bell!! Happy New Years!!" Read the original report here.

But things quickly changed for the next day's report with the confirmation that that Rose, Slash and McKagan would be reuniting and would headline the Coachella Music Festival.

We had this to say at the time "The original lead guitarist and original bass player posted images on social media featuring the classic two-guns wrapped in roses Guns N' Roses logo over a backdrop of the festival site with "Coachella" written in the bottom corner.

"Slash posted his image to his Instagram account and McKagan added the photo to his Facebook page. The same image was added to Guns N' Roses' social media accounts. McKagan also added the classic GN'R logo as his profile picture on Facebook." Read the report here.

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The Death Of Music Legend David Bowie 2016 In Review

The world received the devastating news in January that music legend David Bowie died at the age of 69 after an 18-month battle with cancer. One of rock stars that paid tribute to the icon was Black Sabbath frontman Ozzy Osbourne.

Fans learned the say news via the following post on Bowie's Facebook and Twitter accounts, "January 10 2016 - David Bowie died peacefully today surrounded by his family after a courageous 18-month battle with cancer. While many of you will share in this loss, we ask that you respect the family's privacy during their time of grief."

Bowie released his latest album Blackstar just a few days before on January 8, which was also his birthday. The man who shot to international superstardom with The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars in 1972 and frequently changed with the times had kept his illness a secret to everyone other than his family.

Black Sabbath frontman Ozzy Osbourne offered the following tribute "It knocked the sh*t out of me. I had no idea that he was so ill. I don't think anybody knew how sick he was. I'd heard the reason he stopped touring was because he had two heart attacks or something. But apparently it was cancer.

"Anyway, he's gone. It's a terrible hole in the f***ing business. He was such a talented guy, man. When you go from Ziggy Stardust to his tours, and he's a fashion guy, he was always trying to beat himself and he pulled it off time and time again." Read the original report here.

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Van Halen's Lost Rock Opera Streaming Online 2016 In Review

Van Halen was inactive this year but that didn't stop them from landing a story in top 16 of 2016 after biographer Greg Renoff revealed rarities from the band's past to promote his book about the early days of the group and this week he unearthed a four decade old Van Halen Rock Opera.

The live audio clip of what Renoff calls a rock opera was captured during a live performance at Pasadena High School on April 25th, 1975 and features the two-songs "Eyes Of The Night - Forced Entry".

Renoff's new book "Van Halen Rising: How a Southern California Backyard Party Band Saved Heavy Metal" tells the story of the band's rise to fame and was writing over six years with insight from interviews with Van Halen insiders including founding bassist Michael Anthony as well as Pete Angelus, Marshall Berle, Donn Landee, Ted Templeman, and Neil Zlozower. Check out the rock opera clip here.

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Fans and Friends Say Goodbye To Lemmy 2016 In Review

2015 ended on a very say note for heavy rock fans with the passing of legendary Motorhead frontman Lemmy Kilmister from an "extremely aggressive cancer" at his Los Angeles home on December 28.

On Jan 4th reported: A public memorial service for Lemmy will be held at the late rocker's favorite bar and hangout, The Rainbow Bar & Grill in West Hollywood.

"Join us Saturday, January 9th as we say goodbye a dear friend and loved one," announced the bar. "We will open our doors at 2:00pm. Come celebrate the life of Lemmy Kilmister. Legends never die."

But that wasn't enough of a send off for such a legendary icon so organizers announced "Due to the overwhelming and supportive response to Lemmy's memorial, we are now using the entire Strip to compensate for overflow." Read more here.

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Eagles Glenn Frey Dies 2016 In Review

(hennemusic) Glenn Frey died was a top 16 story of Jan 2016: The Eagles guitarist and founding member died on January 18th at the age of 67 of complications from Rheumatoid Arthritis, Acute Ulcerative Colitis and Pneumonia, according to the band.

"It is with the heaviest of hearts that we announce the passing of our comrade, Eagles founder, Glenn Frey, in New York City on Monday, January 18th, 2016," said the band in a statement. "Glenn fought a courageous battle for the past several weeks but, sadly, succumbed to complications from Rheumatoid Arthritis, Acute Ulcerative Colitis and Pneumonia.

"The Frey family would like to thank everyone who joined Glenn to fight this fight and hoped and prayed for his recovery. Words can neither describe our sorrow, nor our love and respect for all that he has given to us, his family, the music community & millions of fans worldwide."

The Eagles postponed plans to attend the 2015 Kennedy Center Honors last month as Frey underwent major surgery for the health issue. "He was like a brother to me; we were family, and like most families, there was some dysfunction," said Eagles drummer and vocalist Don Henley. "But, the bond we forged 45 years ago was never broken, even during the 14 years that the Eagles were dissolved. We were two young men who made the pilgrimage to Los Angeles with the same dream: to make our mark in the music industry -- and with perseverance, a deep love of music, our alliance with other great musicians and our manager, Irving Azoff, we built something that has lasted longer than anyone could have dreamed.

"But, Glenn was the one who started it all. He was the spark plug, the man with the plan. He had an encyclopedic knowledge of popular music and a work ethic that wouldn't quit. He was funny, bullheaded, mercurial, generous, deeply talented and driven. He loved is wife and kids more than anything.

"We are all in a state of shock, disbelief and profound sorrow. We brought our two-year 'History of the Eagles Tour' to a triumphant close at the end of July and now he is gone.

"I'm not sure I believe in fate, but I know that crossing paths with Glenn Lewis Frey in 1970 changed my life forever, and it eventually had an impact on the lives of millions of other people all over the planet. It will be very strange going forward in a world without him in it. But, I will be grateful, every day, that he was in my life.

"Rest in peace, my brother. You did what you set out to do, and then some." Read the original report here.

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1000 Musicians Rock Foo Fighters Song 2016 In Review

(Radio.com) 1000 musicians from around the world made headlines back in January by performing a Foo Fighter's song. Radio.com had the following report: Super groups may include a few more members than your average band, but 1,000? That's the number behind Rockin' 1000, the band in Cesena, Italy responsible for collectively playing Foo Fighters' "Learn to Fly" last year. The cover came about as a plea asking Foo Fighters to perform in their city.

Rockin' 1000 followed up their massive debut with another video on Monday. This time, the band covered Foo Fighters' "Saint Cecilia," off the band's most recent EP by the same name. Rather than perform together, as they did with their last cover, Rockin' 1000 gathered musicians the world over to contribute.

On YouTube, the band explained, "We asked musicians all over the world to record themselves while singing and playing the Foo Fighters' song Saint Cecilia." Watch it here.

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Former Rainbow and Dio Star Jimmy Bain Dies 2016 In Review

The death of metal icon Jimmy Bain (Rainbow and Dio) at the age of 68 was a top 16 story from Jan 2016. Def Leppard guitarist Vivian Campbell confirmed the news via Facebook, writing, "It's with the heaviest of hearts that I must confirm the news of the passing of our dear friend and Last In Line bandmate Jimmy Bain. It was Jimmy who gave me my first big break in the music industry and for that I am forever indebted.

"Jimmy's struggles with his demons were well documented through the years, but over the last 18 months he had finally won that battle and he was bright and lucid and motivated throughout the writing and recording of the new record. He leaves behind him a rich legacy of work from Rainbow, through Wild Horses, Dio, and finally, Last In Line. Jimmy was immensely proud of our new album and his input to it was immeasurable."

"He was a very kind and gentle and generous soul and our lives were greatly enriched for having known him," added Campbell added. "We will continue to celebrate his life through his music. On behalf of Vinny and Andrew, our thoughts and condolences are with his family at this most difficult of times. Rest in peace, dear friend." Read the original report here.

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The Ghost Inside Star Confirms He Lost His Leg In Crash 2016 In Review

(TeamRock) The Ghost Inside's drummer Andrew Tkaczyk has confirmed that he lost his right leg in their 2015 fatal bus crash. The band were involved in an accident in El Paso, Texas, on November 19 of last year.

Their driver Greg Hoke died, along with the driver of the other vehicle involved, Steven Cunningham. Guitarist Zach Johnson, frontman Jonathan Vigil and Tkaczyk were airlifted to hospital and were in a critical condition.

In an Instagram post, Tkaczyk reveals he lost a leg as a result of the crash and also details a string of other injuries. But he insists he'll play the drums again. Tkaczyk says: "So the rumors are true everyone. Unfortunately I did lose my leg in this accident.

"This is one injury among many others such as fractures in my ribs, spine, and hip along with some ligament tears in my rotator cuff and labrum. I have remained in positive and good spirits since I woke up from a 10-day coma in November to the sight of my missing leg. Not going to let it stop me.

"I don't care what anyone says. It's a long road ahead, but I will play drums again. Can't wait to get back on the kit. Couldn't have dealt with this without the love and support from my brothers in TGI and crew, friends, fans and family. Thank you all." Read more here.

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Steely Dan's Donald Fagen Arrested 2016 In Review

Steely Dan frontman Donald Fagen made the top 16 stories of Jan 2016 after he was arrested for allegedly assaulting his wife at their New York home and was formally charged with on January 5.

Classic Rock reported at the time, the alleged incident took place at the couple's Upper East Side apartment. Fagen, 67, was accused of shoving Libby Titus onto a marble window frame.

According to the New York Times, Fagen appeared at Manhattan Criminal Court and was charged with assault in the third degree, a misdemeanor, and harassment and a violation. Read the original report here.

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Black Sabbath Feuds With Bill Ward 2016 In Review

(hennemusic) Black Sabbath's ongoing fall out with original member Bill Ward made our top 16 stories of Jan 2016 after bassist Geezer Butler reignited a feud over a failed 2013 reunion of the band's original lineup and the reasons behind drummer Bill Ward's absence from the group's farewell tour.

Ward - who participated in the initial rehearsals for the "13" album and tour - has always maintained that he sat out a reunion over contractual issues while the band says the drummer was not physically fit to take on the road, bringing in Rage Against The Machine drummer Brad Wilk for the studio sessions and Tommy Clufetos of Ozzy Osbourne's solo band to handle live shows.

As recent as the summer of 2015, Ward said he still wanted to regroup with his bandmates for another tour but an apology from Ozzy for remarks in recent years was a necessary first step to a full reunion.

Butler echoed Osbourne's comments about Ward's health issues in an interview with Classic Rock Revisited that brought an immediate public response from the drummer.

"We started out with Bill on the 13 tour," explains Butler. "That is the way we all thought it was going to be, that Bill was going to be part of this whole thing. It just turned out that is wasn't to be. His health has to come first before anything.

"It's beyond the money thing. It is not really anything to do with that. It is whether he's capable of touring or not. On the 13 tour, he was not on that tour. About a week after we started he had to go into the hospital for major surgery. We would have had to cancel the tour if Bill was still with us."

"He hasn't been well for a long time," Butler continued. "He's had a couple of heart attacks. You have to face facts when you get to our age and you're not in great, great health rather you can go out on the road for two years, or whatever. It is a hard life to do. The easy part is when you're on stage playing. It is all of the traveling and everything else that comes with it that is the hard part.

"I think Ozzy, in particular, didn't think Bill would get through it. He certainly wouldn't have got through the first part as he was in the hospital. We can't keep cancelling tours just because the drummer can't play."

Ward took to Twitter to issue a prompt rebuttle to Butler's comments. See the tweet here.

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Iron Maiden Announce First Shows In China 2016 In Review

(hennemusic) Metal legends Iron Maiden landed a top 16 story of Jan 2016 when they announced that they were to will play their first-ever concerts in China this spring.

hennemusic reported at the time: As part of The Book of Souls World Tour, the band will perform at Beijing's LeSports Center on April 24 and Shanghai's Mercedes-Benz Arena on April 26.

Iron Maiden planned the global trek in support of 2015's double-album, "The Book Of Souls". Produced by Kevin Shirley and recorded in Paris in 2014, the band's 16th album delivered Iron Maiden a No. 4 debut on the US Billboard 200 with opening week sales of 75,000 copies. Read the original report here.

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Original Santana Record Reunion Album 2016 In Review

(Radio.com) The reunion of the original Santana was a top 16 story of Jan 2016. Radio.com reported, for the first time in over 45 years, Carlos Santana has recorded a studio album with the lineup he used in the early 1970s. His new album Santana IV marks the first time the legendary guitarist recorded with the same band featured on his 1971 effort Santana III.

According to a press release the 16-track album features Santana's classic line-up of keyboardist and vocalist Gregg Rolie, Journey guitarist Neal Schon, percussionist Michael Carabello and drummer Michael Shrieve.

"It was magical," Santana says of the sessions. "We didn't have to try to force the vibe - it was immense. From there, we then needed to come up with a balance of songs and jams that people would immediately identify as Santana."

The iconic guitarist adds, "When you can go back and break new ground with joy and determination - and some whoop-ass energy - it gets you going. I think we achieved something very rare. This music was screaming to come out of us. It wasn't about nostalgia. It was about passion." Read the original report here.

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Metallica Stop Legal Move Against Tribute Band 2016 In Review

(Classic Rock) Metallica had a top 16 story from Jan 2016 after they gave their blessing to a tribute band who were sent a 41-page cease and desist letter by an "overzealous attorney." Canadian band Sandman - fronted by Warmachine singer Joe Di Taranto - were told to stop using Metallica's registered trademarks on their promotional material. Sandman's logo uses the same font adopted by Metallica on their 2003 album St Anger and they refer to themselves as "Canada's tribute to Metallica."

The legal papers were delivered to FitzRay's, a venue in London, Ontario, where Sandman were due to perform at the weekend. It reads: "We are kindly writing to request that Sandman stop using the name Metallica, the phonetic equivalent of Metallica or any of Metallica's logos on or to identify or promote live musical performances."

Di Taranto posted an image of the front page of the letter on Facebook, adding: "So as some of you may or may not know, in my spare time from Warmachine, I play in a couple of tribute acts - one being a ?Metallica tribute called Sandman.

"Last night when we arrived at the venue for our show in London, we were served with cease and desist papers courtesy of Metallica's lawyers. Quite funny."

But when Metallica heard about the legal action, they immediately rescinded the letter and gave their backing to Sandman, joking that their lawyer was "permanently ice fishing in Alaska." Read what Metallica had to say here.

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Dream Theater Star Was Almost On Pink Floyd's The Wall 2016 In Review

(Prog) Dream Theater star Jordan Rudess had one of the top 16 stories of Jan 2016 after he revealed to Prog that he came tantalizingly close to appearing on Pink Floyd's legendary 1979 concept album "The Wall."

"Many years ago I had a friend by the slightly unusual name of Bleu Ocean," recalls the Dream Theater keyboard maestro. "He was a very good drummer; I believe he had been one of the studio drummers for The Monkees, playing with them behind the scenes. Anyway, Bleu got the job of assembling a marching band that would appear on the song Bring The Boys Back Home.

"I was hanging out at Bleu's home one day and he said, 'Come on man, come to the studio and watch the recording of the track. You could even be a part of it'. Well, I wasn't a drummer - by that point I'd have been around 18 years old and had long since decided that keyboards would be my life - but I'd played some very basic snare drum when I was in Third Grade.

"So I went with him to the session. I walked in, someone gave me a drum and some sticks. I'm playing along and having a really good time but as I'm doing so I become aware that Bob Ezrin [producer] is looking at me across the room, eyebrow slightly askew and finally he says: 'I don't think so'.

"After he'd picked me out I went and sat in the control room and long before anyone else we got to hear a playback of that track, though of course we had no idea of what it meant or where it would fit in the overall puzzle of Pink Floyd's album." Read more here.

Read the original report here.

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Avenged Sevenfold Legal Fight With Their Record Label 2016 In Review

(Metal Hammer) Avenged Sevenfold In Legal Fight With Their Record Label was a top 16 story of 2016 after the group was sued by Warner Brothers Records for an alleged breach of contract. A7X are trying to walk away from their deal with the label using California's so-called 'seven-year rule' which allows parties to leave contracts after that period has passed.

But under an amendment to the law introduced in the 1980s, record companies can claim lost profits on uncompleted albums, which is what Warner Brothers intends to do, according to Billboard.

A7X's lawyer Howard E King says: "Avenged Sevenfold recently exercised the rights given them by this law and ended its recording agreement with Warner Bros Records.

King adds that, since A7X signed the deal with Warner in 2004, the label has undergone "multiple regime changes that led to dramatic turnover at every level of the company, to the point where no one on the current A&R staff has even a nodding relationship with the band." Read the original report here.

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Sebastian Bach Wants Skid Row Reunion 2016 In Review

(Classic Rock) Former Skid Row frontman Sebastian Bach earned a top 16 story of Jan 2016 when he revealed that he wanted to bury the hatchet with his old bandmates and reunite.

He acrimoniously split with the group in 1996 and has been critical of the band since, saying they were "allergic to cash" and claimed Rachel Bolan and co turned down $500,000 for two reunion shows.

Skid Row have insisted there would be no reunion following the departure of singer Tony Harnell - but Bach thinks it's now time for both parties to put the past behind them. The vocalist says in response to a fan tweet, "Only way a Skid Row Reunion could happen is if we somehow tried2 bury a 20 year hatchet between us. Would love the chance to do so."

He followed up with, "To be honest, I have said some super sh*tty things 2 them. & about them. I would like to apologize for shooting my mouth off." Read the original report here.

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